Military News

Monday, April 19, 2010

All Services Meet or Exceed March Recruiting Goals

American Forces Press Service

April 19, 2010 - The military services met or exceeded their March recruiting goals for the active and reserve components, Defense Department officials reported April 16.

Also, officials said, retention is above the goals for the first six months of the fiscal year.

The active Army signed up 6,615 recruits in March from a goal of 6,389, achieving 104 percent of its target.

The active Navy signed up 2,886 recruits in March from a goal of 2,886, achieving 100 percent of its target.

The active Marine Corps signed up 1,118 recruits in March from a goal of 1,116, making 100 percent of its target.

The active Air Force signed up 2,835 recruits in March from a goal of 2,835, making 100 percent of its target.

All six reserve components also met or exceeded their recruiting goals for March.

The Army National Guard signed up 6,774 recruits in March from a goal of 5,150, making 132 percent of its target.

The Army Reserve signed up 3,010 recruits in March from a goal of 2,706, making 111 percent of its target.

The Navy Reserve signed up 348 recruits in March from a goal of 348, making 100 percent of its target.

The Marine Corps Reserve signed up 772 recruits in March from a goal of 523, making 148 percent of its target.

The Air National Guard signed up 583 recruits in March from a goal of 540, making 108 percent of its target.

The Air Force Reserve signed up 983 recruits in March from a goal of 949, making 104 percent of its target.

Attrition in all reserve components is within acceptable limits, officials said.

Capital-area Medical Centers Set for Reorganization

By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Molly A. Burgess
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

April 19, 2010 - With a reorganization of units overseeing military medicine in the national capital area under way, interim steps are in place to maintain good care and emergency preparedness during the transition.

As part of a Base Realignment and Closure Commission action announced in 2007, Walter Reed Army Medical Center here and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., are being integrated into a single medical hub at Bethesda.

Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical Command was established to take the lead in this consolidation and realignment. To ensure that quality health care continues during and after the migration, task force officials developed the "Be Ready Now" program.

"We provide plans and response to any type of incident that would happen either within the national capital region or in support of U.S. Northern Command across the country," Bruce Thompson, deputy chief of the task force's plans division, said in an April 16 "DoD Live" podcast of the "Dot Mil Docs" program.

"It can be anything from a hurricane, or most recently, we've been involved in the pandemic influenza planning, or it could be a terrorist attack that could occur," Thompson said.

The task force also is getting ready to work with other agencies at a moment's notice. "Right now, there's a project to develop a catastrophic incident plan, which was brought up due to the earthquake down in Haiti," he added. "If, at some point, an event happens here, we need to be prepared for it."

In the event of a domestic health emergency or epidemic, for example, the task force would assist the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Resources, Thompson said.

The task force also participates in annual exercises such as Capital Shield, which provides an opportunity to practice responding to emergencies with local fire departments.

"We have been actively participating with other agencies to prevent 'stove-piping' plan development, where planning involves only a single agency, so we can look at how they respond, and then we can respond jointly in any type of incident," Thompson said.

Brazil Native Succeeds as Marine


By Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Katesha Washington
2nd Marine Logistics Group

April 19, 2010 - A Brazil native assigned here is moving rapidly up the career ladder. Lance Cpl. Soraya Silva, a combat engineer with Bridge Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, already is on the cusp of becoming a noncommissioned officer only a year after she joined the Marine Corps.

Silva is a few years older than the average lance corporal. Her drive and desire to take charge and lead Marines has garnered the attention of her staff NCOs.

She was selected as the battalion's Marine of the Quarter for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, but she didn't stop there. She then was chosen for the same honor at the regiment and group levels as well.

Now her leadership is just waiting until she has a little more time and experience under her belt to submit her paperwork for meritorious promotion to corporal. Becoming an NCO, she said, would be a big and a very welcome step for her.

"I am very ready to step up to the plate and lead Marines," she said. "I want to be a positive example of not only what it means to be a female Marine, but [also] what it is to be a leader of Marines."

One of the major steps Silva took to prove her worth and her willingness to lead was the help she provided her command in preparing for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She volunteered to attend the Southwest Asian Language Aptitude Course to learn to speak Pashtu.

She said she hopes to pass on the language skills she learned to her fellow Marines to help her command better communicate with the local people when they serve in Afghanistan.

"I am so excited to do what I can to help out in any way when we get to Afghanistan," she said. "I want to be a part of history and to know that I made a difference in the unit."

Silva hopes to build on her associate's degree in civil engineering by earning her bachelor's degree from Broward College in southern Florida.

Her platoon sergeant, Marine Corps Sgt. Christopher Ivester, noticed Silva's drive and determination from the time she joined the platoon.

"She supersedes everyone else in the platoon," he said. "She is first in everything she does, and even inspires NCOs in the platoon to be better Marines. She is truly an outstanding Marine."

Silva attributes her strong character to her mother's strength and influence. Her mother taught her and Silva's brother, who is also a Marine, to always be honest and to maintain a strong faith in God, she said.

"My mother is the most influential person in my life," Silva said. "It is because of her that I am the person that I am today. She taught me to always work hard and to be honest, above all. When I have kids one day that is exactly how I want to raise them."

For now, Silva said, she is ready for her first combat deployment.

Naval Hospital Bremerton Improves Patient Safety


Douglas H. Stutz
Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

April 19, 2010 - Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Lean Six Sigma team has recently concluded a Continuous Process Improvement project that incorporated Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to improve the command’s high level disinfection process for ultrasound probes.

It was the first time in Navy Medicine West to combine principles of the Lean Six Sigma program with the FMEA model. The results improve patient safety in the command’s Emergency Department, OB/GYN, Family Medicine and Radiology clinics, and Naval Branch Health Clinic Bangor. “Our main goal was to continue ever improving patient safety to further decrease any potential risk for any bad outcome,” said Lt. Cmdr Wendy Cook, Command Lean Six Sigma Black Belt expert. “Consistent high-level disinfection of the ultrasound probes will ensure proper decontamination of equipment and provide the safest patient care environment.”

Cook attests that high-level disinfection is a complicated process with multiple steps and requirements. Both product (ultrasound probe) manufacturer and disinfection solution manufacturer guidelines must be followed. With such steps as soaking and rinsing, the entire process requires approximately 20 minutes to complete.

“There were concerns with the different areas each doing different steps,” said Cook. “Initially there was some resistance at the clinic level because it seemed counter-intuitive to them to enact the change. But leadership and teamwork made it happen.”

According to Cook, Lean Six Sigma is the Department of the Navy and Navy Medicine's preferred process improvement methodology. “The "Lean" focuses on improving value by reducing waste in a process,” said Cook, explaining that the "Six Sigma" focuses on improving quality by reducing both variation and defects in a process. “The two methods are often combined into "Lean Six Sigma" for a powerful process improvement method that is used throughout [the Navy].”

Cook and the team conducted a health care FMEA to identify failure modes and potential solutions for the high-level disinfection process.

“FMEA is a process improvement technique that involves taking a proactive look at a process to see what things could go wrong in a process [failure modes], rank the severity of the failure modes, and identify ways to prevent the failures,” said Cook.

Cook and the team properly aligned all clinic disinfectant areas by firmly establishing a step-by-step written protocol to follow. “We identified very easy ways to address any potential problem and the recommendations were then implemented,” said Cook.

Cook singled out Hospital Corpsman Second Class Lena Redkina and Hospitalman Apprentice Dylan Nelson of OB/GYN and Hospitalman Kaitlin Wilderman of Family Medicine for their work in implementing the necessary changes.

“They have all been exceptional in learning every detail and helping others,” said Cook, adding that their professionalism has greatly helped the Lean Six Sigma team.

“It makes me feel better knowing that we’re doing all we can to be as safe as possible,” said Rekina. “It can be difficult when we run six clinics because it is a time-consuming process, but we’re doing it the right way and that’s the right thing to do.”

The efforts involved in the project have been recognized in Navy Medicine circles. Capt. Stewart W. Comer, Navy Medicine West Regional Medical Director, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and trogram manager e-mailed his appreciation to the team: “I wanted to congratulate Naval Hospital Bremerton for their exceptional work on a project that was both a Joint Commission FMEA and a Continuous Process Improvement, Lean Six Sigma Project.”

DoD recognizes best reserve component family programs

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

(4/16/10) - Defense Department officials today recognized the best in National Guard and reserve family programs saying such efforts are critical to combat readiness.

"If we lose the support of our families, if we lose the support of our employers, we will be put out of business," said Dennis M. McCarthy, assistant Secretary of Defense for reserve affairs. "The sustainment of these family programs isn't just a nicety. There is a direct connection in their success and our operational readiness and our ability to succeed in combat."

McCarthy presented each of the seven winners with an engraved plaque during a Pentagon ceremony, and heralded the efforts of today's military families.

