2 Hellfire Missiles Bound For Portland Discovered On Passenger Flight In Serbia

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Contradicting reports are emerging out of Lebanon and Serbia after two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles were found on a passenger flight, CBS News reports.


The armored-piercing missiles were discovered by a bomb-sniffing dog on March 12 during a layover in Belgrade, Serbia, The Associated Press reports. According to local media, the Air Serbian flight originated in Beirut and the final destination for the package was listed in documents as Portland, Oregon.

Serbian media has also reported that the missiles were armed with explosive warheads. However, according to CBS News, the Lebanese army said it had used the missiles for training and claimed they were not armed.

Lebanese army officials also said the missiles, which can be fired from sea, ground, or air platforms and are typically used to destroy sizable targets like buildings and vehicles, were being returned to the American company that manufactured them. The army also claimed the return was in accordance with “administrative and legal measures after the training ended.”

In its report, the AP explained that the AGM-114 model is manufactured by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, and that each one costs about $110,000.

The FBI told CBS affiliate KOIN-TV that they are currently investigating the reports. Meanwhile, Scott Winegar, the director of Homeland Security Education at Concordia University, told KOIN the investigation must begin with the Department of Defense.

“The other organizations that we have in the US are not responsible for distributing Hellfire missiles,” Winegar said. “That’s a Department of Defense asset so, wherever it came from, it would have to have come through the Department of Defense’s logistical chain.”

The Lebanese armed forces has long served as a key U.S. ally in the ongoing fight against terrorist organizations in the Middle East. According to a fact sheet posted on the White House website, the United States provided over $100 million “to assist the LAF in building its counterterrorism capabilities” between 2006 and 2013.  

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"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.

At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.

Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.

"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."

She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."

It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.

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But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.

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