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The new Army Combat Fitness Test will not be used as a graduation requirement for soldiers going through initial enlisted and officer training courses in fiscal 2021.
The move brings the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training in line with the rest of the force, where service leadership already said the six-event ACFT scores won’t count until 2022.
Army CIMT spokeswoman Megan Reed said the new policy applies to all soldiers in Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training, One Station Unit Training, Warrant Officer Basic Course and the Basic Officer leader Course.
Soldiers are still challenged to train for and pass the ACFT, but “no adverse administrative actions will be taken” against troops who fail it, Reed explained in an email to Army Times.
Additionally, “scores or comments on performance will not be used administratively during the data collection timeframe,” Reed added.
Dr. Karin A. Orvis released the Annual Suicide Report for calendar year 2019 in a Pentagon press briefing.
The director said the defense department has the responsibility of supporting and protecting those who defend the United States.
“Suicide is a national public health issue affecting people from all walks of life,” she said. “It’s a growing issue that affects all ages.
“The DOD has the responsibility of supporting and protecting those who defend our country,” Orvis said, “and it is imperative that we do everything possible to prevent suicide in our military community.”
Ryan Crocker is a Diplomat in Residence at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He served as Dean of the Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University, until August 2016. He also has had appointments as the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and as the first Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.
He retired from the Foreign Service in April 2009 after a career of more than 37 years but was recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as U.S. Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-12), Iraq (2007-09), Pakistan (2004-07), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-97), and Lebanon (1990-93). He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003. From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he also has had assignments in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, and Egypt, as well as Washington, DC. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.
No, the US military did not mobilize its ‘doomsday planes’ in response to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis
Just before President Donald Trump announced that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, two E-6B Mercury aircraft were detected flying along both the East and West coasts, triggering speculation that the armed forces were preparing for a crisis, but the military said that was not the case.
These aircraft, sometimes referred to as “doomsday planes,” serve as airborne command and communication planes tasked with carrying out the Take Charge and Move Out mission, which involves relaying National Command Authority instructions to the US nuclear ballistic missile force.
Shortly after Trump tweeted that he and Melania were awaiting test results, but before he confirmed that they were positive, Tim Hogan, an open-source-intelligence practitioner, tweeted that E-6Bs were suddenly visible flying along both coasts.
As the questions about President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis and subsequent hospitalization at Walter Reed continue to grow, so too do the challenges facing his understudy, Vice President Mike Pence.
In this extraordinary moment of national crisis, few people have as daunting a set of tasks as Pence. He is first in the line of presidential succession, the man on tap to assume the duties of Commander in Chief if Trump’s condition should worsen. He is preparing to shoulder an increasing number of Trump’s governing and campaigning responsibilities with the President hospitalized. He is getting ready for a vice presidential debate Wednesday against a formidable opponent, with stakes that have soared amid the President’s illness. And he is trying to do all of it with an eye toward his own political future, mindful that his boss reflexively turns on those who grab too much of his spotlight.
So far Pence has acted as though it’s business as usual. The Vice President was given a clean bill of health Friday by White House physician Jesse Schonau, who announced that he had tested negative and was not in danger of exposure to COVID-19. “Vice President Mike Pence does not need to quarantine,” Schonau said in a memo released to reporters. “Vice President Mike Pence remains in good health and is free to go about his normal activities.” He tested negative again on Saturday, according to an aide.
When Hurricane Laura raked Port Arthur, Texas in late August, a group of seven shrimp boat laborers found shelter in a local pool hall.
And when the Category 4 hurricane knocked out electricity, a gas generator was turned on to power the building. But the ventilation inside was far from adequate. The seven people spent all night breathing the odorless gas from the generator, causing severe carbon monoxide poisoning.
Three people were pronounced dead at the scene when police arrived on the morning of Aug. 28, and one was taken to a hospital in Houston. Three others were eventually sent into the care of a joint medical team from the Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center and the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Department at the Brooke Army Medical Center on Fort Sam Houston, near San Antonio.
The hyperbaric chamber operated at that installation is one of the very few on the Gulf Coast that’s open for emergencies, and its medical teams maintain a 24/7-ready status for that purpose.
