Military News

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Schools for Strategy: Teaching Strategy for 21st Century Conflict

By Dr. Colin S. Gray.
All would-be strategists would benefit by some formal education. Dr. Gray emphasizes the necessity for strategic education to help develop the strategic approach, the way of thinking that can solve or illuminate strategic problems. He advises that such education should not strive for a spurious relevance by presenting a military variant of current affairs. He believes that the strategist will perform better in today's world if he has mastered and can employ strategy’s general theory.

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http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?PubID=947

Talent: Implications for a U.S. Army Officer Corps Strategy

In our proposed Army Officer Corps Strategy, we established the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining and employing talented leaders. Before exploring each of those functions in greater detail, however, we must first define “talent.” In our view, talent is something possessed by everyone. In fact, each individual has a unique distribution of talent across three dimensions—skills, knowledge, and behaviors. Effective organizations understand this. They successfully access and retain a depth and breadth of talent that can be developed and employed against current and future requirements.

Read On
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?PubID=948

My Supervisor is an Idiot

There are plenty of books and articles on being a good leader and being a good follower. Indeed, excellent followership starts with leadership. Moreover, there are a lot of good books because there a lot of people who need leadership training and mentoring. But, what do you do when your supervisor is an idiot? Here are ten tips:

www.pokerleadership.com/supervisor_idiot.html

Guardsmen’s instincts and training save day after car crash

By Tech. Sgt. Thomas Kielbasa
Florida National Guard

(12/10/09) - When Staff Sgt. Sergio Valdes saw a dog running down Interstate 95 with its leash dragging behind it, he knew there was trouble.

Valdes, a squad leader with 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, based in Miami, said he slowed his vehicle down immediately because the dog didn’t just look like an ordinary stray.

Valdes and two other Florida National Guard Soldiers were traveling from Miami in South Florida to Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in North Florida on Dec. 6, when they noticed the dog running through traffic on the interstate near Cocoa Beach.

That was when the Soldiers saw a vehicle on the other side of the road, upside down on its roof in nearly ten inches of water; the dog and three people had escaped, but one woman was still trapped inside.

Although cars were already pulling over and some people on cell phone were calling for help, it was the Guardsmen who reacted quickly.

Valdes, along with Staff Sgts. Gino Astudillo and Luis Robles of Alpha Company based in Hollywood, Fla., leapt from their van, dodged oncoming traffic and started running toward the accident.

With Robles directing traffic, the other two Soldiers approached the overturned vehicle.
“Staff Sgt. Valdes arrived first and from a few feet away dove into the window of the upturned vehicle,” Astudillo wrote in an accident report. “I entered the back and saw that only the front passenger, a Hispanic female – approximately 50 years old – was still in her seat with seatbelt on. She was bleeding badly from a facial wound but was still conscious.”

Valdes said that when he saw the lady hanging upside down by her seatbelt, his lifesaving skills he learned as a military combat lifesaver kicked in.

“She was bleeding everywhere, but she only spoke Spanish,” Valdes, who fled from Communist Cuba in 1999 and became a U.S. citizen, said. “And I was the only Spanish speaker there. The first thing I did was assess the situation, make sure nobody else got hurt.”

After he calmed the woman down Valdes dragged her out of the vehicle, and all three Soldiers helped stabilize her and another passenger.
“We didn’t know if there was any head trauma,” Valdes said, who helped keep the victims’ necks steady and performed basic first aid until paramedics and the Florida Highway Patrol arrived on the scene.

Valdes said their military medical training just took over when they saw the accident and they were really operating on “instinct.”

“We saw a lot civilians standing outside (the vehicle) and nobody was doing anything,” he explained. “We’re Soldiers, we’re in uniform…we just reacted, we didn’t think about it. I would expect someone to do the same thing for my family…It was really just a reaction.”

The Soldiers showed up later that day at Camp Blanding in wet and slightly blood-stained uniforms, but downplayed their actions in helping keep the accident victims safe until paramedics arrived.

“That day we were just able to help them out,” Valdes explained.

Staff Sgts. Valdes, Astudillo and Robles are scheduled to deploy to Iraq and Kuwait in January 2010 with the Florida Army National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Arizona Guardsmen picked for national recruiting campaign

By Maj. Gabe Johnson
Arizona National Guard

(12/4/09) - In an effort to attract more prior active duty servicemembers to the Air Guard, the National Guard Bureau made the 162nd Fighter Wing the focus of a campaign photo shoot here Nov. 30 - Dec. 3.

The Guard Bureau's recruiting and retention operations office sent an eight-member creative team to Tucson International Airport to turn their camera lenses on 20 wing members from different career fields and diverse backgrounds.

"We picked this base for many reasons," said team photographer Rob Trubia. "All the right ingredients are here. You have a large full-time work force from which we can select good talent, you have great weather for outdoor photo shoots, and you have top-notch facilities that we can use. I'm sure we'll come back again to feature this unit in future recruiting campaigns."

