The Intersect
June. 14, 2011

Panetta vows to put national security, troops first
U.S. Department of Defense
Leon E. Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee that if he's confirmed as the next defense secretary, his first and foremost mission will be to protect the United States and ensure it has the "best-trained, the best-equipped and the strongest military in the world" to provide that defense.More

Gates leaves Europe with blunt talk
Saving one of his toughest messages for last, Defense Secretary Robert Gates used his final appearance abroad to warn European allies that they are depending too much on Washington at a time of "dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress. What's changed is the political and economic environment in the United States," he said. "I am essentially the last senior leader who was a product of the Cold War. The kind of emotional and historical attachment to NATO is aging out."More

Incoming Joint Chiefs Chairman addresses Guard leadership
Reserve Affairs
If the National Guard is to remain a fully operational force they must continue to develop programs within the joint structure, the 37th chief of staff of the Army said. "As the Department of Defense articulates their organizational designs, their modernization strategies and whatever they are going to do to maintain the Guard as an operational force, the National Guard should increasingly talk about what they can bring to the joint fight," Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said.More

Panetta: Military health care costs are on my radar in efforts to save money
The Hill
President Obama's nominee to lead the Pentagon has made it clear military personnel programs, once considered sacrosanct, will be scrutinized as the administration looks for spending cuts. In written answers to advance policy questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee prior to his confirmation hearing, Leon Panetta endorsed proposals put forward by the Pentagon in its 2012 budget plan.More

House to boost veterans' programs, cut food aid
The Associated Press via Google News
In an otherwise lean budget year, the House is poised to boost funding to take care of the medical needs of the nation's veterans. But the GOP-dominated chamber will soon resume its budget-slashing ways as it kicks off debate on a food and farm spending bill that cuts aid for low-income pregnant women and their children and slashes a key overseas food aid program by about one-third below this year's funding.More

DoD seeks input from employers of Guardsmen, Reservists
The United States Army
Defense Department officials want to hear by July 6, from the civilian employers of Reservists and National Guardsmen in a survey intended to measure the impact of servicemembers on the civilian workplace. Announced in March, the Department of Defense National Survey of Employers will indicate how the past decade of war and the heavy use of reserve-component forces have affected civilian employers, officials said. It is the first time employers have been the center of such a survey, they added.More

House panel cuts $50 million in R&D funds for JLTV
Military Times
Lawmakers took another swipe at the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, hatcheting $50 million off the Army and Marine Corps' 2012 research and development budget request, according to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee's review of the 2012 defense spending bill. The committee recommended the Army use the money subtracted from the JLTV program toward researching "survivability enhancements" for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle highlighting the potential for "blast venting technology."More

Hurricane season: National Guard always ready, always there
National Guard News
Within a week of the first official day of hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center issued an advisory for its first tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific region, 345 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico. In keeping with the tradition of naming tropical storms, a system that began in the mid 1900s, the NHC is calling this one Tropical Storm Adrian.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of June 7
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Army and Marine Corps announced an increase. The net collective result is 3,316 more 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