Military News

Sunday, July 31, 2011

USNS Comfort Brings Continuing Promise to Costa Rica

By Senior Airman Kasey Close, Continuing Promise 2011 Public Affairs

PUNTARENAS, Costa Rica (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, July 28 for its eighth of nine mission stops during Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11).

CP11 personnel will have a few days of liberty before beginning 10 days of medical, dental, veterinary and engineering services in the country.

CP11 is a five-month humanitarian civic assistance mission to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. Comfort will visit nine countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, working hand-in-hand with a variety of partner nations, governmental, and non-governmental organizations to train in civil-military operations while providing medical, dental, and veterinary care, and engineering support services to the countries visited.

The ship's crew of military and civilian personnel have triaged more than 54,671 patients throughout the entire mission to date.

"We are looking to see 500 to 600 patients at a medical site and the cases are going to be similar to the ones we've seen in the previous countries," said Cmdr. Patrick Young, from Arlington, Texas. "It's going to be a good visit."

The CP11 veterinary team has provided immunizations, surgeries, vitamins and deworming medication to 7,758 animals at 92 different sites throughout the mission so far.

"I'm looking forward to sharing knowledge with the host nation with the subject matter expert exchanges and the knowledge we'll receive while working with them," said Army Sgt. Heather Robinson, a veterinary technician from Champaign, Ill.

In addition to medical, dental, and veterinary care, Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 28 and Marines from the 8th Engineering Battalion, Camp Lejuene, N.C., will conduct two civic engineering projects in Costa Rica.

"One of things that I look forward to after the job is done is interacting with kids from the school we just improved for them," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class James Owen. "I hope we finish the scope of the projects early and are able to do something else to help improve the schools. It's an experience that I'll never forget."

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

NMCB 133 Actions, Training Save Timorese Lives

By Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Bryan Clarke, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 Public Affairs

DILI, Timor Leste (NNS) -- Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 Seabees were the first responders to a motorbike accident while returning from a liberty outing in the Bobonaro District of Timor-Leste, July 24.

When Constructionman Juan Moreiravelez, Construction Electrician Apprentice Rodney Peters and Equipment Operator 3rd Class Jose Alemanacevedo set out for a relaxing trip to one of the many beautiful recreation spots that Timor-Leste has to offer, they had no idea that the return trip would provide an opportunity to save the lives of two Timorese men.

The accident occurred as two local nationals traveling on the winding mountain roads turned a sharp corner and lost control of their motorbike in the loose gravel.

"These same guys had said hello to us while we were stopped on the side of the beach eating lunch" said Moreiravelez. "They were probably about 25-30 minutes ahead of us on the road. When we saw what happened, I told our driver to stop. I knew we had to help."

At the accident scene, the three Seabees quickly sprang into action, assessed the situation and rendered appropriate care. Alemanacevedo used his T-shirt as a bandage and the three took turns keeping one of the victims awake on the trip to the local hospital.

"I didn't even think; I just reacted," he said. "I remembered first aid classes from [our] Field Training Exercise (FTX) and stuff I got during Convoy Security Element (CSE) training."

Moreiravelez said, "Some time after the incident we looked at each other and realized that we were covered in blood. That is when it started to sink in."

"I'm proud of these guys," said Lt. Kevin Westbrook, the detail's officer-in-charge. "Their training certainly paid off, but I feel it was character that made the difference. When faced with a decision, these guys did the right thing. I think a lot of people would have just driven by assuming help was on the way."

NMCB 133 is currently on a nine-month deployment throughout the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. Seabees from NMCB 133's Detail Timor Leste play a key role in executing the Navy's Maritime Strategy by developing multi-national interoperability through joint execution of humanitarian and civic action construction projects on the island nation of Timor Leste.

Wisconsin quickly fielded forces for Civil War

By 1st Lt. Brian Faltinson
Wisconsin National Guard historian

One hundred and fifty years after the start of the Civil War, it’s important to look back and see how Wisconsin responded to the conflict that changed our destiny.

Wisconsin had only been a state for 13 years in 1861, and retained much of its frontier character. The state population was approximately 776,000 — 45,000 in Milwaukee — and much of the northern part of the state was uninhabited.

