As previously noted, the Air Force isn’t the only service with lethal technological toys.
The Army has reportedly fielded the XM25 in Afghanistan. The rifle-sized “Counter Defilade Target Engagement System” enables a Soldier to fire a projectile that will explode at a specific point in space; in short, he can kill the enemy hiding behind a wall.
With reports of increasing airstrikes and tanks being moved into Afghanistan, the XM25 may be another indicator of the military’s attempts to prevent a “fair” fight with its adversaries.
As noted several months ago, the Air Force has decided to reduce the size of its Chaplaincy. It has apparently transitioned from voluntary separations to forced departures:
Chaplains of all denominations will be involuntarily separated through a selective early retirement board and reduction-in-force process. Roman Catholic priests, in shortest supply across the military, are eligible to leave only through early retirement.
The Air Force reportedly has 528 Chaplains today, and could see as few as 465 by September 2011.
A British news report tells the story of a British military Imam who led a 600+ member congregation — including locals, American servicemembers, and others — in the celebration of Eid ul Adha while in Afghanistan.
This service provided an opportunity for ISAF to demonstrate respect for the Muslim faith by providing a service for all Muslims on the base. One young American pilot told me of the Continue reading
One of the frequent memes about associations of the Christian religion with the US military has been the “propaganda” value it supplies to those who would try to turn Afghans against the allied forces.
A recent report, however, shows that 92% of Afghans in two volatile provinces don’t even know about the events of 11 September 2001. They have no idea why foreign forces are in their country, despite the fact the war is 10 years on. (Perhaps the silver lining Continue reading
The shortage of military Catholic Chaplains has been noted here repeatedly. Now, military Archbishop Timothy Broglio has said the shortage is causing Catholic military personnel to seek help from Protestant Chaplains.
Because many in the armed services often face grave situations, [Broglio] said, questions about the meaning of life and the existence of God often surface.
“They are at great risk because there are not nearly enough priests to meet their needs,” he said. Continue reading
According to the Navy Times, Capt Charles Maher of the attack submarine Memphis was relieved of his command over allegations of a 10-person cheating ring under his watch. There was no evidence Maher was directly involved in the cheating.
Unlike several prior instances of cheating in all of the military services (Navy, Marines, Army), this appears to be the first time the commanding officer has been relieved over ethical failures in testing by subordinates.
The Air Force announced that pieces of the ejection seat were found at the impact site of the F-22 crash in Alaska, indicating the pilot, Capt Jeffrey Haney, did not eject and therefore did not survive the crash.
Haney is survived by his parents, a wife, and two young daughters. As noted at the official Air Force release (and as previously highlighted by Dealer):
The Air Warrior Courage Foundation has set up an education fund for Captain Haney’s children. Donations to the college fund for Captain Haney’s daughters may be made at www.AirWarriorCourage.org specifying “For the Jeffrey Haney children.” Or, donations can be made by check made out to AWCF, and mailed to AWCF, PO Box 877, Silver Spring, MD 20918-0877. The “For” line on the check should designate “For the Jeffrey Haney children.”
As noted at Military.com, FoxNews, CNN, and the ADN.
Charisma magazine reports Afghan Christian Said Musa was to face a judge this past Sunday, though he had yet to be told what charges he faced after six months in jail. He was imprisoned in May, after a local Afghan station broadcast pictures of Afghan Christians being baptized.
The article notes that Musa has been a Christian for 8 years, and it is a capital crime in Afghanistan to leave Islam.
Government officials reportedly called for the execution of the filmed Christians in June.
Yes, this is the same Afghan nation Continue reading
As previously noted, the US Air Force Academy held a “religious respect” conference to work on the “religious tolerance” training program for cadets. According to the official Academy release on the event, the attendees included Christian, Jewish, atheist, pagan, and “interfaith” representatives.
While Jason Torpy did attend, Michael Weinstein pouted that he was not invited to the “propaganda” event. Weinstein, of course, is not a faith group representative as the other participants are; he also didn’t explain why he wanted to be party to a meeting with a school with whom he is “at war.”
Photos of the event, as well as the invited attendees, can be seen at the event website.
Also noted at the local Colorado Springs Gazette.
US Army Capt Michael Cummings writes an interesting commentary at the New York Times on the “religiosity” of the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan: “Where did God go in Afghanistan?”
In what could be considered a disappointing indicator of the spiritual tenor in Afghanistan, Cummings writes that no one seemed interested in attending their Chapels, at least not publicly:
As I entered [the makeshift chapel], I thought for a moment I was in the wrong place. Continue reading
In light of recent articles on the increasing moral conflict of war — troops told to fight and kill without being provided the moral foundation for those actions — it seems appropriate to note the increasing attention “moral conflict” has recently gotten in the press. The articles even refer to “moral injury” and make a statement similar to that made here before: Continue reading
Elmendorf Air Force Base reported the loss of an F-22 late Tuesday night. The crash site was discovered Wednesday, and news releases from the base indicate crews are continuing to search for signs the pilot may have ejected and survived.
It appears the mishap aircraft was executing a rejoin at the end of a night sortie when it simply, and quietly, disappeared.
Elmendorf AFB recently lost a C-17 and its four crewmembers. The last F-22 to crash was at Edwards AFB; the pilot did not survive.
As attributed to BrigGen Cecil Richardson, current USAF Chief of Chaplains:
The Lord is my Crew Chief; I shall not be broken.
He maketh me to undergo routine maintenance; he leadeth me beside the quiet hangars. Continue reading
The Faith Comes by Hearing BibleStick was first noted here last year. A recent article at the Christian Post notes the ministry is still unable to keep up with the demand for the New Testament mp3 players, which are requested by Chaplains and provided to troops downrange. They have provided 100,000 to troops so far; in October, they received over 20,000 additional requests.
As noted in an Army press release, US Army Alaska celebrated the Diwali festival with members of the Indian army during Yudh Abhyas 2010, a combined training exercise.
Diwali is significant holiday in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, for different theological reasons.
President Obama observed Diwali at the White House last year.