April 3, 2020

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Marines Enter the Red Sea, Join Growing Force

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About 2,500 Marines with 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit move into the Red Sea, reports Marine Corps Times, joining thousands of other US troops sent to the region amid high tensions between the US and Iran. The MEU is a Marine air-ground task force deployed for quick reaction, crisis response.

Cyberspace is the next front in Iran-US conflict and private companies may bear the brunt, reports Fifth Domain. Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar for at least a decade, largely targeting critical infrastructure companies, not the government. The threat to the private sector is expected to increase until businesses begin dealing with the it.

President Donald Trump plans to divert another $7.2 billion from the Pentagon for border wall construction, reports The Hill. Military construction and counter-narcotics funding was redirected last year to the wall on the US-Mexico border.

Navy board of inquiry clears Fitz lieutenant in fatal ship collision case, reports Navy Times. Lt. Natalie Combs was accused of dereliction of duty and hazarding a vessel. However, the decision confirms she committed no military offense, did not cause the collision, or deaths or injuries of any Fitzgerald sailor.

The Iraqi military camp Taji north of Baghdad was targeted by Katyusha rockets Tuesday, with no casualties reported, an Iraqi military statement said, reports Haaretz.

Four Iraqi troops were wounded by rocket attack Sunday at Balad air base just north of Baghdad where American trainers were present until recently, reports Military Times. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Boeing mocked Lion Air calls for more 737 Max training before crash, reports Bloomberg. “Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots,” one Boeing employee wrote in June 2017 text messages obtained by the company and released by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Iran attack highlights US missile defense vulnerability, reports Defense News. The Iranian regime fired 16 ballistic missiles into Iraq on Jan. 8 at bases housing American troops. With no ballistic missile interceptors in range, US forces could only watch and wait for impact. While no American or coalition partners were killed in the attack, next time could be different. The Pentagon had deployed its finite inventory of Middle East-deployed, high-demand Patriot missile batteries elsewhere in the region to bases that the Pentagon deemed a higher priority. This has included, for example, bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

Court rules again to give veterans access to both post-9/11 and Montgomery GI Bill education benefits, reports Military Times. Federal officials have just a few weeks to accept the ruling, giving thousands of veterans an extra year of college tuition benefits, or appeal the order, in hopes of reversing the potential billions of dollars in new payouts.

It’s a classic Catch-22: The White House and acting NavSec push to grow the Navy by 20%, but in a quest for 355 ships, Navy leaders won’t  accept a hollow force, reports Defense News. The Navy can’t tack on a significant number of extra ships without more funding. More ships without sacrificing readiness is a central concern of naval leadership.

Trump authorized Soleimani’s killing seven months ago, with conditions that included death of an American, reports NBC News, so the assassination was among the options the military presented the president two weeks ago to respond to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq that killed a US contractor and wounded four US service members.

Mail delivery to military bases in Iraq temporarily suspended to clear backlog, reports Military Times. The suspension is bad news for troop morale said Mark Van Trees, whose Florida-based organization ships tons of donated goods to forward operating bases and combat outposts around the world.

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