Military News

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mullen: Civilian-Military Partnerships Critical to World Affairs

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – The importance of strong civilian-military partnerships has never been greater, and the secretaries of state and defense are setting the example for how to build and sustain those partnerships, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen made the comments to more than a hundred Foreign Service officers at the State Department’s inaugural Global Chiefs of Mission Conference here.

“Thanks for what you do, thanks for what you do for our country and for people around the world,” he said. “Your participation and feedback is absolutely critical in everything we’re doing.”

Mullen added that in his four decades in the Navy, he was “trained very early on in ports around the world how important the country teams were. I can’t say enough about the importance of the team right now.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are setting an example for diplomats and service members at every level to follow in breaking with history to create a close working relationship, Mullen said.

“My capstone view is to be fortunate enough to literally watch two masters in Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates,” he said. “Many of you have grown up in this business where the secretaries of state and defense did not have each other over for dinner very often. It’s actually fun to listen to Secretary Gates regale me with stories of the past. But those stories are in the past.

“We cannot, in this world we are living in right now, live without the kind of relationship we have between these two secretaries,” the chairman continued. “The difference that they make in terms of setting the example … resonates in both organizations. You see it from the very top to the most junior people we have in the field. I think it is an example for the 21st century that we fundamentally need to adopt.”

Mullen noted that he and Gates sometimes appear before the House and Senate foreign relations committees, and that Clinton has appeared before armed services committees – often at the same time.

And Clinton, in introducing Mullen, said they frequently meet to talk through complex international issues. The chairman, she said, “grasps in a very deep and profound way a vision of an integrated American power.”

“Time and time again, he has brought sensitivity and insight into causes of dilemmas we are watching unfold, and the forces at work,” Clinton said.

Mullen said he tries to stay focused on the next generation of leaders and has been impressed with both the military members and civilians serving around the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he said the wars “changed us” into realizing the need for collaboration.

“I have great confidence in our future, because this young generation is wired to serve,” he said, “and we just have to figure out how to give them the paths to serve, because we all will transcend this business to another part of our life.

Military relations in places such as Pakistan, Colombia and Haiti have been made easier due to the judgment and leadership of the State Department’s ambassadors, Mullen said. “That’s changing the world,” he said, “and we do that in ways now that some of us couldn’t imagine a few years ago.”

To continue with such progress, Congress must fund the State Department at appropriate levels, Mullen said.

“We have got to get the State Department budget right,” he said. “We took too much money away. And when you take money away from the State Department, you take people away, and people are your main effort. Having a robust enough budget to meet the needs of our time is absolutely mandatory.

“I’m not going to go so far as to say you can have some of mine,” he continued, drawing laughter, “but I recognize that if these teams are going to work together, their budgets need to be about right.”

Mullen Reiterates Confidence in Egyptian Military

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011America’s senior military officer today reiterated his admiration for the Egyptian military and continued to call for calm in the region.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke by phone this morning with his Egyptian counterpart, Army Lt. Gen. Sami Enan, for the second time since Enan returned to Cairo last week.

The admiral’s spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, said the Egyptian general updated Mullen on recent developments in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s speech yesterday.

The chairman thanked the Egyptian general for the continued contact, reiterated his desire to see the situation return to calm, and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian military’s ability to provide for their country’s security, both internally and throughout the Suez Canal area, Kirby said.

Enan was in Washington for a slate of regularly scheduled U.S.-Egyptian military meetings when protests broke out in Egypt last week.

After his first phone conversation with Enan earlier this week, Mullen expressed confidence in Egypt’s military in the face of the crisis. “[Enan] assures me that they’re very focused on this, and they will continue to be a stabilizing influence within their country,” he said.
Mubarak announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election for the post he has held since 1981.

President Barack Obama said he spoke to Mubarak after the Egyptian president’s speech.

“He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable, and that a change must take place,” Obama said yesterday. “Indeed, all of us who are privileged to serve in positions of political power do so at the will of our people.”

During its thousands of years of history, Obama said, Egypt has known many moments of transformation.

“The voices of the Egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments; this is one of those times,” he said.

NOAA highlights notable rescues of 2010

Posted by: LTJG Stephanie Young

Over the past two centuries, how the Coast Guard locates distressed mariners has evolved. In times past, sailors could only send signals themselves to alert the U.S. Life-Saving Service and lighthouse keepers ashore. Today, search and rescue command centers can locate people hundreds of miles from shore with the technology of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration global satellite system. This global system, now in its 29th year, has been credited with assisting in more than 28,000 rescues worldwide.

In 2010 NOAA’s Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking System assisted in the rescue of 295 people from life-threatening situations in the United States alone. NOAA satellites alerted rescuers across the nation to respond to the full gamut of emergencies, from a sinking vessel or missing kayaker to a downed plane or trapped hiker. Of the 295 people who were saved as a result of NOAA satellites, Alaska had the most people rescued with 77 lives saved, followed by Florida with 37 and West Virginia with 17.

