Military News

Monday, February 02, 2015

Hickam Airmen participate in PACAF emergency management training

by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez
15th Wing Public Affairs


1/30/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- Airmen from the 15th Wing tested their emergency management knowledge and skills during integrated base emergency response capability training Jan. 26 through 30.

Participants of the training from the 15th Aerospace Medical Squadron practiced their response to chemical, biological and radiological contamination scenarios that simulated real-world potential threats.

"It's absolutely invaluable training," said Lt. Col. Mary Carlisle, 15th AMDS commander. "It validates our readiness requirements, and we are happy to have this training opportunity."

The drill built upon itself throughout the week, progressing in difficulty and detail. The final days of the training consisted of a hands-on scenario.

While conducting hands-on training, Airmen used hazardous compound detection equipment to take initial air and material samples of the training area. Once a simulated emergency took place, they suited up in hazardous material suits, gloves, boots and gasmasks and followed their training procedures to enter the affected area in order to conduct air and material testing. They then compared the results to their initial samples to determine the level of contamination.

Airmen worked together in teams to conduct the testing and reported their actions and findings back to a command center where the data was examined for further action, including coordination with other emergency response agencies.

"This week, we learned to have clear objectives, a clear mind and a clear understanding of how our duties are performed," said Staff Sgt. Eva Doty, 15th AMDS bioenvironmental engineering flight NCO in charge of readiness. "We were already proficient in emergency response, but this gives us a better understanding of our processes and the equipment we use."

The training was coordinated through the bioenvironmental engineering office at Pacific Air Forces Headquarters. All PACAF bases are scheduled to participate in the training.

The 15th AMDS bioenvironmental engineering flight is the first unit in PACAF to go through the training.

Carlisle said being the first PACAF base is an advantage for the 15th AMDS because, "It allows us to provide feedback for the scenarios to the other PACAF bases."

In order to maintain training consistency, the IBERCT was conducted by emergency management specialists with Alliance Solutions Group, a government contractor.

Battaglia: Critical Time for Senior Enlisted Leader Council



By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2015 – Senior enlisted advisors to the joint chiefs, to the commandant of the Coast Guard and to combatant commanders met at the Pentagon last week for the bi-annual Defense Senior Enlisted Leader Council, hosted by Marine Corps Sgt. Major Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The council is a forum for the most senior enlisted leadership in the Defense Department to receive high-level briefings and conduct tabletop discussions aimed at eliciting recommendations for policy changes or modifications to programs, capabilities, personnel and facilities, Battaglia said.

Pay, Health Care, Retirement Commission

“This particular DSELC allowed us to come together at a crucial time as the [Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission] gets ready to release its recommendations on pay, health care and retirement,” the sergeant major said.

The senior enlisted leaders were briefed on the commission’s report, he said, which allowed them to capture some of the highlights so they can better explain the report to their troops.

“Senior enlisted leaders so often find themselves doing damage control in dispelling rumors from folks who pass along erroneous and unsubstantiated information,” Battaglia said.

Defense Secretary Hagel Joined Discussion

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joined the enlisted leaders for a frank discussion, said Fleet Master Chief Mike Rudes, the senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Pacific Command.

“It was great to hear from the outgoing secretary of defense,” Rudes said. “He sat down and gave us an assessment of where things are and he's giving us some feedback -- some very direct feedback, actually -- on how we're doing in support of some of the messaging and some of the initiatives that we have going on.”

The council’s discussions covered a wide range of defense issues, he said, from budgetary matters to service-specific challenges.

Insightful Information

“It's been very insightful to get that kind of information to turn back and share with my component leaders in Pacom,” Rudes said, “so that they, in turn, can have correct and accurate information to pass on to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and their families.”

No matter their service branch, senior enlisted leaders’ challenges are very similar, said Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett. The same three pillars of leadership apply to every enlisted leader: setting the example, developing those in your charge and caring for those in your charge, he said.

“We all singularly have that mission of caring for those in our charge. … We all have the same mission; we may wear a different uniform, but we do the same job,” Barrett said.

“We're one team and we're one fight,” he added.

Face of Defense: Clinicians Help Deployed Troops Fight Stress



By Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jesse Ehrenfeld
NATO ROLE 3 Multinational Medical Unit

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Feb. 2, 2015 – Whether on their first deployment or their fifth, service members can feel the impact of deployment-related stressors.

The primary responsibility of the Behavioral Health Department at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit here is to mitigate and treat the stressors that arise in a forward-deployed environment.

As the overall mission in Afghanistan has changed and combat operations have ended, the behavioral health assets have adjusted to meet the needs of service members.

Currently, the behavioral health team at the NATO Role 3, one of the most forward-operating behavioral health teams in Afghanistan, consists of a Navy psychiatrist, an Army social worker, an Army clinical psychologist and an Army behavioral health technician.

Joint Enterprise

Part of a joint enterprise between Navy Medicine and the Army’s Combat Operational Stress Control Unit, these clinicians work together as a unified team to provide the best care possible.

“The medical providers at NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit on Kandahar Airfield are dedicated to supporting our deployed soldiers, and it’s an honor to work alongside such talented clinicians and to be afforded the opportunity to provide behavioral health care to our service members who are deployed,” said Capt. Ashley Davis, an Army psychologist.

One way the behavioral health team helps deployed service members manage stress is through their work to educate individuals on how to handle stress and develop positive coping mechanisms. Psycho-educational classes are routinely offered which cover topics such as sleep hygiene, effective communication skills, anger management and improving interpersonal skills.

Importance of Adequate Rest

“The impact of sleep on a person’s mood cannot be overstated,” Davis said. “It is so important for deployed personnel to make sure they are rested and able to engage when needed.”

One program offered at the Role 3 is called “Caring for the Caregivers.” The purpose of the program is to teach deployed health care workers how to take care of one another and themselves. Often, providers get focused on taking care of everyone except themselves, tending to put aside their own mental health needs.

The innovative program is a way for all caregivers to get support and have a safe place to process own their experiences. The overall goal is to enable these important caregivers to remain at the top of their game, so they can function flawlessly when taking care of their own patients.

Consultations, Assessments

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mahmoud Ahmed, a psychiatrist from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, provides oversight and direction to the Behavioral Health Department here. By facilitating consultations and assessments, he enables commands to determine if patients are able to receive care in-theater or, when necessary, be transferred to a stateside facility for further management.

“My job is to assess whether a service member is able to benefit from a brief intervention here or whether they need more intense therapy elsewhere,” Ahmed said. “Ultimately, our department’s goal is to ensure all service members are able to function at their peak.”

See the Future: Naval EXPO Coming to Washington, D.C.



From Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- For the first time ever, the general public will be admitted free to the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO general exhibit hall Feb. 4-5 where they will be able to see the Electromagnetic Railgun, an autonomous swarmboat, a firefighting robot and much more.

Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., the EXPO is the Navy's premiere science and technology (S&T) event, held every two years to showcase some of the Navy's latest technologies and bring together the brightest minds from around the world to share information, discuss research opportunities and build S&T partnerships between the Navy, Marine Corps, industry and academia.

"We are pleased to be able to present some of the important technologies that will play a significant role in future operations for our Sailors and Marines," said Dr. Walter F. Jones, executive director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). "This EXPO will offer insights into the important scientific research behind our Arctic studies; directed-energy technologies; and advances in autonomy and virtual training-to name just a few."

This year's EXPO will feature other historic firsts for registered attendees as well, including a first-ever panel gathering by the S&T chiefs from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In addition, the EXPO will reveal the newest findings from ONR-sponsored researchers in the Arctic. As Arctic sea ice levels change, the Navy has taken a leading role in determining what is taking place in the vast region, and developing options on how to respond.

"ONR's marginal ice zone field experiment in 2014 was the largest experiment of the year in the Arctic Ocean-and the largest of its kind, ever," said Dr. Martin Jeffries, program officer for Arctic and Global Prediction at ONR. "At the EXPO, we'll be bringing in four of the researchers who conducted that study, and get insights into the changes and challenges of the Arctic."

A new video focused on the Navy's Arctic research will be released at the EXPO, to complement the speaker session.

EXPO attendees will also hear updates on the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR), a program taking on new challenges and pushing the boundaries in robotics and autonomous capabilities. A video highlighting recent developments in that program will be released at the EXPO as well.

Other prominent speakers include Dr. Patricia Falcone, associate director of national security and international affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations; Dr. Robert Ballard, famed oceanographer who discovered the Titanic; and many more.

For a complete agenda, and to register, visit: www.onr.navy.mil/expo.

Only registered attendees will be able to attend the panels, breakout rooms and talks by scientists, engineers and naval leadership.

ONR provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs more than 1,000 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.