Tagged: points

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2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, wins Sullivan Cup tank competition at Fort Benning

The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright) VIEW ORIGINAL[1]
The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright) VIEW ORIGINAL[2]
The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright) VIEW ORIGINAL[3]
The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright) VIEW ORIGINAL[4]
The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4, 2018 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo Patrick Albright) VIEW ORIGINAL[5]

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The Sullivan Cup, a biennial competition to determine the best tank crew in the Army through a series of scored tests, finished May 4 with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, earning the top spot at Fort Benning, Georgia.

After several days of competition, the tank crews performed one final timed event May 4.

Staggered by their points placement on the morning of the last day, the tank crews ran a 1.7-mile route to Brave Rifles Field the morning of May 4. On the field, the crewmembers performed several tank-related physical and mental tasks. Crewmembers also completed five burpees between each station, and there was a five-burpee penalty for incorrect responses and failures on tasks.

After the completion of the final competitive event, tallies were made of the scores from throughout the competition. The top finishers in the Sullivan Cup were:

– 1st place: B Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Stewart, Georgia
– 2nd place: C Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division from Fort Riley, Kansas
– 3rd place: 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Brig. Gen. David A. Lesperance, commandant of the U.S. Army Armor School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, spoke at the competition’s closing ceremony.

“Never in my wildest imagination would I have guessed that it would have delivered what it did for army today,” said Lesperance. “They truly have identified the best tank crew and tank crews the Army has to offer today.”

The first day of competition included a stress shoot adapted specifically for tank crews and a ranked simulated combat maneuver exercise. On the second two days, the crews conducted a live-fire exercise and a situational training exercise. The scored events were meant to represent both what tank crews trained on and what they could expect in combat.

“What do we expect of a tank crew in our army today?” Lesperance asked rhetorically during the closing ceremony. “We expect that tank crew to be able to survive, maneuver to a point of positional advantage, to get our weapons into the fight and to deliver first-round lethality and have an effect on our target and have our target destroyed.”

Staff Sgt. Johnathan Werner, tank commander, Cpl. Justin Harris, gunner, Pvt. Brandon Zacher, loader, and Pvt. Dekken Sanders, driver, the winning tank crew from 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, had only worked together for a few months before joining the competition.

“It’s pretty intense for the past roughly three months, but we gave it our all,” said Harris.

Werner described the competition as “fierce.”

“This is stuff that we do on a day-to-day basis — tanker grade gunnery, maneuvering — this is our job,” said Werner. “But when you put everyone in one area, the best of the best you possibly in the entire world, and then you compete and you have a bunch of alpha males, it kind of speaks for itself.”

Werner echoed Lesperance’s belief in the real-life use of the training they received during the competition.

“The way they facilitated the training, just by the book, the way they did the props for the gunnery, the way they did the STX training and the stress shoot, it was a little more realistic for combat engagement,” said Werner. “We should be able to take that back to the units and implement that on a lower level, not necessarily just for competitors. But if we can do this worldwide and have the worldwide training, the way the Army can, it’s what we really need to work toward.”

Both Zacher and Sanders, who have been in the Army for less than a year, found it strange to return to Fort Benning after finishing their basic training here. Sanders described the experience as “surreal.” Zacher appreciated seeing his trainers.

“It’s been pretty great seeing some of our old drill sergeants and shaking their hands,” said Zacher. “They’ve been rooting for us, so it feels great.”

To see photos from the 2018 Sullivan Cup, visit “Photo Album” in the “Related Links” section on this page.

RELATED LINKS

References

  1. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  2. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  3. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  4. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
  5. ^ View Original (www.army.mil)
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Military Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq


SOUTHWEST ASIA —

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between April 27-May 3, conducting 27 strikes consisting of 35 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.  [1]

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal.

On May 2, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes destroyed an ISIS storage facility.

On May 1, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, four strikes damaged an ISIS-held building.

— Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two headquarters buildings.

On April 30, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 12 engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Abu Kamal, six strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS staging area, a tunnel and a headquarters.

— Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

— Near Shadaddi, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle, two headquarters buildings and damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

On April 29, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

— A strike took place near Dayr Az Zawr.

— Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes in Iraq May 2-3.

On May 1, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of eight engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Huwijah, two strikes destroyed 31 ISIS tunnel systems and six caves.

— Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed an ISIS bunker.

On April 30, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets:

— Near Mosul, a strike destroyed an ISIS tunnel system.

–Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed an ISIS fighting position.

There were no reported strikes in Iraq on April 29.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. [2]

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

References

  1. ^ Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (www.inherentresolve.mil)
  2. ^ Operation Inherent Resolve (www.defense.gov)
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Keeping women in the military takes more than just opening up combat roles, committee says

As the military is turning more toward women to fill its ranks, a 67-year-old advisory board is lending a hand to the Defense Department on how to market to and attract women to serve in 2018 and beyond.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services released its annual report[1] earlier this month and a large chunk of the recommendations focus on how the military can keep women in the service and keep them from leaving in the middle of their careers.

“There is concern across all of the branches at mid-career retention for women versus men. All of the services in varying career fields, at varying points but still within that mid-range of a 20 year career, they are experiencing challenges with women leaving at higher rates,” said Janet Wolfenbarger, chairwoman of the committee during a March 19 event at the Association of the United States Army in Arlington, Va.

The committee is guiding DoD to possibly retaining more mid-career women with recommendations like making policy changes that make transitions of service members between components and even military services easier.

DoD already adopted one of the committee’s recommendations, which is to start exit surveys to assess why the attrition level for women is higher than men at certain career points.

“It turns out at the time the committee did this work that there wasn’t a concerted effort that got after those exit surveys universally across all those surveys. It turns out that as we were publishing this report we were informed there will be exit surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

Another issue affecting women mid-career is options for maternity leave.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced[2] an increase in maternity leave to 12 weeks and expanded paternity[3] leave to three weeks.

Wolfenbarger said the committee found there need to be some tweaks to that, specifically how it’s used. The committee recommended allowing flexible, noncontinuous parental leave by request.

“Although current maternity and parental leave policies are a strong step in the right direction, more can be done to tailor leave to families’ unique situations,” the report stated. The flexible option “is one potential way to support a service member after a child joins the member’s family, whether through birth or adoption. The committee believes allowing noncontinuous leave, when requested, could help service members better balance their unique family needs during critical junctures of their lives and, in turn, help support retention efforts.

The committee also suggested removing the stipulation that a couple needs to be married to receive full parental leave benefits.

While the military continues to do its best to retain women in mid-career, it also wants to help recruit new women to the force.

“We had briefings from all across the services on marketing efforts. All of them are doing relative to gaining women who are [eligible] now, who not only qualify but want to raise their hand and serve in the military. Our belief was after listening to some of those marketing approaches … there may have been missed opportunities there from looking at the things women were most interested in, in the [marketing] surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

The committee suggests tailoring some marketing to women’s specific interests in order to inspire them to join.

“Women were more likely than men to be motivated by travel, education, and helping others and their communities,” the survey stated. “Data such as these can help the military services optimally tailor marketing messages to encourage more women to consider the many benefits of military service. Although a marketing strategy focused on patriotism may have been successful at recruiting men in the past, current data indicate that strategy does not align with the motivations of prospective female military members, and the data also illustrate more effective ways to recruit women.”

The committee also suggests studying best practices of other countries for better recruitment of women.

References

  1. ^ annual report (dacowits.defense.gov)
  2. ^ announced (federalnewsradio.com)
  3. ^ expanded paternity (federalnewsradio.com)
0

Talks with North Korea won't stop annual US-South Korea military exercises

In a turnaround, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said to President Donald Trump that the rogue nation will not carry out nuclear and missile tests during the two months that the U.S. and South Korea will conduct their annual large-scale military exercises on the Korean peninsula. In the past, the exercises have often drawn North Korea’s ire and prompted provocative North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announced at the White House Thursday night that the president had accepted to meet with Kim Jong Un by May. Chung also briefed Trump that in his meeting this weekend with Kim, the North Korean leader “pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

And he added that Kim “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.”

The U.S. and South Korea postponed this year’s annual “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” exercises until after the Winter Olympics[1] and Paralympic Games[2] being held in South Korea. The exercises typically involve additional air, sea and ground forces beyond the 28,500 American troops[3] regularly deployed to South Korea.

“The focus during this time is the security and success of the Olympics,” said Lt. Colonel Christopher Logan, a Defense Department spokesman. “We will release additional information about future exercises after the Olympics.”

The Paralympic Games end on March 18, but the Pentagon[4] has not officially announced a start date for both exercises that are typically held every March and April.

