Monday, December 19, 2016

Early Bird Brief: Trapped in Mosul...............MORE

Today's Top 5
  1. Hungry, Thirsty and Bloodied in Battle to Retake Mosul From ISIS
(New York Times) As the world watches the horrors unfolding in Aleppo, Syria, where government forces and allied militias bombed civilians and carried out summary executions as they retook the last rebel-held areas, a different tragedy is transpiring in Mosul. 
  2. Washington’s most exclusive meeting may lose its luster under Trump
(Washington Post) For eight years, it has been the most exclusive, and arguably most important, daily meeting in Washington. Each morning, President Obama gathers his inner circle for the Presidential Daily Briefing, a run-through of the most important intelligence from around the world. Now it looks as if the PDB’s status as Washington’s most indispensable briefing could be coming to an end. 
  3. China says it will give drone back, but Trump says 'keep it'
(Associated Press) China says its military seized a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider in the South China Sea, but that it will give it back. President-elect Donald Trump, however, says the Chinese government should be told "we don't want the drone they stole back" and "let them keep it!" 
  4. Syria evacuations pick up in Aleppo and rebel-held villages
(BBC) Evacuations of areas under siege in northern Syria are picking up pace, with people in some rebel-held zones now being allowed to leave. 
  5. Interview: US Navy Secretary Mabus on Alternative Fuels, LCS, and What Actually Happened to Furlough Funds
(Defense News) The outgoing defense secretary says that among his proudest accomplishments is championing the use of alternative fuels by the Navy and Marine Corps but he also talked about one of the fights he did not win. 
Donald Trump & the Presidency
  Trump Cabinet excites his voters: 'We have to trust him'
(Associated Press) As each Cabinet announcement draws fresh criticism of the wealth, connections or opinions of Donald Trump's latest appointees, many Americans who voted for him say the president-elect is doing what he promised to do: draining the swamp. 
  Tracking Trump’s National-Security Conflicts of Interest
(DefenseOne) A global business empire raises the question: will the next president’s foreign policy serve America’s interests or his own? 
  Trump’s Generals: How Wartime Service Shaped Mattis, Kelly, & Flynn
(USNI News) The generals likely to hold top positions in the incoming Trump administration share a common trait: They are combat veterans highly attuned to looming threats. 
Overseas Operations
  Pentagon report: Afghan forces show 'promising but inconsistent' progress
(The Hill) The latest biannual report covers the security situation in Afghanistan from June 1 to Nov. 30 and comes as U.S. forces are preparing to draw down from 9,800 troops to 8,400 troops next month. 
  Long wars, short stories and more in Military Times’ year-end book guide
(Military Times) Here’s your guide – by category and in order of reading satisfaction – to potential gifts for your favorite reader (including yourself). 
  Military Times Financial Review: Our advisers helped them ... their advice can help you
(Military Times) It’s never too late, or too early, to start taking steps to improve your finances; doing so provides peace of mind – especially if you see some wealth building, even $5 at a time. 
  The Name Game: Rumors for Deputy and Service Secretaries
(Defense News) With retired ​Gen. James Mattis viewed as a lock to become the next s​ecretary of d​efense, the question now turns to who will make up the rest of his team. 
  Two-star general demoted after affair
(Army Times) An Army major general has been stripped of his stars and forced out of the military after a 30-year military career because of a long extramarital affair and "swinger" lifestyle. 
  Remains of missing Fort Bliss soldier found in Arizona coal chute
(Army Times) Six months after an unidentified body was found at a coal plant near Cochise, Arizona, officials have linked the remains to a 21-year-old soldier who went missing from Fort Bliss earlier this year. 
  West Point grad, linebacker dies after battling cancer
(Army Times) A former linebacker at the United States Military Academy died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, according to 
  2017 Holds Key Army Decisions For Vehicle Active-Protection Kit
(Defense News) The Army is expected to make key decisions on a way forward to integrate Active Protection Systems (APS) onto a variety of combat vehicles next summer, according to the program executive officer for Army combat vehicles. 
