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Okinawa-based Marines Refine Their Skills during Exercise Samurai > U.S. Pacific Command > 2015

KIN BLUE, OKINAWA, JAPAN — Marines with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division participated in a five-day exercise called Samurai, Jan. 22-26, 2018.

During the exercise, the Marines learned the fundamentals of being a “Division Forward” by planning and constructing a command center while keeping a constant line of communication.

In a real life scenario, the commanding general will send their division forward to establish a command center to get all the information they need.

“For the commanding general to get eyes on forward units and to plan for the future, he requires his eyes and ears to go first,” said Capt. Kyle Britt, the camp commandant for the exercise. “This includes units convoying to different locations to set up small and very mobile camps.”

The procedure had Marines bring enough supplies and equipment to a secured and surveyed area where they set up and broke down the command center as quickly as possible.

“We have a security element going out to secure objectives, the [coordination] party to play out the blue print of the camps and the working party to build the camps,” said Britt.

The training gave those who have never deployed the opportunity…

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Helping Patients Stay on Meds after Leaving Hospital — Veterans Health Administration

A recent VA study revealed that heart patients are much more likely to take their medications if they receive personalized attention from their caregivers, such as a reminder call, after leaving the hospital.

by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Did you know that up to 50 percent of heart patients fail to take their medications correctly after they leave the hospital?

It’s a disturbing number, but VA may have found a potential solution to the problem.

“The fact is, when your pharmacist calls you and reminds you to take your meds, you’re more likely to take your meds,” said Dr. Michael Ho, a researcher at the Denver VA Medical Center.

The Bottom Line

Ho’s recent study on the topic incorporated several interventions, including patient education, collaboration between pharmacists and primary care providers, medication reconciliation, and automated telephone reminder calls.

“The bottom line is this: you need to continue to engage your patients in their care once they leave the hospital,” the researcher said. “This includes calling them at home and reminding them to take their pills…”

Ho, whose study on this topic appears in the November 18, 2013 issue…

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OIR Officials Report Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article



SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 26, 2018 —

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Jan. 19-25, conducting 60 strikes consisting of 93 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

CJTF-OIR officials reported that a significant precision strike involving exhaustive intelligence and observation to confirm ISIS concentrations and ensure no civilian casualties killed 145-150 ISIS terrorists in Iraq’s Middle Euphrates Valley Jan. 20.

In addition, officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of 12 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS supply routes, four fighting positions, a front-end loader, a road grader and an ISIS line of communication.

On Jan. 24, coalition military forces conducted 11 strikes consisting of 15 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and…

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Defense Secretary Mattis calls US, Vietnam ‘Like-minded Partners’ > U.S. Pacific Command > 2015

WASHINGTON — The United States and Vietnam are “like-minded partners” that have a forward-looking relationship, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said yesterday as he concluded a visit to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

Mattis and Vietnamese Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich met yesterday to discuss regional security issues. The secretary said he also met with the president of Vietnam and the general secretary of the Communist Party there.

“This is the normal coordination, collaboration, consultation, as we work out a relationship with Vietnam, and leaving things in the past as our starting point,” Mattis told reporters traveling with him en route to Honolulu after leaving Vietnam.

He said the United States and Vietnam share values based on mutual respect and common interests, including freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and recognition of national sovereignty.

“We’re finally finalizing details on the possible visit of U.S. carriers going to Vietnam sometime this spring,” Mattis said. Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said Mattis and Lich agreed to work toward a visit by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to Da Nang in March.

ENHANCING U.S.-VIETNAM…

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Artificial Hand with a Sense of Touch — Veterans Health Administration

Army Veteran Keith Vonderhuevel reaches out to grasp an object with his prototype artificial hand that actually provides some sense of touch. VA Research Engineer Emily Graczyk assists. Photo courtesy of the VA Center of Excellence in Functional Electrical Stimulation, Cleveland

by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In that epic Star Wars movie, “The Empire Strikes Back,” Luke Skywalker gets his hand lopped off by his own father, Darth Vader, while the two are dueling with those cool light sabers.

But no worries.

