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The first A-29 Super Tucano of the Pentagon's Light Air Support program

Defense Systems News

SNC, Embraer Deliver First A-29 to US Air Force

Syrian air strikes mark combat debut for F-22 Raptor

Was that a Lackluster F-22 Debut?

Analysts: Airstrikes Will Fail Unless Ground Troops Combat Islamic State

South Korea To Buy 40 F-35As for $7 billion

Army seeks industry info on Long Range Reconnaissance and Surveillance (LRRS) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Capabilities

Despite Troubles, Senator Levin Calls F-35's Political Support 'Fairly Strong'

Textron Fury Missile Successfully Fired from Shadow tactical UAS

Back to the Beach: US Marines Upgrading, Replacing Amphibs Under New Strategy

F-35 'On Track' for Carrier Tests in November

FAA approves first sub-Arctic commercial UAS operations

Kongsberg plans Joint Strike Missile flight tests in 2015

MiG-31 interception near North America suggests Russia changing offensive air ops

Marine Corps develops new equipment built for the Osprey

   

Inside the Beltway

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 DSJ asked Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow and defense budget guru at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) what he thought the the increased international turmoil -- Ukraine, Israel, Iraq -- meant for U.S. defense spending and the prospects for overturning/postponing the Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration.  Here's what he offered:

"So far, I don’t see much movement on lifting the BCA budget caps, even given the increasingly unstable strategic environment around the world.  I think it’s important to remember how the BCA came into effect in the first place.  It was not intended to constrain U.S. foreign policy or reduce the size of the military—although that has happened.  The defense budget was the hostage taken by both sides in the showdown over the deficit.  Republicans thought Democrats would be unwilling to cut defense spending because they could look weak on defense.  Democrats thought Republicans wouldn’t let defense be cut because that’s the one area of the federal budget they want to see increased.  As one might expect, when both sides take the same hostage it doesn’t work out well for the hostage.

The reason we have the BCA budget caps has nothing to do with the security environment, so it should not be surprising that as the security environment worsens it doesn’t seem to affect the debate of defense spending.  There is also a convenient loophole written into the law–anything Congress appropriates as supplement “war-related” funding does not count against the budget caps.  So if more money is needed for operations in Iraq or elsewhere, Congress can fund that without changing the BCA."

 

Defense Systems Personnel

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Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, left, Adm. Bill Gortney, center, and Gen. John Campbell, right.

 Defense News notes that the Pentagon on recently announced a major change at the top of its training, counterterrorism and homeland security efforts, naming new heads US Special Operations and Northern Command, along with a new leader of the NATO force in Afghanistan:
-- Navy Adm. Bill Gortney, head of Fleet Forces Command, has been nominated to lead US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. He would replace Army Gen. Charles Jacoby. 
-- Army Gen. John Campbell, vice chief of staff of the Army, has been nominated to lead the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. He would replace Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has been nominated to be the next Marine Corps commandant.
-- Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel has been nominated to receive a fourth star and to take over US Special Operations Command. He is the head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He would replace Adm. William McRaven, who is retiring.

   

Defense Systems Conference

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IDGA/IQPC's UAS Commercialization Industry Conference (UASCIC) will bring together a group of early adopters, government officials, industry partners and expert academia to discuss their current trials, future requirements, extensive capabilities, and forthcoming plans to leverage Unmanned Aerial Systems in commercial markets.  To be held 17-19 November 2014 in Washington DC, all of the details are here.