Leadership News

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Misawa maintenance Airmen benefit from AFSO21 review

by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/28/2010 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- For many Airmen, the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century program is as abstract as its name. For the Airmen of the 35th Maintenance Squadron munitions flight munitions support equipment element here, an AFSO21 review revealed they could cut their work time in half.

"Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first," said Tech. Sgt. Scot Solheim, the 35th MXS Munitions Flight munitions support equipment element chief. "I've never had any experience with AFSO21. Without knowing too much about it, it was a 'pie in the sky' type of thing. I thought it was one of those processes just to make something look better and not actually improve the work being done. But there really are benefits to it."

Through the AFSO21 process, the munitions support equipment element Airmen took a critical look at how they inspect and repair munitions trailers -- breaking down the process and rebuilding it from the ground up.

The munitions flight officer in charge, Capt. Daniel Connors, initiated the AFSO21 process after seeing its positive effects at his previous base.

Along with Captain Connors, Master Sgt. Marc Maschhoff, the 35th Fighter Wing AFSO21 facilitator, picked five volunteers to consult with the trailer maintenance shop.

The Airmen were selected based on their varying backgrounds, Sergeant Maschhoff said. Three Airmen were chosen from within the maintenance group, one of which already had experience with the AFSO21 process. Another came from the 35th Communications Squadron and the last came from the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron, each giving a fresh perspective on the task at hand.

"I don't think I would have thought of it," said Sergeant Maschhoff, who spent 21 years of his career as a maintainer. "Just because the maintenance squadron is in the maintenance group doesn't mean they have all the tools and knowledge regarding vehicle maintenance. We reached out to LRS ... and got our guy, Staff Sgt. Lawrence Turnbull. He asked a lot of questions and brought a wealth of knowledge from LRS."

2nd Lt. Man Tsang, 35th CS, acted as a catalyst for brainstorming, Sergeant Maschhoff added. Without a maintenance background, the team had to walk Lieutenant Tsang through their work flow step-by-step, which exposed areas needing improvement.

"When they had to break down a process and explain everything to him, they really had to justify the ineffective or wasteful things they were doing," Sergeant Maschhoff said. "They started to ask themselves, 'Why are we doing that?'"

The team began their work May 18, starting with learning how AFSO21 works.

AFSO21 involves four basic steps: mapping out the current process, imagining an ideal state, identifying limitations and finding ways to bridge the gap between the current and ideal states.

As the team began the process, they realized there was not an established procedure for taking in, inspecting and repairing munitions trailers, Sergeant Maschhoff said. Instead, the shop used a batch and queue system where people worked on all the trailers at once. Despite good intentions, the system created delays as Airmen waited for specific tools to become available.

To steer their efforts and set a goal, the team envisioned an ideal state where money, time and available manpower were not a concern.

"The point is to free up their minds enabling them to think creatively," Sergeant Maschhoff said. "Then, we identified the common themes between the two groups, because those were the places where both teams were saying, 'These are the problems that need to get fixed.'"

In their brainstorming, both teams suggested a hydraulic lift for performing work underneath the trailers. Looking closer, the teams realized that it wasn't height they needed, but better visibility and freedom of movement, Sergeant Maschhoff said.

A potential solution involved replacing the overhead lights, painting the floor with a reflective surface and finding better portable lighting for working under the trailers. These were ideas neither group had originally thought of, but both agreed were the best solutions to the problem, he said.

Within four days, the team of experts had redesigned their batch and queue system. They discovered ways to reduce the required man hours by more than 60 percent and return munitions trailers after a single day rather than a week. Additionally, they outlined a new maintenance bay layout, focusing the shop's efforts on one trailer at a time, limiting downtime.

"It will cut our maintenance time down drastically," Sergeant Solheim said, "and help us get more items inspected in less time, which will increase our overall productivity."

The team presented their findings to Col. Kyle Matyi, the 35th Maintenance Group commander, May 21, and received $2,500 to start implementing their modifications to the trailer maintenance shop.

"The AFSO21 process can be applied to anything," Sergeant Maschhoff said. "If you can get a couple of people in a room and map out the steps in a process ... you can do this."

Sergeant Solheim said the experience changed his mind about the AFSO21 program.

"It's a good process for just about anybody -- it doesn't matter what career field you're in," Sergeant Solheim added. "It gets you thinking about how you can improve things. I recommend that people at least look into it."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Biden Urges Naval Academy Grads to Make Mark as Leaders

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 28, 2010 - Vice President Joe Biden praised the U.S. Naval Academy's graduating class today for stepping forward to serve something bigger than themselves and challenged them to make their mark as leaders who inspire others. Biden welcomed the Class of 2010's 1,028 members to the "most powerful, best equipped and best prepared Navy and Marine Corps the world has ever seen," emphasizing that his characterization "is not hyperbole."

He conceded they're joining the force at a time of tremendous challenge, including two wars, the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of stateless terrorists and the spread of radical fundamentalism.

"These challenges are real," Biden told the graduates, who were about to accept their commissions as Navy ensigns and Marine Corps lieutenants, and in one case, as an Army officer. "But every generation has faced challenges. And just like those who came before you, you will prevail."

Biden called on the graduates to draw on the lessons they've learned at Annapolis as they become military leaders. "You've been trained by the very best, and you'll leave here with an outstanding capacity to lead," he told them. "You are not only warriors. You are intellectually prepared in a way you have to be in order for us to be able to lead the world."

Those capabilities will be critical as the new officers enter "a global force for good with missions more diverse than ever before," Biden said.

He noted 2,000 Marines serving in Afghanistan, 13,000 sailors ashore in Iraq and Afghanistan and 9,000 more afloat in the region's waters. In addition, he cited sailors fighting pirates in the Horn of Africa and drug traffickers in the waters around South America, helping to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula, protecting commerce by projecting power around the world and saving lives as they respond to natural disasters.

Biden also paid special tribute to 11 graduates who will be among the first women to serve on submarines.

"You are not only making history, but like the 55 women who first graduated from this academy 30 years ago," he said, "you 11 submariners will inspire our daughters and granddaughters to serve their country in ways they never thought they could do."

Biden praised the entire graduating class for demonstrating character and integrity and a willingness to serve their country at a critical time in its history. As they write the next chapter in the Naval Academy's history, he urged them to maintain the legacy of a long line of distinguished graduates, including many greats in naval history.

"Who among you will be mentioned by the graduating speaker of 2050 and 2070?" he asked the class. "Some among you will. You will be -- those of you who excel beyond all others, who continue to be the inspiration for future generations."

In closing, the vice president expressed optimism about the future and urged the graduates to be an important part of it. "I know with absolutely certainty ... our country will remain strong for generations to come," he said. "Your future is literally America's future. Make it bright."

As the graduates assembled awaiting today's ceremonies, they reflected on their shared experiences at the Naval Academy and excitement about beginning their military careers.

Ross Pospisil, defensive captain of the Navy football team that has won the Commander in Chief's Trophy for seven consecutive years, was looking forward to his next challenges: the Marine Officer Basic School at Quantico, Va., then flight school in Pensacola, Fla.

With his superb athletic abilities, Pospisil could have attended just about any university he wanted. But, he said, he always wanted to serve in the military, and felt the opportunities at the Naval Academy were "unparalleled by any other institution."

"I felt a little calling," he said. "I felt like I owed something."

Pospisil said he recognizes he'll be leading his Marines into tough situations, but added that he is counting on his academy foundation and strong faith to succeed. He said he's committed to living up to the Marine Corps' credo, "My brother before me" and becoming a leader his people can trust. "My hope and my prayer is to continue that," he said.

Aubrey Manes, a Kansas native now headed to Navy flight school, said she'll take with her the strong bonds she and her fellow midshipmen formed at Annapolis.

"It's not just an education and it's not just a good time," she said. "There's an unspoken goal in mind here, that someday we will all serve the country."

Natasha and Marquette Ried, identical twins from Fort Collins, Colo., followed the same dream to the Naval Academy, but they are now launching separate careers in the Navy. Natasha is headed to flight school, and Marquette will become one of the Navy's first female submarine officers.

Marquette said her decision to join the submarine force had nothing to do with wanting to be a trailblazer or pioneer. "I was really looking for small-unit leadership right out of the academy," she said. But the sub force is "a real close-knit community, and I'm excited about being a part of it," she said.

As the midshipmen began lining up for today's ceremony, Marquette reflected on the magnitude of the moment she and her classmates have spent the past four years preparing for.

"It's all surreal," she said. "I'm excited about moving on. ... I'm really excited about getting started and finally getting to do what I set out to do."

NCAA Coaches Visit Eisenhower Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Amy Kirk, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Public Affairs

USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- Four Division I football coaches visited Sailors May 27 aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as part of Moral Entertainment and United Service Organizations (USO)-sponsored 2010 Coaches Tour.

