The Air Force said Wednesday installation commanders will be authorized to implement three programs that grant some service members the right to carry weapons, giving their bases additional security, according to Air Force Times.
The programs commanders may implement are the Unit Marshal, Security Forces Staff Arming, and Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, the Air Force said in a release. The Air Force is focusing on new protocols following various mass shootings on installations, most recently, on a recruiting station and a Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Military Times is reporting that U.S. military officials are in high-level talks with the Iraqis about potentially sending hundreds of additional troops to Iraq for training and supporting the upcoming invasion of the Islamic State group’s stronghold in Mosul.
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“Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] has asked for additional enablers and so we're working now with him to figure out exactly what that looks like,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the Defense Department.
Warren said the number would be "not thousands, hundreds" and also said some of those troops might be from allied nations.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Warren said the Iraqis will likely need at least eight combat brigades for the invasion of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Additional trainers would help prepare the Iraqis for the Mosul operation, which some military officials say may not begin until next year.
The Obama administration has approved a massive sale of thousands of guided bombs and missiles for Iraq’s new F-16 fighter jets, which joined the air campaign against Islamic State militants in September.
The deal, with a value of $2 billion, includes more than 16,000 laser-guided bombs, weapons that would dramatically bolster the warplanes’ firepower. It also includes 24 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, which could be used to shoot down ISIS drones or other enemy aircraft. Also included in the proposed sale are helmet-cueing systems, which allow a pilot to aim at a target by simply looking at it, according to Defense One.com.
The Army is testing a new joint precision airdrop system, or JPADS. The ultimate goal is a system that can be fitted to cargo that the military can drop from 25,000 feet and from as far away as 20 miles to a specified location, all without GPS. So far, the Army has tested the new JPADS at 10,000 feet in Arizona and they’re planning on tests at higher ranges to confirm that it will work as expected.
The system uses an aerial guidance unit, or AGU: essentially, a box containing a set of motors that manipulate and steer the parafoil, and a computer. A camera sits underneath, according to DefenseOne.com.
Defense contractor Draper makes the software on the unit, which uses data from the camera to understand where it is and manipulate the parachute to go where it wants to go.