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Friday, Mar 06, 2015

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

History is on tour aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress

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—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

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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

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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

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— 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

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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

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— 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

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— 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

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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

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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

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— 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

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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

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— 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Email praising VA police chief at Young center draws criticism

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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...

Imagine drone wolf packs: Pentagon seeks technology

- The agency’s science development unit, formed after the Russians launched Sputnik, put out a call seeking ideas for “revolutionary approaches to unmanned aircraft systems autonomy.”

Former CIA acting director offers chilling world view

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It doesn’t take a CIA officer to figure out that the world is a rather dangerous and complex place.

Officials work to clean up ‘significant’ fuel spill at Haley VA hospital

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Hillsborough County environmental officials say they have serious concerns about groundwater pollution after a “significant amount of spillage” of diesel fuel earlier this month at the James A. Haley Vetera...

JTACs, pilots train to guide jets to enemy targets

- Recent fighter jet exercises in Avon Park with “boots on ground” underscore importance of personnel who are pilots’ eyes and ears.

Florida, veterans push for state oversight of VA health centers

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TAMPA — The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed veterans and their families at VA medical centers by not living up to its own rules, the state of Florida and two veterans say in a lawsuit against the departm...

NASCAR’s Tony Stewart tours MacDill refueling operation

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TAMPA — Every weekend during racing season, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart deals with the pressure of going around a track very fast.

‘Sniper’ hits home for Tampa veteran, wife

- For Patrick Morrison and Lynn Kilroy, the movie “American Sniper” wasn’t escapist entertainment, it was a pretty good depiction of a life they know well, Howard Altman writes.

Detachment from MacDill battles Ebola in Africa

- The Pentagon, which is supporting that effort, says the mission so far has been successful, with the creation of a 25-bed hospital, 10 Ebola treatment units, more than 1,500 aid workers trained and fewer troops needed than ...

Wounded veteran retires from Army, looks to next chapter

- Staff Sgt. Joel Tavera has endured 107 surgeries since March 12, 2008, the day a rocket exploded near his armored vehicle inside Talil Air Base in Iraq. On Friday, Tavera officially retired during a ceremony at Tampa's VA h...

Outgoing VA director tells of possible security changes

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Patients, staff and those visiting the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital may soon have to undergo new security measures to get into the hospital in the aftermath of the fatal shooting earlier this month of a VA do...

Centcom deputy gives grade of B+ to military effort against Islamic State

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Speaking to an audience full of University of South Florida academics and students, the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command was asked to grade military efforts to date against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State...

Soccent leader met with Syrian opposition

- In the effort to defeat Islamic State and help protect Syrians from the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, the commanding general of Special Operations Command Central met in Turkey with members of the Syrian opposition a...

Centcom social media sites back online after hack

- The Twitter and YouTube accounts of Tampa-based Centcom were temporarily suspended after being taken over by a group called CyberCaliphate, which claims to have ties to the Islamic State.

Attacks in France, Nigeria underline importance of knowing your enemy

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I am Charlie Hebdo.

Advice to student F-18 pilots: Bomb the right target

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Minutes after returning from a flight over the Avon Park Air Force Range, where they participated in laser-guided weapons practice, Navy Lts. Kevin Loughmiller and Nick Adams stood on the soggy flightline at MacDill Air ...

Question of jurisdiction arises in suit against VA

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A federal judge has ordered three plaintiffs who sued the Veterans Administration in July claiming poor care to show why their suit should not be dismissed over a lack of jurisdiction.

Squadron of fighters jets at MacDill for training

- The skies above MacDill Air Force Base are buzzing more than usual with the arrival of Navy fighter jets that are here for training until next week.

Pasco arrest becomes part of Congressional inquiry

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Last April, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies spotted a man sitting in his car, pulled over on the side of the road.