The United Launch Alliance's Delta IV rocket launches with a Wideband Global SATCOM WGS-10 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Complex 37 on March 15, 2019. The satellite brings enhanced communication capability for command and control of U.S. military forces on the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Andrew Satran)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The US military's newest service, the Space Force, is only about a month old, having been signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20.

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Members of the 435th Contingency Response Squadron conduct a landing zone survey at Jan Mayen Airfield, Norway, Nov. 19, 2019. While in Norway, the 435th CRS survey team assessed runway surfaces, obstructions and firing capes. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Kyle Yeager)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

United States airmen ventured north to the island of Jan Mayen in the Norwegian Sea in November to survey the isolated island's airfield.

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US Air Force airmen watching a C-130J Super Hercules taxi at Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, on August 3. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

As part of a worldwide shift toward potential confrontation with Russia and China, the Pentagon is weighing a drawdown in Africa — including "abandoning" a $110 million base in Niger that only began operating in November, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

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U.S. Army armored units in Poland. (U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Michael Eaddy)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

At the beginning of 2017, after Dutch fighter pilots deployed to Lithuania on a Baltic Air Policing rotation called home using their own phones, their families started getting sinister phone calls.

The men on the calls, made with pre-paid sim cards, spoke English with Russian accents, according to reports in Dutch media, and would ask the recipients questions like "Do you know what your partner is doing there?" and "Wouldn't it be better if he left?"

Later that summer, after U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher L'Heureux took command of a NATO base in Poland, he returned to his truck after a drill to find someone had breached his personal iPhone, turning on lost mode and trying to get around a second password using Russian IP address.

"It had a little Apple map, and in the center of the map was Moscow," L'Heureux, who was stationed not far from a major Russian military base, told The Wall Street Journal in 2017. "It said, 'Somebody is trying to access your iPhone.'"

Those incidents and others like them reflect ongoing efforts by Russians to misinform and intimidate civilians and troops in Europe and abroad.

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A U.S. Army M1A2 Abrams tank is raised over the pier at the Port of Vlissingen, Netherlands, to be lowered onto a low-barge ship for transport elsewhere in Europe, October 12, 2019. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Kyle Larsen)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Since Russia's 2014 incursion in Ukraine, NATO leaders have been focused on securing the alliance's eastern flank.

But defending that boundary and deterring threats to member countries there takes more than just deploying troops. It means moving them in and out, and, if necessary, reinforcing them, and that's something that's always on U.S. and European military commanders' minds.

"I will tell you that when I go to sleep at night, it's probably the last thought I have, that we need to continue to improve upon, and we are, from a road, rail, and air perspective, in getting large quantities of hardware and software from west to east on continent," U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, head of U.S. European Command, said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

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Bodies sprawled on the beach of Tarawa atoll after a battle there in late November 1943. (Associated Press photo)

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.

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