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Seven U.S. service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

7 US servicemen killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

All seven service members aboard an American military helicopter that crashed in western Iraq late Thursday were killed, according to two U.S. military officials.

The crash of the U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter does not appear to be a result of enemy activity and the incident is under investigation, U.S. Central Command and military officials said.

"All personnel aboard were killed in the crash," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, the director of operations for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria.


Trump Is Dragging Feet on Transgender Ban Evidence, Judge Rules

Transgender troop ban

The Trump administration has repeatedly failed to identify evidence it may use to defend the government’s stalled ban on transgender soldiers, a federal judge in Seattle says.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ordered the government on Wednesday to provide the information -- a standard procedure -- within five days. She criticized the administration’s earlier claims that no such information could be identified because the policy wasn’t yet in effect.

Pechman used President Donald Trump’s July 2017 tweets announcing the ban to challenge the government’s claim, noting the president posted that he made his decision after "consultation with my generals and military experts."


U.S. Navy sends two missile-guided Destroyers to Black Sea

US Navy sends destroyers to Black Sea The U.S. Navy announced last week that it will increase its presence in the Black Sea with two guided-missile Destroyers to conduct maritime security operations.

The Navy now has the USS Carney and the USS Ross in the Black Sea, which is located between several countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

"Our decision to have two ships simultaneously operate in the Black Sea is proactive, not reactive," said Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, in a statement. "We operate at the tempo and timing of our choosing in this strategically important region. By nature, ships are flexible, mobile forces, and the Navy is uniquely capable of providing credible and capable forces to defend our nation's interests throughout the world."



Pentagon's 'deploy-or-be-removed' policy takes effect

Robert Wilkie, Dept. of Defense The Pentagon on Friday released new policy guidance on retention of non-deployable service members, which could result in nearly 300,000 soldiers being kicked out of the military.

The new directive seeks to improve overall readiness and lethality of forces by reducing the number of service members who cannot be deployed overseas, according to Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie, who testified before Congress on Wednesday.

"On any given day, about 13 to 14 percent of the force is medically unable to deploy -- that comes out to be around 286,000 service members," Wilkie told the Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel subcommittee on Wednesday.


Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade

Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan military parade

Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to plan a military parade that would see soldiers marching and tanks rolling down the streets of Washington, it was reported on Tuesday.

The move was instantly criticised, with one veterans’ group comparing the president to “a wannabe banana republic strongman”.

Trump is seeking a grand parade similar to the Bastille Day celebration in Paris, according to the Washington Post. He outlined the plan at a meeting at the Pentagon on 18 January that included defense secretary Jim Mattis and joint chiefs of staff chairman General Joseph Dunford, the paper said, citing an unnamed military official.

TVNL Comment: The Draft-Dodger-in-Chief wants a parade.  What irony.  What a sad joke. What a colossal waste of money.  Ego above all.


U.S. soldier found dead near German train station

US soldier found dead near German rreain station

United States and German authorities are investigating the death of an American soldier whose body was found near a train station in Bavaria, the U.S. Army said Tuesday.

1st Sgt. Nicholas S. Amsberry, 34, was serving in a nine-month deployment to Europe as part of Atlantic Resolve, a mission that supports U.S. allies in Eastern Europe in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.


Massive Pentagon agency lost track of hundreds of millions of dollars

Pentagon loses track of hundreds of millions of dollars

One of the Pentagon’s largest agencies can't account for hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of spending, a leading accounting firm says in an internal audit obtained by POLITICO that arrives just as President Donald Trump is proposing a boost in the military budget.

Ernst & Young found that the Defense Logistics Agency failed to properly document more than $800 million in construction projects, just one of a series of examples where it lacks a paper trail for millions of dollars in property and equipment. Across the board, its financial management is so weak that its leaders and oversight bodies have no reliable way to track the huge sums it's responsible for, the firm warned in its initial audit of the massive Pentagon purchasing agent.


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