Jennifer Santos, lead official in charge of Defense Production Act, FIRED

Jennifer Santos, the Pentagon’s lead on handling the implementation of the Defense Production Act, has been fired.

Santos, who has been working as deputy assistant secretary of defense for industrial policy since June 2019, told her staff Thursday morning that she had been fired from the position in a call that sources described as a tearful goodbye.

In her capacity as deputy assistant, Santos was responsible for utilizing the Defense Production Act to work with the defense and manufacturing industries in order to maximize the domestic production of masks and other protective equipment in order to help respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, President Trump began issuing memorandums authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act to compel American businesses to produce equipment such as ventilators, personal protective equipment, and testing supplies in order to help combat the spread of the virus.

Managing these Defense Production Act directives fell under the purview of Jennifer Santos.

Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews confirmed that Santos has been moved to a new position in the Navy and that her replacement will be Scott Baum who is currently serving as the Department of Defense’s principal director of industrial policy.

According to sources who spoke with POLITICO, Santos “faced challenges leveraging the Defense Production Act” and that the shake up at the Pentagon was an attempt to find someone with a more suitable background related to the act.

“The department’s commitment to closely partnering with the defense industry remains unwavering, and we will continue to identify and mitigate impacts from the COVID-19 national emergency to ensure readiness and modernization,” Andrews said.

REPORT: Rocket Attack Strikes Base Housing US Troops

UPDATE: Iraqi media is reporting that just one rocket landed at its target, striking one of the entrances to the base and wounding an Iraqi security member who was guarding it.

Initial reports are coming in about a rocket strike that targeted Taji Base, an Iraqi military compound that houses US troops. While reports have been inconsistent, with some indicating the attack was “fierce” and others claiming that only one or two rockets struck their target, it seems that for now the only reported casualty is one Iraqi security member who was injured by the blasts.

It’s time to bring our troops home from the Middle East and let those nations square up and deal with their own issues as they please. Let nature take its course.

We will update this post as more information comes in.