Thursday, September 25, 2008

Face of Defense: Father and Daughter Train Together for Iraq Deployment

By Spc. Elizabeth Gorenc
American Forces Press Service

BUTLERVILLE, Ind., Sept. 25, 2008 – Overseas deployments usually call upon soldiers to temporarily leave loved ones behind. But, here, two members of the Hempstead family are preparing to mobilize together.

First Sgt. Bob Hempstead and his daughter, Pfc. Crystal Hempstead, members of the Indiana National Guard’s 1313th Engineer Company based on Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Ind., are scheduled to deploy to Iraq in early 2009. They are conducting pre-mobilization training with their unit at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, or MUTC, here in South Central Indiana.

Wanting to gain overseas experience, Crystal Hempstead said she transferred into the unit and volunteered for the upcoming deployment. The fact that her father would be her first sergeant had no bearing on her decision to join the unit, she said.

“I knew there was a war going on when I made the choice to enlist,” she said. “I also wanted to deploy right after Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training to gain experience to be a better soldier. So joining this unit and deploying with them seemed like the perfect option.”

Training and working together in the same environment at MUTC is nothing new to the Hempsteads. Bob is the senior operations noncommissioned officer at the training center, while Crystal also works at the center as the administrative assistant for Col. Chris Kelsey.

Their experiences working together in a military environment prevented them from walking blindly into training together, Bob said.

“We had a talk before we came here about keeping our family life and military life separate,” he said. “As first sergeant, I have 180 soldiers and it’s important to treat everyone equally and be professional.”

Even though the Hempsteads train together, they rarely see each other due to their busy schedules.

“Training has been great so far and troop morale is really high,” Crystal Hempstead said. “Not only is it fun, but it’s great to know that you can complete something like clearing houses and know that your buddy has your back.”

The engineer company is the first unit group to conduct pre-mobilization training at center, Bob Hempstead said.

“It was pretty easy to set up training at MUTC for our unit since I work with operations here,” he said. “We hope to set the way for other units to eventually complete pre-mobilization training through here.”

Training consisted of land navigation, bomb detection, military operations on urban terrain, and driver’s training and combatives.

The second portion of the company’s training is scheduled to take place at Camp Atterbury. There, they will conduct weapons qualifications and range skills training.

Both Hempsteads said that the overall unit cohesion, high morale and skills honed at MUTC transfers through the rest of their training and deployment.

(Spc. Elizabeth Gorenc is assigned to Camp Atterbury Public Affairs.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

President Bush’s Speech to the Nation on the Economic Crisis

(Following is a transcript of President Bush's address to the nation Wednesday evening, as recorded by CQ Transcriptions)

Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America's economy.

Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration.

We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.

We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.

We boosted confidence in money market mutual funds and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain.

Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets.

Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the house decline, and the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger.

So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry. It is aimed at preserving America's overall economy.

It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America's financial system is back on track.

I know many Americans have questions tonight: How did we reach this point in our economy? How will the solution I propose work? And what does this mean for your financial future?

These are good questions, and they deserve clear answers.

First, how did our economy reach this point? Well, most economists agree that the problems we're witnessing today developed over a long period of time. For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad because our country is an attractive and secure place to do business.

This large influx of money to U.S. banks and financial institutions, along with low interest rates, made it easier for Americans to get credit. These developments allowed more families to borrow money for cars, and homes, and college tuition, some for the first time. They allowed more entrepreneurs to get loans to start new businesses and create jobs.

Unfortunately, there were also some serious negative consequences, particularly in the housing market. Easy credit, combined with the faulty assumption that home values would continue to rise, led to excesses and bad decisions.

Many mortgage lenders approved loans for borrowers without carefully examining their ability to pay. Many borrowers took out loans larger than they could afford, assuming that they could sell or refinance their homes at a higher price later on.

Optimism about housing values also led to a boom in home construction. Eventually, the number of new houses exceeded the number of people willing to buy them. And with supply exceeding demand, housing prices fell, and this created a problem.

BUSH: Borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages, who had been planning to sell or refinance their homes at a higher price, were stuck with homes worth less than expected, along with mortgage payments they could not afford.

As a result, many mortgage-holders began to default. These widespread defaults had effects far beyond the housing market.

