Military News

Friday, December 07, 2012

Winnefeld Honors Pearl Harbor Veterans

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2012 – “What a wonderful idea America is,” the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today at the National World War II Memorial during the observance of the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shakes hands with a World War II Navy veteran before assisting with the laying of a wreath at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., as part of the ceremony honoring the fallen 71 years after the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. DOD photo by Army Staff Sgt Sun L. Vega, Joint Staff
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“On that now infamous day … our nation learned in horror that Japanese forces had shattered a peaceful Hawaiian Sunday morning,” Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. said of the Dec. 7, 1941, surprise Japanese air attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, which killed more than 2,400 Americans and shattered a good portion of the U.S. Pacific fleet.

The more than 350 Japanese aircraft that took part in the attack were dispatched from six aircraft carriers. Nineteen U.S. ships were sunk or damaged. All eight of the U.S. Navy’s battleships at Pearl Harbor were hit and four were sunk. Of the more than 300 American aircraft destroyed or damaged, most were still on the ground.

The attack shocked the nation “but it also stirred a quiet and peace-loving people to action,” Winnefeld said.

More than 16 million service members fought in World War II, and the memorial’s 4,048 gold stars represent the more than 400,000 service members who were killed or missing in action.

“This memorial is a very sacred place where we come to visit, to remember, to reflect and commemorate the defining moments of World War II,” said Mick Kicklighter, a retired Army lieutenant general and chairman of the board for the Friends of the National World War II Memorial.

Veterans of World War II fought against great odds, Kicklighter said.

“Not only did they fight and win that war and save this nation, but they literally saved the world,” Kicklighter said. “This nation will never forget … those who gave all their tomorrows.”

“Here on this sacred ground, we mark the price of freedom,” Winnefeld said. “So, it’s appropriate that the memorial honoring the service and sacrifice of so many in that conflict is our setting for today.”

Today the U.S. military “is involved in another conflict half-a-world away, as the result of a different surprise attack on American soil that killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans in one day,” the admiral said, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

At that time, Winnefeld was the commander of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which was returning home from a routine deployment. The ties between those two attacks and the wars that followed include the roles played by his ship and the previous Enterprise, both of which launched the first strikes in response to surprise attacks on the United States.

“Now, imagine yourself aboard USS Enterprise on the night of those first strikes,” the admiral said. “Here’s part of what [I] told her crew: ‘Aboard Enterprise, good evening shipmates. The last time America actually went to war to defend against an attack on our homeland was almost exactly 60 years ago … tonight a ship named Enterprise will again be an integral part of our nation’s response. And, like 1941, this war is a little more personal than defending our vital interests. We’re defending our families.’”

“The men and women who today wear the cloth of our nation walk confidently in your footsteps. They look up to you -- specifically to you. They live your legacy as members of the next greatest generation,” Winnefeld told the World War II veterans in the audience.

“Today we pause to honor you and to salute those who won that war and paved the way for our nation’s prosperity and leadership over the last seven decades,” he added.

“Memorials like this beautiful memorial in which we’re having this ceremony and days of remembrance like this, try as we might, will never be able to adequately recognize your service and sacrifice,” the admiral told the veterans. “But we can thank you for what you’ve done for our nation.”

Hickam pays tribute to past heroes in Dec. 7 remembrance ceremony

by Senior Airman Lauren Main
15th Wing Public Affairs


12/7/2012 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- On Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m. the largest airborne attack force ever assembled by the Imperial Japanese Navy struck Oahu's military installations and plunged the United States into World War II aiming to cripple the U.S. fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor and prevent American involvement in Japanese military engagements in the Pacific theater.

Today, multiple generations of Airmen gathered to remember sacrifices made and honor the legacy emblazoned upon the heritage of Airmen both past, present, and future.

