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Troops: White nationalism a national security threat equal to ISIS, al-Qaida

Troops surveyed in the latest Military Times Poll identified white nationalism as a national security threat on par with al-Qaida and the Islamic State Group, and more worrisome than the danger posed by North Korea, Afghanistan or Iraq. Participants, polled in late July after months of nationwide racial equality protests and violent conflicts between demonstrators…

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Troops: White nationalism a national security threat equal to ISIS, al-Qaida

Troops surveyed in the latest Military Times Poll identified white nationalism as a national security threat on par with al-Qaida and the Islamic State Group, and more worrisome than the danger posed by North Korea, Afghanistan or Iraq. Participants, polled in late July after months of nationwide racial equality protests and violent conflicts between demonstrators and law enforcement, also reported signs of racist behavior in the ranks, despite military leaders’ recent reminders of the importance of diversity and respect. The poll, conducted in partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, found about one-third of all active-duty respondents said they saw signs of white supremacist or racist ideology in the ranks. That’s roughly on par with results from other Military Times surveys in recent years. But troops overall concerns about the dangers posed to the country from extremist and racist ideology appears to be growing. Among all troops surveyed, about 48 percent listed white nationalists as a significant national security threat, roughly the same percentage as Islamic State, al-Qaida and other foreign Islamic jihadists. The white nationalist problem overshadowed troops’ worries over North Korea (40.3 percent), Afghanistan (10.3 percent), Iraq (8.5 percent), immigration (21.4 percent) and U.S. protest movements (33.1 percent). Nearly two-thirds of minority service members in the poll called white nationalists a notable threat. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. About 5 percent of troops in the poll said they have participated in protests in recent months which followed the death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who prosecutors say was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer during an arrest on non-violent charges on May 25. Respondents did not specify if they were protesting in support of police reforms or against such moves. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., an Iraq War veteran who has been a critic of past Pentagon efforts to tackle issues of racial equality and discrimination in the ranks, said he is encouraged that more service members seem to be recognizing the threat that racist ideology poses to the country, but he remains concerned that military leaders haven’t done enough to address the problem in their own ranks. Roughly 31 percent of troops said they have seen signs of extremist behavior in the military. That’s down about 5 percent from a similar poll question in late 2019 but above the 23 percent mark when Military Times began asking the question in 2017. About 57 percent of minority troops polled said they have personally experienced some form of racist or white supremacist behavior. That’s up nearly 4 percent from the poll conducted last fall. “I don’t think we’re making progress on this issue. Clearly the survey says that we’re not,” Brown said. “This problem doesn’t represent who the military is and what we want to represent, but it is present.” Poll respondents reported examples such as peers displaying white nationalist tattoos, making racist statements or participating in online forums linked to hate groups. “I’ve seen multiple soldiers online disrespecting the Black Lives Matter movement and the plight of people of color in our nation,” wrote one poll respondent. “I have seen leadership on multiple occasions say that the protesters should be shot, that our president should be more violent when dealing with the protesters. I’m disgusted.” Others said they heard frequent use of racial slurs from white peers, both in conversations where they thought minorities weren’t present or in loud, public comments which seemed to invite confrontation. “Peers have been very vocal on how they believe that George Floyd deserved his death and are quick to point out black on black crime,” wrote another poll participant. “They complain that every ethnicity has an observance month but have nothing to celebrate ‘white pride.’” Defense Department officials have questioned the poll findings and the prevalence of the problem in the past, but lawmakers have criticized them for a lack of similar internal polling to fully gauge the problem. Pentagon officials did not respond to request for comment on the latest poll findings. Brown is optimistic that will be addressed this year. Included the House’s draft of the annual defense authorization bill is language to better track all instances of extremist activities in the ranks, and plans to include a question similar to the Military Times poll in command climate surveys. “I think there are a lot of well-intentioned people (in military leadership) who would like for there to be no white nationalism, no white supremacists in the military, but they don’t seem willing to make the effort to make a change,” he said. “We don’t know the full extent of the problem now … Instead of just a sample of the military, every single person in uniform needs to be asked about this. And it’s not just for leadership. At the unit level, commanders will be able to see if they have a problem and address it immediately.” Our methodology Between July 27 and Aug. 10, Military Times in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University conducted a voluntary, confidential online survey of U.S. service members. Poll participants are readers of Military Times publications whose military status is verified through official Defense Department email addresses. The survey included about 30 questions on service members’ opinions related to the current political climate, policy and national security in the United States. The survey received 1,018 responses from active-duty troops. The IVMF used standard methodology to weight the results according to the rank, gender and service branch of the actual U.S. military. The margin of error for most questions was less than 2 percent. Like most studies where participation is voluntary, the poll’s sample is subject to self-selection bias. Researchers sought to account for that and adhered to generally accepted scientific practices analyzing the data. The survey audience was 93 percent male and 7 percent female. The respondents identified themselves as 82 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic, 6 percent African American, 2 percent Asian and 6 percent other ethnicities. Respondents were able to select more than one race. The Military Times and the researchers at IVMF have used identical methodologies for this survey since 2016.

