January 16, 2019

VA Leaves Millions Unspent for Suicide Outreach

Navy Suicides

Veterans Administration has spent only $57,000 out of $6.2 million set aside for suicide prevention and suicide outreach in the media in fiscal 2018, less than 1 percent, while a respected, retired Marine colonel becomes the fifth suicide since 2013 at the same Florida VA complex.

Retired Marine Col. Jim Turner became the fifth veteran at Bay Pines Department of Veterans Affairs in Florida to take his life, reports Military.com. He put on his dress uniform and medals and drove to the complex. He got out of his truck, sat down on top of his military records and took his own life with a rifle. He left a suicide note blasting the VA for failing to help him. He was remembered as a professional and a leader.

VA to Review Benefit Denials to Sexual Assault Victims

VA

An IG report found VA officials improperly denied benefits to thousands of military sexual assault victims. The department will review all denied military sexual trauma claims from October 2016 forward.

Turkey’s F-35 Purchase Blocked by NDAA

F-35

The $716B defense authorization bill was signed earlier in the year than any NDAA for the past 40 years and also included a stall in the F-35 sale to Turkey and provided President Trump an opportunity to tout his Space Force.

Congress Says No F-35s to Turkey; Mattis Objects

F-35 to Turkey

The Senate and House move to prevent the sale of F-35s to Turkey, a move DefSec Mattis opposes.

Senate Blocks F-35 Sale to Turkey

F-35

US Senate blocks Lockheed’s $10 billion sale of F-35s to Turkey, fearing the fighter jet’s secrets are at risk since the NATO ally’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.

DoD Plans Multi-Year F-35 Buys in FY21

F-35 jets

DoD reveals plans multi-year F-35 buys for cost-savings and is looking to contract to buy nearly 2,000 F-35s starting in fiscal 2021, according to a Selected Acquisition Report released in late March.

Putin Touts Invincible Nuclear Weapons as Russian Elections Near

Putin

Putin touts infinite-range missiles that are cannot be intercepted with a video showing hits on the US homeland. Western experts suggest he’s exaggerating Russia’s capabilities, but also warn of immediate needs in the US defenses and nuclear platforms.

BRAC Is Out of DoD’s FY19 Budget Request

BRAC

The Pentagon’s FY19 budget request abandons its years-long effort to win congressional approval for a BRAC touted to save $2 billion annually.

DoD Promises Bureaucratic Streamlining in 2018

DoD

DoD to add three new offices and a new IT program executive to address needed bureaucratic streamline of operations throughout the Pentagon including in acquisitions and IT.

Russian Jet Buzzes Navy Poseidon

poseidon

A Navy P-8A Poseidon flying over the Black Sea was rocked when a Russian jet flew just 50 feet in front of the American aircraft, leaving the Poseidon in the fighter’s afterburners.