News

October 23, 2017
 

News Briefs – October 23, 2017

Air Force: No plans to recall retired pilots to fix shortage

The Air Force says it doesn’t plan on using new flexibility under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump to address a pilot shortage by recalling retired pilots.

Ann Stefanek, the chief of Air Force media operations, said Oct. 22 the added power provided by Trump is appreciated but the Air Force does not “currently intend to recall retired pilots.”

Trump on Oct. 20 signed the order to address what the Pentagon says is a serious pilot shortage.

A Pentagon spokesman says the Air Force is currently short about 1,500 pilots, and had indicated that the Secretary of Defense would allow the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years.

Under current law, the Air Force is limited to recalling 25 pilots. AP
 

Report: 152 Afghan trainees have gone AWOL in U.S. since 2005

U.S. investigators say at least 152 Afghans sent to the United States for military training during the course of the war against the Taliban have gone AWOL.

They are considered a security risk in the U.S. because they have military training and are of fighting age, with little apparent risk of arrest or detention.

The problem grew worse last year, and a report Oct. 20 by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says it expects little or no improvement anytime soon.

The report says investigators’ interviews with Afghans currently in the U.S. for training and with some who were granted asylum after going AWOL show that they feared for the safety of their families in Afghanistan after receiving threats from the Taliban for cooperating with Americans. AP
 

Russia hands over fighter jets to Serbia

Russia has formally handed over six MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, part of an arms delivery that could worsen tensions in the war-weary Balkans.

The ceremony Oct. 20 at a military airport close to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, was attended by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Moscow is handing over the MiGs for free, but it is estimated that the overhaul of the secondhand aircraft will cost Serbia about 200 million euros ($235 million.) The fighter jets are to enter service next year.

Serbia has been on the path to join the European Union, but under political and propaganda pressure from Moscow has slid toward the Kremlin and its goal of keeping the countries in the Balkan region out of NATO and other Western bodies. AP
 

Russian ships visit, deliver military arms in Philippines

Three Russian navy ships arrived in the Philippines Oct. 20 and two others are coming to deliver donated military equipment in the country’s third naval visit under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has vowed to diversify the country’s ties away from the United States and toward China and Russia.

Three Russian anti-submarine ships docked in Manila in time for Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s coming visit to the country, said Rear Admiral E. Mikhailov, the task force commander.

Two other vessels will arrived Oct. 21 at the port of Subic Bay northwest of Manila to unload donated military equipment, the Philippine Navy said in a statement.

Shoigu will be joining next week’s meeting of 10 Southeast Asian defense ministers with counterparts from other countries including the U.S., Russia and China.

The Navy said the donated equipment would be handed over to Duterte, who earlier said Russia would provide 5,000 assault rifles.

“I am assuring you that we will do our best to make this port call a significant contribution to the strengthening of friendly ties and cooperation between our two nations in the interest of security and stability in the region,” Mikhailov said. AP




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Headlines – December 13, 2017

News Pentagon unleashes 2,400 auditors for unprecedented financial review – After decades of false starts, the Defense Department aims to issue its first audit report in November 2018.   Court refuses Trump request to delay Jan. 1 transgender enlistments – A federal court has knocked down the Trump administration’s latest request to delay any transgender...
 
 

News Briefs – December 13, 2017

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NG-army

Northrop Grumman, U.S. Army successfully demonstrate multi-domain, joint air, missile defense

The Northrop Grumman-developed Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, the foundation of the U.S. Army IAMD, has successfully demonstrated extraordinary capabilities for improving joint force operational effec...