J- an an etokitgrt
Life, liberty, the
pursuit of happiness
Air Force Senior Master Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Law Office Superintendent
Each Fourth of July, we celebrate the birth of America,
our Independence Day. Friends and family members
come together to take part in the festivities of the day
and observe the magnificent fireworks that light up
the night. American flags are flown proudly and
military members from all eras march in patriotic
parades to commemorate the day.
I was once asked what the Fourth of July meant
to me. As a child, it was that one time of the year
when I could play with sparklers and, per my
mother's rule, everyone in the family had to wear
red, white and blue. Now, since joining the military,
the Fourth of July means much more. It's now a time to
reflect upon our Nation's past, present and future.
On July 4, 1776, 13 colonies united in severing
their ties to Great Britain by signing the Declaration of
Independence, establishing a government that is self-
governed. This was the beginning of our Nation. The
Declaration states all men are created equal and we all
have certain rights to include the right to Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.
Now 233 years later and after many lives have
been lost and tears shed, those same principles guide
our people and our government. As members of the
United States military, we defend those rights. Every
time we put on our uniform, we are protecting the
very principles with which our Nation was born.
As members of the Joint Task Force, we
are reminded every day of the people who wish
to harm our country and our people. We are
reminded that the United States will continue to
protect our rights and those who try to undermine
our rights will have to bear the consequences. Of
course, we are also reminded that as citizens of
our great country, we are humane, decent people
who will also protect those who are in our custody,
regardless of the reason behind their detention.
That is who we are.
In our future, I'm sure we will continue to face
challenges and we will do so by staying true to our
principles. Like you and I, men and women who
want to make a difference and who are willing to
serve our country, will step forward and follow in
our footsteps and defend our right to freedom.
Our history is embedded in every American.
It has influenced our present and will shape our
future. As members of the United States military,
it is our duty to study our past so we can make
intelligent decisions for our future.
This Fourth of July, as you celebrate, remember
the true reason behind the celebration. The birth
of our Nation, a Nation dedicated to the principles
of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Remember there are those who have never
experienced freedom and be thankful for the rights
our country has given you and be proud of who you
are, a member of the United States military. God
Bless America! Q
PAGE 2 I THE WIRE TROOPER-TO-TROOPER |
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
A Student driver demonstrates proper parking techniques usi
the 525th MP Maintenance Section. JTF Guantanamo photo
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Jerome W. Mapp
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
When it comes to moving Troopers and supplies across Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. Army looks to the Light
Medium Tactical Vehicle as the transport of choice. For 10 Soldiers
assigned to Joint Task Force Guantanamo, the opportunity to drive
the vehicle began with a recent three-day course that took them
through some challenging terrain on the Cuban landscape.
The 40-hour LMTV course, which took place June 23 through
June 26, was a combination of classroom instruction, open-road
and off-road driving. The students spent the first day learning the
intricacies of the vehicle. The second day was spent completing
closed-site training at McCalla Hangar runway. The final tests
consisted of both a nighttime and a daytime drive around Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay and through treacherous and rugged hills
that dot the landscape here.
"At the beginning of the class, we have each student introduce
themself to the rest of the class so that they become familiar with
the person who may be their co-driver during the road test," said
Army Sgt. Jonathan Vasquez, a lightwheeled vehicle mechanic
with the 525h Military Police Battalion's motor pool and one of
the course instructors. "From there, we teach the students vehicle
safety and the basic mechanics of the vehicle before we put them
behind the wheel."
Vasquez, who has been assigned to JTF Guantanamo for
roughly 15 months, and his team of instructors have led 10 such
classes with a varying number of students. The most recent class
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 | MISSION
ing a ground guide after completing road course training by
by Army Sgt. 1st Class Steven Rougeau
consisted of 10 students the largest class to date who were
assigned two-to-a-vehicle in the five LMTVs the battalion employs
for the road tests. A course instructor sat in the middle jump seat to
evaluate their progress.
Prior to mounting their vehicles, the students received a briefing
from Vasquez and Army Staff Sgt. Johanna DeJesus, the senior
instructor and a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard's
480t Military Police Battalion, on basic road safety and potential
hazards that could challenge the drivers during the open-road test.
Vasquez took the lead ahead of the convoy, driving the only Family
of Medium Tactical Vehicle in the battalion's vehicle inventory on
"Since we have two students per truck for this class, we road
test each one for a half-hour. So the final road tests are roughly
an hour long," Vasquez said. "Once we reach our designated stop
[along Sherman Avenue], the second driver takes the wheel so that
we can evaluate them during the return trip to the motor pool."
