Saturday, June 30, 2012

Crowds thrill to Pease air show - The Union Leader

PORTSMOUTH -- It took two years of practice, but it appears they finally got it right.

Perfect planning and perfect weather helped the first day of the third annual Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show go off without a hitch on Saturday.

Attendance was comparable to last year, show officials said, but skies were clearer this year. And although temperatures were high, a steady breeze kept attendees comfortable during the full day of performances.

Organizers said the first year was a logistics and supplies disaster. Last year was better, but a low cloud ceiling curtained a lot of the air events.

Steve Wade is the executive director of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire, which has co-produced the air show with the Daniel Webster Council â€" Boy Scouts of America, for the past three years.

He said visitors brought more chairs and umbrellas this year, and about 300 feet of additional frontage on the flight line added to the overall enjoyment of attendees.

This is the third year the Bellen family of Epping has attended the air show.

Christel Bellen, 7, and her sister Faith, 3, wore pink T-shirts adorned with images of the Blue Angels, cooling scarves around their necks and large protective earmuffs as they flew model airplanes and waited for the main event â€" the United States Navy Blue Angels.

“It has been great all three years. It is great fun for the girls. They enjoy watching the planes,” said mom Stacey Bellen.

The family loves planes, she said, often stopping at Pease to see if one might be taking off.

Before the United States Navy Blue Angels performed late in the afternoon, an impressive lineup of civilian and military performers wowed crowds at the Pease International Tradeport, including wing-walker Jane Wicker and crowd favorite Sean D. Tucker in his signature red Oracle plane.

Wade said he hopes people do not take for granted how special it is to have such an air show in New Hampshire.

The Blue Angels only do 34 performances each year, and for two of the last three years, they have chosen to come to Portsmouth.
Logistically, the air show has grown leaps and bounds over its inaugural event in 2010 when it seemed nearly everyone complained about traffic, parking, crowds and lack of water.

This year, everyone seemed to be enjoying the show.

Brandon Succi of Sunbury, Pa., came up to visit family and enjoy the show with his wife, Barb, and their two sons, Gavin Emery, 7, and Brandon Succi Jr., 6.

The senior Succi served in the Iraq War, and as a wounded warrior, he said it is nice to see the many ways veterans like himself are honored and recognized at such an event.

His sons were mostly into the fun.

“It's a lot of fun. There's a lot of stuff to do,” Emery said after climbing out of a simulated Blue Angels cockpit set among the acres of static displays.

Other young fans gave similar reviews.

“I think it's cool how Sean D. Tucker can pull off all those moves and the ziplines and all the things they have to do today,” Nicholas McGovern, 9, of Bow said in explaining why he liked the air show.

His friend, Dalton Gilbert, 9, also of Bow, liked pretty much everything about the airplanes.

“Walking through the planes, watching the air show, looking at all the planes, seeing them do the amazing tricks they do in the air,” said Gilbert in summing up why he enjoys the air show.

The show continues today. Gates to the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show at Pease International Tradeport open at 8 a.m.

The Pull for Wounded Warriors will begin at 9 a.m., when teams of 25 people will attempt to pull a Boeing 757 airplane weighing more than 100,000 pounds as a fundraiser for the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.

Air performances begin at 11 a.m.

- - - - - - - -


Gretyl Macalaster may be reached at gmacalaster@newstote.com.

Tipton Buries Pilot Missing for 47 Years - KCRG

TIPTON, Iowa -- A Cedar County community remembered one of its own on Saturday. At 27 years old, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Lee Eilers left his wife and two children behind to serve his country. Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Lee Eilers went missing in action over Vietnam in 1965.

The children he left behind: two sons, Brett and Curtis. His wife Belva remarried.

In 1977, the man known to all as Denny was declared killed in action. It took until last April--a span of more than thirty years--for officials to identify his crash site.

When they did, preparations began for his funeral. He was buried with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute. Saturday's memorial service brought loved ones together to say goodbye.

"There was always this lingering, wondering if he would come home. I guess that's now," Curtis Eilers said.

Brett and Curtis Eilers are now grown men with families of their own. The grandchildren he never met, long lost friends and those who didn't know Denny at all joined together to remember a fallen hero.

"I'm pleased that my father, who gave the ultimate sacrifice, has been honored this way by the community and the state," his son Brett Eilers said.

Brothers in Arms - Hi-Desert Star

The 36 New Zealand Army soldiers, also known as “Kiwis,” arrived at the Combat Center earlier this month for Operation Galvanic Kiwi. The integration in training provided both the Marines and the Kiwis a new plateau for communication and understanding and interoperability.

After their arrival, the soldiers were trained in Marine Corps equipment and operations. They traded in their Steyr AUG rifles for M-16 A4 service rifles and adapted from a five-man team to the Corps’ traditional four-man fire team. Once this initial training was complete, they were ready for the field.

The Kiwis began a three-day joint counterinsurgency exercise with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion June 20 at the Combat Center’s Combined Arms Military Operations on Urban Terrain town, or Range 220.

“This is a very rare opportunity to train in an environment and to a scale such as this,” said New Zealand Army Maj. Chris Rothery, officer commanding, 2nd Field Squadron, 2nd Engineer Regiment, New Zealand Army. “We operate predominantly in the Southwest Pacific so we’ve never seen anything like this before. We are extremely impressed by the training facilities here.”

The exercise evaluated the Marines’ and Kiwi soldiers’ abilities to not only adapt to a shared method of operations, but also to work together as an integrated force.

Each squad featured both Marines and Kiwis working together to accomplish tasks during specific time periods. They came across role players acting as Afghan nationals and insurgents, simulated improvised explosive devices and enemy fire.

The first day was nothing short of a challenge. The squads cycled through five scenarios in a 25-hour period.

These scenarios took the Marines and soldiers across Range 220. They had to cope with collapsed bridges, hospitals, schools and an underground tunnel system. The soldiers were evaluated on their abilities to use Marine Corps tactics, finish different objectives at each location and patrol while keeping on the lookout for improvised explosive devices and enemy activity.

“They used to take fire and egress. But now they assault through, and that’s not something they used to do,” said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Alejandro Jasso, platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, Company B, 3rd CEB. “They’re learning quite a bit.”

The New Zealand Army left for Camp Pendleton after the completion of the three-day exercise Saturday to continue their training with 1st  CEB Marines. They will be learning to use heavy equipment and familiarizing themselves with more Marine Corps equipment and procedures.

“This has been an opportunity for us to operate in a different operational environment and use the skills and the experiences of the U.S. Marines to enhance our training and improve our own knowledge,” Rothery said.

Friday, June 29, 2012

THE UNITED STATES ARMY : USAG-HI to take pulse on services - 4-traders

06/29 - FEATURES 29/06/2012 17:09, Report by Editorial Team Shinji Kagawa may be the first Japanese player to join... 06/29 - Page Content CARGOTEC CORPORATION, PRESS RELEASE, 29 JUNE 2012 AT 10 A.M. Cargotec has acquired... 06/29 - ARMONK, N.Y., June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on four decades of industry leadership in large scale... 06/28 - - Ford Motor Co said second-quarter losses from its operations outside North America could be triple the $190...

Company honors veterans for holiday - Victoria Advocate

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WITH VIDEO: Airman surprises sister at summer camp - Shelby Township Source Newspapers

Aaron Myers, a 2006 Romeo High School graduate and an airman in the United States Navy, surprised his younger siblings at summer camp June 26 after having been away for training since March.

Aaron, who will be deployed in Japan for two years starting in July, returned home from advanced training to see his family before shipping out. Aaron surprised his sister Ashley, 8, brother Joe, 4, and sister Meagan, 4, at summer camp at Washington Elementary School the morning of June 26.

"You could see the look on (Ashley's) face when I said, 'I'm not here to pick you up.' I said, 'He is,'" said Joe Myers, the siblings' father. "That was it."

Brenda Myers, Aaron's mother, said all of her children are very close.

"We told (Ashley) this morning that we had a fun day planned and she said, 'Are we going to go to Florida to see Aaron?' And we said, 'We can't go Florida,' and she said, 'Then it's not going to be a fun day,' but I think we made up for it," said Brenda. "They are very, very close."

