Science and Technology News

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Robins AFB earns AFMC's 2012 Facility Energy Excellence Award

Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs

3/29/2013 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, Air Force Materiel Command commander, announced March 26, 2013, that Robins Air Force Base, Ga., won first place in the command's 2012 Facility Energy Excellence Award. Hill AFB, Utah, won second place, and Hanscom AFB, Mass., received third place.

The Facility Energy Excellence Award provides an objective assessment of the installations' energy programs and recognizes efforts in promoting energy reduction, changing the energy culture, and recognizing the performance of the installation facility energy managers. Culture change was weighted at 80 percent, recognizing that the key to energy conservation truly resides in each individual's actions and in active leadership at all levels across the enterprise. Energy reduction was weighted at 15 percent, and water reduction was weighted at 5 percent; these categories capture actual, tangible gains made in energy conservation. The award acknowledges outstanding accomplishments from January 2012 through December 2012.

The cultural change component included energy program leadership, action plans, energy investments and energy awareness. "Culture change" continues to be one of three pillars of the Air Force vision to "make energy a consideration in all we do." The other pillars are "reduce demand" and "increase supply."

Energy reduction was assessed by measuring the actual reduction in energy and water intensity as reported to the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, and compared with the previous year's consumption.

"Each of these installations built a robust Energy Management Program focused on energy reduction and energy culture," said Col. Jeff Todd, AFMC deputy director of Communications, Installations and Mission Support. "Their efforts display great achievements in energy reduction and promotion of cultural change at the installation level and subsequently the MAJCOM.

"This competition is about conserving energy, reducing demand and changing culture," he said, "which results in the reduction of our energy footprint while also helping to improve our energy security posture. Together, let's continue to make energy conservation a consideration in all we do."

Solar farm proposed at Robins AIr Force Base

by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


3/28/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Robins could one day be home to a solar photovoltaic plant.

Georgia Power, in cooperation with the Georgia Public Service Commission, is encouraging new solar development opportunities to help increase the state's solar generation.

The Air Force is offering 57 acres of property here as a potential site for a commercial plant. It is part of a program known as Enhanced Use Leasing.

The proposed site would be on the southwest side of the base.

An Industry Day, hosted by Robins and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center out of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., is scheduled for April 4 for potential developers to learn more about Air Force energy development opportunities and EUL programs and processes, and visit the local site.

"This is a great opportunity for the base to participate in a renewable energy project," said Dave Bury, Base Energy manager.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

WGS-5 Launch Aboard a Delta IV Confirmed for May 8

by Staff
SMC Public Affairs


3/29/2013 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- The launch of the U.S. Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM mission on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle has been placed on the 45th Space Wing range schedule for May 8.

The launch vehicle and spacecraft are both being processed in Florida.

The investigation into the off-nominal performance on the Global Positioning System IIF-3 launch last October is still progressing. Final testing related to the investigation is underway. ULA, Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne, and the Air Force have been working closely on this investigation and have approved processing this mission toward the May 8 launch date. Launch officials have planned investigation closure reviews in mid-April.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

General Discusses Focus on Younger Force, Cyber Capabilities

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 – NATO officials are closely analyzing what the future cyber warrior will look like as the war landscape shifts from air, ground and sea to cyberspace, Allied Command Transformation’s deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and policy said here this week.
In an interview during a March 26 “Young Professionals Forging the Future” event at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Army Maj. Gen. Peter C. Bayer Jr. said it’s time to lean into the younger generation in preparation for new and more complex challenges.

Enhanced e-training and application of cyber skill sets need to be customized to the millennial generation born into, rather than adapting to the information age, Bayer said.

“The folks that are going to solve the problems of 2030 [are] not me; I’ll be doing something else,” the general said. “It’s some 25-year-old already in the uniform of their nation. They already have experience in Afghanistan or somewhere else. They’re going to be the two- or three-star generals or admirals solving problems.”

Bayer said his charge is to develop ongoing training and an open problem-solving environment to tap into the minds of young leaders who can bring an innovative perspective as NATO and its transformation command shift from operational to contingency-based missions.

“I want the junior leaders already in uniform [to be immersed] in this future world of complex problem-solving and begin to develop skills they need to work in an ambiguous uncertain, complex, fast-paced [environment],” Bayer said.

As U.S. forces pivot to the Pacific during the simultaneous drawdown in Afghanistan, Bayer said, NATO priorities should adjust accordingly.

“When Afghanistan is over, we go from an operations-centric alliance to a contingency-based alliance, which means being ready for the next thing, but unsure what that thing might be,” he explained.

And NATO, he added, has played a large role in the United States being able to focus its attention on new challenges.

“The only reason the U.S. can think about shifting priorities and emphasis to the Pacific is because we have a secure flank, and it’s called NATO,” Bayer said. “NATO should see this as an opportunity, not a threat, [as] increasingly, centers of power are going to be in that part of the world -- less so on the traditional East-West axis.”

The general acknowledged the occasional challenges of consensus.

“It’s frustrating to have 28 [nations] trying to work on something, but there’s nothing more powerful than when we get to the point where 28 say, ‘Yep, that’s the answer we can live with,’ because now we’re speaking as one.”

After spending most of the last 20 years in operations since the advent of missions in the Balkans, Bayer said, it’s vital for NATO to update its training concept and revitalize its exercises program, the general said. “I could see the day where the security interests of the alliance will be challenged by some adversary who will employ information, influence, cyber and space,” he added.

The response from the alliance, Bayer said, would not necessarily require the alliance to use air, sea or land forces in the way it traditionally has.

“We’ve already forced [younger people] to operate very decentralized, and they’re ready for it, so we’ve got to figure out now how to get the institutions to catch up.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Officials Unveil Resilience Mobile App for Health Care Providers


From a National Center for Telehealth and Technology News Release

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., March 27, 2013 – Military health care providers now have a mobile application to help keep them productive and emotionally healthy as they cope with burnout and compassion fatigue.

The Provider Resilience app, from the Defense Department’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology, is the first mobile application for health care workers to build resilience for the stress in their lives.

The app is free, and it’s available for Android and Apple mobile devices.

“Dedicated clinicians often put their patients first, and their own needs second,” said Dr. Robert Ciulla, psychologist and director of T2’s mobile health program. “The app was designed to fit easily into the busy lives of health care workers and remind them to be mindful of their own emotional health.”

The app opens with a dashboard that shows a "rest and relaxation" clock, a resilience rating and update buttons that provide easy access to the four main areas affecting the resilience rating: R&R clock, burnout assessment, professional quality of life assessment and resilience "builders and killers." The professional quality of life, or ProQOL, scale, developed at Idaho State University, allows users to rate their secondary trauma.