See, in today's mortgage industry, home loans are often packaged together and converted into financial products called mortgage-backed securities. These securities were sold to investors around the world.

Many investors assumed these securities were trustworthy and asked few questions about their actual value. Two of the leading purchasers of mortgage-backed securities were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.

The decline in the housing market set off a domino effect across our economy. When home values declined, borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, and investors holding mortgage-backed securities began to incur serious losses.

Before long, these securities became so unreliable that they were not being bought or sold. Investment banks, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, found themselves saddled with large amounts of assets they could not sell. They ran out of money needed to meet their immediate obligations, and they faced imminent collapse.

Other banks found themselves in severe financial trouble. These banks began holding on to their money, and lending dried up, and the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt.

With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, I faced a choice, to step in with dramatic government action or to stand back and allow the irresponsible actions of some to undermine the financial security of all.

I'm a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention. I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business. Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence, and major sectors of America's financial system are at risk of shutting down.

The government's top economic experts warn that, without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold.

More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically.

And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs.

Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And, ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.

Fellow citizens, we must not let this happen. I appreciate the work of leaders from both parties in both houses of Congress to address this problem and to make improvements to the proposal my administration sent to them.

There is a spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans and between Congress and this administration. In that spirit, I've invited Senators McCain and Obama to join congressional leaders of both parties at the White House tomorrow to help speed our discussions toward a bipartisan bill.

I know that an economic rescue package will present a tough vote for many members of Congress. It is difficult to pass a bill that commits so much of the taxpayers' hard-earned money.

I also understand the frustration of responsible Americans who pay their mortgages on time, file their tax returns every April 15th, and are reluctant to pay the cost of excesses on Wall Street.

But given the situation we are facing, not passing a bill now would cost these Americans much more later.

Many Americans are asking, how would a rescue plan work? After much discussion, there's now widespread agreement on the principles such a plan would include.

It would remove the risk posed by the troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, now clogging the financial system. This would free banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses.

Any rescue plan should also be designed to ensure that taxpayers are protected. It should welcome the participation of financial institutions, large and small. It should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars.

BUSH: It should establish a bipartisan board to oversee the plan's implementation, and it should be enacted as soon as possible.

In close consultation with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and SEC Chairman Chris Cox, I announced a plan on Friday.

First, the plan is big enough to solve a serious problem. Under our proposal, the federal government would put up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the line to purchase troubled assets that are clogging the financial system.

In the short term, this will free up banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses, and this will help our economy grow.

Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply, yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages.

The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal.

And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back.

The final question is, what does this mean for your economic future? Well, the primary steps -- purpose of the steps I've outlined tonight is to safeguard the financial security of American workers, and families, and small businesses. The federal government also continues to enforce laws and regulations protecting your money.

The Treasury Department recently offered government insurance for money market mutual funds. And through the FDIC, every savings account, checking account, and certificate of deposit is insured by the federal government for up to $100,000.

The FDIC has been in existence for 75 years, and no one has ever lost a penny on an insured deposit, and this will not change.

Once this crisis is resolved, there will be time to update our financial regulatory structures. Our 21st-century global economy remains regulated largely by outdated 20th-century laws.

Recently, we've seen how one company can grow so large that its failure jeopardizes the entire financial system.

Earlier this year, Secretary Paulson proposed a blueprint that would modernize our financial regulations. For example, the Federal Reserve would be authorized to take a closer look at the operations of companies across the financial spectrum and ensure that their practices do not threaten overall financial stability.

There are other good ideas, and members of Congress should consider them. As they do, they must ensure that efforts to regulate Wall Street do not end up hampering our economy's ability to grow.

In the long run, Americans have good reason to be confident in our economic strength. Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised.

It has unleashed the talents and the productivity and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. It has made this country the best place in the world to invest and do business. And it gives our economy the flexibility and resilience to absorb shocks, adjust, and bounce back.

Our economy is facing a moment of great challenge, but we've overcome tough challenges before, and we will overcome this one.

I know that Americans sometimes get discouraged by the tone in Washington and the seemingly endless partisan struggles, yet history has shown that, in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion.

And together we will show the world once again what kind of country America is: a nation that tackles problems head on, where leaders come together to meet great tests, and where people of every background can work hard, develop their talents, and realize their dreams.