"The attack on Oahu was a huge military success for the Japanese, said Col. Johnny Roscoe, 15th Wing commander. "They had achieved surprise, shattering the U.S. Pacific Fleet and crippling the Hawaiian Air Force. Eventually our air forces rebuilt, and the American spirit proved invincible. But the eventual victory was not without cost. The price paid that day, and throughout the remainder of the war, was high."

Only two survivors were able to attend the ceremony, representative of an example Roscoe said "men and women, civilian, active duty and guardsmen alike" have learned from.

The first, Col. (Ret.) Andrew Kowalski, enlisted in the Army in 1934 and arrived to Hickam Field in 1939. On the morning of Dec. 7, Kowalski fell asleep at friend's house in Hickam housing after staying up late playing poker. At approximately 7:55 a.m., he was awakened by loud explosions and immediately reported for duty at the wing headquarters building where he was the assistant to the commander. For the next several hours, his job was to answer the phone and maintain the official list of Hickam casualties.

Master Sgt. (Ret.) Kenneth Ford, who lied about his age to enslist in the U.S. Army at age 15, was taking a shower when the first bomb exploded. Later that afternoon he volunteered to guard Fort Kamehameha beach against possible Japanese invaders armed with only a World War I Springfield rifle and five rounds of ammunition.

The ceremony included a "missing-man formation" flyover by F-22 Raptors from the 19th and 199th Fighter Squadrons. The jets flew over the flag pole at the exact moment the first bomb dropped on Hickam. Wreaths were also placed at the base of the flag pole to honor heroes of the past and American flags were presented to Kowalski and Ford.

"Today is about the brave men and women who endured the attack and pressed on to fight for our nation," Roscoe said. "Our lineage as Airmen in the Pacific Air Forces beings with their story. They lived through, what has been referred to as 'hell in paradise,' but I am proud to say that the American flag flying at this spot on Dec. 7th was still standing after the attack, and our flag remains today."

Inspector General of Air Force meets with Yokota Airmen

by Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/7/2012 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan. -- Lt. Gen. Stephen Mueller, the Inspector General of the Air Force, visited Yokota Air Base, Japan, Dec. 5 and 6 to continue his orientation tour of the Pacific Air Force.

The Inspector General of the Air Force spent his time at Yokota meeting with Airmen and touring a variety of units on base. Mueller also received a briefing on the 374th Airlift Wing and its role in the Pacific, which highlighted the personnel and units that contribute to Yokota's important East Asia airlift mission - maintaining a U.S. presence and capability throughout the Pacific theater of operations.

Responsible for two field agencies: the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Office of Special investigations; Mueller met the local OSI and Yokota Inspector General.
Robert Borden, 374th AW Inspector General, met with Mueller to discuss a new vision to pass the most efficient and cost effective route of measuring Air Force wings and their ability to perform their mission.

"The General's vision is to pass this responsibility back to Wing commanders," said Borden. "This will give the Wing commander more autonomy to assess our own unique mission here at Yokota and work the same for all Wing commanders across the Air Force.

"I have to say, it was more a humbling experience than anything else," Borden said in regards to meetings his new boss. "It was a great learning experience for me to be able to sit and talk with him (Mueller) about his expectations for Air Force Inspections, IG complaints and certain other challenges the Air Force faces as we move forward."

The conversations were not strictly business between Mueller and Borden, along with every conversation the general had with Yokota Airmen.

"Lt. Gen. Mueller was very personable and showed general interest in our conservation, no matter the topic," Borden added.

Borden said Mueller's concern and willingness to meet, talk to and shake hands with Airmen, from the lowest ranking to the base commander, reinforces the credibility of the IG Program. He also added that during Mueller's visit, Mueller remarked that his professional encounters with Airmen at Yokota was a direct reflection of the outstanding leadership here.

COMPACAF visits "keystone" of the Pacific

by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
36th Wing Public Affairs


12/6/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald, Pacific Air Forces command chief visited with Team Andersen Airmen Dec. 2 for the first time since they entered their command roles.

