Mosul Mostly Cleared as Iraqi Forces Report First Day Without Casualties
Iraqi forces on Tuesday did not suffer any casualties in Mosul for the first time since October, while coalition jets have not conducted airstrikes in the city for two weeks. Coalition officials have also reported a massive reduction in the group’s online propaganda. Read the full report by Brian Everstine.
Dunford: No Changes to Transgender Policy Yet
The military has not made any changes yet to its transgender policy following President Donald Trump’s Wednesday announcement that the Defense Department will not allow transgender individuals to serve in “any capacity.” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, in a Thursday message to service leaders, said that there are “no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance,” according to Reuters. “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect. As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.” Trump on Wednesday used a series of tweets to announce that the government “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity.” —Brian Everstine
House Appropriations Bill Rejects BRAC, Affirms Space Corps
Lawmakers in the House rejected a new round of base realignment and closure (BRAC) Wednesday and disallowed another attempt to derail the Space Corps proposal in deliberations on the security-bus appropriations bill. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) offered an amendment that “none of the funds made available by this act may be used to propose, plan for, or execute a new or additional BRAC round.” The House Rules Committee approved the measure for floor debate, and it was adopted by voice vote. While the original bill contains no funding for BRAC, both lawmakers in the Senate and Air Force leadership have shown support for a new round as a cost-saving measure. The proposal to block Space Corps funding was submitted by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), but the Rules Committee disallowed Perry’s amendment, which was not included on the approved list. Another amendment, offered by Jared Polis (D-Colo.), proposed to reduce overall defense spending by one percent. The amendment was allowed by the Rules Committee but defeated by voice vote on the House floor. —Wilson Brissett
Coalition Pulls Support, Equipment From Syrian Group
The US-led coalition has pulled its backing from a group it previously supported inside Syria after it conducted operations against the Syrian regime. The group, called Shohada Al Quartyan, reportedly left a coalition base and conducted patrols “unilaterally” and “engaged in activities not focused on fighting ISIS,” coalition spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon said Thursday. While the group had been important partners, the coalition has pulled its support from this group and is working to take back equipment it had provided them. CNN reported the group left the deconfliction zone in southern Syria to carry out independent operations against pro-regime fighters. —Brian Everstine
SASC Approves AT&L, Three Others
The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to approve the nomination of Ellen Lord for undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics. Three other civilian nominations were approved by the committee at the same time, including Matthew Donovan to be undersecretary of the Air Force. All the nominations were approved by voice vote and are now moved to the full Senate, which will vote to confirm the nominations. —Wilson Brissett
Edwards Crews Test B-52 Leaflet Bombs
Airmen at Edwards AFB, Calif., recently successfully conducted a series of tests deploying leaflet bombs from B-52s. The 419th Flight Test Squadron tested PDU-5/B leaflet bombs twice at the Precision Impact Range Area at Edwards and eight times over the Mugu Sea Test Range, according to an Edwards release. The canisters, modified versions of older cluster bomb units, can deploy about 60,000 leaflets. They have been in use on helicopters and fighters, and have been deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This series of tests focused on the external hard points of the B-52, with future tests on the jet’s internal weapons bay expected. —Brian Everstine
Trump Delay for Military Buildup Was a “Strategic Mistake,” CSBA Says
The Trump Administration made a “strategic mistake” when it decided to postpone its promised military buildup until fiscal year 2019, according to new analysis from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis. In military budget guidance issued by Secretary of Defense James Mattis in January, the Administration announced its plan to “achieve program balance” in the FY 2018 budget and conduct a National Defense Strategy review before ramping up spending beginning in FY 2019. Katherine Blakely, the author of the CSBA report, said that in doing so, the Administration “squandered any honeymoon and allowed Congress to set the terms of the budget debate.” The House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act, which are currently making their way through Congress, both propose levels of defense spending that are higher than the President’s Budget proposes. —Wilson Brissett
A Boeing KC-46A tanker undergoes testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., on the base’s electromagnetic pulse pad. Boeing photo/NAVAIR photographer
KC-46 Completes Electromagnetic Testing
The Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker has successfully completed electromagnetic testing led by Air Force, Naval Air Systems Command, and Boeing personnel. The tests seek to determine whether the aircraft can operate in electromagnetic fields of the kind produced by radars. The KC-46 testing was conducted at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and in the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. “The KC-46 tanker is protected by various hardening and shielding technologies designed into the aircraft to negate any effects on the aircraft,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46 vice president and program manager, in a press release. “This successful effort retires one of the key risks on the program.” Boeing expects first delivery in its KC-46 fleet in late spring of 2018.
Air Force Says Firefighting Foam Contaminated Colorado Water, Soil
The Air Force confirmed this week that firefighting foam used at Peterson AFB, Colo., had contaminated the water and soil in nearby Colorado Springs with up to 1,000 times the advised level of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), the Denver Post reported. In a report based on a nine-month investigation, service engineers found that water samples in the area around Peterson contained PFC levels as high as 88,000 parts per trillion, and that soil samples had contamination levels as high as 240,000 ppt. The report says the Air Force has not yet gauged the extent of the contamination. The Colorado state Department of Health had previously identified the firefighting foam as the likely source of the contamination, and the Air Force study confirms that finding. The service said it would conduct further studies, including an investigation on the impact for human health, sometime after 2019.
—Goldfein wants to use artificial intelligence to scan social media for extremist activity. Defense One
—US-backed forces in Somalia have captured an al Shabaab militant who once lived in the United States. Associated Press
—Holloman AFB, N.M., along with engineering company AECOM, is hosting a three-day hiring event this week aimed at adding fighter jet maintainers for two F-16 squadrons at the base. Alamogordo News
—A C-130H from the 152nd Airlift Wing, recently equipped with the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, is supporting efforts to suppress the Detwiler Fire, burning since July 16 in central California. Nevada ANG release
—Airmen collaborated with local engineers in Fiji to help construct five schools during Pacific Angel 17-3, which concluded this week. PACAF release
An entry in the July 27 Daily Report incorrectly stated the rank of the missile defense component commander under US Strategic Command’s organizational restructuring. The missile defense component will be led by a three-star general. We have updated the original entry.