A National Guardsman posts security during training at Fort Polk, La., June 7, 2021.

A National Guardsman posts security during training at Fort Polk, La., June 7, 2021. U.S. Army / Spc. James Bozeman

The Army Brief: Record suicide rate; New SHARP centers; AI-picked targets; and more...

Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future. 

Suicide rate hit a high. The suicide rate for active component service members reached a new high in last year, when 384 active duty service members died by suicide, Defense One reports. The Army had the highest rate among the services: 36.4 per 100,000 soldiers. 

Improving survivor support. The Army is piloting a “fusion directorate” concept at several Army installations to improve services and support of sexual assault and harassment survivors, Defense One reports. Soldiers will be able to report and access services in one location, with facilities opening in March.

AI targeting with satellite photos. The Scarlet Dragon exercise will see whether an artificial-intelligence tool can use satellite photos to determine targets to drop bombs on, Defense One reports. The test is to see whether AI can be used on multiple data streams to speed up targeting.

Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1918, Sgt. Alvin York led an attack on a German machine gun nest, where he killed at least 25 soldiers and captured 132 prisoners, which earned him the Medal of Honor.

From Defense One

Is This the Next US Military Base in Europe? // Jacqueline Feldscher: Lithuania built Camp Herkus to woo a permanent contingent of American troops. But the Biden administration is far from convinced.

Soldiers’ Super Suits Will Sense Surroundings Soon // Patrick Tucker: Tooth microphones and spider senses could be coming to a battlefield near you.

The 9/11 Commission Said National Security Vacancies Were A Problem. Biden’s Pentagon Is ‘Far Worse’ // Jacqueline Feldscher: The Senate is “falling far behind” as Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees consider 14 nominees this week.

Lockheed Opens New Hypersonic Weapons Factory In Alabama // Marcus Weisgerber: The manufacturing plant is the third digital factory opened by the world’s largest defense contractor this year.