Monday, November 01, 2010

Guantanamo Prepares for Possible Destructive Weather from Tomas

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Leona Mynes, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Personnel at Naval Station (NAVSTA) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, began preparing for possible destructive weather from Tropical Storm Tomas Nov. 1.

Installation leaders are tracking the storm and reviewing potential hazards, such as wind and rain, in an effort to establish a time line for setting condition of readiness (COR) levels to help protect base residents and property.

Tomas is expected to affect Guantanamo Nov. 6-7.

"We will most likely see anything from heavy rain and high seas to major high winds, flooding and damage," said Kevin Robarge, NAVSTA Guantanamo Bay's emergency manager.

The base completed a hurricane readiness exercise (HURREX) in May 2010 and is prepared for the possibility of destructive winds and rain, said Robarge.

"Coordination of resources is key to our preparation and success," said Robarge. "Each department is reviewing their instructions and making plans to begin accomplishing their required settings."

This Day in Naval History - Nov. 01

From the Navy News Service

1841 - "Mosquito Fleet" commanded by Lieutenant Commander J. T. McLaughlin, USN, carries 750 Sailors and Marines into the Everglades to fight the Seminole Indians.
1941 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt places Coast Guard under jurisdiction of Department of the Navy for duration of national emergency.
1967 - Operation Coronado IX began in Mekong Delta
1979 - Beginning of retirement of Polaris A-3 program begins with removal of missiles from USS Abraham Lincoln (SSBN 602). Last Polaris missile removed in February 1982.

General Officer Announcement

The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignment:

Maj. Gen. Suzanne M. Vautrinot, director, plans and policy, J-5, Headquarters U.S. Cyber Command, Fort George G. Meade, Md., to special assistant to the vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Guard Bureau Officials Look Into Fraud Allegations

By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 1, 2010 – National Guard Bureau officials are looking into allegations of fraud and abuse and, if necessary, revamping procedures for detecting fraud after it was discovered that several states may have disbursed funds as enlistment bonuses to those who may not have qualified for them.

"I am concerned and deeply disappointed about recent allegations involving mismanagement of funds in several state National Guards,” said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “These allegations will be thoroughly investigated by experts from across the NGB, [the Defense Department] and other federal entities. No stone will be left unturned.”

McKinley added that he has directed a review of National Guard Bureau management controls designed to prevent and detect potential financial mismanagement or abuse.

“I have directed U.S. fiscal and property officers in selected states to review similar controls at the state level,” McKinley said. “The results of these reviews will be submitted to me as soon as is practicable.”

The results of the review will be shared throughout the 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia to ensure the Guard’s personnel and processes abide by established legal and ethical standards, officials said.

McKinley has directed all fiscal and property officers to conduct a quick-reaction audit and review of pay compensation programs.

“I expect these actions to be your Priority One objective between now and the end of the calendar year,” McKinley said in a memorandum to the states’ adjutants general dated Oct. 29.

The allegations of fraud first surfaced in a news article in the Sacramento Bee newspaper after federal auditors reported them to the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service while looking into the disbursement of funds.

President Proclaims November as Military Family Month

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2010 – President Barack Obama has signed a proclamation designating this month as Military Family Month.

Here is the text of the president’s proclamation:

We owe each day of security and freedom that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support.

During Military Family Month, we celebrate the exceptional contributions of our military families, and we reaffirm our commitments to these selfless individuals who exemplify the highest principles of our Nation.

Across America, military families inspire us all with their courage, strength, and deep devotion to our country. They endure the challenges of multiple deployments and moves; spend holidays and life milestones apart; juggle everyday tasks while a spouse, parent, son, or daughter is in harm's way; and honor the service of their loved ones and the memory of those lost.

Just as we hold a sacred trust to the extraordinary Americans willing to lay down their lives to protect us all, we also have a national commitment to support and engage our military families. They are proud to serve our country; yet, they face unique challenges because of that service.

My Administration has taken important steps to help them shoulder their sacrifice, and we are working to ensure they have the resources to care for themselves and the tools to reach their dreams. We are working to improve family resilience, enhance the educational experience of military children, and ensure military spouses have employment and advancement opportunities, despite the relocations and deployment cycles of military life. Our historic investment to build a 21st-century Department of Veterans Affairs is helping to provide our veterans with the benefits and care they have earned.

We are also standing with our service members and their families as they transition back into civilian life, providing counseling as well as job training and placement. And, through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, our veterans and their families can pursue the dream of higher education.

