Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fed Undercover - Contract Killer; Weapons Dealer; Pedophile

Editor's Note: Would be good listen for sevicemembers consider federal law enforcement career post military service.

On May 15, 2009, Conversations with Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion Special Agent Bob Hamer, FBI (ret.) on his career as an undercover federal agent.

Program Date: May 15, 2009
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic: Fed Undercover - Contract Killer; Weapons Dealer; Pedophile
Listen Live:

About the Guest
Special Agent
Bob Hamer, Federal Bureau of Investigation (ret.) spent 26 years as a “street agent” for the FBI; many of those years undercover. As an uncover agent he posed as a drug dealer, contract killer, fence, pedophile, degenerate gambler, weapons dealer, and white-collar criminal.

Bob Hamer worked undercover against such diverse groups as La Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, Mexican Mafia, Russian Mafia, Asian organized crime groups, and Los Angeles-based street gangs. His successful infiltration of NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) resulted in the arrest of what one defendant called eight members of the “inner circle.” He received numerous awards throughout his career including the FBI Director’s Award for Distinguished Service, four United States Attorney Awards for Distinguished Service, and numerous letters of commendation including one from then U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani. Bob Hamer is the author of The Last Undercover: The True Story of an FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil.

According to the book description of The Last Undercover: The True Story of an FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil, “
Bob Hamer tells the story of his life as an undercover agent for the FBI posing as everything from a drug dealer to an aging pedophile. Looking back on a career rich in the kind of action that makes for great cinema, Hamer describes the challenges he endured as he stared the dark side of humanity in the face.”

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the
Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Law Enforcement Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Teacher of Year Works to Connect Educators Worldwide

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - The project has been brewing since January, but within a month, the first 400-plus volunteers will begin to provide feedback to the creator of the Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher-to-Teacher project. "It's a virtual networking, learning, growth and development community," Dorothy Goff Goulet, DoDEA's 2009 Teacher of the Year, said. "It's primarily through our Blackboard Academic Suite, but there are a number of external resources that we are making available to teachers DoDEA-wide."

The project has been Goulet's full-time focus since she started her semester-long sabbatical in January. The sabbatical is granted to the teacher of the year to pursue such endeavors.

In light of the interest in the project from the other 54 teachers of the year from school systems throughout the United States and its territories, some of the resources will be made available to any educator, Goulet said. The project has a Wikipedia space and a Google group to help it meet its goal of being a virtual learning community.

Goulet is asking teachers, administrators, school nurses and psychologists to contribute content and ideas, as well as suggestions on how to present the information.

When the site goes live by the end of the month, she expects to have more than 400 volunteers offering feedback and swapping ideas and resources.

"It's like having keys to a supply room," Goulet said. "You can go and use it if you want, and if you see something you could leave behind and contribute, then go right ahead."

Goulet said she'll continue working on the site for the rest of the school year and through the summer before it officially opens to the DoDEA education community in the fall.

The Council of Chief State School Officers, which runs the Teacher of the Year program, brought all 55 teachers to Washington for an education recognition week that began April 27. During that week, Goulet and her fellow teachers of the year attended the ceremony announcing the national teacher of the year in the White House Rose Garden. They also got to have their say with the policymakers at the Education Department.

"We met with policymakers. They actually wanted to hear our opinions on the stimulus money ... the portion of that that's set aside for education," Goulet said. "It was nice to have a voice in that. I think that discussion could have gone two or three days.
"We discussed how ... we would inform reauthorization of the ... No Child Left Behind Act," she continued. "What would it look like if we had our wishes? What changes would there be in terms of college readiness standards and career readiness standards?"

Graduating high school seniors today aren't lacking technological knowledge; that's embedded at this point, Goulet said. Rather, she said, they lack what she describes as "21st century skills," including critical thinking, collaboration, initiative and financial literacy.

This is compounded by the fact that a million high school students will drop out of school this year; the equivalent to one every 26 seconds, she said, citing data from America's Promise, a collaborative network that facilitates volunteer action for children and youth.

Facts like that influenced her message as DoDEA's 2009 Teacher of the Year that real transformation needs to take place, Goulet said.

"I believe that we need transformational leadership," she said. "We're going to be in a lot of trouble in several years if you think about the statistic of dropouts. If our economy is really hurting now, what's it going to be like when it's burdened with millions and millions of people who did not finish high school? We cannot sustain that kind of pressure on our economy."

That transformation has to start in the classroom, she said.