Aaron's younger brother Eriq, a 2010 Romeo High School graduate, was also on hand for the reunion.

"All of our kids are very, very close, so when Aaron left for boot camp, that was hard because that was like no phone calls, no emails," said Brenda. "The first time Aaron got a 10-minute phone call and he got on the phone with (Ashley), they both were crying so hard and neither could say anything."

Brenda said the family was very supportive when Aaron told them he wanted to go into the military.

"We support him 100 percent," Brenda said.

Joe said he was excited for his son because it would provide him more opportunities down the road either as a civilian or if Aaron decided to stay in the military. Continued...

"I said, 'You are going into a win-win situation,'" said Joe.

Brenda said Aaron left for eight weeks of boot camp in March and afterward he was stationed in Pensacola, Fla. to complete his advanced training.

Aaron said he was excited to be home for a short time to relax and spend time with his family.

"No military time, no military schedule," said Aaron, "just relaxing family time."

Aaron said the surprise, which the family planned approximately a week before, went better than he could have hoped.

"You couldn't really describe it, walking in and your dad is your hero and seeing your dad tear up. You're like, 'Oh my goodness,'" said Aaron.

Aaron, who is scheduled to be in Japan for two years, said serving overseas won't be easy because often it is difficult to have communication with family, especially on the ship.

"Sometimes you can't use your phone or it's only email ... It doesn't sound like a lot, but it means a lot," he said. "There are guys on the ship who don't get emails at all, so those are the guys I kind of want to give a shout out to, and all the guys coming back from Iraq and everywhere overseas. Hopefully they get to see their families just like I got to see mine today."

Aaron leaves for Japan on July 12. Continued...

Aaron Myers, a 2006 Romeo High School graduate and an airman in the United States Navy, surprised his younger siblings at summer camp June 26 after having been away for training since March.

Aaron, who will be deployed in Japan for two years starting in July, returned home from advanced training to see his family before shipping out. Aaron surprised his sister Ashley, 8, brother Joe, 4, and sister Meagan, 4, at summer camp at Washington Elementary School the morning of June 26.

"You could see the look on (Ashley's) face when I said, 'I'm not here to pick you up.' I said, 'He is,'" said Joe Myers, the siblings' father. "That was it."

Brenda Myers, Aaron's mother, said all of her children are very close.

"We told (Ashley) this morning that we had a fun day planned and she said, 'Are we going to go to Florida to see Aaron?' And we said, 'We can't go Florida,' and she said, 'Then it's not going to be a fun day,' but I think we made up for it," said Brenda. "They are very, very close."

Aaron's younger brother Eriq, a 2010 Romeo High School graduate, was also on hand for the reunion.

"All of our kids are very, very close, so when Aaron left for boot camp, that was hard because that was like no phone calls, no emails," said Brenda. "The first time Aaron got a 10-minute phone call and he got on the phone with (Ashley), they both were crying so hard and neither could say anything."

Brenda said the family was very supportive when Aaron told them he wanted to go into the military.

"We support him 100 percent," Brenda said.

Joe said he was excited for his son because it would provide him more opportunities down the road either as a civilian or if Aaron decided to stay in the military.

"I said, 'You are going into a win-win situation,'" said Joe.

Brenda said Aaron left for eight weeks of boot camp in March and afterward he was stationed in Pensacola, Fla. to complete his advanced training.

Aaron said he was excited to be home for a short time to relax and spend time with his family.

"No military time, no military schedule," said Aaron, "just relaxing family time."

Aaron said the surprise, which the family planned approximately a week before, went better than he could have hoped.

"You couldn't really describe it, walking in and your dad is your hero and seeing your dad tear up. You're like, 'Oh my goodness,'" said Aaron.

Aaron, who is scheduled to be in Japan for two years, said serving overseas won't be easy because often it is difficult to have communication with family, especially on the ship.

"Sometimes you can't use your phone or it's only email ... It doesn't sound like a lot, but it means a lot," he said. "There are guys on the ship who don't get emails at all, so those are the guys I kind of want to give a shout out to, and all the guys coming back from Iraq and everywhere overseas. Hopefully they get to see their families just like I got to see mine today."

Aaron leaves for Japan on July 12.

"We've got 17 days with him and we are going to enjoy every one of them," said Brenda.

Contact Matt December at 586-323-8147 or matt.december@advisorsource.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattDecember or on Facebook at Matt December.

US Air Force Band of Liberty playing a free concert in Lexington - Boston.com

The United States Air Force Band of Liberty will play classics, pop, Broadway and swing music in a free outdoor concert in Lexington Saturday night.

The band from Hanscom Air Force Base is currently on tour in the Northeast and will perform at the Hastings Park Gazebo Saturday, June 30 at 7 p.m. The park is at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Worthen Road.

The band features vocalists and instrumental soloists and the performance will highlight America’s musical diversity and cultural heritage.

The event is being sponsored by Lexington’s Town Celebrations Committee, which is encouraging concert goers to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

THE UNITED STATES ARMY : New Virtual Portal Connects Army Command ... - 4-traders

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) recently implemented an innovative Microsoft SharePoint portal for its workforce, which will centralize command data and applications to a single location for the first time.

Not only will the new capability enable the reorganization and management of its data dealing with the life-cycle support of communications-electronics systems across the Army, but it will also connect more than 13,000 CECOM employees worldwide.

"The command now has a collaboration tool that the entire workforce is able to use," said Patricia O'Connor, CECOM's Chief Information Officer. "It also serves as a good communications tool to get the word out on what's critical to everyone in the organization at the same time."
The portal was announced to the workforce at a command-wide town hall meeting hosted by Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, CECOM Commanding General, on 28 June at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The CECOM Chief Information Office began designing the portal in 2011. The design allows for different levels of information sharing, including command-wide directives, organization-based communications, and internal collaboration among employees, said Linda Vanbemmel, the project manager for CECOM SharePoint implementation.

The CECOM SharePoint is open to all its employees. The main splash page consists of command-wide communications. In addition, personnel in each directorate and staff organization within CECOM can access specific sites in order to conduct internal, daily work that can be kept private and secure. All data for the site is stored at a secure facility in Radford, Va.

"The portal will eliminate a lot of redundancy and streamline processes," said Renee Ullman, content manager for CECOM. "In this time of fiscal and resource constraints for the Army, CECOM as a whole will be able to work smarter and more economically."

Cost Savings for the Command

The centralization of data and applications will also reduce the workload on individual employees by helping to automate processes such as creating weekly activity reports, managing documents and keeping track of deadlines and workflows, O'Connor said.
For example, when entering weekly activity reports, each individual will go into their team site in SharePoint and create a report. The report will automatically transmit to a supervisor. Using the portal, leadership can choose information to roll up to a higher level report, eliminating the need to cut and paste from various e-mails or word documents.

"Right now, because we have data everywhere and because email is our primary communications tool, I think we're working harder than we need to," O'Connor said. "SharePoint will automate processes so it will be easier for employees to do their job and we can save time and money."

Through the portal, O'Connor hopes to realize cost savings for the command by creating a centralized inventory of applications, such as suspense trackers and calendars. In order to achieve an Army directive of data center consolidation, O'Connor plans to eliminate 30-40 percent of existing applications across the command over the next year.

"Because our employees are in disparate locations, stove-piping is our biggest challenge as a command," O'Connor said. "I want each employee to be able to understand everything; all the missions that we do, but also how we do those missions and what tools and products are best used for them."

CECOM plans to eliminate six existing organization-based suspense tracking systems and create a central suspense tracking system for the command on the new SharePoint portal. A master calendar for the command is also currently under development.

Consolidating applications to one command-wide instance will ensure employees are accessing the correct data and collaborating across the world.

Effective Records Management

CECOM is also using their SharePoint capability to begin a large-scale records management initiative to ensure the proper storage and archival of more than three terabytes of data.
Through the portal, employees across the command will be able to work on documents on team and organizational sites. However, once employees declare a draft document as a valid, official Army record, it will transfer to a records management environment within the SharePoint portal and be searchable for the entire command.

Once the record has reached its archival point as determined by the Army records retention schedule, it will either be destroyed or archived into the Army Records Information Management System automatically, said Janet Wallen, records manager for CECOM G-6.

