The Naval Brief: High suicide rate; More personnel vetting; New accident investigations; and more...
Welcome to The Naval Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the sea services’ future.
Suicide rate trends upward. The suicide rate for active component service members reached a new high in 2020, when 384 active-duty troops died, Defense One reports. The Navy’s active component had a suicide rate of 19.3 per 100,000 and the Marine Corps had a rate of 33.9 per 100,000 according to the Defense Department’s annual report.
More investigations into AAV mishap released. A Navy investigation into the deadly amphibious assault vehicle accident last July found communication problems, training gaps, and poorly maintained vehicles, USNI News reports. Also, a new Marine Corps investigation into the formation of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit found that a mountain of demands on the Marines, including the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting the border security mission, contributed to the mishap, the Washington Post reports.
Vetting out extremists. Troops and civilian Defense Department employees can now expect to be continuously vetted to determine whether they are an insider threat, Defense One reports. The new system will flag information on individuals as it happens instead of waiting years between followup security investigations.
Sign up to get The Naval Brief every Thursday from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan started with air strikes from aircraft carriers and tomahawks launched from U.S. and British ships and submarines. Watch a video of the strikes here.
From Defense One
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.
More Than Just Subs: AUKUS Will Change Pacific Air Ops as Well // Col. Douglas D. Jackson: For example, U.S. air forces will be able to practice and refine the burgeoning agile combat employment, or ACE, concept.
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.