Thursday, January 28, 2010


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

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

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.

Former Army Staff Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering

January 28, 2010 - A former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army pleaded guilty today to a one-count criminal information charging her with money laundering arising from a scheme involving the fraudulent awarding and administration of U.S. government contracts in Iraq, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Theresa Russell, 40, of Pleasanton, Texas, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Antonio. According to court documents, from January 2004 through October 2004, Russell was deployed to Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda, a U.S. military installation near Balad, Iraq. As part of the plea, Russell admitted that from April 2004 to February 2005, she received more than $30,000 in cash from John Rivard, a former major in the U.S. Army Reserves. Russell admitted that she knew the money she received from Rivard was the proceeds of bribery.

In July 2007, Rivard pleaded guilty to bribery, among other offenses, in connection with his service as an Army contracting officer at LSA Anaconda. According to court documents, from April 2004 to August 2005, Rivard conspired with a government contractor to steer federally-funded contracts to the contractor’s company in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit bribe payments.

According to court documents, Rivard instructed Russell to divide the payments she received from him into several smaller monetary bank deposits, which she admitted she did, in an effort to avoid the detection of law enforcement authorities. Russell admitted that she subsequently used the criminal proceeds to purchase, among other things, a car, cosmetic surgery, and household furnishings and goods.

The maximum penalty for the money laundering charge is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release following the prison term. Sentencing is scheduled for May 21, 2010.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Daniel A. Petalas and Justin V. Shur of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, as well as Trial Attorney Ann C. Brickley. This case is being investigated by Army Criminal Investigation Command; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the FBI; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Kentucky Airmen Move Supplies Through Dominican Republic

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

Jan. 28, 2010 - 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 help into the areas that need it. Operating out of Barahona, Dominican Republic, the unit has set up an airfield to provide an alternative for air traffic bound for Haiti's overwhelmed Port-au-Prince airport.

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.

"So far we have moved approximately 575 tons of supplies, medical equipment, actual live donor organs and plasma into the Haitian area," said Hilbrecht, who's with the 123rd in Barahona.

The unit also has 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," Hilbrecht said. "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 seaport and the airport. "We're working together to create one big convoy that our team of security forces are escorting across the border," Hilbrecht said.

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," Hilbrecht said, adding that even after reopening, it initially was closed to night operations because of a lack of runway lights.

Before the 123rd COG arrived, personnel from U.S. Southern Command and Air Mobility Command assessed the airfield to ensure it was suitable for the types of aircraft that would be sent in.

"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," Hilbrecht explained.

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

"Once we got here, we were able to quickly off-load our generators," Hilbrecht said. "We came in with three trucks, and we were able to take out all the equipment we needed to and set up nighttime 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 IIIs and C-130 Hercules — took many who live in the area by surprise, Hilbrecht said.

"It has definitely brought a lot of the townspeople out, as they were not anticipating that large of an aircraft ever on this airfield," he said.

The ability to land 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," Hilbrecht said.

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," Hilbrecht said. "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 also has welcomed 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," Hilbrecht said.

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.

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

U.S. Navy Ship's Team Describes Haiti Aid Efforts

By Judith Snyderman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 28, 2010 - On Jan. 14, two days after a magnitude 7 earthquake shook Haiti, an international team of naval officers and associated partners was on board the USS Gunston Hall in Norfolk, Va.

The ship was fully loaded with food for a maritime security exercise in sub-Saharan Africa when Navy Capt. Cynthia Thebaud, commander of Destroyer Squadron 60, received a call to head to Haiti.

"I don't think you could find a ship that has a better composition of people and things on board for this type of mission," Thebaud said during a Jan. 27 "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable.

Among the European and African partners on board the ship and taking part in the roundtable chat were Nigerian Navy Capt. Jimi Osinowo, Ghana Navy Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Ayelezono, Italian Navy Lt. Cmdr. Marco Campasso, U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tim Labenz and Senegal Navy Lt. Assane Seye.

The Haitian people, still in shock from the devastation caused by the earthquake, were reassured in seeing people of similar culture and background involved in the relief mission, Thebaud said.

"Language played a very important role in our contribution here, Ayelezono added. "Most of our crew can speak French - particularly [useful in dealing] with the local community. And they felt very confident in relating with us, and it proved very helpful."

