Thursday, June 03, 2010

Troops' Opinions Matter in 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Review

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

June 3, 2010 - Servicemembers' opinions are "absolutely critical" in implementing policy for a repeal of the law that bans gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military, the nation's top military officer said here yesterday.

"Your view and opinion of [gays and lesbians serving openly] is absolutely critical to address those issues," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told 18th Airborne Corps soldiers during a town hall meeting.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates directed a military-wide review of the impact of the repeal, including town hall meetings with servicemembers and their families. The review is to be completed by the end of December.

Gates and Mullen want to ensure troops are ready to make the change and can do so without hurting unit cohesion, military readiness, military effectiveness, and recruiting and retention.

"One of the reasons the study and review is so important is because there isn't any subjective data out there, particularly from you and those who will be most effected," the admiral told the soldiers.

"Part of my testimony said how important the review Secretary Gates put in place is," he added, speaking to remarks he made before Congress last week. "That review continues to be critical; it continues to be one we will work our way through over the next many months."

Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, Mullen said, is a direction the military needs to move forward on.

"The law needs to change," he said. "Fundamentally, it's an issue of our values. It's very critical for us as an institution, and I'm hard-pressed not to support policy and a law that forces individuals to come in and lie everyday."

Mullen's remarks on the topic were sparked by a senior non-commissioned officer's question. The soldier expressed his concern for the possibility of hate crimes and increased cases of sexual harassment if the law changes.

Mullen told the soldier that disciplinary issues regarding sexual harassment have nothing to do with the change in the law and should not be tolerated, period.

"Certainly any change in the laws is not an excuse for anything like that to ever happen," the admiral said. "We are a disciplined force. We have standards. Maintaining those standards, sustaining that discipline is our job, no matter what happens.

"I have every expectation that not only we will do this, but we will lead in a way [so] it gets done," Mullen continued. "[But] that doesn't mean we won't have challenges."

Ultimately, he said, troops and leaders need to have a greater understanding of the impact openly gay and lesbian servicemembers will have on the military.

"I want to understand what the possibilities are ... what it's going take to implement this and, in that regard, address the leadership challenges and implementation with expectations that at the small-unit level, not exclusively, it will be led and led well," Mullen said. "I have a lot of faith in you that that's doable."

Gates to Reassure South Korea at Security Summit

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today he'll provide assurances during the "Shangri-La Dialogue" Asia security summit of the U.S. commitment to help South Korea and other Pacific nations deal with continued provocation from North Korea.

Speaking with reporters traveling with him shortly before landing here for his fourth Shangri-La Dialogue as defense secretary, Gates noted the March 26 sinking of the frigate Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

"An important element this time will be to reassure the South Koreans of our support as they face these provocations and a [North Korea] that seems even more unpredictable than usual," he said.

The conference also provides a chance to touch base with other partner countries of growing importance, Gates said, adding that he's also looking forward to a second annual trilateral meeting June 5 with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts.

"I think we all have a lot to talk about at this point," he said.

The secretary's schedule for tomorrow includes bilateral meetings with his Indonesian, Vietnamese and South Korean counterparts and India's national security advisor. He'll also meet less formally tomorrow with New Zealand's defense minister.

On June 5, Gates will deliver a speech at the conference's first plenary session. Later, he'll meet informally with Mongolia's defense minister, and in addition to the trilateral meeting with Japan and South Korea, he'll have a bilateral meeting with Singapore's defense minister and meet with Singapore's president afterward.

The secretary said the Shangri-La Dialogue, which is hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and similar opportunities for partner nations to get together aren't intended to reach concrete solutions to specific problems.

"I think these meetings are more about getting a deeper understanding of positions of other countries and their thinking on these issues," he said. The time pressures and relatively short length of such meetings, he explained, don't allow for protracted negotiations or getting into the details of problems that concern the participating nations. Rather, he added, the meetings help in providing a framework for solving problems as the nations involved share their positions.

In addition, he said, the forming and strengthening of personal relationships at such conferences is beneficial.

"I think you establish the kind of personal relationships that then allow you to pick up the phone, or when you have a bilateral meeting in Washington or in a capital, that allow you to address these problems more effectively," Gates said.

Gates noted that his presence in Singapore is an important signal to regional allies.

"I think it's a gesture of respect for our friends and partners in the region – it is a long way," he said. "And the fact that we're here, I think, is testimony of the United States' continuing interest in Asia -- not only our interest, but our interests that we have here. We are a Pacific power and intend to remain a power in the Pacific, and I think communicating that signal is important in and of itself. And that's the kind of thing that has to best be done in person."

Gates Cites Importance of U.S.-Japanese Relationship

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2010 - Citing North Korea's March 26 sinking of the South Korean naval frigate, Cheonan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today underscored the need for continuing the strong security relationship between the United States and Japan to help the two nations and their Pacific partners meet the challenges they face.

Gates spoke with reporters traveling with him shortly before arriving here to attend the "Shangri-La Dialogue" Asia security summit.

"We are in the midst of the 50th anniversary of the Mutual Security Treaty," he said. "This is a great year for the Japanese-U.S. security relationship, and I think that the sinking of the South Korean ship by [North Korea] simply underscores for everybody that there are security challenges in Northeast Asia, and therefore, the importance of the security relationship between the United States and Japan."

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced his resignation yesterday, and Gates expressed his hope that Hatoyama's successor would speak to the importance of that relationship early on.

Hatoyama's resignation is widely reported to have resulted from his reversal of a campaign position that would have moved U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma off the Japanese island of Okinawa. Gates said he believes "a number of domestic issues" also were factors, but that as the security relationship between the two nations moves forward, it must remain strong.

"By the same token," he added, "I think we have to be sensitive to some of the concerns that have been expressed by the Japanese in terms of training and noise and some of those things, and we will be working with the Japanese to see if there are ways to mitigate that."

Striving to be the Best

On June 11, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Al Garber whose 44 year career in public service included being an Army captain, FBI agent and US Marshal.

Program Date: June 11, 2010
Program Time: 2100 hours Pacific
Topic: Striving to be the Best
Listen Live:

About the Guest
Allen Garber “retired as United States Marshal for the District of Minnesota on December 31, 2006. His career spanned 44 years. Al served 5 years in the US Army attaining the rank of Captain. He served in the Infantry and the Military Police Corps. He was an Airborne Ranger and had duties which included platoon leader, executive officer and company commander. His combat experience was gained during a 13 month tour of duty with the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam.

He was an FBI Agent for 26 years as Agent and Supervisor. The majority of his duties involved investigation of violent crimes, apprehension of violent fugitives, Special Weapons and Tactics, firearms instructor, and defensive tactics instructor. He was the Supervisor of the Jacob Wetterling kidnapping investigation. As a police instructor Al taught thousands of law enforcement officers in the fields of arrest techniques, SWAT, use of force, firearms, defensive tactics, and leadership. He was the first supervisor of the original Minnesota Fugitive Task Force, and the joint FBI/ Minneapolis Police SWAT team.

