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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 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Air Force, Army Aviation come together to complete vital mission in Egypt

Army photograph by Sgt. Thomas Duval Soldiers and airmen load a UH-60 Black Hawk into an Air Force C17 Globemaster III Aug. 19, 2104, at an old Israeli airstrip in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. The airstrip is now used by the M...
 

 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden

Joint effort validates ability to move Stryker vehicles via air

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Terri Praden An Army Stryker combat vehicle is guided into a C-17 Globemaster III during a 25th Infantry Division training exercise Aug. 13, 2014, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Str...
 
 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

F-16V completes major capability milestone

The newest configuration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-16V, has reached a major capability milestone with the integration of a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. Completing this milestone on schedule demonstrates our ability to meet program commitments, said Roderick McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed...
 




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