Military News

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Bethesda Promotes Prostate Cancer Awareness

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Timothy Wilson, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- The National Naval Medical Center's Urology Clinic is offering free prostate cancer screenings every Wednesday in September.

The screening, which only takes a few minutes, is designed to alert men of the potential dangers of prostate cancer.

"Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer," said Army Lt. Col. Stacey Koff, a staff urologist at NNMC. "The American Urologic Association [Foundation] recommends screening starting at age 40."

Two types of analysis are performed to test for cancer, including testing for a prostate specific antigen (PSA) which is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

"It's a blood test and the prostate is the only part of your body that produces PSA," said Koff. "Normally, a little [PSA enters] the blood stream, but when the architecture of the prostate changes because of cancer, trauma or infections, more PSA will [enter] the blood stream, so it is a way to check for possible prostate cancer."

The second test is the digital rectal exam (DRE), more commonly known as the prostate exam.

"About 20 to 25 percent of prostate cancers are diagnosed [through] PSA value, so you really need to put those two together in order to take optimum care of the men," said Koff.

Prostate cancer tends to progress slowly, so it is possible many men will not notice the effects of the disease if their life expectancy is within approximately 10 to 15 years, said Koff. After that time period, they may begin to feel the effects of the cancer. For example, metastasis of the bones may occur, meaning the disease moves from one part of the body to another.

"You can get painful spine and bone lesions," said Koff. "After that, the prostate can bleed and you can get infections and weakness over all from the bone breakdown and the cancer spreading."

Patients should discuss screening with their doctors to ensure the tests are necessary.

"Screening should be helpful to decrease the potential for morbidity and mortality of a cancer diagnosis," said Koff.

Additionally, men who have a family history of prostate cancer should have a discussion with their urologist; a biopsy may be performed to determine if further steps are necessary to treat the cancer. Based on the health and life expectancy of the patient, the doctor may just monitor the cancer over time, intervening with medical attention only when necessary.

The benefit of early testing is to determine the proper course of action, said Koff, adding that even though 40 is the proper age to begin testing, cancers have been found in younger men, which allows the cancer more time to grow and metastasize.

According to the American Urologic Association Foundation, more than 192,000 men were diagnosed in 2009. In general, one in 35 will die from it and African American men are twice as likely than white men to die of the disease.

"We don't know the cause of prostate cancer for some men and it probably has a genetic component, [but] for many men it doesn't," said Koff. "It does not seem to be associated with smoking like many cancers."

She added that weight control, eating whole grains and vegetables, as well as 30 minutes of exercise a day are basic guidelines the NCI has stressed.

"We hope people come by [to get checked]," she said.

Naval Munitions Command Sailor Selected for Armed Forces Swim Team

By Mark O. Piggott, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Public Affairs

SIGONELLA, Italy (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to Naval Munitions Command (NMC) Detachment Sigonella, Italy, was selected as a member of the 2010 Armed Forces Swimming Team after 2010 CISM World Military Swimming/Lifesaving Championship, Aug. 22-30, in Warendorf, Germany.

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Lisa E. Broadfield, command career counselor, was one of 16 service members that represented the U.S. Armed Forces at championship.

"I was very excited to receive the message and honored to be considered to compete among some of the Armed Forces best athletes," Broadfield said. "I am looking forward to the training as well as the experience." Broadfield, 31, a native of East Haven, Conn., joined the Navy in January 2004. She has been swimming competitively since she was 6 years old, through high school and into college at Southern Connecticut State University.

"The only time I had to take some time off from swimming was during my deployments when I was stationed on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)," she said.

Outside her duties at NMC Det. Sigonella, Broadfield volunteers as a swimming coach for the MWR Sigonella Swordfish, swimming team on base. The team is comprised of 45 children, ages 5-17. Broadfield spends about 10 hours per week coaching the children. In addition, she has an intensive training regiment, even for an avid swimmer.

"I swim every morning at 6 a.m., and every afternoon, about three. four hours a day," she said. "I try to swim about 40,000-55,000 meters each week depending on what type of race I'm training for."

"She (Broadfield) dedicated numerous off duty hours, completing a vigorous training regiment in preparation for this event, always putting her job and the Navy first," said Chief Gunner's Mate (SW/AW) Eric M. Williams, senior enlisted leader for NMC Det. Sigonella.

"Her selection to the swim team doesn't surprise me at all. She represents both Navy Munitions Command and Navy Air Station Sigonella very well."

The team trained at the U.S. Naval Academy before heading out to Germany for the World Championship. Broadfield is no stranger to competition.

"I am a long distance and marathon swimmer," Broadfield added. "The shortest open water race I've competed in was a 5k and the longest 36k. I love being in the open ocean! I have always loved being a pool swimmer, but it's nice to be diverse and enjoy the sport from all angles."

Broadfield has a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Health and Science from Southern Connecticut State University. She is currently working on her Masters Degree Developmental and Organizational Psychology online through Walden University.

The next step in her Navy career is a transfer to doing the thing she loves - swimming. "As much as I love the aviation ordnance world, I've had my heart set on being a search and rescue swimmer since I joined the Navy," she said. "I will be moving on from this community to the aviation warfare systems operator (AW) rating this October. My heart is in the sea."

Broadfield has applied for the Officer Selection Programs, to join the surface warfare community and work as a human resources and training officer.

