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The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services committee called for an international investigation into the disappearance and likely murder in Turkey of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and for cutbacks in U.S. offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) the highest ranking Democrat on the Committee, also praised Secretary of Defense Mattis and urged that he be kept in office by President Trump. Reed spoke to the Defense Writers Group October 17, 2018.

National Defense Magazine: Top Senate Democrat Says U.S. Should Limit Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Military Times: Will Congress really cancel US-Saudi arms deals? It’s complicated, but let us explain

Defense Daily: Bipartisan Calls Increase in Senate to End U.S. Aid to Saudi Forces

Senior SASC Democrat Defends Mattis Amid Reports of His Departure

Politico: Reed calls for international investigation of Khashoggi’s disappearance

CQ Roll Call: Jack Reed Talks Tough on Saudi Arabia Arms Sales

Breaking Defense: Halt Refueling Of Saudi Warplanes; Defensive Arms Sales OK: SASC’s Jack Reed

Jane’s: US lawmakers throw Saudi arms sales on the chopping block

Defense One: US Military Leaders Keep Quiet on Saudi Arabia Amid Khashoggi Outrage

Inside the pentagon: Senior defense committee Democrat wants to stop U.S. weapon sales to Saudi Arabia

Vox: The past 24 hours in Jamal Khashoggi news, explained

Voice of America: On Capitol Hill, More Scorn on Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi

Stars and Stripes: Senator contends national security could be threatened without Mattis

Washington Examiner: Sen. Jack Reed: US should cut refueling support to Saudi warplanes in Yemen

The Hill: Top Armed Services Dem calls for international probe into missing Saudi journalist

Overnight Defense: Trump asks Turkey for evidence on missing journalist | Key Dem calls for international probe | Five things to know about 'MBS' | Air Force struggles to determine cost of hurricane damage to F-22 jets

Defense News: Will Congress really cancel US-Saudi arms deals? It’s complicated, but let us explain

Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B Neller told reporters that although the Corps has been meeting its recruiting goals thus far, the shortage of young Americans who can pass the fitness tests "should scare you".

Neller said the Corps achieved its goal without lowering standards.

“If anything, we’ve raised our standards,” he said.

At a Defense Writers Group breakfast, Neller pointed out that today less than 30 percent of the nation’s youth are qualified — physically and otherwise — for military service. The biggest issue is obesity.

Asked about Secretary of Defense Mattis' new goal of having 80% of aircraft ready to fly in one year's time, and then keeping them that way, Neller said he appreciates clear orders. One of the ways the Marines will get there is by retiring older aircraft, as the F-35s and other newer models are brought into service.  The Washington Examiner's Jamie McIntyre reported it this way:

“He told us we’ve got a year, so OK. I mean, I know where we are right now,” Neller said during a breakfast meeting with defense reporters. Part of that solution will be getting rid of the oldest Marine Corps F/A-18 jets “to take advantage of the parts we can get off of them and reduce the number of airplanes,” he said.

“I’ve said we have too many airplanes, we’ve got to get rid of airplanes. At some point when you get new you’ve got to get rid of the old ones. You can’t just keep them. Now, you’ve got a squadron that’s designed to maintain 12 airplanes and they’ve got to maintain 16,” Neller said.

SeaPower Magazine: Marine Commandant: 2018 Recruiting Goal Met, but Dearth of Qualified Youth ‘Should Scare You’

Military Times: Marine Commandant: 2018 Recruiting Goal Met, but Dearth of Qualified Youth ‘Should Scare You’

Inside the Navy: Neller acknowledges 'risk' in ending AAV survivability upgrade

The Washington Times: U.S. military training should continue on Korean peninsula, says top Marine

Stars and Stripes: Neller: 'Roger that' to Mattis' goal to improve aviation readiness


Washington Examiner: Mattis memo ordering higher combat jet readiness sparks quiet freakout at the Pentagon

Defense One: Curtailing Korean Exercises Comes at a Price, Says USMC Commandant

Jane’s: USMC touts F-35B readiness as flights are suspended

Defense Daily: Neller: Marines Interested In New All-Terrain Support Vehicle, But No Budget Plans For Bv206 Replacement

Task and Purpose: The Marines Are Finally Getting Rid Of Their Oldest, Crappiest Jet Fighters

Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters that unmanned systems will be a "huge priority" as the service expands, using the defense budget increases signed into law in recent weeks, along with the goal of a 355 ship force. Modly, just back from visiting Guam, Micronesia and other Pacific islands, said all asked for more port visits and help with their limited navies and coast guards. The ongoing expansion of China's blue water force was another topic of discussion and concern during the trip.

“We are definitely on a path to building a bigger fleet” Seapower Magazine quoted Modly saying to the Defense Writers Group, and it will include “a bigger integration of unmanned.”

"The Navy and Marine Corps already are fielding a large number of unmanned air and ground vehicles and surface and subsurface vessels, and are developing larger and more capable systems. The Navy recently awarded a contract to Boeing to produce the MQ-25 Stingray, a carrier-based unmanned aerial refueling jet, and the Marines want a large Group 5 unmanned aerial vehicle that can operate from amphibious ships.

Modly said a new Navy force structure plan should go to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Navy Secretary Richard Spencer next month and probably would be released early next year."

EIN News Desk: U.S. Could Help Pacific Allies Build Capabilities, Navy Undersecretary Says


National Defense Magazine: New Force Structure Assessment to Be Delivered to Navy

Leadership Soon


SeaPower Magazine: Modly: Unmanned Systems ‘Huge Priority’ in Building a Bigger Fleet

Inside Defense: Navy official: Service must ramp up enforcement of data protection at subcontractor level

Shephard Media:Unmanned systems to get more attention in next US Navy force study

Defense Daily: Navy Leadership To See Draft FSA Next Month, Unmanned A Priority

Breaking Defense: Pence, DoD Roll Out Harder Line on China, Russia

DoD News: U.S. Could Help Pacific Allies Build

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