<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - military]]> http://gazette.com/rss/military Wed, 25 May 2016 03:24:25 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[TSA chief headed back to Capitol Hill to talk airport lines]]> http://gazette.com/tsa-chief-headed-back-to-capitol-hill-to-talk-airport-lines/article/feed/353455?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/tsa-chief-headed-back-to-capitol-hill-to-talk-airport-lines/article/feed/353455?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Transportation Security Administration is heading back to Capitol Hill Wednesday to try to explain what his agency is doing to deal with increasingly long airport security lines that have already snarled the fledgling summer travel season.

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger is also likely to be pressed by members of the House Homeland Security Committee to explain exactly what prompted the ouster of the agency's top security official, Kelly Hoggan.

Hoggan was removed Monday and replaced by a former federal security director in Los Angeles and New York, Darby LaJoye.

Neffenger has also announced a new management team in charge of screening operations at Chicago O'Hare International Airp

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:42:59 -0600 <![CDATA[Top general urges lawmakers to preserve Afghan visa program]]> http://gazette.com/top-general-urges-lawmakers-to-preserve-afghan-visa-program/article/feed/353454?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/top-general-urges-lawmakers-to-preserve-afghan-visa-program/article/feed/353454?custom_click=rss WASHINGTON (AP) — The top American commander in Afghanistan is urging Congress to preserve a program that issues visas to Afghans who risked their lives working for the U.S.-led coalition.

Army Gen. John Nicholson tells Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona that these Afghan civilians could be in serious danger if Congress cancels a program that allows them to resettle in the United States.

But it could be scuttled by the end of the year. A debate in the Senate over the visa program's future is expected to begin Wednesday when the chamber takes up the annual defense policy bill.

McCain, the Armed Services chairman, says it would be unconscionable to deny visas to Afghans who've become targets for assisting the U.S

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:36:06 -0600 <![CDATA[Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after Mansour's death]]> http://gazette.com/afghan-taliban-appoint-new-leader-after-mansours-death/article/feed/353419?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/afghan-taliban-appoint-new-leader-after-mansours-death/article/feed/353419?custom_click=rss

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Taliban confirmed on Wednesday that their leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike last week and that they have appointed a successor — a scholar known for extremist views who is unlikely to back a peace process with Kabul.

The announcement came as a suicide bomber struck a minibus carrying court employees in the Afghan capital, killing at least 10 people, an official said. The Taliban promptly claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement sent to the media, the Taliban said their new leader is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, one of Mansour's two deputies. The insurgent group said he was chosen at a meeting of Taliban leaders, which is believed to have take

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:35:25 -0600 <![CDATA[Gov't report: Feds spend billions to run ancient technology]]> http://gazette.com/govt-report-feds-spend-billions-to-run-ancient-technology/article/feed/353446?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/govt-report-feds-spend-billions-to-run-ancient-technology/article/feed/353446?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional investigators say the government spends about three-fourths of its technology budget maintaining aging computer systems. That includes platforms more than 50 years old in such vital areas as nuclear weapons and Social Security. One still uses floppy disks.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the increasing cost of maintaining museum-ready equipment drains money that could go for modernization. The report will be released Wednesday.

GAO said it found problems across the government, not just in a few agencies.

One example is the Defense Department's Strategic Automated Command and Control System, used to send and receive emergency action messages to U.S. nuclear forces.

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:24:40 -0600 <![CDATA[Military spouses struggle to find jobs]]> http://gazette.com/military-spouses-struggle-to-find-jobs/article/feed/353402?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/military-spouses-struggle-to-find-jobs/article/feed/353402?custom_click=rss WASHINGTON (AP) — Military spouses struggle to find jobs and are more likely to work for less pay or in positions below their education level, spurring unemployment and other costs of as much as $1 billion a year, according to a study.

Wrestling with frequent moves, deployments and erratic schedules of their service member mates, military spouses have an unemployment rate of up to 18 percent, compared to last month's national jobless rate of 5 percent.

The problem is not new to the Pentagon, and in recent years has triggered a flood of new programs aimed at encouraging companies to hire military veterans and spouses.

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:21:07 -0600 <![CDATA[Israeli official says deal reached to expand government]]> http://gazette.com/israeli-official-says-deal-reached-to-expand-government/article/feed/353447?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/israeli-official-says-deal-reached-to-expand-government/article/feed/353447?custom_click=rss JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli official say a deal has been reached to expand the coalition government by bringing in the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of Avigdor Lieberman.

