Thursday, June 10, 2010

Afghanistan, Missile Defense Top NATO Agenda

By John D. Banusiewicz

June 10, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his NATO counterparts are meeting here today and tomorrow, with the training effort in Afghanistan and missile defense among the issues highlighting the talks.

In his opening remarks, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO's aim for the International Security Assistance Force it leads in Afghanistan is to help that nation stand on its feet as a sovereign country able to defend itself against terrorism.

This is an important endeavor "because a stable Afghanistan means a safer world," Rasmussen said.

"Tomorrow, with all the ISAF contributors," he continued, "we will see how to step up our training effort even further, to set a strong foundation for transition to Afghan lead."

The alliance's defense ministers also will discuss missile defense, Rasmussen said.

"Our national armaments directors have confirmed that it is technically feasible to expand the system NATO is already developing to protect our troops so that it also protects our populations and territory," he said. "And we know the extra costs are manageable: less than 200 million euros over 10 years -- spread among the 28 allies."

Today's missile defense discussions will lead to a decision at NATO's November summit in Lisbon, Portugal, as to whether to press forward.

"Of course, in this financial climate, any investment has to be looked at carefully, and that includes defense," the secretary general said. "We must ensure that taxpayers get value for the money that is spent on defense, but our job is to guarantee that our citizens are defended, which means spending enough on defense, and spending smart."

Today's meetings, Rasmussen said, will include discussions on priorities, ways to economize by "cutting back on concrete and on bureaucracy," and pooling money where it makes sense to get needed capabilities that otherwise would be unaffordable.

U.S., Pakistan Seek to Broaden Defense Relationship

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 10, 2010 - U.S. and Pakistani defense officials wrapped up a four-day session in Pakistan today aimed at expanding the two countries' defense relationship to address current and future threats.

The Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue Defense Working Group, known as the Exchange on Defense Planning, met at Pakistan's Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi as part of the strategic dialogue process, embassy officials in Islamabad reported.

The just-concluded Pakistan session aimed to build on progress made during the U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue meetings held here three months ago.

Participants at the Pakistan meetings reviewed current defense cooperation arrangements and ways to strengthen them, officials said.

David Ochmanek, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development, and David Sedney, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, led the U.S. delegation.

Retired Pakistani Lt. Gen. Athar Ali, Pakistan's defense secretary, led the Pakistan delegation.

The U.S. delegation praised Pakistan's efforts to address violent extremism and recognized the courage and extraordinary sacrifices being made by Pakistan's military, law enforcement agencies and the public.

The Pakistanis expressed thanks for U.S. support to Pakistan's security forces in fighting extremism.

Anne Patterson, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, called the working groups "an important step toward broadening and deepening the comprehensive cooperation and friendship between the U.S. and Pakistan."

"We look forward to fostering goodwill between the people of Pakistan and the United States and working together to effectively address Pakistan's political, economic, development and security challenges," Patterson said.

This week's talks in Pakistan aimed to build on the high-level U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue in March. Those discussions focused on ways to strengthen, broaden and deepen ties between the two countries.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the March meetings that included Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and several other U.S. cabinet officials, as well as Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi led the Pakistani delegation, which also included Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar and the chief of staff of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.

Both countries agreed at the Washington meetings to intensify and expand their dialogue in defense, economy and trade, energy, security, strategic stability and non-proliferation, law enforcement and counterterrorism, science and technology, education, agriculture, water, health and communications and public diplomacy, officials said.

The United States and Pakistan also discussed "how we can strengthen our relationship, and how we can help Pakistan in dealing with the security challenges that face them, but also face us and NATO as well," Gates said before the March meetings.

Special Warfare Recruiters Visit Bahrain

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Jason T. Poplin, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

June 10, 2010 - MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Two Sailors from Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command Recruiting Directorate in Little Creek, Va., spoke with Sailors at Naval Support Activity, Bahrain, to promote awareness of the special operations communities June 3.

More than 40 Sailors, including Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Daniel Piston, attended the information session to learn about benefits, package submission guidance and requirements.

"I think it would be a good community to be a part of and a fun job to have," said Piston. "The fact that it's strenuous and difficult is what makes it awesome."

According to Special Warfare Boat Operator 1st Class Daniel Hathorn, the visiting directorate's leading petty officer, expanding the Navy's Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) communities to include more personnel is a chief of naval operations' top priority. This expansion entails the addition of 500 SEAL and 163 SWCC operators by fiscal year 2012.

"We are still a voluntary program and NSW is trying to grow its numbers by bringing awareness to a larger number of people," Hathorn said. "A majority of the individuals that want this job are people who want to challenge themselves."

The Navy's special warfare programs have an attrition rate that can run more than 80 percent. The physical demands are not the only obstacles candidates encounter, Hathorn noted. Candidates must possess strong mental fortitude to get through the rigorous preliminary advanced training sessions, in addition to the many schools they will attend.

"They need the will to push through adverse situations," Hathorn said. "They will push themselves further than they ever thought they could."

Since the early 1960s, when the first teams where commissioned, SEALs have distinguished themselves as an individually reliable, collectively disciplined and highly skilled maritime force. To prepare for this, prospective SEALs go to Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL (BUD/S) training, an intense 28-week program designed to develop and test stamina, leadership, and ability to work as a team.

"BUD/S is not a sprint, it's a marathon," Hathorn said. "You have to be ready to knuckle-down for the long-haul of just punishment."

SWCC team candidates utilize specialized training in navigation, radio communications, engineering, weapons, parachuting, first aid and tactics in conjunction with special operations missions worldwide upon completion of Basic Crewman Training and Crewman Qualification Training.

The two NSW representatives also discussed the benefits of joining their community, such as selective re-enlistment bonuses and special monetary allotments that can include parachute jump, dive, demolition, and special duty assignment pay. Other benefits include a multitude of proficiency schools and up to 40 college semester hours awarded.

"As soon as we start talking about special incentives and the fun aspects of being in naval special warfare, a lot of guys' eyes just light up," Hathorn added.

After the brief, Hathorn noted that the Sailors in attendance comprised one of the larger groups he has seen from commands of similar size.

"In the last four months, this group has been the most focused group of individuals that we've talked to," Hathorn said. "I think these Sailors knew what they were getting into and were definitely all about receiving this information."

College Graduate Service Members Recognized for Achievements

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexander Ameen, Navy Region Southwest Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 130 service members were honored at the 2nd Annual San Diego-metro Military Recognition Ceremony on Naval Base San Diego June 10 for earning college degrees and certifications while balancing a full-time career in the military.

Sponsored by Navy College and local military installations, the ceremony highlighted military members who earned – or will earn – a GED, college degree (associate, bachelor's, master's and Ph.D.) or certification in 2010.

Capt. Rick Williamson, Naval Base San Diego commanding officer, praised the graduates for their hard work and dedication during his keynote address.

"Each of you began with a dream," Williamson said, "and through countless hours of hard work, sleepless nights and barrels of coffee and Red Bull, earned a degree."

