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Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

ENDSARS PANEL NOT ILLEGAL - A REPLY TO FESTUS KEYAMO

ENDSARS PANEL NOT ILLEGAL - A REPLY TO FESTUS KEYAMO


1 . On Sunday, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victim of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters was “illegal and a waste of time” on the ground that the Lagos State government lacks the power to probe the conduct of police and military officers.


2. With due respect, the position of the learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is grossly misconceived, suspiciously misleading and does not reflect the true position of the law. The Lagos EndSARS panel was constituted within the ambits of law and its investigative powers are neither overreaching nor beyond the scope of the 1999 Constitution.


3. First, Section 1 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law, Cap T7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, confers power on the Governor of Lagos State to constitute the judicial panel to investigate “any matter in respect of which in the opinion an inquiry would be for the public welfare”. Instructively, it is settled law that the Federal Government lacks the power and authority to constitute judicial panels or any tribunal whatsoever for state governments. With a clear understanding that the Federal Government lacks the constitutional vires to constitute tribunal for states, the National Economic Council, NEC, last year directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate complaints of police brutality or related extrajudicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) and other police units.


4. In the popular case of Fawehinmi v. Babangida (2003) 3 NWLR (Pt.808) 604, the Supreme Court succinctly held that: "The National Assembly cannot enact a general Law for the establishment of tribunals of inquiry for, and applicable in, the Federation of Nigeria. The power to enact such a Law has become a residual matter for the States in respect of which the Houses of Assembly can legislate for their respective States by virtue of Section 4(7)(a) of the 1999 Constitution. Although the Tribunals of Inquiry Act is an "existing law," its application is limited and has no general application". Flowing from the decision of Supreme Court, it is clear like crystal that the Federal Government of Nigeria can only set up Tribunal for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and not for States of the federation.


5. It is not in doubt that matters relating to the police and other security agencies established by law are on the exclusive legislative list. It is equally not a subject of controversy that Section 21 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law of Lagos State empowers the Governor to exercise his powers under the Law in respect of matters within the legislative competence of the state. My only question is whether issues of human rights are within the legislative competence of state governments and whether the panels so constituted can look into the atrocities and human rights violations committed  by the police and other security agencies?


6. In AG Abia State v. AG Federation (2006) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1005) 265, the Supreme Court clarified that matters not included in the exclusive and concurrent lists are residual and are meant for the State, not the Federal, to legislate upon. Human rights related matters are neither on the exclusive or concurrent lists, therefore, they are within the legislative competence of Lagos state. Thus, the Lagos State government can validly make laws in respect of human rights and constitute panels to investigate cases of human rights violations recorded within the state. 


7. While the Lagos State Government cannot make laws to control, discipline or regulate security officers of the Federal Government, it has the constitutional powers to set up panels to investigate human rights abuses and in any case where the conducts of federal officers like the police and army come under checks or scrutiny, the panels so constituted have the powers in law and equity to investigate them and make valid recommendations. There is a fundamental difference between the Lagos State government legislating over matters on officers of the Federal Government and a case where officers of the Federal Government who committed heinous crimes against humanity in Lagos State become subject of a Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government. Those that perpetrated the massacre cannot use the law as a shield from being answerable for their crimes.


8. Meanwhile, it is a rude shock that the learned silk just discovered his alleged “illegality” of the Panel over a year since it was constituted up till the point that it submitted its reports. This sudden attack on the legal validity of the panel is strange and quite suspicious. One wonders if the Honourable Minister would have maintained the same position if the Panel reports and recommendations absolved the Federal Government of any wrongdoing. I daresay that the opinion of the Honourable Minister is calculated to discredit the valid reports of the panel. Too late! The truth is in the open and no attempt to thwart the genuine efforts of the EndSARS panel will succeed.


9. I find it self-immolating that the same Federal Government that directed that the panel be set up and submitted itself to its jurisdiction is coming forward to challenge the constitutionality of the panel. It shows a great level of dissimulation and double-standard. Why is the Federal Government blowing hot and cold? Why is the Federal Government approbating and reprobating? It is illegal and immoral for the Federal Government to submit to the jurisdiction of the Panel and later retract when the verdict is “unfavorable”.


