ARMY ENDS 89-YEAR PANAMA MISSION
The Army's presence in Panama officially came to a close during ceremonies at Fort Clayton on 30 July. Marine General Charles Wilhelm, commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, Florida, addressed approximately 100 soldiers and as many civilians still based in Panama. The remainder of U.S. Army South had departed and established its new headquarters at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico.
"From your new home in Puerto Rico, I will expect you to build new relationships with the Panama Defense Forces," Wilhelm told the soldiers assembled before him.
The ceremony ended nearly nine decades of continuous Army presence in Panama. The first soldiers arrived in 1910, and Army engineers were integral to construction of the Panama Canal. During World War II, the Army presence peaked at 65,000 soldiers who "protected the canal and the hemisphere," Wilhelm said.
Since the formation of the U.S. Southern Command in 1983, U.S. Army South has been "the doorway" to democracy-building and [the Department of Defense's] main point of contact with Central and South America, Wilhelm said. He said the Army command not only provided critically important canal security, but trained and exercised with Latin American forces; conducted humanitarian missions, the latest following the widespread destruction of Hurricanes Mitch and Georges; and played a pivotal role in ending a border dispute between Ecuador and Peru. He commanded the unit to "continue to perform as the tip of the Southern Command spear" from Puerto Rico.
"Your . . . mission here is done," he said. "You can report with pride, `Mission accomplished.'" (See the Managing Logistics in Panama story.)
ARMY CONSOLIDATES MATERIEL TESTING
The Army's operational and developmental testing activities were consolidated under the Army Operational Test and Evaluation Command (OPTEC) effective 1 October. To reflect its broader mission, OPTEC is renamed the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). Its headquarters will remain in Alexandria, Virginia. ATEC will report to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army through the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff.
Under the consolidation, ATEC has three subordinate activities
The consolidation of operational and developmental testing and the creation of ATEC are the result of an Army Science Board recommendation.
SOLDIER INTERCOM SYSTEM FIELDED
The Army Soldier Systems Center has put together a commercially available intercom system that allows infantry and other dismounted soldiers to talk to each other from distances up to 700 meters without giving away their positions.
The new system, called the Soldier Intercom (SI), can operate in all kinds of environments. Each SI has a receiver/transmitter, a rechargeable battery pack, and a headset with microphone. It allows a squad leader to talk to his entire squad simultaneously on a channel heard only by them.
Instant communication means increased safety for soldiers in the field. In the past, they had to rely on unaided voice commands or hand signals to communicate with each other. Either practice put them in jeopardy by compromising their positions.
By purchasing commercial off-the-shelf items, the Army saves research and development dollars and reduces the time from concept to delivery. The Army plans to "push-issue" the SI to the field (at no cost to the individual units) through purchases from the General Services Administration and approved unit priority lists.
The SI was fielded to the soldiers of the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 82d Airborne Division in 1998. Fielding to other dismounted units will continue through 2001.
IMPROVED FIELD LATRINES DEVELOPED
U.S. forces deployed in support of previous operations found that field-expedient latrines were not suitable in certain situations. Therefore, the Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command has developed several new latrine systems for use in the field
· The modular initial deployment latrine (MIDL) (above) is a portable, highly mobile latrine system designed to accompany deploying personnel into a theater of operations (D0 to D+30). It consists of a privacy screen and a collapsible toilet that contains a disposal bag. Each bag must be sealed and disposed of after use. One MIDL will support up to 25 soldiers and can be set up outdoors or in a shelter.
· The maturing theater latrine (MTL) (below) is a portable toilet that is suitable for use in the theater following initial deployment (D+30 to D+120). It is similar to the portable toilets used at outdoor events. Waste must be removed from the MTL and disposed of or burned.
· The follow-on latrine (FOL) (below) consists of an 8-foot by 8-foot by 20-foot ISO container with six low-water flush toilets in privacy stalls; a trough urinal; two waste-collection tanks; two sinks with hot and cold running water; a 6-gallon water heater; mirrors; and dispensers for soap, toilet paper, and paper towels. Each privacy stall has shelves and hooks to hold a soldier's equipment. Each FOL is equipped with heat, air conditioning, and a fan for ventilation. Waste is contained in a ventilated internal storage tank that must be emptied daily. The FOL can be set up by two soldiers in approximately 45 minutes and relies on external electricity and water sources. The FOL, which currently is in production for the Force Provider system, will support up to 150 personnel, primarily in the rear area of a maturing theater (after D+120 to end of operation).