Sidney A. Klessinger, an education advisor with Navy College, said the graduates represented more than 25 colleges from across the country, making the prospect of attending ceremonies on the actual campuses unrealistic for most.

"This is the only ceremony a lot of these folks will get," Klessinger said. "The schools are too far away, and it's hard getting the time or money to travel."

For some graduates, their college degree is the culmination of more than 20 years of work: the equivalent of an entire military career. Williamson highlighted the achievement of Command Master Chief Charlie Grandin, who worked for 25 years to earn a Bachelor of Science.

Klessinger said service members like Grandin benefit the most from the ceremony.

"It's a real inspiration to watch them accept their degree," she said. "It brings a sense of closure for them and their families."



Metatech Corp., Goleta, Calif., was awarded a $49,000,000 contract which will providefor the Satellite AssessmentCenter. The center has performed a variety of safety and survivability studies for Air Force Space Command; US Strategic Command's Laser Clearinghouse; the US Army's Tactical High Energy Laser; and other related programs. With the increasing use of direct energy to conduct satellite range finding, calibration, and imaging, and interest in using direct energy for space control, a continuing requirement exists for studying and qualifying DE efforts on space systems. At this time, $216,237 has been obligated. AFRL/RDKP, KirtlandAir Force Base, N.M., is the contracting activity (FA9451-10-D-0264).

Quaternion Solutions Inc., Utica, N.Y., was awarded a contract which will provide $33,944,927 for a contract with the data and analysis center for software basic center which will provide research and development and non-personal services to include information collection, processing, management, analysis, dissemination and other associated activities necessary in maintaining/operating the center's scientific and technical information repository. In addition, the contract provides the issuance of separately funded orders for core analysis tasks which include basic research and development scientific and technical information requirements, such as extended inquiries, search and summaries, conferences, etc., and that originate from evolving government requirements. At this time, has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (FA1500-10-D-0010).


The Boeing Co., Saint Louis, Mo. is being awarded a maximum $40,010,030 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, indefinite-delivery type contract for procurement of items supporting the F/A-18 flight surfaces systems. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 31, 2013. The Defense Logistics Agency Philadelphia (DSCR-ZC), Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-06-D-004H-THAN).

North American Rescue Products, Inc., Greer, S.C.* is being awarded a maximum $20,912,893 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, sole-source contract for medical kits, tourniquets and accessories. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-07-D-8260).


BAE Systems Land & Armaments, L.P., Ground Systems Division, York, Pa., is being awarded a $17,224,065 firm-fixed-priced modification to previously awarded delivery order #0011 under contract (M67854-07-D-5025), for outside the contigious U.S. field service representative support, 69 automatic fire suppression kits, and 98 remote weapon station kits. Work will be performed in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $17,224,065 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $9,899,625 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide engineering services in support of advanced technology insertion and development studies for various weapons systems, including the AIM-9 Sidewinder; AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile); AGM-65 Maverick; AGM-154 JSOW (Joint Standoff Weapon); R/UGM-109 Tomahawk; Line of Sight/Non-Line of Sight technologies for seekers; tri-mode seekers; and similar applications; as well as XM982 Excalibur; BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire data link); RIM-66 standard missile; and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (70 percent), and at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0009).

General Electric Aviation, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded an $8,807,278 order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-09-G-0009) to provide engineering and engine system improvement services in support of the F404 Component Improvement Program. The F404-GE-400 engine powers the F/A-18C/D Navy aircraft. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass., and is expected to be completed in March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

MacDill Airman plays in PGA Tour

By Maj. Belinda Petersen
Air Force Services Agency Public Affairs

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A MacDill Airman lived a dream when he played golf in the Valero Texas Open here May 13 – 16.

Senior Airman John C. Little II, who works in the 6th Security Forces Squadron armory at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., was invited to play in the tournament which is the third oldest PGA Tour tournament.

As the Armed Forces champion, Airman Little is accustomed to playing in and winning tournaments, but this was different.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” Airman Little said.

“This is a chance of a lifetime for him,” said retired Lt. Gen. Steven Polk in a live radio show at the tour. “Certainly a highlight of his round Thursday, he made a putt of 87 feet 7 inches, and I think the longest putt that’s been made on the tour this year.”

“And it was the shot of the day on the golf channel,” said Mark Frye, a talk-show host from radio station KLUP-AM.

According to Airman Little, this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the Air Force Sports Program headquartered at the Air Force Services Agency here.

“Without a doubt, the Air Force Sports Program is 100 percent of the reason I was here,” said Airman Little. “It is a good program and it has allowed me to not only compete here, but to establish meaningful relationships in pursuit of my dreams.”

“The Air Force Sports Program is designed to allow active duty, National Guard and the Reserve members an opportunity to participate in Air Force, Armed Forces, national and international sports events,” said Frank Black who is the acting director of programs at the Air Force Services Agency. “It is through this program, that Airman Little is getting a look from the PGA while competing in his first professional tournament.”

Airman Little swung his first club at age three. At 14, he was playing every day and winning tournaments. That is when he started having aspirations about playing golf professionally.

“I didn’t know if I’d ever turn pro, but I was getting some looks from colleges and found out that I had what it took to play at the collegiate level,” said Airman Little.

Airman Little played at Auburn as well as Georgia State before joining the Air Force. Fast forward a few years and the 25 year-old played his first professional tournament.

Since Airman Little is in the Air Force, he played under amateur status. “It would have been nice to play as a pro,” he said. “But this experience was well worth it. I am extremely grateful for the sponsor exemption which allowed me to play.”

Even though Airman Little did not make the cut to play over the weekend, he was grateful for the opportunity and never gave up.

“It’s an honor for me to serve my country,” said Airman Little. “And, I want to represent the Air Force and myself the best that I can. I love the game of golf but it’s important to remember if I hit a bad shot, that I have brothers in the desert in harm’s way. Keeping that perspective is very important to me.”

For more information about the Air Force Sports Program, go to

Arlington Cemetery Officials Punished for Poor Management

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

June 10, 2010 - The top two officials in charge of Arlington National Cemetery here were disciplined after an Army investigation found the cemetery's management to be "dysfunctional," Army Secretary John M. McHugh announced today at the Pentagon. The Army inspector general completed a months-long report on June 8 that identified 76 separate deficiencies as well as 101 recommendations to improve operations at Arlington National Cemetery. Most significantly, the report found poor recordkeeping allowed occupied gravesites to be improperly marked or often not marked at all.

The Army stripped Superintendent John Metzler of all authority, but he will remain on staff until his retirement July 2. His deputy, Thurman Higgenbotham, was placed on administrative leave pending additional personnel actions. Both are career federal civil servants.

"A majority of these findings are deeply troubling and unacceptable," McHugh told reporters today at a Pentagon news conference. "The [inspector general] found Arlington's mission hampered by dysfunctional management, by a lack of established policies and procedures and an overall unhealthy organizational environment.

The report determined the improper internment of remains, including the loss of accountability for remains, names and graves listed as empty, he said. McHugh also cited improper maintenance and cleaning of graves.

