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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

No pigs: Tampa VA hospital enforces service animal rules

- No more pigs will be allowed into the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. Or any other animal that is not a trained and certified guide or service dog. That’s the message Interim Director Marjorie Hedstrom delive...

Former Pentagon spokesman ready for life after the podium


If he was still the Pentagon spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby would have been consumed by the big news of the day Wednesday, that Army Sgt, Bowe Bergdahl was being charged with desertion after his disappearance in Af...

Pate returns from UAE after Facebook charges dismissed

- Ryan Pate, the helicopter mechanic from Pinellas who was arrested in the United Arab Emirates after making Facebook posts in the United States that disparaged Arabs and his employer, arrived in Tampa a free man.

After threats, Centcom warns about social media posts

- A day after media reports surfaced that the Islamic State Hacking Division called for the killings of 100 U.S. service members, Centcom’s chief of staff issued a warning to Centcom troops and families about protectin...

Former CIA officer would bring interesting perspective to Congress


If elected as the U.S. Representative from Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, Charles “Sam” Faddis will bring a very interesting and unique perspective to the legislature.

Unified voice could help keep MacDill from closing, officials say

- With a move to close military installations around the country gaining momentum, explaining MacDill’s value to congressional and military leaders is the key to protecting the base from closure or losing missions.

MacDill AFB historian faces laser-pointing charges

- William Polson, the 6th Air Mobility Wing historian, is accused of shining a laser at a sheriff’s helicopter. In a 2013 email to the Tribune, Polson claimed he was being harassed by law enforcement and military aircr...

UAE drops charges over man’s Facebook rant

- Ryan Pate, the Belleair Bluffs helicopter mechanic arrested in the United Arab Emirates after posting disparaging remarks about Arabs and his employer, says he will soon be a free man.

Socom seeks unconventional technology


Always looking to give commandos an edge in combat, U.S. Special Operations Command has put out its latest technology and capabilities wish list, calling for, among other things, a see-through-the-wall device, equipment ...

The complex draw of the Islamic State


Last fall, a team of researchers visited the MacDill Air Force Base headquarters of Special Operations Command Central, the command lead by Army Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata, to answer an important question about the popular...

Helicopter crash shows risks of military combat training

- The crash of a Black Hawk helicopter near Eglin Air Force Base with 11 troops on board Tuesday night in dense fog highlights the danger of military training, which is difficult and sometimes deadly even with stringent risk ...

Jolly ‘optimistic’ about Pinellas contractor’s return

- The case of the Pinellas County contractor arrested in the United Arab Emirates for making online comments disparaging Arabs may soon be resolved, according to U.S. Rep. David Jolly.

Proposed ammo ban — now withdrawn — sparked soaring prices

- Local gun shop owners and shooting enthusiasts say a relatively unpopular U.S-made rifle ammunition has been in great demand, at vastly inflated prices.

Plant Park revisits its Victorian roots during picnic


For Ellen Merkle, who was holding a little chihuahua and a little white parasol, the 11th annual Picnic in the Park at Henry B. Plant Park was a welcome respite from her day job.

In the Middle East, the enemy of our enemy isn’t so simple


Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last week highlighted the dilemma of being caught in the middle of two mortal enemies on a seeming apocalyptic collision course.

History is on tour aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress


—The last time Allen Rosenman climbed aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, it was serious business.

Who was the model for horse soldier statue? Claim stirs controversy


TAMPA — In a now-removed YouTube video, Todd Nichols, scheduled to appear tonight on a Sportsman Channel television show starring Sarah Palin, tells a compelling story about how he was one of the first 36 Green Be...

Tampa veterans to be featured on Sarah Palin's show

- If you want to see a blind Iraq war veteran from Tampa go hunting, tune into the Sportsman Channel tonight at 9 p.m.

Petraeus gave mistress classified ‘black books,’ guilty plea agreement says

- For David Petraeus, the slide down from the top apparently began in early August, 2011, when he returned home after serving as the top commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Posts from U.S. land Pinellas contractor in Arab jail

- Frustrated with his employer in the United Arab Emirates, Ryan Pate criticized the company and Arabs on Facebook. When he returned to the UAE he was accused of slandering his employer and arrested.

Tampa-area delegation to attend Netanyahu speech

- Most members of the region’s congressional delegation say they will attend Benjamin Netanyahu's speech today. The Israeli prime minister's appearance has created tension with President Barack Obama and played into po...

