According to a statement from the office of Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), he has gotten “significant support” for two measures—one on traumatic brain injury (S. 1233) and the other (S. 383) on veterans’ access to care. Akaka, who is chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, says his TBI bill “addresses VA shortcomings” in treatment for veterans with the condition “many regard as the signature injury from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.” His access bill would extend the time combat veterans get priority eligibility at VA health centers from two to five years. Congressional Budget Office analysts find that implementing a House bill (H.R. 2199) to expand TBI care would cost Veterans Affairs $27 million in 2008 and $138 million over 2008-2012. Rep. Michael Michaud (D-Maine) sponsored the House bill, which did receive unanimous approval in the full House on May 23.
Just days after Air Mobility Command cleared the KC-46 to start refueling Air Force F-15s and F-16s, a tanker from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing completed the Pegasus’ first Tanker Airlift Control Center-tasked F-16 Coronet, flying from Naval Station Rota, Spain, across the Atlantic.