Current Issue Banner Archives      

K.L. Vantran, American Forces Press Service

American Soldier as Time's Person of the Year 'A Fitting Tribute,' Says Myers

 

 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2003 - The American soldier, Time magazine's choice for Person of the Year, is "exactly right," the nation's top military officer told Sunday news shows audiences here today.

    The magazine cover is a "fitting tribute to these young men and women who have volunteered to serve their country and are over there doing a superb job," Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

    The general just returned Dec. 20 from visiting 25,000 troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Djibouti. "The military in many cases stands between terrorists and their goal," the chairman said on "Fox News Sunday." "They're doing a terrific job. America ought to be proud of its military."

    "These folks look like they're ready for inspection," Myers told the Fox audience about his overseas trip. "It's hard to tell the 101st Airborne (Division) up in Mosul, Iraq, have been there nine months and had to fight their way through Baghdad to get there. They look terrific. They understand the mission. They're confident in the mission. They take care of one another.

    "They're making a real difference in Afghanistan and in Iraq," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

    "They're changing the scenery for the good."

    Myers said the capture of disposed Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein is "a big step in the inevitable process of Iraq's march to democracy."

    Upon Saddam's capture, Myers told CNN viewers, it was important for the security of Iraqi people, coalition forces and for all those who are trying to make a better Iraq to show that the former dictator was indeed captured. "He was such a powerful figure at one time, it was important to show the Iraqi people that he's no longer going to be an influence in their lives," he added.

    Information obtained when Saddam was captured has led to a better understanding of the structure of the former regime, and subsequently more than 200 people have been detained, Myers said on Fox.

    The general noted that since Saddam's capture more and more Iraqis have stepped forward with information on former regime elements. He said it's "probably because they're not afraid any more. (There's) a realization that the Baath Party is never coming back to power," he added. "The new Iraq will be based on democratic principles."

    Myers said the plot to kidnap members of the Iraqi Governing Council and then offer them in exchange for Saddam is not unusual. "We know that they would love to stop the progress in Iraq," he added. "We've seen them go after the infrastructure. We've seen them go after (Iraqi) chiefs of police. They've gone after mayors."

    The chairman talked on CNN about the possibility that insurgents have had access to inside information resulting in the attacks on the Al Rasheed Hotel in October and on coalition administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer's convoy earlier this month. Acknowledging that any breaches in security are a concern, Myers said "we have to work our counterintellgience people very hard to ensure that we maintain operational security and protect people the best we can."

     Despite this, the general told the Fox audience the courage of U.S. and coalition forces, the Iraqi people and the governing council shines through. More than 100 Iraqis in security forces have given their lives to secure that country, he added.

    When asked about recent al Qaeda threats concerning attacks against the United States, Myers said intelligence tips are taken "very, very seriously." "There's no doubt from the intelligence we pick up that they want to do away with our way of life," he added. "If they could cause another catastrophic event like the tragedy of 9/11 or if they could get their hands on weapons of mass destruction and make it 10,000 not 3,000 (deaths), they would do that and not just in the United States but in other parts of the free world."

    The general said there are troops doing great work to mitigate these threats here at home as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.

    Myers said he believes there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and it's only a matter of time until they are found. "It's going to be like finding Saddam Hussein," he added. "You need the right series of events, the right individuals to keep track and say, 'Here's where we think it is.'"

    The same is true in the search for Osama bin Laden, Myers said on "Face the Nation." "We track down every lead. There are people in this government and in other governments who are dedicated to finding him," he added. "His options for hiding become less and less as we gain more and more intelligence. As we keep working this trail, it's like any good detective work, any good intelligence work: One lead leads to the next lead."

    Since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March, 461 U.S. troops have died and the chairman told CNN what a tragedy these deaths are. "It's a tough business," he added.

    He said trying to change a country that had been in dictatorship and ruled by fear and terror to a democracy takes a lot of sacrifice. "It takes a lot of personal courage," he added. "Our soldiers won't back down from this. We have the resolve and the will to carry this through."

 

Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

Heat: it couldn't come at a better time

 

Dec. 23, 2003 -- The end is in sight for the project to install geothermal heat pumps in more than 100 residences and five work buildings on post. But the project that hit weather and limestone early on stumbled on "rocky" final steps.

   The installation phase is nearing an end. Installation in the last six sets of housing started Dec. 8 and only one family's project remains. But, the Security and Emergency Services building alone is sizing up as one tough project. The military police and firefighters finally felt building-wide heat as of Friday evening.

    The MP desk sergeant reports to work at 5:30 a.m. when the overnight lows hovered near freezing.  "I've got a heater at the desk and I'm fine," said Sgt. Alf Alexis last week, but others in the building were juggling space heaters.

    "This is a 24-hour operation," said Provost Sergeant Sgt. 1st Class William Finch. "We were blowing circuit breakers until we figured out which heaters were overloading the system." The electric system received an upgrade in mid-December. 

    More electrical capacity made it possible to start running water through the heating system. But for now, the water source is the installation water system instead of the ground water pumped from a geothermal well.

    The first well meant to support the post's first responders collapsed during the 14-day installation period - after the old heating connections had already been cut. "They were all ready to put the system in place when a mud seam collapsed the well," said Lt. Col. John Koivisto. Pressure forced the 100-plus-foot shaft 18 feet into the air, added the garrison commander. Contractors have been surprised by the clay packed into the limestone fissures, he said.

    It can take up to four days to drill one well, and the second one collapsed. A third one is holding, and holds promise that it will support a ground water connection with the internal heat system before 2003 ends.

    Originally planning the 10-month project to close out in October, general contractor Energy Performance Systems faced a lengthening timeline. Exceptional wet weather conspired with difficult geology: limestone, voids and seams. By fall, the project moved more quickly.

    "The majority of homes have heating and air conditioning and it's working," said Koivisto. Although the garrison commander doesn't directly manage the contract - a Defense Energy Support Center responsibility - he represents the residents and employees, and expects to see the installation completed in mid-December.

