U.S. Air Force’s Heritage Flight to perform flyover for Super Bowl LII

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Heritage Flight

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight is scheduled to perform the flyover at the start of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 4.

The Heritage Flight will consist of one F-16 Fighting Falcon, two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and one P-51 Mustang flying in formation over U.S. Bank Stadium. This is the first time the Heritage Flight team will conduct a flyover for a Super Bowl, and it will be broadcast live on NBC and in U.S. Bank Stadium from multiple vantage points, including an in-flight perspective from a camera mounted on the P-51 Mustang.

The United States Air Force Heritage Flight Program presents the evolution of United States Air Force air power by flying today’s state-of-the-art fighter aircraft in close formation with vintage aircraft, dramatically displays Air Force history, and proudly supports our Air Force’s recruiting and retention efforts. As part of the Heritage Flight program, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation honors the sacrifices of those who have served or are currently serving in the Air Force through participation in these flight displays.

The teams representing the Air Force in the Heritage Flight for Super Bowl LII are the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, the A-10 Thunderbolt Demonstration Team from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona and a vintage P-51 Mustang flown by pilot Steve Hinton from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, California founded by chairman Dan Friedkin.

American Church Shootings and Crisis Management

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by J. Christopher Murphy; Senior Associate, Merletti, Gonzales & Associates International Security Consultants

In the 1960s, there was a popular old gospel song entitled “Church Twice on Sunday and Once in the Middle of the Week.” Church was not only popular for spiritual growth, but also for fellowship and social interaction. It was a central part of life in many communities. It was a safe haven!

Over the last ten years, we have seen an increase in church shootings, bomb threats to synagogues, and attacks on mosques. Studies of these incidents reveal that there is no religious, racial, socioeconomic, or denominational commonality. Our places of worship in America have become places of violence, or so it would seem. Most studies do not point to religion as the target, but instead, specific issues with the assailant. The gathering of people in a house of worship at predictable times is a tempting target. The most recent deadly church attack occurred on November 5, 2017, at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The attack left twenty-six dead, and the motivation appeared to be domestic in nature. On May 17, 2015, Emmanuel AME Zion Church in Charleston, South Carolina, suffered a racially motivated shooting that killed nine people. Whatever the motivation, and whatever the assailant’s state of mind, the outcome of such attacks is absolutely tragic. Clearly, these once safe havens are now vulnerable targets that attract individuals who are planning evil, instead of seeking redemption.

Churches, synagogues, and mosques need to have an assessment conducted to better understand the security gaps in their normal weekly activities. Larger churches with television ministries are particularly vulnerable, due to their wider exposure. Nursery and youth activities are areas of great concern. A robust background investigation should be standard for all who work with youth and infants. Evacuation plans for violence, weather-related crises, and fires should be given strong attention. A security team should be designated and trained. Even if uniformed law enforcement directs traffic at a worship location, this does not substitute for an internal security team. High-value assets, both human and material, should be identified. The crisis management policy should specifically identify these assets and the responses associated with those assets. A well-trained security team that uses measured responses can effectively address unusual incidents, without losing sight of the intentional hospitality of these institutions. Leadership needs to be empowered to take physical action, even if the incident is happening on “sacred ground.”

These realities should warn the leadership of all holy places, regardless of size or location, to develop a plan to help protect their members. The plan should be documented, and training for that plan should be regularly scheduled.

We encourage all clergy, lay leaders, and concerned congregants to be deliberate in developing crisis management plans for their places of worship.

www.MGSecurityTeam.com

Kirstie Ennis: Going “Full Throttle”

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Kirstie Ennis

By Brady Rhoades

Veteran Kirstie Ennis is one of the best Paralympian snowboarders in the world, and she’s also eying the seven great summits, recently climbing 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and 16,024-foot Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia. On one leg.

As a Marine Corps sergeant. in Afghanistan—a helicopter door gunner—she wrecked a leg when the helicopter she was in crashed. That leg was amputated above the knee in 2015.

Her jaw was destroyed, she lost teeth, she injured discs in her spine, and she suffered facial lacerations, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.

In the process of undergoing more than 40 surgeries, she came to a realization, acquiring a come-to-terms toughness and wisdom that would help motivate her to train as a snowboarder for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang County, in the Gangwon region of South Korea.

And to attempt to conquer the tallest peaks on all seven continents.

Countless times a day, she repeats one of her mantras: Stop worrying about what you lost. Look at what you’ve got. Or: What counts is what’s behind your rib cage and six inches between your ears.

She’s only 26, but her near-death experience offered an invaluable lesson on how precious time is.

