- The US State Department confirmed that the US embargo on weapons sales to Vietnam has been partly lifted, so far only as far as maritime security-related items are concerned. Defense News notes that this may include aviation assets.
- That thawing between the US and Vietnam has been in the works for several years. Of course this does not mean Vietnam won’t continue to order armament from Russia or use vendor financing extended by India. A likely beneficiary that has gone unnoticed is Israel, whose products sell well in the region but often need American export approval.
- Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has made clear [The Diplomat] that there were explicit limits to this rapprochement. This is a shot across China’s bow, but Vietnam is not the Philippines.
- Formed CIA Director and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: How the White House Misplayed Iraqi Troop Talks [Time]:
“In my view, the ISIS offensive in 2014 greatly increases the risk that Iraq will become al-Qaeda’s next safe haven. That is exactly what it had in Afghanistan pre-9/11. After all we have done to decimate al-Qaeda’s senior leadership and its core, those efforts will be for naught if we allow it to rebuild a base of operations in the Middle East.”
- The US GAO issued a report on the expensive equipment drawdown from the Afghan theater:
“In a 12-month period, the Army and Marine Corps returned more than 1,000 potentially unneeded vehicles, thereby incurring estimated transportation costs of up to $107,400 per vehicle, depending on the type of vehicle.”
- The US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) shared lessons learned [PDF] on fuel consumption during the recent industry day held about the ACV 1.1. They expect it to be idle more than half the time, similarly to data collected about MTVR use in Afghanistan (57% idle time).
Safety for Aircraft Maintainers
- The US Air Force’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (309 AMARG) is organizing an industry day on Nov. 18 at Davis-Monthan, AZ, to find fall protection commercial solutions for outdoor aircraft maintenance. Here are the stands [PDF] currently commonly used.
- Popular Mechanics: Spurned by NASA, Sierra Nevada Teams With Stratolaunch.