Military News

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Panetta: Defense Alliances Key to 21st Century Security


By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said today the United States has a national security asset unique in the world: its defense alliances and security partnerships.


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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief the media at the Pentagon, Oct. 25, 2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
During a Pentagon press briefing with Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the secretary said those partner nations are essential to meeting the challenge of projecting power and maintaining presence in an era of decreasing resources.
 
“… A vital pillar of the new defense strategy that we released this year is the important work of developing and deepening ties to other nations,” he said. “… This is one of the keys to the defense force that we're trying to build for the 21st century.”

Investing in those relationships and helping other nations build their defense capabilities, he said, allows the United States to defend its interests and share the burden of international security.

Panetta noted that both in the Pentagon and during official travel, he spends a lot of time fostering alliances and partnerships.

“Yesterday, as you know, I met with my South Korean counterpart, Defense Minister Kim [Kim Kwan-jin], as part of our regular dialogue with allies in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said. “Our goal there is to continue to strengthen the 60-year alliance that we have with the South Koreans for the future.”

Earlier this month he consulted with a number of European allies and International Security Assistance Force partner nations at the NATO defense ministerial in Brussels, “where we came together to affirm our commitment to the international mission in Afghanistan,” Panetta added.
Before the NATO meeting the secretary attended the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

“At that conference, nations of this hemisphere agreed on a concrete plan to improve humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the secretary said. He added that agreement reflects what he believes is a new era of broad, constructive defense cooperation in the Americas.

“Our goal is to continue these efforts,” Panetta said.

The secretary noted Dempsey is scheduled to travel soon to Israel, where he will observe U.S. and Israeli forces conducting the largest ever annual Austere Challenge exercise.

“The goal of this historic three-week exercise is to improve our combined ability to defend against missile attacks by exercising our active missile defense and air defense forces and systems,” Panetta said.

As with all military exercises U.S. forces conduct with allies and partners, he added, “… This is all about teamwork and making sure that our forces have the capability to be able to cooperate when necessary. Using rotational deployments under our new defense strategy, we will be conducting more of these kinds of exercises with nations across the globe.”

In early November, he added, he and Dempsey will take part in the annual U.S.-Australia ministerial meeting, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will also attend. From there, Panetta said, he will proceed to Cambodia for meetings with Asian defense ministers, while the chairman is scheduled to visit South Korea.

Both Panetta and Dempsey pointed out the United States and its allies and partners are already working together, largely by applying international economic and diplomatic pressure, to contain risks posed by Iran, Syria and North Korea.

“Everything we are doing with regards to Iran -- the sanctions that we put in place, the diplomatic pressures that we bring on Iran, all of the efforts to try to pressure them to back off of their efforts to develop a nuclear capability -- all of that is aimed at trying to get them to the negotiating table,” the secretary said.

Those negotiations must bring results, he emphasized: “… not just to talk, but to get things done. And, unfortunately, we still have not gotten things done.”

He said the international community seeks negotiations with Iran “that are productive and that lead to real progress in terms of them backing off of their nuclear program.”

Panetta listed North Korean threats: developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, pursuing nuclear weapons and enriching uranium. South Korea, Japan and other countries in the Asia-Pacific are involved, with the United States, in ensuring “we can defend ourselves against the kind of provocation and threats that emerge out of North Korea,” he added.

Dempsey told reporters he just finished hosting the 36th annual military committee meeting with his Korean counterpart Gen. Jung Seung-Jo, chairman of the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The forum, the chairman said, reinforces the two nations’ commitment to combined defense, keeps their capabilities and plans aligned, and guarantees “that we are always ready in the event of a North Korean provocation.”

In Israel, Dempsey said, the exercise he will view integrates U.S. air, land and seaborne missile defense capabilities with Israel's anti-missile forces.

“I look forward to observing our combined forces with my Israeli counterpart, with Lieutenant General Benny Gantz,” he added. “As always, I look forward to getting his perspective on regional security issues.”

Dempsey responded to a reporter’s question by saying Austere Challenge is not intended to send a message to Iran.

“First of all, this is an annual exercise,” he said. “Secondly, it's an exercise not only for the kind of capabilities that Iran might deploy, but also for shorter range rockets and missiles.”

What U.S. leaders intend through the exercise, he said, “is to demonstrate our commitment to Israel for their … defense against ballistic missile attack, rockets and missiles.”

U.S. defense alliances run deep, the chairman said.

“Trust reinforces our common interests,” Dempsey said. “Confidence reinforces our combined capabilities. And it's this kind of trust and confidence that makes our strategy work.”
 

