Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Last night, Brian Williams featured a Canby, Oregon soldier on the NBC Nightly News segment "Making a Difference".
His name is Scott Anderson.
While he has admitted to doing magic tricks all his life, it was only for a captive audience in front of children in Iraqi and Afghanistan hospitals that he gained notice. Soon, the U.S. Army had him on the road, doing magic tricks for fellow soldiers throughout the deployed region.
Now, back home in Oregon, he is holding a number of magic shows throughout the state.
For more information and a schedule of shows, please visit his website here. You can also see the KGW News Channel 8 report on our YouTube page, here.
Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Story by Dale Potts, Tualatin Times
Community members are invited to join local veterans groups in welcoming home the Headquarters Company of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (HHC, 41-IBCT).
Located at the Tigard Armory facility, the Headquarters Company was part of the largest call up of Oregon military since World War II.
Plans are being made for a parade from Tigard City Hall and then a family fair at Cook Park on the second weekend in September for the 200 members who deployed and their families. Community groups are encouraged to join in the parade and help put on the family event.
The parade route will follow Hall Blvd to Tigard High, turn right on Durham and then turn left to Cook Park. A similar homecoming, on August 4,2007, after HHC, 41-IBCT returned from Afghanistan , started from Hwy 99. Tigard American Legion Post 158 and Tualatin VFW Post 3452 have over 20 local members deployed with the brigade.
Brigade Commander, Col. Dan Hokanson said, “The Brigade operated out of different locations in Southern, Western and Central Iraq. 3,300 soldiers drove over eight million miles, enduring numerous IED devices, small arms and indirect fire attacks, all while escorting over 7,000 logistical convoys and played a key role in the withdrawal of responsible forces in Iraq.”
If everything goes as planned, the entire Brigade is expected to begin returning to Fort Lewis, Wash., for out-processing in the second week of April. It is expected to take six days, and will begin as groups arrive. This out-processing includes medical and mental evaluations and completion of paperwork to move these national guard members back to civilian life after more than a year of active duty status.
There will be ceremonies in Portland, Bend, Medford and the Eugene/Springfield areas as the troops initially return to Oregon. The guard members will each have 90 days to reintegrate back into civilian life (with their families, job, and/or school and their communities).
We want the troops to know that we really appreciate their sacrifices. One of the best ways to communicate that thought is to say “thank you for your service” when you greet a veteran. They will know you mean it from your heart.
If interested in participating in the parade, providing donations or helping at this event, call either Norm Clark at 503 539-6210 or Tim Harless at 503 892-2683.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Above: Capt. Bob Baca of the U.S. Army National Guard's 162 Engineer Company (Oregon), attached with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps, searches for a trigger wire near a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle, which was hit by a road-side bomb while providing a route clearance for a convoy delivering supplies to the remote U.S. Marine base in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, March. 6, 2010. Picture taken March 6, 2010 by Reuters.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Well, we've done it again!
The Oregon Army National Guard’s Camp Withycombe won the FY 2009 Secretary of the Army award for environmental restoration efforts on an installation.
Camp Withycombe completed the remediation of six former training ranges in preparation for a major Oregon Department of Transportation highway development project. The use of green remediation technologies at Oregon Army National Guard’s largest ever restoration project earned them recognition in the Army’s environmental awards program.
In preparation for freeway construction starting in 2012, Camp Withycombe is working to clean up the proposed highway corridor and transfer the land to the state. The area to be transferred includes six former training ranges. Though closed for live–fire training in the 1990s, the former ranges accumulated lead bullets during their use for approximately 100 years.
With freeway construction set to begin, the National Guard immediately began planning to design a sustainable cleanup for completion by 2011 that would use green remediation technologies.
If Camp Withycombe had used a traditional approach to site cleanup, more than 30,000 tons of contaminated soil would have been excavated and hauled by dump trucks to a hazardous waste landfill 120 miles away from the site on highways that pass through a national scenic area. This solution would have cost approximately $11 million with excavation, disposal and transport costs, and would have produced high levels of emissions (due to transport).
