PTSD disability ratings increased

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist More than 4300 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who were diagnosed in service as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but got low military disability ratings, have won an agreement with the Department of Defense to upgrade those ratings retroactively to 50 percent. The higher rating will represent an important win […]

Three Hounds make all-region football team

Freedom New Mexico Eastern New Mexico University junior cornerback Rodney Mitchell was a first-team defense selection on Don Hansen’s 2009 Football Gazette All-Super Region Four squad. Greyhounds earning second-team honors were sophomore quarterback J.J. Harp and junior linebacker Nathan Uland. Mitchell tied for seventh in Division II and first in the Lone Star Conference South […]

President signs 2010 defense budget into law

By Donna Miles: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — Defense officials are hailing passage of the fiscal 2010 budget that funds military programs and wartime operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and provides a military pay raise. President Barack Obama signed the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act into law Dec. 19 after the Senate approved […]

All must register for ID system

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Everyone, to include civilians, contractors and visitors, in addition to active duty military, must register with the Defense Biometrics Identifications System, which will provide for a more secure installation. Registration can be completed at the following locations: • From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the […]

President signs Defense Authorization Act

By Gerry J. Gilmore: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed the fiscal 2010 National Defense Authorization Act during a ceremony at the White House Oct. 28. President Obama hailed the act, which contains $680.2 billion in military budget authority, as transformational legislation that targets wasteful defense spending. The president was accompanied […]

Poor economy boosting recruitment

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Middle-class American youth are entering the military in significant numbers today, drawn by more competitive pay, a battered civilian job market and the buzz surrounding an improved GI Bill education benefit. The Department of Defense announced earlier this month that for the first time since the draft ended and the […]

News release: Senate approves key defense legislation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today reported that the Senate has approved key defense legislation that gives strong support to New Mexico’s military installations and the state’s two national laboratories. The bill, called the fiscal year 2010 Defense Authorization Bill, passed the Senate 68-29. The House of Representatives passed it earlier this month, so […]

TRICARE fee increases blocked

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist The last decision made by House-Senate conferees negotiating final details on a fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill was to insert language that will rollback an announced Oct. 1 increase in fees charged to TRICARE Standard beneficiaries for stays in civilian hospitals. The surprise fee increases, reported here last week, gave […]

TRICARE increase stuns retirees

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Defense health officials didn’t do the Obama administration any favor last week when they announced a “small” increase in the daily fee that military retirees under 65, their families and covered survivors must pay for inpatient care in civilian hospitals under TRICARE Standard starting Oct. 1. The jump, in fact, […]

Defense carries Falcons to victory over Aztecs

USAF photo: Mike Kaplan Falcons sophomore quarterback Connor Dietz hands off to sophomore running back Asher Clark on a reverse during Air Force’s 26-14 win over San Diego State at Falcon Stadium, Colo. By Staff Sgt. Don Branum: U.S. Air Force Academy U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The U.S. Air Force Academy football team […]

Former Melrose chief cleared in traffic case

Freedom New Mexico Former Melrose Police Chief Jennifer Dreiling was found not guilty Friday for a citation she received in March when she crashed her patrol unit. Dreiling was charged with improper turning after police said she cut across traffic to follow a motorist she had stopped. She was struck by a car when she […]

Senate doesn’t need to stop with F-22 cut

The 58-40 Senate vote last week to stop production of more F-22 fighter planes was a welcome bit of sanity applied to Pentagon spending. Whether it will lead to less wasteful Pentagon procurement policies in the future or go down as simply a symbolic gesture is a more complicated question. The F-22 was developed in […]

Congress limited in helping military

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist For the last eight years, lawmakers have loaded annual defense authorization bills with new pay and benefit initiatives to support troops and their families and to show the nation’s appreciation. This year’s defense bills — both the version passed by the House, and the Senate bill to be debated on […]

House approves Cannon construction funding

Cannon Connections staff Congress took the first step Thursday to funding more than $67 million of new construction at Cannon Air Force Base. The House approved the money as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. It includes $450,000 for a new dormitory and an additional $52.8 million in construction by Special Operations Command, according […]

Defense Department plans morale, welfare, recreation survey

By Samantha L. Quigley: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — Defense Department officials are preparing to conduct the first militarywide survey to assess morale, welfare and recreation programs. “We’ve established standards for all the services,” Arthur Myers, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. “Now we want to get feedback […]

Gates’ proposed defense reforms highly unlikely

Staff and wire reports General Motors on Friday told about 1,100 of its dealers — one in five — they would be dropped by late next year, adding to the economic pain radiating from the beleaguered Detroit automakers to cities and towns across the country. Clovis GM dealership owner Bryce Bender said he did not […]

G.I. Bill benefits transfer now easier

By Tom Philpott: FNM columnist Service members nearing the end of their careers will find it easier than first thought to transfer new Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to their spouse or children, under Department of Defense regulations. And service members who elect to transfer GI Bill benefits will be allowed to modify or revoke […]

Hounds defense dominates at Green-Silver scrimmage

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico As the saying goes, defense wins championships. For Eastern New Mexico University, it was more than enough to win a scrimmage. A veteran Greyhound defense showed experience mattered as it ran up a 42-3 halftime lead, and settled for a 57-51 win in the team’s Green-Silver Scrimmage after a […]

Gates: Health care needs overhaul

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ prescription for what ails the military health care system includes replacing aging hospitals, and raising TRICARE fees for working-age retirees, which Congress has kept frozen since 1995. “Health care is eating the (Defense) Department alive,” Gates told officers attending the Air War College on Maxwell-Gunter Air […]

Gates’ proposed defense reforms highly unlikely

Freedom New Mexico In proposing a major reshaping of defense spending even before the White House has processed the proposals and added its stamp of hopeful approval to the blueprint, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that it will be difficult “to make tough choices about specific systems and defense priorities based solely on the national […]