Military News

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sailors Employ Preventive Medicine to Save Lives in Honduras

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brianna K. Green, U.S. Southern Command

PUERTO CORTES, Honduras, March 26, 2018 — The ability to shower in a remote campground, or shave every morning in a plastic storage container or walk on dry sand because of proper drainage are all luxuries made possible by the Continuing Promise 2018 Forward-Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit 2.

Public health is an essential part of daily life, in and out of the military. Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 2 performs many tasks to help protect sailors, soldiers and the local community during CP18.

Team Effort

"Public health is a critical part of any mission, because if troops are sick, they cannot complete the mission," said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Adriane Weldon, a hospital corpsman assigned to NEPMU 2 in Norfolk, Virginia. "Educating the public really does help lessen the transmission and spread of diseases, as well as build a bond between nations."

Public health covers a wide range of necessities such as water purification, epidemiology, parasitology, food-borne illnesses and berthing and food inspections.

"This is really a team effort here," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Amy Rogers, officer in charge of the Forward-Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit. "We have a physician, an entomologist, environmental health officer and three preventative medicine technicians."

The team began their mission in Honduras by coordinating meetings with local hospitals. Then, they gathered a list of needs and organized training events accordingly.

Rogers explained the impact is on more than one or two patients, it's about the larger population and sustaining preventive measures such as the use of bug spray or proper hand-washing and sanitation measures.

Stopping Mosquitoes, Disease

The team hosted an interactive table with microscopes and specimens such as a scorpion, mosquitoes and houseflies. They went a step further and explained how children can minimize standing water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Furthermore, during black-flag weather conditions, the team set up two BG-Sentinel mosquito traps around an open grass field behind the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in Puerto Cortes to trap day-biting mosquitoes.

"Day-biting mosquitoes spread many of the epidemic diseases we are trying to prevent," Weldon said. "This area is a great place to catch mosquitoes because the temperature, climate and extended period of time that it's warm."

Mosquitoes have a hard time flying against the wind, so the traps consist of a fan and catch net. The bait is a clear tube filled with small blue pebbles made of human hormone derivatives and scents, which mosquitoes cannot resist. Once they enter the trap to explore the scent, they are unable to fly out against the fan.

"Once we catch the mosquitoes, we usually freeze them," Weldon said. "We then identify the females by species so we can determine if they're carrying any diseases."

Weldon went on to say that this area is very high in malaria and Zika, [so] testing here provides a great deal of valuable knowledge that helps the team educate the public on how to minimize the risk of transmission.

"A lot of our job is learning and sharing that knowledge with the host nation," Rogers said. "That's why it's so great having a team with all different specialties, so we can communicate things from disaster response to mosquito safety and preventive measures."
Members of the Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit are truly the unsung heroes of any mission they're on. They are often hard to find, spending their time exploring the tall grasses and reeds of Honduras to seek out the creatures that most people avoid. They are the first line of defense between people and the dangers of the natural world around them.

Face of Defense: Identical Twins Serve in Same Air Force Squadron

By Robert Lingley, 21st Space Wing

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 26, 2018 — It’s quite possible, if you’re at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station here in the near future, that you’ll come across identical twins working for the 721st Civil Engineer Squadron. You may think you’ve seen one of them but it could be the other.

The twins were born Sept. 1, 1982. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chris Engelke was born first, one minute ahead of his brother, Air Force 1st Lt. Cody Engelke. They’re both highly competitive with each other and love sports and academics. Coincidentally, they were born on the same day that Air Force Space Command opened at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.

“I absolutely love being in the Air Force,” said Chris, the regional dispatch center superintendent here for the 721st Civil Engineer Squadron. “Personally I think it’s great having the structure above you to make sure you’re taken care of, but at the same time you’re developed and you’re doing it voluntarily 100-percent of the time for the national needs. It’s a humbling experience.”

Chris and Cody previously served together in South Korea, but at different bases, and for a short period of time they served together at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, where Cody pinned on staff sergeant, joining Chris at the same rank.

“That was fun for the commander, having twins, both staff sergeants, both in the same unit,” said Cody, who now serves as the deputy commander of training for the 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Reenlisting for Retirement

Cody flew in to be the presiding officer at Chris’ reenlistment March 8.

“I’d gone back and forth about reenlisting at my last assignment in Ramstein, Germany,” Chris said. “I finally figured it was best to just do it where I have the best job in the Air Force here at CMAFS.”

Chris was coming up for his date of separation on March 23. In order to get to 20 years of service he needed to be within 30 days of his date of separation to do a six year reenlistment. If he had done his reenlistment a month earlier it would have timed him out at 19 years active duty and he would have to reenlist again to reach 20-plus years of service.

“I knew if I did a six-year reenlistment it would get me to 20 years,” Chris said. “After that I could serve even longer if I wanted to.”

Cody took a break from the Air Force to attend the University of Washington but that didn’t last long.

“College didn’t work out financially for me,” Cody said. “I saw how the Air Force was working for Chris and he absolutely loved it. He convinced me to come back to the Air Force in civil engineering and pursue my degree using my GI Bill.”

In March 2015, Cody commissioned as a second lieutenant.

