Military News

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Today in the Department of Defense, Thursday, August 11, 2011

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn have no public or media events on their schedules.

This Day in Naval History - Aug. 10

From the Navy News Service

1916 - First Naval aircraft production contract, for the N-9 "Jenny."
1921 - General Order establishes the Bureau of Aeronautics under Rear Adm. William Moffett.
1944 - Guam secured by U.S. forces.
1964 - Signing of Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which is used as the starting point of the Vietnam War.

Navy Surgeon General Recognized by Japanese Ministry of Defense

From Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Public Affairs

TOKYO (NNS) -- The Navy Surgeon General was recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Defense Aug. 9 for his work in supporting the Department of the Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and for his contributions to improving global public health.

In a ceremony held at the Japanese Ministry of Defense headquarters, Japanese Adm. Masahiko Sugimoto, Chief of Staff for Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force presented Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr. with a letter of appreciation on behalf of Minister of Defense Toshimi Itazawa. Robinson was the 55th person to receive such an honor in the Ministry of Defense's history.

Robinson was recognized for his contributions in improving the exchange and interoperability between medical commands of the Navy and JMSDF both in Japan and abroad. He was also thanked for his work during earthquake relief efforts, developing an extern program for JMSDF medical officers at U.S. Naval Hospitals in Japan and for his medical support to JMSDF personnel deployed to Djibouti.

"Thank you on behalf of the Japanese people for all your support following the earthquake," said Sugimoto. "Your medical support during your tour as the U.S. Navy's Surgeon General has helped not only the people of Japan, but the world."

Robinson said he was especially honored given his close ties with Japan following several tours in the country, including serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV 41) and at U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka.

"I am very honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the men and women of Navy Medicine," said Robinson. "I appreciate the true camaraderie, collegiality and friendship that exists between Navy Medicine, the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. The relationship we have with [the] JMSDF medical team has benefited both nations greatly and we look forward to our continued partnership."

As the Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Robinson leads 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel who provide healthcare support to the Navy and Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

With the addition of John E. Nevola, Military-Writers.com lists 1262 current, former and retired U.S. military servicemembers who have authored nearly 4000 books.


Specialist 5 John E. Nevola, USA served from 1966 to 1968. During his military service he was assigned to the U.S. Army Meteorological Command, Yuma Proving Ground - Yuma, Arizona. John E. Nevola “makes his literary debut with The Last Jump, a historical novel based on United States airborne operations in Europe during World War II. The study of this conflict has been the author’s lifelong passion and he weaves a compelling tale of courage and sacrifice set in a historically accurate backdrop in an extraordinary time in American history.

A retired Information Technology executive, John E. Nevola has been widely published in business magazines with numerous articles on disaster recovery and terrorism. He authored a column for a post newspaper while serving in the United States Army and is a member of the Military Writer’s Society of America.

John E. Nevola was born in New York City and is a graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School and the College of Aeronautics. He resides in Mount Olive, New Jersey with his wife of 45 years. They have four children and six grandchildren. A portion of the proceeds from The Last Jump are donated to charity to assist the families of the fallen.

According to the book description of The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II, it “is a war story, a mystery, a love tale, and a tribute to the people who won World War II. Fact and fiction intermix seamlessly to unravel a secret passionately guarded by four aging soldiers. The reader is transported back in time to an imperfect America, with all is incredible virtues and vexing shortcomings, struggling with racial and gender issues while fighting for its very survival. It was a time when Americans stood shoulder to shoulder to free the world from tyranny. It celebrates the spirit and courage of ordinary citizens pitted against the militaristic regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It was a time when the sons of presidents and senators served, fought, suffered and died alongside average Americans and famous celebrities.

J.P. Kilroy, a middle-aged divorced journalist, regrets ignoring his mother’s deathbed request. Even her last letter, which told of the existence of a mysterious family secret, did not motivate him to reconcile with the father who left them 30 years ago. When he receives an invitation from the White House to attend a Medal of Honor awards ceremony for African-Americans, he also discovers his estranged father recently passed away. Was the secret now lost forever?

