Military News

Friday, April 08, 2011

San Francisco Educators Learn About Naval Aviation

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Chris Fahey, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A handful of San Francisco Bay-Area high school and college educators participated in an Educators Orientation Visit (EOV) with Sailors from a San Diego helicopter squadron April 6, gaining better insight to what a career in naval aviation offers.

While visiting the "Wolfpack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, the nine educators received a mission brief, a search and rescue demonstration and were allowed to climb through a Wolfpack MH-60R "Seahawk."

"We were happy to have the educators visit and to demonstrate what we do and why that's important," said HSM-75 Training Officer Lt. Cmdr. Barr Kimnach. "We have great Sailors here at the squadron, all working hard to accomplish a challenging job … that's what makes the Navy a great place to be."

For the educators, the opportunity to talk to Sailors, and see the training and operations in action, allowed them to mold a perception based on real experience.

"My opinion of the military in general has always been 'middle-of-the-road,'" said Willow Glenn High School Teacher Carrie Campion from San Jose, Calif. "I'm seeing there's a lot of opportunities to have a good life in the military – they can provide for your entire life. There's structure in place that can help guide a support a person their whole career."

For Tracy High School Vice Principal Rashmi Ahuja and Guidance Counselor Gloria Miller, the experienced reaffirmed an already positive opinion, in addition to raising some possible ideas for allowing their school to act as precursor to qualifying students for military recruitment.

"If the district allows, we would like to experiment and use are school as a platform to administer the [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery] test," said Ahuja.

The ASVAB test determines what jobs a person entering the military is qualified to perform – the higher the score, the higher the possibilities. Currently, there are more than 1,000 jobs employing officers and enlisted personnel. For Miller, these jobs represent possible futures for her students.

"Many already know the military is a good option after high school," she said. "Now that I've experienced how well the Sailors are taken care of and how many education options there are while serving, I feel confident suggesting it to my kids."

Thousands of Education Orientation Visits are conducted across the nation each year. They are designed to provide a glimpse of Navy life to educators, so they are better prepared to discuss military opportunities with those interested.

Navy Exchanges, Lodges to Remain Open During Possible Government Shutdown

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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (NNS) -- The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced April 8, that NEXs and Navy Lodges worldwide will remain open in the event of a U.S. government shut down.

"NEXs and Navy Lodges are non-appropriated funded activities and therefore will not be affected by any government shut down," said Rear Adm. (Sel) Glenn C. Robillard, commander, Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM). "NEXs will continue to operate at their normal hours."

The mission of the Navy Exchange System is to provide quality goods and services at a savings, and to support Navy quality of life programs.

Navy Makes 'SOS' Rescue at Kalalau

By Pacific Missile Range Facility Public Affairs

KAUAI, HAWAII (NNS) -- A group of Navy pilots and air crewmen who were training at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii responded to a call for help and rescued two women on Kauai's Kalalau Beach in Na Pali Coast Park, April 7.

At approximately 10:15 a.m. a local tour helicopter reported seeing an "S.O.S." written in the sand at Kalalau Beach. Naval aviators and other Sailors from several commands were conducting advanced training operations at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) off the west coast of Kauai when they were notified of the "S.O.S." and were sent to investigate.

When naval aviators confirmed the "S.O.S." an SH-60B "Seahawk" helicopter was sent with two pilots and two air crewmen, including a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer who helped rescue the victims.

One of the victims was reported as being very ill and having a serious injury. After rescue from the beach, the victim and her companion were transported to PMRF for emergency treatment and transport to Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Sailors from Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Weapons School Pacific, of NAS North Island, CA, and Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light Fifty-One (HSL-51), from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, responded with the assistance of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light Thirty-Seven (HSL-37), of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu.

The pilots and air crewmen were undergoing advanced training at PMRF at the time of the call.