For example, immediately after Gunston Hall's arrival at Haiti's Killick coast guard base on Jan. 18, the whole crew pitched-in to turn a rubble-strewn soccer field into an impromptu helicopter landing zone for a Honduran medical evacuation team. Meanwhile, Ayelezono was able to collect information to document the identities of some 400 patients in need of critical care before they were separated from family and flown away.

The team provided other support in concert with the U.S. and Haiti coast guards, United Nations' forces, and Honduran, Sri Lankan, Mexican and nonprofit group representatives, including some from the World Food Program. Thebaud said that $20,000 worth of medical supplies on board for the original mission in Africa enhanced treatment provided by first responders on the scene.

And, she said, the logistical know-how of her staff helped to unite the many ad hoc officials and local volunteers into an organized and effective relief group.

"If somebody comes in and is initially assessed on the level of treatment they need, if it's an emergency surgery case, we would get them straight in to see the doctors right away," Thebaud said. "If it was initial triage, if they needed a greater medical assessment, ... we are able to get tents into the base and set up to help keep the patients out of the sun [and] give the patients' families a place to stay."

Thebaud said she has been thoroughly impressed by the cooperative effort by all parties and by the public in need of assistance. Though some media reports have described mob reactions to food distribution, she said she didn't see anything like that.

"I think it's a credit to the Haitian coast guard, the Haitian police, and to the integrated team ashore that we have not had any problems at the gates to the coast guard base," Thebaud said.

In response to a request from the government of Mexico, Thebaud's crew has been offloading food from Mexican ships.

"Almost as quickly as we get things ashore, there are people ready to take them out and distribute them into communities in need of assistance," she said.

Each of the international African Partnership Station members who took part in the roundtable discussion said they had witnessed unforgettable, inspiring moments amid the enormous tragedy in Haiti. In many cases, they said, they saw unexpected help arrive just in time to save lives.

Thebaud added that the name of the U.S. military relief mission in Haiti, Operation Unified Response, is apt.

"So there really is an international team effort all pulling together for one common goal," she said. "This is not business as usual. We are consistently working creatively and pulling out all the stops to figure out how we can best get the job done together."

(Judith Snyderman works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Ellen Embrey Closes 2010 MHS Conference Stressing the Commitment to Care

By David Loebsack

January 28, 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.



Austal USA, Mobile Ala., is being awarded a $204,238,728 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2217) to exercise options for Ships 2 and 3 of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program. The JHSV will provide high speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies, and equipment for the Navy, Marine Corps and Army. Work will be performed in Mobile, Ala., and is expected to be completed by July 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Maritime Helicopter Support Co., Woodbridge, Va., is being awarded an $84,337,927 ceiling price firm-fixed-priced performance based logistics contract for repair of various line items of the H-60 helicopter systems and components. This contract contains options which, if exercised, will bring the not-to-exceed ceiling price of the contract to $306,683,371. Work will be performed by Sikorsky Aircraft Co., Stratford, Conn. (70 percent), and by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego N.Y. (30 percent). Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-09-D-010F).

United Technologies, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $24,674,404 delivery order #0003 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement contract (N00383-07-G-003M) for repair of line items used on the J-52 engine in support of the EA-6B aircraft. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected to be completed by July 2012. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. One company was solicited and one offer was received. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., is being awarded a $23,661,596 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-03-C-2101) for the planning and execution of the USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) post shakedown availability (PSA). Specific efforts include planning efforts, including long lead time material procurement, in preparation to accomplish the maintenance, repair, alterations, testing and other work on USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) during its scheduled PSA. Work will be performed in Groton, Conn., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The supervisor of shipbuilding conversion and repair, Groton, Conn., is the contracting activity.

Dck pacific construction, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a $12,687,000 firm-fixed price contract for construction of box magazines and supporting facilities at Navy Munitions Command, East Asia Division, Detachment Pearl Harbor. The work to be performed provides for the construction of five standard type "C" earth covered box magazines and supporting facilities, which include: access roads; concrete apron; interior lighting and power; exterior security lighting; grounding; building lightning protection; building electrical service; site secondary electrical distribution; and fire hydrants. Special foundation features include excavation of existing subgrade to the coral formation and concrete fill below the invert of the magazine foundation to the coral formation. Work will be performed in West Loch, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site with 12 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62478-10-C-1482).

Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $9,800,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-03-C-5115) for engineering services for DDG 51 class and CG 47 class Aegis combat system installation, integration, test and fleet life cycle engineering support. The required services include program management; operation support; quality assurance; configuration management; ship design integration; firmware maintenance; combat system test and evaluation; Navy furnished material support; special studies; and future-ship integration studies. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. (45 percent); Baltimore, Md. (20 percent); Bath, Maine (12 percent); Pascagoula, Miss. (8 percent); Washington, D.C. (5 percent); Norfolk, Va. (5 percent); Mayport, Fla. (3 percent), Oxnard, Calif. (1 percent); and San Diego, Calif. (1 percent). Work is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded an $8,919,673 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2300) to exercise an option for the accomplishment of the post shakedown availability (PSA) for the DDG 51 class AEGIS destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105). Specific efforts include engineering and management in support of the PSA; labor and procurement of material to correct government responsible deficiencies and accomplish system upgrades; perform specified PSA work items inclusive of tests and post repair sea trials; and task additional manhours and material in order to complete emergent repairs. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

L3 Services, Inc., Mount Laurel, N.J., is being awarded a $7,454,671 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00421-05-C-0009) to exercise an option for engineering and technical services and supplies to design, develop, procure, prototype, modify, integrate, install, test and evaluate, and provide logistics support for telecommunication and related communication-electronic systems. These services are in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Special Communications Requirements Division. The estimated level of effort for this modification is 72,368 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md. (80 percent), and Saint Inigoes, Md. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Dyncorp International, LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $6,745,095 firm-fixed-price contract for continued contractor logistics support for 12 U.S. Navy UC-35C/D aircraft. Work will be performed at Andrews Air Force Base, Clinton, Md. (25 percent); Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Futenma, Japan (25 percent); Naval Air Station, New Orleans, La. (17 percent); MCAS Miramar, Calif. (17 percent); and MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. (16 percent). Work is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $5,415,627 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0027).


Northrop Grumman Information Technology, McLean, Va., was awarded a $46,422,033 contract which will provide for reliability and maintainability information system sustainment and modification which will include all activities associated with planning, controlling, documenting, maintaining and operating the system. At this time, $2,500,000 has been obligated. 554 ELSG/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8770-10-D-0001).

Boeing Co., Wichita, Kan., was awarded a $35,403,359 contract which will provide contractor logistics support for the VC-25A aircraft. At this time, $8,220,600 has been obligated. 727 ACSG/PKB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.,is the contracting activity (FA8106-09-C-0005/P00005).

Northrop Grumman System Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $22,549,365 contract which will develop and deliver a new synthetic aperture radar mode for the Block 20/30 Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite. At this time, $2,068,897 has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (F33657-01-C-4600, P00331).


CORRECTION: The announcement dated Jan. 26, 2010, for Metals USA, (DBA) 1-Solutions Group, Fort Washington, Pa., should have stated that the contract is for customer direct metals deliveries (SPM8EG-09-D-0013).

Guardmembers in three states called out for weather responses

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

(1/22/10) - National Guard members in at least three states were responding today after winter storms crossing the nation brought a multitude of weather warnings, advisories and a state of emergency.

In California, where high surf, floods, landslides and severe winds were reported, National Guard officials reported yesterday the state's joint force headquarters in Sacramento received two mission requests as a result of the heavy rainfall and storms.

Four search and rescue helicopters with hoist capabilities were on standby, including two Air Guard aircraft in the north and two Army Guard aircraft in the south, and six armories were tasked to support evacuations. Sixteen Soldiers and 16 Airmen were called up for state active duty.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office reported Jan. 18 that the California Guard stood "ready to support flood-fighting efforts with personnel and over 20 aircraft if needed" after he ordered civilian and Guard response units on standby.

"We must work together to prepare for and remain safe throughout these storms. I encourage everyone, especially those living around burn areas that have resulted from recent fires, to monitor the latest weather information and follow instructions given by local authorities," said Schwarzenegger in a press release.

The California Emergency Management Agency is on 24-hour standby.

In Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer declared a state of emergency yesterday in response to incoming winter storms. The state's emergency operations center was activated.

State officials predicted snow and rain for Arizona during the next several days. "This precipitation may cause localized flooding in low-lying areas making roads impassable and resulting in flooded washes, creeks and rivers," reported state officials.

As a result, the state's joint force headquarters in Phoenix placed 58 Soldiers on state active duty status in anticipation of various response missions.

