Headlines – March 20, 2020

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Guard activations expected to rapidly increase, could be used for law enforcement-
The National Guard is expecting a rapid increase in unit activations over the next few weeks, leaders said at the Pentagon March 19, filling roles like coronavirus testing and potentially law enforcement.
 
U.S.-led coalition troops pull out of base in western Iraq-
Troops from the U.S.-led coalition pulled out from a base in western Iraq on March 19 as part of a planned drawdown, Iraqi and coalition officials said, while training activities by the coalition were suspended amid concerns about the coronavirus.
 
Quarantines in Afghanistan may slow down U.S. withdrawal, meanwhile deployments there on pause-
The coronavirus is throwing a wrench into American plans to exits its longest war serving as a potential spoiler for peace.
 
 

Business

Maine lawmakers want contract relief, quicker payments for industry to combat COVID-19 impact-
In a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly, the congressional delegation from Maine has requested quicker payments and relief from contractual obligations for the defense industrial base, including local shipyards, impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
Nikki Haley resigns from Boeing board, cites opposition to bailout-
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley is resigning from Boeing’s board after the aircraft maker asked for a government bailout amid the coronavirus outbreak.
 
We asked defense companies how they’re impacted by the coronavirus. Here’s what they said-
Like everyone else in America, the defense industry is still reeling from how quickly the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, went from a potential issue to a city-shuttering pandemic.
 
Textron Aviation announces furlough of thousands of workers-
Textron Aviation is furloughing more than 7,000 workers in the hopes of containing the spread of coronavirus, the company announced March 18.
 
Special U.S. fund to replace Russian equipment in Europe is shifting its strategy-
A U.S. State Department fund to help European nations replace Russian-made weapons with American equipment has expanded to eight countries, but will be eschewing a second wave of funding in favor of targeted investments.
 
 

Defense

Navy postpones promotions for 160,000 sailors until further notice amid coronavirus concerns-
Mounting concerns over the spread of coronavirus has prompted Navy officials to delay all selection boards indefinitely.
 
Pentagon prepares to send ship to Seattle, deploy Army hospital units amid coronavirus pandemic-
The Pentagon is preparing to send a U.S. Navy hospital ship to Seattle and deploy two Army hospital units to separate locations in an effort to assist the U.S. medical response to the novel coronavirus.
 
Trump says U.S. military to help Americans stuck in Peru get home-
President Trump on March 19 said the military is helping to get Americans stuck in Peru back to the U.S., as more than 1,400 U.S. citizens remain stuck in the country under a strict quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
 
What exactly is the Defense Production Act?-
President Donald Trump on March 18 invoked a Korean War-era law as part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to boost private industry production of supplies needed for the health crisis.
 
Army postpones its industry day for a major cyber training contract-
The Army postponed its planned industry day for its much-anticipated cyber training contract as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the service announced March 17.
 
Navy will test pushing new software to ships at sea-
The Navy plans to test next year whether it can push new software — not just patches but new algorithms and battle-management aids — to its fleet without the assistance of in-person installation teams.
 
Pentagon has sent a new legislative proposal on Space Force to Congress-
The Pentagon has sent proposed legislation to Capitol Hill that would help clarify the role of the Space Force and fill in some details on how the new service will be organized.
 
130 House members want 24 percent more F-35s procured in FY21-
130 members of the House of Representatives are asking key defense committees in Congress to increase the number of F-35 joint strike fighters by 24 percent over the number requested by the Pentagon in fiscal 2021.
 
 

Veterans

As virus spreads, VA gets set to back up taxed US hospitals-
The Department of Veterans Affairs is bracing for a potential surge of 1 million veterans infected by coronavirus and at the same time is preparing for the possibility it may have to absorb overflow civilian patients if private hospitals are overrun by the pandemic.
 
 
 

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