Military News

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Underwood Sailors Play Soccer with Partner Nation Sailors


By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Frank J. Pikul, Southern Seas 2012 Public Affairs

CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- Sailors from Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood participated in a soccer match and barbecue with sailors from foreign navies during UNITAS Pacific (PAC) at Callao Naval Base, May 14.

The event was organized to bring sailors from the different navies together to interact with each other to build friendships and foster good will between them.

"We were here today to see what sailors from other navies are like and to develop a better relationship with these other navies through sports and food," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Kevin Wilson, assigned to Underwood.

Sailors from the United States, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico participated in the event.

"I like to hear about different places and where fellow sailors are from," said Armory Mate 2nd Class Allen Angulo, a Peruvian sailor. "I like the atmosphere surrounding this event. It gives us a chance to relax and get to know each other."

The day concluded with an awards ceremony with medals presented to the top two teams. The team representing Underwood won first place and received gold medals.

"It felt good to win, but more importantly I believe that soccer is a world sport that brings everyone together, no matter what kind of differences people have in other countries," said Wilson.

After the awards ceremony, the sailors enjoyed a barbecue of roast pig and had the opportunity to get to know one another.

"I felt like I made a difference in other sailors' lives by participating in this event, and it was an opportunity to exchange cultures with each other," said Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Stephen McGiverin. "I really think it helps relations with these countries."

Underwood is participating in UNITAS Pacific as part of Southern Seas 2012, an annual deployment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

New Law Authorizes Reservists to Respond to Homeland Disasters


By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2012 – New authority in this year’s Defense Department authorization act allows the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps reserves to be called to duty in response to natural disasters or emergencies in the homeland, and also to be mobilized for extended periods to support theater security missions around the world.

Except for a crisis involving a weapon of mass destruction, the reserves historically have been prohibited from providing a homeland disaster response, Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, the Army Reserve chief, told reporters yesterday.

That job was reserved for the National Guard, which state governors could call up as needed to support civil authorities. If additional forces were required – as when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005 – active-duty service members became the federal default force.

That’s long been a frustration to Stultz, who saw no sense in bypassing local reserve members simply because they operate under federal “Title 10” authority and not state “Title 32” authority.

“In a lot of cases, there were reserve-component soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who were close at hand with the capabilities needed, but didn’t have the authority to act,” he said. “Finally, we got the law changed. This new legislation says that now we can use Title 10 reserves.”

For these forces to be used, the law specifies that the president must declare an emergency or disaster and a state governor must request the assistance.

Stultz clarified what hasn’t changed under the law. Civil authorities will remain the first responders. And when they need military support, National Guard forces will be the first to step in when called by their state governor. “We are not trying to change any of that,” the general said.

But now, when a situation also demands a federal response, reserve forces can step in to assist for up to 120 days.

Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, and his staff are evaluating their federal response plan to take advantage of these new capabilities, Stultz said.

Meanwhile, Stultz participated in a recent U.S. Army North exercise that helped to test the concept. The scenario involved two hurricanes hitting the United States almost simultaneously, requiring a federal response.

The exercise helped participants work through the procedures that would be involved in calling Title 10 forces to duty, Stultz explained. “How does the governor and the adjutant general within a state go through the process of asking for federal help?” he said. “How do Army North and Northcom identify what capabilities are close by that they can use? How do we go through alerting these forces to go down and help this natural disaster? And as always, who cuts the order to put them on duty, and who provides the funding?”

Stultz said he’s gratified by almost universal support for the new legislative authority.

“Everybody is on board, from the governors to the adjutants general to Army North to Northcom saying this is going to be a good thing,” he said. “We just have to make sure we have the procedures and processes worked out.”

And now, before the authority is actually needed, is the time to get that resolved, he said. “Let’s not wait until a hurricane hits to say, ‘How do we do it?’ he said.

Another change in the 2012 authorization act allows Title 10 reservists to be called to duty to support unnamed overseas contingencies. The reserves, and particularly the Army Reserve, have a long history of deploying members for medical, engineering and other missions to support theater engagement and security cooperation efforts.

Typically, they did so as their annual training, which generally limits their engagements to 21 to 29 days, Stultz said. That could be particularly limiting when the missions are in far-flung parts of the world, he said, sometimes reducing time on the ground to as little as 14 days before the reservist had to pack up and return home.

