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Headlines – July 28, 2021

News
U.S. stepping up airstrikes this week to support Afghan forces-
The U.S. military this week has launched additional airstrikes in support of Afghan government forces in their fight against the Taliban, using both conventional warplanes and armed drones, the Pentagon said July 27.
 
White House seeking $1 billion to help resettle Afghan allies-
The money would cover temporary shelter, resettlement and other necessities.
 
Austin promises U.S. will continue to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense-
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States will continue to help Taiwan and other allies in the Pacific defend themselves against aggression from China even as he said a new, more transparent relationship with Beijing is desired.
 
 

Business

McCain’s legacy initiative on Pentagon waste is at risk-
The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to remove a mandated preference for the use of fixed-price contracts that increase financial risk for Pentagon contractors, overturning a signature initiative of the late Senator John McCain.
 
Japanese firms sign $225 million deals to maintain Ospreys for Navy, Marine Corps-
The U.S. military has signed two Japanese firms to maintain its V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft across the Pacific under contracts worth $225 million each.
 
DIU awards Anduril Industries contract for counter-drone AI technology-
The company’s counter-drone solutions are now available to all the military services.
 
See Russia’s new Checkmate fighter jet unveiled at defense expo-
Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi showed off its new Checkmate jet during the MAKS 2021 aviation show last week, presenting it as a fifth-generation fighter.
 
 

Defense

DOD dragged its feet on toxic chemical exposure prevention and clean-up, IG finds-
A bureaucratic roadblock prevented the Defense Department from taking action after issuing a “risk alert.”
 
Defense bills would provide new food allowance for low-income military families-
A House panel is weighing a $770 billion defense policy bill that includes a provision to give lower-income military families a basic needs allowance — a stipend that advocacy groups say would relieve stress and “food insecurity” among U.S. troops.
 
‘Ghost Fleet’ hulls moving toward completely unmanned operations-
The pair of Ghost Fleet ships the Navy and the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office are using as testbeds to prove large autonomous vessels can operate effectively at sea are slowly moving toward completely unmanned operations.
 
 

Veterans

VA unemployment benefit would be protected under this plan-
The Individual Unemployability program has been the target of proposed funding cuts in recent years.
 
VA makes ‘error’ in using gender-neutral motto in official government notice-
No, the Department of Veterans Affairs has not officially changed its mission statement, despite publishing a gender-neutral version in an official U.S. government publication last week.
 
Lawmakers urge National Archives to digitize records, clear backlog of veterans’ requests-
Leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform urged the National Archives this week to digitize its records to help with a large backlog of records requests from veterans who need personnel information to secure government benefits.
 
 
 

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