Saturday, February 02, 2013

Partners Essential in Strategic Transition, Carter Says

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

MUNICH, Feb. 2, 2013 – The United States is embarked on a strategic transition fueled by the end of a decade of war and by new fiscal and security challenges, but it won’t have to make the journey alone, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said here today.

Speaking as part of an expert panel at the 49th Annual Munich Security Conference, Carter explored for an audience of international foreign and defense ministers and security policy officials the tenets of a defense strategy for the 21st century.

“We don't see this as something we do alone,” Carter told participants from around the world.
“Our principle security allies, many of whom have been involved at least in Afghanistan, are making the same kind of transition,” he said. “You're all challenged by that transition.”

The panel, whose discussion focused on the future of European defense, included Netherlands Defense Minister Jeanine-Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert, Russian Federation Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, European Union Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier, NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros and others.

The United States prefers alignment with its friends, Carter added, including “all of the countries represented up here on this stage and many more. It helps us to know where they're headed and [it helps] them to know where we're headed.”

Emerging from a necessary preoccupation with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deputy secretary said, the Defense Department is addressing security challenges that will define its future.

In that effort, Carter added, “there are opportunities to do that together with our security partners.”
Principles embodied in the January 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance include taking lessons from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to make fighting forces leaner and more agile, using approaches related to and aligned with the NATO Response Force concept of a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special operations forces components that can quickly deploy.

Another tenet of the new defense strategy is a rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, which, Carter noted, “is not a rebalancing away from Europe because our interests are enduring here.”

Europe is a source and not a consumer of security in today's world, the deputy secretary said, “and we look … to rebalance with Europe, not away from Europe.”

Unlike Europe, he added, “Asia has no NATO … has had no way of knitting together countries and healing the wounds of the Second World War” and earlier conflicts. And yet the region has enjoyed peace, stability and therefore prosperity for 70 years.

“That's good but it's not automatic,” Carter said. “And I think a central reason for that peace and prosperity has been the pivotal role of American military power in that part of the world.’
Another important tenet of the defense strategy is to pursue the very newest in technology and operational art, he said, adding that President Barack Obama was insistent on this focus.
Investments in this area target special operations forces, capabilities in space and in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and cyberspace.

“In all those areas our direction was that we were to not only protect but enhance those [capabilities] and our strategy and investments,” Carter added. “And we're doing that.”
For DOD, he noted, the desire to work with partners extends both to nations and to defense companies at home.

“Our partnership with industry is central,” Carter said, “second only to our people in uniform. It is the systems provided by the defense industry that make our military great.”

Defense industry companies are DOD partners in protecting the country, the deputy secretary observed, “so as we make this strategic transition, we must do it in a way that ensures industry remains strong, technologically vibrant and financially successful.”

Defense leaders and managers must always work to deliver better buying power for the defense dollar, Euro or pound, Carter added, “both to deliver more capability for the funding we receive and to sustain the taxpayers’ faith in us and their willingness to give us funds.”

NHANG Participates in Ilopango Airshow in El Salvador

by 1st Lt. Aaron McCarthy
157 ARW/PA

1/30/2013 - ILOPANGO, EL SALVADOR -- Airmen from the New Hampshire Air National Guard joined personnel from various United States federal agencies at the Ilopango Air Show here January 26th and 27th.

Participating in the weekend's events were New Hampshire Air National Guard air traffic controllers, aircrew flight equipment, and public affairs personnel as well as Army personnel from Joint Task Force Bravo, Air Force personnel from Air Force Southern Command, and employees of the United States Embassy in El Salvador.

The mission of the personnel at the air show is two-fold, to build relationships with the citizens of El Salvador, both military and civilian, and to attain important training in a new environment.

Personnel from the United States and El Salvador work together to build relationships that can facilitate joint missions in the future.

"The citizen soldiers of New Hampshire tend to have a very good view, not just in how to work in a military environment, but also in a civil environment," said Major Neil Taylor, United States Military Group Air Force Section Chief. "And when working with civil authorities, you use that as a distinct advantage in making all of your events a success."

