DoD May Close Tricare Customer Service Centers

Nov 08, 2013| by Brendan McGarry and Amy Bushatz

Ohio Air National Guard Senior Airman Bruce Moman, an Aerospace Medical Services Journeyman from the 180th Fighter Wing Medical Group, takes the blood pressure of a patient as part of an annual physical health assessment. U.S. Air Force photo

The Defense Department may close Tricare customer service centers in the U.S. as part of a cost-saving move that would affect hundreds of thousands of troops and their families.

Tricare — the military health care system — manages walk-in service centers at bases across the country and around the world. The offices are typically staffed by contractors who help troops and family members navigate any number of medical coverage issues, from changing doctors to resolving billing complaints to registering newborns. At some bases, such as Fort Campbell, Ky., the offices are located in dedicated buildings. At others, such as Fort Bragg, N.C., they are located in the hospital.

The website MilitaryOneClick reported the department planned to begin transitioning those services to toll-free call centers and websites on Oct. 1 and to close all walk-in centers by April 1, citing interviews with unnamed Tricare representatives.

Poll: Should Tricare Close Its Customer Service Centers?

Army Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for personnel and readiness at the Pentagon, on Thursday confirmed the department is considering closing the stateside centers, but said no final decision has been made.

“When the Defense Department announced the creation of the Defense Health Agency, elimination of walk-in service at Tricare Service Centers was one of the proposed actions to increase efficiency,” she said in an e-mail. “We are carefully considering this and reviewing all options for most effective customer service.

“However, the plan has not been finalized concerning the implementation or timing of such action,” she added. “When plans are finalized, the DHA will inform beneficiaries. I can verify that no changes to Tricare Service Centers overseas are being considered.”The customer service centers are a recommended in-processing stop for the 300,000 troops who, along with their families, report to a new post each year as part of a permanent change of station. That figure is more than 20 percent of the active-duty force of 1.4 million troops.

It was unclear how a shuttering of the centers would affect servicemembers dealing with base-specific issues, such as filing an appeal to see an off-base primary doctor or registering their newborn with Tricare, which is usually done in-person in the office.

News of the possible change drew criticism and disappointment from some military spouses.

“If Tricare will allow you to do everything on the phone or on-line, then face to face isn’t necessary,” said Amanda French, an Army wife stationed at Fort Campbell. “But the few times I’ve called, I’ve been told that I needed to visit the local office.”

“Our in-person care center was hugely helpful,” said Mya Parker, who is stationed with her family at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. “Assuming the care center wouldn’t be much help, I spent nearly two months attempting to fix multiple issues over the phone with Tricare. It was only when I spoke to our in-person rep that we made any significant head-way.”

But not everyone agreed. Some spouses said that with the exception of a very few issues, such as the primary provider appeal process, the in-person representatives are not very helpful.

“With our appeal, they handed us the paperwork, told us the process, and said they couldn’t do really anything else,” said Army wife Kelly Wanger, who has used the Fort Campbell Tricare office. “They never really help with our appeals anyway.”

“I have always had more luck calling in than actually going in and talking to someone,” Sarah Thompson, an Army spouse stationed at Fort Leavenworth said. “At [Fort] Benning ,the face to face people would just send me to the phone.”

Alexis had access card for Navy Yard; investigators look for motive

By Jim Miklaszewski, Pete Williams, Richard Esposito and Erin McClam, NBC News

Aaron Alexis had a security card that allowed him access to the Washington Navy Yard, and shot his way into an office building there by killing a police officer at the base and grabbing his handgun, military officials said Tuesday.

One day after Alexis, a former Navy reservist who was working as a civilian contractor, shot 12 people to death and wounded eight others, authorities were trying to piece together the details of his security clearance.

They were also looking for a motive and putting together a profile. Alexis, 34, appears to have had a history of psychological problems and was deteriorating, and military officials said he had a disciplinary record that included insubordination and disorderly conduct.

Further in his past, Alexis was accused three years ago of accidentally firing a bullet into an upstairs apartment, and nine years ago of shooting the tires of another person’s car during an anger-fueled blackout.

Alexis was killed, ending the rampage Monday, after exchanging fire with officers who stormed the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command.