10. In the light of the foregoing, I call on well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the views of Mr. Keyamo as it is grossly misleading, made in bad faith and calculated to distract the incontrovertible fact that Nigeria is currently ruled by merchants of death. 


FESTUS OGUN, ESQ.

29 November, 2021

[email protected]


1 . On Sunday, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victim of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters was “illegal and a waste of time” on the ground that the Lagos State government lacks the power to probe the conduct of police and military officers.


2. With due respect, the position of the learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is grossly misconceived, suspiciously misleading and does not reflect the true position of the law. The Lagos EndSARS panel was constituted within the ambits of law and its investigative powers are neither overreaching nor beyond the scope of the 1999 Constitution.


3. First, Section 1 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law, Cap T7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, confers power on the Governor of Lagos State to constitute the judicial panel to investigate “any matter in respect of which in the opinion an inquiry would be for the public welfare”. Instructively, it is settled law that the Federal Government lacks the power and authority to constitute judicial panels or any tribunal whatsoever for state governments. With a clear understanding that the Federal Government lacks the constitutional vires to constitute tribunal for states, the National Economic Council, NEC, last year directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry to investigate complaints of police brutality or related extrajudicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) and other police units.


4. In the popular case of Fawehinmi v. Babangida (2003) 3 NWLR (Pt.808) 604, the Supreme Court succinctly held that: "The National Assembly cannot enact a general Law for the establishment of tribunals of inquiry for, and applicable in, the Federation of Nigeria. The power to enact such a Law has become a residual matter for the States in respect of which the Houses of Assembly can legislate for their respective States by virtue of Section 4(7)(a) of the 1999 Constitution. Although the Tribunals of Inquiry Act is an "existing law," its application is limited and has no general application". Flowing from the decision of Supreme Court, it is clear like crystal that the Federal Government of Nigeria can only set up Tribunal for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and not for States of the federation.


5. It is not in doubt that matters relating to the police and other security agencies established by law are on the exclusive legislative list. It is equally not a subject of controversy that Section 21 of the Tribunal of Inquiry Law of Lagos State empowers the Governor to exercise his powers under the Law in respect of matters within the legislative competence of the state. My only question is whether issues of human rights are within the legislative competence of state governments and whether the panels so constituted can look into the atrocities and human rights violations committed  by the police and other security agencies?


6. In AG Abia State v. AG Federation (2006) 16 NWLR (Pt. 1005) 265, the Supreme Court clarified that matters not included in the exclusive and concurrent lists are residual and are meant for the State, not the Federal, to legislate upon. Human rights related matters are neither on the exclusive or concurrent lists, therefore, they are within the legislative competence of Lagos state. Thus, the Lagos State government can validly make laws in respect of human rights and constitute panels to investigate cases of human rights violations recorded within the state. 


7. While the Lagos State Government cannot make laws to control, discipline or regulate security officers of the Federal Government, it has the constitutional powers to set up panels to investigate human rights abuses and in any case where the conducts of federal officers like the police and army come under checks or scrutiny, the panels so constituted have the powers in law and equity to investigate them and make valid recommendations. There is a fundamental difference between the Lagos State government legislating over matters on officers of the Federal Government and a case where officers of the Federal Government who committed heinous crimes against humanity in Lagos State become subject of a Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government. Those that perpetrated the massacre cannot use the law as a shield from being answerable for their crimes.


8. Meanwhile, it is a rude shock that the learned silk just discovered his alleged “illegality” of the Panel over a year since it was constituted up till the point that it submitted its reports. This sudden attack on the legal validity of the panel is strange and quite suspicious. One wonders if the Honourable Minister would have maintained the same position if the Panel reports and recommendations absolved the Federal Government of any wrongdoing. I daresay that the opinion of the Honourable Minister is calculated to discredit the valid reports of the panel. Too late! The truth is in the open and no attempt to thwart the genuine efforts of the EndSARS panel will succeed.


9. I find it self-immolating that the same Federal Government that directed that the panel be set up and submitted itself to its jurisdiction is coming forward to challenge the constitutionality of the panel. It shows a great level of dissimulation and double-standard. Why is the Federal Government blowing hot and cold? Why is the Federal Government approbating and reprobating? It is illegal and immoral for the Federal Government to submit to the jurisdiction of the Panel and later retract when the verdict is “unfavorable”.