According to the agreement reached on Wednesday, Lieberman will become the country's new defense minister.

Moshe Leon, a representative for Lieberman, says a deal will be signed later in the day. A government official confirmed both sides have reached an agreement. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The deal caps a tumultuous week of politics that began with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being expected to invite the moderate Labor Party before he chose Lieberman's ultranationalist party instead.

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 02:20:36 -0600 <![CDATA[Israeli official: Deal reached to expand government, Lieberman to become defense minister]]> http://gazette.com/israeli-official-deal-reached-to-expand-government-lieberman-to-become-defense-minister/article/feed/353441?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/israeli-official-deal-reached-to-expand-government-lieberman-to-become-defense-minister/article/feed/353441?custom_click=rss JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli official: Deal reached to expand government, Lieberman to become defense minister.

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Wed, 25 May 2016 02:00:03 -0600
<![CDATA[Rights group: Israeli army probes of soldiers a fig leaf]]> http://gazette.com/rights-group-israeli-army-probes-of-soldiers-a-fig-leaf/article/feed/353428?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rights-group-israeli-army-probes-of-soldiers-a-fig-leaf/article/feed/353428?custom_click=rss JERUSALEM (AP) — A leading Israeli rights group said Wednesday it will stop seeking investigations of Israeli soldiers suspected of abusing Palestinians, arguing that internal military probes have failed to deliver justice and effectively help whitewash half a century of occupation.

In a rebuke to the military justice system, the Israeli group B'Tselem said military investigations are deeply flawed and create a "mere semblance of justice."

Hagai El-Ad, the group's executive director, said B'Tselem would stop cooperating with a system it cannot trust.

"The system's real function is cover-ups," he said. He said once the group reached that "painful conclusion ... we found it morally unacceptable for us to continue workin

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]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 01:30:33 -0600 <![CDATA[Afghan Taliban confirm death of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in US drone strike, appoint successor]]> http://gazette.com/afghan-taliban-confirm-death-of-former-leader-mullah-akhtar-mansour-in-us-drone-strike-appoint-successor/article/feed/353410?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/afghan-taliban-confirm-death-of-former-leader-mullah-akhtar-mansour-in-us-drone-strike-appoint-successor/article/feed/353410?custom_click=rss KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan Taliban confirm death of former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in US drone strike, appoint successor.

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Tue, 24 May 2016 23:31:19 -0600
<![CDATA[US defense secretary visits Newport during New England trip]]> http://gazette.com/us-defense-secretary-visits-newport-during-new-england-trip/article/feed/353411?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/us-defense-secretary-visits-newport-during-new-england-trip/article/feed/353411?custom_click=rss NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is visiting Rhode Island as part of a multi-day trip to New England to see Navy installations and meet service members.

Carter plans to stop by the U.S. Naval War College and Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport on Wednesday.

He's scheduled to give an address and answer students' questions.

Scientists and engineers at the center plan to show Carter the latest in unmanned surface, undersea and air vehicles and other undersea technologies.

Carter previously visited Connecticut.

At Yale University in New Haven on Monday, Carter, a Yale alumnus, awarded commissions to the university's first ROTC graduating class in more than four decades.

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 23:21:20 -0600 <![CDATA['SOS' in the sand leads to hikers stranded on Hawaii beach]]> http://gazette.com/sos-in-the-sand-leads-to-hikers-stranded-on-hawaii-beach/article/feed/353387?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/sos-in-the-sand-leads-to-hikers-stranded-on-hawaii-beach/article/feed/353387?custom_click=rss KAPAA, Hawaii (AP) — The Coast Guard says "SOS" scrawled on the sand led rescuers to two hikers who were stranded overnight on Kauai's Na Pali Coast.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew was conducting training in the area Tuesday when crew members overheard a radio conversation mentioning "SOS" written in the sand at Kalalau beach.

The Coast Guard says the crew members diverted from the training mission and saw two people on the beach waving their arms.

A rescue swimmer was lowered to the beach and found that one of the hikers had an injured ankle and couldn't walk.

The crew hoisted the hikers to safety and took them to Lihue Airport, where paramedics were waiting.

Both are in stable condition.

It was not

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 21:57:53 -0600 <![CDATA[Vallejo unveils plans for electric car plant at ex-shipyard]]> http://gazette.com/vallejo-unveils-plans-for-electric-car-plant-at-ex-shipyard/article/feed/353201?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/vallejo-unveils-plans-for-electric-car-plant-at-ex-shipyard/article/feed/353201?custom_click=rss SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The city of Vallejo, which emerged from bankruptcy five years ago, is poised to get a big economic boost as plans to build a major plant for electric cars are rolling forward, officials said Tuesday.

