March 15, 2017

Headlines – March 15, 2017


Trump gives CIA new authority for drone strikes –
President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported March 13, citing U.S. officials.
Moscow moves to absorb rebel Georgian region’s military –
Russian President Vladimir Putin March 14 ordered his officials to seal an agreement which will, in effect, incorporate the armed forces of Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region into the Russian military’s command structure.


Textron AirLand to forgo T-X bid with Scorpion jet –
Textron Airland has officially decided against offering its Scorpion jet for the Air Force’s T-X trainer competition, ending speculation about whether the aircraft would emerge as a dark horse candidate.
Turkish strategy paper sees more local input in defense procurement –
A Turkish government whitepaper shaping the next five years of defense procurement sees more efforts to maximize local input in the country’s thriving programs, now mostly indigenous.
Textron sets its sights on US Air Force’s light aircraft experiment –
Textron is chomping at the bit for the U.S. Air Force’s planned light attack aircraft demonstration, where it plans to show off the capabilities of the Textron AirLand Scorpion jet and Beechcraft AT-6.
Taiwan receives two U.S. Navy frigates –
Two decommissioned U.S. Navy frigates reserved for Taiwan were handed over last week; however, analysts say Taiwan needs to put into place an ambitious plan to boost its naval capabilities against China’s increasingly powerful forces.
Nurol finalizes export deal for Turkish armored vehicle Ejder Yalcin –
Turkish manufacturer Nurol Machinery has penned the first export deal for its signature heavy armored vehicle, the company announced March 13.
Brazil to soon receive its first AAV7A1 RAM/RS amphibious vehicles –
The Brazilian Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais) is to receive its first updated AAV7A1 armoured amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) (locally designated as Carro-Lagarta Anfíbio: CLAnf) in the second quarter of 2017, the Brazilian Navy told Jane’s March 13.
Boeing soups up old Avenger for short-range air defense gap –
Boeing has modernized its 1980s-era Avenger air defense system to answer the Army’s call to fill its Short-range Air Defense gap within the maneuver force.


Administration weighing changes that would loosen battlefield rules of engagement –
The Trump administration is reportedly in the final stages of a review that would change the rules under which U.S. commanders have the authority to initiate military action.
Pros, cons of Pentagon’s leadership vacuum –
Of 53 “Pentagon appointed, Senate confirmed” positions, only one has been filled since President Trump was sworn in Jan. 20. That’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Trump wants the public to help cut waste at DOD, VA –
If you have suggestions on how to save money on building the F-35 fleet, or on how to reorganize Veterans Affairs hospitals to be more efficient, President Trump wants to hear from you.
Army vows to ‘re-imagine’ how it works with innovative firms –
The undersecretary of the Army today pledged to win the trust of the defense industry as part of a new strategy to rebuild the service.
Marines eye changes to recruit training amid renewed calls for coed boot camp –
Changes to recruit training could be coming, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told lawmakers March 14 in a tense session about the ongoing investigation into whether Marines viewed nude pictures of female troops, veterans and civilians and harassed those women.
U.S. Air Force low-cost fighters: Does OA-X stand a chance? –
The U.S. Air Force has taken another baby step toward possibly buying 300 low-cost, light-attack aircraft to fight violent extremists in the Middle East.

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Headlines – April 24, 2017

News Mattis in Afghanistan amid calls for troop increase – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Afghanistan April 24 for meetings with top Afghan and American officials.   Carried away: Inside story of how the Carl Vinson’s canceled port visit sparked a global crisis – Over the course of 10 days, a series of...

News Briefs – April 24, 2017

U.S. carrier heading for Korea trains with Japanese destroyers An American aircraft carrier heading toward the Korean Peninsula began joint exercises Sunday with Japanese naval ships in the Philippine Sea. Two Japanese destroyers joined the USS Carl Vinson and two other U.S. warships as they continued their journey north in the western Pacific Ocean, the...
NASA photograph

Record-breaking NASA astronaut sets new milestone for time in space

NASA photograph NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson signs a bulkhead on the International Space Station next to the Expedition 50 crew patch Five hundred thirty four days, 2 hours, 49 minutes and counting. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitso...