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Headlines — March 28

News

Russia begins to mobilize military reinforcements for Ukraine as casualties mount, Pentagon says
Thousands of Russian troops are stationed at military outposts from Georgia to Syria to Tajikistan, many of them assigned to motorized rifle brigades that experts consider combat-capable and ready to deploy immediately. Those forces have become the centerpiece of what the Pentagon believes is the Kremlin’s plan to keep its ground offensive going, as Russian commanders in Ukraine sustain heavy casualties.

Russian troops’ tendency to talk on unsecured lines is proving costly
Russian troops in Ukraine have relied, with surprising frequency, on unsecured communications devices such as smartphones and push-to-talk radios, leaving units vulnerable to targeting, and further exposing the command and control deficiencies that have come to define Moscow’s month-long invasion.

Biden in Poland to see US troops
President Joe Biden will hear directly from U.S. troops stationed near Poland’s border with Ukraine on March 25 and learn about the growing humanitarian response to the millions of Ukrainians who are fleeing to Poland to escape Russia’s assault on their homeland.

 

 

Business

Stinger and Javelin production can be boosted, says Army acquisitions chief
The production of critical Stinger and Javelin missile systems can be boosted, said the U.S. Army’s acquisitions and logistics head, allowing the United States to refill its arsenals after sending thousands of the systems to Eastern Europe in support of Ukraine.

US-owned Avio Aero wins race to make ‘Eurodrone’ engines
A competition to supply Europe’s new flagship drone with an engine has been won by a GE-owned company despite criticism it is not a sufficiently European solution for the aircraft.

Estonia increases defense spending to buy air defense systems, more weapons
Estonia has approved a Ä476 million (U.S. $523 million) defense spending hike, the majority of which is for short- to mid-range air defense systems.

Germany makes a massive fighter purchase
Germany makes a huge pivot in plotting the future of its air force, putting in a bid to buy a fleet of F-35s on this week’s Defense Dollars.

Next-gen engine for current and future helicopter fleets begins testing
The GE T901 “first engine to test” underwent a “light off,” marking the first time fuel was ignited in the engine, according to the Army.

Greek officials sign contract for three Naval Group frigates
The Greek government has signed the paperwork for three new French frigates, plus a fourth if things go well, in a deal that could be worth around $3.5 billion.

 

 

Defense

Supreme Court gives Biden win for now in Navy vaccine case
The Supreme Court is giving the Navy a freer hand determining what job assignments it gives to 35 sailors who sued after refusing on religious grounds to comply with an order to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Pentagon reconsidering troop levels in Europe amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
When the year began, there were about 80,000 U.S. troops based in Europe, either permanently stationed or participating in heel-to-toe rotations from bases stateside.

Navy unveils up to $175,000 in bonuses for aviation department heads
The Navy is offering up to $175,000 to officers serving as aviation department heads — doling out roughly the same or smaller amounts to these officers as the service did last year, with a few exceptions.

US Marines transition from Harrier to F-35B
As part of the transition from the AV-8B Harrier to the F-35B Lightning II, VMA-214 was re-designated as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 214. The F-35B Lightning II is replacing the AV-8B Harrier to introduce unmatched capabilities to the Marine Corps.

 

 

Veterans

VA’s caregiver review would’ve booted 90% of young vets from program
Veterans Affairs officials were on pace to boot 90 percent of post-9/11 veterans receiving caregivers benefits as part of an ongoing overhaul of the support program before announcing a moratorium on dismissals this week, according to new data released by the department.

What veterans and service members need to know about military discharge upgrades
A discharge characterization of anything less than fully honorable does not have to deprive you of access to veterans’ benefits indefinitely, and the stigma that may be associated with a certain type of discharge doesn’t have to either.

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