At the 2010 CISM World Military Swimming/Lifesaving Championships, Broadfield qualified in the top eight in four events: the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle and the 200-meter butterfly. Her best finish was 4th place in the 800-meter freestyle.

NAVSTA Rota Holds Pre-Labor Day Weekend Safety Standdown

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Paul Cage, Naval Station Rota, Spain, Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota, Spain, ended the 2010 Critical Days of Summer Campaign by holding a safety standdown Sept. 1.

Rota's standdown was part of a region-wide Labor Day weekend safety standdown for Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA).

EURAFSWA saw trends in sexual assaults, drug use, driving under the influence incidents and motor vehicle accidents and decided these issues needed to be addressed to prevent future incidents, protect personnel and improve the readiness of the military.

"Safety standdowns are a great risk management tool, as they give commands and individuals an opportunity to reflect on issues of importance, such as taking thoughtful, proactive steps to be safe," said Steven Kalnasy, EURAFSWA's deputy safety director. "By sharing information and encouraging a productive dialog between workers and leadership, the standdown format has been a proven, valued resource for reducing mishaps."

The briefs were presented by the Fire Department, Fleet and Family Support Center, Drug and Alcohol Program Advisors (DAPA) and the Safety Department. Attendance was mandatory for all NAVSTA civilian employees and active duty personnel.

"This is all about recalibrating where we are safety wise at the end of summer," said NAVSTA Rota Commanding Officer, Capt. Bill Mosk. "The bottom line is we have done very well this summer in regards to safety and we want to keep it that way. I always say that you are our most precious resource. It is not the equipment you use or the building where you work at – it's you. You make the Navy run and we need you here every day."

Leadership in Rota understands that while the Navy's critical days of summer are ending, summer activities and weather continue in Spain until October 2010.

"A lot of things we talked about back in May (2010) about summer safety will carry on for a little longer," said Robert Brown, NAVSTA Rota's safety coordinator. "We have all heard these topics before, but this is just a reinforcing the basics and ensuring we continue our trend of decreasing mishaps and accidents here in Rota."

Sailors, Community Join Together for Military Working Dog Training

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Maebel Tinoko, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West., Det. Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors and local law enforcement joined together for a Canine Narcotic Operations course held at Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor Sept. 1.

NBK hosted the vehicle-training site for the class, and students received hands-on training about different ways to search for drugs in vehicles with their dogs.

"I am part of the Multijurisdictional Counter-drug Task Force Training; it's a program that provides unique, tuition-free, courses covering all aspects of counter-drug law enforcement and training support for community anti-drug coalitions," said Frank Campbell, K-9 trainer from St. Petersburg, Fla. "This is great because we can all join together and share different trends and training techniques."

The course begins with a classroom lecture, and as the course progresses, a series of simulations at off-site locations teach canine teams to gain hands-on experience in effective deployment in various environments.

"This is an ongoing joint training relationship between the Navy and Washington State law enforcement," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Joshua Vanorden, leading petty officer for NBK security military working dogs (MWD).

"We do this each year and it allows us to learn from each other and collaborate with different agencies."

According to the program's website, the class is designed to facilitate the abilities of canine drug detection teams and introduces several new areas of deployment. The curriculum is designed to enhance the detection skills of the canine team and provide information related to drug investigations.

"Everyone has something to give to this class and the opportunity to take this class is valuable to our base and community," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (ESW) Ian Stephenson, MWD handler, NBK security. "We learn about the science of detection and what to look out for when we are searching vehicles for drugs. This class is great, and it brings people from all walks of life together, and that's the beauty of learning from each other."

Navy Lodge Celebrates 40th Anniversary

By Sarah Fortney, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Celebrating the Navy Lodge's 40th birthday, Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda commemorated the program's dedication to service members and their families with a cake-cutting ceremony Aug. 27.

The Navy Lodge program, established in 1970, operates under the Navy Exchange Service Com-mand and is a self-sustaining business, said NSA's Navy Lodge Manager Mike Rabideau.

The Navy Lodge offers a place for service members to stay while they are on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) status. It's also a place where families can stay while their loved ones are undergoing extended treatment at the hospital. The lodge offers service members lodging rates well under their allotted cost of living per diem, he said, which helps save service members an average of about $30 million every year.

When the lodge at Bethesda first opened in 1973, it was made up of 26 stacked, modular units encased in brick, said Rabideau. In 1996, Bethesda opened a new lodge that includes 106 rooms, resembling extended-stay, hotel-like suites. Undergoing additional renovations in July, the lodge now provides custom-made beds and built-in kitchens. Additional expansions will soon begin at Bethesda's lodge, which will provide an additional 60 to 65 rooms, Rabideau added.

The lodge offers handicapped-accessible rooms and quality of life items to service members and their families to help them feel more at home. Various amenities include linen and towel service, high speed and wireless Internet and flat screen televisions.

While the Navy Lodge provides a needed service wherever it is located, it is particularly critical here at NSA Bethesda, said Cmdr. John Lamberton, NSA Bethesda's executive officer.

"The Navy Lodge supports the families of the wounded warriors, so their family can support the patient," said Lamberton. "Having a room on campus allows the families to focus on what is most important, which is spending time with their loved one in the hospital."

For more information about the Navy Lodge Program or to make reservations, visit www.navy-lodge.com or call NSA Bethesda's Navy Lodge at 301-654-1795.

Hockey Game in Paradise Supports Wounded Warriors

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Hight, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

HONOLULU (NNS) -- Service members from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army and Air Force faced off against each other in the inaugural Wounded Warriors Charity Hockey Game Aug. 29 at Honolulu's Ice Palace skating rink.

