Posted tagged ‘US Military’

Last World War I Veteran Dies at 110

February 28, 2011

Frank W. Buckles, the last known U.S. veteran of World War I, died yesterday at the age of 110.

From the New York Times:

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

Frail, stooped and hard of hearing, but sharp of mind, Mr. Buckles was named grand marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington in 2007. He was a guest at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day 2007 for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He was honored by Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Pentagon and met with President George W. Bush at the White House in March 2008.

United States Senators played host to him at the Capitol in June 2008 for the impending 90th anniversary of the World War I armistice. And he appeared before a Senate subcommittee in December 2009 to support legislation named in his honor to bestow federal status on a World War I memorial on the National Mall built in the 1930s.

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2 U.S. Service Members Killed in Iraq

January 3, 2011

According to a statement from the U.S. military, two U.S. service members were killed in Iraq while supporting Operation New Dawn.

From CNN:

The names of the deceased and details of the incident were not released, pending notification of relatives, the statement said.

Operation New Dawn began September 1, 2010, as officials declared the end of combat operations in Iraq.

Soldier Identified Who Killed Five in Iraq

May 12, 2009

Sergeant John M. Russell has been charged with murder and aggravated assault in the fatal shooting of five fellow soldiers at a combat stress clinic at a Baghdad army base.

From the New York Times:

The alleged shooter, Sgt. John M. Russell of the 54th Engineering Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, was charged with five counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault in Monday’s shooting, the official, Maj. Gen. David Perkins, told reporters.

The killings appear to be the single deadliest episode of soldier-on-soldier violence among American forces since the United States-led invasion six years ago.

Sergeant Russell was taken into custody by military police outside the clinic following the shooting at Camp Liberty, part of a sprawling army compound near the Baghdad International Airport where thousands of military personnel are stationed, General Perkins said.

Catastrophic Crash in Space

February 14, 2009

The crash of two satellites has generated an estimated tens of thousands of pieces of space junk that could circle Earth and threaten other satellites for the next 10,000 years.

From the Associated Press:

One expert called the collision “a catastrophic event” that he hoped would force President Barack Obama’s administration to address the long-ignored issue of debris in space.

Russian Mission Control chief Vladimir Solovyov said Tuesday’s smashup of a derelict Russian military satellite and a working U.S. Iridium commercial satellite occurred in the busiest part of near-Earth space — some 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth.

“800 kilometers is a very popular orbit which is used by Earth-tracking and communications satellites,” Solovyov told reporters Friday. “The clouds of debris pose a serious danger to them.”

Solovyov said debris from the collision could stay in orbit for up to 10,000 years and even tiny fragments threaten spacecraft because both travel at such a high orbiting speed.

James Oberg, an experienced aerospace engineer who worked on NASA’s space shuttle program and is now a space consultant, described the crash over northern Siberia as “catastrophic event.” NASA said it was the first-ever high-speed impact between two intact spacecraft — with the Iridium craft weighing 1,235 pounds (560 kilograms) and the Russian craft nearly a ton.

“At physical contact at orbital speeds, a hypersonic shock wave bursts outwards through the structures,” Oberg said in e-mailed comments. “It literally shreds the material into confetti and detonates any fuels.”

Most fragments are concentrated near the collision course, but Maj.-Gen. Alexander Yakushin, chief of staff of the Russian military’s Space Forces, said some debris was thrown into other orbits, ranging from 300 to 800 miles (500-1,300 kilometers) above Earth.

David Wright at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Global Security said the collision had possibly generated tens of thousands of particles larger than 1 centimeter (half an inch), any of which could significantly damage or even destroy a satellite.

Wright, in a posting on the group’s Web site, said the two large debris clouds from Tuesday’s crash will spread over time, forming a shell around Earth. He likened the debris to “a shotgun blast that threatens other satellites in the region.”

Bush Says Iraq War Has Been Longer, More Costly Than Expected

December 5, 2008

Wow, now that’s an understatement! President Bush said this morning that the fight in Iraq has been longer and more costly than he expected, but he defended the U.S.-led invasion, saying the world could not risk leaving Saddam Hussein‘s power unchecked.

From the Associated Press:

In a speech he was giving later Friday about his Middle East policies, Bush said he sees progress toward finding a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reaffirmed the U.S. position that Iran should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.

Bush, in a sweeping overview outlining ongoing challenges in the Mideast, acknowledged his critics who said his administration tried to link the war in Iraq to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. While it’s true that Saddam Hussein was not connected to the attacks, Bush said the decision to oust him cannot be viewed in isolation from them.

“In a world where terrorists armed with boxcutters had just killed nearly 3,000 people, America had to decide whether we could tolerate a sworn enemy that acted belligerently, that supported terror and that intelligence agencies around the world believed had weapons of mass destruction,” Bush said, referring to intelligence reports that later proved false.

“It was clear to me, to members of both political parties, and to many leaders around the world that after Sept. 11, this was a risk we could not afford to take,” the president said about the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 4,200 U.S. military personnel and will define his legacy,

Moreover, Bush said that after Saddam’s regime had been toppled by U.S.-led forces, his administration chose to stand by the Iraqi people, help nurture a budding democracy — even launch a military buildup when increased violence threatened to tear the nation asunder.