City leaders later this month will consider and vote on an exclusive negotiating agreement with Faraday Future for a 150-acre plant on the north end of Mare Island, a former U.S. Navy shipyard.

"When we first started marketing this property, our first objective was good-paying jobs with green technology and an employer willing and able to make the necessary investment," Mayor Osby Davis said. "Faraday Future and its plans to make Vallejo its second manufacturing site and bring green technology to Mare Islan

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 21:20:37 -0600 <![CDATA[2 more journalists go missing in lawless area of Colombia]]> http://gazette.com/2-more-journalists-go-missing-in-lawless-area-of-colombia/article/feed/353062?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/2-more-journalists-go-missing-in-lawless-area-of-colombia/article/feed/353062?custom_click=rss

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Two more journalists were reported missing Tuesday in a lawless region where Colombian security forces were already carrying out an extensive search for a prominent Spanish journalist who disappeared over the weekend.

The two journalists from the right-leaning TV network RCN had traveled to the Catatumbo region to cover the hunt for Salud Hernandez-Mora, a longtime correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo whose weekly column in the Bogota daily El Tiempo is one of the most read in Colombia.

Authorities declined to call Hernandez-Mora's disappearance a kidnapping, and no one had claimed responsibility for her disappearance, but speculation heightened that she could have been taken hostage by t

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 20:27:54 -0600 <![CDATA[Rights group urges halt of arms deals to Egypt over abuses]]> http://gazette.com/rights-group-urges-halt-of-arms-deals-to-egypt-over-abuses/article/feed/353354?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/rights-group-urges-halt-of-arms-deals-to-egypt-over-abuses/article/feed/353354?custom_click=rss CAIRO (AP) — Britain-based Amnesty International is calling on European Union member states to halt arms sales to Egypt over human rights abuses it characterizes as "fueling killings and torture."

In a Wednesday statement, it said that almost half of EU member states have flouted a suspension on arms transfers to Egypt, "risking complicity in a wave of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture."

"Internal repression by the security forces remains rife, and there has been virtually no accountability," says Magdalena Mughrabi from the group. "Excessive use of force, mass arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances having become a part of the security forces' modus operandi," she added.

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 19:04:29 -0600 <![CDATA[Teen pleads not guilty to threat against military personnel]]> http://gazette.com/teen-pleads-not-guilty-to-threat-against-military-personnel/article/feed/353333?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/teen-pleads-not-guilty-to-threat-against-military-personnel/article/feed/353333?custom_click=rss HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania teenager accused earlier of trying to assist the Islamic State group has pleaded not guilty to accusations he tweeted out the names and addresses of military personnel with threats of violence.

Nineteen-year-old Jalil Aziz pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges of solicitation to commit a crime of violence and transmitting a communication containing a threat to injure.

Assistant federal public defender Thomas Thornton calls Aziz "a kid who made mistakes." He says he doesn't believe Aziz is a threat.

Thornton has withdrawn a request Aziz be released from Dauphin County Prison and placed under house arrest with his parents.

Aziz pleaded not guilty in December to trying

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]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 17:43:14 -0600 <![CDATA[Female Fort Carson soldier summited Mount Everest Tuesday in bid to raise PTSD awareness]]> http://gazette.com/female-fort-carson-soldier-summited-mount-everest-tuesday-in-bid-to-raise-ptsd-awareness/article/1576825?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/female-fort-carson-soldier-summited-mount-everest-tuesday-in-bid-to-raise-ptsd-awareness/article/1576825?custom_click=rss

Fort Carson Capt. Elyse Ping Medvigy, was atop the world Tuesday.

Medvigy, 32, summited Mount Everest in the morning hours with a fellow active-duty soldier and a veteran in a climb for U.S. Expeditions and Explorations, a nonprofit seeking to raise awareness of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. According to a news release, the nonprofit believes Medvigy to be the first active-duty female soldier to scale Earth's highest mountain.

The Ridgway native was joined on the 29,029-foot summit with 2nd Lt. Harold Earls and retired Staff Sgt. Chad Jukes, who lost his right leg in Iraq. She was the first to reach the top among the group, at 7:40 a.m. Everest time, according to an online chronicle of the climb by the

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Tue, 24 May 2016 17:33:47 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Walk for Veterans aims to 'promote veteran-friendly legislature']]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-walk-for-veterans-aims-to-promote-veteran-friendly-legislature/article/1576756?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-walk-for-veterans-aims-to-promote-veteran-friendly-legislature/article/1576756?custom_click=rss

The crowd walking through Garden of the Gods wearing bright yellow shirts was clearly visible to passersby - but they didn't mind.

