Military News

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Navy Museum to Host Girls Make History Day

By Darren Harrison, Naval District Washington Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- +The U.S. Navy Museum expects more than a thousand visitors June 26 for its second annual Girls Make History Day.

The event is based around the popular American Girl product line.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase naval history to women and how women have influenced naval history," said Laura Hockensmith, deputy director of education and public programs at the museum.

The American Girl products, include dolls, books, clothing, games and even furniture. Two of the book's authors, Valerie Tripp and Jackie Greene, will be on hand to sign autographs.

Hockensmith said that the history day activities will be tied to the specific era or war to which each girl figure is associated. For example, for the American Girls associated with the American Revolution, children will be making colonial door hangers.

"From our standpoint naval history is American history. So, a lot of the girls do have a tie to a specific war or era," said Hockensmith. "[In the instance of a 1907 girl] if she was a real person she would have heard about the Great White Fleet."

Featured activities include making a zoetrope that gives the illusion of motion through a series of static images, military target kites, a civil war newspaper, ration books and planting Victory Gardens.

The museum plans to raffle off three full-size American Girl dolls and, for those visiting children dressed as their favorite characters, three mini American Girl dolls will be given away in a separate raffle. All children attending the event will receive a goody bag.

The event was previewed on Fox News Channel 5 earlier this week which the museum staff said generated a lot of interested phone callers.

The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event is free and open to the public. Those planning to attend should RSVP by calling (202) 433-6826.

Last year's inaugural event drew approximately 1,500 visitors, including 800 children.

USS New Orleans Completes First Port Visit in Support of SPS 2010

By Lt. j.g. Ryan de Vera, Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs

USS NEW ORLEANS, At Sea (NNS) -- USS New Orleans (LPD 18), along with Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, and other embarked units departed Manzanillo, Mexico, June 22, after completing a successful port visit in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010.

SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in Latin America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. SPS provides the opportunity for joint operations between partner nations, which develops and tests participating regional civil and maritime services' capabilities to respond to a wide variety of maritime missions while keeping vital lines of communication open between regional services.

"Our Sailors and Marines had an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas while strengthening ties with our Mexican military counterparts," said PHIBRON 5 commodore, Capt. Peter J. Brennan, SPS mission commander. "The training in which we engaged will continue to solidify the foundation for global security and prosperity."

Brennan, along with Cmdr. Jeffrey L. Oakey, New Orleans' commanding officer, met with Vice Adm. Arturo Bernal Carrasco, chief of staff for Mexico's Pacific Fleet Command, on the first day in port and exchanged plaques.

"We are very glad to have you here in Manzanillo," said Bernal Carrasco. "It's going to be a very good experience to have the opportunity to work with [U.S. Sailors and Marines]."

Brennan and Oakey also had an office call with Vice Adm. Jaime Mejia Michel, Mexico's Naval Region 6 commander, and participated in a gift exchange as well.

While in Manzanillo, subject matter experts from the U.S. and Mexico participated in forums over several days to discuss various topics such as surface ship maneuvering, damage control and basic amphibious operations. The officers of New Orleans hosted Mexican junior officers in the wardroom aboard ship.

"It was a pleasure interacting with the Mexican naval officers," said Lt. j.g. Aaron Womack, Combat Information Center officer. "I was not only able to share my expertise in amphibious boat control, but I gained some valuable insights from them as well."

More than 100 Sailors and Marines also participated in a community relations project and helped restore a school and cleaned a retirement center. Service members along with Mexican sailors and marines painted buildings, repaired roof shingles, and interacted with the children and elderly.

"It was a very humbling and heart-warming experience, especially because I have a daughter," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Jose Mayoral-Navarro, who participated in the school renovation. "I'm glad I was able to be a part of this project; I hope the locals will benefit from our help."

Other events included ship tours for senior naval officers, local police and port authority officials. Tours of the city and small communities were also offered to Sailors and Marines.

"Our Sailors and Marines were able to take advantage of the great culture and hospitality Manzanillo had to offer," said Oakey. "Each Sailor and Marine is an informal ambassador of the U.S. while on liberty, and everyone did a great job enjoying themselves and representing our services and the U.S. This is all part of the SPS mission, and we are ready to continue our success throughout the remainder of deployment."

Service members from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay are deployed with New Orleans to enhance the interaction between those partner nations and the U.S. Navy. New Orleans, with PHIBRON 5 and other embarked units, are scheduled to visit Callao, Peru; Bahia Malaga, Colombia; and Balboa, Panama during the three-month deployment.

Child Protection Conference Provides a Unique Training Opportunity in Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) N. Ross Taylor, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Yokosuka's Fleet and Family Support Center sponsored a three-day child maltreatment prevention conference presented by the Armed Forces Center for Child Protection (AFCCP) June 22-24.

The AFCCP, located at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., provides a variety of services throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) including medical evaluations, medical-legal review and child abuse education.

The focus of the AFCCP and the Yokosuka symposium is to help families return to healthy functional relationships, to protect children throughout the DoD from maltreatment and to ensure active-duty members are ready to serve.

"The objective of the Armed Forces Center for Child Protection is to provide objective child maltreatment expertise when and where it is needed throughout the DoD," said Dr. Barbara Craig, DoD senior child abuse pediatrician and AFCCP director.

Craig said that the multidisciplinary training covers all aspects of child maltreatment and by the end of the course; attendees will have been exposed to more than 30 different topics, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and child interviewing techniques.

"The conference is designed to provide training and education so that anyone involved with child abuse issues can learn how to better recognize, report, manage, investigate, prosecute or defend child abuse cases," Craig said. "The training includes the latest and most up to date information, advanced techniques and a lot of research-based information that most of the participants will not have had previously."

