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Navy’s Next-Generation Fighter Analysis Due Out this Summer
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Well, I believe its obvious Admiral Rudder is speaking about the F-35B and F-35C as both being "one type" of aircraft, the Marines are on the right track here, in fact they are rolling back the B model production, in order to ramp up the C model production and meet their commitment for filling CATOBAR aircraft squadrons with the Navy!


May 17, 2018
The Corps just received its first CH-53K King Stallion
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price isn't mentioned; LOL as they say
If You Have to Ask The Price,
You Can't Afford it

Sep 1, 2017
Marines Say CH-53K Deficiencies Are All ‘Fixable’
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The Marines’ top aviator said the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter has had some struggles during its past year of testing but would emerge from it a capable and reliable asset for the Marines.

Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder told the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee on Thursday that last year the service moved the Lockheed Martin-built CH-53K King Stallion from Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach test facility to Naval Air Station Patuxent River for a strenuous test plan.

“We put it through its paces. We brought it out to Colorado and did high-altitude testing; we banged it around in the dirt out there, and we found some things. And we found some things because good Marine test pilots and the naval enterprise found things that needed to be fixed. So the delays that you see right now are to make sure we get it right,” he said.

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that the discovery of an “exhaust gas re-ingestion” issue in the engine, along with other deficiencies, slowed the testing – which was already behind schedule due to having too few aircraft and not all test flights counting towards program requirements.

To compensate for the ongoing bill of the developmental testing, and to allow for concurrency management between testing and production, the Marines asked to buy just six aircraft in their Fiscal Year 2020 budget request rather than the planned nine.

As the Marines seek to move into procurement while still working out those deficiencies and finishing up the test program, Rudder said, “we’re endeavoring right now to enter into a contract that addresses all the deficiencies as well as any new deficiencies as part of the delivery of that aircraft.”

Daniel Nega, the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for air programs, said at the hearing that the Department of the Navy is in talks with Lockheed Martin now about the next contract, but he said any future deficiencies would be on Lockheed Martin to address.

“The flight envelope’s been tested to the corners; Gen. Rudder talked about how we’ve sort of wrung it out,” he said.
“There’s a relatively low risk that anything major will be found. However, if nuisance issues come along, we are not going to give those nuisance issues to the Marines, and the Navy and Marine Corps team is not going to accept the full risk of that. So the risk concurrency between the development and the production, that overlap is going to be taken care of.”

Despite all the challenges that arose during testing – all of which are “fixable,” Rudder stressed – the general asked the subcommittee to focus on the big picture.

“This aircraft did some unbelievable things this past year: it lifted 36,000 pounds, it still can go 100 miles with 27,000 pounds – three times what the 53E can do,” he said.
“I think we’re on the right track. You’ll see where we put in this year’s budget – we put what we need to fix (the deficiencies), as well as manage our procurement a bit to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves – but if you let us continue on with the money we’ve asked for this year and the money that we asked for for next year, we’re going to fix this and we’re going to deploy it in 2024.”


Well, I believe its obvious Admiral Rudder is speaking about the F-35B and F-35C as both being "one type" of aircraft, the Marines are on the right track here, in fact they are rolling back the B model production, in order to ramp up the C model production and meet their commitment for filling CATOBAR aircraft squadrons with the Navy!
... while the USN is in no particular hurry to procure its F-35 Marvels

Mar 21, 2019
4001/78 = 51 of course rounded
Contracts for March 20, 2019

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a ceiling priced $4,040,458,297 modification to convert a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract (N00019-18-C-1046) to a fixed-price-incentive-firm-target multi-year contract. The target price for this multi-year contract is $4,001,410,000. This modification provides for the full-rate production and delivery of 78 F/A-18 aircraft, specifically ...

... etc.:
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real world:
After Serving in the Military, Immigrants Now Facing Deportation
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Jose Segovia Benitez, who was brought to the United States from El Salvador when he was 3, joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 18, eager to serve what he's always considered to be his country.

He saw combat, in Iraq, and after five years was honorably discharged.

But when he came home, in 2004, Segovia wasn't the same guy. A brain injury left him depressed and angry. And he exhibited symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

This different version of Segovia also took to drinking. He got into trouble with the law and served time for domestic abuse, driving under the influence and other felony convictions.

