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Training to prevent nuclear attack held in Nevada desert

LAS VEGAS -- Federal and local forces are working together to prevent a deadly nuclear explosion.

It is one scenario first responders prepared for Tuesday at the Nevada National Security Site. The crews combed the Nevada desert for radiation.

The exercise included crews from the Army, Department of Energy and law enforcement.

"Basically, we are looking at nuclear power plant accidents, radiological dispersion devise, or an improvised nuclear device," said Alan Remick the Aerial Measuring System program manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

It is called the WINGS exercise. Helicopters and planes fly over the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, looking for radiation.

"We've never really done it with so many agencies before. We've never incorporated the data from different systems under one plot," Remick said.

Pentagon reviews will focus on military medals

Pentagon reviews will focus on military medals

Washington (AP) -- The Pentagon has begun three separate reviews on how military medals are awarded.

The move follows criticism over the military's inability to recognize heroism in incidents such as the Fort Hood shootings, and criticism about now-shelved plans to create an award for drone pilots.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed a letter Thursday ordering a yearlong study. He said the review will focus mainly on whether the defense department adequately recognizes all levels of combat valor and whether current award processes are appropriate.

Members of congress have ordered two separate reviews into how the military bestows purple hearts. That's largely due to disagreements over whether victims of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, should receive the medal.

Reid: Las Vegas to again get federal security funding

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas area is back on a national homeland security funding list, and should receive $1 million of more than $400 million the federal government is distributing this year to communities to prepare for and respond to disasters.

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday called the grant crucial for southern Nevada, which missed the cut for Urban Area Security Initiative funding last year.

"With sequestration and other cutbacks of money, we weren't on the list. So, I called the new Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson and told him we had to be on the list. We're on the list. It's not $2 million like we had last time, but there's been a lot of water under the bridge and there isn't as much money to go around before," Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. said.

Staying Alive Behind Enemy Lines: Airmen Get Crucial Training

LAS VEGAS -- Being shot down behind enemy lines is the worst case scenario airmen have been training for at Nellis Air Force Base.

Everyone thinks of the Red Flag Exercises as pilots and jets, but there are ground operations being run almost every day.

A squadron of survival experts teach the airman the skills they hope they never have to use.

A pilot is shot down and has to blast his way out makes for a great action movie. But not surprisingly Hollywood glosses over some of the details.

"Sliding down slopes, shooting people with your pistol, all this different crazy stuff they were showing, when it comes down to it, combat survival training is about being patient and waiting," Staff Sgt. Robert Miner said.

The training at Nellis Air Force Base is more realistic. An airman is dropped off in the middle of nowhere and has to go through five phases before being rescued.

Nellis Commander: Military Downsizing Good for Employers

LAS VEGAS -- Nellis Air Force Base is downsizing.

The military is making some cut backs and that means many airmen are taking an early retirement. The Air Force plans to cut 25,000 airmen over the next five years.

"400 Nellis airmen have already chosen to voluntarily separate from the Air Force and many more will be leaving over the next year," Nellis Air Force Base Commander Col. Barry Cornish said.

The commander spoke to private businesses about an opportunity they don't want to miss, hiring those highly qualified retiring airmen.

Nellis Air Force Base will see its fair share of early retirements, voluntarily separations, and forced layoffs. About 1,000 airmen usually separate from Nellis every year, but 2014 will be different.

"We could potentially double that number so upwards of 2,000 airmen moving out of Nellis Air Force Base," Col. Cornish said.

Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant Taking Plea Deal

Air Force Reserve Master Sergeant Taking Plea Deal

A man who held high-security clearances at Nellis Air Force Base is taking a plea deal in a child molestation case.

Robert Stone is a master sergeant in the Air Force Reserve who also worked as a federal air marshal. He is accused of molesting a teenage girl who was staying at his North Las Vegas condominium.

The girl told her school counselor that Stone repeatedly gave her drugs, which made her black out, and then engaged in various sex acts with her. He plead guilty to child neglect or endangerment with substantial mental harm.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15.

New Senate Bill to Combat Military Sexual Assaults

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is heading toward a vote to change the military justice system to deal with sexual assault.

The legislation would scrap the nearly century-old practice of an accused being able to use a "good soldier defense" to raise doubts that a crime had been committed.

Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republicans Kelly Ayotte and Deb Fischer crafted the measure. It would impose a half dozen changes as Congress tries to combat the pervasive problem of rape and other sexual offenses in the military.

In a rare show of unanimity, the Senate voted 100-0 last Thursday to move ahead on the bill. The House could act on it as a stand-alone measure or incorporate it into the massive defense policy bill that it pulls together in the spring.