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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.
 
War Against ISIS Cost
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
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
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
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.
 
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West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization not affiliated officially with the United States Military Academy, provides an online communications infrastructure that enables graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible. WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions. Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line. Contents of and comments on this web site do not reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy or the Department of the Army.  For questions or comments, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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