Friday, April 30, 2010

Today´s Top News 30 April 2010

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus says, in July, the first female officers will begin the 18-month-long training process to serve onboard submarines.

Insurance Rates Drop

The Department of Veterans Affairs says families insured with the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program will have to pay less out of pocket expenses starting July 1.

Third Army's Mission

A look at Third Army's mission and how they work to ship vehicles from Iraq back to the U.S.

Kentucky Derby Security

This Saturday is the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby and once again the National Guard will be on hand to help with security.

Pakistan Stability

Defense officials say a stable and secure Pakistan is strategically vital to the United States.

26th MEU Training

Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, took another big step in their training schedule this week.

Strong Attraction

Defense officials say recruitment and retention in the military are strong.

Oil Spill Response Latest

Coast Guard officials say they will use every resource available to contain a 120-mile oil slick that is creeping toward the Louisiana shoreline.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today´s Top News 29 April 2010

Women can now serve on submarines, the Navy announced Thursday. Also, the Pentagon honors NORAD.

Morrell on Oil Spill

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is offering all of the military's resources to help clean up the huge oil spill spreading quickly in the Gulf of Mexico.

Women on Submarines

The Navy announced Thursday a new policy allowing women to serve onboard submarines.

FOCUS Program

Military experts say a relatively new Navy program is improving the lives of families dealing with the psychological stresses of serving in today's military.

Modern Army

The Army this week announced its 2010 Modernization Strategy.

Coast Guard Burns Oil

In an attempt to lessen environmental damage, Commandant of the Coast Guard ADM Thad Allen says the Coast Guard has begun to burn the oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico.

Urgent Response 2010

Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, began a two-day exercise Wednesday designed to mirror last year's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

U.S. Supporting Haiti

Commander of U.S. Southern Command Gen Douglas Fraser says the U.S. will leave about 500 Soldiers in Haiti for the hurricane season, which is from June until October.

Oil Spill Response Latest

Coast Guard officials say the amount of oil leaking from an exploded oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is five times larger than originally thought.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Top News 28 April 2010

The Navy has joined the fight to combat a massive oil slick created by an oil rig explosion last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

Warrior Ride

Wounded warriors took off on a four-day bicycle journey called "Soldier Ride" Wednesday from Washington, DC.

Defense Priorities

Iowa became the first state in the nation to enact all the Defense Department's priorities supporting military servicemembers and their families.

Vigilant Guard Exercise

Members of the Hawaii National Guard traveled to Alaska to help local emergency responders with Vigilant Guard, a disaster response exercise.

Haiti Force Presence

The U.S. military will keep a smaller force in Haiti throughout the hurricane season.

LA Oil Slick Preps

Coast Guardsmen in Louisiana are stocking supplies in preparation for possible landfall of an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

Iran Security Challenges

The U.S. and Israel confront many of the same security challenges and work together to solve them.

CJCS on Communication

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ADM Mike Mullen continued his "Conversations with the Country" tour in Colorado where he explained the importance of communication.

Oil Spill Response

The Coast Guard is considering a controlled burn of a massive oil slick that is growing fast in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today's Top News 27 April 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates hosted the Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak at the Pentagon Tuesday. The two defense leaders discussed military relations between the two countries.

SECDEF Hosts Israeli MOD

Defense Secretary Robert Gates hosted the Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak at the Pentagon Tuesday. The two defense leaders discussed military relations between the two countries.

AF Social Media Policy

The Air Force on Monday began a two-week phased opening of access to social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

DEPSEC In California

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn visited the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force's battle simulation center on Monday.

Air Force Takeover

The Army Garrison at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, became the Air Force's 502nd Mission Support Group/Garrison during a ceremony Monday.

Alaska Guard Exercise

The Alaska National Guard and representatives from several state and federal organizations this week are taking part in a disaster exercise.

Oil Rig Latest

The Coast Guard continues to work around the clock to control an oil leak from an offshore rig that exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil Rig Update

The Coast Guard says it continues to monitor an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials say they are prepared if the slick starts moving toward the Gulf Coast.

Afghan Shooting Practice

Afghan police got some target practice Monday, along with U.S. troops in southern Helmand Province.