"That all ends today," he said firmly, later adding that "there's simply no excuse" for the negative findings in the report.

McHugh established a new position to oversee the Army National Cemeteries Program. Katherine Condon was appointed executive director of the cemeteries program and she "has total supervisory powers pertaining to all business and operational activities associated with Army cemeteries," the secretary said.

Condon served as the senior civilian for the Army Material Command before accepting the position.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki also agreed to lend his department's expertise in cemetery operations. Patrick K. Hallinan, director of the Office of Field Programs for the VA, will be temporarily reassigned as Arlington's superintendent. Hallinan currently oversees 130 national cemeteries.

Also, McHugh established an Army National Cemetery Advisory Commission. Former Sens. Bob Dole and Max Cleland are charged with leading the group. Both former legislators have the experience for the job. Dole co-chaired a commission that investigated deficiencies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007, and Cleland is a former VA secretary.

McHugh said he's "deeply grateful" for the help he's enlisted. But more noticeably, the former New York congressman said he was battered with guilt and expressed his apologies to the families of the fallen buried in Arlington.

"On behalf of the United States Army and on behalf of myself, I deeply apologize to the families of the honored fallen resting in that hallowed ground who may now question the care afforded to their loved ones," he said.

The Army and Arlington National Cemetery will bounce back, McHugh said.

"The Army owes better," he said. "I'm unable to explain the past, but I can promise this about the future. The United States Army will take every step necessary to fully ensure that every challenge, every need at Arlington is clearly understood and effectively addressed.

"We owe no less to our departed heroes, no less to the loved ones of this nation who, when the call was sounded, stepped forward to serve," McHugh continued. "The better tomorrows for Arlington National Cemetery begin today."

Reliant Star Exercise Brings Bases Together to Prepare for Disaster

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Edward Vasquez, Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy

June 10, 2010 - NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Reliant Star, a multi-base exercise designed to enhance communication and teamwork between emergency response services began here June 9, and was echoed at two other installations in the European Area of Responsibility.

The exercise demonstrates a full range of shore force capability in order to respond to emergency events happening around the area or responsibility.

"Major accidents and natural disasters don't work on any set calendar. They can happen at any time. Therefore, it is imperative that our emergency response at the installations across Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia can be robust and swift in the face of any known or unknown circumstance," said Capt. Robert B. Rabuse, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity Naples.

Today represented the climax of several months of smaller training scenarios, which tested how well several staffs worked and communicated together, including security, medical, fire and rescue personnel, said base emergency response officials.

"We do these drills not only to train our emergency response personnel and exercise our procedures, but also to get the community involved and let them know where to turn for information and support during an emergency," said Lt. Brian Badura, Public Affairs Officer for commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

The exercise included various events such as a car and bus colliding and erupting into flame, victims from a chemical fire on the highway arriving at an entry control point and members displaced from their homes.

"There was a lot of confusion when the team arrived on scene. The medical team was able to raise the patience into their respective triage categories and treated them on scene," said Chief Hospital Corpsman Paul Sexton, medical evaluator for the exercise. "The medical team were then able to transport the patients with the worst injuries rapidly to the hospital."

"In a real-world event, we will be asking for support from the community," added Badura. "We all need to keep ourselves ready, but we also need to think about how we can support others."

Naples area personnel should tune in to PAO notes, Armed Forces Network (AFN) Television (AFN Prime Atlantic, decoder channel 18) and AFN radio ( 106.0 FM), as well as the Commander, Naval Installations Command website and Facebook for the most up to date information during an emergency situation.

Notre Dame NROTC New Ensigns Visit Those They May Lead

By Scott A. Thornbloom, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

June 10, 2010 - NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- As this year's NROTC "season of commissionings" winds down more than 900 Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen have been commissioned as ensigns in the U.S. Navy at more than 100 universities across the country.

Ensign Colin Ryan 22, from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, is working toward becoming a submariner and is attending nuclear propulsion school in Charlotte, S.C.

He and several of his fellow "Fighting Irish" graduates and new Navy officers had a chance to see firsthand, the new Sailors they may command June 3-7.

The group toured Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp, and attended a graduation of more than 800 of the Navy's newest Sailors. What they witnessed was the transformation of recruits into the Sailors they may command on submarines, ships, air wings, hospitals and with special operations.

"This is a great opportunity for them to come to Great Lakes and see the training process for those Sailors," said Capt. Dale Nees, professor of Naval science and commanding officer of the Notre Dame NROTC unit.

"It gives them a feel for what goes on the recruit training side, because most people don't get to see that. I never saw RTC until I was in my 28th year in the Navy. Being here gets the new officers closer to that link and delivery of Sailors to the fleet. "

Before attending the recruit graduation, the officers were given an overall tour of RTC. They were shown a recruit barracks and how each barracks is now set up like a ship -- with quarterdeck watches, classrooms, a galley, dining facility, laundry facilities and berthing compartments.

They also toured the largest building on RTC, Freedom Hall, where recruits take part in physical training evolutions and take Physical Fitness Assessments (PFA).

For many, the highlight of the visit was a tour of USS Trayer (BST 21) and Battle Stations. Trayer is a 210-foot-long destroyer simulator where recruits go through 12 hours of 17 grueling scenarios based on actual Navy mishaps. The scenarios simulate the USS Stark (FFG 31) after the destroyer was hit by two Iraqi missiles in 1987, USS Tripoli (LPH 10) after the multipurpose amphibious assault ship struck an Iraqi mine during Operation Desert Storm in February 1991 and the USS Cole (DDG 67) suicide bomb attack by terrorists while refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden Oct. 12, 2000.

"Our visit here was extremely motivating getting to see the other side of things and how the recruits are trained and how they handle that training," said Ensign Jennifer Malherek, 21, from LaPlata, Md.

"I think it gave all of us a better understanding of what these recruits have gone through early in their Navy career and how we can use what we saw here to better relate to the Sailors we'll see out in the fleet."

Malherek, who will be a surface warfare officer aboard USS Howard (DDG 83), also said battle stations was very emotional.

"It was very motivating seeing the recruits at the capping ceremony after finishing battle stations when they switched out their Recruit ball caps to a Navy ball cap," she said.

Ensign Molly Jakubowski, 22, from Grand Rapids, Mich., and studying to be a Navy nurse, said one thing kept running through her mind during the visit.

"I kept thinking how the new Sailors are coming into the Navy as enlisted and we're coming in right now as officers and we're all kind of new at this together."

Prior to the graduation at RTC June 4, the new commissioned officers ate dinner with recruits, the night before graduation, in the dining facility of USS Arizona recruit barracks.

"It was both eye-opening and motivating to see the level of training and the quality of men and women coming into the Navy today," said Ensign Brien Steenberge, 22, from Grandbury, Texas, and who is scheduled to go to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALS) and hopes to become a apecial operator.