The purpose of the game was to promote awareness of the Wounded Warrior program in Hawaii, as well as helping to raise money for the services it provides to Wounded Warriors.

"Today's game is all about giving back to those that have sacrificed for their country," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class David Taylor, the event organizer currently assigned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. "All the money that is taken in will directly help those that need it."

The hockey game featured USA Blue, consisting of service members from the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, facing off against USA White, comprised of Soldiers and Airmen from the Army and Air Force.

Players on both teams generously volunteered their time to perform in the game and pay tribute to their fellow service members wounded in the line of duty.

"This is such a great event and a great opportunity," said Army Sgt. Spencer Wellmen, of the 13th Military Police Detachment. "To know that I am making a difference and helping to give back to my fellow service members is such an honor."

While there was fierce action on the ice, the competition was just as intense off the ice where spectators participated in a silent auction and bid on donated items to help raise money for the Wounded Warrior program.

"We received outstanding support from the local USO and the National Hockey League (NHL)," said Taylor. "Both the USO and the NHL have been very giving in the items that they donated to be used in the silent auction. With their support we will be able to reach our goal of raising $10,000 tonight."

The support and excitement toward the players and the event could be seen everywhere, as the crowd cheered their respective teams on to victory.

"I am excited to be here tonight for the game," said Navy Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, deputy chief of staff for logistics, fleet supply and ordnance, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "Walking in tonight you could feel the excitement from everyone that was waiting to get in."

Aside from the excitement of the night's fundraising activities, spectators thrilled to the back and forth action of the game with the Army/Air Force team eventually beating the sea services 5-3.

"Tonight was a huge success in all areas," said Taylor. "So far tonight we have raised well over our goal of $10,000, and there are still donations coming in from all the people that have opened their hearts and shown support for the Wound Warrior Program."

The Wounded Warriors Charity Hockey Game is scheduled to continue as an annual event to be held at the Ice Palace in Honolulu.

USS Virginia Arrives at PNSY for First Extended Maintenance Availability

PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, Maine (NNS) -- Attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN 774) and her crew arrived at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) Sept. 1, for a first-of-its-class major maintenance availability that is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

While at the shipyard, Virginia will undergo an Extended Dry-docking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) consisting of various maintenance work and several system upgrades.

PNSY Virginia-class Program Manager Terry L'Heureux and Project Superintendent Bill Caron, have spent the last 36 months working with the Virginia-class planning team for this availability.

"We are all very excited," said Cmdr. Gus Vergara, deputy project superintendent. "We've been working towards this day for years and we are ready to execute. The submarine force is looking to us to deliver Virginia on time and at or below cost."

Commissioned Oct. 23, 2004, Virginia is the first of the newest class of nuclear-powered attack submarines, built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; strike group support; and mine warfare missions. Adept at operating in both the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Virginia directly enables five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities-sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Nearly three years prior to Virginia's arrival, the shipyard assembled a Virginia-class planning team comprised of individuals from the Engineering and Production Departments. The team developed the detailed workload strategy and execution plans for this first Virginia-class availability. The team also identified the resources and skill sets required to perform the work associated with the new class of submarine to ensure PNSY was ready to execute on day one.

"Bottom line is, we've talked enough," said Capt. Bryant Fuller, shipyard commander. "We're ready. Let's go to work!"

The on-time or early completion of submarine availabilities are critical in the maintenance of today's fleet and is essential to maintaining warfighter readiness. PNSY, a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command, is committed to maximize the material readiness of the fleet by ensuring every ship is ready to respond to the Navy's mission.

Face of Defense: Sailors Serve Meals at Homeless Shelter

By Navy Seaman Shannon S. Heavin
USS Constitution Public Affairs

BALTIMORE, Sept. 2, 2010 – Sailors prepared and served hot food to people at a local homeless shelter here Aug. 30 as part of Navy Week activities.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Santiago and Petty Officer 2nd Class Stuart Macgillivray – members of the Boston-berthed USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides,” were among sailors at the event held at the “Our Daily Soup Kitchen” shelter, as part of Baltimore Navy Week activities that began Aug. 28 and run through Sept. 6.

"I am glad to have had this opportunity," Macgillivray said. "This shows that military branches are not just here to defend the country, big-picture-wise, but we are here to help in any way we can.”

The sailors served about 300 guests at the shelter, of which 15 to 20 percent were homeless.

"It has been great and unusual to have military personnel here," said Aaron Kennedy, a volunteer coordinator. "Not many guests here have an idea about what the Navy is. This brought a new level of understanding to them in a supportive setting."

Since 2007, Our Daily Soup Kitchen has served an average of 700 meals -- seven days a week and 365 days a year -- to men, women and children of all ages. Our Daily Soup Kitchen not only feeds those who are hungry but also provides shelter and recovery programs leading to employment.

This is the fourth Navy Week that Constitution sailors have participated in this year. They performed similar outreach activities during Des Moines Navy Week, April 19 to 24; Spokane Navy Week, May 10 to 15; and Boston Navy Week, June 30 to July 5.

"Constitution sailors are active in community service programs, not only when we are participating in Navy Weeks but year-round in Boston," said Navy Cmdr. Timothy Cooper, the 71st commander of the Constitution. "I think community outreach programs provide our sailors with opportunities to make an immediate positive impact on the lives of people who have fallen into difficulties."

