Military News

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reserve Master-at-Arms Provide Security, Public Outreach in Chicago


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Katherine Brooks Hofman, Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command Public Affairs

CHICAGO (NNS) -- A team of 56 Reserve Sailors from Commemoration of the War of 1812 Navy Security Forces (COMWAR 1812 NR NSF) provided security for U.S. Navy ships during Chicago's Air and Water Show and the city's commemoration of the War of 1812, Aug. 15-19.

After a three-week break from other War of 1812 events the COMWAR 1812 NR NSF team regrouped to support the second phase of the Commemoration of the War of 1812 throughout the Great Lakes region.

A core group of 22 members provide continuity to COMWAR 1812 NR NSF, protecting ships and visitors during the historic weeklong commemoration events.

The events in the Great Lakes region act to showcase the Navy and its forces to the local community.

Although the COMWAR 1812 NR NSF mission is to protect the fleet, several of the members are seasoned civilian law enforcement officers who understand the benefit of working with the public to provide information as well as providing force protection.

Master-at-Arms 1st Class Robert Evans recognized the value of public relations as a part of the security forces mission.

"People are sometimes intimidated by us. We are looked at as big guys with guns," said Evans. "Once you begin talking to them and they realize you are a regular guy it opens up the lines of communication. They are here to see the ships and they have questions. We are here to engage with them."

Evans said he takes pride in being both a Navy and civilian police officer, and he enjoys acting as a positive role model to children through public interaction.

"I tell them to be good, eat their vegetables and stay in school, then they can grow up and do what I do," he said.

Sometimes the experiences the Sailors have with the public have an unexpected and profound impact. Master-at-Arms 1st Class David Utz was touched by his experiences in Chicago during public tours.

"People ask about why we are here and where we are from. Overall the reception is positive. I can't tell how many thank you's I have gotten for my service," said Utz. "It is definitely motivating and makes me feel good to be a part of the Commemoration of the War of 1812."

Utz, the father of a six-year-old son, fondly recalled interacting with a child and his parent at the event. "The little boy had a piece of paper in his hand. He had drawn a picture with a blue crayon of a fighter jet. He held it up to me and said, 'I made this for you,'" said Utz.

Military and Civilian Partnerships Lead the Way with Trauma Care


By Jeffrey Soares, USAMRMC Public Affairs

At the 2012 Military Health System Research Symposium, an overriding philosophy is that strong partnerships lead to successful research.  No one knows this better than Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore, Md., whose group has teamed with the U.S. military to advance the study and treatment of severe injuries in both the military and civilian sectors.

Scalea said that the military-civilian partnership over the years has yielded a tremendous amount of “cross pollination” of clinical care, in mostly trauma and critical care scenarios.  What was born out of necessity on the battlefield has grown into a vital operation in saving lives daily, from bustling city streets to quiet neighborhoods, to ensure that severely wounded patients are treated as quickly as possible.

“Evacuation of casualties -- helicopter transport -- that was born in Korea and Vietnam has really morphed into the civilian sector in a big way,” Scalea said, “and we are now involved in a very large discussion on who ought to be transported by ground and who should get flown -- but all of that really started in the military.”

Today, Scalea’s shock trauma team uses medical concepts that originated in combat casualty care, and his tour of U.S. military operations overseas in Afghanistan has helped to shape his vision.

“The whole concept of damage control resuscitation was started on the battlefield,” Scalea said, “and all of that [research] has gone from the battlefield into civilian practice.”

The military’s system of critical care air transport, which rapidly transports battlefield victims to military hospitals, has helped to define the current practice of life-flighting civilian patients with serious wounds to hospitals via helicopter directly from accident scenes.

Of this method Scalea said, “I really got the idea for this when I was in Afghanistan.  I said, ‘We can do this, but we just need to use it in a different way.’”

Tourniquets, shunts, local haemostatic dressings, and various other medical items are also going from the battlefield, sometimes directly, into civilian practice.  Military doctors with their invaluable experience are coming out of the services and applying their knowledge in civilian sectors.

