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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Early Bird Brief: Presidential Hopefuls Spar Over Putin in Final Debate



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Oct 20, 2016    
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Good morning and welcome to the Early Bird Brief. Please send news tips and suggestions to: earlybird@militarytimes.com.

Today's Top 5
1. Iraqi PM upbeat on Mosul offensive
(BBC) The operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from so-called Islamic State militants is progressing faster than planned, the Iraqi prime minister says.
2. Clinton, Trump Spar Over Putin in Final Debate
(Defense News) Russia again took center stage in the third and final presidential debate before the election, as Donald Trump refused to accept the Kremlin's alleged meddling in the US election and Hillary Clinton blasted him as Russia's "puppet."
3. Russia extends 'humanitarian pause' in Aleppo attack
(Al Jazeera) Moscow and Damascus say halt in air strikes will continue to allow civilians and rebels to flee the besieged city.
4. In final debate, Trump accuses military of helping Clinton with battle for Mosul
(Military Times) Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump used the final national debate Wednesday to accuse U.S. military officials of rushing the siege on Islamic State group strongholds in Mosul to help his Democratic rival win the November election.
5. North Korea carries out second failed missile launch - South
(BBC) This is the second failed test in less than a week after the North's recent launch of a Musudan missile, which has an estimated range of 4,000km (2,500 miles). It is said to be capable of hitting US bases as far away as Guam.

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Overseas Operations
American service member and civilian killed in Afghanistan attack
(Army Times) The troops and civilians were "conducting duties as part of the larger NATO mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security services," the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said.
U.S. commander: Apaches are striking Islamic State targets
(Associated Press) Islamic State fighters are likely to put up a stiff defense of Mosul but eventually lose their grip and morph into an insurgency, a U.S. Army general said Wednesday.
Two Cheers for OCO: Grease For Budget Wheels
(Breaking Defense) The verdict from think tanks and commentators is in: Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the much-criticized war funding account, should move to the base budget because of abuses and a lack of transparency.
UN 'deeply concerned' about rising child casualties in Afghanistan
(The Hill) The number of children killed or injured in the war in Afghanistan is on the rise, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday.
The Pentagon
Navy Federal contacting customers eligible for part of $23 million settlement
(Military Times) If you're eligible for part of the Navy Federal Credit Union $23 million settlement affecting hundreds of thousands of customers, you should be hearing from NFCU soon.
US general suspects Iran in Yemen missile launches
(The Hill) The top U.S. commander in the Middle East said he suspects Iran is playing a role in recent missile launches by Houthi rebels in Yemen against U.S. ships in the Red Sea.
DoD issues special notice for Persistent Cyber Training Environment
(C4ISRNET) The Department of Defense has issued a special notice requesting information for market research for the much-discussed and highly anticipated Persistent Cyber Training Environment.
Starting next week, no bikes allowed in Arlington Cemetery without family pass
(Military Times) Bicyclists without family passes will be banned from riding in Arlington National Cemetery starting Oct. 26, the Army announced.
CyberCon 2016
Register Today! CyberCon 2016
(Federal Times) Cybersecurity will be the defining challenge for the foreseeable future and CyberCon 2016 will provide a road map for innovation and collaboration that lead to more transparent and secure networks.
Air Force
Deep Freeze mission to Antarctica begins
(Air Force Times) The first of roughly 500 airmen have begun flying in ski-equipped planes to Antarctica to begin the Air Force's annual Operation Deep Freeze mission.

