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IAVA Daily News Brief – June 14, 2017

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Today’s Top Stories 

President Trump appears to have blocked a veterans group that has been critical of his time in office on Twitter. “The Commander in Chief can block @VoteVets, the voice of 500k military veterans and families, but we will NOT be silenced,” VoteVets.org wrote on Twitter, including a screenshot that shows Trump had blocked the organization’s account. | The Hill >>

The Senate approved the measure last week, and House lawmakers passed the legislation by a 368-55 vote, despite strong past opposition from Democrats in the chamber. Republican leaders hailed the measure as a common-sense move, one that protects whistleblowers and punishes incompetent or criminal workers. | Military Times >>

Several key veterans issues will be the focus of congressional hearings this week, with lawmakers set to address the firing of bad employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency’s 2018 budget and benefits reform. | Stars and Stripes >>

Iraq and Afghanistan

Food poisoning at a camp for displaced residents of Mosul has made more than 700 people sick, with hundreds hospitalized, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. The incident at the Hassan Sham U2 camp, about 20 kilometers (13 miles) east of Mosul, has become part of the ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Saudi media accused a Qatari charity of supplying tainted food to the residents of the desert camp. | U.S. News and World Report >>

A new strategy for Afghanistan is weeks way, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday in a statement that frustrated some lawmakers awaiting a way forward in the United States’ longest war. “We are not winning in Afghanistan,” he said during an appearance at Capitol Hill to discuss the Pentagon’s budget. “We will correct that.” | The Washington Post >>

In the summer of 2006, a squad of U.S. military policemen deployed to Iraq, eager to join the war. They were tough kids, many from small, working-class communities scattered across the American heartland, who’d joined the military for many of the familiar reasons: post-9/11 patriotism, adventure and the hope for a better life when they got out. | Newsweek >>

Military Affairs

While the military and its contractors have long been the targets of cyberattacks from hostile foreign powers, the Russian campaign is noteworthy for its heightened intensity, especially since the imposition of Western economic sanctions following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and for the novel tactics it is employing online. All of it amounts to a new kind of low-intensity or “hybrid” warfare that Western governments are still struggling to effectively counter. | POLITICO >>

The Navy built 51 Perry-class frigates in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The era of the ships was relatively short-lived; the first of the class, the Oliver Hazard Perry, was decommissioned in 1997, after just 20 years of service. The service decommissioned the last of the class, the Simpson in 2015.  | Military.com >>

“We didn’t get into this situation in one year, and we aren’t going to get out of it in one year,” Mattis said in response to questions about a 355-ship Navy. “We’re going to have to have sustained growth in ’19 to ’23, and this is where you’ll see the biggest growth: Army, Air Force and Navy as we’re digging us out of a readiness and maintenance hole.” | Defense News >>

#VetsRising

Team Navy athletes participated in the Navy Wounded Warrior Walter Reed Adaptive Sports training camp at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) June 10. The purpose of the camp focused on wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and swimming preparing the athletes for the 2017 Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games, which will kick off June 30 in Chicago, Illinois. | Military Spot >>

Or that time Gilliland, a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, found solace in a piece of candy. He remembers stopping to rest and thinking, “This sucks, but at least now I can say, ‘You know what, I had a great Jolly Rancher today, and it was the best damn Jolly Rancher I ever had in my life. I’m sitting here enjoying this Jolly Rancher and breathing right now.'”  | The Spokesman-Review >>

On Jun 11, 2017 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC Ryan Held, 2016 Rio Gold Medalist and 2016 Invictus Gold Medalist Tim Payne, participate in the Mudpuppies Swim Across America Memorial Event For Dr. Brian Goldman. Ryan Held, Tim Payne, Henry Cantrell (winner of the Mudpuppy Award), as well as Betsy Goldman (sister of Dr Brian Goldman) swam in the honorary first wave of Brian’s Mile of Hope. Brian’s Mile of Hope is a 1 mile indoor open water swim. | Swim Swam >>

 

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