Military News

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Day in Naval History - Oct. 13

From the Navy News Service

1775 - The Continental Congress establishes a Continental Navy, later known as the U.S. Navy.
1943 - The Destroyer Bristol (DD 453) is sunk, with the loss of 52 lives, by the U-317 off the coast of Algeria.
1954 - USS Saipan (CVL 48) begins relief and humanitarian aid operations for Haitians who were victims of Hurricane Hazel. The operation ended Oct. 19.

DOD, DHS Join Forces to Promote Cybersecurity

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2010 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that their departments will work together to better protect against threats to military and civilian computer networks and systems.

The departments’ new memorandum of agreement on cybersecurity was created, the senior officials said, to coordinate and improve efforts to secure the nation’s critical cyber-based infrastructure.

“With this memorandum of agreement, effective immediately, we are building a new framework between our departments to enhance operational coordination and joint program planning, Gates and Napolitano said in a joint statement. “It formalizes processes in which we work together to protect our nation’s cyber networks and critical infrastructure, and increases the clarity and focus of our respective roles and responsibilities.”

Under the agreement, DOD cyber analysts will work with their counterparts at DHS to formally support the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, called NCCIC. The agreement also provides a full-time senior DHS leader to DOD’s National Security Agency, along with a support team comprised of DHS privacy, civil liberties and legal personnel.

“This structure is designed to put the full weight of our combined capabilities and expertise behind every action taken to protect our vital cyber networks, without altering the authorities or oversight of our separate but complementary missions,” Gates and Napolitano said in their joint statement.

“We will improve economy and efficiency by better leveraging vital technologies and personnel to serve both Departments’ missions in full adherence to U.S. laws and regulation,” they added. “This memorandum of agreement furthers our strong commitment to protecting civil liberties and privacy.

According to a senior DHS official, the agreement is the “next logical step” in cybersecurity efforts and has several important effects.

“We expect it to enhance joint planning and increase visibility between DOD’s and DHS’s operational processes and increase each agency’s effectiveness,” the senior DHS official said today in a telephone briefing for reporters. “For example, we would hope that this would drive more rapid collaboration under the National Cyber Incident Response Plan,” a federal plan to define roles and responsibilities of agencies and industry in responding to potential cyber attacks.

In the same briefing, a senior DOD official said that one of DOD’s key missions is to provide defense support to civilian authorities during attacks on the homeland.

“This applies to responding to hurricanes or other natural disasters or to [weapons of mass destruction] and it applies to cybersecurity as well,” the senior DOD official said. “So from our perspective supporting DHS on cybersecurity is part of DOD’s mission and this [agreement] is intended to help DOD and [the National Security Agency] in particular to be able to do that more effectively.”

By executive order, NSA acts as the national manager for National Security Systems and in that capacity it reports to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of National Intelligence.

“We’re not talking about new missions or new authorities; we’re looking to help our departments be able to do their jobs better,” the senior DOD official said.

“The U.S. just happens to have a tremendous amount of expertise at NSA,” he added. “Our perspective is that it will be a lot faster and more cost effective to make sure NSA is supporting DHS as effectively as possible than to expect DHS to try to build all the capabilities NSA has. As a country we don’t have the time or the money to try to buy all of the capabilities twice.”

DOD needs DHS to succeed in the cybersecurity mission, the senior DOD official said.

“We need it to help us be able to do our own assigned missions,” he said, “from transporting troops and material to wars overseas to supporting defense of the homeland. We rely as a department not just on the dot mil -- our own networks -- but on a secure dot gov and dot com to work with our partners.”

The DOD official added, “It may seem ironic in today’s connected world, and especially for cybersecurity, that we’re suggesting it’s critical to have people work together on a daily basis, face-to-face. But that’s the reality of how people work and from a DOD perspective we understand that this arrangement will help DHS compete more effectively for support from NSA.”

“We look forward to building on this vitally important step toward greater collaboration,” Gates and Napolitano said in their joint statement, “as we continue to work together on new and better ways to protect our economy and critical networks against evolving threats by those who seek to harm the United States.”

Big "E" Takes Their Best Shot

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brooks B. Patton, Jr., USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At sea (NNS) -- As the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) was conducting its Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) Oct. 8, the crew faced another challenge besides the rigors of these simulated war games.

The cold and flu season is here, and a Sailor's cough or sneeze could mean the spread of a potentially life-threatening virus that can directly impact the ship's warfighting capability.

The flu can decimate a ship's crew, especially due to the close-quarter living arrangement inherent to shipboard life.

