Friday, January 21, 2011

Air Force Reserve Command Units Perform Critical Missions

By Jian DeLeon
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 – Three Air Force Reserve Command units with very different capabilities dedicated to special missions were the subject of a “DOD Live” bloggers roundtable yesterday.

Maj. Gen. James T. Rubeor, commander of 22nd Air Force at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., discussed those capabilities along with three officers whose work turns capabilities into action.

Air Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Talbot, chief meteorologist with the 53rd Weather Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., explained how the squadron’s Hurricane Hunters’ mission benefits both civilians and the military.

"We're the guys that fly through the hurricanes collecting information for the National Hurricane Center during the summer months, and we collect information also for the National Weather Service during the winter months," he said.

Air Force Lt. Col. Dave Condit of the 302nd Airlift Wing in Colorado Springs, Colo., runs the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Program.

"Our primary task is to work with the National Interagency Fire Center to help augment the commercial tanker force in times of need and natural disaster,” he explained. “Really, our primary objective is to lay lines of fire retardant down in front of advancing wildfire to protect lives and property."

Of the three special-missions capabilities, the Modular Airborne Spray System is the most versatile, and also the one with the most loosely defined mission, said Air Force Capt. Travis Adams of the 757th Airlift Squadron in Youngstown, Ohio. Adams, a pilot, also works as one of the coordinators of the aerial spray shop. The squadron's primary mission, he said, is to protect troops on the ground in a variety of ways.

"We are the only fixed-wing aerial spray asset within the Department of Defense,” he said. “I think that has a lot to do with why we are maybe a little less known.”

One of the squadron’s missions is to protect troops from airborne diseases caused by flying insects, especially mosquitoes.

"Before battling the airborne insects, we [also] have the opportunity to do so while they're still in the larvae stage,” he explained. We have quite a few missions that will support that as well." His team also helps to protect explosive ordnance disposal personnel, he added, by using chemicals to defoliate areas where EOD personnel need to take care of unexploded ordnance so they can do so safely.

During the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spray mission was used to spread dispersant in the ocean, and since the unit trains on some missions with the Coast Guard, Adams said, that facilitated the process.

A recent Air Force Reserve Command conference to assess training and look toward the future of its missions was the first of its kind, Rubeor said. He added that he’s satisfied with the current state of the command, but knows it must keep looking ahead.

“We looked to the future and we tried to predict what the future will bring,” he said. “We talked about some potential future upgrades.”

“This is a mission in which we fly and collect data for the National Weather Service or the National Center for Environmental Prediction,” Talbot said. “The idea here is to be able to give emergency managers and folks that are worried about flooding or heavy snowfall events a little more time to potentially prepare or a little more heads-up that possibly a societal impact may occur during the winter months.”

The Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Program will see better, more efficient equipment that it plans to test in the coming seasons.

“We've been delivered some new systems by the U.S. Forest Service, … so we're going to begin training with those this spring to ensure that our crews are ready with that increased capability,” Condit said. “And that includes the ability to respond a little quicker, with a little bit of a different type of products that we can put on the fire for more flexibility.”

Rubeor saluted the people that perform these special missions.

“These three gentlemen represent wings that are manned and staffed with citizen-airmen. … They have jobs down in their local communities, Monday through Friday, and they come out on the weekends, or they come out when we're called to perform these missions,” the general said.

SECNAV Concludes 10-Day Trip to Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin O'Brien, Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

MANAUS, Brazil (NNS) -- The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) concluded a 10-day trip from Jan. 10-19 of engagement and partnership building in South America, which included visits to Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

SECNAV Ray Mabus began his tour with a two-day stop in Bogota, Colombia.

There he met with U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Michael McKinley and discussed U.S.-Colombian relations, including military-to-military relations and shared efforts to counter drug trafficking in the region. Following his meeting with the embassy team, Mabus met with the Marine Security Force Detachment and re-enlisted two Marines.

While in Bogota, Secretary Mabus met with senior Colombian naval and government officials, to include Chief of Navy Adm. Alvaro Echandia Duran; Minister of Defense Rodrigo Ribera Salazar; Chief of Defense Edgar Augusto Cely Nunez; Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar; and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

During his meeting with Santos, Mabus discussed the importance of strong U.S.-Colombian relations.

"We greatly appreciate the strong partnership that the U.S. and Colombia share," Mabus said. "We appreciate the broad access and operational cooperation Colombia provides the U.S. military, which enhances security throughout the region."

Following his visit to Colombia, Mabus traveled to Lima, Peru, where he met with U.S Ambassador to Peru Rose Likins and received briefings from her staff. Additionally, Mabus met with the military personnel attached to the embassy and thanked them for their service.

Mabus met with several Peruvian naval and government officials during his visit, to include Chief of Navy, Adm. Jorge de la Puente Ribeyro; Chief of Defense Gen. Luis Howell Ballena; Minister of Defense Jaime Thorne Leon; and representatives from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Mabus expressed his appreciation for the Peruvian navy's contributions to regional security during his office call with Ribeyro.

"Your Navy's participation and leadership in exercises such as UNITAS and SIFOREX (Silent Force Exercise) are greatly appreciated," Mabus said. "These exercises are crucial contributors to our navies' readiness and strong ties."

Mabus also congratulated Peruvian officials on the 100-year anniversary of their submarine force.

While in Lima, Mabus also officiated at a christening ceremony for the Naval Medical Research Center Unit (NMRU) 6 building, where he made brief remarks and unveiled a plaque commemorating the unit's establishment. NMRU 6 partners with the Peruvian Army and Navy to conduct research on a wide range of infectious diseases that threaten the population in the region.

"The work you do here has great benefit to Peru, South America and all of America," said Mabus, during the ceremony. "Your work has the opportunity to change the world and effect they way we understand diseases that have plagued mankind for centuries."

On his final day in Peru, Mabus traveled to Iquitos, Peru, in the Amazon River basin. There he got underway with a Peruvian navy riverine squadron, receiving a first-hand look at how it conducts operations against drug trafficking along the Amazon River.

Following his productive visit to Peru, Mabus traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he met with the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Vilma Martinez and members of the Marine Corps Security Force.

His visit also included engagements with Argentine Chief of Navy Adm. Jorge Omar Godoy and Minister of Defense Arturo Puricelli. In meetings with Argentine officials, Mabus expressed thanks for Argentina's continued contributions in Haiti, and for hosting the multination exercise UNITAS LANT in 2010 and discussed ways to increase mutually beneficial training opportunities between the U.S. and Argentine navies.

"We deeply value Argentina's leadership in region and appreciate our strong military-to-military ties," said Mabus. "We look forward to strengthening those ties based on shared values and common interests."

The last stop on Mabus' South American trip was a two-day visit to Brasilia and Manaus, Brazil. While in Brasilia, he met with U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon and his embassy team to discuss U.S.-Brazil relations. He also visited with Brazil's Chief of Defense Gen. Jose Carlos de Nardi and Adm. Julio Soares de Moura Neto, commander of the Brazilian navy.

Moura Neto presented Mabus with the prestigious Order of Naval Merit Award at the close of their meeting. This award is granted to individuals who have served Brazil in a significant way or have distinguished themselves during the performance of their naval duties.

Following the award ceremony, Mabus expressed his gratitude for the award and the strong relationship between the two nations.

"It is truly an honor to receive this award," Mabus said. "I accept this on behalf of all our Sailors and Marines. The U.S. appreciates our close relationship with Brazil; your leadership provides a valuable contribution to regional stability, relations and economic growth."

On his final day, Mabus traveled to Manaus to observe a riverine battalion at Naval Station Rio Negro. During his visit he received full military honors, took an aerial tour of the Amazon River Basin in a Brazilian Eurocopter and landed aboard the Brazilian hospital ship Oswald Cruz (U18) for a tour of the ship's facilities.

"This has been a great trip," said Mabus. "The relationships we have with our partners in South America are so important to the security of the United States. I was pleased to be able to go to express our desire to strengthen and expand our common ties."

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USS Toledo Returns from Deployment

By Lt. Patrick Evans, Commander Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Toledo (SSN 769) returned to Naval Submarine Base New London Jan. 20, following a regularly scheduled deployment.

The crew, which departed for deployment July 20, 2010, returned to a snow-covered New England, just in time for some family members.

"I'm excited about handing off the shovel," said Tamara Moller, wife of Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Moller, USS Toledo Executive Officer.

There was additional excitement for the Mollers during the homecoming. It was their daughter Paige's eighth birthday. After departing the submarine, Moller handed his daughter birthday balloons on the pier, while some members of the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" as they waited for their Sailors to disembark.

Toledo conducted operations in the African Command (AFRICOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility, supporting missions vital to national security interests. During the deployment, Toledo visited ports in Limassol, Cyprus and Haifa, Israel.

"It was really incredible," said Cmdr. Douglas Reckamp, USS Toledo commanding officer. "It was gang-busters. I think it reinforces literally that this is the best job in the world since March 2009.

"We steamed close to 40,000 miles," said Reckamp. "It's about putting submarines in places where people don't know where we are. All the bad guys in the world have to assume that we are near them because nobody knows exactly where we are."

While they were underway, many crew members also worked to advance their naval careers.

