02 Oct 19. AFCENT command moves from Qatar to US to increase resilience. In a proof-of-concept exercise carried out on 28 September, personnel at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina temporarily took over from the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base, US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) announced three days later.
“Command and control [C2] of the day’s [AFCENT] air operations are happening from the United States at Shaw,” said Colonel Trey Coleman, commander of the 609th Air Operations Center that took over from the CAOC. “Going forward, we plan to make this a regular thing. We will command and control airpower from distributed locations for a portion of every 24 hour Air Tasking Order period.”
AFCENT Deputy Commander Major General Chance Saltzman noted that AFCENT’s ability to provide C2 for US Central Command (CENTCOM) airspace was a critical capability. “Because it is critical, there are actors in the region committed to destroying this capability,” he said.
“We now have the capability and capacity to control our forces from this location [the CAOC] and secure locations back in the United States,” he added. “This resiliency assures that we can continue our mission to provide security and stability through airpower under any and all threat conditions and phases of operations.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. BAE Systems opens expanded facility to produce U.S. Army next-generation howitzers. BAE Systems, multinational defense, security and aerospace company, opened the expanded facility in Elgin, Oklahoma that will make next-generation howitzers for the U.S. Army. Legislators, community members, military officials, and BAE officials came out to celebrate the completion of the project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, KSWO 7News reported on Tuesday,
The expended 52,000 square feet facility will help deliver the newest M109A7 self-propelled howitzers, otherwise known as Paladin Integrated Management, the U.S. Army. BAE Systems is currently producing the M109A7 configuration for the Army in the low-rate initial production phase.
Jeremy Tondreault, Vice President and General Manager, BAE Systems Combat Vehicles, said the expansion happened because of three things, the community, congressional partners and the people.
“But really, the great people of Oklahoma who come to work every single day either at the fort or here and the BAE Systems to produce these kinds of vehicles for the United States Army to make sure that our soldiers have what they need so they can do their mission and come home safely,” Tondreault said.
The expansion allows them to produce more Howitzers for the Army. Guy Montminy, BAE Systems’ sector president, said they were able to shorten production time by adding a paint booth.
“We have also expanded the facility to provide additional heightened capacity,” Montminy said. “So that we can deliver future capabilities such as extended range cannon assembly for the mobile protected firepower.” (Source: News Now/https://defence-blog.com)
30 Sep 19. Eggler Technology has opened its US subsidiary, Eggler Technology (USA), with an office based in Delaware. The new company is a fully owned subsidiary of Eggler Technology Training, located in Canberra, Australia.
“This is a significant milestone for the Australian company. It places Eggler Technology (USA) in an excellent position to serve the growing demand for high-quality, practice-based technical education and training services within the very large US market,” said Mark Eggler, managing director of Eggler.
“In recent years, Eggler has established itself globally as a trusted supplier of highly innovative, technology education and training programs geared to the needs of the US Department of Defence and other industry sectors. We look forward to further developing our relationships with the US Marine Corps and our other US-based clients.”
Eggler Technology Training is a Canberra-based SME specialising in online and class-based professional technical education and training programs. It regularly exports its professional development programs to governments and defence companies around the world.
In May, the company secured a number of professional development training contracts with the US Marine Corps. The company was established in 2016 and “regularly” exports its specialist military technology and systems engineering professional development training program to both governments and defence companies across the globe, and has delivered training services to over 1,000 students. (Source: Defence Connect)
27 Sep 19. GMB welcomes developments on future of Appledore Shipyard. With the right business plan, North Devon shipyard can have a sustainable future, says union. GMB, the union for shipbuilders, have confirmed and welcomed reports that have now been made public by the government that Appledore shipyard, mothballed for six months, is likely to be close to reopening. It follows a Number 10 summit today with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Attorney General and local MP Geoffrey Cox on the future of the yard.
The North Devon yard shut its doors in March, with the union blaming lack of appropriate business plans and inaction by Conservatives for this closure.
Earlier this month, shipyard workers learned the ‘bittersweet’ news that former owners Babcock selected as the preferred bidder to provide the Government with five Type 31 frigates.