Vasquez said that while the closed-site training may seem
simple enough, traversing the hills around Guantanamo Bay can
test the students' nerves, especially at night. During the most
recent class, a vehicle attempting to cross a hill during a nighttime
test nearly ran into a ditch. The rear wheels became airborne when
the weight of the vehicle caused it to pitch forward.
While the rate of course failure is low, Vasquez said that he has
had students fail to safely navigate the steep hills and were forced
to leave without earning their driving certificate and license that is
required to operate the vehicles on the island.
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
Army Sgt. 1st Class
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The change of command ceremony is a time-honored
event that preserves the rich heritage of military tradition. It
is a formal custom that is designed to strengthen respect of
authority, which is vital to any military organization.
Recently, Army Capt. Suzanne Redente assumed
command of the 189th Military Police Company from
Army Capt. Christopher M. Hodl in a change of command
ceremony at Joint Task Force Guantanamo June 24. After
passing the unit colors to the new commander, Hodl the
outgoing commander addressed the crowd. He reflected
on his command and thanked Army Col. Bruce Vargo,
commander of the Joint Detention Group, and Army Lt. Col.
Alexander Conyers, commander of the 525' Military Police
Battalion, for their guidance, support; and the opportunity to
serve with the finest, hardest-working and most professional
group of Soldiers ever, keeping the operational tempo going
and never failing the mission. Hodl continued, attributing
his success to the officers and non-commissioned officers
under his command.
"Hodl cared about his Troops and worked long hours in
both the camp and the unit," said Army Staff Sgt. Maryellen
Rovillos, a 189th MP Trooper. "He ensured that they were
properly trained to standards and focused on the physical
fitness program. I wish him good luck and thank him for his
In his remarks, Conyers praised Hodl for his many
"His selection for the Douglas MacArthur Leadership
Award is a testament of how well he performed his duties,"
Conyers said. "[He] skillfully balanced physical fitness,
warrior tasks, administration operations and running Camp
5 with Soldiers from both the 189th and 193rd MP companies.
His credentials are measured by the way he took care of his
The incoming commander, Capt. Redente, addressed the
crowd and thanked everyone for taking time out of their
evening to be there.
"It is with the utmost honor and pride that I stand before
you as the commander of the 189th MP Company Thank you
PAGE 4 I HE WIRE
for such a great opportunity," Redente said. "Capt. Hodl, thank you for
being the dedicated leader you were, and molding such a fine group of
Soldiers. I wish you and your family the best for luck with your next
"To the Soldiers, you are the 189th MP Company and will always be
my number one priority," Redente continued. "All
policies and procedures will remain in effect until
Redente concluded with her call sign saying,
"Present for duty."
Prior to the ceremony in a separate presentation,
Hodl was honored and awarded with the Meritorious
Service Medal for his 16-month tenure as the
commander of the 189th MP Company and the officer
in charge of Camp 5.
Following the ceremony, Troopers lined up
to congratulate both the incoming and outgoing
commanders and wish them good luck in their new
Army Capt. Christopher M. Hodl addresses
Soldiers from the 189th Military Police Company
after a change of command ceremony at Joint
Task Force Guantanamo Trooper's Chapel, June
24. Hodl was relieved by Army Capt. Suzanne
Redente as commander of the 189th MP
Company. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty
Officer 1st Class Richard M. Wolff
MISSION I FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
Dustin Robbins, senior information assurance officer, resets the memory card
on a motherboard, June 30. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Jim
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
While you may not realize it, every
time you pick up the phone, hit send in
Outlook or use a Motorola radio, you are
falling under the purview of one of the
most mission-critical sections at Joint Task
The J-6 communications branch is
responsible for all communication used
by Troopers, charged with providing
"secure, integrated, reliable and responsive
communications and information
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 I MISSION
That's no easy task when you consider
the various agencies that send
communications ranging from daily, non-
classified informationto the highest security
levels; information that could be used
to give an enemy insight into operations
conducted at the JTF.
The J-6 section is the shepherd to all that
information, ensuring operations security
is maintained across the various computer
networks and over the airwaves.
"From an OPSEC standpoint, it is
extremely difficult to strike the balance
between keeping an open line of
communication and ensuring that our data
and information remain secure," said Tony
Bustillos, J-6 operations manager.
