Saturday, August 30, 2014

U.S., Partner-nations Conduct Humanitarian Airdrop in Iraq

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2014 – American military planes along with Australian, French and British aircraft airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli in Iraq, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement issued today.

U.S. aircraft also conducted airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support the humanitarian mission, Kirby said in his statement.

Kirby’s statement reads as follows:

“At the request of the Government of Iraq, the United States military today airdropped humanitarian aid to the town of Amirli, home to thousands of Shia Turkomen who have been cut off from receiving food, water, and medical supplies for two months by ISIL. The United States Air Force delivered this aid alongside aircraft from Australia, France and the United Kingdom who also dropped much needed supplies.

“In conjunction with this airdrop, U.S. aircraft conducted coordinated airstrikes against nearby ISIL terrorists in order to support this humanitarian assistance operation.

“These military operations were conducted under authorization from the Commander-in-Chief to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and to prevent an ISIL attack on the civilians of Amirli. The operations will be limited in their scope and duration as necessary to address this emerging humanitarian crisis and protect the civilians trapped in Amirli.

“The U.S. military will continue to assess the effectiveness of these operations and work with the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as international partners including the Government of Iraq, the United Nations, and non-government organizations to provide humanitarian assistance in Iraq as needed.”

Preparing to Promote with EAP at Naval Hospital Bremerton

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Hospital Bremerton wrapped up another round of Enlisted Advancement Program (EAP) training August 26-28 in helping to prepare over 150 enlisted personnel for the upcoming September 2014 advancement exams.

According to NHB Command Master Chief Randy Pruitt, there is statistical evidence that Sailors who invest their time and energy into being part of EAP training fare better on an advancement exam.

"Statistics show that seven percent of hospital corpsmen advance during an advancement cycle, but EAP almost triples the chances of advancement if they attend the training in some form. So without a doubt, I'm a big fan of it," said Pruitt.

The EAP training is being held over three weeks, each session focusing on the Navy's specific enlisted pay-grades E-4, E-5 and E-6. The training has consisted of study guides, facilitated topics and practical exams. The EAP has also provided test taking techniques, advancement jeopardy quizzes, and supplied the most current and effective study materials.

"Last year was the first time we taught the EAP and we did have an increase in advancement. Those who did advance last year say that it was due to taking the class. EAP is extremely helpful in not only going over topics, but also in focusing on what to study that someone might miss if they just chose to do it on their own. EAP covers it here," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kyle C. Hewitt of NHB's Physical Therapy department and one of the EAP coordinators.

HM2 Sarah Lowe is a strong advocate of the program and her decision to help coordinate was based on her positive experience with the training.

"I'm convinced I advanced due to EAP at my former command. I feel with EAP there are better tools to learn as well to teach to others. Just as it did for me, the EAP can help narrow down specific topics, focus on correct subject matter and help redirect someone when needed," said Lowe, who along with facilitating the course shared insight on preventive medicine and occupational health topics.

There is a strategy to taking a Navy advancement exam attests Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Julian Rodriguez, and the Enlisted Advancement Program can help anyone getting ready for their upcoming advancement exam to map a navigational course to success.

"EAP helps Sailors concentrate and prioritize what they need to study and what they need to know before their advancement exam. As a volunteer instructor, it's my duty and honor to help our Sailors focus on the essential material to get them to pass their exam and make grade," said Rodriguez, adding that the program's benefits also include tips on how to improve study habits, as well as being able to go over corpsmen-centric information and Navy knowledge in a class room environment and group setting.

The training has been conducted at NHB's Branch Health Education Center (BHEC) on Naval Base Kitsap Bangor to ensure the enrolled Sailors were 100 percent free from distractions and work responsibilities.

"The BHEC site has been perfect for EAP. Our Sailors have been able to focus their fullest attention to their studies during the three day course. In fact, we've had so many, we might need to find a bigger classroom," said Hewitt.

NAVFAC Southeast Awards $110 M Contract for Nuclear Power Training Facilities at Joint Base Charleston

By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a $110 million firm-fixed-price contract August 20 to Caddell Construction Co. of Montgomery, Alabama, for construction of nuclear power training facilities for Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) Charleston at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

The contract calls for the construction of a new multi-story, training operation facility, construction of a single story secured area entry control point and construction of an extension for the north pier.

"The Navy's commitment to deliver this state of the art training facility will help us fuel the professional pride and technical excellence we expect of our current and future nuclear operators" says Capt. Robert E. Hudson, commanding officer of NPTU Charleston.

The mission of NPTU Charleston is to qualify Naval officers and enlisted personnel in the operation, maintenance and supervision of naval nuclear propulsion plants in support of Fleet operations. The training and certification takes approximately six months of practical instruction under the close supervision of qualified staff. Currently NPTU Charleston trains and certifies approximately half of the personnel (officer and enlisted) needed to operate the U.S. Navy's reactor plants on nuclear-powered warships (i.e., all commissioned submarines and aircraft carriers). The other half are trained at a similar facility in Ballston Spa, New York. This construction project supports modernization and expansion of the facilities at NPTU Charleston and is a key piece of the Navy's overall strategy to proactively reinvest in the elite nuclear training pipeline.

The contract also contains unexercised options and planned modifications, which if exercised and/or issued would increase the cumulative contract value to $157.8 million. The options include the renovation of an existing multi-story training support building and the construction of an additional new multi-story, training support facility. The contract also provides for furniture, fixtures, and equipment in the two planned modifications.

The project is in Goose Creek, South Carolina and is expected to be completed by June 2018.