Headlines – January 29, 2020

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U.S. expands troop, fighter jet presence at Saudi base-
The U.S. troop presence here has grown to roughly 2,500 since last summer, when the U.S. announced it had begun deploying forces to what once was a major U.S. military hub. The return of U.S. forces to Prince Sultan Air Base is one of the more dramatic signs of America’s decision to beef up troops in the Middle East in response to threats from Iran.
 
Germany rejigs reconnaissance system plan, drops US drones-
Germany said Tuesday it is abandoning plans to install a new airborne reconnaissance system on U.S.-made drones and will instead install it on manned aircraft.
 
Poland signs $4.6 billion contract for US fighter jets-
Poland signed a $4.6 billion deal with the United States on Friday for the purchase of 32 of its advanced F-35 fighter jets.
 
 

Business

F-35’s list of flaws includes a gun that can’t shoot straight-
Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to the problems that dog Lockheed Martin’s $428 billion F-35 program, including more than 800 software flaws.
 
Northrup Grumman awarded $15.8M for SEWIP support-
Northrup Grumman has been awarded a $15.8 million contract to support the Navy’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program, the Department of Defense announced.
 
 

Defense

U.S. military deaths from aviation mishaps plummeted to a five-year low in 2019-
The number of major aviation mishaps and associated fatalities among U.S. service members across all four main branches fell dramatically in fiscal year 2019, according to data reviewed by Task & Purpose, a sign of progress amid growing worries of a crisis in U.S. military aviation.
 
This Army battalion carried out first Europe-based long-range live-fire exercise since 2004-
Army leaders have been hammering away at improving and reintroducing long-range precision fires in recent years, but until this week, a European-based unit hadn’t carried out a live fire exercise in the space since 2004.
 
Acting SecNav hints at fewer aircraft carriers in next ship-count plan-
The Navy could start lobbying Congress to rethink a law requiring it to have 12 massive aircraft carriers in its arsenal, the service’s acting secretary said.
 
Air Force’s limits-pushing Valkyrie drone takes flight again after mishap-
The Air Force recently conducted test flights of the XQ-58A Valkyrie drone, taking the unmanned aerial vehicle to higher altitudes than previous tests.
 
Marine becomes first military pilot to hit 1,000 flight hours in F-35 fighter-
A U.S. Marine Corps pilot just made history as the first to surpass 1,000 flight hours in the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
 
 

Veterans

How veterans may be overwhelmed by too many programs to help them find jobs-
A flood of new initiatives to help recently separated service members find post-military employment may be overwhelming veterans in their job searches, according to a new report released Jan. 29.
 
Military retirees can be court-martialed after all, appeals court decides-
In the latest turn of a dramatic and winding court saga, a naval appeals court has released a split decision finding that a Navy retiree was properly court-martialed and convicted for a crime committed after he had left active duty.
 
Does VA care improve disabled veterans’ health? More research needed, GAO finds-
The Department of Veterans Affairs keeps “limited” research on how its care helps veterans with service-connected conditions recover, a government watchdog said in a report released this month.

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