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Army Announces Plans To Add Thousands Of Soldiers To Its Ranks
On June 15, the U.S. Army announced that it will maintain an end strength of just over a million soldiers despite previous plans to reduce troop numbers to 980,000 by fiscal year 2018.
“The end strength increase will augment deploying units, and units on high readiness status, with additional soldiers to increase Army readiness and enable us to continue to protect the nation," Brig. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, director of the Force Management Division, said in a statement.
With tensions escalating in areas like the Middle East, East Asia, and North Africa, the Army’s need to retain and recruit more soldiers has become more pressing than in previous years. By then end of 2018, the Army wants to maintain a fighting force of 476,000 active duty soldiers, 343,000 soldiers in the National Guard, and 199,000 Reserve soldiers.
What’s more, units that were previously slated to be cut like the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, the 18th Military Police Brigade Headquarters in Europe, the 206th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas, the 61st Maintenance Company, and a combat aviation brigade in South Korea, will continue to be operational under the FY18 budget request.
"These force structure gains facilitated by the FY17 end strength increase have begun, but some will take several years to achieve full operational capability,” Mennes said. “Implementation of these decisions, without sacrificing readiness or modernization, is dependent upon receiving future appropriations commensurate with the authorized end strength."
The Army’s push to fill its ranks may also mean better incentives for soldiers to consider reenlistment. As the branch scrambles to increase troop levels, it plans to increase its bonus budget request for fiscal year 2018 threefold to more than $380 million, according to the Associated Press. In addition, the Pentagon wants to remove eligibility limits on the dollar-for-dollar contributions made to senior enlisted troops’ 401(k) accounts under the new “blended retirement system” to encourage retention across all service branches.
“The top line message is that the Army is hiring,” Maj. Gen. Jason Evans, who recently became the service’s head of Human Resources Command, told the AP.
Regardless of how it manages to grow, enemies should brace themselves for the million-man machine that the Army will soon become.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
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The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.