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DoD demonstrates global electronic medical records system

December 21, 2005 -- The U.S. military demonstrated its new Internet-based electronic medical records system to reporters at a rollout ceremony recently. 

    "This is not just an electronic health record that's built around one hospital, or even a local community of hospitals. It moves information globally," said Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, who attended the event held at the National Naval Medical Center.

AHLTA new electronic records system   

    The system is called AHLTA, and it operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Winkenwerder said, noting all medical data is secured and accessed only by authorized personnel. AHLTA - not an acronym, he said - it is the system's name.

    The $1.2 billion system uses off-the-shelf technology and began phase-in across the force in January 2004, officials said. Today, it's been deployed to about 60 percent of the military; full fielding is estimated to occur around January 2007.

    The system will potentially serve more than 9 million U.S. servicemembers, retirees and their families across the globe, Winkenwerder said. Future plans include sharing military medical information contained on AHLTA with the Veterans Affairs Department.

    AHLTA was tested and proven in wartime conditions, said Army Staff Sgt. Kevin M. Walker, a 32-year-old combat medic assigned to the 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis, Wash. Walker used AHLTA's portable electronic medical-record-gathering device when he was in Iraq.

    "I think it's a great system," said Walker, who was in Iraq from October 2004 to September 2005. "Anything that can expedite the process of giving (servicemembers) care and helping their care go on further without the paper trail is just a really exciting experience."

    Walker demonstrated a field electronic medical data-collection device at the Bethesda ceremony. Servicemembers' medical data contained on a dog-tag-sized electronic information chip, Walker said, is inserted into the medic-carried, palm-sized device for processing, Walker said.

    Walker said the device is user-friendly and makes it easy to update a servicemember's medical information, compared to using old-tech paper forms.

    "He puts the dog tags back on, and off he goes," Walker said, noting the information is then forwarded to a main database for the doctor's review.

    Widespread use of interactive electronic medical records systems like AHLTA will ultimately produce lower costs, fewer medical mistakes and better care, said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, who attended the event with Winkenwerder.

    Medical researchers can use data gathered by AHLTA and similar systems to head off outbreaks of disease, said Navy Vice Adm. Donald C. Arthur, surgeon general of the Navy, also at the ceremony.

    "We're talking about the ability to aggregate those records, to put them together so that we can locate disease patterns," Arthur said.

    More information on AHLTA can be found on their Web site at

(Editors note: Portions of this story came from a previous ARNEWS story)


Bowling center Sunday hours to change

    Starting on Sunday, January 8,  2006, the bowling center will be open from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sundays.  The snack bar will be open for breakfast and lunch, open bowling and birthday parties will still be available. Group parties will be available on Sunday nights upon request.

    For more information call 245-4109.



Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, USAWC Commandant

Post community mourns loss of family member     

    The U.S. Army War College and Carlisle Barracks community mourn the accidental death of Susan Reed Clayton this past Friday. Susan's husband, Colonel Chris Clayton, is a student in the current resident class of 2006. He and their two daughters, along with Susan's parents, will hold family services this week in Pensacola, Florida.

    During this holiday season as we gather our families around us, Margaret and I ask you to keep the Clayton family in your thoughts and prayers.




Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

USAWC faculty member tapped to lead counterinsurgency doctrine project

    December 14, 2005 -- A U.S. Army War College faculty member may have a huge impact on the future of the global war on terrorism without even firing a shot.

    Dr. Conrad Crane, director of the Military History Institute, has been asked to be the lead author for a new counterinsurgency field manual for the Department of Defense.

    "I have been doing research and analysis on stability operations and unconventional warfare since my early days in the Strategic Studies Institute in 2000. I was attracted to the topic because it appeared to me that the Army needed a lot of improvement in those areas," said Crane.

    His experience in the area is well-known throughout the defense community.

    "I am a West Point classmate of Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, [Commander of the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth] and he is also familiar with the other work I have done. He asked me to become the lead author for the new Counterinsurgency field manual." Crane has experience writing doctrine during a tour at the U.S. Army Air Defense School in the mid-1980s.

    Doctrine is defined by DoD as "fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application."

    "These manuals are supposed to help commanders in the field to plan and execute their operations," said Crane.

    Crane will be part of a team from the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth that will draw together contributors from other military agencies and academia.

    "We are breaking new ground for the Army on counterinsurgency, a subject that has received limited attention by the service during the last 30 years," said Crane. "We are going back to writings of the 1960s and 1970s, incorporating insights from experiences in the 1980s like El Salvador, and updating everything through the prism of our own recent experiences in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines."

    The new document is expected to be completed next year.

    "We expect to have a draft done by late January, and then will conduct a conference to review it at Fort Leavenworth in February," said Crane. "We will revise the manual again to incorporate insights from the conference, and then distribute it to the field. We hope to have the final product completed by the summer."



Army Family Team Building Classes scheduled

    Army Family Team Building Classes are "basic training" for family members. The classes will answer questions about Army life and provide information to help make Army life and experiences better. Classes are short in duration to allow attendees to avoid taking too much time out of their busy schedule. Classes are held during the day and in the evening. There are three levels and the entire program can be completed in as little as three months.

    Daytime classes are held monthly at the Army Community Service Center. Childcare is available on-site for day classes. Advanced registration is required in order to have childcare provided.

 Contact Cora Johnson at (717) 245-4720/4357 for more information.


Class Name


Jan. 10-12

Level 1

10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Jan. 13

Financial Readiness

10 a.m.- noon

Jan. 17

Time and Stress Management

10 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

Jan. 17

Adapting to change/ Military Benefits

12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Feb. 20-22

Level 2

10a.m.- noon

Feb. 23

Level 1

8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Feb. 24

Financial Readiness

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

March 21-23

Level 3

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

March 24

Level 1

8 a.m. - 3 p.m.




Anne Hurst, Family Advocacy Program

Free Active Parenting sessions start Jan. 24

    Parenting is a joy - except when it's not.  From "Angels in the Outback" to "Dennis the Menace," our children will occasionally make us yearn for help.

    Parents of children ages 5 to 12 can pick up tips, ideas, and insights to help raise responsible, cooperative children in a series of six Tuesday evening sessions, at the Moore Child Development Center here.  Starting January 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Active Parenting Now series is a free package of learning for parents, child care for kids, and light dinner of pizzas or subs for all.

     Active Parenting Now is an award-winning program, but the real rewards will belong to parents and their children. Topics include - handling problems, building cooperation, effective discipline techniques, logical consequences, sidestepping power struggles, stimulating independence, and building character, courage and self-esteem.