The diverse audience of more than 90 participants included both active duty and civilians from 12 different installations. Those in attendance included medical professionals, social workers, psychologists, criminal investigators, base police, chaplains and Department of Defense Dependents School (DoDDS) employees.

"We all have a responsibility, regardless of our profession to be able to help children who are victims of maltreatment," said participant Lt. Peter J. Arroyo Jr., doctor of occupational therapy and provider for Educational Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka. "Those of us in health care, law enforcement, education and social work - we are the first line of defense, we are the ones who are seeing these children and we have to be able to identify them."

Craig said the training is fundamental for success and her teams are available and prepared to provide the training to medical personnel, family advocacy representatives, social work and mental health professionals, military commands, law enforcement, lawyers, judges, and the general public.

"We are the only child abuse consultants for the Department of Defense and we travel throughout the world seeing patients and providing training and education," Craig said. "Ultimately, the goal is to prevent children from getting injured, whether it is physically or emotionally."

Obama Accepts McChrystal's Resignation, Nominates Petraeus

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 23, 2010 - President Barack Obama today accepted Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's resignation as the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, calling it the right decision for national security. Video

The president also announced that he has nominated Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, to replace McChrystal in Afghanistan.

The decision comes in the wake of a Rolling Stone magazine article that depicts McChrystal and members of his staff as being at odds with the president's administration.

"The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general," Obama said. "It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system. And it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."

Obama noted that his decision wasn't based on a difference in policy or "any sense of personal insult," and he said he greatly admires McChrystal for his decades of service.

"Over the last nine years with America fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has earned a reputation as one of our nation's finest soldiers," Obama said. "But war is greater than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or a president. As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security."

Obama said he didn't make the decision lightly, noting the importance of his responsibility to the "extraordinary men and women who are fighting this war."

"I've got no greater honor than serving as commander in chief of our men and women in uniform, and it is my duty to ensure that no diversion complicates the vital mission that they are carrying out," he said. "That includes adherence to a strict code of conduct. The strength and greatness of our military is rooted in the fact that this code applies equally to newly enlisted privates and to the general officer who commands them. That allows us to come together as one. That is part of the reason why America has the finest fighting force in the history of the world."

The president also noted his responsibility to do whatever is needed to succeed in Afghanistan and "in our broader effort to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida."

"I believe that this mission demands unity of effort across our alliance and across my national security team," he added.

The nation has a clear goal, the president said.

"We are going to break the Taliban's momentum," he said. "We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on al-Qaida and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same.

"That's the strategy that we agreed to last fall," he continued. "That is the policy that we are carrying out in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The president reiterated that the change in leadership marks a change in personnel, not policy. Petraeus has been heavily involved in the development of the Afghanistan strategy, he noted.

"General Petraeus fully participated in our review last fall, and he both supported and helped design the strategy that we have in place," he said.

"In his current post at Central Command, he has worked closely with our forces in Afghanistan, he has worked closely with Congress, he has worked closely with the Afghan and Pakistan governments and with all our partners in the region," Obama continued. "He has my full confidence. And I am urging the Senate to confirm him for this new assignment as swiftly as possible."

McChrystal publicly apologized yesterday for the profile piece.

"It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened," he said. "I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome."

In a statement issued June 22, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said McChrystal made a "significant mistake and exercised poor judgment in this case."

"We are fighting a war against al-Qaida and its extremist allies, who directly threaten the United States, Afghanistan, and our friends and allies around the world," the secretary said. "Going forward, we must pursue this mission with a unity of purpose. "Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our security," Gates continued, "and our singular focus must be on supporting them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions."

Nation Marks Korean War's 60th Anniversary

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 23, 2010 - Sixty years ago this week, North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel into South Korea, launching a three-year conflict that culminated in an armistice in 1953, but never officially ended.

The North Koreans launched a massive, coordinated air-land invasion in the early-morning hours of June 25, 1950, with more than 230,000 troops, fighter jets, attack bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, tanks and artillery.

The ferocity of the offensive caught the South Korean army by surprise. With fewer than 100,000 troops, no tanks and limited aircraft, they were unprepared to halt the invasion force.

Seoul, the South Korean capital, fell June 28. Then-President Harry S. Truman, concerned after World War II about the spread of communism, recognized the importance of repelling military aggression on the Korean peninsula.

"I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall, communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores," Truman wrote in his autobiography. "If the communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger communist neighbors."

Truman ordered U.S. air and naval forces to defend South Korea, and committed ground troops as part of a combined United Nations effort. The 16-member coalition formed under the auspices of the U.S.-led United Nations Command, with Truman naming Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur as its commander.

The 24th Infantry Division, part of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan under MacArthur's command following World War II, deployed the first U.S. troops to Korea. Advanced elements of the 24th Infantry Division rushed to Korea on transport planes to block the enemy advance.

As they awaited follow-on deployments, the 24th Infantry Division troops, known as Task Force Smith, suffered heavy losses and ultimately, defeat during their first significant engagement of the war, the Battle of Osan.

Outgunned and overpowered, the division ultimately lost more than 3,600 dead and wounded and almost 3,000 captured as the North Korean progressed south.

By September, the U.N. Command controlled only about 10 percent of Korea in a small southeastern corner of the country around Pusan.

The Battle of Pusan Perimeter raged from August to September 1950, with the U.S. Air Force and Navy air forces attacking North Korean logistics operations and transportation hubs. Meanwhile, troops from the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and other 8th Army supporting units poured into South Korea.

The Inchon Landing, a massive amphibious landing in September 1950, ultimately turned the tide in the fighting by breaking the North Korean army's supply lines. This prompted China to enter the war on North Korea's behalf, ending hope, as MacArthur had predicted, that the war would end soon and the troops would be home for Christmas.

The conflict raged for three more Christmases, with neither side achieving a decisive military victory.

