Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Month Without Actualization

I´m going to the 2010 Judicial Conference of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, so the next actualization probably will be after March, 18.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Congressman John Murtha Passes Away at Age 77

The Honorable John P. Murtha

United States House of Representatives

2423 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

www.murtha.house.gov

February 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: MATT MAZONKEY

PHONE: (202) 225-2065

MATTHEW.MAZONKEY@MAIL.HOUSE.GOV


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman John P. Murtha (PA-12) passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:18 p.m. at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. At his bedside was his family.

Murtha, 77, was Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in February of 1974, Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. A former Marine, he became the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress.

This past Saturday, February 6, 2010, Murtha became Pennsylvania’s longest serving Member of Congress.

A complete biography is available below.

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Biography of John P. Murtha


U.S. Representative John P. Murtha has dedicated his life to serving his country both in the military and in the halls of Congress. He had a long and distinguished 37-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990.

He has been serving the people of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District since 1974. Currently serving his 19th term, Congressman Murtha is the eighth most senior member of the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. Of the nearly 10,600 men and women who have served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1789, only 79 have served longer than he has.

Congressional Leadership

Congressman Murtha has worked hard to bring tens of thousands of family-sustaining jobs to western Pennsylvania. With the wide-spread loss of coal and steel jobs that were the lifeblood of the area, he pushed the region in a new direction, intent on diversifying the economy by attracting health care, defense, medical research, tourism and high-tech jobs that would insulate the region from future shocks. This success has transformed communities and has brought thousands of jobs to the district he represents.

He co-founded the Congressional Steel Caucus in 1979 to preserve what remained of America’s steel industry by fighting subsidized steel imports. Years ago he began to support funding for alternative energy technology, providing research dollars for military wind energy, fuel cell technology, and a coal-based jet fuel currently being tested in Air Force planes.

He has played a major role in heritage preservation and tourism efforts throughout Pennsylvania. He created a heritage region that became a model for the National Heritage Area program, which today includes both the Rivers of Steel and Path of Progress in Southwestern Pennsylvania. He has secured funding to preserve national heritage sites from Fort Necessity to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to Gettysburg National Military Park. He also authored legislation establishing the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

In the 1990s, the U.S. Justice Department attempted to exempt federal prosecutors from ethics rules. This effort was undertaken despite the fact that numerous cases emerged of unchecked prosecutorial activities far outside of ethical guidelines, including hiding evidence, distorting facts, paying for perjury, setting up innocent people and, in some of the severest cases, engaging in cover-ups. Congressman Murtha took on the Justice Department and Congress overwhelmingly passed the Murtha Amendment which codified that federal prosecutors are bound by the ethics rules of the jurisdictions in which they are practicing.

Concerned about the future viability of Social Security and the retirement savings of Americans, he has authored legislation allowing children to have a Roth IRA so that family members and friends can contribute to a child's nest egg from day one.

He has fought for a patient's bill of rights, prescription drug benefits, a higher minimum wage, and protecting Medicare, Social Security and veterans' and miners’ benefits. When Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was about to be killed by federal regulations, he convinced the Clinton White House to be more flexible and saved the program. When the Environmental Protection Agency said the six-county Pittsburgh Air Basin would get no permits for industrial growth, he inserted language allowing time to finish a balanced, community-based plan. When Medicare refused to pay for preventive health care such as mammograms and flu shots, he included language in an appropriation that convinced the agency to provide coverage.

Military/Defense Leadership

Congressman Murtha is highly respected for his first-hand knowledge of military and national security issues. He has been a trusted adviser to Presidents of both parties and is one of the most effective advocates for our national defense. Currently the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he oversees appropriations for the Department of Defense, which includes the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and the intelligence community.

As the first Vietnam War combat Veteran elected to Congress and a career Reservist, he has a rare combination of experience that enables him to lead his colleagues and the nation on defense issues.

He learned about military service from the bottom up, beginning as a raw recruit when he left Washington and Jefferson College in 1952 to join the Marines out of a growing sense of obligation to his country during the Korean War. He earned the American Spirit Honor Medal, awarded to fewer than one in 10,000 recruits. He rose through the ranks to become a drill instructor at Parris Island and was selected for Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He then was assigned to the Second Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In 1959, Captain Murtha took command of the 34th Special Infantry Company, Marine Corps Reserves, in Johnstown. He remained in the Reserves after his discharge from active duty until he volunteered for Vietnam in 1966-67, where he served as the S-2 intelligence officer for the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division and received the Bronze Star with Combat "V", two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Upon his retirement from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1990, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal by the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Health Care Leadership

Congressman Murtha’s mission to improve access to preventative medicine, expand medical research, and ensure that health care is affordable has benefited people across our country.

