31 March 2017 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
- OIF / OND / OEF / OIR / OFS Casualty Update 31 Mar 2017[PDF]
- Strikes Continue Against ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq AFPS 31 Mar 2017 -- U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting 18 strikes consisting of 66 engagements against ISIS targets yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
- US-led Coalition Boosting Airfield Capabilities in Syria VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- With the capture of a strategic airfield in northern Syria this week from Islamic State, U.S.-backed forces and the American military have access to five air installations in the region, a network that can prove decisive in the fight against Islamic State, according to U.S. officials and analysts.
- US Reviewing Recommendations to Send More Troops to Afghanistan - Mattis Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The United States is reviewing the recommendations to send more troops to Afghanistan, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.
- Mattis Says U.S. Concerned By Russia's Actions In Afghanistan RFE/RL 31 Mar 2017 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has expressed concern over Russia's activities in Afghanistan and its interaction with the Taliban militant group.
- Trump Authorizes Pre-Emptive Somalia Airstrikes in Latest US Military Escalation Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- US President Donald Trump has ramped up US military operations in Somalia, authorizing pre-emptive airstrikes against the terror group al-Shabaab. Less than three months into his presidency, President Trump has also increased the US involvement in conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
- Trump OKs Broader Airstrikes in Somalia; Experts Urge Caution VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- In Washington, the Pentagon announced Thursday that President Donald Trump has given it more authority to launch airstrikes in Somalia to attack al-Shabab.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Defence Secretary welcomes US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to the UK for the first time UK MOD 31 Mar 2017 -- Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has hosted Jim Mattis on his first visit to the UK as US Secretary of Defense.
- In London, Mattis Discusses Security Concerns, Highlights U.S.-U.K. Ties AFPS 31 Mar 2017 -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed security concerns with his British counterpart here today, and praised the enduring relationship between the U.S. and the United Kingdom in defending freedom and shared values.
- Joint Press Conference with Secretary Mattis and Secretary Fallon in London, England DoD 31 Mar 2017-- Presenter: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis; U.K. Secretary of State for Defense Sir Michael Fallon
- Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions AFPS 31 Mar 2017 -- North Korea is moving in a "very reckless manner" with its nuclear and missile programs, while Russian activities in Afghanistan are also of concern to the United States, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said here today as he discussed cooperation and security concerns with his British counterpart.
- Stratcom Commander Makes Case for Modernizing Nuclear Triad AFPS 31 Mar 2017 -- Nuclear capabilities are the bedrock of American defense and will remain so, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said at the Military Reporters and Editors annual meeting here today.
- SecAF nominee testifies before Congress AFNS 31 Mar 2017 -- Heather Wilson testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during her confirmation hearing for secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2017.
- Army strategizing for holistic change, not just new tech Army News 31 Mar 2017 -- Developing technology for a new combat vehicle or other gear should not be the sole focus as the Army prepares for future warfare, according to the head of the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence.
- Installation heads link thoughtful BRAC round to cost savings Army News 31 Mar 2017 -- About 22 percent of installation facilities across the Army are excess, according to J. Randall Robinson, acting assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.
- 31st MEU completes CERTEX USMC News 31 Mar 2017 -- Marines and Sailors with 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit completed Certification Exercise 17.1 at various locations around Okinawa, Japan, March 28, 2017, as a part of the 31st MEU's 17.1 Spring Patrol.
- Marines Take Possession of New State-Of-The-Art Radar USMC News 31 Mar 2017 -- Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, a global security company that provides systems, products, and solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide, presented its new AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar or G/ATOR at a receiving ceremony March 29, 2017, at its facility in Baltimore.
- US, Iraq, Kuwait Conduct First Trilateral Exercise in Northern Arabian Gulf NNS 31 Mar 2017 -- The trilateral exercise, the first of its kind since 2011, is part of the overall mission to strengthen solid regional partnerships in the mutual defense of the maritime domain in the Northern Arabian Gulf. The U.S.-Iraq-Kuwait trilateral exercise is a quarterly exercise that serves to develop the proficiency of all participating forces to work together in support of regional safety and security.