10. In the light of the foregoing, I call on well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the views of Mr. Keyamo as it is grossly misleading, made in bad faith and calculated to distract the incontrovertible fact that Nigeria is currently ruled by merchants of death. 


FESTUS OGUN, ESQ.

29 November, 2021

[email protected].com

Lagos #EndSARS panel report says "LEKKI TOLL GATE MASSACRE HAPPENED "

Lagos #EndSARS panel report says "LEKKI TOLL GATE MASSACRE HAPPENED "

SUMMARY: 

● The panel has confirmed without ambiguity that Lekki Toll Gate massacre happened.

● The Army & Police indicted of carrying out the Massacre

● The panel has named all victims and proposed compensations.

● proposed punishments for all the security personnel involved in the killings.

● The panel has proposed naming the Lekki Toll gate “EndSARS Toll Gate”

● The Lekki Concession company(LCC) owners of the Toll gate attempted a cover up of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nigerian Army and Police.


 LEKKI SHOOTING: THAT WAS A MASSACRE! 


Can Jide Sanwoolu, Lai Mohammed, Garba Shehu, Raji Fashola and others asking “where are the bodies?” honourably bury their heads in shame now that the submitted #EndSars Panel report has shown that there was indeed a massacre? 


Everyone knows there was a massacre; it is a living truth that is incontrovertible. The authorities are equally aware that the tragedy that occurred at Lekki Tollgate October 2020 was a mindless massacre. They masterminded the evil just to break the undying resolve of protesting youths yearning for a country that respects human rights and social justice.


Now that the youths have been vindicated, will the authorities truly implement the recommendations of the Panel? Will the APC government ever apologize to young people and admit that its dirty hands are full of blood and the spirit of the slain innocent is crying bitterly in heaven for vengeance?


Given that the #EndSars struggle was a major reason why Twitter was banned, would the Buhari regime truly apologize and lift the thoughtless ban with immediate effect? Would the Buhari regime place itself in the witness box and answer questions over the fatal murder of courageous Nigerians exercising their fundamental rights to protest and freedom of expression and association?


For there be true peace in Nigeria, those massacred must get justice. Now that the truth has been corroborated, consequences must be meted out against those found wanting. And that will start from President Muhammadu Buhari, the very Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces. No justice, no peace.


We will never forget. 


Festus Ogun, ESQ



Names of the victims:

This is the documented VICTIMS' list of #LekkiMassacre as released by the Lagos panel .


With this, it shows that LAI MOHAMMED is an unrepentant old LIAR. The fact remains that the #Buhari regime murdered Nigerian Youths on October 20, 2020.









SUMMARY: 

● The panel has confirmed without ambiguity that Lekki Toll Gate massacre happened.

● The Army & Police indicted of carrying out the Massacre

● The panel has named all victims and proposed compensations.

● proposed punishments for all the security personnel involved in the killings.

● The panel has proposed naming the Lekki Toll gate “EndSARS Toll Gate”

● The Lekki Concession company(LCC) owners of the Toll gate attempted a cover up of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nigerian Army and Police.


 LEKKI SHOOTING: THAT WAS A MASSACRE! 


Can Jide Sanwoolu, Lai Mohammed, Garba Shehu, Raji Fashola and others asking “where are the bodies?” honourably bury their heads in shame now that the submitted #EndSars Panel report has shown that there was indeed a massacre? 


Everyone knows there was a massacre; it is a living truth that is incontrovertible. The authorities are equally aware that the tragedy that occurred at Lekki Tollgate October 2020 was a mindless massacre. They masterminded the evil just to break the undying resolve of protesting youths yearning for a country that respects human rights and social justice.


Now that the youths have been vindicated, will the authorities truly implement the recommendations of the Panel? Will the APC government ever apologize to young people and admit that its dirty hands are full of blood and the spirit of the slain innocent is crying bitterly in heaven for vengeance?


Given that the #EndSars struggle was a major reason why Twitter was banned, would the Buhari regime truly apologize and lift the thoughtless ban with immediate effect? Would the Buhari regime place itself in the witness box and answer questions over the fatal murder of courageous Nigerians exercising their fundamental rights to protest and freedom of expression and association?


