19 March 2015 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Casualty Update 19 Mar 2015 [PDF]
- Inherent Resolve Airstrikes Continue in Syria, Iraq AFPS 19 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.
- Central Command Updates Iraq-Syria Target Counts AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- U.S. Central Command officials released an update today on the number of targets hit by the United States and the international coalition in Iraq and Syria since Operation Inherent Resolve began, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters here today.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Department of Defense Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) (As of December 31, 2014) DoD 19 Mar 2015 -- The Department of Defense (DoD) has released details on major defense acquisition program cost, schedule, and performance changes since the December 2013 reporting period. This information is based on the Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) submitted to the Congress for the December 2014 reporting period.
- DOD Announces Departure of Undersecretary Dr. Michael Vickers DoD 19 Mar 2015 -- Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Dr. Michael Vickers notified President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that he will be retiring from federal service, and leave the Department of Defense, effective April 30.
- First Luke F-35 student takes to the sky AFNS 19 Mar 2015 -- The 56th Fighter Wing officially began training new F-35 Lightning II pilots when the first student, Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, the commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, flew the wing's first training sortie March 18.
- Alaska Air Guard Supports CJTF-HOA Rescue Missions AFNS 19 Mar 2015 -- There is a team made entirely of Alaska Air National Guard Airmen, who are trained to take any lead during rescue operations in order to report, locate, support, and recover isolated personnel to save lives by placing others before themselves.
- USAFE, Romanian airmen kick off Dacian Warhawk AFNS 19 Mar 2015 -- More than 100 personnel and six F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at Campia Turzii, Romania, to kick off a bilateral Romanian and Air Force training event March 10-27.
- Air Force funds research for remotely piloted aircraft AFNS 19 Mar 2015 -- Although the development of remotely piloted aircraft began in the 1950s, they are increasingly used by both military and commercial customers and provide a promising new chapter in the history of aviation.
- Commanders Describe Budgetary Needs to Senate Panel AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- In a dynamic and uncertain security environment, sequestration and its associated budget inflexibility are grave threats to national security, three top military commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.
- Missile Budget Cuts Threaten Defense Posture, Officials Say AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- The Oct. 1 return to sequestration-level funding now required by budget law would significantly lower an already austere budget for missile defense, making the nation less secure, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy told Congress today.
- U.S. Marines depart Spain in six hours USMC News 19 Mar 2015 -- U.S. Marines and Sailors with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa conducted a surprise, quick response training exercise launched from Moron Air Base, Spain, and ending aboard Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, March 13-14.
- Norfolk Naval Shipyard Welcomes USS La Jolla for Moored Training Ship conversion NNS 19 Mar 2015 -- Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) recently welcomed USS La Jolla (SSN 701) for conversion from an operational fast-attack submarine into a moored training ship (MTS).
- Army, Air Force Leaders Warn Congress Against Further Cuts AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- With growing threats to both the homeland and global stability, now is not the time to reduce capability and capacity, Army and Air Force leaders told Congress yesterday.
- Guard Leaders Testify on Fiscal Realities, Readiness AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- The nation's investment in the National Guard transformed it into a premier operational force, but sequestration spending cuts scheduled to begin Oct. 1 will create challenges, the chief of the National Guard Bureau said during a congressional hearing this week.
- Army Commander in Europe Details Assurance Efforts AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- Thirteen months after Russia began its occupation of Crimea, the United States and its European allies must remain steadfast against the threat such actions pose, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said here this week.
- Special Operations Leaders Voice Sequestration Concerns AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- Challenges caused by limited resources, fiscal uncertainty and the changing nature of threats have forced the military's special operations forces to operate creatively, the Defense Department's top special operations officials told Congress yesterday.
- Pentagon Prepares to Unveil Better Buying Power 3.0 AFPS 19 Mar 2015 -- Pentagon officials are preparing to unveil the latest version of Better Buying Power, a multibillion-dollar equipment and service-buying program aimed at improving the acquisition process while maintaining the nation's significant technological edge on the battlefield, the department's chief acquisition officer said here yesterday.
- II Marine Expiditionary Force Headquarters Group conducts FEX to ensure proficency USMC News 19 Mar 2015 -- Marines and sailors with II MEF Headquarters Group gathered with various units within II Marine Expeditionary Force to conduct a field exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 12-19, 2015.
