Military News

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Air Force officials ban use and possession of spice, mood-altering substances

6/17/2010 - WASHINGTON -- Air Force officials issued guidance banning the knowing use and possession of any substance, other than alcohol or tobacco, that is ingested to alter mood or function.

On June 8, the Air Force published an Air Force guidance memorandum revising Air Force Instruction 44-121, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, said Lt. Col. Elizabeth L. Schuchs-Gopaul, a judge advocate with the Air Force Judge Advocate General Action Group.

The revised language makes punitive the prohibition in the current Air Force Instruction regarding the ingestion of any substance, other than alcohol or tobacco, for the purpose of altering mood or function. The possession of any intoxicating substance, if done with the intent to use in a manner that would alter mood or function, is also prohibited, she said.

The guidance cited the designer drug "spice," salvia divinorum, inhalants, household chemicals, solvents and prescription drug abuse.

Colonel Schuchs-Gopaul said the new AFI provisions are punitive. Violators will be punishable as violations of a lawful general regulation under Article 92 of the UCMJ.

"This revision is an addition to the already existing tools used by commanders to address the abuse of otherwise lawful substances such as salvia, inhalants, propellants, solvents, household chemicals, and others substances used for 'huffing,'" Colonel Schuchs-Gopaul said.

Violating this new punitive memorandum is punishable by a dishonorable discharge, confinement for two years, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, the colonel said. Enlisted members also face reduction to the lowest enlisted grade.

Tuskegee Airman dies

6/17/2010 - SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- Retired Lt. Col. William H. Holloman III, 85, one of the famed "Tuskegee Airmen" who broke the military's color barrier by becoming a World War II fighter pilot, died June 11 in Kent, Wash.

Colonel Holloman continued to serve during the Korean War and became the Air Force's first African-American helicopter pilot. He went to war again in Vietnam.

A St. Louis native, he volunteered for and graduated from an all-black aviation training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Ala.

Colonel Holloman flew a single-seat P-51 Mustang fighter-bomber as part of the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group from a base in Italy to targets in Germany, Austria and Eastern European countries in 1944 and 1945. He flew 19 combat missions, including escorting bombers and hitting enemy targets.

After World War II, Colonel Holloman worked in South America and flew small commercial planes in Canada. Later as an Air Force reservist, he was called back to active duty for tours during the Korean War and in Vietnam. It was during that time he switched services and joined the Army.

After he retired in 1972 from the Army, he continued to serve his country by teaching younger generations about how the war and aviation intersected in a way that helped end racial separation.

Jump week brings five NATO countries together

by Senior Airman Scott Saldukas
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/17/2010 - ALZEY, Germany (AFNS) -- More than 100 paratroopers from five NATO countries conducted about 300 personnel drops June 15 here.

The three-day airborne jump training is part of International Jump Week meant to build partnerships and capabilities needed to meet future challenges.

The paratroopers from Belgium, Germany, England, Norway and the Air Force and Marine Corps jumped from a C-17 Globemaster III from the Heavy Airlift Wing at Papa Air Base, Hungary and a C-130J Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Though this isn't the first time NATO countries have participated in jump week, it was the first time the recently stood up HAW participated.

"The wing hasn't even been activated for a full year yet," said Master Sgt. Jason Brown, the HAW chief loadmaster. "It's great that we are able to be a part of this and contribute to this awesome event."

Although earning their foreign wings is an accomplishment in itself, the event allows each of the nation's servicemembers to take away new capabilities and experiences.

"It's amazing to get everyone together and share what they know with each other," said Tech. Sgt. David Edwards, the 435th Contingency Response Group NCO in charge of airborne operations. "It's also beneficial for the other countries participating, if they were to deploy to Afghanistan, because from the training, they would understand how the U.S. military works."

Building partnerships and allowing servicemembers to meet one another while training was another key focus during the event.

"The jumps provide them the opportunity to get together, get some training and experience the jump with multiple nations," Sergeant Edwards said. "This training is an experience that I hope many others will be able to take advantage of in the years to come."

Gates Reviews Military Spouse Career Program

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 17, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is grappling with the best way to reopen the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program to new applicants, concerned that the program has morphed beyond its original intent and cost estimates, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today.

Gates believes the program, commonly known as MyCAA, was designed to provide military spouses portable career skills that would help them find jobs after making permanent change-of-station moves, Morrell said. He offered examples: real estate licenses or home health-care provider accreditations.

But in many cases, Morrell said, the MyCAA program has become an avenue for military spouses to pursue four-year degrees and other, longer-term educational opportunities now provided through the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.

"That is not what MyCAA was designed for," the press secretary said.

