Editor’s Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.
Two U.S. Army soldiers were killed Thursday in a firefight against the Islamic State in Afghanistan, a Defense Department official said.
The troops were killed in action in the same area in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province where a U.S. MC-130 aircraft dropped the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs, on April 13 against a tunnel and cave complex of the ISIS offshoot called Islamic State-Khorasan Province, Pentagon officials said.
Nearly 100 IS fighters were killed in the bombing, according to Afghan officials, but fighting has continued in the mountainous area bordering Pakistan.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made an unannounced visit to Kabul last week to assess the deteriorating security situation across Afghanistan and the long-standing request of Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO's Resolute Support mission, for a "few thousand" more U.S. troops to bolster the train, advise and assist operations.
Currently, the U.S. has about 8,500 troops in Afghanistan, backed by about 5,000 troops from NATO members.
Mattis' visit followed on the worst attack by the Taliban on Afghan army forces in nearly 16 years since U.S. troops first entered the country in late 2001. At least 140 Afghan army troops were killed when Taliban fighters infiltrated an Afghan base near northern Mazar-i-Sharif.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.
All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.
At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.