Military News

Friday, August 16, 2013

Instructor pilot's son spends summer launching jets

by Joe B. Wiles
71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs


8/14/2013 - VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Most young folks wouldn't apply for a summer job so they could see their father at work. But Blake Grimwood isn't like most young folks.

Tall, slender and half way through an engineering degree, Blake spent the summer launching T-38 twin-engine trainer aircraft here.

One of those T-38s he launched regularly had his father, Maj. Dave Grimwood, in the back seat.

Major Grimwood is an instructor pilot with the 25th Flying Training Squadron. He has spent the past three years teaching junior Air Force officers and allied students to fly the T-38 in preparation for careers in fighter and bomber aircraft.

Blake applied for the flightline position with Computer Sciences Corporation Applied Technologies, the contractor that handles most of the support and maintenance facilities at Vance AFB.

He went to work May 28. "I specifically asked for the T-38 end of the flightline so I could see my dad at work," said Blake. "There are some really good guys working out there and they taught me pretty quickly how to do the job."

Blake's job was to prepare the aircraft for flight. He assisted the aircrew with the external inspection of the aircraft, got them strapped in, operated the compressor that starts the jet's engines and ensured all the control surfaces were responding. And finally, he gave the go for the aircraft to roll toward the taxiway.

When recovering the aircraft, he guided the aircraft into the chocks, securing the safety pins and helping the aircrew exit the aircraft.

This was the second summer he applied for the flightline job. But last summer, his first offer came from an oil company as a roustabout in the fields near Carlsbad, N.M. It gave him some practical experience that will apply to his engineering degree.

Working with aircraft this summer has rekindled his interest in joining the Air Force. "This experience has got the idea going again," said Blake. He nurtures a dream to fly, whether through the military or commercially. Flying is certainly a family tradition.

In addition to his father, Blake's uncle, Dan Grimwood, was also a career pilot with the Air Force. Both men earned their Air Force wings at Vance AFB. Both soloed under the same instructor pilot, Randy Peterson, in the 1980s.

Dan Grimwood is currently an aircraft simulator instructor at Luke AFB, Ariz.

Born at RAF Woodbridge in the United Kingdom, Blake has lived at military installations in Germany, North Carolina and Nevada.

He spent his senior year attending Enid High School, so the jets at Vance were familiar sights. Then it was off to Southern Methodist University in Dallas for his first two years working on an engineering degree.

This fall, he will attend the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., switching from mechanical to industrial engineering.

Blake turned in his computer access card Aug. 13, signaling the end of his summer experience at Vance AFB. His father will turn in his card next week when he retires for the second time from the Air Force.

Major Grimwood initially retired from active duty at Nellis AFB, Nev. After a few years flying a corporate aircraft, he was recalled to active duty for a three-year tour as an instructor pilot with the 25th FTS here.

Military Medicine Advances Burn Injury Treatment

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2013 – Of the many military medical advances that have resulted during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one breakthrough has been in the treatments for burn patients, according to military and civilian medical experts attending a Defense Department-sponsored conference held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

At the Military Health System Research Symposium yesterday, a panel of physicians discussed with reporters the latest research and clinical trials that are advancing the treatment of burn patients in the segment, “Breakthrough Science: Opportunities in Regenerative Medicine.”

Though the war in Afghanistan is winding down, burn treatment research continues, the physicians said.
The implementation of added fire-safety procedures and new treatments for burn patients began in 2008 when there were many burn casualties from improvised explosive devices and other war-related incidents, said Army Col. John Scherer, director of the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Program at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Md.

“We put a lot of emphasis in that area. We’ve done a lot with burn surgical care and made a lot of improvements in clinical trials,” Scherer said.

About 100 severely burned service members per year were treated at the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he said.

“We’ve seen that [number] come down dramatically,” Scherer said, “due to some excellent work at protecting our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from burn injuries -- the vehicles that protect them, clothing that’s burn-resistant and fire-suppression systems in vehicles.”

