The Intersect
Nov. 24, 2009

Air Defense Push Inspired by 9/11 Gets a Second Look
from The New York Times
The commander of military forces protecting North America has ordered a review of the costly air defenses intended to prevent another Sept. 11-style terrorism attack, an assessment aimed at determining whether the commitment of jet fighters, other aircraft and crews remains justified. More

U.S. May Add Money to Program for F-35 Jet
from The New York Times
The Pentagon is considering adding more than $200 million to the Joint Strike Fighter program and providing more planes for flight tests to try to reduce the possibility of large cost overruns over the next several years, military and industry officials said. More

Pentagon Pick Says He Will Explore 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal
from The Hill
President Barack Obama's choice to handle Pentagon personnel issues said he would explore repealing the ban on openly gay people serving in the military. Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Clifford Stanley held back from saying what his recommendations would be to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the Clinton-era policy known as "Don't ask, don't tell." But he said he would make his recommendation after seeking input from others at the Defense Department as well as outside advisers, Congress and representatives of each military service. More

Navy's 'Affordable' Shoreline Ship: $477 Million Overbudget
from Wired News
It only took an extra half billion dollars, but the Navy is now inching closer to having a fleet of stealthy, shore-hugging surface ships. The future USS Independence, the Navy's second Littoral Combat Ship, recently completed "acceptance trials," a sort of test drive for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. During the two-day trials, the ship completed demonstrations of the combat systems suite, steering, anchoring, and propulsion. More

Air Force Secretary: Pain Ahead
from Politico
This year may have been painful for the Air Force saying goodbye to the F-22 Raptor fighter jet and abandoning development of the combat search and rescue helicopter, among other hardware losses but the pain has just begun, according the service's top civilian. More

Nevada Guard Kicks off Solar Energy Project
from The Nevada National Guard
The Nevada National Guard held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $17 million solar energy project. Gov. Jim Gibbons participated in the event with military officials and representatives from Sierra Solar I, the firm that will cover the engineering, procurement and construction costs for the project. More

Air Force Nominee: Tanker Contest Will be Open
from GovExec
Erin Conaton, House Armed Services Committee staff director and President Obama's nominee for the No. 2 civilian slot in the Air Force, pledged transparency in the heated competition for aerial refueling tankers. More

Reserve Retirees Face Longer Wait for Tricare
from Army News
"Gray area" military retirees who were promised health care coverage under Tricare may have to wait a year or longer for benefits to begin, Tricare officials are warning. Reserve retirees, who have had to wait until age 60 before military health coverage begins, had been promised they could sign up for Tricare Reserve Select under a provision of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama on Oct 28. More

Legislation to Award Fort Hood, Texas Casualties Combatant Status Set for Introduction
from Press Release from John Carter
The Marine Corps came one step closer to adding the Joint Strike Fighter F-35B STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing) variant to its arsenal. The test plane, BF-1, flew from Fort Worth, Texas, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where it will undergo additional integrated developmental testing as directed by Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Maj. Gen. David Heinz. More

Troops' Post-deployment Questionnaires Missing
from The National News Observer
Congressional investigators said that tens of thousands of questionnaires aimed at measuring the mental and physical health of returning combat troops can't be found. As a result, the Government Accountability Office said, the military does not have reasonable assurances that the service members got the opportunity to report their health problems on the forms. The forms are filled out electronically and used to track health problems among troops. They also give returning soldiers a chance to say if they'd like to see a counselor. More

The Hell of PTSD
from Time Magazine
In retrospect, Disneyland wasn't an ideal family-vacation spot for Mark Waddell, a Navy SEAL commander whose valor in combat hid the fact that he was suffering from severe mental trauma. The noise of the careening rides, the shrieking kids--everything roused Waddell to a state of hypervigilance typical of his worst days in combat. When an actor dressed as Goofy stuck his long, doggy muzzle into his face, Waddell recalls, "I wanted to grab Goofy by the throat." More

Marines Use Brain Scans to Spot PTSD Before the War
from Wired News
The military has launched a new program that'll use genetic testing and brain scans to figure out whether troops are vulnerable to post-traumatic stress before they head off to war and experience that stress. The initiative is a cooperative venture between the Marine Corps, Department of Veterans Affairs and Navy Medicine. Testing on 1,000 Marines started last year, and another 673 were recently recruited. More

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated As Of Nov. 17, 2009
from Department of Defense
This week the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard announced an increase in activated reservists, while the Army and Marine Corps announced a decrease. The net collective result is 1,045 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