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DARPA Hands Over High-Tech Space Telescope to Air Force
(Defense News) The Air Force has taken control of a super-powerful space telescope developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, but operational use won't begin until around 2020, after the system is moved to Australia, a DARPA official said.
Loyal Wingman program seeks to realize benefits of advancements in autonomy
(C4ISRNET) One of the big buzzwords in Washington today is the third offset strategy, championed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work.
4 people die in crash with Air Force vehicle on North Dakota reservation
(Associated Press) Four people are dead after their car collided on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation with a pickup carrying two airmen from Minot Air Force Base.
Air Force: Toxic chemicals released into Colorado city's sewer system
(Associated Press) An Air Force base in Colorado said it accidentally released about 150,000 gallons of water containing toxic chemicals into the sewer system of the adjacent city of Colorado Springs, but the potential health hazards weren't immediately known.
Army
Army releases updated training field manual
(Army Times) Field Manual 7-0, "Train to Win in a Complex World," discusses training strategies and initiatives for training readiness.
1st Infantry Division brigade deploying to Korea this fall
(Army Times) The 1st Infantry Division's 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team is sending its 3,500 soldiers to South Korea soon to take over the regular rotation of forces there, the Army announced Wednesday.
More than 450 Guard soldiers to deploy to the Middle East
(Army Times) More than 450 soldiers from the 29th Infantry Division are mobilizing for federal active duty in the Middle East, officials announced Wednesday.
Navy
Growler squadron CO sacked for poor performance
(Navy Times) Poor job performance cost the skipper of an EA-18G Growler squadron his job on Wednesday.
Take a look at these fantastic photographs of U.S. Navy aircraft flying over USS Zumwalt advanced multi-mission guided-missile destroyer
(The Aviationist) USS Zumwalt, the U.S. Navy's newest and most technologically advanced surface ship, was commissioned in Baltimore, Maryland, on Oct. 15 during the city's Fleet Week festivities.
Marine Corps
Marine helicopter hits Hawaii power line, forced to land
(Associated Press) The Marine Corps says a helicopter hit a power line in Hawaii, forcing it to land on Oahu's North Shore.
She fled Iraq with her family. Now she's a U.S. Marine.
(Marine Corps Times) The offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group officially kicked off Monday, but one new Marine has waged the battle for years.
Commandant marks the Marine Corps' 241st birthday
(Marine Corps Times) Nov. 10 marks the 241 st anniversary of the Marine Corps' founding. It is a day sacred to all Marines, past and present.
Coast Guard
Portland Spirit to fight Coast Guard findings
(KOIN 6) The two day hearing will be held at U.S. Bankruptcy Courtroom in downtown Portland.
National Guard
Maryland National Guard joins fight to take Mosul from the Islamic State
(Baltimore Sun) Attack planes from the Maryland Air National Guard are aiding a major offensive to wrest control of Mosul from the Islamic State, joining an ambitious assault aimed at dislodging the terror group from its last urban power center in Iraq.
Defense Industry
Saab buys Danish defense company
(UPI) A Danish naval company that designs and manufactures mine disposal charge systems has been acquired by Saab of Sweden.
Thales Shows Off Autonomous Stealth Drone at Euronaval
(Defense News) Thales presented at the Euronaval trade show its work on a stealthy, multimission drone dubbed the Autonomous Underwater and Surface System (AUSS), a company-funded "black program" pitched at the French Navy and other navies.
Saab Kockums Silent on Poland's Potential Interest in A26 Submarine
(Defense News) Saab Kockums declined to comment on media reports that Poland is likely to order the A26 diesel-electric submarine from the Swedish naval manufacturer.
Veterans
Flesh-eating bacteria leads Marine vet to amputations, and then Crossfit
(CBS News) A year ago, Cindy Martinez was struggling to walk even just a few feet and lift just five pounds. A flesh-eating bacteria called necrotizing fasciitis had ravaged the 35-year-old Marine veteran's body.
Congress & Politics
Justice Department to dispatch fewer election observers in 2016
(Associated Press) Justice Department officials are warning that they will be dispatching fewer trained election observers in the wake of a Supreme Court opinion that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Despite scandals, Trump support grows stronger in latest poll of troops
(Military Times) The recent scandals surrounding Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump haven't lessened his support among military members, according to the latest Military Times/Institute for Veterans and Military Families poll out this week.
Feds get limited excused absences on Election Day
(Federal Times) Feds can't spend all of Nov. 8 in the field watching democracy in action, but the Office of Personnel Management does offer guidance as to how excused absence may be granted for voting.
US Lawmakers Urge Obama to Punish Russia Over Missile Treaty Breach
(Defense News) Two key House Republicans are urging the Obama administration to hold tough on nuclear weapons policy and punish Russia's deepening violations of a landmark arms control treaty, now "on the verge of collapse."
National Security and Intelligence
Updated B61 Nuclear Bomb to Cost $8.25 Billion
(Defense News) The life-extension program for the B61-12 atomic bomb will cost just over $8.25 billion, according to a new estimate from the National Nuclear Security Agency.
Terrorism is top fear for countries worldwide
(The Hill) People around the globe are more concerned about terrorism than any other issue, and most residents of several countries expect an attack soon, according to a new poll of eight nations.
