By Rick Rogers– Military Headline News
Another tough week for the service branches on the military sexual assaults front.
First the commander of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was charged with groping woman in a Virginia park.
Next came a scathing Pentagon report on surging sexual assaults in the military.
Now President Obama is saying no more.
He’s ordered the Pentagon to ramp up efforts to stop such assaults and to punish attackers.
The Defense Department estimates more than 70 sex crimes are committed daily in the military – up 37 percent from last year.
The figures are based on an anonymous survey.
* U.S. News and World Report has published its rankings of best online degree programs for veterans.
The topping the list in the under graduate degree category is: Pace University of New York; California’s Brandman University and Bellevue University in Nebraska.
Graduate business programs recognized include: Washington State University; Central Michigan University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
* Seventeen Air Force officers who controlled nuclear weapons were sacked for what is described as “rot” within its ranks.
The action took place at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
* Days after the Air Force flew a drone at more than 3,000 mph, the Navy accomplished a milestone in its own unmanned aerial program.
The Navy’s X-47B drone successfully landed on a simulated deck of an aircraft carrier.
Next month the drone goes to sea to tested on a real carrier.
* Bad news for new warship.
The Navy’s $37 billion Littoral Combat Ship program faces failure because the boats are simply too lightly manned and armed for its mission, according to a Navy report obtained by Bloomberg.
* The FBI claims it derailed a terror plot by arresting a Minnesota man allegedly planning what the FBI dubbed a ‘localized’ attack.
Twenty-four-year-old Buford Rogers was reportedly arrested in the case.
* Acclaimed American filmmaker Steven Spielberg will direct a movie about the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.
The picture will be based on the book “American Sniper” by the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
* Good news for vets.
Unemployment for younger vets in April dropped to its lowest level since 2009.
Joblessness for Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans now stands at 7.5 percent – the same as for civilians.
Nearly 2.1 million of these veterans are now working. However, about 860,000 are still unable to find jobs.
* Nearly a third of all veterans deemed suicide risks are not getting the follow-up care they are supposed to under Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines, according to a government report.
* Iraq and Afghanistan veterans leaving the service are facing another danger on the home front: driving.
The veterans are 75 percent more likely to die in a fatal car accident than their civilian peers.
Since 1999, more active-duty troops have perished in accidents than were killed during combat in Iraq.
* An Air Force unmanned aircraft hit more than 3,000 mph during testing off the coast of Southern California.
The aircraft is powered by a revolutionary scramjet engine.
* More information on the future of U.S troops in Afghanistan.
The United States is requesting nine bases be kept open after the general pullout date of 2014, according to the Afghan government.
Up to 12,000 U.S. and NATO troops could remain there for years.
* A congressional committee wants to cutoff Veterans Affairs officials from getting bonuses for five years.
The action follows outrage over how the VA makes the awards. In fiscal 2011, nearly $3 million in bonuses were handed out.
* Better stash those pinups.
The Pentagon is inspecting military offices worldwide to ferret out materials deemed degrading or offensive.
The Air Force conducted a similar search last year.
* A U.S. soldier faces trouble for throwing stones at a portrait of Afghan President Karzai in Kunar Province. He’s since been removed from the area.
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Rick Rogers is a defense reporter based in San Diego.