Weekly Rundown: August 10 – 16, 2019
A quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:
The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar released the The Iranian supertanker Grace 1, which British forces seized in early July, despite the US requesting that the ship be detained for longer. Gibraltar law enforcement officers backed up by Royal Marines boarded the ship for transporting oil to Syria in violation of UN and EU sanctions. The Stena Impero, a British tanker seized by the Iranian Republican Guard two weeks after the taking of Grace 1, is still held by Iran as tensions continue to mount in the region.
The accidental explosion of a nuclear-powered rocket at a Russian’s Nyonoksa military testing facility on the White Sea briefly increased radiation levels in the surrounding area. Five scientists died, another three suffered injuries from the incident, and the spike in radiation led to a brief panic in the surrounding area.
Gunnery Sergeant Scott A. Koppenhafer, a highly-decorated MARSOC operator with the 2nd Raider Battalion, died this past weekend in Iraq. Initially reported as the result of enemy fire, the Pentagon later reworded the cause of death as “fatal wounds while supporting Iraqi Security Forces.” An investigation into the incident is underway.
General Richard D. Clarke, commanding officer of Special Operations Command, announced a new review of the unit’s ethics and culture. Despite a DoD report earlier this year concluding that all was well with SOCOM, a number of highly publicized incidents involving special forces personnel over the past few years led Clarke (who took over his current post in March) to call for further investigation.
North Korean missile tests continue, reiterating the country’s disapproval of the upcoming US/South Korean joint exercises.
In a search for solutions to some widespread concerns, the US Navy turned to an interesting place: the past. Written messages attached to beanbags and dropped by helicopters (to sidestep interception of radio comms) and physical throttles (to avoid the confusion over touchscreen controls partially responsible for the USS John McCain collision) will be making a comeback.
In Case You Missed It
This week marked the 101st anniversary of the enlistment of the very first woman in the US Marines. Read our full piece about this barrier-breaking Devil Dog here.
From Our Sister Site
If you’re looking into buying a home, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the phrase “contingent offer” mentioned. If you don’t know what it means, or even if you’re pretty sure you do but want to know more, the folks over at AHRN have a handy guide to the basics for you.