"Sitting down with them at dinner and talking to them, finding out many of them are our age and have had similar experiences and just to see the different training they go through here and knowing that's the level of well-trained and smart men and women we will be getting in the fleet is very exciting," he said.

Following the graduation Nees, who was the reviewing officer at the ceremony, summed up the visit in one word.

"Proud. I'm very proud to play a part in this graduation and it makes me proud to see the high quality of the young men and women who have volunteered to serve their country," Nees said.

The NROTC program, overseen by Naval Service Training Command at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

NNMC, Walter Reed Announce 'United We Heal' Motto to Promote Transition to Facility

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alexandra Snow, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

June 10, 2010 - BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- The winner of the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) sponsored "Joint Interim Motto" contest - seeking a phrase that will promote the time period between now and the final integration of the two facilities - was announced June 3.

The winning phrase, "United We Heal," will appear on banners, signs and buttons during the merge.

The winner, Pamela Porter, is an employee in the Department of Psychology at WRAMC.

When she learned about the contest, which took place in March, she jumped at the opportunity to come up with a phrase that could aid the hospital's transition into the future Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda.

"The goal of the contest was to come up with a motto that would address the time between now, and the actual opening of the future Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda," said Dawn Marvin, department head of the National Naval Medical Center's Marketing and Strategic Communications. She's also the team leader for the NNMC annual plan integration goal team, the group that coordinated the contest. "We have so many exciting team-building plans for this coming year, and we wanted one cohesive slogan that was inspiring, and could pull us all together."

Porter came up with the motto based on her experience working at another hospital undergoing a similar merge.

"After going through [the merger] there, I wanted to come up with a motto that emphasizes the healing mission, but also emphasizes and stresses to all of the staff that we're only going to succeed in our mission if we are united in doing it," said Porter.

Nearly 400 entries were submitted into the motto contest from both NNMC and WRAMC, with the suggestions narrowed down to five semi-finalists. The commanders of the regional medical centers and military treatment facilities chose Porter as the winner of the contest.

"I walked in from taking some vacation, and the front desk person goes, 'Congratulations! You won!'" said Porter about finding out her motto had been chosen.

Porter said that the motto was submitted as a last minute entry after she was sent an e-mail about the contest.

"I'm kind of nerdy and as a child my parents had me convinced that Reader's Digest Word Power was a fun game. You were always kind of commended in my family for coming up with a quick turn of phrase or some fun saying," Porter said.

"I was kind of like, 'you're teasing me!' when I found out [about winning], but I am very happy about being chosen," said Porter. "I just think that the more we focus on being a team together, the better this transition is going to go," she said. "We all have the same goal and we want the same thing — the best care ever for these [service members]."

Airmen Missing From Vietnam War Identified

June 10, 2010 - The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of nine U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been accounted-for and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Air Force Col. William H. Mason, Camden, Ark.; Lt. Col. Jerry L. Chambers, Muskogee, Okla.; Maj. William T. McPhail, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Maj. Thomas B. Mitchell, Littleton, Colo.; Chief Master Sgt. John Q. Adam, Bethel, Kan.; Chief Master Sgt. Calvin C. Glover, Steubenville, Ohio; Chief Master Sgt. Thomas E. Knebel, Midway, Ark.; Chief Master Sgt. Melvin D. Rash, Yorktown, Va.; and Master Sgt. Gary Pate, Brooks, Ga., were buried as a group today in Arlington National Cemetery. The individually identified remains of each airman were previously returned to their families for burial.

On May 22, 1968, these men were aboard a C-130A Hercules on an evening flare mission over northern Salavan Province, Laos. Fifteen minutes after the aircraft made a radio call, the crew of another U.S. aircraft observed a large ground fire near the last known location of Mason's aircraft. Search and rescue attempts were not initiated due to heavy antiaircraft fire in the area.

Analysts from DPMO developed case leads with information spanning more than 40 years. Through interviews with eyewitnesses and research in the National Archives, several locations in Laos and South Vietnam were pinpointed as potential crash sites. Between 1989 and 2008, teams from Laos People's Democratic Republic and the Vietnam, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, pursued leads, interviewed villagers, and conducted 10 field investigations and four excavations in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. They recovered aircraft wreckage, human remains, crew-related equipment and personal effects.

Scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of the crewmembers' families – as well as dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

Since late 1973, the remains of 927 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been accounted-for and returned to their families. With the accounting of these airmen, 1,719 service members still remain missing from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call 703- 699-1169.

Navy to Christen Amphibious Transport Dock Ship San Diego

June 10, 2010 - The Navy will christen the newest amphibious transport dock ship, San Diego, Saturday, June 12, 2010, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding inPascagoula, Miss. The ship is named for the city of San Diego, principal homeport of the Pacific fleet, and honors the people of "America's Finest City" and its leaders for their continuous support of the military.

Gen. James Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Linda Winter, wife of former Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter, is the sponsor, and in accordance with Navy tradition, will break a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.

Designated LPD 22, San Diego is the sixth amphibious transport dock ship in the San Antonio class. As an element of future expeditionary strike groups, the ship will support the Marine Corps "mobility triad," which consists of the landing craft air cushion vehicle, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. San Diego will provide improved warfighting capabilities, including an advanced command-and-control suite, increased lift-capability in vehicle and cargo-carrying capacity and advanced ship-survivability features. The ship is capable of embarking a landing force of up to 800 Marines.

Three previous ships have carried the name San Diego - an armored cruiser (ACR 6) named in 1914, a World War II-era cruiser (CL 53) commissioned in 1942, and a combat stores ship (AFS 6) that served from 1969 to 1997.

Cmdr. Jon Haydel, of Houston, is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of 360 officers and enlisted Navy personnel and three Marines. The 24,900-ton San Diego is 684 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, and a navigational draft of 23 feet. Four turbo-charged diesels power the ship to sustained speeds of 22 knots.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For additional information about this class of ship, please visit the Navy Fact File at

Everett CDC Gets Moving

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Sonja M. Chambers, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Detachment Northwest

June 10, 2010 - EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Children at Naval Station Everett's Child Development Center (CDC) got moving with the help of an exercise science major intern June 9 in Everett, Wash.

Aaron Norton, an intern at the Seismos Fitness Center, designed an exercise program for the CDC as a special project for his classes at Central Washington University.

"One of the biggest things that we focused on [in class] was the fact that so many kids these days are becoming overweight," said Norton. "That's usually a combination of their diet and lack of exercise because of the increased rate of video games, computers and movies."

Norton, who has five small nieces and nephews, wanted to share his passion for exercise with the teachers and children of the CDC.

"That was a big thing for me," said Norton. "I love my nieces and nephews, so it's cool to be able to apply what I learned in school to a real life situation."

The program includes warm-up stretching, aerobic activity and a cool-down session and can be done for 15 or 45 minutes depending on time constraints.

"I designed it for 15 minutes," Norton said. "I know they are busy here, and they might not want to have this be a very long, extensive kind of exercise. Quick, simple and fun. That's what I was trying to focus on."

Patricia Vierra, the CDC training and curriculum specialist, said the program is great for the kids.

