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California Air National Guard Pilot Killed In Ukrainian Fighter Crash
A pilot with the California Air National Guard was killed on Tuesday when a Ukrainian SU-27B fighter crashed during the Clear Sky exercises in western Ukraine, officials have announced.
The pilot was assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing based at Fresno, California, said Capt. Christopher Bowyer-Meeder, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe. The airman was conducting a familiarization flight with a Ukrainian pilot, who was also killed in the crash.
The name of the American pilot is being withheld pending next of kin notification, Bowyer-Meeder said. Both the U.S. and Ukrainian governments are investigating what caused Wednesday’s crash.
“This is a sad day for the United States and Ukraine,” Air Force Maj. Gen. Clay Garrison, commander of the California Air National Guard and director of Clear Sky, said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family, friends and fellow Airmen of both the U.S. airman and Ukrainian aviator who were killed in the incident.”
More than 950 personnel are taking part in this year’s Clear Sky exercise, Bowyer-Meeder said. They come from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Britain, and the United States.
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.
Mark Mitchell is stepping down as the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, a position he has held since late June, a defense official confirmed on Tuesday.
No information was immediately available about why Mitchell decided to resign. His last day will be Nov. 1 and he will be replaced by Thomas Alexander, who is currently leading the Defense Department's counternarcotics efforts, the defense official told Task & Purpose.
The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.
Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.
Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.
There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.
We salute the Marine scout sniper who snuck up on an enemy completely naked except for a pair of boots
An expert sniper can sneak up on an enemy naked as the day he was born. It's not particularly advised, but one top sharpshooter did exactly that just to prove a point, Marine snipers told Insider.