Military News

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cheonan Tragedy Strengthens U.S.-South Korean Alliance

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 21, 2010 - For years, the catchphrase for U.S. and South Korean troops posted here has been "Katchi-Kapshida – We Go Together."

The fact that the United States is a steadfast ally of South Korea is one of the messages carried by U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, who today visited with U.S. troops stationed here.

Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to 2nd Infantry Division soldiers and airmen. The servicemembers had a chance to ask the admiral about the situation in Korea and other topics.

Mullen earlier met with senior South Korean defense and foreign affairs officials in Seoul, the national capital. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates also are visiting South Korea. They, too, met with their counterparts, Minister of National Defense Kin Tae-young and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan.

Mullen then took a helicopter flight to Camp Red Cloud and spoke to more than 200 servicemembers in the base gym. The meetings marked the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War – a war in which 32,000 American servicemembers died from 1950-1953. The meetings also highlighted the continuing U.S. commitment to South Korea following North Korea's March attack on the frigate Cheonan that killed 46 South Korean sailors.

"What has happened since the sinking has validated the U.S.-South Korean alliance," Mullen told the servicemembers. He related how a senior South Korean leader told him that the Republic of Korea now really knows who its friends are in wake of the tragedy.

The alliance between the U.S. and South Korea has grown stronger since the Cheonan attack, Mullen said, noting that's probably not the result the North Koreans neither wanted nor expected.

The South Korean government did not jump to conclusions following the sinking and did not launch rash actions, Mullen pointed out. The South Korean government withheld judgment about what sank the vessel until a special panel made up of experts from South Korea, Sweden, the United States, Australia, Canada and Great Britain delivered the report. The evidence was conclusive – a North Korean torpedo had sunk the Cheonan inside South Korean territorial waters.

South Korea presented its case to the United Nations Security Council and all 15 nations on the council voted for a presidential finding on the sinking. The finding says the Cheonan was attacked, but does not identify the attacker.

The "yes" votes in the Security Council included those of China and Russia – two neighbors with council veto powers. The voting "shows we're all concerned about Pyongyang and where this leadership [North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il] goes," Mullen said.

"He's a pretty unpredictable guy," the admiral said of Kim Jong-il.

The United States and South Korea will soon hold combined naval and air exercises to send a clear, strong message to the North that their attacks and provocations must stop, Mullen said. The first exercise begins July 25, and includes the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group. Hundreds of U.S. and South Korean aircraft will participate, including Air Force F-22 Raptors – the most sophisticated jet in the world.

The United States has 28,500 servicemembers in South Korea, and that number will remain constant for the foreseeable future, the chairman said. The details of the U.S. footprint and capabilities those forces bring to the alliance will change over time, "but our commitment will not," he said.

In fact, some of the details are already known. U.S. servicemembers can now serve three-year tours to South Korea and can bring their families. That option is limited right now as the United States and South Korea builds the infrastructure to support it, but some military families have already taken advantage of it. Mullen said there will be more schools, health facilities and housing for U.S. military families on the peninsula.

The U.S. footprint in South Korea will change, Mullen said. Camp Red Cloud itself – named for Army Cpl. Mitchell Red Cloud, who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War – will close as the 2nd Division shifts south of the Han River to Camp Humphreys. Other U.S. bases in South Korea will close or consolidate through 2016, but the total numbers of troops in country will remain constant.

The United States must remain committed to South Korea and the region, Mullen said, as well as in other parts of the world.

"In a world that is so much more interconnected the requirements for global presence and interaction [is larger]," the admiral said.

As the U.S. military reviews its global footprint, one guiding principle is that America must remain engaged with other nations, Mullen said.

"Hearing problems from other peoples' perspective ... and understanding the cultures [is important]," the admiral said.

Mullen thanked the servicemembers for their contributions, and asked them to thank their families for their sacrifices. He said he would continue to put their well-being first.

"Every single day that I've had this job and I have decisions which cross my desk, first and foremost in those decisions are what do they do to you? You are out here making things happen," he said.

Mountaineers' Win Marks First Atlantic Fleet SSBN Selected in 25 Years

From Commander Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- USS West Virginia (SSBN 736)(Gold) was selected as the Atlantic Fleet recipient of the 2009 Arleigh Burke Trophy July 20.

This marks the first time a ballistic missile submarine has received the honor in 25 years.

The Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy is presented annually to the ship or aircraft squadron from each coast. Selection reflects the greatest improvement in battle efficiency during the calendar year, based upon the Battle Efficiency Competition.

"This award means a lot to the crew," said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Steven Hall. "Time and again they have proven their talent, determination, and teamwork in getting the job done no matter the circumstance and this is recognition of their efforts," said Hall. "I am humbled by my crews' performance over the last 18 months and am so proud to be one of them!"

West Virginia's selection is a notable recognition to the SSBN community. The last time an Atlantic Fleet SSBN won the coveted Arleigh Burke Trophy was in 1985 by USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633)(Gold).

Capt. Kevin Brenton, commander Submarine Squadron 20, recognized the accomplishments of the skipper, chief of the boat (COB) and the entire crew.

"West Virginia Gold's dedication and professionalism resulted in unprecedented improvement in battle readiness across the board from 2008 to 2009 and directly resulted in this significant recognition," said Brenton. "West Virginia Gold is the "best of the best" and their improvement is a tribute to the steadfast leadership and dedication of the wardroom and chief petty officer quarters."

Highlights of the submarine's phenomenal year include receiving the 2009 Submarine Squadron 20 Strategic White "S" and Engineering Red "E". During a tactical readiness evaluation, the submarine was evaluated "above standards" by Commander Submarine Forces.

This highest achievable grade demonstrates the superb improvement in battle efficiency and tactical readiness as compared to the overall average performance during the same inspection in 2008.

As a testament to command-wide, effective and inspirational leadership, the crew produced unparalleled retention, culminating in the receipt of the Commander, Fleet Force Command Retention Excellence Award for 2009. Officer retention increased from 50 percent in 2008 to 100 percent in 2009. Leadership at all levels resulted in the advancement of 36 Sailors and four chief petty officers were selected and initiated.

In addition to their operational excellence, the Mountaineers dedicate hours to community service. The Gold crew conducted a namesake visit to the state of West Virginia to assist the staff with day-to-day chores and mentor the children at the West Virginia Children's Home; a partnership both crews of the West Virginia have committed to biannually.

In Kings Bay, the crew adopted a school and sponsors an honorary Sailor of the Month program that recognizes students who demonstrate a positive attitude, good attendance and good grade.

"I know the competition was tough and there were other deserving commands. I am both excited and happy for our crew because I believe the CO and the crew are very deserving of this recognition," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate Julian Czeiszperger, West Virginia Gold COB.

Troops Must Understand the 'Why' of the Fight, Odierno Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

July 21, 2010 - With his tenure winding down as commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno today shared with reporters some of his lessons learned on asymmetric warfare and the U.S. military's needs of the future.

For counterinsurgency to work, military units must demonstrate their staying power to protect the local citizens, Odierno told reporters here during a Defense Writers Group breakfast meeting.

"What we learned in Iraq in 2006 was that it wasn't just about getting more people; it was about putting our people in the neighborhoods every day," he said. "It was about trust."

When U.S. troops first arrived in Iraqi cities and towns, Odierno said, the residents wouldn't talk to them – a key method used to gather information about the insurgency. That changed, he said, when the military began building permanent structures.

"They're position was, 'We'll tell you this stuff, but we want you here to protect us, after we tell you,'" he said.

Also, the general said, humanitarian missions, such as one-day medical clinics that U.S. troops conduct throughout Iraq, are important to connecting with residents. "Give them something they don't already have," the general said.

Odierno also discussed the U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq, which imposes a Sept. 1 goal of reducing the current 70,000 troops to 50,000. He traveled to Washington from Baghdad to take part in meetings with State Department officials about the transition from the military operations that began in Iraq in 2003 to the increasing State Department mission there.

The general himself will be part of the drawdown; the Senate earlier this month confirmed his presidential nomination to head U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va. Odierno said he will use his lessons learned during three combat tours in Iraq to meet the command's mission of developing joint doctrine and supporting the combatant commands.

Odierno said he will continue to make the point that military operations in today's environment are "exponentially more complicated than when I was a lieutenant."

In conventional warfare, servicemembers could get by on surveillance of the enemy, Odierno said. But today's servicemembers, he said, need to understand the culture, politics and economics of the regions in which they are fighting in.

"You have to understand the 'why,'" the general said. "You have both lethal and non-lethal tools available to you, and you have to know how and when to use them. It's a new way of thinking."

