Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2014 (79) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 79

September 1, 2014 at 9:31am

Monday Morning Joe: U.S. varsity team foes, U.S. cities targets, older vet suicides up, bionic sailors ...

3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, throw coffee pots at Camp Hansen. Original photo by Lance Cpl. Anne Henry

GRAB A COFFEE POT AN DREAD THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.1.14 >>>

President Barack Obama put the Islamic State terrorist group on the "varsity" team of U.S. foes. America's top general, Martin Dempsey, has spoken of the group's "apocalyptic" visions.

Cities in the United States and Western Europe are being eyed as Islamic State militants' future targets, U.S. lawmakers say.

Heavy fighting erupted today between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture.

Islamist fighters have carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale" in months of fighting with Iraqi forces who have also killed detainees and shelled civilian areas.

Like Douglas McAuthur McCain - an American hip-hop fan who was recently killed fighting for the Islamic State - Abdel Bary represents a new and very scary evolution in modern jihadi history.

The Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital has "secured" a U.S. Embassy residential compound there, more than a month after American personnel evacuated from the country over ongoing fighting.

Talks on a power sharing deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, have collapsed, a top leader said on Monday, rekindling fears of ethnic unrest over the disputed vote.

Some key members of the Senate and House are calling for the United States to send more arms to Ukraine to fight Russian "aggression."

Veteran suicide numbers have gone up in recent years with much of the attention focused on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan killing themselves. However, almost seven out of 10 veterans who have committed suicide were over the age of 50.

Vulnerable Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.) is hoping that his efforts to keep the Air Force's venerable A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft fleet in the air can lift him to victory in November.

Bionic Sailors: Anyone who saw Ripley defeat the alien queen in the 1986 film "Aliens" knows how badass exoskeleton technology can be.

Retired Capt. Walter Mazzone, a decorated World War II submariner who later became legend as a pioneering medical officer in deep dive experiments that captured the nation's attention, died Aug. 7 in San Diego. He was 96.

DoD Pitch: New Balance has unveiled a sneaker prototype that could become standard-issue in boot camp and spell an end to the cash allowances that let recruits buy foreign-made shoes.

LED Lighting making a mark on U.S. Navy ships.

We Will Live Again: A documentary looks inside the unusual and extraordinary operations of the Cryonics Institute.

10 famous TV locations you can visit in real life.

Essential Japanese new wave films.

Watch a guy try to save his drowning drone.

You can stream a crazy amount of good kung-fu on Netflix right now.

The Google Glass app that measures human emotions is creepy.

Worth watching again …


LINK: Original photo by Lance Cpl. Anne Henry

September 1, 2014 at 9:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, Toscanos anniversary, "Hundred-Foot Journey," Hook Me Up ...

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum is at 1940 S. Wilkeson in Tacoma.

MONDAY, SEPT. 1 2014 >>>

1. The all-African-American Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry served in America's wars from 1866 through the end of World War III. They participated in cross-country cattle drives, escorted wagon trains and stagecoaches through often-volatile territories of the Wild West and fought in the Spanish-American War and both world wars. The Tuskegee Airmen were first African American aviators who fought in WWII. During the course of the war, the Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 sorties and fought in the skies over North Africa, Sicily and Europe in P-40 Tomahawks, then P-39 Air Cobras, then P-47 Thunderbolts, then finally, P-51 aircraft. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Buffalo Soldiers Museum and the Tuskegee Airmen of Seattle will host a historical tribute at Stanley Playfield in Tacoma. Joint Base Lewis McChord will host a Home Run Derby softball game featuring the "Red Tails Special" Air Force and the "Cannon Balls" Army. Following the game, Gen, Mitch Mitchell will speak on "Embracing the Future." Expect entertainment, vendors and more.

2. Toscanos Café and Wine Bar celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Guests will receive special gift cards every time they come to the Puyallup restaurant in September, as well as entered into weekly raffle drawings. This week's raffle prize will be hand-painted decanter and wine glasses painted by its Martini Madness artist, a bottle of wine and four steaks. Toscanos will be open today at 11:30 a.m.

2. An Indian family moves to a small French town and opens a restaurant across the road from a fine-dining joint run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Will Madame melt for budding chef Hassan's (Manish Dayal) sublime curries? He's already won the tastebuds of charmant sous chef Magritte (Charlotte Le Bon). Can lonely widower Papa (Om Puri) find romance in France? Will Michelin stars fall on everyone? Will you see this film, The Hundred-Foot Journey, at 12:10, 2:55, 5:35 and 8:15 p.m. at The Grand Cinema?

Jazz rock fusion quartet Hook Me Up performs at 8 p.m. in downtown Olympia's Rhythm and Rye club.

5. Local comedian and host Eric Puddin Lorentzen hosts "Monday Madness Comedy Night with Puddin" at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Expect 6-10 minute sets, each recorded. The audience will choose a winner, who will headline the following week. It was the great Bill Cosby who said, "Puddin, you can't be a comedian without him," or something.

LINK: Monday, Sept. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 2, 2014 at 7:58am

Tuesday Morning Joe: U.S. airstrikes report, Army's next mission, military hospitals too small, stop saying "awesome" ...

4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's Spouses' Spur Ride participants throw coffee pots at Fort Hood, Texas. Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.2.2014 >>>

An airstrike by U.S. military forces struck an area where leaders of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants were meeting.

Six militants killed during U.S. strike in Somalia.

President Obama sent a letter to Congress on Monday notifying them that over the weekend he authorized U.S. military airstrikes and humanitarian assistance to break the month-long siege of the town of Amirli in northern Iraq.

Why a strategy to fight ISIS in Syria will take time.

U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit crashed at sea in the Central Command area of operations.

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have been planning for months to release the findings of their investigation on the CIA's Bush-era interrogation program this fall. But with little more than 60 days until the midterm elections, a release of the report could leave Democrats vulnerable to attack from Republicans and other critics who say its details about U.S. intelligence gathering might jeopardize national security.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of "direct and undisguised aggression" as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. 

With NATO leaders expected to endorse a rapid-reaction force of 4,000 troops for Eastern Europe this week, a senior Russian military official said Moscow would revise its military doctrine to account for "changing military dangers and military threats."

The Real Ukraine Crisis Is Coming: The "day after" dilemma.

NATO will declare "mission accomplished" this week as it winds down more than a decade of operations in Afghanistan but departing combat troops look likely to leave behind political turmoil and an emboldened insurgency.

The Army's Next Mission: Stability is the best offense.

An Air Force strategy stuck in the future.

Q & A with Gen. Paul Selva, head of U.S. Transportation Command, who is responsible for getting military equipment back to the United States from Afghanistan.

NATO leaders heading to Wales this week will discuss how to best enhance the NATO Response Force.

Many of the hospitals run by the armed forces are so small and the trickle of patients so thin that doctors and nurses say their ability to properly treat serious illnesses is compromised.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, known as TRADOC, transforms civilians into soldiers and provides them the pathway into the noble profession of soldiers, past and present.

Stonehenge, at one point, had been a full circle.

How decaf coffee is made.

Guardians of the Galaxy has become the biggest box office hit of the year.

How Empire Records became the unlikely film of a generation.

Video: The story behind the classic doc Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Finally: A very difficult quiz about Saturday Night Live.

This is why everything we call awesome is not really awesome.

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim

September 2, 2014 at 8:04am

5 Things To Do Today: "Life Itself," Saving the USS Olympia, James Alfred Wight, Farmers Market Dinner Series ...

Ebert

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2 2014 >>>

1. As part of its Tuesday Film Series, The Grand Cinema will screen Life Itself - a look at the life of iconic movie critic Roger Ebert, directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame - at 1:45 and 6:35 p.m. Based on Ebert's titular 2011 memoir, the film delves into Ebert's storied career and partnership withGene Siskel, following him through the last months of his life. The film is at its most powerful when it hones in on his experience with the cancer that ultimately claimed his face, his speech, and his ability to eat. Yet, despite all this, Ebert reflects on his life with wit, candor and an unflaggingly positive attitude.

