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Pursuit of higher
Air Force Senior Master Sgt.
474th ECES Operations NCO
What is an education worth to you? On
average, someone with a college degree will earn
almost one million dollars more over the course
of a lifetime than someone with a high school
diploma. In the military, as is the case in the
civilian world, an education is becoming even
more critical for advancement. Whether it is
sitting in front of a promotion board or looking
for that new career path, education beyond high
school is becoming the standard instead of an
The question is not whether it is worth it, but can
you afford not to do it. I talk to Airmen all the time,
young and old alike, who are interested in furthering
their education but are not sure where or how to start
or even if it's worth the effort. Many times they feel
that because they are getting older, the payoff is
not worth the effort. With the average lifespan
bordering on 75-plus years, the four-to-five
years to complete a college degree is a drop
in the bucket. In the grand scheme of life it
only requires a small effort for a lifetime of
gains; you just have to be willing to remain
focused on the prize. Five years down the
road when that job you've always wanted
becomes available, you can either have your
degree and move on to new opportunities
or you can be looking back wishing you
would have buckled down.
Most military members already have
a head start toward their degrees from
Professional Military Education courses and
technical training. Even though some degree
programs will only credit a small number of
these hours toward a college degree, there are
other options. Many colleges accept what is
called a Regents degree, which is a bachelor
of arts degree, that will often count your PME
and technical training hours. In some cases
it is possible to use a Regents degree as a
stepping stone to a specific master's degree.
Being deployed is the best time to start the
process. Remote locations limit distractions
from family and friends and allow you to
focus on class work. In addition, most
universities offer on-line classes that can be
taken anywhere. With tuition assistance,
the Montgomery GI Bill, and free CLEP or
DANTES tests, obtaining a degree is even
The best part about today's military is
that opportunities and assistance exist for
whichever road you decide to take. Not
only is an education an accomplishment that
will pay monetary dividends down the road,
it is something that is yours and cannot be taken
away. The Department of Defense pays people to
fish, workout and draw ... you're only limited by
your drive and imagination. Q
PAGE 2 I THE WIRE TROOPER-TO-TROOPER |
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
U.S. Southern Command Deputy Commander, Air Force Lt. Gen. Glenn F. Spears, Navy Rear Adm. Dave Thomas Jr., and
Navy Rear Adm. Thomas "Tom" H. Copeman III, salute during the national anthem at a Joint Task Force Guantanamo
change of command ceremony, June 19. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Wolff
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Joint Task Force Guantanamo welcomed
new commander, Navy Rear Adm. Thomas
"Tom" Copeman III, and said goodbye to
Rear Adm. Dave Thomas during a change
of command ceremony, June 19, at Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay.
Air Force Lt. Gen. Glenn F. Spears,
deputy combatant commander for U.S.
Southern Command, spoke during the
Thomas took command of the JTF in
May 2008 and, through his leadership,
helped to further the JTF mission of safe,
humane, legal and transparent care and
custody of detainees.
During his tenure, Thomas helped
to develop and implement security for
military commissions, ensured the safe
conduct of multiple detainee movement
operations, enhanced overall detention
operations, as well as support the Office
of Military Commissions and improve
the international image of the detention
facilities. He also designed an effective
strategic communications plan, personally
engaging audiences, influencing opinions
and dispelling myths.
Rear Adm. Thomas possesses many
personal and professional strengths and
qualities, gained throughout his career,
which show in his quality and style of
Thomas has a family tradition of naval
service. He, his father and three brothers all
graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 | MISSION
Annapolis, Md. In 1999, as commander
of USS Ross, Thomas participated in the
first combat mission in NATO history,
conducting Tomahawk missile strikes in
support of Operation ALLIED FORCE in
Thomas was working in the Pentagon on
the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations
on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when
American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into
the west side of the building.
When describing Thomas' trademark
humility, Spears said, "Without thought
for his personal well-being, he ran to the
sound of the fury, he ran to the sound of
his shipmates, he ran to do all he possibly
could to pull survivors from the scene."