"The El Salvadoran Air Force loves working with New Hampshire," said Taylor.  "You have a great military to military relationship, and that shows, since your senior leadership is so involved down here. That really sets a great environment for cooperation at the lower levels."

The partnership benefits both countries to gain familiarity between military personnel and civilians, as well.

"You can see right now that there are a lot of civilians here and, just being in uniform as a New Hampshire Guardsmen, it means a lot," said Taylor. "They establish a personal relationship, they identify with you, and they see the great things that New Hampshire does here."

The air show also provides an opportunity for training for many members of the Guard, including air traffic controllers and the flight crew.

"It helps us understand their culture and helps us understand what they are all about," said Master Sgt. David Poirier, 157th Aircrew Flight Equipment journeyman.

"This vital training mission allows us to familiarize ourselves with other airfields and how other countries operate," said Lt. Col. Strider Sulley, 260th Air Traffic Control Squadron Commander.

The training that all airmen receive on such missions goes beyond Air Force specialty or direct job skills.

"I think it is a great world experience for them to have, working in a civilian-military environment or a military-military environment," said Taylor. "It's not necessarily formal professional military education, but the benefits of it can help shape the [individual's] mentality and it gives New Hampshire the opportunity to work in foreign environments and make a difference in the geopolitical realm."

Missions like this strengthen the cultural awareness of the individuals while also strengthening the relationships and mission effectiveness of the two countries, which can have long-lasting benefits for all.

The New Hampshire National Guard participates in subject matter expert exchanges and community relations events like the air show as part of the New Hampshire-El Salvador state partnership, which has existed since 2000.

Beale reserve combat ops squadron to demonstrate capabilities at Key Resolve

by Dana Lineback
940th Wing Public Affairs

1/31/2013 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- When 7th Air Force kicks off the annual Key Resolve command post exercise this spring, a team of Air Force reservists from the 713th Combat Operations Squadron will sidle up with the numbered air force staff for a test drive of sorts.

A one-of-a-kind reserve unit assigned to the 940th Wing here, the 713th COS augments Pacific Air Force's staff, delivering operational command and control capability across the spectrum of military operations.

The capability of an Air Force Forces (AFFOR) is something 7th AF has long sought for the Korean theater, and the 713th COS has volunteered to demonstrate the impact their capability can have on the mission.

713th COS reservists are called upon to integrate with PACAF's AFFOR staff when the command experiences a surge in operations tempo, from humanitarian assistance to combat operations. The staff plans and coordinates movement of people and resources in collaboration with joint partners in the Pacific command, as well as host nations in the region.

"Part of what we do is cultural - across lines of international diplomacy and branches of military service," said Lt. Col. Brett Gennarelli, 713th COS acting deputy commander.

"It takes a lot of study to be effective at our mission, but it's proven to be important to successful operations throughout the Pacific theater," Gennarelli added, citing to his squadron's role in the 2011 disaster relief efforts in Japan as a recent example of the sustained reinforcement the reserve unit is capable of providing.

"We're the right capability to demonstrate what an AFFOR can bring to this new arena in the Pacific," Gennarelli said. "We've had exposure to the Korean environment, and we have the expertise for this shared theater."

Seventh AF is familiar with the expertise a reserve combat operations squadron unit can bring to a mission. The numbered air force's mission incorporates another 940th Wing unit, the 701st Combat Operations Squadron.

The 701st COS, at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., provides air and space operations center expertise specifically to support the Korean theater of operations. The unit regularly integrates with the active duty 607th Air and Space Operations Center during joint and combined command and control exercises such as Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

The mission of an AFFOR staff is strategic planning, including the pre-positioning of people, aircraft and resources, with the goal of optimizing war fighting effectiveness. The role of an AOC is to execute a plan of combat operations, from intelligence and strategy to communications and logistics.

Alongside active duty counterparts, the 701st COS operates in a war room setting, developing strategy and planning documents in support of a combatant commander's objectives within a given 72-hour window of operation.