Every Sailor Empowered to Stop Sexual Assaults

From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- In an April 7 announcement in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Navy described sexual assaults as crimes that devastate victims, undermine teamwork, threaten unit cohesiveness and ultimately reduce Fleet Readiness.

NAVADMIN 122/11 reinforces Navy's "zero tolerance" sexual assault policy and directs active support from all Sailors – from the deck plates to the blue tile - to successfully eliminate this egregious act from the ranks. In keeping with the Department of Defense's (DoD) theme, "Hurts one, Affects all: Preventing Sexual Assault is Everyone's Duty," the message empowers commands throughout the Fleet to use this month to dedicate focused attention on the importance of eliminating this crime.

"One sexual assault is one too many," declared Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel. "Every Sailor must fully support Navy's zero tolerance policy for sexual assault and create a culture that promotes active bystander intervention and one that does not tolerate this reprehensible behavior. With determination and commitment, we can eliminate this crime from our ranks."

Commands worldwide are encouraged to plan events throughout April that emphasize a climate that values responsible behavior, active bystander intervention, and safety from sexual assault for all. Leaders from across the Navy should look to address two questions when planning these activities: What is our organization planning to do and what are we asking our shipmates to do differently to eliminate sexual assaults?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities that have been used successful throughout the Fleet have included waterfront leadership and first responder training, discussion forums, command General Military Training (GMT) and workshops, information booths, media events, and sports and athletic training events like runs or walks featuring a sexual assault awareness theme. The common factor among these successful events has been strong leadership, active participation throughout the command and the use of strong and consistent messaging to all Sailors.

By engaging with the local public affairs office, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter or other Sailor advocacy groups, leaders can tailor themes to their command and find creative ways to disseminate these messages. Whether asking Sailors to tag their emails with slogans like "Sexual Assault Vigilance - Consider, Recognize and Intervene" or using command rosters to send text messages saying "Integrity is the foundation of our conduct, respect for others is fundamental to our character," every command can find creative ways throughout April to raise awareness of these crimes.

Downloadable posters, facilitator's guide and materials to support the 2011 Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign are available from the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) at www.sapr.mil/index.php/saam/2011-materials.>
Additional information is available through the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) at www.nsvrc.org, local SARCs, and the Fleet and Family Support Program link - www.nffsp.org.

For more information about Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, visit http://www.navy.mil/navydata/sapr/index.htm.
To learn more about the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, visit facebook.com/pages/Coalition-of-Sailors-Against-Destructive-Decisions-CSADD/299642495316.

As federal shutdown looms, Wisconsin National Guard still available for state emergencies

Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Wisconsin National Guard will remain available to respond to declared state emergencies, regardless if a federal government shutdown occurs at midnight tonight (April 8).

While the National Guard is federally funded, state funds are used when the National Guard is called to state duty for declared emergencies.

"Our core mission to the people of Wisconsin is not jeopardized by temporary federal budget issues," said Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin. "If the governor needs us, we are there."

The lack of a federal budget, however, is having an impact on the Wisconsin National Guard.

A Wisconsin National Guard Family Program Conference and Youth Symposium scheduled for this weekend in Oconomowoc, Wis., has been cancelled as it would extend beyond the projected start of a federal funding freeze. Similarly, Guard units have been informed that all training for this weekend is cancelled.

"This is disappointing but necessary," Dunbar said.

While federal agencies have indicated that frontline homeland security and law enforcement personnel would continue operations during a shutdown, roughly 650 of the Wisconsin National Guard's approximately 900 federal technicians may be furloughed for an undetermined time.

Full-time National Guard members serving as Active Guard Reservists (AGR) and some federal technicians will not be furloughed.

Wisconsin National Guard federal technicians will not be allowed to serve as unpaid volunteers during the furlough, and may not take paid leave even if approved prior to the furlough.