"It helps to emphasize to the children that physical activity is beneficial," said Vierra. "It's important to get out there and move their muscles."

She said the exercises teach more than just how to be active.

"It's an adult-led, organized activity where there's no competition," said Vierra. "There's listening to rules, steps to follow, sequencing and patterns that help children develop some of those skills while having fun."

With the wet weather common in Everett, the program can be adapted to the indoors.

"That was the other part Aaron wanted the teachers to understand," Vierra said. "He emphasized to the teachers that you can do physical activity even on rainy days."

Norton stressed that exercise for children doesn't have to be complicated and parents should be the example.

"If kids don't see their parents exercising, they might not want to," said Norton. "I know with today's busy society, we don't have time to go to the park with our kids so much anymore, but at least get them outside and give them a chance to move around and not be in front of a TV."

Airman's time as family liaison officer affects lives, career

by Tech. Sgt. Chyenne A. Adams
11th Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2010 - BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- When an Airman is seriously injured, there is a whole line-up of agencies ready to assist and provide necessary services. But, if the servicemember is not able to actively engage those there to help, then the Air Force assigns a family liaison officer to help the family deal with the emotional and physical turmoil.

Master Sgt. Robert D. Greenberg, an Air Force Honor Guard member here, recently served as FLO to Senior Airman Michael Malarsie's family.

Airman Malarsie was injured Jan. 3 in an improvised explosive device attack on his unit near Kandahar, Afghanistan, where he was one of a two-man tactical air control party embedded with an Army infantry company.

Sergeant Greenberg had no idea the day the call went out for FLO volunteers that his life would be forever changed.

"The day I received the call from Walter Reed Army Medical Center informing me that an injured Airman had arrived the night prior, I changed into my blues, went to receive training and went straight to the hospital to meet the family," he said. "For the next six weeks, I was there every day, Monday through Sunday, for eight, nine, maybe 10 hours. I ate lunch with the family, dinner sometimes too."

When Sergeant Greenberg first arrived at the hospital, he said he was told that the injured Airman had arrived the night before from Landstuhl, Germany, and "had already lost one eye, probably was going to lose his other, had severe shrapnel wounds all over his body and a very swollen face."

Sergeant Greenberg said he entered the room, introduced himself and said, "I'm here for whatever you need."

That moment marked the start of his relationship with Michael Malarsie and his family.

"It took a few days for them to really warm up to me being there and ask me for help," Sergeant Greenberg said. "After all they'd been through, they didn't know me or what I could do for them. So, I just made a point of being there. Once they realized that, things started happening naturally."

As the FLO, Sergeant Greenberg assisted the family with issues ranging from financial allowances to powers of attorney, travel logistics and emotional support.

He said the first couple of days were rough, as he worked through issues with the hospital, nursing staff, media and more. The FLO is there to be a single human point of contact for anything and everything -- the go-to person for issues small and large.

Sergeant Greenberg said the volume of visitors was tremendous and represented the Veterans Administration; the Blinded Veterans Association; congressmen; tactical air control party members; fellow unit members from the 4th Infantry Division, Ft. Carson, Colo.; the Air Force chief of staff; and the chief master sergeant of the Air Force; among other organizations.

"Brad Smith's (Airman Malarsie's TACP partner who was killed in the attack) widow and baby girl also visited," Sergeant Greenberg added.

As the FLO, Sergeant Greenberg was also responsible for daily updates to the injured Airman's chain of command, ranging from the assigned squadron commander to senior Air Force officials at Air Staff level.

He said he reported on the "dozens of surgeries" the Airman endured to repair his eyelid, remove shrapnel from his body, and address a multitude of other medical issues.

Throughout each of these surgeries, Sergeant Greenberg said he waited anxiously alongside the family for the results.

Throughout the days and nights spent at Walter Reed, Sergeant Greenberg said he forged a special bond with Airman Malarsie's family, including his sisters and his parents, Jim and Roxanne Malarsie.

"To Mike's credit, he is extremely strong," Sergeant Greenberg said. "He stayed upbeat, positive and never once blamed anybody for what happened. And his family was there the entire time with the same attitude, just thankful to have their son alive and thankful for what the military was doing to take care of him."

When it was time for the injured Airman to be released from the hospital for continued rehabilitative therapy at the Western Blind Rehabilitation Center, a special VA center for blind veterans in Palo Alto, Calif., the FLO assisted the family with logistics and contacted the new FLO assigned to the family in California to ensure a good hand-off of pertinent information.

"It's good for Mike to be able to move on with his life and go to a place where he can learn to cope with his loss of sight, a sense we all take for granted," Sergeant Greenberg said. "Mike's dad, Jim, and I had gotten pretty close. I consider him a lifelong friend, and he thanked me for everything.

"At that point, you're a part of it and you want to know they're okay and feel like you're doing something to help," he said.

"Seeing these wounded veterans like Mike at Walter Reed, and it really sheds light on why you're in the military," he said. "It reminds you why you raised your hand and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America ... with your life."

Sergeant Greenberg said the experience has not only had a long term effect on his own life, but he has pledged to stay abreast of the injured Airman's status through daily blog checks about Michael, and weekly phone calls with Jim Malarsie.

"My relationship with Jim even impacted my decision to retire and spend more time with my son," Sergeant Greenberg said. "I would not give up my years in the Air Force for anything. I've lived my career in keeping with the core values, most specifically 'service before self'. So much so, that my family often came second."

Sergeant Greenberg said the gravity of the situation hit home with him when Mr. Malarsie confessed that his only regret was that he didn't have more time with his son before Michael left for the military.

"The next time my 8-year-old son says he'd really like me to be at that Cub Scout meeting, I want to be there," Sergeant Greenberg said. "But I'll be there knowing I've done my time serving my country, humbly serving a true hero like Michael, and hopefully that'll be something to make my son proud."

When Sergeant Greenberg settled on his June 25 retirement date, his first phone call was to Jim Malarsie to ask if he would be willing to fly back to Washington, D.C., for the ceremony, and he received disappointing, yet heartwarming news.

"Michael is engaged to be married the same weekend," he said he was told. "So the Malarsies won't be able to make it, and instead we talked about a visit soon."

Sergeant Greenberg said he was not upset by this news.

Officials announce plans for third DOS rollback

6/10/2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Force officials announced June 8 plans for a third enlisted date of separation rollback with a mandatory DOS of Aug. 31, 2010. This program is part of an overall effort by the Air Force to maintain a quality enlisted force and meet the congressionally mandated end strength.

Under the third DOS rollback, Airmen with fewer than 14, or more than 20 years of service must separate no later than Aug. 31, or retire no later than Sept. 1 if they possess a code preventing their re-enlistment.

Airmen separated or retired under the DOS rollback are authorized transition assistance benefits that include 180 days of extended medical care for themselves and their families, and an ID card permitting base commissary and exchange privileges for two years.

