Headlines – July 15, 2020

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U.S. still can’t effectively track weapons and vehicles given to Afghan security forces-
The U.S. military has spent $14.4 million on an internet-based gear and vehicle accountability system for Afghan troops and police that is effectively useless for many Afghan units which don’t have access to the internet or electricity, according to the Defense Department’s Inspector General’s office.
 
Russia: U.S. Air Force, Navy aircraft intercepted over Black Sea-
The Russian Defense Ministry claims it intercepted a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane and an MQ-9 Reaper, as well as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, over the Black Sea on July 14.
 
U.S. has withdrawn from 5 bases in Afghanistan after Taliban agreement-
The Defense Department announced July 14 that U.S. troops have withdrawn from five military bases and reduced the size of its forces in Afghanistan as part of the agreement reached with Taliban in February.
 
 

Business

Pentagon wants a $10B defense industry cash injection. Is Congress listening?-
Pentagon leaders need “around $10 billion” in the next pandemic aid package to cover defense contractors’ coronavirus-related costs, according to a top defense leader.
 
Orolia to contribute timing system to missile defense radar-
Raytheon has selected Orolia to provide a critical time and frequency system to the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor the company is building for the U.S. Army, Orolia announced July 8.
 
Funding for small launch providers still in question after withdrawal of $116M in contracts-
The U.S. Air Force’s top acquisition official hopes money will materialize for small launch providers whose Defense Production Act contracts were withdrawn earlier this month due to a lack of funding.
 
Air Force’s Roper sparks debate on ‘nationalizing advanced aviation’ industry-
Air Force acquisition head Will Roper is worried the ever-shrinking U.S. defense industrial base may force DOD to nationalize major programs in the not-so-distant future — expressing surprise that other senior leaders are not more concerned.
 
Navy awards contract for first vessel in its family of unmanned surface vehicles-
The Navy has awarded a contract for the first unmanned surface vessel it will design and build on its own, a key milestone for the eventual family of unmanned systems that will be a key component of the future surface fleet, according to a July 13 contract announcement from the Pentagon.
 
 

Defense

House panel approves defense bill with border wall limits, Confederate base provision-
A House committee has approved a $694.6 billion defense spending bill that includes money for the Army to change Confederate base names and that seeks to block President Trump’s use of Pentagon funds for his border wall.
 
Navy reports progress fighting fire aboard Bonhomme Richard-
As the battle to contain the fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard entered its third day in San Diego, Navy officials reported progress in the fight.
 
 

Veterans

Veterans Affairs COVID cases reach highest levels yet, but hospitalization rates keep heading downward-
Veterans Affairs hospitals hit their highest levels of active coronavirus cases this week, but department officials say the hospitalization rates of those patients has also reached its lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.
 
VA partially suspends debt collections on veterans through end of year-
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the partial suspension of debt collections against veterans through the end of the year to provide financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
 
 

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