Enrollment in MyCAA skyrocketed in January, overwhelming the system and causing the program to nearly reach its budget threshold. As a result, the Defense Department temporarily halted new enrollments in February pending a top-to-bottom review.

More than 136,000 spouses who had already established MyCAA accounts continue to receive program benefits.

As the secretary considers the best way to resume the program fully, he is wrestling to determine, "given the sudden groundswell of interest in this program, how do we manage that interest, how do we focus it on what it was meant for [and] how to we handle it from a budgetary perspective?" Morrell said.

Gates must decide: "Do we refine this back to what it was originally intended to be – an opportunity for people to relatively quickly gain a very portable skill that would make them employable wherever they lived, or what it has morphed into -- an opportunity for people to pursue a range of educational opportunities?" Morrell said.

Morrell said he expects a decision relatively soon.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 17, 2010

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is pleased to announce the award of advisory and assistance services contracts to ALATEC, Inc., Huntsville, Ala. (HQ0147-10-D-0002); Computer Sciences Corporation, Huntsville, Ala. (HQ0147-10-D-0003); and Tetra Tech-EMC, Camarillo, Calif. (HQ0147-10-D-0004). Each firm is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to provide advisory and assistance services to the Chief of Staff Directorate (DS) MDA. The contractors will assist DS in providing agency operations support services for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. This procurement is managed by the Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Services Program Office. This office is responsible for centrally managing the acquisition of advisory and assistance services for the agency. These contracts are being competitively awarded under the full and open (unrestricted) Request for Proposal HQ0147-09-R-0002. Each contract has a not-to-exceed ordering ceiling of $270,462,000. The companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work under these contracts will be performed in Huntsville, Ala. and other MDA locations. The performance period is through June 2015. Obligations will be made by task orders using Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds.

NAVY

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $25,000,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0014) to incorporate engineering change proposal 6213R2SOW, "trailing edge flap honeycomb redesign" into the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in October 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $25,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-04-C-0014).

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $9,045,214 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement (N00019-05-G-0008) for the procurement of 32 electro optical sensor unit weapon replaceable assemblies (WRAs), laser WRAs and laser electronic unit for the FA-18 and EA-18G aircraft. This order is in support of the WRAs in support of Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared Marker retrofit engineering change proposal 04270510. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas (60 percent), and El Segundo, Calif. (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $4,417,595 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-05-G-0008).

Deschamps Mats Systems, Inc., Little Falls, N.J., is being awarded a $5,688,256 fixed-price contract for the procurement of A2x light weight mat and associated parts for use in constructing portable, reusable, forward-deployed airfields that can be assembled for the rapid introduction of air power. Work will be performed in La Couronne, France, and is expected to be completed in August 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-C-0387).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Triumph Actuation Systems, LLC, Clemmons, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $8,949,528 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for hydraulic pump units. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Jan. 31, 2014. The Defense Logistics Agency Huntsville (DSCR-AHB), Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (SPRRA1-10-D-0043).

Navy Historian Launches Navy History Hawaii Blog

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

June 17, 2010 - PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Hawaii launched its first blog, Navy History Hawaii, June 4.

Navy Region Hawaii historian Jim Neuman introduced the blog as a means to deliver and disseminate historical information to the public.

"There's a lot on information out there," said Neuman. "There's a lot of documentary information. There's a lot of photographic documentation around Hawaii that deals with the Navy, but there's never been anybody to kind of consolidate all of that, and that's what I hope to be able to do."

As Navy Region Hawaii's first historian, Neuman is bringing together historical information regarding the U.S. Navy in Hawaii. In one of his first entries, Neuman discussed the history and role of USS Nevada (BB 36) during World War II. Nevada was one of several ships that were trapped during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

"The other day I was just watching a documentary on Normandy which is way out in Europe, but then I remembered the Nevada was in the Battle of Normandy," said Neuman. "So here you have the ship that was attacked at Pearl Harbor and in 1944, three years later, was all the way in Normandy bombarding the Germany gun placements. I thought that was kind of an interesting story, the fact that you could raise these ships, and then they would actually contribute not just in the Pacific but in World War II in general. I quickly did a little blog on that. I found some pictures and posted it."

Neuman is currently a U.S. Navy reservist who has been with the U.S. Navy for more than eight years in both the active and reserve components. As a service member, Neuman said he realized the need for history to be readily available to the public.

"If you can start consolidating this kind of information, it helps leadership make decisions," said Neuman. "Another reason why it's important for me is because I'm an educator at heart and I want to educate people."

