Drones

Word on the Hill: JFK and Memorial Day Weekend
Logistics for Saturday’s parade and spottings this week

The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, which is also President John F. Kennedy’s Centennial weekend.

Kennedy was born 100 years ago Monday. To celebrate, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative “forever” stamp to honor the late president.

A List of Notable Presidential Firings Since 1951
Most were terminated outright; others left before the White House officially acted

Douglas MacArthur (CQ Roll Call Archive Photo)

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump put Washington in a tailspin when he fired FBI Director James B. Comey. Twitter was abuzz with reminiscences of presidential firings-past, so Roll Call set out to catalogue the last 66 years or so of presidents telling top officials to "take a hike."

Here's President Harry S. Truman through Trump:

Opinion: Weighing the Costs of War and Diplomacy
Military action is not always the courageous choice

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly could do more listening and learning, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John F. Kelly is getting a lot of criticism these days, and that’s understandable. As leader of the Department of Homeland Security, the retired Marine general now has to be more sensitive to the politics of any given situation.

So when he publicly said critics of his agency’s policies — whether they come from Congress, civil rights groups or the public — should “shut up,” he came off as what he once was, a military man giving orders. When the administration, Kelly’s department in particular, is challenged on its travel bans and inconsistent immigration enforcement, Kelly could do more listening and learning.

Armed Forces Say Yearlong CR Spells Danger
“This is lives and death and real consequences”

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry has said a full-year continuing resolution could have “real consequences” for the U.S. military. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

First posted March 28, 2017, 3:18 p.m. on CQ.com.

If Washington fails to send the Pentagon a new spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year, the U.S. military will take a major hit, according to new Defense Department reports to Congress obtained by CQ Roll Call.

$30 Billion Defense Supplemental Duplicates Spending
Pentagon might not need full request from Trump

Trump, left, wants Congress to pass a supplemental spending bill for defense programs that the Pentagon might not need. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Pentagon may not really need the full $30 billion President Donald Trump requested last week for the current fiscal year.

That’s because Congress is already poised to provide a significant portion of the $30 billion in the fiscal 2017 Defense spending bill that the House passed on March 8. So that portion of the supplemental is redundant, congressional and Pentagon officials confirmed to CQ Roll Call.

Rep. Abraham Uses Pilot License to Give Back to Constituents
Louisiana Republican helps children with cancer and with military training

Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham boards an airplane to fly a mission for the Coast Guard Auxiliary collecting flood damage information. (Courtesy of Rep. Ralph Abraham’s office)

The sky’s the limit for Rep. Ralph Abraham.

The Louisiana Republican is a pilot, a physician, a veterinarian, and a farmer. He also helps out with the Coast Guard and wants to climb Mount Everest next year.

Pentagon Panel Urges Trump Team to Expand Nuclear Options
Report suggests ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use’

From left, First lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, Vice President Mike Pence, and his wife Karen Pence prepare to review the troops on Inauguration Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A blue-ribbon Pentagon panel has urged the Trump administration to make the U.S. arsenal more capable of “limited” atomic war.

The Defense Science Board, in an unpublished December report obtained by CQ Roll Call, urges the president to consider altering existing and planned U.S. armaments to achieve a greater number of lower-yield weapons that could provide a “tailored nuclear option for limited use.”

U.S. Military Develops Drone That Can Fly Week Straight

Motherboard reports that "while America’s most expensive surveillance drone, the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, can stay aloft for 32 hours, the Pentagon is looking for a drone that can fly nonstop for a week or more at a time, if two recently submitted solicitations are to go by."

"In a solicitation published last November, the Department of Defense (DoD) is calling on contractors to submit designs for a low cost, ultra-long endurance UAV that can perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for seven days or more. Specifically, the DoD wants to eliminate the need for launching new waves of drones to replace the ones that have run out of fuel and have to return to base."

Military May Purchase Drones We Find in Department Stores

Wired reports that "Tiny drones could scout high-rise buildings and underground tunnels for possible threats to US troops in cities of the future. But instead of spending years cooking up the necessary drone technologies in military research labs, the Pentagon might be better off shopping for the latest civilian drones coming soon to stores."

"US military leaders have discussed the need for a new generation of scout drones for some time. After all, kicking down doors is a dirty and dangerous business for US troops trying to clear enemy-held buildings. It would be far safer to deploy diminutive drone buddies to provide an initial peek inside, and identify any potential threats."

U.S. Military Seeks Missile That Delivers Explosive Drones to a Target

Business Insider reports that "the US military wants a missile that can carry explosive-packed drones to a target hundreds of miles away, according to a contract solicitation from the Pentagon."

"Earlier this month, the DoD announced it was soliciting proposals for this new missile system, which would be fired by the Army's existing MGM-140 Tactical Missile System or the M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. But unlike traditional armaments, the Army wants this missile packed with unmanned quad-copters that will be released, fly to their target, land, and blow themselves up."