Here are just a few of the notable cases NOAA SARSAT assisted in during 2010:

- In a joint Coast Guard-Navy operation, a man was rescued from his capsized boat, 250 miles off of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

- A man’s car veered off a snowy Colorado road in a blizzard and became stuck. With no cell phone signal, his personal locator beacon was the only way to contact authorities for help.

- Two people with a seven-member dog team were aboard a helicopter that crashed in Alaska. All lives were saved.

While the SARSAT system remains an asset to the Coast Guard, NOAA’s satellites work in conjunction with Russia’s COSPAS spacecraft, as part of a global search and rescue system, commonly referred to as COSPAS-SARSAT. The number of total international rescues for 2010 will be released later this year, including the rescue of Abby Sunderland, a California teen attempting to set a new record for youngest solo sail around the world who activated her emergency beacon when a storm left her boat adrift in the southern Indian Ocean.

This Day in Naval History - Feb. 02

From the Navy News Service

1800 - USS Constellation, commanded by Capt. Thomas Truxtun, captures French vessel la Vengeance.
1862 - USS Hartford, commanded by Capt. David G. Farragut, departs Hampton Roads for Mississippi River campaign.
1894 - Sloop Kearsarge, commanded by Cmdr. Oscar F. Heyerman, wrecks without loss of life on Roncador Reef off Central America.
1991 - Coalition naval operations continue in the Gulf War with an attack on the Al Kalia naval facility. One Iraqi Exocet-capable patrol craft is hit directly with two laser-guided bombs, while a second U.S. aircraft launches a string of twelve 500-pound bombs across another patrol boat. The bombs also strike several buildings on the pier, generating several secondary explosions.

Today in the Department of Defense, Thursday, February 03, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates hosts an honor cordon to welcome Colombian Minister of Defense Rodrigo Rivera to the Pentagon today at   The cordon will be held on the steps of the Pentagon River Entrance.  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.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen participates in the National Prayer Breakfast at in the Hilton Washington International Ballroom,
1919 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
 

Commanding General U.S. Forces-Iraq Gen. Lloyd James Austin III and Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey testify at a hearing of the Senate Armed Forces Committee on the United States policy toward Iraq at in room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, commander of Rule of Law Field Force - Afghanistan, will brief the media live from Kabul, Afghanistan, at , in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to provide an update on rule of law.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

USS Harry S. Truman Makes First E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Launch

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David R. Finley Jr, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, the Navy's newest airborne early warning and control aircraft, made its first launch Feb. 1, from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 representatives and aircrew from Patuxent River, Md., are aboard Truman to conduct suitability testing on the new aircraft.

"Truman is here to provide the squadron with the platform they need to perform the testing," said Lt. Cmdr. Rodney Moss, USS Harry S. Truman aircraft handler. "We will be supporting their test equipment on board, as well as aiding them in launch and recovery efforts."

"The idea of the E2-D started in the late 90's as kind of just a concept," said Cmdr. Mike Santomauro, flight test director. "The aircraft they are landing today began its initial testing back in 2007. The fact that we are even coming out to this ship is the culmination of more than a year-and-a-half of effort to get to here."

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye will not provide a significant change in the mission of early warning and control; however, it will enable the aircraft to perform its mission with greater improvements.

"It is a two-generation leap in surveillance capabilities, and it's going to be a game changer in information dominance for the U.S. Navy," Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said during a speech in 2010.

The new aircraft will be able to scan a larger area, detect smaller objects and process information quickly than its predecessor. The aircrews will be able to accomplish these tasks through improved all-glass cockpits and tactical operator stations.

"There are a lot of things that have changed," said Santomauro. "The old E-2C had a lot of steam gauges, but the cockpit of the new E2-D is composed entirely of glass with flat screen control panels."

The aircraft will go through a rigorous six-day testing period during which the squadron will determine whether the E2-D is effective in a operational shipboard environment.

"We will make our determinations based on any discrepancies with the airframe or whether we see any gaps in the anticipated capability," said Santomauro. "We have about 200 test points we are trying to accomplish."

Truman provided the pilots of VX-20 the chance to make the E-2D's much-anticipated first recovery and launch from an aircraft carrier.

"So far, the testing is going very well," said Santomauro. "Through developmental tests we are moving toward making determinations of whether the aircraft is suitable for use."

"There is not going to be anything new for the guys working on the flight deck," said Moss. "It is more about the data the pilots are collecting while they are up there."

This new aircraft serves as the U.S. Navy's continual effort to maintain excellence and gain the competitive advantage over all challengers.

"We are fulfilling the CNO's vision for how he wants to fight wars in the future," said Santomauro. "I think we are going to link a lot of pieces together to make a more effective fighting force."

For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.

Guard Response Grows After Massive Storm

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Orrell
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – About 2,500 National Guard members now are conducting relief and rescue operations in nine of the 30 states affected by the blizzard conditions and severe winter storms covering an almost 2,000-mile stretch of the country.

Since Jan. 31, the governors of Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin have declared states of emergency, with the National Guard activated in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.

The Indiana National Guard has 667 Guard members operating from 44 armories throughout the central and northern parts of the state and along the Interstate 70 corridor, performing highway assistance missions, transporting civilians to safe areas and responding to emergency calls.

If they’re needed, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will call up an additional 189 soldiers and airmen for state active duty for the severe weather response, the Indiana Guard reported.

In Illinois, 500 National Guard members are activated, and Gov. Pat Quinn has mobilized additional resources from the Illinois National Guard to ensure safety as the state continues its response to severe winter weather. Quinn –- in consultation with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Illinois State Police -– has ordered National Guard soldiers to provide direct transportation to Illinois State Police troopers, Guard officials reported. He also relieved the soldiers of their previous mission of manning the more than 20 rest areas from Interstate 70 near St. Louis and northward to Chicago.

The Illinois Guardsmen also relayed information on road conditions, vehicle accidents and stranded motorists to Illinois State Police officers conducting roving patrols.

Early estimates yesterday evening indicated more than 50 motorists were assisted, but Illinois National Guard and Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials said those estimates probably are low, because not all of the assistance is being documented, given the nature of the mission.

"Our main goal is to assist civil authorities helping motorists and those in need,” said Army Maj. Brad Leighton, director of public affairs for the Illinois National Guard. "Our mission is to protect and serve our fellow Illinoisans.”

The Illinois Guard troops will report to Illinois State Police district stations with Humvees and other all-terrain trucks, and will transport state troopers as they assist stranded motorists.

Many Guard members will be shifted from the southern part of the state to the most severely affected northern communities, officials said.

The Missouri National Guard has activated more than 600 soldiers and airmen spread over three task forces for emergency missions throughout the state. They’re making door-to-door safety visits, providing critical infrastructure power generation, helping stranded motorists, conducting presence patrols and clearing emergency routes to support first responders.

The Missouri Guard also has sent liaison officers to emergency operations centers.

ABC affiliate KMBC-9 in Kansas City reported that Missouri National Guard members assisted in the delivery of a baby early this morning. Two Guard members used Humvees to transport an ambulance crew to a rural home where the ambulance could not travel, the television station reported, and then transported the pregnant woman to a hospital in time for the birth of the baby.

In Oklahoma, about 100 Guard members are working with the Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol to assist stranded motorists, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is using the Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City for equipment staging.

About 75 Wisconsin National Guard members are deployed to armories across the state to assist local and state authorities with weather-related emergencies. The deployment was in response to Gov. Scott Walker's state of emergency declaration, which directs all state agencies to assist with response or recovery efforts and authorizes Air Force Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, the adjutant general, to mobilize Wisconsin Guard soldiers and airmen.

"The National Guard's dual mission makes us uniquely suited for emergency response," Dunbar said. "We are trained and equipped to answer the call and meet the needs of Wisconsin citizens. Support to civilian authorities is a core mission of our soldiers and airmen. When the state needs us, we're there."

Guard members assigned to tactical vehicles reported to armories in Plymouth, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Kenosha, Sussex, Elkhorn, Watertown, Janesville and Platteville on Jan. 31, where they’ll remain through the state of emergency or until released.

Those armories will be available for use as back-up emergency shelters, and the soldiers will stand by to support local authorities with operations such as door-to-door safety visits, generator assistance or stranded-motorist support.

The Iowa National Guard has about 30 Guard members supporting the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa State Patrol on highway assistance missions.

The Texas National Guard has about 30 Guard members assisting stranded motorists in Wichita Falls and Lubbock.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback joined Army Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general, at a news conference to update the state's response to the winter weather. Tafanelli said the response is a coordinated effort that includes the Kansas National Guard, Highway Patrol, Department of Transportation, Department of Health and Environment and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Kansas National Guard has 16 Guard members and four Humvees deployed to transport medical personnel to and from hospitals, he said. He added that additional Guard members are assisting the Highway Patrol in rescuing stranded motorists and clearing vehicles from the roadway. Several armories are open as shelters.

In Arkansas, the National Guard has about five Guard members transporting supplies from Little Rock to the Washington County emergency management facility in Fayetteville in case they’re needed.

Pennsylvania has about 400 National Guard members on standby, but no mission requirements had been assigned as of last night.

Latest Survey Shows NEX Customers Continue to Save Money

By Kristine M. Sturkie, Navy Exchange Service Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) received the results of its annual market basket survey Jan. 13.

The latest results show customers continue to save an average of 22 percent below civilian retail prices, not including sales tax, when they shop at their NEX.

"We hire an outside company, RetailData, to do a price survey in different areas of the United States to obtain an average percentage number for how much our customers save when they shop at a NEX," said Tess Paquette, NEXCOM senior vice president, chief merchandising officer. "Once again, the NEX has verified we save our customers money. We are excited that we were able to maintain this 22 percent savings for our customers, especially during these tough economic times."

To determine the percentage of savings, the same products were surveyed from region to region. The items included major appliances, consumer electronics, furniture, clothing, housewares, sporting goods and more. The different stores shopped for comparison prices included discount stores, mass merchants, full-line department stores and category-killer stores.

