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Behind the Lines: Robins Recycles


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You've heard a lot about it lately, in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

We are talking about the Department of Defense programs that equip local police with used military equipment.

One of those programs operates out of Robins Air Force Base.

13WMAZ went "Behind the Lines" to find out how it works, and how you can take advantage of the military's cast-offs, too.

Robert Omogbai and other employees at Robins Disposition Services, combine shopping experiences similar to Goodwill, Wal-Mart and eBay, under one federal roof.

Air Force to consolidate recruiting offices, increase staffing


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Most Air Force recruiting offices are staffed by one person, and that doesn't sit well with the Air Force's top training officer.

"Most of those, to the tune of about 70 percent, are manned by a single airman," Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said Aug. 20 at the Air Force Sergeants Association conference here. "I don't like that. That doesn't go with our core values. We don't go into the battle by yourself."

Because of this, AETC and the Air Force Recruiting Service are overhauling the recruiting structure nationwide to make sure every recruiting storefront has at least two airmen. In addition, the service is looking to consolidate its approximately 925 recruiting storefronts into 160 "hub" offices, with another 200 to 250 smaller recruiting stations.

Air Force chief visits Robins Air Force Base


The Secretary of the Air Force visited Robins Air Force this week get a first-hand look at the work there.

According to a base news release, Deborah Lee James met with active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilians and contractors at Central Georgia's biggest employer.

They say she shared her three priorities: "Taking care of people, balancing today's readiness with tomorrow's modernization and the importance of making every dollar count."

According to the base, James visited Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, the 78 Air Base Wing, the 116th and 461st Air Control wings (JSTARS), the Air Logistics Complex and met with commanders of the various base units.

No public events were scheduled for James during the visit.

Officials: Commanders want to expand Iraq airstrikes


WASHINGTON — U.S. military commanders in the Middle East are urging the Pentagon to intensify the air war against Islamic State targets in Iraq, two Defense Department officials said Wednesday.

Top officers at Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, are urging that the list of targets be expanded, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.

The expanded target list does not mean the U.S. military is going to hit them immediately, one official said. The list has been built up to provide options for commanders.

DoD releases list of genetic tests covered by Tricare


The Defense Health Agency has announced which genetic tests Tricare will cover starting in September.

The Pentagon's health arm published a list Friday of 35 laboratory-developed tests covered under a new pilot program, from the better-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests for breast cancer and in-utero cystic fibrosis to tests for rare inherited disorders like Lynch syndrome and Von Hippel-Lindau disease.

The demonstration project starts Sept. 1. But if beneficiaries paid for a test on the list since Jan. 1, 2013, they may be eligible for reimbursement. They will have to file a claim to receive payment, according to a Tricare news release.

Air Force crews deliver 114,000 meals, 35,000 gallons of water in Iraq


One C-17 and two C-130s flew through the night Aug. 8 to unload the first of several drops of food and water on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, where starving and dehydrated refugees were stranded by threat of death at the hands of Islamic State militants if they descended.

It was the first humanitarian airdrop over Iraq since the war ended in 2011. And for the crews, the importance of the mission didn't fully set in until after landing.

"It was quite an eye-opener to see the results of the drop on CNN when we got back, and even more so to hear none other than the president of the United States on TV the next day talking about our mission to the press and the American people," Maj. Stephen Holt, C-130 pilot with the 737th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, told Air Force Times.

Military hair policy changes after controversy


Dreadlocks, cornrows, twisted braids and other hairstyles popular among African American women will be more accepted across the military after a forcewide review of hairstyle policies prompted several changes, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

The three-month review came after a spate of complaints that service-level grooming policies were racially biased against black women who choose to wear their hair naturally curly rather than use heat or chemicals to straighten it.

"Each service reviewed its hairstyle policies to ensure standards are fair and respectful while also meeting military requirements," Hagel wrote in a letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill notifying them of the changes Monday. "These reviews were informed by a panel of military personnel of mixed demographics reflective of our diverse force."