Odierno said he has been thinking a lot about those changes and how they should be reflected in military doctrine and training. He said he hopes those units that served under him in Iraq will come away more broadly trained and agile to meet changing demands.

"The Army has to be flexible enough to meet the many needs the Commander in Chief needs us to do," the general said. "The basic principles are that we have to train and study for each mission."

Army units of the future will have to be cross-trained in the way of brigade combat teams, rather than dividing units between those trained in asymmetric warfare and those trained conventionally, Odierno said.

"We want brigades and battalions that can operate across spectrums," he said. "It's about analyzing the problem, understanding your capabilities, and being flexible."

In the case of Iraq's counterinsurgency, Odierno said, "This is a very thinking enemy. They change how they do things, and we have to react to that."

It's not enough to create training and doctrine only around the Iraq and Afghanistan experiences, which "are very specific kinds of problems," the general said.

"If you look at the counterinsurgency of the future," he said, "we want to be able to send small units inside countries to work with governments."

The specialized teams of U.S. troops serving in Yemen are an example of that concept, Odierno said.

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 21, 2010

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

Acquisition Services Corp., Huntsville, Alabama (HQ0147-10-D-0035); BCF Solutions, Chantilly, Va. (HQ0147-10-D-0036); and Quantech Services, Inc., Lexington, Mass. (HQ0147-10-D-0037) are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide advisory and assistance services to the Acquisition Functional Capability Group, which is comprised of five independent directorates: acquisition management; international affairs; business and financial management; legislative affairs; and readiness management. The contractors will assist these directorates by providing the agency with acquisition support services for the Ballistic Missile Defense System. These contracts are being competitively awarded under the small business set-aside request for proposal HQ0147-09-R-0001. Each contract has a not-to-exceed ordering ceiling of $601,800,000. The companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work under these contracts will be performed in Huntsville, Ala.; Dahlgren, Va.; and other Missile Defense Agency locations. The performance period is through July 2015. Obligations will be made by task orders using Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funds. This procurement is managed by the Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Services Program Office. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boeing Co., Long Beach, Calif., was awarded a $37,044,801 contract modification to incorporate an increase in funding and ceiling for Air Force fiscal 2008 material improvement projects of the C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership contract. At this time, the total amount has been obligated. MSW/ASC/WLMK, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8614-04-C-2004, P000371).

Sonalysts, Inc., Waterford, Conn., was awarded a $5,781,914 contract which will develop and deliver a training system for the Rapid Attack Identification Detection and Reporting System Block-10 initial operations capability system. At this time, $2,604,000 has been obligated. SMC/SYSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8819-10-C-0001).

NAVY

CTA, Inc., Ridgecrest, Calif., is being awarded a $34,362,979 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of 2,350 carriage systems and pod assemblies, including associated engineering, technical and repair support services for the carriage systems. The carriage systems produced are used to carry the AN/ULQ-21(V) countermeasures set modules, AN/UPT-2 emitter modules and other countermeasure and emitter modules. These systems are used to evaluate U.S. weapons systems and train fleet operators. These systems are also mounted in and on unmanned aerial targets for live fire developmental test and operational test of weapon systems. Work will be performed in Ridgecrest, Calif., and is expected to be completed in July 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via electronic request for proposal, with five offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0041).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $20,738,905 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for training, education, engineering, technical and management support services for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in the U.S. (35 percent) and overseas (65 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00189-10-C-Z073).

Croman Corp., White City, Ore., is being awarded a $12,257,224 firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursement modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-06-D-0027) to provide airlift and recovery functions in support of all Hawaiian military ranges. In addition, this contract provides for utility/transport missions to carry passengers/cargo and range clearing operation in the Hawaiian operating area. Work will be performed in Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed in August 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Agri Chemical & Supply, Inc.*, Oceanside, Calif., is being awarded a maximum amount $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price, performance based, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for natural resources services for exotic pest plant species eradication at various locations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for natural resources services to include, but not limited to, surveying, mapping, and eradicating exotic pest plants via both chemical and mechanical means; and provides planning, research and analysis to predict and manage land use changes and effects. Task order #0001 is being issued concurrently with the contract award at $50,060 to perform invasive species control at the Fallbrook detachment, Fallbrook, Calif. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by December 2011. All work on this contract will be performed at various locations in the NAVFAC Southwest AOR, including, but not limited to, California (90 percent), Arizona (5 percent) and Nevada (5 percent). The term of the contract is not-to-exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of July 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with one proposal received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-10-D-0802).

Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va., is being awarded an $8,220,354 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Enterprise Training Management Delivery System (ETMDS). ETMDS is a modernization initiative for the existing learning management system distance learning program. ETMDS will modernize existing shore-side Navy eLearning capabilities, and will provide additional capabilities in the area of "Total Force" workforce management and development. Work will be performed in McLean, Va., and is expected to be completed by July 20, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems e-Commerce Central website, with seven offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-10-D-0045).

Raytheon Co., Fullerton, Calif., is being awarded a $6,771,682 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-08-C-0034) for the incorporation of functions and interfaces required to perform routine setup and recurring certification of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System ship system. Work will be performed in Fullerton, Calif. (98 percent), and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $1,477,239 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Carleton Life Support Systems, Inc., Davenport, Iowa, is being awarded a maximum $18,478,801 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, indefinite-delivery contract for oxygen regulator equipment kits. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was solicited via the Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System website with one response. The date of performance completion is July 19, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., is the contracting activity (SPM4A7-10-D-0282).

Bremen Bowdon*, Bowdon, Ga., is being awarded a maximum $12,303,000 firm-fixed-price contract for men's dress coats. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. The original proposal was solicited via the Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System website with five responses. The date of performance completion is August 27, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1090).

Campbellsville Apparel Co., LLC*, Campbellsville, Ky., is being awarded a maximum $11,317,977 firm-fixed-price, total set-aside contract for men's briefs. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web solicited with five responses. This contract is exercising the fourth option year. The date of performance completion is July 24, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa, is the contracting activity (SP0100-06-D-0378).

Honeywell International, Inc., Tempe, Ariz. is being awarded a maximum $8,731,800 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for variable generators. Other location of performance is Tucson, Ariz. Using services are Air Force and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 2012. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPRPA1-09-G-002X-5289).

Spouse Jobs Program to Relaunch in October

By Elaine Wilson, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program will resume Oct. 25, but with some significant changes to the popular spouse employment program, a defense official said.

Changes include a reduction in the amount of financial aid, a change in the population eligible to receive that aid – from all military spouses to spouses of junior service members - and more robust counseling services.

These changes bring the program, commonly known as MyCAA, back to its original intent of equipping military spouses of junior service members with portable careers, such as in real estate or health care, said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The program was launched in November 2007 for spouses of junior service members, and was expanded to all pay grades and programs of study in March 2009.

"We're trying to empower, to give spouses in particular, an opportunity to be immediately impactful as soon as they get into a community," Stanley said. "We want to make sure they have opportunities to work when they get to a new duty station."

Officials temporarily halted the program Feb. 16, pending a top-to-bottom review, after an enrollment surge overwhelmed the system and caused the program to nearly reach its budget threshold. In March, with the review still under way, officials resumed the program for the more than 136,000 spouses who already had established an account.

The review took time, but officials wanted to ensure they could sustain the program for the long-term, particularly in light of fiscal realities the government is facing, Stanley said.

"We want to help people be employed, but at the same time we have to be cost conscious," he said.

The aim is to sustain the program, he said. "We don't want to start it and stop it. This is something we want to continue because it's important to take care of our families and our spouses."

The previous program offered all spouses of active duty service members a lifetime benefit of $6,000 to be used for education purposes.

Under the new parameters, spouses of junior service members can apply for a maximum financial benefit of $4,000 for up to three years from the start date of the first class, with a $2,000 annual cap, Stanley explained. Spouses pursuing licenses or certifications requiring an up-front fee of greater than $2,000 may apply for a waiver of the annual cap up to the maximum benefit of $4,000, he added.

Financial aid will be limited to spouses of active duty servicemembers in pay grades E-1 to E-5, W1 to W-2 and O-1 to O-2, Stanley said, as well as the spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders, he added.

Those spouses eligible to receive aid can use the money to fund associate's degrees, licenses and certification programs, not higher degrees. The program wasn't intended to support bachelor's and master's degrees, Stanley said. However, he added, spouses pursuing higher degrees can explore a plethora of other education opportunities - such as scholarships, federal grants and the G.I. Bill - with help from Military OneSource consultants.

"The counseling piece is probably the most important, and pivotal, part of this program," he said in a roundtable discussion with reporters July 20.

