Military News

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today in the Department of Defense, Monday, November 01, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn have no public or media events on their schedules.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen speaks at at the BENS Eisenhower Award Dinner honoring Mary and David Boies in the Grand Ballroom Gotham Hall, New York City, N.Y.  Media interested in attending should contact Jennie Moonis, jmoonis@bens.org 202-296-2125, ext. 1124 of JCS Public Affairs at 703-697-4272.

Today in the Department of Defense, Sunday, October 31, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn have no public or media events on their schedules.

A National Capital Region Flyover of Arlington National Cemetery in support of the Marine Corps Marathon, occurs at 7:35 a.m. EDT and 7:41 a.m. with two CH 53E's and two F/A-18's.

Today in the Department of Defense, Saturday, October 30, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn have no public or media events on their schedules.

This Day in Naval History - Oct. 29

From the Navy News Service

1814 - Launching of Fulton I, first American steam powered warship, at New York City. The ship was designed by Robert Fulton.
1955 - Ships of the 6th Fleet join U.S. military aircraft in evacuating American citizens from Egypt, Israel and Syria when war breaks out in the Middle East.
1980 - USS Parsons (DDG 33) rescues 110 Vietnamese refugees 330 miles south of Saigon.
1989 - A pilot making his 1st carrier landing and four others are killed when his plane crashes on the flight deck of of the training carrier Lexington (AVT 16) off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.

Boat Forces Tour – RB-M Program

Written by: Dan Bender

The Response Boat-Medium is the Coast Guard’s replacement for the aging fleet of 41-foot Utility Boats, a venerable platform that was known as the workhorse of the Coast Guard for most of it’s 25-year-long service life.  Making that transition, from planning to delivery, is the business of the RB-M Program in Kent, Wash.

The team here have a broad mandate to ensure the quality of the boats being delivered to the fleet.  This involves directly monitoring assembly, observing test trials, engineering and supporting the operators who use these boats.

“It’s definitely a multifaceted program,” said Lt. Andrew Hoag who handles warranty issues and tracking reliability and maintenance of the platform.  “Our mission is ensuring quality control of the RB-Ms being constructed.  The feedback I’ve heard has been mostly positive but with any new acquisition there’s always going to be design elements that can be improved.”

Learning what to improve comes from vigorous testing.  Much of that testing is done before the boats ever leave Washington but the ultimate shakedown comes when these highly capable boats are put into service.  Feedback from the fleet is an important source of information.

Input from operators has been an integral part of the design process from the outset.  While the program was still in the planning stages, 22 highly experienced Coasties were brought in to lend their experience.

A welder pieces together an aluminum RB-M keel. Photo by PA2 Dan Bender
“Input from real operators is priceless,” said David Shepard, a boat project specialist from the Office of Boat Forces.

From the comfortable air-conditioned cabin, to the safety of its self-righting capabilities this boat far exceeds the capabilities of the UTBs it is replacing.  That couldn’t happen without the crew of the program who work behind the scenes to ensure their shipmates in the fleet have the best platform possible.

Secretary of State Visits Service Members on Guam

By Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

Yigo, GUAM (NNS) -- More than 1,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines attended a speech given by Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Rodham Clinton at Andersen Air Force Base Oct. 29.

Clinton visited the base as part of her trip to the Asia-Pacific Region. She began her speech by thanking local military leaders along with the governor of Guam and other officials.

She reaffirmed Guam's importance to the nation, and her gratitude to the service members for their dedication and sacrifice.

"This (Asia-Pacific) region is the center of much change, and many challenges of the 21st Century," Clinton said. "We are engaging even more actively in the region with our allies, our partners, with emerging powers, and with institutions that are being built in order to keep peace and advance prosperity and stability."

The secretary added that service members continuously prove themselves indispensable. She highlighted the importance of the role our troops stationed in Guam have in our Asia/Pacific strategy.

