Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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
A sprawling new survey says a ‘culture of resilience’ helped US military families weather housing woes for years
A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.
The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."
Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.
What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.
"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."
Judge approves negligence lawsuit against Air Force and Pentagon by victims of 2017 Sutherland Springs church massacre
The suit meets the criteria to fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows people to seek damages in certain cases if they can prove the U.S. Government was negligent, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Under most circumstances the doctrine of sovereign immunity protects the government from lawsuits, but in this case U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez held that failure of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense to log shooter Devin Kelley's history of mental health problems and violent behavior in an FBI database made them potentially liable.
ABOARD THE USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT -- Loose lips sink ships, but do they reveal too much about the hugely anticipated "Top Gun" sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," filmed onboard in February?
Not on this carrier, they don't. Although sailors here dropped a few hints about spotting movie stars around the ship as it was docked in San Diego for the film shoot, no cats — or Tomcats — were let out of the bag.
"I can't talk about that," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who commands the Roosevelt.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.