For more information, visit http://www.navyhistoryhawaii.blogspot.com/

Gates, Mullen Urge Senate to Ratify Arms Reduction Treaty

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 17, 2010 - The United States is better off with the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia than it is without it, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also urged the committee to ratify the agreement, saying the treaty has the full support of uniformed leaders. Gates and Mullen testified alongside Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

The agreement reduces U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear forces in a way that strengthens the stability of the U.S.-Russian relationship, Gates said. The agreement, he added, also protects the security of the American people, and "does not in any way constrain our missile defense programs."

The secretary stressed that the treaty will not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses possible, nor will it impose additional costs or barriers on those defenses.

"I remain confident in the U.S. missile defense program, which has made considerable advancements, including the testing and development of the SM-3 missile which we will deploy in Europe," he said.

Russia continues to object to U.S. missile defense. Still, Gates said, the American system is designed to intercept a limited number of ballistic missiles launched by a rogue state.

"Our missile defenses do not have the capability to defend against the Russian Federation's large, advanced arsenal," he explained. "Consequently, U.S. missile defenses do not, and will not, affect Russia's strategic deterrent."

The United States will continue to try to get the Russians to cooperate on missile defense, Gates said.

The new treaty also does not restrict U.S. ability to develop and deploy conventional prompt global strike capabilities that could attack targets anywhere on the globe in an hour or less, the secretary said.

The treaty limits the United States to 700 deployed delivery vehicles and no more than 1,550 deployed warheads, and Gates emphasized that the treaty's verification provisions will allow the United States to ensure the Russians hold up their end of the agreement.

"In my view, a key contribution of this treaty is its provision for a strong verification regime," he said. "I would like to emphasize some of the key elements of this regime, which will monitor Russia's compliance with the treaty, while also providing important insights into the size and composition of Russian strategic forces."

Each side can conduct up to 18 on-site inspections each year at operating bases for intercontinental missiles, nuclear-capable submarines and nuclear-capable heavy bombers as well as storage facilities, test ranges and conversion and elimination facilities, Gates said. The agreement establishes a database updated every six months, which will help provide the United States with a rolling overall picture of Russia's strategic offensive forces and vice versa.

"Unique identifiers, for the first time, will be assigned to each ICBM, SLBM and nuclear-capable heavy bomber, allowing us to track accountable systems throughout their life cycle," Gates said.

The U.S. nuclear deterrent remains a crucial capability, the secretary said, and to ensure its credibility, the nation must maintain an adequate stockpile of safe, secure and reliable nuclear warheads.

"This calls for a reinvigoration of our nuclear weapons complex – our infrastructure and our science, technology and engineering base," Gates said. "And I might just add, I've been up here for the last four springs trying to get money for this, and this is the first time I think I've got a fair shot of actually getting money for our nuclear arsenal."

Mullen assured the senators that the U.S. military leadership's perspectives and concern's were heard.

"During the development of the new START treaty, I was personally involved," the admiral said, "to include two face-to-face negotiating sessions and several other conversations with my counterpart, the chief of the Russian General Staff, General [Nikolai] Makarov, regarding key aspects of the treaty."

Mullen spoke for the rest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before the committee, and he said the treaty retains a strong and flexible American nuclear deterrent.

"It helps strengthen openness and transparency in our relationship with Russia," he said. "It also demonstrates our national commitment to reducing the worldwide risk of a nuclear incident resulting from the continuing proliferation of nuclear weapons."

Both Gates and Mullen urged ratification. Gates said the agreement is good for today and the future.

"It increases stability and predictability, allows us to sustain a strong nuclear triad, preserves our flexibility to deploy the nuclear and non-nuclear capabilities needed for effective deterrence and defense," the secretary said. "In light of all these factors, I urge the Senate to give its advice and consent to ratification of the new treaty."

Fleet, Family Support Center Eases IA Deployments

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stephen Murphy, Defense Media Activity - Anacostia

June 17, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Fleet and Family Support Center's (FFSC) Individual Deployment Support Specialist (IDSS) program provides assistance to individual augmentee (IA) Sailors and their families.

The primary purpose of an IDSS is to contact IA family members on a regular basis to provide support and resources.

"I think as family members we are used to everyone going together deploying on a ship and this is completely different," said Alexandria Hoffman, IDSS, Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md. "So the families have a lot of questions, and we are there to form a relationship with them much like a friend would to make sure the needs of the family are met."

Service members and their families are contacted by an IDSS within two weeks after their IA orders are cut. During the initial call, the IDSS will learn the interval of contact a family desires. The call will also determine whether the family wants to be contacted by phone or e-mail.

