News of the Force: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - Page 2

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Jan 23, 2018, 5:33:27 PM1/23/18
                                            NEWS OF THE FORCE: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - Page 2

US Coast Guard
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     With rising temperatures, the US Coast Guard says venturing on icy lakes and rivers can be dangerous. Temperatures have been flirting with record highs this week. With that, ice on the Great Lakes and inland bodies of water is thinning or vanishing completely.
     The US Coast Guard is warning people in southeastern Michigan and northwestern Ohio to avoid ice-covered waters as mild weather makes them increasingly unstable. Personnel with Coast Guard Sector Detroit, Mich., have rescued 18 people who have fallen through ice in the past week.
     The government shutdown's impact could immediately be seen at the Home and Boat Show at Bartle Hall in Kansas City, Mo., over the weekend. The US Coast Guard had an exhibit but no one was in attendance to run it.
     The Coast Guard has suspended a search for a man who reportedly fell into the ocean from the Crystal Pier at San Diego's Pacific Beach.
     Lockheed Martin, a Maryland-based defense contractor with revenue above $47 billion, has agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve allegations that it provided defective communications equipment to US Coast Guard national security cutters, according to Alex Tse, the acting US attorney in San Francisco, Calif.
     The US Coast Guard has added a third cutter vessel to help break up the ice over the Connecticut River. Coast Guard officials confirmed that USCGC Pendant has made its way down from Boston.
     Four Coast Guard icebreakers are expected to make their way up the Kennebec River tomorrow to break ice south of Gardiner, Maine, a move emergency management officials hope would help break up the ice jam in Farmingdale that has wreaked havoc on Augusta and Hallowell.
     Called Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters (RENEW), the Coast Guard annually sends icebreaking tugs and other vessels to ply the waterways of New York and New England, allowing commerce to flow free of ice and ensuring aids to navigation do not become hazards if moved by the ice.
     And the Coast Guard is investigating the source of an oil spill in Great Harbor that left a heavy sheen on the water and may have caused multiple bird deaths. Woods Hole, Mass., resident Daniel Cojanu said he alerted authorities on Sunday morning after noticing oil in the water.

US Army
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     A US Army Humvee has burst into flames in the middle of a major German roadway and smashed into a guardrail while it was being towed for repairs, local police reported. Before igniting, the military truck had broken down on Autobahn 93 in Germany's southern state of Bavaria, forcing soldiers to tow it.
     "This is a concept that got accelerated for Afghanistan, and it has been quite a process," a senior military official said of the plan to send the US Army's first-ever Security Force Assistance Brigade to Afghanistan early this spring.
     Florida's Tampa Bay area is privileged to have so many American heroes living in the area. Since the Seminole Hard Rock Casino has sponsored the Gasparilla Parade, they have chosen a community hero to lead the pirate invasion. This year, that will be America's first female four-star Army general.
     And because many Army units – including the Military Police – are "modular," they can be plugged into any Army hierarchy during a deployment. That means an Army Reserve brigade deployed overseas will likely be in command of active duty and Army National Guard units. The same is true the other way around.

The parting shots
     Singer Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered his "sincerest apologies" to those who planned to go to his shows and says he plans to still write, record and work on other projects "for a long time to come." Diamond's numerous hits include "Sweet Caroline," ''America," ''Love on the Rocks" and "Hello Again." Diamond turns 77 tomorrow and will get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday's Grammy awards.
     The NFL has rejected a veteran group’s request to place a full-page ad in the Super Bowl LII program because - ironically - the advertisement requesting that people stand for the playing of the national anthem is too "political" for such an arena. AMVETS’ proposed ad, which would have cost about $30,000, was denied on the grounds that the game .program has "never been a place" for ads that could be considered "political" statements. "The Super Bowl game program is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement," McCarthy said. "The NFL has long supported the military and veterans and will again salute our service members in the Super Bowl with memorable on-field moments that will be televised as part of the game." AMVETS executive director Joe Chenelly said that the organization only wanted to exercise its right to free speech, much like the players who exercised their right to demonstrate during the playing of the national anthem. "The protests are very much out of our purview,” Chenelly told The Army Times. "We were not looking to comment on those." Chenelly said that the ad was for the group’s Americanism program" which is held for young people to learn "about their American heritage, civics and citizenship." According to the group’s website, the Americanism program includes "flag drawing" as well as "poster and essay contests that are grade specific and age appropriate." In response to the decision against running the ad, AMVETS national commander Marion Polk penned a strongly worded letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, calling the denial to run the ad "reprehensible." A portion of the letter read, "Freedom of speech works both ways. We respect the rights of those who choose to protest as these rights are precisely what our members have fought - and in many cases died - for. But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale. Veterans are good for more than just military aircraft flyovers, photo opportunities during halftime, or props to sell camouflage-style NFL apparel; although, the NFL’s stance on not allowing the veterans’ unfiltered voice to be heard says otherwise," the letter added. McCarthy, the NFL spokesman, also told USA Today Sports that it tried to work with the group in order for them to place a "passable" ad. "We looked to work with the organization and asked it to consider other options such as ‘Please Honor our Veterans,'” McCarthy said. “They chose not to and we asked it to consider using ‘Please Stand for Our Veterans.’ Production was delayed as we awaited an answer. As the program was going to production, the organization asked about including a hashtag, and was informed that approval would not be provided in time and was asked to approve the ad without the hashtag. The organization did not respond and the program ultimately went into production to meet deadlines,” McCarthy said, noting that an ad placed by the VFW - which had a similar tenor to that of AMVETS’ proposed ad - had been approved prior to the AMVETS submission. He said that the VFW’s proposed ad, which featured a tagline that read "We Stand for Veterans," was approved. According to The Army Times, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League both accepted the same #PleaseStand ad submitted to the NFL.
     And Couzin Gym writes: Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school, I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.



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