And, medical advances made within the last decade are assisting physicians who treat today’s burn patients, said Dr. James Holmes IV, director of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center’s Burn Center, and associate professor of surgery at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
“We’re literally are on the verge of having a new day-to-day world of burn surgery, where we’re able to do things for patients that many older burn surgeons at the end of their careers only dreamed about,” Holmes said. “That has only happened in the last five to 10 years. Before that, the advancements were stagnant.”

The new technologies now in clinical trials -- thanks to DOD funding -- are “incredibly practice-altering,” he said.

“It’s a direct result of the support from the DOD and the military,” Holmes said. “We have to keep the commitment coming to deliver the technologies, products and therapies to wounded warfighters and civilians in a timely, persistent manner.”

Some of the advancements include replacing burned skin with new-grown skin, said Dr. David Baer, director of research at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.

“We’ve … come up with ways to engineer and grow skin that can be collected from a small patch [of] skin, process it and grow it in the lab and return it to the patient,” Baer said.

That technique and a new “spray-on” skin process, he said, are now in clinical trials.

“The early results are excellent,” Baer said. “We’re waiting for final results and we’re looking forward to getting those FDA-approved.”

Military medical research also has shown that a burn patient’s fluid balance is delicate and must be managed in a prescribed manner, particularly during the first few days following the burn incident, Baer said. A computer program that can be used in the field has been devised to accurately measure a patient’s fluid intake, he added.

Treatments for burn-caused scarring and other traumatic injuries have advanced, too, the physicians said. They now are researching how scars are formed, and how the scarring process can be slowed and even remodeled.

Medical research efforts also are focused on advancing reconstructive surgery and scar modification techniques for burn injuries, Scherer said.

“There’s going to continue to be human conflict and with that there will come burn injuries,” Holmes said. “We’ve got to advance what we do. It’s through a very transparent, collaborative partnership with the military, DOD and the civilian burn community [that] we’re able to do this.”

Face of Defense: Marine Helicopter Restoration Recalls Memories

By Marine Corps Cpl. John Suleski
Marine Corps Air Station New River

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C., Aug. 16, 2013 – Throughout the ages many works of art have depicted victories and scenes of valor in the face of danger and almost-certain death.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marines of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29 who repainted a UH-34 Seahorse helicopter on display in the aviation memorial at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., celebrated the completion of the project during a ceremony on Aug. 6, 2013. The repainting was needed to keep the helicopter in good condition. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John Suleski
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The aviation memorial near the main gate of Marine Corps Air Station New River joins legions of such art, including mosaics showing the Battle of Kadesh in Mesopotamia and statues depicting soldiers in the Normandy invasion of World War II.

One notable difference is that the UH-34 Seahorse helicopter memorial is an actual aircraft converted into a work of art that immortalizes the service of the aircraft model and the crews who flew it.

To keep the memorial immortal, Marines of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29 here repainted the UH-34 to prevent rust and other decay from starting. The effort that started this May came to a close in an Aug. 6 ceremony at the memorial.

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. James Hutchinson, MALS-29 airframe staff noncommissioned officer in charge, said the aircraft was painted in the scheme used on the UH-34 in the 1960s pre-Vietnam era. The only difference is a clear gloss coat that helps prevent sunlight damage.

The Seahorse started its Marine Corps service in 1955. In 1962, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 362 deployed with the UH-34 to South Vietnam.

The last UH-34 retired in August 1969, when the Marine Corps introduced the CH-46 Sea Knight. Despite more than 40 years of retirement, memories of the UH-34 aircraft are still alive among the military veterans who flew them.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jason Lawrence, MALS-29 airframe mechanic, said veterans who operated the UH-34 would come by during the restoration, tell their war stories about the aircraft and thank the maintainers for their efforts.

Lawrence said he developed an attachment to the helicopter.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “It’s great to be finally done with it. I can drive by and say it’s looking good now instead of driving by it tomorrow and seeing it half-stripped and the next day with half-a-coat of paint on it. Now it’s like it’s got my name on it.”

