Military News

Friday, February 11, 2011

Service Secretaries Receive 'Don't Ask' Repeal Plan

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2011 – Pentagon officials today sent the Defense Department’s implementation plan for repeal of the law commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to the service secretaries with a March 1 deadline for their first progress update.

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, issued the plan, which outlines the stages of action, including those actions that must be completed before the department reverses the policy barring people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual from serving openly in the military.

During a Jan. 28 news conference on the implementation plan’s progress, Stanley stressed that Defense Department officials had coordinated closely with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to craft a plan designed to ensure the continued smooth operation of the services during repeal.

“We are fundamentally focused right now on our leadership, professionalism, discipline and respect,” he said.

The plan issued today closely follows previously released guidance on implementing repeal. The plan does not give dates for the implementation phases; defense officials repeatedly have said the process will be “conditions-based” and will go forward based on the services’ progress, including the training of their people and updating policies.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ initial guidance stressed the importance of “strong, engaged and informed leadership” at every level to implement the repeal, which he said should take place “properly, effectively, and in a deliberate and careful manner.”

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

The pre-repeal phase of the plan released today, now under way, focuses on training the force and setting up channels for services to report progress to the Pentagon and the White House. The Defense Department distributed training toolkits to the services Feb. 4.

Defense officials said all of the services participated in developing the training, and each can adapt the basic package. Training materials are designed to be usable in low bandwidth and nontraditional training settings, and include presentation slides with narration, scripts, frequently asked questions, vignettes, DoD policy guidance, Supplemental Plan for Implementation and Service specific material. Training is centered around the themes of Leadership, Professionalism, Discipline and Respect.

The plan directs the services to submit reports every two weeks, beginning March 1, on units and people trained and regulations updated.

Preparation for certification will begin when, in addition to other objective and subjective criteria, all policies are updated and the first two tiers of service member training are complete. The first tier includes policy makers, chaplains, lawyers and counselors, and the second covers commanding officers, senior noncommissioned officers and senior civilians. The plan also stipulates that prior to certification tier three training for all remaining service members must be under way, with a preparation in place for training completion.

Certification will culminate in the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certifying to the president, as commander in chief, that the department is ready to implement the repeal. By law, when the president, secretary and chairman have all certified the services are ready for the policy change, a further 60 days must elapse before the new policy takes place.

During implementation, the services will continue tier three training, begin sustainment training, and monitor the effects of implementation. The services and Defense Department also will continue to prepare progress reports.

The plan outlines ongoing sustainment to begin after repeal, during which policy reviews, training programs and monitoring assessments will continue and be refined as needed.

6th Fleet Commander Visits Enterprise

From Enterprise Strike Group Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, visited USS Enterprise (CVN 65) to meet with senior carrier strike group (CSG) leadership, and to thank the crew at the beginning of their deployment, Feb. 4.

Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., and Command Master Chief (AW/SS/SW/FMF/DV/PJ) Jay R. Wood Jr., command master chief of U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters; flew aboard the deployed aircraft carrier as the CSG continued theater security cooperation efforts in the Mediterranean.

"What you are doing is important," said Harris. "You have already visited Portugal and will soon arrive in Turkey, and these visits are important to our nation and important to 6th Fleet. Later, you will be supporting our combat troops in Afghanistan in the 5th Fleet [area of operations]. I applaud you for your energy and I thank you for your service."

The leaders toured the ship and met with Sailors and Marines to thank them personally for their efforts in support of the deployment.

During the ship's recent stop in Lisbon, the ship invited more than 1,000 guests to the ship for a reception, tours and media visits during the four-day visit. The crew participated in three community relations projects, and senior military commanders from both countries held briefings and meetings discussing military-to-military capabilities, while the crew took in the sights and sounds that their host nation provided.

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, visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at

Program Collects Protective Equipment to Save Lives

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2011 – A joint program charged with collecting the personal protective equipment of soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines killed in action is working to save future warfighters’ lives.

The Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat Program links the Defense Department medical, intelligence, operational and materiel-development communities.

Known as JTAPIC, the program is part of DOD’s Medical Research Program for the Prevention, Mitigation and Treatment of Blast Injuries, established in 2006. JTAPIC was created the same year.