What's new about Active Parenting Now?

  • all-new video

  • added coverage of violence, bullying & peer influences

  • lessons arranged so parents see results sooner

  • new topics & techniques

 Other features of the program:

  • six sessions for a comprehensive approach to parenting education

  • based on proven-effective psychological principles

  • videos featuring multicultural families

  • drug and alcohol prevention

  • humor, warmth, and the most effective skills available


    Presenter Jen Starner, of Parent Works, Inc., will weave useful take-away information throughout the weekly video-and-discussion sessions.  The program is based on proven psychological principles, developed by Michael Popkin, PhD. The videos feature situations that will ring all-too-true for all family types.

    Child care will be co-located at the Moore CDC, but those old enough for Youth Services can be escorted to YS.

    To register for the free learning-childcare-dinner package, or find out more, call Anne Hurst at ACS, 245-3775, or





Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Help stop the spread of germs at work


How Germs Spread

    Illnesses like the flu (influenza) and colds are caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu and colds usually spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

How to Help Stop the Spread of Germs

§         Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

§         Clean your hands often

§         Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

§         Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed

§         Practice other good health habits.

§         Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

§         Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

§         Clean your hands often.

§         When available, wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- then rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs.

§         When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using a gel, rub the gel in your hands until they are dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in the gel kills germs that cause colds and the flu.


Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

    Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can live for a long time (some can live for 2 hours or more) on surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and tables.


Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed

    When you are sick or have flu symptoms, stay home, get plenty of rest, and check with a health care provider as needed. Your employer may need a doctor's note for an excused absence. Remember: Keeping your distance from others may protect them from getting sick. Common symptoms of the flu include:

            . fever (usually high)

            . headache

            . extreme tiredness

            . cough

            . sore throat

            . runny or stuffy nose

            . muscle aches, and

            . nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, (much more common among children than adults).


Practice other good health habits

    Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Practicing healthy habits will help you stay healthy during flu season and all year long.


More Facts, Figures, and How-To Ideas

    CDC and its partner agencies and organizations offer a great deal of information about hand washing and other things you can do to stay healthy and avoid the germs that cause flu, the common cold, and other illnesses.

See Other Resources ( or

Spouses Club accepting request for funds   

    The Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club is now taking request for funds for distribution this spring. If you are a member of an organization desiring additional funding or know of a worthy group needing funds, the club may be able to help.

     Requests Must  be Received by Monday, March 13, 2006.  The club will provide an outreach request form upon request. The club will also accept written requests that include all of the following information: 

--Name of Organization

--Point of Contact and Signature

--Phone Number

--Amount Requested

--Reason for Request

--Additional Information:

    --Number of people benefited by request

    --Other fund raising activities

    --Any benefit to military (active duty, dependents, retired)

    --If you have received funds in the past and how much.




CW3 Adam Devalle, Command Food Safety Officer, Allegheny District Veterinary Command

Keep the holidays happy, put food safety first

    'Tis the season for fond memories, gift giving, and hosting parties and family gatherings with good food! As you prepare your festive holiday spreads, remember to take those extra steps to keep foods fresh and safe to eat. If food containing harmful bacteria is consumed, it could cause food-borne illness. So, when planning the big feast, follow this food safety checklist.

Clean Up

  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds before and after handling raw products.

  • Use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards. Cutting boards should be run through the dishwasher--or washed with soap and hot water--after each use.

Combat Cross-Contamination

  • Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on a plate or tray, so raw juices don't drip onto other foods.

  • Use one cutting board for raw meat products and another one for salads and other ready-to-eat foods, or wash cutting boards in between each use.

  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood unless the plate has been washed.

  • Don't spread bacteria with dirty sponges, dishcloths, or towels. Bacteria often thrive in the moist areas of these items where bits of food may also exist. Use paper towels or freshly-cleaned sponges or cloths and soap and hot water to clean food preparation surfaces.

Did You Know?
    The average used kitchen sponge harbors 7.2 billion bacteria! Consider using paper towels or clean cloth towels.


Cook Safely

  • For meat, poultry, and other dishes, use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature.

  • Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm or reach 160 ºF on a food thermometer. Don't use recipes in which eggs remain raw or only partially cooked. Cook egg dishes until they reach 160 ºF.

  • Cook fish until it's opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

  • When microwaving, make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive). For best results, cover, stir, and rotate food for even cooking. If there's no turntable, rotate the dish by hand once or twice during cooking.

  • When reheating sauces, soups, and gravies, bring them to a boil. Heat other leftovers thoroughly to 165 ºF.

Chill Thoroughly

  • Make sure the refrigerator temperature is 40 ºF or below and 0 ºF or below in the freezer. Occasionally verify these temperatures using an appliance thermometer.

  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours.

  • Never defrost or marinate food at room temperature. Use the refrigerator. You can also thaw foods in airtight packaging in cold water (change the water every 30 minutes, so the food continues to thaw). Or, thaw in the microwave, if you'll be cooking the food immediately.

  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.

  • Don't over-stuff the refrigerator. Cold air must circulate to keep food safe.





Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

50 years of smiles

Post celebrates 50 years of holiday tea



USAWC student Col. Frank Sherod share a laugh during the 2005 Senior Citizens Holiday Tea. This year was the 50th anniversary of the event that brings together senior citizens from local nursing homes to share the afternoon with enjoying holiday entertainment and food with USAWC and Carlisle Barracks faculty and staff, students, employees and family members.

want more photos?




December 7, 2005 -- Fifty years of holiday smiles, laughs, food and fun were celebrated Dec. 7 and 8 during the 2005 Senior Citizens Holiday Tea.

    "This is a great event," said Col. Craig Madden, deputy commandant during the teas opening. "Thank you for coming and helping us celebrate the holiday season."

    The first holiday tea was held on Dec. 26, 1956, and brought 50 women from various homes in Carlisle to the post according to newspaper articles. The event was sponsored at that time by the Carlisle Barracks Chapel Women's Guild and held in the officers club.

    This year's event brought together approximately 300 residents from eight area nursing and retirement homes. Guests were escorted and assisted by Army War College and Carlisle Barracks faculty and staff, students, employees and family members to enjoy entertainment and holiday refreshments at the annual event.

    One of those visitors was Helen Murphy, who came to the event for the sixth straight year.

    "I love to come here and see the kids," said Murphy. "It's fun to come back to the post." Her husband was an Air Force officer. "We used to come on base all the time to see movies at the theater, go to the commissary or fish in the creek," she said.