Lawrence said his mark will still be on the aircraft, even after future generations repaint it.

Hutchinson said he thought highly of the Marines who worked on the project. Each put in approximately 240 hours of work into the aircraft. Some of the volunteers came from other sections in MALS-29, such as ordnance and avionics, so several hours of the project was on-the-job training.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better crew of Marines to not complain about the heat or the weather and just absolutely put 100-percent heart and love for the Marine Corps, the history of the aircraft, and those that came before us,” Hutchinson said.

“This is what ‘Semper Fi’ stands for,” he added.

Air National Guard 'Focus on the Force' week

by Master Sgt. David J. Fenner
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs


8/16/2013 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- With an eye on tackling the biggest issues confronting the more than 105,000 Guard-Airmen force, the Command Chief Master Sgt. of the Air National Guard held the first "Focus on the Force" week at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here Aug. 12-15.

Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling invited the Enlisted Field Advisory Council to the National Capitol Region for direction and feedback.

The EFAC, made up of seven primary and seven alternate regional members charged with keeping the Director of the Air National Guard aware of issues in the field, asked Hotaling to allow other Airmen to participate. He chose the Air Guard's newly anointed Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

"We need to hear Airmen's stories; we need to ask them questions," Hotaling explained. "We need to get some feedback on where we think we're going in the enlisted force. The EFAC asked for a panel of Airmen and I couldn't think of any better than our Outstanding Airmen of the Year."

The EFAC Chair and Washington ANG Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Timothy R. Tyvan, believes the opportunity to hear directly from the enlisted members in the field ensures the council is focusing on Airmen issues.

"We were fortunate to be able to sit down with six Outstanding Airmen of the Year, representing over 90,000 enlisted airmen," said Tyvan. "Their feedback will have deliberate effects on addressing key issues and the development of our force."

Another opportunity for EFAC members was meeting with the newest ANG chiefs attending the Chiefs Executive Course.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for our chiefs to personally meet OAY winners," said Chief Master Sgt. David Eddy, CEC lead facilitator and command chief of the Michigan ANG. "It also allows them to meet chiefs from around the country, interact with them, and glean information related to career progression."

Outstanding Airman of the Year, Staff Sgt. Chad J. Boles, a member of the Oregon Air Guard's125th Special Tactics Squadron at Portland Air National Guard Base, appreciated the chance to participate..

"It's very humbling," said Boles. "I consider it a huge opportunity to stand in front of all these command chiefs and actually have them hear what I have to say and take it into consideration."

Air Guard Director Hosts First All-Call

by Col. Nahaku A. McFadden
National Guard Bureau Public Affairs


8/16/2013 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Remaining operationally engaged, the fiscal climate, furloughs, and serving with distinction were topics frankly discussed by the director of the Air National Guard, Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, at his first All-Call, Aug 14.

The event, part of 'Focus on the Force' week held at the Air National Guard Readiness Center on Joint Base Andrews, Md., provided insights on current Air Guard issues. It also gave the Director of more than 105,000 Guard-Airmen the opportunity to recognize the six 2013 Air National Guard Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

"We are integral to every plan that happens with the Air Force. We are also integral to every Governor and TAG [the Adjutant General] for things that we do in the states," Clarke said. "That dual-purpose mission and being operational engaged at home and overseas is critical to the Air Force and to the nation."

In discussing the future of the Air National Guard, Clarke said he anticipates fiscal limitations. "I don't see a lot of relief in the budget world," he observed. "We will do what we can, the best way that we know how."

The Director also didn't mince words when discussing potential personnel cuts.

"There may be some impacts to this headquarters based on the Strategic Choices and Management Review that OSD has done," Clarke said. "It is too premature for me to tell you numbers. If there are reductions on the staff, it will be done over time and appropriately."

As for furloughs, Clarke stated he thought they were a bad idea. He shares that opinion with Gen. Frank Grass, chief, National Guard Bureau, and Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, vice chief, National Guard Bureau.

Clarke concluded by imploring those in attendance to serve with distinction.

