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Changes ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: DOD

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Army Gen. Carter F. Ham spoke at the Association of the U.S. Army’s ROTC luncheon

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2012 – The U.S. military is a learning and growing entity, and young officers must be flexible enough to lead their organizations, the commander of U.S. Africa Command told ROTC cadets here today.

Ham, who is the senior ROTC graduate in the Army today, compared what he faced when he entered the Army in 1974 with what today’s ROTC graduates will face. He noted that when he entered the Army, the draft had just ended and the enemy was the Soviet Union.

“We focused everything we did on that one single, but very dangerous and predictable threat,” he said. “The Army that you will lead is very different from that.”

The threat environment is unpredictable, Ham said, and that will create more challenges for young officers coming into the force. “The good news is, the soldiers and noncommissioned officers that you will lead are tremendously experienced in this environment,” the general told the cadets. “They are combat tested. They are culturally savvy. And they have demonstrated their ability to perform a wide range of tasks across the spectrum of conflict.”

“Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage are values that don’t change,” he said. “They are the foundation upon which you and your leadership and professional knowledge will be built upon.”

“My crystal ball is a little bit fuzzy, and I don’t know what the future holds,” Ham said, “but I do know that wherever you are going to operate as Army officers, it is going to be inside somebody else’s culture, and the more we understand about that, the better off we’ll be.”

Young soldiers today will be working even more closely with sailors, Marines and airmen in joint operations, and the ability to work with civilian agencies and international partners also will be an important asset for young officers, Ham noted.

“We have a hard time predicting what will happen,” he said, “but we can identify the attributes that will be necessary for success.”

Biography - General Carter F. Ham

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DOD News Briefing on Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force with Secretary Panetta, Assistant Director Petraeus, and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Milam from the Pentagon

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON E. PANETTA:  Good afternoon.

Let me start, before I turn this over to Holly Petraeus, if I could make a brief personnel announcement for Department of Defense.

Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.

General Rodriguez currently leads U.S. Army Forces Command, and as I think many of you know, he has served in a variety of key leadership roles on the battlefield.

While serving as commander of ISAF Joint Command, he oversaw the coalition and Afghan forces during the surge, and was a key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing.

He’s a proven leader, extremely well prepared to serve as the next AFRICOM commander, if confirmed, and I believe he will be.

I’ll have a lot more to say about General Carter Ham’s service in the months ahead, but let me say this.  Under his leadership, AFRICOM has played a very central role in some very important missions, from the NATO campaign in Libya that led to the fall of Gadhafi; to successful counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, Yemen; to efforts that we are now involved in, in Nigeria, in Mali and elsewhere.

General Ham has really brought AFRICOM into a very pivotal role in that challenging region.  I and the nation are deeply grateful for his outstanding service.

As you all know, last week in Brussels I announced that President Obama will nominate General Joe Dunford to succeed General John Allen as the leader of the coalition forces in Afghanistan.  And General Allen will be nominated to be commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Today, I’d also like to announce that President Obama will nominate Lieutenant General John Paxton to succeed Joe as assistant commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

General Paxton has served in a number of key leadership roles in the Marine Corps and here at the Pentagon, where he recently served as director of operations for the Joint Staff.  He’s an exceptionally capable leader, and again, if confirmed, he will be an outstanding assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

General Rodriguez, General Paxton join a growing cadre of senior military leaders who have deployed to combat theaters numerous times throughout their careers.  And many have served, as we all know, in key leadership positions in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And they’re now leading the most experienced and combat-tested military force that our nation has ever assembled.

Building on that perspective will be essential as we shape the force of the 21st century, that institutionalizes the lessons of war, and has the innovative capability to deal with the threats and challenges that we’re going to face in the future.

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After listening to the debate between Romney and Obama last night (imo, Romney won in character and facts) and after 4 years of seeing how Obama is the last thing we need to direct our military in this chaotic and lethal global community, I can only pray that the Generals Obama is nominating for these positions will take care of their men and women in spite of their present CinC.  I’m also praying that Romney as the next CinC will step up and listen to those who are experienced in fighting Islamafascists and put our kids in uniform above their political careers.  I hope he has been collecting BINDERS of qualified brass who have not forgotten the values that General Ham spoke of in the speech above.

