Military News

Friday, May 28, 2010

Strategy Pillars Will Ensure America's Security

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 28, 2010 - The new U.S. National Security Strategy, unveiled yesterday, recognizes that America's strength is based on all elements of national power, and the power of its example to the world, Vice President Joe Biden said today at the U.S. Naval Academy here.

Speaking to the 2010 graduating class, Biden said the four pillars of the new strategy are designed to "guarantee America's continued ascendency in the 21st century [and] to guarantee our security."

Biden outlined these four basic principles: strengthening the U.S. economy; marshalling non-military as well as military capabilities; building and strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships around the world; and remaining true to America's foundational values.

"A strong economy is the only foundation on which we can build a guarantee for our national security," he said, citing broad economic initiatives under way. "Our strength and influence all depends on our economic prosperity and elevation."

Biden reiterated President Barack Obama's recognition during his graduation address last week at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.: "At no time in human history has a nation of diminished economic vitality maintained its military or political primacy."

The new security strategy also recognizes the importance of using "all the arrows in the quiver" – applying all instruments of U.S. national power -- to maintain security, he noted.

"Our military capacity is absolutely necessary, but not in and of itself sufficient to guarantee our security," he told the graduates.

Diplomacy, development, education, and economic, intelligence and law enforcement initiatives also are key in addressing challenges before they escalate, he explained.

"Although we reserve the right to act preemptively," he said, "we will strive to stop crises before they start, to avoid whenever we can the choice of last resort of the danger in action."

The strategy seeks to build on a long history of establishing strong military alliances and effective international organizations that Biden called critical to dealing with global challenges.

"The threats we face, from pandemic disease to terrorism, ... have no respect for borders," he said. "To defeat them requires responsible nations to set down rules of conduct for the 21st century... [and to] insist that other nations, along with us, enforce those rules of conduct."

In its pursuit of national security, the United States can't lose sight of its values that have sustained it since its founding, Biden emphasized.

"Our own strength lies not in the example of our power, but the power of our example," he told the graduating class.

Biden rejected the notion that the United States has to choose between its safety and its ideals in the face of those who seek to threaten its way of life. "If we yield on our ideals, they will have already won," he said.

The vice president noted that the vast majority of the world looks to the United States for inspiration. "That is why we cannot undermine our strength by compromising those values in the name of security," he said. "They ultimately are our security.

"In the broad struggle against extremism, upholding our values makes us stronger," he continued. "Compromising them is what makes us weaker and yielding."

Biden recognized the values instilled at the Naval Academy – honor, courage and commitment – and said they're the same ideals that define America.

"Our ideals are what make us the greatest nation in the history of mankind," he said. "And ultimately, they are a powerful incentive for the world to respond."

Mullen Pledges Ongoing Support for Families of Fallen

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

May 28, 2010 - Just days before the nation pauses to pay tribute to fallen servicemembers, America's senior military officer took time out today to stress the importance of their sacrifice and pledge his ongoing support for their families.

"We are blessed ... to have a military that's the best it's ever been, in the best country that's ever been, because of the service of those who raised their right hand and went off to do their nation's bidding," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. "Those whom we lost epitomize the absolute best of the best."

The chairman spoke to hundreds of families of fallen servicemembers at the 16th Annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors National Military Survivor Seminar here. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support to people grieving the loss of a servicemember.

People from across the nation are attending the seminar this weekend to share stories, find comfort and to learn coping strategies for dealing with loss. In conjunction with the seminar, about 350 children are attending the TAPS Good Grief Camp, where they are discovering ways to deal with loss through educational activities and the development of a peer support network.

Few people understand the level of loss these families have experienced, Mullen noted.

"The only way we can approach understanding is to stay engaged, and to do as much as we possibly can to make sure that sacrifice is honored in every possible way," he said. "We ensure, we in ways become the guarantor that we as a country will never forget the sacrifice that your loved ones have made."

Mullen praised TAPS for its care for families of the fallen, noting that it's more than just an organization; it's a family of people who share a common bond.

