Saudi Arabia, allies gather for major military exercises
Saudi Arabia says troops from 20 countries are gathering in the oil-rich nation for large-scale military exercises.
The kingdom announced the exercises Feb. 14 on the official Saudi Press Agency, describing them as “the largest and most important” military maneuvers in the region’s history.
It says the exercises in the country’s north will include air, sea and land forces. They are expected to last 18 days, with participating forces arriving in “the next few hours.” Most of the participants are Arab and African countries, and do not include the United States and other Westen powers.
Saudi Arabia leads a coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen. It is also part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, and recently said it is willing to send ground troops to Syria. AP
Army looks to recruit more women, adapt physical testing
Beginning this summer, a visit to a local Army recruiting office will include a new set of gymnastic tests to help determine what military jobs a recruit is physically capable of performing.
Prospective soldiers will be asked to run, jump, lift a weight and throw a heavy ball.
It’s all intended to help the Army figure out if the recruit can handle a job with high physical demands or should be directed to a more sedentary assignment.
The new tests come as the Pentagon is opening all combat posts to women — a process that involves setting physical standards for every job that both men and women will have to meet.
As part of the effort, the Army will increase the number of female recruiters to better target women. AP