Two members of the Arkansas delegation have submitted legislation to “make adequate and equitable benefits” for reservists under the Montgomery GI Bill, according to a joint statement. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) say that despite the “increased reliance” on reservists since 9/11, the value of their standard MGIB benefits “has fallen over the last 20 years from 47 percent to 29 percent of active duty benefits.” The Total Force GI Bill would consolidate active and reserve programs under one authority—Veterans Affairs—and ensure reserve benefits rise proportionally with active benefits, among other provisions. The Senate bill is S 644, and the House measure is HR 1102.
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.