The members of the American Legion participating in Monday's Walk for Veterans were out to raise awareness, and that meant answering questions and sharing their stories.

Dale Barnett, the American Legion's national commander, attended the walk and addressed the 50-person crowd.

"When I became national commander, they said, 'Commander, what are you going to do to get people excited about the American Legion?'" Barnett said. "I said, 'I want to walk, and I want to get out of the post home, and I want to tell people in the community what we do in the American Legion.

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Tue, 24 May 2016 17:03:17 -0600
<![CDATA[PTSD at issue for Colorado Springs veteran who shot friend]]> http://gazette.com/ptsd-at-issue-for-colorado-springs-veteran-who-shot-friend/article/1576770?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/ptsd-at-issue-for-colorado-springs-veteran-who-shot-friend/article/1576770?custom_click=rss

An ex-Fort Carson sniper appears prison bound after shooting a man in the hand during what supporters call a "dissociative state" triggered by combat stress.

Advocates for 27-year-old former Staff Sgt. Cory Griffin are mounting a last-ditch effort to get him into a special treatment program before a sentencing scheduled for Wednesday.

Short of an 11th hour intervention, Griffin faces 5 to 16 years of mandatory prison under a March guilty plea to second-degree assault - a deal that Griffin took to avoid going to trial on a second-degree murder charge with the potential for 40-years in prison.

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Tue, 24 May 2016 14:52:05 -0600
<![CDATA[Watch: Naval Academy students cap Herndon Monument]]> http://gazette.com/watch-naval-academy-students-cap-herndon-monument/article/1576747?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/watch-naval-academy-students-cap-herndon-monument/article/1576747?custom_click=rss

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The U.S. Naval Academy's plebe class has capped the Herndon Monument.

About 1,000 first-year students took part in this annual tradition Monday afternoon.

Chris Bianchi, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, capped the 21-foot obelisk slathered with vegetable shortening with a midshipmen's hat. It was done in one hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds.

Students formed a human pyramid to help classmates climb the slippery monument. They removed the hat known as the "dixie cup" from the top of the monument and replaced it with a midshipmen's hat, marking the end of the plebe year.

Plebes began climbing the monument in 1940. The placement of the cap started seven years later.

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Mon, 23 May 2016 17:14:03 -0600
<![CDATA[Military Update: Senators link higher Tricare fees to health care gains]]> http://gazette.com/military-update-senators-link-higher-tricare-fees-to-health-care-gains/article/1576657?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/military-update-senators-link-higher-tricare-fees-to-health-care-gains/article/1576657?custom_click=rss

The Senate Armed Services Committee is embracing some Tricare fee increases proposed by the Obama administration, particularly for working-age retirees and their families. But it links those fee hikes to some surprising and long overdue improvements in patient access and quality of care.

This is a far different and seemingly less strained approach than adopted by the House, which would delay most Tricare fee increases for a generation so they affect only people who enter the military after 2017 and begin to retire 20 or more years later.

On Tricare fees, military beneficiaries almost certainly would prefer that the House provisions prevail when a conference committee meets to iron out differences in the two versions of the

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]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 04:55:23 -0600 <![CDATA[Land use study could build harmony between bases, neighbors]]> http://gazette.com/land-use-study-could-build-harmony-between-bases-neighbors/article/1576479?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/land-use-study-could-build-harmony-between-bases-neighbors/article/1576479?custom_click=rss

Friction between the Pikes Peak region's five military bases and neighbors could be eased by a study aimed at influencing future land use decisions, leaders say.

The Joint Land Use Study conducted by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments using federal grant money examines issues from noise and traffic to schools and cultural needs. It has started with an online community survey that wraps up May 31.

The survey can be found at http://www.ppacg.org/jlus-survey.

"What makes it super important right now is the public input," said Angela Essing, who is running the study for the council.

The study was spurred by community concerns over noise from Air Force Academy training planes and has grown into a look at all

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]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 04:55:22 -0600 <![CDATA[Colorado Springs area military events starting May 22, 2016]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-military-events-starting-may-22-2016/article/1576652?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-area-military-events-starting-may-22-2016/article/1576652?custom_click=rss THROUGH MAY

Free rides - Active-duty military members ride free on Mountain Metropolitan Transit fixed-route buses when military ID is presented or full uniform is worn; 385-7433, mmtransit.com.