Though he was a legal permanent resident when he joined the Marines, and he began the naturalization process while on duty, his U.S. citizenship was never finalized. Which is why, when he was leaving prison January of 2018, U.S. combat veteran Segovia was on the radar of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a candidate for deportation. He was picked up by ICE agents and taken to the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, where he's been ever since.

Now, he's appealing a process that would send him to a country he hasn't seen since he was a toddler.

Jose and Martha Garcia are fighting to have their son, Jose Segovia Benitez, a U.S. veteran released from a detention center where he is being threatened with deportation.

The 37-year-old, a graduate of Poly High School in Long Beach, is part of a growing world of immigrants who've been deported or face deportation after serving in the U.S. military.

The government doesn't track how many people are in Segovia's predicament. Veteran groups and their supporters have documented hundreds of immigrant veterans who have been kicked out of the country, but suspect the actual number to be in the thousands. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2017 put the number closer to 3,000.

Some deported veterans are staying in Tijuana so they can be close to their families still living north of the border.

Advocates argue the process is demonstrably unfair.

"If you're a citizen, you make a mistake, you pay for your mistake, and then you go home," said Robert Vivar, co-director of Unified U.S. Deported Veterans, a Tijuana-based organization rooting for Segovia's release and the return of all deported veterans.

"If you're not a citizen, you get punished for the same crime, not only twice, but you get a life sentence."

Vivar and others argue that U.S. veterans have earned and deserve the right to live in the country they were willing to die for.

"Being deported, taken away from your family, from the neighborhood where you grew up, is quite a trauma," said Vivar, an immigrant who grew up in Corona and was deported but is not a veteran.

"Even a convicted murderer rapist has an opportunity of parole and being reintegrated into the community," said Vivar, who works at a call center in Tijuana. "But someone who served, who was willing to give up their lives, has all that taken from them."

Legislation to Bring Them Back

While Vivar's group and others are fighting for Segovia's release, two Congressmen recently reintroduced a bill that would let deported veterans who were honorably discharged return to the United States. The exceptions would be veterans convicted of voluntary manslaughter, murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, terrorism or child abuse.

The "Repatriate our Patriots Act," (H.R.1078,) would also prohibit the deportation of non-citizen veterans, and it would expedite the naturalization process of those already deported, allowing them to go through the process abroad.

"If you are willing to put your life on the line to defend this great nation and its values, you should be able to become a U.S. citizen," Congressman Don Young, a Republican from Alaska, said in a news release when he reintroduced the bill in February with a Democratic congressman from Texas, Vicente Gonzalez.

Other legislative attempts to prevent the deportation of American veterans included the "Second Chance for Service Act" from Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside). That bill would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to ensure that a veteran who has served honorably is not automatically barred from citizenship after committing certain crimes.

"America is a country that believes in second chances, and few deserve a second chance as much these veterans," Takano said when he introduced that bill in 2017. "Treating people who risked their lives for our freedom so callously violates the respect and gratitude we owe to all who have served. This legislation gives the administration the flexibility it needs to provide our veterans the rights they fought to protect."

In recent years, several cases have drawn a spotlight to the issue.

In 2017, former Gov. Jerry Brown issued pardons to three immigrant veterans deported to Mexico. They included Hector Barajas, a former U.S. Army paratrooper who was deported in 2010 after he had completed a two-year sentence for shooting a gun at an occupied vehicle. While in Tijuana, Barajas founded Deported Veterans Support House to advocate for their cause. Nearly a year ago, Barajas returned home to Compton, a day after he became a U.S. citizen.

Barajas' story differs from that of another deported vet: U.S. Army veteran Carlos Jaime Torres.

In 2010, the Vietnam vet -- who served four years in battle -- was deported following a conviction for marijuana possession in Texas. In late 2018, Torres was allowed to return home -- but only for his own funeral. He died while living in a border town in Mexico near his Texas home. He was buried in the United States with full military honors. In 2016, he told the Austin American Statesman that he never felt at home in Mexico, where he worked as a security guard, and kept mementos of his U.S. military service in his small border home.

"He was just proud to be an American, period," said Torres' son, Carlos Edward Mosqueda, who served in both the Navy and Army, in part because his father encouraged his children to "serve our country."

"Even in Mexico, he would say, 'Yeah, I'm an American," Mosqueda told The Monitor.

Rep. Gonzalez, who represents a district in south Texas, said his bill is being re-introduced "for Carlos Torres, for the thousands of deported veterans around the world like him, and to prevent this inexcusable practice from happening again.