University of Oregon Football Head Coach Chip Kelly, U.S. Military Academy Football Head Coach Rich Ellerson, Harvard Football Head Coach Tim Murphy and University of Illinois Football Head Coach Ron Zook toured the ship and greeted Sailors, taking time to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

"It took about 10 seconds for me to decide to be a part of the tour," said Murphy, who has two recent graduates heading to Afghanistan soon. "I had great respect for the men and women in uniform before, but seeing you folks in action is impressive. Few people could do what you do everyday. We owe you all a debt that will be difficult to repay."

For Ellerson, being a part of the trip was twofold. He wanted to pay his respect to the men and women defending our freedoms and get a firsthand look at different environments and working conditions so he could go back and report to his Army athletes, giving them perspective on what they may face in the future.

"I have a profound respect for every person who serves," said Ellerson. "Being able to see the Air Force and the Navy in action, I appreciate them even more. It has been a humbling experience watching these men and women in action. With everything going on and the potential for bad things to happen, no one seems stressed – everyone is on point."

Kelly commented on the crew's ability to work seamlessly together, much like a successful football team, to get the job done.

"What we do on the field is just a game, but what you are doing here is life," said Kelly. "Every few seconds, I was taken aback by the seeming ease and efficiency with which everyone did their job – to watch that coordination was amazing."

The coaches were not the only ones to notice the similarities between a successful military operation and a successful football team.

"I am very excited they are here," said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Priscilla Horner, who won a raffle to dine with the coaches. "They have a great perspective of what we do out here – how they lead a team and how we lead out here are pretty much the same."

In addition to signing autographs, the coaches also conducted a question and answer panel discussion in the ship's hangar bay, fielding questions about the upcoming college football season and how, like within a military organization, teamwork is the key to success.

"You just keep seeing the teamwork and the amazing attitudes," said Zook. "One of the underlying things you see is that every job out here is important, from taking care of the aircraft to preparing the food, everyone pulls together with pride and professionalism. Every smile and attitude toward the job has been impressive."

The coaches said they look forward to returning home and sharing their experience with family, friends and their football teams.

"I think it is important for everyone to know that we are able to live the life the way we do because of men and women like you," said Zook. "We can't say thank you enough."

Sponsored by Moral Entertainment, the USO and Under Armour, in conjunction with Armed Forces Entertainment, the Coaches Tours is in its third year of providing entertainment and an expression of gratitude and support for military troops serving overseas.

According to the USO Web site, the tours have put NCAA coaches in touch with more than 40,000 troops to date, and officials estimate that this year coaches will meet and interact with 15,000 to 20,000 service members through the tour.

Eisenhower is underway as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR). Operations in the 5th Fleet AOR are focused on reassuring regional partners of the coalition's commitment to help set conditions for security and stability. U.S. forces maintain a naval and air presence in the region that deters destabilizing activities while safeguarding the region's vital links to the global economy.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Only Thing That Matters is Duty

By Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2010 - I had the honor of addressing the graduating class of 2010 from the United States Air Force Academy. They and a select group of college graduates throughout the country are receiving a diploma this month and then raising their hand to defend our nation. As I fly back home to Washington, it is to these young men and women entering our military that I wish to impart some of the same time-tested advice I gave our newest Air Force officers.

In a word, it's about duty.

Your first duty is to learn your jobs, and learn them well. Know them cold. Know them better than your peers, better even than your superiors. Stay ahead of the technology and the trends, because you are going to be on the leading edge of that change.

You are going to be responsible for making sure those you command and those you serve are informed and able to make the best decisions they can, often with little or no notice. You can't do that if you don't know what you're talking about. Become an expert. That is the most meaningful way a junior officer can contribute to the mission.

Your second duty is to lead. And there's a lot that goes into that, I know. Let me just tell you a little of what it means to me. It means loyalty. And loyalty must be demonstrated to seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. It must never be blind. Few things are more important to an organization than people who have the moral courage to question the direction in which the organization is headed and then the strength of character to support whatever final decisions are made.

Leadership also requires integrity. You may, at times, prove better than your word, but you will rarely prove better than your actions. The high standards by which you measure your own personal behavior and that of others, say more about you and your potential than any statements you make or guidance you give. You should strive to conduct yourself always in such a manner that it can never be said that you demanded less of yourself or of the men and women in your charge than that which is expected of you by your families or your countrymen.

Leaders today must likewise think creatively. They should be able to place themselves outside the problems immediately before them and look at them from a fresh perspective. While great decisions can be made in the heat of battle, great ideas are usually born in the ease of quiet. You must find the quiet to let your imaginations soar.

And that brings me to your final duty — to listen. You must listen to yourselves, to your instincts. You must also prove capable of listening to others, of trying to see problems through the perspectives of our allies, our partners, and our friends all over the world. No one military, no one nation, can do it alone anymore. It's why I sat cross-legged in a shura with tribal elders in Afghanistan. It's why our troops in that war-torn country are working so hard to speak the language and understand the culture.

Finally, remember that graduation and commissioning represent only the end of the beginning of your education. The world is now your classroom. Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines are now your teachers. They and their families are the best they've ever been: talented, eager, and proud of what they are doing.

Take full advantage of their knowledge to improve yours. Show them your loyalty, and they will show you theirs. Demonstrate integrity in everything you do, and they will respect you. You represent the values they have — throughout our history — struggled to defend. Only by earning the support of those you lead can you ever truly hope to become a leader yourself.

Only by doing your duty — straight and true — can you hope to prove worthy of the trust this nation places in you today.

Best of luck to you all, God bless and congratulations.

Mullen Urges Grads to Live Lives of Service, Leadership

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 27, 2010 - Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, returned to his two sons' high school alma mater here today to encourage this year's graduating class to take risks, push the envelope and be willing to fail in the quest for ever-higher goals.

Speaking at the St. Mary's High School graduation ceremony, Mullen also called on the 126 graduates to seek ways to serve in whatever ways they choose, and to become leaders in charting new courses for the future. He also encouraged the graduates to use any uncertainties they may feel facing the future as a springboard to what's ahead.

"Embrace that uncertainty, and embrace it in a way that keeps your options open for the future," said Mullen, as he stood on the grounds of the historic Charles Carroll House, overlooking Spa Creek.

"Be taking risks," the chairman urged. "Be someone who is willing to push the envelope and sometimes fail."

Failure in itself can provide some valuable lessons, Mullen told the students. "When you've pushed, and when you fail, how do you react to that?" he asked. "How do you get up off the floor once that occurs? Because it happens in life."

Mullen told the graduates they're well-equipped with what it takes to rebound.

Recognizing that all members of the graduating class will continue their educations at a college, university or military preparatory school, Mullen encouraged them to apply what they learn by serving in a way that will affect society in a positive manner.

"You are a generation ... that is very inclined to serve," he said. While paying tribute to nine St. Mary's graduates headed to military academies, service academy preparatory schools or ROTC, Mullen said serving in the military is just one of many ways the students can make a difference.

"It can be through teaching or volunteer work in the Peace Corps or government at the local or national levels," he said. "I look forward to your impact on society, your impact on the future, which will make such a big difference."

Regardless of the paths they choose, Mullen urged the graduates to be willing to lead when leadership is needed and to keep their options open so they're able to adapt to life's constant changes. "Keep thinking," he said. "Keep dreaming of the possibilities that are out there – outside of Annapolis, outside of America - and literally, outside yourselves."

Mullen recognized the importance of education in developing the kinds of skills and aptitudes the United States and the world needs. He noted that his friend, Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones into Schools," repaid villagers in Pakistan who had saved his life after a failed mountain-climbing mission on K-2 by building desperately needed schools.

Mortenson's tireless efforts have brought many schools to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the chairman said, all providing a long-sought education to young girls as well as boys.

"So I hope you can find it within yourself to be grateful about the gift of education you have received here, in and out of the classroom," he told the St. Mary's graduates.

Mullen wished the graduates well as they go on to their next endeavors. "May you hold fast to your values and personality in the face of so much change," he said. "And with service and compassion for others, may you lead the change of the future."

Mullen's two sons are St. Mary's graduates. John Mullen graduated in 1997, and Michael Mullen in 1999. Both went on to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, following in their father's footsteps.

Airman honored with AF International Affairs Excellence Award

by Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

5/26/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- An Air Force master sergeant was recognized May 24 for his role in helping advance the capabilities of the newly-formed Afghan National Army Air Corps.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley presented Master Sgt. Cameron Rogers with the Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award during a ceremony held in his honor at the Pentagon.

Sergeant Rogers, the Air Force District of Washington's command aircraft maintenance manager, received this award for his service on a year-long deployment with the Combined Airpower Transition Force in Kabul, Afghanistan.

"The award is very timely," said Secretary Donley. "Building partnerships is certainly a priority for our Air Force."

