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

US Congress avoids government shutdown, at least for two more weeks

December 7, 2017 6:14 pm defensenews.com score: 859.4
US Congress avoids government shutdown, at least for two more weeks

WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers on Thursday averted a government shutdown this week by passing a new funding extension to keep federal operations running for two more weeks, in the hopes of reaching a broader budget consensus before Christmas. The measure, which passed mostly along party lines in the House (235-93)…

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VA reverses course, won't alter homeless program funding

December 6, 2017 8:19 pm militarytimes.com score: 765.4
VA reverses course, won't alter homeless program funding

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs officials on Wednesday reversed course on plans to dramatically alter how funding for homeless veterans programs is handled, promising “absolutely no change in the funding” until fiscal 2019. In recent weeks, veterans advocates had been upset over plans from department leaders to shift funding previous restricted…

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New VA ID applications halted amid system problems

December 5, 2017 4:00 pm militarytimes.com score: 736.9
New VA ID applications halted amid system problems

WASHINGTON — After already waiting two years for promised new ID cards, veterans will have to wait a little longer. Less than a week after Veterans Affairs’ official rollout of new identification cards, the department’s online application process is down, with few details on when the system will be working…

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Marine Corps investigation faults F-35 program after in-flight fire

December 8, 2017 9:12 pm defensenews.com score: 671.6
Marine Corps investigation faults F-35 program after in-flight fire

An in-flight fire that erupted on a Marine F-35B last year was caused by a flawed bracket that the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program office should have known was a serious hazard, according to a Marine Corps investigation. The weapons bay bracket that caused the fire was a “known…

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'It's their medal': 2 Medal of Honor recipients will donate their medals to 4th ID

December 6, 2017 5:11 pm armytimes.com score: 663.3
'It's their medal': 2 Medal of Honor recipients will donate their medals to 4th ID

Two Medal of Honor recipients are donating their medals to the division they both served under. Clint Romesha and Florent Groberg, both former 4th Infantry Division soldiers, are offering the medals to the Fort Carson, Colorado-based division as a way to show that the medal belongs to every soldier. The…

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Two in a row: Black Knights edge Mids, 14-13, in a snow-covered classic

December 9, 2017 8:12 pm militarytimes.com score: 608.1
Two in a row: Black Knights edge Mids, 14-13, in a snow-covered classic

Army 14, Navy 13: Rivalry in pictures 1 of 12 Army's Ahmad Bradshaw holds up the Commander in Chief's Trophy after the Black Knights bested Navy on Saturday in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke/AP) 2 of 12 An Army cadet celebrates on the field after the U.S. Military Academy's second-straight rivalry win…

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Air Force combat controller to receive Silver Star for heroism in Iraq

December 7, 2017 1:14 pm airforcetimes.com score: 589.3
Air Force combat controller to receive Silver Star for heroism in Iraq

Staff Sgt. Christopher Lewis, a combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, will receive a Silver Star for his actions during an intense 10-hour firefight near Mosul, Iraq, last October. Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, will award Lewis the medal during a ceremony…

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House finalizes bill allowing more VA medical center investigations

December 6, 2017 3:24 pm militarytimes.com score: 581.4
House finalizes bill allowing more VA medical center investigations

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers easily finalized legislation Wednesday to let Veterans Affairs officials more easily identify and react to problems with their own health care facilities, as part of a broader effort to encourage accountability among department workers. The legislation, dubbed the Enhancing Veteran Care Act, was passed by the…

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Saudi at Guantanamo said to have admitted helping 9/11 plot

December 6, 2017 9:50 pm militarytimes.com score: 578.0
Saudi at Guantanamo said to have admitted helping 9/11 plot

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — A Saudi facing a war crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay for allegedly aiding the Sept. 11 attack told interrogators that he bought plane tickets and facilitated money transfers for seven of the hijackers, a retired FBI agent said Wednesday, providing the most detailed account…

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Enlisted combat pilots? The Air Force is launching a test that could lead to that.