The two organizations work together to integrate combat, medical and materiel-analysis information to prevent and mitigate future warfighter injuries by changing tactics or improving equipment, John Uscilowicz, the program’s deputy manager, told American Forces Press Service.

The goal, Uscilowicz said, is to better understand warfighter vulnerabilities to threats and guide the improvement of tactics, techniques and procedures on the battlefield. Program partners include the Army National Ground Intelligence Center, the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Program Executive Office Soldier, the Army Research Laboratory, the Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, the Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Maneuver Center of Excellence Naval Health Research Center, and the Marine Corps Systems Command.

The work starts on the battlefield, Uscilowicz explained, with an event that kills or injures warfighters. Information flows from after-action reports to the program’s operational intelligence partners, he said, “who gather as much information from the field as possible” about mounted operations and dismounted patrols.

Back at the program office, medical information is matched to data about the combat injuries and what personal protective equipment the warfighter was wearing at the time.

A critical element of the data gathering involves getting damaged personal protective equipment back from the battlefield and examining it along with the combat and medical data, Uscilowicz said.

“This has proven to be a real challenge,” he said.

For soldiers killed in action, body armor sometimes comes back with them to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. For others, or for those who are wounded or fired on and hit but protected by their body armor, collection teams in Afghanistan and a few left in Iraq help to get the damaged equipment back to the United States for analysis.

At Program Executive Office Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va., Army Col. William Cole, program manager for soldier clothing and individual equipment, is a JTAPIC partner.

“We partner with JTAPIC when the equipment is returned to the states, either at Dover or to the Mortuary Affairs Effects Collection Center at Aberdeen,” Cole said. “When the protective equipment is evacuated to them, they can look at it first and compare what happened with the equipment [to] what happened to the body. Afterward, they let us have the equipment to do further analysis.”

For example, he said, analysts perform a metallurgical analysis on any fragments in the equipment and look at X-rays and CAT scans of the equipment.

Advertising in dining halls, mailrooms and convenience shops helps to increase success in collecting the protective equipment, Cole said.

“We don’t expect to get 100 percent of the damaged equipment back from the field, just because of the nature of war,” he said. “It’s always somewhat chaotic, and leaders on the ground have to make decisions about where to place their priorities.

“Getting every last bit of protective equipment back isn’t realistic,” Cole added, “but I think the more we can advertise it and the more we can explain to soldiers how the things we learn help us make even better equipment in the future, the more successful we will be.”

In Aberdeen, Md., Natalie Eberius is an analyst at the warfighter survivability branch of the Army Research Laboratory’s survivability and lethality analysis directorate. Her group also is a JTAPIC partner.

“Our group, in addition to doing materiel analysis, is what you call personal vulnerability experts,” she said. “We understand injuries and what it takes to get certain injuries. We’re able to take that data and make it make sense.”

Every four weeks, the partners meet to evaluate and learn from events that have occurred for mounted and dismounted warfighters since their last meeting, Eberius said.

“Right now,” she added, “we’re working on a program that is trying to provide body armor protection to a particular region of the body. The soldiers are engaged in a specific threat that is causing very specific injuries, so we’re looking at solutions that could mitigate those injuries and help trauma doctors treat those who are injured.”

On the mounted warrior side of the effort, she said, “one of the things we’re able to do through the JTAPIC program is to look at survivability benefits of adding specific armor enhancements or enhancements to a vehicle.”

Program results for combat vehicles include better seat design, blast-mitigating armor and fire-suppression systems. JTAPIC also has helped to improve personal protective equipment, tactics and procedures, as well as models and simulations.

One procedural improvement that came from the partnership’s deliberations, Eberius said, was to begin providing medics with scissors that can cut through body armor.

“It seems like a simple thing unless you’re a medic and you’ve got these bandage scissors and you’re trying to cut through 18 or 30 layers of Kevlar” to help a soldier on the battlefield, she said. “It was one of those ‘a-ha’ moments –- ‘Why don’t medics have that?’ the analyst said.

The JTAPIC program sent a pair of the scissors to every medic, Eberius added. “Now in their kits, instead of bandage scissors, they have these scissors that can cut through practically anything,” she said.

The power of the JTAPIC program, Eberius said, is through the incorporation of the medical, operational intelligence and materiel and analysis communities.

