Military News

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dempsey Urges More Strategic Dialogue Between China, U.S.

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

BEIJING, April 22, 2013 – The strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific doesn’t mean deploying high numbers of U.S. troops into the region, but it does involve more interest, more engagement and more quality in equipment and capabilities, America’s senior military officer said here today.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff for the Chinese army, spoke to reporters here during a news conference following about three hours of meetings at the Bayi Building, China’s ministry of national defense.

“My theme [on this visit] is quite simple, actually -- a stable and prosperous region is in everyone’s best interest,” Dempsey said.

The two leaders met before the news conference during a small-group meeting for about an hour, then moved to a larger group meeting. As translators rendered Dempsey’s remarks in Mandarin and Fang’s in English at the news conference, the pair spoke with similar voices on topics including terrorism, North Korea, disaster relief and cyberattacks.

Responding to a reporter’s question asking his stance on North Korean nuclear capability, Fang said he always has maintained that the Korean Peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons.

“We are thoroughly opposed to the nuclear test conducted by the [North Korean government],” he said. “We support the U.N. Security Council in appropriate and reasonable sanctions against North Korea.”

Fang said he thinks peaceful dialogue is the most desirable approach to resolving multinational concerns about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The last round of six-party talks aimed at the issue -- involving North and South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia -- was in 2009.

“We ask all sides to work actively … [to persuade] the North Koreans to stop the nuclear tests and to stop producing nuclear weapons,” he said.

Fang also answered a question about cyberattacks in the wake of recent reports that many are launched from within China’s army and said cyberattacks are a concern for all “big cyber countries.”

If the Internet is not managed well, he said, “it may bring damaging consequences.” He added, “If the security of the Internet cannot be guaranteed, then … results may be as serious as a nuclear bomb.”

China is a major victim of cyberattacks, he said, and the nation’s leaders have no tolerance for it. Fang pointed out, however, that pinpointing the source of attacks can be very difficult, as the Internet is open to everyone and attacks can be launched from anywhere.

“General Dempsey and I have already talked about the importance of maintaining cybersecurity,” he said. “I believe it is important that we check out the idea that we should jointly work on this issue.”

Dempsey responded to a reporter’s assertion that three obstacles inhibit U.S.-Chinese relations: U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, reconnaissance by U.S. ships and aircraft, and “the discriminatory laws against China.” The reporter asked what the United States can do to improve the relationship.

“We talked about all three of those issues today, and another three, four or five beyond that,” the chairman said. “And maybe isn’t that the point? It’s the first time we’ve spoken about these issues.”

The two nations have frequent military-to-military contact on the tactical level, Dempsey said, but could benefit by more frequent senior-leader engagement. “It’s our desire, both of us, that we maintain dialogue at the strategic level. … We are committed to building a better, deeper, more enduring relationship,” the chairman added.

It’s important that each side do that while keeping in mind the other side’s commitments to other nations, Dempsey said. The United States considers its relationship with China in the context of historic and enduring alliances in the region, he noted.

“This isn’t about choosing any one or the other,” he said. “We have some treaty obligations, but we will build this relationship by increasing our contact at the strategic level and recognizing [those alliances].”

The final question was to Dempsey, asking why the United

States conducts military exercises in China’s vicinity. Dempsey said the answer “is probably at the core of why I’ve made this visit.”

The United States is and has been a Pacific power, and while its military has been particularly active and busy in the Middle East, it has never left and will not leave the Asia-Pacific, the chairman said.

“Our intention, of course, is to contribute to stability in a way that protects our national interests, which are very much tied to this region,” he said.

Dempsey said the United States seeks to be a stabilizing influence in the region. “We believe that it would be our absence that would be a destabilizing influence on the region, not our presence,” he added.

Fang led the news conference by welcoming Dempsey and his delegation, and said he hopes the chairman’s visit furthers the exchange of ideas between the two nations’ militaries.

In his opening remarks, Dempsey thanked Fang for his hospitality and offered his condolences for the victims of the April 21 Sichuan magnitude 7.0 earthquake, a temblor that left a reported 189 people dead and injured more than 11,000. The chairman also complimented Fang on the Chinese army’s quick response after the earthquake, and the general’s leadership of that effort.

The chairman also expressed sympathy for the family of Lu Lingzi, a Chinese graduate student who had been pursuing a master’s degree at Boston University when she was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings April 15.

She “was a gifted student, tragically killed,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her grieving family.”
Dempsey arrived in Beijing yesterday after a stop in South Korea. Later this week, he will continue his Asia trip with a visit to Japan.

Official Urges Troops, Vets to Tap VA Services, Benefits

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013 – Former Army Maj. Tommy Sowers understands firsthand that the last thing many service members preparing to transition out of the military want to do is attend more briefings or fill out more forms than they already do.

But Sowers, now an assistant secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, urges those headed for the door to take advantage of what VA has to offer. And he’s calling on junior officers and noncommissioned officers -- and veterans already benefitting from VA programs and services -- to encourage them to do so.
Sowers acknowledged during an interview with American Forces Press Service that he knew little about VA during his 11 years of military service. His first exposure to VA, he said, came when a fellow officer encouraged him to apply for a VA home loan.

He went on to realize more VA benefits. A former Special Forces officer with back injuries, he qualified for VA health care and disability compensation. He also received educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, earning his doctoral degree at the prestigious London School of Economics.
“My time in the service made me strong, and the VA has made me stronger,” Sowers said of his military and post-military experiences. His concern, he said, is that many service members and veterans don’t realize VA can do the same for them.

For a 25-year-old enlisted service member preparing to leave the military, the draw is likely to be educational benefits, he said. More senior members probably are most interested in health care. Retirees may have started thinking about being buried with honor at a VA cemetery.

“At each of these moments, VA is there to help make those veterans stronger,” Sowers said. “But we have to increase the awareness of it.”

Sowers called the close and strengthening VA-Defense Department partnership an important step.

The Transition Assistance Program, for example, now includes mandatory briefings on VA benefits and services. This helps to create a smooth transition, Sowers said, ensuring those leaving the military recognize what’s available to help them successfully move into the next phase in their lives and careers.

VA has made broad strides in increasing awareness of its programs and services and making them accessible for more veterans, Sowers said. Fifty-six percent of the 1.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have used VA health care, compared to 35 percent of the veteran population, he reported. In addition, almost 1 million veterans are taking advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“One thing we are finding is that people like our product,” Sowers said.

VA is counting on these veterans to share what they’ve discovered, he said.

“Those 800,000 additional [Iraq and Afghanistan] veterans using VA health care, the 900,000 using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the hundreds of thousands being compensated and treated for mental injuries, those folks who are benefitting have an obligation to tell other veterans about it,” he said. “That is how we are going to expand our access.”

Langley F-22s, Airmen integrate with Kadena operations

by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Coleman
18th Wing Public Affairs


4/19/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Kadena offers everything from aircraft hangars to radios, ensuring the 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Langley Air Force Base, Va., is fully able to integrate its F-22 Raptor squadron into daily operations here.

The fifth-generation aircraft's deployment to Kadena, which began earlier this year, not only signifies a continued commitment to regional stability and security, but also provides opportunities for both Kadena and Langley Airmen to learn about each other's aircraft in order to integrate operations enhancing Kadena's strategic position as the "Keytone of the Pacific."

Being familiar with other aircraft, its needs and limitations, as well as its capabilities is crucial to ensuring the mission is accomplished, no matter the location.

According to Lt. Col. Jason Hinds, 94th EFS commander, having the Raptors in the region is just one more step toward the U.S.'s strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific theater.

"It's important for the F-22 to deploy to Kadena for a few reasons," Hinds said. "The first is to give the pilots, the maintainers, and our entire team from Langley AFB the familiarity with the location and the airspace we would be flying in any kind of future contingency operations.

"The second part ... is our airplane is unique in the capabilities it brings to combatant commanders. The speed, the stealth, the supercruise, the maneuverability and the integrated avionics that the F-22s provide, give a unique capability ... especially in a highly contested environment," the colonel added.

"This integrated team puts air superiority on "steroids," and it's somewhat of a Yin-Yang relationship where Eagles make Raptors invisible, and Raptors make Eagles invincible," said Brig Gen Matt Molloy, 18th Wing commander.