Gen. Odierno honors Massachusetts National Guard at AUSA

by Staff Sgt. Jerry Saslav
Massachusetts National Guard

Washington, D.C. (10/25/12) - Massachusetts National Guard members were recognized Tuesday by the chief of staff of the Army during a ceremony at the Association of the United States Army Eisenhower Luncheon at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center here.

Lt. Col. Ron Cupples, commander, 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard and senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Widberg, accepted the Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Readiness Award, presented by Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, chief of staff, U.S. Army, on behalf of the Soldiers of the 182nd.

The Kerwin Award, which is open to Army National Guard and Army Reserve battalions, is presented to the battalion with the highest level of readiness in its respective component. In order to be considered each battalion must have been rated as having superior performance in eight specific areas as well as meeting other criteria.

The Kerwin award honors General Walter T. Kerwin Jr., former vice chief of staff, U.S. Army, and was jointly created by AUSA, the National Guard Association of the United States and the Reserve Officers Association of the United States. 

Iowa, Minnesota Guard members win Emmy awards

By Steve Marshall
National Guard Bureau

MINNEAPOLIS (10/25/12) - An Iowa Air National Guardsman has won an Emmy for videography in Afghanistan and members of the Minnesota National Guard received their third Emmy at the Upper Midwest Emmy Gala.

The shared Minnesota win was awarded for a partnership with Hubbard Broadcasting and a Saint Paul-based civic organization, Serving Our Troops.

Since 2004, Serving our Troops, working with Hubbard Broadcasting and the Minnesota National Guard, has served up more than 70,000 steak dinners to troops serving in combat zones overseas and simultaneously to their families in Minnesota.

Video teleconferencing linked the troops to their families during dinner. Although Skype is second nature now for distance communications, it wasn’t in 2004.

This makes the Minnesota National Guard’s third Emmy nod, including wins in 2006 and 2008.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn of Omaha was a key part of the team that put together Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan, which aired on Iowa Public Television on Veterans’ Day in 2011. The program won the 2012 Emmy for best Military Program in the Upper Midwest Region.

David Miller produced Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan for Iowa Public Television. The program chronicled the 2010-2011 deployment of Iowa National Guard troops with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 734th Agribusiness Development Team (ADT) then documented their feelings about the deployment after returning home.

Shinn served as the ADT’s public affairs officer, producing the in-theater portions of the program and providing Miller with footage of the ADT’s work in Afghanistan.

“Capt. Shinn was integral to this production,” Miller said. “Without Capt. Shinn's video of the 734th ADT, I would not have been able to properly tell the story about Iowans serving in Afghanistan."

According to the United States Army website, the Army National Guard has employed the Agribusiness Development Team concept successfully in Central America for approximately 20 years.

The National Guard Bureau transferred this successful model to Afghanistan.  Composed of Citizen-Soldiers with farming and agribusiness expertise, team members trained and advised Afghan universities, provincial ministries, and farmers.  Through daily community engagement, the teams helped improve Afghan farming practices leading to more sustainable food production.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Craig Bargfrede of Ankeny, Iowa, commanded the ADT. Bargfrede now serves as the assistant adjutant general, Army, for the Minnesota National Guard, and he praised Shinn’s work in Afghanistan.

"Capt. Shinn told the ADT story superbly,” Bargrede said, “so I'm not surprised to hear he won this award."
Shinn now is a student squadron commander for the Air National Guard’s Academy of Military Science within the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. In addition to leading young men and women through their training to earn an officer’s commission, Shinn participates in the professional development of his fellow staff and faculty at the Air University.

“Iowa Soldiers was about the men and women of the ADT,” Shinn said. “They risked their lives every day to improve conditions for ordinary Afghans, and the real honor was working with them.”

(Contributing: U.S. Air Force Col. Edward Vaughan of The Air University and the Minnesota National Guard)

Live fire training keeps Edwards department proficient

by Laura Mowry
412th Test Wing Public Affairs


10/24/2012 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Edwards Fire Department gathered for live fire training Oct. 18 with the help of North Tree Fire International, who provided the firefighter with a mobile live fire trainer. The department is required to perform the structural fire training once every six months.

The tractor trailer, which burns propane, gave firefighters an opportunity to experience temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Fahrenheit and practice on a variety of scenarios including kitchen fires, second story bedroom fires and ceiling roll-over fires.

"Every six months they come out because we are required bi-annually to stay proficient. It takes the place of an actual structural fire. We get to practice continuity of the crew, advancing the hand line, navigating up and down stairs, climbing a ladder -- these are things that we have to be proficient in," said Glenn Savell, Edwards Fire Department Station 5 division chief.

"This kind of training is critical," he continued. "There are people on this base and they are counting on help coming, and not just any help. They want the best coming. So that's what we did with the live fire training -- we're in the fire, experiencing high temperatures and actually fighting real fire. You need that."

