Friday, July 31, 2009
[first posted to http://jmr.janes.com - 30 July 2009]
Nebraska Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 18:08:49 -0500
Major Disaster Declaration number 1853 declared on Jul 31, 2009
Federal Aid Programs for Nebraska Disaster Recovery
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 18:16:51 -0500
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's major disaster declaration issued for Nebraska.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
President Declares Major Disaster For Maine
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 17:04:53 -0500
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that federal disaster aid has been made available for Maine to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, and landslides during the period of June 18 to July 8, 2009.
Federal Aid Programs For Maine Disaster Recovery
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 17:17:42 -0500
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's major disaster declaration issued for Maine.
Maine Severe Storms, Flooding, and Landslides
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 17:28:38 -0500
Major Disaster Declaration number 1852 declared on Jul 30, 2009
FEMA Urges Caution For Those Returning Home After Wildfires
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 08:32:18 -0500
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges residents and business owners to take extra precautions when returning after wildfire-caused evacuations. Dennis Hunsinger, FEMA Acting Regional Administrator for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington warns that unseen dangers may linger long after the flames die down.
More Than $8.6 Million In Federal Disaster Aid Flows To Volusia County
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 12:08:02 -0500
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Although the deadline for individuals and business owners in Volusia County to register for disaster assistance has passed, the federal government continues allocating funds to help survivors recover from the severe late-May storms, flooding, tornadoes and straight line winds.
FEMA Staffers In Jackson Helping Area Food Banks
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 12:10:22 -0500
BILOXI, Miss. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency employees at its Area Field Office in Jackson are pitching in to help two food banks replenish their shelves.
Bridge City Isd Awarded $4 Million FEMA Grant To Replace Hatton Elementary School
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 08:28:27 -0500
TEXAS CITY, Texas - Hurricane Ike's estimated 13.5-foot storm surge in Orange County, Texas, caused extensive damage throughout the county, including the Bridge City area. Now, a nearly $4.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will help the Bridge City Independent School District replace the severely damaged Hatton Elementary School.
FEMA Obligates $27 Million In Grants For Hurricane Ike Debris Cleanup And Protective Measures
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 09:03:43 -0500
TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The state of Texas and the city of Houston will receive more than $10.7 million in federal grants to recoup their costs for measures to protect lives and property during Hurricane Ike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Monday. Hardin and Galveston counties also were awarded FEMA grants totaling more than $16.7 million for debris cleanup.
Thought his short life he received the following medals and commendations: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
His Medal of Honor citation:
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
For service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service".
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
[first posted to http://jmr.janes.com - 28 July 2009]
FEMA Authorizes Funds To Help WA State Fight Union Valley Fire
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 14:07:55 -0500
SEATTLE, Wash. --The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight the Union Valley Fire burning in Chelan County.
When Wildfires Rage: Prepare, Stay Informed And Evacuate If Directed
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 16:00:03 -0500
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Sustained record-breaking temperatures have raised wildfire hazards throughout the Pacific Northwest. With wildfires burning in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state, FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Dennis Hunsinger encourages at-risk residents to prepare for the worst, stay informed on local conditions and evacuate if instructed to by fire or emergency management officials.
American Forces Press Service
"A bipartisan cross section of distinguished Americans has called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and has done so for a period of years," Jeh C. Johnson, the Defense Department's general counsel, said before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The president imposed a deadline on us for closing Guantanamo Bay, and we remain committed to meeting that deadline, and we're confident we'll get the job done."
Two interagency task forces made up of personnel from the Defense, State, Justice and Homeland Security departments have been reviewing dispositions of detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay and the general detention policy there to determine the best practices for prosecuting the detainees in civilian court.
For the past six months, "these task forces have worked diligently" to collect the necessary information for a comprehensive review of the U.S. detention policy and the status of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Johnson said. The interagency group assigned to reviewing the cases has made recommendations to approve the transfer of more than 50 detainees to other countries.
Reform also has taken place to amend policies within the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Johnson said. Johnson said Obama's administration feels the Senate has identified the issues needed for reform, and that officials are working side by side with Congress to make further changes.
"The Department of Justice and Defense Department were happy that the language was amended to more closely reflect the Classified Information Procedures Act, so that classified information in military commissions prosecution is treated in a manner [and] in a way in which it's treated in federal civilian courts," Johnson said.