"As we step up our engagements, we will depend more than ever on each of you. The men and women of our armed forces are one of the most important assets we have for engaging the world," she said. "Your mission is evolving for the 21st Century and no one understands this better than you. You are called on to perform a wide variety of services, in a wide variety of places. For instance, earlier this year, Sailors from Guam were part of a five-month humanitarian deployment of the USNS Mercy, delivering medical and dental care to Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Palau. And after the devastating earthquake in Haiti last January, the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, like the one now based here, was used to survey the damage and identify safe landing places for aircraft carrying relief supplies."

Clinton stated that more and more, service members are also called on to cooperate with forces from other countries. She recognized these efforts that strengthen our joint security and show our allies that we remain deeply committed to them.

"I know that today, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 is hosting members of the South Korean military for joint training on identifying and eliminating Improvised Explosive Devices. This is the kind of collaboration that saves lives and leaves both countries better off," she said.

Brig. Gen. John Doucette, 36th Wing commander was appreciative of the positive message Clinton relayed.

"I would like to thank Secretary Clinton for taking time out of her schedule to address the service members here," said Doucette. "It is through the efforts of all the service members that our Nations mission is accomplished. The visit has served as a reminder of what we are fighting for: the safety of not only those we love, but the country we took an oath to protect."

At the conclusion of the event, Clinton came off the stage and entered the crowd to take photos and shake hands with service members in attendance.

Coast Guard Heroes: Robert J. Yered

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young
This Compass series chronicles the first 14 heroes the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters have been named for. These men and women, who stood the watch before us, lived extraordinary lives as they lit the way for sailors in times past, braved gunfire in times of war and rescued those in peril at sea. As Coast Guard heroes, their stories are a constant reminder of our service’s legacy. As the namesake of the Coast Guard’s newest patrol boats, they will inspire the next generation of Coast Guard heroes.

Engineman Robert J. Yered’s fearless actions set him apart as he stood duty in the explosive loading detail at the United States Army Terminal, Cat Lai, Vietnam, on February 18, 1968.

In the early morning hours the terminal at Cat Lai was attacked by enemy rocket, mortar and small arms fire. As the heavy rounds beat into the terminal, one of the rockets struck a barge carrying several hundred tons of mortar ammunition. The barge was quickly engulfed in flames, and threatened to destroy three nearby ammunition ships carrying more than fifteen thousand tons of explosives.

Engineman Yered courageously exposed himself to enemy gunfire as he helped extinguish fires on the burning barge. His bold act averted not only the destruction of his own ship but also that of the entire terminal.

Yered’s valorous character shone through many times throughout his career and he is one of 12 Coast Guardsmen awarded the Silver Star. Among his other awards are the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars and a Purple Heart Medal.

A special place in the Coast Guard’s history

Some 8,000 Coast Guardsmen served in various roles during the Vietnam War and during the course of the conflict 59 were wounded and seven lives were lost.

Coast Guard 82-foot cutters were a perfect fit for the shallow waters required for operations in Vietnam. The cutters spent 70 percent of their time underway as they inspected vessels for contraband, intercepted and destroyed North Vietnamese and Viet Cong craft and provided fire support for friendly forces.

As the 82-foot cutters patrolled inshore, larger cutters helped in forming an offshore barrier against infiltration. A total of 30 high endurance cutters served with Squadron Three, which consisted of 10-month deployments from 1967 and 1971.

Retired Senior Chief Kennith Spoor had duties in the explosive loading detail, much like Yered, when he served in Vietnam from July 1969 to July 1970. Spoor vividly recalls the very real dangers of standing the watch at the Army Terminals.

“Our job with the Coast Guard was to supervise the off loading of explosives because they were having too many accidents,” said Spoor. “One of our biggest worries was a swimmer attack that would put explosives under a ship, which did happen in Qui Nhon.”

