Navy

5 Things to Start Your Week

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

The Carl Vinson carrier strike group has been ordered to cancel planned port visits in Australia and sail to the Western Pacific days after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from its eastern coast. U.S. Third Fleet announced Saturday night that the San Diego-based strike group, which just completed a four-day port visit in Singapore, will now sail north and "report on station" in the Western Pacific. Multiple outlets reported that the ships would be positioned off the Korean peninsula. Cmdr. David Benham, a spokesman for Pacific Command, called the North's missile tests and pursuit of nuclear weapons "reckless, irresponsible, and destabilizing."

A U.S. soldier was killed Saturday during combat operations in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. military. The unidentified U.S. Special Forces team member died of injuries sustained while serving with Afghan forces during an operation against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and a branch called Khorasan that operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a release from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. "I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our fallen comrade," Gen. John W. Nicholson said. "We will always remember our fallen comrades and commit ourselves to deliver on their sacrifice."

The Navy has extended the operational pause implemented for its fleet of T-45C Goshawk trainer aircraft without a stated end date to allow leadership to develop a plan to address hypoxia-like episodes in the cockpit. Naval Air Forces officials first announced a three-day operational pause for the aircraft Wednesday, less than a day after Fox News reported that some 100 instructor pilots had refused to fly March 31, citing safety concerns. Officials confirmed that about 40 percent of flights in T-45C training commands in Kingsville, Texas; Pensacola, Florida; and Meridian, Mississippi, were canceled that day because of operational risk issues raised by the pilots.

The Marine Corps has taken punitive action against a pair of Marines whose online activity was investigated as part of a effort to crack down on misogynistic internet postings and "revenge porn" sharing within the service. Two enlisted Marines -- a noncommissioned officer and a junior enlisted service member -- both attached to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, California, were demoted in paygrade and punished with 45 days of military restriction and 45 days of additional punitive duties. The Marines were sent to NJP because of derogatory comments made about one of their more senior enlisted leaders.

Dr. Mark E. Green, a medical doctor, Tennessee state senator and decorated West Point graduate, has been nominated to serve as the 23rd secretary of the Army, the White House announced Friday. His nomination comes more than a month after billionaire Vincent Viola, President Donald Trump's previous pick for the position, removed himself from consideration due to business interests. Green served in the Army as an infantry officer from 1986 to 2006, deploying twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan while on active duty. He earned the prestigious Army Ranger Tab early, and later served as a captain with the 82nd Airborne Division.

-- Hope Hodge Seck contributed to this report.

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