    Traditional highlights of the event included holiday music as well as entertainment from the Carlisle High School Show Choir and Band Ensemble, members of the Carlisle Barracks community, including a special visit from Elvis, and Christmas songs sung by children from the Moore Child Development Center.

    Elvis, played by USAWC student Col. Steven Carney, was once again one of the big hits.

   "He did a great job, I really enjoyed his singing," said Glenna Johnson, who came for the second year. "Elvis is one of the reasons I wanted to come back."

    Prior to departing from the Holiday Tea, each guest received a bag of cookies and a framed photo to remember their experience.  Extra cookies and poinsettias are also delivered to the area nursing and retirement homes.

    "I'm going to enjoy these when I get back to my room," said Helen Armstrong, who came to the tea for the first time. "I used to bake cookies all the time, but I can't anymore. I can't wait to come back next year."



Sgt. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Post chapel getting a makeover from the floor up

 December 1, 2005-Renovations are underway in the post chapel and the first phase will be finished by mid-December.

    New carpet in the sanctuary is the first step in a series of renovations designed to improve the aesthetic beauty of the chapel. The new floor covering will replace 12-year-old carpet.  

    "It's always important to upgrade the facility," said Sgt. Frances Forand, chapel NCOIC. "The new carpet will really add to the overall look of the chapel and give it a cleaner look."

    Local contractor Fluss Flooring is the contractor for the first stage of the remodeling, which will replace the carpet in the main chapel area. This will include the entry area, main worship area and pulpit area, totaling 5,364 square feet of floor space. This phase should be completed during the second week of Dec. The old carpet is being replaced with blue carpet of the same color and shade.

    The next phase will replace the 12,386 square feet of carpeting throughout the rest of the building --  offices, classrooms and meeting rooms.  Harrisburg Wall and Floor will be doing the work on the second phase and will begin work before Christmas.

    The cost of the carpet and installation is $39,339 and is paid with appropriated funds.




Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Anne Ely Hall finally set for renovations


December 8, 2005 -- Stop me if you've heard this one. "Anne Ely Hall will be undergoing renovations starting early next year."  After a long wait for funding, funds have been committed and the renovations are scheduled to start in March 2006.

    "This was originally scheduled to be a fiscal year 2003 project," said Bill Tarman, DPW Engineering and Environmental Division Chief.

    Now that the funding has been received, the renovations will help bring back to life a building that was beginning to show its age.

    "The scope of the project is pretty wide," said Tarman. "These renovations will be much like the one done for Thorpe Hall Gym, we are going in and fixing everything at once." 

    As part of the $3 million dollar renovation project, all of the offices in Anne Ely will be re-configured to better use space.

    "The building will have a totally new layout," said Tarman. The walls, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, heating and electrical are just some of the things that are being replaced and upgraded.

    "The building is basically being gutted and everything is being replaced for safety, comfort, efficiency and ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliance. There will even be an elevator installed to help people get around," said Tarman.

    The trees in front of Anne Ely will also be removed as part of the renovations due to the damage they have done to the foundation of the building. This could be done in the next few months.

    Many of the occupants of Anne Ely will relocate to the second floor of Upton Hall after some minor renovations have been done. The tenants aren't expected to move out until early next year.

    "There will be some work done to put up some walls, do some painting and run the necessary electric and computer cables," said Tom Kelly, DPW director. Funds are being sought for a complete renovation of Upton Hall at a later date.

    Complete plans for office relocations will be finalized after a meeting with DPW and the organizations.

    Also being affected by the renovations will be the USPS Post Office in Anne Ely.

    "During the renovations of the post office, which is scheduled to be the last part, there will be a "mobile post office" located near Anne Ely," said Kelly. More details will be available once the renovations begin and have been finalized.

    Tarman doesn't expect significant impact on parking at Anne Ely.

    "The parking lot will not be closed," said Tarman. "Less than ten spaces near the building may be closed during construction.  After completion, the parking lot will go back to the current configuration."



Sgt. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Post to add 53 trees to landscape

    December 7, 2005-Fifty-three new trees will be planted in "Tree City U.S.A." before the ground freezes this season.

    The Directorate of Public Works will be planting trees on main post, by the golf course and by the Army Heritage Education Center on Dec. 10 if the weather doesn't get too cold.

    "We can plant the trees anytime that the ground is not frozen, but the best times are in the spring and fall," said Keith Bailey, Biological Science Technician.

    Twenty-three trees will be planted on post, nine along the trail at AHEC and 21 along the trails on the golf course. The trees will vary in size from 3 to 20 feet in height and will include several different species of trees, said Bailey.

    One of the requirements for Carlisle Barracks to remain a Tree City USA is to plant three trees for every one tree that is cut down.

    "We have taken down a few trees this year," said Bailey, "but some of the trees are being planted in advance for some trees that we know will need to come down soon because they are not healthy."





Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

World-renowned architect to design visitors and education center

December 6, 2005 -- The U.S. Army Heritage Center Foundation announced Dec. 6 that Fentress Bradburn Architects, headquartered in Denver, Colo., will be the architectural firm that will design the Visitor and Education Center of the Army Heritage and Education Center.

    "We're really looking forward to working with the foundation and the Army to design this great facility," said architect Curt Fentress.

    The $16 million dollar visitor center will be built adjacent to Ridgway Hall, which opened in 2004 and houses the Military History Institute. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2006. The Visitor Center will be formally renamed at its opening scheduled for November 2007, as part of the Carlisle Barracks 250th anniversary celebrations.

    Fentress specializes in designed museum and is well known for its work on the Denver International Airport Passenger Terminal, the Marine Corps Museum and the Museum of Science in Boston, among other cultural and educational designs.

   The center will include a 250-seat auditorium, cafe, museum shop and offices for the staff. It also will also include 14,000 square feet of gallery space.

    The Visitors and Education Center is expected to draw ¼ million visitors annually to its educational programs and exhibits.  The visitor center will be the second major element of the Army Heritage and Education campus, located next to Carlisle Barracks; the first is the Military History Institute in Ridgway Hall, opened to the public September 2004 and the third is the Army Heritage Museum planned for 2011.





Holiday related closings

Dunham Army Health Clinic adjusted hours of operation

Christmas and New Year's holidays:

Dec. 19-23        7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 27-30        7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 24-26        Closed 

Dec. 31- Jan. 2 Closed

    Normal operating hours will resume Tue, Jan. 3.