The North Devon yard had built almost 200 vessels and was a lynchpin South West economy and British shipbuilding.
GMB has campaigned to save the yard since it was announced last year, handing in a 10,000 strong petition to Parliament , and suggesting several plans to keep the shipyard viable. 
Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer and CSEU National Chair, said:
“This historic shipyard has been mothballed for six months due to a lack of the right business plans and inaction by the Conservatives, with a proud workforce deprived of their livelihoods.
“We have been closely involved with the South West Business Council’s Appledore Taskforce, and whilst we are concerned the government may be slightly premature by making the announcement today, we are of course pleased with the progress that has been made.
“GMB and sister CSEU trade unions have worked tirelessly with South West Business Council to get this iconic shipyard reopened and this world-class workforce back in secure and stable employment.
“By making the political choice to go public with this news today (which other parties had decided not to do just yet until we had more certainly) it’s now incumbent on government to make sure this does get over the line. We await further developments and will continue to work hard to get the gates back open at the shipyard.”
Jake Mclean, Appledore shipbuilder, said: “On behalf of the workforce, we are happy to hear this news today. Reps from the yard have been working tirelessly for the past 18 months to save and reopen our historic yard. This announcement will be met with excitement by the whole community. Appledore shipbuilders – myself included – can now look forward to the future again.
01 Oct 19. UK selects Clyde naval base for military accommodation pilot study. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has chosen HM Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde in Scotland for the first future accommodation model pilot project to accommodate service personnel.
HMNB Clyde will serve as the first UK test site for a three-year study to provide improved housing for soldiers, sailors and aircrew.
The MoD has selected 3,400 personnel based at the naval base for the Future Accommodation Model (FAM) pilot study.
Under the pilot project, service personnel at HMNB Clyde will receive financial support to rent or buy a home near the base.
Personnel will also have the option to choose to live in the onsite single living or family accommodation.
UK Defence People and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer said: “Today’s launch is the latest step in providing greater choice and more flexibility to our armed forces in how they live and work.
“Expanding accommodation options underlines our commitment to continuing to be an employer that meets the changing needs and expectations of service personnel and their families.”
By next year, the MoD will expand the pilot study to a total of three sites across the UK.
The study will be launched at Aldershot Garrison from January next year, while the third one will be conducted at RAF Wittering base from May next year.
Naval Secretary Assistant Chief of Naval Staff rear admiral Mike Bath said: “As part of the wider armed forces’ programme to modernise for the 21st Century, HM Naval Base Clyde was chosen for this first pilot study due to its strategic importance for Royal Navy operations.
“This includes the relocation of 1,700 submariners from Devonport to the Clyde, as the Scottish site becomes the Royal Navy’s single integrated submarine operating base from 2020.
“We anticipate that more submariners and their families will choose to move permanently to the West of Scotland, to live, work and put down roots, safe in the knowledge that their careers will be focussed on a single site in Scotland, which provides for all of their training, operational and support needs.”
The three pilot studies will form the base for testing the MoD’s military accommodation policy. The studies will also test how the FAM will deliver housing benefits to service personnel. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Oct 19. HMS SPEY, the last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed and built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems, was named today in front of gathered VIPs and employees at an official ceremony in Glasgow. In keeping with naval tradition, guests watched as Lady Johnstone, HMS SPEY’s sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull. HMS SPEY is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow. With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.
David Shepherd, OPV Programme Director at BAE Systems said: “Today’s ceremony is a truly significant milestone for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and builds on our proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow. There has been fantastic momentum on this programme and the naming of HMS SPEY serves as a great reminder of the importance of the capability and skills of our employees who are working together with the Royal Navy and partners to deliver these important ships.”
Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters, and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS SPEY is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities.”
HMS SPEY will aid in a range of operations from counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling, to securing the UK’s borders to help keep Britain safe, making her a valuable addition to the Royal Navy fleet. HMS FORTH and HMS MEDWAY, the first two ships in the class, are now in service with the Royal Navy.
