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HOHENFELS, Germany — My eyes welled with tears of happiness, and I cried as I had never cried before. For 20 years, I fought against who I am. But that day was the closest I ever felt to freedom. It was June 30, 2016, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter had just announced an end to the United States military’s ban on transgender service.

My name is Jennifer Sims. I am a United States Army captain and a transgender woman who has served my country with distinction for more than six years. I am speaking for myself here, not on behalf of the Army or the government, but I suspect my feelings resonate with other transgender service members.

Every transgender person has a different story. For me, growing up in Florida and Minnesota, I never felt right as a boy, struggling to conform to what that meant. It was before the internet and smartphones were everywhere, so I never heard the word “transgender” or had any way to look up confidentially what I was feeling. I thought it was simply a phase I was going through.

 

 

 

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A view of the encounter site in Shopian district in Kashmir. (ANI Photo)

Two Indian Army personnel, including a major, and as many militants were killed in two separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, officials said, in an upsurge of shootouts in the restive region in the past few months.

Major Kamlesh Pandey and sepoy Tanzin Chhultim were killed after militants fired upon the security forces during a gun battle in the Zaipora area of Shopian district on Thursday morning.

The forces mounted a cordon and search operation in the area in south Kashmir late on Wednesday night following a tip-off that militants were present in the area.

“The trapped militants escaped after firing on the soldiers,” a senior district police officer told the Hindustan Times.

The Shopian incident came on the heels of a gun battle in Gopalpora area of Kulgam district where forces gunned down two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in an overnight encounter following a search operation.

 

 

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An event in New Delhi marked the 90th anniversary of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

NEW DELHI:  While a face-off between the armies of India and China near the Sikkim sectorinched towards a third month and a fresh Chinese incursion in Uttarakhand was confirmedby sources at the centre, signs of strain were noticeably absent closer home on Monday. At an event in New Delhi to mark the 90th anniversary of China’s army, in attendance were representatives from India besides those from Bhutan, Pakistan and other countries.

Pakistani envoy Abdul Basit and Bhutan’s Ambassador to New Delhi Vetsop Namgyel were among those who attended the dinner at a five star hotel in the capital; as was a high-ranking official of the Indian armed forces. Envoys and military attaches of around 20 countries including Russia and the US also attended the event to observe the founding day of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
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Hate updating the software on your smart phone? Then have compassion for the Army, which is trying to standardize its computer systems across more than 400 units in the next 28 months. The objective is a “single software baseline,” where every unit has the same set of information technologies. Such standardization should simplify everything from training, maintenance, operations and future upgrades.

The baseline effort is part of a much larger overhaul of the Army’s networks. The ultimate goal is to keep troops communicating and coordinated despite cyber attack, jamming, harsh conditions, and the constant movement of a modern Multi-Domain Battle against advanced adversaries such as Russia. While software is less sexy than, say, tanks that shoot lasers or railguns, it’s critical to modernize the Army’s electronic nervous system. But there are legions of devils in the details, as an Army release yesterday outlines.

One particularly devilish detail not in the official release: the cost. I pressed the Army’s spokesman for Command, Control, & Communications – Tactical (PEO-C3T) about this, and he replied frankly that the service doesn’t have a firm figure yet.

 

 

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WASHINGTON — Russia is preparing to send as many as 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory at the end of the summer, one of the biggest steps yet in the military buildup undertaken by President Vladimir V. Putin and an exercise in intimidation that recalls the most ominous days of the Cold War.

The troops are conducting military maneuvers known as Zapad, Russian for “west,” in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The drills will feature a reconstituted armored force named for a storied Soviet military unit, the First Guards Tank Army. Its establishment represents the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that so much offensive power has been concentrated in a single command.

 

 

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U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Finneran fires a Sig Sauer pistol during partnered marksmanship live-fire training on Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan, May 29, 2015. Finneran is an infantryman assigned to the 101st Airborne Division./Courtesy: Department of Defense website

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell will be the first to receive the Army’s new handguns this November, according to a report from the U.S. Army.

The Sig Sauer modular pistol will replace the M9 Beretta, which has been used by the Army since the Cold War era.

Soldiers said they disliked the M9’s bulky grip and wanted a gun capable of firing a bigger or harder-hitting bullet.

The first new XM17 handguns are scheduled to be fielded to the 101st in November.

Lt. Col. Steven Power, product manager of Soldier Weapons, said the handguns have improved durability and adjustability over the M9, along with interchangeable grips that fit comfortably.

 

 

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Inside a dark shooting range at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Army Master Sgt. Lashon Wilson stands behind a barrier, kitted out with body armor and an M4. In front of the M4’s optics is an advanced thermal sight, and affixed to his kevlar is a new set of night vision goggles. As Wilson looks behind him, he keeps his rifle pointed downrange. On an overhead flat screen, there’s a video feed showing Wilson’s field of view, and hovering in the center is a circular reticle showing a silhouette target — on the opposite side of the room.

The goggles and thermal sights produced by DRS Technologies and BAE Systems on display at the July 27 Program Executive Office Soldier media demonstration are part of a new platform of optics the Army has been working and building toward for more than a decade, and they literally allow a soldier to look in two directions at once.

 

 

 

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Successful implementation of new body armor technology requires more than just engineers designing prototype systems in a lab. Feedback from Soldiers who will be using the technology is critical to ensuring that the U.S. Army continues to field world-class technology for its fighters.

Recently, Airborne Soldiers here played a vital part in the feedback process when they recently jumped with a groundbreaking new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) during operational testing.

Soldiers from the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, geared up to work with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate to test the new armor.

 

 

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By Kris Osborn The Army has set up a new Cyber Research and Analytics Laboratory to keep pace with rapid technological change in the field and quickly support operational

The Army has set up a new Cyber Research and Analytics Laboratory to keep pace with rapid technological change in the field and quickly support operational cyber-warrior with the latest upgrades, techniques and threats, service officials said.

The new lab, engineered as a subset of the larger Army Research Lab, is specifically geared toward supporting ongoing combat operations, given the pace or trajectory of evolving cyber tactics. Results from near term analysis and research will be quickly sent to Army Combatant Commanders, and operational cyber-warriors send back new anomalies, tactics and attack strategies associated with enemy cyber attacks.

“Change within cyber is constant. Things we are working on this year are not things we will be working on next year. We need a laboratory that is rapid so that if there is emerging space we can address it an move on, providing input to Army Cyber,” Curtis Arnold, Chief, Sustaining Base, Network Assurance Branch, Army Research Lab, told Scout Warrior in an interview. “A big component of the laboratory is that with an operational focus we are narrowing response time.

 

 

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In a recent article, Guns & Ammo editor Eric Poole gave us our first look at the Army’s new XM17 Modular Handgun System in action. Within the 3:12 runtime of the brief video, Poole gives a rundown of the handgun’s features and advertised benefits vs. the legacy Beretta M9 handguns currently in service, and gives us our first taste of the P320-derived XM17 in use on the range. Unfortunately, G&A has disabled video embedding, so the video can be found by following the link over to their website, and viewing it there.

 

 

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