The next portion of his career was spent as Chief of Police of the Champlin, MN Police Department. The Champlin Police Department had 23 sworn and 15 non sworn personnel. During his tenure as Police Chief, Al testified as an expert witness in the use of force. He also conducted reviews of several high profile incidents for the Minneapolis Police Department when the MPD was looking for an unbiased and professional opinion. In 1999 Al was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources by Governor Jesse Ventura. As Commissioner he had the opportunity to lead approximately 4000 employees, manage a $250 million budget, and work closely with elected officials and interest groups.

In 2002 Al was appointed United States Marshal for the District of MN by President Bush. The USMS is responsible for security at federal buildings and courthouses , as well as for Federal Judges, US Attorneys, and other officials. The service was also very active in the fugitive apprehension effort. Marshal Garber established a close working relationship with the Federal Judges. During his tenure, the USMS in Minnesota worked closely with area Police Departments, particularly the Minneapolis Police, and other Federal and State law enforcement agencies to fight violent crime. The only USMS/MPD/St Paul PD/ATF SWAT team in the country was established.

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

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:


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

Gates: U.S.-China Military-to-Military Ties Need Work

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2010 - The military-to-military aspect of U.S. relations with China has lagged behind progress in other areas and falls short of what the leaders of both countries have said they want, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today. Shortly before arriving in Singapore to attend the "Shangri-La Dialogue" Asia security conference, Gates told reporters traveling with him that he had hoped to visit China while he was in the region, but that Chinese officials said it isn't a good time.

He said he'd heard rumors for weeks that the potential visit wasn't going to happen, but that he'd waited for formal word from the Chinese during the recent security and economic dialogue before the trip was removed from plans for his itinerary.

"I did not want to take a step that made it look like I was cancelling the visit," he said, "and so I waited until we got something more official from the Chinese side."

Gates said he believes a more-open dialogue with the Chinese about military modernization programs and about the two nations' strategic views of the world would be constructive.

"We have had such a dialogue with Russia for over 30 years," he said, "and I think it helps to prevent miscalculations and misunderstandings and creates opportunities for cooperation. So I'm disappointed that the [People's Liberation Army] leadership has not seen the same potential benefits from this kind of a military-to-military relationship as their own leadership and the United States seem to think would be of benefit. So we'll just wait and see."

Asked whether he believes China is trying to make a point about U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Gates pointed out that those arms sales have been going on for 30 years and were part of the process toward normalization of relations between the two countries.

"Central to our ability to go forward with normalization in 1979," he said, "was the passage of the Taiwan Relations Act, which mandated that the United States maintain the defenses of Taiwan, and we have sold weapons to Taiwan ever since.

"This is not new news to the Chinese," he continued. "And the sales under the Bush administration and under the Obama administration in both cases were carefully calibrated to keep them on the defensive side. So it depends on whether the Chinese want to make a big deal of it or not, but the reality is these arms sales go back to the beginning of the relationship, and were one of the conditions that came through the Congress as part of the normalization process."

Gates said the arms sales have not inhibited development of the political and economic relationships between the United States and China.

"If they want to single out the military side of the relationship as the place where they want to play this out, then so be it," the secretary said. "But it has not impeded the development of the relationship in other areas."

Gates noted that President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have advocated a "sustainable and reliable" relationship between their nations' militaries.

"I think they mean a relationship that doesn't move in fits and starts and isn't affected by every change in the political weather," he said, "and that's where I would like to see this relationship go."

The secretary said he believes the People's Liberation Army could do more to advance its military-to-military relationship with the United States.

"I would just express it as my opinion that the PLA is significantly less interested in developing this relationship than the political leadership in the country," he said.

Ronald Reagan Begins Flight Deck Certification

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Torrey W. Lee, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Public Affairs

USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 Sailors departed Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) in San Diego June 2 to get underway to conduct carrier flight deck certification.

The first CVW 14 aircraft to land on Ronald Reagan's flight deck were the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 4.

Other embarked squadrons include the "Blue Diamonds" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, the "Argonauts" of VFA 147, the "Black Knights" of VFA 154, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 and the "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Squadron (VRC) 30. The squadrons' arrival marked the first flight operation since Ronald Reagan returned to NASNI following its 2009 deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"It's good to walk before you run," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Daniel Estrada, a member of Ronald Reagan's flight deck crew. "We haven't had any aircraft on board since the October (2009) time frame. In order to get through flight deck certifications, we have to get back into the swing of things. This certification allows us to get back to the basics and get our minds set right for sea."

As part of the ship's final assessment for carrier qualifications, flight deck certifications are required for the ship to deploy. Evaluators from Naval Air Forces Pacific came aboard to review and evaluate the ship's ability to perform flight operations safely. The review includes tests on the arresting gear systems used for aircraft recovery as well as catapult systems that launch aircraft.

The certification will include a full evaluation of both the arresting gear, catapults and flight deck personnel. Ronald Reagan's air department Sailors will be assessed on their ability to maintain a fully operational flight deck and respond to simulated mishaps.

Experience is the key to success, said Lt. David Martinez, Ronald Reagan's flight deck officer. The challenge for Ronald Reagan is to successfully incorporate more than 250 new Sailors into the air department who were not aboard the last time aircraft were launched from the ship's flight deck.

"We're always prepared for success; we're true professionals," said Lt. David Martinez. "We have a core group of seasoned veterans. We've added more experience to our team; even our new guys came from USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVN 63). So we think our team is even stronger."

Upon completion of the certification, Ronald Reagan and other 3rd Fleet ships will participate in the International Canadian Fleet Review commemorating the 100th birthday of the Canadian Navy in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Georgia Blue Lends a Helping Hand

From Commander Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGSLAND, Ga (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Georgia (SSGN 729) (Blue) volunteered at the New Wave of Glory soup kitchen in Kingsland, Ga., June 2.

Command Master Chief Richard Rose, USS Georgia (SSGN 729) (Blue) chief of the boat, attended a Chief Petty Officer Association Meeting where retired Command Master Chief Kevin Kesterson mentioned the New Wave of Glory Christian Center needed help in the soup kitchen.

"It is important to give back to the community, especially a community like Camden County, where they are so supportive of our Sailors and Navy," said Rose. "When I told our Sailors about the opportunity at the soup kitchen, they lined up to help. This says a lot about the character of these Sailors – when they could have chosen to spend the time with their families or enjoy the well-deserved rest, they opted to give to others!"

Kesterson has volunteered at the kitchen since December 2009 and noticed that the facility needed the normal donations of food and help serving meals, and that the building was in need of repair. He and the Georgia crew members spent a few hours assessing repairs to the electrical system; reorganizing storage and basic clean up.

"I just finished helping the church I attend with a remodel project, so I know what it is like to have a place and it not be what you want it to be, also the pride that comes from helping out and fixing it up, so I volunteered to help here," said Electronics Technician 2nd Class Marquez Librado.

