News Briefs – June 15, 2016


Push to make defense department buy American sneakers OK’d

The U.S. Senate has approved a provision to require the Department of Defense to provide military service members with American athletic shoes upon arrival at basic training.
The measure passed the Senate June 14 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, authored the provision.
The provision applies the Berry Amendment to athletic shoes. That amendment requires the defense department to give preference to home-grown products.
The National Defense Authorization Act will now head to a conference committee with members of the House and Senate so they can compromise on their spending plans.
King’s provision is the same as an amendment in the House version of the defense authorization act. That amendment was introduced by Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Maine Republican. AP

Navy official challenges strategists to rethink ‘deterrence’

A top Navy official is challenging military strategists to rethink the concept of deterrence.
Under Secretary of the Navy Janine Davidson says the U.S. military has to be bold sometimes, and may need to provoke a little, in order to deter.
Davidson said June 14 at a strategy forum at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., that U.S. operations in the South China Sea, for example, should continue to demonstrate that sea lanes should remain open.
She says the thinking about deterrence is largely based on old models focused on nuclear weapons and China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are challenging the global order from many angles.
She says it takes a complex formula to deter behavior that’s short of what’s considered war, when nations try to redraw maps and rewrite rules. AP

Russian military drills check mobilization readiness

President Vladimir Putin has ordered snap drills to check the Russian military’s readiness to quickly mobilize its forces.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the maneuvers that began June 14 will last for a week. He said the exercise is aimed at checking the readiness of reserve military units and weapons depots.
Shoigu said the war games will assess the “mobilization readiness” of the Russian armed forces and the top brass’ ability to quickly make military reserves ready for action.
He noted that special emphasis will be given to “planning the use of military forces in various crisis situations.”
The maneuvers are the latest in a steady series of drills intended to strengthen the military’s readiness amid tensions with the West over Ukraine. AP

Appeals court sides with Boeing in whistleblower lawsuit

A federal appeals court has sided with Boeing and one of its suppliers in the whistleblower lawsuit brought by three ex-workers at the aircraft manufacturer’s former plant in Wichita, Kansas.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed June 13 with a federal judge’s decision that the former workers failed to show Boeing defrauded the U.S. government in a $1.6 billion contract.
The three-judge appellate panel said it found no evidence Boeing knowingly submitted a false claim to the government. It upheld the 2014 summary judgment in favor of Boeing and California-based supplier Ducommun Inc., rejecting claims brought by former employees Taylor Smith, Jeannine Prewitt and James Ailes.
Their 2005 lawsuit alleged that Boeing defrauded the government in a contract for two dozen 737 Next Generation aircraft by using “bogus parts.” AP