by CPT Dean Denter
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska – In preparation for the congressionally-mandated base realignment and closure of Fort Greely, Alaska, the Army’s smallest Signal company there, 507th Signal Company, and 408th Signal Company, based at Fort Wainwright, switched names and guidons in August.
The 507th was ceremonially reorganized as 408th Signal Company Aug. 14 and transferred to Fort Wainwright. The 55-year-old 408th was subsequently inactivated at Fort Wainwright effective Oct. 15.
At a Fort Wainwright ceremony Aug. 23, the newly designated 507th (formerly 408th) Signal Company, 59th Signal Battalion, was publicly reorganized as part of a change-of-command ceremony. CPT Dean Denter assumed command of 507th from CPT Daniel Burnett. LTC Donna Williams, 59th Signal Battalion’s commander, officiated.
"During the 507th Signal Company’s history, the company has been deactivated and reactivated on four different occasions," explained COL Fred Lehman, former commander of 59th Signal Battalion and currently commander of U.S. Army Alaska Garrison. "When the Army Signal Command historians compared the 408th and the 507th, they found the lineage dates back further in the 507th, and that’s why ultimately the 408th was deactivated and the more historic lineage of the 507th Signal Company remains."
All soldiers who were assigned to the company at Fort Greely moved on to new assignments. The newly reorganized 507th Signal Company at Fort Wainwright assumed the operations and continued customer support of the units and training requirements at Forts Wainwright and Greely and their remote training areas.
CPT Denter commands 507th Signal Company.
by Bill McPherson
CAMP ZAMA, Japan –The 78th Signal Battalion S-4/Logistics Division was the Army chief of staff’s 2000 Supply Excellence Award runner-up in August and was selected for Army Signal Command’s 2001 SEA in September.
Both awards were in the "modified table of organization and equipment battalion with property book" category, according to Donita Schmidt, S-4 officer of 516th Signal Brigade, 78th Signal Battalion’s parent unit.
"This marks the fourth consecutive year the 78th S-4 has been a finalist at Department of the Army level," said LTC Michael Curry, 78th Signal Battalion’s commander. "That says a lot for the hard work and dedication to excellence shown by our S-4 section. I’m extremely proud of them."
Mr. McPherson is 516th Signal Brigade’s public-affairs officer.
|HE PUTS THE ARMY OVER THE TOP – A future Signaleer was the 80,000th recruit, enabling the Army to meet its recruiting goal this year. In a ceremony at the Defense Department’s pressroom, Army secretary Louis Caldera and MG Evan Gaddis, U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s commander, administered the oath of enlistment to PVT Joseph "Keith" McGowen, with his mother and grandfather witnessing the event. McGowen, 18, is from Mineral Falls, Texas, and is awaiting basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. He said when he walked into his recruiter’s office, he was told he "hit the jackpot" as the 80,000th recruit. McGowen received $40,000 in enlistment bonuses, including the Army College Fund, Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits and a $3,000 airborne bonus. After basic training, he’s scheduled to go to Fort Gordon, Ga., for advanced individual training as a 31U Signal specialist. Then he’ll go to airborne school and be assigned to 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. Caldera attributed the recruiting success to a number of new programs — from corporal recruiters to GED-Plus, College First, Partnership for Youth Success and Army University Access On-line – and said recruiting goals for the Army Reserve and National Guard were also met.|
by Michele Yeager
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. – A unique test facility is now open at Tobyhanna Army Depot for the near-field probe, state-of-the-art equipment used for diagnostic troubleshooting and performance testing on the AN/TPQ-36 antenna. (Testing for the AN/TPQ-37, which has a greater detection range, will be verified next month.) The systems, more commonly called Firefinder, detect mortar and artillery rounds.
The facility will be used to measure the performance of large, high-frequency multibeam and phased-array antennas. It’s a computer-controlled test facility with the capability of locating component failures within the antenna through digital and radio-frequency diagnostic testing.
"It’s the only facility of its kind in use throughout the Defense Department," said Jim LoPresti, chief of the Firefinder division, surveillance-systems directorate.
A team is also installing a tower track facility, which is in the final stages of becoming operational. The facility will be used to set correction constants on Firefinder systems before the systems are returned to their operational units.
|From left, Paul Stovner, program manager at Raytheon Technical Services Company; Joe Masterson, an electronic-integrated-systems mechanic at Tobyhanna Army Depot's Ground-Control Approach/Sensors Division; and Jim LoPresti, chief of the Firefinder division at Tobyhanna, prepare for the near-field probe test facility's initial operation. An AN/TPQ-63 antenna is vertically mounted on the antenna pedestal, awaiting testing.|
Firefinder systems were formerly overhauled at Sacramento Army Depot, Calif. When that Army depot closed in 1994, the workload was moved to Sacramento Air Logistics Center and supported there until earlier this year. The Base Closure and Realignment Commission directed relocation of the workload to Tobyhanna in 1995.
"The engineering and design work started shortly thereafter," LoPresti said. "The results of everyone’s efforts can now be seen at this facility."
Ms. Yeager is assistant editor in Tobyhanna Army Depot’s public-affairs office.
by Gary Sheftick
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Black berets, now worn by soldiers in elite Ranger units, will become the Army’s standard headgear beginning next June, GEN Eric Shinseki, the Army’s chief of staff, announced in October.
"It’s time for the entire Army to accept the challenge of excellence that has so long been a hallmark of our special operations and airborne units," Shinseki said. Adopting the berets will be "another step toward achieving the capabilities of the objective force" of Army transformation, he said.
