military

Rep. Esty's office

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says progress is being made in Afghanistan. She recently returned from a visit there and to Kuwait as part of a bipartisan delegation. 

Harold Shapiro

Members of the United States Coast Guard Band, based in New London, Connecticut, are scheduled to march up the red carpet Monday for the premiere of Disney's film, "The Finest Hours."

Less than 24 hours after reports of their detention emerged, 10 U.S. Navy personnel have been freed by Iran. The sailors left an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday morning, along with the boats they were operating when they were taken into custody.

"There are no indications that the sailors were harmed during their brief detention," the Department of Defense says, confirming the release of nine men and one woman.

Iraq's military has launched an offensive to wrest control of the city of Ramadi from Islamic State militants.

NPR's Alison Meuse told our Newscast unit that the operation is backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. Here's more from Alison:

"A 72-hour government deadline for civilians to leave Ramadi is over. Now, U.S. airstrikes are targeting ISIS positions, and Iraqi troops are pushing into the city center from three sides. The troops are working alongside Sunni tribal fighters and militiamen — against the Sunni extremists of Islamic State.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he left his base in Afghanistan in 2009, could receive life in prison.

Overriding the recommended punishment by an Army officer, head of Army Forces Command Gen. Robert B. Abrams ordered that Bergdahl, now the subject of the Serial podcast, face a court-martial for desertion.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Naval Submarine Base New London has a new leader. U.S. Navy Captain Paul Whitescarver, formerly of Norfolk, Virginia, is the SUBASE's new commanding officer.

Saying America's military must draw from "the broadest possible pool of talent," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that women in the U.S. military — including the Army and Marines — can now serve in combat posts.

The formal process to open combat jobs to women began in January of 2013; in finishing that process, Carter acknowledged that in recent years, U.S. women have fought — and sometimes given their lives — in combat posts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cameroon's military says it has killed more than 100 members of Boko Haram and freed more than 900 people who had been held hostage by the militant Islamists.

The news, which is difficult to independently verify, came in a statement from Cameroon's defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo.

"The statement says during the sweep last week, from Nov. 26 to 28, Cameroonian troops also ... recovered a large stock of weaponry and black and white Islamic State flags," NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells our Newscast unit. "Few details were forthcoming about those reportedly freed."

The British Parliament has begun a daylong debate over whether to grant the government authority to conduct airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

The U.K. is already conducting strikes against ISIS in Iraq.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Pentagon has announced it will send additional Special Operations forces to Iraq and Syria to help defeat the so-called Islamic State. The news shouldn't be a surprise according to Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, but he said it is concerning.

Saying his country will not apologize for downing a Russian warplane, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu struck a defiant note after meeting with his NATO allies.

The Associated Press reports that Davutoglu said his country was simply defending its airspace last week when two of its F-16s fired at a Russian Sukhoi SU-24.

One of two crew members survived the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey on Tuesday, Russian officials say, and was rescued by a Syrian commando unit in an operation that ended early Wednesday.

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

Turkey says that after issuing 10 warnings in five minutes, two of its F-16s shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey claims violated its airspace.

When the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle reaches its position near Syria's coast, it will find what until recently might have seemed an unlikely ally: a Russian guided missile cruiser. A U.S. official says Russia is newly receptive to cooperation in Syria.

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An FBI spokeswoman said some weapons have gone missing following a break-in at an Army Reserve center in central Massachusetts.

fidelco.org

The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation has received a federal grant of $106,000 to place two German Shepherd guide dogs with disabled service members and veterans.

Leyda Quast / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy addressed veterans, federal, state and local officials Monday at the dedication of the state's first memorial honoring those in Connecticut who have served the nation.

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Wednesday is November 11, a date originally designated by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I. After World War II, however, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all Americans who have served. 

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The United States Coast Guard Band has been a fixture in eastern Connecticut since its inception 90 years ago. But the Coast Guard is considering moving the ensemble to Washington, D.C.

The FBI Agents Association honored fallen colleagues and the former head of U.S. Special Operations in a star-studded charity gala in Washington on Wednesday.

The second-annual awards dinner generated money to help provide scholarships for children of FBI workers and funds that offer "special assistance" to agents and their families.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the U.S. will begin to increase the tempo of an air campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.

"We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground," Carter said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Zachary Korb www.flickr.com/photos/zkorb/ / Zachary Korb Creative Commons

An Iranian-American engineer has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive U.S. military documents to Iran as part of his application to teach at state-run universities. 

Today marks 90 days since the United Nations Security Council endorsed the landmark nuclear accord agreed between Iran and six world powers (the U.S., Britain, France, Germany China and Russia.)

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will unfold in a series of steps that include nuclear cutbacks made by Iran and sanctions relief offered by the other countries. The phase that begins now is of special interest to nuclear non-proliferation experts.

Iran's Guardian Council on Wednesday approved the deal intended to control Iran's nuclear program. The approval is a final step before implementation, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The 12-member group of senior clerics' OK followed passage by Iran's Parliament on Tuesday.

Israel has started deploying soldiers to cities in an effort to quell escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

NPR's Emily Harris reports that in recent weeks, at least seven Israelis and more than two dozen Palestinians have been killed.

As The Associated Press reports, the deployment comes after a particularly bloody day in Jerusalem in which Palestinians killed three Israelis.

The AP adds:

Iran's Parliament voted Tuesday to support the implementation of the nuclear deal struck by world powers in Vienna in July.

Connecticut Veterans Voice Support for Iran Deal

Sep 17, 2015
CPBN Media Lab

Connecticut resident and former Marine Gulaid Ismail served in Fallujah, Iraq in 2005 when he was 27 years old. Ismail enlisted after 9/11 and said he sees serving in the military as his patriotic duty.

"I didn’t want to just enjoy the liberties, and not say that I had a helping hand, you know, with regards to that," Ismail said. He supports the Iran Deal.

Army veteran Giselle Jacobs, also from Connecticut, agrees. She served in Germany in 1984 when she was 20 years old.

Blondinrikard Fröberg / Creative Commons

When Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that he would support the deal struck between the Obama administration and Iran over that country’s nuclear program, it all but assured that the plan would go through without congressional obstacles. 

The leader of Iran's legislature has definite views on his country's nuclear deal with world powers.

Ali Larijani says the agreement is good enough. He adds that United States' reading of that deal, particularly when it comes to sanctions, is not good at all. And he's hoping that the agreement brings change in his country — though not as much as many Iranians would want.

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