According to a U.S. official, though, the Foal Eagle exercise will begin on March 31 and last for two months. The Key Resolve exercise will begin in mid-April and extend through the first week in May, the official said.

During Foal Eagle, large numbers of U.S. and South Korean military personnel carry out realistic training scenarios throughout South Korea. But Key Resolve involves only headquarters units reacting to computer simulations.

North Korea has often condemned the Foal Eagle exercise and used it as an excuse for its provocative missile and nuclear tests.

“North Korea objects to Foal Eagle because it involves U.S. troops coming to South Korea, and participating in realistic joint training, said Steve Ganyard, ABC News contributor. “It directly counteracts North Korean propaganda and points out the strength of the U.S. and South Korean military alliance.”

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un[5] may have softened that stance with his recent overture for denuclearization talks with the United States.

South Korean officials who met with Kim this past weekend said he told them he understood why South Korea holds the exercises and said they would be hard to cancel anyway.

“If Kim sticks to his playbook, ceasing field exercises like Foal Eagle will be among the first North Korean demands,” said Ganyard. “He sees it as a way to weaken the South’s military defense and thereby divide the alliance.”

Ganyard said the first test of the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance will be if Kim’s demand gains popular support in South Korea while the U.S. would probably want to see North Korea make concrete proposals, particularly about doing away with its nuclear weapons program[6].

Traveling in Ethiopia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[7] tempered expectations about North Korea’s offer of talks with the United States, noting it’s still too soon to tell if they are possible.

Prior to Chung’s dramatic announcement at the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had tempered expectations about possible talks with North Korea.

While he acknowledged discussions about talks are “potentially positive signs,” Tillerson cautioned, “we’re a long way from negotiations.”

“We just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it,” said Tillerson. “I think the first step, and I’ve said this before is to have talks, to have some kind of talks about talks because I don’t know yet until we are able to meet ourselves face to face with representatives of North Korea whether the conditions are right to even begin thinking about negotiations.”

Senior Korean officials arrived in Washington on Thursday to brief top U.S. officials with the specifics of Kim’s proposals for possible talks.

References

  1. ^ Winter Olympics (abcnews.go.com)
  2. ^ Paralympic Games (abcnews.go.com)
  3. ^ American troops (abcnews.go.com)
  4. ^ the Pentagon (abcnews.go.com)
  5. ^ Kim Jong Un (abcnews.go.com)
  6. ^ weapons program (abcnews.go.com)
  7. ^ Rex Tillerson (abcnews.go.com)
0

Talks with North Korea won't stop annual US-South Korea military exercises

In a turnaround, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said to President Donald Trump that the rogue nation will not carry out nuclear and missile tests during the two months that the U.S. and South Korea will conduct their annual large-scale military exercises on the Korean peninsula. In the past, the exercises have often drawn North Korea’s ire and prompted provocative North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announced at the White House Thursday night that the president had accepted to meet with Kim Jong Un by May. Chung also briefed Trump that in his meeting this weekend with Kim, the North Korean leader “pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

And he added that Kim “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.”

The U.S. and South Korea postponed this year’s annual “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” exercises until after the Winter Olympics[1] and Paralympic Games[2] being held in South Korea. The exercises typically involve additional air, sea and ground forces beyond the 28,500 American troops[3] regularly deployed to South Korea.

“The focus during this time is the security and success of the Olympics,” said Lt. Colonel Christopher Logan, a Defense Department spokesman. “We will release additional information about future exercises after the Olympics.”

The Paralympic Games end on March 18, but the Pentagon[4] has not officially announced a start date for both exercises that are typically held every March and April.

According to a U.S. official, though, the Foal Eagle exercise will begin on March 31 and last for two months. The Key Resolve exercise will begin in mid-April and extend through the first week in May, the official said.

During Foal Eagle, large numbers of U.S. and South Korean military personnel carry out realistic training scenarios throughout South Korea. But Key Resolve involves only headquarters units reacting to computer simulations.

North Korea has often condemned the Foal Eagle exercise and used it as an excuse for its provocative missile and nuclear tests.

“North Korea objects to Foal Eagle because it involves U.S. troops coming to South Korea, and participating in realistic joint training, said Steve Ganyard, ABC News contributor. “It directly counteracts North Korean propaganda and points out the strength of the U.S. and South Korean military alliance.”

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un[5] may have softened that stance with his recent overture for denuclearization talks with the United States.

