Military News

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement

Editor's Note:  The guest is a servicemember.
On March 4, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation Sergeant William Wilkerson, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement.

Program Date: March 4, 2010
Program Time: 1700 Hours Pacific
Topic: Lean Six Sigma for Law Enforcement
Listen Live: http://www.americanheroesradio.com/lean_six_sigma_law_enforcement.html

About the Guest
William "Billy" Wilkerson is a Police Sergeant with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and 20 Year veteran with the Florida Air National Guard. He is currently assigned to the Sheriff's Office Continuous Improvement Division along with serving as the Staff Inspections Unit supervisor. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has been using Lean Six Sigma to streamline its processes since 2004, with much success. Billy is a certified “Kaizen” facilitator through the Jacksonville Lean Consortium, and the US Air Force, and has received Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt training with the Jacksonville Electric Authority. Billy has also been assisting with the Florida Air National Guard's rollout of their CPI Program (Continuous Process Improvement).

According to the Six Sigma Website, “The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement. The Six Sigma DMADV process (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement. Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.”

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, Public Safety 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:
http://www.americanheroesradio.com/lean_six_sigma_law_enforcement.html
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

TRICARE Leader Explains Plans for the Future

January 30, 2010 - To balance increasingly complex responsibilities at home and overseas the Military Health System has adopted the Quadruple Aim model of care, Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of the TRICARE Management Activity, told a standing-room only crowd of military medical leaders Thursday. The Quadruple Aim, she explained, supports readiness, population health, a positive patient experience and responsible management of health care costs.

During the 2010 Military Health System (MHS) conference, key speakers described the scope and complexity of military medical operations and the TRICARE program. The MHS is becoming increasingly complex, Hunter said, and must create a learning culture to develop the next generation of leaders ready to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. MHS leaders, she said, are adopting a learning culture to share knowledge.

The MHS is responsible for the care of 9.6 million people. In a single week, 1.6 million outpatients are seen, 2.48 million prescriptions are filled and 3.5 million claims are paid. Hunter congratulated all of the providers who’ve supported the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti while they handled TRICARE’s regular workload.

“Active, reserve, civilian and network partners came together immediately in an inspiring demonstration of teamwork,” Hunter said of the effort.

Hunter discussed the Quadruple Aim, which she began implementing in July 2009 soon after her arrival at TMA, explaining how it is designed to help achieve near-term goals and guide long-range planning.

“The MHS has been successful in achieving three parts of the Quadruple Aim – readiness, population health and cost management,” Hunter said.

Ending her speech, Hunter impressed upon the more than 3,000 MHS professionals in attendance the importance of their jobs, and urged them to continue the great work they do. She closed by emphasizing how attendees can help achieve MHS goals by promoting individual and family readiness, a healthy population, positive patient experiences and responsible management of health care costs.

“You personally can help us achieve the Quadruple Aim,” Hunter said “by ensuring that patients with an acute minor condition contact their primary care manager or visit an urgent care center rather than the emergency room, transfer brand name prescriptions from retail pharmacy to home delivery and that patients get the right information the next time they interact with us.”

Seminar Tackles Drug-trafficking Issues


By Jason Tudor
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 29, 2010 - Countering narcotics trafficking took center stage during an eight-day seminar at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here, as military and civilian security executives met to discuss the challenge. The seminar attracted 91 participants from 61 countries and focused on the complex security challenges posed by contemporary international narcotics trafficking, and its links with terrorist networks and organized-crime elements. The seminar participants examined how narcotics profits are used to fund terrorist activities, to corrupt officials, and to challenge and erode the authority of states.

"In today's globalized environment, counter-narcotics programs create intricate interdependencies within the international community which must be managed on numerous levels," said Jay Le Beau, seminar director. "As a result, there will also be discussion on various regional approaches that have been implemented to combat this problem."

Among the 91 participants were 21 Africans from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Swaziland, the Togolese Republic, and Uganda.

The seminar included almost a dozen speakers from a cross section of military and civilian disciplines, including Army Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command. Also, Ambassador J. Anthony Holmes, Africom's deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, served as the graduation keynote speaker.

Holmes, whose background includes more than 15 years of experience in Africa and policy issues on Africa as a State Department employee, emphasized partnership and working together to address drug-trafficking issues.

"The problem itself is regional. It is inherently multilateral," he said. "There's no such thing as a transit country. There's no such thing as a producing country. Virtually all countries are producing, transit and consuming countries."

(Jason Tudor works in the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies public affairs office.)

DHCC Call for Papers

Call for Presentations for Deployment Healthcare Track, Force Health Protection Conference, Aug. 2010. The Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) is seeking abstracts from speakers for the Deployment Healthcare Track (DHCT) at the 13th Annual Force Health Protection Conference, "Military Preventive Medicine and Public Health" Core Conference: August 10-13, 2010, and for Preconference Workshops August 7-9, 2010, at the Phoenix Convention Center Phoenix, Ariz.

Submissions of abstracts involving cross-disciplinary collaborations are highly encouraged. Please click on the link below to find out how to submit your abstracts. Deadline for submission is fast approaching.

http://www.pdhealth.mil/downloads/2010_Call_Presentations.pdf

Identifying Environmental Health Threats in Theater

By Rob Anastasio
FHP&R Staff Writer

January 30, 2010 - Environmental health exposures pose a major threat to service members in theater. While specific threats such as particulate matter, burning trash pits, pollution, and toxic industrial chemicals seem to be a normal part of in-theater living, the long-term health risks that have transpired have caught the attention of the military, Congressional, and medical communities.

At the 2010 MHS Conference, Dr. Craig Postlewaite, DVM, MPH, acting director of Force Health Protection and Readiness Programs, explained that much of the data gathered from OEF/OIF exposure records are still inconclusive.

With all of the research that has been conducted, professionals have derived a number of lessons learned. “Health care providers should be knowledgeable of occupational and environmental health (OEH) threats and updated on location-specific changes during deployment,” said Postlewaite.

Base camp health assessments should also be completed when the base camp is established. Postlewaite said this is an important lesson that has been discovered, as it includes acute health risks and possible latent/chronic health risks as well, archiving all OEH data in the U.S. Army Public Health Command – Provisional (USAPHC), and being strong advocates for risk mitigation by line commanders.

Other lessons learned show that health care providers must document possible and confirmed exposures in service members’ medical records, investigating, reporting, and documenting all OEH and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) exposures, advising commanders on locations of all burn pits, requesting timely reach-back for environmental health support to monitor conditions and identify those at risk, and ensuring that there are environmental health personnel in theater.

“It’s quite a challenge,” said Postlewaite. “Airborne particulate matter exposure alone is dangerous. The blowing sand/dust, coupled with some industrial pollutants is just one of the many exposures that folks are prone to in CENTCOM.” This can lead to water and food contamination, as well as soil contamination.

Burn pit smoke exposures have been the hot topic of Congress and the medical world in the past few years. In 2008, a health risk assessment was conducted at Joint Base Balad (JBB) to study the health effects of burn-pit smoke. While some 400 Veterans and dozens of Service members claim they have chronic health effects due to burn pit smoke exposure, the result of the study (which was validated by the Defense Health Board) stated that there were no elevation in long-term health effects to those that were exposed.

“The metric that this study failed to look at was combined exposures,” said Postlewaite. “If someone was exposed who also smokes tobacco, or has an underlying health problem, or has a genetic predisposition…that is what we didn’t consider.”

However, steps are being taken to mitigate any possible adverse health effects from the smoke exposure. Over the past two years, four industrial trash incinerators have been installed at JBB, and some of the biggest burn pits have been shut down.

Additional studies are being conducted by a number of agencies to explore the dose-response relationship, health outcomes at other burn pits, the persistence of diagnoses and symptoms, and expanded case findings for case control studies. Coming this spring is a report from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC) with a new burn pit monitoring plan which is up for review by the DHB. The Institute of Medicine is also conducting a health outcome study on veterans with a special emphasis on burn pit smoke exposure.

While these reactive measures will help clear the air about burn pit smoke exposures, researchers are trying proactive methods as well. “We’re working on an individual deployment longitudinal exposure record system,” said Postlewaite.

Basically, this system is specific to a service member, who will use a self-identifier to insert information to their electronic health record. This information will be distributed to a number of databases that will search deployment locations, possible exposures, and bounce against the Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System (DOEHRS) data repository. This will give the service member additional information on any OEH exposures that they may have been exposed to.

Changes in TBI Assessments Will Lead to Faster Treatment

By Sarah Heynen
DCoE

January 30, 2010 - Pending changes to the in-theater mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are expected to be released in the coming weeks, drastically changing the system from a symptom-based approach to an incident-based approach.

Air Force Col. Michael Jaffee, national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) presented on the topic of TBI clinical practice guidelines and guidance at the 2010 MHS Conference Jan. 27. “There is a lot of movement in this field, especially in this past year,” he said.

The first guidelines used to assess mild TBIs among service members in theater were established in 2007 and required the injured person to come forward with symptoms. New guidelines will require that anyone involved in certain incidents – including all personnel involved in a severe vehicle accident, all personnel within 50 meters of a blast, anyone that sustains a direct blow to the head or loss of consciousness, and command directed referrals – must be screened.

This new approach will allow for earlier intervention, ensuring that the injured service member gets treated sooner. Additionally, line leaders will be the first to assess the individuals before sending on to medical assessment.

Additionally, the new guidelines will change how recurring concussions (also known as mild TBI) are treated in theater.

“There is an emerging body of evidence that we’ve seen from some NFL [National Football League] studies that indicate cumulative affects of recurring concussions over time,” Jaffee said. “The NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] studies suggested increased risk with three or more, but more evidence is needed to better inform and modify our practice.”

Following a similar practice by the Marine Corps, the revised guideline will require that anyone with three mild TBIs within 12 months will go through a standard, thorough assessment. The first concussion evaluation and treatment will follow the CPG practices in place. The second concussion will have the injured service member on a seven-day mandatory rest. The third will provide a much more comprehensive neurological assessment including both a comprehensive neurological examination and occupational therapy.

What determines a mild TBI?

“A traumatic brain injury is a force applied to the head that results in an alteration or loss of consciousness,” Jaffee said. He further explained that classifying the severity of a TBI as mild, moderate or severe is based on the history of what happened at the time of the injury or how long someone had an alteration of consciousness or loss, or how long someone has post-traumatic amnesia.

“It’s not a judgment of how impaired you are, it is actually a system that was designed talking about the characteristics of the injury that happened acutely,” said Jaffee. “And there is also some imaging that correlates.”

DVBIC is a network of Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs centers with the mission is to serve active duty military, their beneficiaries, and veterans with traumatic brain injuries through state-of-the-art clinical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs. DVBIC is designated as the primary operational TBI component of Defense Centers of Excellence. To learn more about TBIs, visit http://www.dvbic.org/

Ellen Embrey Closes 2010 MHS Conference Stressing the Commitment to Care

By David Loebsack
Health.mil

January 30, 2010 - Ellen P. Embrey, performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, closed the 2010 MHS Conference with remarks reflecting more than 30 years of federal service. Above all, she stressed that the most important priority for the entire Military Health System is to provide the utmost quality care to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines throughout the system.

“Their care [must be] representative of their sacrifice,” said Embrey.

She specifically thanked each lecturer – whether senior military advisors, private sector leaders or academics at the forefront of their research – for helping the MHS achieve that goal.

“My takeaways from this week, can be boiled down to three things: relevance, recognition and renewal,” said Embrey.

The business of the MHS is extremely relevant to today’s decision makers, and no one needs reminding that each choice can mean life or death for every enlisted service member and officer in theater. If the MHS fails at promoting readiness, delivering high quality care, cultivating healthy lifestyles and operating at a sustainable cost, the consequences would be disastrous.

Just as important, Embrey said, is recognition both for a job that is met with success, and when a job ends in failure.

“We have a need for a properly and regularly recognized way of celebrating excellence in our midst,” she said. “We can [also] be our own toughest critics – and that’s actually a compliment.”

Embrey urged MHS leaders to stay committed and continually self improve, in order to keep the organization thriving. Although she credited the MHS with being extremely self-reflective, she asserted that continued transparency will be integral to its future. Ultimately, recognition must go both ways – recognizing military medicine’s greatest achievements and worst failures, and learning from both.

Finally, Embrey said renewal is key. Emerging from a week-long conference where some of the most brilliant medical minds in the country have gathered epitomizes that notion. She challenged everyone in the audience, not just the senior leaders, to make a difference as a result of their time together.

“Innovation [comes] from your personal experience and your commitment to achieving it at the local level with you patients. You can achieve that tomorrow,” said Embrey.

She ended with a reminder of the quadruple aim that had been stressed all week: readiness, quality, overall health, and cost effectiveness.

“[These are] going to become the fabric of how we do business, and we’re going to learn together how to get it right,” Embrey said.

Embrey retires from her position performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs on Jan. 29.

Two Wisconsin Air National Guard units among best in nation

By Tech. Sgt. Jon LaDue
Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

January 30, 2010 - Air Force officials announced Tuesday that two Wisconsin Air National Guard units would be among top Air Force units to receive the 2009 United States Air Force unit awards. The Madison-based 115th Fighter Wing was one of only 31 units to earn the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Camp Douglas-based Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center was one of nine to receive the Air Force Organizational Excellence Awards.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment for the men and women of the Wisconsin Air National Guard," said Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin. "These awards reflect the superb leadership at the 115th FW and the Volk CRTC, and the quality of our superb citizen- Airmen. It is a privilege for us to serve."

This is the sixth AFOUA for the fighter wing. Col. Joseph Brandemuehl, 115th FW commander, said the award is in line with the wing's motto of "Dedicated to Excellence."

"It's that motto that has built the culture of excellence we have today and that allows us to perform at such a high level," said Brandemuehl. "I think this award is validation that Wisconsin citizen Airmen are the best in the Air Force."

Col. Gary Ebben, Volk Field CRTC commander, credits a great staff, great work ethic and vast experience as the recipe for his unit's tremendous success.

Of only four CRTCs in the nation, Volk Field was the only one selected for the award in 2009. "All of the CRTCs provide a valuable service to our nation in supporting Guard, Active Duty, Reserve and interagency training and operational needs," said Ebben. "I can't speak to the specific tempo of the other CRTCs, but Volk Field has never been busier when all mission sets are considered."

A total of 40 units were recognized throughout the country.

The AFOUA was first authorized by the Department of the Air Force in 1954. It is awarded by the secretary of the Air Force to numbered units that have "distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units."

The AFOEA critiques nearly identical criteria but is awarded to units who are unique, unnumbered organizations that operate or perform missions like a numbered unit would.

Volk Field won the AFOUA in 2007 but National Guard Bureau determined the CRTC was more appropriately placed in the AFOEA category.

"This is a group of incredibly dedicated and committed individuals who collectively combine, forming an extremely effective team," said Ebben. "They do a tremendous job performing a very challenging mission."

Resources for Wounded Warriors Continue to Expand

By Marqeis Sparks
Health.mil

January 30, 2010 - Wounded warriors will be on the road to recovery more quickly and efficiently thanks to a growing list of programs offered by the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy (WWCTP).

“We want to provide every possible option of recovery to all the branches of service. Our goal is to empower and encourage service members to return to duty,” said Pam McClelland, director of coordination operations, WWCTP, at the 2010 MHS Conference.

The Office of WWCTP was formed in November 2008 and aims to ensure that wounded warriors and veterans have employment and benefit opportunities as well as a smooth transition back into duty or civilian life.

Disability Evaluation System
The DoD and VA are collaborating to administer the Disability Evaluation System (DES), which provides one exam, one rating, and one assessment for wounded service members to determine their level of disability. The system, which is still in the pilot stages, will give wounded warrior programs increased transparency and faster processing. Officials hope to expand the DES to six new sites by the end of February.

Recovery Care Plan
As part of a new Recovery Care Plan (RCP), Recovery Care Coordinators, or RCCs, will be hired and trained by the DoD and wounded warrior programs to assist in service member transition. The RCCs will work to meet the non-medical needs of service members, and also partner with commanders to make sure the RCP is completed and implemented. Policy regarding the RCCs and RCP was signed in December of last year and should make these services available to Guard and Reserve service members later in 2010.

