Military News

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today in the Department of Defense, Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates delivers remarks at 11 a.m. EDT in honor of the 236th Army Birthday in the Pentagon courtyard.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs Sharon Burke will brief the media at 2 p.m. EDT in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to discuss the DoD Operational Energy Strategy.  All journalists must be seated by 1:50 p.m.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen delivers remarks at 10:30 a.m. EDT on community blueprint demonstration projects at the Give an Hour event at the Women in Military Service Memorial at Arlington Cemetery.  Media interested in attending may contact Lauren Itzkowitz at 240-533-1669.

Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified

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

Army Cpl. A.V. Scott, 27, of Detroit, Mich., will be buried June 22 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.  On Feb. 12, 1951, Scott’s unit, the 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, was supplying friendly forces approximately 70 miles east of Seoul, South Korea, when Chinese Communist units attacked the area and forced a withdrawal.  Scott was captured by enemy forces and marched north to a prisoner-of-war camp in Suan County, North Korea.  Surviving POWs within the camp reported Scott died in April 1951.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200 to 400 U.S. servicemen.  North Korean documents turned over with one of the boxes indicated the remains were exhumed near Suan County, which correlates with Scott’s last known location.

Among forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used dental comparisons, and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA, which matched that of Scott’s cousins, in the identification. 

More than 2,000 servicemen died as prisoners of war during the Korean War.  With this identification, 7,993 service members remain missing from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.

This Day in Naval History - June 13

From the Navy News Service

1881 - USS Jeannette crushed in Arctic ice pack.
1967 - Operation Great Bend in Rung Sat Zone, Vietnam.

Pearl Harbor Maintains High Operations Tempo, Recognizes Strategic Importance

By Bill Doughty, Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- As Hawaii bid farewell to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), June 10 following a brief port visit, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Port Operations continues to be busy with the largest group of visitors since last summer's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

Among the visitors are two Australian navy ships – HMAS Perth and HMAS Sydney – that routinely operate with U.S. Pacific Fleet. Perth is the newest ship of the Australian navy, Sydney is the oldest.

International partners and allies train routinely with the U.S. Navy in Hawaiian waters, including at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai.

"The busy [operations] tempo both here at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, highlights how vital Hawaii is, not only for our own national security but also for our friends and allies who help us maintain stability throughout the region," said Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith.

"We train, equip, refuel and support the fleet, as well as visiting ships and partners, in order to help them meet their responsibilities," Smith added. "They know they are welcomed, with Aloha, here in Hawaii."

Among vistors to JBPHH is Military Sealift Command's USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187), lead ship in the T-AO class of underway replenishment oilers. The ship is named after Henry J. Kaiser, a pioneer in the shipbuilding industry with strong ties to Hawaii who built the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Hawaii Kai area of Honolulu.

A second Military Sealift Command ship, the Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE-10), is also visiting JBPHH. Named after an African-American pioneer in blood storage and management, the ship will mark the end of its first year of service in July.

Other visitors this week included USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).

Many of the 11 homeported ships and 18 submarines of Commander, U.S. Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Commander, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet are also in port.

According to JBPHH's operations officer, Cmdr. Colin Caswell, "We are busy, yes, but we always keep safety and security as top priorities. It's a privilege to take care of these ships and their crews."

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii's largest industrial employer, takes care of the maintenance of the fleet and keeps ships and submarines "fit to fight." Afloat Training Group Middle Pacific conducts training routinely and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One divers and other authorized divers operate in and around Pearl Harbor.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam also supports U.S. Coast Guard vessels, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and various research ships. Each year, approximately 1.4 million visitors take Navy-operated, renewable energy-fueled boats from the National Park Service's Pearl Harbor Visitor Center to visit the USS Arizona Memorial.

The busy tempo in Pearl Harbor, coupled with the nine maritime patrol aircraft and 10 helicopters operating out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe, provides a boost to the local economy. Sailors, DoD civilians, families and visiting family members and friends are eager to see the islands, sample the hospitality and learn about the culture of Hawaii.

In a published press release June 1, a Rand study reported, "DoD expenditures in Hawaii during FY 2007-2009 averaged $6.5 billion per year in 2009 dollars - $4.1 billion for personnel and $2.4 billion for procurement. These expenditures were associated with $12.2 billion worth of Hawaii's output - 18 percent of Hawaii's 2009 GDP - and 101,000 jobs."

USS Boone, USS Thach Conduct Exercises with Chilean Sub

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Steve Smith

USS BOONE, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43) completed a series of exercises with Chilean navy submarine Carrera (SS-22), June 10.

During the four-day passing exercise (PASSEX), ships from both navies trained with each other in a series of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare exercises to promote communications, interoperability and partnership.