Soldiers will begin wearing the beret June 14, "the first Army birthday of the new millennium," Shinseki said.
All soldiers, regardless of rank or branch, will wear the beret if they meet the Army standard, Shinseki said. He added that SGM of the Army Jack Tilley would come up with a plan to establish the standard and implement the change.
"Putting that beret on will become part of a soldier’s rite of passage," Tilley said.
When Shinseki recently officiated a change-of-command ceremony for the Army’s Special Operations Command and watched the troops, he said he was reminded that the agility, deployability and adaptability of those soldiers was symbolized by their berets.
"Starting next June, the black beret will be symbolic of our commitment to transform this magnificent Army into a new force: a strategically responsive force for the 21st century," Shinseki said. "It will be a symbol of unity, a symbol of Army excellence, a symbol of our values."
Shinseki said special-operations and airborne soldiers will continue to wear their distinctive berets. Soldiers in airborne units wear maroon berets, and Special Forces wear green berets.
Mr. Sheftick writes for Army News Service.
by Gary Sheftick
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Soldiers with families will move only during the summer when school is out. Orders will be received a year in advance. Fewer soldiers will work weekends and many will receive more four-day holidays.
These are goals GEN Eric Shinseki, the Army’s chief of staff, announced he will try to reach in an effort to reduce turbulence within the force.
"Can we give soldiers and families more stability in their lives?" Shinseki asked. "I think the answer is yes. For the past 10 years, soldiers and their families have withstood the hardships of separation, inadequate barracks and family housing, the pay gap, the cumbersome health care system and the challenges of moving from one school district to another. It’s time to re-establish the balance by reducing turbulence and enhancing well-being."
Shinseki said he will try to ensure that most changes of command are conducted during June through August, while children are out of school. And he said getting permanent-change-of-station orders to soldiers a year in advance is a goal worth working toward.
"Everybody tells us that’s not possible," Shinseki said. "But I say, ‘Let’s find out. We’re going to try.’"
Shinseki said there will always be operational contingencies that won’t make the one-year notice but felt soldiers could "deal with that" if they knew it was an exception, not the rule.
To reduce soldiers’ time away from their families, Shinseki said he will also establish a policy that prohibits weekend work in garrison unless the first general officer in the chain-of-command approves the exception.
"Every place I go, there are lots of youngsters working weekends," Shinseki said. "My question is why? It better not be because we aren’t proficient during the week."
Shinseki said the Army’s goal is to give soldiers four-day weekends in conjunction with all federal holidays to compensate for field time and deployments away from home station.
Short-notice taskings will also be controlled. Beginning Jan. 1, 2001, Shinseki said no non-emergency tasking will leave Department of the Army with less than 180 days to execution without the signature of the chief of staff or vice chief of staff. Similar guidelines will be established for each echelon in the chain of command, Shinseki said.
"We aren’t going to put soldiers in a position of having to choose between an Army they love and the well-being of the family they love," Shinseki said. "We need to slow our pace and focus on warfighting-essential tasks."
He announced that every active divisional element in the Army will undergo an annual external evaluation known as an ARTEP. That’s a goal for this year, he said, and a requirement for next year.
"The pace is so violent," Shinseki said about the Army’s frequent deployments and missions, "we find ourselves violating our own doctrine."
The policies designed to reduce turbulence are the result of recommendations developed by a U.S. Army War College study group established in September 1999. In January, the study group proposed more than 20 recommendations to the chief of staff to reduce turbulence throughout the Army.
Shinseki directed the Army staff to establish a turbulence task force to analyze the War College recommendations and to develop plans to implement the study group’s proposals. Other highlights of the proposals include:
|Increasing the present-duty-assignment re-enlistment bonus from three locations to 11 locations, allowing more soldiers to continue to serve in hard-to-fill locations and increasing the number of soldiers to train and work in those units;|
|Developing a three-year Kosovo forces/stabilization forces rotation plan and a web-based deployment tracking system to provide predictability to the force; and|
|Expanding the Korea extension bonus to $2,000 and examining whether to establish more accompanied two-year tours in Korea. This is designed to help maintain troop strengths in Korea while reducing the number of soldiers moving to and from Korea annually.|
Mr. Sheftick writes for Army News Service.
by Anthony Ricchiazzi
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. – A new depot training course has enabled Air Force and Tobyhanna staff members to optimize the use of the ionosphere for long-range communication.
Airmen and one Tobyhanna employee participated in the Tobyhanna’s debut in training people to operate, repair and maintain the AN/FMQ-12 Digital Ionospheric Sounding System radar. The course is part of the 1995 base closure and realignment workload transfer, making Tobyhanna now the only training site for the repair and maintenance of the radar system after the workload transferred from McClellan AFB, Calif.
FMQ-12 DISS sends radio signals to the ionosphere to test which frequencies are the most useful for long-range communications and scientific studies. "The ionosphere changes constantly, so tests are run on a regular basis all over the world," said Larry Walton, an electronics mechanic in the directorate of avionics-intelligence electronic warfare systems.
Walton is teaching the course with Dr. David Kitrosser of the Center for Atmospheric Research, University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
The ionosphere is created when the sun’s activity, such as solar flares, creates energetic particles, which are then trapped in the earth’s magnetic field (see related story). The sun’s ultraviolet radiation also contributes to the ionization in the ionosphere.