South Korean officials who met with Kim this past weekend said he told them he understood why South Korea holds the exercises and said they would be hard to cancel anyway.

“If Kim sticks to his playbook, ceasing field exercises like Foal Eagle will be among the first North Korean demands,” said Ganyard. “He sees it as a way to weaken the South’s military defense and thereby divide the alliance.”

Ganyard said the first test of the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance will be if Kim’s demand gains popular support in South Korea while the U.S. would probably want to see North Korea make concrete proposals, particularly about doing away with its nuclear weapons program[6].

Traveling in Ethiopia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[7] tempered expectations about North Korea’s offer of talks with the United States, noting it’s still too soon to tell if they are possible.

Prior to Chung’s dramatic announcement at the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had tempered expectations about possible talks with North Korea.

While he acknowledged discussions about talks are “potentially positive signs,” Tillerson cautioned, “we’re a long way from negotiations.”

“We just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it,” said Tillerson. “I think the first step, and I’ve said this before is to have talks, to have some kind of talks about talks because I don’t know yet until we are able to meet ourselves face to face with representatives of North Korea whether the conditions are right to even begin thinking about negotiations.”

Senior Korean officials arrived in Washington on Thursday to brief top U.S. officials with the specifics of Kim’s proposals for possible talks.

References

  1. ^ Winter Olympics (abcnews.go.com)
  2. ^ Paralympic Games (abcnews.go.com)
  3. ^ American troops (abcnews.go.com)
  4. ^ the Pentagon (abcnews.go.com)
  5. ^ Kim Jong Un (abcnews.go.com)
  6. ^ weapons program (abcnews.go.com)
  7. ^ Rex Tillerson (abcnews.go.com)
0

Talks with North Korea won't stop annual US-South Korea military exercises

In a turnaround, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said to President Donald Trump that the rogue nation will not carry out nuclear and missile tests during the two months that the U.S. and South Korea will conduct their annual large-scale military exercises on the Korean peninsula. In the past, the exercises have often drawn North Korea’s ire and prompted provocative North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announced at the White House Thursday night that the president had accepted to meet with Kim Jong Un by May. Chung also briefed Trump that in his meeting this weekend with Kim, the North Korean leader “pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

And he added that Kim “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.”

The U.S. and South Korea postponed this year’s annual “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” exercises until after the Winter Olympics[1] and Paralympic Games[2] being held in South Korea. The exercises typically involve additional air, sea and ground forces beyond the 28,500 American troops[3] regularly deployed to South Korea.

“The focus during this time is the security and success of the Olympics,” said Lt. Colonel Christopher Logan, a Defense Department spokesman. “We will release additional information about future exercises after the Olympics.”

The Paralympic Games end on March 18, but the Pentagon[4] has not officially announced a start date for both exercises that are typically held every March and April.

According to a U.S. official, though, the Foal Eagle exercise will begin on March 31 and last for two months. The Key Resolve exercise will begin in mid-April and extend through the first week in May, the official said.

During Foal Eagle, large numbers of U.S. and South Korean military personnel carry out realistic training scenarios throughout South Korea. But Key Resolve involves only headquarters units reacting to computer simulations.

North Korea has often condemned the Foal Eagle exercise and used it as an excuse for its provocative missile and nuclear tests.

“North Korea objects to Foal Eagle because it involves U.S. troops coming to South Korea, and participating in realistic joint training, said Steve Ganyard, ABC News contributor. “It directly counteracts North Korean propaganda and points out the strength of the U.S. and South Korean military alliance.”

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un[5] may have softened that stance with his recent overture for denuclearization talks with the United States.

South Korean officials who met with Kim this past weekend said he told them he understood why South Korea holds the exercises and said they would be hard to cancel anyway.

“If Kim sticks to his playbook, ceasing field exercises like Foal Eagle will be among the first North Korean demands,” said Ganyard. “He sees it as a way to weaken the South’s military defense and thereby divide the alliance.”

Ganyard said the first test of the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance will be if Kim’s demand gains popular support in South Korea while the U.S. would probably want to see North Korea make concrete proposals, particularly about doing away with its nuclear weapons program[6].

Traveling in Ethiopia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[7] tempered expectations about North Korea’s offer of talks with the United States, noting it’s still too soon to tell if they are possible.

Prior to Chung’s dramatic announcement at the White House, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had tempered expectations about possible talks with North Korea.

