Headlines – September 27, 2019

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News

Senate again votes to end DOD-dependent border emergency, bucking veto threat-
The Senate on Sept. 25 again passed a bid to end the southern border emergency President Donald Trump’s declared to divert military construction funding to the border wall — but not by a veto-proof majority.
 
Congress briefed on Iran after Saudi oil attacks-
Congress received classified briefings Sept. 25 on Iran following attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities the Trump administration has blamed on Tehran.
 
Esper visits laid-up submarine as the Pentagon waits on a 2020 budget-
Days before the end of the fiscal year, and without a foreseeable budget deal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper took a tour of the fast attack submarine Boise on Sept. 25, which has in recent years become famous for all the wrong reasons.
 
 

Business

Sikorsky’s new combat rescue helicopter hovers into production-
The U.S. Air Force has given its new combat rescue helicopter the green light to go into production, its manufacturer Lockheed Martin Sikorsky said Sept. 24.
 
A new contract offers on-demand support for cyber missions-
The government has selected Parsons for a $590 million cyber contract called Combatant Commands Cyber Mission Support.
 
CH-53 vs. CH-47: Which helicopter will Israel pick?-
This week, while the votes were being counted in Israeli’s second general election in six months, a small Israeli Air Force delegation has been quietly taking test flights in Patuxent, Md., aboard the U.S. Marine Corps’ brand-new CH-53K helicopter.
 
DOD swats away Blue Origin launch protest-
DOD and the Air Force are pushing back hard against Blue Origin’s claims of unfair ball in the fierce competition for the service’s next-generation rocket, as time winds down toward the June 2020-planned decision.
 
State Dept. approves sale of laser aircraft defense system to Qatar-
The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of two AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures systems to Qatar for $86 million.
 
Thai army to acquire eight U.S. light attack helicopters-
Thailand’s army is planning to purchase eight American-made helicopters in a deal worth 4.2 billion baht ($137.17 million), the army spokesman said on Sept. 26.
 
 

Defense

U.S. tanks and troops headed to Lithuania for lengthy deployment-
More than 500 U.S. soldiers and dozens of tanks and heavy fighting vehicles will deploy to Lithuania in the coming days on an extended mission to bulk up NATO’s eastern flank, the Baltic country’s military said Sept. 25.
 
No AI for nuclear command, control-
“You will find no stronger proponent of integration of AI capabilities writ large into the Department of Defense,” Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan said here, “but there is one area where I pause, and it has to do with nuclear command and control.”
 
Faulty $5 parts cause 18-month, $1 billion delay to Navy, Air Force nuclear upgrades-
Defects found in a $5 electrical component will delay the Navy and Air Force nuclear warhead refurbishment program by 18 months and cost more than $1 billion to fix, a National Nuclear Security Administration official said during a congressional hearing Sept. 25.
 
New night vision adds punch from the squad to battalion-
The Army’s most advanced night vision goggle is in the hands of soldiers at the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
 
U.S. Army’s new warfighting plans face obstacles in Europe-
An Army strategy to work closely with allies to fight future wars could be at risk if the capability gap between the U.S. and some European militaries is allowed to widen, says a new study by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.
 
U.S. Navy warships roaming Arctic waters-
Greeted by rough waves, guided-missile cruiser Normandy and the destroyer Farragut nosed inside the Arctic Circle this week, part of an ongoing effort by the Navy to rediscover its sea legs up north, U.S. 2nd Fleet leaders said Sept. 25.
 
U.S. Navy just got fighter jet readiness above 80 percent-
Navy officials announced this week that they surpassed the Pentagon’s call to get the service’s fighter jet readiness rates way up after years of aviation readiness problems — but the work isn’t over, a one-star told reporters.
 
 

Veterans

New eligibility rules for Arlington cemetery would exclude most non-combat veterans-
Officials are moving to limit the number of individuals eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, restricting below-ground sites to combat heroes, battle casualties and a small pool of notable dignitaries.
 
Expansion of veteran caregiver program delayed until at least next summer-
Families of veterans who served before the recent wars won’t be added to the Veterans Affairs caregivers program until summer 2020 at the earliest, department officials announced Sept. 25.
 
Veterans group pushes to dismiss suit over Bible on display at New Hampshire VA hospital-
A battle over a Bible on display at New Hampshire’s veterans hospital was the focus of a federal court hearing Sept. 25, with lawyers for the government arguing that a lawsuit demanding its removal should be dismissed because the Air Force veteran who filed it hasn’t shown he was harmed in any way.
 
Veterans Affairs secretary evicts members of Congress from offices In VA hospitals-
The secretary of veterans affairs has told several members of Congress that he’s evicting them from offices they’ve been using in VA hospitals. The House members use the offices to meet with vets and discuss everything from their eligibility for benefits to the quality of the care they receive.