"You and your member -- your son, your daughter, your brother, your sister, your mom, your dad -- you are the face of these two very difficult conflicts," he said. "We as a country can never, ever forget that."

Mullen recalled a recent trip he and his wife, Deborah, took to Dover Air Force Base, Del., where servicemembers killed in combat first return to U.S. soil. He visited with some families who recently had lost a servicemember in a bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, and took particular note of a 9-year-old boy whose "hero had died."

"To look into his eyes and see the need that was there, the lack of understanding that was there -- I'll never forget the look, I'll never forget the hug, and the need he transmitted in those few seconds that he will have the rest of his life and that we all work so very hard to fill," the chairman said.

"There are hundreds here today just like [that boy]," he continued. "I can't say enough about the ability to meet that need or to fill up some of that gap."

The chairman vowed his continued support toward that effort.

"Those losses penetrate spaces that are very hard to understand, but they are not hard to remember, they are not hard to recognize," he said. "I believe you, I believe those who sacrifice so much in these wars, deserve to be taken care of, to have your needs met, to be supported for the rest of your lives."

The chairman encouraged TAPS members to continue their work to touch families of the fallen, and to support those who will be affected by future sacrifices. "And sadly, they will continue to come," he said.

Army Space and Missile Defense Command Engineer Charged with Accepting Bribes

May 28, 2010 - Federal prosecutors today charged a Scottsboro man with accepting bribes when he worked as an engineer with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville and with evading payment of taxes on the bribery income, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Pat Maley and IRS Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigations, Reginael McDaniel announced.

STEVEN EARL BRYANT, 39, was charged in a two-count information filed in U.S. District Court with being a public official who accepted bribes in relation to Space and Missile Defense Command contracts with private companies who were supposed to provide material for missile defense research. The information also charges BRYANT with evading taxes of $33,370 on $110,694 of unreported income for the 2006 calendar year.

“Mr. Bryant abused his position with the U.S. Army for his own financial gain, accepting payments for preferential treatment of private contractors,” Vance said. “He undermined the integrity of the contracting process.”

"Financial crimes can thrive for a time, but eventually the web untangles and the fraud is exposed. IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are experts at unraveling such schemes, leaving no financial stone unturned," McDaniel said.

According to the information, BRYANT was a public official from 2002 to 2010 while he worked as an engineer with the missile defense command at Redstone Arsenal. In that capacity, he acted as the Technical Representative for Contracting Officers on Space and Missile Defense Command contracts for items and material for missile defense research supplied by private businesses. Among the contracts monitored by BRYANT were contracts between the missile defense command and companies owned by Maurice Subilia, Dennis Darling and Paul Hurlburt, who have already plead guilty on other charges.

The information against BRYANT charges that between 2002 and November 2006, he received about $200,000 in return for and with the intent of being influenced in his job involving contracts between the missile defense command and companies that were paying him bribes.

Subilia and Hurlburt pleaded guilty in federal court in Maine in 2009 to conspiracy charges in connection to procurement fraud in contracts their companies had with the missile defense command in Huntsville. Subilia, who also pleaded guilty to money laundering and bribery charges, admitted he paid more than $1.2 million in bribes, from 2000 to 2007, to missile defense command employees Michael Cantrell and Douglas Ennis.

Darling pleaded guilty in 2008 to a federal bribery charge in Alabama. His engineering company had contracts with the missile defense command from 2005 through 2007. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

Cantrell was the director and Ennis the deputy director for the Joint Center for Technology Integration at the missile defense command. Both men pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy and other charges related to the procurement fraud scheme. Cantrell has been sentenced. Ennis is scheduled for sentencing June 3.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS, with assistance from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Army Criminal Investigative Division Fraud Team and Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the Department of Defense.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Whisonant is prosecuting the case.

Obama Backs Gates in Budget Debate

American Forces Press Service

May 28, 2010 - President Barack Obama today promised to veto any legislation that includes funding for an alternate engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter or more C-17 cargo jets, expressing his "strong support" for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' budget-reform effort.

