Military News

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vietnam Combat Vet Authors World War II Novel

With the addition of Phil Ward, Military-Writers.com now lists 1245 former, current or retired US Military personnel who have authoed 3954 books.

Phil Ward is a decorated combat veteran commissioned at age nineteen. A former instructor at the Army Ranger School, he has had a lifelong interest in small unit tactics and special operations. He lives on a mountain overlooking Lake Austin with his beautiful wife, Lindy, whose father was the lieutenant governor to both Ann Richards and George W. Bush. Phil Ward is the author of Those Who Dare.


According to the book description of Those Who Dare, “The first in a series of meticulously researched World War II novels about hit-and-run raids against Hitler's war machine by British forces - under the command of a U.S. soldier - "Those Who Dare" is sure to appeal to avid military fiction fans. By May 1940, panzer divisions had decimated Belgium and reached Calais. Lieutenant John Randal of the U.S. 26th Cavalry Regiment volunteers his expertise to help slow their advance. What unfolds is a blend of military guerrilla tactics, suspense, humor, cultural and social commentary, and war buddy camaraderie - plus a little romance between the American GI and the widowed Lady Jane Seaborn. Along the way readers meet such colorful characters as Captain David Niven in MO-9 and Captain 'Geronimo Joe' McKoy with his Travelling Wild West Show and Shooting Emporium. The author - a decorated combat veteran - covers the details of war extensively, from the five points of contact of a parachute landing fall to descriptions of a British raider's A-5 flinging ferries before the first 12-gauge shell casing hits the floor. As the novel ends, Major Randal's men, fresh from Operation Tomcat in France, learn they will deploy via sea transport within 48 hours on their next mission. The second book, which is already written, tells that tale.”

Face of Defense: Chef Finds Success in Army

By Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

FORT BRAGG, N.C., April 22, 2011 – When White House ushers told the auditioning chef it was a good sign if the president wanted to meet him after the third course, it was a defining moment in the culinary career of J.D. Ward, at that time an Army staff sergeant.

For four years, Ward had been working nights as a contracted prep cook at the White House residential kitchen following a day shift in a Pentagon’s Army kitchen, and now, he was getting a shot at the top. Thinking good thoughts, he changed into a new coat, a starched shirt and tie, a new apron on top of that, and a nice white toque hat. Then he waited.

For the Oklahoma farm boy turned big-city chef who had worked 80-hour weeks for five years in the restaurant business and who could expect pretty much the same for many years to come, enlisting in the Army had provided unforeseen and unmatched opportunities.

“Growing up on a small farm in Oklahoma, I experienced some pretty wonderful country home cooking,” Ward said. “I was able to see something go from the earth to the table, and that impressed me.”

Ward enjoyed college at Southwest Texas State, but he yearned for a different lifestyle. He decided to spend a year working in the best restaurant he could find and simply enjoy the food. What he hadn’t counted on was how well-suited he was for the business.

“I was infatuated with that lifestyle -- the long hours and the tight-knit community within the kitchen, the environment with the wine, before-and-after dinner drinks, exposure to wonderful food and the ability to have that wonderful food available at any time,” he said.

Learning the basics, Ward worked his way up, and after a couple of years, he was a banquet sous chef, an under-chef somewhat like an Army sergeant. He found himself teaching culinary arts students what they had been paying $27,000 a year to learn, and he was getting promoted and receiving accolades.

David Bull, a former boss and who now oversees culinary operations for the Austin, Texas, area’s La Corsha Hospitality Group, described Ward as “dedicated, loyal, passionate and possessing a no-fear attitude and confidence to be successful in the business.”

However, the lifestyle in the long term was very hard for Ward. In five years, he worked 10 different jobs in Austin and San Antonio, a typical pattern for cooks eager to learn the ways of different chefs and kitchens. Much of the time, he had a day job and an evening job, consistently putting in 80 hours a week.

“I learned traditional French cooking techniques from traditional chefs, and it was wonderful,” he said. “I took a lot of pride in it.”