Sergeant Rogers "enabled our Afghanistan partners to succeed in restoring the confidence of Afghan airmen as they begin to provide security and stability for their own nation," Secretary Donley said. This work is important and "does have consequences for the security of Afghanistan and for the success of the U.S. and coalition mission in this important region," he added.

As a mentor to the ANAAC and Air University, Sergeant Rogers drew upon his UH-1N helicopter program manager experience and aircraft maintenance skills. His efforts resulted in more than 2,500 sorties encompassing ground attack, airlift and medical evacuation while ferrying more than 16,000 passengers and 144,000 pounds of cargo. He worked with the Afghans maintenance crews in support of their Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopter fleets.

"This is definitely not something I expected 20 years ago before I joined the Air Force," Sergeant Rogers said. "I come from a small Iowa town, and it's thanks to the Air Force I've been able to travel to different parts of the world and make a lot of good friends.

"I have a lot of Afghan friends now that I still keep in contact with and I do miss a lot," he said. "It's a great honor to be accepting this award. I'm speechless. But, I appreciate it."

Established last year, the annual Air Force International Affairs Excellence Award honors outstanding and innovative contributions to international affairs. The award recognizes one Air Force member judged to be most effective in building, sustaining, expanding and guiding enduring international relationships. Sergeant Rogers is the second recipient of the award.

Mullen Offers Leadership Challenges to AF Academy Grads

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 26, 2010 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today challenged the Air Force Academy's graduating class to embrace a sense of duty and build on the lessons they learned here as they become tomorrow's leaders.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen praised the character and courage of the Class of 2010's members who chose to join an Air Force that's "literally been at the tip of the spear since the beginning of the Gulf War" and remains engaged in combat.

"We've been a nation at war for nearly half of your young lives. It's a reality you've literally grown up with," he said, surveying the 1,001 graduating cadets assembled in Falcon Stadium. "And yet here you are – ready to step into the breach, ready to face the enemy's fire and ready to take your place in the long blue line that has preceded you."

Mullen noted that 30,000 airmen currently are deployed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition to flying 180 combat missions a day, nearly 5,000 of these servicemembers are serving outside their normal career fields, providing critical support to ground forces.

"Airmen keep the supplies and the weapons coming. They find and defeat improvised explosive devices," Mullen said. "And they man two of the largest battlefield medical facilities we have in the war zones."

Mullen challenged the graduating class to embrace the sense of duty their fellow servicemembers share, with an eye toward constant improvement.

"Your first duty is to learn your jobs and learn them well," he said, urging them to stay ahead of technology and trends so they can be on the leading edge of change. This, he said, will ensure they're able to keep those they serve informed and are positioned to make the best decisions possible.

Mullen next challenged the graduates to be leaders demonstrating loyalty, integrity and imagination as they live up to their commissioning oath. "A good leader remembers that oath – the promise to put service before self – always," he said.

But the chairman emphasized that loyalty should never be blind. "Few things are more important to an organization than people who have the moral courage to question the direction in which the organization is headed, and then the strength of character to support whatever final decisions are made," he said.

He called on the graduates to exceed what's expected of them as they lead by example. "If you are wrong, admit it. If you have erred, correct it," he said. "Seek responsibility, then hold yourselves accountable."

Mullen also urged them to exhibit imagination – the kind of vision that he called key to the success of the Air Force and the country as a whole. "A leader today must ... think creatively," he said, seeing problems from fresh perspectives to rise above them.

The chairman challenged the cadets to listen to their own instincts, but also those of others – allies, partners and friends all over the world. He reiterated President Barack Obama's call during the U.S. Military Academy commencement last weekend to build new partnerships and shape stronger international standards and institutions.

"No one military – no one nation – can do it alone anymore," he said. "We need each other in ways none of us could have imagined when the Berlin Wall came crashing down."

As they join the force and help to forge some of these new relationships, Mullen urged the graduating class to learn from their fellow airmen. "They and their families are the best they've ever been: talented, eager and proud of what they are doing," he said. "Take full advantage of their knowledge to improve yours."

Mullen offered some parting advice as the graduating class takes on leadership positions. "Show them your loyalty, and they will show you theirs," he said. "Demonstrate integrity in everything you do, and they will respect you.

"Tap into your – and their – imagination," he continued, "and there will be no limit to what you can accomplish."

Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff; Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, Air Force Academy superintendent; and other academy officials joined Mullen on the stage in presenting diplomas. The cadets raised their right hands as Brig. Gen. Samuel Cox, commandant of cadets, administered the oath of office for the graduates' commissions as second lieutenants.

Before the ceremony, members of the graduating class sat excitedly outside the stadium, awaiting the events they'd worked four years to enjoy.

Emma Przybyslawski, commander of the outstanding cadet squadron for the year, the Cadet Squadron 19 "Wolverines," grappled to explain the magnitude of the moment. "There are no ways to explain it," she said. "Sometimes along the way, some of us thought that we might never make it. But we did, and being here is the happiest day of our lives."

Przybyslawski follows a long family tradition of Air Force service. Her grandfather was a World War II pilot, and her father, Maj. Gen. Anthony Przybyslawski, will soon retire as special assistant to the Air Force Space Command commander.

Dreaming of following in their footsteps, Cadet Przybyslawski left the academy after her first year, then realized what she had missed attending a civilian university. "I came crawling back," she said. "There's really a sense here of being a part of something bigger than yourself."

Clarke Sumerel, a Class of 2010 classmate, is excited about heading off to pilot school at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. He said he'll take the close friendships he gained at the academy, but more importantly, the leadership lessons he learned from his superiors as well as his peers. He's ready, he added, to launch his Air Force career, undeterred by the recognition that he's entering a military at war that will frequently take him far from home and into harm's way.

"I want to go as soon as I can. That's why I signed up," he said. "After all, when you're on the basketball team and have spent so much time practicing, you don't want to sit on the bench."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

USS Helena Displays The Right Spirit

By Lt.j.g. Garry Ferguson, USS Helena Public Affairs

May 25, 2010 - KITTERY, Maine (NNS) -- The Los Angeles class attack submarine USS Helena (SSN 725) reached another significant milestone May 21 when Submarine Group (SUBGRU) 2 representative Capt. Michael Martin presented the submarine with "The Right Spirit" pennant. The pennant displays a single gold star symbolic of an entire year without a driving under the influence (DUI) related incident. The award recognizes Helena's efforts to prevent alcohol-related incidents which could jeopardize Sailors and civilians alike. Earlier this month, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) also received the "Right Spirit" pennant.

A "Right Spirit" pennant was also awarded to USS Hartford (SSN 768) in October 2009 after Sailors aboard the submarine passed their 1,000th alcohol-related incident-free day. Another pennant was awarded to USS North Carolina (SSN 777) in December 2009 after crew members aboard the boat completed 2,000 days without an alcohol-related incident.

The Navy blue pennant with gold lettering includes a gold star for each year the command is free of alcohol related incidents. A pennant with a single silver star represents five-consecutive years without a DUI incident.

Commands are authorized to fly the pennant as long as they are DUI-free.

The Right Spirit Campaign, initiated by the secretary of the Navy in 1995, was designed to enhance fleet readiness by the reduction of alcohol abuse and related incidents, to provide a safe and productive working environment and to ensure quality of life while de-glamorizing alcohol use.

This pennant was the brainchild of waterfront leadership. SUBGRU 2's Navy Alcohol and Drug Control officer designed and implemented the idea.

Helena, homeported in San Diego, arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Sept. 2, 2009 for extended maintenance including several system upgrades. Upon arrival, Helena Sailors have been building a relationship with the community.

Helena, named after Helena, Mont., was commissioned on July 11, 1987. Her motto is "Proud and Fearless."

Workplace Changes Must Have 'Net Generation' in Mind

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 25, 2010 - The federal workplace has to adapt to a looming personnel issue that federal managers ignore at the country's peril, the Defense Department's deputy chief information officer said.

During a phone interview, David M. Wennergren said the department must change to draw in employees who have not known a world without the Internet.                    
Two shifts are happening in the federal government, Wennergren said, and each reinforces the other.

First, he said, 971,000 federal employees will become eligible for retirement over the next few years. Second, he explained, is that the world is vastly different from the early days of technology in the federal workplace.

"The world has moved to the Web 2.0 vision of services available anywhere -- the ability to move things through the cloud, to use mass collaboration for networking services and to bring speed and agility to the delivery of information capabilities," he said. "It's a radical set of changes moving us away from the old world, where the answer was always just to build big information technology         systems."

"The Net Generation," as Wennergren called the rising pool of potential federal workers, sees information technologies as a given – like air or water. And unlike their parents, he said, they don't look at joining a company or agency and then staying with that job for life.

"They are our prime target for people coming into the work force – whether it's 18-year-olds coming into the military or 21-year-olds coming out of college to join the military or the federal work force," Wennergren said.

