Military News

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Navy Issues New Shore Energy Policy to Achieve Energy Security Goals


From Chief of Naval Operations Shore Readiness Division

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy issued a new energy policy that will drive energy consumption reduction at all Navy installations, transform the shore energy culture and seek new or existing technical solutions for reducing energy, officials announced July 10.

The Shore Energy Management Instruction signifies a complete revision from the previous version published in 1994.

The instruction codifies Navy's policy and strategy to ensure energy security as a strategic imperative, meet federal mandates and executive orders, and achieve Department of the Navy (DoN) shore energy goals.

 Since naval forces require constant support from shore installations, Navy is mitigating its vulnerabilities related to the electrical grid - such as outages from natural disasters and man-made events - by lowering consumption, integrating renewable energy sources and increasing control of energy supply and distribution. Energy reliability, resiliency and redundancy are essential components of the Navy's Critical Infrastructure Protection program.

"Energy security is critical because warfighters need assured access to reliable supplies of energy to meet operational needs afloat or ashore," said Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, Vice Adm. Phil Cullom. "This instruction is just one example of how we are driving a spartan energy ethos in our shore operations. We are committed to cost-effectively achieving our energy goals by pursuing energy efficiency, transforming our energy culture, and integrating renewable energy technologies, where viable."

The revised instruction includes specific responsibilities and actions that commands and personnel ashore must take in implementing the Navy Shore Energy program. For example, each Navy installation will have a tailored energy consumption reduction goal based on its unique energy situation. By increasing energy efficiency, Navy can reduce operating costs, multiply the impact of current and future alternative energy sources and achieve DoN renewable energy targets.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals in October 2009 to improve energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore and increase our energy security.

To review the instruction, visit http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/files/2012/07/OPNAVINST-4100.5E.pdf.

Carl Vinson Enters Planned Incremental Availability Period


By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew J. Haran, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Almost one month after USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) return from a Western Pacific deployment supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the crew is putting on hard hats and safety goggles for a planned incremental availability (PIA) period July 5-Feb. 1, 2013.

According to Cmdr. Dan Lannamann, chief engineer and PIA availability manager, the primary purpose of PIA is to maintain the 50-year projected service life of an aircraft carrier by taking the ship off-line for an extended period to accomplish deep maintenance and modernization that would be impractical during a normal in-port period.

"Deep maintenance means tearing into equipment or taking apart systems that are not going to be restored in a short period of time," Lannamann said. "It is a period where the ship is temporarily not available for war-time operations."

During the seven-month timeframe the ship will undergo several improvements worth $110 million and will be unable to get underway.

The vast amount of maintenance scheduled during PIA will require the effort of all hands, Lannamann said. Many Sailors assigned to the ship's force will be temporarily reassigned to 20 tiger teams - teams focusing on specific maintenance, such as painting, tiling, or watertight doors.

In addition to varied work assignments, Carl Vinson Sailors can anticipate more changes to their everyday lives. Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Oxendine, Carl Vinson's maintenance officer and PIA assistant availability manager, explained one of more significant changes Sailors will experience.

"We have just recently gained custody of a berthing barge that will be implemented for Sailors who live on this ship," Oxendine said. Not only will Sailors' living arrangements be altered, but their meals, also, will be eaten on the barge instead of on board Carl Vinson.

"There is a significant amount of work that is going to impact habitability of the spaces and availability of some of the services. The overall impact of PIA is greater than your average in-port period," Oxendine said.

While Sailors adjust to changes in the ship they called home for six months at sea, they will also see a lot of new faces.

"We are going to come close to doubling the ship's population with the amount of outside assistance we are getting during PIA," said Lannamann. "We will have upwards of 1,500 non-ship's force personnel assisting with PIA in some way, shape or form."

But no matter whom Carl Vinson has assisting with PIA, the ship's force is ultimately responsible for the upkeep and well-being of the ship, Lannamann said.

"The point we really want to hammer home with everyone is that the ship never stops being ours. We never turn over with anyone, and we are the ones who are expected to take her out come February 1st," Lannamann said.

No matter what condition the ship appears to be in at any time, it is still performing a mission.

"We must take advantage of this opportunity while in port to focus on the mission at hand, which is no longer launching aircraft or supporting the boots on the ground, but taking care of our ship so we can finish on time, so she can get back out and do what she was built to do," Lannamann said.

Busted! PTSD Myths Hurt You, Career


By Jayne Davis, DCoE Strategic Communications

The earth is flat.
Money buys happiness.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not real; it’s just in your head.

Some myths carry greater consequences than others. Myths about what PTSD is, who it affects, why you might have it and what can be done are unfortunately, common and harmful. Not being able to distinguish between fact and fiction can be the difference between living with hope and promise and living with despair for someone with the diagnosis.

Myth: Only Weak People Get PTSD
Identifying truths about PTSD is challenging given that it’s not easily understood either by someone experiencing the related psychological symptoms or by their family and friends. Being uninformed contributes to numerous misconceptions about the disorder, such as having PTSD means you’re not mentally tough. That plays particularly well in the military culture where standards of toughness are high and implemented with rigor.

Stress reactions to combat situations such as having nightmares, increased anxiety and reliving a traumatic event, aren’t necessarily indicators of PTSD but if they persist beyond a short-term period it could result in a diagnosis. Some service members may be reluctant to acknowledge these symptoms for fear of being considered weak in character or unreliable, two further myths which keep them from seeking treatment and benefiting from support.

