June 17, 2021

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More Top Pentagon Officials Resign

Griffin global power competition

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The Pentagon’s top two technology experts resign, reports Defense News. Mike Griffin, who became the DoD’s first undersecretary of research and engineering in early 2018, and his deputy Lisa Porter have both submitted their resignations. The two will be exiting the building July 10. The Pentagon is down to just a handful of women appointees. Of 60 spots in the Pentagon that require Senate confirmation, 43 appointees currently work in the department. Of the announced nominees awaiting confirmation, seven are men and one is a woman.

Former DefSec and retired Marine general Jim Mattis appeared in a pandemic public service announcement urging listeners in his hometown to wear face coverings. “I’m here to talk about that nasty little virus, COVID,” he says in a video released Monday by the central Washington city of Richland, near the Oregon border. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus. “We got introduced to it about six months ago, and it’s clear this little bugger is not going away on its own.”

Bloomberg reports air crews maintaining the F-35 say they are working extra hours to keep the Pentagon’s costliest aircraft flying because Lockheed continues to provide parts that aren’t ready to install, according to leaders of a congressional committee. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is examining Lockheed’s “failure to provide F-35 spare parts that meet contract requirements.”

The latest House version of the 2021 defense policy bill calls for DoD to track and report white supremacist activity in the military, in addition to other extremist behavior or criminal gang affiliations, reports Military Times. Two weeks after the FBI arrested an Army reservist and two veterans, one of the Navy and the other the Air Force, for planning to incite violence at a Las Vegas protest, an active-duty airman shot and killed a federal security officer in Oakland, CA. All four identified with a far-right group, loosely tied to anti-government and white-supremacist beliefs; mostly advocating armed insurrection.

The risk of a military conflict between China and the US is higher than ever as communication channels between the countries’ armed forces have fallen largely silent, reports South China Morning Post. According to a report released this week about US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, communication between the US and Chinese armies has been in sharp decline since 2018.

Major League Baseball announces the 2020 regular season will open approximately one month from now, on July 23 or 24, reports CNN. League commissioner Rob Manfred said the Players Association was provided “with a schedule to play 60 games.”



The Washington Post reconstructed the movements of two DC Army National Guard helicopters that parked nearly still in the air over demonstrators protesting in Chinatown after the death of George Floyd. The low-flying show of force produced winds equivalent to a tropical storm.

The US, this week, returned the largest number of South Korean soldiers missing from the Korean War so far, after years of forensic investigation of the unidentified remains that were handed over to the Pentagon by North Korea. The repatriation ceremony in Hawaii for 147 South Korean soldiers who were lost between 1950 to 1953, including some who can now be identified through DNA, marks the largest such effort to date, reports Politico.

Air Force Times reports the Air Force is expanding its experiment with advanced, artificial intelligence-infused pilot training to the pipeline to create drone pilots and sensor operators.

A provision to the 2021 defense policy bill aims to create space between sexual assault survivors and their alleged attackers at the US Air Force Academy, US Military Academy, and the US Naval Academy so the students can get the chance to finish their studies, reports Air Force Magazine.

The first of a new generation of aircraft that will ferry supplies and personnel on and off aircraft carriers has arrived at the first operational squadron in California, reports USNI. The CMV-22B Osprey will be assigned to the “Titans” of Navy’s Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30. The squadron stood up in 2018 as the first unit that will field the replacement for the Navy’s legacy C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery aircraft.

Congress has questions about the Air Force’s and Navy’s next-generation fighter programs, reports Defense News. The House Armed Services Committee wants to limit the amount of money the Air Force and Navy get for their respective sixth-generation fighter programs until it gets some answers. The  HASC intends to fence off 85% of the fiscal 2021 funding requested for the NGAD until the committee receives an independent review performed by the Pentagon’s director of cost assessment and program evaluation, according to the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee’s markup of the FY21 defense policy bill.

Israel’s defense export deals from 2019 totaled $7.2 billion and involved 120 different defense companies, according to the head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, reports Defense News. The country’s defense-related sales have been slightly declining over the last decade. Israel’s defense export contracts in 2010 also totaled $7.2 billion, but was down to $5.7 billion in 2015.

Senate passes a bill to give millions more veterans free lifetime entry to national parks, reports Stars and Stripes. The Wounded Veterans Recreation Act, which now goes to the House for consideration, amends the current eligibility standards for national park passes. The bill would grant the passes to millions more US veterans.

Noting additional information not known previously, Politico reports the Navy reversed itself and is upholding the firing of Capt. Brett Crozier, the former commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Capt. Crozier was relieved of duty after raising the alarm about a COVID-19 outbreak on his ship in March, reinstated in April, but was determined last week as ineligible for future command, effectively ending his Navy career.


ASIRTek Federal Services LLC, San Antonio, Texas, has been awarded a $78,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for information security support services. This contract provides for proactive support of the foundational pillars of this requirement, which are cybersecurity improvement initiatives and cybersecurity support. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Additional on-site support locations may include Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Tyndall AFB, Florida; Randolph AFB, Texas; and Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. Work is expected to be completed June 28, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 24 offers received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA7037-20-D-0001).

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