The deployment and integration into Kadena operations also provides maintenance Airmen the opportunity to become familiar with the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

"We try to integrate our Airmen into their operations as much as we can ... to get them to understand what kind of challenges the F-22 brings with it," said Maj. Chris Smith, 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintenance operations officer. "While it's cutting edge technology, that technology also changes the way we do business."

Differences could be as simple as changing a tire or a difference in terminology, so whether during a training day, down day or an Airman just being curious, leadership on both sides have taken every step to give their Airmen chances to work with the other aircraft since the 94th EFS's arrival on-island.

Senior Airman Jeffrey Hartman, 1st Maintenance Squadron non-destructive inspection specialist deployed to support the 94th EFS, had little experience with the F-15s until this deployment.

"Getting to work on the F-15 (Eagle) is exciting because it's something new, something different," said Hartman. "A lot of the inspections are different and it helps us to challenge our minds and work on different things.

"Most NDI people are not aircraft specific, but once you work on one kind of airframe you typically stay with that type of aircraft - fighters stay with fighters, heavies stay with heavies," he said.

While deployed to Kadena, NDI Airmen join their counterparts in the Kadena NDI shop. They work together every day, every shift, to make sure operations are as cohesive as possible.

"When we forward deploy anywhere, the likelihood today is that our F-22 guys and our F-15 guys, maintenance and operations, are going to be operating together," said Smith. "If they don't know how to do that in practice, then it's going to be that much more difficult when the chaos and fog of war comes down."

Cooperation from personnel in every aspect -- mission planning, mission execution, aircraft maintenance and daily operations, is vital to making sure the 94th EFS is always ready to accomplish the mission.

"Without the 18th Wing, we wouldn't be able to execute our mission on a day-to-day basis," said Hinds.

Forward basing of assets gives the U.S. Pacific Command the ability to respond rapidly to any contingency, anywhere in the theater in minimal time, and also underscores the U.S. commitment to ensuring stability and security in the Pacific region.

Firefighters 'smoke' rare training exercise

by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/19/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- In the event of an aircraft crash, jet fuel is a major concern for the safety of the passengers onboard. In order to ensure readiness in extinguishing fuel fires, Airmen in the Republic of Korea were given an opportunity to participate in specialized training.

The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters honed their skills in a peninsula wide live aircraft fuel-fire exercise at Camp Humphreys. The training included burning unusable JP-8 fuel to simulate a jet aircraft crash. Firefighters trained on controlling and extinguishing fuel fires in order to keep potential passengers safe.

"This type of training is paramount," said Tech. Sgt. John McLean, center, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron fire and emergency services flight B-shift station captain. "This is the closest we can get to actually crashing a jet. This is a rare opportunity that provides us with a lot of good training for my younger Airmen that haven't burned with JP-8 before."

The fuel burned in this exercise would typically be disposed of, but was given to the Camp Humphreys fire training section for this unique opportunity. JP-8 is a kerosene-based fuel is a safer and less flammable version of JP-4, the tpe of fuel used by the AF before 1996. It is a safer, less flammable version of JP-4. Exercises like these are usually held at Tyndall Air Force Base Fla. Using propane, which doesn't replicate a real fuel fire as well.

Handling a fuel fire is different from extinguishing a regular fire so different techniques must be used for it. Due to the high cost of foam, firefighters had to use water during the specialized training.

"However we would use a foam concentrate in our crash trucks to fight a fuel fire because water is a polar whereas JP-8 is an anti-polar," McLean said. "They don't mix, so the fuel will float on top of water. Water will spread the fire before extinguishing it. We use the foam which forms a blanket over the fuel to smother the fuel and remove the oxygen."

Due to the unique opportunity of this training, units from around the country were invited to participate.

"This particular exercise is pretty exciting; we have units from all over the peninsula," said Dathan Black, Camp Humphreys training assistant fire chief. "We have Osan, Camp Red Cloud, Camp Casey, Republic of Korea Air Force, Chinhae Naval Base, and usually U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan firefighters. So we have had a pretty good mix from all over the peninsula come in."

Safety is paramount in any live-fire exercise. Safety is a bigger concern when using jet fuel because of its different properties and burning capabilities.

