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Air Force medevac teams recently got a helping hand from one of the nation's leading trauma surgeons. Doctor Thomas Scalea, who heads up the Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, recently boarded a C-17 Globemaster to see firsthand how medevac crews tend to wounded warriors in midflight. Its part of C-STARS, and effort to get civilian specialists to shape future training for military medical teams worldwide.
Army rocks Navy! No, not the fall military academy football classic. For the first time in history, a U.S. Army band -- the 34th Infantry Division Band -- performed a concert on the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Decatur. Members of the Army band had to overcome some hardship to make the gig, when the small boat taking them to Decatur broke down. They say it was worth it, though, because the Decatur sailors often miss USO tours.
Twitter users can be found at the top of the U.S. Military's chain of command. Follow Air Force General Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau at Chief-N-G-B. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen -- follow him at 'thejointstaff' - says he'll keep tweeting even as the Pentagon debates the future of social media. These military leaders see social networks as a way to dialogue with the civilians they serve.
The Armed Forces Press Service is launching a new military blog called "Family Matters". It's dedicated to helping military families deal with the challenges unique to the military lifestyle. You can get everything from back-to-school tips, find out about education benefits, childcare, and how to deal with deployments.
Find the Family Matters blog online at http://afps.dodlive.mil.
The popular public TV children's show, "sesame Street", is trying to help the children of military service members cope with long deployments overseas, serious injury, and even death. The Sesame Workshop is helping the "talk, Listen and connect" program with free materials, and even fully-equipped child-friendly playrooms that will be sent to military hospitals, libraries, child care and family support centers.
The Defense Business Board, which advises Defense Secretary Gates, is preparing its final report on DoD's National Security Personnel System. The current, NSPS has drawn the ire of labor unions, who want to see workers back in the tried and true GS classification system. Both the President and OPM director John Berry, favor some type of "pay for performance". The DBB is expected to deliver its final NSPS report before Labor Day.
An agreement between the U.S. and Russia will permit American troops and weapons to fly over Russian territory on the way to Afghanistan. The pact, signed by President Obama during his recent Moscow trip, will save the Pentagon $133 million annually. The President told a Moscow news conference that the agreement is one small step toward improved relations with America's Russian allies.
Now that President Obama has named New York Congressman John McHugh to be the next Secretary of the Army, the man who now has the job -- Pete Geren - can look back on his career as he ponders his future. Geren became acting secretary in March 2007 amidst the crisis in medical care for soldiers. He's overseen deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He became secretary in his own right when the President asked him to stay on earlier this year.
When wounded service members come to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington for treatment, they and their families should not feel like they are tied down to the northwest DC campus. That's the goal of the "Yellow Ribbon Fund". The Organization provides free rental cars to family members through local car dealer Jack Fitzgerald, and also a mentor/internship program where a service member can learn job skills.