Sailors first priority was the non-working air conditioning system, replacing shelves in the pantry and clearing brush and debris from around the building. Future projects include new shelving for Linda's Closet, the church's thrift store. Linda's Closet sells second-hand clothing and household items. All profits from the store go directly to the soup kitchen.

"This will mean a whole lot to the community and we really appreciate everyone coming out," Kesterson said. "I really want to applaud these Sailors.

Georgia wants to make a long-term commitment to the kitchen and these guys are not only donating their time, but many have volunteered to donate building supplies out of their own pocket."

The kitchen served approximately 150 meals each day it is open and with school out that number climbs up to 240. Those in need do not have to be members of the church to receive a meal or a bag of groceries.

"We just know that if you feel a call to help you should help," said Linda Johnson, a minister. "I want to thank the Sailors for volunteering. Thank you so much for your help, it is really appreciated."

The New Wave of Glory soup kitchen has been serving Camden County since 2007 and is the only facility of this type in the county. The kitchen is open every Tuesday and Thursday, delivers hot meals to the needy, serves meals to people who walk-in, donates groceries from their pantry to anyone in need and work with United Way 2-1-1; a free help line that provides financial assistance, counseling, employment assistance and much more. New Wave of Glory soup kitchen provided much-needed assistance to 13,000 Camden County residents last year.

"I have always felt it is important for the community to see we are more than just a base, our Sailors contribute to the community," Kesterson said.

"The crew enjoys and responds very well when it comes to helping out and lending a hand outside their normal jobs," said Rose. "Especially out in the local community where our friends are and where we live our daily lives when we are not deployed."

Georgia returned to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay after completing a three-month deployment and crew swap with the Gold crew in Diego Garcia.

Sailors Volunteer at Little Rock Navy Week

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Steve Johnson, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NNS) -- Sailors volunteered for a variety of community service projects during Little Rock Navy Week May 23-30 in Little Rock, Ark.

More than 12 Sailors and recruits gave the Watershed Human and Community Development Agency, Inc. a fresh coat of white paint, covering the facility's exterior walls and walkway support columns.

"The Navy has such a small presence in Arkansas, it's nice that we get out and do these things so people know we're here," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Kimberly Bradley, assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Little Rock. "They don't know how diverse we are. The Navy's mission isn't just about being on a ship. We do everything from security to deployments in the desert and Afghanistan. We need to make people aware of us by getting out in the community."

The agency representatives were very appreciative of all the work the Sailors completed for them.

"It's one thing for the Navy to fight the war overseas for freedom, but another thing to fight the war on poverty here at home," said Rev. Hezekiah D. Stewart Jr., who helped found the organization. "It's a big deal that the Navy is coming here to help spruce up the place because we just don't have the manpower."

Painting wasn't the only thing Sailors did during Navy Week Little Rock. Earlier in the week, six Sailors delivered Navy ball caps to patients at the Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas' only pediatric medical center, as part of the Caps for Kids program.

"This has been a neat special event where they get to interact with the Sailors," said Amanda Auttonberry, a child life specialist at the hospital. "The children have a chance to forget about their illness, plus it inspires them to think about the future. It's fun, but it also gives them hope."

Habitat for Humanity received assistance from 15 Sailors and recruits hailing from various area commands to help deconstruct a house slated to be demolished.

"The Sailors here today are working really hard and doing a wonderful job removing everything from plumbing and light fixtures to countertops and trim," said Misty Stewart, volunteer coordinator working on site. "Everything recyclable will be taken back to our store and sold. The proceeds in turn will allow us to build and remodel more homes for people in need."

Sailors worked most of the day to remove all salvageable items from the house, including the kitchen sink.

"I'm excited to do this," said Lt. j.g. Marla Goshien from Navy Recruiting District Nashville, Tenn., while removing a door. "It feels good to give back to the community and work for a great cause."

Little Rock Navy Week 2010 is just 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.

Mullen Lauds Civilian Efforts in MRAP Production

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

June 3, 2010 - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen today cited the significance of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles in combat, praising the life-saving efforts of civilian scientists and engineers who've integrated such capabilities into today's military. "You've saved an enormous number of lives," Mullen told some 500 employees – the majority of whom are defense civilians -- at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic headquarters and MRAP integration facility here, "You realized that we needed to generate MRAPs at a remarkable pace [and] continually adjusted" to meet mission requirements."

Mullen visited the facility today for the first time and helped the Naval command here celebrate its recent accomplishment of fielding 5,000 all-terrain versions of the MRAP.

The command achieved the milestone May 28. The Defense Department has fielded spent more than $26 billion, fielding some 22,000 MRAPs in the past three years.

"Every single one of these save lives," Mullen said, referring to the MRAP vehicles they outfit with radios, tracking and counter bomb systems.

"I came here with one single thought in mind, and that's to express my gratitude for what you've accomplished here," the admiral said. "You are the final outfitters for this capability, and you have continuously improved day by day over the last several years."

Mullen acknowledged the civilian efforts in MRAP development, calling the workforce here decisive in the Defense Departments efforts to give warfighters the best tools possible.

"You're part of the leading edge of technology," he said. "You've made a huge difference, [and] I couldn't be more proud of being associated with every one of you."

Mullen said deployed troops almost always express their gratitude for such capabilities when he visits with them in Iraq and Afghanistan. Troops on the ground recognize the need and appreciate the added protection they have with the vehicles, he said.

"There isn't a trip I've taken into [Iraq and Afghanistan] where some young soldier or Marine won't say to me, 'keep those MRAPs coming. They save our lives,'" Mullen said. "[MRAPs] saved countless lives, and believe me, there's not anyone on the ground over there who understands the threat that doesn't know that's exactly the case."

Mullen also lauded the civilian workforce here for doing their part in service to the nation. They may not wear military uniforms or deploy to war, but their contributions to improving national security is noteworthy in its own way, he said.

"You're as patriotic and dedicated with focusing on achieving our mission in national defense as any of us who wear the uniform," he said. "You are no different, in my perspective, in terms of your dedication, you patriotism in support of our country and our mission than anybody in uniform."

Ramstein Airmen perform in-depth inspection on C-130J

by Senior Airman Scott Saldukas
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/3/2010 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- The first isochronal inspection on Ramstein Air Base's earliest C-130J Super Hercules aircraft kicked off here May 26.

A team of about 60 active-duty Airmen from different specialty codes, all familiar with the J model, examined tail number 8601 during the 10-day inspection.

An ISO inspection, much like a tune-up for the aircraft, is performed every 420 days. During these inspections, aircraft maintainers look for and repair problems in every system, from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip.

"Conducting the ISO inspections allows us to look at items we don't normally get to look at," said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Melendez, the 86th Maintenance Squadron section chief. "For 10 days, we take an in-depth look into the aircraft, which in turn improves the overall health of the aircraft fleet."

