The Intersect
April 6, 2010

Special forces in Iraq to remain through drawdown
U.S. Department of Defense
U.S. special operations forces in Iraq will remain at current levels even as the number of American troops there is nearly cut in half over the next five months, the top special operations commander said. As the 98,000-strong force in Iraq is reduced to 50,000 by Aug. 31, in accordance with a U.S.-Iraqi agreement, roughly 4,500 special operations forces will maintain a presence there, military officials said.More

Marine presence on Okinawa, Japan, essential to security
Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Japan's top diplomat that the presence of U.S. Marines on Okinawa is "essential" to providing security for the country and the region and that any solution must be "sustainable," a Pentagon spokesman said.More

NCO education overhaul on the horizon
Army Times
A new regimen of NCO Education System courses that will span a soldier's career is being given a final review at the Pentagon and should be ready for launch later this year, possibly by summer.More

Other countries leveling space playing field
Defense News
While the United States has enjoyed its position at the top of the space industry for decades, U.S. policymakers are now going to have to contend with a much more crowded and level playing field in space, according to the Pentagon's interim Space Posture Review that was sent to Congress in early March.More

Hyperbaric chamber may treat traumatic brain injury
The Defense Department hopes to find a better treatment for the 100,000 troops who have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury since 2003, and it's looking at hyperbaric chambers — often used in cases of carbon monoxide poisoning — for the answer.More

No combat necessary
Military Times
The Department of Veterans Affairs is moving closer to simplifying the process for many veterans to link post-traumatic stress disorder to their military service, whether in a war zone or not, which opens the door for disability benefits.More

Association pledges support for troops
The U.S. Department of Defense
The world's largest association for human resource management affirmed its commitment to bettering employment opportunities and benefits for citizen service members by signing a statement of support endorsed by the Defense Department's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency. The Society of Human Resource Management, and its more than 260,000 members, formally made this pledge during the society's Employment Law and Legislative Conference, which hosted more than 650 human resources professionals.More

Defense chief urges Hill action on supplemental by early spring
Government Executive
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he wants Congress to approve by early spring $33 billion in supplemental spending to cover military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the fiscal year. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Gates said the Defense Department needs the money soon to "prevent costly and counterproductive disruptions" to its operations.More

F-15E group at Seymour Johnson to grow to 340
The Air Force Command
To keep up with the demand for F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and weapon systems officers, a new group is standing up on Seymour Johnson AFB, in Ohio. Air Force Reserve Command's 414th Fighter Group may only have a handful of assigned personnel now, but about 340 reservists will fall under the group, its 307th Fighter Squadron or its 414th Maintenance Squadron by September 2011.More

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of March 30, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army and Marine Corps announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 1,877 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More