Bustillos, a contractor with General
Dynamics who has been assigned to the JTF
for more than six years, said maintaining
that balance involves incorporating a blend
of hardware and software measures as well
as relying on all Troopers to use the network
- be it computer, radio, landline phones or
cell phones in a responsible manner.
The J-6 section is comprised of dozens
of military and civilian members. Their
responsibilities range from computer
help desk support to asset management.
The equipment and resources under their
care are what you'd expect to find at any
installation around the world; how J-6
manages their operations at Guantanamo
Bay is anything but normal.
On the computer front, J-6 manages
three separate networks: the Non-Secure
Internet Protocol Router for unclassified
information; Secure Internet Protocol
Router for secret-rated information; and
Joint Warfare Intelligence Communications
System for top secret-level information.
Managing the NIPR, SIPR and JWICS
networks is nothing out of the ordinary in a
joint environment. Where the challenge lies
here is managing the phones, cell phones
and radios used throughout the JTF.
The infrastructure the JTF uses for over-
the-air transmissions is actually owned by
U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo. The J-6
works with their naval station counterparts
at the base communications office to ensure
uninterrupted service. So while the JTF
owns the radios in use around the detention
facilities, the naval station provides the
radio maintenance and keeps the radio
Outgoing J-6 Director Capt. Steven
Broussard said that while it can be a
challenge, the two communications'
agencies enjoy a solid relationship.
"They do a really good job; we throw
a lot of last-minute requests their way but
they always come through," Broussard
said. "We wouldn't be able to work without
In order to effectively manage these
disparate networks, the J-6 is broken
down into three areas: current ops, which
administers the computer networks,
configures the workstations and provides
computer help desk support; future ops for
asset management and new projects; and
information assurance, the protectors of the
network who prevent intrusion from both
outside and inside the JTF
Broussard said one of the biggest
challenges in this environment is getting
resources to GTMO in a timely manner,
where freight options are limited. The
reward, on the other hand, is meeting the
communications needs of their customers -
the JTF Troopers.
"They're the reason why we're here,"
he said. "They're where the rubber meets
the road." 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
Navy Chief Petty Officer Quincy L. Jackson, with Joint Task Force Guantanamo, watches Billy Miller, a New Orleans Saints
tight-end, sign his football. Donnie Edwards, of the Kansas City Chiefs and Drew Brees, of the New Orleans Saints also
participated in the USOtour of NFL players at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, June 27. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army
Sgt. Michael Baltz
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Professional football players stay busy
with traveling during the season, attending
training camps away from home in the off-
season and constantly maintaining a good
physique so when they have free time, they
typically spend it with family and friends.
However, some players believe there
are other obligations and go beyond the
spectrum of their professional career, taking
their glory of being a successful athlete
around the world to support Troopers who
defend their freedom and right to play the
game that so many people love.
National Football League players
Drew Brees, starting quarterback for the
New Orleans Saints; linebacker Donnie
Edwards, of the Kansas City Chiefs and
tight end Billy Miller, of the New Orleans
Saints, demonstrated their support for
the military by participating in a United
Service Organization tour at Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, June 27-28.
"We are here to show support to our
Troops," said Brees, a three-time pro-bowl
selection (2004, 2006 and 2008). "We
want to let the troops know how much we
appreciate them and what they do."
PAGE 6 I THE WIRE
This is Brees' fourth USO tour. He has
been to Kuwait, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan
and now Cuba.
"I have had a lot of family in the military.
My two grandfathers served in World War
II," Brees explained. "I grew up listening
to their stories, so I know what sacrifices
Brees has always helped out the
communities in which he has lived. In
2003 Brees established the Brees Dream
Foundation, which has raised $4.5 million
to support numerous causes.
"As an NFL player, I have the
opportunity to show the [Troopers] that I
appreciate them," Brees said. "Everyone
loves the NFL, and I know the troops enjoy
Some Troopers were more excited than
others, especially those who glue their eyes
to a television set to cheer for Brees every
Sunday during the fall.
"Meeting Drew Brees is the highlight
of my GTMO experience," said Navy
Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Magnoon, a
New Orleans native with Joint Task Force
Guantanamo. "This is better than fishing."
The three players were able to see many
Troopers and explore most of Guantanamo
by having eight different meet-and-greet
sessions. Brees also met several Marines
when he joined them for a four-mile run the
day of his departure.
"We like Guantanamo a lot," Brees said.
