Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Intelligence Strategies Seek to Predict Enemy Actions

“The problem we deal with now is much more complex with enemies that will not only hide among the population, but will also open fire on our ground forces from amongst the population,” Air Force Col. Eric Holdaway, AFCENT/AFFOR director of intelligence, told bloggers and online journalists during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable, April 23. To combat these challenges, the Air Force devised new strategies for gathering information to target the enemy. “The purpose of all intelligence is to help our commanders get ahead of the enemies decision cycle so that we are able to anticipate what they are likely to do… so that we can obtain our objectives,” Holdaway said. Joining us on the call were Jarred Fishman, www.airforcepundit.com; David Axe, www.warisboring.com; Chuck Simmons, www.northshorejournal.com; Noah Schachtman, www.blog.wired.com; Greg Grant, www.military.com; Airforcelive.mil.

Tuskegee Airmen Use Social Media to Share Experiences

As the Defense Department ventures into social media, even the famed Tuskegee Airmen are using popular social media tools to engage others and inform the world about their service to their country. An Air Force public affairs officer accompanying the airmen on a recent trip to Southwest Asia to visit with U.S., joint and coalition forces and thank them for their service shared highlights from their trip on Facebook and Twitter. “Troops are following this journey on Facebook,” Maj. Andra Higgs, director of public affairs for 4th Air Force and assigned to Air Forces Central Command for this trip, said during a “DoD Live” bloggers roundtable April 24. “We’ve got this capacity now to communicate by way of satellite around the world in real time.” One of the four Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson said that he is "taken aback by the technology of the young people, the technological expertise," he said. Jefferson served during World War II as a fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Group's 301st Fighter Squadron in Ramitelli, Italy.

Joining on the call were Chuck Simmons and U.S. Air Force Live.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Coast Guard Discusses their Green Initiatives

Coast Guard Office of Environmental Management’s Thomas Granito spoke with bloggers and online journalists, April 21, about the Coast Guard’s environmental initiatives over the past 10 years and how their environmental focus has changed for everyone in their service branch. “Today, it's a -- sort of a different world, and ‘environmental’ has taken a whole new meaning, and environmental is part of everybody's job,” added Granito. He also addressed Coast Guard's green initiatives, their Academy Award-winning recycling program, and an electronic systems detachment cell that harbors wind and solar energy systems. “We're also looking at seeking alternative and renewable fuels, eventually developing a good carbon footprint by assessing our impact from fuel usage and emissions,” he said.

Joining us on the call were Chuck Simmons and Andrew Bochman.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

General Provides Insight into the Joint Bilateral Exercise Balikatan '09

Exercise Balikatan ’09, a joint bilateral exercise between the United States and Philippines, is the 25th in the series as it relates to U.S.-Philippine participation. U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Ronald Bailey, deputy commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force; commanding general of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and U.S. director of Balikatan ’09 told bloggers, April 21 about the three events that they will be participating in during the exercise, which ends on April 30. “Our first one is the humanitarian and civic assistance projects. The second is a scenario-based staff exercise that we’ll run from Manila with the joint force management headquarters, Philippines. And the final one involves field training activities in the Central Luzon and the Cavite province,” Bailey said. Balikatan is a term that means shoulder to shoulder. “The term ‘Balikatan’ is a Tagalog term which means ‘shoulder to shoulder,’ and for us it characterizes the philosophy and intent of the exercise,” he added.

Joining us on the call were Andrew Lubin and Jim Dolbow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Progress Update Provided by Director of Iraqi Center for Lessons Learned

Col. Evan Jay Trinkle, director of the Iraqi Center for Lessons Learned talked with bloggers and online journalists on DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable April 9 about the center’s lessons learned in Iraq to date. “The government of Iraq is making enormous progress in developing a professional military force that is capable of collecting and analyzing data from the variety of current and historic sources. This includes operations and training events that produce reports and viable training, lessons for military commanders, staff and students,” said Trinkle. “The mission of MNSTC-I is to … be of assistance to the Iraq government. In that, we must make certain the necessary steps of ensuring the nation’s self-sufficiency during the critical transition from coalition- to Iraq-led operations in support of the security agreement are all in place.”

Joining us on the call were Chuck Simmons and Sean Pillai

Thursday, April 9, 2009

General Provides Iraq Update

“We continue to operate under the security agreement as of 1 January which means more and more of the security responsibilities are being passed to the government of Iraq and their security forces,” Maj. Gen. David Perkins, director of Strategic Effects, CJ-9, Multi-National Force – Iraq, told bloggers and online journalists. MNF-I has already transitioned over 40 bases, areas, and facilities back under the guidance of the Iraqis, Perkins added.

Joining us on the call were Greg Grant, Jeremy Domergue, and Jarred Fishman.

Friday, April 3, 2009

North Dakota Adjutant General Discusses Flood Relief Efforts

Maj. Gen. David A. Sprynczynatyk, the adjutant general, North Dakota National Guard, discussed the current relief efforts the National Guard is providing to the flooded region in North Dakota, in a special roundtable with bloggers and online journalists. Sprynczynatyk described the flooding as "epic" but applauded the efforts of National Guard soldiers and airmen from North Dakota, as well as Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, who have all contributed to the flood effort. "We have done everything we can to bring together the resources, the equipment, the people, to assist those communities," said Sprynczynatyk. "In a matter of five days we went from zero on state active duty to over 2,400."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Marine Corps Officer Discusses 2009 Fiscal Year Recruiting

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Robert Milstead, commanding general of the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Command said that the Marine Corps has not been negatively affected by the struggling economy. Milstead spoke with online journalists and bloggers during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable, April 1. “I would tell you, for the enlisted, that it has not made a difference,” Milstead told online journalists and bloggers during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable March 31. “It’s increased the number of young men and women walking in the doors,” he said.

Joining us on the call were Andrew Lubin, themilitaryobserver.blogspot.com; Kevin Baron, Stars and Stripes-Central; Bryant Jordan, military.com.

CFACC Discusses the Air War in Afghanistan

Air Force Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., spoke with online journalists and bloggers during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable, April 1 and explained his role as the combined force air component commander of U.S. Central Command, since February 2006. In this capacity, North has been overseeing the air war in Afghanistan along with all air operations for Iraq and other areas of Central Command’s theater. "We anticipate in 2009 that we will at least surpass 16 million pounds and most probably be up between 20 million and 25 million of pounds of air dropped equipment and supplies as the fight continues," said North. He added that another part of their mission is air medical evacuation. "[It] is a large portion of what we do to ensure either with rotary wing or light fixed wing that we're able to extract our wounded from forward operating locations, bring them to a theater level hospital in Afghanistan and then be able to [transport] them out to a regional hospital in Europe and then back to the states as required," he added.

Joining us on the call were Greg Grant, www.nextgov.com; Noah Shachtman, www.blog.wired.com; Jim Dolbow, www.blog.usni.org; David Axe, www.warisboring.com; CJ Grisham, www.soldiersperspective.com; and Andrew Lubin, www.themilitaryobserver.blogspot.com.