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September 18, 2012

News Briefs – September 18, 2012

Centcom in Florida to become standalone headquarters

 

Military authorities are designating the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., as a standalone headquarters.

An event is planned for Monday.

This means that the command – known as MARCENT – will be led by three-star general Lt. Gen. Robert B. Neller.

Previously, the MARCENT commander split time between MacDill and Camp Pendleton in California.

MARCENT in Tampa is responsible for Marine forces operating in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf region, including the Marine forces in Afghanistan. There are about 15,000 military personnel assigned to the command. AP

 

Pennsylvania preps defend military bases from budget cuts

 

At the request of several state lawmakers, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is setting up a commission to advocate for Pennsylvania’s military installations as the Department of Defense faces a congressional order to cut spending.

Corbett signed an order Sept. 17 to create the commission and appointed Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley to lead it.

State Sens. John Blake and Wayne Alloway say they met with the governor several months ago to discuss the need for Pennsylvania to advocate for its bases.

The law passed by Congress last year requires nearly $500 billion in defense cuts over 10 years beginning on Jan. 2, although some lawmakers are now looking for ways to avoid that. The base defense was $529 billion in 2011. AP

 

Study: Military drinking ‘culture’ now a ‘crisis’

 

A new study says substance abuse among troops has become a “public health crisis” and Pentagon methods for dealing with it are outdated.

The study by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, says about 20 percent of active duty service members reported they drank heavily in 2008, the last year for which data is available. And, binge-drinking rose to 47 percent in 2008 from 35 percent in 1998.

The study says new methods are needed to help troops. Those include better trained counselors and more outpatient care as opposed to relying so heavily on hospitalizations and residential programs. AP

 




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