News Briefs – October 30, 2019

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Wounded dog back on job after tracking Islamic State leader

A military working dog that was wounded while tracking down the head of the Islamic State is back on duty. But don’t ask the name of the K-9 fighter.
Military officials say the dog’s name is classified. So are any other details, including the breed.
Gen. Mark Milley told reporters Oct. 28 that the animal “performed a tremendous service” in tracking down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a tunnel beneath his compound.
Al-Baghdadi set off an explosion that killed himself and three children and apparently wounded the dog.
Milley said the dog was “slightly wounded” but is now recovering and has returned to duty at an undisclosed location. Milley says the U.S. is “protecting the dog’s identify” by keeping any information about the canine classified for now. AP
 

Military wants more rules for turbines near nuclear missiles

The military wants North Dakota and four other states with nuclear missile arsenals to consider introducing new rules aimed at preventing conflicts between wind turbines and helicopters that provide security at launch facilities.
The military says it’s an “issue of concern” in North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska.
Department of Defense and Air Force officials met Oct. 29 with North Dakota lawmakers and regulatory officials. The military has proposed bigger buffer zones between missile launch facilities and wind turbines in North Dakota, and special lighting on the towers.
American Wind Energy Association spokesman Tom Vison says developers already work with the Defense Department to mitigate potential risks from wind farms. He says state rules would be overly restrictive and could halt projects. AP
 

Russian defense minister hails military ties with Armenia

Russia’s defense minister visited Armenia on Tuesday for talks about military cooperation between the ex-Soviet allies.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu hailed Armenia, which hosts a Russian military base, as Moscow’s “key partner.” He said after inspecting the base that it serves as “the guarantor of stability in the Caucasus region.”
The Russian base in Armenia has about 4,000 troops and air defense assets. The base’s commanding officer reported to Shoigu that its capability has markedly increased with the deployment of new modern weapons systems.
Russia and Armenia have held joint military maneuvers and coordinated air defense operations. Russia also has provided Armenia with modern weapons, such as the Su-30 fighter jets.
Shoigu also met Oct. 29 with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to discuss military ties and the situation in Syria. Armenia has sent experts to Syria on a Russia-backed mission to help clear mines and provide medical assistance. AP