18 March 2015 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 18 Mar 2015 [PDF]
- Coalition Airstrikes Hit ISIL in Syria, Iraq AFPS 18 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.
- Pentagon: Al-Shabab's Garaar Killed by Drone Strike in Somalia VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- A U.S. drone strike in southern Somalia last week killed a leader of the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, the Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday.
- Statement on March 12 Airstrike in Somalia DoD 18 Mar 2015 -- On March 12 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, working from actionable intelligence, U.S. forces using unmanned aircraft struck a vehicle carrying Adan Garar, a member of al-Shabaab's intelligence and security wing, in the vicinity of Diinsoor, Somalia. The attack was a success and resulted in the death of Garar.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Military Commissions Personnel Announcement DoD 18 Mar 2015 -- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has designated the Honorable Paul L. Oostburg Sanz to serve as the convening authority for military commissions.
- New York Army National Guard aviators train with Air Guard close air controllers at Fort Drum AFNS 18 Mar 2015 -- It was one team, one fight during a training exercise March 14 for the New York Army National Guard aviators of B Company 3rd Battalion 126th Aviation and the New York Air National Guard close air support specialists of the 274th Air Support Operations Squadron.
- Cutting edge; U.S. Marine, Army special forces prepare for crisis scenarios USMC News 18 Mar 2015 -- After nearly two weeks of constant training, the Marines of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa locked down a perimeter in Baumholder, Germany, March 11.
- Infrastructure Funding Level Poses Risk, Officials Say AFPS 18 Mar 2015 -- Service officials responsible for infrastructure described for Congress yesterday a need throughout the Defense Department for infrastructure reduction and improved funding for military construction.
- Carter: Sequestration Will Make the U.S. Less Secure AFPS 18 Mar 2015 -- The proposed defense budget is in line with fiscal year 2015 projections, halting the decline in defense spending and making available the resources needed to execute the nation's defense strategy, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a House panel here today.
- Street-to-street; 3/8 maintains combat readiness USMC News 18 Mar 2015 -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted military operations on urban terrain training aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 11.
- USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Arrives in Sasebo for First-ever LCS Port Visit to Japan NNS 18 Mar 2015 -- The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) arrived in Sasebo, Japan, March 18, marking the first time an LCS has visited Japan.
- Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 Earns 2014 Battle 'E' and Golden Wrench Award NNS 18 Mar 2015 -- Members of the 'Golden Eagles' of Patrol Squadron (VP) 9 were recognized for two significant awards for their superior performance this past year, the Navy Battle 'E' award and the AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the 'Golden Wrench' award.
- USS New Orleans Conducts Sea Trials NNS 18 Mar 2015 -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) completed a five-day sea trials period March 13 following an eight-month planned maintenance availability period.
- Missile Agency Director: Budget Request Supports Development AFPS 18 Mar 2015 -- The Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year 2016 budget request continues the development of defenses for the nation, deployed forces and allies and international partners against increasingly capable ballistic missile threats, the agency's director told Congress today.
- Replacing Russian Rocket Engine to Take 7 Years - US Air Force Official Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- Developing an alternative rocket engine to the existing Russian RD-180 model will take the United States five to seven years because of technological challenges, US Air Force Assistant Secretary of William LaPlante said in a testimony.
- Pentagon Unable to Account for $500 Million in Military Aid to Yemen Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The Pentagon has lost track of $500 million worth of United States military aid it supplied to Yemen, raising fears that the weapons, aircraft and equipment has been seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda.
- NATO and Serbia discuss how to move relationship forward NATO 18 Mar 2015 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ivica Dačić and with the Serbian Minister of Defence Bratislav Gašić at NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (18 March 2015) for talks on the development of the NATO-Serbia relationship.
- NATO Ships Hold Live Fire Drill in the Black Sea Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- NATO naval ships held a joint exercise in the Black Sea with the Romanian navy as part of the alliance’s collective security program in the region.
- NATO Ships Returning to Mediterranean After Black Sea Exercises Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The training included anti-air and anti-surface warfare tactics, ship handling maneuvers, communication drills, live fire gunnery exercises and simulated air-defense exercises.
- Massive Military Drills Near Russian Border Not Provocation - Armed Forces Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- For the past 10 days, Norway has conducted its largest military exercise in decades in the northern Finnmark region. Norway suspended all its military cooperation with Moscow in March 2014.
- NATO voices concern over Russian drills amid increased activity near its borders TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- NATO on Wednesday expressed 'serious concern' over snap checks of the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces despite the alliance's growing military activity in Eastern Europe close to Russia's borders.
