Headlines – March 25, 2019



U.S.-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State –
U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria March 23 after liberating the last pocket of territory held by the militants, marking the end of a brutal self-styled caliphate the group carved out in large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Shanahan ethics agreement released in wake of department investigation –
Following the launch of an internal investigation into whether acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan violated his ethics agreements to not involve himself in programs related to Boeing, the Pentagon has made public the details of how the former executive avoids conflicts of interest.


Industrial base considerations played role in F-15X decision –
When it came time for the U.S. Defense Department to make a decision on which fourth-generation fighter to buy for the Air Force, industrial base considerations — and not acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan — helped tip the scale in favor of Boeing’s F-15X, a senior defense official said March 22.
Britain to buy Wedgetail aircraft in nearly $2 billion deal –
Britain’s Royal Air Force will operate a fleet of five Wedgetail early warning and control aircraft in an almost $2 billion deal with Boeing.
German Air Force jumping on passive radar –
The German Air Force has created a formal acquisition track for passive sensing technology, joining a global military equipment trend that could reshuffle the cat-and-mouse game of radar versus stealthy aircraft.
Think tank to Italy: Join UK Tempest program, then try to merge it with Franco-German effort –
A leading Italian think tank is pressuring the country to enter Britain’s Tempest fighter program as soon as possible and then push for the project to merge with a rival Franco-German effort.
Pentagon: We’re buying Boeing F-15s to keep 2 fighter makers in business –
The decision to buy new Boeing F-15s reflects the Pentagon’s desire to keep two American companies making fighter jets into the next decade — and not the acting defense secretary’s ties to the company, a senior defense official said March 22.


NATO confirms plans for $260 million US storage site in Poland –
NATO has confirmed that it plans to establish a storage facility in Poland for U.S. military equipment, including armored vehicles, ammunition, and weapons to arm a full brigade.
‘Deploy or get out’ policy may not have forced out any troops at all –
Defense officials say no service members have been forced out of the ranks under the Pentagon’s new “deploy or get out” policy put in place last fall, despite comments from the acting defense secretary suggesting tens of thousands of service members were removed from the force in recent months.
DOD audit uncovers millions of dollars in unaccounted-for spare parts –
The Defense Department is just starting its second year of full-scale financial audits, and it’s likely to take many more before those efforts yield a clean opinion. But the process is already having at least one beneficial effect: It’s pushed the military services to account for tens of millions of dollars in government property they’d lost track of.
Plan would double artillery upgrades in Army arsenal over next five years –
The Army is about a third of the way toward its goal to acquire an upgraded fleet of nearly 700 tracked, mobile artillery cannons but will nearly double its inventory over the next five years if a recent budget request is approved.
Controversial military malpractice policy may be closer to overturn than ever –
In March 2014, at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, Navy Lt. Rebekah “Moani” Daniel was admitted to have her first child. A labor and delivery nurse who worked at the facility, she was surrounded by friends and co-workers when daughter Victoria entered the world.
Plan would double artillery upgrades in Army arsenal over next five years –
The Army is about a third of the way toward its goal to acquire an upgraded fleet of nearly 700 tracked, mobile artillery cannons but will nearly double its inventory over the next five years if a recent budget request is approved.
In response to back-to-back deadly collisions, Navy rethinks ship bridges to help prevent future accidents –
The Navy plans sweeping changes to bridges and control systems on its ships to increase crew efficiency and help them avoid collisions like those that killed 17 sailors on the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain.
Navy unveils 355 ship fleet plan — but it’ll all change –
In a major departure from previous shipbuilding assessments, the Navy unveiled detailed plans to get to a 355-ship fleet two decades more quickly on Thursday. It also outlined a rough estimate of the $40 billion a year it will cost to maintain that fleet, just five days before the service’s posture hearings begin in the House and six days before the shipbuilding plan is debated in the Senate.
Tyndall and, now, Offutt’s recovery costs are creating an infrastructure cash crunch –
The Air Force is working on a new infrastructure strategy that calls for demolishing its oldest or most dilapidated buildings, concentrating its spending on buildings that need preventive maintenance before they get worse, and cutting down a massive repair backlog.
‘Hot crew swaps’: F-35s are the first single engine fighters to fly on repeat –
F-35A Lightning IIs are the first single engine fighters capable of performing rapid crew swaps, in which a pilot takes off, flies a mission and lands to refuel while another pilot takes over the cockpit of the same jet.
AF seeks to demolish 5 percent of its infrastructure to save billions of dollars over next 30 years –
The Air Force wants to demolish 5 percent of the infrastructure in place across its 180 bases worldwide as the service rethinks its approach to maintaining its buildings, runways and silos, among other structures, officials announced March 22.
Marines to continue upgrading the M1A1 Abrams, but still lagging behind the Army in armor –
While the Corps buys modification kits for its Abrams tanks, the Army has had a new version for two years and eyes another upgrade by 2025.
Marine Raiders fire back after call to disband MARSOC –
If the Marine Corps is serious about getting ready to take on a near-peer enemy like China in the future, then it’s time to fold its 13-year-old special operations command and apply those resources elsewhere.


DNA analysis identifies Pearl Harbor sailor –
Military authorities say a sailor from Massachusetts who died when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941 has been accounted for.
Remains of pilot killed during WWII laid to rest in Utah –
The remains of a World War II pilot have been laid to rest in his home state of Utah after being returned from Germany.