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DoD boosts security for military facilities

The Department of Defense says it is taking modest steps to better protect military facilities after a shooter killed four Marines and fatally wounded a Navy petty officer outside a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee

 The Marine Corps closed recruiting stations within 40 miles of the Thursday shooting, and has told workers there not to wear military uniforms, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

 Cook said other military branches are also moving to increase security, at least temporarily. Navy recruiting stations will increase their coordination with law enforcement in the southeastern U.S., and the Army has bulked up security at certain recruiting stations.

 "The Department of Defense continues to gather information on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy in Tennessee, including the specific security measures in place at the two facilities," Cook said.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has asked for more recommendations on how to better protect service members by the end of the week, Cook added

Read more... 

 
Report: DoD not doing enough to prevent insider attacks
The killing of four Marines at a Navy installation in Tennessee has sparked a debate about how to protect service members from extremist attacks. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that the Defense Department needs to do a better job protecting against insider threats.

Published in July, the report looked at what actions the Defense Department has taken since the November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 32 others.

The report found some Defense Department policies do not adequately cover insider threats.

For example, the department has no policy for when service members and contractors should report to base security officials that they have seen someone taking a gun onto base — especially into work.

Another issue is that the Defense Department’s instruction for military bases’ emergency management programs does not include any provisions about car bombs or person-borne bombs, which could be used as part of an insider attack, the report said.

The Defense Department plans to address those issues, according to the report.
 
New DoD Agency Focuses on Improvised Threats
ecause it takes a network to defeat a network, the Defense Department today debuts its newest agency to stay at the forefront of improvised threats.
DoD’s Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency, or JIDA, is built from what had been the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. It is a combat support agency in the office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Army Maj. Gen. Julie A. Bentz, the agency’s vice director, told DoD News. JIDA has a new, expanded mission to reflect the new name, she said.
 
JIDA Has Broader Mission
 
“DoD broadened JIEDDO’s mission set to include the improvised threat,” Bentz explained. “Our job was always to counter the improvised explosive device, and this new mission set asks us to look at the next IED.” The nation’s adversary is an adaptive one, Bentz said, adding that the next generation of IED will be an improvised threat. “The department has given us an increased latitude to go after those innovative networks, because it takes a network to defeat a network,” she said.
 
US Army Cuts Would Hit Nearly Every Base
he US Army announced a plan to cut 40,000 troops that would impact nearly every Army installation, warning that the reductions could grow if Congress cannot reach a deal to avert sequestration budget cuts.

The Army detailed plans to cut the active-duty force from 490,000 to 450,000 within two years. The end-strength target was made public months ago, but members of Congress were briefed Thursday on the specific bases and units impacted.

Army Director of Force Management Brig. Gen. Randy George, at a press conference Thursday, attributed the decision to fiscal constraints resulting from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration.

"As you know, these are incredibly difficult choices," he said.

The cuts land hardest in Georgia, Alaska and Hawaii, though George said they affect troops ranging from the infantry, signal, logistics, civil affairs, and military police and trainees.

Big cuts come from restructuring the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning Georgia, followed by the 4th BCT (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Each would each shrink from a 4,000-person brigade to a 1,000-person task force.

The 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, will convert to an infantry BCT, and the 81st BCT, a National Guard unit on the West Coast, would take over the Stryker equipment.
 
Sigh of Relief as Fort Drum Avoids Major Cuts
Last year the Army eliminated the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Briagde and 1,500 active duty positions with it.

Shortly after the Army announced it would look into future cuts, another 40,000 nationwide.  It studied Fort Drum to see what effect cutting another 16,000 or 80% of it's soldiers jobs would have.

Efforts to convince the Army it would be devastating culminated in March.   A rally at JCC was held to show Washington what Fort Drum means to the North Country and vise versa.

The rally was followed up by testimonials.  In all, some 2,000 people showed up.

Ten days later, Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Drum and let everyone know it wasn't going anywhere.

"Fort Drum isn't going anywhere.  You guys are in the middle of everything," he said.

But what Carter didn't do, was clarify just how many soldiers Fort Drum would lose.  Anything less than last year would be okay but anything more and there'd be problems.

But the partnership between Fort Drum and the Community paid off Thursday in a big way.  It was announced Fort Drum will only lose 28 positions and as Rep. Elise Stefanik put it, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief.

"It is an incredible day for Fort Drum and it is a testament to the unique role that Fort Drum plays in our military readiness," Stefanik said.

If you compare Fort Drum's numbers to the overall number of cuts nationwide announced Thursday, clearly Army leaders agreed with all those who supported Fort Drum's and the 10th Mountain Division's importance.

"This reduction amounts to an accumulative cut of 120,000 from the regular Army or 21% since 2012," Army Director of Force Management Brig. General Randy George said Thursday.

