Military News

Friday, September 05, 2014

U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Conducts First Receiver Operations Training



By Jennifer Zingalie, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Public Affairs

AGANA HEIGHTS, GUAM (NNS) -- Sailors from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam participated in 'Warm zone,' First Receiver Operations Training (FROT), Sept. 4.

Observers from three local agencies also participated in the training to include, Naval Base Guam Fire and Emergency Service, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, and Guam Medical Regional Center.

"These incidents are about savings lives," said Brett Wallace the hospital's emergency manager.

The purpose of the training is to provide participants the opportunity to practice dressing in their Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) suits, setting up a decontamination tent, and decontaminating patients involved in a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident.

"Patients involved in any such incident must be decontaminated before medical treatment can be administered," said Wallace. "Decontamination of patients serves to protect medical providers from becoming contaminated which could render them a casualty, making them a patient and disabling from providing further medical treatment."

During the training Sailors have approximately 15 minutes to dress in their HAZMAT suits as well as set up the decontamination tent. Once everything is set up the Sailors are ready to receive both ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients.

There are three stations on the outside and inside of the tent, one side is known as the "dirty side" with the other side as the "clean". The job of the Sailors is to first identify the agent and where it is on the body. Second they perform a triage, where Sailors must decide which patients will need treatment first. The last step is to perform the decontamination which consists of stripping a patient, discarding all decontaminated clothing and scrubbing the patient with hot soapy water.

Once the patient has been washed he or she is sent to the end of the tent, where a Sailor begins gently applying M9 chemical agent detection tape all over the patient. Afterward, if the patient is still "dirty" he or she is sent back through for further decontamination.

"These drills prepare us for whatever can happen," said Wallace. "Living on an island makes this even more important. Working together with our local agencies ensures we are all ready to respond, that we are all able to care for the sick and injured."

Fabrication flight keeps C-17s in the air

by Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/27/2014 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Editor's Note: This is part one of a five part series on McChord's fabrication flight.

Behind the scenes of the 62nd Airlift Wing, Airmen from the 62nd Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight work day and night to keep our McChord C-17 Globemaster III aircraft flying.

Responsible for repair and refabrication of aircraft structural components, fabrication flight is a vital part of maintenance performed at McChord Field.

"We are the flight line's '911,'" said Master Sgt. Marc Sellers, 62nd MXS fabrication flight chief. "If you compare the flight line to NASCAR, crew chiefs are the pit crew and fabrication flight is the garage crew."

Almost half of the maintenance completed on the 62nd AW's C-17s is done by fabrication flight, said Sellers.

Split into three sections; aircraft structural maintenance, aircraft metals technology and non-destructive inspection, the fabrication flight is responsible for performing a wide range of structural repairs to ensure aircraft are fit to fly.

Aircraft structural maintenance is in charge of fabrication and repair of aircraft panels, tubing, and minor components.

Aircraft metals technology is responsible for the repair and fabrication of major aircraft structural components, consisting of the machine shop and welding.

Unlike aircraft structural maintenance and metals technology, NDI is responsible for performing inspections of aircraft structural components to identify damages at a microscopic level; damages such as water intrusion, delamination, and cracks of any nature or size.

Composed of more than 90 Airmen, the fabrication flight is charged with providing a quick turn around on repairs and replacement aircraft parts for all of Team McChord's C-17s. The flight averages more than 1,750 repair actions on a quarterly basis.

Aircraft parts can't always be replaced and if the part can't be fixed, it has to be made, said Sellers. Nine times out of 10, fabrication flight can make the part and have it ready within 24 hours.

Some last minute aircraft repairs have to be performed in a four to six hour window or they could result in a launch being missed said Sellers. It's important that repairs can be made within the required time frame.

To reduce the amount of time it takes to make repairs, fabrication flight Airmen often work with Boeing professionals to come up with new solutions to improve repair processes.

"We go by the blueprint to fabricate a replacement product but the process is always negotiable with Boeing's approval," said Sellers. "Between the two of us we always come up with a better solution."

It's also important that fabrication flight is able to make required C-17 repairs or replacement parts to prevent aircraft from going to depot, said Sellers.

