Vermont F-35s to fly Europe air policing missions
More than 200 Vermont air guard personnel, their equipment and eight F-35s are now in Europe, where the pilots will fly what are called enhanced air policing missions along NATO’s eastern flank to monitor the area for intrusions by Russian aircraft. The deployment marks the first time the Vermont Air National Guard, the first guard unit in the country to fly the F-35s, has deployed overseas with the Air Force’s newest airplane.news.yahoo.com
Split verdict in first-ever Air Force general military trial
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AP) — An Air Force major general in Ohio has been convicted by a military judge of one of three specifications of abusive sexual contact in the first-ever military trial of an Air Force general. The charge faced by Maj. Gen. William Cooley during the weeklong court-martial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio had three specifications, one alleging a forcible kiss and two alleging forcible touching in 2018. Cooley was convicted Saturday of the forcible kissing specification but acquitted of the other two.news.yahoo.com
Garilynn Smith wins complaint after military buried her husband's remains in a landfill
Garilynn Smith won a complaint against the Pentagon after the Army denied her a promotion as she publicly protested the desecration of her husband's partial remains in a Virginia landfill, a federal labor and management panel declared last week.washingtonpost.com
China makes semi-secret delivery of missiles to Serbia
Russian ally Serbia has taken delivery of a sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft system in a semi-secret operation this weekend, amid Western concerns that an arms buildup in the Balkans at the time of the war in Ukraine could threaten the fragile peace in the region.
‘Agent Orange of our generation:’ Bill would aid PFAS-exposed veterans
But veterans of Wurtsmith and elsewhere have seen little benefit from that. This month, the U.S. House passed the “Honoring our PACT Act,” a similar bill to address veterans exposure to toxic burn pits where various hazardous wastes were incinerated at combat posts abroad. “For too long, Congress and the VA have been too slow to act on toxic exposure,” Kildee said Tuesday. The legislation is endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Michigan, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Need Our Water (NOW) Oscoda. We know that these veterans were exposed to it because of their service.mlive.com
‘A flat out lie:’ PFAS activists blast Air Force claim about Michigan veterans
In 2018, he followed that up with hydrogeological analysis, which concluded old groundwater wells that supplied base drinking water likely drew from an aquifer highly contaminated by toxic plumes. He said both the 2016 and 2018 EGLE reports were sent to Air Force leaders and discussed with defense officials during regular remediation team meetings. “Wurtsmith veterans suffer from a myriad of health problems in percentages well above the national norm,” Bussey said. “To have the Department of the Air Force perpetuate this lie is unacceptable. There is no other explanation for high PFAS levels in the hydrants beyond the fact that the base water was highly contaminated, Delaney said.mlive.com
What Trump’s and Tucker Carlson’s rationalization of Putin means for the Ukraine standoff
There is evidence of more GOP sympathy for Vladimir Putin — as pushed most prominently by Trump and Carlson — but it hasn't manifested in big partisan differences when it comes to Ukraine, at least yet.washingtonpost.com
Airman gets life in prison for death of Mennonite woman
An Air Force airman will spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping a Mennonite woman from northwestern New Mexico, fatally shooting her and leaving her body in the freezing cold in a forest clearing hundreds of miles away. Mark Gooch, 22, was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder in October. Gooch expressed no emotion when Coconino County Superior Court Judge Cathleen Brown Nichols handed down the sentence.news.yahoo.com
Troops find religious exemption for vaccines unattainable
More than 12,000 military service members refusing the COVID-19 vaccine are seeking religious exemptions, and so far they are having zero success. Meanwhile, troops claiming religious reasons for avoiding the shots are perplexed because exemptions are theoretically available, yet seem impossible to obtain. Caught in the middle are chaplains, who must balance the desire to offer compassionate care and guidance to personnel with the need to explain a complicated process that may well be futile.news.yahoo.com
Across services, troops face discipline for refusing vaccine
U.S. officials say all of the military services have now begun disciplinary actions and discharges for troops who have refused to get the mandated coronavirus vaccine, with as many as 20,000 unvaccinated forces at risk of being removed from service.
