News of the Force: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - Page 2

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Jan 30, 2018, 7:15:56 PM1/30/18
                                          NEWS OF THE FORCE: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - Page 2

U.S. Coast Guard
      U.S. Coast Guard crews have rescued a Bahamian national who had been missing for two weeks. A Coast Guard statement said a good Samaritan notified them that a boat with one person on board was taking on water some 10 miles off West Palm Beach, Fla.
     Area fire departments are working on their ice rescue skills as U.S. Coast Guard Station Ashtabula, Ohio, has been merged with the Fairport Station and water rescue efforts during the winter will be handled from Fairport, according to area fire chiefs and the Coast Guard.
     Lanchas are frequently used to transport illegal narcotics to the U.S. and fish illegally in the United States' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near the U.S.-Mexico border in the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, has detected 27 lanchas, 17 of which were interdicted.
     The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued another injured mariner from a fishing vessel near Cold Bay, Alaska, marking the fourth such medevac in a week. Officials say the F/V Ocean Rover was fishing 70 miles west of the community on Sunday when a man onboard reported suffering from abdominal pains.
     Coast Guard crews helped three people after their jet boat ran aground yesterday. Officials say the boaters got stuck at around 4 p.m. on Sunday on a small island between Wanchese and Bodie Island, N.C., after they brought fuel to a friend who had run out.
     And earlier this month, McGregor, Iowa, resident Steven Gress was promoted to division commander of the 2nd Division of the 8 Western Rivers District of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. As division commander, Gress will oversee the second division’s four flotillas in Prairie du Chien, La Crosse, Rochester and Winona. "It’s a privilege to serve," said Gress, who’s been a member of the Prairie du Chien flotilla since 2012. He’s held several flotilla and division positions during that time, including flotilla commander. Gress said he was first introduced to the Coast Guard Auxiliary by a friend. Recently-retired from a 34-year career with Sysco, he decided to give it a try. "It was such a welcoming environment. You’re immediately accepted," he shared. Gress chose to become involved with the flotilla’s surface operations, serving on the boat crew that patrols the Mississippi River. Not an avid boater until his retirement, Gress said he’s had fun with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, while also learning a lot. A desire to pay that back motivated him to pursue the division commander position. "I learned early on that people gave so much to train me," he explained. "I felt this was a good way to pay that back to the community." After stating his willingness to serve in the division commander position, Gress said it was then put to a vote of his peers. He was sworn in at a change of watch ceremony on Jan. 7th. Gress said his term will run for two years, then someone else will be elected to the position. At that time, he can decide whether to move up the ranks or not. Even with the additional duties, Gress will remain active with the Prairie du Chien flotilla, serving as flotilla operations manager, member training officer and coxswain of the flotilla’s operational facility, the Kaley-Annie. As coxswain, he goes on patrol and is responsible for the vessel’s crew and overall safety. Gress encourages others to get involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Established by Congress in 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the all-volunteer uniformed component of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Auxiliary supports the Coast Guard in nearly all areas of operations. One does not have to be a member of the military to serve, Gress noted. "It’s for anyone who’s interested in boating and making new friends," he said. "We’ll train you in a variety of aspects. Everybody from different walks of life can certainly be of service. You can do as much or as little as you want." The Prairie du Chien flotilla currently has 15 members, including Gress’ wife, Laura, who serves as the flotilla staff officer for information technology. Volunteers can serve in capacities such as navigational services (checking lights and buoys) and communications (radio operations), as well as website management, food preparation, safety training and public education and affairs. The list goes on, said Gress. According to Gress, the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s primary goal is to promote boater safety and fellowship. Among those efforts are boater safety classes, particularly for kids. They also perform free vessel safety exams, assuring boaters are following state and federal requirements. "We’re also trained to assist voters in distress, and to do so quickly and professionally,” Gress shared. "We’ve trained for hours on end to perform these tasks." Gress said his favorite part of being involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary is the opportunity to meet so many nice people. "You would think people would be hesitant," he quipped, "but we give advice, not tickets." To learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and how you can get involved locally, visit

