Military News

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

This Day in Naval History - Feb. 16

From the Navy News Service

1815 - USS Constitution captures the British vessel Susannah.
1945 - Carrier aircraft from Vice Adm. Marc A. Mitscher's Task Force 58 strike Japanese installations around Tokyo.
1967 - Operation River Raider begins in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam.

NAVSEA, PEOs Reach Out to Small Business Owners in Florida

From Program Executive Office Littoral and Mine Warfare Public Affairs

MIAMI (NNS) -- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and five, affiliated Program Executive Offices (PEO) hosted a Small Business Conference at Florida International University Feb. 1 to promote psrtnerships and technological exchanges.

The NAVSEA conference encouraged small business owners in the area to submit ideas for innovative products and services to support current fleet, as well as the next generation, of ships and combat systems.

"The purpose of this conference was to develop successful partnerships, so that NAVSEA can better harness the power of small businesses," said PEO Littoral & Mine Warfare Executive Director Victor Gavin. "Our outreach efforts also directly support the Secretary of the Navy's call to develop those small businesses that support the current and future Navy-Marine Corps force through outreach, training and counseling."

In addition to informational sessions that provided participants with useful resources for marketing their products and services, the conference also provided small business representatives a networking forum to converse one-on-one with senior Navy leaders, prime contractors, and other small businesses owners who have successfully partnered with the Navy.

John Venables, president of Naiad Dynamics, attributed his company's success in part to the knowledge he gained participating in previous NAVSEA Small Business conferences.

"NAVSEA Small Business conferences are excellent. They highlight the Navy's priorities and direction; give useful insight on conducting business with the Navy; and provide exceptional networking opportunities and access to NAVSEA leaders," said Venables.

Naiad Dynamics received its first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award with its first SBIR proposal, and is competing to continue work for the Navy in the field of high-speed combatant craft automated ride control through a following Phase II award.

"We recognize the significant contributions small businesses can bring to the table," said Gavin. "That's why we go out into communities and offer training. Outreach efforts such as these are a testament of our organization's commitment to mentoring and developing these valuable partnerships."

NAVSEA, its field activities, and the five affiliated PEOs contract for the design and integration; maintenance and repair; modernization and conversion; technical, industrial and logistical support of ships, shipboard weapons and combat systems; as well as professional services, such as engineering, finance and program management.

For additional small business information and resources, visit the Web sites for Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs, the Navy's Office of Small Business Programs or NAVSEA Business Opportunities.

Lynn Gains IT Industry’s Cybersecurity Perspective

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16, 2011 – Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III returned yesterday from a two-day cybersecurity-focused trip here that included a keynote speech and meetings with industry leaders.

Throughout his visit, Lynn focused on communicating with information technology professionals, whom he terms critical to national efforts to protect key defense and economic networks.

The long-term objective for cybersecurity, Lynn noted, is to impose “more costs” on cyber attackers without depriving the Internet of its dynamism.

“Across the board, we heard from all of these companies that this is possible,” he said. “It’s not fast. It’s not like we can put a patch out. This is a more fundamental re-engineering, but I think it is possible without huge disruption.”

During a speech at the RSA Conference 2011 and in meetings with executives from small tech start-up companies and information technology giants such as Intel, Google and Microsoft, the deputy secretary stressed a few key themes:

-- Threats to the cyber domain are varied and will increase;

-- Action now can maintain the nation’s military and economic edge in that domain; and

-- A combined whole-of-government and industry effort is necessary in the cybersecurity effort.

“The [cyber] threat is still maturing,” Lynn told reporters at the conference, which brought together thousands of security, cryptanalyst and information technology professionals. Though the threat currently is limited mostly to exploitation and disruption efforts, Lynn said during his speech, the capability for destructive attacks exists. He added that on the exploitation front, more than 100 foreign intelligence services have launched attempts to infiltrate Defense Department networks.

Disruption or denial-of-service attacks are a more elevated cyber threat, he said. Lynn cited such attacks in Estonia in 2007 and the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008, and, more recently, a hacker group’s targeting of eBay and PayPal as prime examples of such attacks.

Destructive attacks, using cyber tools to cause physical damage, are emerging only now as a threat, the deputy secretary said.

“The threat we see today is probably not the threat we’re going to see tomorrow,” Lynn said. “We need to get ahead of that game.”