Terrorism trial highlights link between Iran and Sunni jihadi groups


For the folks who worked the intelligence directorate at U.S. Central Command, recent revelations about cooperation between Iran and Sunni jihadi groups — via data collected on the Osama bin Laden raid and present...

Union employees protest whistleblower firing


— More than two dozen members of a union representing workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Office carried signs and shouted slogans Fri...

Union website blocked by VA’s internet system


The day after the union representing workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Office used its website to announce plans for a protest against management, the VA’s internet system block...

Muslims must fight extremists’ ideology, Jordanian princess says


— Though the fight against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State and similar groups is a global responsibility, Jordanian Princess Aisha bin Al Hussein told an audien...

Jordanian colonel talks of forming force to fight Islamic State


— For Jordan, the threat posed by the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State is existential, a point made horrifically clear when the jihadi group immolated captured Jorda...

St. Pete VA office ditching ‘wanted’ poster after worker protest


The “wanted” poster graphic, complete with images of bullet holes, is going.

No sign of data breach after Centcom laptops stolen, U.S. Attorney says


The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that there are no signs of a data breach caused by the theft of five laptop computers from U.S. Central Command sometime in April 2013.

Jordanian princess to speak about Special Ops in St. Pete Beach


— At a time when the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan is one of the strongest and most motivated partners in the fight against Sunni insurgent group Islamic State, Princess ...

Pentagon may have reasons for tipping off the enemy


Last week’s background briefing by an unnamed U.S. Central Command source to Pentagon reporters laying out the timeframe for an attack on Islamic State forces occupying the Iraqi city of Mosul has many intoning ou...

Suicidal airmen urged to seek help early


— Picking up on the danger signs for someone considering suicide is very difficult, even for therapists, says Carrie Elk, a certified trauma expert specializing in military menta...

Tampa reservist’s suicide brings home tragedy

- Why? That’s the question the family and friends of Air Force Reserve Capt. Jamie Brunette are struggling to answer.

VA workers union wants St. Pete ‘whistleblower’ rehired


The national president of the union representing employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ St. Petersburg Regional Office wants a worker who was fired after complaining about fraud, waste and abuse and mism...

Billion-dollar cyber-heist prompts cautions to consumers


The folks from KnowBe4, a Clearwater-based cybersecurity firm, have some simple advice in the wake of a

Obama digs into Special Ops playbook for Islamic State proposal


With much sniping already from both sides of the aisle, President Barack Obama’s war powers request to deal with Islamic State, its allies and its future offshoots wherever they are may never pass through Congress...

Caretaker fears mining will damage Brooksville cemetery

- Cemex Construction Materials has leased nearly 600 acres around an African-American cemetery and wants to mine for limerock deposit as close as 250 feet from the cemetery borders.

Thunderbirds honor MacDill as top military show site


As far as the Thunderbirds are concerned, MacDill Air Force Base is “Go.”

Challenging Spartan race set for Tampa this weekend

- Thousands are scheduled to race in the second annual Spartan Race Special Ops Sprint at Raymond James Stadium. The race is another opportunity to show that losing limbs, in combat or otherwise, is not the end of life, just ...

VA error delays veteran’s funeral, angers family

- The Palmetto man’s relatives tried to set up his burial at Sarasota National Cemetery after his Jan. 25 death, but were shocked when VA records erroneously showed he died in 2008.

Groups seek Tampa-area veterans needing home repairs


Are you a veteran whose home needs rehabbing?

Brian Williams’ gaffe hits home for war journalist

- Lots of people are angry at NBC anchor Brian Williams for misremembering being on a helicopter that was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in Iraq in 2003.

Brutal treatment of prisoners is traditional jihadi tactic, former SEAL says


The burning death of captured Jordanian F-16 pilot Muath Al-Kaseasbeh is a dangerous blend of traditional jihadi brutality with new targets and sophisticated messaging, say local veterans with deep experience in the regi...

Armed women learn awareness of danger in ‘Battlemind’

- A Texas firearms program for women, called A Girl & A Gun, is holding a four-day course for women, called “Battlemind: Special Ops Training for the Real World,” at Shooters World in Tampa.

MacDill could actually gain from military cutbacks


To U.S. Rep. David Jolly, BRAC is not a four-letter word.

Email praising VA police chief at Young center draws criticism


Bob Shogren, chief of VA police at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, oversees a department that recently cost taxpayers $1.3 million in payouts over a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and intimidation by his staff...