Future Assignments

Though there are no promises that the Air Force will station them at the same base, the twins hope to be working together soon. Chris said there is a tentative assignment for his brother to rejoin him at CMAFS in the near future.

“Both of us belong to the 21st Space Wing,” Cody said. “The 18th SPCS is one of the geographically separated units for the wing. I’m really hoping to get assigned to CMAFS with my brother.”

The twins enjoy serving in the Air Force, they said.

Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Moore, 721st CES superintendent and Chris’s supervisor, organized the event at CMAFS.
“Reenlistment is always a special moment in an airman’s career, but to have your twin brother deliver the oath of enlistment for you is truly special,” Moore said. “It will be a moment that both Chris and Cody will remember for the rest of their careers.”

Leap-Ahead Technology to Increase Soldier Readiness in Future Battles

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2018 — For soldiers, survival depends on out-maneuvering the enemy. While the Army's current fleet of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and aircraft can protect soldiers against near-peer threats, these vehicles lack the critical technologies to maintain tactical overmatch in future battles.

To counter these challenges, the Army identified the next-generation combat vehicle and future vertical lift programs as the second and third priority in its six-prong modernization strategy.

A cross-functional team was created to support each modernization priority, including one for both the NGCV and FVL programs. The teams are developing the blueprint for future technology with teams composed of subject matter experts from the requirements, acquisition, science and technology, test and evaluation, resourcing, contracting and cost and sustainment communities.

How U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command scientists and engineers are supporting the NGCV and FVL will be the focus of "Next Generation Combat Vehicle and Future Vertical Lift Modernization Priorities" Warrior's Corner today from 12:40-1 p.m., at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual meeting in Redstone, Alabama.

Research, Development and Engineering Command's Tank Automotive Center leads the NGCV effort. The center is developing technology for the next generation of ground vehicles that are not only more lethal and survivable, but also much smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. Key areas of research and development include: power architecture, protection, vehicle electronic architecture and autonomy.

Developments in engine, transmission and power generation for ground vehicles provide scalable power solutions that increase protection and lethality, while maintaining Soldier mobility on the battlefield. Current projects include the advanced combat transmission, integrated starter-generator and advanced combat engine.

Advanced Combat Engine

The prototype ACE, which the center plans to use for future engines, will not only have more power and vehicle mobility, but also use less fuel. Lower fuel consumption will reduce the risk of attacks to soldiers during refueling conveys.

The Army has developed the Modular Active Protection System, to support the need for better protection without adding weight to vehicles. The MAPS framework consists of a modular, open-system architecture that supports an active protection system. The open-system architecture enables new and evolving sensors, processing and counter-measure solutions to be integrated into ground vehicles, giving commanders the ability to counter threats as they change.

"Open architectures in general are designed to allow for advances in technology, whether it's in autonomous systems, survivability, or any of the other several fields we develop, to be rapidly integrated onto our ground vehicles without wholesale redesigns or rebuilds of those vehicles," said Christopher Ostrowski, the center's associate director for NGCV.

Other areas of development include a flexible architecture for vehicle electronics that will meet increasing power demands and an open architecture for autonomous, tele-operated or driver-optional systems to enhance soldier safety.

"We're envisioning an autonomous architecture where new autonomous behaviors or capabilities are enabled through software updates and upgrades, not unlike how smartphones today get updated," Ostrowski said.

Future Vertical Lift

In response to the need for next generation Army aircraft with advanced technology, Research, Development and Engineering Command's Aviation and Missile Center is paving the way to modernize the Army's aviation fleet. FVL is an Army-led, multiservice initiative, focused on delivering the next generation of vertical lift aircraft to the joint warfighter with manned, unmanned teaming.

The Aviation and Missile Center partnered with industry to develop the Joint Multi-Role Technical Demonstrator, which incorporates existing and experimental capabilities that demonstrate vertical lift capabilities for future FVL programs. The Army is using the JMR-TD program to conduct ground and flight demonstrations to help inform requirements for next generation Army aircraft.

"The future operating environment demands a capability that is greater than what we have today," said Dan Bailey, JMR-TD program director. "We are going to need capabilities for the warfighter with a rapid acquisition process and the best way to accomplish that is open systems architecture. Advanced vertical lift capabilities provide the future joint force ground commander with flexibility and asymmetric opportunities required in the future multidomain battle."

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The modular missile technologies program is developing technologies to support future Army aviation air-to-surface missiles. The program's modular open systems architecture will not only reduce life cycle costs, but also address lethality gaps for manned rotary wing and unmanned aircraft systems platforms.

The Aviation and Missile Center has responded to the increase in unmanned aircraft systems by developing the Next Generation Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System Technology Demonstrator program. The NexGen TUAS TD is developing unmanned air vehicle technologies and capabilities that will improve flight performance, survivability and reliability for future unmanned aircraft systems, which will need to perform a diverse set of missions in contested airspace against near-peer adversaries in a multi-domain battle.
To support the multidomain battle and the Army's pivot to a new modernization model, Research, Development and Engineering Command will continue to provide the research and development to build new capabilities and systems. These capabilities and systems will leverage the most mature technologies for soldiers to maintain tactical overmatch in future battles.