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ReserveVoice: June 11, 2015

Legislative Update

Arizona Sen. John McCain, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, cited the support of ROA in connection with positive reform of military compensation and retirement in his opening statement on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which passed the committee 22-4 in May.
 
ROA provided Washington Senator Patty Murray in follow-up to our May 13 Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing testimony; ROA addressed gaps in the Transition Assistance program and provided a viewpoint in connection with the senator’s interest in whether veterans and military groups were seeing “progress” in VA’s culture change.
 
ROA will meet later in June with Sen. Roy Blount of Missouri on the topic of preserving A-10s and the future of that important airplane and its capabilities; and to discuss the senator’s support for ROA’s veteran status legislation.
 

ROA Intern Program


ROA has a strong internship program, now “employing” the services of two bright students: This week’s profile is on Michael Bailey, who joined us in May.  Michael  is a student at University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Before law school, he helped contractors for civilian and military agencies.  Michael plans to practice military procurement law.  ROA’s advocacy attracted Michael; he is already proving effective in supporting Legislative Director Susan Lukas in making certain that reserve member’s voices are heard by Congress.

ROA 2015 Legislative Agenda

Army Update

ROA’s Department of North Carolina will send a representative to address the National Commission on the Future of the Army in Fayetteville, NC, near Fort Bragg, on June 10.  ROA addressed the commission on May 20, in its first hearing, and will continue to work with the commission to help shape policy that supports strong RC funding and integration within the total force.

 

Navy Update


A Joint honor guard performing the disinterment and dignified transfer of the first four caskets associated with the USS Oklahoma on June 8. 
 
This process is a result of the Pentagon's approval in April to disinter unknown service members associated with the USS Oklahoma, sunk on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. From the Pentagon: "Overall, 45 graves will be disinterred on unscheduled dates and times over a six-month period. Examination of remains will begin immediately after their arrival into the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) laboratory in Hawaii and will utilize current forensic tools and techniques. Analysis of all available evidence indicates that most USS Oklahoma crew members can be identified upon disinterment. Service members who are identified will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors."
 

Air Force Update


Controversy over the future of the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield (Fort Bragg, NC), continues with heightened pressure from NC Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. ROA is confident that leaders within the USAF and the Air Force Reserve, in coordination with their Army “customers,” will come to a decision that balances fiscal and readiness demands.  
 

From Congresswoman Renee Ellmers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 Thursday, June 4, 2015 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016 introduced by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that will not only save, but increase the C-130 presence at Fort Bragg’s Pope Airfield. 
The amendment is a direct answer to the Department of Defense and Air Force’s strategically-flawed plan to completely dismantle the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Airfield, the busiest airfield in the world for the performance of training using tactical aircraft. Completely removing all C-130H aircraft from Fort Bragg would create unnecessary risks to the readiness of airborne units that are critical to our national security, essentially taking the “air” out of “airborne.” 
Tillis’ amendment, co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), will effectively relocate nine previously upgraded C-130H aircraft to Pope Airfield at Fort Bragg to directly support the daily training and contingency requirements of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division and the United States Army Special Operations Command. The nine upgraded C-130Hs would replace the six older C-130Hs presently stationed at Pope Airfield that the Air Force intends to permanently remove. 
Tillis’ plan to save, increase, and improve the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg also makes strong fiscal sense. Despite spending $2.3 billion over the last several years to upgrade aircraft as part of the C-130 AMP (Avionics Modernization Program), the Air Force has made it clear it still intends to mothball the upgraded aircraft. Tillis’ plan makes use of five C-130H AMP equipped aircraft at Little Rock that would have been flown to the bone yard at a loss to taxpayers of an additional $300 million. Another four C-130Hs still to be upgraded with previously purchased AMP installation kits would also be transferred to Fort Bragg. 
For months, Senator Tillis has been leading the fight to stop the Air Force’s short-sighted decision to remove all the C-130Hs from Pope Airfield that support the nation’s global airborne response and special operations units. Tillis repeatedly pressured the Air Force and Pentagon to provide information and metrics regarding the airborne training requirements for Fort Bragg’s troops and the Air Force’s strategic justification for eliminating the support for such training by removing the C-130Hs from Pope Airfield. 
Air Force officials have previously admitted that they did not consult with the Army and Fort Bragg commanders before making their decision to deactivate the 440th Airlift Wing. Fort Bragg commander Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson publicly came out against the decision earlier this year, stating, “Of all places in the world, why would we take that capability away from Fort Bragg?”
Tillis’ amendment ensures that Fort Bragg will be able to not only keep, but increase its airborne training capability. 
“I am pleased that my Senate colleagues and I found a solution that would not only save, but increase and improve the C-130H presence at Fort Bragg, effectively stopping the Air Force leadership’s short-sighted and strategically flawed plan to remove all C-130Hs from Pope Airfield,” said Senator Tillis. “Most importantly, this amendment ensures that the brave men and women of America’s global response force will continue to be trained, equipped, and ready to defend our nation at a moment’s notice.”

