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John Vandiver

Pentagon finds flaws in reporting of readiness of ships that are crucial in a crisis

The flawed reporting of surge sealift ship readiness means commanders could base crisis decision-making and planning on bad information, the Defense Department IG said in a report.

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US gunships transferred to Kenya weeks after attacks on US personnel

U.S. and Kenyan military officials touted the delivery of the MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters as a step that will enhance a force faced with a persistent terrorist threat coming out of neighboring Somalia.


Contract dispute prompts massive civilian layoffs at Incirlik Air Base

Vectrus, a Colorado-based company that provides base maintenance and operational support at various overseas military locations, did not respond to a request for comment about its decision to scale back at Incirlik.


Army’s biggest exercise in Europe for 25 years begins at US motor pools

About 20,000 pieces of military equipment must be deployed from the U.S. for Defender-Europe 20.


Army: No imminent threat to US troops after report of planned terror attack in Germany

U.S. Army Europe investigators found no “imminent threat” to personnel after an intelligence report of a potential terror attack led to heightened security at U.S. bases in Germany during the weekend.


Hackers earn $275,000 in ‘bug bounties’ after finding security flaws on Army websites

The Army paid hackers more than $275,000 for detecting vulnerabilities in popular military websites, which defense officials say is a step toward creating a more secure cyberspace.


US troops slated for big Arctic exercise get shifted to other missions

About 3,000 U.S. troops slated to take part in an upcoming cold weather exercise in Norway in early March have been diverted to other missions. Some 7,500 U.S. troops are still expected to take part in the Norwegian-led Cold Response exercise.


US troops’ ‘incredible heroism’ was key to repelling deadly Kenya attack, AFRICOM says

“We had a very small U.S. force following the initial attack absolutely repel the al-Shabab attackers away from the airfield. And they did that under fire,” said Gen. William Gayler, AFRICOM’s director of operations.


Russia and China would fill gap created by large US pullout from Africa, lawmakers warn Pentagon

A group of bipartisan lawmakers has cautioned the Pentagon against large troop reductions in Africa, arguing that Russia and China would fill the vacuum that would be created by a smaller U.S. presence on the continent.


Omaha Beach sculpture planned for D-Day veteran who now calls Normandy home

Overlooking Omaha Beach is a small memorial to honor Native American troops who took part in the Normandy invasion more than 75 years ago, and now a group of French locals want to add to it.


Pentagon mulling cuts to force in Africa, Milley says

The Pentagon is considering plans to reduce the number of troops it has in Africa so they can be redeployed to other missions, including a larger role in the Pacific, the military’s top officer said.


2020 VISION

Negotiations between Washington, Poland continue into 2020 regarding deployment of additional US troops

The U.S. and Poland are still trying to figure out how to beef up the American military mission in the country after more than a year of negotiations, but 2020 could be the year when the long-discussed initiative gets put into action.


Marine to serve as AFRICOM’s new senior enlisted leader

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Richard D. Thresher has been tapped to serve as the next senior enlisted leader of U.S. Africa Command, the military announced Thursday.


‘What a beautiful name’: Ever the brand-builder, Trump comes up with moniker for expanded NATO

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he raised the idea of an expanded NATO role in the Middle East, and the idea of NATO-ME, to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.


AFRICOM boss orders senior officers to Kenya to investigate deadly attacks

The AFRICOM contingent that Townsend sent to Kenya includes Maj. Gen. Michael Turello, who leads the Djibouti-based Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, and AFRICOM’s head of logistics Brig. Gen. Leonard Kosinski.


Allies could do more in Mideast, NATO chief says after Trump calls on members to step up

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday the alliance can do more in the Middle East but stopped short of detailing how allies might satisfy President Donald Trump’s demand that they become more involved in the region.


Damages, losses and late arrivals plague military household goods shipments, IG says

The Defense Department is the largest customer in the personal property shipping industry, representing about 15% of all domestic and international moves.


Pilot from Tucson among those killed in Kenya attack

An Arizona man contracted to fly aircraft for the U.S. military one of three Americans killed by Somali militants.