If a repair or replacement part can't be made for an aircraft, it goes to depot. While in depot the aircraft is grounded for maintenance and can be held for more than a year if necessary.

To prevent aircraft from going to depot, fabrication flight regularly designs and engineers new ways to produce replacement parts and repair solutions for first time incidents.

"We do anything from minor field level maintenance to depot level repairs," said Sellers. "Our scope of repair capabilities is unmatched. There is very little we can't do.

"Many of our repairs are critical for aircraft to safely fly. We have had to mitigate losses through innovation to achieve the mission. Without fabrication flight there is no mission."

Nonprofit provides service dogs to veterans with PTS

by Senior Airman Tristin English
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


8/27/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The experiences Behesha Doan has gone through during her 23 years of being a K-9 trainer have enabled her to build a program that gives back to veterans. Not only does the program thank veterans for their service, but it empowers them to take their lives back.

"This Able Veteran" is a non-profit organization trains service dogs for use in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress and provides the veterans and their dogs with training.

The number of combat veterans who have been diagnosed with PTS is high. Individuals with PTS experience a number of symptoms, including, nightmares, flashbacks, isolation, mood changes and avoidance.

"We get referrals from many sources: online, therapists, or even friends and family," said Doan, founder and executive director. "When the application comes in we review it and make contact with the vets to let them know we received it. As we go through the application, we find the people who are ready, we obtain dogs, and give them specialized training to meet the vet's needs."

Once the dogs are picked, they get trained to learn the vet's "tics"--tapping their finger, bouncing their foot up and down, gripping something hard, etc. The dogs are able to see the early onset of anxiety/panic attacks in any environment and alert the veteran of the oncoming situation to try to stop it before it starts or to calm the vet down. Some of the dogs are also trained to interrupt nightmares by waking the vet by barking or curling up next to the veteran.

The program is not only about the dogs, but about veterans learning to recover from trauma. Veterans have to be ready to make a change in their life. When a vet is ready for a change, then they are accepted into the program.

Matthew Mihelcic, who was medically discharged from the Air Force, said, "I was ecstatic when I was told I was accepted into the program. I thought, 'I have a chance to start over, and I'm not going to blow this.' There were more than 400 people awaiting approval. I made it a priority for me; there was no way I was going to blow this opportunity--it was just too important."

One of the first things the veterans are taught when they come into the program is to see through the eyes of the dog. The dogs communicate differently than humans. The members in the program learn who the dog is and why it behaves a certain way.
"Mama" was paired with Mihelcic before the start of the class after going through all of her training.

"I haven't really been around dogs before," said Mihelcic. "So I was unfamiliar with how to handle her, even how to walk a dog. I was stumbling over my feet trying to keep Mama straight, but all of that changed, and soon I was walking in the room with confidence."

During the program, the veterans gain skills that allow them to continue their trajectory back to a normal life, giving them the skills to cope with stress.

"Before, I would let things pile up, and then I would pop," said Mihelcic. "I would get violent, angry and drink too much. I just had bad behavior all the way around. I didn't know how to handle anything; it was my way of letting go, and I don't need to do that anymore. There's no reason now to do this destructive behavior. I've been able to stay calm because I practice a lot of the techniques at home so Mama doesn't have to be on alert that much, but if I let go or things push me to far, she brings me back to Earth. I've never been happier."

Frag out! Airmen attend last Air Force-only grenade training class

by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


9/5/2014 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- Approximately 150 Security Forces Airmen attended the last M-67 Fragmentation Grenade training class Aug. 30-31, 2014, at Silver Flag Alpha, Nevada.

Like many before them, these Airmen completed the class as part of their pre-deployment training, which is done through the 99th Ground Combat Training Squadron at Silver Flag.

The course teaches students the purposes and types of grenades as well as how to inspect, maintain, and employ them in various situations and positions. Students then use practice grenades and finally, head to the range to use live grenades.