The cyber threat is likely to increase in two directions, Lynn said: up the ladder of escalation from exploitation to destruction, and from nation-states to nonstate actors.

“We’re at this transition point now, which actually gives us a little time where the most destructive capabilities are not in the hands of the people who would be most likely to use them,” he said. That additional time offers a chance to strengthen the cyber domain against developing threats, he added.

Lynn emphasized the need for urgency in developing a strategy and getting cyberdefense capabilities in place. The deputy secretary also reiterated another key point from his speech: cyberdefense cannot be likened to traditional military missions, such as air defense.

Cyber and much of the critical infrastructure it touches -- such as power grids and transportation networks -- is largely in the private sector, he noted.

“We need this public-private partnership, and we need a partnership across the whole of government,” he said.

Lynn pointed out that the Defense Department plays a supporting role within U.S. borders.

“DOD has capabilities, but in terms of protecting critical infrastructure, the lead agency there is the Department of Homeland Security,” he said. “We work through them, just as we do on hurricane relief.”

Lynn said his meetings here this week with information technology pioneers offered an opportunity to seek industry’s views on “changing the balance” in an IT infrastructure that now favors attackers.

Altering the Internet’s offense-defense balance will take a number of years, the deputy secretary said, but he added that he is encouraged that industry leaders told him software and hardware technologies are available that can help in achieving that objective.

“In the interim, we’re pursuing robust defenses,” he said.

Lynn, who has made cybersecurity a priority in his interactions with other militaries, NATO partners and private industry, received the 2011 RSA Conference award for excellence in public policy.

Navy Team a World Leader in Network-Controlled Maritime Nuclear Radiological Detection

By Barbara Honegger, Naval Postgraduate School, Public Affairs

MONTEREY, Calif. (NNS) -- A Naval Postgraduate School experimental team on the cutting edge of network-controlled maritime stand-off nuclear radiological threat detection is now the real-world-testing arm of the Global Initiative for Combating Terrorism.

For five years, a Naval Postgraduate School team led by Principal Investigator Professor Alex Bordetsky has pushed the envelope of network-controlled, stand-off nuclear radiological threat detection through a unique program of Tactical Network Topology (TNT) Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) field experiments jointly conducted by the NPS Center for Network Innovation and Experimentation (CENETIX) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

"The NPS-LLNL MIO program is now the real-world-testing experimental arm of the Global Initiative for Combating Terrorism (GICT), a collaborative effort under the joint umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and Defense Threat Reduction Agency," explained Bordetsky, an associate professor of Information Sciences. The Initiative is supported by, amongst others, the U.S. Department of Energy, Special Operations Command, Coast Guard, San Francisco Bay Area first responders, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and numerous overseas partners including NATO's Maritime Interdiction Training Center.

"This is a high priority, international counterterrorism effort that purposefully pushes the limits of synergistic communication and collaboration among sea, air and land sensors; remote operators and subject matter experts; front-line first responders; special operations forces; homeland security and maritime personnel; and information fusion Tactical Operation Centers," Bordetsky explained.

The program's goal is a layered, wirelessly-networked, globally-integrated nuclear radiological detection, warning and interdiction system in which remote radiation experts and biometric data analysts at geographically distributed command centers can actively see, hear and evaluate data online in near real-time from tagged and tracked small maritime targets, including video feeds and text messaging, to guide further surveillance and collection needed by decision makers.

"NPS Dean of Research Karl van Bibber has called our unique campaign of experimental studies in man-machine integration using collaboration in cyberspace a new direction in science," Bordetsky noted.

"Historically, MIO experimentation emerged out of earlier collaboration among geographically-distributed Special Forces ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] units using cyberspace to track high-value targets," Bordetsky explained. "In 2004, the first German, Swedish, Greek and Singapore officer students did this for their thesis research here at NPS and then set it up when they returned to their countries. We wouldn't have been so successful in developing the international portion of the experimental program if we hadn't had these student ambassadors. Then in 2005, we joined forces with Lawrence Livermore to develop ad hoc mobile self-organizing mesh networks in support of nuclear threat detection and interdiction for both large and small vessels.

"The heart of CENETIX's experimental program is our interdisciplinary faculty-student team," Bordetsky said. "We have the whole spectrum of NPS students – from Information Systems, Information Operations, C4I, and Defense Analysis/Special Operations, with which we enjoy a special relationship."