    Before contractors entered the first houses, the first phase was to dig approximately 67 wells across the installation. Most of the wells support multiple housing units - in duplexes and quads. That's where the timeline fell off course. When the well-drilling was completed in September, the project was four months off track. Next step was to trench from well to house.

    Contractors then entered the houses for the internal installation phase: typically 10-14 days in each housing unit.

    "Contractors pull out cast-iron radiators and air conditioning units where they exist, install aluminum duct work and electrical units, cap steam lines, plug holes and re-do the walls wherever the contractor did anything," explained Koivisto. A first step is to cut the unit from the existing heating system and so, when falling temperatures caught up to the project, the contractor provided electric oil-filled radiators for the two-week transition period, he added.

    The "typical" plan had its exceptions among the various buildings dating sometimes to the early 19th century. Coren Apartments' installation, for example, stretched into a third week.

   "After installation, there are smaller issues in the stand-up of the system," said Koivisto. For Coren families, the settling-in issues and an equipment failure coincided to leave them in the cold and, briefly, in the dark last week.

    "It's taken longer than advertised and is working less effectively than advertised," said Col. Tom McShane who lives in Coren Apartments. "We had massive disruption in my unit," he said. While the heating issue was getting attention, electric heaters overloaded the electricity system for several buildings, and the post electrician responded.

    "They rerouted the electricity and we've had no more power outages. They reworked the heat pump and this week got all the upstairs and downstairs units online," said McShane.

    The contractor has "24-7 on-call" people by contract, said Koivisto. They must respond within 30 minutes. But in the Coren case, numerous families were affected. "We had some significant challenges last week," he said, noting the challenge of quickly responding to numerous families affected by the same system failure. "The contractor did a pretty good job of responding."

    Most military families affected by the changeover are enjoying the heat, with the mud and disruption well behind them. For a few, the end cannot come too soon. 

    Renelda Kidder, on Garrison Lane, is one of the last to get central heat after weeks with portable heaters. "The heat has become almost irrelevant at this point," she said as she surveyed the mud and debris and final insulation work that remains. "Rusty metal filings, mud and dirt, and chunks of fiberglass remain. We couldn't buy a Christmas tree because there's no place to put it," said Kidder, who invested in plastic covers after learning from neighbors' experiences.  She spoke highly of several workers who worked throughout the house, but the fact remains that Christmas vacation will be used for cleaning.

    It seems that when the dust settles, literally, there will be a break-in period. Noisy units are a common complaint. Kidder reports blowing and whistling. A hairline crack in an attic pipe leaked through light fixtures to the basement in a neighbor's quarters. The residents will learn where get filters, and when to call for help.

    "By and large the people on post are real troopers," said Koivisto. "These folks are supportive in getting this done - and making things better in the out years."

    The payoff will extend beyond the families and employees with heating and air conditioning. The contract is expected to bring $900 thousand first-year savings, said Koivisto. "The 16-year contract will save $9 million, not to mention the benefit to the environment.

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Library decorates with 'drip-nets' for holidays

Dec. 16, 2003 -- No, the Kevin R. Cunningham Memorial Library in Root Hall isn't operating an illegal alcohol still, the bags you see hanging from the ceiling are there to protect the books and patrons from the leaking roof until a more permanent solution is found.

    Recent snowfall and the subsequent melting have aggravated a problem that has existed since 1968, said Bohdan Kohutiak, the library director.

    "I've lost count of the number of times that we've had this problem," Kohutiak said. "We've learned to know when to expect it, and where it typically tends to leak." Kohutiak referred to some areas of the ceiling as "old faithful", meaning that they can depend on them leaking almost every time it snows. 

    Kohutiak explained that the patio roof over the library seems to be the root of the problem.

    "It seems that every time we get snow and it melts quickly, we get large amounts of water through the ceiling," he said.

    There have been numerous attempts to repair the roof many times over the last few years, but to no avail. A new study by an Army agency though, has given the library hope that a solution has been found.

    "We had a study completed by the U.S. Army Construction, Engineering, and Research Laboratory and a canopy was one of their recommendations," said Tom Kelly, Department of Public Works director. "The next step is a complete design for the project, and we have contacted the Baltimore District Corps of Engineers for the design work." The canopy would match the one covering the entryway into Root Hall.

    "The final step is to fund and construct the canopy, which I see happening next summer," said Kelly.

    The summer can't come soon enough for the library employees and their patrons, many of which come back years later and ask if the roof is still leaking.

   "I've suggested handing out umbrellas when you come to the library," Kohutiak said jokingly. "I've had a number of students and faculty come back after they've left and asked if the roof is still leaking. It's almost like it's part of the atmosphere here."

    While the leaks are a major source of concern, the library hasn't lost many items in the library to water damage. There are a large number of 'dip nets" strewn across the ceiling covering the areas where it's leaking to catch the water. Kohutiak pointed out that the leaks are primarily located in the staff areas and the reading room, not above the stacks which house some 200,000 books and journals.

    "We've been lucky that not too much has been damaged by the water," he said. "We basically know where it's going to leak, and make sure that we have done what we can to protect our resources."

    Visitors to the library seem unfazed by the bags hanging from the ceiling.

    "I noticed them when I came in, but it doesn't really affect me otherwise," said James Snyder, a military family member. "I'm glad it hasn't ruined any of the books because I really like coming here to do research."

    Until the canopy is installed, Kohutiak and his staff are prepared to keep an eye on the weather, and keep the umbrellas ready.

    "We've learned to live with it and work around it," he said. "But it will be nice to see it fixed."

     

 

Spc. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Faculty members recognized for excellence

 

    December 17, 2003-In a ceremony today in Bliss Hall, numerous U.S. Army War College faculty members received writing awards, tenure and academic chairs.

    The first part of the ceremony focused on the 2003 staff and faculty published writing awards.

