Tuesday, September 18, 2012

US looking forward to foster already strong military relationship with Malaysia - The Borneo Post

Posted on September 19, 2012, Wednesday

MUTUAL BENEFIT: Razali (back) and Compton putting on arm band on US and Malaysian soldiers after the opening ceremony of the bilateral military exercise at the Ulu Tiram Camp in Johor Baharu. â€" Bernama photo

JOHOR BAHARU: The United States Army is looking forward to foster the already strong military relationship with the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) through bilateral exercises.

United States Army 9th Mission Support commanding general, Brig Gen Michele G Compton said, military leadership in the US and Malaysia was always on the lookout for efforts to increase relationship between both armed forces.

“Our relationship is great and very good and its been enhanced over the years. Our personal relationship emulates and it will continue, for a strong relationship with the MAF,” said the Hawaii-based Compton to reporters yesterday.

She was met after the opening ceremony of the bilateral military exercise ‘Ex Keris Strike’ at the Ulu Tiram Camp here, which was officiated by the Third Infantry Division Major General Datuk Mohd Razali Ahmad.

According to Compton, the 10-day Keris Strike exercise included computer-aided command post maneuvering at the brigade and battalion level, medical first responder course and medical civic action programme.

The bilateral exercise participated by 96 soldiers from the various US Army units and 369 from MAF, will also include, for the first time, a course on Counter-Improvise Explosive Device (C-IED), she said. Meanwhile, Mohd Razali said the existing relationship between Malaysia and the United States army was strong. â€" Bernama

“Programmes like the ‘Ex Keris Strike’ can further enhance relations and enable our armed forces to acquire valuable training. The inclusion of the C-IED is another area that our forces can benefit,” he said. â€" Bernama

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Leaders issue Air Force birthday message - Barksdale Air Force Base

9/18/2012 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy issued the following message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

As we celebrate the United States Air Force's 65th birthday, we salute all of the dedicated Airmen who serve or have served in our Nation's youngest and most innovative Service.

Throughout our proud history, the Air Force has embraced the technology that continues to revolutionize our capabilities in air, space and cyberspace. We owe an enormous debt to the ground-breaking visionaries and engineering pioneers who brought the technology of flight to life, and to the professional strategists and tacticians who imagined the military possibilities of these new technologies and propelled the science, theory and application forward.

While our Service enjoys an unbreakable connection to state-of-the-art technology, we must never forget that everything we do depends on our people, the living engine of our Air Force. Today, more than ever, the Air Force can take pride that our Service culture promotes and benefits from the know-how, determination, and commitment of a diverse group of men and women who embody our Core Values -- Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do -- while pursuing adaptive and innovative solutions for our Nation's security.

Every day, our Airmen have an opportunity to add a bright new chapter to the Air Force story by serving our Nation in the world's finest air force. The challenges confronting our country are great; but our active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen have never failed to answer our Nation's call. Working together in common purpose as one Air Force, we will keep America secure today and for all the years to come.

Happy birthday, Air Force! Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win!

The United States Air Force Celebrates Its 65th Birthday Today - Council on Foreign Relations (blog)

by James M. Lindsay
September 18, 2012

F-16 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly in formation over the Hudson River in New York. (Eduardo Munoz/ courtesy Reuters)F-16 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly in formation over the Hudson River in New York. (Eduardo Munoz/ courtesy Reuters)


The United States Air Force (USAF) turns 65 years-old today. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the Air Force, officially founding a new branch of the U.S. military. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF’s first chief of staff eight days later on September 26, 1947.

The USAF tracks its origins to a decision made just four years after the Wright Brothers conducted the world’s first airplane flight over the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps created an Aeronautical Division and put it in “charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines and all kindred subjects.” As aviation technology improved, the army’s air force grew bigger. An independent military arm became virtually inevitable after the Army Air Forces became an autonomous U.S. Army Command in 1942 and then grew substantially throughout the remainder of World War II. On July 26, 1947, President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 on board the presidential aircraft, the Sacred Cow, and set the creation of the USAF in motion.

Col. Brian Killough, an air force officer spending a year as a visiting military fellow in CFR’s David Rockefeller Studies Program, kindly responded to my request for what books he would recommend to people who want to know more about the history of the USAF. He gave me five recommendations from the Air Force Historical Studies Office:

McFarland, Stephen L. A Concise History of the U.S. Air Force (2012).

Nalty, Bernard C. (ed.). Winged Shield, Winged Sword: A History of the United States Air Force, 2 volumes (1997).

Nalty, Bernard C., John F. Shiner, and George M. Watson (eds.). With Courage: The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II (2005).

Wolk, Herman S. The Struggle for Air Force Independence, 1943-1947 (1997).

Wolk, Herman S. Toward Independence: The Emergence of the U.S. Air Force,1945-1947 (1996).

A tip of the TWE cap to all the airmen and airwomen who have worn the uniform of the USAF.

About This Blog

On The Water's Edge, Lindsay examines the push and pull of U.S. foreign policy. It focuses on three themes: the political forces shaping American foreign policy, the sustainability of American power in an era of fiscal austerity, and the ability of the United States to navigate a rapidly changing world.

About the Author

James M. Lindsay

James M. Lindsay

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US aims to foster strong military relationship with Malaysia - New Straits Times

United States Army 9th Mission Support commanding general, Brig. Gen. Michele G.Compton said, military leadership in the US and Malaysia was always on the lookout for efforts to increase relationship between both armed forces.

"Our relationship is great and very good and its been enhanced over the years. Our personal relationship emulates and it will continue, for a strong relationship with the MAF," said the Hawaii-based Compton to reporters today.

She was met after the opening ceremony of the bilateral military exercise "Ex Keris Strike" at the Ulu Tiram Camp here, which was officiated by the Third Infantry Division Major General Datuk Mohd Razali Ahmad.

According to Compton, the 10-day Keris Strike exercise included computer-aided command post maneuvering at the brigade and battalion level, medical first responder course and medical civic action programme.

The bilateral exercise participated by 96 soldiers from the various US Army units and 369 from MAF, will also include, for the first time, a course on Counter-Improvise Explosive Device (C-IED), she said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Razali said the existing relationship between Malaysia and the United States army was strong.

"Programmes like the 'Ex Keris Strike' can further enhance relations and enable our armed forces to acquire valuable training. The inclusion of the C-IED is another area that our forces can benefit," he said. Bernama

BrainScope Wins Rapid Innovation Fund Research Contract - PCBDesign007

BrainScope® Company, Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Army for development of a “Miniature Field Deployable System For Rapid TBI Assessment.” This contract is valued at $2.67 million over 24 months.