Baltimore Navy Week is one of 20 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2010. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and to increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Air Guard’s 'Wingman Project' Offers Hope

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md., Sept. 2, 2010 – Citizen-airmen and their loved ones worry about the risks of combat, but they should know that a far greater risk lies in suicide, according to statistics compiled by the Air National Guard.

In fact, the Air National Guard's suicide-prevention program, called the “Wingman Project,” states that for every one airman killed in combat, seven airmen take their own lives.

Last year the “Wingman Project” was named one of the best suicide prevention programs in the Air Force.

The project’s goal is to train citizen-airmen and their families to recognize the signs of suicide and to get help to those who need it.

"We are trying to use … [the] ‘Wingman Project’ as a way to get the word out and to get those materials out there to the field," said Air Force Col. Doug Slocum, the director of safety at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here.

The program’s website lists the National Suicide Prevention Hotline as well as anti-suicide training and resources available online and within the states and territories. The state hotlines and program links are available on an interactive map.

Slocum said airmen, their families and friends can read articles and watch videos on suicide awareness and intervention. They also can join in on internet blogs and other social media activities.

The website offers tiers of training on how to ask the right questions and how to get help for someone. Follow-on classroom training can certify users in Ask, Care and Escort and in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, which prepare personnel to intervene to stop a suicide.

"Suicide is preventable," Slocum said.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Shares Leadership Experiences with Junior ROTC Cadets

By Lt. Jeffrey S. Gray, Navy City Outreach, Chicago, Public Affairs

CHICAGO (NNS) -- The nation's senior military officer and adviser to the President spoke to a group of 250 Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) cadets about his 42 years of leadership experience in the military at the Union League Club of Chicago Aug. 25.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was invited to speak to the cadets under the sponsorship of the Hyman G. Rickover Leadership Series, a collaborative youth leadership development program designed by representatives of the Chicago Public Schools Department of Junior ROTC and the Navy's Diversity Directorate, Outreach Division.

The Rickover Leadership Series was established in honor of the late Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, a graduate of Chicago's John Marshall High School in 1918. Adm. Rickover is known as the "Father of Nuclear Navy" and served 63 years on active duty, the longest-serving naval officer in U.S. history.

Mullen's visit to Chicago and engagement with the cadets was part of a three-day "Conversation with the Country" tour through the Midwest where he met with local civic and business leaders in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, to discuss the needs of returning troops, their families and how community leaders can support them.

Mullen expressed that among his various stops in Chicago, the opportunity to talk with the cadets, "our future leaders," was the most important event of the day.

"A once in a lifetime experience for our cadets to listen to the chairman and get his views on leadership.," said Rick Mills, Chief Area Officer for Chicago Public Schools. "His words will resonate with them for the rest of their lives."

Mullen's remarks to the cadets were focused of three themes: service, change, and leadership.

"All three of the themes reflected Adm. Mullen's professional and personal journey," said Cmdr. Mike Tooker, retired from the Navy and now commandant of the Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy. "His story had some very powerful lessons that came across to our cadets."

At the beginning of his talk, Mullen discussed his experience with the current generation of young people serving in the military and remarked on their penchant to serve something bigger than themselves.

"Your generation has an appetite to serve and make a difference," said Mullen. "Whether it's here locally in your community, whether it's somewhere in the state, or whether it's nationally or globally, through continued education I expect that you'll give back."

Next, Mullen spoke about the inevitability of change, and the necessity to lead change—especially in the world of education and training, where updating skill sets is essential to gainful employment.

"The world is much more interconnected and we have to figure out ways to understand and interact with organizations and other lives we might not have been interested in or thought about," said Mullen. "Opportunities will present themselves that will allow you to enhance your education and future and these opportunities will be life changing events."

Mullen lastly stressed that change is unavoidable. He also mentioned that there are great technical challenges and academic problems that need attention and stated that all of the challenges can be solved and managed by no other means then leadership.

"A leader is someone who'll step forward, someone who takes risks," said Mullen. "A leader is someone who is bold, a leader is different from their peers, a leader challenges the status quo and a leader challenges existing assumptions. Most of all, a leader is courageous and at the same time holds to the values of honor, integrity, courage and loyalty the values you're learning early in life by participating in the Junior ROTC program."

Cadet Dolores Santillan, a senior at Albert G. Lane Technical College Prep, asked Mullen, "What is your most preferred style of leadership?"

"I have a passion for people and a passion for a team. From a leadership perspective, I have always depended on my people. In its simplest form, I take care of my people and my people will take care of me. When I say take care of me, in a leadership position, a position where we have a job or mission, we accomplish it together," said Mullen in response to the question.

Another cadet was interested in how Mullen made decisions under stress.

"I've found out a lot about myself over the years and found that as a situation gets tougher and chaotic, the calmer I get. As a leader, I don't want to contribute to the chaos that might exist in a crisis. I've found that I need to be a calming influence which tends to calm others down," said Mullen.

"I also try to anticipate what will happen in the future, and that's very difficult. Calmness in the eye of the storm is great strength."

Lt. Col. Kim Harrell, retired from the Army and director for Chicago Public Schools Department of Junior ROTC, hoped the cadets would take one thing away from Mullen's visit.

"Perseverance, that one must have a steady course of action, a purpose, a position in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement," said Harrell. "That this is an essential leadership skill when one must sometimes work past the difficulties that may arise from participating in Junior ROTC and/or personal commitments."