"From a couple of months before deployment through now, 80 percent of the guys who were eligible to get promoted have been promoted," said Reckamp. "Thirty nine guys came back here wearing a higher rank than they were when they were before we deployed. I had 24 guys decide to extend and reenlist in the Navy while on deployment. Among all 24 of them, they got $1.5 million in selective re-enlistment bonuses."

Reckamp, born in Chicago, attended high school in Ocala, Fla. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation, Reckamp earned a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering while researching non-linear acoustics at the Applied Research Laboratory of University of Texas in Austin.

Fast-attack submarines like Toledo have multi-faceted missions. They use their stealth, persistence, agility and firepower to deploy and support special force operations, disrupt and destroy an adversary's military and economic operations at sea, provide early strike from close proximity, and ensure undersea superiority.

USS Toledo, commissioned Feb. 24, 1995, is the second U.S. warship named for the people of the northwestern Ohio city. The first was a Baltimore-class heavy cruiser. Submarine Toledo has a complement of 139 officers and enlisted crew.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit

Joint Forces Command Works on Closure Plan

By Donna Miles and Army Sgt. Josh LeCappelain
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 – A week after President Barack Obama officially authorized Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to dissolve U.S. Joint Forces Command, the command’s staff is coming up with the best way to do it without compromising critical capabilities.

“We hope that the implementation plan will be finished within the next 30 to 45 days and approved so we can begin execution,” Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who took the reins of Joint Forces Command in November, told reporters this week.

The command could close within nine to 10 months, Odierno said, but making all the associated changes is more likely to take 12 to 15 months. Eliminating the command and shifting its essential functions to other commands will save the Defense Department about $400 million a year, he estimated.

Although Obama gave the official green light Jan. 6 to close the Norfolk, Va.-based command, the staff has been working on its closure plan for several months, since Gates made the recommendation in August.

“What we’ve done is attempted to find the core capabilities that should be left behind in Joint Forces Command,” Odierno said. These include joint training, concept development and doctrine development, as well as providing troops for contingency missions around the world, he said.

Twenty-four of the command’s 77 core functions are expected to be eliminated, but Odierno didn’t specify which ones.

While the staff hammers out details of the plan, it’s focusing on four driving goals:

-- Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all critical functions that remain;

-- Maintain a strong collaboration with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and multinational partners in the Hampton Roads, Va., area;

-- Sustain joint advocacy and progress made in promoting jointness; and

-- Provide support to the work force during the transition.

Odierno said he expects as many as half of the command’s almost 4,000 jobs in the Hampton Roads area to be eliminated. The contractor force is expected to take the biggest hit.

Odierno said he hopes to identify which positions will be affected as quickly as possible. The final plan being worked will identify “what the organization looks like [and] what positions will remain,” he told reporters. “And then we will have to work through the details of who fills that position and who doesn’t, and who will have to look for work in other places.”

In the meantime, Odierno praised the commitment of workers who continue to contribute “great expertise and capabilities” to the command despite all the unknowns.

“That’s why we want to get the decision on the implementation done, so we can start informing people what is going to happen to them,” he said.

As commander of U.S. Forces Iraq before he assumed his present duties, Odierno oversaw the drawdown of U.S. forces there to 50,000 and the transition from combat to stability operations on Sept. 1.

Although eliminating a command has some similarities, Odierno said, cutting jobs -- particularly in today’s economy -- weighs heavily on him.

“Things are tough these days. And now here I am, responsible for potentially 1,900 people no longer being able to be employed, or whatever the number is here,” he told reporters. “That is quite a burden.”

For those whose jobs are eliminated, “we are going to do everything we can to provide them assistance and help for them to move forward,” he said. “What we want to try to do is to ease that burden, and we’ll do that to the best of our ability.”

Odierno said he plans to set up a program to help affected Defense Department civilian employees find jobs in other government organizations.

Eliminating Joint Forces Command is part of Gates’ broad departmentwide effort to improve efficiency and reduce overhead so more defense dollars go directly toward military capability. Odierno said he expects belt-tightening initiatives to extend well beyond Joint Forces Command. “There is a lot more coming,” he predicted.

Interjecting a moment of levity into the discussion, he quipped, “I might be unemployed as well at the end of this.”

(Army Sgt. Josh LeCappelain is assigned to U.S. Joint Forces Command.)

Today in the Department of Defense, Sunday, January 23, 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, Saturday, January 22, 2011

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

USS Constitution Participates in Tampa Bay Navy Week

By Seaman Shannon Heavin, USS Constitution Public Affairs

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Constitution will participate in Tampa Bay Navy Week during the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa Bay, Fla., Jan. 22-29.

Sailors will first perform a color guard ceremony at the McDonald's Children Gasparilla Extravaganza parade.