Age and experience in the world brought new interests. He met Paula, his future wife, and a now-familiar book, “Band of Brothers,” rekindled a family legacy of service.

“From the time that I was knee-high, I knew my father had been a paratrooper, and I always wanted to be a soldier,” he said. “I was 24 years old, and I said, ‘I have to join now, or I will be too old when it comes time to do it.’”

Ward believed he was taking a four-year break from the high-stress restaurant environment to satisfy an itch to serve and to marry Paula. Additionally, the Army would give him a secure job and benefits to begin his new family.

As a military brat, Paula said, she had vowed never to marry into the military, but she did. “He is so funny and outgoing,” she said of her husband. “We were married two days before his basic training.”

Ward enlisted for four years. While assigned to the Old Guard, he discovered the Army Culinary Arts Competition at Fort Lee, Va., and in a way, he found his home.

“I went to the culinary arts competition, and I realized that I didn’t know one-tenth of what I thought I knew about cooking,” Ward said. This comes as no surprise to one of Ward’s Army mentors, Sgt. 1st Class David Russ, also an accomplished chef before joining the Army. One of first instructors at the Army Culinary Arts School, Russ attributes 75 percent of what he knows about food to the Army.

In the Army, Ward said, he met other people who knew more about traditional cooking than he knew existed and they’d been competing on the world stage for years.

“What I thought was going to be a break ended up being something that I fell in love with,” he said.

The Army provided more opportunity for quicker advancement than life as a civilian chef would have, Ward said. There were once-in-a-lifetime opportunities as well, such as being the first member of the Quartermaster Corps to guard the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

At a culinary arts competition, the young Army chef was recruited to work at the secretary of the Army’s mess in the Pentagon, where he cooked for the most-senior members of the Army staff. One thing led to another, and after he competed in the 2006 Culinary World Cup competition in Luxembourg -- during which the Army team earned 12 gold medals -- Ward found himself auditioning to be then-President George W. Bush’s chef.

“Chef, he is ready for you,” the usher said.

In his fresh clothes, Ward went out to talk to the president and his wife, Laura, and their friends. They chatted about where he had cooked in Austin and the fact that he was still in the Army, and two weeks later, he was offered the job.

But to Ward’s surprise, he would take another path. At the pinnacle of his culinary career, the ambitious Texan realized he didn’t want it any more, and he needed a new challenge. He prepared a warrant officer packet and was accepted.

Three years later, Ward said, he realizes it was the best decision of his career. Though he virtually has given up day-to-day culinary artistry, he explained, he is far more challenged as an officer and still is able to maintain his foothold in food service, something that he will always love.

“I am learning so much more as an officer than I ever would have as a chef,” he said. “I have a whole new level of experience. Now I see myself as a manager, and to some degree, a food-service executive, rather than a chef. Who knows where I could have gone in 10 to 15 years as a chef, but I’ve grown so much more as a man.”

His wife agrees. “He’s matured,” she said. “He’s become a more well-rounded person with organizational and leadership skills. He is a better communicator. He’s always had a drive to succeed and do well, but the Army has given him advantages as a person and as a soldier. That has even translated into married life.”

Now wearing the rank of chief warrant officer 2 as the command food service technician for the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team here, Ward still gets a gleam in his eyes when he sees fresh produce, said Paula, who is finishing a degree in psychology.

“He gets on a roll when it comes to ingredients,” she said with a laugh. “He’ll start talking about fresh herbs, and 30 minutes later, he’s still talking about fresh herbs, like Forrest Gump’s friend, Bubba, talking about the many ways to prepare shrimp.”

She added that she can’t imagine a different life. “I like the military lifestyle,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of growth. The Army has been very beneficial to us. We have a special-needs child, and the Army Family Covenant and the Army in general have been very responsive to our needs. I know that’s not always the case –- sometimes Army couples have to look for it.”

Ward said he still works long hours, but now it’s by his own design and it’s just who he is. His job is much like running a business, with responsibility for the entire food-service operation for a brigade of 3,500 paratroopers, making sure all field equipment is ready in case the brigade is called up, managing accounts within a strict budget, attending to outgoing and incoming personnel, and more.

