January 22, 2018

Headlines – January 22, 2018


Two dead after Army Apache helo crashes –
A U.S. Army Apache attack helicopter crashed early morning Jan. 20 in California, killing two soldiers, a spokesman for the Army said.
China’s top paper says U.S. forcing China to accelerate South China Sea deployments –
China’s top newspaper, decrying Washington as a trouble-maker, said on Monday U.S. moves in the South China Sea like last week’s freedom of navigation operation will only cause China to strengthen its deployments in the disputed waterway.


Ejector seat manufacturer pleads guilty –
A Royal Air Force Red Arrows pilot was killed when his faulty ejector seat fired while his jet was still on the ground and threw him 300 feet into the air.
Lockheed keeps F-16 production line going with Bahrain deal –
Bahrain is set to become the first country in the region to operate Lockheed’s F-16 Block 70 aircraft, in a move that will boost the Falcon’s production line.
U.S. State Department clears potential (and likely) sale of F-35s to Belgium –
The U.S. State Department on Jan. 19 pre-emptively approved a sale of F-35s to Belgium, opening the door to an expedited purchase once the country selects its future fighter.
Brazil advances submarine construction –
Brazil is preparing to integrate, finish, and test the first three unified hull sections for Riachuelo (S-40), Brazil’s first of four planned diesel-electric attack submarines, at the Itaguaí shipyard.
Bell-Boeing receives $35 million contract to upgrade V-22 Ospreys –
Hardware and software upgrades for the V-22 Osprey aircraft are included in a $34.9 million contract awarded to Bell-Boeing JPO, the Defense Department has announced.
Navy cruiser USS Cape St. George to get $35 million in upgrades –
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair has been awarded a $35 million order to update the capabilities of the Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George.
Boeing and Lockheed battle to build mach 5 successor to SR-71 spy plane –
Aerospace giant Boeing has announced it’s developing technologies that could result in a new “hypersonic” spy plane capable of flying five times the speed of sound. A vice president at Lockheed suggested that it may have already built a prototype of its ‘Son of Blackbird.’


How homicide charges for two skippers will shake up the entire Navy –
The Navy’s decision to level criminal charges against the commanding officers of the destroyers Fitzgerald and John S. McCain is forcing the surface warfare world into a grim reckoning on how it operates, and the consequences of sailors dying on a leader’s watch.
Pence accuses Congress of playing politics with military pay –
Vice President Mike Pence, weighing in from the Middle East on the shutdown in Washington, accused the U.S. Congress of playing politics with military pay, and told American soldiers stationed near the Syrian border that the Trump administration would demand that lawmakers reopen the government.
What does the shutdown mean? Here’s some guidance from Mattis –
The memorandum below, “Guidance as Federal Government Shuts Down,” was released to the media Jan. 20 by the Pentagon.
Army scientists devise new way to make night vision cheaper, better –
Army scientists have discovered a new way to create night vision that could be cheaper and provide better vision than current methods.
For A-10 Pilots, oxygen deprivation is a recurring problem –
U.S. Air Force pilots flying the A-10 Warthog have for years been experiencing intermittent hypoxialike episodes that may indicate a problem with the installation of the aircraft’s oxygen system.
One-star tapped to solve U.S. Air Force’s hypoxia headache –
The U.S. Air Force has stood up a team to investigate the unexplained physiological episodes happening across the service’s fighter aircraft after reports of hypoxia forced the service to ground portions of the A-10 Warthog, F-35A and T-6 Texan II trainer fleets.
Air Force will lose more than a third of A-10s if the planes don’t get new wings –
More than a third of the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of A-10 Warthogs will end up permanently grounded if the service doesn’t find the money to buy them new wings, and the senior civilian in charge of the A-10 says that’s not going to happen. Such a decision would be another nail in the coffin of the beloved close air support aircraft, which the service has been trying to retire for nearly three decades.
Three futuristic ways the Air Force could improve electronic warfare –
The United States Air Force is embracing electronic warfare as an essential front in the future of combat. In November, the service announced it would launch an Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT) to study how to use electronic warfare, because as the service’s Vice Chief of Staff put it in November, “he that dominates the spectrum wins.”
MARSOC’s light strike vehicles have limited use in the age of IEDs –
Marine Raiders have a surprisingly large fleet of “tactical golf carts.”
Marines want a faster, lighter and more reliable satellite communication system –
After a decade of service, the equipment in the Very Small Aperture Terminal systems needs replacements, according to a Marine Corps Systems Command release.


Trump’s go-to guy at VA faces first major opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill –
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin had arguably the most successful year of anyone in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, with frequent praise from lawmakers, veterans groups and the West Wing.
VA could weather a government shutdown better than most other departments –
The Department of Veterans Affairs won’t be hurt as much as many federal agencies in the event of a partial government shutdown, but officials are warning there still will be some disruptions for veterans.
Four months after Maria, military veterans still on a mission in Puerto Rico –
Puerto Rico — Just before 9 a.m., Jason Maddy drives up to a nondescript park for his latest mission. He’s meeting his team for yet another trek to the mountains. The Iraq War veteran seems thinner than he was just several months ago. The long days have weighed on him. He’s foregone sleep. He looks tired. But he has a purpose.
Khe Sanh veterans recall Vietnam battle’s start 50 years ago Jan. 21 –
Jan. 21 marked the 50th anniversary of the start of one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War – the Battle of Khe Sanh. Across the U.S., groups of Vietnam veterans will gather to commemorate the 77-day battle, in which some 6,000 U.S. Marines defended a small combat base from tens of thousands of North Vietnamese fighters.

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Headlines – January 18, 2019

News Space based interceptors, drones with lasers: the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review wish-list revealed – The long-delayed Missile Defense Review, which will be formally introduced by President Donald Trump at the Pentagon Jan. 17, will call for research and investments to ensure America’s security for the next several decade: laser technology, the F-35 as an...

News Briefs – January 18, 2019

Food pantry opens for employees at Coast Guard Academy A coalition of Coast Guard-related nonprofit groups has opened a pop-up food pantry at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to help Coast Guard and academy workers affected by the partial government shutdown. About 160 of the 260 government-funded nonessential employees at the New London, Conn.,-based academy...
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: U-2s, Notre Dame and Rosamond Dry Lake

Courtesy photograph Peter Ustinov, as the king, had a rocket-powered golf cart for transportation. Many movies have been filmed up here in our High Desert home, but one that stands out and really takes the cake is one that only...