"Because all the records will be in one location, and the process to move it or archive will be automated, it will be easier to track and safeguard our nation's resources," O'Connor said.
All CECOM employees will undergo three hours of training for SharePoint and a records management overview to fully understand the capabilities of the portal. Training classes are offered twice a week in person from July to September, with more dates to follow.

"I want every employee to understand the CECOM mission and the importance of their individual role in the CECOM family, as well as the best way to continue supporting that mission," O'Connor said.

Dayton Air Show to fill the skies next weekend; Old favorites, new attractions ... - Avionics Intelligence

The United States Navy Blue Angels performing in the Vectren Dayton Air Show in 2010. The six-plane flying team intended to inspire future aviators and Navy and Marine recruiting, will headline the 2012 Vectren Dayton Air Show. The Blue Angels will fly six F/A-18 Hornets during its choreographed show. The 110-member squadron is led by Blue Angel No. 1 Captain Greg "Boss" McWherter, along with 15 officers and 94 enlisted personnel. Typically 45 members, officers and enlisted personnel will travel to each show site. Hosting the team in Dayton will be GE Aviation Systems of Vandalia. CONTRIBUTED FILE PHOTO, U.S. NAVY BLUE ANGELS

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels C-130 Herculese transport known as Fat Albert makes a jet-assisted takeoff. STAFF PHOTO BY TY GREENLEES

VANDALIA - The Vectren Day-ton Air Show - the annual summer celebration of aviation - will take place Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, at the Dayton International Airport.

Started in 1975, the two-day event showcases world-class aerobatic champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family, event officials said.

"Event officials expect 75,000 people to attend the show," said Brenda Kerfoot, general manager of the Vectren Dayton Air Show. "In 2011, 65,000 people were in attendance, a number lower than normal due to unusually warm temperatures with heat advisories during the entire weekend."

Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The feature show begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sun-day. These times are subject to change.

"The Vectren Dayton Air Show has become a tradition for many," said Colleen Ryan, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio. Vectren has been the title sponsor of the event every year since 2001. "It's fun, it's exciting and there is something for everyone."

Tickets are available through www.daytonair show.com, at discount rates at Kroger Co. supermarkets, or at the gate.

"While the show is in its 38th year, spectators at the 2012 event will still view attractions that have never before appeared in the show," Kerfoot said. "This once-a-year event also allows spectators the opportunity to see up close and personal aircraft from every branch of the military, as well as access to speak with the men and women of our armed services who fly and care for these aircraft."

aviation Celebrating heritage Dayton's

The Vectren Dayton Air Show celebrates Dayton's aviation heritage as home of the Wright brothers, National Museum of the United States Air Force and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, event officials said.

"It's our country's history and the fabric of the Dayton community," said Terry Grevious, executive director of the event, of Dayton's aviation heritage. "[It's] important to share this with as many people as possible, especially young people."

The goal of the event is to showcase the skills of world-class civilian and military aerobatic performers, to entertain families, and to promote aviation and the Dayton International Airport, Kerfoot said.

"Our world would be a very different place without aviation," she said. "It is good to remember the momentous contributions to aviation that the Dayton area has produced and continues to produce through the research that occurs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base."

event Important community

Along with producing a world-class event for the local community to enjoy, the Vectren Dayton Air Show draws spectators from around the world and has an economic impact of more than $3.5 million dollars each year, according to the Dayton/ Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"The event does draw people from different parts of our country and internationally," said Jacquelyn Powell, president and CEO of Dayton/ Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Those visitors who come to our community are spending money in our retail shops, they're spending money on fuel, they're staying in our hotels and dining in our restaurants. All of that is great economic vitality for our community. They're bringing outside dollars into Dayton, Montgomery County and the surrounding area, and they're leaving their money behind."

Timothy Downs, deputy director of economic development for the city of Dayton, an event sponsor, also said the show is important for the local community.

"It's a fantastic event for the community for lots of reasons, not the least of which is the aviation history in our area," Downs said. "It certainly provides an influx of revenue to the region because of all the people who come from all over the country to the air show itself. It has direct economic impact on our region."

The event showcases Dayton and fosters community pride and goodwill, Grevious said.

"It's a premier summer event, providing quality entertainment at a relatively low cost," he said.

Featured performers

The United States Navy Blue Angels, a six-plane flying team intended to inspire future aviators and Navy and Marine recruiting, will headline the Vectren Dayton Air Show. The Blue Angels team last appeared in Dayton in 2010, Kerfoot said.

The Blue Angels will fly six F/A-18 Hornets during their choreographed show. The 110-member squadron is led by Blue Angel No. 1 Captain Greg "Boss" McWherter, along with 15 officers and 94 enlisted personnel. Typically, 45 members - officers and enlisted personnel - will travel to each show site. Hosting the team in Dayton will be GE Aviation Systems of Vandalia.

"The Blue Angels are always spectacular and probably at the top of list of why someone attends an air show," Kerfoot said.

Returning also is the Marine Corps' C-130 Hercules transport plane, dubbed "Fat Albert" for its squat appearance, and Tora Tora Tora, a re-creation of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

Other featured acts appearing for the first time in the Vectren Dayton Air Show include: the Sea Harrier, Michael Goulian, and the A-4 Skyhawk, as well as Major "Dutch" VanKirk, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew, according to Kerfoot.

"The Vectren Dayton Air Show is one of the premier events throughout the years," said Capt. Ben Blanton, senior C-130 pilot for Fat Albert Airlines for the United States Navy Blue Angels. "It's one of the largest and best-known air shows. You're going to see not just the United States Navy Blue Angels, but a whole bunch of other performers, some of the top performers in the industry. ... It's going to be kind of an aviation lover's dream."

More special features

Helicopter rides on UH-1H "Huey" and AH-1F Cobra will be offered at the Vectren Day-ton Air Show.

Additionally, more than 100 aircraft ground displays from the smallest to the largest including fighters, warbirds and private aircraft will be on display at the show. Members of the armed services will talk about the aircraft they fly.

This year, the event includes a "rare" appearance of an E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, according to Kerfoot. That, along with vintage aircraft on display, such as the Tuskegee T-6 Texan - one of two aircraft still in existence that were used by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II - will make a visit through the air show grounds "truly awe-inspiring," Kerfoot said.

"Although the headliners are incredibly awesome, seeing the entire show as well as the static displays will bring the experience together for the whole family," said Michael Emoff, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Vectren Dayton Air Show. "It's unfortunate that so many showgoers come only to see the power attractions. If I were asked what one thing would I do differently if I had an opportunity to go to our show, it would be 'come early and stay late.' This is a rare event, and we should get the most out of it."

Show History of Dayton Air

As home of the Wright brothers, Dayton is considered the birthplace of aviation - the place where the flying machine was conceived, developed, tested and refined before its historic flight at Kills Devil Hills in North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903.

In 1975, another group of Daytonians dedicated to aviation launched the Dayton Air Fair. Many local air show performers stood behind the show, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base gave support, along with the local media.

As the event grew and developed, the name was changed several times, and an aviation/ aerospace trade show was added on for a few years.

Today, the annual Air Show budget is more than $1,000,000, and the event attracts 75,000 people over the two days.

The full-time Air Show staff is assisted by more than 2,000 volunteers. The show continues to be one of the nation's premier air shows.

Source: The above historical information was provided by Brenda Kerfoot, general manager of the Vectren Dayton Air Show.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2122 orJacqueline.Boyle@coxinc.com


Copyright 2012 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.

Wire News provided by 

The US Navy's biofueled Green Fleet to highlight this year's RIMPAC War Games - Biofuels Digest

The United States Navy may be laboring under a congressional ban on biofuel purchases that cost more than bargain basement fossil fuels, but no one said the Navy can’t burn the biofuel it’s already got. And that’s important because if you look at history, Congress generally loosens its military purse strings only when it fears falling behind US rivals, of which at least one and possibly more are currently known or suspected of working on naval biofuels.

That’s the kind of competition that once  brought the US military congressional funding for jet engines, ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, nuclear weapons, space stations, the Internet, and the countless other strategic advantages the nation’s armed forces enjoy today. Now, thanks to the upcoming war games in the Pacific,  the US armed forces may get funding for biofuels as well.