Approximately 700 Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen currently deployed in support of the global war on terror will continue their mission, but according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service may not receive pay until Congress agrees on a budget.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Hosts Navy Medicine During Dallas Navy Week

By Valerie A. Kremer, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

DALLAS (NNS) -- Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Deputy Chief Logistics and Installations; visited the Susan G. Komen for the Cure global headquarters, Apr. 6, to discuss the Navy's capabilities and advancements in cancer research and issues of common interest.

Rear Adm. Richard C. Vinci visited the facility as part of Dallas Navy Week 2011.

"We appreciate the Navy visiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure and sharing many of the same interests in combating cancer," said Chandini Portteus, Susan G. Komen for the Cure vice president, evaluation and scientific programs. "Educating our staff on the Navy's role in breast cancer research has been a great opportunity to learn the role of Navy medicine in this important fight against cancer."

During the visit, Vinci toured the headquarters, met with staff and with leadership to discuss the commonalities in the advancements of research, and the importance of funding of cancer research.

"It is great to see that both Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Department of Defense are in alignment, and are both advocates for the treatment and research of breast and other forms of cancer," said Vinci. "It is important that as we make these discoveries in cancer research and relay this data to our patients, to further help them and reduce breast cancer mortalities and incidence."

During his presentation to staff, Vinci shared how Navy medical research and development is a critical piece of the Navy's maritime strategy. Along with traditional roles like deployments and projecting power abroad, Vinci discussed how international military medical partnerships and teaming with non-government organizations supports the Navy's mission.

"Navy Medicine has research labs all across the globe, that play a key role in medical diplomacy that builds partnerships and increases our body of medical knowledge that benefits the global community," said Vinci. "Navy personnel and scientists routinely collaborate with regional research groups in the fields of disease surveillance, vaccine development and vector control for tropical diseases. They also train local scientists in areas of medical research and dealing with public health challenges."

Vinci said finding cures for cancer is one of the key focus areas for military medical research.

"It is through that research and development, and graduate medical training that Navy and other military medical researchers are able to identify and deliver advancements in cancer research to our patients," said Vinci. "Sharing information on this important challenge with other experts in this field of research is of great benefit in getting us a step closer to beating cancer one day."

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested nearly $1.5 billion since its inception in 1982. The organization is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

Dallas Navy Week is one of 21 Navy weeks across the country in 2011. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Names Released of Two Killed in Lemoore Crash

By Naval Air Station Lemoore Public Affairs

LEMOORE, Calif. (NNS) -- Lt. Matthew Ira Lowe, 33, and Lt. Nathan Hollingsworth Williams, 28, were killed Wednesday during a training mission when the F/A-18F Super Hornet they were flying crashed in an agricultural field near Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore.

Lowe, from Plantation, Fla., received his commission through Officer Candidate School on Feb. 21, 2003. He reported to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 on July 9, 2009. He was designated a pilot following naval aviation training from November 2002 until July 2006. Following training he was assigned to VFA-94 based at NAS Lemoore. During his career he earned the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Williams, of Oswego, New York, received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Rochester in New York on May 28, 2004. He reported to VFA-122 on Jan. 25, 2010. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer following training from August 2004 through February 2007. His first squadron assignment was with VFA-213 based in Norfolk, Va. During his career he earned the Air Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon and Pistol Marksmanship Medal.

Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) operate some of the advanced systems on board certain multi-crew naval aircraft, and serve as weapon systems officers. NFOs are not formally trained to pilot the aircraft, although they do train in dual-control aircraft and are given the opportunity to practice basic airmanship techniques.

The Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multi-role fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets. The fighter's primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses, air interdiction, close air support and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven to be a valuable aircraft carrier asset. The first Super Hornet was delivered to the Navy in December 1998.

A Navy aircraft mishap review board has convened at NAS Lemoore to investigate the cause of the crash.

Navy, Community Leaders Welcome French Ship FS Prairial

By DC Smith, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

HONOLULU (NNS) -- The French military surveillance ship FS Prairial (F 731) made a port call at pier 9 at Aloha Tower Marketplace on, April 1.

