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Veteran Tells What It Was Like to Command General Patton's Own Tanks

Lieutenant James Craig was one of Patton’s better trained soldiers.

When Lt. Col. Stovall, the OCS commander, pinned on Craig’s gold second lieutenant bars, he told him, “I got you an assignment at Fort Benning, Georgia, with General Patton, with the I Armored Corps.”

Patton was placed in command of the yet-to-be-established Desert Training Center, so Craig loaded his vehicles onto a train and headed west.

Craig was now part of Patton’s Western Task Force for Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa.

Instead of clambering into a tank, Craig climbed down a cargo net to a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) bobbing in five-foot swells.

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Pandemics and the Future of Military Training

It is no surprise that the military has elected to cancel or cut back many live training exercises.

Indeed, as training and military professionalism are increasingly highlighted as key factors in overall battlefield effectiveness, how can the military maintain its training regime in the midst of a global pandemic?

From the Marine Corps’ 1996 modification of Doom, to the Army’s creation of first-person shooter game America’s Army, and more recent use of an Army esports competition team, video games have emerged as a key avenue for military recruitment, community engagement, and training.

New programs, like the U.S. Air Force’s Pilot Training Next or the Army’s Aviator Training Next, combine emerging virtual reality and augmented reality technology with commercial off-the-shelf systems to develop low-fidelity simulators that can be utilized for training anywhere, at any time — from the dorm room to a classroom.

Virtual training applications are available to those tasked with logistics, maintenance, medical support, intelligence, cyber, and many other areas.

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Image of article 'Four NATO coalition members in Afghanistan test positive for coronavirus'

Four NATO coalition members in Afghanistan test positive for coronavirus

Four members of the U.S.-led NATO military mission in Afghanistan have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said Tuesday, marking the first confirmed cases among service members inside the country.

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon has insisted that the withdrawal will move forward — though those assurances came before Tuesday’s news of positive cases in Afghanistan.

“The service members were newly arrived in country and were in a precautionary screening facility when they became symptomatic, were moved to isolation, and were tested,” the NATO Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

The statement did not say whether the service members are American.

About 1,500 service members and civilians in Afghanistan are currently living in “screening facilities” as a precautionary measure, NATO said.

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Small, But Deadly: Singapore's Navy Is A South Asian Powerhouse

Singapore's navy leadership also knows that they need unmanned drones and unmanned vessels having cameras and weapons to extend their reach and flexibility against threats.

The very fact that a small city-state like Singapore has submarines in operation and is now renewing its fleet with even more capable submarines -- shows how ambitious the Singaporean navy has become about increasing its naval power.

Singapore, therefore, plans to acquire more advanced capabilities for its navy, including renewing its submarine fleet, acquiring new vessels with potential to serve as an aircraft carrier and adding unmanned platforms to its defense machinery.

Singapore’s navy, officially known as the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), has been shaped over the years into a maritime force that is highly sophisticated and well-trained.

While this moneyed image has become the mainstream depiction of Singapore, many are unaware of the fact that Singaporean armed forces are active contributors to the security of the region, and in particular its navy has been actively patrolling the regional waters alongside other regional navies against any potential threats, including piracy.

Image of article 'U.S. military confronts coronavirus challenges worldwide'

U.S. military confronts coronavirus challenges worldwide

“We have zero confirmed cases of [coronavirus) for any U.S. service members, civilians or family members in the U.S. Army Garrison Italy,” Col. Vogel said in his statement.

“In light of instructions from the Health Ministry and the inclusion of Italy in the list of countries from which people arriving [in Israel] must be quarantined, it was decided to postpone the joint exercise between [the U.S. European Command] and the Ground Forces,” the Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged Monday that the military has “modified” some of the exercises scheduled to take place in Korea, where the first U.S. military member to test positive for the coronavirus was assigned.

As the deadly coronavirus spreads from continent to continent, U.S. military officials are being forced to put critical combat exercises on hold and restrict U.S. troops to their bases.

It’s no great surprise that U.S. military members have fared better than others after being exposed to the coronavirus, Gen. Milley said.

