Seventeen Years on, US Military Presence Still Temporary in Afghanistan
The US military is engaged in almost 17 years of combat in Afghanistan, and about to install another commander of US and NATO forces, though the plan is not to keep an “enduring large military commitment,” top military leaders said Tuesday. The Pentagon is just over one year into the administration’s South Asia Strategy, and US kinetic activity is taking place at a pace not seen in eight years, though that is not expected to last in the long-term, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Tuesday. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
US Military Expects to Move Forward on Exercises With South Korea
The US military is not planning on canceling any more exercises, after the suspension of bilateral war games following President Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the cancellation focused specifically on large exercises that were scheduled shortly after the summit, and that move was done as a “good faith measure” following the meeting. Now there are “no plans at this time to suspend any more exercises,” Mattis said, though he would not detail the timeframe for upcoming events. Progress was made following the summit, Mattis said, however there have been recent issues on collaboration with North Korea that has prompted the cancelation of meetings. Following the Singapore summit, it has been clear that it would be a “very long and challenging effort” to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear program, Mattis said. —Brian Everstine
Pentagon has Reviewed, Will Continue its Support for Saudi Coalition in Yemen
The US military has been reviewing its support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, and it will continue, despite recent incidents involving airstrikes harming school children and UN allegations of a possible humanitarian crisis. The US military has provided support to the Saudi coalition, including aerial refueling and personnel assisting in an air operations center, since 2015. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said his administration reviewed this support and “determined it was the right thing to do” to support the coalition “in defense of their own countries.” The US conduct there is “to try to keep the human cost of innocents killed accidentally to the absolute minimum,” he said. Following an airstrike earlier this month that killed 40 children on a school bus in Yemen, Mattis dispatched an Army lieutenant general to Riyadh to “convey our concerns” and call for an investigation. The situation in Yemen is complex, and the US is pushing forward for a UN-brokered end to the fighting, Mattis said. —Brian Everstine
International Enlisted Leaders Meet at Maxwell to Discuss Development
Senior enlisted leaders from more than 30 countries met at Maxwell AFB, Ala., earlier this month to discuss issues related to developing leadership. The biannual 2018 Senior Enlisted Leader International Summit, hosted Aug. 13-17 by Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, was aimed at giving Wright and his international counterparts a forum to discuss issues affecting enlisted airmen worldwide. With this year’s focus on cradle-to-grave leadership development, “we’re discussing everything from how our various air forces are structured, to how we conduct basic military training, technical training and all the way up to the chief master sergeant of the Air Force,” Wright said in a release. Participants included enlisted leaders from Japan, Australia, Romania, Peru, Botswana, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and Jordan, among others. —Steve Hirsch
Ramstein Airmen Conduct SERE Training in Romania
Airmen from Ramstein AB, Germany, conducted Survival, Evasion, Rescue, and Escape training with 37th Airlift Squadron and Romanian air force pilots as part of the bilateral Carpathian Summer 2018 training exercise, which began earlier this month, the Defense Department said Tuesday. The exercise is aimed at increasing the forces’ readiness and interoperability through combined air operations. In addition to the SERE training, according to the Air Force, the exercise is also aimed at giving the 37th practice in mass container delivery system airdrops and personnel airdrops. The exercise will give the squadron the chance to use Romanian airspace for low-level flying. —Steve Hirsch
US Strike Kills ISIS Fighter in Libya
US aircraft on Tuesday struck an ISIS target inside Libya, reportedly killing one fighter. US Africa Command announced the strike, which reportedly took place near the town of Bani Walid. There were reportedly no civilians injured in the strike. It is the first time AFRICOM conducted an airstrike inside Libya this month, with the most recent strike occurring in mid-June. —Brian Everstine
—Qatar on Monday expanded on its plans to expand two air bases, including Al Udeid AB. The planned expansions will help accommodate aircraft such as USAF F-15s, according to the Qatari government : Reuters
—Closer ties with the United States are “more important than ever,” given the continuing North Korean threat, according to Japan’s annual “Defense of Japan” white paper: Stars and Stripes.
—A December 2014 Pentagon inspector general’s report obtained by Fifth Domain says Defense Department cyber leaders were trying to deal with insufficient staff and resources and unclear lines of authority: Fifth Domain.
—A new Air Force innovation center, MGMWERX, has opened in Montgomery, Ala., to find technological advancements that could help the military: Montgomery Advertiser.
—Two associates of an Austrian of Albanian descent, who once considered attacking Ramstein AB, Germany, have been convicted on charges related to a planned suicide attack in Germany: Stars and Stripes.
—A KC-135 Stratotanker that suffered damage from Tropical Storm Maria at Andersen AFB, Guam, will not be returning to duty before October, officials say: Military.com.
—SrA Joya Lindsey of Minot AFB, N.D., and A1C Michelle Torculas of Altus AFB, Okla., have been named by the Air Force as winners of the 2018 Arthur J. Myers Food Service Excellence Awards: Air Force release.