In 2003, he found out through the Air Force Surgeon General that 144,000 Air Force personnel and/or members of their family have diabetes. Determined to reverse the diabetes epidemic in the military as well as throughout western Pennsylvania, he has directed funding to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Diabetes Institute for diabetes prevention, education and outreach, which is having significant success on military installations and across rural communities. He has also directed funding to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to continue research and clinical trials for a cure to Type 1 diabetes.

Congressman Murtha has worked with breast cancer survivor advocate groups to provide over $2.5 billion for breast cancer research through the Department of Defense. This funding has led to state-of-the-art research for detecting and treating breast cancer, and has resulted in early detection technologies like imaging tools and molecular studies that yield more reliable results.

He has forged partnerships between western Pennsylvania hospitals and world-renowned institutions such as Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital, one of which has led to research that could revolutionize the early detection and treatment of breast cancer and significantly advance efforts to eradicate the disease.

Through his leadership in securing continued funding for the healthcare program for retired miners, he has twice been able to help save their benefits from being eliminated.

Foreign Policy Leadership

Congressman Murtha has traveled around the world leading Congressional and Presidential fact-finding missions, meeting with foreign leaders, monitoring international elections and representing the United States Congress abroad.

President Ford asked Congressman Murtha in 1975 to be part of the first Congressional fact-finding mission to Vietnam after U.S. forces had been withdrawn. He later returned in 1978 to discuss with the Vietnamese the issue of Americans still listed as missing in action and to bring back the remains of any Americans that had been found in recent years.

In 1982 and 1983, Speaker “Tip” O’Neill sent Congressman Murtha to Beirut, Lebanon, to assess President Reagan’s decision to deploy U.S. Marines in the midst of civil unrest. He returned and warned that our troops were in a vulnerable position and that the force was inadequate to attain the mission outlined by the State Department. He argued for the withdrawal of the Marines from Beirut.

Congressman Murtha was part of a Congressional delegation that visited the Soviet Union in 1984 shortly before Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power. The delegation reinforced the United States openness to pending economic and military changes in that country. He later worked to provide funding essential to long-term global stability by decommissioning nuclear equipment and destroying warheads.

President Reagan named Congressman Murtha and Senator Dick Lugar as co-chairmen of a 20 member presidential delegation to monitor the Philippine elections of 1986. The delegation personally observed activities of voting fraud and manipulation and determined that the election had been stolen by the Marcos regime. After the delegation convinced President Reagan to delay certifying the election, Marcos fled the country and Corazon “Cory” Aquino became president.

Congressman Murtha served as chairman or co-chairman of four separate presidential election-monitoring delegations to El Salvador. He had been one of the strongest and most influential supporters of El Salvador when communist insurgents threatened to overrun the democratically elected government.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush named Congressman Murtha as Chairman of the U.S. delegation to monitor the elections in Panama. It quickly became clear that the election was fraudulent and that Panama’s military dictator, Manuel Noriega, had removed the constitutionally elected President and held onto power by declaring his party as the election winner. At President Bush’s urging, Murtha traveled to Panama on several more occasions and met secretly with the “defeated” candidates. He helped facilitate messages between them and the Bush Administration regarding support for an American intervention. He later inspected the build-up of U.S. forces that invaded in December 1989 and deposed Noriega.

Congressman Murtha played a key role in the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s. He worked with Congressman Charlie Wilson on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to secretly provide funding for the CIA to supply arms to the Afghan fighters. Stinger Missiles became successful in shooting down Soviet helicopters and aircraft and turning the tide for the Afghan resistance.

During the Persian Gulf War, Congressman Murtha played a vital role as a moderate Democrat in attracting swing votes that assured passage of a House Resolution supporting the United Nations Resolution on the conflict. He made two trips to the Gulf Region to assess the situation and troop morale, and was invited numerous times by President George H.W. Bush to the White House for briefings and advice.

When President George H.W. Bush ordered 25,000 U.S. troops to Somalia in December 1992, Congressman Murtha appeared on Larry King Live that very evening to debate against the decision. He traveled to Somalia on three inspection trips. In July 1993, he wrote President Clinton a letter recommending a phased withdrawal of our troops. Although his advice was not heeded, history would prove him right.

From 1996 through 1998, Congressman Murtha made several trips to Bosnia to inspect the United Nations Forces. In September 1996, President Clinton asked him to co-chair a U.S. delegation overseeing the first post-war election, to certify that the election was fair and that the Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs were able to openly participate. He also traveled to Bosnia with President Clinton for Christmas in 1997 and 1998.