But as the community takes that breath, there's more trouble ahead.  If the 2016 fiscal year starts and sequestration, those automatic spending cuts triggered by a lack of a budget agreement, is still in play, the Army could be looking at another reduction of 20,000 - 30,000 troops and Fort Drum could once again have a big target.
 
Senator decries cuts of 4,350 soldiers in Georgia
On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., responded to the news of continued significant reductions in the size and capability of the U.S. Army.
 
In a release he noted that in a phone call Wednesday with Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Isakson learned that the reduction in Army forces includes cuts of 4,350 soldiers from military installations in Georgia as part of the Department of Defense’s plans to reduce the Army nationwide by 40,000 soldiers, from the current level of 490,000 to 450,000 by the end of 2017.
 
Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., will see a net loss of approximately 950 soldiers, and Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., will see a net loss of 3,400 soldiers, the release said.
 
Additional cuts to the number of civilian personnel at military bases are expected but have not yet been announced by the Department of Defense.
 
“I am demanding answers from the Department of Defense on how they are justifying these troop cuts in Georgia. I have also taken steps to block a Senate vote on the president’s nomination of a new congressional liaison for the Department of Defense in light of the Department’s failure to give Congress a heads up before these cuts were made public," Isakson said.
 
US Army Seeks Leap-Ahead Cyber Defense Tech
he US Army is seeking to equip its cyber warriors with cutting-edge networking hardware, and it is going outside the traditional acquisitions system to do it.

The easily transportable "fly-away" kit of hardware and software would travel with the Army's cyber protection teams, whose job involves hunting inside the military's networks for intrusions and fighting off cyber attacks.

The Army issued a presolicitation notice June 19 for the equipment, called a deployable defensive cyberspace operations infrastructure capability, which would provide commanders with tools for "quick reaction, cyber defense reinforcement, and security enhancement capabilities," the notice said.

The kits would interface with Army networks to let the teams, "conduct countermeasures in real-time enabling commanders to take immediate action in the execution of network defense," according to an Army news release.

The cyber protection teams work for the military's geographic commands the world over, and are organized to perform one of five key cyber defensive mission functions: mission protection, discovery and counter infiltration, cyber threat emulation, inspection, and cyber support.
 
West Point welcomes future cadets on R-day
WEST POINT, N.Y. (June 30, 2015) -- In 2014, close to 21 million students enrolled in the more than 5,000 undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.

Of that, only 4,591 attend a renowned school overlooking the Hudson River in upstate New York. 

A school so prestigious that Forbes magazine voted it the 23rd top school in the country.

A school so acclaimed that then general of the Army, Omar Bradley, in his 1978 Founder's Day speech said, "For 176 years the Long Gray Line has met the needs of our changing society while remaining an impregnable bastion of those ideals upon which our country was founded."

That school is the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Every year, typically on the last Monday in June, about 1,300 future members of the corps of cadets gather at Thayer Hall under the guarded eye of the superintendent, or SUP, USMA faculty, and a company of officers and noncommissioned officers from the Army Reserve's 104th Training Division (LT). 
  
That Monday is when future cadets arriving at West Point are given uniforms, buzz haircuts, and their initial taste of the Army. 
 
Pentagon won’t rename Alabama’s Ft. Rucker

In a rare moment of pushback against political correctness, the Pentagon announced it will not rename any military installations named after Confederate generals, including Alabama’s Fort Rucker.

 “Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history,” Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost said in a statement. “Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”

Edmund Rucker was a colonel in the Confederate Army of Tennessee, commanding a cavalry brigade in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, during which he was wounded and captured. He was given the honorary rank of general after the Civil War and settled his family in Birmingham. He became a business leader in the late 1800s and one of the major players in the city’s rise to become an industrial powerhouse.

“Camp Rucker” was first opened in Alabama’s wiregrass region in 1942. The first troops to train at the camp were in the 81st Infantry Division, which saw action in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After shuttering for a few years during peacetime, the camp was reopened again during the Korean War. It was deactivated again briefly before reopening for good in 1955 as Fort Rucker. All of the Army’s aviation training has taken place at Fort Rucker since 1973.

Read More... 

 
Army Expects Few Women to Choose Combat Arms if Positions are Opened
Relatively few women are expected to apply for combat jobs if the U.S. Army lifts gender restrictions on such assignments, the Army's top training and doctrine officer said Tuesday.
"Overall, we find that generally the propensity is low" among women to choose an infantry, armor or artillery military occupation specialties (MOS), said Gen. David Perkins, head of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command.
"There just aren't a lot that want to do it," Perkins said at a breakfast with defense reporters. "The surprise is that the propensity for a lot these things for males is low."
Based on Army gender integration and propensity studies, and the experiences of other Army leaders have found "the propensity is much lower to want to do these things but there are some that want to do it," Perkins said.
He explained that TRADOC had looked closely at the experience of the Canadian military, a volunteer force which opened up combat roles to women in the 1980s. Female Canadian soldiers currently make up about 0.5 percent of the infantry troops, two percent of the armor corps, and 4 percent of the artillery billets.
 
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