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US-developed hypersonic missile hit within 6 inches of target, says Army secretary

WASHINGTON — U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy reported in his speech at the Association of the U.S. Army conference that the Pentagon’s hypersonic missile hit within 6 inches of its target. “Hypersonic missiles are hitting their targets with a variance of only a mere 6 inches,” he said during his speech at the virtual opening…

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US-developed hypersonic missile hit within 6 inches of target, says Army secretary

WASHINGTON — U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy reported in his speech at the Association of the U.S. Army conference that the Pentagon’s hypersonic missile hit within 6 inches of its target. “Hypersonic missiles are hitting their targets with a variance of only a mere 6 inches,” he said during his speech at the virtual opening ceremony Oct. 13. The Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, or C-HGB, launched and flew at hypersonic speed to “a designated impact point,” according to a statement issued the day of the test. Hypersonic weapons are capable of flying faster than Mach 5 — much faster than the speed of sound — and can maneuver between varying altitudes and azimuths, making it harder to detect. The C-HGB — made up of the weapon’s warhead, guidance system, cabling and thermal protection shield — will serve as the base of the Pentagon’s offensive hypersonic missile. Each of the services are developing appropriate launching systems. The Army is gearing up for another flight test in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 followed by a second flight test in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood told Defense News in an interview ahead of the AUSA conference. Then there will be two more flight tests in the third quarter of FY22, Thurgood added. “So we’ll start the sequence now where we really accelerate our flight testing,” he said. The Army plans to deliver a hypersonic missile and launcher to a unit in the fourth quarter of FY21. Both China and Russia are actively developing and testing their respective hypersonic missile capabilities.

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Army engineers use 1950s breaching tech; robots might solve the problem

Soldiers tasked with breaching a minefield or similar obstacle now rely on state of the art equipment and techniques — from the 1950s. The Army aims to get those humans out of one of the most dangerous battlefield scenarios through a combination of better ways to neutralize mines or obstacles, better detection of said mines…

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Army engineers use 1950s breaching tech; robots might solve the problem