“If you’re looking just at operational intelligence, you’ll get a feel for what the soldiers are engaging in and the threats,” she explained. “If you are looking just at the medical aspect of it, you’ll understand the injuries. But what we’re doing is combining what’s happening to the soldier in terms of his environment, the system he’s wearing and the medical information that comes from the threats. We pull all that together and try to look at ways to mitigate the effects of those threats.”

Officials are working to get more soldiers to understand the program’s importance, Eberius said.

“They’re the ones who understand the threats they’re seeing in their environments,” she added. “The way we can give them the best equipment is to understand those vulnerabilities.”

Flag Officer Announcement

From Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced Feb. 9 the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Brian L. Losey will be assigned as commander, Special Operations Command, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany. Losey is currently serving as commander, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Scott P. Moore will be assigned as deputy chief for operations, Office of Defense Representative-Pakistan, U.S. Central Command, Islamabad, Pakistan. Moore is currently serving as deputy director for special operations, J-37, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. Robert O. Wray Jr., will be assigned as president, Board of Inspection and Survey, Norfolk, Va. Wray is currently serving as vice commander, Navy Forces Europe/Africa, U.S. Sixth Fleet, Naples, Italy.

Who Gives Care to the Caregiver?

Posted by Communications, DCoE on February 11, 2011

According to Dr. Charles R. Figley, psychologist and professor at Tulane University, compassion fatigue is a state experienced by those who help people in distress; an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it is traumatizing for the helper.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of caregiver you may be, you will feel those moments of frustration,” said United States Public Health Service Capt. John Golden, acting deputy director of DCoE’s Psychological Health Clinical Standards of Care directorate.

At the 2011 Military Health System Conference, Golden, who has more than 20 years of experience as a clinical psychologist and caregiver, discussed what works and what doesn’t when it comes to caring for the caregiver.

“I know from personal experiences, deep down in my gut…” said Golden. “Hearing things over and over again are grounds for compassion fatigue.”

Golden experienced compassion fatigue while dealing with trauma as a psychologist and shared four different traumatic events that affected him: working with sexually assaulted detained immigrants, hurricane survivors, combat trauma survivors, and the aftermath of a high school shooting. Repeatedly hearing the painful stories began to have an effect on Golden, but things got better once he got help.

People experiencing compassion fatigue have similar symptoms of those with post-traumatic stress disorder, Golden said. The good news is that both of these conditions are treatable.

Check out these tips that can help you minimize and manage compassion fatigue:

■Listen to your body
■Advocate for yourself
■Don’t assume responsibility for another’s problems
■Be flexible; don’t have an all or nothing attitude
■Don’t over commit
■Don’t anticipate what someone else might need
■Take a break
■Don’t take things personally
Avoid engaging in the following activities that can perpetuate or intensify negative symptoms, such as:

■Substance abuse
■Excessive spending or gambling
■Eating unhealthy foods
■Withdrawing or isolating from others
■Caring for everybody but yourself
When your thoughts become overwhelming, make the choice to seek professional help, it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and reassures that you get back to caring for others.

*Compassion fatigue is the topic of the February DCoE Monthly Webinar – stay tuned for more information.

*Have you heard about the new toll-free National Caregiver Support Line by the Department of Veterans Affairs? You can now call 855-260-3274 or visit for resources specifically for you.

USS Boise Presented Battle "E" Award

By Kevin Copeland, Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Boise (SSN 764) was officially presented the 2010 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") award during a ceremony aboard Naval Station (NS) Norfolk, Va., Feb. 11.

Capt. Frank Cattani, commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 8; formally presented the award to Cmdr. Brian Sittlow, USS Boise commanding officer; Lt. Cmdr. John Croghan, USS Boise executive officer; and MMCS(SS) Stephen Capps, USS Boise chief of the boat; and the Boise crew, during the ceremony on Pier three.

"It is my distinct pleasure and honor to present the Battle 'E' award today," said Cattani. "Boise had an outstanding year. You demonstrated the highest state of readiness by displaying unmatched resiliency, leadership, hard work, and commitment to excellence.

"Boise is a great ship, but the award is really about you – the crew. Your personal excellence is the foundation of your operational excellence. Your sustained superior performance in a challenging operational environment while on deployment was second to none. Boise is truly, 'A One Ship Fleet,'" said Cattani.

