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IAVA | September 16, 2015

IAVA Daily News Brief – September 16, 2015

Jim Woods, a retired Navy SEAL attached to the Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs, presents the American flag as he comes in for a landing during a demonstration before a football game between the University of Utah and Utah State University at Rice-Eccles Stadium.  | Military Times >>
Jim Woods, a retired Navy SEAL attached to the Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs, presents the American flag as he comes in for a landing during a demonstration before a football game between the University of Utah and Utah State University at Rice-Eccles Stadium. | Military Times >>


Today’s Top Stories

FBI’s role in Tomah VA case under Senate scrutiny
A Senate committee has asked the FBI to explain why a veteran who died at the Tomah, Wisconsin, VA Medical Center contacted law enforcement before his accidental overdose death in August 2014. | Military Times >>

The VA Is Trying To Go Paperless For Its Disability Benefits System, But Costs Are Spiraling Out Of Control
The Department of Veterans Affairs is in danger of not meeting its goal of eliminating the disability backlog by the end of 2015, and costs continue to climb, a new inspector general report has found. | The Daily Caller >>

Veterans’ Concerns: VA Secretary stresses wait time, not hospital
In Harlingen yesterday, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said officials instead talked about a plan to cut veterans’ wait time to access medical care at VA clinics. But veterans were clear, telling McDonald they wanted a “full-fledged” veterans hospital. | Valley Morning Star >>


A Missouri senator said Monday that the Defense Department should turn over evidence for its decision not to punish two generals for a $36 million command center at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, built despite objections and then never used. | Stars and Stripes >>

Afghan refugee teacher Aqeela Asifi, who has dedicated her life to bringing education to refugee girls in Pakistan, has been named as the winner of the United Nations annual Nansen Award. | UN News Centre >>

More than 1,000 family members, friends and teammates from around the country gathered here Sept. 14 to honor and remember two special tactics Airmen who were killed in action last month in an insider attack. | Air Force Link >>


The USS Theodore Roosevelt, whose homeport is San Diego, California, is a key element of the U.S.-led coalition targeting the militants. This island of steel in the Persian Gulf some 1,090-feet (330-meters) long is home to some 5,000 U.S. Navy airmen, sailors and Marine pilots, carrying some 70 aircraft involved in the fight against the extremists. | The Baltimore Sun >>

A Kuwaiti criminal court Tuesday sentenced seven people to death for their roles in an Islamic State-claimed bombing at a Shiite mosque in June that killed 27 people. Another eight suspects were given between two and 15 years in prison, while 14 others were acquitted, according to the official Kuwait News Agency. | Wall Street Journal >>

A representative of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said that neither the United States nor its allies coordinated with Russia while conducting operations against Islamic State group militants in Syria and Iraq. | International Business Times >>

Military Affairs

For those who know defense acquisition, it’s never a surprise when timelines to bring revolutionary weapon systems to life slip to the right, but the US Army’s new program office to manage the acquisition of a Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft is laser-focused on getting to low-rate production by its goal of 2030. | Defense News >>

The U.S. Air Force this month plans to deploy another squadron of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft to Europe in support of NATO allies amid Russian military activity in the region, a top general said. | >>

The U.S. Army could be forced to a “breaking point” if spending cuts return in full force, a top defense official is warning. In an interview published Monday by Stars and Stripes, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson discussed how sequestration is affecting different parts of the military. | The Hill >>


When you ask Mobley about Coded by Kids, there’s the elevator pitch: a program that provides inner-city kids and, most recently, adults with a free tech-education program. But to understand why this two-year venture matters, and why schools and organizations should be lining up to partner with him, it helps to know a little about Mobley, a 36-year-old married father of three and the only person I’ve ever met who has served in three branches of the military. | Philadelphia Inquirer >>

Meggan Hill-McQueeney, president and chief operating officer of BraveHearts, said the concept of helping wounded veterans with horses came from Marge and Dr. Rolf Gunnar of Hinsdale and was put into practice around 2007. Results — among those willing to give it a try — have been amazingly quick and consistent, she said. | The Daily Herald >>

Lots of veterans are looking for structure, purpose and a sense of community when they leave the military, and more and more are turning to farming to find it. About 5 million veterans live in rural areas of the U.S. – a higher concentration than any other part of the country – so it makes sense that a viable career path after the military is to work in agriculture in some way. | DoD Live >>

Inside Washington

Sen. John McCain said the Pentagon is wasting millions of dollars of its increasingly tight personnel funding by failing to properly oversee the program that moves more than 600,000 troops, their families and their household goods to new duty assignments each year. | Military Times >>

A former Navy corpsman badly wounded in Iraq will have his federal benefits restored, following a judge’s ruling that repeatedly blasts bureaucrats for their rigidity. In a remarkably sharp-edged opinion, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the Office of Personnel Management to restore benefits to 21-year Navy veteran Glenn Minney. Minney was left nearly blind following a mortar attack at the Haditha Dam in April 2005. | McClatchy DC >>

The Veterans Affairs Department needs to fundamentally change the way it handles the construction of new medical centers or costs will spiral out of control, according to a recent report from the Army Corps of Engineers. | Fierce Government >>

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