Congressman Murtha voted to give President George W. Bush authorization to use military force against Iraq in October 2002. He inspected the build-up of U.S. troops in the Gulf Region weeks before the invasion and five months later in August 2003. He found severe shortages of body armor, electronic jammers, and vehicle spare parts. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that our troops have the proper equipment and training that they need. He wrote President Bush in September 2003 warning that, “we have severely miscalculated the magnitude of the effort we are facing” and said that he agreed with an assessment by Dr. John Hamre that we have a “narrow window of opportunity available to deliver progress in terms of economic infrastructure, security and basic service improvements.” He received a reply seven months later from the Department of Defense saying that “we have made substantial progress in the very ways that you suggest.” After voicing his concerns and suggestions directly to the Administration and being continually ignored, he made the decision to publicly argue for the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq on November 17, 2005. Since then, he has become one of Congress’s most outspoken critics of the War in Iraq, convinced that the conflict can only be solved politically, diplomatically and economically by the Iraqis, not the American military. Since the war in Iraq has begun, he has made eight visits to the region.

Honors and Awards

Congressman Murtha’s countless honors include the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award; the National Breast Cancer Coalition Leadership Award; Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry's Government Leader of the Year; Pittsburgh's Riverperson of the Year; the Congressional Medal of Honor Society's National Patriots Award; and Pennsylvania's two highest honors, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

USS Bataan Immunization Clinic


DNU Flash - USS Bataan (LHD 5) clinic gives immunizations in Haiti.

USS Patriot Refuels Underway


DNU Flash - USS Patriot (MCM 7) conducts a replenishment-at-sea.

USS Nimitz Barber Shop


DNU Flash - A look at the barber shop aboard aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).

Japanese Volunteer In Yokosuka


DNU Flash - A Japanese native gives tours to Yokosuka Sailors.

Hawaii Oily Sludge


DNU Flash - Hawaii chemists break down oily waste into a non-harmful disposable product.

Headlines for Monday, February 8, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Navy wants to increase the number of female recruit division commanders at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes; Sailors need to activate their electronic service records.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sasebo CBR Training


DNU Flash - Sasebo Sailors receive chemical, biological radiological training.

Yokosuka, Japan Compass Program


DNU Flash - Compass program introduces spouses to military life in Yokosuka, Japan.

JTF Bravo In Haiti


DNU Flash - Joint Task Force Bravo provides medical care for Haitian patients.

Navy And Air Force Combine Base Management In Hawaii


DNU Flash - Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base combine base management.

Rota, Spain Cub Scouts


DNU Flash - Naval Station Rota Spain Cub Scouts participate in pinewood derby event.

Headlines For Friday, February 5, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Department of the Navy renews its commitment to wounded warriors; Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy talks about budget for the Marine Corps.

Sexual Assault Report


A new report details how the military is dealing with sexual assault.

NFL Military Ties


Many of the National Football League's biggest stars credit their tie with the military for their success.

Super Bowl Shoutouts


The Super Bowl is this Sunday. The Pentagon Channel's SSgt Josh Hauser reports from Miami.

Haiti Donation Scams


Con artists are trying to take advantage of the millions of donations being sent to Haiti.

Coalition Force Training


Coalition forces are working and training together in Afghanistan.

Combat Zone Exclusion


Troops serving in combat zones are entitled to a combat zone exclusion which would remove certain pay from their reported income.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today's Top News 04 Fev 2010


SECDEF Robert Gates is in Turkey to discuss NATO's budget and troop requirements for the war in Afghanistan.

Battleship Missouri Memorial Reopens


DNU Flash - Battleship Missouri Memorial reopens after a three month overhaul.

USS Ashland Arrives In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

DNU Flash - USS Ashland (LSD 48) arrives in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to on load relief supplies for Haiti.

USS Enterprise Prepares For Deployment


DNU Flash - USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Sailors prepare for deployment.

Haiti Supply Process Improved


DNU Flash - Sailors improve transportation of supplies to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Cobra Gold Exercise


The annual Cobra Gold exercise commenced this week in Thailand.

Future Warfighter Budgeting Costs


DNU Flash - The Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget Rear Adm. Jospeh Mulloy explains the future budgeting costs warfighters needs to meet their mission.

Headlines for Thursday, February 4, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Department of Defense announced budget for fiscal year 2011 includes increase of spending for wounded warriors; Naval operations change focus to returning infrastructure to the Haitian government.

Ft Campbell Training


Thousands of Soldiers from Kentucky will deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

Aviators Deliver


Marine aviators in Afghanistan ensure troops and supplies are delivered on time so the mission can be completed.

Kentucky Guard Deploys


The Kentucky National Guard's 2123rd Transportation Company is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

Tax Help For Troops


Military One Source offers numerous ways for servicemembers to file their taxes.

Sexual Assault Report


Sexual assault remains a significant issue in the military.

VA Guard Prepares


The Virginia National Guard is preparing for heavy snow from a winter storm this weekend.

Blackhawk Crash


Officials with U.S. Army Europe are confirming three of their Soldiers were killed when their UH-60 Blackhawk crashed Wednesday night northeast of Mannheim, Germany.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today's Top News 03 Fev 2010


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ADM Michael Mullen testifies for the second straight day on the FY 2011 defense budget.

