military

Defense Industry
11:37 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Pentagon Grounds All F-35s Amid Fire Investigation

The U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter
Samuel King Jr./U.S. Air Force AP

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 7:19 pm

The Pentagon has grounded all of its F-35s while it investigates the cause of a fire last month involving one of the jets.

In a statement late Thursday, the Defense Department said the decision was made based on initial findings from a runway fire incident June 23 at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. No one was hurt.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

GI Bill Funds; Coast Guard Safety; the Future of the Department of Veterans Affairs

2011 New York Veterans Day Parade.
DVIDSHUB Creative Commons

Passed in 1944 -- 70 years ago -- The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill, was designed to provide American vets with a number of benefits, ranging from business loans, to mortgages, to money that would help with their education. 

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Mon June 30, 2014

ISIS Declares Caliphate As Iraq Fights To Retake Tikrit

Displaced Iraqi citizens receive meals to break their Ramadan fast from a Kurdish charity group. Iraq's central government has launched its first major operation against the ISIS insurgent group.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:58 am

Extremist Sunni group ISIS has announced a plan to rule the territory it has carved out of Iraq and Syria in recent months, in a declaration that touches on public services, salaries and compensation for damages from the violence.

The plan was unveiled as Iraq's central Shiite government tries to retake the city of Tikrit, in its first major operation against the insurgents.

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Connecticut First
4:58 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Air Force Awards Sikorsky Contract; State Insurance Rates Increasing

The Air Force has awarded a 1.3 billion dollar contract to Stratford- based Sikorsky for the H-60 combat rescue helicopters. The Air Force has awarded a contract for 112 of the helicopters.

Increasing State Health Insurance Rates

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Climate Change
3:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning

The naval base at Norfolk has had to build two levels to its docks to accommodate rising sea levels. The water level has risen about 1 1/2 feet since 1920.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:25 am

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.

But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."

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Iraq
3:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Under Attack By ISIS, Iraq Agrees To Give U.S. Troops Immunity

Iraqi Kurdish forces take position near Taza Khormato as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positioned five kilometers away in Bashir on Monday.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 3:44 pm

Remember last week when President Obama said he planned to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq?

Well, the U.S. couldn't do it until the Iraqi government gave U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution, through what's called a "diplomatic note." If those U.S. soldiers committed any crimes or had any legal troubles while advising Iraqis, the U.S. wanted to handle any prosecutions.

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Iraq
7:42 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil?

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen show their enthusiasm Tuesday for joining Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.

What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?

Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.

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Crisis in Iraq
10:40 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Iraq Says It Has Halted Militant Group's Advance On Baghdad

Peshmerga military direct traffic at a Kurdish Check point on Saturday in Kalak, Iraq. Thousands of people have fled Iraq's second city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:45 am

The Iraqi government says it has halted a militant group's advance on Baghdad.

As The Telegraph reports, the Iraqi army started engaging the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, after it made a rapid advance in which it captured the key city of Mosul.

The Telegraph adds:

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Drone Use
12:40 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

U.S. Drones Kill 13 Suspected Militants In Pakistan

An unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on Jan. 31, 2010. U.S. drone strikes killed at least 13 people in two separate strikes Wednesday and Thursday in Pakistan's tribal area.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 3:03 pm

The U.S. resumed its drone strikes inside Pakistan, killing at least 13 people in two separate attacks on militant areas late Wednesday and early Thursday.

At least 10 people were killed in the CIA drone strike on Thursday when, according to The Associated Press, two drones "dropped three missiles on a militant compound and a vehicle in the town of Ghulam Khan." The news agency quoted two Pakistani intelligence officials.

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World
7:40 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Obama: Options Open For Response To Militant Gains In Iraq

ISIS militants at al-Sharqat base north of Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-linked group has captured Mosul as well as Tikrit. This image came from a video posted by IraqiRevolution, a group that supports ISIS.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

The violence in Iraq has intensified today, with al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants moving into areas close to Baghdad after capturing the cities of Mosul and Tikrit.

