Posts filed under ‘Disaster Relief’
Trump Picks Retired Marine General.
President-elect Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Corps General John Kelly to be the next head of the Department of Homeland Security, according to several news outlets.
General Kelly, 66, who until recently led United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), had a 40-year career in the Marine Corps, and led troops in intense combat in western Iraq, according to the New York Times. Kelly has not yet formally offered the job to General Kelly, in part because the general is out of the country this week, a person briefed on the decision told the Times. The president-elect plans to roll out the Homeland Security Department appointment next week, along with his remaining national security positions — including secretary of state.
Kelly is not expected to face difficulty winning Senate confirmation. Trump’s team was drawn to him because of his Southwest border expertise, people familiar with the transition told the Washington Post. Like the president-elect, Kelly has sounded the alarm about drugs, terrorism and other cross-border threats that he sees as emanating from Mexico and Central and South America.
Based in Miami, Florida, SOUTHCOM has military responsibilities for Latin America and the Caribbean Basin — 32 countries in all. Those responsibilities include organizing training exercises with local militaries in the region as well as good will/humanitarian aid missions. One of SOUTHCOM’s most demanding missions is counter narcotics.
Before taking over at SOUTHCOM in 2012, Kelly served as senior military adviser to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta starting in 2011. Trump’s selection of Kelly for DHS was first reported by CBS News.
Kelly, who retired from the SOUTHCOM post earlier this year, publicly clashed with the Obama administration on its plans – which were never executed – to close Guantanamo Bay and dismissed as “foolishness” concerns that the military’s treatment of detainees at the facility had cost the U.S. the moral high ground in the War on Terror, POLITICO reported.
Kelly is the latest in a string of former military figures to be nominated for positions in the incoming Trump administration. Trump has also nominated retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security advisor and retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as defense secretary. Retired Army general and former Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus is said to be among those under consideration for secretary of state, the Voice of America website reported.
Veteran’s Day 2016
President Barack Obama lays a wreath during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia Friday, November 11, 2016.
The USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) sails past the Statue of Liberty as it enters New York Harbor prior to Veterans Week NYC 2016.
The 1,000 Sailors and more than 100 Marines on board the amphibious assault ship articipated in New York’s Veterans Day parade Friday, November 11. The ship recently returned from the humanitarian assistance mission to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
To The Rescue.
North Carolina Army National Guardsmen and local emergency services personnel assist with evacuation efforts in Fayetteville, North Carolina on October 8, 2016. Heavy rains caused by Hurricane Matthew led to flooding as high as five feet in some areas.
To read a story about one of those rescue efforts, click here. No wonder they’re called guardsmen.
Army photo by Sgt. Anthony Hewitt
No, defense budget cuts haven’t come to this.
These two Army paratroopers are hauling this Humvee as part of the Best Sapper Competition at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, home of the Army Engineers School.
Sapper is an ancient term for military engineers. In olden days they designed and dug the trenches, built the forts and figured out how to break into castles.
These days, a Sapper is usually a combat engineer who has completed the 28-day Sapper Leader Course, and earned the red Sapper uniform tab. That tab says they are among the best at their complex and dangerous craft, which includes bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, creating field defenses as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair.
To earn the Sapper tab you have to graduate from the Sapper course, but you don’t have to be an engineer, according to the Army.
The paratroopers in this photo, Army 1st Sergeant Jose Casillas and Sergeant 1st Class Tim Shay are assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
What’s the difference between a 1st Sergeant and a Sergeant 1st Class? Click here for an explanation.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Josh Greathouse scans the area during a perimeter patrol in Al Taqaddum, Iraq on March 21, 2016.
Greathouse is a member of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air (SPMAGTF) Ground Task Force.
Zika Virus Worries.
(World map showing where active transmission of the Zika virus have been reported, mostly in Central and South America. Map: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The World Health Organization says the Zika virus — which may be linked to birth defects — is spreading explosively in the Americas and may infect as many as four million people by the end of the year.
The global health agency says it will convene a special meeting on Monday (February 1) to decide whether to declare a public health emergency. The W.H.O. is moving swiftly to combat this outbreak after widespread criticism that it had allowed the last major global health crisis, Ebola, to fester without a coordinated, effective strategy, the New York Times reported Thursday (January 28).
At a briefing in Switzerland, Dr. Margaret Chan, the W.H.O.’s director-general, said Zika cases have been reported in 23 countries and territories in the region. “The level of alarm is extremely high,” she said Thursday.
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon, according to the CDC.
The outbreak in Brazil, where the first infection was reported, has led to reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects and poor pregnancy outcomes.
The W.H.O. says a “causal relationship” between Zika virus infection and birth malformations and neurological syndromes has not yet been established, but is strongly suspected.
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Brazil Deploys Army.
(Aedes aegypti mosquito, one of the transmitters of Zika virus. Photo by Rafaelgilo, via Wikipedia)
In Brazil, where the Zika outbreak has hit hardest, soldiers are being deployed to combat mosquitos, which transmit the disease.
The government says it will deploy 220,000 soldiers who will go from home to home handing out leaflets on how to avoid the spread of Zika, which has been linked to thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains, the BBC reported.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel alert on January 15 advising pregnant women to consider delaying travel to affected areas to avoid the possibility of being infected, according to NBC.
In the Central American country of El Salvador, the government has taken the drastic step of urging women to refrain from becoming pregnant until 2018
For more about Zika virus, click here.
Back in September, we told what challenges Marine Corps planners and strategists think the corps will face later in the 21st Century. Much talk at the Modern Day Marine expo in Virginia focused on the kind of hybrid warfare seen in eastern Ukraine and the rise of teeming coastal mega cities around the world.
The future battlefield will probably look nothing like Afghanistan and Iraq, where Marines have been fighting for the last 14 years. Instead, urban areas near the sea and river deltas are expected to be the most likely environment, said Brigadier General Julian Dale Alford, commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
During a panel discussion at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Alford said the new environment will be “complex, congested, cluttered, contested, connected (with the cyber world), constrained and coastal.”
There’s plenty of evidence to back that conclusion.
A 2014 United Nations report noted that 54 percent of the world’s population already lives in urban areas — a proportion expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to the 2014 revision of the U.N.’s World Urbanization Prospects report.
Of today’s 28 mega-cities (with a population of 10 million or more) 16 are located in Asia, four in Latin America, three each in Africa and Europe, and two in North America. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. Many of those cities are in the littoral areas close to the sea.”That’s where our Marines are going to fight. That’s where we’re going to have to operate,” Alford said back in September.
Speaking at an industry training, simulation and education conference in Orlando, Florida last month, Alford asked industry attendees to help develop ways to better prepare troops to fight in high-rise warfare, Defense News reported.