Spouses currently enrolled in the program can continue their participation through Oct. 21, when MyCAA will ramp down and prepare for the Oct. 25 launch. As of Oct. 25, those spouses who fall within the eligible pay grades can continue their program participation. Spouses who no longer are eligible for financial aid still can participate by accessing career and education counseling services, Stanley said.

"There are still opportunities," he said. "This one program is just one small part of the overall equation of taking care of our family members. It's an important part, but it's a small part."

To fund the program, officials have budgeted about $210 million for 2010 with an increase to $250 million for 2011 due to an expected spike in enrollments, Stanley said. For future years, officials are estimating a budget of about $190 million per year.

To ensure the vitality of the program, Military OneSource counselors will encourage spouses to explore other funding resources, including federal benefits. And staffing levels have been increased to handle the anticipated call volume and enable more one-on-one counseling with spouses, Stanley said. Officials also will monitor the program much closer now to ensure they can maintain it, he added.

The program became "wildly popular" before, mainly through word of mouth, Stanley said. People heard about the program and immediately recognized it was a good deal.

And "It's still a good deal," he said. "We always tend to look at the glass as half empty. We are doing the best we can with what we have – I wish we had a lot more money, but we don't - but this glass is still half full."

Spouses can learn more about MyCAA on Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 or http://www.militaryonesource.com.

Foreign Pilots Train Aboard Enterprise

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex R. Forster, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Three foreign pilots with the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 landed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) July 15 as part of a pilot exchange program during the ship's fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications.

The Navy has long been a forward-deployed presence throughout the world, providing unique opportunities to work closely with, and learn from, military personnel from other countries.

The opportunity for these pilots to embark and train aboard Enterprise provides them with the chance to gain valuable experience and insight into carrier operations.

"I'm here in the U.S. as part of a pilot exchange program between the Swiss Air Force and the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Ralph Iseli, a native of Beringen, Kt. Schaffhausen, Switzerland. "When I heard I was coming here, I was really excited.

"It's an amazing opportunity to come to a carrier - the Swiss Navy does not have them," said Iseli. "I get to watch the ship perform carrier qualifications and tactics, something I would never have the opportunity to see in the Swiss Air Force."

Iseli explained that there is always an exchange of pilots taking place between countries, ensuring the U.S. and its allies are trained in as many different skills as possible.

In Switzerland, Iseli said that some of his duties included training new pilots as well. "There are three squadrons in Switzerland, and because of that it means all the pilots must train the newer ones to become fully qualified," said Iseli. "I think the more experience I gain here, the better I can train those young pilots."

Iseli is gaining valuable experience to take back to Switzerland and pass on.

"Trapping [aircraft] on an aircraft carrier never gets old," said Iseli. "It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to train on an aircraft carrier." Also training with the "Gladiators" are Lt. Ben Hullah and Lt. Stephan Collins of Great Britain.

The "Gladiators" welcome the rare occasion to work with pilots from other militaries. "I'm thrilled we get to work with pilots from foreign nations because it gives us insight as to how other countries train,," said Lieutenant Matthew B. Rhodes. "This opportunity allows us a chance to work with pilots with a completely different skill set."

The pilot exchange program is just one tactic in the Department of Defense's overall strategy to maximize interoperability in a global war fighting environment.

Today, more than ever, the United States and its allies train and fight together in a multinational environment. The pilot exchange program is a critical part of ensuring that everyone can communicate effectively and execute the mission, no matter where the battlefield is or where the war fighters come from. Enterprise is at sea preparing for work-ups leading to its 21st deployment.

Local Sailors Embrace Navy's New CSADD Program

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Oliver Cole, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors from the San Diego area are embracing the Navy's new peer mentoring program, "Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions" (CSADD), which was launched June 24 and focuses on helping junior Sailors make better decisions.

"CSADD originated in the Mid-Atlantic Region as a process in which each command establishes a CSADD chapter with Sailors in the age group of 18-25 and enables them to take on a leadership role in CSADD," said Navy Total Force Fleet Master Chief Scott Benning. "Our goal is to provide accurate information and resources while you share your best practices with your shipmates across the Navy."

The program was implemented June 18 by Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel. Not only does CSADD promote better decision making, it also encourages networking. Networking is one of the Navy's largest forms of communication and continues to grow through social media.

"CSADD also brings on-line social networking together with actual in place social networking with your shipmates in your command," said Benning. "Together we can make a positive impact for our Navy, our Shipmates and our Nation. I look forward to the continued growth of CSADD and look forward to seeing how each of you contributes to our Navy's team success."

