News Briefs: Jan. 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016 | 0 Comments

News Briefs

Today

Blast Volunteers — The Experienced Breacher Study is looking for volunteers 18-60 years old with at least four years of operational experience in military or law enforcement, with minimal exposure to blasts, to participate in three days with six hours of research. Volunteers are invited to Bethesda, Md., with travel (including a companion) and lodging provided, plus monetary compensation for time. Visit http://go.usa.gov/crQeW for the referral contact and more info.

 

Hale Ikena — Due to renovation, there will be no lunch buffet or ala carte menu available at Shafter’s Hale Ikena until Jan. 28.

DFMWR officials say more than 20 new items have been added to the new evening dining menu for Mulligan's Bar and Grill at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter. Patrons received free samples during an open house, July 19.

Mulligan’s Bar and Grill at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter.

Look for a grand reopening of the buffet, Jan. 29. Catered functions are still available, as is the popular Sunday brunch.

 

Death March — Early bird sign-up ends, today, for the Bataan Memorial Death March, an annual 13.1 mile or 26.2 mile event held in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II.

White Sands Missile Range

White Sands Missile Range

Since its inception, the memorial march has grown from about 100 to some 6,500 marchers from across the U.S. and foreign countries. Participants come from around the world to complete what is considered the hardest marathon distance event in the country due to the terrain and altitude.

This event is on March 20 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., is being promoted early so participants may train for the distance and conditions. Visit www.BataanMarch.com.

 

SF-50 Access — The eOPF Helpdesk can only handle so many requests per day; therefore, requestors will experience delays in response. However, you can get a jump on delays by logging into eOPF now and ensuring your access is current.

Attempt to login to eOPF, cut and paste the URL into your browser:

  • For Appropriated Fund employees: https://eopf1.nbc.gov/army/.
  • For NAF employees: https://eopf1.nbc.gov/armynaf/.

Taking a moment, now, to perform these steps will enable your access to eOPF when the pay adjustment SF-50s are loaded.

 

Tobacco & E-Cigarettes — As of Jan. 1, the purchase and possession of tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, is illegal to those under the age of 21. The Hawaii Cigarettes will not be allowed for personnel under 21 beginning Jan. 1, 2016. (Courtesy photo)Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Education Program will be creating temporary signage, informational packets and presentations for dissemination.

Also, e-cigarettes (and any electronic smoking devices) will be banned wherever state law prohibits smoking. Guidance for purchase on post is forthcoming. See story on p. A-1.

 

Catch-up — Federal employees who participate in the Thrift Savings Plan and will turn age 50 during the year are eligible to make TSP catch-up contributions – supplemental tax-deferred contributions that employees age 50 or older (or turning age 50 during the calendar year) can make to the TSP beyond the maximum amount they can contribute through regular contributions.

To be eligible to make catch-up contributions, you must meet these requirements:

  • Age 50 or older anytime during the calendar year in which the catch-up contributions are being made (even if you become age 50 on Dec. 31 of this year);
  • Currently employed and in Pay Status;
  • Making regular contributions to a civilian or uniformed services TSP account (or both), and/or an equivalent employer plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b) or 408 plan) that will equal the maximum allowed by the IRS.

You are not eligible to make catch-up contributions (or regular contributions) within six months of making a financial hardship withdrawal from the TSP, nor while in a “non-pay”status. Visit www.tsp.gov/.

 

Taxes — Under the Affordable Care Act, federal and state governments, insurers, employers and individuals are given shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States.

For the 2015 tax year, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is required to furnish a Form 1095 to each employee who worked any full time hours.

myPay has been updated to allow you to elect to receive this tax form electronically. Civilian employees are highly encouraged to log into myPay to turn on electronic delivery. From the main menu of myPay, select “Turn On/Off Hard Copy of IRS Form 1095.”

For more information on the ACA and tax reporting, visit www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act; for additional details on the tax information you will be receiving from DFAS, visit http://go.usa.gov/3pQUR.

 

14 / Thursday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interrracial Justice, in a crowd at Washington, D.C. in 1963. (Photo courtesy of U.S. National Archives)

MLK — Please join the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command as it observes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 1:30-2:30 p.m., at Richardson Theater, Fort Shafter. The guest speaker will be Command Sgt. Major Bryant C. Lambert of U.S. Army-Pacific.

 

20 / Wednesday

SATO Hours — The north and south travel offices will change their start time once per month. Fort Shafter’s SATO office hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every third Wednesday, while Schofield Barracks’ office hours will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every fourth Wednesday.

 

26 / Tuesday

Facebook logoFBTH — The next U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Facebook Town Hall meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 6-7:30 p.m. Log into the “Events” page and ask subject matter experts your questions about programs and services.

 

February

 

1 / Monday

TRICARE Change — Military pharmacies and TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery will remain the lowest cost pharmacy options for beneficiaries when some TRICARE pharmacy copays change today. Most copays for prescription drugs at Home Delivery and retail network pharmacies will increase slightly. Visit www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/BenefitUpdates/Archives/12_30_15_PharmacyCopays.aspx.

ACS

ACS

ACS Closure — Effective today, the Army Community Service Outreach Center at Fort Shafter will be closed. The main ACS center will be Schofield Barracks, open weekdays, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

 

Ongoing

 

New Year’s Resolution — This is a presidential election year. Make your voice heard by voting. Get registered in your home state by calling the Installation Voting Assistance Officer at 655-5546 or visit www.fvap.gov.

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