By contrast, the green remediation soil treatment system was implemented at a cost of $5.9 million, a cost avoidance of more than $5 million.
This green treatment system remediated more than 30,000 tons of soil using dry particle separation and a wet gravity separation process to remove bullets and fragments using gold mining equipment. The contaminated soil was delivered by conveyor belt to a wet screening machine, where the soil was separated through sifting into various sizes.
Inside the machine, the soil was sprayed with a high pressure blast of water to break down the soil clods. Soil was then treated and reclaimed. More than 50 percent of the soil was cleaned and ready to be used in reforestation to refill a mountain.
Nearly 300 tons, or approximately 25,205,000 bullets, were sifted out and reclaimed for recycling. Revenue generated by lead recycling was reinvested into restoration.For more information on the U.S. Army Environmental Command, go here.
(The above is taken from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds press release dated Mar. 18, 2010)
Posted by Tech Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager
Thursday, March 18, 2010
About two weeks ago, the Department of Defense released its final social media guidelines and policy memorandum. More questions came up.
To address some of these concerns, the DoD also distributed a well-thought Q&A about Responsible and Effective Use of Internet-based Capabilities.
If you have questions of your own regarding the Oregon National Guard's social media policy or guidelines, please feel free to start a discussion here in the comments section. We welcome all your inquiries and will be happy to address each one.
Here is the DoD list, in its entirety, for your reading pleasure. Feel free to share it across your social media networks, and amongst your workmates.
Q1: What was the impetus for undertaking the Internet-based capabilities policy review?
A1: Internet-based capabilities, including social-networking services (SNS), have become integral tools for all manner of operations across the Department of Defense (DoD) and in collaboration with other federal agencies and the public. However, inconsistent development and implementation of policies regulating access to these capabilities among DoD components created confusion regarding what is or is not permissible. Establishing a DoD-wide policy allows the components to confidently, responsibly, securely and effectively utilize these tools, while ensuring consistent and open access for all DoD employees.
Q2: What was the determining factor in the decision to provide access to Internet-based capabilities consistently across DoD components?
A2: The review of Internet-based capabilities revealed that these capabilities have had a transformative effect on how the DoD does business internally and across the federal government. The DoD components, through their input, also revealed that they use these capabilities to communicate with many key stakeholder groups external to DoD, for purposes ranging from public affairs to recruiting to research and collaboration. Additionally, DoD families revealed how important Internet communication is to their morale and welfare during deployments. As a result of these findings, it was determined that access to Internet-based capabilities is a critical functionality that must be preserved, despite some associated risks. Therefore, rather than restricting access to these capabilities, the NIPRNET must be configured and guidance integrated regarding the proper use of Internet-based capabilities into OPSEC education, training and awareness activities to allow safe use of them by all components.
Q3. Will component commanders still have the ability to restrict access to Internet-based capabilities?
A3: Component commanders will maintain the authority to take steps to defend against malicious activity affecting DoD networks (e.g., distributed denial of service attacks, intrusions) and to safeguard missions. However, actions are intended to be temporary and/or necessary to safeguard specific missions. It is DoD’s default position that the NIPRNET shall be configured to provide access to Internet-based capabilities consistently across all DoD components.
Q4. Why have different DoD components and installations had different policies regarding access to Internet-based capabilities up until now?
A4. Until the release of this DTM, there has not been a DoD-wide policy uniformly addressing Internet-based capabilities. Previous instructions have been limited to restricting access to only certain Web services as a means of preserving network capacity. In the absence of overarching policy, components developed their own policies based on perceived network-security threats, resource constraints, and mission needs. This DTM removes that ambiguity.
Q5: Define the scope of Internet-based Capabilities in regard to DoD systems.
