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Acting SecDef Shanahan under investigation for allegedly favoring former employer Boeing
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is being investigated for allegedly showing favoritism to Boeing, where he worked for more than 30 years before joining the Pentagon.
"The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has decided to investigate complaints we recently received that Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan allegedly took actions to promote his former employer, Boeing, and disparage its competitors, allegedly in violation of ethics rules," a DoD IG spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The inspector general's office declined to specify which actions Shanahan allegedly took, but in January, Politico first reported that Shanahan had allegedly criticized how Lockheed Martin handled the F-35 program and argued Boeing would have done a better job.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group, filed a complaint based on Politico's reporting with the inspector general's office on March 13 asking that Shanahan be investigated for allegedly promoting Boeing.
The following day, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked Shanahan if he supported launching an investigation into whether he had, "Broken any ethics rules by promoting Boeing while you served as deputy secretary of defense."
Shanahan said he did. The inspector general's office noticed.
"In his recent Senate Armed Services Committee testimony, Acting Secretary Shanahan stated that he supported an investigation into these allegations," the inspector general's office spokesperson said. "We have informed him that we have initiated this investigation."
Shanahan's spokesman issued a statement on Wednesday reiterating that the acting defense secretary supports an investigation into the complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
"Acting Secretary Shanahan has at all times remained committed to upholding his ethics agreement filed with the DoD," said Army Lt. Col. Joe Buccino. "This agreement ensures any matters pertaining to Boeing are handled by appropriate officials within the Pentagon to eliminate any perceived or actual conflict of interest issue with Boeing."
The investigation comes amid a war between defense industry giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing about whether the Pentagon should buy more F-35s or F-15Xs to replace the Air Force's fleet of F-15Cs.
Pratt & Whitney happens to make F-35 engines in Connecticut, which Blumenthal represents. A spokeswoman for Blumenthal could not be reached for comment.
Bloomberg Government first reported in December that Shanahan had advocated for purchasing F-15X aircraft. But Defense Department Comptroller Elaine McCusker said on March 12 that former Defense Secretary James Mattis made the decision to buy the Boeing aircraft.
"The F-15X provides additional capacity and readiness, especially in the near years to mid years as we look at the threats and the kinds of combat potential that we need to bring to bear," Army Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, the Joint Staff's director of force structure, resources and assessment, said at a March 12 budget briefing.
"So as the F-35 program and the stocakge of aircraft in the fleets continue to grow, the fourth-generation fighters and that mix, we thought, was appropriate to have as we looked at the threat and the kinds of flexibility we required as we go forward."
WATCH NEXT: Up Close And Personal With The F-15
An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.
She's photographed every major war of the last 20 years. Marine Corps boot camp was something else entirely
Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.
The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.
Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.
Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead
"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.
They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.
As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.
But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.
Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.
The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.
"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."
Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.
"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."