The survey compared prices on approximately 350 branded items in the NEX inventory against major retailers across the continental United States and Hawaii. The survey proved NEX customers saved 10.87 percent over WalMart; 35.72 percent over J.C. Penney; 25.93 percent over Dick's Sporting Goods; 32.08 percent over 7 Eleven; and 25.26 percent over Office Max.

Departments with some of the highest savings were domestics at 45.10 percent; stationary at 40.77 percent; boys clothing at 37.07 percent; girls clothing at 23.36 percent; infant clothing at 31.12 percent; men's clothing at 30.13 percent; and sporting goods at 26.76 percent.

The survey also determined customer savings in each of the eight different areas of the country surveyed:

- Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, save 26.41 percent;
- Everett, Wash., save 22.87; percent
- Great Lakes, Ill., save 22.64 percent;
- Bethesda, Md., save 22.10 percent;
- San Diego, Calif., save 21.84 percent;
- Jacksonville, Fla., save 20.95 percent;
- Norfolk, Va., save 20.31 percent
- Pensacola, Fla., save 19.96 percent.

"Offering our customers savings every day reinforces our NEX brand and the benefit of shopping the NEX," said Paquette. "We want NEX customers to be confident they can save money every day when they shop the NEX, not just for sale items. Our mission is to provide quality goods and savings, and to support Navy quality of life programs. That is what we do and the reason we exist."

For more news from Navy Exchange Service Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/nexcom/.

Army Reserve Chief Cites Reservists’ Value

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – As the Defense Department lays plans to reduce the ground force in response to mounting budget pressures, a senior military officer expressed hope today it won’t cut what he called one of the most cost-effective weapons in its arsenal: its reserve components.

Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve, said he doesn’t yet know if the Army will elect to pare the Army Reserve as it complies with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ decision to reduce the Army’s permanent active-duty end strength by 27,000 soldiers beginning in 2015.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but my instinct would say it doesn’t make sense,” Stultz said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast, “because if you reduce the active force, … you are going to put more dependence on the reserves.”

Gates announced force reductions in early January, citing greater-than-anticipated budget pressures and plans to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq by December and to significantly reduce the troop commitment in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The cuts will include 22,000 troops the Army added in a temporary end-strength increase approved in July 2009.

The Marine Corps also will cut its force by 15,000 to 20,000 Marines.

Stultz said today he hopes to maintain the Army Reserve’s current end strength and, if possible, to tap into some of the capabilities the Army will shed as it downsizes.

“If the Army is going to draw down, we need to have a plan to absorb those soldiers into the Army Reserve,” he said.

The Army Reserve provides many of the enabling capabilities the active component has come to rely on, particularly in areas such as civil affairs, psychological operations, transportation and engineering. Stultz said he sees no end to demand for these capabilities, even after the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan conclude. He cited, for example, “pent-up demand” among geographic combatant commanders who would love to tap into Army Reserve capabilities to support more of their theater engagement activities.

The Army -- and the nation -- get tremendous bang for the Army Reserve’s $7.5 billion annual base budget, Stultz told reporters.

“If you look at what our percentage of the budget is compared to the total budget, and then you look at what contribution we are making in terms of the number of soldiers we are providing to the force, that’s a pretty good return on investment,” he said.

Stultz said the Army force generation model -– which, when fully implemented, will give Army reservists four years at home between one-year deployment cycles –- provides ready forces at a fraction of what it costs to maintain active-duty troops.

“It’s a no-brainer, because you are paying them as a full-time soldier for one year, and you are paying them as a part-time soldier for the other four,” he said.

Meanwhile, Stultz said, he’s committed to identifying areas where the Army Reserve can operate more efficiently so it’s able to reinvest more of its funding into training and equipment modernization.

The Army Reserve is better equipped than ever, he said, but still lags behind in equipment modernization. As it acquires newer equipment, Stultz said, he’s evaluating strategies that ensure equipment is distributed where it can be used most effectively.

In addition, Army Reserve Command is exploring ways to provide more cost-effective training to Army Reserve soldiers. Among options being explored is more use of simulators and distance-learning programs that deliver standard classroom lecture material reservists can access at their convenience from home.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Honors Recruiters of the Year

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Charles Newcomer

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, spoke to the 2010 Recruiters of the Year and their families at an awards ceremony held Jan. 26 at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The mission of today's recruiter is not just about finding people to fill positions Greenert told the audience, and adding the 2010 Recruiters of the Year went "the extra mile" in procuring specific, professional talent that will carry the world's finest Navy forward into the future.

"What these folks do is beyond just recruiting," Greenert said. "They have a tremendously tough job. They have to find the talent for this Navy of ours; the greatest Navy in the world ... [and] they do it in an excellent way.

"They have to find the right quality. Only one out of four, 18-to-24-year olds qualify [for the Navy] for a host of reasons," he continued. "They have to find the quality we want, and then distinguish from that the person with the right talent for the job."

Greenert also acknowledged the role the recruiters play in the public's perception of the Navy.

