Headlines – October 21, 2019

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News

Pentagon chief says American troops leaving Syria will conduct anti-ISIS operations from Iraq-
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.
 
Esper says reduction of American forces in Afghanistan relies on a peace agreement with Taliban-
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived Oct. 20 in Afghanistan, where stalled peace talks with the Taliban and persistent violent attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State militants have complicated the Trump administration’s pledge to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops.
 
Pelosi, congressional delegation make secret trip to Afghanistan-
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation have concluded an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, Pelosi’s office said Oct. 18.
 
 

Business

F-35 jet might hit full-rate production more than a year late-
The U.S. Defense Department will not clear the F-35 fighter jet for full-rate production this year, and it may even have to push that milestone as far as January 2021, the Pentagon’s acquisition executive said Oct. 18.
 
Northrop unveils NGCV’s 50mm chain gun at AUSA-
The Army is looking for more range, more punch, and more options for its Next Generation Combat Vehicle, and is turning to Northrop Grumman to provide the 50mm gun that can rip through armor, or reach out and touch targets that current infantry vehicles can’t.
 
Taiwan says F-16 upgrade back on track, as it seeks recon pods that can watch China’s coastline-
Taiwan’s defense minister said the country’s program to upgrade its F-16 fleet is expected to finish on schedule in 2022, despite ongoing delays.
 
French, German leaders provide fresh top cover for new warplane, tank projects-
German and French officials emerged from a meeting in Toulouse, France, this week with fresh promises that a next-generation aircraft program and new European battle tank spearheaded by the two countries would advance soon.
 
Just one bidder is vying for two Pentagon programs worth $130 billion-
It’s a pretty widely accepted business principle that competition is good for business. But for two separate programs potentially worth a combined $130 billion, the Pentagon has just one possible bidder.
 
S. Korea to buy AMRAAM missiles in $253M deal-
The State Department approved the sale of 120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles to South Korea, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced.
 
 

Defense

Here’s what’s promising from Army’s first jamming pod-
The Multi-Functional Electronic Warfare Air Large pod, the Army’s first organic brigade electronic attack asset that’s now mounted on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle, flew for the first time in an Army exercise this summer.
 
From unmanned teaming to new capabilities, the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle will be a leap forward-
The Army’s main vehicles, from Bradleys and Strykers to the Abrams tank, have served them well for decades. But the demands of the modern battlefield, from sensing and processing loads of data unforeseen in past conflicts to moving around a different type of physical and virtual terrain, mean a need for a new way of thinking about ground vehicles.
 
Next-gen satellite communications system ready for use, U.S. Navy says-
The U.S. Navy’s next-generation satellite communications system passed its final test before operational capability determination, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command said.
 
 

Veterans

Black WWI soldier buried in unmarked Indiana grave gets commemorative headstone-
A black soldier who was buried in an unmarked Indiana grave is getting proper recognition for his military service in World War I nearly a half-century after his death.
 
Remains of Massachusetts airman killed in WWII identified-
The remains of a Massachusetts airman killed during World War II have been identified.