In February 2010, NGB will begin shipment of 800,000 prior-service recruiting brochures featuring 162nd members to Air Guard recruiting offices across the country. The brochures will show prior servicemembers a glimpse of life in the Air Guard through testimonials from wing members and photos of them at home, at their civilian jobs and at work on base.

Master Sgt. Teresa Denogean, local recruiting office supervisor for the Arizona Air National Guard, said the wing's participation is an effective way to showcase its mission and people.

"It's a real source of pride for our people to be in any national recruiting campaign, and the folks who helped us this week really represented the Guard well. They were extremely professional and truly reflected the Air Guard image," said Sergeant Denogean.

The images may also be used on GoANG.com, the Air Guard's recruiting Web site, and in future calendars, posters and other recruiting tools said Denogean.

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 10, 2009

ARMY
Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Ellicott City, Md., was awarded on Dec. 9, 2009, a $317,966,076 indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity time-and-material task order contract for the operational support services to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), JIEDDO analytical support teams. Work is to be performed in Iraq (50 percent) and Afghanistan (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2012. Four bids were solicited with two bids received. U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command, Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-08-D-0024).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on Dec. 09, 2009, a $175,376,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract. This contract is to exercise the option on Delivery Order 0003 to procure an additional 400 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles and associated basic item of issue. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis. (50 percent), and McConnellsburg, Pa. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

Lockheed Martin Electronic and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., was awarded on Dec. 8, 2009, a $99,299,168 firm-fixed-price contract for the repair and maintenance line replacement units and line replaceable modules to support the Apache helicopters sensors flying hours program for 2010. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command Contracting Center, CCAM-AP-B, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-07-C-0058).

Textron Systems Corp., Slidell, La., was awarded on Dec. 09, 2009, a $10,001,880 firm-fixed-price letter-contract for 27 M1200 Armored Knights. Work is to be performed in Slidell, La., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S Army Contracting Command, AMSCC-TAC-ATBD, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0532).

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., LLC, Oak Brook, Ill., was awarded on Dec. 08, 2009, a $8,691,280 firm-fixed-price contract. The work consists of furnishing one fully crewed and equipped self-propelled trailing suction-type hopper dredge on a rental basis. Work is to be performed at the Mississippi River Southwest Pass areas and possibly other areas of the New Orleans district and in areas of both the Galveston and Mobile Districts, with an estimated completion date of June 11, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0022).

AIR FORCE
Lockheed Martin Corp., Endicott, N.Y., was awarded a $78,500,000 contract which will provide for a bridge contract for the Global Combat Support System-Air Force covering contractor services required to provide continuing operations and sustainment support, service improvement and commercial off-the-shelf product life cycle management, enterprise applications services support, mission capabilities support, transition, preparation and turnover support and high priority customer funded capability integration support. At this time, $8,574,043 has been obligated. 754 ELSG/ESO, Maxwell Air Force Base Gunter Annex, Ala., is the contracting activity (FA8771-10-D-0079).

NAVY
Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss., is being awarded an $18,604,845 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-2302) to exercise options for the accomplishment of follow yard class services for the DDG 51 class AEGIS Destroyer Program and will provide expert design, planning and material support services for both DDG 51 ship construction and modernization. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be completed by August 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.

Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed ceiling-price $14,814,900 contract for repair coverage for eight items required to support the H-1 aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a sole source, with Bell Helicopter being the sole source responsible and responsive offeror. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $9,774,149 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5431) to exercise options for MK 56 tactical missiles and shipping containers, evolved SEASPARROW inert operational missiles and shipping containers, and auxiliary equipment to accompany them. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (45 percent); Australia (11 percent); Andover, Mass. (10 percent); Germany (8 percent); Canada (7 percent); the Netherlands (6 percent); Norway (5 percent); Spain (3 percent); Camden, Ark. (2 percent); Denmark (1 percent); Greece (1 percent); and Turkey (1 percent). Work is expected to be complete by August 2012. 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.

Jacobs Technology, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is being awarded $9,600,000 for task order #0027 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9017) to provide technical support to the Marine Corps Systems Command, Information Systems and Infrastructure Product Group, Marine Corps Network and Infrastructure Services program office to provide sustainment support and additional transition support to include assisting in monitoring the cutover progress and attending daily meetings. Throughout the contract period the contractor will be required to coordinate schedules; assist with data collection for assets; user requirements management; application inventory; related actions necessary to effect transition activities and seat cutover; technical refresh schedules and activities and life-cycle sustainment in the Navy Marine Corps Intranet environment and the Continuity of Services Contract (e.g., SRM data collection, asset reconciliation and tracking). The scope of this task shall be structured to reflect support for major commands across the Marine Corps sites. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Su-Mo/Nan*, JV, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded $6,687,990 for firm-fixed-price task order #0032 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62478-07-D-4007) to install photovoltaic (PV) systems on Kauai, Hawaii. The work to be performed provides for design-build of grid-tied PV power systems on the rooftops of 10 buildings and other incidental work. The design life of the system shall be at least 20 years in a corrosive environment. The PV power systems shall produce aggregated energy output of 1.0 GWh during the first full year of operation and shall produce an aggregated annual output equal to and at least 80 percent of the first year target for the remainder of its 20 year life. Work will be performed at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by June 2011. American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Funds are being used. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This task order was competed with the five Multiple Award Construction Contractors and five proposals were received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

