Headlines – April 23, 2021

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Pentagon investigated suspected Russian directed-energy attacks on U.S. troops-
Defense officials have briefed congressional committees on the use of mysterious weapons against American service members.
 
Afghan military will collapse without some U.S. help, says top general in the Middle East-
Afghanistan’s military “will certainly collapse” without some continued American support once all U.S. troops are withdrawn, the top U.S. general for the Middle East told Congress April 22. Gen. Frank McKenzie also said he was very concerned about the Afghan government’s ability to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
 
‘We’re going to stay in Iraq,’ says top US Middle East commander-
As the U.S. prepares to draw down its last 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the head of Central Command told reporters April 22 that there are no current plans to begin a similar withdrawal of the last 2,500 in Iraq.
 
 

Business

Don’t expect more money’ for additional F-35s in FY22, lawmakers tell an embattled Lockheed-
Two influential Democrat lawmakers warned on April 22 that they will not support boosting the number of Lockheed Martin-made F-35 joint strike fighters in the upcoming fiscal 2022 budget unless the program makes headway in addressing a laundry list of problems.
 
U.S. Army picks 6 companies to tackle how to power electric combat vehicles in the field-
The U.S. Army has picked six companies that will develop ways to power electric vehicles in austere, remote locations, according to an April 22 statement from Army Futures Command.
 
Chinese firm claims new stealth drone may rival U.S. Air Force’s B-21 Raider-
A Chinese drone maker says it has manufactured a prototype unmanned stealth aircraft that it claims could rival the B-21 Raider being developed for the U.S. Air Force.
 
Northrop Grumman wins $2.3B deal to maintain aging Minuteman III-
Northrop Grumman was awarded a $2.3 billion contract for the propulsion system maintenance of the Minuteman III missile system, the Pentagon announced.
 
Navy orders LRASM integration into P-8 aircraft-
The Navy has awarded a contract to Boeing to integrate the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) into the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft.
 
 

Defense

End commanders’ power to block military sex assault cases, Pentagon panel says-
A Pentagon panel is recommending that decisions to prosecute service members for sexual assault be made by independent authorities, not commanders, in what would be a major reversal of military practice and a change long sought by Congress members, The Associated Press has learned.
 
U.S. military begins shipping equipment in Afghanistan pullout prep-
The U.S. military has begun shipping equipment and winding down contracts with local service providers ahead of the May 1 start of the final phase of its military pullout from Afghanistan, a U.S. Defense Department official said April 22.
 
After leaving Somalia, U.S. troops now ‘commuting to work’ from other nations-
Since U.S. forces withdrew from Somalia earlier this year, they have been “commuting to work” via aircraft to help train Somali troops and for potential counter terror missions, but without a ground presence there is limited intelligence understanding, the head of U.S. Africa Command told lawmakers.
 
F-35 program office announces a “strategic pause” on new logistics system-
The Defense Department is pausing its efforts to field replacement software for the F-35?s troubled logistics system due to a lack of funding, the head of the F-35 program office said April 22.
 
Pentagon is seen short $7.1 billion on what it needs to fly F-35-
The U.S. military is confronting a projected $7.1 billion shortfall in the cost of operating its F-35 jets during the years the fighter will be flying at maximum capacity compared with current long-range budget forecasts, according to a draft audit by Congress’s watchdog agency.
 
An MQ-9 drone is teaming up with a Navy warship to obliterate targets at sea-
The U.S. Navy is pairing an MQ-9B Sea Guardian drone with a guided-missile cruiser capable of firing anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine missiles as a hunter-killer team in an unprecedented exercise testing new unmanned systems.
 
 

Veterans

Caregivers rejected for VA financial aid could get new appeal chances-
Caregivers of seriously wounded veterans who were previously denied benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs may get a new chance to appeal that decision under a court ruling issued this week.
 
 
 

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