Air Force discharges 27 for refusing to get COVID vaccine
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots. The Air Force gave its forces until Nov. 2 to get the vaccine, and thousands have either refused or sought an exemption. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday that these are the first airmen to be administratively discharged for reasons involving the vaccine. Each of the services set its own deadlines and procedures for the mandate, and the Air Force set the earliest deadline. As of last week, a bit more than 97% of the active duty Air Force had gotten at least one shot.mlive.com
Air Force discharges 27 for refusal to get COVID vaccine
The Air Force has discharged 27 people for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, making them what officials believe are the first service members to be removed for disobeying the mandate to get the shots. The Air Force gave its forces until Nov. 2 to get the vaccine, and thousands have either refused or sought an exemption. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Monday that these are the first airmen to be administratively discharged for reasons involving the vaccine. The Pentagon earlier this year required the vaccine for all members of the military, including active duty, National Guard and the Reserves.news.yahoo.com
Reality Winner says she's "not a traitor" and NSA leak was a "service to the American people"
Former National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner told CBS' "60 Minutes" she's not a traitor and acted in "service to the American people" when she leaked classified documents on Russian interference in the 2016 election.Why it matters The interview broadcast Sunday was the Air Force veteran's first since her release from prison last June for leaking a classified report after being prosecuted under the Espionage Act.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axiosnews.yahoo.com
Air Force says nearly 8,500 miss deadline for COVID-19 shots
The Air Force says nearly 8,500 active duty members of the Air Force and Space Force have missed the deadline for getting COVID-19 vaccinations, including 800 who flatly refused and nearly 5,000 with pending requests for a religious exemption.
Military weighs penalties for those who refuse COVID vaccine
As deadlines loom for military and defense civilians to get mandated COVID-19 vaccines, senior leaders are wrestling with the fate of tens of thousands who flatly refuse the shots or are seeking exemptions, and how to make sure they are treated fairly and equally.
Report: Air Force women, minorities face harassment and bias
A new study finds that about a third of the female service members in the Air Force and Space Force say they’ve experienced sexual harassment and many can describe accounts of sexism and a stigma associated with pregnancy and maternity leave.
Veteran resource center in Ann Arbor hopes to reach as many vets as possible
ANN ARBOR – The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 423 in south Ann Arbor recently began operating as a veteran resource center in order to connect with vets in Washtenaw County. AdVeterans sit and talk at VFW Post 423 in south Ann Arbor on March 20, 2021. A veteran takes a pamphlet from a booth during the veteran resource center's open house on March 20, 2021. AdHe said the resource center provides a safe space to share stories and receive guidance and support. Vietnam veteran St. Larry Antoine attends an open house at VFW Post 423 in Ann Arbor.
At Air Force One base, intruder given up by 'mouse ears'
President Joe Biden waves as he and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Officials said he never got close to Air Force One. Hours later, the man walked undetected onto the flight line by slipping through a fence designed to restrict entry. Said said the modified Boeing 747 that serves as Air Force One for presidential travel was never at risk and that it is kept behind more layers of protection at Andrews. He did no harm and the Air Force investigation report, which was heavily censored by the Air Force before it was released Thursday, concluded that he had no plan to cause harm to Air Force personnel or equipment.
UAE weapons show draws major deals, traders amid pandemic
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)ABU DHABI – In spite of the surging coronavirus pandemic, major arms makers descended Sunday on a convention center in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, hoping to make deals with militaries across the Middle East. The UAE unveiled $1.36 billion in local and foreign arms deals to supply its forces with everything from South African drones to Serbian artillery. Significant national pavilions were absent, including the United States, the world’s largest arms exporter. Ad“The threats are obvious lately,” said Walid Abukhaled, CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries Company, a holding company owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund. “If Iran goes into a major rearmament program or starts to flex its muscles, that’s where missile defense and air defense systems come in,” he said.
Inspector general reviews Trump relocation of Space Command
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)DENVER – The Department of Defense's inspector general announced Friday that it was reviewing the Trump administration's last-minute decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama. “Moving Space Command will disrupt the mission while risking our national security and economic vitality,” the senators said in a joint statement. We fully support the investigation.”Among other duties, the Space Command enables satellite-based navigation and troop communication and provides warning of missile launches. The Space Command differs from the U.S. Space Force, launched in December 2019 as the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947. The Space Command is not an individual military service but a central command for militarywide space operations.
