17 March 2015 Military News
- Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 17 Mar 2015 -- U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- UN: IS Appears To Have Presence In Afghanistan RFE/RL 17 Mar 2015 -- The top UN envoy in Afghanistan says recent reports indicate the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has moved into Afghanistan.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Defense Officials Catalog Sequestration Impacts for Congress AFPS 17 Mar 2015 -- The service secretaries and chiefs warned Congress today of the dire effects a return to sequestration would have on security at home and around the world.
- Winnefeld Gives Blunt Assessment of Budget Options AFPS 17 Mar 2015 -- The U.S. defense budget is strategy driven and the nation will be at greater risk if the budget is cut or if sequestration is triggered this year, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.
- US Navy Seeks Drastic Increase in Tomahawk Missiles on Attack Subs Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- if no action is taken the Navy will lose about 60% of its undersea strike launchers,' Navy Captain David Goggins, Virginia-class submarine program manager, told Military.com.
- US air advisors strengthen Albanian partnership AFNS 17 Mar 2015 -- The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing led a U.S. Air Forces in Europe command and control (C2) advisory mission at Rinas Air Base, Albania, March 3-5.
- Report details causes of December mid-air collision at Pope AFNS 17 Mar 2015 -- Air Mobility Command released the results of its accident investigation board (AIB) regarding a Dec. 1, 2014, mid-air collision near Pope Army Airfield and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
- NATO Military Training Center May Open in Georgia in Autumn 2015 Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- A NATO training center may open in Georgia in autumn 2015, Deputy Defense Minister Levan Girsiashvili said at a press conference on Tuesday.
- Russia, US unlikely to agree on new START treaty soon TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia and the United States are unlikely to reach new agreements on reduction of strategic offensive arms soon, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.
- Russia to deploy long-range nuclear bombers to Crimea for drills Press TV 17 Mar 2015 -- Officials in Moscow have announced plans to send some of their strategic missile-carriers to Crimea a year after the peninsula separated from Ukraine and rejoined the Russian Federation.
- Russia Expands Northern Fleet's Snap Drills to Norwegian Sea Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The number of naval task groups deployed in Northern Fleet's snap drills has been increased to five, while their operational zone has been expanded to the Norwegian Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
- Russia Notified OSCE of Snap Combat Readiness Drills - Defense Ministry Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia notified the countries of the Organization of Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE) of its planned large-scale snap combat readiness exercises in advance, though Moscow was not obliged, the Russian deputy defense minister said Tuesday.
- Russian Armed Forces Search for Submarines During Drills in Barents Sea Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The combat readiness exercises include using radio radar and hydroacoustic equipment and antisubmarine weapons against simulated targets. In addition, Il-38 aircraft are delivering aerial reconnaissance support in the areas of the Barents Sea.
- Russian Paratroopers to Move to Polar Region for Northern Fleet Drills Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The exercises which include tens of thousands of troops will be held on land, in sea and air and will run for five days beginning March 16.
- Russian Air Force crews start redeployment to Arctic areas TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- About 30 army aviation crews of the Western Military District have started redeployment on Tuesday within a snap check of combat readiness of the Northern Fleet and separate groupings of the Western Military District and Airborne Force units.
- Two Borei class nuclear submarines to replace old Kalmar class subs in Russia's Far East TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Two fourth generation Project 955 Borei class strategic nuclear submarines will replace in Russia's Pacific Fleet the old strategic nuclear submarines of Project 667BDR (Kalmar class), director general of the submarine design bureau Rubin Igor Vilnit said on Tuesday.
- Airborne troops in Russia's north-west on combat alert as part of military exercise TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Paratroopers from Russia's north-western Pskov region have been put on high combat alert as part of the command and staff exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
- OSCE member-states informed of Russia's Northern Fleet drills – deputy defense minister TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member-states were informed in a 'gesture of good will' on the snap combat readiness drills of the Northern Fleet in the Arctic region, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Tuesday.
- Ballistic missile systems to be redeployed to Russia's westernmost region – source TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- The Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems will be redeployed during a surprise inspection of troops to the Kaliningrad region in Russia's northwest, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS on Tuesday.
- Russian strategic bombers to be redeployed to Crimea amid snap check – source TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Strategic missile carriers Tupolev TU-22M3 will be transferred to Crimea within the snap check that began on Monday, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS on Tuesday.
- Russia to upgrade ten strategic bombers Tu-95MS in 2015-2016 TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia in 2015-2016 will upgrade at least ten strategic bombers Tu-95MS, the press-service of the United Aircraft-building Corporation told TASS on Tuesday.
- Units of Russia's Baltic Fleet, Southern Military District, Airborne Force on combat alert TASS 17 Mar 2015 -- Units of the Baltic Fleet, Southern Military District and Airborne Forces have been brought to highest state of combat readiness in the framework of large-scale strategic drills, the Russian Defense Ministry's press service said on Tuesday.