They will provide naval history lessons at area middle schools and interact with children at Joe and Anna Garcia Salesian Boys and Girls Club.

They are scheduled to give Navy ball caps to children at St. Joseph's Children's Center and visit veterans from Bay Pine Veterans Hospital. Lastly, Sailors will cook and serve to those in need at St. Petersburg Ronald McDonald House.

"I'm excited to begin our 2011 participation in Navy Weeks by sending a detachment of USS Constitution Sailors to Tampa Bay," said Cmdr. Tim Cooper, Constitution's 71st commanding officer. "Navy Weeks provide us with a unique opportunity to bring USS Constitution's story to people who can't easily come and see the ship. Additionally, it allows our Sailors to interact in a meaningful way with different parts of a community that does not have a significant Navy presence."

This is the first Navy Week Constitution Sailors will participate in, in 2011. They performed similar activities in 2010 at Des Moines, Iowa; Spokane, Wash.; Boston and Baltimore.

"I wasn't fortunate enough to go last year," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Jared Hutchins. "I spoke with other Sailors who went on past Navy Weeks though, and it sounded like something I really could contribute to. The history presentations, Caps for Kids, anything interacting with and helping children, I wanted to be a part of."

The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Tampa Bay Navy Week will showcase the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston and is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat. The ship welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.

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Enterprise Carrier Strike Group Enters 6th Fleet

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Stephen M. White, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The ships and embarked squadrons from the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) entered U.S. 6th Fleet's Area of Responsibility (AOR) Jan. 20.

This milestone marks the culmination of more than two years of work for thousands of Sailors aboard the world's oldest, largest and first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

USS Enterprise (CVN 65), CSG 12, Destroyer Squadron 2, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Mason (DDG 87) and the eight squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 entered the AOR, an imaginary line that transfers operational tasking authority for the CSG from U.S. 2nd Fleet.

While in the area, the Enterprise CSG will conduct the full range of maritime operations and theater security cooperation efforts in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other partners in order to improve maritime safety and security.

"We already have an extensive schedule of operations and exercises with our maritime partners throughout the region," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander, Enterprise CSG. "The Mediterranean Sea is a critical sea lane in our global economy and remains secure because of the strong relationships between the navies that operate in the area."

Operating with allied navies and building upon already strong relationships is a key tenant in the Maritime Strategy. Also key to building such relationships is developing our Sailors and Marines to better understand the cultures, history and languages of the region, according to Capt. Dee L. Mewbourne, commanding officer of Enterprise.

"We have trained hard to get to this day and now look forward to learning from and building upon the relationships of our maritime allies in the area," Mewbourne said. "This team of Sailors and Marines has honed its skills at sea, but is also looking forward to experiencing the culture and history of this beautiful part of the world."

This deployment, the 21st for the carrier since its commissioning in 1961, also marks the first deployment of the centennial year of naval aviation.

"For 100 years, we have operated aircraft from the decks of warships. It's appropriate that our most accomplished active aircraft carrier is the first to deploy this year," Kraft said.

Following its mission in 6th Fleet, the CSG is scheduled to operate in the 5th Fleet AOR to support maritime security operations (MSO) and theater security cooperation efforts.

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, log onto or visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at>
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Obama Memorializes Holbrooke as Diplomatic ‘Leading Light’

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 – President Barack Obama today praised “the extraordinary life” of veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke.

Obama and other dignitaries were among hundreds who gathered to honor Holbrooke during a memorial service at the Kennedy Center here.

Holbrooke, special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died Dec. 13 following two operations to repair a torn aorta he suffered Dec. 10. He was 69.

The president said the list of places Holbrooke served and the things he did “reads as a chronicle of American foreign policy.”

“In many ways he was the leading light of a generation of American diplomats,” the president said, adding that Holbrooke “understood that America could not retreat from the world.”

“He recognized that our prosperity is tied to that of others, that our security is endangered by instability abroad, [and] most importantly, that our moral leadership is at stake when innocent men, women and children are slaughtered through senseless violence, whether it's in Srebrenica or Islamabad,” he said.

In undertaking his last mission, the president said, Holbrooke understood the fortunes of Afghanistan and Pakistan are tied together.

“In Afghanistan, he cultivated areas like agriculture and governance to seed stability,” Obama said. “With Pakistan, he created new habits of cooperation to overcome decades of mistrust.”

The president addressed the young men and women in the audience who had known Holbrooke as a mentor. “Stay in public service,” Obama told them. “Serve your country. Seek the peace that your mentor so ardently sought.”

Holbrooke’s work improved thousands of lives, the president said.

“His legacy is seen in the children of Bosnia, who lived to raise families of their own; in a Europe that is peaceful and united and free; in young boys and girls from the tribal regions of Pakistan, to whom he pledged our country's friendship; and in the role that America continues to play as a light to all who aspire to live in freedom and in dignity,” Obama said.

