Headlines – December 29, 2020

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U.S.-trained Afghan fighter pilot is in hiding after being denied safe passage-
Maj. Naiem Asadi, an Afghan pilot trained by the U.S. military, became known for his bravery during six years of fighting in the country’s war, from battling Taliban and Islamic State fighters to helping rescue a crashed American pilot.
 
Top House Armed Services Republican urges GOP to avoid ‘distortions’ of vetoed defense bill-
Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, is urging GOP lawmakers to tune out “distortions or misrepresentations” of annual defense policy legislation ahead of veto override vote.
 
 

Business

Congress gives more power to DOD’s industrial base official-
The decision by Congress to raise the industrial base job in the Pentagon hierarchy will help prioritize key issues for the department, but questions remain about the structure of the office, according to analysts.
 
Pentagon awards $2.5 billion Spectrum Forward contract-
The Department of Defense has awarded the National Spectrum Consortium its $2.5 billion Spectrum Forward Other Transaction Agreement, designed to accelerate the development and eventual deployment of new technologies to the battlefield.
 
Wide-reaching hack has defense firms on their toes-
Some of the country’s leading defense firms are likely among the 18,000 SolarWinds customers that may have been swept up in one of the country’s worst cyber espionage failures, but investigations to determine the scope of the hackers’ reach will take significant time.
 
L3Harris to build Next Generation jammers in $496 million contract-
L3Harris Technologies was selected for final design and production of the Next Generation Jammer Low Band aerial jamming program, the Naval Air Systems Command said.
 
 

Defense

New in 2021: The transgender ban, diversity initiatives and toxic chemical research — what will become of these Trump-era policies?-
Policy documents from President-elect Joe Biden show plans to reverse multiple Trump administration policies that affected LGBTQ people, including the ban on transgender troops.
 
‘Very difficult to defend’: What happens if hackers are inside the Pentagon’s networks?-
If Russian hackers suspected of a vast cybersecurity breach slipped into the Pentagon or military’s computer systems, the strength of protective network blockades is key to keeping them from burrowing in to try to access increasing amounts of information.
 
Obesity, other problems barring teens from military service need national attention, leaders say-
Military leaders are worried about the shrinking pool of young people who qualify for military service, with some calling on the acting defense secretary to take immediate action.
 
Army gearing up for a laser Stryker shoot-off-
The Army is working overtime to slap two different 50-kilowatt laser weapons onto a pair of Stryker infantry fighting vehicles ahead of a shoot-off this coming spring, a major step forward for the service’s directed-energy ambitions.
 
 
 

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