Military News

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Kings Bay Blood Drive Supports Troops Overseas

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) James Kimber, Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- The Armed Services Blood Program hosted a blood drive at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Dec. 5-6.

The donated blood will arrive in combat zone theaters by Friday to support deployed troops.

Capt. John O'Neill, commanding officer, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, was the first uniformed donor of the drive and said it was the first time he has ever donated blood to the ASBP and.

"The blood donated today makes a great, immediate impact for our forces overseas," O'Neill said. "I encourage everyone who can to donate to this positive, longstanding program."

This is the first time ASBP has held a blood drive in Kings Bay, said Erin Hawkins, an ASBP blood donor recruiter from Fort Gordon, Ga.

"December is typically the toughest month to get blood donations," Hawkins said. "With people preparing for the holidays, travelling around the country in addition to deployments and regular operations, it tends to slip people's minds. But the need never slips."

The process to get blood from the donor to the desert is very efficient and maintains an extremely fast tempo.

"From the time the blood leaves the donor's arm to the time its being stored in theater takes 72 hours," Hawkins said.

The donors are interviewed on their medical history, given a quick but thorough check-up to ensure the member is healthy to donate before all of the paperwork is reviewed by the company's staff sergeant to issue a blood bag.

"Our process attempts to eliminate error as much as possible," said SSgt. Eric Longacre, Bravo Company Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga. "This makes it as safe as possible for the donor and the potential serviceman or woman who may need it."

At that point the donor will have their blood drawn and given time to recover with high-sugar treats like juice and cookies, one of the few times a doctor will order a patient to consume more sugar.

Once it's bagged, the blood is mixed with an anticoagulant to ensure the blood doesn't clot in transport or storage. The tube is then segmented for testing and packed away for transport, all usually within an hour.

The blood is then tested and screened at the Armed Services Whole Blood Processing Laboratory at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey before being flown into theater for those in need or stored on U.S. Navy ships.

"It's really a tri-service effort to take care of our Soldiers down range," said Hawkins.

"There are other people out there who need [my blood] more than me," Lt. Eric Goying, USS Georgia (SSGN 729) (Gold), one of the earliest donors to arrive to the drive.

For Erica Gilliand of Lewiston, Idaho, the blood drive had a different meaning.

"It's our anniversary today," Gilliand said about her and her husband, U.S. Coast Guard Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Jon Gilliand of Maritime Force Protection Unit Kings Bay. The couple began to celebrate their fifth anniversary with their donation.

"We decided not to give each other gifts for our anniversary because it's so close to Christmas," Erica Gilliand said. "So we're offering a gift to those who are serving overseas."

"I want to help out my fellow Marines over there [in combat]," said Cleveland native Pfc. John Schon of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Kings Bay. "I joined the Corps to go to over there, but the Marines need me here instead. This is the best way for me to help them right now."

Navy to Demonstrate Biofuel Use During Exercise

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON  – The U.S. Navy will employ a biofuel blend to power aircraft and vessels participating in a maritime exercise that's slated to be conducted near Hawaii next summer, senior officials told reporters today.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack held a conference call with reporters this morning to discuss a contract the Defense Logistics Agency announced last week for 450,000 gallons of biofuel that will power a Navy carrier group during a maritime exercise next summer.

The contract is the largest government purchase of biofuel in history, and provides $12 million to Dynamic Fuels LLC. Dynamic is a joint venture between Tyson Foods, Inc. and Syntroleum Corporation. Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, will help Dynamic Fuels fulfill the contract.

Solazyme’s biofuel is algae-based, Mabus explained, while Dynamic’s is made from used cooking oil and non-food-grade animal fats.

So-called drop-in fuels can work without engine modifications, and Mabus noted the Navy has already certified that its ship and aircraft engines will perform on the new fuels.

He said the fuel “met all our criteria -- that it be a drop-in biofuel, that come from nonfood sources, and that it not increase the carbon footprint.”

The fuels will be combined in a 50-50 blend with petroleum-based diesel and aviation fuel to power the U.S. ships and aircraft taking part in the Rim of the Pacific or RIMPAC exercise, the world's largest international maritime exercise, scheduled to take place off Hawaii next summer, the Navy secretary added.

The carrier that anchors the strike group is nuclear-powered, Mabus noted, but other Navy craft involved in the exercise will use biofuel.

“We think that this represents a major step in energy independence for the United States in making the United States Navy a better war-fighting operation,” Mabus said, “and in reducing our dependence on unstable sources of foreign energy, as well as reducing the budget shocks that come with buying fuel from either potentially or actually unstable place on earth.”

