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Westlake Legal Group > LOLITA C. BALDOR

US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran

Westlake Legal Group us-moving-patriot-missile-battery-to-mideast-to-counter-iran US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d

The U.S. will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran, the Pentagon said Friday, reflecting ongoing concerns that Tehran may be planning to attack America forces or interests in the region.

The Defense Department released a statement about the move but provided no details. An official said the decision comes after intelligence showed that the Iranians have loaded military equipment and missiles onto small boats controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The official was not authorized to discuss the information publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials had said earlier this week that sending a Patriot battery to the area was under discussion and was part of the initial request made by the Pentagon’s U.S. Central Command. They said it took a few days to get final approval for the Patriot, a long-range, all-weather air defense system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

The U.S. removed Patriot missile batteries from Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan late last year. It was not clear if the battery would go back to one of those countries.

U.S. officials announced Sunday that they would rush an aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to the region. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and accompanying ships have passed through the Suez Canal and are now in the Red Sea.

Officials had initially indicated that the military moves were based in part on indications that Iran had moved short-range ballistic missiles onto small boats called dhows along its shore.

Officials would not say if the intelligence showed that the boats have mobile launchers on them. But a notice to mariners in the region has warned of potential threats to commercial maritime traffic.

John Bolton, the national security adviser, announced the initial moves on Sunday, citing “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” but did not explain what they were.

On Friday, a defense official said the Iranian threats also include potential attacks by Iranian proxies, such as Shia militias in Iraq.

Several officials said they have not yet seen any tangible move by Iran in reaction to the U.S. military shifts in the area. But they also noted there have been no attacks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick visit Tuesday to Baghdad to meet with top leaders and underscore Iraq’s need to protect Americans in their country.

The Pentagon also said Friday that the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport ship, will move to the Middle East region earlier than planned. The ship is in Europe and will be replacing the USS McHenry, which is scheduled to leave.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2579a3441c9344e89e83f2d5e5737a9d US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-2579a3441c9344e89e83f2d5e5737a9d US moving Patriot missile battery to Mideast to counter Iran LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 719288fc-a315-5ce2-af8b-ab6cb09dde1d

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Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments

Just months after the Army’s new training brigade returned from Afghanistan, its teams are preparing for a different type of deployment that will scatter them around the world.

Rather than putting all 800 soldiers in one war-torn nation, the Army is expected to begin dispatching the unit’s small teams separately to countries in Europe, Africa or other regions where they will train and advise local forces.

Army Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, the brigade’s commander, told The Associated Press that while the Afghanistan tour focused heavily on combat operations, future efforts will center on helping partner forces train better and learn to avoid conflicts.

“I think future deployments throughout the world will be in much smaller packages,” Jackson said, adding that the brigade was built in 2017 to be decentralized. “I think a situation where you have a single team in a single country is a likely scenario.”

He said the top contenders are countries in Africa, Europe and South America. But he said he is not sure where his teams will be sent or when they may go.

The Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade was created by Gen. Mark Milley, the service’s chief of staff. It was designed to take the pressure off other Army brigades and units that are currently being used for training but are needed more for other U.S. security operations around the globe.

Since the brigade returned from Afghanistan, its training has shifted a bit to focus on developing training plans and working more as military consultants that can pinpoint the needs of the partner forces.

“We need to build a formation that’s flexible enough to be employed everywhere in the world, and then we’ll adjust based on the countries we go to,” Jackson said. “But the base doctrine has got to be universal across the world.”

The Army is planning to build six of the brigades over the next several years, and already the 2nd Brigade is deploying to Afghanistan to replace Jackson’s teams that left the warzone late last year. The plans reflect the new reality of America at war: Army soldiers advising and building indigenous security forces, not doing the fighting for them on foreign soil.

During the 1st Brigade’s nine-month Afghanistan tour last year, two of the unit’s soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in two insider attacks.

Cpl. Joseph Maciel , of South Gate, California, was shot and killed by a member of the Afghan security forces in July, and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bolyard , of Thornton, West Virginia, was killed by a member of the Afghan national police in September.

After the first killing, the U.S. beefed up security and urged Afghan commanders to also make changes, including increased vetting of their troops.

The Afghans, said Jackson, “understand the impact that those kinds of green-on-blue-type incidents can have to a strategic partnership. They take it seriously, and they were ready to make the necessary changes” to make things more secure.

The war in Afghanistan has dragged on for nearly 18 years and is at a critical point. The U.S. is pressing the Taliban to negotiate a peace with the Afghan government, and talks between the insurgent group and a U.S. special envoy are ongoing.