- UK to deliver secure communications with new satellite move Gov.uk 17 Mar 2015-- The UK will move one of its communication satellites to the Asia Pacific region for the first time to deliver protected and secure satellite communications services.
- Belarus Sends Servicemen to Russia for Strategic Command Exercise Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Belarusian servicemen will participate in a joint strategic command and staff exercise with the center command office of the Russian Armed Forces.
- Verkhovna Rada Approves Bill to Let Foreign Troops in Ukraine Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The Ukrainian parliament approved on Tuesday a bill allowing foreign troops into the country to participate in a number of joint military exercises with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2015.
- Bosnia donates 550 tons of surplus arms to Iraq Press TV 17 Mar 2015 -- Bosnia has donated over 550 tons of surplus arms and ammunition to Iraq to help the fight against the ISIL terrorist group, the Balkan country's defense minister says.
- Jordan - 35 Meter Coastal Patrol Boats DSCA 17 Mar 2015 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Jordan for 35 Meter Coastal Patrol Boats and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $80 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 16, 2015.
- Mexico - UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters DSCA 17 Mar 2015 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Mexico for UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $110 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 16, 2015.
- US to Sell Black Hawk Helicopters to Mexico for War on Organized Crime Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The US State Department has approved the possible sale of three Black Hawk Helicopters to Mexico to strengthen the country's capability to fight organized crime and conduct counter-narcotics operations, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement on Tuesday
- Nepal Receives Two Mi-17 Helicopters, More Deliveries Discussed Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia delivered two Mil Mi-17 'Hip' helicopters to Nepal, and the two countries are negotiating the supply of more, the head of Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport's regional department told RIA Novosti.
- Russia Starts Missiles Delivery for Su-30MKM Jets Designed for Malaysia Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia has started delivering missiles for Malaysia's Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighters, manufactured by Russia's Irkut Corporation, the head of Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport's regional department told RIA Novosti in an interview on Tuesday.
- Daily Briefing by the Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 03/17/15 The White House 17 Mar 2015
- March 17, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2015
- 17 March 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 17 Mar 2015
- One Year After Annexation, Remembering The Crimea That Fought Back RFE/RL 17 Mar 2015 -- Crimea was largely quiet during last year's Euromaidan antigovernment protests. But all that changed on February 23, a day after President Viktor Yanukovych's ouster.
- Kiev Withdraws Heavy Arms, Ready to Deliver Humanitarian Aid to Donbas Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Kiev has withdrawn its heavy artillery from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine and is prepared to deliver humanitarian aid to the region, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Tuesday.
- Kremlin: Crimea Will Not Return to Ukraine VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- Russia said on Tuesday it would not hand back Crimea to Ukraine, despite warnings by the United States and European Union that they will not drop sanctions over the Black Sea peninsula's annexation a year ago.
- Iran Sent Missiles to Iraq to Help Liberate Tikrit From ISIL - Reports Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Iran has sent Fajr-5 artillery rockets as well as Fateh-110 missiles and necessary launchers, according to a Monday report in the newspaper. Shiite militias trained and equipped by Iran are embedded with Iraqi troops, US officials said.
- Turkey Braces for Expected Refugee Influx From Iraq VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- Turkish authorities are bracing for an influx of refugees from the Iraqi city of Mosul, predicting as many as 300,000 could flee to Turkey once an assault begins in earnest to recapture the city from the militants of the Islamic State.
- US Drone Reportedly Shot Down Near Syria VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- The U.S. military said Tuesday it lost contact with a unarmed drone that was being remotely piloted over Syria, but could not corroborate reports that it was shot down.
- UN agency boosts food security efforts in countries affected by Syria crisis UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has announced a scale-up in its support to Jordan and other countries in the Middle East affected by the humanitarian crisis in Syria that has entered its fifth year.
- Citing need to break 'cycle of impunity,' UN panel urges referral of Syria to ICC UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- A culture of impunity continues to flourish inside Syria amid a conflict that has generated over four million refugees and hundreds of thousands of dead, the head of a United Nations-mandated Commission of Inquiry said today, urging the international community to step up efforts in bringing the four-year-long war to a close.
- UN Commission Calls for Syria War Crimes Tribunal VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Syria is calling for the establishment of an ad hoc tribunal to bring alleged perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria to account.
- Chinese FM discusses Myanmar in border province after bombing People's Daily 17 Mar 2015 -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Yunnan province, which borders the conflict-hit Myanmar, on Monday to discuss with officials plans to protect the life and property safety of local Chinese, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
- 130 rebels killed in South Sudan fighting Press TV 17 Mar 2015 -- At least 130 rebel fighters have been killed in clashes with government forces in South Sudan's northern Upper Nile State.