These are some of the defining events
in Thomas' life which have made him the
leader he is today.
"Your unwavering standards, ethical
fortitude, your guts, your integrity have
served you well and served all those under
you well," Spears said.
Standards and values such as these
and many others have been important to
sustaining the professional image of the
JTF. Thomas held Troopers and himself
to the highest standards of excellence and
professionalism in accomplishing the JTF
"In the Navy, we define core values as
courage, honor and commitment," Thomas
said. "In my long career, I've seen people
perform courageously, I've seen people
serve with honor and I've seen people
demonstrate commitment. But never, ever,
have I seen such performance to the extent
and degree that I've seen here in the last 13
It is in keeping with these high standards
that Thomas thanked the Troopers of the
JTF during his speech.
"I'd like to thank the extraordinary men
and women of Joint Task Force Guantanamo
for providing the safe, humane, care and
custody that I'm so proud to show the
world," Thomas said.
Spears reiterated that appreciation for
the professional mission the Troopers of
the JTF perform each and every day.
"Let me assure you that our nation
knows of your great efforts and appreciates
your many sacrifices," Spears said.
Rear Adm. Copeman takes command of
the JTF as it prepares to support additional
military commissions and legal processes
for the detainees, the continued release and
repatriation of detainees who have been
cleared for release and the ordered closing
of the detention facility at Naval Station
Copeman left one island for another
in coming to Cuba from his previous
assignment in Hawaii as deputy chief of
staff for operations and training for the
U.S. Pacific Fleet. Copeman has 27 years
of service in the Navy and deployed to the
Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
as the commander of Destroyer Squadron
28 in the George Washington Carrier Strike
"Today, I relinquish command to Rear
Adm. Tom Copeman, a professional and
personal friend of long standing," said
Thomas. "He's a tremendous leader and you
will be extraordinarily well-served." 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
Army Staff Sgt.
Emily J. Russell
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
"Keep pushing! Keep pushing! Just get
it done!" yelled Army Staff Sgt. Tammy
Tillman as she coached her Soldiers during
an extended physical fitness test which
marked the beginning of try-outs for the
Army Warfighter Competition.
The Warfighter Competition, held
by the Military Police Regiment at Ft.
Leonard Wood, Mo., is a regiment-wide
competition which pits the best-of-the-best
military police teams against one another
in a grueling competition of strength,
endurance, and mental acuity.
The 525th MP Bn. will be sending a
team to the competition. Seven members
from the 193rd MP Co. rose to the challenge
to try out for the competition, June 18-19,
completing an extended physical fitness
test, obstacle course, 10-mile road march,
written exam, M-16 rifle qualification and
9 mm "stress fire," in an attempt to make
Army Sgt. Steven Jones participated
in the Warrior Police Challenge two years
ago, but last year was unable to because of
"It's the highest level of competition
among the MPs; it's an honor to be on the
team," Jones said. "I've been training since
I came down here."
The extended physical fitness test pushes
Soldiers to do as many push-ups as they can
in two minutes, roll over immediately, and
do as many sit-ups as they can in another
two minutes. As soon as they completed
the sit-ups the Soldiers were on their feet
and approaching the starting line for a
"These [Soldiers] just got here hard
charging," said Army Staff Sgt. Jolene
Anderson, platoon sergeant, first platoon,
with the 193rd MP Co. "To see them
come out here and perform this extended
[physical fitness] test is awesome."
Once each Soldier cleared the finish line,
the team was off to Marine Hill, to take on
the obstacle course. Despite fatigue, the
Soldiers attacked the obstacle course with
determination and grit.
PAGE 4 I THE WIRE
"The obstacle course was the hardest
part this morning," Jones said. "Though
push ups, sit-ups non-stop and then
jumping into a three-mile run, then into the
van to go to the obstacle course, was all-
After completing the obstacle course, the
Soldiers went back to the classroom where
they took an exam, testing their knowledge
of the Army and the military police corps.
