The Intersect
June. 28, 2011

Gates predicts gradual shift in Afghan strategy
USA Today
The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan will gradually shift in the direction of counterterrorism, which is limited primarily to targeting militant leaders, as force levels are reduced, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in an interview. But Gates said the strategy would still remain a combination of both counterinsurgency, a labor intensive mission that requires protecting the civilian population, and counterterrorism, even as the balance begins shifting.More

Secretary outlines unfinished business
U.S. Department of Defense
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has served for four-and-a-half years — longer than all but four of his predecessors — but he still has some unfinished business. Gates remains concerned about the treatment of wounded warriors. He regularly visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, the site of the Defense Department's burn center. At Brooke, he said, he noticed the effect of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles he had worked so hard to field quickly.More

White House threatens to veto Defense bill
The Hill
The White House threatened to veto the 2012 Defense appropriations bill. "The administration strongly opposes a number of provisions in this bill. If a bill is presented to the President that undermines his ability as commander-in-chief or includes ideological or political policy riders, the president's senior advisers would recommend a veto," the Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.More

Air Force, reservist lawmaker clash over flight suit
Military Times
A KC-135 pilot in Congress is facing off against Air Force leadership over whether now is the time to invest $100 million in a new high-tech flight suit. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Reserve captain and first-term Illinois Republican elected last year on a tea party platform to cut spending, has already gotten the House to go along with his push to cancel the $99.4 million, seven-year program.More

Dogs may help wounded troops cope with stress
Military Times
A blast from a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in Afghanistan gave Joshua Endicott injuries from his head to his toes. Doctors and the medical staff at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington worked to heal most of those wounds. But 10 months after Endicott, 20, of Columbus, Ohio, was hit and ultimately evacuated from Afghanistan, the emotional scars remain.More

PTSD Awareness Day June 27
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
June 27 was PTSD Awareness Day and for the entire month of June, the VA's National Center for PTSD worked to increase PTSD awareness. The more we know about dealing with trauma and PTSD, the more we can help others. Many organizations provide assistance and conduct investigations to help us understand trauma and its aftermath. Together these groups have helped increase PTSD awareness this June.More

Deployment specialist readies soldiers, families for Army life
Killeen Daily News
Since 2004, Fort Hood mobilization and deployment specialist Stephanie Mello has used her experience as a military brat, veteran, spouse and parent — along with regular professional development — to ready soldiers and families for the trials of military life. She leads workshops on resiliency, deployment, reintegration, reunion and other topics throughout the week and some weekends at the post's Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier and Family Readiness Center.More

Children of Guard troops get taste of military
The Alexandria Town Talk via Military Times
Thirteen-year-old Shae Schreckengost wore a smile on her face after her military training at Camp Beauregard. "I'm proud that I can take this heat and know that I have a future as a soldier," Shae said. "I'm more proud of the men and women that serve this country and have a better understanding of what military life is about."More

US Army Reserve Command announces winners of Best Warrior Competition
United States Army
The U.S. Army Reserve Command announced the winners of the 2011 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at the American Legion Post in Sparta, Wis. The 2011 Army Reserve Best Warrior (Non-Commissioned Officer category) is Sgt. Christopher R. Couchot, a senior transmission systems operator-maintainer whose hometown is Sidney, Ohio. Couchot represented the 335th Signal Command in the competition.More

Los Alamos lab closes as uncontrolled forest fire nears
Government Executive
As a forest fire edged within a mile of the southwest boundary of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the lab was closed. New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to formally declare the fire an emergency. Martinez activated the New Mexico National Guard. Voluntary evacuations have begun in the city and county of Los Alamos and nearby rural areas.More

Guardsmen bring wealth of experience, knowledge to Minot, N.D., flood fight
More than 1,100 North Dakota Guardsmen are responding to flood emergencies in the central part of the state with more than 800 of them concentrated in the Minot-Burlington, N.D., area. The bloated Souris, which winds its way through the middle of Minot, is predicted to reach an unprecedented crest of 1,564.5 feet in the near future making it six feet higher than the record level recorded in 1881. The North Dakota National Guard has been working within the city since May 24, although coordinating flood response measures with city officials began as early as February of this year.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of June 21
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Marine Corps and Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 360 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