Two major thrusts of recent experiments are drive-by stand-off screening, detection and pursuit using high-speed fast boats, and bringing remote experts into instant support of front line first responders via video-equipped swimmers and remote operation of unmanned sensors including unmanned surface vessels and unmanned aerial vehicles.

In March, the NPS-LLNL team will take a new direction in an experiment in San Francisco Bay, incorporating real-time reachback to radiological experts into the daily patrols of marine police boats and Coast Guard vessel crews.

"For the first time, this will enable us to obtain long-term observational data on operational crews' daily networking and collaborative command and control patterns between and during radiological source detection events," Bordetsky noted. "This is a bring-your-own-boat, plug-and-play, real-world test bed where we set up virtual private networks [VPNs] in just a few hours.

"One of the great things about this research is that you don't have failures," Bourakov said. "If something goes 'wrong,' you learn from it and do better the next time."

The bi-annual series of experiments is supported by overseas partners from Sweden, Germany, Greece, Denmark and Singapore. In addition to NPS and Lawrence Livermore, participants in the 2010 experimental program were Lockheed Martin's Center for Innovation, the Army Research Center at Picatinny Arsenal, the University of Bundeswehr in Germany, the Swedish Naval Warfare Center jointly with the Swedish Defense Research Agency, and NATO's MIO Training Center in Souda Bay.

Gates Welcomes House Vote Against Extra F-35 Engine

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today welcomed the full House of Representatives vote to kill the extra engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

The House voted 233-199 to strip funds for the engine from the fiscal 2011 defense spending bill.

“Secretary Gates welcomes today’s vote and is gratified that the full House has recognized the merits of the department’s position in opposing the JSF extra engine,” Morrell said. “He understands this afternoon's vote is but one step, although a very important one, on the path to ensuring that we stop spending limited dollars on unwanted and unneeded defense programs.” The bill still must go to the Senate, where funding for the engine could be added back.

General Electric and Rolls Royce are building the engine. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld opposed the extra engine. In a statement issued May 28, President Barack Obama promised to veto any legislation that provided funds for the extra engine.

Gates has said he will use every legal means to terminate the extra engine program, which he said is costing taxpayers $28 million a month.

Enterprise Strike Group Transits Suez Canal, Enters US 5th Fleet

By Enterprise Strike Group Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, Red Sea (NNS) -- Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG) transited the Suez Canal and entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Feb. 15.

Enterprise transited the canal along with guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8).

"Our ability to use the Suez Canal in a routine manner and according to long-standing plans demonstrates the ongoing stability of this important waterway," said Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft, commander, Enterprise CSG.

The 120-mile Suez Canal, constructed in 1869, runs north to south across the Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt. It connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Gulf of Suez, a northern arm of the Red Sea, and is overseen by the Egyptian military.

The canal provides a shortcut for ships operating between ports in the Mediterranean and Atlantic with ports located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, by avoiding the need to sail around the Cape of Good Hope in Southern Africa. The canal sees more than eight percent of global trade pass through its waters annually.

The process of getting through the canal is not easy for the 90,000-ton aircraft carrier. With an average width of 673 feet and only 79 feet in depth, the canal was not designed to accommodate ships of its size.

"It is an all-hands effort to safely transit the Suez Canal," said Cmdr. Christopher Saindon, the ship's navigator and senior watch officer. "Every department has a role to play. It requires teamwork and vigilance by all crew members."

Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing One are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR to conduct maritime security operations and to provide support to operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

For news regarding Enterprise Strike Group's deployment, log onto www.navy.mil/local/cvn65 or visit the USS Enterprise Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USS.Enterprise.CVN.65.

For more news from USS Enterprise (CVN 65), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn65/.

Military Doesn’t Tolerate Sexual Assault, Leaders Tell Congress

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 – The Defense Department has zero tolerance for sexual assaults and is making headway in preventing them and taking aggressive action when they occur, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress today.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee about the fiscal 2012 budget request, the leaders responded to a congressman’s question about a class-action lawsuit filed yesterday.

A group of 17 former and current servicemembers claimed that Gates and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld took inadequate steps to prevent them from being raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed.

Limiting his response in light of the lawsuit, Gates said the matter is of “grave concern” and said he has worked closely with Mullen and other military leaders to address the issue.