Inside the trailer is a small control room where North Tree personnel monitor the training session and manipulate the fire scenarios through a computer program. The unique configuration adds an important dimension of realism to the training.

"The trainer allows us every six months to experience temperatures that we would during a normal structure fire. This training is important to keep us proficient. We want to be the best that we can be because there are a lot of people counting on us," said Savell.

Due to regulations with the Environmental Protection Agency, the mobile live fire trainer provides the Edwards Fire Department with a realistic alternative to an actual structural fire, yet is in full compliance with agency regulations.

"Having North Tree come out here is a real blessing. I'm pleased with how the training went, everyone did really well. Not only were we successful, but it was great for camaraderie. We were out there doing what we love to do," said Savell.

In order for the department to maintain their high level of competency, the department trains in a variety of functional areas in addition to structure fires which include aircraft rescue, hazardous materials, confined spaces, high angle rope rescue, traditional rescue and medical.

Panetta: Congress ‘On The Clock’ to Avert Sequestration


By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 – Congress “is on the clock” and has critical work to accomplish when the House and Senate come back into session after the Nov. 6 election, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.


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Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief the media at the Pentagon, Oct. 25, 2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
During a Pentagon news conference today, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the need for lawmakers to act.
 
First on the list is averting sequestration before it takes effect Jan. 2, Panetta said. Unless Congress decides on an alternative by that date, a sequestration provision in budget law requires an additional $500 billion in defense spending cuts over the next decade, on top of a $487 billion spending reduction already in effect for that period.

“There are only 70 days until that happens, and Congress is certainly on the clock when it comes to that potential sequestration occurring,” the secretary said.

The secretary said he also wants Congress to pass the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. “I’d like them to pass a … defense appropriations bill, too, but in the very least, we really do need a defense authorization bill so that we can continue to implement our new defense strategy,” he said.

The secretary also stressed the need for Congress to act on a cybersecurity bill. “We really do need strong cybersecurity legislation to ensure that we can help defend the nation against a cyberattack,” he said. This was the second time in two weeks that Panetta has stressed the need for this legislation, again warning of the growing threat of a cyberattack on the nation’s infastructure.

Finally, Panetta called on the Senate to act quickly on the nominations of Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen to be the next commander of U.S. European Command and to become NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and for Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. to replace Allen as commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“This is a full agenda,” the secretary said. “It’s one that requires Democrats and Republicans to work together. And after a tough national election, the American people, I think, will expect both parties to roll up their sleeves, work together to solve the problems facing the nation, and to protect our national security.”
Congress’s failure to approve a fiscal 2013 budget is causing problems way down the line for the Defense Department, Panetta said. “We’re developing a [fiscal] 2014 budget that to some extent … is not based on what Congress has done, because they haven’t done it,” the secretary said. “We don’t know what the 2013 budget is going to be.” The department is operating on a continuing resolution through March 2013 in lieu of a budget for the whole fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
Panetta said Pentagon officials don’t know what they can spend for fiscal 2013, let alone fiscal 2014. “This is a strategic issue: it’s ‘What kind of stability am I going to have in terms of defense spending for the future?’” he said.

Noting that the department still is cutting almost $500 billion from the defense budget over the next decade, Panetta said that to do so smartly requires some certainty.

“For us to be able to make the kind of strategic choices we need to make, I have to have some stability with regards to where are we going from here,” he said. “And I don't have that right now, and frankly, that's a major concern.”
 

EUCOM Commander Discusses the Importance of the Surface Fleet with SWOS



By Lt. Steven Gonzalez, Surface Warfare Officers School Command Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander, United States European Command, Adm. James G. Stavridis addressed more than 300 Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) staff and students Oct. 24.

During his address, Stavridis focused on the importance of building partnerships with our Navy's international counterparts and on the various types of missions the surface fleet will be assigned to perform.

"One of the most important missions you will conduct on your ship will be building international bridges at sea," said Stavridis. "Participating in events such as joint exercises and group sails with our foreign counterparts helps to foster bonds of trust that will enable all our navies to work more closely together in the future."

Stavridis also spoke on the emerging 21st century security challenges facing the United States and Europe, as well as how the NATO alliance is responding to these challenges. He said that by taking on a broad spectrum of security missions, NATO is performing vital operations such as forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance.

"NATO is the largest and most powerful alliance ever created," said Stavridis. "It has the capability of meeting any challenge head-on. As surface warriors will play a vital role in meeting and overcoming these challenges; make sure you are up to the task."

Since all of the students at SWOS are preparing to return to sea in a leadership position, Stavridis shared with them what qualities a successful leader should possess.