The president said he is personally grateful to Holbrooke’s family.

“I know that every hour he spent with me in the situation room, or spent traveling … was time spent away from you,” Obama said. “You shared in his sacrifice. And that sacrifice is made greater because he loved you so. He served his country until his final moments.”

Obama urged the mourners to continue Holbrooke’s work. “He made a difference,” he said. “Let us now carry that work forward in our time.”

Holbrooke’s career took him to Vietnam as a Foreign Service officer in the 1960s, followed by service as Peace Corps director in Morocco and eventually assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs in the 1970s.

In the 1980s, Holbrooke left government service for a stint in finance, returning to diplomacy in the 1990s as ambassador to Germany, then as assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian affairs, where he earned what may be his most lasting fame.

Holbrooke was the chief U.S. negotiator for the 1995 General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Dayton Accords.

Discussions for the agreement took place over three weeks in November at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Holbrooke is widely credited for bullying and cajoling the warring parties until they hammered out a workable document.

The agreement, initially signed by the Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian presidents and later by U.S., British, French, German and Russian heads of state, ended more than three years of war in Bosnia.

Holbrooke later served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and in 2009 accepted a presidential appointment to what would be his final position, special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The president announced the creation of an annual Richard C. Holbrooke Award to honor excellence in diplomacy.

The State Department has instituted an annual lecture series in his honor. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton inaugurated the series with a lecture on U.S.-China relations this morning.

Holbrooke is survived by his wife, Kati Marton, his sons, David and Anthony, his step-children, Elizabeth and Chris Jennings, his daughter-in-law, Sarah and four grandchildren.

PTSD Symptoms - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological and physical condition that can be caused by extremely frightening or distressing events.
PTSD can occur after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events such as military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, violent deaths, personal assaults including rape, and other situations in which the person felt extreme fear, horror or helplessness.
Many people develop PTSD because someone close to them died suddenly (around 40%). Around 30% of people exposed to such a stressful event will develop PTSD.
PTSD can affect anyone. It is common, and affects around 5% of men and 10% of women some time in their life. It can happen at any age, including in childhood. An individual with PTSD often relives the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, has problems with concentrating and sleeping, with feelings of isolation and detachment from life. These symptoms can be lasting and severe enough to significantly impair the persons daily life.
Symptoms usually develop immediately or within three months of a traumatic event, although occasionally they do not begin until years later. PTSD can develop at any age, including in childhood.
Most people who are exposed to a traumatic event, experience some of the symptoms of PTSD. However in most cases the symptoms disappear in the days and the weeks following exposure.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
• flashbacks, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when exposed to anything reminiscent of the traumatic event,
• sweating and shaking,
• avoidance of reminders of the event and a refusal to discuss the experience,
• numbness and feelings of detachment from others,
• inability to remember aspects of the traumatic event,
• decreased interest in life,
• increased consciousness of ones own mortality,
• flight/fight syndrome,
• problems with concentration,
• problems with sleeping,
• irritability or outbursts of anger,
• hyper-vigilance and alertness to possible danger,
• increased startle reaction re-experiencing the traumatic event,
• feelings of guilt,
• long term behavioural effects,
• alcohol misuse,
• drug dependency,
• failed relationships/divorce,
• severe depression, anxiety disorders or phobias,
• chronic illness headaches, stomach upsets, dizziness, chest pain and general aches and pains, together with a weakened immune system, and
• employment problems.
PTSD often involves periods of symptom remission followed by an increase of symptoms. However some people will experience severe and unremitting symptoms.
It is not yet completely understood why certain people develop PTSD after a traumatic experience, and others do not. However, there are some risk factors which seem to make PTSD more likely to happen to some people. For example, if you have already had depression or anxiety, or you have not had a lot of support from family or friends, you are more susceptible to the condition.
Having a parent who had a mental health problem, or experiencing abuse as a child can also be risk factors. There may also be a genetic factor involved.
Studies have also shown that in people with PTSD, there are abnormal levels of hormones involved in their response to stress. People in danger normally produce natural opiates. These chemicals trigger a reaction in the body when put under extreme stress or into a fight or flight situation. They deaden the senses and dull the pain. It has been found that people with PTSD continue to produce high levels when there is no danger. This may cause them to have feelings of detachment and blunted emotions.

There are various different ways different professionals can use to help you with your PTSD symptoms including medication and psychological therapies. However, research reveals that we make the best and the most lasting progress when we do things and solve our problems for ourselves, in our own way and at our own pace.