"It made me feel more secure to know that if there was a problem I could just contact them, and they would tell me the right area to help out," said Billie Jo Caldwell, a Navy spouse aboard NAS Patuxent River.

Before a Sailor departs on an IA assignment, an IDSS will arrange for the service member and his or her family to attend a pre-deployment briefing hosted by FFSC.

"It's very crucial for them because the family members need to know the resources that are out there for them while the service member is away," said Hoffman. "If they need assistance with a certain thing, they know who to contact."

The IDSS support for the family and IA Sailor continues for the duration of a deployment and then continues through the post-deployment reintegration of service members and their families.

"The service member is returning to their job they had before they were on an IA deployment, and that could have been irrelevant to what they do on a day-to-day basis," said Hoffman. "You have to make sure the service member gets reacquainted with their command and their workplace."

Hoffman said in addition to ensuring a Sailor is reintegrated with his or her command, it is also critical for Sailors and their families to be successfully reacquainted.

The IDSSs offer resources to assist spouses with this transition. FFSC offers post-deployment briefings and classes for spouses and family members.

"It's meant to prepare you for homecoming," said Caldwell. "You know that you have been away for a year, and you have to reconnect with your spouse. Your children have to be reconnected too."

Post-deployment classes are provided to returning IAs who may need help with adjusting during the post-combat experience.

"If they need counseling services or they are having a problem with reintegration, we definitely make sure this is taking care of," said Hoffman.

Caldwell said she was very pleased with the assistance she received from FFSC and its IDSS program. She recommends that anyone with concerns about coping with a deployment process to contact the nearest FFSC.

"I think a lot of us would have felt alone," said Caldwell. "They have helped us in a way that we didn't know was available."

As of March 26, 2010, more than 10,000 Sailors are serving in IA assignments. To enroll in the IDSS program go to www.nffsp.org.

USU Simulation Center

June 17, 2010 - Students and faculty at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USU, have some of the world’s best medical resources available to them. In addition to the traditional education they receive in their course work, students are provided hands-on simulation training at the USU’s National Capital Area Medical Simulation Center, a 20,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility located in Silver Spring, Md.

On Monday, Maryland Congressman Christopher Van Hollen (D) helped the Simulation Center celebrate its tenth anniversary with a special tour and presentation. Van Hollen a strident supporter of the Simulation Center, represents the 8th District of Maryland, where USU is located.

The Simulation Center affords students the opportunity to practice the delivery of medicine in traditional and non-traditional settings alike. The Wide Area Virtual Environment, or WAVE, is among the most valuable tools used for this purpose, as it is uniquely designed to simulate field situations.

For example, the WAVE can simulate an attack on the streets of Baghdad, in which a soldier has to be immediately treated, then flown out of the area and operated on. The WAVE screens project most of the visuals during these trainings, while human participants, mannequins and other props are included within the setting for a realistic effect.

Because medical care is often administered in teams during field operations, groups of 15 to 20 students can train in the WAVE at any one time and practice their field medical skills.

Students at USU also have an opportunity to practice their clinical skills in real time at the Simulation Center. Standardized patients, played by actors, interact with the students to help them practice their interpersonal, professional and diagnostic skills. By the time they graduate, students at USU will have participated in approximately 40 different simulations.

The Simulation Center, now entering it’s 10th year, continues to be an incredible resource for medical and nursing students at USU, as well as interns and residents.

NMCRS Helps Military Families Budget for Baby

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Michelle Rhonehouse, Navy Region Southwest Public Affairs

June 17, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- San Diego- The transition into parenthood can be a stressful time for all pay grades and spouses alike, especially if not prepared financially.

The Navy Marine Corp Relief Society (NMCRS) holds Budgeting for Baby classes designed to educate new or prospective parents about the impact a new baby can have on the financial situation of a family.

"The information provided in this class is beneficial for everyone, from the most senior officers to the lowest ranking junior enlisted," said Barry White, director of the San Diego NMCRS office. "The expenses are significant regardless. Any financial planner would tell you that the more information you can gather, the better prepared you will be to meet your expectations."

Active duty, retired Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their family members can learn about increased expenses, pressure from consumers that are targeted to new parents and entitlements available through both government and private sources.

"We provide information on what a baby realistically costs and what different products are out there on the market. These range from diapers and formula to car seats and strollers," said White. "We also explain the different programs in the area, such as the Women, Infants, and Children program, Armed Services YMCA and the Fleet and Family Support Centers that are out there to assist the families."

White added that the Budgeting for Baby program gives out free gifts at the end of each class.

Layette bags are given after the two-hour course to those who attend. The bag consists of items such as baby one pieces, sheets for the crib and a handmade gift from a society volunteer.