"In order to be successful, you must work as a team," added Stavridis. "Being successful requires teamwork. It also requires treating others with respect and possessing integrity. Do what is right and trust your instincts."

"It is a great thing when such a distinguished officer and inspirational leader such as Adm. Stavridis returns to visit SWOS," said SWOS Commanding Officer Richard A. Brown. "I know the students here appreciated the opportunity to hear the admiral speak and took his messages to heart."

SWOS is headquartered in Newport, R.I., and oversees nine learning sites, providing more than 1,000 courses a year to more than 60,000 Sailors. SWOS uses a mix of instructor-led classes, hands-on labs, simulation and computer-based training. Courses include specialized training supporting all enlisted engineering ratings, and surface warfare officers at every level. Building maritime partnerships, the command also provides training to many international students.

APS Airman honored at American Red Cross heroes breakfast

by Staff Sgt. Frances Kriss
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/25/2012 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- An Airman from the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron was honored Oct. 24 at the 2012 American Red Cross Pierce County Heroes Breakfast.

Staff Sgt. Landon Jensen, 62nd APS ramp services supervisor, received the "Military Hero Award" for saving a woman from a burning car last year.

"Our annual heroes breakfast is an opportunity to recognize these very special individuals who personify the mission of the Red Cross and make Pierce County safe and strong," said Tracy Peacock, American Red Cross Mount Rainier Chapter executive. "This year's heroes acted quickly and courageously to save a life, prevent tragedy or give of themselves for the greater good, regardless of personal risks."

Because Jensen is currently deployed, his shift supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Lee Ubungen, 62nd APS air terminal operations center senior controller, accepted the award on his behalf.

"Sergeant Jensen personifies the Air Force Core Values of 'integrity first,' 'service before self,' and 'excellence in all we do'," said Ubungen.

I'm very proud of his actions and he truly deserves this recognition, he added.

The tradition of recognizing community heroes at a breakfast began in Pierce County in 1994. The concept has since taken hold nationwide with many Red Cross chapters now hosting an annual heroes event.

National Guard Prepares for Presidential Inauguration


From a District of Columbia National Guard News Release

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 – The District of Columbia National Guard is well under way in planning for January’s presidential inauguration.

More than 6,000 National Guard airmen and soldiers from at least 11 states and two territories are expected to provide support that includes crowd management, traffic control, communications, emergency services and ceremonial duties.

"The National Guard is home to a wide variety of capabilities, which can seamlessly integrate with our interagency partners for the inauguration," said Army Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters. "We are proud to support the peaceful transition of power and ensure safety and the well-being of our fellow Americans during this nationally symbolic event."

In addition to supporting local law enforcement personnel with crowd management and traffic control, the National Guard will provide medical evacuation support; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive detection; and around-the-clock F-16 fighter alert over the national capital region.

Military involvement in the presidential inauguration dates back to April 30, 1789, when members of the Army, the National Guard and Revolutionary War veterans escorted President George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. The D.C. National Guard has participated in every inauguration since President Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration, where Lincoln received his first salute from a D.C. Guardsman.
 

Family of Heroes resource to serve Schriever

by 2nd Lt. Jason Gabrick
50th Space Wing Public Affairs


10/24/2012 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A new interactive online learning tool, Family of Heroes, is now available to all members of Team Schriever who have recently returned from a deployment.

The primary focus of Family of Heroes is to help Airmen and their families cope with changes that can occur during and shortly after a deployment.

Air Force Space Command is providing the program. Although new to Schriever, Peterson Air Force Base has been using it since December 2011.

"We want to know how receptive the warfighters are to this training but it's also important to us that we keep it anonymous," said Steven Brite, the chief of education services for AFSPC. "We want them to be more than curious; we want them to feel comfortable enough to talk to their spouses about what's really going on in their lives."

The program is not a run-of-the-mill computer based training course. Instead, Family of Heroes is a flexible platform. Users are taught material applicable to a returning service member and their family and then they use it as they interact at home.

Maj. Catherine Tredway, chief of military personnel programs for AFSPC, returned after seven months at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in 2011. Tredway was one of the first Airmen to use the program and volunteered her story in hopes that others will give it a shot.

"It was surprisingly helpful," said Tredway. "When I started out, I thought it would be like any other CBT but, very quickly I felt engaged and wanted to know what it was about. I liked that there were different stories and characters. I identified with them."

Tredway said she especially liked the way the simulation was tailored to her inputs.

"In one of the stories, a female comes home and she's talking to her spouse. She realizes that she's jealous of her mother-in-law because of all of the time she got to spend with her kids," said Tredway. "And, I realized that I was jealous. I shouldn't have been, though. I should have been appreciative. The program helped me realize things I hadn't even thought about."

No one experience with Family of Heroes is identical to another. The program takes inputs from the service member as they interact with their family and develops a specific path which will be most beneficial to the individual and their family.

Chaplain (Maj.) Gresham, 50th Space Wing, is excited for Schriever Airmen to use this new resource.

"Family of Heroes is an excellent resource for managing expectations before, during and after deployment," said Gresham. "It is for both the deployer and the deployer's family."

Buckley races to raise awareness

by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson
460th Space Wing Public Affairs


10/25/2012 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Team Buckley members participated in the Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5K Fun Run/Walk hosted by the Health and Wellness Center Oct. 19 to show their support of victims and their families, promote cancer awareness and celebrate survivors.

Approximately 80 people participated in the race, nearly a 100-percent increase from last year, according to Alan Muriera, HAWC health and wellness director.

The race was open to all Team Buckley to include service members, civilians, retirees and their families.

"The turnout this year was great," he said. "We encourage people to participate to create awareness for a good cause."

Staff Sgt. Brian Powell, 460th Contracting Flight, won the race with a time of 20:36. Many of Powell's contracting flight co-workers accompanied him in the race.

"We as a unit wanted to participate and show our support," Powell said. "Breast cancer is a big killer of women and we just want to be supportive of that and show our appreciation for the women that have to fight breast cancer."

Many racers donned pink attire to show their support for breast cancer awareness. Head bands, tutus and top hats were among some of the pink accessories at event.

Competitors received pink lunch boxes and bracelets after the race.

Navy to Christen Submarine Minnesota




WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine Minnesota, Oct. 27, during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Va.

Adm. Kirk Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Ellen Roughead, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and a Minnesota native, will serve as ship's sponsor and break a champagne bottle against a plate welded to the hull, and officially christen the ship 'Minnesota.'

Minnesota, the 10th ship of the Virginia class is named in honor of the state's citizens and their continued support to the nation's military. Minnesota has a long tradition of honoring its veterans of wars past and present. The state is proud to be home to 46 Medal of Honor recipients who span from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.

"There is a special relationship between a state and its namesake ship," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "Naming this submarine Minnesota not only salutes the proud history of military support and contributions made by the people of Minnesota, but will also serve as a testament to the U.S. Navy's enduring bond with the great state of Minnesota for decades to come."

This will be the third ship to bear the state name. The first USS Minnesota, a sailing steam frigate, was commissioned in 1857 and served during the Civil War, remaining in service until her decommissioning in 1898. The second Minnesota was commissioned in 1907. She departed Hampton Roads Dec. 6, 1907, as one of the 16 battleships of the Great White Fleet sent by then-President Theodore Roosevelt on a voyage around the world. She continued her service through World War I, and was decommissioned in 1921.

Minnesota will provide the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation's undersea supremacy well into the 21st century. She will have improved stealth, sophisticated surveillance capabilities and special warfare enhancements that will enable her to meet the Navy's multi-mission requirements.

Designated SSN 783, Minnesota is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Capable of operating in both the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Minnesota will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities - sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

The 7,800-ton Minnesota is built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Huntington Ingalls Industries. A crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel will operate the 377-foot long, 34-foot beam vessel, which will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Minnesota is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship - reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

Ballistic Missile Defense System Successfully Conducts Largest Missile Defense Flight Test in History



PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully conducted the largest, most complex missile defense flight test ever attempted, Oct. 24.
 
MDA, Soldiers from the 94th and 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command (AAMDC); Sailors aboard USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62); and Airmen from the 613th Air and Space Operations Center conducted test, resulting in the simultaneous engagement of five ballistic missile and cruise missile targets.

An integrated air and ballistic missile defense architecture used multiple sensors and missile
defense systems to engage multiple targets at the same time. All targets were successfully launched and initial indications are that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system successfully intercepted its first medium-range ballistic target in history, and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) near simultaneously destroyed a short-range ballistic missile and a low flying cruise missile target over water.

The live-fire demonstration, conducted at U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site, Hickam Air Force Base, and surrounding areas in the western Pacific, stressed the performance of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), THAAD, and Patriot weapon systems.

An Extended Long Range Air Launch Target (E-LRALT) missile was air-dropped over the broad ocean area north of Wake Island from a U.S. Air Force C-17
aircraft, staged from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The AN/TPY-2 X-band radar, located with the THAAD system on Meck Island, tracked the E-LRALT and a THAAD interceptor successfully intercepted the medium-range ballistic missile. THAAD was operated by Soldiers from the 32nd AAMDC.