The Battle "E" competition is conducted to strengthen individual command performance, overall force readiness, and to recognize outstanding performance. The criterion for the award is the overall readiness of the command to carry out its assigned wartime tasks as a unit of the Atlantic Submarine Force, and is based on a year-long evaluation.

One submarine from each submarine squadron in the Atlantic Fleet is recognized. The awards are presented by the commodore of each squadron to the submarine under their command which has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness during the evaluation year.

"Boise is very proud to receive the 2010 COMSUBRON Eight Battle "E," said Sittlow. "This award means a lot to the crew. It signifies submarine force and fleet-wide recognition for all the hard work that went into making 2010 a very successful year for the ship, particularly our recently completed deployment.

"Although there is never a shortage of teamwork and a sense of 'ship, shipmate, self' in the submarine force, an award like this adds even more pride and a sense of importance to our day-to-day work. It also re-establishes high standards for continued hard work, and hopefully more success in 2011."

The USS Boise executive officer amplified his commanding officer's reaction on receiving the award.

"To be recognized by the submarine force leadership for the hard work of every member of the crew is definitely a highlight in my career," said Croghan. "This is my fourth ship and my first Battle 'E'. "A ship can't win this award without a fundamental understanding of the importance of the camaraderie and teamwork that it takes to execute the daily mission of a submarine.

"Less than a year before our deployment, Boise was in the shipyard with half-a-dozen hull cuts. The feeling of accomplishment after completing all of the inspections, certifications, and training required to successfully deploy on time in such a short period after the shipyard is tremendous.

"I have been fortunate to be a part of the some very talented crews, but the teamwork we have on Boise is definitely a key ingredient in making optimum use of the talents of every man on board. Every man contributed to our successes in 2010, and every man understands that he is accountable to the man next to him on the team to make the ship a success," said Croghan.

In addition to the Battle "E" award, Boise was also presented the Medical "M," the Supply "E," the Communications "C," the Navigation "N," and the Engineering "E".

"This kind of significant recognition of a job well done can be a rally point in establishing esprit-de-corps and unit cohesion," said Capps. "When Sailors feel like they are part of something special, they want to be involved, and when everyone is involved, morale and the things that coincide with it improve. These awards are confirmation that the men of Boise did an outstanding job at the highest of all standards. We all like to think we do a great job, but this confirms it."

All submarine force command Battle "E" winners were announced via Navy message by Vice Adm. John M. Richardson, commander, Submarine Forces announced the winners Jan. 1.

"The competition for these honors was, as always, extremely keen," stated Richardson in the message. "These awards should be a source of great pride to each and every crew member. Bravo Zulu."

For more information on the Submarine Force visit the Submarine Force Atlantic web site at

Today in the Department of Defense, Saturday, February 12, 2011

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

Enterprise Sailors Save Turkish Man's Life

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

MARMARIS, Turkey (NNS) -- Four Sailors Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11, Sailors saved a Turkish man's life by administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while on liberty in Marmaris, Turkey, from deployed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Feb. 10.

Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class (AW) Christopher Hockey, Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Jacob Kudrin, Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Brian Jones, and Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Brandon Plummer were on their way back to the ship after spending the day in town when they witnessed a man fall, hitting his head and slumping to the ground, unconscious.

When the four Sailors checked for the man's pulse and found none, they told nearby pedestrians to call for help. Hockey began to administer CPR while the other three Sailors assisted. When police and medical personnel arrived, the Sailors' efforts successfully revived the injured man.

The man was rushed to the hospital for further treatment.

Many Sailors learn CPR as part of their Navy training. The Navy also teaches crisis management and how to respond in emergency situations.

"I've had CPR training over the course of the entire time I've been in the Navy," said Hockey. "The whole magnitude of the situation took a few seconds to set in and was a little overwhelming, but I was happy to help."

"They really made us proud," said Cmdr. Daniel Sullivan, VFA-11, executive officer. "People take CPR training for granted sometimes and don't believe that they will ever have to use it in a real situation. These Sailors proved how useful it is, and they made a difference in this man's life."

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, visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at

Marine Receives Navy Cross for Actions in Vietnam War

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christofer P. Baines
Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2011 – Nearly 45 years after he saved almost an entire company of fellow Marines in Vietnam, a Marine Corps veteran was formally recognized today for his actions.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus presented Ned E. Seath with the Navy Cross -- the second-highest award a Marine can receive for valor -- in a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va.