    Due to the quarterly Commander's Information Briefing and Awards Ceremony, Dunham will close for the day at 2 p.m., Thu, Jan. 5.   Normal operating hours will resume Fri, Jan. 6  at 7:30 a.m.   


    Due to the Martin Luther King holiday, Dunham will be closed Mon, Jan. 16. Normal operating hours will resume Tue, Jan. 17.


Christmas hours for the Commissary

    Normal operating hours will resume Jan. 2.

Saturday - Christmas Eve

Dec. 24

Early Closure

9 a.m.- 4 p.m. (Close 1 hour early)


Dec. 25




Dec. 26


Closed - Holiday

Tues, Wed, Fri

Dec. 27, 28 & 30

Normal hours

9 a.m.- 6 p.m.


Dec. 29

Normal hours

9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Saturday - New Year's Eve

Dec. 31

Normal hours

9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Sunday - Happy New Year!

Jan. 1




Jan. 2


Closed - Holiday


ID card section closures

    The ID Card Section in Building 315 will be closed on December 23, and December 29. The office will be open for abbreviated hours on December 28, from 8 a.m.- noon.

    For more information call 245-3533.


Holiday hours for the Post Exchange

    For the remainder of the holiday season the PX will be open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sundays. The PX will extend hours until 9 p.m. on Friday evenings for the "moonlight madness" sales. 


Reduced staffing Friday at the Residential Communities Office and American Eagle Communities

    Due to the Christmas holiday, the RCO/AEC Offices will operate under a reduced staffing level on Friday, Dec. 23. Both offices will resume their normal working hours on Tuesday, Dec. 27.


Diane Devens, Director, Northeast Region, Installation Management Agency

Holiday safety message

   The months of December and January are a time of reflection and celebration.  Many decorate their homes with bright lights and festive trees and exchange gifts and the season's greetings.  Families and friends gather for hearty meals and parties to honor our religious, cultural, and ethic heritage and diversity or to welcome in the New Year.  Unfortunately, this holiday period is too often marred by tragedy.  Traffic accidents, fires, and home accidents take a needless toll.  The loss of even one life during this season affects us all - as a community and as a team.

    In recognition of the special driving hazards associated with the holiday period, The President has proclaimed December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.  We must all do our part to help prevent traffic crashes associated with drunk and drugged driving.  We must not drive while fatigued or intoxicated and we must obey traffic laws.

    I hope every one enjoys a safe and joyous holiday season and returns to work renewed and refreshed to again serve our great Nation.  To this end, I am placing an even greater emphasis on personal safety this year.  I encourage commanders and leaders at all levels to ensure that all Soldiers, civilian employees, and family-members receive appropriate safety briefings prior to the start of the holiday season.  Following are a few safety tips that should be discussed.

·         Stress the need for proper trip planning.  Travel plans must take into account distance; vehicle, road, and weather conditions; and rest periods.  Stress the 4-F's ... FAR, FAST, FATIGUE, FATAL.

·         Obey traffic laws, always wear seat belts, and ensure children are use proper seat restraints.  Comply with posted speed limits and slow down when conditions warrant.

·         If alcohol will be consumed during this festive time of the year, make sure you drink responsibly.  If unsure, make plans to include a Designated Driver or take a taxi.  Don't drive, or let others drive, if intoxicated.

·         Take every precaution to ensure holiday decorations do not create a fire hazard.  Do not overload electrical circuits.  Make sure cut trees are kept moist and away from ignition sources.  Be especially careful with lit candles.  And, inspect toys to make sure they are appropriate for the child's age and do not present a choking or strangulation hazard.

·         Be courteous and aware of your surroundings and the actions of others.  Step forward and take charge if others are at risk ... the greatest gift you may ever give is your intervention that protects a family-member, a friend, or even someone you've never met before.

    By pulling together, we can help prevent loss of life during this holiday period.




Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs and the Carlisle Barracks Safety Office

Holiday tips that last all year long

    Many people will travel a long way to reach their Holiday destination.  Holidays are the busiest time for highway traffic.  Before embarking on a journey, make sure the vehicle is ready. 

    Check and top off all fluids and tire pressure, and be sure windows are clear and the mirrors are adjusted.

    Weather, especially at this time of year, can be unpredictable.  An emergency package kept in the vehicle trunk may save lives.  The package should contain a blanket and some extra clothes, in case you become stranded.  It should also include maps, a flashlight and batteries, a portable radio, matches, flares and some type of rations such as nutrition bars and water.

    And, always, always buckle up your entire family.  Use lap belts and shoulder straps together, and place all children in the back seat in proper child restraint systems for maximum protection.  Drive sober at a safe speed for weather and road conditions.  It is better to spend a little less time at your destination than no time at all because of an accident.

Look out for animals

    Highways and byways are posted with many types of caution signs warning motorists of possible dangers.  Speed limits, sharp curves, and changing road conditions, and on military roads signs alert you to troop formations and reduced speed are all important warnings that most motorists heed.  In addition to these rather predictable situations is one of the biggest inherent dangers on roads. 

    Consider the risks associated with deer, and other animals while traveling on sparsely populated roads, on and off the installation.  Most states report between 1 and 5 percent of motor vehicle accidents involve hitting an animal. In Pennsylvania, out of 1,500 such accidents, there were five fatalities and approximately one-third resulted in personal injury. 

Tips for a safe holiday season

    The holiday season is a happy and joyous time for friends and family to come together, celebrate and be thankful for all that is good. Unfortunately, the holiday season also brings a dramatic increase of drunk and drugged driving. Every year, hundreds of families are faced with the devastating consequences of someone driving after consuming too much alcohol.  The following information offers suggestions on how to have a safe and happy holiday season.  Remember "it's always OK NOT to drink."

How to have a safe holiday party:

v      Always know who is driving - Make sure the designated drivers have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.

v      Serve food - Especially foods such as cheese, nuts, and meat as these foods help slow the body's alcohol absorption rate.

v      Obey the law - ID anyone you may not know at your party. Never serve anyone who is under 21 or is already intoxicated.

v      Focus on fun - Have games, music, entertainment or other activities to shift the emphasis from drinking to socializing.

v      Know what to look for - Signs of impairment can include lack of coordination, aggressive behavior, very talkative, very indifferent, slurred speech and incoherent speech.

v      Offer Safe Rides - Whether it is providing taxi company numbers or having a designated driver available, make sure no one leaves the party to drive impaired.