- No response to Russian drills from NATO ships in Black Sea – source TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- NATO ships in the Black Sea have not reacted to Russian maneuvers held as part of the ongoing strategic command and staff exercise, a source at the Black Sea headquarters said on Wednesday.
- Russia conducts naval drill in Baltic Sea Press TV 18 Mar 2015 -- Russia is conducting a defense drill in the Baltic Sea, involving more than 20 vessels from the country’s Baltic Fleet, as part of the Russian Northern Fleet exercises.
- Over 20 Russian Baltic Fleet Ships Involved in Naval Drills Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- More than 20 ships from the Russian Baltic Fleet are conducting defense drills, the press service of Russia's Western Military District announced in a Wednesday statement.
- Moscow Deploys Attack Helicopters to Kuban for Strategic Exercises Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- A combined squadron of 10 Mi-8 (Hip) and Mi-24H (Hind) helicopters has been deployed to the Krymsk Airbase in Russia's southern Krasnodar Region for strategic exercises, the Southern Military District's press service said Wednesday.
- Russian Airborne Forces Division Relocated to Arctic Amid Drills Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- A division of Russian Airborne Forces has been relocated from Ivanovo to the Arctic amid ongoing snap combat readiness drills in the country, the Defense Ministry said.
- Russian airborne troops land in two Arctic areas within combat readiness snap check TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- Reconnaissance units of the Ivanovo grouping of Airborne Forces during a snap combat readiness check have made air landing in two Arctic areas, Russian Defense Ministry's press service said on Wednesday.
- Russian Navy Starts Battle Drills in Barents Sea – Defense Ministry Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The Russian defense ministry announced that the country's Navy has started battle drills in the Barents Sea as a part of Russian Northern Fleet snap drills that will last until March 21.
- Russian Warships Hold Air Defense Drills in Barents Sea – Defense Ministry Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The Russian Defense Ministry announced that about 10 Russian warships led by the Admiral Ushakov torpedo boat have conducted air defense exercises in the Barents Sea as part of the snap Northern Fleet combat readiness drills.
- Defense minister: Russia promptly builds up troops' capabilities in Arctic, Crimea, Baltic TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- The Russian Armed Forces have promptly built up the combat capabilities of its groups in the Arctic, Crimea, and the Baltic region, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.
- Chief of Russian General Staff checks readiness of naval strategic nuclear forces TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, has inspected the readiness of the country's naval strategic nuclear forces, the Defense Ministry's press service said on Wednesday. He has inspected the Northern Fleet's Gadzhiyevo submarine base and boarded a nuclear submarine of Project 667BDRM.
- Large-scale military drills held across Russia TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- Military exercises and combat readiness checks are under way in many Russian regions.
- Central Russia's special task forces on combat alert amid drills TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- Special task forces from Russia's Central Military District as well as army forces and aviation, deployed in the Volga area, Urals and in the West Siberia, were put on combat alert as part of the ongoing strategic command and staff exercise, a statement of the military district said on Wednesday.
- Russian Black Sea Fleet marines put on full combat alert for drills TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- Units of the marine corps deployed near the town of Temryuk in south Russia's Krasnodar Territory have been put on full combat alert as part of strategic command and post exercises, the Russian Defense Ministry reported Wednesday.
- US Intelligence Disproves Media Reports of Nuclear Weapons in Crimea Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- US media reports about alleged movement of Russian tactical nuclear weapons into Crimea are ungrounded, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey told Congress.
- Russian Northern Fleet's Nuclear Forces Hold Snap Drills Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- As part of the check, Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov visited one of the fleet's six Delta IV-class ballistic missile submarines.
- Spotlight: No need to make a fuss about China's arms exports People's Daily 18 Mar 2015 -- Following the United States and Russia, the world's two largest arms exporter, with a big margin, China has been ranked third by a Stockholm-based research institute.
- Chinese army strengthens corruption clean-up in staff housing People's Daily 18 Mar 2015 -- The army must guarantee the welfare and interests of officers and soldiers while cleaning up corruption in staff housing projects, said Central Military Commission vice chairman Fan Changlong on Tuesday.
- Foreigners Keep Eagle Eye on Iran-Made Destroyer - Commander Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- Foreign states are working hard to gather information about Iran’s recently launched state-of-the-art destroyer, a senior Iranian Navy commander said.
- Indian Air Force to Use Russian-Indian Missile by 2016 Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The short-range supersonic BrahMos cruise missile was jointly developed by Russia and India and has been in use by the Indian Navy since 2005.
- BrahMos Missile to Enter Service in Indian Air Forces in 2016 Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- A further 10 tests will be conducted by the end of the year. In May, a test flight with the launching system for the missile will be held.
