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The Coast Guard just did 2 national security cutters at the same time
Hey, Coasties: What would you do if you had millions of dollars? Well, I'll tell you what I'd do: Two cutters at the same time, man.
The Coast Guard welcomed its two new national security cutters, the Kimball and Midgett, to the fleet on Saturday in an unusual double commissioning ceremony at Base Honolulu, the cutters' new homeport.
The two 418-foot cutters are, at $670 million apiece, the seventh and eighth Legend-class cutters designed for "the most challenging national security missions, including support to U.S. combatant commanders" thanks to advanced command-and-control capabilities and "an unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather,' according to the Coast Guard.
Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756), foreground, and Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) line the rails to "bring the ships to life" during a unique dual commissioning ceremony for the cutters at Coast Guard Base Honolulu Aug. 24, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Petty Officer John Masson)
The Coast Guard has certainly been putting its newest vessels to work. National security cutters Bertholf and Stratton have both deployed to the Western Pacific this year under the watchful eye of the Navy's 7th fleet, part of Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz stated vision of the service's "permanent presence and effectiveness" in the region.
The Bertholf even became the first Coast Guard cutter to transit the Taiwan Strait when it accompanied the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur on a freedom of navigation mission there in March amid growing tensions with China.
"These national security cutters will continue our 150 years of partnership and commitment to the Pacific region — since September 1849, when Revenue Cutter Lawrence sailed into Honolulu Harbor escorted by Native Hawaiians in outrigger canoes," Schultz said on Saturday.
"In today's complex geostrategic environment with rising great power competition, the importance and demand for a strong Coast Guard presence in the Pacific has never been greater."
There's only one appropriate response to Saturday's double commissioning: F--kin' A, man ... F--kin' A.
I will never apologize for making this joke, and I will never stop making it.
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.
The 7-day "reduction in violence" negotiated between the United States and the Taliban is set to begin on Feb. 22, an Afghan government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Task & Purpose on Monday.
A temporary truce beginning on Saturday that would last for one week is seen as a crucial test between the Taliban, U.S., and Afghan governments that would prove all parties to a potential peace deal can control their forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper declined to confirm the date on Sunday.
"That is a moving date because we are still doing consultations, if you will," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters.