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June 27, 2014

Headlines June 27, 2014

News:

Pentagon assigns two-star general to oversee assessment in Iraq, a sign of task’s sensitivity -

The U.S. military named a two-star general to head up the teams that have been sent to Iraq to determine what U.S. military assistance might help halt the advance of radical Islamist insurgents who’ve seized control of much of the country in the past two weeks. 

More advisory teams arrive in Iraq; joint operating center opens in Baghdad -

U.S. operations in Iraq have expanded with the arrival of more teams of advisers and the opening of a joint operations center in Baghdad, the Pentagon said June 26. 

Iraq buys used Russian fighter jets amid U.S. delivery delay -

Iraq has bought used fighter jets from Russia and Belarus to battle Islamist militants after long delays in the delivery of F-16 planes from the U.S. left troops without air support, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. 

 

Business:

Contingency spending request includes $6 billion for new weapons -

President Barack Obama has requested $6 billion for new military aircraft, drones, vehicles and bombs as part of his $58.6 billion request to fund the war in Afghanistan and other contingency operations in 2015. 

F-35 in fire was recent delivery -

The F-35A that caught fire June 23 was a recent delivery from low-rate initial production lot 5 of the stealthy fighter.  

Sikorsky warns of consequences if Pentagon breaks multiyear deal -

Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp., said June 26 it hoped Pentagon officials would realize that reneging on the final year of a five-year helicopter contract would undermine confidence in future deals and drive up costs. 

U.S. Army gearing up for Apache Link 16 test -

The U.S. Army will soon test a new network capability that could prove to be a “game changer” for the service’s fleet of AH-64 Apache rotorcraft.

Defense contractors wary of a ‘Chairman’ John McCain -

There’s at least one reason some in the defense industry are rooting for Democrats to keep control of the Senate: the prospect of Chairman John McCain.  

Major TOW order for Saudi Arabia, Oman – 

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on 19 June that Raytheon had been awarded a $391.5 million contract to produce wireless versions of the TOW anti-tank guided missile for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Saudi Arabia National Guard and Oman.  

Thales, LandT Technology Services form avionics joint venture -

India’s LandT Technology Services and Thales announced that the two companies had formed a joint venture June 26.

U.S. Air Force awards Sikorsky, Lockheed CSAR helicopter contract -

The US Air Force awarded Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin a $1.3 billion contract June 26 for the Combat Rescue Helicopter program.  

Boeing Defense head: Partnerships the new normal -

As budgets around the world continue to contract, expect partnerships on major programs to become the norm, the head of Boeing’s defense arm said.  

Navy seeks big data ecosystem -

The Navy wants to create a big data ecosystem that will enable strides in analytics.  

F-35B stand-down not yet affecting air show timeline -

All U.S. Marine Corps F-35B operations remain dormant since a fire broke out in an F-35A preparing for takeoff this week, but this is not expected – at least for now – to affect the timing of the aircraft’s debut in the U.K. next month. 

DARPA to progress VTOL X-Plane as Boeing reveals Phantom Swift details -

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is to undertake conceptual design reviews for the four vertical take-off and landing X-Plane contenders in the coming weeks, a Boeing program official disclosed on 24 June.  

Mexico could soon receive more UH-60M Black Hawks -

The U.S. Department of State has approved a foreign military sale of five Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters to Mexico, according to a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement June 24.

British Army to trial VBCI -

The British Army is to conduct trials later this year on the French Nexter Systems Vehicule Blinde de Combat d’Infanterie 8×8 infantry combat vehicle. 

 

Defense:

DARPA adds difficulty, expands scope of disaster-response robot challenge -

When the Pentagon’s shadowy research laboratory last year asked for a humanoid robot that could perform dangerous tasks in disaster zones industry and academia delivered beyond expectations. 

Army has not advised Bergdahl of his legal rights -

The Army has yet to explain to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl his legal rights even though the soldier has been talking to medical staff who are helping him reintegrate into society and anything he says during their conversations can be used against him in a military court.

SEAL Team 6 member becomes Pentagon’s poster girl in transgender recruiting -

A former member of SEAL team 6 has become the poster girl for a Pentagon effort to include transgenders – people who have undergone sex-change operations – in the ranks.

Marine, Air Force JSF flights stalled; AETC puts F-35A under lock, key -

The F-35A struck by fire as it took off from Eglin Air Force Base has been secured and is under armed guard in a secure hanger and the Air Force and Marines are not flying their versions of the Joint Strike Fighter program until they know more about the fire’s causes. 

 

Veterans:

Veterans: Boycott Mexico over Marine arrest -

The nation’s oldest and largest major combat veterans organization is demanding the Mexican government ensure the safe return of a Marine being held prisoner in the country and is asking Americans to put down the tacos and tequila until that happens.

Two more VA officials resign -

Two more high-ranking Veterans Affairs officials announced plans to step down from their leadership roles Wednesday, the latest personnel overhaul for an embattled department already lacking multiple top administrators.




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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

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