Idaho Troops Deploy

The DoD announced Monday about 2,700 Soldiers from the 116th Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Iraq in the fall in support of Operation New Dawn.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Today's Top News 26 April 2010

The Army's Surgeon General, LTG Eric Schoomaker, says caring for Wounded Warriors is a concern for all of the Army, not just the medical community.

WTU Helps Soldiers

The Army's Surgeon General, LTG Eric Schoomaker, says caring for Wounded Warriors is a concern for all of the Army, not just the medical community.

Lanza Interview

Iraqi security forces, with help from their U.S. counterparts, recently delivered a serious blow to al-Qaida in Iraq by killing two of its leaders and capturing another.

Vets Remember

Vietnam veterans got a chance Sunday to remember the ship that carried them into battle nearly four decades ago.

Strategic Partnership

In Iraq, strategic partnership between U.S. transition teams and local leaders is creating strong working and personal relationships.

GEN Odierno Remarks

General Ray Odierno, Commanding General, U.S. Forces-Iraq, says the time is appropriate for Iraqi forces to take control of their country's security.

Guard Responds to Tornado

More than 50 members of the Mississippi National Guard are on duty in Yazoo City, MS., assisting residents with cleanup after a tornado ripped the town apart on Saturday.

Oil Spill Cleanup

The Coast Guard is working around the clock to secure a 1,000 gallon-a-day oil leak from a rig that exploded off the Louisiana coast last week.

Oil Rig Update

The Coast Guard has called off the search for 11 crewmembers who have been missing since an oil rig explosion off Louisiana last week.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Feeling Warehoused in Army Trauma Care Units


COLORADO SPRINGS — A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.

A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition unit at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay, his mother thought.

It did not work. He was prescribed a laundry list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented. His once-a-week session with a nurse case manager seemed grossly inadequate to him. And noncommissioned officers — soldiers supervising the unit — harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.

Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great White Fleet in Rio de Janeiro

JAN 12, 1908, 5,700 MILES FROM HOME


Wireless Message Tells of Approach to Brazilian Capital

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 11 – The captain of the German cruiser Bremen received a wireless dispatch from the American battleship fleet this afternoon announcing that the fleet is nearing Rio de Janeiro.

The dispatch did not give the position of the American vessels.

Admiral Evans’ Command May Make Trip to Puget Sound Early Next Summer

VALPARAISO, Jan. 11 – A government commission, with Admiral Simpson at the head, will proceed to Punta Arenas on board the cruiser Charabuco to welcome Rear Admiral Evans and the American battle ship fleet to Chilean waters.

Admiral Evans’ fleet may make a trip to Puget Sound, after leaving San Francisco, in the early summer, according to an official statement made at the Navy Department yesterday. Many applications requesting that the fleet visit that section have been received at the Navy Department, which have the strong indorsement of public men.

Fleet Program at Rio

Today Rear Admiral Evans and his officers will go to Petropolis to pay his respects to the American ambassador, Mr. Dudley. They will then be introduced by the American ambassador to Dr. Penna, President of the Brazilian Republic.

Tonight a banquet will be given to Rear Admiral Evans and flag officers.

Tomorrow a luncheon will be given on Mount Corcovado by the minister of marine, Rear Admiral Alencar.

Wednesday the American ambassador and the four flag officers of the American fleet will be guests at the presidential pageant, after which a garden party by the American ambassador has been planned.

Thursday there will be a festival at Rio de Janeiro given by the American colony.

Friday a garden party will be offered at the Naval Club and on Saturday a ball at the Diar Ros Club, at Petropolis, will be given in honor of the American Navy.

The entertainment for Sunday includes a large auto party.

Monday, January 20, a banquet of 600 covers will be offered to Admiral Evans and his men.

Tuesday, January 21, a farewell entertainment will be given aboard the flagship Connecticut.


RIO DE JANEIRO, January 13. – The sixteen great fighting ships composing the American battleship fleet arrived here at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. When the fleet arrived off Cape Frio, eighty miles to the eastward of Rio de Janeiro, it was met by the tender Yankton, Lieut. Gheradi commanding, which arrived here last Friday, she having been dispatched from Trinidad in advance of the fleet. The Yankton delivered to Admiral Evans dispatches containing instructions regarding the anchorage of the ships in the harbor here, details of the official plans for the entertainment of the officers and other matters concerning the visit of the battleships.