"We have had a chance to shake hands with
a lot of Troops.
"I always tell my teammates what
a rewarding experience it is to go on a
USO tour," Brees continued. "I think it is
important that football players come down
to support the true heroes."
Miller feels strongly as well.
"I think until a professional athlete
comes down here to Guantanamo to see the
hard work it takes to defend our freedom,
some people will take it for granted," Miller
explained. "This is my second time on the
USO tour. I think to come down here and to
be able to see everything is fantastic."
Miller feels that his time spent at GTMO
isn't time lost from his family; he views it
as time gained with Troopers.
Brees and Miller expect to do well this
seasonby claiming to have a team with a lot
of experience. Neither was able to make a
prediction of how successful the Saints will
be, but Miller is able to tell people how to
have a successful fantasy football season.
"As long as you have No. 9 [Brees]
on your team, you will have a good
fantasy football season," Miller stated
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
Army Sgt. Vs Class agrees and Andrew hastily whisks her off
VeShannah J. Lovelace to Sitka, Alaska, to meet his family.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs Immediately upon landing in Alaska,
Margaret realizes Andrew's family is
Allow me to set the scene for you.
You're on a crowded Manhattan street when
your boss, whom you absolutely loathe and
have often visualized being hit by a car,
gets down on one knee and proposes. She
suggests you either many her so she can
gain her citizenship and keep her job, or
watch the career you worked so hard for be
dismantled by an incompetent and inferior
coworker. What would you say?
"The Proposal" is a witty romantic
comedy starring Sandra Bullock as
Margaret Tate, a frigid, cut throat, no-
nonsense and emotionless editor for a high-
profile New York publishing company.
Margaret finds herself in a bit of a pickle
when her bosses discover a trip she made
out of the country against their advice
- put her on the radar of the Immigration
and Naturalization Service. Placing work
above all else, Margaret failed to fill out the
necessary paperwork to extend her work
visa and as a result is immediately being
deported back to Canada. In a desperate
attempt to save her job, she informs her
bosses that she is engaged to marry her
assistant, Andrew Paxton, played by Ryan
Reynolds of "Van Wilder" fame. Andrew,
who is frightened of the consequences
involved with defrauding the government,
agrees to a quickie wedding provided she
promotes him to editor and publishes his
manuscript which she has thus far refused
to read. Not really having a choice, she
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
wealthy and are some sort of "Alaskan
Kennedy's." While in Alaska, Margaret
I a SANDRA JULLOC RYAN NEYNOIDS
hERE COMtS In UbER
- whose parents died when she was 16 -
finds herself in the middle of an ongoing
father-son feud, a mother who desperately
wants her son back in their life, a picture
perfect ex-girlfriend and a 90-year-old
grandmother (Betty White) who consults
the spirits and wants grandchildren before
she dies. The family's overwhelming and
unconditional acceptance breaks through
the ironclad barrier Margaret uses to protect
herself and Andrew gets the opportunity
to see a side of Margaret he never knew
Bullock knocks it out of the park with
this performance. If you liked her before,
you'll love her after watching this movie.
She is outrageously funny and obviously
comfortable in the obscurely comedic
roles. Her character exhibits a shocking
familiarization with Hip-Hop artists Rob
Base and Ying Yang Twins tunes that leaves
the audience falling out of their seats with
Reynolds creates a role in this movie
that is in sharp contrast to the underachiever
role his fans fell in love with in the "Van
Wilder" series. He finds it hard to stand
up to Margaret, until he gets the upper
hand, but you can't help admire the way
he defiantly confronts his father (Craig T.
Nelson) head-on when he places his own
agenda ahead of what truly makes Andrew
happy. And Betty White is even more
"Golden" as the spitfire grandmother who
dances with strippers, chants and dances to
honor the spirit Ra and fakes heart attacks
to bend her family members to her every
I propose that "The Proposal" is
definitely a movie to rush out and purchase
on Blu-ray Disc or DVD on release day to
add to the collection. It is definitely one
you will watch over and over again. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
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Army st Lt. GTMO Recycling Tips:
Christopher W. Cudney
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs Pick up a blue recycle bin from the base recycling
Trash. It is something that we all amass
over time. Joint Task Force Guantanamo
Troopers may wonder where all that
garbage goes and what you should do with
the trash you have now. The answer for
much of it: recycle.
