Deputy Secretary, Australian Prime Minister Meet at Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2018 —Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan hosted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Pentagon yesterday for a bilateral meeting to discuss the robust defense relationship between the U.S. and Australia as well as the common strategic challenges the two nations face, Defense Department spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff A. Davis said in a readout of the meeting today. [1]
]]>“The leaders discussed our shared objectives and the strong alignment between the United States and Australia in addressing strategic challenges,” Davis said. Shanahan highlighted the National Defense Strategy & DoD’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, & to the nation’s allies and partners, he said.
Shanahan & Turnbull also reaffirmed their continued commitment & support to address the threat from…

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Air Force Trials for Wounded Warriors Begins in Nevada

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas, Feb. 23, 2018 —More than 125 wounded, ill & injured servicemen & women have trained & practiced for months in their chosen sports in preparation for the Air Force Trials held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. [1]
]]>The Air Force Trials start today and conclude March 2.
Promoting Mental, Physical Well-Being
The Air Force Trials is an adaptive & resiliency sports event designed to promote the mental & physical well-being of the participants. The sports events include wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, swimming, track & field, air pistol & rifle shooting, rowing, archery, cycling and powerlifting.
More than 40 wounded warriors from the U.S. Army, Great Britain & Australia will also be among the competitors at Nellis. The…

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Cobra Gold 18: Allied Marines Learn Jungle Survival Skills

SATTAHIP, Thailand, Feb. 23, 2018 —Sunlight peeks though the tree tops as the Marines make their way through a dense & humid jungle.
]]>Rations & water have been consumed — there is no opportunity for resupply for several days. The Marines are hungry & thirsty.
Yet, the Marines will continue on with their mission because they’ve had jungle survival training.
American & South Korean Marines were taught jungle survival skills by members of Thailand’s Marines here Feb. 19.
Learning Survival Skills
“Today we’re teaching jungle survival to U.S. & [South] Korea’s reconnaissance Marines,” said Royal Thai Marine Corps Master Sgt. Pairoj Prasansai, a jungle survival training instructor. “Survival is an important skill for all troops to learn, especially troops who may only have…

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Military Strikes Hit ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 23, 2018 —U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria between Feb. 16 & yesterday, conducting 41 strikes consisting of 76 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today. [1]
]]>Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
— On Feb. 22 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted four strikes, destroying a fighting position & damaging two ISIS supply routes.
— On Feb. 21 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes, destroying two mortar staging facilities and a weapons cache.
— On Feb. 20 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted five strikes, destroying…

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DoD Now on Track to Rebuild, Restore Military, Spokesperson Says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2018 —The Bipartisan Budget Act puts DoD on track to rebuild, restore and modernize the U.S. military, Dana W. White, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, said today. [1]
]]>The act lifts the spending caps for fiscal years 2018 & 2019, allowing the Department to climb out of a readiness trough and providing funding necessary to modernize the force.
“The bipartisan measure will allow Congress to appropriate DoD funds at the level requested … by the president for both F.Y. ’18 & ’19,” White said.
Hand-in-hand with this is the need for the Department to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars, she said. This is one of Defense Secretary James N. Mattis’ top priorities.
“We want to maximize the value of…

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U.S. Department of Labor Deploys Mobile Technology System To Help Mine Inspectors Work More Efficiently

ARLINGTON, Vet Affairs – The U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) has initiated the deployment of a Mobile Inspection Application System (Mobile IAS) to further enhance the efficiency & effectiveness of mine inspectors & to better carry out MSHA’s core mission of promoting the health & safety of America’s miners. Nearly 1,500 federal mine inspectors across the nation & enforcement staff will benefit from this new technology.

The Mobile IAS replaces an 18-year-old system that required mine inspectors to carry bulky laptops, cameras, reference material, & documentation from previous inspections. The new Mobile IAS integrates all of these features into one application to provide the latest technologies that securely store & transfer data, while improving ease of use.

“Enabling mine inspectors to work more efficiently means more time to focus on the health & safety of America’s miners,” said MSHA Assistant Secretary David G. Zatezalo. “MSHA’s Mobile IAS is expected to improve the quality of information by eliminating redundancy, and provide more timely information for inspectors.”

Among the features of MSHA’s Mobile IAS are:

  • A Windows-based, lightweight, semi-ruggedized tablet with a camera, video, voice recording, touch screen, digital pen, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi capability to facilitate data capture and streamline the inspection process.
  • An application built on Microsoft’s Universal Windows platform with photo capture & fillable, pre-populated forms.
  • Service-oriented architecture for efficient data transfer among devices & the MSHA Standardized Information System.
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Pacific Partnership Enhances Regional Disaster Response Cooperation

SINGAPORE, Feb. 22, 2018 —The Navy will join allied & partner-nation militaries for the 13th Pacific Partnership mission, scheduled to start tomorrow. [1]
]]>This annual maritime operation will help improve disaster response preparedness, resilience & capacity while enhancing partnerships with participating nations and civilian humanitarian organizations throughout the Indo-Pacific region, officials said.[2]
Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral disaster response preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific region. This year’s mission will be led by Destroyer Squadron 31 & staff embarked on the hospital ship USNS Mercy[3] and the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Fall River[4], & will include more than 800 military & civilian personnel from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru & Japan.
Deepening Ties With…

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Airmen Take Tough ‘Phoenix Raven’ Security Training