Although the inspections have been around for some time, the 86th MXS became the first squadron in the Air Force to have only active-duty servicemembers conducting the inspections.

"We are excited to bring our active-duty members together to work on the new aircraft," said Senior Master Sgt. Karl Campbell, the 86th MXS flight chief.

The squadron also accomplished another first for Ramstein AB and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, by conducting the first ISO inspection on the first permanent J-model C-130 located in the command.

"We are proud to be a part of this; it is our bread and butter," Sergeant Melendez said. "The Air Force hired us to do this, so we take in our work and give 100 percent."

"We have great Airmen and NCOs who have worked hard to get to this point," Sergeant Campbell said. "I know everyone is excited to be the first all active-duty team working on the J model here."

The aircraft was the first of 14 recently-added J models to receive the ISO inspection. The rest of the fleet will be inspected at the rate of about one every month in the order they were received.

B-52s head to Guam for continuous bomber presence rotation

by Senior Airman Benjamin Stratton
5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

6/3/2010 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. (AFNS) -- Several B-52H Stratofortresses and nearly 350 Airmen here left June 1 for Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on a six-month rotation deployment.

"The 5th Bomb Wing's role in (U.S. Pacific Command's) continuous bomber presence mission is vital to national security," said Col. Charles Patnaude, the 5th Operations Group commander. "Our mission is one of both deterrence and assurance."

The colonel said Minot AFB's Airmen will be there to deter and dissuade potential regional aggressors from taking any provoking actions and to assure our allies of our commitment to the Pacific region.

"This is a great mission for (Minot AFB's) B-52s because it enables us to demonstrate our broad range of capabilities," he said.

The 5th BW's two B-52 squadrons, the 23rd and 69th Bomb Squadrons, will share the six-month deployment. The 23rd BS will serve the first half of the deployment.

The mission on the island had Airmen's spirits high and eager to get underway.

"I know many of them are ecstatic about this deployment," Colonel Patnaude said. "The training environment is fantastic and basing out of Andersen (AFB) will offer up great opportunities. Our (members) will get to interact with folks from other weapon systems, other services and possibly other nations."

Colonel Patnaude said PACOM's continuous bomber presence mission has been ongoing since 2003 when 5th BW officials first established the operation.

"B-52s, B-1 (Lancers) and B-2 (Spirits) have each taken turns as a continuous sentinel for the Pacific theater," he added. "The 5th BW (Airmen have) been to Guam several times since 2003 and I suspect (5th BW Airmen) will continue deploying there until Pacific Command no longer needs us."

PACOM officials said they routinely evaluate the command's readiness and reposition forces as needed to ensure they maintain both the operational and support capabilities necessary to meet the obligations of national defense.

The bombers serve as a deterrent and stabilizing force and are in no way intended to be used in a provocative manner, officials said.

373 TRS readies international aircrew for flight

by 2nd Lt. Susan Carlson
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

6/3/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- Twelve Royal Australian Air Force aircraftsmen deployed to Joint Base Charleston to train with Airmen here for three months.

Airmen from JB Charleston and JB Lewis-McChord, Washington, train foreign nationals from countries that are either buying the C-17 Globemaster III or have some future endeavor working on or with the aircraft, said Tech. Sgt. Bryan Doughty, a training instructor with the 373rd Training Squadron, Det. 5.

U.S. officials require this training for aircrew members from any country purchasing C-17s.

In the case of the Australians, a number of aircrew are sent by the Royal Australian Air Force a few times a year and are trained to work on every system in the C-17, Sergeant Doughty said.

Unlike aircraft maintenance Airmen in the Air Force, the RAAF aircraftsmen must be able to work on every part of the aircraft except the electrical system.

"This is very, very good training, but we are trying to come to grips with a little bit of it, only because unlike the USAF, we don't specialize in particular systems," said Sgt. Glenn King, one of the Australian aircrew members deployed to JB Charleston. "We do it all. Anything that isn't electrical, we look after it."

Before their journey to the U.S., the Australians were given a short pre-training familiarization package in their country. The brief pre-training covers the basics of aircraft maintenance and safety, whereas the greater part of actual hands-on training is done here at JB Charleson and at JB McChord, Sergeant King said.

"We have some training areas up and running in Australia, but (the majority are) here," said Sgt. Craig Fenton, another Australian aircrew member. "The indoor training facility is a much safer environment. You don't have to worry about anyone standing around the plane."

For some of the aircraftsmen, the C-17 is the first aircraft they have worked on, while others, such as Sergeant King and Sergeant Fenton, have been in the RAAF for a number of years working on older airframes. However, when attending this course, they all start at ground zero.

The current class of students is just beginning its fourth week of training, and will be returning home July 23. Upon their return, most will be going back to their respective teams, working on the four C-17s the Australian military owns. These aircraft were purchased by the Australian government approximately four years ago, and are a part of the global C-17 scheme used for airlift in support of joint operations, Sergeant King said.

Before this purchase, the Royal Australian Air Force used C-130 Hercules and DCH-4 Caribous, which have since been retired after 45 years of active-duty service, Sergeant King said.

Naval Operations Concept Explains Ways to Meet Maritime Challenges

By Judith Snyderman, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A bloggers roundtable was held June 2 to discuss the Naval Operations Concept (NOC) 2010 released to ensure U.S. maritime assets line up with overall defense strategy. "The goal of the document is to coordinate with the QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review)," said Capt. Mark Montgomery, Navy Strategy branch head, during the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable.

While the QDR guides decisions for the size and structure of the overall military force, the NOC focuses on roles that the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard play.

Montgomery said the NOC describes how sea-based forces will confront contemporary threats and challenges including, "enhancing security, preventing conflict and if necessary, prevailing in war."

He added that it builds on the naval services' overarching strategy document, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.

What is new about the NOC, Montgomery said, is a "whole of government approach." In addition to working in partnership with other U.S. agencies, the NOC supports working with allies to avoid duplicating efforts, "so that we are wisely spending what are increasingly scarce resources."

Capt. John McLain, of the Navy Strategy and Policy Division, also participated in the discussion. He said that in many ways, the updated vision for the Maritime Strategy is already being realized.

"We typically are engaged as part of a whole of government effort within usually an international framework," he said.

As one example, McLain recounted the fast response and contributions made by naval forces to multi-agency and international aid efforts after a massive earthquake erupted in Haiti in January. The NOC document, McLain explained, elevates the role of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as, "not just reactive disaster response but also proactive humanitarian assistance."Montgomery added that the NOC includes sections on confronting irregular challenges and on expanding the definition of deterrence.

He acknowledged that some external audiences expected to see specifics in terms of force size and ship numbers in the NOC, but he said it is not intended to be a requirements document. Montgomery added that Navy analysts will take part in upcoming Defense future warfighting campaign scenarios which could shape the future size and structure of maritime forces.

