Today's Top 5
    1. Trump gives Pentagon more flexibility on Iraq, Syria troops
(Associated Press) The White House is giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to determine the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, in another move by President Donald Trump to shift greater power to his military leaders.
 
    2. PACOM commander: No dice on calling off Korea military drills
(Navy Times) The head of all U.S. forces in the Pacific told lawmakers continuing exercises between the South Korean and U.S. forces are vital to the alliance amid China’s call to curtail them.
 
    3. Trump to establish new VA accountability office
(Military Times) President Trump will establish a new accountability office for the Veterans Affairs employees and create a new task force to look for waste and fraud in the sprawling bureaucracy during a visit to department headquarters Thursday afternoon.
 
    4. Marine faces felony charge for allegedly posting intimate pictures of woman online
(Marine Corps Times) A Marine with more than 20 years of service has been charged in a civilian court with posting intimate pictures of a woman online, officials said.
 
    5. Pentagon: Turkish airstrikes put US forces at risk
(Military Times) Airstrikes launched by Turkish warplanes on Tuesday that killed U.S. Kurdish allies in Iraq and Syria were described as “unsafe,” according to Air Force Col. John Dorrian, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
 
Overseas Operations
    Let slip the hogs of war — wild pigs thwart ISIS ambush, kill 3 militants
(Military Times) Three Islamic State fighters were mauled to death by a pack of wild boar, reports U.K.'s The Times. Another 5 militants were also injured in the attack.
 
C4ISRNET Conference 2017
    The 16th Annual C4ISRNET Conference is Next Week
(C4ISRNET) Join us May 3, 2017, at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View. During the panel "Informing the Mission: Enterprise Intelligence for Command and Control," hear how the intelligence community and the military are working together to deliver data and intelligence to analysts' and troops' fingertips. Registration is still open.
 
Pentagon
    F-35 logistics system all set for US Air Force and Navy, not yet for Marines
(Defense News) After months of delays, the newest iteration of the F-35’s logistics system is finally ready to be installed on the aircraft, manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday.
 
    Add your voice to the annual Blue Star Families survey
(Military Times) What's important to you and your military family? Make your concerns known by participating in the Blue Star Families annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which is open through May 19.
 
    Do Women Have to Register for the Draft? No. But Misinformation Spreads.
(New York Times) Women do not have to register for the United States draft. And no American has been pressed into involuntary service since the last draft, during the Vietnam War.
 
    Pentagon expands rebuke of Turkey over Iraq, Syria strikes
(Washington Post) The Turkish government gave the United States less than an hour’s notice before conducting strikes on partner forces in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, stepping up its criticism of airstrikes the United States said endangered American personnel.
 
Army
    Army vet and special ops soldier boyfriend charged with shooting her service dog
(Army Times) A recently separated soldier and her active-duty boyfriend have been charged with conspiracy and cruelty to animals after a video of them shooting her service dog was discovered by authorities.
 
    Army secretary nominee addresses LGBT controversy on Facebook
(Army Times) Since President Trump nominated Tennessee State Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, to be the next Army secretary, controversy has swirled concerning his legislative efforts and public remarks regarding the LGBT community.
 
Navy
    Seahawk helicopter crashes in the Pacific, crew recovered safely
(Navy Times) An MH-60R Seahawk helicopter assigned to the destroyer Dewey crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Guam Wednesday. Two pilots and one air crewman were recovered safely.
 
    USS New Mexico submarine returns to Groton after 6-month deployment
(Associated Press) A U.S. Navy submarine has returned to its home port following a six-month deployment.
 
    Somali pirate gets life in prison for attack on US Navy ship
(Associated Press) A Somali pirate has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in attacking a U.S. Navy ship.
 
    Aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan finishes maintenance, could join Carl Vinson at Korean Peninsula
(Navy Times) The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan could potentially join the carrier Carl Vinson at the Korean Peninsula late next month as months of maintenance come to an end, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
 
    ‘Breaking Records to Raise the Bars’: Navy vet and future sailor attempt world record for pull-ups
(Navy Times) The record for most pull-ups in 24 hours is 7,306. From April 28 to 29, a Navy veteran and future Navy Sailor will be attempting to break that record, said Pull-up Bars for Patriots.
 