02 Oct 19. Thailand inducts second Krabi-class OPV. The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has commissioned its second Krabi-class missile-capable offshore patrol vessel (OPV). The ship, HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan (552), was inducted in a commissioning ceremony at Sattahip, Chonburi, on 27 September, the RTN has confirmed in a statement posted on its official social media channel. Prachuap Khiri Khan is the second of two Krabi-class vessels that derive its design from the UK Royal Navy’s River class. It underwent its ceremonial launch at the RTN’s Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard in August 2019. First-of-class HTMS Krabi (551) was commissioned by the RTN in August 2013. The Krabi class has an overall length of 90.5m, an overall beam of 13.5m, and a draught of 3.5m. The vessel has a top speed of 25kt and a range of 3,500n miles at 15kt. It can operate in nautical conditions of up to Sea State 5. Prachuap Khiri Khan is armed with an Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid gun in the primary position, two MSI 30mm guns turrets, and two M2 12.7mm machine guns. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. US Navy Commissions Littoral Combat Ship Cincinnati. The US Navy commissioned its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 5, on west pier in Gulfport, Mississippi. The principal speaker was Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio. Former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will serve as the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored naval tradition when Mrs. Pritzker gives the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”
“USS Cincinnati and her crew will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “She stands as proof of what teamwork – from civilian to contractor to military – can accomplish. This fast, agile platform will deliver her motto, ‘Strength in Unity’ worldwide thanks to their efforts.”
The future USS Cincinnati is the fifth U.S. Navy ship to honor Ohio’s third largest city. The first was a stern-wheel casemate gunboat that served during the Civil War and was sunk by Confederate fire on two separate occasions. Raised both times and returned to service, she was decommissioned following the war. The second Cincinnati was a cruiser commissioned in 1894. She served extensively in the Caribbean before, during, and after the Spanish-American War before being decommissioned in 1919. The third ship to bear the name was a light cruiser commissioned in 1924 that served around the world and earned a battle star for World War II service that included convoy escort and blockade duty. She was decommissioned in 1945 after the war ended. The fourth Cincinnati was a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine commissioned in 1978. The boat served for 17 years before being decommissioned in 1995.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls). (Source: US DoD)
02 Oct 19. US Navy Christens Submarine Oregon. The US Navy christened its newest attack submarine, the future USS Oregon (SSN 793), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut.
Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon delivered the ceremony’s principal address. The submarine’s sponsor is Mrs. Dana Richardson. The ceremony will be highlighted by Mrs. Richardson breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow to formally christen the ship, a time-honored Navy tradition.
“The future USS Oregon will play an important role in the defense of our nation and maritime freedom,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “She stands as proof of what teamwork – from civilian to contractor to military – can accomplish. I am confident USS Oregon and her crew will ensure our Navy remains safe and strong to proudly serve our nation’s interest for decades to come.”
Oregon, a Virginia-class submarine designated SSN 793, is the third U.S. Navy ship to honor the state. The first USS Oregon was a brigantine ship purchased in 1841 and used for exploration until 1845. The second Oregon (Battleship No. 3) was commissioned on July 15, 1896. Known for one of the most dramatic voyages ever undertaken by a ship of the U.S. Navy, Oregon sailed over 14,000 miles in 66 days, leaving San Francisco in 1898 and travelling south through the Straits of Magellan until finally arriving at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, where she reported for battle in the Spanish-American War. While the ship demonstrated the capabilities of a heavy battle ship, it also eliminated any opposition to the construction of the Panama Canal, as the country could not afford two months to send warships from one coast to another in times of emergency. Decommissioned in 1906, she was later recommissioned in 1911, and remained in the reserve, until stricken from the Navy list in 1942.
Oregon (SSN 793) is the 20th Virginia-class attack submarine and the second Virginia-class Block IV submarine. The ship began construction fall of 2014 and is expected to deliver in the fall of 2020. Oregon will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.
Block IV Virginia-class submarines include design changes to Reduce Total Ownership Cost (RTOC) and increase operational availability by decreasing the planned number of depot availabilities from four to three.
Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence. (Source: US DoD)
03 Oct 19. Damen sells utility vessel to Jamaica. The Port Authority of Jamaica will receive a Utility Vessel 3911 from Damen Shipyards Group, the shipyard confirmed on 30 September. The platform will be utilised for buoy-laying and maintenance-support operations. Signed on 21 August, the contract calls for delivery during the first or second quarter of 2021. The ship has a length of 39.4 m, displaces 250 tonnes, can reach a speed of 11.3kt, accommodate a crew of 12, and features a bollard-pull capability of 18.1 tonnes.
The transfer will continue to strengthen relations between Jamaica and Damen, which has also supplied Jamaica Defence Force’s Coast Guard with County-class offshore patrol vessels that are based on the shipyard’s Damen Stan 4207 model. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Sep 19. Indian Navy inaugurates first aircraft carrier dry dock. The Indian Navy’s (IN’s) largest dry dock to date was inaugurated on 28 September at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai in a ceremony presided over by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Named ‘Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock’, the 281-m long, 45-m wide, and 17-m deep facility is capable of accommodating INS Vikramaditya (ex- Admiral Gorshkov ), the service’s sole 44,750-tonne refurbished Kiev-class carrier, as well as ships of up to 90,000 tonnes, said the IN in a statement, adding that the construction of the dock required “innovative and extreme engineering methods”.
“While most dry docks are constructed by excavating into the land and then providing access to the sea, the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock is built into the sea: a technique requiring 38 caissons [watertight steel sections] to drain out sea water before construction could commence,” said the IN.
The dry dock has more than one kilometre of berthing space with sectioning to allow multiple warships to be docked, said the service, adding that this will result in faster turnaround time for maintenance and refit routines of IN warships.
The dry dock is also expected to be used to maintain and repair Vikrant, the second aircraft carrier on order for the IN, which is currently being built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Oct 19. Turkish navy receives fourth and last Milgem corvette. Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) received its fourth and last Ada-class (Milgem) anti-submarine warfare corvette, TCG Kinaliada (F 514), on 29 September at a commissioning ceremony held at Istanbul Naval Shipyard.
“Recent developments around the world and the Mediterranean Sea have shown us that we have to be much stronger in the seas, just as we are in other areas,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the ceremony.
He said Kinaliada would differ from the previous three corvettes as it will be equipped with Turkey’s Roketsan-built Atmaca (Hawk) anti-ship cruise missile, which is intended to replace the navy’s AGM-84 anti-ship missiles. The Roketsan- and Havelsan-built Advent ship management system will also be installed for the first time in Kinaliada, he added.
Other state-owned local companies have also performed major work on Kinaliada: STM Defence has provided design, construction, and engineering activities, while Aselsan has provided gun and sensor systems for the ship.
Erdogan claimed that Turkey has become one of 10 countries able to develop, build, and maintain a warship using exclusively domestic means.
“We will soon build our own warplanes, just as we have built our own UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles [and] ATAK [attack] helicopters. If they woke the sleeping giant, they will suffer the consequences,” he said, referring to Turkey being expelled from the US-led F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme. The Milgem project reached a local industrial content level of 70%, with 50 Turkish companies taking part as subcontractors in the project, Erdogan noted. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
27 Sep 19. Kongsberg Gruppen introduces Vanguard. RSS, Kongsberg Gruppen has introduced a new naval ship design called Vanguard, designed to meet modern threats across a range of roles. The vessel has been developed to fulfil the needs of coastal nations for both military and civilian operations, such as search and rescue, harbour and assets protection, subsea survey, anti-access/area-denial, anti-submarine warfare and mine clearance, and detection and disposal.
Vanguard is designed with a multi-role hangar for air, surface and sub-surface assets. Easily interchangeable mission modules and extensive use of unmanned vehicles enables quick change of operational roles. The Vanguard is also based on an open architecture to integrate and take advantage of new technology as it becomes available.
The vessel is based on civilian and commercial ship design, combined with flexible military mission packs.
