February 4, 2019

Headlines – February 4, 2019


Did defense officials hide border mission details from Congress? –
Lawmakers want to know if Defense Department officials intentionally hid plans to boost troop deployments along the U.S. southern border when they testified before Congress this week.


U.S. Navy signs mammoth contract with Huntington Ingalls for two aircraft carriers –
The U.S. Navy has signed a $14.9 billion contract with shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls for two Ford-class aircraft carriers, the Navy announced Jan. 31.
Germany officially knocks F-35 out of competition to replace Tornado –
Germany’s Ministry of Defence has officially ruled out the F-35 joint strike fighter as a choice to replace its aging Tornado fleet, Defense News has learned.
WATCH: Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant completes ground run –
Sikorsky and Boeing have provided the first video of the SB>1 Defiant helicopter, one of two designs competing in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator program, showing a ground run at a company facility in Florida.
Bad data in F-35 logistics system resulting in lost missions –
Even after years of updates and improvements, the F-35s logistics system continues to be beset by data gaps and bugs that make it more difficult for maintainers to keep the joint strike fighter mission-ready, stated the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester in a new report.
Iran unveils new version of armed stealth UAV –
Iran displayed what appeared to be a refined version of its stealthy armed unmanned aerial vehicle during the Eqtedar 40 defence exhibition that opened in Tehran on Jan. 30.


DOD needs $395.6 million more to fix, replace hurricane-ravaged Caribbean facilities –
The Defense Department needs an additional $395.6 million in federal funding to fix or replace its facilities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were damaged during the 2017 hurricane season.
U.S. Army completes biggest reorg in 45 years: Can Futures Command end weapons disasters? –
On Feb. 4, the U.S. Army completed its biggest reorganization since 1973. It’s a high-stakes, all-or-nothing gamble to stop wasting billions on failed weapons programs, ripping apart its sprawling acquisitions bureaucracy and putting the key pieces together in a single, streamlined Army Futures Command.
New hypoxia sensor aims to make military trainer aircraft safer –
A new helmet-based sensor that can read human biometrics alongside an aircraft’s cockpit pressure levels just hit the market with Air Force pilots in mind.
As U.S. mulls withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russia wants back in –
As Washington mulls a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Moscow is angling to take a leading role in the country’s future as part of a broader effort to counter the United States and NATO in the region.
F-35s train in air-combat ‘beast mode’ in the Pacific after China deploys ‘carrier-killer’ missiles –
U.S. Marine Corps F-35B pilots aboard the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, took off with externally stored missiles in the Philippine Sea, which suggests they trained for all-out aerial combat with China.


New VA health care rules: Trump overreach or more choice for vets? –
The fight over privatizing Veterans Affairs health care is about to escalate.

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Headlines – February 15, 2019

News Former Air Force tech sergeant who defected to Iran charged with spying – A former Air Force counterintelligence specialist, a technical sergeant, who defected to Iran about five years after leaving the Air Force, has been charged with revealing classified information as well as research about her former colleagues to representatives of the Tehran...

News Briefs – February 15, 2019

Pentagon official assures Iraqis of limited U.S. military role The top Pentagon official assured Iraqi leaders Feb. 12 that the U.S. will stick to its limited military role in Iraq, a message aimed at recent talk by some Iraqi politicians of forcing a U.S. troop withdrawal. Pat Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense, said that...
Courtesy photograph

High Desert Hangar Stories: Tony LeVier and the wall

Courtesy photograph Tony LeVier and ground crew with the XF-90. With all due respect to the rock group Pink Floyd, back in 1950 there were very few “bricks in the wall” known as the sound barrier. Today, a multitude of pilo...