In the news...

June 6, 2014

Headlines June 6, 2014


U.S. sending advisers, military gear to Ukraine -

A small team of American military advisers will soon head to Ukraine to assess that embattled nation’s “mid- and long-term needs for defense reform,” a Pentagon official said June 5. 

Pilot unharmed in Super Hornet crash off California coast -

An F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed into the water off the coast of southern California June 4 night during an approach to the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, according to a June 5 release from Naval Air Force Pacific. 

Helo crashes in Florida training; injuries minor -

A flight instructor and student sustained minor injuries June 5 after their helicopter crashed during a training flight in the Florida panhandle, a Navy spokeswoman said. 



Northrop Grumman gets $9.9 billion for B-2 sustainment -

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract with a USD9.9 billion ceiling to support modernization and sustainment of the 20-aircraft B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet, the Pentagon announced June 3. 

Obama calls on France to press ‘pause button’ on Russia warship sale -

President Barack Obama said Thursday that France should “press the pause button” on a deal to sell warships to Russia.  

Protest delays U.K. Mastiff upgrades -

The signing of a contract between the Ministry of Defence and a General Dynamics company to update British Army Mastiff armored vehicles has been held up after a losing bidder lodged a protest over the selection criteria, according to industry sources.  

Dutch aerospace company Fokker hit with $21 million fine in sanctions case -

As part of a five-year scheme, Fokker Services provided aircraft parts, technology and services to Iran, Sudan and Burma, which have been sanctioned by the United States.   

General Dynamics forms team for Canadian sonar upgrade bid -

General Dynamics Canada has teamed with Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems and Raytheon Canada to bid for the upgrade of the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonar suite fitted to the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates.  

QinetiQ secures U.K. underwater target service contract -

QinetiQ has won a five-year contract worth GBP5.3 million (US $8.9 million) to deploy and maintain the UK Ministry of Defence’s underwater mobile acoustic targets, edging out the previous incumbent Serco. 

Poland sets final deadline for utility helicopter bids -

Companies bidding in the tender, through which Poland is seeking to buy 70 medium-lift utility helicopters, have been asked to submit their final offers by the end of September 2014, according to the MoD.  

U.S. Coast Guard cutter award upheld -

The U.S. Coast Guard’s February award of three contracts to develop competing designs for the new Offshore Patrol Cutter program has been upheld by the Government Accountability Office, disappointing rivals Huntington Ingalls and VT Halter Marine. 



Marine Corps to help families displaced by crash -

The Marine Corps was cleaning up a Southern California neighborhood June 5 and working to help families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by one of its jets that crashed in the small desert city of Imperial, officials said.  

Dunford picked to be next Marine Corps commandant -

Marine Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Dunford has been nominated as the next commandant of the Marine Corps. 

Future vertical lift: One program or many? -

At one extreme is a single mega-program, building four variants for the four services to replace a host of existing helicopters, a vision in some ways even more ambitious than the long-troubled tri-service Joint Strike Fighter. At the opposite extreme, however, FVL would just be overarching guidance and common technology for a range of separate, service-specific programs, both new aircraft and upgrades to existing helicopters. 

Trashed: U.S. gear in Afghanistan to be sold, scrapped -

About half of the U.S. military vehicles still in Afghanistan – worth billions of dollars – aren’t coming home, and instead will be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by 2016, officials say. An even higher percentage of the rest of the remaining equipment also will be scrapped or left behind. 

Gen. Mike Hostage on the F-35; No Growlers needed when war starts -

“But in the first moments of a conflict I’m not sending Growlers or F-16s or F-15Es anywhere close to that environment, so now I’m going to have to put my fifth gen in there and that’s where that radar cross-section and the exchange of the kill chain is so critical. “



Senators announce deal to address VA problems -

Congress appears poised to adopt new legislation making it easier for veterans to get private medical care and harder for underperforming administrators to keep their jobs, under a deal announced by Senate leaders June 5. 

War’s elite tough guys, hesitant to seek healing -

For all their well-known resilience, an emerging body of research suggests that Special Operations forces have experienced, often in silence, significant traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.   

VA health care nominee withdraws -

President Barack Obama’s choice to be the top health official at the Veterans Affairs Department withdrew his nomination June 5, saying he feared his confirmation could spark a prolonged political battle.  

VA chief: 18 vets left off waiting list have died -

An additional 18 veterans in the Phoenix area whose names were kept off an official electronic Veterans Affairs appointment list have died, the agency’s acting secretary said June 5 – the latest revelation in a growing scandal over long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up the delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

VA to release nationwide audit results next week -

In his first public appearance as acting Veterans Affairs Secretary, Sloan Gibson said Thursday that the department will release results of a nationwide audit of its health facility scheduling practices next week 

Leahy offers bill to increase VA transparency -

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has introduced a bill to prevent Department of Veterans Affairs facilities from avoiding reports to Congress on major medical facility renovations and potentially causing longer wait times for care.  

37 VA whistleblowers accuse bosses of retaliation -

At least 37 Veterans Affairs whistleblowers have filed complaints accusing supervisors of seeking retaliation for their reports of improper scheduling practices and other threats to patient care, the Office of Special Counsel announced June 5.

AAFES chief: Let 22 million vets shop exchanges online -

Defense officials are weighing a proposal from the director of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to allow the nation’s 22 million honorably discharged veterans, and perhaps an equal number of their family members, to shop online for military exchange products and discounts. 

Developer gets 5 years for defrauding federal program for vets -

An Albuquerque developer who pleaded guilty to defrauding a federal program designed to steer work to businesses owned by disabled veterans has been sentenced to almost five years in prison. 



Chinese military shows new capabilities, Pentagon says -

After jamming communications and mounting other forms of electronic and cyberwarfare, stealthy Chinese aircraft, drones and missiles could attack U.S. warships, aircraft and supply craft, the Defense Department said yesterday in its annual report on China. 



The rush to demonize Sergeant Bergdahl -

Four months ago, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

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Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...


Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...


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