Headlines – July 17, 2019

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News

Can Mark Esper save DOD? Senators sure hope so-
For the second week in a row, a lifetime public servant tapped for one of the Pentagon’s top jobs declared he would sooner resign from the job than follow an order he finds “illegal, immoral or unethical,” at a time when lawmakers are concerned that President Trump’s foreign policy moves are a threat to national security.
 
Lawmakers say Trump is locked into Turkey sanctions-
After days of silence about whether Turkey will be punished for accepting a Russian-made air defense system, U.S. President Donald Trump reluctantly seemed to agree Turkey will now be cut off from the F-35.
 
‘The Chinese have already broken into my stuff’: Cyber espionage concerns Army acquisition three-star-
Cyber security remains an issue for Army acquisition, and the solution may mean investing in resources to take some defense contractors completely “off the net,” according to the principal military deputy to the Army acquisition chief.
 
Marine Corps moves, new investments in Australia could cause trouble with China-
The U.S. military is considering investing more than $211 million into construction in Darwin, Australia, according to the Senate’s version of the annual defense legislation.
 
 

Business

Lockheed awarded $492.1M to produce HIMARS for U.S., Poland, Romania-
Lockheed Martin was awarded a $492.1 million contract for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems M142 launchers and associated hardware for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Romania and Poland.
 
Britain’s first P-8A Poseidon takes flight near Boeing plant-
Key testing was conducted during during the 90-minute flight, which began at 10 a.m., PDT, July 12, Boeing said in a news release July 15.
 
 

Defense

U.S. forces have much to learn from Ukraine’s fight with Russia, says State Department official-
Five years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky, killing all 298 aboard, a State Department official tells Military Times that the ongoing battle between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists serves as a potential harbinger for the U.S. military in any conflict with Moscow.
 
Proposed law calls on Pentagon to consider more troops, surveillance in Baltic region-
A defense bill passed by U.S. lawmakers calls on the Pentagon to take steps to counter Russia in the Baltic region, including by potentially reinforcing air defenses and stepping up troop rotations.
 
Esper: F-35 won’t hit 80 percent readiness, cites stealth parts-
Presumptive Defense Secretary Mark Esper says flatly the F-35 “is not expected” to meet the 80 percent readiness goal set for it this year because of problems with a cockpit part that improves stealth performance.
 
U.S. to Afghanistan: Ditch the Mi-35-
The Pentagon is trying to get the Afghan Air Force to dump its Russian-built Mi-35 attack helicopters to instead focus on American-made aircraft, even as the growing military received four more of the rotorcraft from India last year.
 
Army eyeing Navy’s high-powered laser to fight enemy drone swarms-
Army modernization officials are getting help from the Navy to make the service’s High Energy Laser program more than twice as powerful for fending off aerial attacks from swarms of enemy drones.
 
With a $150 million price tag, Navy’s CIC simulators now running on both coasts-
Navy officials say they’ve launched a high tech trainer that finally gives shipboard Combat Information Center teams the most realistic education possible, short of actual combat.
 
East Coast U.S. Navy aviators to see their flight hours slashed for the rest of fiscal year-
Budget shortfalls created in part by greater-than-expected demands on maritime patrol aircraft is forcing the Navy to cut flight hours for several squadrons on the East Coast, according to a naval aviation official who spoke on background.
 
Air Force sends F-35s, F-15s to Europe in combat readiness test-
The U.S. Air Force sent a group of fighters and transport aircraft to Poland, Lithuania and Estonia July 16 in a test of the service’s ability to quickly deploy air power overseas, the military said.
 
 

Veterans

Marine veteran who fought at Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, celebrates turning 100-
\A U.S. Marine who fought in some of the most deadly and infamous World War II and Korean War battles, including the battle at Iwo Jima in Japan and North Korea’s Chosin Reservoir, recently celebrated his 100th birthday at the Pacifica Senior Living Center in Vista, California, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
 
New law increases VA home loan limits, funding fees-
A law signed by President Donald Trump on June 25 to provide compensation to ill veterans who served on Navy ships in Vietnam also made several changes to Department of Veterans Affairs-backed home loans for all eligible veterans.