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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
The 18,000 Marines and sailors who landed on the island of Betio in the Tarawa atoll in the Pacific Ocean early on November 20, 1943, waded into what one combat correspondent called "the toughest battle in Marine Corps history."
After 76 hours of fighting, the battle for Betio was over on November 23. More than 1,000 Marines and sailors were killed and nearly 2,300 wounded. Four Marines received the Medal of Honor for their actions — three posthumously.
Of roughly 4,800 Japanese troops defending the island, about 97% were killed. All but 17 of the 146 prisoners captured were Korean laborers.
"Betio would be more habitable if the Marines could leave for a few days and send a million buzzards in," Robert Sherrod, a correspondent for Time, wrote after the fighting.
The victory at Tarawa "knocked down the front door to the Japanese defenses in the Central Pacific," Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific fleet, said afterward.
On a military base, a black flag is bad news. That means it's too hot outside to do anything strenuous, so training and missions are put off until conditions improve.
As the climate changes, there could be plenty more black flag days ahead, especially in Florida, a new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists found. America's military bases could see an average of an extra month of dangerously hot days by mid-century. In Florida, they could quadruple.
Pentagon data shows heat-related illnesses and injuries are on the rise in every branch of the military. Last year, nearly 2,800 troops suffered heatstroke or heat exhaustion, a roughly 50 percent jump from 2014.
"I think most of us, if we hear there are tens of thousands of cases of heat stress in our troops every year, our minds would go to where they were deployed," said Kristy Dahl, a senior climate scientist at UCS and the lead author of the study. "But more than 90% of the military cases of heatstroke happened right here at home."
Two military bases in Florida and one in Arizona will see heat indexes over 100 degrees four months out of every year if steps aren't taken to reduce carbon emissions, a new study warns.
US troops are increasingly falling to heatstroke during training as the military braces for rising temperatures
The military has a climate change problem.
As global temperatures rise, the number of heat-related illness diagnoses of active-duty service members is rising as well, according to military data.
Statistics show a 60% increase of heatstroke or heat exhaustion cases between 2008 and 2018, from 1,766 to 2,792. Over that same stretch of time, at least 17 troops have died from heat-related complications during training exercises on bases in the U.S.
Officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are working to determine the extent of the damage done by a major storm system, including several suspected tornadoes, that hit the Dayton area Monday night.
Officials have so far determined that approximately 150 houses in an off-base, privatized housing area were damaged, as well as numerous vehicles, according to base spokeswoman Marie Vanover.
"A handful of the homes were significantly damaged" in the Prairies at Wright Field housing area, Vanover said Tuesday in an email. "Work crews are on site to help clear the area and continue their damage assessment."
Deploying troops to the U.S.-Mexico hasn't hurt Marine Corps readiness as much as previously reported, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told lawmakers on Tuesday, directly contradicting the "unacceptable risk" to readiness the Corps' top officer had explicitly detailed in a pair of internal memos that leaked last month.