News

January 25, 2017
 

News Briefs – January 25, 2017

Two Poles injured in crash with U.S. Army truck

A U.S. Army truck has collided with a private van in southwestern Poland, hospitalizing two Poles.
It is the third recent accident involving a U.S. Army vehicle in Poland where American troops are being deployed as a deterrent force toward a belligerent Russia.
Spokesman for Poland’s Army order force, Maj. Artur Karpienko, said Jan. 24 the truck crossed into the opposite lane and hit the van near the town of Swietoszow. The van’s driver and passenger were hospitalized, local police spokeswoman Sylwia Woroniec said.
In two separate events last week, two U.S. Amy trucks skidded on narrow, slippery roads in the area, slightly injuring two soldiers.
Poland’s local roads are narrow, with one lane only in each direction. In winter they can be covered in snow and ice. AP
 

NATO boosts its Baltic presence, new troops start to arrive

The first of a 1,200-strong NATO force have arrived in Lithuania close to a key Russian Baltic Sea exclave amid growing fears on security in the region.
The more than 100 Belgian army troops and five dozen military vehicles sailed to Klaipeda, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, which has a navy base and long-range missile systems.
The Belgians will join German, Dutch, and Norwegian troops at the Rukla base in central Lithuania.
At last year’s NATO summit in Warsaw, the alliance decided to deploy forces in the countries bordering Russia and Belarus. There is a fear in the Baltic countries and Poland that the former Soviet republics could be next, after Russia displayed its might in Georgia and Ukraine. AP
 

Japan’s military launches first communications satellite

Japan successfully launched its first military communications satellite Jan. 234 that is designed to upgrade its network in the face of China’s increasingly assertive maritime activity and North Korea’s missile threat.
The Kirameki-2 (kee-RAH-meh-kee 2) satellite was on an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima (tah-neh-GAH-shee-mah) Space Center in southern Japan. The satellite separated from the rocket and entered a designated orbit, the Defense Ministry said.
It is the first of three satellites that will replace three civilian ones currently used by Japan’s military. The new satellites will allow military units to communicate on a high-speed and high-capacity network.
The new satellites are also aimed at stepping up Japan’s emergency response capability in case of natural disaster, China’s maritime activity from southern Japanese waters to the South China Sea, as well as missile threats from North Korea. The satellites are also planned for use for Japanese troops operating overseas as part of international peacekeeping operations, including those in South Sudan and off the Somali coast, Kyodo News reported.
The Kirameki-1 was supposed to be launched in July 2016, but was damaged during transport to a launch pad in French Guiana. It is undergoing repair and now is scheduled for launch in 2018. AP
 

Pakistan test-fires ballistic missile

Pakistan says it has successfully tested a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 2,200 kilometers (1,400 miles) that is capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The military said Jan. 24 the Ababeel missile can evade enemy radar and deliver multiple precisely targeted warheads.
Both Pakistan and its neighboring archrival India became nuclear powers in the late 1990s. Both have long-range missiles. AP
 

NATO, Pentagon chiefs discuss military budgets, terrorism

NATO’s chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s office said Jan. 24 that the two men “agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America.”
In a phone call, they looked forward “to working together to strengthen the alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism.”
Trump has said that NATO is “obsolete.” He has upset allies by suggesting he might refuse to defend those not spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on military budgets.
The U.S. spends more on its armed forces than the other 27 NATO member states combined. It also pays a significant portion — just over 22 percent — of NATO’s commonly funded budget.
Stoltenberg and previous secretaries general have been urging allies to step up spending for years.
Only four other countries — Britain, Estonia, Greece and Poland — meet the 2 percent spending target. Many are increasing their budgets, mostly out of necessity in response to aggressive action by Russia, like its military ventures in Ukraine and Georgia, unannounced war games and the buzzing of allied ships and planes by Russian jet fighters.
Trump has also said that NATO must do more to combat terrorism, even though allies deployed thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Last week, a top NATO general conceded that parts of the world’s biggest military alliance are obsolete.
Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Denis Mercier said NATO has focused too much on deploying troops abroad, so-called expeditionary warfare, particularly its Afghan operation.
Mercier said NATO wants to revamp its approach to counter-terrorism, in part by helping countries under threat to develop long-term plans to fight extremists.
Mattis was sworn in Jan. 20. He will meet his NATO counterparts and Stoltenberg Feb. 15-16 in Brussels. AP




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Headlines – December 12, 2018

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News Briefs – December 12, 2018

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Army photograph

SM-3 Block IIA successfully intercepts IRBM target during operational test

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