The new policy under the National Defense Authorization Act proposes changes that ban in-court use of statements obtained by cruel interrogation methods, which Johnson said will go a long way to enhance the nation's national security and the credibility of military commissions.
Johnson added that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently announced five changes to the rules for military commissions that will also go a long way toward improving the process. The rule changes follow the Defense Authorization Act and provide detainees greater latitude in choice of counsel, afford basic protection for defendants who refuse to testify, reform the use of hearsay by putting the burden on the party trying to use the statement, and make clear that military judges may determine their own jurisdiction.
Johnson said he and his colleagues are more than pleased with the amendments made by Congress.
"It is our basic view that the [National Defense Authorization Act] identifies virtually all of the elements we believe are important to further improve the military commissions process," he said in his written testimony. "We are confident that through close cooperation between the administration and the Congress, reformed military commissions can emerge from this effort as a fully legitimate forum -- one that allows for the safety and security of participants [and] for the presentation of evidence gathered from the battlefield that cannot always be effectively presented [in civilian courts]."
Johnson also addressed the issue of Guantanamo detainees who cannot be prosecuted in civilian courts but still pose a threat to U.S. national security. Detention of enemy forces captured on the battlefield during war is "an accepted practice under the law of war, to ensure that they not return to the fight," he said.
For this category of people, a thorough process of periodic review must be carefully evaluated and justified, he said, echoing Obama's May 21 address at the National Archives here.
"This president believes that, if any detention of this sort proves necessary, the authority to detain must be rooted firmly in authorization granted by Congress," he said.
Biographies: Jeh C. Johnson
Related Articles: Top Defense Lawyer Calls for Military Commissions Reform / Guantanamo Bay Closure 'On Track,' Pentagon Lawyer Says
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
[first posted to http://jir.janes.com - 23 July 2009]
Designated DDG 109, the new destroyer honors Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, the first Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dunham was born in Scio, N.Y., Nov. 10, 1981, sharing the same birthday as the U.S. Marine Corps.
On April 14, 2004, Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Karabilah, Iraq, when his battalion commander's convoy was ambushed. When Dunham's squad approached to provide fire support, an Iraqi insurgent leapt out of a vehicle and attacked Dunham. As Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground, he noticed that the enemy fighter had a grenade in his hand and immediately alerted his fellow Marines. When the enemy dropped the live grenade, Dunham took off his Kevlar helmet, covered the grenade, and threw himself on top to smother the blast. In an ultimate selfless act of courage, in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of two fellow Marines.
Retired Gen. Michael W. Hagee, former commandant of the U. S. Marine Corps, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Debra Dunham will serve as sponsor of the ship named for her late son. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the ship's bow and christen the ship.
Jason Dunham, the 59th Arleigh Burke class destroyer, will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Jason Dunham will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," the new maritime strategy that postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
Cmdr. M. Scott Sciretta, born in South Amboy, N.J., is the prospective commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Jason Dunham is being built by Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics company. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.
Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at Destroyers - DDG.
The military will need to come up with $60 billion in savings over the next five years to pay for new priorities to be set by the Defense secretary, a top Pentagon official said Tuesday.
The order from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is based on an assumption that there will be no real growth in defense budgets over the next five years, a radical departure for a department whose budgets have increased more than 80 percent since 2001.
Pentagon officials say new spending priorities will be informed by an ongoing review of the nation’s military posture, known as the Quadrennial Defense Review. The review is a deep analysis of the overall structure of the military, meant to guide overall planning and program decisions.
One of the driving factors so far in the evaluation is the prospect that defense budgets largely will be static in fiscal 2011 through fiscal 2015, said David Ochmanek, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force transformation and resources.
The military services must “find offsets” to make room for the new capabilities that Gates wants to add or expand, he said. “They’re now busily looking for those billpayers,” said Ochmanek. “That’s how the zero growth assumption manifests itself.”
In late August, the military services will submit their budgets to the Pentagon leadership, which will use those figures to negotiate with the White House Office of Management and Budget, he said. Pentagon planners hold out hope that more money could be forthcoming.
The $60 billion in offsets will be directed toward research and procurement accounts, Ochmanek said.
