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War Against ISIS Cost PDF Print E-mail
The United States has spent more than $2.74 billion in its offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since airstrikes targeting ISIS positions began last August, the Pentagon announced Thursday. The average daily expenditure for the U.S. in the fight against ISIS now stands at over $9 million.

In the first ever breakdown of the operation's costs, the U.S. Department of Defense revealed that two-thirds of overall spending, or more than $1.8 billion, had gone to the Air Force. Until U.S. airstrikes expanded to target ISIS strongholds in Syria in mid-September, the average daily cost totaled $5.6 million. Costs rose to $9.7 million a day from mid-September through late May, The Hill reported.


Flights for daily raids, surveillance and other activities cost more than $5 million a day, the Associated Press (AP) reported, adding that over $200 million has been spent on secret special operations since August. Other costs include $438 million for the Navy, $274 million for the Army, $16 million for military pay, $646 million for munitions and $21 million for intelligence and surveillance operations, AP reported. 
 
Gary Sinise to be honored by West Point with Thayer Award PDF Print E-mail
WEST POINT – Actor Gary Sinise will be this year’s recipient of the Thayer Award at West Point.
The award is presented by West Point’s Association of Graduates to persons who exemplify the U.S. Military Academy motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.” Sinise will receive the award Oct. 22 in a ceremony at West Point.
 
Sinise portrayed Lt. Dan Taylor in the 1994 Academy Award-winning film “Forrest Gump.” That portrayal began Sinise’s connection with U.S. military service men and women. He participated in several USO tours and then formed the Lt. Dan Band in 2004. The band has performed for troops serving at home and abroad.
The award is named for Col. Sylvanus Thayer, the fifth superintendent of West Point, who is known as the “Father of the Military Academy” because he established many practices and traditions still in place today.
 
Past recipients have included Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright, Tom Brokaw, Neil Armstrong, Walter Cronkite and Sandra Day O’Connor. Last year’s recipient was former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.
 
Col. Dellinger named 101st chief of staff PDF Print E-mail
Col. David “Buck” Dellinger, garrison commander at Fort Campbell, will pass his responsibilities to Col. James R. Salome, as Dellinger has been selected and appointed to serve as the 101st Airborne Division’s next chief of staff.

The announcement was made earlier Thursday during what was planned as a farewell ceremony for Dellinger’s wife, Cricket Dellinger, at T.C. Freeman’s Hopkinsville home. The farewell ceremony hosted by the chamber’s Military Affairs Committee quickly became a celebration for Col. Dellinger’s promotion, as the couple will remain at Fort Campbell and Col. Dellinger, who was going to retire, will now continue his career in the Army in a new position.
 
US weighs more military bases in Iraq: Top general PDF Print E-mail
The United States is considering establishing additional military bases in Iraq as the Obama administration is adjusting its strategy against the ISIL terrorist group, according to the top American general.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that a new military base being established in Anbar Province could be a model for more such US military hubs across the country.

It will take several weeks to set up the base announced Wednesday by the White House, Dempsey told reporters traveling with him in Italy.

The top general said that the US was considering establishing a similar base in north-central Iraq if and when the Iraqi army is prepared for a counteroffensive on the city of Mosul, which has been under ISIL control for almost a year.

“You could see one in the corridor from Baghdad to Tikrit to Kirkuk to Mosul,” Dempsey said.

Operating such sites, the general said, could require more military personnel than the 3,550 troops already stationed in Iraq.
 
Department of Defense adds sexual orientation to anti-bias policy PDF Print E-mail
Gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers will now be protected from discrimination. 

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday, June 9, 2015 the armed forces will not discriminate or harass members of the military based on sexual orientation. 

"I think the military is now doing this because they are seeing the writing on the wall," said Andrew Schneider, Executive Director of Fairness West Virginia. 

This step towards equality comes 4 years after the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell policy," which kept gay and lesbian military members from fighting openly. 

Not everyone agrees with the change.

 
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