New Members Appointed to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services

The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today the induction of six new members to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). DACOWITS provides the department with advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment and retention, treatment, employment, integration and well-being of highly-qualified professional women in the Armed Forces. The new additions include retired Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, retired Sgt. Maj. Norma J. Helsham, Therese A. Hughes, Kyleanne M. Hunter, Pat W. Locke, and retired Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas.

 

The committee is comprised of 20 members, who include prominent civilian women and men from academia, industry, public service and other professions, as well as military retirees and veterans. Members represent a distribution of demography, academia, industry, public service and other professions. They are selected based on military experience or woman-related workforce issues.

 

„I am honored to be part of DACOWITS and to help the committee advise the secretary of defense on important matters affecting the service of women in our armed forces,” stated retired Lt. Gen.  Fedder.

 

Current and newly appointed committee members are:

·       Dr. Kristy E. Anderson

·       Retired Col. John Boggs, Marine Corps

·       Retired Maj. Gen.  Sharon K. G. Dunbar, Air Force

·       Retired Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, Air Force

·       Sharlene W. Hawkes

·       Retired Sgt. Maj.  Norma J. Helsham, Army

·       Therese A. Hughes

·        Kyleanne M. Hunter, Marine Corps veteran

·       Retired Command Sgt. Maj.  Michele S. Jones, Army

·       Pat W. Locke, Army veteran

·       Retired Maj. Gen.  John Macdonald, Army

·       Monica Medina, Army veteran

·       Janie L. Mines, Navy veteran

·       Brian Morrison, Navy veteran

·       Retired Fleet Master Chief  JoAnn M. Ortloff, Navy

·       Vice Adm. (Ret.) Carol M. Pottenger, Navy

·       Sgt. Maj. of the Army (Ret.) Kenneth O. Preston, Army

·       Retired Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, Coast Guard

·       Retired Gen Janet C. Wolfenbarger, Air Force

·       Dr. Jackie Young

The six new members were sworn-in at the start of the committee’s March quarterly business meeting earlier today. Anthony M. Kurta, performing the duties of the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, provided formal remarks.

“I have followed the work of DACOWITS for years while on active duty,” said retired Rear Adm. Thomas, “I am humbled by those whose footsteps that I will now follow.”

About the New Committee Members:

Judith Fedder.  A retired three star general officer, Fedder now serves as the director of Global Sales and Marketing for the Boeing Company. Fedder is responsible for new business growth within the company’s premier performance-based logistics unit, and establishes and leads strategic and tactical planning, market coordination, and overall proposal development and support.

Norma Helsham.  A retired Army veteran with over thirty-two years of leadership experience, Helsham now works for United Airlines as a lead representative responsible for all manifest operations and handover of the aircraft to flight and ground control personnel at Dulles airport.

 

Therese Hughes.  Hughes has vast professional experience working at the local, county, state, and national level. She currently is finishing a photography project titled, “Military Women: WWII to Present,” honoring women veterans. In 2014, the project was featured at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial located at Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Kyleanne Hunter. A SuperCobra pilot with over 950 combat hours as an aircraft commander in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Hunter received seven Air Strike/Flight Medals. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and works as a research associate for the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

 

Pat Locke. The founder and president of the Seeds of Humanity Foundation, Locke designed the program to promote the development and education of children. She was among the first class of women at the United States Military Academy and the first black woman to graduate from West Point. She is also the co-author of the book, “The Power of Civility.”

Cari Thomas. With over 20 years of leadership, education and training, organizational change and public relations experience as a flag officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, Thomas now works as the executive director of the Navy League of the United States. She previously served as the chairperson of the Board for the Sea Service Leadership Association, which hosts the annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium.

 

About the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services

 

After over 65 years in existence, DACOWITS is one of the oldest DoD federal advisory committees. The committee was established following the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act in 1948, by then Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall. The new law enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the Armed Forces in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the recently formed Air Force.

The committee provides an invaluable service to the department as an independent body of „citizen” advisors. The committee’s operations and output are focused and formalized. This requires a dedicated core of members who are available to receive specialized training on service issues and group facilitation techniques, and who can provide meaningful feedback and assessments.

The committee provides an annual report to the secretary of defense with information gathered through installation visits, business meetings, relevant reports and survey data, and input from individual Service members. This combination of research and first-hand experiences provides a solid basis for each DACOWITS recommendation.

More information about DACOWITS can be found at http://dacowits.defense.gov/

Monrovia Partners with Ecology Action’s WaterLink Program

/EINPresswire.com/ — AZUSA, CA–(Marketwired – March 22, 2017) – Building on a 50-year commitment to water conservation, Monrovia, the leading grower of premium ornamental and landscaping plants in the United States, has partnered with Ecology Action’s WaterLink program to provide beautiful, low-water plants that will replace 50,000 square-feet of unused, water-guzzling lawns throughout Santa Clara County. Turf replacement with Monrovia waterwise plants will take place at up to 20 Santa Clara County schools and publicly owned facilities in disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and poverty. With the goal of providing valuable paid work and green job training to local youth, the replacement projects will be implemented by California Conservation Corps. The WaterLink project is delivered in partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Water District with California Climate Investments funding through a California Department of Water Resources Water-Energy grant.

According to Ecology Action — a non-profit consultancy that partners with utilities, local and federal government, foundations and communities to help residents to conserve water, use alternative transportation, protect water quality, and save energy — the WaterLink program will lead to the installation of conservation measures that will save an estimated 534.638 million gallons of water and 137,993,089 kWh of energy which will result in an estimated 30,999,331 kg CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas reduction over the measures’ lifetime. To learn more, visit www.ecoact.org.

„Monrovia’s partnership with Ecology Action reflects a decades-long commitment to drastically reducing water usage in our own growing facilities, as well as among gardeners,” said spokesperson Kate Karam. „Water is one of our most precious resources, so no matter how much rain is falling, water conservation is a necessary fact of life — on World Water Day and every day. In addition to partnering with WaterLink to help create waterwise landscapes in California, Monrovia is proud to offer home gardeners a growing selection of low-water plants no matter where they live.”

„Thanks to Monrovia’s generous plant contribution, our community WaterLink projects will be as beautiful as they are waterwise,” said Kirsten Liske of Ecology Action. „Through this program, we’re helping schools in need reduce their water bills into the future by installing beautiful climate resilient landscapes.”

Monrovia’s commitment to water conservation spans five decades:

  • Monrovia was the first major nursery to recycle irrigation runoff in the late 1970s. This breakthrough drastically reduced use of water and fertilizer and has now become a standard in the industry.
  • By recycling more than 90% of irrigation water at four growing locations, Monrovia saves more than 2.5 billion gallons of water per year.
  • Monrovia relies on irrigation automation to increase efficiency, save water and promote healthy plant growth.
  • Micro-irrigation cuts water use and enables increased disease management.
  • Monrovia operates a constructed wetland at its Cairo, Georgia location — another first in the nursery industry. Excess rainwater can be diverted into the wetlands allowing plants and bacteria within the wetland to utilize any nutrients in the water. This wetland system is part of an extensive water and nutrient management plan that allows water to be recycled whenever possible, reducing the amount of groundwater used.

„For almost 50 years, Monrovia has been pioneering water-saving practices at our own growing facilities that have set the standard for the industry,” explained Karam. „Our partnership with WaterLink is the latest chapter in our long commitment to creating beautiful, sustainable landscapes.”

To learn more about waterwise gardening, visit Monrovia’s blog.

About Monrovia:

Monrovia, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Azusa, California, is the nation’s leading grower of premium ornamental and landscaping plants, with more than 3,600 varieties, including more than 250 that are exclusive to the brand. Through work with top breeders and plant explorers, Monrovia is at the forefront of discovery for improved plant varieties and constantly on the lookout for plants that are more pest, disease or drought resistant, or that impress gardeners due to unusual colors, flowers or fruits. Monrovia’s five environmentally-responsible nurseries are located in Visalia and Venice Hills, CA, Dayton, OR, Cairo, GA, and Granby, CT. Monrovia plants can be purchased in-store or online with delivery to independent garden centers, at Lowe’s locations nationwide, and through re-wholesalers nationwide. The company remains a family owned entity.

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Local Forces Launch Daring Assault Behind Enemy Lines in Syria

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — Local forces in Syria launched a multi-pronged offensive that included a daring air assault behind enemy lines to liberate Tabqa Dam, located 25 miles upstream from the city of Raqqa, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve public affairs officer said today.

Army Col. Joseph E. Scrocca conducted a teleconference live from Baghdad with the Pentagon press corps to detail the operation planned and carried out by the Syrian Defense Forces and their Syrian Arab Coalition partners with support from the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The SDF liberation of Tabqa is critical to isolating Raqqa and the next step toward annihilating ISIS in Syria, Scrocca said, adding that the dam, city and airfield are critical to ISIS for importing and harboring foreign fighters and exporting terror.

