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August 8, 2014

News Briefs August 8, 2014

Body of U.S. general arrives at Dover Air Force Base

The body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan “insider attack” has arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

A C-17 cargo plane carrying the body of Harold Greene landed Aug. 7 at Dover Air Force Base, Del., home to the nation’s largest military mortuary.

White-gloved soldiers solemnly carried a flag-draped metal case with Greene’s remains to a waiting mortuary vehicle as Army officials and other dignitaries saluted.

Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War. Greene, a 34-year U.S. Army veteran, also is the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. AP 

German firm cuts outlook after Russia deal nixed

German defense and auto parts company Rheinmetall has cut its earnings forecast after the government revoked permission for it to deliver a field exercise simulator to the Russian military.

The company says it’s exploring legal options to minimize the financial hit from that decision.

Germany’s government said Aug. 4 it was blocking the deal, worth more than $134 million. The decision went beyond a newly imposed European Union arms embargo that allows existing contracts to be fulfilled.

Rheinmetall Aug. 7 cut its full-year forecast for earnings before interest and taxes to between 200-220 million euros from the previous 230-250 million-euro range.

The company said it is working to ensure that the financial burden is kept as low as possible, “including the utilization of all available legal options.” AP 

Army has begun questioning Bergdahl about capture

The U.S. Army and an attorney for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl say military investigators have begun questioning the solider about his disappearance in Afghanistan that led to five years in captivity by the Taliban.

Eugene R. Fidell says his client is cooperating with the investigation at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Aug. 6.

Fidell declined to comment on what Bergdahl is being asked.

An Army spokeswoman says Bergdahl was advised of his rights.

The investigation’s findings will help determine whether the 28-year-old is prosecuted for desertion or faces any other disciplinary action.

Bergdahl had been receiving care at Fort Sam Houston since returning to the United States on June 13 after his release by the Taliban on May 31.

Earlier this month, the Army announced Bergdahl was given a desk job. AP

Poland speeds up arms deal citing Ukraine conflict

Poland’s defense ministry says it is accelerating the tender process for its acquisition of new combat helicopters due to the armed conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

Spokesman Jacek Sonta said Aug. 7 the ministry has moved up the deadline for choosing the provider of 30 new helicopters, which will replace the aging Russian-made Mi-24.

Among the 10 aircraft considered are the U.S. Apache AH-64E, made by Boeing, the Eurocopter Tiger, by a French-German consortium, and the British-Italian Agusta AW129 Mongoose, by AgustaWestland NV.

Sonta said the ministry is “watching the developments in Eastern Ukraine with anxiety” and that the officials hoped the new helicopters could be delivered already in 2017.

Earlier this week, Poland’s leaders indicated that an aggravation of the conflict in Ukraine is possible. AP




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