Headlines – July 10, 2019

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News

Army, Navy face big shake-up on the road to confirming the next SECDEF-
The clock is ticking. The Pentagon has until the end of this month to get a secretary confirmed before Congress and the White House get involved with the Defense Department’s long-vacant top job.
 
War powers debate teed up for defense policy bill-
The Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote this week on several measures to limit the president’s power to wage war on Iran aid the Saudi war in Yemen after they cleared a key procedural hurdle late July 9.
 
Pentagon spent $1.2 million to support ‘Salute to America’ event on July Fourth-
It cost the Pentagon about $1.2 million to fly aircraft and set up armored vehicles in support of the president’s “Salute to America” event on the National Mall on July Fourth.
 
Britain, France agree to send additional troops to Syria-
In a major victory for U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security team, the United Kingdom and France have agreed to send additional forces to Syria to pick up the slack as U.S. troops withdraw, sources familiar with the discussions told Foreign Policy.
 
Washington’s peace envoy aims for Sept. 1 agreement on troop withdrawal after all-Afghan conference-
All-Afghan talks that brought together Afghanistan’s warring sides ended July 9 with a statement that appeared to push the country a step closer to peace, by laying down the outlines of a roadmap for the country’s future and ending nearly 18 years of war.
 
 

Business

Amazon, Microsoft wage war over the Pentagon’s ‘war cloud’-
Amazon and Microsoft are battling it out over a $10 billion opportunity to build the U.S. military its first “war cloud” computing system. But Amazon’s early hopes of a shock-and-awe victory may be slipping away.
 
UK shoots for new laser weapons against drones, missiles-
Britain is planning to invest up to $162 million developing three directed-energy weapon demonstrators, including one aimed at killing drones, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
 
Taiwan buys lots of tanks, but really wants new F-16Vs-
China is demanding the United States halt the proposed $2 billion sale of Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles to Taiwan while warning it will act to protect itself.
 
How low-value DHS contracts can have high costs-
Though smaller government contracts lack the attention-grabbing high dollar values of major acquisition efforts, low-value contracts can cumulatively represent significant amounts of agency spend.
 
Four companies awarded $72.8M for special projects for Navy, DHS, CBP-
Deloitte, Serco, McKean Defense and Alutiiq all received contracts for work on unnamed special projects for experimental, demonstration and developmental technologies for the agencies.
 
State Department OKs $2 billion arms sale to Taiwan-
The State Department has approved the sale of over $2 billion in arms to Taiwan amid condemnation of China, which considers the island a territory, the Pentagon announced July 8.
 
 

Defense

U.S. drones make temporary move to Black Sea region-
Air Force unmanned aircraft are flying out of a temporary camp in Romania, a move that puts intelligence-gathering capabilities closer to the Black Sea as tensions between U.S. partners and Russia continue in the region.
 
SOCOM ‘does not envision’ mandatory keto diet for SEALs or others-
U.S. Special Operations Command is not launching an all-out assault on carbs in a war of nutrition.
 
Spencer could be next acting defense secretary if Trump nominates Esper to top Pentagon job-
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer could become the third acting defense secretary since January if President Donald Trump officially nominates Mark Esper for the top job at the Pentagon, defense officials said July 9.
 
To develop hypersonic missile launcher, Pentagon seeks funding transfer-
The Pentagon is looking to transfer $50 million within its fiscal 2019 budget to cover the cost of the design and development of a prototype mobile launcher for its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, or LRHW.
 
Without additional $157 million, US Army aviation readiness projected to suffer-
Without an additional $157 million, U.S. Army aviation readiness could suffer, according to an omnibus reprogramming request sent to Capitol Hill on June 25.
 
Army to switch to new emergency warning system in Europe-
A new emergency messaging system for the Army community in Europe will begin operating later this month.
 
Navy declares unmanned MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter mission capable-
The Navy declared its MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter mission capable and ready to deploy aboard Littoral Combat Ships.
 
Here’s No. 1 rule for U.S. Air Force’s new advanced battle management system-
The U.S. Air Force has started work on a data architecture for its Advanced Battle Management System, the family of platforms that will eventually replace the E-8C JSTARS surveillance planes.
 
 

Veterans

Controversial changes to GI Bill transfer rules delayed until next year-
Defense Department officials will delay a controversial proposal limiting troops ability to share their GI Bill benefits with spouses and children after complaints from advocates and lawmakers that the move could hurt recruiting and morale.