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HIGHLIGHTS

By Kirsten Ashbaugh
ka@sldinfo.com

Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain man the rails as the ship transits into the port of Da Nang, Vietnam, Aug. 10, 2010 (Credit Photo: Brock A. Taylor, U.S. Navy/DoD)

Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain man the rails as the ship transits into the port of Da Nang, Vietnam, Aug. 10, 2010 (Credit Photo: Brock A. Taylor, U.S. Navy/DoD)

U.S. and Vietnam Seek Increased Defense Cooperation

“A week after USS John S. McCain made its first port visit to Vietnam to commemorate the 15th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, senior defense officials from the two countries met yesterday to explore ways to further enhance their defense cooperation.

“Robert Scher, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, met in Hanoi with Vietnam’s deputy defense minister, Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh.

Speaking during a joint news conference, Scher called the discussions ‘the next significant historic step’ in advancing a growing defense relationship based on ‘mutual trust, understanding and respect for independence and sovereignty….'” Read more.


Army Sgt. Timothy Box and Cpl. Ben Webber use the Biometrics Automated Tool Set system to hold information on the volunteers who sign up to become security guards in Taji, Iraq (Credit Photo: Senior Airman Steve Czyz, U.S. Air Force/DoD)

Army Sgt. Timothy Box and Cpl. Ben Webber use the Biometrics Automated Tool Set system to hold information on the volunteers who sign up to become security guards in Taji, Iraq (Credit Photo: Senior Airman Steve Czyz, U.S. Air Force/DoD)

Military Branches Explore Biometrics as a Means for Identification

“Considered a battlefield curiosity just a few years ago, biometrics has become recognized as a vital warfighting capability. Now, defense officials see the same technology as a key to helping the Defense Department make its business practices more efficient.

“Biometrics – the science of using unique physical and behavioral characteristics to identify a person – has proven to be invaluable to the warfighter’s toolbox, Myra S. Gray, director of the Army’s Biometrics Identity Management Agency, told American Forces Press Service.

“‘Five years ago, it was something very new, and the capability wasn’t fully understood. It was kind of an add-on to the mission,’ she said. ‘Now it’s an integral part of the mission because people have seen the value that it brings….'” Read more.


An Osprey (Credit Photo: DoD Buzz)

An Osprey (Credit Photo: DoD Buzz)

Ospreys Could Be Used for Aid to Pakistan, Other Humanitarian Missions

“The U.S. aid effort to Pakistan, which has been relatively small so far, may well last more than four months and, if indications from the Pentagon are correct, will also grow in scale.

“The man managing the Marine’s response, Brig. Gen. David Berger, said he and his team had been operating on the presumption that the operation would last 30 to 60 days. Now, the head of Marine operations told reporters, the planning window looked more likely to be 90 to 120 days….

“Gen. Berger indicated that some of the Pakistani airfields are at or near capacity already, pointing to Ghazi air base. Also, Berger said the Osprey was considered for the relief effort. ‘We looked at is there a need for them right now. The answer is no,’ he said yesterday. But Berger was careful to say they may be used sometime in a month or so. The Marines have targeted the Osprey for just such missions….” Read more.


(Credit Photo: U.S. Army)

(Credit Photo: U.S. Army)

U.S. Army Releases Operating Concept for 2016-2028

“The U.S. Army on Aug. 19 published the Army Operating Concept, which describes how the service will fight in 2016 to 2028. The 65-page paper describes combined arms maneuver and security operations as the service’s core contributions to the joint force.

“‘Army forces capable of combined arms maneuver and wide area security operations are an essential component of the joint force’s ability to achieve or facilitate the achievement of strategic and policy goals,’ says Gen. Martin Dempsey in the document’s foreword. Dempsey is the commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)….” Read more.


The F-35 (Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/israeli-purchase-of-f-35-jsf-fighter-us-support-28162/)

The F-35 (Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/israeli-purchase-of-f-35-jsf-fighter-us-support-28162/)

Israeli Purchase of F-35 Sparks Discussion About U.S. Support

“Israel is moving ahead with plans to purchase nearly $3 billion in advanced stealth fighter jets from the United States aerospace firm, Lockheed Martin. The purchase would come as Israel considers options including a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

“Israeli defense officials say the purchase of 20 next-generation F-35 fighter jets is part of a routine overhaul of the country’s air defenses.However, the announcement from the Israeli defense minister’s office this week came as Israeli leaders hold top secret meetings on how to react to the Iranian nuclear threat….” Read more.


(Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/china-lashes-out-at-pentagon-military-report-28165/)

(Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/china-lashes-out-at-pentagon-military-report-28165/)

Anger in China Over Pentagon Report

“China hit out Wednesday at a Pentagon report on its expanding military capabilities as other Asian nations said they would be keeping a wary eye on their giant neighbour’s growing might.

“Beijing said the US Defence Department report was ‘not beneficial’ for military ties between the two major powers, while state media branded the dossier ‘aggressive’ and said it exaggerated the power of China’s armed forces….

“The Pentagon report to the US Congress said China’s military strategists were looking to extend their reach to be able to hit targets as far away as mainland Japan, the Philippines and the US territory of Guam….” Read more.


The Iranian Defense Ministry claims to show the launch of the long-range drone, dubbed Karar, location unknown (Credit Photo: Defense News, Agence France-Presse)

The Iranian Defense Ministry claims to show the launch of the long-range drone, dubbed Karar, location unknown (Credit Photo: Defense News, Agence France-Presse)

Iran Claims to Have Domestically-Produced Bomber Drone

“Iranian leaders on Aug. 22 unveiled a bomber drone with a range of up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), touting the Islamic republic’s home-grown capacity to resist attack, state media reported.

“Television footage showed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad applauding as a blue cloth covering the drone – called Karar (‘Assailant’) – was removed to reveal a short aircraft marked ‘bomber jet’ in military-green.

“‘This jet, before it heralds death for enemies, is the messenger of salvation and dignity for humanity,’ Ahmadinejad said in a speech at the unveiling in a hall at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar university….” Read more.


Map of Iraq (Credit Map: Globalsecurity.org)

Map of Iraq (Credit Map: Globalsecurity.org)

U.S. to Focus on North Iraq in Coming Months

“U.S. military forces will begin a four-part mission in Iraq next month when the U.S. State Department assumes operational lead in the country, with a major focus on Arab-Turkish relations.

“American troops will on Sept. 1 formally shift from counterinsurgency operations to stabilization efforts, Pentagon and State Department officials said Aug. 17….” Read more.


(Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/us-completing-largest-logistics-operation-since-world-war-ii-28247/)

(Credit Photo: http://www.defencetalk.com/us-completing-largest-logistics-operation-since-world-war-ii-28247/)

Iraq Withdrawal Will Be Largest Logistics Operation Since WWII

“The US army has nearly completed the largest logistics operation since World War II in pulling thousands of combat troops and more than one million pieces of equipment out of Iraq, a senior officer said.

“‘Its the largest drawdown since World War II,’ Colonel Donnei Walker, commander of the First Sustainment Brigade, US Third Army, said at a key US military facility in Kuwait through which most of the equipment has passed.

“‘We have moved out nearly 1.2 million pieces of equipment,’ since the operation began more than a year ago, Walker told reporters during a tour of the facility in southern Kuwait on Friday….” Read more.

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***Posted on August 24th, 2010

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

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