U.S. Army
Failure by the next German government to fulfill a pledge to boost military spending to two percent of its economic output will weaken the NATO alliance, Army Secretary Mark Esper has told reporters during a visit to U.S. troops in Wiesbaden, Germany.
     The US Army has contracted with Stryke Industries to license Scorpion Computer Services' Scenario Generator (ScenGen), an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that will be applied to the Army's Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS) for unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
     The Army is bolstering its night vision capabilities to increase the maneuverability and situational awareness of soldiers by improving upon a legacy system, according to service officials. The third iteration of the enhanced night vision goggles - or ENVG - is slated for fielding between May and June.
     Systems to protect Bradley and Stryker vehicles from missile attacks have been delayed. "
Iron Curtain" has roughly three weeks of testing left to wrap up government characterization. The Army will be ready to generate its final reports and bring that into the Army for a decision in March, around the time of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA)'s Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala.
     The "Iron Union 6" joint military exercise, which involved live ammunition training by various types of ground forces from the UAE Armed Forces and the United States Army Central has concluded in the UAE.
     A Fresno, Calif., couple is facing 20 years in a federal prison for defrauding the California Army National Guard of tens of thousands of dollars. U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott announced yesterday that a federal court jury found Jimmy Maldonado, 37, and Mayra Maldonado, 31, guilty of wire fraud.
      And f
or the first time, the U.S. House has three current Army National Guard brigadier generals in its ranks. The latest to get his stars was Mississippi Rep. Trent Kelly. He is a 32-year Mississippi Army National Guard combat engineer.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps
Once again, the U.S. Navy Reserve has allowed New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona to reschedule his drill weekend so that he can play in the pinnacle event of professional football. Lt. (j.g.) Joseph D. Cardona graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2015 and is assigned to a Navy Reserve unit.
Two people have been arrested in the theft of a storage trailer that belongs to a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, sheriff's officials said yesterday. The theft occurred on Friday at the La Quinta Inn on Spectrum Parkway in Bakersfield, Calif., according to deputies. The victim was traveling to his new duty station.
     DroneShield, Ltd., has announced its participation in the 2018 Urban 5th Generation Marine Exploration and Experimentation Exercise ("U5G 18"), organized by the United States Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Combat Development.
     Elections on the Japanese island of Okinawa could mean the U.S. Marines will have to dismantle a key strategic base built at the end of World War II. The mayor of the Okinawa city of Nago, who is seeking re-election, has made opposition to the U.S.' Futenma base a key campaign pledge.
And a military board has recommended forced retirement for a Marine Corps colonel who was slipped a tranquilizer during a night on the town in Bogotá, Colombia, robbed and led around like a zombie before winding up in a Colombian hospital along with two other drugged Marine Corps officers. Col. Roger T. McDuffie, a Harrier pilot, was the most senior Marine in a South Florida unit on a Jan. 21-Feb. 4, 2017, field trip to the Colombian capital to map out U.S. Marine operations there. An initial, internal investigation conducted by the U.S. Southern Command's Marine affiliate found some Marines broke curfew, ventured into a forbidden zone, consorted with prostitutes and brought some back to their hotel - only to be robbed of government property and hospitalized. A board of inquiry, an administrative procedure less serious than a court-martial, considered the case on Jan. 11th at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and found that McDuffie was guilty of "substandard performance" and "failure to demonstrate acceptable qualities of leadership required of an officer in the member’s grade," said Gina Levy of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command, which handled the investigation. "The board recommended involuntary retirement, in grade," she said, adding that a final determination of his case will be made by the Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer, a 1976-81 Marine Corps helicopter pilot turned investment banker. Three generals sat on McDuffie’s board.

The parting shots
Fake news is a real thing, so real that it has a Wikipedia entry: "Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media." Yellow journalism presents little or no legitimate well-researched news, preferring eye-catching headlines, exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering or sensationalism to sell more newspapers. This pejorative term describes any unprofessional or unethical journalism. Fake news is calculated to "mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically."
      In recent weeks, Facebook has made several big changes to the way its News Feed works. The biggest was prioritizing posts from friends and family over those from brands. Then it said it was leaning on users to judge the trustworthiness of news posts.
      A gunman in a jealous rage killed four people, including the 25-year-old woman he was infatuated with, at a western Pennsylvania car wash early Sunday, authorities said. The shooter, Tim Smith, is expected to die after taking a bullet to the head, which police believe was likely self-inflicted.
      School district officials in Florida say they followed standard protocol last week when a 7-year-old boy was placed in handcuffs and removed from his school after he punched his teacher repeatedly in the back, kicked her and grabbed her hair. The incident began last Thursday when a teacher at the Coral Way K-8 Center in Miami told the first-grader to stop playing with his food in the cafeteria. When the child refused to stop, he was taken from the cafeteria, according to an incident report from Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police Officer Munick Soriano.
      A freak accident involving an MRI machine killed a man in a hospital in Mumbai, India. The details are harrowing: Rajesh Maru, 32, had been in the MRI room with a female relative who was preparing to undergo a scan.
     There are 21 million "unwanted" girls in India due to parents favoring having sons instead of daughters, new government figures show.
     Actor Alec Baldwin is once again using Twitter to question Dylan Farrow's allegations of sexual abuse by her adoptive father, Woody Allen.
     Many fans are now thrilled for the upcoming return of NCIS Season 15 after a brief hiatus. Despite the ceaseless cancellation rumors, the series executives previously claimed that there are numerous things to watch out for in the new episodes.
     Two Toronto, Canada, police officers who allegedly ingested marijuana edibles, hallucinated and called for help while on duty Sunday have been suspended. Both officers are under investigation by the force's professional standards unit following the incident.
     A lieutenant at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., was convicted on Jan. 19th of using a combination of physical force and verbal threats to repeatedly rape a female inmate.
     GEICO is celebrating more than 30 years as "a force behind the forces." "GEICO's roots are in providing insurance coverage for members of the armed forces. Supporting those who serve our country remains a top priority for us," said Wayne Petro, the director of GEICO's Military Department, a team of mostly veterans dedicated to addressing the needs of service members.
     The world of TV private investigators has rarely been as bright and flowery as it was on Magnum P.I., which was one of the most popular shows in primetime during its eight-season run. CBS, which also gave fans the island-set Hawaii Five-0 reboot, has into development on a modernized Magnum P.I.
     And in the days before CPR, a drowning victim would be placed face-down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective, but if you are "over the barrel" you're in deep trouble.

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