"We've got a lot of safety measurements in place," Black said. "Safety officers are appointed for each evaluation and exercise. We do this training so often that we are pretty good at ensuring safety. We take a lot of precautions and do this as safe as we can so we can continue to do it."

Aircraft structural maintenance shop keeps 3rd Wing in the fight

by Airman Ty-Rico Lea
JBER Public Affairs


4/18/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska -- With the Air Force's current sequestration and budget cuts, everyone has their role to play to save the Air Force money. One organization doing their part to limit Air Force operational costs while still maintaining the highest possible quality standards is the 3rd Maintenance Squadron's Aircraft Structural Maintenance Shop.

Aircraft structural maintenance personnel are tasked with restoring the structural integrity of aircraft. This duty requires the use of materials such as titanium, aluminum, steel, carbon-fiber or any other materiel that provides aircraft with refurbished environmental or structural protection.

"Our job is important, because it repairs the structural grade of the aircraft and keeps the aircraft in the air," said Senior Airman Jeremy Robinson, an aircraft structural maintenance journeyman with the 3rd MXS. "Our job could vary from removing screws to rebuilding doors."

Robinson's job starts by first assessing damage on an aircraft to determine what type of repair is needed; he then transports the aircraft to a hanger where the repair crews work night and day to return the plane to the skies above JBER and throughout the world.
According to Robinson, this line of work is considered by most a way of "going green" when it comes to manufacturing materials for aircraft, since the shop puts an emphasis on using recycled metals. Not only does this process save the Air Force a considerable amount of money, but it also encourages other shops to do the same when it comes to utilizing resources.

"Our technicians here are trained to fix aircraft at the field level so as not to cost the Air Force too much money to have the material sent to another base," said Janny Dunlavey, a 3rd MXS aircraft structural maintenance craftsman civilian. "We're lucky enough to have the people we do here to share their knowledge and ideas on better ways to tackle refurbishing jobs."

Personnel also repaint the aircraft's exterior as to avoid further damage being done to exposed sheet metal. Rather than contracting with a private organization, members simply gather the necessary materials and handle the job themselves.

"When people think of sheet metal, they normally think of nut-plates, rivets and any other material associated with an aircraft's outer hull," Dunlavey said. "We as aircraft structural maintenance personnel are charged with the tasks of restoring the body of an aircraft to its original state."

Due to the unpredictability of damage to an aircraft, the sheet metal repair shop Airmen must constantly adapt to repair challenges, said Steven Johns, 3rd MXS aircraft structural maintenance foreman. They pride themselves in being able to manufacture a repair from scratch if it's within their capabilities and limitations.

"In our job, we use technical orders, which tell us what we can repair and what we can't based off of damage limitations and structural criteria," Johns said.

"When we have damage that is beyond repair limitations and parts are unavailable or not cost productive, we do a request for engineering disposition instructions," Johns said. "Basically, we will develop a repair or locally manufacture the part based off of our capabilities and experience and expertise in the field."

The REDI process asks the aircraft manufacturer for authorization to make or repair the part. Around 35 application requests are pushed forward each year and saves the Air Force a great sum of money in replacement costs.

Some pieces that cannot be created or repaired using REDI are transported to Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga. Robins is the Air Force-owned major repair center and is just one of the major repair facilities that specializing in replacing heavily damaged aircraft material.

Due to the high-mission tempo rate at JBER, the pressure is always on the aircraft structural maintenance shop Airmen to get the repairs done as soon as possible, but it's a challenge they welcome.

"The highlight of my job is knowing the 3rd Wing's mission is a success when I see those aircraft take off up into the air," Robinson said. "At the end of the day, we put those planes back in the sky and we saved the Air Force money in the process."

Teams square off in AFAF Sports Day competition

by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman
18th Wing Public Affairs


4/19/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Fifty people amassing 12 teams gathered at the Risner Fitness Center here April 12 with one common process on their minds: compete, control ... and contribute.

Teams from all around the base shelled out cash as donations to the Air Force Assistance Fund for their chance to dominate the courts in each of the tournament's separate competitions.

