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Military spouses in need of work -- especially when their husbands or wives have to redeploy -- will have an extra resource in finding their next job. The Office of Personnel Management has approved new hiring guidelines that allow military spouses to be quickly hired for civilian jobs they're qualified for. OPM says its not a preference, but a way to help military families cope with the hardship of transfers.
Army aviators — the soldiers who fly attack missions, ferry troops and supplies and evacuate the wounded — are in ever-increasing demand even as America eyes the exits in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan conflict, which marked its 10th anniversary Friday, is in many ways a helicopter war.
Another controversy is brewing. A video called "collateral murder" has been posted at wikeleaks.org. It appears to show a group of unarmed men being fired on by U.S. military forces in Iraq in July of 2007. Reuters is reporting a Senior U.S. miltiary official confirms the video is authentic and came from an Apache helicopter gunsight. Reuters says among those believed to be killed in the attack was Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver. Two children also were wounded.
What next on Don't Ask Don't Tell? According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon's chief legal counsel says a nine-month study on gays in the military will likely review rules for troops on certain sex acts. The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits those acts even among consenting adults and married couples. Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson, who is helping to lead a study on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, said he planned to review all related aspects of the military legal code.
The U.S. military is planning to set up new training centers inside Pakistan where American special operations trainers would work with Pakistani forces close to the Afghan border battle zone. A U.S military official says the new centers would supplement two already operating in Pakistan, and they would be used to accelerate and expand the training of Pakistani forces considered key to rooting out al-Qaida leaders hiding along the mountainous border.
Is Iran providing weapons to the Taliban? The U.S. military thinks so. The Pentagon has recovered evidence in western Afghanistan, near the border with Iran, of weapons and explosives bearing markings indicating they were made in Iran. These are the same types of weapons that flowed into Iraq during the height of the war. Experts think the weapons actually come from Iran's Revolutionary Guards and their Quds force. The question under examination now is the extent to which the Iranian government is involved.
Iran, whose nuclear facilities are under threat of possible Israeli military strikes, proposed Wednesday that a 150-nation conference convening in the fall bans such attacks. Iran says the proposal, revealed to The Associated Press by diplomats and confirmed by a senior Iranian envoy, is not linked to veiled threats by Israel of an attack as a last resort if the international community fails to persuade Tehran to freeze its nuclear activities. Instead, all of the diplomats said the Iranian initiative seeks support for a generally worded document prohibiting all armed attacks against nuclear installations anywhere, when 150 nations convene for the September general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Russia is sending a message to the world. Steer clear of Georgia. Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reports Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is warning other countries against military cooperation with Georgia. Lavrov said Russia hopes that the world realized what giving weapons to Georgia means and he quoted the brief conflict almost a year ago in S. Ossettia. He went on to say yesterday many have already drawn conclusions and have stopped their cooperation with Georgia.
Today is spouse appreciation day for the military. Since 1984, the Armed Forces have set aside a special day to acknowledge the significant contributions of military spouses. The day is designed to acknowledge the unique challenges that face military families and spouses. Whether here stateside or thousands of miles away, the members of the military are well aware that the hardships that many of the face would be much greater if weren't for the spouse.
War games next month for the Missile Defense Agency. The game --simulate a missile attack from Iran. The Pentagon says the agency will use its newest missile-killing technology. The test reportedly will involve a fake intercontinental ballistic missile launch from Iran. The fake missile will actually take off from the Missile Defense Agency's launch facility in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific, while the interceptor will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.