Firing Line: Conversation Week #4 October 2016
a. AUSA Moderator – “The National Guard bonus challenge.”
“The U.S. defense chief has ordered the Defense Department to suspend the collection of bonuses improperly awarded to California National Guard members. In a statement on Wednesday, Carter said he ordered the Pentagon's Defense Finance and Accounting Service ‘to suspend all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members, effective as soon as is practical. This suspension will continue until I am satisfied that our process is working effectively.’ The announcement came a day after President Barack Obama told the department to expedite its review of the matter. Roughly 10,500 service members, mostly from the California National Guard, improperly received bonuses of as much as $15,000 and other incentives to serve in the ranks a decade ago during the peak of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials have said. Thousands of troops were later ordered to pay back the money or face such penalties as interest charges and tax liens.”
b. NCO and Soldier Programs – “Did Isaac Asimov prepare us for killer robots on the battlefield?”
In an effort to remain the premier fighting force in the world, the defense department is experimenting with killer robots. In the attached article, an everyday off the shelf drone was armed with advanced artificial intelligence software to allow the robot to identify and potentially kill enemy combatants. Check out the article below and decide for yourself if you think this is a capability we need and want.
c. AUSA Five Things – “Have you heard of the 3’ rule for hearing loss?”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated October 17, 2016: “3-Foot Rule.”
“Hearing loss is a frequent complaint of current and former soldiers, a problem that comes as no surprise because military equipment is noisy. “Any sound above 85 decibels has the potential to damage the auditory system,” said Dr. Lynn Henselman of DoD’s Hearing Center of Excellence. A 2 1/2-ton Army truck carrying two-thirds of a payload driving at 50 mph produces 89 decibels, and a machine gun fired from a Humvee produces 145 decibels for the gunner.
What to watch: Lt. Col. Andy Merkley, Army liaison to the hearing center, suggests using a simple rule: Your hearing is at risk if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone standing within 3 feet.”
Here is a list of decibel levels for various pieces of Army equipment, confirming it is pretty loud in the cockpit of a Blackhawk helicopter.
d. Industry Affairs – “AUSA hosts two Hot Topics next week – Army Cyber & Army Ground Combat Platforms.”
The 2016 AUSA Annual Meeting was a HUGE success! We had more attendees than last year and the whole event was well received from the exhibitors to the convention center to the nation’s top military leaders. Now that AUSA’s biggest event is over, now what can you do?
Another Annual Meeting may be in the books, but that doesn’t mean that AUSA is done connecting industry with Army leaders. In one week, AUSA will host two Hot Topic Days, both located in Arlington, VA at AUSA Headquarters. Army Platforms Hot Topic will be held on Tuesday, 1 November, and will examine the concept of “mobile protected firepower” and how the Army intends to prepare its forces to deter and, if necessary, defeat near-peer competitors who have continued to modernized their own combat forces. Just two days later on Thursday, 3 November, AUSA will hold Army Cyber Hot Topic, where Army leaders will examine how the Army continues to transform its Cyberspace capabilities today and to enable future readiness.
Information on how to attend these Hot Topics are located on each of their respected websites. Other than our Hot Topic Series, our exhibits team is planning and organizing for next year’s events: IDEX in Abu Dhabi, Global Force in Huntsville, IDEF in Istanbul Turkey, and LANPAC in Hawaii. Sales for exhibit space at these events are happening right now!
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(To Vote: Scroll down to the footer of the page)
Will soldiers’ absentee votes make a difference in the 2016 elections?
o Not sure