"Ittakes mental and physical toughness,"
said 525th Military Police Bn. Command
Sgt. Major Steven Raines to the Soldiers
after the written exam. "Everybody is a
winner already just by taking the initiative
to try out for the team to represent the 525th
MP Bn. at the competition. Hard times
don't last; hard, disciplined Soldiers do."
With a brief break to eat, shower and
rest, the Soldiers reconvened to draw
weapons and attended an M-16 rifle
qualification, competing again for the best
score of targets hit.
The following day, the team was up
early for a 10-mile road march, followed
by a "stress fire" with a 9 mm pistol. Upon
completing the road march, the Soldiers
completed 20 push-ups and then fired 40
rounds in one minute.
"These [competitions] allow our Soldiers
to continue to be involved with [events]
across the MP Corps, and the Army,"
said 525th MP Bn. Commander Army
Lt. Col. Alexander Conyers. "Although
MISSION I FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
Digging in with JTF
* 118th Civil Engineering Squadron lend skills
and expertise while gaining experience
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The fruits of the 36 members from
the 118th Civil Engineering Squadron's
labor are evident all around Guantanamo
Bay. Take a look at the new playground
equipment at Cooper Field, the refurbished
bathrooms in Camp America, or the other
places where these Tennessee Air National
Guard members were working these past
two weeks. They did their work in the name
of annual training and helped improve the
quality of life for the Guantanamo Bay
community as they polished their skills in
preparation for future deployments.
The 118th CES is out of Nashville,
Tenn., and they have finished their yearly
"Deployment For Training" requirement.
This training takes them away from their
home area and places them in situations that
closely resemble deployment environments
and missions. Their mission here was to
complete tasks around the naval station
while training junior members in a hands-
on training environment.
Air Force Lt. Col. Craig Bradford,
squadron commander, 118th CES, said the
mission was successful because of the
information sharedbetween his experienced
Airmen and his younger members.
"This has been an extraordinary training
opportunity for our younger Airmen,"
Bradford said. "There is only so much you
can do in the classroom and on computer
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 I MISSION
simulations. Now it is time to train
the younger members of the unit so no
information is lost over the next few years."
This training included work onplumbing
and electrical systems, basic carpentry and
masonry and being resourceful in getting
help from other groups to complete work.
"We're a construction outfit so we've
had to use the services of the engineers,"
said Air Force 1st Sgt. David Freeland, 118th
CES. "They have gone out and sighted in
some projects for the Joint Task Force folks
for upcoming teams that will be coming out
here. We've done a huge amount of utility
work in plumbing and electrical, but all the
skills of our Airmen have been tested. All
the trades within the Air Force construction
outfit have benefited greatly, not only from
getting work done, but being able to use the
DFT concept to train our younger people to
come in and get their hands dirty."
The younger Airmen in the squadron
had a lot to learn in a short amount of time.
"I've learned how to install water lines,
toilets, sinks and urinals, and learned a few
other things like how to put up tile," said
Airmen 1st Class Christina Yates, a utilities
Airman, 118th CES. "We've learned a lot
of good stuff that will be useful back in
the civilian world as well. I think we've
done a goodjob of accomplishing our tasks
that we were assigned, and we picked up a
couple of other ones and completed them
the best we can."
The 118th CES had to complete the
assigned tasks of renovating a bathroom
facility at Camp America, to site and
construct a Morale, Welfare and Recreation
playground complex, build an interior wall
at a naval station facility and construct a
target storage structure at a firing range.
In addition to these tasks, they were able
to complete a concrete supply ramp for a
naval station dining facility, provide power
production personnel support for generator
maintenance for 474th Expeditionary Civil
Engineering Squadron, repair a wall at the
Radio GTMO office, begin plans for an
observation deck at Leeward for MIGOPS,
and provide Engineering personnel support
for survey work at Leeward for 474 ECES.
The much-needed improvements
to existing facilities used by Troopers
here were appreciated, said Army Sgt.
