Military News

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mullen: Egypt’s Military Promises to be Stabilizing Influence

By Karen Parrish and Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011 – The Egyptian military has performed exceptionally well in its country’s recent crisis, the top U.S. military officer said today in a podcast for service members worldwide.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke about the situation in Egypt, where an enormous wave of demonstrations has the government in turmoil. The demonstrators are calling for President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Mullen said he spoke with his Egyptian counterpart, Army Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, by phone and received an update on the situation.

“He assures me that they’re very focused on this, and they will continue to be a stabilizing influence within their country,” Mullen said. “So again, [it’s a] very tough situation. There’s great uncertainty right now, and we certainly are looking for a future which stabilizes, we hope, as fast as possible.”

The situation is very volatile, and no one knows how it will turn out, the chairman said.

“So far, the Egyptian military have handled themselves exceptionally well,” he said. “You can see that just from the pictures that have been displayed, in terms of how they have been accepted by their people.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs reiterated the administration’s position that there must be an orderly transition in Egypt.

“A whole range of issues … have to be addressed. … There has to be meaningful negotiations with a broad cross-section of the Egyptian people, including opposition groups, that go to answering the very core of the freedoms that people desire,” Gibbs told reporters at today’s White House press briefing.

President Barack Obama told Mubarak in a Jan. 28 phone conversation that the demonstrations are “an opportunity that should be seized … to bring about significant democratic change,” Gibbs said.

“We have said all along that there are … legitimate concerns and grievances had by the Egyptian people for a long time – the need for freedom to associate, freedom to communicate over the Internet, freedom to assemble, the freedom of speech – and that those must be addressed in a substantive way by the Egyptian government,” Gibbs said.

Mullen stressed the importance of Egypt’s military as a stabilizing force. The United States military has had a close and continuing relationship with Egyptian officers and noncommissioned officers since the Camp David Accords in 1978, he noted.

“We’ve had a very strong relationship with the Egyptian military for decades,” Mullen said. “And as I look to the future, I certainly look to that to continue.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Egyptian military,” the admiral continued. “We look to a future that certainly, we hope, is stable, within Egypt as well as, obviously, in the region.”

Gunston Hall Crew Boosts Knowledge of Colombian Culture

By Cpl. Brittany J. Kohler, USS Gunston Hall Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Service members aboard the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock-landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) reviewed and discussed pertinent communication skills during a Spanish class aboard the ship to prepare for Amphibious Southern Partnership Station 2011 (A-SPS11), Jan. 20.

The A-SPS 11 mission is scheduled to kick off in Covenas, Colombia, and the class was conducted to prepare embarked crew members for subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and community relations projects with the Colombian military. Embarked aboard Gunston Hall in support of A-SPS 11 is a Security Cooperation Task Force (SCTF), made up of Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, 2nd Tank Battalion, and 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

The SCTF's mission is to strengthen cooperative partnerships among nations and come together to enhance regional maritime security.

"It is important to learn some basic Spanish to enable us to build relationships, develop naval interoperability, and demonstrate our commitment to our partners in this hemisphere," said Staff Sgt. Mario G. Rodriguez, communications maintenance chief for the SCTF.

SCTF Marines and Sailors on board Gunston Hall will exchange professional knowledge and expertise with Colombian military members to include combat marksmanship, land navigation, water survival, visit, board, search and seizure and other vital areas to improve skills and develop relationships with the Colombian forces.

"If you are able to greet the Colombian Marines and know their rank, it will open doors to create interaction, socialization and friendships," said Rodriguez. "It is very uncommon for enlisted personnel in the Colombian forces to know any English."

Considering the language barrier between the U.S. and the Colombian forces, learning their language and culture is important for the SMEEs to be effectively accomplished.

The class focused on basic Spanish grammar and how to identify the Colombian military ranks. It provided key words and common sentences to communicate with the Colombian community. Service members also learned basic customs and courtesies in the Columbian culture.

"I learned a lot about customs and courtesies through the training, that is what was most important to me," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joseph T. Waples with the SCTF. "Since we are going to their country, it is important to show them our desire to form those cultural bonds."

In addition to learning about Colombia, SCTF Marines learned about the history, food and traditions of Belize, Guatemala, and Jamaica before embarking on the mission. Gunston Hall is scheduled to visit these countries as well during the deployment to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

"We have conducted a few classes on this subject already," said Rodriguez. "But it is important to practice and review the material."

The class was just a small part of the continuous training and preparation for the mission onboard Gunston Hall.

"The class was definitely beneficial and a great refresher of the previous training," said Waples. "The classes will help us in our interactions and will put the U.S. military in a better light in regards to our relations with foreign countries."