DOD SEEKS TO IMPROVE AIR TRAVEL SAFETY
The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Air Transport Association of America signed an agreement on 5 August for six major U.S. airlines to conduct safety assessments of foreign carriers participating in "code-sharing."
Code-sharing describes a partnership between U.S. carriers and foreign carriers in which airlines exchange seats with another carrier and sell them as if they were their own. Under this program, a passenger could purchase a ticket from Chicago to Germany with a connection in New York and find that he is transferring to the U.S. airline's code-sharing foreign partner even though his ticket has only the U.S. airline's name on it.
Approximately 200,000 DOD personnel travel on foreign carriers each year. DOD has a legal responsibility to evaluate the carriers on which it sends its personnel. While DOD may be confident of the safety stand-ards that U.S. airlines must meet, the safety standards of a foreign carrier may be unknown. The goal of this program is to ensure that all code-sharing carriers meet specific safety standards set by DOD and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The six airlinesAmerican, Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, and Unitedparticipating in the agreement will assess their foreign partners within the next year to ensure that they have sound safety processes and procedures. The U.S. carrier conducting an assessment must help its partner correct any problems found. DOD may bar a code-sharing carrier from official DOD travel if problems cannot be resolved. Initial assessments are due 4 August 2000 and assessments must be repeated every 2 years.
Since DOD uses not only contract carriers but also a large number of scheduled flights for official travel, all travelers will benefit from this program.
SUPPLY AWARDS ANNOUNCED
The following first-place winners of the 1999 Supply Excellence Award were announced on 20 September by Army Chief of Staff General Eric K. Shinseki
TDA (Small). Army Garrison, III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas.
TDA (Large). Maintenance Activity, Mannheim, Germany.
Supply Support Activity (Small). Company C, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii.
Supply Support Activity (Medium). Company C, 801st Main Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Supply Support Activity (Large). 725th Main Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
MTOE Company With Property Book. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, Yongsan, Korea.
MTOE Company Without Property Book. 72d Ordnance Company, Korea.
MTOE Battalion With Property Book. 41st Signal Battalion, Yongsan, Korea.
MTOE Battalion Without Property Book. 725th Main Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Army National Guard
TDA (Small). 90th Troop Command, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
TDA (Large). Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling, Michigan.
Supply Support Activity (Small). Company B, 193rd Aviation Regiment, Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii.
Supply Support Activity (Medium). U.S. Property and Fiscal Office-Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Supply Support Activity (Large). U.S. Property and Fiscal Office-Louisiana, Alexandria, Louisiana.
TDA (Small). Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1189th Transportation Terminal Brigade, North Charleston, South Carolina.
MTOE Company With Property Book. 824th Transportation Company (Headquarters Battery), Morehead City, North Carolina.
MTOE Company Without Property Book. Company A, 411th Engineer Battalion, Maui, Hawaii.
MTOE Battalion With Property Book. 94th General Hospital, Seagoville, Texas.
MTOE Battalion Without Property Book. 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, Knoxville, Tennessee.
|Above, equipment is discharged from the S.S. Equality State (above)
during an Army and Navy joint logistics-over-the-shore (JLOTS) exercise conducted off the
coast of Puerto Rico last summer. Performing JLOTS is necessary when deep-water ports are
not available or sufficiently equipped to offload equipment in port.
In the exercise, 115 heavy trucks and high-mobility, multipurpose, wheeled vehicles were moved from the shore to the ship and back ashore. Planners from the 832d Transportation Battalion, a Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) unit stationed at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, used the Integrated Computerized Deployment System (ICODES) to draw a diagram of each level of the ship and compute exactly where to stow each piece of equipment.