According to Refuse Department
Supervisor Leon McPherson,
approximately 40 to 50 percent of the trash
and recyclables produced here come from
"Daily, we receive about 17 tons of
household waste," McPherson said. This
waste goes directly to the base incinerators
and anything that does not bur goes into
the base landfill.
The recycling center also receives
approximately six tons of recyclable
material every month. According to
Transportation and Refuse Manager Mike
Martinez, that number varies depending on
the units deployed here.
"Some commands are bigger on
recycling than others," Martinez said.
"That affects the amount of recyclables we
The recyclingprogram relies onTroopers
voluntarily sorting their refuse and placing
it in the blue recycling bins provided by
the recycling center. Household trash is
sorted by the facility as well, but according
to Martinez, presorting is a much more
effective way of ensuring recyclables make
it to the proper location.
PAGE 101 THE WIRE
* Sort recyclable material from household trash
* Rinse heavily soiled recyclables
* Place all recyclables in proper recycling receptacles;
i.e. blue recycle bins, garbage cans labeled recycle in
* At Cuzco Barracks, place recyclables in the six white
containers located at the east trash collection point
* Reuse items as often as possible
"We just don't have the capability to
sort through all the trash we get," Martinez
said. "We don't have the equipment."
McPherson and Martinez insist that
many items commonly thrown away can
"Plastic bottles that have a [recycling
logo] with a 1, 2 or 3 can be recycled,"
said Martinez. Other recyclable materials
include aluminum and tin cans, copper
wire and plastic drums. Glass bottles may
also be placed in the recycle bins. The glass
is not recycled but the bottles are crushed
to help conserve space in the landfill.
The center does not require recyclable
materials to be cleaned thoroughly. Rinsing
soiled cans and bottles with water is
sufficient preparation to go to the recycling
Martinez also suggested that Troopers
reuse items to help reduce the amount of
waste produced. Troopers may visit the
recycling center and obtain items for reuse,
such as large storage barrels.
"Some people take the barrels and cut
them in half and use them for totes for
carrying around their dive gear," Martinez
said. But the bins should not be used for
anything other than recycling, according to
Troopers who wish to recycle their
household waste should visit the recycling
center located on Rogers Road near
the military fuel point and pick up a
blue recycling bin. Troopers who are
not using their recycling bins should
return them to the recycling center.
For more information on the recycling
program contact the recycling center at
ext. 74376. 0
EWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
With many schools now offering online courses and distance
education, there are ways to take advantage of the Department
of Defense's Tuition Assistance program here in Guantanamo
Bay. There is information and help for Troopers who might just
be thinking about school, or are actively engaging in educational
Through the TA program, all Troopers can receive $4,500 a
year toward educational coursework, except the Navy, which has
a cap at 16 semester hours. The program covers classes at $250
per semester hour, which can account for four to six classes a year.
This is not part of the Montgomery G.I. Bill, but part of the entitled
benefits given to active duty members; and these benefits can only
be used if Troopers take advantage of them.
Candice Rice, director of the Navy College Office at Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, is available to all Troopers to help reach their
educational goals while they are stationed here. Her job is to help
process tuition assistance for Sailors and Marines, and to provide
information and advice for any Troopers who stop by the office.
Rice's advice for those who are still in the planning stages for
higher education: start by looking at a school's
"If you are going to take any courses for
online, make sure you know if your school is
an accredited body," Rice said.
According to Rice, there are three types of
accreditation for different schools; regional,
national and professional. The type of accreditation will affect
transfer of credits if there are changes down the road.
"The best accreditation would be regional accreditation and
the other would be national," Rice said. "The key between
regional and national accreditation is that as long as it is regionally
accredited, you can go from one school to the next and the courses
will transfer with no problem. If you attend a nationally accredited
school and then you decide to go to a regionally accredited school,
the regionally accredited school does not have to take any of your
credits. So therefore, you are starting from scratch."
The last type of accreditation is professional accreditation,
which is primarily for certificate programs.
"The professional accreditation is if you are going toward a
certificate in something like accounting, law or anything like that,"
Rice said. "Basically, if you attend a professionally accredited
school, you are going for a specific reason to get a certificate or
take a national test."
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
Besides accreditation, talking to education experts can take the
guesswork out early and make the educational journey smoother.
Going to the education center and talking to someone firsthand can
answer many of the questions that Troopers have.
