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Overnight Defense: Army reviewing request for DC Guard ahead of Chauvin verdict | Gitmo detainees eligible for COVID-19 vaccine | Biden nominating Coast Guard's first female four-star

Overnight Defense: Army reviewing request for DC Guard ahead of Chauvin verdict | Gitmo detainees eligible for COVID-19 vaccine | Biden nominating Coast Guard's first female four-star
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Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Rebecca Kheel, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

THE TOPLINE: The Army is reviewing a request from Washington, D.C., officials to deploy the National Guard in anticipation of the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial.

The D.C. National Guard said in a statement it is ready to support local law enforcement if the mission is approved by acting Army Secretary John Whitley.

"The D.C. National Guard has received a request from the city to provide support to local law enforcement in anticipation of potential First Amendment demonstrations,” the statement said. “The D.C. National Guard is prepared to support D.C. law enforcement, pending approval of this mission by the Secretary of the Army.”

The request: Christopher Rodriguez, director of the D.C. government’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), sent the request to the D.C. National Guard back on April 8.

D.C. officials asked for six crowd management teams, National Guard members to help secure 30 traffic posts and a team of at least 300 guardsmen to respond quickly to instances of “large-scale civil unrest” should they occur. The guardsmen would not be armed.

“The trial is expected to last three to four weeks and there is the potential for First Amendment demonstrations to occur in the District of Columbia in response to the verdict,” Rodriguez wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The Hill. “These demonstrations are congruent with the demonstrations that occurred during 2020, where the District saw a large influx of participants and general disorder and criminal activity.”

Context: Chauvin is the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for killing George Floyd last summer.

Floyd’s death at the hands of police last summer set off demonstrations in cities across the country, including D.C., where many National Guard troops were deployed. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE was heavily criticized over the militarization of the city and law enforcement treatment of protesters last year.

The Chauvin trial is winding down, with closing arguments on Monday and a verdict expected to be reached in the coming days.

Read more here.

 

GITMO DETAINEES CAN GET COVID-19 VACCINE

Guantanamo Bay detainees are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

U.S. Southern Command confirmed the move after it was first reported by The New York Times.

“The mission of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (JTF-GTMO) is to provide safe, legal and humane care to, and custody of, the detainee population,” a U.S. Southern Command spokesperson said in a statement. “Vaccines have been made available to all detainees who volunteer to receive them after being informed and educated about the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Flashback: To earlier this year, when the Pentagon’s previous plan to offer the vaccine to Guantanamo detainees set off a firestorm among Republicans who sought to cast the Biden administration as making vaccines available to suspected terrorists ahead of Americans.

The Pentagon said the plan had been set in motion by the Trump administration, but still halted plans to give detainees the vaccine at that time amid the criticism.

The difference now: All U.S. adults are now eligible for the vaccine, in line with President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE’s direction for that to happen by Monday.

Also in line with that direction, the Pentagon said Monday all of its adult beneficiaries are eligible. And Southern Command said it’s not just detainees who are eligible; all adults on the base are.

Read more here.

 

A HISTORIC COAST GUARD NOMINEE

Biden plans to nominate Coast Guard Vice Adm. Linda Fagan to be the service’s No. 2 officer, the White House announced Monday.

If confirmed as vice commandant, Fagan would be the first woman in the Coast Guard’s history to become a four-star admiral.

“Vice Adm. Fagan is an outstanding leader with 36 years of Coast Guard operations, policy-making, joint service, and interagency experience,” Coast Guard commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said in a statement. “Throughout her distinguished career, she has been a top performer and a trailblazer. As the Coast Guard’s first female four-star admiral, and President Biden’s nominee to serve as the Coast Guard’s 32nd vice commandant, Adm. Fagan will be instrumental in moving the service forward at a critical juncture in our history.”

About her: Fagan currently commands the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, a job she has held since June 2018 and that oversees operations from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off Africa’s east coast, according to her Coast Guard bio.

Prior to that, she was the Coast Guard’s deputy commandant for operations, policy and capabilities. Her resume also includes time as commander of the First Coast Guard District and deputy director of operations for U.S. Northern Command.

Read more here.

 

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee will hold a hearing on defense health programs at 9:30 a.m. https://bit.ly/2QFvYpq

Gen. James Dickinson, commander of U.S. Space Command, and Adm. Charles Richard, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. https://bit.ly/3ssZwDH

Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command, will testify behind closed-doors before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee at 10 a.m. https://bit.ly/3dxXApn

Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command; Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command; and Amanda Dory, acting under secretary of Defense for policy, will testify before the House Armed Services Committee at 11 a.m. https://bit.ly/3aqvj21

A House Foreign Affairs Committee subpanel will hold a hearing on global efforts to fight climate change at 2 p.m. https://bit.ly/3ehS3lU

 

ICYMI

-- The Hill: Five questions about Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan

-- The Hill: Russian fighter jet intercepts US, Norwegian patrol aircraft over Barents Sea: report

-- The Hill: Blinken pushes back on criticism to Afghanistan withdrawal: 'We achieved the objectives that we set out to achieve'

-- The Hill: Opinion: US Space Command's mission: 'Preparing for the war not yet fought'

-- Reuters: Some progress in nuclear talks, interim deal possible -Iranian officials

-- Bloomberg: Watchdogs urge Defense chief Austin to curtail budget wish lists

-- Task and Purpose: These are the faces of extremism in the military

-- Defense One: Advocates hope first female Army secretary brings change