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Tara Copp

Mattis: North Korea missile advances do not force US military response

“I do not believe this capability brings us closer to war,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Thursday at the Pentagon. “Diplomacy has not failed. It is our self-restraint that has prevented war … Our self-restraint holds.”

US committed to Europe force extension through 2020, Mattis says

The United States will extend its forward presence of forces in eastern Europe through 2020, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday, continuing a commitment to the Continent’s security that was declared 70 years ago this month.


Mattis rejects mission creep in Syria as new chemical weapons threat alleged

The Pentagon said Tuesday that the United States has detected “active handling of chemical weapons” at Syria’s Shayrat air base, which prompted the White House to warn President Bashar Assad that he would “pay a very heavy price” if those weapons are used.


2 Marines suffer severe burns from F/A-18 flash fire

Two Marine Corps maintainers working on an F/A-18 fighter jet were injured when a flash fire ignited as they were performing routine maintenance on the aircraft, the service said Monday.


Air Force says tornado damaged 2 ‘Doomsday’ 747s

A tornado that struck in Omaha last week damaged two of the “Doomsday” 747 aircraft that serve as the national command center for the United States in the case of an attack, the Air Force said Friday.


Report: Same Army lab in anthrax scare might have also lost small amount of sarin

The same Army laboratory that mishandled anthrax in 2015 leading to a nationwide scare might also have lost a small amount of the chemical sarin, the Pentagon’s inspector general has found.


Air Force to extend hazard pay for special operations personnel

The increased pay is part of an effort to retain airmen in critical fields. Airmen who are eligible could see up to an additional $615 a month in their pay.


Norway extends Marine Corps rotations to 2018

Approximately 330 Marines arrived in January in 2017 to bolster cooperation between the two countries and conduct exercises in the wake of continued Russian aggression in Europe.


Air Force: Grounded F-35s at Luke Air Force Base to start flying next week

The Air Force plans to get its F-35s at Luke Air Force Base flying again Tuesday, but with restrictions to prevent more of the oxygen deprivation incidents that led to their grounding.


Navy: 4 F/A-18 pilot deaths could be tied to oxygen system failures

Four pilot deaths could be tied to oxygen system failures in the cockpits of F/A-18 Hornets, the Navy revealed Thursday in an in-depth review of oxygen problems plaguing its fighter and trainer jets.


Mattis to Senate: More troops needed downrange

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Senate lawmakers Wednesday that potentially thousands of additional troops could be deployed to Afghanistan to keep the country from sliding into further violence and to prevent the Islamic State from achieving a stronger foothold there.


Navy says it can’t find the cause of the 'toxic oxygen' poisoning its T-45 pilots

The Navy can’t uncover what is poisoning its student pilots in the cockpits of their T-45 trainer jets, despite stripping aircraft apart piece by piece, the top admiral for naval aviation told Senate lawmakers Tuesday.


Mattis: New Afghanistan strategy will be ready by mid-July

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the White House would deliver its revised strategy for Afghanistan by mid-July, amid growing frustrations on Capitol Hill that the country’s security is worsening with no plan of action in sight.


Air Force extends F-35 stand-down due to oxygen system failures

The Air Force has extended its stand-down of F-35s at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to determine what has caused a string of oxygen system failures in its newest fighter jet.


Mattis: Impact of Qatar blockade on US operations ‘very complex’

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told House lawmakers Monday night that President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to get key Middle East allies to ease their blockade of Qatar, where the United States maintains its largest regional military base.


Pentagon: Pro-government forces in Syria use drone to attack US-led coalition troops

U.S.-led coalition troops patrolling in southern Syria were attacked Thursday by a pro-government forces drone, marking an escalation in hostilities in the region, the Pentagon said.


Navy: T-45 problems could mean Air Force aircraft is needed to help train pilots

Nearly two months after the Navy grounded its fleet of T-45 trainer jets due to cockpit oxygen problems, the aircraft have still not returned to service and the Navy is exploring alternatives, the service’s top aviation commander said Wednesday.


Pentagon: Airstrike hit mosque complex that should have been on 'no strike list'

The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that a string of missteps led to a March 16 airstrike in Aleppo, Syria that targeted al-Qaida members in a mosque complex that should have been on the military’s “no strike list.”


Air Force announces pilot bonus tiers

Air Force pilots who are eligible will receive an extra $10,000 to $35,000 annually for staying in the service, the Air Force announced Monday.