Transition Assistance Program
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) connects transitioning service members with counselors, provides benefit briefings, and employment workshops. The WWCTP and other warrior programs are currently working to modernize the TAP. The Web site for TAP resources is TurboTAP.org.

“Referring a warrior or a family member of a wounded warrior to a Web site may seem impersonal, but we offer a list of great resources that are only a click away. It really does help get the information out there,” said McClellan.

National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory is an online resource for wounded warriors, their families, and those who support them. The DoD teamed with the Department of Labor, and the VA so that the National Resource Directory provides links to thousands of services and available resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration.

Renuart Discusses Haiti Support, Olympic Aid

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 29, 2010 - The commander of U.S. Northern Command discussed Northcom's support for the earthquake relief effort in Haiti and the upcoming Winter Olympics in Canada during an interview this week.

Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. said Northcom offered personnel skilled in disaster remediation to U.S. Southern Command as soon as news of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti reached the United States.

"Our components practice and train and are certified in the functions that are necessary for large-scale disaster response," he said during a Jan. 27 interview with the Pentagon Channel, noting that Northcom personnel are now assisting Southcom in Miami and in Haiti. "While they are trained to focus that in the homeland, it is very easy for them, because of the interagency nature of our team, to plug in anywhere."

Renuart also commands the binational North American Aerospace Defense Command, which, like Northcom, is based at Colorado Springs, Colo. The United States and Canada, he said, are cooperating in the effort to provide security for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, next month.

"Our role is to be a great partner, friend and neighbor to Canada," he said. "The Canadians have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world what a great sporting environment they have in the west."

The Canadians do not want an overwhelming security presence, the general said. "We want it to be a sporting event that is secure, not a security event where there are athletes," he explained. NORAD will help with coordinating airspace use. "We want to make sure the airspace is safe, secure and controlled, so NORAD will have a role to monitor that space," Renuart said. "We'll have Canadian fighters north of the border and U.S. fighters south, and if needed, they can respond to an event that you are uncertain of."

Scrambling fighters gives commanders a set of eyes on a situation, and often is a prudent step, the general said.

Northcom will stand by to be of assistance to Canada Command in the event of a contingency. "We have been asked by the Canadian government to provide some key enablers to be available to them," he said. "We can deploy those if necessary."

But Renuart's missions go beyond disaster response and airspace. They also include air and space warning and maritime tracking.

Also, he said, Northcom has a homeland defense mission in operating the missile defense system, and it provides support to civilian law enforcement and other government agencies.

Northcom has had an interagency focus from the start, Renuart noted. Most of the general and flag officers at the headquarters, for example, are National Guard or reserve-component members.

"Our coalition is about 120 strong, and we count in that nations like Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas, but also the states," Renuart said.

Fifty-two different federal and state agencies work in the headquarters alongside the command's military members. This is important inside the United States, the general explained, because each organization has different authorities.

"None of us are in charge of any one event by ourselves, and we all have to work together to be successful," he said. "It really is a very complex environment."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Soldier Missing in Action from Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial.

Army Specialist Lawrence L. Aldrich will be buried in his home town of Fort Worth, Texas tomorrow.

On May 6, 1968, Aldrich was a member of a search-and-clear mission in Binh Dinh Province in what was then South Vietnam. He was last seen with two other Americans engaged in a battle with enemy forces while manning a M-60 machine gun position. An air strike was called in, but one of the bombs inadvertently landed on Aldrich's position, killing the three soldiers. Members of his unit later recovered the remains of the two other men, but Aldrich could not be found.

In July 1992, a joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam team traveled to the province to investigate the loss. They interviewed a local citizen who remembered a large ground battle in the area in May or June 1968. He took the team to a location where he indicated the remains were buried, but an excavation in 1994 found no evidence of a grave or remains.

Vietnamese officials unilaterally investigated the case in 2006 and interviewed two villagers who recalled finding a body of an American after the battle and burying it where it lay. A second joint investigation in 2007, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, recommended another excavation based on the information provided by the Vietnamese.

The excavation in March 2009 unearthed human remains and other non-biological evidence. The identification of the remains was confirmed by matching the remains with Aldrich's dental records.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.

MILITARY CONTRACTS January 29, 2010

AIR FORCE

Lockheed Martin Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded an $85,400,000 contract which will modify the spacecraft integration and test contract for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program to include tasks associated with revising the launch dates for Flight 19 and Flight 20 and rephrasing of the contract consistent with the revised launch dates. At this time, no money has been obligated. SMSC/DMSP, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-02-C-0003, P00157).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., was awarded a $78,727,830 contract which will exercise Option Periods 4 and 5 to purchase initial spares for new and existing base requirements; readiness spares packages; consumable readiness spares packages; support equipment for inventory control point; support equipment for existing bases; program and management data; technical and engineering data; engineering drawings; financial management data; logistics support data; technical manual contract requirement; reliability and maintenance program; engineering support services on and off-site; defensive system support service on-off-site; technical manual page development Category I illustrated parts books; and flight manual replacement page. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 657 SESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-06-C-6456).

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., was awarded a $32,658,504 contract which will provide consoles for integration on the MC-130W aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 667AESS/SYKA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8629-09-C-2445).

Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $23,684,516 contract which will replace obsolete parts within the guidance section data processor module and modify the supporting missile hardware and software architecture as required to continue production of the existing missile systems. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8675-09-C-0052, P00011).

Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $21,000,000 contract which will provide a change order to the Wideband Global Satellite Communications to integrate, test, and store the 1.5 ship-sets of xenon-ion propulsion systems hardware procured. At this time, $14,000,000 has been obligated. MCSW/PKW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8808-06-C-0001,P00070).

JGB Enterprises, Inc., Liverpool, N.Y., was awarded a $10,357,818 contract which will provide for the basic expeditionary airfield resourceswater distribution system which draws water from a natural source, and purifies, stores and delivers the water while maintaining sufficient water pressure, quantity and quality for an entire forward-deployed base in austere locations. At this time, no money has been obligated. 642 CBSG/GBKBB, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8533-10-D-0006).

Kachemak Research Development, Inc., Logan, Utah, was awarded a $9,774,048 contract which will provide for robotics research in support of AutoScan 31G for robotic perimeter security applications. At this time, $5,000 has been obligated. 325 CONS/LGCB, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA4819-10-C-0009).

Thales-Raytheon Systems, Fullerton, Calif., was awarded an $8,013,209 contract which will provide interim contract support for the battle control system-fixed program. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 850 ELSG/PK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8722-10-C-0001).

General Dynamics System Development and Integration Services, Inc., Fairfax, Va., was awarded a $7,428,767 contract which will provide the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System program office with the following integration support: systems engineering, integrated scheduling, network infrastructure modernization, configuration management, site activation, baseline management support, and field integration support. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 950 ELSG/KG, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-01-C-0047, P00089).

NAVY

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $75,979,777 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide sustaining engineering services, integrated logistics management services, configuration management services, and incidental materials in support of the T/AV-8B Harrier program. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in November 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $8,912,427 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-D-0002).

Chugach World Services, Inc.*, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a $23,542,485 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N40192-09-D-9000) to exercise the first option period to perform housing operations and maintenance and change of occupancy maintenance services in the U.S Territory of Guam for the Commander, Naval Forces Marianas. The work to be performed provides for management and housing operations to maintain and repair family housing units, bachelor housing units, Navy Gateway Inns and Suites (NGIS); and provide any services, maintenance, and change of occupancy maintenance in both vacant and occupied family housing units, bachelor housing units, and NGIS units. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $130,657,546. Work will be performed at various naval housing areas on Guam, and work is expected to be completed Jan. 31, 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas, Guam, is the contracting activity.

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $16,523,267 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) to conduct studies and analyses for the acoustic processor technology refresh and capability analysis planning effort for the P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft. Work will be performed in Anaheim, Calif. (83 percent), and Seattle, Wash. (17 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity.