"They not only recruit, they are [also] the face of our Navy - your Navy. They are the Sailors the populous sees first. Our recruiters put a human face on the Navy," Greenert said. "They can often give a young person thinking of entering the military a glimpse of what their future will be like."

On a night where heavy snow fell in metropolitan Washington D.C., canceling flights and halting ground traffic, nothing could put a chill on the enthusiasm the Vice CNO had in thanking the awardees and their families for a job well done.

Greenert emphasized the human factor that goes into being a successful Navy Recruiter.

"We have 5,300 Recruiters out there in 26 districts, and here we have the best of the best," Greenert said. "What you - spouses, mothers, fathers, and families - do for these award winners is amazing. You are the wind beneath our wings, and I thank you greatly. What they [recruiters] are doing is planting the seed so that we will reap that and become the Navy of tomorrow. It was your predecessors who made us the great Navy we are today ... and you're going to decide the great Navy of tomorrow."

Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions and 26 Navy Recruiting Districts that serve hundreds of recruiting stations across the country.

NRC's mission is to recruit the best men and women for America's Navy to accomplish today's missions and meet tomorrow's challenges.

For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrc/.

New START Treaty to Take Effect Feb. 5

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – With President Barack Obama scheduled to sign the new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia today, the stage will be set for the formal exchange of papers later this week that will put the agreement into effect.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to exchange ratification documents Feb. 5 at the Munich Security Conference, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ representative to the treaty negotiations said here yesterday.

Edward L. “Ted” Warner told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service that within 60 days of the treaty’s entry into force, both nations will have the right to conduct short-notice inspections of each other’s nuclear facilities.

“One of the crucial pieces of the more recent arms-reduction treaties, beginning with the START I treaty in the early 1990s, has been the provision for verification” of each other’s nuclear claims at operating bases, test ranges and storage sites, he said.

No inspections have taken place in either nation since START I expired in December 2009, he said, noting that the first START treaty represented “an enormous step forward in verification.”

The United States and Russia -- or its predecessor, the Soviet Union -- have signed a variety of strategic arms treaties going back to the early 1970s, Warner said. START I was signed in 1991 and ratified and entered into force in 1994. The Moscow Treaty in 2002 built on START I and lowered critical limits, particularly on deployed warheads, Warner said, noting that it expires in 2012.

“In the original START treaty, the limit was 6,000 warheads. In the Moscow Treaty, the limit was between 1,700 and 2,200 -- 2,200 being the legal limit,” he said. “In the new START treaty, which was concluded last April, the limit is now 1,550 strategic warheads.”

The U.S. Senate ratified the new START treaty Dec. 22, and the Russian parliament’s upper chamber ratified it Jan. 26.

The new treaty also limits strategic delivery vehicles, Warner added, which include intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers, such as the B-52H Stratofortress and the B-2 Spirit. The new treaty requires that each ICBM, submarine-launched ballistic missile and heavy bomber have a unique numerical identifier to aid verification, Warner said.

“That unique identifier is in the database,” he explained. “It’s provided during the pre-inspection briefing, and when inspectors go to inspect the individual items they are able to check that number.”

Each nation is allowed 18 short-notice inspections a year over 10 years, he added, “giving both sides the opportunity to confirm that the other side is complying with the provisions of the treaty.”

Both nations’ nuclear arsenals include strategic weapons carried on very long-range systems and nonstrategic, or tactical, nuclear weapons that can be delivered by tactical aircraft and used for antisubmarine warfare, Warner said.

No formal treaty ever has limited or reduced the weapons associated with shorter-range tactical delivery systems, Warner said. But during the ratification process for the new START treaty, he added, some senators said the next round of negotiated reductions should include tactical nuclear weapons in addition to long-range, strategic systems.

“This will be very much a challenge,” Warner said, “because virtually all of these weapons are in secure storage areas, and one of our highest priorities has been … to cooperate with the Russians through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to help finance improved security arrangements.

“So on one hand,” he continued, “we want to make sure they’re safe and secure, and on the other hand, we want to bring them into the negotiating process in order to reduce the overall numbers.”

Future nuclear weapons limitation treaties may expand to include nations besides the United States and Russia, Warner said.

“If you take the numbers down enough on the arsenals of Russia and the United States, then the other declared -- and some undeclared -- nuclear powers are likely to have to come into the equation,” he said.

Declared nuclear powers include the United Kingdom, France and China, Warner said. “Others that are undeclared include India, Pakistan and, it’s widely believed, Israel,” he added.

In the meantime, Warner said, “there’s probably one more major bilateral nuclear arms reduction negotiation, and hopefully, agreement ahead between the United States and Russia.”

Such a future negotiation may be one “in which we try to not only further reduce the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and the United States, but also fold in these nonstrategic weapons, the so-called tactical nuclear weapons,” he said.

“I think it is commonly agreed that they ought to be limited as well,” Warner added, “and people from both sides will be exploring, at official and nonofficial levels, how one might construct a treaty that would limit all nuclear warheads.”

That will be an important new challenge, he said.

“We have never limited the full set of strategic nuclear weapons themselves before,” Warner said, “so this will be virgin territory.”

