Today's Top 5
1. The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal
(Defense News) The Pentagon’s upcoming recommendation for a future Navy is expected to call for a significant increase in the number of ships, with officials discussing a fleet as large as 530 hulls, according to documents obtained by Defense News.
2. Services to consider removing all identifying information from promotion board packets
(Military Times) Soon, there will be no photos on packets sent to promotion boards, but that may just be the first step. The feeling now, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is that all identifying information should be stripped from documents when boards consider troops for promotion.
3. 40 groups call on House panel to investigate Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds
(The Hill) A coalition of 40 organizations from across the political spectrum is calling for a congressional investigation into how the Pentagon used $1 billion in coronavirus relief funds.
4. The Army is rolling out a new fitness test: Will it hold back women?
(Washington Post) An Army initiative to create a stronger, fitter fighting force has yielded a dramatic gender gap, raising questions about whether the service might unintentionally compound barriers for women trying to move up the ranks.
5. Will Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego have female drill instructors this winter?
(Marine Corps Times) The Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego may see its first female drill instructors training recruits as early as “this winter,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday.
C-130 deployable HIMARS wins U.S. Army production award
(Lockheed Martin) Designed to work hand-in-hand with the C-130 Hercules to provide expeditionary long-range precision fires anytime, anywhere. Hercules and HIMARS are the answer when you need to bring your best to the fight.
Transitioning out of the military and looking for a job?
(Military Times) We have listings from companies looking for vets.
Ospreys draw eyes over Ukraine during special ops exercises
(Air Force Times) Air Force CV-22 Ospreys and other aircraft teamed up with the Ukrainian military this week in training exercises, and turned heads as they passed over Kyiv.
Report: Cough-suppressant abuse on Okinawa still a problem, despite military efforts to stop it
(Stars & Stripes) Researchers believe abuse of over-the-counter cough suppressants by U.S. service members on Okinawa is likely still a problem, despite aggressive efforts by the military to combat it, according to a study recently published in Military Medicine.
Expert panel tells lawmakers US needs to do more to counter Chinese Pacific expansion
(USNI News) Palau’s recent offer to permit the United States to build bases and airfields could provide a model for Washington to use to counter China’s territorial claims in the Pacific, a senior security expert told the House Armed Services Committee.
Modern Day Marine
America’s top Marine says the US must shake up its military presence in the Pacific
(Defense News) The way the United States military has had forces arrayed in the Pacific for the last 70 years must change to meet a new threat environment, the US Marine Corps' top general said Wednesday, arguing that the force must be in more places and spread across a wider area.
Marine Corps plans robust improvements to force-on-force combat training
(Military.com) The new head of Marine Corps Training and Education Command said he is a new believer in the renewed push to require force-on-force training to prepare combat units for the future battlefield.
How the Marines want to provide information on demand
(C4ISRNET) The Marine Corps wants to provide information on demand. However, sensing, harnessing and acting upon the vast amounts of data produced daily is an enormous challenge and now the Corps is turning to its 2019 blueprint for the information environment.
Automatic US citizenship restored for all military children born overseas
(Military.com) In compliance with a new law, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has changed its rules to give children born overseas to U.S. military families and civil servants immediate American citizenship.
Leg tucks lift up soldiers during Suicide Awareness Month
(Military Times) In recognition of Suicide Awareness Month, the Army recently issued a challenge to its soldiers — get better at unit cohesion.
Former Joint Chiefs chairman joins call to ensure troops' votes are all counted
(Military.com) A bevy of retired military officers and veteran entrepreneurs, including seven former service chiefs, recently retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and nine other four-stars, have endorsed a campaign to make sure military votes are counted among the avalanche of mail-in ballots expected in the upcoming presidential election.
Pentagon pushes ahead on diversity as new Trump executive order halts bias training
(McClatchy) The military’s top leaders said Thursday they remain committed to addressing racism and discrimination in the ranks, just two days after President Trump signed an executive order banning what he called “divisive” diversity training.