Eastern GCR, LLC*, Pinehurst, N.C., is being awarded a $10,351,322 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N40080-05-D-3002) to exercise Option 4 for small business base operating support services at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Webster Outlying Field, and Solomons Recreation Center. The work to be performed provides for services including custodial services, pest control services, grounds maintenance, street sweeping, snow removal, and transportation. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $45,556,148. Work will be performed at Patuxent River, Md.; St. Inigoes, Md.; and Solomons, Md. Expect work to be completed by January 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

BMT Syntek Technologies, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $9,924,836 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development activities associated with advanced power systems and analysis. BMT Syntek will support the research and development of various alternative technologies associated with advanced power system management and analysis as part of the development of the Next Generation Integrated Power System (NGIPS). BMT Syntek will also perform system-level performance analyses of NGIPS architectures and their associated components and shall analyze the impact of the projected performance on ship mission equipment and performance. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va. (60 percent), and Severna Park, Md. (40 percent), and is expected to be completed by January 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Broad Agency Announcement; 24 proposals were solicited and 22 awards have been made. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-4212).

ARMY

Rapiscan Systems Inc., Torrance, Calif., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $25,162,861 firm-fixed-price contract for the non-intrusive inspection systems-fixed, rail and mobile. Work is to be performed in Baghdad, Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. Joint Contracting Command- Iraq/Afghanistan, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GY0-10-C-0005).

M.R. Pittman Group, LLC, Harahan, La., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $19,565,240 construction firm-fixed-price contract for the Bayou Segnette Pumping Station Nos. 1 and 2, fronting protection and modifications, in Jefferson Parish, La. Work is to be performed in Jefferson Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of July 5, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0040).

BAE Systems, Inc., York, Pa., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $15,696,037 firm-fixed-price contract for the quantity of 620 automatic fire extinguishing systems kits for the Bradley which is a component of the Bradley urban survivability kit. Work is to be performed in York, Pa., with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center CCTA-AHLA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-G-0005).

Cajun Constructors, Inc., Baton Rouge, La., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $14,512,548 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a continuous line of hurricane flood protection across the discharge basin at Belle Chasse No. 2 Pumping Station on the east side of the Algiers Canal. Work is to be performed in Plaquemines Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of May 28, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0039).

Walton Construction, Inc., Harahan, La., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $13,632,740 firm-fixed-price contract to construct a vehicle recovery course to include eight miles of paved tank rail, general instruction building and class rooms at 2,215 square feet, vehicle maintenance instructional building at 3,300 square foot, mire training stations, field training exercise training site, low water crossing, and organizational vehicle parking. Work is to be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 12, 2011. Four bids were solicited with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-D-0016).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Jan. 26, 2010, a $13,046,030 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of one SHADOW unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the U.S. Marine Corp. The SHADOW UAS provides flexible and responsive near real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition; battle damage assessment; and battle management support to Army ground maneuver commanders. Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0023).

Venegas Engineering Management and Construction, El Paso, Texas, was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $9,399,782 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of the Fort Bliss brigade staging area complex in El Paso, Texas. This project includes repairing War Road and intersections/curves/turning lanes at Dona Ana Base Camp and the repair/resurfacing of the roadway and shoulders. Work is to be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 25, 2011. Bids were solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with eight bids received. U.S. Army Engineering District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-10-C-0002).

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc, Columbia, Md., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $7,028,034 firm-fixed-price contract for the theater provided equipment refurbishment of 140 family of medium tactical vehicles. Work is to be performed in Kuwait with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2010. Bids were posted on the World Wide Web with four bids received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, CCTA-ATB-D, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-0136).

Eagle Rock Underground, LLC, Phoenix, Ariz., was awarded on Jan. 25, 2010, a $5,604,221 firm-fixed-price contract to expand ambulatory care at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Cheyenne, Wyo. Work is to be performed in Cheyenne, Wyo., with an estimated completion date of July 28, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 16 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0008).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Aloha Petroleum, Ltd.*, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a minimum $7,505,293 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are throughout Hawaii. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The proposal was originally Web solicited with eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2012. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-1252).

Woodward FST, Inc., Zeeland, Mich., is being awarded a maximum $5,864,700 firm-fixed-price contract for injector assembly. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There were originally two proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 30, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency, Oklahoma City, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (SPRSTA1-10-C-0032).

Kentucky Airmen move relief supplies through Dominican Republic


By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau

(1/28/10) - As relief supplies and support continue to pour into Haiti, the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Operations Group has been one of the key elements that has helped to ensure a steady flow of supplies and equipment into the areas that need them. Operating out of Barahona, Dominican Republic, the unit has set up an airfield to alleviate some of backed-up air traffic bound for the overwhelmed Port-au-Prince airport.

By doing that, the unit has been able to oversee the safe movement of cargo into the airfield where it is then moved by flatbed trucks across the border and into Haiti, said Air Force Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht, public affairs officer for the Kentucky National Guard, who is with the unit in Barahona.

“So far we have moved approximately 575 tons of supplies, medical equipment, actual live donor organs and plasma into the Haitian area,” said Hilbrecht.

The unit has also assisted with getting supplies off of U.S. Navy vessels docked at nearby ports.

“We have helped facilitate the movement of (equipment from) some of the Navy’s roll-on roll-off equipment that has come through,” said Hilbrecht. “There has been a lot of hospital equipment that is required at some of the facilities and clinics deep into Haiti. We’re working in tandem with the port to ensure that all supplies get out as fast as they can to where they need to go.”

That means consolidating convoys from both the sea and airport.

“We’re working together to create one big convoy that our team of security forces are escorting across the border,” said Hilbrecht.

When the unit first arrived, the airfield required some setting up before planes could land.

“The airport has been closed for 12 years … we had it opened up and we are now running 24-hour operations,” said Hilbrecht, adding that even after re-opening it was initially closed to night operations because of a lack of runway lights.

Prior to the arrival of the 123rd COG, an assessment of the airfield was done by personnel from U.S. Southern Command and Air Mobility Command to ensure it was suitable for the types of aircraft that would be sent in.

“That assessment was made and that ensured that the tarmac or the runway was able to sustain the heavy aircraft as they landed, that the runway was long enough and the ramp where we are actually off-loading the equipment was wide enough to do our job,” said Hilbrecht.

Within two hours of arriving, the unit had in-bound aircraft landing at the airfield, he said.

“Once we got here, we were able to quickly off-load our generators,” he said. “We came in with three trucks and we were able to take out all the equipment we needed to and set up night time operations.

“From there, we set up communications with the tower to ensure we knew who was coming in, and then we had all our ramp operators and heavy lifters ready for the first planes that came in two hours after we arrived.”

The size and scale of the aircraft that have been landing—mainly C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules—took many who live in the area by surprise.

“At any given time, we could have two C-17 aircraft on the ramp,” said Hilbrecht. “It has definitely brought a lot of the townspeople out as they were not anticipating that large of an aircraft ever on this airfield.”

The ability to land a large aircraft in the Dominican Republic has made a difference in getting supplies to Haiti.

“I know we’re making a big difference, specifically when it comes to giving the flow and the dissemination of the much-needed material into the country,” said Hilbrecht.

The location of the airport, roughly 30 miles east of the Haitian border, has allowed cargo and relief supplies to be brought into outlying communities that have been affected by the earthquake, but may not be accessible from the Port-au-Prince side.

“The road conditions from the east to the west are not as dire as the roads going from the west to the east,” said Hilbrecht. “Coming in from the east makes a lot more sense because most of those roadways are a lot more operable and traversable. And from there we can get into the areas and clinics that happen to be farther out to the east (from Port-au-Prince) anyway.”

The airport has also had UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard’s Company A, 1st Battalion, 111th General Support Aviation staging for medical evacuation missions.

“There are approximately 20 women and children that came from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard Black Hawks two days ago and those people are right now getting the medical care they need,” said Hilbrecht.

Hilbrecht described conditions at the airfield as austere and said that though he served with the Army in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, what prepared him most for this mission—now called Operation Unified Effort—was responding to state missions in Kentucky.

“We’ve had some natural disasters in Kentucky over the last year or so, to include an ice storm last February that pretty much took out (power to) 700,000 houses and homes,” he said. “The part of it that I was not expecting during a routine ice storm was how desperate people could get. There were some parts of Kentucky where they were really in harm’s way and trying some makeshift ways to heat themselves.”