"Don't drag our flag around in the mud," Clarke began. "Be proud of the fact that this is the United States of America. We render assistance to others and they are better off because of it ... the Air National Guard is a big part of that.

"It is truly remarkable what you get done," he continued. "The credit goes to your experience and dedication as individuals and what you bring to this organization day in and day out to ensure we are a credible part of the Total Force."

Air National Guard 'Focus on the Force' week

by Master Sgt. David J. Fenner
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs


8/16/2013 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- With an eye on tackling the biggest issues confronting the more than 105,000 Guard-Airmen force, the Command Chief Master Sgt. of the Air National Guard held the first "Focus on the Force" week at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here Aug. 12-15.

Chief Master Sgt. James W. Hotaling invited the Enlisted Field Advisory Council to the National Capitol Region for direction and feedback.

The EFAC, made up of seven primary and seven alternate regional members charged with keeping the Director of the Air National Guard aware of issues in the field, asked Hotaling to allow other Airmen to participate. He chose the Air Guard's newly anointed Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

"We need to hear Airmen's stories; we need to ask them questions," Hotaling explained. "We need to get some feedback on where we think we're going in the enlisted force. The EFAC asked for a panel of Airmen and I couldn't think of any better than our Outstanding Airmen of the Year."

The EFAC Chair and Washington ANG Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Timothy R. Tyvan, believes the opportunity to hear directly from the enlisted members in the field ensures the council is focusing on Airmen issues.

"We were fortunate to be able to sit down with six Outstanding Airmen of the Year, representing over 90,000 enlisted airmen," said Tyvan. "Their feedback will have deliberate effects on addressing key issues and the development of our force."

Another opportunity for EFAC members was meeting with the newest ANG chiefs attending the Chiefs Executive Course.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for our chiefs to personally meet OAY winners," said Chief Master Sgt. David Eddy, CEC lead facilitator and command chief of the Michigan ANG. "It also allows them to meet chiefs from around the country, interact with them, and glean information related to career progression."

Outstanding Airman of the Year, Staff Sgt. Chad J. Boles, a member of the Oregon Air Guard's125th Special Tactics Squadron at Portland Air National Guard Base, appreciated the chance to participate..

"It's very humbling," said Boles. "I consider it a huge opportunity to stand in front of all these command chiefs and actually have them hear what I have to say and take it into consideration."

Fourteen More Army National Guard Recruiters and Soldiers Charged in Ongoing Bribery and Fraud Investigation

To Date, 25 Individuals Charged in San Antonio and Houston Areas
 
Fourteen current and former recruiters and soldiers of the U.S. Army National Guard have been charged in the Southern District of Texas for engaging in a multi-year scheme to defraud the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas.
The cases against all 14 defendants arise from an investigation involving allegations that former and current military recruiters and U.S. soldiers in the San Antonio and Houston areas engaged in a wide-ranging corruption scheme to illegally obtain fraudulent recruiting bonuses.  To date, the investigation has led to charges against 25 individuals, 11 of whom have pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, in approximately September 2005, the National Guard Bureau entered into a contract with Document and Packaging Broker Inc. (Docupak) to administer the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP).  The G-RAP was a recruiting program that offered monetary incentives to Army National Guard soldiers who referred others to join the Army National Guard.  Through this program, a participating soldier could receive up to $3,000 in bonus payments for referring another individual to join.  Based on certain milestones achieved by the referred soldier, a participating soldier would receive payment through direct deposit into the participating soldier’s designated bank account.  To participate in the program, soldiers were required to create online recruiting assistant accounts.

In an indictment unsealed today in its entirety, Michael Rambaran, 50, of Pearland, Texas; and Edia Antoine, 27, Ernest A. Millien III, 49, and Christopher D. Renfro, 25, all of Houston, were charged with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.  According to court documents, between February 2008 and August 2011, Rambaran was a National Guard recruiter and Antoine, Millien and Renfro were recruiting assistants in G-RAP.  Rambaran allegedly provided the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of potential soldiers to Antoine, Millien and Renfro so they could claim fraudulent recruiting referral bonus payments by falsely claiming they were responsible for referring those potential soldiers to join the military.  The indictment alleges Antoine, Millien and Renfro paid kickbacks to Rambaran by providing a portion of the fraudulent bonus payments.