Scalea said the partnership between military and civilian medical practitioners was championed decades ago by R. Adams Cowley, founder of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center.

 “It was R.A. Cowley who came back from [the war in] Korea with the concept that injury was a ‘time-sensitive’ disease, and he then coined the term ‘The Golden Hour.’ Crowley believed that there is a ‘golden hour’ between life and death, and if you’re critically injured, you have less than 60 minutes to live.  In his mind, he already had the concept of irreversible shock,” Scalea said.

He added that two strong examples of current innovative military-civilian medical research endeavors are comprehensive facial transplantation and reviewing genetic profiles to drive care and treatment.  Both of these avenues have seen great successes recently, and he remains confident that more successes will come from this unique collaboration.

SAPR Leadership Training Sessions Continue through August


By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- A Master Mobile Training Team (MMTT) from the Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Task Force is continuing to offer SAPR-Leadership (SAPR-L) training via Defense Connect Online (DCO) through the end of August.

The DCO training is an option for commands that were unable to attend face-to-face SAPR-L MMTT training sessions.

Part of the Navy's aggressive efforts to prevent sexual assaults and promote essential culture changes within the force, SAPR-L preparation training is mandatory for command leadership triads (commanding officer/officer in charge, executive officer/assistant officer in charge, and command master chief/chief of the boat/senior enlisted advisor). The command leadership triads are then responsible for delivering SAPR-L training to their command leadership, E-7 and above.

"We've made significant progress training command leadership triads and encourage commands unable to attend the training to sign up via the SAPR website," said Capt. Scott Seeberger, SAPR Task Force chief of staff. "DCO training sessions are being conducted Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT through Aug. 31."

Over 730 SAPR-L training sessions have been conducted in Navy concentration areas all over the world. All E-7 and above must complete SAPR-L training by Sept. 30 and document completion in the Fleet Training Management Planning System (FLTMPS).

 Sexual assault prevention is an important element 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 of the Navy.

Ham to Seek More National Guard Partnerships in Africa


By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

THEBEPHATSHWA AIR BASE, Botswana – As the North Carolina National Guard builds on successes of the Southern Accord 12 exercise that wrapped up here last week with Botswana, the commander of U.S. Africa Command said he’ll press to expand the State Partnership Program on the continent.

Amy Gen. Carter F. Ham, who calls himself “a big fan” of the National Guard program, said he hopes to increase the number of partnerships in Africa to as many as a dozen within the next two years.

“The State Partnership Program is one of the most important tools that we have in our collective kit bag,” Ham said during an interview here with Soldiers Radio and Television Service correspondent Gail McCabe. “And we see that certainly here between North Carolina and Botswana, where it is hugely powerful.”

Ham said he has asked the National Guard Bureau chief, Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, to consider additional partnerships. “I would like to get two more this year, and maybe two more next year, and then see how that might unfold,” he said.  Ham told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year Libya could be a good candidate for the program.

The State Partnership Program has grown dramatically since it was formed 20 years ago to support former Soviet bloc countries after the Soviet Union collapsed. Today, the program includes partnerships with 63 countries around the world.

Africom currently has eight state partnerships. The California National Guard is partnered with Nigeria, the New York Guard with South Africa, the North Dakota National Guard with Ghana, the Michigan National Guard with Liberia, the Vermont National Guard with Senegal, the Utah National Guard with Morocco, and the Wyoming National Guard with Tunisia.

The North Carolina Guard has partnered with Botswana since 2008.

Based on its partnership with Moldova since 1995, the North Carolina Guard applied lessons learned to quickly build a productive relationship with Botswana, Army Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Lusk, North Carolina’s adjutant general, told American Forces Press Service.

“We had the benefit of a partnership with Moldova that was a very mature relationship,” he said. “So based on that experience, we knew where we could go in fostering a partnership with Botswana, and we were able to do it more efficiency and much quicker.”

Lusk, on his third trip to Botswana over the past year, said relationships forged with the Botswana Defense Force went a long way toward increasing the effectiveness of Southern Accord 12, U.S. Army Africa’s largest-ever exercise on the continent.