The Tabqa locations are ISIS’s last link to their territory west of the Euphrates River, he said.

Isolating Raqqa

Scrocca said Tabqa Dam has been used as an ISIS headquarters, a prison for high-profile hostages and a training site for ISIS leaders. Tabqa also has housed fighter-terrorist training camps and has served as a control center for terrorist attacks against the West since ISIS took control of the location in 2013.

“Seizing Tabqa dam will isolate Raqqa from three sides and give the SDF a strategic advantage and the launching point they need to liberate the city,” he said.

A key element of the coalition’s strategy against ISIS is to work by, with and through committed and capable local partner forces fighting to liberate their people and their land, Scrocca said.

“The SDF and the local Syrian Arab Coalition fighters have proven to be the most effective ground force against ISIS in Syria, he added, “and they have proved it once again with this daring operation.”

The international coalition supported the offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, close-air support by Apache helicopters, Marine Corps artillery and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership, Scrocca said.

Fighting ISIS in Syria, Iraq

Over the last four months the coalition has conducted more than 300 airstrikes around Tabqa and to the west of Raqqa, and has killed hundreds of enemy fighters and destroyed more than 200 fortifications and more than 50 ISIS vehicles, the OIR spokesman said.

“But make no mistake about it,” Scrocca said. “It is SDF on the ground putting their lives at risk and valiantly engaging the enemy. … It is the Syrian Democratic Forces, like the Iraqi security forces, who are making the sacrifices so that other coalition nations do not continue to suffer the threat of ISIS terrorism inside their own borders.”

Turning to Mosul in Iraq, Scrocca said that while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was meeting yesterday at the White House with President Donald J. Trump, Iraqi forces continued to pressure ISIS on multiple axes of advance in or around the western part of the city.

“It is grueling, bloody, tough fighting against a brutal and entrenched enemy who cares nothing about the local citizens and deliberately targets them as the [Iraqis] try to evacuate them from the front lines,” the OIR spokesman said, “… but the [Iraqis] are not backing down.”

Scrocca added, “This is what building partner capacity looks like on the ground. This is what the coalition has strived to instill in these soldiers and police through our training. The ‘by, with and through’ strategy is working, and we know that because we’ve seen what these forces are doing every day against a truly evil enemy.”

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter: @PellerinDoDNews)

Mattis Urges Congressional Support for Additional $30 Billion for Defense

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — The $30 billion in requested additional defense funding for fiscal year 2017 would be used to strengthen the military and protect the nation against emerging global security challenges, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Capitol Hill today.

At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Mattis warned that hesitation in investing in defense would deepen the “strategic mismatch between our future security and the military means to protect our people and freedoms.”

The secretary appeared at the defense budget and readiness hearing with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The security situation facing our country has become more challenging,” Mattis said. “The looming threats have outstripped the level of resources we have been allocating to defense.”

Good Stewards of Taxpayers’ Money

President Donald J. Trump’s request for the additional $30 billion represents the first step in a three-part, multi-year effort to restore readiness, Mattis explained.

This year’s budget appropriation, including the requested additional $30 billion, is needed to “get our aircraft back in the air, our ships back to sea, and our troops back in the field with refurbished or new equipment and proper training,” the defense secretary said.

“We base this request on a realistic appreciation of the capacity we need to fight and win on the battlefield,” he said, noting the next phases of the effort focus on fiscal year 2018 and several years beyond.

The department is aware of the sacrifices of the American taxpayers in making the additional funding for fiscal year 2017 possible, Mattis said. The department takes the responsibility of being wise stewards seriously.”

The $30 billion in additional funds include a base budget request of $24.9 billion and an overseas contingency operations budget request of $5.1 billion.

The additional $30 billion funding request brings to $619.2 billion the amount requested by the Defense Department for fiscal year 2017, according to the DoD comptroller’s office.

Highlighting Military Support of Diplomacy

Mattis highlighted the importance of military support of diplomatic efforts, saying diplomatic solutions are the preferred options.

“Our military must ensure that the president and our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength,” he said. “Global threats require a global response, applying the full weight of our own and our allies’ power, allies which are also increasing their defense outlays.”

Military deterrence, the defense secretary said, is only credible if military strength is sufficiently formidable that allies can confidently align with the United States in tempering adversaries’ designs.