1st Class Guillermo Santiago, Camp
America commandant, Headquarters and
Headquarters Company, 525' Military
"I am pleased about the way they
conducted business," Santiago said.
"They have demonstrated a high degree of
professionalism. The way they came in here
and constructed and renovated the latrines;
they did it in a record time of two weeks.
You have to [remember] that we don't have
a Home Depot here on the island, and they
did an outstanding job."
The 118' CES has left their mark on the
Guantanamo Bay community and helped
to improve the quality of life while taking
away the skills required to complete their
mission anywhere in the world. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The 2009 Summer Basketball
League is finally here and Joint Task
Force Guantanamo and Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay Troopers lace-up their
sneakers for another exciting season hosted
by Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
"I am excited," said Navy Petty Officer
3rd Class John Parker, with the Navy
Expeditionary Guard Battalion. "I have
been playing basketball since I was 10
years old. I love the competition."
The league is comprised of nine teams,
which are mostly grouped together with
Troopers who work with one another. This
isn't always the case however, as Navy
Petty Officer 2nd Class Demarious Franklin
is teamed up with the Doc's.
"The Doc's are mostly corpsmen who
work at the hospital," explained Franklin,
who works at the Camp America post office.
"I think it is unique because it gives me the
chance to meet people through sports."
Franklin not only plays on a basketball
team, he also plays on a softball team.
"Basketball is one of the main seasons
everyone looks forward to," Franklin said.
"It keeps me in shape. There are also a lot
of athletic people at GTMO, which makes
for a challenging and fun season."
Franklin critiqued his team and feels
like the season will be a promising one.
PAGE 6 I THE WIRE
"We are fortunate to have a
big man and a good pair of guards
that can shoot the ball," Franklin
said. "In our first game we
started off slow, but as the game
progressed we really started to
Franklin did not make a
projection of how well his team
will do; but Parker, a guard with
Illimatic, has high expectations
of his team.
"We all play together as one,"
Parker said. "We know each
other, and we are going to take it
all this year."
Parker said he models his
playing style after Jason Terry,
a professional basketball player
with the Dallas Mavericks.
"Terry is a good all-around
player," Parker said. "He has
some really good skills, and my
strong points are similar to his."
The basketball league may .a
have similarities to the National
Basketball Association, but it has
a different mission.
"The objective of having a
summer basketball league is to promote a
high level of physical fitness, enrich social
competence and transform spectators into
active participants," said Robert Neuman,
MWR sports director. "It is about having
Basketball games will be played at G.J.
Denich Gym on Monday, Wednesday and
Friday from 6 9 p.m. until August 14.
If you have any questions about the
summer basketball league, call the sports
office at extension 2113. 0
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
'Haunting' not so daunting
Army Sgt. First Class
VeShannah J. Lovelace
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
"The Haunting in Connecticut" is a
thriller based on the true story of a family
who moves into a house supposedly
possessed by supernatural forces in
Southington, Conn. The year, 1987, sets
the backdrop for this tale starring Virginia
Madsen as a mother who moves her
family into a classic Victorian in upstate
Connecticut. The move was hasty and
made in desperation to be closer to the
hospital where her eldest son, Matt, is
receiving experimental cancer treatments.
Almost immediately upon moving in,
Matt played by Kyle Gallner discovers
that his new bedroom was once the site of
funerary preparation and cremations. Upon
further investigation, they realize the once-
owner of the mortuary, in which they now
reside, was an ambitious mortician who
exploited his prepubescent son's abilities
to consult the dead.
While there is nothing overtly exciting
about this movie, there is nothing acutely
awful about it either. The "thriller
connoisseur" will watch the action and
listen to the music, then steel themselves
for the inevitable surprise attack. However,
there are still a good number of scenes that
will catch you off guard and cause you to
slap your neighbor as you try to keep from
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
jumping out of your seat.
This film was mundanely reminiscent of
"The Amityville Horror" and "Poltergeist."
