Is Tricare Fee Hike Dead?: The House Armed Services Committee backed its subcommittee on military personnel in prohibiting the Pentagon from increasing Tricare fees for military retirees under age 65—at least until Dec. 31, 2007. The committee added $735 million to the Administration’s 2007 budget proposal to offset what the Pentagon cut. House authorizers say delaying any fee increases until the end of 2007 will provide time for outside reviews and creation of a “comprehensive policy and fiscal basis” to sustain the Tricare program. Senators appear headed in a similar direction on the Tricare issue.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.