Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY

Tom Vanden Brook


Anderson, SC, United States

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Past articles by Tom:

The Army is desperate for smart, fit soldiers. How these $200M fit camps get recruits into shape.

The Army expects to spend over $200M on schools that get recruits into military-ready shape. It comes amid the worst recruiting crisis in 50 years. → Read More

'A marathon': How long will US support a brutal war in Ukraine? Much rests on counterstrike.

The Pentagon has provided Ukraine with $2.5 billion per month in military aid since the war began. How long will that last? → Read More

Scrambled F-16s, a sonic boom and plane crash mystery in Virginia: What we know

A sonic boom startled residents across Washington and parts of Maryland and Virginia as fighters pursued an unresponsive plane on Sunday. → Read More

F-16 fighters chased unresponsive plane near DC area before it crashed in Virginia; no survivors found, authorities say

F-16 fighters from the Washington, DC National Guard scrambled at supersonic speed to intercept a plane whose pilot was unresponsive, officials said. → Read More

Suspected Chinese spies, disguised as tourists, tried to infiltrate Alaskan military bases

Chinese citizens posing as tourists have been trying to access military bases in Alaska, according to U.S. officials. They are suspected of spying. → Read More

Biden backs international plan to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s

Biden's support for training Ukrainian pilots on U.S.-made F-16s could signal that the U.S. is close to approving arming Ukraine with the aircraft. → Read More

Shelters? Troops? The latest efforts to fix the border crisis before Title 42 ends

Immigration authorities began “targeted enforcement." Arizona and Texas are taking the crisis into their hands. Biden is sending troops to the border. → Read More

With COVID on the wane, Congress is back to global travel – on your dime

Taxpayers saved big bucks during the pandemic for Congressional travel, but your representatives are jet-setting again. → Read More

Another object shot down over Lake Huron in Michigan

An F-16 shot down the object Sunday afternoon at the direction of President Biden, the Pentagon said. → Read More

US jets shoot down third object for airspace violations within a week — This time over Canada

A U.S. F-22 fighter shot down a third unmanned aircraft in a week on Saturday, this time over northern Canada, according to a U.S. official. → Read More

'It was a success': White House says a second 'high altitude object' shot down over Alaska

White House announces that a second high altitude object’ shot down over Alaska out of an abundance of caution. → Read More

Chinese spy balloon sought secret US communications signals, State Department says

The Chinese spy balloon that was shot down had carried multiple devices to intercept sensitive communications, according to the State Department. → Read More

Shoot it? Snare it? Maneuver it back to China? US officials wring hands over options for spy balloon

Among the many lingering questions about a Chinese spy balloon is why it's in U.S. airspace and why now. → Read More

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter dies; he served last two years of Obama administration

Ashton Carter, who served as Defense secretary in the final two years of the Obama administration, died on Monday after a 'sudden cardiac event.' → Read More

EXCLUSIVE: Hazardous mold outbreak triggers Army order to inspect barracks, offices

Mold has become a widespread problem for the Army. Mold can cause mild to severe health problems for sensitive people when enough spores are inhaled, → Read More

Exclusive: Female troops saw the highest level of unwanted sexual contact since DOD began collecting data

The Department of Defense estimates sexual assaults among women service members surged 35% from 2018 to 2021, despite promises to curb the problem. → Read More

After US drone strike on al-Qaida leader, many fear Afghanistan remains haven for terror

For Biden, the drone strike that killed an al-Qaida leader is vindication of his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. Critics aren't convinced. → Read More

Army recruiting crisis results in soldier shortage, record enlistment bonuses

The Army faces the worst recruiting environment in 50 years. The military service won't make its goal for soldier recruits; its force could shrink. → Read More

'Catastrophic': Women in the military could face huge obstacles to abortion if Roe is overturned, lawmakers say

Democrats want to repeal the military's ban on abortion amid fears Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Some say it will make women less inclined to serve. → Read More

Biden says Putin trying to 'wipe out' Ukrainian culture; Zelenskyy speaks to Stanford grads: Live updates

Russian forces have made slow but persistent advances as they bombarded and sought to encircle both Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. → Read More