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Westlake Legal Group > Lucas Tomlinson

Top Navy SEAL officer tells men ‘We have a problem’ in wake of scandals, controversies

Westlake Legal Group Collin-P-Green-US-NAVY Top Navy SEAL officer tells men 'We have a problem' in wake of scandals, controversies Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article a273b86c-dbb1-5c9e-98bc-b0bcdf440dbd

The U.S. Navy commander in charge of all SEAL teams told his men “we have a problem” in a memo written late last month after a series of scandals rocked the Naval Special Warfare community.

“Some of our subordinate formations have failed to maintain good order and discipline and as a result and for good reason, our NSW [Naval Special Warefare] culture is being questioned,” Rear Adm. Collin Green wrote in the July 25 memo obtained by Fox News Thursday.

Green added that while “I don’t know yet if we have a culture problem, I do know that we have a good order and discipline problem that must be addressed immediately. Good order and discipline is the foundation for every military organization and it is a leadership responsibility. As Commander, I own it. As Commodores, you also own it.”

NAVY SEAL PLATOON BEING SENT HOME FROM IRAQ OVER MISCONDUCT, REPORTS SAY

The letter does not specifically reference any incidents, which allegedly include drug use and heavy drinking, involving members of SEAL teams in recent months,

SEAL commanders have until Aug. 7 to “develop a plan of action” on how to fix the “problem,” according to the memo.

The letter was written the day after reports surfaced that a Navy SEAL platoon from San Diego, Calif., was ordered back to the U.S. from Iraq because of a “deterioration of good order and discipline.”

The U.S. Special Operations Command said in a July 24 statement, “The Commander lost confidence in the team’s ability to accomplish the mission.”

The statement did not describe the exact nature of the misconduct, but The Washington Post, citing two defense officials, told the newspaper that the SEALs involved in the incident had violated a general order against the use of alcohol.

The platoon that was ordered back to the U.S. is part of SEAL Team 7, whose members included Chief Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted of war crimes charges last month but convicted of posing with a dead ISIS fighter, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Testimony during Gallagher’s court-martial revealed that members of SEAL Team 7’s Alpha Platoon routinely consumed alcohol during their 2017 deployment to Iraq, according to The Military Times.

NAVY SEAL EDWARD GALLAGHER FOUND NOT GUILTY ON MURDER AND ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGES

The same week the platoon was ordered back to the U.S, The Navy Times reported, citing an internal investigation, that six members of a Virginia-based SEAL team tested positive for cocaine use “and other banned substances” last year after repeatedly cheating to get around military drug tests.

Meanwhile, a Navy SEAL Team 6 member who was named Sailor of the Year in 2016 has been charged with impersonating other people via text to get nude pictures of women, the Virginian-Pilot reported last week.

In May, a Navy SEAL pleaded guilty in the hazing death of a Green Beret soldier, admitting to taking part in a late-night plot to break into 34-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer, put him in a chokehold and restrain him with duct tape during a deployment in Africa.

Chief Special Warfare Operator Adam Matthews said that he, along with another member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and two elite Marine Raiders, carried out the “juvenile” attack on June 4, 2017, in Bamako, Mali.

Matthews’ attorney, Grover Baxley, said Melgar’s death was “an unforeseen accident that has dramatically impacted the lives of everyone involved.”

According to The Washington Post, the tragedy occurred after a long night of drinking and partying. Two SEALs and two Marine Raiders smashed their way into Melgar’s room with a sledgehammer because they purportedly wanted to teach him a lesson for leaving them behind in traffic on the way to a party at the French embassy.

One of the SEALs jumped on Melgar and put him in a chokehold while Matthews grabbed Melgar’s legs. The two Marines then duct-taped his legs together. When they moved on to Melgar’s wrists, they realized he had stopped breathing.

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In his memo, Green directed commanders “to engage everyone in your formations.”

