Headlines – June 8, 2017

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News

Russian fighter jet ‘dispatched’ to intercept U.S. heavy bomber over Baltic Sea –
A Russian fighter jet intercepted a U.S. B-52 bomber over the Baltic Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry told Russian media outlets June 6.
 
THAAD deployment faces delay due to new environment assessment –
South Korea’s defense ministry began preparations for a full-blown environmental impact assessment on the ongoing deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system June 6, a ministry official said, a move that will inevitably delay its operation.
 
 

Business

U.S. approves $1.4 billion military sale to Saudi Arabia –
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of $1.4 billion in military training and equipment to Saudi Arabia as part of a larger arms deal signed by President Trump in May, the Pentagon announced June 5. Prior to his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia last month, Trump sanctioned a deal spearheaded by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, that would provide the nation with around $110 billion in defense items such as tanks, fighter planes, combat ships, and precision-guided bombs over the next 10 years.
 
U.S.-Qatar fighter jet sale worth $21B in middle of diplomatic crisis –
President Trump sided with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries Tuesday in a deepening diplomatic crisis with Qatar, casting a cloud over a $21.1 billion sale Boeing is counting on to keep open its F-15 production line.
 
China promotes FTC-2000 trainer for export –
The Aviation Industry Corporation of China has unveiled an export version of its low-cost FTC-2000 supersonic trainer. The aircraft – known in China as the JL-9 Shanying – is the latest in a series of platforms that are being adapted by AVIC and its subsidiaries specifically for international markets.
 
U.S. Navy recharges railgun science and technology effort –
The U.S. Navy did not request any funding in its fiscal year 2018 budget to transition the electro-magnetic railgun onto a ship, but the service would continue to fund research and development efforts with the goal of fielding a prototype for testing in fiscal year 2019.
 
Japan produces its first F-35A –
The first Japanese-manufactured F-35A was rolled out Monday in Nagoya, Japan.
 
Northrop Grumman building Australian support center –
Northrop Grumman is building a defense electronics maintenance and sustainment center in Sydney.
 
Ground Mobility Vehicle competition delayed as off-the-shelf solutions wait in wings –
A competition to procure a Ground Mobility Vehicle to add much-needed tactical mobility for the U.S. Army’s infantry brigade combat team is delayed by several years, even as vendors with commercial off-the-shelf solutions are ready now.
 
U.S. government probes Virginia company over goods sold to DOD –
Federal agents are investigating a Virginia company to determine if it manufactured equipment in a foreign country and then sold it to the Department of Defense as if it was made in the United States.
 
NGA awards $500 million deal to Harris Corp. –
The software would allow NGA analysts to retrieve data faster and more efficiently.
 
Planning for electronic warfare: Army looks for latest tech –
The Army is looking for the most modern commercial capabilities to complement its Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool.
 
SOCOM awards laser rangefinder contract –
Optics 1 has been awarded an $8.6 million U.S. Special Operations Command contract for laser rangefinders.
 
 

Defense

Most top Pentagon jobs still empty as Trump insists on loyalty –
Four months into his presidency, Donald Trump has filled only five of the 53 top jobs at the Pentagon – the slowest pace for nominations and confirmations in over half a century.
 
Pentagon report cites China military buildup around world –
China’s construction of a military outpost in Djibouti is just the first of what will likely be an ongoing expansion in friendly foreign ports around the world to support distant deployments, a new Pentagon report concludes, predicting that Pakistan may be another potential location.
 
Military chiefs set for budget grilling on Capitol Hill this week –
June 7 begins a string of budget hearings on the the Hill, when members of Congress will be grilling Pentagon officials about whether the president’s $575 billion baseline budget is an adequate down payment on rebuilding America’s beleaguered military. This week, it’s the service secretaries and chiefs appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and next week it’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, beginning with a rare 7 p.m. hearing of the House Armed Services Committee June 12, and at least one other daytime appearance later in the week.
 
Planning for electronic warfare: Army looks for latest tech –
The Army is looking for the most modern commercial capabilities to complement its Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool.
 
Ground Mobility Vehicle competition delayed as off-the-shelf solutions wait in wings –
A competition to procure a Ground Mobility Vehicle to add much-needed tactical mobility for the U.S. Army’s infantry brigade combat team is delayed by several years, even as vendors with commercial off-the-shelf solutions are ready now.
 
Trump nominates former Ranger for Army under secretary –
President Donald Trump officially nominated former Army Ranger Ryan McCarthy as under-secretary of the Army on Tuesday, putting him in line for the service’s second ranking post and a possible temporary promotion to the top job.
 
Army blames pilot error in 2015 Black Hawk crash in Colorado –
Pilot error caused the 2015 crash of an Army Black Hawk helicopter in Colorado that injured four crew members and destroyed the aircraft, according to military documents released June 6.
 
NAVSEA boss: Mothballed ships not a major factor in fleet buildup –
It was a compelling image in 1982: The president of the United States standing in the shadow of the battleship New Jersey’s enormous 16-inch guns, recommissioning the World War II behemoth for a final run in the fleet — the centerpiece of Ronald Reagan’s famed goal of a 600-ship Navy.
 
U.S. submarine capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles arrives in South Korea –
Amid rising tensions with North Korea, the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Cheyenne made a port call Tuesday in the South Korean city of Busan, according to a Stars and Stripes report. The U.S. Navy said the port call was part of the scheduled deployment to the western Pacific.
 
New Air Force secretary: ‘We are too small for what the nation expects of us’ –
The Air Force’s new secretary, Heather Wilson, wants to grow the force. But before making any long-term decisions on just how many airmen to add, she wants to have a better idea of what threats the United States is going to face in coming years.
 
Four ‘preferred nominees’ for top Air Force positions have been found, its civilian head says –
The Air Force has seven politically-appointed leaders that must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Only one — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson — is in office, but more could be on the way soon, Wilson said June 6.
 
New Jersey base to be first to get new KC-46 Pegasus tankers –
The Air Force has decided to deploy its new fleet of refueling tankers in New Jersey first before sending the rest to Travis Air Force Base in California.
 
 

Veterans

Native American D-Day monument dedicated near Omaha Beach –
On the 73rd anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Native Americans who landed on Omaha Beach finally have a monument, according to an Army release.
 
These haunting photo overlays capture the horrors of D-Day –
The D-Day invasion, code named Operation Overlord, was the largest seaborne invasion in history.
 
Senate passes new rules for firing VA employees –
As promised, Senate lawmakers on June 6 passed new accountability rules for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the hopes of putting the legislation on the president’s desk by the end of June.
 
VA reverses course on health records system, opting to follow DOD’s lead –
Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs David Shulkin’s decision to adopt MHS Genesis as the department’s electronic health record system has brought the discussion of interoperability full circle.