US Army eyes new automatic rifle that fires with pressure equivalent to tank: report

A new Army assault rifle will tear through any body armor with the pressure of a battle tank, strike from unprecedented ranges, and withstand the rigors of weather, terrain and soldier use, Army Chief of Staff. Gen. Mark Milley told The Military Times. The new 6.8mm rifles, which are expected to be in use by … Continue reading “US Army eyes new automatic rifle that fires with pressure equivalent to tank: report”

A new Army assault rifle will tear through any body armor with the pressure of a battle tank, strike from unprecedented ranges, and withstand the rigors of weather, terrain and soldier use, Army Chief of Staff. Gen. Mark Milley told The Military Times.

The new 6.8mm rifles, which are expected to be in use by 2022, will offer major improvements in capabilities over the decades-old M16 and M4 weapons, the Army claims.

US RETURNS 3 WAR BELLS SEIZED FROM PHILIPPINES A CENTURY AGO

The “Next Generation Squad Weapon program,” is an Army initiative but has had input from Marines and special operations forces, according to The Times. Milley has described it as “better than any weapon on earth today, by far,” and a “pretty impressive gun.”

The so-called Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) will "weigh less, shoot farther, and pack more punch than the service’s existing infantry weapons," Col. Geoffrey A. Norman told Task & Purpose.

The goal, Norman said, is to equip soldiers with rifles that fire "a small bullet at the pressure equivalent to what a tank would fire."

Norman cited the Army’s shift from the urban environments of Iraq and Syria to the open terrain of Afghanistan and "near-peer threats like Russia."

“For the past 10 or 15 years, we’ve been really focused on the requirement of lethal effects against unprotected targets,” Norman said. “Now we’re looking at near-peer threats like Russia and others. We need to have lethal effects against protected targets and we need to have requirements for long-range lethality in places like Afghanistan, where you’re fighting from mountaintop to mountaintop over extended ranges.”

The upgrades in soldiers’ weaponry will necessarily require changes in training, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt told The Times.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

Trump picks Army chief of staff as next top military adviser

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he wants a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation's next top military adviser.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford's term doesn't end until Oct. 1. Trump said the date of transition is "to be determined."

Trump used an early morning tweet to reveal his choice. "I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!" he said. Later Saturday, as the president left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, he called Milley "a great gentleman and a great patriot."

Dunford is a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan. Milley commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dunford's spokesman, Col. Patrick Ryder, said all indications are that Dunford will serve his full term. Ryder referred other questions to the White House. He said Dunford congratulated Milley on his nomination. "He has served with Gen. Milley in peacetime and in combat and has the highest regard for his leadership."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that Milley was "a battle-tested commander and Pentagon reformer who will be a worthy successor" to Dunford. That committee would consider a Joint Chiefs nomination.

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee praised Milley for his "direct, insightful military assessments based upon his intellect and years of experience." Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, also noted that the Joint Chiefs chairman serves Congress as well as the president and defense secretary.

Trump's decision, announced before leaving Washington for the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, had caught some in the Pentagon by surprise when unofficial word spread Friday after he had tweeted that a succession announcement was coming.

Normally an announcement on a new chairman wouldn't be expected until early next year. Officials had said the Air Force chief, Gen. David Goldfein, was also a strong contender for the job.

Milley is known as a charismatic, outgoing leader who has not been afraid to offer candid and sometimes blunt assessments to Congress. Last year he admonished the House Armed Services Committee for its inability to approve a defense budget, slamming it as "professional malpractice." In 2016, he told lawmakers, in answer to a direct question, that women should also have to register for the draft now that they are allowed to serve in all combat jobs.

As the Army's top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right. More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal this year.

He also played a role in one of the Army's more contentious criminal cases. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a fervent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and other city teams, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980. An infantry officer by training, he also commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989, the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Iraq war.

The Milley move starts a series of military leadership changes in coming months, including successors in 2019 for Adm. John Richardson as the chief of Naval Operations, Gen. Robert Neller as commandant of the Marine Corps, and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Trump also will pick a replacement for Milley as Army chief.