Kilroy also discovers that four aging veterans, the only links to the past, not only know the secret but swore an oath never to reveal it. They are the free-spirited Sky Johnson, a rough and tumble paratrooper, Frank West, the studious company commander, Harley Tidrick, Omaha Beach veteran and cousin of his father's best wartime buddy, and Lincoln Abraham, the only living black honoree at the ceremony.

With the aid of Cynthia Powers, an alluring Army press liaison, Kilroy accepts the challenge to cajole the veterans into revealing the mystery. Their conversations take him back in time to a country in grave danger but a country as united as never before or since. But the old warriors stubbornly resist until the last one passes on and Kilroy's hopes are dashed. But one reaches from beyond the grave to identify the only other person who has the answer and Kilroy races death to reach her. And a shocking conclusion awaits him, if only he can get there in time!”

Patriot Award Honors Outstanding Spouse Employers

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2011 – When Army 1st Lt. Sean Blacker of the Idaho National Guard was tapped to attend officer basic training in Oklahoma, his wife, Michelle, felt prepared for the five-month separation. But then she learned her husband would follow up that training with a year-long deployment in Iraq.

She struggled to come to terms with the back-to-back obligations that would equate to 18 months apart. “I just knew I didn’t want to be away from him that long,” she said.

Blacker approached her supervisor at the Idaho National Laboratory and asked if she could telecommute for five months so she could accompany her husband to officer training. Without hesitation, her supervisor, Amy Lientz, said yes.

“From the get-go, she was 100 percent supportive,” said Blacker, who works in the lab’s communications and governmental affairs office. “Just to spend that time with him before his deployment; I don’t think she realizes how much it’s meant to us.”

While she didn’t have the words to express her gratitude at the time, Blacker said she was grateful to find out about a program that could: the Spouse Patriot Award.

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department agency, established the award program to recognize employers who go above and beyond to support reserve members and their families. The program initially was open only to service members, but ESGR expanded the criteria in February to encompass spouses’ employers. Since the program was expanded, more than 500 spouses have nominated their employers for an award, said Beth Sherman, ESGR spokeswoman.

“We had so many spouses asking us to expand the program so we did last year,” she said. “Little attention was being paid to the employers of their spouses, who also were doing their part.”

The employer contribution is significant, Sherman noted, since it eases the burden for spouses who often take on additional responsibilities as they manage households and care for children while a loved one is deployed or at training.

Sherman recalled hearing of a supervisor who shifted a spouse’s entire nursing schedule while her husband was deployed so she could have more time at home with their three children. Other employers grant leave liberally, pitch in with lawn care or send care packages, she explained.

Blacker said her employer’s outstanding support continued long after her husband deployed to Iraq. When she had a baby, her supervisor established a part-time schedule so she could have more time at home while her husband was away.

This support has been beneficial not just for her, but for her husband’s peace of mind, Blacker said. “He feels like I’m taken care of on a working standpoint while he’s gone,” she said. “He can focus on the mission, and breathe.”

In turn, the award serves as acknowledgement to employers who aren’t obligated to help, but choose to do so anyway, Sherman said.

“The employer gets far more out of it than the spouse could imagine,” she said.

Blacker said she surprised her supervisor with the award at a staff meeting attended by her local military affairs committee president and a rear detachment commander, who presented her supervisor with a certificate of appreciation and patriotic lapel pin.

“She was totally shocked and very, very grateful,” she said.

All spouses of Guard and Reserve members are eligible to nominate their employers. To submit a nomination, visit the ESGR website and fill out the spouse nomination form.

Day Two: AFMS Research Symposium Reveals Emerging Research in Pediatric Concussion, Sleep Disorder

By Robyn Mincher, DCoE Strategic Communications

In his presentation “Crisis Planning for Suicidal Patients in Combat Zones,” Dr. Craig Bryan, a formerly deployed psychological health care provider, described his experience with a deployed service member who attempted suicide.

