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IAVA Daily News Brief – November 17, 2014

An Air National Guard firefighter assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing ascends a ladder during a regularly scheduled drill training exercise in Swanton, Ohio, at a specialized training facility owned by the Toledo Fire Department. | Military Times >>

An Air National Guard firefighter assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing ascends a ladder during a regularly scheduled drill training exercise in Swanton, Ohio, at a specialized training facility owned by the Toledo Fire Department. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Michelle Obama Urges Landlords To Take In Homeless Veterans
First lady Michelle Obama has a proposition for any landlord eager to unload vacant space. FLOTUS recently called on landlords and property owners around the U.S. to consider opening up units to homeless veterans, a move she considers a “smart thing to do for your business.” | Huffington Post >>

Report: VA home care aid delayed more than a year
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ home and community-based services were so delayed in the Washington, D.C. area that wait times lasted more than a year, for some vets, the agency’s inspector general found. One veteran died before receiving the care he requested, according to the IG report. | Federal Times >>

House Panel Wants Answers on VA’s Use of Paid Administrative Leave, Union ‘Hit List’
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is pressing the Veterans Affairs Department on the status of employees on paid administrative leave — and what the department plans to do with a union report alleging egregious behavior by several supervisors. | Government Executive >>

Afghanistan

Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi talks about his journey into ISIS-held territory for his Frontline documentary: ISIS in Afghanistan. | NPR >>

In the past 24 hours of countrywide operations, security forces in Afghanistan have killed more than 50 militants, including 12 Taliban targeted by a drone in an eastern province, officials say. | UPI >>

The strengthening of Islamic State’s positions in northern Afghanistan poses a threat to security of the entire region, including Russia, Interfax news agency said on Monday, citing the Russian Foreign Ministry. | Reuters >>

Iraq

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will require recapturing their territory in the Middle East. “Ultimately, it is going to require us to eliminate that sanctuary in Iraq and Syria,” Schiff, the top Dem on the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR host Steve Inskeep on “Morning Edition” on Monday. “As long as that sanctuary exists for ISIS, they will continue to attack us. | The Hill >>

For President Obama, the short-term response to the terrorist attacks in Paris was straightforward and relatively easy: The American military and intelligence agencies provided information to help French warplanes bomb Islamic State targets on Sunday in the group’s stronghold in northern Syria. | New York Times >>

At least seven people were killed and 15 injured in a series of bomb attacks across Baghdad on Sunday, while clashes between the Islamic State and Iraqi security forces continued in Anbar province. | UPI >>

Military Affairs

The Army is looking for hundreds of drill sergeants to serve on active duty and in the Army Reserve. The search is two-pronged: the Army needs more female drill sergeants as it prepares to open more jobs to women and tries to recruit more women into the service, while the Army Reserve only has 60 percent of the drill sergeants it needs. | Army Times >>

The unexpected and unrelenting intensity of the air war against the Islamic State group and other global flareups have revealed shortages of vital front-line airmen — and prompted the Air Force to find creative ways to fill gaps. | Air Force Times >>

Corps officials want to boost the number of enlisted Marines who become commissioned officers in 2016, giving noncommissioned officers their best shot in years to pin on butter bars. | Marine Corps Times >>

#VetsRising

Even though millennials often get a bad rap, 27-year-old Samantha “Mattie” Benfit — an Army veteran with seemingly boundless energy, a love for adventure and a passion for helping animals and children — disproves the popular notion that they’re all lazy, weak or entitled. | Daily News-Miner >>

Rodriguez and Davis are working together to organize March For 22, an event that will raise awareness about the 22 veteran suicides each day and help build community connections. “One of the things I noticed is veterans tend to isolate themselves a lot,” Davis said. “I’ve had problems, I’m still kind of adjusting, I tend to isolate myself sometimes. But that’s why we do these events, they don’t happen enough.” | KRIS 6 >>

The 2015 National Veterans Small Business Engagement, will start this Tuesday, November 17 and end on November 19, at David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA., sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in partnership with other federal agencies and commercial companies. | The Examiner >>

Inside Washington

U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice, a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement today regarding this week’s reports that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) paid more than $142 billion in bonuses to executives and employees in 2014. | Long Island News >>

If you are interested in pursuing a career in the political sphere, College Factual has you covered. Below you’ll find 10 veteran-friendly schools to earn a political science degree. College Factual ranked these colleges using a number of criteria, including the size of the veteran population, the quality of education, and the number and quality of veterans’ benefits offered by the school. The full ranking methodology can be found here. Salary data is an estimate made with data provided by Payscale. | Military Times >>

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week from their pre-Thanksgiving break to fit in a few days of work before their holiday hiatus officially starts. Senate Armed Services Committee members will continue their defense-reform focus with another hearing Tuesday, this time on management reforms within the Pentagon. House Armed Services Committee officials have a full slate of hearings later in the week looking at future threats and technology. | Military Times >>

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