The personal resilience rating is a combination of the ProQOL assessment, vacation clock, burnout scale and a customizable list of questions that contribute to building or reducing resilience. The burnout scale lets users rate themselves on their feelings of being happy, trapped, satisfied, preoccupied, connected, worn out, caring, on edge, valuable and traumatized.

The app’s toolbox encourages users to reduce stress with restful breaks with educational videos, inspirational cards, patient testimonials and stretching exercises.

The National Center for Telehealth and Technology, also known as T2, serves as the primary Defense Department office for cutting-edge approaches in applying technology to psychological health. T2 is a component center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

AFSO21 helps improve C-5M

by Airman 1st Class Ashlin Federick
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


3/26/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- Using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, Airmen from Dover Air Force Base, Del., were able to improve the reliability and life expectancy of the C-5M Super Galaxy.

AFSO21 is the Air Force's dedicated effort to maximize value and minimize waste in all of our processes.

"We identified the whole process with our Dewars and fire suppression system of the aircraft as being one of the leading causes of downtime for the aircraft," said Master Sgt. Jay Haller, 512th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electro environment person. "Sometimes it was taking three weeks to get an airplane back in the sky because of some of the defects."

In August of 2008 Airmen from AMXS, Maintenance Squadrons, fuel, front line and back line came together to see what they could do to make the system better.

They came up with a lot of ideas but soon realized they weren't going to be able to implement a lot of the fixes at the field level.

In April of 2009 they went to a Product Improvement Working Group at Warren Robbins Air Force Base, Ga., and developed lines of communication with the engineers.

In May of 2009 they put together a Dover Dewar Conference at Dover AFB which included two engineers form Warren Robbins AFB, seven engineers from Lockheed Martin, C-5 Community Maintainers, and people from Parker Hannifin, the manufacturer.

"For two days we had the best and the brightest in one room talking about the system and what we needed to upgrade it," said Haller.

The new system is putting liquid nitrogen, which is negative 320 degrees, into the Dewar tank. This not only helps with aircraft fires but also puts a positive pressure on top of the wings and the fuel systems.

The Dewar and FSS system works by opening up the valves and letting the nitrogen flow through the plumbing into the non-manned areas of the aircraft. Oxygen is pushed out allowing the nitrogen to put out the fire. Also by placing nitrogen into the fuel itself there is no oxygen so there is less chance of having a fire inside the fuel tank.

What has been developed and improved through the AFSO21 process are re-designed valves, a universal wiring harness, an up-graded FSS control panel, and better seals and plumbing.

The first jet having the upgraded system is on Dover AFB in their isochronal maintenance dock.

"The team's work has come to fruition and 100 percent of C-5M aircraft are being retrofitted with the new system," said Chief Master Sgt. Chris Ford, 512th Maintenance Squadron superintendent.

Ford said the system is an improvement that came about through an enterprising teamwork effort spanning across multiple Air Force and Department of Defense agencies.

"The Dewar system augments the congressionally authorized C-5M Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program modernization program and enables an aged aircraft to operate beyond the year 2040 while simultaneously fostering an increase in C-5 reliability, something that has plagued the aircraft over its 40+ year lifespan," said Ford.

Most outstanding Airmen in AFSPC named

by Master Sgt. Kevin Williams
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs


3/27/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- Air Force Space Command named its most Outstanding Airmen of the Year March 27.

The 2012 OAY program recognizes outstanding, active duty professionals in a range of grades representing a cross section of career fields for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements. The AFSPC winners now represent the command at the Air Force-level competition.

Command leaders were quick to acknowledge the winners and wish them luck as they compete at Air Force level.

"I am very proud of the hard work and professionalism of these Airmen," said General William Shelton, Commander, Air Force Space Command. "They clearly represent the very best of our command, and I know they will compete well at the Air Force level. Congratulations to each of our winners!"

The command's top enlisted Airman agreed with the general in extending his congratulations to the best and brightest in AFPSC.

"Congratulations to our Outstanding Airmen," said Chief Master Sgt. Linus Jordan Jr., AFSPC command chief. "Our command's hallmark is great Airmen and these honorees represent the best of the best. We're very proud of, and thankful for, them. We know they will represent the command well at Air Force level!"

This year's winner are:

Company Grade Officer of the Year: Capt. Brian Murray, 318th Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

First Sergeant of the Year: Master Sgt. Michael Wynne, 45th Security Forces Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Master Sgt. Tessa Fontaine, National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, Va.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year: Tech. Sgt. Amanda Caldwell, 91st Network Warfare Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas

Airman of the Year: Senior Airman Jonathan Middleton, 6th Space Warning Squadron, 21st Space Wing, Sagamore, Mass.

Selecting the best of the best from 32 nominations was no easy task for the AFSPC AOY selection panel, as those submitted are among the command's elite.

"The OAY is an opportunity to formally recognize excellence among Airmen," said Senior Master Sgt. Keri Tadder, AFSPC OAY Committee Chairman. "The headquarters received well-written nominations from the field and that is a testament to the frontline supervisors and commanders who develop and lead our AFSPC Airmen every day."

SBIRS GEO-2 launches, improves space-based capabilities

3/27/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- In support of the Buckley missile warning and awareness mission, the second Space-Based Infrared System geosynchronous earth orbit launched into space March 19 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The satellite, called GEO-2, provides more advanced space-based capabilities than Defense Support Program satellites, which are being replaced by the GEO satellites after more than four decades in operation.

"While DSP has been the workhorse for missile warning and missile defense for the last 40-plus years, SBIRS GEO takes us into the next generation with a revolutionary increase in detection capability," said Col. DeAnna Burt, 460th Operations Group commander. "The successful launch of GEO-2 continues to bring greater detection capability to the Overhead Persistent Infrared enterprise. GEO-2 will allow the 460th to provide near real time, high fidelity OPIR data to warfighters around the world."

The capabilities of the GEO-2 involve a new era of overhead infrared surveillance that will deliver unprecedented global, persistent and actionable infrared surveillance. Such resources enable the U.S. and its allies to continuously maintain global situational awareness.

SBIRS persistent surveillance capabilities enable detection and reporting of missile launches around the globe, support the nation's ballistic missile defense system, expand technical intelligence, and gather and bolster situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield.

The GEO-2 was carried by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. The launch team consisted of military, government civilians and contractors from the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

"The successful launch of GEO-2 is a testament to the partnership between industry, the SBIRS Space Program Office and the 460th Space Wing," Burt said.

The U.S. Air Force Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., leads the SBIRS development and acquisition. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., is the payload integrator; and the 14th Air Force operates the SBIRS system.