"Baby items are expensive. The layette bag provides a nice starting place for the parents and it helps save them the expense of having to purchase some first time baby items," said White. "It is essentially a starter kit for the baby."

Registration for these classes is offered at all NMCRS locations. Class times and dates vary on location.

For more information on the Budgeting for Baby program, visit www.nmcrs.org.

Father, Stepson Compare Armies

By Nathan Van Schaik
U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt

June 17, 2010 - A father and his stepson are pursuing military careers – in the U.S. and Danish armies.

William Groene is a master sergeant in the U.S. Army. His stepson, Michel Vester, is a Danish cadet enrolled at the Royal Danish Army Officers Academy at the Frederiksborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"I met his mother back in 1999, and we got married," said Groene, the rear detachment noncommissioned officer in charge of 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment. "The rest is pretty much history."

Vester, who works in logistics, is a Danish citizen; dual citizenship is prohibited in Denmark. He doesn't see any differences between himself and his stepfather.

"We both like working in the army doing manual work and working with soldiers," he said. "I don't think there are any big differences."

"He's a bit more regimented and focused," Groene said of his stepson. Vester chuckled at the suggestion that his stepfather, who has more than two decades of experience with the U.S. Army, is any less professional. "He's a lot smarter, stronger and better-looking," Groene said with a smile.

Each agreed that there was something to be learned from their cross-cultural counterparts.

"In the combat environment I think there is [something to learn], to a degree," Groene said about what the Danes have to offer. "I think it's their level of interaction. I think this is a lesson that the American Army is picking up on as well as far as interaction downrange in combat operations, where they tend to interact with the [local people] more."

Vester said he admires the internal interoperability within the U.S. Army.

"We sometimes have a problem with the different units interacting," Vester said, adding that Danish units are isolated by region in Denmark. "They have some maneuvers together, but it's definitely not the same as the American military."

Vester reunited with his stepfather when he and 11 other Danish cadets recently visited here for a week as part of a training exercise for the cadets. Vester, curious about his stepfather's line of work, initiated the exchange six months ago.

"I wanted to see what the U.S. Army was doing, so I asked him if it was possible," Vester said.

Later, with assistance from Michael Cormier of the 172nd Infantry Brigade partnership office, Groene orchestrated a week of interoperability training with 12 Danish cadets from the Royal Danish Army Officers Academy.

"The purpose was to introduce interoperability training and see how another army operates," Cormier said. "It was about getting to know another army, for the Danish and the Americans."

The cadets were matched up with respective officers from the 172nd Support Battalion, 9th Engineer Battalion, 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery, and the Schweinfurt garrison judge advocate general's office. The cadets trained among tank units, fired weapons at a range, and competed in an international soccer tournament.

Lt. Michel Vester and his 11 comrades returned to Copenhagen last week. He still has one more year at the academy. Danish cadets are required to serve an enlisted commitment prior to enrolling in the academy. Fifty to 60 percent of Danish cadets have had one or more combat missions before entering the Danish academy, Vester said.

Gates Describes Frustrations in Changing Processes

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 16, 2010 - Changing some processes in the Defense Department has required his personal attention, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today, but he added that he believes those changes are on their way to becoming part of how the Pentagon works.

The secretary told the Senate Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee that one frustration with his job has been that the Defense Department "is organized and structured to plan for war, but not wage war."

Gates has personally intervened to focus the department's attention on programs that benefit today's warfighters, such as mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles; more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets; and more processes and technologies to counter roadside bombs.

The secretary told the senators he has had to form ad hoc task forces to confront these problems, "where I chair them and essentially have all of the senior players, both uniformed and civilian, at the table and to be able to force the kind of rapid action that has been necessary to support those in the field."

Now, he added, that mindset is changing.

"In several of these areas, I think that the work has reached a point where I think I can begin to take actions to begin to return these efforts to ... where they would traditionally have a bureaucratic home," he said.

But for the long term, the secretary said, this remains a serious issue in the Defense Department.

"One [problem] that I have not yet found the answer to [is] to get urgent action in an area supporting men and women in combat today that ranges across the entirety of the department, both uniformed and civilian and all the different defense agencies," he said.

Balancing the capabilities needed to confront the threats of today versus future dangers is another aspect Gates said he must confront.

"If you took a broad look at our budget, about 50 percent of our procurement budget is for what I would call long-term modernization programs to deal with near-peer countries," he said. "About 40 percent is dual-purpose, like C-17s and other things we will use no matter what kind of conflict we're in, and about 10 percent has actually been for irregular or the kind of asymmetric warfare we've been talking about."