AT&T Government Solutions, Inc., Vienna, Va., is being awarded $6,445,915 task order #0029 under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-03-A-5154). The scope of this effort is to provide for Information Technology (IT) support services to both local and external customers at Headquarters Marine Corps Logistics Command, Command, Control, Communications and Computers (HQ MARCORLOGCOM, C4), enterprise support division and logistics support Division. This support includes: (1) providing IT customer support and performing incident management (i.e., "service desk") outlined in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library best business practices as adopted by C4 director; (2) providing IT database management, applications management, web and OS support, SAN and RAC management, information assurance, mainframe support, enterprise backup and recovery, and system architecture support; and (3) providing IT project management (software development related) and application software support (analytical, testing and programming). Work will be performed in Albany, Ga., and work is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, VA is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded $5,791,884 for task order #0042 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9014) to provide on-going technical, managerial and logistics support for Program Executive Office – Land Systems, Program Manager Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). Emerging development efforts include engineering, architecture and logistical analysis of G/ATOR. Support requirements include supporting the G/ATOR Milestone C processes, engineering and technical reviews (since Milestone B was completed). Additional support requirements include development and maintenance of programmatic information to be displayed in a G/ATOR Program Operations Center, information security, admin support, information assurance, joint interoperability, family of system definition/development and business analysis to define investment strategies, contract administration, planning programming and budgeting planning, logistics support, equipment specialist, earned value management system, program ,anagement plan support and cost/risk assessments. Due to in-sourcing, cost proposal/analysis efforts will not be required. Support requirements include for the contractor to conduct/complete the logistics assessment of the manpower, personnel and training requirements and facilities analysis needed to support G/ATOR, the development of Manpower Training Integrated project team, to use as input and/or the development of the Manpower Personnel and Training plan. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and work is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Management Strategies, Inc.*, Monroe, Conn., is being awarded a $5,842,500 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a 16,240 square foot addition to Navy Marine Corps Reserve Center, Lehigh Valley, Pa. The work to be performed will include a supply warehouse, gear locker room, communications shop, classroom and conference space, administrative space, secure internet protocol router room, communication room, and mechanical and electrical rooms. A 4,402 square foot vehicle maintenance facility will also be constructed at the site. Site work will include rigid paving for military vehicles and asphalt paving for private owned vehicles parking. The contract also contains one unexercised option which, if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $6,603,750. Work will be performed in Allentown, Pa., and is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 17 bids received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-C-9414).

India's Strategic Defense Transformation: Expanding Global Relationships

India’s transformation to modernize its military, obtain “strategic partnerships” with the United States and other nations, and expand its influence in the Indian Ocean and beyond includes a shift from an emphasis on the former Soviet Union as the primary supplier of defense articles to a western base of supply and an increasing emphasis on bilateral exercises and training with many of the global powers. The author explores the nature of this transformation, offers insights into the history of Indian defense relations, and suggests implications to U.S. foreign and defense policy. Much has been written regarding India’s relations with its neighbors, especially Pakistan and China. The author adds a new perspective by taking a global view of India’s rise as a regional and future global military power through its bilateral defense relations and the potential conflict this creates with India’s legacy as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Read On
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?PubID=950

Students Earn Spots in Senate Youth Program

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - Two Department of Defense Education Activity students will travel to Washington, D.C., and receive $5,000 scholarships as delegates to the 48th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program. Joshua Jones, a senior at Kubasaki High School in Okinawa, Japan, and Michael Zachau Walker, a junior at Ankara High School in Turkey, were selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend the Washington Week program.

Each year, the competitive, merit-based program brings 104 of the most outstanding high school students -- two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity -- to the nation's capital for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it.

In addition to the program week, the foundation grants each of the 104 student delegates a $5,000 college scholarship with encouragement to continue course work in government, history and public affairs.

Jones, student-body president at Kubasaki High School, is an Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honor Society and Model United Nations. He said he plans to attend Brigham Young University in Utah and study to become a criminal-justice lawyer. He also wants to serve in the Marine Corps and run for public office, with the goal of becoming a U.S. senator.

"Josh is a scholar, an athlete and a leader and a compassionate person who freely volunteers his time to a number of causes," said Steven Sanchez, principal of Kubasaki High School. "Josh has demonstrated the ability, the motivation and potential to succeed at the college level."

