P3 News

Teamwork And Technology: Game Changers For The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers

Story by Sabrina Dalton on 12/10/2018

These professionals all work together on the same team to engineer solutions, produce energy, reduce flood risks, support outdoor recreation, and protect commerce, energy, agriculture, natural resources, and critical infrastructure such as schools, airports and hospitals. One could venture to say that if there's a college degree that exists, then it probably exists under the USACE umbrella.

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Wfx 19-01, Jr. Soldiers Learning To Preform

Story by SSG Jacob Kohrs on 12/10/2018

"The 17th Field Artillery Brigade participated in Warfighter 19-1 over the last 10 days," said the 17th FA Bde. operations sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Sean O'Brien. "This exercise is built upon individual skills and allowed our sections to conduct one of the most realistic collective training events the Army has to offer."

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A Grace-Perfected Day

Story by SSG Nicholas Farina on 12/10/2018
JOINT BASE MYER HENDERSON-HALL, V.A. A group of 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Soldiers and leaders came together here on Whipple field to watch the Presidential Salute Battery render a 50-Gun Salute; a final honor to close out the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush. The post flag flew at half-staff in honor of his passing. A military police Soldier stood ready to lower it, signifying the end of the duty day.
It was getting dark.
The view of our nation's capital from the top of this hill, where our military officially receives many of its foreign dignitaries, is absolutely breath-taking. As Soldiers of The Old Guard, we are accustomed to the view over the city because it's our back yard. It was cold out but it felt good. The city looked tired. It has been a long week of mourning. The Presidential Salute Battery Soldiers were set in place, ceremoniously postured and ready to fire the cannons.
I will never forget this week. After nine years of service, I have collected a handful of impactful experiences I can recall with vivid detail. Some are good, some are bad. Service members tend to find themselves in extraordinary circumstances that stay with them for the rest of their lives. I knew going into this week that there would be a day that I would hang onto.
That day would turn out to be Monday, December 3, 2018. The day I and our former president, through circumstance and serendipity beyond my comprehension, both arrived in the Capitol Rotunda.
For the state funeral, I was tasked to provide media escort for the Bush family photographer during the arrival ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. My directions were to escort the photographer to the top of the capitol steps. I was to stay out of view and chose a position behind a pillar. The plan stated that after the casket entered the rotunda, I was to guide the photographer to the waiting area. It was a simple task, but due to the high visibility of the moment there was no room for error.
It did not go as planned.
As the flag-draped casket ascended the capitol steps, carried aloft by a joint team of America's finest sons, I lost sight of the photographer. I moved and spotted him quickly, but now I was in full view of the ceremony. I quickly rendered a sharp salute as the 41st president approached. I was a part of it now.
The moment was complete. The photographer got his shots and I informed him that it was time to go to the waiting area. We moved together and in passing he casually engaged a security guard about gaining access to the rotunda where Bush would lie in state. The guard complied without hesitation and before I could say a word they were moving. I followed close on the heels of my charge who was swept along in the moment as I wondered if things were going off the rails.
To avoid disrupting the ceremony, the guard took us to an entrance by a circuitous route underneath the rotunda. Suddenly, I was standing in the rotunda as this exclusive and private ceremony began. There were senior government leaders, former presidents and former first ladies. The magnitude of the moment hit me and a flood of thoughts rushed through my mind. How did I end up here? What an honor. What an extraordinary experience. I'm probably going to be fired.
I pushed those thoughts aside and dove into the moment. While standing in the capitol's rotunda, I heard the 54th Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, describe Bush's legacy as, "grace perfected." The phrase stuck with me. I currently serve in a unit where we pursue perfection to achieve excellence. Our organization trains to harness discipline. Our Soldiers perform with precision and grace to honor the fallen.
The 41st President, George H. W. Bush, is known for his service. He was a World War II Navy pilot. He was the director of the CIA. He was the president of the United States. He served, and though it was in high places, he was one of us.
Decades from now, Soldiers of The Old Guard will tell their story of this week. The Guard of Honor who stood vigil at the capitol will share how they had to maintain ceremonial composure as former Republican Leader of the United States Senate Bob Dole was helped to his feet out of his wheel chair, and despite his condition was emotionally compelled to render a final salute to the president, once rival and now friend. A veteran of the Presidential Salute Battery will explain the significance of the empty artillery shell on their fireplace mantel that was expended the day President Bush was laid to rest. A former casket team member will be asked about a photo on their wall that captured the moment they carried Bush's casket on the flight line at Joint Base Andrews.
I will tell the story of how I stood at the top of the Capitol steps among the giants of our great nation and saluted a man who reminded us all how extraordinary it can be to serve.
As former President Bush received final honors back in Texas, the Presidential Salute Battery executed the cannon fire with reliable precision. The roar of the guns echoed and crackled over D.C. The smoke from the powder hazed the view, and more than a few of our eyes. There was no media, no crowds. Just us, The Old Guard. After a week of executing our duties with grace and dignity in front of the entire world, it never even entered our minds to break composure in our own back yard. Together we saluted the night sky. I felt honored to witness it. I was filled with pride to be a part of it.
Now that all is said and done, I guess there are two days from this week that will stay with me forever.