Blasting the air in front of hypersonic vehicles with lasers could unlock unprecedented speeds
(The Drive) For decades, the DoD has been researching a radical drag reduction technique that involves sheathing a vehicle in directed energy-induced plasma.
Congress & Politics
Selva among 480 former national security officials to endorse Biden
(Defense News) Retired Gen. Paul Selva, who served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Donald Trump, is among the more than 480 national security leaders who announced their support for Joe Biden to become the nation’s next commander in chief.
Top US lawmakers voice support for Israel’s military edge amid F-35 sale
(Defense News) Top Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders Thursday invoked Israel’s qualitative military edge, signaling a complex path for a possible U.S. sale of F-35 joint strike fighters to the United Arab Emirates.
8 surviving members of famed Merrill’s Marauders to receive Congressional Gold Medal
(Military Times) “If they can walk and carry a gun,” Major General Joseph Stillwell presciently told Brigadier General Frank Merrill in 1943, “they can fight!”
DOJ alleges local Pennsylvania officials opened 9 discarded military mail-in ballots
(Military Times) David J. Freed, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced on Thursday afternoon that his office had opened an inquiry into the disposal of nine military mail-in ballots in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Justice Dept. statement on mail-in ballot investigation appalls election law experts
(Washington Post) The Justice Department alarmed voting-law experts Thursday by announcing an investigation into nine discarded ballots found in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Bias in US military promotions cited as senators offer measure
(Bloomberg) Two senators on the Foreign Relations Committee introduced a measure aimed at reducing bias in military promotions by withholding some identifying information from the boards that decide on them.
US senator grills State Department official on potential F-35 sale to UAE
(Al-Monitor) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said the possible sale of the advanced fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates could undermine Israel's military superiority in the region.
McMaster rejects CNN question on whether military would remove Trump if he doesn't concede
(Fox News) Former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster on Thursday quickly dismissed a hypothetical question posed by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer about whether the U.S. military would forcibly remove President Trump from the White House upon an election defeat -- if the president refused to concede.
3 fall Army brigade deployments to Afghanistan, South Korea and Europe announced
(Army Times) The Department of the Army announced deployments for three brigades rotating this fall to Afghanistan, South Korea and Europe.
Diversity training doesn’t run afoul of president’s executive order, Army officials say
(Army Times) The Army’s emerging diversity initiatives don’t conflict with an executive order signed Tuesday prohibiting the armed forces from instituting training programs that suggest the United States is “irredeemably racist and sexist,” service officials said Thursday during a telephone call with reporters.
Army leaders say new diversity efforts will work because service culture is so different from a decade ago
(Task & Purpose) Army leaders spearheading the service’s diversity and inclusion programs said on Thursday that their new efforts would be successful because the Army has a totally different culture today than it did a decade ago.
Two Super Hornets have suffered in-flight engine fires this month
(Navy Times) A Virginia-based F/A-18F Super Hornet jet suffered an in-flight engine fire during training on Monday, the second such mishap in recent weeks, officials have confirmed.
Russian 'bullying' in a European hotspot stirs Cold War memories for the region's former top US Navy officer
(Business Insider) Russia's recent moves in the Black Sea remind retired Adm. James Foggo of what's considered the last US-Soviet incident of the Cold War.
USS 'Woody' Williams conducts training exercises with Senegalese navy
(UPI) The USS Hershel 'Woody' Williams conducted passing and communications exercises with the Senegalese naval counterpart patrol vessel Kedougou this week, according to the Navy.
USS Carl Vinson preparing for first F-35C, ‘advanced carrier air wing’ deployment
(USNI News) Next year, the most advanced carrier air wing in history will sail to the Pacific aboard USS Carl Vinson.
Air Force eyes big staff sergeant promotion supplemental due to pandemic
(Air Force Times) The Air Force is roughly doubling the percentage of airmen being considered for supplemental promotion to staff sergeant next month, as a result of testing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Air Force’s future tanker planes could be autonomous
(Military.com) The Air Force is drawing up plans for its next refueling tanker to have autonomous or semi-autonomous capabilities, thanks in part to efforts to fix the KC-46 Pegasus, according to the service's acquisition czar.