Then a lance corporal, Seath was serving as a machine gun team leader with the 3rd Marine Division’s Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, when he halted an assault of North Vietnamese soldiers July 16, 1966, using an M-60 machine gun he reassembled from spare parts. But his story of heroism was tucked away when his service in the Marine Corps ended.

Seven years ago, his story resurfaced during a battalion reunion, leading to a movement started by Bill Hutton, who served with Seath, to recognize Seath’s heroism.

“All I could think was they’re going to be overrun us and they were going to kill us all,” Seath said. “I had Hutton and Bennett on my flanks with fixed bayonets holding them off. They gave me a good two more minutes to make one good gun.”

His unit, one of the four Marine battalions in Task Force Delta, was called into action to support Operation Hastings, an effort to push the a North Vietnamese army division out of South Vietnam’s Quang Tri province. The company’s mission was to establish a blocking position in the middle of an enemy trail network.

Led by platoon commander David Richwine, now a retired major general, Seath’s role was to provide machine-gun fire to aid in disrupting North Vietnamese army activity in the area. After landing, Seath’s company soon came upon a reinforced enemy platoon waiting for the Marines in a defensive position.

During the ensuing onslaught, Seath moved to obtain a disabled machine gun from a wounded Marine nearby, building an operational M-60 machine gun out of two inoperative weapons, and he quickly returned devastatingly accurate fire to the oncoming enemy.

One of the weapons simply malfunctioned, Seath said, while another fire team a few fighting positions away could provide only semi-automatic fire. He pulled out a clean poncho, grabbed some grease and a brush, and went to work on the two weapons to craft the one the Marines so desperately needed.

Richwine said Seath began laying down machine-gun fire in the prone position. As his field of fire became obstructed by enemy casualties, he completely disregarded his safety as he knelt at first and eventually stood up, fully exposed to enemy fire, to continue repelling the enemy’s advance.

“Everyone was fighting for their lives,” Richwine said, noting that the advancing enemy was closing in. “Several Marines even had affixed bayonets. Seath was providing well-aimed, disciplined machine-gun fire, which ultimately killed their attack. It was a combined effort stopping the enemy, but Seath was the guy with the tool to do the job best -– all while in the dark.”

All that illuminated the sky that night was sporadic flairs from passing aircraft, but what lit the battlefield was the tracer rounds -- red streaks from the Marines and green streaks from the North Vietnamese army, Richwine said.

“If it weren’t for Ned Seath, I’d be buried right now … in Arlington [National Cemetery],” said Hutton, who fought alongside Seath during that battle. “We were surrounded and outnumbered. But Ned didn’t quit. He went above and beyond the call of duty. He saved a company of Marines.”

By this night, only the second night of the operation, Seath was very familiar of the possibility of dying on the battlefield for the sake of his fellow Marines. Just 24 hours earlier, he had rushed to the aid of two wounded Marines under heavy machine-gun fire that already had claimed the lives of two Marines, and dragged them to safety. For these actions, he received the Bronze Star Medal with a “V” device for valor, which was presented along with his Navy Cross.

“What Ned went through - what he did - is emblematic of the Marine Corps,” Mabus said. “This is one of the biggest honors I have. Ned Seath is a hero.”

Three retired Guard members to enter Army Guard Hall of Honor

Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office

Three outstanding former Guard Soldiers have been chosen to enter the prestigious Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall of Honor. A special committee of current and past Guard Soldiers selected retired Brig. Gen. James Daley of Janesville, Wis., retired Maj. Lynn Rasmussen of Madison, Wis., and retired Command Chief Warrant Officer William Richardson of Middleton, Wis., to receive one of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's highest honors for exceptional achievement and devotion to duty.

They join the ranks of 43 individuals who previously received the Wisconsin Army National Guard's highest honor for exceptional achievement and devotion to duty.

Daley enlisted in the Marines in 1966, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during a 1967-68 tour in Vietnam. He attended Officer Candidate School in the Wisconsin National Guard in 1977 and subsequently held a number of deputy and director positions, including director of personnel and administration for the state area command. He commanded the 32nd Infantry Brigade from 1998-2001 and again from 2002-03, serving as assistant adjutant general for readiness and training from 2001-02. Following a six-month active duty assignment as a senior transformation analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Daley finished his military career as assistant adjutant general for the Joint Staff and commander of the state Joint Task Force.