Germany, other NATO allies move soldiers out of central Iraq

The move comes after the alliance suspended a mission to train Iraqi forces.


Icy German roads and Australian wildfires derail Navy vet’s world run

An accident forced a stop to Dustin Johnson's attempt to become the first American to run around the world.


Army specialist from Chicago area was among three Americans killed in Kenya attack

Spc. Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, from the Chicago suburb of Hazel Crest, was killed in the Sunday morning attack, his family told Chicago’s NBC affiliate.


Middle East crisis could mean adjustments to Europe’s largest military exercise in decades

Large exercises in Europe and the Pacific are part of a Pentagon strategy to shift focus away from the Middle East and prioritize “great power competition” with Russia and China.


AFRICOM: US service member, two contractors killed in attack on Kenya base

One U.S. servicemember and two Defense Department contractors were killed Sunday in Kenya after their military base came under attack y al-Qaida-aligned militants, U.S. Africa Command said.


Russia’s close ally Belarus explores working closer with NATO

Defense chief Oleg Belokonev recently told local media his country should be regarded in similar terms as Serbia — a country with close ties to Russia but one with a military training connection to NATO.


Navy vet runs the world to raise suicide prevention awareness

An attempt at setting a record for the longest nonstop journey on foot is just part of Dustin Johnson's effort to raise awareness about preventing veteran suicides by running extraordinary distances.


AFRICOM ends 2019 with record number of strikes in Somalia

The majority of U.S. military strikes in Somalia have been directed at the al-Shabab terrorist group, which is aligned with al-Qaida and seeks to overthrow the country’s U.S.-backed central government.


‘You’re constantly playing Whack-a-Mole’: Army company commanders are overburdened, report says

Army company-level leaders are overwhelmed by their workloads in part because they’re reluctant to push back against excessive demands made on them by leadership, a new study suggests.


US delivers Humvees to Djibouti’s military as part of $31-million training effort

The delivery comes as the U.S. vies with China for influence in Djibouti, a former French colony on the Horn of Africa that hosts China’s first overseas military base.


Lawmakers order military courts to track race of accused troops amid bias concerns

A defense bill expected to be signed by President Donald Trump calls for reforms after a government investigation found that the rate at which men and some minorities were investigated and tried for crimes was disproportionate with their representation in the military.


Space Force might call Colorado its new main hub

The establishment of the Space Force, a top priority for President Donald Trump, marks the first time in more than 70 years that a new military service has been formed.


Turkey breaches airspace of Greece 40 times in a day, triggering mock dogfights between the NATO allies

Dogfights between the two NATO members are relatively commonplace and risky. Several Greek pilots have been killed in aviation accidents while intercepting Turkish jets in Greek airspace.


‘The fate of the free world rested on their shoulders’: Esper honors Battle of the Bulge war dead

Defense Secretary Mark Esper and European leaders gathered Monday at the Luxembourg American Cemetery to honor those killed in the Battle of the Bulge, and to thank veterans on hand to mark the 75th anniversary of the pivotal battle.


Turkey's president says he could close Incirlik Air Base over US sanctions

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said sanctions might lead him to close to Incirlik, where the U.S. stores nuclear bombs, and Kurecik, which houses a key radar for NATO missile defense efforts in Europe.


Turkey warns sanctions could jeopardize US access to Incirlik Air Base

Turkey could kick the U.S. out of Incirlik Air Base if Washington moves forward with sanctions linked to Ankara’s incursion into Syria and the purchase of Russian weaponry, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.


Turkey warns again it will block NATO defense plan over Kurdish issue

Turkey said it will block the plan unless allies develop a security arrangement for the alliance’s southern flank that would brand Kurdish YPG forces who fought alongside Americans as terrorists.


AFRICOM calls for return of drone downed by Russian weapon system over Libya

The U.S. wants back a drone that was shot down over Libya last month by a Russian air defense system believed to have been operated by mercenaries or militiamen, U.S. Africa Command said Monday.