Global Challenges Threaten National Security Interests

The global security challenges threatening national security interests are numerous, Mattis outlined to the senators.

“We see Russia and China seeking veto power over the economic, diplomatic and security decisions of nations on their periphery,” he said. “Terrorist groups murder the innocent and threaten peace in many regions and target us.”

In addition, the secretary noted North Korea’s “reckless rhetoric and provocative actions” with its nuclear activities.

“This situation calls for our department to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and a decisive conventional force that can also fight irregular enemies since our military must be able to counter all threats facing us,” Mattis said.

Funding Requires ‘Hard Choices’ with ‘Sustained Commitment’

The defense secretary acknowledged “hard choices” will have to be made in funding the department.

“With the help of the Congress, I believe we can build a force that is more lethal, without placing an undue burden on the American economy,” he said.

But, in order to do so, DoD needs a “sustained commitment from Congress in the form of additional funding and regular on-time budgets,” Mattis said.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Dunford: Now is the Time to Address Military Readiness Shortfalls

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — Military readiness must be bolstered, Defense Department leaders told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee today.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the senators that sequestration gutted military readiness and asked the committee to approve a $30 billion amendment to the fiscal year 2017 defense budget request to help the department recover.

Dunford was quick to point out that service members are sacrificing and that because of those sacrifices, “the joint forces can defend the homeland and our way of life, we can meet our alliance commitments and we maintain an overall competitive advantage over any potential adversary.”

The general does not want any potential adversary to think the United States cannot defend itself. Still, if the current budget climate is allowed to continue, the U.S. competitive advantage will continue to erode, he said.

Military actions around the globe add their own special erosion. “Fifteen years of war have also taken a toll on our people and our equipment,” Dunford said. “Many of our men and women continue to deploy as much as they are home. Similarly, our platforms, weapons and equipment are showing signs of wear. In many cases, we have far exceeded the planned service life for our vehicles, our aircraft and our ships.”

Delayed Modernization

Budget battles also impose readiness blockages. “Eight years of continuing resolutions and the absence of predictable funding has forced the department to prioritize near-term readiness at the expense of modernization and advance capability development,” the general said. “We now face what has been described as a bow wave of modernization requirements for both our nuclear and our conventional forces.”

Potential foes see this, he said, and invest money into capabilities in space, cyber, electronic warfare and missile defense, again closing the gap between themselves and the United States.

“It’s important that we reverse that trend,” Dunford added.

The fiscal 2017 defense budget request is a much-needed first step and it will address the most urgent near-term readiness concerns, the chairman said. It will fund current operations, address personnel shortfalls, resource training and improve maintenance across the joint force. “The additional request for resources also allows us to procure limited quantities of needed equipment to fill holes in our deploying units,” he said.

The budget amendment also contains $5.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. This will allow the military to further accelerate the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Dunford said. “From my perspective, not having the OCO money will restrict our ability actually to accelerate the campaign and seize opportunities,” the general said. “We’ll lose some flexibility.”

The extra money is needed to buy spare parts, ammunition and for more soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. “We really do have many of our people that are home about an equal amount of time to the time they deployed,” the chairman told the subcommittee. “I visited one U.S. Navy ship last September. They were under way in a previous 12 months 70 percent of the time. They were at sea because of an important ballistic missile defense capability.”

Equipment Shortages

The budget asks for some extra equipment. “We see that particularly in the case of the aviation enterprise, where units have fewer aircraft than they rate,” he said, which creates two problems.

The first is the unit doesn’t have the system needed to go to war. “The other is they don’t have sufficient aircraft to train,” Dunford said. “And so, our pilots also have degraded readiness as a result of not have sufficient aircraft.”

The chairman used a Navy squadron in Oceana Naval Air Base, Virginia, as an example. The squadron rates 10 aircraft, but actually has only five mission-ready aircraft. “You can’t get pilots to the right level of training proficiency on those five aircraft, which has two effects: one, is a readiness effect,” he said. “The other is, over time, is a morale issue. We see the same thing with helicopters in the Army.”

The chairman’s experiences over the past decade give him a much broader definition of readiness. “To me, it’s about what actions are necessary to make units whole, to allow them to be combat effective and deployable,” he said. “Today, it’s a combination not only of maintaining equipment that we have; not only addressing the spare parts shortfall, but actually … now replacing shadows [on] the ramp where equipment doesn’t physically exist in the unit at a material condition that would allow us to deploy it.”

