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NEWS
June 16, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph F. Tomasello, 61, of Cape May Court House, an Atlantic County sheriff's officer from 1980 to 2005, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, June 9, at home. Born in Hammonton, Mr. Tomasello graduated from Pleasantville High School and served in the Army in West Germany in the 1970s. He returned to duty in the New Jersey Army National Guard, where he was a supply sergeant in charge of weapons at the National Guard armory in Atlantic City, said his wife, Irene. Mr. Tomasello joined the National Guard in the late 1970s, his wife said, and retired in 2005, at the same time that he retired from the sheriff's office.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The picture painted by federal prosecutors is worthy of a spy novel: Globe-hopping trips to clandestine meetings in luxury hotels. Coded ledgers tracking cash bribes shoved into shopping bags. Raucous parties involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. These were the methods by which Montgomery County military contractor George H. Lee Jr. hustled for poorly monitored government business during the Iraq war's early days. On Friday, Lee, 71, chairman of Kuwait-based Lee Dynamics International, pleaded guilty to bribery charges, the latest development in a years-long investigation aimed at exposing fraud and graft that emerged in the 2003 run-up to the war. So far, five high-ranking Army officers tied to Lee have admitted accepting $1.2 million in cash, jewelry, spa treatments, and hotel stays in exchange for steering $20 million in contracts his way. Stoop-shouldered and hoarse, Lee entered his plea in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia two months after Thai immigration agents detained him in what prosecutors say was an attempt to flee from justice.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
IT WAS Arnaldo Cardona's first time at Wawa's Annual Hoagie Day celebration yesterday, and though he was dressed in a black T-shirt and dripped sweat, he didn't let the 93-degree weather spoil his mood. While others held umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun and fanned themselves with maps from the National Constitution Center, Cardona shimmied his shoulders and moved his feet to Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" blasting over the speakers to the crowd. "I'm hoping there's going to be a nice, big sandwich for me," said Cardona, 28, of North Philly.
NEWS
April 12, 2013
Two decorated Pennsylvania national guardsmen who had been serving in Afghanistan since last year were killed in a helicopter crash this week, officials announced Wednesday. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner, 34, of Harrisburg, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, near Reading, were piloting an Apache helicopter during what was described as a reconnaissance mission Tuesday in the eastern Nangarhar province when the aircraft crashed, according to Staff Sgt. Matt Jones of the state National Guard.
NEWS
December 16, 2003 | By Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
They're called the "in-lieu-ofs," for lack of a better name. They joined field artillery battalions in the Army National Guard and trained to fire the big guns. Soon, about 2,000 of these troops - some from Pennsylvania and New Jersey - will be packing M-16s for another mission: protecting convoys, checking route security, and directing traffic as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. They will serve overseas in a few months in lieu of military police. MPs have become a precious resource in the Army, the mainstay for peacekeeping, occupation, stabilization and law enforcement.
NEWS
July 24, 2003 | By Joseph L. Galloway INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Most U.S. troops now in Iraq would come home over the next year and be replaced by fresh forces, according to a plan outlined yesterday by Gen. John Keane, the Army's acting chief of staff. The goal, Keane said, is to give Gen. John Abizaid, the head of U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of military operations in Iraq, everything he needs to secure the country for reconstruction. Except for two Army National Guard enhanced brigades of 5,000 soldiers each, which would be sent early next spring for a six-month tour, Army units sent to Iraq would serve one-year deployments.
NEWS
March 15, 1989 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A suburban Philadelphia educational publisher and a former Army National Guard officer each were fined and sentenced to a year and a day in prison yesterday for their roles in a scheme in which the cost of $6 million in recruiting materials bought by the Guard was inflated by up to 25 percent. While saying he thought both men were "sincerely sorry" for what they had done, U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Broderick said he had to deter others who might feel that such conduct "was worth the gamble.
NEWS
July 22, 2005 | Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright
The July 13 editorial "Cherry-picking is off base" criticizes the lawsuit filed by Gov. Rendell and Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum over the proposed deactivation of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Wing, calling it a "misguided suit" to block the closure of Willow Grove Naval Air Station. The suit is not about the closure of the base but about the rights of the governor as commander-in-chief of the commonwealth's National Guard. The editorial misstates the nature and purpose of the lawsuit and betrays a stunning misunderstanding of the history, role, and status of the Guard in our federal system of government.
NEWS
August 12, 2013 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
With 17 months to the end of 2014 - the tentative withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops - President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan is winding down. So on Monday, Pfc. Jordan Hayes will kiss his fiancée, parents, and 5-year-old brother goodbye and depart for a nine-month tour deconstructing military bases, tearing down air strips and fence lines; all the tasks necessary to erase the footprint of a 12-year war. "Honestly, I didn't think I'd be going," Hayes said, holding his fiancée's hand at the Army National Guard's Joint Military and Family Assistance Center in Bordentown on Saturday.
NEWS
December 7, 2004 | By Tom Infield INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
On July 1, a contingent of Army National Guard soldiers based in Johnstown, Pa., was sent to Texas for desert warfare training en route to Iraq. When the troops got to Fort Bliss, the Army discovered that 207 of them could not be sent to war. The reason: Their 18-month call-up would have put them over the two-year cap on the Guard and Army Reserve mobilizations set by President Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Most had been mobilized earlier to guard bases in Europe or for peacekeeping in the Balkans.