July 28, 2009 – 12:24 p.m.
By Keith Perine and Seth Stern, CQ Staff
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on a nearly party-line vote Tuesday, teeing up a Senate confirmation vote next week.
The committee voted 13-6 to approve the nomination in the same cavernous hearing room in the Hart Building in which Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing took place two weeks ago. South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham joined all 12 Democrats on the panel in voting for Sotomayor.
“It is with enthusiasm and hope that I am going to vote in favor of this historic nomination,” committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy , D-Vt., said before the vote.
If confirmed as expected, Sotomayor will be the third woman and first Hispanic to serve on the high court. She will succeed retired Justice David H. Souter , a member of the narrowly divided court’s liberal bloc.
But Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the committee, said, “Based on her record as a judge and her statements, I am not able to support this nomination.” Sessions said he doesn’t believe Sotomayor can put aside her “personal opinions and biases” on the bench. Continue - LINK
Crisis Counseling Can Help Disaster Survivors
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 14:37:39 -0500
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. -- The heavy storms, flooding and mudslides of early May caused a great deal of destruction in West Virginia. Many homes and businesses were damaged, and some individuals were unable to work. But the losses that are most difficult to measure are the ones that destroy a person's peace of mind.
Disaster Recovery Center To Shift Operations Monday
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 08:14:09 -0500
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) currently open in Fredericktown will transition to a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) on Monday, Aug. 3.
FEMA Preparedness Road Show Gets High Five From Kids
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 09:17:03 -0500
BILOXI, Miss. -- Nearly 2,000 children in Mississippi's lower six counties know a little more about preparedness thanks to the FEMA in the Classroom program.
FEMA Funding Helps Elevate Jefferson Parish Homes
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 11:08:03 -0500
JEFFERSON PARISH, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) recently announced a $7.2 million grant to fund an elevation project that will raise 40 homes in Jefferson Parish.
Oklahoma Wildfire Assistance Exceeds $2.9 Million
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 11:59:20 -0500
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Disaster assistance provided to those affected by Oklahoma wildfires now exceeds $2.9 million, state and federal emergency management officials announced today.
Monday, July 27, 2009
NEW Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps Will Become Effective For Alameda County On August 3
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 02:44:01 -0500
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Residents and business owners of Alameda County, Calif. have less than two weeks to purchase flood insurance at the best possible rates before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) local rate maps go into effect.
Two Weeks Left To Register For Disaster Assistance
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 06:43:15 -0500
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Only two weeks remain for homeowners, renters, and business owners who suffered damages from spring and summer severe weather and flooding to apply for disaster assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Disaster Assistance
Fri, 24 Jul 2009 12:20:50 -0500
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- As a result of the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding May 8 – 16, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of Missouri. The declaration makes federal disaster assistance available to Missourians, but accessing such assistance can be hindered by misinformation. Below are some answers that may help clarify common misconceptions about disaster assistance available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Rice County Flood Risk Information Open House Scheduled
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 10:20:04 -0500
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR), will be hosting a Flood Risk Information Open House on Wednesday, July 29, 2009, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Rice County Government Services Building (Conference Room 3), 320 NW 3rd Street in Faribault.
First Deadline Approaches For Local Officials To Submit Requests For Federal Infrastructure Assistance
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 14:01:07 -0500
MARION, Ill. -- State and local agencies and certain private non-profit organizations in some southern Illinois counties have very little time left to apply for federal disaster assistance.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Flood Insurance Is Topic Of Upcoming Meetings
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 08:53:35 -0500
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Specialists from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) have scheduled two upcoming meetings in Kentucky to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about flood insurance.
Public Assistance Money Flows Into Projects
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:46:56 -0500
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- As Minnesota rebuilds after spring floods, more than $5,367,000 is being processed for payment to eligible applicants in 28 counties to reimburse the costs of Public Assistance (PA) projects.
Calcasieu Receives Funding To Acquire Excessive Flood Loss Homes
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:20:28 -0500
CALCASIEU PARISH, La. -- The voluntary actions of several homeowners in Calcasieu Parish have laid the foundation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) to provide $1.1 million to the parish for acquisition of five residential properties.
