The INSIDER daily digest -- March 15, 2019

March 15, 2019 at 1:46 PM

This Friday INSIDER Daily Digest has continued coverage of the FY-20 defense budget request, plus the Defense Innovation Board holding its first public meeting and more.

The Pentagon's acting civilian chief was on Capitol Hill this week, where his reception was less than warm:

Shanahan defends Pentagon budget from 'slush fund' charges

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan sought to defend the Pentagon's fiscal year 2020 budget on Capitol Hill today as senators cited the Defense Department for misusing its Overseas Contingency Operations account to circumvent statutory spending caps.

The Defense Innovation Board held its first public meeting this week:

Defense Innovation Board kicks off public debate over AI principles for the U.S. military

The Defense Innovation Board held its first public meeting Thursday to discuss the artificial intelligence principles the U.S. military should adopt as the Defense Department seeks a major push to develop and field AI capabilities.

The Army won't be upgrading any more CH-47 Block II chinook helicopters:

Chinook upgrade headed for Army chopping block

In a show of strict commitment to the Army's six modernization priorities, the service is ending the next-generation Block II upgrade program for the Chinook cargo helicopter after fiscal year 2020, according to the service's under secretary.

A recent hurricane that passed over Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida could impact an Air Force request to shift millions of dollars to increase the mission-capable rates of certain fighter aircraft:

Air Force wants to shift $750M for F-16, F-22 readiness

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters this week the service needs to reprogram about $750 million in fiscal year 2019 funds to increase the mission-capable rates of the F-16 and F-22.

Wilson: USAF needs $750M in FY-19 to recover Tyndall AFB

The recovery of Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, devastated by Hurricane Michael last October, will require $750 million in supplemental funding in fiscal year 2019, according to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

Lawmakers could soon pass a resolution that could help clear the path to setting up a U.S. Space Command:

House lawmaker proposes resolution that could clear a path to U.S. Space Command

A Florida lawmaker is offering a resolution today that would help the Pentagon clear a legislative hurdle to establishing U.S. Space Command and told Inside Defense he expects the language to be approved quickly.

Army vehicle programs will be feeling a budgetary squeeze:

Army vehicles pay the bill for modernization in first round of cuts

As the Army takes a running start toward preparing for multidomain battle in its fiscal year 2020 budget request -- rocketing to $57 billion for next-generation projects over the five-year defense plan -- the service's vehicle programs are the first to pay the bill, including the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

More Navy and Marine Corps budget news:

Navy cuts eight SSCs from FY-20 budget, eight more from FYDP

The Navy does not plan to buy eight Ship to Shore Connectors in fiscal year 2020, and made additional procurement cuts in future years, due to contractual and delivery problems the service has been experiencing in previous years.

Marine Corps requests $21M in RDT&E funding for MUX program

The Marine Corps plans to ask Congress for $21 million in research and development funding for its Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Expeditionary program in the fiscal year 2020 request, according to a service spokesman.