Today's Top 5
1. Norquist to serve as acting defense secretary; acting service secretaries named
(Defense News) David Norquist will serve as acting secretary of defense for the start of the Biden administration, Defense News has learned.
2. In waning days, Trump shakes up CENTCOM to increase Arab-Israeli efforts against Iran
(Military Times) With just days left in his presidency and in a bid to solidify Arab-Israeli efforts against Iran before Joe Biden takes office, Donald Trump has shaken up the headquarters overseeing U.S. military operations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
3. Long-withheld Pentagon survey shows widespread racial discrimination, harassment
(Reuters) Nearly a third of Black U.S. military servicemembers reported experiencing racial discrimination, harassment or both during a 12-month period, according to results of a long-withheld Defense Department survey that underscore concerns about racism in the ranks.
4. Fearing specter of extremist violence, governors plan for National Guard at home
(Washington Post) Governors in multiple states moved Thursday to activate National Guardsmen to bolster security in their own jurisdictions through Inauguration Day, adding new wrinkles to a sprawling nationwide security plan spawned by the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.
5. Army Guardsman, first known service member, arrested after Capitol riot
(Army Times) Two off-duty Virginia police officers who’ve served in the Army — including one who is still in the National Guard — and a former active duty airman have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Transitioning out of the military and looking for a job?
(Military Times) We have listings from companies looking for vets.
Surface Navy Association
Pentagon’s weapons tester gives update on Navy’s new long-range anti-ship missile
(Defense News) The U.S. Navy’s new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile must go through more rigorous and realistic testing, according to the 2020 annual report from the director of operational test and evaluation.
US Navy’s No. 2 civilian claims leadership shouldn’t be blamed for old failures. Some disagree.
(Defense News) In an eyebrow-raising statement, the acting undersecretary of the Navy complained about congressional oversight of Navy programs, suggesting that current leaders shouldn’t be held responsible for previous administrations’ failures.
Iran tests missiles under apparent watch of US Navy nuclear sub
(The Associated Press) Iran fired cruise missiles Thursday as part of a naval drill in the Gulf of Oman, state media reported, under surveillance of what appeared to be a U.S. nuclear submarine dispatched to the region amid heightened tensions between the countries.
Army's command team in Europe receives coronavirus vaccine
(Stars & Stripes) Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert V. Abernethy, the command team of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, received the Moderna vaccine Thursday at the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic in Germany.
Two German lawmakers urge greater control of criminal cases involving US troops
(Stars & Stripes) Two German lawmakers are calling for changes in an international treaty that leaves most criminal cases involving U.S. troops in the hands of the military justice system, saying local authorities should have more say in such matters.
New coronavirus infections hover above 1,500 in Tokyo; US military in Japan reports 13 cases
(Stars & Stripes) Japan’s capital city counted more than 1,400 new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, while the U.S. military listed 13 across the country as of 6 p.m. Thursday.
Report adds further evidence Iran's Soleimani was killed by new highly precise missile
(The Drive) Fragments reportedly from the scene of the strike that killed Soleimani also match official renderings of the stenciling applied to the unique weapon.
The military knows it has a problem with domestic extremists, white supremacists
(Military Times) In the wake of reports that current and former service members are under investigation for their participation in the Jan. 6 protest and subsequent attack on the Capitol, the Pentagon is making an effort to reinforce its policies on extremism.
Can the Pentagon prosecute military retirees under the UCMJ? Maybe — it depends.
(Military Times) Recent reports of current service members, veterans and some military retirees participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 have prompted calls for investigations into those connections and using the Uniform Code of Military Justice to prosecute the offenders.
Acting defense secretary ordered review of Pentagon’s extremism policies
(Stars & Stripes) Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller quietly ordered a review last month of the Pentagon’s policies on extremist activities among service members, a senior defense official said Thursday, acknowledging the growing concern of troops harboring extreme views.
DoD 'no place' for those espousing extremist views, officials say
(UPI) Pentagon officials said Thursday that the Defense Department has "no place" for those espousing extremist views, and is doing everything it can to eliminate extremism in the department.
Congress & Politics
US military has 'failed' to counter white nationalism in its ranks, lawmakers say
(Business Insider) Democratic lawmakers are urging the Defense Department to "immediately" investigate extremist activity within the US military and implement a plan to prevent the ideology from further spreading within its ranks,
GOP lawmaker and Army veteran who voted for Trump's impeachment says he's buying body armor over death threats
(Business Insider) Republican Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, an Army veteran, on Thursday said that he and fellow lawmakers are taking precautions such as purchasing body armor in the wake of President Donald Trump's second impeachment over the Capitol siege.
Lawmakers ask Army to send cots for National Guard in US Capitol
(Military.com) If images of sleeping National Guard members wedged between statues and using marble stairs as pillows have tugged at your heartstrings, you're not alone.
We salute these military veterans who stood up to rioters on Capitol Hill
(Task & Purpose) When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 after a post-election rally to support President Donald Trump devolved into a riot, the news cycle was flooded with photos and footage most viewers never expected to see.