Harris County Flood Control District Awarded $1.9 Million Hazard Mitigation Grant
Tue, 21 Jul 2009 14:13:11 -0500
TEXAS CITY, Texas -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a $1.9 million hazard mitigation grant to Harris County Flood Control District No. 9 to acquire residential properties that suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Ike. The grant was obligated to the district for the acquisition of nine properties in the Idylwood Historic Subdivision.
By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
Keating, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, addressed the National League of POW/MIA Families, a group that strives to account for the more than 1,750 veterans of Vietnam and other wars still missing.
"We're going to do whatever it takes, with appropriate support, to have you reach some sort of conclusion in your minds and in your hearts as to where your loved one is," he said at the group's 40th anniversary annual meeting. "We're not going to rest."
For the 90 days until his retirement from active duty, Keating is slated to remain at the helm of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, which also serves as headquarters of a task force responsible for POW/MIA accounting.
Keating told the audience that the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command does everything in its power to provide accountability.
"We want to be able to do that last muster," he said. "If not present, then accounted for. Nothing's more important to us."
The admiral paced the room and spoke without prepared notes, delivering an address filled with colorful anecdotes about his years in uniform and the personnel – ranking above, beside and below him – who shaped his military career.
"I'm proud to wear a couple of these ribbons because they recommend a certain period of service, a certain caliber of men and women," he said, pointing to the patchwork of military ribbons and honors on his chest.
"Now make no mistake, the kids you see around us this morning – the young professionals you see around us this morning – they're the best military, the best armed forces the world has ever known," he added. "I get to go to work with them every day, they keep us moving.
"But I'm reminded of great Americans who saluted...and off they went, and they haven't come back yet," he said.
Referring to the iconic black-and-white POW/MIA flag that features the silhouette of a servicemember set against a prison camp backdrop, Keating called the banner emblematic of commitment and honor.
"It's a symbol of your commitment, your honor, your courage and we pay close attention to that," he told the audience. "Each of your names, and the names of your loved ones – the name of the guy or girl that causes you to be in this room today – your names will be written in gold in the pages of history. You have earned that privilege."
Disaster Loan Outreach Centers To Open Monday In Bolivar, Joplin
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:34:51 -0500
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Disaster Recovery Centers in Polk and Jasper Counties will transition to Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOCs) on Monday, July 20.
Disaster Loan Outreach Center To Open Monday In Kirksville
Thu, 23 Jul 2009 10:36:28 -0500
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Disaster Recovery Center in Adair County will transition to a Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) on Monday, July 20.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Your Home Has Never Flooded? The Preferred Risk Policy May Be For You
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 11:56:22 -0500
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Many West Virginia residents are indifferent to the need to purchase flood insurance because their home or rental property has never flooded. If this is your experience and you live in a low- to moderate-risk area, signing up for an inexpensive Preferred Risk Policy under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the thing to do now.
Two Counties Added To Declaration For Public Assistance
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 14:08:20 -0500
MARION, Ill. -- Hamilton and Union counties were designated eligible for federal Public Assistance (PA) today. That brings the total number of counties to eight, according to officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Administrator Meets With North Dakota Governor Hoeven To Discuss Emergency Preparedness And Partnership
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 08:17:36 -0500
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met today with North Dakota Governor John Hoeven at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Today's meeting comes on the heels of Administrator Fugate's visit to the National Governors Association Conference, where he addressed the conference on how FEMA can support governors and their citizens as we prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters.
FEMA Administrator Meets With Governors To Discuss Emergency Preparedness
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 13:31:46 -0500
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This week, the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate met with several of our nation’s governors to discuss emergency preparedness and ensure that as many resources and plans as possible are in place prior to any potential emergency.
FEMA Obligates $17.8 Million To Help Kentucky Electric Co-Ops With Ice Storm Costs
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 11:20:50 -0500
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated more than $17.8 million to help reimburse six Kentucky co-ops and rural electric cooperative corporations (RECC) for emergency response and repair costs resulting from last winter's devastating ice storm.
FEMA Lends A Hand To Help Kentuckians With Long-Term Recovery
Wed, 22 Jul 2009 11:26:40 -0500
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Some Kentuckians affected by the severe storms and flooding that struck May 3-20 will have unmet needs even after receiving help from government disaster aid programs or insurance.
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Pictures from Santiago Trip
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