The Intersect
Aug. 9, 2011

Communities mourn loss of troops killed in Afghanistan
ABC News
American communities are mourning the loss of 30 U.S. troops who were killed when Afghan insurgents shot down a helicopter carrying the most elite forces in the U.S. military — Navy SEALs — along with Air Force and Army personnel, U.S. officials said. The crash occurred near a Taliban stronghold in Wardak province in Afghanistan. On board the Chinook helicopter there were 30 Americans — including 22 SEALs — as well as eight Afghans and a dog trained specifically for special operations.More

Obama announces veteran workforce initiatives
U.S. Department of Defense
President Barack Obama announced a series of administration initiatives to help military veterans find jobs. During remarks, the president proposed a set of tax credits for companies hiring veterans, announced a new task force to develop reforms that will help service members transition to civilian jobs or higher education, and challenged industry to hire more veterans.More

Navy program aims to get its vets civilian jobs
The Associated Press via Google News
The president and some members of Congress want tax breaks, expensive studies and even a "reverse boot camp" to tackle the unemployment rate among veterans, which runs higher than the national average. Another option the Navy would like to see: Expand a program that has helped tens of thousands of soon-to-be-ex-sailors get certified to use their skills outside the military — medics leave ready for health care jobs, cooks are trained for restaurant work and so on.More

Pilots lose currency as F-22 grounding drags on
Military Times
Air Force F-22 pilots are losing their training edge as the Raptor fleet enters its fourth month of a grounding. The stealthy twin-engine air superiority fighters stood down May 3, after suspected problems with their oxygen systems. Air Force sources link the oxygen systems to a fatal crash last November.More

The military's vanishing future
DoD Buzz
Everybody is tired of hearing about austerity this, budget cuts that, etc. — but just one more thing: Defense commentator Loren Thompson argued in a blog post that as bad as things appear now for the military-industrial complex, they might look like a picnic after another decade. As the services have been trying to deal with their current challenges, he writes, many of the advanced weapons systems once were slated to enter service after 2020 have been disappearing.More

Reserve center dedicated
Columbus Telegram
Recently, a $9.5 million Armed Forces Reserve Center was dedicated in Columbus, Ohio. The facility will house the 1075th Transportation Company of the Nebraska National Guard and 45th Military Police Detachment of the U.S. Army Reserve. Featuring, among other things, classrooms, a weapons simulation room and a work bay for equipment and training, the 43,349 square foot state-of-the-art compound will be shared by more than 130 National Guard and Army reserve soldiers.More

Homeless female vets on rise: Group presents specific challenges to shelters, VA hospitals
The Charleston Post and Courier
An increasing number of homeless female veterans are turning up at shelters and VA hospitals around the country. Women today make up 14.5 percent of active duty military personnel and nearly 20 percent of the Reserve and National Guard. Currently they also account for 3-4 percent of the national population of homeless veterans, and the Department of Veterans Affairs expects this percentage to rise dramatically in years to come, as veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan begin to seek help from community shelters and hospitals.More

Wounded Warriors, families deserve best care, Chiarelli says
U.S. Department of Defense
The military has made great strides in warrior care over the past decade of war, but much work remains to be done, particularly when dealing with the invisible wounds of war, the Army vice chief of staff said. Speaking at the Warrior Transition Command's Warrior Care and Transition Program Training Conference in Orlando, Fla., Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli discussed the challenges posed by the complexity of today's war injuries and the initiatives in the works to improve care for troops and their families.More

Iowa GOP looks into soldier participation
Politico
Head of ROA Service Members Law Center, Captain Samuel F. Wright, USN (Ret.) urges Iowa Republican Party to find means to include active duty military personnel and wounded warriors in Iowa caucuses, as the current structure emphasizes physical presence and does not allow for absentee participation.More

Keep Reserve robust even in a drawdown
Army Times
Gen. Ray Odierno, the president's nominee to become Army chief of staff, was correct when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "We must avoid our historical pattern of drawing down too fast and getting too small." He recognizes that reduction in Army force structure is coming. His point is that the "how" of that reduction is important.More

Under debt deal, military pay, veterans programs in play for cuts
Government Executive
Military pay raises, funding for veterans health care and the Post-9/11 GI Bill could be sacrificed to new fiscal realities as the result of the deal signed by President Obama recently to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the Military Officers Association and veterans groups. The law requires the federal budget be cut $2.1 trillion over 10 years.More

Navy drops carrier group, down to nine
AOL Defense
In an effort to accommodate budget cuts, the Navy has deactivated Carrier Strike Group 7, stationed in San Diego, leaving the Navy with only nine operational carrier strike groups. If Navy operations do not suffer as a result of the reduction, the Navy will be challenged to call this deactivation a temporary cost-savings and not find itself permanently at nine carrier groups.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of Aug. 2
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Marine Corps and Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 98 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More