Top 5
    Cyberattack slows prescription processing at military pharmacies
(Military Times) Military clinics and hospitals worldwide have been affected by a cyberattack on the United State’s largest commercial prescription processor, Change Healthcare, according to officials with the Defense Health Agency.
 
    Navy introduces new robotics warfare rating
(Navy Times) The Navy unveiled a new robotics warfare rating Thursday to oversee robotic and autonomous system operations.
 
    VA will no longer send veterans’ benefits to multiple bank accounts
(Military Times) Veterans will no longer be able to use multiple bank accounts for different Veterans Affairs benefits under new anti-fraud measures being rolled out by department officials over the next two months.
 
    US promises new sanctions on Iran for its support of Russia’s war in Ukraine, potential missile sale
(The Associated Press) The White House is promising to unveil new sanctions on Iran in the coming days in retaliation for its arms sales that have bolstered Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and threatening a “swift” and “severe” response if Tehran moves forward with selling ballistic missiles to Moscow.
 
    Navy chief could face severe sentence if convicted of espionage
(Navy Times) News this week that a Navy chief is facing espionage charges for allegedly passing classified information to a foreign government contact highlights the rarity of such cases in the military justice system, even as civilian legal analysts warn that Chief Fire Controlman (AEGIS) Bryce Steven Pedicini could face a severe sentence if convicted.
 
Helpful Resources
    Your 2023 Military Times Pay and Benefits Guide
(Military Times) Whether it’s health care, retirement, family support, VA loans or education benefitss, make the most of the benefits available to you.
 
Ukraine
    How Ukraine’s defense companies have adapted to two years or war
(Defense News) With the third winter of war well underway in Ukraine, the country’s military-industrial complex is in a race against the technological clock to out-innovate Russian invaders.
 
    The biggest ever sanctions have failed to halt Russia’s war machine
(Wall Street Journal) Western officials say restrictions are damaging Russia’s economy and military output but acknowledge the impact is slower than hoped
 
    Putin takes a flight in nuclear-capable bomber in a tough message to the West ahead of election
(The Associated Press) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took a co-pilot’s seat in a nuclear-capable strategic bomber on a flight that appeared aimed at bolstering his image ahead of next month’s election he’s all but certain to win.
 
    Russia used at least 20 North Korean ballistic missiles in attacks on Ukraine, Kyiv says
(Politico) Russia has used at least 20 North Korean ballistic missiles in attacks on Ukraine since late December, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said Thursday.
 
Pentagon
    Pentagon’s CJADC2 milestone is signal to China, officials say
(Defense News) The Pentagon’s realization of a basic form of Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control is a signal to China that the U.S. is making significant strides in military modernization, officials said.
 
Congress & Politics
    Senate bill proposes Coast Guard not punish sexual assault victims for minor infractions
(Stars & Stripes) A yearslong coverup of sexual assault at the Coast Guard Academy is prompting lawmakers to align the Coast Guard with other military services in protecting cadets and service members who report sexual abuse.
 
    US Congress members praise Taiwan’s democracy in a visit that’s certain to draw China’s scrutiny
(The Associated Press) A group of United States Congress members met with Taiwan’s president Thursday in a show of bipartisan support that is certain to draw scrutiny from China, which opposes such visits and sees them as a challenge to its claim of sovereignty over the self-governing island.
 
    Top lawmakers cite pay gap, particularly for junior enlisted,’ as issue to address
(Air & Space Forces Magazine) Top lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee indicated they will make pay for junior enlisted service members a key part of their work on the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act—echoing and strengthening a push from service enlisted leaders like Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass for a targeted pay raise.
 
    Biden meets widow and daughter as Russia says Navalny died of ‘natural causes’
(Washington Post) President Biden met Alexei Navalny’s widow and daughter, Yulia and Daria Navalnaya, in San Francisco on Thursday and expressed his condolences, after the Russian opposition leader’s team said that the official death certificate recorded his death in prison as being due to “natural causes.”
 
    Biden lawyers wrestle with lack of congressional blessing for Houthi conflict
(New York Times) Civilian prosecutors took custody of 14 wartime detainees, and an official asserted that a key part of the War Powers Resolution did not apply.
 
National Security
    Trump moves to dismiss his classified documents indictment, citing presidential immunity
(NBC News) In court papers filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, the former president’s lawyers argued that he is immune from prosecution on the basis of presidential immunity.
 
Army
    Patients of Army doctor accused of sexual abuse describe betrayal of trust, fight to endure
(CBS News) As Army pain doctor Maj. Michael Stockin prepares to be arraigned Friday on charges that he sexually abused dozens of patients at Madigan Army Medical Center, near Tacoma, Washington, two of those former patients described to CBS News what they say was conduct that betrayed their trust.
 
