Military News

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NSWC Panama City Engineer Recognized

From Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) -- A Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City, Fla., engineer received the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 2010 Technology Advancement Medal during the 2011 Joint Engineer Education and Training Conference and Expo, in Grapevine, Texas, May 25.

Alan Canfield, NSWC Panama City counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) program manager, received the annual award that honors initiative in advancement of existing engineering and related technology. Canfield was nominated for his work in the development, fielding and sustainment of the Panama City Mine Roller System.

"I sincerely appreciate the distinction of this award," Canfield said. "It would not have been possible without years of hard work by many U.S. Marine Corps and Navy active-duty and civilian personnel, and our dedicated industry partners."

In the summer 2006, the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command Program Manager for Engineer Systems asked Canfield to provide a solution to the emerging use of pressure plate IEDs against U.S. Marine Corps and Coalition forces in Iraq. Canfield and his team began research, development, test and evaluation efforts to prototype a mine roller, a pressure plate IED-defeat system used to prevent or reduce the effects of IEDs on combat personnel and vehicles.

The team delivered their first prototype 90 days later. As of October 2010, the mine roller team has delivered more than 1,000 C-IED mine rollers.

"Alan's team met a pressing combat related need by U.S. forces serving not only overseas, but directly in harm's way," said SAME Panama City Post President Bryan Muller, who nominated Canfield for the award. "While many engineering projects like infrastructure or facilities can take years to develop, this was a great case of looking at a problem for an effective solution that was both quick to deploy and low in cost."

Chairman’s Corner: Memorial Day 2011

By Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2011 – As our Nation marks the 150th anniversary of the first year of the Civil War, this weekend we observe Memorial Day, a tradition that originated following the toll that terrible conflict levied upon our Nation.

Originally known as Decoration Day for the flowers placed upon the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers, this holiday, more than any other, reminds us of those who gave up their future so that we could have ours.

Today, another generation of America’s sons and daughters is fighting for us. Sadly in this decade of war, we have lost some tremendous young men and women who are deeply missed by their loved ones and those with whom they served. In the truest sense, they have rendered a sacrifice that we, the living, can never fully repay.

One thing we can do, however, is reach out to those for whom they cared the most -- their families. So as we commemorate our Nation’s fallen heroes this weekend, I ask every American to please join me in honoring their sacrifice by supporting the families of the fallen as well as our wounded warriors and their families who have also sacrificed so much.

We must never forget them -- not just today, but every day.

National Guard Helps Storm-Damaged Communities

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 – More than 3,400 men and women of the National Guard are on the ground in seven states helping communities damaged by deadly tornadoes and floods, Army Maj. Gen. David L. Harris said today.

Harris, director of domestic operations and force development for the National Guard Bureau, spoke in a joint interview with the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service.

The states include Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, Harris said.

Guardsmen are working with local and state officials, police and emergency responders in Joplin, Mo., he said, where a powerful tornado struck May 22, causing at least 125 deaths, more than 750 injuries and damage to homes and businesses.

The National Guard soldiers there are working in the life-saving phase, which Harris said lasts 72 to 96 hours before they transition to the recovery phase.

Soldiers are searching debris for survivors, working with local law enforcement to provide security, going house to house doing “wellness checks” of people who have no power, water or gas.

“We know that there are many still unaccounted for and our hearts go out to the community,” Harris said. “It just couldn’t be any harder than not knowing the status of a loved one.”

In Joplin, he added, the roof was torn off the National Guard Armory.

The armory is without power and gas, “but we’re still using it to help in the response,” Harris said, “providing temporary communications out of that position. So it’s still a part of the community and still working quite aggressively.”

It’s been a while “since we’ve had this type of and this much damage at once,” he added. “ … I’m sure this is catching a lot of people off guard.”

Earlier this year the guard supported Texas during a severe outbreak of wildfires, Harris said.

Three mobile air fire-fighting systems -- C-130s with devices inside to disperse fire retardant -- spent a month there to get the fires under control.

“I think at one point they said all but two counties in Texas had something on fire,” the general said.

The guard also helped in eight states recently flooded by an overflowing Mississippi River.

North Dakota still has soldiers watching levees and [working on] temporary dams and sandbagging operations there,” Harris said.

South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois all had fairly significant flood responses this year, he added.

In Missouri, the guard was involved in evacuating people from flood zones along the Mississippi and working the levees there, and helping with flooding in Tennessee and Kentucky.

In Louisiana, where the Mississippi begins flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, 1,100 soldiers are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to check levees, doing regular inspections and repairs, Harris said.

Those who manage the National Guard soldiers are staying vigilant through the spring, the general said.

“With record amounts of winter snowfall in the north and the west, everybody is watching the rivers and hoping that we don’t get rain on top of a good thaw because that would make the situation worse,” he said, noting that hurricane season quickly follows spring.

“We go from floods to wildfires to hurricanes to snow and ice, Harris said. “We get a short break and then we start again.”

Gravely Completes Final Contract Trials

From Program Executive Office Ships Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- USS Gravely (DDG 107) successfully completed Final Contract Trials in Norfolk, Va., May 19.

The trial, run by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), is part of a series of post-delivery test and trials during which the ship and its major systems are exercised, tested and corrected as required.

INSURV officials closely monitored the testing of the ship's main propulsion & auxiliary systems, Aegis Combat System, communication and navigation systems, and habitability. Successful demonstrations of the ship's full power, steering, anchoring, anti-aircraft warfare (AAW), ship's self defense, and anti-surface warfare (ASW) capabilities were accomplished.

"The crew of Gravely has worked extremely hard to successfully complete this key shipbuilding milestone as assessed by INSURV," said Capt. Pete Lyle, DDG 51 Class Shipbuilding program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "The Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Doug Kunzman has thoroughly trained his crew and deftly instilled their ownership of Gravely. INSURV has confirmed that this ship is prepared to execute her mission."

Gravely was commissioned last year in Wilmington, N.C. The ship is named for Vice Adm. Samuel Lee Gravely, the first African-American to command a warship and to attain flag rank, among many other achievements.

Gravely is a guided-missile destroyer designed to operate in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments. The ship is equipped with the Navy's Aegis Combat System, the world's foremost integrated naval weapon system. The class provides outstanding combat capability and survivability characteristics while minimizing procurement and lifetime support costs due to the program's maturity. The DDG 51 program continues to reinforce affordability and efficiency, with a commitment to deliver ships at the highest possible quality.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.

Today in the Department of Defense, Saturday, May 28, 2011

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