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May 23, 2014

News Briefs May 23, 2104

80 U.S. Air Force personnel on ground in Chad

Eighty U.S. Air Force personnel have arrived in Chad and have begun their mission to help locate nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in neighboring Nigeria, a U.S. military spokesman said May 22.

The girls and young women were kidnapped April 15 from a school in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok by an Islamic extremist group known as Boko Haram. The group’s leader has threatened to sell most of the estimated 276 schoolgirls still being held into slavery unless the Nigerian government releases detained militants. Reports say some girls were taken across borders into Chad and Cameroon.

Chuck Prichard, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Africa Command in Germany, said Thursday that the 80 Air Force personnel were moved to Chad from a location inside the United States. Prichard did not say precisely where the 80 were previously stationed.
President Barack Obama told Congress in a letter May 21 about the deployment. Obama said the service members will help with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the nearby region.

A senior U.S. official said the drone is a Predator and will be in addition to the unarmed Global Hawks already being used. The new flights will be based out of Chad and allow the military to expand its search to that country. Initially the flights were largely over Nigeria.

Lt. Col. Myles Caggins said May 21 that newly deployed forces will help expand drone searches of the region. About 40 of the troops make up the launch and recovering teams for the drone being deployed there and the other 40 make up the security force for the team. AP

Classified U.S. satellite launched into space

The U.S. Air Force has launched a top-secret satellite.

The unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., May 22, soaring through a clear morning sky. It hoisted a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, which designs, builds and flies America’s intelligence satellites.

The mission is classified for national security reasons and so no details are available about the satellite. Launch commentary ended five minutes after liftoff. Launch Control called the liftoff a success.

United Launch Alliance provided the rocket. AP

Russian trains, planes move army away from Ukraine

Russia’s Defense Ministry says it already has sent several trains carrying weapons and planeloads of troops out of the regions near Ukraine.

It said four trainloads of weapons and 15 Il-76 heavy lift transport planes left the Belgorod, Bryansk and Rostov regions May 20. It said in Thursday’s statement that the troops are to reach their permanent bases before June 1.

NATO, which estimates that Russia has 40,000 troops along the border with Ukraine, repeated Tuesday that it didn’t yet see any signs of a Russian withdrawal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin scoffed at NATO’s skepticism, saying that the pullout involving large numbers of troops would take time. His move reflected an attempt to ease tensions with the West over Ukraine and avoid a new round of Western sanctions. AP




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Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Raytheon completes key Air, Missile Defense Radar reviews

Raytheon photograph Partially-populated, full-sized Air and Missile Defense Radar array. Raytheon has completed two critical program reviews for the new Air and Missile Defense Radar, the U.S. Navy’s next generation integ...
 

 
Insitu photograph

Insitu demonstrates long endurance capabilities of Integrator unmanned aircraft

Insitu photograph Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aircraft recovers via SkyHook; the aircraft recently completed a 24-hour endurance flight. Insitu announced July 22 the successful 24-hour flight of its Integrator unmanned a...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

U.S. Navy selects Northrop Grumman for ship self-defense system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2. The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised. SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense...
 




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