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IAVA Daily News Brief – February 11, 2016

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Lance Retallick, a technician with Weiss Theatrical Solutions secures a safety line as a World War II SBD Dauntless dive bomber is craned into position at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Study of female veterans suicide would be required, under new legislation
The Veterans Affairs Department needs to better understand the problem of suicide among female veterans and determine how best to treat at-risk women, according to a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. | Military Times >>

What You Need To Know About TBI Treatment
While medical research into traumatic brain injuries is not new, our ability to identify and subsequently treat them, has leapt forward in the last decade and a half, owed in large part to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. To learn more about the treatment and recovery options for traumatic brain injuries, Task & Purpose spoke with Dr. Scott Livingston, the director of education at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. | Task & Purpose >>

Pentagon signals end to cuts for military pay and benefits
Military troops and their families can breathe a sigh of relief. Mostly absent from the Pentagon’s new budget request released Tuesday were the aggressive cuts to military pay and benefits and across-the-board force reductions that were central to the Defense Department’s cost-cutting efforts in recent years. | Military Times >>

Afghanistan

The air war in Afghanistan is heating up again, thanks to the resurgence of the Taliban and its terrorist splinter groups. Just one month into 2016, Afghanistan has already dropped the most weapons since 2013, with almost 130 weapons released, according to the latest U.S. Air Forces Central Command statistics. | Air Force Times >>

An Afghan policeman shot by a NATO coalition soldier has died of his wounds after apparently conducting an insider attack, the government said on Wednesday. The policeman had been guarding the Commerce Ministry early Tuesday afternoon when he fired on coalition soldiers “for unknown reasons,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement. | New York Times >>

Eleven armed militants laid down arms and gave up fighting in Afghanistan’s Herat province on Wednesday. “With joining these Taliban fighters to peace process, the security would be further improved in the western region of Afghanistan,” Xinhua quoted Herat provincial governor as saying. | The Business Standard >>

Iraq

Iraqi forces have reclaimed strategic territory from the Islamic State (IS) east of Ramadi, opening up several major arteries, including a road that connects the Anbar provincial capital to Baghdad and a major army base nearby. A military statement broadcast Tuesday on state television said the army, police, and counterterrorism forces had cooperated in their successful recapture of several towns, including the Habbaniya army base where US-led coalition forces are located, about six miles east of Ramadi. | VICE News >>

Though the aims of both NATO and the Counter-Islamic State coalition overlap in some key areas, they remain different. The Pentagon’s message, however, is the same for both: it wants more from its allies. For NATO, Carter plans to present his recent budget requests as an indication for how serious the United States is taking the current events unfolding in Europe. | Washington Post >>

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned on Wednesday of a “dangerous escalation” if ground troops were deployed to Syria, comments aimed at Sunni Arab countries that have said they are prepared to enter the fray. | Reuters >>

Military Affairs

The fleet is losing one of its 10 carrier air wings this fall, and with it thousands of personnel and dozens of aircraft will be scattered to plus-up the rest of the fleet. If the 2017 budget plan is approved, the carrier air wing will begin its shutdown in October, Navy spokesman Lt. j.g. Kara Yingling told Navy Times. | Navy Times >>

The U.S. Air Force is deferring the purchase of 45 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters over the next five years to make room for other procurements. Air Force officials say the move extends F-35 production plans over the next decade, while also allowing more funding for the recently contracted Long Range Strike Bomber among other projects. | UPI >>

A judge in the court proceedings involving Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, has issued a stay of proceedings, essentially putting the court martial on hold. | CNN >>

#VetsRising

Marine infantry veteran Thomas Brennan has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to support The War Horse, a site that will seek to explore war and its aftermath. Brennan got involved in journalism after an injury from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan ended his Marine Corps career. He had been a Marine machine gunner, and a seasoned veteran with two deployments. Forced out of the Corps, he made journalism and telling war stories his life work. | Task & Purpose >>

Members from Creech Air Force Base volunteered as part of the Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) program and brought more than 20 wounded and recovering veterans together for the Vegas Challenge Feb. 1-3 in Blue Diamond, Nevada. The challenge provided wounded veterans the opportunity to come together with others battling some form of injury. | Air Force News >>

Charlie Linville twice tried to climb Mount Everest but never made it due to devastating natural disasters on and near the world’s highest mountain. But the Afghanistan veteran who lost a lower leg in combat is determined to reach the top — hoping to serve as an inspiration to others. | Fox News >>

Inside Washington

Military women are headed into combat posts. But that’s just the start of their fighting. As the military moves towards opening all jobs to all troops, regardless of gender, both advocates and critics on Capitol Hill are frustrated by the unanswered questions surrounding when the changes will happen, how they’ll be put in place and what side effects the massive cultural change will have on the armed services. | Military Times >>

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would cut, by half, the housing stipend for children of service members going to school with transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The reduction, which would not apply to benefits already transferred or transferred within 180 days of the bill becoming law, was included to pay for other aspects of the legislation, according to a spokesman for the House Veterans Affairs Committee. | Military Times >>

The Veterans Affairs Department is seeking to grow its investigating arm next year by more than 100 people. The IG, which is responsible for uncovering waste, fraud and abuse, has itself come under fire in recent years over allegations it underplayed findings related to deaths of veterans on secret waiting lists and, more recently, allegedly skewed an investigation into senior executives alleged to have pushed out of jobs two employees whose positions they wanted. | Military.com >>

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