- India Refuses to Negotiate With France on Rafale Jets Price Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- Earlier, Indian media reported that New Delhi might pull out of the $20-billion deal with Dassault on the acquisition of 126 Rafale fighters over high costs and the company's refusal to guarantee the performance of Rafales produced in India.
- Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Josh Earnest en route Cleveland, OH, 3/18/15 The White House 18 Mar 2015
- March 18, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 18 Mar 2015
- DoD News: Contracts for March 18, 2015
- Russia can sign contract for 4 missile boats for Vietnam in 2015 – manufacturer TASS 18 Mar 2015 -- The contract for construction of four Project 12418 missile boats for Vietnam may be signed in 2015, Oleg Belkov, the director general of the Vympel shipyard, told TASS at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2015).
- 18 March 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 18 Mar 2015
- Putin Addresses Rally Marking 1st Anniversary of Crimea Annexation VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- President Vladimir Putin addressed a rally in Moscow Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, saying that any attempt from abroad to make life difficult for his country is a 'futile pursuit.'
- Russia Celebrates Crimea Takeover As Criticism Mounts RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Crimea is not just a territory, but the source of Russia's "historical origins" and its "spirituality and statehood."
- Amnesty International Slams Annexed Crimea's Pro-Russia Regime RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Amnesty International says the de facto authorities in Crimea have failed to investigate a series of abductions and torture of their critics since the violence that led to Russia's mostly unrecognized annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine a year ago.
- Russia, Rebels Say Kyiv Violates Ukraine Peace Deal RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Ukrainian legislation on the status of rebel-held eastern regions is a "glaring violation" of a European-brokered peace deal signed last month in Minsk.
- Parliament Speaker Signs List of Donbas Regions to Receive Special Status Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The list of districts and cities within the eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's republics to receive a special status has been confirmed and signed by the country's parliament speaker.
- Better Late Than Never: Kiev Withdraws All Heavy Arms in Donbas - Minister Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- Kiev has withdrawn all of its heavy artillery from the line of contact in eastern Ukraine in accordance to the Minsk agreements, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said Wednesday.
- Kurdish fighters repel ISIL attack on north Iraqi town Press TV 18 Mar 2015 -- Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces have managed to thwart an offensive by members of the Takifiri ISIL militant group against a town in the country’s northwestern province of Nineveh.
- Iraqi Militias Destroy Civilians' Homes Following Operation Against ISIL Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- According to a report made by Human Rights Watch, Iraqi military forces, alongside pro-government militias destroyed residential and business buildings in 30 of 35 examined villages in northern Iraq.
- Syrian aid groups seek greater role IRIN 18 Mar 2015 -- Local NGOs and diaspora groups involved in frontline aid delivery in Syria want more recognition from the wider humanitarian community as well as the chance to access direct funding, rather than working merely as silent implementers for international NGOs.
- Syria shot down US drone on suspicion of spying: Military source SpuThe Syrian air defenses recently shot down a US drone on suspicion that the unmanned aerial vehicle was snooping around an area where the ISIL Takfiri terrorists are not present, a military source says.BUG: the mark does not exist in the description file
- After Israel's elections, what prospects for Middle East peace process? IRIN 18 Mar 2015 -- Shortly before Israel's elections on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that as long as he remained in power there would be no independent Palestinian state.
- Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the so-called treaty between the Russian Federation and the South Ossetia region of Georgia NATO 18 Mar 2015
- Russia signs alliance treaty with South Ossetia Press TV 18 Mar 2015 -- Russia has signed an alliance and integration deal with Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia amid tensions with the West over the crisis in Ukraine.
- Putin Signs Pact With Breakaway Georgian Region RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a pact with a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Georgia, despite condemnation by Tbilisi and the West.
- Russian, South Ossetian Presidents Sign Treaty on Cooperation, Integration Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The presidents of Russia and the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia signed on Wednesday a treaty on cooperation and integration between the two states.
- Joint probe crucial to ease tension at Myanmar border People's Daily 18 Mar 2015 -- A joint investigation has been launched into a bombing incident by a Myanmese warplane which killed five Chinese civilians and injured eight in China's Southwest Yunnan Province last Friday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Monday.
- Troops stationed on China-Myanmar border after bombing incident People's Daily 18 Mar 2015 -- According to Sina Weibo account "guo gan zui xin zhan kuang(which means "latest actions in Kokang" in English)", the Chinese army and air force dispatched missile units and fighter jets to Lincang, a city situated on the border, on Sunday.
- South Sudan president rejects power-sharing deal with rebels Press TV 18 Mar 2015 -- South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has rejected a proposed power-sharing deal with rebels aimed at putting an end to 15 months of civil war in the country.
