The unease among lawmakers surfaced during a recent hearing of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee where acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson presented the VA’s longer-term plan to improve access to care.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., for example, asked about difficulties VA has in getting medical records returned from civilian providers, and monitoring the quality of care veterans receive in the private sector.
“One of the biggest challenges we have with purchased care in the community is maintaining continuity of care for the veteran,” Gibson said. “The ability to get medical-record information back and forth is a vital part of this, (to) ensure the quality of care. I will tell you, if the floodgates open, it will present the department with challenges.”
The Congressional Budget Office dropped an anvil of hefty cost estimates on both bills, to the shock of fiscal conservative among supporters.
It was announced last week that Air Force Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson has been nominated for promotion to four-star general and as commander of Pacific Air Forces, the first woman to lead Pacific Command, and the first non-pilot assigned to that large a command. This comes after 32 years of service in the USAF and being the Vice Commander Air Force Air Combat Command. Her promotion also coincides with a drive by the Pentagon to promote more women, in light of the numerous sexual harassment scandals plaguing the armed services, especially the Air Force.
You can read her bio here: LIEUTENANT GENERAL LORI J. ROBINSON
General Robinson entered the Air Force in 1982 through the ROTC program at the University of New Hampshire. She has served in a variety of positions as an air battle manager, including instructor and Commander of the Command and Control Operations Division at the Air Force Fighter Weapons School, as well as Chief of Tactics in the 965th Airborne Warning and Control Squadron. She has commanded an operations group, a training wing, an air control wing and has deployed as Vice Commander of the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, leading more than 2,000 Airmen flying B-1 Lancer, KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry in operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. General Robinson was an Air Force Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and served at the Pentagon as Director of the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Executive Action Group. She has also been Deputy Director for Force Application and Support, Directorate of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Following this General Robinson was Director, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C and prior to assuming her current position General Robinson was the Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Deputy, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia.
Needless to say, Conservatives are not happy.
From the Washington Times
“non-pilot to manage the air force? Isnt that like hiring a community activist to be president?”
“If this women had any courage or was a military person through and through, she would refuse this appointment because she is unqualified and dose not want to put our pilots (and all service members) at risk with her incompetence.
If she accepts this appointment, given solely because she’s a women (according to the WH and State Dept. themselves), then no officer should treat her with respect.”
So now we have a glorified air traffic controller as Commander of Pacific Air Forces.
Welcome to the PC military.
“Gen. Robinson was nominated amid a diversity push by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a general focus on women’s issues by the White House.”
Symbolism over substance, the liberal mantra.
My gaydar went off when I saw this homely woman the second I saw her.
She must be gay. That is the no. 1 qualification for any position in obama’s regime of frauds.
After all, it’s not really about commanding but political correctness and social engineering. All USAF pilots should refuse to fly until she is removed from that post.
And of course, on Twitter
Obama picks female, non-pilot general to head US Air Force in the Pacific. Next up: picking an aquaphobic to lead the Navy. #tcot
So the AF puts a non-flyer in charge of Pacific Air Force. That ought to cause some idiotic decisions. AF becoming a social experiment.
Feminizing, emasculating of military continues: female non-pilot now heads Air Force in Pacific. http://t.co/8P5NZhWnNx
But never forget, they support our troops.
By analogy it’s like an angry child finding daddy’s gun and taking it to school. Or perhaps as if daddy gave him the gun to take to school. Thing to remember is military equipment is designed to be easy to use at least in a relative sense.
The training required to properly operate the system can take weeks or months, which may explain why the Malaysia plane was destroyed in the first place. The problem with the SA-11 is that it’s difficult to properly identify and track targets, but easy to fire missiles. “The skill comes in knowing what you want to shoot at,” says Cordes. That’s because the SA-11’s radar system shows the same “blip” for all different targets. The operator sees an aircraft’s altitude, air speed, and vector, but not it’s size or type, says Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Airliners broadcast a four-digit transponder known as an IFF code that identifies them as civilian aircraft, and the SA-11 system is capable of picking up that information. But the training that goes into properly identifying aircraft takes months, especially since the window for acquiring and firing on targets is just a few minutes.
“You can’t take a crew, stick ‘em inside the cabin, and say here’s the on switch, and here’s the button you hit,” and expect them to operate it properly, says Wesley Paul, a former intelligence research analyst for the Air Force.
“Ready” and “aim” are difficult. “Fire” is easy.
