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Corey Dickstein

Pentagon’s new defense strategy focuses on China, Russia over terrorism

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States must develop a more lethal and technologically advanced force to counter the recent growth in military power and increased aggression demonstrated by China and Russia.

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Army to deploy 4 US-based units this spring, summer

This spring, soldiers from Fort Drum will travel to Iraq, soldiers from Fort Campbell will deploy to Afghanistan and soldiers from Fort Stewart will be sent to South Korea. Soldiers from Fort Hood will deploy in the summer to Europe.


Air Force special operators honored for airdrop in Afghanistan under intense fire

One Green Beret had been killed and another soldier had been seriously wounded. The remaining force was out of water and nearly out of ammunition – each soldier with as little as one magazine of rounds left. They were in danger of being overrun. But the MC-130J crew refused to hesitate, even as insurgents turned machine guns and anti-aircraft artillery toward the burling turbo-prop transport plane.


Mattis pledges anti-terrorism partnership with Pakistan intact as US cuts aid to the country

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis vowed Friday to continue working with the Pakistan government to defeat terrorism in south Asia despite the United States stopping nearly all its financial aid to the country.


Mattis: US forces will not pursue ISIS fighters into Syrian territory held by Assad regime

Despite the long-stated goal of the U.S-led, anti-ISIS coalition to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the United States would observe its commitment to Russia and Syria to keep its forces, including warplanes, east of the Euphrates River.


Army ending Temporary Early Retirement Authority program as force size increases

The Army will end a program in 2018 that allowed some soldiers to receive retirement benefits without serving a full 20 years in uniform, the service’s top civilian recently announced in a memorandum.


Navy to forgive past fitness test failures, end most fitness discharges

The Navy will end its policy mandating discharges for sailors who fail two Physical Fitness Assessments in a three-year period. The changes come as the Navy looks to increase the service by more than 4,000 sailors by the end of fiscal year 2018.


2 Fort Carson brigades tapped for Afghanistan deployment

The 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will leave the Colorado Army post in the spring for nine month tours in the country where U.S. forces have been at war for more than 16 years, according to the Army.


Police: Sailor recently deployed on USS Nimitz killed wife, himself near Naval Base Kitsap

A sailor who just returned from a deployment aboard a Navy aircraft carrier is accused of killing his wife before taking his own life in the couple’s home near Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state, according to local police.


ISIS nearly defeated on the battlefield but remains dangerous, US military says

American-backed forces have cleared the Islamic State from more than 97 percent of the land that it once controlled across Iraq and Syria, yet the terrorist group remains a significant security threat in both nations, a U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday.


8 al-Shabab militants killed in US airstrike

The strike was the United States’ 33rd in Somalia in 2017, primarily targeting al-Shabab fighters as well as a small contingent of Islamic State-linked militants.


US F-22s intercept Russian fighters over Syria

American stealth fighter jets fired warning flares near Russian fighters over eastern Syria on Wednesday in an attempt to drive them out of airspace controlled by the U.S.-led, anti-Islamic State coalition, Pentagon officials said.


Fort Stewart soldier dies from injuries suffered in live-fire training

Sgt. Michael T. Trask was an infantryman assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division. He died Tuesday of injuries he sustained last week at the coastal Georgia Army post.


Pentagon prepares to accept transgender recruits Jan. 1, as judge upholds block on Trump ban

Transgender men and women will be allowed to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, Pentagon officials said Monday, acknowledging it would follow court orders stemming from ongoing legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s policy barring them from serving.


Fort Bragg will house Army’s 2nd Security Forces Assistance Brigade

Army officials chose Fort Bragg, the service’s most populated post, to house the new unit because of the existing infrastructure on the installation and the presence of senior grade personnel already stationed at Bragg who could be quickly moved into the unit.


US troops in combat zones could lose pay if government shuts down

A shutdown would also halt death benefit payments to Gold Star families and force unpaid furloughs on thousands of Defense Department civilians.


Marines ready to deploy in wake of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement

Marine units are ready to protect American embassies and consulates in countries across the world where unrest could be sparked by President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a Defense Department spokesman said Thursday.


Pentagon: US has 4 times as many troops in Syria than previously disclosed

About 2,000 American troops are operating in Syria, the Pentagon announced Wednesday, acknowledging four times the servicemembers in the embattled nation than it had disclosed.


Army launches direct commissioning program for civilian cybersecurity experts

The Army has approved a program to recruit experienced cybersecurity experts directly into the service as cyber officers in an attempt to bolster a growing field that military leaders see as vital to national security.


