News Briefs – June 8, 2017


Warship USS Gabrielle Giffords to be commissioned in Texas

The 421-foot USS Gabrielle Giffords will be commissioned this weekend in Texas.
Navy officials say ceremonies will be held June 10 in Galveston, Texas, to commission the ship named for the former Arizona congresswoman, who in 2011 was shot but survived an assassination attempt in Tucson.
The $475 million USS Gabrielle Giffords was constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., and arrived in Galveston last weekend.
Giffords in 2015 helped christen the ship. It’s the ninth in a series of high-speed vessels designed to navigate in shallow coastal regions known as littoral waters.
Giffords’ husband is retired astronaut Mark Kelly, a former Navy captain stationed in Galveston County during his NASA service.
Free public tours of the warship are offered each afternoon Tuesday through Friday. San Diego will be the ship’s homeport. AP

Jordan soldier faces murder charges in deaths of 3 U.S. troops

A government official in Amman, Jordan, says a Jordanian soldier faces murder charges in the shooting deaths of three U.S. military trainers at a Jordanian air base
He says the soldier will be tried by a military court, starting Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.
The U.S. Army Green Berets were killed Nov. 4 at the al-Jafr air base in southern Jordan. They came under fire as their convoy entered the base.
Jordanian officials initially said the trainers sparked the shooting by disobeying orders from Jordanian soldiers.
The slain Americans were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Lewellen, of Lawrence, Kansas; 30-year-old Staff Sgt. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Ariz.; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas. AP

Needing troops, Army offers up to $90,000 bonuses to re-enlist

Military officials tell The Associated Press that the Army will triple the amount of bonuses it’s paying this year to more than $380 million, including new incentives to woo reluctant soldiers to re-enlist.
The officials said some soldiers could get $90,000 up front by committing to another four or more years. That comes as the Army seeks to reverse some of the downsizing that occurred under the Obama administration after years of growth spurred by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In just the last two weeks, the Army has paid out more than $26 million in bonuses.
The enlistment campaign was driven by Congress’ decision late last year to beef up the Army, echoing the spirit of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to significantly increase military staffing and firepower. AP