Now is the time to address this situation, he said. Any delay just pushes the readiness problem down the road. The military will ensure that units deploying in harm’s way have the training, personnel, spare parts and equipment they need. But the units at home station will be stripped and the cost to bring readiness to acceptable levels will be much more farther down the budgetary road.

“So admittedly, some of these initiatives won’t realize a readiness benefit until 2019 or ’20, but if we don’t take the action in ’17, that will simply become 2021 or ’22,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

Mattis Urges Congressional Support for Additional $30 Billion for Defense

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — The $30 billion in requested additional defense funding for fiscal year 2017 would be used to strengthen the military and protect the nation against emerging global security challenges, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Capitol Hill today.

At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Mattis warned that hesitation in investing in defense would deepen the “strategic mismatch between our future security and the military means to protect our people and freedoms.”

The secretary appeared at the defense budget and readiness hearing with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The security situation facing our country has become more challenging,” Mattis said. “The looming threats have outstripped the level of resources we have been allocating to defense.”

Good Stewards of Taxpayers’ Money

President Donald J. Trump’s request for the additional $30 billion represents the first step in a three-part, multi-year effort to restore readiness, Mattis explained.

This year’s budget appropriation, including the requested additional $30 billion, is needed to “get our aircraft back in the air, our ships back to sea, and our troops back in the field with refurbished or new equipment and proper training,” the defense secretary said.

“We base this request on a realistic appreciation of the capacity we need to fight and win on the battlefield,” he said, noting the next phases of the effort focus on fiscal year 2018 and several years beyond.

The department is aware of the sacrifices of the American taxpayers in making the additional funding for fiscal year 2017 possible, Mattis said. The department takes the responsibility of being wise stewards seriously.”

The $30 billion in additional funds include a base budget request of $24.9 billion and an overseas contingency operations budget request of $5.1 billion.

The additional $30 billion funding request brings to $619.2 billion the amount requested by the Defense Department for fiscal year 2017, according to the DoD comptroller’s office.

Highlighting Military Support of Diplomacy

Mattis highlighted the importance of military support of diplomatic efforts, saying diplomatic solutions are the preferred options.

“Our military must ensure that the president and our diplomats always negotiate from a position of strength,” he said. “Global threats require a global response, applying the full weight of our own and our allies’ power, allies which are also increasing their defense outlays.”

Military deterrence, the defense secretary said, is only credible if military strength is sufficiently formidable that allies can confidently align with the United States in tempering adversaries’ designs.

Global Challenges Threaten National Security Interests

The global security challenges threatening national security interests are numerous, Mattis outlined to the senators.

“We see Russia and China seeking veto power over the economic, diplomatic and security decisions of nations on their periphery,” he said. “Terrorist groups murder the innocent and threaten peace in many regions and target us.”

In addition, the secretary noted North Korea’s “reckless rhetoric and provocative actions” with its nuclear activities.

“This situation calls for our department to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent and a decisive conventional force that can also fight irregular enemies since our military must be able to counter all threats facing us,” Mattis said.

Funding Requires ‘Hard Choices’ with ‘Sustained Commitment’

The defense secretary acknowledged “hard choices” will have to be made in funding the department.

“With the help of the Congress, I believe we can build a force that is more lethal, without placing an undue burden on the American economy,” he said.

But, in order to do so, DoD needs a “sustained commitment from Congress in the form of additional funding and regular on-time budgets,” Mattis said.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Dunford: Now is the Time to Address Military Readiness Shortfalls

WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — Military readiness must be bolstered, Defense Department leaders told the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee today.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the senators that sequestration gutted military readiness and asked the committee to approve a $30 billion amendment to the fiscal year 2017 defense budget request to help the department recover.

Dunford was quick to point out that service members are sacrificing and that because of those sacrifices, “the joint forces can defend the homeland and our way of life, we can meet our alliance commitments and we maintain an overall competitive advantage over any potential adversary.”

The general does not want any potential adversary to think the United States cannot defend itself. Still, if the current budget climate is allowed to continue, the U.S. competitive advantage will continue to erode, he said.

Military actions around the globe add their own special erosion. “Fifteen years of war have also taken a toll on our people and our equipment,” Dunford said. “Many of our men and women continue to deploy as much as they are home. Similarly, our platforms, weapons and equipment are showing signs of wear. In many cases, we have far exceeded the planned service life for our vehicles, our aircraft and our ships.”

