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Boats 07-19-2021 05:23 AM

Defense News Early Bird Brief Topic's today
Defense News Early Bird Brief Topic's today
By: Early Bird Brief - 07-19-21
Sponsored By: Lockheed Martin

Good morning and welcome to the Early Bird Brief. Please email news tips and suggestions to

Today's Top 5:

1. Republicans try new bill to repay National Guard for post-riot protection, minus a rapid response force (Defense One) A group of Republican House lawmakers introduced a bill Friday—different than a previous version that has already passed the full House—aimed at breaking the impasse that has prevented the U.S. National Guard from getting paid for its months-long protection of the Capitol grounds following the Jan. 6 attack.

2. Military's COVID vaccination rate lags behind Pentagon's hopes ( Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Friday that 70% of active-duty troops have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. But that is far behind the Pentagon's original goal, when officials suggested earlier this year that the whole force could be vaccinated by mid-July.

3. Eisenhower returns to Norfolk after double-pump deployment (Navy Times) Because of the Eisenhower carrier strike group’s actions and contributions during the deployment, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker has awarded the group with the Navy Unit Commendation award.

4. Central Asia braces for fallout of U.S. pullout from Afghanistan (Foreign Policy) Since the war began, America has had one lens for Central Asia. What happens now?

5. Taliban say they want Afghan deal, even as they battle on (The Associated Press) Still, there are few signs of a political agreement on the horizon.

Unrivaled. (Lockheed Martin) The F-35 delivers the unrivaled advantage for our pilots, nation, and partners. A decisive differentiator in near-peer warfare, the F-35 is the most advanced node in 21st century warfare network-centric architecture.

Job Board:

Transitioning out of the military and looking for a job? (Military Times) We have listings from companies looking for vets.

Overseas Operations:

What happened to Pat Tillman’s jersey? Here’s how the last Americans at Bagram Airfield rushed to secure mementos. (Stars & Stripes) The murals that once celebrated U.S. military units have been painted over and the settings that memorialized the fallen are now empty spaces.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan (The Hill) Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed in Afghanistan on Friday.

Afghan, Taliban officials meet in Qatar amid US troop withdrawal (The Hill) Taliban officials and Afghan politicians met in Qatar on Saturday amid calls for peace by both sides following continued fighting in the region.

No do-overs in Afghanistan: The US cannot re-enter once it leaves (US News & World Report) Unlike Iraq, the U.S. cannot reenter if the security situation collapses in Afghanistan – and President Joe Biden now owns the precarious and alarming situation there.


The number of major F-35 flaws is shrinking, but the Pentagon is keeping details of the problems under wraps (Defense News) As the F-35 program inches its way through operational testing, the number of critical technical deficiencies is slowly dwindling, dropping from 11 critical deficiencies in January to seven in July.

National Security:

U.S. diplomats in Afghanistan face daunting, dangerous mission with little military backup
(Washington Post) The conclusion of the Pentagon’s two-decade effort in Afghanistan lays bare the challenges facing U.S. diplomats and aid workers who remain behind, as a modest civilian force attempts to propel warring Afghans toward peace and protect advances for women without the support and reach provided by the military mission.


One hundred lost NVGs at Fort Hood triggers investigation (Army Times) Special agents from Fort Hood’s CID detachment are investigating the potential theft of “more than 100″ missing night-vision devices, III Corps officials confirmed.

How a former Afghan interpreter became a US Army officer (Army Times) Masoud’s story stands out at a time when the U.S. military is finalizing a withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the fate of many interpreters remains undecided, or at the very least, in a precarious position.

Immigrant turned US Army soldier-runner headed to Tokyo: 'I'll be doing this for the United States' (Fox News) Spc. Benard Keter, a soldier-athlete with the Army’s World Class Athlete Program, is eager to represent both Team USA and the U.S. military during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on June 21.

Former Green Beret, son, get Japan prison terms for Ghosn escape
(The Associated Press) A Tokyo court handed down prison terms for the former Green Beret and his son accused of helping Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, escape to Lebanon while awaiting trial in Japan.

Information is the battlespace advantage. F-35 sensor fusion provides vast amounts of information to accelerate critical decisions and win the fight.


Navy christens USNS John Lewis (USNI News) The first of the Navy’s new replenishment oilers was christened fleet Saturday.

In wake of ship collisions, Navy revamps surface officer training in San Diego
(San Diego Union-Tribune) In the four years since two deadly ship collisions rocked the U.S. Navy, the service has been looking for ways to address problems in the fleet that its own investigators said contributed to the deaths of 17 sailors.

Annapolis man charged in shooting of Naval Academy mother had escaped house arrest before (Capital Gazette) An Annapolis man charged with killing Naval Academy mother Michelle Cummings while wanted for fleeing house arrest had previously escaped home confinement four years earlier, court records show.

Marine Corps:

These Marines are having a ‘blast’ with the latest shoulder-fired rocket (Marine Corps Times) The new system shoots farther than three current shoulder-fired rockets.