"We typically hold a PASSEX when operating with ships of different nations for the purpose of training," said Sonar Technician (geographic) Chief (SW/AW) Dallas Brown. "The focus of this PASSEX was to provide excellent training opportunities in ASW for the sailors aboard Boone and Thach while providing surface warfare training for Chilean submariners."

The exercises included unit-level training in submarine familiarization, passive and active tracking, coordinated tracking exercises and coordinated tactical exercises.

"It was important for Boone to work with an asset, the Chilean sub, which we do not get to see often," said Ensign Loney Cason, Boone's antisubmarine warfare officer. "It was great to track a sub in real-time, which helps train sonar technicians, operational watch standers and lookouts."

This series of exercises also focused on coordination and effectiveness of tracking and hunting submarine threats.

"The primary goal during the PASSEX was to learn as much as possible from our Chilean counterparts," said Lt. John Hoy, Boone's combat systems officer.

Boone and Thach participated by leading the coordinated ASW exercises and alternately serving as the search and attack unit commander.

"One of our missions during Southern Seas 2011 is [to foster] theater security cooperation," said Hoy. "We are learning the fundamentals of how other navies function, and learning how to work with them in a tactical environment and beyond."

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/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.

Indiana National Guard members receive instruction for sandbagging operations, in response to flood support

Indiana National Guards members stand in formation, receiving instructions during sandbagging operations in Winslow, a small town on the Patoka River in southern Indiana, in response to rising river levels Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Indiana National Guard photo by Sgt. John Crosby

JR Hildbrand 2011 Indy

JR Hildebrand, driver of the #4 National Guard-ESGR-Project ChalleNGe-Lincoln Tech sponsored Honda-Dallara Indy Car will be wearing the Army Multi-Cam paint scheme as the team starts in Row 3 of the 100th Anniversary running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" - The Indianapolis 500.

Angels Build Futures with Habitat for Humanity

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Russell C. Tafuri

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Members of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's flight demonstration squadron, joined forces with Pensacola Habitat for Humanity members to install headers, doors and windows on houses in a Habitat subdivision at Camshire Meadows, Pensacola, Fla., June 10.

According to Rachael Cox, volunteer services manager for Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, having the military volunteers is a big help and the organization appreciates what the service members bring to the effort.

The importance of that effort isn't lost on the Sailors.

"Working with Habitat for Humanity is a great experience knowing we are building homes that people in our community really need. It feels good to do this work. Plus, it's the right thing to do," said squadron team member Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class John Phillips. "A significant portion of the units in this development will be built by volunteers. And with the subdivision being so close to (NAS Pensacola), as an additional blessing, we get a lot of military volunteers here," said Cox.

The Camshire Meadows subdivision, owned by Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, will ultimately consist of 114 units, built in partnership with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a federal housing recovery program established to help communities suffering from foreclosures and abandoned properties.

Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is building more than 240 additional units in the Escambia/Santa Rosa area.

"The military volunteers are often available during the work week which helps out a lot because that's when it is most difficult to get volunteers from the community to come out. We couldn't do this without the military volunteers," said Cox. "Plus, it's pretty neat to work side-by-side with the Blue Angels."

Founded in 1981, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical, Christian ministry whose purpose is to build homes and improve communities in partnership with low and very low income families in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

Pensacola Habitat is a pioneer affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International and has completed more than 740 homes in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties since its inception.

The Blue Angels 2011 show season is in full swing and team members regularly volunteer in the local community when they are not out of town at an air show. For more information about the Blue Angels, including the 2011 Blue Angel Air Show and practice schedules, log on to blueangels.navy.mil.

Sailors Bring Rose Festival to Hospitalized Children

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nathan Lockwood Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham (FFG 61) visited Shriners' Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., June 10, continuing a tradition that Sailors have carried out each year during the Portland Rose Festival.



Service members visited the hospital to bring a part of Rose Festival to the children who can't leave to attend the festival.

Susan Gallegos, child life specialist at Shriners, said it was important to visit children at the hospital to let them know the Navy cares about them.



"Oh, they love it. We all do, it's not just the patients, it's the staff too," said Gallegos. "It really does make it nice, knowing that [the Sailors] come in every time and take their time off the ship and spend it with the kids."



Sailors were divided into groups and moved through the hospital to hand out ball caps from various commands. They were also able to talk to children and posed with them for souvenir pictures and even watched a magic show put on by one of the patients.



"They are great; they are cheering up," said Ens. Jorge Fuentes, Ingraham's fire control officer. "Their parents are telling us it's the happiest they have ever been in the hospital."



The hospital provides specialized care for children under the age of 18 and is funded by the Shriners Hospital for Children Endowment Fund, which is maintained through gifts, bequests and contributions.



"I'm grateful that we can cheer them up even in their pain," Fuentes said.

Ingraham Sailors also visited the Veterans Administration Hospital and Sailors from the Canadian navy visited Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

 For more news from Navy Region Northwest, visit navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.