The "Baby Boom" generation is leaving government service. Even the youngest among them are retirement-eligible now, Wennergren said.

"The Net Generation will be taking leadership positions at a much younger age," he said. "So we think it is really important to understand what the work force issues really are. What are the norms and behaviors and priorities of this new work force? What kind of environment can we provide that will help them thrive?"

Then, he said, the federal government needs to use the tools available to attract, hire and retain these people. This must start now, he added, if the federal government is to succeed.

Federal managers, he said, need to look at the nature of work and how to create leaders at a younger age. Other aspects include transforming the ratings system from a once-a-year rating to a more hands-on mentoring approach, he added.

The good news is that the Net Generation believes strongly in community service, Wennergren said.

"This is a generation that wants to serve and wants to make a difference," he said. "But they want to be at a place where they will have the tools and capabilities to get the job done."

The federal workplace must provide the type of environment that allows the new generation of tech-savvy government workers to use the capabilities they bring, Wennergren said. This includes providing systems "where people can get onto the network from anywhere, work from home, work on the road, [and] can use social media and instant messaging and chat [features]," he added.

Supervisors need to ask themselves if they are creating an environment that plays to the Net Generation's strengths.

"Are you helping them to grow and recognize that this is a place they can make a difference?" he asked. "That's the key."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Officials name SAIGE award winners

May 20, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Officials here announced the two Air Force winners of the 2010 Society of American Indian Government Employees Meritorious Service Award.

The military and civilian winners are Lt. Col. Eric Brewington of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., and Elizabeth Adducchio from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The SAIGE Meritorious Service Award honors male and female military members and Department of Defense civilian employees who support the Defense Department mission or the war on terrorism.

Cited in Colonel Brewington’s selection included his actions during a deployment in 2008 as the director of installations and mission support for Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2010 as the chief of contracting policy for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

In collaboration with the Aeronautical Systems Center, Ms. Adducchio was recognized for her role in identifying and interviewing candidates for critical acquisition positions at Wright-Patterson AFB as well as success in her organization’s selection and retention of a diverse workforce culture.

The awards will be presented at the 2010 Seventh Annual SAIGE National Training Conference June 14-18 in Uncasville, Conn.

For more information on Air Force awards and recognition programs, visit the Air Force Personnel Center personnel services Web site or call the Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.

Operational Stress Conference Promotes Greater Enlisted Leadership

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josh Cassatt, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Combat and Operational Stress Control (COSC) Conference took place in San Diego, and for three days Navy and Marine Corps leaders, medical and mental health professionals, combat veterans and their families, addressed stress affecting Sailors and Marines.

One of the underlying themes of the COSC Conference is the role noncommissioned officers (NCO) have in identifying the signs of stress in junior enlisted personnel.

"If COSC is to become more than just words on paper, it will be because our NCOs learn it, get serious about it, own it and teach it," said Capt. William Nash (Ret.), a psychologist and one of the guest speakers at the conference.

For too long, said Nash, there has been a stigma associated with mental health, both in the civilian world and in the military. It is a stigma that can be an inhibitor to needed treatment.

"Even heroes, the strong and the brave, and their families, can be damaged by stress," said Nash. "We need to promote the message that it is okay to seek help; with honor, without shame and without stigma."

"Asking for help is not a weakness, it is strength of character," said Master Chief Petty Officer John T. Minyard, U.S. Pacific Fleet command master chief. "These Sailors and Marines have answered the call to serve their country, and we owe it to each one of them to help them when they are in need."

Part of seeking that help is knowing where a service member can turn in when stress becomes overwhelming. The message being conveyed at the COSC Conference is that a service member should be able to turn to his or her NCO first.

"This is about leadership," said. Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs. "We have an obligation to know our Sailors and Marines and to know when something is wrong, and NCOs are the best communicators with junior troops."

The overriding challenge, according to Zilmer, is trying to reconcile the warrior ethos with the need to ask for help.

"No Marine wants to admit that he is anything less than one hundred percent," said Zilmer. "That's why our senior enlisted leaders are so important; they have had these experiences and they know how to handle the stress.

"These are powerful examples from Marines who have been there and they can tell their junior troops, 'this is what you do to get well," Zilmer added.

The COSC Conference, organized by the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC), is the first event held by the Navy and Marine Corps to deal with the issue of stress from a joint perspective.

NCCOSC is a Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery program created to improve the psychological health of Navy and Marine Corps forces by helping to build and promote resilience. Its goals are to provide service members, combat veterans and their families with educational programs to effectively address combat, operational and daily stress, reduce the stigma in seeking mental health treatment and to facilitate research in psychological health.

Navy Achieves National Recognition for Life-Work Balance Programs

By Lt. j.g. Laura K. Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

May 20, 2010 - DALLAS (NNS) -- The Navy's Task Force Life/Work (TFLW) initiatives received national accolades May 18 by the Alliance for Work Life Progress (AWLP) with the organization's Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award.

As the highest honor offered by AWLP, the Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award was created in 1996 to showcase programs and policies that demonstrate excellence in enhancing and promoting work-life effectiveness while achieving organizational goals.

Competitors for the award are evaluated on their program's responsiveness to employees' needs, innovation in overcoming barriers to implementation, and measurable benefits to the well-being of employees. Past recipients include Pepsi Bottling Group, Ernst & Young, Verizon Wireless and IBM.

Capt. Ken Barrett, director of the Navy Diversity Directorate and TFLW, accepted the award at the 2010 Total Rewards Conference, sponsored by WorldatWork, AWLP's parent company, in Dallas.

"We have found that addressing the professional and personal needs of our Sailors and their families is an important aspect of retaining our best and brightest," said Barrett. "This award signifies that Task Force Life Work is steadily meeting that goal." The Navy received a standing ovation during the ceremony, which also recognized the life-work balance programs of Hospital Corporation of America and Palm Beach County, Fla.

Anne Ruddy, president of WorldatWork, commended the award winners for the progress they had made in advancing professional and personal goals for their workforces.

"I've said many times before that it is our job at WorldatWork to support total rewards professionals and advance the profession. But this morning is the reverse," said Ruddy. "This morning is to recognize those professionals who offer best and next practices to learn from and to celebrate the way these people and organizations have advanced total rewards concepts by leaps and bounds."

The Navy's TFLW program began in 2007 to address the professional and personal development needs of Sailors and to enhance healthy life/work balance. The focus of TFLW is to provide a menu of workforce options aimed at retaining the Navy's talent to ensure mission accomplishment.

Since its inception, several TFLW initiatives have been launched, including greatly expanded telework programs, flexible work schedules, paternity and adoptive leave, and one year deferment of sea duty for new mothers.

Steffanie Easter, assistant deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, also shared her thoughts on the significance of the AWLP award and the importance of the Navy's TFLW programs.

"Historically, the Navy has been a great place to work," said Easter. "To win this award, we needed to determine what it takes to recruit and retain the best talent our country has to offer. This award recognizes that we as an organization offer many opportunities and benefits that our Sailors and civilians find attractive."

The Navy's TFLW and quality of life programs have previously been awarded by both the Families and Work Institute, the Telework Exchange, and Working Mother Magazine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NAVAIR Welcomes New Commander

From Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

May 19, 2010 - PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Air Systems Command conducted a change of command during a ceremony May 18, at Patuxent River, Md.

Incoming NAVAIR commander Vice Adm. David Architzel said he is committed to building on NAVAIR's reputation for strength and effectiveness to make its contribution to the fleet better and more enduring.

"From the headquarters to the warfare centers to our FRCs [fleet readiness centers], the program executive offices and program managers, we have a lot to do in some very challenging operational and economic times," he said.

Architzel, who served as the Navy's principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, relieved Vice Adm. David J. Venlet who was selected by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to run the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

"To the NAVAIR team, today is about a change of command and not about a change in mission," Architzel said. "Each of you has played a role in establishing the commendable reputation that NAVAIR enjoys -- technical excellence, business acumen, and unsurpassed leadership."

"NAVAIR is operating in a period of time that is at the pinnacle of change, challenge and opportunity," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, who spoke at the ceremony. "They are introducing an entirely new generation of aircraft."

Roughead and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley offered their congratulations, praise and support for Architzel.

"Dave [Architzel] brings a degree of passion, loyalty and desire to his work every single day," Stackley said.

"To those of you in NAVAIR who have had the privilege of serving with Dave Venlet, you will be equally privileged to work with Dave Architzel," Roughead said.

"He has served on five aircraft carriers since 1973, and still found time to command several units ashore," said Roughead. "He joins NAVAIR after nearly three years as the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition. His operational experience and acquisition expertise bode well for the future of naval aviation."

A career naval aviator, Architzel has accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours, 4,300 in the S-3, and the remainder in some 30 other aircraft types as a test pilot at Patuxent River where he graduated from Test Pilot School in 1981.