Rasmussen enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guard in 1975 and was assigned to the 132nd Support Battalion. She attended Officer Candidate School in 1979, and served in various company and battalion roles such as platoon leader, company commander, personnel, logistics and maintenance management. She completed her Active Guard and Reserve tour in 1990 and retired as a Major from the Wisconsin National Guard in 1995. Rasmussen has received numerous civilian awards regarding her work with the Department of Military Affairs.

Richardson enlisted as a Marine in 1966 and served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps Band - the President's Own. Subsequently joining the Wisconsin National Guard's 132nd Army Band, Richardson was appointed as bandmaster in 1977 at the rank of warrant officer 1. He led the band through numerous governor's inaugurations and other official celebrations, improving the band's performance and reputation as well as bringing credit and recognition to the Wisconsin National Guard. He culminated his career as the state Command Chief Warrant Officer from 2002-03.

A public induction ceremony will be held at the Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall Joint Force Headquarters May 15.

Navy-Marine Corps Unit Provides Numerous Capabilities

By Jian DeLeon
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2011 – A Navy-Marine Corps unit completed a wide range of missions across the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean in the past year, ranging from reclaiming a container ship that had been taken over by pirates to providing relief in the aftermath of flooding in Pakistan.

Marine Corps Col. Roy Osborn, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Navy Capt. Dale Fuller, former amphibious Squadron 3 commander of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, detailed some of those missions Feb. 9 during a “DOD Live” bloggers roundtable.

“I had about 2,300 Marines and sailors assigned to me,” Osborn said. I had a pretty heavy command element, a battalion-landing team -- which is my infantry side -- that has everything from tanks, tracks, artillery and riflemen in it. My combat-logistics battalion is a logistics-heavy combat-service-support heavy element that has everything from bulldozers to water makers in it. And then I have an air combat element, which is composed of helicopters, jets, maintainers and air defense, as well as communications capabilities.”

Fuller outlined the team’s naval capabilities.

“We have three ships assigned in supporting 15th MEU during this deployment,” he said. “We had the USS Peleliu, and Peleliu had approximately 2,000 sailors and Marines embarked. We carried and supported the helicopters on board. Along with that, we had four [utility landing craft] and, of course, the other capability, specifically, the surgical capability that we bring along with that ship by the fleet surgical team.”

The USS Dubuque, one of the oldest ships in the Navy, and the USS Pearl Harbor, one of its newer ships, also were part of the team.

Osborn gave a rundown on the team’s missions in 2010.

“We left in May, proceeded out to the Western Pacific, conducted operations in Timor-Leste and Indonesia, did a number of stops along the way, and then moved into [the 5th Fleet and U.S. Central Command area of responsibility],” he said, “and, in effect, conducted operations across the entire theater, to include operations in Africa as well.”

Overall, the team operated in 22 countries and five continents. The only places the team never operated are South America and Antarctica.

Osborn said the team’s missions were varied.

“We did the Pakistan flood relief,” he said. “We did [Operation Enduring Freedom] close-air support with our jets. We did the recovery of the [container ship MV Magellan Star] -- the power takedown -- and we also provided support for the rescued persons at sea, the Somali-Ethiopians, [whom] the Navy hosted for about 38 days.”

The recovery of the MV Magellan Star provided the perfect example of how the team can function effectively and efficiently, Osborn said.

“One of the things that we try to emphasize to everyone is [that] our MEU is a Navy-Marine Corps team,” he said. “The execution of the mission to recover the [Magellan] Star from the pirates probably was one of the best examples of the integration of the Navy and Marine Corps team.

The Navy and Marine Corps team integrated various capabilities, Osborn said -- “launching the aircraft, getting in with eyes on target, having the [USS] Princeton in overwatch, having the Marine snipers in the Huey [helicopter], having the Marine snipers on the bridge wing of the [USS] Dubuque, having the raid force and the naval special warfare boats moved in.”

The recovery mission took place over less than 20 minutes from the moment the first boat touched the side of the MV Magellan Star, he added, noting that the mission was accomplished without firing a single shot.

Fuller spoke about the difficulties encountered while providing relief in the Pakistan flood.

