Headlines – November 12, 2018



Pentagon’s No. 2 explains his lack of satisfaction with the F-35 –
When Patrick Shanahan arrived at the Pentagon as the new deputy secretary of defense in July 2017, his impact was unclear. A career in Boeing had brought Shanahan in contact with both the defense and commercial divisions, but he had never worked inside the department — and now he was in charge of driving internal reforms for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
U.S. stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war –
The U.S. is halting refueling of aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen, ending one of the most divisive aspects of U.S. assistance to the Saudi war effort.
Taliban posts photos of MQ-9 Reaper they claim to have shot down; U.S. says it simply crashed –
An unmanned aircraft suffered a malfunction and crashed in Afghanistan in late October, U.S. military officials say. It then wound up in Taliban propaganda photos, where militants claimed they shot down the drone.


Italy signals slowdown on F-35 orders –
Italy will stretch out the order of F-35 fighter jets, buying six or seven of the aircraft in the next five years instead of the previously planned 10 jets, a government source told Defense News.
HII: Future carrier John F. Kennedy construction costs down, ship will launch next year –
Huntington Ingalls Industries executives expect the future aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) to launch by the end of 2019, which is ahead of schedule and will occur roughly six years since the christening of first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).
Air Show China 2018: Unmanned military systems take center stage –
At least 100 state-owned and private companies that develop and manufacture unmanned air and land platforms – as well as associated equipment such as avionics, mission payloads, weapons, power and propulsion systems, and structural components and spare parts – showcased their latest developments at the event, with many of these companies displaying in a dedicated UAV Hall for the first time in the event’s history.
Here’s how Trump administration plans to increase American weapon sales abroad –
As part of a broader push from the Trump administration to sell more weapons abroad, the U.S. State Department is planning to increase the size of its staff who handles arms transfers, roll out new changes to its International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR, restricted list and create new methods of financing foreign arms procurement, among other changes.
U.S. brought in $192.3 billion from weapon sales last year, up 13 percent –
Combined weapon sales from American companies for fiscal 2018 were up 13 percent over fiscal 2017 figures, netting American firms $192.3 billion, according to new numbers released Thursday by the State Department.
U.S. defense industry pushes back on White House’s proposed $33B budget cut –
The American defense industry is warning that defense cuts proposed by the Trump administration could undermine the Pentagon’s efforts to modernize the military and address threats from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and transnational terrorism.
Study demands ‘new energy’ in France-UK defense ties to weather Brexit fallout –
Defense ties between France and the U.K. need a shot in the arm to ensure the two countries can remain closely aligned in a post-Brexit world, according to a pair of British and French think tanks.
Where is military’s stuff? Check the RFID info –
The Department of Defense has exercised a multi-million dollar contract option with defense logistics company Savi Systems to help improve visibility on the whereabouts of nearly 24,000 high-value military assets.
Army awards contract for the next batch of ‘Gunsmoke’ satellites –
The Army has awarded Dynetics, an applied science and information technology company, a contract to develop two small experimental satellites, known as tactical space support vehicles (TSSV), to enhance joint force operations.
Arms sales way up – but Trump wants more –
The United States signed off on arms exports worth $192.3 billion over the past year, a full 13 percent increase from the previous year — even as the Trump administration keeps pushing hard to sell more weapons, more quickly, to more allies overseas.
Navy rushes to check contractors after submarine ‘debacle’ –
The Navy is unhappy with its primary submarine builder, Electric Boat, and will pay closer attention to their work on its top priority program, the $128 billion Columbia-class nuclear missile sub, after a costly mistake on ballistic missile tubes almost passed undetected.
Submarine contractors investing in infrastructure to land future contracts –
The Navy is spending money on shipbuilding, but the industrial base is feeling pressure to upgrade its equipment and invest in training workers to land lucrative contracts.


In-flight emergency led to jet crash in Ukraine that killed US pilot –
An in-flight emergency caused a Ukrainian Su-27 fighter jet to crash last month during Exercise Clear Sky, killing both an American and Ukrainian pilot, the head of the Ukrainian air force said Nov. 8.
It’s official: U.S. Army approves ‘pinks and greens’ uniform on Veterans Day –
The U.S. Army was able to straighten out its congressionally mandated notification requirements in time to announce on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, that the much anticipated “Army Greens” will indeed be your next service uniform.
Pentagon chief management officer resigns, after weeks of speculation –
After weeks of expectations that the Pentagon’s No. 3 official would be leaving the building, he has officially resigned.
Rust costs the Pentagon $21 billion per year –
The Defense Department isn’t doing a good job determining how much to spend to prevent damage from nature’s basic chemical reactions.
U.S. Army warns of crippling sealift shortfalls during wartime –
The U.S. Army is pushing Congress to act on a looming sealift shortfall that will create “unacceptable risk in force projection” within the next five years if the Navy doesn’t act quickly, according to a document from the Army’s G-4 logistics shop obtained by Defense News.


VA secretary expects fiscal 2020 budget to be the biggest ever –
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Nov. 9 that his department won’t be exempted from President Donald Trump’s planned spending cuts, but he is also confident that Congress will ultimately increase the VA budget to ensure programming needs are met.
In remembering WWI, world warned of resurging ‘old demons’ –
World leaders with the power to make war but a duty to preserve peace solemnly marked the end of World War I’s slaughter 100 years ago at commemorations Sunday that drove home the message “never again” but also exposed the globe’s new political fault lines.
VA, unions spar over move to end physicians’ use of ‘official time’ –
Veterans Affairs officials upped their fight with union leaders on Nov. 8 by announcing plans to end “official time” status for more than 400 department employees, calling it a waste of taxpayer funds.
This app by a veteran-owned start-up is spotlighted on Veterans Day –
Apple is spotlighting an app created by a veterans-owned start-up team in Virginia that is helping thousands of young people transition into the military.
Beasts of burden and their fate in World War I –
They were messengers, spies and sentinels. They led cavalry charges, carried supplies to the front, comforted wounded soldiers and died by the millions during World War I.
Young veterans hunt for community as older generations dwindle –
Steve Wahle, a Marine Corps veteran, works with veterans every day thanks to his job as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Columbia, S.C. But he still chooses to keep his veteran status mostly to himself.
VA medical experiments on dogs will continue, secretary says –
Veterans come first, and if dogs have to be sacrificed in potentially fatal VA medical experiments to find cures for sick and disabled veterans, so be it, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said Nov. 9.