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Sequestration Threatens Readiness, Modernization, Naval Operations Chief Says

As the Navy faces a projected shortfall of about $25 billion below the president’s fiscal year 2016 budget request, sequestration and the continuing funding resolution have degraded the service’s readiness and capabilities, the chief of naval operations said. Story | Special

U.S. General: Afghan Forces Overmatch Taliban

While Afghanistan remains a dangerous place with many challenges ahead, it’s unlikely the Taliban have the ability to best Afghan forces on the battlefield or topple the government, the top U.S. general in the country said. Story

Mental Illness Should Carry No Stigma, First Lady Says During Conference

Service members, veterans and family members who have stepped up to tell their life stories can help the nation understand that seeking help for mental health issues is a sign of strength, First Lady Michelle Obama said at a mental-health summit. Story

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Lead Photos


Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015. DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean Hurt

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Special ReportsMore »

The nation's top defense leaders are urging Congress to move now to prevent major, across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect Oct 1, 2015.In support of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Defense Department made critical contributions to the fight against the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. Chief among these were the deployment of men and women in uniform to Monrovia, Liberia, as part of Operation United Assistance.The president authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq. He also authorized a humanitarian effort to save thousands of Iraqi civilians on Mount Sinjar from the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. The president’s fiscal year 2016 budget request of $534 billion protects America today, while positioning the U.S. military to face the threats of tomorrow. The budget funds ongoing strategic priorities including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and sustaining a global approach to countering violent extremists.The Defense Department supports the continuing education and empowerment of military women as they risk their lives to protect our nation. This Defense.gov special report takes a closer look at the contributions of women in the U.S. armed forces as they continue to lead our nation's defense into the future.The Defense Department named cyberspace a new domain of warfare in 2011. Today, U.S. Cyber Command, the services, and U.S. partners and allies are working together to make that inherently collaborative, adaptable environment a suitable place for military command and control.The Defense Department announced the next unit rotation as the U.S. continues to demonstrate its commitment to reassuring NATO allies. President Barack Obama urged Americans to recognize every spouse, parent, sibling, child, and loved one who stands with our service members. Obama said Each year, the Defense Department marks National African American History
Month by honoring the contributions of African Americans who work to keep
the country safe. In proclaiming February as National African American
History Month, President Barack Obama noted: Given today's globalized access to knowledge and the rapid pace of technology development, innovation, speed, and agility have taken on a greater importance. The Department of Defense serves as an innovative leader in developing technology to protect Americans and troops – on and off the battlefield.The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.One person has the power to teach resilience, recognize warning signs, intervene, chat, or make a call; it only takes one person or one act to save another person's life. The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has launched the The Defense Department is taking a stand against sexual assault in the military in an effort to maintain the well-being of U.S. service members and their families. Check out American Forces Press Services' special coverage, which includes information about resources dedicated to preventing and appropriately responding to this crime.


Face of Defense

Marine Corps Sgt. Cody L. Olson Marine Follows Father’s Path

Marine Corps Sgt. Cody L. Olson, an M1A1 Abrams tank technician, wanted to be a Marine just like his father, and he is - right down to working with large vehicles and attaining the rank of sergeant. Story

In The Spotlight

Vince Vaughn, USO Bring 'Unfinished Business' to Edwards Air Force Base

Actor Vince Vaughn treated troops and their families to an advance screening of his upcoming film, “Unfinished Business,” during a USO visit to Edwards Air Force Base, California. Story

Science and Technology

DARPA Tool Could Work Against ISIL

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency prepares for the diverse threats in today’s national security landscape – from low-tech ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists to high-tech adversaries to groups like ISIL that use both approaches. Story | Special

Guard, Reserve News

Richard O. Wightman Jr. DoD Salutes Guard, Reserve Family Readiness Programs

Richard O. Wightman Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, presented awards to the top unit in each reserve component for outstanding programs that support unit missions and family readiness during a Pentagon ceremony. Story | Special

Military Families

Battaglia Emphasizes Financial Literacy

The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged service members and their families to make informed investment decisions to ensure financial readiness both during and after their service commitments. Story | Special

