Headlines – May 24, 2019

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News

US officials: Plan may send up to 10,000 troops to Mideast –
The Pentagon on May 23, presented plans to the White House to send up to 10,000 more troops to the Middle East, in a move to beef up defenses against potential Iranian threats, U.S. officials said.
 
SEAL defense claims prosecution withheld information from judge about email spying –
The trial for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL accused of murdering an injured teenage ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017, has been delayed amid a whirlwind of allegations that the prosecution in the case was illegally spying on defense attorneys and a journalist while withholding information from the judge.
 
Pardons for convicted, accused war criminals could harm commanders’ influence, former military lawyers warn –
Presidential pardons for American service members convicted or accused of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the killing of unarmed enemy fighters, could undermine military leadership and might complicate the U.S. relationship with key allies, several military law experts said.
 
‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh to be released from prison after nearly two decades –
John Walker Lindh, the young Californian who became known as the American Taliban after he was captured by U.S. forces in the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, is set to go free after nearly two decades in prison.
 
 

Business

Naval Group-led team gets €2 billion mine-hunter contract for Belgian, Dutch navies –
The Belgian defense ministry has awarded a consortium led by France’s Naval Group a nearly €2 billion contract to deliver mine-hunting ships and drones to the navies of Belgium and the Netherlands, according to the shipbuilder.
 
Former Leonardo CEO gets final acquittal in helicopter kickback case –
A former CEO of Italy’s Leonardo and a former fellow manager were given a final and definitive acquittal by Italy’s highest court on Wednesday in a bribery case dating back to the sale of helicopters to India in 2010.
 
Is Britain buying a warship? Depends who you ask –
Senior British defense procurement officials have found themselves on the wrong end of a verbal battering by the parliamentary Defence Committee.
 
Close air support timeline cut; wait for tech was too long –
App-enabled handheld devices have slashed the time it takes for Air Force controllers on the ground to call in airstrikes; and the Pentagon, as well as other federal agencies like Homeland Security are buying into the technology in a big way.
 
Pentagon jumpstarts hypersonic targeting, electronic warfare, C2 –
Fed up with neat technologies that never turn into usable weapons, the Pentagon’s director of advanced capabilities is taking a new approach to crucial missions like finding time-sensitive targets for hypersonic missiles, waging large-scale electronic warfare, and building new command-and-control networks.
 
DOD awards contract to break its security clearance logjam –
The Pentagon hopes that a newly announced $75 million, 24-month contract will clear up its chronically backlogged security clearance system.
 
Navy awards funding to help speed up Growler low-band jammer development –
The Navy hopes to speed up the fielding of its new low-band jammer for the EA-18G Growler and has awarded two companies additional money to further mature their designs to avoid slowdowns and cost-increases that a similar jammer program faced.
 
Marines to begin Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle AoA this summer to replace LAVs –
The Marine Corps will kick off the analysis of alternatives on its Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle this summer, after some early troubles finding the right strategy to replace the 1980s-built Light Armored Vehicle with a fifth-generation combat capability.
 
Roketsan unveils urban combat support weapon developments –
Roketsan of Turkey has disclosed company-funded development of two new lightweight guided support weapon systems for combat operations in an urban environment: CIDA and Yata?an.
 
Belarus upgrades mid-range MRL inventory –
The Belarusian military has launched an initiative to modernize its inventory of 9P140 Uragan (Whirlwind) 220 mm medium-range multiple rocket launchers.
 
 

Defense

Shanahan’s gag rule memo nets bipartisan backlash –
The bipartisan leaders of the House Armed Services Committee said Wednesday they will act against Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan’s new restrictions on how the Pentagon tells Congress about international military operations.
 
Pentagon to put up shelter for at least 7,500 migrants –
The Pentagon says it will build temporary shelter at the U.S.-Mexican border for at least 7,500 adult migrants who have been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
 
It’s not about units; future fight will be systems vs. systems, says Army 3-star –
The future fight, especially in the vast expanse of the Pacific region, will not focus on which units go where and which types of units attack enemy formations. Instead, the deputy commander of the Army’s newest command said, it will be about systems attacking systems.
 
Big changes coming to NTC: Drone swarms, communication headaches –
Army combat units rotating through the National Training Center will soon face swarms of drones and long-range communications challenges if the combat training center expands by 80,000 acres.
 
When it comes to missile-killing lasers, U.S. Navy is ready to burn its ships –
The U.S. Navy’s Director of Surface Warfare is ready to bet the farm on using lasers to shoot down missiles.
 
Navy stands up surface development squadron for DDG-1000, unmanned experimentation –
The Navy is standing up an organization today that will be dedicated to experimenting with new unmanned vessels, weapons and other gear to propel the surface force forward.
 
Navy has no plans develop lethal carrier UAV before MQ-25A hits flight decks –
The Navy won’t pursue the development of a lethal carrier-based unmanned aircraft before it fields its unmanned MQ-25A Stingray tanker sometime in the 2020s, the service’s requirements chief said last week.
 
Under Skyborg program, F-35 and F-15EX jets could control drone sidekicks –
The F-35 and F-15EX fighter jets could get drone wingmen in the coming years, the U.S. Air Force’s top acquisition official revealed to Defense News.
 
 

Veterans

Plans to combat veterans suicide, boost VA benefits move ahead –
In advance of Memorial Day, House lawmakers passed a series of nine veterans-themed bills, including several focused on suicide prevention.
 
Lawmakers push bills to improve veteran care, increase Medal of Honor stipends –
Senators considered 17 veteran-centric bills Wednesday, weighing proposed legislation on subjects such as mental health and unlicensed physicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs to health care for women and newborns, as well as stipends for Medal of Honor recipients.