    "The Col. John J. Madigan III USAWC Staff and Faculty Published Writing Award program is open to military and civilian staff and faculty members of the college and other Carlisle Barracks organizations," said Dr. William Johnsen, dean, Army War College.  "Articles and books entered in the contest must deal with a subject treated in the War College curriculum."

    This year's awards cover articles published during the period of May 2002 through April 2003.

    Winners were:

  • Dr. Tami Biddle, professor of National Security Policy and Strategy, Department of National Security and Strategy, received an award for her article, "Learning in Real Time: The Development and Implementation of air power in the First World War," which was published in Air Power History: Turning points From Kitty Hawk to Kosovo.

  • Dr. Larry Goodson, professor of Middle East Studies, Department of National Security and Strategy, received an award for his article, "Afghanistan's Long Road to Reconstruction," which was published in The Journal of Democracy.

  • Dr. David Jablonsky, professor of National Security Studies, Department of National Security and Strategy, received an award for his article, "The State of the National Security State," which was published in Parameters.

  • Dr. Charles Krupnick, professor of National Security Studies, Department of Distance Education, received an award for his article, "NATO and Security Sectors in Central and Eastern Europe," which was published in Almost NATO: Partners and Players in Central and Eastern European Security.

  • Dr. Craig Nation, professor of Russian Studies, Department of National Security and Strategy, received an award for his article, "Military Contributions to Regional Stability," which was published in From the Adriatic to the Caucasus: Viable Dynamics of Stabilization.

  • Dr. Marybeth Ulrich, professor of Government, Department of National Security and Strategy, received an award for her article, "The New NATO and Central and Eastern Security in the Twenty-First Century," which was published in Almost NATO: Partners and Players in Central and Eastern European Security.

    Several military members of the faculty were also given tenure at the ceremony.

    Receiving approval for tenure from the commandant were:

  • Col. James Embrey, director, Army Planning and JFWOC in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations.

  • Col. James Helis, director, Military History and Strategy in the Department of National Security and Strategy.

  • Col. Paul Jussel, director, Strategic Plans and Operations in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations..

  • Col. Steve Lemons, director, Regional Studies, Department of Distance Education.

    The final measure of faculty recognition of excellence was the presentation of academic chairs, said Johnsen.

    "The primary purpose of academic chairs today is to honor those who by their extraordinary teaching, research, and outreach contributions have significantly advanced the mission and accomplishments of our college," said Johnsen.

    Receiving chairs were:

  • The Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies was given to Col. Harry Tomlin, director, Theater Strategy, Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations.

  • The Gen. Douglas Macarthur Chair of Research was given to Dr. Max Manwaring, research professor of National Security Affairs, Strategic Studies Institute.

  • The Gen. Broehon Burke Somervell Chair of Management was given to Kevin Cogan, professor of Information Management Systems, Department of Command Leadership and Management.

  • The Gen. Colin Powell chair of Military and Strategic Studies was given to Col. Jeffrey Groh, director, Second Year Studies, Department of Distance Education.

    "For those who have been honored today with academic chairs, tenure and Madigan awards, I am delighted that our student body can see just how talented our faculty is," said Johnsen. "In this ceremony and through these awards, we hope to convey our appreciation for who you are and what you do. Each of you has gone far beyond what was expected and has produced an outstanding product with far ranging effects. You have truly touched thousands of readers, listeners, and students."

    The awards were presented with the support of the U.S. Army War College Foundation and underwritten by Sprint. The awards have been presented annually since 1982 by the foundation.

 

 

Public Affairs Release

Free motorcycle safety course offered on post

 

  December 18, 2003-The opportunity to learn how to safely ride a motorcycle, at no cost, is being offered right here on Carlisle Barracks. Not only is training free and held on post -- the opportunity includes the use of 12 bikes.

    The post Safety and Environmental Office coordinated with the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Foundation to have representatives bring the 15-hour course here. It's a great opportunity, and it's mandatory, if you want to ride a motorcycle on post.

    All motorcyclists coming onto an Army installation must have a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Completion Card on their possession.

    That rule is not new, but was not strictly enforced prior to installations becoming controlled-access areas following 9/11, according to Jim Aiello, post safety manager.

    The training is offered to anyone who wants or needs it and has a motorcycle permit, including civilians.

    The course includes both classroom instruction at the Carlisle Barracks Golf Course Snack Bar and riding instruction in the parking lot behind the Class VI store. Classroom instruction will focus on motorcycle safety issues, such as protective gear, basic riding skills, shifting, stopping, swerving, turning, and mental skills for hazard avoidance.  Riding safety instruction on an obstacle course will take place during the Sunday classes.

    Not only is the course valuable for current and future motorcyclists, but the MSF card never expires, so participants won't ever have to take it again, Aiello said. Another benefit is that some insurance companies will give discounts for riders who have taken the course, he added.

    "Besides being a requirement on Army posts, taking this course is great, especially for anyone who's new to riding motorcycles or has not previously operated one before," said Maj. Walt Kilmer, executive officer of Carlisle Barracks' U.S. Army Garrison. "Even if they're just thinking about purchasing one, this is a great opportunity."

    "Getting this training will provide me with a terrific chance to fulfill my last dream, my last grasp at adolescence: being a motorcycle rider," said Prof. Bert Tussing, professor of National Security Affairs with the Center for Strategic Leadership's operations and gaming division. "The course will instill safe riding basics right from the beginning, instead of having to fumble through it. You get firsthand expertise from very experienced riders."

    Seats are still available for these scheduled courses: April 13 and 27 (open only to Army and DOD civilians); May  11; June 1 and 15; July 6 and 20; Aug. 3 and 17; Sept. 7 and 21; and Oct. 5 and 19.

    Anyone interested can call Aiello for a seat reservation, at (717) 245-4353, as there's a maximum number of students per course. There are eight slots dedicated for active-duty military members in every class, but Aiello can request for additional classes should the need arise.

 Editors note: This story was compiled from previous PAO stories.