Ultimately, two years of negotiations led to an armistice agreement signed July 27, 1953. Representatives of the North Korean army, the Chinese volunteers and the U.N. Command signed the agreement, but South Korea refused to participate.

The United States lost more than 36,000 servicemembers during the Korean War, with more than 92,000 wounded, more than 8,000 missing in action and more than 7,000 taken prisoner of war.

Since the signing of the armistice, South Korea has emerged as an economic powerhouse, with the world's 11th-largest economy and a gross domestic product approaching $1 trillion. North Korea, in contrast, remains militarily powerful, but economically isolated.

In its most recent act of provocation, North Korea sank the frigate Cheonan March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors.

Shipmates Looking Out for Shipmates Key To Suicide Prevention

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

June 23, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 33,000 people in the U.S. commit suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

According to Capt. Gerald D. Seely, chaplain for Navy Region Southwest, the Navy is trying to get a handle on why Sailors take their own lives and how the amount of suicides can be decreased.

Seely explained that suicide prevention is everyone's responsibility.

"It is not just the mental health advisor's, the chaplain's or the commanding officer's job to watch out for Sailors. It's fellow shipmates looking out for each other," said Seely. "These are the folks you work with day in and day out. We have to stay engaged and alert. If we can do that, we could get a real handle on this issue."

There are many warning signs that may indicate that one of your fellow Sailors is at risk for suicide. Change in behavior, personality, irritability and low energy levels could be a red flag, said Seely.

"Some of the symptoms are a direct result of stressors in someone's life. Relationships and deployments are big ones," said Seely. "It's usually not just one thing, but a combination of stressors piled on top of someone. The more stress, the more at risk a Sailor could be."

If you know one of your shipmates may be thinking about suicide or is at risk of committing suicide, the response is the acronym ACT, said Seely.

- A, Ask. Don't be afraid to ask the question, "Are you thinking of suicide or of harming yourself?" it is a myth that by asking the questions one gives the person at risk the idea to harm themselves. The reality is that someone who is at risk for suicide has already experienced high levels of stress, may be suffering from depression, and, as a result, may not be able to see and understand all of their options to resolving their problems. So, asking the question does not trigger the idea of suicide. Instead, it enables the person at risk know that you are concerned and that symptoms are being noticed.

- C, Care. Let them know you care and want to help. It takes commitment and courage sometimes to show someone you care about them and are willing to get involved. You may be met with resistance but, sometimes we must walk through this resistance in order to help. This in and of itself can be healing. Empathy for another is a powerful thing.

- T, Treat. Get help. There are many resources such as a chaplain, your chain of command, medical, FFSC and hospital emergency rooms.

According to Seely, Sailors need to get away from the stigma that if they are depressed or have other mental health issues, they will get in trouble.

"The military over the past few years has become better at treating mental health issues," said Seely. "There is nothing wrong with going to talk to a trained professional at one of the many facilities the military offers. There is a lot of help out there."

For more information about suicide prevention, visit www.npc.navy.mil/CommandSupport/SuicidePrevention

Information from this story came from the Navy's Suicide Prevention website: http://www.suicide.navy.mil/

RIMPAC 2010 Begins as Ships Arrive in Hawaii

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

June 23, 2010 - Pearl Harbor (NNS) -- The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise officially kicks off June 23 as 14 nations, 32 ships, five submarines, more than 170 aircraft, and 20,000 personnel arrive in Hawaii.

By June 28, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) will be hosting units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

Adm. Patrick Walsh, PACFLT, and Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, Commander, Combined Task Force, are scheduled to officially open the exercise with a press conference June 28 at 9:30 a.m. on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The world's largest multinational maritime exercise, takes place from June 23 through Aug. 1 in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise consists of three major phases. Phase I, the Harbor Phase, from June 28 through July 5 will consist of operational planning meetings, safety briefings and sporting events. This phase is designed to make final preparations for the at-sea phases of the exercises, as well as build on professional and personal relationships between the participating countries.

Phase II, the Operational Phase, driven by a structured schedule of events, starts July 6 and continues through July 24. This portion includes live fire gunnery and missile exercises, maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, anti-surface warfare, undersea warfare, and naval maneuvers, air defense exercises, as well as, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing. This phase exercises the ability of each nation to conduct robust command and control operations with multinational players and enhances each unit's operational capabilities.

Phase III, the Tactical Phase of the exercise, is scenario-driven and takes place July 25 through July 30. The intense training during this phase allows participating nations to further strengthen their maritime skills and capabilities and improve their ability to communicate and operate in simulated hostile scenarios. This phase concludes with the ships' return to Pearl Harbor, where participating nations will reconvene to discuss the exercise and overall accomplishments.

RIMPAC 2010 is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.

Voluntary separation, retirement deadlines near

Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs Office

June 23, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – As the window to voluntarily separate or retire closes, Air Force officials urge Airmen impacted by force management who are interested in transitioning from the active-duty force to do so quickly before the cutoff dates later this month.

“Volunteering ahead of retention boards will give officers more time to decide when to separate or retire,” said Lt. Col. Dewey DuHadway, the deputy chief for the Air Force Military Force Policy Division. “In addition, officers eligible for the reduction in force board who volunteer to separate before the cutoff date will receive voluntary separation pay.”

Selective early retirement board-eligible officers who volunteer to retire may do so through May 1, 2011, allowing an additional five months for transition. If officers choose not to retire voluntarily and are selected by the SERB, they must retire by Jan. 1, 2011.

“SERB-eligible officers are highly encouraged to consider applying for voluntary retirement before the board convenes,” said Colonel DuHadway. “The opportunity to voluntarily retire ends June 28. The SERB will meet July 19 and may select 30 percent of all remaining eligible officers in each competitive category for early retirement.”