... the rest is in the post below:


Non-citizens Have Long Served

The U.S. military has a long history of non-citizens serving in its ranks.

During World War 1, for example,18 percent of the military was made up of immigrants, according to a November 2017 report from the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy group. "The Army set up special camps to teach English to the Polish, Italian, Hungarian and other troops, and 150,000 of these troops became citizens through their wartime service."

In 1961, Congress added a requirement: to enroll during peace time, one must be a lawful permanent resident. By 2015, about 40,000 permanent residents who were not U.S. citizens served in the Armed Forces, according to the Immigration Forum report.

About 5,000 lawful permanent residents, or green card holders, apply to the military every year.

A 2016 report from the American Civil Liberties Union titled "Discharged, then discarded" noted that most of the veterans deported in recent years have been lawful permanent residents. Many of them committed minor offenses while readjusting to civilian life. Nearly all were eligible for citizenship though some, according to the ACLU report, did not apply for citizenship because they believed it would happen automatically with their military service. Others applied, but their cases "were lost in an unwieldy mass of red tape."

Besides the green card holders, there's another much smaller group of veterans who face potential deportation -- asylum seekers, refugees and certain visa-holders who served in the military to provide specific language, health care backgrounds or cultural skills considered vital to the nation's interest. This group is part of the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program, otherwise known as MAVNI.

More than 10,000 enlisted in MAVNI from 2009 to late 2016, when the program was essentially abolished, according to retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Margaret Stock, who spearheaded MAVNI. Under Stock, the program made it possible for newly enlisted immigrants to get access to a sped-up naturalization process while still in basic training.

When the program was put under review -- a month after the 2016 presidential electon -- many immigrant warriors were left in limbo. Some were abruptly booted out of the military and threatened with deportation.

"It's unfortunate because they're having trouble finding qualified recruits" for those specialized positions, said Stock, who now works as immigration attorney in Alaska.

Red Tape

For Segovia, the process of becoming a citizen was bungled, according to his Encino attorney, Wayne Spindler.

Segovia's 2002 application for citizenship -- submitted four years before his first conviction -- was delayed and mishandled, according to court documents. Segovia re-submitted the paperwork in 2010. Spindler argues that Segovia's citizenship should be granted retroactively.

Last month, Segovia's appeal to the immigration board was denied. His attorney has moved to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Segovia's case is complex, but -- unlike many deported immigrant veterans -- he's backed by numerous supporters. Some have joined family members making the trek to visit him at the Adelanto detention center in San Bernardino County.

"He served his country. Now what? They're going to ship him out, like he's a nobody?" said Pat Alviso, national coordinator for Military Families Speak Out, an organization that advocates for returning troops from the Middle East.

Segovia's family said they worry about him and whether he's getting the proper treatment he needs. They blame the military for not treating his war-induced mental health issues more promptly, before he started drinking and got into trouble.

Segovia was a "vibrant and happy" young man who "was all about the Marine Corp and (their motto) Semper Fi," said his sister, Elizabeth Garcia, 22. "He ran marathons. He was very clean. He was in that mental state of mind of being in the military," she said.

When he returned to Long Beach, that mindset was different.

"He would wake up in the middle of the night, bathed in sweat, and think he was still at war, with a weapon in his hands," said Segovia's mother, Marta Garcia.

"I would try to comfort him, and tell him, 'Son, you're at home.'"
the rest of
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Today at 9:03 AM
May 17, 2018
Marines Say CH-53K Deficiencies Are All ‘Fixable’
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Lockheed’s $31 Billion Marine Helicopters Are Running 19 Months Late
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  • Navy sees need to delay initial combat capability to late 2021
  • List of unresolved flaws grows to 106 from 94 in December
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’s $31 billion King Stallion helicopter program for the U.S. Marines may miss its first key milestone by more than 19 months because of a growing checklist of flaws discovered in development testing.

The Naval Air Systems Command acknowledged that the helicopter designed to carry heavy cargo won’t meet its December target date for initial combat capability. The roster of unresolved technical deficiencies has grown to 106 items from about 94 logged in December, according to Navy documents.

A proposed new date -- between July and September 2021 -- “has not been finalized and
is pending the final decision” on a request before Congress to shift $158 million into the testing program to pay for fixes and more test flights, Greg Kuntz, a spokesman for the command, said in an email.

