Headlines – November 17, 2019

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News

Trump welcomes Turkey’s Erdogan despite bipartisan concern over Syria attack-
President Donald Trump heaped praise on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a day-long visit to the White House on Nov. 13 despite bipartisan concern that the authoritarian leader is sowing chaos in the Middle East.
 
Esper: American military could alter drills to boost talks with North Korea-
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Nov. 13 that he is open to the possibility of altering American military activities in South Korea if it would help advance a diplomatic deal with North Korea to eliminate its nuclear program.
 
Pentagon watchdog won’t investigate Ukraine aid, citing ongoing impeachment inquiry-
The inspector general’s office for the Department of Defense will not be opening a separate investigation into the department’s decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine because it would overlap with the House’s ongoing impeachment probe examining a similar issue, it said in a letter on Nov. 12.
 
 

Business

Stealthy Lockheed F-35 breaks down too often, Pentagon says-
The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester said the next-generation F-35 jet continues to fall short of full combat readiness targets and, despite some progress on reliability issues, all three versions of the fighter are breaking down “more often than planned.”
 
Pentagon plan to save the F-35’s logistics system hinges on whether Lockheed will relinquish data control-
The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin are at odds over how much data the military can have access to for its own jet, the F-35, and that’s creating renewed friction in the fight to fix longstanding issues with the automated logistics system vital to keeping it flying.
 
Clark Construction lands $570 million contract for Walter Reed renovations-
Clark Construction Group has been awarded a $570 million for a multiyear construction project at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Naval Support Activity in Bethesda, Md.
 
Most Turkish-made F-35 parts already re-sourced among U.S. companies-
Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney have largely re-assigned manufacture of the 850 F-35 fighter parts made by Turkey to themselves and a few other U.S.-based companies, with about 20 percent to be built by overseas partners, company officials said Nov. 13.
 
 

Defense

Navy denies canceling Black Sea op on Trump’s order-
President Donald Trump once called his former national security adviser at home to cancel an upcoming Navy operation after watching a cable news report, a career diplomat recently told members of Congress, but it doesn’t appear to have stopped any planned missions.
 
F-35 program on track to replace Turkey, Pentagon officials say-
Since removing Turkey from the multinational F-35 program over its purchase of a Russian air defense system, the U.S. has found alternate suppliers for all but a dozen components Turkey is producing for the Lockheed-made fighter jet.
 
SOCOM is field testing lightweight body armor originally developed for its ‘Iron Man’ suit-
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator’s body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
 
Post 9/11 wars have cost American taxpayers $6.4 trillion, study finds-
American taxpayers have spent some $6.4 trillion in nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars, which have killed some 800,000 people worldwide, the Cost of Wars Project announced Nov. 13.
 
Report warns U.S. Army to watch out for creeping operational costs with future helos-
The U.S. Army is currently set up to afford fielding two future vertical lift aircraft types simultaneously in roughly a decade, but the service should be careful when estimating the actual cost of keeping the fleets running, according to a Nov. 13 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
 
V-22 Osprey engines still at risk in sand and silt, watchdog report finds-
Dirt and other debris keep taking a toll on Marine Corps and Air Force V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and Pentagon inspectors fear there’s not a good method available to protect the aircraft’s engines and keep out rubble, according to a new watchdog report.
 
 

Veterans

VA, DOD must do more to educate troops and veterans about social media scammers, lawmakers say-
Social media platforms are developing new tools to improve transparency and eliminate fraudulent accounts, but they must do more to protect users, including service members and veterans, from scams, fake news and foreign interference, advocates and lawmakers said Nov. 13.
 
How to use your GI Bill benefits at a foreign university-
Your GI Bill benefits don’t just help you pay for tuition at colleges in the United States – they can be a passport to the world’s universities.
 
Everything you need to know about vets’ and caregivers’ new base access-
New commissary and exchange customers will be granted on-base access in two phases, based on whether they have a Department of Veterans Affairs health insurance card, according to new information released by the Pentagon.
 
Women veterans measure at center of congressional controversy advances-
In a post-Veterans Day legislative blitz, House lawmakers passed nine veterans policy measures on Nov. 12, including a sweeping bill expanding women veterans support services that had been at the heart of a committee controversy last month.