But say someone dropped off the SA-11 and did all the basic work of getting it up and running, another complicated task. And say you decided on a target that popped up on your radar, whether or not you knew what it was. In that case, destruction comes easy. It would take three to four days at most to teach someone to use the system well enough to shoot down a 777, Cordesman says. That’s partly because passenger planes fly at steady speeds and altitudes, and have no defense systems. They cruise higher than fighter jets do, at heights where they’re more easily picked up by radar.
A popular narrative about the current face-off between Hamas and other Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and Israel is that the Israelis, confronted with withering volleys of rocket fire, have had no choice but to respond with overwhelming force and that the failure of the rockets to do much damage has largely been thanks to the country’s US-funded Iron Dome missile defense system.
But it turns out that compared to the last major escalation between the two sides, the Palestinians in 2014 are firing fewer rockets than in the past, and those rockets they are firing are proving less accurate.
And as for Israeli claims that Iron Dome has destroyed 90 percent of the rockets it has targeted and that it’s a “game-changer,” an MIT professor is deeply skeptical.
The .50 caliber target tracking bullets, dubbed Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO), are designed for military snipers, who must deal with changes in wind, light and ambient heat as they fire on a target.
The EXACTO technology is being developed by Teledyne Scientific and Imaging with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which researches new military technologies and is known as a key developer of the Internet.
Zamperini, whose harrowing life story inspired the bestselling novel “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption,” grew up in Torrance and was set to lead the iconic parade down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard Jan. 1. He died Wednesday.
A standout track-and-field star at USC, Zamperini competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where he was the top U.S. finisher in the 5,000-meter race.
He retired from running during World War II and joined the U.S. armed forces. While serving as a bombardier on a reconnaissance mission, his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He survived 47 days on an inflatable raft in shark-infested waters until being captured by the Japanese.
Zamperini remained in captivity for two years, during which time he was tortured, and was eventually listed as being killed in action by the U.S. government.
The airfield in Torrance is named for him.
The U.S. military said it had grounded the entire fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets until completion of additional inspections of the warplane’s single engine built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
The Pentagon’s F-35 program office, Air Force and Navy issued directives on Thursday ordering the suspension of all F-35 flights after a June 23 fire on an Air Force F-35A jet at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, according to statements by the Pentagon and the F-35 program office.
The Pentagon said U.S. and industry officials had not been able to pinpoint the cause of the fire, which occurred as a pilot was preparing for takeoff. The pilot was not injured.
In August 2007, Blackwater’s project manager in Iraq threatened to murder a State Department official who was investigating the company and who’d found substantial evidence of misconduct, according to a New York Times report based in part on documents from the investigation.
That [State Department] official was then ordered to leave the country by American embassy officials, who took Blackwater’s side in the disagreement. The incident occurred just weeks before Blackwater contractors opened fire on Baghdad’s Nissour Square, killing over a dozen Iraqi civilians.
While the bloody-handed criminal Dick Cheney is all over the news pontificating on Iraq, we should remember how corrupt and brutal the Blackwater mercenaries we sent there were.
While it’s been pretty much a given here in the US that the F-35 will be built, come hell or high water, the future of this turkey is still up in the air in the other nations which signed on the dotted line years ago. In nations like Canada, where the price tag for just a couple hundred planes is already over $25 billion, the political controversy has reached the point where support or opposition to buying the F-35 could play a part in next year’s elections.
In response, the CBC has managed to snag an interview with Pierre Sprey, one of the best experts on the difficulties of building fighters in the Pentagon. While many not be familiar with Mr. Sprey’s name, they would be with two of the aircraft he played a major part in designing, and the F-35 is intended to replace: The F-16 fighter and the A-10 attack plane. And Mr. Sprey makes clear just how much of a joke that is:
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the secretive agency that launches and runs the nation’s spy satellite system, is looking at technology developed by the video game industry to help it improve how it gathers and analyzes intelligence data, according to a research proposal released Monday.
The NRO wants to tap into the video game industry’s “innovative algorithms” and “enhanced visualization techniques,” the proposal said.
The NRO works with the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to provide data to be analyzed to track weapons of mass destruction and potential terrorists, develop military target information, help with natural disaster assistance and support international peacekeeping and relief efforts.
The Director’s Innovation Initiative, the agency says, is aimed at paying for research in collection, data processing, management and dissemination-enabling technologies. The various projects are expected to last no longer than nine months and cost no more than $450,000, NRO documents show.