Thank you for listening. May God bless you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

House Panel to Consider Impeachment of Federal Judge

Sept. 16, 2008 – 1:28 p.m.

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to form a task force to consider the impeachment of a Louisiana federal judge.

In June, the Judicial Conference informed the House of evidence it has gathered that G. Thomas Porteous, a district judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana, has committed perjury by signing false financial disclosure forms under oath.

The Judicial Conference also told the House of evidence that Porteous violated criminal laws and judicial ethical rules by presiding over a trial in which the lawyers involved gave him money.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., and ranking member Lamar Smith , R-Texas, jointly announced the vote on Tuesday.

“We take it very seriously when the governing body of the Judiciary sends us a referral for impeachment,” said Conyers. “Upon review, we believe this matter merits a full investigation.”

Smith added, “Public corruption at any level should not be tolerated, but it is especially egregious when a federal judge, who has been appointed for life, falls under allegations of bribery and unethical behavior.”

Impeachment of a federal judge is a rare event — the House has voted to do so only 13 times in its history. Of the 13 judges impeached, seven were convicted by the Senate and removed from office, four were acquitted and two resigned rather than face trial.

If impeached, Porteous would be the first federal judge to stand trial before the Senate since 1989, when two judges — Alcee L. Hastings of Florida and Walter L. Nixon of Mississippi — were removed from office after being convicted by lawmakers of perjury. Hastings is now a Democratic House member.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

DoD Commemorates 60 Years Of Armed Forces Integration

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2008 – Marking the 60th anniversary of the integration of the armed services is a reminder of "how far we've come toward living up to our founding ideals and how far we still have to go," said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at the Pentagon

Wall Street Turmoil Likely to Spur Regulatory Overhaul Next Year

Sept. 15, 2008 – 1:48 p.m.

The turmoil on Wall Street and its impact on the broader economy is likely to move regulatory changes higher on the agenda for the new Congress and the next president.

For the immediate future, Democrats seized on the crisis as another reason to press an economic stimulus package. But on a broader level, lawmakers will probably be reluctant to wade into the complex crisis in the remaining weeks of the current session.

They may, however, be compelled to act quickly on an array of financial market policies early next year.

Both major candidates for president issued statements Monday indicating they would try to drive the debate in that direction.

Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., said, “major reform must be made in Washington and on Wall Street” to stabilize the situation.

“The McCain-Palin administration will replace the outdated and ineffective patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight in Washington and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street,” McCain said. “We will rebuild confidence in our markets and restore our leadership in the financial world.”

Sen. Barack Obama , D-Ill., said: “The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

President Bush, meanwhile, said his administration was “working to reduce disruptions and minimize the impact of these financial market developments on the broader economy.”

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. , speaking at the White House, said he was “committed to working with regulators here and aborad as well as policymakers in Congress to maintain stability of American financial markets”

Saturday, September 13, 2008

USN re-instates third Zumwalt-class funding

The US Navy (USN) has announced its decision to Congress to continue funding a third Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) destroyer, reversing a decision a month ago that proposed diverting funds from the third ship to revive the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer programme. In a letter dated 18 August to Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, Secretary of the Navy Donald Winters and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead said: "The navy's plan is to complete construction of the DDG 1000 ships currently under contract and conform to the president's FY09 [Fiscal Year 2009] budget submission by executing the third DDG 1000." The navy requested USD2.55 billion for the third ship in its FY09 budget request submitted in February, but by July USN officials had informed Congress of the service's decision to cut the DDG 1000 programme down from seven ships to just two

[first posted to - 21 August 2008]

US Navy agrees to buy third Zumwalt-class destroyer

The US Navy has agreed to buy a third Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) destroyer in Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09), just four weeks after deciding to halt the advanced technology programme at two ships and divert funds into Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyers. The decision was confirmed in a letter dated 18 August from Navy Secretary Donald Winter and Admiral Gary Roughead, the chief of Naval Operations, to Congressman Patrick Kennedy, whose Rhode Island constituency includes employers such as Raytheon and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center

[first posted to - 21 August 2008]

Recent Cyber Attacks Serve as Lesson, General Says

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2008 - Recent cyber attacks against government information systems overseas should serve as a lesson that the United States needs to continue to strengthen its defenses against those who would target the country's financial, business and military systems, the commander of U.S. Northern Command said today.

