SFTT Military News: Week Ending Apr 14, 2017

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Found below are a few military news items that caught my attention this past week. I am hopeful that the titles and short commentary will encourage SFTT readers to click on the embedded links to read more on subjects that may be of interest to them.

If you have subjects of topical interest, please do not hesitate to reach out. Contact SFTT.

Military Revamping Retirement System to Attract Millennials
In a bid to lure millennials, the U.S. military is making the most sweeping changes to its retirement program since World War II. Gone are the days when only a 20-year veteran leaves the service with a nest egg. Going forward, those who serve as little as two years will return to civilian life with retirement savings. The new system introduces 401(k)-type savings for military personnel while downsizing the traditional pension benefit—a trade the corporate world has been making for 35 years. The new design also comes with a stepped-up effort to provide service members with the education they will need to make the most of a system that demands more individual involvement.  Read more . . .

Expanded U.S. Military Push in Yemen?
Amid reports President Trump is considering more American military help for the Saudi-led fight in Yemen, U.S. lawmakers are urging caution, if not an about-face. Four U.S. senators have offered legislation to limit arms sales to Riyadh over its troubled Yemen campaign. Fifty-five members of the U.S. House called on Trump in a letter to end both U.S. refueling for Saudi coalition warplanes and logistical assistance for the Saudi-led bombings in Yemen — and they said Trump must seek congressional approval before he deepens U.S. military involvement.  Read more . . .

Department of Veterans Affairs

Another VA Hospital Criticized by the Inspector General
In a scathing report, the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs listed a range of overlooked and long-standing problems at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center “sufficient to potentially compromise patient safety.” The risk to the 98,000 vets served by medical center in the nation’s capital was so high that the office of Inspector General Michael Missal took the unusual step of issuing a preliminary report to alert new VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin to the danger.  Read more . . .

Future of the US Military Health System
Three components are needed for a high-performing military. First, the health of military personnel affects “readiness and battlefield performance.” So, health is not only a personnel matter, but also a national security issue. Second, maintaining the health of service members requires “everything from nutritious meals to medical services.”  Third, health care benefits help to attract and retain men and women in the armed services.  Nevertheless, the Military Health System “is a major cost” to the federal government, and the growth of that system “threatens other defense priorities” and attracts “criticism and proposals to reform military health care.”  Read more . . .

Oxycontin and PTSD

Oxycontin Being Tested (Again) for Treatment of PTSD
Nightmares. Obsessive thoughts. Avoiding particular places. Sudden outbursts. Fearing you’re in danger. Survivor guilt. These experiences – manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – are part of life for up to 1 in 3 U.S. combat veterans and active military personnel. That’s more than triple the prevalence of PTSD in the population at large. About two-thirds of those with PTSD struggle with alcohol abuse. A new trial may hold new hope for these military personnel through treatment with oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.”  Read more . . .

Tonix Drug PTSD Study Enters Phase 3
Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. announced today that it has enrolled the first participant in the Phase 3 HONOR study of TNX-102 SL 5.6 mg, for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “Enrolling the first participant in the HONOR study is an important event not only to Tonix, but potentially to millions who suffer worldwide from both civilian and military-related PTSD,” said Seth Lederman, M.D., Tonix’s president and chief executive officer. “The HONOR study is designed to confirm the clinical benefit of TNX-102 SL to improve PTSD symptoms across several measures as demonstrated in our Phase 2 AtEase study in military-related PTSD.”   Read more . . .

VA Launches New “Quality of Care” Website
The Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a new website Wednesday aimed at providing information on the quality of care at VA medical centers, touting new accountability even as it grappled with fresh questions of patient safety in its beleaguered health system. The VA website, www.accesstocare.va.gov, is a work in progress. It provides preliminary data on the VA’s 1,700 health facilities, along with more than a dozen private-sector hospitals and national averages. Three years after a wait-time scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, the website offers comparative data on wait times as well as veterans’ satisfaction ratings in getting timely appointments.  Read more . . .

