AFSA HQ Newsletter – December 4th

This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of www.hqafsa.org.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

112th Congress, 2nd Session (Lame Duck)

With little time left on the clock, the current Senate and House are left with a significant amount of key legislation to move. If they stay on their published schedule, there are 8 working days left for the 112th Congress: Monday thru Thursday of this week and Tuesday thru Friday of next week. Anything left undone will have to be picked up by the 113th Congress in January.

FY 2013 NDAA

The House version (H.R. 4310) was finished back in May 2012, but the Senate version (S. 3254) still seeks passage before the two bills can be ironed out in Conference. With Lame Duck limitations looming, the Senate also has to sort through the over 400 amendments proposed. SASC Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) have already reduced that number to 371 amendments with 94 either removed or passed by voice; all amendments must be filed by 4pm Monday, December 3rd. Once filed and debated, senators can then get to the business of voting on the NDAA. Action on amendments of interest was as follows:

Amendments of Interest – Failed

#3254 (Levin, D-MI) – Repeal the SBP/DIC offset; needed 60 votes, got 58.

Amendments of Interest – Passed

#3058 (Gillibrand, D-NY) – Requires DoD to provide TRICARE coverage/necessary behavioral health services for military children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.

#1114 (Begich, D-AK) – Allow gray area retires and surviving spouses to fly on military aircraft “Space A.”

#2969 (Heller, R-NV) – Requires DoD report on how upcoming TRICARE contract changes will affect availability of TRICARE Prime, it’s affect on beneficiaries and how DoD plans to help users find alternative care.

Amendments of Interest – Pending

#3255 (Reed, D-RI) – Restricts increase of TRICARE pharmacy co-pays for retail and mail order venues and limits future increases to rate of annual COLA.

AFSA Congratulates General Raymond Johns

Congratulations to General Raymond E. Johns Jr. who on November 28 was presented with the Order of the Sword by the men and women of Air Mobility Command. General Johns is the tenth AMC commander to receive this honor.

TOTAL FORCE WHIP AROUND

USAF Active Duty

SECAF: Modernization Can’t Wait! – “America’s Air Force remains the most capable in the world but modernization can’t wait for the next up-tick in defense spending. The current force is already too old; and we don’t know when that up-tick would come.” That is the gist of a message delivered by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley to civilian members of the defense community last week. The secretary stressed the importance of a partnership with all concerned –Air Force and DoD leaders, Congress, and industry partners to keep Air Force modernization moving forward. Read his complete speech which covers the current status of many existing airframes here.

Air National Guard

123rd Returns from Persian Gulf – 72 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing returned to Louisville recently. They were part of a blended unit comprised of other Guardsmen from Wyoming and Missouri as well as Active Duty personnel from Yokota AB, Japan. Operating at an undisclosed location, they flew 1,200 combat and combat-supported missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt. Since 9/11, the Kentucky’s Guard components have deployed over 15,000 members in support of the Global War on Terror. Since 2003, it was the Kentucky Air Guard’s seventh major mobilization to CENTCOM. The rest of the 123 AW members came home earlier in September.

Air Force Reserve

Reservist Graduates BMT with Top Honors – On November 9th, 620 Airmen completed Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB, TX, but only one got recognized as the Top Graduate. Anchorage Alaska’s A1C Andrew Morgan, assigned to the 477th AMS, took that honor with him back to JBER. Morgan attributed his success to AFRC’s pre-BMT prep. “The training I went through before leaving for BMT helped out immensely,” said Morgan, “I was way ahead of the game because of what we did with the Reserve training prior to BMT.”

Veterans

VA Guarantees 20 Millionth Home Loan (from VA.gov) – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced it has guaranteed 20 million home loans since its home loan program was established in 1944 as part of the original GI Bill of Rights for returning World War II Veterans. On October 26, 2012, the 20 millionth loan was guaranteed for a home in Woodbridge, Va., purchased by the surviving spouse of an Iraq War Veteran who passed away in 2010.

WORTH REPEATING

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

— Pericles

FROM THE FIELD

What’s On Your Mind?

Is there a particular area of interest you think we should be covering in more detail? Is there a political situation or definition that we could explain, educate or expound upon that would be beneficial to our membership? Fill in the blanks…

“I THINK AFSA SHOULD __________.” Send inputs to: afsoc@hqafsa.org

AFSA MEMBER BENEFITS

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Vacation & Travel: AFSA Cruises and Tours

If you’re thinking about a cruise or other vacation tour, check out our AFSA Vacations here. Administered by Brennco Travel, a leader in the travel industry.

Over 20 Other Items of Interest

For a complete and detailed listing of the many benefits to AFSA membership, go to the AFSA webpage and click on the left menu listing “Member Benefits” or just click here.


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This newsletter is produced and released on a weekly basis by AFSA HQ. To read the full newsletter, as well as archived entries, visit the AFSA On Call Newsletter section of www.hqafsa.org.

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