Headlines — August 17


US forces in Syria decry suicide drone and rocket attacks
Coalition forces at Al-Tanf Garrison on the Iraq-Syria border faced a rocket attack Monday night and shot down a one-way aerial drone earlier that same day, according to Operation Inherent Resolve, which did not name the attackers.

US, South Korea to begin expanded military drills next week
The allies’ summertime drills, named Ulchi Freedom Shield, will take place from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1 in South Korea.

Explosions rock Crimea in suspected Ukrainian attack
Explosions and fires ripped through an ammunition depot in Russian-occupied Crimea on Tuesday in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week, forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

US holds fire on reports of Turkey’s second S-400 shipment
The Biden administration on Aug. 16 stopped short of threatening additional penalties following reports Turkey plans to receive the second batch of the Russian S-400 missile defense system.

In Afghanistan $7.1B in planes, trucks, weapons seized by Taliban since withdrawal: DOD watchdog
Nearly one year after the last US military aircraft departed Kabul, the Pentagon’s top watchdog says approximately $7.1 billion in US-funded planes, trucks and weaponry, all provided to the Afghan military, has been seized by the Taliban.




When will the next-generation missile interceptor be ready?
Missile Defense Agency director, Vice Adm. Jon A. Hill, speaks to Defense News about the state of missile defense in the United States.

Advanced engine industrial base at risk of ‘collapse,’ Air Force says
As the U.S. Department of Defense approaches a decision on whether to upgrade or replace the F-35?s engine, Air Force officials are concerned that opting against a full replacement could lead to the “collapse” of the advanced propulsion industrial base in the U.S.

F-35 lot 15 will include up to 129 fighters, cost $7.6 billion
Lot 15 of the F-35 fighter will include up to 129 aircraft, with 49 F-35As for the Air Force, and cost up to $7.6 billion, according to the details of a contract award announced by the Pentagon on Aug. 12.

Philippines eyes US helicopters after scrapping Russian deal
Philippine officials are considering a U.S. offer to provide heavy-lift helicopters like its widely used Chinooks after Manila scrapped a deal to buy military choppers from Russia due to fears of Western sanctions, the Philippine ambassador to Washington said Aug. 15.



Defense innovation stymied as gridlock in Congress bars emerging tech
With a little over six weeks in the government’s fiscal year, Congress faces the uphill battle of passing a defense appropriations bill and avoiding a continuing resolution.

T-45 Goshawk crashes near Naval Air Station Kingsville; pilot safe
A T-45 Goshawk trainer aircraft crashed Aug. 16 in an empty field as it was approaching Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas.

If Congress blocks F-22 retirements, expect impact to Air Force drone programs: Hunter
“The concern I would have would be on our ability to deliver on a collaborative combat aircraft system to complement [Next Generation Air Dominance],” said Air Force acquisition executive Andrew Hunter. “It would limit our ability to dedicate people and resources to an aggressive effort to field that capability.”




Overseas military retirees’ postal privileges still in limbo
Months after retirees overseas started getting word that their APO/FPO mail privileges would be cut off Aug. 24, they’re still waiting for a definitive answer.

Veteran who testified against friend avoids prison for Jan. 6
Prosecutors did not seek prison time for Jacob Fracker, pointing to his cooperation and trial testimony against Army veteran Thomas Robertson.

Former ITT Tech students including veterans get $3.9B in debt cancellation
Students who used federal loans to attend ITT Technical Institute as far back as 2005 will automatically get that debt canceled after authorities found “widespread and pervasive misrepresentations” at the defunct for-profit college chain, the Biden administration announced Aug. 16.

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