Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
US Space Command's first big war game is already under way
A secretive war game that examines combat in space kicked off this week in Alabama.
The Schriever War Game, bringing together several military commands, allies and the nation's intelligence agencies, focuses on a rival nation in Europe starting a "multi-domain" war, a military term that combines traditional land, sea and air combat with space battle and cyberattacks.
The unnamed rival — the military never says Russia or China when it comes to war games — is "seeking to achieve strategic goals by exploiting multi-domain operations," Air Force Space Command said in a news release.
The event is the first test of the new U.S. Space Command, established in Colorado Springs last month. The command brings together the space efforts of all military services and takes the lead when combat hits orbit.
It will also test how well America can work with its allies; Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Great Britain were set to join in.
It's a different kind of war game. The Army regularly throws similar events involving thousands of troops maneuvering on the ground. The Air Force holds exercises in Nevada using dozens of dogfighting planes.
The space war game uses just 360 troops and civilians meeting in the conference rooms of the Alabama-based Air War College.
It does examine a big war, though, with "full spectrum of threats across diverse, multi-domain operating environments to challenge civilian and military leaders, planners and space system operators, as well as the capabilities they employ."
While the numbers of troops involved are smaller than that of other war games, the changes that could come from the exercise could be much bigger.
In addition to training troops for combat, war games like the Schriever exercise are also used to determine what America needs if it winds up in a similar situation.
That means the Schriever War Game could result in new gear in space and on the ground to deal with war in space.
That is likely needed. The U.S. hasn't really thought about combat in orbit until the past decade. U.S. satellites have few protections against enemy attacks, and America has few tools to respond, apart from missiles that are primarily designed to take out intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The vulnerability in space comes at a time when the American military has never been more dependent on the services provided through satellites.
From GPS-guided bombs to satellite communications gear in Humvees, American troops can't fight on the ground or in the air without satellites .
While the existence of the war game is public, don't expect to hear results.
The outcome of the Schriever game, including whether the bad guys won, is highly classified.
©2019 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.