The ship was in Hawaii to participate in the Navy's Koa Kai 11-2 exercise of Commander, Destroyer Squadron Group (COMDESRON)31.

The frigate Prairial is the principal vessel of the French Navy, based in Papeete, Tahiti.

Cmdr. Nicolas Pitrat, the commanding officer of Prairial, hosted Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle; Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific; Capt. Richard Kitchens, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; Capt. Tim Close, acting commandant of 14th Coast Guard; Cmdr. Joseph Keenan, commanding officer of USS Crommelin (FFG 37), the Navy host ship for Prairial; and Patricia Lee, French consul, for a luncheon.

"I was pleased to have the French ship Prairial take part in the ship-maneuvering portion of the Koa Kai 11-2 exercise. Their participation greatly improved our joint maritime operational capacity as well as reinforced the already strong bond our two countries share," said Capt. David A Welch, commodore of COMDESRON 31.

"Koa Kai was a great success, and we look forward to future opportunities to work with our international maritime partners," he said.

During the evening ceremony, Genro Kashiwa, a WWII 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran who fought in France, was awarded France's highest award, the Legion of Honor.

Kashiwa, who was assigned as platoon guide of the First Platoon of Company "L," Third Battalion, was honored for his gallantry in action on April 5, 1945.

According to an excerpt from his citation, 'Catching enemy soldiers 10 yards away from their machine guns, he rushed forward and cut the Germans off from their weapons. He quickly seized an enemy machine gun and fired it on the fleeing soldiers, forcing them to seek shelter in a reinforced bunker.'

Kashiwa spoke about his war experiences during the program which also included a French military honor guard and a "haka" dance performance.

Naval Aviation Past, Present and Future Honored by Hawaii State Senate

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

HONOLULU (NNS) -- The senate of the Twenty-Sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii presented a resolution to honor 100 years of naval aviation at the State Capitol in Honolulu, April 5.

Four representatives were recognized as a part of the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CONA) and were presented with certificates by Will Espero, senator of the 20th district for the state of Hawaii.

"Naval aviators, Navy and Marine Corps, have put themselves in harm's way for 100 years, training, testing, and when called upon, fighting to defend freedom. At this moment, they fly missions over Afghanistan and Libya. They patrol the skies to defend us," said Espero. "Naval aviators provide humanitarian relief. They provide support for Pacific Partnership to build peace and prevent war. Right now, they are saving lives in Japan."

The honorees included Cmdr. Brian Grimm, chief staff officer for Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two; Ens. Sally Deboer, assigned to Patrol Squadron Nine; Jay Dunn, a former Marine Corps aviator that flew CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War and current volunteer at the Pacific Aviation Museum; and Mrs. Kathy Newlund, wife of Cmdr. Steven Newlund, commanding officer of Patrol Squadron Four.

The four honorees represented the past, present, future and family aspect of Naval Aviation.

Dunn, who represented the heritage of naval aviation, spoke about importance how aviation supports the Navy and Marine Corps.

"Naval aviation allows us to project power around the world," said Dunn. "Now with being able to have many types of aircraft deployed aboard ships really helps in supporting the Navy and Marine Corps mission."

Dunn currently volunteers at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, where he teaches young people.

Grimm, who represented the present of naval aviation, talked about the legacy of naval aviation throughout the last 100 years.

"It is important that we pause and look back at the heritage that naval aviation has left on the Navy and Marine Corps over the last century," Grimm said. "It's amazing to see where we've come from with the first fliers to not only the aircraft and equipment that we use today, but the tactics as well."

Deboer, who is on her first operational assignment and who represented the future of naval aviation, explained her thoughts on the Centennial of Naval Aviation from a junior aviator's standpoint.

"Looking at the centennial of naval aviation from my perspective, it's an amazing experience to be among people here today who are a part of the history of naval aviation, from the Vietnam War to the first Gulf War and up until now," Deboer said. "To learn the lessons of the past from some of the pioneers of naval aviation is the most important principle in celebrating the Centennial of Naval Aviation."

