Navy chief puts operations on hold after USS John McCain crash

  • Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson has called for an operational hold to get at the root cause of the crash between a commercial ship and the USS John S. McCain. The crash occurred near Singapore, two months after another destroyer hit a container ship near Japan. Richardson said the trend of collisions demands more forceful action. (Navy)
  • The Office of Management and Budget has guaranteed sequestration if the Senate approves the House minibus. OMB warned if fiscal 2018 caps are not changed, the House’s spending package would trigger cuts put in place under the 2011 Budget Control Act. The cuts include $72 billion in defense spending. (Federal News Radio)
  • Members of the private sector have been asked to provide feedback on domestic buying and hiring. The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration has requested comments on President Donald Trump’s executive order to “buy American” and “hire American.” It’s interested in information such as the barriers of only using American-made goods. (Federal Register)
  • President Trump is abandoning his plan to create an infrastructure advisory council. The decision comes after he disbanded two other business advisory panels. Bloomberg reports the council would’ve made recommendations to the president on funding, supporting and delivery of infrastructure projects. The administration said it hopes to have details on its infrastructure plan later this fall. (Bloomberg)
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs said it’s updating its regulations to make it easier for states to build veterans’ homes in rural areas. The homes provide nursing and daytime health care and are operated by states, built with grant money from VA. But Secretary David Shulkin said current regulations give too much consideration to how many veterans are concentrated in a given area, without considering how far rural veterans have to travel to reach the nearest veterans home. The updated regulations would add considerations for rural communities into the ranking process for VA grants. The department expects the rules to be final by the end of this year, after a public comment period. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • The Air Force moves to bolster the reliability of its nuclear missiles. Secretary Heather Wilson said two new contracts are the first steps towards modernizing the nation’s nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles. Boeing and Northrop Grumman received competing contracts worth up to $359 million each under the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction program. They’ll design a replacement for the fleet of Minuteman IIIs. Production contracts for the preferred design would follow in 2020. (Boeing)
  • It didn’t take long for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to find a new chief of the Forest Service. Just two days after current Chief Tom Tidwell announced he was retiring, Perdue named Tony Tooke as the new chief. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since he was 18, and spent the last several years as the Regional Forester for the Southern Region. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • President Trump has also reportedly picked the next head of NASA. NASA Watch reports Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) will be the next NASA administrator. A former Navy pilot, has heavy interest in improving the U.S.’ space capabilities. Last year, he introduced the American Space Renaissance Act, which intended to reinvigorate the American space program. (NASA Watch)
  • After all the CIOs leaving government recently, President Trump has filled a key political technology job. The White House has once again tapped a CIA veteran to be the next chief information officer of the Intelligence Community. President Donald Trump announced he intends to appoint John Sherman, the CIA’s deputy director of its open source enterprise, to be the new IC CIO. Sherman joins Al Tarasiuk and Ray Cook, the last two IC CIOs, as having spent time at the CIA. Sherman has spent his entire 20-plus year career in the intelligence community including serving in several senior executive positions at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. (Federal News Radio)