While he acknowledged discussions about talks are “potentially positive signs,” Tillerson cautioned, “we’re a long way from negotiations.”

“We just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it,” said Tillerson. “I think the first step, and I’ve said this before is to have talks, to have some kind of talks about talks because I don’t know yet until we are able to meet ourselves face to face with representatives of North Korea whether the conditions are right to even begin thinking about negotiations.”

Senior Korean officials arrived in Washington on Thursday to brief top U.S. officials with the specifics of Kim’s proposals for possible talks.

References

  1. ^ Winter Olympics (abcnews.go.com)
  2. ^ Paralympic Games (abcnews.go.com)
  3. ^ American troops (abcnews.go.com)
  4. ^ the Pentagon (abcnews.go.com)
  5. ^ Kim Jong Un (abcnews.go.com)
  6. ^ weapons program (abcnews.go.com)
  7. ^ Rex Tillerson (abcnews.go.com)
0

Think One Military Drone is Bad? Drone Swarms Are Terrifyingly Difficult to Stop

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use[1].

The advent of military drones and their rapidly expanding portfolio of capabilities has already had a major impact on the future of warfare planning across the United States. The Pentagon has launched a major program to build a new artificial intelligence for controlling its own drone efforts, and Google is helping it[2]. Concern over the long-term impact of low-cost missiles and drones drove the Navy’s research into railguns and other delivery vehicles with lower-cost projectile systems until those programs were shelved. Legal experts and military tacticians have both debated how the use of remote autonomous vehicles could challenge existing views on the use of force across the military and in civilian encounters.

But our view of a military drone as an expensive, large, fixed-wing aircraft with a bevy of sophisticated onboard sensors and capabilities may rapidly be as obsolescent as the idea of wooden-hulled battleships. As a recent story in The Atlantic[3] points out, rapid advances in drone technology are making it easier to deploy incredibly primitive “drones” that are still capable of doing real damage.

The National Academy of Science was recently commissioned to write a report on the risks of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and whether the military’s existing timetable for evaluating and developing responses to existing threats is satisfactory. The subsequent report wasted few words, stating[4]:

The U.S. Army’s force capability timeframe is too drawn out to address the rapid advancements in sUAS performance capabilities and anticipated threat uses. This is because potential adversaries are improving their sUAS capabilities on commercial and consumer developmental timelines.

FAA investigations into a single drone firing a handgun make headlines in the US — and to be sure, that’s something civilian law enforcement should absolutely care about — but forget about the dubious mechanics of trying to fire a weapon aboard a moving platform with a weight measured in ounces. A simple drone built out of plywood can carry and drop a hand grenade. Russian drones carrying a pound of thermite are believed to have destroyed two Ukrainian ammo depots last year, in July[5] and September[6]. And an entire swarm of primitive drones struck Russian forces in Syria this year[7]. Of the 13 drones that struck Russia’s Syrian HQ, seven were shot down and six brought down by electronic countermeasures. While the Russians defeated this attack, it proves the point — militias and guerilla organizations working with minimal tools can now build drones capable of launching attacks.

The US military has invested in electronic countermeasures, believing that the key to stopping drones is the use of jamming. But as drones become more proficient at making decisions on their own, the need for a remote uplink could vanish altogether. And as the report notes, simply shooting at the diminutive drones isn’t a great option for stopping them.

“Kinetic counters, such as shooting down a single, highly dynamic, fast-moving, low-flying hobby aircraft with small arms (rifles, shotguns, and light machine guns), are extremely difficult due to the agility and small size of sUASs,” the report states. “Additionally, swarming sUASs can be employed to overwhelm most existing kinetic countermeasures.”

The United States is working on its own drone swarms, including a recent test of a deployment of more than 100 robin-sized micro-drones designed by Perdix from a pair of F-18s. The Perdix drones are being built as part of research into using large swarms of drones with a distributed intelligence. The goal is to use them for unmanned aerial surveillance, taking advantage of the fact that it’s much harder to hit a bunch of tiny drones than a single large target like a Predator drone.

It’s not clear yet what an effective response to this attack strategy will look like. The military still grapples with fighting guerilla and insurgent forces effectively because the nature of civil conflict within states is, for various reasons, a difficult problem for conventional armed forces to confront. The advent of cheap, easily assembled drone swarms serving as a micro-bombing fleet could make such situations worse. How do you identify and strike military centers when the “air force” attacking you can be assembled largely from scrap and cobbled-together components, powered by a “brain” equivalent to a midrange smartphone, and launched from a parking lot?