- Opening NATO Liaison Office in Moldova 'Unacceptable' - President Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Opening of NATO's Liaison Office in Chisinau is "unacceptable" as it may negatively affect the situation with the development of relations between Moldova and the breakaway republic of Transnistria, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said Friday.
- Secretary General: transatlantic bond is vital for Europe and North America NATO 31 Mar 2017 -- NATO Foreign Ministers had talks on Friday (31 March 2017) about fairer burden sharing in the Alliance, NATO's response to terrorism and its united approach to Russia.
- Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the meetings of NATO Foreign Ministers NATO 31 Mar 2017
- UK secretary asks NATO states to increase military spending Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has called on all NATO members to commit to increase military spending every year.
- Tillerson tells NATO allies to make spending boost plans Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on NATO allies to step up their contributions to the Western alliance's budget by the end of 2017.
- Tillerson Urges NATO Allies To Make Spending Boost Plans RFE/RL 31 Mar 2017 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged NATO allies to boost defense spending or come up with plans to reach the alliance's budget targets.
- Tillerson: NATO Allies Must Boost Their Defense Budgets VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meeting with his NATO allies' counterparts, said Friday in Brussels that they must increase their countries' defense budgets.
- Russia Signs Military Units Inclusion Agreement With South Ossetia Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Russian and South Ossetian defense ministers, Army Gen. Sergei Shoigu and Lt. Gen. Ibragim Gasseyev on Friday signed an intergovernmental agreement on the inclusion of some of South Ossetian military units into the Russian Armed Forces.
- Russian Arctic Military Infrastructure to Be Fully Developed by 2020 Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Russia's military infrastructure in the Arctic will be fully developed by 2020, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry's conference call Friday.
- Russia Floats Out 2nd Yasen-Class Project 885 Submarine Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Russia's second upgraded Yasen-class project 885M submarine, the Kazan, has been floated out at the Sevmash shipbuilder in northwestern Russia, a Sputnik correspondent reported Friday.
- NATO and Japan provide Ukraine with rehabilitation pool for wounded soldiers NATO 31 Mar 2017 -- On Friday (31 March 2017), NATO, in collaboration with Japan, officially opened a new rehabilitation pool at the Ukrainian Research Institute for Prosthesis Design, Prosthetic Building and Work Ability Rehabilitation in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
- NATO delivers counter-IED equipment to Iraq NATO 31 Mar 2017 -- NATO delivered and demonstrated 160 sets of counter-IED equipment to Iraq's Ministry of Interior on Sunday (26 March 2017).
- Second carrier nears launch People's Daily 31 Mar 2017 -- China's first domestically built aircraft carrier is being outfitted with equipment and the work is progressing smoothly, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday.
- Norway Acquires 'Anti-Russian' US Patrol Aircraft, Keeps Mum About Price Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Norwegian government has signed a contract for the purchase of five US P8 Poseidon patrol aircraft with the intention to keep a closer eye on Russia's submarine activity in the north. However, both the total purchase purchase and the operational cost are kept secret.
- Czech Republic Unveils Revamped L-159 Attack Aircraft After Production Reboot Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Czech Republic's Aero Vodochody aircraft company has unveiled its first upgraded Aero L-159 ALCA light attack jet after an almost 15-year pause in production, local media said Friday.
- DPRK reaffirms strategy to develop nuclear strike capability to foil U.S. ambition People's Daily 31 Mar 2017 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has reaffirmed its strategy to develop a nuclear strike capability to foil the U.S. ambition to annex it and "reduce all Koreans to modern-day slaves," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Friday.
- North Korea has got to be stopped: Pentagon chief Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- US Defense Secretary James Mattis warns that North Korea "has got to be stopped" on its path toward being able to threaten the United States with nuclear attack.
- Saudi Arabia, Sudan hold joint aerial drills amid war on Yemen Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- The Saudi and Sudanese air forces have staged joint wargames in Sudan to boost their military capabilities amid their ongoing war against Yemen.
