Navy Adm. John C. Aquilino, lead U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, addresses Senated Armed Services Committee March 21. Screenshot

INDOPACOM Boss on China: ‘Haven’t Faced a Threat Like This Since World War II’

After nearly three years with a front-row seat to China's burgeoning military capabilities, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command offered a parting warning to lawmakers on the country’s expanding geopolitical objectives. “What we all have to understand is we haven't faced a threat like this since World War II.” Navy Adm. John C. Aquilino told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21.

Radar Sweep

Money for 5.2 Percent Troop Pay Raise, Enlisted Hardship Bonuses Included in Last-Minute Government Funding Bill

Nearly six months after the fiscal year started and just two days before a partial government shutdown could start, lawmakers have unveiled an agreement to provide the Pentagon with $825 billion for this fiscal year that eschews controversial policy riders on abortion and LGBTQ+ service members. If passed, the legislation would ensure troop pay is uninterrupted and avoid the devastating effects to personnel funding military officials have warned could happen if Congress does not approve a regular spending bill this year.

Russia Fires 31 Missiles at Kyiv in the First Attack in Weeks

The Associated Press

Russia fired more than two dozen missiles at Kyiv before dawn on March 21, attacking the Ukrainian capital for the first time in six weeks and sending panicked residents flooding into the relative safety of the subway system in a scene reminiscent of the first weeks of the war. Air defenses shot down all 31 of the missiles, though the falling wreckage still damaged apartment buildings and injured 13 people, including a child, officials said.

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Air Force 2-Star Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Assault

Stars and Stripes

Air Force Maj. Gen. Phillip Stewart on March 21 pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a subordinate officer during a business trip and requested a jury of officers at a court-martial scheduled later this year. Stewart entered the plea before military judge Col. Matthew Stoffel during a hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph—the base where he once commanded the 19th Air Force, which trains all aircrews for the service.

Intel Analyst Shared Classified Information on Discord, Investigators Say

The Washington Post

An Air Force intelligence analyst is alleged to have shared classified U.S. intelligence on the chat platform Discord with followers of an anti-government extremist group, according to an FBI affidavit that was unsealed this week. Investigators said that analyst Jason Gray shared information that he “likely obtained” from his access to National Security Agency intelligence while he served at a base in Alaska, according to the affidavit, which was dated November 2022 and accompanied a search warrant for a Discord account that Gray said he operated.

Families at Edwards Air Force Base Living in RVs for Housing Relief

Task & Purpose

An assignment to the secretive test centers at Edwards Air Force Base can be the capstone of a career for many in military aviation. But facing a “decades-long, chronic” housing shortage and sky-high rents around the remote desert base in southern California, some military families there are cramming into RVs to make ends meet.

Michael Sulmeyer Tapped for New Top Pentagon Cyber Policy Role


President Joe Biden will nominate Michael Sulmeyer to serve as the inaugural assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy, the White House announced March 21. The fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act created the position to act as the “overall supervision of policy of the Department of Defense for cyber.” Previously, the top cyber job in the Pentagon was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber policy.

Lawmakers Launching New Defense Modernization Caucus


In a move to intensify and advance Congress’ support as an essential enabler of the Pentagon’s major technology adoption and innovation pursuits, lawmakers are establishing a new Defense Modernization Caucus. Reps. Pat Ryan, D-N.Y. and Rob Wittman, R-Va., who will co-chair the group, are hosting a kickoff to celebrate its launch on March 21.

US Military to Boost Surveillance Assets in Orbit


The U.S. military is looking to bolster its ability to detect and track potential threats in the geosynchronous equatorial orbit, a critical orbital perch for the nation’s most important military and intelligence satellites. With a growing need for better “space domain awareness,” the Pentagon wants additional satellites acting as eyes and ears in the GEO belt, about 22,300 miles above the Earth, said Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of U.S. Space Command.

XQ-58 Valkyrie Drone Family Has Grown to Five Variants

The War Zone

Five years after the first flight of its stealthy XQ-58A Valkyrie, Kratos has confirmed that there are now at least five different variants of the drone either in production or development. The company is also continuing its work to drive down the unit costs of these uncrewed aircraft, something that could be particularly relevant as it looks to make a bid for the next round of the Air Force's Collaborative Combat Aircraft program.

F-35 Delivery Delays Frustrate European Air Force Upgrade Plans

Defense News

Delivery disruptions for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are creating a headache for European buyers, as some countries face a potential capacity gap and delays in training pilots and maintenance engineers. Denmark is exploring how to deal with a slipping delivery schedule, including possibly borrowing or buying aircraft from other F-35 users. Norway said there’s a risk full operational capacity of its F-35 fleet will be pushed back.

How to Airdrop: A C-17 Pilot Describes Delivering Food and Water to Gaza

Defense One

Flying above the besieged Gaza Strip on a mission to deliver humanitarian aid, one U.S. Air Force pilot said he could see the conditions on the ground below. “We see Gaza City. We see destruction. We see people. We know that they're eager to receive aid,” Maj. Jade Crain said in an interview March 20.

Medical Care Shortfalls for US Personnel in Japan Trigger Push from Lawmakers for Improvements

Lawmakers are pressing the Pentagon to improve medical care in Japan for U.S. military personnel, families, and Defense Department civilians amid ongoing concerns that the lack of access to care is forcing service members and federal civilian employees to leave the country. The move follows efforts initiated last October by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Defense Health Agency to improve emergency medical services for Americans covered by a Status of Forces Agreement with Japan.

One More Thing

More Military Commissaries to Offer Home Grocery Delivery This Year

Military Times

Commissary customers across the country will soon be able to get groceries delivered to their doorstep, as officials prepare to expand the military’s home-delivery pilot program this summer. Grocery deliveries will start in the western United States around midsummer before rolling out nationwide, Defense Commissary Agency Director John Hall told Military Times in an interview.