BrainScope’s proprietary Ahead® system currently in development addresses the unmet need for a medical device to aid in the triage of patients who are suspected of traumatic brain injury (TBI), including its milder forms known as concussions. The newly-awarded U.S. Army contract will enable BrainScope to merge the core technologies in the BrainScope Ahead system with existing smartphone technology.

The Ahead system records brain electrical activity with a handheld, non-invasive, non-radiation emitting medical device, and utilizes advanced algorithms that quantify and characterize features of brain electrical activity associated with TBI. The Ahead system is intended to be utilized as an adjunct to standard clinical practice to aid in the rapid, effective and objective assessment of individuals suspected of TBI at the point of care. Early identification and categorization of even the mildest forms of brain injury are the first steps in providing proper care to ensure optimal recovery.

"We are honored to receive this award from the U.S. Army to create a more miniaturized version of our handheld device on a ubiquitous computing platform," said Michael Singer, President and CEO of BrainScope. “We understand the significant need for a rapidly-applied assessment capability with results displayed in minutes so that first responders can make vital triage decisions. We are greatly appreciative of the support the U.S. Military has shown BrainScope and look forward to quickly ramping up our efforts on this important project.”

In December 2011, BrainScope was awarded a $7.5 million contract by the United States Department of Defense for the “Assessment of Head Injury in the Emergency Department: Clinical Validation of the BrainScope Ahead Technology.” In May of last year, BrainScope reached concurrence with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the key study design elements for clinical validation of the Ahead M-100 medical device.

Since 2010, results from clinical studies utilizing BrainScope’s technology have been published in leading peer-reviewed neurology and emergency medicine journals such as Brain Injury, The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

About BrainScope

Backed by Revolution LLC (created by AOL co-founder Steve Case), Shaman Ventures, ZG Ventures, Maryland Venture Fund and Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, BrainScope is a medical neurotechnology company that is developing a new generation of hand-held, easy-to-use, non-invasive instruments, designed to aid medical professionals in rapidly and objectively assessing brain function. BrainScope devices in development are based on a proprietary technology platform, which integrates databases of brainwave recordings with advanced developments in digital signal processing, sophisticated algorithms, miniaturized hardware and disposable headset sensors. BrainScope's initial focus is on TBI and its milder presentation which is commonly referred to as "concussion." BrainScope's unique device is being developed to meet a long-standing clinical need for improved early identification, staging and triage for head-injured patients. BrainScope devices under development for assessment of traumatically-induced head injury and concussions are for investigational use only and have not been submitted to FDA for premarket review. For more information, please visit www.brainscope.com.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Open Thread: Air Force Birthday - Patriot Post


Relentlessly committed to the defense of liberty, the United States Air Force celebrates its 65th birthday today, Sept. 18. The Air Force began life as the Army Air Corps but became a separate Armed Services Branch when the Department of the Air Force was created by the National Security Act of 1947. As the U.S. Air Force continues its critical mission "to fly, fight and win ... in air, space and cyberspace," we ask that you pray for these brave Patriots prosecuting "The Long War" against Jihadistan, and for their families awaiting their safe return.

Judd F. Cale - Staunton News Leader

Judd Franklin Cale

AUGUSTA SPRINGS â€" Judd Franklin "Frank" Cale, 79, passed away in his home with his devoted and loving family September 16, 2012.

He was born December 20, 1932, in Augusta Springs, a son of Gratton Franklin Cale and Margie Mae Campbell Cale.

Frank graduated from Craigsville High School in 1951. He attended Bridgewater College and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He attained AT1 First Class Petty Officer in four years. During his enlistment, he met the "love of his life", Jane Ellen Welcher. They married December 29, 1956. He received an honorable discharge from the United States Navy in February 1957 and returned to the family farm that he loved. Frank began working on the family farm, as soon as he was old enough. He ran the family sawmill at thirteen years old. He would do chores on the farm and then ride the train from Augusta Springs to Craigsville to attend school. During Frank's work career, he was employed by Lehigh Portland Cement Plant in Craigsville, General Electric in Waynesboro and General Cable in Buena Vista. Frank retired from Reynolds Metals in 1995. Frank worked on the family farm with his father until his passing in 1991 and then continued to farm and log timber throughout his life at both the Augusta and Rockbridge County farms. In 1970, he was instrumental in founding the Craigsville-Augusta Springs First Aid Crew with his good friend, Mr. Edwin Strange. Frank served for many years as a CPR instructor and Captain of the squad. He was awarded a lifetime member in 2004. Frank was also a member of the American Legion Post 13. Mr. Cale attended the United Methodist Church as a small boy and was a member for over 60 years. He served as Sunday School Teacher, Lay Speaker and Lay Leader and held numerous other offices over the years. He was a member of the St. Paul's United Methodist Men's Fellowship group and served as an active member of the Gideons for 13 years. Frank attributes his love of the Lord to his dear mother who prayed for him his whole life until her passing.

(Page 2 of 2)

Frank's other "love of his life" was motorcycle riding. He never met a stranger and has never been at a loss for words. He loved to tell stories and listen to good ones, too. He loved people and enjoyed helping others. He tried to see the good in people and gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. He had an amazing ability to forgive others. He loved to talk to others about God and what God had done for him in his life. He was very patriotic. He had tremendous respect and appreciation for veterans, particularly those that served in World War II. Frank's life was a gift and a blessing to many and one of great service to his community. Few men ever truly know why God placed them on this earth, but in looking at Frank's life, it is easy to see that he was here so we would all have someone to call friend, look up to and respect, not only for his stature and his wisdom, but for the kind of man he was and the influence he had on others.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his only son, Judd Franklin “Tink” Cale II and his special dog "Pepper".

Frank is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Jane Welcher Cale; his two daughters, Cheryl Cale Miller of Roanoke and Deborah Cale Boyers of Augusta Springs; a son-in-law, Russell D. Boyers; three grandchildren, Sarah Miller Spence and husband Caleb of Staunton, Candace April Fridley of Charlottesville and Brandon Franklin Cook of Verona; two great grandsons, Samuel Dean Spence and Eli Scott Spence of Staunton; a sister, Ruby Cale Pulliam of Verona; special nephews, Franklin Anthony Stephenson of Augusta Springs and Randy D. Robertson of Craigsville; a special sister-in-law, Elsie Robertson of Craigsville; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Juanita and William Wilcher and his life-long best friend, Lonzie "Woody" Fridley of Lake City, Fla.

A celebration of his life will be conducted on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Craigsville by the Reverends Harley Bender, Homer Frazier and Ryan Schaeffer.

Burial will follow in the Miller Memorial Baptist Church Cemetery in Augusta Springs.