The roughly 50-person Kentucky contingent is scheduled to remain in place for about 120 days, said Hilbrecht, who added there is nowhere else he’d rather be.

“It’s been one heck-of-a fulfilling operation here,” he said.

Wisconsin agencies comes together to serve state's newest veterans

(1/20/10) - As about 3,200 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers, who deployed with the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, return from Iraq this month, one mission remains - and a team of state agencies are working to give Soldiers the tools they need to complete that mission.

To ensure success on this front, the Wisconsin Service Member Support Division joined forces with the state Department of Workforce Development and the state Department of Veterans Affairs, along with several other agencies, to help returning Soldiers and Airmen understand what rights and benefits they have earned as veterans - in particular, education, employment and health care, and the opportunity to file service-related Veterans Administration disability claims before leaving active duty.

This collaboration is a natural outgrowth for the SMSD, created in 2009 as required by Congress to combine the Badger Yellow Ribbon program, Wisconsin National Guard Family Program Office and the Joint Family Support Assistance Program (JFSAP).

Run by the Wisconsin National Guard, the SMSD offers help previously available through a variety of programs through one office to families and employers of service members from all components, both active duty and reserve.

Jeffrey Unger, the transition assistance advisor for Wisconsin's Department of Military Affairs, said many benefits veterans have earned go unused. Beginning Thursday (Jan. 14), he moderated "Wisconsin Day," a detailed presentation to veterans back in the state less than 24 hours from a deployment to Iraq, acquainting them with their benefits. These briefings are considered crucial for returning service members.

"We want to make sure we introduce veterans to the core programs and services that are basically life-altering," he said.

Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen returning from overseas deployments have been briefed on such benefits in the past, during their demobilization as well as periodic "reintegration" sessions in the year following the end of their active duty tour.

The idea for this type of presentation, Unger explained, was modeled after a similar effort last summer at Fort McCoy for the 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the Washington Army National Guard.

"Reports from unit commanders [are] that this is the way to go," he said.

Mike Hallquist, a representative with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), spoke to 32nd Brigade Soldiers about job security in an uncertain economy.

"Your employer cannot discriminate against you because you served your country," he explained.

Soldiers have a right to return to the same or similar job at the pay rate they would have received had they not deployed, Hallquist said, and if they have been released due to downsizing at their job, they have a right to know their seniority status with the company to determine if their release would have occurred had they not deployed. These rights are spelled out under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act or USERRA.

Hallquist cautioned Soldiers that they have certain responsibilities, such as providing their employers with adequate notice of their upcoming deployment and returning to work within 90 days following the end of that deployment.

If the Soldier believes he or she has been treated unfairly by their employer, they are obliged to contact their chain of command, and then contact ESGR along with the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS).

If the complaint has merit and ESGR gets involved, "then it's the U.S. government versus your employer," Hallquist said. "You can guess who will win that one."

Ken Grant, a representative from the state Department of Workforce Development, spoke to Soldiers about various workshops offered to help those without jobs reenter the workforce. "In these tough economic times, we want to make sure you're the best prepared job applicant," Grant said. "We'll also do all that we can to help you get the right job skills. We want you to be the best prepared and the best qualified."

Ray Perez, from the state Department of Veterans Affairs, outlined federal and state veterans' benefits available to returning Soldiers. Some of these include the Wisconsin G.I. Bill, veteran education grants, assistance to needy vets, retraining grants, veteran homes and cemeteries, and the "Mission: Welcome Home" program.

"Listen up, guys - you're duly entitled," he said. "You're eligible for these benefits, but more importantly, you've earned them."

Rebecca Boehlke spoke about Military OneSource, which provides a vast array of services to veterans and non-veteran service members alike. These run the gamut from free counseling sessions for family issues, programs for weight loss and stress relief, financial counseling, and free tax preparation with a professional service through Military OneSource.

1st Lt. James Khile, the rear detachment chaplain for the 32nd Brigade, spoke to Soldiers about enrichment programs offered by the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs and administered by the chaplain program. There are programs for marriage enrichment (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, or PREP), single enrichment (Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge, or PICK) and family enrichment. These weekend events are not counseling, but workshops to strengthen relationships and make wise relationship choices.

Jean Bardeen, a military Family Assistance Center representative, spoke about Wisconsin's Service Member Support Division. "If you take nothing else away from today, know that we are the portal for all the agencies here today," she said.

Capt. Mike Brandt, the state behavioral health officer for the Veterans Health Administration, spoke compellingly about post-traumatic stress disorder - what it is, and what it is not.

"What most people come back with is not PTSD, but resiliency," Brandt said. "A war zone is a prime place to build resiliency - opening your mind, doing what is necessary for the mission and the Soldiers around you. And that will serve you well in civilian life."

PTSD, he explained, is first a physical phenomenon, a chemical reaction in the brain that affects how one feels. It is caused by repeated exposure to horrifying events accompanied by adrenaline, he said.

"In a combat zone that can happen on a daily basis," Brandt said. "The brain is not built to handle that amount of adrenaline."

As a result, those with PTSD release adrenaline inappropriately. This can mean reduced problem-solving ability as well as anger-management issues. PTSD also can result in high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel and psoriasis. Early treatment is crucial, he said, as delaying treatment translates into lengthier treatment.

"Every one of you have changed from the war zone - not everyone in a negative way," Brandt said. "Many of you have resiliency.

"The only barrier between you and mental health is you," he continued. "You will get information on where to get help. Don't put it off."

Arctic rescue Pavehawk-style


By Senior Airman Cynthia Spalding
3rd Wing Public Affairs

(11/20/09) - The rescue squadrons here participate in training missions five days a week, day or night and in temperatures often below freezing.

"Our primary rescue mission is to rescue a fighter pilot if he ever had to eject from his aircraft," explained Lt. Col. Rick Watson, an HH-60G Pavehawk evaluator pilot with the 210th Rescue Squadron. "However, because we also belong to the governor of Alaska, our second mission is to provide services to any civil aircraft accident."

Kulis is home to three rescue squadrons. Each supports and relies on the others to carry out their respective missions. The 210th Rescue Squadron fields six HH-60G Pavehawk helicopters, a highly specialized search-and-rescue variant of the more well-known Blackhawk. The 211th Rescue Squadron flies four HC-130 Hercules, a variant of the normal C-130 tactical airlift plane that has been modified for search-and-rescue operations and aerial refueling. Rounding out the trio is the 212th Rescue Squadron, which supplies pararescuemen and combat rescue officers for the missions.

The rescue squadrons remain on alert around the clock, every day of the year. In the course of a typical year, the squadrons conduct about 160 rescue missions. Of these, 75 percent are injury reports and 25 percent are missing person reports.

Before picking up the patient and making the save, most missions start with a phone call for help. The 11th Rescue Coordination Center -- another 176th Wing unit, this one located on Elmendorf Air Force Base -- then makes a call to the search-and-rescue director of operations who organizes the rescue.

Once the decision is made that the Pavehawk is the best rescue platform for the mission, and coordination is made with pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, pilots and aircraft maintainers, then the rescue mission is launched.

The versatility of the Pavehawk allows it to adapt to a wide range of rescue missions, from those involving typical hikers and hunters to those involving civil aircraft accidents.

"Due to our air-refueling capabilities we are called on by other military branches to help out," said Lt. Col. William Sullivan, the chief of standardization/evaluation from Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Headquarters. Located at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, PACAF is the 176th Wing's parent unit.

Sullivan recalled a mission for which the U.S. Coast Guard asked for support because their aircraft could not travel as far out to sea as could the Air Guard's Pavehawks, which completed the mission by refueling in mid-air six times along the way.

The refueling capability also had a major impact on a mission to rescue the crew of the Cougar Ace, a Singaporean freighter that began taking on water south of Adak Island. Traveling more than 1,200 miles from Anchorage down the Aleutian Chain, the search-and-rescue helicopters completed several in-flight refuelings.

The Pavehawk can operate up to an altitude of 14,000 feet without oxygen assistance, and its crews routinely use night vision goggles to extend their mission capabilities to nighttime operations.

The Pavehawk normally carries a six-man crew, comprising two pilots, a gunner, the flight engineer and two pararescuemen. While deployed, Pavehawk crews carry out missions that include helping Army Special Forces who've been injured and cannot continue on with their units.

