Today's D Brief: USCG help with Baltimore bridge collapse; Israeli military chief to the Pentagon; Netanyahu angry over UN ceasefire; USAF wishlist; And a bit more.

A major bridge over the Baltimore harbor collapsed early Tuesday after it was struck by a nearly 1,000-foot-long loaded container ship on what would have been a 27-day voyage to Sri Lanka. View video of the collapse on YouTube, here

A construction crew was working on the 1.6-mile Francis Scott Key Bridge and cars were traveling over it when the cargo ship appears to have impacted a sub-structural concrete pillar, which then caused the bridge’s steel frame superstructure to buckle up and swiftly collapse around 1:30 a.m. ET. By sunrise, two people had been rescued; but at least seven remained unaccounted for. The water beneath the bridge is only about 50 feet deep. 

Local authorities say they’re treating the incident as a “developing mass casualty event.” Troops from the Coast Guard were called in to help with recovery efforts, including an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew along with various investigators. And by sunrise, nearly a dozen tugboats had anchored northwest of the bridge to assist when appropriate, Baltimore’s NBC affiliate WBAL reports. 

Vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore has been suspended, but the port itself “is not shut down and they are still processing trucks inside of the terminals,” according to WBAL.

According to the FBI, “There is no specific and credible information to suggest any ties to terrorism at this time,” officials said in a statement Tuesday morning. “FBI Baltimore will continue to support our partners at the local, state, and federal levels,” they added. 

The bridge was built in 1977, and initial indications suggest its concrete approaches appear to be intact. But the speed with which the steel frame rapidly disassembled was fairly remarkable to witness in the footage. 

“The Port of Baltimore [is] the biggest handler of US imports and exports of cars and light trucks,” and it’s unclear just yet which U.S. ports have additional capacity for the diverted traffic, Bloomberg reports. What’s more, companies like Amazon, FedEx, Under Armour, Home Depot, BMW and more all have warehouses near the now-collapsed bridge.

Welcome to this Tuesday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson with Lauren C. Williams. Share your newsletter tips, reading recommendations, or feedback for the year ahead here. And if you’re not already subscribed, you can do that here. On this day in 1917, a British-led force, en route to Jerusalem, tried and failed to capture Gaza from Ottoman troops garrisoned there and awaiting reinforcements. The Brits needed another two attempts at Gaza before finally succeeding in November; they captured Jerusalem the following month.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is meeting his Israeli counterpart at the Pentagon Tuesday, after spending Monday in discussions with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. According to Austin’s spokesman, “the meeting is expected to cover a range of topics, to include efforts to secure the release of all hostages held by Hamas, the need for more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinian civilians and plans to ensure the safety of the more-than one million people sheltering in Rafah, while also ensuring Hamas can no longer pose a threat to Israel,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Monday. 

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is making the visit one day after the U.S. angered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by abstaining in a United Nations Security Council vote authorizing an immediate ceasefire for Israel’s war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The resolution, which also called for the release of all hostages held by Hamas and Israel, passed in a 14-0 vote Monday afternoon in New York. 

Netanyahu responded by canceling a planned trip of Israeli officials to the U.S. ahead of an expected Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where Israel alleges Hamas keep four battalions of fighters. 

One big obstacle: “The state of Israel will not cease fire,” Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Monday. “We will destroy Hamas and continue to fight until the last of the hostages returns home.”

For the U.S., “A ceasefire can begin immediately with the release of the first hostage and so we must put pressure on Hamas to do just that,” said Washington’s Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She added, “Any ceasefire must come with the release of all hostages.” CNN has the latest from Gaza, here

Additional reading: 

The U.S. Army recently suspended the four-star general in charge of Materiel Command at Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal, the Associated Press reported Friday. TLDR: Gen. Charles Hamilton is being investigated over allegations that he tried to influence the selection process to hire a female lieutenant colonel for a command job. 

The Air Force wants more money for reorganization, according to new budget documents. As part of its $3.5 billion wishlist of unfunded priorities, Air Force leaders are asking for $612 million to fund a massive reorganization that includes “​​provide the readiness spares packages, aviation support equipment, and munitions support equipment necessary to reorganize the fighter force structure to produce nine additional mission generation force elements which would make available up to 208 combat-coded fighter aircraft in the existing USAF inventory,” the documents state. Defense One’s Audrey Decker has more

Marines want to swap some ships for drones and supply caches as they gird for modern warfare. The service branch released a sweeping plan to align logistics with the threat of long-range weapons. And to do that, the service will need to rely more on unmanned systems, 3D printing, AI to manage inventory, while adapting logistics training and medical care.

"Logistics will stop you in your tracks if you haven't thought it through, if you don't have a system that is strong and functioning," Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant Marine Corps commandant, told Defense One’s Sam Skove.

And lastly: Think-tank researchers argue for a new military branch: a Cyber Force. A new Foundation for the Defense of Democracies study suggests the Pentagon create a seventh military branch solely focused on cyber. The new branch would aim to fill gaps left by the current cyber workforce and, as an extension of the Army, be given 10,000 personnel with a $16.5 billion budget. Read more here.