As the Taliban surges in its spring offensive, it is facing relentless strikes by hovering MQ-9 Reaper drones.
This newly released video shows the encircling drones killing about 28 Taliban fighters near Farah city in the western part of the country, where the Taliban is mounting their offensive.
The U.S. military command initially claimed that U.S. A-10s hammered the Taliban near Farah on May 15 but a spokesman later clarified that the A-10s had flown “show of presence” missions instead of conducting airstrikes.
U.S. drones conducted several strikes and the Afghan air force used both their A-29 Super Tucano propeller-driven aircraft and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters to attack the Taliban, said Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support.
“Fighting was subdued overnight,” O’Donnell said in an email on Wednesday. “It will likely pick up today. We conducted a number of additional drone strikes throughout the night and continue to enable the ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces], who remain squarely in the lead. The 207th Corps commander is leading operations on the ground and the city remains in government control.”
Both the shooting and propaganda wars have escalated since the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive in April. The U.S. military disputed the Taliban’s claim that it captured Farah despite videos posted on social media on May 15 that appeared to show Taliban fighters moving freely within the city.
A Taliban spokesman tweeted on Wednesday that Taliban fighters had pulled out of Farah city “with large amount spoils.” In a separate operation, Taliban fighters have taken over Jaghatu district in southeastern Afghanistan, the spokesman claimed.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, the U.S. military sharply curtailed air support for Afghan troops and police to wean them off U.S. airpower. But since President Donald Trump took office, U.S. airpower has gone on offense against the Taliban. In late 2017, U.S. fighters and bombers began attacking Taliban narcotics facilities to choke off the group’s revenue.
But so far, the combination of U.S. aircraft supporting Afghan security forces has not led to a substantial reversal of the Taliban’s gains.
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."
"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."
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.
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?