Pentagon IG: Military failed to report 31 percent of convictions that should bar gun ownership

Thirty-one percent of courts-martial results that should have barred individuals from owning a firearm went unreported to the FBI by the U.S. military services in 2015 and 2016, the Pentagon Inspector General concluded in a report released Tuesday.


101st soldiers receive Army’s new sidearm, M17 will be fielded to team leaders

Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division this week became the first to receive the Army’s new handgun, which will be distributed to team leaders in a first for the service, according to Army officials.


Air Force Thunderbirds commander removed over loss of confidence

An Air Force investigation determined a June 23 crash in Dayton, Ohio was avoidable. Following the investigation, Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt determined the team was better off with new leadership as it begins preparing for its 2018 schedule.


Nicholson: US troops will assume more risk in Afghanistan in next fighting season

The United States will send more troops onto the battlefield alongside Afghan forces next year as part of a revamped strategy designed to “turn the corner” on the 16-year war against the Taliban, the top American commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday.


Navy: Fallen pilot’s ‘heroic’ flying saved lives in Philippine Sea crash

Navy Lt. Steven Combs' decision to land the C-2A Greyhound on the water ultimately saved the lives of eight of the 11 people aboard the aircraft, Combs’ co-pilot told Navy investigators probing the Nov. 22 crash. The Navy is considering a posthumous award for Combs’ actions.


Aircraft at Laughlin air base grounded following deadly T-38 crash in Texas

An Air Force base in Texas has grounded its aircraft a day after a pilot was killed and another injured when one of the installation’s training jets crashed, Air Force officials said Tuesday.


US military kills 100 in strike on al-Shabab training camp

A U.S. airstrike on an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia on Tuesday killed more than 100 of the al-Qaida-aligned militants, according to U.S. Africa Command.


Additional remains of soldier killed in Niger found as US investigates ambush

U.S. military officials investigating the deadly ambush on an Army Special Forces team in Niger last month discovered additional remains of an American soldier killed in the attack while combing the scene for evidence, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.


Strikes on Taliban opium facilities first major use of new bombing authorities in Afghanistan

U.S. and Afghan warplanes bombed 10 Taliban-controlled opium production facilities in Helmand province Sunday in the first major use of new White House-approved authorities to target the insurgents’ revenue stream, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan said Monday.


Pentagon releases sexual assault data for all its installations for the first time

The new data show a consistency among the installations handling the most sexual assault cases year-to-year, which include some of the military’s largest posts, such as Naval Station Norfolk which has received the most reports of sexual assaults among U.S. military installations worldwide for the last three years.


Pentagon’s official account retweets call for Trump resignation, calls it an error

The Defense Department’s official Twitter account retweeted a call for President Donald Trump to resign Thursday afternoon, a misfire the Pentagon blamed on an errant authorized user.


Pentagon: Transgender soldier receives sex-change operation

The Pentagon for the first time will pay for a U.S. servicemember’s gender reassignment surgery Tuesday after the operation was deemed “medically necessary,” a spokeswoman said.


Army: No waivers for self-mutilators, others with serious mental health issues

The U.S. Army has not and will not approve enlistment waivers for individuals with a history of self-mutilation or other documented serious mental health conditions, the Army’s top general said Wednesday.


Army pushes back on reports of mental health waivers

The U.S. Army quietly made it easier this summer for individuals with some history of mental health problems to enlist in the service, but a top general pushed back Tuesday on a report the Army had relaxed standards to meet increased recruiting goals.


Floodgates open for Trump’s Pentagon nominees

In early October, Sen. John McCain said he was halting Pentagon nominations as a result of a disconnect between Congress and Pentagon officials. Recently, however, Armed Services Committee members said they were pleased with the new level of cooperation from the Pentagon and would lift the holds.


Air Force expects report into mishandled Texas shooter information by next week

Air Force investigators have interviewed about 100 people about the failure to inform federal officials that the shooter responsible for killing rural Texas churchgoers Sunday was ineligible to own firearms, the service’s top civilian said Thursday.


US-led coalition airstrikes drop as ISIS caliphate shrinks

Anti-Islamic State coalition aircraft dropped some 850 bombs last month on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, a dramatic decline since the summer months when the U.S.-led alliance dropped nearly 4,500 explosives on average, a top U.S. general said Tuesday.


Deserter Bergdahl gets no jail time; dishonorably discharged

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former Taliban captive who pleaded guilty last month to deserting his combat post in Afghanistan and endangering his fellow troops, will not serve prison time, a military judge ruled Friday.


