Headlines – August 5, 2019

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News

Trump wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by 2020 election, officials say-
President Donald Trump has told his advisers that he wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the November 2020 presidential election, according to five current and former administration and military officials.
 
Russian spy planes enter Alaskan air defense zone-
Two Russian anti-submarine surveillance aircraft flew off the coast of Alaska last week, according to the command overseeing aerospace and maritime warning for North America.
 
U.S. launches last-ditch effort to stop Turkish invasion of northeast Syria-
The Trump administration has launched a last-ditch effort to head off a Turkish invasion of northeast Syria that it expects will come within the next two weeks.
 
 

Business

Air Force to deploy ground-based lasers in first field test of ‘directed energy’ weapon-
The Air Force announced Aug. 2 it will soon deploy two ground-based laser weapons to an undisclosed location to test how they can be used against small drones, the service’s first “operational field test” of an experimental “directed energy” weapon.
 
In conversations with investors, defense firms double down on hypersonic weapons-
America’s biggest defense contractors are finding a growth market in hypersonic weaponry — missiles that could dodge air defenses by flying five times the speed of sound — as U.S. military leaders have repeatedly described deploying such weapons as a national priority.
 
 

Defense

Navy CNO takes over Gallagher court-martial amid controversy-
In a stunning move Aug. 3, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson removed all court-martial authority from Navy Region Southwest, the command that had been weighing a sentence for Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher.
 
Does DOD’s big-money cloud contract really need a new, new review?-
The decision by newly installed Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to review the Pentagon’s controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract has received a mixed reaction from Capitol Hill.
 
Esper: U.S. to soon put intermediate range missile in Asia-
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he wants to deploy an intermediate range conventional missile in the Pacific region within months, now that the Trump administration has formally pulled out of a Cold War-era arms control treaty with Russia.
 
New Pentagon report pegs Air Force One cost at $5.2 billion-
The next Air Force One jets will cost $5.2 billion overall, according to the Pentagon’s first formal acquisition report on the presidential aircraft.
 
U.S. Army hopes this Black Hawk upgrade will help counter incoming missiles-
The venerable, battle-tested UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is getting another in a series of technology upgrades that the Army hopes will keep it protected in coming years of potential near-peer fights.
 
Here’s when U.S. Army wants 50kW lasers on Strykers-
The Army has put money down on a prototype system that aims to put 50kW lasers on a platoon of four Stryker vehicles in the next three years.
 
Army halts plans to scuttle its fleet of watercraft-
The Army has suspended plans to shut down its watercraft units and sell many of the service’s ships until a congressionally-mandated study is complete, Pentagon and Army officials have confirmed.
 
Army orders $40 million of its newest body armor-
The Army recently ordered more than $40 million worth of its latest body armor vests and accessories from KDH Defense Systems Inc., a North Carolina-based firm that’s been a major player in the service’s body armor for more than a decade.
 
Air Force’s B-1 bombers are in more dire shape than we thought-
Just six of the Air Force’s fleet of 62 B-1B bombers are now fully mission-capable, Gen. John Hyten told lawmakers July 30.
 
Marines eye unmanned systems to keep F-35s flying from remote bases-
The Marines are testing unmanned platforms to quickly refuel and rearm F-35Bs it plans to operate out of remote, austere bases in the Pacific — part of an effort to be more nimble, and unpredictable, as the traditional American dominance at sea and in the air erodes.
 
 

Veterans

More than two dozen missing Korean War troops just identified from returned remains-
Defense Department officials have identified 25 more missing service members from the cases of remains turned over by North Korean officials last year, a major advance for dozens of families who have waited decades for closure in the deaths of their loved ones.
 
Veterans unemployment rose slightly in July, still sits below national estimates-
The unemployment rate among American veterans rose for the second consecutive month in July, but it still remains significantly below the national rate, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Aug. 2.