Last week, President Obama ordered precision air strikes against members of Islamic State, the militant group that’s fighting U.S.-backed ethnic minorities in northern Iraq. The president has thus far not committed ground forces to the region. Meanwhile, the United States continues air and ground attacks in Afghanistan.
This month, the U-S House will begin debating, amending and re-writing President Obama’s proposed 2015 defense budget. Over the next five years, the administration proposes spending $115-billion above the cap Congress enacted as part of the budget sequestration process. The plan could set up a showdown between Congress and the White House, and that could affect funding for the Michigan National Guard.
Last week, the rather startling news broke of a Flint woman who was killed while fighting in Syria. According to Syrian state television, 33-year-old Nicole Mansfield was killed by government forces on May 29 while fighting alongside anti-government rebels in the northwestern city of Idlib.
The streets of East Lansing near Michigan State University became a military command post Thursday morning. Soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard rolled into town a couple of blocks from Grand River Avenue to test their response to a simulated environmental hazard. The exercise was part of the Guard’s required training, and evaluators were on hand to judge how well they handled a potentially life-threatening situation.
WKAR’s Kevin Lavery spent some time with the troops.
The military is a unique sub-culture of American life: it speaks in acronyms, it has its own justice system, and it places great responsibility on its members. Yet despite their high level of training, thousands of veterans who leave the military struggle to find a job. A new initiative in mid-Michigan is designed to bring warriors to the workplace.