"As the Congress continues its work on funding bills for the Department of Defense, I want to reiterate my strong support for the reforms Secretary Gates is advancing at the Pentagon," Obama said in a written statement the White House released today. "He has kept me fully apprised of his efforts to reform how our military operates and bring needed efficiencies to the Department of Defense."

Obama said he stands "squarely behind" Gates' position on the second F-35 engine and the C-17 program.

"As the statement of administration policy made clear," the president said in his statement, "our military does not want or need these programs being pushed by the Congress, and should Congress ignore this fact, I will veto any such legislation so that it can be returned to me without those provisions."

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 28, 2010

NAVY

Metro Machine Corp., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded an $114,045,809 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-4416) for USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) modernization, upgrades, preservations and alterations in support of the multi-ship multi-option (MSMO) mid-life extension. The LSD MSMO was developed to provide extended dry docking, modernization, upgrades, repairs and alterations to several shipboard systems such as the engineering control systems, power management platform, and chilled water distribution system for the LSD 41- and LSD 51-class amphibious landing ships. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by May 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $68,736,651 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Norfolk Naval Ship Support Activity, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

L-3 Communications, EOTech, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., is being awarded a $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for an optical sighting system for the M4A1 carbine in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command's weapons accessories program. The optical sighting system will increase the operational effectiveness of the M4A1 carbine, M203 grenade launcher, and other special operations forces small arms. Work will be performed in Ann Arbor, Mich. and is expected to be completed by May 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $262,636 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not awarded on a competitive basis. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-JN68).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $23,066,554 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0007) for the procurement of 53 fiscal 2010 Tomahawk composite capsule launching system capsules. Work will be performed in Lincoln, Neb. (31.5 percent); Camden, Ark. (28.8 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (7.2 percent); Joplin, Mo. (7 percent); Carpentersville, Ill. (4.9 percent); Rocket Center, W.V. (4.7 percent); Hopkinton, Mass. (3.9 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (2 percent); Torrance, Calif. (1.5 percent); Los Alamitos, Calif. (1 percent); and various locations throughout the U.S. (7.5 percent). Work 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.

Aviation Ground Equipment Corp.*, Freeport, N.Y., is being awarded a $16,986,180 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of up to 200 mobile load banks capable of providing electrical loads for the maintenance and testing of aviation ground power units, including: five pilot production units and associated testing; technical and logistics data; and training. Work will be performed in Freeport, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in August 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals as a 100-percent small business set-aside; five offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-D-0014).

Raytheon Co., Network Centric Systems, Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded an $8,694,337 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide performance-based engineering services in support of the AN/ALQ-227 communication countermeasure systems for the EA-18G. Support services to be provided include systems engineering, test, product assurance, logistics, training and production. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne, Ind., and is expected to be completed in May 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0013).

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

John Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory (JPU/APL), Laurel, Md., is being awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (HQ0006-07-D-0001) to task order #0016 with a total value of $10,000,000. Under this modification, JPU/APL will continue work on advanced technology initiatives by providing technical support to systems engineering and integration for assessments; studies and analyses of command and control; battles management and communications; fire control; missile engineering; combat systems; and space component and space systems. The work will be performed in Laurel, Md. The performance period for this work is from June 2010 through August 2010. Research, development, test and evaluation funding fiscal 2010 will be used to incrementally fund these efforts. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

Booz Allen & Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $9,226,092 contract which will provide Air Force Materiel Command, 526th Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Systems Group technical analysis. At this time, $793,651 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380).

Boeing Co., Seal Beach, Calif., was awarded a $7,085,000 contract for services to support pre-launch, launch and post-launch activities through completion of on-orbit checkout for Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite. At this time, $7,000,000 has been obligated. SMC SYSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity. (FA8819-08-C-0006)

Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $5,986,457 contract which will sustain systems engineering support for the production and fielded systems of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range. At this time, $4,905,990 has been obligated. 308 ARSG/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contacting activity (FA8682-10-C-0016-P00004).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Genesis Vision, Inc.*, Rochester, N.Y., is being awarded a maximum $9,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of various optical frames and accessories using the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia electronic catalog system. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with four responses. This contract has a base period with four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is June 2, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM2DE-10-D-7545).

