Military News

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Face of Defense: Dental Hygienist Continues to Serve Others



By Air Force Senior Airman Thomas T. Charlton Joint Base Charleston

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug. 29, 2017 — Since he began his career as a dental hygienist, Patrick Miller has kept a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Additionally, his patients usually smile just as big as he does once they sit in his chair.

Miller is the chief of preventive dentistry for the 628th Medical Group at Deily Dental Clinic here and has been in the dental field for 34 years, 20 of them in uniform.

“When I joined the Air Force in 1983, I came in without a specific career field designated to me,” he said. “The Air Force showed me a list of options and I saw dentistry. It was something I had never thought of before and it was something new. I had to do it.”

At the end of his first enlistment, Miller still wanted to serve his country while practicing dentistry, but determined active duty was no longer the proper fit for him. Unable to locate an Air Force Reserve dental position, he did find a slot as a dental technician in the Army Reserve. This allowed him to continue serving in the dental career field while practicing in the private sector as well.

“When I was trying to go to the reserves, I switched branches to keep following my passion to serve my country,” Miller said. “Once the Air Force Reserve opened a slot for my career field, I went back to the Air Force in 1994 and stayed until my retirement as a master sergeant in 2003.”

He worked for private practices from 1991 until 2011, when he joined the dental clinic for the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. He then practiced at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in Georgia and Pennsylvania before coming here.

Best Team

“Out of all of the places I have worked, I think the team I have here is the best I could ever ask for,” Miller said. “We all help each other stay in high spirits and communicate well, which is why we are as successful as we are.”

He said the clinic here has a work environment conducive to the free flow of ideas. The environment allows those in the clinic the opportunity to continue refining their skills. This enables Miller to share the many different experiences and skillsets he’s gained from the variety of places he’s worked throughout his career.

“This is an outstanding team who provide a great environment for anyone walking in our doors,” he said. “We, as a team, have set a high standard. I hope to see myself and the rest of my team improve each day and I think, with a team like this, it is more than possible.”

Their hard work was recognized when Miller was named the 2016 Dental Civilian of the Year. He credits his team for their contributions to this achievement.
“You have to realize what the award represents,” he said. “If I didn’t have a team willing to work as hard as they do, or supervisors with the drive to submit me for the award in the first place, I wouldn’t have won. This award represents my team and the people we care for, not me.”

Guard Units From Other States Join Harvey Response in Texas



By Steve Marshall National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 29, 2017 — One day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called up the entire 12,000-member Texas National Guard to assist civilian authorities with the epic flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey, several other state Guard units are in the hard-hit areas to offer manpower, equipment and support.

"This will be a big undertaking," said Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Lengyel, quoted in the Houston Chronicle. Before the response ends, he added, Guard troops from dozens of other states could be involved in an area stretching from Corpus Christi to Houston and areas inland that have been hit by disastrous flooding.

As of today, the tally of Air National Guard representation from other states includes:

-- Alaska: About 13 airmen with the 176th Rescue Wing;

-- California: About 90 airmen with the 129th Rescue Wing;

-- Connecticut: A C-130 Hercules transport plane with eight airmen from the 103rd Airlift Wing;

-- Florida: Nearly 100 airmen with the 920th Rescue Wing;

-- Kentucky: Nearly 20 airmen with the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron;

-- New York: More than 100 airmen, a C-130, three HH-60 Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters and two C-17 transport jets with the 106th Rescue Wing; and

-- Oregon: About 15 members of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron whose missions include rescue as well as restoring airfields so supplies can be flown in.

Other Guard Support

Additionally, six helicopters from units in Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina were heading to Texas, National Guard Bureau officials said. Other Guard missions in the stricken areas include bridging, water rescue, logistics movement, airfield openings and medical water purification.

Meanwhile, neighboring Louisiana is bracing for the rains from what is now Tropical Storm Harvey. As directed by Gov. John Bel Edward, the Louisiana Guard has activated about 210 soldiers and airmen, with an additional 230 full-time Guard members supporting efforts.

Last week, the Louisiana National Guard began positioning Guard members, high-water vehicles and boats in southern Louisiana parishes, including Calcasieu, Vermillion, Orleans and Lafayette.

"Being ready and in place is as important as any training that we do, and our engagements at parish level are absolutely critical," said Army Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, Louisiana's adjutant general. "In anticipation of the storm's track, we continue pre-positioning equipment and vehicles in potentially affected areas, as well as responding to the immediate needs of today."
In addition to vehicles and boats, the Louisiana Guard has eight helicopters ready to support search and rescue, evacuation and reconnaissance missions as needed, officials said.

Trident Warrior 2017 Paves the Way for Future At-Sea Experimentation



By Commander, Third Fleet and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 29, 2017 — In its 15th year of execution, the Trident Warrior exercise explored innovative solutions through fleet experimentation during various evolutions off the coast of Southern California from June to August 2017.