Southern Partnership Station 2011 – Amphibious is a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)-directed operation implemented by Commander, United States Naval Forces South (COMUSNAVSO), supported by United States Marine Corps Forces, South (MARFORSOUTH) and carried out by Commander, Destroyer Squadron Four Zero (CDS40), USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and a Marine Corps Security Cooperation Task Force.

For more information, please contact COMUSNAVSO/C4F Public Affairs by email at comusnavso-c4f_mypt_pao@navy.mil, visit www.public.navy.mil/comusnavso-c4f, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT, or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT.>  For more news from Commander, U.S. Marine Forces South, visit http://www.marines.mil/unit/marforsouth/Pages/Home.aspx>.  For more news from Commander, U.S. Southern Command, visit http://www.southcom.mil/>.  For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

General Officer Announcements

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

Maj. Gen. Robert C. Kane, commander, Spaatz Center For Officer Education, and Commandant, Air War College, Air Education and Training Command, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala,to director, Global Reach Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Clark, commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., to director of plans, programs, requirements and assessments, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Brig. Gen. Lee K. Levy II, commander, 402d Maintenance Wing, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to director, Logistics, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Brig. Gen. Scott W. Jansson, director, Iraq Security Assistance Mission, U. S. Forces-Iraq, U.S. Central Command, Baghdad, Iraq, to commander, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond, Va.

Brig. Gen. Robert D. McMurry Jr., commander, Airborne Laser Systems Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., to director, Iraq Security Assistance Mission, U.S. Forces-Iraq, U.S. Central Command, Baghdad, Iraq.

Brig Gen. Howard D. Stendahl, command chaplain, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., to Air Force deputy chief of chaplains, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

SECDEF Announces Flag Nomination

From Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of Defense announced Jan. 31 the following Presidential nomination:

Rear Adm. James P. Wisecup to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as inspector general, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C.

Wisecup is currently serving as president, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.

People’s Choice – Photo Contest, Round 3

Posted by: LT Connie Braesch

We are entering week three of the People’s Choice award for this year’s Coast Guard Photo Contest. Every Monday, we are unveiling another batch of photos as we count down the top 40 of the more than 600 photos submitted.

To vote, you can go to our Flickr photo set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/coast_guard/sets/72157625698358095/) to see all the pictures nominated so far and leave your comment there. It’s your choice… your People’s Choice.

Know a Hero? “DCoE in Action” Wants Your Nominations

We know that there are many people who work hard to make a difference in the lives of service members and military families each day, and we want to recognize them. The January edition of “DCoE in Action” launched a new feature in the newsletter, “Hero Spotlight”.

It’s simple. Here’s how it works.

Each month, “DCoE in Action” will spotlight a service member, veteran, spouse, caregiver or community member who, by their efforts and support related to psychological health and/or traumatic brain injury concerns, is nominated by YOU as a hero.

To submit your nominee, you’ll need to tell us why you think he or she should be spotlighted and what makes them a hero to you and others. If you know someone who you think would be a great candidate, we want to hear from you. Go to dcoe.health.mil to fill out nomination form.

We can’t wait to learn about the heroes in your lives and thank you for your continued support! Submit your nominee today!

Navy Medicine Drops Anchor During Tampa Bay Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Farrukh Daniel, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

TAMPA, Fla. (NNS) -- Medical professionals from around the Navy met with local healthcare providers, civic groups and community leaders to discuss the current state of Navy Medicine as part of Tampa Bay Navy Week 2011, Jan. 22-29.

Rear Adm. Richard Vinci, deputy chief, Logistics and Installations, Bureau of Navy Medicine and Surgery, was the senior officer representing the Navy during Tampa Bay Navy Week 2011.

"We are here to thank the citizens of Tampa for everything they do for our armed forces, especially the Navy and all of our native Floridian Sailors," said Vinci. "We also want everyone to know that we are good stewards of American tax dollars, by showing them some of the things that Sailors are doing around the fleet. As a key component of good stewardship, the Navy is focused on energy efficiency.

"The Navy is leading the way in developing Biofuels and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)," Vinci said. "Each of the new facilities that the Bureau of Naval Medicine is building is certified LEED Silver or better. We are committed to the environment."

In a meeting with Dianne Morrison-Beedy, Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of South Florida, Vinci shared how Navy medicine is critical to the chief of naval operation's maritime strategy. Along with traditional roles like deployments and projecting power abroad, Vinci discussed how international partnerships and teaming with non-government organizations supports the Navy's mission.

"The Navy truly is the healthcare tip of the spear," said Vinci. "When the tsunami struck in Indonesia, Navy doctors were the first international assistance to arrive at the scene. Health projection pays benefits in the long term. Now, nations like Indonesia and Haiti are more likely to welcome American service members in the future."