NATO Sees Russia as Missile Defense Partner

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2011 – Expressing confidence that the Russian parliament will ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he’s looking forward to moving ahead during the first half of 2011 on missile defense cooperation with Russia.

Rasmussen, speaking on his video blog posted yesterday, hailed the landmark decision between NATO and Russia at the alliance’s November summit in Lisbon, Portugal, and emphasized NATO’s “strong commitment to enhance and deepen our cooperation and to keep the spirit of Lisbon alive.”

NATO and Russia agreed at the summit to begin working together toward developing a continentwide missile defense system.

“For the first time, NATO nations and Russia will be cooperating to defend themselves,” Rasmussen said of the new missile defense cooperation. “Our citizens in Europe will share enhanced security, and that is unprecedented.”

Cooperation on missile defense is an important stepping stone toward development of the overall security relationship with Russia, he said. “It could be a vehicle for even further practical cooperation and confidence-building in the years to come,” he said.

“This is simple logic,” he added. “Increasingly, we share many threats to our common security.” As examples, he cited terrorism, the growing narcotics trade, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and piracy.

The missile defense system will protect people in NATO-member nations and Russia against the growing missile threat, Rasmussen said. He recognized that more than 30 nations have or are seeking a missile capability. “This is a development we cannot ignore,” he said.

As NATO and Russia evaluate the best ways to cooperate in missile defense, Rasmussen said, NATO envisions “two independent but coordinated systems, working back to back.”

This will offer several benefits, he explained. It will promote information exchange, provide a wider picture of the skies over Europe and with it, improved protection of Russian as well as allied territories.

Rasmussen said NATO will offer Russia transparency about its system that provides assurance that it isn’t –- and can’t be -– directed at Russia.

Also, by maintaining two independent systems, he said, both NATO and Russia can avoid “outsourcing our security to one another.”

“NATO security is based on collective defense,” he said. “And I assume that Russia, as a strong and independent nation, also wants to be fully in control of its defense systems.”

Rasmussen said he looks forward to “constructive discussions with Russia in the months ahead” that will build on commitments made at Lisbon.

Meanwhile, the Russia parliament is considering ratification of the New START Treaty. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the treaty in Prague in April, and the U.S. Senate ratified it last month.

Airman Missing in Action from Korean War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, has been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Air Force 1st Lt. Robert F. Dees, 23, of Moultrie, Ga., will be buried Jan. 22 at the Longstreet Historical Cemetery in Ozark, Ala.  On Oct. 9, 1952, he was flying an F-84 Thunderjet, attacking several targets in North Korea.  After he and three aircraft from the 430th Fighter-Bomber Squadron completed their attack on their primary target, they began their bombing run against enemy boxcars on the railroad near Sinyang.  Other members of his flight reported seeing an explosion near the target they were attacking.  They believed it to be the crash of Dees’ aircraft and could not raise any radio contact with him.  Airborne searches over the battlefield failed to locate him or his aircraft.

Following the armistice in 1953, the North Koreans repatriated 4,219 remains of U.S. and allied soldiers during Operation Glory.  In November 1954, they turned over remains which they reported were recovered from Sinyang.  Accompanying the remains were portions of a pilot’s flight suit and a pneumatic life preserver.  But after two attempts, the Army’s mortuary at Kokura, Japan, was unable to identify the remains.  They were buried in 1956 as “unknown” at the Punch Bowl Cemetery in Hawaii.

Beginning in the late 1990s, analysts from DPMO and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) undertook a concentrated review of Korean War air losses, as well as a review of the Kokura mortuary files.  They made a tentative association to Dees, based on U.S. wartime records as well as the information provided by the North Koreans.  These remains were disinterred from the Punch Bowl Cemetery in June 2010.

Dees’ remains were identified by making extensive dental comparisons with his medical records.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call 703-699-1169.

Clinton: Gates’ China Trip Continues Holbrooke’s Vision

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ trip to China this week advanced U.S. relations there, continuing the groundwork laid by Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, who’d years ago worked to open diplomatic relations with China, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today.

Holbrooke, who was serving as special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan when he died Dec. 13, will be honored in a memorial service here today, with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among the dignitaries scheduled to speak.

Clinton made the remarks as the first speaker of the State Department’s Richard C. Holbrooke Lecture Series here. “This is a bittersweet moment for me, personally, to give this inaugural lecture,” she said, praising Holbrooke as a “tireless negotiator” who left “an indelible mark on this department, this country and the world.”

Among his many missions, Holbrooke was a key player in opening formal diplomatic relations with China in the 1970s and served as president of the U.S.-Asia Relations Society, Clinton noted.