Members of AFFOR staff are in the same location, working hand-in-glove with the AOC. Although their missions are distinct, the two reserve units have crossed operational paths before, according to Col. Mark Metz, 713th COS commander.

"Because Korea and the Pacific Theater overlap, we've sent individuals to participate in Key Resolve in the past," Metz said, "but this will be the first time we'll participate as a team. On top of the great work we're doing for PACAF, this is a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate to 7th AF what a trained AFFOR Reserve unit can do."

"Beyond that, this is also an opportunity for us to continue to build on the positive synergy between the 701st and the 713th," he said. "There are certainly professional development benefits to units from the same operations group working closely together. A mutual respect develops when you cultivate that relationship."

Alaska Air National Guard member enjoys support mission in Antarctica

by Maj. Guy Hayes
Alaska National Guard

1/28/2013 - CAMP DENALI, Alaska -- An Alaska Air National Guard member with the 176th Wing returned to Alaska in mid-January after spending 30 days in Antarctica supporting the National Science Foundation.

Master Sgt. Tyler Sutton departed Alaska in December 2012 to augment the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing and its mission of transporting people and equipment on ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft to field camps throughout the southernmost continent.

"My job was to maintain the safety equipment on the LC-130 aircraft for all the aircrew members, making sure they had all their cold weather and survival gear in case they ever needed it," Sutton said. "We were there to support scientific research, and the LC-130 allows the Guard to perform the vital tasks required for the mission."

In fact, according to the 109th Airlift Wing, the LC-130 is the only aircraft in the U.S. military that is capable of landing on snow and ice, which makes it the perfect fit for the Antarctic operations.

"The aircrew members would fly all support personnel, scientists, and anyone who came to help from Christchurch, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station, Antarctica," Sutton said. "McMurdo has about 950 people in town, with about 150 of those in the military supporting the mission during the summer."

With summer temperatures rising in Antarctica, Sutton said, every day was an adventure, including just getting to work.

"The ice was melting near town, so we had to travel to one of the many flight lines, named Pegasus, where the surface was hard enough for the planes to take-off and land," Sutton said. "We worked 10-hour shifts every day, and it would take a minimum of an hour and as long as three hours, depending on the weather, just to get to the flight line."

"It was a once in a lifetime experience," Sutton said. "I supported an incredible mission, and it was definitely one of the most unique trips I've ever been on during my career. If you ever get the opportunity, you should definitely take it."

Officially termed Operation Deep Freeze, the annual mission is a Pacific Command responsibility organized as Joint Task Force-Support Forces Antarctica.

Down but not out: wounded warriors visit Creech

by Staff Sgt. Nadine
432d Wing/432d Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

2/1/2013 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Wounded warriors from across the country toured Creech Air Force Base, Nev., as part of the Swett Warrior event Jan. 28.

Creech Airmen welcomed almost 100 wounded warriors from past conflicts, to include one Medal of Honor recipient.

"It was an honor and a pleasure to spend the day with these American heroes" said Col. James Hecker, 432d Wing/432d Air Expeditionary Wing commander. "Their continued dedication to the military and their positive outlook continues to inspire us all."

During their visit the warriors learned about the wing's mission, saw displays of various aircraft and some were given the opportunity to fly a flight simulator.

"I think it's awesome to see the difference in mission that the different services have," said Army Spc. Brian Palmerville, security forces specialist currently assigned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. "I have to say my favorite part was the remotely piloted aircraft simulators."

The veterans also witnessed a parachute jump by the All Veterans Parachute Team and a demonstration by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

"I am honored to be here," said Medal of Honor recipient retired Army Col. Bruce Crandell. "I've enjoyed sharing my story with young warriors and look forward to events like these."