Because it’s constantly changing, the ionosphere must be tested regularly to find the best frequencies to use.
The system is composed of a transmitter antenna, seven directional receiver antennas, transmitter, receiver, digital signal processing electronics and several computers. The transmitter sends radio frequency pulses up to the ionosphere, and the receiver antennas pick up those that bounce back. The receiver antennas feed the returning echoes to the receiver and the signal processing electronics system.
The computers analyze the data and determine the strength, angle of arrival, polarization and doppler frequency of the echoes. Messages about radio propagation are then sent to several different remote computer servers.
"There is a network of these systems all over the world," Kitrosser said. "The information gathered is sent to the Space Forecast Center at Schriever AFB, Colo. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., also gets the information. Other countries operate another 40 to 50 similar systems built by the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Atmospheric Research."
Because signals at certain frequencies can be bounced off the ionosphere to locations over the horizon (beyond-line-of-sight), those frequencies are used by the military for long-range communications.
Mr. Ricchiazzi is a public-affairs specialist with Tobyhanna Army Depot's public-affairs office.
by Jeffrey Price
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – With the successful cutover Aug. 11 of the Vaihingen-North Italy south segment of the Defense Information System Network-Europe’s communications upgrade, the first major segment of the DISN-E microwave upgrade has been completed.
"This is the first significant step to increasing the strategic communications backbone throughout the European theater," said Robert Golden, project manager for defense communications and Army transmission systems with the Army’s Communications-Electronics Command’s Systems-Management Center. "When completed, the DISN-E upgrade will increase the bandwidth available on the government-owned Digital European Backbone sixfold."
In the DISN-E microwave upgrade, PM-DCATS is replacing the existing 26 megabits-per-second radios with state-of-the-art 155 mbs synchronous-optical-network microwave radios, asynchronous-transfer mode bandwidth managers, a network-management system and new encryption devices.
PM-DCATS is also replacing 20-year-old digital radio and multiplex acquisition equipment, part of DEB. The DRAMA radios are approaching the end of their useful life and have become increasingly more difficult and costly to maintain because of the limited availability of spare parts.
"The age and the limited bandwidth of the existing DEB equipment further underscored the requirement for the DISN-E upgrade," said Golden, who added that the goal for the DISN-E upgrade is to provide, in the most cost-effective manner, an integrated, survivable system with voice, data, messaging, video and transmission services.
"This system must still fulfill the unique security, reliability and performance requirements of the users," Golden said.
The plan is to introduce regional efficiencies in the near-term, while evolving towards an enhanced worldwide DISN. PM-DCATS will realize these efficiencies, according to Golden, by consolidating transmission links, updating old equipment and replacing some systems and components in their entirety.
PM-DCATS is upgrading DISN-E in segments, starting in Northern Italy, with links across the Alps into southern Germany. The next segment will cut across Germany and into Belgium. From Belgium, they will go across the English Channel and throughout England.
"Overall, we’re upgrading more than 90 microwave links over the life of the program," said Golden.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is funding the DISN-E upgrade, using defense working capital funds. "Essentially, the users are paying for the upgrade with fees generated from use of the new system," said Golden. "Over the life of the upgrade, the system will pay for itself."
The DISN-E microwave upgrade is slated for completion in fiscal year 2004.
Mr. Price is the DISN-E program leader for PM-DCATS’ assistant project manager, Defense-wide transmission systems at CECOM’s SMC. He has more than 15 years’ experience in managing the acquisition and installation of long-haul transmissions system. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he was the in-country lead in Saudi Arabia for the U.S. Army Information Systems Management Activity in implementing the Southwest Asia Telecommunications System, and he has a wealth of experience in European telecommunications from his work in implementing the Digital European Backbone. A 1982 graduate of Bloomsburg State College, Pa., he holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, advertising and public relations.
by Kristin Patterson
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Under a new concept called "corps packaging," all of the National Guard’s eight combat divisions and 15 enhanced separate brigades will be matched with Active Component divisions at the corps level.
Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric Shinseki announced this expansion of teaming between active and Guard divisions Sept. 14 in a speech at the National Guard Association’s annual conference in Atlantic City, N.J.
Shinseki also announced that 122 Blackhawks and 68 Apache helicopters would be "cascaded" or transferred from AC units to the National Guard under an accelerated timetable. (They were originally scheduled to go to the Guard in fiscal year 2002, he said.)
Shinseki said the recent teaming of 1st Cavalry Division with the Texas Guard’s 49th Armored Division to train for Bosnia went so well that he’s going to "expand that experiment."
"Those alignments are going to bring us to a level of readiness we’ve always talked about getting to," he said. "And this is our commitment to get there. We will all be expected to respond to missions and operational requirements that span the entire spectrum of operation."
The 49th Armored Division has finished its mission of commanding peacekeeping troops in Bosnia. Virginia’s 29th Infantry Division and Pennsylvania’s 28th Infantry Division will command subsequent rotations there.
More information regarding divisional missioning in the war plans would be available within the next few months, Shinseki told the Guard officers. Guard officials said they’ve pushed for division inclusion in the war plans because it would identify specific missions toward which to train.
Division teaming began two years ago as a pilot program, pairing 49th Armored Division with 1st Cavalry Division and California’s 40th Mechanized Division with the Army’s 4th Mechanized Division. (Both 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Mechanized Division are headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas.) Former Army Chief of Staff GEN Dennis Reimer announced this original division teaming at the 1998 National Guard Association conference. It was part of a program to integrate the AC and Reserve Component.
