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Sunday, Oct 04, 2015

Howard Altman

Tribune Staff
Altman, Howard

Putin makes U.S. play his game


Shortly before 10:30 p.m., June 9, 2014, on a ridgeline near the Gaza Valley in southern Afghanistan, five U.S. soldiers and an Afghan National Army soldier were killed when two 500-pound bombs were dropped on their posi...

Court program helps faltering vets reverse downward spiral

- The Veterans Treatment Court helps troubled vets, including those accused of certain felonies, to turn their lives around under a strict program requiring a far greater commitment to self-help than the regular court system.

Top experts in combat injuries headline Tampa symposium


TAMPA — For more than five years, the Palm Harbor-based Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge has been taking men and women up tall mountains and down under the sea to help them recover and discover.

Buchanan decries punishment of Army sergeant who told of child rape


U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Duncan Hunter of California are introducing a resolution calling for “the immediate reinstatement of a decorated Green Beret who blew the whistle on child rape by U.S. mili...

Pentagon spent $1.6 billion in Pinellas, $1.5 billion in Hillsborough

- When it comes to defense spending, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties ranked in the middle of the top 10 counties in Florida in the fiscal year ending last Sept. 30, a new Pentagon report says. Orange County was atop the li...

Tampa man ill just now from help he gave at Ground Zero


Garrett Goodwin is a casualty of al-Qaida’s war against the U.S.

For Gold Star mothers, a day to reflect, reach out

- Though Thea Kurz had three children in the military, it wasn’t until her youngest son was killed in Afghanistan last year that she learned about what it means to be a Gold Star mother.

Budget impasse threatens MacDill AFB construction projects


Two military construction projects slated for MacDill Air Force Base, worth nearly $100 million, could become collateral damage in a defense budget battle between the White House and Congress, a defense budget expert sa...

Socom conference delves into partnerships of extremists, criminals


TAMPA — What do Hizballah, an international crime syndicate called “D-Company,” and global drug cartels have in common?

ID summit showcases gadgets that can find a face in a crowd


TAMPA — Between the time the Global Identity Summit exhibition hall opened Monday evening and Tuesday’s conference lunch break, a security company captured the images of more than 10,000 faces with what it ...

Despite attention to Islamic State, al-Qaida may be bigger threat, report says


Thanks to its well-publicized savagery, the Sunni jihadi group calling itself Islamic State is gaining the lion’s share of attention given to violent Islamic extremist groups by the military and the media.

Tampa’s Global Identity Summit draws who’s who in critical field


Who are you?

Virus shut down computer drive at Haley vets’ hospital


TAMPA — A computer drive shared by thousands of workers at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital was shut down five days until this morning after the discovery of a computer virus known as a Trojan.

Could more cuts be coming to MacDill?

- The Pentagon wants military headquarters like U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, both based at MacDill Air Force Base, to cut personnel. But what that means in Tampa is hard to say.

One drone flew close to MacDill jet, another struck near fence

- On April 17, the crew of a KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling jet was about 10 miles east of MacDill Air Force Base on a landing approach when it reported a drone flying 20 feet under the aircraft, according to Federal Av...

The Iran nuclear deal through the eyes of an Iraq veteran


As someone who has to cover the Iran nuclear deal, I don’t feel it’s my place to offer personal opinions on its merits. But after spending so much time listening to the pros and cons, delivered in passionat...

Israeli panelist defends Iran deal at USF conference


TAMPA — At a USF conference on the deal to forestall an Iranian nuclear weapons program, some of the most passionate support for the plan came from a surprising source — a retired Israeli brigadier general....

Experts discuss Iran nuclear deal during USF forum today


TAMPA — Against the backdrop of congressional debate on the Iran nuclear deal, the University of South Florida is bringing together current and past diplomats and military leaders to hash out the pros and cons at ...

Centcom to honor Weeki Wachee man injured in Afghanistan


For Richard Cicero, U.S. Central Command is becoming a familiar, and welcome place to visit.

International group keeps Centcom apprised


— Tuesday morning at MacDill Air Force Base, a little-known group of foreign military officers working for U.S. Central Command will brief their boss, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin III...

Author chronicles secret history of Joint Special Operations Command


There is an entire unit at U.S. Special Operations Command dedicated to lessons learned.

MacDill contract initiative could boost Tampa economy


— A new military contracting program designed to maximize competition and improve performance might also send more business Tampa’s way.

USF fans brave heat, rain to support football Bulls


It is four hours before kickoff and long-time University of South Florida football fan Randy Dotson and friends have set up their green Bulls awning in the usual spot in the R...

Tampa conservative activist apologizes for Facebook ‘slut’ comments


A member of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority used his Facebook page Saturday to apologize and offer to resign after calling a Tampa businesswoman a disparaging name ...

Angry billboard brings national VA protest to Haley center


TAMPA — A national group of veterans and their families, upset with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has brought its protest to Tampa — in the form of a message on an electronic billboard on the 1200 blo...

Playing politics with intelligence is an old game with new players


Back around 1990, when Lora Griffith was new to the CIA, some of the men who trained her had lingering chips on their shoulders.

Flood watch in effect for Tampa Bay area through Monday night

- Two to four inches of rain are likely through Thursday, the National Weather Service reports. Areas near the coast might get three to five inches. And Pasco officials say there could be eight to 10 inches.

Hundreds mourn selfless community icon John Germany


More than 600 people sat or stood beneath the Gothic vaulted arches inside St. John’s Episcopal Church on Saturday to pay homage to a man who did so much but took so li...

MacDill reviewing whether to move aircraft with Erika approaching


Officials from MacDill Air Force Base are reviewing their storm preparations, known as the HURCON checklist, to determine if any of the aircraft stationed at the base will be moved because of the pending storm, said Tech...

Suicide at Bay Pines shows pain among older veterans


Ever since leaving the battlefields of Vietnam in 1968, Marine veteran Gerhard Reitmann struggled with the horrific memories of the things he did and saw.

Problems warrant review of disability evaluations, VA probe says


TAMPA — Problems uncovered during a recent inspection warrant review of nearly 2,000 disability evaluations by the regional office of the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to a report released Tuesday afte...

West Point’s class of 2019 honors Tampa Ranger


At a time when the U.S. Army Rangers are making headlines for the first two females to graduate the grueling Ranger School, one thing should be remembered to put it all in perspective.

With women graduating as Army Rangers, are Navy SEALs next?


TAMPA — Now that two women have passed the grueling Army Ranger School training, graduating Friday with their class of 96, are female Navy SEALs on the horizon?

Lawyer: Bay Pines VA Health System faces scrutiny after lawsuit


The senior investigative counsel for a congressional oversight subcommittee is looking into whether there are systemic problems at Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Health System, according to an attorney representing clients a...

VA visits St. Pete office as part of national shredding probe


The Department of Veterans Affairs St. Petersburg Regional Office was one of 10 sites nationwide recently visited by inspectors in the wake of a document shredding problem in Los Angeles. And as a result of the problem, ...

Women veterans cheer achievement of Ranger graduates

- After passing a grueling, two-month-long Army Ranger School training program that washes out most of those who attempt it, the two officers are set to take their place in history as the first women to graduate.

Gov. Scott reopens National Guard recruitment centers


Under orders from Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida National Guard has reopened the state’s six store-front recruitment centers, including ones in Brandon and Temple Terrace, that were shuttered in the wake of the kill...

Former Canadian soldier offers solutions in battle against Islamic State


A couple of weeks after I wrote that retired three-star Jay Garner, former vice chief of staff of the Army, was

WWII bomber says 'we were just trying to stay alive' as VJ Day neared

- At 20, Frank John Martinich couldn’t really understand the historic nature of the events taking place around him in the Pacific Ocean in the late summer of 1945.

Harassment, coverup alleged over Legionnaires’ at Bay Pines


Two workers fired from the safety team of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System say that they lost their jobs after pushing for tests on whether Legionnaires’ disease was present in the St. Petersburg hospital and th...

Former worker says Bay Pines VA harassed him for not spying


Keith Hansford says his problems with the Bay Pines VA Police Department began almost as soon as he was promoted to officer in 2010.

Terrorism isn’t so easy to define


The problem I have with comments by Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about the current White House occupant’s reluctance to use the words “radical Islamic terrorist” have nothing to do with...

Local man saw nuclear detonation greater than at Hiroshima


— As the world reflects on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tom South knows firsthand the horrific destructive power of nu...