DoD focuses on school renovations

On orders from Congress, the Department of Defense is deciding how to spend a first appropriation — $250 million — to upgrade a set of public schools that are in disrepair or disturbingly overcrowded. The catch is that these schools, though part of local school districts, are on stateside bases and 94 percent of their […]

Sharing medical data imperative for care

By Tom Philpott: Military Update William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, took time during a teleconference with journalists last week to tout his department’s ability to transfer electronically the medical records of separating service members to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In doing so, Winkenwerder ignored a rising chorus of critics […]

Military back pay cost will be shared

By Tom Philpott: Military update The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have worked out a plan for sharing the cost and the task of delivering about $500 million in back pay to more than 100,000 military retirees with VA rated disabilities. The retroactive payments are owed to nearly half of all recipients of Combat-Related […]

Facts prove Cannon should remain open

Freedom Newspapers Fittingly, the fate of Cannon Air Force Base started with numbers and they will greatly impact the outcome. The numbers are clearer now than they were last spring because we know more about the numbers behind our national defense leaders’ plan to close the base. Not all the numbers are pretty and many […]

7/14 BRAC Letters to the editor

Civilians can’t change military’s mind I have spent 15 years of my life at Cannon Air Force Base. I’m not from here, but in 1990 the Department of Defense assigned my Air Force spouse and family here; a mandatory assignment, due to a higher TAC (Tactical Air Command) need. I’ve seen it all as far […]

Base supporters unfazed by report

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer A report recently submitted to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission provides a peek into the 2005 Department of Defense BRAC process. The in-depth analysis, however, left local base supporters generally unfazed. Ret. Brig. Gen. Hanson Scott said the report, generated by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, reflects information […]

Cannon supporters make their case

CNJ Staff Nine supporters of Cannon Air Force Base spent 90 minutes Friday trying to convince Base Realignment and Closure commissioners to remove Cannon from a proposed closure list. Most argued that Defense Department information was flawed and incomplete and emotions ran high with an audience of about 1,400 applauding the speakers on more than […]

Air Force officials: ‘Military value’ central to decision

By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer “Military value” was at the center of the decision by the Department of Defense to place Cannon Air Force Base on the initial Base Realignment and Closure list, according to high-ranking Air Force officials. Maj. Gen. Gary W. Heckman said in a teleconference Friday the decision to recommend Cannon […]

House bill bad news for military spouses

Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Defense says it does not support imposing new limits on the number of years that former spouses can receive court-awarded shares of military retirement. Such limits are at the heart of the Uniformed Services Divorce Equity bill (HR 1111), introduced by Rep. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C., to better protect […]