Another short-range ballistic missile was launched from a mobile launch platform located in the broad ocean area northeast of Kwajalein Atoll. The Patriot system, manned by Soldiers of the 94th AAMDC, detected, tracked and successfully intercepted the target with a PAC-3 interceptor.

USS Fitzgerald successfully engaged a low flying cruise missile over water. The Aegis system also tracked and launched an SM-3 Block 1A interceptor against a short-range ballistic missile. However, despite indication of a nominal flight of the SM-3 Block 1A interceptor, there was no indication of an intercept of the SRBM.

FTI-01 was a combined developmental and operational test. Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen from multiple Combatant Commands operated the systems and were provided a unique opportunity to refine operational doctrine and tactics. Program officials continue to assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

Ballistic Missile Defense System programs have completed 56 successful hit-to-kill intercepts in 71 flight test attempts since 2001.

Intel Community Seeks New Partnerships

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2012 – One of the strengths of the intelligence community is that the people within it have a tremendous spectrum of backgrounds, the principal deputy director of national intelligence told attendees at the Security Innovation Network 2012 conference here today.

That variety provides unique perspectives, which can inject innovation into the system, Stephanie O’Sullivan said. Big systems are needed to deliver the final product, she added, but the spark of innovation happens in back rooms and labs.

"We've seen a lot of change in the intelligence community over the last decade," O'Sullivan said. "Our world changed after 9/11, and the community essentially had to reinvent itself."

Much of that change centered on information sharing and the development and adoption of new technologies, she said.

"We developed capabilities to locate our adversaries," O'Sullivan said, "to get next to them with human assets and technical collection, and to reach into their sanctuaries -- observing, collecting and extracting their plans and intent.

"We also changed the way that we analyze information to produce intelligence and task collection efforts," she added. "We evolved a new discipline called targeting -- the hunters of the intelligence community." Targeters use the digital trail of terrorists to track them through massive volumes of data, O'Sullivan said, and increasingly, through interconnected databases.

Though the intelligence community was ready to change its culture to meet the threats that arose after 9/11, she said, “our world changed again a little bit more than a year ago."

Following 9/11, the intelligence community was able to request additional funding or personnel whenever it encountered a new threat, O'Sullivan said. "But that world is gone," she added. Cyber funding has been growing, she said, but it's flattening out.

"Flat is the new up," O'Sullivan said. "If your funding is flat, you're ahead of the game."
As a result, she said, the director of national intelligence is taking an approach that differs from the last era of reduced budgets in the 1990s. Budget cuts were applied evenly, O'Sullivan said, so everyone lost funding while maintaining the same mission load, and no one had the resources to meet their obligations fully.

Now, she said, "we're thinking more strategically and acting, I believe, more courageously. … We have to have the courage to step forward and say that if we take cuts, we will do less."
Instead of pretending that the intelligence community will still be able to do everything, O'Sullivan said, she's asking the community to think differently. "We need to get on a different budget curve and a different innovation curve," she added. "We will have less capability. We are not going to do more with less and do it poorly."

Intelligence agency heads met last year to determine how to manage the budget reductions strategically, she said. They decided to protect three things: the intelligence community workforce, research and development and cyber. "Protecting means investing as well," she noted.

That investment is prioritized into three categories, she said. The first, adapted and adopted commercial technologies, recognizes that the government can't compete with commerce in areas such as large communication networks or social network software, O’Sullivan said. "And we don't want to," she added. "As an example, we'd be wasting taxpayer money if we simply tried to engineer our own smartphones from scratch."

But government needs to invent its own solutions in some research, she said. This second category consists largely of highly classified, mission-specific technologies with limited commercial returns, O'Sullivan explained.

The third category, investing in and leveraging research being done outside government, is the one with the most potential, she said. The commercial world constantly is developing things that are useful to the intelligence community, she noted, but only if the final product fits its parameters.
For example, she said, "we definitely need human language technology for languages that simply aren't commercially profitable."

"We're investing in these areas … with partners in industry -- in small start-ups, in particular," O’Sullivan said.

Keyhole, a mapping technology, was one of those small start-ups, she said. Analysts and operators were excited by Keyhole's potential, O'Sullivan said, and constantly were devising new applications for the software.

When Google bought Keyhole, the company became part of Google Earth, O’Sullivan said, and an explosion of applications and ideas, many of which the intelligence community found extremely useful, took place within weeks. This type of crowdsourcing can benefit the intelligence community and taxpayers, she noted.

"Being on an island can be nice," O'Sullivan said, "but it is inherently limiting. Tapping into innovation outside our intel island isn't just nice to do. It is a necessity."

An integrated intelligence community information technology enterprise is built into the budget, she said. It's no longer acceptable for the intelligence workforce to have better technology available to them at their homes than they do at work, she added, so barriers around information sharing are being removed, and agencies are developing platforms to facilitate that sharing.