With an eye on China, Reaper drones train for maritime war
(Air Force Magazine) MQ-9 Reapers, the workhorse drone of America’s two-decade counterterrorism fight in the Middle East and Africa, want to show they’re getting a second wind.
The full story on that Oregon F-15 that fired its missiles into the sea before landing
(The Drive) Now we have obtained a copy of the official Air Force accident report that describes exactly what happened.
Marines weigh closing Parris Island and San Diego to open new coed boot camp
(Military.com) The Marine Corps is considering a plan in which it could close its two existing boot camp locations and funnel all recruits to a new base where men and women would train together.
Camp Lejeune Marines warned to stop running in the dark after 4 coyote attacks
(Military.com) Three Marines and a sailor have been bitten by a coyote on the loose at a North Carolina base, prompting leaders there to issue a warning to anyone going out after dark.
Changes are coming for Marines’ deployments to the Pacific
(Military.com) The Marine Corps will reexamine where it's postured in the Asia-Pacific region as the service prepares for possible conflict with China, the commandant said this week.
Top Marine says racism in the Corps has to be cut out ‘like a cancer, quickly’
(Task & Purpose) The Marines need to eradicate all traces of racism and extremism within the Corps, Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday.
The Marines are nowhere near ready for gender-integrated boot camp, commandant says
(Task & Purpose) Despite making efforts to integrate male and female recruits at boot camp, the Marine Corps is still a long way off from being able to have men and women training in the same platoons, Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger said Thursday.
Trump's former Coast Guard chief endorses Biden, cites 'insurgency' on the Constitution
(Politico) President Donald Trump's former four-star head of the Coast Guard is speaking out on his decision to endorse Joe Biden, saying it's due to an "insurgency" on Americans' constitutional rights that has occurred on the commander in chief's watch.
Check out these dramatic photos of the recent fire aboard Coast Guard cutter Waesche
(The Drive) A series of dramatic photos show a blaze that recently broke out aboard the U.S. Coast Guard’s Legend-class cutter USCGC Waesche while at sea in the Western Pacific.
Watch the Coast Guard rescue seven people from a capsized boat
(Navy Times) Harrowing video has emerged of the chaotic moments Sunday when a U.S. Coast Guard crew rescued a pregnant woman and six other people from a capsized boat far off the Tampa Bay, Florida, coast.
Unicorn made famous by shark incident floats into history at Coast Guard Museum
(Military.com) In the video, it can be seen drifting at sea, a rainbow-bright mythological Equus cast aside as swimmers from the Coast Guard cutter Kimball clambered out of the water and away from an uninvited shark.
Missouri Governor Parson activates National Guard following 'recent instances of civil unrest across the country'
(Fox News) Missouri Gov. Mike Parson activated the National Guard on Thursday in response to the national unrest over the Breonna Taylor case in Kentucky.
National Guard to kick off $62 million Camp Ashland flood reconstruction project
(Omaha World-Herald) Nebraska National Guard leaders will turn the ceremonial first shovel of dirt Friday on a major rebuilding project at their Camp Ashland training site after two disastrous floods in the past five years.
After a daring rescue in ‘apocalyptic’ wildfire conditions, the military prepares for a long fight
(Washington Post) In the thickening smoke and gusting wind, two California National Guard helicopter crews made a decision: They would fly repeatedly into the spiraling wildfire crisis in the Sierra National Forest, even though they had never flown a mission quite like this one.
Veterans will see same cost-of-living boost in 2021 as Social Security beneficiaries
(Military Times) Veterans receiving government benefits will see a cost-of-living boost in 2021, if Social Security officials approve one for their recipients later this year.
Military Culture & History
What’s up Doc? More than 70 vintage aircraft set to fly over Washington to celebrate end of WWII
(Military Times) Several thousand feet in the air and less than 100 feet apart, “Doc” and “Fifi” — the last two B-29 Superfortress bombers still flying — gently bounce in unison over the verdant fields of rural Virginia.
