The Naval Brief: Mandatory vaccine; Navy leadership changes; Airlift helps 101K; and more...
Welcome to The Naval Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the sea services’ future.
Jabs for everyone. Service members are now mandated to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus following FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, Defense One reports. The Pentagon memo did not give the services a deadline to reach full vaccination status, but did ask that they “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.”
Geurts replacement. The duties of the Navy undersecretary, the department’s second-highest civilian position, will be performed by Meredith Berger as James Geurts retires from government service, the Navy announced. There is currently no nominee for the position, seven months into the Biden administration.
Evacuation surpasses 101k. More than 101,300 people have been airlifted from Kabul and of that almost 96,000 were airlifted in just the last 12 days, Defense One reports. It's unclear how much longer the civilian airlift will continue with the looming Aug. 31 deadline, the deteriorating security situation, and the need to eventually evacuate the thousands of service members at the airport.
Sign up to get The Naval Brief every Thursday from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1791, John Fitch received a U.S. patent for the first steamboat. Later, Robert Fulton made commercial travel by steamboat possible, an important mode of travel during the industrial revolution.
From Defense One
Explosion Outside Kabul Airport Causes ‘US and Civilian Casualties,’ Pentagon Says // Tara Copp: Worsening security and the need to get all troops out is quickly closing the window to safely escape. ‘Today is likely last day,’ one memo advises.
Biden Holds to Aug. 31 Evacuation Deadline, But Orders Up ‘Contingency Plans’ for Afghanistan Pullout // Tara Copp, Jacqueline Feldscher: Military, contracted planes have airlifted 87,900 people from Kabul as of Wednesday—but the Taliban is now clamping down on who can leave.
Not For the First Time, COVID Takes Back Seat to a More Pressing Crisis // Elizabeth Howe: The evacuation of refugees from Afghanistan depends on cramming people into closed spaces—during a global pandemic.
How One Tech Entrepreneur Is Scaling Up Veteran-Led Evacuation Efforts // Patrick Tucker: Volunteers in the U.S. are telling fleeing Afghans where Taliban traps are.