Cmdr. Sherri Santos, Navy Nurse Corps; and Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Ayers, Navy Medical Corps from Naval Hospital Jacksonville, met with trauma surgeons from Tampa General Hospital to discuss new experiences, life saving techniques and procedures currently used in the war in Afghanistan.

Ayers spoke about the people they treated during his recent deployment.

"We treated tons of Afghani children who had been injured by IED's (improvise explosive devices)," said Ayers. "Often times, they were the children of Taliban bomb makers who accidentally set off the explosive prematurely. By treating those wounded children, hopefully we sent the message, at least to some of them, that we aren't the bad guys."

According to Vinci, providing care to civilians in need, in places such as Afghanistan, is an example of smart power.

"There are two sides to Navy medicine's mission," said Vinci. "We provide direct medical support to our warfighters anywhere we operate, whether it be on the deckplate or on the battlefield. Marines don't go into the field, and ships don't go to sea without doctors, nurses or corpsmen.

"Smart power is providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief alongside our international partners to help bring stability and hope to those in need to the benefit of the global community. Navy medicine is often a cornerstone of these important missions."

Morrison-Beedy said she was excited to meet with the staff from Navy Medicine.

"We treat a lot of veterans here, and we are making great strides in areas like rehabilitation and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)," Morrison-Beedy said. "The information we learn has tremendous value in treating future, returning veterans as well as civilians who suffer similar traumas."

Vinci spoke about the recent advances in research and treatment the Navy is developing today.

"During World War II, we learned the value of plasma and now it's a common practice," Vinci said. "Today, our surgeons are developing revolutionary vascular and transplant techniques through lessons learned on the battlefield."

Along with Navy Medicine, more than 100 Sailors involved with Tampa Bay Navy Week 2011 participated in outreach events around Tampa Bay, and finished with the Gasparilla Pirate Festival, Jan. 29.

Tampa Bay Navy Week is the first of 21 Navy weeks across the country this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

For more information about Tampa Bay Navy Week, visit www.navyweek.org/tampa.

For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

General Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Lt. Gen. Purl K. Keen for reappointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as chief, Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan, U.S. Central Command, Pakistan.  Keen is currently serving as deputy commander, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.

Army Maj. Gen. Rhett A. Hernandez, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Cyberspace Command, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Today in the Department of Defense, Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Today in the Department of Defense, Sunday, January 30, 2011

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

General Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President made the following U.S. Marine Corps nominations:

Brig. Gen. David H. Berger has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Berger is currently serving as the director, Operations Division, Office of the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies and Operations, Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen.William D. Beydler has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Beydler is currently serving as the commanding general, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan.

Brig. Gen.Mark A. Brilakis has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Brilakis is currently serving as the deputy commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force and commanding general, 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Okinawa, Japan.

Brig. Gen. Mark A. Clark has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Clark is currently serving as the director of operations for U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla.

Brig. Gen. Charles L. Hudson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Hudson is currently serving as the commanding general, 1st Marine Logistics Group, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Murray has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Murray is currently serving as the president, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Va.

Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Nicholson is currently serving as the senior military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen. Andrew W. O'Donnell Jr., has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  O'Donnell is currently serving as the commanding general, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd), Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen.Robert R. Ruark has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Ruark is currently serving as the assistant deputy commandant for installations and logistics (facilities), Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen.Glenn M. Walters has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general.  Walters is currently serving as the assistant wing commander, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Cherry Point, N.C.

USS Abraham Lincoln Passes Key Maintenance Inspection

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Seth Clarke, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) successfully passed its 2010-2011 Maintenance and Material Management Inspection (3MI) Jan. 25-29, demonstrating a high level of expertise in shipboard equipment and maintenance procedures.

Lincoln received a final score of 92.34 percent from Naval Air Forces inspectors who conducted spot checks of equipment maintenance, tested the crew's knowledge of the Navy's Material Data System (MDS), and performed administrative reviews to ensure maintenance accountability and validation paperwork was correct.

"The results are fantastic," said Master Chief Electrician's Mate James T. Jennings, Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) Maintenance and Material Management (3M) team leader.

"Abraham Lincoln's crew showed us that they've put a lot of hard work in," Jennings said. "It sets the precedent for the other ten carriers out there."

Master Chief Machinist's Mate Michael Gwinn, USS Abraham Lincoln Engineering department leading chief petty officer, said the Lincoln owes its success to training, preparation and execution.

"We trained the right skills at the right level," Gwinn said. "We taught supervisors how to review and how to assess correctly; then we went directly to the maintenance person so he or she could get the right answers."

Jennings said he fully expects Lincoln's crew will still be executing maintenance at a high level when the inspection team returns to the ship sometime later this year to oversee a 3M training team (3MTT) exercise.

"When I see the Lincoln crew again, I anticipate that you will not just have maintained this standard, but that you will have improved upon what you've achieved here," Jennings said.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts to establish conditions for regional stability.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.