Active pallbearers will be John McCutcheon Tuttle, James Johnson, Sr., Dave Maul, Donald Minter, Franklin Anthony Stephenson, Lewis Corbin, Miles Hazlett and Don Bosserman.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Gideons, Craigsville-Augusta Springs First Aid Crew, St. Paul's United Methodist Men's Fellowship group, Dr. Kerry Alexander, Arvil Welcher, Harold Via, Harold Bosserman, his motorcycle friends and retirees of Reynolds Metals.

The family will receive friends from 6 - 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Coffman Funeral Home & Crematory, 230 Frontier Drive, Staunton, VA.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gideon’s International, Augusta North Camp, P.O. Box 2711, Staunton, VA 24401.

Coffman Funeral Home and Crematory, 230 Frontier Drive, Staunton is in charge of his arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at coffmanfuneralhome.net.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Woman to lead military training after sex scandal - WYTV

SAN ANTONIO (AP) â€" The Air Force has chosen a woman to lead its basic training unit where dozens of female recruits have alleged they were sexually assaulted or harassed by male instructors in the past year.

The Air Force announced Saturday that Col. Deborah Liddick will take command of the 737th Training Group at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio next week. Her appointment comes amid a sex scandal that has rocked one of the nation's busiest military training centers and caught the attention of Congress.

Six male instructors have been charged with crimes ranging from rape to adultery.

Liddick is already stationed in San Antonio, where she serves as chief of the maintenance division at the former Randolph Air Force Base. She is scheduled to take command Friday.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, September 14, 2012

SCRA Applied R&D Wins United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Contract - defpro

$45 Million, Three Year Contract to Preform Military Assessments

06:46 GMT, September 14, 2012 CHARLESTON, S.C. | SCRA Applied R&D announced Sept. 13 the award of a $45 million, three year, multiple award contract to support the US Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC) Experimentation Center by performing Military Utility Assessments. These assessments will test technologies and processes in realistic military conditions in areas including: military tactics, weapons technologies, humanitarian aid, communications and renewable energy.

The contract, issued through Naval Facilities Engineering Command, will allow SCRA Applied R&D support the assessment and subsequent implementation of technologies that will reduce pollution, reduce energy consumption, increase accuracy/lethality of weapons and tactics and support humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts around the world. The assessments, which will take place worldwide, will ensure that the US Armed Forces are equipped with the best technologies and weapons systems and will prepare them to handle natural disasters.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected to continue our support of the MARFORPAC mission,” said SCRA Applied R&D President Chris Van Metre. “SCRA Applied R&D has an extensive track record delivering high returns on investment to our federal partners and supporting our men and women in uniform through successful execution of essential programs. We look forward to our continued work in support of our Armed Forces.” 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

AP Top News at 3:48 pm EDT - Central Florida News 13

Fewer 9/11 families on hand for 11th anniversary

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Americans marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Tuesday in familiar but subdued ceremonies that put grieving families ahead of politicians and suggested it's time to move on after a decade of remembrance. As in past years, thousands gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., to read the names of nearly 3,000 victims killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history.

Is America safer? Presidential candidates disagree

WASHINGTON (AP) â€" Looking to win voters even as they swore off negative attacks, the presidential candidates clashed over whether the country is a safer place on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. President Barack Obama pointed to gains in the war on terror under his time as commander in chief to make the case that Americans are better protected. "Al-Qaida's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again. Our country is safer and our people are resilient," the president said at a Pentagon memorial service.

Lack of Southerners on US presidential tickets

ATLANTA (AP) â€" For decades, Southerners put a firm imprint on national politics from both sides of the aisle, holding the White House for 25 of the past 50 years and producing a legion of Capitol Hill giants during the 20th century. But that kind of obvious power has waned as Democrats and Republicans in the region navigate the consequences of tidal shifts in demographics, migration and party identity. This is the second consecutive presidential election without a Southerner on either major party ticket. That has happened in back-to-back elections only once, 1968 and 1972, since Franklin Roosevelt, a New Yorker, won four consecutive elections with overwhelming support across what was then Democrats' solid South. (The 2008 candidates were Democrats Barack Obama of Illinois and Joe Biden of Delaware, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Sarah Palin of Alaska. This year, it's Obama and Biden, and Republicans Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.)

WHY IT MATTERS: Afghanistan

The issue: U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan, nearly 11 years after they invaded. Why? The answer boils down to one word: al-Qaida. The goal is to damage the terrorist group enough to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks.

Guantanamo prisoner who died battled confinement

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) â€" The latest prisoner to die at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba, was identified Tuesday as a Yemeni man with a history of mental illness who battled guards inside the prison and challenged his confinement all the way to the Supreme Court. Adnan Latif had spent a more than decade at Guantanamo, where he repeatedly went on hunger strike and once slashed his wrist and hurled the blood at his visiting lawyer. He had also received some mental health treatment at the detainee hospital, according to his lawyers and court records.

AP Exclusive: New intelligence on Iran nuke work

VIENNA (AP) â€" The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press. They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years.

Egyptian protesters scale US Embassy wall in Cairo

CAIRO (AP) â€" Egyptian protesters, largely ultraconservative Islamists, climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, made their way into the courtyard and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a film attacking Islam's prophet, Muhammad. Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the United States.

Wounded flood hospitals in Syria's largest city

ALEPPO, Syria (AP) â€" It had been a calm day in Aleppo's Shifa Hospital, said Dr. Osman al-Haj Osman, his face etched with exhaustion from just three hours of sleep. Then, a man burst in bearing the shrieking bundle of a 6-year-old girl who'd had a machine-gun bullet rip through both her knees. Two months into the battle for Syria's largest city, civilians are still bearing the brunt of the daily assaults of helicopter gunships, roaring jets and troops fighting in the streets.

Yemen: Bomb misses defense minister, kills 13

SANAA, Yemen (AP) â€" A powerful car bomb struck the Yemeni defense minister's motorcade as he was driving through the nation's capital Tuesday, killing at least 13 people but leaving the minister unharmed, security officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast but al-Qaida's Yemeni branch has carried out several failed assassination attempts against the minister, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, in the past. The attack comes a day after Yemeni authorities announced the death of the No. 2 leader of the network's Yemeni branch in an apparent U.S. airstrike.

US employers posted fewer open jobs in July

WASHINGTON (AP) â€" U.S. employers posted fewer jobs in July than in June, further evidence that hiring may stay weak in the coming months. Job openings fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.67 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That down from June's 3.72 million job openings, which was revised lower.

Fewer 9/11 families on hand for 11th anniversary - FederalNewsRadio.com

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Americans marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Tuesday in familiar but subdued ceremonies that put grieving families ahead of politicians and suggested it's time to move on after a decade of remembrance.

As in past years, thousands gathered at the World Trade Center site in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., to read the names of nearly 3,000 victims killed in the worst terror attack in U.S. history.