“Our challenge is to get our cooks to love what they do,” he said. “Most come in eager to learn, but it can very quickly become a disheartening job. However, if, from the top down, people are engaged, encouraged and excited about serving lunch to a brigade of paratroopers, and they take pride in the challenge, then it’s a lot more fun, and these guys love it.”

Any young cook who might be discouraged in the Army’s industrial food service system just needs to be exposed to the broader pieces of Army food service, Ward said.

“They have to look for it, and they have to ask,” he added. “It’s important to have that drive.”

While some enlistees may think the Army is going to give them a professional education and experience to open a restaurant, that’s not entirely true, he noted. However, he added, it can give a soldier the maturity, the wisdom, the leadership skills and the management skills they won’t necessarily get coming up through the ranks of a hotel kitchen.

“If you can cook two quality meals a day for 700 troopers off a mobile containerized kitchen with a team of four cooks, then I know you can be a success in any other piece of food service if you apply yourself,” he said. “It’s not necessarily true that if you cook successfully in a hotel kitchen, you can also cook on an Army field kitchen.”

Ward and Russ –- now a retired sergeant first class -- agree that involvement in the Army Culinary Arts School and its competition team can be a key component of an Army chef’s success. Russ, who was named National Military Chef four years in a row -- he shared a spot on “The Tonight Show” with actress Sandra Bullock in 2003 -- credits the schoolhouse for raising the standard of Army food service through training.

He also stresses the importance of having leaders like Ward, who really care that soldiers receive a quality dining experience, whether at the dining facility, eating “hot A’s” in the pine forests of Fort Bragg’s training sites or deployed in a war zone -- leaders who, like Ward, will say and mean things like, “If a soldier’s eating in the 1st Brigade, I want to be a part of it.”

An entry-level Army cook may not understand why he is doing some of the job’s tasks until becoming a senior leader, Ward said.

“He might spend his day preparing a single product for a field feeding exercise, but when you see from above the entire product coming together, then you understand the value that each soldier brings to the team,” he explained.

San Diego Sailors Help Displaced Military Families from Japan

By Candice Villarreal, Fleet and Industrial Supply Center San Diego Corporate Communications

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval Supply Systems Command's Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) San Diego donated hundreds of pounds of provisions April 20, to military families displaced by the March 11 earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan.

The command's diversity committee began accepting donations of food, water, diapers and baby formula when Japan-based Sailors' families began voluntarily evacuating and heading to San Diego.

"We know [the families] are still getting paid and that they are not destitute," said Stephanie DuBose, force ombudsman for Commander, Naval Surface Forces. "These donations just provide them with a little extra quality-of-life comfort and save them some money. The FISC team got wind of what we were doing and, right away, was asking us, 'Hey, what can we do to help?'"

The families are currently being housed at the Navy Lodge aboard Naval Base San Diego.

Navy civilian Paula Hoff, an administrative branch supervisor for FISC San Diego, said she felt the need to buy and donate goods the moment the diversity committee announced the drive.

"A lot of these families have young children, and it's very hard to be away from your home," Hoff said. "I just felt it was necessary. I'm blessed that I get the chance to drive to my own home after work today. They really can't do that; I can't even imagine what that's like."

According to DuBose, 104 adults and 183 children have benefitted from donations so far. She said she and her team of ombudsmen through their subgroup You are Not Alone (YANA) began accepting the donated goods from local commands March 26.

"We were in reception mode, with our catcher's gloves on," she said.

A week later, the donations piled up to fill five rooms, from floor to ceiling.

"When you see these families who have left nearly everything behind in Japan, you think to yourself 'This could be me; I'm a Navy spouse,'" DuBose said. "Their lives were in Japan, their cell phone companies were in Japan, everything was in Japan. I think these Sailors, many having been stationed overseas at some point, understood that."

FISC San Diego personnel plan to hold a barbeque for the families April 22.

