Headlines – February 21, 2018



The war America isn’t fighting –
Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter tells us about his Pentagon plan to counter Russia — and why both Obama and Trump have failed to execute it.
Russia warns U.S. not to ‘play with fire’ in Syrian conflict –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the Trump administration not to “play with fire” as he lashed out at the U.S. over what he described as its “provocative” support for autonomy-seeking Kurds in Syria.
Middle East military force: Act now, beg forgiveness later? –
A debate that permeated a congressional panel at Munich Security Conference is the same question that often permeates Washington: whether an administration should seek congressional authorization for military acts of deterrence.


Modernized Tu-160 to boost Russia’s long-range striking power –
Eleven years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin famously took to the podium at the 2007 Munich Security Conference and issued a harsh rebuke to what Moscow viewed as unchecked Western unilateralism. Later that year, for the first time since the Cold War, long-range bomber patrols launched from Russia to begin probing European and North American airspace.
Air Force, Aerojet Rocketdyne renegotiating AR1 agreement –
The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company’s AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine’s long-term future.
Navy awards design contracts for future frigate –
The Navy has awarded $15 million contracts to five companies for conceptual designs for the FFG(X) program.
Bundeswehr, famously bureaucratic, wants to charm technology startups –
0Germany’s tech companies could see new business with the military, as Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen seeks to funnel more funding toward cyber technologies under plans to grow the country’s defense budget.
French defense minister: European defense industry needs export to survive –
As European nations look to increase defense cooperation, France’s defense minister is acknowledging the continental defense industry is not strong enough to stand on its own without strong exports.
Seoul to order new PAC-3 interceptors to counter North Korea –
South Korea plans to give an order of new Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles as part of an ongoing effort to defend against North Korea’s ballistic missile threat.
Iranian airline, under sanctions, bought U.S. jet parts through front firms –
Mahan Air used Turkish companies to buy engines, transactions that could complicate Boeing’s Iran contract.
Navy Signs $1.4 billion Contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding for 13th San Antonio –
The Navy signed a $1.4 billion contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding for the LPD-29 San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.
Navy picks five contenders for next generation frigate FFG(X) program –
Five ship designs will compete in the Navy’s bid for 20 next-generation guided-missile frigates (FFG(X)) that will follow the Littoral Combat Ship, the service announced Sept 16.


Mattis: Deploy-or-get-out rule is about fairness –
New rules requiring members of the military to be able to deploy or get out were put in place to ensure fairness in deployment rates, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said.
Inside U.S. Navy’s fitful fight against cockpit oxygen loss –
It has been nearly a decade since the Navy’s aviation community saw a dramatic spike in physiological episodes, or PE.
Putting Pentagon’s pennies in perspective –
Eighty billion dollars is a lot of money. And that’s just the “modest” increase on this year’s defense budget.
U.S. military, flush with cash, is asking lawmakers for more time to spend it all –
The Pentagon is finally poised for a spending hike in March that could bankroll increased troop training and equipment maintenance, but the wrangling on Capitol Hill has delayed its annual budget by more than five months.
Fat, unhealthy Americans threaten Trump’s defense surge –
Rising obesity numbers, drug use, criminal backgrounds and other problems mean most people at prime military recruiting age are ineligible to serve.
F-35 takes flak, but still flying high –
The U.S. military is all in on the F-35 joint strike fighter, the most expensive weapons program in Pentagon history, with plans to buy more than 2,400 over the next quarter-century.
Here’s where Pentagon wants to invest in artificial intelligence in 2019 –
From Amazon’s Alexa to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence is rapidly improving and promises to soon transform almost every aspect of life.
U.S. Army sees faster path for Patriot radar replacement –
The U.S. Army sees a faster path to get a radar that can detect threats from 360 degrees to replace the current Patriot air-and-missile defense system’s sensor. And the service plans to funnel more than half a billion additional dollars into the program to move it forward, according to fiscal 2019 budget documents released this week.
Navy says it won’t be deterred by Chinese-built islands –
A Navy officer aboard a mammoth U.S. aircraft carrier brimming with F18 fighter jets said Saturday that American forces would continue to patrol the South China Sea wherever “international law allows us” when asked if China’s newly built islands could restrain them in the disputed waters.
As fleet grows, it’s a good time to be in the Navy –
It’s official: The Navy is growing.
Two U.S. guided-missile destroyers now operating in Black Sea –
Under cover of darkness, U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) slipped through the Bosporus Strait and into the Black Sea on Friday. The next day USS Carney (DDG-64) joined Ross.
Report: EMALS might not be ready for the fight –
A Navy report released last month is again raising questions about whether the service’s newest technology for launching jets from aircraft carriers is up to the task.
Surface Navy wants to slash shore time for its officers –
The Navy is looking to slash the time surface warfare officers spend on shore in a bid to boost seamanship skills and prevent them from atrophying during rear echelon assignments.
Two women could enter Navy special operations training this year –
Two years after the Navy’s elite special warfare operating billets were opened to women, the service could be on the verge of seeing their first female candidates step up to the challenge.
Air Force wants to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities in avionics systems –
The Air Force wants to ensure the cockpits of its aircraft and the data its reading are not susceptible to cyber threats.
Plan to modernize air and space systems takes Air Force out of its comfort zone –
In the budget request that was submitted to Congress last week, the U.S. Air Force made investment decisions that just a few years ago would have been jaw-dropping.
Air Force announces official retirement date for iconic MQ-1 Predator –
The Air Force will officially retire its iconic, groundbreaking — and controversial? MQ-1 Predator on March 9, officials at Creech Air Force Base said.
Work on Navy, Marine C-130s expected to bring 400 jobs to Robins Air Force Base –
Robins Air Force Base in central Georgia will soon begin doing overhaul maintenance on the C-130 airplanes flown by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Marines may go to Alaska for cold-weather training –
Armed with shiny new skis and with more robust packs on the way, infantry Marines may soon be making routine trips to Alaska to train in harsh cold weather conditions, a possibility that signals a major departure from the desert training environments of recent years.


Lawmakers ask Park Service to stop harassing vets visiting war memorials –
Lawmakers want promises from the National Park Service that veterans can take pictures at war memorials without getting harassed over permit issues.
Rick Perry’s concern for veterans sparks effort to reshape nation’s healthcare –
With a big vet workforce, the energy secretary is tapping the agency’s supercomputers to solve problems such as PTSD and suicide.
Veterans groups rally around VA secretary amid rumors of looming dismissal –
Veterans groups are scrambling to show support for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin amid reports that the White House may be considering forcing him out of the job over a series of internal fights with administration staffers.
Who is in charge at the Department of Veterans Affairs? –
After a week of scandal and internal turmoil at the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans groups and agency employees enter this work week wondering exactly who is in charge of the nearly $200 billion bureaucracy.
Here’s where troops, military retirees can go for free tax help –
Military taxpayers can save money in a variety of ways when it comes to tax preparation and filing thanks to expert guidance and free services provided by the Defense Department.
VA chief of staff resigns amid secretary’s travel scandal –
The chief of staff for Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin abruptly resigned Feb. 16 amid a growing scandal over her involvement in a controversial overseas trip and subsequent claims that her email accounts were hacked by would-be saboteurs.