Information from Los Angeles Air Force Base and United Launch Alliance news releases was used in this article.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Justice Department Issues Business Review Letter to Intellectual Property Exchange International

Department Declines to State Enforcement Intentions Due to Business Model’s Uncertainties and Potential Competitive Concerns

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today declined to state its enforcement intentions regarding the implementation of a proposal submitted by IPXI Holdings LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiary Intellectual Property Exchange International Inc. (IPXI) to develop an exchange for the trading of unit license rights (ULRs) to sets of patents.  The department said that although IPXI’s proposed exchange potentially could benefit the intellectual property (IP) marketplace and encourage innovation through increased licensing efficiency, sublicense transferability and greater transparency, it also potentially raises competitive concerns. Due to the inherent uncertainties and potential competitive concerns associated with IPXI’s novel business model, the department declined to state its enforcement intentions. 

The department’s position was stated in a business review letter to counsel for IPXI from Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
 
IPXI proposes to create a proprietary market for patent licenses.  To do so, the company intends to obtain exclusive patent licenses that it will then sublicense through the sale of tradable instruments called ULRs, which are standardized licenses for defined sets of patents and uses under terms and conditions set jointly with patent holders.  As part of the process, IPXI will review the patent rights at issue by examining validity, current infringement and other issues, and determine market interest to license those patents. 
 
IPXI may become the exclusive licensor of patents or patent bundles that might otherwise compete.  IPXI has proposed certain procedures that might mitigate the likelihood that anticompetitive effects will materialize. However, because IPXI cannot predict in advance the patents or markets that might be at issue, the department is unable to engage in the fact-intensive analysis necessary to assess the likely competitive effects of the proposal.  In addition, given the novelty of IPXI’s proposal, it is possible that other potential competitive concerns may later emerge once IPXI’s platform is operational.
 
Under the department’s business review procedure, an organization may submit a proposed action to the Antitrust Division and receive a statement as to whether the division currently intends to challenge the action under the antitrust laws based on the information provided.  The department reserves the right to challenge the proposed action under the antitrust laws if it produces anticompetitive effects.
 
A file containing the business review request and the department’s response may be examined in the Antitrust Documents Group of the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 1010, Washington, D.C. 20530. After a 30-day waiting period, the documents supporting the business review will be added to the file, unless a basis for their exclusion for reasons of confidentiality has been established under the business review procedure.

Moon landing jump starts general's own space legacy

by Desiree N. Palacios
Air Force News Service


3/26/2013 - FORT MEADE, Md. (AFNS)  -- When Neil Armstrong made history with man's first footsteps on the moon, Susan Helms needed a little nudging from her mom to get excited. And get excited she did. She realized that there would never be another first step on the moon, and even as a young 11-year-old, knew the feat was something special.

Little did she know that a little more than two decades later, then Maj. Helms would be the first woman military astronaut to fly in space.

"I would read books on science, the planets, the universe and nature," Helms said. "I spent a lot of time with my nose in a book."

That interest in science would lead to graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1980, as a member of that first graduating class of women cadets.

Helms began her Air Force career as an F-15 and F-16 weapons separation engineer with the Air Force Armament Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. After going back to school to obtain a Master of Science degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, she would head back to the Academy as an assistant professor of aeronautics.

In 1988, she would spend the year attending test pilot school at Edwards AFB, Calif., where she would graduate as a distinguished graduate and earn the R.L. Jones award for outstanding flight test engineer. Helms would then spend more than two years as a flight test engineer with the CF-18 at Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada.

She would then get the assignment that would catapult her into the history books.

In January of 1990, Helms was selected by NASA to become an astronaut, and after rigorous training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, would officially become an astronaut in July of 1991.

Her first space shuttle flight was aboard the Endeavor in January of 1993, where she and her crew were responsible for deploying a $200 million tracking and data relay satellite. A Diffuse X-Ray Spectometer carried in the payload bay collected more than 80,000 seconds of X-ray data that would help answer questions about the origin of the Milky Way galaxy.

A year-and-a-half later Helms would serve aboard the Discovery as the flight engineer for orbiter operations, with the mission to validate the design and operations of the Lidar in Space Technology Experiment, or LITE. Helms and her team gathered data about the Earth's troposphere and stratosphere, and deployed and retrieved the SPARTAN-201, a free-flying satellite that investigated the physics of the solar corona and the testing of a new spacewalk maneuvering device.

Her third shuttle flight took her aboard the Columbia, where in late June and early July of 1996, Helms was the payload commander and flight engineer on the longest space shuttle mission at the time - a total of 16 days, 21 hours and 48 minutes. The mission included studies by 10 nations and five space agencies and was the first mission to combine a full microgravity studies, as well as a comprehensive life science investigation.

During middle to late May of 2000, Helms performed a mission on Atlantis dedicated to the delivery and repair of hardware for the International Space Station. She also had the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the onboard computer network, and served as a mission specialist for the rendezvous with the station.

During her final mission in March of 2001, Helms lived and worked aboard the International Space Station. She was part of a two American and one Russian team with the mission of conducting tests on the Canadian-built Space Station Remote Manipulator System, conducting maintenance, and medical and science experiments. On March 11, she set a world record space walk of 8 hours and 56 minutes. She would spend a total of 163 days aboard the space station.

After a 12-year NASA career that included 211 days in space, Helms returned to the Air Force in July 2002 to take a position as the chief of the air superiority division at Headquarters, U.S. Air Force Space Command.

In June of 2006, she was appointed a brigadier general and became commander of the 45th Space Wing and Director, Eastern Range, Patrick AFB, Fla. As the wing commander, she was responsible for the processing and launch of U.S. Government and commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Today, Helms is a lieutenant general, assigned as the commander of the 14th Air Force and the Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. She leads a command of more than 20,500 Airmen and civilians responsible for providing missile warning, space superiority, space situational awareness, satellite operations, space launch and range operations.

Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment, Research Pay Off


By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

BETHESDA, Md., March 26, 2013 – Service members who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries and psychological ills can benefit from an intensive four-week program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence here.

Dr. James Kelly, the center’s director, said that when service members with severe TBI fail to respond to conventional medical treatment, they often are referred to NICoE’s program, which finds the best methods to treat their conditions on an individual basis. The patients must also have a co-existing psychological health issue, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety, Kelly said.

“If you add together all of those things in a person, that’s a very complex human condition,” he said. “It is our job to characterize that complex condition … and its effects on the brain, and look at what works to help them.”

The only center of its kind, the Defense Department’s NICoE offers a wealth of medical and alternative approaches for such service members, with medical professionals such as neurologists, therapists and counselors working in an interdisciplinary team approach, Kelly explained.

Because the team members are located in the same facility, he added, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist, for example, could see a patient together, discuss different approaches, and learn from each other. And because the teams comprise a variety of specialists, “every day we can ask, ‘Did we hit the mark?’ and if not, we say “Let’s try something different tomorrow,’” Kelly said.