"Get a good feel about the tuition assistance policy and
regulations of your branch, because if you do not know anything
about your policy, you are going to end up needing assistance down
the road," Rice said. "And unfortunately, if you mess up with
your tuition assistance policy, it is coming out of your paycheck
no matter what branch you are in. So the goal is to do it right the
Army Sgt. Aaron San Luis, 525t Military Police Battalion, S-6
non-commissioned officer-in-charge, said he struggled when he
first arrived here.
"I started my tuition assistance while I was back at the rear
in Fort Lewis, Washington," San Luis said. "So I had to make
Defense Switched Network phone calls to and from [the base]
because I didn't have my counselors here who were getting me set
up and enrolled into courses."
After becoming familiar with a school and its tuition policies,
Rice recommends completing an online application. Once an
application is submitted, many schools assign an advisor, who is
the best contact for the school. Rice also says most schools require
a placement exam, which
) key here is to always move is an English or math test,
ard.-Ms. CandiceRice but as for the SAT and the
ard. Ms. Candice Rice ACT, they are generally not
required with the military.
After the applications
and tests, enrollment into
classes can begin. Each branch has specifics on enrollment and
registration, but there is advice from students who have taken
"Do not take more than one class," says Navy Chief Karey
L. Tucker, Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion N-7 training
department, who has completed three courses while deployed here.
"I had to work late hours at night and then come home having to
complete a course. When I got off from work, I was still working.
There were a lot of long hours. There was too much reading and
too much research for two classes."
Taking advantage of the DOD Tuition Assistance program can
help with military promotions and civilian jobs without using
funds from the Montgomery G.I. Bill. Classes can be taken at a
pace that fits a Trooper's schedule.
"They key here is to always move forward," said Rice.
For more information, contact the Fleet and Family Support Center
Education Office at ext. 4141 or Navy College at ext. 2227. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
rrc. uregory niiey perrorms pre-operationai preventive maintenance, cnecKs anu services
on a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle prior to the required road course test as part of driver
training. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Steven Rougeau
"When [Soldiers] initially
arrive for the training, many are
already experienced drivers at their
[respective] commands," he said.
"But if they do not have a certificate,
they are required to complete the
course and we issue them a certificate
once they successfully complete the
Vasquez said that, while the
course is primarily conducted for the
benefit of Soldiers, personnel from
sister services are allowed to test as
long as there is available space in the
"If their command has a need
to enroll a Trooper [from another
service branch] in the course, we will
accommodate that request as long as
we have an available slot." Q
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
PAGE 12 1 THE WIRE
A sweet deal for JTF Troopers!
Flight crew workers at the Leeward air terminal work diligently to unload the shipment of Girl Scout cookies that
arrived June 30. The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast, Fla., generously donated more than 8,000 pounds of their famous
cookies for the Troopers at the naval station and Joint Task Force Guantanamo. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy
Petty Officer 2nd Class Orlando Quintero
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
THE WIRE I PAGE 13
Good bye, thank you, God bless!
Navy Lt. Cmdr.
NEGB Command Chaplain
I brought my golf clubs along with me
when I came to GTMO, with the hope I
would be able to get out on our fabled golf
course fairly regularly. I did get out a few
times, though not as often as I had wanted.
I also brought a book along by former
golf great Gary Player, titled "Golf Begins
at 50." That is definitely good news to a
golfer-wannabe like me!
While I was here at GTMO, I would
occasionally read the book at breakfast.
Toward the end of the book, Gary Player
describes how he won the 1961 Masters. He
credited the insight that Billy Graham, of all
people, gave him regarding God's scheme
for us. Without this insight, he said he never
would have won the Masters that year.
Gary Player told Billy Graham that his
success so far in life was due to three of his
basic beliefs: Faith in God, faith in value
of education, and faith in physical fitness.
Billy Graham thought for a while, and then
told him, "I know how badly you want
to win the Masters. Now, when you're
playing in the tournament, I want you to
thank God for all the bad shots and all the
difficulties you encounter. Any man can
thank God for the good things that happen
to him, but very few people say 'thank you'
for the lousy things."
Gary Player thought that sounded very
strange at first, but it came to a crucial point
in the tournament against Arnold Palmer
when he thought he had blown his lead.
So Gary said to God, "Well, I'm grateful
because now You've really given me a test.
There are three holes to go; We will see if
I'm up to your challenge." For Gary, God
expects us to try to meet the challenge with
courage, and do the best we can.