 

Drop me an email at info@sftt.org if you believe that there are other subjects that are newsworthy.

Feel you should do more to help our brave men and women who wear the uniform or our Veterans? Consider donating to Stand For The Troops

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SFTT News: Week Ending Feb 3, 2017

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Found below are a few news items that caught my attention this past week. I am hopeful that the titles and short commentary will encourage SFTT readers to click on the embedded links to read more on subjects that may be of interest to them.

If you have subjects of topical interest, please do not hesitate to reach out. Contact SFTT.

Russian Hackers Allegedly Hit Norway Spy Agency
Nine personal civil-servant email accounts in Norway have been targeted by hackers in “spear-phishing” attacks believed to be associated with Russian intelligence, the Norwegian security service said Friday. It said no classified information has been taken. PST spokesman Martin Berntsen says the agency was warned earlier this year by a foreign agency about “targeted attacks” on the security service, Norway’s Labor Party, the military and government agencies. He declined to name the foreign partner. “The attacks had a signature that indicates those behind the hacking can be identified as APT29,” Bernsen told The Associated Press. “They can be traced back to Russia.”  Read more . . .

cyber warfare

U.S. Military Releases Videos Seized During Yemen Raid
The US military released five brief video clips Friday showing for the first time some of the information seized in Sunday’s counter terrorism raid against al Qaeda in Yemen. Five short video clips show a black-hooded figure in head-to-toe white garb standing in front of a white board and giving a lecture on bomb making. The video is titled “Courses for Destroying the Cross” and features shots of chemistry equipment and hands wearing black gloves pouring powder from one glass beaker into another holding a clear liquid. Subtitles written by US Central Command run below the image as the instructor says, “Now we start with a practical training on how to destroy the cross with explosives. We would like as many people to graduate with this knowledge and expertise as possible.”  Read more . . .

Details on New Military Retirement Implementation Phase Emerge
The Defense Department started to move this week into the implementation phase of the new military retirement system Congress ordered it to set up just over a year ago, including through an exhaustive education campaign designed to make sure service members understand how the new system works. DoD has been rolling out training materials for military leaders and financial managers since last June. But on Tuesday, officials started the training process for the roughly 2 million active-duty and reservist service members who stand to be affected by the changes, which will eventually replace the military’s cliff-vested retirement pension with a combination of defined benefits and government contributions into service members’ Thrift Savings Plan accounts.  Read more . . .

U.S. Military Poised to “Beef Up” According to Mattis Memo
The Defense Department is making a big push for capacity building and to reform its business practices over the next six years. In a memo released Feb. 1, Defense Secretary James Mattis said DoD will focus its 2018 budget on “growing the force structure to the maximum responsible rate.” Mattis explained the 2018 budget will address pressing programmatic shortfalls and rebuild readiness. That includes building programs for advanced capabilities as well as buying critical munitions and funding facilities sustainment at a higher level.  Read more . . .

Iran Put on Notice After Missile Test
The White House has issued a cryptic warning that the U.S. will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen, but declined to say what retaliatory actions the U.S. would pursue. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, forcefully denounced Iran’s behavior in his first public remarks since Trump took office. He accused Iran of threatening U.S. allies and spreading instability throughout the Middle East while faulting the Obama administration for doing too little to stop the Islamic Republic. “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Flynn said from the White House podium.  Read more . . .

Veterans Affairs Nominee Vows Not to Privatize VA
President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, David J. Shulkin, vowed at his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to reform — but not privatize — veterans’ health care, potentially puDavid Shulkin, VA Secretary tting him at odds with Mr. Trump’s campaign promise to allow all veterans to choose private health care. “V.A. is a unique national resource that is worth saving,” Dr. Shulkin told the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. He added, “The Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch.”  Read more . . .

 

Drop me an email at info@sftt.org if you believe that there are other subjects that are newsworthy.

Feel you should do more to help our brave men and women who wear the uniform or our Veterans? Consider donating to Stand For The Troops

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