Metro-East News

Roger That: Scott Air Force Base opens newly renovated clinic

Mike Fitzgerald
Mike Fitzgerald

The 932nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron commemorated the opening of their newly renovated clinic at Scott Air Force Base with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held this past Monday, the base has announced.

The ceremony marked completion of construction and the official unveiling of the long-awaited facility, which is located on the fourth floor of the 375th Medical Group's hospital.

Col. Vanessa Mattox, commander of the 932nd Medical Group, spoke at the ceremony, where more than 40 civilian and military guests representing both active and reserve components were in attendance. Special guests Barry Klassy, executive vice president of Kroeschell Engineering, and Lacie Ebers from Kirlin Builders also attended the event and participated in the ribbon cutting.

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Wednesday morning, Iran released 10 American sailors unharmed whose riverine boats drifted near Iranian waters, ending nearly 16 hours of tense negotiations.

The release was announced by Iran and by the U.S. 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain. The sailors departed Farsi Island at 11:45 a.m. local time aboard the Riverine Command Boats they were captured in. They were later picked up by a military aircraft, according to the release, and other sailors took the RCBs to Bahrain, the original destination.

“The Navy will investigate the circumstances that led to the sailors presence in Iran,” the release said.

The riverine sailors are believed to have drifted into Iranian territory after having mechanical issues with their boats.

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The Air Force Times is reporting that the air war against the Islamic State group has cost the American taxpayer $5.5 billion, roughly $11.2 million per day, a $2 million increase since June, according to the latest Defense Department data.

The Air Force accounts for $3.75 billion — nearly 70 percent — of that cost, about $7.7 million a day since the U.S. began launching airstrikes in August 2014.

More than 50 percent of the cost accounts for daily flight operating tempo: The Air Force in 2015, for example, conducted 21,000 sorties over Iraq and Syria, 9,000 of which included at least one weapons release, Air Forces Central Command statistics say.

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A military lawyer representing accused deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl called for the Army to award his client several medals, including the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War medal, during a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, according to Military.com.

Army Lt. Col. Franklin Rosenblatt said Bergdahl, accused of abandoning his eastern Afghanistan post in 2009 before he was captured by the Taliban, was entitled to the awards and the Army’s failure to grant them could bias potential jurors in the trial.

Bergdahl faces a general court-martial on charges of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place” and “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty.” The misbehavior charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison and the desertion charge as much as five years.

Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000

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