Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chief Petty Officer Improvises, Helps Critically Injured Accident Victim

From Naval Sea Systems Command Office of Corporate Communications

BATH, Maine (NNS) -- A chief assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit Michael Murphy (DDG 112) helped treat a critically injured motorist March 19, in Bath, Maine.

Chief petty officers are trained to adapt and overcome circumstances to meet the Navy's mission and that is exactly what Chief Fire Controlman John Friend did after witnessing an accident. Friend was driving home from duty aboard the ship when he saw a large cloud of smoke in the oncoming lanes of traffic. Realizing it was a two-car accident, he stopped to assist.

Lt. Jason Morgan, also assigned to PCU Michael Murphy, stopped to assist as well, and while Morgan called 911 and began directing traffic around the accident, Friend offered what medical aid he could to the accident victims.

The driver of the most damaged vehicle was having severe difficulty breathing. Friend quickly improvised and placed a windshield wiper from the vehicle into his airway, allowing blood from internal injuries to escape and steadying his breathing. He then provided first aid to the injured passenger, watching both victims closely until paramedics arrived.

"When I talked with the Bath Police Department chief the following morning, it was highlighted how important FCC Friend's initial actions were in stabilizing the injured motorists and possibly saving the life of the driver," said Cmdr. Tom Shultz, PCU Michael Murphy's prospective commanding officer. "His actions just go to show you what kind of person and Sailor FCC Friend is."

Obama Praises U.S. Troops’ Legacy in South Korea

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Visiting with U.S. troops stationed in South Korea near the demilitarized zone, President Barack Obama lauded their historic security role that assisted South Korea as it transformed itself into a democratic and prosperous nation in the years following the Korean War.

“When you think about the transformation that has taken place in South Korea during my lifetime, it is directly attributable to this long line of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines [and] coast guardsmen who were willing to create the space and the opportunity for freedom and prosperity,” said Obama, who’s in South Korea to attend a Nuclear Security Summit in the capital city of Seoul.

At Camp Bonifas, located near the demilitarized zone that has divided North and South Korea since the Korean War armistice was signed in 1953, Obama told the troops they’re serving on “freedom’s frontier.” About 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea today.

“And the contrast between South Korea and North Korea could not be clearer, could not be starker, both in terms of freedom, but also in terms of prosperity,” Obama said.

The president attributed South Korea's success to the “incredible” resilience, talents and hard work of their people.

“But it also has to do with you guys,” Obama told troops. “And so my main message is the same, obviously, to every base that I go to ... all around the world, which is, I could not be prouder of what you're doing. Everybody back home could not be prouder of what you guys do each and every day -- the dedication, the professionalism that you show.

“But there's something about this spot in particular,” he continued, “where there's such a clear line and there's such an obvious impact that you have for the good each and every day that should make all of you proud.”

The president shared an anecdote of a conversation he’d had with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

“Last time I was here, I was having lunch with the president of South Korea, President Lee,” Obama said. “And he talked about how he was a small child when the Korean War was taking place, and its aftermath, and the brutal poverty, the fact that they had nothing.

“And he went on to be an auto executive, and ultimately, the president of his country, and watch it grow,” Obama continued. “And he specifically said to me -- and this was a private moment; he didn't say this in front of the press, … he said, ‘The only reason that was able to happen -- and I still think back to all those American soldiers and the sacrifices that they made.’”

Obama expressed his pride in the job U.S. troops have done in South Korea and said he is grateful for the legacy they are carrying on.

“We're proud of you,” Obama told the U.S. service members, “and I hope that all your family back home knows how proud your commander-in-chief is of you.”

Navy Concludes Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2012

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Navy wrapped up its largest annual security exercise March 23 after a week of training designed to test the service's ability to respond to nation-wide threats to its installations, units, personnel and families.

The exercise, known as Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield (SC-CS) 2012, was led by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and began March 19.

"Our intent was to accurately simulate real-world conditions, and to assess how our forces operate in that environment," said Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., commander of USFF. "Overall, it was a resounding success and a large part of that can be attributed to the lessons we've learned from previous years."

One of the takeaways from last year's exercise was that sudden increases in security could have a major impact on traffic caused by personnel entering and exiting local bases under increased scrutiny.

"Whenever you have Sailors and other citizens in a gridlocked situation outside of a Navy base, they're in an environment where they're vulnerable," said Rear Adm. Phil Davidson, USFF's director for operations and intelligence. "We opened up our lines of communication and worked with state and local officials to ensure everyone -- both service members and local residents -- understood how base access could be affected and the potential for delays on adjacent highways and roads near naval installations. We also took many important steps to reduce the likelihood of gridlock."

"I am very impressed with the professionalism and support our Navy received from our civil partners around the country during this exercise," said Adm. Harvey. "We began reaching out to state, local and tribal officials weeks ago to make sure everyone that might be affected by the exercise understood our intentions and make them aware of how we could work together to avoid problems. They really came through and did a superb job!"

The two exercises, each with a distinct focus, occurred simultaneously and trained and tested security force personnel throughout a number of force-protection scenarios. These scenarios ranged from identifying surveillance to large-scale, multifaceted threats originating from the sea and air. Security forces were assessed on their response to the emerging threats.

Information was collected throughout this year's exercises and will be assessed to identify tactics, techniques and procedures that can be improved going forward.

Exercise SC/CS 2012 was not in response to any specific threat, but is a regularly scheduled exercise.

Training evolutions like SC/CS 2012 are important elements of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department.

Marine Tours Pacific Battlefields

All, this is my first post, so bear with me. I just returned from a two week trip to Guam, Iwo Jima and Peleliu to celebrate my third retirement. It was the second visit to the three locations. Needless to say, for a Marine military historian it was a great way to end one career (VP Marine Corps Heritage Foundation) and start another (military author). 

As you can well imagine, the places mentioned above are rich in military history. Guam, while fairly heavily settled, still has remnants of the WWII battle...mainly bunkers (Japanese) and plaques to commemorate the landing beaches, the Navy base, which contained the war dog cemetery and the old Marine barracks.

Iwo Jima and Peleliu are another story entirely...bunkers, caves and tunnels abound. Unexploded ordnance is all over the was not uncommon on Peleliu to find Japanese hand grenades and an occasional U.S. pineapple grenade, artillery shells, naval gunfire shells (6" and 8" and an occasional 14"), mortar shells, etc. Battlefield debris remains are seen in the bunkers (Sake and beer bottles, Coke bottles, mess kits, rusted helmets (both US and Japanese), boot and shoe remnants...whatever was carried into battle is still there. 

Iwo is pretty well restricted to the landing beach and Mt. Suribachi. A Japanese officer died in one of the caves and his death caused the island commander to be gun-shy. However, Peleliu is open without restrictions...probably the most preserved battlefield remaining in the Pacific. 

If you want to hear more, let me know, Semper Fi, Dick Camp 

About the Author
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.  You can find out more about Colonel Camp and his books at: