Today's Top 5
1. Afghan withdrawal will make terrorism fight harder, says top US general in the Mideast
(The Associated Press) In a blunt assessment Tuesday, the top U.S. general for the Middle East told Congress it will be extremely difficult but not impossible for the U.S. to find, track and take out counterterrorism threats in Afghanistan once all American troops are withdrawn.
2. Top military official warns China and Russia are modernizing nuclear weapons faster than US
(CNN) The top US military official who runs the American nuclear arsenal warned that China and Russia are modernizing their nuclear weapons and capabilities faster than the US, saying during a congressional hearing on Tuesday that if it does not start investing more in nuclear defense and infrastructure, the US will be "at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries."
3. How the military attempts to right racial wrongs
(US News & World Report) Gen. Charles "C.Q." Brown Jr. has spent much of his career flying F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft, as well as commanding all U.S. air forces in the Pacific.
4. US bombers could go back on alert if ICBMs are curtailed, top general says
(Defense News) If the Defense Department is forced to get rid of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, it will have to move its bombers to alert status to pick up the slack, the head of U.S. Strategic Command said Tuesday.
5. Post-riot effort to tackle extremism in the military largely overlooks veterans
(Washington Post) The Defense Department is focusing on how to weed out possible extremists from the active-duty ranks in the wake of the Capitol riot, with a recent, military-wide “stand down” for troops to discuss the issue ahead of policy decisions on the matter by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Transitioning out of the military and looking for a job?
(Military Times) We have listings from companies looking for vets.
Future ops in Afghanistan could rely on new bases in nearby nations
(Air Force Magazine) U.S. Central Command and American diplomats are working with nations surrounding Afghanistan on agreements to base troops and aircraft for counter terrorism inside the country following the military’s withdrawal.
Marines wrap rotational deployment in Norway
(UPI) The U.S. Marines have completed a rotational deployment to Norway and have returned to the United States, the Marine Corps announced Tuesday.
AFRICOM: Chinese naval base in Africa set to support aircraft carriers
(USNI News) A recently completed pier at the Chinese naval base near the entrance to the Red Sea is large enough to support an aircraft carrier, the top U.S. commander for Africa told lawmakers on Tuesday.
As US troops leave Afghanistan, rescued dogs and cats go with them
(Stars & Stripes) Staff Sgt. Katie Catania found love at Kandahar Airfield, in the form of two puppies.
US military nudges European allies on countering small drones
(Defense News) The U.S. military is trying to push its European allies to boost their capabilities against small unmanned aerial vehicles, as Western forces absorb lessons from the conflict last year in Nagorno-Karabakh, dubbed the first true “drone war.”
Russia defends restricting foreign navy ships off Crimea amid troop buildup near Ukraine
(The Associated Press) Russia insisted Tuesday that it has the right to restrict foreign naval ships’ movement off Crimea, rejecting international criticism amid Western worries about a Russian troops buildup near Ukraine.
US forces operating ‘without complete air superiority’ due to small, armed drones
(Air Force Magazine) The proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems, usually commercially available drones that can be outfitted to drop weapons, is the most “persistent and dangerous” threat to troops in the Middle East in decades.
China and Russia turn deeper ties into a military challenge for Biden
(Foreign Policy) “You face a two-front war where we don’t have a two front military,” said one former Trump official.
Beijing’s military-heavy approach to Taiwan locks the US and China in a security dilemma
(The Diplomat) Beijing’s non-military options for coercing Taiwan are showing dwindling returns, meaning China is increasingly using military signaling to respond to any perceived provocation.
Iran is a daily threat as U.S. dominance wanes, general says
(Bloomberg) Iran poses a daily threat to the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East as America’s military superiority in the region wanes, the top U.S. commander in the region told Congress on Tuesday, as indirect nuclear talks between the two nations continue in Vienna.
U.S. helping Ukraine foil Russian cyberattacks as hacking spikes: sources
(US News & World Report) U.S. News has learned that Ukraine, working with U.S. partners, has foiled at least 350 Russian cyberattacks in recent weeks while Moscow’s forces mass on the border.
The military’s inspector general system must be reformed, former DoD IG says
(Military Times) When Spc. Vanessa Guillen’s remains were found near her Fort Hood, Texas, duty station, after her family had been saying for months that she’d be sexually harassed by a member of her unit, the Army sent an inspector general to the post to audit its Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program. He gave it the all-clear.
Government to shell out $15 billion for hypersonics
(National Defense) Between fiscal years 2015 and 2024, federal agencies will have spent about $15 billion on hypersonic weapons and related technologies, according to projections by a watchdog group.