Retired Navy Vice Adm. Norb Ryan Jr., president of the Military Officers Association of America accompanied McCarthy in presenting the awards.

"You are our heroes," Ryan told the attendants. "You've carried us on your shoulders. We know you are the strongest and most resilient families this nation has and we need for you to be the strongest and most resilient.

"You have stretched and strained in manners I can only imagine," Ryan continued. "Nothing is more important than your support."

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is traveling and could not attend the ceremony, provided a statement of congratulations to the award recipients. "The National Guard and reserve is integral to everything the military does, and never more so than in the past decade."

Gates said in his statement that it is "absolutely critical" to mission readiness that troops know before they deploy that their families will be OK.

Air Force Col. Cory Lyman, director of individual and family support policy in reserve affairs, said the awards were created in 2000 to recognize those installations that accomplish the most in family readiness, while also achieving mission readiness. He recognized each of the recipients and highlighted their accomplishments:

-- The Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade at Camp Douglas, Wis., supported the largest National Guard deployment in Wisconsin history last year. The brigade maintains family morale at home with monthly programs throughout the deployment.

-- The Army Reserve's 108th Training Command in Charlotte, N.C., supported 12,000 soldiers through various phases of deployment, in part by creating its Community Connections Initiatives program to reach out to soldiers in the region to ensure support.

-- The Marine Corps Reserve's Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 in Willow Grove, Pa., shares information on everything from child care to Tricare with quarterly all-hands briefings to ensure that no Marine is considered non-deployable due to family concerns.

-- The Navy Reserve's Navy Operational Support Center in Columbus, Ohio, partners with other organizations to provide a host of programs, including 35 major events, more than 400 funeral honors, and youth programs.

-- The Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., contacts each new member's family and tracks every family's ability to have contact with their deployed servicemember.

-- The Air Force Reserve's 482nd Fighter Wing in Homestead, Fla., doubled the number of families participating in its Yellow Ribbon Program for higher education, and partners with local businesses and the Red Cross to help financially pressed families.

-- The Coast Guard Reserve's Port Security Unit 311 in San Pedro, Calif., established an Internet-based information outreach program that includes a chat room for family support and the opportunity for deployed reservists to send videos of them reading bedtime stories for their children back home.

"We've been treated to a description of what are arguably the best of the best programs," McCarthy said, "but we all know there are many, many more out there. If we do nothing else, we must support them because they are the backbone of our organization."

U.S. Troop Drawdown in Haiti Slated by June

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 19, 2010 - The U.S. military's role in Haiti is slated to further decrease by June, with the 2,200-strong U.S. force currently there expected to drop to about 500 members, the former top American commander in Haiti said today. Army Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, who stepped down yesterday as the commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, told Pentagon reporters the military drawdown was prompted by the expanding role of civilian agencies.

"I expect us to -- on or about 1 June -- to be able to stand down the Joint Task Force," Keen said. "We will be able to do that, because of the capability that's being built up and has [been] built up by civilian organizations, ... [and] as they build up that capacity and get into more of the recovery and reconstruction phase, the need for our military diminishes."

Haiti has been the focus of an expansive international relief effort in the wake of what is considered one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. A devastating Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti killed an estimated 250,000 people and displaced more than a million inhabitants. At the height of the U.S. military effort there, some 22,000 forces were in or around Haiti, including 7,000 land-based troops, with the remainder operating aboard 58 aircraft and 15 nearby vessels.

Keen, who also serves as the deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command, said the current mission in Haiti continues to be saving lives and mitigating suffering.

"While over 230,000 people died, many, many were saved, thousands were saved, because of the tremendous response medically, not just on our military and other militaries," Keen said, "but the international community [and nongovernmental organizations], as I mentioned."

Today some 2,200 troops and four aircraft are operating in the area, Keen said. Starting this month, the Louisiana National Guard will begin a five-month exercise focused on helping to rebuild Haiti.

"That will have over $2 million worth of projects focused on some of these engagement activities" such as building school classrooms, and establishing emergency operations centers to help Haitians prepare for possible future natural disasters, Keen said, in describing the forthcoming "New Horizons" exercise.

In the meantime, he added, soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division will return home next month.

The current security situation in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince "remains calm," Keen said.

"While there have been isolated incidents of violence, if you will, it has not been to the degree that it has impacted at all on our ability to provide humanitarian assistance," he said.

Keen, who was succeeded as the top U.S. commander in Haiti yesterday by Army Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, today reflected on the situation he witnessed in Haiti upon his departure.

"As I left Haiti, I saw lots of hope as I walked around the streets, particularly when you look in the faces of the children, the smiles on their faces, the gratitude that they have, certainly from our military's presence there, but the presence of the international community there," he said.

"But the proof of the ability to realize their hopes is going to be in how you're able to apply all of these donor nations' contributions," he added, "and how they've been able to build a strategic plan, and then how the government is able to lead forward, because this is about Haitians leading Haitians."

Mullen Talks Veteran Issues in Pittsburgh

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

April 19, 2010 - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen met with community leaders and organizations here today as part of his "conversations with the country" initiative to ensure better futures for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans.

The admiral met with University of Pittsburgh faculty and student veterans, the Veterans Leadership Program – a nonprofit veteran outreach organization – and visited the Department of Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Health System.

Mullen had a similar visit at Columbia University in New York yesterday and will be in Morgantown, W.V., tomorrow. He chose Pittsburgh as one of his stops because of its large veteran population, and the great work of the community to care for those nearly 3,000 veterans, he said.

"The University of Pittsburgh has been known for its relationship with the military and veterans for decades," he said to an audience at the university's Soldier and Sailor's Memorial Hall. "[Pittsburgh] is a community that cares a lot, and it's a place that I thought would be very important initially as I start throughout the country over the next year or so to try to get the message out to communities [about] how we connect them to those who've given so much."

Mullen and his wife Deborah began their visit here at the university's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. They saw first-hand the breakthroughs its researchers have made in improving quality of life for disabled veterans through integrating science and systems engineering.

By combining the two specialties, the institute has been able to realize the vast potential of tissue engineering to repair damaged or diseased tissue cells and organs.

In 2008, the institute was able to regrow an upper leg tissue in a Marine who had lost most of his leg to an artillery attack in Iraq. In March 2009, another Marine who had lived without his right hand and wrist for two years because of a training accident underwent the university's first hand transplant. Both Marines have almost full function of their limbs now.

Many of the institute's initiatives are still years away from becoming common practice, but their efforts are noteworthy and must continue, Mullen said.

"There's breakthrough research [at the institute] that has created opportunities for a much more wholesome healing of these injuries that have come out of this war," he said.

The Mullens also spent time with the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania. The nonprofit organization serves veterans in the tri-state area – Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – and prides itself for its intensive case management services to veterans and their families.

The organization reaches out to veterans and helps servicemembers transitioning out of the military find jobs, buy homes and ultimately helps prevent homelessness.

Nearly 4,000 job referrals from the organization in 2009 were made to social service and government agencies, private sector businesses and military service organizations. The direct economic impact in those communities is estimated to be worth more than $10 million, according to the organization's statistics.

This is the type of impact Mullen hopes to see in other outreach organizations throughout the country. Not only are the needs of veterans being met, but also the country benefits from their productivity, he said.

During his "conversations with the country," Mullen said he hopes to learn best practices from organizations and share their processes with others throughout the country. The chairman hopes his campaign eventually will streamline the initiatives of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the local communities to provide for the nation's veterans.

"I hope to reach leaders to get them to join hands, if you will, to address the challenges that we have with our young men and women who have served in these wars and their families," Mullen said. "I want to help in leading the joining of all three of those critical parts of the country to address these needs.

"We hope that we can ignite something here that catches on throughout the land," he continued. "I hope that we continue to take significant steps ... taking advantage of these young men and women and their families ... who I know will make America greater in the future."

USS Freedom to Arrive in San Diego

April 19, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy's first littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Freedom (LCS 1), will arrive in San Diego April 23, after completion of her maiden deployment.

Freedom departed Mayport, Fla., Feb. 16 for operations in the U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR).

The ship conducted counter-illicit trafficking operations, making four successful interdictions that netted more than five tons of cocaine, seized two "go fast" drug vessels and took nine suspected smugglers into custody.

In addition to independent operations, Freedom successfully integrated with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group for high-speed operations, re-fueling at sea, surface gunnery events and visit, board, search and seizure evolutions.

Freedom also conducted joint maneuvers with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and Fire Scout, the frigate's embarked unmanned aerial vehicle.

During the deployment, Freedom completed theater security cooperation port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Panama City, Panama; and Manzanillo, Mexico. In each port, the crew conducted several community outreach events and participated in numerous professional exchanges with partner nation navies.

The LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval technology. The ship is specifically designed to defeat threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including surface craft, diesel submarines and mines. LCS features an interchangeable modular design that allows the ship to be reconfigured to meet mission requirements.

Crew members are part of an innovative manning construct that reduces crew size, demanding each Sailor maintain high levels of proficiency in multiple fields. These "hybrid" Sailors are part of two rotational crews, "blue" and "gold" that optimize ship operability. Detachments embarked during deployment to supplement the core crew include the Surface Warfare Mission Package; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 2, based in Norfolk, Va.; and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.

Freedom will help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within U.S. 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the nation's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Army to Standardized Service for Special-needs Families

By Rob McIlvaine
U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command

April 19, 2010 - The U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command recently conducted the second Exceptional Family Member Program Summit to enhance services for family members with special needs.

Officials said the summit is one way Army officials are keeping the promise of the Army Family Covenant.

Active duty soldiers enroll in the program when they have a family member who has a physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder requiring specialized services so their needs can be considered in the military personnel assignment process. "The Army EFMP leads the uniformed services and the nation through a model of support for soldiers and families with special needs by connecting and supplementing existing national networks of support and services with local military and civilian resources," said Army Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

A mandatory enrollment program, EFMP works with other military and civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical, and personnel services to families with special needs.

"The needs of EFMP are great, and much work remains to be done, particularly in the areas of communication and program standardization," said Sharon Fields, the program's manager for the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command. "We must have seamless program standardization from garrison to garrison."

This vision, which program officials have worked on for the past year, is scheduled for implementation in July, Fields added.

With many garrisons becoming joint-based communities, this standardization should work seamlessly for all Exceptional Family Member Program families in every service, officials said. Efforts are ongoing to help families transition smoothly to communities where their special needs will be met with comprehensive and coordinated services. Soldiers then can focus on mission readiness, knowing their families' needs are met, Fields explained.

"The command knows what's needed. When Lieutenant General Lynch visits a garrison, he always pulls together a focus group of parents who are enrolled in EFMP, because he wants to hear their concerns and suggestions to make the program better," she said.

One soldier said the Army is wasting no time in making good on its promise. Army Sgt. 1st Class Fernice Morton, equal opportunity advisor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., has a son enrolled in EFMP and was selected to go to the summit after attending an EFMP workshop.

"While there," she said, "I was in respite care transition between contractors, and the Army Community Service staff was always available to assist me every step of the way."

Antoinette Hill a volunteer and the wife of a retired soldier, has a daughter in the Exceptional Family member Program.

"I have witnessed the evolution of this program for more than 30 years, and the stars are aligned for great potential," she said. "While the nation is focused on the military, we are focused on collaborative EFMP partnerships, and the partners are stepping up. Families, warriors and survivors are better served, and EFMP better fulfills the promises of the Army Family Covenant."

Army Community Service is the place for soldiers at all Army garrisons to get information about the program.

"Army Community Service works hand in hand with the EFMP at the medical facility," explained Susan Moyer, Army Community Service EFMP manager at Fort Carson, Colo. "While the medical services are responsible for the paperwork for enrollment, at ACS we provide everything [such as support, information and links] you need."

Services that parents and individuals are searching for are right at their fingertips at ACS, Moyer said. "ACS is like a 'Yellow Pages' for special needs information," she said.

As the EFMP Summit drew to a close, Lynch summed up the way ahead.

"Take care of our soldiers and families, one family at a time," he told the participants. "To do this, we've got to fix this program so it works better, and we have to get the word out. When I was a young commander, no one told me about EFMP. I had to learn about it on my own."

In the near future, EFMP officials at the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command will implement a system that fully supports families with special needs at five pilot locations: Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Also in the near future, the Army will identify what's required for joint services to participate in this program.

Aircrews kick off Red Flag-Alaska 10-2


4/19/2010 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) -- The initial briefings and familiarization flights are complete and now pilots and aircrews are participating in world-class aerial combat training over Alaska until the end of April.

Officials here are hosting Red Flag-Alaska 10-2. Air Force units from Barksdale Air Force Base, La.; Kunsan Air Base, South Korea; Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; and McConnell AFB, Kan., have arrived to participate in the exercise. AV-8B Harriers from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. also are participating and will conduct strike training missions. Fighter units and airborne command and control units will be operating from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

Red Flag-Alaska is a large-forces exercise conducted over 10 days in interior Alaska to simulate aerial combat. Aircrews will be operating in the 67,000 square-mile Joint Alaska Pacific Range Complex. The JPARC offers adequate space and ranges for crews to simulate full-scale aerial battles. Coalition partners along with servicemembers from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces have participated in past exercises.

Mullen reaches out to local communities on behalf of veterans

by Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

4/19/2010 - NEW YORK (AFNS) -- Investing in America's military veterans through education and employment opportunities will benefit local communities greatly, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said during the World Leader's Forum at Columbia University here April 18.

Columbia University is the first of many "conversations with the country" Admiral Mullen intends to make in an endeavor to help local communities understand the value of their military veterans.

"This is the beginning of an effort to connect with communities throughout the country about the challenges (the military and veterans) face to connect with America," he said to an audience of students, student veterans and faculty here. "I believe that investment on the part of America and Columbia (University) will be paid back tenfold over the course of the next decade."

The admiral said he's reaching out to colleges and universities because they are community-based and tied to community leadership. He said he is looking to local leaders and influencers to help "repay that debt" of service he feels is owed to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

"We have tens of thousands who've gone off and done what our country wanted them to do and faced perils of war, seeing things they never thought they would see," Admiral Mullen said. "Their lives have changed forever, in ways they don't even know yet. They have sacrificed enormously, and in over 5,400 cases, they've paid the ultimate sacrifice."

The results of war also are evident in the families. Spouses and children have been affected "in ways that none of us imagined just a few years ago," he added.

Veterans want the opportunity for education, employment and to take care of their families, he said. And although Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs officials are actively seeking new initiatives to help this cause, it's not enough, he said.

Getting America's communities and small towns involved is the only way to effectively reach out to those veterans and their families, he said.

"The only way this can scale to effectively reach all of those who've given so much is to have all three of us work together, but the scalable capabilities lie in the community," he said.

With similar visits throughout the next year, Admiral Mullen is hopeful that communities will accept his challenge and spread a "sea of goodwill" to military veterans, he said.

Admiral Mullen explained the reason for this initiative by reflecting on his past five decades of military service. He was commissioned in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam War. It was a time when the country turned against its military servicemembers, he said.

"We were unable as a country to separate the politics from the people (in uniform)," he said. "The scars I have from that timeframe run deep, and as (wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) started, it really was the first question I asked myself: Were the American people going to support our men and women in uniform?"

Whether or not servicemembers garner public support is a question deployed troops often express to Admiral Mullen during his visits to the Middle East, he said.

The fact that Americans today do support the individual servicemembers even if they don't support the government's decisions "has been incredibly uplifting" for him, he said.

Admiral Mullen cited as an example the efforts of Columbia University officials to reach out to potential student veterans and ensuring they understand and receive their educational benefits. This sort of relationship is taking place in other northeastern and Ivy League schools and sets a great example for other communities and institutions to follow. However, the nation can do more, he said.

"Part of being here today is emphasizing connecting the local community with veterans who've been through a lot, especially those who are wounded and ill, and their families," Admiral Mullen told reporters following his remarks. Also, "making sure they have a shot at the future, education and training, jobs, mental health support ... I'm hoping New Yorkers will continue to reach out."

Admiral Mullen will speak to local officials and veterans in Pittsburgh, Pa., April 19. He'll close out his three-day trip in Morgantown, W.Va., but plans to continue his conversations with the country in future travels.

Airmen continue distributing medical supplies to Bishkek


by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/19/2010 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan (AFNS) -- Airmen delivered medical supplies and food to two Bishkek hospitals, and visited with patients April 15 who were injured in Kyrgyzstan.

This is a continuation of efforts started when 16,000 lbs, approximately $82,000 worth, of supplies including bandages, sutures, antibiotics and antiseptics were delivered to the Transit Center at Manas from the Army Medical Material Center in Southwest Asia.

A total of four hospitals were helped with these supplies.

"Last week Kyrgyz citizens, the majority of them young people, suffered serious injuries, mostly gunshot wounds," said Col. Jerry Flyer, the deputy director for medical services at the Transit Center at Manas, who is also a surgeon. "During this time, Kyrgyz surgical and medical colleagues worked heroically around the clock to operate and save hundreds. What they accomplished was nothing less than incredible considering the lack of equipment and supplies they had to work with. In donating these supplies, we are helping to replenish what they have used and provide them the means to continue ongoing care of these patients."

Humanitarian assistance, one of the four mission sets of the Transit Center at Manas, has always been a priority for Airmen, and when hospitals downtown expressed a need, servicemembers here helped. Within hours, coordination was in the works, and within just a couple of days Airmen were delivering the necessary supplies.