“I go full throttle,” she said. “I come up with obnoxious goals and I go after them.”

It’s hard to believe that this fifth-gear athlete chasing Paralympian goals—and literally ascending historic heights for an above-the-knee-amputee mountain climber—spent months in hospital beds, nearly lifeless, filled with doubt, enveloped in depression. She wondered how she’d ever get around, go on. What would she do? Would she ever wear a dress again? Would anyone ever be attracted to her?

Idle time can be a wounded warrior’s worst enemy. Fathers can be their best friends.

“Dad said, ‘People in the Middle East couldn’t kill you, and now you’re going to collapse?'” she recalls. “The light went on and I said, ‘I made it home. Nobody owes me a damn thing.'”

Kirstie Ennis

Ennis had to mine for the toughness that is at her core, but her sense of humor? That comes effortlessly.

The same year her leg was amputated, she participated in the Walking with the Wounded event, in which wounded warriors trek 1,000 miles, ending at Buckingham Palace in London. Ennis left dozens of dog tags bearing the names of fallen comrades along the way. She also met Prince Harry, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, not one to shirk his duties, logged many miles during the event. At one point, he turned to Ennis and complained that his knee ached.

“I looked over and was like, ‘That’s (expletive) cute, really,’” Ennis said. Prince Harry cracked up.

Ennis and Prince Harry became fast friends. At the conclusion of her walk, she presented the final dog tag to him.

Their embrace was photographed and zoomed across the wires, making her a celebrity in a matter of minutes.

For her service to the country, Ennis has earned the NATO Medal, Combat Action Wings with three gold stars, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan National Campaign Medal, two Letters of Appreciation, Certificate of Commendation, and a Certificate of Appreciation.

But who says you can’t be uber-tough and sexy?

ESPN called, asking her to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine‘s 2017 Body Issue, with rather risqué photos of her on the inside pages. They wanted her to climb Joshua Tree, sans clothes.

She had her doubts. But Ennis tends to run toward challenges, toward fear.

“I thought about it and considered the demographic and the people Kirstie Ennisthat would see it, and I realized that it wasn’t about me anymore,” she said. “Any man, woman, or child facing some sort of adversity has the potential to be inspired by these pictures of someone who has only been missing her leg for a few years go out and do things she wasn’t doing with two legs.”

Ennis appeared in the Body Issue, along with other great athletes, such as Javier Baez (baseball), A.J. Andrews (softball), and Malakai Fekitoa (rugby).

The daughter of two Marines, Ennis enlisted out of Florida when she was 17 years old, in 2008. She served for four years as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic when disaster struck on June 23, 2012.

While on her second deployment in Afghanistan, Ennis’ CH-53D helicopter crashed in the Helmand Province.

Badly injured, she fought to remain on active duty but was medically retired in 2014. After her below-the-knee amputation on November 23, 2015, Ennis contracted the antibiotic-resistant MRSA and, because of a resulting infection, doctors were forced to remove her knee a month later.

“A below-the-knee amputation is night-and-day from above-the-knee,” she said. “You have to relearn everything. You’re basically a toddler.”

When she was told that surgeons would have to perform above-the-knee surgery, she said she “lost it.” She cried. She wailed.

“It’s one curveball after another,” she said.

She still struggles, emotionally. “I’d be lying if I said it’s easy,” she said.

Two years after her life-altering surgery, she’s adapted, and she’s developed coping skills, which is a critical component of recovery.

Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.

Set lofty goals.

Stay busy.

And true to her military training, be of service to others.

“When I’m having a bad day, I help someone who’s missing three limbs,” she said. “There’s this common misconception about what strength is. In the grand scheme of things, we’re in this together. You have to realize that you have to turn to somebody.”

Some of her best days involving helping other wounded warriors—whether it be through her notoriety as a star Paralympian or simply visiting a hospital.

“I know I’m on a platform,” she said. “I want to inspire people to reach their potential.”

She recalls a wounded warrior uttering eight words that she’ll never forget and that make her journey—as harrowing as it has been—worth it.

“You inspired me to walk another 10 steps,” the woman said.

 

Garden Grove native supports one of the Navy’s most versatile combat ships

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Darrell Post

SAN DIEGO – A 2001 Rancho Alamitos High School graduate and Garden Grove, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the staff aboard Littoral Ship Squadron One, supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.

Petty Officer 1st Class Darrell Post is a hull maintenance technician serving at Littoral Ship Squadron One in San Diego.

A hull maintenance technician is responsible for the metal work necessary to keep all types of shipboard structures in good shape.

