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The State Department Is Already Concerned About Weaponized Russian Satellites
Amid America’s national meltdown over the future Space Force, the State Department implied that the militarization of space is well underway. In a recent press briefing, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control Dr. Yleem D.S. Poblete suggested that a group of Russian satellites may have been placed in orbit as a weapon against U.S. space assets, an orbital parasite that may be able to maneuver in orbit, evade U.S. sensors, and disable, attack, or otherwise interfere with other orbiting objects like reconnaissance and GPS satellites.
- Poblete stated that in October 2017, the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed a space object they claimed was a “space apparatus inspector,” per C4ISR’s reporting, whose behavior “was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities.”
- Foxtrot Alpha’s Jason Torchinsky has identified three possible Russian satellites (Kosmos-2519, 2521, and 2523) that both meet the description offered by the State Department and have exhibited such anomalous behavior in orbit.
- The capability to maneuver in space and interact with other space objects is also a mission capability the Air Force has pursued for years. The U.S. has launched the X-37B unmanned space drone, which may have the capability to seize satellites with its tiny adorable drone cargo hold and the maneuverability to potentially operate as a satellite hunter.
A U.S. Air Force depiction of a space interceptDepartment of Defense
- Concern over Russian satellites may be overblown: While the country’s own “space force” has existed in various incarnations since 1992, but funding and innovation have for the most part tanked, with the country becoming dependent on older Soviet-era launch systems and no modern replacements in sight.
So what does this all mean? Put it this way: In the 2013 film Gravity, a wayward Russian anti-satellite missile test spirals into a low orbit catastrophe. But luckily the entire human race (and Jennifer Lopez, I guess), it appears that the Russians have learned from this parable of unforeseen consequences and decided to go for a more elegant, James Bond-esque solution: Instead of a messy, ham-fisted missile, just use a tiny satellite that deploys from a larger satellite to maneuver and mess with other key space assets.
A Soviet capsule is hijacked by the fictional predecessor to SpaceX in 1967James Bond
This development, if fully confirmed, lends credibility to the creation of a new branch dedicated to locating and defending against terrifying Russian (or Chinese) orbital system designed to attack the very satellites we to detect nuclear missile launches. But before we all have a Sputnik-style heart attack, its worth remembering that the U.S. has invested massive amounts of private and public money towards space superiority. So the next time you see a strange blip in the sky, breathe easy: the first real space war likely won’t be here in your lifetime.
13 Marines at Camp Pendleton charged with crimes related to smuggling of undocumented immigrants from Mexico
Thirteen Marines have been formally charged for their alleged roles in a human smuggling ring, according to a press release from 1st Marine Division released on Friday.
The Marines face military court proceedings on various charges, from "alleged transporting and/or conspiring to transport undocumented immigrants" to larceny, perjury, distribution of drugs, and failure to obey an order. "They remain innocent until proven guilty," said spokeswoman Maj. Kendra Motz.
The recruiting commercials for the Army Reserve proclaim "one weekend each month," but the real-life Army Reserve might as well say "hold my beer."
That's because the weekend "recruiting hook" — as it's called in a leaked document compiled by Army personnel for the new chief of staff — reveal that it's, well, kinda bullshit.
When they're not activated or deployed, most reservists and guardsmen spend one weekend a month on duty and two weeks a year training, according to the Army recruiting website. But that claim doesn't seem to square with reality.
"The Army Reserve is cashing in on uncompensated sacrifices of its Soldiers on a scale that must be in the tens of millions of dollars, and that is a violation of trust, stewardship, and the Army Values," one Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, who also complained that his battalion commander "demanded" that he be available at all times, told members of an Army Transition Team earlier this year.
According to an internal Army document, soldiers feel that the service's overwhelming focus on readiness is wearing down the force, and leading some unit leaders to fudge the truth on their unit's readiness.
"Soldiers in all three Army Components assess themselves and their unit as less ready to perform their wartime mission, despite an increased focus on readiness," reads the document, which was put together by the Army Transition Team for new Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and obtained by Task & Purpose. "The drive to attain the highest levels of readiness has led some unit leaders to inaccurately report readiness."
Lt. Gen. Eric J. Wesley, who served as the director of the transition team, said in the document's opening that though the surveys conducted are not scientific, the feedback "is honest and emblematic of the force as a whole taken from seven installations and over 400 respondents."
Those surveyed were asked to weigh in on four questions — one of which being what the Army isn't doing right. One of the themes that emerged from the answers is that "[r]eadiness demands are breaking the force."
The Army thinks China will surpass Russia by 2028. Here is how the service is planning to take them on.
If you've paid even the slightest bit of attention in the last few years, you know that the Pentagon has been zeroing in on the threat that China and Russia pose, and the future battles it anticipates.
The Army has followed suit, pushing to modernize its force to be ready for whatever comes its way. As part of its modernization, the Army adopted the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept, which serves as the Army's main war-fighting doctrine and lays the groundwork for how the force will fight near-peer threats like Russia and China across land, air, sea, cyber, and space.
But in an internal document obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army Transition Team for the new Chief of Staff, Gen. James McConville, argues that China poses a more immediate threat than Russia, so the Army needs make the Asia-Pacific region its priority while deploying "minimal current conventional forces" in Europe to deter Russia.
In leaked documents, Army family reports waiting weeks to have gas line and roof leaks fixed in on-base housing
As the saying goes, you recruit the soldier, but you retain the family.
And according to internal documents obtained by Task & Purpose, the Army still has substantial work to do in addressing families' concerns.