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More Marines Are Headed For Afghanistan To Support The 300 Already There
The Marine Corps is sending additional troops to Afghanistan in response to a request from Task Force Southwest, a 300-strong contingent of Marines based in Helmand province, according to an Aug. 8 NBC News report.
The additional force — totaling less than 100 — will deploy from the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command, based in the region. The new deployees will assist with “internal force protection,” according to three U.S. defense officials who spoke with NBC News, but the officials did not say where the additional troops would deploy — only that the service was “redirecting them from where they're at now to help with the mission.”
The news comes as the Pentagon weighs whether to send an additional 4,000 troops to Afghanistan to bolster the 8,400 currently there, or whether to ramp down U.S. involvement in the nation. The U.S. troops in Afghanistan are tasked with training and advising their Afghan counterparts to tackle a resurgent Taliban and a nascent Islamic State threat in the country. The “advise and assist” mission isn’t technically direct combat, but U.S. troops frequently embed with Afghan forces to provide kinetic support, which puts them in harm's way.
Two U.S. soldiers were killed, and four wounded, in a Taliban attack on a NATO convoy on Aug. 2, bringing the total number of American troop deaths in Afghanistan this year to nine, reports ABC.
The request for additional Marines is not linked to the White House’s pending strategy for Afghanistan, reports NBC. The call for additional Marines came from the commander for Task Force Southwest, Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, and was approved by Central Command’s Gen. Joseph Votel.
President Donald Trump announced in June that he would delegate troop-level authority to the Secretary of Defense, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, but the decision for additional Marines did not require Mattis’ sign-off, one of the officials told NBC.
"The commander on the ground has the authority to move people in theater around," the official told NBC, referring to the Marines with the Special Purpose MAGTF, who are based in southwest Asia.
According to NBC, the officials said there was a yet-to-be approved request for additional U.S. air support, but provided no details on what aircraft were needed and why.
Search efforts are underway to find a West Point cadet, who has gone missing along with his M4 carbine, the U.S. Military Academy announced on Sunday.
"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself," a West Point news release says.
Academy officials do not believe the missing cadet has access to any magazines or ammunition, according to the news release, which did not identify the cadet, who is a member of the Class of 2021.
Three soldiers were killed and another three injured when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over during a training exercise at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday morning, Army officials announced.
KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.
Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.
Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.
On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.
This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year
The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.