"I think the most amazing part is that these Sailors know they don't have to be here [participating]," DuBose said. "They want to be here. I'm just so inspired by their passion for helping others. We couldn't have done it without them, and we're humbled by their dedication."

FISC San Diego, one of seven supply centers under Commander, Fleet and Industrial Supply Centers (COMFISCS), provides global logistics, business and support services to fleet, shore and industrial commands of the Navy, Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and other Joint and Allied Forces. Services include contracting, regional transportation, fuel, material management, household goods movement support, postal and consolidated mail, warehousing, global logistics and husbanding, hazardous material management, and integrated logistics support.

COMFISCS comprises more than 5,700 military and civilian logistics professionals, contractors and foreign nationals operating as a single cohesive team providing global logistics services from 110 locations worldwide. A component of the Naval Supply Systems Command headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pa., COMFISCS is part of a worldwide logistics network of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel providing combat capability through logistics.

"Murph Express" Helps San Diego Sailors Help the Environment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Eva-Marie Ramsaran, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- With Earth Day on April 22, the Navy and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) are reminding local service members that they offer military personnel and Department of Defense (DoD) employees a non-stop, premium bus service that is both environment-friendly and cost-effective.

The limited express transit service, known as the "Murph Express," is available to assist all active duty service members and DoD civilian employees including non-appropriated fund (NAF) personnel living in Murphy Canyon Navy Housing with their commute to Naval Base San Diego and other local naval facilities in the San Diego area.

According to officials, with the rising gas prices in the state of California, taking advantage of public transportation and carpooling is cost-efficient and better for the environment.

"The purpose of the Murph Express is to get cars off the road; alleviate traffic congestion within the community, freeway and on-base," said David Love, Transportation Incentive Program (TIP)/ Rideshare Installation program manager for Naval Base San Diego. "This helps to provide a cleaner environment, reduce the carbon footprint and can save the participant more than $1,500 per year in commuting costs."

The Navy, MTS and San Diego Association of Governments, who administers the San Diego Regional Commuting Assistance Program, have partnered together to improve commuter travel between the largest naval housing area in San Diego to Naval Base San Diego and other naval facilities within the downtown metropolitan area by implementing the bus service.

"Murph Express" offers amenities such as air conditioning, reclining seats and is bike-friendly.

"The most important benefit of the Murph Express is that it is entirely free to active duty military personnel and civilian employees upon submission of an application through the Navy's transportation incentive program," said Love.

To enroll in the program, visit http://www.icommutesd.com/murphexpress/ , to obtain the TIP application and follow the submission procedures. All TIP applications must be turned in to Naval Base San Diego Transportation Incentive Program office, at Waterfront Recreation Center, Bldg. 45. Upon submission of the application, all applicants will receive a Compass Card and may begin riding immediately.

The Navy is committed to energy security, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship as means to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen dependence on fossil fuels.

The Navy is on track to sail the 'Great Green Fleet' by 2016 -- composed of nuclear ships, surface combatants and aircraft operating on a 50/50 blend of biofuel and petroleum.

Missing WWII Airman Identified

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

U.S. Army Air Forces Pfc. Mervyn E. Sims, 23, of Petaluma, Calif., will be buried Friday in his hometown.  On April 24, 1943, Sims and four crew members aboard a C-87 Liberator Express departed from Yangkai, China, in support of “the Hump” resupply mission between India and China.  Prior to takeoff, a ground crew determined the aircraft had sufficient fuel for the six-hour flight to the air base on other side of the Himalayas in Chabua, India.  Once cleared for takeoff, there was no further communication between the aircrew and airfield operators.  Army officials launched a search effort when the plane did not arrive at the destination.  No evidence of the aircraft was found and the five men were presumed killed in action.

In 2003, an American citizen in Burma reported to U.S. officials at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) that he had found aircraft wreckage he believed to be an American C-87 in the mountains 112 miles east of Chabua.  He was detained by Burmese officials when he attempted to leave the country with human remains and artifacts from the site.  The remains and materials were handed over to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon.  Attempts to excavate the site are being negotiated with the Indian government.