The JLOTS exercise was a part of Exercise Blue Advance, a Joint Chiefs of Staff event staged to develop and refine crisis action procedures; plans; and command, control, communications, and intelligence. The exercise also supported the deployment phase of Operation Caribbean Thunder '99, an Army Reserve Command combat support and combat service support exercise already underway in the region.
CENTRAL REPAIR PROGRAMS SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Communications-electronics repair programs at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Fort Hood, Texas, are saving the Army thousands of dollars and cutting repair turn-around times significantly.
Fort Bragg has established a central drop-off point for its 18 units that require repair support for their AN/PRC-126 handheld radios. Fort Bragg mails the radio components to Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania, where they are repaired and mailed back to Fort Bragg. This system replaces the former practice of sending the radios through the regular supply system and cuts days off the turn-around time. The program began with the repair of circuit cards but has expanded to include other components, such as the PRC-126's frames and panels and its frequency synthesizer modules. Previously, these modules were thrown away rather than repaired.
Fort Hood's integrated sustainment maintenance program serves as a clearinghouse for repair of communications-electronics systems and components for all installations west of the Mississippi. Tobyhanna's electronics mechanics use the inspect-and-repair-only-as-needed (IROAN) concept, which excludes extensive cosmetic repairs and helps to minimize turn-around times.
An electronics mechanic at Tobyhanna Army Depot tests the frequency synthesizer module of an AN/PRC-126 handheld radio.
COMBAT SUPPORT VEHICLES GET NEW INTERCOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
Teams from Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania, are upgrading the communications capabilities of M992 field artillery ammunition support vehicles (FAASV's) by installing an improved radio system. The AN/VIC-3 Vehicle Intercommunications Systems will provide vehicle crewmembers the ability to communicate with each other as well as among vehicles in the same unit.
The AN/VIC-3's are replacing AN/VIC-1 systems at a cost of $16,000 each. Each system has a master control station, headsets, and components that route voice signals. The master unit allows each station to listen only, transmit only, or both and has optional push-to-talk or voice-activated operation. A single-channel ground and airborne radio system transmits communications among vehicles.
The AN/VIC-3 was designed by Royal Ordnance of England and built by Grumman Corporation. The Tobyhanna teams will install the AN/VIC-3 in 346 FAASV's this year.
|Above, the Deployment Support Command's 597th Transportation Group at Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point, North Carolina, proved it could handle the challenge of meeting depot-to-port ammunition distribution and surge requirements when it completed the upload of the Military Sealift Command's MV Chesapeake Bay in 2 grueling 24-hour workdays. The operation was in support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise, Turbo Cads '99. This was the first time the North Carolina port was used for a Turbo Cads exercisea test designed to confirm a unit's ability to distribute containerized ammunition. After leaving port, the ship sailed first to Guam to unload 256 containers of munitions, then on to Korea to discharge the remaining 597 containers.|
NEW FORCE PROJECTION FM COMPLETED
Field Manual (FM) 100-17-5, Redeployment, dated 4 August 1999, has been completed. The final approved version currently is available on the Army Combined Arms Support Command's website at http://www.cascom.army.mil/multi/Field_Manuals/FM_100 -17_Series/. It has been submitted to the Army Training Support Center to be included in the Army Digital Library.
The new manual is one of the FM 100-17 series of manuals on force projection. FM 100-17 is the capstone manual, and of the five subordinate manuals designed to provide additional information, four have been completed. FM 100-17-1 talks about the use of pre-positioned afloat stocks, while FM 100-17-2 addresses pre-positioned stocks on land. Reception, staging, onward movement, and integration is the subject of the recently published FM 100-17-3. FM 100-17-5 establishes doctrine for planning and executing redeployment operations. It discusses the functions and responsibilities of Army units and supporting organizations and systems in conducting redeployment. The final manual in this series, FM 100-17-4, Deployment, also is nearing completion. It will describe the movement of forces from their home or mobilization stations to ports of embarkation.