More than three decades later, Gates carried on that vision with his trip to Beijing, where he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, as well as the country’s defense and foreign ministers. Gates’ trip was focused on re-establishing military-to-military relations with China, which pulled away last year in response to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

At the end of his visit Jan. 12, Gates called his meetings in Beijing “productive” and said they set the stage to take U.S.-China military-to-military relations “to the next level.”

Hu is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House next week, when, Clinton said, “the breadth of our engagement will be on full display.”

The United States and China have much to gain by working together on regional security threats like North Korea and Iran, on the global economy, and humanitarian missions, Clinton said. And, still, she added, the United States will continue to press Chinese officials to release political prisoners and expand freedom of speech and religion for its citizens.

“This is not a relationship that fits neatly into black-and-white categories of friend or rival. We have two complex countries,” she said. “To keep this relationship on a positive trajectory, we have to be honest about our differences … and avoid unrealistic expectations. It requires steady effort over time.”

Enterprise Training Scenario Recalls Tragic 1969 Flight Deck Fire

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Austin Rooney, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the deployed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) conducted a successful ship-wide flight deck fire and mass casualty drill Jan. 19, during the week of the 42nd anniversary of one of the ship's darkest days.

The morning of Jan. 14, 1969, was supposed to be just another normal day underway for Big 'E'. When Sailors woke up, flight operations were about to begin and the ship was brimming with life as the crew traveled through passageways to their work centers.

Then it happened: A deafening explosion rang out at , caused by the accidental detonation of an aircraft's missile. Debris from the explosion rained down on the flight deck, quickly igniting JP-5 fuel and engulfing adjacent aircraft in flames.

As burning fuel poured into the ship from holes in the flight deck, the interior of the ship began to ignite as all hands scrambled to their repair lockers to fight the fire. Before the crew succeeded in extinguishing the flames, 28 Sailors had been killed, and 314 were injured - many severely.

Sailors deployed aboard Enterprise experienced a flight deck fire Jan. 19, resulting in more than 100 casualties, but this time the fire and casualties were simulated.

"I think our crew is on point as far as damage control is concerned," said Lt. j.g. Andrew Dietzel, USS Enterprise assistant damage control assistant. "I have faith that our Sailors would be able to effectively combat a fire similar to the one in 1969."

Through constant training and drills, Dietzel said he thinks today's Sailors are better prepared to deal with an emergency on the flight deck than those in 1969. To ensure history does not repeat itself, every Sailor receives basic damage control training as soon as they enter boot camp and are continually trained and drilled throughout their career.

Damage control was not the only skill Sailors practiced during the drill. The exercise had a mass casualty scenario and required the full response of the ship's Medical department, just as it would during an actual emergency.

"Mass casualty is any situation that exceeds Medical department's capabilities and resources on the ship," said Lt. Cmdr. Sondra Santana, USS Enterprise nurse practitioner. "The whole purpose of the drill is to prepare us for the real thing. We have to pool our resources and treat as many people as we can."

Sailors throughout the ship are trained as stretcher bearers, and all warfare qualified Sailors have received first aide training. Additionally, the ship's Medical and Dental departments operate a program called the 'walking blood bank' where pre-screened Sailors can be gathered to provide blood according to need.

Santana said the drill was held to prevent a situation such as the fire in 1969, from claiming as many lives as it did. Through training, routine drills and advances in technology, Santana said she believes Big 'E' Sailors would be able to handle a similar situation with better results.

"We don't ever want to have to deal with the real version of a mass casualty situation like this," said Santana. "However, if we get called on to respond, we are 100 percent ready."

Enterprise is currently deployed on its 21st deployment.

Enterprise Strike Group consists of Enterprise, the guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), the guided-missile destroyers USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), USS Barry (DDG 52) and USS Mason (DDG 87); USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Carrier Air Wing 1 and Destroyer Squadron 2.

For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, log onto, or visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at

For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit

Game Day Connects Former NFL Pros with Service Members

Posted by Robyn Mincher, DCoE Communications

Service members at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) in Washington D.C. watched the Chicago Bears triumph over the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s playoff game with special guests—a few gridiron pros.

The Game Day event, co-hosted by the Real Warriors Campaign, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and JBAB brought service members, family members and former NFL players together to share their passion for football, and discuss their real life experiences and challenges.

Event participants ate, socialized and discussed similar reintegration experiences.

“Transitioning is our common thread,” said Ricky Ervins, former running back for the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers. “When you’re [playing professional football], you’re at the highest peak of your life. When you’re done, you have to figure out how to fit back into real life.”

During halftime, each player gave a short speech on the common psychological health concerns facing those on the football field and the battlefield.

“[When you are] in the NFL or the military, it’s hard to explain what life is like to those not in it,” said Eric Hipple, former quarterback for the Detroit Lions. “We both experience change, transition and physical and psychological stress.”