But many felt that last year's 10th anniversary was an emotional turning point for public mourning of the attacks. For the first time, elected officials weren't speaking at the ceremony, which often allowed them a solemn turn in the spotlight, but raised questions about the public and private Sept. 11. Fewer families attended the ceremonies this year, and some cities canceled their remembrances altogether.

"I feel much more relaxed" this year, said Jane Pollicino, who came to ground zero Tuesday morning to mourn her husband, who was killed at the trade center. "After the ninth anniversary, that next day, you started building up to the 10th year. This feels a lot different, in that regard. It's another anniversary that we can commemorate in a calmer way, without that 10-year pressure."

As bagpipes played at the year-old Sept. 11 memorial in New York, family clutching balloons, flowers and photos of their loved ones bowed their heads in silence at 8:46 a.m., the moment that the first hijacked jetliner crashed into the trade center's north tower. Bells tolled to mark the moments that planes crashed into the second tower, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, and the moments that each tower collapsed.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama observed the moment in a ceremony on the White House's south lawn, and then laid a white floral wreath at the Pentagon, above a concrete slab that said "Sept. 11, 2001 _ 937 am." He later recalled the horror of the attacks, declaring, "Our country is safer and our people are resilient."

Victims' families in New York tearfully read the names of the attack victims, often looking up to the sky to talk to their lost loved ones."Rick, can you hear your name as the roll is called again? On this sacred ground where your dust settled?" said Richard Blood, whose son, Richard Middleton Blood, Jr., died in the trade center's south tower. "If only those who hear your name could know what a loving son and beautiful person you grew to be. I love you, son, and miss you terribly."

Thousands had attended the ceremony in New York in previous years, including last year's milestone 10th anniversary. A crowd of fewer than 200 swelled to about 1,000 by late Tuesday morning, as family members laid roses and made paper rubbings of their loved ones' names etched onto the Sept. 11 memorial. A few hundred attended ceremonies at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

Commuters rushed out of the subway and fewer police barricades were in place than in past years in the lower Manhattan neighborhood surrounding ground zero. More than 4 million people in the past year have visited the memorial, which became more of a public space than a closed-off construction site.

Families had a mixed reaction to the changing ceremony, which kept politicians away from the microphone in New York for the first time. Charles G. Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, was killed at the trade center, said: "We've gone past that deep, collective public grief." But Pollicino said it's important that politicians still attend the ceremony.

"There's something missing if they're not here at all," she said. "Now, all of a sudden, it's `for the families.' This happened to our country _ it didn't happen only to me."

And Joe Torres, who put in 16-hour days in ground zero's "pit" cleaning up tons of debris in the days after the attacks said another year has changed nothing for him.

"The 11th year, for me, it's the same as if it happened yesterday," said Torres, whose sister-in-law was killed in the attacks. "It could be 50 years from now, and to me, it'll be just as important as year one, or year five or year ten."

Like 2001, this Sept. 11 was on a Tuesday, for the second time since the attacks. The early fall weather was much like the morning on 2001.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the governors of New York and new Jersey and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani all attended New York's ceremony. Biden spoke to hundreds at the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, saying the ceremonies were a reminder that the country hasn't forgotten them.

The Obamas planned later to visit wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The U.S. terror attacks were followed by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. military death toll years ago surpassed the 9/11 victim count. At least 1,987 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan and 4,475 in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

Allied military forces marked the anniversary at a short ceremony at NATO's headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan with a tribute to more than 3,000 foreign troops killed in the decade-long war.

"Eleven years on from that day there should be no doubt that our dedication to this commitment, that commitment that was seared into our souls that day so long ago, remains strong and unshaken," said Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and coalition troops.

There was little politics on an election-year anniversary, with Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney pulling negative ads and avoiding campaign rallies. Romney shook hands with firefighters in Chicago and was addressing National Guard members in Nevada. Most ceremonies focused on grief and memory, but there was still a touch of politics from the podium.

"We would like to thank President Obama and (Navy) Seal Team 6 for what they did for this country," said Angella Whyte, referring to the U.S.-led raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden last year.

Other ceremonies were held across the country _ from New York's Long Island, where hundreds wrote messages to their loved ones on a memorial, to Boston, where more than 200 people with ties to Massachusetts were remembered. But some cities scaled back _ Middletown, N.J., which lost 37 residents, held a small, silent ceremony instead of previous events with speeches and music. The New York City suburb of Glen Rock, N.J., where 11 people were killed, did not hold a memorial this year for the first time.

"It was appropriate for this year _ not that the losses will ever be forgotten," said Brad Jordan, chairman of a Glen Rock community group that helps victims' families. "But we felt it was right to shift the balance a bit from the observance of loss to a commemoration of how the community came together to heal."

The memorial foundation announced this summer that politicians wouldn't be included this year, to separate politics from the ceremony. But others said keeping elected officials off the rostrum smacked of ... politics. And several said they were unwilling to let go.

"Coming here, it's like ripping off a Band-Aid," said Yasmin Leon, whose sister was killed at the trade center. "You rip it off and the wound is opened again. But you keep coming back anyway."

And at ground zero, family members reading their loved ones' names said the passage of time did not change their grief.

"Mark, they say time heals all wounds. It's not true, Mark," said Joanne Hindy, whose nephew died in the north tower. "There's a void in all our lives because this that will never ever be filled or healed."


Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik, Meghan Barr and Alex Katz in New York, Wayne Parry in Atlantic City, N.J., Steven R. Hurst in Washington, Joe Mandak in Shanksville, Pa., and Amir Shah in Afghanistan contributed to this report.


Follow Jennifer Peltz at http://twitter.com/jennpeltz

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Canadian PM pays tribute to 9/11 victims - UPI.com

Redirect Notice

Genevieve C. Rutski - Hornell Evening Tribune

Genevieve C. Rutski, formerly of Crosby Street, passed away Monday (Sept. 10, 2012) at McAuley Manor.

Born in Blossburg, Pa., Dec. 1, 1915, the daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth (Strong) Rutski, she had moved to the Hornell area in 1977. Genevieve served in the United States Navy from 1952 until 1954 and achieved the rank of 2nd  Lieutenant. She was a graduate of the St. James Hospital School of Nursing and was instrumental in opening a two-year Nursing School at Vincennes University in Indiana. She retired from the VA Medical Center in New York City. Genevieve was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish and a communicate of St. Ann’s Church.  

She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Walter O. Rutski Sr. and sister-in-law, Mary Ann Rutski as well as her nephew, Walter O. Rutski Jr.

She is survived by her niece, Cherlyn (Dunior) Rutski of Hornell as well as several cousins.

To send a remembrance or to light a candle please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com. The family is being assisted by Adam E. DuBois, Director.

