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tv   Defense News  ABC  February 12, 2017 11:00am-11:30am EST

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"> this week on "defense news, flashpoints off the coast of yemen. the pentagon is seeking to work more closely with the satellite industry. welcome to "defense news." i'm aaron metta. for years, the military put out a monthly report, surveying the number of airstrikes in iraq, afghanistan, and syria. andrew did grand prix and sean stone explain what they found. >> air force central command keeps this law of how many bombs dropped, and they've been keeping this data pays and publicly publishing it online for some time, since the start of the war on terrorism, and these numbers
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used and provided to the department of defense and given to the public to provide some kind of picture of the number of combat strikes in afghanistan in operation inherent resolve. report were doing a looking into airstrikes in afghanistan, we reached out to operation resolute support, and we were given a different figure between the strike figure they had and the strike figure that was tallied in the air force de database.nd's . that kicked off our research into why there were different numbers. why did it seem there were two different measures for strike data? there happened to be a lot of confusion. some individuals didn't seem to know what was going on. we didn't understand why there were two different role ups. we came to understand that
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army assets were not included in the air for central command's database. for the most part, this database, according to the media and public, has been reported as a complete summary, so it was a surprise to find out army assets were not included. my other reporters use this on a regular basis to explain what the data is. andrew, as you started looking at this stuff, what did you find? >> the most important aspect of this was 456 airstrikes conducted by armie platforms, apache helicopters, blackhawks, drones that previously had not been disclosed anywhere publicly . what has a gap between been reported publicly and these extra numbers, which led to a lot of questions
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phone calls and emails with a lot of key military commands to figure out what was going on. no one had a good answer. >> when you say 450-plus strikes, how many is that? >> that is 2016 alone. you can extrapolate that. if the military has no idea how long this has been going on for, the war on terrorism begin in 2001. it could be thousands. >> what is the thought here? is it a situation of pentagon bureaucracy, one group not talking to another, or is there a sense that there is a downplaying of the strikes going on? >> we are not totally sure what is going on, but there definitely seems to be some kind of cultural issue between the different branches of service and how they consider what close air support is or what they consider an airstrike. the army has said they don't consider what the apaches do our airstrikes, but air force central
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includes that appeared there is no different between what marine covert do and what apaches do. we think because of that cultural difference between what is considered an airstrike is what has produced some of the confusion here. the drone theed army uses. essentially, it seems like it is a matter of semantics in some cases. >> yes, it seems to be a battle of semantics going on between the different branches, the air force and the army. >> and that is not necessarily a new thing. we know the army and air force have squared off over airspace, how they record things, going back to october told thousand one. >> this is an issue we have talked about a number of times over the course of the war. i don't know that any resolution ever
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debate, so here we are, and you fast-forward all of these years, and you've got two data sets that are proving to be very complicated when you look at them separately. the most important thing to keep in mind is, who is using this data? ."u mentioned "defense news a number of our colleagues in the media, to include several big-name publications, are relying on this to inform the public, analysts, researchers, even the federal government, inspectors general, are compiling reports to influence congress based on what is in these numbers, and if they are inaccurate, it is all nolan void. well,a budget front, as congress is using these numbers for munitions and strikes to help develop the budget going forward. there is a fiscal element. what has the reaction been? if you fol
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you read the story, it blew up online. what has the reaction been like a? i >> think we have gotten some mixed reaction. a lot of people who support the story we put out and believe those apaches need to be included in the strike count, certainly, the department of defense has been telling the that these numbers are comprehensive, that they include every bomb that was dropped in operation inherent resolve, and we've learned that's not the case. i think there is a little bit of competition going on. it's kind of a mixed bag. there has always been this cultural push back between the two sides. part of the problem has been, how do you get the two sid
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sets to talk to each other? do you think there's going to be a time when we get a comprehensive report coming out where we say, this is everything, or do we think there are always going to be small quibbles about how you define things? >> if i were a member of the house or senate armed services committee, i would be asking that question right now. if our reporting proves anything, it is that there are probably good cases to be made to start to standardize this data. not only do our lawmakers have a full accounting of what is going on as we battle the taliban, al qaeda, the islamic state, but that the american public does, as well. >> the coalition has a definition of what an airstrike is that definition seems to fit what you guys have been looking at, correct? >> that definition can be one or more aircraft trapping munitions , 10 more bombs on a particular target that has some kind of effect on the target. that is the definition. when
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their supplies, those strikes fit the definition of the coalition provides, and therefore, it's an airstrike. aaron: when we return, a look at the growing -- a growing flashpoint. you ar we're family. we'd do anything for each other. but this time... those bonds were definitely tested. frog leg, for my baby brother don't frogs have like, two legs? so they should have two of these? since i'm active duty and she's family, i was able to set my sister up with a sweet membership from navy federal. if you hold it closer, it looks bigger. eat your food my big sis likes to make tiny food. and i'm okay with that. open to the armed forces, the dod, veterans and their families. navy federal credit union.