Prosecutors recommend 14 years in prison for Bergdahl; judge could decide sentence Friday

Army prosecutors on Thursday recommended Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for years after walking off his post in Afghanistan, serve 14 years in a military prison for deserting and endangering his fellow troops.


Psychiatrist: Bergdahl likely suffered from PTSD and other disorders before his capture

A forensic psychiatrist said Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was suffering from schizotypal personality disorder and has likely suffered with the condition most of his life. Dr. Charles Morgan said the disorder likely contributed to his washing out of Coast Guard basic training.


Intelligence provided by former Taliban captive Bergdahl is 'a gold mine,' officials testify

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has provided intelligence analysts and Pentagon hostage experts valuable information about the Taliban-linked group that held him captive for five years after he walked off his Afghanistan combat post in 2009, two officials testified Tuesday.


Bergdahl: ‘The words I’m sorry are not enough’

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl took the witness stand Monday, delivering an apology to servicemembers sent searching eastern Afghanistan for him after his “horrible decision” to walk away from his combat post eight years ago.


Soldier testifies in Bergdahl trial: ‘I thought I was going to definitely die’

A former soldier permanently injured during a mission in eastern Afghanistan to collect information about missing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl testified Thursday that he did not expect to survive the operation.


SEAL testifies in Bergdahl trial: ‘He’s an American … and he had a mom’

Special operators risked their lives to rescue Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl even though they knew he had deserted because “he had a mom,” a former Navy SEAL seriously wounded during the search testified Wednesday.


Bergdahl judge says he can be fair despite Trump's comments

The military judge who will sentence Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl expressed concern Monday about a new comment made President Donald Trump about the former Taliban captive, though he insisted the soldier’s punishment would not be influenced by the president.


Bergdahl saga set to enter sentencing phase

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will learn his fate inside a Fort Bragg courtroom next week when defense attorneys and prosecutors will spar over the circumstances surrounding the soldier’s decision to walk off his combat outpost in Afghanistan some eight years ago.


Pentagon: Troops never left battle space in Niger during nearly 2-day search for missing soldier

The U.S. military is searching for answers into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four U.S. soldiers killed two weeks ago in an ambush in Niger as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis conceded Thursday that little about the attack is known, including how one soldier became separated from the rest of his unit.


Air National Guard colonel convicted of soliciting sex from child

Air Force Col. Michael Shawn Garrett, 45, arranged to meet with an undercover police officer who he believed was a 14-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity. He faces at least 10 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment without parole.


Bergdahl lawyers: Judge should throw out case over new Trump comment

Attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl renewed efforts to have the soldier’s court-martial dismissed, filing an 11th-hour motion Tuesday arguing President Donald Trump’s reasserted past criticism of their client makes a fair sentence impossible.


Tensions between Kurds, Iraqi government distract from ISIS fight, US military says

Tensions between Iraq’s Kurdish forces and the nation’s government-controlled military, which resulted in brief clashes over disputed territory in northern Iraq on Monday, distract from the mission to defeat Islamic State, a U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday.


Bergdahl enters guilty plea to desertion, misbehavior charges without plea deal

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he deserted his Afghanistan combat post and misbehaved before the enemy, acts he told a judge were “very inexcusable” and endangered his fellow troops.


ANALYSIS

A guilty plea by Bergdahl on Monday could set up a unique military pre-sentencing trial

Some eight years after Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked off his combat outpost in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, he is expected to plead guilty Monday to charges he deserted his unit and misbehaved before the enemy, endangering his fellow soldiers.


New West African ISIS affiliate suspected in deadly Niger attack

A new group of West African militants affiliated with the Islamic State is suspected of launching the ambush in southwestern Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers and injured two others, a top American general said Thursday.


Army looking to add female infantry, armor soldiers to new posts

The Army will expand the number of installations where it assigns female soldiers serving in previously all-male, front-line combat jobs as more women enter the infantry and armor fields, a top general said Wednesday.


Army rolls out new field manual focused on fighting near-peer adversaries

The Army has reshaped its primary operating concept to focus on large-scale combat against enemies with technology and capabilities similar to American forces after 16 years of fighting insurgent groups in the Middle East and southwest Asia.


Army chief: Service must grow to fill expanding train-and-assist missions

The U.S. Army intends to grow for a second consecutive year as it anticipates increasing need for soldiers to train and assist indigenous forces to fight global terrorism, the top general said Monday.


Mattis pushes Congress to pass budget to increase combat readiness

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis scolded U.S. lawmakers for their inability to pass a Pentagon budget without spending caps so American armed forces can prepare to battle adversaries around the globe that are gaining strength and becoming more dangerous.