Under division teaming, one division would have the lead in certain areas, and the divisions would share resources. When one division deployed, the other would mobilize to provide replacement operations, Reimer said during his conference speech two years ago.
The Army’s 1st Cavalry Division required more soldiers to mobilize to Bosnia in 1998. Had the Army already begun a pilot program matching active-duty divisions to Guard divisions, those soldiers could have come from the Guard, Reimer said.
The latest announcement also expands last year’s alignment of six Army Guard enhanced brigades to the reactivated 24th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan., and 7th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., as their primary combat forces.
Shinseki’s plan takes the program all the way with all the divisions and enhanced brigades. Under I Corps at Fort Lewis, Wash., California’s 40th Armored Division is teamed with the Army’s 2d Infantry Division in Korea, while the corps also includes three of the Guard’s enhanced brigades: 116th Armored Cavalry Brigade in Idaho, 29th Infantry Brigade in Hawaii and Washington’s 81st Infantry Brigade.
Under III Corps at Fort Hood, 7th Infantry Division’s headquarters at Fort Carson would align with the Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade in Arkansas, 41st Infantry Brigade in Oregon, 45th Infantry Brigade in Oklahoma and 155th Armored Brigade in Mississippi.
The 49th Armored Division remains paired with 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood; Minnesota’s 34th Infantry Division with 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood; and Indiana’s 38th Infantry Division with Fort Carson.
Kansas’ 35th Infantry Division would fall under V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany, along with Louisiana’s 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) and Tennessee’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment. The XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., includes these relationships: 29th Infantry Division with 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.; 28th Infantry Division with 3d Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga.; and New York’s 42d Infantry Division with 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The 24th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan., which falls under the XVIII Airborne Corps, would be aligned with New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade, North Carolina’s 30th Infantry Brigade, Georgia’s 48th Infantry Brigade, Florida’s 53d Infantry Brigade, Indiana’s 76th Infantry Brigade and South Carolina’s 218th Infantry Brigade.
Ms. Patterson is a staff writer for National Guard Magazine.
by Joe Burlas
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – The 2001 Defense Appropriations Act, signed by President Clinton Aug. 9, includes funding to equip two interim brigade combat teams and a 3.7-percent military pay raise.
Army leaders had requested $537 million to stand up a single IBCT in fiscal year 2001. Congress provided the requested amount and an additional $100 million for that first interim brigade. It also funded $500 million to equip a second in the coming year.
"In this bill, funding is provided to procure the first two brigade sets of equipment for the new transformation force," said Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in moving the defense appropriations bill through committee in July. "We’re determined that this new force be equipped as rapidly as possible and intend to maintain this pace of funding in fiscal years 2002 and 2003."
Last October Army leadership established a new vision for the Army: a more mobile, lethal and flexible force for the 21st century. The process to get there is called the Army transformation.
Department of Defense leaders requested $118 million in next year’s Army budget for research and development for testing, integrating and developing an interim armored vehicle. The new Defense Act supports a more aggressive timeline with $268 million for that effort.
The current Army transformation plan eventually calls for six IBCTs: four in the active force, one in the Army Reserve and one in the National Guard.
"This is the strongest plus-up budget the Army has received from Congress in years," said GEN John Keane, Army vice chief of staff. "Both the proposed Department of Defense and Presidential budgets supported the buildup of a single IBCT over the next year. The congressional-appropriations budget adds another brigade, which demonstrates Congress’ solid support to move the Army transformation quickly along."
The FY01 budget also supports quality-of-life programs with more funding. In addition to the 3.7-percent pay raise, Congress added $159 million more than the Army asked for to its real-property maintenance account, which pays bills for family housing and barracks maintenance and renovations.
The Army’s Reserve Component also benefits with the approved Department of Defense budget. Congress shifted monies for two of the new Blackhawk helicopters the Army had requested for the Active Component and gave them to the reserves. It also provides $125 million more for 12 more reserve Blackhawks. Eight will go to the U.S. Army Reserve and six to the National Guard.
The budget also includes $41 million more than the Army’s programmed request for more reserve full-time support technicians.
However, the new Defense Act didn’t fully fund or raise the ante for all Army programs. Some programs which will have shortfalls compared to their budget requests are:
|Javelin missile. Congress cut $51 million from the requested budget. The amount taken is equal to the excess, due to program delays, of this year’s program budget.|
|Army claims activities. Congress cut $40 million from the requested budget. The reasoning is that the Army hasn’t fully used budgeted funds since FY96.|
|Chemical demilitarization. Congress cut $24 million from the requested budget. This is due to program delays and excessive costs for advisory assistance and contract services in the past year.|
In total, the 2001 Defense Appropriations Act gave the Army about $3.2 billion more than it had requested. The Navy got $1.6 billion more than its request, and the Air Force got $269 million more.
Mr. Burlas writes for Army News Service.
by SSG John Scott and Connie Blake
NAHA PORT, Japan – 835th Transportation Battalion, located at Naha Military Port in Okinawa, Japan, recently received a long-awaited replacement of the old A-2 key system to an SL-1 meridian switch.
"Naha Port will no longer have to endure poor-quality telephone lines and an unreliable communications system," noted Sylvia Bentley, 58th Signal Battalion’s assistant director of information management.