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City as Graveyard: How the Bloody Battle of Leningrad Ended

The latter half of 1943 had German forces in the east staggering under a series of hammer blows that saw the Soviet Red Army advance hundreds of kilometers westward on the central and southern sectors of the Eastern Front.

The army group had been besieging Leningrad since 1941, and the front in that sector had been the object of several heavy Soviet attacks throughout the next two years, but the lines remained relatively stable.

As Army Group Center withdrew to the Panther Line, Army Group North acquired General Karl von Oven’s XLIII Army Corps, which had occupied the northern flank of the retreating army group.

This gave von Küchler three more divisions, but it also made him responsible for another 77 kilometers and the towns of Nevel and Novosokol’niki, which were the key communications centers between Army Group Center and Army Group North.

In the grip of winter, the two armies endured heavy fighting while German Army Group North attempted to withdraw to a series of fortified defensive positions known as the Panther Line.

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The Last Battle Of World War II In Europe Occurred 16 Days After Germany Fell

Fought between Yugoslav Partisans and Independent Croatian forces, the Battle of Odžak ended 16 days after the Allies had celebrated victory in Europe.

In April 1941 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia came under attack from all sides by German, Italian and Hungarian forces, who succeeded in defeating the Royal Army in fewer than two weeks.

In November 1944 the Home Guard and Militia were unified to form the Croatian armed forces, which got equipment from Germany and then came under German command.

Any success they achieved in the early years of the war was limited, however, it faced the combined armies of the Axis occupiers, the forces of the Independent State of Croatia, and at times, Serb nationalist irregular formations.

The Battle of Odžak remained an attritional contest until May 23, when the Partisan leadership dispatched two squadrons from its newly established air force.

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Russia's Su-57 Fighter Is All Hype

Deepening budget cuts could force the Russian armed forces to make do with far fewer new aircraft, and just a dozen Su-57s.

"Substantial deliveries of new frontline aircraft, and their intensive use in Syria, have given the Russian air force an entirely new public face in a short period of time," analyst Keir Giles wrote in a 2017 report for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"After almost two decades of deteriora­tion and neglect of the Russian military, Moscow began developing a more modern military force capable of power projection outside Russia’s bor­ders," the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reported in 2017.

The "fifth-generation" stealth fighter began development in the early 2000s, but its fortunes are tied to the Kremlin's 2009 defense strategy, which aimed to reverse years of budget cuts and declining military readiness.

The four Su-57s in the video account for nearly half of the 10 of stealth fighters the Russian air force has acquired since the type first flew in 2010.

Drama Time: Donald Trump's Defense Budget Gets Released Tomorrow

When you sit down and take a glimpse at President Trump’s proposed defense budget this week, remember this: we are in for a long, bumpy ride.

Questions like “how much should the United States spend on defense” and “is America’s defense spending too high or too low” will remain favorite discussion points in Washington if the Pentagon budget is $550 billion, $650 billion, or $900 billion.

At the end of this process, the 2021 defense budget will likely look a lot different from what the president wanted.

Hearings will commence, where Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and the service chiefs will try to put on a good face and explain to skeptical lawmakers why the proposed budget is absolutely vital to maintaining the strength and versatility of the armed forces.

The Trump administration will release its FY2021 defense budget on Monday morning, the product of a months-long bureaucratic tussle within the Pentagon over which service gets priority, which will be forced to adapt to a new financial reality, and which defense platforms will win out.

Image of article '20,000 U.S. troops deploying to Europe in biggest show of force since Cold War'

20,000 U.S. troops deploying to Europe in biggest show of force since Cold War

While Russian activities like its conflicts with Ukraine and Georgia may have prompted U.S. officials to dust off their Cold War plans for countering the former USSR, NATO officials insist Moscow is not considered the enemy for the exercise.

He said Russia President Vladimir Putin — or any other potential adversary — will wonder if the U.S. is militarily capable of rapidly sending a large number of combat troops to Europe, and whether Washington has will to do so.

With its history, its location on Russia’s doorstep, and its strong support of U.S. military operations in the region since becoming a NATO member, Poland is expected to play a major role in Defender-Europe 20.

