Headlines – September 17, 2018



T-6 hypoxia problem solved, Air Force announces –
The rash of hypoxia-like problems in the Air Force’s fleet of T-6 Texan II trainers was primarily caused by fluctuating concentrations of oxygen in the cockpit, the service said Sept. 13.
Military death benefits won’t be stopped by government shutdowns anymore –
Military death gratuities will be exempted from future government shutdowns under a provision included in the defense appropriations deal announced this week.


Air Force awards next GPS satellite contract –
Lockheed Martin has scooped up a contract, worth up to $7.2 billion, for the latest batch of next-generation GPS satellites.
SOCOM awards $47 million for radio software –
On Aug. 23, 2018, U.S. Special Operations Command awarded the Sierra Nevada Corporation a contract worth $47 million to keep supplying and maintaining the software it uses in to ensure radios can communicate with one another across frequencies.
Fincantieri, Leonardo, tussle over acquisition ahead of French tie-up –
Italy’s two state-controlled defense champions, Leonardo and Fincantieri, have fought an unusual battle over the acquisition of a smaller company as they jockey for position ahead of their expected integration of naval work with French industry.
India lifts blacklisting of South African defense firm Denel –
After 13 years of a punitive suspension from carrying out defense business in India, the country’s Ministry of Defence has officially withdrawn South African company Denel from its blacklisting.
Pentagon prepared to offer industry better cash flow – if they deserve it –
Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s head of acquisition and sustainment, thinks she has found a way to incentivize defense contractors to work more quickly and efficiently. And as a wise man once said, it’s all about the benjamins.
Indonesia plans to buy C-130J Super Hercules, CH-47 Chinooks –
Indonesia’s defense minister has said the country intends to acquire new tactical airlifters and heavy-lift helicopters from the United States, as it continues its gradual drive to modernize its military.
Air Force aims to move startups from pitch to contract award in 24 hours –
A fledgling five-person software start-up has just wrapped up their pitch to what could be a key investor. The pressure has been intense, but the customer decides to bite, sliding a credit card through a Square reader to award money to the company’s Paypal account.


Will Army Futures Command work? House lawmakers skeptical, but hopeful –
Setting up a brand-new four-star command to try to improve the way the U.S. Army develops and acquires capabilities for future operations is a big deal. Pair that with the service’s relatively abysmal track record in fielding new weapons and there’s bound to be skepticism in the service’s drastic plan to fix a broken system.
Amid Pacific tensions, new PACAF commander focuses on relationships –
Although U.S. relations with North Korea have become much less frosty in the wake of President Donald Trump’s diplomatic efforts there, tensions in the East and South China seas, and elsewhere in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command have spotlighted the continued need for training and readiness.
Effort to counter Russian aggression in Europe is growing daily –
Europe continues to be a growth point for the Air Force as concerns about Russian intentions mount. International exercises, base funding and missions on the continent are all on an upward swing.
F-35 inventory soars in new Pentagon spending bill –
Beyond the 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters authorized by the 2019 defense policy bill, congressional appropriators are adding another 16 for a total of 93.
Army looks to build stronger tactical cyber teams –
The Army is looking to build up and resource expeditionary cyber teams that will conduct cyber effects at the tactical edge.
Navy pauses operations of MQ-4C Triton squadron after crash-landing –
The Navy’s Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19 is temporarily standing down operations while it investigates the crash of an MQ-4C Triton in California last week.
Skilled worker, parts shortages still hurting Hornet and Growler maintenance, government watchdog finds –
A shortage of skilled workers and repair parts is causing backlogs in maintenance depots for Hornets and Growlers, creating headwinds in the Navy’s efforts to put more aircraft in the air, the Government Accountability Office found.
Air Force chief: Light attack is about more than hardware, it’s a boon for intelligence networks –
Many have interpreted the Air Force’s OA-X light-attack experiment as something solely focused on acquiring a cost-effective close-air support aircraft for U.S. forces entangled in low-intensity conflicts.
Air Combat Command plans to be ‘training more, then training better’ –
With the Air Force’s shift toward preparing for a potential fight against a “great power” nation such as Russia or China, Air Combat Command will have to continue making adjustments.
Air Force secretary plans to grow its squadron count. But will the budget follow? –
For years, U.S Air Force leaders have lamented budget constraints that have forced the service to eliminate fighter squadrons, contributed to maintainer and pilot shortfalls, and slow rolled some of its modernization needs.


Female veterans push for eligibility for spouses to join American Legion Auxiliary –
The veterans of American Legion Post 204 ? the “Service Girls” ? as they’re known in their Pacific Northwest home, are speaking out about the American Legion’s membership policies, which currently exclude the spouses of female veterans in every branch of their organization.