However, Government can only do so much. While only a fraction of Americans are in military families, all of us share in the responsibility of caring for our military families and veterans, and all sectors of our society are better off when we reach out and work together to support these patriots.

By offering job opportunities and workplace flexibility, businesses and companies can benefit from the unparalleled dedication and skills of a service member or military spouse.

Through coordination with local community groups, individuals and organizations can ensure our military families have the help they need and deserve when a loved one is deployed. Even the smallest actions by neighbors and friends send a large message of profound gratitude to the families who risk everything to see us safe and free.

As America asks ever more of military families, they have a right to expect more of us -- it is our national challenge and moral obligation to uphold that promise. If we hold ourselves to the same high standard of excellence our military families live by every day, we will realize the vision of an America that supports and engages these heroes now and for decades to come.

Now, therefore, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as Military Family Month. I call on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in support of our service members and our Nation.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

Barack Obama

DoD Visitor Capability Recognized With DoD CIO Award

DISA’s DoD Visitor capability -- which essentially allows any user with a DoD Common Access Card (CAC) temporary access on any computer when they are away from their “home domain” (their normal duty station) -- was awarded 4th place in the 2010 DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) Awards.

Learn more about this capability and how it improves efficiency and strengthens network security by visiting

Bataan Completes ULTRA-C

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erin Boyce, USS Bataan (LHD 5) Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Sailors aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) completed a three-day underway Oct. 29 and returned to their homeport of Norfolk after passing their unit level training assessment - certification (ULTRA-C).

ULTRA-C is the evaluation portion of a 20-week basic training phase, allowing the crew an opportunity to certify in every major warfare area by conducting graded drills ranging from firefighting and defending the ship in simulated combat situations, to administration and personnel management.

"We evaluated how well Bataan prepared themselves in the integrated and sustaining phase," said Lt. Kelvin Harkin, the training liaison officer for Afloat Training Group (ATG) Mid-Atlantic. "They came together, performed to the best of their ability and were successful."

"This crew knocked it completely out of the park, and I couldn't be more proud," said Capt. Steve Koehler, Bataan's commanding officer, as he addressed the crew over the ship's general announcing system. "I asked a whole lot of you this week and throughout the preparations leading up to it. As always, you delivered in true Bataan style."

Bataan Sailors have had ULTRA-C on their minds since early summer, and the final result was a culmination of focused training and teamwork.

"Since June or July, we have been drilling and working long hours preparing for this certification," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW) Rodney Shaw, one of Bataan's damage control training team members. "[This week] Sailors' motivation was really high, and excitement was flowing throughout the ship."

While motivation wasn't on the grade sheet used by ATG Mid-Atlantic, it didn't go unnoticed.

"I loved the motivation from the Sailors who were out there; they made it happen," said Harkin. "They are the most motivated Sailors I've ever seen, from day one. Bataan is definitely setting the bar to a lot of ships as a model of how ULTRA-C is completed."

Bataan will continue training and making preparations for a scheduled 2011 deployment.

Office of Naval Research to Co-launch Science Studio in Bronx, N.Y.

From Office of Naval Research Corporate Strategic Communications Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Navy and Marine Corps' science and technology provider; and Iridescent, a nonprofit group supporting underserved youth, are launching an educational studio in Bronx, N.Y., Nov. 4 to fuel that community's interest in science and mathematics.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will join Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr at the official opening of Iridescent's newest center.

"The Navy and Marine Corps have a stake in strengthening the future science and engineering workforce," Mabus said. "Our investment in programs like Iridescent demonstrates our commitment toward improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for students across the country. This program is transforming the lives of children who might not otherwise be exposed to the wonders of technology and innovation."

ONR's partnership with Iridescent is part of a Department of Defense-wide campaign to grow a diverse STEM talent pool that will benefit future warfighters.

"Iridescent gets students excited about learning and passionate about inventing," Carr said. "They take everyday science topics and bring them to life through inspiring mentors and hands-on experiments.

"Using the simplest of tools, they are able to create and build real-world items such as houses, birds, roller coasters and boats; and then test the underlying science or engineering concepts. It is truly amazing to watch these children as they experience their first 'a-ha' moment," said Carr.

Along with Navy officials, the event is expected to draw representatives from state and local government, as well as hundreds of youths and their parents to the 2,750-square-foot facility.

In addition to ONR, more than 11 exhibitors will be represented at the Nov. 4 event, including Naval Surface Warfare Center, Newport, R.I., and NASA.

Visitors to the science center will get hands-on experience with robotics and other interactive demonstrations.