"We wouldn't want to prejudge the results of these war fighting campaign scenarios, nor would we want the operational concept of the Navy tied to a change in any one threat," Montgomery said. He added the main audience for the NOC is internal and the content aims "to explain to the officers and sailors down on the deck plates what the naval operational concept is [and] how we execute the 'ways' associated with the ['means'] of the Maritime Strategy."

Instead, McLain said the NOC acknowledges that naval forces are rebalancing resources, and that "we have to perform our core missions with one Navy and [it] must be able to operate across a full spectrum of operations."

Women Discuss Role in Military's Humanitarian Missions

By Lt. j.g. Theresa Donnelly, Special to Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

June 3, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A joint panel of women in uniform highlighted their role in recent humanitarian and disaster relief efforts during the 23rd annual Sea Services Leadership Association Women's Symposium in Washington, D.C. June 2.

"Serving in humanitarian missions was the highlight of my career. It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had. It made me feel useful and needed," said Navy Nurse Cmdr. Kim Lebel, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Cuba and Afghanistan.

The "Global Force for Good" panel consisted of four active-duty enlisted members and officers who had served in humanitarian aid projects in Afghanistan, Cuba, Africa and Iraq. One panelist also assisted with disaster relief efforts after the earthquake in Haiti Jan. 12.

Many of the women spoke about their roles helping people in need. Although their experiences were diverse, a few common themes emerged. One theme was that success while deployed depended on their ability to build good relationships with the local community.

Coast Guard Yeoman 1st Class Stephanie Winslow Ferreira was deployed to Haiti in January as part of a security detail on Coast Guard cutter Tahoma. While deployed, she helped with maritime security operations with the Haitian coast guard in and around Port-au-Prince.

"We were always looking at ways to make things better; what we could do differently, better than the day before," said Winslow.

The women found ways to work with the local community to gain their respect and trust.

"At first, the men there would not look at me, talk to me, or shake my hand. But gradually, I was able to build a relationship. If you are sincere in your efforts and how you help them, they will protect you," said Winslow.

Another focus of the panel centered on ways the military can make long-term relief efforts sustainable in underserved areas and exactly how to provide the right type of aid.

Marine Corps Master Sgt. Julia Watson, who has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, emphasized this concept when she spoke of an encounter with a shoemaker who was losing business based on relief teams providing the same service. Watson also said that when a school is built, there must be a plan in place for teachers and a curriculum.

"Building capacity with the locals is very, very important. You have to understand before you go into a country what they have available and what is it you can actually help with. You have to meet with the leaders in the area and that will eventually help you in building better infrastructure for the people," Watson said.

The session also highlighted some of the challenges faced by the military when delivering aid, such as encountering corruption, understanding the dynamics of tribal relationships, overcoming language barriers and how best to involve the community with solutions to their circumstances.

Nearly 500 people attended the session, which offered different perspectives on how the military conducts humanitarian aid.

"What I really liked about the panel was the diversity of the experiences that each women had. There was the nurse who could relate to the medical side. Then, there was the Seabee who could offer that perspective. It was really interesting," said Navy Aviation Storekeeper 3rd Class (AW) Sarah Mattingly, stationed at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest in San Diego.

A key aspect common to all maritime services is the military's emphasis on providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Every day, U.S. forces are partnering with numerous countries around the globe, working with their armed services, conducting subject matter expert exchanges that share best practices and help make communities safer.

Working side-by-side with non-governmental organizations and local governments, service members are providing medical and veterinarian care, as well as building roads, schools, bridges and other needed infrastructure worldwide. The military also responds when disaster strikes, with the recent Haiti earthquake as the most recent example.

"[Being involved in humanitarian missions] has absolutely impacted me. I know for a fact that I would not be the person I am today, or be as good a person or leader had I not been exposed to those contingency operations and being able to see it firsthand. As a result, I believe I am an ambassador for what the service members are trying to do," said Master Chief Utilities Constructionman (SCW) Jamye Rainwater, a Joy Bright Hancock Award recipient assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Team 40.



Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Irvine, Calif., is being awarded a $102,779,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of mechanical and electrical infrastructure and site improvements at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. The work to be performed provides for the design and construction of all associated infrastructure and utilities that will support units being relocated as part of the grow-the-force initiative adjacent to the mainside area of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. This project will begin the build out of the new north mainside area. Work will be performed in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and 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 10 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-10-C-5018).

VT Milcom, Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded a $78,000,000 modification to the previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost-plus-incentive-fee performance-based contract (N65236-06-D-8848) for sea enterprise command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) installation support services at shore facilities, onboard surface ships, submarines, special purpose crafts, and other vehicles. Critical services include installation material acquisition; installation; system/equipment modification; test and checkout; systems training; and documentation preparation for C4ISR systems. The cumulative value of this contract, including this modification, is $655,588,059. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va. (85 percent), and other locations in the contiguous U.S. and overseas (15 percent). Work is expected to be completed by September 2010. This contract was competitively procured through Space and Naval Warfare Systems E-Commerce Web site using full and open competition, with two offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic is the contracting activity.

BRDC, JV, Clairton, Pa., is being awarded a $64,557,611 firm-fixed-price contract for new construction of 146 Navy family housing units and renovation of the Navy fitness center at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay. Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and is expected to be completed by June 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 13 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-10-C-1262).

3 Phoenix, Inc.*, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $14,552,213 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to produce radar data processors for the AN/SPS-74V(2) periscope detection radar for use on Navy aircraft carriers. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $29,796,507. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va. (80 percent), and Wake Forest, N.C. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $2,850,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity (N63394-10-C-1200).


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Md., was awarded a $23,228,863 contract which will support the sensor advancements for experimental ground and air research demonstrations technical area three, flight tests and integration. At this time, $5,626,975 has been obligated. AFRL/PKSR, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-10-C-1890).

Bionetics Corp., Newport News, Va., was awarded a $12,924,475 contract which will provide for a multi-command precision measurement equipment laboratory contract which encompasses full program management, operations, maintenance and support for 10 existing locations. At this time, $283,409 has been obligated. ACCAMIC, Newport News, Va., is the contracting activity (FA4890-10-D-0001).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded a $10,899,954 contract which will provide support for the operational test and evaluation center in the performance of the E-5 operational utility evaluation for the first geosynchronous orbit message certification for the space-based infrared system high-component engineering, manufacturing and development contract. At this time, $2,400,000 has been obligated. SBISW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-95-C-0017).

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded an $8,982,515 contract which will provide for MQ-9 auto take-off and landing capability modification to the system development and demonstration bridge effort. At this time, $1,000,000 has been obligated. 703 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028).

USS Jacksonville Departs for Western Pacific Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class submarine USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific region June 2.

"This will be the first western pacific deployment for the USS Jacksonville and a majority of the crew," said Cmdr. Tyler L. Meador, Jacksonville commanding officer.

"The crew has worked extremely hard to prepare for this deployment and ready this warship for sea. It represents an opportunity to display the skills they have developed to accomplish missions critical to the regional commander and for the national security of the United States."