    This soldier repeatedly ran into a burning building to save others
(Army Times) The single mother of five didn't hesitate to go back into the building to help others.
 
    US Army’s short-range air defense efforts face review board
(Defense News) The Joint Capabilities Board is scheduled to consider approving the U.S. Army’s Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense system requirements this spring, according to Col. William Parker, the service’s lead on air and missile defense modernization.
 
    Army's new special prosecutors hit ground running with case netting 20-year sentence for rape, assault
(Military.com) In a first for the Army, a new specialized legal team is prosecuting the service's most egregious criminal cases, including a soldier based in Okinawa, Japan, who was convicted of the rape and sexual assault of two victims in California and South Korea earlier this month.
 
    Ukrainian immigrant goes from stocking shelves to US Army role supporting his native country’s defense
(Stars & Stripes) Pfc. Andrii Sydoruk traded the night shift at a California grocery store for an unexpected role in preparing soldiers from his native Ukraine for their fight against Russia.
 
    Kansas woman charged in Ft. Riley soldier’s death
(Fox4KC) A Kansas woman is facing charges in a deadly shooting that happened at the Fort Riley military installation near Junction City.
 
    Charge sheet released of Fort Cavazos soldier accused of murdering sergeant
(6 News Digital) On Thursday, U.S. Army officials released the charge sheet for the soldier accused of murdering a sergeant at Fort Cavazos last year.
 
Navy
    New Navy council to tackle foreign investment risks
(Military Times) The U.S. Navy is creating a council meant to counter “adversarial economic activities,” such as intellectual property theft and exploitation of the supply chain, that harm the Navy and Marine Corps, according to the Navy secretary.
 
    Navy names ship after Chippewa James D. Fairbanks, a former sailor, Marine and Seabee
(Stars & Stripes) The Navy will name a future Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ship after James D. Fairbanks, a member of the Chippewa Tribe and the 13th Force Master Chief Petty Officer of the Seabees.
 
    Carrier USS Carl Vinson returning to San Diego after tense deployment in the Indo-Pacific
(San Diego Union-Tribune) The USS Carl Vinson will return Friday to San Diego Bay from the Indo-Pacific, where the carrier and its strike group operated amid deepening tensions with China.
 
Marine Corps
    Sea bag tanker jacket, boat cloak for women proposed for Marine uniforms
(Marine Corps Times) The commandant made one recommendation before voting got underway: to eliminate the requirement for women to wear pantyhose with dress uniform skirts.
 
    ST Engineering unveils infantry fighting vehicle, cites Marine interest in ground effect craft
(Breaking Defense) The US Marines have reportedly made inquiries about ST Engineering’s AirFish wing-in-ground effect craft, designed to take off and land on water.
 
Air Force
    Changes coming this year for distance learning enlisted PME
(Air & Space Forces Magazine) Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.
 
    Air Force F-16 jettisons fuel tanks during emergency over Yellow Sea
(Stars & Stripes) An F-16 Fighting Falcon jettisoned two external fuel tanks Thursday during an in-flight emergency over the Yellow Sea, according to the 8th Fighter Wing.
 
    Potential F-35 cuts in 2025 won’t be made up by FMS, may drive costs higher
(Air & Space Forces Magazine) Rumored cuts to the Pentagon’s F-35 buy in its fiscal year 2025 budget request would not be mitigated by recent Foreign Military Sales and are likely to drive prices higher, DOD and industry sources told Air & Space Forces Magazine.
 
    Air Force shows off pricey housing upgrades for airmen and families in Japan
(Stars & Stripes) The U.S. government is spending nearly a million dollars per home and $250,000 per kitchen as part of accommodation upgrades at the headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo.
 
    The US military depends on a unique aircraft called the Osprey. Why are so many of them crashing?
(NBC News) When Evan Strickland was 13, he stood in line with his father for 30 minutes in the New Mexico summer sun for the chance to sit in the cockpit of a V-22 Osprey, a unique twin-rotor aircraft used by the U.S. military.
 
    Six-nation Air Force exercise wraps on Guam after 3 weeks, more than 1,000 missions
(Stars & Stripes) An annual multinational Air Force exercise on Guam concluded Friday after nearly three weeks of training missions, from aerial refueling to simulated air combat.
 
Space Force
    Space Force, NRO will fly targeting satellites ‘shoulder to shoulder’
(Air & Space Forces Magazine) The Space Force is making progress on its plan with the National Reconnaissance Office to enable space-based targeting and replace legacy Air Force aircraft, multiple senior leaders said at the AFA Warfare Symposium.
 
Coast Guard
    US Coast Guard takes over cleanup of Western Alaska diesel spill
(Anchorage Daily News) A diesel fuel spill from a storage tank in the Western Alaska village of Kwigillingok this week was reported to be larger than first thought and approaching a river that feeds into Kuskokwim Bay.
 