Meanwhile, JPAC scientists continued the forensic process, analyzing the remains and physical evidence already in hand.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA, which matched that of Sims’ sister, in the identification of his remains.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died.  At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans.  Today, more than 72,000 are unaccounted for from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, call 703-699-1420 or visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo.

Guam Navy League Tours USS Buffalo, Naval Base Guam

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gabrielle Blake, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Navy League of the United States Guam Council (NLG) members visited U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) and the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Buffalo (SSN 715) April 20.

NBG Commanding Officer Capt. Richard Wood provided an overview tour of the base to give NLG members an idea of life and operations on NBG in support of the fleet.

"Personally, I think it's a very good experience," said Mark Sablan, NLG president. "This tour is part of educating the local people of the island. I believe it shows that there is a very good relationship between the Navy and the Guam community. The local people love interacting with the Navy. It really fosters a good relationship."

NLG members were also able to go through the three decks of Buffalo and see the Sailors' work spaces and berthings.

"Being able to see such an impressive submarine is definitely a unique privilege and the chance of a lifetime," said Christine Pascus, NLG member. "It is purely Navy at its best."

Fellow NLG member Roger Crouthamel echoed Pascus' sentiments.

"We really appreciated the opportunity to go aboard the submarine," he said. "It gave us all a good feeling of what submariners go through."

NLG supports the sea services by helping to support enlisted personnel and families and promoting education. They assist in raising money for the Navy Ball, USO Guam Ball and other Navy events. The organization also recognizes Sailors of the Quarter and Sailors of the Year. NLG currently has approximately 100 active members.

Senior Enlisted Academy to be Renovated

From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic awarded a $5.2 million contract April 14 to Cutter Enterprises of Tolland, Conn., for renovations to the U.S. Naval War College Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA), Building 1269, at Naval Station Newport, R.I.

Work to be performed includes replacement of the failed exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS), installation of a new sprinkler system, installation of new fire and smoke detectors, and complete fire alarm upgrades.

"The mission for this project is to provide much needed improvements and repairs to Tomich Hall, Coddington Point, at Naval Station Newport," said James Donahue, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic architectural branch supervisor for the Northeast Integrated Products Team.

The project also provides an air-conditioning system throughout the building that will meet the Department of Navy's energy efficiency goals as well as cost savings for the life cycle of the facility.

"The architecture/engineering energy study estimates that the building's new fan coil unit system will save approximately $21,000 per year when compared to alternative HVAC systems over a 40 year study life," said Lonnie Johns, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic design manager and architect. "This is about a $1 million life cycle cost savings."

Johns adds that other energy saving features used for this project are occupancy sensors for lighting, photo cells for outdoor lighting control and Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) to control fans and motors.

The existing auditorium will also be renovated, complete with new seating and finishes, and an outdoor plaza at the facility will be restored.

The building presently functions as berthing for SEA students and also houses both classrooms and administrative space.

Renovation of the SEA with updated features will help the SEA accomplish its mission to strengthen senior enlisted commitment to professional excellence and mission accomplishment through education in communication skills, leadership and management, national security affairs, Navy programs and physical fitness.

NAVFAC manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental, and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities around the world, providing the Navy's forces with the operating, expeditionary, support and training bases they need.

Work will be performed in Newport, R.I. and is scheduled to begin in May. Expected completion date is July 2012.

General Officer Announcements

The chief of staff, Army announced today the following officer assignments:

Maj. Gen. Walter M. Golden Jr., director, J-1, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., to deputy commander for police, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Training Mission - Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. John W. Peabody, commanding general, U.S. Army Engineer Division, Great Lakes and Ohio River, Cincinnati, Ohio, to commanding general, U.S. Army Engineer Division, Mississippi Valley, Vicksburg, Miss.

Maj. Gen. Perry L. Wiggins, deputy commanding general, Fifth U.S. Army North, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to commanding general, First Army Division West, Fort Hood, Texas.

Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, who has been selected for the rank of major general, program executive officer, soldier, Fort Belvoir, Va., to deputy commander for programs, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Robin B. Akin, commanding general, 3d Sustainment Command (expeditionary), Fort Knox, Ky., to deputy assistant chief of staff, C-4/J-4, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea/deputy commanding general (support), Eighth U.S. Army, Korea.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, deputy commanding general (operations), 10th Mountain Division (light)/deputy commander for operations, Regional Command South, International Security Assistance Force, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Afghanistan, to deputy director for operations - force protection, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, deputy commanding general/assistant commandant, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, Ala., to assistant division commander, 2d Infantry Division, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea.

Brig. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, director for command, control, communications and computer systems, U.S. Africa Command, Germany, to commanding general, 5th Signal Command, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.
Col. Norvell V. Coots, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, commander, Walter Reed Health Care System, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., to commanding general, Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center/deputy commanding general, Southern Regional Medical Command Readiness, Fort Gordon, Ga.

Col. Dennis D. Doyle, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, commander, 30th Medical Command, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany, to commanding general, William Beaumont Army Medical Center/deputy commanding general for readiness, Western Regional Medical Command, El Paso, Texas.

DOD Announces Winners of the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced today the winners of the 2011 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence.  They are:

U.S. Army Garrison, Wiesbaden, Germany
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu, Hawaii
Spangdahlem Air Base, Spangdahlem, Germany
Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Columbus, Ohio

The Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence recognizes the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations.  The five recipients of this highly competitive Presidential award were selected for their exemplary support of Department of Defense missions.

Excellent installations enable better mission performance and enhance the quality of life for military men and women and their families.  Each winning installation succeeded in providing excellent working, housing and recreational conditions.

An Award Ceremony honoring the recipients of this year’s award will be held May 4, 2011, at 2:p.m. EDT in the Pentagon Auditorium, Room BH650.  The ceremony will be open for media coverage.

Web Tool Enhances Navy Financial Management Capabilities

By David Rea, Naval Supply Systems Command Public Affairs

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) officially released a new financial management Web Tool, Transportation of Things (TOT) for Financial Managers (TOT_FM), during a ceremony held aboard Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg, Pa., April 20.

The Web tool serves to enhance efficiencies across the Department of the Navy financial management community and will bridge the gaps between Navywide financial and transportation stakeholders by serving as the central knowledge management repository for Navywide TOT financial business functions.

Rear Adm. Mike Lyden, commander, Naval Supply Systems Command, opened the ceremony by emphasizing the importance of the new tool.

"This training and knowledge management tool is designed to enhance operational capabilities for managers and financial transportation stakeholders across the Department of the Navy," Lyden said. "This will serve as a tremendous benefit to the enterprise by providing a single source guide to transportation business functions through an easily navigable interface."

According to NAVSUP Accounting Director Dave Orr, the Web tool will serve as the integrated authority for information on all aspects of financial TOT.

"These functions include transportation requirements planning, execution, reconciliation, and reporting," Orr said. "I truly believe that our financial managers will benefit from this information, and they will find the instruction very beneficial to their daily financial management tasks."

The TOT FM Web Tool provides users with quick access to comprehensive training packages on TOT financial subjects, relevant external policy, guidance and resources. The tool can be accessed with a Command Access Card (CAC) at https://www.navsup.navy.mil/tot_fm.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Financial Management and Comptroller, recently recognized the team which established the TOT FM Web Tool with the annual Financial Management Process Improvement Award, awarded annually to teams for their efforts in improving existing financial processes.

NAVSUP's primary mission is to provide U.S. naval forces with quality supplies and services. With headquarters in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and employing a diverse, worldwide workforce of more than 22,500 military and civilian personnel, NAVSUP oversees logistics programs in the areas of supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, and security assistance. Additionally, NAVSUP is responsible for quality of life issues for U.S. naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods.

