VFW National Security & Foreign Affairs

Washington Office Weekly Update

17 Mar 06




v      Weapons Spending Increased:  The House Appropriations Committee added $1.3 billion in weapons spending to the 2006 emergency supplemental bill.  This addition includes $850 million to continue upgrading M1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, $100 million to keep C-17 airlifter production going beyond the 180 aircraft previously authorized by Congress, and $126 million to buy two KC-130J refueling planes.  In all, the $67.6 billion spending bill includes $17.7 billion for weapons.  The bill must still be approved by the Senate and signed by the President.


v      Missing Airman’s Remains Identified:  The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced that the remains of  Aviation Cadet Leo Mustonen of Brainard, MN, a U.S. Army Air Forces airman, missing since 1942, were identified and will soon be returned to his family for burial.


v      Reserve Component Mobilization: The total number currently on active duty in support of the partial mobilization for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 97,593; Navy Reserve – 5,426; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve – 7,646; Marine Corps Reserve – 6,916; and the Coast Guard Reserve – 407. This brings the total number of activated Guard and Reserve personnel to 117,988, an decrease of 1,446 from last week.


v      CinC Visits With SECDEF:  VFW Commander-in-Chief Jim Mueller and VFW National Security & Foreign Affairs Director Mike Wysong, met yesterday with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Dr. David Chu and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Ms. Allison Barber.  The three hour meeting centered on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; reducing the stress on the force; quality of life and military healthcare issues;  and public awareness and media relations.


v      DoD Websites of Interest:  These websites are great resources for information.


v      War Casualties:                                       Iraq (OIF)                    Afghanistan (OEF)

Killed in Action                                     1,808                           141

Non Hostile Deaths                                502                           137

Wounded in Action RTD*                    9,212                           289

Wounded in Action not RTD*              7,912                           414

                   *RTD – Returned to Duty





Michael H. Wysong, Director

National Security and Foreign Affairs

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.