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The Future Of Warfare: Ausa Holds Artificial Intelligence And Automation Symposium In Detroit

Story by SPC Samantha Hall on 12/10/2018

The first ever Army Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence Symposium and Exposition was held November 28-29, 2018, at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan. Experts from both the military and the private sector came together to discuss the future of technology's role in warfare, from vehicles that can fire weapons to learning robots.

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22-Week Infantry Osut Trainees Graduate At Forefront Of Soldier Lethality

Story by Bryan Gatchell on 12/07/2018

The pilot program resulted in significantly fewer Soldiers leaving the class, at graduation less than 6 percent attrition compared to 10 to 12 percent for the 14-week Infantry OSUT.

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Six Ny National Guard Soldiers Will Be Part Of National Army Museum

Story by Eric Durr on 12/07/2018

The six men who serve at the New York National Guard Headquarters outside Albany and the 24th Civil Support Team at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn are models for six of 63 life-sized Soldier figures that will bring exhibits in the museum to life.

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Corvias Improvements Saves Millions

FORT POLK, La. Corvias has completed substantial energy upgrades within its housing partnership with the U.S. Army at Fort Polk. The upgrades, which include installations of geothermal heat pumps, ENERGY STAR energy and water-saving devices, will save more than $1 million annually and are part of the U.S. Military Housing Privatization Initiative, in which the Department of Defense can work with the private sector to revitalize military family housing.
"This milestone marks a significant step in achievement of Fort Polk's energy conservation goals," said Col. Jarrett A. Thomas II, Fort Polk garrison commander. "Through this project we are demonstrating our dedication to our military Families and our commitment to energy security and sustainability. Projects like this allow the Army to build smart installations, inspired by the growing trend of smart cities, while at the same time ensuring security."
Heath Burleson, partnership advisor at Corvias, said the partnership with Fort Polk resulted in significant innovations that save money and leads to the Army's goal of energy independence.
"The Corvias partnership with Fort Polk lends itself to continuous improvement, to finding and implementing ways in which Corvias and the Army can improve military housing quality, operations, maintenance and resilience, to continually evolve and reinvest in the partnership and ultimately provide greater benefits to our partners, Soldiers, their Families and the general public," Burleson said.
For these upgrades, Corvias raised $34 million of capital infusion to implement operational efficiencies, create cost savings, and replace and upgrade outdated infrastructure within Fort Polk's housing portfolio. The program will average $1.5 million per year in energy savings and operational cost avoidance, totaling more than $40 million in savings throughout the remaining 35 years of the program. In turn, those cost savings are reinvested into the program as part of an asset management platform for capital improvements.
Corvias has installed:
30 percent of the 2,400 planned geothermal heat pumps and is on schedule for the remaining residences.
100 percent of 3,500 residences with water and energy conservation fixtures, including low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets, and the ENERGY STAR certified Nest Learning Thermostat.
The resulting savings of more than 9 million kilowatt-hours per year of electricity equates to removing the CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from 1,400 passenger vehicles from the road. In addition, water upgrades will save 71 million gallons of water annually, the equivalent of 750 average-sized swimming pools.
"Since 2004, Corvias has worked with the Army at Fort Polk to solve long-standing deferred maintenance needs and increase its housing inventory, all to provide a more comfortable on-base living experience for military Families," added Burleson. "Corvias is doing so by integrating energy efficiency and building improvements, while reducing environmental impacts."
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Preserving Their Legacy

Story by PO2 Jackie Hart on 12/07/2018

In Fort Pierce, Florida the World War II training grounds for underwater demolition teams (UDTs), or "frogmen," as they are commonly referred to the former SEAL turned a 1981 proposal into reality by opening the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum on Veterans Day, 1985.

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Sailor Stands Alone In Bay

Story by PO3 Brianna Bowens on 12/07/2018

The Lone Sailor statue is a memorial to all who ever sailed out the Golden Gate in service of their country in the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine.

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John Glenn: An American Legend

