1. The 300th Marine is bestowed Medal of Honor, for ‘unmatched bravery' in Hue City (Marine Corps Times) President Donald Trump bestowed the nation’s highest award for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, to Marine Ret. Sgt. Maj. John Canley at a White House ceremony on Wednesday. 2. Troops see rising political tension in the ranks, poll shows (Military Times) More than three-fourths of troops believe the military has become more politically polarized in recent years, according to the results of a new Military Times poll of active-duty service members. 3. Why doesn’t Trump visit troops fighting overseas? (Military Times) The Senate’s top Democratic defense lawmaker believes President Donald Trump needs to visit troops deployed to overseas combat zones soon, out of respect for their sacrifices. 4. Pentagon looks to thwart Russian tech attacks in Syria (Al-Monitor) The Pentagon’s in-house tech incubator is trying to stop Russia from scrambling US battlefield signals in Syria, federal contract documents show. 5. ‘Lord of the Rings’ director brings the trenches of WWI to life in stunning new documentary (Military Times) The 99-minute documentary, which takes its name from Laurence Binyon’s poem, “For the Fallen,” features astonishingly sharpened and colorized footage so crisp it can even be viewed in 3D. To enhance the audio experience, Jackson and his team pulled excerpts from nearly 600 hours of World War I veteran interviews. Overseas Operations AFRICOM kills 60 Shabaab fighters in largest strike in Somalia since 2017 (Long War Journal) The U.S. military launched what it is now calling its largest strike against Shabaab in Somalia since late 2017 over the weekend. Today, US Forces Africa Command released its assessment of the results of a previously reported assault on Oct. 12 near Haradere, revealing that the strike killed 60 Shabaab terrorists. Foreign fighters still joining IS in Syria, US general says (France 24) Foreign fighters continue to flow into Syria to join the Islamic State group despite its forces being largely decimated, Pentagon Joint Chiefs chairman Joe Dunford said Tuesday. Iran says its land-to-sea missiles can now travel 700 km, hit ships (Reuters) “We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700 km,” Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ air space division, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. Pentagon Mattis sees the enduring costs of Vietnam War (Military Times) U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis got a firsthand look at the enduring costs of fighting the Vietnam War. Military relief societies have provided more than $2.5 million in hurricane relief to troops ? with more to come After providing nearly $2 million in assistance to service members and retirees facing financial hardships in the wake of Hurricane Florence, the military relief societies have geared up to help those affected by Hurricane Michael. Army The Army might be going about enlisted promotions all wrong, according to this study (Army Times) What makes a good leader? For the purposes of a recent Rand Corp. study, in cooperation with the Army’s headquarters personnel office, researchers measured sergeant major and first sergeant success. Remains of Vietnam-era pilot, plane’s observer to be buried in Arlington. (Army Times) Remains of an Army pilot and an observer killed more than 50 years ago when their plane went down in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War will be buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Navy Super Hornet engine catches fire in flight (Navy Times) A Super Hornet made an emergency landing earlier this month after its right engine caught fire, according to Navy officials and military records. Carrier sailors to get more rest under new policy (Navy Times) Sailors assigned to aircraft carriers will now get mandated amounts of rest time each day thanks to a policy change by Naval Air Forces. Man pleads guilty to threatening Navy instructors (Navy Times) A Maine man has admitted he threatened four U.S. Navy instructors with a pistol near a remote military base in northwestern Maine. Beijing angry after US navy research ship docks in Taiwan (South China Morning Post) Beijing has expressed “solemn concerns” to Washington over a US navy research ship docking in Taiwan’s southern port city of Kaohsiung, as tensions rise over the trade war and China’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific. Pentagon investigators slam military’s oversight of supply ships (Navy Times) The Navy’s failure to oversee maintenance of supply ships operated by contractors has gotten so bad that one “developed a hole in the hull” while it was transporting Marine Corps gear to an exercise and never made it to its destination, according to a Pentagon Inspector General report released last month. Air Force As Tyndall begins recovery, a hard road — and hard questions — lie ahead (Air Force Times) As Tyndall Air Force Base begins recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Michael, it faces some hard questions about what the future will hold for the airmen, civilians and their families who were forced to evacuate. First lady’s C-32 forced to land