Browsing: Congress

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is hanging up his Air Force blues. Graham, who has served as a judge advocate general in the Air Force Reserves since 1995 and had previously been on both active duty and the South Carolina Air National Guard, is turning 60 this summer, and hitting the mandatory retirement age. “Although I would cherish the opportunity to continue to serve, I know that the time has come for me to end my service and transfer to the retired reserves,” Graham, a colonel and senior individual mobilization augmentee to the judge advocate general, said in a statement…

One of the budget battles from last year is back: Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska vs. the Air Force on the proposal to move F-16s away from Eielson Air Force Base. Begich sent a letter July 24 to Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and ranking member Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., urging them to block the use of any funds to move the F-16s from Eielson, or to “subsequently ‘warm’ the installation by drastically reducing base support operations and functions.” The language this week made its way on the 2014 Defense Appropriations bill, which is headed to the…

The Air Force’s chief legal officer wants to know what you think it will take to reduce sexual assault in the military. General Counsel Charles A. Blanchard asks airmen and civilians alike for feedback on a blog post this week. Blanchard oversees Air Force lawyers around the world. The call-out comes just more than a week after the chief of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office was arrested for sexual battery in Arlington, Va. Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski is accused of grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman he didn’t know outside a Crystal City restaurant…

One of the most infamous episodes in recent Air Force history, and the firings that followed, should serve as an example for another part of the government — the Department of Energy, lawmakers said Thursday. The 2007 incident in which nuclear weapons were mistakenly loaded on a B-52 at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and flown to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., ultimately led to the resignation of then-Air Force Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley and Secretary Michael Wynne. This accountability should be the example for the Department of Energy after the 2012 incident in which three elderly activists…

Congress is taking a vacation next week — on the eve of what’s been called the biggest potential fiscal disaster to hit the nation in decades, when massive, across-the-board budget cuts begin wreaking havoc on the Pentagon and all other federal agencies. Talk about whistling past the graveyard. The sequestration ax adds big drama to this particular hiatus. But it’s hardly unusual for House and Senate lawmakers; the congressional work schedule has withered on the vine for years. At this writing, there have been 32 regular “workdays” so far this year — Monday through Friday, federal holidays excluded. The House…

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…

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