Headlines – October 28, 2019

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News

U.S. sends forces to protect Syrian oil fields-
The U.S. military sent fresh forces on Nov. 26 to secure oil fields in eastern Syria, two U.S. officials said, as part of a pivot from a decision earlier this month to pull most American troops out of the country.
 
Russia says it sent hundreds of additional troops to Syria-
Russia has sent hundreds of additional troops to Syria to help patrol the country’s Turkey-Syria border after a deal between Moscow and Ankara, the Russian Defense Ministry said Oct. 25.
 
 

Business

Analysts predict counterdrone market will top $2B-
The three biggest obstacles facing the counterdrone market are the law, the nature of the threat, and the technology itself. In fairness, those are obstacles to the adoption of most any national security technology.
 
Does major joint military procurement really work in the Baltics?-
On paper, the Baltic nations appear to have closely aligned defense modernization needs that make the joint procurement of advanced military equipment a no-brainer.
 
Britain chases early contract for new Skynet satellite to avert delay-
Faced with a possible delay in the delivery of a key communications satellite, the British Ministry of Defence and contractor Airbus Defence and Space are working on a deal to purchase long-lead items ahead of a full contract signature, the ministry’s top civil servant said in a new assessment on progress with the Skynet 6 program released Oct. 24.
 
Naval Group starts construction on France’s newest frigate-
The first steel cut has been made for the new French FDI (defense and intervention) frigate, the Admiral Ronarc’h-class, which will be known on the export market as the Belh@arra.
 
New contract will help communication during disasters-
The Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars to help with emergency communications during disasters, according to a news release from the award winners.
 
Hypersonics pitch day: Air Force woos startups-
Hypersonics and “pitch days,” two of the hottest concepts at the Air Force right now, will come together for the first time Nov. 7.
 
$85B nuclear missile competition gets messier as feds investigate Northrop-
The Pentagon’s effort to build a new ICBM just took another step toward a no-competition sole-source award — and the prospective lone bidder just came under federal investigation for anti-competitive behavior.
 
Navy’s $13 billion carrier needs another $197 million in fixes-
The Navy’s most expensive vessel is getting even costlier, as the service says it needs to add as much as $197 million more to correct deficiencies with the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
 
 

Defense

U.S. Air Force: Trump resort stays broke no rules but raise ‘public perception’ dilemma-
The Air Force has concluded scores of overnight stays at President Donald Trump’s seaside resort in Scotland did not violate any rules but did raise questions about the “public perception” of funneling taxpayer funds to a property owned by the commander in chief.
 
Indefinite enlistment takes effect Nov. 18-
The Air Force will move to a new system of “indefinite enlistment” for airmen with at least 12 years of service on Nov. 18, service officials confirmed Oct. 25 after a leaked memo appeared online Oct. 23.
 
The bombers have landed: B-1s arrive in Saudi Arabia as part of U.S. buildup-
B-1B Lancer bombers landed at an air base in Saudi Arabia this week, marking a surprise return of the long-range bombers to the Middle East after they were pulled early this year.
 
U.S. Army is finding new ways to airdrop loads large, small, even in urban terrain-
The Army is testing and developing better ways to get supplies to soldiers in far-flung, austere places in both big and small packages.
 
A host of ‘smarticles’ could give soldiers shape-shifting robots for future missions-
Soldiers today can launch pocket-sized drones to check out terrain ahead of them. But if a promising Army project proves out, a future soldier might deploy a host of “shape-shifting” particles that form themselves into whatever they need to accomplish the mission.
 
Inside U.S. Army’s quest for a revolutionary new bullet-
As Army weapons officials near the end of a bold effort to arm close-combat units with Next Generation Squad Weapons, new details have emerged about the program’s elusive 6.8mm ammo, designed to pierce enemy body armor.
 
Pentagon official wants to keep shaking up the Navy, Marines-
America’s foes are becoming far too capable and the Navy and Marine Corps must start plotting unconventionally to undermine them, Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said Oct. 25.
 
Navy may scrap goal of 355 ships; 310 is likely-
A top Navy official suggested today the service is reconsidering its long-stated goal of a 355-ship fleet, floating the idea that a number around 310 ships would be about the best it can do if current funding projections hold.
 
Air Force just received this ‘Mad Max’-like laser dune buggy to shoot down drones-
The Air Force’s newest weapon brings the pew-pew of high-energy lasers to a vehicle that looks like it came out of a “Mad Max” movie.
 
U.S. Air Force officially buying light-attack planes-
The U.S. Air Force is officially putting down its money to buy two different models of light-attack aircraft.
 
 

Veterans

So far, 41 US troops have been ID’d from remains returned by North Korea, DPAA says-
Army Cpl. Lloyd B. Odom, 19, of Odessa, Mo., was the third missing soldier whose identity was announced last week.
 
Remains of Army Air Forces B-17 gunner identified-
The remains of a B-17 Flying Fortress top turret gunner, shot down over Germany in World War II, have been recovered.
 
VA is processing more appeals, decisions thanks to new system-
The results are in: The Board of Veterans’ Appeals processed 11 percent more decisions and held 38 percent more hearings in fiscal 2019 than 2018 thanks, in part, to a new congressionally-mandated appeals structure, officials reported this month.
 
Iraq veterans are suing pharma companies for allegedly supporting Shia militias-
Almost 200 veterans and families of troops killed in action have signed on to a lawsuit accusing five major pharmaceutical and medical supply companies of doing business with terrorist groups that targeted U.S. service members in the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
Should companies look to future skills instead of just resumes when hiring veterans?-
Many companies still struggle to translate military skills into corporate assignments, but retired Army Lt. Col. J.C. Glick argues that most business leaders would be better off focusing on what veterans can learn rather than what they have already done.