"The 30-plus-year-old A-2 system which Naha Port had been relying on wasn’t meeting the community’s needs. Now that the 58th has installed a new SL-1 meridian switch there, maintenance will be a much more efficient process for the soldiers and civilians of the 835th and other tenant activities," Bentley explained.
In addition, this upgrade to a SL-1 meridian switch has eliminated the multiservice troubleshooting desk.
"Basically, the Marine Corps, Air Force and Army were all having a say in how Naha Port troubleshooting problems regarding the former A-2 key system would be handled," Bentley observed. "Needless to say, having the Army as the only point of contact will greatly reduce the amount of time spent on customer service. With a better quality of service, Naha Port won’t have to suffer long periods of downtime and poor-quality lines due to antiquated equipment."
|Shuji Matsuda (left) and Tomohisa Kiyuna of 349th Signal Company's outside-plant section fine-tine Naha Military Port's new digital switch.|
Bentley said the new switch offers Naha Military Port more state-of-the-art communications capabilities, such as Integrated Services Digital Network for videoteleconferencing and the ability to use and access meridian mail from Fort Buckner’s switch. P-phones are also now available to them, which enables them easier access to all the lines in one office. While the number of Class-A lines needed for Naha Port has been reduced, the port now has expansion capability of more than 500 regular lines and eight ISDN lines.
SSG Scott and Ms. Blake are with 58th Signal Battalion.
by SPC Sharron Grinder
FORT GORDON, Ga. – The Chief of Signal, MG Pat Cavanaugh, received his second star Oct. 20.
His rank was pinned on by his wife, Kay, and by LTG William Steele, commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Cavanaugh is the 22d Chief of Signal to have worn the stars that were pinned on during his ceremony. Steele said the stars have been passed down to every Chief of Signal since 1937.
"On the left side of my shoulder, I have the ghosts of former Chiefs of Signal who will hold me to their standards, who will not let me fail," Cavanaugh said. "On the right side of my shoulder, I strongly feel the presence of the Cavanaugh clan, including my father and my uncle and all my Irish ancestors who are proud of me … I am truly humbled."
SPC Grinder is a staff writer with The Signal, Fort Gordon’s post newspaper.
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – In a ceremony here Oct. 31, BG Steven Boutelle was promoted to major general. The promotion ceremony was hosted by LTG Peter Cuviello, the Army’s director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers.
Boutelle has served as the program executive officer for command, control and communications systems since August 1997. He directs integration of systems that tie together all the Army’s battlefield mission areas: maneuver control, fire support, air defense, intelligence and electronic warfare, combat services support, tactical radios, satellite communications and the Warfighter Information Network. This includes a major role in introducing digital technologies integrated into Force XXI.
by Stephen Larsen
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – Do you need software? Does saving between 30 percent and 98 percent of what you’d pay from a General Services Administration schedule sound good to you?
If you answered "yes," you might want to check out the deals offered by the Army’s small-computer program, part of the Communications-Electronics Command’s Systems-Management Center. SCP, as the Army’s software-product manager, used the organization-wide buying power of the Army and Defense Department to negotiate a series of Army and DoD-wide enterprise agreements with computer-software vendors. According to Tom Leahy, acting chief of the SCP office, these deals have already rung up savings and cost avoidance for the government to the tune of nearly $677 million over the last two years – with most of the savings realized this fiscal year.
And it’s all a result of the Enterprise Software Initiative, a joint DoD project to identify, acquire, distribute and manage enterprise software – that is, software in common use across an organization, such as the Army or DoD.
"DoD is a big customer for software," said Leahy. "The DoD ESI Steering Group (under the DoD Chief Information Officer Council) asked vendors, ‘Why aren’t we getting the same discounts as big corporations?’ – and then came up with strategies for how to leverage our buying power to get the discounts."
One strategy the Army devised, said Leahy, was to use the Army Stock Fund to offer upfront "seed" money to vendors who otherwise wouldn’t offer discounts.
"The Army Stock Fund is like a loan account, to support things like logistics processes and intricate resupply processes," explained Leahy. "We (SCP and DoD) thought, ‘Why not use it to resupply software?’" He said that as orders come in, the money customers spend is used to replenish the stock-fund dollars borrowed.
According to Leahy, another key to saving money is to effectively manage software licensing. "Because organizations often don’t know what licenses they already own, they can overbuy licenses on as much as 60 percent of their software portfolio," Leahy said, adding that vendors can’t tell you what you own either. "They can’t track it fully," said Leahy, "because they do so much business through resellers."
Leahy said SCP now maintains a database of who in the Army owns what software licenses – and, through their counterpart software product managers in the other services, of who in DoD owns what software licenses. The result? DoD customers don’t have to buy a license for the same software product over and over again.
"The database also helps SCP to consolidate smaller buyers with larger buyers," said Dee Wardle, product leader with SCP. "If you’re a single buyer, you won’t get a very good deal," said Wardle. "But think of all the buyers in your building – at your base – in your command – who all need the same software. You consolidate them, and that’s where you get a better deal."
Here are the deals currently available:
|DoD-wide enterprise agreements –
|Army-wide enterprise agreements –
If you want to take advantage of these deals, contact SCP at 888-232-4405, or visit SCP’s website at http://pmscp.monmouth.army.mil.
Mr. Larsen works at CECOM's SMC.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Web technology will completely transform the way America’s service members move their households, according to a top Army transportation officer.
The Internet will make the moving process instantaneous, centralized and personalized all at once. That’s the future vision of MG Kenneth Privratsky, commander of Military Traffic Management Command, on the personal-property moves of Defense Department service members.
