The INSIDER daily digest -- March 6, 2018

By Thomas Duffy / March 6, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Today's INSIDER Daily Digest includes a look at a new assessment of the threat of small drones as well as the latest from the chief of U.S. Africa Command.

First, we dig into a new study by the Army Research Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The assessment was commissioned in 2016 to review the “emerging major threat” from small unmanned aircraft systems to soldiers on foot and lightly armored vehicles.

Small UAVs seen as 'a significant and growing' threat to U.S. infantry forces

Commercially available, high-performance unmanned aerial systems -- when used for nefarious means -- pose “a significant and growing threat” to U.S. forces, particularly dismounted infantry and lightly armored vehicles in the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson today appeared at an event in Washington and addressed multidomain command-and-control career development.

Wilson advocates for squadron-level MDC2 task forces rather than mid-career cadre

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said today the service should train airmen as multidomain command-and-control operators early in their careers, rather than stand up a mid-career group  as recommended by last year’s enterprise study of MDC2.

U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. Thomas Waldhauser was on Capitol Hill this morning.

AFRICOM chief: New Chinese presence in Africa could threaten U.S. global strategy

The global mission of the U.S. military may become increasingly challenged in the coming years by Chinese and Russian activities in Africa, according to the chief of U.S. Africa Command.

Meanwhile, Inside the Army heard from the service's Space and Missile Defense Command chief, who said the Army is running ahead of schedule in its effort to deliver two Avenger battalion equipment sets to Europe this year.

M-SHORAD efforts progressing, but funding challenges persist

The Army's effort to provide an interim short-range air defense capability to Europe is proceeding as planned, according to service officials.

The Strategic Capabilities Office is planning to work on several Navy projects, including one dubbed Kingfisher and another known as the Contender.

SCO requests nearly $500M in fiscal year 2019 on five Navy-related projects

The Strategic Capabilities Office is spending nearly $500 million in fiscal year 2019 for Navy and Marine Corps related projects including a new-start project, dubbed Kingfisher, to increase the range of lightweight torpedoes.

Finally, the outgoing director of the Army's Rapid Equipping Force says other service organizations should not necessarily “become more REF-like.”

Retiring REF director warns against one-size-fits-all approach

The Army's Rapid Equipping Force has been touted as a potential model for efforts to expedite acquisition, but its outgoing director highlighted the challenges inherent in that approach.