May 19, 2017

News Briefs – May 19, 2017

NATO top brass recommend joining anti-IS coalition

NATO top brass are recommending that the military alliance join the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group.
U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded that NATO do more to combat terrorism.
NATO Military Committee head General Petr Pavel said May 17Wednesday that “there is a merit for NATO becoming a member of that coalition.”
Pavel said armed forces chiefs agreed “that NATO can and should do more” to increase the capacity of Iraq and other countries fighting IS to better defend themselves.
NATO’s role could include training local forces and helping to build militaries and institutions.
NATO countries do not want the alliance engaged in active combat against Islamic State militants, even though all are individual members of the anti-IS coalition.
Trump is scheduled to meet NATO leaders in Brussels next week. AP

U.S. Navy wants larger, better fleet, says cost not determined

The U.S. Navy’s senior officer wants a larger and better fleet sooner to compete with other countries, but says the cost is yet to be determined.
Adm. John Richardson released a paper May 7 that conforms with President Donald Trump’s call for a 350-ship Navy and the service’s estimate that it needs 355 ships.
But Richardson says growing the fleet is insufficient; a different fleet that can fight in new ways is what is really needed.
He wants ships and aircraft to be built faster, with innovative technology.
He says the pace competitors are developing their navies, including China and Russia, demand it.
Richardson declined to provide a cost estimate. He says the plan isn’t finalized.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of building and operating 355 ships would average $102 billion annually. AP

Army identifies soldier killed in Hawaii training accident

Army officials have identified the soldier who died when the military truck in which he was riding crashed during training in Hawaii.
The Army said May 16 it’s investigating the Sunday crash that killed Sgt. Terrence Hinton.
Police say the truck driven by a 20-year-old soldier went out of control on a turn, struck a guardrail and overturned into a culvert. The military tractor-trailer had been towing heavy equipment to a dock on Hawaii Island and no other vehicles were damaged in the incident, the Army said.
Police have begun a negligent homicide investigation.
The 36-year-old Hinton, from Grand Rapids, Mich., was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division on Oahu. He enlisted in 2009 and served in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before moving to Hawaii in 2016. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and Kuwait in 2014 for a total of 21 months.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Sgt. Hinton’s family and friends and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, commander of the 25th Infantry Division, in a statement. “It is a tragedy and a sad day when we lose one of our soldiers.”
Another soldier, Private First Class Marcus Smith, was treated for minor injuries after the incident. AP

France’s ATR delivers first planes to Iran as trade grows

European plane maker ATR is delivering small passenger jets to Iran, the latest big-budget deal to emerge in the wake of Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers that ended years of sanctions.
The first four ATR 72-600s were handed over to Iran Air in a ceremony Tuesday in Toulouse in southern France, where ATR is based.
Iran Air finalized a deal last month with ATR for 20 twin-propeller aircraft, with an option to buy 20 more. The planes are worth $536 million at list prices though customers usually negotiate discounts.
Iran has struck several large jet deals since last year, including with Boeing Co. and Airbus, though analysts have questioned whether there is demand for so many planes.
Iran’s population of 80 million people represents a large potential market. AP

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