The Intersect
May 31, 2011

Guard, reserve jobs targeted
Chicago Sun-Times
Federal law is supposed to protect the jobs of military reservists and National Guard soldiers when they're deployed. But multiple deployments and a weak economy have prompted some employers to try to thwart the law, veterans advocates say. Meanwhile some reservists and National Guard members have returned home to find their jobs have vanished during the recession as past employers have shuttered their businesses, laid off workers and cut shifts.More

Casey introduces bill to help veterans find jobs
Business Video
Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced legislation to modernize the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service program to help servicemembers transition into the civilian workforce. "It is our duty to honor the sacrifice of our servicemembers and their families by ensuring that programs designed to assist them are effective and meeting their goals," said Senator Casey. More

Deadline announced for employer survey measuring Guard and Reserve impact on workforce
Business Wire
The Department of Defense is asking employers to submit their responses to its national survey by the July 6, deadline. The Department of Defense National Survey of Employers was provided to 80,000 employers of every size and industry, across America. The DoD is using the survey to gain insight into how the service of Guard and Reserve members has affected America's employers, who provide remarkable support to their military employees. More

House passes $690 billion defense bill
The Washington Post
The House passed overwhelmingly a $690 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2012 that fully funds operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and limits President Obama's authority to deal with Guantanamo detainees and to reduce the number of nuclear weapons. The White House has warned that those latter provisions could prompt a veto if they were included in the final version of the bill. That prospect remains unclear since the Senate version of the measure has yet to be put together by its Armed Services Committee.More

White House threatens veto of defense bill
National Journal
The White House has threatened to veto the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill if it keeps the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on life support. The administration, which has been involved in a long-simmering debate with Capitol Hill over the engine, delivered its veto threats, just as the House prepared to begin debate on the $690 billion authorization measure.More

Cost of war in Afghanistan will be major factor in troop-reduction talks
The Washington Post
Of all the statistics that President Obama's national security team will consider when it debates the size of forthcoming troop reductions in Afghanistan, the most influential number probably will not be how many insurgents have been killed or the amount of territory wrested from the Taliban, according to aides to those who will participate.More

DOD hasn't fully calculated cost of shifting Pacific forces, GAO says
Stars and Stripes
The U.S. military is moving ahead with one of the largest shift of Pacific forces since World War II without a good idea of how much it will cost or if the country can afford the bill, federal auditors said. A report by the Government Accountability Office shows the realignment of forces in South Korea, Japan and Guam could cost the United States and its allies more than $46 billion this decade. Military estimates of the various components have been inaccurate or nonexistent, the report said.More

Ailing reservists blame postwar 'spray bird' missions
Stars and Stripes
In a complaint to the Air Force inspector general, a retired officer alleges health officials have known since at least 1994 of Agent Orange contamination aboard C-123 aircraft flown by reserve squadrons for a decade after the Vietnam War, and failed to warn personnel of the health risks.More

Veterans committees to look at suicides
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., declined to be interviewed about the issue. Instead, she released a statement that blamed a lack of coordination between the Department of Defense and the VA, a topic she has already explored at a May 18 hearing. "We need to do more than just criticize the VA. We must roll up our sleeves and fix the problems plaguing the department. That means getting VA and DoD to collaborate better so that veterans don't come home and fall through the cracks of a system that is too often filled with red tape," Murray said.More

Long deployments for Reserves to continue?
Time Magazine
The Army is reviewing its strategy for employing the Army Reserve and National Guard after Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom end. Reserve forces make up slightly more than half of the total force of 1.1 million soldiers, and the reservists have pulled their weight in combat deployments over the past decade: more than a third of the soldiers deploying have been reservists or guardsmen.More

Banks settle for $22 million in SCRA foreclosures case
Military News
About 180 troops will share in a settlement of more than $22 million that was reached with two lenders who allegedly wrongfully foreclosed on the service members' homes without obtaining court orders, in violation of the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act, the Justice Department announced May 26.More