Goulet, a 13-year teaching veteran, taught French and U.S. history at Germany's Kaiserslautern Middle School last semester. She's married to Air Force Lt. Col. Wayne Goulet, who's stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.


Azimuth Incorporated, Morgantown, W.V., is being awarded a maximum $10,586,219 cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for the development of enhanced net centric warfare capabilities for Craft Integrated Electronic Systems (CIES). Under past contract N000167-02-C-0060, a CIES with limited situational awareness components and software that is compatible with most craft's baseline electronics was developed. The Navy has a current requirement for the design and test CIES equipment and software for use on current and future unmanned craft and manned craft, such as the Littoral Combat Ship, SEALION I and II, Stiletto, Special Operations Command craft and crafts for the Naval Expeditionary Combatant Command. Work will be performed in Morgantown, W.V., and is expected to be completed by April 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-D-0001).

Military Systems Group, Nashville, Tenn., is being awarded a $7,507,897 GSA firm fixed price delivery order to a previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-1150) for weapons mounts and associated accessories. The modification and subsequent delivery order will provide 4,533 Medium Machine Gun Vehicle Mounts (MMGVM). The M35 MMGVM accepts the M240B and M249 machine guns. Both weapons are designed for use on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and trucks as primary or secondary weapon systems. The M35 MMGVM is designed to accept the M249 weapon with forward tri-rail installed including a left and right night vision device. Military Systems Group owns all technical data rights to the M35 MMGVM and has the technical/managerial capability, workforce, and infrastructure to support current and future contracts. Work will be performed in Nashville, Tenn., and delivery is expected within 13 months from the date of the delivery order placement with a completion date by June 2010. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract action was not competitively procured. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-1150).

Progeny Systems Corp.*, Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $7,344,290 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5206) for design agent/engineering services and support for the Navy's AN/UYQ-100 Undersea Warfare Decision Support System (USW DSS). The AN/UYQ-100 USW DSS provides an integrated, near real-time Net-Centric Undersea Warfare (USW) Command and Control (C2) capability across multiple platforms. USW DSS leverages existing communication links, networks, contact pictures and multi-platform sensor data providing an integrated capability to plan, conduct and coordinate USW operations. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company, Mesa, Ariz. was awarded on May 1, 2009 a $128,092,947 firm fixed price, cost plus fixed fee contract. This modification awards the Extended Block II + (EBII+) requirement for the Apache Longbow Advanced Attach Helicopter remanufacture program from AH-64A model into AH-64D model aircraft. This award includes eight each United States Government (USG) aircraft, two each United Arab Emirates (UAE) Longbow Crew Trainers (LCT), and various enhancements for the USG LCT program. Options include additional aircraft and Longbow Crew Trainer for the USG. Work is to be performed in Mesa, Ariz. (59%) and St. Louis, Mo. (41%) with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-06-C-0093).

PPSC/FBS JV1 Joint Venture, Ocilla, Ga. was awarded on May 1, 2009 a $28,028,479 firm fixed price contract to design and construct modular facilities for the Signal Scholl at Fort Gordon consisting 4-two story reloadable barracks buildings, 131,520 SF, 3 reloadable company headquarters buildings, 13,872 SF and 2 reloadable classroom buildings 6,400 SF. Project includes all infrastructure and utilities. Work is to be performed in Fort Gordon, Ga. with an estimated completion date of Aug. 10, 2009. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga. is the contracting activity (W912HN-09-C-0020).

Banham Construction, LLC, Oklahoma City, Okla. was awarded a $20,660,814 firm fixed price contract to design, site preparation and construction of a single story multi-bay cargo aircraft hangar building (860SF) with concrete foundation and floor stab, structural steel frame and masonry walls with insulated metal roof. Project includes concrete aprons. Offices for personnel, HVAC, utilities, fire protection, lightning system utilities. Install overhead bridge crane system. Work is to be performed in Robins Air Force base with an estimated completion date of Apr. 25, 2011. One hundred (100) bids were proposed and 3 proposals received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga. is the contracting activity (W912HN-09-C-0012).

Inland Dredging Company, LLC., Dyersburg, Tenn. was awarded on May 4, 2009 a $9,836,882 firm fixed price contract for flood control, Mississippi River and tributaries, Yazoo Basin, Mississippi, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, Upper Yazoo Projects, Item 7A, channel improvement. Work is to be performed in Tallahatchie County, Miss. with an estimated completion date of Nov. 16, 2010. Bids were solicited using FedBizOpps with four bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Vicksburg District, Vicksburg, Miss, is the contracting activity (W912EE-09-C-0006).

Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC, Thousand Oaks, Calif. was awarded on May 1. 2009 a $ 8,275,593 cost plus fixed fee contract for research on the DARPA Terahertz (THz) Electronic Program, Teledyne will develop Terahertz Electronics for Transceiver Arrays; specifically, Receivers and Exciters at carrier frequencies of 670 GHz, 850 GHz, and 1030 GHz. Work is to be performed in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (69.84%), Santa Barbara, Calif. (12.8%), Tewksbury, Mass. (1.36%), La Jolla, Calif. (3.02%), and Pasadena, Calif. (13.70%) with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2011. Unlimited bids were solicited with 9 bids received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity (HR0011-09-C-0060).

Military Continues to Monitor H1N1 Flu Virus's Path

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - The U.S. military has prepared for years to confront a public health challenge like the H1N1 influenza virus, a senior Defense Department official said here today. "We have been preparing for a situation like this for more than five years and have plans, processes and procedures to respond to a pandemic incident," said Dr. Michael E. Kilpatrick, the Military Health System's director of strategic communications.

"We are confident that established protocols and treatments will be effective in treating this flu, which currently is no more serious that seasonal flu," Kilpatrick said.

Meanwhile, Kilpatrick said, Defense Department officials are closely monitoring the path of the H1N1 flu virus.

Yesterday, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center reported a total of 24 confirmed H1N1 cases in the U.S. military, including 13 military family members, 10 active-duty servicemembers and one Marine recruit. The cases occurred in Texas and California.

As of today, there are 642 laboratory-confirmed cases of human H1N1 virus infection in 41 states in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials also said another 845 probable human cases of H1N1 virus infection have been reported from 42 states and the District of Columbia, for a total of 1,487 confirmed and probable cases in 44 states.

Two people in the United States have died from the H1N1 virus, according to the CDC. The World Health Organization said the virus has been reported in 22 other countries.

Symptoms associated with H1N1 flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, symptoms that are similar to those of common flu, Kilpatrick said. People who believe they may have contracted H1N1 should contact their health care provider, who will ascertain whether testing or treatment is required, he added.

Kilpatrick said servicemembers and their families should look for the latest news about the H1N1 virus at the Pandemic Influenza Watchboard at, the official Defense Department site for issues related to this topic.

Although the CDC indicates antiviral medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza can be effective, Kilpatrick said, the Defense Department "does not recommend their use unless prescribed by a physician."

"Inappropriate use of these medications could lead to a shortage for those who really need it," Kilpatrick added.

The CDC noted recently that the virus's spread seems to have slowed, and that its effects, for the most part, have been relatively mild, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said May 4.

"As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted over the weekend, we have started to see encouraging signs that this virus may be mild and its spread may be limited," Napolitano said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry has distributed CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of H1N1 flu to the federal work force. Berry also distributed guidance for federal agencies to protect their work forces and the public and to ensure continuity of operations in the event that they must institute their already-prepared pandemic influenza preparedness plans.

CDC recommends the following actions people can take to stay healthy:

-- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

-- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.

-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

CDC also recommends avoiding close contact with sick people, particularly if they are coughing or sneezing, and to stay home if you're sick to avoid infecting others.

White House Fellowship Includes Five Servicemembers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - President Barack Obama's administration yesterday announced its White House fellowship finalists, an elite group that includes representatives of the U.S. military. The fellowship, which is the nation's most prestigious program for leadership and public service, offers 30 exceptional men and women experience working at the highest levels of the federal government, according to a White House news release.

Finalists were selected, in part, because of their exceptional record of incorporating service into their professional pursuits, the release states.

Since 1964, when President Lyndon B. Johnson founded the program, White House Fellows have represented a diverse cross-section of professions, including business, medicine, law, the nonprofit sector, media, state government, finance and education. Many have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields, including retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, former commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

The 2009-2010 White House Fellows national finalists with military ties and their hometowns are:

-- Victor Glover, test pilot and project officer, VX-31, Naval Air Weapons Station, Pomona, Calif.;

-- John Green, SEAL Troop Commander, SEAL Team 7; Los Angeles;

-- Robert Lyman, commander of the Air Force's 96th Communications Squadron, Walkersville, Md.

-- Kendric Robbins, executive officer for the Army's Task Force 2-6th Infantry, Albion, Maine.

-- Anthony Russell, press secretary to the commandant of the Coast Guard, Stafford, Va.