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aaron: welcome back to "defense ."ws i am aaron metta. we are joined by naval correspondent chris cap this. we are going
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waterways run the gulf. what are we talking about? chris: everyone is family with the streets of hormuz, a flashpoint between iran and the united states. the media has been reporting on this for years. it's the only way in and out of the persian gulf. the strait of harm lose his right here. what is lesser-known is a strait that is more strategic, and that is at the base of the saudi arabian peninsula. this is a name that doesn't trip off peoples tongues yet. it doesn't get recognition. it's perhaps even more strategic. about 8% of the oil moving on any given day in the world is passing through this strait. every ship that goes through europe, the pacific, they have to come through the this strait. aaron: u.s., french, british.
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chris: it's everybody. it's a major choke point. this is now threatened by the ongoing war in yemen. we have a government in yemen that is -- allied with saudi arabia fighting a civil war with houthi rebels backed by iran. this whole area is pretty tight. it's about 20 miles across at the narrowest. the main channel is about 60 miles across. everybody has to go through here. it's always vulnerable to attack, and attacks have been happening. this is been a hot war for two years, the saudis attacking the houthis. the navy has been patrolling. the rebels have pretty much got the western part of the country, which is the most strategic part. if they were over here, it wouldn't matter so much. this is aden, classic port. this is a former french possession.
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djibouti. there's always a french presence there. we do exercises there all the time. the chinese are starting to build. we will be able to wave at each other. this part has become pretty dji. there's always a hot. the first time, the who the rebels targeted united states navy ships. they shot surface to surface missiles. these are chinese-made missiles, very sophisticated missiles, the same thing that has below used in 2006 to hit an israeli gunboat. aaron: which is the first time these weapons were used against more advanced military by nonstate actors. chris: that attack in 2006 changed
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threats. you will hear u.s. officials often talk about nonstate actors , not just talking terrorism. weaponsalking about used by non-nationstates, like .ezbollah and the hothis it's the type of weapon you would see on a country's warships. it's a real threat. they have been using this. ferry, aan aluminum former u.s. navy ship, no longer used by the u.s. navy. it was being operated by a uae company. in october, it was hit by missiles and severely damaged. october, there was fire on a u.s. navy ship. for the first time, a destroyer engaged in coming surface to surface missiles
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it was successful. they destroyed the missile. there was another missile that wasn't going to hit anybody. they let it crash. a couple days later, there was a strike, hitting radars. if they don't have fire control, it's hard to use them. they don't hit anything. threat is ongoing. on january 30, a saudi forget patrolling in this area -- threat is ongoing. frigate patrolling in this area was attacked. it was a suicide boat attack, very small, very fast. made and iran. somehow, it was smuggled over. it's exactly the kind of threat that the american navy has been worried about for years, swarming small boat a tax --
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frigate, hit the saudi didn't damage it very heavily. it didn't go back to port for five more days. two sailors were killed. there's video that shows the dramatic explosion, but the ship didn't seem to be crippled. this remains a hot area. we have a series of attacks. they haven't hit merchant shipping yet, but who knows? tomorrow, we could hear a story about that. this is increasing in importance. aaron: what is the u.s. doing? chris: win announced in the wake of the attack on the saudi frigate, we have a destroyer patrolling in this area, and the destroyer seems to be familiar with this part of the world. the uss cole. she happens to be the ship that is available, but in oct
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2000, while she was in port at aden, she was struck by a suicide craft and was severely damaged in that case. aaron: kind of full circle. thanks for the briefing. after the break, a look at the eve all the relationship between the pentagon and the commercial satellite industry. you are watching "defense news."
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aaron: welcome back to "defense news." for years, the commercial satellite to mean occasions industry has begged for closer ties to the defense department. now there may be some movement. for a lot of years, there was a lot of discussion about commercial industry doing more for the defense department in particular and the government writ large in terms of satellite
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and we are starting to hear that happen after years of talk. we are starting to see the military in particular embracing more of the commercial sector and more of their activities. you see them getting more involved with launch aspects. the industry is basically doing all of the launches. aaron: space ask, ulana. this is something commercial handles for the pentagon. >> you got the startups. you've got the well-established big guys. they are doing control aspects, as well. are really doing more. then you have commercial topanies providing bandwidth enable communications to the deployed war fighters. you are seeing more and more the commercial industry interacting with the government and providing more services. aaron: especially in 2013 and 2014 wednesday coast ration was
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pentagon talk about, this is a way we could save money. the commercial sector said, this is a way we could save money. it's been an evolution.what are some of the factors that are driving this to happen now versus 10 years ago? >> cost is a huge factor. to any defense department official, and they will say budgets are shrinking, and there is more budget pressure. there's a lot of pressure to cut costs and find even efficient sees wherever they possibly can. on another reason is, this year, they are doing the analysis of alternatives, which is something that has been talked about for years, which is going to analyze where the defense department is going to go after their current satellite. aaron: let me ask about the oh 8aoa.