The voyage of over 3,000 miles from Port of Spain, Trinidad, was unmarred by any serious accident.

The fleet weighed anchor at 4 o’clock the afternoon of December 29 at Port of Spain, and exactly at 4 o’clock yesterday the vessels were swinging at their anchors in this beautiful harbor. All of the battleships are here, but the supply ships Culgoa and Glacier are still at sea, not having been able to keep along with the others. The fleet has now covered about 4,600 miles about a third of the distance of the voyage to San Francisco.

A Magnificent Scene

As the fleet passed the lighthouse on Cape Frio, a signal, set by order of the government, conveyed a welcome from the Brazilian people. As the warships came up the bay every man who could possibly do so was on deck to view the picturesque scenery, for which Rio de Janeiro is noted the world over. Each warship moved to the anchorage position assigned to her, anchors were dropped, and fleet presented a magnificent picture to those having the slightest interest in nautical affairs.

Many Dollars for Tradesmen

A tour of the money changers shows the jackies spent ashore approximately $100,000 in the last four days. About 9,000 men have been ashore, spending an average of $11 each. Hundreds of pairs of light shoes and a great quantity of souvenirs were bought. The shopkeepers welcome the influx. Moving pictures of the arrival of the fleet and of the jackies in the streets are exhibited.

Ambassador Dudley visited the flaghip and lunched on the Connecticut. He also visited the Brazilian flaghip and the Italian and German cruisers, which fired salutes.

President Penna intends to view the fleet on the day of its departure, when it will leave in company with the Brazilian cruisers.

Two hundred and fifty officers attended a smoker last night at the Parque Flumigense, given by American and British residents. A band of fifty-four pieces from the fleet were present and there was a vaudeville entertainment. The total cost was $6,000, and the affair was a huge success.

Alexander McKenzie, vice president of the Rio tramway, gave a dinner to Capt.. Osterhaus, Lieut. Commander McLean and others. The New Jersey’s team has defeated the Rio Athletic Club at baseball.

The Japanese minister is successfully promoting the immigration of 2,000 Japanese to work the rice fields in Rio Janeiro province. A Japanese company will bring the immigrants soon.

Twelve-Oared Cutter Race

There was great excitement among the jackies today over a race between the battleships Minnesota and Louisiana. The course was three miles straightaway, and the Minnesota crew won after a lively struggle. The jackies bet their money on their choice with great enthusiasm, and it is said that nearly $12,000 changed hands as a result of the victory of the Minnesota’s men. The winners will race against a crew from the Illinois tomorrow over the same course.

Sailors in a Riot

Scenes of disorder marked the presence ashore of the sailors from the American battleships last night. Ten sailors were slightly inured in a disturbance at the fleet landing, and the trouble was so serious that the liberty parties were recalled to the ships.

The riot was due to the arrest of a native by the fleet police. The sailors say the man flourished a knife and that the Rio police released him. In the confusion the man, it is alleged, cut two sailors. A great crowd fought the sailors and stones were thrown and knives used. Three hundred sailors and 2,000 natives were in the flight until officers intervened and restored order. The reserve police were summoned.

Eighty sailors were hit by stones. Seaman Doyle of the Louisiana was struck on the head and sent to the hospital. Men were sent through the city offering the sailors back and three natives were arrested. The officers say the liberty order may be revoked or modified.

Distributing Many Dollars

It is calculated that between the buying of supplies for the ships and the money spent on the shore by officers and sailors, not less than a quarter of a million will have been left behind in Rio by the time the vessels sail on their way south, on January 21. These prospects are naturally very pleasing to the tradesmen of Rio Janeiro, who wish the fleet was going to stay longer.

Admiral Evans’ Report

Rear Admiral Evans, the commander-in-chief of the battleship fleet, yesterday reported to the Navy Department that a slight disturbance occurred Monday night on shore at Rio de Janeiro, involving a number of shore liberty men. It was promptly suppressed by a patrol of petty officers and police. Four petty officers were slightly injured. The shore liberty men were directed to return to the ships immediately, and liberty was temporarily suspended. Admiral Evans says that after investigation, however, the granting of liberty was resumed as many as 4,000 men going ashore at a time. The commander-in-chief reports that the men have been received with great cordiality.