"If we didn't administer the flu shot it could potentially knock out more than 50 percent of the crew and could result in many hospitalizations," said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/FMF) Thomas P. Dewitt, Medical department's chief of preventive medicine.

Even if one has had the flu shot before or is not prone to getting sick, they should get the vaccination. The influenza virus is always changing, and annual vaccinations are highly recommended. Each year's shot is different from the previous.

Instead of thousands of Sailors waiting in line to receive shots, the creative Sailors in Big E's Medical department developed a rotation to allow the maximum number of Sailors in line that can effectively be inoculated while the remaining come back on a first-come, first-serve basis when the line is empty.

Due to the sudden nature of last year's H1N1 outbreak, the vaccination had to be manufactured after the influenza A and B vaccinations were already issued. This resulted in Sailors having to receive two shots.

This year's single shot includes all vaccinations, and the short waiting time incentivizes the effort.

According to the World Health Organization, 49,000 people died in the U.S. alone from the virus in the 2007 – 2008 flu season, while an estimated million were stricken worldwide.

As the Sailors and Marines of the Enterprise Strike Group are gearing up for the warship's 21st deployment, the overall health of the crew is critical to mission readiness.

The Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87), the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 56), USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.

The Enterprise Strike Group is conducting COMPTUEX as part of its work-ups in preparation for the upcoming deployment. For more information about Enterprise, Carrier Strike Group 12 or Carrier Air Wing 1 visit www.Enterprise.navy.mil, WWW.ccsg12.surfor.navy.mil, and www.cvw1.navy.mil. You can also visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn65.>
For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.

Gates Reaffirms Position on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Oct. 13, 2010 – As Justice Department officials consider the implications of a federal court order for the Defense Department to stop enforcing the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today that whether the law is repealed is a matter for Congress to decide.

While en route here from Hanoi, Vietnam, Gates told reporters traveling with him that much remains to be worked out before DOD effectively could implement a change allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

A review panel led by Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, and Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, still is researching the issue, and input from servicemembers and their families remains to be compiled and evaluated, Gates noted.

“I feel very strongly that this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress,” the secretary said, “and that it is an action that requires careful preparation and a lot of training. We have a lot of revision of regulations that has to be done.”

The review also will determine what other kinds of changes would be necessary if the law is repealed, including benefits and adjustments to facilities, he added.

“This is a very complex business,” Gates said. “It has enormous consequences for our troops. And as I have said from the very beginning, I think there should be legislation, and that legislation should be informed by the review we have under way.”

The review panel is considering results of an extensive survey of active duty and reserve-component servicemembers, and Johnson and Ham conducted numerous town-hall meetings to get face-to-face input, Gates said. Tens of thousands of comments have been submitted to a special e-mail address set up to gather additional input, he added, and hundreds of gay and lesbian servicemembers took advantage of a chance to share their views anonymously. In addition, the final responses from a survey of spouses and family members assessing their views on the impact of a repeal of the law have just been received, the secretary noted.

“I think we had a very strong return on those,” he said. “My recollection is that we sent out 150,000 surveys and got back somewhere between [40,000] and 50,000. Those all still have to be collated and analyzed. The surveys are an important piece of this.”

When all that feedback is compiled, Gates said, the panel will put together its recommendations. Then everything, including the raw data, will go to the services for their individual analyses.

“I think there’s a lot going on here,” the secretary said. “Frankly, to try and accelerate it would be difficult. There are a lot of moving parts as we’re trying to get as thorough a view of all of this as possible.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates is traveling.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn has no public or media events on his schedule.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen speaks at the DOD Energy Security Forum at in the Pentagon Auditorium.  Media interested in attending should contact Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, wendy.snyder@osd.mil or call 703-697-1252.

Maj. Gen. John Campbell, commanding general for Regional Command East, and French Army Brig. Gen. Pierre Chavancy, commanding general for Task Force Lafayette will brief the media live from Afghanistan at , in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to provide an update on current operations.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley addresses the 2010 Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce meeting at at the Sandia Resort, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Media interested with questions should contact the Chamber of Commerce at 505-764-3739.

Graphic Novel Helps Corpsmen Cope with Combat-related Stress

By Valerie Kremer, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) recently produced a 200-page graphic novel called "The Docs" as a communication tool to help Navy Corpsmen with the stresses of combat deployments.