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NEWS
June 16, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph F. Tomasello, 61, of Cape May Court House, an Atlantic County sheriff's officer from 1980 to 2005, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, June 9, at home. Born in Hammonton, Mr. Tomasello graduated from Pleasantville High School and served in the Army in West Germany in the 1970s. He returned to duty in the New Jersey Army National Guard, where he was a supply sergeant in charge of weapons at the National Guard armory in Atlantic City, said his wife, Irene. Mr. Tomasello joined the National Guard in the late 1970s, his wife said, and retired in 2005, at the same time that he retired from the sheriff's office.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The picture painted by federal prosecutors is worthy of a spy novel: Globe-hopping trips to clandestine meetings in luxury hotels. Coded ledgers tracking cash bribes shoved into shopping bags. Raucous parties involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitutes. These were the methods by which Montgomery County military contractor George H. Lee Jr. hustled for poorly monitored government business during the Iraq war's early days. On Friday, Lee, 71, chairman of Kuwait-based Lee Dynamics International, pleaded guilty to bribery charges, the latest development in a years-long investigation aimed at exposing fraud and graft that emerged in the 2003 run-up to the war. So far, five high-ranking Army officers tied to Lee have admitted accepting $1.2 million in cash, jewelry, spa treatments, and hotel stays in exchange for steering $20 million in contracts his way. Stoop-shouldered and hoarse, Lee entered his plea in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia two months after Thai immigration agents detained him in what prosecutors say was an attempt to flee from justice.
NEWS
July 3, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
IT WAS Arnaldo Cardona's first time at Wawa's Annual Hoagie Day celebration yesterday, and though he was dressed in a black T-shirt and dripped sweat, he didn't let the 93-degree weather spoil his mood. While others held umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun and fanned themselves with maps from the National Constitution Center, Cardona shimmied his shoulders and moved his feet to Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" blasting over the speakers to the crowd. "I'm hoping there's going to be a nice, big sandwich for me," said Cardona, 28, of North Philly.
NEWS
August 12, 2013 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
With 17 months to the end of 2014 - the tentative withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops - President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan is winding down. So on Monday, Pfc. Jordan Hayes will kiss his fiancée, parents, and 5-year-old brother goodbye and depart for a nine-month tour deconstructing military bases, tearing down air strips and fence lines; all the tasks necessary to erase the footprint of a 12-year war. "Honestly, I didn't think I'd be going," Hayes said, holding his fiancée's hand at the Army National Guard's Joint Military and Family Assistance Center in Bordentown on Saturday.
NEWS
May 19, 2013
Reserving a larger defense role The current guidance from the Defense Department is that the United States will no longer conduct long-term stability operations, despite 50 years of doing so in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Vietnam, and Korea. Presently, we are said to be "pivoting" to the Pacific Rim, needing to maintain a large military presence to defend that area. Given our precarious economy and exploding debt, the nation must find a way to provide an adequate land force at a sustainable cost.
NEWS
April 12, 2013
Two decorated Pennsylvania national guardsmen who had been serving in Afghanistan since last year were killed in a helicopter crash this week, officials announced Wednesday. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner, 34, of Harrisburg, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarett Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, near Reading, were piloting an Apache helicopter during what was described as a reconnaissance mission Tuesday in the eastern Nangarhar province when the aircraft crashed, according to Staff Sgt. Matt Jones of the state National Guard.
NEWS
November 9, 2012
MILES KAMSON, with only one leg to stand on, can't wait for his deployment to Afghanistan next year. When he gets there, he will stand on his own right leg and a left leg from Prosthetic Innovations. He will be on active duty with an artificial limb. Many Americans forget we are at war, but Kamson doesn't. A 24-year-old Simon Gratz grad, the one-legged Kamson plays basketball and football; he bicycles and enjoys Nordic skiing. It's not where he thought he'd be two years ago after his "crotch rocket" - a 2008 GSXR Suzuki - went out from under him on I-295 South, just inside Delaware.
NEWS
March 11, 2012 | By Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press
The president may be talking about downsizing the military, but the size of the average soldier is growing. At the Camp Shelby training base near Hattiesburg, Miss., measuring sticks and high-tech body scans are being used on 1,000 servicemen and -women. Early findings show that soldiers are larger and heavier than when the last survey was taken in 1988, an increase in keeping with that found in the general population, said project leader Cynthia Blackwell. Analyzing the data will take about two years.
NEWS
March 6, 2012 | By Janet Mcconnaughey, Associated Press
The president may be talking about downsizing the military, but the size of the average soldier is growing. At the Camp Shelby training base near Hattiesburg, Miss., measuring sticks and high-tech body scans are being used on 1,000 servicemen and women. Early findings show soldiers are larger and heavier than when the last survey was taken in 1988, an increase in keeping with that found in the general population, said project leader Cynthia Blackwell. It will take about two years to analyze all the data.
NEWS
January 26, 2012 | By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army plans to slash the number of combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32 in a broad restructuring of its fighting force aimed at cutting costs and reducing the service by about 80,000 soldiers, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plans. Officials said the sweeping changes will likely increase the size of each combat brigade - generally by adding another battalion - in an effort to ensure that those remaining brigades have the fighting capabilities they need when they go to war. A brigade is usually about 3,500 soldiers, but can be as large as 5,000.
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