Nothing could bring that day closer than the upcoming naval exercise to be held off the Hawaiian islands from June 29 to August 3, known as the Rim of the Pacific Fleet Exercises, or RIMPAC War Games. The setting of the movie “Battleship”, RIMPAC is a competitive war simulation in which participating fleets and naval vessels attempt to outmaneuver and “sink” each others’ ships, winning or losing tactical points in the RIMPAC scoring system.

The US Pacific Fleet typically turns in top scores at RIMPAC, but this year all eyes will be on the Fleet’s Green Strike Group consisting of the nuclear carrier Nimitz, its camelina-biofueled jet aircraft and the three biofueled ships of the Strike Group, the guided-missile cruiser Princeton and the destroyers Chung-Hoon and Chaffee, all three burning a blend of algal biofuel and diesel. According to RIMPAC tradition the officers of the allied navies will visit aboard each others’ ships during the exercise and the Green Strike Group is already this year’s “hot ticket.”

Two allied navies, Japan’s and Australia’s, are known to be working on naval biofuels and there are rumors are of similar Chinese efforts given the nation’s fast-growing biofuels production capacity and recent altercations with US-allied navies in the South China Sea. The strategic advantages these and other nations are seeking from naval biofuels include greater range at sea due to the ability to make fuel aboard ship from food wasteâ€"as the US Navy has been doing for the past three yearsâ€"and from algal biomass as recently demonstrated during the voyage of the container ship Maersk Kalmar from Germany to India. The greater range and self sufficiency of biofueled ships results in more time on patrol at sea and less vulnerability to attack in port, the leading cause of military ship losses and crew fatalities in recent years.

By the conclusion of this year’s RIMPAC the US Navy’s existing biofuel stocks will have been depleted at the same time its allies and enemies alike are waking up to the conclusion that biofuels as a strategic necessity. Some in the US Northwest including Washington state governor Christine Gregoire, are already putting pressure on Congress to fund biofuels and support the leadership position currently held by the US Navy. Incitements to war are multiplying in the Pacific Fleet’s “back yard.” The Navy won’t need to convince Congress to fund biofuels. Its allies, its enemies and the force of events will do that just as they did in the arms race that followed World War II.

Joelle Brink is an associate editor for Biofuels Digest.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

THE UNITED STATES ARMY : U.S. Army Major experiences life in Australia as a ... - 4-traders

06/25/2012 | 06:18pm
FORT EUSTIS, Va. - Do you know how much weight a kangaroo can carry in its pouch? Seven pounds -- or about the weight of a bowling ball. Or how about the fact that the kangaroo and the Emu are the only two animals that cannot walk backward. Interestingly enough, both animals originate from the same place; Australia.

Australia is known for its beautiful landscapes, wildlife and perky accent. The opportunity to travel abroad and experience foreign cultures such as Australia may only be a dream for some, but not for Maj. Trent Upton, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's liaison officer to the Australian Army's Forces Command Headquarters -- where he has spent the last eight months at a place called Paddington.
It's fantastic," said Upton. "My wife and I jumped at the chance to give our children the experience of living in another country. It's something that some may take for granted, but not something that the average American child gets the chance to do."

Upton freely admits that he is enjoying life overseas, but also understands that he has an important mission for TRADOC. As a liaison officer, he works closely with his Australian counterparts to build working relationships that provide the familiarity that comes in handy during joint missions or training.
Currently, that includes initiatives like brigade redesign, force generation cycle refinement, and Human Dimension. These topics are not only important to TRADOC's efforts to design the Army of 2020, but also to Australia's modernization missions.

"It's all about establishing and maintaining trust between us. Trust is the underlying strength of any Army, from the buddy team to the strategic level. It's the same with our allies and partners--we a have to understand each other and be confident in each other's capabilities. Building and maintaining trust is critically fundamental to what we do as members of the Army Profession" says Upton.

According to the 2012 Army Posture Statement, building partnerships and capacity is a concept for developing future forces while creating stronger relationships with foreign armies. BPC contributes to strengthening international security capacities to deter potential adversaries and prepare for wartime efforts.

"One of the great things about my job is that I get to observe how a different organization approaches problem solving, and see different perspectives on how to tackle the same problem across its subordinate units and other governmental agencies," said Upton.

Upton, a career Infantry officer, is no stranger to living abroad. Previous duty assignments include a stint in South Korea as well as four combat tours in Iraq.

Randy Heitman, Chief of the Liaison and Exchange Division for the International Army Programs Directorate, says that combat and operational experience plays a large role when selecting an individual for an LNO position. "In the case of Australia, we wanted to fill the position with a combat arms officer who has had 2 or 3 deployments with operational experience. This helps build credibility with the host nation."

When asked if he faced any challenges as an LNO, Upton cited that establishing and maintaining credibility is key.

"You have to make it a point to demonstrate these qualities (relevancy and credibility) on a regular basis," he said. "My combat experience is what helped establish that initial credibility with the Australian Army. I've since expanded it through active engagement across a wide variety of activities such as battle rhythm events, training events and unit functions."

As an American Soldier working alongside Australian forces Upton shared his surprise at discovering the shared challenges each country faces regarding future operations.

As an LNO it is critical to impart the current initiatives and guidance as directed by TRADOC. Attending a TRADOC sponsored LNO conference June 11 -- 16 at Fort Eustis provided Upton the most recent initiatives and the chance to talk with other LNOs about their challenges and experiences.

Upton says that living in Australia is better than he thought it would be, and he and his family have taken trips to explore Sidney, Cairns in Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef, and have toured one of its many rain forests. "The kids really get a kick out of it. My kids love to see the wildlife there, some areas you can go to where the animals are out in the wild running around. The kids always like to see this."

When asked what he likes most about living in Australia, Upton said, "The beauty of the countryside. For me, it's kind of an experience of a life time. I've wanted to go to Australia ever since I was a little kid. I've seen things here that, at times, make me have to pinch myself - like wow, I'm really here."

Upton is currently serving a three year assignment ending in September of 2014.

distributed by
 

Easter Seals Teams with Lewis Jordan and GratitudeAmerica to Expand ... - MarketWatch (press release)

CHICAGO, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- One month ago, Easter Seals announced an exciting partnership with Colonel David W. Sutherland, United States Army, Retired, and Lieutenant Commander Kim Mitchell, formerly of the United States Navy. This team, previously serving in the military as direct reports to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is focused on better connecting, coordinating and collaborating with community-based services and grassroots support for military service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen from a local, regional and nationwide perspective. Today, with a shared commitment to serving those who have served us, this trio formally welcomes Lewis Jordan and his nonprofit GratitudeAmerica to the Easter Seals family and the organization's efforts to better support this community.

Together, this dedicated team will work to dramatically expand Easter Seals' role as a service provider and collaborator across America to close persistent, systemic and harmful gaps that diminish opportunities and the quality of life for millions of military service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen. This new partnership's focus will be to align the myriad of supports and directly assist thousands with reintegration, employment, education, wellness and family stability, as well as expand options for housing, transportation and recreation.

"Easter Seals has provided direct services to the military community since World War II. But their needs are greater than ever, especially as the existing and probable safety net is distressingly inadequate," says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "Working in partnership with COL Sutherland and now, Lewis Jordan, we're ready, able and committed to enhance our network and the communities we serve to better assist service members, veterans and their families with the depth and support they deserve."

Lewis Jordan will serve as a member of the newly minted Command Council/Advisory Board for the Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services within Easter Seals. Named for Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon, a career soldier who was killed in his second tour of duty in Iraq, Dixon Center will be a clearing house for advice, information, community collaboration and outreach. It will focus on employment, education and access to health care. With COL Sutherland's leadership, Dixon Center will act as an advocate and mentor on issues and solutions affecting quality of life for veterans, military service members, their families and families of the fallen with a grassroots focus.

"This exciting opportunity to collaborate with Easter Seals, specifically with COL David Sutherland, Kim Mitchell and Dixon Center, gives GratitudeAmerica an opportunity to greatly accelerate its initiatives," says Lewis Jordan, CEO of GratitudeAmerica and co-founder and former chairman of AirTran Airways. "Our extensive due diligence has shown the thousands of organizations dedicated to helping our veterans can achieve so much more by effectively coordinating their efforts. We are pleased and honored to work hand-in-hand with Dixon Center which will be ideally suited to assist these groups in sharing their knowledge and best practices in support of our veterans and their families."

