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An Atlas V rocket carrying the AFSPC-11 mission for the U.S. Air Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 7:13 p.m. ET on April 14. United Launch Alliance photo.​


Independent Estimate Puts Space Force Tab at Up to $21.5 Billion

Creating a new Space Force could cost up to $21.5 billion—or as little as $11.5 billion, according to a new report by Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Mildenhall Rivet Joints, Airmen to Move to Fairford

The Air Force will move RC-135s and about 530 airmen to RAF Fairford, England, from RAF Mildenhall, by 2024, the service announced. The move of RC-135s and airmen from the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron and 488th Intelligence Squadron will begin in 2023, and will include about 740 family members in addition to the military personnel, according to a release.  The aircraft are permanently assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb., and are forward deployed to England. The goal is to allow the Air Force to reduce excess capacity without losing operational capabilities, according to US Air Forces in Europe. The Air Force is closing Mildenhall, and moving its capabilities to other bases in England and across Europe, including sending KC-135s to Ramstein AB, Germany, and MC-130s and CV-22s to Spangdahlem AB, Germany. —Brian Everstine

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Pentagon Report, Joint Chiefs Chairman Note Lack of Progress in Afghanistan

The military effort in Afghanistan remains stagnant about one year after the administration released its new South Asia Strategy despite an increased operational tempo in the country, according to a new report. The Defense Department Inspector General, in a quarterly report to Congress, stated that as the new strategy passed the one year mark, the US military increased its presence and conducted more offensive strikes, while increasing training for Afghan forces. However, “there was little clear progress” toward reconciliation and the available measures of security “showed little change.” For example, 65 percent of the Afghan population is living in areas of government control or influence, an amount that has not changed in the past year. Additionally, there have been more reports of civilian casualties, and a spike in Afghan security forces casualties. Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum the Taliban is “not losing” in Afghanistan and that reconciliation is the only way forward. However, he acknowledged that not much has changed since the US last year said the situation in Afghanistan was a “stalemate.” —Brian Everstine

DLA Delivers More than 300,000 Pounds of Thanksgiving Food

The Pentagon and the Defense Logistics Agency has delivered more than 300,000 pounds of Thanksgiving food, including turkey, stuffing, and pies, to military members deployed at operating locations inside the US and across the world. DLA has stocked US military kitchens with the food to help military members away from their families celebrate the holiday, Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said Monday. This includes food for the 5,800 military members currently deployed to Texas, Arizona, and California for ongoing support to the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection. Despite being inside the US and operating close to cities and restaurants, the military members are not getting leave for the holiday. —Brian Everstine

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RADAR SWEEP


F-35 Elephant Walk at Hill
Thirty-five F-35s from the 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 419th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, conducted an elephant walk as a demonstration of combat power on Monday. Watch a time lapse video of the strike fighters taking off, and check out the elephant walk photo.

Pentagon Frustrated by Silicon Valley Rejection
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs expressed frustration Saturday over the refusal of some tech giants to work with the US military. Breaking Defense

Africa Command to Pursue Drawdown, Realignment
The Department of Defense announced Thursday the withdrawal and realignment of some U.S. Africa Command Counter Violent Extremist Organization, in accordance with priorities outlined in this years National Defense Strategy. UPI

Pentagon Report on Turkey's F-35 Program Delivered to Congress
The U.S. Defense Department has delivered a report to Congress detailing implications of Turkey receiving 100 F-35 fighter jets, five people familiar with the report said, removing a key hurdle to concluding the deal. Reuters

One More Thing:

Some Mad Genius Just Attached an M61 Vulcan Rotary Cannon to a Toyota Prius
Small-batch coffee producer Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) has turned a Toyota Prius into a rolling platform for a 20-millimeter M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. And yes, that's the same kind of cannon found in Air Force fighter jets. The Drive