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December 9, 2013

News Briefs December 9, 2013

Army seeks Fort Irwin ties to Afghan murder

Army investigators are asking for the public’s help in Southern California to solve the 2009 murder of a soldier in Afghanistan.

The Victorville Daily Press reports Dec. 6 that authorities believe someone in the Fort Irwin area may have details about the murder of 31-year-old Sgt. Anton Phillips, who was assigned to a Germany-based maintenance company. Phillips was found stabbed to death at a base in Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan, a farming area east of Kabul, in December 2009.

Phillips, a California native, was an 11-year veteran and had previously served in Iraq. He was assigned to the 5th Maintenance Company, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment.

A $25,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. AP

U.K. marine gets minimum 10 years for Afghan murder

A Royal Marine convicted of murdering a wounded Taliban insurgent has been sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison.

A military judge told Sgt. Alexander Blackman Dec. 6, you have betrayed your corps and all British service personnel who have served in Afghanistan.î

Two other marines were acquitted of the September 2011 killing in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province. They were charged after military authorities found footage of the incident on a helmet camera belonging to one of the men.

Blackman was recorded shooting the seriously wounded Afghan in the chest at close range with a pistol before quoting a phrase from Shakespeare ñ Shuffle off this mortal coil.:

The three marines were tried anonymously but a judge ruled Dec. t that Blackman could be identified. AP

Arizona dedicates World War II memorial

A World War II memorial has been dedicated in Phoenix.

More than 2,000 motorcyclists and military veterans were on hand Dec. 7 at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza for a dedication ceremony.

The memorial features massive gun barrels from two U.S. battleships – the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.

Names of Arizona military personnel who died during the war will be displayed on a steel structure between the gun barrels. It has taken a year to build the memorial.

The dedication ceremony caps a three-year effort to have a WWII memorial located near the state capitol. AP




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SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 
 

Missile defense can’t wait

Russia shows no sign that it is willing to de-escalate tensions with the West. Troops remain in Ukraine and continue to violate the cease-fire there, even as the Kremlin launches multiple military probes into the Baltic littoral states.  Virtually every day, the United States and its allies are forced to scramble military assets in response...
 
 

QinetiQ North America wins two TALON contracts

QinetiQ North America announced Dec. 18 that it has been awarded a U.S. Army contract to build, refurbish and modernize QNA’s TALON IV military robots used extensively in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Through the U.S. Army’s Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan, QNA was awarded in September the contract worth over $17.5 million for spare...
 

 

Two C-17 squadrons to be inactivated over next two years

Air Mobility Command will inactivate two C-17 Globemaster III squadrons during the next two years – one at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – based on the President’s Defense Budget for fiscal year 2015. “In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity,” said Maj. Gen....
 
 

Raytheon to provide Qatar with Patriot air, missile defense system

Raytheon has received a $2.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract for new-production fire units of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar. Qatar, a new Patriot customer, now brings the total number of global Patriot customers to 13. The acquisition is part of an Armed Services modernization and recapitalization...
 
 

Hagel authorizes up to 1,300 additional troops to deploy to Iraq

Up to 1,300 more U.S. troops, including approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will begin to deploy to Iraq in late January, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Dec. 19. “Their mission will be to train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces,” Kirby told reporters at a Pentagon briefing....
 




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