In a separate indictment unsealed on Aug. 9, 2013, Zaunmine O. Duncan, 37, of Austin, Texas, was charged with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and witness tampering.  According to court documents, between February 2008 and August 2010, Duncan, an Army National Guard recruiter, allegedly provided the personal identifiers of potential soldiers to four co-conspirators, identified as Recruiting Assistants 1 through 4, who used the personal identifiers to claim fraudulent recruiting referral bonuses through their G-RAP accounts.  According to the indictment, Recruiting Assistants 1 through 4 paid kickbacks to Duncan by providing a portion of the fraudulent proceeds.  The indictment also alleges Duncan and Recruiting Assistant 1, without permission or lawful authority, used the identity of a potential soldier to set up a G-RAP account through which Duncan and Recruiting Assistant 1 received additional fraudulent bonus payments.  The indictment also charges Duncan with witness tampering, alleging Duncan instructed a witness, identified in the indictment as Recruiting Assistant 1, to make certain false exculpatory statements to federal law enforcement officers.

In another related but separate indictment also unsealed on Aug. 9, 2013, Jammie T. Martin, 36, and Michelle H. Davis, 32, both of Katy, Texas; and Danielle V. Applin, 27, of Harker Heights, Texas, were charged with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.  According to the indictment, from February 2009 through April 2011, Martin served as an Army National Guard recruiter and Applin and Davis served as recruiting assistants with the G-RAP.  According to court documents, Martin allegedly provided the personal identifiers of potential soldiers to Applin and Davis so they could claim fraudulent recruiting referral bonus payments by falsely claiming they were responsible for referring the potential soldiers to join the military.  The indictment alleges Applin and Davis paid kickbacks to Martin by providing a portion of the fraudulent bonus payments.

In addition, in the last three weeks, Melanie D. Moraida, 33, of Pearland, Texas; Elisha M. Ceja, 26, of Barboursville, W.Va.; Kimberly N. Hartgraves, 28, of League City, Texas; Lashae C. Hawkins, 27, of San Antonio; Annika S. Chambers, 27, of Houston; and Vanessa Phillips, 35, of Houston, were all charged in separate criminal informations with one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery.
A conviction for bribery carries as possible punishment a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.  Witness tampering and wire fraud, upon conviction, could each result in a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, while a conviction for the conspiracy charge carries a five-year maximum sentence.  If convicted of aggravated identity theft, a defendant will also have to serve a mandatory penalty of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.  All charges also carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine or twice the pecuniary gain or loss.
A criminal indictment or information is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

The cases are being investigated by special agents from the San Antonio Fraud Resident Agency of Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit. Trial Attorneys Edward J. Loya Jr., Brian A. Lichter, Sean F. Mulryne and Mark J. Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pearson of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

Hagel, Chinese Defense Minister to Meet at Pentagon


By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his top advisers will meet with China’s Minister of National Defense Gen. Chang Wanquan at the Pentagon Aug. 19, Defense Department spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters today.

The two defense leaders will have an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues, a senior defense official said, including the U.S.-China relationship and the military-to-military relationship, bilateral issues, regional issues and functional issues like cyber.

After the talks, the official said he expects Hagel and Chang to hold a press conference. He also said that Hagel has been invited to visit China but the visit has not yet been scheduled.

Warren said Chang is meeting today in Hawaii with Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command. This weekend, Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., who commands the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, both headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., will host the general and his delegation.

The senior defense official said Chang’s interest in Northcom may have to do with the unique role it plays in issues like disaster relief and the civil-military partnership “as part of the discussion we’ve had with the [Chinese People’s Liberation Army] in recent years.”

The U.S. military has also been considering ways to expand cooperation with China’s military in areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The senior Chinese official’s upcoming visit to the Pentagon illustrates and will help to sustain the positive momentum that’s been achieved in the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship over the past 18 months, the senior defense official said.

