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May 26, 2021FOLLOW US
Sponsored By: VerizonWelcome to the Early Bird Brief, compiled by Diana Correll and Steve Weigand. Please email news tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Diana_Correll.Today’s Top 5
1. Air Force secretary nominee pledges to tackle enduring pilot shortage, personnel issues
(Air Force Times) The Air Force’s pilot retention problem has lasted for decades. Now it’s about to become a top concern for another new service secretary.
2. The Army wants to kick out an avowed white supremacist officer, but they won’t admit it
(Military Times) A separation board recommended a field-grade Army officer for an other-than-honorable discharge in February, following a 2019 criminal investigation into his extensive online rhetoric supporting white supremacy and the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
3. F-35 sale to U.A.E. imperiled over U.S. concerns about ties to China
(Wall Street Journal) Washington seeks assurances for a $23 billion arms sale as Emirates expand security and technology cooperation with China.
4. Biden and Putin to meet in June
(The Associated Press) U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Tuesday to meet next month in Geneva, a face-to-face encounter the White House hopes will help bring some predictability to a fraught relationship that’s only worsened in the first months of the Democratic administration.
5. Navy’s new ‘Project Avenger’ flight training program aims to produce stronger aviators
(Navy Times) The prototype flight training program aims to strengthen abilities of student pilots while reducing the time it takes to send them to the fleet.
Transitioning out of the military and looking for a job?
(Military Times) We have listings from companies looking for vets.
US completes up to 25% of Afghan withdrawal
(Voice of America) The U.S. military estimates that it has completed up to a quarter of its pullout from Afghanistan.
US lifts missile restrictions on South Korea, ending range and warhead limits
(Defense News) South Korea can now develop ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets far beyond the Korean Peninsula, following the United States’ approval to lift a 42-year-old restriction on its ally’s missile development program.
AdvertisementRussian military seeks to outmuscle US in Arctic
(Wall Street Journal) For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing.
Taliban attach conditions to Istanbul conference participation
(Voice of America) The Afghan Taliban have decided upon three conditions to attend an eagerly awaited U.S.-proposed conference in Turkey: The conference must be short, the agenda should not include decision-making on critical issues, and the Taliban delegation should be low level, a senior Taliban leader told VOA Tuesday.
US, Russia meet to discuss intercepts at air and sea
(UPI) Leaders of the U.S. and Russian navies met in Moscow Tuesday to discuss air-to-air intercepts in international airspace and interactions between the two nations’ ships, the Navy said.
Arlington Cemetery loosens pandemic restrictions ahead of Memorial Day
(Military Times) Public wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery resumed this week as officials loosened pandemic restrictions ahead of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Pentagon studying how counterterrorism fits into great power competition
(Defense One) The Pentagon has not previously discussed how to use counterterrorism capabilities for great power competition. Now that’s changing.
TRANSCOM head envisions increased intra-theater lift demand
(Breaking Defense) America’s new way of war, soon to be articulated in the Joint Warfighting Concept, will require more and different intra-theater lift capabilities, says the outgoing head of Transportation Command.
CDC now watching for cases of heart inflammation following COVID-19 vaccine
(Military.com) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into cases of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, in a small number of Americans vaccinated against COVID-19, including at least 17 Defense Department patients.
Congress & Politics
‘Excuses are over’: Gaps in domestic violence reporting threaten troops’ safety, lawmakers say
(Military Times) Lawmakers and victims’ advocates blasted defense officials on Tuesday for an incomplete and inadequate response to domestic violence incidents in the ranks, saying they may be undermining faith in military leadership by overlooking large numbers of cases annually.
Advertisement Military, veterans and their families save on Unlimited plans. Plus, get additional savings on select Samsung phones for a limited time. Learn moreBillet cuts affecting military medical facilities and patients, lawmaker says
(Military Times) Military beneficiaries are beginning to feel the effects of the personnel cuts in military medical facilities, a lawmaker told a panel of witnesses who are the top military medical officials.
SECAF nominee walks a tightrope on F-35 procurement plans
(Defense News) The F-35 joint strike fighter loomed like a ghost over the May 25 confirmation hearing of President Joe Biden’s pick for Air Force secretary, who famously called the program a case of “acquisition malpractice.”
Pentagon’s unspent billions loom large as Biden eyes flat budget
(Bloomberg) The Pentagon returned almost $128 billion in unspent cash to the U.S. Treasury in the 11 years ending in 2019, according to a first-of-its-kind audit by Congress’s watchdog agency.
