- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Strain hard to understand the words. It is American being spoken with a new accent. It comes from the mouths of our neighbors, our law enforcement, our military, our friends. Sometimes our family. They came to Washington once, honeycombed among hundreds of others thinking they were inRead more
The Dress Rehearsal at the Post Office Made the White House Ready For Its Post-Election Pentagon Decapitation and UseBy Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — While those opposed to President Trump spent time worrying that he might use the Pentagon to impose martial law, the White House was playing a bait-and-switch ruse. They never planned to use the Pentagon as a pro-active force, according to interviews.The plan all along was to takeRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Gloomy skies will not go away. No reason for them to do so. The forecast: thunder, fury, with continual dangerous absurdity and the nation’s most perilous moment in decades. You move and feel it. An invisible shroud of dampness, rawness, as if the trash has not beenRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON —A rare bad week is looming for President Trump — but one in which he may make history. Congress has checked its list twice and decided as Trump leaves office, he is more naughty than nice — and their lists of bills to pass this week and nextRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — It is now like all other leaders’ compounds in nations where democracy is shivering. Row after row after rows of fences and barriers to separate the feet of the people from the edifice peeking out in the dim bath of hidden lighting. No longer is the WhiteRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Late last month, U.S. military units went into rural Afghanistan and took out a top al-Qaeda operative. This would be October 2020 — 19 years after U.S. troops first entered Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks, in October 2001 to do the same thing: take outRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Just over a year ago, Washington, DC, could not wait to get Mark Esper into the E Ring office of the Defense Secretary, overlooking the Potomac River and the city’s glorious monuments. The Pentagon had been adrift without leadership for more than seven months and a seriesRead more
“No free riders” for those seeking to have the US “the global security partner of choice,” Esper declaresBy Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Mark Esper touted his accomplishments as Pentagon chief on Tuesday, saying that “the United States will remain the global security partner of choice” and that the new focus on China and Russia is paying off. Esper, speaking before The Atlantic Council, said it is likelyRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday the Defense Department is now reviewing the investigation into why military helicopters flew dangerously low over demonstrators during a June 1 protest in Washington D.C. “The Army has completed its portion of the investigation,” McCarthy told Pentagon reporters. “The DoD (DepartmentRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with Romania’s defense minister Thursday, hailing a growing military alliance and touting the first Balkan nation to receive the U.S Patriot surface-to-air missile system. “I want to thank Romania for hosting regular training exercises that improve the interoperability of our forces andRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Bulgaria militaries inked a 10-year agreement for military cooperation Tuesday, adding momentum to the Pentagon’s effort to create a greater check on Russian adventurism in the Black Sea region. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Bulgarian defense minister Krasimir Karakachanov signed the agreement during aRead more
- By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s military leaders were exposed to COVID-19 during meetings with a contagious senior Coast Guard officer and are ongoing protocols to ensure they have not caught the virus. Pentagon officials said members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after Adm. Charles Ray,Read more
By Tom Squitieri, Talk Media News
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s military leaders were exposed to COVID-19 during meetings with a contagious senior Coast Guard officer and are ongoing protocols to ensure they have not caught the virus.
Pentagon officials said members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, tested positive for COVID-19. Ray is not a member of the Joint Chiefs, the Pentagon chiefs council, but he was at Pentagon last week for meetings and was in contact with the senior military officers.
“We are conducting additional contact tracing and taking appropriate precautions to protect the force and the mission. Out of an abundance of caution, all potential close contacts from these meetings are self-quarantining and have been tested this morning,” Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon chief spokesperson, said.
Among those quarantined are Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley, Vice Chair John Hyten, the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the National Guard, and members of the Joint Staff. “All have been tested with no positive results to report and none are exhibiting any symptoms,” another Pentagon official said.
Gen. David Berger, the Marine commandant, did not attend the meetings where Ray was present. Gen. Gary Thomas, the assistant Marine commandant, who took his place at the high-level meeting is quarantining.
Also quarantining is Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command and the director of the National Security Agency.
The quarantine does not affect Defense Secretary Mark Esper. He met Tuesday with Bulgarian defense minister Krasimir Karakachanov at the Pentagon in a rare open press event. The two men signed a 10-year defense agreement between the two nations and Karakachanov made a pitch to purchase F-35 aircraft.
Hoffman said there is no change to the operational readiness or mission capability of the U.S. Armed Forces. “Senior military leaders are able to remain fully mission capable and perform their duties from an alternative work location,” he said.
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Sherbs)