- DESRON 7 Completes Sea Combat Commander Training Ahead of Upcoming Warfighting Exercises, CARAT NNS 19 Mar 2015 -- Destroyer Squadron 7 staff completed the Sea Combat Commander (SCC) course taught by instructors from Tactical Training Group, Pacific, March 19.
- NMCB 3 Trains for Airfield Damage Repair NNS 19 Mar 2015 -- Seabees, assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 3's Airfield Damage Repair (ADR) team, took part in a timed and graded training exercise at Port Hueneme Naval Base Ventura County, March 15.
- New 3D-Simulator Generates Training, Expertise on Subs NNS 19 Mar 2015 -- A new diesel generator simulator has been delivered to Pearl Harbor naval facilities by the TechSolutions program at the Office of Naval Research (ONR), officials at ONR announced March 18.
- US Military Says 'Yes' to Buying Israeli-Made Spy Balloon Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- The US military said that they had approved the purchase of the Skystar 180, an Israeli-made surveillance aerostat.
- Sweden to buy new submarines following suspected incursion Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- Sweden says it has decided to order two new submarines in an attempt to reinforce its armed forces months after a futile hunt by Sweden's navy for an alleged mini-sub in the Stockholm archipelago.
- Finnish Foreign Minister Frustrated Over NATO Military Buildup in Baltic Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Erkki Tuomioja voiced his frustration over the buildup of NATO military forces in the Baltic, adding that while he disagrees with elements of Russian security policy, he understands the logic behind it.
- New Russian Plane Will Be Able to Deploy Army Globally in 7 Hours by 2024 Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- Russia plans to build a fleet of supersonic military transport aircraft with an unprecedented payload of 220 tons capable of deploying a full-fledged armored army to anywhere in the world in seven hours, Expert Online reported Thursday.
- Russia's Advanced Combat Gear to Be Equipped With Drone Connectible Kit Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- Russia's state-of-the-art Ratnik (Warrior) infantry combat outfit will be equipped with a special kit to help soldiers connect to drones in order to obtain intelligence data.
- Russian Nuclear Submarines Step Up Patrols Over Past Year - Navy Commander Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- The number of patrols by Russian submarines, including nuclear ones, has risen by 50 percent over the past 15 months, Russian Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.
- Hidden Potential: Russia Builds Two More Submarines Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- The multirole Yasen-class nuclear sub Arkhangelsk and the diesel-electric Lada-class Velikiye Luki have been laid down as part of Submariners' Day celebrations.
- Russia lays down 5th Yasen-class submarine TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- A new-generation nuclear-powered submarine of the Yasen-M project was laid down at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in northern Russia on Thursday.
- Russia starts developing 5th-generation submarines – Navy chief TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- The Russian Navy gave the defense industry an assignment to develop 5th-generation submarines, Navy Chief Viktor Chirkov said on Thursday.
- Russia to upgrade 10 multi-purpose nuclear submarines by 2020 – Navy chief TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- Russia's Zvyozdochka shipyard in the country's northwest and the Zvezda Far Eastern plant will be able to modernize about ten project 971 and project 949A nuclear submarines, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Chirkov said on Thursday.
- Russian Strategic Bombers Conduct Drills in Arctic Circle Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- Russian Tu-95MS bombers have started exercises in Russia's Arctic North to test the combat readiness of the country's air defense alert force.
- Russia's military drills in South Ossetia not linked with alliance treaty – Kremlin TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- Maneuvers at the Russian military base in South Ossetia are not linked with the Treaty on Alliance and Integration, signed on Wednesday, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
- Russia's Su-30 fighters upgraded to carry supersonic cruise missiles TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- Russian Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C) multirole fighter jets are getting an upgrade to carry supersonic cruise missiles. The planes will be modernized both for the Russian Air Force and the Indian military aviation.
- Russia's strategic command and staff drills gain momentum TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- Russia's command and staff exercises are gaining momentum along with a snap check of troops' combat readiness that kicked off on March 16 and will end on March 21.
- Russian army combat readiness check no muscle flexing – Defense Ministry TASS 19 Mar 2015 -- The snap check of combat readiness in Russia's Armed Forces is maximally open and is taking place only in Russian territory, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.
- Chinese naval fleet returns from Somali waters People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- After more than seven months at sea, covering more than 110,000 nautical miles, a Chinese fleet wrapped up its escort mission on Thursday.
- China's arms exports doesn't violate rules People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- Some countries have created an uproar over China's arms trade following the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's report on global arms sales because they have ulterior motives.