Delayed Modernization

Budget battles also impose readiness blockages. “Eight years of continuing resolutions and the absence of predictable funding has forced the department to prioritize near-term readiness at the expense of modernization and advance capability development,” the general said. “We now face what has been described as a bow wave of modernization requirements for both our nuclear and our conventional forces.”

Potential foes see this, he said, and invest money into capabilities in space, cyber, electronic warfare and missile defense, again closing the gap between themselves and the United States.

“It’s important that we reverse that trend,” Dunford added.

The fiscal 2017 defense budget request is a much-needed first step and it will address the most urgent near-term readiness concerns, the chairman said. It will fund current operations, address personnel shortfalls, resource training and improve maintenance across the joint force. “The additional request for resources also allows us to procure limited quantities of needed equipment to fill holes in our deploying units,” he said.

The budget amendment also contains $5.8 billion for overseas contingency operations. This will allow the military to further accelerate the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Dunford said. “From my perspective, not having the OCO money will restrict our ability actually to accelerate the campaign and seize opportunities,” the general said. “We’ll lose some flexibility.”

The extra money is needed to buy spare parts, ammunition and for more soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. “We really do have many of our people that are home about an equal amount of time to the time they deployed,” the chairman told the subcommittee. “I visited one U.S. Navy ship last September. They were under way in a previous 12 months 70 percent of the time. They were at sea because of an important ballistic missile defense capability.”

Equipment Shortages

The budget asks for some extra equipment. “We see that particularly in the case of the aviation enterprise, where units have fewer aircraft than they rate,” he said, which creates two problems.

The first is the unit doesn’t have the system needed to go to war. “The other is they don’t have sufficient aircraft to train,” Dunford said. “And so, our pilots also have degraded readiness as a result of not have sufficient aircraft.”

The chairman used a Navy squadron in Oceana Naval Air Base, Virginia, as an example. The squadron rates 10 aircraft, but actually has only five mission-ready aircraft. “You can’t get pilots to the right level of training proficiency on those five aircraft, which has two effects: one, is a readiness effect,” he said. “The other is, over time, is a morale issue. We see the same thing with helicopters in the Army.”

The chairman’s experiences over the past decade give him a much broader definition of readiness. “To me, it’s about what actions are necessary to make units whole, to allow them to be combat effective and deployable,” he said. “Today, it’s a combination not only of maintaining equipment that we have; not only addressing the spare parts shortfall, but actually … now replacing shadows [on] the ramp where equipment doesn’t physically exist in the unit at a material condition that would allow us to deploy it.”

Now is the time to address this situation, he said. Any delay just pushes the readiness problem down the road. The military will ensure that units deploying in harm’s way have the training, personnel, spare parts and equipment they need. But the units at home station will be stripped and the cost to bring readiness to acceptable levels will be much more farther down the budgetary road.

“So admittedly, some of these initiatives won’t realize a readiness benefit until 2019 or ’20, but if we don’t take the action in ’17, that will simply become 2021 or ’22,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

Army Seeks Mowing Services at Hensley Lake

SACRAMENTO, CA–(Marketwired – March 22, 2017) – The U.S. Department of the Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, released a modified solicitation on Wednesday, March 22 for mowing services at Hensley Lake.

The Army has set aside the contract for small businesses, and the applicable NAICS Code is 561730.

The Army intends to issue the contract to the responsive and responsible small business determined to be the most advantageous to the government as a best value trade-off. The Amry will take key personnel, equipment, experience, past performance, and price into consideration.

It will evaluate whether proposed prices can cover the expected work, reflects a clear understanding of the requirements, and is consistent with the requirements of the solicitation. The Army also will evaluate past performance information to assess the offeror’s likelihood of success in performing the requirements. The Army will evaluated past performance for currency and relevance, the source of the information, content of the data, and general trends in the contractor’s performance.

Interested and capable contractors must e-mail responses by no later than 11 a.m. PDT on April 5 to Contract Specialist Stacy Pereyda Hill, stacy.hill@usace.army.mil.

The contractor who receives this contract must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) database and have as part of the Registration all current Representations and Certifications.

US Federal Contractor Registration, the world’s largest third-party government registration firm, completes the required Registrations on behalf of its clients. It also makes available information about opportunities like this, as well as training on how to locate, research, and respond to opportunities.

For more information, to get started with a SAM registration, or to learn more about how US Federal Contractor Registration can help your business succeed, call 877-252-2700, ext. 1.