In no time at all, Luke is outfitted with a brand new hand that looks and works just like the one he lost. Like it never even happened.

Well, researchers at the Cleveland VA Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University haven’t been able to achieve that kind of medical miracle yet, but recently they got a bit closer when they developed an artificial hand that provides something similar to a sense of touch.

“If the amputee is actually able to feel something, you’re getting close to creating a naturally functioning prosthetic hand…something that actually feels like a part of you,” said Dustin Tyler, director of VA’s artificial hand project at…

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Stand downs offer relief for homeless Veterans

“You’d be so lean, that blast of January
would blow through you.”
Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale


It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to be homeless and on the street In January.

Regardless of the circumstances that bring Veterans and their families to living in cars and over the heating vents of the subway, it’s a fate that none of us would wish on anyone. And a problem that we all wish we could fix.

But there isn’t one easy solution. So we help when and where we can. That’s what Stand Downs are all about.

What is a Stand Down?

In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.

Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless Veterans on any given night “combat” life on the streets.

Homeless Veterans are brought together in a single location for one to…

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NDAA gives agencies special funds for modernization of IT systems, services

Subscribe to Federal Drive’s daily audio interviews on iTunes or PodcastOne.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2018 gave federal agencies at least some of what they’ve wanted for years. Namely, a special pot of money dedicated to modernize IT systems and the services they deliver.

That will change how IT is marketed and sold this year. Agencies already set aside money for these procurement projects. But the governmentwide increase could help speed up progress, according to Bloomberg Government’s Dan Snyder.


“That is one that I think a lot of contractors will be keeping their eye on to see how that progress transpires,” Snyder, deputy director of government contracts and research at BGov, said on Federal Drive with Tom Temin. “Another topic, which Bloomberg Government will be continuing to watch is how agencies will save money for innovative projects in the future.”

A good amount — around 40 percent — of IT purchasing is done in the fourth quarter of a fiscal year. Snyder said implementation of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, included in NDAA, could influence and encourage agencies to save even more toward the end of the…

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Veterans Compete in 2014 Winter Paralympic Games — Veterans Health Administration

Team USA enters the stadium during the 2014 Paralympic Games opening ceremonies in Sochi, Russia.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Of the 74 United States athletes at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, 18 of them are military Veterans and Servicemembers.

For these Veterans, the road to Sochi has been filled with a renewed sense of freedom, independence and determination. They are an inspiration and a dramatic example of the capabilities of the human body and mind, even after tremendous trauma.

Here is a brief introduction to just three of these remarkable Veterans.

Chris Devlin-Young

Chris Devlin-Young’s first Paralympic Winter Games appearance was in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, where he earned a gold medal in slalom. At the Lillehammer Games, he competed as a “four-tracker” using two skis and outriggers. In 2002 in Salt Lake City, he won a gold medal in super-G and a silver medal in downhill as a mono-skier.

He was the first Paralympian in history to medal in two different disability classes. Devlin-Young also earned silver in Torino in 2006. He narrowly missed the podium in Vancouver, taking a fourth-place finish in super-G. He came back and claimed gold…

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‘Guardian Angel’ Airman Aids Ailing Korean War Vet > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article


By Air Force Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz

62nd Airlift Wing



JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash., Jan. 26, 2018 —

There are many who believe there is no such thing as coincidence; things happen for a reason and people enter their lives for a purpose.

If retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Ronald Price and Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Watkins, 627th Security Forces Squadron unit training manager, did not count themselves among those who believe in fate prior to their serendipitous meeting the morning of Jan. 10, it is likely they now do.

“I was the first person to interact with Lieutenant Colonel Price,” said Clarence Cavalier, 627th SFS Education and Training chief. “I originally misjudged Price as a homeless person who had somehow wandered onto base until I asked for some identification and he gave me his retired military ID card. He mentioned that he had previously had a stroke.”

After some time, Watkins walked into the office and Cavalier asked him to assist Price in finding his vehicle. Having known the staff sergeant since 2013, Cavalier knew he was the right airman for the task.

‘Watkins’ Character is Beyond Reproach’

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