Headlines – April 25, 2016

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News

U.S. to send 250 additional military personnel to Syria –
President Barack Obama plans to announce April 25 he is sending up to 250 additional military personnel to Syria to help local forces fighting Islamic State, significantly expanding the small American footprint inside the war-ravaged country, according to U.S. officials.
 
 

Business

Is the Pentagon’s innovation unit too cozy with Silicon Valley? –
House lawmakers are worried the Defense Department’s new innovation unit is too Silicon Valley centric.
 
U.S. Army trials Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor for new air defense system –
The U.S. Army has fired the Israeli Tamir interceptor missile, used in Rafael’s Iron Dome anti-rocket batteries, for the first time on U.S. soil as part of a series of trials examining air defense systems.
 
Lockheed government IT unit to lay off close to 200 ahead of Leidos deal –
Bethesda, Md.,-based Lockheed Martin plans to lay off “less than 200” workers in its information systems and global solutions segment, a company spokesman confirmed.
 
V-280 wing mating keeps Bell on track for JMR-TD –
Bell Helicopter on 21 April mated the wing and the fuselage of the developmental Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft that the U.S. Army is planning to test as part of the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator program, company spokesman Andy Woodward told IHS Jane’s.
 
Pentagon hard pressed to absorb next round of acquisition reforms –
The Defense Department’s contracting bureaucracy has struggled to stay ahead of an avalanche of new dictums that have come down from Congress and the White House over the course of the Obama presidency.
 
Lockheed Martin to build 100 more JASSM-ERs –
Lockheed Martin has received a $116.8 million contract to build 100 additional AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range stealthy cruise missiles for the U.S. Air Force, the company announced April 21.
 
Type 26 Frigate production approval date revealed in letters release –
The British Ministry of Defence has inadvertently published the target date by which it hopes to achieve sufficient maturity on the program to take forward the delayed Type 26 manufacturing phase.
 
India’s MoD releases report on private sector strategic partners –
An Indian Ministry of Defence-appointed committee has recommended complex and detailed guidelines to select private sector companies’ as “strategic partners” to expand the country’s defense industrial base to make varied materiel and decrease import dependency.
 
French procurement office launches effort for military upkeep –
France’s procurement office has launched a transformation plan aimed at keeping weapon systems updated based on geopolitical shifts, according to Direction Générale de l’Armement chief executive Laurent Collet-Billon. The DGA also said it will peruse export markets and pursue technological breakthroughs to support the French military.
 
Polish defense ministry eyes Apache helicopters –
Poland’s Ministry of Defence is aiming to acquire 24 Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters under its ongoing tender to purchase new combat helos for the Polish Air Force, according to local business daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
 
 

Defense

Congress takes its first step toward killing the military draft –
The military draft may be headed for the scrap heap.
 
Congress moves to halt Navy’s gender-neutral uniform changes –
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has driven a women’s uniform revamp, but now Congress is looking to stall some of those changes and accusing the Navy of ignoring its evaluation process to speed them through.
 
House draft policy bill aims to kill off JLENS –
The Army’s runaway blimp’s prospects of survival are looking grim as the House Armed Services Committee chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill rolled out Friday with a punishing cut to the program.
 
Defense study re-ignites debate over base closings –
The House Armed Services readiness panel, chaired by Northern Neck Republican Rob Wittman, has approved language that rejects the administration’s request for another Base Realignment and Closure commission in 2019. It is part of the proposed 2017 defense authorization bill.
 
C-130J accident report: Propping up yoke to unload cargo not uncommon, expert says –
An Air Force Mobility Command accident report released April 15 pinpointed the cause of a C-130J crash in Afghanistan last year: a forgotten night-vision googles case jammed behind the control yoke used to steer the plane.
 
 

Veterans

Bill helping combat-wounded vets recoup lost severance pay advances –
Lawmakers have advanced legislation that would reimburse veterans with combat-related injuries potentially thousands of dollars in lost severance pay.
 
As farmers age, the plan to turn veterans on to agriculture –
As American farmers are getting older, a younger cohort is entering the civilian workforce. Government programs are trying to help veterans become farmers for reasons both economic and therapeutic.
 
 

Space

NASA officially unveils New Aviation Horizons –
The details of the agency’s X-plane were originally outlined in President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal and NASA has now revealed more information in a blog post.

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