“The flood in Pakistan was two separate disasters,” he said. “The northern half of the country was a flash-flood tsunami-type disaster. It literally scraped the sides of the mountains off. In the south, the second part of the flooding that we supported, it was slow-inundation flooding.”

Fuller coordinated the drop-off of supplies and the movement of 8,000 evacuees from the mountains in northern Pakistan. The team acted in support of the Pakistani military, and supplies were provided by the World Food Program, he added.

The relief program proved to be labor-intensive, Fuller said.

“We were covering just about every military operation you can think of -- all the same way [and on the same day], and for multiple locations,” he said.

Even though the days were long, Fuller said, he remains proud of the work the Navy-Marine Corps team has accomplished, and sees it as a worthy investment.

“I think the sailors and Marines really did a fantastic job out there,” he said, “and what we pretty much demonstrated during our seven months is the return on investment that this … team gives our nation in supporting our national security concerns. … You really get your bang for the buck for this capability that the taxpayers are paying for.”

Osborn agreed.

“One of my old bosses used to say, ‘You know, for every dollar you spend in peace is $10 in warfare.’ And that's kind of the way we looked at it on this deployment,” he said.

“We enjoy what we do,” Osborn continued. “It's a fun job. But there's a very busy world out there, and there's a very insecure world out there, and so there's plenty of work left to be done.”

5K Run Helps Kick Off Centennial of Naval Events in San Diego

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- More 650 participants put on their running gear and took part in the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) 5K Beach Run Feb. 9 on board Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI).

Commander, Navy Region Southwest's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program sponsored the event to help recognize the CoNA and raise awareness for the upcoming celebration at NASNI.

"These kinds of things are always a morale booster so I'm glad to have been able to coordinate the event," said Thor Dekker, the NASNI MWR fitness coordinator. "It feels great to have so many people come out and celebrate something as historic as the 100 year anniversary of Naval Aviation."

According to Dekker, the 5K was open to all service members and other authorized MWR patrons. Runners had to complete a two-lap course in the sand along Breaker's Beach at NASNI.

Dekker said very runner received a free t-shirt upon registration. First place male and female runners received a commemorative coin and two passes to Universal Studios theme park.

"We did a 5K back in July that had about 200 people come out to participate," said Dekker. "But I had no idea more than 650 people would come out to celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation."

Commemorating 100 years of progress and achievement in naval aviation, CoNA is a year-long tribute to the scope of all naval aviation activities, including aircraft, people, ships, innovations and significant milestones.

"One hundred years ago naval aviation was on the heels of the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk," said Rear Admiral Pat McGrath, who leads the CoNA effort. "Here in San Diego, experiments with 'hydroaeroplanes' set the stage for the flying machine to become an integral part of our Navy."

The highlight of San Diego area CoNA events is the Feb. 12 Open House and Parade of Flight at NASNI featuring more than 75 historic aircraft, ship and aircraft carrier tours, static display aircraft, and a classic car show.

‘Prevent, Prepare’ Key Special Ops Roles, Official Says

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2011 – The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review outlined strategic defense priorities: prevail in war, prevent and deter conflict, prepare for future conflicts and contingencies, and preserve and enhance the force.

“Today I want to unpack the … ‘prevent’ and ‘prepare,’ and discuss how I see [special operations forces] playing a critical role in both of those areas,” Dr. Janine Davidson, deputy assistant secretary of defense for plans, yesterday told attendees here at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 22nd Annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium.

“What kind of conflicts are we trying to prepare [for] and prevent?” Davidson asked symposium attendees.

Nuclear proliferation, climate change, global pandemics, transnational criminal organizations and terrorism, Davidson said, make up a set of national security challenges more complex than ever before. She noted that future conflicts will more closely resemble current wars.

The response to these challenges requires culturally aware fighters, 21st-century intelligence resources, and a delicate approach to transitioning to peace, she said.

“These complexities are compounded … by an emerging period of fiscal constraint for our federal government,” Davidson said. “We must ask: ‘What can we do smarter, more effectively, and more efficiently while still meeting our defense priorities to protect the American people?’”

Unity of effort across “3-D” -- diplomatic, developmental and defense -- capabilities will remain as critical in the future as it is to today’s capabilities, Davidson said.