Dutch Patriot missiles, UK C-17 support cleared by US State Department
(Defense News) The U.S. State Department on Thursday OK’d two potential arms deals for a pair of NATO allies.
Boeing assembles team to bid for next-gen missile defense interceptor
(Defense News) Boeing has assembled a team with General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Aerojet Rocketdyne to bid to build the Missile Defense Agency’s Next Generation Interceptor (NGI).
Israel, Italy swap helicopters and missiles in new arms deal
(Defense News) Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced a reciprocal procurement agreement with Italy’s defense ministry that will see Israel acquire 12 training helicopters and Italy receive Rafael Advanced Defense Systems “Spike” missiles and Elbit Systems simulators.
Air Force awards $38M in contracts for upgrades to airfield in Iceland
(UPI) The Air Force has awarded three contracts totaling $38 million to improve the airfield at Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland.
Cyber, Space and Surveillance
Inside the Army’s fearless, messy, networked warfare experiment
(Defense One) Big steps reveal plenty about the bigger ones to come — including the need for battlefield coders.
Marine F-35s share targeting data with Army: Project convergence
(Breaking Defense) The Army revealed yesterday that Marine Corps F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flew in its future warfare experiments in the Yuma Desert, sending and receiving target data to and from Army units on the ground.
AFWERX seeks next breakthrough tech market for investment
(Breaking Defense) AFWERX is eyeing the groundbreaking commercial technology market to decide what to invest in next, says Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper.
Primer on hypersonic weapons
(Defense & Aerospace Report) Christian Trotti and Tate Nurkin of the Atlantic Council discuss the think tank’s “Primer on hypersonic weapons in the Indo-Pacific region” with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian.
A bigger Navy to fight China? Stealing from a Medal of Honor recipient. And the Marines recruit Gen Z ? The Briefing, 9.24.20
(Military Times) The Secretary of Defense lends support for a Navy big enough to push back China. At the same time the Army sends more troops to Syria to elbow back the Russians. Meanwhile, the Iranians are calling for a “hit” on anyone involved in a strike on their top general earlier this year. And a Medal of Honor recipient gets an ugly surprise after returning from a trip.
Interview with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger
(Defense One) Watch Defense One's interview on building the future force, racism in the ranks, integrating women, and working with Congress.
Egypt boosts naval power in deal with German shipbuilder
(Al-Monitor) Egypt is getting ready to start building its first locally manufactured frigate with the help of Germany.
Pompeo: China using nuclear weapons program aid to seduce US allies in Middle East
(Washington Examiner) China is using the prospect of access to technology related to a nuclear weapons program to lure American allies into Beijing’s geopolitical orbit, U.S. officials and lawmakers fear.
Commentary & Analysis
Two steps President Trump could take now to secure missile defense improvements
(Defense News) In his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination, President Donald Trump said that in a second term, “We will win the race to 5G, and build the world’s best cyber and missile defense.”
If China loses a future war, entropy could be imminent
(Federal Times) What happens if China engages in a great power conflict and loses? Will the Chinese Communist Party’s control over the society survive a horrifying defeat?
Are the days of manned fighters REALLY numbered?
(Breaking Defense) DARPA just pitted “Banger,” a real F-16 fighter pilot, against an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program which proceeded to beat its human rival in five back-to-back simulated dogfights.
The painful, but necessary, next steps in the US-Taiwanese relationship
(War On The Rocks) China is once again rattling its saber at Taiwan. This past weekend, Beijing repeatedly sent fighter jets and bombers across the so-called median line, which has long served to unofficially demarcate Chinese and Taiwanese airspace over the Taiwan Strait.
Kill 'em all? Denial strategies, defense planning, and deterrence failure
(War On The Rocks) Should the United States be ready to destroy hundreds of Chinese vessels or thousands of Russian armored vehicles in just a few days during a conflict?
(Foreign Affairs) Should American support for Taiwan be ambiguous?
Five ways GAO fails to understand defense industry independent research and development
(Forbes) Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office released an analysis of whether independent research and development (IR&D) performed by defense contractors matches Pentagon priorities.