The NeedOur soldiers have returned from Iraq and are returning home from Afghanistan with various injuries that are compounded by a sense of isolation. The American people want to help, but in some places just don't know how. These heroes face unemployment, families that are not always intact, and communities wanting to meet their immediate and long-term needs. The numbers are alarming:

To date, there are 47,740 wounded military from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts

Eleven to 20 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and 30 percent of Vietnam-era veterans live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In just over 10 years, nearly 250,000 soldiers have been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury

An estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day; since 2001, 2,293 U.S. military have committed suicide.

Twenty-seven percent of troops returning from Iraq/Afghanistan abuse alcohol

One-fifth of the homeless population are veterans - 107,000 on a given night

The divorce rate for military families increased by 38 percent from 2001 to 2010

In 2011, the unemployment rate for Gulf War era veterans rose to 12.1 percent; for women, it's 12.4 percent

About Lewis Jordan, GratitudeAmerica

Lewis Jordan founded and serves as CEO of GratitudeAmerica, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on community support of veterans, their families and families of the fallen in the areas of employment, training, health and wellness, housing and family relationships through a network of experts in these fields. Prior to devoting himself to this mission, he had a distinguished career in commercial aviation spanning nearly 50 years. Highlights include serving as president and chief operating officer for both Flying Tigers, the world's largest international cargo and military transport airline and for Continental Airlines during its major growth and acquisition period. In 1993, Jordan co-founded ValuJet Airlines and served as president of the company and as president and chairman of its successor AirTran Airways until his retirement from active management in 1997. He remained an active member of the AirTran Board until the company's acquisition by Southwest Airlines in May 2011. During his career, Jordan served on the Military Airlift Committee of the National Defense Transportation Association and on the board of the Air Transport Association. For more information visit www.gratitudeamerica.org

About Easter SealsEaster Seals has provided direct services to the military community since World War II. In 2005, recognizing the new and unmet needs of so many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the organization renewed its commitment to military families and veterans by establishing a Military and Veterans Initiative to address serious gaps in service and mobilize its national community-based provider network. Today, Easter Seals serves thousands of military families across its 73 affiliates, 450 nationwide service sites, 24,000 professional staff and 40,000 local volunteers.

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit www.easterseals.com .

SOURCE Easter Seals

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Comtex

Words used in this article:

Senator LaMalfa honors Buhlers as 4th District Veterans of the Year - The Union of Grass Valley

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Airplane pull at air show in Portsmouth to benefit Wounded Warriors - Foster's Daily Democrat

PORTSMOUTH â€" While the United States Navy Blue Angels perform their high-flying act in the sky, hundreds of participants will be on the ground helping support our nation's wounded warriors at the 2012 Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show.

The show will host the VW Pull for Wounded Warriors July 1 at the Portsmouth International Airport at Pease. The VW Pull for Wounded Warriors will raise funds to benefit the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire (BIANH). This year's air show will take to the skies June 30 and July 1 and features the United States Navy Blue Angels along with a high-profile lineup of military and civilian performers.

The VW Pull for Wounded Warriors is a giant tug-of-war where teams of up to 25 members pull an enormous aircraft weighing more than 130,000 pounds. Previous teams have consisted of co-workers, college students, sports teams, military units, and other groups that wish to have fun and support the BIANH. Teams need to register for the pull and must raise $1,500 to participate. BIANH hopes to raise at least $50,000 at the Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show.

BIANH works to provide support for all New Hampshire residents living with brain injury. Traumatic brain injury is the main injury from the war on terror and due to a large number of troops returning from battle, BIANH's services are in high demand. BIANH helps raise awareness about the needs of the service members living with brain injury and to educate others about brain injury. Brain injury often requires lifelong support and assistance.

"According to the military data, 20 percent of all ground forces suffer from TBI," said Ron Snow of BIANH. "Those are huge numbers and it is important that our service members are not left alone without assistance. The BIANH strongly appreciates all the sacrifices our military has gone through and we want to be the organization that supports those living with traumatic brain injury."

BIANH was founded by parents of brain injured children, who came together to support one another and work to assure that needed services were available to New Hampshire citizens with brain injury and their family members. "I like to think of the BIANH as the GPS for people living with acquired brain injuries through the myriad of services available," said Snow. "We will guide them to the support they need." For more information on the VW Pull for Wounded Warriors or to register, visit www.bostonportsmouthairshow.com/pull_for_the_wounded_warrior.

Tickets for the air show are available at www.BostonPortsmouthAirShow.com.

The Service Credit Union Boston-Portsmouth Air Show is being jointly produced by the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire. These two organizations, along with more than 30 other local not-for-profit groups, benefit from the show.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Krehbiel graduates as second lieutenant from the U.S. Air Force ... - Newton Kansan

Moses A. Krehbiel, son of Phil and Pam Krehbiel of Manistique, Mich., and grandson of Bill and Billie Krehbiel of Halstead, graduated as a second lieutenant from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., with the cadet class of 2012 on May 23, receiving a bachelor of science degree in systems engineering space. President Barack H. Obama, who saluted and shook hands with each of the 1,073 graduates, delivered the commencement address in Falcon Stadium. The hat toss was punctuated with a flyover and air show by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Second Lieutenant Krehbiel plans to receive specific training in cyber defense this summer at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., before getting his service orders.
 

Easter Seals Teams with Lewis Jordan and GratitudeAmerica to ... - MarketWatch (press release)

CHICAGO, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- One month ago, Easter Seals announced an exciting partnership with Colonel David W. Sutherland, United States Army, Retired, and Lieutenant Commander Kim Mitchell, formerly of the United States Navy. This team, previously serving in the military as direct reports to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is focused on better connecting, coordinating and collaborating with community-based services and grassroots support for military service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen from a local, regional and nationwide perspective. Today, with a shared commitment to serving those who have served us, this trio formally welcomes Lewis Jordan and his nonprofit GratitudeAmerica to the Easter Seals family and the organization's efforts to better support this community.

Together, this dedicated team will work to dramatically expand Easter Seals' role as a service provider and collaborator across America to close persistent, systemic and harmful gaps that diminish opportunities and the quality of life for millions of military service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen. This new partnership's focus will be to align the myriad of supports and directly assist thousands with reintegration, employment, education, wellness and family stability, as well as expand options for housing, transportation and recreation.

"Easter Seals has provided direct services to the military community since World War II. But their needs are greater than ever, especially as the existing and probable safety net is distressingly inadequate," says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "Working in partnership with COL Sutherland and now, Lewis Jordan, we're ready, able and committed to enhance our network and the communities we serve to better assist service members, veterans and their families with the depth and support they deserve."

Lewis Jordan will serve as a member of the newly minted Command Council/Advisory Board for the Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services within Easter Seals. Named for Staff Sergeant Donnie D. Dixon, a career soldier who was killed in his second tour of duty in Iraq, Dixon Center will be a clearing house for advice, information, community collaboration and outreach. It will focus on employment, education and access to health care. With COL Sutherland's leadership, Dixon Center will act as an advocate and mentor on issues and solutions affecting quality of life for veterans, military service members, their families and families of the fallen with a grassroots focus.

"This exciting opportunity to collaborate with Easter Seals, specifically with COL David Sutherland, Kim Mitchell and Dixon Center, gives GratitudeAmerica an opportunity to greatly accelerate its initiatives," says Lewis Jordan, CEO of GratitudeAmerica and co-founder and former chairman of AirTran Airways. "Our extensive due diligence has shown the thousands of organizations dedicated to helping our veterans can achieve so much more by effectively coordinating their efforts. We are pleased and honored to work hand-in-hand with Dixon Center which will be ideally suited to assist these groups in sharing their knowledge and best practices in support of our veterans and their families."