The day's events were especially significant to one wounded warrior.  Retired Senior Airman Brian Kolfage was reunited with Maj. Keri Walker, Directorate of Security Forces Headquarters Air Combat Command, eight years after she awarded him the Purple Heart medal in 2004 at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

"It was amazing to finally see Brian again. The last time I saw him, my team and I watched as he was placed on a C-17 medical evacuation aircraft saluting him as we walked off the plane," said Walker. "To finally see him again smiling and happy was an overwhelming experience and a hug from Brian was what I needed as I head down range again."

The smiles echoed the appreciation felt by those who attended the day's events, but one warrior summed up his thank you to Creech Airmen with his own perspective.

"Everyone always says thank you for what you do for us, but I want to say thank you for what you do to the enemy," said Crandell.

Alamo Wing honorary commanders receive lesson on C-5 maintenance

by Elsa Martinez
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/30/2013 - Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland -- Fifteen 433rd Airlift Wing's honorary commanders received a tour of the C-5A Galaxy aircraft and saw the wing's maintenance mission first hand Jan. 18.

The honorary Commanders began their tour at the 433rd Maintenance Squadron's Propulsion Branch surrounded by mammoth C-5A engines.

Col. Charles Combs, 433rd Maintenance Group commander stressed to guests that the Alamo Wing's maintenance Airmen not only maintained the jet, but they are also innovators in C-5A maintenance methods and procedures.

"What you're going to see today are things that are specific not just to the wing or even to the plane, but to C-5A maintenance overall," he said. "For example, we manufacture many of the molded interior trim panels used for the C-5M refurbishment. That's something the 433rd developed that has been reproduced elsewhere at other C-5 units."

Following an intensive question-and-answer session, guests learned about the maintenance of the C-5 turbofan engines that surrounded them. They next traveled to the 433rd MXS's Corrosion Shop to learn about the manufacture of interior trim panels that Combs had mentioned.

Guests then toured the maintenance complex shops.  Lacy Hampton, vice president for college services at St. Philips College and 433rd MXS honorary commander, marveled at the different aspects of the wing's aircraft maintenance that he had been unaware of previously.

"Visiting these shops has taught me so much about what a diverse maintenance mission the 433rd has and their impact on their flying mission," he said. "I'm anxious to share what I've learned today with our aviation technology students."

The highlight of the day's events was a walk-through tour of the C-5A Galaxy. Honorary commanders were wowed when the giant airlifter's visor-type, hinged nose was opened and then lowered flush on the tarmac for entry.

Master Sgt. Tony Wilks, 733rd Training Squadron deputy superintendent, noted for visitors the unique design of the C-5A's landing gear.

"Ours is the only landing gear of its kind, where the wheels rotate inward, retract upward and then level out to finish the retraction process as the main gear doors are closed and locked. No other aircraft, military or commercial, has such a design that's so efficient," he said.

While walking around the cargo compartment, Sergio Gonzalez, an employee relations administrator for VIA Metropolitan Transit and 26th Aerial Port Squadron honorary commander, was awestruck by the C-5A's sheer size. A former Army National Guardsman, remarked, "I never knew what was going on here at the 433rd. It makes me want to put on a uniform again!"

The tour concluded with honorary commanders and 433rd leadership sharing a Texas barbecue cooked and served by members of the 433rd MXG. Honorary commanders shared their perspectives about the various and diverse maintenance functions.

Gary Cram, president and CEO of Cram Roofing and 433rd Maintenance Group honorary commander, summed up the day's experience.

"People would be amazed if they knew what was going on here," he declared. "They just don't know what's going on right here in their own backyard."

VFW Helps Disabled Veterans Recoup $3.7 Billion

From a Veterans of Foreign Wars News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 – Last year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States helped 125,000 disabled veterans recoup more than $3.7 billion in earned compensation and pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This exceeds 2011’s record totals by 23,000 veterans and almost $1.7 billion, and provides further proof that all eligible veterans and transitioning military members should seek help from an accredited service officer before they file a VA disability claim.

“No wounded, ill or injured veteran should ever complete the detailed 12-page VA claims form without the professional -- and free -- assistance of an accredited veterans’ service officer,” said VFW National Commander John E. Hamilton, a Vietnam War Marine Corps rifleman and triple Purple Heart recipient.

