Headlines – January 7, 2019



Navy SEAL arraigned on war crime charges –
Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher was arraigned Friday morning at Naval Base San Diego on a long list of criminal charges, including the premeditated murder of a wounded Islamic State prisoner of war.
As shutdown continues, lawmakers look to pay Coast Guard –
With fears the partial government shutdown could drag on for weeks, the Senate is moving legislation that would pay Coast Guard service members, even if the budget stalemate continues.


Pentagon approves two-carrier buy as fixes continue to Navy’s most expensive ship –
The Navy’s coming request for the 2020 fiscal year is still under wraps, but one important piece of the Navy’s future plans appears increasingly certain: the service will commit billions to buy two new Ford-class aircraft carriers under the same contract.
Saudi Arabia gets U.S. missile defense boost despite Khashoggi uproar –
The Donald Trump administration has approved nearly $200 million in upgrades to Saudi Arabia’s missile defenses, Al-Monitor has learned, despite continued congressional uproar over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Boeing to upgrade Spanish CH-47D Chinook helicopter fleet –
The upgrades to the country’s 17’s CH-47D Chinook helicopters will add a digital automatic flight control system, a common avionics architecture system and improved cargo handling, among other features, Boeing said in a news release. Boeing said it plans to make its first delivery to Spain in 2021.
Upgraded Russian long-range bomber makes maiden flight –
On Dec. 28 an extensively upgraded Tupolev Tu-22M3 ‘Backfire-C’ supersonic long-range strategic bomber, now designated the Tu-22M3M, made its maiden flight at an airbase belonging to the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant.


Clash between Trump and his generals –
A prominent retired four-star admiral says that several former generals have left President Donald Trump’s administration because their advice and many years of military experience did not make a difference in swaying the White House on key national security issues.
Male, female Marine platoons to integrate at recruit training for the first time –
The Corps is the only branch of service that has not fully integrated males and females together at recruit training. Could that be about to change?
Circuit Court backs DOD’s transgender service policy –
A circuit court hearing one of the four federal cases challenging President Donald Trump’s policy to limit transgender military service sided with the administration Jan. 4, ruling that the process former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took to implement the president’s directive was sufficient and did not result in a blanket ban.
Top three Pentagon officials are ‘acting’ in their jobs. Does that matter? –
When President Donald Trump announced Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan would become the acting secretary of defense, it created vibrations down the Pentagon chain of operations — suddenly leaving the top three spots at the department filled by acting individuals.
Homeland Security asks for more DOD help at border –
The Department of Homeland Security has submitted a new request for assistance to the Pentagon to further harden the U.S.-Mexico border, two defense officials told Military Times.
Another top Pentagon official just resigned –
Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, who has served as chief of staff to the Secretary of Defense since January 2017, said he would leave the department and move to the private sector.
Army’s new way of warfighting will continue to evolve –
Each of the past three years has seen the Army build and upgrade its newest warfighting concept, one that leaders look to transform the service in an era of greater competition and multi-faceted threats.
Navy to name warship after heroic Vietnam POW –
A future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be named after a naval aviator prisoner of war in Vietnam who later became a senator, according to a Navy announcement Jan. 4.
Navy destroyer to be named after Ted Stevens –
Alaska’s congressional delegation says the U.S. Navy plans to name a new guided-missile destroyer after the late former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.
Navy tests two-ship littoral combat group with South America deployment –
The Navy last month deployed a new ship pairing of a destroyer and an amphibious transport dock to test a new concept that could serve as a formation in future operations.
Airmen will continue stepping up to deter Russia in Europe –
The Air Force has been busy in Europe this year, and if the Pentagon’s European Deterrence Initiative funding is any gauge, they’ll remain busy in 2019.
Here’s what U.S. Air Force is doing about aviation mishaps –
The Air Force, like the other services, suffered a string of fatal aviation mishaps in 2018.
Fixing the hypoxia problem — once and for all –
The Air Force has pinpointed the cause of an alarming series of hypoxia-like incidents in its T-6 Texan II trainers throughout 2018. In the year ahead, the service will continue working on correcting those problems — for good.
Squadron overhaul continues to prepare airmen for major war –
As the Air Force prepares for a possible conflict with a major power, such as China and Russia, the service will continue the effort to revamp its most basic unit — the squadron.
F-35 maintainers found creative fix during hurricane evacuation –
F-35s that evacuated from Eglin AFB, Fla., during Hurricane Michael in October were subject to the grounding and fuel line inspection at their temporary base in Louisiana, forcing maintainers to work quickly and find new ways to accomplish the inspection.
Flight data recorders likely found from 2 Marine Corps aircraft that crashed off Japan coast –
Three distinct signals thought to be from the flight data recorders from a Marine Corps KC-130J and F/A-18D that crashed off the coast of Japan last month have been detected, the Marine Corps confirmed Jan. 6.


VA Sec. on GI Bill problems: ‘We owe you every penny that you’ve earned’ –
Veterans Affairs Sec. Robert Wilkie told a large gathering of student veterans Friday that his No. 1 priority for the VA in 2019 is quality customer service.
Vet unemployment is up in December. But there’s still good news –
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans may have gone up slightly in December, but 2018 is still the best year on record, according to the latest government data released Jan. 4.
Senators want answers on unspent VA suicide prevention funds –
A group of 21 Democratic senators has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why it spent just $57,000 of $6.2 million budgeted for paid media advertising campaigns directed at suicide prevention in fiscal 2018, a deficiency they called “appalling” for its lack of oversight.
USAA may owe you $181 –
USAA Federal Savings Bank must repay 66,420 military, retired, and veteran members under a new settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after an investigation found the bank failed to resolve errors, including not stopping preauthorized payments and reopening accounts without authorization.