 

Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, United States Army Chief of Staff and Les Brownlee, Acting Secretary of the Army

Secretary of The Army and Chief of Staff of The Army Holiday Message


    During this holiday season, we remember the sacrifices our Soldiers make while serving the Nation in the far-flung reaches of the globe while preserving the dignity of human life. Soldiers make a difference daily, and demonstrate our Nation's commitment to peace, goodwill, and freedom for all. We also remember that self-determination is a right our Soldiers defend for all freedom-loving people everywhere. We are blessed to serve with and honor our Soldiers, civilians, family members, and retirees who have sacrificed their lives in service to our great Nation and those who selflessly serve to safeguard our way of life. We also acknowledge the essential support provided to our Reserve Components by their employers and home communities.
    We find ourselves in extraordinary times as our Army serves our Nation at war. This is not business as usual. Many of our Soldiers have been injured and some have paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms. Our Soldiers stand in harms way protecting our rights and our liberty so that we can enjoy this holiday. Being an Army and Nation at war is a serious commitment to victory so that our future generations can enjoy many more holiday seasons to come.
    We have much to be proud of. In the last two years we have fought two wars as part of the joint team, liberated over 46 million people from tyranny and oppression, and deployed our forces for homeland security. Our Army has proven to the world, time and time again, that we are up to any task. Around the world, our Soldiers continue to demonstrate courage, intensity, and a dogged determination to succeed.
    We are incredibly busy, with more than 300,000 Soldiers deployed in over 120 countries. Every day, noble American Soldiers put it all on the line, standing shoulder to shoulder with all the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much. We are Americans, reflecting the values of the American people and we are very fortunate to be serving the greatest Nation on Earth. Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, veterans, retirees, and all of their families can take pride in the fact that their service and sacrifices preserve the privilege of living and working in a free society.
    May each of you, wherever you are, have a safe, fulfilling, and joyful Holiday Season. God bless each of you and your families, God bless our Army, and God bless the United States.

 

 

Maj. Gen. David Huntoon Jr., USAWC Commandant

Commandant's holiday safety message    

    Every year during the holiday period from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day, the thoughts of all Americans turn to home and family and to the promise of peace and goodwill among the nations of the world.  While a joyous season, it is also a potentially dangerous time of year.  Holiday travel dramatically increases our risk of accidents and injury.

    Automobile accidents remain the largest killer of soldiers, civilians, and family members.  The three most common causes are drivers who are tired, drive to fast, and fail to wear seatbelts.                                                                                                      

    Before the Holiday season, commanders, leaders, supervisors, and employees of Carlisle Barracks should take advantage of the many risk management and safety awareness programs available.  We must remind soldiers and civilians to identify and reduce the hazards:  avoid driving when fatigued or when the weather is bad; use seatbelts; don't drink and drive; and obey the speed laws.
   Do your part and help make this a safe and bright holiday season with your family and friends. 

 

 

Spc. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

New leave, pass procedure on post

 

    December 9, 2003-A new procedure for submitting and handling leave and pass forms was implemented by the Human Resources Division last week, which should make it easier for everyone to track their forms.

   "The new system will involve HRD replying to leave forms electronically, which will save time and paperwork," said Sgt 1st Class Byron Gillespie, personnel Sgt., HRD.

    In the old system, the HRD employees had to make copies of all the forms and then try to locate the requestor to get copies to him or her.

    In the new system, the requestor will fill out form DA 31 in Form Flow and turn it in to HRD just like they have done in the past.  HRD employees will then enter the leave information into the Leave Control Database, which will automatically email the requestor a copy of the information and a control number. If the requestor needs a copy of the form for their own records or use, they can call the HRD number, which is provided at the top of the email message, to request a hard copy, said Sgt. Tina Hawkins, personnel administration Sgt., HRD.

    "The new computer program was written here on post and we are currently learning how to use it so we can become more efficient," said Gillespie.

    The HRD employees are happy with the new procedure.

    "I'm excited about this," said Sgt. Albert McCall, senior service college fellowship administration Sgt., HRD. "It's going to make our job easier and make it easier for everyone requesting passes and leaves."

   

Maj. Kelli M. Metzger, APFRI

How to have a eat right and have a healthy holiday

  Once again, we are in the holiday season, a time when those trying to lose weight or maintain weight loss are challenged.  With a bounteous Thanksgiving feast, numerous holiday parties, special times with family and friends, and vacations, making healthy food choices and maintaining a regular exercise program are not always easy. 

    If you have already developed fairly good eating habits, don't let pies, cakes, and cookies ruin the good thing you have started.  While these foods can certainly be included in your diet, add them in moderation.  You might choose a modest-sized piece of pie, a sliver of cake, or a couple cookies, but don't eat them all in the same day.

    To avoid overeating at parties or special dinners, try eating a few crackers, a piece of fruit, or drink a glass of milk before leaving your house so you are not so hungry when you arrive at the party.  At the party or buffet meal, choose a reasonable portion of  food and then position yourself away from the serving tables so food is not so easily accessible.  Try to focus on time with family and friends rather than making food the main focus.

    Choose more fruits and vegetables and smaller portions of the higher fat meats, sauces, dips, and desserts.  Eat slowly since it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you have eaten.  Stop eating when you feel comfortably full, not overstuffed.  Be aware that the calories in regular sodas, alcoholic beverages, juices, eggnog, and punch can add up quickly, so try not to overdo it.  Also, if you do plan to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver, taxi, or another plan to avoid driving. 

    In addition to keeping your eating habits in check, try to maintain or develop good exercise habits.  While you many feel so overwhelmed by shopping, wrapping presents, baking, and attending parties, you don't think you have time to exercise. Exercise though, can be a great stress reliever and may be just what you need to help you get through the often-stressful holidays.  A brisk jog or walk can work wonders for both the heart and mind.

