Thursday, May 25, 2023

Lukashenko: Russia moving tactical nukes to Belarus.

MINSK - President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said today that Russian tactical nuclear weapons are currently in transit to the country

"The movement of the nuclear weapons has already begun" Lukashenko said .

He was asked if any nuclear weapons have already arrived in Belarus.

He replied, “We had to prepare storage facilities and the rest over there [in Belarus]. We’ve done all of that. This is why the relocation of nuclear munitions began,” Lukashenko said during a summit of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Moscow.

The remarks came hours after Russian and Belarusian military officials signed a pact that provides for Moscow to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, marking a shift in the Kremlin’s nuclear posture that could raise the stakes of any future instability in Belarus.

The plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on foreign soil is Russia’s first since 1991. The Kremlin has defended the decision saying that it is being provoked by western powers supporting Ukraine.

Russia has said it will maintain control over the tactical nuclear weapons, which may be launched on Iskander-M missiles or from Su-25 planes, both of which Belarus has in its arsenal. Belarus borders three NATO countries and has missiles that could reach several capitals.

The US also has about 100 such weapons stationed at bases around Europe.

The transfer will further align Russia and Belarus’ militaries as Russia seeks a closer alliance with Minsk, which some have predicted will lead to Belarus’s loss of sovereignty. The Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, said the two countries would look for other ways to integrate their militaries.

That decision came as Russia is bracing itself for a potential Ukrainian counterattack that could put Moscow on the defensive in its 15-month-old war.

The head of the Wagner group said his Russian paramilitary organization had begun to withdraw from the city of Bakhmut and would hand all its positions over to the regular Russian army by 1 June.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Russia claims it intercepted American bombers over Baltic Sea.

(C) Steve Douglass 

Russia said on Tuesday
it had scrambled a Su-27 jet to intercept two US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers flying over the Baltic Sea and prevent them from violating Russian state borders.

The Russian ministry of defense said: “On March 23, 2023, Russia’s airspace surveillance spotted two air targets approaching the state border of the Russian Federation over the Baltic Sea. An Su-27 fighter from the Baltic Fleet’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to identify the air targets and prevent the violation of the Russian state border.”

The ministry added that after turning the foreign military aircraft away from Russian state borders, the Russian fighter jet returned safely to its airbase.

The ministry stressed that the flight of the Russian fighter jet was carried out in strict accordance with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters.

The Baltic Sea has witnessed in recent months several interceptions by Russian, US and NATO aircraft.

Tensions over airspace and aerial conduct heightened between Moscow and the West last March when a US military surveillance drone (MQ-9 Reaper) crashed into the Black Sea, after an encounter with Russian Su-27 fighter jets in international airspace near territory Russia claims to have annexed from Ukraine.

Meanwhile the USAF issued this release:

"U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers returned to RAF Fairford, May 23, for Bomber Task Force Europe 2023-3 to conduct a long-planned bomber rotation in support of U.S. European Command and NATO deterrence initiatives.

Two of the Texas-based supersonic bombers from Dyess Air Force Base’s 7th Bomb Wing entered the theater today by first integrating with Allies and Partners conducting NATO’s Air Policing and Air Shielding missions throughout the Baltic Sea region. The Baltic Sea serves as a critical economic corridor, and consistent coalition surveillance of the international air and maritime space preserves safe and secure passage for all.

The highly agile aircraft’s 12-hour mission from North America to Europe demonstrates the U.S. Air Force’s rapid ability to deploy anywhere, anytime, and provide lethal precision and global strike options U.S. and Allied commanders.

Bomber Task Force rotations support U.S. National Defense Strategy objectives through “strategic predictability” and “operational unpredictability,” and the steady rotation of strategic bombers into the European theater enables interoperability and enhances operational readiness.

This Bomber Task Force iteration will include four B-1B strategic bombers, and the remaining two bombers are scheduled to arrive at RAF Fairford on Thursday afternoon."

Monday, May 22, 2023


U.S. stocks briefly tumbled this morning reacting to social media reports of an explosion near the Pentagon.

Interestingly, many social platforms re-tweeted Twitter with images of a explosion that resulted in a significant albeit not durable market sell-off.

The S&P 500 index has now recovered and stabilized, since major media outlets have debunked the incident. Images of the explosion have been analyzed and shown to be fakes, possibly generated with the help of artificial intelligence.

RT (a major Russian news agency with millions of followers) tweeted the single image of billowing smoke next to the Pentagon and then took it down without explanation. Many Twitter users continue to re-tweet the image. 

The repercussions and fallout of re-tweeting "breaking news" from verified and un-verified Twitter sources will undoubtedly have long time consequences, especially since it had an effect (albeit a short-lived one) on international markets. The original source of the Tweet has  not yet been ascertained. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Cannon Air Force Base group commander relieved of command due to 'loss in confidence'

 Cannon Air Force Base has announced that Colonel Michael Shreves was relieved of command from the 27th Special Operations Group on Tuesday due to a loss of confidence in his ability to effectively lead.

“The decision to remove Col Shreves was not based on any character issue or indiscretion,” said Colonel Terence Taylor, 27th Special Operations Wing Commander. “The 27th Special Operations Wing holds its leaders to the highest standard, and each of them bears a great responsibility to maintain good order and discipline within their formation.”


Air Force solicits source selection proposals for NGAD Platform - will award in 2024!

Air Force solicits source selection proposals for NGAD Platform

Published May 18, 2023
Secretary of the Air Force Public AffairsARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

The Department of the Air Force released a classified solicitation to industry for an engineering and manufacturing development contract for the Next Generation Air Dominance Platform with the intent to award a contract in 2024.

"The NGAD Platform is a vital element of the Air Dominance family of systems which represents a generational leap in technology over the F-22, which it will replace," Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said. "NGAD will include attributes such as enhanced lethality and the ability to survive, persist, interoperate, and adapt in the air domain, all within highly contested operational environments. No one does this better than the U.S. Air Force, but we will lose that edge if we don't move forward now."

This solicitation release formally begins the source selection process providing industry with the requirements the DAF expects for NGAD, as the future replacement of the F-22.

The NGAD acquisition strategy will invigorate and broaden the industrial base to deliver rapid and innovative warfighting capabilities.

The strategy incorporates lessons learned from recent Air Force acquisition programs and will leverage open architecture standards. This approach will enable the government to maximize competition throughout the life cycle, provide a larger, more responsive industry base and drastically reduce maintenance and sustainment costs.

The NGAD Platform is one of many critical combat capabilities that will enable counter-air missions with the ability to strike both airborne and ground-based threats to achieve air superiority and support the Joint Force.

Further information on the NGAD Platform's technical and programmatic details are classified to protect operational and technological advantages.

The Collaborative Combat Aircraft program is not part of this NGAD Platform source selection.


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