Headlines — July 27


New Russian airstrikes target Black Sea regions of Ukraine
Russia targeted Ukraine’s southern Black Sea regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv with airstrikes July 26, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure with missiles fired from long-range bomber aircraft, the Ukrainian military said.

Germany’s Gepard tanks finally reach Ukraine
The cheetah is the world’s fastest animal and can reach a speed of up to 70 miles an hour. If Germany’s Gepard (“Cheetah”) anti-aircraft tanks had traveled at that pace, they would have finished the 1,100-mile journey to Ukraine in about 16 hours. Instead it took three months for the first three Gepards to arrive in Ukraine on Monday, after Berlin said in April it would send them.

Some Ukrainians are forced back to Russian-occupied areas
Thousands of Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion and occupation can’t find steady employment or places to live and are heading back home — even if that means trekking across the front lines.

After years of inattention, Congress scrambles to save defense supply chain
Increasingly worried by the extreme foreign dependence of defense industrial supply chains, Congress is teeing up legislation to address semiconductors and critical mineral vulnerabilities. The Senate this week is expected to pass bipartisan legislation meant to revive the dying U.S. semiconductor sector while Congress is moving to include in the annual defense authorization bill provisions intended to reduce China’s monopoly on critical mineral supply chains.

GOP civil war on Ukraine builds between MAGA, Reagan Republicans
A GOP civil war is building over U.S. policy toward Russia and Ukraine, pitting Reagan Republicans against more isolationist “MAGA” Republicans who take their political cues from former President Trump.




What’s gone wrong – and right – with Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker?
The U.S. Air Force needs more flying tankers to bridge the gap between current capabilities and the next-generation KC-Z refueling aircraft it is planning. The Boeing KC-46A is one option, as is Lockheed Martinís LMXT, which is a modified version of Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport.

Lack of workers is hurting supply chains more than COVID, defense execs say
An economic slowdown might be the only way to fill job vacancies, says Raytheon CEO.

European Defence Fund unveils first round of awardees
The European Union revealed last week the awardees of its first batch of European Defence Fund (EDF)-supported projects, reflecting a cumulative $1.2 billion (U.S. $1.23 billion) going to 61 defense research and development projects.

Latvia requests HIMARS weapon to bolster Baltic defense
Latvia has sent a letter of request to buy an undisclosed number of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the United States, with the potential acquisition to be carried out as a joint initiative of the three Baltic states, which also include neighboring Estonia and Lithuania.




Army plans ‘prep course’ to help hopeful soldiers lose weight, improve test scores
The service acknowledged last week that its recruiting crisis means it will miss its end strength goal by approximately 10,000 troops in fiscal 2022, with an estimated drop to around 466,400 soldiers.

Navy moves to align its strategy with National Defense Strategy priorities
The chief of naval operations has updated his strategic vision for the U.S. Navy to tie it more directly to the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy, in the hopes of making it more likely to be funded and implemented.

Force secretary tight-lipped about new Phoenix Ghost suicide drone
The American-made Phoenix Ghost loitering munition is being used to great effect in the Ukraine-Russia war, U.S. officials say, but the head of the service that developed the weapon is being tight-lipped about its capabilities and the Pentagon’s plans for employing the system for its own use.




Florida schools to let veterans teach without degrees
Florida has 9,000 teacher vacancies it needs filled before the summer comes to a close and the new academic year begins. The state’s Department of Education announced last week that military veterans can now fill those roles.

Senator introduces bill to modernize VA medical centers, other infrastructure
The bill, dubbed the “Build, Utilize, Invest, Learn, and Deliver [or BUILD] for Veterans Act of 2022,” would require the VA to develop plans and workforce hiring strategies to complete new facility projects, examine infrastructure budgeting, and provide Congress with its plans and performance data for enhanced accountability.

3M to create $1 billion trust to resolve lawsuits with veterans as part of a bankruptcy filing
Earplug manufacturer 3M has set aside more than $1 billion to resolve the more than 290,000 pending cases from veterans who claim the company’s earplugs that they used during military service damaged their hearing.

Biden’s Education Department just released a plan to prevent for-profit colleges from ‘exploiting’ veterans and loading them up with student debt
President Joe Biden’s Education Department just unveiled more plans to reform the student-loan industry, and this time they’re focusing on veterans, service members, and incarcerated people.

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