Entries in Armed Forces (5)


Gen. James Amos: Marine Corps Is the ‘Cheap Force’

Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Heather Golden/ Released(WASHINGTON) -- Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, said Wednesday that in the face of a shrinking defense budget, the armed services would not turn against one another and fight for funds.

“The relationship has never been better than it is today,” Amos said of the ties between the Army and the Marine Corps Wednesday at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s better than it’s ever been in my 41 years of service.”

Responding to a question about whether there was a whisper campaign begun by the Marines against the other services, he said he had not heard of it.

“If there’s anyone who can keep the tribes together, it’s Marty Dempsey,” Amos said, referring to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey.

However, Amos sold the Marine Corps as the “cheap force,” and said America needed a military “that’s not going to break the bank.”

“You get a lot of bang for your buck,” Amos said of the Marines. “We don’t need fancy hotels or air conditioning.”

Amos said the Marines Corps planned to go down to 186,000 personnel from 202,000 -- cuts approved by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He added that he was not sure 186,000 was the floor. For those looking to join the Marines now, he said, there was such a backlog that it would be at least eight months before being sent to boot camp.

He added that there would also be some cuts in ground vehicles, from 40,000 to 30,000.

“I will not ask for anything I want, just things I need,” he said. “What is it that’s good enough to get us through the next eight to 10 years?”

In addition, he said, pay raises and housing, health and retirement benefits would be looked at.

“We’re paid pretty well,” he said. “Is there room to adjust inside? Yeah, I think there is room. We’re going to need to look at that.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Developmentally Disabled Texas Girl, 14, May Be with Soldier

Police are searching for Andrea Fox, 14, whom they believe is with a James Martin, 21. (Handout)(LEAGUE CITY, Texas) -- An Amber Alert has been issued for a developmentally disabled 14-year-old Texas girl who is believed to be with a 21-year-old soldier headed to Colorado.

Andrea Fox, of Timpson, Texas, who has the mental capacity of someone much younger, may be en route to Colorado with James Martin, the older brother of one of her friends and an Army soldier based at Fort Carson.

Fox was reported missing Aug. 16 by her grandmother, whom she was visiting in League City, near Houston. The girl wrote a note saying she was going to New York and would be back before school started on Tuesday, according to Sgt. John Jordan of the League City police department. She instructed her grandmother not to look for her, Jordan said.

Police say Fox was last seen on Tuesday morning with Martin and that text messages between the two led detectives to believe that Fox may be traveling with Martin to Colorado, where he is scheduled to report for duty by Friday morning.

League City police notified the state police's Amber Alert department, which determined that because Fox's mental capacity was that of someone younger than 14, and she may be traveling with someone unrelated to who was more than three years older than she is, she was at risk for serious danger.

"Certainly when you have someone who is young and is traveling with someone older, there is always a concern that they could be in danger of serious bodily harm, sexual assault, or even death," said Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Texas state police.

Notification was sent to all law enforcement agencies in addition to electronic highway billboards on highways throughout Texas. Mange said they also shared the information with other states, which could choose to display the information on their own billboards.

Police are hoping Martin's vehicle is stopped and Fox is found to be with him, Jordan said.

Martin is driving a blue Chevy Aveo that he just purchased while home in Texas on leave from the Army, Jordan said. The police have no plate number for the vehicle or information as to what year it was made.

Anyone who has seen the vehicle, Martin, or Fox is asked to call the League City police at 281-332-2566.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


All-Female Air Force Combat Team Makes History over Afghanistan

Jupiterimages/Comstock(KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan) -- An all-female Air Force team, the "Strike Eagles of 'Dudette 07,'" have soared into history over Afghanistan. Their combat mission, performed March 30 in honor of Women's History Month, was the first in history to involve only female Airmen. From the pilots of the two F-15E jets to the mission planners and maintainers, the operation was carried out entirely by women.

"I have flown with female pilots before, but this was the first time I have flown in an all-female flight," Maj. Christine Mau told the Air Force's news service. "This wasn't a possibility when I started flying 11 years ago."

Although the mission was full of symbolism, the air support they were providing to coalition and Afghan forces in the Kunar Valley was anything but symbolic. ABC News' Mike Boettcher was embedded with the 101st Airborne in the valley and said it was the fiercest fighting he'd seen in his 30 years of covering war zones, and that the support was desperately needed.

"We knew that they were taking some fire, that there were some bombs being dropped that day and we knew we were going to support the guys on the ground the very least making some noise, and most likely that we were going to drop some bombs," said Capt. Jennifer Morton.

Women -- yes, they are still called Airmen -- have been able to participate in Air Force pilot training since 1976, but they were not allowed to fly combat missions until 1993.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Army Waiting List Swells to Near Record Levels

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Young Americans looking to join the armed forces may have to wait to serve.

The combination of lower recruitment target numbers, a weak economy and the implementation of the GI bill has made waiting lists, officially known as the Delayed Entry Pool, longer than they have been in recent years.

The Marine Corps, which has traditionally had a smaller recruiting base, has fulfilled more than 65 percent of its target for fiscal year 2011.  The Army entered the new recruiting year in October having fulfilled 50 percent, or half its targeting goals for next year.

The number is a near record for the Army.  The last time in recent decades the waiting list was so long was in 1996, when the Delayed Entry Pool was at 42.9 percent at the start of the fiscal year.

A number of factors are behind the surging numbers.  The military has cut back recruitment goals across the board.  The Army target, for example, for the fiscal year 2011 is 67,000, lower than 74,500 in 2010 and well below the average recruitment goal of 80,000 between 2005 and 2008.

The economy also plays a crucial part.  Unemployment remains relatively high at 9.8 percent, the same level as last year, and among 18-to-24-year-olds -- the Pentagon's prime recruiting age -- it's even higher.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Man Arrested in Maryland Recruitment Center Bomb Plot

Photo Courtesy - FBI(BALTIMORE) -- A Baltimore man has been arrested in a sting operation where officials say he thought he was part of a bomb plot.

Antonio Martinez, who calls himself Muhammed Hussein, is accused of plotting to blow up a United States Armed Forces recruiting station in the Baltimore suburbs. The FBI gave him what he thought was a car bomb, but it was fake, and officials insist there was never any real danger.

ABC news consultant Brad Garrett says these sting operations may deter other potential terrorists. "It doesn't stop people from doing it, but it does disrupt it and it might be someone out there that will look at this and go, 'My, I might get caught up in that and actually arrested for that type of behavior and that would deter it.'"

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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