Army Postpones Move to Downsize Brigade at JB ElmendorfRichardson

first_imgThe Army on Monday officially suspended the planned downsizing of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 25th Infantry Division, citing a variety of global threats facing the nation.“The 4/25 is ready to rapidly deploy and conduct decisive operations in urban and mountainous environments,” explained Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy. “Given continued Russian aggression, the nuclear provocations of North Korea, and the continued threat from ISIL, we need this capability,” Murphy said.Converting the Army’s only airborne BCT in the Pacific theater into an infantry battalion task force would have resulted in the loss of about 2,600 personnel at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, where the 4th BCT is based. The realignment was announced last July as part of a restructuring intended to shrink the Army’s active-duty end strength from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers.The decision to postpone the move is not surprising, as top Army officials in recent months had said they were considering it in light of the security environment. The delay represents a victory for Alaska’s congressional delegation, which had lobbied vigorously against the Army’s plan since it was announced in July, reported Alaska Dispatch News. Last month, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), “It would be contrary to strategic national security interests to go ahead and pull out the 4/25 at this time. So my thought is that we should extend them at least a year to see how the strategic situation develops and then move from there.”  With the announcement, “the Army sent a strong message that America remains dedicated to our rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, understands our leading role in the Arctic, and is unyielding in our support for our critical alliances with Japan and South Korea,” according to a statement from Sen. Dan Sullivan (R).  Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Can you spot the Mars rover on this wild Red Planet landscape

first_img 0 Mars rovers NASA Space Enlarge ImageTry to spot the Mars rover in this view from orbit. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona NASA’s Curiosity rover loves to send selfies and close-up looks at fascinating rocks and even its own hole-y wheels. But sometimes it gets to pose for a portrait from far, far away. Conditions were just right at the end of May for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft to capture a snapshot of Curiosity working away in an area called Woodland Bay, part of the intriguing “clay-bearing unit.” The enhanced-color image comes from the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is operated by the University of Arizona in Tucson. If you’re having trouble spotting the rover, check out NASA’s cropped version of the image that highlights its location.hirisecuriosity2Enlarge ImageThat bluish spec is the Curiosity rover. NASA/JPL-Caltech A close look at the rover shows a bright spot in the upper left-hand corner. This is likely the rover’s “head,” which includes a suite of instruments on the end of a mast. The sun was hitting the rover just right. “Mirror-like reflections off smooth surfaces show up as especially bright spots in HiRISE images,” said NASA in a release on Friday. The clay-rich area Curiosity is exploring now is one of the big reasons NASA chose Curiosity’s landing site in Gale Crater. The rover is studying the history of water on Mars and looking for signs of microbial life, past or present. 41 weird objects seen on Mars, explained Spotting NASA machines on Mars is a bit of hobby for the MRO HiRISE team, which showed us both the InSight lander and the now-defunct Opportunity rover last year. Curiosity is NASA’s only working rover on Mars at the moment, but that’s scheduled to change when the Mars 2020 rover gets its own crack at the Red Planet in 2021. The MRO should be there to keep an eye on Mars’ new visitor. Post a comment Share your voicecenter_img 43 Photos Tags NASA rover sees bewitching night-shining clouds on Mars NASA spots Mars surprise at Curiosity rover work site Sci-Tech Marvelous Marslast_img read more