Story by PO2 Jonathon Lockwood on 12/07/2018
Marine Colonel John Glenn donned his space suit, preparing to launch into space with one mission: becoming the first American to go into orbit. He blasted off in in a ball of fire and a cloud of smoke, Feb. 20, 1962, aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft, circled the Earth three times and landed in the history books.
Born July 18, 1921, Glenn grew up in a small town in Ohio and took to flying at an early age. He graduated high school in 1939 and attended Muskingum College, studying engineering.
"I always had an interest in flying ever since I was a little kid. I always built model airplanes, the old balsa-wood type where you had to really carve them out with a razor blade and glue them together. I'd fly them, and they'd crash, and I'd repair them and fly them again," Glenn said in NASA oral history. "So I always had a lot of interest in aviation, but I never really thought in those days that I'd be able to fly myself, because flying was pretty expensive."
During college, Glenn was able to obtain his private pilot license, achieving a dream that he had always believed to be unobtainable.
"This was just prior to World War II, and the government had started a program called Civilian Pilot Training, CPT, and you could take flight training in little light planes. The one I learned to fly in was a 65-horsepower Taylorcraft with a Lycoming engine on it," Glenn said. "You got physics credit for it because you were studying engines and aerodynamics and heat transfer and metallurgy and all these things along with it."
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Glenn, who already had about 60 flight hours, volunteered for the Marines. After a year of flight training, he flew 59 missions in the Marshall Islands. Later, after the Korean War broke out in 1950, he volunteered to return to combat. During both wars, Glenn accumulated nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, about 3,000 of it in jets.
"I came back from World War II and decided I wanted to keep flying. I liked it, I loved it, and I was good at it. I won't be humble about that; I was good at it," said Glenn. "So I decided to stay in the Marine Corps as a fighter pilot. In the Korean War we were, once again, doing close-air support, this time with jets.
"You're using tactics that were basically World War I or World War II-type tactics, except you're going so fast that everything was expanded," Glenn continued. "You're using the same basic weapons. We hadn't gotten to homing missiles and rockets and things like that yet for air-to-air."
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross four times for actions during combat. For example, on July 19, 1953, Glenn's wingman developed engine trouble and was attacked by six MiG-15 type aircraft. Glenn, then a major, immediately came to his aid, scoring hits that destroyed one of the enemy planes. His wingman was able to return safely to his home base, according to the citation.
After the war, Glenn became a test pilot, then set his sights higher. He became the first man to span the nation faster than the speed of sound, July 16, 1957, as part of Operation Bullet. He set a new, official transcontinental speed record of 3 hours, 23 minutes and 08 seconds, according to his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross citation.
Glenn then became one of the first seven American astronauts in 1959, along with three naval aviators Cmdr. M. Scott Carpenter, Capt. Walter M. Schirra Jr. and Rear Adm. Alan B. Shepard Jr. and three Air Force pilots Col. L. Gordon (Gordo) Cooper Jr., Lt. Col. Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom and Maj. Donald K. (Deke) Slayton.
"I was doing test work for about four years. I lucked into that, too, because it was the first of the Navy and Marine supersonic fighters, and attack aircraft were just being tested, and that's when I hit Patuxent [Naval Air Station, Maryland]," said Glenn. "It was a great time to be there. I came off test duty and was assigned to the old Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington as a project officer. About six or seven months after that was when they started looking for astronauts, and I immediately volunteered. I thought that was a natural extension of the test pilot work I'd been doing, and sounded like it would be fascinating."
Glenn's historic flight in 1962, his orbit of the Earth, was a test of what the human body could endure in space. It was considered a building block of the space program, a stepping stone for NASA and its mission.
"I thought that right from the start," he said. "You know, Al Shepard's suborbital flight. Well okay, that's the first time we got into the atmosphere. Then I build on Al and Gus' [Virgil I. Grissom] flights in Redstone [rocket]. And then other people came along and extended what I had done beyond the five-hour point."
President John F. Kennedy agreed, saying Glenn helped America move toward the future of space exploration:
"There are milestones in human progress that mark recorded history," he said. "From my judgment, this nation's orbital pioneering in space is of such historic stature, representing as it does, a vast advancement that will profoundly influence the progress of all mankind. It signals also a call for alertness to our national opportunities and responsibilities. It requires physical and moral stamina to equal the stresses of these times and a willingness to meet the dangers and the challenges of the future. John Glenn, throughout his life, has eloquently portrayed these great qualities and is an inspiration to all Americans."
Glenn received his sixth Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1965, and worked in the private sector for a decade. He was elected as a senator from Ohio in 1974 and served more than 20 years. In 1998, at the age of 77, Glenn finally achieved his dream of returning to space a second time. He documented the effects of age on space travel and the resulting medical implications, thus becoming the oldest human in space. According to NASA, in total he has spent 240 hours, 49 minutes and 22 seconds 10-plus days in space.
Glenn passed away at the age of 95, Dec. 8, 2016, leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Editor's Note: To learn more about the space program, read "Moonwalk: 47th Anniversary of the Apollo 14 Lunar Landing" and "Goodbye to a Legend: Navy pilot Gene Cernan, last man on the moon, dies."
Sources: NASA.gov, National Archives transcript of The John Glenn Story, a movie produced in 1963, and NASA's oral history of Glenn, conducted by Sheree Scarborough
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Colorado National Guard Band Performs For Jordan Armed Forces Partners

Story by SSG Joseph Vonnida on 12/06/2018

CENTENNIAL, Colo. Colorado National Guard members from the 101st Army Band will perform a private concert for Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army partners attending a Junior Officer Development exchange, Dec. 7, at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

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Call To Honorable Service Runs Deep In Army Family

Story by Brittany Jones on 12/06/2018

As a military child claiming Killen, Texas as his home, Braxton Swanke admitted that even though the military way of life was all he knew, he had no intention of joining.

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Nov. 22 Marks Date The U.S. Isn't So Thankful For

Thanksgiving 2018 marked the 55th anniversary of then-President John F. Kennedy's assassination; one former Fort Jackson Soldier, a retired journalist, has recounted his unique experience of the event.

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