Walker is student-body treasurer at Ankara High School and is involved in student activities that include student council, basketball, yearbook, musical theater, Model United Nations and various community service projects. After graduation, he said, he plans on attending a university in New England and majoring in political science and international relations. In the future, he plans on practicing law, becoming a judge and possibly working for the Foreign Service.

"Michael is a strong natural leader and organizer," said Kathleen Reiss, principal of Ankara Elementary/High School. "Michael is the first to say that being a leader is about the responsibility to others."

Chosen as alternates to the 2010 program were Nichole Woodcock, who attends Menwith Hill High School in North Yorkshire, England, and Ryan Resch, who attends Ramstein High School in Ramstein Village, Germany.

While in Washington, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senate leadership, senators and congressional staff, the president, a Supreme Court justice, Cabinet leaders, an ambassador and top members of the national media.

The students also will tour many of the national monuments and several museums.

In addition to leadership abilities and a commitment to public service, this year's students rank academically in the top 1 percent of their states.

Created in 1962, the U.S. Senate Youth Program has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundation since its inception.

(From a Department of Defense Education Activity news release.)

Yellow Ribbon Summit Tackles Top Issues

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - Defense and military officials gathered at the Pentagon to discuss the top issues facing the Yellow Ribbon Program for reserve-component servicemembers and their families during a two-day summit that concluded today. Nancy E. Boyda, deputy assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs for manpower and personnel matters, said she was pleased with the outcome and praised those who came together for the meetings.

"The leadership from the Yellow Ribbon in the services just blew me away," she said. "They were already so much more joint [than expected." She noted that sometimes the ability to work jointly can be more talk than action.

"But there was a real commitment to taking care of servicemembers regardless of what service they were from," she said. "Clearly it's the best use of money. But it wasn't even about just the best use of money. It's about taking care of the servicemember."

A congressionally mandated program, the Yellow Ribbon Program is designed to benefit National Guard and Reserve members and their families. Through five events – one pre-deployment, one for just families during deployment and three post-deployment events – servicemembers and families are prepared for what to expect during a deployment and reintegration.

The events allow servicemembers and their families to find resources to help them with financial planning, child and youth programs, and any issues they may be facing upon return from deployment.

Among the topics discussed at the summit was the Joint Travel Regulation and its impact on people such as girlfriends or fiancées, who support servicemembers but don't qualify for travel compensation under the regulation to attend Yellow Ribbon events.

"The [regulation] can be interpreted to say you can only pay for the spouse and the dependent children," Boyda said. "We need [all] those support people to be there at the Yellow Ribbon events. So the commanders are constantly encouraging these support people to come, and it's a slap in the face to say, 'Well, we can't pay for you.'"

Getting the regulation changed has been a top priority, Boyda said. "That's going through," she said. "We think that it's been cleared through. We think everybody is on board in getting that done."

Boyda said funding for the Yellow Ribbon Program is key.

"Making sure that we have enduring funding to keep these programs going is a huge issue," she said. "[We are] really working through some of the funding issues proactively, and bringing that up to all of our leadership and to Congress."

In the group's initial report to Congress, it listed funding as one of its two top issues. It is looking, however, for possible solutions to the funding issue, rather than just asking Congress for more money.

Some of the funding comes out of Overseas Contingency Operations, or supplemental, funding. But the supplemental budget is on hold, and that creates a challenge for the Yellow Ribbon Program, Boyda said.

Also discussed was a core curriculum. This would ensure that every National Guardsman or reservist will get the same basic information regardless of which service is hosting the Yellow Ribbon event, Boyda said.

"The last issue is really just making sure that across the services we're doing everything humanly possible to bring the best mental health, resiliency, behavioral health, substance abuse, real, live meaningful programs into the lives of these servicemembers at these events," she said. "[We want the events to be] as life changing as humanly possible. We're not just giving them briefings. We're giving them tools to deal with the issues that we know are servicemembers dealing with."

The Yellow Ribbon Program provides a lot of soldier and support functions in conjunction with reintegration and the soldier's return, said Army Col. Gregg A. Bliss, division chief of the Army National Guard's soldier and family support services division.

He also was impressed by the camaraderie of those participating in the summit.

"I think the one thing I took away was there's a great amount of unity of effort amongst components," he said. "There was no feeling that there was a one-component issue. This is an all component issue, this is an all-reserve issue, and I thought it was good to see that everybody came in there with a 'purple' perspective and looking at how we could improve the program overall and show a sustained unity of effort."

Study explores deployment impact on older children

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

(12/10/09) - Children in military families experience emotional and behavioral difficulties above national averages, a study has revealed. The Rand Corp. study, commissioned by the National Military Family Association, explored how older children from military families deal with the deployment of a parent. The results were published in the journal Pediatrics on Dec. 7.

The study surveyed 1,500 military children, ages 11 to 17, from across the nation and their nondeployed parent or caregiver.