"Years from now, my peers and I will occupy seats of local, state, and national importance. Interaction and learning from leaders like Adm. Mullen will allow us to reach our potential," said Cadet Jai Hillard, a senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and commanding officer of her Navy Junior ROTC unit.

The purpose of the Rickover Leadership Series is to enhance the education, awareness and appreciation of Chicago Public Schools JROTC cadets in the social, political, and cultural dimensions of the nation and the world.

Invited guest speakers represent various walks of life—government, the arts, humor, literature, education, sports, politics, science and other major fields on the local, state, national and international level. Representatives discuss and examine topics regarding effective leadership within their respective field, including: defining good leadership, methods of practice and implementation, personal strengths needed to become an effective leader, and how to inspire, influence and create results.

Remarks by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead at the Navy League of Denver

August 24, 2010

Well, thanks Dan for the introduction and thank you for all you do in leading the Navy League and for all the members here. Even though those of us who wear the uniform cannot be members, I cannot thank the Navy League enough for what you do for our Sailors who serve and are deployed. I speak from experience, that from the time I was a young Ensign until now, the hospitality of the Navy League chapters around the world make serving in the Navy something special, because everywhere we go we are welcomed warmly, we are taken great care of and that is something that is absolutely priceless.

But as I’ve become more senior, I’ve become more aware, more intimately with the Navy League leadership on dealing with matters that are of great import to our country, and to the strategic assets that we have to include shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing, and it’s through the efforts of the Navy League that the story can be told in ways that I think are very compelling. So Dan for you and all of the members, I thank you for what you do here and for assembling this evening’s event, I thank you for that as well. And I really would like to thank all the chapters that are here for everything that you do for us because you really do have opportunities to raise awareness of what our Navy does for the nation.

The last time I was here was in 2008 when we were talking about our Maritime Strategy and the conversation that I had with many people from this region really has helped us shape the strategy, make the strategy come alive and has given us insight into what Americans think they need in the form of their Navy.

I have to admit that the last time I was here talking about the strategy, there was someone who thought I was taken the climate change issue too seriously, because they thought I was here looking for a new homeport for the Navy but they got away from that.

But it is so important, I think, to be able to have an organization that can carry the message forward of what our sea-going services do in a positive way and for helping us achieve the goals that we believe are so important to maintaining the security and prosperity for future generations of Americans.

For many citizens in our country today, the benefits of a strong Navy aren’t readily apparent. Our seaward approaches and the global commons that are represented by the high seas don’t have an obvious impact on their daily lives. And that’s where organizations like yours and individuals like you, with your efforts that range from advocacy that’s articulated in the document Dan talked about, to the support that you give to the Sea Cadet program, which is more than just a Navy program. It’s a terrific way for young men and women in our country to learn about citizenship, about service and about responsibility. So for all the young men and women here who are part of the Sea Cadet Corps and for the mentors that they have, I would like for us to join in a round of applause for them.

So through all those efforts, I think you keep the dialogue going, a dialogue that is so important. And the conversation that we started here and in other cities around the country a couple of years ago is still ongoing. It goes on here at home, it goes on abroad and it’s where we continue to advance the cause of what we call the global maritime partnerships where together working with the other sea services, working with countries around the world, we work together towards peace and prosperity that’s so important to all of us.

I was talking at a dinner just last week. I was in Sweden and Norway where I was able to spend some time with those navies, smaller than ours to be sure, but they’re pursuing advanced capabilities in ways that are extraordinarily impressive in areas such as littoral combat which I think in the future is going to become more and more important. They’re developing diesel submarines which quite frankly I think have become the international standard in that area and I think having the opportunity to work with them is extraordinarily important for us in our Navy.

Before that I had the opportunity to visit my counterpart in France. It sounds like I’ve been on a pretty good summer trip here but it really has been a good opportunity, particularly in France, to talk to a Navy that is able and sees a responsibility to be part of a global solution to some of the challenges that we face. In the case of the French navy, they are one of the few navies that operates aircraft from aircraft carriers in ways that we do and they are committed as they have just completed their 100th anniversary, two years ahead of us in fact, toward being able to continue to partner with us in bringing that safety and security and stability around the world.

We continue to build these global maritime partnerships as our Maritime Strategy said that we would in no small part because our partners see in the U.S. Navy a commitment to those capabilities that we talked about in our strategy. A commitment for our Navy to be a forward force, to be globally deployed, to be in all the oceans of the world. The ability for that force to be a deterrent, that goes beyond our ballistic missile submarine. That gets to the fact that we can move naval power, and put that naval power in places that cause those who would do something that we wouldn’t like, it causes them to check up and think twice. But it also includes the capabilities of power projection. That power projection can come off our aircraft carrier, it can be in the form of missiles that come off of our destroyers or submarines and indeed, in Marines coming off our amphibious ships. But it’s also being able to control the sea wherever we may need to do it. And it’s about maritime security operations that we conduct, not unlike what we’re doing off the coast of Somalia in checking up the pirates that are there. And then of course, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, something that I think has captured the respect of so many countries around the world.

And when you think about all those things going on there is no question that our Sailors today are very busy. They’re busy in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we have more sailors on the ground – 14,500 Sailors serving on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti – than we have serving at sea. We have another 10,000 Sailors who are on our ships off shore and at sea we serve in a more traditional role projecting power from our aircraft carriers which continue to provide over 30% of fixed wing flying in support of U.S. and coalition troops on the ground, in Afghanistan. In July alone, that aircraft carrier that’s on station in the North Arabian Sea and the strike group provided almost 1,700 sorties in one month and almost 700 hours of combat operations in support of those troops on the ground.

