Military News Briefs for the Week Ending Aug. 25, 2000
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2000 Prepared by the American Forces Press Service
(This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending Aug. 25, 2000)
DOD TO OFFER WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN PROGRAM OVERSEAS
DoD plans to provide supplemental foods and nutrition education to overseas military and family members by summer 2001.
Called Women, Infants and Children Overseas, the program will be administered by TRICARE. Bernard D. Rostker made the announcement before some 800 family support specialists attending the DoD Family Readiness Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 22 to 24.
Rostker announced focus groups will convene at several stateside locations soon to identify issues likely facing WIC providers and beneficiaries overseas. DoD plans to run a pilot test at five overseas locations selected by each of the services by January 2001 -- two in Europe, two in the western Pacific and one in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he said.
MORE TROOPS TABBED TO BATTLE MONTANA WILDFIRES
A battalion of soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., is scheduled to join firefighters in Montana Aug. 28 following federal officials' request for more troops to help battle record wildfires.
The composite battalion of about 500 soldiers from XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg will deploy to assist firefighting efforts in Montana, said Army officials. The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, asked the Defense Department for 25 more 20-person firefighting teams.
The Fort Bragg troops will join more than 500 soldiers from the 20th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. The 20th arrived in Montana Aug. 13 and is providing support to firefighters in the Lolo National Forest near Hudson.
SERVICES WILL COLLECT BASELINE MEDICAL INFO ON RECRUITS
Defense medical officials are working on a plan to collect baseline health data from all recruits during their basic training.
The Recruit Assessment Program would collect "comprehensive, extensive medical history and health data" and will compile the information into a computer database, said Navy Capt. Kenneth C. Hyams, director of epidemiology at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md.
Doctors would be able to access patients' data throughout the members' military career, Hyams said. Data also would be available to Department of Veterans Affairs doctors when individuals enter the VA system. The RAP questionnaire is computerized and more extensive than any in current use. He said there are no plans to pose the same questions to those already serving.