Likewise, there are several traces of "The
Sixth Sense," "Stir of Echoes" and "The
Others" throughout this movie. However,
it does hold an original twist in that you had
to be dying in order to actually see the dead
"The Haunting" has all the elements of a
typical horror film a family rents a house
that was too good to be true; characters
investigate strange noises or sights any
sane person would choose to ignore;
there's a priest who thinks he knows how
to exorcise the demons; and no one is smart
enough to get out of the house once they
are fully aware things are awry.
Despite the fact that this movie is
not wildly exhilarating, the acting was
quite impressive. Kyle Gallner gave
a phenomenal performance. He was
extremely believable as a cancer-ridden,
demon-possessed teenager. His eyes
really drew you into the scene and left you
feeling anxious. There were times when
you thought the demonic spirits had taken
control and were pleasantly surprised to see
him fight through and persevere.
Virginia Madsen was a bit monotone
during the opening scenes but still managed
to make you feel sorry for this mother who
was so desperately trying to save her son
and keep her family together.
This movie may not make the list of top
10 greatest thrillers but it still makes for a
pretty good first-date flick. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
Push-ups, sit-ups, three-mile run Too easy.
Marine Corps obstacle course Piece of cake.
Written exam Aced it.
M-16 rifle qualification Could have done it blind-folded.
10-mile road march Is that all you've got?
"Stress fire" 9 mm pistol qualification No sweat.
For a group of seven Soldiers from the 193rd Militar
Police Company, this two-day event was just a taste o
what's to come for the lucky few who will be selected t(
represent the 525th Military Police Battalion at the MI
Regiment's Warfighter Competition. The event, which wil
take place at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., Sept. 15-19, test
the intestinal fortitude, determination and knowledge o
MPs from across the regiment.
use vs. w
April D. de Armas
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Energy conservation is an important topic
that has been buzzing among law-makers
and individuals for some time. Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay is no exception to
the commotion being made about conserving
In early 2005, Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay installed fourwind turbines
and some new generators to improve energy
efficiency and in hope of lowering energy
Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey
Johnston, public works
officer, Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, said
although the measures
taken to lessen the cost of
energy for the base have
been successful, there is
still a long way to go.
"We have made some changes, but there
is a limit to what we are able to do," said
Johnston. "We can replace light fixtures and
water fixtures with more energy efficient
fixtures and limit watering lawns, however,
all the residents of the base have to do their
part to make a bigger difference."
The average cost to produce power and
water for Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
for one year is around $30 million. It cost
an average of $26,000 per month to just to
power (excluding water) all of Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay around-the-clock.
"The biggest cost we have with the
consumption of power is the creation of
water for our residents," said Johnston.
"It takes about 5 to 8 percent of the power
produced to have safe, consumable water."
In the 1970's, Congress began mandating
reductions in energy consumed by federal
PAGE 101 THE WIRE
agencies, primarily by improving the
efficiency of buildings and facilities, and
by reducing fossil fuel use. More recently,
two other bills were passed that would call
for a 30 percent reduction in energy use by
all federal agencies to include all military
"There are two ways to save power; one
is in little ways like people turning off lights
not being used, turning the water off while
brushing their teeth, and not letting the
shower run before you get in," said Johnston.
"The other way would be to spend lots of
money and have things like wind turbines
Our office contributes by making
sure all our lights, computers,
printers and monitors are turned
off before we leave for the day.
- Army Maj. Reuben Soto
and new diesel generators installed to
improve efficiency however, saving pennies
here and there is more productive and less
costly in the long run."
Army Master Sgt. Eustaquio Antonetti,
J-4 transportation and maintenance non-
commissioned officer-in-charge, Joint Task
Force, said his office does their part to
"We make sure all of our computers,
monitors and air-conditioners are turned off
every day before we leave the office."
Antonetti's office is in charge of issuing
vehicles to JTF Troopers and civilian support
"We also advise people who come into
our shop for a vehicle to keep their tanks
no less than half full; the vehicle will use
less fuel which saves money and resources,"
In fiscal year 2007, Department of
Defense spending on energy to operate
its facilities reached almost $3.5 billion.