"We're all in. We've burned the ships. There is no choice. We need to go forward," O'Sullivan said. "We started it to save money, [but] we will finish it because it will integrate our community better."
Integrating collection assets also is ongoing, she said, particularly in next-generation satellite architecture. "Our future systems need to include technology that surpasses what we have now," O'Sullivan said.
At the same time, the measures-and-countermeasures spiral -- the constant escalation of technological responses to evolving threats -- must be kept at a controllable rate, she said. The United States must prolong its intelligence advantage as long as possible, O'Sullivan said.
"If that gap ever closes, it will be very difficult for us to pull ahead again," she added, so the intelligence community is thinking hard about ways to save money for research and development. The commercial world offers a lot of ways that ideas and investments from the commercial world can help the intelligence community, O'Sullivan noted.

"We are seeking, more than ever, [industry's] creativity and innovation," she said.

"This is a pre-9/11 moment," O'Sullivan told the technology experts. "The attackers are plotting. Our systems will never be impenetrable, … but more can be done to improve them. We need your help. Help us to innovate. Help us to increase the nation's cybersecurity by securing your own networks. Help us to remain ahead of the threats that we confront. Help us to keep the technical gap.

"This is incredibly tough," she continued, "because the attackers have the advantage in this business. So, we're going to have to get smart. By doing so, you will not only help your country, you will also ensure that cyberspace continues to bring the prosperity your companies and people depend on."

SECAF, community honor Keesler at Salute to Military

by Susan Griggs
81st Training Wing Public Affairs


10/25/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley praised the robust partnership of the Air Force and its sister services with south Mississippi at the Salute to the Military, Oct. 23 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Convention Center in Biloxi.

Donley addressed nearly 1,000 military members and community representatives at the 34th annual event sponsored by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.

"It's wonderful to see the strong bond of camaraderie that helps make the partnership here between the people of Mississippi and men and women who serve in our armed forces such a tremendous asset to our national security," Donley said. "This community enjoys a long tradition of supporting our service members, joining generation after generation of Americans who laid the foundation for a strong national defense."

Donley pointed out that outstanding community support for all Department of Defense missions and military members across the state "is just one of the characteristics of Mississippi neighborliness and patriotism that make the Gulf Coast such a great place to serve our country and to live, which is evidenced by the thousands of military retirees who choose to plant roots here.

"America's Airmen are in the fight," the secretary emphasized as he highlighted the contributions of the Air Force and other military branches in combat, humanitarian and stability operations around the world.

Donley noted that while the Air Force has embraced technology that continues to revolutionize its capabilities in air, space and cyberspace, "it's simply a fact that everything we do depends on our people, the living engine of our Air Force."

The secretary recognized the importance of Keesler's training mission, noting, "Thousands of Airmen trace their professional careers back to this location." He also mentioned the critical mission of the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron's Hurricane Hunters in tracking dangerous storms.

Donley also addressed the challenges facing the military services from both the international strategic environment and domestic budget constraints. He referred to the hard choices the Air Force was forced to make to align its fiscal 2013 budget proposal with the new defense strategic guidance and to comply with the requirements of the Budget Control Act that calls for a defense budget reduction of $487 billion in the coming decade.

"In the Air Force budget, we made a conscious choice to protect readiness by trading size for quality, resulting in some force structure reductions that would divest 286 aircraft and reduce personnel in the active Guard and Reserve by approximately 9,900 over the next five years," Donley explained. "Reductions to force structure and manpower are necessary to ensure we have the resources to support a ready force today and a modern force capable of meeting tomorrow's challenges ... To achieve these reductions , it is impossible to avoid impacts to Airmen, various civilian and contractor workforces and the communities they live in."

The threat of budget sequestration overshadows all budget decisions across the federal government, according to Donley.

"We have little more than two months before sequester goes into effect, a meat ax-like approach which would drive additional reductions of approximately $55 billion to FY 13 defense accounts," the secretary stressed.

"This is not a responsible way to achieve deficit reduction," he continued. "These additional and arbitrarily applied across-the-board cuts would leave the military without a workable strategy to counter global threats."

For the Air Force, sequestration would lead to reduction in flying hours, procurement, weapon sustainment and training, as well as civilian workforce reductions, Donley said.

In closing, the secretary thanked military members and the surrounding communities "for building and sustaining a partnership that continues to benefit the Air Force, the state of Mississippi and our nation - what a great track record, what a great legacy."

Blue Aces rock out at Seymour Johnson

by Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/25/2012 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Members from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., were rocking and rolling when the Air Combat Command band The Blues Aces, held a concert at the base's youth center, Oct. 17.