RIO JANEIRO, Jan. 14 – Every officer who could be spared from the American fleet came ashore today and was greeted at the landing by Rear Admiral Alecar, Brazilian minister of marine, and his staff. Following formal addresses of welcome the party entered special conveyances and made a tour of the city, after which they went to Mr. Corcovado.

There the Brazilian naval officers and the minister of marine entertained the Americans with an elaborate luncheon which served the purpose of making the American officers better known to their hosts.

Four Thousand Enlisted Men Go Ashore and Are Made Welcome Everywhere

While this was going on, liberty parties of marines and jackets were being entertained by the rank and file from the Brazilian warships in the city proper. The entertainment so far afforded the visitors has equaled anything American sailors ever had. All hands are on their mettle.

There has been no drunkenness and no disorder and the bluejackets from the ships have been made welcome every place they have gone. So far, 4,000 men have been giving shore leave and their conduct is being praised by city authorities.

The city is being policed by 200 masters at arms, detailed from the ships, and under command of Lieutenant C.P. Nelson, of Minnesota. He secured automobiles for his men, and in them they are patrolling, but have had nothing to do. Just to keep their hand in, though, a couple picked up an intoxicated Brazilian soldier, who was spoiling for a fight, and took him to a station, explaining they thought he was better off there. The city police officers did not know what they said, but smiled at them, and took care of the soldier.

Admiral Evans Suffers From Rheumatism, and Has to Decline All Invitations

Admiral Evans is still suffering severely with rheumatism, and is compelled to refuse all invitations for entertainment. He has designated Rear Admiral Thomas to act in his stead.

No foundation has been found for the extraordinary rumor set on foot that the minister of marine had been informed Japanese would try to blow up one of the ships at anchor. Still, the fact remains that the minister of marine has designated special police boats to patrol the roadstead, and all boats are compelled to land their occupants under their direction.

This precautionary measure is undoubtedly responsible for the wild rumor.

Friendship of Brazil: Cordial Greeting of President Penna to American Captains

The following is the toast of President Affonso Penna of Brazil at the luncheon he tendered yesterday to Rear Admiral Thomas, acting commander of the American fleet during the illness of Admiral Evans, and to the captains of the Louisiana, the Minnesota, the Rhode Island, the Connecticut and the Georgia:

“The warm and brotherly welcome which the people of the capital of the republic have given to the powerful American fleet will have proved to all how deep and sincere is the sympathy and friendship that moves the Brazilian nation with regard to her great and prosperous sister of North American.

“These are not ephemeral and occasional sentiments. They came to us from the cradle of our nationality, always growing progressively in the course of time and ever binding more closely the friendly ties and the economical relations of the two countries.

“When the South American nations proclaimed their independence, in that first moment of doubt and vacillation as to the future, the encouragement of the young American republic came to use with the solemn declaration of indestructible solidarity among the peoples of the new world issued by the voice of their great President Monroe, whose name shines in history as that of a statesman of far reaching sight and of rare political prescience.

“The long and difficult cruise of the powerful fleet to which Brazil is host today, its mission of going around the whole American continent, constitutes a new surpassable vigor and of the extraordinary energy of the great people friend of Brazil.

“With my ardent and sincere wishes that the navigation of the friendly fleet continues to be an unbroken record of favorable circumstances, I raise my glass in honor of the glorious American Navy, for the prosperity of the United States of America and for the personal welfare of her eminent chief and great statesman, President Theodore Roosevelt.”


Ships are Ready to Sail

RIO JANEIRO, January 18. Rear Admiral Evans today expressed appreciation of the magnificent reception accorded to the fleet by the Brazilian government and people. A serious attack of rheumatism, from which he suffered soon after leaving the Port of Spain and which has troubled him ever since, has prevented his enjoyment of the many receptions and entertainments organized in honor of the visitors, but has in nowise lessened his appreciation of the efforts of the nation to make the sojourn here a pleasant and memorable one.

Passage Of Magellan

The admiral is now anxious to press on to his destination. All the vessels are shipshape and have taken on their supplies, awaiting only the signal from the flagship to weigh anchor and begin the third leg of the journey to Magellan, a distance of 2,500 miles or more. Punta Arenas on the east coast of the Brunswick peninsula, the most southerly town of any importance of the world, will be the next stop.