The NeedOur soldiers have returned from Iraq and are returning home from Afghanistan with various injuries that are compounded by a sense of isolation. The American people want to help, but in some places just don't know how. These heroes face unemployment, families that are not always intact, and communities wanting to meet their immediate and long-term needs. The numbers are alarming:

To date, there are 47,740 wounded military from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts

Eleven to 20 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and 30 percent of Vietnam-era veterans live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In just over 10 years, nearly 250,000 soldiers have been diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury

An estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day; since 2001, 2,293 U.S. military have committed suicide.

Twenty-seven percent of troops returning from Iraq/Afghanistan abuse alcohol

One-fifth of the homeless population are veterans - 107,000 on a given night

The divorce rate for military families increased by 38 percent from 2001 to 2010

In 2011, the unemployment rate for Gulf War era veterans rose to 12.1 percent; for women, it's 12.4 percent

About Lewis Jordan, GratitudeAmerica

Lewis Jordan founded and serves as CEO of GratitudeAmerica, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on community support of veterans, their families and families of the fallen in the areas of employment, training, health and wellness, housing and family relationships through a network of experts in these fields. Prior to devoting himself to this mission, he had a distinguished career in commercial aviation spanning nearly 50 years. Highlights include serving as president and chief operating officer for both Flying Tigers, the world's largest international cargo and military transport airline and for Continental Airlines during its major growth and acquisition period. In 1993, Jordan co-founded ValuJet Airlines and served as president of the company and as president and chairman of its successor AirTran Airways until his retirement from active management in 1997. He remained an active member of the AirTran Board until the company's acquisition by Southwest Airlines in May 2011. During his career, Jordan served on the Military Airlift Committee of the National Defense Transportation Association and on the board of the Air Transport Association. For more information visit www.gratitudeamerica.org

About Easter SealsEaster Seals has provided direct services to the military community since World War II. In 2005, recognizing the new and unmet needs of so many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the organization renewed its commitment to military families and veterans by establishing a Military and Veterans Initiative to address serious gaps in service and mobilize its national community-based provider network. Today, Easter Seals serves thousands of military families across its 73 affiliates, 450 nationwide service sites, 24,000 professional staff and 40,000 local volunteers.

Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help and hope to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play. Visit www.easterseals.com .

SOURCE Easter Seals

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Comtex

Words used in this article:

Army Sergeant and Associate Convicted on All Counts for Roles in ... - 7thSpace Interactive (press release)

  Army Sergeant and Associate Convicted on All Counts for Roles in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Defense Contracts to Support Iraq War

WASHINGTONâ€"A federal jury in Elkins, West Virginia, convicted Richard Evick, a United States Army Sergeant First Class and Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of contracting at a United States military base in Kuwait, and his associate, Crystal Martin, of all counts with which they were charged in connection with a bribery and money laundering scheme related to defense contracts awarded in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney William J Ihlenfeld, II for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Evick was found guilty yesterday of one count of bribery conspiracy, two counts of bribery, one count of money laundering conspiracy, six counts of money laundering, and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding. Martin was found guilty of one count of bribery conspiracy, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and four counts of money laundering.

“As the highest ranking enlisted officer in the United States Army’s contracting office at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, Mr Evick had a special duty to strike deals in the best interests of the American people,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Instead, he steered business to dirty contractors in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other items. Mr Evick, Ms.

Martin, and their co-conspirators defrauded the government they had sworn to serve. To date, our investigation has led to the convictions of 19 individuals, and we will continue aggressively to pursue corruption and procurement fraud wherever we find it.”

“The investigation and prosecution of public corruption cases continues to be a top priority for the Department of Justice in West Virginia and throughout the country,” said United States Attorney Ihlenfeld. “Fortunately, the vast majority of our public officials are honest and trustworthy, but those who are not will be held accountable.”

Evick served as the United States Army’s Non-Commission Officer in charge of contracting at Camp Arifjan between 2005 and 2006. In that capacity, Evick had the authority to arrange for the award of valuable contracts to supply the United States military with bottled water and catering services, maintain Army barracks, and install security barriers, among other things.

Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Evick and his co-conspirators manipulated the contracting process in several ways, including disclosing confidential information about the United States military’s plans to procure goods and services and accepting fake bids.

In this manner, Evick and two of his fellow contacting officials, former Army Majors James Momon and Chris Murray, steered nearly $24 million worth of contracting business to certain contractors. In exchange, these contractors paid Evick more than $170,000 in bribes, a free New Year’s Eve trip to Dubai, and parties.

Among the persons who paid Evick these bribes was Wajdi Birjas, a civilian United States government employee at Camp Arifjan who had a secret interest in a military contractor operating in Kuwait. Birjas testified that he provided phony bids to Evick from purportedly independent contractors who were, in reality, controlled by the same individuals. The evidence showed that Evick used these bids to create the false impression that the contracts were awarded according to Army contracting rules providing for a competitive bidding process.

Birjas also testified that he had a hidden safe at his villa where Momon stored more than $800,000 in bribe money and which Evick used to exchange a large amount of Kuwaiti currency for United States dollars.

According to the evidence, Evick gave much of his bribe money to Martin, who had a concession from the United States Army and Air Force Exchange Service to sell merchandise at Camp Arifjan, which was primarily a cash business. Evick and Martin then transferred tens of thousands of dollars worth of Evick’s bribe money to the United States into the hands of Evick’s wife and his girlfriend. The evidence showed that, in order to conceal that this was bribe money, Evick and Martin converted the money into Western Union wires, money orders, cashiers checks, and personal checks. Evick and Martin also smuggled cash into the United States on their persons, Martin often taking military transport flights to avoid customs screening.

Evick used his bribe money, among other things, to purchase and construct a residence on three and one half acres in Parsons, West Virginia, and to buy a pickup truck.

The evidence showed that Evick and Martin also participated in a scheme to smuggle $250,000 of bribe money belonging to Momon into the United States Momon testified about a summer 2006 meeting at Kuwait International Airport with Evick and Martin, at which Martin described how she was laundering Evick’s bribe money and offered to provide the same service for Momon. According to evidence presented at trial, Evick offered to bury Momon’s money on Evick’s West Virginia property. When law enforcement agents interviewed Evick several months later about corruption at Camp Arifjan, Evick falsely stated that he did not know the contractor from whom evidence showed he had received a $150,000 bribe, among other things.

“Contingency contracting provides an opportunity for honest contractors to excel but still runs the inherent risk of fraudulent activity that plagues all government contracting,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. “While our service members and defense civilians expect the best from their supporting contracts, we root out the worst and, working alongside our law enforcement partners, continue to aggressively bring those who defraud our nation’s warfighters to justice.”

“We are very pleased with the guilty verdicts in this case,” said Frank Robey, the director of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.

“It is a warning to anyone, in or out of uniform, who attempts to defraud the army or the government that we will investigate credible allegations and bring those responsible to justice. Our agents have done a remarkable job investigating this case along with our fellow law enforcement partners and the DOJ.”

“The fact that a jury convicted these two individuals on all 11 counts stands as a powerful reminder that those who break the public trust to engage in bribery and money laundering with funds meant for the reconstruction of Iraq will face the full force of the law,” said Stuart W Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). “SIGIR and those who work with us will continue work on those cases still open against those involved in illegal acts.”

Evick and Martin face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for bribery conspiracy, 20 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy, and 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering. Evick also faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for each count of bribery, five years for obstructing an agency proceeding, and the forfeiture of the proceeds of his bribe scheme, which includes his West Virginia residence.

They also face maximum fines of $250,000 per count. They will be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge John Preston Bailey. Their sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The case against Evick and Martin arose from a corruption probe focusing on the contracting office at Camp Arifjan, a United States military base in Kuwait. As a result of this investigation, 19 individuals, including Evick and Martin, have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the scheme.

Momon pleaded guilty in August 2009 to receiving approximately $1.6 million in bribes and agreed to pay $5.7 million in restitution, and he is awaiting sentencing. Murray pleaded guilty in January 2009 for his role in the scheme and was sentenced in December 2009 to 57 months in prison. Birjas pleaded guilty in September 2010, and he is awaiting sentencing.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C Sprung and Eric G Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R Cogar of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. The case is being investigated by special agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Army Criminal Investigation Command Division, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and SIGIR.

