Military News

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hagel, Russian Defense Minister Hold First Video Teleconference



American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 – Fulfilling an agreement they made in August on the margins of a meeting between their countries’ senior diplomatic and defense officials, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu conducted their inaugural video teleconference yesterday to maintain an open dialogue and defense cooperation, Assistant Pentagon Press Secretary Carl Woog reported.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Woog said Hagel and Shoigu discussed a number of issues, including missile defense, Syria, cybersecurity and countering improvised explosive devices.

Hagel noted that a joint plan of action for a diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear program does not eliminate the need for U.S. and European allies to continue implementing missile defense plans in Europe, Woog said. The European Union facilitated the plan of action, agreed upon by the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and China in Geneva last month.

“Secretary Hagel stressed that U.S. and NATO missile defense efforts pose no threat to Russia and urged that both sides continue consultations on future missile plans in Europe,” Woog added.

Hagel and Shoigu also discussed recent planning efforts to remove chemical weapons from Syria under the auspices of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the assistant press secretary said. Hagel provided Shoigu with an update on U.S. planning to neutralize the chemical weapons once removed from Syria, he added.

“Secretary Hagel encouraged Russia to stay engaged with the process and continue providing critical assistance to ensure that chemical weapons are removed on schedule,” Woog said.

The defense leaders agreed to continue holding video teleconferences regularly, he said, and as needed if critical issues arise.

Angel in stripes

by Senior Airman Mariah Tolbert
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2013 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- In a split second, life flashed before her eyes. Suddenly, her surroundings spun and vehicles sped past her as the car hydroplaned across traffic.

Her heart racing and fingers grasped tightly around the steering wheel, she listened to the pattering of rain hit her car. She opened her eyes and saw a figure, in uniform, approaching her vehicle.

This was what Teresa Joyner, School Street Elementary School parent involvement coordinator, experienced the morning of Nov. 7, while she drove to work.

"I was en-route to work, when one of my worst possible nightmares began to unfold," Joyner said. "My vehicle began to hydroplane across two lanes of traffic, on Highway 70. My brakes locked and all I could do was let the vehicle have its way."

After about 50 cars passed by Joyner that did not stop, she looked up and saw that help had arrived.

"I finally looked up and saw an 'angel in stripes,'" she exclaimed. "This 'angel' assisted me with the utmost care, concern and consideration by first making sure I was not hurt, then standing in the rain to call for assistance to get me pulled from the muddy area of which I was stuck."

Joyner's 'angel in stripes,' was U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Garry Laub, 4th Operation Support Squadron special security representative.

"I stopped because I saw the skid marks and a vehicle in the median facing oncoming traffic," Laub said. "With the speed on that road and the conditions, it (would have been) near impossible for them to pull back out on the road safely."

When Laud approached the car, he said his first instinct was to make sure Joyner was okay and provide any emotional reassurance that Joyner needed. From there, he started making phone calls to the N.C. Highway Patrol and some tow companies to get her out of the deep mud that she was stuck in. Laub also let Joyner borrow his cell phone so she could advise her work and family of the situation.

"During the entire ordeal, (Laub) was very polite, considerate and kind in his efforts to assist," Joyner said. "For me, it wasn't so much what he did physically but that he cared enough for humankind to stop and assist in any way necessary, all with a demeanor and professionalism that would make the military proud."

Laub stated he didn't stop just because he was in uniform but because he was concerned for the safety of all traveling on the road that day. Laub also said that it was his way to pay it forward, because he knew that if he were in the same situation, he would want someone to stop as well.

"I feel that helping when it's obvious is just part of being a decent human being," Laud explained.

Following the accident, Joyner felt as though certain coincidences of the event could not be ignored.

That day, she was driving her father's, a retired technical sergeant's, vehicle who had passed away a mere three weeks before the accident. To Joyner the timing and similarities in rank between her father and Laub were more than a twist of fate. She felt as though Laub was intended to help her, to be her "angel in stripes."

"I count it an honor that I was helped by a Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Airman," Joyner said.

Joyner continued to state she was very appreciative of the emotional and physical assurance that Laub provided. Not just pulling over to make sure she was okay, but the way he acted throughout the incident and the actions he took to help her in any way possible.

"I feel that Laub's actions reflect very well on the Air Force and other branches of the military," she explained. "Race, gender, socio-economic status, time constraints and weather, none of those variables seemed to matter. He just saw someone in need and answered the call of duty. Thank you, Tech. Sgt. Laub, for taking the time to care and for being my 'angel in stripes.'"

Face of Defense: Stepdaughter Follows in Recruiter’s Footsteps



By Marine Corps Sgt. T.M. Stewman
4th Marine Corps District

CLEVELAND, Dec. 17, 2013 – Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel Barker, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Substation Tri-County here, was taken by surprise when his stepdaughter let the family know that she intended to join the Marine Corps.

“Initially, I thought she was joking,” explained the 34-year-old, Bethel, Ohio native. “She had never really mentioned anything about the military before, and I think we all just assumed that she would follow her older sister to Arizona State.”

