5 Things to Start Your Week


An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Sidewinders of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 approaches the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 4, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Nathan T. Beard)

Here are five news stories and events to start your week:

1. F/A-18E Shoots Down Syrian Su-22 in Air-to-Air Kill

Via Oriana Pawlyk at Military.com: “A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 on Sunday after the Soviet-era fighter-bomber dropped munitions near U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters, U.S. Central Command officials confirmed. The strike was believed to be the U.S. military’s first air-to-air kill involving manned aircraft in years. The last known such instance was when a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down a Serbian MiG-29 in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign … The attack comes after pro-Syrian forces attacked SDF fighters in Ja’Din, wounding a number of SDF fighters, officials said.”

2. Navy Identifies Sailors Who Died in Ship Collision

The U.S. Navy identified the seven sailors who died when the destroyer they were in collided with a container ship near Japan. The sailors, whose ages ranged from 19 to 37 years old, were discovered in flooded berthing compartments on the USS Fitzgerald hours after the destroyer collided with the container ship Philippine ACX Crystal from the Philippines around 2:30 a.m. local time Saturday. Three other sailors — including the commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson — were medically evacuated from the scene and a massive search was conducted involving U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft to locate those who remained unaccounted for.

3. Seven US Troops Wounded in Afghanistan Insider Attack

Seven U.S. troops were shot and wounded in an insider attack Saturday at a base in northern Afghanistan, officials said. The service members, who weren’t immediately identified, were medically evacuated from Camp Shaheen in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province, according to an updated statement from the press office of Operation Resolute Support, the U.S. and NATO mission to train and advise Afghan forces. One Afghan soldier was killed and another was hurt in the attack that occurred around 2 p.m. local time on June 17.

4. Hard-Hit Marine Class from Vietnam War Celebrates 50th Reunion

Via Richard Sisk at Military.com: “In the fall of 1967, The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, finished training 498 twenty-something Marine second lieutenants. By the end of the year, nearly all were in Vietnam. Before Christmas, the first of them was killed in action: 2nd Lt. Michael Ruane, of Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, on Dec. 18, 1967. The TBS class that began in June 1967 (TBS 6/67) would have a casualty rate of more than 50 percent — the highest of any Marine officer class during the Vietnam War. For those second lieutenants and their platoons, the pace was unrelenting.”

5. If It Flies or Hovers, It Will Be at the Paris Air Show

Via John Leicester of The Associated Press: “LE BOURGET, France — While Airbus and Boeing will again hog the spotlight at the Paris Air Show with their battle for ever-larger slices of the lucrative pie in the sky, a lot of the really interesting stuff will be going on elsewhere at the upcoming biennial aviation and defense industry gathering. Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II jet fighter will crane necks with high-speed aerial displays, drones will again be a hot topic, and a would-be flying car will aim to show that it is closer to getting off the ground as a consumer ride.” Military.com will also have a team on the ground to provide original reporting.

— Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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