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Weekly Rundown: September 21 – 27, 2019

Weekly Rundown: September 21 – 27, 2019

News Recap

A quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:

  • As part of the continuing response to the attack on Saudi oil facilities, more US troops will deploy to Saudi Arabia, primarily Patriot missile batteries and other air defense assets. Additionally, the UK, France, and Germany all announced their concurrence with US and Saudi assessments that Iran was behind the attack. Iran continues to deny responsibility.
  • 40 civilians were killed in the crossfire of a raid on a Taliban facility in the Musa Qala district of Helmand Province by Afghan Army commandos backed up by American air assets. Officials claim that 22 Taliban were killed and another 14 arrested, but at least 40 civilians were killed as well, most of them attendees of a nearby wedding.

Locals and family members recovering dead bodies after the raid.Locals and family members recovering bodies after the raid.

  • Also in Afghanistan, an Afghan Civil Police officer opened fire on a convoy in southern Kandahar Province, wounding three US troops. The shooter was killed during his attack.
  • Three sailors of the dry-docked aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush committed suicide in one five day period earlier this month, local authorities determined. The deaths of Chief Electronics Technician (Nuclear) James Harold Shelton, Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Vincent Michael Forline, and Airman Ethan Thomas Lee Stuart (in addition to Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Robert John Bartulewicz III, also off the George W. Bush, who killed himself back in July) underline the ongoing crisis of military and veteran suicides.

Sailors at a memorial service for one of the recent suicide victims.Sailors at a memorial service for one of the recent suicide victims.

  • Ron Rockwell Hansen, a 20-year US Army veteran and former DIA intelligence officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for espionage on behalf of China.
  • Commander Edward Mason and Command Master Chief Hugh Spangler, two of the SEALs relieved of their command positions of SEAL Team 7 earlier this month, filed an IG complaint against Rear Admiral Collin Green, Naval Special Warfare’s commanding officer. The claim asserts Green is using them as “scapegoats” for the sexual assault and illegal alcohol consumption members of their unit are accused of perpetrating in Iraq, though it does not refute those accusations.
  • A small landing craft of the Russian Navy was attacked and sunk off an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean by one of the locals: a walrus.

WalrusThe scourge of the Russian Navy.

In Case You Missed It

  • Feeling a bit nervous about making the transition from servicemember to college student? Take some words of advice from Chris Walker, a Marine vet who knows exactly what you’re going through.
  • This Week in Military History: life aboard a US Navy vessel has never been a cushy affair, but everybody can probably agree it was way worse back when flogging was allowed. Congress abolished the practice in 1850, mostly thanks to a dedicated lawmaker and a celebrated author.

Sketch of a flogging aboard a naval vessel.

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