VFW Washington Weekly
January 7, 2012
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Pentagon Unveils New Strategic Guidance
Yesterday, President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey unveiled new strategic guidance at the Pentagon for a U.S. military of the future that will be smaller and leaner, but still agile, flexible, ready, and technologically advanced to respond to global threats. Initial plan details won't be known until the FY 2013 budget request is unveiled in a few weeks, but the president did say the defense budget will continue to grow over the next 10 years, albeit at a slower pace, now that today's wars are ending. Eight principles will help set funding levels and priorities as DOD must reduce its overall budget by $487 billion over the next decade. The eight principles are:
- Maintain a broad portfolio of military capabilities to counter terrorism and irregular warfare; deter and defeat aggression; project power; counter weapons of mass destruction; operate in space and cyberspace; maintain a secure and effective nuclear deterrent; defend the homeland and support civil authorities; provide a stabilizing presence abroad; conduct stability and counterinsurgency operations; and conduct humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.
- Differentiate between those budget investments that should be made today and those that can be deferred to tomorrow.
- Maintain a ready and capable force, even as we reduce overall capacity.
- Reduce the cost of doing business, to include reductions in the growth of compensation and healthcare costs, while still keeping faith with those who serve, and especially to the 46,000 wounded and families of the 6,200 who lost their lives.
- Examine how this strategy will influence existing campaign and operational contingency plans.
- Examine the proper mix of Active Duty and Reserve Component forces to best suit the new strategy.
- Retain and build upon key advancements in networked warfare, which over the past decade has produced a truly interdependent and interoperable joint force.
- Maintain an adequate industrial base and investment in science and technology.
Click here to read a PDF copy of the Defense Strategic Guidance.
TSA to Ease Military Screening
This week, President Obama signed into law the Risk-based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act, which gives the Transportation Security Administration six months to develop and implement a plan to expedite the airport screening of service members traveling on orders and in uniform. TSA also seeks to accommodate family members who would like to accompany a deploying service member to the boarding gate or greet them upon their return. Family members should contact an airline representative about local procedures to receive passes to enter the secure area. Read more.
VA Expands Mobile Vet Centers
The VA announced that an additional 20 Mobile Vet Centers will be on the road to help increase counseling service access to veterans and their families residing in rural or underserved communities. Almost 200,000 veterans and their families made more than 1.3 million visits to a VA Vet Center in FY 2011. Get more information or find a Vet Center near you.
Korean War MIA Identified
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced the identification of remains belonging to Army Sgt. Joseph A. Bowen, 19, of Augusta, Ga. On Nov. 30, 1950, Bowen was assigned to the 31st Regimental Combat Team when it was attacked by Chinese forces on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Bowen was one of more than 1,000 soldiers reportedly killed, missing or captured during the battle. Read more.
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans