The Intersect
Oct. 5, 2010

Pentagon officials: Spending is bloated
The Washington Post
Top Defense Department officials told Congress that Pentagon overspending must be curtailed in order to maintain the current size and strength of the armed forces. Explaining the reasons for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates's ambitious program to reduce costs, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "headquarters and support bureaucracies, military and civilian alike...have swelled to cumbersome proportions, grown over-reliant on contractors and become accustomed to operating with little consideration of costs."More

No cuts now, House Armed Services Committee tells DoD
DoD Buzz
The top members of the House Armed Services Committee signaled that they will not accept cuts to the overall defense budget, arguing that a nation at war cannot afford them. And a senior member of the committee from Virginia threatened to issue subpoenas if Congress does not get data and documents from the Pentagon very soon about the underlying reasons for the closure of Joint Forces Command.More

Military personnel land lower loan rates
The Washington Examiner
If you are in the armed services, you may qualify for special protection that caps the interest rate on credit cards, mortgages and other loans at six percent while you are on active duty. To be eligible for the interest limits provided under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, you must have incurred the debts before you went on active duty, and your military service must affect your ability to repay them.More

Legislation extends special stop-loss pay deadline
President Barack Obama signed legislation extending the Retroactive Stop-Loss Special Pay deadline through Dec. 3, DoD officials said. Officials estimate about 80,000 eligible service members, veterans and beneficiaries have yet to apply for the special stop-loss pay. "It's important that all those eligible for this benefit take the opportunity to apply for what they've earned," said Lernes Hebert, the Defense Department's acting director of officer and enlisted personnel management. "We encourage those eligible to apply as soon as possible, to avoid the last-minute rush, which can increase processing time."More

Hearing exposes flaws in Agent Orange law
Stars and Stripes
Anthony Principi, former secretary of Veterans Affairs, warned last week that disabled veterans and their families will suffer if Americans "lose faith in the integrity" of the VA disability compensation system. "And the surest way for that to happen," he told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, "is for the American people to believe that large numbers of veterans are being compensated for illnesses that may not be the result of their military service. That's the crux of the issue we're all grappling with."More

Marines put new focus on treating brain injuries
The San Diego Union Tribune
The first bomb blast that day left Sgt. Michael Monday light-headed. The next one knocked him unconscious for 10 minutes. Monday tried to stand, but his legs buckled. The squad leader with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment out of Twentynine Palms had been pinned down under heavy fire in Sangin. When he refused to leave his Marines behind, the litter team finally strapped him down and carried him out.More

Military voting: a tale of two counties
The Daily Caller
As recently amended, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act requires local election officials to mail absentee ballots 45 days before Election Day, so that military personnel will have sufficient time to receive their absentee ballots, mark them, and return them on time to be counted, no matter where the service of our country has taken them. In 2010, Fairfax County beat that deadline by ten days.More

Pentagon urging troops to get absentee ballots
The Washington Post
Election Day is six weeks away and the Pentagon this week is reminding troops and their families stationed overseas to request absentee ballots as soon as possible. Troops, their families, and heck, ANY American living overseas who wants to vote, should visit (Federal Voting Assistance Program) to register, request a ballot or track the delivery of a ballot.More

Boeing gets B-52 weapons contract worth up to $12 billion
The Seattle Times
Boeing announced it has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to modernize over eight years the weapon systems on B-52 Stratofortress long-range bombers. Boeing said that "no funds were committed with this contract announcement," though it expected the first delivery order last month. The Air Force stipulated a ceiling on the so-called "indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity" contract — an eye-popping $11.9 billion. That's $140 million for each of the Air Force's active fleet of 85 B-52s.More

C-5M rekindles interest in upgrading C-5As
Aviation Week
With a program to re-engine the C-5B airlifter meeting cost and performance targets, the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin are again looking at the possibility of upgrading older C-5As. "It's a good idea, but we are in a very fiscally constrained environment," says Lt. Gen. Tom Owen, commander of Aerospace Systems Command and program executive officer for aircraft procurement and modernization.More

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of Sept. 28, 2010
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Army announced an increase. The Coast Guard announced no change. The net collective result is 25 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