UNITAS 52 Sets Sail to Strengthen Security Cooperation

By Lt.j.g. Matthew Comer, Southern Seas 2011 Public Affairs

SALVADOR, Brazil (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy ships, one U.S. Coast Guard cutter, four Brazilian navy ships and one Mexican navy ship departed Salvador, Brazil for the first sea phase of UNITAS Atlantic 52, April 19 and 20.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 98), frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43), and USCGC Escanaba (WMEC 907) will work with a total of six ships, two submarines and nine aircraft from the Brazilian and Mexican navies.

UNITAS, Latin for "unity," is an annual SOUTHCOM-sponsored, multinational naval exercise to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations.

At-sea participants for UNITAS LANT 52 phase one include Brazil, the United States, and Mexico.

Prior to departing, the naval group completed an initial planning conference which allowed the captains and crews of all vessels to discuss the upcoming events and become familiar with each other before getting underway.

"The participating ships came together for pre-sail information sharing, in order to exchange exercise specifics, discuss safety of operations, and to answer any questions prior to commencing the at-sea portion of the exercise," said Capt. Marc Weeks, Task Group 138.0 commander.

During their time in port, task group commanders met to discuss the upcoming week which will focus on maritime surface, air and submarine defense. Navies will spend the next week developing seamanship and maneuvering capabilities through maritime interdiction operations, replenishment at sea, and various aircraft and submarine exercises.

"UNITAS is designed to foster trust and develop international partnerships via the common language of naval mariners," said Weeks.

The participants spent time getting to know each other both as mariners and as individuals. Vice Adm. Carlos Autran, Brazil's Second Naval District commander, hosted a reception for the staff and officers participating in UNITAS at Fort San Antonio. The reception featured food and music from the region and exposed partners to the local culture.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (COMUSNAVSO) and U.S. 4th Fleet (C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

It’s Earth Day: Go green — Army Green!

By Capt. Nathan Olson
Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs– April 22, 2011
Wisconsin Army National Guard Environmental Branch Chief

Okay, admit it — when you think of earth-friendly, the Wisconsin National Guard might not be anywhere near the top of your list.  But you’d be pleasantly surprised.  Over the past 20 years the Wisconsin National Guard has taken dramatic steps to reduce its environmental impact by reducing hazardous waste and stepping up our recycling program, and joining Wisconsin’s Green Tier program.

We accomplished this by changing what we purchase, adjusting work procedures to maximize how we use materials, and finding new and better disposal methods.  And so can you!

It doesn’t matter what we do if we don’t have your help.  Why wait ’til tomorrow — today is Earth Day, founded by Wisconsin’s own Gaylord Nelson.  The Army and Air Force are key players – as a state, and as a National Guard, let’s set the standard — the green standard.

Take Action and be part of the solution.

•Keep recyclables out of the trash
•Fully use all products. When you have a choice of a partially used container and a new container, use up the partial container first.
•Return used lithium batteries to supply. Small lithium AA and 123A types used to power our flashlights and optics are very common, and have special disposal requirements.
It’s also “Guard the Environment” week — a grassroots effort to increase participation in environmentally friendly activities in our communities. Kudos to the Soldiers in the Recruit Sustainment Program, who cleaned up hiking trails and other natural areas in Rice Lake, Madison, Fond du Lac, Green Bay and Elroy this week.

How do you protect our environment?  Share your tips here.  Together we can make a difference.

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, April 22, 2011

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

This Day in Naval History - April 21

From the Navy News Service

1861 - USS Saratoga captures the slaver Nightingale.
1898 - U.S. declares war on Spain.
1952 - USS Horace A. Bass (APD 124) commences a series of eight amphibious raids for intelligence and destruction, landing Republic of Korea troops at night against selected targets along the northeast coast of Korea.
1972 - Moonwalk in the Descartes Highlands by Navy John W. Young, commander of Apollo 16. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon. Lt. Cmdr. Thomas K. Mattingly II, was the command module pilot. During the 11-day, 1-hour and 51-minute mission, 213 pounds of lunar material was collected. Recovery was made by Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1 from USS Ticonderoga (CVS 14).