MTMC is responsible for an average of 646,000 personal-property moves a year for military and civilian employees.
"We have to have vision," said Privratsky.
Web technology will revolutionize the MTMC-managed move of the nation’s military, said Privratsky. A web-based move could, suggested Privratsky, allow a service member to do the following:
|Make the personal-property move arrangements;|
|Obtain airline tickets;|
|Submit claims; or|
|Receive information on customs for overseas assignment.|
"The real challenge we have in the Department of Defense is to see the problem as it is," said Privratsky, "and then partner with industry. The web is providing MTMC with many solutions."
MTMC’s website at www.mtmc.army.mil provides industry information on bid solicitations, policy, procedure and news. Other technological advances are in the future, he said.
by Linda Kozaryn
WASHINGTON – Dick Taylor, Norman Hatch, Donald Honeyman – you may not know their names or faces, but you’ve probably seen their work.
These military photographers captured a lasting visual history of World War II. Taylor was on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Hatch captured the Marines’ triumph atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima. Honeyman was at the liberation of Manila.
The Defense Department paid tribute to the military’s past and present combat cameramen at a recent Pentagon reception and film preview. Defense Secretary William Cohen and his wife, Janet Langhart Cohen, invited more than 250 defense leaders, commanders and corporate executives to the Oct. 4 screening of the Dreamworks film "The Shooting War."
Richard Schickel, a Time Magazine film critic, produced the 90-minute documentary about World War II combat photographers. It includes missing footage shot by Academy Award-winning director John Ford on the beaches of Normandy. Melvyn Paisley, a World War II aviator and former assistant secretary of the Navy, found the several reels of film in 1998 at the national archives.
In opening remarks at the screening, Cohen thanked these men and the other combat photographers who "caught" the images of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo. He said America is indebted to the heroism and the courage of the men and women armed only with cameras who show what the nation’s service members go through and the sacrifices they make.
Cohen, who first saw the film during D-Day commemoration ceremonies in New Orleans in June, said Dreamworks executive and film director Steven Spielberg had asked Schickel not to "pretty it up," and Schickel complied.
"This is not Hollywood," Cohen stressed to the Pentagon audience. "This is real, and you will see scenes that will catch your throat in terms of their emotional impact."
Actor Tom Hanks and historian author Stephen Ambrose narrate the film, which aired on ABC television Dec. 7. "In their hands, the camera became a weapon more potent than a rifle – a weapon whose impact resonates even more powerfully now, as memory is transformed into history," Hanks said as the film opens.
Much of the dramatic, tragic footage was not released in full during the war, Schickel said, because "we didn’t want to show American losses and American pain. Now it’s many years later, and we can show all of that. I think it’s to our advantage to show all the story of World War II, which includes the pain, the suffering, the losses."
The film shows the wounded, the dying, the dead. It depicts the destruction and devastation of war. A Japanese woman tragically throws her baby and then herself off a cliff rather than surrender. Japanese kamikaze pilots crash into U.S. carriers off Okinawa. It also shows Italian dictator Benito Mussolini after his hanging death in Milan and the Jewish corpses of Dachau.
As he worked with the photographers and their footage, Schickel said he realized they were making "an intimate epic," beginning at Pearl Harbor and ending at Nagasaki. The film embraces every branch of the service and many of the most significant battles of World War II, he said, "but it’s told through the eyes of men who were anonymous, for the large part, in gathering this footage."
The documentary highlights more than 20 veteran photographers, who talk about their work recording the realities of war.
"I loved it because it was dangerous," one combat photographer said.
"I’m a ‘fraidy cat,’" admitted another, "but if there was a job to do, I did it."
"No matter how horrible the action was you were covering," still another explained, "when you looked through that glass, that glass was your filter."
"I got carried away one time and got out in front of the gun firing, and that was a big mistake because the muzzle blast got me and knocked me about 40 feet ass over tea kettle," said another.
"I don’t know if these men are part of the ‘Greatest Generation,’" Schickel concluded. "But I do know this: in getting to know them to make this film, their dutifulness, their modesty and their common decency impressed me inordinately, and I think it will impress you."
Prior to the screening, the Cohens’ guests had a chance to view a static display of photos and equipment. Combat-camera personnel from the Army’s 55th Signal Company, Air Force 1st Combat Camera Squadron, Marine Corps Combat Camera and Navy Fleet Combat Camera Group were on hand to answer questions.
The military’s joint combat-camera teams document, process and transmit still and motion imagery to support air, sea and ground combat operations, according to Air Force MSG Chuck Reger, operations chief for DoD’s Joint Combat Camera Center.
"We’re a low-density, high-demand type of organization in all the services," he said. There are only about 360 active duty and 230 Guard and Reserve combat-camera photographers in all, and they play an important role in every contingency operation, training exercise or humanitarian relief mission, he noted.
Whether the mission involves mine-clearing, doing damage surveys, settling disputes among local residents, aiding refugees or documenting war crimes, the military’s combat cameramen are there, said Reger, who’s spent 11 years in combat-camera field units.
"They provide the historical documentation of those events," he said, "but more importantly, they provide a tool for the commanders and decision-makers in the national capitol region to be able to look at events as they unfold and make decisions about what needs to be done."