“He put his weapon under his chin, and his buddies tackled him,” he said. “We need to develop a crisis response plan that empowers patients to manage themselves. Crisis response teaches patients how to identify a crisis early and resolve it, build treatment adherence and facilitate problem solving."

Bryan’s talk on crisis planning was one of 11 presentations at the psychological health and TBI track, sponsored by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), offered the second day of the AFMS research symposium. Presentations included non-invasive TBI diagnosis, pediatric concussion, sleep disorder and analyzing trends in service members seeking combat stress treatment.

Col. Stephen Sharp, DCoE deputy director of TBI clinical standards of care, revealed emerging research on TBI in youths. He outlined biomarkers for concussion in children and stressed the need for educating youth sport coaches and providing pre-assessment tests.

“The immature brain is more vulnerable to injury,” said Sharp. “Coaches should have a sports concussion assessment tool and, after an injury, should take a child to a quiet place for assessment and compare it to a pre-test.”

Cmdr. Michael Handrigan, DCoE director of TBI clinical standards of care, presented on addressing sleep disorders associated with mild TBI. He revealed that between 72 and 94 percent of those in the military with a TBI experience sleep disorders, and listed co-occurring conditions that are associated with sleep. Handrigan’s presentation encouraged cognitive therapy and sleep hygiene for treatment, and cited the DCoE Co-Occurring Conditions Toolkit as a resource to help providers diagnose and manage patients with co-occurring mild TBI and psychological health disorders.

“The toolkit features a sleep disorder section intended to look at the various problems that may occur,” he said. “Providers can assess these conditions in a way that helps highlight what they should be recommending for treatment and what exactly they can do for the individual.”

The DCoE track brought together providers, clinicians and people who are invested in military psychological heath and TBI to present prominent studies and discuss issues prevalent in the military health community.

“I attended the psychological and TBI track because you get the most up-to-date research that is coming out,” said Air Force Capt. Regina Peterson, a health care provider and professor with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. “I discovered a lot of resources I didn’t know of before.”

Air Force Col. Christopher Robinson, DCoE deputy director for psychological health, was pleased with the presentations and shared knowledge that occurred at the event.

"The Air Force Medical Symposium shared the latest on medical research and technological development efforts garnered by both Air Force and other leading experts in their fields," he said. "Specifically, the psychological health and TBI track shared research and resources that will advance the mission of caring for our service members, veterans and military families with TBI and/or psychological health concerns."

If you were not able to attend the conference, stay tuned for the posting of recorded sessions of the psychological health and TBI sessions.

PCU Minnesota Launches Logo Contest at Twins Game

By Lt. Jennifer Cragg, Commander Submarine Group 2 Public Affairs

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (NNS) -- The fast attack submarine PCU Minnesota's (SSN 783) commanding officer and several crew members attended a Minnesota Twins game to officially kick off a contest for students in their namesake state to design the sub's logo Aug. 8.

The Minnesota Navy League coordinated a video created by Newport News Shipbuilding and the Minnesota crew that played during the Twins game to a crowd of nearly 40,000.

"The winning logo will shape the ship's identity and be a part of Minnesota history," said Cmdr. John Fancher, Minnesota commanding officer.

Fancher presented Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire a PCU Minnesota baseball cap with "skipper" embroidered in the back of the cap before the game against the Boston Red Sox.

"While skipper is a nautical term used to address the captain of a ship; the manager is also referred to as skipper or the leader of a team," said Fancher.

The Navy League's USS Minnesota Commissioning Committee sponsored the contest, open to students ages 16-22. The winning logo will be used as the primary insignia for a new Navy submarine named after its namesake state, Minnesota. Minnesota crewmembers will select the winning logo. The winning student will earn a college scholarship.

"We want Sailors to be proud of the Minnesota logo every time they put it on and have a good understanding of what that name means," said Fancher. "We are looking for students to help us design a logo that creates a bond between a world-class ship and the world-class state her name represents."