Directed by the Navy Warfare Development Command and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, and supported by the Third Fleet, TW17 featured at-sea experimentation of more than 20 critical maritime initiatives.

Participants in TW17 included organizations such as Naval Warfare Systems Command, Systems Center Pacific; the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence; Naval Information Forces; Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; and the Office of Naval Research.

TW experiments are designed to fast-track the introduction of new capabilities, innovative technologies, and tactics, techniques and procedures to aid maritime forces in all domains of warfare -- air, land, sea and cyber.

Unique Exercise

“Trident Warrior is exceptionally unique,” said Dan Hallock, the exercise’s deputy director. “The event provides a venue to dynamically experiment with new ideas and innovations in a real-world environment. Each initiative is put directly into the hands of sailors and Marines currently serving our fleet and then the initiative is evaluated for warfighting effectiveness. This process enables warfighters to utilize Trident Warrior experimentation to examine an experiment’s potential and influence the direction of development and implementation. The resulting enhanced capabilities allow individuals to perform their job more effectively and efficiently.”

TW17 took advantage of previously scheduled ship training events to leverage maximum experimentation opportunities with minimum cost and impact on Fleet operations. Experiments were completed by temporarily deploying advanced capabilities on fleet assets to collect real-world performance data and feedback from users during the underway experimentation period. Data collected throughout the experiments will be provided to Navy decision makers as recommendations regarding future capability investments for the fleet.

Participants included the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt; the guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill; the guided missile destroyers USS Halsey, USS Preble, USS Sampson and USS Milius; the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Pasadena; and the experimental medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle, also known as Sea Hunter.

The TW process specifically aligns each initiative into focus areas to include: electromagnetic maneuver warfare; agile command and control; cybersecurity; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Once the initiatives are aligned under a designated focus area, the TW team works with the sponsors of each initiative to develop an experiment designed to address issues the technology is targeting.

Answers to Critical Questions

“Trident Warrior allows engineers, scientists and the operators to answer critical questions regarding the development of technology,” Hallock said. “We need to think if the initiative will reduce communication time and by how much. We can actually experiment during Trident Warrior and find out. Depending on what was learned during experimentation, we then work with the sponsors and requirements personnel to determine which initiatives have the potential to be accelerated for acquisition and which require further development. The end goal is to get the mature technology into the hands of the warfighter as soon as possible.”

Some of the TW17 experiment initiatives were the automated dynamics quality of service and visualization tool, or ADVANCE; gun augmented reality; a command-and-control experiment; refractivity-from-radio; and long-distance high and bandwidth laser communications.

ADVANCE, sponsored by Systems Center Pacific, serves as an automated network bandwidth tool that gives any Navy ship the ability to dynamically adjust the priority of network flow and usage. During TW17, ADVANCE was tested on board the Theodore Roosevelt.

“This capability is exactly the direction we need to go,” said Navy Cmdr. Nichol Schine, the combat systems officer for the Theodore Roosevelt. “My whole department was impressed with how ADVANCE improved the flow of information and how dependable the system was out at sea.”

Gun-augmented reality, also sponsored by SSC Pacific, demonstrated its capabilities on board the Bunker Hill during the first phase of TW17. The augmented reality helmet provides enhanced visual and aural communication to .50-caliber gun crews and the ship’s bridge teams.

The command-and-control experiment, sponsored by the Navy’s Command and Control Systems Program Office, installed a strike-group-level planning tool on board the Theodore Roosevelt, which provided the capability for an automated rehearsal of an entire future operation. This automation determined a detailed scheme of maneuver alerting to conflicts and time distance issues.

The “refractivity from radio with web-based tools” initiative tested a device that monitored actual radio frequency signals to provide the ability to predict and display red and blue radar, as well as electronic warfare detection ranges. This initiative was also sponsored by Systems Center Pacific and tested on board the Preble.

Sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the long distance H/B laser communications initiative demonstrated a ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship laser communication capability. While on board the Sea Hunter for TW17, the laser provided close to 10 gigabits per second of error-free data, voice and video transfer.

Trident Warrior analysts continue to compile data from the events to determine which initiatives should be recommended for follow-on actions.

Navy Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, the Third Fleet commander, observed several events during TW17 and was genuinely impressed with the initiatives and urgency to get new ideas into the hands of the warfighter.
“In the end, that’s what this is all about,” she said. “Saving time, saving money and, most importantly, giving our sailors and Marines the right tools to make them more effective warfighters … which will help save lives. Next year’s Trident Warrior is currently scheduled alongside Exercise Rim of the Pacific. Our international partners will appreciate the new technologies and concepts being developed to improve the maritime warfighting domain.”