Therefore, Congress continues to look at
furthering energy efficiency improvements
in aging Defense facilities and buildings as
a means to rein in energy consumption.
Army Maj. Reuben Soto, Joint Detention
Group S-3 plans and training officer-in-
charge, Joint Task Force, said he feels
conserving energy is the responsibility of all
and believes if everyone looks for ways to
save and conserve, future generations will
have a healthier environment to live in.
"Energy sources are so scarce, therefore
we need to take care of them and use them
wisely," said Soto. "Our office contributes
by making sure all our lights, computers,
printers and monitors are turned off before
we leave for the day."
Troopers should realize that if more
money is spent on energy consumption,
less money is available for other things they
might want, commented Johnston.
"Troopers don't realize it directly
affects the ability to provide other things
they might want such as travel, training and
Moral, Welfare and Recreation projects,"
said Johnston. "The more money we have
to spend on energy the less we have for
other things our Troopers really would like
Raising awareness is an ongoing process
that affects everyone from the lowest level
to the highest level possible.
Johnston said to be prepared for a "long,
hot summer" of energy discussions.
"Be on the lookout for mandated
conservation rules that will change the way
energy is used coming from Washington,
D.C., said Johnston. "Do the right thing
and remember that our resources are not a
bottomless pit; once it is gone then it is just
S & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
Army Sgt. VSt Class
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Abridge project, planned for the past 10 years is finally making
headway to completion.
On the Leeward side of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay is a
fence that separates Cuba and the naval station. Along this fence
is a road patrolled by the Marine Corps Security Force Company
that leads to a bridge that stretches across the Guantanamo River,
allowing the Marines access to the island across the river where
they continue their daily patrol for the security of the naval station.
The fenceline separates two countries with drastically different
political views on democracy and communism. The security of this
border is an integral part of the Marine Corps' mission to ensure the
safety of Guantanamo Bay.
"Once completed, the bridge will cut out needless driving that
presently takes the security force away from the fenceline," said
Naval Station Public Works Officer Jeffrey Johnston. The bridge
will be built right along the fenceline, right up to the river, keeping
the Marines on a direct route in their patrol.
"In 1999, the planning phase started. By October 2000 the first
materials arrived on the island and by December 2001, a Sea Bee
battalion started working on the project," Johnston continued. "By
December 2001, construction halted because the Sea Bees were
needed elsewhere. Then in 2005 the Sea Bees were back and
Presently, Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 11, from
Gulfport, Miss., has inherited this project as part of their deployment
to Guantanamo Bay.
"The beams that will span the Guantanamo River had to be
welded together first. It took seven sections to make one 179 foot
beam. Two beams had to be fabricated," said Navy Chief Petty
Officer Carl Peltier, assistant officer in charge for NMCB-11. Troopers from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11
One ofthefirstchallenges they encounteredwas getting certified pull on a rope to secure a barge in place prior to loading
welders that met the stringent qualification needed to weld such a two beams for the new bridge on the Leeward side. JTF
massive structure together, and planning and coordinating all the Guantanamo photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Steven Rougeau
equipment needed to move these beams to the Leeward side.
Two cranes had to be used to load these beams onto the barge. loaded and set into place said job supervisor Navy Petty Officer 1t
One was supplied by the Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 and Class John Carroll.
the other one by Bremcor. "On June 24 the barge traveled across The bridge project will remain on track for completion within
the bay and up the Guantanamo River where the beams were off- the coming months. O
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 1 NEWS & INFORMATION
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
for team event
COMPETITION from 4
we're performing a tough mission here, I think it's important
that we allow them the opportunity to compete in events like the
Bataan [Memorial] Death March, the Army 10-Miler as well as
the Military Police Corps Warfighter Competition. These things
prepare our Soldiers to go above and beyond what is expected or
what they think they can do."
