News Briefs – November 7, 2016

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Hawaii soldier killed in training exercise

The U.S. Army says a soldier has died during training exercises on Oahu.
The soldier, who was based at Schofield Barracks, died Nov. 3 in the Kahuku area. The soldier’s name is being withheld pending notification of family.
Officials have not released further details about the death. They say an investigation is ongoing.
The 25th Infantry Division has been conducting a “large-scale” training exercise called Lightning Forge, which began Oct. 28 and is expected to wrap up Sunday.
Army officials say it focused on the training of roughly 4,000 soldiers in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, but involved a total of about 10,000 Hawaii soldiers.
The military had warned neighboring communities about the training last week, saying it would involve the use of “blank ammunition and explosive simulators” at various sites across Oahu, including Kahuku.
Gov. David Ige extended his condolences to the soldier’s family in a statement Nov. 3 and to “those who served alongside that soldier and the leadership of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Please join me in honoring this soldier’s service and contributions to our community and our country.” AP
 

NATO: Montenegro membership certain despite Russia objection

NATO’s deputy chief says Montenegro’s membership in the Western military alliance is progressing smoothly despite strong opposition from Russia.
NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller says that she expects that the tiny Balkan country will become a member in spring 2017 after all 28 NATO member states and Montenegro ratify the agreement in their parliaments.
Gottemoeller said Nov. 3 in Montenegro that “I think your membership in NATO is moving forward smoothly.”
Montenegro has been invited to join NATO despite strong opposition from its traditional Slavic ally Russia.
Montenegrin officials have accused Russia of standing behind an alleged coup on election day in October to topple the pro-Western government because of its NATO bid. AP