This article was sponsored by Military Books.

Friday, January 28, 2011

This Day in Naval History - Jan. 28

From the Navy News Service

1960 - The Navy demonstrates the value of moon communication relay, which is used in fleet broadcasts.
1962 - USS Cook (APD 130) rescues 25 survivors after a section of the Panamanian tanker SS Stanvac Sumatra broke in two in the South China Sea.
1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes, killing Cmdr. Michael Smith and six other astronauts.

IKE Completes PIA Halfway Review

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zach Martin, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) completed its planned incremental availability (PIA) halfway review Jan. 25, hosting several high-ranking members of its senior leadership.

In September 2010, the Eisenhower transited from Norfolk Naval Base to Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. This transit marked the beginning of a six month planned incremental availability (PIA).

PIA involves upgrades, maintenance and habitability upkeep. Tiling, lagging and painting are the most basic tasks that are completed throughout the PIA evolution.

Making sure the Sailors have a comfortable living area and high grade equipment to effectively do their jobs is an important part of preparing for the upcoming workup cycle and a deployment in 2012.

Since PIA is at the halfway mark, senior IKE leadership met with high-ranking Navy officials and shipyard representatives for a fifty percent review meeting to discuss work results and coordination efforts.

"The crew and the ship's leaders presented the status of PIA to senior leadership," said Capt. Marcus Hitchcock, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower commanding officer. "We discussed where we've been, where we're going, and how we're going to get there."

The PIA fifty percent review is a critical step to brief stakeholders on progress of the availability and to identify key resource and support requirements to complete the availability on schedule. The meeting focused on the ship's force and shipyard team's current progress, and the team's ability to meet all major milestones as scheduled.

"The ship's crew is on track; the Sailors are dedicated to the work that needs to be done," Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said that even with the impressive progress, the assembled senior leaders agreed there was still room for improvement.

"The ship did a great job presenting itself to the assembled leadership, but we can't forget cleanliness standards and properly maintaining our equipment," Hitchcock said.

PIA is scheduled for ships having completed a cruise to upgrade and repair ship's systems and equipment. Having returned in July 2010, after seven months out to sea and completing a five-month cruise the prior year from March to July, IKE was due for this maintenance period.

Hitchcock said he was confident IKE would continue its partnership with both Norfolk Naval Shipyard and the various civilian contractors completing jobs during PIA, and that such cooperation was vital to the success of the overall mission.

"[The shipyard and senior leaders] are as confident as I am that we'll be finished and out of the yards on time," he said.

Cmdr. Robert Bebermeyer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower chief engineer, also commented on the ship's need to maintain professional relationships with the shipyard and contractor workforce.

"One of the keys to success in the availability has been, and will continue to be, the good working relationship between IKE, NNSY, and our contractors. This relationship between not only senior leadership, but throughout the chain of command, has allowed to us to focus on helping each other, and jointly driving towards a successful delivery of IKE."

Among the completed projects on the ship since the beginning of the PIA, Bebermeyer pointed out a successful catapult accumulator inspection, and workers are now working on a major piping replacement. Preservation of the ship's mast has been completed as well, and the combat systems department will be ready to get it back soon.

"The crew has executed well," Bebermeyer said. "This has been a challenging availability, with a significant workload for ship's force."

For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.

'Don't Ask' Repeal Plan Progressing Quickly, Officials Say

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 – The plan to end the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military is progressing quickly, senior Defense Department officials said here today.

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to Pentagon reporters in the first of a series of briefings that will chart the department’s progress in implementing the repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“My sense is [we have a] really good working relationship with the services as we do this, … not only the service chiefs, but the senior enlisted,” Stanley said. “You get good vibes about where we are in terms of cooperation [and] information coming forth.”

President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law Dec. 22, with provisions ensuring the repeal will not take place until 60 days after he, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, certify the military services are ready.

As part of today’s briefing, officials distributed copies of two memos containing the department’s guidance on repeal implementation. The first, signed by Gates, sets a planning deadline of Feb. 4. The second, which Stanley signed, outlines policy changes.

“Strong, engaged and informed leadership will be required at every level to implement the repeal … properly, effectively, and in a deliberate and careful manner,” Gates’ memo read in part.

“This is not, however, a change that should be done incrementally. The steps leading to certification and the actual repeal must be accomplished across the entire department at the same time,” the memo continued.

Gates’ guiding principles for implementation stress respect for individuals and common across-the-services standards, while prohibiting harassment, unlawful discrimination and policies based solely on sexual orientation.

Gates directed that a repeal implementation team lead the process to develop plans, update policies and train the force.

“What you're going to see as we move forward, we have actually three tiers as we get to the training part,” Stanley said.