Ms. Kozaryn writes for American Forces Press Service.
|SGT Angel Medina of 55th Combat Camera Company helps Janet Langhart Cohen heft the parachute he carries in addition to his photographic equipment when he's on a mission. Medina manned a display Oct. 4 as part of the Pentagon reception and preview of the Dreamworks film on combat cameramen called "The Shooting War." Secretary of Defense William Cohen, to his wife's right, invited 250 defense leaders, commanders and corporate executives to the Defense Department's tribute to the military's past and present combat cameramen.|
|A soldier comforts a grief-stricken American infantryman whose buddy had been killed in action. In the background, a corpsman methodically fills out casualty forms in the Haktong-ni area, Korea, Aug. 28, 1950. This poignant photo was taken by SFC Al Chang.|
|The well-known photograph shot by CPT Herman Wall, commander of 165th Signal Photographic Company. Wall and his men landed with the first infantry elements at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, where Wall was badly wounded and pinned down under fire after this photograph was taken. Other combat photographers landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day belonged to Detachment P, 290th Signal Photographic Company; and 249th Joint Assault Signal Company. Twenty-eight men from 101st Airborne Signal Company were also part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.|
by SSG Jack Siemieniec
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera recently said the Army needs more soldiers to meet future worldwide missions.
"I think in the post-Cold War world, soldiers are the strategic forces that help us prevent wars. If that’s the case, and we project to be as busy as we are, then maybe we need a larger Army than we have today," Caldera said. "In the post-Cold War world, it’s your people-to-people forces that prevent wars – that become your key strategic enabler.
"If our security has evolved to the point of saying it’s not just about fighting and winning wars, it is also about preventing wars by our active engagement in the world, you have to resource your principal engagement force," he stressed.
The Army is the principal engagement force for the nation and the service that performs the "lion’s share of humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, military-to-military engagement – which is a way of building confidence among nations in different regions of the world," he said.
"That means two things to me. One, you can’t be a people force without the people. You have to ensure you have the people. If you’re going to use them the way we’ve been using them, we need a larger Army. Two, you have to give the soldiers the tools they need to do the job, both in peace and wartime."
Caldera said an essential part of his and Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric Shinseki’s vision of transforming the Army is a commitment to investing in its people. His new initiative, Army University Access Online, is a distance-learning program that will provide soldiers the opportunity to pursue a college education, regardless of where they are serving.
The first three locations are scheduled to begin operation in January at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Fort Benning, Ga.
"Army University Access Online will give soldiers an information-age, learn-while-you-serve option," Caldera said, "that eliminates many of the obstacles they routinely encounter today trying to earn a college education. The Army University Access Online program will benefit both recruiting and retention, and will produce the better educated, more productive and more technology-savvy soldier our country will need in the missions and battlefields of tomorrow."
It will assure those serving they can leave the Army with the education and the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy, Caldera said. "This is just one of the many ways we’re working to communicate that the Army is still a place of unprecedented opportunity for America’s youth," he said.
SSG Siemieniec is assigned to Army News Service.
by CPT Kevin Bosch
FORT BUCKNER, Japan – Members of 405th Signal Company, 58th Signal Battalion, recently received an historical lesson about the island they live on. As part of the company’s professional-development program, the soldiers (along with some spouses, children and soldiers from other units in the battalion) took a tour covering the famous, bloody Battle of Okinawa during World War II.
SGT Eric Blaydes, 405th’s supply sergeant, researched the battle and led the tour. Blaydes began the field trip with a quick overview of events leading up to the Battle of Okinawa, describing how the battle took place, how it evolved and its significance in the war.
The company then headed south to visit four different sites: Peace Prayer Park, Himayori School Girls-Nurse Corps Museum, the Buckner Memorial and 1st Combined Brigade of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, located at Camp Naha.
Peace Prayer Park is a park and museum dedicated to promoting peace and understanding between nations. The new museum was dedicated during President Bill Clinton’s Okinawa G-8 Summit visit in August.
The museum portion includes several displays of life in Okinawa before, during and after the Battle of Okinawa. Outside in the park there are black granite walls filled with the names of those who died during the battle.
The Himayori School Girls-Nurse Corps Museum pays tribute to more than 200 schoolgirls who were forced to become nurses during the Battle of Okinawa. The site of the museum is at one of the many caves the girls occupied to tend the wounded and the sick. Unfortunately, all the schoolgirl nurses fell victim to the battle.
LTG Simon Bolivar Buckner commanded 10th Army, which had operational control of the Battle of Okinawa. Fort Buckner, location of 58th Signal Battalion headquarters, is named in his honor. There is a small memorial for him at the location where he died. Buckner was killed by artillery fire while visiting the frontline June 18, 1945, just seven days before the battle was over on June 25.
|SGT Eric Blaydes of 405th Signal Company explains the events leading up to LTG Simon Buckner's death at his memorial in Itoman City.|
The group then visited Camp Naha. The company received a command briefing, presentation on the Battle of Okinawa (displayed on a topical relief model of the southern portion of Okinawa) and then took a tour of the Navy tunnels located there. The briefing gave the group a better understanding of what our Japanese military counterparts do on the island.
The highlight of the Camp Naha visit was a tour of the tunnels used by the Japanese Navy during the Battle of Okinawa. After banging their heads a few times on the low ceiling and spending about 10 minutes underground, the group had a much better appreciation for those who had to live for months in those conditions.
"The tour was a great success," said CPT Kevin Bosch, company commander. "Blaydes passed on a lot of great information and kept the day interesting with information and readings about all the various sites. It was a great way to learn more about an important battle in which more than 12,000 American servicemen gave their lives, and more than 200,000 people died in all."
