August 9, 2020

US Conducts Operations in South China Sea for 2nd Time in 2 Weeks

Operations

The US Navy again has two carrier strike groups — USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan — conducting operations in the South China Sea. Rhetoric is heating up in the region, where Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are challenging China’s claim to about 90% of the sea. The Navy notes that the carrier operations are unrelated to current events.

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Gilday Gets First-Hand Look at Ship’s Fire Damage

Gilday

Chief of Naval Operations ADM Michael Gilday was in San Diego over the weekend to inspect the USS Bonhomme Richard and push for answers in the wake of the fire that gutted the ship. “The damage is extensive,” the admiral said at a news briefing after walking through the ship.

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FEMA Asks for DoD Medical Help in TX and CA

About 740 military personnel were dispatched to Texas and California after the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested DoD assistance in tamping down the coronavirus pandemic. Soldiers are being dispatched from the Army’s Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces from the 627th Hospital Center out of Fort Carson, CO.

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DoD Uses COVID Funds for Small-Drone Contracts

DoD’s innovation arm has issued $13.4 million in small-drone support contracts using COVID-19 funds, awarding contracts to five companies to help with “situational awareness, improve human-machine teaming, and provide engineering support.”

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Fire on Navy Ship Under Investigation

Fire

Officials are investigating a fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard on Sunday that injured a dozen sailors and several civilians. The fire is believed to have stated in a cargo hold on the ship docked at Naval Base San Diego.

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Navy Has Its 1st Black Female Fighter Pilot

First Black Female Pilot

Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle is the Navy’s first-known Black female TACAIR pilot. She will receive her Wings of Gold later this month.

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Stop Buying F-35 Parts From Turkey

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the Pentagon to more quickly stop buying F-35 fighter jet components from Turkey. DoD’s plans to buy parts from Turkey into 2022 undercuts US pressure on the country over its purchase of the Russian S-400 Triumf air defense system, they write.

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US Firms Celebrate: $7.5B Foreign Military Sales

It was a happy Independence Day for American defense companies, with news approval of almost $7.5 billion in potential foreign military sales approved by the State Dept to five different countries announced Monday.

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Hike in Hazardous Duty Pay Proposed

Hazardous Duty

A proposal in the House NDAA would give servicemembers a 10% increase in hazardous duty pay next year. The proposal has the potential to add up to $300 a year in extra pay for tens of thousands of troops stationed in imminent danger areas or performing dangerous jobs like flight deck duty or demolitions work.

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Task Force to Study Racism in the Navy

The US Navy has created Task Force One Navy, a group that will seek to “address the issues of racism, sexism and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness.”

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