For more information on FM's 100-17-4 and -5, call (804) 734-2065 or DSN 687-2065 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
CECOM SEC OFFERS SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS
The Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Software Engineering Center (SEC) designs, develops, deploys, and maintains Army software to support the Army warfighter. Its software design activities at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; St. Louis, Missouri; Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania; Fairfax, Virginia; and Fort Lee, Virginia; and its two field offices (Europe and Korea) produce over 80 percent of the Army's software systems. The center also develops websites, maintains Internet sites, resolves potential Y2K-associated problems, and assists with other information technology needs.
A video that describes the mission and functions of CECOM in more detail is available in VHS or CD-ROM format. To obtain a copy of the video or information on the SEC's products and services, call (703) 806-3349 or send an e-mail to jorgensc@ issc.belvoir.army.mil.
TROOPS AID HURRICANE FLOYD VICTIMS
When Hurricane Floyd hit the eastern United States in September, both active-duty and reserve component soldiers, sailors, and airmen helped civil authorities deal with one of the largest storms ever to threaten the area.
Over 10,800 Army National Guard troops were called out to help. "The spirit of cooperation among all of the various agencies was tremendous," said North Carolina Army National Guard Major Barney Barnhill. "Everybody did what they could to help out."
About 30 Army, Coast Guard, and Navy helicopters rescued people stranded along the North Carolina coast to safety and looked for others who needed help. Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida each sent two Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to reinforce North Carolina's fleet of utility helicopters. Soldiers from the 57th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) at Fort Bragg provided medical evacuation and hoist support.
Meanwhile, North Carolina Air National Guard members flew in 33,000 cases of meals, ready to eat, in 3 C-130 cargo planes for flood victims. Other Air Guardsmen erected a tent town for 80 people near the Wilmington airport. Forty-nine of the state's armories were opened so Guard members could help the people evacuated from the flooded region between Interstate 95 and the coast.
New Jersey Army National Guard members focused their efforts on the northern part of that state, where heavy rain caused river basins to overflow. Guard members rescued hundreds of Garden State residents, including 100 senior citizens from a nursing home in East Brunswick.
Virginia Army National Guard soldiers helped provide bottled water to flood victims in Portsmouth, where flooding and power failures shut down that coastal city's water supply system.
|A crane crew from Defense Distribution Depot Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania (DDTP), loads part of a Force Provider module onto a tractor-trailer for movement to Europe. A Force Provider module is a tent city with recreation facilities and equipment to accommodate 550 soldiers. Modules are shipped in large containers, some of which resemble the boxes tractor-trailers haul. Two Force Provider modules were shipped to meet requirements in the European theater. Twenty-three SEAVAN containers were used to ship the modules.|
DOD SETS Y2K PROBLEM-SOLVING OFFICE
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence has established a Year 2000 (Y2K) Decision Support Activity (DSA). The DSA serves as a focal point for answering Y2K policy questions, providing points of contact for answering Y2K policy questions, and addressing problems that may occur in defense infrastructures, such as telecommunications, power, and transportation systems, during the Y2K transition. (The Y2K problem refers to the past computer industry practice of writing years with just two digits1999 would be "99." Because of this digital shorthand, on 1 January 2000 some computer systems might treat "00" as "1900" or just shut down all together. )
Once fully staffed, the DSA will focus on three key areas. First, it will operate a small "call center" to take questions on Department of Defense (DOD) Y2K policy, facilities, or systems. During the Y2K transition, the call center will serve as the initial point of entry for all requests for foreign or domestic assistance made by the Department of State or the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The DSA will document the requests and forward them to Secretary of Defense William Cohen's Executive Support Center (ESC). ESC personnel will coordinate the requests with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the Army's Director of Military Support. The center then will forward the results of its coordination to the Secretary of Defense for approval.
Second, by monitoring global and national news sources, the DSA will track problems wherever they occur throughout the world. The information-gathering effort will help to differentiate problems that routinely occur in some systems from those that may be caused by the Y2K transition.
Finally, the DSA will monitor DOD's cyber systems and physical infrastructures. It will track reports of potential infrastructure problems and inform the ESC, which is responsible for coordinating any further action needed. According to Jeff Gaynor, Director of Y2K Operations, monitoring DOD's systems will help assessment efforts and ensure that problems are addressed before they adversely affect DOD operations.