Safe drinking tips:

v      Eat before and during drinking.

v      Before you celebrate, designate; identify a responsible driver or use public transportation.

v      Don't chug your drinks; drink slowly and make your drinks last.

v      Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

v      Remember the word HALT, don't drink if you're Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.

v      Drink responsibly, stay in control of yourself.

v      Remember, it's ALWAYS ok NOT to drink. 

FACT - the loss of lives to impaired driving is completely preventable. There are alternatives.

Designated driver program on Carlisle Barracks

    The LVCC and Strike Zone Bowling Center support the Designated Driver Program. Simply inform the bartender that you are the designated driver and you will receive FREE non-alcoholic drinks throughout the event. They may give you a button or sticker that will identify you as such, wear it proudly. 


Sgt. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Post Soldiers step back in time



Pfc. George Galesky looks at an exhibit of a section of the Berlin Wall in the Smithsonian Nov. 23 during a Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers trip to Washington D.C.

want more photos?


November 29, 2005-Members of the Carlisle Barracks Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program visited Smithsonian museums on Nov. 23 to learn about natural history, military history and to go on a virtual 3D safari.

    Eleven Soldiers fought the pre-Thanksgiving traffic and toured the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History in Washington D.C. before the holiday break.

     One of the more dramatic displays was the military display in the American History Museum. It showed the similarities and differences of Soldiers from the French and Indian Wars through the current war in the Middle East, visually depicting scenes of military life and displaying weapons of friends and foes.

    "It made me feel proud to wear the uniform," said Sgt. Chucky Herzog of the Human Resource Directorate. "It really gave me a sense of where we've been and how far we've come."

     In the museum, the Soldiers learned about the history of their nation. From colonization to the present, the Soldiers were able to see displays and artifacts that told the story of the American experience.

    The Soldiers also traveled into the prehistoric world to see dinosaurs and sea creatures of a time long past in the Natural History Museum. There they traveled to Africa in a 3D IMAX theater, searching for exotic animals with a virtual guide.

    "It seemed very realistic," said Staff Sgt. Lolien Toombs, post judge advocate paralegal NCOIC. "It felt like I was there with the guide seeing the animals. It was a great educational experience."

    At the Museum of Natural History, the Soldiers experienced animals and insects, rocks and minerals, and plants and trees of the past and present.

    "It was a worthwhile learning experience," said Sgt. Ricky Woods, BOSS vice president, "We got to know our history and learn things that we have never experienced."





Lt. Col. Merideth Bucher, Public Affairs Officer

Deployed officers returning to families, seminars

    The Army's decision to deploy officers prior to their War college graduation made local headlines last year, and will likely again as these same officers have begun returning to Carlisle Barracks at the completion of their tours.   

    The Department of the Army alerted nine Army officers from the USAWC class of 2005 to deploy in January 2005 as part of an Army initiative to resource war fighting units and stabilize commands.  Eight officers deployed to positions in Iraq and one officer deployed to Afghanistan.  While they departed as a group most are returning individually once their positions are backfilled in theater and they are cleared to depart. 

     "We have made provisions for the returning officers to join existing seminars in the AY06 class, which is currently underway," said  Col. Kevin Weddle, deputy dean of academics.  "The group of nine officers is returning to a slightly different curricular model, which was identified when they departed. 

     "Our charter is to integrate them into the new curriculum in a manner that will allow them to complete the requirements for the USAWC diploma and the Master of Strategic Studies Degree so they can graduate in June with the class of 2006," added Weddle.

     "It is terrific to have these officers return to Carlisle Barracks," said Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, USAWC commandant.  "We are happy they will be reunited with their families after a tough year of professionally challenging work," said Huntoon.   "And they will bring with them a strong operational currency that will benefit the War College, their fellow students, the faculty, and the U.S. military in their future strategic level responsibilities."



Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

To encrypt or not encrypt, that is the question


November 29, 2005 -- All post users have had the capability to encrypt and digitally sign their emails since late 2004. But do you know when and what you are supposed to encrypt or digitally sign?

    Data is encrypted to ensure confidentiality, however data confidentiality results only when the intended recipient can decrypt the encrypted information. 

  According to Army regulations, emails that require encryption include the sending of sensitive information, information protected by The Privacy Act of 1974, and information protected under The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

    Sensitive information is defined by the Army as any unclassified information "the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of which could adversely affect the national interest or the conduct of federal programs, or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under the Privacy Act."

    Sensitive information is also:

  •  Sensitive Carlisle Barracks Policy

  •  Proprietary information that deals with contracts, e.g. contractor proposals, contractor salaries

  • Travel itineraries for personnel traveling to and from Carlisle Barracks

  • Sensitive photos, which can include those of Soldiers in theater or of military equipment

For Official Use Only (FOUO) information

  • Information protected by The Privacy Act of 1974 which would include personal records, financial information, social security numbers, home address, home telephone numbers, and spouse/children information

  • Information protected by HIPPA which would include any personal health related information


Carlisle Barracks Digital Signature Policy

    As a general rule in the Army, a digital signature should be used whenever e-mail is considered official business and/or contains sensitive information. The digital signature provides assurances that the integrity of the message has remained intact in transit, and provides for the non-repudiation of the message that the sender cannot later deny having originated the e-mail. 

    All e-mail at USAWC will be digitally signed if the e-mail is for official business.  Official Business is defined by Army Regulations as communications necessary to carry out the business of the Federal Government.  E-mail is "official business" if:

  • It promulgates Carlisle Barracks /USAWC policy

  • You want to ensure people know it came from you (i.e., "non-repudiation") and ensure the integrity of the message remains intact in transit (proves no one tampered with your message)

  • It responds to a tasking from an outside agency, e.g. TRADOC, HQ DA tasking, etc

  • It provides legally binding direction to contracts

  • It gives final directional guidance to perform a task (i.e., final signed MOI for execution, Chief of Staff direction to provide support, departmental chairman tasking to subordinate to provide support)

 E-mails that are not considered "official business" and do not require digital signature are:

  • Normal day to day e-mail

  • E-mail to acquaintances asking how they are doing

  • E-mail establishing a routine meeting

  • Messages to your spouse or family members

  • Farewell announcements, retirement announcements


    For more information see Carlisle Barracks Regulation No. 25-13, Carlisle Barracks e-mail digital signing/encryption policy.


AKO users password changes coming

    In accordance with a directive from the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations, AKO will require password changes for all AKO users beginning Dec.5.  

    Users will be required to change passwords in a phased operation - individual users may not be prompted to change their password until as late as February 2006. The password change will be required even if the user has recently changed their password, and will reset the timer for AR25-2's mandatory change at 150 days. Wait for AKO to prompt you for the password change, as user initiated password changes will not preempt the overall forced change. 