Office of Naval Research Wins Website of the Year Award

By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

Arlington, Va. (NNS) -- An international provider of Web content and portal solutions announced the Office of Naval Research (ONR) was named the best government website in its North American Site of the Year for 2011 contest, Feb. 1.

As part of its annual recognition for organizations leveraging its technology, Sitecore recognized ONR for developing and launching an outstanding Web presence during fall 2009. ONR partnered with McLean, Va.-based NavigationArts to re-architect and rebrand its command site, improve the user experience and lend technological polish to the command's business portal.

"We wanted a 'front door' that was more in sync with the type of sophisticated technology that ONR develops and engages in and with every day," said Dr. Walter F. Jones, ONR executive director.

The update is designed to harness the power of digital media to effectively and efficiently articulate the Navy's portfolio of science and technology investments, research and funding opportunities, domestic and international collaborations, and education and outreach initiatives.

ONR's website reaches a broad and diverse audience, including 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. The new site has succeeded in better meeting customers' needs, and it has demonstrably altered visitor behavior.

In all measured areas: number of visits, number of page views, pages viewed per visit and average time on site, traffic has increased since ONR unveiled its modern design.

During the redesign process, ONR spent months gathering feedback as well as using surveys and focus groups to ensure users' needs came first. ONR focused on facilitating intuitive navigation, content organization and search against a slick digital backdrop.

The site's new Sitecore platform supports this goal, providing many infrastructure upgrades that allow greater flexibility in content display and publishing.

"By investing in our website, we're investing in our ability to expand the scientific dialogue that supports future naval capabilities," Jones said.

The portal will evolve through future additions and enhancements. Currently, the science and technology provider for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is also exploring real-time funding awards announcements; a redesign of its K-12 Focus educational portal, which promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics; an enhanced mobile platform and applications, or apps, designed for mobile devices and more.

The annual Sitecore Site of the Year awards recognize organizations that utilize Sitecore's technology to develop an outstanding Web presence and to deliver an engaging online experience. Nominations are judged on creativity; integration with rich data sources and applications; the ability to engage, educate and motivate an action; and the overall user experience the site is able to deliver to its visitors.

For more information, visit ONR's official website at www.onr.navy.mil.

For more news from Office of Naval Research, visit www.navy.mil/local/onr/.

National Guard Responds to Winter Storm

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Orrell
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – In response to blizzard conditions and strong winter storms across a third of the country, six governors have declared states of emergency and about 1,100 National Guard members from 11 states have been activated or are on standby, National Guard Bureau officials said.

As of 6 p.m. EST yesterday, the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin had declared states of emergency, and the Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin National Guard had activated.

Meanwhile, Guard members in Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania were on standby, officials said.

A day after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, the Missouri National Guard called up more than 600 soldiers and airmen to conduct emergency missions throughout the state. The Missouri Guard members will be spread over three task forces, Army Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general, said.

“Our force is seasoned by dozens of overseas deployments and 18 state emergency missions since 2005,” Danner said. “Our citizen-soldiers and airmen are ready to protect their fellow Missourians in their time of need, whether they are conducting door-to-door safety visits or clearing critical paths for emergency vehicles so first responders can do their jobs.”

Soldiers and airmen with Task Force East, based in St. Louis; Task Force Northwest, based in Kansas City; and Task Force Southwest, based in Springfield, are making door-to-door safety visits, providing critical infrastructure power generation, helping stranded motorists, conducting presence patrols and clearing emergency routes to support first responders. The Missouri Guard also has sent liaison officers to emergency operation centers.

Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has activated more than 500 Illinois National Guard members to help stranded motorists. They will be stationed at rest areas along Interstate 70 and other highways and will coordinate with the Illinois State Police to ensure the safety of travelers stranded along the roads.

"We must do everything we can to keep motorists safe during this massive winter storm,” Quinn said. “Illinois Department of Transportation crews are working nonstop to clear roadways, and the Illinois State Police will also be closely monitoring our highways. These troops from the Illinois National Guard will help ensure public safety along the roadways, and I urge everyone to exercise caution when traveling."

Guard members stationed along the highways will provide water, snack bars and roadside safety tips to stranded motorists and will relay information regarding road conditions, vehicle accidents and stranded motorists to state police officers.

"I'm proud that the Illinois National Guard is able to play our part in responding to this winter storm," said Army Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, Illinois adjutant general. "Our soldiers and airmen respond to the governor's call to help in state emergencies, just as we answer the president's call to serve overseas. It takes selfless citizens to serve in today's National Guard –- whether in Illinois or across the world."

In Arkansas, the National Guard has about five Guard members transporting supplies from Little Rock to the Washington County emergency management facility in Fayetteville in preparation for any needed assistance.

The Indiana National Guard had not yet been activated last night, but about 875 Guard members were on standby. About 30 members of the Iowa National Guard are helping stranded motorists.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declared a state of emergency, which activates the disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan, which authorizes state resources and funds to expedite emergency assistance statewide, including the National Guard.

In Oklahoma, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is using the Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City for equipment staging, but no National Guard personnel are anticipated to be used to support this FEMA mission assignment, officials said.