"We've been cooperating with the medical group at the Transit Center at Manas very closely," said Professor Sabyrbek Djumadekov, the chief director of the Center for Traumatology. "This is not their first time assisting us. They've been helping us regularly."

"We are also hoping to assist those heroic physicians and surgeons who are caring for these injured patriots," Colonel Flyer said. "There is nothing more frustrating than knowing what you need to do to help someone and not have the means to do so. We hope to mitigate that as best we can."

From a medical standpoint, Colonel Flyer said, "We are all providers of care, and the most important thing to us is to take great care of our patients and restore them to health."

This is universal, no matter where in the world one practices medicine, he said.

"From a country and Transit Center standpoint, we live here side-by-side with our Kyrgyz neighbors, together fighting terrorism," he said. "While we are engaged in this important work, we want to also be good neighbors. The Kyrgyz nation just went through a difficult time and we want them to know that they have our condolences for their losses and that we will do what we can to support them through this difficult time. That's what friends and neighbors do.

"On the one hand, it makes me feel good that we are able to harness our resources to assist our Kyrgyz medical colleagues, many of whom I know personally, in this time of need," Colonel Flyer said. "On the other hand, it is a little frustrating because I want to do more and wish there was more I could have done personally while they were operating for 48 to 72 hours straight on all of these injured people."

The medical staff, administrators and patients all appeared genuinely grateful for our help and concern, he said.

"Thanks a lot for providing (humanitarian aid) to the National Hospital," said the Deputy Minister of Health Madamim Karataev. "(Airmen have) been regularly delivering medical supplies and food to the patients of this hospital, which is very helpful for us. And we've been facing a lot of difficulties right now. On behalf of the patients, doctors, and Kyrgyz people, we thank the Transit Center at Manas, the U.S. Embassy which is going to render some more assistance to the hospital, and the people of the United States of America for helping us to overcome these hard days for Kyrgyzstan."

Eisenhower Kicks Off Naturalization Campaign

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Amy Kirk, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

April 19, 2010 - USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) kicked off its 2010 Military Member Advantage Naturalization Campaign (MMANC) April 18 during a ceremony held on the ship's aft mess decks.

Military members enjoy a number of advantages in obtaining U.S. citizenship while serving on active duty, said Legalman 2nd Class Sophia Davis, including a reduction or elimination of certain waiting periods, a waiver of certain physical presence requirements and the elimination of certain fees.

To allow Sailors the opportunity to take advantage of these special processes, Eisenhower's Legal Department is hosting the campaign April 18- May 18 to encourage and assist Sailors in applying for U.S. citizenship, said Davis.

"This is a fantastic benefit for our service members," said Lt. Cmdr. Marcus Fulton, Eisenhower's judge advocate general. "It recognizes the contributions of our non-citizens and the service they give to this country. I hope everyone eligible will take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to become citizens of the country they help protect."

Under changes in immigration law in 2002, foreign citizens who become permanent U.S. residents and join the military need only one year of service to qualify for citizenship. During wartime, they need only one day of service to qualify. Without serving, foreign residents must wait five years before they become eligible.

"The goal of the campaign will be to identify every non-U.S. citizen service member, to directly contact them, and to explain the special processes available to them while deployed," said Davis. "The Legal department will prepare naturalization packages for all service members who wish to obtain U.S. citizenship.

A native of Nigeria, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (ABE)(Equipment) 3rd Class Emmanuel Motosho said he could not believe how simple the process was to become a U.S. citizen.

"I had people telling me it was going to take years and years," said Motosho, who became a U.S. citizen aboard Eisenhower in December 2008. "The process was not hard a little paper and getting a photo. It's worth the time. I am proud to be an ABE; I am proud to be a Sailor and proud to be an American citizen."

Commanding Officer Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne said the ship's legal team is dedicated to helping those wish to become U.S. citizens achieve that goal.

There are many benefits to a becoming a U.S. citizen including the right to vote, jury service, and employment with government agencies.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, www.uscis.gov, one of the biggest benefits is U.S. citizens receive priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to the United States. For example, a U.S. citizen may sponsor their spouse, and except for a brief processing time of a few months, he or she immediately obtains permanent residence status. The same is true for minor children of citizens (younger than 21), and parents of adult citizens.

Sailors interested in beginning the naturalization process or have questions about how the process works, should visit the command's legal office.

Eisenhower is underway as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). Operations in the 5th Fleet AOR are focused on reassuring regional partners of the coalition's commitment to help set conditions for security and stability. U.S. forces maintain a naval and air presence in the region that deters destabilizing activities while safeguarding the region's vital links to the global economy.

Deployed Sailors Return to Thanks and Support at Weekend Workshop

By Cmdr. Caroline S. Tetschner, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

April 19, 2010 - NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Reservists and their spouses were treated to a VIP-style weekend of support and recognition at the Returning Warrior Workshop at Norfolk's Waterside Sheraton Hotel April 16-18.

The event, sponsored by Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command, is one of several the Navy holds around the nation annually honoring Sailors who have returned from deployment and their family members. The workshop is designed to help reintegration and reunion with family members.

Guest speaker and Reservist Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Brashear, son of noted Navy diver Carl Brashear, addressed the audience. The National Guard helicopter pilot who deployed to Iraq shared his own experiences with the group.

"When I deployed in 2006, I didn't want to leave my family, I had a lot of anxiety but we went anyway because that's what we do and because we had the American spirit with us, we overcame those obstacles."

Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Christopher Wilkinson and his wife Cynthia, were among the more than 140 Reservists who attended the workshop. The Navy Reservist, assigned to VFC-12 in Norfolk, had just returned from a yearlong mobilization to Afghanistan. "This is a nice location in a nice hotel, we get pampered and it helps us re-acclimate back to our civilian lives and family."

Rear Adm. Buzz Little, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command said that is exactly the type of feedback and support he hopes all participants gather from these workshops. "This is about doing right by the Sailor. Demonstrating that the Navy values their service and contributions by having them retreat to a welcoming atmosphere where they can reflect and talk with servicemembers who have similar experiences."

Little attended the Norfolk event as both a keynote speaker and participant, having served in Iraq from December 2008 to January 2010. He said the program underscores the importance of family support during deployments. "It sends a strong signal to the Sailor and their family that the Navy cares about them, whether they are on deployment or back home in Des Moines."

In addition to the chaplains and counselors on-hand, there were representatives from the Red Cross, Tricare, Military OneSource and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in attendance.

Deployed Sailors Return to Thanks and Support at Weekend Workshop

By Cmdr. Caroline S. Tetschner, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

April 19, 2010 - NORFOLK (NNS) -- Navy Reservists and their spouses were treated to a VIP-style weekend of support and recognition at the Returning Warrior Workshop at Norfolk's Waterside Sheraton Hotel April 16-18.

The event, sponsored by Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Reserve Component Command, is one of several the Navy holds around the nation annually honoring Sailors who have returned from deployment and their family members. The workshop is designed to help reintegration and reunion with family members.

Guest speaker and Reservist Chief Warrant Officer Phillip Brashear, son of noted Navy diver Carl Brashear, addressed the audience. The National Guard helicopter pilot who deployed to Iraq shared his own experiences with the group.

"When I deployed in 2006, I didn't want to leave my family, I had a lot of anxiety but we went anyway because that's what we do and because we had the American spirit with us, we overcame those obstacles."

Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Christopher Wilkinson and his wife Cynthia, were among the more than 140 Reservists who attended the workshop. The Navy Reservist, assigned to VFC-12 in Norfolk, had just returned from a yearlong mobilization to Afghanistan. "This is a nice location in a nice hotel, we get pampered and it helps us re-acclimate back to our civilian lives and family."

Rear Adm. Buzz Little, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command said that is exactly the type of feedback and support he hopes all participants gather from these workshops. "This is about doing right by the Sailor. Demonstrating that the Navy values their service and contributions by having them retreat to a welcoming atmosphere where they can reflect and talk with servicemembers who have similar experiences."

Little attended the Norfolk event as both a keynote speaker and participant, having served in Iraq from December 2008 to January 2010. He said the program underscores the importance of family support during deployments. "It sends a strong signal to the Sailor and their family that the Navy cares about them, whether they are on deployment or back home in Des Moines."

In addition to the chaplains and counselors on-hand, there were representatives from the Red Cross, Tricare, Military OneSource and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in attendance.

Navy Emphasizes Sexual Assault Awareness Efforts During National Observance

April 19, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The director of Navy's personnel, plans and policy division underscored the services efforts to eradicate sexual assault among its ranks in a podcast released April 16.

Rear Adm. Dan Holloway said the Navy stands behind the nation in its efforts to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual assault across the country by focusing on internal initiatives, programs, and policies during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the theme, "Hurts one, affects all. Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty."