Former Governors Join North Carolina Heroes Board

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - Former North Carolina governors Jim Martin and Jim Hunt have been named as honorary co-chairs of the North Carolina Heroes Fund Statewide Advisory Board, joining other state residents and leaders in showing support for military servicemembers and their families. "The former governors were invited to serve as honorary co-chairs to assist in expanding the reach and exposure of our organization," Scott D. Stone, founder of the North Carolina Heroes Fund, said. "Given the large military community within North Carolina and their long-term support of our troops, they were eager to join the organization. They have both seen the great work we have been doing and felt compelled to lend a hand to our cause."

Created in 2007, the North Carolina Heroes Fund's central mission is to aid North Carolina servicemembers returning from active duty and who may be facing a difficult transition of reuniting with loved ones. The fund also helps those experiencing financial hardships. This year alone, the fund has awarded $13,784 in grants and scholarships to 11 servicemembers in need.

Army reservist Kent Larsen and his wife, Patti, from Spring Lake, N.C., are grateful for the fund's help.

"For a brief period of time, right around the holidays, we were struggling to pay the rent and make van payments," Patti Larsen said. "We have two little boys, and we were just in a bind. The fund collected information from us, saw our need and helped us. They talked to us in a way that was respectful, and our pride was still intact. Through the fund's help, after we got out of our bind, we decided to 'pay it forward' and help another military family in need."

Marine Corps Cpl. Patrick Howard and his wife, JoAnna, of Ellenboro, N.C. also received helped from the fund.

"My husband was injured in Iraq two years ago," JoAnna Howard said. "He retired earlier this year. Things just got pretty tight. I contacted the fund, and they were really helpful. They made our car payments for about three months and paid our utilities. It was just a blessing."

Along with assisting with mortgage and rent payments and donating gift cards for food and clothing, the fund also helps with remodeling homes and making car modifications for injured servicemembers.

"Travel time associated with extended rehabilitation or the remodeling of a home, along with car modifications, are common financial stressors on a military family," Stone said. "We try to assist with all of this. Family support is vital in rehabilitation, and being able to independently get around is important as well."

In addition to financial hardship assistance, the fund has an educational grant program to assist the families of North Carolina servicemembers with the cost of continued education.

"We want to help offset tuition, room and board [and] books and to continue to aid students in pursuing advanced educational degrees," Stone said. "It is with the educational assistance program that we are seeing the greatest return on our investment."

The caliber of students the fund has assisted are in the top 15 percent of their classes, Stone said.

"Many have a parent overseas and are employed part-time to contribute to their overall educational expenses," he continued.

The strong leadership skills of Martin and Hunt and their understanding of military issues, especially financial hardships, will aid in furthering the fund's mission, Stone said.

"The better-known our organization becomes, the more servicemembers will learn of our ability to serve as a resource for support," he said. "We are pleased to welcome former governors Martin and Hunt to our statewide advisory board. Their participation is further evidence of the broad, statewide support of North Carolina's military and their families."

Face of Defense: NCO Piano Man Brings Calm Over Camp

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary
American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - Strains of classical music stream from the doorway of a weather-beaten building at this forward operating base in the middle of the Afghan countryside. Housed within those whitewashed walls is a lone Army and Air Force Exchange Service store. Air Force Staff Sgt. Eric Began, a member of the Paktia Provincial Reconstruction Team, is responsible for stocking the shelves and seeing to the needs of those on FOB Gardez. He also has taken on the responsibility of bringing a little culture to this desolate base at the foot of an Afghan mountainside.

"There is little to come by here, but people donate supplies on their way out or the extra goodies from packages from home that get mailed in," said Began, a Lancaster, Pa., native who is finishing up his 6-year enlistment. "Someone needs to be here to make sure what little we have is available. It's the small comforts of home that are stocked."

The store isn't a busy place, and Began found he had time on his hands. Intent on making the most out of it, he started learning to play the piano.

"In January, I decided that I would teach myself how to play, so I ordered some beginner books and started to learn how to read music," he said. "Once I felt comfortable with the notes, I started out with easy Christmas music. At first, it took almost a minute to find each key."

After a while, Began decided to move on to other types of music. After hearing some classical music, he decided to learn a ballad by Ludwig van Beethoven. Before long, that became too easy, and he moved on to the concerto version of "Fur Elise."

It is this melody that can be heard most often streaming from the listing doorway, and it attracts the attention of the FOB's wayfarers.

"I like the spirit of [the music]," said Army 1st Lt. Justin Roman of the 549th Military Police Company here. "It takes discipline to [learn the piano], and is a very productive use of his time. It's important to make the most out of this time away from home."