Passage of the Strait

Admiral Evans said today that he did not fear any difficult in the passage of the Strait of Magellan by the fleet in regular column formation. The so-called dangers of the strait he does not consider serious, and he believes that the fleet of battleships under his command, with the accompanying flotilla of torpedo boats will make the tortuous trip without a jar.

Squadron Will Have Good Weather For It

With their departure from Rio Janeiro today the sixteen battleships under the command of Rear Admiral Evans enter upon their third stage of their voyage to the Pacific. In this run of 2,230 knots which will terminate February 1, according to the schedule at Punta Arenas, the most southern port in the world, the ships will traverse the hazardous narrows at the eastern entrance to the Strait of Magellan.


Final Salutes are Exchanged and the Vessels Disappear at a Ten-Knot Gait

RIO JANEIRO, January 23. To the booming of guns and the cheers of the thousands on the accompanying pleasure craft, the American warships sailed from Rio Janeiro yesterday afternoon, bound for Punta Arenas, on the Magellan strait. Ten days will bring the fleet almost midway on its 14,000-mile cruise to San Francisco, and the ships and the men carried with them today the godspeed and good wishes of the whole Brazilian nation.

Airship Test

The beginnings of aerial navigation by the Navy may be accomplished in Magdalena Bay, Rear Admiral Evans said. “Before I left Hampton Roads, Rear Admiral Chester informed me that he would try to send one of Alexander Graham Bell’s aeroplanes to Magdalena Bay to meet the fleet in March. I promised all possible assistance. If the aeroplane is sent I will conduct the experiments. Whether aerial navigation will become feasible for military or naval purposes, I can’t say, but I believe it should be investigated; then if practical flying machine is developed we will be the first in the line of progress. I hope Prof. Bell sends the aeroplane.

Excerpts taken from:

The Evening Star Newspaper

Washington D.C.

Courtesy of The Naval Historical Center

Great White Fleet - Asia

Great White Fleet - Australia

Great White Fleet

Friday, April 23, 2010

Armed Forces Boxing

We give you a preview of the 2010 Armed Forces Boxing Championship which gets underway Friday night in California.

DeCA Green

Officials at the Defense Commissary Agency say they celebrate Earth Day all year long, not just one day a year. They offer organic foods and green cleaning items.

Pirates Arrive in U.S.

Eleven suspected Somali pirates arrived in Norfolk, Virginia, today to stand trial for alleged attacks against U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Africa.

Afghan Orphans/Coats

Coalition forces and members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team visited an orphange in Charikar, Afghanistan, recently to deliver coats donated by Americans.

Nuclear Posture Review

The 2010 nuclear posture review reflects a current assessment of the global security environment, one which Pentagon officials say is different from the one used during the Cold War.

Soldiers Impact Afghans

U.S. Soldiers, hoping to have a positive impact, recently visited an orphanage in Farah Province to deliver school supplies to children.

Green Hornet

The Navy celebrated Earth Day Thursday with a test flight of the Green Hornet, an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet which operates using biofuel.

Air Force Launches X-37B

The Air Force launched its newest unmanned space shuttle, the X-37B Thursday from Cape Canaveral, FL.

Oil Rig Fire

The search for 11 missing crew members of an offshore oil rig continues in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana.

Earth Day at the Pentagon

In honor of Earth Day, the military exhibited several of its green research projects Thursday at the Pentagon with a special focus on alternative fuels.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today´s Top News 22 April 2010

It's Earth Day, and the Navy highlights some of the ways it's going green, including a "green" F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Abu Ghraib Transfer

U.S. forces transferred authority of Joint Coordination Center Abu Ghraib to the Iraqis on Tuesday.

DoD Goes Green

It's Earth Day, and the Defense Department is doing its part by developing cheaper and cleaner sources of energy at the more than 500 permanent DoD installations worldwide.

Meet My Mom

Military families are using many ways to keep in touch this Mother's Day, including e-mail, Skype, and now, the Hallmark Channel's Facebook wall.

GI Bill Testimony

The Department of Veterans Affairs has just launched the first phase of a long-term plan to speed up the processing of claims.

Morrell on Iranian Threat

Earlier this week, the Defense Department released a report to Congress saying by 2015, Iran may have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States.


Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with athletes from the 2010 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams Tuesday at the Pentagon.

Oil Platform Fire Latest

The Coast Guard is searching for signs of 11 workers who remain unaccounted for following Tuesday night's explosion and fire on an oil platform off the Louisiana coast.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today´s Top News 21 April 2010

The Defense Department is reviewing subpoenas for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to testify on the shootings at Fort Hood, TX.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Last month, Defense Secretary Gates revised the rules regarding the policy on homosexuals in the military. Now, the Navy is following-up with guidance.

Ft Hood Subpoenas

The Pentagon is reviewing subpoenas from a Senate subcommittee for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to testify on the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

Oil Platform Explosion

The Coast Guard is searching for nearly a dozen people still missing after an explosion and fire on a drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana.

X37B Orbital Vehicle

The Air Force is set to launch America's newest and most advanced unmanned reentry spacecraft Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Oil Platform Fire

Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters are responding to an explosion and fire at a mobile offshore drilling platform off the Louisiana coast.

EADS KC-X Tanker

European Aeronautical Defence and Space Company CEO Sean O'Keefe says his company is ready and able to provide a high quality aircraft for the KC-X program.

New Export Controls

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is calling for an extensive overhaul of U.S. export controls.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today´s Top News 20 April 2010

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus talks about the F/A-18 "Green Hornet" program and what it means for the military.

New Export Controls

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says new export controls are needed to protect our nation's most sensitive technologies from falling into the wrong hands.

Volcano Affects Kids

The volcano in Iceland is having an adverse effect on some DoDDS students in England and their spring break.

Mullen at Columbia

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen is traveling around the United States speaking to audiences about the value of America's veterans.

Creating Jobs In Iraq

The top U.S. commander in Iraq says the keys to success there hinge upon the Iraqi economy.

Kwast Briefing

Heavy ash from the Iceland volcano is forcing the U.S. military to fly its wounded from Afghanistan to Balad, Iraq, instead of the medical facility in Landstuhl, Germany.

U.S. To Depart Haiti

The former commander of Joint Task Force Haiti, LTG Ken Keen, says the military should finish its earthquake relief efforts in Haiti around June 1.

New Mexico Troops Return

It was a warm homecoming for more than 250 members of the New Mexico National Guard returning home this weekend from Iraq.

Volcano Wreaks Havoc

A volcano in Iceland continues to wreak havoc with air travel across most of Europe, including American military flights.

al-Qaida Leaders Killed

U.S. military officials say the deaths of two al-Qaida leaders in Iraq will have a severe impact on the terrorist group's operations in the future.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Today's Top News 19 April 2010

Iraqi security forces, supported by U.S. forces, have killed the two most senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Haiti Operations Latest

The military's mission supporting earthquake recovery operations in Haiti is expected to stand down on or about June 1st.

Doolittle Raiders Reunion

Four surviving members of the ''Doolittle Raiders'' met for a reunion on the anniversary of their historic flights over Japan nearly seventy years ago.

Al-Qaida Leaders Killed

Iraqi security forces, supported by U.S. forces, have killed the two most senior leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Haiti Operations Update

Former Commander of Joint Task Force Haiti Lieutenant General Ken Keen says the current mission is aimed at getting homeless earthquake victims prepared for the rainy season.

Soldier Return Delayed

Volcanic ash from the eruption in Iceland has stalled air traffic and is delaying the return of members from the 1055th Army Reserves from South Carolina.

Odierno on Security Pact

The United States is not attempting to renegotiate the Status of Forces Agreement calling for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

U.S. Hands Over Base

U.S. troops handed over control of Siniya Base near Baiji Town, Iraq, to the 14th Brigade of the Iraqi Army on Saturday.

Odierno on Fox News

The top U.S. commander in Iraq calls al-Qaida operations there "significantly degraded", but he says the terrorist group can still carry out deadly attacks against civilians.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's Top News 16 April 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Barbados for the last stop on his Latin America trip. He's there to discuss the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

DOD Reducing Fuels

Defense Department Director of Facilities and Energy Mr. Joe Sikes says reducing the DOD's reliance on fossil fuels not only saves money, it also keeps troops safer.

Weapons Safety Training

Servicemembers learn the correct way to handle and clear their weapons during basic training but sometimes they need refresher training.