About 20,000 U.S. troops will soon begin flooding into Europe as part of a massive, months-long military exercise that has been compared to the massive drills of the Cold War era, drills that were meant to help NATO forces beat back a hypothetical invasion from the Soviet Union.

“This defensive exercise demonstrates the ability to rapidly move a large force from the United States to Europe to help protect other NATO allies, if needed.”

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History Lessons: How Hitler's Plan to Take Moscow Utterly Failed

But after nearly two months of hard fighting in which Army Group North and Army Group South had encountered difficulties, Hitler for all intents and purposes postponed the drive on Moscow by Army Group Center to reinforce the other two army groups.

They were supported in this belief by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, the commander of Army Group Center, and his hard-charging panzer generals Guderian and Hoth.

Although German panzer formations continued their push eastward, infantry divisions fell far behind, not only because they lacked mechanized transport, but also because they had to methodically eliminate large pockets of Red Army troops.

Field Marshal Wilhelm von Leeb’s Army Group North was ordered to push toward Leningrad, Field Marshal Fedor Von Bock’s Army Group Center was tasked with capturing Moscow, and Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt’s Army Group South was sent into the Ukraine to secure the Donets Basin.

The troops of Germany’s Army Group Center were more than a week into a fresh offensive to capture Moscow on July 14 when they approached the historic battlefield of Borodino where the Russians delayed Napoleon’s advance on Moscow in 1812.

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Connecticut National Guard unit deploys to the Middle East

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Members of a Connecticut Army National Guard unit left Saturday for a nearly year-long deployment in the Middle East.

About 10 soldiers from the 242nd Engineer Detachment in Niantic, Connecticut are traveling overseas in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

The deployment comes amid tensions in the Middle East following the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general last month.

The soldiers’ expected responsibilities include construction management and support throughout the unit’s assigned area of operations, according to a release from the Guard.

It’s the unit’s second deployment since 2001.

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The Allies World War II Battle Of Savo Island Was A True Naval Disaster

Britain’s Rear Admiral Victor Alexander Crutchley, commanding the Allied Screening Force, an Australian-American mix of six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and eight destroyers, looked “ready to pass out.”

So did the senior officer on McCawley they were going to see, Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, who commanded the American amphibious assault forces that were riding waves off the invaded islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi that evening.

The whole force headed for Guadalcanal and Tulagi on July 31, and Crutchley finally had a chance to operate with his cruisers and destroyers.

His own group, used to working together, would guard the southern approach to Guadalcanal up to Savo Island as the Southern Group, while the three American cruisers would patrol the area between Savo and Tulagi.

Turner approved Crutchley’s plans, and on the night of Friday, August 7, the invasion force steamed from the west into what would soon be named Ironbottom Sound between Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

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The Tank Battle At Kursk Was Where Nazi Germany Lost World War II

Meanwhile, to the north of the Donets campaign, the Soviet winter offensive was held at bay before Orel by Field Marshal Günther von Kluge’s Army Group Center.

The front was left with a gargantuan Soviet salient, 150 miles long and 100 miles wide, bulging around the town of Kursk between the two German army groups.

At the same time, von Manstein’s Army Group South would attack toward Kursk from the south with Colonel General Herman Hoth’s Fourth Panzer Army and General Werner Kempf’s Army Detachment.

Stalin heeded the advice of Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov, deputy commander of the Red Army, and Marshal Alesksandr M. Vasilevsky, chief of the Army general staff, to postpone a Soviet offensive until the Germans bled themselves dry on the Kursk defenses.

Tiger tanks, Elephant tank destroyers, and Brummbär self-propelled artillery battalions of the Ninth Army smashed gaps into the Soviet defenses and chewed up counterattacks by the Soviet Central Front.

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Image of article 'Trump unveils divisive logo for new Space Force military branch'

Trump unveils divisive logo for new Space Force military branch

More recently, this month's reveal of the Space Force uniforms proved similarly controversial, as commenters doubted the usefulness of a traditional camouflage pattern against the black backdrop of the universe.

Despite millitary officials calling it unnecessary, the Space Force was officially created last month as part of a $738 billion (£564 billion) military spending bill passed by the US Congress.