A private graveside service will be held in Hope Cemetery Hornell at the convenience of the family.

Navy promotes STEM learning at Marion Tech - Marion Star

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Air Force trainer pleads guilty in sex scandal - WTVQ

SAN ANTONIO (AP) â€" An Air Force instructor charged in a widening sex scandal at Lackland Air Force Base has admitted to having a tryst with a boot camp graduate.

Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio pleaded guilty Monday to charges of violating Air Force rules that prohibit instructors from having personal relationships with trainees. But on the more serious charge of sexual assault, Estacio pleaded not guilty and requested a trial.

A San Antonio newspaper reported that Estacio faces a maximum of 13 years in prison for the guilty plea.

Military prosecutors have investigated more than a dozen instructors at Lackland and charged six with crimes ranging from rape to adultery. Estacio is the fourth instructor to go on trial.

Lackland is where all American airmen report for basic training.

©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Academy's solar array performing better than anticipated - Colorado Springs Business Journal

by Amy Gillentine

Published: September 10,2012

Time posted: 9:01 am

Tags: Air Force Academy, Energy, solar array

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The United States Air Force Academy says it foray into solar power has been more successful than it anticipated.

After a year of operation, the Academy says it’s received 7 and a half percent more power than anticipated from its 6-megawatt solar array project.

The academy installed 18,888 solar panels were installed along 41 acres on the Academy’s southeast corner and started operation July 1, 2011. Since then, the project has provided 12.5 million kilowatt hours in power. Original estimates were that it would provide 11.6 million kilowatt hours in power.

“The project is finished and now we’re reaping the benefits from it,” said Russell Hume, a mechanical engineer with the Academy’s Directorate of Installations. “We’re making sure it produces within a reasonable measure of what we anticipated and we’re above what we predicted so that’s good news.”

The $18.3 million project was awarded to Colorado Springs Utilities who subcontracted to SunPower Corp. in August 2009 through funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Also in 2009, the Academy was chosen as the net zero installation for the Air Force, and this project is one way the Academy has strived to meet the energy goals of the Defense Department’s Net Zero Energy Installation initiative.

“The panels have produced 12 percent of the Academy’s overall electricity needs,” Hume said. “As we target net zero, electrical energy is relatively easy to produce, but thermal energy is much more of a challenge. Our thermal load is currently met by natural gas and a renewable replacement fuel source for natural gas is very difficult to find.”

In the first year of operation, the Academy has saved $802,000 in avoided power purchases, Hume said.

“We estimated we would only save $550,000 in direct power savings, so the $802,000 is great news,” Hume said.

The array uses Sunpower Corp.’s T0 tracker technology. The panels don’t tilt to the south, like many fixed-axis arrays across the country, but rather remain flat and track the sun as it moves from east to west.

“The panels sit on top of long square tubes connected to motors that draw power directly from the panels and rotate the panels throughout the day. The degree of rotation is based on the normal weather cycle and where the sun should be based on astronomy.”

Hume said the main driver of the project has been to save money and allow the Academy to refocus the money spent on utilities toward the direct mission, instead of mission support.

“In these fiscally austere times, we need to focus our resources on the mission. So being green is great, but saving money is equally important” Hume said. “The great thing with energy, and projects like the array, is that it crosses operational and educational boundaries. I have been able to work closely with the Dean of Faculty and other staff to get cadets involved by showing them the solar array site. We want to expose cadets to solar energy so they can take it forward in their Air Force careers and apply it where necessary.”

Hume said the Academy continues to take steps in the net zero initiative to meet the Air Force’s desire to save on energy costs and meet legislative mandates.

“Executive Order 13514 requires that all new federal buildings must be designed to achieve zero net energy by 2030 and after 2030, every building we create is supposed to be net zero,” Hume said. “Also, beginning in 2025 the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 requires us to either produce or purchase renewable energy totaling 25 percent of our total energy per year.”

The economic life of the array is 30 years, Hume said.

“We’re one down and have 29 more to go,” Hume said. “At this point, everything is looking good.”

Missouri National Guard unit 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade supports ... - DVIDS

By Capt. Michelle Matthews,
70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

ARUSHA, Tanzania - The Missouri National Guard is commanded by Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner. The mission of the MONG is to organize, train and prepare a family and community based force of ready citizen- soldiers and airmen as units to defend and serve the people of Missouri and the United States of America. There are approximately 11,500 citizen- soldiers and airmen in the Missouri National Guard. The MONG has approximately 1200 soldiers and airmen deployed in supporting various operations throughout the United States and the world.

Currently Missouri Army National Guard unit 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade is conducting operations in Arusha, Tanzania supporting Eastern Accord 2012. Eastern Accord is a U.S. Army Africa training exercise that is designed to help the U.S. and East African participants improve their capability to respond to regional security threats posed by Violent Extremist Groups and to more effectively counter the associated Violent Extremist Ideology.
Col. William Ward, commander, 110th MEB of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Command Sgt. Maj. John Sportsman of Maitland, Mo., Missouri Army National Guard are in charge of the operations during Eastern Accord 2012.

“Our mission here is to conduct an academic program and table top exercise to improve understanding of violent extremism and share best practices to deter violent extremism in Africa. MOARNG are partnering with Tanzania Peoples Defence Force counterparts to provide command and control for the exercise and help execute and facilitate the table top exercise,” said Ward.

The 110th MEB has been planning Eastern Accord 2012 for over a year. By partnering with the Tanzania Peoples Defence Force and other U.S. Army Africa units, soldiers of the 110th MEB are gaining valuable experience working in a multi-national environment.

“This is a very important exercise for soldiers in the 110th MEB. We are learning a great deal of information about countering violent extremism and continue to sharpen our skills as facilitators. The culminating Table Top Exercise will allow for our soldiers to showcase their expertise,” said Sportsman.

Members from the 110th are performing multiple missions. One the key mission is the Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, Integration portion. The group is responsible for coordinating travel to and from the United States and inter-country travel from the seven East African countries represented. In addition to the RSOI portion the 110th MEB will be responsible for facilitating the final Table Top Exercise which will occur from Sept. 10-12. Facilitators from the 110th MEB include: Lt. Col. Marty Clay, of St. Louis, Lt. Col. Ronny Mast, of Cassville, Mo., Maj. Damon Lacour, of Lee Summit, Mo., Maj. Arlen Albers, of Cottleville, Mo., Maj. Jonathan Sloop, Kirksville, Mo., Maj. Peter McCann, of Lee Summit, Mo., Capt. Scott Weitzel, of Nixa, Mo., and 1st. Lt. Logan Merrill, of Hazelwood, Mo., will record each group during the TTX.

Eastern Accord 2012 is from Sept. 5-12. Several 110th MEB soldiers will remain in Tanzania until Sept.15 to ensure all personnel return safely to their homelands.