  Path Forward For Army’s Modernization Priorities Takes Shape
(Defense News) The Army this week took another step in articulating what types of investments it deems necessary to support operational ideas about future ground warfare. 
  Damaged Black Hawks ready to soar after time in Groton shop
(The (New London) Day) The repair depot employs about 285 full-time employees during the week and about 200 full time on weekends. More than 400 National Guardsmen are assigned to the unit for weekend duty. 
  China Grabs Underwater Drone Operated by US Navy in South China Sea
(Navy Times) A Chinese Navy ship intercepted and grabbed a small, unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) being operated by a US Navy survey ship on Thursday in waters west of the Philippines, US defense officials confirmed Friday
  US Navy’s New Fleet Goal: 355 Ships
(Navy Times) Tossing overboard the budget constraints that have weighed down the US Navy’s attempts to grow its fleet, the world’s most powerful sea service is embarking on the biggest proposed expansion since the early 1980s, upping its goals from today’s 308 ships to a whopping 355 ships – beyond even the incoming Trump administration’s stated 350-ship goal. 
  All Navy F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, Growlers grounded after incident injuring aircrew
(Navy Times) The Navy temporarily grounded all F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and E/A-18G Growlers Friday after an aircrew was injured and a Growler damaged in an undisclosed incident Friday at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Navy officials said. 
Air Force
  Chief master sergeant charged with killing teen in drunk driving accident
(Air Force Times) Chief Master Sgt. Hector Soler, the security forces manager for the 4th Security Forces Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, has been charged in the vehicular death of a teenager, in which Soler was allegedly driving drunk. 
  Christmas comes early for military family struck by Brussels airport tragedy
(Stars & Stripes) Air Force Lt. Col. Melchizedek “Kato” Martinez was just back from Afghanistan when a suicide bomber hit close to home. Martinez and his family were headed to Disney World in Florida from the Brussels Airport on March 22, when a bomb ripped through the baggage area. 
Marine Corps
  US Marine F-35B Fighter Jet Deployment Onboard British Warship Made Official
(Defense News) US Marine Corps F-35Bs are to be deployed onboard the British Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier when it undertakes its first operational tour, the two governments have announced. 
  Mom of fallen Marine gets ready for her UT Arlington graduation 
(Military Times) Phyllis McGeath graduated cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington. She enrolled at the school after her oldest son, Philip, was killed in Afghanistan. (University of Texas at Arlington) 
  Marines resume Ospreys flights on Okinawa
(Stars & Stripes) The Marine Corps has resumed MV-22 Osprey flights on Okinawa less than a week after one of the controversial tilt-rotor aircraft crashed following an aerial refueling accident off Camp Schwab. 
Coast Guard
  Ingalls Shipbuilding delivers sixth National Security Cutter
(Marine Log) The Coast Guard cutter Munro is scheduled to sail away from the shipyard in February and will be commissioned in Seattle in April. 
Defense Industry
  Raytheon wins DARPA cyber contracts
(C4ISRNET) Raytheon has been awarded multiple DARPA contracts to develop cyber defenses for the U.S. electrical power grid. 
  Saab Aims To Gain From Regional Military Spending Trends
(Defense News) Defense group Saab is hoping to significantly grow sales regionally, against a backdrop where Sweden and its Nordic and Baltic-rim neighbor states are upping their spending on defense and prioritizing procurements. 
  Italy Orders Retrial in India Helicopter Kickback Case
(Defense News) Italy’s supreme court has ordered a retrial for Giuseppe Orsi, the former CEO at Leonardo-Finmeccanica, who was sentenced to four and a half years in April for his alleged role in helicopter contract kickbacks in India. 
  F-35 program, which Trump criticized, employs hundreds in Maine
(Portland Press Herald) The costly plane has broad congressional support, making it difficult to kill. 