FBI tracking ‘extensive’ online chatter about armed protests
(The Associated Press) The FBI is tracking an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter,” including calls for armed protests leading up to next week’s presidential inauguration, Director Chris Wray said Thursday.
National Guard on lookout for IEDs with culprit behind RNC, DNC bombs still on the loose
(Fox News) Wednesday's security briefing prep is the same one that troops receive before being deployed for Baghdad or Kabul
Navy SEAL pleads guilty in 2017 strangulation death of Green Beret
(Army Times) A Navy SEAL charged in the strangulation death of an Army Green Beret staff sergeant in 2017 pleaded guilty to reduced charges today.
Man gets life prison sentence for killing newly commissioned 2nd lieutenant
(The Associated Press) A white man who stabbed a Black college student to death at a bus stop on the University of Maryland’s flagship College Park campus was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for what prosecutors claimed was a racially motivated hate crime.
Army to conduct extra background screening on soldiers at Biden inauguration
(Task & Purpose) Some troops assisting with security at next week’s inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden will undergo additional background screening and be trained on reporting suspected extremist behavior, according to Army officials.
Army offering $25,000 reward for information on ‘senseless murder’ of drill sergeant
(Task & Purpose) The Army is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the person responsible for the murder of an Army drill sergeant on New Year’s Day.
Fort Benning hunkers down in hopes of avoiding post-holiday COVID-19 surge
(Task & Purpose) Soldiers at Fort Benning are nearing the end of a two-week lockdown put in place in hopes to get ahead of a potential post-holiday surge of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Woman found dead at Hawaii base was Army veteran; soldier taken into custody
(Stars & Stripes) A soldier has been placed in pre-trial confinement in connection with a homicide investigation into the death of a 25-year-old wife of a soldier Wednesday at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, the Army said Thursday.
Green Beret earns Soldier’s Medal for aiding retired Army Ranger
(Stars & Stripes) An Army physician assistant earned the Soldier’s Medal for his bravery and decisiveness when he strapped a makeshift tourniquet on his own mangled arm and treated his badly wounded mentor after motorcyclists slammed into them at high speed.
Hypersonics, unmanned ship teaming ahead for Zumwalt destroyer
(Breaking Defense) The Navy plans to install hypersonic missiles on its troublesome Zumwalt destroyers, after Congress gave them the green light to start studying the move in the 2021 budget.
Wolfe: Navy plans to start development of nuclear sea-launched cruise missile in 2022
(Seapower) The Navy plans to wrap up an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for a ship-launched nuclear-armed cruise missile in 2021 and begin development of the missile in 2022, said the admiral in charge of strategic weapons.
Naval Academy begins vaccinating faculty, staff
(Capital Gazette) The Naval Academy started vaccinating staff and faculty against the coronavirus on Thursday, the academy announced.
Gen. Brown, Chief Bass receive COVID vaccines; urge airmen to do the same
(Air Force Times) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass on Tuesday received their vaccinations against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Air Force veteran aimed ‘to take hostages’ during US Capitol riot, prosecutor says
(The Associated Press) A retired Air Force officer who was part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended “to take hostages,” a prosecutor said in a Texas court on Thursday.
Roper hints NGAD could replace F-35; Why? Life-cycle costs
(Breaking Defense) The F-35 fighter jet’s exorbitant life-cycle costs means the Air Force cannot afford to buy as many aircraft as it needs to fight and win a war today, which makes the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program all the more important, says outgoing Air Force acquisition czar Will Roper.
Roper makes his pitch to Biden team: ‘I want to be part of the China fight’
(Defense One) The Air Force acquisition chief says he keeps politics out of his work at the Pentagon — and that the U.S. will lose against China without agility.
Former Air Force chief Goldfein joins Blackstone
(Defense One) The retired general picked the investment firm over opportunities at defense companies.
Air Force planning hangar construction for future B-21 stealth bombers
(Military.com) The U.S. Air Force held a virtual B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber industry day this week to discuss construction projects to house the new stealth bomber, known as the Raider, according to a release.
Air Force comptroller to step in as acting secretary after inauguration
(Air Force Magazine) Air Force comptroller John P. Roth will temporarily take over as acting Air Force secretary before President-elect Joseph R. Biden names his pick to run the department, among a slew of other fiscal officials who will oversee their respective services.
Oldest living Marine, who joined after Pearl Harbor attack, dies at age 107
(War Is Boring) Dorothy “Dot” Cole, who enlisted as one of the earliest female Marine reservists in response to the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor and was widely celebrated around her birthday in September as the country’s oldest living Marine, died of a heart attack last Thursday at her daughter’s home in Kannapolis. She was 107.
Space Force joins the intelligence community
(C4ISRNET) The intelligence arm of the Space Force is an official part of the U.S. intelligence community.
Up to 21,000 National Guard troops now authorized in DC for Biden inauguration
(Military Times) Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has now authorized up to 21,000 National Guard troops from around the country to assist law enforcement with security surrounding the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, according to the National Guard Bureau. That’s an increase of 1,000 from the up to 20,000 previously authorized.
