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The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is skeptical that the increases in defense spending proposed by President Donald Trump will actually make the United States any safer.
On July 10, a KC-130 ferrying Marine Corps personnel and equipment from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina to Naval Air Facility El Centro in California exploded in mid-air over Mississippi, killing the 15 Marines — including six Marines from Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command — and one Navy corpsman on board. According to a Marine Corps public affairs officer, the incident marks the worst crash since a CH-53E Super Stallion crashed in Iraq in 2005, killing 30 Marines and one sailor.
The Navy is known for its delightful uniform choices, from its iconic dress whites to the signature bucket hat. But no item is as recognizable in American pop culture (and American retailers) as the double-breasted wool peacoat that sailors have worn in some variation since the United States broke away from Great Britain.
Since sequestration began in 2013, the reduced number of hours flown by pilots, crews trained, and aircraft maintained has created a major problem: a lack of flight readiness across all the services. While the effect of budget constraints was not at first apparent, a rise in-flight mishaps, decreases in pilot retention, and increases in the number of aircraft that simply can’t fly have made it clear to policymakers that U.S. air superiority is suffering.
The Senate voted 67 to 29 on Oct. 7 to end debate on the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill, which lays out defense policy and spending limits for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2016, is now slated to be handed off to the president. The House passed the bill Oct. 1 at a vote of 270 to 156.