Walter Reed Relocation

Employees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will know by June where they'll be relocated in accordance with the Base Realignment and Closure.

Afghanistan Focus Shifts

NATO spokesman COL Wayne Shanks says Kandahar is a much larger area than Marjah, but more stable since it already has an established government.

Somali Pirate Threat

Naval officials say the U.S. and its allies will need to use better intelligence gathering in their battle against Somali pirates.

USNS Mercy To Deploy

The hospital ship USNS Mercy leaves May 1 to support Pacific Partnership 2010.

Volcano Cancels Flights

Volcanic ash is grounding civilian and military flights for a second day in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Guard Leader on Return

The Commander of the Vermont National Guard says the key to U.S. troops coming home from Afghanistan relies on improving the integrity of the Afghan military.

Day of Remembrance

Commander of U.S. Central Command, General David Petraeus, joined more than 100 World War II veterans at the U.S. Capitol Thursday to mark the Holocaust Day of Remembrance.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today's Top News 15 April 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed off on interim force protection measures in the wake of the shooting that claimed thirteen lives last November at Fort Hood, TX.

Iceland Volcano

A volcanic eruption in Iceland has brought air traffic in Europe, including some military flights, to a standstill.

USO Awards Dinner

The USO of the Metropolitan Washington area recognizes the efforts of troops and volunteers during its annual banquet.

Tax Day is Here

The deadline to file your federal tax return is today, and the IRS has some last second tips for servicemembers who have not yet filed their returns.

Pirate Threat

Navy officials say, although piracy off the coast of Somalia is getting most of the attention, pirates are also doing heavy damage to ships and oil platforms off of Africa's west coast.

Army Suicide Data

The U.S. Army has released suicide data for the month of March. There are a total of 21 potential cases of suicide.

US/ROK Military Exercise

U.S. and Republic of Korea troops conducted a joint military exercise Thursday north of Seoul.

SECDEF on Iran

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expressing confidence about plans to impose new sanctions against Iran if it continues to refuse to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Gates in South America

Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Bogota, Colombia Wednesday night for talks with that country's President and Defense Minister.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today's Top News 14 April 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is visiting Peru on the first stop of his four-day trip to Latin America.

Flournoy On Iran

Defense officials say Iran is currently one of the top security challenges for the United States.

TRICARE Affirmation Act

The Senate on Tuesday passed the TRICARE Affirmation Act.

Petraeus at TAPS Gala

Commander of U.S. Central Command General David Petraeus thanked families of the fallen for their sacrifices during a gala supporting TAPS - the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

LTG Schoomaker on TBI

The Surgeon General of the Army says the military is learning more about the effects of traumatic brain injuries as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq go on.

Tax Season Ending

Tax Day is Thursday, April 15th, but that doesn't represent the final deadline for servicemembers on a deployment.

HASC on Military Health

Senior DOD medical leaders testified Tuesday before a House Armed Services subcommittee about progress made in the military medical system.

Petraeus on Afghanistan

CENTCOM Commander GEN David Petraeus says a strong central and regional government is key to U.S. and NATO goals of stability and security in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Today's Top News 13 April 2010

A military training plane crashed in the mountains of north Georgia, Monday, killing at least three of the four crewmembers on board.

Sesame Street at Pentagon

The Pentagon hosted some very special guests on Tuesday.

Pentagon Security

Last month's fatal shooting at the Pentagon drew attention to several areas the Pentagon Force Protection Agency could re-evaluate and improve.

Radar Rollout

The Air National Guard unveiled an upgrade to the radar system on board F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft.

Live Ammo Surgery

Air Force surgeons removed a piece of live ammo from the head of an Afghan soldier last month at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.

Training Iraqis

The Director of the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission, MG Richard Rowe, says training Iraqis is one of the primary focuses for coalition troops.

USS Carl Vinson Returns

USS Carl Vinson and its 3,500 crewmembers arrived Monday at their new home port of San Diego following earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

Guard On Duty In DC

The National Guard is on duty providing security for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

Navy T-39 Crash

A military training plane crashed in the mountains of north Georgia on Monday killing at least three of the four crewmembers on board.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Today´s Top News 12 April 2010

President Barack Obama is hosting leaders in Washington D.C. for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit for talks on nuclear weapons.

