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Training deployment in Pacific offers pathway to leader development PDF Print E-mail
A primary benefit to participation in Pacific Pathways, said 1st Sgt. Christian E. Lopez, is that it provides for Soldiers ample opportunity to develop for the future.

"We set conditions at the Soldier level, and going into Pacific Pathways, it helps build future leaders," said Lopez, who serves in 5-1 Calvary Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. "Our Soldiers were able to train on live-fire exercises with the Japanese and Koreans. Noncommissioned officers conducted small-unit tactics with the Japan army, and we were also able to conduct force-on-force operations with both Japan and Korea."

Lopez participated in Pacific Pathways 2015-3. For that Pathways deployment, some members of his unit went to Mongolia to participate in exercise Khaan Quest, while he and others went instead to Japan to participate in Orient Shield, as well as Korea, to participate in Hoguk. He discussed the effects of participation in Pacific Pathways on his Soldiers, May 18, in the Pentagon.

"The reason why this is important is because it accelerates our Soldiers' development," Lopez said. "Those young Soldiers and leaders will be the key principals going forward into Pacific Pathways in the future."
 
 
New demands - 2017 National Defense Authorization Act PDF Print E-mail
On May 19, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings (21CSI) hosted Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) to address major reforms to the organization of the Department of Defense, the defense acquisition system, and the military health system included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which is planned for consideration by the Senate as soon as next week.

Given his role as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain also addressed ongoing budget challenges for the Department of Defense and the military and his views on what needs to be done. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow and co-director of 21CSI, moderated the discussion.
 
US airstrike targets Taliban leader Mullah Mansour PDF Print E-mail
The U.S. conducted an airstrike Saturday against Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, the Pentagon said, and a U.S. official said Mansour was believed to have been killed.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the attack occurred in a remote region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He said the U.S. was studying the results of the attack.

But a U.S. official not authorized to discuss the operation publicly said Mansour and a second male combatant accompanying him in a vehicle were probably killed.

The official said the attack was carried out by unmanned aircraft operated by U.S. Special Operations Forces. The official said the operation occurred at about 6 a.m. EDT southwest of the town of Ahmad Wal, and was authorized by President Barack Obama.

Mansour was chosen to take the helm of the Afghan Taliban last summer after the death several years earlier of the organization’s founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, became public. Mullah Omar’s longtime deputy, Mansour had actually been the Taliban’s de facto leader for years, according to the Afghan government.
 
DoD Action to Protect Military Families from Zika PDF Print E-mail
The Dept. of Defense is taking action to protect military families from the Zika virus, which can cause microcephaly and brain damage in babies if a mother contracts Zika while pregnant. 

Department of Defense (DoD) labs are enhancing techniques to test mosquitoes for Zika. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) is offering voluntary relocation out of affected areas to all pregnant DoD employees and beneficiaries, and all Army medical facilities have been notified of the concerns surrounding Zika infections and are prepared to assist patients who may have been infected.

The Armed Forces Pest Management Board recommends wear of permethrin-treated uniforms/clothing, use of approved insect repellent, and removal of standing water that may serve as mosquito breeding sites to prevent bites.

Read the Army’s  article here with advice for military famlies:  https://www.army.mil/article/161994/Zika_Virus___What_is_it__What_can_you_do_/

 
V.P. Joe Biden speaks at West Point graduation PDF Print E-mail
Vice President Joseph R. Biden told U.S. Military Academy graduates Saturday “it’s your time to write history” and thanked their parents for “teaching them to put something before self” — a message that parallels the story of Alexandra Baker,  a graduating company commander from Hartsdale whose West Point dream began to emerge when her father took her to parades as a child.

Biden, addressing the 218th West Point graduation, praised the parents for “molding such patriots” and instilling in them values that are “the essence of who we are” as Americans. Baker knows something of the importance of influences.
 
She knew she wanted to go to West Point when she was an Ursuline School sophomore in New Rochelle. But in some ways, she said, it all goes back to a childhood tableau: Father and daughter watching local parades that included tribute to Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a Polish-Lithuanian who fought as a colonel for the American Colonies in the Revolutionary War. He played a role in designing part of what became West Point.

"He's the reason I got in, pushing me to finish my application and just pushing me to do better," Baker said of her father.
 
 
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