U.S. Army soldier dies at base in Kosovo
The U.S. military says an Army soldier serving in the NATO force in Kosovo has died. It says the death is under investigation.
U.S. Army Europe said Spec. Robert W. Jones of Vail, Ariz., died at the Camp Bondsteel base in Kosovo Jan. 6. It gave no further details.
In the statement Jan. 9, the Army said the 21-year-old Jones was a military police working dog handler who joined up in August 2015 and was assigned to the 18th Military Police Brigade in April 2016. AP
U.S. seeks dismissal of lawsuit over Marine recruit’s death
The U.S. government is asking a judge to dismiss a $100 million lawsuit over the death of a Marine recruit from Michigan.
The government says military injuries or deaths can’t be turned into federal litigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zak Toomey says Raheel Siddiqui’s death was a “tragedy,” and the U.S. Marines Corps has taken it “extremely seriously.”
Twenty-year-old Siddiqui died in 2016 in Parris Island, S.C. The Marine Corps said he took his own life by jumping from a stairwell after a confrontation with a drill instructor. The Corps also said it uncovered widespread hazing of recruits and young drill instructors dating back to 2015.
Siddiqui was from Taylor, Mich. Attorney Shiraz Khan says the Marines withheld information about conditions at Parris Island.
A judge is meeting both sides on Jan. 18. AP
Second U.S. military chopper makes emergency landing in Japan
A U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing Jan. 8 in Japan’s Okinawa islands, the second such incident in three days.
A Marine Corps AH-1 attack helicopter with two people aboard landed in a field at a waste disposal site in the town of Yomitan on Okinawa’s main island, according to Japanese media reports. No injuries were reported.
Photos showed an apparently intact helicopter parked in a grassy area.
The U.S. side told police that a warning light had indicated a problem with the aircraft, public broadcaster NHK said.
The Marines said in a statement that the helicopter had been repaired and would return to base as quickly as possible.
“We remain committed to both the safety of our neighbors in the communities in which we live and the safety of the Marines who fly on our aircraft,” it said.
A Marines Corps UH-1Y helicopter made an emergency landing on a beach in Okinawa on Saturday because its rotor appeared to be spinning too fast. No one was injured, but military personnel could be seen removing a large part of the rotor the next day and carting it away.
The incidents are the latest in a series that have inflamed Okinawan opposition to the large U.S. military presence on the southern Japan island chain.
In separate incidents last month, parts fell from U.S. military helicopters onto schools in Okinawa. One boy had minor injuries after an emergency escape window fell from a CH-53 transport helicopter into a school playground in Ginowan city. The school is next to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.AP
Saudi fighter jet crashes, Yemen rebels claim downing it
Saudi Arabia’s Royal Air Force said two of its pilots whose fighter jet crashed during an operation in Yemen Jan. 7 have been rescued.
An official statement blamed the crash on a “technical failure” but the Yemeni rebel-run al-Masirah television said the British-made Tornado fighter jet was hit while flying in Yemeni airspace over the northern province of Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia. The Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, said the jet crashed on Saudi soil.
A statement by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said the pilots were not injured and were evacuated to Saudi Arabia by ground and air forces. The coalition did not say where the crash occurred.
Multiple Saudi and Emirati fighter jets have crashed over Yemen, killing the pilots on board, in the nearly three years since the kingdom launched a war against the rebels.
The fighting has killed at least 10,000 Yemeni civilians and driven millions to the brink of famine. Despite the coalition’s devastating airstrikes, the rebels continue to control the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north.
The rebels overran Sanaa in 2014, kicking out the internationally recognized government, which the coalition is fighting to restore to power. AP