Officers who are in overmanned career fields and are separated by the reduction in force board, scheduled Sept. 20, will receive full separation pay. As a financial incentive, vulnerable officers who make the decision by June 30 to separate voluntarily can receive VSP at two times full separation pay. Officials recently extended the voluntary application period through July 31 for eligible officers to receive VSP. However, officers who apply after June 30 will receive one and a half times full separation pay.

The force shaping board Sept. 27 will determine retention of probationary officers in the 61C and 71S Air Force specialties for the 2006 year group as well as in the 15W, 61A and 61B specialties for the 2007 year group.

Airmen who leave active duty are encouraged to consider opportunities for service in the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and civil service. Airman and Family Readiness Centers offer transition assistance planning and veterans benefits seminars to aid Airmen in the transition.

For more information on force management initiatives and application procedures, visit the Air Force Personnel Center personnel services website or call the Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of June 22, 2010

June 23, 2010 - This week the Army and Marine Corps announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 377 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 92,373; Navy Reserve, 6,363; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 17,596; Marine Corps Reserve, 5,712; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 826. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 122,870, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found online at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100622ngr.pdf

New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah

On June 24, 2010, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a conversation with Richard Lowry (USN), the author of New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah.

Program Date: June 24, 2010
Program Time: 1700 hours Pacific
Topic: New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lawenforcement/2010/06/25/new-dawn-the-battles-for-fallujah
About the Guest
Richard S. Lowry, USN, “is an internationally recognized military historian, author and eleventh generation American. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. He published The Gulf War Chronicles in 2003. He has been published in Military Magazine, Leatherneck and the Marine Corps Gazette. Berkley Publishing released Richard’s next full-length book, Marines in the Garden of Eden in June of 2006. It is the story of America’s sons and daughters, who fought, bled, and died in a dusty desert town on the banks of the Euphrates River.

Richard has spoken to many community organizations such as local chapters of the Military Officers Association, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Marines for Life, Marine Corps League and the Florida Retired Chief Petty Officers Association on many different subjects relating to the current war in Iraq and Operation Desert Storm. He is a member in the Florida Writers Association and founder of The Orlando Writers Guild

In June of 2004, Richard was awarded a research grant from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and was invited to the Marine Corps Historical Center to research the events of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Richard maintains a vast collection of Gulf War documentation. He has compiled over four hundred hours of audio recordings of his and other interviews as well as thousands of pages of documentation.” Richard S. Lowry is the author of Marines in the Garden of Eden: The True Story of Seven Bloody Days in Iraq; US Marine in Iraq: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003; and, The Gulf War Chronicles: A Military History of the First War with Iraq.

According to the book description of New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah, “Fallujah. Few names conjure up as many images of blood, sacrifice, and valor as does this ancient city in Al Anbar province forty miles west of Baghdad. This sprawling concrete jungle was the scene of two major U.S. combat operations in 2004. The first was Operation Vigilant Resolve, an aborted effort that April by U.S. Marines intent on punishing the city's insurgents. The second, Operation Phantom Fury, was launched seven months later. Richard Lowry's 'New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah' is the first comprehensive history of this fighting.

Also known as the Second Battle for Fallujah, Operation Phantom Fury was a protracted house-to-house and street-to-street combat that began on November 7 and continued unabated for seven bloody and exhausting weeks. It was the largest fight of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the heaviest urban combat since the Battle of Hue City, Vietnam in 1968. Death and redemption were found everywhere, from narrow streets to courtyards, kitchens, bedrooms, and rooftops. By the time the fighting ended, more than 1,400 insurgents were dead, compared to ninety-five Americans (and another 1,000 wounded).”

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:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lawenforcement/2010/06/25/new-dawn-the-battles-for-fallujah

Archive:
http://www.hitechcj.com/americanheroesradio/new_dawn_battles_for_fallujah.html
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 23, 2010

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is pleased to announce the award of advisory and assistance services contracts to Computer Sciences Corp., Huntsville, Ala. (HQ0147-10-D-0022); General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc., Fairfax, Va. (HQ0147-10-D-0023); and SPARTA, Inc., Lake Forest, Calif. (HQ0147-10-D-0024). Each firm is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide advisory and assistance services to the Facilities, MILCON and Environmental Management Office, the Worldwide Deployment Program Office, the COCOMs, Wargames Exercises and Operations Office and the Joint Staff Services and Strategic Integration Directorate, MDA. The contractors will assist in providing infrastructure and deployment support services in support of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. This procurement is managed by the Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Services Program Office. This program office is responsible for centrally managing the acquisition of advisory and assistance services for the MDA. 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 $565,000,000. The companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work under these contracts will be performed in Huntsville, Ala., Colorado Springs, Colo., 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. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

SURVICE Engineering Co., Belcamp, Md., was awarded a $67,800,000 contract which will provide support to the Air Force Seek Eagle Office for the purpose of augmenting its highly technical workforce with contracted skills and expertise to primarily provide modeling and simulation, and analysis and product development support. At this time, $7,078,000 has been obligated. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA9201-10-D-0193).

BAE Systems, Information and Electronics Systems Integration, Totowa, N.J., was awarded a $23,900,250 contract which will provide engineering services to resolve obsolete part and vanishing vendor issues, and significantly improve the system's LRU-3C. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 542 CBSG/PKS, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8540-10-C-0006).

Jacobs Technology, Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., was awarded a $16,254,943 contract modification which will provide technical, engineering and acquisition support at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla, and various other tenant originations. This contract will increase work requirement. At this time, $24,404,511 has been obligated. AAC/PKES, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA9200-07-C-0006).

ARMY

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded on June 21 a $51,095,500 firm-fixed-price contract for the overhaul of the UH-60 main rotor blade for a quantity of 500. Work is to be performed in Bridgeport, Conn., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2020. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, CCAM-AL-M, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-06-D-0116).