But Marine Corps Pfc. Jessica Lopez had different plans.

“I had been thinking about it since my freshman year of high school,” the 18-year-old Marine said. She enlisted in June 2012 out of Recruiting Substation Canton, where Barker previously served as a recruiter.

“The opportunities that are available in the Marine Corps always appealed to me, but it was getting a chance to see the type of Marine my dad is that really inspired me,” she said. “I was inspired by his work ethic, especially after becoming a recruiter. He worked so hard, but still took care of his family. That’s something that I’ve wanted for myself.”

That choice earned Lopez an all-expenses-paid trip to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. She graduated from recruit training Aug. 16, and now is at air traffic controller school in Pensacola, Fla.

Though she has been a Marine just a short time, Lopez said, she has big plans for herself and her time in the Corps, with aspirations to be a Marine security guard and later a drill instructor.

Barker’s experience made her sure she was making the right decision, Lopez said. “My family was very supportive of my decision,” she added, “and my dad really helped me with all the information I needed to make the right choice.”

Intel Office Realignment Addresses Future Challenges



By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 – The office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence is reorganizing and streamlining its programs to better prepare for future strategic challenges, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence told reporters yesterday.

Following a comprehensive internal review, recent guidance by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a congressional directive, the office will redesignate three deputy undersecretary of defense positions as directors for defense intelligence, effective Jan. 6, Marcel Lettre said.

The internal review looked at the office’s core missions and whether personnel were aligned appropriately for those missions, he added.

In his Dec. 4 announcement of efficiency reforms, Hagel set out eight areas in which the department would seek reductions. This included allowing the intelligence office to move forward on plans to realign and evolve its mission in response to the internal review.

The fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Defense Department to eliminate most uses of the title “deputy undersecretary of defense.” The deadline for that action originally was Jan. 1, 2011, but the fiscal 2011 NDAA extended the timeframe to Jan. 1, 2015.

A fourth director of defense intelligence will be added, to be responsible for technical collection and special programs. The move will strengthen operational oversight of the National Security Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Directorate, cyber operations and capabilities, and other special programs, he said.

“We looked across our organization and found pockets of expertise that were focused on these issues, particularly in the cyber arena, and … are moving toward pulling them all together into this new DDI,” Lettre said.

Under the new technical collection and special programs office are three directorates that are the focus for innovation and development, Lettre said: signals intelligence and cyber; measurement and signature intelligence, geospatial intelligence and special programs; and clandestine operations, global access and mission integration.

The office will give the department a sharper focus on oversight, he said, will drive the development of new capabilities and responses to strategic situations, and will put critical mass behind the effort to cultivate new technologies.

“We think that that is, after all, an area that we as a nation -- as a Defense Department -- harbor an advantage,” he added.

In addition to the titular changes, Lettre said, the undersecretary’s office will make several organizational realignments at the directorate level, also effective Jan. 6:

-- The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance task force will be merged into an ISR operations directorate. With the move into the ISR directorate, the task force will shift from a focus on wartime missions to a more global mission that includes worldwide ISR requirements.

-- The human intelligence, sensitive activities and national programs directorates will be merged into a single directorate to toughen oversight over clandestine operations and sensitive support activities.

-- The counterintelligence and security directorates will be combined, because the directorates often work together to tackle the threat of insider attacks, and combining them will strengthen that effort.

The mergers reduce the number of offices reporting to the directors of defense intelligence from 20 to 12, he said, and help to achieve Hagel’s vision of a leaner, more agile Defense Department.

Overall, the structural changes are relatively modest, Lettre said, but they’ll generate a significant strategic payoff. And while in the short term they’re resource-neutral, he added, they put the office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence on track to meet the Defense Department goal of a 20-percent reduction of headquarters budgets.

DOD Official Examines Federal Facilities Security Practices



By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 – In the wake of the Sept. 16 shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard, officials have initiated evaluations to gauge the ability to deter, withstand and recover from the full range of threats at military installations, a senior Defense Department official said today at a Senate hearing called to examine physical security at federal facilities.

Steve Lewis, deputy director for personnel, industrial and physical security policy, told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the Defense Department evaluated facility security policies and the practices it uses to reduce vulnerability of people and property.

“Based upon the results of these evaluations, active and passive measures are tailored to safeguard and prevent unauthorized access to personnel, equipment, installations and information by employing a layered security concept known as ‘security-in-depth,’” he said.

Lewis said the deputy defense secretary will consolidate key recommendations based on concurrent independent and internal reviews to identify and recommend actions that address gaps in security programs, policies and procedures, including clearance grants and renewals for DOD employees and contractors.

The final report, Lewis explained, will be sent to the secretary of defense for review and, if approved, will be addressed in an implementation plan, in coordination with the DOD components and key federal agency partners, as appropriate.

