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U.S. Marines aim to move ahead with new combat vehicle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine Corps aims to kick off a competition for a new wheeled amphibious combat vehicle in coming months, with a formal request for proposals likely to follow in fiscal year 2015, a Marine Corps spokesman said Wednesday. Manny Pacheco, spokesman for the Marine Corps office in charge of land systems said the goal was to buy around 200 wheeled vehicles priced at $3 million to $6 million each under the first phase of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program.

S. Korea joins U.S.-Thailand military exercise

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- Marine forces of South Korea, the United States and Thailand jointly carried out large-scale landing drills at Thailand's Hat Yao beach as part of the Cobra Gold military exercise, the Marine Corps here said Friday. The trilateral drills mobilized eight amphibious landing ships, 24 amphibious armored fighting vehicles, MV-2B Ospreys and 10 F/A-18 Hornet aircraft to practice scenarios in which multinational forces stabilize a conflict situation, the Marine Corps said.

Italy slams 'unacceptable' India charge against marines

Italy on Monday slammed as "unacceptable" a serious maritime security charge India has levelled against two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates while guarding a cargo ship. "The charge proposed by the Indian authorities is unacceptable," Prime Minister Enrico Letta said in a message on Twitter, adding: "Italy and the European Union will react."

India to spare Italy marines mandatory death penalty

India on Friday announced it would not prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen under a maritime security law that carries a mandatory death penalty. New Delhi's plans to try the men under the maritime security law had drawn strong protests from Rome which feared the move would result in violation of an earlier Indian government pledge not to seek execution of the two marines. "The NIA (National Investigation Agency) will not be prosecuting the marines now," home ministry spokesman K.S. Dhatwalia told AFP.

India to spare Italy marines mandatory death penalty

India on Friday announced it would not prosecute two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen under a maritime security law that carries a mandatory death penalty. New Delhi's plans to try the men under the maritime security law had drawn strong protests from Rome which feared the move would result in violation of an earlier Indian government pledge not to seek execution of the two marines. "The NIA (Nationial Investigation Agency) will not be prosecuting the marines now," home ministry spokesman K.S. Dhatwalia told AFP.

S. Korea, U.S. Marines complete two-week armed march

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- A contingent of South Korean and U.S. Marine Corps has completed its two-week armed march along the eastern mountainous region and carried out drills to improve their combat capabilities, military officials here said Friday. After finishing a grueling winter survival camp, about 300 Marines of the allies started their march at Mount Hwangbyeong in the northeastern province of Gangwon on Jan. 26 to walk down 381 kilometers to the southeastern port city of Pohang, the South Korean Marine Corps said.

S. Korea carries out amphibious landing drill

By Kim Eun-jung SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has launched a major military drill on Wednesday to enhance their capability for beach assaults and landings as part of the annual nationwide training exercises designed to deter North Korean threat, the Navy said. The eight-day drill mobilizes more than 1,900 marines, 10 ships and aircraft of the Navy, Army and Air Force to improve joint competence skills off the coast of Pohang, 374 kilometers southeast of Seoul, the Navy said.

US, Philippine Marines in live-fire manoeuvres

US and Filipino marines staged armoured assault manoeuvres on Friday as part of annual military exercises the Philippines has deemed vital in building its capacity to defend itself. This year's edition is taking part amid a tense territorial dispute between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea, as well as bellicose anti-US rhetoric by North Korea. More than 8,000 soldiers from both countries, 30 military aircraft including a dozen US F/A-18 Hornets and three naval vessels are taking part in 12 days of military exercises that end on Wednesday.

Indian court lifts ban on Italian envoy leaving country

India's Supreme Court lifted on Tuesday a three-week order banning Italy's ambassador from leaving the country after Italy sent two marines back to India to face trial over the deaths of two Indian fishermen.The court had earlier banned the ambassador, Daniele Mancini, from leaving after Italy announced it would not send the accused marines back after a home visit. But the Italian government changed its mind and sent the two back on March 22."It's good news," Diljeet Titus, a lawyer representing the Italian marines, said of the court's decision.

Italy foreign minister quits over return of marines to India

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Tuesday he was resigning in protest after two Italian marines were ordered to return to India to face murder charges. The two men were sent back on Friday over the killing of two Indian fisherman in February last year in a case that has strained ties between New Delhi and Rome. "I resign in contention with the decision to send the marines back to India. The misgivings I expressed had no effect on the decision taken," Terzi told parliament during a special session dedicated to the contentious issue.
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