The manifestation of their biggest fears came true that day in Cat Lai, but despite this persistent threat, Yered exhibited gallantry at the highest level, as he put his life on the line for others- he truly is a Coast Guard hero.
With contributions from LTJG Ryan White

This Day in Naval History - Oct. 28

From the Navy News Service

1864 - Steamer General Thomas and gunboat Stone River destroy Confederate batteries on Tennessee River near Decatur, Ala.
1882 - Orders issued for first naval attache (Lt. Cmdr. French Chadwick sent to London).
1933 - The development of the PBY Catalina flying boat is begun by awarding the contract to the Consolidated Aircraft Company.

Air Force School Focuses on Cybersecurity

By Ian Graham
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2010 – “The wars of the future will be fought in the cyber domain” sounds like a bad movie tagline from 20 years ago, but it’s becoming truer by the day, and the Air Force is readying troops for that battle.

During an Oct. 27 “DOD Live” bloggers roundtable, Air Force Brig. Gen. Walter D. Givhan, commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, discussed the importance of cybersecurity and the newest class of students graduating from the AFIT Center for Cyberspace Research.

AFIT itself has been in existence since 1919, researching and expanding the technology available to the U.S. military, beginning with flight.

“Even at that time, there was a new technology -- flight, the ability to fly,” Givhan said. “Part of what had to be core to us in dealing with this new technology was education -- education and research -- and that we couldn't just depend upon others, but it had to be part of what we were doing, directly connected to us.”

Now, Givhan said, AFIT has added graduate-level cybersecurity education and research to its academic offerings. Some training and research has been going on already, since the advent of computer networking on a large scale, but now AFIT offers master’s degrees and doctorates in cyber fields.

“What we are doing is truly continuing education -- it's not training,” he said. “We're educating [students] on the capabilities, with a little bit of hands-on work as well on particular technology and capabilities within that technology. But it's not like we're giving them a specific cyberweapon and teaching them how to fire or use that specific cyberweapon.”

The two main courses, Cyber 200 and Cyber 300, give students two slightly different looks at cyber operations, but cover the same main topics: the technology, the policy, the doctrine and the law as they relate to the cyber domain.

Cyber 200 is intended for field grade officers and some noncommissioned officers with six to eight years of service and some experience in the cyber domain. In the three-week course, Givhan said, students focus on tactical and operational issues relevant to what they may face in their line of work.

The more advanced two-week 300 course, designed for higher-ranking officers with 12 or more years of total service with at least six of those years working with cyber issues, focuses on broader concepts, the general said.

“These are the folks who are actually going to be helping make this happen in terms of what the joint force commander needs and how to integrate our cyber capabilities into his plan and to accomplish his objectives,” Givhan said.

The first class of Cyber 200 and Cyber 300 students graduated yesterday.

The venture is exciting, Givhan said, because it involves new technology. They’re testing limits, he added, rather than working within “safe” parameters. Thanks to the growth of computer networking jobs in the private sector, he noted, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard can be involved closely as well.

“They're actually involved in this on the outside, in civilian jobs having to do with cyber,” he said.

The field’s growth in the private sector also helps to bring in recruits who have worked for civilian companies in network administration or security. AFIT has begun some programs for ROTC cadets, Givhan said, adding that he hopes those will expand as people learn more about the importance of cybersecurity and as the Air Force can teach more about it.

“This is a conversation. … This is not a one-way sort of delivering lectures and things, and people are just soaking it up,” the general said. “This is all so new and exciting and rapidly changing.

“We depend upon the participation of everyone who's part of the class and the instructors,” he continued, “and we all learn from each other in this. And it's changing so fast that the iterative process that we use to reinforce what we're doing … is going to change every time we give it.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, October 29, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn have no public or media events on their schedules.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen delivers remarks at the Joint Forces Command Assumption of Command by Gen. Ray Odierno at at the JFCOM Headquarters in Suffolk, Va.  Media interested in attending should contact JFCOM Public Affairs Kathleen Jabs at 757-836-6553 or JCS PA Jennifer Harrington at 703-697-4272.