LOGISTICS SYSTEMS Y2K TEST LARGEST EVER
In July, the Department of Defense (DOD) conducted a test of military logistics systems to determine if they will recognize 2000 as a leap year. DOD previously tested the systems for other key Y2K dates, such as 1 October 1999, the beginning of the fiscal year, and 1 January 2000.
The test, which involved more than 1,000 civilian and military personnel at 22 locations, covered DOD's 44 most critical logistics systems. The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Information Systems Agency, the U.S. Transportation Command, and all four Services participated in the test, with the Joint Interoperability Test Command providing test verification and validation.
According to Zach Goldstein, DOD's director of logistics information technology, the tested systems do about $80 billion worth of DOD business and process 2.5 billion transactions annually. By some estimates, this is twice the amount of commerce conducted last year on the Internet by the remainder of the country.
During the test, technical experts built duplicate networks, often referred to as parallel processing environments, then rolled their computer clocks forward to 28 February 2000 so they could simulate the week of 28 February to 4 March. This was important because many computers were not programmed to recognize the year 2000 as a leap year. The 3-day test was designed to identify the systems that need to be fixed before problems actually occur.
Goldstein said that the test was the culmination of more than 7 months of work on the systems to identify, analyze, and fix problems. "Now we're seeing how the systems work together, because that's how we do military operations," he said. Analysts were watching to see if the systems communicated correctly during the date changes and if they produced accurate information.
Preliminary results were good. Only a few minor faults were evident during the testing. Roger Kallock, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics, observed, "We feel very confident, based on what we've seen here and what we've demonstrated, that we've got a system that works and works well." Warning that despite all DOD's efforts, some undetected glitches could surface, he said, "We don't know what we don't know, so there could be some surprises down the road."
CECOM SYSTEMS READY FOR Y2K
Officials at the Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) say that the thousands of mission-critical systems they manage for the Army are ready for the year 2000 (Y2K).
According to Theodore Dzik, the CECOM Y2K program manager, CECOM is responsible for more than one fourth of the systems that are critical to the Army's mission. Of those, more than 99 percent have been certified as Y2K compliant. The equipment tested and certified by CECOM falls into four major categories¾
In 1995, CECOM began its intensive efforts to ensure that Army systems transition smoothly into the next millenium. Since 1 January 1999, a team of about 70 specialists has been leading and supporting a variety of operational evaluation tests. "Steps taken to ensure the systems are Y2K compliant have included converting, replacing, or eliminating platforms, applications, data bases, and utilities," Dzik said. "We continue to inventory, assess, and maintain our systems and are confident that all the systems that are so vital to the Army's strategic and tactical missions will be ready for the year 2000."
MTMC READY TO ROLL IN Y2K
As far back as 1996, forward-thinking officials in the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) began to devise year 2000 (Y2K) solutions they hoped would keep Department of Defense (DOD) transportation systems running smoothly into the next century. As a result, after midnight on 31 December 1999, troops won't have to worry about finding food in the chow hall, losing their unaccompanied baggage shipments, or being supported in the field.
MTMC is responsible for moving everything that supports DOD's warfighters during peacetime and wartime. Each year, it loads and unloads more than 10.6 million tons of cargo, delivers more than 110,000 military vehicle shipments, and makes more than 630,000 personal property and unaccompanied baggage shipments and about 75,000 privately owned vehicle shipments. That makes MTMC's Y2K problems more complex than those of most organizations. "With all the things going on in the world today, if it [traffic management] stops or slows down, we'd have a significant problem supporting the warfighters," said Elizabeth M. Imhof, MTMC's Y2K project manager.
MTMC fixed the two-digit problem in its personal computers by buying nearly 1,200 new ones at its headquarters and 51 locations worldwide. It also replaced its file servers, communications devices, routers, hubs, and other network components that comprise its "information technology infrastructure." According to Imhof, all of the software and systems used to run the command's worldwide transportation network have been checked for Y2K compliance.
"We made all the changes and went through extensive testing and verification," Imhof said. Even in a worst-case scenario, MTMC wouldn't shut down because of an automated Y2K failure, she noted. "There are contingency plans that will allow us to continue our mission, just a little slower."