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Death of militant involved in USS Cole bombing confirmed
A U.S. military spokesman confirms that an American airstrike killed an al-Qaida operative accused of involvement in the attack nearly two decades ago on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.

The man targeted, Jamal al-Badawi, was wanted for his role in the attack on Oct. 12, 2000.

The spokesman for U.S. Central Command, Navy Capt. William Urban, says the military has confirmed through "a deliberate assessment process" that al-Badawi was killed on Jan. 1 in the strike east of Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

President Donald Trump tweets that "Our GREAT MILITARY has delivered justice for the heroes lost and wounded in the cowardly attack on the USS Cole."
 
War has eroded decision-making confidence of young leaders, GEN says
Young Army leaders are suffering from America’s long wars spent building partner forces, the commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command said Monday.

Conflicts in the Middle East, where the Army has spent significant time in an advise-and-assist role for local forces, has sapped officers and enlisted alike of their confidence in making tough choices in battle, Gen. Stephen Townsend told reporters at an event hosted by the Association of the United States Army.

Townsend said he noticed the problem during briefings on the service’s mission command doctrine, which is designed to help troops on the ground adjust their original plan in combat without contacting senior leaders.

“I want you smart enough to realize the plan I gave you will not work," Townsend said of the concept. "Then I want you smart enough to come up with a plan that will work ... even if you can’t talk to me.”

“In today’s environment, with near-peer adversaries, they’re going to jam us, they’re going to spoof our C2 [command and control] systems," he said. "You might think your C2 system is working, but the icons are not showing the true grids. They’re showing what the enemy wants you to see. So, how do you work that problem? You do it with mission command.”
 
Army Football Season Recap:

One For the History Books

 
To say this was a good season for the Army football team would be quite the understatement:

  • 11 wins for the first time in school history
  • Back-to-back 10 win seasons for the first time in school history
  • The first 1000/1000 QB in school history
  • Back-to-back CiC trophies with wins over Air Force and Army
  • Undefeated at Michie Stadium
  • Ranked in the top 25 for the first time in over two decades with a nearly guaranteed top 20 finish on tap
  • An utter demolishing of Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl to cap it all off
 
Mattis leaving in February
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will step down from his position early next year, President Donald Trump announced Thursday evening.

“General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years,” Trump tweeted.

Trump touted the “tremendous progress” that has been made during Mattis’ tenure at the helm of the Defense Department and thanked Mattis for his service.

Trump said a successor “will be named shortly.”

Trump announced Mattis’ exit a day after his plans to withdraw troops from Syria became public, a decision that Mattis and the President’s other top national security advisers opposed.

In a resignation letter from Mattis, Mattis said his views don’t “align” with the President’s.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis wrote in his letter.
 
 
U.S. Army looks for a few good robots, sparks industry battle
The Army is looking for a few good robots. Not to fight — not yet, at least — but to help the men and women who do.

These robots aren't taking up arms, but the companies making them have waged a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the work has spilled over into Congress and federal court.

The project and others like it could someday help troops "look around the corner, over the next hillside and let the robot be in harm's way and let the robot get shot," said Paul Scharre, a military technology expert at the Center for a New American Security.
 
Withdrawal A Serious Blow to Afghan forces’ morale
The Taliban welcomed the news of the U.S. plan to withdraw half its troops in Afghanistan by the summer, while Afghan generals warned Friday it would be a blow to the morale of the country’s beleaguered security forces, who come under daily attacks from the insurgent fighters.

The announcement seems certain to complicate efforts to reach a peace deal, mostly because it gives the Taliban leverage by allowing them to hold off until a total U.S. withdrawal, or step up their demands over a weakened Afghan government.

"I believe the Taliban will see this as a reason to stall, and therefore it disincentivizes the Taliban to actually talk to the Afghan government, which it has refused to do," said Bill Roggio an Afghanistan analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
 
 
Pentagon withdrawing 7,000 troops from Afghanistan
President Donald Trump has directed the Pentagon to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in coming months, with an eye towards ending the 17-year deployment of American forces there, a U.S. official confirmed to Military Times.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that more than 7,000 service members will begin returning from Afghanistan in coming weeks, per a White House order. The move comes just a day after Trump signaled plans to remove all U.S. forces from Syria, declaring that “We have won against ISIS.”

The U.S. official said there is no timeline set for the return of the troops.

The news also comes on the same day as the announced resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who said he is leaving the administration so Trump can find a military leader “whose views are better aligned with yours.”
 
1,300 disabled vets being billed by VA
Approximately 1,300 disabled veterans were overpaid thousands of dollars under a Veterans Affairs Department education benefits program last year and now must figure out a way to pay that money back.

Why? Mostly because staff at VA regional offices didn’t check emails, a recent investigation by the VA Office of Inspector General has found.

The overpayments happened during the 2016-2017 academic year under the VA’s second-largest education program, Dependents’ Educational Assistance, which pays up to $1,224 for schooling per month to spouses and children of totally and permanently disabled veterans or deceased service members.

 
LTC Anne McClain. USMA 2002 ,GO for launch on Soyuz MS-11

LTC Anne McClain. USMA 2002, Launch is scheduled for tomorrow (Dec. 3) at 6:31 a.m. Eastern Time. If you would like to give McClain a shout-out of encouragement you can post something using her official Twitter: @AstroAnnimal

You can watch the launch, and later hatch-opening ceremony (2:35 p.m. Eastern Time), live on NASA TV's Youtube page using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwMDvPCGeE0
 
 
 
Three special operations troops killed by IED in Afghanistan

CPT Andrew Ross, USMA 2011 among those killed.

Capt. Andrew Ross, from left, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Emond, both Green Berets with 3rd Special Forces Group, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, were killed Nov. 27, 2018, when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in Andar, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. (DoD)


The Department of Defense on Wednesday released the identities of three U.S. special operations troops killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.

Two Army Green Berets and an Air Force combat controller were killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in the eastern Afghan province of Ghazni.

The two Army Special Forces soldiers were Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia, and Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington. The two were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“Andrew and Eric were invaluable members and leaders in 3rd Special Forces Group and the special operations community. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these brave men,” Col. Nathan Prussian, 3rd Group commander, said in a statement.

READ MORE...

WP-ORG EULOGY PAGE FOR CPT ROSS  

 
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