The exercise, which ran Aug. 1 to 17, brought together almost 700 U.S. soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors and an equal number of their Botswana Defense Force counterparts for classroom and field exercises as well as humanitarian outreach projects.

In addition, the Air Force integrated its annual Medlite exercise into Southern Accord for the first time this year, with members of the North Carolina Air National Guard teaching aeromedical evacuation techniques to Botswana Defense Force medical personnel.

Army Col. Randy Powell, commander of the North Carolina Guard’s 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, credited the State Partnership Program with ensuring that when he arrived here to serve as the joint task force commander for the exercise, he didn’t have to start at square one to get the lay of the land.

“This is my forth visit to Botswana, and each one builds on the next, creating better understanding and closer collaboration,” Powell said. “That foundation has been vital to getting this exercise under way smoothly and making it such a big success.”

Regular engagement between the North Carolina Guard and the Botswana Defense Force, with members of both militaries traveling between the two countries for training, has created a model of cooperation and synchronization, he said. Botswana has “such a professional military that you feel like you are working with someone in your own military,” Powell said. “We have a lot in common in terms of interoperability, and we continue to build on that.”

“It’s all about continuity and enduring relationships,” said Army Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy, deputy director of the Army National Guard, as he watched U.S. and Botswanan forces conduct the final field training exercise during Southern Accord. “You don’t get those relationships unless you come back again and again and again. That is important in understanding and building trust.”

As the State Partnership Program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, Kadavy said he’s enthusiastic about plans to expand in Africa.

“The Guard wants to support Africom to the best of our ability,” he said, recognizing that Africom and U.S. embassy teams are in the best position to judge which countries want to form partnerships and are prepared to do so.

With Southern Accord now concluded, Lusk said he looks forward to seeing the North Carolina National Guard take progress made during the exercise to the next level.

“To be able to do an exercise of this magnitude now shows, very visibly, that we have turned the corner in terms of where this partnership has gone,” he said. “It allows us to jumpstart our efforts and accelerate where we are bound.”

“The sky is really the limit of what you can do with the engagements, and tying them together with what the Army service components and the geographical combatant commanders are doing,” agreed Kadavy.

“It is just a matter of coordination, and thinking through and seeing how we can synchronize and gain the synergy of what they want to do and what we can provide through State Partnership Programs to assist and empower those types of engagements and exercises,” he said.

USS Winston S. Churchill Aids M/V Belde


From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY, Bahrain (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) rendered medical assistance to Panamanian-flagged, bulk carrier M/V Belde, Aug. 20, approximately 110 miles north of Socotra Island, Oman.

At approximately 1:10 p.m. local time, Winston S. Churchill responded to a distress call following a cargo-handling accident aboard Belde.

After arriving on scene, Winston S. Churchill dispatched two rigid-hull inflatable boats, transporting the ship's hospital corpsman, and the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team to assess the injured personnel.

One Belde crew member was killed in the accident and another required advanced medical care for injuries sustained.

Winston S. Churchill conducted a medical evacuation, transporting the injured crew member by an SH-60B helicopter attached to Helicopter Squadron Light 42, Detachment 8, to an Oman medical facility for treatment.

No further assistance was required.

"There are a multitude of hazards in the maritime domain. As such, we are always ready to assist," said Cmdr. Christopher D. Stone, Churchill commanding officer. "Our sympathies go out to those affected by this tragic incident. We, as partners in the maritime commons, are always ready and willing to help and are glad that we were in the right place at the right time to lend a hand."

Stone added that he was proud of his crew for successfully completing a rescue mission in "incredibly complex" conditions.

"The personal and professional satisfaction of knowing that the outstanding efforts of this ship and this crew saved another mariner's life is second to none. It is days like today that makes me proud to be a member of the United States Navy and this coalition. I am incredibly proud to be the Commanding Officer of Winston S. Churchill," said Stone.

Winston S. Churchill is assigned to Commander, Task Force 150, as part of Combined Maritime Forces, conducting counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

Navy Commemorates Women's Equality Day


By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Commands are encouraged to celebrate Women's Equality Day Aug. 26, as announced by NAVADMIN 251/12.

