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$830 Million In Missing “Helicopters As First Audit Begins Of Army

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(Zerohedge)

After several decades of nation-building and trillions of dollars missing or improperly recorded, the long-awaited audit of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has finally begun. On Wednesday, the Defense Department Comptroller David Norquist told lawmakers in Washington that the DoD’s first-ever department wide audit will cost about $367 million in 2018 and an additional $551 million to fix the problems.

Norquist, who testified before the House Armed Services Committee, said Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan are in full support of the audit. Back in May 2017, President Trump appointed Norquist to finally put the military’s financial house back in order after many years of delays.

What is surprising, if only in retrospect, is that according to the World Economic Forum, U.S. Department of Defense has been named the largest employer in the world with some 3.2 million members on its payroll and $2.4 trillion in assets but has never administered a full audit. .

“This is the first time the department will undergo a full financial statement audit,”he said. “A financial statement audit is comprehensive and occurs annually and it covers more than financial management,” Norquist explained to Lawmakers.

The purpose of the audit will document military equipment and real property along with condition and location. “It tests the vulnerability of our security systems and it validates the accuracy of personnel records and actions,” Norquist said.

DoD News says that 1,200 auditors are currently working on the project to assess the books.

The department will have 1,200 financial statement auditors assessing the books and records to develop a true account of the state of the department, the comptroller said. It will take time to pass all the process and system changes necessary to pass the audit and get a so-called “clean opinion,” he said. He noted that it took the Department of Homeland Security — a much smaller and newer agency — 10 years to get a clean audit.

“But we don’t have to wait to see the benefits of a clean opinion,” Norquist said. “The financial statement audit helps drive enterprise improvements to standardize our business practices and improve the quality of our data.”

DoD News made an interesting observation how the audit will provide “information and accountability to the American people.” Why now? How come all of a sudden the DoD wants to become transparent to the American people? Perhaps, it is due to Washington’s two-decades of failed nation-building throughout the rest of the world, although it is unlikely.

Norquist said, “the taxpayers deserve the same level of confidence as a shareholder that DoD’s financial statement presents a true and accurate picture of its financial condition and operations. Transparency, accountability and business process reform are some of the benefits of a financial statement audit.”

And in a preview of what is to come, Norquist told the House Armed Services Committee that an initial Army audit found 39 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter ($830,700,000) were not adequately recorded in the property system. “The Air Force identified 478 structures and buildings at 12 installations that were not in its real property system,” he added. In other words these helicopters were simply “missing” on the books.

Alas, the mismanagement within the DoD doesn’t stop there: in a recent report, the U.S. military lost some 44,000 troops across the globe in a country location labeled as “Unknown.”

Going even deeper into the rabbit hole, Mark Skidmore, a Professor of Economics at MSU specializing in public finance, found the Department of Defense and Housing & Urban Development may have spent as much as $21 trillion on mysterious items between 1998 and 2015.

“This is incomplete, but we have found $21 trillion in adjustments over that period. The biggest chunk is for the Army. We were able to find 13 of the 17 years and we found about $11.5 trillion just for the Army,” Skidmore said.

Considering that today’s already known accounting blunders at the Department of Defense are no small matter, we wonder what the 1,200 auditors will find when they perform the first ever dive down the rabbit hole of decades of failed proxy wars, regime changes and dictator slush funds in history?

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Trump Appreciates Navy Grads By Shaking All Their Hands

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(Conservative Tribune Reports)

ou usually don’t expect commencement speakers to stick around long after the speech is over, especially not when the speaker is the president.

However, when the venue is the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, things are a bit different. And, when the president is Donald Trump, things are a lot different.

In fact, he not only stuck around to shake hands with each and every grad following his commence address on Friday, he actually asked them whether he could do it.

“I was given an option. I could make this commencement address, which is a great honor for me, and immediately leave and wave goodbye,” Trump asked the audience. “Or I could stay and shake hands with just the top 100. Or I could stay for hours and shake hands with 1,100 and something. What should I do? What should I do?”

Well, stay, of course. And stay he did.

During the speech itself, the president gave a rousing tribute both to the graduates themselves and to the American spirit.

“Four years ago, each of you made the most important decision of your lives,” the president told the graduates. “You chose the path of hard work, sweat, and sacrifice. You chose the life of honor, courage, and commitment. You chose to serve the nation and defend our great American flag. You chose the Navy, blue and gold, from the first moments of induction day.”

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China Is Circling Taiwan In Military Drills

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Zerohedge Reports: It is an uncomfortable time for Taiwan. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a dangerous “island encirclement” war drill around the country, which on Friday saw bombers and fighter jets simulating strikes on Taiwanese targets for the first time. It seems as Beijing will not wait for reunification; it wishes to intimidate the island into submission beforehand.

It is an uncomfortable time for Taiwan. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) began a dangerous “island encirclement” war drill around the country, which on Friday saw bombers and fighter jets simulating strikes on Taiwanese targets for the first time. It seems as Beijing will not wait for reunification; it wishes to intimidate the island into submission beforehand.

China’s air force carried out an operation in its eastern and southern theaters, dispatching bombers and reconnaissance planes around Taiwan on Friday. It was the first time for Su-35 fighter jets to fly over the Bashi Channel in formation with H-6K bombers, a spokesperson said. (Source: People’s Daily, China)

Defense experts told the South China Morning Post that China’s military would increase pressure on Taiwan, with more war drills designed to send a warning message to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“To reinforce the warning to Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, the mainland military would conduct targeted joint operational drills involving ground forces, the navy and the air force to strengthen its presence in the Taiwan Strait,” Song Zhongping, a former member of the PLA’s second artillery corps, the rocket wing’s predecessor.

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The Dancing Soldier

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Sometimes you just need to take a break, relax, and dance.

Meet Spc. Cedric Gendreau, the dancing soldier.

Around 1400 hours (2 PM), Spc. Cedric Gendreau was working hard in the desert heat, packing a connex full of military gear.

“We were reorganizing a connex, it was hot, so we decided to take a short break,” said Spc. Cedric Gendreau.  “During the break, one of my buddies began to play music and I told him to play ‘Take On me’ by A-ha.”

When the song began to play, Spc. Cedric Gendreau began to bring out his dance moves:

 

Spc. Cedric Gendreau uploaded the video he made to Facebook, all the reactions he received were priceless.

“Everybody started sharing it.  All the people in the comment section thought it was great and funny,” said Spc. Cedric Gendreau. “I made the video to give people back at home and the other soldiers in my unit a good laugh.”

About a month later, a huge sandstorm hit the area.

“There was this huge sandstorm and we were in our shack because the sandstorm got worse,” said Spc. Cedric Gendreau.  “We were in the middle of training and we had to stop in order to seek shelter.”

After the soldiers found shelter, Spc. Cedric Gendreau wanted to dance, so he did.

 

“While we were in the shack, my friends and I had the bright idea of making another dance video,” said Spc. Cedric Gendreau.

They made the video, the storm passed, and the soldiers still continued to press on.

If dancing is required to accomplish the mission, then dance.

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