            Some suggestions for an active holiday season include the following:

n       Continue your regular exercise program or opt for indoor alternatives in the event of bad weather.

n       Rather than just watching football, get a group together to play in your yard or on a nearby field.

n       Get to the mall a little earlier and walk a couple laps before beginning your holiday shopping.

n       Walk up and down the stairs at home or work several times per day.

n       Try the exercise bicycle, stairmaster, treadmill, or indoor pool at a nearby gym.

n       Whether you are standing in line, sitting in from of the television, or riding in your car, the bus, or on an airplane, you can alternate tightening your abdomen and gluteal muscles, holding for 10 seconds.  Do a total of 10 repetitions.

n       After dinner, put on a sweater or coat, take a walk, and admire the holiday lights in your neighborhood.

 

If you are traveling this holiday season, try the following exercise tips:

n       Walk around in the airport before boarding your plane.

n       When traveling by car, stop at a rest stop every few hours and take a quick, 10-minute walk.

n       Go on a walking tour and explore a new city or town or even see more of the one you live in.

n       Try a new winter sport or enjoy an old favorite such as downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, or ice hockey.

 

    While the holidays can be a busy and stressful time, good eating habits and regular exercise can help you better handle the hustle and bustle of the season.  For additional information, please contact the APFRI dietitian at 245-4554.

 

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Flu vaccine available for high risk groups

 

Dec. 11, 2003 -- If you've turned on the TV or opened a newspaper recently you're probably aware of the nationwide flu vaccine shortage. Help is on the way, though, for those in the high-risk categories at Carlisle Barracks.

    "We were down to 39 remaining doses earlier this week, and we had to call some patients and cancel their appointments," said Col. Gordon Miller, commander of the Dunham U.S. Army Health Clinic. "We've just received 400 doses and we're now in a much better position to make sure that those in the high-risk groups are going to be able to get vaccinated."

     Carlisle Barracks recently completed an aggressive vaccination campaign that allows Soldiers, employees, retirees and family members the opportunity to receive vaccinations. Mobile immunization sites at the Post Chapel, Bliss Hall and other locations on post during the month of November made it easier for those who wanted a vaccination to get one. The clinic has given out more than  2,500 vaccinations already this year.

    "We've done a pretty good job I think of making sure that people could get vaccinated," Miller said. "We've tried to make sure that everyone who wanted to have a vaccination got one. Our emphasis now is the high risk groups."

    Miller pointed out that the high risk groups are defined by the Center for Disease Control as:

  • Persons aged 65 years or older

  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;

  • Adults and children six months of age and older who have chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;

  • Adults and children six months of age and older who need regular medical care or had to be in a hospital because of metabolic diseases (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicine or by infection of the human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]);

  • Children and teenagers (aged six months to 18 years) who are on long-term aspirin therapy and therefore could develop Reye's syndrome after the flu;

  • Women who will be more than three months pregnant during the flu season.

  • Infants age six months through 23 months.

   

    "The priority for us are the high-risk people and we're going to schedule those cases today through Wednesday, " Miller said. "On Dec. 18 we're going to take a look at what we have left and open it up to the people who aren't in the high-risk category who want vaccinated," Miller asked that people call the Immunization Clinic at 245-3608 for the most current information.

   

Why the vaccine shortage?

 

    Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director, explained that there is a shortage of the vaccination this year due to the fact that more people want vaccinations than ever before.

    "The CDC estimates that there are probably about 185 million people who would be included in our recommended groups for receiving the influenza vaccine, " she said. "Having said that, no year have we ever vaccinated anywhere near that number of people." She said that normally 70-75 million people are vaccinated each year.

    "Each year, the manufacturer has to look back on how many people were vaccinated the year before and make a guess about how many people will be vaccinated this year." Gerberding said that it takes weeks to develop new vaccines, and that any started now wouldn't be ready until the end of the flu season.

    What has made this year so different is the fact that for years the demand was so low that thousands of doses of the vaccine were thrown away.  

    "At the clinic we threw away about 1,000 doses last year," said Miller. "The demand for the vaccine wasn't anywhere near the level it is this year." The CDC reports that more than 12 million doses were thrown away nationwide last year.

   

What else can you do?

 

    Miller stressed that even if you have been vaccinated, it's important to make sure to take care of your health.

    "A lot of times people don't stop to take care of themselves when they begin to get sick," he said. "The best thing you can do to help stop the spread of the flu and other sickness is to stay home if you feel sick. Slow down and take care of your body, and if you're really sick or the symptoms don't go away go see a doctor."

     Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious disease that is caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu is different from a cold. Influenza usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Tiredness (can be extreme)

  • Dry cough

  • Sore throat

  • Nasal congestion

  • Body aches

    "People with many of these symptoms, especially children should see their doctor, especially if the symptoms are severe," said Miller.

    Influenza typically kills more than 36,000 Americans each year according to the CDC.  Gerberding pointed out in recent interviews that although there are people who suffer the severe effects of the flu, most people who get the flu will have a mild case.  

    "It will be annoying, they might be forced to miss a day of school or work, but they will recover without incident," she said. "Some people will get the flu and not even realize it." 

 

Other options?

    Although a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs are another tool that can be used to help prevent and treat influenza.

    Studies show that treatment with these drugs can shorten the time a person infected with influenza feels ill by approximately one day, if treatment is started during the first two days of illness.  All of these drugs require a prescription from a doctor. 

     Another option for people who want to be vaccinated is the FluMist spray, available from some pharmacies. The issue with this option is the cost. Costs at local pharmacies range from $30-60 for a single dose.

    "There are almost four million doses of the FluMist available for healthy people, again between the ages of five and 49, who choose to receive that vaccine," said Gerberding. "Unfortunately, it's not licensed for children under five or for people older than 49 years of age."

    "The FluMist is not available through DoD health care providers, but it's certainly an option if you want to get it through a local pharmacy," said Miller. "You can also take steps to protect yourself like washing your hands with antibacterial soap, taking care of yourself physically when you feel sick, and try to avoid people who are sick."

