Friday, April 30, 2010

PLN 27

In the article “Navy to Start Training Female Submariners in July” By Lisa Daniel what matters is Navy officials announced they are moving ahead with plans to integrate women onto submarines beginning in late 2011 or early 2012. The decision became public after Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates notified Congress in February of the Navy’s desire to add women to submarines. With a congressional review period complete, navy officials say they will begin taking applications with a goal of training 19 women, starting in July. It is good that the Navy has decided to put women on submarines. Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations, showed his enthusiasm for the change. “As a former commanding officer of a ship that had a mixed-gender crew, to me it would be foolish to not take the great talent, the great confidence and intellect of the young women who serve in our Navy today and bring that into the submarine force.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PLN 26

I read the article “Official Details Results of Missile Review” By Jim Garamone, what matters is ballistic missiles are an increasing threat to the United States, and the Department of Defense must keep up with them. The threat to the U.S. homeland is most acute from states such as North Korea and Iran. Neither has yet acquired ICBMs that could reach the United States, but both are working to acquire and or develop long-range ballistic missile capabilities including space launched vehicles which include many of the necessary technologies. I think that if these countries acquire these weapons they would be the biggest threat the United States has ever faced before. The top priority for U.S. missile defense efforts is to defend the United States from the threat of missile attack by regional actors such as North Korea or Iran. The United States does not intend for missile defense to affect the strategic balance with Russia or China. The second priority is to defend against regional missile threats to U.S. forces while protecting allies and partners and helping to enable them to protect themselves. One part is a new phased adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe. The United States has concluded agreements with Romania and Poland to host the two planned land-based sites for missile interceptors in 2015 and 2018.

Monday, April 19, 2010

PLN 25

I read the article “Military Engineers Help Haiti Build Better Future” By Judith Snyderman, what matters is efforts to help Haiti rebuild after a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake will continue after the joint U.S. military task force there winds down at the end of May. Wink witnessed overwhelming scenes of destruction in Haiti when he arrived there Jan. 29. “The amount of rubble that is caused by this earthquake is 25 million cubic yards,” Wink said. “To put that in a picture, that’s five Louisiana Superdomes filled with rubble.” He said. An initial priority for engineers was to assess the main seaport which was heavily damaged. Analysis showed that the port’s north pier was a complete loss, but by the end of February, Seabees and Army divers had repaired the south pier well enough to allow small watercraft to relay critical humanitarian supplies from ships stationed offshore to troops at the pier, who transported them to stranded civilians. By the end of March, the south pier was fully operational, and the port is now being run entirely by Haitian authorities with no Defense Department involvement. Now engineers are focused on mitigating dangers from flash floods and landslides during the upcoming rainy season for people living in camps. I think that they should get a move on to stop the mudslides and building ditches for flood control. These people are dealing with a disaster that is almost unexplainable in U.S. terms. They are living in conditions that are foreign to us. And with a little bit of hope and a little bit of help, they just pick up and move on.

PLN 24

In the article “Military Adjusts to Icelandic Volcano’s Ashfall” By Jim Garamone, what matters is ash from an Icelandic volcano continues to wreak havoc with air flights across Europe, including American military flights. Thousands of commercial and military flights from Ireland to the Ukraine have been cancelled as the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which started erupting last week, continues to spew ash. The American military is making adjustments. The U.S. bases in Mildenhall and Lakenheath, England, and Ramstein and Spangdahlem air bases in Germany have been affected by the ash plume. There are no flight ops due to the mandatory declaration and suspension of flights from EuroControl. EuroControl is the equivalent of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. It is hard to believe that the ash cloud has reached Ukraine from Iceland. This has affected much of Europe and the northern United States of America. Flights transporting ill and wounded soldiers that would normally head to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany are being rerouted. Joint Base Balad in Iraq has become the new hub for military aeromedical evacuations, with the first patients arriving April 17 at the Air Force Theater Hospital. The new medevac route runs from Bagram, Afghanistan, to Balad, Iraq, to a refueling stop at Rota and finally to Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington in Maryland. Taking the wounded along the southern rim of Europe takes about eight hours longer than flying through Germany or England, but all aeromedical evacuation needs are being met. Aerial refueling will be employed if clinical needs of the patient require it, but it has not been needed yet. This has hurt many nations and is causing many nations to struggle.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PLN 23