Air Force orders new review into racial, ethnic disparities
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2021, file photo Marine One, with President Joe Biden aboard, is seen past a member of the U.S. Air Force as it approaches Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The Air Force inspector general will do a second investigation into racial and ethnic disparities across the force, service leaders said Friday, expanding the review to include gender and additional racial categories such as Asian and American Indian. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)WASHINGTON – The Air Force inspector general will do a second investigation into racial and ethnic disparities across the force, service leaders said Friday, expanding the review to include gender and additional racial categories such as Asian and American Indian. AdActing Air Force Secretary John Roth, who ordered the latest review, said the IG will go directly to Air Force and Space Force service members for input. “The IG team has already begun to gather information contained in a wide array of previous reports, studies and various databases across the Department of the Air Force,” Roth said.
The Latest: Nebraska-Maryland basketball game postponed
4 UConn says it also must reschedule Wednesday’s women’s basketball game against Seton Hall. The Villanova game was postponed because the Wildcats also are dealing with COVID-19 issues within their women’s basketball program. ___Richmond’s men’s basketball team has paused team activities in response to the results from the latest COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. ___The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday that the Syracuse women’s basketball game at Georgia Tech on Thursday has been postponed. ___The women’s basketball game between No.
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week
FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent protesters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, in Washington. An internal FBI bulletin warned, as of Sunday, that the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. The FBI issued at least one other bulletin — they go out to law enforcement nationwide on the topic — before the riots last week. The talk of armed marches next week isn't limited to “radicalized” Trump supporters. It's certainly going to be a judgment call on the part of law enforcement about whether and when to intervene.”___Kunzelman reported from College Park, Maryland.
Fighter pilot who died in Michigan plane crash identified as 37-year-old combat veteran
MANISTIQUE, Mich. – Officials have released the identity of the Wisconsin-based fighter pilot who died after a plane crashed in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Tuesday, Dec. 8. On Friday, the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing identified the deceased fighter pilot as Captain Durwood “Hawk” Jones, a 37-year-old decorated combat veteran from Albuquerque, New Mexico. At about 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, Jones’ F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed in the Hiawatha National Forest during a training mission. Today the 115th Fighter Wing identified Capt. The F-16 was assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison, Wisconsin.
Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97
Gen. Charles Yeager talks to members of the media following a re-enactment flight commemorating his breaking of the sound barrier 65 years earlier, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, at age 97. Yeager died Monday, his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. ___This version corrects that Yeager flew an F-15, not an X-15, when he was 79.
Cal-Washington game canceled after player's positive test
California doesn’t have the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game as a result of the positive test and the need for other players to isolate under contact tracing protocols, the Pac-12 said in a statement Thursday. Wilcox had said Wednesday night that the game was in jeopardy because of the large number of players needing contact tracing. The school said the player with a positive test is asymptomatic. This marked the first positive test on Cal’s football team since practices began last month. This is the fourth time a Tulsa game has been postponed or canceled because of COVID cases.
Military suicides up as much as 20% in COVID era
The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue, but Army officials said discussions in Defense Department briefings indicate there has been up to a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year. Pointing to increases in Army suicides, murders and other violent behavior, he added, “We cannot say definitively it is because of COVID. “COVID adds stress,” said Gen. Charles Brown, the Air Force chief, in public remarks. The active duty Air Force and reserves had 98 suicides as of Sept. 15, unchanged from the same period last year. But last year was the worst in three decades for active duty Air Force suicides.
The Latest: Army football schedule includes Navy, Air Force
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Army has finalized its football schedule and the Black Knights will play 11 games, eight at home. The rest of the home slate includes Louisiana-Monroe, BYU, Abilene Christian, The Citadel, Mercer, Air Force and Georgia Southern. ___Duke will open its season for football and other fall sports with no fans at home games because of the coronavirus pandemic. The school will contact football fans who have purchased season or single-game tickets or have seating and suite contracts in Blue Devil Tower regarding potential options. The school will allow fans to purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet to be placed in seats for football games.