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Wall of Heroes: Pvt. Kenneth H. Chandler - Gloucester County Times - NJ.com

Pvt. Kenneth H. Chandler, Wall of HeroesPvt. Kenneth H. Chandler

Pvt. Kenneth H. Chandler was a member of the United States Army during the Korean War.

He served with the 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was raised in Paulsboro and was a graduate of Paulsboro High School.

Chandler was killed in action, Feb. 12, 1951, at Howngsong, Korea.

Chandler was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korean War Service Medal. Chandler now rests in the Beverly National Cemetery, Beverly.

The Wall of Heroes honors the Gloucester County men and women who were killed in action or missing in action while serving in the U.S. military protecting our freedoms and rights. The Gloucester County Freeholder Board unveiled The Wall of Heroes on Nov. 11 at the Gloucester County Justice Complex featuring the likenesses of 100 Heroes.

There are at least 350 Gloucester County residents who never made it home so there is more work to be done. The community’s assistance in identifying those residents who may be eligible to be placed on the wall is crucial.

The Wall of Heroes consists of framed 5-by-8-inch translucent artistic renderings portraying reasonable likenesses of the persons whom the county is honoring. The wall represents all branches of the military and they are arranged by era.

Because The Wall of Heroes features artistic renderings of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, photographs are of particular importance. If there is no photograph that can be found of the person to be honored, only the name and other key information of the military personnel will be framed on the wall.

Information, applications and eligibility can be found at http://www.co.gloucester.nj.us/depts/v/vaffairs/heroapp/default.asp or by contacting the Gloucester County Office of Veterans Affairs at 856-401-7660.

The KATUSA experience - DVIDS

SOUTH KOREA - The Korean Augmentation to the United States Army program began during the Korean War through an agreement between the president of the Republic of Korea, Rhee Syng-man, and General of the Army Douglas McArthur. Originally intended to match able-bodied Korean personnel with available U.S. equipment, the program evolved into a cultural exchange and a symbol of friendship between the two nations.

Despite a long and fruitful relationship, it is not entirely uncommon to hear of KATUSA soldiers being generalized as disinterested or unmotivated. Or, at least, that is the perception many KATUSA soldiers have of others’ opinions. It is a stereotype, most KATUSAs will admit, with a grain of truth. But, it is not without good reason.

As conscripted soldiers, young Korean men can expect separation from their families and friends, disruption of education and relationships, monthly compensation of less than $200 per month, and very little free time. It lasts for approximately two years and any refusal to meet this requirement is met with either jail time or a loss of citizenship.

The vast majority serve out their time with the ROK army and then happily return to civilian life. The story is much the same for those who are accepted into the KATUSA program. And, while they enjoy much-improved living conditions, it is a highly competitive process exacerbated by extremely limited availability.

Despite the challenges facing these young men, regardless of their station, most serve their time honorably.

“Unlike what some people think of us, most KATUSA soldiers actually try to get something out of their service,” said Sgt. Won Jung-ho, a non-commissioned officer in 2nd Infantry Division safety office.

Won, though approaching the end of his service requirement, continues to set goals for himself. In the last 18 months he has worked diligently to improve his English, earned the U.S. Army physical fitness badge, competed in a battalion-level Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarter board, volunteered to train KATUSAs who fail to meet physical fitness standards, and given safety briefs to KATUSA soldiers in-processing at the Warrior Readiness Center. He is also preparing to attend the Warrior Leadership Course.

In fact, many U.S. soldiers are grateful for the expertise and professionalism of their KATUSA counterparts.

“One of the KATUSA soldiers I worked with was Sgt. Cho Sang-ho, who was in charge of alert rosters and slides for the battalion. He also translated road maps for the battalion to use,” said Spc. Skyler Howell, a command driver for Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.

“He was a really dedicated and motivated worker. He never complained about anything,” added Howell. “I think a lot of KATUSAs still try their best [...] because they were raised in a culture where it is a virtue to be hard-working.”

The gratitude and respect goes both ways, as many KATUSAs are aware of how fortunate they are to be a part of the program, as it allows more time to study, weekend passes and a more diverse selection of foods than does life in the ROK army.

“Since we have more free time compared to ROK army soldiers, it is easy to feel guilty if we waste our time. It is really a blessing to become a KATUSA,” concluded Won.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

VHS graduate finds challenges, fulfillment serving in Afghanistan - Villages Daily Sun

THE VILLAGES â€" The atmosphere is not always welcoming.

For Villages High School graduate Lance Cpl. Maxwell Combs, who is serving his second tour of duty with the Marine Corps at Camp Dwyer in the Garmsir district of Afghanistan, the local villagers have not been the most hospitable.

Some have thrown rocks and bottles at the Marines as they have come through.

But such hostilities do not faze Combs, according to his father, Wally Combs, who said his son has embraced life in the Marine Corps and in Afghanistan.

“Maxwell is a very positive, happy, fun-loving guy,” said Combs, who works as a marketing representative for Properties of The Villages. “He is very compassionate. He understands the greater good of being together in a unit and your responsibilities to the Marine on your left and the Marine on your right.”

A love of the service

Since age 14, the lance corporal had an interest in serving his country, according to his father.

And he especially wanted to be a Marine.

“I wanted to do something different than what my friends were doing, and I have always been interested in the military,” Maxwell Combs said in an email message written from Afghanistan. “I decided if I am going to fight, then why not join the greatest fighting force.”

Initially, Wally said he thought his son would be going to college after high school.

Nonetheless, Wally said he was pleased with his son’s choice.

“My initial reaction was, ‘I am proud of him,’” Wally said. “My secondary reaction is it is an excellent compromise. We will let the Marine Corps put him through college. I fully anticipate he makes it a career and takes advantage of a wonderful opportunity within the Marine Corps.”

Combs’ mission

At Camp Dwyer, Maxwell, 21, serves as a heavy-equipment operator, where he is responsible for testing equipment returned from the field to determine if it needs to be repaired.

The work can be dangerous at times, Wally said, because his son is testing machines that are “bigger than this room,” he said.

Capt. Todd Hoyt said in an email message that Combs’ unit’s mission is to “conduct actions to enable the responsible drawdown of Marine Corps units by accounting, receiving, moving, sorting, cleaning, transferring and preparing for redeployment and retrograde, designated Marine Corps equipment from Operation Enduring Freedom.”   

Maxwell said the biggest challenge is “keeping the gear up and running.”

“I can’t operate broken gear in a hostile environment,” he said.

As a parent of a son in the military, fear of the unknown is never far from Wally’s thoughts.

Wally said when his son was on his first tour of duty at Camp Leatherneck from April to October 2011, he was in harm’s way at times.

