DOD Cutbacks … The Pentagon plans to close more European installations and is also contemplating closing 15 US installations and several units saving an estimated $500 million. Another series of cuts planned in May will total to $60 million in savings. The savings will come from closing the military golf course, hotel and skeet range at 21 facilities across Europe. USAFE (United States Armed Forces Europe) is rethinking about cutting back certain air facilities due to requirements in that region and other spots that require air support and strikes like the Middle East. Among the installations to be closed is the US Air Force base in the UK, among the other 14 installations across Europe. It is the RAF Mildenhall located near the town of Mildenhall, Suffolk, England where the Royal Air Force was established between 1930 and 1934. During WWII, the RAF Bomber Command used the station to stage European combat missions until 1945. It became a joint USAF-RAF operation base in 1950 and a B-50 Superfortress based in 1952. In 1953 it also included the B-47 Stratojet and until 1958 the KC-97 Stratofreighter base. Since the Cold War it has been a SAC [Strategic Air Command] installation that took control in May of 1951. Several air tactical units were stationed there since that time.
USA Today, Washington … The TSA has reported that 2,212 firearms, most loaded (80%), were discovered in carry-on luggage at US airports in 2014; the statistical report released by the Department of Homeland Security. The most prominent excuse given by the passengers stopped at airport checkpoints was they forgot they had the firearm with them. The procedure when TSA officers find firearms is to call the police working at the airport and then the airport police interview the passengers to determine if the firearms are licensed in order to determine whether or not an arrest should be made. The forgetful firearm owners face thousands of dollars in federal fines. Travelers who are licensed to carry are allowed to pack their unloaded firearms into bags checked in for placement in the aircraft luggage hold. There are five airports with the most occurrences: Dallas/Fort Worth International, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Houston George Bush Intercontinental, and Denver International. Other items were discovered in 2014 by TSA officers that are considered dangerous objects: stun guns, knives, razors, and firearm parts. Weird items found: an 8.5-inch knife inside an enchilada and a live hand grenade in a carry-on bag. Officers also seized more than 23,000 counterfeit goods with a retail value of more than $1.2 billion in 2014. Despite the record number of firearm violations, TSA announced that 99% of the passengers only waited 20 minutes or less in airport security lines. The efficiency is due to the increased enrollment of the TSA Pre-check program operated by the Customs and Border Protection organization. It allows pre-screened, low-risk passengers to go through expedited security screening lanes and custom lines. In 2014, more than 40% of airline passengers used the expedite system.
|1873 Winchester - Great Basin Park, Nevada|
Great Basin National Park … Further investigation of the area where an 1873 Winchester was found resting against a tree in the Great Basin Park in Nevada, revealed no bones, no bullets, or bodies; however, further investigation will continue to discover who the owner of the rifle that was propped against a tree for over 100 years. Considering the circumstances about the rifle, it is in pretty good shape as the picture at left shows. The rifle was cleaned up by professionals. The .44-40 caliber Winchester Model 1873 was a popular rifle in the 1800s and earned the coined phrase: The gun that won the West. NPS photo revealed how deeply buried the wood stock was in the dirt and how the weathered wood blended into the tree trunk from which it was leaning against. No wonder it took so long for someone to find it.
Weird Bit of News … Judicial Watch has obtained a 2013 affidavit from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department requesting an arrest warrant for former Meet The Press host David Gregory, on the grounds that he committed a gun law violation when he displayed a gun magazine on his show. [Politico]
Another Weird Bit of News … A small drone flying at low altitude crashed into the White House complex before dawn Monday, the Secret Service said. [Associated Press]
US Armed Forces … About 1,000 82nd Airborne, 3rd Brigade paratroopers will deploy this week to Iraq to participate in Operation Inherent Resolve mission. The brigade commander is Colonel Curtis A. Buzzard.
Good News … Islamic State fighters are almost entirely removed from the Syrian town of Kobani, a victory for the Kurdish fighters backed by US airstrikes. The Kurdish flag was raised on a hill bordering the town that is near Turkey where once the black banner of ISIL was raised.
Jordan/Tokyo … A Japanese diplomat is in Jordan to discuss the release of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State. No direct comments were made concerning the talks being conducted in Jordan.
Katie Kieffer, Townhall … Gunpowder is bullet-proof preventative medicine for American physicians. Every doctor should have the option to carry concealed in clinics and hospitals. … These tragic shootings offer further proof that gun-free zones fail to deter violent criminals who suffer from mental illness. Repeat after me: firearms within reach of doctors during the day will help keep mentally ill gunmen at bay.