Use of fossil fuels “is a very real threat to our national security, and to the U.S. Navy’s ability to protect America and to project power overseas,” Mabus added.

While the DLA purchase is a small fraction of the Navy’s annual fuel consumption of 1.26 billion gallons, supporting the nation’s fledgling biofuel industry will ultimately make the Navy “better war fighters,” the Navy secretary said.

The Navy plans to follow the RIMPAC demonstration with a 2016 multi-month carrier group deployment using 50 percent biofuel for surface ships and aircraft, Mabus said.

The Navy has throughout history led new developments in fuel, he noted: from sail to coal in the 1800s, from coal to oil in the early 1900s to nuclear power in the 1950s.

“We’re going to lead once again by helping establish a market for biofuels now,” Mabus said.

Biofuel use lessens America’s dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, he said, and increases the nation’s ability to compete in the global energy market.

“This is not only going to help the Navy … [and] our national security, but it’s going to help the farmers and agriculture in the United States,” Mabus said.

Vilsack said the biofuel purchase is a turning point in the partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Navy and the Energy Department under President Barack Obama’s "Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future," which tasked the three to advance a domestic industry capable of producing "drop-in" biofuel substitutes for diesel and jet fuel.

More than 300 facilities in the United States are now producing ethanol and biodiesel, he noted.

Agriculture officials have this year helped finance loans for two refineries that will produce biofuel from nonfood feed stocks, Vilsack said, and they expect to announce additional projects next year.

Vilsack noted that Agricultural Research Service and National Forest Service scientists have been working with industry to identify and develop additional nonfood, “feed stocks” for biofuels, and the Forest Service announced $118 million in grants for feedstock development.

Agriculture Department officials are also researching supply chain management to ensure biofuel products can efficiently reach the Navy market and other emerging markets, including the nation’s commercial air carriers, he added.

“Today’s announcement, I think, underscores the fact that the future for the Navy … [and] this country lies in energy security, and basically controlling our own destiny by producing our own fuels in a creative and innovative way,” Vilsack said.
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(Navy News Service contributed to this article.)

NORAD Gears Up to Track Santa Claus

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2011 – For the 56th year running, the North American Aerospace Defense Command will add the job of tracking the global flight of Santa on Christmas Eve to its mission of North American aerospace warning and control.

"NORAD stands the watch protecting the skies of North America 365 days a year, but on Christmas Eve the children of the world look to NORAD and our trusted partners to make sure that Santa is able to complete his mission safely," said Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. Jacoby commands NORAD, as well as U.S. Northern Command, both based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

The NORAD Tracks Santa mission “is a duty to the children of the world,” he added, “and a privilege we've enjoyed for 56 consecutive years.”

From a NORAD video of the 2010 Santa flight, a military specialist looks up from a bank of computer screens:

“Sir,” he says, turning to look at the camera, “we’ve picked up ‘Big Red’ on the radar. He’s entering from the northeast.

“Recommend fighter escort as he transitions over North America,” the specialist adds, as the video shows an F-16 moving down the runway.

This year, the NORAD Tracks Santa website went live Dec. 1 and features a Countdown Calendar, a Kid’s Countdown Village with holiday games and activities that change daily, and video messages from students and troops from around the world.

The website is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and Chinese.

For the first time, using free apps in the Apple iTunes Store and in the Android market, parents and children can use their smart phones to count down the days until Santa and his reindeer take off from the North Pole to deliver presents to kids everywhere.

Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter also offer tracking opportunities. Santa followers can type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.

And that’s not the only technology that goes into the Santa tracking mission. To track the big man in red, NORAD uses radar, satellites, Santa cams and fighter jets.

A NORAD radar system called the North Warning System consists of 47 installations strung across the northern border of North America. On Dec. 24, NORAD monitors the radar systems continuously for indications that Santa Claus has left the North Pole.

The moment radar indicates a lift-off, satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat. Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature that allows the satellites to detect Santa’s sleigh.

NORAD starting using the Santa cam network in 1998. Santa cams, according to NORAD, are ultra-cool, high-tech, high-speed digital cameras prepositioned at many locations around the world. They use the cameras once a year to capture images and videos of Santa and his reindeer.

In the air, Canadian NORAD pilots flying the CF-18 fighter will intercept and welcome Santa to North America.

In the United States, American NORAD fighter pilots in F-15s, F-16s or F-22 Raptors will fly alongside Santa’s airborne sleigh pulled by his famous reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph.

Once data is collected on Dec. 24, it is pushed into Google Maps and Google Earth so families all over the world can follow Santa.

Thanks to these systems and technologies, starting at midnight Mountain Standard Time on Dec. 24, visitors to the NORAD Santa website can watch Santa’s progress around the globe.

It all started in 1955 when a Sears media advertisement directed kids to call Santa Claus but printed a telephone number that rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center.

The colonel on duty told his staff to give all children who called in a "current location" for Santa Claus. The tradition continued when NORAD replaced CONAD in 1958.

“The [NORAD Tracks Santa] effort,” Jacoby said, “could not be carried out without the superb assistance of numerous government and nongovernment contributors.”

Sponsors of this year’s program include Acuity Scheduling, Big Fish Worldwide, Carousel Industries, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Council, General Electric, the National Tree Lighting Ceremony, RadiantBlue Technologies Inc., thunderbaby studios, the U.S. Coast Guard Band, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band, Visionbox, and the West Point Band.

Returning sponsors include the Air Force Academy Band, Analytical Graphics Inc., Air Canada, Avaya, Booz Allen Hamilton, Colorado Springs School District 11, the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System, the Federal Aviation Administration, First Choice Awards & Gifts, Globelink Foreign Language Center, Google, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Meshbox, the Naden Band of the Maritime Forces Pacific, Naturally Santa’s Inc., the Newseum, OnStar, PCI Broadband, the Space Foundation, tw telecom, Verizon and UGroup Media.

“It is the generosity of these contributors, the hard work of the more than 1,200 volunteers who man the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center, and vigilance of the Canadian and U.S. forces who work at NORAD that guarantees the program's success each and every year,” Jacoby said.

LEID Products to Exhibit Biometric Asset Management System at the Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA) Conference, December 10 - 12

LEID Products, LLC, will be exhibiting their Biometric Access Control System (BACS™), an innovative asset management system, at the Special Operations Medical Associations (SOMA) Conference at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, December 10 – 12, 2011. The BACS™ system is a proven solution installed in military facilities and earning exceptional reviews for the secure storage and tracking items ranging from pelican cases containing controlled medications, to highly sensitive valuable equipment, to weapons.


LEID Products, LLC, will be exhibiting their Biometric Access Control System (BACS™), an innovative asset management system, at the Special Operations Medical Associations (SOMA) Conference at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, December 10 – 12, 2011.

The BACS™ system is a proven solution installed in military facilities and earning exceptional reviews for the secure storage and tracking items ranging from pelican cases containing controlled medications, to highly sensitive valuable equipment, to weapons. Visit LEID Products at booth 619 for a demonstration.

“This is our first time participating in the SOMA Conference,” said Sam Hoff, president of LEID Products. “We believe this was an important venue to be a part of based on our growth in sales, specifically in medical applications, to the US Military Special Operation Forces (SOF) facilities. Supply discipline and inventory control, particularly of controlled meds, is paramount for Special Operation Forces. LEID Products technology meets the high standards demanded for error free management.”

BACS -– with technology developed by Patti Engineering (http://www.pattieng.com) - secures, tracks (via RFID) and provides full accountability for items stored. Items are marked with an RFID chip linked to the BACS kiosk. The user logs into the BACS application to access items by placing their finger on the biometric reader for verification. Then the user selects the authorized items listed on the touch screen which is then retrieved from a secure electronic locker. The software includes administrative tracking reports providing a fully accountable audit trail.

LEID’s Access.it® card and keypad access systems are available in addition to the BACS biometric system, providing various levels of security. LEID’s systems are installed throughout the country; used to streamline operations at law enforcement departments, military facilities, medical facilities, and crime and research labs by securing, tracking and providing full accountability to clients’ weapons, evidence, medications, and other critical assets.

The gathering of SOMA members is directed toward the education and training of the Special Forces/Special Operations Forces Medic. This forum is for military and civilian medical personnel from around the world to meet and exchange ideas. The conference is open to all-military services, civilian tactical services and the public.

About LEID Products
Law Enforcement Intelligent Devices (LEID), LLC was originally founded to assist police departments in securing their assets (guns, weapons and radios) through an electronic tracking and fingerprinting system. LEID’s products since have been utilized by military facilities, medical facilities, government agencies, libraries and businesses to secure and track a wide variety of items including evidence; controlled meds; vital research and development materials; books, tapes and magazines within a library system; and even the securing of business documents to selected personnel. For more information and to see on-line demonstrations of our products, log on to http://www.leidproducts.com