Military News

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

USMC Colonel has Published Eight Books on Marine Corps History

With the Addition of Colonel Ricahrd D. Camp, USMC (ret), Military-Writers.com now lists 1255 US Military Servicemembers and their 3973 books.

Colonel Richard D. Camp, USMC), “retired from the Marine Corps in 1988 after completing 26 years of service. During his career he served in a variety of command and staff assignments, including the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., Instructor, The Basic School, CO, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego, CO, Recruiting Station, Milwaukee, WI, CO, 12th Marine Corps District, San Francisco, CA, and Aide de Camp, CG Marine Corps Education Center. He served one tour in Vietnam as CO, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment.

Following his career in the Marine Corps he became a school district business manager in Cincinnati, OH and, after retirement, Deputy Director History Division, Marine Corps University. He is the author of over 50 military related articles that have been published in Leatherneck Magazine, Marine Corps Gazette, World War II Magazine, Vietnam Magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings and Marine Corps League.”

Colonel Richard D. Camp is the author of Battle for the City of the Dead, In the Shadow of the Golden Dome, Najaf; Operation Phantom Fury, The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq; Last Man Standing, The 1st Marine Regiment on Peleliu, September 15-21, 1944; Iwo Jima Recon, The U.S. Navy at War, February 17, 1945; Battleship Arizona’s Marines at War, Making the Ultimate Sacrifice, December 7, 1941: Leatherneck Legends, Conversations with the Marine Corps’ Old Breed: and, Devil Dogs at Belleau Woods, U.S. Marines in World War I.

More on Colonel Richard D. Camp

U.S. Urges Negotiation in South China Sea Disputes

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2011 – The United States, like the rest of the world, has a deep interest in ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and in helping defuse tensions over territorial disputes there, a senior defense official said yesterday.

Speaking on background at a Center for Strategic and International Studies conference on maritime security in the South China Sea, the official reiterated Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s support for peaceful resolution regarding territorial disputes in the strategically critical region.

The South China Sea is a vital shipping lane that possesses vast oil and gas deposits. China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines all lay claim to overlapping parts of it, causing regional friction and several recent confrontations.

“The United States, like every nation, has an interest in the freedom of navigation and open access to Asia’s maritime commons and with respect for international law in the South China Sea,” the official said at theforum.

He cited Gates’ comments earlier this month at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore, where the secretary emphasized U.S. support for “freedom of navigation and unimpeded economic development and commerce and respect for international law.”

Gates warned at the summit that lack of a strong multilateral mechanism for nations to settle their disputes peacefully could cause problems to escalate. “I fear that without rules of the road, without agreed approaches to deal with these problems, that there will be clashes,” he told attendees. “I think that serves nobody’s interests.”

The secretary urged the countries involved to establish a code of conduct based on an agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China to promote peaceful resolution of their territorial disputes.

“Given recent events, we would hope that all parties will be able to make tangible progress” toward creating this code of conduct, the defense official said.

Until that can be achieved, the United States recognizes customary international law, as reflected in the U.N. Convention of the Laws of the Sea, as providing “clear guidance” regarding the maritime domain, he said.

The United States does not take positions on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, he said. It does, however, urge nations to pursue their territorial claims and accompanying rights to maritime space in accordance with international law and through diplomatic means.

Although encouraged by nations’ stated interest in peaceful resolution, “we remain concerned” that actions haven’t always been in line with that goal and could lead to further incidents, the official said.

This, he said, “could threaten the safety, security and stability of the region.”

USS Guardian Participates in Training, Community Service in Thailand

From Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

CHUK SAMET, Thailand (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Guardian (MCM 5) conducted mine warfare training with the Royal Thai Navy and participated in a community service project during a visit to Chuk Samet, Thailand June 4-6.

Thai officers went aboard Guardian and toured the ship. The crew explained concepts of many different systems, including the sonar, mine neutralization vehicle, several combat systems and then demonstrated their uses.