Vietnam Native Ready to Serve

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Frances Candelaria
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

May 28, 2010 - After being asked a question about his life, Marine Corps Pfc. Duy Trinh took a moment to reflect on the answer and how it may sound. "I was born in Saigon, Vietnam," Trinh said. Something in the way he paused showed through in his eyes, as if the 20-year-old Marine went back to his birthplace and through all the memories that brought him to this exact moment in his life. "My grandparents fled after the Vietnam War, and all my relatives split up after that. Some came to the states."

The only child of a construction worker and a housewife, Trinh dreamed of growing up to be an engineer. But when his parents decided to move to Garden Grove, Calif., in 2004, the young man focused on learning to speak English and finishing school.

"I started [American] high school with only three months left of my freshman year," the Bolsa Grande High School graduate said. "Mr. Bridges was an [English as a second language] teacher, he helped me a lot. I liked him because he was an instructor first, but was very careful in the way he actually listened to me."

Trinh learned that his teacher was a former active-duty Marine and heeded his advice when it came to learning. He said he has carried the guidance with him ever since.

"He always told me, 'Your books are your weapon, like a rifle to a Marine. Every time you come to school, your books are your rifle. Without them you can do nothing," Trinh said.

Though Trinh focused his efforts in school and continued his education at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif., he became unsettled while staying at home and watching television.

"If you stay at home and watch the news, you realize you can't do anything," he said. "But if you become a part of something, you can make a change."

So after sitting around through two years of college, Trinh looked into joining the military and decided on seeing a Marine recruiter for adventure, the chance to travel and to become the change he wanted to see.

"When he first came into the office, he was real quiet and didn't say much," said Trinh's recruiter, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Edgar Ruiz. "He changed a lot in the delayed entry program. He ... started coming out of his shell. He was really motivated, and very proud to go to boot camp."

Trinh said he will go on to become an engineer equipment mechanic and is motivated to serve in the Marine Corps.

"'Semper Fidelis' means 'Always Faithful,'" he said. "I want to be faithful and help the thing I love."

National Security Advisor Describes New Strategy

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 28, 2010 - The new U.S. National Security Strategy is one of renewal and global leadership that advances U.S. interests by building the sources of American strength and influence and shaping a more peaceful and more prosperous world, President Barack Obama's national security advisor said yesterday.

James L. Jones Jr. spoke about the strategy during a news conference at the Foreign Press Center here.

"This is a time of sweeping change," he said. "Two decades since the end of the Cold War, the free flow of information, people and trade continues to accelerate at an unprecedented pace. Events far beyond our nation's shores now impact our safety, our security and prosperity, and that of our allies and friends alike, in ways that we could not have imagined just a few years ago."

This globalization of information and goods promises great benefits, Jones said, but it also can be used against the United States.

"This interconnection also comes with the perils of global challenges that do not respect borders: global networks of terrorists and criminals, threats in space and cyberspace, a degrading climate and technologies with increasing destructive power," the retired Marine Corps general said. "In addition, the international architecture of the 20th century, designed for another time, is buckling under the weight of these new threats. As a consequence, it has been difficult to forge the cooperative approaches necessary to prevent states from flouting international norms and agreements."

The United States must be strong economically to be a power internationally, Jones said, and part of the strategy recognizes the importance of economics and growth.

"American innovation must be the foundation of American power," he said, "because at no time in human history has a nation of diminished economic vitality maintained its military and political primacy."

Engaging with allies and friends is key to the strategy, Jones noted, adding that Obama has stressed that no one nation can solve the problems of the world.

"We will pursue comprehensive engagement around the world," Jones said. "We will strengthen old alliances, we will build new partnerships with emerging centers of influence in every region, and we will push for institutions that are more capable of responding to the challenges of our time."

Ensuring international rule of law and enforcing rights and responsibilities also are important aspects of the strategy, the national security advisor said, along with strengthening and integrating national capabilities.