Reported by: FBI

Published on: 2012-06-27

Limited copyright is granted for you to use and/or republish any story on this site for any legitimate media purpose as long as you reference 7thSpace and any source mentioned in the story above. Please make sure to read our disclaimer prior to contacting 7thSpace Interactive. To contact our editors, visit our online helpdesk. If you wish submit your own press release, click here.

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USDOJ: Army Sergeant and Associate Convicted on All Counts for ... - 7thSpace Interactive (press release)

  USDOJ: Army Sergeant and Associate Convicted on All Counts for Roles in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Defense Contracts to Support Iraq War

WASHINGTON â€" A federal jury in Elkins, W. Va ., convicted Richard Evick, a United States Army Sergeant First Class and Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of contracting at a United States military base in Kuwait, and his associate, Crystal Martin, of all counts with which they were charged in connection with a bribery and money laundering scheme related to defense contracts awarded in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia. 

Evick was found guilty yesterday of one count of bribery conspiracy, two counts of bribery, one count of money laundering conspiracy, six counts of money laundering and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding.  Martin was found guilty of one count of bribery conspiracy, one count of money laundering conspiracy and four counts of money laundering.

“As the highest ranking enlisted officer in the United States Army’s contracting office at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, Mr Evick had a special duty to strike deals in the best interests of the American people,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.  “Instead, he steered business to dirty contractors in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other items.  Mr Evick, Ms Martin and their co-conspirators defrauded the government they had sworn to serve.  To date, our investigation has led to the convictions of 19 individuals, and we will continue aggressively to pursue corruption and procurement fraud wherever we find it.”

“The investigation and prosecution of public corruption cases continues to be a top priority for the Department of Justice in West Virginia and throughout the country,” said United States Attorney Ihlenfeld.  “Fortunately the vast majority of our public officials are honest and trustworthy, but those who are not will be held accountable.”

Evick served as the United States Army’s Non-Commission Officer in charge of contracting at Camp Arifjan between 2005 and 2006.  In that capacity, Evick had the authority to arrange for the award of valuable contracts to supply the United States military with bottled water and catering services, maintain Army barracks and install security barriers, among other things. 

Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Evick and his co-conspirators manipulated the contracting process in several ways, including disclosing confidential information about the United States military’s plans to procure goods and services and accepting fake bids.  In this manner, Evick and two of his fellow contacting officials, former Army Majors James Momon and Chris Murray, steered nearly $24 million worth of contracting business to certain contractors.  In exchange, these contractors paid Evick more than $170,000 in bribes, a free New Year’s Eve trip to Dubai and parties. 

Among the persons who paid Evick these bribes was Wajdi Birjas, a civilian United States government employee at Camp Arifjan who had a secret interest in a military contractor operating in Kuwait.  Birjas testified that he provided phony bids to Evick from purportedly independent contractors who were, in reality, controlled by the same individuals.  The evidence showed that Evick used these bids to create the false impression that the contracts were awarded according to Army contracting rules providing for a competitive bidding process.  Birjas also testified that he had a hidden safe at his villa where Momon stored more than $800,000 in bribe money and which Evick used to exchange a large amount of Kuwaiti currency for United States dollars.

According to the evidence, Evick gave much of his bribe money to Martin, who had a concession from the Army and Air force Exchange Service to sell merchandise at Camp Arifjan, which was primarily a cash business.  Evick and Martin then transferred tens of thousands of dollars worth of Evick’s bribe money to the United States into the hands of Evick’s wife and his girlfriend.  The evidence showed that, in order to conceal the fact that this was bribe money, Evick and Martin converted the money into Western Union wires, money orders, cashiers checks and personal checks.  Evick and Martin also smuggled cash into the United States on their persons, Martin often taking military transport flights to avoid customs screening.  Evick used his bribe money, among other things, to purchase and construct a residence on three and one half acres in Parsons, W. Va ., and to buy a pickup truck.

The evidence showed that Evick and Martin also participated in a scheme to smuggle $250,000 of bribe money belonging to Momon into the United States  Momon testified about a summer 2006 meeting at Kuwait international airport with Evick and Martin, at which Martin described how she was laundering Evick’s bribe money and offered to provide the same service for Momon.  According to evidence presented at trial, Evick offered to bury Momon’s money on Evick’s West Virginia property.  When law enforcement agents interviewed Evick several months later about corruption at Camp Arifjan, Evick falsely stated that he did not know the contractor from whom evidence showed he had received a $150,000 bribe, among other things.

“Contingency contracting provides an opportunity for honest contractors to excel but still runs the inherent risk of fraudulent activity that plagues all government contracting,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.  “While our service members and defense civilians expect the best from their supporting contracts, we root out the worst and, working alongside our law enforcement partners, continue to aggressively bring those who defraud our nation’s warfighters to justice.”

“We are very pleased with the guilty verdicts in this case,” said Frank Robey, the director of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit.  “It is a warning to anyone, in or out of uniform, who attempts to defraud the Army or the government that we will investigate credible allegations and bring those responsible to justice.  Our agents have done a remarkable job investigating this case along with our fellow law enforcement partners and the DOJ.”

“The fact that a jury convicted these two individuals on all 11 counts stands as a powerful reminder that  those who break the public trust to engage in bribery and money laundering with funds meant for the reconstruction of Iraq will face the full force of the law,” said Stuart W. Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).  “SIGIR and those who work with us will continue work on those cases still open against those involved in illegal acts.”

Evick and Martin face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for bribery conspiracy, 20 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy and 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering.  Evick also faces a maximum of 15 years in prison for each count of bribery, five years for obstructing an agency proceeding and the forfeiture of the proceeds of his bribe scheme, which includes his West Virginia residence.  They also face maximum fines of $250,000 per count.  They will be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge John Preston Bailey.  Their sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. 

The case against Evick and Martin arose from a corruption probe focusing on the contracting office at Camp Arifjan, a United States military base in Kuwait.  As a result of this investigation, 19 individuals, including Evick and Martin, have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the scheme.  Momon pleaded guilty in August 2009 to receiving approximately $1.6 million in bribes and agreed to pay $5.7 million in restitution, and he is awaiting sentencing.  Murray pleaded guilty in January 2009 for his role in the scheme and was sentenced in December 2009 to 57 months in prison.  Birjas pleaded guilty in September 2010 and he is awaiting sentencing.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Andrew R. Cogar of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia.  The case is being investigated by special agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Army Criminal Investigation Command Division, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the FBI and SIGIR.

Contact: Department of Justice Main Switchboard - 202-514-2000

Reported by: US Department of Justice

Published on: 2012-06-27

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Williams' 50th anniversary - AugustaGazette.com

Louie and Linda Williams were married on June 14, 1962, in Augusta.
Following Louie’s service in the United States Air Force, the couple returned to make their home in Augusta.
They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary during a Disney cruise to the Bahamas the first week of June.  They were accompanied on the trip by their sons and their families.
Their children are: Eric (Melanie) Williams of Anthem, Ariz., David (Kelly) Williams and Chris (Emily) Williams, both of Augusta.  They enjoy seven grandchildren, Luke, Josh. Presley, Kane, Katie, Jake, and Sophie.

Monday, June 25, 2012

THE UNITED STATES ARMY : U.S. Army Major experiences life in ... - 4-traders

06/25/2012 | 06:18pm
FORT EUSTIS, Va. - Do you know how much weight a kangaroo can carry in its pouch? Seven pounds -- or about the weight of a bowling ball. Or how about the fact that the kangaroo and the Emu are the only two animals that cannot walk backward. Interestingly enough, both animals originate from the same place; Australia.

Australia is known for its beautiful landscapes, wildlife and perky accent. The opportunity to travel abroad and experience foreign cultures such as Australia may only be a dream for some, but not for Maj. Trent Upton, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's liaison officer to the Australian Army's Forces Command Headquarters -- where he has spent the last eight months at a place called Paddington.
It's fantastic," said Upton. "My wife and I jumped at the chance to give our children the experience of living in another country. It's something that some may take for granted, but not something that the average American child gets the chance to do."

Upton freely admits that he is enjoying life overseas, but also understands that he has an important mission for TRADOC. As a liaison officer, he works closely with his Australian counterparts to build working relationships that provide the familiarity that comes in handy during joint missions or training.
Currently, that includes initiatives like brigade redesign, force generation cycle refinement, and Human Dimension. These topics are not only important to TRADOC's efforts to design the Army of 2020, but also to Australia's modernization missions.

