News Briefs – April 10, 2017

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U.S. soldier killed in action in Afghanistan

The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed while conducting an operation against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.
In a tweet issued April 10, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan says the soldier was mortally wounded during an operation in Nangarhar Province.
The soldier’s name hasn’t been announced and no other information has been released. AP
 

Sea trials begin for Navy’s newest class of aircraft carrier

The U.S. Navy says the first of its new class of aircraft carriers has headed out to sea.
The USS Gerald R. Ford embarked April 8 on the first of its sea trials to test various state-of-the-art systems.
The $12.9 billion carrier departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News after more than a year’s delay and cost overruns.
Construction on the Ford started in 2009. It was supposed to finish by September 2015, with costs at $10.5 billion. But there were issues with the carrier’s advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation.
The ship is currently undergoing builder’s trials. It will return to port in Virginia before embarking again for “acceptance trials,” which are conducted by Navy inspectors. AP
 

U.S. carrier strike group heads toward W. Pacific near Korea

The Pentagon says a Navy carrier strike group is moving toward the western Pacific Ocean to provide a physical presence near the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests and continued pursuit of a nuclear program have raised tensions in the region, where U.S. Navy ships are a common presence and serve in part as a show of force.
On April 10, President Donald Trump and South Korea’s leader, Acting President Hwang Kyo-Ahn, spoke by phone. The White House said the two agreed to stay in close contact about North Korea and other issues.
The U.S. Pacific Command directed the carrier group to sail north to the western Pacific after departing Singapore on Saturday, according to a Navy news release. The carrier group includes the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, with support from several missile destroyers and missile cruisers.
Deployed from San Diego to the western Pacific since Jan. 5, the strike group has participated in numerous exercises with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Republic of Korea Navy, various maritime security initiatives, and routine patrol operations in the South China Sea. AP

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