after smoke fills cabin (Military Times) First Lady Melania Trump’s C-32 aircraft was forced to return to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, shortly after takeoff Wednesday because the cabin filled with smoke, the Air Force said. Air Force identifies Guard pilot killed in Ukraine crash The Air Force on Wednesday identified the American pilot killed in a crash of a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft as Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring, of the California Air National Guard. Japanese airmen honored for saving pilot after F-15C crash (Air Force Magazine) When a Kadena-based F-15C Eagle crashed over the summer and the pilot ejected into the waters south of Okinawa, nine members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force pararescue unit pulled the pilot—who had sustained life-threatening injuries—from the water, stabilized him, and transported him to the US Naval Hospital. Marine Corps British CH-47 crews train with Marines during air tactics course for first time (Marine Corps Times) British crews operating the Royal Air Force’s CH-47, or Chinook helicopters, just graduated from the Corps’ intensive seven-week air tactics course known as Weapons Tactics Instructor Course, or WTI. Three generations of Parris Island Marines meet for 'extremely rare' honor (The Island Packet Online) In July, when a recruiter came to pick up their son bound for boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Maureen Guarino remembers her husband telling her, "'I don't know how you keep doing this.'" National Guard Air Force identifies Guard pilot killed in Ukraine crash (Air Force Times) The Air Force on Wednesday identified the American pilot killed in a crash of a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft. After 2016 hack, Illinois says election system secure (The State Journal-Register) Illinois officials assured voters Tuesday that their Nov. 6 tallies “will be securely counted” after a data breach that’s part of the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in U.S. elections. Coast Guard U.S. destroyer, Coast Guard help Pacific island nations patrol their waters (USNI News) As Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup steams through the Oceana region on an independent deployment, the crew is assisting small Pacific island nations with protecting their exclusive economic zones. Coast Guard rounds up $47 million worth of cocaine, marijuana off Florida coast (NBC News) U.S. Coast Guard officials have rounded up more than $47 million worth of cocaine and marijuana on international waters off the coast of Florida in an operation that ended on Tuesday, according to the agency. Video: Coast Guard, Navy medevac cruise ship passenger (Maui Now) The Coast Guard and Navy medevaced an 83-year-old male Canadian passenger from a 951-foot cruise ship roughly 150 miles north of Kaneohe Bay on Oct. 14, 2018. Defense Industry Heading into F-35 operational tests, threat of delays loom (Defense News) The F-35 is set to move into operational testing next month, but there are already signs that it may not be able to complete testing on time. Lawmaker accuses British defense minister of Boeing favoritism (Defense News) Britain’s defense secretary attended a parliamentary Defence Committee evidence session Oct. 17, primarily to answer questions about July’s NATO summit, but instead he found himself being interrogated about a potential aircraft purchase by the Royal Air Force. The first KC-46 delivery is not happening this October as planned (Defense News) The first KC-46 won’t be delivered this month as had been agreed upon by the U.S. Air Force and manufacturer Boeing, the service’s top civilian said Wednesday. Heading into F-35 operational tests, threat of delays loom (Defense News) The F-35 is set to move into operational testing next month — a major milestone that precedes the Pentagon’s decision on whether to begin full-rate production of the jet — but there are already signs that it may not be able to complete testing on time. Veterans An Army veteran wages war on social-media disinformation (Wall Street Journal) Kris Goldsmith has become the cybersleuth for the Vietnam Veterans of America, hunting fake Facebook pages that sow discord and often have roots overseas. Actors and athletes have agents to help them find work. Now vets with PTSD can too. (Military Times) After Bob Simonovich’s post-traumatic stress disorder left him anxious around large groups, loud noises and unpredictable environments, he was unsure what type of career he’d be able to handle in his post-military life. Congress & Politics Trump appears to call for defense spending cuts (Defense News) In a surprise announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has called for government spending to be cut 5 percent across every federal department, leaving next year’s military budget in confusion. National Security Twitter airs election meddling data (The Associated Press) Twitter is releasing all known accounts and posts related to “information operations” dating back to 2016, when it was first learned that foreign operators were using social media to meddle in U.S. elections. Washington state