February 22, 2024

Birckhead New MD Adjutant General

Birckhead

MAJ GEN Janeen Birckhead has assumed her new role as the Maryland National Guard adjutant general. Birckhead succeeds outgoing MAJ GEN Timothy Gowen, who assumed command in 2019.

DoD to Troops: Don’t Share Classified Info

Classified

The Defense Department is moving to tighten rules over who is allowed to access the most sensitive intelligence after last week’s arrest of a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman in connection with the leak of Pentagon intelligence.

‘Serve & Succeed’ 2023 Theme for Wreaths Across America

Wreaths

With a new “Serve & Succeed” theme for 2023, Wreaths Across America plans to focus on the storylines of veterans and military families who have found success through their own service.

Restrictions Lifted at Vets Cemeteries

Restrictions

Starting Wednesday and just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, the Veterans Affairs department will lift restrictions on visitors to veterans cemeteries provided they have been vaccinated against coronavirus. That means no masks and no social distancing required, and no limits on group size.

Burial Rules at Arlington Likely to Change

Arlington

Burial eligibility rules at Arlington National Cemetery are expected to change in the fall due to space limitations. “It’s really an impossible problem for us,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, cemetery executive director. “The eligible population is more than 22 million … currently today, we have less than 85,000 spaces.”

Inauguration Day: What It Took to Get Here

Morning Coffee

Welcome to Inauguration Day, being held this year amid a pandemic and unprecedented threats of violence as Joe Biden becomes president of the United States and Kamala Harris enters history as the first female vice president of the US. Some of the road and bridge closures and other accommodations are reported here.

2nd Navy MQ-8C Drone Suffers Mishap

MQ-8C

An unmanned MQ-8C drone was damaged during testing of a lithium ion battery at Webster Field in St. Inigoes on Nov. 16. That was the second major mishap involving the new variant just in the month of November. A Fire Scout drone crashed at a California Navy base Nov. 10.

Trump Visits Arlington on Veterans Day

Arlington

President Donald Trump appears for the first time since losing the presidential race to Joe Biden to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day.

Arlington Nat’l Cemetery Takes Land to Expand

Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery looks to expand onto land owned by Arlington County, VA. The Justice Dept. filed paperwork this week to take about 49 acres of land through eminent domain powers. The additional acreage is expected to create space for up to 60,000 additional burial sites in coming years.

Israelis Test Stallion, Chinook at Pax River

NAVAIR CH-53K King Stallion

An Israeli delegation was at NAS Patuxent River testing the CH-53K King Stallion and the CH-47F Block II Chinook. Israel is looking to purchase 20 helicopters and upgrade its current fleet.