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5 Things to Start Your Week

A team of infantry Marines with 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, crosses a field during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2014. Cpl. Cody Haas/Marine Corps
A team of infantry Marines with 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, crosses a field during a security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in 2014. Cpl. Cody Haas/Marine Corps

Here are five noteworthy news stories and events to start your week, from the editors at Military.com.

3 US Soldiers Shot in Afghanistan 'Insider Attack'

Three Army soldiers were wounded Sunday when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them inside a base in southern Afghanistan's Helmand Province, Fox News reported. The shooting occurred around 1:30 p.m. local time at Camp Antonik in Washer District in Helmand, the news organization reported. Coalition forces killed the soldier and the American troops are receiving medical treatment, Capt. Bill Salvin, spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, told Fox News. About 300 U.S. Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force are set to replace the Army soldiers in Helmand in coming weeks.

Lawmaker: With Funding Restored, Move Coast Guard Under DoD

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he and more than 60 other lawmakers were successful in petitioning the Trump administration to restore funding for the Coast Guard in the fiscal 2018 budget request. The White House Office of Management and Budget had proposed a $1.3 billion cut to the service. Hunter pointed to a Homeland Security Department release from Thursday stating the spending plan "sustains current funding levels for the U.S. Coast Guard." Hunter is also calling on the White House to move the service under the Pentagon to "streamline congressional oversight."

In Marine Photo Scandal, Evidence Can Quickly Disappear

Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents never visited a Facebook page allegedly used by Marines to circulate photos of nude and partially clad female service members or accessed a Google drive with the images, an official said. Instead, they're scraping together cases against hundreds of members of the "Marines United" page who allegedly disseminated or commented on the images by using secondhand evidence -- some 600 screenshots provided by a source. Watch for the issue to surface at a hearing set for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee about the military's social media policies.

Rural Vets May See More Health Care Options

The Veterans Affairs Department is researching how to improve the quality of care for veterans in rural areas with serious or chronic conditions. A telehealth collaborative care study announced in January is surveying about 800 veterans in rural areas in Texas and Georgia who have been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. "Veterans should have easy access to HIV testing and state-of-the-art HIV care regardless of where they live," said Dr. Michael Ohl, who's leading the effort. The Trump administration wants to give rural vets more health care options, from telemedicine to private care, as part of the VA's fiscal 2018 budget.

Construction to Begin on National Army Museum

The Army Historical Foundation announced Thursday that construction will soon begin on the National Museum of the United States Army on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, the foundation’s president, "provided Clark Construction Group, LLC of Bethesda, Maryland, the notice to proceed immediately," according to an AHF press releases. Activity on and around the 84-acre Museum site, adjacent to the Fairfax County Parkway, will intensify this month as heavy equipment, site managers and subcontractors begin work on the museum which is projected to open in late 2019, Schultz said.

-- Hope Hodge Seck, Oriana Pawlyk, Matthew Cox and Richard Sisk contributed to this report.

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

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