Even former cast member George Takei proclaimed his agreement, tweeting: "We are expecting some royalties from this..." In a statement posted on Facebook, Space Force officials defended the design saying: "The delta symbol, the central design element in the seal, was first used as early as 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Forces; and was used in early Air Force space organization emblems dating back to 1961."

Also emblazoned on the badge is the year 2019 in Roman numerals, in reference to the Space Force's inception as the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces last December.

The official logo of the US Space Force, revealed by Donald Trump on Twitter, has proven controversial on social media with some calling it a Star Trek knock-off.

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The Fate of the China-Russia Alliance

Russia has sold China, according to this Chinese accounting, more than five hundred military aircraft, including Su-27, Su-30, Su-35, and Il-76 variants.

Nevertheless, this substantial military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing during the 1950s is evaluated in this Chinese appraisal to have had “major historical impact [重要历史作用].”

If the USSR very substantially helped boost PRC military prospects during the 1950s, this paper by two Chinese naval analysts argues cogently that a similarly ambitious and fateful program of Russia-China military cooperation has had an analogous effect, starting in 1991.

Just as these pivotal purchases launched China’s air and land forces into a new era, so the Chinese acquisition of four Sovremeny destroyers, along with twelve Kilo-class submarines helped to provide the PLA Navy with the technological wherewithal to enter the twenty-first century on a robust footing.

Perhaps most critically for the future of the Chinese armed forces, cooperation with Russia has entailed “in particular, promoting the development of domestic weapons development levels and concepts.

Thai military holds ceremony to swear allegiance to king

His education includes military training at the Australian army’s officer training establishmen, the Royal Military College at Duntroon, a suburb of the capital, Canberra.

The military has declared protection of the monarchy to be its priority, stressing the point as the nation has undergone political upheavals in the past decade and a half that have shaken the almost total reverence for the monarchy obtained under Vajiralongkorn’s father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in 2016.

I pledge my loyalty to Your Majesty and will serve and guard Your Majesty till the end of my life,” the chief of defense forces, Gen. Pornpipat Benyasri, said as he led the oath-taking ceremony at the Adisorn Military Camp in the central province of Saraburi.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s presence at the ceremony was unusual, as Thai monarchs have rarely, if ever, attended the occasion, even though the royal palace and the military are closely linked.

BANGKOK (AP) - Thailand’s king presided over an oath-taking ceremony Saturday at an army base where almost 7,000 soldiers and police paraded to mark Armed Forces Day.

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Image of article 'AP Analysis: New questions rise as Iran says it downed plane'

AP Analysis: New questions rise as Iran says it downed plane

But Khamenei himself only Saturday acknowledged the missile strike, citing the report by Iran’s conventional armed forces.

Iran through Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sought to offer legal justifications for its decisions following Soleimani’s death, including missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops that caused no casualties.

That sets the stage for Iran’s further steps away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, an accord Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from in May 2018 over his concerns it didn’t go far enough in restraining Tehran.

While its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard took responsibility, the same commander claimed it warned Tehran to close off its airspace amid fears of U.S. retaliation over Iran launching ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran’s acknowledgement that it shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing 176 people, raises new challenges for the Islamic Republic both externally amid tensions with the U.S. and internally as it deals with growing discontent from its people.

Image of article 'For Personal Use Or Police, These Are The World's 5 Best Handguns'

For Personal Use Or Police, These Are The World's 5 Best Handguns

Today the pistol is available in an updated form, the CZ 75BD, featuring a firing pin safety, decocking lever and underbarrel accessory rail, and available in a variety of midsized handgun calibers.

The M&P is available in a number of midsize pistol calibers, including nine-millimeter, 357 Sig and .40 Smith & Wesson, as well as .45 ACP.

Developed by the Swiss-German partnership Sig Sauer to replace the M1911A1 in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Sig P226 failed to win the contract but received a major boost when U.S. Navy SEALs rejected their Beretta M9 pistols in favor of the Sig.

