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​Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison addresses reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Oct. 2, 2018. State Department​ photo.


US NATO Ambassador Warns Moscow on Missile Development

If Russia does not stop work on missiles that violate the INF Treaty, the US could move to “take out” the systems, cautioned Washington’s envoy to NATO on Tuesday during a press conference in Brussels. Later in the day, she appeared to walk back the statement in a tweet, saying she was not talking about a preemptive strike and that her point was that Russia needs to return to compliance with the treaty. Read the full report by Steve Hirsch.


Air Force Seeking Bids for “Cyber Weapons Factory”

The Air Force wants to buy a cyber weapons platform that can arm the online warriors of US Cyber Command at the warp speed of the internet rather than the tortoise pace of acquisition—and it’s looking at proposals now. Its Unified Platform (UP) will support development of new cyber weapons on the fly, enabling cyber warriors to rapidly field cyber weapons and adapt to changing circumstances. Shaun Waterman explains how the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is avoiding the pitfalls of early obsolescence. Read the full story.


Mattis Pledges Continued Support for French Operations in Mali

The US military has no intention of cutting back its support for French-led military efforts in Mali “one bit,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday in Paris. “We fully embrace the French mission there,” Mattis said, pledging continued intelligence and logistics support for the French-led effort targeting al Qaeda and ISIS-affiliated fighters in Mali. USAF tankers have refueled French fighters as part of the effort since 2013 as part of Operation Juniper Micron. KC-135s from Fairchild AFB, Wash., deployed this week to Moron AB, Spain, in support of the mission. In addition to refueling, the Air Force has flown airlift missions and provided remotely piloted aircraft support for French-led operations. —Brian Everstine

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Mail Sent to Pentagon Tests Positive for Ricin

The Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating two envelopes that tested positive for a “suspicious substance” that unnamed officials said was ricin at a mail processing facility. The Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected the substance during mail screening at the building’s remote screening facility on Monday, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning in a statement, and the FBI took the envelopes for further analysis. All mail is “under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon personnel,” Manning said. CNN reported Tuesday that the envelopes were addressed to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. —Brian Everstine

US-Led Coalition Blasts Iran for Uncoordinated Missile Strike in Syria

The US-led coalition is harshly criticizing Iran for its Monday missile strike at ISIS targets inside Syria, saying the country did not coordinate a launch through busy airspace potentially putting ground forces in danger. Iran launched six medium-range ballistic missiles from within its borders, across Iraq, and into Syria at what it claimed to be an ISIS base. The launch, Iranian military claimed, is in response to a terror attack on an Iranian military parade on Sept. 22. US Army Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said Tuesday that firing any missile into uncoordinated airspace is a threat. “Professional militaries like the coalition and the Russian Federation” deconflict, he said. The strike was reportedly within about three miles of US forces, according to CNN. US and allied forces were not in immediate dangers, though an assessment of the incident is still ongoing, Ryan said. —Brian Everstine

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RADAR SWEEP


—More than 150 airmen from seven commands last month participated in a proof-of-concept exercise to demonstrate rapid deployment of a small unit to stand up an operating location: USAF release.

—A device, similar to a spark plug, on a Standard Missile-3 Block IIA failed during a test of the missile interceptor in January, according to a Missile Defense Agency investigation: Bloomberg.

—A 17-member team from Travis AFB, Calif., the Wyoming Air National Guard, and Colorado Air Force Reserve recently completed a four-week training deployment with the Colombian air force, focused on medical and airlift capabilities: USAF release.

—Saudi Arabia on Monday said it had made “mistakes” and was working to correct targeting by its military coalition in Yemen following repeated incidents of civilian casualties. The US provides refueling support for the coalition, and American officials have called for investigations into these incidents: Reuters.

—Col. John Howard, the former commander of Scott AFB, Ill., will retire after taking a plea in an investigation into sexual misconduct: Belleville News-Democrat.

—The Pentagon on Monday walked back a potential regulation that would have limited the initial payment to defense contractors and withheld more based on performance. The policy, proposed last month, prompted pressure from lawmakers and lobbyists: The Washington Post.

—Two teenagers in Bossier City, La., have been arrested and face murder charges in the Sept. 25 death of an airman assigned to Barksdale AFB, La.: FOX8.