State law called for a state militia consisting of “every able-bodied free white man between 18 and 45,” which in 1861 totaled about 130,000. However, Adjutant General Augustus Gaylord reported to Gov. Alexander Randall that Wisconsin fielded only 42 organized company-sized units totaling at most a few thousand men. These units lacked weapons, designed their own uniforms and largely operated as social clubs who marched on parade fields. It was not a force ready for war.

But as Southern states seceded from the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln, Randall ordered Gaylord to prepare the militia. Randall also sought legislation allowing him to raise and outfit additional units. Wisconsin rallied to the cause following the bombardment of Fort Sumter in April of 1861 and began raising funds for local militia units. Fond du Lac raised $3,500 in a few days to purchase uniforms and equipment.

President Lincoln called for 75,000 Soldiers to serve a 90-day tour, with one regiment to come from Wisconsin. Randall asked “all patriotic citizens” to organize themselves into militia companies. The first unit Randall accepted for service was the Madison Guard, which became part of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment under the command of Col. John Starkweather.

The 1st Wisconsin reported to Camp Scott, now the site of the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. Camp Scott lacked almost everything needed to support a military unit, and the state provided gray uniforms but no weapons or equipment. Still, the regiment trained and improved its living conditions before departing for Washington in May with 794 men. The 1st Wisconsin fought a skirmish at Falling Waters in Virginia, suffering 20 wounded and one fatality — Pvt. George Drake, Wisconsin’s first Civil War casualty.

Randall continued raising troops even though Washington had yet to request them. The 2nd Wisconsin formed in April at the Madison Fairgrounds under Col. S. Park Coon, who renamed the site Camp Randall. Clad in gray uniforms, the unit’s 1,048 men shipped out in time to fight at the war’s first major battle, Bull Run. The 2nd Wisconsin was placed in a brigade, commanded by Col. William Tecumseh Sherman, which would soon be known as the Iron Brigade, one of the war’s most distinguished units.

The 3rd Wisconsin, consisting of men from northern and western Wisconsin, also experienced action during 1861. The unit trained in Fond du Lac before shipping to Harpers Ferry, Va., for a brief skirmish in July. In all, Gov. Randall organized 10 more infantry regiments, one cavalry regiment and eight artillery batteries. The 8th Infantry carried with it one of the war’s most famous mascots — an American bald eagle named Old Abe.

Thousands of Wisconsinites joined these units for three-year enlistments. While additional units were formed, those formed in 1861 were the backbone of the state’s war effort contribution.

Do you have any Civil War veterans in your family tree? Are you interested in learning more about how your community contributed to the Civil War? Are you looking for personal stories from the war? Try a search of these people, places and stories.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2011 editions of the "Law of War Deskbook" and the "Operational Law Handbook" are now available

The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School International & Operational Law Department

The documents linked below—The Law of War Deskbook, Law of War Documentary Supplement, and Operational Law Handbook—represent the broad range of international and operational law subjects taught to military judge advocates by the International and Operational Law Department of The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), Charlottesville, VA. The department provides basic and graduate courses in such diverse subjects as the law of war, the legal basis for the use of force among states, rules of engagement, status of forces and other international agreements, intelligence law, domestic support operations, detainee operations, interrogation operations, information operations, and comparative law. Issued by the department, these documents are not “official” publications, but are intended for instructional convenience for the military judge advocate student as well as an introduction to the law and to the primary sources of that law.

Selected articles, which can serve as additional resources for the military judge advocate student, will also be added regularly to this site.  Click to Visit.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Missing World War II Soldiers Indentified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced Monday that the remains 12 U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Jack E. Volz, 21, of Indianapolis; 2nd Lt. Regis E. Dietz, 28, of Pittsburgh, Pa.; 2nd Lt. Edward J. Lake, 25, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; 2nd Lt. Martin P. Murray, 21, of Lowell, Mass.; 2nd Lt. William J. Shryock, 23, of Gary, Ind.; Tech. Sgt. Robert S. Wren, 25, of Seattle, Wash.; Tech. Sgt. Hollis R. Smith, 22, of Cove, Ark.; Staff Sgt. Berthold A. Chastain, 27, Dalton, Ga.; Staff Sgt. Clyde L. Green, 24, Erie, Pa.; Staff Sgt. Frederick E. Harris, 23, Medford, Mass.; Staff Sgt. Claude A. Ray, 24, Coffeyville, Kan.; and Staff Sgt. Claude G. Tyler, 24, Landover, Md. The remains representing the entire crew will be buried as a group, in a single casket, Aug. 4 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.  Eight of the airmen were identified and buried as individuals during previous ceremonies.  Shryock, Green and Harris were also individually identified and will be interred individually at Arlington on the same day as the group interment.