National Guard
    PATRIOT 24 brings National Guard, civilian agencies together for disaster response training
(Stars & Stripes) When natural disasters strike in the U.S., the National Guard will be ready to help.
 
Your Military
    Lithuania to upgrade living conditions for US troops, defense minister says
(Stars & Stripes) Lithuania’s top defense official pledged this week to improve living conditions for U.S. troops carrying out missions in the country, where American units have stepped up their presence in recent years to deter Russia.
 
    US and South Korea fly warplanes in interception drills after North Korea’s missile tests
(The Associated Press) South Korea and the United States flew advanced stealth fighters in a joint missile-interception drill Friday over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea’s air force said, an apparent response to a spate of weapons tests this year by rival North Korea.
 
Veterans
    VA to slow hiring pace after adding tens of thousands of workers
(Federal Times) After a year of frenzied hiring to fill jobs created by new legislation and chronic understaffing, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said it now has the overall personnel it needs and the pace of hiring will ease as medical centers top out.
 
    Vets say weight loss drugs have improved their health, but new patients are out of luck
(Military.com) When the temperature in North Pole, Alaska, dips below a bone-chilling minus-30 degrees, Brandon Phillips occasionally heads to the front yard with his KitchenAid mixer. To the delight of his kids, the 40-year-old former Army Black Hawk repairman and crew chief takes a heap of local snow and mixes it with cream, milk and sugar for a homemade ice cream.
 
    Black soldiers wrongly executed for 1917 riot get new headstones
(Military Times) Veterans Affairs officials on Thursday dedicated 17 new gravestones at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in Texas to honor Black soldiers unjustly convicted and executed following the 1917 Houston racial riots, calling it part of an effort to “right the wrongs of the past.”
 
    Vietnam helicopter pilot’s heroics earn ‘long overdue’ Silver Star upgrade
(Stars & Stripes) A Vietnam veteran who in 1967 flew an unarmed Huey helicopter on multiple rescue missions that saved dozens of troops will be awarded the Silver Star at a ceremony next month.
 
Military Culture & History
    Chinese Jody hit with jail time after stealing military spouse
(Military Times) All’s not fair in love and war. Sometimes, there is he who lies in wait, plotting to steal significant others when service members are off fighting. His name, of course, is Jody, and he exists everywhere.
 
    Navy sailor’s filmmaking son brings Filipino enlisted stories to the small screen
(Stars & Stripes) Born into a military family, writer-director Chris Soriano took inspiration from his father and other Filipinos in the Navy for his latest film, “The Master Chief: Part One.”
 
    Original Top Gun star sues Paramount over Maverick using his likeness without permission
(Screen Rant) Original Top Gun star Barry Tubb sues Paramount, accusing them of using his likeness in 2022's Top Gun: Maverick without his permission.
 
    ‘Example of the Army’s core values’: Col. Frank Rubio honored after breaking US record for longest continuous spaceflight
(Stars & Stripes) Army Col. Frank Rubio did not grow up thinking he would end up in space. It was something he gravitated to later in life.
 
Cyber, Space & Unmanned
    First US moon landing since 1972 as private spacecraft touches down on lunar surface
(CBS News) Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lander touched down on the moon Thursday after a historic, nail-biting descent following a last-minute navigation sensor malfunction, becoming the first U.S.-built spacecraft to stick a moon landing in more than 50 years and the first ever by a private company.
 
Defense Industry
    Philippines hints at fresh fighter fleet amid negotiations with Sweden
(Defense News) The Philippines is nearing a breakthrough in negotiations to buy fighter jets from Sweden after two decades of efforts to refresh its fleet.
 
    Israeli defense firms make air show return, tight-lipped on Gaza war
(Reuters) Israel's defence industry was out in force at the Singapore Airshow this week, making its return after being largely absent from the Dubai air show in November in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, a subject that was off limits at the Asia summit.
 
International
    Foreign firms vie for South Korea’s airborne early warning contract
(Defense News) Several international vendors are intent on helping South Korea bolster its airborne early warning and control capability, as the country’s Air Force plans to spend at most $2.26 billion on four aircraft.
 
    US charges 4 foreign nationals with shipping Iranian-made weapons to Houthis
(The Hill) The U.S. has charged four foreign nationals with shipping Iranian-made weapon parts to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, a shipment that was seized by Navy SEALS in a daring raid last month off the coast of Somalia.
 
    Russia’s maxed-out arms makers face labor, tech shortages
(Defense News) As Russian arms makers are fulfilling government orders at a record rate, they are bracing for a shortage in skilled labor and high-tech manufacturing components that belie the image of a defense-industrial juggernaut, according to analysts.
 
    France says Russian forces threatened to shoot down surveillance aircraft patrolling the Black Sea
(The Associated Press) Russian forces threatened to shoot down a French surveillance aircraft patrolling in international airspace over the Black Sea, a signal of increasingly aggressive behavior from Moscow as its invasion of Ukraine struggles to make headway, French defense officials said Thursday.
 
