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Ask A Vet -07/24/2018
Author: Will in Chicago    Date: 2018-07-24 13:49:00

Good morning, bloggers!!!

While we may be rapidly approaching the dog days of summer, the news never stops. The same is true for news of our military.

The Senate has approved a new person to head the Veteran's Administration, It is to be hoped that he can make a difference and solve several ongoing problems. However, there are many people whom I respect who doubt this new addition to the Cabinet.

From The Hill:

Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems
BY JORDAIN CARNEY - 07/23/18 06:39 PM EDT

The Senate easily cleared President Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Monday.

Senators voted 86-9 on Robert Wilkie's nomination to be the VA secretary.

Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) voted against the nomination.

The nine "no" votes make Wilkie the first VA secretary to have senators vote against their nomination since the post was elevated to a Cabinet-level position in 1989.


Meanwhile, the Military Times reports about new technology could be used to blackmail troops.

Ever heard of ‘deep fake’ technology? The phony audio and video tech could be used to blackmail US troops
By: Kyle Rempfer

On June 7, during a training exercise in the Baltics, four U.S. Army Stryker vehicles driving along a road between Kaunas and Prienai, Lithuania, collided when the lead vehicle braked too hard for a obstacle on the roadway. Not long after the incident, a blog post made to look like a popular Lithuanian news outlet claimed the Americans had killed a local child in the collision.

A doctored image was posted showing unconcerned soldiers near a crushed bicycle and child’s corpse.

“This is a very typical example of the hostile information, and proves we are already being watched,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said of the fabricated event during a June 8 meeting with NATO officials. “We have no doubt that this was a deliberate and coordinated attempt aiming to raise general society’s condemnation to our allies, as well as discredit the exercises and our joint efforts on defense strengthening.
In this case, the phony image and news article were quickly refuted, but what happens when it’s not so easy to tell truth from fiction?


Considering the role of Russian bots during the 2016 election, this may be a lot closer to being a problem for our military. The Russian term "Kompromat" does come up in this story.

In some good news, Stars and Stripes reports that there is a deal in the works to give our troops a pay raise.


Senate and House lawmakers reach deal on NDAA
By CLAUDIA GRISALES | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: July 23, 2018

WASHINGTON — A panel of House and Senate lawmakers on Monday reached a deal on a massive defense policy bill that includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for servicemembers and an increase in troops, equipment and weapons for the Defense Department.

Senate and House Armed Services Committee staffers, who spoke with reporters on the condition of anonymity, said Monday that the National Defense Authorization Act, or H.R. 2810, will also address a series of other matters, including the next step in creating a space force and authorization for a military parade in November.

The House began debating the negotiated deal, known as the NDAA conference report, Monday night. The effort could draw a vote in the lower chamber as early as this week.

"This legislation will strengthen our military's readiness, provide our troops a pay raise, support effective implementation of the National Defense Strategy, drive further innovation in emerging technologies to secure our military advantage and continue to reform the Department of Defense," Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., respectively the chairman, ranking Democratic member and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a joint statement Monday.


Finally, here is a story that I hope TriSec will be able to find time to comment on as he is knowledgeable about our military aircraft. Stars and Stripes reports that an old standby of the Navy is standing down.

USS Carl Vinson flies last legacy Hornets during RIMPAC drills

By MARCUS FICHTL | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: July 24, 2018

HONOLULU — This month’s Rim of the Pacific exercise in Hawaii will mark the end of the line for the Navy’s “Baby Hornets.”

Ten F/A-18C multirole supersonic combat jets on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier will be traded for newer, larger F/A-18E Super Hornets in January, said Lt. Kevin Frattin, the “senior-junior” officer for Strike Fighter Squadron 34 out of Virginia Beach, Va.

“You’re not going to see a Hornet on an aircraft carrier, at least with U.S. Navy painted on it, ever again,” he said during a tour of the carrier on Saturday.

Strike Fighter Squadron 34, known as the “Blue Blasters,” traces its heritage back 75 years to an F6F Hellcat squadron aboard the USS Enterprise during World War II in the Pacific. It’s the only operational Hornet squadron still flying, although another squadron that simulates enemy jets still flies the aircraft.


Let us hope that those serving our country will be safe and have the help that they need once they return to civilian life.
 

17 comments (Latest Comment: 07/24/2018 20:38:44 by Raine)
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