Our Military has been through enough, especially with the last 4 years of a community organizer’s incompetency.

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No Worries ~ All Will Be Good and Green…

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: DOD, Obama

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…the national energy security problem is fixed!

From the folks who brought you $4+/gal gas:

Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Announces Additional Steps to Increase Energy Security

Senior Officials to Highlight Commitment to Energy Security for America’s Warfighters

Today, the Obama Administration is announcing new steps to bolster energy security for America’s warfighters – underscoring the significant and inherent connection between energy independence and national security.  In Michigan, the Army will open a new 30,000-square-foot lab to develop cutting edge energy technologies for the next generation of combat vehicles.  This new lab will support the launch of the Army Green Warrior Convoy, which will test and demonstrate advanced vehicle technology including fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and alternative fuels.

In addition, today, the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency will launch a research competition to engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in improving the capability of energy storage devices that can be used in the battlefield and for civilian applications.  And, building on President Obama’s State of the Union commitment, the Department of Defense (DoD) will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with a new goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.  (Woo Hoo!) (Sorry, couldn’t help myself…ed.)

These new steps build on President Obama’s unwavering commitment to energy security for America’s warfighters, and to a sustained, comprehensive strategy to ensure a secure energy future for all Americans.  Since the President took office, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year.  At the same time, our reliance on foreign oil has decreased – a trend expected to continue thanks in part to the historic fuel economy standards established by President Obama, effectively doubling the efficiency of the cars we drive and saving consumers thousands at the pump.  In 2011, U.S. crude oil production reached its highest level since 2003, increasing by an estimated 120,000 barrels per day over 2010 levels.  Overall, oil imports have been falling since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 – the lowest level since 1995.   (Fact checker on aisle 4, please!)

Army Opens a New Lab to Develop the Next Generation of Combat Vehicles
On April 11, the Army will open a new lab at Detroit Arsenal that will develop cutting edge energy technologies for the next generation of combat vehicles.  Through a partnership with academia and industry, these advances may also hold promise for passenger and commercial vehicles.  Shared access of this facility with industry and academia will facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to develop emerging energy technologies.  Developing advanced technologies for tactical and non-tactical ground vehicles that support our military forces at home and abroad will make our forces more combat effective while helping save American families dollars at the pump.

The Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL)’s 8 state-of-the-art labs offer an unprecedented range of test and validation capabilities for emerging power, energy and mobility technologies at a single facility.  The Army’s best and brightest ground vehicle research scientists, engineers and technicians combined with GSPEL’s unique facilities, will enable the Army to innovate tomorrow’s energy solutions.

Army to Road-Test Advanced Energy Technologies in Green Warrior Convoy
As part of required road-tests of advanced energy technologies and systems developed at the GSPEL, the Army will announce its plans to launch a Green Warrior Convoy of vehicles in 2013.  The convoy will test and demonstrate the Army’s advanced vehicle power and technology including fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and alternative fuels.  These technologies will extend range and endurance of combat forces – helping them to defend the nation better.  This convoy will stop at schools, colleges, communities and military facilities along the way to show members of the military and public the importance of energy improvements.

Defense Department Increases Commitment to Renewable Energy to 3 Gigawatts
DoD is making one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, by developing a goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.  This effort furthers the commitment President Obama made during the State of the Union to develop 1 gigawatt of renewable energy on Navy installations by 2020.  The Air Force goal of obtaining 1 gigawatt by 2016 and the Army goal of obtaining 1 gigawatt by 2025 support the broader DoD goal to meet 25 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2025.

