News of the Force: Monday, January 22, 2018 - Page 2
Recent conflicts in Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine have demonstrated
the widespread adoption of drones by state actors - as well as rebel and
terrorist groups - for reconnaissance purposes and as improvised attack
platforms carrying grenades or explosive charges.
US troops need fast-reacting short-range air defense systems,
or SHORADS - and better yet, they need them in a package that can move
with frontline units on the battlefield, which the Army dubs "Maneuver SHORADS."
Okinawa-based US Marines and North Carolina-based US Army soldiers rehearsed a
simulated fire support exercise at the III Marine Expeditionary Force
Combined Arms Staff Trainer building on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan,
Jan. 8th-19th. "It's important for the Army and the Marine Corps to be working together because we are the solution for the ground-combat problem," said Army
Sgt. Michael Davis, a fire support sergeant with the 82nd Airborne
Division. "You're not going to see the other branches maneuvering on the
ground the same way."
The commander of the Emiri Land Force, Major Gen. Mohammed bin Ali Al Ghanim, met yesterday with the deputy commander of US Army
Central Command, Major Gen. Terrence McKenrick. The meeting reviewed
bilateral relations and prospects of cooperation in the field of joint
The US Army is readying plans that could increase the total
force in Afghanistan by as many as 1,000 US troops this spring beyond
the 14,000 already in the country, senior military officials have said.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has not yet signed off on the proposals for the
And Chelsea Manning officially announced her candidacy last week for the US Senate. Military lawyers say the decision has made Manning vulnerable to new prosecution. In the days after Manning announced her candidacy, many questioned
whether she fulfilled the constitutional requirements to become a
senator, given that she has multiple felony convictions.
Manning silenced critics on Thursday when she obtained her certificate of candidacy from the Maryland State Board of Elections. However, Manning’s decision has made her susceptible to future prosecution, military law experts say. That’s because Manning is still considered an active duty military member who is non-paid and on excess-leave while she appeals her convictions - and active duty military members are prohibited from participating in
partisan political activities, such as running for Congress as a
Democrat. Dru Brenner-Beck, a retired Army judge advocate. Defense Department regulations prohibit
Manning from participating in political activities, let alone run for
Congress, while she still holds an active duty ID card. Specifically, participating in political activities while an active-duty solider violates DOD Directive 1344.10. According to the regulations, running for Senate would require Manning
to violate many of the regulations, including most of paragraph 4.1.2,
in addition to 4.2.2. The latter reads: "A regular member, or a retired regular or reserve component member on active duty under a call or order to active duty for
more than 270 days, may not be a nominee or candidate for a civil
office in a state; the District of Columbia; a territory, possession, or
commonwealth of the United States, or any political subdivision
thereof except when the Secretary concerned grants permission." Brenner-Beck went on to explain that violating the regulations would open Manning up to another court-martial. "That paragraph is punitive and violation of it subjects her to
courts-martial for violation of a lawful order or regulation under
Article 92 [of the UCMJ]," he said. "Her activities campaigning for herself and
fundraising for herself may also violate other provisions of the DOD
Directive, themselves separately punishable under the UCMJ, Art. 92." Whether or not Manning will be prosecuted is up to the
chain-of-command, Brenner-Beck said. However, he said he
believes the Trump administration may pursue additional prosecution
against Manning because of the hard-line position it took against Bowe
Bergdahl, who last year plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before
the enemy. Meanwhile, another former military lawyer, Victor Hansen, said that prosecution is unlikely because the military likely wants to
separate themselves as far from Manning as possible. Still, Hansen warned that senior military leaders could be pressured to act against Manning. "There’s always the risk that somebody could put pressure on that
commander or take it to a higher level and prosecute at that level, so
there is a risk of unlawful command influence," he said. "If someone
were to decide that we want to bring charges for Manning on this, that
would be the very thing I would look into - who made the decision, why,
and was there any outside pressures from above."Manning, who is is running for the seat currently held by Sen. Ben
Cardin (D-Md.), is a transgender Army private who was convicted of
crimes in 2013 under the Espionage Act for leaking hundreds of thousands
of classified documents to WikiLeaks
Helicopter crashes in Missouri
Two people were able to climb out
of a helicopter after it crashed at the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia, Mo., this morning. The two people inside were taken to SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital
with minor injuries after the crash at about 11:15
"Minor injuries. Very lucky," said Chief Michael
Mavrogeorge of the airport's fire department. "There was no fire after the
On board were an instructor and a student, KTVI reported. Mavrogeorge did not
immediately have information about the occupants.