General Carlisle had the opportunity to thank a few Airmen face-to-face during the base tour and addressed the majority at an Airmen's Call at the base theater.

"If there's one thing that I want you take away from today, it's thank you," General Carlisle said. "Less than one percent of the American population serves this country as military members. Thank you for putting yourselves out there and for the sacrifices that you and your families make."

Prior to the Airmen's Call, General Carlisle toured the base, interacted with Airmen and saw demonstrations from various units. The 736th Security Forces Squadron presented their counter improvised explosive device training demonstration, 36th Maintenance Group Airmen uploaded weapons on a B-52 Stratofortress and 36th Contingency Response Group Airmen provided the general an opportunity to experience the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle egress trainer.

"This place looks fantastic," he said. "Today was one of the most fun ones I've had in a long time. It was a blast."

After visiting units, General Carlisle and Chief McDonald proceeded to the Airmen's Call and talked about the focus shifting on the Asia-Pacific region and Andersen's role as the "keystone" to the success of the mission.

"A lot of attention is being focused this way, and I know that you are up to the challenge," said Chief McDonald. "The mission that you've taken on since then and the capabilities that you provide are, without a doubt, very impressive."

The general further emphasized the importance of Team Andersen's role by sharing how closely leadership watches the progress of the base.

"I was there when the president and secretary of defense walked in and said, 'we're pivoting to the Pacific; this is our new focus,'" said General Carlisle. "Every one of those strategic meetings talked about what you guys do day in and day out. Believe it or not, the president knows what you accomplish here at Andersen. What you do here at the 36th Wing is paramount to our success."

After discussing Team Andersen's importance to the Asia-Pacific region, he focused on important topics concerning the Airmen's well-being: sexual assault and resiliency.

General Carlisle was adamant that problems such as sexual assault had no place in the Air Force, stressing the importance of bystander intervention as a means of prevention.

"We got to have our eyes wide open, and we need to have the courage to stand up and say something," said General Carlisle.

In his discussion of resiliency, he spoke of his own experiences and how his peers helped him through adversity, urging Team Andersen Airmen to do the same. He spoke of being a wingman and supporting each other.

"We've all had bad years," General Carlisle said. "We all go through that. I had people with me who kept me going. The solution is to know each other and be there for each other."

The general said that leadership from all levels are aware of how hard the Airmen work. He said that the Airmen can expect leadership to lead by example.

"We will lead from up front; we will never ask anybody to do something we wouldn't do ourselves," General Carlisle said. "We'll set the example 100 percent of the time."

Throughout his time visiting and speaking with Airmen, the general stressed the importance of working together and taking care of each other, and that in challenging times, this was the key to success.

"At the end of the day, our job in life is to fight and win this nation's wars," said General Carlisle. "If anyone wishes us harm or tries to change our friends, allies or our way of life, we will go out and stop them. It's all about taking care of each other. We got a couple of problems we have to get rid of, but we all have to lead in the lowest level. We're all in this together."

MFSC offers one-stop service

by Pascual Flores
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs


12/6/2012 - Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. -- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst recently completed construction on the Military and Family Support Center, a $7.6 million facility built to help provide service members and their families with targeted support and services, contributing to mission readiness, resiliency and well-being of the JB MDL community.

The new facility merges the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Navy Fleet and Family Support Center and Army Community Service into one to support all service members and families, regardless of military affiliation.

"Our primary focus is supporting our service members and their families," said Bettie Kuzmick, MFSC chief. "We follow the best practices from every service branch."

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) signed a Memorandum of Agreement into affect a changing 'Warfighter and Family Services' programs and centers for all military service components to 'Military and Family Support Center' March 17, 2011.

The 18,000-square-foot facility is the only one of its kind throughout the Department of Defense and will create a one-stop military and family support service center that provides counselors and professionals from all branches of the military in the areas of: transition assistance, relocation services, volunteer information, financial skills development, casualty assistance, wounded warrior support, family life education, emergency financial assistance, school liaison support, exceptional family member program and personal and family readiness.

"The facility will also provide child and youth programs central enrollment registration, a nutritionist, family child care coordinator and youth program instructional program coordinator," said Kuzmick.

The new MFSC building replaces the Army Community Center and Central Registration buildings on Dix -- which started out as horse stables to support the cavalry -- and the McGuire building that was once a cafeteria, museum and the base welcome center before transitioning to the WFRC.

Prior to any organized program, assistance to service members and their families were conducted by volunteers who provided help to those in need.

"First there were volunteers who helped the families in need and then it grew to assistance from community organizations, to military spouses, to the professional services currently employed," said Kuzmick.

Food processing is another change in the new building. Originally, military bases had food pantries for families in need. This practice has been replaced with a food voucher system for pantry goods.

"We want to be respectful to the choice of our customers," Kuzmick added.

Even with the merger of the separate facilities into the MFSC, the missions have not changed.

"We are bringing over the best programs from both centers," said Amada Espinoza, community readiness consultant. "To us, it is people first."

Espinoza coordinated the International Spouses Group for almost 20 years, and is actively engaged in Citizenship and Immigrations Services.

"Today more people are aware of our immigrations services, which is great, because when they use these services they can save money," said Espinoza. "And in the past months, we have had more people join our International Spouses Group."

Other facilities available to service members and their families include the Soldiers and Family Assistance Center on Dix that provides a one-stop resource shop for services that partner with the Warrior Transition Unit and Navy Fleet and Family Services on Lakehurst.

"We don't say no, we are here to assist our service members and their families," said Espinoza.

The MFSC hours of operation are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 754-3154 for more information about the MFSC and the services they provide.

The new MFSC will officially open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today at 3435 Broidy Road on McGuire. The joint base community is invited to attend the ceremony and tour the new facility.

Panetta Briefs President on Dempsey Ethics Findings


By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has briefed President Barack Obama on Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey’s recommendations about general/flag officer ethics, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented two initial findings that Panetta took to the White House earlier this week.

Dempsey sent the secretary some initial findings “informed as a result of his year-long effort to renew the U.S. military’s commitment to the profession of arms,” Little told reporters.

The findings are part of the review of general and flag officer ethics training. As part of this effort, Panetta asked Dempsey to work with the Joint Chiefs to determine how to better foster a culture of stewardship among senior U.S. military leaders.

The first finding is that while there is appropriate ethics training in place for senior leaders, “we need to start earlier and reinforce that training more frequently in an officer’s career,” Little said. Ethics training is a part of each service’s professional military education from initial entry training to general/flag officer education.

“Second, General Dempsey believes we must look at the level and type of support senior leaders receive in the execution of their duties to ensure it is necessary, and to ensure we are being consistent, sensible and efficient,” Little said.

The chairman’s intent is to direct consistency of support across the general officer/flag officer cadre and to determine whether it is appropriate, the press secretary said.

“What we’re talking about here is the personnel infrastructure surrounding general and flag officers,” Little said. There are different types of support that general and flag officers receive. For example, generals in command have an aide-de-camp, which is one level of support. They often have additional staff to help with more routine activities.

Little said the findings are an initial set of recommendations, and part of a long-term effort by the chairman.

“The secretary fully supports what Chairman Dempsey has done over the last year with respect to the profession of arms and this is going to be an on-going dialogue inside the Joint Chiefs and services,” Little said. “We will see an evolution of discussion and potential actions depending on what General Dempsey, the chiefs and the secretary decide going forward.”

Little said Dempsey has not reached conclusions on ethics training or support to senior military officers.

“The secretary is committed to giving the chairman and the chiefs the space they need to come forward with recommendations and to take actions on their own that may be appropriate for ethics for general and flag officers,” the press secretary said.

Panetta strongly believes the vast majority of general and flag officers behave in a manner consistent with the highest standards of conduct, Little said.