“I have zero tolerance for sexual assault, and I’ve worked with Chairman Mullen and the Joint Chiefs and the service secretaries to see if we’re doing all we can to prevent and respond to sexual assaults,” he said.

Gates said he has had multiple meetings on the subject with senior leaders over the past four years and established critical areas of departmental focus. These involve reducing the stigma associated with reporting incidents, ensuring commanders receive sufficient training, and providing appropriate training and resources to investigators and trial counsel.

“We’ve hired dozens more investigators, field instructors, prosecutors and lab examiners,” Gates told the panel. “We’ve spent close to $2 million over the last two years to train our prosecutors so that they’re better able to be successful. We have expanded the sexual assault response coordinator and victim advocates tenfold, from 300 to 3,000.

“And we now have those advocates at every base and installation in the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.

Gates also noted that the percentage of alleged sexual-assault offenders facing court-martial proceedings has increased from about 30 percent in 2007 to 52 percent in 2010.

In addition, defense officials noted that the incidence rate of sexual assault has decreased substantially. In 2006, 6.8 percent of women and 1.8 percent of men on active duty indicated experiencing some form of sexual assault in the year before they were surveyed. Last year, that dropped to 4.4 percent of women and 0.9 percent of men.

“So we are making headway,” Gates told the House panel. “The fact is, we aren’t where we should be. It is a grave concern, and we will keep working on it.”

Mullen echoed Gates’ call for improvements in education and a focus on leadership to address the problem.

Every unit commander receives sexual assault prevention and response program training before taking command, officials noted.

But Mullen conceded that sexual assault remains an “extraordinarily difficult issue.” He acknowledged that “enough anecdotal information” has come out of Iraq and Afghanistan to be of concern.

The chairman added that it’s “unacceptable” the department has not yet reached the point where it should be on the issue.

“We still have significant work to do,” he said. “And the leadership is focused on that.”

Nationwide, sexual assault is one of the nation’s most underreported crimes, most likely because of victims’ concerns about the stigma associated with the crime and loss of privacy, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said.

“It has no place in the U.S. military and cannot be tolerated,” she said. “The result of these crimes degrades morale, unit cohesion and can affect mission readiness.”

Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers Touch Down on USS Carl Vinson

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Byron C. Linder, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Public Affairs

ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- Members of the 2011 National Football League Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers visited the Sailors of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 on Feb. 16 during the ship's maritime security operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Safety Derrick Martin, offensive lineman Nick McDonald, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive back Jarrett Bush and offensive lineman Daryn Colledge were joined by former Packers fullback William Henderson, head athletic trainer Pepper Burruss, equipment manager Gordon "Red" Batty and assistant equipment manager Tom Bakken.

The Super Bowl champions gathered to observe flight operations on the flight deck. Following air operations, the Packers held an autograph signing in the ship's hangar bay. With Sailors lined up in two rows, the Packers made their entrance between them with high-fives on the way to the stage. After a brief introduction, the players each tossed one signed football to the hundreds crowded around the stage. As the Sailors lined up at a table for autographs, a photo show highlighting the Packer's season played on a screen.

The Packers signed football jerseys and flight deck jerseys, football helmets and flight deck cranials. Sailors also received the opportunity to try on championship rings, pose for photos with the champions, and hold the coveted Vince Lombardi NFL trophy.

As Bush signed a #24 Packers jersey, he expressed his appreciation to visit the deployed Sailors.

"To give the Sailors on this ship a smile and positive attitude, and a break from the hard grind warms my heart. To come here and experience what you do is an honor. Not many can do it, and not many choose to do it," Bush said. "I appreciate any time we can bring some happiness and joy, to help you forget the hard times of the work and sacrifice."

Bush observed a parallel between the hard work required of an NFL player and a Sailor.

"No matter what job you do, if you're the lowest man on the totem pole, work hard and stay focused. When you get the opportunity, it comes at the oddest time and you've got to be ready," he said. "My dad was in military, and growing up I've seen it work firsthand. I've seen others do it. It's a blessing when you get that opportunity."

"I have a couple of friends who were in the military, and when they came back, I wanted to see what was going on," said Martin, signing a small Packers football. "I had to see it to believe it. We were told we could come over, and I was in. I appreciate seeing what you guys are doing out here."

"We're more in a position to thank you," added Colledge, signing a Vinson T-shirt. "It's a rare opportunity to come to a ship like this. We still think of you, so we wanted to come out. It's a rare thing to sacrifice like you do, and you're a rare group of people."