December 6, 2017 5:45 pm airforcetimes.com score: 577.1
Enlisted combat pilots? The Air Force is launching a test that could lead to that.

The Air Force is launching a new pilot training program that will include enlisted airmen — and could eventually lead to them flying combat aircraft. Maj. Gen. Timothy Leahy, commander of the Second Air Force, said in a Nov. 30 email to his commanders that 15 officers and 5 enlisted…

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Veterans sharpen storytelling skills through new arts program

December 4, 2017 10:14 am militarytimes.com score: 570.0
Veterans sharpen storytelling skills through new arts program

A few minutes before show time, Rose Feroah thought she was going to vomit. “That’s pretty much a guarantee,” she said. “I am feeling quite nervous.” Feroah, 33, was getting ready to tell a packed audience at the Drafthouse Comedy Theater in downtown Washington, D.C., about being a Marine vet…

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Report: Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in the military

December 5, 2017 3:31 pm militarytimes.com score: 563.4
Report: Sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in the military

Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the military and have become especially problematic among lower ranks, according to research from Armed Forces Health Surveillance officials. The findings present a potentially significant health problem for the force, which had seen stable or decreasing rates in previous years. Investigators said…

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US foresaw a costly victory in war with North Korea — in 1994

December 10, 2017 1:08 pm militarytimes.com score: 516.8
US foresaw a costly victory in war with North Korea — in 1994

WASHINGTON — In a nuclear standoff with North Korea more than two decades ago — long before the reclusive government had atomic weapons that could threaten America — U.S. officials planned for war. Declassified documents published Friday show the United States believed its military and South Korea’s forces would “undoubtedly…

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US-led coalition congratulates Iraq on defeating ISIS

December 10, 2017 9:58 am militarytimes.com score: 515.3
US-led coalition congratulates Iraq on defeating ISIS

BAGHDAD — The top U.S.-led coalition commander is congratulating Iraq on defeating the Islamic State group. In a statement released by the coalition Sunday, U.S. Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II pledged that coalition forces would continue to support Iraq. Funk says “much work remains, and we will continue to…

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Iraq says its war against IS has ended

December 9, 2017 9:26 am militarytimes.com score: 507.3
Iraq says its war against IS has ended

BAGHDAD — Iraq said Saturday that its war on the Islamic State group is over after more than three years of combat operations drove the extremists from all of the territory they once held. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Iraqi forces were in full control of the country’s border with…

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US airstrikes in Yemen kill al-Qaida leaders

December 8, 2017 3:49 pm militarytimes.com score: 501.9
US airstrikes in Yemen kill al-Qaida leaders

U.S. forces killed five al-Qaida militants in Yemen on November 20, including two leaders, in an effort to disrupt attacks from the terror group. The strikes targeted al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, a Yemen offshoot of the main core of al-Qaida. “Mujahid al-Adani, an AQAP Shabwah leader, was…

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Veteran unemployment rises in November

December 8, 2017 11:28 am militarytimes.com score: 501.4
Veteran unemployment rises in November

After two months of record lows, veteran unemployment ticked upward last month, according to the latest U.S. labor statistics released Friday. Four percent of veterans were unemployed in November, marking the second highest unemployment rate of 2017 since January’s 4.5 percent. Bureau of Labor Statistics data also show unemployment among…

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Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia ties

December 7, 2017 8:33 pm militarytimes.com score: 495.9
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia ties

VIENNA — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that Ukraine was the sole sticking point keeping the United States and Russia from forging a closer relationship, suggesting that all other disputes were secondary. “The issue that stands in the way is Ukraine,” Tillerson said. The assessment from America’s…

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Air Force upgrades valor award for combat controller who fought in five-day Afghan battle

December 7, 2017 5:36 pm airforcetimes.com score: 494.9
Air Force upgrades valor award for combat controller who fought in five-day Afghan battle

A combat controller who received a Bronze Star for his actions during five days of fierce fighting in Afghanistan in 2006 will have his medal upgraded to a Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor. Chief Master Sgt. Michael West of the 720th Operational Support Squadron originally received a Bronze…

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