“With this new authority, now we can send them down for much longer periods of time,” Stultz said.

As operations wind down in Afghanistan, Stultz said, he hopes reservists will be more available to support combatant commanders’ theater engagement campaigns. Based on the Army force generation model, that means Army Reservists will be ready to deploy one out of every five years. He said the pool of ready reservists could conduct extended theater-support missions.

A hospital unit, for example, could potentially spend three months rather than three weeks supporting a medical mission in Central or South America, Africa or Asia. And at the end of that three-month period, another reserve unit could rotate in to replace them.

This additional capability, Stultz said, would give combatant commanders far more assets to support their engagement strategies across their areas of responsibility, even at a time of dwindling resources.

“It is not going to happen overnight,” he conceded. “But over time, as we are sending an engineer unit to do a project in the Philippines, [we] have to sit with the Pacific Command and U.S. Army Pacific and say, ‘Next year, instead of 29 days, let’s do 60 or 90.’”

USS Constitution Sailors Teach Naval History in Spokane


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald, USS Constitution Public Affairs

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Constitution taught early American naval history to students at Medical Lake Middle School in Medical Lake, Wash. May 14-15.

Lt. Albert Sharlow, Master-at-Arms 1st Class (EXW/SW) Marina Chavez, Culinary Specialist 2nd (SW) Class Kevin Linney, Logistics Specialist Seaman Maurice Noland and Fireman Jessica Rodriguez gave six interactive historical presentations to more than 100 students as part of Spokane Navy Week, May 14-20.

"I love giving presentations to the kids in school," said Sharlow. "They're excited about what we do and love asking questions. We're creating a connection with them. The next great admiral may be in that classroom."

Students learned about the creation of the Navy, Constitution's construction, her famous battle with HMS Guerriere during the War of 1812 and the mission of today's Navy.

"I think it's wonderful for the students that the Sailors, especially when dressed in the period uniform, visit," said Sylvia Campbell, the school's principal. "Their visit not only helps to illustrate living history, but it allows the students to have a broader understanding of the U.S. Navy and its history. With the ability to see the Sailors in person, it gives the students a different avenue, giving them the opportunity to ask questions that we as teachers are not always able to answer."

Constitution Sailors undergo 20 weeks of naval history training, along with additional weekly training.

"I hope the presentation gave them more insight and awareness of what the U.S. Navy is," said Linney. "Through educating the younger generations, especially in Spokane where there is little to no Navy presence, on the War of 1812, as well as all of our humanitarian efforts, we can achieve giving the general public a better sense of what their Navy is about."

Constitution Sailors are also scheduled to give history presentations to Mountainside Middle School, May 16, Chase Middle School, May 17 and Horizon Middle School, May 18.

Spokane Navy Week is the third of eight Navy Weeks that Constitution Sailors will participate in 2012, celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by presenting the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Spokane Navy Week will present the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provide residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors per year. She defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. America's Navy: Keeping the sea free for more than 200 years.

Constitution's mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship's history.

Bremerton Culinary Artists Showcase their Skill at Armed Forces Competition


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Charlemagne Obana, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) food service Sailors and civilian staff competed May 12 at the 2012 Armed Forces Day military culinary arts competition.

The event was hosted by Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) at the Olympic College student center.

"It was very tough to judge this event. They were all outstanding and represent the best of the best that the Navy and the military offers," said special guest and judge from Washington D.C., Karin George, program manager food service ashore and retired Navy chef. "This was a wonderful opportunity to showcase their skills and I never experienced anything like this when I was in the Navy."

The competition which originated 20 years ago as a chili cook-off between the area's Navy cooks has blossomed into a competition with representatives coming from throughout the greater Puget Sound area such as Joint Base Lewis-McCord, NBK, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Naval Base Everett, and various ships in the Northwest Navy region.

"It really raises your opinion of the kind of chefs the Navy and the military has...these guys have skills," said Steve Zugschwerdt, freelance photographer and competition attendee.

NHB combined food services staff began their food preparations two days prior to the event and presented the most entries into the competition.

