Friday, May 24, 2013
Air Force has been hit particularly hard by cuts, official says.
By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON -- Sequestration has hit the Air Force particularly hard, impacting its force structure, readiness and modernization, senior Air Force leaders said here today. Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the chief of staff, said Congress must provide a solid budget number so the Air Force can ground its planning in reality. The Air Force understands it must do its part to work through the debt and deficit reduction problem, Welsh said. “We just want to get to the bottom line or the new top-line budget … and get on with preparing our Air Force to remain the best in the world,” he said. Sequestration has hit the Air Force hard and the effects are felt throughout …
An acknowledgement and wreath laying ceremony is held every year near Memorial Day to honor fallen servicewomen.
By Marine Corps Cpl. Christofer P. Baines Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, Va. -- The Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues and senior women enlisted military members gathered at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial May 22 for the 16th annual recognition ceremony. An acknowledgement and wreath laying ceremony is held every year near Memorial Day to honor fallen servicewomen. The wreath, provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, was placed in front of the pool at the memorial. After the wreath was placed, members of the caucus and the honorees placed a long-stemmed rose in honor of the fallen around the memorial’s pool. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, the first Air Force …
Thursday, May 23, 2013
To define defense strategy, 'we must make decisions based not on fear, but hard-earned wisdom,' says Obama.
By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 – President Barack Obama spoke Thursday on U.S. counterterrorism policy and looked at how the United States can defend itself from terrorism, yet remain true to core beliefs. The president’s speech at the National Defense University on Fort Lesley J. McNair here took a broad view of counterterrorism efforts. Obama reviewed what has taken place since September 11, 2001, and how the counterterrorism effort has changed. In 2001, Al-Qaida was the threat. It was that organization, led by Osama bin Laden, that planned and executed the attacks that killed 3,000 people on 9/11. “Now the core of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat,” the president said. …
Departments are working to modernize records systems
By Claudette Roulo American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is committed to doing everything it can to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to reduce the claims backlog, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel Wednesday. Speaking at a roundtable discussion held by the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hagel told lawmakers that the department’s responsibility is to ensure that service members have quality health care throughout their military careers and that their transition into the care of the VA is seamless and efficient. The defense secretary noted that he led the first effort to computerize veterans’ claims during his time as deputy administrator of the VA under then-…
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Department of Defense has teamed with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services to expand access to mental health care for service members, veterans and their families.
Wednesday, May 22
Department of Defense The Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced the progress made to date on initiatives called for in President Obama’s August 31, 2012 Executive Order to Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and their families. “We have made strong progress to expand veterans’ access to quality mental health services, and President Obama has challenged us to do even more,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Our ongoing, joint efforts reflect our commitment to the health and well-being of the men and women who have served the nation.” "One of the great challenges we face as a nation is how to provide quality, accessible, long term, …
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Army is 'failing in its efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment,' says Gen. Ray Odierno.
By Gen. Ray Odierno Army Chief of Staff Over the last twelve years of war, our Army has demonstrated exceptional competence, courage, and resiliency in adapting to the demands of war and accomplishing the mission. Today, however, the Army is failing in its efforts to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment. It is time we take on the fight against sexual assault and sexual harassment as our primary mission. It is up to every one of us, civilian and soldier, general officer to private, to solve this problem within our ranks. The Army is committed to the safety and security of every soldier, civilian, and family member. Our Army is based on a bedrock of trust -- the trust between soldiers and leaders that we will take care of each other. …
The United States continues to call on North Korean leaders to exercise restraint and abide by their international obligations.
Tuesday, May 21
By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON -- The United States continues to call on North Korean leaders to exercise restraint and abide by their international obligations, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Monday. North Korea fired five short-range missiles in the past three days, and reporters asked Little if this is a North Korean return to the provocative behavior earlier this year. “We have noticed broadly that North Korea has ratcheted back its provocative actions in recent weeks, and its bellicose rhetoric,” Little said. “We hope that that is a trend they hope to follow.” The missile launches “could be construed” as provocative, Little said, although “these short-range missile launches do not necessarily …
Monday, May 20, 2013
All service members are required to take training on how to recognize and report human trafficking, says deputy defense secretary
Monday, May 20
American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON -- In a meeting at the White House Friday of the president’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said sexual assault and human trafficking will be met with “absolutely no tolerance” in the Defense Department, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today. In a statement on the deputy secretary’s participation, Little said Carter joined Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and other senior administration officials in …
Russia's delivery of anti-ship missiles to Syria 'will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering,' says the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Monday, May 20
By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 – Russia’s planned delivery of advanced anti-ship missiles and the S-300 air defense system to Syria “is at the very least an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering,” said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey during a Pentagon news conference today. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff went on to call the decision “ill-timed and very unfortunate.” Dempsey, speaking alongside Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the United States continues to try to find a way for the United States and Russia to work together to end the Syrian civil war. “One of the primary reasons that Secretary of State John Kerry went to Moscow was to find some … …
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Sexual assault in the military is a problem that all military members at all levels will have to fight together, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says.
By Karen Parrish American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON -- Sexual assault in the military is a crime and a problem that all military members at all levels will have to fight together, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday. Read more: “This is going to take all of us,” Hagel said during a joint Pentagon news conference with Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hagel noted he and Dempsey, along with the service secretaries and chiefs of staff, attended an, “important, productive” White House meeting yesterday with President Barack Obama to address the situation, which Dempsey has termed a “crisis.” The meeting was important, Hagel said, because “It gave the president an opportunity to ask questions …