Goldfein began his term as Air Force chief of staff in 2016, so wouldn't be expected to step down until the summer of 2020.

Correction: Trump-Joint Chiefs story

WASHINGTON – In a story Dec. 7 about President Donald Trump's selection of his next top military adviser, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Gen. Mark Milley is a former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group. He is a former commander of the 10th Mountain Division.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Trump chooses chief of the Army to be top military adviser

U.S. officials say President Donald Trump will tap Gen. Mark Milley as his next top military adviser

By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ROBERT BURNS

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will tap Gen. Mark Milley as his next top military adviser, choosing a battle-hardened commander who has served as chief of the Army for the last three years, U.S. officials said Friday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the pinnacle of a military career. Dunford, a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan, is expected to serve out his term as Joint Chiefs chairman, which ends Oct. 1.

Milley, who commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has served as the Army's top officer since August 2015. Several officials confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Trump is expected to announce his decision Saturday at the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

The decision caught some in the Pentagon by surprise on Friday. Normally an announcement on a new chairman wouldn't be expected until early next year. The officials said the Air Force chief, Gen. David Goldfein, was also a strong contender for the job, but they indicated that Milley has a very good relationship with the president.

Trump hinted earlier Friday that he would be making an announcement on Saturday, when he attends the game and is expected to perform the coin toss to decide which team gets the ball first. "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession," he said.

Milley is known as a charismatic, outgoing leader who has not been afraid to offer candid and sometimes blunt assessments to Congress. Last year he admonished the House Armed Services Committee for its inability to approve a defense budget, slamming it as "professional malpractice." And in 2016, he told lawmakers, in answer to a direct question, that women should also have to register for the draft now that they are allowed to serve in all combat jobs.

As the Army's top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right. More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal this year.

He also played a role in one of the Army's more contentious criminal cases. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a fervent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and other city teams, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980. An infantry officer by training, he also commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989; the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords; and the Iraq war.

Milley also served as deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

He is a former commander of the 10th Mountain Division.

Dunford was picked as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2015 by former President Barack Obama. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.

The Milley move starts a series of military leadership changes in coming months, including successors in 2019 for Adm. John Richardson as the chief of naval operations, Gen. Robert Neller as commandant of the Marine Corps, and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Trump also will pick a replacement for Milley as Army chief.

Goldfein began his term as Air Force chief of staff in 2016, so wouldn't be expected to step down until the summer of 2020.

With Trump in attendance, Army beats Navy for 3rd straight time

PHILADELPHIA – PHILADELPHIA - Army had the corps bouncing in front of the president and kept the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

The No. 22 Black Knights recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had two rushing touchdowns and Army beat Navy 17-10 on Saturday to win its third straight game in the series.

President Donald Trump attended the 119th game between the rivals and flipped the coin before spending a half on each side in a show of impartiality. No matter his view, Army (10-2) always had the edge.

President Donald Trump tosses the coin before the Army-Navy NCAA college football Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Army retained the CIC Trophy — awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies — after winning it for the first time in 22 years last season and snuffed a late Navy (3-10) rally to retain possession of the patriotic prize

With Navy down 10-7, quarterback Zach Abey lost a fumble on fourth-and-12 deep in its own territory. Hopkins would score on a 1-yard run to make it 17-7 and give Army the cushion it needed to win in front of 66,729 fans at Lincoln Financial Field.

Army hopped and waved hands in celebration during a replay timeout and got the cadets in the stands to bounce along. They had good reason to celebrate: Army has regained its grip in a series that had gotten out of hand. Navy had a series-best 14-game winning streak from 2002-2015 and leads the series leads 60-52-7.

Trump sat on the Army side in the first half and crossed the field to the Navy side at halftime. Trump officiated the coin toss and was introduced by public address announcer Dan Baker to a cheering crowd. Navy called "tails," and that's what it was when Trump's flipped coin landed on the turf. Navy elected to kick off.

That was a mistake.