Overseas rotations usually last three to six months. Rescue crews from Kulis also deploy to assist with search-and-rescue operations in the aftermath of natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

"All of us are in the Air Force for different reasons. For me, it has always been about the job satisfaction of being part of a team that is in some way making a difference," said Sullivan. "Regardless of the nature of the conflict or the situation at hand, participating in both combat and civil rescue missions offers me the sense of fulfillment on a routine basis.

"I feel extremely humbled and honored to have this opportunity to perform this mission with the men and women of the Alaska Air National Guard."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

leadership

Editor's Note: One of the co-authors is prior military.

A recent review of Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style said, "This is without question one of the best books on effective leadership ever written and it is profound and entertaining as one of the most unusual yet best possible analogies is used. Poker is a game that requires a combination of skill and luck, luck in the sense that the cards you receive are randomly selected and skill in the sense that the best hand does not always win. This combination is one that is directly applicable to the situation faced by leaders in that they must play the hand they are dealt. While people in leadership positions can often select the people that work under them, there are many cases where they do not. Of course they generally have little to no influence in selecting the people in other areas that they must work with or the exterior circumstances such as market forces and economic tides. The latter part is the equivalent of the cards that you are dealt, which is important but not the only factor.


Complaining about the cards you have received is a common action and quite healthy, as long as it is not taken too far. Bouncing back and forth between leadership in the workplace and the equivalent situation in a poker game, the authors write some of the best advice for leaders and just generally dealing with life ever put on paper. We are all constantly buffeted by forces and events largely beyond our control, yet the worst thing we can do is to let our complaining and blaming become a dominant force in our lives. Winners in poker examine the cards they are dealt, examine the cards that the other players have exposed, make reasonable estimates regarding the unseen assets of their opponents, examine their current financial stake, look closely at their opponents in an attempt to read any subtle signals in their mannerisms and then take a calculated risk. This is what should be done in the business world. Sometimes the cards simply aren't there yet you bet anyway just to keep the opposition confused. In the business world, this is known as strategic thinking, taking a gamble on an immediate loss with the opportunity for greater benefits in the future. If you don't lose on occasion, you are not pressing the issues as much as you should.

Many books on leadership tend to be correct in their content but dull in their delivery. In this case the content is superb and the delivery is even beyond that, the comparisons between poker and quality leadership are apt, educational and make this book one that should be read, re-read and intellectually digested."

Exercise Prepares Units for Super Bowl

American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - Continental North American Aerospace Defense Command Region officials will run an exercise overnight tonight to allow interagency partners the chance to practice temporary flight restriction violation procedures that will be in effect around Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Feb. 7 for the Super Bowl. Exercise Amalgam Virgo 10 Miami comprises a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Civil Air Patrol, and CONR's Eastern Air Defense Sector.

Residents in the area can expect flights to begin around midnight and continue for about two hours.

"This exercise in Miami is an effective way to ensure all interagency partners are prepared for game day," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, CONR commander. "The exercise will test command and control and execution procedures for air defense for the Super Bowl and other like venues throughout the United States."

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONR's rapid response capability, officials said, noting that exercise flights of this nature have taken place throughout the United States since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Defending America's skies is our No. 1 priority," Dean said. "Whether it's Super Bowl Sunday or any other Sunday, the men and women of CONR are always on alert."

(From a Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region news release.)

Air Guard Controllers Watch Haiti's Skies


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

Jan. 28, 2010 - The recent arrival of Air National Guard air traffic controllers in Haiti has greatly increased the number of flights that are safely entering and leaving the country's air space. "The test of how well we are assisting and helping with the ongoing operation can be found in the numbers," said Scott Duke, chief of the Air National Guard's airfield services division. "Before our presence, the daily count for arrival aircraft was around 90 per day." By yesterday morning, he added, the number of daily operations had jumped to 120.

"That is impressive and when you add the complexity of finding parking spaces for these aircraft on an airport not designed for that many airframes," he said. "You can immediately see the benefit."

Twelve Air Guard air traffic controllers and an airfield operations officer are deployed to Haiti, Duke said, and additional air traffic control assets from the Air Guard are scheduled to arrive within the next few days.

"Once they arrive at the airport, 50 percent of the Air National Guard's air traffic control squadrons will be directly supporting air traffic control operations at the airport," Duke said.

An airfield management team also is scheduled to be sent to the devastated country to help in developing effective parking plans for aircraft, control vehicle traffic and manage flight plans for arriving and departing aircraft, Duke said.

The role of the controllers is more than simply telling pilots when to take off and land, he noted.

"In the case of Port-au-Prince, the capabilities of the air traffic controllers will be on display as they establish landing sequences to the airport, coordinate departure routes, and do all the kinds of things one would see at a typical airport," he said. However, he added, the airport in the Haitian capital isn't a typical airport.

"Obviously, the conditions on the ground at the airport present different challenges to the controller force, as well as our airfield managers, as they both orchestrate the many moving parts of airport operations in a manner that keeps things safe and moving efficiently," Duke said.

The Air Guard controllers are trained and equipped to negotiate those challenges. Many of them, he pointed out, are Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers in their civilian careers. They also have the kind of tactical equipment needed to stand up air traffic control operations at an austere landing environment, or, in the case of Port-Au-Prince ... at an airport that has lost air traffic control capability, he added.

"The Air National Guard comprises 62.5 percent of the Air Force's deployable [air traffic control] mission," Duke said. "The 'embarrassment of riches' we have in our community makes us the logical choice to turn to in time of disaster."

The Air Guard's controllers have plenty of experience running missions after disasters. In 2005, they were sent to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore.

"We deployed our air traffic controllers and mobile control tower to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport [in Mississippi] and began to control traffic while the FAA worked on restoring the fixed control tower," Duke said. "These kinds of missions are exactly why the Air National Guard airfield services mission is so important to not only our wartime requirements, but support of civil authorities in time of need."

In the Katrina effort, the air traffic control squadrons sent to the Gulf Coast arrived with mobile control towers. When they responded in Haiti, they left their own towers at home station and instead are using an FAA mobile tower, which Duke acknowledged has created some challenges.

"This change required our controllers to get up to speed quickly on this new system, while at the same time learning all the local area information about the airport, arrival and departure paths, frequency assignments, and geographical lay of the airport," he said.

The air traffic controllers are scheduled to be in Haiti for up to 180 days, Duke said. Most will do a 90-day tour, and a follow-on group will rotate in for the remaining time.

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

Obama: Spending Freeze Won't Affect National Security

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - Though President Barack Obama announced a three-year discretionary federal spending freeze during his State of the Union Message last night, it won't apply to defense spending. The initiative, to begin next year, won't affect national security programs, the president told a joint session of Congress gathered at the Capitol for the address.

While not revealing specifics about the fiscal 2011 budget request he'll send to Congress on Feb. 1, the president made clear he will ensure warfighters have what they need to succeed. He also emphasized his continuing support for veterans programs.

"Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform – in Iraq, in Afghanistan and around the world -- ... have to know that they have our respect, our gratitude and our full support," he said. "And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home."

First Lady Michelle Obama offered more details about the budget request earlier this week, telling military spouses at Bolling Air Force Base here that it calls for a record $8.8 billion for military family support programs. This represents a 3 percent increase over current funding, she told attendees at the Joint Armed Forces Officers' Wives Club annual luncheon, and provides more money for child care, Department of Defense Education Activity schools and programs for military families and veterans.

It also will include a 1.4 percent basic military pay raise and an average 4.2 percent housing allowance increase.

The president urged Congress last night to brush aside bipartisan differences to address the fundamental values all Americans share. "Throughout our history, no issue has united this country more than our security," he said.

"I know that all of us love this county. All of us are committed to its defense," he said. "Let's reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values. Let's leave behind the fear and division, and do what it takes to defend our nation and forge a more hopeful future – for America and the world."

Obama cited strengthened U.S. partnerships from the Pacific to South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula, and stepped-up efforts he credited with capturing or killing hundreds of extremists, including many of their senior leaders.

The president noted the troop surge under way in Afghanistan to build on this effort, and said he is "absolutely confident we will succeed."

