Around the Force

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A spot check of events happening in the military

US, Israeli officials meet
to discuss security

American Forces Press Service
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met Oct. 8 at the Pentagon to share views on the range of regional security challenges the United States and Israel are facing together, Defense Department officials said.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, officials noted it was the third face-to-face meeting between the two defense leaders in the past six months.
Hagel told Yaalon that while U.S. officials intend to test the prospect for a diplomatic solution with Iran, they remain clear-eyed about the challenges ahead and will not waver from a firm policy of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, officials said.
The leaders also discussed progress on the United States effort to increase Israel’s qualitative military edge with advanced capabilities that Hagel announced on his visit to Israel earlier this year, the statement said.
CFC on hold during
government shutdown

American Forces Press Service
The Combined Federal Campaign has been placed on hold while the federal government shutdown continues, according to a Pentagon memo. Susan Yarwood, the human resources director with Washington Headquarters Services, announced that CFC activities in the continental United States, apart from on-going employee contributions, are indefinitely suspended.
During the hiatus, military and civilian members can still donate to the charities of their choice via the MyPay option.
Officials say the campaign is prepared to restart quickly once the shutdown is over.
Reserve officials
worry about readiness

American Forces Press Service
Reserve component personnel continue to be affected by the government shutdown and officials are concerned about readiness.
Reserve components are the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Navy Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve. The Coast Guard Reserve comes under the Department of Homeland Security.
There are around 850,000 personnel in the selected reserve and they are among those most affected by the partial shutdown. Selected reserves are those units so essential to wartime missions they are required to continue training each month to maintain proficiency. The units also train an additional two weeks a year.
Officially, these weekend drills are called “Inactive Duty Training” and are used to maintain readiness and keep qualifications current, DoD reserve affairs officials said.
“These inactive duty periods are not authorized during the shutdown, unless they are supporting certain critical activities or future deployments,” said one official.
Reserve component personnel training for deployment may continue as required.
The Pay Our Military Act has provided relief from some of the shutdown, but if furloughs continue, training needed to maintain readiness will be restricted, an official said, which could impact reservists. National Guard units also have state missions, and the lack of appropriations affects their ability to perform those jobs.    
US military attends training class with Koreans
U.S. 8th Army
The Korean National Defense University in Seoul welcomed American military officers to its first combined training course in September.
The weeklong Combined Operations Training Course brought together South Korean and U.S. military officers to address security issues and learn more about the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
Maj. Lisa Livingood, an 8th Army planner who attended the inaugural combined course said the combined course covered a wide variety of topics, including Korean history, the history of the U.S.-South Korea alliance and South Korean military command structures.
According to Livingood, the students visited the world’s most heavily armed border.
The course is one of many initiatives designed to enhance the alliance that has defended South Korea for more than 60 years. South Korean Army noncommissioned officers also train together with U.S. Army NCOs at the Wightman NCO Academy at Camp Jackson, South Korea.
Livingood said she would recommend the course to anyone interested in learning more about the alliance and the role it plays in deterring aggression on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region.