Twitter Activity

RT @Martin_Dempsey: Schedule changes here prevent me from holding my Facebook Townhall today. Look forward to discussing Tues. 2:00 PM http…
#Soldiers watch for enemy activity during an exercise with Lithuanian troops as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve http://t.co/Gthb1voIeG
.@USArmy Performance Triad Can Help You Reach Your Healthy Living Goals http://t.co/CV63Xi86nL http://t.co/jTfvn8xC7s
A landing craft air cushion enters the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex @USNavy http://t.co/RIme824MSM
RT @DoDNews: Campbell: Taliban Face Overmatch Against Afghan Forces http://t.co/XExeQkjBbc
.@USMC AV-8B Harrier prepares to land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America http://t.co/LwInXSZ6EQ
"As Secretary of Defense, I will not send our troops into a fight with outdated equipment, inadequate readiness, or ineffective doctrine."
#SecDef says #Sequestration threatens our military’s readiness, the size of our warfighting forces and ultimately, the lives of our troops.
#SecDef says, "Under #sequestration, which is set to return in 211 days, our nation would be less secure."
"I support #POTUS commitment to vetoing any bill that locks in #sequestration. Because to do otherwise would be both unsafe and wasteful."
#SecDef: I am here to present the President’s budget for the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2016.
#SecDef Carter testifies on budget before House Appropriations Committee. Watch LIVE: http://t.co/IznytMHfO0
RT @DoDNews: SecDef: Nation ‘Would be Less Secure’ Under Sequestration http://t.co/CJecSPV4sY
RT @DoDNews: .@Martin_Dempsey: While the U.S. military remains strong, sequestration endangers the mission of protecting America. http://t…
.@usairforce F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 14th Fighter Squadron flies along the coastline of Guam http://t.co/yvUiXSwKj5
RT @PentagonPresSec: SecDef: we don't just seek defeat of #ISIL. We seek lasting defeat of ISIL.

Facebook Activity

The Facebook Townhall today with General Martin E. Dempsey has been cancelled. The Townhall has been rescheduled to Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM. We will keep you posted if there are any other changes.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Zachery Johnson prepares to engage targets from a UH-1Y Venom during Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training above San Clemente Island Feb. 28, 2015. Johnson is a crew chief with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry

Timothy Babb takes a breath during swimming practice on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 27, 2015. The Air Force Trials are an adaptive sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously ill and injured military members and veterans.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

U.S. U.S. Marine Corps with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa ascend ropes during an obstacle course on Rota Naval Base, Spain. The course tested the Marines’ physical readiness with a series of demanding obstacles designed to simulate the challenges of a combat environment.

U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Christopher Mendoza

Sleep. Activity. Nutrition. The Performance Triad is the Army’s comprehensive plan to improve the overall health readiness and wellness of the total Army.

Army’s Performance Triad Can Help You Reach Your Healthy Living Goals | DoDLive
An AV-8B Harrier prepares to land on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during training operations in the Pacific Ocean, Feb. 25, 2015. The aircraft is assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 311.

U.S. Navy photo by Seaman John Kelvin Chavez

Sequestration threatens military readiness, the size of warfighting forces, the capabilities of air and naval fleets, and ultimately the lives of the nation’s men and women in uniform, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate panel yesterday.

Defense.gov News Article: Carter: Nation ‘Would be Less Secure’ Under Sequestration
U.S. Army Sgt. Lopiccolo, right, checks on his soldiers providing security during a visit to the regional police logistics center in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 17, 2015. Lopiccolo is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team and Train, Advise, Assist Command East.

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jarrod Morris

Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman (SARC)
Navy special amphibious reconnaissance corpsmen offer a glimpse into what it takes be a one of them. Those doing the job provide medical and operational services to Fleet Marine Forces and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

Defense.gov Video Player

Happy National Anthem Day from #US4AThe "Star-Spangled Banner" officially became the national anthem of the United States of America, March 3, 1931.A special thanks to the 3rd Infantry Division Band's Woodwind Quintet for providing the music for our tribute. #ResoluteSupport #3ID #NationalAnthemDay #Anthem
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee on Budget:

If confronted with sequestration-level budgets, and continued obstacles to reform, I do not believe that we can simply keep making incremental cuts while maintaining the same general set of objectives that have anchored our defense strategy. We would have to change the shape, not just the size, of our military - significantly impacting parts of our defense strategy.
We cannot meet sequester with further half-measures.

As Secretary of Defense, I will not send our troops into a fight with outdated equipment, inadequate readiness, or ineffective doctrine. But everything else is on the table - including parts of our budget that have long been considered inviolate.

This may lead to decisions that no Americans - including members of Congress - want us to make.

I am not afraid to ask the difficult questions, but if we are stuck with sequestration's budget cuts over the long term, our entire nation will have to live with the answers.

Timeline Photos
During my recent travels, I've had the opportunity to talk with students, service members and their families, and international partners. I want to hear from you on Facebook as well. I'll answer your questions Thursday from 3:15 to 3:45 PM EST. Leave your questions under the image. I look forward to answering as many as I can. Update: Schedule changes here in DC prevent me from holding my Facebook Townhall today. I have received great questions though and look forward to discussing Tuesday at 2:00 PM. Keep posting and I'll see you then.
The Navy Reserve is beginning a yearlong celebration of its centennial, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter today offered his congratulations to “this great American institution for 100 years of distinguished service in defense of this country.”

Defense.gov News Article: Carter Honors Navy Reserve as Centennial Observance Begins
A landing craft air cushion enters the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean, March 1, 2015. The Essex is conducting an integration training exercise to prepare for an upcoming deployment.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher B. Janik

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, spoke to cadets, staff and faculty during a Leader Professional Development Session at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Jan. 9, 2015.

Defense.gov News Article: Rogers Discusses Cyber Operations, ISIL, Deterrence
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson takes off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015, to photograph Cope North 15, a large-formation exercise. Robertson is an aerial combat photojournalist assigned to the 1st Combat Camera Squadron. The exercise enables U.S., Japanese and Australian air forces to develop combat capabilities to enhance air superiority, electronic warfare, air interdiction, tactical airlift and aerial refueling. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson


Gen. Mark A. Welsh III

50 years ago today, 1st Lieutenant Hayden Lockhart Jr. was flying an F-100 over North Vietnam on his way to destroy an enemy target. As he neared the target, he encountered substantial anti-aircraft fire, but pressed on to the objective even though he knew it meant putting himself at grave risk of being shot down. After successfully dropping his bombs directly on the target, Lt. Lockhart realized his jet was on fire and had to eject. That day he became the first Airman taken prisoner in Vietnam and began an unimaginable nearly 8-year ordeal as a Prisoner of War. He knew the risk, but that knowledge didn’t stop him from accomplishing his mission. 50 years later, Airmen still know the risk and they still step up to accomplish the mission. Our Air Force is what it is today, because of men and women like this. Today we salute Lieutenant Colonel Lockhart and those that followed in his giant footsteps.
In 1981, Congress passed legislation authorizing and requesting the president to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as Women's History Week. Congress continued to pass joint resolutions declaring a Women's History Week every March until 1987, when it passed a law designating March 1987 as Women's History Month after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project to do so. Since that time, every president has issued proclamations for Women's History Month.

Defense.gov Special Report: Women's History Month 2015
Paratroopers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division descend toward Holland Drop Zone against the backdrop of a crystal clear sky and last quarter moon during an airborne proficiency jump at Fort Bragg, N.C.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Timmothy Annoni signals as a fuel probe seats to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during a replenishment with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl in the Persian Gulf, Feb. 18, 2015. The carrier is supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, conducting strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Fenaroli

Members of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band interact with the crowd during the Fasching parade in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. The band and about 1,400 other participants marched in the parade for more than two hours entertaining the crowd.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Ferris signals to an AH-64 Apache helicopter during deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) in the Arabian Gulf, Feb. 24, 2015. Ferris is a boatswain's mate.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Austin

U.S. soldiers clear a building during a combined situational exercise with Polish land forces as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve at the Drawsko Pomorskie training area in Poland, Feb. 25, 2015. The soldiers are assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra

An AV-8B Harrier prepares to take off from the amphibious assault ship USS Essex during Marine integration training near San Diego, Feb. 24, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos

A U.S. soldier salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping from a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. The soldier is assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston

U.S. Marines board MV-22 Ospreys before they take off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD 8) off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 23, 2015.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Gutridge

Lt. Greg Campbell, assigned to Detachment 2 of the Wildcards of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, embraces his daughter for the first time during the unit's homecoming at Naval Air Station North Island. HSC-23 Det 2 operated with the USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group during a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th fleet areas of responsibility.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Harper

U.S. Marines Sgt. Travis Bell scans for threats from a UH-1Y Huey helicopter during Integrated Training Exercise 2-15 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 18, 2015. Bell is a door gunner assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169.

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen

Timeline Photos
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was born in 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to Fort Ord, California, Fort Benning, Georgia, and spent much of his time at Ft. McPherson in Georgia. Leonard was discharged in 1955 as a technician 3rd grade, which was equivalent to the WWII-era rank of staff sergeant. During his Army career, Leonard worked with the Army’s Special Services branch, where he wrote, narrated and emceed shows. He also played a soldier in a film produced by the U.S. Navy on Combat Psychiatry during the Korean War. You can watch that video here: http://youtu.be/OPF-Tx1QmVY After leaving the Army, Leonard went on became a successful actor, best known for his role as Spock in Star Trek. Leonard Nimoy passed away today at the age of 83. We honor his service. Live long and prosper.


DARPA, Navy Build 'Fab Lab'
DARPA and the Navy are building a high-tech fabrication facility, known as a "fab lab," that aims to enhance ship maintenance and repair by enabling more cost-effective training and rapid on-site production of parts and components.   More
Military Combats Antimicrobial Resistance
Each of the services has initiated several surveillance and research activities to combat antimicrobial resistance over the past several years, and now a more concerted effort is underway to coordinate activities across the military.   More

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