But our nation’s interests extend far beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, almost 40,000 Sailors are deployed and about 39% of our ships and submarines are on deployment. That is an extraordinarily high percentage. And we’re delivering on our maritime strategy around the globe. Just this past month, in the vicinity of Hawaii, 14 nations, 32 ships, 5 submarines and more than 170 aircraft took part in the Rim of the Pacific exercise. And in the Mediterranean, our 6th Fleet commander on board USS Mount Whitney participated in exercises alongside the naval forces of France, Russia, and Great Britain. The USS George Washington, a carrier airwing, six destroyers, a fast attack submarine and maritime patrol aircraft conducted Exercise Invincible Spirit with the Republic of Korea navy. That exercise was an important one that showed our solidarity with the Republic of Korea after they had one of their ships unexpectedly torpedoed by North Korea. And in maritime security, we conducted maritime civil affairs & security training in six countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America. And in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, the USS Iwo Jima supplemented by naval mobile construction forces concluded our humanitarian assistance mission in Haiti, while at the same time, USS Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are bringing flood relief to the people of Pakistan from the sea.

And I mentioned the power projection and forward presence being provided by the Harry S. Truman tonight, as we sit here having dinner together.

We continue to prove ourselves to be an adaptable, flexible, and fast responders, and globally we’re seeing the demand for our forces continue to rise and be in greater demand than ever before. In watching developments, I remain convinced of our maritime strategy’s continued relevance, and I am re-committed to the imperatives of that strategy: to prevent or to win in conflict, with the resources that it requires. Successive budgets from the fiscal year 2010 through the Navy’s program submission that we’ve just concluded for 2012 have been consistent with that commitment to the Maritime Strategy. As was the Department of Defense’s Quadrennial Defense Review or ‘QDR’, as was the recent Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel report that was commissioned by Congress and released late last month.

That report reaffirmed the conclusions that we reached in our Maritime Strategy in 2007, expressing concern over a developing mismatch between force structure and our valid operational requirements. As you might be aware, that report that was just issued calls for a bigger fleet, and the floor of 313 ships that I’ve articulated since becoming the CNO has been encompassed in the number in that report.

And we’re also balancing our investments in ships and aircraft with systems to defeat the most challenging threats that we will face. We’re building information dominance, we’re building increased capacity in electronic warfare and ballistic missile defense, and intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance.

I welcome the report that was just issued and the larger public discussion over the size and composition of the Navy because it’s important, I believe, that all Americans realize that we as a Navy are in a different position than we were when we’ve been fiscally challenged in the past.

The size of the fleet is much smaller. We are the smallest fleet that we have been since 1916, and our responsibilities and our interests are much greater than they were in 1916. The industrial base of the nation, something that I consider to be a strategic asset for a country is very different than it was in the last downturn. The last time we saw the budgets decline, there were six major shipbuilding corporations in the United States. Today, there are two. Our nuclear fleet – in the past would depend on eight major corporations, today there are two. The overhead costs that we experience are a result of a decrease in fleet size and not the commensurate decrease with all the infrastructure that we in the Navy posses. And the cost of operating the Navy, globally, is becoming more expensive.

But I think the security environment that we face as our forces are withdrawn in the coming years in the Middle East will actually be different as well. Sovereignty concerns by nations will increase and may outright preclude the involvement of extensive land-based forces in the future. Global economic trends are changing allies, partners and “others.” Also while our Navy is very different, we face an emerging global order which requires more naval power if we hope to shape that order favorably.

In sum, the demand for naval capabilities is only increasing. It increases because the ability to overcome diplomatic, geographic, and military impediments to access areas of national interest has re-emerged as a necessity for U.S. influence and power overseas, and that demand will not soon fade – indeed, I think, as night follows day, it will only grow. This is certainly no time in this country, for what I call “sea blindness.” We must all recognize the importance of the seas to this nation and the importance of the Navy to this nation.

With the juxtaposition of the limited defense budgets against a growing demand for naval power in mind, we in the Navy have had to recast our approach to procurement, and focus efforts on developing affordable capabilities in capacity. We started down a new path programmatically in the last couple of years and we’ve cancelled some programs and we’ve truncated some programs, such as the DDG 1000. And shortly after becoming the CNO, there were some ships that we received bids for that were simply far too expensive, and we cancelled those. And I will tell you, I am going to continue to do that as long as I am in this position.

But we changed our processes to improve the decisions that we make. We merged the directors of intelligence and command control so that we could oversee our operations globally in ways that we never have been able to before. We created a fleet cyber command that is now moving into a leadership position in the world of cyber. We’re re-imagining naval power for dominance in the information age with cyber power for non-kinetic solutions on what I call the ‘left side of the kill chain.’ Sometimes not as glamorous as the things that are blowing up, but it’s where you can really influence some events. And we’ve created from all of the professionals we have in our Navy that deal with information, we’ve created an Information Dominance Corps. When you bring all of those together it’s 44,000 extraordinary professionals. And they come from the communities of intelligence, cryptology, information professional, meteorology and oceanography, and information warfare communities. Many of whom are here with us tonight.

