October 30, 2009
DOD: ENOUGH H1N1 VACCINE FOR ENTIRE NATIONAL GUARD
The Defense Department has acquired enough doses of the H1N1 vaccine to immunize all 460,000 members of the National Guard, the DoD announced Thursday.
"The DoD supply will go out to the Guard on their order through the ... U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency," said Lt. Col. Dawn Barrowman, the chief of occupational health for the Army National Guard.
All states have ordered the H1N1 injectable vaccine through USAMMA, which is the same way that states order the seasonal flu vaccine.
The Army Guard in Arkansas and Indiana plan to use the Department of Health and Human Services allotment procured by their states, said Dr. (Col.) Rob Brown, the Army Guard's chief surgeon.
For Air Guard personnel the H1N1 injectable vaccine has been ordered through the active duty host base using the same method and guidance as the seasonal flu, said Capt. Tonya Moser, the chief of medical logistics for the Air National Guard.
Shipments of the DoD vaccine are still scheduled for the second week of November, but exact dates will differ from state to state, Brown said.
DoD has acquired 2.7 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine, which may be allocated to active duty members, reservists, Guardsmen, DoD civilians and essential contractors, according to a DoD memorandum.
Despite this announcement, Guard soldiers are encouraged to get the vaccine through the "most expedient route," Barrowman said. This includes registered H1N1 providers or an HHS source.
If a Guard soldier does receive the vaccine from another source, he or she is strongly encouraged to provide the documentation to their unit's medical readiness NCO, Barrowman said. This will enable the Army Guard to track the number of soldiers who have received the vaccine.
The vaccine will be mandatory for uniformed personnel and highly encouraged for all others. Priority will be given to deployed and deploying forces, new accession sites and health care providers.
FIVE ANG BASES ON CANDIDATE LIST FOR F-35 LIGHTNING II
Air National Guard bases in Arizona, Idaho, South Carolina, Florida and Vermont are among the 11 bases listed as candidates to receive the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. Final basing decisions will not be made until 2011.
Included on the list approved by the Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff, are Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station in Arizona, and Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station in Idaho, both of which would be training bases, and the Burlington International Airport Guard Station in Vermont, McEntire Air Guard Base in South Carolina, and Jacksonville International Airport Air Guard Station in Florida, all of which are on the list for potential operational sites.
Col. Greg Stroud, the commander of the 162nd Fighter Wing at the Arizona base, told the Arizona Daily Star he's proud to see his unit considered for the new jet, but said the announcement made Thursday is "only the beginning of a long process."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said the inclusion of the Vermont base on the list "is a tribute to the Vermont National Guard."
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, "Vermont's Guard has built a reputation of excellence and once again it shows."
Further review of the bases on the list will include an environmental analysis, site surveys and public meetings. A list of preferred locations will be made sometime in the spring of 2010 before the final announcement the following year.
Active duty bases selected for possible training sites include Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Other possible sites for operational bases are Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.
ANG SELECTS PREDATOR PILOT FOR SIJAN AWARD
An Arizona Air National Guard MQ-1B Predator pilot recently received the Air National Guard's nomination for the Air Force's Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award.
Maj. Austin Moore of the 214th Reconnaissance Group is the first unmanned aerial vehicle pilot selected to represent the Guard in the competition for the prestigious honor.
The award is named for the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. Capt. Lance Sijan, an F-4 Phantom pilot, was shot down over Vietnam on Nov. 9, 1967, and evaded capture for 45 days despite severe injuries. He later died while in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp and was award the medal posthumously.
The Sijan Awards are presented annually to outstanding senior and junior officers and senior and junior enlisted airmen who demonstrate the highest qualities of leadership in their jobs and in their lives. The Air Force is anticipated to name the 2009 finalists next summer.
Moore, who was a captain during the award period, will be considered in the junior officer category.
"I'm extremely grateful. I'm extremely honored," he said. "I think if anyone were to read 'Into the Mouth of the Cat: The Story of Lance Sijan,' they'd know to compete for an award bearing his name is an incredible honor."
In the past year, Moore has flown missions to cover Afghan leaders, backed up special operations forces during raids, spotted Taliban leadership for capture, stifled drug and weapons smugglers and saved American lives by dispatching insurgents.