The latest delays for the King Stallion, which was the first major acquisition program given a go-ahead by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, make it a prime candidate for congressional scrutiny. That questioning may begin during hearings on Navy and Marine Corps aviation before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee on Wednesday and its House counterpart on Thursday.

The King Stallion, designated CH-53K, will be the same size as its predecessor, the Super Stallion, but will be able to haul almost triple the cargo, lifting 27,000 pounds (12,200 kilograms), according to Lockheed. The Navy’s plans to buy 200 copters for the Marines was a prime motivation for Lockheed’s $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft from United Technologies Corp. in 2015.

Combat Deployment
The delay of 19 months or more is “not expected to impact” the aircraft’s first planned combat deployment in 2023, Kuntz said. The list of aircraft deficiencies “will continue to fluctuate as the program continues through flight test discovery,” Kuntz said.

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, the Navy’s assistant secretary for acquisition, “continues to closely monitor the program,” the service said in a separate statement. “He recently approved the restructure plan.”

“Close cooperation and risk-sharing” with Lockheed “will be critical to achieving success," according to the statement.

The Marines reduced the number of helicopters requested for fiscal 2020 to six from nine, because of “late discovery of technical issues” requiring more time and test flights, Captain Christopher Harrison, a Marine Corps spokesman, said in an email. The issues “necessitated a decrease in near-term procurement” to “ensure uninterrupted testing,” he said.

Bill Falk, the King Stallion program manager for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, said in a statement that the contractor and the Navy “remain aligned on a joint program plan” to support the first deployment in 2023 to 2024.

“We have flown more than 1,300 test flight hours and completed high-altitude, hot temperature, and degraded visual environment flight tests demonstrating the CH-53K’s unmatched capabilities,” he said.

The cost per aircraft, including research, production and military construction, is now estimated at $141.5 million, or about 22 percent more than the original program baseline in 2005. That’s 2 percent over a revised April 2017 target, according to Navy figures.

Reducing Risk
The Navy has the first two production choppers under contract. For the next two contracts for 14 more helicopters, Geurts wants to reduce the risk of concurrent development and production that’s plagued Lockheed’s F-35 jet program and was once labeled “acquisition malpractice” by former weapons buyer Frank Kendall.

The service wants to put three stringent milestones or “gates” in place that the company must pass through -- tying payments to resolving technical issues. One such gate allows payment for four aircraft only after Lockheed demonstrates this year that it’s solved the helicopter’s most significant unresolved problem: exhaust gas sucked back into an engine.

Lockheed’s Sikorsky unit is operating under a $4 billion “cost-plus incentive fee” development contract and as of late January was earning the “minimum fee,” according to a program briefing slide.

Test Copters
Sikorsky also has a separate $715 million contract to build and deliver as many as six test helicopters. Three have been delivered. But the Pentagon’s testing office said in its latest internal program assessment that parts on the fourth copter are being removed and placed on the first three to keep them flying.

The fifth and sixth ones are delayed and scheduled for delivery in 2022 because “development contract overruns resulted in insufficient funding levels to continue work on” them, Kuntz said. The contract “was modified to avoid further expenditure.”


the best, almost philosophical LOL part of
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according to me is:

B-21 is something that we obviously don’t hear a lot about as it’s a classified program, but can you give any insight into how you think that program is going? And you mentioned before about how the Air Force is planning to keep the B-52s possibly going for a hundred years, so in your mind does that necessitate the possibly of looking at whether that program, the B-21 program, should be expanded?

Well, mercifully the B-21 is under the seapower subcommittee’s jurisdiction. I’m also on that sub-committee, but my general worry is that Air Force has had major difficulty with major weapon systems acquisitions for decades, so I hope the B-21 will be different. I don’t want to pre-judge, but if history is prologue, then we have a lot to worry about, 'cause we had a B-1, we had a B-2, and those are very interesting platforms, but they’re not talking about a B-3, and the Air Force had trouble with the tanker acquisition. The F-35 has been highly controversial. It’s kind of amazing; you would think every generation would have its own superb weapons system that we can all be proud of, and that hasn’t necessarily happened.


there's a good question inside
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The Army has historically struggled to procure helicopters, with armed reconnaissance being one area where the Army has struggled the most. Now you’re trying to do this with two different aircraft simultaneously. What’s different now that injects more hope into the process?