Navy’s Zach Abey leaps for a high snap during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Army, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Kell Walker ran 51 yards to the 10 on the fourth play from scrimmage and Hopkins dashed in for the TD on the next play for a 7-0 lead.

In a series steeped in tradition — the "March On" and drumline battles, among them — perhaps none is more ingrained than the running game. Last year's game had a combined three pass attempts and quarterbacks for each team are usually the leading rushers. But Army and Navy passed on the rush and tried to throw, with mixed results. Army safety Jaylon McClinton had an interception in the first half. Army also dropped a key third-down pass that led to John Abercrombie's missed 33-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Abercrombie rebounded to kick a 33-yarder in the third for a 10-0 lead.

Last season's game was an instant classic and was decided by a field goal: Bennett Moehring narrowly missed a 48-yarder in the snow on the final play and Army held off Navy 14-13.

Moehring made the extra point on Lewis' score and he kicked a 45-yard field goal with 29 seconds left. Malcolm Perry's 43-yard run to the 5 set up Garret Lewis' 1-yard rushing TD with 7:10 left in the game that pulled Navy to 10-7.

There were reminders all around the Linc, home of the Super Bowl champion Eagles, that this was no ordinary game. The Navy "Leap Frogs" parachute team earned a roar from the crowd with each safe landing on the field. Bill the Goat, Navy's mascot, was safely leashed and secured from a possible abduction attempt from overzealous cadets. And each side safely returned "captives" in the Prisoner Exchange — when seven midshipmen and seven cadets swap service academies for a semester. The Army prisoners spelled out "3-PEAT on the back of their uniforms.

White House chief of staff John Kelly to leave at year’s end

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Saturday that chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job by year's end amid an expected West Wing reshuffling reflecting a focus on the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats reclaiming control of the House.

Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, is Trump's top choice to replace Kelly, and the two have held discussions for months about the job, a White House official said. An announcement was expected in the coming days, the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Kelly had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary. But his iron first also alienated some longtime Trump allies, and he grew increasingly isolated, with an increasingly diminished role.

Known through the West Wing as "the chief" or "the general," the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Trump via tweet in July 2017 from his perch atop the Homeland Security Department to try to normalize a White House riven by infighting and competing power bases.

"John Kelly will leaving — I don't know if I can say retiring — but he's a great guy," Trump said. "John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We'll be announcing who will be taking John's place — it might be on an interim basis. I'll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year. … I appreciate his service very much."

Kelly had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump.

But those efforts also miffed the president and some of his most influential outside allies, who had grown accustomed to unimpeded access. Kelly's handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.

Lauding Kelly, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the country was "better for his duty at the White House." He called Kelly "a force for order, clarity and good sense."

Trump and Ayers were working out terms under which Ayers would fill the role and the time commitment he would make, the White House official said. Trump wants his next chief of staff to agree to hold the job through the 2020 election. Ayers, who has young triplets, had long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year, but he has agreed to serve in an interim basis through the spring of 2019.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

Word of Kelly's impending departure comes a day after Trump named his picks for attorney general and ambassador to the United Nations, and two senior aides shifted from the White House to Trump's campaign.

In any administration, the role of White House chief of staff is split between the responsibilities of supervising the White House and managing the man sitting in the Oval Office. Striking that balance in the turbulent times of Trump has bedeviled both Kelly and his predecessor, Reince Priebus.

White House aides say Trump has developed confidence in Ayers, in part by watching the effectiveness of Pence's largely independent political operation. Ayers also earned the backing of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, for taking on the new role, White House officials said.

The Georgia native's meteoric rise in GOP politics included a successful stint at the Republican Governors Association, time as campaign manager for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's failed White House bid and consultant work for dozens of high-profile Republicans, including Pence.

Ayers, 36, would be the youngest chief of staff since 34-year-old Hamilton Jordan served under Jimmy Carter. Kelly is 68.

Trump had discussed replacing Kelly on multiple occasions, including following the negative publicity surrounding Kelly's handling of domestic violence accusations against then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Some lower-level White House staffers believed Kelly had lied to them about when he knew of the allegations and when he made clear to Porter that he'd have to leave.