References

  1. ^ Terms of use (www.ziffdavis.com)
  2. ^ is helping it (www.extremetech.com)
  3. ^ The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com)
  4. ^ stating (www.nap.edu)
  5. ^ July (www.popsci.com)
  6. ^ September (www.popularmechanics.com)
  7. ^ this year (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

China's military spending

When assessing China’s military spending and modernization, we should keep six things in mind. First, China’s official military spending figures are questionable, with many independent estimates[1] suggesting that it already spends in excess of $200 billion on its military each year. Although the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has become somewhat more transparent over the past two decades, the exact annual defence budget should be taken with a grain of salt.

Two, until about 2020 the PLA will be undertaking[2] perhaps its most radical modernization drive[3] since 1949, shrinking the size of its ground forces by about 300,000, increasing the relative weight of its air force and navy, and improving joint theatre-level command and control structures. In short, the PLA is evolving into a modern, war-fighting, and offensive-oriented force.

Three, despite spending increases, China’s ability to import defence equipment and technology is still limited by export controls and arms embargoes. Russia and the former Soviet republics are the largest exporters to China over the past five years, with sensors, missiles, and aircraft among the equipment provided. However, the fact that China’s arms imports have steadily decreased[4] over the past 15 years points to its growing defence industrial capabilities, helped in part by reverse engineering[5]and technological theft[6].

Four, as recently as 2013, China spent more on internal security[7] than on defence (local security spending from 2014 onwards has not been fully divulged[8]). This includes funding for entities such as the Ministry of State Security (intelligence) and Ministry of Public Security (law and order), whose functions partly contribute to national defence. But equally, this indicates Beijing’s continuing concerns about its vulnerability to domestic unrest.

Five, despite its greater resources, the PLA of today has never fought a war. Gen. Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, is among the few remaining officers with battle experience (against Vietnam). This is in stark contrast to the United States, which has been battle-hardened (and fatigued) from almost constant warfare in the Gulf, Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Considering the rising[9] tide of[10] jingoism[11], the PLA’s inexperience suggests that it is an adolescent andpotentially[12] trigger-happy[13] force, one that is as likely to drag a country into conflict as it is to prevent one.

Six, rather paradoxically, the PLA remains a force of last resort—for now. The recent pattern of Chinese assertiveness – whether in the East China Sea or in the Himalayas – has often involved a three-tier approach. It is led by apparent civilians, such as armed fishing vessels[14]dredging ships[15], or road building crews, who are backed up by paramilitary or law enforcement forces such as coast guard vessels and border security. The PLA itself offers a large latent threat, but one that has (so far) barked[16] more than it has bitten[17]. In fact, information, psychological, and legal warfare[18] and economic coercion[19] remain at the pointy end of China’s spear.

What is without doubt is that China has the second-most potent military today after the United States, and this represents the degree to which Beijing has become a peer competitor to Washington as a global power. Its ability to play an offensive role in future conflicts has increased. This is obviously a concern for countries along China’s periphery, particularly those with which it has outstanding territorial disputes. These include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Bhutan, and India. China’s growing military profile also directly involves the United States, which is a resident power in the Western Pacific with alliance commitments to five countries. For all these actors, China’s increased military spending, capabilities, and assertiveness will require continued vigilance, confidence-building measures, and exhortations for greater transparency. At the same time, it will necessitate better defence preparedness, stronger alliances and partnerships to raise the potential costs of Chinese military adventurism, and if necessary the resolute and appropriate application of force.

References

  1. ^ independent estimates (chinapower.csis.org)
  2. ^ undertaking (www.rand.org)
  3. ^ modernization drive (ndupress.ndu.edu)
  4. ^ steadily decreased (armstrade.sipri.org)
  5. ^ reverse engineering (www.reuters.com)
  6. ^ technological theft (www.popularmechanics.com)
  7. ^ more on internal security (www.reuters.com)
  8. ^ been fully divulged (blogs.wsj.com)
  9. ^ rising (foreignpolicy.com)
  10. ^ tide of (edition.cnn.com)
  11. ^ jingoism (www.bbc.com)
  12. ^ potentially (www.newsweek.com)
  13. ^ trigger-happy (www.japantimes.co.jp)
  14. ^ armed fishing vessels (www.washingtonpost.com)
  15. ^ dredging ships (www.ft.com)
  16. ^ barked (www.scmp.com)
  17. ^ bitten (www.lowyinstitute.org)
  18. ^ information, psychological, and legal warfare (jamestown.org)
  19. ^ economic coercion (money.cnn.com)
0

China's military spending

When assessing China’s military spending and modernization, we should keep six things in mind. First, China’s official military spending figures are questionable, with many independent estimates[1] suggesting that it already spends in excess of $200 billion on its military each year. Although the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has become somewhat more transparent over the past two decades, the exact annual defence budget should be taken with a grain of salt.