With the 193'r MP Co. representing the entire battalion, the
leaders and fellow Soldiers have a reason to be proud.
"I'm very proud, these guys are doing a great job," said
Tillman, the platoon sergeant for second platoon. "They have a
lot of heart. Two are already participating in the Army 10-Miler,
they're definitely 'Hooah."'
As the team prepares for the competition, it's important to
remember the other Soldiers who support them at the camps and
in their daily jobs.
"They gotta pull the weight, but they don't mind," Tillman said.
"We take care of each other."
The joint effort of Soldiers across the battalion, and support
from the Marine Corps Security Force Company which played
an integral role helped the day's events come together for a
successful team try-out.
"I think it's great that all of you took the opportunity to accept
this challenge," Raines said to the Soldiers. "I know each of you
want to be on the team."
Who made the team? Army Sgt. Steven Jones, Spc. Jason
Adams and Pvt. Levi Arrowood.
"Arrowood works hard, I always see him out running,"
Anderson said. "He and Pvt. Robinson are always pushing each
"I'm not the best, but I'll do my best to represent the 193rd MP
company and the MP regiment," Arrowood said. "The friendly
competition with my peers is good for morale. We train together;
we compete against each other, and [now] against other MP's." O
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
PAGE 12 1 THE WIRE
Fraser assumes SOUTHCOM command
U.S. Southern Command
Public Affairs Press Release
U.S. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser assumed
duties as commander, U.S. Southern Command
from Navy Adm. James Stavridis during a formal
change-of-command ceremony at the command's
headquarters June 25.
Stavridis, who began his tenure as commander
of SOUTHCOM on Oct. 19, 2006, was confirmed
June 10 by the U.S. Senate to serve as commander,
U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany,
and supreme allied commander of Europe
for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
headquartered near Mons, Belgium.
Fraser's presidential nomination for
appointment to the grade of general and
assignment as SOUTHCOM commander was
also approved by the U.S. Senate June 10. The
general received his fourth star prior to the June
25 change-of-command ceremony.
Fraser comes to SOUTHCOM from U.S.
Pacific Command, headquartered in Camp H.M.
Smith, Hawaii, where he served as the geographic
unified command's deputy commander.
Fraser has also served as commander of
Alaskan Command, a component command of
U.S. Pacific Command; 11th Air Force, Pacific
Air Forces; and Alaskan North American Defense
Region, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force
His awards and decorations include the
Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior
Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and Meritorious
U.S. Southern Command is one of the
nation's six geographically-focused unified
commands with responsibility for U.S. military
operations in the Caribbean, Central and South
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
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Air Force Lt. Col.
JTF Guantanamo Command Chaplain
Have you ever asked yourself, "What
does a chaplain do?" It is a fair question, but
before I answer your question, let me ask it
this way, "Other than worship services and
counseling, what does the chaplain bring to
the fight? How does the chaplain enhance
In 1995, I was deployed as part of Joint
Task Force Sea Signal to Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay. Part of my duties
included spiritual support of a Marine
battalion. My second day on the island
included a meeting with the battalion
commander. In this meeting the commander
recited his expectations of me in support of
After he wrapped up his diatribe, I asked
him if he minded me telling him how I could
make his devil dogs better Marines. I wish
you could have seen his face. Naturally,
I had his undivided attention. Since he
was greatly curious how this Air Force
chaplain (read weenie), was going to make
these Marines, whose mission is to engage
the enemy and utterly destroy them, more
efficient, he gave me permission to share
my three "Ms," which are: mediation,
moderation and motivation.
I am absolutely convinced the chapel
team brings three performance factors to
the battle few realize, but all appreciate.
The first factor we bring is God's
presence; this is mediation. It is a fair
assumption that because the chaplain is
present, God is too.
Mediation reminds me of the time I
was flying on a mission with the Airborne
Control Command and Communications
element during a North Atlantic Treaty
Organization operation when we were
warned to exit the air space due to
potential hostile action against our aircraft.