Appearing on C-Span's "Newsmakers," Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., who leads both NorthCom and North American Aerospace Defense Command, cited recent cyber attacks against the former Soviet republic of Georgia in which government Web sites were intermittently knocked offline, as well as last year's cyber attacks against government computer systems in the Baltic nation of Estonia.

"We need to ensure that we learn the lessons of those two events, and that we continue to strengthen an integrated process to defend ourselves against these kinds of intrusion," Renuart said.

Since early this month, hackers have attacked Georgian servers and Web sites, forcing the government to relocate the sites to other servers. Some sites were defaced, while others were simply rendered unavailable.

The general said NorthCom relies on space- and land-based sensors to identify threats, and that intrusions into its computer networks could disrupt the command's ability to provide warning of an attack.

"It's critical to our mission that we are comfortable that we have a secure network, that it's resilient to probes and attacks, and that it will be able to sustain good decision-making ... for the nation's leaders," Renuart said.

Renuart said that though there is ample funding to combat the threat, efforts to do so have been somewhat "segmented."

The Department of Homeland Security has the mission for the cyber-defense of the nation, and its role is to integrate the other elements of government into that effort, the general said. But cyber threats are not just a government problem, he said. Private industries -- finance, health care, business and others – have a stake, Renuart noted.

"All of those have to come together in a unified effort if we are to maintain adequate defense against those who might intrude to our networks and try to disrupt them. It's a big challenge," Renuart said. He said better integration among the agencies is critical to success.

"If you are going to be successful at defending it, you have to have strong and close integration among the various agencies," Renuart said.

The general stopped short of saying additional legislation is needed from Congress to better integrate the agencies, calling that a discussion for top U.S. leaders.

"Because this is such a broad area and it touches so many different elements of our society – business, medical care, information, certainly military and economic – many of those same organizations are struggling with 'How do you pull them together in a more coherent fashion?'" Renuart said.

Renuart said that the departments of Homeland Security and Defense are working "aggressively" together alongside many private partner corporations. He also said that many in the private sector are "further advanced" than the Defense Department in some areas. He cited the banking and investing industries, which have advanced protections built into their systems, and said the government should partner with the private sector so that defense systems are compatible.

During the question-and-answer session with journalists on the program, the general was asked if he considers Russia a threat to the United States. Renuart called Russia a growing power. The country emerged from the Cold War struggling politically and economically, but now is stable economically and is expanding its sphere of influence, he said.

Russia also is becoming more active militarily, the general noted, sending its nuclear submarines and long-range bombers further from its shores. The country has also held recent tests of its intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Still, Renuart said, he is not yet concerned that the United States and Russia will face off within the international community any time soon.

"I'm not as worried that a Cold War relationship is returning so much," Renuart said. "Those are things we have to pay attention to, but I think it is important not to swing the pendulum too much in an alarmist fashion."

He said that the Russian military movements involving the U.S. military have been conducted "professionally" and in compliance with U.S. requests.

Renuart was also asked about the Arctic region and its increasing significance in national security. An increase in navigable water in the region has resulted in increased traffic by military, research and tourist vessels.

Renuart said his concerns are how to ensure adequate search and rescue capability, maintain a presence that can monitor movement of other military forces in the region, and ensure that the United States is involved in discussions and negotiations about military movement in the region.

NORAD monitors the air space over the Arctic.

"I don't see a threat to the nation coming from the Arctic," Renuart said. "But I do see security concerns that will arise as you have nations compete for resources, as you have nations compete for passage, as you have commercial interests competing for passage through the area. All of those have a security element, and I think we just have to have a good discussion about it."

Tunnel systems along the U.S.-Mexican border also came up in the questioning. The tunnels are used by criminals for drug and weapons smuggling, and U.S. officials have long feared they also could be used by terrorists. Renuart said his command is "increasingly successful" at finding the tunnels and passing the information on to law enforcement officials, who investigate and monitor them.

Technology used first in Afghanistan now is helping to pinpoint border tunnels, or potential tunnel locations. But Renuart called the tunnels a "reality and a challenge" and said the narcotics traffickers are "learning adversaries."

"As you close one route, they'll open another," Renuart said.

Renuart said that as officials are successful interdicting by the air, traffickers move to the sea. As U.S. officials stop more by sea, traffickers go underground.

