Weekly Rundown: January 11 – 17, 2020
A quick recap of the major military headlines from the last week:
Air Force General John Raymond swears in as Chief of Space Operations on a bible held by his wife, Molly, this past Tuesday in Washington.
Photo Credit: Steve Helber, Associated Press.
- US Air Force General Jay Raymond was sworn in as the first ever Chief of Space Operations, the head of the newly created Space Force branch of the military.
- After three days of denial, Iran admitted that reports by US, British, and Canadian intelligence were indeed accurate: they did shoot down the Ukrainian flight that crashed, killing everyone aboard, last week. Their military fired two missiles, both of which hit the aircraft, and claim that their troops did so after mistaking the passenger plane for a cruise missile. The Iranian government has announced arrests of those responsible but have released few details. Their prior denial of this heinous act met with widespread disapproval and protests in Iran and abroad.
- Despite initial and repeated reports that no Americans were harmed in Iran’s missile attack on al-Asad airbase last week, US Central Command revealed that 11 service members were treated for concussions caused by the blasts. Eight were evacuated to Landstuhl, Germany and three others to Kuwait, but all are expected to recover and return to duty.
- It turns out that General Soliemani was not the only target of US forces on the night of his death. An airstrike in Yemen the night prior was meant to kill Abdul Reza Shahlai, another Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander in the Quds force, but did not.
Specialist Miguel Angel Villalon and Staff Sergeant Ian Paul McLaughlin.
- Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin and Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in action in Afghanistan when their vehicle hit an IED in Kandahar Province. Two other US Soldiers were wounded in the incident.
- The investigation in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack carried out on Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi Air Force officer last month revealed damning material on the electronic devices of 21 other Saudi cadets and officers training in the US. Some had anti-American and jihadist content, while others had caches of child pornography. All of them will be sent back to Saudi Arabia, where they will likely be discharged and prosecuted.
- The Taliban submitted the proposal for a temporary cease fire, which would be a huge step forward in the peace process in Afghanistan, to the US envoy.
- VA Secretary Robert Wilkie found himself subjected to a public scolding by his own Inspector General, Michael Missal, after attacking the credibility of US Navy Reserve Lieutenant and congressional staffer Andrea Goldstein, who claimed she’d been groped and sexually harassed at a VA hospital in Washington, DC.
- The latest class of NASA astronauts includes several military officers, including two (Navy Lieutenant Kayla Barron and Marine Major Jasmin Moghbeli) who may become the first women to set foot on Mars as well as possibly the world’s greatest overachiever (Navy Lieutenant Doctor Jonny Kim).
NASA’s new class of astronauts, including two new Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts. From left: Kayla Barron (Lt, USN), Zena Cardman, Raja Chari (Col, USAF), Matthew Dominick (LCdr, USN), Bob Hines (LtCol, USAF), Warren Hoburg, Jonny Kim (Lt, USN), Joshua Kutryk (CSA, LtCol, RCAF), Jasmin Moghbeli (Maj, USMC), Loral O’Hara, Jessica Watkins, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons (CSA), and Frank Rubio (LtCol, USA).
Photo Credit: NASA
In Case You Missed It
This Week in Military History: When the beaten and battered army of General Elphinstone made it at last to the relative safety of Jalalabad on January 13th, 1842, he was incredibly relieved. That’s right, “he.” Doctor William Brydon was the only one left.
Remnants of an Army by Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler, 1879.
From Our Sister Site
We at AHRN know a PCS move is never an easy task, but a handy app or two can make the process a little less difficult. Here are more than a dozen worth considering to take some weight off your shoulders when it’s time to change stations.