After breaking orbit we got the all-safe
call. I still remember all of us exhaling
in relief with the pilot looking over his
shoulder and saying, "chaplain we are sure
gladyou were with us!" My presence made
the air crew feel as if they had God's divine
protection; in turn it gave them greater
focus on the mission performance.
The second dynamic chaplains affect
is moderating of behavior. So many times
I have heard a Sailor, Soldier, Marine or
Airman use profane language, and then
their situational awareness kicks in and
they invariably say, "oh, forgive my French,
chaplain." What they are really expressing
is that my presence makes them have
second thoughts about behaviors that could
be detrimental to their team members, their
family and ultimately their mission.
I cannot tell you how many times I have
assisted military members as they struggled
with habits that were interfering with their
ability to carry out the job successfully.
With my assistance, they were able to
conquer the issue and focus on the job.
The third "M" is for motivation. It is
my experience that my presence motivates
our military personnel. Perhaps it was a
dear John/Jane letter from home. Maybe
it is confidence that whatever they tell me
stays with me, or it could simply be that if
the chaplain can do it, then they can too.
These three "Ms" lead to mission focus
and mission success. Whether it is peace-
keeping, the Iraq or Afghan battle space or
GTMO; other than worship services and
counseling, this is what the chaplain brings
to the mission. O
II Ll i Il
Sunday: 7 a.m. Confession
7:30 a.m. Mass
Spanish Catholic Mass
Sunday: 5 p.m.
at NAVSTA Chapel
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009
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JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
People naturally incorporate their
surroundings into their way of life.
When a Trooper is deployed, he
might struggle in maintaining a
positive outlook, so when Troopers
are deployed to Joint Task Force
Guantanamo, "Sunday Sounds"
interjects optimistic words of support
into their listeners.
"We do the show every week,"
explained Joint Detention Group
Chaplain, Army Capt. Scott Brill.
"We are not trying to convert anyone,
or belittle any other religions. We
are here to put out a positive and
The show airs on 103.1 the Blitz
every Sunday from 1 3 p.m.
"The show has two missions," Brill
said. "One is to strengthen the faith of
the believers, and the other [supports]
the JTF mission, which is to show
light to the Troopers' personal and
spiritual lives in hope they will take
it with them behind the wire as they
continue to conduct safe, humane care
of [the] detainees."
The show has been airing for 15
months and has three hosts.
"I heard that [Chaplain] Brill needed
someone to work on the computers," said
Navy Lt. j.g. Chris Ely, a Public Works
project manager. "I am glad I am able to
FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009 I 15 MINUTES OF FAI
"I realize we have a captive audience,
and I hope something we say or one of the
songs speaks to a [Trooper] and helps them
with their troubles," Ely added.
Army Staff Sgt. Rene Salazar, a member
of the 193d Military Police Company, had
no experience with broadcast prior to
participating in "Sunday Sounds." Brill
and Ely referred to themselves as the Jonas
brothers before Salazar joined the group.
They continue to do so and often refer
to Salazar as the third Jonas brother. He
has been assisting with the show for five
"I do this to give back," Salazar
said. "As a Christian, it isn't just a
radio show, it is us doing our part.
We are supposed to walk, talk
and preach the Word. It is part of
The "Sunday Sounds" crew feels
that their experiences in life will be
able to help their listeners because
they are able to provide testimonies
of the Lord's work.
"We are open to suggestions," Ely
stated. "If there is a song someone
wants to hear, just let us know."
Armed Forces Radio and
Television Services may not be able
to provide all the songs that are
requested, but they are able to make-
do with the selections provided.
"What people are unaware of is
that we cannot put in our iPods," Brill
explained. "If it isn't in the system
we can not play it, even though we
know of hundreds of songs."
Brill and his crew are willing to
advertise any religious programs at
GTMO, and they welcome anyone
who would like to be a guest speaker.
"If anyone has a story to tell or some
encouraging words that can help people,
we would love to hear it," Brill said. 0
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