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SOCOM Could Test A Military Jet Pack As Soon As This Summer
Strap in for a wild ride: U.S. Special Operations Command could end up testing out a prototype of a military-grade jet pack as soon as this summer, Stars & Stripes reports.
- JetPack Aviation — the California-based company that's been hacking away at a relatively lightweight "individual lift device" (ILD) as part of a joint research agreement with SOCOM since 2016 — plans on delivering a full-scale prototype to SOCOM for testing by "late summer," the company told Stars & Stripes.
- JetPack Aviation personnel have reportedly been working with operators for years to tinker with the functionality of its turbine engine-powered JB-10 ILD prototype, per Stars & Stripes, and at least one Navy SEAL has already trained on the rig.
- While the JB-10 can currently fly at speeds of more than 200 mph for just about 10 minutes at a time, JetPack Aviation CEO David Mayman unveiled a next-generation JB-11 version just over a year ago. According to a 2017 SEC filing, the company was aiming to test "a multiengine, fully-autonomous unmanned platform" by the end of 2018.
- The jetpack concept has enthralled military planners for decades: As Australian Army Lt. Col. Matthew P. Dirago observed in a December article on ILDs in the U.S. Army's Military Review professional journal, jetpacks offer opportunities for "enhancing distributed maneuver, undermining an adversary's A2/AD defenses, augmenting autonomous systems, and enhancing the ability to defeat adversaries in complex terrain."
- How operators might actually use the jetpack is another question. "The possible uses of this technology are still being evaluated," SOCOM told Stars & Stripes in a statement, adding that the command "does not discuss specific details or potential applications of such technologies."
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SEOUL/HANOI (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday denied a South Korean news report that it was considering withdrawing up to 4,000 troops from South Korea if it does not pay more for maintaining a 28,500-strong U.S. contingent deterring North Korean aggression.
South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that the withdrawal of a U.S. brigade, typically 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers, had been discussed with the top brass of the U.S. military in South Korea, citing an unidentified diplomatic source in Washington.
The report came two days after the United States broke off defense cost talks after demanding that South Korea raise its annual contribution for maintaining the U.S. contingent to $5 billion, a South Korean official said, more than five times what it pays now, in rare discord in the alliance.
"There is absolutely no truth to the Chosun Ilbo report that the U.S. Department of Defense is currently considering removing any troops from the Korean Peninsula," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
The Army has identified the two soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday as 33-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, and 25-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.
WASHINGTON — The number of known military installations with water sources contaminated by cancer-linked firefighting foam is likely to rise, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
A 76- year-old former U.S. Coast Guard ship that was one of the first vessels to pass through the indomitable Northwest Passage and circumnavigate the entire North American continent, will be auctioned off on the steps of the U.S. District Courthouse in Mobile at Noon on Dec. 4.
It can see through smoke and in near total darkness, translate written foreign languages and pull up detailed maps, and can rapidly acquire and identify targets. It's the Army's new heads-up display of the future, and it's coming to an armory near you sooner than you think.