3 Green Berets Killed in Niger
U.S. and coalition troops were ambushed in Niger, the U.S. Defense Department confirmed on Wednesday evening.
U.S. Africa Command didn’t immediately confirm a New York Times report that three Green Berets were killed and two wounded in the attack. But the command said a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in the southwest part of the country.
Iraqi Forces Clear ISIS from Northern Stronghold
Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday that troops have retaken the northern town of Hawija from the Islamic State group, driving the extremists from one of their last strongholds in the country.
Haider al-Abadi declared victory during a press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, who offered to help mediate between Iraq’s government and the autonomous Kurdish region, which voted for independence last week in a move that was rejected by Baghdad and neighboring Turkey and Iran.
“I want to announce the liberation of the city of Hawija today,” al-Abadi said, calling it a “victory not just for Iraq but for the whole world.”
Iraqi forces have driven ISIS from nearly all the cities and towns it seized in the summer of 2014, including the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, which was liberated in July. The extremists are now mainly concentrated in a region straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border, and still control a cluster of towns in the far west of Iraq’s sprawling Anbar province, where another U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive is underway.
Surprise move to fixed fees amid changes to Tricare rules to go into effect Jan. 1
Be on the lookout for a full post looking into these changes tomorrow! From The News Tribune: “Near-final regulations released last week by the Defense Health Agency to implement sweeping Tricare reforms on Jan. 1 include a surprise restructuring of appointment fees for active duty families, and retirees under 65 and their families, who get their health care outside of military treatment facilities.
Agency leaders insist the new “fixed dollar” fees for the newly renamed “Select” option, to replace Tricare Standard and Extra, merely reflects “average” out-of-pocket costs occurring under the traditional cost-share method of charging users a percentage of Tricare’s Maximum Allowable Charges per appointment.”
Military Appreciation Oktoberfest at the Rhein Haus this Saturday.