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happen soon. obviously, it didn't happen soon. why did it take so long to get this process going, and what is going to come out of this? >> the analysis of alternatives to the aoa, it's going to look at what happens after the current live band program that provides the high three put -- throughput satellite information for the military, they have been .reparing for it for years it hasn't happened yet until , when frank kendall finally signed off on the agreement. aaron: he is acquisition had for the obama administration. >> correct. he signed off on it in late aaron: he is acquisition had for the obama administration. >>december, so they have embarkd on the aoa. that will inform what comes and a lot of that is going to inform what happens with the commercial sector and how much
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going to play with military satcom going forward. it's all about finding the right commercial satcom, military satcom, and what is the right, nation that achieves all the goals, provides the bandwidth they need. aaron: can you explain wgs to the viewers? >> the wideband global stat come program, it's a constellation of 10 satellites that provide bandwidth to deploy troops all around the world, and it enables them to do things like reconnaissance. they launched the eighth one this past december, and the last one will go up in 2019, and with these last three, they have increase the bandwidth tenfold. aaron: what is the commercial world looking for out of the aoa? >> i think the best case for industry will
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enough topartment contract out as much as possible . whatever they're able to do to do more business with the defense department, things may be they can do more efficiently than the defense department in particular, that is what they are going to be looking for. aaron: a retort and millions, hundreds of dollars, billions of dollars? >> potentially billions of dollars if you are looking at the long run. satellites are expensive. it's an expensive program. wgs is an expensive program. yes, potentially you are talking billions. aaron: give us the future of this. how does this shakeout realistically, and do you expect the relationship
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and the industry to expand? >> i think so much of it is going to be informed by what comes out of the aoa p that is what everybody is telling me -- what is going to happen with the aoa deco the other thing we are seeing is a move towards managed services. it's like your cell phone plan or home internet plan. you don't purchase the equipment, or you purchase a limited amount of equipment, and that's all. you get all the services provided for you. you see that in all parts of government, particularly i.t. you will be seen more of that in satcom, as well. aaron: on this week's money minute, personal finance expert jeanette mac on how you can avoid fees on your credit card. >> it's a fact of life. we all need credit and a good credit history, which makes credit cards a necessity in your wallet. you have to be sure you are getting the most from your cards without them costing you too much in
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some credit card fees can be avoided by simply knowing what not to do. late payments or return payment fees should be avoided at all costs. setting up automatic payments is a no-brainer and can guarantee you never pay one of those fees. other credit card costs like annual fees and foreign transaction fees are easy to dodge by choosing a car that doesn't have them, but to capitalize on rewards, choose one that capitalizes on your lifestyle -- that fits your lifestyle. of cash rewards, it may even pay for itself. it's all about reading the fine print. rewards.fees and the find a card with points that never expire and have no limitations. putting the right combo of cards in your wallet can maximize your purchase power and offer great perks with little to no added cost. orders were coming at us rapid-fire. things were touch-and-go. it really could've gone either way.
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>> in today's armed forces, men and women of diverse backgrounds serve alongside each other with dedication and distinction, but the full racial integration of the military's more recent than you might think, coming about in 1948 with present truman's executive order 9981. truman stated -- >> there is no justifiable reason for discrimination because of ancestry or religion or race or color. >> 9981 was another step beyond frank when roosevelt ordered 19 88022 ban discriminatory practices by government agencies. truman's executive order 9981 further cemented equal treatment in the military and allowed troops of various groups to make equal contributions to the united states.
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celebrates national black history month in federer a. this year, our friends at "the military times" said this month would be used to celebrate black military history. some of thee contributions of african-americans throughout u.s. military history. here is one of those stories. >> the first rhode island regiment was a section of the continental army in the revolutionary war, but it was not a typical band of soldiers. known as the black regiment by the first rhode island regiment recruited african-americans serving in separate companies. general james barnett and commanded the force and suggested that george washington used the troops to growth then ranks -- the ranks. they fought during the battle of yorktown, the engagement that led to this render of the british and the end of the revolutionary war. doris miller was born in waco, texas in 1819. he enlisted in
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1839. he was eventually assigned to the uss west virginia in hawaii where he was serving on december 7, 1941, the day of the japanese attack on pearl harbor. miller carried wounded shipmates to safety and assisted the mortally wounded captain. it was his courageous manning of a 50-caliber antiaircraft machine gun that brought him the most distinction. completely untrained on the weapon, doris took down enemy aircraft at a startling rate before abandoning the sinking ship. awarded the navy cross by chester nimitz in 1942, nimitz said, this marks the first time in this conflict such a high tribute has been made in the pacific fleet to a member of his race. miller was later stationed above the uss lyskovo they during operation galvanic in 1943 when a japanese ship struck the ship, setting off an antiai
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survived the event -- magazine. 262 sailors survived the event. miller's heroism at pearl harbor opened doors of four african-americans in the u.s. armed services. aaron: for more storiesmiller'sm black history month, go to www. militarytimes.com/blackhistory. that is it for this week on "defense news." for more, visit defensenews.com.
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