Military News

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Enterprise Crew Begins Fast Cruise

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) began participating in a fast cruise exercise April 11 at the conclusion of an extended overhaul period.

The fast cruise is a major milestone due to the amount of work that has been completed on the 48-year-old warship during the maintenance period.

The exercise helps to ensure that all crewmembers are ready to get the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier back out to sea after spending two years in the shipyard.

It's also providing an opportunity to test all of the ship's systems in preparation for sea trials scheduled to follow.

"The main objective for this event is to make sure everyone knows their role before the ship gets underway," said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Dominic A. Musso. "Fast cruise is just like taking a car you are interested in purchasing out for that first test drive. The only difference is that we are doing it while attached to the pier."

Many of Enterprise's departments play an essential role in the event including Engineering, Reactor, Weapons and Deck. One of the key players is Lt. j.g. Joel J. Lopez, the ship's boatswain and 3rd division deck officer.

"My main responsibility during fast cruise is to ensure Deck department can carry out all the evolutions needed for at-sea operations," said Lopez. "We are performing several test checks on equipment like the anchors, pad eyes, sound-powered phones, and also verifying ship watch bills."

While fast cruise is vital for training Sailors and testing their shipboard knowledge, it also mentally prepares them in other ways.

"This event gets the crew back into the mindset of living on board," said Musso. "We have a lot of new Sailors who have never sailed on this ship before, and they have to get into the routine of how everything works on a daily basis from the berthing, ship's laundry, ship's store and even the chow lines."

Fast cruise will last approximately six days, with two days in between to fix any underlying issues found during equipment checks. Once the event is complete, Enterprise will leave the shipyard and begin its sea trials.

Vietnam, No Regrets

On April 22, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature with J. Richard Watkins, Vietnam Veteran and author of Vietnam, No Regrets.

Program Date: April 22, 2010
Program Time: 1700 hours Pacific
Topic: Vietnam, No Regrets
Listen Live:

About the Guest
J. Richard Watkins, USA, was a member of the “1/27th Wolfhounds, 25th Infantry Division.” He was in Vietnam from “late 1969 through 1970.” J. Richard Watkins is the author of Vietnam No Regrets.

Kendra Carroll of Apex Reviews said of Vietnam No Regrets, “In the 30+ years since its conclusion, countless volumes have been crafted regarding the Vietnam War - not to mention movies, television specials, and documentaries. Most of the written and visual media have done a commendable job of exploring the logistical blunders and other revealing aspects of the war itself; however, very few of them have given Vietnam the same empathic human touch as "Saving Private Ryan" so famously did for World War II.

Throughout the pages of Vietnam No Regrets, author and Vietnam veteran J. Richard Watkins steps directly in the gap and fills that void in standout fashion. A heart-wrenching memoir recounted in an unfiltered, no-holds-barred manner, Vietnam No Regrets takes the reader straight into the heart of one of the most controversial extended episodes in our nation's history, painting the gruesome conflict in a graphic, vivid light - undeniably real and raw.”

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. American Heroes Radio brings you to the watering hole, where it is Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, 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:

Archive Link:

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

Gates Discusses New Nuclear Posture, U.S. Relations With Karzai

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 11, 2010 - While the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review removes some of the intentional ambiguity from the country's nuclear policy, "all options are on the table" for countries like North Korea and Iran, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said.

In a round of interviews that aired today, Gates, appearing alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also discussed the U.S. relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose reliability has been called into question recently.

Unveiled last week, the Nuclear Posture Review, or NPR, states that the United States will not deploy or threaten use of nuclear weapons against a country that possesses no nuclear weapons of its own and complies with the nonproliferation treaty and its obligations.

"Because North Korea and Iran are not in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty," Gates said on CBS' Face the Nation, "for them, all bets are off. All options are on the table."

The NPR, which culminates a year of Defense Department-led efforts involving top interagency officials, is the first overarching look at U.S. nuclear strategy since the end of the Cold War. It codifies the new U.S. nuclear stance, which includes a policy to not use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state, even if the state attacks with chemical and biological weapons.

Gates said policymakers could not find a credible scenario where a chemical weapon could have the kind of consequences that would warrant a nuclear response, but that President Barack Obama has flexibility in a U.S. response to biological attacks.

"We were concerned about the biological weapons," Gates said. "And that's why we were very clear in the Nuclear Posture Review that if we see states developing biological weapons that we begin to think endanger us or create serious concerns, [the president] reserves the right to revise this policy."

The NPR articulates a roadmap for cutting the American nuclear arsenal, edging the country toward President Barack Obama's stated long-term goal of a world free of nuclear weapons, and ceases U.S. testing of nuclear weapons and the development of new nuclear weapons platforms.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week" about the U.S. relationship with Karzai, who has come under fire recently for a series of comments that reportedly have strained relations, Gates urged more sensitivity in dealings with the controversial leader. "I think we, frankly, have to be sensitive in our own comments about President Karzai," Gates said, "in terms of being mindful that he is the embodiment of sovereignty for Afghanistan also in the way we treat him."

On NBC's Meet the Press, Clinton expressed "sympathy" for Karzai and the "extraordinary stress he lives under every single minute of every day." Gates agreed. "When there are attacks on him, on his family and what he perceives to be on Afghanistan itself, or insults to the sovereignty of Afghanistan," he said, "he's going to react, and he's going to react strongly."

Gates gave an upbeat assessment of Karzai's relationship with U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan. Gates said the two continue to meet regularly and have a "very positive relationship."

The secretary said Karzai has been a cooperative partner by attending "shuras," or peace meetings with influential tribal elders, in Kandahar – the Taliban's spiritual homeland, which is slated to be the focus of the next major U.S. operation in Afghanistan, according to military officials.

"I think that the day-to-day working relationship, certainly on the military side and between General McChrystal and President Karzai, is working well," Gates said.

Gates Offers Condolences to Polish Military

American Forces Press Service

April 10, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates offered condolences to the Polish military on the loss of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who along with the country's armed service chiefs, died in a plane crash today. The entirety of his statement follows:

"Today, I want to express my deepest and sincere condolences to Polish Minister of Defense Bogdan Klich and the Polish military on the tragic deaths of their Commander in Chief as well as their Armed Service Chiefs and other military personnel who were traveling to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

"Poland is one of America 's closest allies, and our nations are united by a shared heritage and a shared commitment to defend the values of freedom and democracy. In this accident, Poland has lost some of its most brilliant and dedicated patriots and public servants -- citizens who have transformed their country into a model of peace and prosperity at the center of the Euro-Atlantic community.

"The military personnel lost in this tragic accident in some cases had served together side by side with American forces in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan . Many were spearheading the transformation of the Polish Armed Forces and attended U.S. military schooling. All served with great distinction in the proud military tradition of the Republic of Poland . The United States military mourns the loss of so many cherished Brothers in Arms."