Military News

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Fiscal ’19 Budget Request Will Restore U.S. Military, Dunford Says


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assured senators yesterday that the U.S. military retains a competitive advantage over any potential adversary.

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee that the military “can deter a nuclear attack, defend the homeland, meet our alliance commitments, and prevail in any conflict.”

But that is not a guarantee for the future, he said. “As we have previously discussed, after years of sustained operational commitments, budgetary instability, and advances by our adversaries, our competitive advantage has eroded, and our readiness has degraded,” he said.

The fiscal year 2019 defense budget request is a strategy-driven document that supports rebuilding a lethal and ready force that the nation needs, the chairman told the senators.

National Defense Strategy

“The secretary has addressed our defense strategy that recognizes Russia and China as the priority, while also meeting the immediate challenges posed by rogue regimes and violent extremist organizations,” the chairman said. “China and Russia continue to invest across the full range of nuclear, cyber, space and conventional capabilities. Both states are focused on limiting our ability to project power and undermining the credibility of our alliances. They are also increasingly adept at advancing their interests through coercive competitive activity below the threshold of armed conflict.”

North Korea has been on a relentless pursuit of nuclear missile technology, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has clearly said these capabilities are designed to threaten the United States and its allies.

“Iran continues to spread malign influence and create instability across the Middle East,” Dunford said. “And while we have made a great deal of progress, … we are still grappling with the challenges of violent extremism, including [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria], al-Qaida and associated movements.”

Building on Readiness Recovery

Defending the homeland and allies and advancing U.S. interests in the context of these and other challenges requires America to maintain a balanced force of ready, lethal and flexible forces that are relevant across the range of military operations, Dunford said.

“Fortunately, with your support, we’ve begun to arrest the erosion of our competitive advantage, and we’re on a path towards developing a force that the nation needs,” the chairman said. “This year’s budget again builds on the readiness recovery that we started in fiscal year ’17, and accelerates our efforts to develop the capabilities we need for both today and tomorrow.”

This will put the U.S. military on the path toward restoring the competitive advantage and keeping it in place in the future. Ensuring U.S. service members are never in a fair fight with an adversary, requires sustained, sufficient and predictable funding, the general said. “The funding in this budget is sufficient, and I look forward to working with the Congress to make sure that it’s sustained and predictable in the future,” he said.

Face of Defense: Soldier Overcomes Obstacles to Achieve Success


By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Behlin, 8th Theater Sustainment Command

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- Army Command Sgt. Maj. Jacinto Garza, the senior enlisted leader of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, describes his leadership philosophy as, “Teach, coach, mentor soldiers every day and only when you have to, use words.”

As the senior enlisted noncommissioned officer with the Pacific region’s senior Army logistics command, Garza oversees an organization of more than 2,000 soldiers and civilians who provide logistics and sustain combat readiness for a region spanning 9,000 miles and 36 countries.

Garza believes that soldiers are developed from the ground up, but that it takes strong, capable leaders to mentor them to be successful. He learned that through the love, support and even challenges he endured while growing up in Jasper, Texas.

A self-admitted introvert early in life, Garza said he spoke only Spanish when he started school in the U.S. He said he often felt behind the learning curve and was “not confident to speak up, because I was still learning the language.”

Born in Floresville, Texas, his development as a mentor started early, and in an unexpected way. Garza and his older sister would come home from school each day and teach his parents English. Their lessons paid off, enabling his parents to successfully go through the naturalization process, and eventually become American citizens.

Giving Back

Garza’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the early 1970s in hope of providing a better life for their family. He said his stepfather often referred to the U.S. as a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Garza said that attitude set the foundation for his joining the Army in 1996.

The dedication and loyalty he felt at home made Garza want to become part of something bigger than himself, he said.

Garza added, “Joining the Army was a way to give back to a country that’s given my parents and me so many opportunities.”

He said he found the same friendship and camaraderie in the Army that he’d previously experienced earlier in his civilian community.

“It had a real feeling of family, or a brother, sisterhood,” he said.

Taking Care of Soldiers

Twenty-one years later, Garza believes in taking care of his soldiers the way his family and community took care of him. Grateful for the success he’s had, Garza’s leadership philosophy is based on the lessons he learned early in life and centers on making sure soldiers have the necessary knowledge, training and equipment to achieve their missions.