"It is always a great learning opportunity when working with another Navy. The event allowed both U.S. and Thai Sailors to build upon skills and knowledge that they had developed earlier in our patrol," said Lt. j.g. Miles Sexton, Guardian's operations officer.

Many of the participating officers from Thailand worked with Guardian earlier in her spring patrol during the Western Pacific Mine Countermeasures Exercise in Singapore.

Lt. Cmdr. Ken Brown, Guardian's commanding officer, worked to ensure the ongoing partnership between the two navies continues in the future. Brown was hosted by the Royal Thai Navy at a conference where representatives of the U.S. and Thai navies discussed cooperation between the two nations.

The event concluded with a gift exchange, in which Brown presented the Thai hosts with a plaque on behalf of Guardian and in turn received a ball cap from the Royal Thai navy.

During the ship's last event in Thailand, Guardian's crew, along with Sailors from USS Avenger (MCM 1), visited a local elementary school. Sailors played games with students and helped with their English lessons. The Sailors also brought several gifts to the school, including first aid supplies and toys for the children.

Guardian and Avenger's visit to Thailand was a part of a MCM Western Pacific deployment to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

U.S. Navy Welcomes Partners, Kicks off FRUKUS 2011

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Samantha Thorpe, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Ships from Russia, France and the United Kingdom arrived at Naval Station Norfolk to participate in FRUKUS 2011 with the U.S. Navy off the coast of Virginia, June 20.

FRUKUS stands for the participating countries – France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States - and is a two-week interoperability exercise aimed to improve maritime security through open dialogue and increased training between the participating navies.

"FRUKUS 2011 provides the opportunity for personnel of all participating nations to engage in realistic and challenging maritime training to build experience, cooperation and teamwork," said U.S. Navy Capt. Peter Demane, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26.

FRUKUS consists of two phases: ashore and at-sea. While ashore, Sailors from each ship will participate in training areas including damage control, fire fighting and ship handling. The at-sea portion, which begins next week, will provide critical training in maritime domain awareness, anti-piracy and maritime interdiction operations. A shore-based multinational combined task group staff will provide command and control for the ships during the at-sea phase.

Plenary sessions are scheduled to be conducted in parallel with the at-sea phase, where flag and senior officers from each country will attend daily discussions about maritime topics of interest to participants.

Planning for FRUKUS 2011 began in 2010 and included close coordination from representatives from each nation's navies and several defense agencies.

"We started planning for FRUKUS 2011 in December," said Lt. Jay Davis, staff planning officer for DESRON 26. "We worked closely with our partner nations to ensure the exercise is safe and successful."

Participating forces from the U.S. Navy include Commander Carrier Strike Group 10, Destroyer Squadron 26, and USS James E. Williams (DDG 95). International participants include the FS Ventose (F 733) from France, RFS Admiral Chabanenko (DD 650) from Russia, and HMS Dauntless (D 33) from the United Kingdom.

Center Works to Optimize Warfighters’ Performance

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2011 – A new high-intensity workout regime promises to build strength and endurance. Ads tout dietary supplements as formula for getting stronger, smarter and even less-stressed-out. A “how to” book presents a sure-fire way to bounce back from physical or emotional setbacks.

With the wealth of ever-changing and often-conflicting information on the Internet and on the street, what are warfighters to believe about the best way to improve their performance, particularly in combat?

Getting to the bottom of that, and putting word out to the troops whose lives and missions depend on their ability to perform in demanding and often extreme conditions, is the mission of the Defense Department’s Human Performance Resource Center, Dr. Stephen Frost, the center’s director, told American Forces Press Service.

DOD stood up the center in September 2009 under the auspices of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to gather and develop solid science for warfighters, their leaders and their health care providers.

Part research arm, part information clearinghouse and education center, the center provides a single DOD focal point for human performance optimization, encouraging better coordination, collaboration and communication among the services and with other government agencies, Frost explained.

