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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

Revealing identity of SEAL who killed bin Laden disquieting to some commandos

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The local commando community is not pleased that the man who says he killed Osama bin Laden is planning to reveal his identity and talk about his experiences in an upcoming Fox network documentary.

State grants $750,000 for cybersecurity training

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Sometimes, there is a silver lining to a perfect storm, and that’s what the creators of a new cybersecurity training program for veterans hope to capture.

House committee quizzes VA on disciplinary actions in retaliation lawsuit

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— Now that the Department of Veterans Affairs has settled a four-year-old retaliation lawsuit by shelling out $1.3 million to nearly a dozen plaintiffs, the chairman of the Hous...

MacDill AFB campaign gets $150,000 grant to support base’s future

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— Will MacDill Air Force Base still be around in the year 2025?

VA reaches settlement in retaliation lawsuit

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has reached a settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by current and former members of the police department at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.

Roundtable offers chance to consider factors, seek solutions in veteran suicides

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Just Monday morning, 16 veterans contacted the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital suicide crisis hotline.

Internet thief picked the wrong guy

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The Marine veteran lives in Wauchula, commutes to Tampa for his full-time job as a firefighter with Tampa Fire Rescue and also works at South Bay Hospital on his days off.

MacDill caution note spurs wildly varied reactions

- A MacDill email urging military personnel to take caution displaying their military affiliation prompts responses from outrage to understanding.

Troops, families told to downplay military ties

- Troops and families at MacDill Air Force Base are being advised to downplay references to their military connections on social media because of online threats by Islamic State and other groups.

Largo company wins $8.7 million Army contract

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During 13 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 2,500 U.S. troops were killed by improvised explosive devices, according to The Washington Post.

Socom seeks drone services to collect intel

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Warren “Skip” Parish has already punched the first Wednesday and Thursday of December into his calendar.

Tampa-area VA hospitals training for Ebola cases

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By the end of this week, the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg and the five other Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers in the region will...

Cartel, terrorist ties are up for debate

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There is a lot of concern these days about the possibility that members of Islamic State or other jihadi organizations m...

Suit against Young VA center claims veteran died as a result of treatment delays

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Back in April, the Department of Veterans Affairs released the results of its investigation into cancer deaths that occurred as the result of delayed gastrointestinal treatment.

Austin: Iraqi forces launch counterattack on Islamic State

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Iraqi Security Forces have initiated a counterattack against the Islamic State to relieve troops in Bayji, said Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, commander of U.S. Central Command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tam...

‘Operation Inherent Resolve’ draws yawns from Tampa vets

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Ever since Aug. 8, the United States, and eventually partner nations, have waged an air war against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State. It started over Iraq and on Sept. 23, targets in Syria began being hit as well....

MacDill AFB seeks project partners under new community program

- MacDill Air Force Base would like an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The city of Tampa would like one as well. A year ago, the base and the community would likely have gone their separate ways in pursuit of a mutual desire. No...

Ruling limits legal remedies for many exposed to Camp Lejeune pollutants

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A federal court ruling in North Carolina this week will have a devastating impact on many of the nearly 20,000 Floridians currently registered with the Marine Corps for their exposures at Camp Lejeune to three known huma...

Afghanistan casualties, charity’s work show battle still raging

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With so much attention focused, and rightly so, on events in Syria and Iraq, let’s not forget that there are still about 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. And that Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place.

Local vets debate need for ground troops against Islamic State

- The Pentagon says airstrikes against the militants in Iraq and Syria are achieving their modest goals. But the Islamic State's continued advance highlights a long-standing concern that the lack of critical communications wi...

Haley director headed for stint in VA’s southwest system

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TAMPA — Kathleen Fogarty, director of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, has been named to temporarily take over the Veteran Administration’s Southwest Healthcare System, including the troubled P...

MacDill communications unit ships out to Africa on Ebola mission

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When the U.S. military deploys forces to far away places, members of the Joint Communications Support Element, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, are among the first to ship out.

Socom, Polk County Sheriff’s Office among those with drone permits

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A Davenport man had barricaded himself in his house early last year and set it on fire.

Tampa VA hospital boss to employees: Answer the phones

- Many veterans have complained that calls to the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital went unanswered. Hospital director Kathleen Fogarty sends workers an email blast reminding them it's everybody's job to do so.

Tampa nonprofit awarded $3 million grant for homeless veterans

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TAMPA — Tampa Crossroads, a nonprofit organization helping the homeless in Hillsborough County, has received a three-year, $3 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help homeless veterans in the ...