Congress, not courts, should decide the future of the military draft, Justice Department says
(Military.com) The Biden administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a petition calling for the men-only draft registration to be declared unconstitutional and let Congress decide the future of the Selective Service System.
Leaders from AFRICOM, Air Force, CDC discuss COVID response
(UPI) The African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance wrapped its 10th annual conference last week.
Congress & Politics
Bush warns Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan risks harming women, girls by empowering 'brutal' Taliban
(Fox News) Bush also addressed Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Derek Chauvin trial, immigration.
US troops, dollars exiting Afghanistan could fight terror, top commander tells Congress
(Defense News) The top U.S. commander in the Mideast told lawmakers Tuesday some troops exiting Afghanistan will stay in the region for counter-terror operations and suggested some could be a “lever” against Russia and China.
White House outlines 100-day plan to upgrade U.S. cyberdefenses
(UPI) The White House said Tuesday that President Joe Biden's administration is beginning a 100-day plan to guard critical U.S. electric infrastructure against sophisticated cyber threats.
Vanessa Guillen’s sisters say Fort Hood memorial gate is a ‘step in the right direction’
(Army Times) A gate at Fort Hood, Texas, leading to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment area where Spc. Vanessa Guillén was killed by a fellow soldier last spring, now bears her name and picture.
Army experiments aim to provide soldiers with better grenades, AI, resupply, machine guns and more
(Army Times) The Army’s most recent annual series of experiments for soldiers at the tactical level showcase new tools for warfighting that could benefit troops at the company level and below.
Two injured in Army helicopter training crash at Fort Rucker
(The Associated Press) Two people were hurt Tuesday when an Army helicopter crashed at a training base in south Alabama, military officials said.
US Army bracing for budget hit next year
(Defense News) The U.S. Army is bracing for a possible large budget cut in fiscal 2022, a defense official told Defense News.
75th Ranger Regiment lieutenants earn Best Ranger title, credit 'focused' training
(Stars & Stripes) Just two events into the famously grueling, three-day Best Ranger competition, Army 1st Lts. Vince Paikowski and Alastair Keys grabbed the lead in the 51-team field and never relinquished it.
Suspect arrested after drive-by shooting at Minnesota Guardsmen
(Army Times) A 28-year-old man has been charged with the illegal possession of a firearm after federal agents say he was caught during a traffic stop with the pistol that fired upon National Guard soldiers in Minneapolis early Sunday morning.
Navy ends Fort McCoy stop before boot camp, cuts ROM for fully vaccinated recruits
(Navy Times) The Navy is nixing a 14-day restriction of movement (ROM) for fully vaccinated recruits ahead of boot camp at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.
2 Marines involved in likely accidental barracks shooting, NCIS says
(The Associated Press) Two male Marines were involved in what the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has now confirmed was a shooting incident involving two people ? an incident that the law enforcement agency believes may have been accidental.
Test Pilot School looks to the cosmos in new space program
(Air Force Times) The Air Force’s Test Pilot School on April 6 graduated its first 15 space testers from a new three-month program, broadening the school’s role in educating a new generation of experts in the field as their role evolves.
Air Force top brass ‘not inclined’ to allow beards for airmen
(Task & Purpose) Sorry airmen, you’re not getting beards without a medical or religious waiver anytime soon, as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles ‘CQ’ Brown and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass made clear in a live Facebook chat on Monday.
Arizona governor sending National Guard troops to southern border
(The Associated Press) Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday he is sending 250 National Guard troops to the state’s southern border with Mexico amid the increased arrivals of migrants.
Space Force is suddenly the go-to armed service
(Washington Examiner) U.S. Space Force got a boost when thousands of March applications for transfer arrived from the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, but other bureaucratic slowdowns may prevent it from keeping pace with adversaries, experts say.
Pay & Benefits
Military health care facilities joining together for regional system in Hampton Roads
(Daily Press) Seventeen different military treatment facilities across Hampton Roads are joining to form a regional health-care system, the Defense Health Agency announced Monday.
Defense Health Agency says it will come up $1.8 billion short on cash due to pandemic
(Military.com) The Defense Department is anticipating a $1.8 billion budget shortfall as the result of unexpected COVID-19 pandemic expenses, military health officials said Tuesday.
Military Culture & History
Six Days in Fallujah' video game aims to recount one of Iraq War's bloodiest battles
(Military.com) Read Omohundro was the commander of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, during the Second Battle of Fallujah. The battle in Iraq had some of the most intense street-to-street fighting that Americans have encountered since the Vietnam War.