Our program that we have put forward for the coming year solidifies our departure from what we call a platform-centric approach – an approach where we only look at the ship, submarine and the airplane – to one that centers on war fighting wholeness, where we look at anti-submarine warfare, ballistic missile defense, littoral combat, and unmanned capabilities as priorities. It seeks to reduce overhead for us to capture some of those funds for operations and maintenance, as well as new construction, for when it comes to capacity, quantity matters. Quantity becomes a capacity. And we’re resolved to maintain the fleet we have to the end of its expected service life and build affordable ships and aircraft by focusing our program management on total ownership costs and common equipment.

Our goal as we budget for the future is to turn a path to a force that can be sustained and positions us well for the Secretary of Defense’s effort to find efficiencies that we began this summer. That process continues and it will for the foreseeable future, but I believe it should continue in this environment in which we live. But I am also confident the navy will fare well because it’s an effort that we have already been on the path to achieving.

But over time, one has to consider the stress we’re placing on the force, and the impact that stress places on our most important factor in the Navy, and that is our people.

In the operations we conduct globally today, and in the fleet we are building for tomorrow, people will become even more important. Today’s sailors are the highest quality service men and women with whom I have ever served, and they – not the ships and the aircraft and the submarines – are where the real power of our Navy resides. And we will only ask more of them in the emerging security environment of the future. That’s why I remain focused on providing wide-ranging support to our Sailors & to their families. Our emphasis on family readiness programs – dependent healthcare, child and youth education services, public-private venture housing – are crucial in determining whether a Sailor can focus on the mission at hand, and whether he or she will choose to continue their service or take their extensive training elsewhere. Our commitment to a continuum of care – with programs like Navy Safe Harbor program that’s focused on our wounded warriors that are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and operational stress control where we work with those Sailors who are repeated deployments – these are all part of the covenant we keep with our fighting men and women who put themselves in harm’s way. And our commitment to a continuum of service for those considering a transition from active duty with the career transition office and the career management system where we have interactive detailing makes for better informed decisions by those men and women that are making that career choice, and it reflects our commitment to a total force. Not a force of just active and reserve, but a Navy that is one.

Our comprehensive approach to support is not lost on our Sailors, and we’ve seen some very positive retention and recruitment rates. The economy to be sure is part of that, but it is not all of it. We continue to build on what we set as a goal, of being a top 50 employer in the United States. We started building on our foundation of integrity and professionalism and service to attract the best and brightest towards naval service and rewarding careers in the Navy. In the past two years, we’ve garnered 26 awards for our competitive benefits and life/work balance options. In some cases we became the first federal entity to be recognized for ethics, for vision, for innovation and for our global outlook. And we continue to attract and to retain motivated and impressive young Americans who answer the call of service above self.

But I continue to watch the health of our force, and believe that we cannot let up on our current efforts if we want to man the sustainable fleet we need. When you consider that only 28% of American youth qualify for military service today, our options going forward are not as plentiful as many might think. The Navy is and will remain a highly technical service, but during my visits to leading technical universities across the country, I’ve been struck by how few Americans aspire to study in areas of science, technology, math and engineering. The Navy does not yet reflect what I call the face of the nation, which it must do if we are to remain relevant to the security of all Americans. As American demographics change, the pool of potential leaders changes with it, and we want to include as many qualified applicants as we possibly can. We in the Navy need the help of organizations like the Navy League, and the type of activities like the gentlemen Kathleen pointed out, where he works with underprivileged kids to show them the benefits of what the Navy has to offer. Because we have to continue to reach out to those communities who do not yet know us, and we have to let young people know about the opportunities for leadership, for service and education that they could find in the Navy today. Because there is great potential benefit for both the Navy and the nation in bringing discussions like this – about the value of our Navy in the emerging global order, and of the boundless opportunities inherent in naval service to the next generation of Americans, those who will be best equipped to lead a global Navy in the information age.

I’m proud of what our Navy does on every ocean, on every day. Ours is really a global force for good. Its unique advantages, its flexibility, coming from the sea, and rapid response, are relevant today and they will only become more so as the characteristics of the future security environment fully emerge.

It makes sense to invest in our navy, and I’m confident that wise investment and knowledgeable sailors will continue to serve the nation well, now and into the future. Finally, to all of you here tonight, I appreciate your unwavering support for everyone who wears this uniform, and for all you do to ensure the continued maritime strength of our great country.

Thank you very much.

Objective in Pakistan is to Help, Mullen Says

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 2, 2010 – Though relief efforts may help people in flood-ravaged Pakistan and the rest of the world see the United States in a more favorable light than they had before, the U.S. objective here simply is to help, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen is in Pakistan today to meet with government and military officials and to get a first-hand look at stricken areas and the relief effort with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani army’s chief of staff.

During the first travel leg of an overseas trip that has brought him to Germany, Iraq and Pakistan this week, Mullen said the relationship between the United States and Pakistan suffered for more than a decade. Though a strategic U.S.-Pakistani partnership has re-emerged, he added, it will take time for the United States to rebuild the Pakistani people’s trust, and the flood-relief effort can help in that regard.

“The backdrop of this is 12 years of no relationship and a massive gap of trust,” he said. “It’s just going to take us a while to rebuild it. However long you take to dig a hole, it’s probably going to take you that long to fill it up.”

Mullen noted that the perception of the United States among Indonesians improved as a result of the tsunami relief effort in 2004.

“The goal was to help,” he said. “The effect was that so many changed their minds about their feelings toward America. That’s not why we do it, but the possibility is there. I’m hopeful that many Pakistani citizens can see a different side of America than what is often portrayed.”