2. Washington's history is multi-faceted, reflecting the different interests of Washingtonians, and the Washington 125 program series celebrating Washington's 125th Anniversary has something for everyone. In partnership with the Office of the Secretary of State, the Washington State Historical Society has created a series that continues until the big celebration Nov. 11 at the State Capitol Building. At noon, another program segment at Tugboat Annie's in Olympia. Author Les Eldridge will discuss "Saving the USS Olympia," with a lunch option.

3. Embracing the bounty of gardens and farms, harvested locally and prepared at home, the idea is to eat mindfully while celebrating the connection between the farmer, the cook, and ultimately, the eater. When you're seated at a long table in the middle of a farmers market, you know at least a few of the dishes sport ingredients that just recently had the bugs and dirt rinsed from their roots. The Olympia Farmers Market hosts its final Dinner Series at 6:30 p.m., focusing on summer's riches and autumn's harvest. Aqua Via and Waterstreet Café Executive Chef Will Taylor will present six courses of late summer flavors from the Olympia Farmers Market, paired with wine from local wineries.

4. If hearing the sound of your own cackling voice echoing off the walls of your shower stall has you craving the sound of something a bit more harmonious, check out the local songbirds at Victory Music Open Mic at the Antique Sandwich Co. from 7-10 p.m. It's guaranteed to be jam-packed with gorgeous sounds and humbling verses, as the South Sound's greatest up-and-coming acoustic musicians bare their souls impromptu-style.

5. James Alfred Wight always enjoyed writing. But when he finally started chronicling his experiences as a country vet, prohibitions against advertising in the veterinary profession meant he had to publish them under a different name. Every surname he thought of all ready belonged to someone else. Then, one day, he was watching a soccer match and was taken with the name of the goalie. He hastily thumbed through the list of veterinarians. It wasn't there. And so James Herriot was born. The South Sound Vegan Meetup Group will discuss Herriot's name and his book, All Creatures Great and Small, during their Vegan Book Club meeting inside King's Books at 7 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 2, 2014 at 12:46pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier wins FORSCOM NCO of the Year

From left, Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, FORSCOM NCO of the Year; Cpl. Zachary E. Bandli, Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein and Spc. Cole Spoon. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A reconnaissance team leader from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and a signal support systems specialist from Fort Carson, Colo., were named U.S. Army Forces Command Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, at a banquet Aug. 28, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Six NCOs and six soldiers, representing the First Army, I Corps, III Corps, XVIII Airborne Corps, the 32nd Air and Missile Defense Command, National Training Center, and Joint Readiness Training Center, competed over four days to earn the title of FORSCOM NCO/Soldier of the Year.

Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, an infantryman and reconnaissance team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, from JBLM, was named 2014 FORSCOM NCO of the Year.

Cpl. Zachery E. Bandli, a signal support systems specialist and retransmission operator assigned to 534th Signal Company, 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., was named 2014 FORSCOM Soldier of the Year.

Competing alongside FORSCOM competitors were 4 NCOs and 3 Soldiers from the Continental U.S. Army Service Component Command. Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein, an internment/resettlement NCO with the 339th Military Police Company, 525th MP Battalion, 302nd MP Brigade, currently serving as Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, was named CONUS ASCC NCO of the Year.

Spc. Cole Spoon, a microwave systems operator/installer and a network controller for the Southwest Asia Cyber Center, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, was named CONUS ASCC Soldier of the Year.

All four winners will compete later this year at the Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year competition.

September 2, 2014 at 12:56pm

Maroon 5 headed to Tacoma Dome next year

Few forgotten '90s alt-rock bands have reinvented themselves as successfully as Kara's Flowers - known these days as funky urban pop-soul outfit Maroon 5, a just-crazy-enough-to-work meld of Jamiroquai and Train.

