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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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

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Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

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Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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