A self-described jack-of-all-trades, Began is on his third deployment in support of the war on terrorism. On all three deployments, he has been tasked as an Army asset. During his first deployment to Iraq, he provided convoy security as a driver and later as a .50-caliber gunner for anyone who needed a gun truck when leaving the confines of the base. On the second deployment, Began was stationed in Kuwait as a line-haul truck driver.

Both previous deployments dealt Began his fair share of frustration, often without an outlet to relieve the stresses of everyday life dealing with difficult missions and different personalities.

"On my last deployment, I was angry for an entire month, and it took me a while to get over a lot of things," he said. "On this deployment, I was reaching that point where I was getting angry at certain situations, so when this opportunity presented itself for me to do something for me, I took it. Teaching myself how to play the piano has given me a certain calm that is helping me get through this deployment."

One night in the early stages of learning the basic fundamentals of playing the piano, a storm knocked out his building's power. The pale-green glow of the keys generated by his keyboard's reserve battery allowed the sergeant to continue playing.

"Only the shadows of the keys were visible, but there was enough light that I continued to play," he said. "In that moment, alone in the dark with the rain pouring down, I was able to forget where I was. It was so peaceful."

With only a few months left on his enlistment, Began already has set his mind on his next adventure.

"This will be my last deployment, and that's a good thing," he said. "I have learned a lot about myself and what I want [in life] from my time wearing this uniform. I'm ready to move on to college and other pursuits. Life is short, and being [in Afghanistan] has shown me I need to experience everything life throws my way."

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacia Zachary serves with the U.S. Air Forces Central Combat Camera News Team.)

Chairman Recognizes National Military Appreciation Month

American Forces Press Service

May 6, 2009 - America's gratitude inspires the members of its armed forces, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a message he issued to commemorate May as National Military Appreciation Month. Here is Navy Adm. Mike Mullen's message:

"Despite the challenges of two wars and numerous other engagements around the globe, America's military is stronger than ever. Our military is strong because our Nation stands behind them. Whether they are your neighbors, friends, or family members, all make life-changing sacrifices, and all are worthy of our eternal thanks.

"Gratitude from an appreciative Nation – not just during this month, but always – inspires courage and peace of mind for those whose charge it is to keep the peace. Remembering those who sacrificed everything – as well as their families – and continuing to thank and support our veterans and wounded warriors is crucial to the health of our Armed Forces, and truly, essential to the health of our Nation.

"Throughout this month of May, please take time to thank all those in each Service branch, the National Guard, and Reserves, as well as Defense civilians, retirees, veterans, and their families. They are making a difference – and so can you.

"The Joint Chiefs and I are proud to salute the men, women and families of America's Armed Forces – this month, as well as every day of the year."

Chinese Vessels Approach Sealift Command Ship in Yellow Sea

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 5, 2009 - Chinese fishing vessels closed in on and maneuvered near the USNS Victorious in international waters in the Yellow Sea on May 1, Pentagon officials said today. The Victorious is one of the five ocean surveillance ships that are part of the 25 ships in Military Sealift Command's Special Mission Ships Program.

The vessel was conducting routine operations 170 miles off the coast of China when two Chinese fishing vessels approached, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
"This was an incident where a couple of Chinese fishing vessels maneuvered close to the Victorious in what was an unsafe manner," Whitman said.

The Victorious took defensive measures as the vessels got close. The Victorious crew sounded the ship's danger alarms and manned fire hoses. They sprayed water at the Chinese vessels, but did not hit them, officials said.

The Victorious requested the assistance of a nearby Chinese government vessel, at which time the fishing vessels departed, Whitman said.

He did not comment on the motive of the Chinese vessels. "That requires you to get inside the heads of the mariners out there," he said. "What is clear is that it is unsafe and dangerous behavior, and it needs to be addressed. We do not want the mariners of any of the vessels out there in jeopardy."

One Chinese vessel approached within 30 yards of the Victorious, officials said. "They are clearly demonstrating unsafe seamanship," Whitman said. "As we have in previous incidents, we'll be developing a way forward to deal with this diplomatically."

On March 8, five Chinese vessels surrounded the USNS Impeccable as it was conducting operations 80 nautical miles off Hainan Island. There have been other incidents where Chinese vessels operated in an unsafe manner around U.S. ocean surveillance ships.

"It's in everybody's interest to ensure that safe procedures on the seas are followed," Whitman said. "This was clearly well into international waters."

Military vessels are not subject to coastal state jurisdiction and do not require the prior consent of the coastal state for activity in the exclusive economic zone.