Navy reporting 6 dead

AP is reporting that several witnesses encountered the gunman, described as wearing “All blue”.

The Security Forces wear blue or dark blue on most of the bases. The military wears camo.

AP reporting that the Navy is reporting that at this time, “at least six are dead”.

Bolling AFB has NOT had a shooting (denied by Public Affairs personnel).

Washington Post reports two gunmen.

US Navy reporting TWO GUNMEN DOWN:…-Yard-shooting

The US Navy tells 11Alive’s sister station WUSA that two shooters have been neutralized in the incident at the Navy Sea Systems Command headquarters in southeast Washington.

Police say 2 shooters have killed 4, injured 8 on grounds of Washington Navy Yard

View Photo Gallery — 10 people shot at Navy Yard: Police search for active shooter on grounds of Washington Navy Yard in Southeast D.C.

By Peter Hermann and Maggie Fazeli Fard, Updated: Monday, September 16, 8:45 AM E-mail the writer

Police now believe two shooters, including one in fatigues, have killed four people and wounded eight others at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, throwing the region into fear and chaos during the morning commute.

At least one of the shooters is “down,” police said mid-morning, but it was unclear whether that means the suspect has been arrested or shot. They said the other suspect remains at large, and police believe they have pinned down one between the third and fourth floors of one of the buildings on the installation in Southeast Washington.

Build Up to World War

This is what we know so far…. Naval Forces in the region, as well as some daily intelligence to digest here. We have not provided specific links but all of this information is gleaned from unclassified, open source information.  Please remember we will not put exact locations, troop numbers, troop movements or any other information about America and Allied forces out.  This is a one time list just to show that we are building up for something much greater than a “limited in scope and duration” attack on Syrian WMD.  We will be contending with China, Russia, Iran and perhaps other Communist, Islamic forces, including but not limited to terror cells deployed within the United States proper.


Kaliningrad (landing ship)
Shabalin (landing ship)
Saratov (landing ship)
Avoz (landing ship)
Smetlivy (submarine destroyer)
Admiral Chabanenko (anti-submarine destroyer)
Moskva (guided missile cruiser)
Priazovye (intelligence and reconnaissance ship)
Novocherkassk (landing ship)
Minsk (landing ship)
Nikolai Filchenkov (large landing ship, en route to Syria)
RFS Admiral Panteleyev (may be present)
RFS Peresvet (may be present)
RFS Admiral Nevelskoi (may be present)


USS Nimitz
Princeton (cruiser)
William P. Lawrence (destroyer)
Stockdale (destroyer)
Shoup (destroyer)
Stout (destroyer)
Mahan (destroyer)
Ramage (destroyer)
Barry (destroyer)
Graveley (destroyer)
USS Florida (sub)
USS Georgia (sub)
USS San Antonio (amphibious landing ship)


Illustrious (helicopter carrier)
Bulwark (landing ship)
Montrose (frigate)
Westminster (frigate)
Tireless (Sub)


Chevalier Paul (anti-aircraft frigate)


Jinggangshan (confirmed to be present)

Internet communications being monitored by several news outlets tell of China sending ships through the Red Sea into the Bosphorus to “observe” Russian and US naval and military activities there. China reportedly already has several ships laying off the Syria coast, but their names and types are currently unknown.

A multitude of missiles, both US and Russia, French and British are present in the region.  Chinese radar systems are deployed at this time in Syria.  Russian radar and anti-missile systems are deployed within Syria at this time, along with an unknown Russian presence.  The Syrians are believed to have S-300 long range anti-aircraft missile systems deployed in the region as well.

Iran may or may not have a submarine in the area, and they have reportedly (rumors) deployed Republican Guard troops to the region.  The Iranians have also “ordered” their “militias” to retaliate against America if Syria is attacked.  The Iranians may also have a ship in the region at this time, but there are no firm details as of yet.

Today the US removed diplomats from Lebanon, Turkey Amid Threats to embassies and Russia cancelled it’s “lobbying” mission to DC to try to convince Congress to back off.

US Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean are “fully ready” to launch cruise missiles into Syria as part of a US military campaign that would not involve “extraordinary” monetary costs, a top admiral said Thursday.

Syria is moving the chemical weapons assets at this time and obviously they will place them in schools, hospitals and civilian population centers.