Posts tagged army
Flying grenades. Mini spy blimps. Robotic bomb-busters. Suicide-vest spotters. Battlefield 3D printers. The Army is retooling for a very austere, very remote way of war. And the gear that’s required is very different from the hardware that came before.
Most American soldiers used to live and fight from massive bases, complete with all sorts of creature comforts and heavy defenses. Today’s troops don’t have it so good. They’re increasingly operating from small, isolated outposts, where they need to spot and ward off attacks without all the gun turrets and heavy armor and surveillance towers found on the old super-bases.
Coming up with that new gear has become a top mission for the Rapid Equipping Force, the Army office charged with getting tools and gadgets out to troops in a hurry. They showed off their latest kit at Ft. Belvoir, Va. just before Thanksgiving. Here’s a sample.
Battle Lab in a Box
At Camp Nathan Smith outside of Kandahar, there’s a 20-foot cargo container loaded with a 3D printer, a computer-controlled machine for cutting metal, and a couple of Ph.D.s. It’s one of three REF “expeditionary labs” placed around Afghanistan that can quickly design and prototype tools for troops on the ground right now.
The Nathan Smith team, on the screen above, printed up new bolt links for the M240 machine gun on their remote weapons system when the old ones broke. They coded a program that plots enemy attacks on Google Earth. And over the course of three weeks, they built in the lab new adapters that extended the battery life of their metal detectors from 45 minutes to 30 hours. The Army liked the adapters so much, they ordered up another 2,000, which will be distributed all over Afghanistan.
(CNSNews.com)- The number of suicides among U.S. Army active duty and reserve personnel in 2012 is higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same timeframe.
Even without Army data for October, the number of deaths believed to be suicides among U.S. Army personnel from January through September still surpass the combined military combat deaths in Afghanistan from January up to October 22.
In 2012, there have been a total of 247 suspected suicides among Army active and reserve duty personnel. Of those, 158 have been confirmed as suicides and 89 remain under investigation.
According to the Afghanistan Index database maintained by the Brookings Institution, there have been 222 combined military deaths in 2012 among active and reserve components from “hostile causes,” as of Sept. 28. (p. 11 Figure 1.17)
An additional 40 military fatalities were the result of “non-hostile causes,” which means they were fatalities not caused by the Taliban, insurgency forces or Afghan forces – so-called “green-on-blue” attacks.
Brookings compiles Operation Enduring Freedom-related statistics based on its monitoring of the Department of Defense.
Published on Oct 15, 2012 by PlanetInfoWarsHD
Darrin McBreen, Our Man on The Street, ask the people what they think of the passing of the NDAA Bill by the Senate.
Published on Jun 30, 2012 by mosesmarching
2012 revision of the Declaration of Independence as read by U.S. Service members in Afghanistan. http://mosessanchez.com/
(THE NEW AMERICAN) The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) proposes that the U.S. Army be used to plan, command, and carry out (with the help of civilian law enforcement) domestic police missions. So says a story appearing in the May/June issue of the influential organization’s official journal,Foreign Affairs. The article lacks a single reference to the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits such actions.
In an article penned by Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond T. Odierno, the CFR would see the Army used to address “challenges in the United States itself” in order to keep the homeland safe from domestic disasters, including terrorist attacks. Odierno writes:
Where appropriate we will also dedicate active-duty forces, especially those with niche skills and equipment, to provide civilian officials with a robust set of reliable and rapid response options.
Bradley Manning defence gets report on WikiLeaks damage to US interests
Judge rules that Obama administration must hand over documents assessing leak of diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks
Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being the source of the biggest leak of state secrets in American history, has won a partial victory in his battle to force the government to disclose vital information that could help his defence.
The judge presiding over his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland has ordered the US government to hand over several confidential documents relating to the massive leak to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
In particular, the Obama administration must now disclose to Manning’s lawyers some of the damage assessments it carried out into the impact of the leak on US interests around the world.
Should those assessments reveal that the US government found that the fallout from WikiLeaks was limited, that could be used by Manning’s defence to argue his innocence against some of the charges he faces, such as aiding the enemy. If the soldier is found guilty, the information might then prove invaluable in reducing any sentence.
As a result of the ruling, Manning’s defence team was handed the main findings of a state department investigation into the impact of WikiLeaks on Tuesday evening.
Though the information has not been made public, it is likely to include the assessments of embassies across the globe of the effects on their work of the publication of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables.
In addition, Manning’s defence lawyers will now also be able to see a redacted report into WikiLeaks by the defence intelligence agency. It was also revealed that the FBI carried out its own inquiry into the leak of confidential material to WikiLeaks, which the Manning’s defence lawyers will also now pursue.
MEDS KILLING SOLDIERS BY HEART ATTACK
PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS KILLING SOLDIERS BY HEART ATTACK
WHO IS PROFITING?
DAUGHTER OF SENATOR WINS DRUG-SUPPLYING CONTRACT WITH THE ARMY
By Jon Rappoport
MARCH 30, 2012. Is the US military employing a policy that is killing its own soldiers?
