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​The Milky Way is visible as the Space Surveillance Telescope performs nighttime operations near White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico Oct. 18, 2016. Courtesy photo.

​Pentagon Establishes Space Development Agency to Shape New Architecture

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan this week formally established a Space Development Agency, a new department-wide research and engineering group that is eventually expected to reside within the Space Force. “The SDA will define and monitor the department’s future threat-driven space architecture and will accelerate the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure our technological and military advantage in space for national defense,” Shanahan wrote in a March 12 memo. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Air Force to Buy Six Light Attack Aircraft for Continuing Experiments

The Air Force is planning to buy six light attack aircraft—three A-29 Super Tucanos and three AT-6B Wolverines—for continuing experiments on the light attack mission, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told Air Force Magazine. The aircraft would be bought with both fiscal 2018 and 2019 funds, and would be based at Nellis AFB, Nev., and Hurlburt Field, Fla. Potential partner countries would participate in the ongoing experiments at both locations. Goldfein said USAF is buying the turboprops outright so it can modify them to its liking. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak and Rachel S. Cohen.

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USAF Expects to Need Nearly $1B for Tyndall Recovery in FY-19

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said Wednesday the service is on track to spend about $900 million this fiscal year to recover Tyndall AFB, Fla., after it was demolished by Hurricane Michael last fall. Most of that would fall under operations and maintenance, with some allocated toward planning. If no supplemental is approved by next month, Wilson said the service will delay facilities maintenance at other bases. Read the full story by Rachel S. Cohen.

Turner Spells Out NDAA “Redlines” for HASC Republicans

The ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), said Wednesday there are three “redlines” that would prompt Republicans to withdraw support for the next defense authorization bill. They include mandating a US “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons, a lack of funding for a new, low-yield nuclear weapon, and any prohibition on research into space-based missile defense. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.

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RADAR SWEEP


The Pipeline Between the Military and the Academy, and What it Means
Last Friday the University of Texas System Board of Regents named current Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson as the sole finalist to become the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Wilson is hardly the only person steeped in the military to run an academic institution. Washington Post

Afghan Army Base Is Wiped Out by U.S. Airstrikes, Officials Say
For the second time in a few days, an Afghan Army base was destroyed on Wednesday — but this time by American airstrikes that followed a firefight between the Afghans and Americans, Afghan officials said. New York Times

FAA Relents, Says it Grounded 737 Max Jets Based on New Data
As country after country grounded Boeing’s 737 Max jets after a deadly crash Sunday in Ethiopia, U.S. air safety regulators remained resolute in their refusal to do so — until Wednesday. AP

Lockheed, AIM Norway to Establish F-16 Sustainment Hub in Norway
The companies on Tuesday announced a deal to create the first Lockheed-licensed F-16 Falcon Debot in Kjeller, Norway, to support the global F-16 fleet. UPI

Georgia Woman Arrested for Allegedly Helping ISIS Build ‘Kill Lists’ of US Service Members
A Georgia woman has been arrested and accused of helping the Islamic State carry out cyber attacks against Americans, the Department of Justice reported. Military Times

Taiwan Requests Fighter Jets From the US, But With an Unusual Twist
Taiwan has requested a fleet of new fighters from the United States, but it didn’t specify a type, leaving it up to the U.S. to recommend an option, according to defense officials. Defense News

One More Thing ...

Can American Troops Win Wars by Dropping Acid?
An active duty officer argues that military intelligence analysts can benefit from a mental “flow” state to help them think more creatively—and claims LSD might help. The Daily Beast