Puerto Rico Guard


The Puerto Rico National Guard is activating soldiers to help police handle the rising crime rate.

USS Nimitz Ships Store


DNU Flash - USS Nimitz (CVN 68) ship's store provides a valuable service to Sailors.

Sailors Take Part in Japanese Ceremony


DNU Flash - Yokosuka Sailors participate in a traditional Japanese ceremony.

Pearl Harbor CFL Course


DNU Flash - Select Pearl Harbor Sailors begin Command Fitness Leader course.

New Sasebo Security Uniform

DNU Flash - Sasebo security personnel begin transition to new Navy Working Uniform.

Budget Testimony


Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, speak about the 2011 Defense budget.

Avatar Visits NSA Bahrain


DNU Flash - Avatar cast and crew visit Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Headlines for Wednesday, February 3, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates talks about the Quadrennial Defense Review and Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Secretary of the Navy for Budget, talks about the Navy budget; U.S. Southern Command continues to support Haiti.

Afghan Web Project


A new web-based public affairs project, aimed at bringing a better picture of counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan, kicks off next Monday.

Stavridis Praises Afghans


NATO's top commander is praising Afghan security forces for stopping an insurgent attack on a number of key buildings in the Afghan capitol.

1st Female to Head Guard


The first female has been sworn in as the head of California's National Guard.

Homebuyer Tax Credit


Military members who purchased a new home in 2009 may be eligible for a credit this tax season.

Haiti Operation Latest


Joint Task Force-Haiti is moving to the next phase of its operation.

Force Deployments


About 3200 members of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky will deploy to Afghanistan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

NAVY - Operation Unified Response USN

USS Bataan Relief Efforts


DNU Flash - USS Bataan (LHD 5) continues to aid in humanitarian efforts in Haiti.

USS Patriot Conducts Drill


DNU Flash - USS Patriot (MCM 7) performs a terrorism drill off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

Avatar Crew Visits Eisenhower


DNU Flash - The cast and crew of the movie Avatar visit USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).

Guantanamo Bay Serves as Supply Hub


DNU Flash - Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is a logistics hub for supplies, equipment and personnel bound for Haiti.

Budget Testimony


Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen testified on Capitol Hill about the defense budget.

10th Fleet Tackles Cyberspace Challenges


DNU Flash - The newly recommissioned 10th Fleet will help the Navy tackle cyberspace challenges.

Headlines for Tuesday, February 2, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Department of Defense releases the 2011 Defense Budget Request and the 2010 Quadrennial and Ballistic Missile Defense Reviews; USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is released from Haiti relief operations.

Joint Strike Fighter


There will be changes at the top of the Defense Department's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Navy Ships Leave Haiti


The nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, cruiser USS Bunker Hill and survey ship USNS Henson left Haiti on Monday.

ADM Mullen on Budget


Billions of dollars for training Iraqi and Afghan troops as well as an emphasis on force protection are all included in the Defense Department's 2011 budget proposal.

BMDR Released


The ballistic missile defense review was released Monday and aligns US missile defense posture with near term regional missile threats.

Gates on Budget


The Pentagon's 2011 budget request builds on the reforms from last year's defense budget, resetting the department's priorities.

Monday, February 1, 2010

NAVY - Operation United Response

Carl Vinson Food Distribution

DNU Flash - Sailors from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing 17 and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) distribute food in Haiti.

USS Denver United Through Reading


DNU Flash - USS Denver (LPD 9) Sailors connect with their kids via United Through Reading.

USNS Comfort Lab Techs

DNU Flash - Lab techs from USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) assist in Haiti.

Project Hope at Guantanamo Bay


DNU Flash - Project Hope volunteers stop at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba en route to USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).

Groundbreaking for Miramar National Cemetery


DNU Flash - Service members and veterans gather for groundbreaking of Miramar National Cemetery.

Headlines for February 1, 2010


DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Navy stands up Fleet Cyber Command and re-establishes 10th Fleet; USS Freedom (LCS 1) prepares for maiden deployment; Medical professionals deliver a baby in Haiti.

MG Lanza Briefing


A female suicide bomber killed 41 people in Iraq Monday when she detonated an explosive vest in a crowd of religious pilgrims.

Taliban Reconciliation


Reconciliation and reintegration of the Taliban into Afghan society will be key to peace in Afghanistan.

Haiti Latest


The 82nd Airborne is in Haiti helping with relief efforts.

Training Afghans


One of the main focuses for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan in 2010 is the training of Afghan security forces.

Winter Storm Response


The National Guard in seven states has been activated to assist with winter storm support.

Predator in Haiti


The Air Force is using the remote-controlled Predator aircraft to support the military relief mission in Haiti.
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