December 8, 2023

Un-Piloted F35B Lost and Found

The crash over the weekend in South Carolina of the $100M aircraft leaves questions about why the pilot ejected and how the F35 flew pilotless for 60 miles before crashing. One answer might be that only the Marine’s variant of the F35 has an auto-eject function on its ejection seat.

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CNO: Navy 7,000 Short on New Recruits


The US Navy is likely to miss its recruiting goals this year, acting Chief of Naval Operations ADM Lisa Franchetti told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. “We’re going to be about 7,000 short,” she said.

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Candidate Chatbots Go Live

Chat2024 unveiled this week the AI-powered avatars of 17 leading presidential candidates. Each chatbot is trained on reams of data generated from at least a hundred sources. Users can query the bots individually, ask the same question of all 17 at once, or set any two of them against each other in one-on-one debates directed by user input.

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Nation Commemorates 9/11 22nd Anniversary


The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City will host its annual commemoration ceremony honoring the people killed in the 2001 attacks at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and aboard Flight 93, reports ABC7 New York on The ceremony begins at 8:30am.

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Lockheed Cuts F-35 Delivery Forecast


Lockheed cut its full-year delivery forecast for F-35s, blaming delays at supplier L3Harris Technologies for holding up development of an upgraded version that had been due for delivery by the end of this year. The delay is forcing delivery back to between April and June of 2024.

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Short-Term Funding Measure Would Avert Govt. Shutdown


The White House has asked Congress to pass a short-term funding measure to keep the government operating after the current budget year ends September 30. Seven of 10 voters polled in a Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s survey said they were concerned there will be a shutdown because Congress will be unable to reach an agreement on a new budget. Voters are increasingly concerned about the economic damage created by political brinksmanship and the interruption of government services.

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2 Very Different Films on Ukraine

“The Witness,” a Russian-sponsored film about a visiting Belgian musician caught in the February 2022 start of war tells of atrocities committed by Ukrainians. It premiered at home earlier this month. Sean Penn, in 2021, intended to tell how a superstar comedian became the president of Ukraine, but got caught February 2022 by the invasion. It changed the film “Superpower,” which is due to begin streaming in September.

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US Set to Train Ukrainian F-16 Pilots


The Pentagon said that the US will begin training Ukrainian F-16 pilots within the next few months. Following English language training for pilots, F-16 flying training is expected to begin in October at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, AZ, facilitated by the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing.

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Americans Urged to Leave Belarus Now

The Biden administration has urged US citizens in Belarus to depart the country immediately and warned against travel there in a statement published Monday. The US Embassy in Minsk advises leaving by plane or one of the remaining open border crossings with Latvia or Lithuania, the latter closed to such crossings earlier this month.

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Navy, Army, Corps All Without Chiefs


With the retirement of ADM Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations, the US Navy becomes the third services branch — along with the Marine Corps and Army — to be operating without a Senate-confirmed chief.

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