Headlines – February 12, 2020

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Philippines notifies U.S. of intent to end major security pact-
The Philippines notified the United States on Feb. 11 it would end a major security pact allowing American forces to train in the country, in the most serious threat under President Rodrigo Duterte to their 69-year treaty alliance.
 
U.S., Taliban close to ‘reduction in violence’ agreement-
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said Feb. 11 he is cautiously optimistic that there could be a U.S. agreement with the Taliban over the next days or weeks, but a withdrawal of American forces is not “imminent.”
 
Trump suggests Army should punish officer who testified in impeachment inquiry-
President Donald Trump on Feb. 11 suggested that Army officials should look into punishment for the officer who testified against him as part of the House impeachment inquiry last fall.
 
 

Business

Army seeks new JLTV competition in 2022-
As the Army moves billions into new high-tech weapons, truck-maker Oshkosh is feeling the pinch. The 2021 budget request not only decreases spending on three Oshkosh vehicles, the 10-wheel FHTV, the 6-wheel FMTV, and 4×4 JLTV: It also calls for a new competition the following fiscal year for JLTV, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle originally meant to replace the Humvee.
 
Space software startup to pursue SDA contract-
Three of the founders of bankrupt Vector Launch have created a new startup, NewSpace Networks, to develop space software products for applications such as data analysis, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
 
Sorry, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Textron: The US Air Force isn’t buying light attack planes-
At long last, the U.S. Air Force has definitively stated it will not procure light attack planes, putting to bed a three-year-long debate about whether to buy upward of 300 low-cost aircraft for the counterterrorism fight.
 
Here’s how many bombs U.S. plans to buy in the next year-
The Pentagon’s fiscal 2021 budget request seeks to buy fewer munitions needed for the fights in Afghanistan and Iraq as it attempts to pivot towards investments in the kind of weapons that will be used in a high-end fight against China or Russia.
 
 

Defense

Is U.S. military doing enough to look for signs of white nationalism in the ranks?-
Lawmakers are questioning whether military officials are taking the issue of white nationalism and extremism in the ranks as a serious threat, noting that the Pentagon has spent little time tracking the issue despite indications it is getting worse.
 
As China expands navy, U.S. begins stockpiling ship-killing missiles-
The stunning growth of the Chinese fleet over the past decade has prompted the U.S. Navy to plan a full-on buying spree of ship-killing missiles over the next five years, according to projections in the sea service’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget documents.
 
Where could the U.S. put its post-INF missiles?-
The Trump administration said leaving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would allow the development and deployment of strategically and tactically new missiles in the Pacific region. But it’s not at all clear that U.S. officials will be able to persuade its allies to accept these missiles in useful locations.
 
Plans to extend soldiers’ initial training curtailed in Army budget request-
The plan was for engineers, cavalry scouts and armor crewmen to join infantry soldiers next year in starting extended initial training programs that would last 22 weeks, giving higher quality new troops to units.
 
U.S. Army wants to buy 40,000 ‘mixed reality’ goggles-
The Army wants to buy enough of a new augmented reality, do-it-all goggles to outfit nearly half of all close combat forces, from infantry to scouts and engineers, starting next year.
 
Army sacrifices JLTV and guided rockets to pay for Army modernization in FY21-
The Army will reduce its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) buy in the fiscal 2021 budget and cancel procurement of specific precision-guided rockets in order to fund modernization priorities, according to Maj. Gen. Paul Chamberlain, the Army’s budget director.
 
100 U.S. soldiers to transfer into Space Force in 2021-
The U.S. Army plans to transfer 100 soldiers into the U.S. Space Force beginning in 2021, according to service officials and budget documents.
 
Here’s timeline for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation frigate-
The Navy is expected to buy its first next-generation frigate in the coming months, so here’s what the next few years are going to look like in FFG(X)-land, according to budget documents released Feb. 10.
 
Air Force cuts aircraft to fund space, multi-domain-
The Air Force’s increased investment in space and future force capabilities is coming at the cost of retiring a number of legacy aircraft, a move likely to elicit sharp congressional opposition.
 
 

Veterans

VA delays launch of new electronic health records system-
Rollout of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ new electronic health records system will be delayed for an undisclosed period while VA ensures it will work within the department’s current IT framework and trains employees to use it.
 
VA ramps up mental health funding after rash of parking lot suicides-
The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing spending $682 million more next fiscal year on mental health issues, and ramping up funding for suicide prevention efforts by one-third, as it faces Congressional scrutiny over a series of tragic incidents on VA premises over the past year.
 
 
 

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