Marines are testing drones that fly from grenade launchers
(Marine Corps Times) The tube-launched drone go airborne for an hour and fly 12 miles.

Marines headed to protect embassy in Haiti, but no troops to stabilize nation, says Biden
(Marine Corps Times) The Marines sent were part of the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit.

US Marine Corps picks 2 companies to build prototypes for new recon vehicle
(Defense News) The Marine Corps will also work with BAE Systems to study the possibility of adapting an amphibious combat vehicle to become an advanced reconnaissance vehicle.

The Marine Corps just beat the Air Force and Navy in the latest jet capability race
( While the U.S. Marine Corps says its first squadron of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is fully equipped and ready for war, the Air Force and Navy need more time to catch up.

The Marine Corps is now the only service not allowing women to wear ponytails in uniform
(Task & Purpose) The Coast Guard announced on Thursday that women would be permitted to wear their hair in a ponytail, a braid, or two braids.

Air Force:
NH installation is now officially part of the Space Force
(The Associated Press) New sign for new Space Force base.

Biden to nominate defense industry expert Andrew Hunter as Air Force acquisition boss
(Air Force Times) President Joe Biden on Friday announced he would nominate Andrew Hunter, a well-known defense industry expert, to serve as the Air Force’s next acquisition boss.

Airmen and vets divided over new study showing Air Force anti-beard policy damages careers
(Task & Purpose) A new study came out last week showing that the Air Force’s ban on beards may be contributing to racial discrimination and hurting promotion opportunities within the service.

U.S. Air Force sends F-22s to Western Pacific as message to China
(UPI) The largest assemblage of U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter planes is in the Pacific region for exercises analysts say is a strong message to China.

National Guard:
National Guard pleads for Congress to reimburse half a billion for Capitol security mission
(Military Times) The National Guard is $521 million short after the months-long Capitol security mission.

Use your GI Bill benefits to start a business? Lawmakers push pilot program
(Military Times) Reintroduced legislation would create a pilot program for a few hundred veterans to get business start-up money through the GI Bill program instead of college tuition payouts.

WW II veteran celebrates 104th birthday in Virginia
(The Associated Press) Family and friends celebrate the 104th birthday of WWII veteran Retired Lt. Col. Louis Frazier Martin.

Pay & Benefits:
Another 16 million veterans can get these DoD travel deals
(Military Times) Ready to travel? See what deals you can get at American Forces Travel, the official DoD travel discount site, which is now open to veterans.

Citing ‘crisis’ in military child care facilities and barracks, lawmakers want extra $15 billion
(Military Times) Lawmakers want to add $15 billion for military child care and barracks facilities to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package unveiled earlier this month.

Military Culture & History:
What it takes to join SEAL Team Six
(19FortyFive) If you want to send off the best from the U.S. military, you can count on Navy SEALs. But if SEALs need an even more elite team, they send off the SEAL Team Six.

Cyber, Space & Unmanned:

National Reconnaissance Office extends contract for commercial imagery
(C4ISRNET) Planet Federal will continue to provide access to its daily satellite imagery to the intelligence community.

Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein nominated to lead USSF Space Systems Command
(UPI) Maj. Gen. Michael Guetlein was nominated to be the U.S. Space Systems Command's first field commander, the Pentagon announced. Since 2019, he has been deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office.


Eurodrone effort gets $118M funding boost, updated production timeline
(Defense News) The grant for the pan-European medium-altitude, long-endurance drone was announced in Rome, where officials from manufacturers met with the head of European defense contracting agency OCCAR, which is handling the deal.

S.Korea military suffers worst COVID-19 outbreak aboard anti-piracy ship off Africa
(Reuters) South Korea's military has recorded its biggest cluster of COVID-19 infections to date, with more than 80% of personnel aboard a destroyer on anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden testing positive.

China criticized the Afghan War. Now it worries about the withdrawal.
(New York Times) The Chinese government rarely passes up a chance to accuse the United States of military adventurism and hegemony. In the case of Afghanistan, though, it has changed its tone, warning that Washington now bears the responsibility for the hasty end to its two-decade war there.

Commentary & Analysis:

How Afghan war showed limits of US military power:

(The Associated Press) It took only two months for U.S. invaders to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, a seemingly tidy success against a government that had given refuge to 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Twenty years later, the United States is withdrawing — visions of victory long vanished and an ascendant Taliban arguably within reach of restoring their rule.

In Biden support for NATO, budget must back words:

(RealClear Defense) This has been an important month for the relationship between the United States and its NATO allies.

China’s space program is more military than you might think:
(Defense One) On the 4th of July, China celebrated its taikonauts’ first-ever space walk outside the country’s first permanent space station, the Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”).

What the Afghanistan withdrawal means for Georgia’s NATO dreams:
(Defense One) “We have to be with you.” Those words, uttered by a senior Georgian defense official to one of the authors of this article, neatly encapsulate the dilemma that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan presents for his small but strategically important country.

Open letter to Senators on Operation Protect Democracy principles:
(Military Times) We strongly agree that this issue requires bipartisan debate and resolution.

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