 

Thanks for your patience

    Miller also wanted to thank those people whose appointments were cancelled or delayed for their patience and understanding.

    "I've got to say that overall people have been very understanding of the situation," he said. "We're going to make sure that we can help as many people as we can, especially those in high-risk groups."

   

For more information see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

 

Staff Sgt.  Krishna M. Gamble, Public Affairs Office

Memories made at annual Holiday Tea

    Dec. 4, 2003 -- The annual Carlisle Barracks Holiday Tea will be well remembered by those who attended the first days event, but for the second consecutive year, Jack Frost and his cousin Winter Snow cancelled the second day.

   Nearly 150 residents from Carlisle nursing and assisted living facilities attended the 48th Annual Holiday Tea held at the Letort View Community Center Dec. 4.

    "This is the biggest event for them. They've been talking about this for a long time," said Amy Findon, activities director, Church of God Retirement Community.

    Forty-three seniors from Findon's center were scheduled to attend the tea on Friday, but the onset of snow and freezing temperatures caused officials to cancel day two.

    "They were disappointed, but understanding and appreciative that several volunteers still came by the facility and brought flowers and cookies," said Capt. Jeffrey Allen, current operations officer, U.S. Army War College.

    For those who were able to attend on Thursday, it was a real treat. Several famous people like Elvis and Santa made special appearances, and a long time favorite, Ms. Tilly Willy, stopped by to pass on a few laughs.

    "We have participated for more than 10 years and this is something they look forward to," said Michelle Shaffer, health center activities coordinator, Chapel Point at Carlisle.  "It's a big boost in morale and some of the staff here go the extra mile to make the event extra special by helping them get ready."

     "It's a good thing to do during the holiday season to show our appreciation, and to do something nice for someone who may not have any family members or who does not get out of the home that often," Allen said.

    The concept of the holiday tea began in 1955 when members of the Ladies of the Chapel group invited eight local ladies to post for tea. It was later changed to a lunch at what was known as the Carlisle Barracks Officer's Club.

    As the years went on and the attendance at the event increased, the lunch was changed to a variety show with volunteers from the post and community serving as entertainers, hostesses, attendants and escorts. For the 2003 event, more than 700 dozen cookies and $4,000 were donated, and close to 400 military and community members participated.

    "It's a very rewarding experience," Allen said.

Want more photos?

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Post security gets boost from contract guard members

 

Dec. 9, 2003 - You may notice new guards at the gates in the coming weeks thanks to a new initiative allowing some Reserve and National Guard Soldiers to return to their civilian jobs.

    Later this month, the post will become part of a new Department of the Army initiative to hire contract civilian guards to perform force protection at various installations. Carlisle Barracks is part of the first phase of the program, according to Maj. Bob Suskie, post provost marshal.

    "The program really started as a result of the shortfall of Soldiers because of deployments," said Suskie. "They're trying to help keep our installations safe while making sure that the Soldiers are able to do their jobs wherever they are needed."

    The Army has a contract with Alutiiq Security and Technology of Anchorage, Alaska, to provide security guards to military installations across the nation. Alutiiq has hired Wackenhut, a security company based in West Palm Beach, Fla., to provide some of the staffing.

    The companies have already hired more than 300 guards at Fort Bragg, N.C. to perform many of the same duties they will do here. Other military bases have also started using contracted guards, including Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., and Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.  The contract will run until December 2005.

    The guards will perform many of the same duties of the Department of the Army guards currently on post, and those of the 2nd Battalion, 104th Calvary unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard, currently serving as the post Quick Reaction Force.

    "The new guards aren't coming here to replace the civilian guards we have," said Suskie. "Since the QRF will be leaving in the Spring, it's great that we're going to be able to add the contract guards to our team."  

    The transition period for the new guards is expected to go smoothly.

    "The new guard personnel will seamlessly integrate into our  force protection plans and with our current personnel assets," said Lt. Col. John Koivisto, garrison commander. "Many of the AWSS guards are former military and law enforcement personnel who understand the force protection mission and requirements. I've gotten a chance to talk with them and they are enthusiastic about this opportunity."

    The contract guards will have three personnel on post to handle administrative and some supervisory duties and will be headquartered in Young Hall.

    "They're going to have their own space to conduct training and, have meetings, " Suskie said. 

    The guards will be trained before they come to post, which is the same training that the current DA guards receive.

    "I'm looking forward to the new guards coming onboard and helping out with our mission," said Suskie. "I really don't expect there to be any noticeable changes in the way we do business." 

    Koivisto echoed those thoughts.

    "Carlisle Barracks has a history of success with integrating contract personnel in our day-to-day operations," he said. "The tremendous success we realized with our Public Works program under Griffin Services, and the success we are currently experiencing with Remtech Services in the Directorate of Information Management truly demonstrate how contracted support can work hand-in-glove with our government work force. I have every confidence that the AWSS team will be an enhancement to our Carlisle Barracks team."

 

 

Guard and Reserve families receive unlimited shopping in time for holidays

    The 2004 National Defense Authorization Act eliminated restrictions on commissary shopping for Guard and Reserve members, unless otherwise stipulated in overseas host nation agreements.

    Commissaries immediately adopted the new provisions in November 2003, which means Guard and Reserve members and their families no longer have to present a Commissary Privilege Card when they shop and are no longer limited to 24 shopping days per year. The change also includes "gray area retirees," those Guard or Reserve members who retire before the age of 60. They were previously limited to 24 shopping days per year.

    "Instructions have gone out to all commissaries informing them that reservists now have unlimited shopping and telling store managers how to welcome members of the National Guard and Reserve to the full use of the commissary benefit," said Patrick Nixon, deputy director of the Defense Commissary Agency. "I want to thank Congress and the Department of Defense for their efforts in bringing the commissary shopping privilege to the total force."