Dr. Fred Baughman published an explosive letter in the European Heart Journal (December 29, 2011) that detailed yet another aspect of death by medicine: “Psychotropic drugs and sudden death.” (See also Hundreds of Soldiers & Vets Dying From Antipsychotic–Seroquel published on Nov 7, 2011)
This time it’s American soldiers and fatal heart attacks, brought on by so-called antipsychotic drugs; for example, Seroquel, given for PTSD.
Baughman began his own investigation into four American soldiers who died in their sleep, in 2008. Baughman writes: “…all in their twenties…no signs of suicide or of a multi-drug ‘overdose’…as claimed by the Inspector General of the VA…All were on the same prescribed drug cocktail, Seroquel (antipsychotic), Paxil (antidepressant) and Klonopin (benzodiazepine).”
Baughman calls on the Surgeon General to embargo the use of all antipsychotics and antidepressants in the military.
Baughman’s initial inquiry suggests as many as 247 soldiers have died from cardiac arrest after ingesting these drugs.
He finds the US military has spent, in the last decade, $1.5 billion on antipsychotic drugs, despite the fact that these meds have never been approved for PTSD or sleep disorders.
WASHINGTON — An Army reservist who gave a public endorsement of presidential candidate Ron Paul during a televised rally in January will receive only a letter of reprimand for violating military politicking rules.
Spc. Jesse Thorsen, who also appeared on CNN speaking on Paul’s behalf that night, was not on duty but was in uniform at the time of the incident. Army reserve officials said Thorsen’s actions clearly violated Defense Department rules, and that the reprimand has been placed in his personnel file.
On Thursday, hours after receiving word from his command about the punishment, Thorsen appeared on an online radio show run by the group Combat Veterans for Ron Paul titled “Language of Liberty,” defending his actions but also saying he cooperated with the Army’s investigation.
“The Army works for Congress,” he said during the show. “If a Congressman invites you up on stage, doesn’t he have the right to do that?
In accounts to The Associated Press and to Afghan government officials, the residents allege that US troops lined up men from the village of Mokhoyan against a wall after the bombing on either March 7 or 8, and told them they would pay a price for the attack.
The lawyer for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, who is accused in the March 11 killings of the 16 civilians, has said that his client was upset because a buddy had lost a leg in an explosion on March 9.
It’s unclear if the bombing cited by lawyer John Henry Browne was the same as the one described by the villagers that prompted the alleged threats. After a meeting at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Mr Browne said Sgt Bales told him a roadside bomb blew off the leg of one of his friends two days before the shootings occurred.
A spokesman for the US military declined to give any information on the bombing or even confirm that it occurred, citing the investigation of the shootings. He also declined to comment on the allegation that US troops threatened retaliation.
“The shooting incident as well as any possibilities that led up to it or might be associated with it will be investigated,” US forces in Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Cummings,said.
Sgt Bales, 38, is suspected of leaving a US base in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, entering homes and gunning down nine children, four men and three women before dawn on March 11 in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai. Mokhoyan is about 500 metres east of the base.
The shootings have further strained ties between the US government and President Hamid Karzai who has accused the US military of not cooperating with a delegation he appointed to investigate the killings.
Mr Karzai’s investigative team is not convinced that one soldier could have single-handedly left his base, walked to the two villages, and carried out the killings and set fire to some of the victims’ bodies. The US military has said that even though its investigation is continuing, everything currently points to one shooter.
The US military does not release information on incidents such as roadside bombings if no coalition troops are killed so it has been impossible to independently confirm the eyewitness accounts.
Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder from Panjwai district, gave an account of the bombing at a March 16 meeting in Kabul with Mr Karzai in the wake of the shootings.
“After the incident, they took the wreckage of their destroyed tank and their wounded people from the area,” Mr Rasool said. “After that, they came back to the village nearby the explosion site.
“The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque,” he said.
“The Americans told the villagers ‘A bomb exploded on our vehicle. … We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,”‘ Mr Rasool said. “These are the reasons why we say they took their revenge by killing women and children in the villages.”
Naek Mohammad, who lives in Mokhoyan, told AP that he was inside his home when he heard an explosion on March 8.
“At first I thought it was an airstrike,” Mr Mohammad said.
“After some time I came out and talked with my neighbour. He told me that there was an explosion on NATO forces.”
Mr Mohammad said that as the two discussed the incident, two Afghan soldiers approached them and ordered them to join other men from the village who had been told to stand against a wall.
“One of the villagers asked what was happening,” he said. “The Afghan army soldier told him ‘Shut up and stand there’.”
Mr Mohammad said a US soldier, speaking through a translator, then said: “I know you are all involved and you support the insurgents. So now, you will pay for it – you and your children will pay for this’.”
Mr Mohammad’s neighbour, Bakht Mohammad, and Ahmad Shah Khan, also of Mokhoyan, gave similar accounts.
The US soldiers arrived in the village with their Afghan army counterparts and made many of the male villagers stand against a wall, Mr Khan said.
“It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid,” said Mr Khan. “Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge.”
Several Afghan officials, including Kandahar lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi, said people in the two villages that were attacked told them the same story.
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