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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

Sun City Center captain had front seat for evacuation of Saigon

- Larry Chambers was captain of an aircraft carrier that was helping in the evacuation of Saigon when a South Vietnamese air force pilot in a Cessna with his wife and five children asked to land on the crowded deck.

Military conference to plan campaign against Islamic State concludes


More than 300 military representatives from 39 nations concluded a weeklong operational planning conference at MacDill Air Force Base today, that “further developed and refined coalition plans to degrade and defea...

Anti-Hillary website in Tampa urges, ‘Send a cigar to Clinton’

- Tampa-based website sendclintoncigars.com is selling cigars, which organizers will send to Hillary Clinton’s New York campaign office as a reminder of her first stay in the White House and an effort to keep her from ...

Socom seeks vendors for ‘Iron Man’ suit at conference

- Do you have an advanced solution to help U.S. Special Operations Command develop its body armor of the future? If so, the command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, wants to hear from you.

U.S. Navy destroyer sent to monitor Iranian seizure of cargo ship


A high-seas drama is unfolding near the Strait of Hormuz as Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps navy (IRGCN) vessels have seized a cargo ship.

House committee chair asks to double Socom budget for info campaign


Because the Russians and jihadi groups like Islamic State have been so successful in using the internet and other means to tell their stories and deliver their messages around the world, the chairman of the House Armed S...

Conference at MacDill focuses on defeating Islamic State


U.S. Central Command is hosting its third operational planning conference this week in the fight against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State.

MacDill hotel construction delays could cost tax payers


The 200,000-square-foot, five-story, 350-room hotel, with 25 distinguished visitor suites, was supposed to open up across from the Davis Conference Center on MacDill Air Force Base last month.

Petraeus gets 2 years probation for leaking military secrets

- The former CIA director and retired general will pay $100,000 in fines and receive two years probation for the misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, according to the U.S. Attorney&#...

Warbirds soar over Tampa, promote Sun ’n Fun, MacDill

- The flight, which passed over downtown Tampa and just over Bayshore Boulevard on the way to MacDill AFB, helped promote the Lakeland aviation event while bringing awareness to the base.

Service cuts could hamper special operations


U.S. Special Operations Forces, spread out over more than 80 countries around the globe at any given time, are at the forefront of the Obama administration’s military strategy, including training Iraqi and Syrian ...

Socom seeks app to keep its Blackberry phones trustworthy

- The makers of BlackBerry phones have seen revenues fall off as consumers increasingly use other telephones. But there is at least one very high-profile customer right here in Tampa.

Preliminary budget allocates $100 million for MacDill construction projects


MacDill Air Force Base will receive nearly $100 million for military construction projects and the Veterans Benefits Administration will get an additional $163 million to hire more benefits claims personnel next year in ...

Historian tracks MacDill history to its roots


Growing up in Indiana, Denny Cole’s grandfather used to show him an album of pictures from back in the 1920s, when he was a member of the 6th Composite Group, a post-World War I military flying unit.

Pasco Army veteran tells her story in musical comedy

- Written by Laura Westley, a 1997 graduate of River Ridge High who also serves as the narrator, “War Virgin” is an absurdist look at her experience with the military, set against the backdrop of an overbearing fa...

Leaders targeting displaced KC-135s for MacDill AFB

- The Tampa base could be in the running to get KC-135s displaced by the new KC-46A Pegasus tankers at other bases, according to community leaders pushing to make that happen.

75th anniversary celebration kicks off at MacDill


How can one military installation have two 75th anniversaries?

Plenty of reasons to care about what’s happening in Yemen


Though the country of Yemen is a little under 8,000 miles to the east of Tampa, there are plenty of reasons for folks here to care about what’s going on over there.

Figures show scheduling improvements at local VA hospitals

- The percentage of patients waiting more than 30 days for appointments at the two Tampa-area Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals has dropped since September, according to figures compiled by the VA.

U.S. Rep. Buchanan pushes legislation for veterans ID card


Because the Department of Veterans Affairs only issues ID cards to those who served at least 20 years or receive medical care for service-connected injuries, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, has introduced legislation that...

General dissects U.S. approach to war in speech at USF

- Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who spends his days trying to figure out the future of conflict and has gained wide respect for speaking his mind, says the U.S. needs to do a better job learning lessons and adapting because of...

Army’s McMaster talks about the human domain of war at USF conference


Assigned the task of helping the Army divine future wars and how to win them, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who sports a doctorate degree in military history, likes to quote authors and academics to explain his job.

After 62 years, Korean War veteran gets his Purple Heart

- During a 1953 battle in which 74 men were killed, Jacob Schaper unknowingly suffered a concussion from a grenade blast. Now terminally ill and living in Weekie Wachee, he has received his dying wish.

Korean military leader says thanks to U.S. Korean War veterans


Lt. Gen. Chun In-Bum, commander of South Korea’s Special Warfare Command, has only known the prosperity his nation has enjoyed after the Korean War, which raged from 1950 to 1953 and took more than 52,000 American...

Congressional delegation reviews strategy at MacDill AFB


Two members of the Tampa area’s congressional delegation held a “strategy session” with officials at MacDill Air Force Base today with an eye toward adding more aircraft and infrastructure.

Smuggling nuke into U.S. remains challenging — for now


A Hezbollah operative who bribed a nuclear power plant employee in Argentina to steal plutonium conspires with a rogue Mexican cartel jefe to smuggle the materials into the U.S. to be used to blow u...

Suit filed in deaths of former military pilots

- Jedi 21 — the call sign for a Cessna 02-A Skymaster propeller plane with a crew of three — was flying over the Avon Park Air Force Range as part of a training exercise being conducted by Air Force Special Operat...

MacDill to see more activity through April 16


MacDill Air Force Base may be busier than usual over the next few days thanks to Jaded Thunder, a U.S. Special Operations Command Joint Firepower exercise.

Video of Tampa veteran’s spat with panhandler goes viral

- Garrett Goodwin has become an Internet sensation after confronting a man claiming to be an Army veteran as the man was panhandling at Dale Mabry Highway and Gandy Boulevard.

Jihadi e-book advises sleeper cells


Offering suggestions that terrorism experts say range from troubling to goofy, a new jihadi e-book obtained over the weekend by The Tampa Tribune tells how Islamic sleeper cells can remain under the radar and attack when...

Socom tracking money that funds violent extremists


The issue of how violent extremist organizations get their money can’t get enough attention. Especially with the growing nexus between groups like the Iranian-backed Hizballah and drug trafficking organizations, w...

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.