Less incentives for troops this year

The fiscal 2012 defense budget taking shape in Congress could have the fewest significant initiatives for military personnel, retirees and their families in a generation. Blame the ballooning debt crisis, which has left Republicans and Democrats alike looking for ways to curb federal spending, including for defense. And credit a long list of pay and […]

Geronimo, bin Laden share similarities

Like every other American, I was stunned last Sunday when I learned that Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in a military enclave in Pakistan. I felt relieved that we had finally run the admitted mastermind of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks to ground. I was glad that our military and intelligence members […]

Press release: NM senators want military paid if government shutdown happens

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman joined a bipartisan group of senators today in cosponsoring the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011 (S. 724) to assure that military personnel continue to be paid in the event of a government shutdown.

Rating system needs improvement

After a three-year effort by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to improve the process, ill and injured military members still endure a long, complex and often contentious evaluation system when seeking disability ratings and compensation for service-related health conditions. The process has been made more convenient and even shortened by an average six […]

Military update: Debate heating over TRICARE

Senior Defense officials defended their plan to raise TRICARE Prime fees modestly for working-age retirees last week at a hearing of the House armed services subcommittee on military personnel. Next day, representatives of military associations testified. Five of them, including one who spoke on behalf of 13 other groups too, said they could accept what […]

Editorial: Military action in Libya not justified

Now in the fifth day of America’s third war, President Barack Obama has failed to offer Congress or the American people a reasonable and thorough justification for Operation Odyssey Dawn, or a definition of the mission and success in Libya. He sought support from European nations and the Arab League in concert with the United […]

Press release: Local Army Reserve battalion completes training in New Jersey

The 5th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 100th Division, based in Lubbock, Tx, recently completed its Annual Training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Jan. 31, 2011. Despite subfreezing temperatures, the Battalion successfully trained 87 Soldiers in both Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations initial training (MOS-T), as well as the Non-Commissioned Officer Civil Affairs Advanced Leaders […]

Budget delays harming readiness

Defense officials are shaking their heads in disbelief as congressional leaders continue to delay passing a wartime defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011, which began last October. With the military spending bill now more than five months overdue, lawmakers last week passed a new stopgap “continuing resolution,” this “CR” to last two weeks, so […]

Military force won’t deter drug cartels

Freedom New Mexico Mexican President Felipe Calderon has promised to send more than 2,500 additional military troops to his northeast border to deal with the growing violence right across from the Rio Grande Valley. Calderon said last month that he would deploy four more battalions, each with about 650 troops, to Mexico’s northeast border. He […]

Proposed fee increases ‘modest’

Lawmakers seeking guidance from military associations on whether to support the new Defense Department plan to raise TRICARE Prime enrollment fees modestly for working-age retirees next year, and then to adjust them annually for inflation, will get mixed signals this time around. Joyce Wessel Raezer, national director of the National Military Family Association, is not […]

Honors — Feb. 20

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Banda [image #1, align=left, size=medium] Air Force Airman Michael J.Banda graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic […]

Military touts medical home care

Most military beneficiaries haven’t heard of PCMH or “patient-centered medical home,” a civilian-conceived strategy to improve managed care. Yet 655,000 military beneficiaries who use base clinics and hospitals have been enrolled with a PCMH team over the past 14 months and that number is projected to double this year and double again, to 2.5 million […]

Obama plans support for military families

The Associated Press President Barack Obama is announcing new government-wide initiatives to support military families, including programs aimed at preventing suicide and eliminating homelessness. Obama says the government has an obligation to help military families as they support loved ones fighting for their country. Obama says he often meets with service members who say their […]

Defense secretary announcing military cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is announcing the latest round of cost-cutting measures for the military, including a plan to do away with a new amphibious vehicle that can ferry troops to shore while under fire. The plan is aimed at staving off potentially deeper cuts by the White House or Congress by […]

Koreas able to handle own conflicts

Freedom New Mexico A fter several weeks of tensions, highlighted by military exercises in which South Korea fired live artillery near North Korea in a show of force and defiance, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, in what most news accounts described as a surprise, has called for the resumption of six-party talks over North Korea’s […]

Airmen in Clovis to receive little to no increase in housing allowance

Sharna Johnson New military housing allowance rates set to take effect Jan. 1 won’t offer much comfort to Cannon airmen struggling to meet their housing needs in Clovis. According to a new Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate chart released Wednesday by the Defense Department, airmen in Clovis will receive little to no increase in […]

Military pay increases guaranteed

Military members are guaranteed at least a 1.4 percent pay raise effective Jan. 1, even if a bitterly divided Congress can’t pass a defense authorization bill. What almost certainly will end, however, is an 11-year string of annual military pay increases that exceeded private sector wage growth by at least a half percentage point. The […]

Debt panel takes aim at military

Tom Philpott Military members and retirees have more financial darts to dodge after a second bipartisan task force on reducing the nation’s debt unveiled a different set of cost-cutting recommendations on Wednesday. The Debt Reduction Task Force, co-chaired by former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici and economist Alice Rivlin, takes sharper aim at the military community […]

Honors — Nov. 21

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Hook [image #1, align=right, size=medium] Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher T. Hook graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. He is […]

Proposal raises costs for military

Military personnel and federal civilian workers would see pay levels frozen for three years and their out-of-pocket medical costs rise under a proposed plan to cut federal budget deficits by $200 billion a year by 2015. The 58-part “illustrative” plan was unveiled Wednesday by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson (Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles, chief of […]