The three levels of training begin with policy makers, chaplains, lawyers and counselors; continue with leaders including commanding officers, senior noncommissioned officers and senior civilians; and culminate with troops across the services.

Cartwright said the tiers don’t have to be sequential, and the services can conduct the levels of training as they see fit.

Present at today’s briefing were Virginia “Vee” Penrod, deputy assistant secretary for military personnel policy and chairwoman of the repeal implementation team, and Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Steven Hummer, the team’s chief of staff.

Penrod said the team has worked for several weeks with service representatives to develop training guidance, modules and plans.

“We expect to have those accomplished next week,” she said. “It’s been a joint effort, with not only the military departments but [also] the Joint Staff, to develop consistent training.”

Hummer said the team is developing a “standardized commander’s toolkit” for the training effort. The services can tailor the toolkit to ensure the training meets their specific needs, he added. The training packets will include videos featuring the service commanders, presentations outlining policy considerations, and a series of vignettes trainers can use to spur audience discussions.

The team also is charged with preparing progress reports and updating Gates every two weeks on policy development and training progress.

“We know, when you’re dealing with 2 and half million people and a new policy, that we’re probably going to have some discovery as we go,” Cartwright said.

The two-week updates provide a feedback mechanism that will allow defense and service leaders to track what they’ve learned, react, and then move forward, he added.

“That will all be considered in the so-called calculus of when we go to the secretary and the chairman to certify,” the vice chairman said.

Stanley’s memo detailed military policy changes that will happen when repeal takes place. Defense officials emphasized that any changes will not take effect until repeal is implemented, and that all current policies remain in force in the meantime.

Most policies will not change, including those covering standards of conduct, equal opportunity, personal privacy, military benefits, medical treatment and duty assignments. But recruiting, re-accesssions and separation policies will change. Sexual orientation will no longer serve as a bar to enlistment or a return to the military, or as a reason for dismissal.

Stanley said that while the department doesn’t see the need for many policy changes, there is a definite need for policy clarification.

“We are fundamentally focused right now on our leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect,” he said. “I have to underscore that every person who serves and who wears a uniform - and to include our civilians, who are working within the Department of Defense - they take an oath. And that oath breaks into that foundation of leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect.”

SECNAV, CNO Announce Flag Officer Assignments

From the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and the chief of naval operations (CNO) announced flag officer assignments Jan. 27.

SECNAV Ray Mabus and CNO Adm. Gary Roughead announced the following assignments:

Rear Adm. Donald P. Quinn will be assigned as commander, Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola, Fla. Quinn is currently serving as commander, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Margaret A. Rykowski will be assigned as deputy fleet surgeon, U.S. Fleet Forces Command/deputy director, Nurse Corps, Reserve Component, Norfolk. Rykowski is currently serving as fleet surgeon, 3rd Fleet, San Diego.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Troy M. Shoemaker will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, Everett, Wash. Shoemaker is currently serving as assistant commander, Navy Personnel Command for career management, PERS-4, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

Today in the Department of Defense, Saturday, January 29, 2011

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

Cairo riots not affecting Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers directly

The Multi-National Force Soldiers Are Located in Sinai, Egypt

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (01/28/11) - The Illinois Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery Regiment currently deployed to Sinai, Egypt is not being affected by the riots in Cairo, Egypt, except for the interruption of commercial communication.

The nearly 440 Illinois Soldiers are part of the Multinational Force and Observers, an international peacekeeping force overseeing the terms of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

The MFO's bases are hundreds of miles away from Cairo where the rioting is taking place.

The interruption of commercial communication is affecting ILARNG Soldiers' ability to quickly communicate via email and telephone with their loved ones here in Illinois.

Military communication channels between the MFO and the Illinois National Guard are still open and are being used to keep families abreast of the situation.

The rioting is not directed toward the MFO or the ILARNG Soldiers.

The Illinois National Guard Soldiers stationed in Sinai are professional, highly trained and able to respond to a variety of incidents.

 If the situation in Egypt changes the MFO and ILARNG is capable of taking appropriate measures to safeguard American troops.

The 123rd Field Artillery deployed to Sinai in May 2010 and will return home May 2011.

Defense, Energy Experts Aid China’s Nuclear Security

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 – The Defense and Energy departments are working under a government-to-government agreement signed Jan. 19 with China to establish a regional center of excellence there for nuclear security, a Pentagon official said.

Rebecca K.C. Hersman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for countering weapons of mass destruction, told American Forces Press Service the effort will allow the agencies to leverage their expertise and resources for “maximum effect to President Barack Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”

In April 2009, from
Hradcany Square
in Prague in the Czech Republic, Obama called for reducing the number of nuclear weapons in the world and building a new framework for civil nuclear cooperation. A year later at the Nuclear Security Summit here, the United States and China agreed to strengthen cooperation in nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security and the fight against nuclear terrorism.