Trump had often tossed around potential replacements, but sensitive to charges that his administration has been marked by record turnover, he said in July that he would keep Kelly in the job through 2020.

But inside the White House, it was viewed largely as an attempt to clamp down on speculation about Kelly's fate during the midterm elections, rather than a true vote of confidence.

Kelly, too, made no secret of the trials of his job, and often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he'd done before, including on the battlefield. In private, Kelly, whom friends said took the job out of a sense of duty to his country, cast himself as safeguarding the public from an impulsive and mercurial president. Reports of those conversations infuriated the president, who is especially sensitive of attacks on his competence and perceptions he is being managed.

At an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly joked that he missed everyone in the department "every day," offering a deadpan eye roll and smile that drew laughs and applause.

"At six months, the last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess," he joked.

Kelly, who had threatened to quit on several occasions, told friends he would be happy if he lasted until his one-year anniversary: July 28.

__

Associated Press writers Michele Salcedo and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

__

Follow Miller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and Colvin at https://twitter.com/colvinj

Trump picks Gen. Mark Milley as next top military adviser

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he's picked a battle-hardened commander who oversaw troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to be the nation's next top military adviser.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been chief of the Army since August 2015, would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dunford's term doesn't end until Oct. 1. Trump said the date of transition is yet to be determined.

Trump tweeted the announcement, saying "I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army – as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing General Joe Dunford, who will be retiring. I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country!"

Dunford is a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan. Milley commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Trump's decision, which he announced before leaving Washington to attend the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, caught some in the Pentagon by surprise on Friday. Normally an announcement on a new chairman wouldn't be expected until early next year. The officials said the Air Force chief, Gen. David Goldfein, was also a strong contender for the job, but they indicated that Milley has a very good relationship with the president.

Trump hinted earlier Friday that he would make an announcement on Saturday, when he attends the game and is expected to perform the coin toss to decide which team gets the ball first. "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession," he said.

Milley is known as a charismatic, outgoing leader who has not been afraid to offer candid and sometimes blunt assessments to Congress. Last year he admonished the House Armed Services Committee for its inability to approve a defense budget, slamming it as "professional malpractice." And in 2016, he told lawmakers, in answer to a direct question, that women should also have to register for the draft now that they are allowed to serve in all combat jobs.

As the Army's top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right. More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal this year.

He also played a role in one of the Army's more contentious criminal cases. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a fervent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and other city teams, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980. An infantry officer by training, he also commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989, the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Iraq war.

The Milley move starts a series of military leadership changes in coming months, including successors in 2019 for Adm. John Richardson as the chief of Naval Operations, Gen. Robert Neller as commandant of the Marine Corps, and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Trump also will pick a replacement for Milley as Army chief.

Goldfein began his term as Air Force chief of staff in 2016, so wouldn't be expected to step down until the summer of 2020.

Trump chooses chief of the Army to be top military adviser

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will tap Gen. Mark Milley as his next top military adviser, choosing a battle-hardened commander who has served as chief of the Army for the last three years, U.S. officials said Friday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would succeed Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the pinnacle of a military career. Dunford, a former commandant of the Marine Corps and commander of coalition troops in Afghanistan, is expected to serve out his term as Joint Chiefs chairman, which ends Oct. 1.

Milley, who commanded troops during several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, has served as the Army's top officer since August 2015. Several officials confirmed the decision on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Trump is expected to announce his decision Saturday at the annual Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

The decision caught some in the Pentagon by surprise on Friday. Normally an announcement on a new chairman wouldn't be expected until early next year. The officials said the Air Force chief, Gen. David Goldfein, was also a strong contender for the job, but they indicated that Milley has a very good relationship with the president.

Trump hinted earlier Friday that he would be making an announcement on Saturday, when he attends the game and is expected to perform the coin toss to decide which team gets the ball first. "I can give you a little hint: It will have to do with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and succession," he said.

Milley is known as a charismatic, outgoing leader who has not been afraid to offer candid and sometimes blunt assessments to Congress. Last year he admonished the House Armed Services Committee for its inability to approve a defense budget, slamming it as "professional malpractice." And in 2016, he told lawmakers, in answer to a direct question, that women should also have to register for the draft now that they are allowed to serve in all combat jobs.

As the Army's top leader, he helped shepherd the groundbreaking move of women into front-line infantry and other combat positions, while warning that it would take time to do it right. More recently, he has worked with his senior officers to reverse a shortfall in Army recruiting when the service fell far short of its annual goal this year.

He also played a role in one of the Army's more contentious criminal cases. While serving as head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Milley was assigned to review the case of former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years.

Milley made the early decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl was eventually found guilty, reduced in rank to private, dishonorably discharged and fined $10,000, but was spared any additional prison time.

A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and a fervent supporter of the Boston Red Sox and other city teams, Milley received his Army commission from Princeton University in 1980. An infantry officer by training, he also commanded Special Forces units in a career that included deployments in the invasion of Panama in 1989; the multinational mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina to implement the Dayton Peace Accords; and the Iraq war.

He also served as deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He is a former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group.

Dunford was picked as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2015 by former President Barack Obama. Trump nominated him for a second two-year term last year.

The Milley move starts a series of military leadership changes in coming months, including successors in 2019 for Adm. John Richardson as the chief of naval operations, Gen. Robert Neller as commandant of the Marine Corps, and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Trump also will pick a replacement for Milley as Army chief.

Goldfein began his term as Air Force chief of staff in 2016, so wouldn't be expected to step down until the summer of 2020.

Elvis Presley helped raise cash for USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in the 1960s: report

What does a rock 'n' roll legend have to do with a historical Pearl Harbor memorial?

Legendary rock star Elvis Presley helped make the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor a reality in the 1960s.

Presley performed at a benefit concert that raised more than $54,000 for the memorial fund on March 25, 1961, Biography.com reported. He also made a separate donation, the report said.

Plans to create the USS Arizona Memorial took shape in the 1950s, but by 1960, less than half of the $500,000 needed was raised, the publication reported.

Presley's manager, Col. Tom Parker, thought a benefit concert would provide positive publicity for the singer, who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1960, according to Biography. Presley entered the Army at Memphis, Tenn., on March 24, 1958, US. Army History said.

Shortly after the concert, Hawaii's House of Representatives passed Resolution 105 to thank Presley and Parker for their services, the report said.

Presley's actions drew attention to the memorial fund, when more money from the public and private sector arrived, allowing the USS Arizona Memorial to be dedicated on May 30, 1962.

The famed rock 'n' roll musician visited the memorial for the first time in 1965 and placed a wreath at the monument, the report said.

FILE: A view of the USS Arizona Memorial that also shows the ship’s wreckage. (National Park Service)

Presley's other connections to Hawaii included the movie and song "Blue Hawaii," in 1961, and his "Aloha from Hawaii" concert on Jan. 14, 1973.

This year, the USS Arizona Memorial has been closed since May due to damage to a loading ramp, but is expected to reopen in March, the Los Angeles Times reported.

More than 900 bodies could not be recovered from the sunken ship and still remain onboard, the National Park Service said. The USS Arizona also remains submerged below the memorial.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Military dog killed in Afghanistan reportedly saved Army soldiers’ lives during raid

A U.S. military dog who was killed late last month during a firefight with Al Qaeda forces reportedly saved Army soldiers' lives during the operation in Afghanistan.

Maiko, a 7-year-old dog, along with Army Ranger Sgt. Leandro Jasso, 25, from Washington, died after a raid in southwest Afghanistan's Nimruz Province on Nov. 24 that was intended to eliminate Al Qaeda militants, Stars and Stripes reported Tuesday.

SERVICE MEMBERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN REMEMBERED AT HOME

The military dog, according to the news outlet, was leading Rangers into a compound when their group was fired upon by militants — ultimately revealing where the militants were. Rangers were then able to target their location.

“The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler … and other Rangers involved during the clearance,” a biography of Maiko that circulated on social media, but was confirmed by defense officials to Stars and Stripes, read. "The loss of Maiko is devastating to all that knew and worked with him."

Jasso, who was not Maiko's handler, and Maiko were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, an elite unit within the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Jasso enlisted in the Army in August 2012 and was serving as a team leader on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

Maiko reportedly served six tours in Afghanistan and conducted more than 50 raids led by Army Rangers. When he died last month, "he was the most senior [multi-purpose canine] assigned to 2/75 with the most training and combat experience," according to the social media post.

Video

The Pentagon told Fox News after the attack that the incident remains under investigation.

Jasso was the ninth American killed in action in Afghanistan this year, and the second this month after a former mayor from Utah who served in the state’s National Guard since 2013 was slain in an “insider attack" in Kabul on Nov. 3.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

We don’t have enough air and missile defense weapons, Pentagon says

Pentagon weapons developers and military war commanders are expressing concern that deployed forces simply do not have enough Air and Missile defense assets to meet a fast-changing threat environment involving high volumes of dangerous new enemy weapons.

“The requirements exceed the capacity we have today. When it comes to combatant commander needs for missile defense, we find out we simply do not have enough,” Brig. Gen. Clement Coward, Commander, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, told an audience at a recent Center for Strategic and International Studies event.

These threats, posed increasingly by major power competitors, include newly emerging weapons such as guided enemy cruise missiles, attack drones, ballistic missiles with maneuvering re-entry vehicles and even “boost-glide” hypersonic weapons.

“We don’t like to say we don’t have air superiority anymore, but there may be forces in locations where we do not have air superiority. We are working on an all-inclusive culture change,” Coward said.

The air and missile defense push supports rapid development of more counter-drone weapons and Short-Range-Air-Defense (SHORAD) technologies – some of which are already being engineered into Army Stryker vehicles. A key goal is to design systems, at their inception, with technologies equipped to meet drone and short-range air defense threats.

“We have to bake in requirements for counter UAS (Drones) as part of this. We cannot allow that to be a segmented problem. We are trying to get Short Range Air Defense back in the units,” said Brig. Gen. Sean Gainey, Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization Director and Deputy Director, Force Protection.

A National Defense University study, called “Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense, “Simplifying an Increasingly Complex Problem,” details further specifics regarding new threat concerns, including the aforementioned weapons such as hypersonic threats and missiles with multiple “re-entry vehicles.”

“These threats demand a multi-layered defense to eliminate exploitable gaps between traditional IAMD (Integrated Air and Missile Defense) categories,” the paper writes.

Other concerns cited in the essay include “lethal, one-way UAS (drones as attack weapons) and long-range, large-caliber rockets equipped with terminal guidance.”

In response, both Coward and Gainey mentioned ongoing collaborative work to revamp weapons networking and integrated fire control technology.

“We are prioritizing upgrades to planned integrative fire control. We are doing a revision of joint integrated fire control across the joint force,” Gainey said.

As a way to further advance this goal, Coward and Gainey cited the example of better networking fire control systems for the PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense interceptor missiles. While both of these systems are air and missile defense weapons, THAAD is a longer range system. Connecting radar, targeting and sensor information between these systems brings the US military services closer to the stated objective of having a multi-layered approach.

Integrated Battle Command System

This scenario, involving a specific effort to connect sensors, fire control and targeting information between “nodes” on a dispersed combat area, is what the Army’s Integrated Battle Command System is engineered to do.

IBCS uses a netted-group of integrated sensors and networking technologies to connect radar systems — such as the Sentinel — with fire-control for large interceptors such as PATRIOT and THAAD.

Synergy between nodes, using radio, LINK 16 data networks and GPS can greatly expedite multi-service coordination by passing along fast-developing threat information. IBCS, an Army program of record, uses computer-generated digital mapping to present an integrated combat picture showing threat trajectories, sensors, weapons and intercepts, senior Northrop developers told Warrior in previous interviews.

Coward cited IBCS as an example of how emerging technology is moving the military services closer to its intended objectives.

“Gives us flexibility instead of waiting on a shelter attached to a vehicle. It allows us to bring three Combatant Command needs statements together, as opposed to being stove piped,” Coward said.

In an interview with Warrior Maven, IBCS weapons developers with Northrop Grumman says that now, a Patriot missile does not have to be fired with a PATRIOT radar.

“By integrating sensors together, we can have an environment where any weapon can be used with a common sensor picture. It used to be that you could only fire a PATRIOT with a PATRIOT radar…now you do not have to have that,” Rob Jassey, Air and Missile Defense Program Manager, Northrop Grumman, told Warrior Maven.

Jassey added that, in a prior exercise, Northrop was able to use Sentinel radar maneuver sensors to provide guidance source data for a PATRIOT missile, enabling it to destroy a cruise missile target on the other side of a mountain.

“Because the low altitude trajectory of the target obscured it from the PATRIOT radar field of view, the IBCS used Sentinel composite tracking data to calculate and present the necessary engagement solution,” a Northrop statement said.

F-35 and Ballistic Missile Defense

Northrop Grumman and the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency recently analyzed information from a previous demonstration wherein an airborne F-35 helped perform Ballistic Missile Defense missions.

The demonstration used a ground-based F-35 sensor called the Distributed Aperture System, a 360-degree camera-sensor offering F-35 pilots a real-time view surrounding the aircraft. Using a DAS-configured gateway aerial node to locate a ballistic missile launch and flight path, the technical system was able to send target-tracking information using advanced data links from the air to ground-based command and control location.

Described as multi-function array technology, the DAS system uses automated computer algorithms to organize and integrate target-relevant data from missile warning systems, radar, night vision and other long-range sensors; the array is able to track a BMD target from the air at distances up to 800 nautical miles. Such a technology, quite naturally, enables a wider sensor field with which to identify and track attacking missiles.

An airborne DAS, networked with ground-based Patriot and THAAD weapons, could offer a distinct tactical advantage when it comes to quickly locating incoming missile threats. Air sensors in particular, could be of great value given that, in some envisioned threat scenarios, it is unclear whether there would be enough interceptors to counter a massive enemy ballistic missile barrage into US or allied territories.

Regarding Coward and Gainey’s cited concerns, air based detection and target tracking, it seems, could go a long way toward better fortifying defenses – as they might increase the time envelope during which command and control could cue interceptors to locate and destroy attacking enemy missiles.

Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar

Northrop developers are also assessing new optical sensors, passive sensors and lasers to widen the target envelope for the Army’s Counter Rocket, Artillery Mortar system such that it can destroy enemy drones, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and cruise missiles.

C-RAM uses sensors, radar and fire-control technology alongside a vehicle or ground-mounted 20mm Phalanx Close-in-Weapons-System able to fire 4,500 rounds per minute. The idea is to blanket an area with large numbers of small projectiles to intercept and destroy incoming artillery, rocket or mortar fire. As an area weapon, the Phalanx then fires thousands of projectiles in rapid succession to knock the threat out of the sky. Engineers are also looking at new interceptor missiles to compliment the Phalanx, Northrop developers said.

Adding new sensors and weapons to CRAM could bring nearer term improvements by upgrading an existing system currently deployed, therefore circumventing multi-year developmental efforts necessary for many acquisition programs.

CRAM is deployed at numerous Forward Operating Bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and the system has been credited with saving thousands of soldiers’ lives. It is now being analyzed for upgrades and improvements.

Engineers with Northrop Grumman integrate the Raytheon-built Phalanx into the C-RAM system; C-RAM was first developed and deployed to defend Navy ships at sea, however a fast-emerging need to protect soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan inspired the Army to quickly adapt the technology for use on land; C-RAM has been operational on the ground since 2005.

Ultimately, however, despite the current concerns about the US inventory of air and missile defense systems, both Crawford and Gainey were quite clear on one this – the US is right now ready to fight and defend against any attack.

“There is a lot of effort that goes into getting ready for the fight tonight. We do have capacity for that type of threat. With the joint force, we have alleviated a lot of the threat gaps in the PACOM AOR (Pacific Area of Responsibility),” Gainey said.

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