He wrote, “I want all hands to understand that ‘we have a problem’ and that is our main effort and my top priority”

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio, Barnini Chakraborty and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Collin-P-Green-US-NAVY Top Navy SEAL officer tells men 'We have a problem' in wake of scandals, controversies Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article a273b86c-dbb1-5c9e-98bc-b0bcdf440dbd   Westlake Legal Group Collin-P-Green-US-NAVY Top Navy SEAL officer tells men 'We have a problem' in wake of scandals, controversies Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article a273b86c-dbb1-5c9e-98bc-b0bcdf440dbd

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North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles, US defense officials say

Westlake Legal Group North-Korea-projectile-AP North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles, US defense officials say Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 08c6e903-086c-5fde-9780-a43fdc0c1316

North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, the day before former Army Lt. Col. Mark Esper is to head to Asia on his first overseas trip as defense secretary,  according to U.S. officials.

A defense official told Fox News the missiles are similar to the projectiles launched twice before in the past week.

The U.S. military is assessing how far and how high the missiles went.

Esper’s first overseas trip as President Trump’s defense chief includes stops in Sydney; Auckland, New Zealand; Tokyo; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and Seoul, where he will meet with “key leaders to reaffirm defense relationships and conduct bilateral and multilateral meetings with senior officials,” according to the Pentagon.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a trip to Asia and is to meet with Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers on Friday morning.

On Wednesday,  North Korea’s State run news agency described one of this week’s earlier tests as a “new-type large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system.”

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un was on hand for that launch, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Fox News’ Nicholas Kalman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group North-Korea-projectile-AP North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles, US defense officials say Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 08c6e903-086c-5fde-9780-a43fdc0c1316   Westlake Legal Group North-Korea-projectile-AP North Korea launches two short-range ballistic missiles, US defense officials say Talia Kaplan Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc article 08c6e903-086c-5fde-9780-a43fdc0c1316

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Navy pilot confirmed dead in California crash that injured 7 on the ground

The pilot of a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet jet was killed when the plane crashed in California’s Mojave Desert during a training mission, officials confirmed Thursday.

The pilot’s identity is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin, per Defense Department policy.

Westlake Legal Group AP19212809697928 Navy pilot confirmed dead in California crash that injured 7 on the ground Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 495e3dab-ebe7-5227-a963-e8701a5cd467

FILE: An F/A-18D Hornet from the VX-9 Vampire squadron at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, flies out of what is known as Star Wars Canyon toward the Panamint range in Death Valley National Park, Calif. (AP)

“The Navy mourns the loss of one of our own and our thoughts go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy,” the U.S. Naval Air Forces said in a statement.

F-16 FIGHTER JET CRASHES WHILE TRYING TO LAND AT CALIFORNIA BASE, 12 MINOR INJURIES REPORTED

The single-seat jet crashed Wednesday morning during low-level flying in what was described as routine training

The crash injured seven people who were at a scenic overlook in Death Valley National Park where aviation enthusiasts routinely watch military aircraft speeding low through a chasm dubbed “Star Wars Canyon.” The lookout point about 160 miles north of Los Angeles is popular with photographers and aviation buffs who gawk at jets flying in the steep, narrow canyon.

Officials closed the area after the crash. Park spokesman Patrick Taylor said initial reports were that the injuries were minor.

The crash sent dark smoke billowing in the air, said Aaron Cassell, who was working at his family’s Panamint Springs Resort about 10 miles away and was the first to report the crash to park dispatch.

Westlake Legal Group DeathValleycrash720 Navy pilot confirmed dead in California crash that injured 7 on the ground Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 495e3dab-ebe7-5227-a963-e8701a5cd467

The scene of Wednesday’s crash. (Aaron Cassell/Panamint Springs Resort via AP)

“I just saw a black mushroom cloud go up,” Cassell told The Associated Press. “Typically you don’t see a mushroom cloud in the desert.”

Cassell said he heard jets roaring through the area and then saw the cloud of smoke.

“It looked like a bomb,” Cassell said. “To me that speaks of a very violent impact.”

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A jet that was following the downed craft pulled up and began circling, Cassell said. He didn’t see any parachute.

His father drove up to the area after the crash and saw a large black scorch mark and shattered parts of the jet scattered throughout the area between the parking lot and lookout, Cassell said. A nose cone from the jet was the size of a bowling ball and the rest of the debris was no larger than a ball cap.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group VX-9-2 Navy pilot confirmed dead in California crash that injured 7 on the ground Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 495e3dab-ebe7-5227-a963-e8701a5cd467   Westlake Legal Group VX-9-2 Navy pilot confirmed dead in California crash that injured 7 on the ground Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 495e3dab-ebe7-5227-a963-e8701a5cd467

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Navy identifies sailor who went overboard last week in Arabian Sea

The Navy identified the sailor who went overboard last week from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, prompting a search in the Arabian Sea.