He served as maintenance officer in Sea Control Squadron (VS) 30, deploying aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59), and in VS 28, deploying aboard USS Independence (CV 62). He later returned to VS 30 as executive officer and subsequently as commanding officer. After selection to Nuclear Power Training, he served as executive officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), the "Big Ike."

During his tour, Ike was awarded the 1992 Naval Air Force Atlantic Battle Efficiency Award. Following this tour, he served as executive officer of PCU John C. Stennis, and commanding officer of USS Guam (LPH 9), flagship for Amphibious Squadron 2. During this tour, Guam won three consecutive Battle Efficiency Awards, making deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, which included Adriatic operations in support of the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia.

He became the 6th commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on Nov. 1, 1996. His command tour included a deployment to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf, during which time the battle group conducted operations in support of Joint Guard and Southern Watch.

Ashore, Architzel was selected for the Navy's Test Pilot School, filled a critical billet at the Spanish Naval War College in Madrid, Spain, and was department head of the Warfare Systems Group at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River.

Architzel's first flag assignment was to Iceland, where he served as commander, Iceland Defense Force and commander, Fleet Air Keflavik. His follow-on flag assignments were commander, Naval Safety Center, Norfolk, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, commander of Operational Test and Evaluation Force, Norfolk, and program executive officer for aircraft carriers.

On Aug. 6, 2007, Architzel assumed the role of principal deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development, and acquisition.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal and various service related awards and campaign ribbons. He was also awarded the Spanish Naval Cross of Merit from His Majesty, King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Navy League's John Paul Jones Leadership Award for 1998, and the Commander's Cross with Star of the Icelandic Order of the Falcon presented by the President of Iceland.

Bilateral training teaches enlisted leaders to care for Airmen

by Tech. Sgt. Harry Kibbe
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

5/19/2010 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Instructors from the Air Force First Sergeant Academy at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., prepared 99 enlisted leaders from around Japan to better care for their airmen May 11 through 14 here.

First Sergeant Academy instructors conduct 13 active duty first sergeant seminars every year. Each time their goal is to impart the skills used to maintain a capable force while looking for future senior NCOs to take up the reigns of the first sergeant.

The first sergeant's job is all about taking care of people was the message Senior Master Sgt. David Scott, the active-duty course director, shared with 74 U.S. and 15 Japanese Air Self Defense Force NCOs and Senior NCOs during the Additional Duty First Sergeant Seminar.

"We're here to share our experiences and help get these leaders ready to handle whatever comes their way," Sergeant Scott said. "We are the standard bearers, but first sergeants aren't just unit disciplinarians. Ultimately, our job is people."

This sentiment was echoed by Master Sgt. Melanie Noel, a seminar instructor.

"Being a first sergeant is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the Air Force," Sergeant Noel said. "We want to prepare people to do this job to the best of their ability by making sure they know their priority is taking care of those in need. At the end of the day, you can rest easy knowing you upheld the duties and responsibilities of a first sergeant. The softest pillow you can have is the knowledge that you did everything you were supposed to do to take care of your Airmen."

The five-day seminar covered topics including financial responsibilities, administrative actions and suicide prevention, a topic JASDF Chief Master Sgt. Randy Kawasaki was especially interested in.

"This system is a good model for what we would like to do," Chief Kawasaki said. "Suicide is a growing issue in our culture, so we would like to learn from this seminar and work together to take care of our young airmen."

Guest speakers from the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Area Defense Council and the Air Force Aid Society spoke to the future additional duty first sergeants about some of the services available to Airmen in need.

Senior Master Sgt. Sabrina Barfield, Yokota Air Base's Military Equal Opportunity director, said she attended the seminar because she has always had a desire to learn the tools to care for our enlisted force.

"Our involvement in the lives of our Airmen will allow us to combat issues at the lowest level," Sergeant Barfield said. "We are here to learn how to ensure that our force is mission ready at all times."

Guam Service Members Participate at High School Career Day

By Oyaol Ngirairikl, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Service members spoke to students about careers available in the U.S. military during a career day event at Southern High School in Santa Rita, Guam, May 14.

Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Guam Army National Guard personnel discussed their personal experiences and responsibilities in the military with the public school students.

Service members also set up static displays, which included boats, Humvees and climbing walls, to give the kids some hands-on experience with military equipment.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Marinalyn Hale, of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, said it was a great opportunity to relate with Guam's students. Hale is a graduate of Southern High, where she said she got her first real look at the Navy and the careers it had to offer at a similar career day event during her sophomore year. She said she hopes she can, in turn, help today's students get on a path to reach their life goals.

"I'm hoping the students here, being 16-, 17-, 18-years-old, understand that it's a big world out there and there are so many different opportunities, whether it be in the military or civilian sector," said Hale. "They just need to go out there and pursue what they love. Go out there and do something for themselves. Make themselves proud."

Hale said the Navy helped her fulfill her dream of working in the field of medicine and traveling. She has been stationed in Connecticut for three years, traveled to Germany and recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait.

"The Navy has taken me to so many different places that I never thought I could go, never thought I could see," said Hale. "A lot of the reason why I'm still serving my country now is because it makes me proud to look at what I've accomplished in such little time and to see the respect I get from my family and my peers."

Southern High's career day was one of the first community service events Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Gabriel Suarez, of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 7, has volunteered for since arriving on Guam in March 2010.

Suarez and other members of MSRON 7's Junior Enlisted Association spoke to students about the command's mission and the tools they use to complete their assignments. The Sailors brought two Oswald patrol boats to the school. Students boarded the boats for a closer look.

Suarez said he appreciated the opportunity to interact with the students and make a difference.

"The relationship is great," said Suarez. "I'm really impressed, and I really enjoy the atmosphere out here."

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (EXW) Cote Laflamme, of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, talked to students about the training and discipline he needs to be a contributing member of his command. He said the career day was his chance to help motivate high school students and offer them guidance in the face of a world full of opportunity, something a Navy recruiter helped him with shortly after he graduated from high school.

"In 2006 when I graduated high school, it seemed like the whole world was open, and I had no idea what to do," said Laflamme. "It's good to come out here and show them, 'Hey, you got options.'"

Staff Sgt. Ben Reeves, of the Air Force Recruiting Office on Guam, had a booth at the school. Reeves said he appreciated the chance to interact with the local community, while educating students about the opportunities in the Air Force.

"That's my favorite part - getting to know the neighbors, getting to know the different environment, the different cultures," said Reeves.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Herrera and other Guam Army National Guard Soldiers brought their rock wall and several weapons to demonstrate how they train. Herrera said the Guam Army National Guard takes advantage of any chance to help guide the next generation of leaders.

"The kids really are our future," said Herrera. "In a sense, we're here as one big community - us, the Navy, the Marines and everybody else, to give these kids more options in life."

Southern High Principal James Petite said service members did a great job of sharing their experiences with students.

"It's wonderful that everybody is out here helping out these kids," said Petite. "All these things we do for these kids is for one goal, and that's to help them get actively involved in the community, show them how to be productive citizens and to [ensure they] graduate."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Buddy's Concern Saves Soldier's Life

By Zach Morgan
Fort Polk Guardian

May 18, 2010 - Aug. 7, 2008, was a hot day in Iraq, and it seemed as if the walls were closing in on Army Spc. Joe Sanders. Sanders had deployed to Iraq with the 10th Mountain Division's 5th Battalion, 25th Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. Sander's wife was leaving him, and he had several months left to serve in Iraq when he attempted suicide by turning his weapon on himself.

His battle buddy, Army Spc. Albert Godding, had seen the signs of Sanders' stress, and removed the firing pin from his friend's rifle earlier that day. The weapon misfired and Godding confronted his friend about the attempt. Sanders sought counseling and made it home alive.

On April 27 here, Godding received the Meritorious Service Medal for his actions. He is now with the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson, Colo., and was at Fort Polk for a pre-deployment rotation with his unit when he received the award.

Sanders is thankful his friend had intervened in Iraq.

"Every day I wake up, I have to thank Godding," he said. "If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have gotten to experience my fiancée. I wouldn't have gotten to lead troops, or attend schools and learn. Those are things I love to do."

Since redeploying in 2009, Sanders has attended the Warrior Leaders Course, been promoted to corporal and was selected for marksmanship school. He is with the same battery, is leading troops, and he'll deploy this year to Afghanistan. He also is engaged to be married this month.

Helping others, Godding said, is something everyone should do.

"A lot of people crack jokes and call me hero, but if I ever see anybody who looks like they're feeling down, I talk to them just to make sure everything's OK," he said. "I'm not just trying to stop people from committing suicide. I'm trying to help them any way I can."