Coordination and planning with interagency partners are necessary, she said, but a successful “3-D” effort also will require “insight and knowledge –- something the [special operations] community has excelled at.”

Just as the community developed successful approaches for urban warfare, foreign internal defense and counterinsurgency conflicts, special operations will need to “put their brains around these new challenges,” she said.

One aspect of current conflicts that needs attention, she said, is the security gap created by the historically separate roles of American military and law enforcement organizations.

That gap, she said, is “being exploited by insurgents in the field as well as increasingly sophisticated transnational drug cartels and traffickers, regionally and on a global scale.”

It will take a whole-of-government effort and a thorough understanding of how the “bad guys” operate to counter them, Davidson said.

In transition situations such as in Iraq and the planned security transfer in Afghanistan, Davidson said, it will be important for the military to better understand diplomacy and development.

Realistically, she said, transfer to civilian-led operations doesn’t mean the military exits, but rather defense forces will continue to support their civilian counterparts.

Special operations forces will be critical in 3-D efforts, Davidson said, given “their special skill-sets and talent for bridging gaps among certain populations and communities.”

Only a rigorous effort to understand the differing requirements of defense, development and diplomacy, coupled with careful consideration of possible unintended outcomes, will allow a whole-of-government approach to succeed, she concluded.

Children's Dental Health Gets Brush Up

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexandra Snow, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- The National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) and the Naval Postgraduate Dental School (NPDS) promoted children's dental hygiene during a celebration featuring free cleanings and oral screenings, Feb. 4.

In celebration of National Children's Dental Health Month, the event not only offered face painting, games and storytelling, but also fluoride applications and cavity risk assessments for children ages six months to 12 years.

About 60 children, most of whom were under age 3, attended the celebration in NNMC's Pediatric Specialty Care clinic.

"We're trying to promote awareness about children's oral health issues," said Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Fries, NPDS Pediatric Dentistry chairman. "It's important for parents to understand the important role they play in ensuring good oral hygiene habits in their children at an early age."

"Many parents try to soothe their children during bedtime or naps with a bottle of milk or juice; unfortunately, the constant exposure to sugary liquids can create a thin film of plaque on young teeth," said Maj. Masoud Milani, NNMC Comprehensive Dentistry Program dentist. "The bacteria in plaque then decays teeth and can cause weakened enamel and other significant problems."

Fries said parents can help promote good health in their child's teeth early on by substituting drinks high in sugar with water.

"Baby teeth are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, but don't underestimate the importance of your child's first set of teeth," Milani said. "They not only make a huge impact on appearance, [but also] play a crucial role in your child's ability to speak and chew effectively."

To prevent tooth decay, Milani suggests using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristle toothbrush, brushing for two minutes, twice a day. When the child is old enough to spit, increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized smear. Infants, whose teeth have not broken through their gums, should still have their gums wiped with a clean cloth after each feeding.

Additionally, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children be seen by a dentist when they receive their first tooth, typically between six-months to one year of age.

"This is about prevention and getting good habits started early," said Fries. "The mouth is a personal space, so all kinds of behavior are normal and can be expected, but children that receive early dental visits tend to behave better during them and have better overall oral health than children who do not."

"You will need to instruct, monitor and motivate your child to help maintain good oral health habits," said Milani. "The attitudes established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life."

Fries said the event was specifically aimed at trying to target children who are not yet insured by the TRICARE dental program.

"If a child doesn't have dental insurance, it is unlikely that they will see a dentist by the recommended one year of age," she said.

"The TRICARE dental program is a comprehensive dental program the government offers to the active-duty service member family members, Reservists and their family members [through United Concordia]," said Janice Taylor, United Concordia senior dental benefits advisor.

Children of active-duty service members enrolled in the TRICARE dental program are automatically registered for the program at age four. In addition, children with siblings enrolled in the TRICARE dental program are automatically enrolled at birth. For children younger than four, registration is voluntary, explained Taylor. For children, TRICARE covers 80 percent of all cavity fillings and sealant applications.

Emergency, diagnostic and preventative services are provided at no cost. To enroll a child in TRICARE dental, visit

"Good oral health starts with early prevention and education," said Fries.

To schedule a pediatric dentistry evaluation at NNMC, call 301-295-1364.

For more news from National Naval Medical Center, visit

This article was sponsored by Military Books.