February 15, 2019

Headlines – February 15, 2019


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 government, prosecutors said Feb. 13.
After Trump’s treaty withdrawal, NATO is getting ready for a Russia with a lot more missiles –
Moscow still has six months to come back into compliance with the INF treaty — but NATO is already planning for a future that includes a “Russia with more missiles.”


Navy awards Boeing $43 million to build four Orca XLUUVs –
The Navy awarded Boeing a $43-million contract to build four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) that will become multi-mission for the service, according to a Feb. 13 Pentagon contract announcement.
U.S. Army’s upgunned Strykers have some serious firepower — and one critical weakness –
The Army may have festooned its Stryker fighting vehicles with a slew of new armaments as part of the Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of lethality, but the upgunned infantry carriers are apparently hobbled by a major deficiency that makes them especially vulnerable in a fight against Russia or China.
Artificial intelligence: Will special operators lead the way? –
“The SOF guys are less risk averse than conventional ground forces, so they’re more apt to push the limit,” said Bob Work, father of the AI-driven Third Offset Strategy. “Their commanders also have embraced AI and autonomous ops … so I think all the conditions are set for SOF to lead the way in the more direct combat applications of AI and autonomy.”
U.S. Air Force to complete CV-22B Silent Knight Radar upgrade by end of 2021 –
The U.S. Air Force is aiming to integrate the Raytheon AN/APQ-187 Silent Knight Radar onto its Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft over the next three years.


Should U.S. troops be involved in the Yemen civil war? –
House lawmakers approved a measure to block all U.S. forces and equipment from involvement in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, in an effort to stop American forces from assisting Saudi Arabia in the hostilities there.
Trump stirs new controversy over defense cost-sharing deal with S. Korea –
South Korea pushed back Feb. 13 against a new suggestion by President Donald Trump that the U.S. ally should pay more to maintain thousands of American troops on the divided peninsula.
Pentagon’s National Military Strategy is done, and it’s unclear if the public will ever see it –
Gen. Joe Dunford, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has finished his new edition of the National Military strategy — but currently has no plans to roll out a public version of the traditionally unclassified document.
Mattis may be gone, but his effort to revolutionize the infantry continues –
Jim Mattis is gone after coming to loggerheads with the commander-in-chief, but his bottom-line legacy as defense secretary to boost “lethality” is driving a revolution in how the military conducts the most elemental form of combat on the small-unit level.
No, the Pentagon is not working on killer robots—yet –
The U.S. Department of Defense on Feb. 12 released its roadmap for artificial intelligence, and the most interesting thing about it might be what’s missing from the report: The military is nowhere close to building a lethal weapon capable of thinking and acting on its own.
As Navy pledges surface reforms, some ask for proof of improvement –
Navy leaders again pledged Wednesday that reforms in the surface fleet are taking hold, but that data proving this improvement will take years to play out.
Navy: Ford’s advanced arresting gear will be ready for fleet Super Hornets, Growlers by end of year –
The crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are slowly expanding the aircraft they can launch and recover from the next-generation aircraft carrier, Ford’s air boss told USNI News last week.
Air Force has won control of Space Force –
Six months ago, service leaders said they were being cut out of the planning process. Now they’re being put in charge of it.


Disabled vets scammed in $2 million bribery scheme –
A Veterans Affairs Department official steered disabled veterans to questionable schools in exchange for bribes from school officials, according to the Justice Department.
Watch out for fake DOD websites like this –
Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command identified a website posing as the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program this week.
Volunteers invited to funeral of WWII veteran who has no surviving family –
A veterans’ services director in Massachusetts is looking for volunteers to attend the funeral of a World War II veteran who has no surviving family.

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Headlines – March 20, 2019

News FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX – The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, lending its considerable resources to an inquiry already being conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation agents, according to people familiar with the matter.   Suspected militants detained in...

News Briefs – March 20, 2019

Congressman pitches Louisiana for Trump’s Space Force locale U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham is urging President Donald Trump to consider Louisiana for the future headquarters of Trump’s proposed Space Force. The Republican congressman wrote a letter to the president, suggesting Louisiana was an “ideal location” because of its strong existing relationships with the military and NASA....

NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover is put to the test

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph Technicians working Mars 2020’s System’s Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. In a little mo...