The standing of the United States among the Pakistani people isn’t very high, Mullen acknowledged, adding that he hopes the flood-relief effort helps to build good will.

“With this relief and assistance,” he said, “I hope they will see – similar to the earthquake there in 2005 – that this is who we are.”

En route here last night, the chairman said he spoke earlier in the day with Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, about Pakistan flood relief, “because we’re all trying to work this together.”

Mullen told reporters the flood waters have reached the Indian Ocean, so they’re no longer rising. As the waters recede, he added, the extent of the damage will become more evident. The long-term scope of the relief and recovery effort Pakistan will need remains to be seen, Mullen said, but the U.S. commitment to that effort is clear, and a significant, sustained commitment from the international community almost certainly will be required.

For now, the chairman added, the focus is on the near term. Additional U.S. helicopters and ships should arrive in about 10 days, he said. So far, he added, the United States has rescued more than 11,000 people, brought in more than 3 million pounds of relief supplies and provided Pakistan with about $150 million in aid.

USNS Comfort Hosts Boy Scouts During Baltimore Navy Week

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

BALTIMORE (NNS) -- More than five hundred Boy Scouts and parents arrived aboard the USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) Aug. 30 for a tour of the hospital ship during Baltimore Navy Week 2010.

The Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and welcomed the opportunity to learn about the Comfort's mission and abilities.

"Both organizations promote strong character and leadership," said Scout Master Chip Galloway, of Troop 944 from Ellicott City, Md. "Touring this ship gives our boys a sense of what their Navy is doing on a day to day basis."

During a quarterdeck address and ceremony, Rear Adm. Scott A. Weikert, deputy commander, 1st Naval Construction Division, addressed the Scouts directly and highlighted the link between Boy Scouts and the Navy.

"The Boy Scout oath of honor, duty, courage jumps out at me because it so closely parallels the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment," said Weikert. "To each of the scouts here today, I hope you realize how unique and special you are in today's society. You have chosen a path filled with learning that others can only dream about."

Following Weikert's speech, Ethan Draddy, chief executive officer and scout executive of the Boy Scouts, also spoke to the Scouts and Comfort's crew.

"I can't think of a finer group of men and women to be with than the Sailors of the U.S. Navy," said Draddy. "I want our Boy Scouts to grow up and be just like you. We need you to be ambassadors for scouting. Congratulations on a great Navy Week."

After his speech, Draddy then awarded the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary sterling silver dollar commemorative coins to Capt. David K. Weiss, Comfort's commanding officer; Weikert; and retired Navy Vice Adm. James A. Sagerholm, of Timonium, Md.

Following lunch, the Boy Scouts went below deck to view Comfort's floating 1,000 bed medical capabilities and operating rooms.

"The tour was fun, and I learned a lot," said Boy Scout Peter Lay, from Columbia, Md. "I think it's great that people are willing to serve in the Navy to protect us from people who can harm us."

Baltimore Navy Week 2010 is one of 20 Navy Weeks planned across America this year. Navy Weeks show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Guam Sailors Return After Successful Humanitarian Mission

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Peter Lewis, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors from Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 7 Security Division 71 and U.S. Naval Hospital Guam (NHG) arrived at U.S. Naval Base Guam aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) Aug. 30, after successfully completing their mission as part of the international humanitarian mission Pacific Partnership 2010.

Mercy, a Military Sealift Command hospital ship, was the platform from which hundreds of civilians and service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces operated during the mission.

The five-month humanitarian deployment offered a variety of engineering, medical, dental, subject matter expert exchanges and logistic civic action programs to six countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Palau.

While deployed, MSRON 7 Sailors provided force security protection for the mission as well as support security operations at host nations. NHG Sailors provided humanitarian medical aid to needy citizens of the six partner countries.

According to Lt. Cmdr. David McMillan, officer-in-charge, MSRON 7 Security Division 71, the command is extremely proud of the work done by its deployed Sailors

"MSRON 7 is extremely proud of the positive impact they have had on the people in need of medical treatment during Operation Pacific Partnership 2010," said McMillan. "It was an opportunity of a lifetime to participate in such a far reaching humanitarian effort, and our Sailors rose to the challenges they faced. With the support of all the Sailors and coalition nations involved, the mission was a complete success."

For one NHG Sailor in particular, the mission had a special significance.

"I was born in a third-world country," said Hospitalman Gray Gray. "When I heard we'd be going out to help people of similar backgrounds, I was immediately on board for the task."

Gray said that not only was he able to help many grateful people, but he also found that his efforts helped maintain a positive view of the United States in the eyes of those he interacted with.

"What I took away from the mission is that they really like the U.S. out there," said Gray. "We went out to help, and it was well appreciated."

Many participants in the operation agreed that the mission had been a success. They also said that they were glad to return to their friends and families in Guam.

"It was awesome. Going to other countries to help people really felt good," said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Kelly Douglas, of MSRON 7. "But now it's awesome to be home. It's just great."

MSRON 7 provides rapidly deployable forces to conduct or support anti-terrorism and force protection missions. MSRON 7 promotes the Maritime Strategy by providing security for American citizens, through the application of sea power and by strengthening partnerships with allied nations.

NHG's mission is to provide world class health services in support of our nation's military mission — anytime, anywhere.

Mercy's mission is to provide rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Secondarily, she provides mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate U.S. Government agencies in disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations.