Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lincoln Concludes Thailand Port Visit

From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

LAEM CHABANG, Thailand (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), accompanied by guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George (CG 71), departed Laem Chabang, Thailand, Jan. 10, following a four-day port visit.

While in Thailand, Sailors from the two ships visited with the people of Thailand, experienced the local culture and participated in a series of community service projects (COMSERVs) to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Sailors painted schools, cleaned local temples and visited with children at schools and medical facilities as part of the COMSERVs.

The Lincoln Chiefs Mess visited with HIV/AIDS-stricken children and adults at the Camillian Relief Center in Rayong. Chief Religious Program Specialist Elliot Warley said spending time with the children was the most worthwhile part of his time in Thailand.

"Even though these kids are sick, they're still kids," Warley said. "We interacted with them, we played with them, and we gave them toys. It was a really good experience."

Other highlights from the port visit included tours of temples and historic sites, elephant rides, jungle adventure tours and visits to the Sriracha Tiger Zoo.

The visit also included military-to-military talks and ship tours for several local groups including Royal Thai navy personnel, local businesses and school children. Additionally, Lincoln Sailors delivered Project Handclasp supplies to local organizations. Project Handclasp, the Navy's worldwide outreach program, donates humanitarian, educational and goodwill materials to people in need overseas.

Lincoln, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, is in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) as part of a deployment to the western Pacific and Indian Oceans en route to support coalition efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR. The visit to Thailand was the first port call of Lincoln's 2011-2012 deployment.

CSG 9 is comprised of Lincoln, Cape St. George, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, which includes guided-missile destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92) and USS Sterett (DDG 104).

Following deployment, Lincoln will change homeports from Everett, Wash., to Norfolk, Va., for a periodic refueling complex overhaul.

U.S. Forces Rescue Second Iranian Vessel

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2012 – For the second time in a week, a U.S. vessel has rescued Iranian mariners from a distressed vessel in regional waters.

A team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd, part of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, rescued a 13-member Iranian crew Jan. 5 from 15 suspected pirates who had been holding the crew hostage on the Iranian-flagged Al Molai for several weeks.

Several hours before dawn this morning, U.S. Coast Guard cutter Monomoy rescued six Iranian mariners from the disabled cargo dhow Ya-Hussayn in the North Arabian Gulf, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

“This is consistent with meeting our obligations to rescue vessels in distress,” he added.

Monomoy is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, which includes the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the coast off East Africa as far south as Kenya.

At about 3 a.m. local time, Coast Guard cutter Monomoy was hailed by flares and flashlights from the Ya-Hussayn, according to a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command statement.

The dhow’s master requested assistance from Monomoy, indicating the engine room was flooding and the vessel was not seaworthy. The Monomoy’s small boat rescued two people from the vessel and four from a life raft tied off the dhow’s stern, officials said.

Aboard the Monomoy, an emergency medical technician treated an injured crew member, and the others received water, blankets and halal meals, which are prepared according to Islamic law and stored aboard U.S. Coast Guard ships for Muslim mariners in distress.

A civilian interpreter aboard Monomoy made initial contact with the Iranian Rescue Coordination Center to report Ya-Hussayn’s status and to coordinate the Iranian mariners’ transfer from Monomoy to shore. Civilian interpreters routinely travel on U.S. Coast Guard vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf.

The Iranian vessel’s master told the Rescue Coordination Center he appreciated the help for his crew and the efforts to get them home.

“Without your help, we were dead,” said Ya-Hussayn’s owner, Hakim Hamid-Awi. “Thank you for all that you did for us.”

The Iranian mariners wished the best for the cutter’s captain and crew, officials said.

At 4:30 p.m. local time, the six mariners were transferred by rigid-hull inflatable boats from Monomoy to the Iranian coast guard vessel Naji 7. Through a translator, the Naji 7’s captain sent his regards and thanked the Monomoy’s captain and crew members for assisting and taking care of the Iranian sailors.

“Monomoy displayed exceptional skill and professionalism during the night-time rescue at sea,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Edward Cashman, commander of Task Force 55, to which the Monomoy is assigned. “Monomoy’s presence in the Northern Gulf and the effective coordination of the rescue proves again the value of Coalition Maritime Security Operations."

U.S. Army Medicine Civilian Corps Begins the New Year with Web Fair, Career Fair and Focus Group Sessions

Chief of Recruitment and Retention Comments On MEDCOM’s Efforts To Fill Various Positions at 70+ Military Medical Facilities Across the Nation and How Holding Focus Groups Helps Strengthen MEDCOM Hiring Practices

Washington D.C. - The Civilian Corps of the United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) opens 2012 by bringing awareness to the many medical career opportunities available for civilian healthcare professionals by holding both web and career fairs in the month of January.  In addition, focus group sessions will be held in the upcoming months to assist MEDCOM in its continuous efforts to hire wounded warriors and disabled professionals.

“MEDCOM has several hiring initiatives scheduled for this year, each planned to highlight current and future positions ultimately leading to the hiring of qualified medical professionals," says Dr. Harrison, Chief, Recruitment and Retention, Headquarters U.S. Army Medical Command, Civilian Human Resources Division. "The web and career fairs being held this month are great ways to kick-off what is destined to be a year of new opportunities and new hires. “

The online career fair beginning January 9th at  www.CivilianMedicalJobs.com/webfair will provide job seekers with an interactive environment to learn more about openings, job locations and the benefits of working with the Army Medicine Civilian Corps. Visitors are also able to submit questions and receive feedback from career consultants until January 13th. After January 13th, job seekers are still able to apply and check back regularly for updates and new job listings.

On January 20th starting at 8 am at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, the Fort Hood-Darnall Army Medical Center is recruiting for immediate positions including behavioral health providers, physicians, physician assistants, nurses, and administrators. For more information, visit http://CivilianMedicalJobs.com/jobfair.

Starting the last week of January, focus group sessions will be held in Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, and North Dakota. “We look forward to the opinions and input we will receive from our peers as well as those who are potential candidates,” says Harrison. “The information gathered will play an important role in the development of programs and affect the way MEDCOM will recruit and hire in the immediate future.”

For more information please visit the website, www.CivilianMedicalJobs.com and be sure to view the on-site calendar for a MEDCOM job fair near you. All press inquiries and interview requests go to kross@agencymabu.com.

American Taekwondo Association (ATA) Martial Arts Tourney to Benefit Military Families

Local Fayetteville chapter encourages residents to attend & show support as a portion of proceeds will go to the Army’s Army

Fayetteville, NC - January 10, 2012 - On January 20-21, 2012, the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) Martial Arts of Fayetteville will demonstrate its support for the military at its annual Home Town Heroes: Regional ATA Martial Arts Tournament at the Crown Coliseum Expo Center.  The local chapter will donate a portion of all proceeds from ticket and t-shirt sales to the Army’s Army, an organization made up of citizens and businesses that support the military, dedicated to ‘watching over those who watch over us©.’  The tournament is the area’s largest martial arts competition for youth and teenagers. Last year it drew in roughly 1,000 individuals, made-up of competitors and spectators, and organizers are hoping to attract an even bigger crowd this year.

The ATA Martial Arts of Fayetteville and the Army’s Army partnered together for last year’s tournament to honor 30 Purple Heart recipients, members of the local Fayetteville chapter 2226 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  In Fayetteville/Cumberland Country, America’s First Military Sanctuary Community, the military receives VIP treatment, and the Purple Heart recipients experienced this firsthand at last year’s tournament. Each of the honorees were publicly acknowledged, received front row seats, and signed autographs.

“We are excited for the tournament, not only do we get to compete but we’re able to show our appreciation for our military heroes,” said Master Michael Brown, ATA Martial Arts of Fayetteville. “We invite the community to come join us and show their support for the military, as a portion of sales will go to the Army’s Army, a military support organization, to help them do what they do best.”

The Army’s Army operates three websites strictly devoted to supporting soldiers, veterans and their families:

           FayettevilleWantsYou.com - A site that provides resources for military families relocating to Fayetteville/Cumberland County to help make their transition easier.
           MilitaryDiscounts.com - A blog that houses hundreds of military discounts, in one convenient place.
           BriefFromTheFront.com - The Army’s Army, Executive Director’s blog that covers local news and events of interest to soldiers and their families. 

Currently, the organization is made up of over 1,500 volunteers and dozens of partners that provide various types of military support through programs, such as relocation fairs, and events geared towards soldiers, veterans and their families, including children of fallen soldiers.

The Regional Tournament: Hometown Heroes will feature highly-skilled sixth, seventh and eighth degree black belts, as well as some of the younger Tiny Tigers, and white, orange and yellow belts working their way up to black belt. Spectators will be able to see competitors trained in Combat BME, Songahm forms and sparring, ATA Extreme Weapons, and ATA Extreme Forms.

To view photographs from last year’s event: Home Town Heroes: Regional ATA Martial Arts Tournament, click here.

About The Army’s Army:
Fayetteville/Cumberland County is America’s first sanctuary community for the Military and their Families. The Army’s Army is the world’s only volunteer organization of citizens and businesses who have pledged their moral, physical and spiritual support to those in the military. We do everything we can to make soldiers, veterans and their families feel welcome, appreciated and safe. The Army’s Army is dedicated to “watching over those who watch over us©.” For additional information, visit www.armysarmy.com.   

About ATA Martial Arts:
The American Taekwondo Association (ATA) is the premier North American organization dedicated to the martial arts discipline of taekwondo, and is the founding organization of other international affiliates that include the World Traditional Taekwondo Union (WTTU) and the Songahm Taekwondo Federation (STF).  Counting both the U.S. and worldwide, our organizations have over 1,500 independently owned and operated licensed schools and clubs, and have registered over one million students since the ATA's inception in 1969.