Military News

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Face of Defense: Airman Thinks Big to Provide Better Patient Care


By Shireen Bedi, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- Being the lowest-ranking active duty airman in the small clinic at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, does not stop Air Force Staff Sgt. Kaitlyn Callahan from exceeding expectations to deliver the best patient care.

As a physical medicine technician, Callahan knows she plays an important role in getting her fellow airmen back in the fight, and she looks at the big picture for ways to improve her clinic’s capabilities.

“Many patients come into our clinic with back pain and other issues related to improper running form,” Callahan said. “I helped develop and launch a few programs to help airmen build their core strength and understand proper running form. This includes things like gait training and cool-down techniques to prevent injury.”

Improving Efficiency

Callahan’s ability to find innovative ways to expand the reach of the clinic’s physical therapy service made a big impact on the clinic and their patients. Not only did she treat nearly 7,000 patients in one year, she had oversight of two flight safety programs and 14,000 medical records reviews, improving the clinic’s efficiency and quality.

“For me, it is all about the patients and finding better ways to deliver care,” she said. “Improving how the clinic runs its programs makes such a big impact on the staff and, most importantly, the patients.”

Dedication to her patients drives Callahan to go above and beyond her assigned duties, managing a large caseload despite a labor shortage at her clinic. But her workload never gets in the way of her focus on the patients.

“Seeing a patient improving is what really motivates me,” she said. “I always strive to go out of my way for my patients. I want them to feel good about being in our clinic, and that they can trust me to give them to tools they need to be successful advocates for their own health.”

Callahan said she is able carry out the “trusted care” principle of continuous process improvement because of the team she works with, relying on her teammates to improve efficiency and implement programs.

“I value my team’s input and encourage them to express their ideas,” she said. “Together, we are able to come up with better ways to implement work improvements.”

Callahan’s care for others goes beyond Malmstrom’s clinic doors. She also volunteers aiding disabled children and served as an honor guard member.

Her focus on delivering patient-centered care and upholding the principles of trusted care led to her selection as one of the Air Force’s 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2017. She was promoted to staff sergeant in January and said she is eager to take on new leadership roles.

New Jersey Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIS


Samuel Rahamin Topaz, 24, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, was sentenced today to eight years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for the National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey and Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie of the FBI’s Newark, New Jersey Division.  Saadeh previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiring with others to provide services and personnel to ISIS.  Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in federal court.

According to documents filed in this and related cases, and statements made in court:

Topaz admitted that prior to his arrest by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force on June 17, 2015, he planned to travel overseas to join ISIS and saved money for that purpose.  Topaz discussed plans to join ISIS with Nader Saadeh, Alaa Saadeh and Munther Omar Saleh, and he admitted that at various times each of them indicated they wanted to join ISIS.  Topaz also admitted that he and the other defendants watched ISIS-related videos, some of which depicted the execution of non-Muslims and individuals regarded as apostates from Islam.

On May 5, 2015, Nader Saadeh departed the United States with plans to travel overseas for the purpose of joining ISIS as part of the conspiracy.  Topaz admitted that he and others planned to travel overseas separately, meet up with Nader Saadeh, and then travel together to join ISIS.  After Nader Saadeh left the United States, Topaz met with Munther Omar Saleh and contacted Alaa Saadeh to discuss those plans.

Topaz admitted knowing that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization, which he knew to be taking over territory overseas, expelling non-Muslims from their homes, and executing individuals who did not obey ISIS’ commands.

Nader and Alaa Saadeh both pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.  Alaa Saadeh was sentenced to 15 years in prison on May 10, 2016.  Nader Saadeh was sentenced to 10 years in prison on April 30.  Saleh and Mumuni both pleaded guilty to related charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  Saleh was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Feb. 6.  Mumuni was sentenced to 17 years in prison on April 26.

Assistant Attorney General Demers and U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ehrie in Newark, and the Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force with the investigation.  The JTTF is comprised of agents and officers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Paterson Police Department, and NYPD, among other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis C. Carletta and Francisco J. Navarro of the District of New Jersey, with assistance from Trial Attorneys Justin Sher and Robert Sander of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Army Secretary Notes Another Inflection Point for Service


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army has faced inflection points in the past and is facing one today, Army Secretary Mark T. Esper told the Atlantic Council here this morning.
Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander of U.S. Army North, speaks with Army

The secretary charted what the service must do in the coming years to push through this inflection point and remain the pre-eminent ground force in world.

He likened the situation today to what the service faced coming out of Vietnam in 1973: a long war, political turmoil, budget uncertainties and more.

“We’ve been here before,” Esper said. “The Army, today, is at a strategic inflection once again. We are coming off many Years of hard conflict, but unlike the Army of 1973, we can’t afford to put low-intensity conflict in the rear-view mirror. We have to carry our hard-won competencies in irregular warfare forward.”

More Complicated World

Today, the Army secretary said, the world is even more complicated, with America now in great power competition with Russia and China, and the U.S. military must be prepared for a high-end fight.

“These evolving challenges reflect the changing character of war,” he said. “We are entering an era where our forces will be under constant observation, disrupted communications – if not nonexistent communications.”

The threats will span the domains, including cyber and space, and that forces the Army to devise strategies and doctrines operate in these domains, Esper said.

To win on future battlefields, he told the audience, all components of the Army must be able to deploy rapidly, overcome defenses to gain footholds, remain mobile and exploit success. “And we must do it faster than the enemy,” he said.

The Army in 2028 must be ready to deploy, fight and win against any adversary in a joint, multidomain, high-intensity conflict while maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare, the secretary said.

“The Army will do this through employment of modern manned and unmanned ground combat vehicles, aircraft, sustainment systems and weapons, coupled with robust combined arms formations and tactics based on a modern warfighting doctrine, and centered on exceptional leaders and soldiers of lethality,” he said.

The service will highlight hypersonics, artificial intelligence, robotics and directed energy as it moves forward, the Army secretary said.

Objectives for the Service

All this flows into Esper’s objectives for the service. First, the Army must grow to more than 500,000 soldiers, with related growth in the National Guard and the Army Reserve. The service needs to ensure the formations are more robust and lethal. The Army must integrate cyber operations into its formations and return electronic warfare capabilities to the formations.

Training must be tough, realistic and dynamic. The service is looking to emulate the aircraft world, with simulators for combat operations. The service also must modernize the force by reforming the acquisition system and unifying modernization under a single command: Army Futures Command.

Finally, Esper said, “we have to develop smart, thoughtful, innovative leaders of character who are comfortable with complexity and capable of operating from the tactical to the strategic level. We have to develop a talent-based management system that leverages the knowledge, skills, behaviors and preferences of every member of our force.”

The short-term focus for the service is readiness, and once that is caught up in about fiscal year 2022, Esper said, the focus will be modernization.