August 25, 2019

SPACECOM Standup Aug. 29

space force

Upon its standup, SPACECOM head Gen. Jay Raymond will inherit 87 units, covering missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support — and pull about 642 personnel from US Strategic Command.

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Medals Awarded to US-Mexico Border Troops

US-Mexico Border

Thousands of US troops who deployed to the US-Mexico border will receive the Armed Forces Service Medal, created by President Bill Clinton.

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Readiness Rate of F-35s Raises Questions

F-35

A Project on Government Oversight’s Center for Defense Information June 2019 reports reveals that 8.7 percent of the 23 F-35s jets in the Edwards Air Force Base test fleet were “fully mission capable.”

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DoD: Contractors Self-Reported Waste Tally Is $200M

Contractors

The Defense Department’s inspector general says that contractors have returned more than $200 million to the US in the decade since it became mandatory to self-report potential fraud, waste, or abuse.

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Misconduct Allegations Stall DoD’s Cloud Contract Award

cloud computing

President Trump’s concern that the DoD $10B cloud-computing contract is biased toward Amazon prompts DefSec Mark Esper to order another review of the acquisition process. The competition is between Amazon and Microsoft.

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Army Mini-Drones Join the Afghanistan Mission

Mini-Drones

82nd Airborne Division used the Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System last week to support a foot patrol in Kandahar province — it marks the entry of mini-drones into counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan.

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Senators Urge Expansion of F-35 Foreign Military Sales

Foreign Military Sales

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey are leading the case that the US-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program should be expanded with additional foreign sales to create a stronger coalition of allies.

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1st Female Pilot Chosen for Marines’ F-35C Program

Lt. Catherine Stark of Erie, PA, was recently the first female Marine selected to train and fly the F-35C.

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Esper Targets Area No Longer Under Treaty

Esper

A day after the US pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, DefSec Mark Esper said he wants to deploy a ground-based missile able to travel into the previously prohibited range, “sooner rather than later.”

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UK to Join US Navy in Strait of Hormuz

Strait of Hormuz

Britain will join a US-led naval security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, raising tensions in the region. Iran’s foreign minister calls the US ratcheting up of sanctions a “failure” for diplomacy.

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