Air Force Wants Recently Retired Pilots Back for Staff Jobs

The Air Force on Tuesday detailed its outreach to recently retired pilots, encouraging them to return to service to help alleviate its growing pilot shortage. The new program would place recently retired pilots into staff positions to keep current pilots flying. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Military’s Storm Response Could Delay Deployments

The Defense Department’s prolonged natural disaster relief operations could delay the deployments of units tasked with storm response, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday. It’s “all hands on deck” when fellow Americans need help at home, he said. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

The End is Not Near in Afghanistan

Top Defense Department leaders told Congress Monday the US-led coalition is not close to winning the war in Afghanistan but the Trump administration’s new strategy there is making a difference already. US forces have been freed up to increase the number of airstrikes, Afghan air and ground forces have new equipment and are being trained at a more granular level, and new and old partners are committing to the fight. The question is whether it will all add up to a sustainable political reconciliation that includes the Taliban. Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.

Senate Blocking DOD Nominees Over Lack of Information on Wars

Leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee criticized top Pentagon officials Monday over their reluctance to share information with Congress about ongoing US wars and clarified that senators have been delaying confirmation of Department of Defense nominees over the complaint. “You’ve been in office since January,” SASC chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, “and so far we have not seen the details of a conditions-based strategy that will bring about an end to the conflict in Afghanistan.” Mattis defended the secrecy of the Afghanistan war plan, and said the Pentagon would not release exact numbers of deployed US troops. Read the full story by Wilson Brissett.

This entry was updated October 4 to accurately reflect the title of Jim Mattis.

Pentagon IDs Soldier Killed in Iraq

The Pentagon on Tuesday identified the soldier killed Oct. 1 in Iraq as Spc. Alexander W. Missildine, 20, of Tyler, Texas. Missildine was assigned to the 70th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Polk, La. He was killed, and another soldier was wounded, when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Salah ad-Din Province, Iraq. Missildine is the seventh US service member killed in Iraq, and 13th total, in the fight against ISIS. The incident is under investigation, according to a Pentagon news release. —Brian Everstine



—Although the worst mass shooting in US history took place on the Las Vegas strip, not far from several military bases, there were no Active Duty casualties, the Pentagon has confirmed: Military Times.

—China has commissioned its first fifth-generation J-20 aircraft into service and says flight tests are continuing as scheduled: The Diplomat.

—The US State Department has approved Australia’s request to purchase 3,900 Small Diameter Bomb IIs for its fleet of F-35A strike aircraft at an estimated cost of $815 million: IHS Jane’s.