Headlines – February 22, 2021

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Defense Secretary Austin urges immediate reduction in Taliban violence-
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first news conference as Pentagon chief, said Feb. 19 that progress toward peace in Afghanistan and an end to U.S. military involvement there depends on the Taliban reducing attacks. He said, right now, “clearly the violence is too high.”
 
Troops describe night of fire from shadowy Iraqi militants-
After the first rocket struck the Erbil base on Feb. 15, “everything happened pretty quickly.” But U.S. officials still aren’t sure who’s responsible.
 
Defense Department inspector general reviews Trump relocation of Space Command-
The Department of Defense’s inspector general announced Feb. 19 that it was reviewing the Trump administration’s last-minute decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
 
 

Business

GEOINT provider BlackSky to go public through merger with investment company-
A geospatial imagery and analytics provider to the intelligence community is going public following an expected $1.5 billion merger with an investment group, the company announced.
 
U.S. antitrust regulators extend review of Lockheed-Aerojet deal-
U.S. antitrust regulators have extended their probe into Lockheed Martin’s proposed $4.4 billion purchase of rocket manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne so that the two companies can provide more information to the government, the companies announced Feb. 19.
 
Israel, U.S. unveil Arrow 4, missile defense with eye on hypersonic threats-
Israel and the U.S. have begun development of the Arrow 4 ballistic missile interceptor to deal largely with new Iranian long-range ballistic missile threats.
 
Navy awards $3B to Newport News Shipbuilding for USS John C. Stennis refueling-
The Navy awarded Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding $3 billion for the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).
 
Steady F-35 price reductions likely at an end-
The next three lots of F-35 production—now being negotiated—likely won’t see much, if any, lowering of unit prices, Lockheed Martin aeronautics vice president Gregory M. Ulmer said Feb. 19.
 
 

Defense

DOD budget ‘bloodletting’ inches closer to reality-
The head of the House Armed Services influential seapower subcommittee just stepped closer to the position of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that the Navy might be in line for a funding boost — and other services will have to pay the bill.
 
Bergdahl files lawsuit claiming undue command influence by Trump, McCain-
Former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has filed a lawsuit alleging “unlawful command influence” against former President Donald Trump, the late Sen. John McCain, and asking whether the judge overseeing his case should have disclosed that he had applied for a “lucrative job” at the Justice Department.
 
U.S. Air Force eyes budget-conscious, clean-sheet fighter jet to replace the F-16-
The U.S. Air Force could be in the market for a brand-new, advanced, fourth-generation fighter jet as it looks to replace its oldest F-16s, the service’s top general said Feb. 17.
 
 

Veterans

For VA, where veterans live is a bigger factor in COVID vaccine refusal than race-
Veterans Affairs officials said they are seeing some groups of veterans turn down opportunities to get the coronavirus vaccine, but it’s not necessarily the individuals they expected to have trouble convincing.
 
Tricare users frustrated by lack of information on COVID-19 vaccine availability-
In El Paso, Texas, Fort Bliss officials have set up a second COVID-19 vaccination site for military personnel and eligible Tricare beneficiaries, including those age 65 and older, and those 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions.
 
 
 

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