A fake National Guard memo warning of nationwide lockdown is circulating again
(Military.com) Some scams just won't go away, such as the fake memo, sporting a National Guard logo, warning that troops are being mobilized to enforce a nationwide quarantine.
Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA
(Military Times) Tens of thousands of caregivers providing critical medical support to disabled veterans will be eligible to receive coronavirus vaccine doses soon under a new policy announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs this week.
Army to review more than 3,500 'bad paper' discharges for post-9/11 vets
(Military.com) The U.S. Army plans to review all other-than-honorable discharges given between April 17, 2011, and Nov. 17, 2020, to soldiers who were diagnosed or had symptoms of a mental health condition or brain injury.
Gulf War vet reflects on 30th anniversary of conflict through his photography
(Stars & Stripes) Three decades ago, Kirby Lee Vaughn prepared to cross into Iraq as part of Operation Desert Storm.
Pay & Benefits
Jill Biden names director for military families program Joining Forces
(The Associated Press) Days before Joe Biden becomes president, incoming first lady Jill Biden took a step Thursday toward fulfilling a promise to revive a program for military families that she and former first lady Michelle Obama once led.
Defense & Aerospace Daily Podcast [Jan 14, 21] Lockheed Martin’s Rambeau on Aegis, HELIOS, unmanned & more
(Defense & Aerospace Report) Jon Rambeau, the new vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors unit, discusses the outlook for the company’s Aegis combat system, SPY-7 radar, HELIOS laser weapon, unmanned systems and cyber role, and growth strategy.
Indian government clears $6.5 billion deal for homemade Tejas fighter jets
(Defense News) India on Wednesday cleared the country’s largest-ever indigenous defense deal worth $6.5 billion for the purchase of 83 LCA MK1A Tejas light combat aircraft.
L3Harris to build prototype satellite capable of tracking hypersonic weapons
(C4ISRNET) The Missile Defense Agency awarded L3Harris Technologies a $121 million contract to build a prototype satellite capable of tracking hypersonic weapons, the agency announced Jan. 14.
Thales UK secures Indian partner for selling its Starstreak air-defense missile
(Defense News) The Northern Ireland arm of Thales UK has struck a partnering arrangement with Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) as part of its effort to secure a deal with the Indian military to purchase the British-developed Starstreak man-portable, air-defense system.
UK grows national F-35 support with LANCE contract
(IHS Jane’s 360) The United Kingdom is growing the level of organic sustainment and support it is able to provide for its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning combat aircraft.
US Air Force downselects Northrop Grumman for F-16 electronic warfare suite
(IHS Jane’s 360) The US Air Force (USAF) has downselected Northrop Grumman as the sole contractor to complete final project efforts to provide the electronic warfare (EW) suite for the service’s Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet.
Cyber, Space & Unmanned
Pentagon testing office finds problems — again — with network security system
(C4ISRNET) For the fourth year in a row, the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester recommended Thursday that components stop migrating to a fraught network security system until the department proves that the system can effectively help defend against cyberattacks.
JADC2 may be built to fight the wrong war
(Breaking Defense) Although it is one of the U.S. military’s highest priorities, service and industry leaders remain confused about Joint All-Domain Command and Control, variously describing it as a communication architecture, a data-sharing approach, an operational concept, or a decision-making tool.
NATO leader calls for justice over US Capitol mob siege
(The Associated Press) The head of NATO said Thursday that all those responsible for last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol should be held accountable, and he expressed confidence that American institutions are up to the job.
Romanian government approves Naval Strike Missile buy
(Defense News) The Romanian government has approved and sent to the parliament a draft bill that will allow the country to buy Naval Strike Missile coastal defense systems through a foreign military sales (FMS) procedure.
Commentary & Analysis
Trump’s behavior demonstrates that Biden must change US nuclear policy
(Defense News) President Donald Trump’s role in inciting the shocking events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and concerns about his state of mind highlight the grave risks posed by the policy that gives presidents the sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons — without the need for consultation or agreement by anyone.
Pentagon won’t throw traditional farewell ceremony for Trump
(Defense One) It’s a shame, and a missed opportunity — not despite recent events but because of them.
SR-71 Blackbird: Why the fastest plane ever was grounded
(19FortyFive) No other U.S. Air Force aircraft could fly faster or higher than the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird,” and on its final flight, it set a truly impressive record.
From Trump to Biden: The way forward for US national security
(Foundation for Defense of Democracies) America must learn from these last four years.
The six blind men and the elephant: Differing views on the US defense budget
(War On The Rocks) In the Indian parable of “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” six blind men come across an elephant by the side of the road.
Why overseas military bases continue to make sense for the United States
(War On The Rocks) Every president in the post-Cold War period has sought to close U.S. military bases overseas, particularly in Europe.
The Pentagon must learn to do more with less
(Bloomberg) The U.S. military is stronger than it was four years ago, but the country’s defense programs still need a lot of work.