MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian fighter jet saw off a NATO warplane after it approached a plane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over neutral waters in the Baltic Sea, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

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NATO and Russia seem to be at that stage of a doomed marriage where a couple is still talking but only in short statements that are solely about the kids.

Why would I say that, you ask? Well...

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is considering sending 1,000 U.S. troops from Germany to Poland, a step sought by Warsaw to deter potential aggression from Russia.

"We're talking about it," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as he met with visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda.

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While researching another story, I came across a recent exercise designed to steel NATO for battling Russian subs. The war game was named for a ferret-like creature that subsists on insects and worms.

Exercise Dynamic Mongoose.

Nothing like a small mammal to drive terror into an adversary's heart.

How do military leaders come up with these? In the case of the U.S., military commands are assigned blocks of the alphabet, say from AA to AD, from which they can choose two word names. Such as Agile Diver. The rules forbid "commercial trademarks," "anything offensive to good taste," or that are similar in spelling to a code word.

They also set aside words for certain commands. "Cheese," for example, is only to be used by the chief of naval operation's office. Ditto "rabbit."

(Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill specifically warned about "frivolous" words, saying no one would want to tell a grieving mother her son died in an operation named "Bunnyhug.")

Here's a totally objective guide to the worst-named military operations and exercises of all time.

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A Royal Netherlands F-16 Fighting Falcon scored a direct hit on itself in January, according to Dutch state broadcaster NOS.

During a training exercise involving two F-16's over the island of Vlieland on Jan. 21, one pilot opened fire with the Vulcan cannon and found "at least one fired cartridge caused damage" to the plane's exterior and engine, NOS wrote.

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U.S. Army Soldiers with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, arrive at Berlin, Germany as part of an emergency deployment readiness exercise, March 19, 2019. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Kris Bonet)

WIESBADEN, Germany — About 1,500 soldiers from Fort Bliss arrived in Europe on Tuesday to illustrate the Army's ability to rapidly alert, recall and deploy under emergency conditions.

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