Maroon 5 returns to the Northwest, specifically the Tacoma Dome, for March 28 concert.  The multi platinum-selling and Grammy Award-winning rock band revealed details today for The Maroon 5 World Tour 2015 in support of the band's fifth studio album, V. Produced by Live Nation, The Maroon 5 World Tour 2015 will kick off at American Airlines Center in Dallas Feb. 16, 2015 and will take the band to 27 cities throughout North America including New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Tacoma. Rozzi Crane will open the tour.

Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 at www.livenation.com, Live Nation mobile app, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone 1-800-745-3000. No word yet on price.

Filed under: Concerts, Music, Tacoma,

September 2, 2014 at 3:24pm

Nerd Alert! - New Wonka chapter, Tick returns, Prof. John Stark meets Masonapron ...

Fox squashed "The Tick," to no one's surprise.

A New Chapter for Charlie

In children's literature news, nerds the world over should be happy to discover that a previously unreleased chapter from an early draft of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been published on the website of The Guardian. In the early stages of this story, Dahl delighted in the maiming of still more disobedient children, in what must have surely been an almost unending cavalcade of adolescent suffering.

How Dahl loathed children. His obsession with making them pay is wonderfully present in the unearthed excerpt, which finds the remaining eight kids finding a room marked "Vanilla Fudge" - the worst incarnation of fudge, to be sure - that contains a five-story mountain of the sweet stuff. After frolicking on and around the mountain, it comes time, once again, for some kids to be assholes, resulting in them being whisked off to the chopping and smashing room, which is pretty harsh, even for Roald Dahl.

One of these days, I'd like to see some sort of film wherein Tim Burton's many deplorable cinematic remakes are made to tour a candy factory of horrors and pay for their various sins. The chopping and smashing room would be too good for Burton's take on Wonka.

The Tick Returns

Fans of the bizarre TV show The Tick will have much to rejoice about, with the announcement that Amazon has ordered a reboot of the live-action FOX curiosity. Though the show only ran for 10 episodes, it gained a cult following due to its ramshackle charm, sly wit and frankly insane take on the gimmick-heavy trend in '90s superhero comics - seeing a real person on a silly tick costume only added to the strangeness of the show.

No word, yet, on when the pilot will premier on Amazon, but here's hoping it can live up to the earlier version's shaggy energy.

A Musical Melange and Evening Conversation: Friday, September 5

"John Stark Presents: a Musical Melange and Evening Conversation" is a rather conceptual event that combines the studious obsessions of ecology and composition. With music tying the evening together, Professor John Stark of Washington State University will be present to lead a discussion on toxic elements in nature, and man's role in preserving purity or exacerbating the problem. All in all, it'll be a heady show, with Stark taking the audience through the effects of toxins on the Puget Sound, focusing on its sea creature inhabitants.

In addition, music nerds will be treated to Nicolas Hartzell on piano, a debut performance from the Br'ers, and Caroline Sweetheart presenting works from master composers Bach and John Cage. After a Q&A session, Tacoma rock band Masonapron will close out the evening. There's a sliding scale of suggested donations for entry to this odd event, which should provide an abundance of high-minded food for thought and beautifully unique musical performances. Northern Pacific Coffee Company, 7 p.m., 401 Garfield St., Tacoma, $5-$15, 253.537.8338

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Tacoma, Music, Green Crush,

September 3, 2014 at 7:32am

Wednesday Morning Joe: ISIS kills many again, Iran's new missile, mysterious hovering plane, Ask Me Anything app ...

Idaho Air National Guard's 124th Fighter Wing throw coffee pots at Grafenwoehr Training Area in Bavaria, Germany. Original photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.3.14 >>

Militants from the Islamic State group carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers captured when the extremists overran a military base north of Baghdad in June, a leading international watchdog said today.

