Headlines – March 20, 2019

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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 Syria attack that killed four Americans –
U.S. officials have questioned suspected Islamic State militants who Syrian forces believe have links to a suicide attack that killed four Americans in January, an American official said March 19.
 
Judge says Trump cannot implement transgender military policy –
A federal judge on March 19 said her injunction preventing President Trump’s transgender military policy from taking effect remains in place days after the Pentagon released a memo to implement the policy.
 
Some stateside military projects, NATO defense at risk to fund border wall –
When the long-awaited border wall military construction list gets whittled down — based on the Pentagon’s rules on what it intends to spare — it becomes a lot clearer which states have the most to lose.
 
 

Business

Northrop launches hypersonic defense push –
With the Pentagon making hypersonic weapons a priority, Northrop Grumman is throwing its hat into the ring in an attempt to claim space in the still-early hypersonic defense market.
 
U.S. Navy, facing a shortfall, aims to sign an enormous attack sub contract with Ingalls next month –
The U.S. Navy is preparing to sign a contract with General Dynamics Electric Boat and subcontractor Huntington Ingalls Industries for the next tranche of Virginia-class submarines, according to budget documents submitted to Congress this week.
 
DOD 2020 budget looks to fix shipbuilding, ammo industrial base –
The Defense Department plans to pump $286 million into parts of the defense industrial base identified as at risk by a major White House report released late last year. The investments aim to boost everything from large shipyards to tiny suppliers of ammunition components.
 
Qatar planning to buy Altay tanks –
Qatar is planning to order 100 Altay main battle tanks, Turkish officials have revealed.
 
Boeing to integrate nuclear-tipped cruise missile on B-52 –
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing Defense Space & Security a $250 million contract to integrate the nuclear-tipped Long Range Stand-Off Cruise Missile on the B-52H bomber.
 
Army sets 2023 hypersonic flight test; strategic cannon advances –
The Army plans a “system flight test” for its Land-Based Hypersonic Missile in fiscal 2023, according to recently released budget documents. The service plans to spend $1.18 billion on prototyping through 2024, starting with a $228 million request in 2020.
 
German defense industry decries Berlin’s new budget plan as too low –
Newly released budget figures risk putting Germany on a path to miss NATO-wide spending expectations and even undershoot its own, lower target, warn defense industry advocates.
 
Raytheon nabs $97.7M for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile production –
The ESSM is a joint-development by the U.S. and other NATO countries to develop an improved version of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow, which is used for ship defense.
 
 

Defense

B-52 bombers are flying near Russian and Chinese waters this month –
U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers are flying “simultaneous training flights” over Europe and the Pacific Ocean this month.
 
U.S. rapid-deployment troops arrive in Berlin for maneuvers –
Hundreds of U.S. soldiers have begun arriving in Germany in the first test of a rapid deployment strategy meant to bolster NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe in the event of Russian aggression or other emergencies.
 
Air Force B-52s deploy to England for NATO exercises –
The six B-52 Stratofortresses deployed to RAF Fairford will spend an undetermined amount of time at the base for training with U.S. forces and NATO allies, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian said March 19.
 
Bill would require DOD to pay for combat troops to freeze sperm, eggs –
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
 
These U.S. states receive the most in national defense spending –
California, Virginia and Texas get the most defense dollars while Wyoming receives the least among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a Pentagon report released March 19.
 
Probe continues into minesweeper blaze –
Navy officials said March 19 that an investigation continues into a fire that broke out on board the mine countermeasures ship Devastator last week.
 
Debate continues over safety of U.S. Air Force’s firefighting foam –
The new firefighting foam the Air Force began using in June 2018 to reduce toxic contamination of groundwater might actually be more harmful to the environment than the chemical agent it replaced, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonpartisan, non-profit environmental advocate.
 
 

Veterans

Congressmen urge FBI to investigate bots targeting veterans with fake news –
Four congressmen urged the FBI on March 19 to investigate “foreign entities” believed to be targeting service members and veterans online with false information.
 
VA’s caregiver program losing top official at a critical moment –
The Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program is about to lose its top official as concerns mount about delays to a planned expansion of the benefit later this year.
 
Arthritis can hit troops and vets hard. Here’s how advocates want to respond –
As active-duty personnel and veterans feel the damaging effects of arthritis stemming from their service, advocates are pushing Congress to dedicate more money for research on potential ways to treat and prevent the disease.
 
VA receives $25 million donation to provide genetic testing for veterans –
A billionaire philanthropist has donated $25 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide genetic tests for veterans to help tailor their medical treatments and medications.
 
Women with axes: Take a look at these World War II ‘Lumberjills’ –
Meet Rosie the Riveter’s hearty English cousins.