Myth: Treatment Doesn’t Work
That treatment doesn’t work is one of the more damaging myths about PTSD. Treatment does work. Decades of research have produced many successful treatment therapies, such as cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure, and identified early intervention as key to positive treatment outcomes.

One positive step you can take to understand and manage symptoms that may be associated with PTSD is to download PTSD Coach, a mobile app loaded with information and management and support resources.

Myth: Getting Care Will Hurt My Career
Many service members remain under the impression that receiving treatment will diminish or curtail their military career — another unfounded myth.

Military leaders continue to increase and impart their understanding of PTSD facts and how to effectively address unit members exhibiting psychological health concerns. Not seeking help once you become aware of problematic behavioral changes in yourself can be far more damaging should behaviors associated with PTSD like angry outbursts or attention deficits compromise your mission readiness or your unit’s trust in you. Courageous service members have come forth to share their experiences and recovery stories from reaching out for help in Real Warriors Campaign video profiles, further challenging the myth that treatment doesn’t work.

Arizona Army National Guard hosts, takes part in Native American Gourd Ceremony


By Army Sgt. Crystal Reidy
128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

CAMP NAVAJO TRAINING CENTER, Ariz. - Arizona Army National Guard members got a taste of traditional tribal life in a ceremonial Gourd Dance performed by dozens of Native American Indian dancers at the parade field here, recently.

“It is a real joy to continue to host this amazing ceremony again this year,” said Lt. Col. Dale Oldham, commander of the training center. “It has great significance to our nation and our community.”

The Gourd Dance is done to welcome home troops after war, said Army Master Sgt. Freddie Hatathlie, the noncommissioned officer in charge of engineering operations, adding that traditionally, the dance was for men only.

“We now allow women to participate because they are a part of the military,” said Hatathlie. “Any warrior coming home can participate.”

The Gourd Dance, which originates from the Plaines tribes, has been passed down from generation to generation, said Hatathlie. The dance is now open it to everyone.

“We want to share our traditions and cultures so more people understand us,” said Hatathlie.

 Many of the dancers are veterans of the United States armed forces and participated in conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, said Oldham. This is the third annual Gourd Dance ceremony.

 Since its beginning as an Army depot in 1942, Native Americans helped build, sustain and establish what today’s Camp Navajo is, said Oldham.

“Navajo and Hopi Indians built, worked and lived on this institution,” said Oldham.

The five-hour event started at 9 a.m. with opening ceremonies, prayers, dancing, a community lunch and then the dancing resumed. As many as 200 people attended the gathering.

“This event shows the increased interest in the Native American contribution,” said Oldham. “We are proud of this event and look forward to hosting it every year.”

DCoE Releases Clinical Recommendation, Reference Card to Treat Neuroendocrine Dysfunction


By Corina Notyce, DCoE Strategic Communications

An estimated 1.7 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occur every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 244,000 service members have sustained at least one TBI from 2000 through the first quarter of this year, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. The majority of both military and civilian TBIs are classified as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and most patients experience complete functional recovery within three months or less of injury. However, some individuals do not recover within this timeframe and may benefit from post-injury neuroendocrine dysfunction (NED) screening.

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) developed new clinical recommendations and clinical support tools to guide primary care providers of service members who sustain mTBI. The “Neuroendocrine Dysfunction Screening Post Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Clinical Recommendation and Reference Card” provides medical guidance to evaluate and treat NED. The tools clarify the indications for post-injury neuroendocrine screening and provide a reference point for neuroendocrine screening following traumatic brain injury.

“To our knowledge, there are currently no clinical guidance sources or support tools that present this kind of information to primary care providers,” said Therese West, DCoE subject matter expert on traumatic brain injury. “The goal is to increase primary care providers’ awareness of NED so they consider it along with other more well-known diagnoses such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, in service members presenting prolonged symptoms or difficult rehabilitation following a concussion.”

Neuroendocrine dysfunction occurs as a result of direct trauma or biochemical response that interferes with the normal production and regulation of interrelated hormonal processes. The onset of NED can occur any time after sustaining a concussion and up to 36 months post injury. Patients may experience symptoms including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, poor memory, depression, difficulty concentrating, frequent mood changes and weight gain/weight loss. Since these symptoms are similar to symptoms of other co-occurring conditions such as post-concussive syndrome, sleep disorders, depression or posttraumatic stress disorder, NED can be difficult to diagnose.

“Approximately 15 percent of patients with mild TBI experience persistent symptoms and difficulty in rehabilitation,” said West. “Current literature and expert consensus have identified that from the 15 percent of mild TBI patients whose symptoms don’t resolve in the usual timeframe, an estimated 15 to 30 percent develop NED.”

The NED clinical recommendation and reference card includes information on the co-occurrence of NED and mTBI, onset and manifestation of NED symptoms, and an algorithm to inform providers of when to obtain lab tests and what labs are recommended if NED is suspected.

Additionally, DCoE created education slides to assist providers who have basic knowledge of mTBI but who may require additional information on NED factors.

To request hard copies of the NED Screening Post Mild TBI Clinical Recommendation and Reference Card, contact DCoE at DCoE-Products@tma.osd.mil. To download an electronic version of these tools as well as other TBI clinical resources, visit the Health Professionals section of the DCoE website.