“And no military person should ever separate or retire without first seeking assistance from a veterans’ service officer stationed on their installation through the Pentagon’s Benefits Delivery at Discharge program,” Hamilton added. “It literally means the difference between receiving VA benefits or not.”

The VFW’s nationwide force of 1,200 VA-accredited service officers includes more than 200 working inside the 57 VA regional offices, as well as advocates inside the VA Board of Veterans Appeals, who have a win percentage that surpasses attorney-assisted appeals.

VFW’s BDD service officers are stationed on Army Forts Bragg, Campbell, Hood, Lewis and Stewart; Marine Corps Camps Lejeune and Pendleton; and in military-populated regions like Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, Puerto Rico, and the Military District of Washington, to include Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, where the VFW has a special relationship with the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment to assist previously discharged wounded, ill and injured Marines with their VA claims or appeals.
“Health care is important to every generation, and with very few exceptions, you cannot get into the world class VA medical system without an approved claim first,” Hamilton said. “Seeing an accredited service officer before filing a VA claim needs to be a mandatory checklist item for every veteran and every military Transition Assistance Program class.”

Special tactics officer saves N.C. woman

by Rachel Arroyo
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

2/1/2013 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- In the midst of smoke and blood, the special tactics officer's training kicked in, and he set to work.

This time he was not operating in the deserts of Afghanistan. He was administering lifesaving care in Fayetteville, N.C.

Maj. Francis Damon Friedman, director of operations at the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C., was on his way to work the morning of Jan. 29 when he saw a Toyota Tundra veer off the road, hit an electrical pole at about 65 mph, and launch into a tree-lined ditch.

Friedman immediately rushed to the accident site where he found one woman, the driver of the vehicle, trapped in the truck.

He said his first thought was "I need to gather a team to see if we can get to the victim."

Friedman said he felt a sense of urgency to help the woman because the engine block was smoking heavily and looked like it was on fire.

He corralled three onlookers to assist him in tearing tree limbs away from the entrance door only to find he could not pry it open. So, he smashed the truck bed cab window and climbed inside.

He administered First Aid care to the victim, who was slipping in and out of consciousness and was in a state of shock, Friedman said.

When responders from the Spring Lake Fire Department arrived, they found Friedman talking to the woman and supporting her neck and spine.

Capt. Steven Barker of the Spring Lake Fire Department credited Friedman for applying the C-spine hold on the woman, which he said is critical to preventing paralysis in the case of an accident of this magnitude.

"The gentleman was asked if he wanted to come out [of the truck] which he denied," Barker said. "By doing this it spared us an extra person to assist in the extrication process."

The paramedics were not able to fit in the truck with Friedman and the victim, so Friedman reported vitals, gave the medics his initial assessment of her condition, assisted with the IV and applied her neck brace.

He stayed with the woman holding her up for approximately an hour until the Jaws of Life were used to cut open the door, giving the medics access to her.

Lt. Col. Spencer Cocanour, commander of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, called Friedman an outstanding representative of the special tactics community.

"Maj. Friedman was in the exact right place at the right time," Cocanour said. "I am glad to see he was able to take his warfighting training and apply it during peacetime."

Friedman said he was humbled by the attention garnered by his heroic act.

"I was doing exactly for that lady what any of my operators would do for me," Friedman said. "Any one of my guys would do that, and that's just our breed in special tactics. I am just honored it was my time to help."

Stavridis Links Security Capability, Economic Progress

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 – Strong economies and strong security capability go hand in hand, fostered through close international, interagency and private-public cooperation, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis said after attending a global economic forum in Switzerland and en route to a global security conference in Germany.

Stavridis, supreme allied commander of Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, shared his impressions of this week’s 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in his command blog. The annual gathering brought together more than 2,000 global leaders from economic, political, security, cultural, cyber, diplomatic and media sectors.

“To have a secure economy, we have to have a strong security capability -- and vice versa,” Stavridis said he emphasized during his interactions with world economic leaders as they attended sessions devoted to “resilient dynamism.”