San Diego Sailors are glad that CSADD has its own page on one of the world's major networking channels, Facebook. The program's page contains more than 1200 fans and continues to grow. Fans can stay informed by simply reading wall posts or checking updates.

"Everyone uses Facebook," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Zak Dushey, whose squadron spends a lot of time in San Diego. "It's a great way to network and share information. CSADD sounds like a wonderful program and it's much needed. I'm going to participate in the program."

Although Facebook is popular and easily accessible to the targeted group of young Sailors, it's not the only way to participate in the program. CSADD also has regional and command chapters that perform the same task as the Facebook page. All structures of the program focus on two key areas each month beginning in July 2010 with "Financial Freedom" and "Fire Safety and At-Home Safety."

CSADD encourages positive influence and behavior while at the same time bringing together on-line and in-person networking with peer interaction. All commands are encouraged to promote this program which practices informed decision making and reinforces the idea of shipmates helping shipmates.

Gates Urges Soldiers to Complete Survey

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

Input from individual servicemembers is vital to ensuring the Defense Department acts in a way that makes sense if Congress repeals the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that bans gays from serving openly in the military, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told soldiers here today.

The issue came up during a question-and-answer session with about 300 soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division's 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team.

Gates noted that the Senate has passed a bill to change the law, but that the eventual result of the legislative process remains to be seen. In the meantime, he said, the Defense Department is conducting a complete review of what would be necessary if the law is repealed.

"If the law changes and we are told to implement it – and we will, if the law changes – then how do we do this in a way that makes sense? How do we identify beforehand the problems, the issues and the challenges that we're going to face? The kind of training requirements we're going to need, the kinds of changes in regulations, the impact on benefits – all of these things need to be addressed in advance," the secretary told the soldiers. "And that's where we want to hear from you all."

Statistically, Gates said, some of the 300 soldiers on hand for his visit here had received a survey that was sent to 200,000 active-duty servicemembers and 200,000 more in the reserve components as part of the Defense Department's review.

"It's very important for us to hear from you your views on this," he said, "and particularly the challenges and issues, or your support of your opposition, for that matter, because we need a better understanding of how to do this smart.

"I've told the Congress – I've been pretty blunt with them – there are two ways to carry out change: there's a smart way, and there's a stupid was," he continued. "If the law changes and we carry out this change, I'm determined that we do it smart, and in a way that has the least possible impact on our force, on our families and on unit cohesion."

The secretary said he had hoped that Congress would hold off on changing the law to allow the results of the Defense Department's review to help in shaping the legislation. Although the Senate didn't wait, he said, its legislation still allows the Defense Department to take its review into account in implementing repeal.

"We will be able to complete this review and do all the things necessary for smart implementation if the law changes without constraints of time," Gates said. "So the compromise that they came up with was not my preferred option, but it is an option I think we can work with, because it won't rush us to do something stupid."

In addition to survey responses, the Pentagon's review panel is gathering opinions at http://www.defense.gov/dadt, where anyone with a Defense Department common access card can weigh in on the issue.

Wisconsin Airman recognized during Brewers game

By Senior Airman Ryan Kuntze
128th Air Refueling Wing

The Milwaukee Brewers recognized Senior Master Sgt. Marlin Mosley, an instructor boom operator and the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of operations and training at the 128th Air Refueling Wing, during the pre-game events of the Sunday, July 11 baseball game at Miller Park.

Mosley was recognized for his achievements throughout his military career and for his contributions during recent deployments. The Brewers displayed Mosley's career biography, several photos of him performing his duties, and a live-feed of him and his family, which was broadcast on the stadium's Jumbotron.

"Words can't even explain the privilege this is," Mosley said.

According to Mosley, 128th Air Refueling Wing Commander Col. Ted Metzgar, chose the 25-year veteran as the first choice to receive the community's recognition.

Mosley said he was deployed to Transit Center at Manas in 2008 as the chief boom operator, was the acting first sergeant and flew refueling missions.

One year later, Mosley said he deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, where he flew the most refueling missions in a three-week period.

"It was an honor to be chosen, it is a privilege to serve this nation, and this is more than I could ask for," Mosley said.

Mosley was accompanied by his wife, Jessica, his children Kendall, Myles and Kellen, and several friends and family members.

