Defense Secretary Robert Gates is looking to save $100 billion over the next five years. And the Pentagon has actually asked industry for thoughts. Rick Sylvester is the vice president for acquisition policy for the Aerospace Industries Association, which recently wrote a paper on ways to reduce costs immediately. He says there are some short term opportunities. And some that will just take more time.
The Defense Department task force devoted to preventing suicide in the military is painting a bleak picture this week. They report that suicides have been increasing at a near steady pace even as commanders are trying to address the problem. The military has nearly 900 suicide prevention programs across 400 military installations worldwide, but in a report released Tuesday, the task force describes the Defense Department’s approach as a safety net that’s riddled with holes. Last year, 309 service men and women committed suicide. In 2008, 267 slipped through. Ten were confirmed just this past June, while 11 others are still under investigation. Brigadier General Colleen McGuire oversaw the Army’s just-completed Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention Report. She calls it a fairly candid report.