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Military News Briefs for the Week of June 23, 2000

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2000 – (This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending June 23, 2000)



Most service members will see a pay increase in July as a result of the final leg of the compensation triad passed by Congress last year.

Pay table reform goes into effect in July with about 75 percent of service members receiving raises of one-half percent to 5.5 percent, said Navy Capt. Elliott Bloxom, director of DoD compensation. The other two legs of the triad DoD pushed last year were the overall 4.8 percent raise in January and retirement reform.

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The proposed limited National Missile Defense system “is on track to achieve the earliest capability to meet the defined limited threat,” according to an independent assessment team report written by retired Air Force Gen. Larry D. Welch of the Institute for Defense Analyses.

The report bolsters DoD’s choice of technology to meet an ICBM threat from a rogue state. The report stated it is appropriate and technically feasible. The Ballistic Missile Defense Office will conduct another test of the system July 7.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen will use the results of this test, and previous tests, to make a recommendation to President Clinton about the feasibility of the system, which is estimated to cost $14 billion. President Clinton will make a decision on whether to go ahead with the program in the fall.

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The United States is encouraged by the accord signed by the presidents of South and North Korea, but officials say no U.S. troop reductions in South Korea are contemplated.

About 37,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea, mostly with the U.S. Army. Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said that even if reunification occurs, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung would like to see U.S. troops remain in his country. Kim considers U.S. troop presence a regional stabilizing force, Bacon said.

He said there is a lot of reason for exuberance over the historic summit, but that the exuberance ought to be tempered. “There's been one summit; it's turned out well,” he said. “There is talk of another summit with President Kim Jong Il going to Seoul later this summer. And I think we just have to wait to see how events unfold.”

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Nov. 7, Election Day, is less than five months away. Voting officials recommend absentee voters request ballots 45 days in advance, even further in advance if they haven't yet registered to vote in their home district. Hmm … that window of opportunity is starting to narrow.

Officials with the Federal Voting Assistance Program have put a tremendous amount of information about absentee voting on the Internet at www.fvap.ncr.gov.

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Over the next three years, members of the DoD Task Force on Domestic Violence will visit bases and nearby civilian communities throughout the military.

The 24 appointed members -- half military and half civilian -- held their first meeting in June to launch the project.

"Domestic violence is contrary to our core values and it's something that we ought not tolerate," said Lt. Gen. Jack W. Klimp, the Marine Corps' deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs.

Klimp and Deborah D. Tucker, executive director of the National Training Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Austin, Texas, are the panel's co-chairs.

Tucker said anyone involved in domestic violence needs to get help. "Don't hope that it will get better. Our experience is that it will only get worse if someone doesn't step in and help."

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Women's health is a major concern, but it hasn't received the attention in clinical trials that it deserves, according to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.

"We don't know as much as we need to know about the health of women," he said at a women's health issues seminar at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington (Va.) National Cemetery.

That's especially true for military women, whom the government sends into harm's way, he said. "We want them to be at their best and have the best ability to respond to different challenges to their health -- environmental or otherwise."

The surgeon general pointed out that women are stationed in some countries where diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, are more widespread than in the United States.

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