Armed Forces Day Celebration - With New Directions Veterans Choir, 2 p.m., Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway, Lakewood, $20 and up; 303-987-7845, lakewood.org/lccpresents.


Letter-Writing to Our Troops with The Home Front Cares - 1-2 p.m., Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave., free. Registration: 955-3400, csseniorcenter.com.


"Once Upon a Mattress" - Blue Bards Theatre Production Co., 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 2-4:30 p.m.

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]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 04:55:10 -0600 <![CDATA[2-year-old Lindstrom Clinic in Colorado Springs already too small, VA officials tell lawmakers]]> http://gazette.com/2-year-old-lindstrom-clinic-in-colorado-springs-already-too-small-va-officials-tell-lawmakers/article/1576554?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/2-year-old-lindstrom-clinic-in-colorado-springs-already-too-small-va-officials-tell-lawmakers/article/1576554?custom_click=rss

DENVER - The 76,000-square-foot Floyd K. Lindstrom Clinic in Colorado Springs only opened in 2014, but VA bosses told the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight that the place is already too small to handle the volume of patients in the Pikes Peak region.

With nearly 25 percent of the clinic's 17,228 patients being asked to wait a month or more for care last month, leaders told lawmakers at a Friday hearing in Denver that they're looking to expansion to make more room for extra doctors at the facility on Fillmore Street at Centennial Boulevard.

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Sat, 21 May 2016 13:33:58 -0600
<![CDATA[Fort Carson soldier released from hospital after bullet wound during training]]> http://gazette.com/fort-carson-soldier-released-from-hospital-after-bullet-wound-during-training/article/1576566?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fort-carson-soldier-released-from-hospital-after-bullet-wound-during-training/article/1576566?custom_click=rss

A Fort Carson soldier was hit in the head by a bullet during a training exercise, but has been released from the hospital.

Post officials said the soldier, with the post's emergency services office which includes military police, was grazed by the shot during a training exercise.

"The incident is under investigation," post spokeswoman Dani Johnson said Friday.

The soldier's identity and details about the training were not released.

Police on the post frequently train in a "shoot house" that simulates combat indoors.

Johnson said the soldier who was hit was hospitalized by had recovered sufficiently enough to be released Friday.

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Fri, 20 May 2016 17:05:27 -0600
<![CDATA[Leader: Schriever lockdown was a false alarm]]> http://gazette.com/leader-schriever-lockdown-was-a-false-alarm/article/1576463?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/leader-schriever-lockdown-was-a-false-alarm/article/1576463?custom_click=rss

A false alarm about a suspicious package led to a lockdown at Schriever Air Force Base Thursday.

The package was found in Building 780, the base's post office, at 10:30 a.m. and security forces ordered Schriever's portals closed and evacuation of the building for an investigation. An investigation later determined the package posed no threat.

"The safety and security of our people and mission is paramount," Schriveer boss Col. DeAnna Burt said in a statement. "We take these matters seriously and I am proud of the team's professionalism and expertise as we contained and investigated this incident."

A lockdown at Schriever is a fairly common experience.

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Thu, 19 May 2016 14:41:11 -0600
<![CDATA[Cheers drown out engines as Colorado Springs airmen roar home]]> http://gazette.com/cheers-drown-out-engines-as-colorado-springs-airmen-roar-home/article/1576420?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/cheers-drown-out-engines-as-colorado-springs-airmen-roar-home/article/1576420?custom_click=rss

Three hulking C-130 transport planes rumbled low over Peterson Air Force Base Wednesday afternoon, the roar of their four turbine engines drowned out by cheers on the ground.

One more flight, due in soon, will mark the end of a wartime tour for the 302nd Airlift Wing, which saw crews fly long missions to keep American troops and allies supplied in their fight against Islamic State and Taliban terrorists.

As he hugged his kids, Lt. Col. Greg Berry, who headed the Middle East mission for the wing, said Wednesday brought the final mark of success for the part-time airmen.

"We sent 145 airmen out the door and we brought them all back," he said.

Around Berry were the happy scenes of reunited families.

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Thu, 19 May 2016 12:40:22 -0600
<![CDATA[Winner of top Pikes Peak region military award earned it in his spare time]]> http://gazette.com/winner-of-top-pikes-peak-region-military-award-earned-it-in-his-spare-time/article/1576421?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/winner-of-top-pikes-peak-region-military-award-earned-it-in-his-spare-time/article/1576421?custom_click=rss The Pikes Peak region's top senior sergeant earned the title in his spare time.