Renewable energy is critical to making our bases more energy secure.  Together with emerging microgrid and storage technologies, reliable, local sources of renewable power will increase the energy security of our nation’s military installations.  By doing so, the DoD is better able to carry out its mission to defend the nation.  To meet these goals at no additional cost to the taxpayer, DoD will leverage private sector financing through authorities such as Power Purchase Agreements, Enhanced Use Leasing, Utility Energy Savings Contracts, and Energy Savings Performance Contracts.

Energy Department Launches Competition to Make Energy Storage More Effective and Safe Through its Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the Department of Energy is funding a $30 million research competition that will engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in improving the capability of energy storage devices, including batteries.  ARPA-E’s new “Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices” (AMPED) program will promote the development of next-generation energy storage sensing and control technologies, including enhancing the performance of hybrid energy storage modules being developed by the DoD for war-fighting equipment.  Specifically, AMPED technologies have the potential to:

• Increase the fuel efficiency of military generators to help reduce the need for fuel-convoys on the battlefield;
• Improve the reliability of military aircraft generators to help to reduce operation and maintenance costs;
• Enable next generation high power weapons systems and fuel efficient operations for Navy ships;
• Create a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles; and
• Enhance the efficiency and reliability of the U.S. electricity grid.

To date, ARPA-E has hosted four rounds of competitions and attracted over 5,000 applications from research teams, resulting in approximately 180 cutting edge projects.

Administration Announces Progress on Advanced Biofuels Initiative

High global oil prices affect every part of our economy – from middle class families, to small businesses, to the Department of Defense.  DoD estimates that for every $1 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, we incur an additional $130 million in fuel costs.  That is why, as part of his Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, President Obama challenged the Departments of Navy, Energy and Agriculture to partner with private industry to accelerate the commercialization of drop-in biofuels for military and commercial use. The three departments developed a plan to spur private industry and financiers to construct or retrofit multiple integrated biorefineries capable of producing millions of gallons of fuel annually from domestic feedstocks and at a competitive price.  On March 29, the Department of Defense’s Defense Production Act Executive Agent published advanced notice of a broad area announcement (BAA) soliciting proposals for the advanced drop-in biofuel production project.  The project’s goal is to establish commercial-scale biorefineries in different regions of the U.S. producing jet and naval biofuels from diverse feedstocks via different processes. A Biofuel Industry Roundtable will be held on May 18 in Washington D.C. and will bring together the market and industry expertise necessary to develop a domestic biofuel market capable of producing alternative fuel that is cost-competitive with traditional fuel.

Don’t you just love these “fact sheets”?

Rainbows and unicorns ~ for EVERYONE!!

Of course, unicorns are very expensive and when you throw in a few rainbows…phew!

God, I am so tired of all the BS.

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Here We Go Again ~

Author: yankeemom  //  Category: DOD

DOD Directs Army, Marine Drawdowns for 2015, 2016
Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:25:00 -0600

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2011 – Budget pressures that have proven greater than anticipated mean the Defense Department will trim end strength in its ground forces beginning in four years, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today.

“Under this plan, the U.S. Army’s permanent active-duty end strength would decline by 27,000 troops, while the Marine Corps would decline by somewhere between [15,000] and 20,000, depending on the outcome of their force structure review,” Gates said.

The secretary and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters at the Pentagon on the results of defense efficiencies initiatives begun in May to trim support costs and ensure funding for military modernization.

“The projected reductions are based on an assumption that America’s ground combat commitment in Afghanistan would be significantly reduced by the end of 2014, in accordance with the president’s strategy,” Gates said. The Army also will lose the 22,000 troops it added in a temporary end-strength increase approved in July 2009, he added.

“Ever since taking this post, now more than four years ago, I have called for protecting force structure and for maintaining modest, but real, growth in the defense topline over the long term,” Gates said. “I would prefer that this continue to be the case, but this country’s dire fiscal situation and the threat it poses to American influence and credibility around the world will only get worse unless the U.S. government … gets its finances in order.”

Gates said even after force reduction, both services would remain larger than they had been when he became secretary — the Army almost 40,000 troops larger, and the Marine Corps anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 troops larger.

Both services support the decision, the secretary said, noting Marine Corps leaders have spoken of trimming back the increases their force structure has seen in recent years.