The 405th will continue the tour next spring by seeing more sites and locations associated with the Battle of Okinawa, Bosch said.
CPT Bosch commands 405th Signal Company.
by Anthony Ricchiazzi
Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa. – Tobyhanna is supporting the Army’s effort to standardize the way it tracks and manages electronic keys for communications security.
Electronic keys are the devices that allow secure communications equipment to encrypt or decrypt information, says Stephen Bucklaw, an electronics mechanic in the directorate of communications security and tactical missile systems.
Directorate employees are preparing (or "staging"), fielding and installing Army Key Management System computer workstations worldwide. The mission supports Communications-Electronics Command’s program manager for Warfighter Information Network-terrestrial.
"Basically, the system is composed of computers and associated software to track inventories and help manage communications-security assets at installations worldwide," explained Eric Lassiter, chief of the directorate’s analysis and evaluation division.
The system will eliminate the need to dispose of 500,000 pounds of paper keys per year and, because it has electronic-mail capability, will eliminate paper mail as well. Paper keys have the same function as electronic keys.
AKMS automates the functions of ordering, authenticating, generating, distributing and accounting for information security equipment and keying material. Fielding started July 5.
Mr. Ricchiazzi is a public-affairs specialist with Tobyhanna Army Depot's public-affairs office.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service) – Three Army installations began beta-testing in October of a new identification card with an embedded computer chip containing personnel information. Barring any major complications found during testing, officials said the card will be fielded to the rest of the Army beginning early next year.
The selected Army test sites are Fort Eustis, Va., U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, and Yongson Army Garrison, Korea.
The "common-access card" will replace the current identification card, and officials said it will serve several purposes, including giving users access to Defense Department buildings and controlled spaces, as well as enabling them to log onto DoD computer networks and systems.
"The CAC will radically change the way we do business in the Army," said Dr. Linda Dean, director of the Army’s electronic-commerce office at the Pentagon. "It will save our people time and money, and will streamline many labor-intensive processes. The Army is especially excited about CAC and smart-card technology because we view it as an electronic key to the future – literally opening the door to endless opportunities and possibilities for us to do business better."
Active-duty and selected Reserve military personnel, plus DoD civilian employees at the test installations will be issued the new card that weighs less than an ounce. The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System/Real-time Automated Personnel Identification System, known as DEERS/RAPIDS stations, will issue the CAC.
Depending on the beta test’s outcome, other installation DEERS/RAPIDS stations will be upgraded to issue the CAC beginning next January and continuing through September 2002, according to Dean. Eventually all DoD civilian employees, Active Component, Reserve Component and eligible contractors will receive the new smart card.
Also, most DoD computers will get a security device where users insert or swipe their CAC to log on. This simple procedure will greatly enhance personal and system security because no one, except the CAC holder, can use a computer, name and password without having that person’s CAC, officials said.
The public-key infrastructure, a component coupled with the CAC to provide secure applications, is a technology that provides data protection through authentication and data integrity. PKI adds another layer of electronic security and provides DoD with a powerful weapon to foil attacks by computer hackers on DoD networks and systems, officials said.
The CAC initiative is expected to pay dividends in several areas, officials said, such as improving readiness and strengthening personal and national security. In addition, they said, many paper-based processes will become automated through smart-card technology; therefore, what may have taken days to do may take just hours with a CAC application.
Local personnel offices will provide details on how soldiers and civilians will receive their CAC.
More information about the new identification cards can be found on the Army’s electronic-commerce website at https://www.us.army.mil/suite/portal.do?$p=241504.
by Bill McPherson
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii – Two Army-funded outside-cable rehabilitation projects ongoing here and at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will dramatically enhance the information-technology infrastructure on the U.S. Pacific Rim.
The projects will bring $20 million worth of construction to house thousands of feet of copper cable, fiber-optic strands and conduits, as well as about 200 manholes – all in support of more than 400 buildings at the two installations.
"When completed, Forts Shafter and Wainwright will be ready for follow-on implementation of Army-funded Common User Installation Transport Network hardware and software, which will feature state-of-the-art ethernet technology at gigabit speed," explained COL Randolph Strong, 516th Signal Brigade’s commander.
The OSCAR and CUITN programs have historically been funded only at Army installations within the United States; however, Army program managers earlier this year agreed to expand the programs in the future to U.S. Army installations in Okinawa and mainland Japan.
OSCAR projects will begin at Camp Zama in fiscal year 2003, at Fort Buckner in fiscal 2004 and at Torii Station in fiscal 2005.
"This is exciting news for the U.S. Army Pacific," Strong said. "These OSCAR and CUITN upgrades will result in world-class theater-wide information-infrastructure architecture for USARPAC in the early years of the 21st century."
Mr. McPherson is 516th Signal Brigade’s public-affairs officer.
The third edition of Stackpole Books’ popular Combat Service Support Guide was recently published. The book was revised and restructured to reflect the newest CSS policies, procedures, organizations and methods for use in current divisions and Force XXI divisions, its publishers said.
Information and data are provided for planning and executing CSS in attack, defense, retrograde, military-operations-other-than-war, under adverse weather conditions or in nuclear, biological and chemical conditions. Complete examples for orders, forms and formats are included, as is information on the organization, defense and operations of a support area.
Authored by retired MAJ John Edwards, the book sells for $16.95 and is available in post exchanges or directly from Stackpole Books, telephone 1-800-732-3669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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