"This course gives Airmen another tool for the toolbox," said Tech. Sgt. Randall Disch, 99th GCTS Combat Arms instructor. "Any time you can give them another tool or way to neutralize a threat, it's going to be beneficial in the long run. It also gives them more confidence and calms their nerves to be able to use [grenades] more effectively."

When used properly, the M-67 fragmentation grenade can be used to eliminate enemy threats within five meters and 360 degrees of the grenade.

The idea for the course spawned after an attack overseas at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, when Taliban insurgents attempted to breach the gates of the base wearing vests packed with explosives. The attack resulted in 10 Americans injured.

"We started the grenade mission in 2011," Disch said. "There was an attack where defenders either didn't have grenades or were improperly using grenades. After that, we started training for proper use of grenades again."

Despite training with lethal and live grenades, the course has never had a mishap or even a single student failure.

"Our combat arms instructors are the cream of the crop and are selectively assigned to that section," said 1st Lt. Matthew Cole, 99th GCTS officer in charge. "Students who require special attention are identified early and [pre-deployment training requirements] are all met in accordance with area of responsibility reporting instructions."

After two days of training, all 150 students passed the course and are now ready to use a grenade if absolutely needed.

"I believe that the class went well," Cole said. "All students took the training seriously and learned a great deal about a very lethal weapon."

Since the introduction of the course, Silver Flag has been the only Air Force range approved to do live grenade training and employment. However, starting next year, the course will be consolidated with the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss, Texas.

CNO Tours Navy Electromagnetic Railgun and Directed Energy Facilities, Hosts All Hands Call



By John Joyce, NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

DAHLGREN, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) leaders briefed Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert on technologies ranging from the electromagnetic railgun to the laser weapon system during his visit here Sept. 4.

The CNO spoke to Sailors and civilian technologists about the great impact of emerging capabilities on the current and future fleet during an all-hands call held after his tour.

"You are the test and evaluation national treasure that makes the surface fleet more lethal and more survivable," Greenert told more than 400 military, government, and contractor personnel from Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, NSWCDD, Aegis Training and Readiness Center, Center for Surface Combat Systems, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, Joint Warfare and Analysis Center, and the 614th Air and Space Operations Center.

The national treasure he observed included NSWCDD facilities where real-time spectrum operations and directed energy technologies such as the laser weapon system and electromagnetic railgun are under a continual state of research, development, test and evaluation.

"I am really excited - you are taking concepts and putting it in the fleet for what is, up until now, record time," said Greenert, pointing out that NSWCDD scientists and engineers are integrating the laser weapon system into the USS Ponce (AFSB-I), an Austin-class amphibious transport dock.

"We have to continue to turn this cycle faster and faster," said Greenert, standing on a stage facing a 16-inch naval gun displayed at the end of the parade field. "Technology gets proliferated and other people have systems that we really don't want them to have. We have to figure out how to defeat and stay ahead of that - and be where it matters, when it matters."

The installation of the laser weapon system on Ponce for at-sea testing in the Persian Gulf fulfills plans the CNO announced at the 2013 Sea-Air-Space Expo. The deployment on Ponce will prove crucial as the Navy continues its push to provide laser weapons to the fleet at large.

The CNO - who observed an electromagnetic railgun firing - described the technology as "our future surface weapon" during the all-hands event to be available video on demand via the NSWCDD internal website to the command's 6,000 plus personnel comprised of government civilians, contractors, and military members.

The electromagnetic railgun launcher is a long-range weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of chemical propellants. Magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500 mph to 5,600 miles per hour.

Moreover, Greenert considers the system a revolutionary technology that gives the Navy an extremely affordable, multi-mission weapon with a deep magazine and unmatched precision, targeting and control functions. Since lasers run on electricity, they can be fired as long as there is power and provide a measure of safety as they don't require carrying propellants and explosives aboard ships. The advancing technology gives Sailors a variety of options they never had before, including the ability to control a laser weapon's output and perform actions ranging from non-lethal disabling and deterrence all the way up to destruction.

The CNO congratulated three NSWCDD employees as Capt. Mary Feinberg, Naval Support Activity South Potomac commanding officer, read award citations commending their role in turning ships into warships. Greenert later recounted for all hands in attendance that NSWCDD Commander Capt. Brian Durant presented him with a coin inscribed with the command's slogan, "we don't build ships, we turn them into warships".