Though the contest sported three events - dodgeball, volleyball and basketball - only two teams claimed separate champion titles. The 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron prevailed in volleyball while airmen from the 18th Wing Public Affairs office triumphed over two of their own matches.

"When we first started to play, I felt like we'd be amazing in the competition," said Airman 1st Class Keith James, 18th Wing Public Affairs photojournalist and dodgeball participant. "We have good teamwork, we know each other, and we have that flow. I felt like we wouldn't be beaten."

It was a premonition that came through as PA ducked, dove and dunked their way to victory over both the basketball and dodgeball tournaments.

"We could've caught the ball much better than we did, but in the end everything worked out well," James said about the dodgeball tournament. "We worked as a team and communicated well. There was no weak link. We rotated and made sure everybody played a key role at one point or another. If this challenge ever presents itself again, we'll be ready."

While the units were pitted against one another in a friendly battle, it was that mentality of taking care of one another that led donations to soar quickly for the AFAF, making the competition a success.

"Our squadron alone has raised about $500 towards AFAF," said Staff Sgt. Tiffany Kendrick, 18th Force Support Squadron assistant NCO in charge of employments who volunteered as an AFAF representative and Sports Day coordinator this year. "The AFAF is important because its main focus is helping Airmen when they are in the military or when they (are, or have) retired. It's reassuring to know that we have programs that will help us when emergencies occur or even programs that will take care of our dependents if there was something to happen to us."

Whether or not Kadena hosts another sports event like this one next year, Staff Sgt. Jessica Calkins, 18th Comptroller Squadron financial analyst and fellow AFAF volunteer, said it's important for Airmen help with the cause.

"You never know when you will need help," she said. "The AFAF helps Airmen, and that's important to the overall morale and strength of the Air Force. It's better to help those that need help now so they will be there for you when you need help."

The AFAF is scheduled to continue accepting donations until May 3. Kadena Airmen have raised more than $79,000 so far, but the wing hopes to raise at least $118,500.

For more information on how to donate to the Air Force Aid Foundation, contact your unit AFAF representative.

Airman found guilty of multiple offenses

from 35th Fighter Wing Judge Advocate Office

4/21/2013 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Senior Airman Justin J. Lyle, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron, was found guilty at a special court-martial held at Misawa Air Base, Japan April 4, 2013.

He was charged with departing from his place of duty at a unit urinalysis sweep without authorization, violating the Pacific Air Forces Commander general order on intoxicating substances by using spice, violating the U.S. Forces Japan commander's general order on the curfew in Japan by violating curfew restriction, making a false official statement to a fellow Airman to conceal his crimes and driving under the influence of alcohol.

A Military Judge accepted Lyle's pleas of guilty for all specifications and sentenced him to a bad conduct discharge, four months eight days confinement, forfeiture of $750.00 pay per month for five months, and a reduction to E-1. His confinement will be spent in a military confinement facility in Japan.

The Misawa Office of Special Investigations and the 35th Security Forces Squadron began investigating Lyle in late October 2012. While under investigation, Lyle fled from the site of his unit urinalysis. Once apprehended, Lyle confessed to using spice multiple times.

On November 30, 2012, Lyle received two separate briefings from his squadron leadership about the updated USFJ curfew policies and how service member misconduct impacts our strategic relationship with Japan. That night, he went to Hachinohe, Japan with another Airman at approximately 7:15 p.m. They arrived at the Manon theater in Hachinohe and began to drink prior to the show. They continued to drink during the show and afterwards drove to a bar. They stayed out well past the 11 p.m. curfew and decided to drive back to Lyle's off-base residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. Lyle was severely intoxicated when he attempted to drive home. He lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a Japanese building, injuring himself and his passenger. The car caught fire and the fire spread to the building. Lyle and his passenger left the scene of the accident and while walking in the neighborhood, were apprehended by the Japanese National Police.

The JNP turned Lyle and his passenger over to 35 SFS patrolmen who took them to the Misawa Urgent Care Center. There the passenger was treated for several broken bones. While at the UCC, Lyle was found to still be intoxicated nine hours after the incident and spice was found in his system.

This was the second court-martial held in the period of March 26 through April 3, 2013.