From the original Glock 17, capable of carrying seventeen rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition, the Glock line has expanded to cover nearly all semiautomatic calibers, including .45 ACP, and the gun has replaced the 1911A1 pistol in such organizations as Marine Special Operations Command and the U.S. Army’s Delta Force.

Designed by prolific gun designer John Moses Browning, and first introduced in 1911, the Colt 1911 pistol was meant to replace weaker .38 caliber pistols used by the U.S. Army during the Philippine Insurrection.

Image of article 'How Israel Trains Its Elite Drone Warriors'

How Israel Trains Its Elite Drone Warriors

The drone mostly flies itself, correcting for wind and other issues, leaving the operator to focus on the mission.

“I think being a drone operator is first of all is the ability to multitask, like talking and driving, you need first of all to be able to operate the drone and also using the camera and also need to be a professional at this, but you also have to speak to other drones and aerial control units and also speak to your team [on the ground] and you need to make quick decisions and it requires you multi-task quickly,” says the captain.

“The thing about drones that people don’t understand, it may be called ‘unmanned’ but it is not unmanned, because the drone cannot work or bring results unless there are people operating it; we are as valuable as a manned plane in sky,” says the recent graduate of the IAF’s course for Hermes 450 operators.

Today Israel uses drones throughout its armed forces, from border patrol to long-distance missions.

People don’t understand drones, one of the graduates of an Israeli Air Force course for UAV operators says.

Image of article 'MoD plonks down £2m on table in exchange for anti-drone tech ideas'

MoD plonks down £2m on table in exchange for anti-drone tech ideas

"There is a similar problem in the UK with the malicious or accidental use of drones becoming a security challenge at events, affecting critical infrastructure and public establishments; including prisons and major UK airports," the MoD said in its competition document about the fund.

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace READ MORE Promising ideas picked by DASA get £800k for further development.

Ever ready with the canned quote, omnipresent defence secretary Gavin Williamson declared this morning: "As the security threats from hostile drones are evolving at pace, it's critical that our armed forces benefit from the very latest technology to stay ahead."

With one eye on the pre-Chrimbo debacle at Gatwick Airport, the Ministry of Defence has flung £2m at a "counter drone" fund to address the "threat to national security" posed by remote-controlled aircraft.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago DASA doled out £2.5m to a company promising to create military drone swarms.

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MoD plonks down £2m on table in exchange for anti-drone tech ideas

"There is a similar problem in the UK with the malicious or accidental use of drones becoming a security challenge at events, affecting critical infrastructure and public establishments; including prisons and major UK airports," the MoD said in its competition document about the fund.

A few reasons why cops didn't immediately shoot down London Gatwick airport drone menace READ MORE Promising ideas picked by DASA get £800k for further development.

Ever ready with the canned quote, omnipresent defence secretary Gavin Williamson declared this morning: "As the security threats from hostile drones are evolving at pace, it's critical that our armed forces benefit from the very latest technology to stay ahead."

With one eye on the pre-Chrimbo debacle at Gatwick Airport, the Ministry of Defence has flung £2m at a "counter drone" fund to address the "threat to national security" posed by remote-controlled aircraft.

Meanwhile, a few weeks ago DASA doled out £2.5m to a company promising to create military drone swarms.

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Image of article 'Latin American presidents love Twitter     –     and that's not a good sign'

Latin American presidents love Twitter – and that's not a good sign

Latin American leaders, then, are using social media to engage with the electorate because their democratic institutions – fragile and insufficient – are not able to effectively receive, process and address citizen demands.

In response, Latin American presidents are inventing new ways to exercise leadership – namely, via social media.

Though democracy in Latin America is young, these fundamental structural problems have remained unsolved for 30 years, and they partially explain the region’s numerous current socio-political crises, from Brazil and Venezuela to Mexico.

The US-style Madisonian model of democracy implemented across the region as its prevailing dictatorships ended in the 1980s – characterised by general elections, separation of powers, built-in checks and balances and civil control of the armed forces – did not match most Latin American nations’ cultural identities.

Most Tweets and Facebook messages to Latin American leaders are petitions or requests – people asking the all-powerful leader to fix problems with public services or provide financial assistance.

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