News Briefs – July 9, 2018


U.S. to keep Persian Gulf waterway open despite Iran threats

The U.S. military is reiterating a promise to keep Persian Gulf waterways open to oil tankers as Iran renewed threats to close off the region.
Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command, told The Associated Press July 4that American sailors and its regional allies “stand ready to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday suggested Iran could halt regional exports if it is stopped from exporting oil after America pulled out of the nuclear deal with world powers.
Meanwhile, Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani reportedly sent a letter to Rouhani applauding his stance.
Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, said his forces were “ready for any policy.” AP

Polish Air Force MiG-29 jet crashes in field, killing pilot

A MiG-29 military jet crashed during a night flight in the country’s north and the Polish Air Force pilot was killed despite ejecting before the crash, Poland’s defense officials said July 6.
The Defense Ministry said the jet crashed at 1:57 a.m. in fields near the town of Paslek during an interception exercise. Video from private broadcaster TVN showed the wreckage lying in a grain field, covered with firefighting foam. The body of the 33-year-old pilot, whose name was not released, was found a few hundred meters (yards) away.
The jet was stationed at the 22nd Tactical Air Base in the town of Malbork and the experienced pilot had some 800 hours of flight time.
Air Force authorities have ordered all of the Soviet-made MiG-29 jets grounded pending an investigation.
In December, a pilot was injured when another MiG-29 crashed in central Poland.
Poland has some 30 MiG-29 fighter jets which have been in service for almost 30 years, but is gradually replacing them with U.S.-made F-16 aircraft. AP

Plane built to rescue Iran hostages goes to New York museum

A rocket-boosted military transport plane built to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran is making its way piece-by-piece to an upstate New York museum.
The fuselage of the Lockheed YMC-130H was hauled to the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville July 6. It had been at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
The plane is one of three highly modified C-130 transport planes intended to rescue the hostages who were held for 444 days after students supporting the Iranian Revolution seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The planned rescue was terminated when an agreement to release the hostages was signed in January 1981.
The plane will be reassembled in September at the museum in Glenville, 24 miles west of Albany. AP