Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Pentagon selects Fort Drum for missile defense site it has no plan to build
WASHINGTON – The Department of Defense would choose Fort Drum in New York as the site of an East Coast missile defense site if it decides to build one in the future, according to a Pentagon official.
But a Defense Department official told Rep. Elise Stefanik in a letter Wednesday "the department has no intent to develop one" because a study earlier this year confirmed there's no military need for a new missile defense site.
Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, has pushed the Pentagon to add a ground-based interceptor site on the East Coast, beefing up the nation's existing defenses against intercontinental ballistic missiles.
A Pentagon review of U.S. missile defense concluded in January that the existing missile defense sites at Fort Greely, Alaska, and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California were sufficient to defend the nation.
Stefanik, whose district includes Fort Drum, about 80 miles north of Syracuse, disagreed with the decision.
Stefanik, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, included language in a defense authorization bill this month that required the Defense Department to designate an interceptor site for potential development.
The Missile Defense Agency evaluated two potential interceptor sites at Fort Custer, Michigan, one at Camp Garfield, Ohio, and one at Fort Drum as part of a 2016 study.
"At this time, and by a small margin, Fort Drum would be the preferred (interceptor site) in the eastern United States," Michael D. Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering wrote to Stefanik in a letter she made public Wednesday night.
"Fort Drum provides the best operational coverage but is likely the most expensive option with the most environmental challenges," Griffin wrote.
Griffin did not elaborate on the environmental challenges or provide a cost estimate.
Previous studies concluded it would cost about $3.6 billion to build a new missile interceptor site. The development would create 1,450 jobs and add $220 million per year in economic value to the community that hosts the interceptor base.
Top U.S. generals in charge of missile defense have said the money should be invested to upgrade the existing interceptor sites in Alaska and California.
©2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.
Visit Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. at www.syracuse.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.