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The US Won't Admit Just How Badly It Poisoned Military Base Water Supplies
The White House and Environmental Protection Agency have spent a month pushing to prevent the release of a sprawling health study detailing the scope of the contaminated water supplies that resulted in cancer and birth defects at nearly 126 military bases across the country — and lawmakers are fucking pissed.
- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Tuesday demanded the Trump administration release the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study on the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in firefighting chemicals used by base emergency personnel to put out aircraft fires.
- A March DoD report to the House Armed Service Committee revealed that at least 126 U.S. military installations — 50 Air Force, 49 Navy or Marine Corps, 25 Army, and two Defense Logistics Agency facilities — tested at "higher than acceptable levels" of PFAS concentration, Military Times reported in April. An eye-popping 61% of nearby groundwater wells tested by the DoD yielded the same results.
- PFAS contamination of water sources can yield, among other horrifying consequences, "developmental delays in fetuses & children; decreased fertility; increased cholesterol; changes to the immune system; increased uric acid levels; changes in liver enzymes; and prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer," per the HASC report. Good thing the DoD's been using those chemicals since the 1970s!
- "Given the wide use of PFAS and presence of these chemicals in communities across the U.S., it is critical that this report be released without delay and that EPA act immediately to update its guidelines to ensure Americans are informed of and protected from the danger of exposure to these toxins," the lawmakers wrote in the June 12 letter. "We are especially concerned since PFAS have been discovered in community water systems as well as on multiple Department of Defense installations."
This is all well and good, but it's not like a strongly-worded letter is going all of a sudden induce the DoD to get its contaminated shit together. The Intercept reported in February that while the Pentagon plans on shelling out a hefty $2 billion to address the widespread water contamination, that plan involves replacing "older foam with a newer formulation that contains only slightly tweaked versions of the same problematic compounds" that "pose many of the same dangers."
An Air Force civilian has died at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in a "non-combat related incident," U.S. Air Forces Central Command announced on Friday.
Jason P. Zaki, 32, died on Wednesday while deployed to the 609th Air Operations Center from the Pentagon, an AFCENT news release says.
At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold an annual ball at a venue that could profit the commander in chief.
The unit is planning a gala to celebrate the 244th anniversary of the Marines' founding at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach on Nov. 16, according to a posting on the events website Evensi.
QUANTICO, Virginia -- They may not be deadly, but some of the nonlethal weapons the Marine Corps is working on look pretty devastating.
The Marine Corps Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate is currently testing an 81mm mortar round that delivers a shower of flashbang grenades to disperse troublemakers. There is also an electric vehicle-stopper that delivers an electrical pulse to shut down a vehicle's powertrain, designed for use at access control points.
"When you hear nonlethal, you are thinking rubber bullets and batons and tear gas; it's way more than that," Marine Col. Wendell Leimbach Jr., director of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told an audience at the Modern Day Marine 2019 expo.
RACHEL, Nev. (Reuters) - UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace.
Some residents of Rachel, a remote desert town of 50 people a short distance from the military base, worried their community might be overwhelmed by unruly crowds turning out in response to a recent, viral social-media invitation to "storm" Area 51. The town, about 150 miles (240 km) north of Las Vegas, lacks a grocery store or even a gasoline station.
Dozens of visitors began arriving outside Rachel's only business - an extraterrestrial-themed motel and restaurant called the Little A'Le'Inn - parking themselves in cars, tents and campers. A fire truck was stationed nearby.
Alien enthusiasts descend on the Nevada desert to 'storm' Area 51
Attendees arrive at the Little A'Le'Inn as an influx of tourists responding to a call to 'storm' Area 51, a secretive U.S. military base believed by UFO enthusiasts to hold government secrets about extra-terrestrials, is expected Rachel, Nevada, U.S. September 19, 2019
One couple, Nicholas Bohen and Cayla McVey, both sporting UFO tattoos, traveled to Rachel from the Los Angeles suburb of Fullerton with enough food to last for a week of car-camping.
"It's evolved into a peaceful gathering, a sharing of life stories," McVey told Reuters, sizing up the crowd. "I think you are going to get a group of people that are prepared, respectful and they know what they getting themselves into."