For there be true peace in Nigeria, those massacred must get justice. Now that the truth has been corroborated, consequences must be meted out against those found wanting. And that will start from President Muhammadu Buhari, the very Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces. No justice, no peace.


We will never forget. 


Festus Ogun, ESQ



Names of the victims:

This is the documented VICTIMS' list of #LekkiMassacre as released by the Lagos panel .


With this, it shows that LAI MOHAMMED is an unrepentant old LIAR. The fact remains that the #Buhari regime murdered Nigerian Youths on October 20, 2020.









#ENDSARSMEMORIAL: LETTER TO MY BROTHERS IN UNIFORM - A Poem by Ola Olawale

#ENDSARSMEMORIAL: LETTER TO MY BROTHERS IN UNIFORM - A Poem by Ola Olawale

Tributes and Tears: LETTER TO MY BROTHERS IN UNIFORM



In uniform lies your power

The power to kill and mute

In uniform lies your power

The power to repress

In uniform lies your dignity

The dignity to be human

In uniform lies your courage

The courage to stand tall


If you don't know, know now that

This uniform is a symbol

This uniform is an authority

This uniform is a collective power

The power to protect not to kill

The power to serve not to exploit

The power build not to destroy

But the stories are otherwise


If you don't know

The system has caged your voice

The system has muted your tongue

The system has enslaved your mind

They make you see your brothers as enemies

And your enemies as friends

And fighting, those fighting your battle

And to what ends?


Outside the uniform

Your pains are mine

Outside the uniform

We both live among the

Wretched of the earth

From hand to mouth

The market price and bills

Has no regard for Uniform


Our needs are uniform

The Uniform makes no difference

Your children like mine are out of school

Your graduates like mine are jobless

Our roads are death trap

Our hospitals are mogul

The drop from the illicit

Won't make you any difference


Reason out of Slavery

Think outside the box

Only if you know that

Those you protect are your enemies

Those you murder on order

Are your true friends

Because they speak where you are mute by duty


Dear brothers in uniform

Join the battle for freedom

Not against it

Come to the side of Justice

Move to the side of humanity

Defend your friends

Battle along with your friends

so together we can defeat our common enemy.




Tributes and Tears: LETTER TO MY BROTHERS IN UNIFORM



In uniform lies your power

The power to kill and mute

In uniform lies your power

The power to repress

In uniform lies your dignity

The dignity to be human

In uniform lies your courage

The courage to stand tall


If you don't know, know now that

This uniform is a symbol

This uniform is an authority

This uniform is a collective power

The power to protect not to kill

The power to serve not to exploit

The power build not to destroy

But the stories are otherwise


If you don't know

The system has caged your voice

The system has muted your tongue

The system has enslaved your mind

They make you see your brothers as enemies

And your enemies as friends

And fighting, those fighting your battle

And to what ends?


Outside the uniform

Your pains are mine

Outside the uniform

We both live among the

Wretched of the earth

From hand to mouth

The market price and bills

Has no regard for Uniform


Our needs are uniform

The Uniform makes no difference

Your children like mine are out of school

Your graduates like mine are jobless

Our roads are death trap

Our hospitals are mogul

The drop from the illicit

Won't make you any difference


Reason out of Slavery

Think outside the box

Only if you know that

Those you protect are your enemies

Those you murder on order

Are your true friends

Because they speak where you are mute by duty


Dear brothers in uniform

Join the battle for freedom

Not against it

Come to the side of Justice

Move to the side of humanity

Defend your friends

Battle along with your friends

so together we can defeat our common enemy.




US Navy nuclear engineer, his wife arrested for trying to sell submarine secrets to foreign power

US Navy nuclear engineer, his wife arrested for trying to sell submarine secrets to foreign power




A Maryland-based Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on charges of selling secret information about the design of nuclear power warships to someone they thought was a foreign power but was actually an undercover FBI agent.