“Whatever patients need, they get,” the director said, adding that NICoE does not operate in an assembly-line format, but rather as a “compact, intensive care” outpatient program that treats different patients with individualized forms of care that fit their particular needs.

“There’s a whole menu of things we have available to them,” Kelly said. “Not everybody gets the same ‘dose’ of sleep therapy, counseling or acupuncture, [because] everybody’s individual needs are addressed.”
Another key ingredient in treating service members with TBI is having their family members immersed in the treatment plan whenever possible, the doctor said. “We do our best to encourage [families to come to NICoE] because they are affected as well,” he noted.

When service members finish the NICoE program, they are equipped with a thorough discharge summary of their diagnostic evaluations, treatment plans, counseling and rehabilitation work to take home to their doctors, Kelly said.

“We think highly of the existing system and the health care providers,” he added. “Even though we have a unique opportunity that doesn’t exist anywhere else, it’s an unfair comparison to [put NICoE up against] anything else. I fully recognize our colleagues are doing good work.”

Stood up two and a half years ago, NICoE is considered the DOD hub of TBI research, Kelly said. The center also is designed to influence TBI and PTSD treatment in the military health system with its cutting-edge approach.

Located on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, NICoE partners in TBI research with other organizations, including the nearby Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health, among others in academia, Kelly said.

The concept for NICoE began when DOD invited Kelly, a former neurology consultant for the Chicago Bears football team, to join a group of doctors to examine how to treat service members who were exposed to blast injuries and other head trauma, Kelly said.

NICoE was privately funded by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which also oversaw the construction and equipment of the $65 million 72,000-square-foot center. NICoE’s research, education and patient care have proven so successful, Kelly said, satellite clinics around the country now are in the works.

“We’re being seen as a model to export, rather than just consult, on cases, so the project has led to satellite clinics because of the success of [our] concept,” Kelly said.

Like NICoE, the clinics will be built with $100 million in philanthropic donations through the work of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The clinics will be built at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Forts Bliss and Fort Hood in Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Camp Lejeune, N.C.

NICoE officials estimate each of those clinics will see about 1,200 patients with TBI and PTSD per year. The most severe combat-related cases will still be cared for at the NICoE here.

The clinics also will benefit from NICoE’s advanced research practices. Service members fill out questionnaires before and after their stay, Kelly said. “We compare the differences” he added,, “and they are striking.”

The staff also observes service members’ actions and records vital signs to show changes, he said. Relief from headaches, sleep disturbances, balance issues and vision concerns improves the quality of their lives are noted, Kelly said. Patient data is compiled and used in NICoE’s research work to determine which treatments seem to help service members the most.

Another measure of success in the program is when former patients visit NICoE to advise the staff of how much their lives have changed for the better since their treatment, the director said.

Kelly said he sees the future of TBI research as “very specific” to characterize TBI on anatomical, physiological and emotional levels. Researchers also will look at the best forms of intervention that help to relieve symptoms and treat basic issues.

“We need to know what a person’s concussion looks like, compared to another’s,” he said. “Why do some people recover more quickly than others, and what can we do to help them?”

So far, the NICoE staff knows that certain approaches produce success, such as the patients’ complete immersion into the intensive care program and the interdisciplinary team approach, Kelly said. And when service members realize they have a TBI diagnosis and accompanying psychological issues that are real and treatable, they feel relieved and appreciate knowing there’s something to work on, Kelly said. “They’re validated by that,” he added.

The center’s director emphasized again that his staff’s ability to help patients doesn’t mean they weren’t getting good care before they were referred for the NICoE program.

“Our successes with patients who have been through [another] system should not be seen as a reflection of inadequate care,” he said. “Our job is to try something new, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Monday, March 25, 2013

New York Air National Guard crews return from South Pole season

by Courtesy Story

3/22/2013 - STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Scotia, N.Y. -- Several Capital Region aircrew members of the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing returned to Schenectady County Airport here Thursday night after a long trip back from Antarctica.

The unit's redeployment marks the 25th anniversary of Antarctic operations for the 109th Airlift Wing.

The return of the final "skibird" marks the official end of the unit's support to Operation Deep Freeze for this year and a milestone for the wing.

The 109th Airlift Wing made its first trip to Antarctica in January 1988, supporting the Navy mission at the time. The wing made its first full year of Antarctic operations in 1989.

Since then, the 109th completed 25 seasons of flying in one of the harshest environments in the world with an accomplished safety record, resulting in no fatalities or excessive aircraft damage. While operating in this hazardous region, the wing completed a 10-year average of more than 3,000 flying hours each Antarctic season, more than most Air Force units complete in an entire year of operations.

Antarctic operations for the 109th have evolved over the years. In 1988 the unit deployed two aircraft, assisting the Navy, which had supported the South Pole mission since 1969. The Navy transferred that mission to the Air Force in 1989 and since that time the 109th Airlift Wing has been responsible for all the heavy airlift on the continent.

"We started out doing just pole missions with the Navy handling the camp lifts," said Senior Master Sgt. Mike Messineo, a flight engineer who served on the first mission in 1988. "All the crew used to be together in one room in bunk beds. We called it the ant farm."

Flight operations in Antarctica are conducted in support of the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through the Division of Polar Programs in its Geoscience division, NSF coordinates all U.S. research on the southernmost continent and aboard vessels in the Southern Ocean. The agency is also responsible for providing all of the logistical support required to carry out that research.

"When we go out to the deep field there are always challenges," said Maj. Joseph J. DeConno, an LC-130 navigator and chief of current operations. "A great deal of hard work goes into planning and executing every deep field mission but it pays off knowing we are supporting the NSF with new discoveries all over the continent! It's some of the most challenging flying I've ever experienced and every flight is unique," he said.

The 109th has played an integral part establishing the remote camps, often the first aircraft and personnel to ever arrive in that part of the continent. Over the past 25 years, the 109th Airlift Wing helped establish more than 100 remote sites for exploration and research. This year, 14 sites were active, including South Pole Station. Sustainment of these remote locations requires the capability of the heavy airlift aircraft to provide enough fuel, equipment and supplies to keep researchers safe and able to conduct their work. All of the field camps and the South Pole Station require ski take-offs and landings and many have ungroomed surfaces, supportable only by the skibirds of the 109th Airlift Wing.

An example of the capability of the LC-130 skirbird is the South Pole Station. Completed in 2008, nearly all of the construction material needed to build the station was carried in by the 109th. To complete the station, the wing flew more than 925 flights transporting more than 24 million pounds of cargo.

This year's 2012-13 season, the 109th Airlift Wing completed 310 total missions, flying 2,219 hours and transporting 6.4 million pounds of cargo and fuel, the equivalent weight of 428 adult male African elephants. The wing also airlifted 3,602 passengers to and around the frozen continent.