I read the article “Education Activity Launches Interactive Resource” by American Forces Press Service, what matters is The Department of Defense Education Activity’s educational partnership has launched an interactive educational resource for military families, military leaders and school leaders. The resource, “Students at the Center,” provides information on important policies, procedures, and best practices that are critical to supporting the needs of military families’ education. For educators serving children from military families in a public school system, the guide offers information on the different military service branches, ranks, and protocols. It outlines current Defense Department initiatives to support schools and the Education Department’s impact aid program. It also offers insights regarding the issues military families face, including frequent transitions and parents deploying. For families, the guide offers information on navigating the U.S. education system, choosing a school and being an effective advocate for a child. I think that this will help families that are struggling because of these wars that are going on. This will help schools educate kids more on the military and how the US government operates. Military leaders visiting “Students at the Center” will find suggestions on supporting military families, forming and strengthening installation-school partnerships and ways to enhance communication between local education activities, the military services and families.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

PLN 22

In the article “Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide” by Susan D. Page, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affair, what matters is we look to Rwanda’s vision of its future. It is one enlightened by all Rwandans who live together in respect, commitment to reconciliation, and determination to make the lives of their children and grandchildren better in every respect than what they have known. Rwandans are a people of remarkable determination and fortitude. It is heroic work to rebuild lives. The event that happened in Rwanda devastated millions of people and if affected the whole world. I would have sent in the United States Armed forces to stop this if I could have. Survivors have pushed on creating a new Rwanda, while living with mental and physical scars. Many refugees and former combatants have returned home and are living and working together throughout the country. Rwanda’s economy is growing steadily, attracting new investment and tourism. And to strengthen regional peace and security, we note that the Government of Rwanda has taken steps to rebuild its relationships with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other states of the Great Lakes region. The United States will remain a committed partner in Rwanda’s efforts to improve the well-being of its citizens and promote peace and stability in the region. Rwanda’s contribution to the peacekeeping efforts in Darfur are a powerful testament to a commitment to ensure that others will not be left to experience the pain and devastation that wreaked havoc upon Rwanda’s people sixteen years ago.

Monday, April 5, 2010

PLN 21

I read “New Developments Lead to Early TBI Detection” By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Molly A. Burgess, what matters is advanced brain scans that can detect injury earlier than before are among several improvements developed by military doctors and scientists to treat service members with traumatic brain injuries. Researchers at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury have focused on early detection and better monitoring of mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, which account for most TBI diagnoses. Several scanning techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging, single photon emission computed tomography and functional magnetic-resonance imaging look especially promising. This could help service member that have been in explosions and people that might get it in the future because of the early detection systems. Advanced treatments for brain injuries will only be effective if service members know where to go to seek tests and clinicians are on alert to recognize the signs of TBI.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PLN 20

I read the article “Guardsmen in Three States Battle Flood” By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, what matters is more than 1,500 National Guard members in three Northeast states are waging a war against rising flood waters after several days of rain combined with melting snow. Massachusetts has called up more than 900 soldiers, while Rhode Island and Connecticut have more than 500 and 150 on duty, respectively. U.S. Northern Command also activated two coordinating units today in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s northeast regional office to assist in the flood response. Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick has authorized the mobilization of 1,000 soldiers and airman to support the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Soldiers have filled and transported about 9,000 sandbags from the state highway department in Lexington, Mass., to points of distribution in Lexington, Tewksbury, Bridgewater and Millbury. Additional soldiers and airmen called for state active duty not only will continue to fill and transport sandbags to affected areas, but also will conduct emergency evacuation operations and presence patrols and provide security to isolated areas. This is really helping the residents of those states and it is a tragedy of what has happened. This is affecting thousands of people. People have lost their home and are alone but help is coming.

PLN 19

I read the article “Obama: Energy Initiatives Seek to Bolster Security” By John J. Kruzel, what matters is President Barack Obama announced a series of energy initiatives, including plans to expand off-shore drilling, aimed in part at bolstering national security by weaning the United States off foreign oil. From inside a hangar at Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington in Maryland, against a backdrop of war fighting equipment powered partly by alternative fuel sources, Obama told a military audience that he chose the venue to underscore environmentally conscious measures that military leaders are spearheading with a view toward long-term U.S. defense interests. This would really help our economy if we got our own oil and we did not have to rely on other country’s oil. This would also make the US a bigger threat to other countries around the world because we would be able to sustain ourselves without outside help. In addition to reinforcing national security, steps announced to open vast tracts to oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, along the Atlantic Coast and off the north coast of Alaska intend to reduce damage inflicted on the environment and push the United States into a position of leadership as the clean-energy industry takes on a greater share of the global economy. Other initiatives to increase mileage standards and double the number of hybrid automobiles in the federal fleet while reducing the overall number of vehicles would help the country cut its reliance on foreign oil. “Moving toward clean energy is about our security,” Obama said.