The Justice Department claims Jonathan Toebbe, through his Pentagon-issued national security clearance, had access to restricted data about naval nuclear technology and used that access to send a package to a foreign government on April 1, 2020. After that, the affidavit alleged he began corresponding with someone he believed to be an agent of another country, but who was an undercover FBI agent. Court documents claim the Navy engineer agreed to sell this restricted data to the undercover agent for $10,000 in cryptocurrency.

Toebbe and his wife, Diana, then allegedly went to West Virginia, where the Navy engineer placed a memory card inside half a peanut butter sandwich, with his wife on the lookout. According to the Justice Department, the card contained restricted data about submarine nuclear reactors.


Based on the criminal complaint, the engineer at one point suspected a trap, but continued with more such "dead drops."


"I am sorry to be so stubborn and untrusting, but I can not agree to go to a location of your choosing," the engineer said, according to a criminal complaint. "I must consider the possibility that l am communicating with an adversary who has intercepted my first message and is attempting to expose me."


Attorney General Merrick Garland said the complaint "charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation."


"The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice," Garland said.




CBS News



A Maryland-based Navy nuclear engineer and his wife have been arrested on charges of selling secret information about the design of nuclear power warships to someone they thought was a foreign power but was actually an undercover FBI agent.

The Justice Department claims Jonathan Toebbe, through his Pentagon-issued national security clearance, had access to restricted data about naval nuclear technology and used that access to send a package to a foreign government on April 1, 2020. After that, the affidavit alleged he began corresponding with someone he believed to be an agent of another country, but who was an undercover FBI agent. Court documents claim the Navy engineer agreed to sell this restricted data to the undercover agent for $10,000 in cryptocurrency.

Toebbe and his wife, Diana, then allegedly went to West Virginia, where the Navy engineer placed a memory card inside half a peanut butter sandwich, with his wife on the lookout. According to the Justice Department, the card contained restricted data about submarine nuclear reactors.


Based on the criminal complaint, the engineer at one point suspected a trap, but continued with more such "dead drops."


"I am sorry to be so stubborn and untrusting, but I can not agree to go to a location of your choosing," the engineer said, according to a criminal complaint. "I must consider the possibility that l am communicating with an adversary who has intercepted my first message and is attempting to expose me."


Attorney General Merrick Garland said the complaint "charges a plot to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign nation."


"The work of the FBI, Department of Justice prosecutors, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Energy was critical in thwarting the plot charged in the complaint and taking this first step in bringing the perpetrators to justice," Garland said.




CBS News

US: Joe Biden's Air Force secretary nominee pledges to tackle enduring pilot shortage, personnel issues

US: Joe Biden's Air Force secretary nominee pledges to tackle enduring pilot shortage, personnel issues

Frank Kendall

In the United States of America, the Air Force’s pilot retention problem has lasted for decades and now it’s about to become a top concern for another new service secretary as Frank Kendall, the former Pentagon acquisition boss and President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the Air Force and Space Force, told senators Tuesday he would look carefully at how the air service plans to handle recruitment and retention as the coronavirus pandemic subsides in the U.S.

According to Kendall during  his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee: “It is an issue that I would certainly address as a high priority if confirmed. There have been some issues, I think, with planning, as we’ve moved through the COVID experience and the airlines have shut down.”

The Air Force saw a net gain of about 200 pilots in fiscal 2020, a small move in the right direction as the service struggles to keep them from leaving for more lucrative jobs at private airlines and others. The service now has around 19,100 pilots, or 1,900 airmen short of the 21,000 or so pilots it wants in its ranks, Maj. Gen. Jake Jacobson, director of the Air Force’s aircrew crisis task force, recently told Air Force Times.


The pandemic also caused pilot training to slow last year, and the Air Force fell about 240 airmen short of its goal to graduate 1,500 new aviators.


Amid a 20-year high in airman retention, the service began offering certain members an early exit from active-duty service. At least 790 or so troops received approval to retire, separate or join the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve. Those options will close on Thursday.


Air Force spokesperson Maj. Holly Hess said May 20 the service can, but does not expect to, offer early outs in fiscal 2022.


“Managing the size and shape of the force is a dynamic process and we are constantly making adjustments to balance mission requirements and fiscal constraints,” Hess wrote in an email. “Part of that process is making sure we have the required authorities in place in case we need them.”


Kendall told Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, the Air Force “may have overplayed” last year’s slight break in pilot attrition.


“There are a lot of possibilities for increasing the flow of pilots into the pipeline,” he said. “Minority pilots, in particular, are relatively short numbers in the Air Force. I think we can do something about that.”


Jacobson agreed that the Air Force can cast a wider net for prospective pilots, but argued the bigger focus should be on training airmen faster to fill the workforce gap.


“We do not have a recruiting problem,” he said. “What we have right now is a production problem.”


If confirmed, Kendall added, he would review the size of the Air Force’s uniformed workforce “to ensure we continue to balance risk in maintaining legacy capabilities to support ongoing deployments and operational tempo against demands of future force requirements.”


As of October 2020, the Air Force had 329,839 active-duty members, including about 64,000 officers and 265,800 enlisted airmen, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.


In his bid to succeed former Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, Kendall also pledged to focus on personnel challenges including racial and gender-related disparities, sexual assault, ideological extremism, suicide and subpar military housing. The Department of the Air Force hasn’t made enough progress on those areas, he said in written answers to the committee’s questions.


Kendall said he’s found military command climates to be generally positive, but suggested investigations could reveal new information about toxic base culture, such as at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas. The installation has been under particular scrutiny after 20-year-old Spc. Vanessa Guillen was killed there last year.


“I think it is, frankly, at the root of the problems that we have with sexual assault and sexual harassment,” he said. “If we can’t address that, we’re not going to be successful at prevention.”


The nominee added that he hadn’t seen the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety’s December 2020 report that tallied 224 deaths and 186 aircraft lost as a result of mishaps from fiscal 2013-2020, totaling $11.6 billion in damages.


His hearing comes the day after an unnamed contractor for Draken US died when their Dassault Mirage F1 crashed in a residential area near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.


“That sounds unacceptable to me, quite frankly,” Kendall said of the statistics. “I will take a look at that report and I will see what … action is necessary.”



Source

Frank Kendall

In the United States of America, the Air Force’s pilot retention problem has lasted for decades and now it’s about to become a top concern for another new service secretary as Frank Kendall, the former Pentagon acquisition boss and President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the Air Force and Space Force, told senators Tuesday he would look carefully at how the air service plans to handle recruitment and retention as the coronavirus pandemic subsides in the U.S.

According to Kendall during  his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee: “It is an issue that I would certainly address as a high priority if confirmed. There have been some issues, I think, with planning, as we’ve moved through the COVID experience and the airlines have shut down.”

The Air Force saw a net gain of about 200 pilots in fiscal 2020, a small move in the right direction as the service struggles to keep them from leaving for more lucrative jobs at private airlines and others. The service now has around 19,100 pilots, or 1,900 airmen short of the 21,000 or so pilots it wants in its ranks, Maj. Gen. Jake Jacobson, director of the Air Force’s aircrew crisis task force, recently told Air Force Times.


The pandemic also caused pilot training to slow last year, and the Air Force fell about 240 airmen short of its goal to graduate 1,500 new aviators.


Amid a 20-year high in airman retention, the service began offering certain members an early exit from active-duty service. At least 790 or so troops received approval to retire, separate or join the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve. Those options will close on Thursday.


Air Force spokesperson Maj. Holly Hess said May 20 the service can, but does not expect to, offer early outs in fiscal 2022.


“Managing the size and shape of the force is a dynamic process and we are constantly making adjustments to balance mission requirements and fiscal constraints,” Hess wrote in an email. “Part of that process is making sure we have the required authorities in place in case we need them.”


Kendall told Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, the Air Force “may have overplayed” last year’s slight break in pilot attrition.


“There are a lot of possibilities for increasing the flow of pilots into the pipeline,” he said. “Minority pilots, in particular, are relatively short numbers in the Air Force. I think we can do something about that.”


Jacobson agreed that the Air Force can cast a wider net for prospective pilots, but argued the bigger focus should be on training airmen faster to fill the workforce gap.


“We do not have a recruiting problem,” he said. “What we have right now is a production problem.”


If confirmed, Kendall added, he would review the size of the Air Force’s uniformed workforce “to ensure we continue to balance risk in maintaining legacy capabilities to support ongoing deployments and operational tempo against demands of future force requirements.”