Away from his work, Moore and his wife, Heather, have created Trips for Kids Southern Arizona, a nonprofit organization that uses mountain biking to impart values for healthy lifestyles and the need to protect and appreciate the environment while empowering disadvantaged youth ages 10 to 17.
"Through mountain biking, we show kids a challenge that, initially, might be scary, might be tough, but, by the end of the ride, they see that they are able to do it," Moore said. "It teaches them courage, gives them a sense of accomplishment and gives them the confidence to move forward in life despite challenges."
NOVEMBER MAGAZINE: FROM GAMES TO COMBAT AND MORE
Combat is not a game, but video games have been useful in training soldiers for the ultimate competition. The leap from video games played for fun to those designed to help soldiers battle the enemy is discussed in the next issue of National Guard, which is being mailed to members this week.
Tammy Duckworth nearly died in Iraq when a rocket-propelled grenade sliced through her Black Hawk helicopter in 2004. Despite losing both legs, she has become a vigorous advocate for veterans and is now in a position to do something about how wounded veterans from America's wars are treated. She's an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Most of today's Guardsmen are too young to have taken part in REFORGER, but there was a time when the exercise known as Return of Forces to Germany was the biggest item on the Guard's mobilization calendar. Thousands of Guardsmen took part and some say that the Cold War exercise is one reason the Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago and hastened the end of communism on the European Continent. The story is the next installment of Guard Roots in the November magazine.
Also, Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the chairman of the NGAUS board of directors, talks about issues confronting the Air National Guard in this era of high operations tempo and limited resources. The chairman lays out some talking points and asks for input.
You'll also get legislative director Richard Green's take on some important legislation and catch up on what the Guard has been doing around the country and overseas.
In 1966, a special Committee on the Development of a National Guard Song proposed the test of time be the measurement for all songs offered to NGAUS as the official National Guard song. The committee's report was given at the 88th NGAUS General Conference in Phoenix.
The delegates voted to accept this proposal, which knocked the song submitted by the National Guard Bureau, "I Am the Guard," out of the running.
The committee recommended that the association continue to encourage development of appropriate songs about the Guard and that no song proposed at the conference be mandated as the official song.
THIS WEEK IN GUARD HISTORY
Oct. 27, 1858: New York, N.Y. --- Theodore Roosevelt, who would become the 26th president, is born. Coming from a wealthy family, he went to Harvard and Columbia Law School. In 1882, he joined the 8th Regiment, New York National Guard, as a first lieutenant. He was soon appointed as the captain of Company B. After only two years, he resigned his commission and entered politics.
By the time the United States declared war on Spain over Cuban independence in April 1898, Roosevelt was assistant secretary of the Navy. He dispatched Commodore George Dewey to sink the Spanish fleet guarding Manila Bay in the Philippines, which was also a Spanish colony. As the Army began building up for the war, 194 state volunteer units were accepted for federal service.
However, Roosevelt, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, joined a new organization, the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, better known as the Rough Riders. While the unit itself was not a Guard organization, two of its four troops were largely composed of Guardsmen from Arizona and New Mexico.
On July 1, 1898, Roosevelt, now commanding the Rough Riders in Cuba, led them in a charge up a steep ridge known as Kettle Hill. This assault was part of the American advance to capture the port of Santiago. After a brief but intense fire fight, Roosevelt's men secured the hill. He noticed the American attack on adjoining San Juan Hill had bogged down under heavy Spanish fire coming from the top of the hill. He yelled for his men to follow him and they charged across the saddle between the hills and slammed into the Spanish flank.
After a short but sharp fight, in some places hand-to-hand, the enemy withdrew. For his inspired and decisive leadership, Roosevelt's name was submitted for consideration for the Medal of Honor. But his political enemies blocked the award.
In 1900, he was elected vice president and became the 26th president following the assassination of President William McKinley in September 1901. Roosevelt's career as president was one of great national and personal achievements. The National Park Service and construction of the Panama Canal were both begun on his watch. Many social and legal reforms are also part of his legacy.
For the National Guard, he is best remembered as the president who worked for and got approval of the Militia Act of 1903, better known as the Dick Act, after its sponsor, Rep. Charles Dick, putting in place many of the aspects of Guard service familiar today. In effect, it created the modern National Guard.
In 1906, Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation of the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Finally in 2000, 102 years after he was recommended for it, Congress bestowed the Medal of Honor to Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, making him the only American president to receive the nation's highest award for valor.
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