Jacksonville is the 12th Los Angeles-class submarine and first ship to bear the name of the Florida city.

Team provides medical care in Dominican Republic

by Master Sgt. Chance C. Babin
Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs

6/1/2010 - PUERTA PLATA, Dominican Republic (AFNS) -- A team of 39 Air Force Reserve medical specialists arrived here May 24 to take part in a medical readiness training exercise.

The MEDRETE is part of the International Healthcare Specialist mission. Air Force reservists are providing free medical care to the local population at four locations in the Puerto Plata region through June 5.

They are working alongside Dominican physicians to provide general medicine, dentistry, optometry, dermatology, pediatrics and gynecology care for patients. The team will also provide eyeglasses and medicine.

Col. Lynn McDaniels, the MEDRETE team chief, said he expects the team to treat about 1,000 patients a day.

For Dominican air force Col. Miguel Lagrange, the Dominican medical team director, the MEDRETE mission is a win-win for his team.

"We are very happy having (Airmen) here helping us," Colonel Lagrange said. "It is very important to have a mission like this. It is good experience to get in contact with other doctors from other cultures, and we are going to take advantage of that contact."

One of the physicians working in pediatrics feels very connected to this mission. Maj. (Dr.) Leonie Hanley of the 927th ASTS is from the Caribbean island of Saint Croix.

"It's a good opportunity for the Air Force to be seen not only as a show for force, but as being able to provide humanitarian care to various nations that are in need," Major Hanley said. "In the Caribbean, we are not as fortunate as some of our mainland counterparts, so it's good to be able to come down and partake in this."

U.S., French remember America's first combat pilots

by Capt. Tony Wickman
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs

6/1/2010 - PARIS (AFNS) -- U.S. and French civilian and military leaders paid their respects to America's first combat pilots during ceremony at a memorial outside of Paris, May 27.

Gen. Roger Brady, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, French Lt. Gen. Paul Fouilland, the Strategic Air Forces commander, several local elected officials and nearly 200 guests gathered at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial's central Arc de Triomphe to pay tribute to the 68 American pilots who died in service to the Allies during World War I.

"This is sacred ground for the U.S. Air Force and French air force and this was an opportunity for us to remember those who sacrificed for the cause of freedom," General Brady said. "This was also a chance for us to renew our relationship with the French air force, which is one of the stronger relationships we have and cherish. The history speaks for itself, but this is the beginning of military aviation, and certainly the beginning for the U.S. Air Force. It has been a pleasure to be here with our French Allies and renew that relationship."

The event opened with a four-ship flyover of Mirage 2000N jets from the 2/4 Lafayette Strike Squadron from Luxeuil Air Base, France; a two-ship flyover of F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 52nd Fighter Wing from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; and a flyover of a vintage N3N biplane flown by a retired French air force pilot.

The guest speakers, which included the mayor of Marnes-la-Coquette, General Brady, General Fouilland, Ambassador Rivkin, and Patrick Strzoda, the prefect of Hauts-de-Seine, spoke of the Lafayette Escadrille's heroic deeds and paid homage to the American and French servicemembers currently supporting military operations around the world. Following the speeches, the dignitaries placed wreaths on the memorial and the USAFE Honor Guard fired a three-volley salute. The French air force and the USAFE bands provided musical support for the event.

After the ceremony, all attendees were afforded the opportunity to visit the underground crypt beneath the monument to see the 70 sarcophagi honoring the Lafayette Escadrille airmen, as well as see 13 stained glass windows depicting various battles.

One of the special guests of honor was the great-nephew of one of the interned American servicemen, Maj. Raoul Lufbery, who said coming to the memorial fulfilled a lifelong dream.

"It was something I wanted to do all of my life," said Raoul Lufbery III, bearing the name of his great-uncle, from International Falls, Minn. "This is something I'll be able to take back home and share with the rest of the Lufbery family. This is an honor for the family and we are proud to be associated with the (Lafayette Escadrille)."

The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial is a reminder to all of the American pilots of the Escadrille La Fayette and the Lafayette Flying Corps who died during service to the Allies. The monument has a central arch one-half the size of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, with the names of the dead pilots inscribed upon the stone. Also inscribed around the border are the names of the French towns and provinces where the pilots fought.

Entombed with the American pilots are two French officers, Gen. Antonin Brocard and Lt. Col. George Thenault, who commanded the unit before the U.S. entered the war.

Forscom Chief Retires After 40 years

By Larry Stevens
U.S. Forces Command Public Affairs

June 3, 2010 - After 40 years of service dating back to the Vietnam War, Gen. Charles C. "Hondo" Campbell, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, will relinquish his command and retire today during a ceremony here. Campbell took over the Army's largest command Jan. 9, 2007, becoming Forscom's 17th commander. When he turns over command and steps into retirement, another chapter in the legacy of the Vietnam War comes to a close, because Campbell is the last continuously-serving general officer who saw action in Vietnam to leave active duty.

As for the origin of Campbell's now famous nickname, "Hondo," it is somewhat obscure. The "folklore" suggests it is related to the character in the Louis L'Amour western novel by the same name, a role played by John Wayne in the movie version of the classic tale. Whatever the origin, it's a name he has carried with pride during his decades-long career.

Campbell entered the Army in 1970 when the active component was 1.2 million soldiers strong, and it was a conscripted force.

"When I went to Vietnam, we had more than 500,000 soldiers in Vietnam [alone]," Campbell said. Compared to the size of today's all-volunteer active Army component - about 560,000 soldiers- it was certainly a far different force.

"So when I look across broad brush strokes of 40 years, there were three [turning] points that were really strategic, in my view, as it relates to the Army," Campbell said.

The first turning point, he said, occurred in July 1973 when the Army became an all-volunteer force. At that time the Army had to change itself to embrace a doctrine of maneuver for a possible fight in Europe against the Soviet threat. The second point occurred in 1989, he continued, when the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Army had to reinvent itself into an expeditionary force. The third turning point came on Sept. 11, 2001, Campbell said, after which the Army had to become capable of prosecuting protracted conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Army of today is a fundamentally different from the Army of 2001," Campbell observed.

"We have adapted for the present and the future fight," he said. "We have moved from a division structure to a brigade-centric modular structure, from a linear-force generation model to a rotational-force generation model that is characterized by progressive readiness and cyclical deployment and from a National Guard and Army Reserve that was a strategic force to one that is [now] fully integrated into the operational force and are (now) making proportional contributions every day.".

Campbell has commanded all continental U.S.-based conventional operating forces for much of the last four years.

"Our Army is clearly fatigued by nearly nine years of combat. But, through it all, our Army remains resilient, determined and extraordinarily effective," he said. "Our soldiers today are more expert, better educated, better trained, more lethal and more combat-experienced than at any time, certainly, in the 40 years I have served in the ranks."

Campbell observed how things have changed at Forscom since he arrived there as its deputy commanding general in 2006, before later assuming command.

