Headlines – March 24, 2021

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White House: North Korea conducted short-range missile test-
North Korea fired short-range missiles this past weekend, just days after the sister of Kim Jong Un threatened the United States and South Korea for holding joint military exercises.
 
White House confirms new round of talks with Iraq on U.S. troop presence-
The White House on March 23 confirmed the United States and Iraq next month would hold strategic talks on relations between the two countries and the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq.
 
U.S. weighs a temporary bombing halt in Afghanistan to spur peace talks-
American and Taliban negotiators are discussing a pause in U.S. airstrikes and drone flights in Afghanistan in order to revive longshot peace talks aimed at settling the two-decade old war, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
 
 

Business

Here’s who will compete head-to-head to build the next homeland missile defense interceptor-
The Pentagon has selected Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to go head-to-head in a competition to provide a next-generation interceptor to replace the ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California that make up the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system designed to defend the homeland against ballistic missile attacks from North Korea and Iran.
 
Reagan Institute to launch task force on keeping American industries competitive-
To find ways America’s manufacturing base can stay competitive as it intersects with national security, the Ronald Reagan Institute has assembled a new task force of lawmakers and business leaders, including Lockheed Martin’s former CEO.
 
Norway, Germany to buy six submarines from Thyssenkrupp-
Norway will order four submarines from Germany’s Thyssenkrupp for 45 billion crowns ($5.3 billion), while Germany will purchase another two, the defence ministries in Oslo and Berlin said on March 23.
 
Norway blocks Rolls-Royce’s plan to sell engine maker to Russia-
Norway will block Rolls-Royce from selling a Norwegian maritime engine maker to a Russian company on national security grounds, its justice minister told parliament on March 23.
 
 

Defense

Flight test schedule for U.S. hypersonic weapons at risk, says watchdog-
The Pentagon’s ambitious flight test schedule for hypersonic weapons could be at risk due to test range limitations, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued March 22.
 
F-35 program moves too slowly in deploying software, says government watchdog-
The F-35 program aims to use agile software development practices to ensure the Joint Strike Fighter can quickly receive fresh code to meet emerging threats, but production of new software is still lagging behind schedule, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a March 18 report.
 
Portable nuclear reactor project moves forward at Pentagon-
The Pentagon has selected two companies to move forward with developing small, portable nuclear reactors for military use in the field.
 
Pentagon weighs Guam missile defense money for 2022 budget-
The first moves to build an Aegis Ashore missile defense system on Guam could come in the 2022 defense budget, part of the U.S. military’s efforts to beef up defenses for Pacific places likely to endure a first strike by Chinese forces.
 
As Air Force revamps pilot training, flight safety concerns linger-
The Air Force says its new approach to pilot training, which uses digital learning to complement hands-on practice, is the way of the future. The service also hopes it will help keep airmen safe in the cockpit.
 
U.S. Air Force wraps up study on 2 bases to see which is best to handle B-21 bomber-
The Air Force announced their final environmental impact statement for the B-21 Main Operating bases at Ellsworth, S.D., and Dyess Airforce Base in Texas. The study determines which Air Force base is the best to handle the new B-21 bomber.
 
 

Veterans

VA just got $17 billion in COVID relief money. Here’s how they plan to spend it-
The Department of Veterans Affairs just received over $17 billion as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. How will they spend that money?
 
Senators reintroduce bill to reform VA support for veterans with toxic exposure-
Sens. Thom Tillis and Maggie Hassan have reintroduced a bill to reform how veterans exposed to toxins receive health care and benefits and requires the use of new scientific evidence to establish whether some health problems are connected to toxic exposures.
 
Skepticism surrounds VA promise to draw down backlog of compensation and pension exams-
Veterans Affairs officials are confident they will be able to reduce the backlog of hundreds of thousands of compensation and pension exams by this fall, but watchdog groups are expressing more skepticism that such a goal is realistic.
 
 
 

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