To align with the national observance, Holloway encouraged individuals to embrace their role in stepping forward to stop sexual assault and for commands to participate in local Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) activities,

NAVADMIN 119/10 provides Web links to customizable SAAM materials for use across the fleet and informational resources on sexual assault prevention, system accountability and victim support.

Additional resources are available at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/sapr/index.htm. They include research on gender relations, sexual harassment and assault, training materials and DoD and service directives on preventing and responding to sexual assault.

Navy's formal Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, originally called Sexual Assault Victim Intervention, was created in 1994 and served as the template for the other military services. In the past year, Navy has placed greater emphasis on sexual assault prevention as well as maintaining quality victim response with a goal of eliminating sexual assault from its ranks.

According to the NAVADMIN, a sexual assault can affect an entire command, degrading readiness by harming the life of the victim and the command's ability to work effective as a team."

Furthermore, "it's the right thing to do," said Rear Adm. Michael Browne, director of Navy's community support branch.

The program has inspired several initiatives to include waterfront leadership interaction, first responder workshops and a pilot peer-to-peer training program, currently underway at U.S. Fleet Forces and Pacific Fleet.

"Navy's goal is to create a climate intolerant of sexual assault where the number of incidents are dramatically reduced but when the crime does occur, victims receive appropriate care and offenders are held accountable," said Browne.

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 19, 2010

U. S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

L-3 Services, Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $150,000,000 maximum order amount modification to increase the contract ceiling on the current indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for information technology support to USSOCOM headquarters, its components, theater special operation commands and the military departments - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps - that provide direct support to Special Operations forces. The work will be performed in Tampa, Fla., and other locations, and will expire March 31, 2011. The ceiling increase will be accomplished by issuing modification P00050 to contract number USZA22-02-D-0017.

Jacobs Technology, Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $50,000,000 maximum order amount modification to increase the contract ceiling on one of the current acquisition, logistics, management, and business operations support, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts. The work will be performed in Tampa, Fla., and other locations and expires April 30, 2010. The ceiling increase was accomplished by issuing modification P00018 to contract number USZA22-02-D-0014.

NAVY

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded an undefinitized action in the amount of $89,863,113 for fixed-price delivery order #0102 under previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-04-D-5016). The initial obligation is in the amount of $44,931,557. This delivery order is for the production of 965 weapons mount kits, 2,000 armored door retrofit kits, and 1,001 troop carrier upgrades. Work will be performed in Israel (69 percent), Oshkosh, Wis. (26 percent), and Fairfield, Ohio (5 percent), and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $31,468,500 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Databuoy, LLC,* Vienna, Va., is being awarded a $39,978,255 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00421-08-D-0012) to provide additional funding for a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR) contract under Small Business Technology Transfer Topic N06-T004 for embedded systems command and control low-power, self-exploiting, netted sensor capability utilizing a collaborative network of sensor components. Work will be performed in McLean, Va., and is expected to be completed in September 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This SBIR Phase III contract was not competitively procured, pursuant to FAR 6.302-5. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded an $18,302,194 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-08-C-0061) to exercise an option for the production and delivery of CPX identification friend-or-foe hardware and associated platform integration and testing. This modification consist of repairs of 286 RT-1836(V) AN/APX-118 common digital transponders for the Navy (37) and the Army; 197 RT-1912(C)s for the Navy (191) and the Department of Defense (6); 74 Mode 5 modification kits for the Navy; 6 RT-1836 An/APX-118 CXPs for the Navy; 4 RT-1912 AN/APX-123 CXPs for the Navy; 74 C-12720 Mode 5 RCUs for the Navy (71) and Department of Defense (3); 177 C-12664 Mode 4 RCUs for the Army; and 68 MT-7221 APX mounts for the Navy. Work will be performed in Greenlawn, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in February 2012. 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.

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd, Gyeongnam, Korea, is being awarded a $17,922,700 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of ship-to-shore container cranes for Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point. The work to be performed provides for fabrication of ship-to-shore container cranes used in container handling operations to load and off-load ships and other vessels. The cranes are manufactured in different sizes and varying capabilities. The contract also contains one unexercised option which, if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $27,500,000. Crane manufacturing work will be performed in Changwon, Korea, and crane installation and utilization will be performed in Southport, N.C. Work is expected to be completed by March 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with six proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Navy Crane Center, Portsmouth, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-10-C-8009).

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, is being awarded a $15,957,499 contract modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-2303) for long lead time material, construction, related support, and engineering and production support services associated with the construction of DDG 1001. Work is expected to be performed in Coatesville, Pa. (41 percent), Burns Harbor, Ind. (41 percent), and South Portland, Maine (18 percent), and is expected to be completed by July 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.

Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., Greenville, S.C., is being awarded a $12,931,371 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract (N00019-05-D-0013) to complete Zone 5 critical airframe structures replacements for four P-3C aircraft in support of the P-3C sustainment, modification, and installation program. Work will be performed in Greenville, S.C., and is expected to be completed in April 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.

L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, LP, Waco, Texas, is being awarded a $10,051,893 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract (N00019-05-D-0008) to complete Zone 5 critical airframe structures replacements for four P-3C aircraft in support of the P-3C sustainment, modification and installation program. Work will be performed in Waco, Texas (83 percent), and Birmingham, Ala. (17 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 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.

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., is being awarded a $9,818,797 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-2304) for the calendar year 2010 government-furnished equipment workshare transportation of class products associated with the DDG 1000 Zumwalt class destroyer. This contract modification procures the labor and material required to fabricate cradles, fixtures, pedestals, etc., required to support the transportation of class products to Bath, Maine, in order to meet critical construction milestones. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and Gulfport, Miss., and is expected to be completed 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.

Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded $8,625,156 for firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0016 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-07-D-5031) for the purchase of field service representatives to install the TAK-4 independent suspension system kits on Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Work will be performed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded $8,625,156 for firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0017 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-07-D-5031) for the purchase of field service representatives to install the TAK-4 independent suspension system kits on Cougar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Work will be performed at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded a $6,798,260 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of automatic test equipment for testing of various types of avionics, including seven spare cameras for the U.S. Navy; one electro-optic console with associated ancillary equipment and two spare integrated photonics assemblies (IPAs) for the government of Switzerland; and two IPAs for the governments of Finland (1) and Australia (1) in support of the consolidated automated support system. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($1,020,159; 15 percent) and the governments of Switzerland ($4,421,677; 63 percent), Australia ($678,212; 11 percent), and Finland ($678,212; 11 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-C-0233).

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Clearfield, Utah, was awarded a $33,797,589 contract which will provide sustainment support for the Minuteman Weapon System. At this time, $31,797,589 has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (F42610-98-C-0001).

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., was awarded a $12,000,000 contract which will provide funding for the C-32A and C-40B/C calendar year sustaining engineering support. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 655 AESS/SYKA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (F33657-01-D-0013).

Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $10,267,225 contract which will provide analysis of remote sensing geographical information systems and address new information assurance requirements resulting from recent organizational changes vital to Col Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At this time, $335,317 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-d-4002).

Man Falsely Claimed to Be Army General

Big Bear Lakes Man Falsely Claimed to Be Army General


April 19, 2010 - RIVERSIDE, CA—Federal prosecutors have charged a Big Bear Lakes man with a felony offense of fraudulently using the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff seal on a business card that he used to falsely claim to be a general in the United States Army Reserves.

Carmine Alexander “Bud” Cannarella, 64, was named in a criminal information filed Wednesday in United States District Court. At the same time, prosecutors filed a plea agreement in which Cannarella agreed to plead guilty to the offense that carries a potential sentence of five years in federal prison.

In the court documents, Cannarella admits using the seal of the Joint Chief of Staff on a business card, which he used to falsely claim that he was a general and a license clinical psychologist. Cannarella presented the business card and a photo of him in a military uniform to an individual in September 2008. Cannarella, who briefly served in the military in the 1960s as a private, has claimed to be a military officer for many years.

Cannarella will be summoned to appear in federal court for an arraignment on June 7.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received substantial assistance from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Charles J. Kovats Jr. (951) 276-6924

Enterprise Completes Sea Trials, Rejoins the Fleet

By Ensign Michael Hatfield, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

April 19, 2010 - USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Enterprise (CVN 65) completed sea trials April 19 after conducting intense testing of all major ship systems at sea.

The crew tested equipment, ran system checks and made certain that the nation's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and oldest active warship was ready to be redelivered to the fleet.

"The ship performed amazingly," said Capt. Ron Horton, Enterprise's current and longest-serving commanding officer. "She and the crew performed exceptionally well under rigorous testing including high speed turns and many drills. She's as capable as ever and only just begun to stretch her sea legs."

Although much of the younger crew members had never been underway before, the intense training completed during the Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability ensured they knew exactly what to do.