"For many, many years, Forscom was a management headquarters," he said. "In the last four years, it has become an operating headquarters. That's a significant change that has been lost on many. [But] it's not lost on anyone who has been assigned to Forces Command."

Campbell also said there have been massive strides taken to improve readiness in the Guard and Reserve.

The reserve components have "emerged as a national treasure," Campbell said, noting today's Guard and Reserve force "is more seasoned, more capably led, more robustly manned and better equipped than at any time since World War II."

"Certainly, we need to continue our effort to operationalize the Guard and Reserve," he said, "and to ensure it is fully integrated in the operating force, and that it continues to make a proportional contribution in the years ahead as it has done in the recent past."

Navy Gets Closer to PFA Documentation for Fitness Reports

June 3, 2010 - MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy is moving forward on procedures for documenting physical fitness assessments (PFA) in upcoming performance reports according to NAVADMIN 193/10 released May 28.

These business rules are part of changes to Navy Fitness Reports and are the result of feedback from selections boards.

The new message reinforces the requirement for commands to maintain data in the Physical Readiness Information Maintenance Systems (PRIMS) and provides selection boards with accurate information regarding a member's PFA performance.

For performance reports with an end date of Aug. 1 or later, commands will enter a one-letter PFA code in Block 20 for each cycle completed. The following are the PFA codes:

• P – Passed both the physical readiness test (PRT) and body composition assessment (BCA).

• F – Overall PFA failure.

• M – Medically waived from entire PFA.

• W – Passed BCA but medically waived from one or more PRT events.

• B – Passed BCA but was authorized non-participation in the PRT for other than medical reasons.

• N – No PFA conducted during reporting period.

There are qualifiers for some codes. Reference the NAVADMIN for a detailed explanation.

This policy change requires software modification to the NAVFIT98A program and E7-E9 Evaluation. The software installation is scheduled to start Aug. 1.

Florida Man Who Served in Military Unit Linked to Massacres During the Bosnian Conflict of 1992-1995 Leaves United States Following Denaturalization

June 3, 2010 - A former member of the Bosnian Serb Army has left the United States to return to Serbia after a federal judge ordered his denaturalization based on concealment during his application for U.S. citizenship that he served in the military during the Bosnian war, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Brian Albritton of the Middle District of Florida and Assistant Secretary John Morton of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jadranko Gostic, 47, a former resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., departed the United States on June 1, 2010. U.S. District Court Judge James Moody in Tampa, Fla., ordered his denaturalization on May 26, 2010.

Gostic was indicted in December 2006 on one count of unlawful procurement of citizenship and one count of making false statements. In January 2010, a civil complaint was filed against Gostic alleging illegal procurement of U.S. citizenship and requesting his denaturalization. Court documents allege that Gostic served in the Zvornik Infantry Brigade of the Bosnian Serb Army from April 1992 until December 1995. According to court documents, international tribunals have found that some units of the Zvornik Brigade engaged in war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that they participated in the July 1995 action against the Srebrenica enclave during which some 8,000 Muslim men and boys were executed.

Gostic entered the United States in 1999, received lawful permanent residence status in 2002 and was naturalized in 2004. According to court documents, at each stage of the immigration and naturalization process Gostic concealed his service in the Zvornik Brigade, even when specifically asked about his prior military service.

Gostic agreed to admit to the allegations against him, to be denaturalized, to surrender his lawful permanent resident status and to depart the United States. Gostic fulfilled the requirements of this agreement and departed the United States. As a result of his cooperation, the criminal charges against Gostic will be dismissed.

This case was investigated by the ICE Tampa Special-Agent-in-Charge Office and was prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney William Kenety in the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Hansen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The Criminal Division announced the formation of HRSP on March 30, 2010, as part of the U.S. government’s efforts to bring human rights violators to justice and deny those violators safe haven in the United States. The new section represents a merger of the Criminal Division’s Domestic Security Section (DSS) and the Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

Military Stays Ready to Respond When Haiti Calls

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2010 - Southern Command's withdrawal of troops from the earthquake response mission in Haiti does not mark the end of U.S. military involvement there, Southcom's deputy commander said today.

In fact, the military will remain prepared for the next natural disaster to strike the small island nation in the wake of the summer hurricane season and beyond, Army Lt. Gen. P.K. "Ken" Keen said during a presentation about Haiti's future at the U.S. Institute of Peace here.

History indicates there will be more natural disasters in Haiti, and just one week into the hurricane season, Southcom already is responding in the region, Keen said. The USS Underwood, which played a large role in the Haiti earthquake response, arrived off the coast of Guatemala with its embarked helicopter squadron on May 31 to respond to flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm Agatha, which has killed at least 150 people there.

"Haiti still is in a very risky position," Keen said, with many people still living in tents. "You really do not need another hurricane to have a disaster in Haiti. All you need is about 5 inches of rain in 12 hours and you have another disaster."

Keen, the first commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, has worked in Central and South America for much of his career, and was awarded Brazil's distinguished Order of Rio de Branco on May 26 for his leadership during the Haiti mission. He recalled today the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 while he was there on a prearranged visit to discuss Southcom's role in the region.

The resulting "Operation United Response" became the largest and longest-running U.S. military response to a foreign disaster ever, Keen said. The mission included more than 22,000 military personnel working to restore order, provide humanitarian and medical support, and reopen airports, roads and bridges.

Keen said the response, which included numerous foreign partners, was appropriate given the devastation: At least 230,000 people were killed, more than 1 million were displaced and many more were injured.

Regardless of how good the Haitian government's capacity had been, it still would have needed international help, Keen said. "If this earthquake had struck any community in the United States, it would have needed the international community to respond," he said. "It was just of that magnitude."

Southcom is working with the U.S. Agency for International Development and other organizations to improve the Haiti's capacity to respond to disasters as much as possible, Keen said. The most important long-term capacity for emergencies Haiti can possess is to have an effective national police force, he said, adding that U.N. stabilization forces are doing a good job maintaining law and order there.

To the surprise of military and international aid workers, the general said, Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince has not returned to the gang violence it had before the earthquake struck. "I submit that did not happen because of the work of the U.S. military there and all the other militaries," he said, adding that Haitian citizens have been demonstrating peacefully about their frustrations with the rebuilding process.

And, Keen said the pace of recovering is frustrating to everyone involved. "Sometimes it's hard to find that progress and it happens little by little. Sometimes it happens too slow to suit us."

Keen said he walked through the camps for displaced people every day he was there for more than three months. "It was in those camps where I could get the best feel for the challenges they were facing," he said.

While the last 300 U.S. military personnel left Haiti earlier this week to end the earthquake response mission, about 500 Louisiana National Guard members are preparing to begin construction projects in Haiti that will continue into the fall, and medical exercises are planned to treat hundreds of Haitian people per day in outlying areas, he said.