Soldiers tasked with breaching a minefield or similar obstacle now rely on state of the art equipment and techniques — from the 1950s. The Army aims to get those humans out of one of the most dangerous battlefield scenarios through a combination of better ways to neutralize mines or obstacles, better detection of said mines or obstacles, and robots to do the job. Early versions of this are underway in some testing scenarios but likely won’t hit deploying units until 2028. And a full-fledged solution isn’t expected until 2035, according to a panel at this year’s Association of the U.S. Army conference. Army engineers, along with technology centers for ammunition, night vision and sensors, are tackling this thorny problem. The 2028 timeline would add semi-autonomous machines to the kit, while also improving detection, neutralization, fire control and munitions for engineers encountering these complex problems. The 2035 solution would combine air and ground autonomous platforms to essentially do the job for soldiers. And this planning isn’t for a one-off, rare occurrence. Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Army Times Daily News Roundup. “The more you distribute a force in our multi-domain operations concepts, the more likely you are to have to do breach missions as adversaries respond to this construct,” said Maj. Gen. David Hill, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Command. Get all the news from the 2020 AUSA annual meeting. That’s because as units disperse, adversaries will want to rapidly deploy minefields or other such obstacles to isolate and channel the attackers, such as a battalion or even brigade formation on the move. Running into a minefield creates a choke point while also stalling the advance. That creates time for targeting and precision long range fires to take effect. A “Terrier” armored digger from the United Kingdom’s 22nd Engineer Regiment, 8th Engineer Brigade, maneuvers during a Robotic Complex Breach Concept demonstration with the U.S. military at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, in April 2018. (Spc. Hubert D. Delany III/Army) Earlier this year, the Army ran a platoon-size robotic wingman breach, remotely controlling a vehicle from cover at a distance. Army researchers used upgraded Bradleys, dubbed Mission Enabler Technologies-Demonstrators, or MET-Ds. Those upgrades include a remote turret for the 25mm main gun, 360-degree awareness cameras and enhanced crew stations with touchscreens Right now, human soldiers in infantry units employ a Bangalore torpedo, a handheld, tube-section charge that allows them to snake an explosive, one section at a time, through an obstacle to blow it and create a path. The automated, longer range options are essentially mechanized versions of this that have been around since the 1970s. Soldiers launch a string of explosives through the air that lands on the obstacle and is denotated quite close, as much as 100 yards, from the impediment. This just won’t do in an area of ever-present drone coverage and precision fire on all sides. Once blown through, a human engineer team marks the obstacle with signs and flags so the next unit can find its way through the treacherous territory. But in recent years, more attention has been given to the development of smart mines that can move themselves around the battlefield and reconfigure. If an adversary has this technology, it would render lane marking useless. In fact, the markings could make the situation even more dangerous by giving a false sense of security to oncoming friendly forces. The Army’s efforts to address all these battlefield problems also apply to other methods of maneuver and threats, such as asymmetric improvised explosive devices in common use for the past two decades. Breaching and route clearance also mimic wet gap crossing, Brig. Gen. Mark Quander noted. “In both cases we’ve got to try and figure out, ‘How do we sense and detect where the obstacle’s at?’” Quander said. That means better sensors and better ways of getting that data to the right place at the right time. That means better aided target recognition and machine learning, said Michael Grove, principal deputy for technology and countermine night vision and electronic sensors at the Army’s Communications-Electronics, Research and Engineering Center. Adding artificial intelligence into the mix will help find the obstacles when, or before, they’re reached, giving commanders more options on how to avoid or handle them.

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Soldier’s badass Van Halen tribute goes viral

There’s no better way to honor a fallen guitarist than to shred. After the death of legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen, who at 65 lost a battle with cancer on Oct. 6, Army Staff Sgt. Austin West took to the web to share a live tribute in honor of the late musician on Facebook. “I…

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Soldier’s badass Van Halen tribute goes viral

There’s no better way to honor a fallen guitarist than to shred. After the death of legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen, who at 65 lost a battle with cancer on Oct. 6, Army Staff Sgt. Austin West took to the web to share a live tribute in honor of the late musician on Facebook. “I wanted to show my respect but mainly my emotions for what had happened,” West told Military Times in a text conversation. Now, his video has over a million views and thousands of comments. “It felt great but not for myself but for Eddie!” West said. The fact that so many watched “showed how much love people had for him and what he’s done for music,” he added. Many viewers were touched by what they saw and offered encouragement to West to keep Van Halen alive through his own guitar playing. Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. “If you pull the trigger on a gun that fast, you could win a war on your own,” wrote user Michael Mottram. “Awesome playing and cheers for your service fella.” During the three-minute tribute, West covered some of Van Halen’s best-known works, including “Eruption.” West hopes that people enjoyed the music and feel inspired. The 26-year-old has been playing for 13 years, and did a tour with the U.S. Army Soldier Show in 2015, which stopped at 74 bases. He once played a single song for an AC/DC tribute band. “We never rehearsed the song or played together, and it was done flawlessly in front of 10k people!” he noted. Although he currently serves as an Army recruiter, West will soon be joining the Army music group “As You Were” for a three-year tour, WWNY reported. “We have careers in which you can fulfill your dreams but always creates peace within our communities!” West said. “Music is the universal language.” If he could send a message to the late Van Halen, West said it would be that he’s “inspired so many like myself and to ask if he’d like to rip up some tunes together!”

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