"Going forward, there should be no doubt the United States of America will continue to underwrite global security," Jones said. "We will do so through our military advantage and we will do so through our wide-ranging commitments to allies, partners and institutions."

Still, Jones said, it is better, by far, for nations to provide security, maintain order and enforce the rule of law inside their own borders, and the United States will continue to aid nations to do just that.

The strategy calls for a "whole-of-government" approach to security strategy.

"Our diplomacy and development capabilities must be modernized, and our civilian expeditionary capacity strengthened, to support the full breadth of our priorities," Jones said. "And our intelligence and homeland-security efforts must be integrated with our national-security priorities and those of our allies, our friends and our partners."

The American military will continue to underwrite security around the world, said he added.

The strategy has a number of detailed goals, Jones said. The first is to end the war in Iraq through a responsible transition to Iraqi government. "That is on track," he said. Overall, he continued, the strategy seeks to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida and its extremist affiliates in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the world and to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction and secure vulnerable nuclear materials.

The U.S. government must come up with a strategy "to secure and protect against the full range of threats and hazards to our communities and to enhance our resilience as a nation," Jones said. The greater Middle East remains a flashpoint, he added, and the United States will remain actively involved in finding the paths to peace in the region.

Jones also said the strategy also looks to protect and secure cyberspace while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties.

Sailors Pay Visit To Boys, Girls Club During Little Rock Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pat Migliaccio, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NNS) -- Sailors from across Arkansas spent May 25 assisting staff at the Whetstone Boys and Girls Club in Little Rock socializing, helping with homework assignments, and teaching new skills.

Their visit coincided with Little Rock Navy Week 2010, one of 20 Navy Weeks planned across America this year. Navy Weeks show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Sailors spoke to more than 100 children, ages 6 to 12, hand at the Boys and Girls Club during the visit. Sailors answered numerous questions about Navy life and participated in sporting activities with them, to include tug of war, basketball and gymnastics.

"I was surprised by the athleticism of these kids," said Navy Counselor 1st Class Brian Hixon, who is attached to the Navy Recruiting Station in Hot Springs. "Some of the boys as young as six years old could already do back flips," he said.

Club officials were delighted with the Navy presence. "This is the newest of the seven centers in Arkansas," said Unit Director Jason Lanier. "It's a place where kids can come after school and let off steam. Here, they can play, learn and stay out of trouble." Lanier said he and his staff welcomed the visit by the Navy.

Another Sailor participating in the visit, Chief Electronics Technician Vincent Gardner, who serves with the Navy Officer Recruiting Station in Little Rock, entertained swarms of energetic kids during a pick-up game of basketball.

"I really enjoyed my time here," said Gardner. "The place is like a YMCA facility. We were well received and the kids asked a lot of general questions on what life is like in the Navy. Hopefully, we reached a few of them and they'll possibly become future Sailors some day."

Other games that the Sailors played with children included pool, pingpong, and foosball during the after-school program.

Naval Aircrewman (Avionics) 2nd Class Mickey Blasingame said the Navy's outreach programs are a valuable way to showcase the Navy.

"This gives the little kids someone to look up to," Blasingame said. "By us getting involved with the community, it makes a positive impact on these youth. I would volunteer to do this again in a heartbeat."

For more information about Little Rock Navy Week 2010 or other Navy Week events through the remainder of 2010, visit www.NavyWeek.org.

NNMC Promotes Safety During '101 Days of Summer'

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexandra Snow, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

May 28, 2010 - BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Memorial Day kicks off "101 Days of Summer" and National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) is focused on decreasing the heightened risk of accidents, mishaps and fatalities during this season which ends Labor Day.

The summer months are more dangerous in terms of safety hazards. One of the most common risk factors is alcohol, said Kevin Garcia, occupational safety and health specialist at the National Naval Medical Center. After a long winter, people tend to get out more often to enjoy the heat. The warm weather also becomes a factor in that it dehydrates people quicker; thus, increasing the odds of getting injured in an alcohol-related accident.