The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office told Fox News that Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Slayton Saldana was listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN).

The Navy told Fox News that Saldana had been assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, which is part of Carrier Air Wing 7.

Saldana, a Virginia native, enlisted in the Navy in April 2015.

He had served with HSC 5 since last July, and was promoted to E-5 earlier this year.

Before then, he had served aboard the USS Iwo Jima.

The Abraham Lincoln was routed to the Arabian Sea in recent weeks in what U.S. officials say is a move aimed at deterrence amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Last week the Fifth Fleet said multiple ships had been conducting a search-and-rescue operation.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group Slayton-Saldana Navy identifies sailor who went overboard last week in Arabian Sea Lucas Tomlinson Frank Miles fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc bad91b80-3cb0-5e47-b1d7-cfbe107f7907 article   Westlake Legal Group Slayton-Saldana Navy identifies sailor who went overboard last week in Arabian Sea Lucas Tomlinson Frank Miles fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc bad91b80-3cb0-5e47-b1d7-cfbe107f7907 article

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Defense Secretary nominee Esper grilled over contractor ties in heated confirmation hearing

Westlake Legal Group esper Defense Secretary nominee Esper grilled over contractor ties in heated confirmation hearing Ronn Blitzer Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc b863c4f0-3b83-5389-aa6c-8e09fa7a2bf4 article

Mark Esper, who took over the role of Acting Secretary of Defense after former Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan stepped down in June, faced tense moments in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday during his confirmation process for the permanent Secretary job.

Esper, a former Army veteran who served 10 years on active duty and 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve, was grilled by multiple senators over his history as a lobbyist for Raytheon, a defense contractor he left in 2017 before becoming Secretary of the Army. Esper insisted there is nothing to worry about.

BOLTON TOUTS NATO ALLIES’ $100B MILITARY SPENDING SPREE AFTER TRUMP PUSH: ‘UNEQUALED TRIUMPH’

“It’s my commitment to the nation’s security, it’s my commitment to the men and women in uniform that drives me,” Esper said when asked about Raytheon by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. “Not anything else.”

After he became Acting Defense Secretary, Esper said in a memo that he would limit his involvement in any matters related to Raytheon, and that his staff would “screen all matters” and consult with the Standards of Conduct Office where appropriate.

During the hearing, he stated that he will employ a “robust screening process” and “remain in constant contact with our ethics personnel.” When asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., if he would recuse himself from matters involving Raytheon, Esper asserted that he is ”fully committed to living up to my ethics commitments.”

That was not enough for 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who claimed that because Esper qualified his recusal instead of committing to recuse himself from any and all matters related to his former employer, it was “a conflict of interest given that Raytheon does billions of dollars worth of business every year with the Defense Department.”

Esper responded by saying that ethics officials at the Pentagon recommended that he not recuse for all matters.

Warren then pointed to an exception to ethics obligations that she said Esper referred to in a memo, which would allow for a waiver that would permit him to get involved in matters that directly affect Raytheon’s financial interest if no other official can do the job.

“This smacks of corruption, plain and simple,” Warren said.

But in a letter to Esper from the Department of Defense’s Office of the General Counsel obtained by Fox News, Director Scott Thompson refuted Warren’s accusations, “At no time while serving as the Secretary of the Army or the Acting Secretary of Defense did you request, seek, or receive a waiver or authorization related to your Ethics Agreement and ethics obligations.”

Esper, who earlier in the hearing said he does not have any financial stake in Raytheon other than the deferred compensation, took issue with Warren’s implication that he is incapable of ethically performing the duties of the job.

“At the age of 18 I went to West Point and I swore an oath to defend this Constitution and I embraced the motto called Duty and Honor and Country and I’ve lived my life in accordance with those values ever since then,” Esper said. “I went to war for this country, I served overseas for this country, I’ve stepped down from jobs that paid me well more than what I was working anywhere else. And each time it was to serve the public good and to serve the young men and women of our armed services.”

