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John Vandiver

DOD wants plasma from recovered coronavirus patients to help develop treatment

The Pentagon has launched a drive to collect plasma from military members and others who have recovered from COVID-19.

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Poland hit by wave of fake news before start of major military exercise with US

Poland was hit with a barrage of fake news stories this week, including a phony interview with a U.S. commander ridiculing allied militaries, days before a major NATO exercise kicks off in the country, Polish officials said.


Air Force fails to deal with racial disparities in military justice, report says

In the Air Force, black airmen on average were 71% more likely to face court-martial or nonjudicial punishment than their white counterparts, according to an investigation.


Moscow sends fighter planes to Libya to back warlord, AFRICOM says

Russia has flown warplanes to Libya in a move aimed at propping up a warlord and possibly gaining a permanent foothold in the war-torn country, the U.S. military said Tuesday.


NATO needs to focus more on the Black Sea to defend against Russia, report says

The Black Sea "is now the centerpiece of Moscow’s power projection into the Mediterranean," wrote retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges in a report released Tuesday.


Army in Stuttgart, once a coronavirus hot spot, reports no new infections over three weeks

The lack of new cases is a sharp turnaround for a military community that in early April accounted for more coronavirus cases than any other overseas base.


DOD civilians offered emergency leave if they or family members are sick from coronavirus

Defense Department civilians can take up to two weeks of paid emergency leave if they or a family member are affected by the coronavirus, the Army said.


Army reactivates V Corps for Europe mission

The U.S. Army has reactivated V Corps, a unit of 635 soldiers that will bring more command and control support to missions in Europe, the service announced Tuesday.


Destroyer USS Roosevelt brings upgraded missile defense to Rota

Not to be mistaken for the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which has been docked in Guam for weeks after a coronavirus outbreak, the destroyer is named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor.


No airstrikes in Somalia for five weeks, but AFRICOM says al-Shabab fight continues

U.S. Africa Command hasn’t launched an airstrike in Somalia in five weeks, the longest halt in more than a year, as torrential rains complicate the battlefield environment.


Army to resume large-scale exercise in Europe, but with coronavirus precautions

Thousands of U.S. and Polish soldiers will participate in drills next month, marking the first time since the coronavirus crisis began that American troops will assemble for a large-scale exercise in Europe.


German lawmakers investigate whether double taxation of US troops, civilians violates SOFA

Regional lawmakers in Germany are investigating why a finance office near Ramstein Air Base has stepped up efforts to collect income tax from American troops and military civilians, possibly breaching an international treaty that governs U.S. forces in the country.


Stuttgart and Wiesbaden garrisons allow travel across Germany, but no overnight stays

U.S. military personnel based in Stuttgart and Wiesbaden can use most off-post facilities open to the public even if such facilities aren’t yet open on post, according to updated Army general orders.


75th V-E Day anniversary going virtual as military and WWII veterans mark milestone

Seventy-five years ago, throngs filled the streets of Paris, London, Moscow and New York to celebrate Victory in Europe Day, but on Friday as the world marks the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat the ceremonial pomp will be muted.


Navy’s vice chief tapped to command service’s forces in Europe, Africa

Adm. Robert P. Burke has been nominated to serve as the next commander of the Naples, Italy-based U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa in a series of Navy leadership changes announced by the Pentagon.


Pentagon reports 132 civilians dead in overseas operations last year

U.S. military forces killed 132 civilians and injured 91 others during operations last year in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, the Pentagon said.


Army wants wearable device for faster coronavirus detection

The Army is seeking to rapidly field wearable coronavirus detectors, in a push to get an earlier warning of a virus that has infected nearly 5,000 service members.


US Navy in Barents Sea for first time since 1980s, as Russian activities mount in the Arctic

The push above the Arctic Circle is part of a Navy effort to muscle up in a region where Russia has invested heavily in recent years and where China also has declared itself a power.