The airport is about four miles southeast of downtown St. Louis. Mavrogeorge
said the control tower dispatched his crew to the crash, and arriving
firefighters found the helicopter on its roof with two people climbing out. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate the crash, Mavrogeorge
said.US Navy and Marine Corps
There's only one active duty vessel of the US Navy being held captive by
a foreign government: USS Pueblo
. It's a North Korean tourist attraction.
The Philippines said yesterday that it won't get embroiled in a fresh spat
between the US and China involving Beijing's protest of an American
warship passing near a Chinese-controlled shoal also claimed by the
Philippines. One way to cement a claim to a disputed territory - and to anger others
who think it's theirs - is to build on it. That's what China's been
doing in the South China Sea, where it's constructed vast features
including runways and facilities.
The US Marine Corps has said that a Marine Corps Systems Command-led
working group is actively pursuing updates to the Very Small Aperture
Terminal Family of Systems, which has been deployed for nearly a decade.
Top US military officials in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture failed to
report offenses, including sexual harassment, committed by a senior
officer under their command, according to a recent report from the
Inspector General of the Marine Corps.
The US military has been urged not to fly over private property on Okinawa. The Okinawa Assembly last week unanimously adopted the resolution, following a series of incidents involving US
military aircraft in the southwestern Japanese prefecture. Assembly
members met with Col. Darin Clarke, in charge of external affairs with
Marine Corps command in Okinawa, today.
And Dan Gillan, the CEO of the Albany Area YMCA, said the values of that
organization is comparable to the Marine Corps. Gillan
was born in Chicago, graduated high school in Plantation, Fla., and
served 33 years in the US Marine Corps before becoming the Albany, Ga., Area YMCA's CEO.News from the US Marshals Service
The US Marshals and the Detroit, Mich., police are seeking a man wanted for
kidnapping and raping a 10-year-old girl in 2007. Authorities said that
Corey Deshawn Gaston, 39, broke into the child's bedroom through her
window on June 27, 2007. He put her over his shoulder and ran to an alley,
where he raped her.
And the US Marshals have arrested a fugitive who was profiled on
Detroit's Most Wanted
, thanks to a tip from a 7 Action News viewer. Robert McKissic was arrested on
Saturday on the city's west side. Police say he's linked to a deadly
shooting.The parting shots
The Supreme Court of Missouri will hear oral arguments in The Satanic Temple (TST)'s case against the state of Missouri tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., the day following the anniversary of the Roe v.
Wade decision. In a huge victory for The Satanic Temple (TST) this past
October, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the organization’s
case, which challenges the requirement that women seeking to terminate
their pregnancies must endure a 72 hour waiting period and be given
mandatory reading material, raises real and substantial constitutional
claims. The suit has the potential to change state regulations for
religiously-motivated abortions, and is the first time that religious
belief has been used to challenge Informed Consent laws.
Private investigators believe that a billionaire Toronto couple found
dead at their home in December were murdered by multiple killers, a
source with direct knowledge of the parallel probe into their mysterious
deaths has said.
The new studio for Dancing on Ice
is being haunted by US Air Force members, reports say. The studios sit on land once used by the American Air Force between
1943-1963, with its mile-long runway being named US Air Station 112.
It has been claimed that the US Air Force left behind planes in chambers underground, with some saying that they have heard the noise of aircraft flying over.
And Grand National winning jockey Bob Champion lost a lifetime of
photos in a major fire at a Liverpool, England, car park, he has revealed. The
69-year-old said his car was one of 1,400 vehicles destroyed in the
blaze at the multi-story next to the Liverpool Echo Arena on Dec. 31st. Page 2