Headlines – August 31, 2016

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News

ISIS destruction of Iraqi base could hinder Mosul operation –
The air base that Iraqi forces hope to use as a staging area to take Mosul back from the Islamic State group was almost completely destroyed by the retreating militants, raising new doubts over whether the long-awaited operation will begin this year.
 
U.S. commander slams Iran for provocative moves in Gulf –
The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East sharply criticized Iran on Tuesday for recent high-speed maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Persian Gulf that in one case prompted a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots.
 
 

Business

Contract awarded for Reaper drone laser –
General Atomics has been awarded a $9.6 million contract to design a laser for the MQ-9 Reaper UAV.
 
Sikorsky announces it’s laying off more than 100 Connecticut employees –
Just over a week after it was announced that the U.S. Navy had pulled its contract with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft for maintenance for the Marine One fleet, the company announced it would be laying off employees.
 
Booz Allen awarded counter-IED contract –
Booz Allen Hamilton has been awarded a Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency task order, valued at up to $380 million, for counter-IED research.
 
Joe Sutter, father of Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet, dies at 95 –
Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who ushered in the modern era of long-range travel by spearheading the 747 jumbo jet in the 1960s, has died. He was 95.
 
Boeing’s Phantom Eye to be museum exhibit –
Boeing’s hope that the Phantom Eye high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle might be returned to the skies has been ended with the disclosure by the U.S. Air Force that the sole prototype is to be sent to a museum instead.
 
DOD approves Israeli radar for U.S. Iron Curtain testing –
The Pentagon has given Herndon, Va.,-based defense solutions company Artis the green light to integrate Israeli radars from Rada Electronic Industries Ltd. into its Iron Curtain close-in active protection system for evaluation by the U.S. Army.
 
U.S. Air Force closes in on assessment of Lockheed’s FA-50 –
The U.S. Air Force is nearing a second agreement to conduct an airworthiness assessment for an airplane it does not currently plan to buy — in this case, Lockheed Martin’s FA-50 light attack aircraft.
 
Dutch deployment changes public opinion Of F-35 –
As a nation of aviation enthusiasts, the Dutch public initially viewed their government’s September 2013 decision to purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35A with some skepticism, concerned about the fighter jet’s cost and the relatively small number on order. But the Dutch decision to deploy its jets across the Atlantic in May and June appears to have reversed that perception.
 
 

Defense

DOD launches acquisition regulations advisory panel –
The Department of Defense today announced the creation of a new Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations, with the goal of finding ways to streamline the notoriously cumbersome Pentagon acquisition process.
 
Congress’ watchdog wants more oversight for Army’s Patriot upgrade plan –
The Army is expected to spend an aggressive $1.8 billion to upgrade its key air-and-missile defense system – the Raytheon-made Patriot – over the next five years, but the agency that serves as Congress’ watchdog finds that not enough oversight of the program has been put in place in advance of the effort.
 
DOD IG: Army should buy or cancel XM25, no more development –
The U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General has recommended the US Army either move forward or cancel the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement weapon program.
 
Navy still isn’t ready to pass audit –
With a countdown clock ticking until Sept. 30, 2017, when all military service branches are required by law to be audit-ready, a report released this month by the Government Accountability Office finds the Navy still has work to do to be on track to reach that goal.
 
The Marines’ F-35B going to war in 2018 –
The Marine Corps’ F-35B joint strike fighter jet is expected to make its debut downrange in 2018.
 
For F-35s first deployment, Marines plan ‘school of hard knocks’ –
Real-world missions will help the Corps chart its future with the plane, says the leader of the Marines’ Combat Development Command.
 
Official: Marine Corps could equip F-35B with laser weapon –
The Marine Corps is working toward the day when it could equip an F-35B joint strike fighter with a directed energy weapon, a top service official said Aug. 30.
 
U.S. Marine Corps aiming for ‘shipboard capable and expeditionary’ UAS –
The U.S. Marine Corps is pushing ahead with a ‘shipboard capable and expeditionary’ unmanned aerial system program, and pushing back against arguments that it could instead field existing unmanned platforms.
 
 

Veterans

VA warns students ITT may go ‘out of business’ –
The Veterans Affairs Department is warning thousands of U.S. military veterans enrolled at ITT Tech to brace for the possibility the for-profit college franchise “goes out of business,” according to a recent notice.
 
Friends mourn Green Beret killed in Afghanistan at California ceremony –
Thompson, a special forces medical sergeant, was patrolling in Helmand province as part of Operation Freedom Sentinel when an improvised explosive device detonated. Thompson died from his injuries.
 
North Texan who faked being decorated Navy SEAL gets prison –
Prosecutors say a North Texas man who falsely portrayed himself as a decorated Navy SEAL must serve more than four years behind bars.
 
Iowa veteran gets probation in Stolen Valor charge case –
A 70-year-old Davenport, Iowa, man has sentenced to five years’ probation and fined $5,000 for buying or trying to buy congressional military decorations and medals without proper authorization.
 
 

Space

SpaceX signs first customer for launch of refurbished rocket –
Satellite operator SES SA has agreed to launch one of its large commercial spacecraft on a refurbished Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rocket, marking another advance for reusable boosters.
 
Aging fighter jets to launch satellites –
Launching satellites could get a whole lot easier and cheaper if one Californian firm gets its way.