Despite Obama's pledge to make the government more open, a report shows secret laws still abound
(Washington Post) The Justice Department has kept classified at least 74 opinions, memos and letters on national security issues, including interrogation, detention and surveillance, according to a report released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Cybersecurity, Space and Surveillance
NSA: No zero days used in last two years
(C4ISRNET) It is hard to believe that not one single zero-day exploit – or a previously undisclosed vulnerability – has been used against the United States in the last 24 months, and even harder that that fact could be viewed as a negative.
'I need a favor': FBI official at center of alleged Clinton email 'quid pro quo' speaks out
(Washington Post) FBI official Brian McCauley had been trying for weeks to get his contact at the State Department to approve his request to put two bureau employees back in Baghdad.
The US Needs One Cyber Defense Agency—Not Three, a Top NSA Official Says
(DefenseOne) With the job divided between NSA, FBI, and DHS, 'we need to rethink how we do cyber defense as a nation.'
Regulators look to strengthen banks' cyber defenses
(Associated Press) Federal regulators are looking to set up new standards for big banks' planning and testing for possible cyberattacks.
BAE awarded $11.4M DARPA cyber contract
(C4ISRNET) BAE will develop technology for IARPA's Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment, which aims to predict cyberattacks as well as provide early warning, according to a BAE news release.
UK government 'ducks' questions around use of UAVs in targeted killings outside of war
(IHS Jane's 360) The UK government has refused to clarify to parliament its position in relation to the use of lethal force outside of armed conflict, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) announced on 19 October.
International Affairs
UK Regulatory Office May Investigate US Foreign Military Sales
(Defense News) The organization responsible for policing single-source defense contracts in Britain is to look at whether US foreign military sales (FMS) and other government-to-government (G2G) deals should be scrutinized to ensure taxpayers' money is being spent effectively, a top Ministry of Defence (MoD) official has told Parliament.
Turkey: Army kills up to 200 YPG fighters in Aleppo
(Al Jazeera) Turkish fighter jets strike People's Protection Units in northern Syrian city as intense battle continues.
Duterte Visits China to Try to Heal Old Wounds
(Voice of America) China rolled out the red carpet for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to try and improve years of rocky relations between the two countries.
Resurrection of Indo-Russia Ties Seen in $10B Defense Agreement
(Defense News) The defense agreement made between India and Russia on Saturday is being viewed by some analysts as a resurrection of a strategic partnership between the two countries following a four-year gap in defense ties.
Afghan government and Taliban officials hold new talks in Qatar
(Associated Press) Taliban officials and the Afghan government have held new secret talks in Qatar aimed at restarting peace negotiations to end the country's long war, three officials say, though questions remain over which faction of the insurgency is doing the talking.
Boko Haram overruns Nigerian military base in northeast
(Associated Press) Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamic extremists have overrun a remote military camp in the northeast, leaving 13 soldiers wounded and an unknown number missing, the army said Wednesday.
Russia accuses U.S.-led coalition airstrike of killing 6 in Syria
(Associated Press) The Russian military says a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a Syrian village in the province of Aleppo has killed six civilians.
Commentary and Analysis
Get out and vote but obey your oath, general tells officers
(Army Times) Wednesday's New York Times includes an opinion column suggesting military officers shouldn't vote. It is good for the Army and for the nation to hear from its officers and enlisted service members. However, I could not disagree more strongly with the author.
Chinese fighters to take Zhuhai spotlight
(Flightglobal) Accessing the biennial Airshow China gathering in Zhuhai is by no means easy – for aviation journalists, at least. There is considerable bureaucracy involved in securing a "J2" visa, and once in Zhuhai itself, hotel rates jump by five or six times during show week.
Why Putin is unleashing his only aircraft carrier
(Reuters) Somewhere in the autumn gales and rain squalls of the North Sea, Russia's only aircraft carrier is heading south to war.
If the US hacks Russia for revenge, that could lead to cyberwar
(The Guardian) The US should attempt to de-escalate tensions by negotiating some form of international cyber treaty before this gets out of control.
The World Needs the American Military
(DefenseOne) It's fiction to pretend that the most powerful nation can ever be truly "neutral" in foreign conflicts.
The Arc of History is Long, But It Bends Toward Bombing Assad
(War On The Rocks) By refusing to intervene more decisively in Syria, President Barack Obama claimed to have finally broken with the "Washington playbook" – his term for the foreign policy establishment's faith in the efficacy of military force.
The Debates Were a Failure of Journalism
(New York Times) Tonight wrapped up three weeks of presidential campaign debates. It was also a three-week period in which cities in at least 34 states reported record-high temperatures. New York reached 80 degrees today, and Nashville nearly hit 90.
U.S. Air Force T-X Procurement Needs to Focus on Time as well as Cost
(The National Interest) The United States Air Force is badly in need of a new jet trainer. The existing aircraft, the Northrop T-38, was first built in 1961. The average age of the current fleet of some 400 T-38s is over 43 years.

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