According to the Fox News Research Dept. and Open Secrets.org, Warren received $31,919 in campaign donations from the defense industry for her 2020 campaign.  Raytheon gave her nearly $9,000 in 2018.  The company is headquartered in her home state.

Other issues that came up during the hearing included how the United States should deal with Iran.

Esper pointed to the need to focus on Iran and lingering threats from groups like al Qaeda, while building American military capabilities. At the same time, he made clear that “we do not want war with Iran.”

Regarding Russian efforts to interfere with American elections, Esper said the U.S. is in a better position than in the past, but there is still work to be done.

“We’ve been doing more but way short of what is necessary,” he said, adding “we need to be on guard and vigilant.”

In terms of new military technology, Esper said artificial intelligence is of the utmost importance.

“I think artificial intelligence will likely change the character of warfare, and I believe whoever masters it first will dominate on the battlefield for many, many, many years,” he said.

“We have to get there first. We have to.”

The testimony came as tech investor Peter Thiel called out Google for working with China, and not the U.S., on a massive artificial intelligence project. Thiel said the relationship could be “treasonous,” and President Trump said Tuesday morning that his administration would look into it.

TRUMP SUGGESTS GOOGLE COULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR ‘TREASON’

If confirmed, Esper would be the first permanent Defense Secretary since James Mattis stepped down at the end of 2018. Shanahan, who filled the role on an interim basis afterwards, had been considered for the permanent job, but reportedly withdrew due to a 2010 domestic incident that he did not want to be brought up during the confirmation process.

For the duration of Esper’s confirmation process, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has assumed the role of Acting Defense Secretary, since federal law forbids people under consideration for a permanent secretary position to serve as acting secretary.

Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that a final confirmation vote for Esper could take place as soon as later this week, but no later than next Tuesday.

Westlake Legal Group esper Defense Secretary nominee Esper grilled over contractor ties in heated confirmation hearing Ronn Blitzer Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc b863c4f0-3b83-5389-aa6c-8e09fa7a2bf4 article   Westlake Legal Group esper Defense Secretary nominee Esper grilled over contractor ties in heated confirmation hearing Ronn Blitzer Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc b863c4f0-3b83-5389-aa6c-8e09fa7a2bf4 article

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Iranian vessel removed unexploded mine from stricken oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, US officials say

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048035665001_6048034340001-vs Iranian vessel removed unexploded mine from stricken oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, US officials say Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c5f033c3-dc37-5105-b8e7-205358f4511d article

An Iranian vessel removed an unexploded mine that had been attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker which suffered serious damage after an explosion in the Gulf of Oman early Thursday, U.S. officials told Fox News.

The U.S. military possessed video of the incident and has planned to release it, the official added. The imagery came from the USS Bainbridge, a guided-missile destroyer which rescued 21 sailors from the stricken tanker.

At least one other mine attached to tanker’s hull detonated, causing the blast. It happened near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key route for oil shipments in the region.

A U.S. official told Fox News an Iranian gunboat approached the Kokuka Courageous later in the day and removed the unexploded triangular-shaped limpet mine, the same type of mine used to damage four other tankers in the Gulf of Oman last month.

The official, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said the suspected Iranian vessel did not bear any flags, nor did the crew members wear any uniforms. But, the class of vessel, what the U.S. military has called a fast inshore attack craft (FIAC), was the same type of ship used by Iran to harass American warships in the Persian Gulf in recent years.

Other Iranian small boats have remained near the stricken oil tanker since the attack early Thursday, the official added.

IRAN RESPONSIBLE FOR ‘BLATANT ASSAULT’ ON OIL TANKERS, POMPEO SAYS

The official said the order to abandon ship was given after the tanker’s captain spotted the unexploded mine, not because of the fire aboard the ship.

Another tanker, a Norwegian-owned vessel called the Front Altair, also was attacked in the Gulf of Oman Thursday. Its crew was being held in Iran, according to U.S. officials.

“This is what we’re out here for,” Cmdr. M. Kathryn Devin, the USS Bainbridge’s commanding officer, said of the rescues. “Our mission is to ensure maritime safety and to answer the call for aid when we can.”