Two, until about 2020 the PLA will be undertaking[2] perhaps its most radical modernization drive[3] since 1949, shrinking the size of its ground forces by about 300,000, increasing the relative weight of its air force and navy, and improving joint theatre-level command and control structures. In short, the PLA is evolving into a modern, war-fighting, and offensive-oriented force.

Three, despite spending increases, China’s ability to import defence equipment and technology is still limited by export controls and arms embargoes. Russia and the former Soviet republics are the largest exporters to China over the past five years, with sensors, missiles, and aircraft among the equipment provided. However, the fact that China’s arms imports have steadily decreased[4] over the past 15 years points to its growing defence industrial capabilities, helped in part by reverse engineering[5]and technological theft[6].

Four, as recently as 2013, China spent more on internal security[7] than on defence (local security spending from 2014 onwards has not been fully divulged[8]). This includes funding for entities such as the Ministry of State Security (intelligence) and Ministry of Public Security (law and order), whose functions partly contribute to national defence. But equally, this indicates Beijing’s continuing concerns about its vulnerability to domestic unrest.

Five, despite its greater resources, the PLA of today has never fought a war. Gen. Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, is among the few remaining officers with battle experience (against Vietnam). This is in stark contrast to the United States, which has been battle-hardened (and fatigued) from almost constant warfare in the Gulf, Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Considering the rising[9] tide of[10] jingoism[11], the PLA’s inexperience suggests that it is an adolescent andpotentially[12] trigger-happy[13] force, one that is as likely to drag a country into conflict as it is to prevent one.

Six, rather paradoxically, the PLA remains a force of last resort—for now. The recent pattern of Chinese assertiveness – whether in the East China Sea or in the Himalayas – has often involved a three-tier approach. It is led by apparent civilians, such as armed fishing vessels[14]dredging ships[15], or road building crews, who are backed up by paramilitary or law enforcement forces such as coast guard vessels and border security. The PLA itself offers a large latent threat, but one that has (so far) barked[16] more than it has bitten[17]. In fact, information, psychological, and legal warfare[18] and economic coercion[19] remain at the pointy end of China’s spear.

What is without doubt is that China has the second-most potent military today after the United States, and this represents the degree to which Beijing has become a peer competitor to Washington as a global power. Its ability to play an offensive role in future conflicts has increased. This is obviously a concern for countries along China’s periphery, particularly those with which it has outstanding territorial disputes. These include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Bhutan, and India. China’s growing military profile also directly involves the United States, which is a resident power in the Western Pacific with alliance commitments to five countries. For all these actors, China’s increased military spending, capabilities, and assertiveness will require continued vigilance, confidence-building measures, and exhortations for greater transparency. At the same time, it will necessitate better defence preparedness, stronger alliances and partnerships to raise the potential costs of Chinese military adventurism, and if necessary the resolute and appropriate application of force.

References

  1. ^ independent estimates (chinapower.csis.org)
  2. ^ undertaking (www.rand.org)
  3. ^ modernization drive (ndupress.ndu.edu)
  4. ^ steadily decreased (armstrade.sipri.org)
  5. ^ reverse engineering (www.reuters.com)
  6. ^ technological theft (www.popularmechanics.com)
  7. ^ more on internal security (www.reuters.com)
  8. ^ been fully divulged (blogs.wsj.com)
  9. ^ rising (foreignpolicy.com)
  10. ^ tide of (edition.cnn.com)
  11. ^ jingoism (www.bbc.com)
  12. ^ potentially (www.newsweek.com)
  13. ^ trigger-happy (www.japantimes.co.jp)
  14. ^ armed fishing vessels (www.washingtonpost.com)
  15. ^ dredging ships (www.ft.com)
  16. ^ barked (www.scmp.com)
  17. ^ bitten (www.lowyinstitute.org)
  18. ^ information, psychological, and legal warfare (jamestown.org)
  19. ^ economic coercion (money.cnn.com)
0

China's military spending

When assessing China’s military spending and modernization, we should keep six things in mind. First, China’s official military spending figures are questionable, with many independent estimates[1] suggesting that it already spends in excess of $200 billion on its military each year. Although the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has become somewhat more transparent over the past two decades, the exact annual defence budget should be taken with a grain of salt.

