The INSIDER daily digest -- April 13, 2018

By John Liang  
April 13, 2018 at 3:03 PM

Hypersonic missiles, deploying the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border, combat aviation programs and more highlight this Friday INSIDER Daily Digest.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis talked about hypersonic missiles on Capitol Hill this week:

Mattis previews new joint program offices for hypersonics and AI

The Pentagon, aiming to expand its investment in cutting-edge technologies, is planning new joint program offices focused on hypersonic missiles and artificial intelligence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told lawmakers Thursday.

House appropriators held a hearing this week on the National Guard and Reserve's FY-19 budget request, and as one can imagine the Trump administration's proposal to deploy Guard and Reserve forces to the U.S.-Mexico border was a topic of discussion:

National Guard authorized to send up to 4,000 troops to Mexico border

The National Guard Bureau chief told lawmakers Thursday there are 782 Guard members serving at the United States-Mexico border, while the secretary of defense has authorized up to 4,000 troops to be deployed through Sept. 30.

Document: House appropriators' hearing on the National Guard and Reserve

News from a House hearing on combat aviation programs:

F-35 production pause delays delivery of five aircraft, including three Air Force jets

Delivery of five F-35s from low-rate initial production Lot 10 has been paused due to a disagreement between the joint program office and Lockheed Martin about who should pay for a production fix identified last year, the Air Force's military deputy for acquisition confirmed Thursday.

Navy's sixth-gen fighter AOA delayed about a year

The Navy has delayed by about a year plans to complete an analysis of alternatives for a sixth-generation fighter, setting a fiscal year 2019 target completion date for the effort that began in May 2016 and was originally slated to be done last November.

Document: House hearing on combat aviation programs

Congressional appropriators haven't provided an explanation for the funding increase to the Air Force's Wideband Global Satellite Communications program:

Air Force confirms Wideband Global SATCOM plus-up not requested

The Air Force confirmed this week it did not ask for the $600 million funding boost Congress provided in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act to buy two additional Wideband Global Satellite Communications space vehicles, but it will comply with the language as directed.

Cybersecurity will be a major factor for the Joint Strike Fighter's latest version of the Autonomic Logistics Information System:

F-35 JPO issues one-year ALIS 3.0 operating authority, with 11 provisions

The F-35 joint program office has issued a one-year authorization to operate the next software release of the jet's Autonomic Logistics Information System, ALIS 3.0, after the F-35 Assessment and Authorization Working Group recommended a "high-risk ATO" to the program executive officer.

The Air Force is seeking new directed-energy technologies for defending its bases:

Air Force invites companies to demo laser, microwave weapons for base defense

Up to four companies could prove their directed-energy weapons can protect military bases against small unmanned aerial vehicles in an experiment this fall that will help shape a potential acquisition program, the Air Force said this week.

The Independent Strategic Assessment Group has made about 50 suggestions to improve the health of the nuclear enterprise:

AFGSC working on numerous improvements recommended by new advisers

Air Force Global Strike Command is addressing nearly 50 recommendations issued by a new advisory group created last year to improve the health of the nuclear enterprise, according to written testimony the command chief submitted to the Senate this week.

Document: Senate hearing on nuclear weapons policy

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley was on Capitol Hill this week:

Army senior leaders call for sustained funding levels to support readiness, modernization

Increased funding is helping the Army restore readiness and modernize the force, but the return of the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act would severely harm this work, according to the service's top uniformed and civilian officials.

Document: Army leaders' Senate testimony on the FY-19 budget