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A Shared Grief: Gold Star Mothers find kinship amid the burden of their loss

The Gold Star Mothers' national roots stretch back to World War I. Now a new generation of women, whose sons or daughters died while on active duty, or as a result of injuries received on active duty, are coming together because they understand each other in ways no one else can.


Pentagon: US airstrike, subsequent explosion killed more than 100 civilians in Mosul

A U.S. investigation into a March 17 airstrike in Mosul confirmed more than 100 civilians were killed when a U.S. aircraft bombed a building used by Islamic State fighters and local residents, the Pentagon announced Thursday.


$8B increase in 2018 proposal to fund Army overseas operations, boost readiness

The Trump administration has requested $166.1 billion for the Army in its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, which if passed would represent the second consecutive year of increased funding for the service to restore forces and equipment and stabilize end-strength levels at the cost of long-term modernization.


Air Force: 4,100 new airmen, more bombs and modern weapons

After years of proposing to retire aging aircraft to meet reduced budgets, the Air Force said a proposed $10 billion increase for 2018 will allow it to retain its spy aircraft and fighter jets, which is critical during air operations against the Islamic State.


Air Force command chief master sergeant faces 17 charges at Article 32 hearing

A noted Air Force command chief master sergeant who was removed from duty in November now faces two new charges for “indecent recording,” the service announced Monday.


PACOM: Chinese jets’ intercept of US nuke-sniffer was ‘unprofessional’

The intercept occurred Wednesday over the East China Sea, where the WC-135 Constant Phoenix was "conducting a routine mission," said Lt. Col. Lori Hodge, a Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman.


US-led coalition jets strike Syrian government forces deemed a threat to allies

The airstrikes hit a tank and possibly other targets in southern Syria in what the defense official described as an advance by a likely Shia militant group that the coalition deemed a threat to its allies on the ground.


More US forces needed in Europe to deter Russia, experts say

The U.S. should continue to support a robust conventional buildup in Eastern Europe to deter further Russian aggression there, panelists told an independent U.S. commission, just days ahead of the president’s rollout of his 2018 budget.


Dunford travels to Brussels to ask NATO to send more troops to Afghanistan

he United States will ask other NATO countries to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan to help train and advise Afghan forces and assist the U.S.-led counterterrorism effort there, the top U.S. general said.


Dunford: Iran's potential role in enforcing zones along Israeli border raises concerns

Iran’s potential role in enforcing a security zone in southern Syria has raised concerns for Israel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said Tuesday.


Pentagon to arm Syrian Kurds for Raqqa fight

The United States will directly supply military gear to the Syrian Kurdish militia that it has long supported in the fight against the Islamic State despite Turkish objections, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.


Dunford: US troop increase in Afghanistan depends on NATO contribution

The number of troops that the United States will add to the fight in Afghanistan will depend on how many additional forces NATO supplies to expand the battle against terrorists there, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday.


Pentagon assessing impact of security-zone agreement in Syria

Pentagon officials said Friday that they are assessing how U.S. operations against the Islamic State could be affected by new weapons-free zones enforced in western Syria by Russia, Iran and Turkey.


Female cadets testify about being sexually assaulted at their service academies

Four female cadets testified Tuesday to the House Armed Services subcommittee on personnel about sexual assault and harassment at the military academies and discussed how they were treated after reporting the assaults.


DOD: Reporting of military sexual assault rises as estimate of total incidents declines

Military members were more willing to report sexual assault in 2016 compared to the year before, even as fear of retaliation continued to weigh on victims, the Pentagon said in a report released Monday.


7 sailors on USS Hué City to be punished for inappropriate relationship

Seven senior enlisted sailors aboard the USS Hué City face disciplinary actions for conducting or helping cover up an inappropriate relationship while serving on the guided-missile cruiser, the Navy has announced.


Pentagon can set troop levels in Iraq, Syria without White House approval

President Donald Trump has authorized Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria without White House approval. The switch gives the Pentagon more autonomy to determine how many forces are required in the fight against Islamic State.


2 US servicemembers killed fighting ISIS in Afghanistan

Two U.S. servicemembers have been killed and a third was wounded in an operation against Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Thursday.


US: Turkey gave less than 1 hour notice before Syria strikes

The Pentagon on Wednesday criticized Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria and Iraq that the United States said put American forces on the ground at risk.


2 Air Force Crosses awarded for heroism in Afghanistan

Both airmen had their awards upgraded to Air Force Crosses as part of the Pentagon-wide review of more than 1,100 medals awarded across the services for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after questions were raised about whether some of the actions had warranted higher honors.


Air Force releases details on crash that killed U-2 instructor pilot

U-2 instructor pilot Lt. Col. Ira Eadie was killed in September when his student incorrectly reacted to a stall, sending the plane into an unrecoverable dive, the Air Force found in an investigation released Wednesday.


1 dead, 2 injured in Black Hawk training flight crash

A soldier was killed and two others were injured Monday when the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they were flying crashed at a golf course in Maryland, according to an Army news release.


US drops 'mother of all bombs' on ISIS caves in Afghanistan

The United States dropped the largest conventional bomb ever deployed in combat Thursday to destroy a series of Islamic State caves in eastern Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.


Russia open to restarting Syria airstrike safety phone calls with US

Russia’s top foreign minister said Wednesday that his country will consider reopening a phone line with the United States used to avoid aircraft collisions over Syria only if the U.S. agrees to stop attacking Syrian government targets.


Mattis warns Syria that more chemical attacks would bring a 'very stiff price'

The United States has not ruled out more attacks against the Syrian government if it continues to use chemical weapons against its people, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday.


US jets shift to more defensive role after Syria missile strike

U.S. and coalition airpower over Syria has taken a more defensive posture in recent days to protect U.S. and partner forces from retaliation after warships hit a Syrian airfield Thursday.


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US looking at possibility of Russian role in chemical attacks that led to Syria missile strikes

Senior U.S. military officials raised the possibility Friday that Russia might have had a role in the chemical attacks in Syria that killed scores of civilians and prompted the massive U.S. cruise missile strike against Shayrat Air Base.


Air Force NCO awarded Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian Claughsey was awarded the Silver Star on Friday for his heroism in battle protecting U.S. special forces during a fierce, four-day firefight in Kunduz, Afghanistan.


Navy grounds T-45 trainer jet fleet

The Navy has grounded its T-45 Goshawk trainer jets in response to increased incidents where pilots’ oxygen systems have malfunctioned, the service announced Wednesday.


Air Force: Pilot safe after F-16 crashes near Joint Base Andrews

An Air National Guard pilot suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning after the F-16C fighter jet that he was flying crashed near Joint Base Andrews, the Air Force said.


US expands air base in northern Syria for use in battle for Raqqa

The Air Force has expanded an air base in northern Syria to assist in the fight to retake the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, U.S. Central Command said.


Noted Air Force command chief master sergeant faces 15 UCMJ charges

Former 12th Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Jose A. Barraza was charged Thursday with 15 violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to an Air Force statement.


US-led coalition adjusts tactics to counter Islamic State forcing civilians into targeted buildings

U.S.-led forces fighting the Islamic State are adjusting their tactics in Iraq and Syria based on evidence that the terrorist group lures airstrikes at buildings in which they have trapped civilians, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said Thursday.


CENTCOM: Avoiding civilian casualties in Mosul will become more difficult

Avoiding civilian casualties in Iraq will become more difficult as the battle to recapture western Mosul from the Islamic State group intensifies, Army Gen. Joseph Votel told House lawmakers on Wednesday.


Commander: 'Fair chance' US had role in strike on civilians in Mosul

The U.S. likely had a role in a strike against a building in Islamic State-controlled West Mosul that might have led to the death of scores of civilians, the top U.S. commander in the fight against the terror group said Tuesday.


Funding could force Marine Corps to shut down half of its fighter squadrons by midsummer

The Marine Corps has 20 tactical fighter squadrons, though the lack of funding for spare parts and other servicing has decreased the number of aircraft in each unit. More so, many aircraft are older, need maintenance more often and are not available for as many missions.


More US forces join fight for Mosul as military probes civilian casualty reports

Additional forces from the 82nd Airborne Division have deployed to assist Iraq in the battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group as the U.S. military opened investigations into reports that an airstrike in the city killed civilians, the Pentagon said Monday.


Air Force considers retiring F-15Cs and transition crews to F-16s

The Air Force is weighing whether it should retire its fleet of F-15C fighters from its active-duty and reserve units and transition those crews to F-16s with upgraded radars, service leaders revealed Wednesday to House lawmakers.


In wake of Marines United nude-photo scandal, lawmakers question DOD social media policies

Leaders from the Marines, Navy, Air Force and Army testified during a hearing held by a House armed services subcommittee about each service’s social media policies and the training in place after reports that some Marines and sailors had participated in a Facebook site that distributed nude photos of women in the service.


Supplemental defense budget request: $30B to address readiness

President Donald Trump’s budget requests for $670 billion for defense through fiscal year 2018 need to represent “long-term growth in defense spending,” Pentagon officials said Thursday.


Trump nominates Boeing executive to be Pentagon's second-in-command

President Donald Trump announced several key nominees Thursday to serve in the Defense Department. All six positions will require Senate confirmation.


Shanahan nominated for No. 2 civilian spot at Pentagon

President Donald Trump announced several key nominatees Thursday to serve in the Defense Department. All six positions will require Senate confirmation.


Pentagon: US, Russian forces in close proximity in Manbij

U.S. and Russian forces have been flying their country's flag and communicating more frequently to avoid mishaps as they operate within viewing distance of each other in the Syrian city of Manbij, a defense spokesman said Wednesday.


Hundreds of Marines, Army Rangers deploy to Syria in the fight against Islamic State

About 400 Marines and Army Rangers have deployed to Syria to assist in the fight against the Islamic State group as local forces prepare to retake the terrorist stronghold of Raqqa, U.S. defense officials said Thursday.


Pentagon: Islamic State has lost access to Iraq’s oil

The Islamic State group has lost almost all access to Iraqi oil, though the terrorist organization has thousands of fighters protecting its remaining oil-rich territory in Syria, a U.S. defense official said Wednesday.


N. Korea fires 4 missiles into the sea in slap at US-S. Korean war games

North Korea fired a barrage of missiles into the sea near Japan on Monday in a defiant show of force as the United States and South Korea conduct annual joint war games.


Navy SEAL death in Yemen raid not undergoing larger review

A more in-depth investigation into the death of the Navy SEAL during a controversial U.S. military raid in Yemen has not been ordered, despite being announced earlier this week, defense officials said Friday.


20 US airstrikes in Yemen target al-Qaida, kill at least 4 militants

U.S. jets and drones conducted more than 20 airstrikes against al-Qaida targets in Yemen on Thursday, roughly one month after U.S. special operators carried out a raid in the same province that led to the death of a Navy SEAL, Pentagon officials said.


Maintenance needs limit availability of B-1 bomber fleet

The Air Force’s most maintenance-intensive aircraft isn’t its oldest, or even its stealthiest. It’s the B-1 Lancer, and the bomber needs about 150 hours of maintenance after each flight.


Dunford: US will stand by its commitments to defend its NATO allies

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. will stand by its commitments to defend its NATO allies against any threats, including those generated by Russia. His pledge was the fourth from high-ranking members of the Trump administration.


Air Force: Full costs on Air Force One not yet known

Despite President Donald Trump’s claim that the cost of Air Force One has been cut by $1 billion, the Air Force said Wednesday that the price tag for the program has yet to be determined.


Pentagon: US troops under fire in battle for Mosul

U.S. troops embedded with Iraqi forces have been engaged in combat as they move closer to the front lines in the battle for Mosul, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said Wednesday.


Officials downplay Russian spy ship off east coast of US

The U.S. is downplaying the presence of a Russian intelligence ship off the coast of Connecticut, despite two other recent incidents with Russia that have raised security concerns.


Pentagon: North Korean missiles pose 'clear, grave threat' to US

North Korea’s latest missile launch showed the country has made progress in developing weapons that pose a danger to the United States, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.


Only about 25 percent of Marine Corps Hornets are ready to fly

Roughly 25 percent of the Marines’ 280 F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets could fly now if needed, the top aviation Marine said Wednesday.


Air Force chief seeks to lower commercial flight-hour requirement

Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein said Tuesday he’d like to see a federal regulation adjusted that requires private pilots to have 1,500 flight hours before they can fly for a commercial airline, in order to ease pressure on the military’s pilot shortage.


Pentagon releases video seized in SEAL raid in Yemen, then pulls it from website

U.S. Central Command on Friday released a short video clip that it said was representative of the intelligence gathered by Navy SEALs during a deadly raid of an al-Qaida compound in Yemen. But within two hours of releasing the video, the Pentagon pulled it from its website after learning it was nearly a decade old and likely has long been circulated in jihadi forums on the Internet.