Brazil Defense Agreement

Defense Secretary Robert Gates welcomed Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim to the Pentagon on Monday.

Ride 2 Recovery

Hundreds of Wounded Warriors crossed the finish line of a 350-mile bicycle trip across Texas on Sunday called the Ride 2 Recovery.

AIDS Conference

The Defense Department is leading the way at a first-of-its kind HIV/AIDS conference underway in Tanzania.

USS Ingraham Returns

The guided missile frigate USS Ingraham returned home Saturday after a seven-month deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Petraeus Meets Karzai

Commander of U.S. Central Command General David Petraeus and U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday in Kabul.

SECDEF on Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says a video showing U.S. troops engaging civilians in Afghanistan will not have a lasting impact on the war there.

Gates on Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Afghans want to ensure their country's sovereignty.

Gates on Nukes

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says countries who attack the U.S. with chemical or biological weapons will be dealt with swiftly.

Gates on Nuclear Security

The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit gets underway Monday in Washington D.C. with President Barack Obama hosting leaders from 47 countries for talks on nuclear weapons.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Message to Garcia


By Elbert Hubbard

In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.

What to do!

Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."

Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.

The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"

General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.

No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.

Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".

Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?

On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

Who was he?

Which encyclopedia?

Where is the encyclopedia?

Was I hired for that?

Don’t you mean Bismarck?

What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?

Is he dead?

Is there any hurry?

Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?

What do you want to know for?

And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.

Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.

And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.

Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.

Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?

"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."

Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?

We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.

Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.

It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.

I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."

Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.

Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.

Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.

I have carried a dinner pail & worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.

My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.


Today´s Top News 09 April 2010

Four are dead after an Osprey crashes in Afghanistan. Also, President Obama recognizes former prisoners of war.

Gates to South America

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will travel to South America next week.

First Lady at Pentagon

First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Pentagon on Friday.

Cook in a Box

Specialist Jason Rogers works every day to cook food for troops in Afghanistan that both looks good and tastes good.

Gates to Foster Cooperation With Latin America

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2010 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will focus next week on Latin America, signing a defense agreement with Brazil, then visiting Peru, Colombia and the Caribbean to reaffirm U.S. commitment to the region and promote closer defense cooperation.

Gates will kick off the week hosting Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim at the Pentagon on April 12, where Brazil and the United States will sign a defense cooperation agreement aimed at deepening and broadening their military-to-military relationships, a senior defense official told reporters.

The accord, the two countries’ first formal defense arrangement since 1977, is more “aspirational” than specific, the official said. But he called it “a big deal” that establishes a formal framework for more military-to-military engagement and exchanges, information-sharing and cooperation in defense-related research and development.

In Peru, Gates’ meetings with President Alan Garcia and Defense Minister Rafael Rey are expected to focus on its fight against illicit drug trafficking and the Shining Path terrorist organization. The Shining Path had been all but neutralized in Peru, but has begun to surface in recent years through sporadic violent attacks funded largely through cocaine trafficking, the official said.

Gates, who hosted Rey at the Pentagon in February, will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to helping the Lima government confront what it has declared its top security challenge, the official said.

In Colombia, Gates will offer congratulations and support for that country’s fight against its own internal threat, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, known as FARC, and other paramilitary groups.

The secretary is slated to meet with President Alvaro Uribe and Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Luján to discuss progress in that offensive, with support from the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia and a new defense cooperation agreement.

The U.S.-Colombian Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in October, formalized the military-to-military relationship between the two countries to better address narcotics production and trafficking, terrorism, illicit smuggling and humanitarian and natural disasters.

The meeting is expected to be Gates’ last with Uribe before the Colombian president leaves office in August. As Gates acknowledges Uribe’s accomplishments during the past eight years, Gates will offer assurance of continued U.S. support for the next Colombian administration, the official said.

“He will make clear that our commitment to Colombia is not to a government or president. It is a state-to-state commitment,” he said.

Gates will wrap up his Latin America trip in Barbados, expressing support for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative aimed at curbing drug trafficking and other trans-border threats.

President Barack Obama announced the initiative at the Summit of the Americas in April 2009 to promote regional cooperation in confronting security challenges that extend beyond any one country’s border. His fiscal 2011 budget request includes almost $73 million in military and economic aid for the program.


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