President Obama has approved sending roughly 350 more U.S. troops to Iraq to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, allowing some U.S. troops already in Iraq to leave.

Second American: ISIS has followed through on its threat to kill another American journalist.

Obama: U.S. will destroy ISIS.

After several weeks of U.S. airstrikes, militants with the Islamic State continue to mount offenses against the Mosul Dam and threaten the vital facility that controls water and electricity across northern Iraq.

Congress is handcuffed in addressing the threat posed by ISIS until President Obama details a strategy against the militant group, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday. 

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Tuesday that the United States should be on a "high state of alert" as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

The Ukrainian president's office said a "process for achieving a cease-fire" had been reached in a phone call with Putin. But Russia stressed no deal had been made since it is not a party to the conflict.

Putin On A Show: President Barack Obama arrived in Estonia this morning with a lot to think about.

Obama: More Air Force units, aircraft headed to Baltics.

Europe is on the brink of its first war in decades. Here's what the West must do.

Iran unveiled a new surface-to-air missile Tuesday and two radar systems it said would improve its defenses against "enemies."

U.S. forces have carried out airstrikes against the leader of Somalia's al-Qaida-linked Shebab rebels, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the main target.

Explaining the P-8 Incident: Are Chinese pilots going "rogue"?

Clean CR, Sequestration Hopes: Fall Hill predictions.

The F-35: Savior of U.S. airpower or albatross of the Asia-Pacific?

Pentagon developing mysterious hovering plane.

Defense Innovation Marketplace: Website has helped DoD gain better insight into industry's research-and-development projects.

Eye-opener: This documentary video, shot using a hidden camera, shows how intimidating it is for a girl walking alone in Cairo.

Pint-sized Player: Defensive tackle Christian Kirksey is made down right tiny in this glitch found in Madden NFL 15.

W-ORD up: Cookie Monster and John Oliver co-anchor a newscast about words.

Dash Cam: Think of it as a movie and enjoy.

The Dude comes back for more White Russians in a new twisted short.

Reddit has released a handy new Ask Me Anything app.

It's time to start saving up for that Sleater-Kinney box set.

Burt Ward talks about his days playing Robin.

Let's step inside a tornado ...

LINK: Original photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

September 3, 2014 at 7:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Teach Me Equals, Knowledge Night, improv comedy, reggae ...

Teach Me Equals: Greg Bartnichak and Erin Murphy will blow your mind. Photo credit: Gabriel Hernandez

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3 2014 >>>

1. Teach Me Equals is a two-piece based out of Sarasota, Florida. Made up of Erin Murphy and Greg Bortnichak, Teach Me Equals do not fall under the lazy umbrella of a duet. Rather, they embody the unique relationship that develops between two people that actually collaborate. Watching them perform means seeing two people that understand the conversation that occurs, not just between artists, but between their instruments, and the give and take of the songwriting process. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Teach Me Equals in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with RedRumsey, Hamartia and Sounjaneer at 8 p.m. in the all-ages club Northern in downtown Olympia.

2. If you're looking for more helpful back-to-school tips, Harlequin Productions' improv troupe Something Wicked hosts Something Wicked Goes Back to School, an Improv Comedy Show at 8 p.m. They will present the joys (and tragedies) of going back to school, with the help of your suggestions. Something Wicked knows to approach everything with a sense of humor. When your roommate makes a grumpy quip about the noise keeping her awake, quip back.

3. Every Wednesday Doyle's Public House hosts Knowledge Night, its version of a pub quiz, at 8 and 9 p.m. It is free to play. Speaking of free, bar co-owner Russ Heaton is free to roam the room and look over your shoulder, crack wise and punch you in the arm. Tonight, for the second week in a row, Doyle's is giving away a pair of tickets to the Seattle Sounders versus Real Salt Lake game along with two seats on the Designated Driver Express, aka Doyle's Sounders Party Bus. Each member of the winning quiz team gets a Jameson token, with a maximum of six people.