Part of the appeal of golf, I think, is the
parallel golf very often has to life. In our
daily lives, for example, we have our good
shots, and our not so good shots. What is
important is that we get out there and play
and do the best we can, even in places like
As I look back on my time here, I have
to say that I have nothing but respect for
men and women who get out there and
"play," doing the incredibly challenging
job of providing safe, humane, legal and
transparent care of detainees each and
every day. I have been humbled by the
difficulties they have faced, both here and
at home, and I am proud of the terrific job
they continue to do, definitely doing the
best they can.
When I first got to GTMO a year ago,
I was struck by how friendly and open the
people here in the JTF are. As the year
loomed before me, it was the people I
encountered each day who lifted my spirits.
It was those little things, a smile at the sally
port, a wave while out doing physical fitness
or a greeting at the Navy Exchange. When I
wanted to feel sorry for myself, those little
things helped turn my attitude around.
As I go to my next duty station, I would
like to thank each of you who I have
encountered here for making this a very
rewarding tour. I have indeed been blessed
- may God continue to bless you in all
you do! 0
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, JULY 3, 2009
MWR: working hard
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Morale, Welfare and Recreation
services, at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay, continue to define success through
teamwork and rigorous work ethics to meet
the needs of naval station and Joint Task
Force Guantanamo Troopers.
Sixty-hour work weeks, prior experience
in specific fields and immeasurable
dedication to the mission are all critical
reasons why MWR has managed to provide
for the Troopers.
"The mission of MWR is to provide
services that support quality of life to
entitled personnel," stated MWR Director
Craig Basel. "MWR provides recreation
areas like parks, motion pictures, aquatic
training facilities, gyms, quality child care
and child development programs.
"We do a lot," Basel continued. "We
have community support centers, ceramics
and intermediate sports. We also have food
GTMO is unique when it comes to
MWR because of its isolation. As a result,
Troopers rely on MWR a lot.
"Being stationed here is hard for
people," said Lisa Dula, MWR's marketing
director. "We try to keep people busy to
make it easier."
MWR also tries to think outside of the box
by hosting events like "Amazing Race."
"We do what we can to try to find
different events and activites to keep the
morale up," Dula explained.
Dula is on her third tour at GTMO and
has spent a total of six years here supporting
Troopers. Aside from her personal relations
and advertising role, Dula is one of the
many examples of sustaining multiple
roles by overseeing the ceramics shop,
the movie theaters, the wood shop and
teaching customer service to all other
MWR employees. Her children also make
her do her MWR job at home.
"One day when my daughter came
home from school, she was upset with me
because I didn't tell her "UP" was playing
that weekend," Dula explained with a smile.
"I now know to keep her better informed."
Dula enjoys GTMO and is working on
changes to continue to enhance Troopers'
"We are planning on moving the ceramic
shop across from the [Caribbean Coffee
and Cream]," Dula said. "This will make it
more accessible to everyone."
The MWR mission is large and
complex with 179 full-time employees and
approximately 300 part-time employees.
Basel, a retired Marine, is able to use his
prior service experience to create the good
quality of life for Troopers.
"There are some things I would like
to have seen when I was on active duty,"
Basel said. "Now, I am able incorporate
that into my decisions."
It takes Basel and his team about six
months to coordinate big events like
Memorial Day and Independence Day.
"A lot of work goes into these events.
FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009 I 15 MINUTES OF FAME
Planning for the [Independence Day
celebration] started in November," Basel
said. "That is when we started lining up
entertainment and looking for bids for a
fireworks display. When we get down to the
event, the staff puts in hundreds of hours to
prepare for it.
"It takes two days just to set up the stage,
speakers and lights for the performers,"
In order for large events to take place,
it is extremely vital to work together as a
"We very rarely get time off when big
events are taking place," said Karissa
Sandstrom, MWR fitness director. "When we
have a big event you will see every manager
working. Even if it is just selling water."
The MWR staff clearly tries their best to
"I love my staff, and the way they handle
things," Sandstrom said proudly. "I think
this is one of the few places where MWR
works together. When someone needs to
step up to the plate, whether it is to hand
out water bottles for a run or assisting with
a tournament, we are ready to support each
"My team is friendly, professional and
are always trying to meet the needs of the
Troopers," Basel said. "We are still working
on becoming a better organization, because
there is always room for improvement."
MWR encourages everyone to get
involved in MWR events and welcomes
comments or suggestions by e-mailing
THE WIRE I PAGE 15
Oii op. Arm
-SmoB * * :MiiiBiA