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IAVA Daily News Brief – May 10, 2016

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The Marine Corps Silent Drill team performs during the opening ceremony for the Invictus Games on May 8 in Kissimmee, Fla. John Raoux/AP | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Veterans pledge to seek help before suicide
This weekend, a coalition of nonprofits led a “Spartan Weekend” for hundreds of sick and injured veterans centered on a promise: They would not take their own life without reaching out to someone for help. | The Washington Post >>

Make sure veterans have care they need
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is again under fire for the dangerously long waiting lists for appointments at the nation’s VA health care facilities, and for calculating those wait times in a way that masks the true extent of the problem. | Democrat & Chronicle >>

New VA watchdog pledges more transparency
The new inspector general at the Department of Veterans Affairs is hoping to quickly repair the office’s image after nearly two years of criticism for cursory investigations and secrecy. | USA Today >>

Afghanistan

Three Afghan citizens have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of two Romanian soldiers and the wounding of a third, Romania’s defense minister said Monday. | Military Times >>

The Army Special Forces unit that fought its way into the Afghan city of Kunduz after it was seized by the Taliban in October initially did so without proper maps, according to recently declassified documents. | The Washington Post >>

Amid fierce fighting after the Taliban captured the northern Afghan city of Kunduz last year, U.S. special forces advisers repeatedly asked their commanders how far they were allowed to go to help local troops retake the city. | Reuters >>

Iraq

The cost of terrorism in Iraq has been mounting since the United States invaded the country over a decade ago, and things don’t seem likely to get better soon. | International Business Times >>

Iraqi forces retook a northern village from Islamic State on Monday, supported by artillery and air strikes from a U.S.-led coalition, as they try to close in on the city of Mosul. | Reuters >>

The Pentagon announced Monday that a coalition airstrike killed Shaker Wahib, also known as Abu Wahib. Wahib is a mid-level ISIS fighter in Iraq and considered a brutal executioner. | NBC News >>

Military Affairs

A Navy hospital ship designed to perform humanitarian missions and build goodwill for the United States abroad was plagued by leadership problems in its medical facility for years. | Military.com >>

Training is the key to winning battles, the U.S. military believes, and the more realistic, the better. “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat,” | Time >>

An hour or two a day may not seem like much, but that extra available child care is making a difference for military working parents. | Military Times >>

#VetsRising

“This one was a beast,” Coast Guard Reservist Percy Jenkins recalls. “The whole island was a mess.” Rebuilding was a mess, too, as numerous contractors began to bump elbows. It was Jenkins’ job to create order. | Crains Business Detroit >>

“The entire reason we’re climbing is to help our soldiers. … To me, raising awareness isn’t enough. It’s just part of the battle. We need to put our money where our mouth is.” | Army Times >>

Matthew Nunnally recently returned to the Oregon Coast after a decade serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and attending college in California. He is now four weeks into his job as Cannon Beach’s newest police officer. | Cannon Beach Gazette >>

Inside Washington

The Senate Armed Services Committee this week will start and finish its mark-up of the annual defense authorization bill, with a series of open and closed hearings scheduled for nearly every day. | Military Times >>

The Pentagon’s top 100 contractors raked in $175.1 billion in obligated contracts in 2015, down slightly from 2014’s total of $177.6 billion, according to government figures released this week. | Defense News >>

The House may weigh in next week on whether women must register for the military draft. A Texas congressman is challenging a proposal by a House committee that requires women 18-26 years old to register with the currently all-male Selective Service. | Stars and Stripes >>

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