2005 International and Military Mail Christmas mailing dates

    To ensure delivery of holiday cards and packages by December 25 to military APO/FPO addresses overseas and to international addresses, the U.S. Postal Service suggests that mail be entered by the recommended mailing dates listed below. Beat the last-minute rush and take your mail to your U. S. Post Office by these suggested dates.

Military Mail Addressed To

Express Mail® Military Service (EMMS)

First-Class Mail® Letters/Cards

Priority Mail®

Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL)

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 090-092   

Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 10

Dec 3



Dec 5

Dec 5

Dec 3

APO/FPO AE ZIPs 094-098

Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 10

Dec 3


Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 10

Dec 3

APO/FPO AP ZIPs 962-966

Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 10

Dec 3


International Mail Addressed to

Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)

Global Express Mail® (GEM)

Global Priority Mail® (GPM)

Global Airmail® Letters and Cards

Global Airmail Parcel Post


Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 7

Dec 5

Dec 5

Asia / Pacific Rim

Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12

Australia / New Zealand

Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12


Dec 20

Dec 17

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12


Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12

Central & South America    

Dec 19

Dec 10

Dec 5

Dec 5

Dec 5


Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12


Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12

Middle East

Dec 19

Dec 16

Dec 14

Dec 12

Dec 12


U.S. Postal Service release

Governors approve change in postage rates
New rates go into effect January 8

WASHINGTON - The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service today voted to accept the Postal Rate Commission's recommendations to increase most postal rates and fees by approximately 5.4 percent across-the-board to take effect January 8.
    This rate increase - the first since 2002 - is needed to fulfill the requirement of a federal law passed in 2003. That law requires the Postal Service to establish a $3.1 billion escrow account, with use of the funds to be determined by Congress at a later date. Without this federal mandate, it would not have been necessary to raise rates in 2006.
    Among the rate adjustments, the single-piece rate for First-Class Mail will increase from 37 cents to 39 cents, and the postcard rate will increase by one cent to 24 cents. The Board of Governors of the Postal Service set January 8, 2006, as the effective date for the changes.
    International rates, which are determined separately from domestic prices, will be adjusted to coincide with the domestic rate changes. International rates have not been adjusted since January 2001.
    For a chart on selected rates, please see below.

Selected Rate Changes




First-Class Letter (1 oz.)



First-Class Letter (2 oz.)






Priority Mail (1 lb.)



Express Mail (1/2 lb)



Express Mail (2 lb)



Fee and Service Changes




Certified Mail



Delivery Confirmation (Priority)



Delivery Confirmation (First Class Parcels)



Return Receipt (Original Signature)



Return Receipt (Electronic)



Money Orders (up to $500)




DoD release

Military health system enters new era

  The Department of Defense achieved a major milestone with the launch of AHLTA, its global electronic health record system, at a ceremony hosted by Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and attended by Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of health and human services, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda today.

    AHLTA is the largest, most significant electronic health record system of its kind with the potential to serve more than nine million servicemembers, retirees and their families worldwide.  When fully implemented, about 60,000 military healthcare professionals at DoD medical facilities in the United States, and 11 other countries will use this electronic health record system.

    "Beneficiaries' health records will be available around the clock and around the world, available to healthcare providers, yet protected from loss and unauthorized access," said Winkenwerder. "Our electronic health record has matured to a point that its size and complexity are unrivaled.   Most importantly, this new system was built in partnership with America's leading information technology companies."

    Today, many thousands of military medical providers are using the system, and early 300,000 outpatient visits are captured digitally every week.  Full deployment of the system in DoD's 800 clinics and 70 hospitals will be complete by December 2006. 

    "With the roll-out of AHLTA, the Department of Defense has made a great step toward achieving President Bush's goal of making electronic health records available to a majority of Americans within 10 years," said Leavitt.  "The lessons we learn from an initiative of this geographic scope and patient base will prove invaluable for future private and government health systems."

    The longer term vision, expected to be achieved in the next two to three years, is a continuously updated digital medical record from the point of injury or care on the battlefield to military clinics and hospitals in the United States, all completely transferable electronically to the Veterans Health Administration. 

    A massive training program for AHLTA is currently underway in DoD's medical community to ensure all who have access to the system are properly trained in usage and health record security. 

    More information on AHLTA can be found on their Web site at



Volunteer youth basketball coaches wanted

    Youth Services is looking for volunteers for the upcoming basketball season for all leagues ages 6-18. Play runs from Jan. 9 through March 25.

     For more information call Don Watkins at 245-4170


Maj. Gen. David Huntoon, USAWC Commandant

War College maintains ties with students, staff deployed to Iraq


    November 22, 2005 -- A few days ago, Command Sergeant Major Saunders, Major Kuykendall, and I were privileged to travel to Iraq and Kuwait to spend time with our serving Soldiers, students, and faculty from the U.S. Army War College.  This trip also afforded us an opportunity to discuss Army training and leader development issues with senior commanders in both places in support of a Task Force on that topic chartered by the Secretary of the Army. 

    In Baghdad we met with General George Casey, CG of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, Lt. Gen.  John Vines, CG of the Multi-National Corps, Lt. Gen. Marty Dempsey, CG of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, Major General Webster, CG of the 3rd Infantry Division, Major General Turner, CG of the 101st Abn DIV (AASLT), and Major General Rodriguez, CG of the Multi National Division-North.  We met with many other leaders, from Brigade Commanders and Sergeants Major in the 3ID to team leaders in the Texas National Guard.  

    The common denominator of their service is exceptional professionalism, selflessness, a positive sense of the mission, confidence in the future, and well deserved pride in their work to date.  Your War College team overseas is also characterized by a tremendous work ethic--seven days a week--an unwavering commitment to support the people of Iraq, and by the wry sense of humor that has always been the tradition of American Soldiers in a combat theater.


    In Baghdad we met with several students from the Class of 2005 who are about rejoin the Class of 2006 after a year of service in country.  Our AWC students and graduates are filling key strategic positions throughout the multinational headquarters, and will bring home with them outstanding credentials and operational and strategic staff experience that will be of great value both in the remainder of their time as students here and in their bright military future. 