Critical Infrastructure Protections Include Employee Information

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013 – President Barack Obama’s February executive order requiring federal agencies to improve cybersecurity protections for critical infrastructure means the Defense Department will be sharing more information with the defense industrial base, Michael E. Reheuser, the director of DOD’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Office, said April 19.

“The cyber threat to critical infrastructure continues to grow and represents one of the most serious national security challenges we must confront,” the president wrote in his order. “The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable functioning of the nation's critical infrastructure in the face of such threats.”

The information sharing is intended to safeguard vital defense information shared with or held by the defense industrial base, Reheuser said in an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

“The way we do that is provide them information that they can use ... to prevent persistent attacks that have been levied on almost every business in the United States,” he said.

In the past, that information wasn’t always freely shared, Reheuser said. “So, the president's executive order is encouraging DOD and other agencies to share that information with the companies so that they can better protect their information,” he explained, “so the nation as a whole won't be subject to as many attacks and the scope of the attacks won't be as significant.”

According to the executive order, critical infrastructure includes systems and assets so vital to the United States that their failure or destruction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety.

The Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Office is responsible for making sure that these information-sharing programs take into account the privacy and civil liberties of DOD employees and defense contractors, Reheuser said.

“So, for example, we want to make sure that we're not having any government monitoring of emails of personnel that don't work for the Department of Defense,” he explained. Not only do DOD employees sign user agreements when they receive an email account, Reheuser noted, but each time they sign on, a banner explains their rights as a user of a defense information system.

"We [DOD employees] understand that our emails and other information on the computer -- because it's a government system -- can be monitored, and that monitoring consists of ensuring, for example, that classified information does not leave the network," Reheuser said.

While those rules apply to DOD employees, he said, the government does not monitor the systems of defense contractors.

“And under no program is that going on,” he added.

The DPCLO will assess the DOD’s information-sharing programs to ensure that privacy and civil liberties protections exist and are fair, Reheuser said. That assessment will be delivered to the president next year as part of a joint report with the Department of Homeland Security, he added.

Hosted Payloads Support Government and Commercial Partnerships

by Maj. Christina Hoggatt
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs


4/22/2013 - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  -- Major General Martin Whelan, Air Force Space Command director of requirements, recently participated in the Hosted Payloads-Issues and Evolution Panel during the 29th National Space Symposium April 11 here at the Broadmoor hotel.

The panel, hosted by Janet Nickloy, Hosted Payload Alliance chairman, had three additional participants, including Charles L. Beames, principle director of Space and Intelligence Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Steven M. Kaufman, partner at Hogan Lovells; and Douglas L. Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.

To kick off the discussion, Beames spoke on the near-, mid- and long-term benefits of hosted payloads, stating the near-term benefit is resiliency.

"Another role I can see is to get towards doing technology demonstrations and competitive prototyping activity using hosted payload as a way to do that in a less expensive way and as a guide toward future architectures, which again will have even more resiliency," Beames said.

Maj. Gen. Whelan agreed with Beames about the importance of resiliency and spoke on military missions that are well suited for hosted payloads, specifically weather.

"Whether it's space weather or space-based weather of the Earth -- these are two real, near-term areas we are looking at," the general said. "We are currently doing an Analysis of Alternatives of space-based weather, and really in the play are not only micro satellites of free flyers, but also hosted payloads. That is a near-term opportunity that we are really looking forward to working."

During the discussion, Kaufman provided several examples of government and industry working together to ensure hosted payload success. Nickloy pointed out how hosted payloads are a definite change in government practice and that issues of culture will need to be addressed for hosted payloads to see more success.

Concurring with this assessment, Maj. Gen. Whelan said the issues are not an electrical engineering problem, but a social engineering problem in getting people to think differently.
"I do not see a large group of people who are vehemently protesting hosted payloads, but there has to be a change so we start to think a little more broadly on hosted payloads," Maj. Gen. Whelan said. "The other thing is tied to control. The control from the programmatic standpoint is from program managers -- from the time we raise them, we teach them not to rely on anyone else, 'the success of your program is on you and you have to succeed.' So, we have to get people to realize they are part of a bigger success, which is part of the change in culture we have to work on."

The general also spoke on the difference in government and commercial timelines, which is another big part of the needed culture changes.