The Texas National Guard has about 30 Guard members assisting stranded motorists in Wichita Falls and Lubbock.

With Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declaring a state of emergency, Air Force Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, the state’s adjutant general, can activate elements of the Wisconsin National Guard to active duty to assist local authorities if needed. The declaration also directs all state agencies to assist in any response or recovery efforts.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania have Guard members on standby, but no mission requirements had arisen as of last night.

Reuben James Deploys to Western Pacific

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- USS Reuben James (FFG 57) deployed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Feb. 1, as part of an independent deployment to the Western Pacific.

Reuben James, commanded by Cmdr. David E. Miller, is deploying under the Middle Pacific Surface Combatant (MPSC) deployment concept in which Pearl Harbor-based ships deploy in support of operations, primarily in the Western Pacific. The crew of about 225 Sailors will conduct integrated operations in conjunction with coalition partners deployed to the Western Pacific.

"Reuben James has been preparing for this day since returning from our last deployment," said Miller. "Our focus of effort through continuous maintenance supplied by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, training and assessments conducted by Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific, and exercises RIMPAC 2010 and Koa Kai 11-1, have fully prepared us to be 'ready on arrival' to support all missions and operations. Our Sailors are ready, our families are ready, and Reuben James is ready. Our motto says it all, 'Back with a Vengeance.'"

Miller said he also expects to support the wider mission areas of maritime interdiction operations (MIO) and theater security cooperation (TSC).

USS Reuben James Command Senior Chief Navy Counselor (SW) Johannes Gonzales said his biggest expectation for the deployment is to be able to work closely with the battle group the ship is about to join.

"It's going to be a new experience for many of the crew members," said Gonzales. "Our personal goal is to get better. We are going to go out there. We are going to do our mission and meanwhile we are going to get better."

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard teamed up with BAE Systems Hawaii Shipyards to successfully complete a continuous maintenance availability (CMAV) on Reuben James, on time, Jan. 10.

"We have to be ready to deploy at a moment's notice," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Walls, USS Reuben James main propulsion assistant. "Continuous maintenance allows our ships to be mission-ready at all times."

With 20 years of maintenance engineering experience in the Navy, Walls said the change to continuous maintenance keeps the ships in better condition than the previous way. Instead of only conducting maintenance during major availabilities a year or more apart, work is done in smaller increments more frequently when the ship is in port.

The original completion date for the maintenance period was Dec. 22. Due to new work and delayed delivery of material, the deadline was extended. The CMAV work package on Reuben James was mainly structural and mechanical work accomplished through a combined effort between prime contractor BAE Systems Hawaii Shipyards, subcontractors, the shipyard and ship's force.

Walls said the shipyard's fleet technical support division and gas turbine engine shop performed repairs on the ship's elevator, fins and gas turbine engines.

"We've had great support from both the shipyard and the contractors during this CMAV," he said.

Lester Lee, is the shipyard project manager for Reuben James.

"With the holidays and inclement weather, there were some challenges with obtaining necessary materials on time and quickly replacing the non-skid surfaces on all decks, but the team prevailed to accomplish the work on time," said Lee.

Another challenge the team faced was underwater repairs. Lee said that instead of dry-docking the ship, which would be more expensive, the shipyard's Navy divers and ship's force installed a cofferdam on the underwater hull. The cofferdam created a dry space, which allowed contractors to work below the waterline.

Walls said continuous maintenance allows work to be done more frequently when it is needed, and the ship's crew members become familiar with the civilian workers who perform the repairs.

"We see the same faces so often, they become like part of the ship's company," he said.

Guided-missile frigates are multi-mission surface combatants, capable of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASUW) missions.

For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.

Robert G. Bradley Jump Starts Africa Partnership Station 2011

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) made a port visit to Lome, Togo, Feb. 1, as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011.

Robert G. Bradley brings with her a team of maritime professionals to provide training and engage in exercises with our African partners. Small boat maintenance, maritime law, construction training, medical treatment, and search and rescue training, are just a few of the collaborative training courses provided throughout this year's APS.

APS started four years ago and has since grown to involve 34 African, European and South American countries, along with multiple non-governmental organizations (NGO).

"We are excited to be part of the U.S. enduring commitment to APS and its common goal of achieving a secure, stable and prosperous maritime environment in Africa," said Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, deputy chief of staff for strategy, resources and plans for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. "The activities we have planned for 2011 with our international partners will continue to aide the capacity of theater security cooperation and reinforce the groundwork of maritime safety and security in the region."

While in port, Robert G. Bradley's crew and international staff will embark 12 embedded partners from Dakar, Senegal, to Freetown, Sierra Leone, for five weeks in conjunction with the ship's first two APS hubs. Additionally, Naval Forces Africa trainers will train more than 130 students from Benin, Ghana, and Togo, in conjunction with Robert G. Bradley's first APS hub in Lome, Togo.