In South Dakota, where citizens were bracing themselves for a shellacking of freezing rain, 13 Soldiers were on state active duty in response to the incoming winter storm there.

Gov. Mike Rounds' office urged state residents to "prepare for a winter storm" predicted to "bring significant amounts of freezing rain across much of the state on Friday and Saturday, followed in many areas by six to 12 inches of snow and winds up to 50 mph from Saturday through Monday morning."

"Those conditions will make travel treacherous at best and perhaps impossible for much of the weekend," Tom Dravland, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, said in a state press release. "We are recommending that people with significant medical issues plan to take care of those needs if at all possible before the storm hits during the day on Friday."

Future Army Chaplain Answers Call to Serve

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Alec Scott felt a higher calling at a young age that led him not only down a military path, but down a religious one as well. Scott is studying to be a Catholic priest at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., while also preparing for a career as an Army chaplain.

"I started considering the priesthood in high school," he said. "The more I considered it, the more I was convinced it was where I was being called to serve."

Scott said he also felt a strong draw toward the Army, a result of his family's deep military roots. His father, retired Maj. Gen. Bruce Scott, and grandfathers served in the Army, and his five siblings all followed in their father's military footsteps. Four are serving in the Army and one is in the Air Force.

"The military was a tremendously prominent and formative force in my life since I was a young child," Scott said. "It was really the only lifestyle we ever knew as a family."

Growing up in the military Catholic community, Scott said, he recognized a "desperate need" for chaplains.

"When I first started considering the priesthood, the needs of military Catholics impressed in me a desire to help them as best I could," he said.

Set on his path, Scott applied to study for the priesthood during his senior year at the College of the Holy Cross, which he attended through an Army ROTC scholarship. He was accepted, and after graduation, he applied for an educational delay in military service so he could study at Mount St. Mary's for the Archdiocese of Washington and the Archdiocese for the Military Services. He also is assigned to the Army's Individual Ready Reserve.

"I love everything about the seminary right now, and I do like that the Army has really allowed me to focus on my studies rather than forcing me to live a dual existence, trying to satisfy two different areas of formation," he said.

When stressed with school demands, Scott said, he's thankful that he's not far from his parents' home in Lorton, Va. His military siblings, however, are scattered throughout the world, making it more difficult to have a family get-together.

"During the constant stream of deployments, the time spent with siblings has certainly experienced a decrease," he said. "We were all very close growing up, however, so all the time we spend together is valuable for us."

Regardless, Scott said, he's grateful for his family's close ties to the military.

"It would have been difficult to grow up in the environment and around the people that we did and not feel closely identified with the military," he said. "With it comes a great respect for the Army and a general appreciation for service. The immediacy of the military growing up left an indelible mark on me."

Officials Consider Role in Haiti Beyond Immediate Relief

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - The U.S. government still is figuring out the details of American assistance in Haiti, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today, noting that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and President Barack Obama discussed the issue yesterday. "I think that everybody would say by now that the aid is flowing in a very productive and helpful fashion," Morrell told Pentagon reporters. "But the question now becomes, now that this immediate relief has been provided, what do we want to do from here? What can we do from here?"

Morrell characterized security in Haiti as "stable, but fragile," saying groups displaying unrest are a reflection that aid distribution is an ongoing challenge.

"We have to be mindful of the security climate there," he said. "We have to provide the kind of security that will facilitate a safe, secure flow of food, water, medicine, whatever it may be to the population."

Morrell estimated that U.S. relief efforts to date have cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and said thousands of additional forces are in the pipeline to be sent to Haiti.

"So we envision that there will be a role for the United States military for some time to come in Haiti," he said, adding that the United States is honored to carry out a relief mission in a country it's uniquely positioned to help.

"No one can provide the kinds of assistance we can, and we are happy to be doing it," he said. "It shows the world that obviously we are not a one-dimensional force; we are a force for good and try to provide assistance to those who need it around the world."

U.S. military assistance in Haiti likely is to continue for three to six months before yielding to international and nongovernment groups as they take on greater responsibility for the massive humanitarian relief effort there, the director of Defense Logistics Agency said yesterday.

"I think there's a commitment to continue to provide support and stay engaged until other organizations can take over the role," Navy Vice Adm. Alan Thompson told the Defense Writers Group.

"My sense would be that probably in the three- to six-month time period would be when there would be efforts to try to transition some of the support," the admiral said.