As of October 2020, the Air Force had 329,839 active-duty members, including about 64,000 officers and 265,800 enlisted airmen, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.


In his bid to succeed former Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, Kendall also pledged to focus on personnel challenges including racial and gender-related disparities, sexual assault, ideological extremism, suicide and subpar military housing. The Department of the Air Force hasn’t made enough progress on those areas, he said in written answers to the committee’s questions.


Kendall said he’s found military command climates to be generally positive, but suggested investigations could reveal new information about toxic base culture, such as at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas. The installation has been under particular scrutiny after 20-year-old Spc. Vanessa Guillen was killed there last year.


“I think it is, frankly, at the root of the problems that we have with sexual assault and sexual harassment,” he said. “If we can’t address that, we’re not going to be successful at prevention.”


The nominee added that he hadn’t seen the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety’s December 2020 report that tallied 224 deaths and 186 aircraft lost as a result of mishaps from fiscal 2013-2020, totaling $11.6 billion in damages.


His hearing comes the day after an unnamed contractor for Draken US died when their Dassault Mirage F1 crashed in a residential area near Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.


“That sounds unacceptable to me, quite frankly,” Kendall said of the statistics. “I will take a look at that report and I will see what … action is necessary.”



Source

US military says Afghanistan withdrawal process 2 to 6 percent complete

US military says Afghanistan withdrawal process 2 to 6 percent complete

New Antonik base in southern Helmand province handed to the Afghan National Army

Taliban Begins Attacks



The American military has completed about 2 percent to 6 percent of the process of entirely withdrawing from Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said Tuesday as reported by the Hill.


According to the report, the progress on the withdrawal includes moving about 60 C-17 cargo planes worth of material out of Afghanistan, Centcom said in a news release.


 Also about 1,300 pieces of equipment have been given to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction, the release said. 

  

The U.S. military also officially gave control of its New Antonik base in southern Helmand province to the Afghan National Army, the release said.


Centcom, which said it plans to release weekly updates on the progress of the withdrawal, “will only be providing an approximate range of the percentage of the exit process that is complete” because of concerns about operational security, according to the release.


U. S. President Joe Biden last month ordered all American troops to be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked America’s longest war, with the withdrawal officially kicking off last week.

Amid the pullout, the Taliban has threatened to resume attacks on U.S. and coalition troops that it largely refrained from after signing a deal with the Trump administration last year that set a withdrawal deadline of this past Saturday.


On Monday, the Pentagon said there were some “small harassing attacks” over the weekend that had no effect on the withdrawal.


On Tuesday, Afghan officials said the Taliban launched a major offensive in Helmand. The Ministry of Defense also reported Afghan forces fighting off Taliban attacks in six other provinces over the past 24 hours.


The Hill

New Antonik base in southern Helmand province handed to the Afghan National Army

Taliban Begins Attacks



The American military has completed about 2 percent to 6 percent of the process of entirely withdrawing from Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said Tuesday as reported by the Hill.


According to the report, the progress on the withdrawal includes moving about 60 C-17 cargo planes worth of material out of Afghanistan, Centcom said in a news release.


 Also about 1,300 pieces of equipment have been given to the Defense Logistics Agency for destruction, the release said. 

  

The U.S. military also officially gave control of its New Antonik base in southern Helmand province to the Afghan National Army, the release said.


Centcom, which said it plans to release weekly updates on the progress of the withdrawal, “will only be providing an approximate range of the percentage of the exit process that is complete” because of concerns about operational security, according to the release.


U. S. President Joe Biden last month ordered all American troops to be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked America’s longest war, with the withdrawal officially kicking off last week.

Amid the pullout, the Taliban has threatened to resume attacks on U.S. and coalition troops that it largely refrained from after signing a deal with the Trump administration last year that set a withdrawal deadline of this past Saturday.


On Monday, the Pentagon said there were some “small harassing attacks” over the weekend that had no effect on the withdrawal.


On Tuesday, Afghan officials said the Taliban launched a major offensive in Helmand. The Ministry of Defense also reported Afghan forces fighting off Taliban attacks in six other provinces over the past 24 hours.


The Hill

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