Posted in Veterans News

Pentagon testing office urges DoD to pause rollout of Joint Regional Security Stacks

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The Pentagon’s ambitious project to consolidate its network defenses into a relative handful of regional operations centers around the world has been in the works since 2013, but last year was the first time the multibillion dollar Joint Regional Security Stacks have been subjected to a formal operational assessment. The results were not exactly glowing.

In its annual report, released last week, DoD’s independent Director of Operational Test and Evaluation said DoD should halt any further deployments of JRSS for the time being, calling its performance in securing DoD networks “poor,” partly because of what DOT&E concluded were severe staffing shortfalls, difficulties integrating various network defense technologies and a failure to get various Defense components to cohere around a common understanding of tactics, techniques and procedures for how to employ JRSS.

The security stacks are “unable to help network defenders protect the network against operationally realistic cyber-attacks,” the report found. “Although the JRSS uses mature, commercial-off-the-shelf technologies, JRSS operator training…

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Military Police Use ‘Raven’ UAVs at Allied Spirit Exercise > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article


By Army Spc. Dustin D. Biven, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment



HOHENFELS TRAINING AREA, Germany, Jan. 30, 2018 —

In a combat environment, the knowledge of where a threat is could mean the difference between life and death.

The Army gains the upper hand in identifying where threats are with the use of a lightweight small unmanned aerial system, sUAS, called the RQ-11 Raven.

Military policemen with the 287th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade based at Fort Riley, Kansas, are putting the Raven to use during the Allied Spirit VIII exercise held here from Jan. 15-Feb. 5 and enhancing their skills from prior training.

Raven Training Course

Soldiers who operate the Raven go through a training course that teaches them how to conduct day and night operations with the equipment as well as how to perform basic maintenance on the system.

“I went through the training back in Fort Riley, Kansas,” said Army Spc. William Ritter, a military policeman with the 287th MP Company.

Ritter and other soldiers in his unit are taking their knowledge learned from their training and applying…

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Posted in Veterans News

2013 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival — Veterans Health Administration

“A chance to demonstrate the depth of artistic talent our nation’s Veterans possess.”

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer

Monday, October 21, 2013

For Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran John Barrett, VA’s National Veterans Creative Arts Festival is an opportunity to, “Not only share my talent with other Veterans, but to also experience their work.”

The 2013 festival takes place this week in Reno, Nevada and is the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans treated in VA’s national health care system.

John Barrett knows and understands the importance of camaraderie and support from fellow Veterans. They evacuated him after he was hit by a 90 mm mortar in Vietnam where he sustained shrapnel injuries in his chest and side. It was during that crucial moment in Barrett’s life when he learned a lot about the strength of optimism and his own character.

And that optimism, along with his creativity, candor and ear for great sound, are the reasons he has been invited to sing numerous times at the Veterans Creative Arts Festival. Last year was his fifth performance.

Barrett is no stranger to the stage. He has performed his repertoire of…

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Air Force Prepares Heritage Flyover for Super Bowl > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article


By Air Force Senior Airman Betty R. Chevalier

355th Fighter Wing



DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz., Jan. 29, 2018 —

The Air Force’s Heritage Flight is scheduled to visit Minnesota to represent the Air Force Feb. 4 at the Super Bowl.

For the first time in the unit’s history, the Heritage Flight will perform an aircraft flyover — consisting of two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, an F-16 Fighting Falcon and a P-51 Mustang — over U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis during the Super Bowl’s opening ceremonies.

The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Program presents the evolution of Air Force air power by flying state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage aircraft to display Air Force history to support Air Force recruiting and retention efforts.

Representing the Air Force

“We are fortunate enough to be able to represent the professionalism and dedication of our Air Force to millions of spectators across the globe,” said Air Force Maj. John Waters, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander. “I think everyone is excited to see flyovers. To be flying in formation with a P-51 and two A-10s across the biggest game…

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Posted in Veterans News

Exposure versus Cognitive Therapy — Veterans Health Administration

VA’s study comparing the two leading forms of PTSD therapy will include men and women who are experiencing PTSD due to any military-related event.

by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Department of Veterans Affairs is preparing to launch a 17-site, $10 million study that will examine the two leading forms of treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

“Our primary goal is to compare the treatments,” said Dr. Paula Schnurr, the study’s lead investigator. “But we’ll also examine which treatments are best for different types of patients; for example, women versus men.”

