Military News

Monday, June 04, 2018

Soldiers Provide Pure Water, Work Ethic at Saber Strike


By Army Pfc. Aaron Good, 126th Public Affairs Operations Center

OLESZNA K DRAWSKOW POMORSKIEGO, Poland -- Service members from 19 different nations have come together in Poland to enhance their military knowledge and capabilities during exercise Saber Strike 18. The 240th Composite Supply Company from Baumholder, Germany, has taken a vital role in this year’s exercise.

The purification process begins with a “dolphin strainer” positioned just off shore where the lake water enters the system. This large strainer acts at the first-line of defense against objects and keeps fish or debris from entering the system.

The water is then pumped into the microfiltration tank and into the microfiltration system. After this, the water is then moved to a high-density microfiltration membrane to filter out any additional debris. Next, the water moves into a series of reverse-osmosis microfiltration systems, high-pressure filters and a chlorine chemical water treatment to cleanse and purify it.

Once the water has been filtered and chemically tested by the team, it is deemed safe to consume and labeled for pickup.

Huge Motivator

“Knowing that the entire exercise is basically relying on us is such a huge motivator for our company,” said Army Spc. Casey Reid, a tactical water purification system operator assigned to the 240th CSC. “Our purpose here is to ensure that service members from all nations have pure, clean water for the duration of the exercise, and being positioned on the beach for two weeks isn’t so bad, either.”

It takes about two hours to fill one 3,000-gallon water bladder. Within the first two days of operation, the 240th CSC produced nearly 25,000 gallons of drinking water for Saber Strike 18.

The tactical water purification system is capable of pumping 125 gallons of water every minute and producing 25,000 gallons of fresh drinking water in as little as four and a half hours. High-performance water-filtration systems like these are vital for the success of a full-scale exercise, Saber Strike officials said.

Mattis Discusses Singapore Summit, North Korea, DoD Audit With Reporters


By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- North Korea was a topic in almost all of his bilateral talks with leaders of other nations, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told reporters last night on his return flight from Singapore and his Indo-Pacific region trip.

The secretary’s trip first took him to Honolulu to attend the change-of-command at U.S. Pacific Command, now renamed U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

While in Hawaii, Mattis met with his Japanese and Indonesian counterparts May 29.

From Hawaii, the secretary traveled to Singapore to attend the 2018 International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue.

“The hopes are on [and] riding with the diplomats,” the secretary said of U.S. relations with North Korea. “This is all pretty -- frankly -- consistent with what we’ve been saying now for a couple of weeks.”

Large U.S. Delegation in Singapore

The U.S. delegation was impressive at the Shangri-La Dialogue, with Congressional bipartisan support and defense and nondefense representation, the secretary said.

“There is a much broader interest in Congress about our presence in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean,” he said. “[There was] full support for renaming [the former U.S. Pacific Command] Indo-Pacific Command. And by the way, that was also an international decision.

“So the more we can get the congressmen and women out here -- bipartisan, defense and nondefense -- I think that says more about a commitment to Asia than just my going,” Mattis added.

Defense Department Audit

The secretary also spoke to reporters about the Defense Department audit that’s underway, which has “traction,” he said.

“It's an army of auditors going through and taking our programs apart. I just sent a note out to everybody. I just said, ‘We're going to invite the scrutiny. We're going to find the problems,’” he said.

“I know it's uncomfortable to get inspected,” Mattis said. “But this is what's necessary to maintain [Congressional] bipartisan support and the budgets we need.”

D-Day Forever Intertwines Past, Present, Future


By Army Staff Sgt. Tamika Dillard, U.S. Army Europe

TOURNIERES, France -- The village of Tournieres, like many other small French municipalities during World War II, was heavily occupied by German forces and very unaware of its fate. However, it would later realize the name Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his First Advance Headquarters Supreme Allied Expeditionary Force Headquarters, known today as Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Europe, would forever be a part of its history.

This year marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 -- most commonly known as D-Day. The events of D-Day forged partnerships and reinforced trans-Atlantic bonds that remain strong today. Overall, U.S. service members from 20 units in Europe and the United States will participate in events and ceremonies in almost 40 locations throughout the Normandy region of France as part of Joint Task Force Normandy 74 until June 7.

U.S Army Europe soldiers, World War II veterans, local leaders and residents gathered at the General Eisenhower Monument here June 2 for a wreath-laying ceremony to pay homage to the memory of the Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for liberation of the people in this region of France. Tournieres, liberated June 9, 1944, served as the hub for the first military command post on the European continent from August through September 1944.

Guest speakers for the occasion were Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli U.S. Army Europe commanding general, and Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of the late General Eisenhower.

U.S. Army Europe Patch

“It is a privilege, not least, because of the patch I wear as the commanding general of U.S. Army Europe,” Cavoli said. “It is similar to the patch that General Eisenhower’s headquarters used; in fact, we inherited directly the history of his headquarters.

“Every time I put on this patch, it reminds me of the sacrifice of the greatest generation as they brought peace to Europe,” he continued. “It reminds me of the huge price that the United States, France and all of our allies paid to liberate this continent.”

Cavoli then explained the symbolism of the patch he and all the soldiers of U.S. Army Europe wear on their uniforms every day.

“The symbolism of the patch is important and powerful,” Cavoli said. It began with a Norman shield, which was originally black, representing the occupied continent; the flaming sword is the sword of freedom, the sword of liberation and the sword of justice; the rainbow contains the colors of the national flags of the alliance. All of this is below a blue sky -- the symbol of a peaceful future for Europe.

Memorial in Washington Under Construction

Eisenhower’s granddaughter and newly appointed honorary citizen of Tournieres reverberated the same message before unveiling the design of the new Eisenhower Memorial, currently under construction in Washington, D.C.

“The new design will display the beaches of Normandy in peacetime,” she said. “It will be important for all of us as this memorial will link forever in the American mind our deepest connection to this part of France. It will serve to symbolize for all of America … the vital importance of our alliance.”

Cavoli emphasized the importance of this event and those taking place over the following days.

“Celebrating commemorations of the liberation of this continent is very important,” Cavoli said. “It serves as a reminder to ourselves, the cost of liberty and the price we’ve paid as a country along with our allies, for the freedom we all enjoy today.”