Though he appreciates the recognition, Gooding said, the important thing is that his friend is alive and thriving. "It's been a long time since the event, and I didn't think I was going to get an award this big," he said. "I didn't need an award; I thought what I did was reward enough."

The officer who commanded 5th Battalion, 25th Artillery, at the time of the incident noted that one person can make a huge difference. "Godding is circumspect about his role," said Army Lt. Col. Dennis Yates, now the senior fire support trainer and mentor at the Joint Readiness Training Center here. "He says it was just the right thing to do, but it is an illustration of the power that one person can have in another's life."

Yates sees "unlimited potential" for Sanders and Godding.

"They're both great soldiers," he said. "Sanders has big plans - no matter what he sets his mind to, he'll do well. This experience is going to help form both of them long-term. The taste of success will be that much sweeter for Sanders from here on out because of what his friend did for him."

Despite his low-key manner, Godding realizes the seriousness of suicide and Sanders' actions.

"It made me realize that suicide is real," he said. "Sanders is not the type of soldier who would do that. It could happen to anybody."

Friends and supervisors who notice changes in behavior should address it, Sanders said. "It doesn't hurt to ask how a person is feeling," he said.

And, he added, soldiers shouldn't be timid about seeking help.

"Don't be afraid to get help, even if you have to take a battle buddy with you," Sanders said. "It made me feel a thousand times better when I was able to talk to someone about my trouble. Don't be afraid about what people will think about you, either. I did not hear any negativity in my unit about being a weak soldier. If anything, I was a lot stronger for going to get help."

Yates said a unit's climate is a big factor when it comes to soldiers looking out for one another, and that climate starts with leadership.

"Commanders have to constantly ask themselves, 'Am I creating the type of environment that encourages leaders and soldiers to take care of each other?'" he said. "Not only did Sanders have a battle buddy who was on the ball, but he had a platoon leader and platoon sergeant who understood what was going on in their soldiers' lives."

Sanders happened to be on the forward operating base with Godding because his platoon leadership saw him struggling and sent him back for counseling. "It was a stroke of luck that Godding happened to be on the [base] at the same time," Yates said. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about it. It was that significant."

Yates pointed out that Army culture has shifted from the old model, in which soldiers were expected to 'tough it out' and seeking help was a sign of weakness.

"As we become more experienced, we get a more mature view of what it means to be tough and temper it with compassion," he said. "There is still a stigma among family members that they can't let their units know about their problems. That's nonsense. No one will look down on you for coming forward. It was a big challenge for me to convince the spouses that they don't have to suffer in silence."

Godding addressed the other difficulty of dealing with potential suicide.

"It's hard sometimes to ask your friend about how they feel, because you don't want to intrude," he said. "When you spend time with your battle buddies during field training or [readiness training] rotations, you know when something's off and they're not acting right. It doesn't hurt to ask if they are OK and invite them to talk about it."

Sanders said the kinds of issues that resulted in his suicide attempt have become more common, so talking about them no longer creates a potentially negative spotlight. "Because we deploy so often, soldiers are losing their friends and wives," he explained. "It's not uncommon to feel the way I did. Because more people are experiencing this, it's not such a taboo subject."

As he prepares for his deployment, Sanders said he hopes to pass along the help he received to the soldiers he now leads. "I have more experience now," he said. "I know what to expect and talked to my fiancée about it. She's from a military family, so she knows about deployments. I got lucky in that respect."

Sanders said being away from family and friends often is the hardest part of a deployment. "Fighting doesn't bother soldiers," he said. "We do that all day long. What gets to us is being away from our loved ones. It will be tough, but I'm ready. I know what my soldiers are going through. I will be able to help them cope."

Many resources are available for soldiers and family members who are dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems, officials here noted. The chain of command, unit chaplains and Army Community Service can provide help, and Military OneSource is a free service available by phone at 800- 342-9647 or online at http://www.militaryonesource.com.

Air National Guard names 2010 Youth of the Year

By Kathleen Flaherty
North Carolina National Guard

ephanie Johnson who are members of the North Carolina Air National Guard's 145th Medical Group, was recently selected as the Air National Guard 2010 Youth of the Year.

The senior at Highland School of Technology, along with 10 other Air Force Youths of the Year winners will be flown to Washington, D.C., to attend a ceremony and teen forum at the Pentagon.

Dakota also has an older brother, Staff Sgt. Chris Johnson, who is also a member of the North Carolina Air National Guard.

Guard officials said Dakota consistently demonstrates both leadership and service at home, at school and in the community. He is very active in sports, church, and community service, while juggling a very rigorous school schedule and still maintains the top ranking in a class of 139 students.

Dakota also volunteers through Union Road Church of God's Soup Kitchen and through the Salvation Army, where he prepares and serves meals to the homeless and needy of Gaston County. This summer, Dakota will embark on his first mission trip to Jamaica to work with churches of Montego Bay Area and at the Blossom Garden Orphanage.

As a member of the Health Occupations Students of America organization for three years, he recently placed in the top 10 at the HOSA State competition for his work in creating a book about childhood diabetes and presenting it to preschoolers around Gaston County.

Since 2007, Dakota has served with NCANG's "Operation Santa Claus" in providing Christmas presents for underprivileged children in surrounding areas. He has also served with Special Olympics through both his high school and the North Carolina Air Guard and served as a camp counselor and team member with Camp Sertoma, a five-week summer camp for mentally handicapped children and adults.

"[We are] always looking for ladies and gentlemen that have great personalities, are team players, have leadership qualities, are dependable and dedicated. I believe Dakota possesses all of these qualities," said Janet McGee, Camp Sertoma's executive director.

Dakota's parents say they are extremely proud of him and all of his outstanding accomplishments.

After high school, Dakota plans to follow in his parent's "bootsteps" by joining the North Carolina Air Guard and attending the University of North Carolina to become a physician.

NAS Whidbey Island Graduates DEFY Class of 2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

May 18, 2010 - OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Forty-two students graduated from Drug Education For Youth (DEFY) during a ceremony at Cliffside Park on Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island May 15.

According to the DEFY website, the goal of the Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored program is to produce 9 to 12 year olds with character, leadership, and confidence so they are equipped to engage in positive, healthy lifestyles as drug-free citizens and have the necessary skills to be successful in their lives through coordinated community participation, commitment and leadership.

"They're getting the right information about drugs and alcohol. They're going to learn this stuff when they get into high school and probably in a negative way. This way they have an informed decision about what it is and how to say no. I think this gives them a good background prior to all that," said Naval Aircrewman 1st Class (NAC/AW) Ted Mansikka, assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1, from Bozeman, Mont. and had two children in the program.

According to NAS Whidbey Island Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Darin Hand, almost 65,000 Navy and Marine Corps dependents participated in the program this year and 377,901 children total participated for the DoD.

Hand and Cmdr. Kimberly Schulz, Fleet Readiness Center Northwest (FRC NW) commanding officer, served as guest speakers.

"The fact that you've dedicated yourself to staying off drugs and alcohol at an early age, getting the knowledge about what those things do to your body, mind and spirit, it's tremendous that you took the challenge," said Hand. "You are our future. Knowing that you are going to be there to take care of me when I'm in my 60s and 80s and seeing you all here now, I'm grateful for what you're doing."

The program is a two-phase process that begins with a summer camp and continues throughout the school year with mentors meeting weekly with students, culminating in the graduation according to Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate (AW) Cody Allen, the program manager assigned to FRC NW, from Fort Worth, Texas.

"The title is Drug Education For Youth, but we do a lot more than that. We teach them life skills," said Allen. "We try to give them the opportunity to identify [adverse situations] so they can make the right choice and decide to do the right thing."

The parents who get involved in the program have not only seen how it affects their children's lives, but theirs as well.

"The main thing that I like about the program is so many children come in with different attitudes and, having kids of my own, I can see some of the stuff they do and things that help them. If I can't help them as a mentor maybe one of the other mentors can address their problem, and it helps me as a parent dealing with my children," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Daniel Graham, the assistant program coordinator assigned to NAS Whidbey Island Search and Rescue, from Tampa, Fla. "Also, as a Sailor, I see some of the things they may be lacking from their parents since they might be deployed, and we can give it to them here; that helps me to know what to give my children to prepare them before I go on deployment."

Approximately 20 volunteers from NAS Whidbey Island supported the program and served as senior mentors to the children throughout the year.

"I've got to thank the volunteers; you guys have devoted a year of your time to make sure that these young folks get the educations they needed," said Schulz.

Graham said the program helps to provide peace of mind for deploying parents by ensuring their children are getting the right message while they are away.

"That's part of how this program got founded, helping the readiness of the Sailors because it's known that, being in the military, when a parent [deploys] it's going to be one parent doing the whole job of taking care of the family. They may not have that extra time to educate them on drugs, alcohol and all the other stuff that the program has to offer," said Graham.