A new Chinese air force propaganda video appears to use Hollywood movie clips in its depiction of an attack on a target resembling a United States Air Force base.
The 2-minute, 15-second video, titled “The God of War H-6K Goes on the Attack!” was released over the weekend by China’s People Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media site. It highlights the force’s H-6K aircraft, twin-engine jet bombers nicknamed “Gods of War” by the Chinese military.
But eagle-eyed social media users pointed out that some of the explosive aerial footage used appears to be lifted from numerous Hollywood movies, including “The Hurt Locker,” “The Rock” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
The video, which was seen millions of times before the post was taken down on Tuesday, has been mocked by many users for its apparent liberal use of American action movies sequences, with commentators pointing out that the PLAAF’s propaganda is not only fictitious, but likely stolen without credit.
CNN has reached out to China’s Foreign and Defense Ministries for comment.
The video begins with some slick scenes of the large bombers in what appears to be the early dawn at a desert airbase. They roar into the sky and seconds later release a missile that zooms down to strike a target.
Comparing a freeze frame of the missile strike to Google Earth images, the target appears markedly similar to the US’ Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
Army officials at Fort Bliss, Texas, are asking the El Paso community for assistance in an expanded search for a soldier who has been missing since late July.
The Army initially listed Pvt. Richard Halliday of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command as Absent Without Leave, or AWOL, when he reportedly fled from his unit on July 24.
But new evidence uncovered by U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command special agents “suggests that Pvt. Halliday may have left Fort Bliss earlier than previously reported,” according to a statement from Lt. Col. Allie Payne, spokeswoman for the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
“It remains uncertain of how or when Pvt. Halliday departed Fort Bliss,” she added.
Halliday was last seen on July 23 before 6 p.m.
The U.S. Army has replaced the chaotic reception recruits entering basic training have long received from shouting drill sergeants with a training event designed to create a bond with their teammates and leaders.
Day one of Army Basic Combat Training has always been a rite of passage that involved menacing groups of drill sergeants descending on terrified recruits, yelling commands and ordering trainees to perform push-ups and other exercises with packed duffel bags strapped to their backs.
“Commonly referred to as the shark attack, this non-documented period of instruction was developed during our draft Army years,” Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Fortenberry, the CSM of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, said in a video presentation at the recent 2020 Maneuver Warfighter Conference.
The troops are meant to discourage Russians from crossing into the eastern area where U.S., coalition, and Syrian Democratic Forces operate, say officials.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is deploying a small number of U.S. troops to Syria after a series of escalating encounters between the U.S. and Russian militaries, according to three U.S. defense officials.
The troops and vehicles will serve as a show of presence to discourage the Russian military from crossing into the eastern security area where U.S., coalition, and Syrian Democratic Forces operate, the officials said.
The additional troops will include six Bradley Fighting Vehicles and fewer than 100 soldiers operating in northeast Syria on a 90-day deployment.
A U.S. official said, “These actions and reinforcements are a clear signal to Russia to adhere to mutual de-confliction processes and for Russia and other parties to avoid unprofessional, unsafe and provocative actions in northeast Syria.”
While U.S. military and Russian forces have come in contact at checkpoints and along highway M4 in Syria throughout 2020, on Aug. 17 U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces came under small arms fire after passing through a checkpoint near Tal al-Zahab, Syria. The U.S. and SDF had permission from the pro-Syrian regime forces manning the checkpoint, but then began to take fire from unidentified forces nearby. The U.S. and SDF returned fire and did not suffer any casualties. U.S. officials said the small arms fire likely came from Syrian and Russian forces.
New technologies are fundamentally changing the character of war and the two Air Force services are leading that charge, Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper said at the Air Force Association’s Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference today.
In this time of COVID-19, Esper addressed the group virtually.
The secretary stated that America’s air, space and cyber warriors “will be at the forefront of tomorrow’s high-end fight.”
That means confronting near-peer competitors China and Russia. That means shifting the focus from defeating violent extremist groups to deterring great power competitors. It means fighting a high-intensity battle that combines all domains of warfare, he said.
“In this era of great power competition, we cannot take for granted the United States’ long-held advantages,” Esper said.