"This is one of the first studies that I'm aware of where the children were the ones providing the information," said Barbara Thompson, director of the Pentagon's office of family policy and children and youth. "It's groundbreaking."

About one-third of the children in the study reported symptoms of anxiety, somewhat higher than the percentages reported on other studies of children, the results indicated. Also, the number of child difficulties was linked to the total months deployed in the past three years.

"The study serves as an important reminder that when a servicemember deploys, the entire family deploys," Thompson said. "The findings contributed to our understanding of how longer and repeated deployments weigh on families."
Findings also suggested that children whose caregivers had better self-reported mental health were better able to cope with deployments.

"We are definitely aware that the resiliency and coping mechanisms of the stay-behind parent will make a deployment that much easier for the child," Thompson said. She cited Defense Department programs such as Military OneSource, which provides around-the-clock access to military family life consultants.

"The key is to talk about challenges and work together to find solutions," she said, "so you can be a strong parent for your children."

The study also served to highlight populations that may be more vulnerable to deployment-related stress. The study indicated that "families living off-base, girls during the reintegration period, and middle and late adolescents were especially vulnerable," Thompson noted.

"We know that two-thirds of our military families live off the installation," she said. "We know how tough it is to access brick and mortar with a deployed family member, as you're juggling work schedules [and] children's activities."

Thompson said she hopes the department's virtual programs can help fill the gap. "Virtual technology offers a great support for families off installation and for those families who are geographically separated, such as our Guard and Reserve [servicemembers], who often don't have easy access to the programs and services designed to support them," she said.

The study is useful in that it provides scientific data that can help to identify vulnerable populations and to steer the department's future decisions on military family programs, Thompson said.

"We now have some very important data that will drive decisions and that we can use to create a dialogue," she added. "We know military families also serve, and the National Military Family Association knows that as well. We greatly appreciate their efforts with this study."

While the study was beneficial, Thompson noted, it included few lower-ranking enlisted families and only dealt with a limited age group. However, the department will launch a comprehensive survey of military families this spring called the "DoD Military Family Project," she said. This survey of active-duty members and their spouses will include a representative sample of the active duty force, spanning all ranks and ages of children.

"This is going to be a landmark study," Thompson said. "It will track families over time, after going through a deployment cycle, so we can see the changes and challenges. That information will be very critical as we look at how we provide support and information to people."

In the meantime, Thompson said, she welcomes studies on military families such as the Rand study.

"The more we know about the impact of multiple, long-term deployments on families, the better we will be able to serve them," she said. "This is an unprecedented time, not only for our military children, but for other nations'. This type of knowledge is contributing to the universe of knowledge about the impact of separation on children.

"Those of us who work with families know separation affects children, and affects them differently in different stages," she continued. "Our focus is, how do we keep a child in the mind of a deployed parent and the parent in the mind of a child at home? How do we keep connections vibrant and ongoing? That is our mission."

Army Releases November Suicide Data

The Army released suicide data for the month of November today. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 12 potential suicides, all of which are pending determination of the manner of death. For October, the Army reported 16 potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, three have been confirmed as suicides, and 13 remain under investigation.

There were 147 reported active duty Army suicides from January 2009 through November 2009. Of these, 102 have been confirmed, and 45 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 127 suicides among active-duty soldiers.

During November 2009, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were two potential suicides. Among that same group, from January 2009 through November 2009, there were 71 reported suicides. Of those, 41 were confirmed as suicides, and 30 remain under investigation to determine the manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 50 suicides among reserve soldiers who were not on active duty.

In a media roundtable on Nov. 17, 2009, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, confirmed that the total number of suicides in the Army during 2009 had exceeded the total for 2008.

"We conduct an exhaustive review of every suicide within the Army," said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director, Suicide Prevention Task Force. "What we have learned is that there is no single or simple answer to preventing suicide. This tells us that we must continue to take a holistic approach to identifying and helping soldiers and families with issues such as behavioral health problems, substance abuse, and relationship failures."

Although operational tempo and frequent deployments are often cited as possible causes for the Army's increased suicide rate, data gathered through the Army's efforts has not shown a link between operational tempo and suicide.

"We have analyzed this part of the problem very closely," said Walter Morales, Army suicide prevention program manager. "So far, we just haven't found that repeated deployments and suicide are directly connected. Approximately 30 percent of suicides in the Army occur among those who have never deployed. Many others occur among those who have deployed once. This means we have to continue to reach the entire Army community with effective suicide prevention programs, for those who have deployed and those who haven't."

In addition to the Army's current campaign plan to improve the full spectrum of health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention programs, the Army is testing pilot programs in virtual behavioral health counseling, enhanced behavioral health counseling before and after deployment, and expanded privacy protections for soldiers seeking substance abuse counseling.

For example, the Army recently completed the Virtual Behavioral Health Pilot Program (VBHPP) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The VBHPP team is now analyzing the initial results to help the Army better determine whether the program should be expanded to additional units and locations. Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63 (Health Promotion) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600-24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf..

