News Briefs – September 12, 2016

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U.S. Navy gives look inside futuristic Zumwalt destroyer

The U.S. Navy has given its first look inside the stealthy and futuristic Zumwalt destroyer during the ship’s first port stop at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island.
The 610-foot-long warship with an angular shape cost more than $4.4 billion. It’s the most expensive destroyer built for the Navy.
It’s headed to Baltimore, where it will be commissioned in October before going to its homeport in San Diego.
During a tour, the Navy showed off the ship’s bridge, weaponry and mission center.
Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, of the Pacific Fleet, says the ship will make a significant difference in the fleet. He says its advanced technology and capabilities allow it to do a range of defensive and offensive missions, wherever it is needed. AP
 

Dutch government extends military training mission in Iraq

The Dutch government says it is extending its involvement in a military training mission in Iraq until the end of 2017.
The Netherlands has been part of the international coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since October 2014.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Sept. 9 that Dutch troops will continue to train Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The Dutch air force will also keep a refueling aircraft in the region and a unit providing security for Belgian fighter jets.
Rutte says the Dutch forces “are doing very important and highly regarded work there training people to fight ISIS.”
About 150 Dutch troops are involved in the training mission in Iraq, which had been scheduled to end Oct. 1. AP
 

Russia holds large-scale military drills in Crimea

Russia on Sept. 9 deployed cruise missiles, multiple rocket launchers, tanks and its latest anti-aircraft system at massive military drills in Crimea.
Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in April 2014 and since then has sent thousands of troops and heavy weaponry there.
The defense ministry invited dozens of journalists to a remote firing range at the Black Sea coast to display elaborate war games which involved paratroopers, tanks, cruise missiles launched from a submarine and the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
The drills, which began across southern Russia and Crimea earlier this week and have involved a total of over 120,000 troops, are some of the largest exercises Russia has held for years.
The chief of the Russian General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, insisted in emailed comments that there have never been more than 12,500 troops involved in the drills at a given moment, which means that Russia did not violate any international treaties. AP

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