Headlines – August 29, 2018



300,000 troops, 900 tanks: Russia’s biggest military drills since Cold War –
Russia is mobilizing for its biggest military exercise since the height of the Cold War, the Kremlin says, citing a tense international climate that is “frequently aggressive and unfriendly towards us.”
Afghanistan operations could hit 22 years – but don’t call it a permanent presence –
U.S. operations in Afghanistan, now in their 17th year, should not be seen as a permanent U.S. presence there, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford said Aug. 28.
Mattis rejects plan to privatize military effort in Afghanistan –
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday shot down recently recirculated plans to privatize combat efforts in Afghanistan.


When you should expect the Air Force to announce its next trainer aircraft –
With the U.S. Air Force having received final bids from industry, the service is now poised to award a contract for its 350-plane next-generation trainer fleet in just a few weeks.
After security clearance hiccup, Czech Republic selects a contractor for armored vehicle deal –
The Czech Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to supply 62 Titus six-wheel drive armored vehicles, jointly developed by France’s Nexter Group and Czech vehicle-maker Tatra Trucks, to local defense company Eldis Pardubice.
India one step closer to spending billions on new naval helicopters from U.S., allies –
India’s Ministry of Defence’s apex procurement body, the Defence Acquisition Council, approved procurement of naval multirole and naval utility helicopters, but induction will not be made anytime soon.
Romania to cut $159M deal for anti-ship missiles to protect Black Sea coast –
The Romanian government has approved a decision to spend at least €137 million (U.S. $159 million), excluding the value-added tax, on the purchase of anti-ship missiles that are to be deployed to the country’s Black Sea coast.
Currency crisis risks Turkish defense programs –
On Aug. 21, 2017, the U.S. dollar closed at 3.50 liras on the foreign currency markets. Exactly a year later, the dollar was being traded at 6.10 liras. In the same one-year period, the euro-to-lira rate went up from 4.12 to 7.03. The Turkish lira’s value has fallen by almost one-third this month alone.
Head of Saudi Arabia’s defense industry umbrella org talks Vision 2030 –
In spring 2016, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a plan to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and to diversify the economy. The goal of Saudi Vision 2030, as that plan is known, is to make Saudi Arabia “the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the investment powerhouse, and the hub connecting three continents.”


Here’s why Mattis won’t cancel upcoming maneuvers with South Korean forces –
Just days after a planned high-level summit between the U.S. and North Korea was called off, the Pentagon’s top official said Aug. 28 that no decision has been made to cancel major joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea planned for 2019.
U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan continue to climb this month, highest this decade –
Airstrikes in Afghanistan are reaching historically high numbers.
Report: LGB troops twice as likely to experience sexual assault as non-LGB population –
A new study has found that military veterans who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are twice as likely to experience incidents of sexual assault while on active-duty compared to non-LGB service members.
Mattis, Dunford on long, uncertain road to Space Force –
President Trump’s vision of a new Space Force will take a long time to realize, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs made clear Aug. 28.
U.S. Army’s sub gun program is still going; here’s one of the submissions –
The Army’s subcompact weapon efforts are still alive, and one company’s submission has already surfaced.
In a first, Navy F-35Cs join older fighters on carrier operations –
On a sunbaked flight deck, Navy pilots gently taxi new, F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters forward, waiting for their turn to launch off the carrier as older, F/A-18 Super Hornets do the same.
Navy’s next large surface combatant will draw from DDG-51, DDG-1000; but don’t call it a destroyer yet –
The Navy will buy the first of its Future Surface Combatants in 2023 – a large warship that will be built to support the Arleigh Burke Flight III combat system and will pull elements from the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) destroyer designs.


Last reunion for famed U.S. WWII unit, Merrill’s Marauders –
It’s the last reunion for members of the famed U.S. Army jungle fighters called Merrill’s Marauders. Three thousand volunteered for a dangerous secret mission during World War II — a mission so secret they weren’t told even where they were going.
Lawmakers raise concerns over leadership of VA’s electronic medical records overhaul –
Lawmakers are again raising concerns over the Department of Veterans Affairs planned overhaul of its electronic medical records systems after the program’s new leader abruptly quit last week.