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Army investigates female soldier’s death at Fort Hood

Army investigates female soldier's death

The Army is investigating the death of another female soldier who complained of sexual harassment at Fort Hood, Texas, the same base where Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen was murdered three years prior.

Pvt. Ana Basaldua Ruiz, 20, a combat engineer who had served with the 1st Calvary Division for the past 15 months, was found dead on Monday, according to a statement from Fort Hood.

Basaldua Ruiz’s death comes weeks after she apparently complained to her mother about her superior and other peers sexually harassing her, her family told Noticias Telemundo, a Spanish-language news outlet owned by NBC.

The Fort Hood release made no mention of any sexual harassment allegations, but it said the Army Criminal Investigation Division is “actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding her death.” In addition, Basaldua Ruiz’s chain of command “is in contact with her family to keep them updated, receive any concerns, and provide them all releasable information,” according to the Army.


Former top U.S. admiral cashes in on nuclear sub deal with Australia

Forme top US admiral cashes in on nuclear dealIn its quest to build nuclear-powered submarines, the government of Australia recently hired a little-known, one-person consulting firm from Virginia: Briny Deep.

Briny Deep, based in Alexandria, Va., received a $210,000 part-time contract in late November to advise Australian defense officials during their negotiations to acquire top-secret nuclear submarine technology from the United States and Britain, according to Australian contracting documents. U.S. public records show the company is owned by John M. Richardson, a retired four-star U.S. admiral and career submariner who headed the U.S. Navy from 2015 to 2019.

Richardson, who declined to comment, is the latest former U.S. Navy leader to cash in on the nuclear talks by working as a high-dollar consultant for the Australian government, a pattern that was revealed in a Washington Post investigation last year. His case brings to a dozen the number of retired officers and former civilian leaders from the U.S. Navy whom Australia has employed as advisers since the nuclear talks began in September 2021, documents show.


An injured Marine gives searing testimony on the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan

Injured Marine gives searing testimony on withdrawal from Afghanistan

House Republicans vowed when they took control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms they would hold the Biden administration accountable for the fallout from the chaotic withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021.

The House Foreign Affairs panel's first oversight hearing on what happened leading up to and after the U.S. end to a more than 20-year war featured emotional and graphic testimony from a Marine injured in the bombing at the Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Lawmakers also heard from a young Army medic who is still haunted by images of trying to save his fellow soldiers killed during that attack. And veterans who scrambled and set up mini State Departments to evacuate Afghan allies recounted frustration with the U.S. government's lack of planning and continued problems as they try to process visas.

The exit of U.S. forces and rushed evacuation of allies by the U.S. military as the Afghan government fell and the Taliban regained control of the country stand as one of the most damaging periods of President Biden's tenure in office.


An American submarine that went missing in World War II is found off of Japan's coast

USS Albacore

The wreckage of a U.S. submarine from World War II was found off the coast of Hokkaido in northern Japan — after disappearing almost 80 years ago.

The USS Albacore, credited with sinking at least 10 enemy vessels during the war, was found by the University of Tokyo's Tamaki Ura and positively identified by the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Navy said on Thursday.

Albacore was long assumed to be lost forever. According to Japanese records, the submarine, with a crew of 85 men on board, likely struck a mine just off the shore of Hokkaido on Nov. 7, 1944, the NHHC said.

"Most importantly, the wreck represents the final resting place of Sailors that gave their life in defense of the nation and should be respected by all parties as a war grave," read the Navy's press release.


Object downed by US missile may have been amateur hobbyists’ $12 balloon

Did military shoot down hobby balloon?

A group of amateur balloon enthusiasts in Illinois might have solved the mystery of one of the unknown flying objects shot down by the US military last week, a saga that had captivated the nation.

The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade says one of its hobby craft went “missing in action” over Alaska on 11 February, the same day a US F-22 jet downed an unidentified airborne entity not far away above Canada’s Yukon territory.

In a blogpost, the group did not link the two events. But the trajectory of the pico balloon before its last recorded electronic check-in at 12.48am that day suggests a connection – as well as a fiery demise at the hands of a sidewinder missile on the 124th day of its journey, three days before it was set to complete its seventh circumnavigation.


Pentagon to allow up to 3 weeks of leave to service members for abortion travel

Pentagon allow up to three weeks for abortion

The Pentagon will allow service members up to three weeks of leave to travel for abortions and other non-covered reproductive health care, according to a slate of new policies announced on Thursday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin first announced in October that the Defense Department would provide leave to and reimburse service members for travel required to access reproductive health care. The three policies released on Thursday provide additional details and guidance on how these directives will function.


A Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard has crashed

Black Hawk helicopter crashed in AlabamaA Black Hawk helicopter from the Tennessee National Guard crashed Wednesday in Alabama, killing everyone on board, a spokesman for the Madison County sheriff's office said.

"We have no survivors," Investigator Brent Patterson said. "We have a crime scene here. We have it taped off."

Patterson said there were no injuries to anyone on the ground when the helicopter crashed.

U.S. military officials said two members of the Tennessee National Guard on board were killed. An Army official said the helicopter, which was on a training mission, crashed around 3:30 p.m. local time and caught fire. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an incident that was under investigation.


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