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Veterans
3:27 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Connecticut Law to Help Veterans Connect to Jobs, College Credit

Margaret Middleton of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.
Credit CVLC

Connecticut is joining a number of states that have passed laws to consider military training when veterans apply for certain jobs or college credit. 

The law stems from recommendations of a legislative task force and a report by the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center

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Freed Soldier
12:11 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Reports: Bergdahl Tells Medical Officials Taliban Kept Him In A Cage

In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (right) stands with a Taliban fighter in eastern Afghanistan.
AP

Originally published on Sun June 8, 2014 3:21 pm

The New York Times and the Associated Press are reporting details about how Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was treated by his Taliban captors.

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Freed Soldier
7:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Bergdahl's Hometown Cancels Celebration Of His Return

Hailey, Idaho: A sign announcing the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl outside Zaney's coffee shop, where Bergdahl worked as a teenager. A rally celebrating his return home has been canceled, after organizers received threats of protests and hate mail.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 8:48 am

The news of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release from five years of captivity had been welcomed as a reason to celebrate in Hailey, Idaho. But organizers of a rally held in Bergdahl's honor while he was a prisoner say they're canceling this year's event, citing backlash over the U.S. deal with the Taliban that freed him.

In recent years, the Bring Back Bowe Rally has been an annual June event in the small town of Hailey, where bikers and POW-MIA support groups gathered to call for his return. Last year's event reportedly drew a crowd of more than 3,000.

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Afghanistan
8:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Taliban Release Video Of Handoff That Freed Bergdahl

An image taken from a video obtained from the Voice of Jihad website shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (right) with a Taliban fighter just before he was released to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 12:20 pm

A Black Hawk helicopter swoops in to pick up Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a valley in Afghanistan, in a video of the handover of the American prisoner of war that was posted online early Wednesday. The Pentagon says it's reviewing the video; a spokesman says there's no reason to question its authenticity.

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Military Readiness
8:43 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Obama Seeks $1 Billion To Boost U.S. Military Presence In Europe

President Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk at a meeting in Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.
Radek Pietruszka EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:45 pm

President Obama said today [Tuesday] that he wants to boost the U.S. military presence in Europe amid simmering tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Who Are The 5 Guantanamo Detainees In Prisoner Swap?

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:34 am

As part of a prisoner swap to free Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the United States agreed to transfer five Guantánamo detainees to Qatar.

NPR's Tom Bowman received a list of the prisoners being released from a Pentagon official. According to documents leaked to the organization WikiLeaks, all five prisoners were high-ranking Taliban officials. Some were considered high-risk and "likely to post a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies."

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Foreign Policy
5:02 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Transcript And Audio: President Obama's Full NPR Interview

President Obama gives the commencement address at the graduation ceremony at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., on Wednesday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
  • Listen To The Full Interview

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama on Wednesday about foreign policy, including his approaches to Syria, Ukraine and China, as well as his remaining White House priorities and his effort to close Guantanamo Bay prison. A full transcript of the interview follows:

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White House
6:00 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

America's Strength Extends Beyond Its Military, Obama Says

President Obama delivers the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Class of 2014, in West Point, N.Y., on Wednesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 8:34 am

American leadership in the 21st century will be defined in part by the nation's military strength, "but only in part," President Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with NPR about his foreign policy priorities.

Echoing themes he expressed during a speech Wednesday to West Point graduates, Obama emphasized the importance of international norms and alliances in addressing challenges such as Russia, China and Syria.

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Here & Now
4:28 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Obama Announces Afghan Troop Withdrawal Plan

President Barack Obama speaks about troop pullout from Afghanistan at the White House on May 27. The administration's plan is to keep a contingency force of 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, consolidating them in Kabul and on Bagram Air Base. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:59 am

A day ahead of a big foreign policy speech at West Point tomorrow, President Obama is making public his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Obama is largely taking the recommendation of his generals and plans to leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan for one year beyond the withdrawal of combat forces in December. By the end of 2015, that number will be halved with troops consolidated in the Kabul area, and their primary mission will not be combat but counter-terrorism.