The players talked about a common feeling that both service members and professional football players often feel: the pressure to maintain and stay in the game—which can keep them from seeking the help they may need.

“We all have images of [ourselves] – we think we’re all super tough, but the real strength is asking for help,” said Ken Harvey, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals. “In order to become a better football player, you have to seek help and realize you’re not alone in the battle.”

Sunday’s Game Day event at the Bolling Club was the third of five scheduled events co-hosted by the Real Warriors Campaign, an initiative launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), and NFLPA to promote help-seeking behavior among warriors, veterans, and military families coping with invisible wounds.

"This is a venue to allow an opportunity for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to come forward, reach out and talk to someone,” said Navy Capt. John Sears, JBAB commander. “It also gives them a chance to be a good wingman as they say in the Air Force, or shipmate as we say in the Navy. It's better to let it out than keep it in, because it won't get better on its own."

“It’s a teammate mentality,” said Hipple. “We’re sharing the message that it’s not a weakness to ask for support.”

The campaign participants and former players hope to keep sharing that message at the next two Game Day events both scheduled for Jan. 23, 2011, at Fort Carson, Colo. and Fort Campbell, Ky.

To see photos from past events or to be part of the live conversations at the events, follow the Real Warriors Campaign on Twitter @RealWarriors. Check out the Real Warriors Campaign and DCoE websites for more information on psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

Health, Safety, Fitness Community Service Award Winners for 2010 Announced

By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Twelve commands were recognized for community service excellence as the chief of naval operations (CNO) announced the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship awards for calendar year 2010 in NAVADMIN 014/11, Jan. 19.

Managed by the flag sponsor, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the award recognizes commands with the best overall community service programs teaching and encouraging individuals, especially youth, to lead healthy and active lives.

"The Navy's Health, Safety and Fitness Flagship promotes healthy and fit lifestyles through command partnerships with schools and communities," said Henry Giles, NETC Community Service and Outreach director. "Sailors from shore-based and afloat commands are out in the community, around the world, helping to educate and set a good example for kids and their families."

Health, safety and fitness project initiatives are part of the Navy's Community Service program. The Health, Safety and Fitness program features Navy volunteers who visit schools and neighborhoods to share information and give practical training that focuses on nutrition, hygiene, mental health, disease prevention, leisure skills development, personal safety, drug demand reduction, sports and recreation.

Examples of command-sponsored health, safety and fitness events are Special Olympics, the Great American Smokeout, safety and health fairs, and the President's Award on Physical Fitness and Sports.

The Navy Community Service Program (NCSP) was launched in 1992 by then CNO Admiral Frank B. Kelso. The program's goal is to foster and nurture community ties with the Navy and promote volunteerism while developing better Navy leaders through experience in the program.

NCSP consists of five flagships, including the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship;
Personal Excellence Partnership Flagship; Project Good Neighbor Flagship; Campaign Drug Free Flagship; and the Environmental Stewardship Flagship. A separate Navy command sponsors and administers each flagship.

As the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship sponsor, NETC is responsible for coordinating policy that encourages volunteer participation. NETC also provides flagship project information and technical support to Navy commands, and holds an annual awards board to select and publicize Navy-wide flagship award winners.

According to Rear Adm. Joseph F. Kilkenny, NETC commander, taking the time to devote to improving health, safety and fitness can have lasting effects.

"The commands that participated in the Health Safety and Fitness Flagship have demonstrated the importance of a healthy lifestyle by partnering with their neighbors and leading by example," said Kilkenny. "Those positive influences and resulting changes can last a lifetime. These commands have my sincere appreciation for their personal commitment and support of our Navy's Community Service program."

The winners for the 2010 shore command category are:

Large command (500 personnel or more) - Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Ga.

Medium command (200-499 personnel) - Navy Information Operations Command, Sugar Grove W. Va.

Small command (200 command personnel or less) - Trident Training Facility, Kings Bay, Ga.

The winners for the 2010 Sea command category include:

Large command - USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

Medium command - USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19)

Small command - USS Maryland (SSBN 738) Blue

Commands receiving honorable mentions include:

large shore command - Navy Information Operations Command Maryland, Fort Meade, Md.; and Naval Station Newport, Newport, R.I.;

medium shore command – Naval Air Station Meridian, Meridian, Miss., and Navy Information Operations Command Colorado, Aurora, Colo.;

small shore command – Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Surface Warfare Officers School, Newport, R.I.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) won for the second year in a row and USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) won for the third year in a row.

Award winners will receive commemorative plaques and units that merited honorable mention will receive certificates from NETC.

For more information about the Health, Safety, and Fitness Flagship visit the NETC website at or the Navy Community Service Program website at

For more news from Naval Education and Training Command, visit