“It is just not knowing if something would happen and the delay in finding out,” he said of the anxiety that comes with a loved one serving overseas.

Every few days Wally said he is able to touch base with his son via Facebook, where he is able to receive updates.

Maxwell said it is hard for him to be away from family and loved ones.

Reflecting on his son’s absence, Wally â€" his eyes filled with tears â€" said “not hugging him” is the hardest part.

But Wally is looking forward to Maxwell coming home in mid-December.

Wally said his son’s life has been very much changed by the Marine Corps.

“He is making lifelong friends in the Marine Corps,” Wally said. “The Marine Corps has taught him about sacrifice and responsibility, understanding that it is not always about the individual.”

Maxwell spoke to that responsibility as he described his duties working with the other heavy-equipment operators.

“As of now, I am responsible for the other heavy-equipment operators, making sure they get the right word and are on time when they need to be,” he said. “I am the big brother in the platoon. Gotta keep them safe.”

Livi Stanford is a reporter with the Daily Sun. She can be reached at 753-1119, ext. 9245, or livi.stanford@thevillagesmedia.com.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The United States Army increases their supply of UAV's - Examiner.com

Over the last decade the United States military has been relying more on UAV's (unmanned air vehicles) aka drones t do surveillance. One of the latest of these UAV's is the Raven® B DDL® manufactured for the military by AeroViroment. Today, the U.S. Army made the second installment of payments on their latest order of the Raven, that are designed for short range reconnaissance, and its new miniature gimbaled payloads.

“The Army is quickly and easily integrating the new miniature gimbaled payload into the Raven systems because of its reliability in providing superior imagery and tracking capability in harsh environments,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “We anticipate our new payload, an example of our focus on continuous and cost-effective capability enhancement for the warfighter, will become a standard component of currently fielded and future Raven systems.”

The Raven is small enough that, when the wing are disassembled, the craft can easily fit into a backpack and transported to where it will be needed. Once at their destination the soldier can unpack the Raven, quickly snap the wings together and have the UAV read for its mission. The Raven can then be launched by simply throwing it into the air and used, either by remote or pre-programmed, to scout out any target area with in its 12 km (7.45 mile) range. At a speed up to 60 mph the Raven can preform its missions quickly and be ready to move on in just a matter of minutes.

The Mathis i23 gimbaled payload that fits on the Raven is a 3.1 ball housing a 5 megapixel camera for daytime use, a thermal infrared camera with 640x480 resolution for nighttime and a laser pointer. Both cameras have a 4x zoom, MPEG video capabilities and can tilt up to 105degrees allowing them to get a good sweep view of any area.

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Last mission for US Navy ship with T&T connection - Trinidad Guardian

Commander Peter Mirisola, left, and Petty Officer First Class Farrow of the United States Navy are in a cheerful mood as they show one of the guns on the deck of the USS Underwood, which is docked at the Cruise Ship Complex, Port-of-Spain yesterday. The ship is on a visit to T&T in celebration of this country's 50th anniversary of Independence, and to take part in the annual joint exercise between the US Navy and other countries in the region. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON

The USS Underwood, a 453-foot United States Navy frigate, docked in Port-of-Spain yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to T&T. Local media personnel were invited to the Cruise Ship Complex in Port-of-Spain yesterday morning to tour the battleship, which is outfitted with advanced anti-aircraft and guided-missile weaponry. During the tour through the narrow passageways and staircases of the ship, media personnel were guided through the vessel’s control room and flight deck.

The ship’s public affairs officer, Lt Stephanie Homick, said the visit was part of a US Navy programme, Southern Seas 2012, which seeks to encourage interaction between the US and Caribbean nations. Homick said while on the current six-month mission, the vessel participated in an anti-drug-smuggling exercise which saw the seizure of more than US$27 million in cocaine.

The haul, which weighed more than a tonne, was seized during the exercise in the Caribbean Sea on August 2, Homick said. “The vessel can hold 225 people and can travel at a speed of 30 knots,” Homick said. The mammoth vessel, which weighs 4,100 tonnes, was commissioned almost 30 years ago and belongs to the Oliver Hazard Perry class of frigates that are used by the US Navy.

Homick said Commodore Perry, the sailor after whom this class of ships was named, had a special connection to T&T as he died of yellow fever off the coast of Trinidad during an expedition to Venezuela in 1819. Perry was buried at the Lapeyrouse Cemetery in Woodbrook but his remains were eventually exhumed and interred in his hometown of Newport, Rhode Island.

Homick said as part of the ship’s mission, several crew members would visit the cemetery later today to do restorative work at his burial site and other sections of the cemetery. The ship’s crew is also expected to host a group of children from a local orphanage who will participate in a programme in which the sailors teach them the basic operations of the ship. At the end of the current mission, the vessel will return to its Florida base, where it will be decommissioned.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lean and Mean - Hi-Desert Star

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii - Marines of 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, conducted live fire with the Expeditionary Fire Support System M327 120mm mortar for the first time Aug. 23.

The EFSS was employed in training by 3rd Marine Division artillery units for the first time during Exercise Spartan Fury 12.2. This weapons system seeks to improve the overall capability of Marine expeditionary warfare in indirect fire with the EFSS.

“We purchased this weapon so we have a light enough system to do amphibious operations and expeditionary operation,” said Maj. Philip Stauffacher, team leader, fielding and operations support. “We can transport this system internal with the MV-22 , the CH-53E, the Army’s CH-47, and the AAVP7A1.”

This weapons system completes short-range and high-mobility section of the “Triad of Fires,” as opposed to the longer ranged systems that include rockets and larger artillery, Stauffacher said. These weapons system classes compliment each other to provide a full battlefield capability in artillery, that none could do on its own, he said.

 Before the EFSS can be successfully employed in future Marine Corps combat situations, Marines must first train to master it. Stauffacher, along with the New Equipment Training team  from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., were on site to assist with the assimilation of this new weapon.

Stauffacher and Capt. Jason Grim, battery commander, both said the new semi-fixed ammunition, sights and employment style presented a situation where Marines have to turn to their artillery roots to employ this slick artillery. The Marines carry a smaller gun, smaller gear load, and use smaller Internally Transportable Vehicles, which are a fraction of the size of a Humvee, but retains much of the Humvee’s capability characteristics for transporting the French-derived EFSS, they said.

The Marines conducted numerous training events in prior weeks with Reconnaissance Selection Occupation Position training that took them through a dry-fire regiment of emplacing, prepping and displacing the EFSS numerous times, until their live-fire shoot Aug. 23.

“It’s a new system with a lot of unknowns for us, and that’s where this training is answering those questions,” said Grim, native of York, Penn. The Marines were excited, and the firing of the EFSS was successful in preparing these Marines for “72 hours of shoot, move and communicate,” he said in reference to a relatively short time frame of the EFSS employment.

