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Military News Briefs for the Week of Aug. 24, 2001

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2001 – (This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending Aug. 24, 2001.)

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BUSH NOMINATES MYERS AS JCS CHIEF, PACE AS VICE

President Bush announced Aug. 24 his nominations of Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers to become the 15th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace to be vice chairman.

Myers has been vice chairman since March 2000. He was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, is a former commander of U.S. Space Command, and was the assistant to former Chairman Army Gen. John Shalikashvili. The current chairman, Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, is slated to retire Sept. 30.

Pace would be the first Marine to serve as vice chairman. He currently commands U.S. Southern Command in Miami, and is a former deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan.

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MILITARY TSP SAVINGS PLAN ENROLLMENTS START OCT. 9

Service members starting Oct. 9 can choose to contribute a percentage of their pay to the military's thrift savings and investment program as part of building a nest egg for retirement.

The TSP, previously available only to federal civilian employees, opens to all active duty and reserve component members of the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard, and uniformed members of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. TSP is separate from and in addition to the military retirement system, which is based on years of service and rank.

The first enrollment "open season" for persons who entered military service on or before Dec. 8, 2001, is from Oct. 9, 2001, to Jan. 31, 2002. Participants can invest any whole percentage of up to 7 percent of their base pay in any or all of five TSP funds.

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REVIEW OF IRAQ POLICY UNDER WAY, DOD OFFICIAL SAYS

Will the United States and its coalition partners patrolling the no-fly zones continue to play aerial "cat-and-mouse" with Iraqi anti-aircraft missiles and guns in the months ahead?

Stay tuned, Peter W. Rodman, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told reporters at the Pentagon Aug. 21. "We have not forgotten about Iraq," he said, noting DoD and other federal agencies are now reviewing defense security policy and strategies concerning Iraq.

"This is an issue that is being taken with utmost seriousness and is being looked at with great care," Rodman said. U.S. Central Command officials have noted that the Iraqis have fired missiles and anti-aircraft artillery at U.S. and coalition aircraft in more than 1,000 separate incidents since December 1998.

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ARMY MEN POWER THEIR WAY TO SOFTBALL TOURNEY GOLD

It was a tough battle, but the Army men's softball team never let up on its quest for gold and went 8-1 in play to win the Armed Forces Softball Tournament Aug. 15-17 at Fort Hood, Texas. The last time the Army captured gold was in 1995.

On the first day, Army beat Navy, 26-14 and the Marines, 8-6. Air Force kept pace by edging the Marines, 14-12 and dumping Navy 26-11. During evening games, the Marines beat Navy 18-6, while the Air Force handed Army its lone loss, a close 4-3. The second day, the Army beat Navy, 19-16, the Marines, 9-7, and shot down Air Force 26-17. The Army and the Air Force entered the last day tied 5-1.

The underdog Marines and Navy played spoilers the third day. The Marines trounced the airmen, 18-9, and the sailors then snuffed Air Force's last hope with a convincing 11-6 win. Army swept its three, including a 12-10 squeaker against Air Force that ended the competition.

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