"If we believed we have solved the problem, we are almost guaranteeing it will come back. You can't take your eye off the ball in this kind of a situation," Renuart said.

The general said his command works closely with other agencies in its efforts on the border and across the United States. He called NorthCom's relationship with its 60 federal partners extremely "close and solid."

"We are seeing a team now that is closer-knit than maybe ever before," Renuart said.

Forty-five of the agencies have assigned senior officials to NorthCom's headquarters. They are integrated in the planning and operations and interagency coordination process. Renuart said the days of frictions among governmental agencies are over.

"Those days are gone. We are working hand in hand," he said. "We are seeing now a synergy that is really strong."

This type of interagency cooperation is critical as NorthCom tries to focus efforts across an array of potential threats to the United States, Renuart said. Every day his command monitors threats overseas, develops roles of missile defense, looks for air threats inside U.S. borders and provides military support relief efforts after natural and man-made disasters and threats.

"On any given day, one of them will be our highest priority," Renuart said.

"What keeps me awake is making sure that our team is focused on the many threats out there, and not taking any one for granted, not leaving any one unobserved," he said.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Expulsion of U.S. Ambassadors to Venezuela and Bolivia

U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC - September 12, 2008

We regret the actions of both President Hugo Chavez and President Evo Morales to expel our ambassadors in Venezuela and Bolivia. This reflects the weakness and desperation of these leaders as they face serious internal challenges and an inability to communicate effectively internationally in order to build international support.

The charges leveled against our fine ambassadors by the leaders of Bolivia and Venezuela are false – and the leaders of those countries know it. The only meaningful conspiracy in the region is the common commitment of democratic countries to enhance opportunities for their citizens. The only overthrow we seek is that of poverty.

As is well known in the region, we continue to focus on our larger positive agenda for the hemisphere, which we call a social justice agenda for the hemisphere. The values that we and our democratic friends favor are carrying the day in the hemisphere. Governments from center-left to center-right are implementing pragmatic policies designed to help their citizens prosper in a globalized economy. These policies are favored by the vast majority of people in the hemisphere. No country has ever improved the well-being of its citizens by antagonizing neighbors and refraining from fruitful integration with the world’s democracies.

Those who shout the loudest are not making the real news in the Americas. The real story of our time is the quiet, evolutionary change promoted by pragmatic governments and their constituencies who want to improve the lives of their citizens. Those changes will not occur over night, and we still have work to be done. But we are on the right path, and will continue to work with our democratic partners to better the lives of our citizens.

Released on September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Constitution Day

On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by thirty-nine brave men who changed the course of history. Now Constitution Day is a time for us to continue their legacy and develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans.

Pentagon Memorial Opens To The Public (PA No. 087-08)

The Pentagon Memorial will be open to the public on Sept. 11, 2008, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EDT. The opening will include a musical tribute featuring the Navy Band and the Sea Chanters Chorus, the official chorus of the U.S. Navy. Recognized as "The World's Finest," the Band features some of the nation's top musicians and performs a wide variety of music.

This will be the first opportunity for the general public to view the memorial in remembrance of the lives lost on Sept. 11 at the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77. The Pentagon Memorial contains 184 memorial units, each of which is dedicated to an individual victim by its unique placement within the collective field. The field is organized as a timeline of the victims' ages, moving from the youngest, three-year-old Dana Falkenberg to the oldest, John D. Yamnicky, 71.

Each memorial unit is specifically positioned in order to distinguish victims on board American Airlines Flight 77 from victims within the Pentagon. The memorial units representing the 59 lives lost on American Airlines Flight 77 are positioned so that a visitor to the park will face the sky when reading the name of the victim to whom that unit is dedicated. When standing at a memorial unit dedicated to a victim who was inside the Pentagon, the visitor sees the victim's name and the Pentagon in the same view for the 125 victims who lost their lives in the building.

For information on how to access the Pentagon Memorial, please refer to the Memorial Visitors section at .

Monday, September 1, 2008

DNU Flash - 9/1/2008

Headlines from around the fleet:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will dedicate the Pentagon Memorial
; The new Chief Petty Officer evaluation system takes effect Sept. 15; and Armed Forces Voter's Week continues through Sept. 7.

US Maritime Strategy