officials brace voting systems against hacking (Fifth Domain) Election officials in Washington continue to bolster the state’s elections systems against cyber threats that could disrupt voting or cause citizens to lose faith in the results. Cyber, Space & Surveillance Here’s when industry can expect to hear more on the Army’s tactical cloud (C4ISRNET) The Army plans to respond to more than 70 proposals from industry on how to best take advantage of the tactical cloud before the end of the year. The Air Force launched its next protected communications satellite (C4ISRNET) The Air Force’s fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, which provides highly protected communications for the Department of Defense, successfully launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida shortly after midnight Oct. 17. Leaked transcript of private meeting contradicts Google's official story (The Intercept) It was Wednesday, July 18, and Gomes was addressing a team of Google employees who were working on a secretive project to develop a censored search engine for China, which would blacklist phrases like “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize.” Open-source hardware could defend against the next generation of hacking (The Associated Press) Imagine you had a secret document you had to store away from prying eyes. And you have a choice: You could buy a safe made by a company that kept the workings of its locks secret. Or you could buy a safe whose manufacturer openly published the designs, letting everyone – including thieves – see how they’re made. Which would you choose? NASA astronaut describes close call following failed launch (Military.com) The NASA astronaut who survived last week's failed launch and emergency landing knew he needed to stay calm. International Affairs Will Russia change its constitution to prolong Putin's reign? (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) When the Russian Constitution was approved in late 1993, the fledgling country's parliament building-- now known as the White House-- was blackened and charred, the result of an all-out military assault ordered by President Boris Yeltsin to quell an uprising by a group of lawmakers. Calls grow louder for European arms embargo against Saudi Arabia (Defense News) Pressure is growing on the European Union and its member states to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia following the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Is Trump’s hawkish behaviour towards China the start of a new cold war? (South China Morning Post) U.S. President Donald Trump might still brag about his close relation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but few would disagree that relations between the two countries are at a new low not seen for decades. Egypt says security forces killed 450 fighters in Sinai peninsula (Al Jazeera) An Army spokesman said more than 1,200 explosives devices and more than 1,900 vehicles were destroyed as part of operation "Sinai 2018." The New Silk Road runs through the UAE (USNI News) When Chinese President Xi Jinping flew to Africa on his way to the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa summit this past summer, he followed a route that has become familiar to many Chinese travelers: he stopped in the United Arab Emirates. Russia’s spies red-faced after multiple plots uncovered (Asia Times) “More Johnny English than James Bond,” was how British Security Minister Ben Wallace branded the failed assassination of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal on British soil last March, for which UK authorities blame Russia’s military intelligence service the GRU, pronounced “Groo.” Commentary & Analysis Dumb and dumber: The Army's new PT test (War On The Rocks) The U.S. Army’s leaders have made many impressive changes recently. They have increased the number of armored formations, created new security force assistance brigades, and established Futures Command to streamline byzantine acquisition processes. Perhaps most importantly to soldiers, they have started slashing the overwhelming numbers of regulations and mandatory training requirements, including the much-despised weekend safety brief. Analysis: Jihadists in Syria react to Sochi agreement (Long War Journal) For weeks, jihadists in Syria have debated how to respond to an accord between Russia and Turkey. The so-called Sochi agreement, struck in mid-September, called for the creation of a demilitarized zone in the northwestern province of Idlib. The coming storm: Ethics in the next war (Real Clear Defense) As the U.S. military transitions from a strategy-level focus on violent extremist organizations to great power competition, Americans would do well to establish reasonable expectations for the future. If Iran never leaves Syria, will America stay forever? (DefenseOne) If the Trump administration’s containment strategy fails, it could embolden Tehran while miring U.S. troops indefinitely. Department of Justice right to go after Hezbollah (The Hill) Attorney General Jeff Sessions made clear yesterday that Hezbollah is not just an Iranian-backed terrorist organization, but also one of the most dangerous crime syndicates in the world.