Eirik Lie, president, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, said: ‘The Vanguard by Kongsberg represents a game changer in naval operations. Combining our experience from the maritime, offshore and naval sectors, this innovative concept provides an adaptable and affordable solution to meet the operational needs of coastal nations.’ (Source: Shephard)
26 Sep 19. Peru looks set to take Brazilian submarines in return for LSD. The future of part of Brazil’s fleet of German-designed U209-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) has started to become clearer, as it transpires that negotiations to barter two of the boats for a Peruvian-built amphibious assault ship are under way, according to sources in Rio de Janeiro and Lima. Peru, which has a requirement for a couple of modern submarines to replace two older Islay (U209-1100)-class SSKs, is offering to barter a landing ship dock (LSD) identical to the 122 m long, 11,000-ton (full) BAP Pisco , to be built by the SIMA naval shipyard at Callao at a cost of around USD170m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Sep 19. RAAF receives latest P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has received another P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft during a ceremony in Seattle, US.
The arrival of the latest P-8A Poseidon marks another milestone in the programme to improve Australia’s maritime security.
Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The P-8A Poseidon aircraft is a cutting-edge aircraft that will conduct tasks, including anti-submarine warfare, maritime and overland intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and support to search and rescue missions.
“The arrival of the latest aircraft provides the government with enhanced flexibility to support multiple operations and will play an important role in maintaining border security.”
The P-8A Poseidon aircraft will complete its verification and validation flying in the US before joining the rest of the fleet at RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia.
The P-8A aircraft and MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are intended to replace the AP-3C Orion fleet.
The RAAF is acquiring 12 P-8A maritime patrol aircraft. Ten of these aircraft are already operating at the Edinburgh base while the remaining two are anticipated to arrive by January.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price stated that the programme is creating local jobs providing opportunities for domestic small businesses.
Price said: “The Morrison Government is committed to creating jobs in our defence industry, and this project is directly creating 120 jobs in South Australia.
“Already, more than 4,000 Aussies have contributed to the broader infrastructure build at RAAF Base Edinburgh where the aircraft will be located. Australian small businesses will have opportunities to get involved in sustaining these aircraft.”
The first P-8A arrived in Canberra in November 2016. The Boeing-built aircraft has an internal fuel capacity of almost 34t and supports air-to-air refuelling with the KC-30A MRTT. Based on Boeing B737, the aircraft can also support anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
30 Sep 19. RAF receives final advanced Typhoon fighter aircraft. BAE Systems has delivered the final advanced Typhoon combat aircraft to the RAF. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has received the final advanced Typhoon combat aircraft from BAE Systems during a ceremony at the company’s final assembly facility at Warton, Lancashire. The delivery marks a key programme milestone as BAE Systems completes the handover of 160 Typhoon aircraft ordered by the RAF.
BAE Systems noted that the continuing investment in Typhoon will ensure the aircraft will continue to serve as the ‘backbone of the UK’s combat air power’.
BAE Systems Air Typhoon capability director Andy Flynn said: “This event marks another major milestone in our partnership with the UK, which will continue to see us work together to invest in evolving Typhoon to become the complete battlefield controller.
“Typhoon was designed to continuously evolve and its untapped potential continues to be realised with new investments in radar, communications, data management, weapons and connectivity further strengthening its role in the frontline of securing the skies over the UK.”
The delivery milestone comes at a time when the company is preparing to start the assembly of Typhoon aircraft for the Qatari Emiri Air Force under a contract to provide 24 Typhoons and nine Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.
The company expects to deliver the first jet in 2022.
Flynn added: “With production for Qatar ramping up and Typhoon attracting interest in a number of international campaigns, it is entering the next stage of a technological journey, which future-proofs it for decades to come.
“Over this time, it will be the platform which will develop and deploy technologies which will become central on a future combat air system, making it the ideal interoperable partner to fly alongside a future combat air system.”
The RAF uses the Typhoon for Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duties and for overseas operations. The UK intends to keep the aircraft in service until 2040. The country is working on building a future combat aircraft to improve its air combat capabilities. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
26 Sep 19. Italy deploys F-35 on first NATO mission. The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) has deployed six Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft to Keflavik Airbase to conduct NATO air policing and training duties over Iceland.
The deployment, which includes an AMI Boeing KC-767 tanker, marks the first time a nation has committed the F-35 to an operational NATO mission. The aircraft and their support personnel arrived in Iceland on 26 September and will remain until the end of October, NATO Allied Air Command said.