- Serbia Makes Arrests in 1995 Srebrenica Massacre RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Police in Serbia have arrested seven men suspected of involvement in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the country's first arrests alleging direct participation in the massacre of Muslims in the town in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- Nigerian Army Chief: No Sign of Chibok Girls VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- The Nigerian army says it has found no clues to the whereabouts of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped last year by Boko Haram, despite the retaking of many towns from the militant group.
- EU May Announce Extension Of Russia Sanctions RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- EU leaders are pondering whether to prolong economic sanctions against Russia when they meet in Brussels on March 19.
- Netanyahu's Decisive Win Draws Partisan US Response VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu savors his party's decisive victory in parliamentary elections, U.S. lawmakers are reacting along party lines while analysts are more circumspect.
- Netanyahu's Likud Wins Israeli Election RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud Party has scored a surprising victory in the country's election.
- Netanyahu's Likud Party Emerges as Election Winner VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party emerged as the clear leader in Israel's parliamentary elections early Wednesday as he seeks a fourth term in office.
- Tunisia Museum Standoff Ends; Death Toll Climbs to 19 VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- Gunmen opened fire at one of the Tunisian capital's top tourism sites on Wednesday in an attack that left 21 people dead, mainly foreign visitors.
- UN officials condemn deadly attack on Tunisia's Bardo Museum UN News 18 Mar 2015 -- Senior United Nations officials have condemned today's attack against the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital which resulted in a number of deaths, and voiced solidarity with the Government and people of the North African nation.
- 19 people killed in attack on Tunis museum: Prime Minister Press TV 18 Mar 2015 -- At least 19 people, including 17 foreign tourists, have been killed in an armed attack on Tunisia's leading museum in the capital, Tunis, which is adjacent to the parliament.
- Foreign Fighters Flock to Syria With Trivial Knowledge of Islam Sputnik 18 Mar 2015 -- The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly has heard evidence that up to 20,000 foreign fighters have joined the conflict in Syria on a scale never seen before in any previous conflict in the world, many of whom have a "superficial" knowledge of Islam.
- Zarif, Kerry continue talks on Wednesday ISNA 18 Mar 2015 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the US Secretary of State John Kerry would resume talks on Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Salehi: We agree on 90 percent of technical issues ISNA 18 Mar 2015 -- Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran and the G5+1 have reached an agreement on 90 percent of technical issues regarding Iranian nuclear program.
- The Warlord Checkmates The Tsar RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- Has Ramzan Kadyrov successfully blackmailed the Kremlin? In all the hoopla over Vladimir Putin resurfacing, a pretty important news item managed to slip below the radar.
- Sweden: One-Third Of Russian Diplomats Are Spies RFE/RL 18 Mar 2015 -- BUSweden's intelligence service SAPO has accused Russia of conducting extensive espionage operations on Swedish territory.
- Liberians Worry Ebola Could Return From Guinea, Sierra Leone VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- When the rate of Ebola infections in Liberia reached zero, the government decided to reopen its borders to its West African neighbors still fighting the disease.
- UN rights expert urges Myanmar authorities to address signs of backtracking UN News 18 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country's authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process "before they undermine the success achieved so far."
- UN: Myanmar Backtracking on Human Rights VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- The U.N. Special Investigator on the situation in Myanmar said she sees worrying signs of backtracking by the government on key human rights issues. In her first report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Yanghee Lee documents crackdowns on freedom of expression, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities and other cases of human rights violations and abuse.
- China to send over 40 spacecraft in 20 launches in 2015 People's Daily 18 Mar 2015 -- Chinese space authorities have announced plans to launch more than 40 different spacecraft into orbit this year.
- Insurgency, Corruption, Oil Prices Challenge Incumbent Jonathan's Reelection Bid VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- To say it hasn't been an easy four years for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan would be an understatement.
- In Fourth Bid, Presidency is Closer Than Ever For Former Military Leader Buhari VOA 18 Mar 2015 -- For Muhammadu Buhari, the March 28 elections may be the best chance to regain the power he held in the 1980s, and has tried repeatedly to get back ever since.
- In Nigeria, UN political chief hails 'noteworthy' progress as country prepares to vote UN News 18 Mar 2015 -- Nigeria has made "noteworthy" progress in the preparations for the upcoming elections, the top United Nations political official said today, as he wrapped up a visit to the country, whose citizens will head to the polls beginning on 28 March.
- Haiti making 'measurable gains' towards 2015 elections, UN envoy tells Security Council UN News 18 Mar 2015 -- The Government of Haiti has made progress towards the holding of elections critical for the country's stability and development, the top United Nations official in the Caribbean nation told the Security Council today.
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