This semi-autonomous pack mule may be on its way to Afghanistan

Military Tech
10th Mountain Division reviews SMET

U.S. military advisors could be taking a self-driving pack mule back to Afghanistan with them on their next deployment.


The Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET), a semi-autonomous supply vehicle, interested commander of the 1st Security Assistance Brigade, Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, the head of Army Futures Command Gen. John Murray told reporters on Thursday.

A SMET can carry up to 1,000 pounds of equipment for 60 miles in 72 hours, which could greatly reduce the burden of the gear and supplies that soldiers have to carry. It can also maneuver off-road, as to follow soldiers wherever they may need it to. It will be able to charge different devices soldiers need, generating up to three kilowatts of power.

The four prototypes of the vehicle being tested all use a hand-held remote for soldiers to control the vehicle.

Soldiers with the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain divisions have been testing it over the last few months, Murray said. Sgt. Nathaniel Packard with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, said in a video released by the Pentagon that the vehicle is "very quiet when it was in stealth mode, you can't hear it 30-40 feet away."

After seeing one in action, Jackson is "interested in potentially taking that with him on their next mission."

The 1st SFAB returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in November. Murray told reporters on Thursday that while Army Futures Command will be "happy" to help provide commanders with certain capabilities that they need, he isn't going to "force anything on a unit or soldiers that they don't want."

Lest we forget, however, that where there is technology in the hands of soldiers, there is the possibility of those soldiers having to pause and perform maintenance on said technology.

SEE NEXT: Army Futures Command is already testing some of its next-generation tech downrange

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Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.

In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.

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KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.

The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.

Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.

The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".

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U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

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U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

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Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

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