Multiple VA medical centers may be rebuilt under Biden’s infrastructure plan
(Military Times) White House officials say the president’s new infrastructure plan includes enough funding to replace “10 to 15” aging Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country with new medical centers, but department officials haven’t determined yet which communities might benefit from the money.
Emptiness, anger, relief: Afghanistan veterans wrestle with coming end of 'forever war'
(Military.com) When the news broke that the United States planned to pull its remaining troops from Afghanistan, Marine veteran Peter Lucier's thoughts drifted to his old platoon mate, Lance Cpl. Ramon Kaipat.
U.K. reaches $2 billion deal to buy Boeing’s Chinook helicopters
(Bloomberg) The U.K. and the Pentagon reached agreement on a $2 billion sale of 14 Chinook helicopters built by Boeing Co., as well as engines, machine guns, radar and missile-jamming equipment for the choppers, according to officials and documents.
French A400M completes helicopter-refueling drills
(Defense News) France has recently completed a series of test flights to move forward with certification of the A400M’s capability to refuel helicopters during flight, day and night.
Parsons gets first new CEO in 13 years
(Defense News) The Parsons Corporation board of directors has selected Carey Smith, the company’s chief operations officer, to become its next top executive.
Submarine industrial base under strain as Virginia-class parts wearing out early; implications for Columbia-class
(USNI News) Some parts on Virginia-class attack boats are wearing out faster than the Navy anticipated 20 years ago, and buying replacement parts is further straining a nuclear submarine industrial base that’s already juggling an expansion of construction of new hulls and maintaining the current fleet.
Sustainment becoming most profitable part of F-35 for Lockheed Martin
(Air Force Magazine) As F-35 managers and auditors prepare to testify on the stealth fighter’s sustainment costs, Lockheed Martin’s Chief Financial Officer said sustainment is soon to be the most profitable part of the program.
Elbit awarded $41M order as part of the night vision goggles IDIQ contract for U.S. Marine Corps
(Seapower) Elbit Systems Ltd.’s U.S. subsidiary, Elbit Systems of America LLC, has been awarded a delivery order valued at approximately $41 million for the supply of night vision systems and various spare components to the U.S. Marine Corps, the company said in an April 20 release.
Cyber, Unmanned and Space
A cyber tool that started at DARPA moves to Cyber Command
(C4ISRNET) A critical cyber tool, one that could help military commanders make better decisions during cyber operations and has been in development for many years, has officially transitioned to U.S. Cyber Command.
US Navy uses cloud more to get software tools to ships faster
(C4ISRNET) The U.S. Navy’s shipboard network team wants to deliver software to sailors faster. To get there it’s looking to the cloud.
Free the data: Vice chiefs launch an acquisition crusade
(Defense One) Better access to weapon data is crucial to faster Pentagon purchasing — and dangerous to industry business models.
Italian aircraft carrier cleared by joint program office to operate F-35Bs
(UPI) The U.S. F-35 Joint Program Office has delivered a flight clearance recommendation to the Italian Navy for the safe operation of fifth-generation F-35B fighter aircraft, the Navy announced on Tuesday.
Commentary & Analysis
Space Force Reserve too important to be dictated by active duty
(Air Force Times) Until the Space Force treats its space reservists as equals, however, its leaders should expect that any reserve plan they develop will be dead on arrival.
‘I’m serving this country, and this is how I’m treated?’
(New York Times) For centuries, Black American troops have not fully enjoyed the freedom they are sworn to defend.
Afghanistan: The U.S. can always go back
(Wall Street Journal) Harsh but limited strikes can deter and punish terrorism. Nation building is an expensive diversion.
With Afghanistan withdrawal set, a reservist’s war comes to an end
(Military Times) It’s simple math, really. The total active duty U.S. military is only 1.4 million people on a good day. However, the total number of all reservists, plus military retirees and folks alive who have ever served in the U.S. military, are in excess of 25 million.
U.S. defense strategy after the pandemic
(War On The Rocks) After a year of loss and lockdowns, America’s vaccination efforts are slowly allowing the country to reopen.
Afghans don’t need U.S. troops. They need islands of stability.
(Foreign Affairs) Here’s how the Biden administration can prevent chaos in Afghanistan, even after it withdraws.
Sea Shadow: The U.S. Navy tried to build a ‘stealth fighter’ on the water
(19FortyFive) A key plot element of the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies involved media baron Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) using a stealth ship to destroy a Royal Navy frigate to almost start World War III.