The three employees who received awards were: Dr. James Moreland, Michael Purello, and Kevin Stottlar.

The CNO presented Moreland with the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his leadership on an extensive range of naval, joint, and coalition efforts to develop and implement innovative strategic concepts to shape future requirements, organizational strategy, and operational doctrine under strict constraints and timelines. "Dr. Moreland demonstrated this expertise by implementing a structured mission engineering approach for the Vice Chief of Naval Operations Integration and Interoperability Activity to emphasize capability-based requirements," according to the citation.

Greenert presented the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award to Purello in recognition of significant leadership as NSWCDD Chemical, Biological and Radiological Defense (CBRD) Division Head. "Purello led the unprecedented technical advancements of the CBRD Division and propelled NSWC Dahlgren Division to the forefront of the Joint Service and international CBRD community," according to the citation. "In addition, Mr. Purello's coordination efforts in the aftermath of the radiological contamination event at Fukushima, Japan, led to NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command)establishing the Dahlgren Radiological Control Data Center. Finally, he led NSWCDD's highly successful 2013 Individuals with Targeted Disabilities campaign, thereby demonstrating his commitment to the human aspect of technology development."

The CNO presented the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award to Stottlar for his outstanding service, technical expertise, and superior leadership in support of advancing weapon and combat system safety engineering. "Throughout his Navy career, his dedication to advancing weapon and combat system safety engineering has led to enhanced safety engineering processes and methodologies, and has resulted in safer, more effective AEGIS and AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities being deployed in the Fleet," according to the citation. "Mr. Stottlar has influenced U.S. Navy systems safety policy and has expanded the scope of system safety engineering for foreign military sales."

The CNO is the senior military officer of the Department of the Navy. The CNO is a four-star admiral and is responsible to the secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of the operating forces of the Navy and of the Navy shore activities assigned by the Secretary.

NSWCDD, a NAVSEA warfare center division, is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. The command's unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on its longstanding competencies in science and technology, research and development, and test and evaluation.

NCCOSC Seeking Nominations for 2014 Peabody Caregiver Award



By Regena Kowitz, NCCOSC Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) is seeking nominations for the 2014 Peabody Caregiver of the Year Award through Sept. 18.

Presented annually since 2010, the Peabody Caregiver of the Year Award recognizes an active duty or civilian caregiver who has demonstrated compassionate concern for patients and exhibited outstanding mental health care skills, values, and attitudes within Navy Medicine's mental health community.

"Caregivers throughout Navy Medicine work tirelessly delivering quality care to our Sailors and Marines with compassion and dedication," said Capt. Scott Johnston, NCCOSC director.

The award is named for Dr. Francis W. Peabody, a noted Harvard Medical School professor, who taught that "the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient."

"Mental health professionals have met the challenge of ever increasing mental health care needs over the past decade, whether forward deployed or in clinics across the globe, and they have no expectation of recognition or reward," said Johnston. "That's why it is so important to take the time to honor them for their hard work and commitment in caring for our service members and let them know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated."

Nominees may be a civilian or active duty service member of any rank who has provided mental health care to Navy Medicine beneficiaries.

Nominations should describe the candidate's significant actions and noteworthy contributions to patient care and Navy Medicine. All nominations are due no later than Sept. 18.

The award will be presented Sept. 25, during the Combat & Operational Stress Control (COSC) Symposium, which takes place at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and virtually, via Defense Connect Online (DCO).

The symposium will identify best practices for advancing the quality and delivery of mental health care through the latest research and technology for combat and operational stress control injuries.

For more information about the 2014 Peabody Caregiver Award and the symposium, visit http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/nccosc/coscConferenceV2/Pages/Peabody-Award.aspx
or email Ms. Tricia Betts at tricia.betts.ctr@med.navy.mil.

NCCOSC supports the psychological health and resilience of Sailors and Marines throughout the fleet with psychological health research, program development and anti-stigma initiatives with the ultimate goal of improving mission readiness.