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is http://www.militaryonesource.com . Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.

The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org , and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .

The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp .

More information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/.

Legal Officer Uses Life-saving Training

American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - The increase of troops into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility also is increasing the nontraditional roles filled by airmen in combat, a product of the Air Force's "all in" philosophy. Air Force Capt. Maureen Wood, a legal officer deployed with Multinational Force Iraq's Joint Task Force 134, recently found herself in one of those situations that was anything but "traditional." She helped to save a life of a fellow servicemember using self-aid and buddy care after her convoy was attacked by an improvised explosive device.

On Aug. 21, while on a convoy in Iraq, the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle Wood was riding in, along with several other Army and Air Force personnel, was struck by a roadside bomb designed to penetrate armor and release shrapnel in all directions.

Her head was thrown back from the explosion, and smoke entered the vehicle. While doing a quick self-check, Wood said, she felt a large knot on her forehead and another on her left hand. She would later find out the "bumps" were shrapnel lodged in her skin.

"I found myself trying to figure out what had just happened, what was going on," she said. "I saw [Capt. Wendy Kosek] in front of me with a gash across her jaw line. Next to me was an Army major who was yelling that he couldn't feel his legs."

Glancing over at the major, she said, she noticed his foot was turned up at the shin.

Wood said she unbuckled herself and went to help. Her goal was to keep him from going into shock. The medic was there quickly, and a tourniquet was placed on his leg.

Wood attributes her actions and calm demeanor on that day to the advanced contingency skills training she received at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix in Lakehurst, N.J.

"Many people may find themselves saying or thinking this stuff won't apply to them, because they are going to be at a 'desk job' in some building somewhere," Wood said. "Every passenger in our MRAP that day was assigned to 'desk jobs.'"

Her training at the expeditionary center prepared Wood to react instinctively in the aftermath of the attack, she said.

"We learned by repetition," she explained. "Everything we were trained on was repeated until we reacted without thinking. We were also trained on the fog of war and reacting under pressure, which helped tremendously during the attack."

The MRAP was disabled in the blast. The injured servicemembers needed to be loaded into the casualty evacuation vehicle. "We were grabbing the injured troops by parts of their uniform, the way we were shown in training," Wood said, "lifting and moving them into the vehicle accordingly."

Kosek, a fellow legal officer, was more severely injured in that attack, receiving shrapnel to her face, hand and leg. With the help of the other servicemembers, she and the Army major were lifted out of the disabled vehicle onto the ground and guarded from secondary attacks.

As they continued the medical response, the Army major was loaded onto the floor of the casualty evacuation vehicle first. Kosek was next; to guard against further injury, she was moved and loaded using her belt.

Wood said she noticed the major's leg was still bleeding. She was handed a bandage so she could attempt to dress his wound. Using knowledge from self-aid and buddy care, Wood said, she concluded that the color of the blood indicated it was not arterial bleeding. Bandaging the leg didn't stop the bleeding, so she decided to use pressure.

Using the bandage, she pressed the major's leg against hers to stabilize and secure his injuries.

"I wasn't nervous or scared," she said. "I was just reacting. It was a team effort that day. Everyone stayed calm. For the most part, it was like a well-oiled machine."

Wood said her pre-deployment training was invaluable.

"Pre-deployment training teaches you the concept of the fog of war and explains the necessity of having muscle memory, and having the ability to react as needed when circumstances arise that make it difficult to think clearly," she said. "So many people go to training thinking they don't really need the training because they don't think it applies to them."

(Air Force Capt. Amber Balken serves in the Air Mobility Command public affairs office.)

Obama Cites Military's Contributions to Peace

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - Instruments of war play a role in preserving peace, President Barack Obama said as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, today. While acknowledging the controversy surrounding a wartime leader being honored with a peace prize, Obama said the commitment of those in the U.S. military has been an instrument of peace throughout the world.

"The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms," he said. "The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans."

The president said America is not bearing this burden to impose its will on others, but out of concern for future generations.

"We have done so out of enlightened self-interest – because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity," he said.

America is in the midst of two wars. Obama noted that while Operation Iraqi Freedom is winding down, the conflict in Afghanistan is one that America did not seek and is not pursuing alone. Forty-two countries have joined the United States in an effort to defend all nations from further attacks.

"Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of Americans to battle in a distant land," Obama said. "Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict – filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other."

Explaining that while the military does ultimately strive to preserve peace, Obama emphasized that that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy.

"The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms," he said. "But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such."

The president suggested that a more practical and attainable peace might come from the gradual evolution of human institutions, involving standardization in the use of military force justified on humanitarian grounds.

"This becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor," he said. "More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region."

Obama said America's commitment to global security will never waver, but that America cannot act alone to secure peace.

"I understand why war in not popular, but I also know this: the belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it," he said. "Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice."