"It's all about establishing and maintaining trust between us. Trust is the underlying strength of any Army, from the buddy team to the strategic level. It's the same with our allies and partners--we a have to understand each other and be confident in each other's capabilities. Building and maintaining trust is critically fundamental to what we do as members of the Army Profession" says Upton.

According to the 2012 Army Posture Statement, building partnerships and capacity is a concept for developing future forces while creating stronger relationships with foreign armies. BPC contributes to strengthening international security capacities to deter potential adversaries and prepare for wartime efforts.

"One of the great things about my job is that I get to observe how a different organization approaches problem solving, and see different perspectives on how to tackle the same problem across its subordinate units and other governmental agencies," said Upton.

Upton, a career Infantry officer, is no stranger to living abroad. Previous duty assignments include a stint in South Korea as well as four combat tours in Iraq.

Randy Heitman, Chief of the Liaison and Exchange Division for the International Army Programs Directorate, says that combat and operational experience plays a large role when selecting an individual for an LNO position. "In the case of Australia, we wanted to fill the position with a combat arms officer who has had 2 or 3 deployments with operational experience. This helps build credibility with the host nation."

When asked if he faced any challenges as an LNO, Upton cited that establishing and maintaining credibility is key.

"You have to make it a point to demonstrate these qualities (relevancy and credibility) on a regular basis," he said. "My combat experience is what helped establish that initial credibility with the Australian Army. I've since expanded it through active engagement across a wide variety of activities such as battle rhythm events, training events and unit functions."

As an American Soldier working alongside Australian forces Upton shared his surprise at discovering the shared challenges each country faces regarding future operations.

As an LNO it is critical to impart the current initiatives and guidance as directed by TRADOC. Attending a TRADOC sponsored LNO conference June 11 -- 16 at Fort Eustis provided Upton the most recent initiatives and the chance to talk with other LNOs about their challenges and experiences.

Upton says that living in Australia is better than he thought it would be, and he and his family have taken trips to explore Sidney, Cairns in Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef, and have toured one of its many rain forests. "The kids really get a kick out of it. My kids love to see the wildlife there, some areas you can go to where the animals are out in the wild running around. The kids always like to see this."

When asked what he likes most about living in Australia, Upton said, "The beauty of the countryside. For me, it's kind of an experience of a life time. I've wanted to go to Australia ever since I was a little kid. I've seen things here that, at times, make me have to pinch myself - like wow, I'm really here."

Upton is currently serving a three year assignment ending in September of 2014.

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THE UNITED STATES ARMY : Mapping out careers - 4-traders

ABEREDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The Army Contracting Command's Civilian Workforce Workgroup has established a comprehensive career roadmap for contracting professionals to help individuals achieve their career goals.

Formed in January, the group has members from each of ACC's organizational elements.

"The Army Contracting Command is committed to developing a professional workforce that can provide quality contracting solutions in support of our war fighters," said Carol Lowman, deputy to the ACC commanding general.

"Our continued success is dependent on our ability to ensure our contracting personnel receive continuous professional development throughout their careers. In doing so, we must ensure a proper balance between learning, development and on-the-job experience."

The CWWG focused on five key objectives to develop the plan known as civilian contracting career program optimization. These objectives include contracting competencies and mission requirements; enterprise resources and tools; mentors and peer group; formal training; and, training with industry.

"The roadmap will serve as the framework to ultimately align individual career objectives with organizational performance management requirements," said Bryon J. Young, executive director for Army Contracting Command -- Aberdeen Proving Ground and CWWG chairman.

"We must embrace an experience-based environment throughout ACC and promote an emphasis on contracting competencies. Throughout the ACC enterprise, there are opportunities for employees to gain experience in virtually every aspect of government contracting."

The group was tasked to present its recommendations to the ACC leadership in April, which included written guidelines for a career roadmap and a plan outline for an ACC training with industry program.

"The CWWG submitted all final products and materials to the ACC G1 (Human Resources) for final review," said Valerie Ward, CWWG co-lead and human resource management specialist. "The products will also have a legal review before being finalized and published for the workforce. The goal is to have the roadmap in place by fiscal year 2013."

According to the CWWG team, the roadmap was designed to assist the contracting workforce with identifying career elements in areas such as technical skills and functional competencies, general business skills, career progression, leadership skills and professional development.

The map is divided into three key career phases of contracting career progression and development: tactical, operational and strategic. Within each phase there are career element guidelines to assist the contracting workforce with career decisions and to serve as a template for career progression.

CWWG members said the first step on the roadmap is the tactical phase which focuses on building a strong foundation of technical knowledge to develop the skills for increased levels of job performance and contracting certification. The tactical phase is when acquisition training is completed. To reinforce training, the CWWG recommended that training correspond to on-the-job experiences.

The CWWG also suggests that entry-level careerists be given more time to achieve Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification. This would allow more time to integrate on-the-job experiences with training. Although every employee progresses at a different rate, the tactical phase ranges from four to seven years.

The CWWG also recommended that tactical-level careerists and supervisors use an automated on-the-job training tool to validate competencies and work experience. This automated tool would pull data from the other training systems to track the progress of contracting careerists.

Other recommendations include developing a partnership with the Defense Acquisition University to integrate the skills of civilian contracting personnel, 1102 career series, with their military counterparts to create unified contracting standards.

The second stage is the operational phase which focuses on gaining experience and learning skills of increased complexity. Careerists in this phase have mastered many of the skills introduced in the tactical phase.

The years of experience could range from four to 20 or more years and some employees may work in this phase throughout the length of their careers. During this phase, leadership and contracting skills are honed and careerists are considered experts within the field, according to CWWG team members.

"During the operational phase, employees are proficient enough to mentor junior members and some careerists will serve in supervisory roles," said Roxanne Barbaris, CWWG co-lead and workforce development specialist. "The contracting career series is very broad and no one will know everything within the career field, but by varying their experiences they can gain breadth and depth to their knowledge base."

Pursuit of developmental assignment rotations and career broadening opportunities are suited best for careerists within the operational phase, Barbaris said.

Contracting leaders are expected to understand the total Army enterprise and the acquisition environment and this can be achieved through diverse assignments at different levels of the hierarchy.

Contracting professionals can gain exposure to a wide variety of Army acquisition experience within ACC's diverse commands and centers, each with varied customer bases.

These internal developmental assignments are beneficial to the contracting workforce by providing on-the-job experiences. In addition, the group researched external developmental opportunities for contracting careerists, providing the initial framework for an ACC training with industry program.

"To establish our TWI plan, the CWWG reached out to other organizations and individuals with TWI experience to gain from their expertise," said Charles Farrior, CWWG member.

The objective of the proposed TWI program is to improve the technical and professional competencies of participating employees by partnering with industry.

Throughout this partnership, employees will address specific learning objectives identified prior to the assignment and will examine the best practices of industry to gain insight into industry policy and processes.

The final phase of the career roadmap is the strategic phase. Employees in this phase are typically senior leaders of Army contracting who lead organizations or drive acquisition strategies.

The training for this phase is at the senior executive level and focuses on shaping institutional strategy. These individuals are trained to serve as role models and they tend to have excellent communication skills. An employee within this phase typically has 13 or more years of experience, according to the CWWG.

"Once a careerist enters the strategic phase, they have the ability to move in and out to follow their desired career path," said Barbaris.

"In contracting, careerists are always learning something new based on their unique assignments. One of the benefits to this career roadmap is that a careerist can change lanes to gain a variety of career experiences. This roadmap provides a holistic approach to managing careers and allows leaders to mentor, counsel and plan for the development of their subordinates."

The CWWG identified a new automated tool currently used by Soldiers known as the Army Career Tracker, a web-based career management system that integrates training, assignment history, and formal/informal education paths for every career series. In 2011, the ACT was deployed to military members and is now being customized for civilian career fields.

"ACT will consolidate training, education and assignment data relevant to position and career level. This aligns with the recommendation by CWWG to develop an automated tool for the career roadmap tracking," Ward pointed out.

"The CWWG plans to share its career roadmap data with the ACT team to assist with the 1102 civilian development."