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Russia conducts special operations exercise in Gulf of Finland | ERR

Russia’s Western Military District has conducted exercises of its tactical special operations units on islands in the Gulf of Finland, the Russian defense ministry reported on Tuesday. The units parachuted onto the islands of Hogland and Bolshoi Tyuters, where they went through different reconnaissance exercises, practised gathering surveillance data using unmanned aircraft, and “blocked off objects of importance to the ... Read More »

Step inside Jordan’s special forces training center — which is carved out of a mountain and has everything the most elite soldiers in the world need | Business Insider

Located on the outskirts of the capital city of Amman, the sound of gunfire, explosions, helicopters, and tire screeches reverberate around the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre. A massive 6,000 acre compound, KASOTC is dedicated to the training of special forces operators from around the world. It has everything it needs to train operators — a mock village, ... Read More »

Active-duty soldier and MMA fighter Colton Smith’s 4-fight win streak interrupted on Saturday | Army Times

Sgt. 1st Class Colton Smith, The Ultimate Fighter season 16 champion and active-duty Army soldier, lost in his first fight in two years on Saturday, breaking his four-fight win streak. Smith faced off against undefeated welterweight champion Sean Brady in Shogun Fights’ main event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Brady won all three rounds, with Smith fighting ... Read More »

Marines set to replace handgun stock with Army’s newest pistol | Marine Corps Times

If the Marine Corps’ budget request for the coming year is approved, it will begin replacing nearly its entire stock of handguns with the Army’s newest pistol. The Modular Handgun System, a weapon system that includes both the M17 and M18 handguns, holster and two 21-round magazines and one 17-round magazines, was first fielded by the Army’s 101st Airborne Division soldiers late last year. ... Read More »

Facebook Just Blocked This Cambridge Analytica Affiliate. Why Does It Still Have a State Department Contract? | Defense One

Strategic Communications Laboratories worked with Cambridge Analytica, which reportedly used social-media data to target likely Trump voters. In February 2017, the State Department hired a company to help it reach people who might be susceptible to ISIS’s online recruiters. On Friday, Facebook blocked that company —  Strategic Communications Laboratories, or SCL — for harvesting and sharing users’ data improperly. But as of press time, SCL still had ... Read More »

Afghan SOF graduate 828 Commandos, on pace to add 4,000 by April | DVIDS News

The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command graduated 828 Commandos from the 22nd Commando Qualification Course at Camp Commando, near Kabul, Afghanistan, Mar. 18, 2018. More than 1,400 Afghan soldiers continue their training in two additional on-going Commando Qualification Courses. The Commandos are the building blocks for the Afghan Special Security Forces growth plan that began in Aug. 2017 with ... Read More »

Soldier in Bloody Niger Mission Had Warned of Gaps, Defense Officials Say | The New York Times

The leader of an ill-fated team of American soldiers in Niger last fall warned before the mission that his troops did not have the equipment or intelligence necessary to carry out a kill-or-capture raid against a local militant, according to preliminary findings of a continuing Defense Department investigation. In a departure from normal lines of authority, the report concludes, the ... Read More »

Navy extends comment period on special ops training to March 23 | Whidbey News Times

The area where the Navy conducts special operations training may be expanded to include Whidbey Island. In addition, the number of training operations conducted each year may significantly increase, according to a draft Environmental Assessment, or draft EA. The Navy extended the public comment period to March 23. The EA can be viewed online at https://navfac.navy.mil/NSOEA Some environmental groups have recently ... Read More »

Nigerian Army Special Forces Arrest 12 Herdsmen In Benue | Naija News

“Troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade presently taking part in the EX AYEM AKPATUMA have arrested another 12 herdsmen engaged in the destructive activities on the farmlands on the 17 March 2018.” “The suspects were arrested during the visit of the Presidential Assessment Team to MBAYER/YANDEV and KAAMBEE wards of Benue State.”  “On search of the general area 2 motorcycles ... Read More »

Fifteen Years After the Start of the Iraq War, the U.S. Is at War in at Least Seven Countries | Slate

Fifteen years ago today, George W. Bush announced the beginning of the Iraq war. Two U.S. presidents, thousands of lives lost, a withdrawal and a reengagement later, American troops are still on the ground—and dying—in Iraq. There are no plans for withdrawal, even though the most recent foe there—ISIS—has been almost entirely defeated. The conflict in Iraq is just one facet of an ... Read More »

Meet Chesty XV, the new Marine Corps mascot | Marine Corps Times

A new Marine recruit will be stepping his little paws on the famous yellow footprints on his way to becoming the Corps’ newest mascot. English bulldog recruit Chesty XV starts training next week to replace the retiring Chesty XIV, according to Marine officials. But don’t expect drill instructors in this pup’s face: He’ll shadow Chesty XIV as part of his training ... Read More »

VOICE CHAT APP ZELLO TURNED A BLIND EYE TO JIHADIS FOR YEARS | Wired

IN THE EARLY morning of September 9, 2016, Bill Moore, CEO of the Austin-based walkie-talkie app company Zello, contacted the Middle East Media Research Institute. He was seeking a copy of a report MEMRI had recently published describing how ISIS members and supporters were using Zello, which allows people to send voice messages to each other in private and also public ... Read More »

DoD identifies 7 airmen killed in helicopter crash in western Iraq | Air Force Times

The Defense Department on Saturday released the names of seven airmen who were killed this week when their HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, belonged to three different units — the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York National Guard; ... Read More »

‘He was golden’: PJ killed in Iraq crash remembered as outdoorsman, loyal friend | Air Force Times

Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, one of seven airmen killed Thursday in a helicopter crash in western Iraq, was remembered as an avid outdoorsman and devoted friend who had a knack for bringing people from different backgrounds together. Enis, a 31-year-old Air Force Reserve airman and pararescueman with the 308th Rescue Squadron, 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, also worked as a commercial ... Read More »