U.S. Central Command commander Gen. Michael E. Kurilla addresses lawmakers at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 7, 2024. Screenshot

CENTCOM Boss Presses Lawmakers for Counter-Drone Funds That ‘Will Save Lives’

Army Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, urged lawmakers to approve more than half a billion dollars in funding to combat unmanned aerial systems in the Middle East after months of attacks by Iran-backed militia groups. The $95 billion national security supplemental package that passed the Senate in February contained $531 million for counter-UAS efforts in CENTCOM, and Kurilla told the Senate Armed Service Committee on March 7 that those funds will allow him to procure “technology I need to get forward into the theater that will save lives.”

Allvin: CCA Will Redefine How USAF Counts Its Fighters

Specific numbers of certain aircraft types will be less important to the Air Force’s future fighter force structure than a focus on manned-unmanned teaming driven by Collaborative Combat Aircraft, Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin said March 7. Indeed, Allvin suggested at the annual McAleese Defense Programs Conference, the Air Force’s ambitious plans to start producing and fielding CCAs in the coming years are prompting big picture questions about the fighter fleet.

Maryland Guard to Trade A-10s for Cyber, and Hope for Future Flying Mission

Warfield Air National Guard Base in Maryland is slated to transition from A-10s to a cyber mission in the coming years, the Department of the Air Force announced March 7. The 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard will become a cyberspace wing, pending an environmental impact analysis expected to be completed by the fall of 2025 and a final decision, the department noted in a release. 

Radar Sweep

Sweden Officially Joins NATO, Ending Decades of Post-World War II Neutrality

The Associated Press

Sweden on March 7 formally joined NATO as the 32nd member of the transatlantic military alliance, ending decades of post-World War II neutrality and centuries of broader non-alignment with major powers as security concerns in Europe have spiked following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Army Intelligence Analyst Charged with Selling Military Secrets to Contact in China for $42,000

CBS News

An active-duty Army Soldier and intelligence analyst spent over a year selling sensitive military documents related to the U.S. defense of Taiwan, weapons systems, and missile defense systems to China, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed March 7 and obtained by CBS News. Sgt. Korbein Schultz is accused of using his top secret security clearance to download classified U.S. government records at the behest of an unnamed individual who claimed to live in Hong Kong, allegedly amassing $42,000 in the process.

A Nearly $1 Trillion Defense Budget Faces Headwinds at Home and Abroad

Defense News

Last year’s debt ceiling agreement caps the FY24 defense top line at $886 billion, though the Pentagon and all other agencies face a 1 percent cut if Congress does not pass a full FY24 budget by April 30. Even so, FY24 defense spending could balloon as high as $953 billion if Congress also approves President Joe Biden’s foreign aid request for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. As the Pentagon seeks to address these new wars along with consistently rising costs like salaries and health care for troops and civilians, the $1 trillion figure may draw new scrutiny to the defense budget, including questions about where to cut and where it’s falling short.

They Stood Sentry over America's Nuclear Missile Arsenal. Many Worry It Gave Them Cancer.


For years, it was an open secret among missileers that the Cold War-era missile alert facilities and launch control centers where they'd spend days sleeping, eating and staying on alert in case of nuclear Armageddon were filled with things that might get them sick—carcinogens such as PCBs, lead paint, asbestos, and tainted water. And every missileer veteran had at least one close friend who was battling a form of cancer.

Targeting Time Shrinks from Minutes to Seconds in Army Experiment

Defense One

Soldiers found targets in a tiny fraction of the normal time by streamlining procedures and speeding up data processing during a recent experiment, Army officials said March 5. The Army is seeing a “two orders of magnitude” increase in the speed at which data is passed to weapons crews since the first Project Convergence, said Alex Miller, a senior science and technical advisor to Army Chief of Staff Randy George. In certain cases, processes that previously took minutes took just seconds, Miller said during a media day for this year's Project Convergence, one of the service’s marquee technology-testing events.

First Block 70 F-16s Are Out for Delivery

The War Zone

The first Block 70 F-16C/Ds have left Lockheed Martin's production facility and are headed on a long delivery flight that will cross a good portion of the globe. Their final destination is Bahrain, which has bought 16 of the advanced Vipers. The delivery mission is a massive milestone for the F-16 line that was moved from its long-time home in Fort Worth, Texas, to Greenville, S.C., some time ago.

Biden to Order US Military to Construct Port in Gaza to Increase Aid Flow


During his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden ordered the U.S. military to establish a temporary port in Gaza so more humanitarian aid can get to Palestinians in need. ... The U.S. military has “unique capabilities” that allow it to construct a port or causeway without having to send forces to Gaza’s shores, said one of the officials. “We’re not planning for this to be an operation that would require U.S. boots on the ground,” said a second one.

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US, Japan Finalizing Co-Development Agreement for Hypersonic-Killing Missile Interceptor

Inside Defense

The governments of the United States and Japan are finalizing a formal agreement to co-develop a next-generation, ship-launched guided-missile interceptor designed to defeat long-range, hypersonic weapons during the glide phase, according to a senior U.S. military official. Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Heath Collins said discussions with counterparts in Japan over potential collaboration on the Glide Phase Interceptor program “are maturing quite well.”

Eileen Vidrine Set to Retire as Air Force CDAO by End of March


Eileen Vidrine will retire from her role as the Department of the Air Force’s chief data and artificial intelligence officer in the coming weeks, DefenseScoop has learned. An Air Force spokesperson confirmed March 7 that Vidrine will be retiring “at the end of the month.” The spokesperson said they could not immediately provide any additional information about whether officials had identified someone to succeed her as CDAO, nor who would be managing those duties in the interim.

OPINION: Drones, the Air Littoral, and the Looming Irrelevance of the US Air Force

War on the Rocks

“Today, the U.S. Air Force faces an almost-existential crisis. During the past several years, the service has been battered by the loss of its prestigious space mission to the nascent U.S. Space Force. It has also struggled to balance the continued acquisition of stunningly expensive new manned aircraft with the rapid developments in unmanned technologies, which are making pilots increasingly superfluous,” write Lt. Gen. David W. Barno, U.S. Army (ret.), and Dr. Nora Bensahel, professors of practice at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

One More Thing

A Nurse with an Amputation Hopes to Join the Air Force. A New Bill Could Allow Her to Do So.


Hannah Cvancara grew up watching military documentaries with her father, visiting war museums on family vacations, and playing with the little toy soldiers dutifully deployed to her windowsill. She would look at the small green men molded into their fighting positions and knew, even though she was missing her left foot, she wanted to serve some day. Cvancara is the namesake of the "Hannah Cvancara Service Act," a bill introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., in February. If passed, it would allow amputees interested in joining the military to serve in medical personnel fields in the National Guard, reserves and on active duty.