Soldier KIA During Vietnam War Identified



The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, killed in action during the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Capt. James M. Johnstone, of Baton Rouge, La., will be buried Dec. 12, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On Nov. 19, 1966, Johnstone was the pilot of an OV-1A Mohawk aircraft that crashed while conducting a daytime reconnaissance mission over Attapu Province, Laos.  Nearby U.S. aircrews reported seeing the wing of Johnstone's aircraft hit a tree during a climb to avoid a nearby ridgeline.  No parachutes were seen exiting the aircraft.  Heavy enemy presence in the area prevented recovery efforts.

From 1993 to 2009, joint U.S.-Lao People's Democratic Republic (L.P.D.R.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed multiple witnesses, and conducted several investigations and excavations of the crash site in Attapu Province.  The teams located human remains, military equipment, an identification card bearing Johnstone's name, and aircraft wreckage of an OV-1A, which correlated with the last known location of Johnstone's aircraft.

To identify the remains, scientists from JPAC analyzed circumstantial evidence and used forensic identification tools, such as dental comparisons.

Today, the U.S. government continues to work closely with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover Americans lost during the Vietnam War.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.

VA Seeks to Expand TBI Benefits

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2012 – The Department of Veterans Affairs is publishing a proposed regulation in the Federal Register that would change its rules to add five diagnosable illnesses which are secondary to service-connected Traumatic Brain Injury, according to a Department of Veteran Affairs news release issued today.

“We must always decide veterans’ disability claims based on the best science available and we will,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in the release. “Veterans who endure health problems deserve timely decisions based on solid evidence that ensure they receive benefits earned through their service to the country.”

VA proposes to add a new subsection to its adjudication regulation by revising 38 CFR 3.310 to state that if a veteran who has a service-connected TBI also has one of the five illnesses, then the illness will be considered service-connected as secondary to the TBI, the release said.

Service connection under the proposed rule depends in part upon the severity of the TBI -- mild, moderate, or severe -- and the period of time between the injury and onset of the secondary illness, according to the release.

However, the proposed rule also clarifies that it does not preclude a veteran from establishing direct-service connection even if those time and severity standards are not met, the release said. It also defines the terms mild, moderate, and severe, consistent with Department of Defense guidelines.

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted over the next 60 days, according to the release. A final regulation will be published after consideration of all comments received.

The release said VA’s decision is based on a report by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM), “Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of TBI.”

In its report, the IOM's Committee on Gulf War and Health concluded that "sufficient evidence of a causal relationship" - the IOM's highest evidentiary standard - existed between moderate or severe levels of TBI and diagnosed unprovoked seizures, according to the release.

The IOM found "sufficient evidence of an association" between moderate or severe levels of TBI and Parkinsonism; dementias [which VA understands to include presenile dementia of the Alzheimer type and post-traumatic dementia]; depression [which also was associated with mild TBI]; and diseases of hormone deficiency that may result from hypothalamo-pituitary changes, the release said.

Training at range proves beneficial for troops

by Senior Airman Alexxis Pons Abascal
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


11/16/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- The 27th Special Operations Wing hosted various Air Force bases as part of combined installation training at Melrose Air Force Range, N.M., Nov. 5-16.

Air Commandos stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., teamed up with fellow service members and utilized the range's rough terrain and unique layout to conduct realistic training.

Special Operations Forces troops spent weeks honing skills and perfecting capabilities to better prepare them for state-side and global missions.

McConnell hosts children's holiday party

by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


12/6/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.,  -- More than 800 Team McConnell members experienced the "magic and wonder" of the holidays during the annual Children's Holiday Party, Dec. 1, 2012.

The event was hosted by the 22nd Operations Group with support from base helping-agencies.

"I think the attendees loved it," said 1st Lt. Ty Brackin, 22nd Operations Support Squadron Operations Intelligence officer in charge. "I saw kids smiling, parents laughing and our awesome volunteers having a blast - it seemed to me that everyone was happy they were there!"

Brackin described the importance of the event to McConnell. CEOIE

"These types of events also allow us to remind the entire McConnell team that we are about more than showing up, executing the mission and going home," said Brackin. "Our leadership is invested in our personal lives, and events like this help remind our folks that they are more than just another Airmen - they are family."

McConnell's mission is to support air-to-air refueling anywhere, anytime, which requires constant deployments. Therefore, Brackin and the committee included a Hearts' Apart holiday breakfast for spouses and families of those deployed Airmen.

"The children's holiday party was an opportunity for the base to show their appreciation to deployed families by providing a breakfast, a morning of fun and a chance to see Santa in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season," said Mary Reece, 22nd Force Support Squadron Airmen Family and Readiness Center Director. "We were excited to be a part of this annual event!"

The theme of this year's event was "The Polar Express," a Christmas story about a train leading children to the North Pole to meet Santa Claus. The event incorporated the idea by leading children on a ride through arts and crafts, games, inflatables and a visit with Santa Claus.

One of the children in attendance "couldn't be happier" with the entertainment provided."

"My favorite part of this is that they have inflatables and they are bouncy," said the son of Lt. Col. William Stowe, 22nd Operation Group deputy commander.

The Children's Holiday Party is one of many at the base for Hearts Apart, and the entire McConnell family. Several others events are planned for the near future. For more information on events, Team McConnell members can visit: www.facebook.com/thebuzzmcconnell and refuelmcconnell.com

B-52s in Operation Linebacker II helped bring North Vietnam to the peace table



By Yancy Mailes
Air Force Global Strike Command History Office


12/7/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Editor's Note: This is the final in a series of articles highlighting the B-52's involvement in the Vietnam Conflict up to Operation Linebacker II. The 40th Anniversary of Linebacker II takes place Dec. 18-29.

When President Richard Nixon called for a halt to Operation Linebacker on Oct. 23, 1972, he and his chief negotiator, Henry Kissinger, believed that "peace was at hand." Unfortunately, on Dec. 13 of that same year, the Paris Peace Talks collapsed and President Nixon had few options to encourage the North Vietnamese to return to the negotiating table. So, once again, he called upon the B-52 community to bring peace through superior firepower.

On Dec. 18, 1972, the United States began its third and final aerial bombing campaign over North Vietnam. Many in the military who supported the campaign unofficially referred to the operation as the Eleven-Day War. For those who opposed the operation, including folk singer Joan Baez who was on the ground in Hanoi at the time, they nicknamed the aerial bombardment as the Christmas Bombing. Although in truth, a respite would come on that holiday. However, the military brass officially nicknamed the large scale effort Linebacker II.

Over the course of 11 nights, B-52 crews staging from U-Tapao Air Base, Thailand, and Andersen Air Base, Guam, bombed targets in and around Hanoi, Haiphong Harbor and other military installations in North Vietnam. The crews flew a total of 729 combat sorties, dropping 15,237 tons of bombs focusing their efforts mostly on rail centers and storage areas, destroying 383 pieces of rolling stock and cutting 500 rail lines near Hanoi. However, their efforts did not go unchallenged.

The North Vietnamese military attempted to stymie these bombing raids by sending MiG-21 pilots to engage the bombers and by firing anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missiles at the B-52s. It is estimated that the North Vietnamese military fired as my as 1,240 SAMs, and this eventually resulted in the North Vietnamese striking 24 B-52s and downing 15. Of the 15 that the North Vietnamese downed, 10 came down within the boundaries of North Vietnam.

However, the bombings achieved two effects. First the bombing raids destroyed military targets and curtailed North Vietnam's operations in South Vietnam. Next, the bombings took their psychological toll on individuals in Hanoi. Years later Mark Clodfelter would write in his book, The Limits of Airpower, "Individuals remaining in Hanoi received only an hour or two of sleep a night, their nerves strained by the continual attacks." He continued, "In eleven days aircraft dropped 13 percent of the tonnage delivered during the five months of Linebacker I."

