Headlines – January 18, 2019



Space based interceptors, drones with lasers: the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review wish-list revealed –
The long-delayed Missile Defense Review, which will be formally introduced by President Donald Trump at the Pentagon Jan. 17, will call for research and investments to ensure America’s security for the next several decade: laser technology, the F-35 as an ICBM killer, and potentially putting interceptors in space.
Army chief confirms U.S. will hand off ISIS fight in Syria –
For the first time, a senior U.S. military official has commented on President Trump’s late-December decision to quit Syria, confirming publicly that American troops are planning to leave once ISIS is defeated on the ground.


Trump to use federal funds to prop up U.S. bomb makers –
U.S. President Donald Trump has approved direct federal investment for suppliers of American bomb parts and chemicals, part of as much as $250 million in direct investments by the Pentagon to fix supply chain vulnerabilities, Defense News has learned.
PLA Navy commissions amphibious assault ship, destroyer –
Although there has been no evident coverage of the commissioning in Chinese state-owned news media, photographs posted on online forums show a combined ceremony held for both warships that is said to have taken place on Jan. 12.
Leidos awarded $9.7M contract for anti-IED surveillance support –
The contract is to support the Saturn Arch Aerial Intelligence System, which focuses on improvised explosive device “hot spots.”
Thailand looks to procure more VT-4 tanks from China –
The proposal, if approved by government, will take the RTA’s VT-4 inventory to 52. The RTA ordered 28 VT-4s from Norinco in 2016 for THB5 billion and another 10 in 2017 for THB2 billion.
Airbus receives DARPA Blackjack contract –
Airbus announced this week it received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to develop a satellite bus for the Blackjack program, which aims to field a mass-produced, resilient network of commercial satellites equipped with military sensors in low-earth orbit.


With little oversight, the Pentagon uses role players for military training exercises –
The mob of anti-American protesters marched forward under a blazing sun — their faces scowling, their fists raised in the air. “Down with America,” they chanted.
U.S. increasingly concerned about a Chinese attack on Taiwan –
The Pentagon says reunification is the primary driver of China’s military modernization.
Facing a sealift capacity collapse, the Navy hones in on a strategy for new auxiliary ships –
The U.S. Navy is moving toward settling on an approach for recapitalizing the nation’s aged sealift fleet, moving away from a single common hull for five missions.
Second Fleet is becoming operational — what does that mean for you? –
A stalwart of the Cold War, the resurrected Norfolk-based 2nd Fleet will become operational by early next year, the fleet’s deputy commander announced Jan. 16.
U.S. Navy is gearing up for ‘leaner, agile’ operations in Arctic, North Atlantic –
This is not your grandfather’s 2nd Fleet.
SECNAV: Adversaries remain but expect defense budget increases to disappear –
With increasing threats abroad and anticipated tighter defense budgets ahead, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer will spend 2019 instilling a sense of urgency into how the Navy and Marine Corps operate.
Navy must do more to harness data to help win future fights –
If the Navy’s going to leverage revolutionary technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to help make decisions in combat it needs to improve how it handles its data, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran said on Jan. 15.
Trump’s pick for Joint Chiefs praises allies, Kurds and Mattis strategy –
President Trump’s nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, went out of his way this morning to praise US allies – including the Kurds in Syria – and the alliance-based strategy of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Pentagon developing plan to scrutinize recruits with green cards and other foreign ties, memos show –
The Pentagon, citing terrorism and espionage fears, is developing a plan to scrutinize prospective recruits with foreign ties, including some U.S. citizens, after a related effort targeting thousands of green-card holders was blocked by a federal judge last year.
Army chief: Operational units will be manned to 105 percent by next year –
As soon as the Army got the go-ahead in late 2016 to start building end strength again, the service set about trying to fill holes in formations with an increase in recruits and re-enlisted noncommissioned officers.
Three carriers, two destroyers and a gator to shift homeports –
The Navy will again play musical homeports for three aircraft carriers in 2019, just four years after the last shift.
Leaky seal to blame for fighter jet’s precautionary landing in northern Japan –
A leaking seal prompted an Air Force F-16D Fighting Falcon to make a precautionary landing at a Japanese regional airport Monday, according to a 35th Fighter Wing spokeswoman.


VA eyeing new partnership with states to help prevent veterans’ suicide –
Veterans Affairs officials in coming weeks will roll out new partnerships with at least seven states to focus attention and resources on preventing veterans suicide, re-upping a successful tool from their earlier campaigns to end veterans homelessness.