Army in Stuttgart calls for vigilance as two-week streak of no coronavirus infections ends

A two-week stretch with no new confirmed coronavirus cases ended Wednesday for the Army’s Stuttgart garrison, which earlier this month had reported more cases than any other U.S. military base in Europe.


Esper defers projects aimed at Russia deterrence to fund US border wall

Plans to enhance the U.S. Navy’s base in Rota, Spain, are among the Europe-based military projects being put on the backburner as the Pentagon shifts funds to offset the costs of paying for a border wall.


Jumbo Soviet-era plane sent by NATO airlifts 10 million masks from China to Germany

The world’s largest capacity cargo plane — built to transport the Soviet space shuttle — is now flying medical supplies from China to Germany in an effort organized by NATO.


US still world’s biggest military spender as global expenditures approach $2 trillion

The U.S. saw its largest annual increase in military spending in a decade in 2019.


US Africa Command review finds two civilians were killed in Somalia airstrike

AFRICOM said it’s likely that two civilians were unintentionally killed and three were injured as a result of an airstrike on Feb. 23, 2019.


Army announces summer troop moves to Europe, Iraq and Afghanistan

The summer moves were announced as the Pentagon continues to make wide-ranging adjustments, including canceling exercises and delaying troop movements, to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.


Coronavirus pandemic leads to spike in disinformation directed at US, NATO in Europe

Disinformation aimed at undermining the U.S. and NATO forces has surged in Europe as adversaries seize on the coronavirus pandemic in their attempts to create instability, a report says.


With hundreds in the military community facing German tax penalties, Army says it will take a closer look

U.S. Army Europe says it will step up efforts to warn troops and civilians about potential financial risks as local authorities attempt to levy German income tax on some members of the military community.


Russian fighter buzzes US aircraft for second time in four days

The incident over the Mediterranean Sea involved a Russian SU-35 fighter conducting two high-speed intercepts of a U.S. P-8A submarine reconnaissance plane, officials said.


Russian jet’s inverted maneuver in front of US plane risked collision, Navy says

A U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft was in international airspace when a Russian SU-35 performed a high-speed, inverted maneuver 25 feet in front of the Navy plane, according to U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.


Field hospitals deployed to Africa helping in coronavirus response, AFRICOM says

U.S. field hospitals recently sent to parts of Africa are being used by some countries to treat their growing numbers of coronavirus patients, U.S. Africa Command said Tuesday.


Coronavirus cases at Army’s Stuttgart garrison top 100, but rate appears to be slowing

To date, 103 people have tested positive for the virus, Stuttgart garrison commander Col. Jason Condrey said. But roughly half of those people have recovered.


AFRICOM kills senior terrorist leader in Somalia as airstrikes intensify

A senior Al-Shabab leader who played a key role in plotting deadly attacks throughout East Africa has been killed in an airstrike in Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said Tuesday.


Pentagon orders troops to wear masks when they can’t meet ‘social distancing’ standards

U.S. troops worldwide must wear masks, and sew their own if necessary, if they cannot maintain social distancing standards to protect against the coronavirus, the Pentagon announced Sunday.


AFRICOM, Air Force mismanaged $100 million drone base project in Niger, IG says

The U.S. military may have broken the law when it mismanaged funds and ineffectively planned the construction of a $100 million drone base in Niger, the Pentagon’s Inspector General said in a report issued Thursday.


‘This is discrimination’: Germany seeks income taxes from US airman because he's married to local woman

The move levies double taxation on an airman who already pays U.S. income taxes and potentially threatens service members who marry Germans or take any number of steps to integrate into life outside the base gates.


From Russia with a price tag: Coronavirus aid arrives in US

The delivery of ventilators and personal protection equipment was the result of a phone call Monday between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a State Department spokeswoman said.


Russia says it sent coronavirus medical aid to US after Putin, Trump chat

A Russian aircraft stocked with medical supplies is flying to the U.S. after President Donald Trump accepted an offer of support, the Russian defense and foreign ministries said Wednesday.