Hellfire Systems, LLC, Orlando, Fla., was awarded on June 18 a $22,024,535 firm-fixed-price contract for fiscal 2010 option exercise for a total quantity of 331 Hellfire II missiles. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command AMCOM Contracting Center., Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0361).

Kiewit Louisiana Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded on June 21 a $19,934,748 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the construction of "Westbank and Vicinity, New Orleans, La. Hurricane Protection Project, Eastern tie-In, WBV-09b East of Algiers Canal, Hero to Oakville, Phase II, First Lift Levee Enlargement and Pumping Station, Plaquemines Parish, La." Work is to be performed in Plaquemines Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 4, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0089).

Triune-Beck, JV, III, Dallas, Texas, was awarded on June 18 a $12,721,002 firm-fixed-price contract. This is for a designed-bid-build contract that will be awarded for the construction of the student dormitory, 100 rooms, at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Work is to be performed in San Angelo, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 26, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 14 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Little Rock, Ark., is the contracting activity (W9127S-10-C-6004).

Caterpillar, Inc., Government and Defense Products, Mossville, Ill., was awarded on June 17 a $12,000,000 requirements contract, firm-fixed-price/cost plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for the service life extension program for program executive office combat support/combat services Caterpillar equipment: D7F dozer; D7G dozer; 130G grader; 621B scraper; 613B sectionalized scraper; 613B sectionalized water distributor; and deployable universal combat earthmover. Work is to be performed with each delivery order with an estimated completion date of March 20, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, Warren, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0027).

U.S. Coating Specialties & Supplies, LLC, Jackson, Miss., was awarded on June 21 a $11,383,000 construction contract. This contract is to construct "the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, ERDC Information Technology Laboratory Office Building and Computer Facility." Work is to be performed in Vicksburg, Miss., with an estimated completion date of Dec 22, 2011. Bids were solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with six bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg Contracting Office, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W912EE-10-C-0019).

Tepa EC, LLC, Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded on June 18 an $11,268,200 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of the 8730 Company operations facility. Work is to be performed in Fort Riley, Kan., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 4, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Mo., is the contracting activity (W912HN-088-D-0022).

CSC-New South, JV, Atlanta, Ga., was awarded on June 18 a $ 10,344,690 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of an Army Reserve training center in Winder, Ga. Work is to be performed in Statham, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with five bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-10-C-0061).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control - Dallas, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded on June 17 a $9,350,444 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems full rate production four increased crew protection cab retrofit hardware, quantity of 220. Work is to be performed in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2012. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0001).

AOC Solutions, Inc., Arlington, Va., was awarded on June 17 a $9,288,065 firm-fixed-price contract for program management office services to provide all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other items necessary to perform accountability, valuation, project management and training in accordance with the performance work statement. Work is to be performed in Arlington, Va., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2015. Sixty-four bids were solicited with two bids received. Washington Headquarters Services/Acquisition & Procurement Office, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HQ0034-10-F-0139).

JM Industrial Supply, Inc./River City Construction, LLC, JV, East Peoria, Ill., was awarded on June 21 a $9,132,300 firm-fixed-price contract to construct a C-130 Squadron operations facility. Work is to be performed in Peoria, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. National Guard Bureau, U.S. Property & Fiscal Office, Peoria, Ill., is the contracting activity (W912SMC-10-C-0005).

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., was awarded on June 21 a $6,649,572 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for the therapeutic countermeasures against Center for Disease Control and prevention Category A and B threat agents. Work is to be performed in Philadelphia, Pa. (67 percent), and Doylestown, Pa. (33 percent), with an estimated completion date of June 12, 2014. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with 526 bids received. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (HDTRA1-10-C-0068).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, N.Y., was awarded on June 17 an $8,485,050 cost-plus- fixed-fee contract. This effort is for the design and development of three joint tactical vehicles (JLTV) sub configurations for Australia in the right-hand drive; and the delivery of two JLTV sub configurations vehicles and one companion trailer for government testing. Work is to be performed in Owego, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of May 19, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0109).

Mobley Contractors, Inc., Morrilton, Ark., was awarded on June 18 a $6,657,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide a maintenance bulkhead or spillway closure structure consisting of a steel monorail supported on existing dam piers carrying a structural steel bulkhead, temporary seal, and individual tainter gate bay at Norfork Lake. Work is to be performed in Salesville, Ark., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 12, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, Little Rock, Ark., is the contracting activity (W9127S-10-C-0024).

Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Mass., was awarded on June 21 a $5,980,176 firm-fixed-price contract for the precision approach radar arrays, sustainment support, and engineering services. Work is to be performed in Marlborough, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 11, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-06-C-0323).

Westar Aerospace & Defense Group, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on June 21 a $5,593,803 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contractor logistics support for nine OH-58 and five Bell Jet Ranger 206B3 helicopters. The contractor will be performing maintenance support, providing spare parts, tools, servicing; and overhaul all parts, components and assemblies required to maintain the Bell Jet Ranger and the OH-58 helicopters. Work is to be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of March 14, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center CCAM-RD-F, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0070).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Welch Allyn Holdings, Inc., Skaneateles Falls, N.Y., is being awarded a maximum $43,650,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for patient monitoring systems; subsystems; accessories; consumables; spare/repair parts; and training. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 17 proposals solicited with nine responses. The date of performance completion is June 23, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM2D1-09-D-8350).

Government Sewing & Apparel*, Hope, Ark., is being awarded a maximum $8,759,249 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract for combat utility uniform. Other locations of performance are Puerto Rico and Texas. Using service is Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 10 responses. The date of performance completion is June 25, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SP0100-06-D-0362).

Northrop-Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems, Norwalk, Conn. is being awarded a maximum $5,980,077 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for C-130 receiver transmitter depot-level reparable components. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Nov. 30, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Warner Robins, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (F09603-03-D-0002-XE04).