Newlund, who represented the family aspect of naval aviation, spoke about her husband's service as a naval aviator and his involvement with the current humanitarian relief efforts in Japan.

"My husband and Patrol Squadron 4 are currently supporting Operation Tomodachi over in Japan right now, and they have a big impact with supporting the ongoing relief efforts," Newlund said. "I'm extremely proud of his service and the great things that he continues to do."

In Espero's speech on the Senate floor, he said, "Many significant episodes have since been recorded in the annals of military history, such as the first transatlantic crossing by air in 1919 and the first aircraft carrier in 1922. Many naval aviators were among the first astronauts in space and on the moon."

He added, "Patrol aviation has been an important part of the history of Hawaii since 1919 and is vital to our national defense. From 1927 to 1947, Honolulu International Airport was known by its original name, John Rodgers Field, after the brave Navy commander who served as a navigator on the first flight from San Francisco to Hawaii in 1925. Sea Service aviators based in Hawaii achieved victory in World War II in the 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea and Battle of Midway. They demonstrated the power of Marine and Navy pilots who later helped win the Cold War. From Ford Island, Barbers Point and Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, to Barking Sands Kauai, naval aviators serve with honor, courage, and commitment."

In 2011, the Navy is observing the Centennial of Naval Aviation with a series of events nationwide celebrating 100 years of heritage, progress and achievement in naval aviation.

Justice Department Files Lawsuit in Alaska Against Air Methods Corporation and LifeMed Alaska LLC to Enforce Employment Rights of Army National Guard Member

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department today announced that it has filed a lawsuit alleging that Air Methods Corp. and LifeMed Alaska LLC willfully violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) by discriminating against and failing to reemploy Chief Warrant Officer Third Class Jonathon L. Goodwin of Wasilla, Alaska.   The suit was filed in federal district court in Alaska.

Under USERRA, an employer is prohibited from discriminating against service members because of their membership in the military, past military service or future service obligations. In addition, and subject to certain limitations, USERRA requires that service members who leave their civilian jobs to serve in the military be reemployed promptly by their civilian employers in the positions they would have held if their employment had not been interrupted by military service or in positions of comparable seniority, pay and status.

Goodwin has been a member of the Army National Guard for almost 20 years, with honorable service as both a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot.   The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that Goodwin was employed by Air Methods as a helicopter pilot when he was called upon for a nine month period of active duty, including a period of deployment to Iraq.   According to the complaint, at the end of his deployment, Goodwin sought to be reemployed by Air Methods and assigned to a contract helicopter pilot position with LifeMed Alaska.   The complaint alleges that LifeMed refused to accept Goodwin for the contract position due to LifeMed’s bias against recently returned service members as well as an unwillingness to accommodate Goodwin’s possible future military obligations.   The complaint also alleges that Air Methods furthered LifeMed’s discriminatory action by refusing to assign Goodwin to the LifeMed contract and, consequently, failed to offer Goodwin proper reemployment

“When Congress enacted USERRA, it was to protect our men and women in uniform from experiencing exactly this kind of injustice,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to vigorously enforcing federal laws that protect the employment rights of our service members.”

The case stems from a referral by the Department of Labor following an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.   The case will be jointly litigated by the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska.

Additional information about USERRA can be found on the Justice Department website: servicemembers.gov and usdoj.gov/crt/emp , as well as on the Labor Department’s website at dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htm .

Guard Should Remain an Operational Reserve, Leaders Say

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

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2011 – As part of the Total Force, the National Guard has successfully transformed into an operational force and must not be put back on the shelf in a strategic reserve status, the chief of the National Guard Bureau said here last week.

“We must continue to be utilized as part of the operational force … and must maintain readiness and continue to be a part of the national security framework,” Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley said during his testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, March 30.

McKinley, along with Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, director of the Air National Guard; Army Maj. Gen. Raymond W. Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard; and Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of the Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve; spoke about the important roles the National Guard and reserve have performed during the last decade.