    We met other AWC team members such as former Garrison Commander, Col. John Koivisto, and faculty member Colonel Dale Eikmeier, both serving a TCS tour in Baghdad.  We visited Master Sergeant Steve Magnin, former enlisted aide for Quarters One, who is now the senior enlisted aide for General Casey. Like all his comrades, he is doing great work!  We also spoke by tactical communications to several lieutenants on the front lines in Iraq who are the sons and daughters of our team here at the War College.  Their responsibilities are clearly important in this campaign, and they were universally positive about their mission and proud of their own Soldiers.   

    All with whom we spoke expressed sincere gratitude to the home team at Carlisle Barracks for the support they have received since being deployed, and expressed equal enthusiasm about returning home with a sense of having made a difference in this strategic mission during their time overseas.  Traveling by commercial air, by C-130, by UH-60, and by up-armored HMWVV convoy from command post to command post, we were all impressed by the remarkable progress that is being made in Baghdad in every element of the infrastructure, in governance, and in the transition of the national security mission to the Iraqi forces.   


    We were also reminded of the sacrifice of our Soldiers when we attended a 3rd Infantry Division memorial service one evening for three Soldiers who had been killed by enemy forces a few days earlier near the city.  That event was just one of many sobering and constant reminders throughout the trip of the deadly serious nature of this conflict.  But it is that sacrifice that is surely and steadily building a new country that is being given a bright hope for freedom from tyranny and the opportunity for self-governance, justice, and the rule of law in ways that it has never known.

    In our visit to Kuwait, we spent the majority of our time at Camp Arifjian through which deploying Soldiers to Iraq conduct their final preparations.  There we also met with AWC students, recent graduates, and senior leaders such as Lt. Gen. Steve Whitcomb, the CFLCC CDR and his staff.  We spent time with the Army's up-armored vehicle facility which is doing great work to prepare all wheeled vehicles for the protection necessary to counter the IED and other ballistic threats. At Camp Arifjian, the work is no less important and the daily effort no less critical to mission success.

  Your Army War College is well represented in Iraq and Kuwait-and in every corner of the globe--by graduates, staff and faculty who are laboring very hard under tough and often dangerous conditions in this global war against international terrorists.  The sacrifice of all our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, US Government Civilians, and multinational partners in the International Coalition who are forward deployed, their remarkable example of duty and selfless commitment, their courage and their competence make us all proud.  On this Thanksgiving holiday we should all pause to stop and remember them with gratitude for their noble service to freedom around the world.




Holiday message: Remember deployed troops

    As we celebrate this holiday season, we should also celebrate the spirit of the American Soldier.
    For more than 230 years, this spirit led America's men and women to courageously answer the call to duty and help preserve liberty throughout the world. Today, this same noble spirit inspires our Soldiers as they simultaneously fight the war on terror and transform the Army to meet future challenges.
    This holiday season should also be a time of remembrance. We should remember our Soldiers deployed in 120 countries around the world. Likewise, we should keep in our hearts our family members while their loved ones are far from home. And of course, we will always remember our Soldiers who never returned from the fight and their families.
    May you all have a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season. May God bless the men and women in our Army. And may God bless our wonderful country.

Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston




Spouses club hosting tour of homes

    Holiday tour of Homes - sponsored by the Carlisle Barracks Spouses Club Saturday, December 10, 2005 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Get into the spirit of the holidays with this unique opportunity to tour 12 seasonally-decorated Army War College homes, including:

~  the home Pop Warner, the legendary football coach, once occupied,

~  the recently-refurbished Commandant's Quarters,

~  the Wilson Residence on Carlisle Pike.

     Tickets are $10 in advance - $12 the day of the Tour. Tickets are on sale at the PX at the Gift Wrap Table or can be purchased at the door of Quarters 1 the day of the Tour.

     For more information call 422-6382.


Quarters One open house

    The annual holiday installation Open House at Quarters 1 for post staff and faculty will be this Friday, Dec. 9 from 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.

Post Christmas tree lighting ceremony Dec. 8

    Carlisle Barracks 2005 tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in front of the post chapel.

    Refreshments will be served in the chapel assembly room following the ceremony.  A very special guest for children will arrive via a post fire truck. 

    Traffic will be routed away from the event site shortly before the tree lighting.  Mara Circle will also be closed. 




ID card section closures

The ID Card Office will be closed on the following days:


Dec. 8 - Closed from noon- 4 p.m.

Dec. 21 - Closed

Dec. 23 - Closed

Dec. 26 - Closed

Dec. 28 and 29 - Closed


Spouses Club holiday wrap schedule

    The CBSC Holiday Gift Wrap starts Friday, November 25 at 11 a.m. and ends on December 24 at 4 p.m.  Services are located in the lobby of the Post Exchange. Donations will benefit the CBSC Scholarship and Outreach programs.


Hours of Operation:


Monday-Friday        11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday   11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Fridays in December-Moonlight Madness:  2, 9, and  23-11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00- 9:00 p.m.


Dec 16:  11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Dec 23:  10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Dec 24: 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.



Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

New calendar your one stop for all post community events

    Want to know what Youth Services events are going on this month? Not sure what activities the LVCC is planning this month? Well you can find all of that and more on the new Carlisle Barracks community events calendar.

    Located online at, the calendar provides users with an easy-to-use and always up-to-date look at what's happening on and around post. Web users can find direct links to the calendar from the CBnet, the Carlisle Barracks  webpage and the Banner Online.

    "I think that this will be a great tool for everyone who lives on or off post," said Lt. Col. Ty McPhillips, garrison commander. "You can see what events are happening, weeks and months in advance if you want, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

    The calendar can be customized for each user so they get the information they want by using the Options Tab located in the top menu bar. Users can customize the types of events they want to see, how many weeks they want to see at a time and whether they want to see it in a calendar or list format. 

    Users also have the ability to print out a copy of the calendar, if they don't want to wait for the Banner Xtra, which comes out the first of every month and is sent through on-post distribution.

    In the next few weeks you'll also notice that there are fewer calendars and publications distributed around the installation.

    "We're making an effort to cut down on the duplication of work with so many different publications," said McPhillips. In the coming weeks and months, you'll no longer see the FYI green sheets and Weekly Bulletin. Don't worry though, the same information you look for every month will be in the Banner and Banner Xtra.

    "I think this calendar will really make it a lot easier to find out what's going on and when, on the installation," said McPhillips.




AAFES release

How to show your support for troops this holiday season


November 21, 2005 -- As the holidays approach, many begin thinking about fellow Americans deployed far from home. While all efforts to support troops serving overseas are greatly appreciated, some are admittedly safer and more effective than others.