The EFSS was well received by the sections that employed it here. In addition to the reduction in the size of the EFSS system hardware, the weapons system requires less manpower to employ it effectively.

“It’s lighter and faster in its iron sights, and it takes less men,” said Sgt. Albert Camacho,  section chief. “It takes a minimum of three Marines to be fire-capable, as opposed to seven Marines for the (M)777 (Howitzer).”

Grim said the standard for a section on the EFSS is five Marines; one section chief, one gunner and three cannoneers. They are mobile on two ITVs and fit the role of the Marine expeditionary units nicely, he said.

“You don’t have to do a six-gun movement‚” Camacho said. “You can employ a section on its own. It gives us the ability to move freely, to get in those tight gaps that we didn’t have before.”

Weekend Planner: Free Cupcakes, Slavic American Festival and More - Patch.com






Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Democratic National Convention: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by ... - The Herald | HeraldOnline.com

â€" /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a copy of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by Admiral John B. Nathman, United States Navy, Retired, at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, September 6, 2012:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120720/MM44058LOGO)

Today and every day, our military men and women serve our country with their actions and deeds. The veterans standing with me, all veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, are part of a proud legacyâ€"from those who defended us in the earliest days of our country to the "greatest generation" in World War II to those who served and sacrificed in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Balkans; anywhere they've been needed. Today's servicemen and women have been called the "next great generation," and they live up to their calling in everything they do. They've gone beyond the call of duty in every way one can imagine. I served in the United States Navy for thirty-seven years. As a fighter pilot, as commander of the Naval Air Forces, and as vice chief of the Navyâ€"I've heard plenty of folks praise the military and thank us for our service. We appreciate the gratitude.

And since the day he took office, the president has demonstrated that he respects and understands the challenges for those who wear a uniform. For every branch of the service, for those in civilian clothes or the uniform, President Obama gives us a foreign policy worthy of the men and women on this stage, to ensure that wherever they serve, their uniform and dedication is respected, and that their service makes a difference for America.

For every veteran who comes home wounded, the president invested in the VA and expanded care to more than a half million returning troops who deserve that care. For every family waiting at home, anxious every time the phone rings, the president, the first lady, and Dr. Jill Biden are engaging whole communities to support those families. And for every man and woman coming back to an uncertain future, the president strives to help veterans apply their talents, expand their skills and get good jobs. Last year, he challenged American businesses to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses. He and the first lady got businesses across the private sector to sign on, supported by tax credits for hiring our veterans and wounded warriors. Last month, these same participating businesses reported that they've exceeded the goal by 25 percentâ€" ahead of scheduleâ€"and now they're committing to bring on a quarter million more new veteran jobs.

And it's not just about finding jobs today; it's about giving these men and women the chance to learn the skills for the jobs of tomorrow. That's why I'm proud that the president is offering veterans the best education benefits since the original GI Bill. This education is something that can and will change their lives, and it guarantees American progress, vitality and growth.

My parents were members of the "greatest generation."  My dad joined the Army Air Corps in 1940 as an enlisted man fixing bombers in World War II. He served a career in the Strategic Air Command. My mother was a volunteer for the USO. Later, as a widow, she raised five children. In the years since, I've been privileged to lead and serve with members of this "next great generation."  I see in them tough, bright, courageous, inspiring men and women. I see this country's future leaders. These service members have been to some of the bleakest corners of the globe. They know how good this country is. They know firsthand what America means to the world and they are going to bring us to the next great moment in our nation's history, because president Obama is standing with them.

Tonight, we are standing here with you. We are standing with our president. The men and women on this stage are only a small sample of this amazing generation. Americans from Texas, Virginia, Florida, Oregon, New York, Nevada, Hawaii, North Carolina and all across this great country. So for them and everyone they represent, please stand with me in saying thank you.

SOURCE 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee

Oasis in the Desert Prepares Sergeants Majors to Lead - DVIDS

By Sgt. Trisha Pinczes
138th Public Affairs Detachment

FORT BLISS, TEXAS â€" An oasis in a desert best describes the atmosphere as you walk under the archway into center court of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy here.

It's an island in a sea of grass with a walkway that leads to each educational center where students learn the skills necessary to lead future generations of soldiers.

"The Academy's mission and purpose is to develop agile and critical thinking leaders," said Charles Guitte, the director of training . "It is all about leader development, they need to understand the skills, knowledge and attributes of what it takes to, first of all be a soldier, and then start learning the traits of being a leader."

The Sergeants Major Academy was established in 1972, and starting educating sergeants major in January 1973. The Academy was given the mission of standardizing non-commissioned officer training across the army, which resulted in the creation of the Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), which is now known as the Warrior Leader Course (WLC).

The Academy also conducts training courses for newly named Command Sergeants Major.

Although the Academy teaches to one standard level of completion, each individual has different attributes to bring to their organization as well as improvements that can be made, Sgt. Maj. William Backscleider, Chief of curriculum development said.

"Be a Steward of yourself, know what your strengths are and know what your weaknesses are." he said. "Capitalize on your strengths but improve on your weaknesses."

Along with self-development, operational force units and the Academy, soldiers will have what they need to be good leaders, Guitte said.

"Institutional training is only one of the three pillars of life," he said. "We are not the foundation; we are one of the three pillars that provide the tools for soldiers to learn."
Connecting the three pillars is part of what we do at the academy, Guitte said.

And self-development allows soldiers to continue getting education and developing leadership skills in-between the formal schooling that precedes a new leadership position.

"There are elements that the operating force says is important that soldiers don't do in the organizational level," he said. "We do it at the institutional level and we bridge that gap with what we call Structured Self-Development through a lifelong continuum."

Soldiers need to choose to be a leader and not told to be one, Sgt. Maj. David Wilkinson, training doctrine education director said.

"We provide a platform for them to learn," Wilkinson said. "The bottom line is we want the soldier to have two options, they can be willing to learn or they can be told to learn."

Being able to make the right decision based on the situation, instead of being told what decision to make is key, he explained.

"We want them to exit here knowing that there is a set of tools that they can rely on to find the answers," Wilkinson said. "We've shown them what the tools look like to get the right answer instead of just telling them what right is."

As the soldiers leave the Academy, their goal is for the skills they learned to have an effect on the future leaders as well, Guitte said.

"Hopefully what they took away from their institutional training they are now bleeding that down to their junior leaders and infusing that," he said.

Becoming leaders is not just to further the enlisted side but to also bridge the gap between non-commissioned and commissioned officers so they can better work as a partnership, Guitte said.

"We have to blend the non-commissioned officers so that they are compatible with their commissioned counterpart," Guitte Said. "We are educating today's leaders for tomorrow."

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