Germany welcomes Israeli air force for first joint exercise
A pilot from Israel, left, and a pilot from Germany, right, pose in front of an Eurofighter at the airbase in Noervenich, Germany, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Pilots from Israel and Germany will fly together the next two weeks during the first joint military Air Force exercises between the two nations in Germany. We work closely together, we do exercises together, German soldiers are being trained in Israel.Israeli Air Force pilot Lt. The Israeli pilots arrived at the base in western Germany on Monday for two weeks of exercises. They are conducting training with the German air force for the first week, and also with planes from the Hungarian air force in the second week.
Trump hosts swearing-in of first Black Air Force chief
President Donald Trump, watches as Vice President Mike Pence swears in Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., as Chief of Staff of the Air Force as his wife Sharene Guilford Brown holds the Bible in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON President Donald Trump hosted the swearing-in of the first Black Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Charles Q. Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Brown, who was confirmed by the Senate in June in a 98-0 vote. Brown told Trump, It is a distinct honor for me to have this opportunity. He assumes the post later this week.
Sterling Heights’ US Space Command nomination chosen for further evaluation
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Sterling Heights’ U.S. Space Command nomination has been chosen for further evaluation. United States Space Command is a unified combatant command of the United States Department of Defense. READ: Sterling Heights wants to be considered for headquarters of United States Space CommandMacomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel released the following statement:“The state of Michigan has the talent and tools necessary to house the future U.S. Space Command headquarters. I am hopeful that these assets give our region a competitive advantage during this next phase of further evaluation. We stand ready to become the epicenter of defense for land, air and space.”
In a future bomber force, old and ugly beats new and snazzy
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. The Air Force sees it as a matter of money, numbers and strategy. The Air Force also is spending heavily on new fighters and refueling aircraft, and like the rest of the military it foresees tighter defense budgets ahead. A B-2 bomber scarred U.S.-China relations in 1999 when it bombed Beijings embassy in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, killing three people. The Air Force proposes to eliminate 17 of its 62 Lancers in the coming year.
More military bases increase health protections due to virus
The military, however, still has a dramatically low death rate, losing three active-duty service members out of nearly 23,000 virus cases so far. I find that each base does things a little bit different, and theyve adapted very carefully, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said when he traveled to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri this week. The military has relied largely on its local commanders to make decisions about their base restrictions. For example, Army, Navy and Marine commanders had loosened restrictions at those bases in Japan, but reversed those decisions this month. Active-duty military cases of COVID-19 increased steadily through the spring, but began to escalate more sharply in June, jumping by about 3,000 or more a week.
Esper order aims to expand diversity, skirts major decisions
WASHINGTON Defense Secretary Mark Esper took steps Wednesday to expand diversity within the military and reduce prejudice, but he skirted several major decisions, including whether to ban the Confederate flag at defense installations. President Donald Trump has flatly rejected any notion of changing base names, and has defended the flying of the Confederate flag, saying its a freedom of speech issue. The Marine Corps and U.S. commands in Korea and Japan have already banned display of the Confederate flag, saying it can inflame division and weaken unit cohesion. For example, he ordered the military to no longer include photos of service members when they are being considered by a promotion board. He also ordered a review of hairstyle and grooming policies, which all the military services have done multiple times in recent years.
Selfridge vying to be the future home of the U.S. Space Command
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – It may sound preposterous, but when you consider the federal government is looking for a U.S. Space Command headquarters, city officials with Sterling Heights said the area is looking to innovate Michigan’s defense corridor. READ: Sterling Heights wants to be considered for headquarters of United States Space CommandWe depend on satellites for a lot these days -- almost everyone uses the GPS on their cellphone. The new Space Force does the training and the Space Command does the deploying when it gets more fully developed. That’s why Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor raised his hand and filed his paperwork Tuesday. “Aside from the 1,400-1,500 jobs that I’ve heard it would employ at the headquarters, it would be huge accomplishment for the city of Sterling Heights,” Taylor said.