It began, he added, when Xi Jingpin -- now China’s president -- visited the United States as China’s vice president as the guest of then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in January 2012.

“That set in motion a series of positive and sustained engagements between the two militaries that continues today,” the senior defense official said.

Last September, Panetta hosted former Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie, and then Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited China in April, the official said.
Hagel’s Aug. 19 meeting with Chang won’t be his first interaction with the Chinese leader, the official said.

“They spoke via the defense telephone link back in April,” the senior defense official said, “so the visit that’s going on now sustains the regular set of interactions between the two leaders that reflects the positive nature of the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship.”

The United States, he added, “is looking for ways to sustain substantive dialog on a range of issues between our two militaries where we can expand opportunities for practical cooperation and at the same time expand and enhance mechanisms for managing our differences in a responsible way. The defense telephone is an example of that.”

If the pace of military-to-military cooperation appears to have accelerated recently, that may be due to influence from President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jingpin, the official said.

“It does appear that this is an effort that is top-down,” he said. “So, for example, when the two presidents met at Sunnylands [in California in June], they talked about the importance of the military-to-military relationship.

“Indeed,” the defense official continued, “they had a consensus on the value of a sustained, substantive military-to-military relationship as a central part of a stable and constructive bilateral relationship. So … it starts at the top.”

Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship Indianapolis



Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS Indianapolis.

USS Indianapolis, designated LCS 17, will be the fourth ship to bear the name.  A previous Indianapolis, USS Indianapolis (CA 35) is best known for its role in World War II, where it operated from Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific escorting convoys and attacking enemy submarines.

Indianapolis’ service ended when it was sunk by a Japanese torpedo minutes after midnight July 30, 1945. Only 317 of the 1,196 sailors serving aboard the ship survived after five days afloat in the Pacific Ocean. Indianapolis earned 10 battle stars for the ship’s distinguished World War II service.

“I chose to name this ship Indianapolis because of the legacy this name holds,” Mabus said. “When people hear Indianapolis, they will be reminded of the incredible bravery and sense of duty with which our men and women in uniform serve.”

LCSs are designed to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, LCS provides war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.

Indianapolis will be built with modular design incorporating mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand. These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.

Construction of LCS 17 is contingent upon Congressional authorization and appropriation of fiscal year 2014 funding. The ship will be 388 feet long, have a waterline beam length of 58 feet and make speeds in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wis.

PLUSH’s Ultimate Military Family Giveaway and Getaway



PLUSH's main goal is to surprise the respective grand prize winner with the best luxury baby and toddler essentials alongside a Las Vegas Getaway but most importantly the opportunity for the family to reunite with a loved one overseas.

Military personnel and respective families deserve much more than a "Welcome Home" party or acknowledge and it has been in PLUSH's inherent power to fuse the means of their business to honor and respect America.

“PLUSH’s Ultimate Military Family Giveaway and Getaway” will run from August 9, 2013 to September 6, 2013, giving military families a chance to take home all the essentials for a newborn or toddler. To participate or nominate, entrants must submit a video or a 500 word or less description on why the specific family deserves to win the grand prize.

 Nominations must include details about the length of military service, current rank of military personnel, areas of past and current deployment, special circumstances, and a compelling anecdote describing how the family best exemplifies the ideals of service, courage, sacrifice, and the fight for freedom.  Winners will be chosen from a panel of military personnel and PLUSH.

Grand Prize:         

  •  $10,000 worth of luxury baby gear and furniture
  •  Round-trip flight to Las Vegas, October 15-17, 2013
  •  2-night stay at The Golden Nugget
  •  Free tickets to PLUSH Show Vegas at the World Market Center

Second Place Prize:     

  • $3,500 worth of luxury baby gear and furniture

Entries must be entered to  contest@plushlittlebaby.com.


For more information on PLUSH, the upcoming Vegas Show and terms and condition please visit PlushLittleBaby.com