After 11 nights of sustained heavy bombardment, Operation Linebacker II brought the North Vietnamese to the negotiation table. The North Vietnamese had run out of SAMs, and through continued air attacks the B-52 crews had helped to destroy the enemy's air defense system. With no end in sight, the North Vietnamese signaled that they wished to return to the Peace Talks in Paris. President Nixon ordered that the B-52s stand down and 29 days later on Jan. 27, 1973, a cease fire agreement ending the Vietnam War was signed. Operation Homecoming began Feb. 12, 1973, with the eventual release and return of 591 American prisoners of war.

The 8th Air Force Museum Association will commemorate the anniversary of Linebacker II at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 with a Memorial Monument Dedication at the Barksdale Global Power Museum on Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Face of Defense: Soldier, Sailor Provide Troop Services

By Army Staff Sgt. Jeff Neff
Provincial Reconstruction Team Kandahar

KANDAHAR CITY, Afghanistan, Dec. 7, 2012 – Day-to-day operations at Camp Nathan Smith here wouldn’t be the same without Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Currier and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony McRoberts.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Currier, left, and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony McRoberts work in the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team’s personnel section to provide much-needed services to troops based at Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Neff
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The duo work diligently behind the scenes in the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team’s personnel section as they provide much-needed services to KPRT members.

There isn’t much that happens without their involvement, from personnel rosters and daily tracking to service members’ finances, awards, and promotions.

When the mail arrives, soldiers and sailors wait patiently outside while Currier and McRoberts drive over and get it. Mail is an issue near and dear to all and serves as the lifeline from family members to the troops.

McRoberts, who’s been in the Navy for two years, was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and hails from Midland, Mich. He is based at Naval Air Station Coronado in San Diego on the USS Ronald Reagan. He plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in information systems management.

McRoberts concurrently works as a Counter Radio Electronic Warfare Master Gunner. Being a CREW Master Gunner consists of radio frequency engineering for electronic warfare jamming systems involving reacting to and countering radio-controlled explosives.

Texas-born Currier is from San Antonio and now calls Newport News, Va., home. He is an Army reservist from the 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) and has been in the Army for 22 years.

Currier served in a variety of duty positions, starting as a combat medic in the 1st Cavalry Division. He later served at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and then deployed to Iraq where he was in charge of a military police aid station.

Currier would later deploy to Kosovo where he served as first sergeant in a civil affairs detachment.
The Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team is a civil-military organization consisting of U.S. Navy and Army active-duty and reserve members who conduct operations to support the growth in capacity and capability of the Kandahar provincial government. KPRT works closely with other military units, civilian agencies, contractors and nongovernmental organizations to support the Afghan government’s progress toward sustainable stability.

Officials Laud Defense Transportation, Distribution Collaboration Efforts

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 – In a panel discussion at Defense Logistics 2012, Donald Stanton, assistant secretary of defense for transportation policy, and leaders from U.S. Transportation Command and Defense Logistics Agency lauded combined cost-saving efforts of inter-service, inter-agency and industry partners.

Stanton said coordination with the joint staff and services, combatant commands, and agencies including the State Department, the office of logistics management, the Federal Aviation Administration and Maritime Administration has resulted in the development of key efficiencies programs.

“One of the most important things we do is work directly with Transcom on maintaining the health and viability of the civil reserve air fleet and the voluntary intermodal sealift agreement,” Stanton said. “We’re leaving no stone unturned in the interagency process … for ways for us to look out for more cargoes for our colleagues in the VISA and CRAF programs.”

The CRAF, according to Stanton, consists of 29 carriers and 352 wide bodies, while VISA is comprised of 54 companies, 130 ships and mariners who can provide emergency response.

Stanton explained that efficiency initiatives include developing the maritime security program, strategic ports, defense transportation coordination, and the surface transportation strategy working group.