4th American soldier killed in Niger attack; 3 soldiers identified

The body of a fourth American soldier killed in an enemy ambush of a joint patrol of U.S.-Niger forces in the West African nation was recovered Friday as the Pentagon identified three soldiers killed in the same attack.


Soldier killed in Iraq bomb blast was just starting first deployment

The U.S. soldier killed in a roadside bomb blast Sunday in Iraq was a 20-year-old transport driver less than a month into his first overseas deployment, according to the Pentagon.


Pilots killed in Tennessee jet trainer crash identified

Lt. Patrick L. Ruth and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch were the Navy pilots killed Sunday when the T-45C training jet that they were flying crashed into the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee, the Navy announced Tuesday.


Navy: Two pilots dead in Tennessee training jet crash

Two Navy pilots were killed late Sunday when their T-45C Goshawk training jet crashed in eastern Tennessee, the service announced.


American drone shot down in Yemen

An American MQ-9 Reaper drone was shot down Sunday in western Yemen, the Pentagon said, where a civil war between Saudi Arabia-backed government forces and Iran-backed Houthi rebels has raged for nearly three years.


Pentagon adding USS Wasp to Puerto Rico response, USNS Comfort departs for island

Two Navy ships are now cruising toward Puerto Rico to bolster the U.S. response to the island left devastated last week by a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, officials said Friday.


2 injured in Osprey crash in Syria

A Marine MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed in Syria on Friday, injuring two U.S. servicemembers, according to defense officials.


3-star general tapped to lead hurricane response in Puerto Rico

Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan will take command of the military portion of rescue and relief operations on Puerto Rico, where some 4,400 troops were fanning out across the U.S. territory to deliver life-sustaining supplies.


US: Iraq Kurdish referendum distracting from mission to defeat ISIS

Mounting tensions between Iraq’s government and the nation’s Kurdistan region after the semi-autonomous northern region voted overwhelmingly this week for independence have distracted fighters from their mission to defeat Islamic State militants, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.


Pentagon deploys Army general and more troops to lead hurricane response on Puerto Rico

The Pentagon is shifting its response to Hurricane Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico to a land-based operation as it clears airfields and adds communications capabilities, allowing it to flow more troops onto the ailing U.S. island, defense officials said Wednesday.


Military increasing flights into Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands; bringing satellite phones

The Department of Defense is preparing to send additional medical support and a shipment of satellite telephones to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to aid Hurricane Maria victims devastated by the Category 4 storm.


Top US general voices support for transgender troops

The top U.S. general told lawmakers Tuesday that he advised President Donald Trump that transgender servicemembers should not be separated from the military based solely on their gender identity.


Dunford: US should assume North Korea can strike mainland now

The United States should assume North Korea can already strike its mainland with missiles, the top American general said Tuesday while cautioning that Kim Jong Un primarily seeks nuclear weapons to maintain control of his regime.


Commander of Fort Benning infantry training battalion is relieved of command

Army Lt. Col. Robert Howard was relieved of command of the 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade “for a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” said Ben Garrett, a spokesman for Fort Benning’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, which is responsible for infantry recruit training.


Military conducting multiple operations to help Hurricane Maria-struck Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

The Defense Department has dispatched about 2,600 troops to aid Hurricane Maria victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico, where access to power and communications remained severely limited five days after the Category 4 storm struck the U.S. territory.


The Marines have their first female infantry officer

The first female Marine to complete the Corps' famously grueling Infantry Officer Course graduated Monday and will soon take responsibility for a platoon as the service’s first-ever female infantry officer, the Marines announced.


Navy tech awarded Silver Star for actions in 10-hour fight against ISIS

A Navy explosive ordnance disposal technician received the Silver Star this week for his actions during a deadly 10-hour firefight with Islamic State militants that helped his fellow sailors navigate a minefield, the Navy announced Friday.


Fort Bragg soldier returned from Afghanistan to face rape, kidnapping charges

A U.S. soldier from Fort Bragg deployed to Afghanistan was sent back to North Carolina this week to face kidnapping and multiple sex offense allegations, according to law enforcement and Army officials.


US, Russian generals met to discuss ISIS operations in Syria

Generals with the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State met face-to-face with their Russian counterparts recently to discuss ways to keep forces they support in Syria separated on a shrinking battlefield, a U.S. military spokesman said Thursday.


47 years after Vietnam War secret mission, Green Beret to receive Medal of Honor

A retired Army Green Beret credited with saving multiple lives during a covert four-day mission into Laos to target North Vietnamese soldiers operating there will receive the Medal of Honor next month, 47 years after his heroic actions.