The Blue Aces performed two 45-minute sets with songs from artists such as Michael Jackson and Maroon 5.

"I think the kids really enjoyed having the Blue Aces come out and perform for them today," said Jasmine Carroll, 4th Force Support Squadron youth programs chief. "This is the first time a live band has come out to play and the kids had a great time. They got to get up and dance and a few of the children got to perform themselves."

Members of Team Seymour filled the youth center gym to enjoy the performance.

"The energy was phenomenal," said Tech. Sgt. Niko Ellison, Blue Aces vocalist. "We love playing in front of the kids because they give us so much love back."

After playing, the band took photos and signed autographs for fans.

"It was really awesome to see these kids out here enjoying themselves like that," said Tech. Sgt. Bennett Weidemann, Blue Aces drummer. "I love performing, and I absolutely love playing for the kids."

The concert offered an opportunity for families to come together, enjoy music and have a good time.

"This is a great event for the families," said Lt. Col. Charles Parada, 4th FSS commander. "One of our key missions is to regenerate not only the Airmen, but their families as well. The kids got to come out and see a live band which is awesome. It's a great experience for the whole community."

428th FS returns from RED FLAG-A 13-1

by Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/25/2012 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho  -- The 428th Fighter Squadron concluded the first Red Flag-Alaska exercise of the fiscal year Oct. 19, 2012, after two weeks of intense, air-combat training throughout the vast mountain ranges of the Yukon River Valley near Eielson Air Force Base, Ala.

Red Flag-Alaska provides joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support and large-force employment training in a simulated combat environment. This gives both aircrews and ground crews of participating units continuous training throughout the entire exercise.

The 428th FS "Buccaneers" are stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, as part of a unique, long-term partnership with the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The U.S.-flagged 428th FS is dedicated solely to the training of Singaporean F-15SG aircrews. The combined effort on this program helps ensure a strong U.S.-Singapore relationship.

"I'm continually impressed with the professionalism and pride of our RSAF partners," said Lt. Col. Michael Quintini, 428th FS commander. "More importantly, I'm incredibly proud of the teamwork exhibited between our USAF, RSAF and civilian contractor personnel. The Buccaneers performed exceptionally throughout the exercise."

During RF-A 13-1, crews worked between 10 and 12 hours a day during the regular work week as well as some weekends in order to accomplish the mission.

"Safety was always our primary concern during shifts throughout the entirety of the exercise," said Republic of Singapore ME4 Eng Soon Lee, maintenance chief. "Our maintenance professionals were able to fulfill the mission requirements in a safe and professional manner."

After ground crew efforts to ensure all aircraft were prepped and ready for takeoff, aircrews took control and piloted multiple missions.

"Red Flag is constructed to challenge our aircrew and scenarios are developed to provide maximum threat training to all participants," Quintini said. "Our initial estimates put us at a 9:1 kill ratio, that is, we eliminated nine enemy aircraft for every loss of our own. It's difficult to obtain air superiority when you're outnumbered 12 to 4 and opposition forces are able to 'regenerate' constantly. The trick is managing your assets for maximum survivability."

Pilots practiced intense aerial maneuvers at extremely high speeds in unfamiliar air space, amongst other aircraft throughout the exercise.

"It's difficult to measure true performance at Red Flag," Quintini said. "For example, even if our aircrew did poorly on a particular mission due to the difficulty of the scenario, it's still a huge win for us since everyone gets a chance to learn and develop their skills. The intrinsic training value is really immeasurable because if you're not constantly critiquing your performance, you'll never learn, get better, or adapt."

Learning from past mistakes is an important lesson of RF-A 13-1, and the Buccaneers appreciated each opportunity to get better.

"Being able to participate in the exercise was a unique opportunity for personnel from the 428th FS because most people refer to us as an RSAF squadron, but we are much more," Quintini said. "We've created a tight team of USAF and RSAF personnel at Mountain Home Air Force Base who have been wonderfully successful throughout the last four years, and I'm very proud to be a part of that team."

Through all the adversity and maintenance issues, personnel from the 428th FS worked tirelessly together to ensure mission success.

"Our squadron excelled even on the bad days, by providing valuable mission lessons and learning points to our younger aircrew to carry forward to the next generation," Quintini said. "Another vital aspect of the exercise was vigilant aircraft upkeep performed by ground crew personnel."

Maintenance personnel incurred only minor maintenance issues throughout the two weeks of almost constant flying.

"There were no serious maintenance issues during the exercise," said Lee. "We went to Alaska expecting and being completely prepared for the cold and snow. As expected, the weather caused some routine acclimation issues for the aircraft, however we are always professionals and work as a team to ensure mission success."