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A Congressional committee voted Wednesday to end service-specific camouflage in an amendment that would push the military toward creating joint combat uniforms by 2018.
Committee members expressed frustration over the millions of dollars the services have spent to field camouflage patterns that focus more on creating a visual brand than effective concealment for the battlefield.
This is not the first time the Pentagon has been criticized over its management of camouflage development.
The Government Accountability Office blasted the U.S. military in September for the way it has developed camouflage uniforms over the past decade. Since 2012, military service leaders have introduced seven new patterns -- two desert, two woodland and three universal -- in a "fragmented approach" that GAO officials argue should be avoided in the future.
House Armed Service Committee members want the Pentagon to develop a joint combat uniform over the next five years. Moving to one joint combat uniform doesn't mean there would only be one camouflage pattern. Different patterns could still be designed for specific geographic requirements such as the woodland or desert patterns. However, each service would not design their versions.
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft made an unprecedented landing Friday on a Japanese naval vessel off the California coast.
The tilt-rotor aircraft flew from San Diego's Marine Corps Miramar Air Station to the Japanese ship Hyuga as part of an 18-day drill aimed at improving Japan's amphibious capabilities.
The Osprey has sparked protests in Japan over concerns about its safety record, which includes two crashes last year in Florida and Morocco.
The Japanese government approved the deployment of 12 Ospreys in 2012 to Okinawa after receiving additional assurances from the Pentagon.
Military officials say the Osprey is critical for regional security efforts. The hybrid aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter. Marines demonstrated its versatility and speed Friday in an exercise that required coordination between the Navy, Marine Corps and Japan's military members.
The Army has half a million M4 carbines, the lightweight version of the Vietnam-vintage M16. So if the service was going to invest in a replacement, it wanted a “leap ahead” that would, among other things, cut in half the number of times the weapon jammed – a criterion the Army has not made clear until today. None of the eight designs offered for the Individual Carbine competition met that standard, Army officials said, so the service is going to stick with the M4 indefinitely.
That, in a nutshell, is the word from a half-dozen Army experts and officials at a hastily convened press conference to explain the service’s decision to, for all practical purposes, kill off the $1.8 billion Individual Carbine program. The Senate Armed Services Committee has already cut the $49.5 million requested for the program in 2014 “based upon the Army’s decision not to continue with the competitive evaluation program,” to quote the SASC’s official summary of the bill, released just before 1:00 pm today. On the flip side, the Senate left in $21.3 million to buy 12,000 more of the current M4A1. But after years of technical controversy and political pressure, M4 critics are unlikely to just let the matter rest.
“There was no capability-based assessment justification, no requirement,” said one skeptical Congressional staffer. “A lot of money and time has been spent.” Stopping the Individual Carbine now, the staffer said, “makes sense if nothing gives us a leap ahead in capability – but no doubt the politics will continue to churn.”
A military judge will not allow an Army psychiatrist to tell jurors that he shot Fort Hood soldiers to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
The judge said Friday that Maj. Nidal Hasan's "defense of others" strategy fails as a matter of law.
Col. Tara Osborn said no soldiers at the Texas Army post on Nov. 5, 2009, posed an immediate threat to anyone in Afghanistan. She said the legitimacy of the Afghanistan war is not an issue at Hasan's trial, which hasn't started.
Hasan is an American-born Muslim. He faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted in the rampage that left 13 dead and nearly three dozen wounded.
A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press.
Michael Karkoc, 94, told American authorities in 1949 that he had performed no military service during World War II, concealing his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division, according to records obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organization he served in were both on a secret American government blacklist of organizations whose members were forbidden from entering the United States at the time.
Though records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, statements from men in his unit and other documentation confirm the Ukrainian company he commanded massacred civilians and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader. Nazi SS files say he and his unit were also involved in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a Polish rebellion against German occupation.
“The infrastructure that accompanies the president’s travels is beyond our control.”
-- Ben Rhodes, a spokesman for President Obama, explaining to the Washington Post why the cost for first family’s trip to Africa later this month could approach $100 million despite automatic spending reductions.
The only time that the impending involvement of U.S. forces in a genocidal Middle Eastern civil war can be considered good political news is when the alternative story is bad enough.
A few eyebrows are arching in Washington today as the Obama White House makes ready for the next phase in a years-long escalation of U.S. involvement with the effort to topple the Assad regime and bid to install a new government.
After months of downplaying the “red line” on chemical weapons President Obama drew last year, the administration changed course on Thursday and announced a finding that the regime had in fact gassed its own citizens. The consensus was that Obama would likely soon start providing direct military aid to some of the Islamist rebels in Syria.