An unprecedented wind storm buried the primary landing field near McMurdo Station on Dec. 7, 2012, and a dark layer of mineral dust caused roads and the airfield to deteriorate. Conditions became unstable for the wheeled aircraft that normally support the station, such as the U.S. Air Force C-17 or the Australian Antarctic Program's Airbus A-319. All transportation to and from the continent was left in the hands of the 109th Airlift Wing for the next seven weeks.

"We always encounter obstacles during the challenging Deep Freeze season, but this year's were significant because of the unusual natural event that cut off the continent from normal support," said Pacific Air Force Maj. Gen. Russell J. Hardy, Director of Operations, Plans, Requirement and Programs. "The LC-130s stepped up, proving that military support to the U.S. Antarctic program is vital."

The 109th Airlift Wing deployed six ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft to Antarctica in late October 2012, the start of the summer season at the South Pole and based at the McMurdo Station. Crews fly from the Sea Ice Runway or Pegasus Field airstrips.

"I am continually impressed with the professionalism and performance of the members of the 109th," said Maj. Blair Herdick, LC-130 navigator and chief of Antarctic operations at the wing. "This year was a particularly challenging year for us due to the number of deep field open snow camps, weather, supporting an increased number of flights between Christchurch and McMurdo and the deteriorated conditions of Pegasus Field. We overcame all of these challenges and had another successful year. I am more proud than ever to be a member of the 109th."

Vannorsdall, 14th Air Force and JFCC Space's top enlisted leader to retire

by Maj. Stacie N. Shafran
Director, 14th Air Force Public Affairs


3/22/2013 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Chief Master Sgt. Dennis Vannorsdall, 14th Air Force command chief and senior enlisted leader, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, will retire March 29, 2013, after 30 years of service.

Vannorsdall began his assignment here Aug. 1, 2011. His leadership spanned the Department of Defense Space Enterprise, comprised of Air Force, Army, Marine, and Navy forces, including five Air Force wings with 155 units at 44 worldwide locations.

The chief, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, enlisted in the Air Force in May 1983. He married his wife, Kate, following basic training and security specialist training. They have two children, Nicholas, 26, and Lucas, 20.

Vannorsdall's background includes extensive leadership experience in security forces, and enlisted professional military education. He served as a security forces squadron and group superintendent before becoming a command chief master sergeant at the wing, air expeditionary wing, and numbered Air Force levels. His career afforded him opportunities to serve around the U.S. and overseas.

A combat veteran, Vannorsdall has deployed four times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The community is invited to the retirement ceremony. It will be held at 2 p.m. at the Pacific Coast Club.

Yokota Theater goes digital

by By Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


3/24/2013 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Since 1971, the theater at Yokota Air Base, Japan, has provided service members with the latest Hollywood flicks through 35mm filmstrip rolls. More than 40 years later and almost a century since film began ruling the movie industry, the base theater is converting to a digital format.

The Yokota Theater is scheduled to update its facility April 9, 2013, taking about four days to complete the $150,000 project. The first digital movies should begin showing here April 13, 2013, according to Sgt. 1st Class Jon Cupp, Army & Air Force Exchange Service Pacific Region Public Affairs officer.

"Upgrades to the Yokota Theater will include a new digital projector, sound system and screen that can better project 3-D images," Cupp said. "Prior to the upgrade, the Yokota Theater could not play 3-D movies. Now, moviegoers will be able to see all the latest 3-D films and enjoy superior sound and visual presentations not possible with 35mm film."

Cupp added that moviegoers at locations where Exchange-operated theaters convert to digital will immediately notice an expanded availability and selection.

"Typically, Exchange theaters overseas show movies a week after stateside release. However, the digital versions are air mailed from the U.S.," Cupp said. "Because digital conversion eliminates the need to rotate a limited number of analog prints from theater to theater, film offerings are expected to reflect greater immediacy as the newest movies will be available to all overseas locations at the same time."

Along with providing an all-around better movie experience for the base community, the digital conversion also lends to many conveniences for the theater staff.

The old system of 35mm systems required a certified projectionist to run the reels. The new digital system plays a movie with a press of a few buttons. A digital drive is inserted into a computer and is projected in high resolution onto the screen. The movie cannot be played without the password that is sent to the designated theater through e-mail.

For those wondering how the Air Force can afford such an improvement to a base theater with the abundance of budget cuts going on, Cupp said, "Because movie operations are a service of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, the Air Force does not incur any expenses in the operation of theaters." He added that going digital is a more cost effective format as it costs less when it comes to shipping and maintenance.

According to AAFES Headquarters, while there are no immediate plans to change ticket prices for 2-D movies ($4.50-$5.50 for an adult and $2.25 to $2.75 for children), a new option with digital implementation will be to see films in 3-D. Ticket prices for these films (which will include a complimentary pair of 3-D glasses) will range from $6.50-$7.50 for an adult and $4.25-$4.75 for a child. According to the National Association of Theater Owners Web site, the average cost of a movie ticket in the U.S. is $7.93. Movie ticket pricing is dynamic, but the Exchange remains committed to offering the best entertainment value possible.

Frances Kilbane, Yokota Theater supervisor, said he is looking forward to the base theater providing a 3-D experience.

"The upgrades should be neat, and they might bring more people to the theater because we can now better compete with off-base theaters," Kilbane added.

"We're thrilled to be able to provide our customers with a new, state of the art theater experience and something that will definitely make them excited about going back to the movies," Cupp said. "We're hoping that all of our military service members will take advantage of the newly upgraded theater. Everything we've been doing with the upgrades has been done with benefitting our customers in mind."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Science fair leads to first and only woman as SecAF

3/22/2013 - FORT MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- In a field dominated by boys, especially during the mid 1950's, a young high school junior in Tacoma, Wash., was determined to win her local science fair. Borrowing a small piece of uranium from her uncle, who worked for a mining company, the student created a model of atoms and set up a display to explain the science behind radioactive decay.

She not only won the science fair, but so impressed the science community, she drew the attention of MIT alumni who encouraged her to follow her dreams, starting with getting her education from one of the nation's top science and technology universities.

Accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that young science student was one of only 20 women, out of a freshman class of 1,100. More than three decades later, and a stream of firsts in the aeronautics and astronautics field, Sheila Widnall would become the first woman secretary of the Air Force, and, to date, the only woman to serve as a secretary of a military service.

Taking the helm of the Air Force on Aug. 6, 1993, Widnall spent more than four years overseeing the readiness, training and equipping of a force of more than 380,000 active duty Airmen, 251,000 Guard and reservists and more than 180,000 civilians. During her tenure as secretary of the Air Force, Widnall focused on quality of life issues, modernization, acquisition reform and scientific development.

The MIT professor took over the job of Air Force modernization at a time when the Cold War was pretty much over and the Gulf War had been relegated to the history books and the services were working with sharply reduced budgets.

While secretary, Widnall was involved with the unveiling of the C-17 airlifter program and was witness to the early flights of the F-22 Raptor. Her aeronautical expertise was invaluable during this period, especially when dealing with Congress and explaining complex Air Force programs to those on Capitol Hill.

In addition to finding ways to do more with less, Widnall also focused on modernization and the future. She streamlined the acquisition process and explored the use of privatization at just about every level - from base services to depot maintenance to computers.

Widnall also saw the importance of individual Airmen, struggling with pilot retention and focusing on quality of life programs that impacted the entire family.

Widnall was no stranger to the Air Force and government service before her selection to lead the service, appointed by President Jimmy Carter to two three-year terms as to the board of visitors at the Air Force Academy, and on an advisory committee to the Military Airlift Command (now AMC), as well as to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

But as well-known and popular as she was as secretary of the Air Force, Widnall is best known for her impact on academia. After earning a bachelor's, masters and doctorate from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics, she was awarded a faculty post as assistant professor in mathematics and aeronautics.

By 1974 she had been elevated to full professor status, and from 1975 to 1979 served as head of the division of fluid mechanics and for the next 11 years as the director of the fluid dynamics laboratory. She specialized in the theories and application of fluid dynamics, especially in the area dealing with problems of air turbulence created by rotating helicopter blades. She also spent time focusing on aircraft that make vertical, short take-offs and landings. Over the years, she has authored more than 70 papers dealing with various areas of fluid dynamics.

For Sheila Widnall, following her dream nearly 60 years ago has resulted in a legacy that will make a permanent impact on the Air Force and the field of aviation science.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rescue Wing supports successful rocket launch

920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

3/20/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -- Air Force Reserve combat-search-and-rescue Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a Space Based Infrared System GEO-2 satellite, Tuesday at 5:21 p.m., from Launch Complex 41 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The launch of SBIRS GEO-2 continues the replacement of the Defense Support Program (DSP) constellation, which has been in operation since 1960. The SBIRS GEO-1 was launched May 7, 2011, also from Cape Canaveral AFS.

A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and Cape Canaveral AFS provided vital support to this launch, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.

Rescue Wing Airmen who pilot the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter take to flight several hours before all scheduled launches from Cape Canaveral AFS to secure the Eastern Range. They patrol the stretch of the Atlantic Ocean beneath the launch trajectory ensuring no mariners veer into harm's way of potential rocket debris hazards.

Range clearing is one of the many tasks that the Airmen of the 920th RQW are charged with. The premier combat-search-and-rescue wing Airmen are trained to provide search and rescue services in humanitarian and combat environments.

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Statement From March 20 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Law Enforcement and Privacy



Michael Toscano, president and chief executive officer of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a March 20 hearing on “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations.”

A statement released by AUVSI reads as follows: “The industry fully understands the technology is new to many Americans, and their opinions are being formed by what they see in the news. Today’s hearing is an excellent opportunity to address some misconceptions about the technology and discuss how it will actually be used domestically
.Unlike military UAS, the systems most likely be used by public safety agencies are small systems, many weighing less than 5 pounds, with limited flight duration. As for weaponization, it is a non-starter. The FAA prohibits deploying weapons on civil aircraft. And for the record: AUVSI does not support the weaponization of civil UAS...As we focus on the use of UAS by law enforcement, it is important to recognize the robust legal framework already in place, rooted in the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution and decades of case law, which regulates how law enforcement uses any technology - whether it is unmanned aircraft, manned aircraft, thermal imaging, GPS, or cell phones. 

Safeguarding people’s privacy is important to my industry, as well. Last year, AUVSI published a Code of Conduct explicitly directing users to respect individual privacy. AUVSI also endorsed guidelines published by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for the use of unmanned aircraft by law enforcement. These guidelines were not only praised by our industry, but the ACLU as well. AUVSI strongly opposes any misuse of UAS technology. Just like with any technology, those who abuse it should be held accountable. In conclusion, AUVSI believes all stakeholders can work together to advance this technology in a thoughtful way that recognizes the benefits and fuels job creation, while protecting Americans’ safety, as well as their rights.”
 
To read the full statement, click here. http://www.auvsi.org/AUVSI/AUVSINews/AssociationNews/

Emergency management team's on-scene

by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


3/20/2013 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- "For the first day of the exercise, I think we did well," said Staff Sgt. Zack Kilmer, 35th Civil Engineer emergency management craftsman, "We got here quickly and we took care of the problem the way we've been trained."

The emergency management team set the bar with the base' s first operational readiness exercise of the year.

Late this morning, as part of the exercise, emergency management teams participated in a scenario where a simulated biological hazard was discovered at the Richard Bong Theater.

Although each emergency responder has been trained in dealing with hazardous material, it is always a new experience when working with other responders, said Kilmer.

"When we're not dealing with real world situations we're always training and updating our skills," said Kilmer, "However, it's an entirely new experience when working with others. Now you're not just worrying about yourself and what your team is doing, but you're keeping track of everyone else."

However, Kilmer added, participating in exercises like this gives emergency response teams the opportunity to work on things that are not that they don't really have to worry about on their own.

"Communication is key in this game," said Master Sgt. Ronald D'aniello, 35 CE exercise evaluation team member. "We don't get to talk to the others [first responders] like we do during the exercise. When we're all together like this, it's easier."

Despite not dealing with other responders on a daily basis, the teams did well together.
"I think we did very well," said Kilmer. "We got everybody out here on time and we did our jobs like the professionals we are."

"I am very proud of the way things went," said Senior Master Sgt. Dorian Dillon, 35th CES superintendent of fire emergency services flight. "People showed a lot of hard work and improvement. It was evident everyone was making an effort to get smarter and showed a great sense of realism and urgency."

AFSPC Space and Missile Pioneers - Col Quenten A. Riepe & Dr. Robert M. Salter, Jr.

3/13/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- As we celebrate Air Force Space Command's 30th Anniversary we recognize individuals who played a significant role in the history of the Air Force space and missile programs - our Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers ...

This week we recognize Colonel Quenten A. Riepe, USAF and Dr. Robert M. Salter, Jr.,

Colonel Quenten A. Riepe
played an important role in Air Force space history as the first project manager for the defense satellite program. As Chief of the Flight Research Lab at Wright Air Development Center (WADC), Col Riepe completed one of the first space utility and feasibility reports to determine methods and goals. Also, Col Riepe's RAND liaison officer duties on the Advanced Reconnaissance System, MX-2226 (Project 1115) involved overseeing many aspects of the development of reconnaissance satellites: attitude, guidance, and control; a solarelectrical energy converter; intelligence processing methods; the auxiliary power plant; and the effects of nuclear radiation on electronic components.