Where force is necessary, there is a moral and strategic interest in following certain rules of conduct, Obama said, in reference to his prohibition of torture, his promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay and his reaffirmation in America's abiding by the Geneva Convention.

"I believe the United States of America must remain the standard bearer in the conduct of war," he said. "That's what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is the source of our strength."

The president went on to present three ways he believes peace could be built in the world: nations standing together to pressure their adversaries without resorting to violence, respecting the rights and dignity of every individual, and creating economic security and opportunity for all nations.

"Let us reach for a world that ought to be – that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls," he said.

Lauding the protestor bravely standing up to government brutality and a poverty-stricken mother using her little money to send her children to school, Obama also recognized the efforts of a soldier who sees he's outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace.

"Let us live by their example," he said.

"Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace," Obama said. "We can do that – for that is the story of human progress. That's the hope of all the world. And at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth."

Guard well prepared for season's first winter storm

December 10, 2009: When all is said and done, the first major snow storm of the season left a lot of snow but very little in the way of emergencies. "I think we were prepared for this storm," said Larry Reed, deputy administrator for Wisconsin Emergency Management. The Emergency Operations Center was activated at 8 a.m. Tuesday, and remained open until 8 p.m. Wednesday, a few hours after the National Weather Service cancelled a blizzard warning - in essence, acknowledging that the winter storm was over.

The Wisconsin National Guard, however, maintained its alert until 6 a.m. Thursday. At a Joint Operations Center meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, the adjutant general of Wisconsin, agreed with Brig. Gen. Scott Legwold's assessment that keeping Guard members through the entire second stand-by shift across the state accomplished two objectives - it alleviated nighttime driving with the potential risks of drifting snow and ice from falling temperatures, and it still allowed for a timely response in the event of power outages requiring emergency warming shelters.

Reed said that Gov. Jim Doyle's early declaration of a state of emergency underscored to state government and the public how serious a threat the storm was considered. He also said coordination between agencies in the EOC - the state Department of Transportation highways division, State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, the National Weather Service, the National Guard and various other state agency officials - was strong. In addition, a software program called "E-Sponder" allowed state agencies as well as counties to share information.

As the storm came and went, Reed said that county authorities did not request state assistance. The weather-related incidents that did occur - traffic accidents, some power outages - were handled at the local level. Emergency shelters that had opened for citizens displaced because of the storm saw few people, Reed said.

The EOC was at an elevated level of staffing until 8 p.m. Wednesday. A duty officer remains on call should assistance be needed, Reed said.

According to the National Weather Service, snowfall from the storm as of 5 p.m. Wednesday ranged from just under 3 inches at Milwaukee's Mitchell Field International Airport to 18.5 inches in Madison. A wind chill advisory went into effect for most of the state through late morning.

Guardsmen in Two States Respond to Winter Storm

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - As the first major winter storm of the season continues to drop snow and ice throughout the Midwest, elements of the Iowa and Wisconsin National Guard are ready to assist state and local authorities in responding to emergency calls. More than 40 Iowa Guard members have been on duty since Dec. 8 in preparation for the storm, said Army Maj. Michael Wunn, public affairs officer for the Iowa National Guard. Though the storm wasn't expected to hit until the early morning hours, Guard members were called in early to be in place when the storm hit.

"It can take awhile to put people on duty," Wunn said yesterday, "so rather than wait until the middle of the night to start calling people in, ... we went ahead and called those people up and pre-staged them so that they were in position this morning ... [to] assist when the calls came in."

Most of those calls have been focused on assisting stranded motorists. "[The] primary mission is to work with state and local authorities to assist stranded motorists and help close primary roads to traffic if the need arises," Wunn explained.

The Iowa Guard is ready for other contingencies as well. "In this situation, it's all been focused on highways and motorists," Wunn said. "In previous years, when we've had an ice storm, we've sent those teams out when there have been downed power lines and a need to go check on homes and that sort of thing."

Planning for the storm response started several months ago.

"We started more than two months ago, reviewing our winter storm plan, and we pre-staged some vehicles and we put cots and blankets at various locations across the state that could be used in the event that we needed to assist communities with warming centers, which we haven't had to do in this situation," Wunn said, noting that being prepared is one of the reasons why the Iowa Guard has been able to assist local authorities easily.

"Preparedness is the key," he said, "and getting units identified to provide that capability, and getting the vehicles staged, and having chains on the tires so that they're ready to go."

The Iowa Guard has sent a few teams out to help with stranded motorists, Wunn said, but the streets have been largely empty.

"People had quite a bit of notice about this storm and a lot of information was out there, and I think, for the most part, people have heeded the advice from the local authorities and have stayed off the roads," he said.

Meanwhile, about 100 Wisconsin Guard members are on standby orders in case local authorities need assistance.

