Defense and national security overnight – Russian military movements cause concern

It’s Wednesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nighttime guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-inscription.

The US Embassy in Ukraine is warning citizens to move away from the country’s borders and the annexed Crimean peninsula due to “unusual Russian military activity.”

We will share more information on warnings and new military moves from Russia and Ukraine, as well as details of this year’s Thanksgiving meal for the troops and the new Pentagon group to investigate the phenomena. unidentified aerials.

For The Hill, I’m Ellen Mitchell. Write to me with advice: [email protected].

Let’s go.

U.S. Embassy issues Crimea travel advisory

In a travel advisory published on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine advised U.S. citizens not to travel to Crimea because of the “abuses of the Russian occupation authorities”, as well as in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

A general warning: Overall, the Embassy advises Americans not to travel to Ukraine in general due to COVID-19.

An unpredictable situation: “US citizens are reminded that security conditions along the border can change with little or no notice,” the embassy said. “Please see our website and social media pages for more information.”

Ukraine fears Russia is preparing to invade it, as it did when it annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

An imminent attack?: Brig. General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency, told the Military Times last weekend that Russia had amassed more than 92,000 troops at the border and could attack as soon as possible. at the end of January.

Conversations: Amid growing concerns, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General. Marc MilleyMark MilleyOvernight Defense & National Security – Biden officials consider more aid from Ukraine Military leaders of the United States and Russia are talking by phone as they worry about Ukraine. Chinese hypersonic missile test revealed unprecedented military capability: report spoke via phone Tuesday with the Russian Chief of General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, senior Russian army officer, to discuss “several security issues”. Milley spoke with Lieutenant-General Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces the day before.

Read the full story here.

MORE MILITARY EXERCISES

Russia and Ukraine at the same time conducted military exercises this week, according to a report released Wednesday by Interfax.

Kremlin exercises: Russia is said to have had fighter jets and ships carrying out air strikes and fighting air attacks, while Ukraine has also organized military exercises, Reuters reported.

“About 10 crews of planes and ships from the Novorossiysk naval base of the Black Sea Fleet (…) participated in this combat training event,” Interfax reportedly wrote, citing the Russian Sea Fleet. Black.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet also told the outlet that Russian Sukhoi fighter jets were conducting training flights over the waters of the Black Sea as they trained to respond to airstrikes.

The Ukraine movement: On Wednesday, Ukraine began to reinforce its border with anti-tank and air units, Reuters reported.

Read more details here.

Pentagon increases Thanksgiving meal for troops

The Pentagon has increased the number of starters, sides and desserts distributed to the troops for Thanksgiving this year by nearly 50%, as in-person meals are largely coming back after being canceled in 2020 thanks to COVID-19.

Food in numbers: U.S. troops stationed overseas will receive nearly 60,000 pounds of roast turkey, approximately 52,000 pounds of ham, 38,400 pounds of sweet potatoes, and nearly 68,500 pounds of pies and cakes delivered by support for troops from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

In total, DLA ships over 360,000 pounds of Thanksgiving food to service members stationed in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Korea, Japan, Qatar and the Philippines, Guam and Singapore, among others.

Back to normal: Portions are an increase from 2020 figures, when they were served nearly 51,000 pounds of turkey, half the ham and sweet potatoes, and one-third the desserts in take-out take-out instead of large group gatherings in restaurants, a measure to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“The holiday meal should look more normal this year, with in-person meals returning to many places,” said DLA’s troop support chief, the Army Brigadier. General Eric Shirley said in a statement on Monday.

To hell with supply chain problems: Even with recent supply chain issues, Pentagon officials said they would get the food out in time for the holidays thanks to advanced planning that began as early as March.

“We are currently facing the same supply issues as the commercial industry,” said Robin Whaley, DLA Troop Support customer operations sustenance manager for the continental US. “We have been working with our suppliers well in advance of the holidays to reduce the chances that necessary items will not be available on D-Day.”

A major change of note: Another major change in distribution this year is that the DLA will not be shipping Thanksgiving food to Afghanistan, a first in 20 years.

Read the rest of the story here.

Group to probe unidentified aerial phenomena

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it establish a new group to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), months after a U.S. intelligence report prompted calls for more research into the sightings and possible signs of alien life.

What they will do: The group will spearhead the United States’ efforts to “detect, identify and assign objects of interest in Special Use Airspace (SUA), and to assess and mitigate any threats associated with aircraft safety. flights and national security ”, according to a Pentagon statement.

In a memo to senior Pentagon leadershipDeputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said the new group is supposed to “synchronize efforts within the department and with other federal departments and agencies” when it comes to objects of interest in space. special purpose aerial.

The Department of Defense (DOD) said invasions of any airborne object into special purpose airspace create national security and safety concerns.

Complicity: The new group, although under the tutelage of the Ministry of Defense, will be created in collaboration with the intelligence community.

The Pentagon said that Hicks, in coordination with the director of national intelligence April HainesApril HainesWhy Science and Religion Come Together to Discuss Alien Life In Drastic Change, National Intelligence Director Does Not Rule Out ‘Alien’ Origins Of UFOs The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – House sprints for Build Back Better, infrastructure votes today PLUS, ordered Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie to create the group.

It will be called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group and will succeed the US Navy Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Working Group.

The mystery continues: The group was formed after ODNI published a long-awaited report in June, that indicated that the US government had met with 144 PSUs since 2004, almost all of them remaining a mystery.

Read the full story here.

WHAT WE READ

That’s all for today. Discover The Hill’s defense and national security pages for the last cover. During the night, Defense and National Security will be off the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving vacation. See you Monday.

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