Samantha Matson, from Bloomington, Minn., said one of her hobbies since she could remember has been drawing and, later, designing graphics.

"I have been drawing as long as I can remember, probably ever since I could pick up a pencil," said Matson, who is scheduled to enter the Navy in January.

According to Navy Recruiting District Bloomington, in 2010 nearly 1,200 people entered the Navy from Minnesota. Eighty-seven of these recruits joined the nuclear power program.

Under construction and set for delivery in 2013, Minnesota will be the 10th of 30 projected Virginia-class submarines.

Area Sailors Kick Off Fargo Navy Week

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Susan Hammond, Navy Office of Community Outreach

FARGO, N.D. (NNS) -- Area Sailors kicked off Fargo's first-ever Navy Week, Aug. 8, by helping the Fargo Parks and Recreation staff improve playgrounds in Mickleson Park and Island Park.

The Sailors, representing Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) Fargo, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Fargo, and Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), spread new mulch to beautify the play areas and make them safer. Later, the Sailors helped serve meals at the New Life Center homeless shelter.

"Since Fargo is not a typical Navy town, a lot of people don't know we're here or what we do," said Quartermaster 2nd Class Mike Corum, a NOSC Fargo Reservist and Fargo resident. "Navy Week gets us out there and shows the community what we do as a global force for good," he said.

Rob Swiers, New Life Center assistant director and volunteer coordinator, said he was grateful for the Navy's help at the shelter.

"The Sailors are talking about coming back to help with other projects, and it's really great to have their enthusiasm and assistance," said Swiers.

Fargo Navy Week runs through Aug. 14, and its schedule includes civic, corporate and educational engagements by Commander, Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group Rear Adm. Patricia E. Wolfe, and Deputy Commander for Fleet Management and Chief of Staff, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Rear Adm. Mark D. Guadagnini.

"We are able to succeed because our ships, submarines and aircraft are well-maintained, our ammunition magazines are full and our parts lockers are at the ready," said Guadagnini. "Most importantly, we've excelled because of the professionalism, initiative and quality of all those serving in your Navy today. These men and women are highly trained, highly motivated, courageous and capable of meeting any mission."

Throughout Fargo Navy Week, officers and Sailors will participate in community events, engage local veterans and volunteer in service projects. The week culminates in performances by the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, "Blue Angels," at the Fargo AirSho.

In addition, Horizon, a seven-piece contemporary music ensemble of Navy Band Great Lakes, will play free performances throughout the community and at the air show. The band will perform Top 40, classic rock hits, Motown, country, funk and jazz.

Fargo Navy Week is one of 21 Navy Weeks being held across America in 2011. For regularly updated information and a schedule of events, visit the Fargo Navy Week website at http://www.navyweek.org/fargo2011/. High-resolution photos from previous Navy Week celebrations and information about the Centennial of Naval Aviation are available at the website.

Milwaukee to host national military conference

The Wisconsin National Guard is proud to welcome more than 3,000 Army and Air Guard officers and their guests to the 133rd National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) General Conference and Exhibition Aug. 27-29 in Milwaukee.

The annual conference includes remarks from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau; Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command; Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command; Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff; Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, co-chairman of the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus.

Most speakers will address the conference theme, The National Guard: Right for America, or any of a number of military and homeland security issues affecting the Guard. These include overseas operations, domestic missions and the impact of the current fiscal challenges on the defense budget.

The conference also serves as the annual NGAUS business meeting, as well as a venue to share information and celebrate the Guard's unique place in the profession of arms. Additionally, the event includes a golf tournament, a Freedom Ride and a Governor's Reception at the Harley-Davidson Museum, a large trade show featuring an exhibition of the Guard-related products and services of more than 400 companies and organizations.

Wisconsin National Guard Association (WINGA) staff and volunteers have devoted hundreds of hours preparing for the conference. The Wisconsin National Guard has also played an important role developing the conference. More information, the full business agenda and a complete list of exhibitors are available at ngaus.org.