5 Things to Start Your Week

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at the North side from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), near the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, April 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks at the North side from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), near the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, April 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Here are five news stories and events to start your week.

US Warns of Response to North Korean Nuke Test

Via Richard Sisk at Military.com: The U.S. warned Sunday of unspecified action against North Korea if the regime of Kim Jong-un conducted another underground nuclear test following a failed missile launch. "If it had been a nuclear test, then other actions would have been taken from the U.S.," said a White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Vice President Mike Pence in South Korea. The vice president spoke from the demilitarized zone shortly after a North Korean land-based medium-range ballistic missile exploded minutes after launch -- a day after the North paraded a potentially new intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM.

Decorated Navy SEAL Moonlighting as a Porn Star

Carl Prine at The Union-Tribune reports, "Navy Chief Special Warfare Officer Joseph John Schmidt III has been living dual lives. As a member of the Navy SEALs, the 42-year-old boasts a chest of ribbons and medals during his 23 years in the military, including a valor citation for combat overseas. To his East County neighbors and Coronado shipmates, he's been the married father who has given pep talks to special-needs children in Los Angeles and toured the country recruiting for the elite Naval Special Warfare teams, even serving as the face of the SEAL program on its website. Schmidt is also Jay Voom, the actor in at least 29 porn flicks."

Navy Training Jets Resume Flying After Pilot Strike

Ben Finley at The Associated Press reports, "The U.S. Navy on Saturday said it will allow a fleet of its training jets to fly again under modified conditions, while it determines what's causing a lack of oxygen in some cockpits. Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said in a statement that its nearly 200 T-45C Goshawk aircraft will resume flights as early as Monday, after being grounded for more than a week. Its pilots had become increasingly concerned late last month after seeing a spike in incidents in which some personnel weren't getting enough oxygen. The concerned pilots had declined to fly on more than 90 flights."

Air Force Dispatches F-35 Stealth Fighters to Europe

Via Oriana Pawlyk at Military.com: The U.S. Air Force is dispatching F-35A Joint Strike Fighters to Europe in the aircraft's first training deployment to the continent, officials said. A "small number" of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made fifth-generation stealth fighters will fly overseas for several weeks beginning this weekend, according to a release Friday from the Defense Department. The move is part of the Pentagon's larger push to deter Russian military aggression in the region. "This is something leaders have planned and suggested for a number of months," Capt. Mark Graff told Military.com. The service last year deployed the F-22 Raptor to the continent for training exercises.

VA Now Posts Wait Times, Private-Care Comparisons Online

Via Richard Sisk at Military.com: In a move to provide greater "transparency," the Veterans Affairs Department has activated a website to give vets wait times for appointments at every VA hospital and clinic nationwide by clicking in their zip codes. The website, accesstocare.va.gov, also for the first time provides information on how care at VA hospitals compares with nearby private-sector hospitals and national averages. The Access and Quality in VA Health site has four sections: "How quickly can my VA facility see me? How satisfied are veterans with their care in my facility? How does care in my facility compare to other hospitals in my area? How is the VA system doing with access nationally?"

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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