Headlines – January 2, 2019



New acting Defense secretary on first day: I look forward to carrying out Trump’s vision at Pentagon –
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan started his first day on the job Jan. 1 with a welcome memo that asserted the Pentagon “remains focused on safeguarding our nation” under the direction of President Trump.
Why Russia is swallowing the Black Sea and won’t stop until it has ‘choked out Ukraine’ –
But absent harsher measures and greater push-back, the former commander of U.S. Army Europe warns that the Russian Federation won’t let up.
Timetable of Trump’s pullout from Syria being questioned –
Amid questions about the pace of his exit from Syria, President Donald Trump complained Dec. 31 that he’s getting “bad press” for his decision to pull American troops out of the country and insisted he was simply making good on his campaign promise against U.S. involvement in “never ending wars.”
China’s electromagnetic railgun is apparently already roaming the high seas –
China’s futuristic electromagnetic railgun may already be the most powerful cannon to ever roam the high seas — ahead of schedule.


First KC-46 delivery stalled by Mattis’ departure –
Boeing won’t be delivering the first KC-46 tanker to the Air Force in 2018 as planned, due to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ surprise ouster from the Pentagon, a source told Defense News Dec. 31.
Israel Aerospace considering investment in drone maker Aeronautics –
State-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries said on Jan. 1 it was in talks to invest in local drone maker Aeronautics.
Army awards $200M for satellite support contract –
The Army has awarded Harris Corp. a follow-on contract worth nearly $218 million to support the service’s wideband satellite operations centers and management sites.
Boeing receives $400M contract to keep B-1, B-52 bombers flying –
The contract was for engineering services on B-1 and B-52 strategic bombers.
Air Force turns to nontraditional contracting for space technology projects –
Capt. Benjamin Leaf, program manager of the Space Enterprise Consortium: “We are changing space acquisitions in multiple ways.”


Here’s what Jim Mattis had to say in his farewell message to troops, DOD personnel –
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a farewell letter to all DOD personnel.
Why Pentagon bought Romania a ‘cheap, cheerful’ hatchback –
Nobody at the Pentagon can quite figure out why U.S. taxpayers bought a Dacia Sandero Stepway 2 for the Romanian defense ministry, but it’s apparently one of those things allies do to smooth relations.
Amidst turmoil, Pentagon persists on acquisition reform: Ellen Lord –
One constant in the abrupt transition from outgoing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to his deputy, soon to be acting secretary, Patrick Shanahan? The grueling, technical, but crucial business of acquisition reform.
U.S. Army’s got a big end strength gap to fill this year –
Senior Army leadership has known for years that recruiting new soldiers has only been getting tougher, but even so, they set an ambitious goal of 80,000 new soldiers for fiscal year 2018.
Looming costs will force decision on how to pay for SSBNs –
How to pay for the upcoming Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine “will have a life of its own” this spring and may force the Navy and Pentagon to embrace a dedicated funding account they have so far only partially leveraged, a key congressman on the House Armed Services Committee predicted.


These are GI Bill transfer changes you’ll need to know about in 2019 –
Earlier this year, the Pentagon changed the rules for troops who want to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their dependents.