McKinley said remaining a fully operational force relies on the service components’ willingness to keep the Air and Army National Guard operational.

“I believe very strongly that [Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen.] Norton Schwartz and [Chief of Staff of the Army Gen.] George Casey believe that access and availability to call on the Guard is vital to their future, especially in an era of persistent conflict,” he said.

“From a strategic vantage point, we in the National Guard believe that care must be taken not to break this magnificent force that has been there when needed these last 10 years,” McKinley said.

“We have proven that this reserve component can be an operational force. We have demonstrated the capabilities,” Stultz said. “We have demonstrated the fact that we are a good return on investment.”

That return on investment, he added, can be seen in all reserve component branches.

“We have created an Army that has to have an operational reserve,” Stultz said. “Just in raw numbers, 75 percent of your engineering capabilities … 80 percent of your logistics capability … 75 percent of your medical capability … and 85 of your civil affairs capability, which is in high demand, is in the reserve or Guard.”

Wyatt said the Air Guard provides a high percentage of Air Force mission capability relative to the total budget the Air Force provides to the Air Guard.

“The Air National Guard provides about 34 percent of the total capability of the Air Force on about 7 percent of the budget,” Wyatt said. “That’s probably the most cost-effective arm of the Air Force that we have.”

Wyatt said one of the biggest issues the Air National Guard faces in remaining a relevant operational force is the recapitalization of older aircraft.

“That’s the same problem that the United States Air Force has,” he said. “Our goal is to continue to be an equal partner through the Air Force’s recapitalization and modernization process.

“The proper way to do that when recapitalizing the Air Force, Wyatt continued, “is to embark upon recapitalizing the Air National Guard at the same time that we do our active component proportionately and balanced across all three of the components so that the Air National Guard can remain relevant and remain an operational force.”

To prepare for the future, the Air National Guard must build upon the lessons of the past, he said.

“Today’s Air National Guard integrates seamlessly into the Air Force global operations because we have the same equipment with similar capabilities and Air Guard airmen maintain the same standards of training and education as our active duty brothers and sisters,” Wyatt said.

“With continued support from Congress,” he added, “we will continue to improve and enhance our ability to support civil authorities through prudent investments and dual-use capabilities.”

McKinley broke down some of the fiscal year 2012 requirements the Guard is looking for.

“Overall, we can say that the budget request for fiscal year 2012 meets the critical needs of the Army and the Air National Guard in the era of persistent conflict overseas and on-going threats to American lives and property here in the homeland,” he said.

“As the FY12 budget was developed,” McKinley added, “we worked closely with [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] to ensure adequate funding for the entire [Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives] enterprise, including standing up the remaining eight new Homeland Response Forces.”

Carpenter said soldier resiliency also is vital to the continuation of the operational force and the Army National Guard looks to achieve this through comprehensive soldier mental health initiatives and soldier and family outreach programs.

Carpenter emphasized the importance of keeping the Guard and Reserve operational.

“General Casey has made the statements, ‘We’ve served together, we’ve bled together and we can’t go back’,” Carpenter said. “We have to be ready, we cannot sit back and wait for something and then respond, so from that standpoint the operational Reserve is critical for this nation.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, April 08, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates is traveling.

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

This Day in Naval History - April 07

From the Navy News Service

1776 - The Continental brig Lexington captures the British ship Edward.
1917 - The Navy takes control of all wireless radio stations in the United States.
1942 - The Navy accepts African Americans for general service.
1945 - Lt. j.g. Ann Purvis and Ensign Jane Kendeigh become the first Navy flight nurses to land on an active battlefield (Iwo Jima).
1945 - Carrier aircraft defeat the last Japanese Navy sortie at the Battle of East China Sea; Yamato, the world's largest battleship, and five other ships are sunk.
1979 - The first Trident submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN 726), is launched at Groton, Conn.