Black Hawk Pilot Aids Soldiers

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - Unlike many of her peers, Army 1st Lt. Kerney Scott, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, didn't grow up dreaming of flight. It wasn't until she learned about the lifesaving impact of flight on soldiers that she shifted gears.

"After my brother, Andy, deployed at the very beginning of the Iraq war, he told stories of how the very best sound he and his soldiers heard during combat was helicopters flying overhead," Scott recalled. "I wanted to provide that relief to soldiers; I wanted to do something that would directly impact the way our soldiers on the ground fight the wars."

And that wasn't all, she admitted. "I thought the idea of flying was really cool," she said. "How can you turn down the opportunity to get paid for flying helicopters?"

Scott chose aviation while she was a student at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. After flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., she was assigned to serve in South Korea for a year. She's now the executive officer of an aviation maintenance company there, as well as a pilot, but it's tough to beat flying, she said.

"It's a very cool job," she added. "I now have a passion for flying helicopters that I've developed since flight school."

Scott cites the need to use "tough love" as the most challenging aspect of her job. It's difficult "not always being the nice guy, because that's often not what my company needs," she said. "It goes against my nature to allow or watch people fail, but that is a valuable form of development in the Army."

Scott may have a challenging job, but she has a larger-than-normal support system back home. Her father, Bruce Scott, is a retired Army major general. Her siblings -- all five of them -- are in the military as well.

"I cannot tell you what a positive experience and leadership experience serving in the military as officers has been for my daughters," her father said. "They are self-confident, focused, and most importantly, responsible citizens of this nation."

Scott credits her parents for the sense of service that led her into the Army.

"My parents ingrained service into our minds and our hearts," she said. "My parents always made the military a positive experience when we were kids. Moving around was always an adventure, and we were involved in all the community and unit activities. I think we all liked the way we grew up and wanted to continue that way of life for ourselves and our children."

Although her job may have its challenges, Scott said, she has no regrets about the path she chose.

"There is a very real bond among servicemembers that is almost impossible to explain," she said. "People work very long hours in tough jobs, not for the money, but for a common purpose for each other. Being in that environment daily is incredibly motivating."

Navy Ships Provide Critical Resources in Haiti

By Ian Graham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - The Navy continues to play a major role in the Defense Department's efforts to help the people of Haiti, a senior naval officer said today. The Navy is providing hospital ships and off-shore sea bases of operation for Marine Corps units working on the ground, and is carrying millions of pounds of food, medical equipment and other supplies to help the Haitian people recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the island nation, Navy Rear Adm. Ted N. Branch, commander of Carrier Strike Group One aboard USS Carl Vinson, told participants in a "DoDLive" blogger's roundtable.

The Navy is a small part of a broad international effort in Haiti, working in conjunction with dozens of non-governmental organizations, international groups and the Haitian government itself, Branch said. Because some of those organizations have worked in Haiti for years on other humanitarian missions, he added, they are familiar with local customs.

"What we're striving to do, and being able to do in many cases, is partner with [other organizations] and let them tell us the best places for relief distribution, the best contacts we need to make in the local community and local government and use their experience to our best advantage," Branch said. "We get them into the process and we keep them in the process [of providing aid and supplies]."

Fostering relationships among the sailors, Marines, civilian aid workers and Haitian population is central to the relief effort, Branch said. Creating an environment the Haitians can uphold when no more aid is needed is one of the primary goals for the Navy and for the operation as a whole, the admiral said.

"Obviously, we're working here as an international team – we're working through the [United Nations] and through the government of Haiti," Branch said. "The objective is to make sure the Haitian people are able to sustain, and the organizations that are helping them in that effort are fully in the mix, and in the lead, as we go forward."

So far, Branch's strike group has performed 1,979 flights, nearly 1,600 of which were mission-related operations, delivering personnel and supplies. Medical evacuations made up 375 of the sorties.

These flights, he said, made up "the bulk of the vertical lift used" in the Navy's effort.

Branch said the Navy as a whole has brought more than a million pounds of cargo to Haiti, including 87,000 gallons of water, nearly 162 tons of food, 345,400 pounds of medical supplies, 75 tons of support equipment and 3,300 people to help in relief efforts.

