April 6, 2020

Women to Register for the Draft, Says Panel

draft women

For the first time in US history, a Selective Service panel will recommend requiring women between 18 and 25 register for future military drafts as young men are required to do.

DoD Adjusts Cash Flow to Contractors in Response to Coronavirus

military raise

DoD will raise progress payments to improve cash flow to contractors as the coronavirus continues to impact the economy. Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics have already cautioned investors; Boeing has closed its Puget Sound plants; and CAE, GE, and Airbus, government contractors with large commercial exposure, are taking various aggressive actions to rein in costs and staunch losses.

Soldiers Seek Fighter-Pilot Goggles

fighter-pilot goggles

The Army’s FY21 budget calls for fighter pilot-like situational awareness, augmented reality, do-it-all goggles for nearly half of all close combat forces, from infantry to scouts and engineers — that’s more than 40,000 by next year.

Reaper Drone Gave Soleimani Little Chance

Reaper

General Atomics’ Reaper drone had Soleimani in its sights upon his commercial plane’s arrival in Baghdad. The $64 million drone is armed with laser-guided Hellfire air-to-surface missiles used in attacks on high-value terrorists.

More Deployments as Tensions Remain High in Middle East

Deployments

Thousands more troops are preparing to be deployed to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran, since the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a recent airstrike near Baghdad.

DoD Gets $738B of $1.3T Budget Bill

$1.3T Budget

$1.3T budget deal avoids a government shutdown giving $738B to defense and $632B for non-defense spending into the coming year.

New Ford Carrier Declared Navy’s Top Priority

Ford carrier

Facing bipartisan criticism of the $13B, most modern and most expensive carrier in history, Acting NavSec Thomas Modly declared deployment of the troubled Ford carrier to be the Navy’s top priority.

DoD Fails 2nd Audit – No Surprise

DoD Fails Audit

DoD’s second-ever financial audit shows some progress, but uncovers more new problems than fixes. DoD has 3 million employees, 4,500 defense sites in 160 countries, a $292 billion inventory, more than $2.9 trillion in total assets, and $2.8 trillion in liabilities.

Boeing Says 737 Ban to Lift By End of Year

737 MAX

Boeing tells shareholders the ban on its 737 Max planes will be lifted before the end of the year. Grounded since March after two fatal crashes, 737 Max production costs rose in the quarter by almost $1 billion. The company is sticking to its plan to increase production of the planes to 57 a month by the end of 2020, up from 42 currently.

Troops May Guard Syrian Oil Fields

syrian oil fields

DefSec Mark Esper says some US troops may stay to guard Syrian oil fields, to make sure they don’t fall into the hands of a resurgent Islamic State.