After the show's conclusion, the players observed nighttime flights from Vinson's "Vulture's Row", and an equipment demonstration from embarked Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel. The Packers held one more autograph signing at for Sailors unable to make it to the earlier show to close out the first day.
Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Benjamin Loos, a Lincoln, Neb. native assigned to Weapons Department, was visibly excited to meet the team he had grown up watching.

"I grew up as Packers fan, and winning the Super Bowl meant a lot to me," Loos said enthusiastically. "Them being here is a dream come true."

Lt. Luke Koran, a Strike Fighter Squadron 22 pilot and Black River Falls, Wis. native, stood at the end of the line holding a small green Packers football.

"I'm from Wisconsin and a big fan. During the Super Bowl, I was on a beach detachment to Bahrain for a week, living in a tent. I woke up at to watch the game," said Koran. "Knowing they were going to be here when I got back to the ship was pretty cool. When I was a kid, I went to Lambeau Field and met a couple of the Packers, but this is the first time meeting a championship team. Having them come to the ship while we're conducting combat operations is an amazing experience."

Today in the Department of Defense, Thursday, February 17, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael G. Mullen testify at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2012 and the future years' defense program at in room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

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

Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz testify at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on fiscal year 2012 national defense authorization budget request from the Department of the Air Force at in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building.

U.S., Malaysian Forces Conduct Joint Aviation Exercise

By From USS Abraham Lincoln Public affairs

USS Abraham Lincoln (At Sea) (NNS) -- Aircraft from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group participated in a joint aerial combat training exercise with the Royal Malaysian Air Force, Feb 14.

F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW)2 joined Malaysian SU-30 and FA-18D Hornets to train in multiple combat scenarios. Events ranged from single aircraft engaging single aircraft, all the way to complex multi-aircraft combat scenarios.

With the Malaysian SU-30s maneuvering at speeds estimated close to MACH 1, training was aggressive and realistic.

"Air Combat Training gives our aviators a chance to match their skills against the skills of some formidable foreign aviators and their modern aircraft. An added benefit is promoting regional partnerships and improving maritime security," said Lt. Luke Swain of CVW-2.

The United States and Malaysia share a diverse and expanding partnership and cooperate closely on a number of security matters, including counterterrorism, maritime domain awareness, and regional stability.
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is currently in the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility as part of a routine deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region.

For more information about USS Abraham Lincoln, visit its facebook site at www.facebook.com/usslincoln or its flagship page at www.navy.mil/local/cvn72.>

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

Adjustments Put F-35 on Track, Program Director Says

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

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 16, 2011 – The Defense Department’s joint strike fighter program is on track to field the F-35 Lightning II in fiscal 2016, the program’s director said here yesterday.

In remarks to the National Aeronautics Association, Navy Vice Adm. David Venlet said that although changes made to the program in January extended flight testing and slowed development by about a year at an additional cost of $4.6 billion, the program has made progress over the past year.

“We’re not spending that amount of money in one year, but it’s the added content across the years to [2016] that consume the $4.6 billion,” Venlet said. “We have no doubts that achieving fairly high rates of production is obtainable, but it’s going to take some discipline on the way.”

The fiscal 2012 defense budget request submitted this week has little effect on the program, Venlet added.

“There’s no change after [the Feb. 14 budget] announcement, and I believe I’ve got a very stable requirement,” said Venlet, who has led the program since May. “We have not changed our inventory objectives.”

The right plan is in place to ensure the program is efficient in terms of cost-savings and production, he added, noting that the program has undergone an intense technical review under his watch. The latest restructuring, he said, was realistic, achievable and based on deep assessments of all aspects of the program.

“Previous plans had shortcomings, but this plan is very resilient,” he said. “The plan has been able to overcome spotty parts shortages, engine delivery problems, [and] it absorbed snow days where weather shut down production in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Venlet said he has instituted more testing, increasing the number of hours and flights that test pilots fly, having recently increased the mandated number of test flights through fiscal 2016 from 5,800 to 7,700. He’s confident, he said, that the additional $4.6 billion will hold up, as development and testing concludes in 2016.

Competition for the F-35 contract began in 1996. The $200 billion contract was awarded to Lockheed-Martin in October 2001, and the program immediately went into a 10-year testing and development phase.