Also at the summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao committed to building the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security outside Beijing.

According to an Energy Department fact sheet, the agreement paves the way for its National Nuclear Security Administration and the Defense Department to work with Atomic Energy Authority representatives in China to create a central site for training in all aspects of nuclear security.

“In many ways, DOD is the supporting player here to the broader DOE objectives,” Hersman said, “but DOD brings strengths to table, particularly in … site security, transportation security, incident response [and] inventory management, as well as experience in developing and providing training and curricula for nuclear security.”

DOD and DOE have worked together in the past, she noted. “These are all things we have done on multiple occasions directly and in support of DOE,” Hersman said, “so we see this as a natural fit for the [Center of Excellence] effort, which is expected to incorporate all these elements.”

The center will serve as a forum for exchanging technical information, sharing best practices, developing training courses and promoting technical collaborations to enhance nuclear security in China and throughout Asia.

The two-story center will be financed through a U.S.-China cost-sharing arrangement and is expected to be complete by 2012, said Dave Huizenga, principal deputy assistant administrator for the office of defense nuclear nonproliferation in the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

“This cooperation is largely with the nonweapons side -- the Chinese Atomic Energy Authority, which runs their civilian research facilities and has a role in their nuclear power facilities,” Huizenga said. “But the hope is that if we share best practices and this information gets to [the nonweapons] part of the Chinese nuclear sector, the defense people will benefit from it indirectly.”

The National Nuclear Security Administration has had an ongoing partnership with the Chinese since 2005, Huizenga said.

“We’ve had a robust best-practices sharing exchange of information on physical protection and guard forces and materials control and accounting -- all the things you do to make sure that nuclear materials stay in the facility where they’re supposed to be and aren’t moved off illicitly,” he said.

The agreement has taken such cooperation to a new level, he added.

“We’ve had a small facility where we’ve been doing this training since 2005,” Huizenga said. “But we want to consolidate everything into one larger mock-up training center so we can bring Chinese and others in the region into a state-of-the-art facility where they can get hands-on experience understanding what a guard would do if an alarm went off on the fence on the perimeter of a nuclear materials storage site, for instance.”

The center, Hersman added, also likely will offer the following:

-- Training nuclear site personnel to measure and account for nuclear material and to design and install nuclear material security systems;

-- Training protective force personnel using scenario-driven threat-response exercises;

-- Training personnel on international nuclear safeguards requirements and inspection techniques; and

-- Environmental testing of nuclear security system components.

According to a White House fact sheet, the U.S. and Chinese governments have cooperated since April 2004 to enhance nuclear security under the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology Agreement.

In 2005, the U.S. and China sponsored a joint technology demonstration at the China Institute of Atomic Energy outside Beijing that featured established nuclear security and international safeguards technologies and illustrated nuclear security best practices.

Since 2005, experts from the United States and China have conducted more than 15 workshops on nuclear security issues and activities.

China has always described the center as supporting regional and International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear security cooperation,” Hersman said, “and we strongly support that goal.”

This article was sponsored by Military Books.

Corona Warfare Center's Patented System Saves $65 Million, Wins Top Navy Award

By Troy Clarke, Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A team from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona received a top Navy Information Management/Information Technology Excellence Award at the 2011 DoN IT Conference Jan. 25.

The team received the award for developing a calibration management system that is projected to save the Navy nearly $65 million by 2017.

The system, called the Metrology Bench-Top, or METBENCH, was praised by the Navy's chief information officer (CIO), who presented the annual award which recognized outstanding contributions by individuals and teams who are transforming the Navy and Marine Corps through information technology.

"The award Corona received is a great example of [innovation, efficiency and effectiveness]," said Navy CIO Terry A. Halverson. "Calibration of equipment is very important in the fleet. This system will increase mission effectiveness while decreasing our expense."

Calibrations are critical to nearly every aspect of naval operations and helps ensure equipment functions properly and accurately, ranging from a ship's propulsion plant to an F/A-18 Hornet's laser target designators to night vision goggles.

METBENCH program manager Richard Schumacher said the system seamlessly integrates more than 136 automated calibration procedures for 835 items across NAVSEA's calibration footprint. "This significantly increases calibration efficiency and improves equipment availability for the Navy's 1.85 million pieces of test equipment needed to conduct about 800,000 calibrations per year," Schumacher said.

He said Corona developed the cost-saving system in response to a fleet request in 2006 to address calibration systems that were ending their lifecycle. The METBENCH team took the unique system from concept to sea trial within 12 months and completed installation for the surface fleet last September. The system is currently aboard 144 surface ships.