"Currently, the Wisconsin National Guard has not been called out to assist local authorities," said Army Lt. Col. Jacqueline Guthrie, public affairs officer for the Wisconsin Guard. "But we stand ready should we be needed."

If called upon, the Wisconsin Guard would perform similar missions as the Iowa Guard and assist with responding to stranded motorists, traffic control and health and welfare checks.

Guthrie added that the Wisconsin National Guard has resources available across the state to respond if civilian authorities request assistance.

Army Maj. David May, the Wisconsin National Guard's deputy director of operations for domestic support, said a number of tactical vehicles equipped for blizzard conditions – Humvees, 5-ton trucks and heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks, along with operators – are available to respond to this storm.

If called upon, Guard members might assist the state patrol in searching for stranded motorists along snow-clogged highways or deliver food and water to motorists and other displaced citizens at emergency collection sites.

National Guard armories and other facilities could be opened as collection sites if the need arises, May added.

In addition, the Wisconsin National Guard's two Army aviation units have flight crews available, once the weather improves, to conduct air searches along highways for traffic accidents or blockages, as well as stranded motorists.

May explained that because the Wisconsin Guard is monitoring the events as they unfold in the state emergency operations center, it can be proactive in its response. As various agencies identify needs, appropriate resources can also be identified within the EOC and directed as needed.

The storm was expected to continue for much of the day yesterday before passing on. With the rest of the week expected to remain cloudy and cold, but with no additional snowfall, Guard members will start to be released from duty.

"I think the winds are supposed to die down this afternoon," Wunn said yesterday. "We'll continue doing recovery operations and then start bringing those teams back to their home armories. I think everyone should be off active duty in the next day or so."

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Study Explores Deployment Impact on Older Children

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2009 - Children in military families experience emotional and behavioral difficulties above national averages, a study has revealed. The Rand Corp. study, commissioned by the National Military Family Association, explored how older children from military families deal with the deployment of a parent. The results were published in the journal Pediatrics on Dec. 7.

The study surveyed 1,500 military children, ages 11 to 17, from across the nation and their nondeployed parent or caregiver.

"This is one of the first studies that I'm aware of where the children were the ones providing the information," said Barbara Thompson, director of the Pentagon's office of family policy and children and youth. "It's groundbreaking."

About one-third of the children in the study reported symptoms of anxiety, somewhat higher than the percentages reported on other studies of children, the results indicated. Also, the number of child difficulties was linked to the total months deployed in the past three years.

"The study serves as an important reminder that when a servicemember deploys, the entire family deploys," Thompson said. "The findings contributed to our understanding of how longer and repeated deployments weigh on families."
Findings also suggested that children whose caregivers had better self-reported mental health were better able to cope with deployments.

"We are definitely aware that the resiliency and coping mechanisms of the stay-behind parent will make a deployment that much easier for the child," Thompson said. She cited Defense Department programs such as Military OneSource, which provides around-the-clock access to military family life consultants.

"The key is to talk about challenges and work together to find solutions," she said, "so you can be a strong parent for your children."

The study also served to highlight populations that may be more vulnerable to deployment-related stress. The study indicated that "families living off-base, girls during the reintegration period, and middle and late adolescents were especially vulnerable," Thompson noted.

"We know that two-thirds of our military families live off the installation," she said. "We know how tough it is to access brick and mortar with a deployed family member, as you're juggling work schedules [and] children's activities."

Thompson said she hopes the department's virtual programs can help fill the gap. "Virtual technology offers a great support for families off installation and for those families who are geographically separated, such as our Guard and Reserve [servicemembers], who often don't have easy access to the programs and services designed to support them," she said.

The study is useful in that it provides scientific data that can help to identify vulnerable populations and to steer the department's future decisions on military family programs, Thompson said.

"We now have some very important data that will drive decisions and that we can use to create a dialogue," she added. "We know military families also serve, and the National Military Family Association knows that as well. We greatly appreciate their efforts with this study."

While the study was beneficial, Thompson noted, it included few lower-ranking enlisted families and only dealt with a limited age group. However, the department will launch a comprehensive survey of military families this spring called the "DoD Military Family Project," she said. This survey of active-duty members and their spouses will include a representative sample of the active duty force, spanning all ranks and ages of children.

"This is going to be a landmark study," Thompson said. "It will track families over time, after going through a deployment cycle, so we can see the changes and challenges. That information will be very critical as we look at how we provide support and information to people."

In the meantime, Thompson said, she welcomes studies on military families such as the Rand study.

"The more we know about the impact of multiple, long-term deployments on families, the better we will be able to serve them," she said. "This is an unprecedented time, not only for our military children, but for other nations'. This type of knowledge is contributing to the universe of knowledge about the impact of separation on children.

"Those of us who work with families know separation affects children, and affects them differently in different stages," she continued. "Our focus is, how do we keep a child in the mind of a deployed parent and the parent in the mind of a child at home? How do we keep connections vibrant and ongoing? That is our mission."