The AMI will spend the first week conducting familiarisation flights over Iceland under the control of the Iceland Coast Guard Control and Reporting Centre Loki at Keflavik. The detachment will then be certified by NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany, to fly air policing missions in Iceland’s airspace.
For the ‘Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to Meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs’ mission, as NATO officials call the deployment, alliance members undertake three- to four-week rotations within one of three four-month windows throughout the year. Typically countries contribute four aircraft per deployment, although this number is flexible.
Italy’s latest deployment is the country’s fifth time in Iceland and comes just months after it sent a detachment of Eurofighter Typhoons in March. The mission has also previously been flown by Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. A planned deployment by the United Kingdom in 2008 was cancelled following its diplomatic row with Iceland over the Nordic nation’s banking crisis, although in 2018 it was announced that the Royal Air Force (RAF) would deploy later this year. Further to the NATO members, both Finland and Sweden have deployed fighter aircraft to Iceland for training purposes. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
PLANT CLOSURES, JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
03 Oct 19. Philippine Navy decommissions Second World War-era corvette. The Philippine Navy has decommissioned another PCE 827-class corvette, BRP Cebu (28). The vessel, which was launched by Albina Machine and Engine Works in Portland, United States, in 1944, was retired in a decommissioning ceremony on 1 October after 71 years of service in the Philippines. Cebu ‘s decommission has come months after the retirement of another PCE 827-class ship, Sultan Kudarat, which was taken out of service in April 2019. Prior to it being commissioned by the Philippine Navy in 1948, Cebu was operated by the US Navy (USN) as a patrol and escort vessel known as USS PCE-881. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
30 Sep 19. Top HASC Republican won’t seek re-election in 2020. Mac Thornberry, the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican and a leading voice for consolidations and closures in the Defense Department’s “fourth estate” announced on Sept. 30 that he won’t seek reelection in 2020.
“It has been a great honor to serve the people of the 13th District of Texas as their congressman for the last 25 years. They have given me opportunities to serve the nation in ways I could have never imagined, including as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee,” Thornberry said in a statement. “In January 2021, I will no longer have the honor of representing the people of the 13th District of Texas, but I will never be indifferent to the responsibility each of us has to serve and protect our beloved nation.”
In the national political picture, Thornberry joins a crowd of Texas Republican lawmakers racing for the exits ahead of the 2020 elections, including federal IT expert Rep. Hurd. In all, six GOP lawmakers from the Lone Star State have opted not to seek reelection.
Thornberry, who served as HASC chairman from 2015 to 2019, has been a huge proponent of defense acquisition reforms, operational cuts — particularly in DOD’s agencies known as the Fourth Estate — and more defense spending for emerging tech and undoing the effects of several years’ worth of continuing resolutions.
The congressman, who proposed bills in May that would impose consequences for DOD’s failed reform efforts, recently asked for a report on DOD’s progress cutting the Fourth Estate’s costs by 25%. “As I have said before, I am not confident that the Pentagon’s initial reform plan is sufficient to find 25% cost savings across these operations,” he said in a Sept. 24 statement. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act mandates the DOD chief management officer submit cost savings for fiscal 2020 by Jan. 1, 2020. Justification that such cuts would “create inefficiencies” is due Oct. 1, according to the legislation.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said a cost-cutting Fourth Estate review was underway. And while Thornberry plans to stick around to see at least some of these efforts through, it remains to be seen who will pick up the reins on DOD acquisition and business reforms.
“Thanks to Mac’s leadership, during the 115th Congress we focused on acquisition reform and accountability at the Pentagon,” HASC Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in a statement. “Together we have passed smart reforms that give our men and women in uniform the resources they need to make our country safer.” (Source: Defense Systems)
26 Sep 19. New US Defense School to Educate, Certify Security Cooperation Professionals. The newly stood-up Defense Security Cooperation University, aimed squarely at creating, training and certifying a professional community from the Defense Department’s security cooperation workforce, will spend the next 24 months ensuring that some 20,000 personnel get the most basic level certification in their career field.