"This ship has an incredible track record of excellence," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Dominic A. Musso. "The Enterprise is legendary, and the way the crew and the ship performed during sea trials demonstrates decidedly that the legend continues."

The crew hoisted a broom on the starboard halyard of the ship's mast to signify a "clean sweep," a longstanding tradition for ships which complete evaluations with excellence.

Enterprise is scheduled to begin its training cycle, which will culminate with the ship executing its 21st deployment. The aircraft carrier's first step is to pass flight deck certification so that an air wing can embark the ship and launch aircraft - the primary mission of all carriers.

"We have now shifted our focus from fixing the ship to combat presence which is our real job," said Cmdr. Edward Galvin, the ship's operations officer, as the ship departed for sea trials.

Military Adjusts to Icelandic Volcano's Ashfall

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 19, 2010 - Ash from an Icelandic volcano continues to wreak havoc with air flights across Europe, including American military flights. Thousands of commercial and military flights from Ireland to the Ukraine have been cancelled as the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which started erupting last week, continues to spew ash.

The American military is making adjustments. The U.S. bases in Mildenhall and Lakenheath, England, and Ramstein and Spangdahlem air bases in Germany have been affected by the ash plume.

"There are no flight ops due to the mandatory declaration and suspension of flights from EuroControl," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today. EuroControl is the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

"We still have a solid contingency plan for evacuating our wounded out of [the U.S. Central Command area], and we've relocated some of our aeromedical evacuation aircraft to Rota, Spain, along with medical teams that provide for care all along the route," Whitman added.

Flights transporting ill and wounded soldiers that would normally head to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany are being rerouted. Joint Base Balad in Iraq has become the new hub for military aeromedical evacuations, with the first patients arriving April 17 at the Air Force Theater Hospital there. The new medevac route runs from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Balad, Iraq, to a refueling stop at Rota and finally to Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington in Maryland.

Taking the wounded along the southern rim of Europe takes about eight hours longer than flying through Germany or England, Whitman said, but all aeromedical evacuation needs are being met. Aerial refueling will be employed if clinical needs of the patient require it, officials said, but it has not been needed yet.

The ash plume has had no effect on operations in Afghanistan, Whitman said. Some resupply flights have been affected, with European goods now flowing from other logistics hubs, U.S. Transportation Command officials said. Still, most military goods ship via land or water, and these shipments have not been affected.

However, the grounding of flights did affect NATO Exercise Brilliant Ardent 10, U.S. Air Force officials reported. The large-scale NATO response air live exercise, hosted by Germany, began April 12 and was scheduled to run through April 22. During the exercise, the 22nd Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base and the 351st Air Refueling Squadron from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, have been partnering with air forces from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Turkey in the exercise.

General Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Lt. Gen. David P. Fridovich, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Fridovich is currently serving as director, Center for Special Operations, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Donald C. Leins, for appointment to the rank of major general. Leins is currently serving as deputy director for strategic initiatives, (individual mobilization augmentee), J-5, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

Army Col. Nadja Y. West, for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. West is currently serving as commander, Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Army Col. Ming T. Wong, for appointment to the rank of major general. Wong is currently serving as commander, U. S. Army Dental Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Navy Week Brings Birthday Cheer to Vets

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Lucy M. Quinn, Navy Office of Community Outreach

April 19, 2010 - CHARLESTON, S.C. (NNS) -- The assistant chief of Naval Operations for the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) visited Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center April 14 during Charleston Navy Week.

Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin arrived to visit Navy veteran Hugh Pearson. "I couldn't believe it," said Pearson. "I haven't seen a Navy uniform in a long time."

Pearson, a hospital corpsman 1st class with the Marines during the Vietnam War, was celebrating his 70th birthday in the hospital.

"This is the best birthday gift I could get," said Pearson.

The birthday party moved on to an activity room for a concert. There, Goodwin talked to Josephine Hutchingson, a World War II Army Air Forces veteran who had just celebrated her 90th birthday. Hutchingson was a driver/chauffer during the war and shared stories about being a female in the military.

"What an honor," said Hutchingson. "I'm thrilled to see women be honored now for being in the military."

Charleston Navy Week is one of 20 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2010. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

General Officer Announcements

April 19, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President made the following nominations:

Marine Corps Col. Brian D. Beaudreault has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Beaudreault is currently serving as the director, Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Va.

Marine Corps Col. Vincent A. Coglianese has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Coglianese is currently serving as the commanding officer, Combat Logistics Regiment 27 in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marine Corps Col. Craig C. Crenshaw has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Crenshaw is currently serving as the commanding officer, Combat Logistics Regiment 25 in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marine Corps Col. Francis L. Kelley Jr. has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Kelley is currently serving as the chief of staff, Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va.

Marine Corps Col. John K. Love has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Love is currently serving as the chief of staff, 2d Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marine Corps Col. James W. Lukeman has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Love is currently serving as the military assistant to the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Col. Carl E. Mundy III has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Mundy is currently serving as the director, Strategic Initiatives Group, Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Col. Kevin J. Nally has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Nally is currently serving as the assistant chief of staff, G-6, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Marine Corps Col. Daniel J. O' Donohue has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. O'Donohue is currently serving as the commanding officer, 1st Marine Regiment in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Marine Corps Col. Steven R. Rudder has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Rudder is currently serving in the Department of Aviation, APX 1, Headquarters, Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Col. John W. Simmons has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Simmons is currently serving as the commanding officer, Combat Logistics Regiment 2 in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marine Corps Col. Gary L. Thomas has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Thomas is currently serving as the commanding officer, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 in Yuma, Ariz.

Threat of Piracy Requires Strong Response, Admiral Says


April 19, 2010 - A top U.S. Navy official said commercial fleets should take a new measure to avoid the threat of piracy off the horn of Africa: lock’n'load.

Navy Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa and of NATO’s Allied Joint Task Force Command Naples, told Pentagon reporters that the scope of the piracy problem is too great to be policed by military vessels alone.

“We could put a World War II fleet of ships out there,” Fitzgerald said, referring to the Gulf of Aden and the Mozambique Channel off the Indian coast, “and we still wouldn’t be able to cover the whole ocean.”

The problem of Somali piracy goes back to the nation’s government, Fitzgerald said. Without a strong government that can confront the problem within its borders, the root of piracy won’t be removed.

In the near-term, Fitzgerald said it is “incumbent upon the vessels who are sailing the high seas to either protect themselves or accept the dangers.”

“Commercial ships should take appropriate protections,” he added, “because we cannot offer 100-percent guarantees of protection as the ships go through.”

Returning Warrior Workshop Comes to Boise

By Lt. Cmdr. John Lewis

April 19, 2010 - BOISE (NNS) -- Forty-two returning warriors back from overseas contingency operations attended a 2-day transitional workshop at the Doubletree Hotel Boise-Riverside, April 17-18. In attendance were also 35 guests invited by the service members.

The workshop is a support program initiated by the Navy Reserve Force to assist Sailors and their family members with reintegration and reunion. Both Reservists and active duty members attended the event.

"It's fabulous," said Ms. Cynthia Miller the Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command (RCC) warrior—family support program specialist. "For Reservists to get together with people who have the same experience and to share how they feel after they return," is one of the big reasons to attend the event continued Miller. "It's also reassuring for family and loved ones to see others who have returned may be experiencing similar situations."

Maj. Gen. Charles Luckey United States Army Reserve participated in the day's events and delivered the "Thank You to Our Heroes" address during Saturday's banquet. "To the Navy---you stepped up! You took on the burden that normally goes to the Army. You've become borrowed military manpower for the Army."

Topics during the event included warrior transitions, telling your story, the warrior's spirituality, couples reconnecting and combat and operational stress. Attendees are given information about resources available to assist with their transition back from deployment. For those wishing to speak about issues in a private environment, confidential sessions with counselors were available.

"Yes, it's worth it, and I would recommend it to others," said Logistics Support 2nd Class Gustavo Calero who spent 9 months in Kuwait. "You get to bring your significant other to a nice hotel and you get information about benefits, and assistance." Gustavo's significant other Kristine Dahl said, "Hearing from other members, I see he is not alone."

The Returning Warrior Workshop (RWW) is a weekend for the Navy to take care of military personnel who have been deployed in support of combat or combat support operations. Taking care of our people is one of the Chief of Navy Operation's top three priorities.

RWW is held at different locations across the country throughout the year to welcome returning warriors and help them integrate back into civilian life. For information about upcoming RWW's in Navy region Northwest contact Ms. Cynthia Miller at (425) 304-4820 or at cynthia.d.miller@navy.mil.

Coast Guard Budget

Testimony of Rear Admiral Vincent Atkins, U.S. Coast Guard, before the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, on Department of Homeland Security Air and Marine Operations and Investments


April 19, 2010

Washington, D.C.