The Defense Department plans to purchase 325 aircraft through 2016, and the overall program consists of 2,443 total aircraft in three different variations. The variations include a takeoff and landing variant for the Air Force, an aircraft carrier-suitable version for the Navy and short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the Marine Corps.

USS Abraham Lincoln Arrives in Singapore

By USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 arrived in Singapore, Feb. 16, to enjoy liberty, meet with local professionals and colleagues, and serve the community.

Approximately 5,000 Lincoln and CVW 2 Sailors will visit the island to experience the rich culture and history of one of the world's most thriving nations.

While in Singapore, Lincoln will host a reception for nearly 400 distinguished visitors. Guests of honor include Republic of Singapore Navy Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Joseph Leong and U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman.

"Singapore continues to be one of our strongest strategic partners in Asia and a key contributor to international maritime security; the region is more stable, secure and prosperous than ever thanks to our maritime cooperation efforts," said Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, Commander, Abraham Lincoln Strike Group.

During the reception and following days, more than 1,000 visitors are expected to tour the ship, including notable guests from the Singapore Sailing Federation, members of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, numerous international ambassadors, law enforcement officials, and Ms. Singapore 2009 Rachel Kum.

Students from the National University of Singapore's School of Public Policy will also receive a tour and a special presentation on women in leadership roles from Capt. Carol A. Hottenrott, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9.

While in Singapore, Lincoln Strike Group Sailors will participate in six community service events, including a visit to the Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore, an organization which provides free, therapeutic horse riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities from all over Singapore.

"By working together to expand our partnership, Singapore and the United States will continue to foster and enable the conditions for prosperity within the Southeast Asian region, and free use of the sea lanes by all peaceful nations of the world," said Guadagnini.

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is in the U.S. 7th Fleet's area of responsibility as part of a routine deployment to promote peace, cooperation and stability in the region. The ships of Lincoln Strike Group currently reach all corners of 7th Fleet, from the USS Shoup in Australia, to USS Halsey underway near Hong Kong, and
USS Cape St. George
visiting Phuket, Thailand.

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of flagship USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George (CG 71), and the embarked Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9. Ships assigned to DESRON 9 include the Everett-based destroyers Momsen (DDG 92) and Shoup (DDG 86), as well as USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Sterett (DDG 104).

For more information on Abraham Lincoln Strike Group and the USS Abraham Lincoln, visit www.facebook.com/usslincoln or http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.

Bush Strike Group Sailors Volunteer at Children's Home During Port Visit

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Tyrell Morris, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- More than 20 Sailors assigned to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and its embarked air wing, participated in a community relations (COMREL) event at the Florida Baptist Children's Home in Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 12.

The Florida Baptist Children's Home has been in existence since the early 1940s and provides shelter for up to 40 children in need of a safe haven due to unfortunate life circumstances.

"I'm thankful God gives me the opportunity to see different places and me giving back to the community, especially the community where I'm from," said Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class William Bethea, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, from Jacksonville, Fla. "It's a way for me to show my appreciation."

The Sailors spent four hours digging up dead grass and smoothing out soil to beautify the property grounds of the children's home.

Luther Scarboro, Florida Baptist Children's Home director of maintenance, has worked at the children's home for 12 years.

"Since I've been working here I've learned how to become a better Christian by serving others," said Scarboro.

There are several high schools and civic organizations that volunteer at Florida Baptist Children's Home throughout the year. They help with landscaping and any special programs to make the children feel at home.

The 23 Sailors who participated in the COMREL left an impact on the Florida Baptist Children's Home, their staff, and particularly the children who receive shelter there.

"Having volunteers is absolutely critical, and we wouldn't be able to keep up the property grounds or the children's home itself without volunteers," said Scarboro.

For more news from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.

This article was sponsored by Military Books.

Today in the Department of Defense, Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael G. Mullen testify at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on the 2012 Budget Request for the Department of Defense at in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building

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

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter delivers remarks at 8 a.m. EST at Aviation Week Aerospace and Defense Technology Requirements Conference about “Improving Affordability and Productivity in Weapon Systems Development and Procurement” at the Hilton Embassy Row, 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.  Media interested in attending should contact Jeff Meredith at 202-383-3523.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead delivers remarks at at the Aviation Week Aerospace and Defense Technology Requirements Conference at Hilton Embassy Row,
2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, D.C.
Media interested in attending should contact Jeff Meredith at 202-383-3523.

Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller Robert Hale to give Keynote address at at Aviation Week’s Aerospace and Defense Technology and Requirements Conference regarding the defense budget at the Hilton Embassy Row,
2015 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, D.C.
Media interested in attending should contact Jeff Meredith at 202-383-3523.

Senate Considers Nominees for Pentagon Posts

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2011 – Two of President Barack Obama’s nominees for key Defense Department posts appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee today as part of their confirmation process.

Michael G. Vickers, nominated to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Jo Ann Rooney, the president’s choice to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, both pledged to support Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ “efficiency initiatives” to cut unnecessary expenditures and redirect the savings to support the wars and warfighters and their families.

Vickers has been assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict since 2007. In that time, he noted, his office saved money by paring down joint intelligence operations centers, which had grown to include thousands of personnel at every command, as well as streamlining other efforts.

“Intelligence is very important, … but it’s also an area that the American people and Congress invest a lot of treasure, so we have to make sure it’s as efficient as possible,” he said.

On Afghanistan, he echoed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ frequently stated concern that the United States cannot repeat the mistake of becoming disengaged to the point that terrorists are given safe haven in the country.

“The core element of our policy is to deny any sanctuary to terrorists,” he said.

Intelligence shows discord among insurgents in Afghanistan who have been told to fight through the harsh winter there while their leaders hole up in Pakistan.

“A lot of local [insurgent] commanders have been voting with their feet, essentially saying ‘I’ve had enough of this,’” Vickers said. He added that insurgents join the fight for many reasons, often related to economics more than ideology, and therefore are more willing to walk away than the leaders.

Vickers told the senators that one of his biggest challenges if he’s confirmed will be ensuring that intelligence information is properly protected while it’s shared as widely as possible.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is working toward persistent surveillance in Afghanistan, Vickers said, and information sharing has been a challenge among the 50 nations there, partly because 29 different networks for sharing information existed until recently.

“There is an inherent tension between this responsibility and need to know, to protecting our sources, while making sure we get timely information into the hands of our warfighters,” he said.

Vickers also acknowledged that many insurgents return to the fight after being captured. Of about 600 who have been held at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at least 150 have returned to the fight, often in elevated positions, he said.

Vickers called such recidivism “a vexing problem with no obvious solution.”

“The paths they take are based on the circumstances of their release,” he said, adding that it happens in multiple countries, including Pakistan and Yemen.

If she’s confirmed as the Pentagon’s No. 2 leader for personnel and readiness, Rooney said, her challenges would include ensuring that compensation, training, health care and other support to service members and civilians are properly aligned in an era of tightening budgets.

Rooney, whose most recent position was as the president of Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, is an attorney with a long career in the private sector and academia. She said she has proven her ability to transition between diverse sectors, noting that she was a business executive before transitioning to academic leadership roles.

“The way I assimilated into that culture was to be a perpetual student, which is what I would do here. … My experience in the past shows I definitely can make that transformation and dive in with passion to learn that new role,” she said.

Correctional Facility Expansion Complete at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar

By Mario T. Icari, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs

MIRAMAR, Calif. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, celebrated the completion of an expansion and alteration to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Feb. 4

The official ribbon-cutting party included Navy Personnel Command Commander Rear Adm. Donald P. Quinn, Clark Construction Senior Project Manager Albert Valdivia, Clark Construction Senior Vice President Alan Petrasek, Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar Commanding Officer Cmdr. Erik A. Spitzer, Navy Corrections and Programs Director William Peck, and NAVFAC Southwest Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hamilton.

"This project truly highlights what a team can accomplish when everyone works together toward a common goal," said Lt. Michael Guzzi, Naval Base Point Loma NAVFAC Southwest Facilities Engineering Acquisition Division (FEAD) director. "The teamwork between Clark, NCBM, and NAVFAC was fantastic with the proof being a project completed ahead of schedule and under budget, while maintaining a laser focus on safety and quality; truly amazing."

NAVFAC Southwest awarded Clark Construction Group a $27.6 million contract, Sept. 4, 2009, for the design and construction of the Joint Regional Correctional Facility expansion. The expansion includes male and female housing, a new dining facility and prisoner maintenance facility, in addition to improvements to support the growing facility infrastructure. The estimated 99,000 square feet of new construction falls under the management of NAVFAC FEAD Point Loma. This Navy facility is a special area of Naval Base Point Loma and operates under the funding and program direction of Navy Personnel Command.