Defense officials — including John C. Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, and Army Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency — attended a ribbon cutting ceremony near the Pentagon today to officially open the new DSCU’s doors.
The first president of the school, Cara Abercrombie, said the biggest task ahead is ensuring the 20,000 or so DOD personnel who are involved in security cooperation-related work get certified in that work.
”That’s an extremely ambitious goal,” Abercrombie said. ”A lot of it will hinge on making sure all the curriculum is fully developed. But our goal is making sure we get them certified at the basic level by 2022.”
Security cooperation is the effort to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by building the capacity of foreign security forces to respond to shared challenges. That effort involves, among other things, building and maintaining military-to-military relationships, combined training efforts, and foreign military sales.
The idea behind DSCU, she said, is to change the way the department is approaching security cooperation by making sure everyone involved has a basic understanding at least of the big-picture objective how security cooperation links to national security strategy. “Even people in the workforce for 20 years are not necessarily aware of new policy initiatives,” Abercrombie noted.
One of America’s core competencies has been our ability to build and maintain, sustain growing alliance relationships, to have our partners operate with us seamlessly in coalitions, to see them grow in their capabilities year after year. Security cooperation plays a very central role in building those alliance relationships, in building those coalitions and those capabilities.”
John C. Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy
“DSCU will teach the security cooperation workforce, with a focus on meeting the requirements of the certification program,” Abercrombie said. “When Congress mandated that program in the 2017 [National Defense Authorization Act], it also directed DSCA to establish and maintain a school to train, educate and certify the security cooperation workforce. DSCU is that school.”
Abercrombie said eventually, all personnel who spend more than half of their time doing security cooperation work will be initially certified at a basic level. Work done before DSCU stood up identified nine competencies security cooperation personnel must have, one of which is understanding defense strategy, she said. ”We have a basic course online that covers the waterfront on those competencies, including how security cooperation aligns under the National Defense Strategy and the National Security Strategy,” she added.
Basic-level certification will happen with online coursework, Abercrombie said, allowing the new university to get over its initial hurdle of certifying so many people. Additional levels of certification that include intermediate, advanced and expert will also involve both online and in-class work.
Hooper said security cooperation is ‘uniquely American’ in nature, adding that ”[it’s] this premise that by strengthening the militaries of our allies and partners, you actually strengthen your own security.”
The general said that the school will serve in part as a ”center of excellence” for the security cooperation community, and will also serve to make the security cooperation career field a profession, which he said involves:
- Having accountability to society for maintaining standards of ethics and integrity;
- Possessing a common body of knowledge based on research and experience;
- Participating in and encouraging continuous intellectual and practical development; and
- Being held accountable for acquiring and maintaining knowledge and skills through rigorous means.
“The security cooperation profession has not been truly complete until today,” he said. “Any profession requires an institute of higher education dedicated to supporting the tenants I told you about.”
Rood said professionalization of the security cooperation workforce is right on time, as the need for that work has become even more important, considering today’s global security environment.
“When we look at our National Defense Strategy — what we are trying to accomplish and what we are up against — one of America’s core competencies has been our ability to build and maintain, sustain growing alliance relationships, to have our partners operate with us seamlessly in coalitions, to see them grow in their capabilities year after year.
“It’s one of the areas where we are able to exercise tremendous influence,” he continued, “and it gives us a comparative advantage … that is just tremendous. Security cooperation plays a very central role in building those alliance relationships, in building those coalitions and those capabilities.”
The DSCU currently has two campuses: one in Arlington, Virginia, near the Pentagon, and a ‘DSCU-West,’ created from the former Defense Institute for Security Cooperation Studies at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. It’s expected that more than 13,000 students will attend the school in fiscal year 2020, with nearly 10,000 of those attending online. (Source: US DoD)
30 Sep 19. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley was sworn in today as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a rain-soaked ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia. President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and other officials watched as Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford swore in his successor. (Source: US DoD)
28 Sep 19. The Navy has tapped Aaron Weis as its new chief information officer, the service announced Sept. 27. Weis most recently served as a senior adviser to the Defense Department’s chief information officer. The Navy’s choice to select him as CIO was first reported Sept. 26 by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Navy, Weis will “serve as the Principal Staff Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy on information technology management, digital, data and cyber strategy.” Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters in August that the Navy was creating major administrative and policy reforms in cybersecurity, to include changes to the CIO structure. (Source: Fifth Domain)
30 Sep 19. MG Ronald P. Clark, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to chief of staff, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii.