NAVY

Honeywell International, Inc., Tempe, Ariz., is being awarded a $34,897,489 ceiling-priced performance-based logistics contract for support for auxiliary power units for the F/A-18, P-3, S-3, C-2, and KC-130 F/R; F404 main fuel controls used on the F/A-18 aircraft; the P-3 engine driven compressor; and support for the Australian F/A-18 Super Hornet. This announcement includes the government of Australia (less than 1 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Cherry Point, N.C. (85 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla. (15 percent); and work is expected to be completed by June 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-10-D-008D).

Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $12,404,924 cost-plus-award-fee Task Order FZN8 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity remediation action contract (N62470-08-D-1007) for remediation services at the Las Pulgas landfill (Phase 1) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The work to be performed provides for corrective construction of the Las Pulgas Landfill (Phase 1) waste management unit to bring it into compliance with applicable requirements and a cleanup and abatement order. Work will be performed in Oceanside, Calif., and is expected to be completed by June 2012. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One proposal was received for this task order. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Tetra Tech EC, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $11,494,845 firm-fixed-price task order #0002 under the radiological environmental multiple award contract (N62473-10-D-0809) for Parcel C radiological remediation and support at Hunters Point Shipyard. The primary objective is to continue the base-wide sewer sanitary system and storm drain time-critical removal action and achieve free-release of Buildings 203, 214, 241, 271, and 272 in the inner portion of Parcel C. The end result of this removal action is to achieve unrestricted free release of the sewer and storm drain survey units and buildings. Work will be performed in San Francisco, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 22, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Army Releases Findings of Wanat Review

Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today that the Army has completed action on the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) independent investigation of the July 13, 2008, battle fought by soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Wanat, Afghanistan. This engagement claimed the lives of nine U.S. soldiers and resulted in 27 casualties.

On Jan. 27, McHugh appointed Gen. Charles Campbell, former commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, to review the CENTCOM investigation and take appropriate actions with regard to officers identified therein. Campbell's examination involved a detailed analysis of the CENTCOM investigation, as well as a review of the original investigation conducted by the 101st Airborne Division.

On March 5, based upon his initial review of the CENTCOM investigation, Campbell initiated adverse administrative actions against former officers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team's chain of command. As part of administrative due process, each officer was given full access to both the CENTCOM and 101st Airborne Division investigations. Additionally, Campbell afforded each officer the opportunity to submit matters for his consideration. They provided extensive additional written information to Campbell, which was not previously provided to the CENTCOM or the 101st Airborne Division investigators. Campbell also met with each of the officers.

After careful consideration of the additional information, Campbell concluded that the officers were neither negligent nor derelict in the performance of their duties and that their actions were reasonable under the circumstances. Therefore, he withdrew the adverse administrative actions.

In every review and study conducted to date, the courage, valor, and discipline of the soldiers who fought at Wanat have been universally praised. These soldiers were well-trained, well-led, and fought bravely to defeat a determined and intense enemy action to overrun their base in Wanat. They persevered in a fashion that deserves broad recognition of their bravery and tenacity," said Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff. "Our hearts go out to the families of the fallen soldiers."

"We can never alleviate the suffering felt by the families and friends of the incredibly brave soldiers who were killed and injured during this battle, or adequately express our sympathy for their loss," said McHugh. "We remain grateful for and humbled by their extraordinary courage and valor."

In keeping with the Army's pledge to the families of the fallen soldiers, Campbell and Marine Lt. Gen. Richard Natonski, the investigating officer for the CENTCOM investigation, briefed the families earlier today at Fort McPherson, Ga. As stated in his report, Campbell told the family members that the U.S. officers, noncommissioned officers, soldiers and Marines at Wanat met the test of battle. "By their valor and their skill, they successfully defended their positions and defeated a determined, skillful, and adaptable enemy who masses and attacks at times, ways and places of his choosing," Campbell said.

The redacted report of Campbell's review is available on-line at http://www.army.mil/wanat . A redacted copy of the CENTCOM investigation is available at http://www2.centcom.mil/_layouts/AccessAgreement.aspx .

Media may direct queries to Lt. Col. Chris Garver at 703-697-2564, Army Media Relations Division.

USS George H.W. Bush Conducts First Missile Launch

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman J. Scott St. Clair, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

June 23, 2010 - USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) successfully fired two Evolved NATO Sea Sparrow missiles and two Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) for the first time, to conclude its first Combat Systems Ship's Qualification Trials (CSSQT), June 23.

CSSQT is part of the series of qualifications and certifications the aircraft carrier must undergo in preparation for her upcoming maiden deployment.

According to Combat Systems Officer, Cmdr. John B. Vliet, CSSQT is a combined effort between the Combat Systems, Operations and Weapons departments to test the aircraft carrier's self-defense systems.

"It's an end-to-end testing of the Combat Systems Suite, to include tactics, techniques, and procedures," Vliet said. "It's an operational verification of the ship's warfighting and self-defense capabilities. Combat Systems with Operations department has worked around the clock for the last six months, grooming equipment and training for this exercise. More than 200 personnel have directly or indirectly supported this evolution."

Of those 200-plus personnel, two of the most directly involved were Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Ezekiel S. Ramirez, work center supervisor for the Evolved NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile System, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Ryan P. McWilliams, work center supervisor for the RAM system.

The Evolved NATO Sea Sparrow missile is a semi-active missile that requires feed from directors to locate its target, and the RAM is a passive missile, meaning the missile uses built-in sensors to home in on targets.

All of the missiles used during the launch were telemetry missiles, which are live missiles that have the warheads replaced with data recovery technology used to gauge accuracy.

Ramirez and McWilliams, on board experts for the missile systems, said that the launch was the culmination of months of hard work and preparation that included more than 40 maintenance checks, going aloft to fix radar, multiple pre-fire checks, and 21 "detect-to-engage" pre-fire drills.