Two, until about 2020 the PLA will be undertaking[2] perhaps its most radical modernization drive[3] since 1949, shrinking the size of its ground forces by about 300,000, increasing the relative weight of its air force and navy, and improving joint theatre-level command and control structures. In short, the PLA is evolving into a modern, war-fighting, and offensive-oriented force.

Three, despite spending increases, China’s ability to import defence equipment and technology is still limited by export controls and arms embargoes. Russia and the former Soviet republics are the largest exporters to China over the past five years, with sensors, missiles, and aircraft among the equipment provided. However, the fact that China’s arms imports have steadily decreased[4] over the past 15 years points to its growing defence industrial capabilities, helped in part by reverse engineering[5]and technological theft[6].

Four, as recently as 2013, China spent more on internal security[7] than on defence (local security spending from 2014 onwards has not been fully divulged[8]). This includes funding for entities such as the Ministry of State Security (intelligence) and Ministry of Public Security (law and order), whose functions partly contribute to national defence. But equally, this indicates Beijing’s continuing concerns about its vulnerability to domestic unrest.

Five, despite its greater resources, the PLA of today has never fought a war. Gen. Zhang Youxia, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, is among the few remaining officers with battle experience (against Vietnam). This is in stark contrast to the United States, which has been battle-hardened (and fatigued) from almost constant warfare in the Gulf, Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Considering the rising[9] tide of[10] jingoism[11], the PLA’s inexperience suggests that it is an adolescent andpotentially[12] trigger-happy[13] force, one that is as likely to drag a country into conflict as it is to prevent one.

Six, rather paradoxically, the PLA remains a force of last resort—for now. The recent pattern of Chinese assertiveness – whether in the East China Sea or in the Himalayas – has often involved a three-tier approach. It is led by apparent civilians, such as armed fishing vessels[14]dredging ships[15], or road building crews, who are backed up by paramilitary or law enforcement forces such as coast guard vessels and border security. The PLA itself offers a large latent threat, but one that has (so far) barked[16] more than it has bitten[17]. In fact, information, psychological, and legal warfare[18] and economic coercion[19] remain at the pointy end of China’s spear.

What is without doubt is that China has the second-most potent military today after the United States, and this represents the degree to which Beijing has become a peer competitor to Washington as a global power. Its ability to play an offensive role in future conflicts has increased. This is obviously a concern for countries along China’s periphery, particularly those with which it has outstanding territorial disputes. These include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Bhutan, and India. China’s growing military profile also directly involves the United States, which is a resident power in the Western Pacific with alliance commitments to five countries. For all these actors, China’s increased military spending, capabilities, and assertiveness will require continued vigilance, confidence-building measures, and exhortations for greater transparency. At the same time, it will necessitate better defence preparedness, stronger alliances and partnerships to raise the potential costs of Chinese military adventurism, and if necessary the resolute and appropriate application of force.

References

  1. ^ independent estimates (chinapower.csis.org)
  2. ^ undertaking (www.rand.org)
  3. ^ modernization drive (ndupress.ndu.edu)
  4. ^ steadily decreased (armstrade.sipri.org)
  5. ^ reverse engineering (www.reuters.com)
  6. ^ technological theft (www.popularmechanics.com)
  7. ^ more on internal security (www.reuters.com)
  8. ^ been fully divulged (blogs.wsj.com)
  9. ^ rising (foreignpolicy.com)
  10. ^ tide of (edition.cnn.com)
  11. ^ jingoism (www.bbc.com)
  12. ^ potentially (www.newsweek.com)
  13. ^ trigger-happy (www.japantimes.co.jp)
  14. ^ armed fishing vessels (www.washingtonpost.com)
  15. ^ dredging ships (www.ft.com)
  16. ^ barked (www.scmp.com)
  17. ^ bitten (www.lowyinstitute.org)
  18. ^ information, psychological, and legal warfare (jamestown.org)
  19. ^ economic coercion (money.cnn.com)