    Naval training exercises to be conducted at Apra Outer Harbor and Piti in Guam
(Navy Times) The U.S. Navy will be conducting a training exercise this week in Guam, detonating underwater explosives at Apra Outer Harbor and Piti, the Pacific Island Times reports.
 
Marine Corps
    Teenager training to be a Marine dies during exercise session
(Marine Corps Times) A California teenager died Tuesday during a physical training session in preparation for shipping to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in August, officials said.
 
    Marine Corps Asks Other Services for Training Ideas
(DoD Buzz) It’s possible the next big innovation in Marine Corps classroom or tactical training could come from an airman or a soldier.
 
Air Force
    Air Force launches unarmed missile for test in California
(Air Force Times) An unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile has been launched from a U.S. Air Force Base in California on a flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean.
 
    Air Force's 60th Maintenance Squadron at Travis Air Force Base tests futuristic tech
(Air Force Times) The 60 th Maintenance Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California, was chosen to test the new neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet lasers, also known as Nd:YAG lasers, according to the U.S Air Force. Over the next two years, they will be testing the capability of the lasers so they can develop a training plan while also determining the protection needed while using the lasers.
 
    Now the Air Force wants to get hacked, too
(C4ISRNET) The Air Force is now joining the club of defense entities inviting so-called white hats to hack their websites.
 
Defense Industry
    Nexter secures bulk of work in new French military vehicle order
(Defense News) The French procurement office awarded contracts to Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales on April 21 to build a first batch of 319 Griffon troop transport and 20 Jaguar combat vehicles.
 
    No plans for F-35 to fly at Paris Air Show
(Defense News) The F-35 will sit out the Paris Air Show this June, the joint program office confirmed Tuesday.
 
    Massive restructuring at French aerospace research center Onera
(Defense News) Onera will cut 10 departments in a reorganization plan that aims to boost internal links among engineers and sharpen management focus on defense, aeronautics and space programs, the aerospace research center said.
 
    Rolls-Royce, India could still cooperate on jet engine tech, despite bribery allegations
(Defense News) The Indian government could overlook allegations of bribery by Rolls-Royce, according to a source in the Indian Ministry of Defence. The British company would have to be prepared to assist India in its jet engine development program for future indigenous fighters, however.
 
    Japan’s Apaches to get improved vision
(Defense News) Japan’s fleet of AH-64DJP Apache attack helicopters will soon have improved vision, having finalized a deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision (MTADS/PNVS) sensors known as “the eyes” of the aircraft.
 
    Ukraine, Poland to jointly build helicopters
(Defense News) Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv has announced that Ukraine and Poland plan to jointly develop new helicopters for the countries’ armed forces.
 
    Bulgaria opts for Swedish Gripen combat jets
(Reuters) Bulgaria has decided to start talks with Sweden to acquire eight new Gripen combat jets made by Saab, Bulgarian interim Deputy Prime Minister Stefan Yanev said Wednesday, as the Balkan country seeks to replace its aging Soviet-designed MiG-29s.
 
    Saab secures German electronic countermeasures deal
(C4ISRNET) Saab has been awarded a German Air Force contract for electronic countermeasures.
 
    Boeing’s Second T-X Flies Amid Marketing Push
(Aviation Week) The bids are in.
 
    Northrop Grumman to integrate missile countermeasure systems for Air Force, Navy
(UPI) Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has been awarded a $99.1 million modification to a previous contract to install the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures systems on combat aircraft.
 
Veterans
    VA limiting new hiring as it aims to widen private care
(Associated Press) Despite the lifting of a federal hiring freeze, the Department of Veterans Affairs is leaving thousands of positions unfilled, citing the need for a leaner VA as it develops a longer-term plan to allow more veterans to seek medical care in the private sector.
 
Congress & Politics
    Democratic leader cites 'good progress' toward avoiding government shutdown
(Defense News) U.S. President Donald Trump will settle for border security funding instead of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which means a deal to avert a government shutdown is growing ever more likely.
 
