Bagram Air Base Targeted By Suicide Bomber Amid 9/11 Commemoration

US Forces-Afghanistan service members, coalition partners and civilians pay tribute at Bagram Airfield to those who lost their lives during the September 11 attacks
Photo via US Forces Afghanistan/Twitter

Five people were wounded by a suicide bomber outside Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Sept. 11, Fox News reports. The incident occurred just hours before service members and civilians gathered at the airfield to commemorate the lives lost during the 9/11 terror attacks.

In a statement, Operation Resolute Support stated that a “small number” of U.S. service members and Afghan civilians were wounded when a vehicle packed with explosives attempted to ram an armored convoy near the village of Qal’eh-ta Musa Bala. A U.S. official later told Fox News that the number of wounded totaled five, including a Georgian soldier.

According to Fox News, the attack resulted in “minor injuries,” and the wounded were quickly transferred to a medical facility at Bagram Air Base for treatment. But given the occasion, it's likely American service members there walked away from the incident with jangled nerves.

It’s been 16 years since 9/11, and there are still some 11,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in the country. They will soon be joined by 3,500 additional troops, who are en route to quell the Taliban resurgence that followed the end of NATO combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014. But after 16 years of near-continuous war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the American public is increasingly skeptical of a prolonged troop presence abroad.

The campaign has become increasingly complex in recent months as U.S. troops have become drawn into a fight against Afghanistan’s ISIS-K faction rather than the Taliban militants who provided safe harbor to the al-Qaeda operatives behind the 9/11 attacks. The Aug. 16 death of a U.S. service member brought the total number of troops killed in action in Afghanistan in 2017 to 10, seven of whom were killed by ISIS-K.

The day before Monday’s attack, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan released a moving video commemorating the 9/11 attacks, a message to the loved ones of those killed on that clear Tuesday that “their loved ones are #NeverForgotten.”

Unfortunately, the thwarted suicide bomber is a grim reminder of the work ahead to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for Islamic terrorism.


(New Line Cinema)

The Marine Corps has tapped a new Silicon Valley defense firm to develop a "digital fortress" of networked surveillance systems in order to enhance the situational awareness of security forces at installations around the world.

Marine Corps Installations Command on July 15 announced a $13.5 million sole source contract award to Anduril Industries — the two-year-old defense technology company and Project Maven contractor founded by Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and several former Palantir Technologies executives — for a new Autonomous Surveillance Counter Intrusion Capability (ASCIC) designed to help secure installations against "all manners of intrusion" without additional manpower.

This is no standard intrusion system. Through its AI-driven Lattice Platform network and 32-foot-tall autonomous Sentry Towers, Anduril purports to combine the virtual reality systems that Luckey pioneered at Oculus with Pentagon's most advanced sensors into a simple mobile platform, enhancing an installation's surveillance capabilities with what Wired recently dubbed "a web of all-seeing eyes, with intelligence to know what it sees."

Read More Show Less

The Marine Corps' dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 18 when two Iranian drones came dangerously close, according to U.S. Central Command.

"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."

Read More Show Less

On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.

A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon is no longer topless. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Mark Esper as the United States' first permanent defense secretary in more than seven months.

Esper is expected to be sworn in as defense secretary later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

"We are grateful for the Senate leadership and the Senate Armed Services Committee's willingness to quickly move through this process," Hoffman said.

Read More Show Less
(Paramount Pictures via YouTube)

The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.

But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?

Read More Show Less