Those separated with more than six years, but less than 20 years total active service are eligible for one-half the amount of separation pay, but they must sign an Individual Ready Reserve agreement to serve for a minimum three years. Those declining to serve in the IRR will be ineligible for separation pay.

Air Force officials will not recoup unearned portions of education assistance funds, special pay, bonuses or other monetary incentives under the DOS Rollback Program.

Additionally, most Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits will not be impacted; however, the transferability of benefits to dependents may be affected. Airmen should consult their local education centers or the VA concerning transferability.

Airmen with more than 20 years of service who are affected by the DOS rollback must request a retirement date via the Virtual Military Personnel Flight.

Air Force officials said the third enlisted DOS rollback will allow leaders to manage the force and strategically balance skills and abilities in the midst of a 15-year high for retention.

In November, officials announced plans to conduct an April 30 DOS rollback for enlisted members. A second rollback was announced in March with a mandatory DOS rollback of June 30. The third rollback will also accelerate the date of separation for Airmen, based on their years of service and re-enlistment eligibility or assignment availability codes.

As with the June 30 rollback, commanders are allowed to conduct early consideration under the Selective Re-enlistment Program for Airmen who possess select re-enlistment codes and meet the rollback program criteria, Air Force Personnel Officials said. Any personnel-related actions by commanders must be accomplished before June 24, when the roster of affected Airmen will be pulled by members of the AFPC separations branch.

For more information, visit the Air Force Personnel Center personnel services website and enter "DOS rollback" in the search engine or call the Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102.

Air Force football team ranked second nationally in academic performance

6/9/2010 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- The U.S. Air Force Academy football team here has the second-highest multi-year Academic Progress Rate of any team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, according the a report issued June 9 by NCAA officials.

The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation, and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

The Academy program's 988 ranks second only to Rutgers, who had a 992, among the 120 FBS football playing schools. The multi-year APR is for the 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years.

The Academy's number is easily the best within the Mountain West Conference. TCU is second with a 968 while Utah is third at 949. Colorado State is fourth with a 945, followed by Brigham Young University (940), New Mexico and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (934), San Diego State (931) and Wyoming (928).

The Academy is also the highest ranking service academy, as Navy posted a 973 and Army a 964. The remainder of the national top five shows Rice third with 987, Northwestern fourth at 986 and Duke fifth at 983.

"This is hands down the finest accomplishment in all of college football," said Troy Calhoun, the Air Force Academy head football coach. "There should be no hesitation to identify educational achievements along with character development in major conference intercollegiate sports."

"The Air Force Academy is a very challenging leadership school; and yet, the determination and perseverance of these cadets with the support of our outstanding faculty and staff moved them beyond the necessary standards of the Academy," he said. "It's remarkable that a team can have its members take over 18 semester hours of the nation's most demanding curriculum, prepare to serve our country, and still balance participation as a Division 1 athlete in a major conference."

Top 5 FBS schools
Rutgers - 992
Air Force - 988
Rice -- 987
Northwestern -- 986
Duke - 983

Mountain West Conference
Air Force -- 988
TCU -- 968
Utah -- 949
Colorado State - 945
BYU - 940
New Mexico - 934
UNLV - 934
San Diego State -- 931
Wyoming - 928

Each year, NCAA officials honor selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multi-year APR. This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort, and is intended to highlight teams who demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multi-year APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport.

Mildenhall special operations Airmen commemorate D-Day landings

by Staff Sgt. Austin M. May
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2010 - NORMANDY, France (AFNS) -- The sky above Normandy billowed to life June 5 as hundreds of parachutes slowly descended on a field just outside St. Mere Eglise, a town near Utah Beach.

Beneath the chutes was a mix of American, English, French and German paratroopers, all landing in the field known as the "Iron Mike" drop zone, with the same mission: to commemorate the 66th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings of World War II.

Among the jumpers were members of Royal Air Force Mildenhall's 321st Special Tactics Squadron, which has participated in the D-Day commemoration almost every year since the mid 1990s. Five 321st STS Airmen jumped from a static line, where their parachute is deployed automatically upon exiting the aircraft, while another 14 performed a high-altitude, low-opening jump.

Capt. Steven Cooper was one of the Airmen who made the static-line jump, but with a twist -- he and the other four were delivered to the drop zone by a German aircraft.

He said it was nice to see the different nations, who were at one time bitter enemies, come together to commemorate the historic events that took place there.

"One reason we do this is to make sure horrific things like what happened in World War II don't happen again," the captain said.

Captain Cooper said he wanted to participate in the static-line jump for the historical significance of it.

"Even though it wasn't the same time of day or the same weather as the original jump, it was surreal to think we were landing in the exact same spot as the Allies on D-Day," he said.

Captain Cooper said one of the neatest aspects of the jump was the connection between those who jumped into a Normandy under Nazi occupation and the men who went in on June 5, 2010. He explained how many of the jumpers on D-Day were Army pathfinders, a precursor to modern-day Air Force combat controllers.

"The pathfinder elements went in ahead of the main assault force to prepare the battle space and scout out the best routes," the captain said. "On D-Day, Army pathfinders from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions went in a few hours before the main jump to set up drop zones, but they were using rudimentary night markers and didn't have the best accuracy, and as a result lots of paratroopers were dropped off target."

For the 66th Anniversary jump, combat controllers from the 321st STS were able to talk to the pilots of the aircraft, relaying wind conditions and other necessary bits of information, all of which contributed to the jumpers landing precisely where they wanted.

Staff Sgt. James Hawkins, a 321st STS aircrew flight equipment Airman, has been jump-qualified for fewer than six months, but can already claim to have jumped into the famous "Iron Mike" drop zone as one of the five static-line jumpers from June 5, something that took a moment for him to fully realize.

"When you first jump from the plane, your training takes over and you concentrate on that," he said. "It doesn't really hit you that it's the drop zone from D-Day until you're on the ground."

The sergeant said marching into St. Mere Eglise after the jump was an awe-inspiring experience of its own.

"I tried to play it cool, but couldn't help but smile," he said, referencing the thousands of cheering locals waiting for the American, British, French and German servicemembers in the town center at St. Mere Eglise.

"With all those people cheering and thanking you, it feels like you're a rock star," he said.

Following their customary Friday football game, this time played out on the wet sand of Utah Beach, the group dropped to the ground for memorial pushups in honor of those who fought and died in the line of duty.

"We do 10 sets of four-count pushups, then one for teamwork and another for fallen comrades, but our form must be absolutely perfect," Captain Cooper explained. "It's important because it reminds us that no matter how much we've done, no matter how tired we are, we haven't given even a fraction of what those we're honoring have given.

"Even though things were much more difficult back then, by participating here we at least get some understanding of what those assaulters went through," Captain Cooper said.

In the days preceding the jump and celebration, the 321st STS Airmen observed the anniversary up and down the Normandy coast, from a small ceremony in the town of Picauville to a squadron trip to the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.

AU officials continue efforts to restore education database, records processes

by Phil Berube
Air University Public Affairs

6/10/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) -- Air University officials here are reporting some progress in the rebuilding of a computer system that processes a large piece of Air Force education after it crashed in mid-May.

