Headlines – May 22, 2020


Trump administration prepares to leave Open Skies Treaty-
The Trump administration has made a final decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, sources confirmed to Defense News on May 21.
Senate confirms Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite-
The U.S. Senate confirmed a new Navy secretary, Kenneth “K.J.” Braithwaite, by voice vote May 21.
Pakistan plane crash: ‘All I could see was fire’-
One of the survivors of Friday’s plane crash in the Pakistani city of Karachi has described his ordeal, saying all he could see “was fire”.
Suspect killed in Texas Navy base shooting identified as Syrian-born U.S. citizen-
The suspect killed at the scene of Thursday’s “terrorism-related” shooting at a U.S. naval air base in Texas has been identified as 20-year-old Adam Aalim Alsahli, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, federal law enforcement officials said on Friday.
U.S. envoy working to resuscitate flagging Afghan peace deal as US warplanes pound ISIS-K-
The first visit to Kabul by Washington’s peace envoy since Afghanistan’s squabbling political leadership reached a power-sharing agreement comes amid increased violence blamed mostly on an Islamic State affiliate that has been targeted in stepped-up U.S. bombing.
U.S. tussles with France, U.N. over counterterrorism efforts in West Africa-
The Trump administration seeks to put an American in charge of the U.N. mission in Mali.


Indian Air Force restructures $17 billion fighter jet program-
The Indian Air Force is overhauling its plan to induct 114 medium-weight multirole fighters, with a senior service official saying the aircraft will be built in India with significant foreign technology transfer and no foreign procurement.
French defense industry plays catch-up as lockdown partially lifts-
As France slowly emerges from an almost complete industry shutdown imposed March 16 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, defense company executives are considering their next steps.


COVID-19 is probably going to put a dent in military manpower-
The Defense Department is bracing for a manning gap this year, the Pentagon’s top personnel official told reporters Thursday, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the services to slow their intake of new troops.
Doctors on the Theodore Roosevelt feared dozens would die in coronavirus outbreak-
Four doctors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt warned in a memo to Navy medical officials in March that dozens of sailors would die of Covid-19 if the entire aircraft carrier weren’t evacuated within 10 days, mirroring the urgency voiced at the same time by its commander.
As aircraft carrier heads back to sea after coronavirus outbreak, no guarantees the virus is gone-
The Navy has sent an aircraft carrier that was crippled in port for two months with a coronavirus outbreak back to sea, as officials acknowledged that new cases of the disease could arise on the ship.
CNO, commandant: Naval forces can meet today’s obligations, but 2021 readiness at risk with pandemic-
Naval operations are proceeding unimpeded by the COVID-19 pandemic, top leaders say, but there could be readiness challenges next year if the virus continues to affect the output at maintenance depots and at the suppliers who make spare parts.
Withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty would ground Offutt reconnaissance jets-
The Trump administration on May 21 gave notice that it will pull out of the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, a move that would permanently ground two Offutt-based photo reconnaissance jets used to enforce the accord.
Marine Corps may replace infantry M27s with the Army’s next generation squad weapon-
The Marine Corps hasn’t yet finished fielding M27 infantry automatic rifles to all its grunt units as their new standard service weapon, but it’s already eying the Army’s Next Generation Squad weapon as its next infantry rifle.
Space Force lays out acquisitions reforms in new report-
In a new proposal, the U.S. Space Force is asking Congress to overhaul the tools it uses to acquire new space systems, allowing the new service to move with more agility and keep pace with near-peer adversaries.
Space Command takes over Operation Olympic Defender-
The recently reestablished U.S. Space Command is officially taking over Operation Olympic Defender — a U.S. Strategic Command effort to cooperate with America’s closest allies in space.
Space Force completes enterprise review of missile warning systems-
The head of the U.S. Space Force said the service recently completed an enterprise review of the military’s missile warning, missile defense architecture and noted he was “extremely pleased” with how it was received by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council.


This year’s annual Memorial Day motorcycle ride will be quieter than past rallies, but not silent-
As he has for the last 22 consecutive years, Francis “Mac” MacDonald is planning to make a noisy motorcycle ride around Washington, D.C., again this Memorial Day weekend, showing off his military patches and hoping to remind passer-bys who the weekend is meant to honor.

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