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House leader faults Pentagon over lack of armor for vehicles

April 22, 2004 House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., took on the Pentagon's cumbersome acquisition system Wednesday, criticizing it for leaving soldiers in the field without armor kits for their Humvees and trucks, and asserting that steel used to build them had been sitting at a U.S. mill for months while vehicles...

Democrats question Pentagon request for environmental exemptions

April 21, 2004 Democrats on Wednesday disputed Pentagon assertions that environmental laws are hamstringing the armed forces' ability to maintain combat readiness. During a House Energy and Commerce Air Quality Subcommittee hearing, Energy and Commerce ranking member John Dingell, D-Mich., asserted the Pentagon has not offered a single instance of military readiness being...

House Armed Services Committee may boost war funds

April 21, 2004 As violence against U.S. troops escalates in Iraq, the House Armed Services Committee may consider authorizing appropriations to pay for an increase in the number of active duty and reserve troops and other costs associated with the ongoing fight against terrorism, according to congressional aides. The funding could be added...

Democrats criticize Pentagon on delayed return of troops

April 16, 2004 Two Democratic lawmakers are criticizing the Pentagon's decision to keep soldiers in Iraq beyond their one-year deployments. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's decision to extend service will affect members of the 842nd Engineer Company from his home state. The delayed return of these troops "is a direct...

Report downplays danger of DoD use of foreign suppliers

April 13, 2004 A Pentagon report has concluded that the military's reliance on foreign suppliers of weapons systems does not put the U.S. defense industrial base at risk. Delivered to lawmakers last month, the report noted the reliance on foreign suppliers for a handful of weapons systems used in Iraq and Afghanistan. The...

Rumsfeld memo raises Guard, Reserve training and pay issues

April 7, 2004 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last month he fears that the training system for National Guard and reserve troops is "broken" and has ordered his deputies to review "the systems, procedures and business practices" of the military reserves and recommend fixes "before we discover they are not suited to the...

Boeing official predicts tanker deal to be completed in 2004

April 6, 2004 The president and CEO of the Boeing Co. defense and space unit said Tuesday that audits and investigations into the proposed lease of its airborne tankers will not keep the deal from moving forward. "I think the tanker deal will get done this year," Boeing's Jim Albaugh said during a...

Life insurance for troops in Iraq nixed

April 5, 2004 Army Pfc. Marlin Rockhold, a cheerful, soft-spoken 23-year-old, knew he was going to war. Four months before he deployed to Kuwait in January 2003, he had the foresight to sign up for nearly $300,000 in supplemental life insurance to augment his regular government death benefit. He didn't want his wife...

Senator: Defense IG has 'serious' concerns about tanker deal

April 1, 2004 Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said Wednesday a Pentagon inspector general's probe of an Air Force plan to lease Boeing KC-767 tanker aircraft revealed "serious audit concerns" that must be addressed before the committee can reach a conclusion on the controversial deal. "The Air Force needs a...

House chairmen seek review of military life insurance

March 31, 2004 Two House committee chairmen have turned their collective gaze upon the Pentagon's alleged mishandling of hundreds of commercial life insurance policies purchased by soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., and Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calilf., in a Tuesday letter to General...