"People have been indoors for months. When the weather improves, they're taking long trips, they're engaging in recreational activities," Garcia said. "The numbers spike every year for mishaps."

Last year, 24 Sailors and 15 Marines died during the summer months.

"It's never one thing, it's usually a combination of factors," Garcia said, including alcohol, dehydration and fatigue. "The heat affects people differently."

Drinking and driving is another common danger this time of year, said Chief Master-at-Arms Robert Hebron, training and assessment officer for NNMC's Security department. While people are out driving more, they are also having more outdoor cookouts and get-togethers.

"They start to unwind, summer's here, and one beer turns into 10 beers and then all of the sudden you're getting behind the wheel of a car and driving home," Hebron said. "If you're going to drink, have a designated driver. If you're hosting a party, you're there to help keep people from drinking and driving."

The host is just as responsible as their guest who causes an accident after driving away from the party drunk, he said. When hosting a party where drinking is involved, he encourages people to make sure food is served to help absorb the alcohol. There should also be plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

Not only are people enjoying the weather at home more, they spend more time on the road driving. Garcia added that this causes a concern for fatigued driving because people tend to spend too many hours behind the wheel – the average distance for a summer trip is usually about 250 miles, and people often try to cover as much distance as they can as quickly as possible.

"Supervisors can be proactive, finding out where their [staff members] are going, and making sure they're not trying to rush to their destination," Garcia said.

Hebron added that people are often in a hurry and forget to buckle up, and accident-related injuries are worse for those who aren't wearing a seat belt. Some of it is being careless … a lot of people are rushing when they're going to family functions," Hebron said.

"If you aren't wearing a seat belt when the airbag deploys, you get beat up by the airbag itself."

During this time of year, accidents also occur frequently as a result of playing outdoor sports, boating accidents and home repairs, Garcia said.

"Mishaps are preventable, accidents are not. We can never see accidents coming, but we can prevent mishaps," Garcia said.

For more information about summer safety tips, visit www.safetycenter.navy.mil. There, travelers can find a link to a risk-assessment tool, the Travel Risk Planning System. Sailors and Marines can use this feature to help them recognize and avoid the hazards they could face on their trip, such as not wearing a seatbelt.

Meprolight Announces Enhanced Version of Mepro GLS Self-Illuminated Optical Sight for 40mm Grenade Launcher

Or Akiva, Israel, May 28, 2010. Meprolight, a provider of innovative weapon sights, today announced an enhanced version of Mepro GLS, a self-illuminated optical sight for 40mm grenade launcher, installed on assault rifles.

The enhanced version of Mepro GLS enables effective fire against light armor and infantry targets up to a range of 400 meters, instead of 350 meters in the previous version. In addition, the enhanced version enables range estimation.

Mepro GLS dual illuminated optical sight operates under all lighting and weather conditions for 5-8 years without the use of batteries or any other external power source. The sight provides a 24-hour-a-day solution for the fighter. The light weight, compact unit, only 62mm (2.44 inches) long, mounts with three different mounting adapters to standard top and side rails.

“Mepro GLS solves the aiming limitations of grenade launchers, helping soldiers determine the elevation to the target, maximizing first round hit probability,” said Golan Kalimi, Meprolight’s Vice President Marketing. “Achieving high accuracy is no longer a problem. The soldier simply superimposes the illuminated dot in the sight window onto the target.”

During the day, a light collector tube concentrates available ambient light into a dot and projects it onto the sight lens. At night, a small tritium light source supplies the light for the dot.

About Meprolight
Meprolight designs and manufactures a wide array of electro-optical and optical sights and devices, night vision devices, thermal sights and a wide variety of night sights and other tritium- and LED-illuminated products and accessories for safety and security applications for the law enforcement, military and civilian communities. For more information about Meprolight visit www.meprolight.com.

Food Network 'Dinner Impossible' Chef Visit Iwo Jima Crew

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW/NAC) Eric J. Rowley, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Public Affairs

May 28, 2010 - NEW YORK (NNS) -- Chef Robert Irvine from Food Networks "Dinner Impossible" visited USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) May 27 to cook for the crew as a part of Fleet Week New York 2010.