Cost-sharing with organizations such as the State Department, U.S. Postal Service and the Defense Department has unearthed significant government-wide efficiencies, Stanton said.

“When it makes sense, we will try to combine our operations,” Stanton said.

Other measures include improvements to the container management program, approval for operational support aircraft and the space-available policy, he added.

Stanton also shared the successes of the President’s campaign to cut waste.

“This is an effort to look at the use of military aircraft or non-tactical vehicles for executive transportation and make sure we’re not using more than we need,” Stanton said. “There are quarterly reports that have to be done in order to try and save the taxpayers money.”

Stanton also noted that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s vision involves not only cost-savings, but accountability, as outlined in the financial improvement audit readiness program.

“The secretary of defense is committed to making all defense programs corporate audit ready,” Stanton said. “Starting in 2014 some will be transitioned over, and by 2016 everybody will be in this new audit standard.”
The benefits that stem from collaboration efforts across the enterprise are visible and significant, Stanton said.
“It shows that the DOD is really trying … to reach out and do efficiencies for the department itself, but also to help our CRAF and VISA readiness partners,” Stanton said.

Transcom Rear Adm. William Brown, director of strategy, policy, programs and logistics directorate, said the synergies and elimination of duplication efforts to provide the best transportation services and value extend beyond combat missions to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief contingencies.

The admiral praised the collaborative development of a global campaign plan for distribution that coordinates the activities of combatant commands, services, defense agencies, coalition partners, agencies and the commercial sector.

“It’s a collaborative effort of all the distribution enterprise … the transporters, processes that go into the system, the policies,” Brown said. “The idea is to assess the plans and then assess the vulnerabilities in our global distribution network.”

As technology drives the logistics and transportation realms to a faster decision cycle, collaboration will be more vital than ever, said Brig. Gen. Susan Davidson DLA Distribution, Logistics Operations commander.
“It really is always about getting the things to the war fighters on time, whether it’s war fighting in pumping water out of tunnels in New York City or war fighting with trigger pullers in any kind of theater,” Davidson said. “You can get it fast, you can get it cheap or you can get it good -- pick two; we have to do all three.”

Air Force activates new medical unit

by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs


12/7/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas  -- The Air Force stood up a new medical unit Friday during a special ceremony  at the San Antonio Military Medical Center auditorium on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

The activation of the new 959th Medical Group, together with its new subordinate units, the 959th Inpatient Operations Squadron, the 959th Medical Operations Squadron and the 959th Clinical Support Squadron, now joins the units with its Army colleagues in continuing to provide medical services to beneficiaries in the San Antonio area.

"Although the 959th is a new medical group, we will continue to train and educate our newest medics in Air Force medical service," said Col. Lisa Schmidt, 959th MDG commander.

"Along with the 59th Medical Wing, we will continue to be the largest deployment platform for the medical service," said Schmidt, "and we will continue to provide the highest medical care for the San Antonio Military Health System."

Although the new organization remains subordinate to the 59th MDW at JBSA-Lackland, the move realigns medical services and administrative staff to better manage professional health care for military members, retirees and dependents in the SAMHS.

"With nearly 2,000 Air Force members integrating into SAMMC, our Army and Air Force medical officers, enlisted, civilians and civil service members are equal partners in a high-performing health care team." said Maj. Gen Byron Hepburn, commander of the 59th MDW and director of the SAMHS. "There is no doubt this is a critical juncture with strategic impact. We're standing in the Department of Defense's only stateside level-one trauma center and I can't think of a better platform for educating and training our doctors, nurses, technicians and allied health members."

The organizational restructuring is one of the final steps of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure recommendations, and provides greater command and control of assigned personnel.

"As we move forward, our patients remain our top priority and the sole reason and purpose for our existence. Providing high quality, safe and accessible care while maintaining our patients' trust and confidence," said Maj. Gen. Ted Wong deputy director of SAMHS, and the Brooke Army Medical Center commander.