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Service Members
11:37 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Obama Plans To Leave Residual Force Of 9,800 In Afghanistan

Sgt. Kyle Gonzales, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne, has a cigarette after a gun battle near the village of Babaker, Giro district, Ghazni province. The soldiers have engaged in gun battles every time they push into the hamlets north of their forward operating base.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 5:31 pm

(This post was last updated at 3:00 p.m. ET.)

President Obama announced on Tuesday a plan to leave a residual force of 9,800 service members in Afghanistan beyond 2014. By 2016, most troops will be out of the country.

"It's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on... wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.

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Mental Health
2:08 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders

In epilepsy, the normal behavior of brain neurons is disturbed. The drug valproic acid appears to help the brain replenish a key chemical, preventing seizures.
David Mack/Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 1:35 pm

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain.

The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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Interviews
2:03 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
AP

This interview was originally broadcast on March 3, 2014.

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

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Thailand
7:53 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Coup In Thailand: Military Seizes Control Of Country

Thai soldiers patrol after army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the armed forces were seizing power after months of political turmoil.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:37 am

Thailand's army is now running the country. Two days after declaring martial law — and saying it wasn't staging a coup — the military has changed its mind, Thailand's army chief says.

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Commencement Speeches
4:41 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Delivers Keynote at U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Commencement at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.
USCGA

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 133rd Commencement Exercises on Wednesday. 

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Thailand
7:57 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Thai Army Declares Martial Law But Says It's No Coup

Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (front) during a military parade in January. The army has declared martial law amid months of political unrest.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Thailand's army has declared martial law less than two weeks after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was thrown out of office by the country's Constitutional Court.

The Associated Press reports:

"The army said in a statement that it had taken the action to 'keep peace and order,' and soldiers entered several private television stations that are sympathetic to protesters.

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Iron Will
7:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Russia Shows Off Military In Red Square Victory Day Parade

Russian soldiers march in Moscow's Red Square during Friday's Victory Day parade, a show of military might amid tensions in Ukraine following Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 10:08 am

It's a day for patriots in Russia, where the country is celebrating Victory Day to commemorate the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. A parade of troops, tanks and missile launchers made its way through Red Square to mark the occasion.

"It is a holiday when an overwhelming force of patriotism triumphs, when all of us feel particularly acutely what it means to be loyal to the motherland and how important it is to defend its interests," President Vladimir Putin said.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

"The Things They Carry" in Afghanistan; Wits' John Moe Is a Nerd

U.S. soldiers overlook the Chowkay Valley in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Credit U.S. Army / Creative Commons

Inspired by Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War book The Things They Carried, journalist Jake Warga set out to document some of the physical objects and emotional memories carried by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Jake recently joins us to talk about the series, The Things They Carry: U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan, which will begin airing as part of our Coming Home Project on WNPR.

We also visit with John Moe, host of the public radio show Wits. He's in Hartford this weekend to moderate the Connecticut Forum’s season finale event, Nerd Fest: Why Nerds Rule the World.

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Veterans
8:27 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Lawsuit Filed Against VA On Behalf of Military Sexual Trauma Survivors

Kuzma/iStock Thinkstock

Veterans' advocacy groups are suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, alleging the VA discriminates against veterans who file PTSD disability claims based on being raped, assaulted, or sexually harassed while in the military.

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National Guard
2:29 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Connecticut Lt. Governor Opposes Federal Budget Cuts to National Guard

Sgt. Zach Smola, rear door gunner on a CH-47, keeps watch on the mountains in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, May 12, 2013. The Chinooks operated by members of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 104th Avia. Regiment from the CT and PA Army National Guards
U.S Army

Connecticut's Lieutenant Governor joined her counterparts nationwide to express concerns over possible federal budget cuts to the National Guard. 

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Air Force Contracts
2:26 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Space X To Protest No-Bid National Security Contracts

Elon Musk, chief executive officer and chief designer of SpaceX.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 6:17 pm

SpaceX will launch an official protest against the Air Force for its no-bid national security launch contracts to Boeing and Lockheed, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a televised press conference.

He said his company thought the process was "unfair" and that he wanted to shine a light on the process.

"As I've said, sunlight is the best disinfectant. If everything's fine, then I guess that's great," Musk said. "But that seems unlikely to me."

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