    Nixon noted that special thanks should go to Charles Abell, principal deputy under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Abell acted decisively and immediately in providing interim authority for the Reserve component to have full-time commissary shopping just in time to take advantage of holiday savings

 

Staff Sgt. Krishna M. Gamble, Public Affairs Office

CPAC undergoes management inspection

 

Dec. 5, 2003 -- It's report card time for Carlisle Barracks civilian personnel management. Starting Dec. 9, a team from the U.S. Army G-1 will conduct a civilian personnel management inspection.

      By Army Regulation,  the U.S. Army Civilian Personnel Evaluation Agency must conduct comprehensive, on-site evaluations of civilian personnel systems through a sampling of approximately 15 to 20 Army installations and activities each year. Carlisle Barracks will be the second installation visited by this team for Fiscal 2004.

     "The purpose of the program is to do a systematic inspection of Army civilian personnel activities and functions to determine how effective our civilian personnel management is," said Gerry Silverberg, director of the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center here.

     The CPEA team will visit six installations in the Northeast Region and four in the North Central. The evaluation will cover areas such as position management and classification, recruitment, staffing, human resource development, management-employee relations, labor relations, and benefits and entitlements.  The goal is to assess supervisory effectiveness, CPAC quality and timeliness, regulatory compliance and to recommend improvements.

     "They will be looking at all the major functions we perform," Silverberg said. "They look at all these things for every agency and their objective is to assess our effectiveness."

      As part of the evaluation, a one-hour interview with five civilian and five military managers will be conducted. These individuals were chosen by installation leadership and have been notified.

      Individual job audits for classification reviews will also be conducted. These positions were selected by the CPEA team and have been notified. This audit will consist of a review of the employees job description, and an interview with the employee to determine the accuracy of the job description.

     This audit is done to compare the written job description to the actual job being performed, according to Silverberg.

     Two sensing sessions with a group of randomly selected managers and employees are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. At the end of the evaluation, the Carlisle Barracks leadership will be briefed on the findings and a report will be submitted to the Army G-1, Civilian Personnel Policy. A final report for all installations visited will be released in March.

     "The purpose is to target those areas where there may be some shortfalls and to identify those areas where everybody is doing well, and all points in between," Silverberg said.  "If they find an area where they think we can do better, we will work with the installation leadership to make those improvements."

 

Keep your holiday safe, have a designated driver

Dec. 4, 2003 -- The holiday season is a time for parties, so make sure that you plan ahead to keep the holidays safe.

    When planning your evening, make sure you have a designated driver if your activities include alcohol.   

    A designated driver is a person in a group of two or more drinking age adults who agrees not to drink any alcoholic beverages and to safely transport the other group members home.  A large group may need more than one designated driver.

    To help, the LeTort View Community Center and the Strike Zone Bowling Center will sponsor a designated Driver Program during the month of December.

    If you or your organization is holding a holiday celebration at one of these locations, simply identify your designated driver to the bartender and you will receive free non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event.  They will provide you with a button that identifies you as the Designated Driver. Wear it proudly.   

    For additional information contact the Army Substance Abuse Program at 245-4576.

 

Spc. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Fire station floor fixed in time for winter

 

December 3, 2003-The floor of the post fire station has been reinforced just in time for the cold weather.

   It was discovered in June that the floor of the fire station was too weak to safely hold the weight of the large fire truck, said Leon Wolfe, Carlisle Barracks fire chief. The MPs reported that debris was falling on their ceiling tiles whenever the large fire truck was parked in the bay.

    For two weeks in November, construction workers were busy stabilizing one of the bays in the fire station so the fire fighters could park Engine 138, the 33,380 pound fire truck, inside to protect it from the cold weather, said Jim O'Connell, fire captain.

    When the weather is cold the water in the truck will freeze, said Wolfe. Also, water can get into the gauges and make them work improperly.

    "If equipment is damaged, the results of an emergency situation could be disastrous," said Wolfe.

    The Army Corps of Engineers and fire department officials looked at several options for fixing the problem and settled on a quick fix, said Wolfe.

    Posts and beams were installed under the existing floor to reinforce it so it could hold more weight.  The posts are located in a locker room in the MP station in locations that do not interfere with the activity of the MPs.

    "The total cost, to include field investigation and design work by the Corps of Engineers and installation of new footings, posts and beams by the contractor, exceeded $25,000," said Tom Deremer, general engineer with the Department of Public Works.

    "This will only be a temporary fix," said Wolfe. "The bay that they had to reinforce is not the bay that the large truck was normally parked in because it's much smaller.  It's difficult to park in this bay and there is very little room for the guys to move around the truck."

    There are currently plans on the table for a new fire station, but we are waiting for approval from the Department of the Army, said Deremer.

    If the DA approves the construction of a new fire station the construction would ideally start in the spring of 2005 and take an estimated 12 to 15 months to build, said Deremer.

   

'Gift of Groceries' is great for holiday giving

    With the holidays fast approaching, one way friends, family and the public can show their support for military families is to give commissary gift certificates as gifts, or donate them directly to military charities that assist families. The "Gift of Groceries" program is made possible through a business agreement with CertifiChecks Inc.at no cost to DeCA or the federal government.

    The program allows anyone to purchase commissary gift certificates at http://www.commissaries.com/ or by calling toll free 1-877-770-GIFT. The certificates can be given as gifts or donated, but only authorized commissary shoppers can spend them.

    The certificates are not available for sale in commissaries, but they can also be purchased with a mail-in or FAX form found at the gift certificate link at http://www.commissaries.com/. A standard charge of $4.95, paid by the purchaser, covers the costs of handling, printing and mailing. Additional charges may apply for large orders or special delivery, but installation charities can apply for a waiver by checking with their local commissary.

    The commissary benefit offers an average savings of 30 percent or more, and that can really extend the purchasing power of a family using commissary gift certificates.

 

Scholarships also available   

 

    The general public can also help outstanding military children go to college. The Scholarships for Military Children program began its fourth year Nov. 3 with a new twist - anyone can donate to support the scholarships.

