Browsing: Politics

Republican Martha McSally beat incumbent Ron Barber on Wednesday after a recount to take over Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. McSally, a retired Air Force colonel who flew A-10s over Iraq and Kuwait, picked up six more votes to give her a 167 votes victory, according to RollCall. McSally joins the coalition of congressional members — which include Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. — rallying to preserve the A-10. McSally criticized Barber during the race saying he “was asleep at the switch while the obvious threat of the A-10 retirement grew on his watch,” according to the Arizona Daily…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3ilJg5xZC4 A common argument from A-10 supporters is that it is far and away the preferred close air support platform for troops on the ground, but the top soldier said today that the Army would be OK without the Warthog having its back. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told lawmakers today that while the Army did not make a recommendation to retire the A-10, the Air Force has worked with the service to ensure that the best close air support will be provided. The Air Force, in its fiscal 2015 budget request, is proposing retirement of the entire…

An advocacy group for victims of military sexual assault objected to a U.S. congresswoman’s take during a TV interview yesterday on just how common the crime is. “The numbers bandied about are not how many sexual assaults there have been,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” June 20. She was talking about a recent Defense Department report that 26,000 military members were subject to some form of unwanted sexual contact in 2012. “That could be someone looking at you sideways and saying something about how nice you look in a sweater,” the senator said. That’s simply not…

The same day military victims of sexual assault testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, NBC News aired an interview Wednesday with the woman whose accusation ultimately led to the court-martial conviction in November of an Air Force lieutenant colonel based at Aviano, Italy. In a twist that critics say undermines the military’s effort to stamp out sexual assault, Lt. Col. Craig Wilkerson’s conviction was overturned by Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin in late February after reviewing the evidence presented at the court-martial. The dismissal, a power which military commanders have held since 1775, has drawn sharp criticism from…

A group of activists from Protect Our Defenders, which represents military sexual trauma survivors, last week delivered signatures to Rep. Muck McKeon’s office. McKeon, a California Republican, is chairman of the House Armed Services committee. The group was pushing Congress to hold an open hearing about sexual assault cases at Joint Base Lackland-San Antonio, Texas. Video produced by Medill Washington.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, speaking to a group of think tankers at the Atlantic Council on Monday in Washington, responded to criticism of the Pentagon’s support for the president’s budget proposal with some strong words. Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., now famously criticized the military’s support of the budget to Capitol Hill, saying that he could not believe the generals could support the president’s proposal. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also said that there is a debate within the Pentagon about the budget. Ryan has since said he misspoke in his criticism. When asked…

In this week’s Air Force Times, you can read about what is buried in the service’s budget for next fiscal year, which plans to cut 9,900 airmen. The Air Force has budgeted money for a reduction-in-force board to separate 388 officers, but a top service official says the Air Force isn’t planning any RIF or Selective Early Retirement Boards in fiscal 2013. Meanwhile, airmen should expect to spend more time in classrooms and less time actually flying. The proposed budget would axe $38.4 million for pilot training, translating into 24,000 fewer flying hours next fiscal year. The proposed spending cuts…

In this week’s Air Force Times, you can read about what is buried in the service’s budget for next fiscal year, which plans to cut 9,900 airmen. The Air Force has budgeted money for a reduction-in-force board to separate 388 officers, but a top service official says the Air Force isn’t planning any RIF or Selective Early Retirement Boards in fiscal 2013. Meanwhile, airmen should expect to spend more time in classrooms and less time actually flying. The proposed budget would axe $38.4 million for pilot training, translating into 24,000 fewer flying hours next fiscal year. The proposed spending cuts…

Ever want a military aircraft of your own? All it might take  – apparently – is to know the right member of Congress. Foreign Policy has reported an interesting story about Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who has  introduced an amendment ordering an Arizona museum to give up an F-105 “loaned” to it by the Air Force in 1984. Where would the plane go? To an unnamed individual who wants to restore the Thunderchief and fly it “to honor veterans of the Vietnam War through memorial flights and for the education and enjoyment of future generations of Americans.” But the F-105…

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