While taking the fight to al-Qaida, the United States will continue the troop drawdown in Iraq, as the Iraqis take security responsibility for their country, he told Congress.

"We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and security," he said. "But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home."

Nurse Finds Healing From Post-traumatic Stress


By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - As a critical care nurse, Air Force Lt. Col. Mary Carlisle's focus always has been on helping others. It wasn't until a harrowing deployment to Iraq that the tables turned, and she became the one in need of aid. Carlisle described her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder and the healing she eventually found at the 2010 Military Health System Conference held at the National Harbor here.

Carlisle, then a major, deployed to the Air Force theater hospital at Balad Air Base in 2007. She worked the night shift, when most of the casualties seemed to come in, she said, and took care of U.S. servicemembers, as well as Iraqi soldiers, women and children.

"I knew from Day 2 that this was going to be stressful -- the combination of heat, sleep deprivation, noise ... [and the] inundation of helicopters coming in one right after another," she said Jan. 26 during an interview at the conference. "And you just knew that they had casualties on them."

The wounds were like nothing the seasoned critical care nurse had ever seen. "These were just horrific," Carlisle said. "People with no arms, no legs, people that by all rights shouldn't even be alive, and they were."

The health care team did everything they could to save each patient, but often all they could do was provide comfort in the inevitability of death, she said.

While they saved many lives, Carlisle said, she could focus only on the lives that were lost. "I thought I failed -- that I didn't do enough," she said.

In the midst of the chaotic everyday pace in Balad, one incident remains a sharp memory, she said. A young Marine had suffered a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and he wasn't expected to survive.

"When you at looked at his young, 20-something-year-old, angelic face, you just thought he was sleeping," she said.

Carlisle gave him pain medication and stayed by his side until he took his last breath. After preparations for his departure, Carlisle, as the highest-ranking officer in the room, called the room to attention as the body was wheeled out, a custom referred to as a Fallen Angel ceremony.

All activity in the bustling intensive care unit came to a halt as every servicemember in the room snapped to attention and saluted until the body left the room.

"That will follow him wherever he goes," Carlisle said, "all the way down to his trip ... when he is removed from the plane at Dover [Air Force Base, Del.]. From the moment of his death, I was the first one to do that. I will always remember that."

After five months at Balad, Carlisle returned to her home station at the Royal Air Force base in Lakenheath, England, as the chief of a family practice clinic and an emergency room. Her staff often asked her questions about her deployment, questions she said she wasn't sure how to answer. She was angry at the world, she said, and that came across in her responses.

"Some things I said, I think, kind of shocked them," she said. "So I stopped talking about it."

Carlisle said she buried her feelings then and continued to do so after she was promoted to her current job as the chief nurse at the Bolling Air Force Base clinic in Washington, D.C. It wasn't until she attended some leadership conferences that her emotions threatened to get the best of her. At the conferences, videos were played showing the Balad hospital, and Carlisle immediately recognized the scenes.

"They were from my deployment," she said. "It just brought everything back, all of those emotions back."

Carlisle revealed her overwhelming stress, anger and depression to her friends, and they encouraged her to get help. She self-referred to behavioral health and finally faced the emotions she'd been squelching for so long.

Her counselor helped her to re-experience her deployment and to find the healing she so desperately needed. Even as she healed, ever the caregiver, Carlisle discovered a desire to help others battling the same issues.

She reached out to the Real Warriors campaign, which features stories of servicemembers who have sought treatment and continue to maintain successful military or civilian careers. This initiative, launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is aimed at combating the stigma associated with seeking psychological health care and treatment, according to the Real Warriors Web site.

Her video profile now is featured on the site, she said, and she has no regrets about going public with her story.

"I hope this inspires others to go and get treatment, and at the same time, inspires their leaders, their supervisors, to look them in the eye and really say, 'Are you OK?'"

Carlisle next is headed to a squadron commander job at Misawa Air Base, Japan. She's ready for the new position and for the other more difficult challenges that may lie ahead, she said.

"I feel so good now -- content, relieved and at peace," she said. "And I'm ready to deploy again."

TRICARE Leader Explains Plans for the Future

January 28, 2010 - To balance increasingly complex responsibilities at home and overseas the Military Health System has adopted the Quadruple Aim model of care, Rear Adm. Christine Hunter, deputy director of the TRICARE Management Activity, told a standing-room only crowd of military medical leaders Thursday. The Quadruple Aim, she explained, supports readiness, population health, a positive patient experience and responsible management of health care costs.

During the 2010 Military Health System (MHS) conference, key speakers described the scope and complexity of military medical operations and the TRICARE program. The MHS is becoming increasingly complex, Hunter said, and must create a learning culture to develop the next generation of leaders ready to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. MHS leaders, she said, are adopting a learning culture to share knowledge.

The MHS is responsible for the care of 9.6 million people. In a single week, 1.6 million outpatients are seen, 2.48 million prescriptions are filled and 3.5 million claims are paid. Hunter congratulated all of the providers who’ve supported the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti while they handled TRICARE’s regular workload.

“Active, reserve, civilian and network partners came together immediately in an inspiring demonstration of teamwork,” Hunter said of the effort.

Hunter discussed the Quadruple Aim, which she began implementing in July 2009 soon after her arrival at TMA, explaining how it is designed to help achieve near-term goals and guide long-range planning.

“The MHS has been successful in achieving three parts of the quadruple aim – readiness, population health and cost management,” Hunter said.

Ending her speech, Hunter impressed upon the more than 3,000 MHS professionals in attendance the importance of their jobs, and urged them to continue the great work they do. She closed by emphasizing how attendees can help achieve MHS goals by promoting individual and family readiness, a healthy population, positive patient experiences and responsible management of health care costs.

“You personally can help us achieve the Quadruple Aim,” Hunter said “by ensuring that patients with an acute minor condition contact their primary care manager or visit an urgent care center rather than the emergency room, transfer brand name prescriptions from retail pharmacy to home delivery and that patients get the right information the next time they interact with us.”

Military Families Get Free Access to Caregiver Network

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - Military families now have free access to an online network of quality caregivers who can assist with everything from babysitting to dog walking.

Sittercity is the nation's largest online source for local babysitters, nannies, elder care providers, dog walkers, housekeepers and tutors, and contains more than a million caregiver profiles, officials said.

Military members and their families can activate their membership by going to http://www.sittercity.com/dod.

The Sittercity Corporate Program, funded by the Defense Department, offers military families -- including active duty, Guard and Reserve -- with a paid membership to the site.

"We believe that access to Sittercity's nationwide network of quality care providers will be highly beneficial to our servicemembers and their families," said Tommy T. Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy.

The paid membership enables military families entry to a custom-built Defense Department Web site portal where they can match up caregivers to their situation; gain instant access to caregiver profiles that include background checks, references and reviews; and find military-certified care providers as well as caregivers who are military-subsidized and authorized access to a military installation.

The site will help meet the unique needs of military families as they face deployments, long hours at work and assignments to remote locations, Thomas said.

"Because of the mobile nature of military life, trusted community resources are often difficult to identify and locate," he acknowledged. "These online tools will help service and family members attain the best match between resource and need."

Thomas said servicemembers and their families can rest assured that they're being provided with top-notch care. The site "links military family members with somebody that the Department of Defense says, 'We've entrusted you to provide this service to our people,'" Thomas said.

"If that military member is out on the front line knowing that the family back home has a sense of ease and comfort, life is good for everybody," he added.

While the membership is free, servicemembers will be responsible for the hiring and payment of caregivers, officials said.

Military members and their families can activate their membership by going to http://www.sittercity.com/dod

Joint Task Force Organizes Haitian Airport

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - When a disaster strikes, people assume it should be easy to get relief supplies in. But it's not always a simple proposition. Can the airport's runway support the weight of cargo aircraft? What is the security situation like? What equipment does the airport have for unloading and loading? How many people and the means to support and supply them will be needed?

All of these questions and more are in the realm of Joint Task Force Port Opening at Toussaint L'Overture International Airport here. The unit, operating under U.S. Transportation Command, opened the airport after the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Haiti Jan. 12 and has been responsible for operations on the airport's ramp since then.

