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Search Tags: Pentagon & Beyond
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has ordered all branches of the military to review mental health diagnoses as far back as 2001. An Army review of behavior diagnoses connected to a U.S. soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians apparently triggered new interest in how war affects the military. Panetta told a Senate committee he's asked other services to conduct a review similar to the Army's.
The United States is worried Russia may be sending Syria attack helicopters. Reuters reports it "views Russian claims that its arms transfers to Syria are unrelated to the conflict there as "patently untrue," U.S. Secretary Hillary Clinton said. The comments came as the Pentagon found itself on the defensive for doing business with Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, given concerns in Congress about the firm's role in arming the Syrian regime."
Space.com is reporting that after more than a year orbiting the earth during a secret mission, the U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane is due to return...soon. The Air Force won't say when the unmanned vehicle will land. It was expected to land on May 30th, But the time frame has been changed to mid-June. The space plane is about 29 feet long by 15 feet wide with a payload bay the size of a pickup truck bed.
According to a new book, Justice Department prosecutors were stunned to learn three years ago that the U.S. military had secretly tape recorded incriminating comments that alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikhs Mohammed made to fellow detainees during daily prison yard conversations but was not planning to use them at military tribunals. In "Kill or Capture: The War On Terror And The Soul Of The Obama Presidency," journalist Daniel Klaidman says Mohammed was caught on tape boasting to other detainees about the 9/11 attacks.
The U.S. Air Force on Tuesday awarded Lockheed Martin Corp a contract to retrofit 40 F-22 fighter aircraft with an automatic backup oxygen supply after some pilots experienced oxygen deprivation when flying the supersonic plane. Reuters reports the contract is worth $19 million, runs through April 2013, and includes retrofitting 10 spare aircraft. Currently oxygen supply requires manual activation by the F-22 Raptor pilot.
An American general has been replaced after reports quoted him as saying U.S. and South Korean special forces have been parachuting into North Korea on espionage missions. Brig. Gen. Neil Tolley was quoted as making the comments during a conference in Florida last month. Both he and the military later said that no special operation forces have been sent into North Korea. The U.S. military command in Seoul said Tuesday the departure of Tolley is a routine personnel change.
The United States and Vietnam have exchanged artifacts of war, including a U.S. soldier's written account of life under fire before his death and a Vietnam trooper's diary held for over 40 years by an American GI. At a ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnamese defense minister Phung Quang Thanh delivered the letters to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who in turn gave Thanh the small maroon diary taken from the body of the Vietnamese man by a U.S. service member who brought it home with him.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he does not see the U.S. taking military action in Syria without the backing of a U.N. Security Council resolution. According to Reuters, Panetta says his greatest responsibility is to make sure that if U.S. troops are deployed in any military role, that America has the support it needs from the international community. His comments came after Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, suggested that some type of military intervention may be the only remaining option because diplomatic efforts so far have failed to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power.
U.S. military officers are back on Pakistani soil. According to Reuters, this suggests the two sides may be working together more closely after a series of setbacks and the Pakistani government's insistence the U.S. apologize for the accidental killing of 24 Pakistan troops in a cross-border incident last year. Their jobs are to improve communications between ISAF personnel and Pakistani troops in Afghanistan. Yet to be resolved is the shutdown of the Pakistani border to shipments of supplies intended for NATO troops.
A soldier from northern Virginia has been killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon says that 51-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 5 John C. Pratt of Springfield was one of two soldiers who died Saturday in Kabul from injuries sustained in the crash. Also killed was 26-year-old Capt. John "Jay" Brainard II, of Newport, Maine, who was a helicopter pilot. Officials said the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter crashed while on patrol. Authorities were investigating the cause of the crash, but initial reports indicated there was no enemy activity in the area at the time the helicopter went down. The soldiers were assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Ansbach-Katterbach, Germany.