Headlines – October 18, 2017



Raqqa win pulls U.S. deeper into Syria conflict –
As U.S.-backed forces take victory laps in the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, the Pentagon is considering extending its presence deeper into Syria, a move that could bring U.S. troops into contact with pro-regime forces.
McCain says he is on the rocks with Mattis, McMaster –
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain on Oct. 17 painted a dire picture of his relationship with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Suit: U.S. firms’ bribes funded Iraq militia attacks on Americans –
A group of American veterans filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 17 against U.S. and European drug companies and medical device makers, accusing them of supporting an Iran-backed Iraqi militia that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans.


Volvo cancels RTD sale over disappointingly low bids –
Swedish truck builder Volvo has announced the cancellation of a planned sale of Renault Trucks Defense and other military vehicle builders due to low bids.
Boeing’s new Phantom Works head to come from Aurora –
Boeing’s advanced technology division, known as Phantom Works, is getting new leadership from Aurora Flight Sciences, the innovative maker of drones and automation tech that Boeing plans to buy.
Airbus notches win over rival Boeing with Bombardier deal –
The European plane maker reached an unusual, no-cost deal with Canada’s Bombardier that sent Airbus shares up Oct. 17.
U.S. clears Greek F-16 upgrade sale –
The U.S. State Department has cleared an F-16 upgrade package for sale to Greece, with an estimated worth of over $2.4 billion.
Ex-defense firm CFO faces sentence in $6M Humvee fraud case –
A Pittsburgh man who helped a defense contractor in a $6 million scheme to overcharge the U.S. Defense Department for Humvee window kits faces a federal judge for sentencing.


Jim Mattis estimates 19 percent of military’s worldwide property may be unneeded –
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress that an estimated 19 percent of U.S. military properties around the world might be unneeded and he is pressing lawmakers to allow him to take a closer look.
Senate confirms DOD policy No. 2 –
The Senate confirmed David Trachtenberg to be the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy by a 79-19 vote Oct. 17.
Influential congressman calls on Navy to extend lives of oldest cruisers –
The Navy’s oldest cruisers have a friend in Congress.
Fate of JSTARS recap to stay secret until fiscal 2019 budget release –
While Air Force leaders will know later this month whether they will cancel the JSTARS recap program, the public probably won’t find out the outcome until next February.
Skyraider 2? The Air Force may bring back Vietnam-style combat plane –
The Air Force’s legendary A-1E Skyraiders proved their mettle in the skies over Vietnam. Air Force leaders now see a similar need for a low-cost, slower-moving aircraft for missions in low-threat environments.
Firefighting foam complicates pilot’s escape from Marine Harrier –
An AV-8B Harrier pilot was preparing to take off for a seven-hour sortie in support of operations in Iraq and Syria when he heard “a massive pop” and saw that his aircraft was on fire.


Federal union slams VA health reforms as dangerous for vets –
Officials from the largest federal workers union slammed Veterans Affairs officials’ new health care reform plan as “a total dismantling of the department” that would jeopardize veterans’ services.