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Feb. 22, 2018 —The gym echoed with sounds of bodies hitting the floor as instructors watched their students wrestle each other to the ground.
]]>The students trained tirelessly for the past week & were showing signs of wear & tear: cuts, bruises, & red, sweaty faces steaming with pain.
This is the Phoenix Raven Qualification Course, perhaps the most rigorous training program in the Air Force security forces worldwide. The Air Mobility Command’s Phoenix Raven program centers on the concept of specially trained security forces airmen flying with & protecting AMC aircraft around the globe.[1]
Providing Security
The trained airmen are to “provide close-in security for aircraft & airfields that AMC has deemed as having inadequate security,” said…

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Officials Highlight German-American Partnership at Security Conference

MUNICH, Feb. 22, 2018 —Wolfgang Ischinger, the chairman of the Munich Security Conference, told members of the Loisach Group that the German-American partnership is the “backbone” of the transatlantic alliance & the conference, which was held here Feb. 16-18. [1]
]]>Each February, the Munich Security Conference brings together more than 450 Elder decision-makers from around the globe to engage in an intensive debate on current & future security challenges[2].
The Loisach Group is a collaboration between the Munich Security Conference & the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies[3] that focuses on enhancing the security partnership between the U.S. & Germany while promoting an enduring strategic dialogue between these essential partners. The group met Feb. 19 after the Munich Security…

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Face of Defense: From Small Boats to an Amphibious Assault Ship

ABOARD THE USS BONHOMME RICHARD, Feb. 22, 2018 —Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Cunningham recalls that as he was growing up he would cruise the Delaware River with friends on a small, 25-foot fishing boat that carried no more than 10 people.
]]>Today, Cunningham finds himself aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, an 844-foot amphibious assault ship which holds thousands of Marines & sailors.[1]
“Being on a fishing boat with my friends is great, but I'm am feel like there is a sense of purpose being aboard a naval vessel,” he said. “I am excited to be on an amphibious assault ship and do what Marines do.”
Cunningham, 20, hails from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He enlisted on June 13, 2016.
Serving in the…

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DoD Highlights Achievements, Celebrates Engineers Week

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2018 —From cutting-edge developments in medicine & technology to infrastructure projects in the U.S. & around the world, Defense Department engineers are innovative & deliver solutions, officials said at the 13th Annual Engineers Week event at the Pentagon today.
The long list of notable accomplishments from DoD engineers includes the mass production of penicillin & the development of the Global Positioning System, Michael D. Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research & engineering, noted.
]]>”Every time an engineer or a team of engineers create a new device, a new system, a new invention, a new design, that’s a design for something which has never existed before in the history of the universe,” Griffin said.
He described engineering as…

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Stoltenberg Discusses NATO Transatlantic Link at Munich Conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2018 —The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is arguably the most successful alliance in history, ensuring no general war in Europe since the end of Globe War II. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the Munich Security Conference last week that the organization is adapting to ensure it continues its success against new threats and challenges. [1]
]]>But even as the alliance transitions, there are some pillars that remain undisturbed and the largest of those is the transatlantic partnership, Stoltenberg said.
He noted the symbolism of two items in front of the new NATO headquarters building in Brussels: a piece of the Berlin Wall & a twisted girder from New York’s Worldwide Trade Center. “Together they symbolize NATO’s steel-hard…

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Army Reserve Answers First Call for Disaster Relief in American Samoa

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa, Feb. 21, 2018 —When disaster strikes at home, who answers the call to clean up & rebuild? After a destructive storm struck here recently, Army Reserve forces took immediate action. [1]
]]>In concert & coordination with various federal, state, local, interagency, & non-governmental organization partners, Army Reservists transported Federal Emergency Management Agency & American Red Cross relief supplies & equipment to support their fellow citizens following the destructive path of Tropical Cyclone Gita across the island of American Samoa Feb 11-16.
More than 300 U.S. Army Reservists reside & work in American Samoa.
Helping Americans
“We are part of this community. We are members of the community & it is ours to protect,” said Army Lt. Col. Clinton C….

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Guard Salutes Fallen New York City Apartment Fire Hero

NEW YORK CITY, Feb. 21, 2018 —Army National Guard leaders recently honored a New York Army National Guardsman who died while rescuing his neighbors during the deadliest fire here in more than 25 years. [1]
]]>Army Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah is credited with saving four lives as he returned to the building three times before he was overcome by smoke. Including Mensah, 13 people died in the blaze.
Mensah posthumously received two medals for valor during a ceremony for the family at Fordham University here Feb. 16, including the Army’s highest award for bravery outside of a combat zone.
Army Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Kadavy, director of the Army National Guard, presented the Soldier’s Medal to Kwabena Mensah, Emmanuel’s father.
‘Unselfish Soldier’
“Difficult though it…

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Face of Defense: Airman's Innovation Benefits Relief Efforts

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2018 —In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, when the Air Force’s 621st Contingency Response Wing deployed more than 150 airmen throughout Puerto Rico & the surrounding islands, one airman in particular employed an innovative way to facilitate support to the relief mission. [1][2]
]]>Air Force 1st Lt. David Webb, an intelligence officer with the 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron here, identified a critical role open-source data could play to help expedite the hurricane relief efforts to more than 3.5 million civilians in the wake of the most recent hurricanes.[3][4]
As one of the first intelligence officers to deploy to Puerto Rico in support of the relief efforts, Webb had the idea to use publicly…

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