We also make available for our clients and for contracting officers our proprietary Advanced Federal Procurement Data Search (AFPDS). Our Advanced Federal Procurement Data Search (AFPDS) gives you in one place instant bid notifications, bid proposal prospecting, and information about government procurement officers. We make this search tool available to clients, as part of our commitment to helping each and every USFCR client succeed and thrive as a government contractor.

For contracting officers, the AFPDS gives them in one place access to a database of available contractors and also a place to post information about opportunities. Contracting officers get free access to AFPDS. We also provide interested contracting officers a list of contractors who may be able to provide a service and/or product that they need.

To learn more about how we can help you succeed as a government contractor, call 877-252-2700, ext. 1.

USO-Metro Honors Enlisted Leaders, Actor Gary Sinise

ARLINGTON, Va., March 22, 2017 — The USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, honored military senior enlisted advisors and presented actor Gary Sinise with the Spirit of Hope Award during a gala here last night.

The gala built upon the USO slogan, “The Force Behind the Forces” in presenting awards to the top noncommissioned officers in the joint force and their wives. Actor-comedian Jon Stewart was master of ceremonies for the event, which also recognized former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw for his contributions to the USO.

Tireless Efforts

Sinise was honored for his tireless efforts to meet and entertain troops around the world with his Lt. Dan Band, named for the military character he played in the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump.” In presenting the Spirit of Hope Award to Sinise, who stars in the current TV series “CSI: New York,” Dunford spoke about a visit he and his wife made to a military hospital Balboa, California.

“It was a quiet Saturday morning, and as we were walking through the ward, there was a little bit of a hubbub in front of us,” he said. “As we walked up, there was Gary Sinise. There wasn’t any cameras rolling, there wasn’t any media covering anything. It was a Saturday, and Gary Sinise was there to entertain troops at Camp Pendleton. But before that, he had a personal interaction with each one of the troops and each of the families, and you could tell when he left the room that they knew this was somebody who, in his heart, actually, genuinely cared.

“For all the things he’s done, I think what I am most appreciative of is that Gary cares for the people that I call my family,” the chairman added.

Sinise was characteristically modest in accepting the award — the first time an individual has received USO-Metro’s highest award, which is named after legendary USO supporter Bob Hope.

“When I first started doing this, no one knew my name, but they had all seen the movie so they called me Lieutenant Dan,” he said. “My first visit to Bethesda-Walter Reed was on Sept. 11, 2003. It was a tough time. … We were losing way too many troops, there were way too many Gold Star families, way too many wounded. I just wanted to do something.”

Meaningful Role

His iconic “Forrest Gump” role as an Army lieutenant who lost both legs in combat in Vietnam was something far too many American service members could identify with. “After Sept. 11, we had a whole new generation of Lieutenant Dans coming home,” he said. “There was a role for me to play. Who would have thought that playing a role in a movie could actually mean something?”

When he visited the wounded, Sinise said, they would ask about Lieutenant Dan and he would talk about the character’s resilience in moving forward, and overcoming his injuries and succeeding in life. “That story of Lieutenant Dan seemed to mean something to others,” he added. “It was greater than just me playing a part.”

Honoring Enlisted Leaders

Elaine Rogers, the president of USO-Metro, said the organization wanted to honor senior enlisted advisors because of their integral efforts in shaping the organization’s programs. “They were the first people in the military I contacted when I came to the USO, and they have been there for us ever since,” she said.

A battle buddy or shipmate couple introduced each senior enlisted couple:

— Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft and his wife, Fran, introduced Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven W. Cantrell and his wife, Janet;

— National Guard Bureau Chief Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel and his wife, Sally, introduced Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell O. Brush and his wife, Blaire;

— Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his wife, Dawn, introduced Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright and his wife, Tonya;

— Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran and his wife, Patricia, introduced Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven S. Giordano and his wife, Elka;

— Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller introduced Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green and his wife, Andrea;

— Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn and his wife, Debbie, introduced Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and his wife, Holly; and

— Dunford and his wife, Ellyn, introduced Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman, and his wife, Sandra.

Troxell spoke on behalf of all senior enlisted leaders across the joint force and said they accepted the award on behalf of all advisors throughout the military.

Invaluable Advice

“Senior enlisted advisors serve at battalions and squadrons, on ships at sea, at major combatant commands and right here in our nation’s capital,” he said. “They provide the invaluable advice to our chiefs, our chairman and those who are in command — responsible for accomplishing missions and upholding our Constitution and exacting the will of the American people.”