    White House briefs Senate amid scary moment with North Korea
(Associated Press) The Trump administration hosted senators for an extraordinary White House briefing Wednesday at a perilous moment with North Korea, marked by the unpredictable nation's nuclear threats and stern talk of military action, if necessary, from the United States.
 
National Security
    After North Korea-focused day, administration policy remains opaque
(Defense News) After weeks of vocal rhetoric on North Korea, the Trump administration on Wednesday seemed to take a step back, emphasizing economic sanctions and diplomacy over direct military action.
 
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
    Reaper drone receives radar warning receiver
(C4ISRNET) A radar-warning receiver has been successfully flight-tested on an MQ-9 Reaper.
 
    Navy invests in AI, human operator linkup
(C4ISRNET) A new collaboration between the U.S. Navy and academia could help bring artificial intelligence to the fore in national defense.
 
International Affairs
    UK defense equipment plan at 'risk of becoming unaffordable'
(Defense News) Britain’s defense equipment plan is at risk of becoming unaffordable, according to a parliamentary Public Accounts Committee investigation into the financial viability of the 10-year procurement program set up for the delivery of weapons and other systems to the military here.
 
    China launches its first locally built aircraft carrier
(Defense News) China has launched its second — but its first locally built — aircraft carrier, just days after being floated off its dry dock, even as the country continues development work on other aspects of its carrier program.
 
    Construction of China's Type 055 destroyers forges ahead
(IHS Jane’s 360) Commercial satellite imagery taken on 11 April shows that significant progress has been made in the construction of the first four Type 055 destroyers for China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
 
    Taiwan to begin production of jet trainer aircraft
(UPI) Taiwan has begun to manufacture next-generation trainer jets as it militarizes an island in the South China Sea in response to Chinese buildup in the Spratly Islands.
 
    Estonia says Russia may put troops in Belarus to challenge NATO
(Reuters) Estonia's defense minister said on Thursday that Russia may use large-scale military exercises to move thousands of troops permanently into Belarus later this year in a warning to NATO.
 
    India Remains Cautious About the 'Quad'
(RealClearDefense) Days after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull returned from a successful visit to India, speculation emerged that New Delhi might reject Canberra's request for participation in Malabar, a multilateral naval exercise comprising India, the US and Japan.
 
    Trump reassures Canada, Mexico he's not pulling out of NAFTA
(Washington Examiner) President Trump informed Mexican President Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon that he will not pull the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) despite reports earlier in the day that he had considered doing so.
 
Commentary & Analysis
    It's not just Europe: The DoD has a lot riding on the French elections, too
(Jim Townsend and Jacqueline Ramos in Defense News) It is not just Europe and the European Union that have something at stake in the outcome of the French elections. One of French President François Hollande’s legacies is the creation of the strongest Franco-American defense and intelligence relationships in living memory. Hollande’s wise and cool-headed minister of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, steadily built this relationship in close partnership with four successive U.S. secretaries of defense, establishing a unique and warm bond with each.
 
    Interview: Bob Sheibley on what budget woes mean for future vertical lift
(Defense News) In the next few years, the U.S. Army is making major muscle movements to launch its Future Vertical Lift program in 2019, including flight demonstrations of two helicopter concepts starting this calendar year. At the same time, the Army is also preparing to replace the engines in an enormous portion of the service’s helicopters and will award a contract to one of two teams competing to design an Improved Turbine Engine at the end of 2018.
 
    AMERICA FIRST? NOT SO FAST! WHAT WE’VE LEARNED FROM 100 DAYS OF TRUMP FOREIGN POLICY
(War On The Rocks) After President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, a “Trump doctrine” has yet to emerge fully, but one important lesson is already clear: making radical changes in American foreign policy is very difficult.
 
    MUCH ADO ABOUT MONTENEGRO
(War On The Rocks) Efforts to expand NATO have never lacked for controversy, and a recent debate in the U.S. Senate was particularly acrimonious with regard to Montenegro’s bid to join the alliance. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to Montenegro’s accession.
 
    Northern Edge training vital to military readiness
(Alaska Dispatch Publishing) A recent Alaska Dispatch News article expressed concerns over the military readiness exercises planned for early May in the Gulf of Alaska.