"Our strategy is to just do our best and to represent our command," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class (SW) Arturo Perez, NHB combined food services leading petty officer. "We tried to use the same winning recipes from last year until somebody beats us in that category. The main difference [this year] is in our presentation."
The categories for competition included garnish, chili, appetizer, pie, cake, ribs, wings, and the iron chef cook-off.

"There was no 'I' or 'my' product. Everyone had a hand in each item. We were very critical with each of our entries," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Renee Aquino, NHB Combined Food Service leading chief petty 0fficer.

"I think our entries in this competition are phenomenal," said NHB Command Master Chief Frank Dominguez. "They really hit a homerun with the ribs and the cake."

The efforts of the hospital Terrace Dining Room staff were rewarded with first place awards for both the cake and rib category, second place awards in chili and wings, another third place award for their rib entry, and a second overall award for the second consecutive year. According to command staff members who attended the event, the real winners of the competition are always the patrons of NHB Terrace Dining Room.

"Some of the products we prepare for competition make it on our menu at the hospital," said Aquino. "The sushi that won last year we served as part of our healthy menu during our nutrition month celebration."

The NHB galley began instituting healthier menu items in early 2011 according to Aquino.

"We took away serving hamburgers and fries everyday even though people liked it. We try to set their mind on something else [healthier for them]. We serve whole wheat pasta, brown rice, tofu dishes, and we serve a lot of fish on our menu during the week," said Perez.

"I'd like to see a healthy choice category for next year's competition. We could teach a lot of people that healthy food also tastes good."

"I think we would probably ace that category," said Aquino. "We serve a grilled crusted mahi-mahi [here], all we have to do is make a good sauce to go with it."

Future Holds Danger, Uncertainty in Complex World, General Says


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

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 15, 2012 – The U.S. military is operating in an increasingly dangerous world in which it is going to have to do more with less, given increasingly tight budgets, the Joint Staff’s director of joint force development told the sixth annual 2012 Joint Warfighting Conference here today.

“I like to say about the environment that if you like the complexity, the uncertainty and the increasing danger of today, you're really going to like tomorrow,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. George J. Flynn said. “Nothing is really going to change. The world is going to remain complex, uncertain, and it's going to be increasingly dangerous.”

All of this change, including rapid developments in the Arab world, he said, is coming at a time of sharp fiscal restraint.

“Nobody is writing us more checks,” he said. “When I go to work in the morning, nobody says, 'Here's some more money, see what you can do with it.' Everybody says, 'What can you do with less money, and can you deliver the same way?'”

Flynn pointed to the Cold War and the Arab Spring as examples of change in the operating environment.

“The Cold War lasted 42 years,” he said. “It was an evolutionary event characterized by deliberate change. The world was connected, but it was characterized by very deliberate change in our connectivity, and it was a chance to understand the context all the time.”

In contrast, he said, the Arab Spring occurred in about three to four months.

“This was revolutionary, and it caused us to have reactive change,” he said. “Through the hyperconnective world – the media environment – word of these events spread almost instantaneously. And our strategy, at best, was to hope to influence the events and the way the world would change.”

Flynn noted the future operating environment – both the technology and the threat – will continue to increase at greater rates of change due to the accessibility of information.

“Now, in many ways, technology has been democratized,” he said. Years ago, billions of dollars on research and development could provide an operational advantage in technology for years, but today, because of the Internet, the same investment would only provide that advantage for days, or maybe months, he added.

Another point Flynn emphasized is the greater availability of information potentially empowering conventional and nontraditional state actors. He referenced a Harvard Business Review article detailing the Mumbai terrorist attack as an example.

“All the mission planning was done via Google Earth,” he said. “There was no investment in technology of [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] platforms or anything like that.”

Flynn said the terrorists used cellular phone networks as command and control and social media to track and thwart the efforts of Indian commandos. “How much technology or how much investment was made to create that terrorist capability?” he rhetorically asked.

Space and cyber, the general said, also are examples of why the homeland is now part of the battle space.

“Space and cyber will continue to play an increased role in events, with each becoming increasingly contested domains – so it's a new domain that we're going to have to contest,” Flynn said. “Security challenges will have both local and global aspects, we think, with events occurring across the globe.

“So the bottom line [is that] if you liked the past challenges of the past 11 years, you will like the future,” he said.