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IAVA | May 20, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – May 20, 2015

Staff Sgt. Arin Vickers, assigned to the 435 Supply Chain Operations Squadron, is greeted by her dog when she arrives at the St. Louis Airport USO, in St. Louis, May 6. Vickers was gone for six months, and her friends and family were there to greet her and surprise her by bringing along Baxter.
Staff Sgt. Arin Vickers, assigned to the 435 Supply Chain Operations Squadron, is greeted by her dog when she arrives at the St. Louis Airport USO, in St. Louis, May 6. Vickers was gone for six months, and her friends and family were there to greet her and surprise her by bringing along Baxter. | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

House passes slate of veteran-themed bills
House lawmakers passed a legislative slate of veterans-themed measures Monday evening, including a new accountability bill for Veterans Affairs Department employees and one that would offer new ID cards for any honorably discharged service member. | Military Times >>

Corps identifies 6 Marines killed in Nepal helicopter crash
The Corps identified the two officers and four enlisted Marines who were killed in last week’s helicopter crash in Nepal. Two pilots, two crew chiefs, a combat photographer and a combat videographer were among the eight people killed when their UH-1Y Venom helicopter crashed eight miles north of Charikot, Nepal, on May 12 during a humanitarian mission. | Marine Corps Times >>

U.S. Navy veteran details retaliation she faced after reporting sex assault: ‘They would call out ‘b—h”
A bold U.S. Navy veteran is putting her name to an anonymous report on military rape to stand up against the broken system she said humiliated her after she claimed she was attacked. | New York Daily News >>


An Afghan judge on Tuesday sentenced 11 policemen to one year in prison for dereliction of duty during the mob killing of a woman in Kabul who was falsely accused of burning a Quran. | CBS News >>

The Russian government has closed down a key military transport corridor that allowed the U.S. and its NATO allies to supply forces serving in neighboring Afghanistan. | Washington Times >>

Afghan National Security Forces have inadequate control measures for the management of fuel and ammunition that increased the probability of theft and diversion, according to a Department of Defense inspector general’s report. | Washington Times >>


Islamic State fighters used a sandstorm to help seize a critical military advantage in the early hours of the terrorist group’s attack on the provincial Iraqi capital of Ramadi last week, helping to set in motion an assault that forced Iraqi security forces to flee, current and former American officials said Monday. | New York Times >>

The Islamic State leader killed by U.S. forces in Syria over the weekend may have held American Kayla Mueller hostage at one point before she was killed, intelligence officials suspect. | The Hill >>

More than a thousand Iraqi Sunni fighters stood at attention, dressed in camouflage but holding no weapons, as the tribal leader began exhorting them to fiercely battle the militants of the Islamic State, taking up rhetoric tinged with Arab notions of vengeance. | New York Times >>

Military Affairs

A U.S. combat ship used agreed codes for unplanned encounters when it met a Chinese vessel during a recent patrol of the contested South China Sea, according to the vice chief of naval operations. | Bloomberg >>

On arrival, the lieutenant removed her helmet to reveal long hair, tied back in two braids, and show that beneath all the gear — night vision devices, M4 assault rifle and M9 pistol — she was a woman: Amber Treadmont. Her Cultural Support Team, or “CST,” an innocuous name for a groundbreaking concept, was born of a battlefield imperative — gathering intelligence from Afghanistan’s women. | Washington Post >>

An unpiloted Air Force X-37B spaceplane, a mini shuttle making the program’s fourth flight, is poised for launch Wednesday on a mostly classified mission featuring an unusual hitchhiker: a small publicly-funded satellite built to test the feasibility of using sails and the pressure of sunlight for propulsion. | CBS News >>


An off-duty Army captain didn’t think twice about coming to the rescue when he saw his skills were needed. Captain Steve Voglezon was on his way to the mall with his girlfriend when he saw a car engulfed in flames on Monday in Chatham County, North Carolina, according to WNCN. A red Acura sedan was hit head-on by a driver of a silver Chrysler SUV. | PEOPLE >>

Creative endeavors can be quite helpful for wounded warriors, and Marine veteran Shane Kohfield is a prime example. Kohfield, a former Marine infantry machine-gunner, deployed twice to Iraq and now suffers from post-traumatic stress and a traumatic brain injury. But his wounds didn’t hold him back. One day, he thought: “I am going to become a painter.” | We Are The Mighty >>

When they started the GI Film Festival in 2007, Laura Law-Millett and Brandon Millett screened 20 films from 85 submissions, roping in family members and friends and calling in every favor imaginable to make it happen. | Washington Times >>

Inside Washington

The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the compliance deadline for a provision of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act) from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. This means that GI Bill recipients in non-compliant states will not lose their GI Bill benefits for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. It also gives state governments the necessary time to enact legislation to comply with the Federal law. | >>

Defying opposition from conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats, House appropriators are proposing a Pentagon spending bill with nearly $90 billion in a politically controversial war account. | Defense News >>

Last week, VA’s Center for Innovation launched its three-month Innovation Creation Series for Prosthetics and Assistive Technologies. The aim of the series is to build a suite of special prosthetics and other state-of-the-art technologies to support wounded veterans in their day-to-day lives. | NextGov >>

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