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August 6, 2014

News Briefs August 6, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,198

As of Aug. 5, 2014, at least 2,198 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.

At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 134 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.

The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is five more than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 19,899 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP 

Croatia fighter jet crashes, pilot ejects

A Croatian military fighter jet crashed near the capital Aug. 5 and its pilot ejected without injury, the defense ministry said.

The MIG-21 had earlier taken part in a flyover during celebrations by Croatian officials marking the 19th anniversary of the offensive that liberated its Serb-held territories in the war of independence.

The fighter crashed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Zagreb, near the capital’s main commercial and military airport, with some of its parts landing in populated areas. The defense ministry said the pilot was taken to a hospital for checkups.

“When I was about to land, I felt the plane was completely uncontrollable,” the pilot, Stanko Hrzenak, said at a press conference held at the airport after the crash. “My main concern was to evade houses.”

The ministry says that according to initial information the jet’s hydraulics failed after the engine and the landing gear caught fire.

Most of Croatia’s aging 12 MIGs have recently undergone an overhaul in Ukraine, but the one that crashed Tuesday wasn’t among them.

Croatia has been a NATO member since 2009. AP 

Army opens new chemical defense lab in Maryland

The Army is opening a new chemical defense laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground near Harford, Md.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski is joining other officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 5 for the Dr. Edward J. Poziomek Advanced Chemistry Laboratory.

She says it’s the nation’s only facility providing research and development on chemical threats and counter-chemical agents.

The event also includes a showcase of the Army’s latest technologies to defend against chemical, biological, radiological, explosive and nuclear threats. AP

China top worry in annual Japan defense report

Japan’s annual defense white paper expresses strong concern about China’s military build-up, citing its neighbor’s increased airspace and maritime activities.

But officials say separately that Japan’s defense budget may be insufficient to achieve the goals set by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bolster the country’s military.

Abe’s Cabinet in July approved a reinterpretation of Japan’s war-renouncing constitution to allow the military to defend foreign countries and play a larger international role.

The annual report approved by the Cabinet Aug. 5 says Japan is particularly concerned about China’s establishment of an air defense identification zone extending to the disputed East China Sea islands that both countries claim. Japan scrambled jets in response to Chinese aircraft 400 times last year. AP




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