News Briefs – August 19, 2019


Russian, Venezuelan defense chiefs meet to discuss ties

Russia’s defense minister has hosted his Venezuelan counterpart to discuss military ties between the two countries.
During the Aug. 15 meeting, Sergei Shoigu hailed Venezuela for “resisting attempts by the United States to overthrow the legitimate government,” noting that the Venezuelan military serves as the guarantor of Venezuela’s territorial integrity.
Shoigu suggested that he and Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino discuss bilateral military and military-technical cooperation.
Padrino vowed that his country will stand up to the U.S. pressure and what he described as its “blatant violation of the international law.”
Russia has backed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while the U.S. and several dozen other nations have cast their support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido and recognized him as Venezuela’s interim president. AP

Two Blue Angels planes touch during midair practice run

The U.S. Navy says two Blue Angels jets touched midair during a practice run in the Florida Panhandle.
Navy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Tucker tells the Pensacola News Journal a jet made momentary contact with the underside of a second jet’s outer wing Aug. 14 as the pilots practiced over the Naval Air Station Pensacola. She says no one was injured.
Tucker says the team held a debriefing after landing. An initial damage assessment found a minimal scratch on one aircraft.
The incident won’t affect the team’s performance in a Chicago air show over the weekend. But the two jets involved in the incident have been swapped out and won’t fly in Chicago. However Tucker says the pilots of those jets will fly in the air show. AP

Nevada Army National Guard unit to deploy to Afghanistan

A Nevada Army National Guard unit is headed to Afghanistan, the first of five Guard units set to deploy in coming months.
A mobilization ceremony will be held Aug. 20 in Las Vegas for the 30 soldiers of the 3665th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company’s 10-month mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.
The Henderson-based 3665th is the Nevada National Guard’s only explosive ordnance disposal unit and the deployment is its first.
EOD soldiers specialize in defusing unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction.
The Guard said the 3665th is its first unit to embark on a combat deployment in three years.
The Guard said soldiers from four aviation and combat sustainment support units also are set to deploy this year to Asia, Europe and Africa. AP

Top Chinese, North Korean generals meet in Beijing

Top military leaders from North Korea and China have recommitted themselves to strengthened exchanges between their armed forces during a meeting in Beijing.
The meeting Aug. 17 came as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of an unspecified new weapon, seen as an attempt to pressure Washington and Seoul over nuclear negotiations and joint military exercises.
The official Xinhua News agency says Zhang Youxia, the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, met Kim Su Kil, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army.
Zhang said China’s military wanted closer communication to “promote cooperation and mutual support, so as to contribute to the consolidation and development of bilateral relations and regional peace and stability.”
China is North Korea’s most important ally. AP