The Course Development, Student Administration and Registrar system, or CDSAR, was designed to support professional military education, specialized courses for professional continuing education, career development courses, the Weighted Airman Promotion System and warehousing and distribution of distance learning courses for the Air Force. CDSAR was designed and built in the early 1990s.

While teams of technicians are working on the hardware and software portions of the system, others are manually updating course completion records and providing work-around options for the multiple tasks normally handled automatically by the system before it failed May 13.

"At this time, we don't have a firm date for a fully operational system," said Col. Anthony Zucco, director of education logistics and communications for Air University. "However, since the system went down, we've been able to institute manual processes in most cases.

"For example, course completion update actions, such as the recent graduation for both Air War College and Air Command and Staff College students and the recent Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard lieutenant colonels board, were achieved," he said. "In addition, to lessen the impact to Airmen, we're not waiting for CDSAR to come back up. We're implementing short-term software work-arounds to cover processes through new programming or leveraging other Air Force capabilities."

For students who have to take exams at testing control facilities, specialists in the Air University registrar's office have provided guidance to staff members at these testing sites across the Air Force on how to administer the exams. All officers and enlisted members can resume testing as of June 9.

Registrar officials ask Airmen to contact their TCF specialists for testing updates and guidance if they are enrolled in the following courses: Squadron Officer College Course 20 and Course 28; any enlisted professional military education; CDCs; and any specialized courses.

The majority of the disruption to WAPS ordering and delivery actions will be in-house inventorying, tracking and processing, said Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, Air University command chief.

"WAPS program managers at base levels are still able to request materials via a request letter as outlined in the WAPS catalog," he said. "Airmen can contact their program managers should they have any questions or need assistance. The WAPS material will go out Air Force-wide to cycle 11E eligible personnel as normally scheduled, the only difference being that the material will be labeled and mailed 'by hand' versus automatically by the CDSAR system."

A significant work-around to update personnel records was achieved recently, Colonel Zucco said.

"Working with the Air Force Personnel Center, the move of the CDSAR interface with the Military Personnel Data System to another Air University system was successful," he said. "The nearly 3,600 transactions held in the queue when CDSAR went down can now flow to and update those military records.

"Meanwhile," he added, "as we continue to write new software code to replace other lost processes in the CDSAR system, our priority is to continue to work with customers to ensure they establish manual work-arounds, where possible."

Active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard officers with questions concerning their education records can e-mail their questions to the Air University registrar's office at

Active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard enlisted servicemembers with questions concerning their education and career development course records can e-mail their questions to the Air University educational support services desk at

All Airmen -- regular Air Force, Reserve and ANG -- with questions about the status of their personnel records can contact the Total Force Service Center at 1-800-525-0102.

The Army Medical Scandal… Was There a Resolution?

Tonight I told my husband that I have an appointment tomorrow for another physical. “What” he says, “I thought you already did all of your physicals I thought this was over.”

“No” I state, “Those were for the Army tomorrow I have appointments with the VA.”

Yes here I am doing it all over again. I have to admit I am not looking forward to explaining to yet another doctor all of my medical problems. What really frustrates me is that I handed each of these offices a complete copy of my medical files, however, they don’t look through the file. Instead we end up verbally going through every past injury.

Those of you who have been in the service likely remember your first physical; the one where they essentially check to see if you are male or female and make you do some weird duck walk thing. This is what I will be going through tomorrow. The only exception is that a long conversation will ensue about what issues affect me today. Last time the “doctor” asked me to just write it all down on a piece of paper so he could transcribe it onto the computer. I ended up typing it for him… no joke. There was no dialogue about my medical issues, no care plan, no reviewing of past doctor’s notes. This man just took my words, but his personal opinion with it, and presto came up with a diagnosis.

I am not the first person and surely not the last to experience the bureaucratic dismay at the Army Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) system. In 2007 The Washington Post published string of articles describing the neglect at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The main focal point was the living quarters in building 18, while other issues such as disgruntled clerks, complicated bureaucracy, and overworked employees were only occasionally addressed. Eventually there was major media coverage and public outcry. However, this wasn’t the first time that congress had been notified of the problems occurring within the Army’s MEB process. In 2004 and 2005 C.W. Bill Young R-FL and Tom Davis R-VA disclosed that they had been aware of the troubles, but did not investigate, "to avoid embarrassing the Army while it was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Although Walter Reed is one of the main focal points of this investigation care and medical boards are conducted in Fort Stewart, Ga., Fort Carson, Colo., and locations in Germany to name a few. In the end a bunch of people got fired and promises were made to fix the system. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs announced an extensive review of all their processes and facilities.

So let me get this straight… the government’s solution is to have the VA internally fix itself? Although President Obama has written letter to the VA addressing his concern in 2008 with particular practices put forth, what is the government actually doing to ensure the success of the VA. Obviously the VA needs help in this regard because tomorrow I will have to reiterate for the 100th time all of my medical issues only to get some opinionated diagnosis by a so called doctor.

Applying for Air Force NAF jobs is going virtual

by April Rowden
Air Force Services Agency Public Affairs Office

June 10, 2010 - SAN ANTONIO – A new centralized online tool is making it easier for job seekers to find and apply for federal careers in various nonappropriated fund activities, including Air Force clubs, golf courses, child development centers, youth centers, bowling centers and outdoor recreation centers.

On May 24, began transitioning to an Air Force-wide job board that lists vacancies for all Air Force NAF facilities. Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland AFB, Texas, were the first bases to list their vacancies on the site.

Other Air Education and Training Command and Air Mobility Command bases began using the site on May 31. Additional locations will be phased in during June and July.

To apply for a job, applicants must go to and create a free profile that includes work background, any military experience and education. They may also upload a resume and other supporting documentation.

Once an individual identifies a vacancy for which he would like to apply, clicking the “apply” button submits the online application to the servicing NAF human resources office. The applicant can check the status of his application under the “My Applications” tab in “My Profile.”

Unlike other job application programs, the NAF system sends every application to the hiring manager for consideration.

“We don’t use a software program to pre-qualify applicants by searching for key words,” said Bobbie Nugent of the Air Force Services Agency’s Human Resources Program Management Branch. “If you submit an application, you will be considered for the position.”

Unlike the nearly 180,000 federal civilian employees that are paid out of the federal appropriated fund budget, the 25,000 Air Force NAF employees are paid by money that is generated by NAF activities, such as Air Force clubs, bowling centers, golf courses and youth centers. These facilities provide a community environment for Air Force families to live, work and play.

“Our NAF employees take a great sense of ownership in their facilities and the services they provide Airmen,” Ms. Nugent said. “Although they don’t wear the uniform, they are performing one of the most important services – taking care of our warfighters and their families.”

Based on the employment category, NAF personnel may qualify for benefits similar to those of other federal civilians, including health and life insurance, retirement plans, annual leave and sick leave.