APS 2011 is more than a single ship or event in one region of Africa. APS 2011 will conduct maritime security events in East and West Africa using five U.S. and three European partner ships. Each ship will conduct a variety of training hubs with students from neighboring countries participating in a central location. The APS international staff will work together with African partners to develop solutions to global maritime problems through training and exercises.

"Africa Partnership Station is truly an international effort to enhance maritime security and help build partner capacity in Africa," said Capt. Dan Shaffer, commander, Destroyer Squadron 60 and APS West commander. "Our collective efforts over the coming year, starting with Robert G. Bradley next month, are focused on helping our African partners achieve security interdependence."

Robert G. Bradley is scheduled to visit Cape Verde, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Angola and Nigeria during the next four months. During these visits, the ship will embark African students in order to conduct professional exchanges in many areas including seamanship, maritime law enforcement, medical readiness, oil spill management, non-commissioned officer development and navigation. The ship also carries, at the request of several NGOs, a large quantity of relief goods for the African coastal countries to include educational, humanitarian and goodwill material.

Robert G. Bradley, an Oliver Harry Hazard Parry-class frigate, is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.

This article was sponsored by Military Books.

Carderock Signs Partnership Agreements with Montgomery County

From Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division Public Affairs

WEST BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock signed three partnership agreements with Montgomery County, Md., and Montgomery County's college and public school systems Jan. 24, officially recognizing the center's support to schools and local business community.

Carderock Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Meyer, along with Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Montgomery County Public School Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast and Montgomery College Interim Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Services Paula Matuskey, signed the three agreements at a ceremony marking the county's first such agreements with Carderock.

"Educational and intermediary partnership agreements like these will further strengthen our already close relationship with Montgomery County," said Meyer. "By working closely with and mentoring students at all levels and guiding local companies through the process of conducting business with a federal agency, we hope to build interest in [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] careers and provide collaborative research opportunities with local businesses."

The business agreement, known as a partnership intermediary agreement, will allow local companies to better leverage the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development to identify Navy-developed technology available for licensing; participate in technology showcases targeting Montgomery County businesses, and Carderock research and development; have better access to programs and resources for developing research collaborations with Carderock; and participate in one-on-one or small group meetings with the Carderock Technology Transfer Office.

Additionally, Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College each entered into their own separate but related education partnership agreements with Carderock.

Through the new collaboration, students at all levels will have opportunities to put science and technology education into real-world practice. One outreach program will give local students the opportunity to work with engineers from Carderock to design, build and test remotely operated vehicles and robots. The students then have the opportunity to take a field trip to test their designs in the same pools that the U.S. Navy uses for its ship testing. Carderock will also host math events to help students prepare them for regional and national math competitions.

The Montgomery College agreement will provide a mechanism by which students can benefit from Carderock's staff expertise, unique facilities and equipment. Carderock's contributions to this partnership will help encourage student interest in science, mathematics and engineering, and benefit the laboratory by providing advance training to future employees.

"The official recognition of these three important agreements with Carderock represents a real trifecta, but with all the players finishing first," said county executive Leggett. "To have a leading federal installation such as Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division seek out separate yet mutually beneficial agreements, spanning elementary school students up through our current workforce, demonstrates their proactive approach to supporting local businesses and the local economy via increased tech transfer opportunities."

For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.

NFL Continues Military Partnership at Super Bowl

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2011 – From Air Force fighter jet flyovers to Army parachutists dropping in at halftime, the U.S. military and the National Football League have shared more than 40 years of Super Bowl history.

That tradition continues this week during the Super Bowl XLV festivities in North Texas. The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing for their second Super Bowl win in three years as they face the Green Bay Packers at Cowboys Stadium on Feb. 6.

NFL players in the area were scheduled to spend yesterday afternoon greeting troops returning from combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Tonight at 8, NFL players and hall-of-famers in Texas for the game will connect with deployed troops for the annual NFL Charities Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic. The interactive broadcast will connect the celebrities with wounded servicemembers recovering at a military hospital in Afghanistan.

Ten wounded warriors recovering in San Diego and Washington, D.C., will travel to North Texas courtesy of NFL Experience. The troops will participate in the Rehabbing with the Troops program and work out with NFL players Feb. 4. The troops were selected for finishing in the top 10 of the season-long program, which used EA Active NFL training camps to help wounded troops with their rehabilitation.

Also on Feb. 4, several sevice members will participate in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s news conference. About 150 children from Fort Hood, Texas, will participate in an NFL youth football clinic hosted by the I’m Not a Hero Foundation.

Fort Hood servicemembers will attend several other Super Bowl events as special guests of the NFL throughout the week, including the NFL Experience and the Tazon Latino Flag Football game today, VH1’s Pepsi Fan Jam tomorrow, Univision Pepsi Fan Jam Feb. 4 and a special concert Feb. 5 hosted by Country Music Television.

The NFL will cap off the week with a Super Bowl party throughout the game at Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Va., for wounded warriors recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

Throughout the years, the Super Bowl has become one of the most highly rated televised events of the year. This year, Super Bowl XLV will be broadcast to more than 230 countries to a potential worldwide audience of more than 1 billion viewers, including servicemembers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.