- Ansarullah lifts house arrest on former Yemeni PM, ministers Press TV 17 Mar 2015 -- The Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen has lifted a house arrest on former Premier Khaled Bahah and his cabinet ministers, allowing them to leave the capital city of Sana'a.
- UN envoy welcomes lifting of house arrest of Yemeni leaders UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, welcomed the lifting of the house arrest of the country's Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other Cabinet members as a "good gesture that may restore the missing confidence in the current political negotiations."
- Cameroon kills Boko Haram militants Press TV 17 Mar 2015 -- Cameroonian soldiers have killed several Boko Haram terrorists during an operation in northern Nigeria in the latest development involving a multinational regional force fighting the militants.
- US Refuses to Recognize Upcoming Russia-South Ossetia Treaty - Psaki Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Washington will not recognize any new agreements between Russia and South Ossetia that may be signed on Wednesday during South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov's visit to Moscow, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told journalists on Tuesday.
- Darfur security, humanitarian situations 'deteriorated significantly' – UN peacekeeping chief UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- The security and humanitarian situations in the Darfur region of Sudan "deteriorated significantly" over the past year, the head of United Nations peacekeeping told the Security Council today, adding that there had also been no tangible progress toward resolving the conflict.
- Israeli TV Exit Polls: Race Too Close to Call VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- Israeli television exit polls released as voting ended in the country's parliamentary election say the race between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Isaac Herzog's center-left Zionist Union alliance is too close to call.
- Israel Holds National Elections RFE/RL 17 Mar 2015 -- Israelis are voting in national elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a strong challenge.
- Senior Administration Officials on P5+1 Talks With Iran US Dept. of State 17 Mar 2015
- Iran, US open 2nd day of N. talks in Switzerland ISNA 17 Mar 2015 -- Iran and the United States began the second day of the sensitive talks in the Swiss city of Lausanne in an attempt to bridge differences on the outstanding issues pertaining to Tehran's nuclear program.
- Iranians Say 90 Percent Of Nuclear Technical Issues Resolved RFE/RL 17 Mar 2015 -- Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has said there was agreement on "90 percent of the technical issues' at talks over the country's nuclear program.
- US Downplays Chances of Quick Iranian Nuclear Deal VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- Iran's nuclear chief said Tuesday that Iranian officials had reached a mutual understanding with the United States and its negotiating partners on most issues in nuclear talks, but the White House sought to temper optimism about an imminent deal.
- Top Secret NSA Documents Leak by Snowden Resulted in 'Few Changes' Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- Last 30 days' showed that NIS registered almost 33,186,042 phones calls in the period between December 12, 2012 and January 8, 2013.
- NSA Does Not Collect Intelligence From Foreign Companies to Benefit US Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The United States does not conduct signals intelligence to provide economic advantage to US companies against foreign competitors, National Security Agency (NSA) Media Relations Chief Vanee Vines said in a statement on Tuesday in response to media reports the spy agency surveys US and foreign companies.
- US, Cuba End Latest Round of Diplomatic Talks VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- U.S. and Cuban diplomats have concluded a third round of talks on restoring diplomatic ties, Cuba said Tuesday, without offering details on what was discussed.
- South Korea Reduces Water Supply to the North Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- With North Korea slowly coming out of a long drought, the South Korean government has decided to reduce the supply of free water it was giving to the North.
- New UN report highlights 'terrifying' impact of Ebola on nine million children UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- Some nine million children have seen "death and suffering beyond their comprehension," and protecting them and their communities is critical in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a report released today.
- Experts Say al-Shabab-Islamic State Linkup 'Unlikely' VOA 17 Mar 2015 -- Boko Haram's loyalty pledge to the Islamic State group has raised fears of further Islamic State alliances in sub-Saharan Africa. Terrorism experts however, say the continent's most powerful extremist force, Somalia's al-Shabab, is unlikely to go down the same path.
- Azerbaijani, Georgian Presidents In Turkey For TANAP Ceremony RFE/RL 17 Mar 2015 -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili were in Turkey on March 17 to attend a ceremony marking the start of the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP).
- US Willing to Engage Venezuela Despite Sanctions - State Department Sputnik 17 Mar 2015 -- The United States wants to engage with the government of Venezuela despite levying sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials, a US State Department official told Sputnik on Tuesday.
- Amid logistical challenges, UN focuses on priority needs for cyclone-hit Vanuatu UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- In spite of logistical challenges facing the humanitarian response in Vanuatu, a nation that comprises over 80 islands, United Nations agencies continue to scale up their efforts to assist with priority needs including the provision of food, water and healthcare in the wake of the devastating cyclone that battered the country over the weekend.
- UN agency begins relocation of 50,000 flood-affected refugees in Ethiopia UN News 17 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations refugee agency said today it has begun the relocation of more than 50,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia from flood-prone areas ahead of the rainy season, which is expected to start in late April.
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