“I think [the Marines] see this as … more of an organic process within the Marine Corps in terms of their priorities and their needs,” Gates said. “In the case of the Army, this is a situation where the Army is supportive of this decision. I think … that support derives from understanding the importance of this in terms of their other priorities, as well.” (What does that even mean?)

This worked so well before.

Whenever the Suits go after defense cuts, it usually ends up hurting the Troops, no matter how many times they claim “we’re just going after waste and inefficiency”.   These people wouldn’t know waste and inefficiency if it came up and introduced itself to them with nametags predominately displayed.

Also read:

Strategic Weapons Win in Gates’ New Budget Plans

And this:

U.S. Military Direct Orders: Do More with Less

(How about looking at all those entitlement programs that keep people tied to the government trough – funded by the productive citizens of this country.  How about cutting those departments that do more harm than good for our nation’s economy; such as the EPA, Dept of Energy and Dept of Education for starters.  And repeal the damn Obamacare atrocity!)

It’s not as if the Military hasn’t been through all this before, usually during a Democrat President’s term:

Clinton ~

In less than a three-year period under Clinton, America’s military manpower decreased from 2.1 million to 1.6 million. Of the 305,000 employees removed from the federal payroll by Clinton, some 286,000 (or 90 percent) were military cuts. Over the entire course of the Clinton years, the Army was cut from 18 divisions to 12. The Navy was reduced from 546 ships to 380. Air Force flight squadrons were cut from 76 to 50. Moreover, the Administration enacted a pay freeze on U.S. troops, 80 percent of whom earned $30,000 or less annually.

Inattention to defense did not, however, prevent the Clinton Administration from pursuing massive social experiments in the military in the name of gender and diversity reform, which included requiring “consciousness raising” classes for military personnel, redefining physical standards if women were unable to meet the traditional norms, and in general undermining the meritocratic benchmarks that are a crucial component of military morale.

While budget cuts forced some military families to go on food stamps, the Pentagon spent enormous sums to re-equip ships and barracks to accommodate co-ed living. All these efforts further reduced the Pentagon’s ability to put a fighting force in the field-a glaring national vulnerability dramatized by the war in Kosovo. This diminished the crucial elements of fear and respect for American power in the eyes of adversaries waiting in the wings.

During the Clinton years, the Democrats’ insistence that American power was somehow the disturber-rather than the enforcer-of international tranquility, prompted the White House to turn to multilateral agencies for leadership, particularly the discredited United Nations. While useful in limited peacekeeping operations, the UN was in large part a collection of theocratic tyrannies and brutal dictatorships which regularly indicted and condemned the world’s most tolerant democracies — specifically the United States, England and Israel — while supporting the very states providing safe harbors for America’s al Qaeda enemy.

Sound familiar?

Read it all.  These leopards will never change their spots.

And let’s not forget Carter:

After his 1976 election as President, Carter slashed defense spending by $6 billion (in 2003 dollars) during the first two years of his administration, canceling the B-1 bomber and decimating the U.S. fleet.

Carter would later boast that, as president, he set about “convincing the Soviets of our ability and resolve to respond.” But as political analyst Ben Johnson puts it, “Unfortunately, his response was naïvete and unilateral surrender.” Carter failed to consult either the Pentagon or the Kremlin before removing U.S. missiles from South Korea within hours of his inauguration, a move that Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev interpreted as weakness rather than conciliation. In 1979, Brezhnev refused to remove Soviet submarines and aircraft from Cuba.

Also during his presidency, Carter offered to remove all U.S. troops from South Korea.

And he did so well in the Middle East…

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‘If he [the liberal] thinks that his country’s weapons or strategy menace peace, then Peace, he feels, [and] not his country’s military plans, should take precedence.’

James Burnham, from his 1964 book, Suicide of the West

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Let’s just hope Sec. Gates means what he says about cutting just the bureaucracy and moving the money to get our Troops more and better equipment.  And certain leopards members in Congress don’t muck it up, as usual.

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