A5: For the purposes of this DTM, Internet-based capabilities are limited to those online services that exist outside of the DoD firewall and which are not owned, operated or controlled by DoD. In other words, Internet-based capabilities do not include proprietary software that was developed or modified (beyond basic cosmetic changes) specifically for a DoD component and is unavailable to the general public. Even though these proprietary applications may share functionality with publicly available commercial alternatives, they are not covered under the DTM.
Q6: When will my command open up access to Internet-based capabilities?
A6: The policy is effective immediately. DoD Component Heads are expected to immediately begin taking any actions necessary to ensure compliance with the DTM. The specific rollout timeline for each component will vary according to their individual plans.
Q7: Is use of social networking services required?
A7: No individual or component within DoD is required to utilize social networking services. Due to the fundamental shift in business processes these tools are causing, DoD believes it is in the interest of components to engage on a professional level; however, there is no requirement to participate.
Q8: What will happen to existing social networking presences that were established prior to release of the DTM?
A8: Existing presences on social networking services can continue to operate provided that they are brought into compliance with the policies described in the DTM. Component heads should ensure widest possible dissemination of the DTM so that personnel are aware of their responsibilities.
Q9: Where do I register my External Official Presence?
A9: With the approval of your commander, External Official Presences must be registered with your service’s External Official Presence registry. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs maintains a centralized registry of External Official Presences on the Defense.gov Web portal (http://www.defense.gov/RegisteredSites/SocialMediaSites.aspx) that is populated by the service External Official Presence registries.
Q10: Which activities must be registered?
A10: Only External Official Presences (as defined in the DTM) must be registered. However, as stated in the DTM, owners of Official Use accounts must notify their local public affairs and operations security staffs of new accounts, and maintain periodic liaison with them to provide general updates on what type of information exchange is taking place via these accounts.
Q11: What is purpose of registering External Official Presences?
A11: Registration provides confirmation for the public that a given social media presence is an official DoD activity, thus addressing concerns about impersonation, misinformation, and disinformation. The registry also helps members of the public locate DoD presences on social media sites and find areas of interest; the registry is essentially an index of DoD's External Official Presences.
Q12: Where does the new policy position DoD relative to the rest of government?
A12: DoD is collaborating with the chief information officers and other technology and communications experts from throughout the federal government to develop best practices and reach consensus solutions to common legal and implementation challenges. Common challenges include: terms of service agreements, privacy protection, records management, endorsement and advertising, solicitation of public input, etc. (For a longer list, go here, and here.
This collaboration is facilitated through the General Services Administration and a variety of cross-agency groups and networks. In addition, the U.S. Federal CIO Council has issued “Guidelines for Secure Use of Social Media by Federal Departments and Agencies,” which is available at the Council’s website, here.
Individual federal agencies are at different points in adopting Internet-based capabilities and are responsible for setting their own policies on Internet-based capabilities as best suits their missions. DoD will remain actively engaged with the inter-agency community moving forward.
Q13: How was the Internet-based capabilities policy
A13: At the direction of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the DoD Chief Information Officer led a policy development effort that involved combatant commands, military departments, the Joint Staff, military families and others. In order to gain maximum insight, lend transparency to the process, and reach consensus through robust internal participation, management of the review and coordination on documents was conducted using an online shared workspace on Intelink, including a wiki, blog and discussion forums.
Public participation was enabled through a blog hosted on the DoDLive.mil platform. Military families and Web 2.0 subject matter experts were encouraged to submit comments regarding social media use by DoD. The abundant feedback received was incorporated into the final analysis presented to the DEPSECDEF. Through the use of social media and collaborative applications, the entire policy development process was intended to demonstrate a proof-of-concept for the value of Web 2.0 technologies.
Q14. Does this mean the Marine Corps ban on Social Networking Sites on the Marine networks must be reversed?
A14. All DoD Components, including the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps, will be required to review their current Internet posture and take steps to comply with this policy.
Q15. Is DoD concerned this open Internet policy will consume bandwidth needed in Afghanistan for mission purposes? Could certain sites like YouTube be blocked as they were in 2007 for bandwidth needs?