Four months after the Soviets launched Sputnik I, Col Riepe, Chief, Facilities and Test Division, WDD, for the Discoverer satellite system, was responsible for construction of pads and the assembly building to support the firing of the first Air Force research and development satellite. Col Riepe was the Director of Program 437, the Air Force's first operational antisatellite system. Col Riepe was credited with developing many of the basic concepts of space launch and satellite control.

Read More:http://www.afspc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100405-057.pdf

Dr. Robert M. Salter, Jr., a scientist who specializes in elementary particle physics and applied physics, has made significant contributions to America's space program. He has been associated with such programs as the Kettering Missile project, the MX-770 project, RAND's Project Feedback, Pied Piper, and CORONA.

Dr. Salter worked with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company as Manager of the Satellite Branch. During that assignment, he devised a list of military defense missions attainable by satellites: infrared missile detection; nuclear detonation detection; film recovery; special electronic intelligence; and side lobe radar schemes.

Dr. Salter also was involved in the CORONA project and worked on second source ICBM parametric design studies.

Dr. Salter continued his work on the development of U.S. defense technology through the 1980s and into the 1990s, contributing to efforts such as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and other programs including free electron lasers, fusion power, electric guns, underground high speed trains, electron beam weapons, underwater autonomous sensors, and an ultra lightweight fission reactor designed for use in the antiballistic missile (ABM) program as well as future interplanetary missions to Mars. During the 1980s, he also revisited the world of reconnaissance satellites as a consultant with ITEK.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

45th Space Wing Launches Second SBIRS GEO Satellite

Release Number: 020313

3/19/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -- The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the second Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-2 satellite into orbit from Space Complex 41 at 5:21 p.m. on March 19.

A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th Space Wing provided support to the mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.

The launch of SBIRS GEO-2 continues the replacement of the Defense Support Program (DSP) constellation, which has been in operation since 1960. The SBIRS GEO-1 was launched May 7, 2011, also from CCAFS.

"This spacecraft will provide next-generation missile warning, missile defense, and battlespace characterization for the next two to three decades," said Lt. Col. Paul Konyha, 45th Launch Support Squadron commander.

"Once again, the entire team worked hand-in-hand to make this another successful launch for the Air Force and our nation," said Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, 45th Space Wing commander. "Our hats go off to them for all their hard work."
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cutting-edge technology: Computer-assisted surgery

by Airman 1st Class Omari Bernard
JBER Public Affairs


3/14/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska -- The sharp whine of a saw fills the room as a surgeon prepares to do his job.

The surgeon prepares to make an incision, yet instead of looking at the patient, he looks to the computer screen next to the operating table.

He plans the procedure by what he sees on the screen.

"The 673d Surgical Operations Squadron on JBER prides itself on providing cutting-edge surgical care to our base population and beneficiaries here in Alaska," said Air Force Lt. Col. Benjamin Kam, commander of the 673d Surgical Operations Squadron.

Air Force Maj. Tom Paynter, an orthopedic surgeon with the 673d Surgical Operations Squadron, performed the first computer-assisted total hip replacement in the state of Alaska using the Stryker Navigation System. He was able to free his patient from the shackles of pain and give him a new lease on life.

An orthopedic surgeon is a surgeon who deals with musculoskeletal concerns.

Acute fracture care, injuries to ligaments, and some chronic musculoskeletal conditions can be treated by joint replacement.

"Joint replacement is performed for end-stage arthritis that can no longer be treated by addressing the severe daily pain," Kam said. "Other procedures may be performed that can be life-altering when the arthritis is less severe."

"A joint replacement involves putting in a combination of metal and polyethylene, which is a fancy plastic," explained Paynter. "It can replace a damaged or arthritic joint.

"The joints that are inserted have to last many years, decades hopefully," Paynter explained. "The goal with computer-assisted surgery is to aid the surgeon in making
sure that the implants for the joint replacement line up ideally so they have minimum wear, function better and last longer."

With computer-assisted surgery the surgeons use computers to help guide where the components should be or where the implant should line up.

Paynter mentioned that over the last five to ten years, computer-assisted surgery has become more popular.

"The surgeon is still making the incision and doing all the hands-on work," Paynter said. "We just have the computer sensors assist us in making the cuts in the bone and
the cuts in the skin, in order to hopefully have a better functioning device and a patient with an implant that lasts longer."

Patients are informed beforehand if computer assistance will be used.

"I tell my patients that I will be using a navigation device or computers to assist with the surgery," Paynter said. "They seem open to the idea. People feel it's a benefit."
According to Paynter, studies have shown there are fewer outliers with computer-assisted surgery - which means that implants are closer to their ideal location.

That adds up to fewer complications. There are still many studies that are ongoing to determine the benefits.

Computer-assisted surgery is not a shortcut, however.

Paynter explained surgery time is extended anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes based upon the studies.

"Those of us who do the surgery think it is worth the extra time to do the implants in the proper location to have a good functioning implant for 20 to 30 years down the road," he continued.

Orthopedic surgeons like Paynter take pride and are gratified by what they can do for others.

"Its an extremely rewarding job," Paynter said. "Especially dealing with a lot of young active-duty patients.

"To get them back to the same level of activity following an injury and allowing them to return to duty and perform the athletic activities that they like to do is extremely gratifying."

DOD Officials Cite Advances in Cyber Operations, Security

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 – A transformation is under way in the Defense Department’s understanding and treatment of cyber requirements in everything from communication networks to military operations in cyberspace, DOD officials told a House panel here yesterday.

Teresa M. Takai, DOD’s chief information officer, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, and others testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Beginning with information technology investments that support mission-critical operations in DOD offices, in combat zones and around the world, Takai said the department is undertaking an ambitious effort to restructure how its many IT networks are constructed, operated and defended.
DOD operates in more than 6,000 locations around the world. Its IT services have 3.7 million users and support the needs and missions of three military departments and more than 40 defense agencies and field activities.

“In contrast to today's network, in which each military department differs in its approach to and design of cyber defense,” Takai told legislators, “ … the department is aligning its IT networks into a Joint Information Environment [to restructure] our networks … our computer centers, our computing networks and cyber defenses to provide a single joint cyber security approach that is common across the classified, secret and coalition networks.”

JIE will change the way DOD assembles, configures and uses new and legacy information technologies. Its enterprise-level network operations centers will reduce the complexity and ambiguity of controlling numerous networks, Takai said in her written testimony.

A single-security architecture will reduce the number of organizationally owned firewalls and unique routing algorithms, and will make information routing more efficient, she added.
DOD has refined the JIE concept, Takai told the panel.

“We've concluded that we can achieve all the department's cyber security goals,” she said, “But, just as importantly, still have better joint warfighting decision support, better operational and acquisition agility and … better efficiencies.”

Other ongoing efforts include deployment and use of cyber security identity credentials for users of DOD’s secret network, continuous network monitoring for vulnerabilities, implementing policies supportive of DOD efforts to minimize risk from supply chain vulnerabilities, and establishing voluntary cyber information-sharing efforts with the defense industrial base.

“We have a new focus on the development of secure communications for presidential and senior leader communications, nuclear command and control, and continuity of government,” Takai said, “[and] we're working with other federal agencies to ensure that we have the ability to communicate at all times.”

Takai’s office is working to ensure that the department's position, navigation and timing infrastructure is robust, the CIO added, and her office recently issued the DOD commercial mobile device strategy and implementation plan that allows DOD personnel to use commercial mobile devices in classified and unclassified environments.

In his testimony to the panel, Alexander highlighted five Cybercom priority areas, including building and training a ready workforce, establishing command and control and doctrine for operating in cyberspace and determining how Cybercom works with the combatant commands.

Other priorities, he said, are developing situational awareness in cyberspace, implementing a defensible architecture for DOD through the Joint Information Environment, and establishing the necessary authorities, policies and standing rules of engagement to operate in cyberspace.

“We’re working with the Defense Department, the White House and the interagency,” Alexander said, “to set up standing rules of engagement -- what I'll call the way in which we would actually execute” in response to a cyberattack on critical infrastructure, for example, from a foreign adversary on the United States.

“Right now, those decisions would rest with the president and the [defense] secretary,” the general explained. “And they would tell us to execute … think of this as missile defense, but missiles in real-time.”

Alexander said he thinks it’s reasonable “that when our nation is under attack, whether it's physical attack or cyberattack, the Defense Department will do its part to defend the country.”

The issue, he said, “is when does an exploit become an attack and when does an attack become something that we respond to?”

The general called the determination of cyber rules of engagement a learning process, “that changes fundamentally the way we've defended the nation from a kinetic perspective, to how we're going to have to defend the nations from a cyber perspective.”

Critical to Cybercom’s ability to defend the nation are both cyber cadre the command is developing with the help of the services, and a critical partnership with industry, Alexander said.

In his written testimony, Alexander said a Cyber National Mission Force and teams will help defend the nation against national-level threats, a Cyber Combat Mission Force and teams will be assigned to the operational control of individual combatant commanders, and a Cyber Protection Force and teams will help operate and defend DOD’s information environment.

A fourth set of direct support teams will provide analytic support, he added.

Each cyber mission team is being trained to a common and strict operating standard, he added, so they can be online without putting at risk the nation’s own military, diplomatic, or intelligence interests.

The second critical need for Cybercom is a partnership with industry. Protections for Internet service providers and other companies that are willing to work with the government to help detect and stop cyberattacks were spelled out in cyber legislation that failed to pass the Senate last year.
“We cannot see attacks going against Wall Street today,” Alexander said. “Somebody has to tell us, and if we're going to be able to react to it in time to have favorable results, we need to know that at network speed so that we can react at network speed.”

That partnership “is where the legislation is going to be important,” Alexander said.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Clapper Places Cyber at Top of Transnational Threat List

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – Ten years ago, the idea that cyber posed a leading threat against the United States would be laughed at. But no one is laughing any more.

James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today, and cyber led off his presentation of transnational threats.

Threats are more diverse, interconnected and viral than at any time in American history, the director said.

“Attacks, which might involve cyber and financial weapons, can be deniable and unattributable,” he said in his prepared testimony. “Destruction can be invisible, latent and progressive.”

In such a world, the role of intelligence grows, and finding ways to increase the efficiency of the intelligence community becomes paramount, Clapper said. “In this threat environment, the importance and urgency of intelligence integration cannot be overstated,” he added. “Our progress cannot stop. The intelligence community must continue to promote collaboration among experts in every field, from the political and social sciences to natural sciences, medicine, military issues and space.”
Clapper explained that cyber threats are broken into two terms: cyberattacks and cyberespionage. Cyberattacks aim at creating physical effects or to manipulate, disrupt or delete data. “It might range from a denial-of-service operation that temporarily prevents access to a website to an attack on a power turbine that causes physical damage and an outage lasting for days,” he said. Cyber espionage refers to stealing data from a variety of sources.

The threat is growing, Clapper said, but is not here just yet. “We judge that there is a remote chance of a major cyberattack against U.S. critical infrastructure systems during the next two years that would result in long-term, wide-scale disruption of services, such as a regional power outage,” Clapper said.

State actors with the skills to do this, such as Russia and China, are unlikely to launch such an attack, he said, and other states or organizations do not have these skills.

“However, isolated state or nonstate actors might deploy less sophisticated cyberattacks as a form of retaliation or provocation,” he added. “These less advanced but highly motivated actors could access some poorly protected U.S. networks that control core functions, such as power generation, during the next two years, although their ability to leverage that access to cause high-impact, systemic disruptions will probably be limited.”

A number of attacks already have taken place, including numerous denial-of-service attacks against U.S. banks. In August, someone attacked the Saudi oil company Aramco, rendering 30,000 computers unusable.

A more insidious cyber threat comes from foreign intelligence and security services that have penetrated numerous computer networks of U.S. government, business, academic and private-sector entities, Clapper said. “Most detected activity has targeted unclassified networks connected to the Internet, but foreign cyber actors are also targeting classified networks,” he said.

“Importantly, much of the nation’s critical proprietary data are on sensitive, but unclassified, networks -- and the same is true for most of our closest allies.”

Cyber thieves and spies are targeting and collecting sensitive U.S. national security and economic data, almost certainly allowing adversaries to close the military technological gap, Clapper said.
“It is very difficult to quantify the value of proprietary technologies and sensitive business
information and, therefore, the impact of economic cyber espionage activities,” he acknowledged. “However, we assess that economic cyber espionage will probably allow the actors who take this information to reap unfair gains in some industries.”

U.S, intelligence agencies track cyber developments among terrorist groups, activist hackers and cyber criminals, the intelligence director said. “We have seen indications that some terrorist organizations have heightened interest in developing offensive cyber capabilities,” he added, “but they will probably be constrained by inherent resource and organizational limitations and competing priorities.”

Activist hackers -- known as “hacktivists,” -- target a wide range of companies and organizations in denial-of-service attacks, but intelligence professionals have not observed a significant change in their capabilities or intentions during the last year, Clapper said.

“Most hacktivists use short-term denial-of-service operations or expose personally identifiable information held by target companies, as forms of political protest,” he said, adding that this could change.

Cyber criminals also threaten U.S. economic interests. “They are selling tools, via a growing black market, that might enable access to critical infrastructure systems or get into the hands of state and non-state actors,” the director said. Some companies abet these groups, he told the panel, selling computer intrusion kits to all comers.