Schumacher added that Corona's approach to shipboard calibration fully utilizes the Navy's distance support architecture to best support the fleet deployed anywhere in the world, and the METBENCH system makes these tasks as easy and transparent to the sailor as possible.

The new single system replaces five existing IT systems scheduled to be phased out and provides Navy information management for more effective decision making, improved efficiency of tasking, as well as enhanced mission effectiveness, program managers say.

The METBENCH system relies entirely on open-source and government off-the-shelf technology and consists of several integral components, such as automated procedure execution; advanced calibration procedure development; and both afloat and ashore calibration asset management. Program managers say these key elements complement one another and help align Navy systems commands, fleet users, technical agents, type commanders and ashore calibration activities.

In conjunction with the surface fleet roll-out of METBENCH, NAVSEA began to install the ashore portion of the system in fiscal year 2010 at several calibration laboratories. The full system capability, including the lab management function, will be up and running at all NAVSEA enterprise calibration laboratories during fiscal years 2012-2014. The ashore automated calibration capability has already improved efficiency for the Navy by $1.2 million.

Halverson says Corona's approach is exactly what the Navy needs and why the METBENCH team received the award.

"You've got more effectiveness, more efficiency. That's a win-win scenario." Halverson said. "And it's innovative. It's showing what can be done when people think a little outside the box. The NAVSEA example of that is a classic."

The award-winning Corona team members include John Griffith, advanced measurements program manager; Richard P. Schumacher, METBENCH/MCMS program manager; Juliusz Adamczuk; Zaide Figuerres; Jeff Walden; Rey B. Cheesman; Winston Y. Chou; Luis A. Cortes Jr.; Brett A. Currier; Stephen V. Frankini; Jeffrey M. Frappier; Michael L. Genung; Jeffrey M. Greene; Catherine F. Jose; Edvin Khanlarian; David G. Kinkade; Scott Jackson; Lawrence S. Lichtmann; Jeff Margosian; Vartan Nazarian; David B. Stice; Marisa Villasenor; Jove F. Yambot; Gary G. Yeakley; and Zarch Zakarian.

NSWC Corona, a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is responsible for gauging the warfighting capability of weapons and integrated combat systems, through assessment of systems' performance, readiness, quality, supportability, and the adequacy of training.

For more news from NSWC, Corona Division, visit www.navy.mil/local/nswccorona/.

U.S., Canada Discuss Defense Cooperation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

OTTAWA, Canada, Jan. 27, 2011U.S. and Canadian defense officials discussed a range of bilateral military issues during meetings held here today.

Canadian National Defense Minister Peter MacKay hosted Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. The two delegations spoke about strengthening and broadening an already strong alliance between the two nations. Gates and MacKay spoke at a news conference following their meeting.

Afghanistan is where the two countries’ militaries cooperate most closely, and Gates thanked the Canadian people for their sacrifices on the battlefield and continuing commitment to the struggle in Afghanistan.

“No country has suffered more fallen heroes proportionately than has Canada, and I extend our countries sympathy, prayers and admiration to their families,” Gates said.

The Canadian military is ending their combat mission in Regional Command–South, and will dedicate about 950 service members to training Afghan soldiers and police.

MacKay said the meetings help improve military coordination between the two countries.

Mexican Minister of National Defense Gen. Guillermo Galvan was to have attended the meeting, but illness forced him to cancel. Both MacKay and Gates said they wanted to re-schedule the so-called Tri-lateral meeting as soon as possible.

Gates and MacKay addressed threats to the Western Hemisphere, cooperation among the nations of the hemisphere and efforts to combat a range of international threats such as piracy, counterterrorism, narco-trafficking and human trafficking.

Gates said he and MacKay discussed expanded cooperation in the Arctic, coordinating maritime security assistance to the Caribbean region and sharing defense practices for supporting civilian authorities.

The two men also discussed the North American Aerospace Defense Command, especially the new maritime domain awareness mission assigned to the group.

They also discussed the decision to allow the Joint Permanent Board on Defense to continue looking at ways to examine a cyber defense role. Gates said the two nations will “examine together how the advanced defenses of our military networks might also be applied to critical civilian infrastructure.”

Gates reaffirmed America’s strong commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Canada is an integral partner in the program and the new fighter will be the Canadian military’s aviation backbone for decades. Gates said the Pentagon has made adjustments to the program, and that the United States is expecting to have 325 aircraft built by 2016.

Canada wants the Air Force variant of the F-35, and Gates said that version is doing well, and not under probation like the short take-off, and vertical landing variant is.

“It is a true 5th generation fighter, it will continue to gives us significant capabilities, it will continue the interoperability that has been at the heart of our NORAD relationship for decades now,” Gates said. “Without getting into domestic affairs in Canada, I would just say my hope is that all of our partners continue to move forward with us in this program.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, January 28, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will make remarks at , at the change of command ceremony of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen will introduce Secretary Gates. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Pentagon Channel.