Operation unnamed, but threats real

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On Aug. 8, U.S. aircraft began attacking Islamic State positions in Iraq. On Sept. 23, U.S. and coalition aircraft began attacking the jihadi group in Syria.

Shift in war footing affects Tampa area defense industry

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It’s been a tough few years for Tampa’s defense industry.

VA secretary tours St. Petersburg, Tampa facilities

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TAMPA — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says he knows firsthand the attraction Florida has for veterans.

Florida mother fights for freedom of Marine jailed in Mexico

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Sitting in a Mexican jail, cut off from the post-traumatic-stress-disorder therapy that prompted his move from Florida to California, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi ...

Threat of attack in U.S. still very real

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To Scott Mann, there is no doubt that the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State will attack the homeland.

Post-modern warfare: Tweets attempt to influence Centcom airstrikes

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As a fierce battle rages between Kurds and the Islamic State in the Syrian town of Kobane, the fight has another front, aimed at U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Bas...

VA Secretary McDonald’s stops to include Haley

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald will be making several stops in the area next week, according to a spokeswoman for the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

Prepare for long fight in Syria, Iraq, Sen. Nelson says

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Standing outside the gates of MacDill Air Force Base, where he just met with the man ordering airstrikes against jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq, Sen. Bill Nelson said while those plans have been successful so far, the A...

VA secretary McDonald to visit St. Pete office

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Robert McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, will visit the VA’s St. Petersburg Regional Office on Wednesday, according to the president of the union representing workers there.

Centcom to brief Sen. Nelson on airstrikes

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Sen. Bill Nelson, an early proponent of using force in Syria against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State, will receive a briefing on operations from U.S. Central Command today, according to his office.

Pentagon: Austin, Centcom commander, has authority to make airstrikes

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Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III, the commander of U.S. Central Command, made the call Monday morning to order airstrikes against jihadi targets in Syria and has the authority to order more, according to the Pentagon.

Targeting terrorists welcome, some say, but Syria is complex

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Noor Shakfeh says that while it is difficult to watch bombs hit the country where 90 percent of her family lives, she is glad that the U.S. and Arab allies are attacking the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State in Syria.<...

State police: Missing Afghan soldiers in custody near Canada

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U.S. Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, runs many international military exercises around the globe that plan for a host of contingencies. But officials assigned to the command spent the past few d...

President's visit to Tampa wasn't all business

- Aside from meeting with top military commanders and troops at MacDill AFB, he visited elementary school students who grow up knowing he can order mom or dad to deploy anywhere around the globe.

Obama at MacDill: No combat for U.S. troops

- President Obama, in Tampa for a briefing with Centcom, reiterated his long-standing position on how to battle the Islamic State militants: no American ground troops.

Obama in Tampa; boots scenario deemed ‘hypothetical’

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TAMPA — U.S. Central Command leadership will brief President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this morning at MacDill Air Force Base on a wide range of efforts to degrade and defeat the Sunni insurge...

Obama arrives in Tampa for briefing on Islamic State

- The President is in Tampa to attend a U.S. Central Command briefing Wednesday at MacDill Air Force Base on strategy against the Islamic State insurgent group.

Visit of federal labor agency to St. Pete VA office reminder of war’s lasting effects

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Back in the spring, Iraq was in the rearview mirror and U.S. Central Command, headquartered here in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base, was largely focused on winding down the war in Afghanistan, which is supposed to end by...

Obama to visit Centcom in Tampa on Wednesday

- President Barack Obama will visit U.S. Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, on Wednesday for a briefing on battle plans against the insurgent group Islamic State.

House Intelligence Committee hearing to focus on extremists

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Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who ran U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base from 2010 to 2013, will be one of three witnesses to appear before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on threats posed by the I...

Former Centcom boss honors 9/11 on first visit back to Tampa

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In his first trip back to the Tampa area since turning over the helm of U.S. Central Command in 2013, James Mattis, the retired Marine general known affectionately as “Mad Dog,” recalled fond memories of th...

Ground observers could boost airstrike success, experts say.

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The presence of special operations forces, CIA operatives or some combination on the ground in Syria would improve the success of any airstrikes there and reduce collateral damage, several former commandos, military plan...

Air crews return to MacDill from Iraq mission

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Back in June, Air Force Capt. Donnie Hart and several other members of the 91st Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base were given orders to pack their bags and get ready to leave for the Middle East in 48 hours...

Bill Nelson seeks new authority for president against Islamic State

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a strong advocate for attacking the Sunni extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria, today introduced a joint resolution giving the President authority to use force against the group in Sy...

Personal loss won’t stop philanthropist’s 9/11 fundraiser

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For those who were alive and cognizant on that day, Sept. 11, 2001 will always evoke memories and emotion.