They have been called the world’s toughest ambulance drivers. They are the Air Force’s elite pararescuemen — special ops troops who are trained to fight their way into battle zones, treat wounded troops and bring them back home safely. Now, for the first time, the PJ’s could get critical skills retention bonuses of up to $125,000 if they agree to stay in the Air Force, the Air Force Times is reporting.
Master sergeants, senior master sergeants and chief master sergeants in the PJ career field, with between 19 and 28 years of service, could be eligible for the bonus, the Air Force Personnel Center said Sept. 11. They could apply for a contract to stay on an additional two to five years.
It is believed China’s People’s Liberation Army has the deeper bench, with an estimated 100,000 code warriors recruited over the past two decades, and the world’s most powerful supercomputer. By comparison, U.S. Cyber Command started from near-scratch in 2010 and wants to reach a force size of 6,200 by 2016. Scott Air Force Base near Mascoutah is taking its place on the front lines of this conflict, with the addition beginning in December, of two cyber-security squadrons.
The Pentagon’s research arm wants to award robot enthusiasts $150,000 apiece to crank out prototypes that could support troops, according to DefenseTech.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s new Robotics Fast Track program aims to identify individuals and small businesses to develop the technology at a fraction of the cost of typical defense contracting programs.
“We spend too much time creating three– to four-year solutions for six-month problems,” Mark Micire, DARPA program manager, said in a press release. “We want this new generation of robotics innovators to see DARPA as a partner that can help them develop breakthrough technologies in the areas that personally interest them and help translate their ideas and know-how into game-changing capabilities.”
Out of Afghanistan comes a deeply disturbing report that the U.S. military command in that nation was fully aware of long-standing charges that some Afghan commanders were child molesters and had sexually abused young boys who were chained to beds on American bases, the Pentagon said Monday, according to Military.com.
The practice of “bacha bazi,” or “boy play” by those in authority, including Afghan military commanders, was “absolutely abhorrent. We’re deeply concerned about it,” said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
The U.S. military in Afghanistan was working with the Afghans “to put an end to horrific practices like this,” Davis said, but the matter was essentially one for the Afghans to resolve. He said, “It’s a violation of Afghan laws. It’s a violation of their international obligations,” but “it’s fundamentally an Afghan law enforcement matter.”