30 Sep 19. MG James B. Jarrard, director of operations, J-3, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
02 Oct 19. Airbus Helicopters and EASA combine efforts to bring the next generation of VTOL platforms to life. Areas of focus include eVTOLs and high-speed flight. Airbus Helicopters and EASA have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation aiming to harness their respective experience and know-how to bring the next generation of VTOL platforms to life, along with the necessary regulatory framework to support them.
“I am very pleased to be joining efforts with EASA to build a common framework for the next generation of vertical lift solutions over the next decades,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Innovation that benefits customers is at the heart of Airbus Helicopters’ strategy. We are committed to working hand in hand with the authorities on our innovation projects with the same professional approach that drives the design and certification of our current product range.”
The areas of cooperation covered by this agreement include high-speed flight with the Racer demonstrator, the certification of new piloting assistance systems such as Airbus Helicopters’ EAGLE technology, the thermal/electrical hybridization of rotorcraft, including electric vertical take-off and landing systems (eVTOLs), and condition-based maintenance.
“Partnerships with industry are part of our strategy to ensure that innovation in the aviation market happens safely,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA. “The knowledge we gain from cutting edge technology plays a significant role in helping us to prepare our certification methodologies for these new advancements. Cooperating on innovation with Airbus Helicopters represents an important contribution to this strategy.”
24 Sep 19. Thales Alenia Space, UK’s New CEO, he Comes from Inmarsat. There’s a new Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space in the UK with his start date began from Monday, September 23. Andrew Stanniland has been officially named CEO of Thales Alenia Space, UK, having most recently come from Inmarsat where he served as VP of Market Development and Strategy since 2013. While at Inmarsat, Andres led the sales and market development team in delivering the Global Government business unit’s strategy, resulting in growth and diversification of customer revenues and geographical reach. (Source: Satnews)
02 Oct 19. Lockheed Martin has appointed Timothy Cahill, senior vice president of Lockheed Martin International and a corporate officer. Cahill succeeds Richard Edwards, who will become strategic advisor to the CEO. Both appointments will be effective October 14. Since 2016, Cahill has served as vice president, Integrated Air and Missile Defense Systems at MFC, which includes the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System and the Patriot PAC-3 Missile products. He joined Lockheed Martin in 1995 as an engineer in Space Systems’ Special Programs. He has held several critical roles, including vice president and general manager of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems and vice president of Engineering and Technology at Lockheed Martin Space. In his new position, Rick Edwards will focus on several key enterprise-wide initiatives. Edwards has led Lockheed Martin International since January 2018. In this role, Edwards helped grow Lockheed Martin’s international business by strengthening customer relationships and industry partnerships. Edwards previously served as executive vice president of Missiles and Fire Control (MFC).
REST OF THE WORLD APPOINTMENTS
02 Oct 19. RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. announces it has appointed Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ariel Karo to EVP, Marketing and Business Development. Mr. Karo will succeed Mr. Giora Katz, who is retiring from RAFAEL after a 17-year career in the company, during which he also served as Head of the Land and Naval division. During his term as EVP Marketing and Business Development, Mr. Katz led various processes to promote and implement RAFAEL’s corporate marketing strategy. Mr. Karo (54 years old), joined RAFAEL five years ago, and has since then served as Head of the company’s Cyber and ISTAR Directorate. Prior to that, he served in the IDF for 30 years and filled various senior positions, including Head of Field Intelligence and Chief Intelligence Officer in his last position. President and CEO of RAFAEL, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Yoav Har-Even, congratulated Karo on his appointment and stated that his experience and vast knowledge and understanding of the defense industry and establishment in Israel and around the world will play a major role in leading RAFAEL’s marketing and business development activities to meet future challenges. Har-Even thanked Mr. Katz for his contribution and achievements at RAFAEL, particularly in his last role.