Military Showcases Capabilities, Equipment on Guam

By Jesse Leon Guerrero
Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

ASAN, GUAM (NNS) -- The U.S. Armed Forces participated in Armed Services Recognition Day at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park Asan Beach Unit on Guam July 17.

The event was part of Guam's 66th Liberation Day festivities, which recognize the island's liberation from Japanese forces during World War II.

The event showcased the military's capabilities and allowed an opportunity for service members to educate the public about their respective missions. It featured a collection of heavy equipment, weapons, vehicles and static displays, drawing local residents, tourists and other attendees throughout the day.

"It's definitely great to be a part of this and to see the people coming out, seeing their support for us and us being able to give our support back to the community," said Tech. Sgt. Vance Burke, of the 736th Security Forces Squadron from Andersen Air Force Base.

Burke was one of more than 100 Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Guam National Guardsmen and other Department of Defense personnel who spoke with attendees and explained the capabilities of their respective units and commands.

Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Eric Carlson, of USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), said the day was an opportunity to explain to visitors how the military supports Guam and the region. Damage control gear, firefighting suits and steam suits used to protect submariners gave attendees insight on life and work done aboard a submarine.

Carlson said Guam is tactically important because of its location as a forward-deployed site and the history of submarines on Guam stretches back to the 1950s.

"We just do our job, and we're here to defend the country and keep everybody's freedom," Carlson said. "That's what our main focus is."

Attendees stopped at the various booths situated along the display route to snap a photo, carry a rifle and have their questions answered about military operations and the military as a career choice.

Tim Clements, a civilian contractor for the Navy, said he brought his two daughters down along with him to get a close look at the boats, vehicles and weapons.

"We had a great time," Clements said. "It gives [the kids] an understanding of how and why the military is important to us."

At the Marine display of firearms, members of 2nd Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific (FAST PAC), Bravo Company, 4th Platoon, showed how to properly hold an M4 assault rifle and man a .50 caliber heavy machine gun. Capt. Travis Bowden, of FAST PAC, said they'd just arrived on Guam 36 hours before the event, but they were looking forward to spending a week touring Guam.

"From what I've seen, the support and the hospitality from the island have been incredible," Bowden said. "It's an opportunity for us to give back and show our support back, do community service projects and get engaged with the local community, just to show what we're all about and that we're thankful for their support of us."

Near the end of the day, members of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Band, out of Okinawa, Japan, performed live.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Giove, 3rd MEF Band director, said it was an honor for the band to be on Guam because the Asan site held special meaning for the Marines. Marine forces landed at Asan Beach July 21, 1944, to begin their liberation of the island from Japanese forces.

"To us, it's sacred ground," Giove said. "It's a great legacy — to see and understand and to be part of that is an awesome thing for these young Marines."

Guam was occupied by Japan for 31 months until the U.S. Armed Forces liberated the island July 21, 1944.

Naval Base Guam Has New Mini-mart, Gas Station

By Catherine Cruz Norton, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas awarded a $6.6 million firm-fixed-price task order July 13 to P&S Construction, Inc. of Lowell, Mass., for the design and construction of a new Navy Exchange mini-mart and gas station on board U.S. Naval Base Guam.

The mini-mart facility will include retail sales, customer service, a receiving and storage area, employee facilities and a separate fast-food franchise.

The gas station is to consist of at least six double-sided fuel dispensing islands under full canopy for three grades of gasoline and diesel. The station will be complete with a tire refill area, auto-vacuum stations and a propane tank refill station for small consumer propane tanks.

"This new gas station and mini-mart will provide a one-stop shop for our Sailors and their families and should simplify their daily errands," said Capt. Rich Wood, commanding officer of Naval Base Guam. "This is a great addition to our growing base, and which should improve the quality of life, and support our ongoing efforts toward making Naval Base Guam the geographic destination of choice for Sailors seeking their next assignment."

This is the third task order issued under the small business multiple award construction contract (SB MACC) awarded March 2010 to six small business firms. The contract has a combined value of $500 million.

"Small businesses are extremely valuable to the military mission," said Capt. Peter Lynch, commanding officer of NAVFAC Marianas. "They provide the support we require for critical construction projects and represent the engines that fuel our economy."

"In addition, the SB MACC allows us to build a strong partnership with the small business community, and we look forward to their contribution of high quality and safe construction projects," said Lynch.

Work on this project is expected to be completed by December 2011.