Applicants should continue applying at their servicing human resources office using currently established procedures until their command or host base is phased into the program. Below is a tentative schedule for phase in by major command:

June 14 – Air Force Materiel Command, Air Combat Command, Air Force Special Operations Command

June 28 – Pacific Air Forces, Air Force Space Command, Air Force District of Washington

July 12 – U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Air Force Reserve Command, Global Strike Command, and most remaining Air Force installations

“Our goal was to create a better experience for applicants, and we designed a more streamlined, consistent application process for NAF activities worldwide,” said Ms. Nugent. “We believe that this website exceeds that goal.”

For more information on NAF employment, visit or contact your local NAF human resources office.

Mullen Cites Importance of Asian Partners, Stability in Pacific Region

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

June 10, 2010 - Citing the violence in Afghanistan and renewed tensions with China, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen last night encouraged military partnerships between the United States and all Asian nations in order to bring stability to the region.

"From the bedrock alliances we have with the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, to burgeoning relationships we foster with emerging partners like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, ... we are duty bound and will remain so to dedicate our might to mutual defense," Mullen said. "Those who need our help may depend upon it, [and] those who question our sincerity, need not."

Mullen spoke to members of the Asia Society Washington here at the group's 23rd annual awards dinner. Mullen accepted the society's Public Policy award on behalf of the U.S. military. The organization promotes better understanding and relationships between the United States and Asia through dialogue, cultural exchange and ideas.

Diplomats from more than 20 Asian nations, including China, attended the event.

Mullen touched on various military-to-military relationships the U.S. has in the region, articulating his concerns and explaining the need to expand Asian interaction. Security, prosperity and the future depend on such exchanges, he said.

Regarding increasing U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan, Mullen expressed his gratitude for the good-standing relationship he and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have with their counterparts in India and Pakistan.

Those partnerships are "critical," he said, as U.S. and international forces attempt to eradicate Taliban extremists and terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan and along that country's border with Pakistan.

"Nothing could be more critical, in my view, than these relationships right now, especially as we ramp up our military presence in Afghanistan and begin to improve security in Kandahar and across the south," Mullen said.

Despite heavy casualties this week – at least 20 coalition troops have been killed in Afghanistan since June 7, progress is being made, the admiral said, noting U.S. allies shouldn't waver in their support. The Taliban is feeling the pressure of the U.S. troop surge, he said.

"We must resist ourselves the temptation to lose heart, because I am certain of the strength of our strategy and in the leadership we have in place there," Mullen said. "We will succeed in Afghanistan. We will prevent that country from ever becoming a safe haven again, but it will be a slow, messy and often deadly business."

Afghanistan will require "heavy lifting" from the U.S. military and its partners in the region, he added.

"We all have a stake in a stable Afghanistan, in particular those of us who have a stake in a stable Asia-Pacific region," he said.

On China, Mullen said he was encouraged by that country's call for accountability of those responsible for the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel, Cheonan, in March. Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed.

But Mullen added that he is disappointed with China's "tepid response to calls by the international community for support."

Mullen called the North Korean attack an "egregious breach of the fragile peace" on the Korean peninsula and another example of the "sort of provocation and pre-meditation" by which North Korea continues to threaten its neighbors.

"We in the United States military stand firmly by our allies in the Republic of Korea and will move forward, in keeping with international agreements, to demonstrate that solidarity in coming weeks," the admiral said. "I think it's of no surprise to anyone that we are planning maritime exercises to sharpen skills and strengthen collective defenses.

"I would offer that South Korea's neighbors and friends can assist as well, in whatever manner best suits their sovereign needs," he added.

Also, the Pentagon remains concerned with China's lack of interest to engage with U.S. military leaders, the admiral said. Secretary Gates, in a trip to Asia for a security summit last week, was disinvited to meet with Chinese military leaders despite Chinese President Hu Jintao's advocacy for U.S. relations.

Mullen said his position on China has "moved from curious to being genuinely concerned."

"[China's] recent rejection of military-to-military contact is particularly disappointing, because it removes the opportunity to listen and to learn from and about each other," Mullen said, noting China's "heavy investments" in new military capabilities. "Every nation has a right to defend itself, and to spend as it sees fit for that purpose," he continued. "But a gap as wide as what seems to be forming between China's stated intent and its military programs leave me more than curious about the end result."

It is hoped, Mullen said, that China's military will move toward becoming more transparent in its aims, and eventually trust the United States as a partner. The people of Asia deserve sustainable stability, he said.

Mullen noted that military engagements alone, however, won't guarantee regional stability. But simply reaching out to other nations could build the bonds necessary to ensure a secure and prosperous future in Asia. Having mutual understanding of each other's capabilities and priorities will drive change and make a difference, he said.

"I certainly don't believe that military forces alone can bring about regional stability in an area as vast and diverse as Asia, nor am I suggesting that we'll ever really achieve something akin to perfection in this regard," Mullen said. "But I do believe that in the attempt -- in the pursuit of stability -- there is goodness and, perhaps, great effect.

"From the effort comes a greater appreciation of mutual need and capability," he continued. "From the effort comes a greater focus on cooperation and transparency. And from the effort comes reduced tensions, and reduced risks of miscalculation."

Mullen lauded Indonesia's integrated maritime surveillance system and the country's positive relationship with Malaysia and Singapore. These nations share responsibility in patrolling the Strait of Malacca, and they set a "great example of how military forces can cooperate to improve security," he said.

Mullen also recognized Cambodia's military for becoming the newest country to partner this week with U.S. Pacific Command and other Asian nations in a training exercise in Indonesian waters.

The exercise is part of the series of bi-lateral exercises known as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training. It contributes to regional maritime security by enhancing capabilities in areas such as interdiction, information sharing, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling.

However, nations must will themselves to do more, the admiral said.

"Security requires more than just exercises," Mullen said. "It requires real investments and real strategies."

Air Force to release technical sergeant promotion list

Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

June 10, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Force officials selected 7,752 of 37,185 eligible staff sergeants for promotion to technical sergeant for a selection rate of 20.85 percent.

The average score for those selected was 317.63, with an average time in grade of 5.65 years and an average time in service of 10.69 years, respectively. The average score was based on the following point averages: 133.11 for enlisted performance reports, 5.32 for decorations, 71.24 for the promotion fitness examination and 56.56 for the specialty knowledge test.

The technical sergeant promotion list will be released publicly June 17 at 8 a.m. CDT on the Air Force Personnel Center's public website. Airmen also can access their score notices at the same time on the Virtual Military Personnel Flight and Air Force Portal.

Those selected for technical sergeant will be promoted according to their promotion sequence number beginning in August 2010.

As a reminder, selections are tentative until the data verification process is complete, which is no later than 10 days after the promotion release date. AFPC officials will notify Airmen through their military personnel sections if their selection is in question.

The promotion release using the Web is one of the many technological initiatives AFPC has taken to effectively deliver personnel services, allowing Airmen around the world 24-hour access.

For more information, visit the AFPC public website or contact the 24-hour Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.