These 12 airmen were ordered to carry out a reconnaissance mission in their B-24D Liberator, taking off from an airfield near Port Moresby, New Guinea, on Oct. 27, 1943. Allied plans were being formulated to mount an attack on the Japanese redoubt at Rabaul, New Britain.  American strategists considered it critical to take Rabaul in order to support the eventual invasion of the Philippines.  The crew’s assigned area of reconnaissance was the nearby shipping lanes in the Bismarck Sea.  But during their mission, they were radioed to land at a friendly air strip nearby due to poor weather conditions.  The last radio transmission from the crew did not indicate their location, and in the following weeks, multiple searches over land and sea areas did not locate the aircraft.

Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Service conducted investigations and searches for 43 missing airmen, including these airmen, in the area but concluded in June 1949 that they were unrecoverable.

In August 2003, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) received information on a crash site from a citizen in Papua New Guinea while they were investigating another case.  He also turned over an identification card from one of the crew members and reported that there were possible human remains at the site of the crash.  Twice in 2004 other JPAC teams attempted to visit the site but were unable to do so due to poor weather and hazardous conditions at the helicopter landing site.  Another team was able to successfully excavate the site from January to March 2007 where they found several identification tags from the B-24D crew as well as human remains.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA—which matched that of some of the crewmembers’ families—in the identification of their remains

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died.  At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans.  Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.   

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, July 29, 2011

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta visits U.S. Northern Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NAS Jacksonville Hosts Boy Scouts

By Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Moses Mckelvey, Navy Region Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville Environmental Department hosted 51 Cub Scouts and eight Boy Scouts at the Black Point Interpretive Center, July 25–29.

The five-day camp gave Scouts the opportunity to earn merit badges, improve leadership skills, and to learn more about nature. This year's focus was on Native-American customs and traditions.

"This is a nature camp that gives Boy Scouts the opportunity to get nature merit badges in a short period of time. They utilize the resources we have here to achieve within a five-day period what would take longer otherwise," said Angela Glass, NAS Jacksonville's assistant natural resource manager. "This is a great opportunity for the Scouts to see how the Navy plays a part in recycling and reusing natural resources. A lot of kids thought that naval bases consisted of just aircraft, concrete, and ships."

This was the fifth year Boy Scouts from the Northeastern region of Florida have come to NAS Jacksonville. While earning merit badges, the Boy Scouts improved their leadership skills by mentoring the younger Cub Scouts.

"This week gave me a chance to come out and have fun with my friends and also mentor the younger kids coming up through scouting," said Donnavan Krenert, a 1st class scout and den chief. "It will also help me out when I get ready to go to college."

Each merit badge earned by a Scout assists him in reaching the level of Eagle Scout. Upon reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, a Scout may submit a college scholarship application to the National Eagle Scout Association.

The camp featured various events throughout the week, including a visit from NAS Jacksonville's Fire Department, Smokey the Bear from the United Sates Forest Service, different types of sporting events, arts and crafts projects, and a nature walk.

"I am a third-generation Scout, and I've been in and around scouting for 51 years," said Cub Master Glynn Wood of Pack 360. "Scouting teaches these kids how to be patient, courageous and how do to the right things in life. The rest of the counselors and I just want to keep learning fun for the boys."

This Day in Naval History - July 27

From the Naval News Service

1953 - Korean War armistice signed at Panmunjon, Korea and Korean cease-fire went into effect at 10:00 PM.

On the anniversary of the war's end, read the best Korean War books written by the men who were there.

Obama, Thurman Commemorate Korean Armistice Anniversary

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

On the anniversary of the war's end, read the best Korean War books written by the men who were there.

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2011 – As President Barack Obama commemorated the anniversary of the armistice agreement that established a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and brought an end to fighting there, the top U.S. officer in Korea emphasized today the need for international cooperation to curb the North Korean aggression the armistice was drafted to prevent.

