February 4, 2023

GAO: Aircraft Readiness Goals Not Being Met

Readiness

A Government Accountability Office report finds that more than two dozen military aircraft fleets — the bulk of the US’s military airpower — haven’t met their annual combat-readiness goals in at least a decade.

Aircraft ‘Safety Pause’ Ordered by Navy

Three US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft crashes in the past week and a half — two of which were fatal — have led the Navy’s aviation community to undergo a “safety pause.” During the pause Monday, all non-deployed units reviewed risk-management practices and conducted training “on threat and error-management processes.”

Weather, Climate Disasters Taking Toll on Guard

Guard

Climate change and weather-related disasters are running the National Guard ragged, some experts believe. An increase in man hours spent fighting wildfires is just one example of how these record-breaking incidents are impacting the Guard, which often responds to wildfires and hurricanes all over the country.

Officials Split Over New Cyber Legislation

Cyber

Fears of cyberattacks by Russia prompted a Senate bill to create new cybersecurity requirements and standards for agencies and contractors. The CISA director praised the reporting mandate in the legislation as a critical tool for enhancing US cyber defenses. Some in the Biden administration say the bill is flawed and will make the country less safe.

Newest Littoral Combat Ship Reports to Fleet

Littoral Combat Ship

The Billings, a Freedom-class littoral combat ship, was commissioned in a Saturday ceremony in Key West, FL. The warship is named after Montana’s largest city.

Japan’s 1st F-35 Crashes in Pacific

F-35 crashes

The jet was less than a year old with a total of 280 hours in the air; it had been aloft 28 minutes before contact was lost. This is the second F-35 to crash since the jet’s first flight in 2006 and could reignite concern about the F-35 having only one engine.

McConnell Says, “Russians Are Not Our Friends”

McConnell

Senate Majority Leader notes alleged meddling in US and European elections and the 2014 annexation of Crimea, saying, “The Russians are not our friends … [they] are acting like the old Soviet Union used to act,”

DoD Report Critical of F-35’s Progress

Federal Defense Dollars

Lockheed Martin defends F-35’s progress in response to a critical Pentagon report saying efforts to improve the joint strike fighter’s reliability are “stagnant.”

DoD Gets Staffing Boost as Senate Confirms

DoD Fails Audit

Republicans and Democrats broke their stalemate this week and confirmed eight Pentagon appointees including the Navy Secretary and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.

Military, Vets & Contractors Face Trump’s Budget

trump budget

President Donald Trump’s first budget cuts funding for veteran homelessness, still falls about 100 aircraft short, and continues to pinpoint specific programs to reduce defense contractor costs.