Top stories from the Twitter defense community over the last 7 days.

Flying blind and freezing: Navy investigating terrifying EA-18G Growler flight

February 23, 2018 8:04 pm defensenews.com score: 799.0
Flying blind and freezing: Navy investigating terrifying EA-18G Growler flight

WASHINGTON — The two-seater EA-18G was cruising at 25,000 feet Jan. 29, about 60 miles south of Seattle on a flight from Washington State’s Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to Naval Weapons Station China Lake. The crew received a warning that the system that controls the cockpit air temperature and…

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It's official: The pizza MRE is back!

February 21, 2018 9:56 pm armytimes.com score: 782.9
It's official: The pizza MRE is back!

The Holy Grail of downrange eating is becoming a reality after last year’s news that the pizza MRE was facing an indefinite delay. The Meal, Ready-to-Eat was slated for MRE No. 38, which is set to roll out this year. Nearly a year ago, in March 2017, the Combat Feeding…

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Veterans groups rally around VA secretary amid rumors of looming dismissal

February 19, 2018 5:08 pm militarytimes.com score: 668.1
Veterans groups rally around VA secretary amid rumors of looming dismissal

WASHINGTON — Veterans groups are scrambling to show support for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin amid reports that the White House may be considering forcing him out of the job over a series of internal fights with administration staffers. “We have been encouraged by the great progress Secretary Shulkin…

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White House receives Mattis memo on transgender troops

February 24, 2018 2:57 pm militarytimes.com score: 634.5
White House receives Mattis memo on transgender troops

WASHINGTON — The White House has received a memo from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis making recommendations for dealing with transgender individuals serving in the military. Trump gave Mattis six months to develop proposals for transgender individuals currently serving. Officials are not revealing Mattis’ recommendations to the president. The Pentagon sent…

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EU and Russia vie for influence in volatile Balkans region

February 24, 2018 4:17 pm defensenews.com score: 611.0
EU and Russia vie for influence in volatile Balkans region

BELGRADE, Serbia — For years, Russia has worked to gain influence in Southeast Europe, using Serbia as a foothold to establish a friendly pocket on a hostile continent. The European Union finally is pushing back. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is embarking on a seven-nation Balkans tour Sunday to promote…

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The Pentagon shifted $20 billion from OCO to base budget. Here's what it included.

February 23, 2018 8:25 pm defensenews.com score: 602.9
The Pentagon shifted $20 billion from OCO to base budget. Here's what it included.

WASHINGTON ― The Pentagon’s decision to shift $20 billion from wartime funding into the base budget now has some clarity. During the Feb. 12 budget rollout of the fiscal 2019 budget request, there was a discrepancy of about $20 billion between what the printed materials said would be in Overseas…

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Mattis faces deadline today on the military’s transgender policy

February 21, 2018 9:53 pm militarytimes.com score: 595.0
Mattis faces deadline today on the military’s transgender policy

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis faced a Wednesday deadline to provide President Donald Trump guidance on transgender service members, as news reports surfaced revealing that the president initiated the ban last summer without consulting his top general. “Things are at a very confusing moment right now,” said Shannon Minter, who is…

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DeVos backs school choice proposal for military children

February 22, 2018 11:43 pm militarytimes.com score: 594.1
DeVos backs school choice proposal for military children

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday backed a proposal to allow military families to use $1.3 billion in public funds to send their children to private school or pay for other education services. The plan is in line with the Trump administration’s focus on promoting charter and private…

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Official: US Embassy attacker was a former Montenegro soldier

February 22, 2018 7:03 pm militarytimes.com score: 593.3
Official: US Embassy attacker was a former Montenegro soldier

PODGORICA, Montenegro — The man who hurled a bomb into the U.S. Embassy compound in Montenegro’s capital, and then killed himself, was an ex-soldier apparently decorated by former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic after NATO’s bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in 1999, authorities said Thursday. A police official, speaking on condition…

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Trump nominates former Army captain as new top benefits official for VA

February 22, 2018 3:44 am militarytimes.com score: 583.3
Trump nominates former Army captain as new top benefits official for VA

WASHINGTON — After a nearly two-and-a-half-year wait, the Veterans Benefits Administration is poised to get a new permanent leader. President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Army veteran Paul Lawrence as the next under secretary of Veterans Affairs for benefits, a post that has been manned by a series of acting…

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Mattis: Deploy-or-get-out rule is about fairness

February 17, 2018 10:00 pm militarytimes.com score: 578.8
Mattis: Deploy-or-get-out rule is about fairness

WASHINGTON ― New rules requiring members of the military to be able to deploy or get out were put in place to ensure fairness in deployment rates, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. “You’re either deployable, or you need to find something else to do. I’m not going have some people…

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Turkey renames US Embassy street after Syria offensive

February 19, 2018 8:02 pm militarytimes.com score: 572.6
Turkey renames US Embassy street after Syria offensive

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish authorities on Monday renamed a street where the U.S. Embassy is located with the name of Turkey’s military offensive in Syria that had led to tensions between the allies. Ankara municipal workers put up the new sign in Turkish for Olive Branch Street, replacing the one…

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AI makes Mattis question ‘fundamental’ beliefs about war

February 17, 2018 10:24 pm defensenews.com score: 571.0
AI makes Mattis question ‘fundamental’ beliefs about war

WASHINGTON – Over the years, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has cultivated a reputation for deep thinking about the nature of warfare. And during that time, he has come to a few conclusions about what he calls the “fundamental” nature of combat. “It’s equipment, technology, courage, competence, integration of capabilities,…

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White House offers faint support for embattled VA Secretary Shulkin

February 20, 2018 5:06 pm militarytimes.com score: 568.8
White House offers faint support for embattled VA Secretary Shulkin

WASHINGTON — White House officials on Tuesday gave no indication of imminent action against Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, but they also declined to give strong support to the embattled Cabinet official’s work leading the department. Shulkin has been under public scrutiny for the past week, since the release of…

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Erosion closes a 2nd road in Civil War battlefield park

February 24, 2018 11:02 pm militarytimes.com score: 516.1
Erosion closes a 2nd road in Civil War battlefield park

VICKSBURG, Miss. — One road through a Civil War battlefield in Mississippi has been closed because heavy rainfall caused erosion. The Vicksburg Post reports that officials at the Vicksburg National Military Park found the problem Thursday. The road is near the museum of the USS Cairo, an ironclad gunboat. Park…

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US sailor hit by helicopter blade dies

February 24, 2018 8:22 pm navytimes.com score: 514.7
US sailor hit by helicopter blade dies

SAN DIEGO — A sailor has died after he was struck by a helicopter blade at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, north of San Diego. The Marine Corps says the sailor was hit by the spinning tail rotor of a Venom helicopter Wednesday evening and died at a hospital…

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Trump hints at allowing more troops to carry personal weapons on military bases

February 23, 2018 6:49 pm militarytimes.com score: 514.5
Trump hints at allowing more troops to carry personal weapons on military bases

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday said he would re-examine federal policies restricting troops from carrying private firearms on military bases, calling it an important safety issue. But Defense Department leaders have in the past resisted widespread changes to those firearms policies because of concerns it could lead to…

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Iraq War physicians reunite in Bismarck after years

February 24, 2018 5:43 pm militarytimes.com score: 514.4
Iraq War physicians reunite in Bismarck after years

BISMARCK, N.D. — Two physicians, one American and one Iraqi, reunited in Bismarck after forging a bond while working together during the Iraq War. Dr. Craig Lambrecht was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2006. He served as the senior medical officer and a field surgeon for a troop medical…

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