Speaking during armistice anniversary ceremonies along the demilitarized zone, Army Gen. James D. Thurman echoed the message Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Navy Adm. Mike Mullen delivered earlier this month in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

“We ask the global community to assist in convincing North Korea that its path to security and prosperity lies in the cessation of its provocative behavior, better relations with its neighbors and complete, irreversible denuclearization,” Thurman said.

Thurman offered his comments as a top North Korean diplomat visits New York at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s invitation for talks aimed at restarting the stalled Six-Party Talks.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-gwan was slated to meet today with Stephen Bosworth, the Obama administration’s envoy for North Korea, at the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Obama marked the armistice anniversary recognizing the service members who fought for South Korea’s freedom in that conflict and continue to help protect it today.

The president declared today National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, marking 58 years since the signing of what was thought to be a temporary measure to end open hostilities on the Korean peninsula until a peace treaty could be signed.

No peace treaty has ever been agreed to, however, leaving a tentative peace between North and South Korea that sometimes has erupted into conflict.

North Korea launched a torpedo attack in March 2010 that sunk the South Korean navy ship Cheonan and killed 46 sailors. In November, a North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island killed four, including two South Korean service members.

Today, Obama took the opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of those who sacrificed after the Korean peninsula erupted in conflict on June 25, 1950, and continue to defend South Korea today.

“Today, we express our unending gratitude to all who fought and died in pursuit of freedom and democracy for the Korean peninsula,” he said in his proclamation.

“For three years, our armed forces fought to help keep Korea free, suffering bitter reversals and winning stunning victories before the Military Armistice Agreement at Panmunjon secured the border near the 38th Parallel,” he said. “Together, American service members and allied forces were part of a generation that, in the words inscribed at their memorial in Washington, defended ‘a country they never knew and a people they never met.’”

The veterans’ courage and sacrifice enabled South Korea to flourish, and the U.S.-South Korean alliance remains “stronger than ever” today, Obama said.

Together, the United States and South Korea continue to advance freedom and stability not only on the peninsula, but across East Asia and around the world, he said.

Obama paid special tribute to the tens of thousands of troops who died protecting South Korea and recognized those who have continued to guard the border since hostilities officially concluded. “Their selfless sacrifices have had a profound impact on the promotion of freedom across the globe,” he said.

The president emphasized the nation’s responsibility to care for these veterans and their families.

“On National Korean War Armistice Day, we recommit to supporting our venerable warriors and their families, and we pay our deepest respects to those who laid down their lives,” he said.

To Live and Fry in L.A.: Lincoln Sailors Compete in Cooking Contest

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Luciano Marano, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

LOS ANGELES (NNS) -- Culinary Specialists assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) competed against students from the Los Angeles Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in a cooking contest, July 26, as part of the Los Angeles Navy Week.

"I couldn't have picked a better team for this event," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Jonathan Yates, the Lincoln team leader and a native of Greenville, N.C. "They're all great chefs, and that's important because in our world there's a big difference between cooks and chefs."

Each team was instructed to plan and prepare a breakfast menu to be judged by three randomly selected Sailors. Yates, as well as Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jimmy Nguyen, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class (SW) William Felix, Culinary Specialist Seaman Adrian Flanery and Culinary Specialist Seaman Jeremy Pierre were voted the winners of the cook-off by a panel of their shipmates.

"Cooking has always been a tradition in my family," said Pierre, a native of New Orleans. "We're here today in our house; we couldn't let ourselves lose."

"It's a real pleasure to be here," said Le Cordon Bleu Chef Instructor Michael Shane, himself a prior enlisted Mess Management Specialist 2nd Class, which is what Culinary Specialist were called prior to the name change. "Our guys cook the same way as these [Navy] guys. There is definitely a chain of command in the kitchen; it's really the same job."

The challenge was broadcast live from the ship's galley as part of the daily "Good Day L.A." news program.

"This is the biggest cooking challenge I've ever been in," said Yates. "We're cooking against an actual culinary school, and a great school at that. Bring on Bobby Flay. I'm ready for a throw down!"

The winning menu consisted of spinach and feta cheese omelet, cheese and bacon breakfast potatoes, steak, a peach tart and orange/pineapple juice.