Graham said he feels proud to be a part of the program and, as the year progresses, can see the children involved developing a more positive mentality.

"The program has been very successful," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class (AW) Kristopher Burris, the camp director assigned to FRC NW, from St. Louis, Mo. "It's a good program and I think more people should get involved with it."

Monday, May 17, 2010

SECNAV Awards 2009 Secretariat Sailor, Junior Sailor Awards

By Chinara Lucas, Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

May 17, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) recognized two distinguished Sailors for their sustained, exemplary leadership and performance May 17 in Washington.

SECNAV Ray Mabus presented Information Systems Technician 1st Class Tamika Simmons and Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Derek Roll with the 2009 Office of the SECNAV Sailor of the Year and Junior Sailor of the Year Awards respectively.

The awards "emphasize the great job you've done over the course of the year and over the course of your career," said Mabus.

As the command network administrator and leading petty officer for the Navy Office of Information, Simmons maintained one million dollars worth of information technology equipment at 13 field activities. She increased productivity exponentially by solving more than 500 trouble calls, completing 450 system requests and conducting network training for more than 500 users. Additionally, Simmons implemented career development boards to assist her Sailors in their career management.

Simmons thanked Chief of Information, Rear Adm. Dennis Moynihan, fellow Sailors and mentors for supporting her in achieving the accomplishment of 2009 Office of the SECNAV Sailor of the Year.

Roll is the assistant private dining room supervisor for the SECNAV's Executive Dining Facility. In 2009, Roll flawlessly served more than 350 five-star quality meals to the SECNAV and distinguished guests of the secretary of defense, commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations. As volunteer coordinator, he promoted and organized community service opportunities resulting in a divisional total of 85 hours supporting the United Service Organizations (USO) care packages program.

Roll thanked his fellow Sailors in helping him attain the 2009 Office of the SECNAV Junior Sailor of the Year award.

"SECNAV mess staff, it's not just me up here; I'm representing the staff." said Roll.

Junior Officers Honored at MOAA Luncheon – NHB Critical Care Nurse Highlighted

By Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Kitsap Chapter, in conjunction with the community's annual Armed Forces Day events, recognized the achievements of several junior officers from local commands May 14.

Representing Naval Hospital Bremerton was Lt. James Croft, Navy Nurse Corps and critical care nurse, who was acknowledged for his accomplishments at home and on deployment. Lt. Kyle Leslie, assistant air operations officer, USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) and Ensign Eric Schon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest were also honored.

"Being able to honor deserving young officers and support them in their careers is a hallmark of MOAA since the Vietnam War-era," said retired Cmdr. Jerome Turner, Navy Chaplain Corps, and current MOAA president.

"The best part of my job is recognizing our people for the great work they accomplish, especially on deployment," said Capt. Mark E. Brouker, Naval Hospital Bremerton commanding officer. "Some of our staff and the jobs they do when they are in harm's way takes my breath away. One such is Lt. Croft."

Croft recently returned from an Individual Augmentee assignment with the 3rd Medical Expeditionary Force, Special Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Much of his time was spent in southern Afghanistan as a trauma nurse for a Shock Trauma Platoon in an isolated Marine Forward Operating Base. It was there that Croft assisted in the development of new medical tactics and procedures to bring advanced trauma care to the forward line of contact by helping to design an armored Mobile Trauma Bay.

The concept was built on the premise that the terrain made it difficult at times for Marines in the field to get a casualty out of the line of fire to the needed medical care in a timely manner. So Croft and a team worked to develop a way to bring the needed emergency medical assistance directly to the injured. Therefore, a wounded Marine would receive lifesaving care hours sooner.

"I was just a small part of the team that made the idea work. We were given a problem and we worked with what we had to work it out," Croft said. "To be honored here today by MOAA is very humbling and I'm grateful and touched."

Upon his return from Afghanistan, he was selected for the team to develop and deploy the Mobile Trauma Bay and Tactical Trauma Team Project to provide resuscitative trauma care far forward in the combat zone in an unprecedented four-month timeframe.

"I had to let him go help on the planning," Brouker said. "Gen. James T. Conway, the commandant of the Marine Corps was very proud of the project. That's high praise indeed."

Croft continued to be instrumental in the project. He assisted the development of nine prototype Mobile Trauma Bays by designing the interior for bed and equipment placement. He then researched and procured all necessary equipment to ensure battlefield readiness of the Mobile Trauma Bays once deployed. Additionally, he authored Navy Medicine-mandated Mobile Trauma Bay training curriculum for supply and equipment placement, radio operations, and emergency procedures in the combat zone.

Croft also personally trained more than 150 Marines, physicians, nurses, and hospital corpsmen deploying with the 1st and 2nd Medical Battalion, ensuring their readiness to utilize the Mobile Trauma Bays in support of the troop surge to Afghanistan.

While in Afghanistan, he also established and maintained supplies for two mobile teams and continuously trained corpsmen in patient resuscitation. He somehow found the time to enact the first ever Forward Operating Base blood program in Afghanistan that ensured a critical blood supply was readily available at all times. On multiple missions, Croft took care of patients under both direct and indirect fire.

"He is an exemplary officer," said Capt. Brenda Davis, NHB director of Nursing Services. "Lt. Croft's selfless devotion to duty and exceptional work ethic were vital to the provision of the highest calibre of care to our warfighters and their families.

"At NHB, Lt. Croft is an outstanding officer, leader, and clinician. He has exceptional clinical expertise and has had a remarkable impact in both the hospital inpatient and operational arenas. He is recognized as possessing advanced critical care knowledge and leadership abilities and was selected over more senior personnel to serve as the department head of the Intensive Care Unit."

According to Davis, Croft superbly oversaw junior nurses and corpsmen, 40 percent of whom had less than one year experience in critical care. He was also instrumental in the development, implementation and staff training for numerous clinical protocols that ensured the delivery of the highest quality care, compliance with current practice standards, and optimal outcomes through efforts to increase patient safety. "In addition to being a talented nurse, Croft is a passionate clinical educator," Davis said. "He serves as a command Advanced Adult and Pediatric Life Support instructor, program director for the Essentials of Critical Care Orientation course, and has instructed countless residents, nurses, corpsmen, and students to the fundamentals of critical care. Croft is currently involved in the development of a critical care training manual incorporating state-of-the-art simulation training to best prepare our personnel for the provision of outstanding critical care at the bedside and on the battlefield."

Glew Keeps Company Together

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde
1st Marine Division

May 17, 2010 - Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew is a workhorse. He serves as the company gunnery sergeant for India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and thrives at juggling multiple tasks at once as India Company fights the Taliban insurgency here.

As the company's logistician Glew is responsible for delivering all supplies, including food, water and clothing, to India's Marines out on the front lines. The 34-year-old noncommissioned officer also mentors India Company's platoon sergeants.

"It's hard to explain all the different roles and things [Glew] does to make the entire company successful," said Marine Corps Capt. Bill Hefty, India Company's commanding officer. "He gets less sleep than anybody while on deployment."

Glew has deployed often in his career. His current journey to Afghanistan marks the seventh time he has gone overseas since joining the Marine Corps. He has traveled to several different countries with the Marines, including Japan, Norway and Iraq. Deploying, Glew said, is satisfying -- especially being "outside the wire" of a base.

"Just going out there and doing everything that you've learned while you've been in [the Marine Corps], it's the culminating point," Glew said. "It's like the Super Bowl for football players. Being outside the wire is the Marines' Super Bowl. You get to put everything you know to the test -- all your skills."

Glew is no stranger to combat either, having fought in Iraq in the battle of Fallujah in 2004.

"That was the first time I was ever scared while I've been in the Marine Corps," he said. "I definitely thought many of us weren't going to make it out of that one, myself included."

Glew recalled that Fallujah was a constant fight from the get-go, with the Marines having to battle for every square inch of the city. He said that his platoon was attacked with machine-gun fire upon entering Fallujah's first half-block.

"The whole platoon was pinned down for about 30 minutes, until one of the squad leaders single-handedly ran up and fragged two of the machine-gun bunkers, which enabled us to roll," the Pittsburgh native said. "Being stuck in a two-foot-deep canal with machine-gun rounds hitting right next to you is pretty scary."

Glew's experience in Fallujah has given him the knowledge needed to serve as company gunnery sergeant and lead his Marines here.

"Falling back on experiences in Fallujah helped me know what [our Marines] needed to be both mentally and physically prepared for [Operation Moshtarak]," Glew said. "I was able to look back to when I was a platoon sergeant in the kinetic fight and remember what [supplies] I needed and how important it was to me that the company pushed those needs quickly.

"I [drew] from that experience," he added, "and was able to forecast what equipment the Marines needed and how much of it."

Glew also used knowledge gained from Fallujah to ensure that the senior Marines in the company's line platoons were ready to deal with the stress of a combat deployment.