Branch's group -- which consists of 12 ships deployed to Haiti, including the Carl Vinson Strike Group ships, the Nassau and Bataan Amphibious Ready Groups and the hospital ship USNS Comfort -- is expecting a lengthy deployment. While no estimates have been given regarding the duration of operations in Haiti, it's been made clear by many officials that Operation Unified Response Haiti won't be a quick turnaround.

As long as they're needed, Branch said, his ships will stay there to help.

"We'll continue performing the missions and supporting the functions we've done since we arrived," he said. "In the 12 days we've been here, we've seen a lot of improvement, and we're still making a difference. Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today."

(Ian Graham works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Airman Bucks Family's Army Tradition

American Forces Press Service

Jan. 27, 2010 - When Capt. Karoline Scott decided to join the Air Force, she knew she'd be stepping into a long line of military tradition. She also knew she'd be the sole blue uniform in her family's sea of Army green.

"I certainly respect my family for going into the Army," said Scott, a Lorton, Va., native. "I just wanted to do something a little different."

Scott is the only airman in her family, which can trace its active-duty Army service back more than 130 years. Her father, Bruce Scott, retired as a major general, and her five brothers and sisters all followed in his Army footsteps.

While proud of her family's Army roots, Scott said, she wanted to take a different route.

Both of her older siblings had gone to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "I knew that had been a great experience for them," she added, "but I wanted to do my own thing. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I'm very proud to wear Air Force blue."

Scott attended St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. "When she entered, she was quiet and shy," her father said. "When she graduated, she did so magna cum laude, elected into Phi Beta Kappa, and she was the ranking Air Force cadet in all of Philadelphia."

Scott is now serving on her first deployment as a public affairs officer assigned to U.S. Forces Iraq in Baghdad.

"I was inspired to choose this career field because I get to help tell the Air Force story," she said. "I am able to interact with a wide range of folks in a number of different career fields. I learn something new every single day.

"The people I've met in my Air Force career have also been amazing -- truly the best and brightest in the country," she added.

When home, Scott said, she's jokingly referred to as the "blue sheep" of the family. "My father reminds me frequently that the Air Force used to be the Army Air Corps," she said.

Joking aside, Scott is proud of her family's military roots. "Our family history of military service was certainly a huge inspiration," she said. "Growing up as an Army 'brat' and watching my older siblings go into the military showed me the benefits of joining the military.

"The deciding factor for me, however, was my strong desire to do something that served a purpose greater than myself," she continued. "It is not exaggeration to say that I am proud to put on my uniform every day."

Scott said her friends often are surprised when they find out about her family's extensive military history.

"Some jokingly say that the military is the Scott family business," she said. "Most people think it is wonderful and say, 'Your parents must be so proud.' I know my parents are proud of all of us – what could be better than that?"

Coast Guard Values DoD Cooperation in Health Care Mission

By Gabrielle Kirk

January 28, 2010 - Cooperation is what allows the Coast Guard to be effective in their health care program, said the Coast Guard’s chief medical officer Rear Adm. Mark Tedesco at the 2010 MHS Conference Jan. 26.

“Interoperability with individual services and with DoD Health Affairs allows us to get our work done as we need to,” said Tedesco.

With far-reaching missions including maritime safety, homeland security, drug interdiction, and humanitarian assistance, the Coast Guard’s active duty force of more than 42,000 service members relies on cooperation with the rest of the Military Health System to maintain its medical readiness.

The Coast Guard’s 42 clinics – most of which are comprised of one physician, one dentist and a physician’s assistant and support staff – are able to independently provide care only for about 60 percent of its service members. The rest receive their care through the TRICARE network and other service military treatment facilities. “Virtually all our family members, retirees, and retiree family members get their care through DoD MTFs or through the TRICARE network,” said Tedesco.

Many programs accomplish multiple goals, like the active duty dental plan, said Tedesco. He went on to call the program a “tremendous cost savings for us as well as a readiness initiative. We have many remote folks out there, and getting them their dental benefit has been a challenge and has been very expensive.”

Tedesco said the Coast Guard is working on maintaining readiness while focusing on the experience of care, per capita cost and population health.

Along with other Army, Air Force and DoD health programs that support the Coast Guard, Tedesco said that the Coast Guard is now also working with the Navy Safe Harbor wounded warrior program. Thirty-two guardsmen are currently enrolled. Tedesco also said that pilot testing of an integrated Coast Guard and VA disability evaluation system has recently begun at National Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.