German soldiers recalled from Lithuania over Hitler birthday song

Some 30 German soldiers are being recalled from service in Lithuania, with ringleaders facing immediate dismissal, after they were accused of making racist and anti-Semitic remarks and of sexual violence, a German military spokesperson said. The soldiers were in Lithuania as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission providing protection to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by deterring Russia. Der Spiegel earlier reported that some German soldiers had got so drunk in a hotel that military police had to be called. Further investigations found that soldiers had sung a birthday song for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler at an earlier gathering. Beyond … Continue reading German soldiers recalled from Lithuania over Hitler birthday song

Canada military’s second-in-command resigns over golf game

The Canadian military’s second-in-command has resigned after playing golf with the country’s former defence chief, who is under investigation for sexual misconduct. Lieutenant General Mike Rouleau said he invited General Jonathan Vance to play golf “to ensure his wellness”. In his former role, Lt Gen Rouleau had authority over military investigators looking at the case against Gen Vance. Lt Gen Rouleau said the pair did not discuss details of the investigation. But he admitted that his decision had “intensified recent events and contributed to further erosion of trust” in the military. Gen Vance, who retired in January, has denied the … Continue reading Canada military’s second-in-command resigns over golf game

Marine General relived of duty after training incident in California killed 9 soldiers

The Marine Corps announced on Wednesday that the former Commanding General of 1st Marine Division is being relieved of duty pending an ongoing investigation into a training accident that killed nine troops off the coast of southern California last summer. Maj. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi has been suspended from his position as inspector general of the Marine Corps since April, and will now be temporarily relieved of duty for failing to give troops proper training, the Associated Press reported. Assistant Commandant Gen. Gary Thomas said 11 other Marine officials have previously been removed from their jobs or received disciplinary action, … Continue reading Marine General relived of duty after training incident in California killed 9 soldiers

US Navy christens USS Canberra, only warship named for a foreign capital

The littoral combat ship USS Canberra sits pierside in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday for its christening ceremony. A bottle of wine was broken across a mass of gray metal in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, as the United States Navy unveiled the only ship in its fleet to be named after a foreign capital. The USS Canberra, named for Australia’s seat of power is a brand new littoral combat ship, one of the US Navy’s newest platforms. “It says much to the strength of the friendship between our two nations that Australia is the only allied country whose capital the US … Continue reading US Navy christens USS Canberra, only warship named for a foreign capital

Chad accuses Central African Republic troops of war crime

Chad has accused the CAR army of attacking a military outpost on Chad’s side of the border, before killing a number of soldiers.Soldiers from CAR and Chad guard a restless, long and porous border Central African Republic (CAR) soldiers attacked a Chadian military post, killing one soldier, and kidnapping and executing five others, Chad’s defense ministry said on Sunday. Chad said the incident amounted to a war crime that “cannot go unpunished.” The CAR armed forces attacked the Sourou outpost near the village of Mbere early on Sunday morning, Chad’s Foreign Minister Cherif Mahamat Zene said in a statement. The outpost was … Continue reading Chad accuses Central African Republic troops of war crime

Azerbaijan captures six Armenian soldiers as border tensions rise

Azerbaijan has captured six Armenian servicemen, according to the defence ministries of both countries, the latest in a series of escalating border incidents after last year’s war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The defence ministry of Azerbaijan on Thursday accused Armenian soldiers of trying to cross into its territory in the Kelbajar region. It said the Armenian soldiers had “tried to mine supply routes leading to Azerbaijan army positions” and “were surrounded, neutralized and taken prisoner”. Armenia’s defence ministry said its soldiers had been carrying out engineering work in the border area of its eastern Gegharkunik region, which neighbours Azerbaijan. “Necessary measures … Continue reading Azerbaijan captures six Armenian soldiers as border tensions rise

China says US threatens peace as warship crosses Taiwan Strait

China has accused the United States of threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait after a US warship again sailed through the seas that separate Taiwan and its giant neighbour. The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur conducted a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Tuesday in accordance with international law. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it said in a statement on its website. “The United States military will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows.” A … Continue reading China says US threatens peace as warship crosses Taiwan Strait

US fires warning shots at Iranian boats in Gulf

A US Coast Guard ship fired warning shots at Iranian boats that came close to American naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon says. The Pentagon said 13 fast boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came within 140m (459ft) of US vessels on Monday. The Iranian vessels left after 30 warning shots were fired, the Pentagon said. This is the second such incident in the region in two weeks. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby accused the Iranian boats of “acting very aggressively” near the US military vessels, which were escorting USS Georgia, a guided-missile submarine. “It’s … Continue reading US fires warning shots at Iranian boats in Gulf

Egypt to buy Rafale fighter jets worth $4.5bn from France

Egypt has signed a contract with France to buy 30 Rafale fighter jets in a deal that investigative website Disclose said was worth $4.5bn. Egypt’s defence ministry revealed the deal in a statement early on Tuesday.France was the main weapons supplier to Egypt between 2013 and 2017 President Emmanuel Macron said in December he would not make the sale of weapons to Egypt conditional on a commitment to respect human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to counter violence in the region. Egypt’s defence ministry said the deal would be financed through a loan to be … Continue reading Egypt to buy Rafale fighter jets worth $4.5bn from France

China’s carrier group conducts exercises in South China Sea

China’s Shandong aircraft carrier group recently conducted annual exercises in the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army said on Sunday, after Beijing criticized the US for sending Navy ships into the strategic area. Navy spokesperson Gao Xiucheng said in a statement the exercises were “completely legitimate” and part of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as maintaining regional peace and stability. “We hope the outside world will view it in an objective and rational way. In the future, the Chinese navy will continue to hold similar exercises as planned,” said Gao. The Chinese defence ministry last … Continue reading China’s carrier group conducts exercises in South China Sea

Update: Indonesian navy submarine found split into three on sea bed

An Indonesian navy submarine that sank off the coast of Bali on Wednesday has been found split into three pieces on the sea bed, officials say. All the vessel’s 53 crew have been confirmed dead. Navy officials said they had received signals from the sub’s location more than 800m (2,600ft) deep early on Sunday. An underwater rescue vehicle loaned by Singapore was sent down to get visual confirmation of the wreckage. The KRI Nanggala disappeared after requesting permission to dive during a torpedo drill. The reason for its sinking is not yet clear. Sunday’s statement came a day after the … Continue reading Update: Indonesian navy submarine found split into three on sea bed

Update: US joins race to find stricken Indonesia submarine

The US military is sending airborne assistance to aid Indonesia’s search for a missing submarine with 53 crew. Indonesian authorities estimate they have just hours left to find the navy submarine before the oxygen runs out. The KRI Nanggala 402 disappeared on Wednesday during exercises off the coast of Bali, sparking a frantic search to locate the stricken vessel. An oil slick where it was thought to have submerged suggested damage to a fuel tank may have been a factor. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the US was “deeply saddened” by the turn of events. “Our thoughts are with the … Continue reading Update: US joins race to find stricken Indonesia submarine