Stavridis said he underscored the importance of watching upcoming global hotspots, devoting more attention to trafficking challenges and promoting the kind of cooperation that leads to security.

It’s a message the admiral said he will highlight again this weekend at the Munich Security Conference, which Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter also will attend.

“We need to watch the upcoming global hotspots like the Levant, the Sahel, Afghanistan, North Korea and Iran -- all worrisome but not acute,” Stavridis said. He cited progress in Afghanistan and diplomatic efforts under way in North Korea and Iran.

“Syria, of course, is the most tactically concerning, especially with many metric tons of chemical weapons in a chaotic situation,” he said.

Stavridis also recognized the need for more focus on narcotics and human trafficking and weapons smuggling. “The financial and human cost here is staggering and rising,” he said, expressing particular concern about poppy, opium and heroin from Afghanistan and its impact in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The solution for addressing these and other challenges and creating security requires international, interagency and public-private cooperation, Stavridis said. He pointed to the examples of this cooperation: in Afghanistan, where nations have troops on the ground working together in the International Security Assistance Force; and through public-private cooperation that has reduced piracy by 70 percent since last year.

Stavridis also emphasized the role of strategic communication in advancing security.

“We must seize the narrative to tell the story of freedom and democracy as the Arab Spring unfolds,” he said.

He attended the economic forum after meetings with key officials at the Swiss defense and foreign affairs ministries. Stavridis said the talks included Switzerland’s troop contributions to the peacekeeping force in Kosovo, the situations in Mali and Syria, broader European defense and cooperation between Switzerland and NATO, going forward.

VA Issues New Report on Suicide Data

From a Department of Veterans Affairs News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2013 – The Veterans Affairs Department today released a comprehensive report on veterans who die by suicide.

In the past, data on veterans who died by suicide was only available for those who had sought VA health care services. Today’s report also includes state data for veterans who had not received health care services from VA. Department officials say the additional information will help VA strengthen its aggressive suicide prevention activities.

The report indicates that the percentage of veterans who die by suicide has fallen slightly since 1999, while the estimated total number of veterans who have died by suicide has increased.

“The mental health and well-being of our courageous men and women who have served the nation is the highest priority for VA, and even one suicide is one too many,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said. “We have more work to do and we will use this data to continue to strengthen our suicide prevention efforts and ensure all veterans receive the care they have earned and deserve.”

According to VA officials, the department has hired and trained additional staff to increase the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent, in accordance with President Barack Obama’s Aug. 31, 2012, executive order. The Veteran Crisis Line has made approximately 26,000 rescues of actively suicidal veterans to date, according to officials.

VA also has initiated a yearlong public awareness campaign, “Stand By Them,” to educate families and friends on how to seek help for veterans and service members in crisis. Additionally, VA has launched a national public service announcement, “Side by Side.”

VA officials said the department has an aggressive hiring campaign to expand access to mental health services with 1,600 new clinical staff and 300 new administrative staff. VA also is hiring and training 800 peer-to-peer specialists who will work as members of mental health teams, officials said.

The report issued today is the most comprehensive study of veteran suicide rates ever undertaken by the department, officials noted. On June 16, 2010, Shinseki engaged the governors of all 50 states, asking their support in collecting suicide statistics.

Now, with assistance from state partners providing real-time data, VA can better identify where veterans at risk may be located, and can improve the department’s ability to target outreach activities to reach veterans early and proactively, officials said.

The data will also help VA monitor the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs in specific geographic locations or care settings, officials said, so the department can replicate them in other areas if they have been effective.

VA officials said the department has implemented comprehensive suicide prevention initiatives, including a toll-free Veterans Crisis Line, placement of suicide prevention coordinators at all VA medical centers and large outpatient facilities, and improvements in case management and reporting.
Immediate help is available or by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.

The full report can be found on VA’s website along with a summary response from VA undersecretary for health, Dr. Robert A. Petzel.