The staff seeks out scientifically proven data to post on its website and answers warfighters’ questions submitted through an online link. When it identifies an information gap, it reaches out to experts within the military and civilian professional communities to research the issue or evaluate research already conducted.

To date, the center has issued a White Paper on the pros and cons of a high-intensity physical training program popular with many military members. Its findings, in a nutshell: It may be great if you’re already fit, but could be too physically demanding if you’re not.

The staff also evaluated the prudence of taking specific dietary supplements in extreme temperatures or altitudes after some deployed service members experienced liver and kidney problems, Frost said. The results, posted on the center’s website, showed that high-protein supplements such as creatine can be extremely dangerous, especially when users aren’t properly hydrated, he reported.

“One of our missions is to provide the warfighter information that is evidence-based [and] scientific so that they can make decisions about things like dietary supplements in a better way than just ‘Googling’ on the Internet and getting commercialized information,” Frost said.

The center plans to look into possible ways to mitigate problems associated with the sickle cell trait. Another project on the center’s radar screen, to be conducted with NASA and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, will look into the issue of sleep, particularly sleep deprivation.

“That’s a big problem through the services,” Frost said. “We know that missions sometimes require warfighters to remain vigilant for long periods of time. So the big question is: How much sleep do you really need? And are there ways of enhancing your ability if you don’t have enough sleep? Are there ways of catching up on your sleep? There are a lot of questions around sleep that apply around the services, and NASA is interested, too.”

“Optimal performance” involves much more than strength, endurance and overall physical fitness, Frost explained. It includes all the mental, emotional and physical factors that impact a warfighters’ ability to perform effectively in demanding conditions and extreme environments, to stay healthy and injury-free and recover from any injuries and illnesses.

This involves everything from what goes into their mouths to what kind of exercise routine they follow to behavioral issues such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

But equally important are what Frost calls “mind tactics” -- a warfighter’s mental toughness and resilience.

“In the past, the emphasis has always been on the physical part, and we have become pretty good at managing the physical resilience and physical capabilities of our warfighters” he said. “But only recently have we come to recognize that the mind and body go together. So unless you have that same optimal capability for your mental performance, then your physical performance can’t be optimal, either.”

For this reason, the Human Performance Resource Center addresses family and social issues that can impact performance.

“We recognize that if a warfighter is worried about his family, he is not going to be in his optimal condition,” Frost said. “If he doesn’t have the social support systems he needs when he comes home from deployments, or if he is going to be deployed, he is not going to be in his optimal mental condition.”

Ultimately, Frost hopes the military community will come to recognize the Human Performance Resource Center as the place to go for unvarnished, scientifically proven information about factors that affect warfighter performance.

“If we can get the Human Performance Resource Center to truly become the go-to place for our warfighters, our health care providers, the line leadership and researchers so they aren’t simply Googling for information, I think we can go a long way toward enhancing the coordination, communication and collaboration among the services and DOD around human performance,” Frost said. “I think that will be a wonderful goal.”

Today in the Department of Defense, Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will conduct an on-the-record press briefing at 10 a.m. EDT with their counterparts Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto about the U.S.-Japan 2+2 Security Consultative Committee meeting at the Department of State, Washington, D.C.

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

This Day in Naval History - June 20

From the Navy News Service

1813 - Fifteen U.S. gunboats engage three British ships in Hampton Roads, Va.
1815 - Trials of Fulton I, built by Robert Fulton, are completed in New York. This ship would become the Navy's first steam-driven warship.
1898 - U.S. forces occupied Guam, which became first colony of United States in the Pacific.
1913 - First fatal accident in naval aviation, Ensign W. D. Billingsley killed at Annapolis, Md.
1934 - Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet Adm. Frank Upham reports to Chief of Naval Operations that based on analyses of Japanese radio traffic, "Any attack by (Japan) would be made without previous declaration of war or intentional warning."
1944 - Battle of Philippine Sea ends with Japanese losing two aircraft carriers and hundreds of aircraft.