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At the State Department on Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attacks on both oil tankers.

Iran’s U.N. Mission said its government “categorically rejects” the U.S. claim that it was responsible for the attacks and condemned it “in the strongest possible terms.”

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048035665001_6048034340001-vs Iranian vessel removed unexploded mine from stricken oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, US officials say Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c5f033c3-dc37-5105-b8e7-205358f4511d article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6048035665001_6048034340001-vs Iranian vessel removed unexploded mine from stricken oil tanker in Gulf of Oman, US officials say Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox news fnc/world fnc c5f033c3-dc37-5105-b8e7-205358f4511d article

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Pentagon approves plan to shift $1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border

Westlake Legal Group pentagon-approves-plan-to-shift-1-5b-for-wall-along-us-mexico-border Pentagon approves plan to shift $1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 0b588fed-d3b6-5f92-a9e2-893a42de8ac6
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026779982001_6026779741001-vs Pentagon approves plan to shift $1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 0b588fed-d3b6-5f92-a9e2-893a42de8ac6

The Pentagon has approved a plan to spend an additional $1.5 billion to build 80 more miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News Friday.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the re-allocation of funds, which were originally earmarked for support of Afghan security forces and other projects, to help pay for the wall along the southern border.

TRUMP TO NOMINATE PATRICK M. SHANAHAN AS DEFENSE SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE SAYS

“Today, I authorized the transfer of $1.5 billion toward the construction of more than 80 miles of border barrier,” he said. “The funds were drawn from a variety of sources, including cost savings, programmatic changes, and revised requirements, and therefore will have minimal impact on force readiness.”

In March, Shanahan approved the first transfer of Defense Department dollars and redirected $1 billion to help build nearly 60 miles of wall in Yuma, Ariz. and El Paso, Texas.

The combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border.

But the plan to divert Pentagon funding has sparked criticism from congressional Democrats, who accused Shanahan of not seeking approval to “reprogram” the funds without congressional authority. Shanahan and other senior defense officials claimed in response they did not have to get permission from Congress despite the objections from Democratic lawmakers.

OVER 100K ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS APPREHENDED OR TURNED AWAY IN APRIL, CBP REVEALS

Shanahan, who has said he plans to visit the border on Saturday, said that the Pentagon is “fully engaged” in fixing the border crisis. He said that more than 4,000 troops and 19 aircraft are supporting Customs and Border Protection personnel.

The funds are being reprogrammed from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, a project focused on chemical weapons, Air Force programs, savings related to a military retirement system, and coalition support funds. The Pentagon is also expected, at some point, to transfer up to $3.6 billion from military construction budgets to pay for wall construction, but details of those plans have yet to be announced.

The move comes after White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday that the president would officially nominate Shanahan to be the next U.S. secretary of defense. The decision to have Shanahan permanently lead the department “is based upon his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead.”

“Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do so,” Sanders said in a statement Thursday.

Shanahan said he was “honored” by Trump’s decision.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy,” he said. “I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe.”

Fox News’ Liz Zwirz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026779982001_6026779741001-vs Pentagon approves plan to shift $1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 0b588fed-d3b6-5f92-a9e2-893a42de8ac6   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026779982001_6026779741001-vs Pentagon approves plan to shift $1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/topic/border-wall fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 0b588fed-d3b6-5f92-a9e2-893a42de8ac6

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Pentagon suspends efforts to recover troop remains from North Korea

Westlake Legal Group pentagon-suspends-efforts-to-recover-troop-remains-from-north-korea Pentagon suspends efforts to recover troop remains from North Korea Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5280dea2-603e-538e-81e6-8524eba5d6ba
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6009093502001_6009095508001-vs Pentagon suspends efforts to recover troop remains from North Korea Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5280dea2-603e-538e-81e6-8524eba5d6ba

The Pentagon has suspended talks with North Korea about recovering more remains of missing American soldiers from the Korean War — one of the key pledges to come out of the first summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last June.

More than 7,800 Americans remain unaccounted from the war and the remains of more than 5,000 Americans are believed to be located in North Korea, according to officials.

