Metro-East News

Roger That: Top generals meet at Scott AFB to discuss Air Force’s future

Some of the U.S. Air Force’s top generals from across the globe met to talk about current and future challenges facing the flying service during the Fall 2015 CAF/MAF Commanders' Conference, held at Scott Air Force Base, Oct. 7-9.

“Our adversaries are catching up. We must think strategically to ensure the United States maintains what we've enjoyed for the past 68 years: air superiority," said Gen. Carlton "Dewey" Everhart II, Air Mobility Command commander, based at Scott.

“It's important that we continuously evaluate our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and force employment processes so that we can employ our forces efficiently and effectively,” said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Air Combat Command commander.

Everhart emphasized that Air Force leaders have a responsibility to make the critical decisions that will help advance the Air Force in a “difficult” fiscal environment.

“We owe it to the tax payers and our Airmen to find solutions now,” Everhart said.

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Seven sexual assaults were reported by service members in a unit established within the last year by the Marine Corps to research how to better integrate women into combat roles and unit, according to an analysis of the integration effort obtained by The Washington Post.

The alleged assaults have not previously been disclosed, but are detailed in a 103-page report released to The Post by two researchers who have been vocal advocates of fully integrating women in the military. The documents are part of a broader written analysis by the Marines to assess how women in the unit performed compared to men. Last month, the Marines initially described the research in a four-page summary, which quickly attracted controversy since it found that women were injured more frequently and shot less accurately than the men.

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Boeing Co. has paid $18 million to settle allegations the company overcharged the government for lunch breaks while maintaining the Air Force's C-17 Globemaster aircraft, according to Military Times.

A former Boeing employee, James Thomas Webb, alleged that workers at the Long Beach Depot Center in California submitted claims from 2006 to 2013 for eight-hour days despite knowing that they spent less time than that working because of lunch breaks and other extended breaks.

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On Thursday, the Intercept published a major package of stories that reveals the inner workings of the US military's drone program, including how and why people are targeted for assassination in Yemen, Somalia, and other countries. “The Drone Papers,” according to the Intercept, is based on a trove of a classified documents leaked by a whistleblower who grew concerned by the government's methods of targeting individuals for lethal action.

According to Mother Jones magazine, the package is a deep look into how the US military has conducted its counterterrorism operations around the world, and it comes on the same day that President Barack Obama cited the counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda as one of the two reasons to keep nearly 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for at least another year.

Amnesty International called for an immediate congressional inquiry into the drone program, saying the leaked documents “raise serious concerns about whether the USA has systematically violated international law, including by classifying unidentified people as ‘combatants’ to justify their killings.”

Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000

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