Navy to Christen Guided Missile Destroyer Spruance

The Navy will christen the newest guided-missile destroyer, Spruance, Saturday, June 5, 2010, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The new destroyer honors legendary Adm. Raymond Spruance, whose calm and decisive leadership at the Battle of Midway contributed to a pivotal American victory during World War II.

Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Ellen Spruance Holscher, granddaughter of the ship's namesake, will serve as sponsor, and in accordance with Navy tradition, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.

Born in Baltimore, July 3, 1886, Spruance graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906. His Navy career was extensive, including command of five destroyers and the battleship Mississippi. Spruance led Task Force 16, with two aircraft carriers, during the 1942 Battle of Midway, where his disposition of forces and management of aircraft was crucial to a victory that is regarded as the turning point in the Pacific war with Japan. He later directed campaigns that captured the Gilberts, Marshalls, Marianas, Iwo Jima and Okinawa and defeated the Japanese fleet in the 1944 Battle of Philippine Sea. After commanding the Pacific Fleet in 1945-46, Spruance served as president of the Naval War College until retiring in 1948. In 1952-55, he was ambassador to the Philippines. Spruance died at Pebble Beach, Calif., Dec. 13, 1969.

Designated DDG 111, Spruance is the 61st ship of the Arleigh Burke class, a multi-mission guided missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface threat environments. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs.

The ship will be the second ship named for Spruance. The first USS Spruance (DD 963) was the lead ship of Spruance class destroyers serving from 1973 to 2005.

Cmdr. Tate Westbrook, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Spruance is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at

Navy Training Helps Keep Ships, Equipment in Fighting Shape with A-Plus Training

From Center for Naval Engineering and Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

June 3, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Center for Naval Engineering (CNE), has rapidly responded to the fleet's call for additional training and developed and delivered hands-on training to fleet concentration areas. They graduated a second A-Plus Pump Maintenance class in San Diego May 27.

The inaugural Pump Maintenance class graduated in Norfolk May 14.

The pilot course is the second in a series of what is known as A-Plus training. The course is taught to apprentice-level Sailors who have been onboard their first ship less than a year. In December 2009, CNE began teaching A-Plus Valve Maintenance, first in Norfolk, and shortly afterward in San Diego.

When an apprentice Sailor reports to their first ship they don't always get integrated immediately into their workcenters due to requirements to obtain watch-standing qualifications, or other shipboard duties. If they don't conduct maintenance soon after checking aboard, their knowledge, skills and ability to perform basic maintenance decreases.

"A-Plus training was introduced after analyzing inspection reports and receiving feedback from the fleet," said CNE's Chief Engineman Richard Johnson. "We're doing our part to ensure fleet readiness by providing training that's current and up to date. The learning process does not end in boot camp, nor does it stop with "A" school. The courses are designed to build on existing skills and abilities, and provide 'by the book' procedural knowledge. Sailors need to be able to identify discrepancies, and conduct preventative and corrective maintenance on valves and other pieces of equipment."

A-Plus training builds on the training and skills foundation each Sailor gains by attending 'A' School in Great Lakes. After their initial time aboard ship the Sailors return to the schoolhouse for two to three days of hands-on training that focuses on basic maintenance practices.

A-Plus training also provides a ship with the benefit of saving money by not having to pay civilian contractors to replace or repair valves, and other equipment.

"Instead of purchasing new valves, Sailors will be able to repair valves," said Johnson. "Sailors who complete these courses report back to their ships more confident and competent in their maintenance abilities."

The training has been enthusiastically received by the Sailors because of its hands-on approach and because the training reflects the type of maintenance the Sailors are expected to perform on their ship.

"We make the training as real as possible so when a Sailor reports back to their ship they have hands-on knowledge and the ability to do their job," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Mark Shayave, valve maintenance course instructor. The positive response to the training has been overwhelming."

The training is offered twice a month at the CNE learning sites in Norfolk and San Diego.

"My junior Sailors that have been out of "A" school less than a year liked the valve maintenance course a lot," said Cmdr. Mark Hochstetler, USS Boxer's (LHD 4) chief engineer. "They specifically benefitted from the task of disassembling a valve that was recently in service because it made the training more realistic. The more seasoned Sailors that have been onboard two to three years also liked the course. They thought the admin part of 3M and tag-out reinforced what they learned on the ship."

The courses aren't just for Sailors in engineering ratings. It's open to all Sailors, such as sonar technicians and operations specialists who also perform valve maintenance as damage control petty officers. To date 96 Sailors have taken the valve maintenance course and 23 have completed the pump maintenance course.

Naval Operations Concept Cites Ways to Meet Maritime Challenges

By Judith Snyderman
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

June 3, 2010 - The newly released Naval Operations Concept 2010, a document that helps to ensure U.S. maritime assets line up with overall national defense strategy, takes a "whole-of-government" approach to partnership with other U.S. agencies.

"The goal of the document is to coordinate with the QDR [Quadrennial Defense Review]," U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Montgomery, Navy Strategy Branch Head, said yesterday during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable discussion of the report, which was released last week. While the QDR guides decisions for the size and structure of the overall military force, the NOC focuses on roles that the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard play.

The NOC, Montgomery said, describes how sea-based forces will confront contemporary threats and challenges including "enhancing security, preventing conflict and if necessary, prevailing in war."

He added that it builds on the naval services' overarching strategy document, "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower."

What is new about the NOC, Montgomery said, is a "whole-of-government approach." In addition to working in partnership with other U.S. agencies, the NOC supports working with allies to avoid duplicating efforts, "so that we are wisely spending what are increasingly scarce resources."

U.S. Navy Capt. John McLain, of the Navy Strategy and Policy Division, also participated in the discussion. He said that in many ways, the updated vision for the maritime strategy is already being realized. "We typically are engaged as part of a whole-of-government effort within usually an international framework," he said.

As one example, McLain recounted the fast response and contributions made by naval forces to multi-agency and international aid efforts after a massive earthquake erupted in Haiti in January.

The NOC document, McLain explained, elevates the role of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as, "not just reactive disaster response, but also proactive humanitarian assistance." Montgomery added that the NOC includes sections on confronting irregular challenges and on expanding the definition of deterrence.

He acknowledged that some external audiences expected to see specifics in terms of force size and ship numbers in the NOC, but he said it is not intended to be a requirements document.

Montgomery added that Navy analysts will take part in upcoming defense future war fighting campaign scenarios which could shape the future size and structure of maritime forces.

"We wouldn't want to prejudge the results of these war fighting campaign scenarios, nor would we want the operational concept of the Navy tied to a change in any one threat," Montgomery said.

The main audience for the NOC, he said, is internal and the content aims "to explain to the officers and sailors down on the deck plates what the naval operational concept is [and] how we execute the 'ways' associated with the ['means'] of the maritime strategy."

McLain said the NOC acknowledges that naval forces are rebalancing resources, and that "we have to perform our core missions with one Navy and [it] must be able to operate across a full spectrum of operations."