The task force contains the Air Force's 621st Contingency Response Group, from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and the Army's 688th Transportation Detachment for rapid port opening from Fort Eustis, Va.

The disaster in Haiti marks the first time "the whole enchilada" has been used in an operation, said Air Force Col. Patrick Hollrah, the task force commander.

"Something of this magnitude takes the whole team to make it happen," he said during a recent interview. "This is, unfortunately, what we were made to do. It is our job to respond to these."

The unit was the second one on the ground after the Air Force Special Operations Command team. "[The special operations team] brought a special tactics team with them that was restoring order and starting to control the airflow in," Hollrah said. "There were literally airplanes parked everywhere."

The terminal building, while still standing, has cracks all through it and cannot be used.

Aircraft parked where they could and crews improvised the unloading process. That caused confusion beyond belief, the colonel said. Relief supplies got intermixed and trucks drove straight down the ramp to load supplies.

"We started working in tandem [with the Air Force special operations team] to get airplanes unloaded so they could get off the ramp to clear off parking spaces so more airplanes could come in," Hollrah said.

It was a short time from order to execution, so the team surveyed the area on the flight down to Haiti and had an idea of how they wanted to set up the unit.

"The biggest challenge was the volume of air traffic, volume of vehicles and the volume of people on an airport ramp," he said. "Anywhere else, a ramp is a restricted area. Not here."

The unit is trying to get control of the safety and distribution parts of the equation, but it is slow going. "Eventually, we'll get back to a point that improves safety and allows the traffic to flow where it needs to when it needs to," Hollrah said. "It will also make the unloading and distribution process faster."

Aerial port airmen unload the aircraft and move the goods off the ramp. Army vehicles take the goods and move them to a forward distribution node, about a mile away. "This opens up the ramp space and stops having trucks drive right on the ramp to pick up supplies," said Army Maj. Vicky Snow, the 688th commander.

The soldiers stack the goods and, using rough-terrain forklifts, load trucks from governmental and nongovernmental agencies. By far, the most goods in the supply yard belong to the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is responsible for picking up the relief supplies and distributing them. That process is moving smoothly.

Nongovernmental agencies also pick up their goods at the yard, and this can be more of a problem. In one case, someone donated a plane to airlift supplies to the effort, and several organizations placed goods aboard it without tracking numbers, or even labels.

"Separating these out and ensuring they go to who they belong to can cause problems," Snow said. "In other cases, they don't have the right trucks to load with a forklift, so we have to break down the palettes and load [the vehicles] by hand. This takes time."

These are small units. "We have all our people cross-trained, and everybody pitches in to ensure the mission gets done," Hollrah said. "We're a bridging force that can come in quickly to get the process started. Then we turn the responsibility over to government or non-governmental agencies."

The unit not only handles supplies coming in, but also helps the State Department with refugees getting out.

"We have a high-volume evacuation of American citizens," said Air Force Maj. Matt Jones, the task force's operations officer. "We've been averaging 1,200 American citizens per day that have been getting on U.S. military and commercial aircraft and getting back home."

Before the earthquake, the airport saw 30 flights on a busy day, and those were mostly during daylight. At its peak, since the disaster, the airport received 120 flights per day 24 hours a day. The most recent statistics show the airport has handled at least 12 million pounds of relief supplies, and this does not count critical supplies that medical and relief personnel brought with them.

The joint task force will continue until its services are no longer needed, Hollrah said, or until the mission is taken over by other organizations.

Obama Stresses Arms Control Cooperation

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - Calling the threat of nuclear weapons "perhaps the greatest danger to the American people," President Barack Obama last night stressed the importance of non-proliferation initiatives to keep terrorists and rogue nations from acquiring them. The president also emphasized the need to keep international pressure on North Korea and Iran so they abandon their nuclear weapons programs.

"I've embraced the vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan through a strategy that reverses the spread of these weapons and seeks a world without them," Obama said during his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

He noted the upcoming Global Nuclear Security Summit, part of the three-part strategy he laid out last year to address nuclear weapons threats facing the United States. That strategy includes reducing and eventually eliminating existing arsenals, keeping additional states from acquiring nuclear weapons and preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons or the materials used to produce them.

"At April's nuclear security summit, we will bring 44 nations together here in Washington, D.C., behind a clear goal: securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists," Obama said last night, drawing extended applause.

Meanwhile, the president pointed to diplomatic efforts he said have "strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of these weapons."

Both North Korea and Iran are feeling the impact of this international pressure, Obama said. "That's why North Korea now faces increased isolation, and stronger sanctions – sanctions that are being vigorously enforced. That's why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated," he said.

"And as Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences," he warned.

Obama noted negotiations under way between the United States and Russia to reduce both countries' nuclear weapons stockpiles and launchers while enduring deterrence.

An agreement that would succeed the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expired last month, would represent "the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades," the president said.

Haiti's Seaport Capacity Increases, Fraser Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - Conditions in earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continue to improve day by day, but a tremendous need still exists, the commander of U.S. Southern Command said today. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser also said U.S. military personnel have opened a seaport that is bringing in about 200 containers a day, and that he expects that capacity to more than double in the weeks ahead.

Southcom is in charge of the U.S. military's humanitarian response effort in Haiti.

The United States now has more than 20,000 servicemembers in and around Haiti; 6,000 on the ground and the rest on vessels offshore, Fraser said.

"But those numbers only reflect those men and women who are actually in the theater," Fraser added during a video teleconference from his headquarters in Miami. "There's a lot of effort that's happening within Transportation Command and across the Department of Defense to support these efforts that are external to the theater."

Twenty-three ships, more than 60 helicopters and more than 30 fixed-wing aircraft are in the area, the general said. Meanwhile, he said, demand for ramp space at Toussaint L'Overture International Airport at Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, has started to recede.

"The demand is now down about 20 percent from what it was," Fraser said. "So we're supporting roughly a hundred flights a day into the airport and another 80 to 100 helicopter flights operating in and out of there as we go along."

The seaport in Port-au-Prince sustained tremendous damage in the original Jan. 12 earthquake, and more in the aftershocks that still continue. "The port is operating and has a roughly 200-container-a-day capacity going through it," Fraser said.

One pier that the command was going to use sustained more damage and is now unusable, Fraser reported. "So we're expanding into some of the other ports right there in the Port-au-Prince area to see what we can do there," he said.

Medical treatment continues to be a U.S. priority. Medical personnel aboard the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship based in Baltimore, have seen more than 3,000 patients since it has arrived. Crews on other ships – the aircraft carrier USS Vinson, and amphibious ships USS Bataan and USS Nassau -- also treat a significant number of patients.

Yet, more hospital space is needed, the general said.

"One of the things we're working to improve is the capacity for patients to recover," Fraser said. "We don't have enough capacity, with the hospitals being full, and so the joint task force is actively working to establish that facility."

That hospital facility will house between 3,000 and 5,000 patients and will be built on 40 acres of land in Port-au-Prince.

The 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team and the 22nd and 24th Marine expeditionary units continue operations in their respective areas in Haiti. American forces have distributed almost 2 million bottles of water, and about 1.5 million rations. The command also has distributed 43,000 hand-cranked radios that can charge cell phones and supply a light in addition to letting Haitians tune in their favorite stations for news.

Coordination among U.S. government agencies, the United Nations effort and nongovernmental organizations continues to improve, the general said.

"The World Food Program will start a pretty big distribution effort here, which we will help support, in the next day," Fraser said.

Opening the seaport will be key to the relief effort. Planes are important in getting aid quickly to an affected area, but ships carry the tonnage that alleviates a disaster. The command is working with U.S. Transportation Command officials to get the seaports up and working again.

"The containers that we are bringing in right now are from an over-the-shore capability, both a military capability as well as a commercially provided capability," Fraser said. That's about 200 containers a day now.

"Next week, we will bring in some additional joint logistics over-the-shore capability that will increase that capacity to 500 containers a day," he said. In the middle of next month, the command will bring in additional military capacity for joint logistics over-the-shore that will increase that to about 800 containers per day.

The command continues to repair the south pier that was damaged in the most recent aftershock. Fraser estimated the repair will take eight to 10 weeks. The joint, over-the-shore capability will bridge the gap until the repairs to the regular piers are completed, he said.