A15. While the DTM establishes the DoD position that the default is to allow access to Internet-based capabilities, it also states that commanders at all levels and heads of components shall continue to defend the network and take immediate and commensurate actions, as required, to safeguard missions. This provision acknowledges the real-world bandwidth constraints in the operational environment and recognizes that commanders may need to temporarily restrict access to the Internet or to types of Internet content (e.g., video, email attachments, etc.) to preserve bandwidth for missions. Any actions taken to safeguard missions should be tailored in scope and duration as needed to address the malicious activity or otherwise safeguard the mission, with the intent of restoring access to Internet-based capabilities as soon as possible. Restricting access to a discrete set of the most popular Internet-based capabilities has proven to be ineffective at limiting bandwidth and is not sufficient to safeguard missions.
Q16. Does this new policy rescind or alter any existing DoD policies on operational security, ethics, privacy etc.?
A16. Existing policies regarding operational security, ethics, privacy, etc still apply to the use of internet based capabilities -- including social networking tools --from a DoD networked computer.
Q17. Will there be any additional training or implementation guidelines provided to Components and Services related to this new policy?
A17. The DTM provides that guidance for responsible and effective use of Internet-based capabilities will be provided by ASD (NII)/DoD CIO and that this guidance will be integrated into information assurance education, training and awareness activities.
Q18: According to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Memo dated 31 July, a policy for social networking sites and Web 2.0 was supposed to have been completed by 30 Sep 09. Why wasn't it completed by then, and why has it taken so long to get an approved policy?
A18: In order to address all of the concerns from various stakeholders and components, the timeline was extended to allow for a more thorough vetting process. This DTM has taken all of those concerns under consideration and provided a policy that allows for access while still protecting the network.
Q19: In May 2007, the DoD issued an order blocking a specific set of “recreational websites”.
Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Oregon Guardsman takes a rest before going on a route clearance mission in Afghanistan
Originally uploaded by The National Guard
These guys will be coming home soon! WOO-HOO!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Four Oregon airmen who helped with earthquake recover efforts in Haiti scheduled to return home tomorrow
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Operations here in Haiti have gotten into a pretty good rhythm and most days seem like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.
We are providing a 24-7 mission watch, forecasting and observing for all military operations around the Port-Au-Prince airport. Not only are we supporting the 24th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG), but we are also supporting multiple U.S. Army units, and the the Canadians, Australians, and French. We have also offered assistance to the Haitian branch of the National Weather Service as well.
Our Base Weather station is a humble corner of a tent consisting of a table, three computers, resource and reference materials, tactical weather equipment, a phone line, and other pieces of weather equipment to include a Magic Eight-ball.
We actually had the opportunity to observe a record rainfall event for the month of February when we recorded 2.25 inches of rain in less than 3 hours. Needless to say our tent city almost floated away, but the weather team diligently issued a heavy rain warning before bailing almost a foot and a half of water out of the tent!
The air traffic here at the airport has begun to decline now that the Port has reopened and humanitarian aid is now arriving by ship. That said, we have still supported over 7,500 flights and the movement of over 15,000 tons of cargo.
It has been interesting to see the different aircraft from all over the world and the aid that has flowed from donor counties. We’ve had aircraft from Argentina, Columbia, China, Canada, the U.S., France, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Jamaica, and many more including Chile. Chile was a huge donor country before they suffered their most recent earthquake and my thoughts go out to them as they deal with their own tragedy.
I’m proud of our Battlefield Weather Team not only because they have done a great job doing their job, but they have also volunteered during the hours when they aren’t on shift forecasting the weather.
We have all gone to the Hotel Montana at least twice to assist in recover efforts there. All of us have also volunteered our time and energy at the University of Miami Hospital, where many of the earthquake victims are still receiving care.