- India to Purchase of 100 Self-Propelled Howitzers With 50 Percent Localization Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Indian government has approved a $ 631 million self-propelled howitzer deal under the Make in India program. Indian firm L&T will make a variant of a South Korean howitzer locally.
- Indian Navy, Coast Guard to Receive Advanced Helicopters Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Narendra Modi government has cleared a $1.2Bln proposal to purchase 32 Dhruv helicopters from government-owned HAL. The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard will get 16 choppers each.
- Poland Expects Contract to Buy Eight Patriot Missile Systems by Year-End - MoD Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Poland will purchase of eight Patriot anti-ballistic missile batteries by the end of 2017, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Friday.
- Poland Mulls Adding Australian Warships to Naval Fleet Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- As part of an ongoing push to improve its armed forces, the Polish parliament is considering adding a pair of frigates from Down Under.
- Finns Mull Co-Housing Male, Female Conscripts to Boost Equality, Morale Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- As the number of women applying for voluntary military service grows in Finland, the Armed Forces feel pressurized to change their routines. Finland has considered accommodating male and female conscripts together in shared cabins to boost equality.
- 31 March 2017 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 31 Mar 2017
- 'No Such Thing': Beijing Balks at Island Construction in South China Sea Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Chinese Defense Ministry rejects the notion that man-made islands are a real fixture in the South China Sea, alleging there is "no such thing" via a spokesman on Thursday.
- Analysts: China Will be Able to Police Rival Countries in Disputed Sea VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- China's near completion of artificial islets and combat aircraft facilities in the Spratly Islands will give it extra power to make other countries keep out of the widely disputed South China Sea or get Chinese permission to use it, analysts say.
- Yemeni civilians killed in separate Saudi airstrikes Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Nine Yemeni civilians have been killed during Saudi airstrikes on residential areas in the provinces of Sa'ada and Sana'a as the civilian casualties of Riyadh's military campaign keep growing.
- Turkish minister says other military operations possible in Syria Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Turkey has not ruled out the possibility of yet another military intervention in war-torn Syria despite officially announcing the completion of a months-long offensive in the Arab country, claiming that the end of a military operation does not mean that "threats" against Ankara have been eliminated.
- Turkey to Continue Efforts in Syria to Ensure National Security - General Staff Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Turkey will continue its efforts to ensure its national security in Syria, despite the end of the Euphrates Shield operation, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement obtained by Sputnik on Friday.
- Daesh Tries to Bait US-Led Coalition Into Damaging Syria's Tabqa Dam Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- Daesh terrorist group has attempted to bait the US-led coalition into damaging the Tabqa dam in the vicinity of the Syrian city of Raqqa, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesperson Col. Joseph Scrocca told Sputnik on Friday.
- Syrian Army Advances in Hama, Liberates 16 Villages in Past 24 Hours Sputnik 31 Mar 2017 -- The Syrian government forces have gained control over 16 settlements in the north of the Hama province in the past 24 hours, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Friday.
- Over 2,000 terrorists killed in clashes with Syrian army near Hama: Report Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Heavy clashes are underway between the Syrian army and Takfiri militants near the western city of Hama where about 2,200 terrorists have been killed in less than a week, the official SANA news agency says.
- Incremental progress but 'we're not yet there,' UN mediator on Syria reports UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- The latest round of the United Nations-facilitated intra-Syrian talks concluded today in Geneva where UN envoy Staffan de Mistura told journalists the discussions had been serious and the parties engaged, but "we're not yet there."
- Washington Takes Focus Off Syrian Regime Change VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- The battle to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to be over - at least as far as the Trump administration is concerned.
- UN chief voices support for Iraq fight against Daesh terrorists Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- UN chief Antonio Guterres has voiced support for Iraq's ongoing fight against Daesh in the face of a humanitarian crisis following the months-long operation to recapture the strategic city of Mosul.
- In Iraq, UN chief Guterres urges more support for those who have 'suffered enormously' UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- Highlighting the lack of resources for United Nations programmes assisting those displaced by the fighting in Iraq's Mosul Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to do more to help the people who have "suffered enormously and go on suffering."
- Rebels Vow to Stop South Sudan Oil Production VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- The main rebel group in South Sudan is threatening to disrupt oil production in the country, a day after it released three foreign oil workers it kidnapped earlier in the month.