Navy Week is an opportunity for the officers and crew of the visiting ships to help the Navy showcase the quality of its personnel to local citizens. Lincoln's participation in L.A. Navy Week will demonstrate to area leaders and the general public that the Navy remains an effective and vital tool of national defense and a viable career opportunity for young men and women.

The Navy conducts approximately 20 Navy Weeks each year, reaching out to communities across the country to showcase for Americans the investments they have made toward their national defense.

Participating in L.A. Navy Week 2011 are Lincoln, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), mine countermeasures ship USS Champion (MCM 4), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and personnel from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, Maritime Expeditionary Security Group (MESG) 31, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 3 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit 1.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is in Los Angeles between at-sea training and certification periods ahead of a deployment scheduled for the end of the year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Command Ombudsman at NAS Whidbey Island Receives Dorothy Flatley Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joan E. Jennings and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- A Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island command ombudsman received an award for superior performance during a surprise ceremony held at the Nor'Wester Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) at NAS Whidbey Island, July 26.

Dana Ledford, Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMVAQWINGPAC)command ombudsman was one to two ombudsmen Navywide to receive the 2010 Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) Outstanding Achievement Dorothy Flatley Award.

The Dorothy Flatley Award is given annually to one spouse from Naval Air Forces Pacific and one spouse from Naval Air Forces Atlantic for extraordinary inspirational support to Navy families for fostering excellent morale among squadron personnel and their dependents, especially during deployments and for promoting activities that benefit the spouse's command and other Navy and military personnel.

Ledford was named the winner due to her support of squadron families in which she focused on building strong morale among her fellow squadron personnel and their family members, especially during deployments.

"The Dorothy Flatley Award goes out to a spouse that has really supported the community, supported the spouses and family members and has gone above and beyond their command," said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Michael W. Peach, of U.S. Navy Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Ledford has dedicated 13 years of service as an aviation command ombudsman, and 15 months as the (COMVAQWINGPAC) Ombudsman.

"Dana is well deserving of the recognition of the Dorothy Flatley Award," Peach said. "Her heart is taking care of the Sailors, their families and doing everything she can."

Among her accomplishments, Ledford has re-energized the NAS Whidbey Island Chief Petty Officer Spouse Association that brought in 42 senior enlisted spouses, worked on fundraisers for several local charities to include Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, the American Red Cross, and Operation Homefront.

With tears running down her face, Dana accepted the award from Capt. Chris Shay, commodore, COMVAQWINGPAC and thanked the command ombudsmen in attendance.

"For many years it's been a great program. Mentorship means the world to me. Without mentors, what would we do?" asked Ledford. "I thank you for being part of my world and participating like you do. Keep mentoring those below you; without you we would not be here."

ANA is a support group for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard's aviation forces. The squadron's functions are to support naval aviation and notify the public about the job of the men and women of naval aviation, and also to share in the camaraderie of being connected to naval aviation.

Intel Agency Director Cites Value of Shared Knowledge

By Jason Tudor
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany, July 27, 2011 – A heightened level of shared knowledge, speed of information and sending professionals to the battlefield are crucial to future military endeavors, the U.S. military’s top intelligence officer said here yesterday.

Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, spoke to about 200 people at the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies and the Seminar on Transatlantic Civil Security at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Although sharing opportunities may have pitfalls, such as the events leading to the WikiLeaks publication of classified material, Burgess said, the value of sharing information transcends the temporary damage it may cause.

“You can’t let an event like that slow down what you know to be the goodness of what it is you’re trying to do,” he said. “While that happens, you need to fix what may have caused leaks like that and ensure you put safeguards in place that allow you to protect information. You can’t let it detract you from what you’re trying to do overall.”

Burgess said intelligence products are being shared to a degree he never thought possible, thanks to good relationships. And the time to build those relationships and the sharing opportunities they provide, he added, is before things fall apart.

“When crises occur,” the general said, “that is not the time to be building relationships.”

Speed of information also is paramount in his world, Burgess said, noting that the Internet, social media and “you name it” have raised that speed limit. He cited “the commander’s eternal quest for certainty” and the need for policy makers to move on events quickly as reasons his agency needs to get it right quickly.

“Everybody wants to know as much as they can. The speed of that system has taken on a whole new meaning,” he said. “Nobody wants to make decisions with only half of the puzzle.”

