The State of the Sea Services
Hospital ship Mercy returning to San Diego Friday after assisting Los Angeles' COVID-19 response-SanDiegoUnionTribune/May14
The San Diego-based hospital ship Mercy will return to its home port Friday after seven weeks in Los Angeles assisting with patients during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Northern Command said.
New Marine Littoral Regiment, designed to fight in contested maritime environment, coming to Hawaii-MarineCorpsTimes/May14
The Marine Corps is putting together a new force in Hawaii called the Marine Littoral Regiment that can operate inside a contested maritime environment and sink ships, according to Marine Corps Combat Development Command.
This submarine just wrapped up a 30-month deployment-NavyTimes/May14
While officials declined to say exactly what Florida was doing during the extensive time it was away, the boat "provided unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities, bringing mission flexibility and unparalleled stealth to the fighting force," the release states.
*Special Coronavirus Coverage*
DoD's inspector general has received almost 300 tips for coronavirus-related issues-MilitaryTimes/May14
The Pentagon's inspector general has received almost 300 tips and opened more than 200 complaints as of May 11, according to the oversight plan. More than half of the complaints were for alleged violations of social distancing policy.
Trump says he's mobilizing military to distribute potential coronavirus vaccine-TheHill/May14
Trump said the mobilization process for distributing a vaccine is "starting now" to get a head start once it is finished, adding, "We will have a tremendous force because assuming we get it, then you have to distribute it."
Republican lawmaker pushes back on DoD policy barring some coronavirus survivors from enlisting-MilitaryTimes/May12
An Arizona Republican lawmaker is calling for the Defense Department to reconsider its coronavirus accessions policy, days after the Pentagon issued new guidance narrowing its ban on bringing COVID-19 survivors into the military to those who had been hospitalized for the disease.
Great Power Competition
Tensions with Iran and its proxies led to accelerated transfer of bases housing coalition troops to Iraqi forces-MilitaryTimes/May14
An inspector general report detailed how tensions between Iran and its militia forces with the U.S. led to an accelerated transfer of several bases to Iraqi troops over force protection issues.
US increases military pressure on China as tensions rise over pandemic-CNN/May15
The US is upping military pressure on China amid increased tensions over the South China Sea and accusing Beijing of seeking to leverage the coronavirus pandemic to extend its sphere of influence in the region.
USS McCampbell Transits Taiwan Strait Ahead of Taiwanese Presidential Inauguration-USNINews/May14
"The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) conducted a Taiwan Strait transit May 13 (local time), in accordance with international law," Lt. Anthony Junco, a U.S. 7th Fleet spokesperson told USNI News. "The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows."