Australia resettles more than 500 Afghan helpers
Australia revealed June 1 that it had resettled in recent months more than 500 Afghans who had jeopardized their own safety by helping the Australian military in their war-ravaged homeland.
The Afghans, mainly interpreters and their families, were granted refugee visas. Most were resettled in Australia since late last year, the government said in a statement.
The government had been reluctant to comment on the refugee program until Sunday because of risks to those who applied for resettlement before a September 2013 deadline, the statement said.
“This policy reflects Australia’s fulfillment of its moral obligation to those who provided invaluable support to Australia’s efforts in Afghanistan,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said.
Australia has ended combat operations in Afghanistan and withdrew about 1,000 troops in 2013, but still has about 400 troops there in advisory and training roles. AP
Navy to keep one sub longer, retire another early
The Navy is going to bring the USS Dallas back from the brink of retirement and retire the USS Norfolk early.
Both are Los Angeles-class attack submarines. A Navy spokesman said May 30 the move will save a projected $10 million, help spread submarine maintenance work across shipyards and help the submarine force meet its mission requirements.
The Dallas, in Groton, Conn., was scheduled to be inactivated in fiscal year 2015. The Norfolk, in Norfolk, Va., was not due to be inactivated until fiscal 2017. Those schedules will be swapped. The Navy said it expects the maintenance work required on the Dallas will be less extensive.
The Dallas is 32 years old. The Norfolk, which is 31, is currently overseas on what will now likely be its last deployment. AP