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Stock Ticker

Reaper Drone Gave Soleimani Little Chance


Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

A US Reaper drone left Iranian General Qassem Soleimani little chance, reports Bloomberg. His departure from the plane in Iraq was monitored by drones circling above, including one built by General Atomics armed with laser-guided Hellfire air-to-surface missiles used in attacks on high-value terrorists. The $64 million long-endurance drone, with a 66-foot wingspan, had Soleimani in its sights for about 10 minutes before firing on two cars carrying the Iranian commander and other senior leaders and aides.

Soldiers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade are deploying to the Middle East, reports Stars and Stripes. The 173rd consists of approximately 3,800 paratroopers, including two infantry battalions, a light reconnaissance battalion, and a field artillery regiment. Reports leaked last week of the brigade’s possible deployment when 4,000 82nd Airborne Brigade troops were headed to the region. Like the 82nd, the 173rd Airborne Brigade is a quick reaction force.

No cellphones, tablets, laptops, or other personal electronic devices can accompany the Army 82nd paratroopers to the Middle East, reports Army Times. The move ensures operational security during the emergency deployment of 3,500 paratroopers from 1st Brigade Combat Team flying from Fort Bragg, NC, to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

Responding to increased tensions in the region following the Soleimani drone strike, the UK Navy will now escort tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, reports USNI News. The US is not altering its shipping protection but continues to provide allies with intelligence about potential maritime threats in the Middle East via DoD’s Operation Sentinel program.

DefSec Mark Esper says DoD has made “no decision whatsoever” about an Iraq pull-out plan, reports Military Times.

Esper says the US will “follow the laws of armed conflict,” reports The Hill, despite President Donald Trump’s threat to target cultural sites if Iranian-backed forces initiated strikes on Americans or US assets.

AFRICOM’s East Africa Response Force is in Manda Bay after a deadly jihadi attack in Kenya, reports Military Times. The attack Sunday at the Kenya Defense Force Military Base killed one US service member and two DoD contractors.

DefSec Esper’s chief of staff will return to the private sector next month, reports Defense News. Eric Chewning served as chief of staff for DefSec Pat Shanahan, also. He will be replaced by Jen Stewart, currently the minority staff director for the House Armed Services Committee.



John R. Bass, US ambassador to Afghanistan departs as Taliban peace efforts remain stalled, reports The Washington Post. The departure of the top American diplomat in Afghanistan comes as American and Taliban negotiators again try to revive a peace deal.

President Trump’s airport security was breached by a dishonorably discharged US Marine who claimed he was part of the Trump-security team, reports Business Insider. Brandon Magnan, 37, was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and accused of entering a protective zone around a private terminal used for the president’s flights in Florida.

The Trump budget is coming Feb. 10, says Defense News. President Trump signed off on the FY20 budget, including $738 billion for defense, on Dec. 20, following almost three months of the government running under a continuing resolution. The two-year budget deal from last summer called for $740 billion in defense spending for FY21, essentially flat.

The aircraft carrier Ford’s new arresting gear gets a stress test, reports Defense News, successfully sustaining an aircraft arrestment rate of nearly one per minute.

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