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

Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright will conduct a press briefing at , in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to discuss the progress of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal implementation effort.  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.

USS La Jolla Departs for Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Navy Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Jan. 27, for a scheduled six-month deployment to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) and the Western Pacific region.

Cmdr. Jeff Bernard, USS La Jolla commanding officer, said the crew is extremely excited and well prepared to get underway.

"The crew has worked very hard, and we have conducted extensive training during the deployment preparation phase and will continue to hone the lessons learned from that training as we transit to our operational areas," said Bernard. "There is a great deal of satisfaction within the crew to be finally finished preparing for this deployment and to begin operations at sea."

The deployment will be the first for the majority of the crew, where according to Bernard, they will conduct many training exercises and qualifications as well as being available for any tasking which comes their way.

"This deployment will provide an optimal time for a great deal of submarine qualifications, watch station and other divisional qualifications to be completed," said Bernard. "Our goal is to maximize operational readiness in support of the needs of the operational commander and above all else, bring the submarine and crew back safely from a successful deployment."

USS La Jolla is named for La Jolla, California, and is the first warship named after this township.

La Jolla, commissioned Oct. 24, 1981, is the fourteenth ship of the Los Angeles-class of nuclear attack submarines, is 360-feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. Attack submarines are uniquely capable because of their stealth and endurance, which is increasingly important as the Navy works to provide stability and security around the world. The submarine can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.

For more news from Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/subpac/.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marine Corps Slang


Msgt. Andrew A. Bufalo, USMC (ret.) is the 1236th servicemember joining http://www.military-writers.com/.

The website focuses on servicemembers from all branches of the US Military who have written books and lists the 3939 they have authored.

Master Sergeant Andrew Anthony Bufalo, United States Marine Corps (ret.) is the author of The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday; Christmas in the Corps: Holiday stories and poetry by and about Marines; Salty Language: An Unabridged Dictionary of Marine Corps Slang, Terms and Jargon; Swift, Silent and Surrounded; Not As Lean, Not As Mean, Still A Marine!; Reel Marines: The Fifty-One Most Important Films About the United States Marine Corps; The Older We Get, The Better We Were; To Err is Human, to Forgive Divine: However, Neither is Marine Corps Policy; Hollywood Marines: Celebrities Who Served in the Corps; The Lore of the Corps: Quotations By, For and About Marines; Nor as Lean, not as Mean, Still a Marine! Even More: Views from the Top: Politically Incorrect Ruminations About the U.S. Marine Corps and a Few Other Things; Every Day is a Holiday, Every Meal is a Feast; and, The Marines Have Landed - Famous People in Government and Business Who Served in the Corps.

Dr. Biden Keeps National Guard in Mind

By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 27, 2011 – Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, invited the fiancĂ©e of a Delaware Army National Guard member to a Jan. 24 White House news conference to unveil a whole-of-government plan to strengthen military family support.

Biden said she met Jessica Sanders about two weeks ago when she was seeing off Army Capt. Mark Thomas at a deployment ceremony for the Delaware Army National Guard’s 126th Aviation Regiment, which will provide medical evacuations for troops, allies and civilians in Afghanistan.

“I am heartened by the efforts to respond to the challenges facing our Guard and Reserve families -– from helping them sustain their businesses to supporting their reintegration back into their communities after deployment,” she said.

The plan to strengthen military family support, which will begin in the coming months, is a commitment by not only by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, but also on the part of several other federal government entities.

“Today is an important next step in this administration’s commitment to support our servicemen, their families and our members,” said Biden, who also is the parent of a Delaware Army National Guardsman.

President Barack Obama said his administration will focus on four areas: improving the quality of life for military families and veterans, education and development of military children, expanding efforts to help military spouses pursue their education and careers, and increasing child care availability.

"The Agricultural Department is expanding its support for families in rural areas,” he said, citing one example of the whole-of-government commitment. “A disproportionate number of our military families come from rural areas or are stationed in rural communities.”

Obama said his administration is making almost 50 specific commitments to military families. However, he added, the government can’t accomplish the mission alone.

“I want every service member who’s deployed to know that when you’re over there taking care of the country that you love, your country is back here taking care of the families that you love,” Obama said.

This Day in Naval History - Jan. 27

From the Navy News Service

1942 - USS Gudgeon is the first U.S. sub to sink an enemy submarine in action, Japanese I-173.
1945 - Commissioning of USS Higbee (DD 806), the first U.S. Navy ship named after a women member of the U.S. Navy.
1967 - Fire in a command module at Cape Kennedy during simulation countdown. Lunar module pilot Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee and two other crew members died.
1973 - Paris Peace Accords signed, ending U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.