The graphic novel tells the stories of four fictional corpsmen serving in Iraq at the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Since the start of combat operations in the Middle East, Navy Medicine recognized that expeditionary hospital corpsmen have extremely high exposure to the many significant stressors of war, both acute and chronic," said Capt. Greg Utz, NHRC commanding officer. "Their dual roles as caregivers and combatants puts them at high risk for stress injuries, so we developed this graphic novel as an innovative way to help our Sailors prepare for and interpret situations they may see in theater."

"The Docs" portrays four expeditionary Corpsmen from both active duty and Reserve components, who are deployed with Marine Corps and seabee units.

The story follows them as they grapple with having to kill enemy forces; struggle to save the lives of wounded Sailors and Marines; encounter home front problems such as injuries to their children, and other concerns that test their resilience.

In addition, they battle the stigma of seeking mental health care for their patients and for themselves, and gain greater awareness of their need to care for one another.

"The goal for this story is to provide an entertaining and community-appropriate message of the importance of caring for caregiver, and the responsibility shared in that endeavor," said Utz.

As an integral part of Navy Medicine's Care for the Caregiver program, "The Docs" was developed with the intent to instill realistic expectations of possible deployment stressors, and to provide examples for corpsmen on helpful techniques for in-theater care of stress injuries.

Graphic novels tell stories through use of sequential art in a traditional comic format, but have a beginning, middle, and end, as with traditional text novels. This format was chosen specifically for its appeal to the targeted age group and its value in providing thought-provoking content for discussion in training scenarios.

Jerry Larson, Ph.D., NHRC chief scientist for behavioral health, said the format works in helping provide corpsmen with tools they will need in high stress situations. Initial feedback from the Hospital Corps has been positive.

"Addressing the psychological toll of combat and creating the expectation of recovery is one of the most critical things we can achieve in Navy Medicine," said Larson. "While sometimes recovery requires assistance from mental health providers, nevertheless the expectation of recovery must be instilled."

Larson said copies of the "The Docs" will be distributed to corpsmen preparing to deploy. The primary audience for distribution is the Naval Expeditionary Medical Training Institute, and field medical training battalions -- both of which are located on Marine Corps bases.

Navy and Marine Corps personnel can order a free copy by visiting the Marine Corps Combat and Operational Stress Control site: http://bhin.usmc-mccs.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=c_user.dsp_browse&cat_id=1.

The graphic novel is available for online viewing and download at: http://www.med.navy.mil/Navy%20Medicine%20Media%20Room/Pages/Publications.aspx and plans are underway to animate the story for viewing on portable phones and computers.

Air Station Miami welcomes the Ocean Sentry

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

The Coast Guard’s District 7 executes missions in an immense area stretching over 1.8 million square miles. As of this month, Coast Guard aviators have a new aircraft to fly those two million square miles – the HC-144A Ocean Sentry.

The HC-144A Ocean Sentry is the Coast Guard’s newest aircraft delivered as part of its recapitalization program and will serve as the service’s medium range surveillance aircraft. Air Station Miami is the second operational unit to fly the HC-144A, with the first being Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile.

Capable of remaining in flight in excess of nine hours, it doubles that of the hours for the legacy HU-25 Falcon. This greater endurance allows Coast Guard aircrews to remain on-scene longer, adding value to the execution of law enforcement, marine and environmental response and search and rescue missions.

Since the delivery of Air Station Miami’s first HC-144A on March 10, the pilots who will fly the Ocean Sentry have trained and transitioned their qualifications. The pilots attended a ten-week course at ATC Mobile where they familiarized themselves with the aircraft and studied the Sentry’s new systems.

In a series of extensive technical training, the avionics electrical technicians and aviation maintenance technicians at Air Station Miami have also begun transitioning qualifications, to include experienced operators arriving from ATC Mobile this summer.
A standard operational crew for the Ocean Sentry consists of two mission system operators (MSO), one drop master or load master (mission dependant) and one basic aircrewman.

The MSO position is a new role for aircrews with the arrival of the Ocean Sentry platform. MSOs are tasked with operating the on board mission system pallet (MSP) that combines a wide-ranging suite of electronic equipment that collects, compiles, interprets and disseminates data from the sensors and electronic equipment on the aircraft. These integrated components further improve situational awareness and responsiveness of Coast Guard aircrews.

Additionally, in a first for Coast Guard aviation, the Ocean Sentry is capable of transmitting and receiving Secret-level information, improving the Coast Guard’s interoperability with the Department of Defense.

Air Station Miami is proud of its 78-year history of aviation excellence and continues to stand ever at ready as the Coast Guard’s newest, and 16th airframe in it’s history, takes to the skies.