A Japanese court Friday sentenced two American servicemen to prison for a rape committed last year while they were on duty at a U.S. military base in Okinawa.
The Naha District Court handed down a sentence of 10 years to Navy Seaman Christopher Daniel Browning and nine years to Petty Officer Skyler A Dozierwalker for raping a Japanese woman after attacking her in a parking lot.FULL STORY
[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] Pfc. Bradley Manning, after pleading guilty to half of the 22 charges against him in a case of document leaks to WikiLeaks, has explained in court why and how he leaked classified material.
In an hourlong statement in court, he said he passed on what "upset" or "disturbed" him but nothing he thought would harm the United States if it became public.
[Posted at 12:48 p.m. ET] Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to half of the 22 charges against him, but not the major one, in what the government says is the largest leak of classified documents in the nation's history.
The Army intelligence analyst is accused of stealing thousands of classified documents while serving in Iraq. The material was then published online by WikiLeaks.
The group, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information through its website, has never confirmed that Manning was the source of its information.FULL STORY
Even as the Air Force searches for the reason pilots are getting sick flying the F-22, a new mystery about the troubled stealth fighter jet has come to light: Why are mechanics on the ground getting sick in the plane as well?
The Air Force has been looking into a number of reports that pilots experienced "hypoxia-like symptoms" aboard F-22s since April 2008. Hypoxia is oxygen deficiency.
The Air Force reports 25 cases of such symptoms, including 11 since September, when the service cleared the F-22 fleet to return to flight after a four-month grounding.
"Early on in the return to fly, we had five maintainers that reported hypoxia symptoms," Gen. Daniel Wyman, command surgeon for the Air Combat Command, said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.FULL STORY
[Updated at 3:26 p.m. ET] Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales could be sentenced to death if convicted on any of the 17 counts of murder filed against him Friday for allegedly embarking on a bloody shooting rampage in Afghan villages, the U.S. military said.
In addition to the charges accusing him of murder "with premeditation," the 38-year-old faces six counts of assault and attempted murder.
Authorities say Bales left a remote outpost in Kandahar province's Panjwai district early March 11 and went house-to-house, gunning down villagers.
U.S. and Afghan officials initially said 16 people, including nine children, died in those attacks. The counts indicate that one more person died, though Afghan government officials in Kabul have they have no record of another death.
Col. Gary Kolb, a spokesman with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said only that the investigators assigned to the case felt they had enough evidence to charge Bales with 17 counts of murder. There was no indication as to where the other fatality came from, though it was not related to a pregnant woman, as has been rumored.FULL STORY
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder in connection with a March 11 shooting spree in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
The charges are expected to be announced on Friday. The official did not explain why Bales is to be charged with 17 counts, as opposed to 16, which is the number of people reported to have been killed in the incident.
U.S. officials have alleged that Bales killed 16 men, women and children in two neighboring villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, in southern Afghanistan.
Bales is being held in a military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.FULL STORY
The remains of the 38 U.S. and Afghan personnel killed on board a helicopter shot down in Afghanistan over the weekend arrived in the United States on Tuesday, a Defense Department official confirmed to CNN.
The two planes carrying the remains landed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, according to Dave Lapan of the Defense Department press office..
Because the catastrophic nature of the crash made the remains difficult to identify, all 38 sets were brought to the United States. The Afghan remains will be returned to their families once identifications can be made.
The slain U.S. service members represent the worst single-incident loss of American life since the start of the Afghan war.
Thirty Americans died in the crash, including 22 Navy SEALs, military officials said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET] Two crew members on a routine training flight were killed Wednesday when an F/A-18F aircraft crashed near Naval Air Station Lemoore in central California, the U.S. Navy said.
Capt. James Knapp, commanding officer of the station, told reporters the plane, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 122, crashed at 12:08 p.m. PT (3:08 p.m. ET) in a private farm field about one half mile west of the property line.
The crash of the two-seat strike fighter, which occurred southwest of Fresno, is under investigation, Knapp said.
The names of the Super Hornet crew, a pilot and weapons system operator, were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.FULL STORY
Five more midshipmen have been expelled from the U.S. Naval Academy for allegedly using "spice," a mixture of herbs and a synthetic chemical similar to the chemical THC in marijuana.
Last January, CNN reported seven midshipmen had been expelled as part on an investigation of spice use at the academy. Now a spokesperson at the Academy confirms the number of expulsions has reached 12.
"There have been four male 2nd class (juniors), six male 3rd class (sophomores), one male 4th class (freshman), and one female 3rd class midshipmen separated in conjunction with this investigation (totaling 11 males, 1 female)," according to Jennifer M. Erickson, an academy spokeswoman.
The 3rd class female was the most recent separation. She was expelled Monday.
The investigation of spice use at the academy began last fall and is continuing.
"We will not speculate about any potential, additional expulsions," Erickson said.FULL STORY
The Tomahawk cruise missiles that were launched Saturday against Libya are unmanned, single-use, programmable jet-engine missiles used only by the U.S. and British navies.
They fly very close to the ground, steering around natural and man-made obstacles to hit a target that is programmed into them before launch. Newer versions can be reprogrammed in flight but in this case that was not done, at least not yet.
They are different from other unmanned aerial vehicles in that they can only be used once – they are fired, they fly to the target and blow up. End of missile. A Predator and some other unmanned aerial vehicles can carry missiles, hit a target, then continue flying.
Tomahawk missiles normally carry a 1,000-pound conventional warhead. They can also carry 166 combined-effects bomblets, or mini bombs that spread out over a larger area. They can also carry nuclear warheads.
Tomahawks, developed in the 1970s, were first launched operationally by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. They are about 18 feet long with a wing span of nearly 9 feet, and they can fly at about 550 mph. Regarding Saturday's strikes against Libya, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said the missiles were in flight for about an hour, so they were likely fired several hundred miles from their targets.
The secretary of the Navy has issued letters of censure to Capt. Owen Honors and three other officers involved in the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise lewd video scandal, Navy spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez said.
The letters effectively end the officers careers, as they will prevent promotion. The letters cannot be appealed.
Honors created the videos and was second-in-command on the Enterprise at the time. Others receiving censure were his successor, Capt. John Dixon, and former Enterprise commanders Rear Adm. Larry Rice and Rear Adm. Ron Horton.
The family of a man who fought alongside U.S. troops in Vietnam have been told their relative will not be allowed to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Major General Vang Pao led thousands of Hmong soldiers as they fought alongside the United States against the North Vietnamese Army during the war in Southeast Asia, according to a news release from Congressman Jim Costa of
Costa, on behalf of Pao's family, asked the Army to grant an exception to Arlington's rules to allow Pao to be buried in the nation's most hallowed burial ground.
Pao died recently of complications from pneumonia, according to Costa.FULL STORY
Richard "Dick" Winters, a decorated hero of World War II and the central figure in the book and miniseries "Band of Brothers," has died. He would have turned 93 years old in February.
Winters died January 2 and was buried after a private funeral Saturday, according to retired Army Col. Cole Kingseed, a close friend and co-author of Winters' memoirs.
Winters began his career in the Army shortly before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, and he volunteered to become a paratrooper, according to his wartime memoirs "Beyond Band of Brothers."FULL STORY
U.S. security is "particularly vigilant" to terror threats over the holidays, the president's counterterrorism adviser said Friday, striking a confident note that the United States is ready.
"We always have to remain on guard," said John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser said at an event for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The holidays are a particularly sensitive time because of the increased pace of travel, Brennan noted.
"I'm feeling good that we have appropriate resources in place" to deter attack this Christmas.
Last Christmas a young Nigerian man named Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab allegedly tried to detonate an explosive device sewn into his underwear as his flight headed toward Detroit, Michigan. More recently, al Qaeda operatives in Yemen tried to ship bombs disguised as printer parts to synagogues in the United States. The plot was discovered and stopped before the packages were flown into U.S. territory.
U.S. officials say they have no specific and credible information about planned terror attacks on the United States this holiday season, but they have issued an intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement warning terrorists could target large crowds at holiday gatherings.FULL STORY
Four soldiers from the Fort Hood Army base in Texas - all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan - died in the past week, a Fort Hood spokesman said Wednesday.
In all four cases, it appears the soldiers took their own lives, spokesman Christopher Haug said.
The FBI is on its way to Fort Bliss in west Texas to investigate a shooting at a convenience store on the base that left a man dead and two women wounded, according to base spokesman Dieter Jester.
The man, who authorities say shot the females, was shot and killed by law enforcement officers on the base.
It's unclear what may have been the motive for the shooting or even if
the man or his victims are in the military or are civilians.
Gen. James Conway, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said Tuesday that it will be a "few years" before the U.S. could turn over the fight to Afghan Security Forces.
President Barack Obama has ordered a withdrawal to begin in less than a year, although he has not said how many U.S. troops should withdraw or how fast when that July 2011 deadline arrives.
"I think it will be a few years before conditions on the ground are such that we would expect to be able to turn it over to the Afghan forces. And I think there's a mindset that needs to accompany that on the part of our Marines, that it may be a while," Conway told reporters at the Pentagon in what may be his last briefing here before his expected retirement this fall.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced some far-reaching proposals Monday for restructuring the massive budget at his agency, including getting rid of the U.S. Joint Forces Command. The cuts could mean a loss of thousands of jobs.
The current Defense Department budget totals more than $530 billion a year, and defense officials believe they need increases of 2 to 3 percent a year to sustain the force structure and meet modernization needs.
However, the recession caused the department to propose a 1 percent budget increase for next year, and the cuts announced Monday were intended to help hold down overall costs.
"We must be mindful of the difficult economic and fiscal situation facing our nation," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. "As a matter of principle and political reality, the Department of Defense cannot expect America's elected representatives to approve budget increases each year unless we are doing a good job, indeed, everything possible to make every dollar count."
Gate's acknowledged the plan was "politically fraught," and congressional criticism began even before Gates was finished announcing the moves. The proposal to eliminate the Joint Forces Command, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, met with opposition from both the state's U.S. Democratic senators.
When U.S. Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl was first discovered missing from his base in southeastern Afghanistan last summer, the commander of his unit quickly ordered "all operations will cease until missing soldier is found."
"All assests will be focused on the DUSTWUN (duty status - whereabouts unknown) situation and sustainment operations," according to one of the 90,000 secret military reports released this week by WikiLeaks.
It was 4:30 a.m. on June 30, 2009 when Bergdahl was first reported missing. By 7 a.m., units started moving into "blocking positions to try and find missing U.S. soldier," the report said. At the same time, three different types of unmanned aerial vehicles and a U.S. army reconnaissance plane as well as other aircraft were brought in to search from above. A military dog handler was brought in as well to help find Bergdahl. FULL POST
A report among the 90,000 secret U.S. military documents published by a whistleblower website over the weekend shows the confusion that led to what turned into a controversial attack in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
One leaked document shows how NATO troops were very mistaken in a deadly air attack on two stolen fuel tankers last year. The NATO troops knew that two tankers had been stolen by the Taliban and had found that they were stuck in a river that the Taliban drivers were trying to cross.
The commanders overseeing the mission believed 70 insurgents had surrounded the trapped tankers. The report says "after ensuring that no civilians were in the vicinity" the commanded ordered both trucks bombed and destroyed. FULL POST
The U.S. and its military allies agree on many things, from the size of bullets for their rifles to the design of future fighter jets. But on the issue of gays in the military, the U.S. stands alone among the Western allies.