"There were a number of unique and innovative approaches that allowed this project in less than eighteen months, from award of the contract, to completion of the facility, a pretty remarkable accomplishment," said Hamilton. "As a result of the extraordinary efforts of our contract partners, NAVFAC Southwest IPT, Naval Base Point Loma, and Facilities Engineering Acquisition Division, the facilities were completed on time before the aggressive deadlines established by BRAC legislation.

"We are driven to legislative time-lines to complete BRAC projects, and this project was well ahead of those schedules. It allowed for the early closing of existing facilities aboard Camp Pendleton, Edwards Air Force Base, and Kirtland Air Force Base," said Hamilton.

Camp Pendleton, Edwards Air Force Base, Kirtland Air Force Base existing facilities and the associated detainees, prisoners and staff will be transferred to the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar (NCBM). In total, the project constructed facilities for an additional 200 prisoners to be added to the existing 400 prisoner facility, by expanding the existing facility by more than 98,000 sq. ft. The expansion includes a Level 1 male facility to house 120 service members awaiting trial or serving short term sentences, and level 2 women's facility to house 80 service members.

Streamlined construction processes were utilized in the creation of NCBM expansion. The primary facility is a new multi-story building made with concrete masonry unit (CMU), pre-cast concrete cells, and poured in place reinforced concrete with concrete foundations and membrane roof. The precast concrete cells consist of two cells per module, complete with fixtures, and with a utility room in between. Each cell was formed and poured in Arizona and then trucked individually to the site.

"This project has been built to achieve the leadership and energy efficiency gold standard," said Hamilton. "Key LEED enhancements in the sustainable construction methods that were included in this project included reusing existing asphalt for the new parking lot, site grading adjustments that eliminated the need to haul in and out a lot of extra fill, 20,000 tons of construction debit was recycled and diverted from our local landfills, recycled content was used in the concrete masonry units in the precast concrete cells, solar thermal panels were used to service the domestic hot water system in the facility, low-flow toilets reduced the flow of 50 percent of water, water efficient landscaping, and high efficiency mechanical systems.

These are things that will serve us and reduce the operations and maintenance costs in this facility for a long time and is very important in this resource constrained environment to be able to do these kinds of innovations in the facilities we are building today," said Hamilton.

This project had a significant impact on the creation of more than 700 jobs and the employment of more than 500 contractors from the local San Diego area. The project was completed with a safety achievement of 450 days, almost 200,000 man hours, and without a lost-time incident.

As part of habitat mitigation, 8.9 acres of conservation easement was obtained by NAVFAC Southwest for the federally threatened coastal California gnatcatcher. This 8.9 acres is part of a larger 32 acre mitigation (or conservation easement), located in the San Dieguito River Park near Poway.

The mission of Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar is to ensure the administration, security, good order, discipline, and safety of male and female prisoners and detained personnel from all military services; to retrain and restore the maximum number of personnel to honorable service; and to prepare the remaining prisoners for return to civilian life as productive citizens.

Flexibility was configured to provide independent support and to divide groups of prisoners by sentence length, disciplinary status, special program or treatment needs, adjudged status, and a new dining facility to support the 200 prisoners. Additional supporting facilities were constructed to include security fencing and lighting, a parking lot with access road and lighting, sidewalks and walkways, administrative areas, storage and logistical support areas, health service facilities, recreational and educational areas, health service facilities, a Corrections Programs Support facility, and labor and industry building to provide work and training support spaces.

NCBM is the only corrections facility that houses DoD women prisoners, regardless of their sentences. Special considerations were applied to address the specific needs of women at the facility. The new women's housing unit design is a ground-up approach addressing the specific differences in women's corrections from that of male prisoners. The new women's facility breaks the housing unit into small "communities" of prisoners. Female prisoners will have access to laundry facilities, private showers, indoor exercise areas, computer stations, and televisions. The women's facility includes a large skylight and other windows allowing for natural lighting of the dayroom. Enhanced finishes were installed including colored concrete floors, wood doors, moveable furniture in cells, and carpeted areas. Centralized support spaces allow for vocational and academic training, clinical treatment, life skills training, and work opportunities.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.