- South Sudan govt. troops blamed for torching village homes: Report Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- South Sudan's government troops destroyed thousands of homes in late 2016 as a three-year civil war continues in the country.
- DR Congo: Security Council extends peacekeeping mandate, but reduces troop strength UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops.
- Approval of Somalia's new cabinet a 'green light for action,' says UN envoy UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- Welcoming the Somali Federal Parliament's approval of a new cabinet, the United Nations envoy for the country expressed hope that the new Government will be able to address the challenges confronting the Horn of Africa nation.
- Israel's New Planned Settlements Stir Emotions VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- Israel's planned new major settlement is stirring emotions both among Israelis and Palestinians.
- Guterres voices 'disappointment and alarm' after latest Israeli settlement announcement UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, voicing concern about the latest decision to build a new settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
- UN chief Guterres welcomes announcement of adherence to ceasefire in eastern Ukraine UN News 31 Mar 2017 -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed yesterday's announcement of an agreement on adherence to a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, by 1 April, and on the disengagement of forces and hardware in Stanytsia Luhanska by 6 April.
- Trump Says Flynn Right To Seek Immunity, Calls Russia Probe 'Witch-Hunt' RFE/RL 31 Mar 2017 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has backed an offer by his former national security adviser to testify about his contacts with Russia in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution.
- White House Sends Mixed Messages About Flynn's Immunity Request in Russian Probes VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- The White House sent mixed messages Friday about former national security adviser Michael Flynn's conditional offer to cooperate with congressional investigators looking into contacts between President Donald Trump's campaign advisers and Russia.
- Trump Administration Appeals Latest Travel Order Stay VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- The Trump administration is appealing the stay placed on President Donald Trump's executive order banning entry to people from six majority-Muslim countries and halting refugee admissions.
- Scotland makes formal request to UK for independence referendum Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- The Scottish government has formally asked UK Prime Minister Theresa May to allow it hold a second independence referendum following the beginning of Britain's exit process from the European Union.
- Turkish prosecutors seek life sentences for 45 coup suspects Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Prosecutors in Turkey seek life sentences for more than 40 people stationed at an air base outside Ankara, from where plotters allegedly led the attempted coup of July 15, 2016.
- Powerful Bomb in Northwest Pakistan Kills 22, Wounds Dozens VOA 31 Mar 2017 -- Officials in Pakistan say a powerful bomb Friday ripped through a busy market in a northwestern tribal town on the Afghan border, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 50 others.
- Malaysia, North Korea reach agreement in Kim's killing row Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Malaysia and North Korea have lifted mutual bans on nationals from each country leaving the other as part of an agreement that ends a bitter row following the assassination of the North Korean leader's exiled half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.
- Arrest warrant approved against South Korea's ex-president Park Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- South Korea's embattled former president Park Geun-hye has been incarcerated at a detention center following a court decision to approve a warrant for her arrest.
- Vucic's Bid To Cement Power In Serbia Raises Concerns Ahead Of Presidential Vote RFE/RL 31 Mar 2017 -- In the late 1990s, Aleksandar Vucic stood behind President Slobodan Milosevic as rump Yugoslavia's information minister. Now he is poised to become Serbia's most powerful leader since the late strongman relinquished power in 2000.
- In Armenia, Unprecedented Outreach Ahead Of Elections RFE/RL 31 Mar 2017 -- Centrist opposition leader Nikol Pashinian stands outside an office building in western Yerevan's Malatia-Sebastia neighborhood, megaphone in hand, to take his criticism of the current government to the streets.
- Venezuela's attorney general condemns 'violations' of constitution Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Venezuela's attorney general has publicly criticized the country's Supreme Court following its removal of the immunity of lawmakers and seizing the legislative powers of the parliament after ruling that the legislature was in contempt.
- Venezuela's Supreme Court takes over legislative functions of parliament Press TV 31 Mar 2017 -- Venezuela's Supreme Court has taken over the legislative functions of the country's parliament after ruling that the legislature is in contempt of court.
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