With 875 people from his agency deployed in theaters across the globe, Burgess cited a watershed change in business practices that pulled the experts out from inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway and put them side by side with the warfighters.

“Intelligence is just one line of information coming into a commander,” he explained. “As such, they deserve our best assessment of what is going to happen. They should demand it. We’ve had the most success when placed alongside other intelligence disciplines and agencies.”

Though his agency didn’t have an “upfront and central role” in finding and killing al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, it did play a part in the May 2 operation, Burgess said. The agency supported the element that went in to do the mission, he added, but “all source” intelligence was the key to success, along with the fusing and sharing of that intelligence information.

“Very seldom does single intelligence information by itself produce actual intelligence,” he said. “It does happen, but for the most part, it’s a fusing of all source intelligence, and that’s what happened with bin Laden. A lot of things came together.”

For his own part and the parts played by his team, Burgess was blunt. “We speak truth to power. … We’re not paid to have a point of view,” he said.

Burgess also talked about the importance both Marshall Center programs have to the warfighters and the world at large.

“It demonstrates with each class the value of shared knowledge,” he said. “At this very moment, our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are working side by side on the battlefield. We owe it to them to challenge ourselves.”

Lincoln Sailors Build New Homes during Navy Week LA

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Brian Brannon, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

LAWNDALE, Calif. (NNS) -- Wielding hammers, saws, trowels, and drills, 25 Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the mine countermeasures ship USS Champion (MCM 4) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to make two families' dreams of living in safe, affordable housing come true, July 26.

Erin Hale, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater L.A., thanked the Sailors for their skill and professionalism in working alongside her team.

"We're very excited that the Navy's out here because we know that not only have these Sailors given tremendous service to our nation, they've also done a lot of service and humanitarian aid while they're out at sea. The fact that while they're here in Los Angeles at the port, that they're spending time with Habitat for Humanity means so, so much to us," she said.

Candy Royce is scheduled to move into one of the homes around Thanksgiving, along with her mother and three adopted children. She was honored to have Navy volunteers help build her new home and encouraged Sailors to leave messages on the unfinished walls.

Although the notes will eventually be covered with drywall, Royce is collecting photographs of the faces and writings of everyone who has worked on her home.

"Almost everyone writes messages on the walls," she said. "They have some funny things that they say and some very sincere things. And I can say this house was built with love."

With instruction from regular Habitat for Humanity volunteers called "Rusty Nails," Sailors framed porches, built stairs, added trusses, put stucco on walls, and performed electrical work.

Lincoln Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class Rockie Johnson enjoyed the chance to make a difference in the community.

"We're helping good people out here; a good family," he said. "I wasn't too fortunate before coming in, and to give to someone else that's not, it's just [satisfying]."

Navy Week is an opportunity for the officers and crew of the visiting ships to help the Navy showcase the quality of its personnel to local citizens. Lincoln's participation in L.A. Navy Week will demonstrate to area leaders and the general public that the Navy remains an effective and vital tool of national defense and a viable career opportunity for young men and women.

The Navy conducts approximately 20 Navy Weeks each year, reaching out to communities across the country to showcase for Americans the investments they have made toward their national defense.

Participating in L.A. Navy Week 2011 are Lincoln, Champion, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and personnel from Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, Maritime Expeditionary Security Group (MESG) 31, Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 3 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit 1.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is in Los Angeles between at-sea training and certification periods ahead of a deployment scheduled for the end of the year.

Family Matters Blog: Blogger Meets ‘Extreme Makeover’ Star

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 – I must admit I was a bit starstruck last week while visiting the set of a military-focused episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” in Fayetteville, N.C.

A few of my long-time home-designing favorites, including celebrities Ty Pennington and Paul DiMeo, were there in full force, putting their designing skills to the test to turn a modest 1,500-square-foot ranch-style home into a sprawling 5,000-square-foot complex in one short week.

The designers and more than 3,000 volunteers had joined together to build Barbara Marshall a new center for homeless female veterans called the Jubilee House. The 15-year Navy veteran established the center last year with her own funds to provide shelter and resources to female veterans in need.

After a week of round-the-clock construction, the house was picture perfect July 21 and ready for Marshall’s arrival. A crowd of well-wishers and volunteers gathered early, braving the oppressive heat to watch a deserving veteran receive a new home.