4. One Drop based in San Diego, California, embraces the spirit of classic roots reggae and dub music with a calculated blend of R&B, pop and rock subtleties. Inspired by artists such as Steel Pulse, Gregory Isaacs and The Police, One Drop's music is infectious and well received by a wide range of age and cultural demographics. Catch the band with Barry Black and The Hookys at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

5. The Phoenix, Arizona, band Electrisad make music that's perfect for swooning young lovers. Simple synths and gentle melodies weave in and around the cooing vocals. When things rise above a tender whisper, the energy is offset by a lingering sense of melancholy. Even with the overarching sadness inherent in Electrisad's oeuvre, there's still that pining bit of hope around the edges, of the thought that there's sunshine around the corner. Chill with Electrisad and Anna Gordon at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Wednesday, Sept. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 4, 2014 at 7:39am

Thursday Morning Joe: ISIS defector speaks, Al Qaeda craves attention, National Guard shortfall, ice bucket fails ...

The U.S. Army NATO Brigade’s Allied Forces South Battalion throws practice coffee pots during familiarization training at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Wollaston

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.4.2014 >>>

A senior White House official today signaled the United States is already gathering support from countries in the Middle East for a united front against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by Islamic State militants, said he was "a gentle soul", and challenged the group's leader to a debate on the peaceful teachings of the Muslim holy book, the Koran

In the cities and towns across the desert plains of northeast Syria, the ultra-hardline al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State has insinuated itself into nearly every aspect of daily life.

ISIS Defector: ISIS plans to take over the Arab world and then "go to other countries."

David Cameron says that in going after ISIS inside Syria, the West does not need an invitation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, insisting that Assad's government is not legitimate.

A roiling national debate over how to deal with the radical Islamic State and other global hot spots has prompted a sudden shift in Republican politics, putting a halt to the anti-interventionist mood that had been gaining credence in the party.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro accused Sen. John McCain and Israel of conspiring to create the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Even Terrorist Groups Crave Attention: Al Qaeda opens new front in India.

Ukraine's President announced progress on a ceasefire agreement yesterday with Russia, but U.S. President Barack Obama is skeptical and even Moscow downplayed it.

Russia's foreign minister said any future efforts by Ukraine to join NATO would "derail" peace talks to solve the crisis in Ukraine.

In 2013, 57 Army Reserve Soldiers decided the only way out of their particular situation was to take their own life. That year was the most deadly since 2009.

Training for tens of thousands of Army National Guard soldiers will be canceled this month as the reserve component hits a $101 million shortfall in the final weeks of this fiscal year.

The Pentagon is pushing its strategy to develop new technologies and capabilities alongside allies to drive down costs and foster innovation, the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering said on Wednesday.

Budget: The Army is spending far too little to equip its soldiers.

The adversary is looking to exploit vulnerabilities in Army computer systems, said the chief of the Army's Cyberspace and Information Operations Division.

A Pentagon advisory panel on wounded servicemembers is recommending that the Defense Department scrap the disability evaluation system it rolled out across the military just three years ago.

Government Shutdown: The U.S. Senate's embattled top Republican is predicting Congress will pass a funding measure that the president would not veto.

The Pentagon will expand its use of prototyping as the U.S. Defense Department's budget tightens, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.

The Defense Department has agreed to reconsider the bad-paper discharges for thousands of Vietnam-era veterans who may have suffered from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder but were kicked out of the military in the era before that became a diagnosable condition.

Dangerous Bag: A ball girl at the U.S. Open shows she has the skills to track down whatever crosses her court.

In Overdrive: This is what you get when you put a pug in a ball pit for the first time.

Headbanging: Metal in inappropriate places.

Oh No: Hollywood will make a CHiPs movie.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! hit the streets of Hollywood asking a multiple guys whether they'd looked up the nude photos.

You knew it was coming ... failed ice bucket challenges ...

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Wollaston

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