DOD also calls for the development and maintenance of comprehensive plans to address a broad spectrum of natural and man-made scenarios, including joint response plans to adverse or terrorist incidents, such as shooters and unauthorized access to facilities, Lewis reported. Natural and man-made scenarios could include chemical and biological attacks, unauthorized access to facilities and physical security breaches.

“Military commanders or their civilian equivalents, using risk-management principles, are required to conduct an annual local vulnerability assessment, and are subject every three years to a higher-headquarters assessment, such as a Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment,” he said.

A JSIVA considers both the current threat and the capabilities that may be employed by both transnational and local terrorist organizations.

“The department has worked very hard to foster improvements that produce greater efficiencies and effectiveness in facility securities,” Lewis said.

DOD efforts to harmonize facility security posture with more than 50 federal departments and agencies and with military commanders located in DOD-occupied leased space includes incorporation of the Interagency Security Committee’s physical security standards in DOD guidance, Lewis reported.

“These forums enable the sharing of best practices, physical security standards, and cyber and terrorist threat information in support of our collective resolve to enhance the quality and effectiveness of physical security of federal facilities,” he said.

Other initiatives include the development of an Identity Management Enterprise Services Architecture, or IMESA, that will provide an enterprise approach to identity sharing and physical access control information.

“IMESA will provide real-time vetting of individuals requiring unescorted access to DOD facilities, and these will be run against DOD, federal, state and other … data sources,” he said.

Because IMESA users will be able to authenticate individual access credentials and fitness to enter the facility, Lewis added, “IMESA will vastly enhance the security of DOD personnel and facilities worldwide.”

Battaglia Presents First Armed Forces NCO, Petty Officer Book



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 – The military’s top enlisted service member debuted a new noncommissioned officer and petty officer book here today in what he called a significant moment for all enlisted leaders.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was joined by the chairman, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, as he unveiled “The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces.”

“Welcome each of you to what is a very, very special moment in our military’s lineage,” Battaglia said. “I’d really like [the book] to serve its intended purpose, and that’s [as] a developmental and educational tool.”

Though the book is focused on the military’s noncommissioned officer and petty officer force, Battaglia said, it carries a larger message.

“I think you’ll see this book will serve the reader whether they serve in uniform or not,” he said.

It addresses commitment, selflessness, teamwork, trust, courage and loyalty, to mention a few qualities, he noted.

Battaglia lauded the book’s contributors, co-led by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, professor of ethics and national security at National Defense University, and retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Curtis L. Brownhill, as a “cadre of professionals.”

“Obviously, this couldn’t have been done without the team,” he said. “I just need to tell you how proud I am of each and every one of them.”

The book took shape from a variety of perspectives, the sergeant major said. “Like many military projects, I felt that for this one to be successful, it would require a unique blend of art, and science and even some academia,” said he explained. “I’m not singling out Mr. Curt Brownhill or Dr. Al Pierce, but these two gentlemen were really the catalyst and the glue that propelled it forward while holding it together.”

Battaglia said creating the book was “an effort that was coated with risk, challenge, excitement and opportunity all wrapped in one mission statement.”

“Back in the middle of 2011, I reached out to Curt and Al to ask them if they would co-lead this never-done-before monstrosity of a project for our NCO corps,” he said. “Both of them immediately committed.”

With Pierce having “book-building experience” from his involvement in the development of the “Armed Forces Officer” book, Battaglia said, it was important the books “not mirror one another but mesh.”

Brownhill brought his experiences rising up through the Air Force enlisted ranks, Battaglia said, and from his time serving as the command senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Central Command.

“At times, Chief Brownhill, Dr. Pierce and I drove the team pretty hard,” Battaglia said. “From re-scoping a particular chapter message that was slightly missed to further research over a weekend, to detailed critiquing of each other’s chapters.”

The NCO and petty officer corps would not have become what it is today without the trust and confidence of commissioned officers, the sergeant major said. “And that’s what’s inside the covers of this book,” he added.

Dempsey told the Pentagon Auditorium audience that he initially was unsure of what the book would be, but that he knew he didn’t want it to “gather dust on a shelf.”

“But then it occurred to me that, actually, the journey to put the book together might be more important than the book itself,” the chairman said. “It would cause you to take a look at who you are as a group of noncommissioned officers and petty officers.

“The journey has actually been really important, I think, and we’ll see what the book becomes,” said he continued. “You really don’t know what a book becomes until you put it on the shelf.”

The chairman said he hopes it becomes a source of conversation, discussion and even passionate arguments about who and what the NCO and petty officer corps is and needs to do for the nation.

Dempsey said the opening chapter of the book started 236 years ago with Gen. George Washington at Valley Forge, when he realized he needed to appeal to the “soul of his army.”

“He did it through the establishment of a noncommissioned officer corps,” he said. “And here we are today, 237 years later, publishing this book, which I hope captures a bit of that historical soul.”

Following the formal presentation of the book, Battaglia, Dempsey and Medal of Honor recipient Army Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Petry signed the inaugural copy of the book, which will be placed in the Library of Congress.

“This is really a great moment for the noncommissioned officer and petty officer corps,” Dempsey said.