Headlines – May 24, 2017



As Trump weighs more troops in Afghanistan, some in Congress seek to freeze his funding –
As the Trump administration contemplates sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a bipartisan group in Congress has demanded a floor debate on the war’s endgame and whether it remains in America’s interest to remain engaged there militarily.
Paul plans to force vote on $110 billion Saudi defense deal –
Sen. Rand Paul intends to force a vote on a $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, according to an aide to the Kentucky Republican.


U.S., Japanese firms collaborating on new missile defense radar, sources say –
Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are working with Japanese partners on rival projects to develop new radars that will enhance Japan’s shield against any North Korean missile strike, government and defense industry sources in Tokyo said.
Trump budget seeks to slash new Air Force One –
President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal slashes the anticipated funding for the new Air Force One by almost $200 million, after Trump singled out the project as too expensive and demanded the Air Force and Boeing cut costs or scrap it.
Kaiman recon vehicle enters Belarusian service –
The Kaiman armored reconnaissance vehicle has entered service with Belarusian armed forces, a source in the company told Jane’s at the MILEX 2017 defense show, held in Minsk from 20-22 May.
Australian Border Force makes inaugural deployment to Sri Lanka, India –
The Australian Border Force has dispatched the largest ship in its fleet to Sri Lanka and India in a bid to enhance co-operation and improve capabilities of maritime security agencies in the region.
U.S. NUWC tests biomimetic minehunting UUV prototype –
U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center is testing a new minehunting unmanned underwater vehicle that uses biomimetics that imitate sea life.
Pentagon budget 2018: U.S. Navy shipbuilding budget procures eight battleforce ships, support Columbia class –
The U.S. Navy requested $171.5 billion for fiscal year 2018 including procurement of eight new construction battleforce ships, the Navy announced May 23 at the Pentagon.
InquisIT awarded Army security contract –
InquisIT has been awarded a $14.7 million contract to provide IT support for the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command.


Trump’s 2018 military pay raise is smaller than expected –
Military personnel would receive a 2.1 percent pay raise in January — less than the projected rise in private sector wages — as part of the Trump administration’s otherwise ambitious plans to recapitalize the armed forces, according to budget documents released by the Pentagon May 23.
Trump Fiscal 2018 request offers plus-up for technology programs –
The Pentagon’s fiscal 2018 budget requests $574.5 billion in base funding with another $64.6 billion in wartime supplemental funding, with a focus on near-term readiness over long-term modernization.
Stayin’ alive: No retirement in sight for the A-10, U-2 –
As of the fiscal 2018 president’s budget request, there are no plans to retire either famed the A-10 Warthog or the venerable U-2 spy plane, Air Force officials said May 23.
Fiscal 2018 budget request cuts $1 billion from State’s Foreign Military Financing –
The White House fiscal 2018 budget request cuts more than $1 billion from the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program, with the majority of countries fighting over a pot of about $200 million in funding.
New DOD budget to rebuild readiness, advance tech –
With the May 23 release of the fiscal 2018 budget, Defense Department leadership is making clear department-wide goals to overhaul the U.S. military and position for a new era of warfare.
Air Force ups R&D in 2018 budget request, but no big surprises –
President Donald Trump’s military buildup hasn’t hit the Air Force yet, with the fiscal 2018 budget request for the most part conforming to the previous administration’s plans.
Air Force budget calls for 325,100 airmen in 2018 –
President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal, released Tuesday, calls for growing the active-duty Air Force to 325,100 airmen to try to fix serious shortfalls in critical jobs, which are jeopardizing the service’s readiness.
U.S. Navy’s 2018 budget: Steady as she goes –
Judging by the number of ships, aircraft and weapons the Pentagon wants to buy in 2018, there are no significant differences between the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget and the plan as laid out in the last Obama administration submission.
The Navy wants to hire thousands more sailors in 2018 –
The Navy is looking to hire more sailors in 2018, according to budget documents released May 23.
No Trump buildup in Marine Corps 2018 budget –
Despite President Trump’s promise for a massive military buildup, the Marine Corps is not expected to grow any more next fiscal year.
Defense Secretary Mattis intervened to increase munition buy in 2018 budget request –
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis personally intervened to increase the number of munitions being bought in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2018 budget request, pushing procurement of six specific weapons to the maximum production rate industry can handle.
Ahead of Ballistic Missile Defense Review, MDA’s 2018 plans show flexibility –
The Ballistic Missile Defense Review ordered this month by Defense Secretary James Mattis won’t wrap up until the end of the year, but the Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal 2018 budget request shows signs of flexibility ahead of the reviews findings.
Reaction to Trump’s budget plan: Criticism from Dems, caution from GOP –
U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1.1 trillion federal budget proposal released Tuesday drew cautious praise from Republicans on Capitol Hill and outright derision from Democrats, painting an uncertain future for the plan.
Trump’s budget calls for new base closing round in 2021 –
Defense Department leaders will seek a new military base closing round in fiscal 2021 under the budget proposal for next year released by the White House May 23.
Trump’s military buildup won’t begin until 2019 –
Don’t expect to see President Donald Trump’s promised military buildup kick into gear until 2019, senior Pentagon officials said May 23, hours after delivering their 2018 request to Capitol Hill.
Game changer’: Army wants an unmanned electronic warfare vehicle –
The Army wants an unmanned ground vehicle that can conduct signals intelligence and electronic warfare.
Dual hatted: Navy crew train up on manned and unmanned helos –
The Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter continues to cut its teeth while operating onboard the third U.S. Navy littoral combat ship, or LCS, to go on a rotational deployment to Singapore as the deployment itself approaches its halfway mark.
Navy looks to replenish Tomahawk stockpile after Syria, Yemen strikes –
The Navy’s request of $8.5 billion to cover overseas contingency operations in fiscal 2018 will include funding for 66 Tactical Tomahawk cruise missiles to replace those launched over the last 12 months in two separate deterrence operations.
U.S. Air Force makes it official: The A-10 will not be retired for the F-35 –
A U.S. Air Force spokeswoman just confirmed a huge win for Congress and the infantry who have come to know and love the A-10 Warthog, telling Defense News that the beloved flying gun would not be retired.


Trump’s budget calls for cuts to VA benefits programs –
President Donald Trump’s budget released May 23 proposes cutting monthly stipends to some disabled, unemployed veterans and reducing veterans’ cost-of-living adjustments as offsets to continue a program that allows veterans to seek care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Once in a lifetime’: Oldest living West Point grad returns to academy after 84 years –
Almost 85 years after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, retired Lt. Gen. William Ely returned to West Point May 23 as the academy’s oldest living grad and took part in the school’s alumni review.
House OKs revamp of VA appeals in bid to cut claims backlog –
The House easily approved legislation May 23 to cut the time it takes for the Department of Veterans Affairs to handle appeals from veterans unhappy with their disability payouts, an effort to reduce a rapidly growing claims backlog without adding billions in government costs.
Trump’s big VA budget request comes with proposed trims to veterans benefits –
The White House’s proposed $186.5 billion budget for Department of Veterans Affairs operations next year includes more than $13 billion for medical care outside VA and $3.6 billion in savings from benefits trims.

Science and Technology

World’s biggest aircraft nails critical test flight –
It’s a plane, it’s a blimp … it’s the world’s largest aircraft. A massive airship dubbed the Airlander 10 recently completed a successful test flight, bringing the helium-filled behemoth one step closer to commercial use.