Not only did Irvine cook breakfast, but he continued throughout the day all the way through dinner.

"Today we are pushing to a higher standard," said Irvine. "We have more people and more equipment than a restaurant, and we are using all of the same stuff in the original menu, I am just putting my own spin on it"

He also spent time with Sailors to give them kitchen tips, such as better ways to use a knife to what ingredients to use in various situations.

"I'm glad I came to work today," said Machinist's Mate Firemen Lina Rojas, food service attendant. "It was a good experience cooking with Chef Irvine."

For dinner, Irvine cooked a beef roast, roasted chicken with a creative apple juice oil vinegar and pepper sauce, Salisbury steak with a mushroom sauce and pasta with cream sauce.

"The dinner was amazing," said Fire Control Technician 2nd Class Jacob Beebe. "My wife and I are big fans of Chef Irvine's show, and he is just like he is in real life as he is on the show."

Iwo Jima's Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW/SS) Stephen Boos has cooked with Irvine in the past when they both worked in the Naval Mess in the West Wing of the White House.

"Chef Irvine has done training for the Navy in the past, said Boos. "He is really big on on-the-job training. I hope having Chef Irvine on board here brings more of the passion of cooking to the Iwo Jima's culinary specialists."

Irvine served in the British Royal Navy where he began his cooking trade and ever since, he says, he has had an affinity for naval services.

"I have a long standing tradition with the U.S. Navy, and this is a way I can just give back," said Irvine. "I support the men and women of the Armed Services and I have always believed food improves morale."

Multiple Enterprise Strike Group Ships Operate Together for First Time

By Ensign Michael Hatfield, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

May 28, 2010 - USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Several Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (ENTSG) ships operated together at sea for the first time May 27 in a display of operational prowess not usually occurring until later in a strike group's training cycle.

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Mason (DDG 87) and USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), assigned to Destroyer Squadron 2 performed maneuvers as Enterprise launched sorties from the flight deck.

The destroyers took turns behind the carrier in the 'plane guard' position which allows the carrier to continue launching aircraft during wartime even if a plane goes down, because the destroyer acting in that capacity will lead the recovery effort.

"There is a steep learning curve and little margin for error while maneuvering so close to a carrier," said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Moyer, anti-air warfare officer for ENTSG assigned to Carrier Strike Group 12. "It is outstanding that we have the opportunity to conduct integrated seamanship operations this early in the training cycle."

The destroyers also operated in the 'screen' position which is in charge of protecting the aircraft carrier itself. Carriers are considered a high-value target for enemies due to their ability to launch overwhelming air power rapidly, and deep inland, for sustained periods.

Stout, Mason and Bulkeley took turns in each position throughout the day.

The interoperability of U.S. ships is a key component to its decisive naval superiority and allows crews to develop their skills in their assigned warfare areas to the benefit of the entire strike group.

Instead of one ship trying to do everything, warfare tasks, including their command and control requirements, are divided amongst the ships and staff best equipped and trained to cover that core function.

This means that a guided missile destroyer, whose abilities include anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strike and anti-surface warfare, can be assigned one of these areas to focus on for the entire strike group. This allows others to focus on different assigned warfare areas, and this division of labor makes the strike group more effective than the sum of their individual parts.

"During the training cycle and on deployment, these ships will defend Enterprise and other ships in the strike group from enemy submarines, ships and aircraft," said Lt. Cmdr. John Bartak, ENTSG Tomahawk land attack missile officer assigned to Carrier Strike Group 12. "They also bring another strike capability to our group because they carry Tomahawk cruise missiles."

The cooperative maneuvering followed a day after Enterprise completed her first at-sea ammunition on-load in more than two years.

Pilots from the 'Dragonslayers' of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 11 and the 'Chargers' of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 flew more than 1,400 lifts during the two-day event. The two squadrons are attached to Carrier Air Wing 1 which provides the air capability for the strike group.

ENTSG will continually increase its interoperability and cooperative training until all of its ships and squadrons are ready for deployment.