Following Maj. Gen. Whelan, Kaufman highlighted that the cultural issues associated with hosted payloads are not unique to the military as there are issues in industry to include control and timing. Beames added that culture changes really begin with leadership.

"General Whelan is actually being pretty modest, because another aspect of the culture is how you change it, and that begins with the seed that you plant early on," Beames said. "I can tell you that the AOA he mentioned up front on weather, principally his team that is actually doing that analysis, they are looking at hosted payload on an equal footing with all the other alternatives and that is a huge step.

"So, from OSD's perspective, hats off to AFSPC for really showing true leadership in that area," he concluded.

All panelists agreed that though there is risk and change associated with hosted payloads, there are tremendous benefits and rewards for all players to include cost-savings, mission access and new opportunities.

There will be some people who think, "Something is not going to work, and that will be the reason we should not pursue hosted payloads," he said. "We have to get beyond that. Rather than focus on negative, there is also a lot of positive there."

NATO, Eucom Commander Outlines Challenges Ahead

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2013 – Winding down four years as commander of U.S. European Command and as supreme allied commander for NATO’s global operations, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis called on NATO members to live up to their defense spending commitments and to continue working together to address challenges confronting the alliance.

The admiral outlined a long list of challenges Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove will take on when he succeeds Stavridis next month. The Senate confirmed Breedlove’s nomination last week, and change-of-command ceremonies are expected to take place in mid-May in Stuttgart, Germany, and the NATO headquarters in Mons, Belgium.

Stavridis will travel to Berlin later this month to deliver what he called “a bit of a valedictory address” to outline challenges facing the NATO alliance. “There are many,” he acknowledged in his blog posting today.
Cyber is at the top of the list, the admiral said, citing the mismatch between the potential threat and the alliance’s preparation for it. He noted tremendous skill and capability in the cyber realm across NATO’s 28 nations, but caveats and concerns about technology, intelligence and knowledge sharing that hamper their ability to work together effectively.

“We simply need to break down barriers to cooperation here, recognizing the sensitivity of the material involved,” Stavridis said. He pointed to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, as “a good start,” and noted more exercises and planned events that promote cyber cooperation.

Stavridis outlined other challenges: proliferation, trafficking, piracy and fragile states such as Afghanistan, Mali and Syria. But some of the most difficult challenges facing the alliance are rooted in financial crunches impacting member nations’ defense budgets, he said.

Stavridis noted that NATO’s members account for more than half the world’s gross domestic product and collectively spend nearly $1 trillion on defense. This spending level dwarfs that of any possible opponent or combination of opponents, he said.

But citing declining European budgets and the fact that the United States represents nearly three-quarters of NATO’s defense spending, Stavridis called the current model “unbalanced and sustainable over time.”
He called on NATO nations to meet their own self-assigned goal of spending 2 percent of their GDPs on defense. The United States spends “well over 3 percent,” he noted, even with recent budget cuts.

“American taxpayers will begin to feel that the European allies and partners are ‘getting a free ride,’ as some already say in the U.S.,” Stavridis warned.

Stavridis recommended ways to “enhance efficiencies and add ‘bang for the buck” as nations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean work through the financial crisis. He urged more pooling and sharing of resources under the “smart defense” initiative, improved cooperation and sharing of best practices among special operations forces, and more joint training and live exercises to increase interoperability within the NATO Response Force.

In advancing these efforts, Stavridis emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach that works across the political, economic, humanitarian, cultural and private sectors. To address the next pandemic, for example, all entities -- military and civilian, foreign and domestic, public and private, academia, and nongovernmental and multinational organizations -- must pool and share resources and capabilities, he said.
“To meet these many challenges, there is much to be done on this side of the Atlantic, and inevitably NATO will continue to be a useful platform for encouraging a re-emergence of European defense,” Stavridis said.
The admiral expressed confidence in Breedlove’s abilities to take the alliance forward.

“I have known General Breedlove for many years and can tell you that his impressive credentials, professionalism, and dynamic leadership make him an ideal choice,” he said of Breedlove’s confirmation. “I can think of no better officer to lead the men and women of Allied Command Operations and U.S. European Command over the coming years.”