A stout majority of voters in the latest FOX News poll and surveys from other outlets said they do not like the idea of America intervening in the sectarian conflict in Syria. Obama, though, seems increasingly ready to buck their wishes after years of pressure from interventionists left and right.
The Marine Corps and Army have developed quick-reaction forces to respond to attacks such as the one in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.
The Marines will base 500 troops at Moron Air Force Base in Spain, about 35 miles southeast of Seville, said Capt. Eric Flanagan, a Marine Corps spokesman. They can be flown on short notice to African crises aboard six Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
Those aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter and cruise at more than 300 mph. Two KC-130 tanker aircraft have been dedicated to refuel them in flight, which will expand their reach.
The unit is known as the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force for Crisis Response. It will act as a first responder to U.S. embassies in the region on behalf of U.S. Africa Command, Flanagan said. It will be on standby to help evacuate Americans from hot spots and to provide disaster relief and humanitarian missions.
Posted by JAFO (#15) 5 days ago (http://radio.foxnews.com)
The Obama Administration “strongly objects” to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers – including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La. It would have “required the Armed Forces to accommodate ‘actions and speech’ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.”
The Obama Administration said the amendment would have a “significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.”
“With its statement, the White House is now endorsing military reprimands of members who keep a Bible on their desk or express a religious belief,” Fleming told Fox News. “This administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.”
Fleming introduced the amendment after a series of high-profile incidents involving attacks on religious liberty within the military- including an Air Force officer who was told to remove a Bible from his desk because it might give the impression he was endorsing a religion.
He said there are other reports of Christian service members and chaplains being punished for their faith.
Posted by JAFO (#15) 6 days ago (http://www.foxnews.com)
As if the government wasn’t sneaky enough already!
Zero Motorcycles has created a stealth motorcycle for use by U.S. Special Operations Forces: The MMX.
The all-electric off-roader features a nearly silent powertrain, full blackout capability, wiring for infrared lighting systems and a keyless ignition for quick starts.
(Honestly, you DON’T want to try to steal one of these.)
Matte black paint completes its low profile look, and with no intake or exhaust to worry about, the bike can operate when submerged up to one meter.
The "Ruptured Duck" applies only to the WW2 era.
Not true. Actually, the plan for a multi-service branch, universal Honorable Discharge Lapel patch originated in 1919 at the close of WWI. The purpose of the patch, and later pin, was to permit Honorably Discharged military personnel to wear their uniform for a period of time after they left military service due to their inability to afford civilian clothes, while at the same time identify themselves as no longer active duty personnel. The pin version of the patch was intended to permit civilian dressed, Honorable Discharged personnel to identify their former military status easily when applying for work or veteran's benefits. The patch and pin were also intended to replace and supersede all previous Honorable Discharge devices. Neither the patch nor pin were put into production until years later.
The "Ruptured Duck" ended with WW2.
Not true. The Ruptured Duck is a permanent 'hardware' device with no expiration date. It has replaced all previously issued Honorable Discharge lapel pins.
The "Ruptured Duck" is not the only Honorable Discharge lapel pin. The Navy, Coast Guard and Army have their own Honorable Discharge pins today.
Not true. The Ruptured Duck is the only official all-branch "Honorable Discharge" lapel pin. The current Army, Coast Guard and Navy pins sometimes issued to Retirees are "Honorable Service" pins that are authorized principally to age and medical retirees. The military definitions of "Discharge" and "Service" are not to be confused as meaning the same.
The "Ruptured Duck" is no longer distributed by the military.
True and Not true. Although there is no regulation that requires any branch of the US military to issue any military award 'hardware' item, just as all military medals, badges and other 'hardware' items, the Ruptured Duck is still purchasable in US military Post and Base Exchanges and continues to be manufactured by official US military medal suppliers.
Workers at the Marine Corps Logistics Base will be returning to work Friday. Many of the Marine base workers were sent home Thursday following a rupture to the bases main water line. One of the water towers on the Marine base usually holds about 500,000 gallons of water, and now the water some of the water towers once held now resides in ditches because of a rupture to the bases 16 inch water line.
About one million gallons of water poured into ditches around the Marine base. According to Marine base officials because there was no water for children, restrooms, firefighting capability, and boiler support, most workers were placed on administrative leave for the day.
"Well it certainly impacts the mission of one of the main water line which was feeding the maintenance center. The most significant mission impact, so that was majority of the workers that had to be sent home," said Stuart Holland, Public Works Officer.
The Marine base's Public Works Department figured out a way to solve the rupture problem, although there was no serious threat to anyone's safety.