The uniform that National Guard Sgt. 1st Class James Allen usually wears is the blue one issued by his full-time employer - the Colorado Springs Police Department.

"It has been amazing," Allen said of his dual roles serving the community after picking up his Outstanding Enlisted Member award at the Armed Forces Week Luncheon held at The Broadmoor.

Allen was one of three local troops to earn a top award at the event that drew hundreds of people Wednesday to honor those who serve at the Pikes Peak region's five military bases. The annual gathering is organized by the Military Affairs Council of the Colorado Springs Regional Business

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Wed, 18 May 2016 19:59:58 -0600
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs mayor proud of award that measures how community treats troops]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-mayor-proud-of-award-that-measures-how-community-treats-troops/article/1576320?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-mayor-proud-of-award-that-measures-how-community-treats-troops/article/1576320?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs has picked up plenty of plaudits in recent months, including a rating as the nation's fifth-best city to live in and praise for its tourist-friendly downtown.

But Mayor John Suthers said he's proudest of the award the city received Tuesday from the Association of Defense Communities. It judged the city's heart, he said.

"It's an honor to be accepting this recognition on behalf of the thousands of people in our community who give their time and resources to help members of the military and military families," said Suthers, who accepted a flag bearing the title "Great American Defense Community."

Colorado Springs has long been one of America's largest defense communities, with five military installations

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]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 04:55:27 -0600 <![CDATA[Fanning becomes first openly gay military service secretary]]> http://gazette.com/fanning-becomes-first-openly-gay-military-service-secretary/article/1576333?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/fanning-becomes-first-openly-gay-military-service-secretary/article/1576333?custom_click=rss The Senate, after an eight-month delay, confirmed Eric Fanning as Army secretary Tuesday, making him the highest-ranking openly gay official in Pentagon history. The Senate easily passed Fanning's confirmation by voice vote after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he will no longer block Fanning's nomination. Roberts lifted a hold on Fanning's nomination earlier Tuesday after a top Pentagon official reassured him that President Obama will not try to unilaterally close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and move the detainees to Kansas. After talking to Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, the official responsible for leading plans to relocate detainees to U.S. soil in order to close the facility at Guantanamo, Roberts said he was given enough assurances to release Fanning for full Senate consideration. Work, he said, assured him that "the clock has run out" on the administration's efforts to relocate the detainees to Kansas. "I have pledged to the people of Kansas that I would do everything in my power to stop President Obama from moving terrorist detainees to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the intellectual center of the Army," he said. "I believe today I can tell Kansas that the threat from this administration will go unfulfilled." Roberts cautioned that the Pentagon's assurances would do nothing to change Obama's "ongoing insistence that he will close the facilities before he leaves office." "But I take Deputy Secretary Work at his word," he said. "He understands the significant and costly changes that would need to be made at Fort Leavenworth to change the post's mission." "He understands the myriad of challenges that Fort Leavenworth poses after reviewing earlier analyses," he added. "Most importantly, he understands the legal restrictions to move the detainees to Fort Leavenworth" by Jan. 20, 2017. The National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the House Armed Services Committee and being debated by the full House, included provisions barring the administration from spending funds to move any remaining detainees to U.S. soil or modify any facility in the United States to house detainees. That provision mirrors language the GOP-controlled Congress has included in the same measure from previous years. The Obama administration Monday vowed to veto the legislation over efforts to shift billions from war spending to pay for military readiness, as well as the Guantanamo Bay restrictions. The administration vetoed the defense bill over similar issues last year but came back and signed it after the spending provisions in it were modified, but the Guantanamo Bay restrictions remained.

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Tue, 17 May 2016 19:25:46 -0600
<![CDATA[Bergdahl to be court-martialed under new commander-in-chief]]> http://gazette.com/bergdahl-to-be-court-martialed-under-new-commander-in-chief/article/1576276?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/bergdahl-to-be-court-martialed-under-new-commander-in-chief/article/1576276?custom_click=rss

The military's case against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl resumes with a pre-trial hearing Tuesday that could result in his court-martial being moved until after this fall's elections.

The government has proposed delaying the start of the trial to December so classified documents can be properly reviewed and prepared.

Given the shape of the presidential campaign, that could mean Bergdahl will face military justice after voters decide in November whether the incoming Commander-in-Chief will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Bergdahl's defense is already saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is damaging their client's chances for a fair trial by calling him a "dirty, rotten traitor," who "should

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Tue, 17 May 2016 09:53:57 -0600