Lt. Gibson and Staff Sgt. Jenkins are Rock Stars! They have visited not only the University of Miami Hospital, but also several orphanages nearby. They have also donated supplies, soccer gear, and candy to the less fortunate children. I think they both failed “Balloon Animals 101”, but the kids don’t seem to care and they are helping bring some cheer to the children’s day. Tech. Sgt. Fischer has been pretty active in all phases of the recovery effort here and has worked hard with other teams.
We now have two shower tents that allow for separate and equitable male and female facilities. We got more washers and dryers and Port-o-Johns, but still have about the same number of sleeping tents as when we first arrived.
The sleeping situation hasn’t gotten any better. In fact, it’s gotten a little worse. More personnel keep arriving, but since we don’t have more tents to put them in, we keep getting more and more people trying to utilize the same space. The tents that we are using for lodging can comfortably accommodate about 12 individuals, but there are anywhere from 14-18 people in each one. This means you have to crawl over your gear to get into your cot. I guess I should be glad to have a place to sleep.
Air Force Instruction (AFI) authorizes these two individuals working at the Embassy, but they are staying in our tent city. Since they have a tent all to themselves, they kicked everyone else out making them move into already overcrowded tents.
Services and Civil Engineering has done an amazing job of setting up our tent city and taking care of us. Our services detachment has set up a field kitchen and they are now serving two hot meals a day. Now don’t get too excited about that until I explain what it entails. The food is shipped to Haiti already prepared in large bags and the cooks cut open the bags and pour it into a large container to be reheated before serving. I’m not saying that it tastes bad, and our Services folks do a great job with what they have, but I usually skip those meals and I am still eating about one to two MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) a day.
You’d think that I would lose weight with that type of eating habit, but our MREs are pretty heavy in carbohydrates. I don’t need to lose much weight, but I’ve discovered that it’s not as easy if your diet isn’t what it should be. We’re now getting a regular supply of apples and oranges so I’m not as worried about coming down with scurvy or rickets as I was before.
That brings me to the interesting topic of physical fitness. Most of us are running to try to stay in shape and our designated running path is along a dirt road with ruts and tons of ankle twisting rocks that curves around the perimeter of the airport. There’s a long cinderblock wall that runs along the perimeter and is in pretty good shape until you get about a mile from our camp where the earthquake and disrepair have turned sections of the wall into rubble.
When we first got here there would be children sitting on the wall and they would wave at us as we went by. Then they got a little bolder and started to cross a drainage ditch to come say hello to us and ask for food and water. There are multiple food and water distributions center around the airport and most of us don’t go running with food and water so we couldn’t give them anything even if we wanted to.
It didn’t take long before the kids weren’t asking for food and water, but were instead demanding that you give them things. I was pretty taken aback when I had an 8 year old boy run up to me and in the deepest most intimidation voice he could muster demand, “GIVE ME YOUR WATCH”. I’m pretty good at ignoring that type of behavior so needless to say I still have my watch even after being told to give it up every time I’ve run the last two weeks.
Now the problem has escalated to children throwing rocks at us if we don’t give them something. I have had rocks thrown at me twice, but I convince myself that it was just to get my attention. I don’t take it personally and don’t hold it against the children because these particular kids don’t seem to have good parental supervision anyway. Most Haitians are still very happy to have us here and are very appreciative of the help that we are providing.
KENNETH P CAMPBELL, MSgt, USAF
NCOIC Battlefield Weather Team
24 AEG, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
"Strength and Honor"
Monday, March 1, 2010
Hot off the video editing machine, here is the 60-second promotional video for the Fort Oregon Campaign.
Oregon Senator, Ron Wyden, and Oregon National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees were featured in a promotional video for the new Fort Oregon Campaign.
The program reiterates the commitment to service members by the Oregon Legislature, and the Oregon National Guard. It also stresses helping service members reintegrate into civilian society following a deployment.
The video was produced by Allied Video, and shot on location at the Kliever Armory in North Portland.
For more information, you can visit the Fort Oregon website at: http://fort-oregon.org/.