“I couldn’t do anything without the support and example that my mother provided me. My mother loved us, but was tough on us,” he said. “I watched her work two, sometimes three jobs to make sure my sisters and I had the things that we needed. I use her example as a means of personally defining the phrase: ‘Taking care of soldiers.’”

Garza’s leadership philosophy focuses on the importance of building strong sergeants. “If we build strong sergeants, then we will have strong soldiers,” which, he said, makes for a strong Army.

Leadership in Plain Sight

Garza said there’s more he would like to accomplish.

“I believe that much of what soldiers look for in leaders can be seen in plain sight. They should be able to see what they want to be as leaders and emulate what they believe to be good examples,” he said.

When he’s not soldiering, you can often find Garza at the gym or in the library, reading. Garza said he finds at least 30 minutes of every day to read self-help or educational material. “Learning something new every day is a must,” he said.
Garza also said he strives to “be humble, be flexible and be willing to adapt to any environment.”

Coast Guard Cadets Redesign Helicopter Rescue Basket


By Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

NEW LONDON, Conn. -- Coast Guard Academy cadets studying mechanical engineering here have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search and rescue missions with MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

First class cadets Christian Breviario, Riely Brande, Benjamin Crutchfield, Nolan Richerson and Spencer Smith spent the last year working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center to improve upon the current rescue basket design after receiving input from search and rescue operators in the fleet.

Coast Guard Study

“In 2009, the Research and Development Center conducted an internal Coast Guard study,” said M.J. Lewandowski, a research project manager for the RDC. “The study noted that the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to mass rescue incidents was, and still is, somewhat limited in the methods available to remove large numbers of people from a hazardous marine situation quickly and safely.”

The RDC and academy leaders approached Breviario and his capstone group at the beginning of their senior year to see if improvements could be made to the current design that would increase the Coast Guard’s effectiveness during mass rescue incidents.

"We have added a means of entry that is easier for people who may be injured or have limited mobility,” Breviario said. “We have also maximized the space dimensions of the basket, given the dimensions of the MH-60 Jayhawk cabin. With these modifications we have made the basket more accessible, decreased the amount of time needed per hoisting evolution, and improved upon the effectiveness of the Coast Guard during mass rescue incidents."

New Basket Design

The new basket design, which is roomy enough for two individuals to sit comfortably, enables Coast Guard operators to save precious time during mass rescue situations. During mass rescue scenarios where 18 or more victims require helicopter assistance, the cadets have determined that the new basket could cut the time required to get everyone hoisted onboard by half.

"The team was tasked with improving the Coast Guard's response in a search and rescue scenario," said Ron Adrezin, a mechanical engineering professor and project advisor. "The RDC needed the project to meet very specific criteria and the cadets were able to produce a well-designed project that met all of these needs."

The cadets also reconfigured the flotation system of the basket, which increased the buoyancy of the basket by 79 pounds of force. This upgrade will also allow for increased comfort of victims within the basket, as they will be surrounded by buoyant material on all sides.

Breviario and the rest of his capstone group will graduate this May with degrees in mechanical engineering and will enter the fleet as ensigns. Their project has garnered interest from the Office of Aeronautical Engineering and the Aviation Logistics Center, who will consider whether to take the project further into a refinement and testing phase.

“Their project absolutely showcases what they've learned during their four years as engineering students, as well as pushed them to go beyond what we taught them and learn new topics and techniques on their own,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Matthew Walker, a mechanical engineering instructor at the academy and a pilot. “I am intrigued by the team's approach to this project and to see where it goes from here.”

Breviario said he hopes to see the design implemented into the fleet as the new standard rescue basket used in Coast Guard operations. The capstone group is pursuing a patent for their design and waiting on the RDC to decide if they are interested in further testing.
"We feel extremely proud of what we have accomplished this semester, and along the way, we have gained a lot of traction from our sponsor and aviation operators in the fleet,” Breviario said. “We would love to see our project make it to the fleet in the future, but even more so we feel that we have taken the next steps in providing a solution to a problem the Coast Guard faces on numerous occasions each year."