    Sudanese militiamen carry out wave of abductions, seeking slaves and ransom
(Washington Post) Since civil war erupted in Sudan last spring, paramilitary fighters battling the country’s army have carried out a campaign of abductions, kidnapping civilians for ransom or pressing them into forced servitude, according to 10 victims who have since been released and other witnesses.
 
    Sweden and Hungary move to smooth over tensions ahead of vote on Sweden’s NATO accession
(The Associated Press) Nearly two years after Sweden formally applied to join NATO, its membership now hinges on convincing one country — Viktor Orbán’s Hungary — to formally ratify its bid to join the military alliance.
 
    UK launches military drone strategy backed by $5.7 billion funding and Ukraine analysis
(Breaking Defense) The UK will spend an additional £4.5 billion ($5.7 billion) over the next decade on new military drones, pledging to “rapidly” equip its armed forces with advanced air, land and sea based uncrewed systems in the process.
 
    Bibi agrees to send Israeli negotiators for hostage talks after US pressure
(Axios) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on Thursday to send Israeli negotiators to Paris on Friday for talks with CIA director Bill Burns, the Qatari prime minister and Egyptian spy chief on a new hostage deal, an Israeli official and a source with direct knowledge told Axios.
 
    Japanese MoD makes first appearance at foreign airshow, seeking arms exports
(Breaking Defense) Japan brought 14 companies to the Singapore Airshow, the first non-Japanese airshow the government has displayed arms at since loosening export controls.
 
    Britain promises Ukraine more Brimstone missiles, training
(Defense News) Britain will supply another batch of multi-role missiles and provide training for thousands of Ukrainian troops, the defence secretary announced this week.
 
    British woman who joined ISIS as a teen loses challenge against the removal of her UK citizenship
(CNN) Shamima Begum, who left the United Kingdom to join ISIS at the age of 15, has lost her Court of Appeal challenge over the decision to remove her British citizenship, according to PA Media.
 
    Putin loses grip on member of his military alliance
(Politico) After more than two decades as part of a Moscow-led military alliance, Armenia has effectively suspended its membership as a result of a growing rift with Vladimir Putin's Russia.
 
    Survivors, families of those killed at Nova festival on Oct. 7 file suit against AP
(Times of Israel) A number of survivors of the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel and families of victims of the unprecedented terror assault have filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press, accusing the news agency of being complicit in the Palestinian terror group’s killing spree over four months ago by working with freelance photojournalists they believe were embedded with the thousands of terrorists who overran southern communities.
 
    Israel’s military draft exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews. The war in Gaza is testing that pact.
(Wall Street Journal) The Defense Ministry wants troops and reservists to serve longer, sparking demands to end a longstanding exemption for a slice of Israeli society
 
    India confirms citizens have joined Russian military
(DW News) New Delhi has confirmed that some of India's citizens have signed up for "support jobs" with the Russian army. The Indian government says it is working with Moscow to secure their discharge.
 
Video
    Icebreaker crushes through frozen channel and gets a tune-up from Coast Guard divers
(Military Times) Watch now
 
    Step inside a B-52 cockpit during an aerial refueling with a KC-135 Stratotanker
(Military Times) Watch now
 
Commentary & Analysis
    Ensuring database readiness for critical operations
(C4ISRNET) A decision is only as good as the data used to make it.
 
    How Poland's new blimp may boost the Pentagon's connect-everything effort
(Defense One) The planned sale of a reconnaissance aerostat could help allies link up to JADC2.
 
    The biggest potential danger from the Hur report is one no one’s talking about
(CNN) But as impactful as the legal and political considerations may be, a third critical area must also be addressed: the potential ramifications these incidents can have on US national security.
 
    Why the Army needs a drone branch: Embracing lessons from Ukraine
(Breaking Defense) In this op-ed, Army Lt. Col. Robert Solano argues the need for the US military to boldly embrace how it approaches uncrewed systems.
 
    Supporting Ukraine and Israel will help deter aggression around the world
(Newsweek) The U.S. Senate voted 70-29 last week to approve more than $95 billion in assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The bill's fate in the House of Representatives remains uncertain. As our representatives in Congress contemplate next steps, it is worth surveying the increasingly connected threats Americans and our allies confront.
 
    Trump didn’t rebuild the military
(Wall Street Journal) His first-term defense record isn’t nearly as good as his current claims.
 
    Why Vice President Harris is prepared to step in as commander in chief
(Washington Post) With the exception of Dick Cheney (who made wars), vice presidents don’t typically get to make foreign policy. But I can’t think of any vice president who has become steeped in international affairs more quickly and more thoroughly than Kamala Harris.