Headlines – May 20, 2020


Pentagon memo contradicts Esper’s year-end coronavirus vaccine goal, per report-
Defense Secretary Mark Esper declared May 15 that a government task force charged with developing a COVID-19 vaccine would have a widely available injection by the end of the year.
U.S. Navy issues new distance guidelines for vessels after close encounters with Iranian ships-
The U.S. Navy warned May 19 it will take “lawful defensive measures” against vessels in the Mideast that come within 100 meters (yards) of its warships, offering specific guidelines after a recent close encounter with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Iraq military: Rocket hit Baghdad Green Zone, minor damages-
A rocket struck Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, the seat of Iraq’s government, early on May 19, according to an Iraqi military statement, the first attack on the area since a new prime minister was sworn in earlier this month.


Lockheed slated to miss F-35 delivery target in 2020 as supply chain struggles to keep up-
Lockheed Martin will throttle back the pace of F-35 production on May 23, leaving it anywhere from 18 to 24 jets short of the 141 scheduled for delivery this year.
Northrop receives $2.4B contract for two missile defense satellites-
The U.S. Space Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $2.375 billion contract for two Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites that will help provide ballistic missile warning for the military.
Study sees British defense sector hurting after Brexit-
A report predicts that Brexit will be “more harmful and long-lasting” for the British army and U.K.’s defense sector than for the European Union.
Scandal-ridden Ukroboronprom seeks fresh start in ties with Western arms makers-
If Ukroboronprom is to continue as anything more than a local defense firm, the Ukrainian conglomerate will need to find industrial partners abroad, according to director general Aivaras Abromavicius.


Guard deployments may end one day short of mark needed for retirement, education benefits-
Tens of thousands of National Guard troops responding to the coronavirus pandemic could see their deployments halted one day short of qualifying for a host of veterans benefits, according to a new report from Politico released May 19.
Trump is purging the Pentagon of perceived enemies and installing loyalists in their place, critics say-
President Donald Trump has always prized loyalty in his subordinates, but news about pending personnel moves at the Pentagon could indicate the president is determined to root out perceived enemies within the Defense Department.
Breaking down U.S. Air Force’s 70-percent overall mission capable rate-
The Air Force’s fleet in fiscal 2019 maintained an overall mission capable rate of 70.27 percent, a slight increase from the previous year.


Women veterans advocates worry coronavirus crisis will overshadow other needed fixes-
Women veterans advocates worry another victim of the coronavirus pandemic could be progress in addressing gender-discrimination problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Congressman urges VA to open cemeteries for Memorial Day-
Congressman Brian Mast on May 19 criticized a decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary to restrict public ceremonies at national cemeteries during Memorial Day weekend.

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