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Military News Briefs for the Week of Feb. 2, 2001

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2001 – (This is a summary of the American Forces Press Service news stories for the week ending Feb. 2, 2001.)

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DOD BUDGET INCREASES MUST WAIT, BUT PAY RAISE SAFE

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2001 -- Major changes to the Bush Administration's DoD budget must wait on the completion of a force structure review, presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said Jan. 31.

The fiscal 2002 defense request “will be a lean budget,” Fleischer said. Still, the pay raise for service members that President Bush promised when he was campaigning for the office seems safe.

The 2002 budget submission “will reflect the President's campaign promises to increase the pay for the military” and to improve their housing, Fleischer said.

“But, beyond that, the President thinks the wise approach to take is for the Pentagon to figure out long-term what its strategic needs are before we simply start to throw money in the direction of defense,” he added.

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DOD SAYS TROOPS IN EUROPE SAFE FROM ‘MAD COW’

WASHINGTON, Jan.31, 2001 -- By following prudent guidelines, U.S. service members and their families living in Europe should not fear catching the human derivative of the so-called mad cow disease, DoD veterinary officials say.

A traveler's advisory issued by the Centers for Disease Control for U.S. citizens in Europe notes that "the relative risk of becoming infected with BSE is very small, if it exists at all," said Army Col. Scott Severin, deputy director of DoD's Veterinary Service Activity. "BSE" is short for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or what the media and public have dubbed "mad cow disease," he said.

Since March 1996, DoD has not purchased beef from the United Kingdom for commissaries, dining halls, post exchange outlets and authorized vendors to avoid possible customer contact with BSE, he said.

"The beef our service members are eating in the dining facilities comes from the United States," Severin said. "The meats being sold through Army and Air Force Exchange Service through the concessions and shoppettes or through the commissaries are all from the United States or from countries outside of Europe where there's no evidence of BSE."

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THIS TIME, THEY’RE ASKING; DOD, SELECTIVE SERVICE TEAM UP

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2001 -- The Selective Service System and Defense Department are teaming up again. This time, not to draft young men into the military, but to give them information about the services.

The end of the draft in 1973 didn't end draft registration or the Selective Service System. Draft registration continued through 1975 and then restarted in 1980. By law, all young men must register with Selective Service upon turning 18.

"When someone registers for the draft, Selective Service sends out an acknowledgement of the registration," said Bill Carr, DoD's assistant director for recruiting policy. "They send about 2 million each year. Beginning Jan. 26, we'll be including a brochure about military opportunities in these acknowledgement letters."

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