- The new US maritime strategy shows its two sides to China People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- On March 13, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Marine Corps released a revised maritime strategy entitled "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower". The document was published in seven languages, including a simplified Chinese version.
- Missile sale to Turkey confirmed People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- China confirmed an agreement to sell the HQ-9 air defense missile system to Turkey on Tuesday, during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition in Malaysia.
- UK sends military trainers to Ukraine to help in fight against militias Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- Britain has sent military personnel to Ukraine to help its army fight against pro-Russian militias in the country's volatile east.
- More Assertive Japan Seen Positively in Washington VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- The security alliance between Japan and the United States is expected to feature prominently in talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama during the Japanese leader's state visit to Washington next month, according to foreign policy experts.
- Defense Minister Says Moldova Must Be Ready To Counter 'Hybrid War' RFE/RL 19 Mar 2015 -- Moldova's defense Minister has said that his country must be prepared to deal with the threats posed by 'hybrid' warfare, a reference to tactics Russia is widely accused of employing in Ukraine.
- March 19, 2015 - U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing US Dept. of State 19 Mar 2015
- 19 March 2015 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 19 Mar 2015
- Ukraine crisis taking heaviest toll on women, children and elderly – UN officials UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- Women, children and the elderly are disproportionately bearing the devastating impact of the protracted conflict in Ukraine, which has left five million people in need of humanitarian assistance, senior United Nations officials said today, as they stressed the "grave and urgent need" to scale up international relief efforts.
- EU: Russian Sanctions Stay Until Ukraine Truce Fully in Place VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- European Union leaders meeting in Brussels said Thursday that they would not lift economic sanctions against Russia until a cease-fire Moscow endorsed last month for war-torn eastern Ukraine was fully implemented.
- Biden, Poroshenko Agree On Russia Sanction Action RFE/RL 19 Mar 2015 -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko have agreed that the future of sanctions against Russia must be linked to the full implementation of a peace agreement reached last month in Minsk.
- ISIL kills 18 members over contacts with Kurdish fighters Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- The Takfiri ISIL militant group has reportedly executed 13 of its own members in Iraq's northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk who contacted Kurdish Peshmerga forces and planned to surrender.
- ICC Should Investigate Crimes Committed in Iraq - UN Sputnik 19 Mar 2015 -- The UN Human Rights Office urged the Security Council to 'address, in the strongest terms, information that points to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes' in Iraq.
- ISIL may have committed genocide, war crimes in Iraq, says UN human rights report UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- A report released today by the United Nations human rights office says that the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in its attacks against ethnic and religious groups in the country.
- UN: IS May Have Committed War Crimes in Iraq VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- A new United Nations report finds the Islamic State (IS) group may be guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The report lists wide-ranging atrocities committed by the IS in Iraq between June 2014 to February 2015.
- Allegations of Chemical Weapons Use in Sarmin, Syria US Dept. of State 19 Mar 2015
- Al-Qaeda claims assassination of top Houthi member Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- A branch of al-Qaeda in Yemen has claimed responsibility for the assassination of a senior member of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement in the capital city of Sana'a.
- Senators McCain, Reed, Corker, and Menendez Send Letter on Chinese Maritime Strategy Senate Committee on Armed Services 19 Mar 2015 -- Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry concerning Chinese maritime strategy and the alarming scope and pace of land reclamation now being conducted by the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea.
- UN envoy outlines progress in DR Congo from 'shattered' country to 'proud nation' UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is unified with a "clear, shared and celebrated" identity, the top United Nations envoy there told the Security Council today, as he briefed on the latest developments in the vast African nation.
- Political vacuum undermines Lebanon's ability to tackle many challenges – Security Council UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- The Security Council voiced its concern at the 10-month stalemate in the election of a president in Lebanon, saying it undermined the country's ability to address the security, economic and social challenges it faces.
- Displaced by Boko Haram, Nigerians Fret as Elections Near VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- When the northeastern Nigeria town of Damboa came underattack by Boko Haram militants last year, thousands fled, seeking refuge in makeshift camps scattered through the region or, if lucky, relatives.
- UN officials say suffering in Nigeria 'immense,' warn of regional humanitarian crisis UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- Amid ongoing fighting between Government forces and Boko Haram insurgents, the effects of the crisis in north-eastern Nigeria are increasingly reverberating across the region, two senior United Nations humanitarian officials said today, as they urged international donors to ramp up financial support for relief efforts.