Good morning Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the subcommittee. I am honored to appear before you today to speak about Coast Guard cooperation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine. I will discuss our current cooperation in the areas of maritime drug and alien migrant interdiction as well as joint capabilities under development.

The Coast Guard is a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States. We are the only service given statutory responsibility and authority for direct law enforcement action. Since the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790, Congress has granted our Service expansive authority to board and inspect vessels at sea. After the Civil War, Congress removed geographic limitations on our boarding authority, directing the Revenue Cutter Service to enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable federal laws on, under, and over the high seas, in addition to waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. This worldwide boarding authority, codified in 14 U.S.C. § 2 and 89, is the foundation of the Coast Guard’s maritime law enforcement mission, and specifically maritime drug and migrant interdiction. Today’s boarding officers lead teams of two or more uniformed officers to “make inquiries, examinations, inspections, searches, seizures, and arrests upon the high seas and waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, for the prevention, detection, and suppression of violations of laws of the United States.”

As a component within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Coast Guard plans and coordinates mission execution closely with other DHS components including Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This partnership is most prominent in the execution of our shared counterdrug mission.

Maritime Drug Interdiction

The Eastern Pacific and Western Caribbean serve as the principal maritime threat vectors, followed by the Central and Eastern Caribbean vectors. Non-commercial maritime conveyances such as go-fast vessels, self-propelled semi-submersibles (SPSS) and fishing vessels are the drug smuggling conveyances of choice. Go-fasts and SPSSs account for approximately 47 percent and 27 percent, respectively, of the maritime movement of cocaine toward the United States.

The Coast Guard, in cooperation with our partners in CBP Office of Air and Marine, plays a pivotal role implementing the U.S. government’s strategy for disrupting the flow of illicit drugs. The Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for maritime drug interdiction in the transit zone, which covers a six million square mile area—roughly twice the size of the continental United States—including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific. The Coast Guard strives to reduce the supply of drugs by denying smugglers the use of maritime routes and conveyances, principally from South American source countries. To cover these large maritime areas, the Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine deploy maritime patrol aircraft. We assign our largest cutters, which carry helicopters, small boats, and boarding teams, to the transit zone. Additionally, we deploy our law enforcement boarding teams (LEDETS) onboard US and allied naval ships as a force multiplier in the transit zone

The Coast Guard maintains its interdiction posture from the transit zone through the arrival zone with tactics integrated and focused on end-game prosecution. In the transit zone, maritime patrol aircraft survey large expanses of ocean and key geographical chokepoints for suspect vessels. Detecting a vessel of interest, the maritime patrol aircraft engages our cutter forces to initiate the critical interdiction phase. An armed helicopter launched from a cutter flight deck responds to intercept the suspect vessel and, with warning and disabling shots, brings it to a halt. Boarding teams from cutter-launched small boats then board the vessel, confiscate the drugs, and place the suspects in custody.

The arrival zone encompasses the coastal regions of the Southeast U.S., the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal regions of southern California. From shore, fixed-wing patrol aircraft and helicopters, as well as patrol and interceptor boats, lay surveillance net to intercept smugglers on the last leg of their transit to U.S. shores.

This interdiction model has resulted in great success. In 2009, the Coast Guard experienced one of its most successful years, intercepting and preventing more than $5 billion worth of illegal drugs from reaching American shores. The Coast Guard armed helicopter interdiction squadron (HITRON), in fact, interdicted a record number of vessels – 32 – and is on an even stronger pace in FY 2010.

Though the Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for maritime drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean transit zone, we could not do our job without the tremendous interagency and international cooperation that comes together under unified command and control at Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South). This Task Force includes components from Coast Guard, CBP Office of Air and Marine P-3 airborne early warning and long range tracker aircraft, the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Security Agency, as well as liaison officers from 11 different countries to facilitate transnational cooperative counterdrug efforts. JIATF South is responsible for directing interagency detection, monitoring, and sorting of air and maritime drug smuggling events; fusing intelligence and law enforcement information; and planning and conducting flexible operations that enable the Coast Guard to interdict and disrupt drug smuggling throughout the transit zone.

The coordinated function of JIATF South is best described by an example. A typical case begins when JIATF South receives actionable law enforcement information from the Drug Enforcement Administration. This prompts cueing of a maritime patrol aircraft, either a CBP Office of Air and Marine P-3 or a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, to detect and monitor a foreign flagged suspect vessel. JIATF South then vectors a Coast Guard cutter, U.S. Navy, or allied surface ship with an embarked Law Enforcement Detachment to intercept. When the ship arrives on scene with the suspect vessel, the operation transitions from the detection and monitoring phase to the interdiction and apprehension phase; tactical control is then shifted from JIATF South to the appropriate Coast Guard District (the Eleventh Coast Guard District for operations in the Eastern Pacific or the Seventh Coast Guard District for operations in the Caribbean). For a foreign flag vessel, the Coast Guard tactical commander implements a bilateral agreement or arrangement in force with the vessel’s flag state to confirm registry and to stop, board, and search the vessel for drugs. If drugs are found, jurisdiction and disposition over the vessel, drugs, and crew are coordinated with the State Department, DOJ, and the flag state. This process plays out every day with amazing effectiveness and efficiency, largely due to the unified command and control that JIATF South exercises across multiple partner agency assets.

In FY 2009, Coast Guard provided 4,036 hours, and CBP Office of Air and Marine provided 6,497 hours, of maritime patrol aircraft coverage to support JIATF South operations. In FY 2009, these hours of coverage resulted in surface assets being vectored to intercept 105 suspect targets of interest, resulting in the removal of over 156,876 kg of cocaine. For FY 2010, the Coast Guard has allocated 4,700 hours of maritime patrol aircraft coverage to support JIATF South operations.

Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine cooperation on maritime patrol coverage in the illicit drug smuggling transit zone is only one facet of our effort to produce efficiencies in areas of mutual responsibility. From leadership to the front line, Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine have engaged as partners to create a more unified purpose in operational, logistical, and administrative efforts. Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine executives meet quarterly as part of the DHS Senior Guidance Team to discuss agency-level issues, which include: small vessel strategy, joint unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), joint targeting, joint logistics cooperation, joint budget development and justification, joint specialized forces, mass migration coordination, and interagency operations centers.

Known as the “One DHS Air” initiative, the Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine staffs have developed over the last year a project team to specifically address potential economic efficiencies in departmental aviation operations. Subject matter experts in each agency are cooperating to study the costs and benefits of collocating nearby operational units. Business case analyses are ongoing for Puerto Rico and Sacramento and are scheduled for four additional locations. A unified information management system for existing aviation assets of both agencies is also being studied. Our goal is to have interoperable training, operations, safety standards, and information management for all of our aviation forces within the next several years.

We have initiated joint acquisition review of critical assets to evaluate them from a complementary perspective. A successful demonstration of this partnership is the UAS program. Cooperating in the development of requirements, our two agencies have created a joint operational program. As the Coast Guard continues to develop its cutter-based UAS program to address our specific capability gaps, we will build upon the knowledge gained in our joint land-based UAS program.

Interdicting Migrants at Sea

Illegal drugs are not the only threat to our national security moving via maritime means. Every year, people try to enter this country illegally via maritime routes, many utilizing organized smuggling operations. They often transit in dangerously overloaded, unseaworthy, or otherwise unsafe craft. This maritime flow of undocumented migrants onto America’s shores is both a threat to the lives of those who attempt the voyage and in violation of U.S. and international law. Coast Guard migrant interdiction operations are as much humanitarian efforts as they are law enforcement actions. Many of the migrant interdiction cases handled by the Coast Guard involve search and rescue actions, usually on the high seas rather than in U.S. coastal waters. The Coast Guard maintains a persistent presence of deepwater cutters and aircraft in the Florida Straits, Windward Passage, and Mona Passage to deter illegal immigration and conduct interdiction operations. Frequent pulse operations with these assets prepare us to respond during periods of heightened migrant flow.

Between 2004 and 2006, Dominican citizens represented the largest nationality group trying to enter the United States illegally. During this period, an estimated average of over 8,600 migrants per year entered Puerto Rico across the Mona Passage, the 90 mile expanse of water that separates the east coast of the Dominican Republic from the west coast of Puerto Rico. This rate dropped precipitously to only 1,268 migrants last year. Through constant, effective patrol presence, the Coast Guard estimates it has been able to interdict over 50 percent of those attempting to use the Mona Passage route.

Just as we do in drug interdiction, we rely on technological innovation, unified command and control, and partnerships with other agencies, such as CBP Office of Air and Marine, to counter alien smuggling. In Coast Guard Sector San Juan, the effective interdiction of smuggling vessels in the Mona Passage and the deployment of a mobile biometrics capability on 110-foot patrol boats, combined with interagency support for prosecution, has proven extremely effective in reducing the flow of illegal migration in that location.

