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May 12, 2014

News Briefs May 12, 2014

Hagel: Military should review transgender ban

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the military should continually review its policy barring transgender individuals from serving in the military.

Hagel did not indicate whether he believes the policy should be overturned. However, Hagel says every qualified American who wants to serve the country should have that opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do the job.

Transgender individuals have a sexual identity that is not clearly male or female. A panel convened by a think tank at San Francisco State University recently estimated that about 15,450 transgender personnel serve in the military and in the National Guard and Reserves.

In 2010, Congress passed legislation allowing gays to serve openly. Hagel said the issue of transgender people serving in the military is more complicated.

Hagel spoke on ABC’s ìThis Week.î AP

Compromise in dispute between Marines, off-roaders

The Marine Corps and off-road vehicle enthusiasts will share a rugged patch of desert near the military base at Twentynine Palms under a compromise brokered by Congress.

The Los Angeles Times reported May 9 that neither side got all it wanted in the nearly decade-long dispute over 200,000 acres of Johnson Valley adjacent to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.

As included in the 2014 defense bill signed by President Obama, approximately 43,000 acres of Johnson Valley will be for recreational use only. Another 79,000 acres will be for the Marine Corps. And 53,000 acres will be shared between the off-roaders and the Marines.

The Times says just how that sharing will be accomplished has yet to be decided. AP

Former defense contractor sentenced, fined

A former Defense Department contractor escaped prison time after pleading guilty to charges related to the removal of classified materials.

Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Bruce Schliemann of Virginia Beach was sentenced May 9 to three years of supervised release and was fined $10,000.

According to a statement of facts filed in U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Va., the retired Navy SEAL was working for a Defense Department contractor in San Diego in 2010.

Officials say in April 2010, Schliemann downloaded classified information from a classified computer in a secure facility to a personal thumb drive. That information was then emailed to employees of another defense contractor in Virginia. The information was then subsequently transmitted to other unauthorized persons. AP




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News Briefs February 27, 2015

Ukraine will start pulling back heavy weapons in the east Ukraine’s military says it will start pulling back its heavy weapons from the front line with Russian-backed separatists as required under a cease-fire agreement. The Defense Ministry said in a statement Feb. 26 that it reserved the right to revise its withdrawal plans in the...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s AstroMesh reflector successfully deploys for NASA’s SMAP satellite

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully deployed the mesh reflector and boom aboard the Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft, a key milestone on its mission to provide global measurements of soil moisture. Launched Jan. 31, SMAP represents the future of Earth Science by helping researchers better understand our planet. SMAP’s unmatched data capabilities are enabled...
 
 

Headlines February 25, 2015

News: Army to send headquarters group to Kandahar in first sign of revision to Afghan withdrawal plan - In the first official sign that the Pentagon plans to keep a U.S. military presence in southern Afghanistan after this year, the Army is sending the 7th Infantry Division headquarters from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on a year-long deployment...
 

 

News Briefs February 25, 2015

Lithuania restores compulsory military service Lithuania will restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation, the government said Feb. 24. After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of growing aggression in Ukraine. Military...
 
 

Headlines February 23, 2015

News: Republicans, Democrats want more DOD spending - Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided about how much the country should spend on the military, but a growing number of all Americans say the Pentagon budget is too small.   Business: New armed UAV export rules help U.S. firms - New U.S. rules loosening restrictions on exports of...
 
 

News Briefs February 23, 2015

New Pentagon chief visits airfield in southern Afghanistan U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is getting briefed on American military operations at Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan as part of what he calls a listening tour of the war zone. On his second day in Afghanistan, Carter flew to Kandahar from Kabul, the capital, where he...
 




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