NORTH KOREA DRAGGING FEET ON PLEDGE TO TURN OVER AMERICAN REMAINS

Chuck Prichard, a spokesman for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, confirmed the suspension in an emailed statement to Fox News.

“[North Korean] officials have not communicated with DPAA since the Hanoi Summit,” Prichard said. “ As a result, our efforts to communicate with the Korean People’s Army regarding the possible resumption of joint recovery operations for 2019 has been suspended. We have reached the point where we can no longer effectively plan, coordinate, and conduct field operations in [North Korea] during this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2019.”

Prichard said they “are assessing possible next steps in resuming communications with the KPA to plan for potential joint recovery operations to be scheduled during Fiscal Year 2020. “

Reuters was first to report suspension.

Fox News first reported in February the freeze in discussions with North Korea as Pentagon officials accused the regime of dragging their feet after only one delivery of remains more than six months ago.

Last summer, in line with the Trump-Kim summit in June, the North turned over 55 boxes of what it said were the remains of an undetermined number of U.S service members killed in the North during the 1950-53 war. Thus far, three American service members have been identified from those remains.

Since then, the Trump administration has made no discernable progress toward a deal on eliminating the North’s nuclear weapons. Although the remains recovery effort is technically separate from the nuclear talks, it appears to have become entangled in the broader disagreement between Washington and Pyongyang over nuclear weapons and other efforts to improve relations.

“We would be delighted if we could get more remains turned over to us,” Dr. John Byrd said in an interview with Fox News earlier this year.

The Trump administration has previously touted the recovery of remains as an accomplishment of the summit.

“We’re not seeing missiles being tested and flying over other countries. The remains are coming home,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in February on “Fox & Friends.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6009093502001_6009095508001-vs Pentagon suspends efforts to recover troop remains from North Korea Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5280dea2-603e-538e-81e6-8524eba5d6ba   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6009093502001_6009095508001-vs Pentagon suspends efforts to recover troop remains from North Korea Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox news fnc/politics fnc article 5280dea2-603e-538e-81e6-8524eba5d6ba

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Chinese forces are expanding to ‘contest US military superiority,’ Pentagon says

Westlake Legal Group chinese-forces-are-expanding-to-contest-us-military-superiority-pentagon-says Chinese forces are expanding to 'contest US military superiority,' Pentagon says Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc e0c5fc63-2a3b-5f89-9d4a-16b34bd2a27a article
Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6029175743001_6029175174001-vs Chinese forces are expanding to 'contest US military superiority,' Pentagon says Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc e0c5fc63-2a3b-5f89-9d4a-16b34bd2a27a article

The Pentagon says Chinese forces remain a growing threat, looking to “contest” the United States military at greater ranges from mainland China, according to a new report released Thursday afternoon.

Chinese “ground, naval, air, and missile forces are increasingly able to project power” and “contest U.S. military superiority” in the region, the report said.

One area of progress cited by the Pentagon is China’s Navy, which can now operate at “increasingly longer ranges,” the report added. China hopes to commission its first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier later this year, the report added.

While China currently only operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, the U.S. Navy has 11.  Earlier this week, Vice President Pence told the officers and crew aboard the USS Harry S. Truman the nuclear-powered carrier would not be scrapped as planned.

One area of change between the 2019 Pentagon report and last year’s is the Arctic.  The new report mentions the word “Arctic” 21 times and warns China has increased its activities in the region, activities that “could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks.”  Last year, the report only mentioned the word “Arctic” one time.

The report also mentions China’s goal of increasing its submarine fleet, calling it a “high priority” for Beijing.  The Chinese Navy currently operates four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).  The U.S. Navy operates 14.  The Chinese Navy has six-nuclear powered attack submarines, used for espionage, hunting other submarines and in some cases launching cruise missiles.  The U.S. Navy operates 54.

The 2019 report also warned about increasing Chinese espionage.

Some Chinese citizens or ethnic Chinese citizens abroad will to use “coercion and blackmail” to advance China’s interests.  The report also says “[Chinese] Military attachés also conduct clandestine and overt intelligence collection on their countries or areas of assignment.”

The report’s release coincides with the Trump administrations push for a new trade deal with China, after Washington ramped up tariffs on billions in Chinese goods.

Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden said Wednesday the United States should not be overly concerned with China.

“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” Biden said in Iowa City. “They’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us.”

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The report seemed to indicate otherwise, recapping some of the past year’s highlights for the Chinese military including the deployment of surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles to its man-made islands in the Spratly chain in the South China Sea and warning of Beijing’s “continuing improvements” in missile technology to allow its military to operate “further from China.”

In 2015 in a speech alongside then-President Barack Obama, China’s President Xi Jinping pledged that “China does not intend to pursue militarization” of the man-made islands.

In last year’s report, the Pentagon said China was developing advanced hypersonic missiles traveling five times the speed of sound. The 2019 report said China had “tested” these new weapons of war in the past year.

The report also warned of a growing threat by China against Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway island and has vowed to bring it back under Chinese rule.

China “continues to develop and deploy advanced military capabilities needed for a potential military campaign,” against Taiwan, the report states.

Beijing has also received assistance from Russia in the past year, with Moscow delivering the advanced S-400 air-defense system to China.

China’s defense budget has nearly doubled during the past 10 years, the report added including making developments in space, prompting the Trump administration to pursue a new branch of the military, the Space Force.

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Last year, the Pentagon under then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis rolled out a new defense strategy, one that called China and Russia — not terrorism — the greatest threats to the United States.

The 2019 report, at 136 pages, was shorter than last year’s 145-pager.  Last year’s report was delayed by three months, but this year’s was released on time.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6029175743001_6029175174001-vs Chinese forces are expanding to 'contest US military superiority,' Pentagon says Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc e0c5fc63-2a3b-5f89-9d4a-16b34bd2a27a article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6029175743001_6029175174001-vs Chinese forces are expanding to 'contest US military superiority,' Pentagon says Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/world fnc e0c5fc63-2a3b-5f89-9d4a-16b34bd2a27a article

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Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report

Westlake Legal Group military-sexual-assaults-rise-by-44-among-females-in-ranks-pentagon-report Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/us fnc article 431b3a85-ed85-596e-bf10-646b6f8d4d60
Westlake Legal Group iStock-troops Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/us fnc article 431b3a85-ed85-596e-bf10-646b6f8d4d60

Military sexual assaults reported by its female members rose by 44 percent between 2016 and 2018, according to a new Pentagon report released Thursday.

In 2018, 6.2 percent of female military members reported being the victim of sexual assault based on a military-wide anonymous survey. In 2016, 4.3 percent of females in the military reported being sexually assaulted.

The rate of sexual assault for women ranged from 4 percent in the Air Force to 11 percent in the Marine Corps. Nearly 1 in 4 of all women experienced an “unhealthy climate” because of sexual harassment, the report states.

Overall, the survey found that more than 20,000 service members said they had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact — with only approximately one-third of those filing a formal sexual assault report. The survey total is about 38 percent higher than two years ago when the last survey was carried out.

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More than 85 percent of victims reportedly knew their attacker, and alcohol was involved in 62 percent of the assaults.

The Pentagon said in a statement it was “disturbed” by the findings, especially after years of implementing steps to stop sexual assault in the ranks.

“While we see some continued progress over the ten years since we started assessing, we are disturbed by many areas of the report. The results indicate a rise in sexual assault and sexual harassment for our youngest servicewomen, ages 17-24, as well as junior enlisted women. We know these are consistent problems and we are doing everything we can to get after these issues across the military,” the Pentagon said, per the report.

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In a memo to the Pentagon’s top brass, acting defense secretary Patrick M. Shanahan said: “It is clear that sexual assault and sexual harassment are persistent challenges.”

“To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other. This is unacceptable. We cannot shrink from facing the challenge head on,” he added.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, said: “the department must accept that current programs are simply not working.”

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“Congress must lead the way in forcing the department to take more aggressive approaches to fighting this scourge,” she urged.

Fox News’ Chris Irvine and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-troops Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/us fnc article 431b3a85-ed85-596e-bf10-646b6f8d4d60   Westlake Legal Group iStock-troops Military sexual assaults rise by 44% among females in ranks: Pentagon report Lucas Tomlinson fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox news fnc/us fnc article 431b3a85-ed85-596e-bf10-646b6f8d4d60

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