The INSIDER daily digest -- Jan. 11, 2024

By John Liang / January 11, 2024 at 3:10 PM

This Thursday INSIDER Daily Digest has news on the ongoing political brouhaha over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's recent hospitalization as well as the Pentagon releasing a defense industrial base strategy and more.

We start off with the latest on the ongoing controversy over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's recent hospitalization:

Republican Senators request hearing into communication of Austin's hospitalization

GOP lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee called upon Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) to hold a hearing into the notification procedures surrounding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's hospitalization.

Senate Republicans seek answers on Austin's medical absence; House GOP launches inquiry

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the top-ranking GOP lawmaker on the Senate Armed Services Committee, led 11 of his fellow Republicans in sending a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin today seeking answers on whether the Pentagon may have broken the law amid the secrecy surrounding Austin’s ongoing hospitalization.

The Defense Department's new industrial base strategy, an early draft of which was first obtained by Inside Defense in December, is to be followed by a classified implementation plan, though parts of that plan, like an executive summary or overview, are expected to be unclassified:

DOD's first National Defense Industrial Strategy targets next three to five years

The Pentagon released its first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy today aiming to boost U.S. weapons manufacturing within the next three to five years. Some defense industry advocates, however, say the strategy must be followed up by more detailed investment plans.

The Navy's top civilian spoke at this week's Surface Navy Association’s National Symposium:

Del Toro: At-sea re-arming will be operational in 2-3 years

The Navy is on path to develop and operationalize technology enabling a supply vessel to re-arm a warship's missile tubes while underway at sea within the next two to three years, according to service Secretary Carlos Del Toro.

More SNA symposium news:

Navy launches LSM contract competition

The Navy has officially opened the contract competition for the Landing Ship Medium with a Jan. 5 solicitation seeking industry proposals for the detail design and construction of up to six of the vessels.

(Read our full SNA symposium coverage.)