Defense Department plans morale, welfare, recreation survey

By Samantha L. Quigley: American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — Defense Department officials are preparing to conduct the first militarywide survey to assess morale, welfare and recreation programs. “We’ve established standards for all the services,” Arthur Myers, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. “Now we want to get feedback […]

G.I. Bill benefits transfer now easier

By Tom Philpott: FNM columnist Service members nearing the end of their careers will find it easier than first thought to transfer new Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to their spouse or children, under Department of Defense regulations. And service members who elect to transfer GI Bill benefits will be allowed to modify or revoke […]

ENMU’s defense sparkles

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Freedom New Mexico: Kevin Wilson ENMU running back Arvin Jackson tries to beat linebacker Rashad McCalister to the sideline on a slant route in the second half of Saturday’s Green-Silver scrimmage at Greyhound Stadium. By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer BLACKWATER DRAW — As the saying goes, defense wins championships. For Eastern New Mexico University, […]

Gates: Health care needs overhaul

By Tom Philpott: FNM columnist Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ prescription for what ails the military health care system includes replacing aging hospitals, and raising TRICARE fees for working-age retirees, which Congress has kept frozen since 1995. “Health care is eating the (Defense) Department alive,” Gates told officers attending the Air War College on Maxwell-Gunter Air […]

Gates’ proposed defense reforms highly unlikely

Freedom New Mexico In proposing a major reshaping of defense spending even before the White House has processed the proposals and added its stamp of hopeful approval to the blueprint, Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that it will be difficult “to make tough choices about specific systems and defense priorities based solely on the national […]

Electronic records not up to par

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The Department of Defense’s $4 billion electronic health record system, AHLTA, is so unreliable and difficult to use that military physicians list it among their top three reasons for leaving service. That fact came to light during a House armed services subcommittee hearing last week in which senior medical officers […]

Program aids military spouses with careers

Office of the Secretary of Defense With Congressional authorization in Public Law 110-417, the Department of Defense is implementing the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Program to provide resources and assistance for spouses of active duty services members, Guard and Reserve with a spouse on orders for one year. The goal is to support a […]

Voluntary Protection Program visits Cannon

Airman 1st Class James R. Bell Volunteer Protection Program members discuss current policies with members of the 27th SOAMS. One of the primary goals is to get squadrons to work together on strengthening their safety programs. By Airman 1st Class Elliott Sprehe: 27th SOW Public Affairs People and safety go together, as evidenced by the […]

‘Special pay’ begins in health sector

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The military medical community, battling shortages in war-critical health professionals including psychiatrists and clinical care nurses, will be the first community in the Department of Defense to use more flexible, responsive “special pay” authorities enacted by Congress nearly a year ago. Other communities — including nuclear and aviation, the enlisted […]

Raise, ‘Wellness’ plan get OK

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Military members will get a 3.9 percent pay raise in January. But the fiscal 2009 defense authorization approved by Congress on Saturday does not include a House-passed plan to set military pay raises through 2013 a half percentage point higher than private sector wage growth. The new defense bill will […]

Defense bill includes funding for Cannon

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — Troops would get a pay raise in a defense bill that Congress sent President Bush on Saturday. Even before passage, lawmakers had backed away from an election-season showdown with the administration over Iraq. Legislation approved by a voice vote in the Senate would increase pay by 3.9 percent, extend […]

Senators toss key amendments

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist To protect its prerogative of adding billions of dollars of pork-barrel projects to defense bills, the Senate last week passed its fiscal 2009 defense authorization bill without allowing votes on 101 pending amendments, some of them important to service personnel. About a third of the ignored amendments would have improved […]

Senate OKs bill containing Cannon funding

By Gabriel Monte: Cannon Connections The Senate passed a defense bill Wednesday that includes $26 million in funding for construction projects at Cannon Air Force Base. The bill cleared the Senate 88-8 despite Republican objections to billions of dollars in special projects lawmakers had added. The measure would permit $612.5 billion in spending for national […]

Senate OKs bill containing Cannon funding

CNJ staff The Senate passed a defense bill Wednesday that includes $26 million in funding for construction projects at Cannon Air Force Base. The bill cleared the Senate 88-8 despite Republican objections to billions of dollars in special projects lawmakers had added. The measure would permit $612.5 billion in spending for national defense programs in […]

Falcons defense stifles Wyoming

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USAF photo: John Van Winkle U.S. Air Force Academy fullback Todd Newell dives over the top of Wyoming defenders for a first down on Sept. 6 in Laramie, Wyo. Newell made eight carries for 23 yards and scored the game’s final touchdown, in the Falcons’ 23-3 win over Wyomin By John Van Winkle: U.S. Air […]

Disabled, retired pay concurrent

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist New groups of disabled retirees will be able this year to draw Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) or higher amounts of Concurrent Retired Disability Payments (CRDP) under legislation passed in January. Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials explained in an interview how they are implementing the changes. Again it will involve […]

Class teaches self-defense techniques

By Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez, 27th SOW Public Affairs Self-defense in the form of martial arts is often thought of as a recreation sport for children. But with April being Sexual Assault Awareness month, Jean Masters, sexual assault response coordinator representative, decided to set up a self-defense class for all Cannon Air Force Base […]

Hounds’ defense gets test

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CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo ENMU’s Michael Carrasco (6) tries to find some open space between three defenders during Saturday morning’s scrimmage at Greyhound Stadium. The Greyhounds will wrap up spring drills with a game against an alumni team next Saturday. By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer BLACKWATER DRAW — Kyle Wilson figures with the […]

Rent proposal pitched to Congress

By Tom Philpott: CNJ Columnist Robert M. Gates is the first secretary of defense to live in military housing, an old but spacious 19th century home in a secure Navy compound in the District of Columbia. Gates also could be the last defense chief to live there, practical as it is, unless Congress amends a […]

Jury hears second day of testimony in Salas murder trial

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Prosecutor Matt Chandler shows the jury pictures of defendant Edward Salas while Krystal Anson looks on Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse during the second day of Edward Salas’ homicide trial. By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The prosecution used a parade of people Tuesday to place Edward Salas and […]