Schnurr is deputy executive director of VA’s National Center for PTSD and a research professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

“Patient-centeredness is fundamental to the delivery of care in VA,” she said, “and information about the comparative effectiveness of different treatments is a key element of making care ‘patient-centered.’ We want to make sure that Veterans have information that can help them find the care that is best for them.”

Our primary goal is to compare…

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Eielson Enhances Warfighting Readiness, Capabilities to Confront Regional Threats > U.S. Pacific Command > 2015

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska — In late April, 2017, U.S. Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, urged to the House Armed Services Committee that the most viable threats to the security of the United States and its allies exist within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Eielson is not immune to those threats. In fact, Eielson understands its strategic proximity and defines its mission and purpose with the specific intent of confronting those very threats.

Internalizing this strategic perspective has meant continuous preparations to support and defend its nation’s security, and that of its allies by conducting exercises that ensure all Airmen are ready to “fight tonight”; Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ motto of the U.S.-South Korean military alliance.

From Jan. 22 to 26, Eielson conducted Arctic Gold 18-4; an Operational Readiness Exercise designed to give all 354th Fighter Wing personnel the opportunity to execute mission-essential tasks together in a simulated high-threat environment.

Consisting of two distinct phases, Phase I tested all 354 FW Airmen’s capabilities to conduct events related to the deployment operations process, which included…

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Coach helps Manage PTSD Symptoms — Veterans Health Administration

Veterans can access “PTSD Coach Online” from their personal computers.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer

Monday, October 28, 2013

A coach is someone you can trust. Someone who can help you build the skills you need.

How about a coach who can help you manage your PTSD symptoms? Privately. Online. Any time. No appointment necessary.

If you’ve read this far, you may have PTSD and know you need help.

Or, you think some of the emotions you are going through may mean you have PTSD and you would like to learn more.

It’s so personal, so internal, that many Veterans put off coming in to see a doctor and they let things get worse.

We hear you. That’s why VA’s National Center for PTSD has developed a very helpful, easy to navigate program called PTSD Coach Online that you can access from your computer at home.

Here a Veteran can learn to manage troubling symptoms.

Let’s walk through the way it works with Sergeant Petersen.

First, he goes to the PTSD Coach Online website and discovers a gateway to the self-help tools that build coping and problem-solving skills. Here he can learn to manage troubling symptoms following trauma, such as trouble sleeping, trauma reminders and anger.

He…

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DoD Studying Implications of Wearable Devices Giving Too Much Info > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article



WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2018 —

Defense Department officials are studying security issues raised by physical conditioning trackers that also can be used to track service members’ whereabouts, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters today.

The concern comes from a “heat map” posted by Strava — the makers of a fitness tracking application that shows the routes service members run or cycle in their daily exercises. These maps can show military bases and may be used to target individuals.

“We take these matters seriously, and we are reviewing the situation to determine if any additional training or guidance is required, and if any additional policy must be developed to ensure the continued safety of DoD personnel at home and abroad,” Army Col. Robert Manning III said during a morning news conference at the Pentagon.

Wearable electronic fitness trackers upload data to Strava, which then publishes a heat map of the activity so people can download the maps to find good running or cycling routes.

Use Privacy Settings

“The rapid development of technology requires the rapid refinement of policy and procedures to enhance force protection and operational…

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The 10th Anniversary of My HealtheVet — Veterans Health Administration

Theresa Hancock, Director, My HealtheVet National Program

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Keeping the Promise: Online Access to Support Veterans Health

There are a lot of reasons VA is happy to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of My HealtheVet.

Here are three Veterans to tell you just a few.

John Scott: With My HealtheVet, I can track how I feel and what I do. I enter my pain level and my medications. To keep my schedule straight, I use the VA Appointment and my Health Calendar. I work with my health care provider and pain specialist to set goals that helps me live a healthy life.

Carl Phelps: Using the information available in the Healthy Living Centers, I designed an exercise program that works not only on weekends but I can use throughout the entire week. Using the Food Journal, I learned about portion control with my food intake and developed healthier daily routines, which I track and monitor.

Steve Noonan: I want you to know that the VA really cares about Veterans. The VA health care system does not give you meds, send you home and leave you to fend for yourself. However, you need to be a partner with your health care team.

I want you to know that the…

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