Established by Congress in 1971, Women's Equality Day was designed to commemorate the long struggle of generations of women to gain the right to vote.

The observance also calls attention to women's continuing efforts today towards full equality.

The women's suffrage movement began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Convened by suffragist leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the committee published a "Declaration of Sentiments." The declaration outlined key social, civil and political demands for women, helping the cause of women's suffrage gain national prominence. Nearly 72 years later, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed Aug. 26, 1920, granting women throughout the United States the right to vote.

In 1971, to honor and commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment, U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to designate Aug. 26 as the annual Women's Equality Day. Today, the observance recognizes the anniversary of women's suffrage and of the continued efforts toward equal rights in the United States.

All Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of women in the armed services during this observance.

Women first entered Naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps, 12 years before women were granted the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy in varying capacities throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed services. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 7, 1948. Four months later the first eight female Naval officers were commissioned Oct. 15, 1948.

Women were first assigned to selected non-combatant ships in 1978, and opportunities were later broadened to include service on warships in 1994 following the repeal of the combat exclusion law. In April 2010, the Navy announced a policy change allowing female officers to serve on submarines. Today, 95 percent of Navy billets are open to the assignment of women.

This year has been a landmark year for women in the Navy. The year kicked off with five women making naval history as the first all-female E-2C Hawkeye crew to fly a combat mission. Plane Commander Lt. Cmdr. Tara Refo, Mission Commander Lt. Cmdr. Brandy Jackson, Second Pilot Lt. Ashley Ruic, Air Control Officer Lt. Nydia Driver, and Radar Operator Lt. j.g. Ashley Ellison were assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 when they made their historic flight Jan. 25.

Two days later, the Navy honored the passing of the fleet's first female aircraft handling officer, Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills, during a ceremony Jan. 27 in Bremerton, Wash. More than 2,000 family members, friends, and shipmates assembled aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to pay respect to Mills, who was struck and killed by a vehicle when she stopped to assist others involved in a traffic collision in Gig Harbor, Wash., Jan. 23.

In April, the Navy bid fair winds and following seas to one of the original female surface warfare trailblazers, Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. Rondeau holds the distinction of serving as the first warfare qualified female admiral and, prior to her retirement, was the highest ranking female flag officer in the Navy. She retired after 38 years of dedicated naval service.

 Later that month, Rear Adm. Michelle Howard was nominated for appointment to the rank of Vice Admiral April 16. If confirmed, Howard would become the first female African American three star admiral. In July, Vice Adm. Nanette DeRenzi was assigned as Judge Advocate General of the Navy. De Renzi is the highest ranking female in the Judge Advocate General Corps, and is the first woman to hold the Judge Advocate General Corps' most senior position. Vice Adm. Robin Braun, the highest ranking female aviator in the Navy, became chief of the Navy Reserve Aug. 13, and is the first woman to hold the post.

There are currently 35 female flag officers in the Navy; 21 represent the active duty component, and 14 represent the Reserve component.

Enlisted women also made notable accomplishments during 2012. In May, Command Master Chief (AW/SW) JoAnn M. Ortloff became Fleet Master Chief for Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa. Upon her selection, Ortloff became the highest ranking enlisted woman in the Navy, and only the second woman to reach the position of fleet master chief.

Command Master Chief (AW/SW) April Beldo continued her tradition of breaking barriers for women when she assumed her new position as force master chief of Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the first African American woman to do so. Beldo arrived at NETC in April after serving aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), where she held the title of the first female African American command master chief of a nuclear aircraft carrier. She is currently the only woman serving as a force master chief in the Navy.

Policy changes affecting women serving in the Navy also took shape in 2012. The Department of Defense announced changes to the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule Feb. 9. The changes were implemented in May, opening an additional 14,325 positions throughout the Department of Defense previously closed to women.

Today, 54,537 women serve in the Navy on active duty or in the Reserve, comprising 17 percent of the force. Additionally, nearly 50,000 women serve across the Navy in a wide range of specialties as civilian employees.