    Since 2001,  the Scholarships for Military Children Program have awarded nearly $2.5 million in scholarships to nearly 1,500 military students. The program has been generously supported in the past solely by the vendors and manufacturers selling groceries in the commissary system.

    This year, a dedicated Web page has been set up by the program administrator, Fisher House Foundation, at http://www.militaryscholar.org. The new site has information about the program and a donation page. The site will be "live" year-round, and it is also accessible through a link at http://www.commissaries.com.

    "This makes it easier for the American public to show their support for military families, and it gives the program an opportunity to grow through additional funding," said Edna Hoogewind, DeCA's liaison for the scholarship program.

    "We've learned that individuals, as well as corporations, are interested in supporting the Scholarships for Military Children Program," said Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House Foundation vice president for communications.

    "We provide a means to donate on the Internet through a secure credit card server, and there are no administrative fees involved. Additionally, all Combined Federal Campaign donations to the Armed Forces Foundation are being used for the scholarship program."

    The application period for the 2004 scholarship program ends Feb. 18, 2004.

 

 

Funeral services scheduled for Staff Sergeant

Local woman killed in Iraq to receive military honors

 

CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa. -  Staff Sgt. Kimberly A. Fahnestock Voelz, 27, formerly of Carlisle, Pa., will be buried Monday, Dec. 22, after a ceremony at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mechanicsburg, Pa.  Voelz died Dec. 14, 2003, in a military hospital in Iraq, after sustaining injuries from an improvised explosive device that exploded as she approached to disable it.

    Visitation will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 400 E. Simpson St., Mechanicsburg, Pa., from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 12:30 p.m.  Burial with full military honors will be held at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 1313 S. York St., Mechanicsburg, Pa., following the service.  

    Voelz was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team Leader with the 703rd Ordnance Company (EOD), based at Fort Knox, Ky.  She had served in Iraq since September 26, 2003.

    She was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, awarded to U.S. Armed Forces members killed or wounded in an armed conflict, and the Bronze Star with Valor, awarded to a U.S. Army Soldier who distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

    A staff sergeant since March 1, 2001, she had earned the following awards and honors: the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, twice awarded the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service

Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, EOD Badge, and Senior EOD Badge, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

    The EOD mission is to protect the force, dealing with any and every kind of high explosive hazard to include mines, unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.  An EOD specialist undergoes an intensive training regimen, which includes three months of preparatory EOD training at Red Stone Arsenal, Ala., followed by eight months of training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The lengthy training program develops a soldier's professional skill and confidence to perform the task of properly disposing of explosive ordnance in any situation or condition.

    Voelz was a graduate of Trinity High School, Class of 1994 and entered the United States Army on August 27, 1996. She trained at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Red Stone Arsenal, Alabama, Indian Head, Maryland, and served as an EOD sergeant at Camp Shelby, Miss. with the 704th EOD Company and at Fort Knox Kentucky before she deployed with the 703rd  Ordnance Company (EOD)  to Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom.  

    Voelz was married June 12, 1999, in Mechanicsburg to Staff Sgt. Max Voelz of Indiana. She is survived by her parents, Floyd A.. Fahnestock Jr. and Carol A. Mardis Fahnestock, of Carlisle, Pa.

 

Staff Sgt. Krishna M. Gamble, Public Affairs Office

Carlisle Barracks professor injured in accident

   

Dec. 4, 2003 -- Retired Col. James S. McCallum, 58, was injured in an accident today after being struck by a van as he crossed Claremont Road at the post entrance. He was moved by Life Lion medical helicopter service to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center where he is being treated.

    McCallum, a member of the U.S. Army War College Community since 1988, is the professor of national and international security affairs with the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute here.

    The accident is being investigated by the North Middleton Police Dept., with support from the Carlisle Barracks Military Police. No charges have been filed.

 

 

Staff Sgt. Krishna M. Gamble, Public Affairs Office

Post explores American Indian experiences

 

  Nov. 19, 2003 -- Carlisle Barracks has a special connection with Native Americans. As the home of the first federal off-reservation boarding school for Native Americans, Carlisle Barracks is a National Historic Landmark and a fitting background for the American Indian/Alaskan Heritage Observance Nov. 13 in Collins Hall.

    Along with the arts and crafts on display courtesy of David Forster, director of the Oaks Museum at Messiah College, Carlisle Indian School biographer Barbara Landis took the standing room only audience on a virtual glimpse and walking tour of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.  In a mixture of songs, fables and history lessons, Doris Riverbird Woman, of the Turtle Clan, Eastern Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, provided additional entertainment.

    "Some of the stories she told were funny and some made you think, especially the one about the Trail of Tears," said Sgt. Romayne Leake, the GCCS administrator in Collins Hall.

    The term "Native American" is used to describe 504 recognized tribes, including 197 Alaskan Native groups such as the Eskimos and the Aleuts, according to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute. About 100 of these tribes have become extinct since the arrival of Europeans on American soil. There are roughly 300 Indian reservations in the United States, the largest of which is the Navajo Reservation, which extends throughout 16 million acres in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.  The Native American people are the only political group specifically identified in the United States constitution.

    "We need to be very cognizant of the fact that Native American tribal communities and individuals who are part of our national history are the first people of our nation," said Lt. Col. John Koivisto, garrison commander. "We draw a lot of our military heritage from our Native American background."

    The story of the first Thanksgiving tells of the cooperative efforts of the early settlers, traders and the Native Americans to build this country and live together in harmony. But there are tales that tell a different story.

    "I remember playing cowboys and Indians as a child and no one wanted to be the Indian because that was the bad guy," Leake said.  "As I got older, I learned that the Indians were not bad at all. They were just different."

    "We all realized that there are some less popular and less favorable events in our history where we did not respect our Native American brothers and sisters and kinsmen as well as we should have," Koivisto said.

    "That's the purpose of events such as these -- to educate and recognize the contributions and achievements other ethnic groups have made to America by increasing awareness, mutual respect and understanding," Rose said.