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New demands - 2017 National Defense Authorization Act
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
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
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
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.
 
 
Cadets in Controversial Photo Cleared
The black female West Point cadets who took a photo with hands raised in fists — provoking questions about whether it was a political statement — were cleared Tuesday following a probe by the academy.

The 16 cadets — members of the U.S. Military Academy's Class of 2016 — did not violate any code of conduct regulations, and the April 26 photo was one of several that the young women took in a spur-of-the-moment shot, the prestigious military academy said.

"It was intended to demonstrate 'unity' and 'pride,' according to the findings of the inquiry," according to a statement.
 
WP-ORG Spring Fund Drive Starts Today!

BLUF Please donate! :>)

DONATE http://www.west-point.org/donate/

We'd very much like to see these fund drives close out in a month, and I encourage you to make your donations early. The donation link above will accommodate checks, credit cards, PayPal, and stock donations.

All donations are 100% tax deductible. Here is a link to our very frugal budget:
http://www.west-point.org/budget/

As our long time donors will note, we have decreased our budget by ten percent this cycle. We are backed by over a hundred volunteers who match donated funds with magnificent efforts. There is no other venue where a dollar donated, does more for our West Point community than these fund drives. It enables us to continue to provide exceptional service while reducing expenses. Only WP-ORG!

In these times when ISIL is harvesting military information from social media sites, don't forget that WP-ORG email accounts are available through WP-ORG. They reside only on our servers and can provide a 'hull defilade' presence on the Internet. They can be accessed through a web mail interface. These are available only to our West Point graduates.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

One of the support functions we do is to quickly set up credit card sites for various functions. They yield 95% of the transactions, with WP-ORG paying all the bank clearing costs. We handle refunds, audits, and EOM payouts unless requested earlier. Contact us:

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

For examples of what you might be considering. It makes group management of financial events in our community MUCH easier! And, we do this QUICKLY!

Now, as an inducement to get this fund drive jump started, I will once again award a jar of my World famous sourwood honey, to the first donor who shows up with a minimum $50 donation, NLT April 10 at

34 46 34.54 N 80 29 06.49 W . ELEV 2791

This location is close to Mabry Mill, mile post 176, on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, just north of the NC/VA border. Just a test to see if any of those dusty Ranger Tabs are still valid!

Finally, I'd like to thank all those folks who operate as volunteer listserve moderators, without whom we could not function.

Please donate! http://www.west-point.org/donate/

www.west-point.org

"Beeman Buffalo Jack" Jack Price '64 CFO WP-ORG INC on Buffalo Mountain

 
2009 West Point Graduate Killed in Tel Aviv

 Taylor Force, 29, a MBA student at Vanderbilt University, was part of a University tour group, when he was stabbed to death in a terror attack that left 10 others wounded in Tel Aviv. He was among 29 students and four staff members who had gone to Israel to study global entrepreneurship. They were in Jaffa by the Mediterranean Sea when they were attacked.

The grandson of a 1947 graduate of West Point, Taylor attained the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. He was a National Honor Society member at New Mexico Military Institute prior to attending West Point. He served in Iraq from September 2010 to August 2011 and in Afghanistan from October 2012 to July 2013.

 Visit his eulogy page...

 
Sikh soldier sues Army over religious right to beard, turban

A U.S. Army captain who is a practicing Sikh asked a federal court on Monday to protect his right to wear a turban and sport a beard while on duty, which are both disallowed under military regulations.

Capt. Simratpal Singh asked a federal district court in Washington to protect his constitutional rights while he serves in the Army, where the Ranger School graduate is known as Simmer. He was given temporary waivers to wear a turban and a beard while on duty starting last year, but the last one is set to expire soon. The nonmedical waivers are rare, and Singh’s was just the fourth granted since a ban on beards began in the 1980s.

Singh, a decorated combat veteran and West Point graduate, received the waiver when he reported to a new assignment in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, near Washington. 

Read more... 

 
Humans Could Land on Mars by 2040
Humans could land on Mars by 2040, although that would be the "easy part" of the journey, thinks Dr Buzz Aldrin - the second man to set foot on the moon. Dr Aldrin was present at the Science Museum in London on Sunday, and expressed his view about human landing on Mars during in-conversation event with Professor Brian Cox at the Museum.

In 1969, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the second man to set foot on the moon. Born as Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr., he was the Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 11 - the first manned lunar landing in history. Aldrin set foot on the Moon following Neil Armstrong, the commander of the mission.
 
Pentagon Will Relocate Pregnant Family Members From Zika-Affected Areas
The Department of Defense has offered to relocate any pregnant family members of active-duty personnel and civilian employees stationed in regions affected by the Zika virus.

The voluntary relocation program is accompanied by efforts by Defense Department researchers to develop vaccines, tests and treatment for the mosquito-borne disease, the Military Times reports. The prevalence of the disease in Brazil has been linked to a spike in microcephaly, a birth defect causing babies to be born with small heads. Cases of the virus have cropped up throughout North and South America, prompting the World Health Organization to declare an international public health emergency on Monday.
 
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