- Obama Calls Netanyahu, Reaffirms Two-State Solution VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- President Barack Obama telephoned his congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday, two days after the prime minister was reelected to a fourth term.
- Islamic State Claims Attack at Tunisia Museum VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Thursday for the deadly attack on Tunisia's national museum that killed 23 people, mostly foreign tourists.
- Tunisian Parliament Calls Day of Solidarity After Deadly Attack VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Tunisia's parliament called for a day of solidarity after gunmen opened fire at one of the capital's top tourism sites, killing 19 people and wounding more than 40 others.
- France unveils new rules on mass communication surveillance Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- The French prime minister has unveiled a set of phone and internet spying rules against suspected terrorists, saying the country has never faced so great a terrorist threat.
- French Bill Aims to Broaden Surveillance Powers VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Two months after the Paris shootings, and a day after attacks across the Mediterranean Sea in Tunisia, France has unveiled new legislation to eavesdrop on potential jihadists and other terrorist suspects. Some groups are concerned it may threaten civil liberties.
- No nuclear deal unless agreement reached on 'everything': Iran diplomat Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says Tehran and the P5+1 group need to agree "on everything" during their discussions in order to strike a binding comprehensive accord on Tehran's nuclear program.
- Netanyahu: Israel, US Each Other's Greatest Allies VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the United States and Israel are each other's greatest allies and have no choice but to work together.
- Thai Supreme Court Allows Criminal Case Against Former PM VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Thailand's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a criminal case against the country's last elected prime minister could proceed. If convicted, Yingluck Shinawatra could be imprisoned for a decade. Her supporters see this as part of the junta's campaign to permanently eliminate the Shinawatra clan from Thai politics.
- China Voice: China-proposed AIIB is a gift to world People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- As countries continue filing applications to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the eagerness for participation indicates an unmet niche for such a service.
- More EU members to join China-led AIIB bank People's Daily 19 Mar 2015 -- The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, on Tuesday welcomed the planned participation of a number of EU nations in Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
- What terrorism does: Fear and anger for Christians after Pakistan bombs IRIN 19 Mar 2015 -- Fears are running high in the homes of the over 70,000 Christians in Youhanabad, a settlement in Lahore - the capital of Pakistan's populous Punjab province.
- Tajik Leader Calls For 'Secular' Development Concept RFE/RL 19 Mar 2015 -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has called on prominent citizens in the Central Asian nation to outline a long-term 'national development concept' that would establish a 'democratic and secular country based on the rule of law.'
- Obama Urged To Recognize Mass Killings Of Armenians As Genocide RFE/RL 19 Mar 2015 -- Members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution on March 18 urging President Barack Obama to recognize the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman soldiers during World War I as genocide.
- Explainer: Many Winners, But Some Big Losers As Oil Prices Drop RFE/RL 19 Mar 2015 -- The price of oil has fallen 60 percent in less than a year. Earlier this month, it looked as if that collapse might have ended with a brief recovery, but this week prices began slumping once again.
- Guinea reports highest weekly Ebola case total so far this year, new UN data shows UN News 19 Mar 2015 -- The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has reported the highest weekly number of Ebola cases in Guinea so far this year and noted that while transmission was confined to a narrow geographically contiguous arc straddling the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, the population is highly mobile, thus creating a challenge "to prevent the seeding of new outbreaks."
- Beyond the outbreak: leading expert on what the Ebola crisis can teach us IRIN 19 Mar 2015 -- New cases of Ebola are now tailing off in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and research scientists are racing against time to learn as much as possible about what is normally a rare disease. One of those scientists is Dr Jimmy Whitworth, who has just taken up a new post as professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, leading a three year project on epidemics and preparedness.
- Sierra Leone to lockdown 2.5 mn to stem Ebola crisis Press TV 19 Mar 2015 -- Sierra Leone has announced plans to confine nearly 2.5 million of people to their homes across the capital of Freetown as well as in north of the country for three days in a bid to curtail the deadly Ebola epidemic.
- Iran's Influence in Iraq Deeper Than Assumed VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- Just five years ago, the United States was involved in nearly every aspect of Iraq's life, from economic reconstruction to political development to military cooperation. Now, analysts say, regional power broker Iran dominates the Iraqi landscape.
- Iraq Surveys Show Growing Economic Worries VOA 19 Mar 2015 -- New surveys of people across Iraq show growing economic worries, more support for the new prime minister than the previous leader, and continued sharp divisions along sectarian and ethnic lines.
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