ClandesTime 234 – Dude Perfect and the US Navy

As youtube has become a centre for emerging pop culture brands, it has also become the target of the US military. In this episode we take a dive into military-sponsored youtube, looking at pop music, influencers and an episode of Dude Perfect set on board a US Navy aircraft carrier.

ClandesTime 234 – Dude Perfect and the US Navy

They even target toddlers! I suppose that’s the type of ‘grooming’ that conservatives would approve of! 🤷🏼‍♀️

House candidate, J.R. Majewski, called himself a combat vet. Records show he wasn’t.

Campaigning for a northwestern Ohio congressional seat, Republican J.R. Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing “tough” conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.

House candidate called himself a combat vet. Records show he wasn’t.

Related:

The AP reported that documents indicate J.R. Majewski “never deployed” to Afghanistan. He repeatedly claimed that he did in media appearances.

Most-accurate US artillery shell Excalibur quietly added to Ukraine aid

Most-accurate US artillery shell Excalibur quietly added to Ukraine aid

Source

The Defense Department will spend $92 million in congressionally approved supplemental funds “for procurement of replacement M982 Excalibur munitions transferred to Ukraine in support of the international effort to counter Russian aggression,” according to a budget document last month that wasn’t previously disclosed.

“The $92 million addition to Excalibur more than doubles the program’s budget, adding about 900 projectiles in fiscal 2022, up from $56.7 million that Congress approved this fiscal year,” according to Mark Cancian, a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies who’s monitoring Ukraine-related spending.

“This also confirms what had long been suspected, that the United States is providing this advanced weapon to Ukraine,” Cancian said. Each round currently cost from $98,700 to $106,400 in fiscal 2021 and 2022 dollars depending on the quantities purchased, according to Army budget documents.

In addition to the previously undisclosed Excalibur, the budget documents also spell out supplies of well-known items such as conventional 155mm artillery rounds, Javelin anti-armor and Stinger anti-air missiles, the HIMARS mobile rocket system and its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System, or GMLRS, missiles. There are also smaller purchases of MK-19 grenade launchers, “precision sniper rifles” and “spotting scopes” and “replacement battery coolant units” for Stingers.

China’s neighbors are buying US weapons Washington isn’t delivering

China’s neighbors are buying US weapons Washington isn’t delivering

Even though the United States views these weapons sales as integral to deterring China from attacking Taiwan, some of the deals were publicly announced as far back as 2017.

The reasons – government delays, supply chain issues and production requirements – are numerous, and the problem won’t be easy to fix, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Defense News.

The U.S. government has approved the sale of 10 weapons systems Taiwan has yet to receive – some of which are not slated for delivery until the end of the decade.

The United States has flooded billions of dollars in weapons into Ukraine, including items that are part of Taiwan’s backlog, such as Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and High Mobile Artillery Rocket Systems.

For example, several Middle Eastern and eastern European countries are ahead of Taiwan in Lockheed Martin’s F-16 production queue. In 2019, the State Department approved an $8 billion Taiwan sale for 66 F-16s, but Taipei does not expect to receive the aircraft until 2026.

Saudi Arabia is still ahead of Taiwan on the priority list in some cases,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., told Defense News ahead of a July meeting with Taiwan’s Washington envoy. “We need to take a look at that.”

RISE OF THE MACHINES: AI to the Rescue as the Military Continues to Struggle With Pilot Shortage

AI to the Rescue as the Military Continues to Struggle With Pilot Shortage

Only further causing headache this year was the fact that the Air Force had to temporarily ground nearly 300 trainer aircraft over concerns that their ejection seats would not fire correctly in an emergency. The problem, which also impacted the entire Air Force’sF-35A Lightning II fleet, was also discovered in 203 T-38 Talons and 76 T-6 Texans IIs.

There are now various efforts underway to use advanced technology to address the pilot shortage gap. The United States Air Force and Merlin Labs are now developing software that could allow the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules to fly with just a single pilot, whereby artificial intelligence (AI) would act as the second pilot. The C-130, built at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Marietta, Georgia, now holds the record for the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft – first entering service in 1954.

The software will be able to follow verbal instructions* from air traffic control, while the goal is for it to respond much like a human pilot. It is just one of several efforts currently underway to explore how AI can fill the pilot shortage.

The U.S. Army is also looking at how AI could be employed in its aircraft. Earlier this year, a Sikorsky UH-60A successfully conducted a 30-minute flight over Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It had no pilot or aircrew. The test was conducted as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program.

“All modern combat jets are inherently instable, which makes them more maneuverable, and only fly due to the help of a computer,” explained technology industry analyst Roger Entner of Recon Analytics.

Hope that it’s better than Apple’s Voice Control.

Producing New Enemies for No Reason Whatsoever

A good friend of mine, learning of the impending visit of Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, recalled Homer’s description of Helen of Troy, “The face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the towers of Ilium.” Well, Nancy ain’t no Helen of Troy, but she might nevertheless be in the business of launching warships and burning cities due to her bizarre interpretation of her foreign policy prerogatives as Speaker.

Producing New Enemies for No Reason Whatsoever

Japanese Lawmakers Make Rare Taiwan Visit to Discuss Potential Conflict + Taiwan not included on Pelosi’s travel list. Crimea drone attack. Update 2

Japanese Lawmakers Make Rare Taiwan Visit to Discuss Potential Conflict

Japan is essential to the US’s plans to boost alliances in the region to encircle China, and Washington is encouraging Tokyo to expand its military. Analysts told The South China Morning Post that a conflict sparked by US intervention in Taiwan could leave Japan and other US allies in the region badly exposed, and in the middle of a situation they have not properly planned for.

Related:

Pelosi lists destinations amid Taiwan row

Pelosi to Lead Congressional Delegation to Indo-Pacific Region