In 2006, the Coast Guard approached US-VISIT with a proposal to undertake a joint Proof of Concept in partnership with CBP that focused on collecting biometrics at sea. Since Nov. 17, 2006, the Coast Guard has been using biometrics to make positive identification of migrants interdicted within the Mona Passage. On April 15, 2008, the Coast Guard expanded the use of this capability to include biometrics collection aboard patrol boats operating in and around South Florida. Prior to biometric collection, there were very few prosecutions for illegal migrant activity across the Mona Passage. The Coast Guard’s use of biometric technology, in cooperation with our key partners (CBP, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), DOJ, and the Dominican Navy) has significantly improved the success for the migrant interdiction mission. We have seen an 80 percent reduction in the maritime migrant flow through the Mona Passage, collected over 2,700 biometric signatures, of which over 700 were found to have criminal records. Approximately 330 successful prosecutions have resulted from this program.

This impact would not have been possible without our partners, including CBP Office of Air and Marine, participating in a unified command and control concept now called the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG). CBIG works because each agency involved has committed its intelligence, maritime, and air assets to the unified command at Coast Guard Sector San Juan. It is the Coast Guard’s experience that a unified command across a specified joint operations area, such as the Mona Passage, with integration of intelligence, situational awareness, operational picture, and enforcement functions, will result in maximum effectiveness from available resources. This unified operating concept, coupled with coordinated detention, removal, repatriation, and prosecutions ashore, indeed has proven very effective. These partnerships also exist in other locations to counter other threats. The South Florida Maritime Border Interagency Group is similar in organizational structure, with the same outstanding results combating smugglers that operate in and around the Florida Straits. Both efforts are similar in concept, though smaller in scale, to JIATFs South and West.

Like drug traffickers, migrant smugglers have also profited from technological innovations, particularly high-speed, multi-engine, go-fast boats. Go-fast smuggling vessels have replaced rafts and rusticas as the preferred mode of transportation due to their increased probability of success. We estimate that the rate of success for a raft or rustica is never better than 50 percent and generally 25 percent or lower. By comparison, the rate of success for a go-fast vessel operated by a migrant smuggling organization is estimated at 70 percent. Migrant smuggling via go-fast vessels is a multi-million dollar enterprise that brings thousands of undocumented aliens to the U.S. at prices of up to $10,000 per person.

To address this threat, the DHS Boat Commodity Council jointly procured and deployed high speed pursuit boats, with crews trained in employing warning shots and disabling fire against non-compliant smuggling vessels. The Boat Commodity Council was established shortly after DHS was formed to foster a close working relationship between DHS components that operate boats, and to develop procedures to optimize efficiencies. The Boat Commodity Council is co-chaired by the Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine.

The Boat Commodity Council has facilitated a number of cooperative initiatives:

1.Through an Interagency Support Agreement, CBP provides contracted preventative maintenance and casualty repair for the aforementioned high speed interceptor boat and conducts depot level maintenance on over 1,600 Coast Guard outboard engines. As a result, outboard engines are no longer one of the Coast Guard’s top operational degraders.

2.CBP Office of Air and Marine and the Coast Guard share joint maintenance facilities at seven locations, thereby reducing expenses.

3.Joint procurement of boats, parts, and personnel protective equipment allows the Department to leverage greater buying power in the marketplace.

4.These initiatives have saved DHS approximately $9 million in procurement and maintenance costs since the Department’s formation.

The key to effective employment of Coast Guard and CBP Office of Air and Marine assets is unified command, control, communications, planning, and mission execution. This is well illustrated by the San Diego Maritime Unified Command. The Unified Command includes the leadership of the Coast Guard, CBPs Office of Air and Marine and Office of Border Patrol, the San Diego Harbor Police, and other port partners. Members of the San Diego Maritime Unified Command attend weekly Operational Planning Cell meetings, where the Operational Action Plan (OAP) is finalized and published for the following week. Senior managers receive a joint intelligence brief, provide strategic guidance, and then depart, leaving the agency tacticians to formulate an operational plan that supports the mission requirements, and is responsive to cued intelligence. Prior to the establishment of a unified command and the joint planning process, there was very little coordination among DHS components in San Diego, often resulting in overlapping operational areas and gaps in the maritime approaches that could be exploited by criminal organizations. The OAP has eliminated the parallel tasking which resulted in these gaps, and has maximized the widespread deployment of forces in a logical and organized manner. The OAP has also exploited the strengths of the assets that each agency brings to bear: the Coast Guard’s unique ability to both supply persistent offshore surface and rotary presence; CBP Office of Air and Marine’s interceptor boats and land side rotary capability; and CBP Office of Border Patrol’s ground forces. The OAP weaves these forces into a multi-layered defense in depth for the San Diego area of operations.

As a result of the successes of the unified command and the Coast Guard’s ability to relevantly function in both the DoD and the civil law enforcement arenas, Coast Guard Sector San Diego has become the point of integration for Joint Task Force North and its Defense Support to Civil Authorities law enforcement support. Recognizing the validity and success of unified operations, Commander for the Navy’s Third Fleet, based in San Diego, has directed his forces to establish a continuing relationship with the Coast Guard, primarily providing persistent detection and monitoring westward of the international sea boundary. In addition to our civil law enforcement port partners, the San Diego Maritime Unified Command now integrates U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and DoD special forces into homeland security and law enforcement operations. The success of the joint planning process has been recognized as a best practice. Coast Guard Sector San Diego planning officers have exported the process to both Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles / Long Beach and to CBP Office of Border Patrol Yuma Sector.



The following case is illustrative of multi-agency coordination in a Coast Guard unified command and control structure.

On the evening of Feb. 5, 2010, a U.S. Navy aircraft located a suspect panga vessel with its lights out in the Pacific Ocean approximately 30 nautical miles west of La Jolla, CA. The naval aircraft tracked the suspect panga until a CBP Office of Air and Marine vessel was able to intercept it near Oceanside, CA. After a brief pursuit, the CBP marine asset fired warning shots, after which the suspect vessel stopped. The subsequent CBP Office of Air and Marine boarding resulted in the apprehension of 23 illegal aliens and seizure of the vessel. The alien migrants were transferred onto a Coast Guard patrol boat and transported back to shore for removal by Office of Border Patrol agents. The vessel's Mexican national operator was interviewed and detained by ICE for possible prosecution. The panga vessel was towed back to the San Diego Marine Unit for seizure. The Coast Guard Sector Command Center in San Diego coordinated the entire case across the Navy, Coast Guard, CBP, and ICE, under the governance of the established maritime unified command.

Whether operating thousands of miles down range off South and Central America, or operating in our nation’s littorals, the Coast Guard is playing a critical maritime border security role countering a broad range of illicit activities in established smuggling routes throughout the maritime domain.

There are several key principles that leverage success with our partners such as CBP Office of Air and Marine:

•Unified command, control and communications across defined joint operating areas;

•Integrated intelligence, situational awareness, planning, and operational response; and

•Common platforms, doctrine, tactics, and training.

The successes I have described in the Eastern Pacific, Mona Passage, and off Southern California demonstrate the effectiveness of the Interagency Operations Center (IOC) concept that is being developed and deployed around the country by the Coast Guard. The San Diego center is a prototype wherein multiple port partners from DHS, DoD, state, and local agencies work in unity to coordinate mission planning, execution, and monitoring. Directed by the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Coast Guard is the Department’s executive agent for the establishment of IOCs in high priority ports. These IOCs will have the mission and capability to improve unified command and control, and execute integrated situational awareness and response, among all DHS components and other port partners. Critical elements of IOCs include a concept of operations where relevant partners have established protocols to achieve interagency planning, coordination and operations; direct access to the WatchKeeper IOC information management tool, or other similar displays in order for IOC member agencies to achieve enhanced situational awareness; joint awareness and coordination of planned vessel inspection activities between Coast Guard and CBP; operation under a unified command structure; and adherence to the best practices described in the Maritime Port Operations Handbook and IOC Concept of Operations, as appropriate.

I have focused on the interdiction of drugs and migrants, because these are the missions in which we have significant synergy with CBP Office of Air and Marine. However, those missions are but two of the eleven missions the Coast Guard conducts daily for the safety and security of the American public. Day and night, in good weather and bad, 24-hours a day and 365 days a year, for over 219 years, our young men and women are on watch, ever-vigilant, always ready. The Coast Guard actively seeks to defeat those who would do harm to our great nation, rescues mariners in distress, facilitates safe travel and trade by maintaining our marine transportation system, and ensures effective stewardship of our marine resources.

It is our unique authorities, capabilities, competencies, and partnerships, both foreign and domestic, which enable the Coast Guard, along with our fellow DHS components and the other branches of the armed forces, to consistently and effectively execute our mission as America’s maritime guardian.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.