The U.S. believes that a key element in keeping the peace will be the Afghan military’s ability to maintain security in the country. And the training by the new Army brigades is aimed at that goal.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-92070d9a233242b4902b82af8e631d31 Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/army fnc/us fnc ec605058-4524-51bd-bcbe-11b4290c77e6 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-92070d9a233242b4902b82af8e631d31 Army training brigade prepares for new worldwide deployments LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/army fnc/us fnc ec605058-4524-51bd-bcbe-11b4290c77e6 Associated Press article

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Pentagon confirms NK test launch, says not ballistic missile

Westlake Legal Group pentagon-confirms-nk-test-launch-says-not-ballistic-missile Pentagon confirms NK test launch, says not ballistic missile LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 59e28d8e-5e5a-5d6f-82ea-b5ebfb276350

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is confirming that North Korea conducted a test launch on Wednesday, but he declined to provide any details.

He is the first U.S. official to confirm the launch. He tells reporters at the Pentagon that North Korea conducted a test, but it didn’t involve a ballistic weapon and didn’t trigger any change in U.S. military operations.

North Korea has said it test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon. The test didn’t appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle ongoing nuclear negotiations.

Pyongyang also is demanding that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations. The State Department says it’s aware of the report and the U.S. remains ready to engage North Korea in constructive negotiations.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-42a6d0d6ee8f4276a4dbf85fde13464b Pentagon confirms NK test launch, says not ballistic missile LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 59e28d8e-5e5a-5d6f-82ea-b5ebfb276350   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-42a6d0d6ee8f4276a4dbf85fde13464b Pentagon confirms NK test launch, says not ballistic missile LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 59e28d8e-5e5a-5d6f-82ea-b5ebfb276350

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Trump nominates naval aviator as next Navy chief

Westlake Legal Group trump-nominates-naval-aviator-as-next-navy-chief Trump nominates naval aviator as next Navy chief LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/navy fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7aadc2b4-1b07-593d-906b-c2949e7aad47

President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated a naval aviator with extensive experience in budgeting and personnel reform to become the next officer to lead the U.S. Navy.

Navy Adm. Bill Moran, who piloted P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft during the Cold War, is currently the Navy’s vice chief. If confirmed by the Senate, he would become the 32nd chief of naval operations and take over from Adm. John Richardson, who is retiring.

Trump also nominated Vice Adm. Robert Burke, a submariner with experience on both attack and nuclear-armed vessels, to be the next vice chief of the Navy. He is currently the deputy for personnel and training.

Moran takes over a Navy that is struggling to overcome command, crew and training shortfalls that led to two deadly ship collisions in 2017, killing 17 sailors. A number of officers and sailors were fired, disciplined or faced courts-martial in the wake of the collisions, and the Navy launched a series of reforms to address the problems.

He also will direct the fleet’s transition to a global fight against peer competitors, such as Russia and China, including the ongoing development of the new naval Atlantic Command. The command is designed to ensure the security of the sea lanes and lines of communication between Europe and North America as part of an effort to counter Russia’s increased military patrols in the Atlantic region.

Moran has risen steadily through the ranks and has a reputation as a strong leader who has held a number of top administrative posts in the Navy.

A 1981 graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., he flew patrol and reconnaissance missions throughout the 1980s and 1990s, serving in Atlantic and Pacific squadrons. He served as head of air warfare, working to modernize Navy aircraft and weapons systems and was chief of naval personnel from 2013 to 2016, and then moved to the vice chief job.

“He has been central to the Navy adopting a fighting stance in this great power competition,” Richardson said in a statement. “As I turn over and go ashore, I will rest easy knowing that, pending confirmation, Adm. Moran has the watch.”

Moran, who is from New York, issued a statement Thursday saying that he was “honored and deeply humbled by the nomination and look forward to working with Congress during the confirmation process.”

Burke, who grew up in Michigan, graduated from Western Michigan University and the University of Central Florida. He served on attack and ballistic missile submarines, was an instructor at the Naval Nuclear Power School, and commanded Submarine Group 8 in Naples, Italy.

He served at deputy commander of the Navy’s 6th Fleet in Europe and became chief of naval personnel in 2016.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e81bfa3b2f4842b9bf933d9f1985c979 Trump nominates naval aviator as next Navy chief LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/navy fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7aadc2b4-1b07-593d-906b-c2949e7aad47   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-e81bfa3b2f4842b9bf933d9f1985c979 Trump nominates naval aviator as next Navy chief LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military/navy fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7aadc2b4-1b07-593d-906b-c2949e7aad47

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