August 26, 2016

News Briefs – August 26, 2016

Report: Air Force doesn’t know enough about defunding A-10

An assessment by the U.S. Government Accountability Office that was released Aug. 24 found that plans to retire the A-10 attack jet are poorly informed and under-developed.
The aircraft is a major component of Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., which has about 80 of the 300 remaining A-10s. The A-10 has been recently used in the battle against the Islamic State group in Syria.
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and Sen. John McCain said the report confirmed what they’ve been saying all along — that the retirement of the A-10 isn’t justified.
McCain and McSally fought to keep the A-10 in operation after the Air Force tried to retire it, citing budget reductions.
The Department of Defense announced it was delaying its plans to phase out the plane earlier this year. AP

India: French submarine data leak no security compromise

India says the reported leak of documents from a leading French builder of Scorpene submarines designed for India’s navy has been investigated and does not pose any security compromise because sensitive information was blacked out.
The documents were leaked to an Australian website.
The Indian government said in a statement Aug. 24 that the French government was asked to investigate and share its findings with the Indian side.
Six Scorpenes designed by the French shipbuilder DCNS are being built in Mumbai, India, and first one is expected to join service this year.
The newspaper The Australian reported this week that more than 22,000 pages of documents were leaked and that the information was suspected to have been taken in 2011 by a French former DCNS sub-contractor. AP

Marines say 2 men didn’t help raise 1st flag at Iwo Jima

The Marine Corps says it misidentified two of the servicemen who helped raise the first U.S. flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.
In a statement released Aug. 24, the Marines said two men long thought to have participated in the first flag-raising on Feb. 23, 1945, had been nearby but hadn’t raised the flag.
Although the accomplishment gave hope to troops engaged in the long battle, it was overshadowed by the raising of a larger flag that became an iconic image of the war. Two months ago, the Marines announced the misidentification of one of the two men who raised that flag.
The Marines now say Pfc. Louis C. Charlo and Pfc. James R. Michels weren’t among the men who raised the first flag atop Mount Suribachi. AP

Russia calls snap military drills, raising concern in Poland

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced snap military drills on land and in the Black and Caspian Sea, the defense ministry said on Aug. 25.
The drills began at 7 a.m., Moscow time in Russia’s southern, western and central military districts where troops have been put on combat alert, the ministry said in a statement. Russian television led its news bulletins with images of heavy weaponry and tanks on the move and troops in full combat gear running to grab their weapons from the ammunition storage.
Neighboring Poland reacted by calling an instant briefing of the commands of operational forces and of military intelligence.
The drills which will last until the end of the month will involve a variety of troops, from paratroopers to the Northern Fleet.
The drills come a week after Russia for the first time since it began its operation in Syria used an air base in Iran, and after President Putin lashed out at Ukraine for allegedly sending its military intelligence office to carry out acts of sabotage in Russia-annexed Crimea.
In Poland, which has been wary of Moscow’s actions, the defense ministry said Minister Antoni Macierewicz ordered a briefing of the heads of the armed forces’ Operational Command, Military Intelligence and Military Counterintelligence. The timing of the briefing was not revealed.
The Operational Command is in charge of the air defense and of reacting to crisis situations.
The ministry also said Poland’s military envoy in Moscow has been “invited” to Russia’s defense ministry.
Krzysztof Szczerski, an aide to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, said that the military relations between Russia and East European countries are a “game of emotions” that should not be given in to.
He said Poland would monitor the situation. AP

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