"I was able to mentor the platoon leadership we currently have and give them a mental picture of how intense it could get," he said. "I talked with them and showed them how to put the intensity of the fight aside."

Glew's Marines have responded to his leadership.

"Gunny Glew has so much wisdom to pass," said Marine Corps Pfc. Anthony Cotto, a rifleman who works with Glew on a daily basis. "He's the jack-of-all-trades for the company."

Hefty said Glew's work has made other Marines' jobs much easier and has played a major part in the company's success during Operation Moshtarak.

"We're lucky Gunny Glew can change roles on a dime and take care of any number of issues before it's one more thing that clutters up my to-do list," Hefty said. "He's completely pro-active, all the time."

"He does it all," Cotto agreed. "The guy is awesome."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mentors Give Warriors Chance to See Beyond Injuries

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2010 - As the action on the volleyball court heated up here this week, U.S. Paralympic athlete James Stuck watched from the sidelines, checking out the military talent. "That one girl has potential, but we need to know more about her injuries," he said to a fellow Paralympic athlete.

Across the U.S. Olympic Training Center campus, Paralympian Russell Wolfe wheeled up and down the archery line, bumping fists and encouraging the troops competing for the gold medal at the inaugural Warrior Games here.

"I saw great potential. It makes me think that maybe 2012 will be my last year with the Paralympics, because if these guys are coming up and I'm getting old, it might be time to pass the reins," Wolfe joked.

Stuck and Wolfe are part of the Paralympics ambassador program and have worked as mentors with troops before. They're both military veterans, and they can connect with the troops off the court as well.

They understand what it's like to serve in uniform. They know what it's like to face life-threatening injuries, and they understand the desire to become "normal" again. More importantly, they have gone beyond normal to show the troops that they can do everything they did before, and sometimes more.

"I've been where they've been. I know how hard it is," Wolfe said. "I don't give anybody pity. I've been paralyzed for 13 years. I know these people are new injuries. I know they've come back from a war. But you know what? Life goes on. So you've got to start living again. You can't live in the past. You've got to get up and go."

The U.S. Paralympics has had some type of ambassador program since its inception, but it formalized its efforts about three years ago. About 30 of its athletes serve as ambassadors traveling the country, talking in schools, visiting hospitals and rehabilitation facilities and working with the roughly 150 Paralympics sports clubs. Officials hope to expand the number of sports clubs across the United States to 250 by 2012.

Stuck said he met a Paralympics ambassador at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., in 2006 while he was recovering from a roadside bomb blast. Stuck was serving in the Army in Iraq in 2005 when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb.

While recovering, Stuck started attending Paralympics camps, working with the athlete mentors. A former soccer player, Stuck said he enjoyed sitting volleyball, because the teamwork and camaraderie reminded him of his favorite sport.

He kept in contact with the Paralympic coach and team captain and eventually expressed his desire to train for the team. In February 2007, he was invited to train full-time with the team.

Now, Stuck is in a position to help those who are where he was a handful of years ago.

"A lot of people get down on themselves," he said. "Some guys blame other people. It's a big snowball effect, and you hit a downward spiral. We try to avoid that. We try to turn it around to bring them back up."

The majority of the mentors' influence is not wielded in their words, though, but more by their presence on the court or the field. They work with the servicemembers, giving them pointers on the sport.

It is their example that speaks louder than any motivational speech, Stuck said.

"We try to show people that there is life after amputation. You can go about your normal daily activities after you get injured," Stuck said. "Even if you don't want to go into sports and become an athlete, you can still go on doing everything."

In fact, Stuck said, the athletes often end up doing more than they could before their injuries. Before his leg was amputated, Stuck said, he had never skied or snowboarded. Now, he is active in both sports.

Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics for the U.S. Olympic Committee, called the ambassador program one of the organization's most-important roles.

"We need to do more of it," he said. "We need to get those ambassadors out to more installations, more schools, more communities. They are great role models. They've been there. They've had the struggles. They understand the obstacles."

The veterans especially connect to the soldiers during their recovery, he said.

"I can't go and talk to a kid at Walter Reed [and say], 'You're going to be OK. Just get out there and work hard," Huebner said. "A veteran can, because they've been there."

Wolfe is a veteran who medically retired after 11 years on active duty when noncombat injuries left him paralyzed. When he first wheeled into the archery training session here, most of the troops thought he was just another "Joe" in a wheelchair, he said.

When troops find out he's a Paralympic athlete, something deep down registers that life goes on past their injury, Wolfe said.

"I love to see their eyes light up. Something clicks. It's like a light switch: 'If he can do it, I can do it,'" Wolfe said.

Wolfe said he tries to pass on what it takes to compete at his level.

"It's not something that you can just go out and do," he explained. "It's hours upon hours of training. It's more than I thought [it would be]. The hours I put in are unreal."

Wolfe spent three years spending his own money for coaches and training, just to be able to put his name in the hat for the team.

Finally, he got the call.

"All I want to do is give [the Warrior Games athletes] the knowledge I have," he said, "because I know how hard it was for me to get it."

Both Wolfe and Stuck said troops have the core makeup of a Paralympian: discipline, fitness and motivation. Though that is just a start, they said, they try to pass on to the troops that the "sky is the limit."

"I'd love to see them out there trying to compete for my spot on the team," Wolfe said. But competitor that he is, he has no intention of relinquishing his spot. "They're not going to get it. But they can try," he added.

Naval Aviation Enterprise Leaders Plot the Course for the Year Ahead

By Mass Communication 1st Class Sandra M. Palumbo, Navy Public Afffairs Support Element, West

May 14, 2010 - PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The core leadership of the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) met to discuss future challenges and current demands at its annual Executive Committee meeting as they charted the NAE's course for the coming year.

"Every time we do this meeting, we find that there is continuing relevance and there is a continuing reason for the Naval Aviation Enterprise," said Vice Adm. Thomas J. Kilcline, Jr., commander, Naval Air Forces. "The NAE is maturing, and every year over the last six years, we have taken a really good hard look at what we are doing and how we can improve. This year, as in the past, we questioned the assumptions that underline what we do and why we do it."

During the meeting the NAE Executive Committee members discussed current and future Naval Aviation issues while setting the agenda for a larger NAE Extended Air Board meeting that will take place in August.

"The NAE is relevant, if not more relevant today, in championing the processes that deliver a warfighting capability. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together a core group of leaders that have an impact on naval aviation," said James Beebe, executive director for Commander, Naval Air Forces. "It is all about communication and understanding the equities that we all have in supporting naval aviation requirements."

For the duration of two days, NAE Executive Board members, including about a dozen flag officers and Senior Executive Service (SES) civilians from across the naval aviation community discussed the future of the NAE. The board reviewed not only the NAE's structure and processes but also the impact on naval aviation of the current high op-tempo demand combined with constrained budgets. Also discussed was whether or not the Enterprise was using the right indicators to properly measure the many complex processes that produce the current naval aviation combat readiness.

"There are challenges in regards to funding, to readiness and aircraft that we need to get our arms around. We need to create more up aircraft and more operational capability to overcome those funding challenges," Kilcline said. "The Naval Aviation Enterprise has to focus on the processes that help manage the dollars we are given and then focus on how best to deliver more aircraft. We have to sustain those capabilities and then allow the Navy and Marine Corps to move forward in the future with enough dollars to do so."

The NAE consists of three cross-functional teams: current readiness, total force and future readiness. Working across traditional command boundaries, these teams use transparency, metrics-based decisions, and accountability to efficiently synchronize naval aviation's readiness delivery processes and help naval aviation leadership to make smarter risk-balanced decisions.

"The Naval Aviation Enterprise has helped Marine Corps Aviation perform far better than we could on our own and is our main mechanism to exchange information and to ensure that there is transparency among all the stakeholders who contribute to our complex enterprise," said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. George J. Trautman III, deputy commandant for aviation. "Navy and Marine Corps aviation are inextricably linked inside naval aviation. We contribute something that is very valuable to our nation."

Naval Aviation today includes more than 180,000 Sailors and Marines, 3,800 aircraft, 11 aircraft carriers and executes a budget in excess of $40 billion annually. The NAE's mission is to support naval aviation readiness requirements with transparent, cross-functional processes, which inform risk-balanced decisions.

"Today things are moving forward at a rapid pace. We have challenges associated with combat operations and transitioning to new types of aircraft, and it is absolutely imperative we communicate and talk with those who contribute to our success," Trautman said. "You can not be successful on your own, you must interact with others, and share your perspectives with them. This is what the NAE has done and will continue to do in the future."

At the conclusion of the meeting, NAE leadership had identified focus areas for the coming year. They included approving a strategic direction for Fiscal Year 2011, refining the NAE's measurements and key thresholds, assessing successes and challenges, reviewing the relationship to other enterprises and setting the course for the Extended Air Board meeting.