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More U.S. troops to Iraq, raising total to about 775


President Obama told Congress on Monday that he is deploying about 200 more troops to Iraq to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airport in Baghdad.

These and previously announced forces are being sent "for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and (are) equipped for combat," Obama said in a letter to Congress required under the U.S. War Powers Resolution.

Earlier this month, Obama announced the deployment of 275 troops to protect the embassy.

In addition to security, these troops will provide "intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support," Obama said.

The president is also in the process of sending up to 300 military advisers to assist Iraq as it battles an invading army of jihadists that has taken over major cities and threatens the capital in Baghdad.

Senate candidate Jack Kingston stops in Warner Robins


U.S. Senate candidate Jack Kingston made a quick campaign stop in Warner Robins Monday afternoon where he talked about strengthening national defense.

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He says as a senator, his top committee assignment would be the armed services.

One of his top priorities he says is strengthening the Robins Air Force Base.

He also spoke about the problems with the VA hospitals, saying it needs a top-down review.

Afghan pilots to train at Moody


Afghan Air Force pilots will head to Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, to train on new A-29 Super Tucano close air support aircraft, the Air Force has announced.

The South Georgia base was selected as the preferred alternative for the training and the contingent of 20 aircraft after an evaluation of the base's operational and infrastructure requirements. Now the Air Force must do an environmental analysis before a final decision is made.

"Moody AFB was selected as the preferred alternative because the airfield and airspace are available without disruption during the required timeframe, and suitable facilities are immediately available for the new occupants to move into," Timothy Bridges, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, said in a release Wednesday. "Moody AFB is the lowest cost option."

Researchers try to verify whether canines help patients with PTSD


For dog lovers, it's an absolute: The unconditional love of a canine companion heals the soul, reaching into the heart to cross canyons of loneliness and despair.

Military researchers now are trying to learn if there's real science behind that semimystical link — and if so, whether it can help treat the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A $5 million study is underway at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to evaluate whether and how training service dogs may help patients with traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Participating troops are paired with puppies that they will raise for two years to serve as assistance dogs for other injured veterans.

Two more VA officials resign


Two more high-ranking Veterans Affairs officials announced plans to step down from their leadership roles Wednesday, the latest personnel overhaul for an embattled department already lacking multiple top administrators.

Dr. Robert Jesse, the acting VA undersecretary for health and the official in charge of heading the department's response to the recent care delay scandals, will step aside from that role and his principal deputy post.

He'll be replaced by assistant deputy undersecretary for health Dr. Carolyn Clancy, who has worked at the department for less than a year. Jesse was working as a temporary replacement for Dr. Robert Petzel, who resigned as undersecretary in May.

VA general counsel Will Gunn will also step down from his post, which he has held since 2009. Principal deputy general counsel Tammy Kennedy will serve as acting counsel until a permanent replacement is named.

Man found dead at Arlington National Cemetery


A man found dead of a gunshot wound Friday at Arlington National Cemetery has been identified as retired Air Force Col. Robert Stanton Terrill, 92, of Falls Church, Va.

"Although we have not completely ruled it out in order to conduct a complete and thorough investigation, we do not suspect foul play at this point in the investigation," said Chris Grey, spokesman for the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, the lead agency investigating the death.

Terrill's neighbors confirmed that his late wife, Helen, who died in 2009, is buried at Arlington. The cemetery's online grave finder lists Helen Terrill as being buried in Section 64, where Terrill was found dead.

Airmen on standby to support operations in Iraq


The military is increasing surveillance flights over Iraq to identify possible targets for air strikes, President Obama said Thursday, while a team of airmen waits outside the country to set up and secure air operations if needed.

President Obama told reporters Thursday that the military is increasing its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights in Iraq to track fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and counter the threat posed by the insurgents.

"Because of our increased intelligence resources, we're developing more information about potential targets associated with ISIL and going forward, we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it," Obama said.

The announcement comes as two key senators call for U.S. airstrikes to stop ISIL advances.