Pentagon failings on sex assaults unite lawmakers pushing change
(Bloomberg) The U.S. military faces growing pressure to transform how it handles and prosecutes sexual assaults, murders and other major crimes from an unusual alliance of Republican and Democratic senators who are pitted against the Pentagon and some of its top overseers.
Judge: Army veteran charged with bringing guns to DC had militia ties
(The Associated Press) A Vietnam veteran charged with bringing 11 molotov cocktails and other weapons to Washington on the day of the U.S. Capitol riot had driven around the area a month prior, kept lists of officials and tried to find Republican Sen. Ted Cruz to discuss election fraud, a judge wrote in a court document.
President and first lady thank National Guard after troops leave US Capitol
(CNN) President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Monday thanked the National Guard troops who were deployed at the US Capitol for the past several months as their mission ended at the Capitol grounds on Sunday.
Lawmakers urge Biden to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open after Afghanistan pullout
(Military.com) Senate Republicans want to know what President Joe Biden plans to do with the controversial wartime prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan.
Army interrogation manual needs revisions to prevent torture, advocates warn
(Army Times) An Army field manual that guides all national security interrogations needs revisions to prevent Americans from engaging in torture, such as an explicit ban on notorious CIA techniques used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, advocates said in a recent letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other key officials.
Two-star general among group of soldiers punished after sexual misconduct probe
(Army Times) An investigation into an Army Reserve command’s mishandling of sexual harassment and assault allegations found significant shortcomings in the unit’s practices and resulted in a total of 15 soldiers being punished, including a major general.
Poor progress on women’s issues earn scolding for Army officials in Congress
(Army Times) The Army’s top enlisted soldier faced tough questions from lawmakers Monday about gender disparities plaguing the Army’s new fitness test, an apparent lack of progress in fielding equipment for women and sexual assault numbers that aren’t moving in the right direction.
Army mulls returning to gendered fitness standards over complaints of ‘lopsided’ ACFT
(Military.com) The Army is considering adding gender-specific standards to its new Army Combat Fitness Test, or ACFT, after early data shows nearly half of female soldiers can’t pass the test and might face being removed from service once it becomes official next year.
Gwinnett police honor Army recruiters who saved life of man shot in apparent road rage incident
(Gwinnett Daily Post) U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Borges and Sgt. Austin Childers are trained to administer first aid in case they ever need to do so on a battlefield. But they recently got to use those skills in a civilian setting far from any war zones.
You may see this break-dancing American soldier in the 2024 Olympics
(Task & Purpose) By day, Staff Sgt. Brianna Pritchard is a mechanic who fixes Black Hawk helicopters for the Alaska National Guard. But off the clock, Pritchard breaks it down hard: break dancing that is. The Anchorage, Alaska native has 14 years of break dancing experience and now she has a shot of competing in the first Olympic break dancing competitions in 2024.
Theodore Roosevelt returns from second deployment in a year
(Navy Times) The sailors of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt returned to San Diego Tuesday following the completion of their second deployment in a year.
Pre-deployment ROM cut for vaccinated sailors
(Navy Times) The Navy is nixing the pre-deployment restriction of movement (ROM) sequester for vaccinated sailors.
US Navy says it met Idaho deadline on spent nuclear fuel
(The Associated Press) The U.S. Navy said it has met a deadline for treating spent nuclear fuel from its fleet of nuclear-powered warships that’s stored at its eastern Idaho facility.
Naval Academy alumnus flies his final time over Annapolis as one of the Blue Angels during Commissioning Week
(Capital Gazette) Lt. Cmdr. James Haley was 8 years old when he decided he would be a pilot in the military.
After Australian ship hits 2 whales, US Navy says it takes steps to protect marine life
(Military.com) After two dead fin whales were removed from the hull of the HMAS Sydney, an Australian destroyer conducting exercises off the coast of San Diego on May 8, U.S. Navy officials emphasized that the service takes protective measures to mitigate environmental risks, according to a statement to Military.com.
Marine Corps deactivates its final active-duty tank battalion
(Marine Corps Times) The Marine Corps deactivated the historic 1st Tanks Battalion on Friday in a ceremony celebrating the storied unit’s historic past and “complicated relationship” with the wider Marine Corps.
3 Marine security guards nominated for valor award after Jamaica embassy bomb threat
(Marine Corps Times) A rant quickly escalated into a bomb threat.
NTSB, military probing fatal jet crash near Nellis Air Force Base
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