  Iran reaches 100-jet deal with Airbus, sees first delivery in January
(Reuters) Airbus will supply four types of aircraft: its medium-haul A320 and A321 aircraft and the long-haul A330 and A350, he said, in remarks confirming Iran's decision to drop the A380 superjumbo from a draft deal signed in Paris in January. 
  Indonesia loses fifth C-130 since 2000
(Flightglobal) The Indonesian air force Lockheed Martin C-130H that crashed in the country’s Papua region was conducting a joint navigation training and logistics mission, and marks Jakarta’s fifth loss of the type since 2000. 
  Volunteers brave freezing rain, cold temps to place wreaths on graves of the fallen
(Military Times) Thousands of volunteers braved the elements to come to Arlington National Cemetery Saturday morning. They placed remembrance wreaths at the graves of fallen American service members, and reflected on the sacrifices of their fellow countrymen. 
  Blessing in disguise: Army veteran scorned by Chili's feeds dozens
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram) A veteran who was refused a free meal at the Chili’s Bar and Grill during Veterans Day observances has turned the table and is using the experience to help feed hungry and homeless veterans in the north Texas area. 
Congress & Politics
  Congress wants taxpayers to know how much they spend on war
(Military Times) Congress wants every taxpayer to know just how much of their money went to wars over the last 15 years. 
  Obama approves U.S. honor for veterans of WWII spies agency
(Associated Press) President Barack Obama has signed legislation that bestows one of the nation's highest civilian awards on veterans of the American World War II spy agency founded by a New Yorker.
  Bipartisan group of senators creating panel on Russia hacking
(Washington Examiner) Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Jack Reed of Rhode Island will partner with Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for the committee's creation, according to a report of the joint letter. 
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
  What is the difference between adaptive and cognitive electronic warfare?
(C4ISRNET) What is the difference between adaptive and cognitive electronic warfare? Does it even matter? 
  Tomorrow's airspace challenge: clearing the way for small drones
(C4ISRNET) In all military operations, deconfliction or decluttering operating space by communicating with friendly and coalition partners is critical to preventing accidents or casualties. 
  WGS satellite successfully launched
(C4ISRNET) The eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite has been successfully launched into space. 
National Security
  NSA asked its IG to resign after revelations of whistleblower retaliation
(Federal Times) A new investigative report by the Project on Government Oversight’s Adam Zagorin has uncovered an unclassified but not widely public decision finding George Ellard, inspector general of the NSA, retaliated against an NSA whistleblower. 
  ODNI Technology Office Opens Up Dialogue With Private Sector
(National Defense) The science and technology arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has little to no money to buy products from the tech industry. But companies are lining up to come in for meetings. 
  Reward for information on ISIS leader increased to $25 million
(Washington Post) The U.S. government has more than doubled, to $25 million, its reward offered for information on the whereabouts of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, placing him in a category whose only other occupant is Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda. 
International Affairs
  Saudi Arabia, U.S. play down reports of curbs on military support
(Reuters) U.S. officials have said Washington decided to curb backing for Saudi Arabia's campaign in Yemen, including halting the supply of some precision-guided munitions, because of concerns over widespread civilian casualties. 
  ‘Why is the world so quiet?’ Yemen suffers its own cruel losses, far from Aleppo.
(Washington Post) Over the past 21 months, thousands of civilians have died in the fighting in Yemen, and a humanitarian crisis is escalating. But Yemenis voice equal outrage about cultural losses. 
  At least 14 killed in a series of attacks in Jordan
(Washington Post) Seven police officers, two Jordanian civilians and one Canadian tourist were killed Sunday when gunmen staged a series of attacks on police patrols and a historic castle in the heart of the southern city of Karak. Four gunmen were also killed. 
  Italy Sends FREMM Frigate on Promotional Tour of Australia
(Defense News) An Italian Navy FREMM frigate will visit Australia in January and February and hold exercises with the Australian Navy in the wake of the type’s short listing for acquisition by Australia. 

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