Championing servicemember rights

ROA sent a letter to Surgeon General Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy asking his help righting an inequity at the Bureau of Prisons. A Public Health System officer there, who is also a member of the ROA, has experienced unfair work practices related to her uniformed service that placed her below less senior employees for the purposes of scheduling work and time off.  
 
In the BOP medical system, serving PHS officers provide about 25 percent of the staff, and BOP civilians provide the other 75 percent. Employees with greater BOP seniority get the best opportunity to select favorable work schedules and days off. Our member has been a PHS officer assigned to BOP for many years, but at this particular prison, only BOP civilian employees have seniority for purposes of the selection of work schedules and days off. This means that our member gets what is left after the two BOP civilians (one of whom has worked for BOP for two years and the other for two months) have selected work schedules and days off.

 
In our Law Review 15041, we express the opinion that making PHS officers take a back seat to junior BOP civilian medical employees, with respect to the selection of work schedules and days off, violates USERRA.
 

Reunions:

Outfit:                        USS Elokomin
Reunion Date:           September 24-27, 2015
Location:                    Cleveland OH
Contacts:
Robert O’Sullivan, Theeloman@verizon.net, 617-288-3755
Ron Finet, Finet@hotmail.com, 262-742-4269

Outfit:                        USS Bon Homme Richard (CV/CVA-31)
Reunion Date:           September 15-19, 2015
Location:                    San Antonio, TX
Contacts:                   Frank Pulliam  417-684-1358
 

Law Reviews:

Legal analysis on the issues impacting your life in and out of uniform


  • No. 15050 Reemployment Rights as an ANG Technician
  • No. 15051 Delaware Falls Short in Accommodating Deployed Service Members and Military Spouses
Visit the Service Members Law Center

Events

2015 ROA National Convention

Dates: July 26-29, 2015

Location: Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Hotel: Room Rate is $199 plus 14.5% tax


Registration Rates:
• ROA Registration – $375 early / $475 advance / $575 onsite
ROAL Registration – $375
• Memorial Breakfast – $50
• Guest Ticket: Welcome Reception – $85
• Guest Ticket: President’s Reception – $115

> More information and online Registration

Partners


Medical emergency assistance that goes beyond health and travel insurance

“Any time you have an accident or sudden illness while traveling away from home, ROA Emergency Assistance Plus provides a crucial safety net that helps pay for emergency medical transportation expenses your health or travel insurance generally will NOT cover. With more than 20 assistance benefits, EA+ steps in to provide Medical Evacuation, Medical Assistance, Travel Assistance, and Assistance for Companions. Coming this summer, you will be able to enroll in the newly enhanced EA+ Program, which will now provide members with a nurse escort, if deemed medically necessary, to help ensure you get proper medical care during your trip home. This new enhancement is a valuable benefit that can save members anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. For more information, visit www.roaeaplus.com or call toll free 1-866-846-4752.”
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Reserve Voice is a monthly bulletin produced by the Reserve Officers Association of the United States, the nation’s leading advocate for Reserve Component policy and resourcing, and support of RC service members and their families.

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