"We've been preparing for this evolution ever since the ship left the shipyard and we took ownership of the system," said McWilliams. "This was one of the hardest evolutions Combat Systems department will have to do during the existence of this aircraft carrier."

Prior to the launch, Ramirez and McWilliams were responsible for loading the two launchers for each system.

"The NATO Sea Sparrow Missile system holds eight missiles in each launcher and the RAM uses 21 missiles in each launcher," said Ramirez. "It's a lot of work for one launch, but when we deploy we will have to load a total of 58 missiles."

Ramirez stressed the significance of the successful missile fire, what it meant for the entire command, and for the small group of 14 Sailors directly involved with operation of the missile systems.

"It's a pretty a big accomplishment," he said. "We are the aircraft carrier's first and last line of defense. This test is the way we prove that the self-defense systems work. We're finally doing our job."

Directing the crew in the Combat Direction Center (CDC) were the Blue and Gold team Tactical Action Officers (TAO), Lt. Chris Caton and Lt. Jeff Moen of the Operations department. The CDC Officer Cmdr. Les Spanheimer credits proactive tactical leadership and outstanding teamwork with the successful missile test.

"Lt. Caton began training our tactical watchstanders with live aircraft while the ship was still being outfitted in the shipyards," said Spanheimer. "That proactive tactical development combined with a perfectly groomed weapons system helped us demonstrate today how very capable this ship is."

"The test involved two watch teams made up of 13 to 15 people," Caton said. "During the exercise the watch teams are responsible for communicating with Range Control, tracking and data-linking the targets and engaging those threats when they enter our engagement envelope. We've been preparing for this for well over a year, putting in long hours."

Fire Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) John L. Rodriguez-Hardy and Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Jason E. Pugh, members of the Gold Team, said the reason for two watch teams was to create two unique scenarios for each missile system. They said that the watch teams acted as the communications link between combat systems and the weapons systems.

Rodriguez-Hardy and Pugh described the long hours of preparation that went into their pivotal roles in the evolution.

"We've performed more than 80 hours of pre-fire maintenance on all weapons systems, 40 hours of system testing and 20 hours in briefs and debriefs," said Rodriguez-Hardy, the defense weapons coordinator for the Gold Team. "It's a big stress relief to know that we're capable of defense," he added.

Pugh, the Gold Team NATO supervisor's console operator, noted that the success also had an impact on the morale of the operators and crew.

"This test makes or breaks the defense mentality of the entire ship," he said. "It's the first step in a trust-building foundation, between the systems operators and the rest of the crew."

The lengthy systems certification process, which involved weapons onload and system approval from Carrier Strike Group 2 and the Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), directly involved the aircraft carrier's Weapons department.

According to Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Chris J. Morrison of Weapons department, the certification involved every member of the Weapons Inventory Control.

"We had to verify and requisition the exact missiles being used in the launch," he said. "Once missiles were on board, we were responsible for turning them over to Combat Systems personnel. From there we inspected, stowed and moved the missiles to the launchers."

In addition to all the preparation that went into the test, Vliet described how the systems operators had to be fully prepared to handle any situation.

"The operators and technical experts have got to be ready and fully understand all of the dud and misfire procedures in the event of an equipment or missile casualty," Morrison said.

Ramirez reaffirmed the team's readiness with confidence.

"We're fully trained and capable to handle misfires," he said. "We're ready no matter what happens. We are here to defend the ship. We're ready and willing to do our job."

Major Runs to Honor Fallen Troops

By Meredith March
66th Air Base Wing

June 23, 2010 - On Feb. 14, 2007, three victims of a roadside-bomb explosion were rushed into the hospital where Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Derek Speten, the 66th Medical Group Diagnostics and Therapeutics flight commander, worked. Speten's patient, while severely burned, initially appeared to be in better condition than his two friends, one of whom arrived with a tourniquet on each leg. However, as the doctor commenced his examination, it was quickly apparent that his patient's internal injuries were grave.

After Speten made the man as comfortable as possible, he sat with him for a moment in the critical care unit, where another of the victims was recovering.

The servicemember who had arrived in the trauma bay with tourniquets on his legs told the doctor that the burned man, who was the one who had applied the tourniquets while they waited for help, had been an avid runner who dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon.

Two hours later, Speten's patient died. "I thought some of his dreams died as well," the doctor said.

As he thought about this servicemember and his friends throughout the rest of his deployment, Speten said, he began reprioritizing some of his own goals.

"When I came back, I wanted to start running for anyone who'd had that desire and no longer had the opportunity to do it," he said. He and his wife bought a jogging stroller so he could take their children, ages 7 and 4, with him while he trained.

"That was really difficult," he said, "because when you're not conditioned to run with a stroller, not only are you slow, but your heart rate goes up faster. It's definitely more challenging."

Most people think he's crazy for pushing a 100-pound stroller, the doctor said, but it allowed him to spend time with his children, time he had missed during his deployment.

Speten ran his first marathon in December 2008. He said that beyond the physical accomplishment of finishing the race was the healing he felt by allowing himself, uninterrupted, to reflect on his deployment and think of those who couldn't be there with him.

"When I wondered if I could finish, I had my jersey that said, 'In honor of all our fallen soldiers,' so I couldn't quit," he said.

"While I ran, it was like a three-hour personal therapy," he added. "I felt free, and I thought about accomplishing something not just for myself, but for others that couldn't be there that day. Toward the end, when my body started to shut down, I would think of those people that I was running for. It was challenging physically, but mentally, you have to have a strategy for when your body wants to quit. I kept thinking, 'I can do this,' because what I was asking of my body was nothing compared to the heroic acts those servicemembers had performed to save each other before they got to that trauma bay."