Troxell said enlisted leaders care for the nation’s greatest resource: the men and women of the joint force.

“It’s those men and women who make up our greatest competitive advantage over any adversary who challenges our nation, our partners, our freedom and our way of life,” he said.

USO-Metro operates four airport lounges in the Washington-Baltimore area and has six USO centers on military installations throughout the region. USO-Metro also has the special task of providing support at Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

RAPIDGate® Program Marks 13th Year of Securing U.S. Military Facilities, Saving Contractors Time at the Gate

HILLSBORO, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–SureID, Inc., the national leader in high-assurance identity management solutions, announced today that its flagship RAPIDGate® program has facilitated 380 million entrances and flagged 4 million ingresses at military facilities across the U.S. since its first military implementation at Washington state’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord1 in March 2004. Since that time, the RAPIDGate program has identity-proofed and credentialed more than 1,407,000 third-party personnel representing more than 78,000 companies and including more than 200,000 PIV-I credentials issued since 2014.

The RAPIDGate program provides increased security and streamlined access to highly secure facilities such as military installations, government buildings, federal agencies, manufacturing and distribution sites, commercial buildings, and ports. The program provides a single identity management and perimeter installation access control solution and credential for the high-assurance identity management of vendors, suppliers, service providers and other contractors who are not authorized to receive a Common Access Card (CAC). The program saves time and money both for the U.S. government and for the individual participants who seek access to RAPIDGate-enabled installations.

Over the last 13 years, individuals have accessed U.S. military installations using RAPIDGate credentials nearly 380 million times. The U.S. Navy first awarded SureID a contract on October 31, 2006 and adopted the RAPIDGate Program as the Navy Commercial Access Control System (NCACS) in 2010. In addition to the Navy the program can be found at U.S. Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army installations throughout the U.S. and is used daily by thousands of companies and their employees.

The RAPIDGate program supports businesses of all sizes by handling the management of participant screening and credentialing for installation access while reducing unproductive wait times to get on base. Once a person is an approved participant of the RAPIDGate program, there is no need for daily visits to the Pass and ID office for a temporary access pass.

“Our primary goal is to ensure the safety of our military installations through unparalleled identity management solutions while streamlining the process for those who need access to bases,” said Steve Larson, CEO and founder of SureID, Inc. “Working across branches of service within the Defense Department and various departments within the federal government the RAPIDGate program stands alone in its low cost and high effectiveness to the military and in providing ease of use for the vendors and contractors using the program.”

The RAPIDGate program’s unique business model has enabled the Defense Department to realize cost savings because vendor participants, not the DoD or the individual service, generally pay a fee for enrolling in the RAPIDGate program.

Costs to vendor companies are generally recaptured through increased productivity of their employees. Often, vendors, suppliers and service providers who do not hold a RAPIDGate credential are required to obtain a new pass from the Pass and Identification Office for each visit to a specific base. This can be a long process that entails waiting in highly congested commercial vehicle inspection points. A RAPIDGate credential enables individual participants to quickly move through installation Entry Control Points.

Visit our website to learn more about the RAPIDGate program or to enroll.

About the RAPIDGate Program

The RAPIDGate program is an end-to-end high-assurance identity management solution. The program manages the identities and installation-specific access privileges of tens of thousands of program credential holders for access to military installations throughout the nation. RAPIDGate program participants can, with one credential, access any installation where the program is implemented so long as the company they represent has been sponsored by the installation or a tenant command, and is approved by the installation commanding officer. The RAPIDGate program is further enhanced by SureID’s complementary solution, the RAPID-RCx® program, which allow security personnel to scan driver’s licenses, CAC cards, Teslins, and TWICs.

About SureID, Inc.

SureID, Inc. (www.SureID.com) is the market leader in high-assurance identity solutions. The company creates end-to-end trusted identity programs offering full credential lifecycle management through the combination of registration, identity proofing, background screening, credentialing and identity authentication for government, private enterprise and individuals including contractors, vendors and other authorized personnel. SureID’s RAPIDGate® program provides an enterprise-wide, single-credential high assurance identity for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Army and the critical infrastructure sector across the country. SureID, Inc. is the leading issuer of PIV-I credentials. Founded in November 2001, SureID is headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., with offices in Minot, N.D., and Alexandria, Va.

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1

The base was formerly known as The United States Army Fort Lewis.