On the Military Times SitRep video podcast,
- The American Legion has called on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign in the wake of fraud at VA hospitals nationwide
- The Air Force has requested that the A-10 Warthog program be dropped to save money, but some in Congress, especially Senator John McCain (R-AZ), insist that it is essential for ground support
Citing poor oversight and failed leadership, American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger called for the resignations of Shinseki as well two other officials, Under Secretary of Health Robert Petzel and Under Secretary of Benefits Allison Hickey. While praising Shinseki’s career, Dellinger said there had been at the VA “a pattern of bureaucratic incompetence and failed leadership that has been amplified in recent weeks.”
The House Armed Services Committee began legislative haggling over the Defense budget Wednesday, approving $5.2 billion for Cyber Defense. The panel rejected many of the administration’s cost-cutting moves, including shooting down the creation of base closures commission.
The committee also voted to keep troop pay raises in place. The Obama administration had asked for pay cuts, arguing that reforms were needed to help readiness.
The House kept the current pay and benefit structure, choosing instead to cut maintenance.
A-10 Warthog Compromise: Mothballs
The Hill also reports that the A-10 Warthog ground support aircraft could be put in storage, rather than destroyed, until the Defense budget improved. Such a move would require minimal maintenance on the aircraft, but might allow rapid redeployment.
The Pentagon meanwhile paid $150 per gallon for “green” jet fuel, according to a Government Accountability Office report. The Pentagon, like other federal agencies, has been given a policy to encourage the production of biofuels in the general economy.
Escalation Not Likely In Nigeria
The Marine Corps Times reported that the US would provide technical assistance with satellite imagery and other technologies in finding remote camps where kidnapped girls had been taken. Further aid beyond that is not likely.