February 8, 2019

Headlines – February 8, 2019


Afghan Taliban: no date yet for U.S. troops drawdown –
A Taliban official said on Feb. 6 that no timetable had been agreed with the U.S. government for the partial withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and that negotiations were still underway, contradicting his earlier statements that day.
Pompeo reassures allies of US commitment to defeat ISIL –
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday reassured coalition partners that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was not “the end of America’s fight” and called on them to help permanently defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.


Airbus, Dassault tapped to pin down Franco-German fighter plans –
The French and German defense chiefs announced a contract award to Airbus and Dassault on Feb. 6 to narrow down the two governments’ vision of a common, sixth-generation aircraft.
Can Iron Dome cut it for indirect fire protection? U.S. Army is buying a couple systems to find out –
The U.S. Army plans to buy a limited number of Iron Dome batteries, evaluating the option for protecting U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect fire and aerial threats.
India cleared to buy Boeing VIP aircraft protection system –
The U.S. State Department on Wednesday cleared the government of India to purchase two Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures Self-Protection Suites for a pair of Boeing-made 777 aircraft.
French vehicle maker Arquus sets its sights on new European battle tank –
Arquus, formerly Renault Trucks Defense, is keen to get a piece of the emerging Franco-German Main Ground Combat System program.
Russia bids farewell to INF Treaty with fresh nuclear development plans –
It didn’t take long following the United States’ announcement that the country would suspend its participation in a major Cold War arms treaty for Russia to move in kind. Now, freed of its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Moscow is wasting no time in developing new, once-prohibited weapons systems.
China will build 4 nuclear aircraft carriers in drive to catch U.S. Navy, experts say –
Four of at least six aircraft battle groups China plans to have in the water by 2035 will be nuclear-powered, as the Asian giant tries to equal the U.S. in naval strength, according to Chinese military experts.


With another caravan approaching, DOD shifts forces along border –
The Pentagon is shifting 250 troops to reinforce the port of entry at Eagle Pass, Texas, in response to a new caravan headed toward that U.S. border crossing, officials announced Jan. 6.
DOD officials: Irregular warfare will no longer suffer a ‘boom-bust’ cycle in eras of great power competition –
The Defense Department doesn’t want to lose its irregular warfare edge, honed through more than a decade of conflict across the Middle East, even as it directs its armed forces to refocus on state-level adversaries.
SOCOM needs to step up its propaganda game, Pentagon deputy says –
The Defense Department wants U.S. Special Operations Command to do more than the traditional leaflets-and-loudspeakers approach to information warfare, a senior Pentagon official said this week.
Pentagon official: No plans to develop new missile system amid end of Russian arms treaty –
The head of Pentagon policy on Feb. 6 said the military is not yet planning to create or deploy an intermediate-range missile system in the light of the U.S. announcing it will no longer comply with a Soviet-era arms control pact with Russia.
U.S. Navy just turned future guns of new Ford-class supercarriers on a drone in a landmark live-fire test –
The U.S. Navy, together with Raytheon, recently put the combat system developed to defend the new Ford-class supercarriers to the test against an unmanned aerial vehicle off the coast of California, Raytheon announced Feb. 5.
U.S. Air Force’s JSTARS alternative has a new architect. Wait, what’s an architect? –
The Air Force has found an architect to run its uber-complicated Advanced Battle Management System program, which will replace JSTARS ground surveillance planes with a network of existing and new air and space-based sensors.
New respirator would allow Air Force maintainers inside fuel tanks to communicate with audio instead of knocks –
Maintenance crews may soon have a safer way to inspect fuel tanks and tight crawl spaces inside tanker planes, instead of just knocking around in the dark.


Lawmakers want full military honors at Arlington for MOH recipients, POWs –
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is trying again to ensure all Medal of Honor recipients and prisoners of war are given full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

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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...