Over the next year, Speten completed six additional marathons, among other races, and he qualified for the Boston Marathon, which he ran alongside another Hanscom airman who was running his first marathon.

Finishing that race was an incredible personal accomplishment for a number of reasons, Speten said.

"Not only had I accomplished something for someone that I had set in motion years ago, but suddenly I was also able to help support another airman and friend," he said.

Doctor Speten said he subsequently mailed his Boston Marathon jersey, T-shirt and medal to the parents of the servicemember who had inspired him to run it.

"He accomplished this through me," the doctor said. "I've learned from these experiences not to drop your dreams, and if someone else can't accomplish theirs, you can accomplish them in their place."

While he's achieved his Boston Marathon goal, Speten continues to race competitively. He and his brother, Shane, participated in an Ironman 70.3 event in New Found Lake, N.H., on June 6. He also recently ran alongside his wife during her first marathon, and his training and competitions often include pushing his children in the jog stroller.

Involving his family has made the experience not only possible, but more enjoyable, Speten said.

"When you deploy, you really wish you had spent more time with your family," he said. "You will always have personal goals you want to accomplish, but involving your family and receiving their support is what keeps you going."

Korean War Commemoration Ceremony Announced

The Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal will provide remarks at a Pentagon ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War on June 24.

The ceremony will be held in the center courtyard beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

Journalists without a Pentagon building pass should arrive at the Pentagon River Entrance no later than 8 a.m. with proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Please call 703-697-5343/5662 for escort into the building.

Obama Accepts McChrystal's Resignation

American Forces Press Service

June 23, 2010 - President Barack Obama today accepted Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's resignation from his post as the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan and announced he is nominating Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, to replace him.

McChrystal had been ordered to Washington to meet first with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and then with the president to answer for remarks attributed to him and members of his staff in a Rolling Stone magazine article.

Firearm Policy Update Aims to Reduce Accidental Discharges

By Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Lori D. Bent, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, West (NPASE-W)

June 23, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy updated the policy for personal firearms June 10, effectively consolidating the regulation for storing firearms on base in order to combat the increase in accidental discharges and injuries related to firearms.

The NAVADMIN, updates Chief of Naval Operations Instruction (OPNAVINST) 5530.14E, the Navy Physical Security and Law Enforcement Program. It provides guidance for the possession of personal weapons aboard Navy installations whether in Navy housing areas or base armories and states installation commanding officers are responsible for control and accountability of personal firearms on board Navy installations.

"Firearm safety should be paramount and firearm education should be increased," said Hull Maintenance Technician 1st Class Jarod Gumbelton, of the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center master-at-arms department. "I have over 10 years of experience teaching firearm safety during my military service, and I believe this policy will help to reduce accidental discharges ... and help to protect family members and minors."

Navy officials reported 28 acts of Sailor misconduct or suicide involving firearms occurred on board Navy installations in fiscal year 2008, while another 111 incidents occurred off base, resulting in 26 deaths.

The policy now states Sailors may store personal firearms in certain locations on board Navy installations under controlled circumstances and with prior written approval of the installation's commanding officer.

"I think the key things Sailors need to know are they must have prior approval to transport or store personal firearms on an installation, and can obtain the forms used and the processes and rules for bringing a personally-owned firearms onto the installation by contacting the installation security officer," said Dave Lee, a public affairs specialist at Commander Navy Installations Command.

The revised policy instructs Sailors who own firearms to take their responsibilities seriously and comply with all regulations. Navy officials say violators of these regulations may be subject to administrative and or disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Navy personnel are also responsible for complying with federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as applicable Status of Forces Agreements and host nation laws when overseas concerning firearm ownership, possession, registration, transportation and use.

The revision, outlined in Navy Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 196/10, is expected to be in effect after installations review and revise their current operating procedures, said Commander Navy Installations Command.

Foundation Creates Interactive Marine Web Museum

From a Marine Corps Heritage Foundation News Release

June 23, 2010 - The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation today launched the National Museum of the Marine Corps Virtual Experience, allowing Marines and civilians worldwide to experience a cutting-edge Web version of the real National Museum of the Marine Corps located in Quantico, Va.

With in-depth, special educational features on exhibits, galleries and artifacts as well as museum guides sharing their stories of Marine Corps history, the Virtual Experience brings the museum straight into homes and classrooms through a series of high-definition, 360-degree panoramic tours, audio narratives and extensive multimedia presentations.

Virtual Experience special features include:

-- Oral history recordings;

-- Walking-tour narratives available at the museum;

-- Video interviews and personal recollections by museum guides;

-- Zoomable high-definition photos of special exhibits;

-- Custom video presentations created exclusively for the museum; and

-- Interactive 3-D models of aircraft and other large-scale artifacts.

"In today's economy and with Marines deployed around the world, Marines don't always have the opportunity to visit their National Museum," said retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. George R. "Ron" Christmas, president and CEO of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. "The Virtual Experience provides all Americans and Marines everywhere, no matter where they live, the opportunity to be connected to the [National Museum of the Marine Corps] and witness their history on display."

Unable to visit the museum in person, Marine Corps veteran Steven Wallace of Beverly Hills, Calif., conceived the idea to create a digital version of the museum. Through funding provided by Wallace to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the Virtual Experience was created by the Virginia-based Dynology Corp., allowing anyone with Internet access to experience the unique perspective of U.S. history on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

The Virtual Experience is a free educational tool for students and American history enthusiasts and it provides an up-close look at exhibits and artifacts on display while explaining their significance in Marine Corps and U.S. history, foundation officials said. The Virtual Experience offers visitors an in-depth tutorial on artifacts, officials added, providing more information than is possible to display at the museum.

The nonprofit Marine Corps Heritage Foundation supports the historical programs of the Marine Corps, providing grants and scholarships for research and the renovation, restoration and commissioning of historical Marine Corps artifacts and landmarks.