By the time the limo pulled up, carrying Marshall and her family, we all were dripping with sweat and covered in dirt, stepping lightly to avoid the discarded water bottles scattered across the ground. But all that was forgotten as Marshall stepped out and faced the famous “Extreme Makeover” bus blocking her view of the house.

Surprise guest First Lady Michelle Obama stepped out of the bus to cheers and applause as the crowd began to chant: “Move that bus! Move that bus!”

The bus pulled away and Marshall’s jaw dropped as she took in her new home, complete with a porch, upstairs deck and immaculately landscaped lawn.

“When I saw Mrs. Obama and the new home, all I could think of was ‘Yay,’” she told me during an interview the next day. “I know that’s not that profound, but I said it in my heart and my mind and my spirit, and then I said, ‘Astounding. Help is here -- tremendous help.’”

This new and improved Jubilee House will enable Marshall to take in more female veterans than ever before, while also offering expanded resources to help them.

Marshall said it’s the least she can do for her fellow veterans. “A homeless woman has children -- brings with her homeless children,” she said. “I think that our nation is not prepared for that kind of legacy. We need to leave a good, positive legacy for our women vets and for their children.”

As I walked away from that interview and with familiar faces from TV all around, I realized I had just met the true star of the show.

The “Extreme Makeover” episode featuring Marshall is scheduled to air Oct. 21 on ABC.

National Guard, active duty Green Berets receive high honor from French Ambassador

Special Forces Soldiers from the 10th Special Forces Group and the 20th Special Forces Group are seen after they received the French Croix de la Valeur Militaire, roughly analagous to the Silver Star, during a private ceremony at the French Ambassador's Residence in Washington, D.C., on July 25, 2011, awarding the honor to five National Guard and one active duty Special Forces Soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill)

Command Ombudsman at NAS Whidbey Island Receives Dorothy Flatley Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joan E. Jennings and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- A Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island command ombudsman received an award for superior performance during a surprise ceremony held at the Nor'Wester Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) at NAS Whidbey Island, July 26.

Dana Ledford, Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMVAQWINGPAC)command ombudsman was one to two ombudsmen Navywide to receive the 2010 Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) Outstanding Achievement Dorothy Flatley Award.

The Dorothy Flatley Award is given annually to one spouse from Naval Air Forces Pacific and one spouse from Naval Air Forces Atlantic for extraordinary inspirational support to Navy families for fostering excellent morale among squadron personnel and their dependents, especially during deployments and for promoting activities that benefit the spouse's command and other Navy and military personnel.

Ledford was named the winner due to her support of squadron families in which she focused on building strong morale among her fellow squadron personnel and their family members, especially during deployments.

"The Dorothy Flatley Award goes out to a spouse that has really supported the community, supported the spouses and family members and has gone above and beyond their command," said Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Michael W. Peach, of U.S. Navy Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Ledford has dedicated 13 years of service as an aviation command ombudsman, and 15 months as the (COMVAQWINGPAC) Ombudsman.

"Dana is well deserving of the recognition of the Dorothy Flatley Award," Peach said. "Her heart is taking care of the Sailors, their families and doing everything she can."

Among her accomplishments, Ledford has re-energized the NAS Whidbey Island Chief Petty Officer Spouse Association that brought in 42 senior enlisted spouses, worked on fundraisers for several local charities to include Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, the American Red Cross, and Operation Homefront.

With tears running down her face, Dana accepted the award from Capt. Chris Shay, commodore, COMVAQWINGPAC and thanked the command ombudsmen in attendance.

"For many years it's been a great program. Mentorship means the world to me. Without mentors, what would we do?" asked Ledford. "I thank you for being part of my world and participating like you do. Keep mentoring those below you; without you we would not be here."

ANA is a support group for U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard's aviation forces. The squadron's functions are to support naval aviation and notify the public about the job of the men and women of naval aviation, and also to share in the camaraderie of being connected to naval aviation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today in the Department of Defense, Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta hosts an honor cordon to welcome Australian Minister of Defense Stephen Smith to the Pentagon today at 3 p.m. EDT.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the Pentagon River Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort to the cordon.

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

Army Col. Sean Jenkins, commander of Regional Command East’s Task Force Currahee drawn from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, will brief the media live from Forward Operating Base Sharana in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, at 10:30 a.m. EDT 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.

Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Robert F. Hale; Deputy Chief Management Officer Elizabeth A. McGrath; Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) Mary Sally Matiella; Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) Gladys J. Commons; and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller) Jamie M. Morin testify at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on financial management and business transformation at the Department of Defense at 2 p.m. EDT in room SR-232A, Russell Senate Office Building.

A National Capital Region Flyover of Arlington National Cemetery occurs at 9:45 a.m. EDT with four F/A-18E’s.

This Day in Naval History - July 26

From the Navy News Service

1812 - Frigate Essex captures British brig Leander.
1912 - First airborne radio communications from naval aircraft to ship (Lt. John Rodgers to USS Stringham).
1942 - Capt. Joy Bright Hancock appointed director, Women's Naval Reserve.
1948 - President Harry S. Truman orders desegregation of the Armed Services.
1954 - Three aircraft from USS Philippine Sea (CVA 47) shoot down two Chinese fighters that fired on them while they were providing air cover for rescue operations for a U.K. airliner shot down by a Chinese aircraft.

Golden Knights Lead Team USA at Military World Games

By Tim Hipps
U.S. Army Installation Management Command

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 26, 2011 – The U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team won four medals, including gold in the women’s overall country competition, to lead Team USA athletes at the 5th Conseil International du Sport Militaire Military World Games here.

Two Air Force women’s soccer players flew their teammates and track and field athletes to Brazil aboard a KC-10 Extender, but a parachute team of soldiers skydiving from planes triumphantly brought home more than half of Team USA’s medals.

Golden Knights Sgt. 1st Class Elisa Tennyson, Sgt. 1st Class Angela Nichols, Staff Sgt. Laura Dickmeyer, Staff Sgt. Danielle Woolsey and Staff Sgt. Jennifer Schaben combined to win gold in women’s formation skydiving and silver in team accuracy -- giving them CISM gold in the women’s overall country competition for the first time in program history, according to the U.S. Army Golden Knights website.

Team USA’s quartet of Golden Knights Sgt. 1st Class Brian Krause, Sgt. 1st Class Kurt Isenbarger, Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Davidson, and Staff Sgt. Sean Sweeney took the bronze medal in men’s formation skydiving on July 22. Belgium won the gold and Germany took the silver.

As the Army’s official aerial demonstration team, the Golden Knights perform parachute demonstrations at air shows, National Football League and Major League Baseball games and other special events to connect the Army with the American people.

The Golden Knights also have competition teams that travel the world to events. The team was founded in 1959 and is stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Sesame Street Live Visits NSA Naples

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Felicito Rustique, Navy Public Affairs Support Element–East Detachment Europe

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- The Sesame Street Live children's show performed two free shows at the community center gym aboard Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, July 22.

The Uniformed Services Organization (USO) and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) aboard the facility organized the shows to entertain children and their parents while addressing military family concerns such as separation during deployments and being a new student at school.

"The USO's core mission has always been to support the troops until everyone comes home, and this Sesame Street show give us the ability to reach beyond that and serve the families of our troops as well," said Lonne Cooper, USO tour manager with Sesame Street Live.

The performances featured a pre-recorded video message by first lady Michelle Obama and second lady Dr. Jill Biden

"When one family member goes to serve, the entire family is serving, and we feel it's really important to be able to give support to that entire family," said Cooper.

Following the video message, music began and one by one, starting with Elmo, six Sesame Street characters came out on a set stage to dance, sing, and spread their messages aimed at bringing cheer to the target audience of military children and their parents.

Cooper said tying Sesame Street together with the military in Italy has been a three-year project.

"Nobody does education and entertainment together better than Sesame Street," said Cooper. "It's just worked out so well, and it's a natural fit."

In addition to stage performances by the life-sized Sesame Street characters, audience members were also treated to free handouts, toys, and photo opportunities afterward.

Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Aaron Isaac brought his wife and children to the show.

"My daughter loves Elmo, so I figured we'd come and bring her out to see if she'd have fun and she actually did," said Isaac. "I used to watch Sesame Street when I was a kid, and it's a good feeling to see my daughter dancing with all the other kids, having fun to the same thing I used to watch also."

This year's Sesame Street Live was the second time the show has come to NSA Naples.

For more information about Sesame Street Live and its upcoming schedule, contact your local USO.