Iraq/Syria: Is ISIS Flying Jets? UK to Deploy Reapers
- Is ISIL operating jets, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims? There’s a Youtube video purportedly showing a jet landing at an ISIS-controlled base, but USCENTOM says they haven’t seen any evidence.
- This is a head-scratcher. Iraq floundered against a purged and weakened Iranian military for years, then their generals join ISIS which quickly becomes really competent? From which we may infer the “Saddam performance penalty” levied on Iraq’s Ba’athist military. Meanwhile, the Maliki performance penalty still applies to the Shi’ite region’s regime, and will take some time to undo.
- The UK is deploying its Reapers to fight ISIL. They can’t bring them home to Britain because of certification issues in civil airspace, so they might as well send them back to Iraq. The Royal Air Force doesn’t say where, but note the mention of an assistance program involving the Kurds.
- Danish F-16s carried out their 1st mission in northern Iraq last Thursday: The Local | FMN [in Danish].
- Britain’s Ministry of Defence updated its business plan for small and medium-sized enterprises. At least 7,000 SMEs were direct suppliers to MOD in 2013/14 according to that memo.
- Reminders about our readership survey will be inflicted until morale improves. One of the respondents accused us of being geography-impaired by having allegedly misplaced Barrow in Scotland (it’s in Cumbria, NW England), though we can’t find in our archives where we might have done that. If such evidence can be produced, the offending DID writer will be force-fed haggis as punishment for his (so far alleged and no doubt accidental if proven) Scottish allegiance. This should show that the stakes for this survey are high and we do pay attention to your feedback.
US Business: Public-Private Partnerships
- NSA CTO Patrick Dowd is under the spotlight [Reuters] for a negotiated, ethics-cleared arrangement that lets him work 20 hours a week at former NSA Director Keith Alexander’s IronNet Cybersecurity Inc. The most likely outcome if that’s revoked? NSA loses Dowd, who hops to IronNet. Serious arguments can be made both ways, so we invite our readers to ponder: what’s the best policy here?
- Space partnership [AvWeek]: NASA is interested in SpaceX’s steps toward reusable launch vehicles. SpaceX needs the advanced sensor data NASA can provide, so it can see exactly what’s happening during its flights.
- The US Air Force Materiel Command is is seeking information from sources that may have the ability to rapidly develop air delivered weapons systems requirements, studies and demonstrations. Here’s their “agile acquisition” presolicitation for large businesses. Agile, up to a point: foreign participation is not authorized.
- Boeing BDS boss Chris Chadwick was at the CNAS think tank to discuss the DoD’s industry innovation agenda, alongside Michèle Flournoy, Christine Fox and Gen. Charles Wald. Video below: