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John Vandiver

‘Wild Bill’ platoon brings new electronic warfare skills to Army’s force in Europe

With the 'Wild Bill' platoon, the unit can see whenever an adversary emits a signal from a cell phone, smart watch or other wireless device.

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V Corps takes up position at new Poland headquarters

About 200 V Corps troops will eventually be assigned to the forward element in Poland while an additional 400 will work from Kentucky.


US special operators and Army artillerymen flex muscles in groundbreaking Black Sea drill

The Rapid Falcon exercise showcased a new capability that gives conventional artillery units in Germany the ability to strike with the speed of a quick reaction force.


As UK ramps up defense spending, Pentagon tells other allies to follow suit

The U.K.'s $21.8 billion increase, doled out over four years, is the largest boost in defense spending since the end of the Cold War.


US military strength is 'marginal,' new assessment says

The Heritage Foundation’s annual index on global threats and U.S. military power, released Tuesday, found weaknesses in critical areas, especially for the Army and Navy.


Pentagon plan calls for pulling all troops from Somalia

The plan circulating in the Pentagon would cut virtually all troops in Somalia, who conduct counterterrorism and training missions, The New York Times reported.


SEALs, Green Berets join large defense drill in Sweden

The bilateral exercise with Sweden is the latest push by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe into the Baltic Sea region, where coastal nations are concerned about a more aggressive Russia.


US Army kicks off live-fire Patriot drills in Greece with three NATO allies

About 250 troops from the U.S., Germany, Greece and the Netherlands are taking part in the air defense operations at NATO’s firing range on the Greek island of Crete.


ANALYSIS

Troop pullout from Germany likely to be quashed by Biden, analysts say

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to kill the Trump administration’s plan to withdraw U.S. forces from Germany.


Proposed troop drawdown in Germany complicates plans to hand back military land

A directive from President Donald Trump to withdraw some 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany and move numerous units elsewhere has further complicated a plan to return several military sites in the country.


Langley takes over Marine mission in Europe, Africa following Neary’s relief

Maj. Gen. Michael E. Langley, one of only seven Black general officers in the Marine Corps, assumed command Tuesday of Marine missions in Europe and Africa, the service announced.


USS ‘Woody’ arrives in Greece on way to its new Souda Bay homeport

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams is the first U.S. Navy warship based in Greece in at least 40 years.


‘So many families have been targeted’: US troops say German tax officials are asking for sensitive personal information

Service members targeted by German tax collectors say U.S. military commands leave them to fend for themselves.


EUCOM tests war readiness with classified drill

The excercise scenario details for Austere Challenge are secret, but EUCOM said it involves bringing together the whole of allied power — land, sea, air, cyber and space assets – in the event of conflict.


New space center at Ramstein is part of NATO's push to protect military infrastructure

NATO defense ministers officially agreed Thursday to launch a new space center at Ramstein Air Base, where more personnel will likely be added as allies seek to better protect military assets in orbit and elsewhere.


Ten NATO members now meet 2% defense spending benchmark, but not Germany

Germany, which has been accused by President Donald Trump of not spending enough on defense, spent only 1.57% of gross domestic product on its military, a NATO report said.


For the third time this year, a Navy destroyer enters the Barents Sea

The U.S. has once again sent a warship into the Barents Sea in what is becoming the new normal this year as Navy surface vessels navigate waters not visited since the height of the Cold War.


Marine Corps general under investigation for using racial slur is relieved of command

Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary has been relieved of command of U.S. Marines in Europe and Africa while the service investigates allegations he used a racial slur that denigrates Black people, the Corps said Tuesday.


Ramstein Air Base to house new NATO space center

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other military chiefs will review the plan Thursday, when NATO’s 30 member states begin a virtual two-day meeting.


Army’s V Corps, with a long history in Europe, is back in action

The Army’s storied V Corps officially reactivated Friday during a ceremony at Fort Knox, Ky., and a small portion of the unit is already on the ground in Poland to take up a new mission.


Coronavirus shuts down Stuttgart High School as Germany reels under record number of new cases

The closure of Stuttgart High School, which is attended by about 800 students, came as the number of new infections in Germany rose by more than 6,600 Thursday.


The Austrian Alps winter sports mecca of the Oetztal has spectacular scenery

The Oetztal in the heart of the Austrian Alps is a winter sports mecca, but there’s something to be said for getting there before the ski bums.


Trump tells Pentagon to devise a plan to leave Somalia, report says

President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia where they are fighting al-Qaida backed militants, Bloomberg News reported.


F-15s out of Lakenheath patrol the skies above Iceland

U.S. fighter jets have taken over a NATO air policing mission in the North Atlantic, operating from a base in Iceland that is of growing importance to the alliance as it counters an aggressive and expansionist Russia.


Stuttgart, Spangdahlem step up coronavirus restrictions after spike in cases around Germany

A sharp increase in coronavirus cases in Stuttgart over the weekend has forced officials to raise the health threat in the city to Germany’s highest level and to order new restrictions on social gatherings.


Kaiserslautern area raised to second-highest health alert level as coronavirus cases surge in Germany

The Kaiserslautern area was raised to Germany’s second-highest health alert level last week after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases that some were pinning on members of the large U.S. military community, officials said.


US military community in Kaiserslautern may be coronavirus hot spot as cases surge around Germany

The U.S. military community was being eyed Friday as a hot spot for new coronavirus infections in the Kaiserslautern area, where the health warning system was raised to the second-highest level after a sudden spike in cases, district officials said.


US Army Europe and Africa consolidate as Cavoli gets fourth star

Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli assumed command of the newly formed U.S. Army Europe and Africa on Oct. 1.


US, Romania sign defense cooperation deal

A 10-year road map could help pave the way for a larger U.S. military mission in Romania.


Turkey’s Russian air defense system may have tracked allied F-16s, US senators say

Two US senators also questioned whether Turkey had integrated NATO’s tactical data link into the S-400, which could allow Russia to gather information on alliance members.


Army proceeding with $1.7 million range project in Stuttgart despite troop drawdown plan

An upcoming range project and how it is being split financially was finalized before the Pentagon announced it intends to move U.S. European and Africa commands, as well as several subordinate units, out of the Stuttgart area.


NATO chief calls on Turkey to help ease Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute

NATO’s top official on Monday called on Turkey to use its influence to reduce tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which are locked in a violent territorial dispute in which scores of civilians are reported to have died since July.


Marine F-35s deploy to UK carrier in a first among allies

Marine Corps F-35s are operating alongside British fighters aboard the U.K.’s new Queen Elizabeth carrier.


Marine general under investigation for allegations he used a racial slur, Corps confirms

Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary, who commands Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, is alleged to have used a derogatory term for Blacks in the presence of other Marines. The Marine Corps did not go into detail about the nature of the incident.


USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams first major Navy ship to be based in Greece in decades

USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, which will homeport at Souda Bay, is an expeditionary sea base designed to carry Marines and special operations troops to hot spots or train with partners.


Russian military strength at a post-Cold War high, report says

The Russian military is more capable than at any time since the end of the Cold War, the result of an effort to produce a more agile force, a new study found.