Headlines – November 30, 2018



Pentagon identifies three special operations troops killed by IED in Afghanistan –
The Department of Defense on Wednesday released the identities of three U.S. special operations troops killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.
Envoy ‘tests all channels’ with Afghan Taliban in bid to launch peace talks –
President Donald Trump’s envoy to Afghanistan is reaching out to many top Taliban figures as he tries to launch peace negotiations to end the war before Trump can simply pull the plug and order U.S. troops home, say foreign diplomats.


Japan prepares to stand up first F-35 operational unit –
Japan has graduated its first locally trained class of five F-35 pilots and is on track to make its first unit operational, according to a senior official with Japan’s F-35 program.
Safety concerns delay delivery of V-22 Osprey aircraft to Japan –
Japan’s first Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft are ready for delivery, but a dispute over where they will be based is holding up the process.
Bell pitches Viper attack helo to replace Japan’s Cobra copters –
American company Bell is promoting its AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter at the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition in Tokyo as its entrant for Japan’s attack helicopter replacement program.
Raytheon air and missile defense chief talks North Korea skepticism, the bright side of failure –
In terms of missile defense, many have been eyeing Europe, thanks to major acquisitions happening along the eastern flank and a rather unpredictable adversary in Russia. But the threats that permeate the Pacific region remain, with both China and North Korea advancing their own capabilities at a rapid pace.
Prototype UH-X helo to undergo tests, with plans to produce 150 units for Japanese forces –
Japan’s Subaru Corporation is conducting ground tests with its prototype UH-X helicopter, which is slated to replace the Fuji Heavy Industries/Bell UH-1J utility helicopter in Japanese service.
Will the Thai Air Force get more Gripen jets? –
The Royal Thai Air Force’s Wing 7, home to all of the country’s Saab Gripen aircraft, wants more jets. The question is whether the country’s defense budget will allow for it, one official said Nov. 27.
Zumwalt close to losing gun, but open to EW and directed energy –
The once-revolutionary prospects of the Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyer continue to be whittled away. Having lost some of its touted stealth capabilities and suffered a series of engine and electrical problems, now it’s likely to ditch its long-troubled gun.


White House seeks alternatives to independent Space Force –
Pentagon leaders were dutifully double-timing toward a new military branch. Then they got new marching orders.
AFRICOM boss travels to Somalia for high-level talks –
America’s top commander for Africa made a rare visit to war-torn Somalia, meeting with local leaders to discuss security in a country where U.S. forces quietly serve in a fight against militants.
Air defense artillery unit is activated in Germany for the first time in decades –
The Army has activated a new short-range air defense unit in Germany, the first such unit stationed in the country since the end of the Cold War drawdown. The 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was activated at Shipton Kaserne in Ansbach, Army officials in Germany said Nov. 28.
Why Navy thinks the carrier Gerald R. Ford will work after all –
The technology glitches plaguing the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, lead ship of the Navy’s next generation of flattops, are getting fixed, officials told lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill.
Next Navy force structure assessment unlikely to alter plan for 355-ship fleet –
The Navy’s next in-depth look at force structure, due sometime in 2019, is unlikely to alter plans for building a 355-ship fleet, according to the service’s top leaders.
China aims to defeat the US Air Force without firing a shot. Here’s how –
A new study highlights China’s growing air power, and warns that China is looking to build out its Air Force to the point that the U.S. would not be willing to take it on in direct conflict.
Air Force expands directorate in charge of Air Force One, VIP aircraft –
The Air Force office in charge of buying the next Air Force One has expanded its portfolio to take over the recapitalization of three more executive aircraft and the sustainment of eight total VIP and special mission aircraft.
Navy, Marine Corps are dropping some money on barrier-penetrating 5.56 mm ammo –
The U.S. military has long complained about the penetration capabilities of 5.56 mm ammunition, and now the Navy and the Corps are looking to remedy the issue with a new barrier-penetrating 5.56 round.


Remains of NYC sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identified –
The remains of an American sailor from New York City who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack nearly 77 years ago have been identified.
VA delays Forever GI Bill housing stipend fix. Again –
After blowing through the initial deadline to bring its GI Bill housing stipends in line with the Forever GI Bill law, Veterans Affairs Department officials said Nov. 28 that they will not be able to implement the fix until December 2019.
Thousands to see GI Bill housing payment bump –
Thousands of veterans using the post-9/11 GI Bill could see larger monthly housing allowance payments as the Department of Veterans Affairs backpedals changes to how payments are calculated in an attempt to dig out from a backlog sparked by antiquated technology.