    "Because the Department of Defense discontinued their 'any Soldier' mailing program in October 2001, Americans are unable to easily send letters or packages to troops they do not personally know," said the Army & Air Force Exchange Services' (AAFES') Chief of Corporate Communications Lt. Col. Debra Pressley. "This is not done to keep friends and family from sending mail to the troops, but rather to reduce the inherent risks that come with receiving mail from strangers and ease the strain on a taxed military mail system."

    Some troop support sites have attempted to address the discontinuation of the popular "any Soldier" program by posting the personal information of deployed troops to the internet.

    In response to military families' concerns about security, defense officials have distanced their official Web site from sites that publicly post arrival and departure dates to and from Iraq or Afghanistan, home bases, names and addresses.

    Shortly after the "any Soldier" program was discontinued, AAFES also set out to find a program that any individual, organization or business could use to send support to troops serving in Operation Enduring Freedom, even if they didn't have a name or address.

    The solution to those wanting to help their nameless heroes was found in a gift certificate program dubbed "Gifts from the Homefront."

    Lightweight, regulated and affordable, these Exchange gift certificates can be redeemed at any AAFES PX/BX facility in the world including more than 55 locations scattered throughout Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

    "Gifts from the Homefront" can be sent to a specific Soldier, Airmen, Sailor or Marine or addressed to the attention of "Any Service Member." AAFES works in cooperation with charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society, Fisher House and USO to distribute support ear marked for "any service member."

    Reports from Iraq indicate troops are redeeming the PX/BX gift certificates for sports drinks, candy bars and phone cards.

    "If you know someone serving far from home, please send them letters, baked goods and love from home," said Lt. Col. Pressley. "If you don't have a specific service member's name or address, 'Gifts from the Homefront' offers a flexible, efficient and secure care package alternative that makes it easy to show deployed troops you are thinking of them."

    "Gifts from the Homefront" gift certificates are available at or 877-770-4438.

    Whether sending a traditional care package or a "Gift from the Homefront," Americans are advised to mail early. The earliest recommended mailing deadline from the Military Postal Service Agency was Nov. 12 for parcel post to Iraq and Afghanistan.



Sgt. David Hopkins, Public Affairs Office

Get ready, winter's coming!

 November 17, 2005-The recent drop in temperatures, the falling leaves and the shorter days mean one thing, winter is on its way. The harsh winter weather can be hard on your home, pets, plants, car and your health.  Are you ready?

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site, the average winter temperature is 34 degrees in Carlisle and we average over 35 inches of snow per year. This winter could be even colder. In fact, the Farmer's Almanac predicts a colder than normal winter. You need to be ready for whatever the winter months bring.


Preparing your home

    Start to prepare your home for the winter cold, snow and ice now so it will be ready when bad weather arrives. There are several things you can do to make sure your home is ready for winter weather.

    "The first thing that needs to be done is to walk around the outside of the house to make sure vents are clear," said Wayne Boyd, Department of Public Works. "Also, remove any water hoses from the spouts, as they will freeze and possibly break pipes."

    Boyd advises that dead branches should be removed from trees.  Ice and snow could cause weak branches to break, causing damage to structures. Also, as days become shorter, make sure your outdoor lighting is in good working order.  Good lighting can protect you against crime and accidental falls.

    According to Carlisle Barracks fire officials, you should check smoke and Co2 detectors to make sure they are working properly. Replace the batteries if they are not hard-wired to your electrical system.

    "It's a good idea to get into the habit of changing your smoke detector batteries when the time changes for daylight savings," said Jim O'Connell, fire captain, Carlisle Barracks fire department. "When you change your clocks, just make a point to change the smoke detector batteries, too. If you didn't change them when you set your clocks back, do it now."

    Always make sure you have a snow shovel and road-salt on hand to keep your sidewalks clear of snow and ice.

    If you experience a weather related emergency this winter contact the Carlisle Barracks Fire Department.  For all other issues call the Department of Public Works, work order desk at 245-4019.


            Home preparation check list

q       Make sure exterior vents are clear.

q       Remove exterior garden hoses and shut off faucets.

q       Remove weak trees and branches.

q       Check outdoor lighting.

q       Check and change batteries in fire and Co2 detectors.

q       Make sure you have a snow shovel and salt for sidewalks.


Preparing your car

    A well running car in the winter can mean the difference between making it home and sitting in the cold, said Derrick Hurley, mechanic for the Skill Development Center.

    "You will want to change your oil and check all your fluid levels, especially your coolant," said Thompson. "Make sure your belts, hoses and windshield wipers are in good condition, make sure your tires are not too worn and that you have all-weather or winter tires. Old oil will get thick in the cold so make sure you get it changed."

    It is also a good idea to let your car warm up for a while before driving it on cold mornings, said Hurley. Warming your car will allow all the fluids in your vehicle to flow properly and help your car function as it should.

    The auto shop at the SDC can prepare your vehicle for the winter season by changing your oil, performing a radiator flush, conducting a fluids check and top off, checking belts and hoses, tire pressure check and a wiper blade check. Call the SDC at 245-3319 to make an appointment.

    Hurley also suggests people place a winter emergency kit in each car, which should include a shovel, windshield scraper, battery powered radio, extra batteries, water, snack food, extra hats and mittens, a flashlight, chain or rope, road salt and sand, booster cables and emergency flares.


            Car preparation check list

q       Keep oil changes up to date.

q       Check radiator fluid/flush.

q       Check fluid levels.

q       Check all belts.

q       Check all hoses.

q       Check or replace wiper blades.

q       Check tire tread.

q       Check or replace battery.

q       Check or replace thermostat.

q       Lubricate working parts.

q       Make sure you have an emergency kit.


Winter driving tips

    Ice, snow and slush on the roads in the winter can create a very hazardous situation. Planning ahead can make your road trips much safer. reminds you to always plan ahead with safety in mind.  Be sure to check the forecast; if a winter storm is predicted for the area in which you will be driving, think twice, (or) ask yourself if the trip is necessary.  Also, check road condition reports on the television, radio or Internet.

    When driving in the winter, always wear your seatbelt; remove ice and snow from windows, license plates and lights; reduce your speed while driving; watch for slick spots under bridges and on overpasses and keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to prevent the vehicle's fuel line from freezing.


            Winter driving check list

q       Watch weather reports.

q       Watch road condition reports.

q       Wear seatbelts.

q       Clear ice from windows and lights.

q       Reduce your speed.

q       Watch for slick spots on the road.

q       Keep gas tank at least two-thirds full.


    Start preparing for the winter months now so you're ready when harsh weather strikes.