“Following directions is something that I learned that has been vital to my success,” said Post. “Keeping a strong belief in procedural compliance has helped me stay focused and allowed me to progress in the Navy.”

The ship’s technological benefits allow for swapping mission packages quickly, meaning sailors can support multiple missions, such as surface warfare, mine warfare, or anti-submarine warfare.

Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.

“Every single day our LCS surface warriors prove they are the best and the brightest – and let me tell you, they love their ships,” said Capt. M. Jordan Harrison, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE.  “LCS are fast, agile, maneuverable and the minimal crew manning affords leadership and qualification opportunities you won’t get anywhere else in the Navy. Visit one of our ships and you will see ensigns and chiefs at the helm because that is just how highly trained and talented and motivated our officers and Sailors are in the LCS community.”

As one of the staff members at LCSRON supporting one of the Navy’s newest ships, Post explained they are building a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. Staff members know how important it is for the Navy to develop new war-fighting capabilities to continue their success on the world’s oceans.

“My grandfather, dad and brother all served in the Army,” Post said. “They were an influence in me joining the military because I saw how the military helped set them up to better their lives.”

Post’s proudest accomplishment was being awarded an Iraq campaign medal.

Through innovative planning, the design of systems, and crew requirements, the LCS platform allows the fleet to increase forward presence and optimize its personnel, improving the ability of the Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.

“Serving in the Navy has instilled in me structure and a sense of belonging,” Post said. “The chain of command makes this a special place to come to work each day. They have helped me every step of the way since I checked in.”

Source: Navy Outreach

Army Sergeant First Class Wade Mitcheltree Receives ELAN-Controlled Custom Smart Home from the Gary Sinise Foundation

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Gary Sinise Foundation

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, February 6, 2018 — During his second tour in Afghanistan in 2012, U.S. Army SFC Wade Mitcheltree was severely injured by an IED, resulting in the loss of both his legs and his right arm below the elbow. When Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment) learned of Mitcheltree’s bravery, they awarded him a brand new specially adapted smart-home in Tigard, Oregon, that allows him to independently manage day-to-day tasks with ease.

Randy Reagan of Quadrant Systems, the integration firm that managed the project’ technology integration, knew that an ELAN Entertainment and Control System was the best smart home platform for Mitcheltree and his family. “ELAN is by far the most intuitive control system out there,” Reagan said. “It’s very simple for the homeowner to understand how to use it without having an expert show them. The icons are large, and the lighting controls are laid out on the touch panel the same way they are on the keypads on the wall. It’s perfect for Wade, his wife, and his two sons.”

Reagan built the home’s system around an ELAN gSC10 controller, with an ELAN g1 for secondary control and an ELAN S86A for audio distribution. Multiple ELAN touch panels and remotes were integrated throughout the two-story residence so that the Mitcheltree family can access the platform from any room of the house at any time. With just the tap on a screen, the family can manage the home’s audio, video, lighting, climate and security systems.

“Even if Wade is on the second floor, he can have full control over the whole house using any of the touch panels or his own iPad,” said Reagan. “If someone rings the doorbell, he can easily see and talk to them through the ELAN Intercom, and even unlock the door. We set up ‘away’ and ‘welcome’ scenes on the ELAN system, so that he can easily configure the entire home with just the touch of a button.”

For entertainment, Quadrant Systems also installed a robust multi-Gary Sinise Foundationroom audio system, which includes of SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers and Sunfire subwoofers. The entire system is easily controlled through the ELAN platform, so each member of the family can stream any music they choose throughout the whole house or just in one room. This versatility, along with the crystal-clear audio from SpeakerCraft and Sunfire, makes their new home the perfect place to entertain friends and family.

Reagan and his team also installed an impressive security system that Mitcheltree can arm and manage through both a physical keypad and the ELAN platform. It includes a complete and comprehensive DSC system, and is also connected to the motorized locks on the exterior doors. “Through ELAN, Wade and his wife can easily secure their house from their bed or anywhere in the world using their iPads,” said Reagan. “This gives them an incredibly important peace-of-mind and an enhanced sense of security, which is especially important as they have children.”

Judith Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation, emphasized how important the customized features of the home were to Mitcheltree and his family. “They’ve been through a long and emotional journey working toward Wade’s full recovery, and this home allows them to relax and worry less about daily tasks,” Otter said. “The ELAN system is especially important for Wade, as it allows him nearly complete independence, which otherwise may not have been possible. We’re grateful for the involvement of everyone behind the ELAN brand as we work to continue providing American heroes with a completely customized specially adapted smart home.”

For high-res images of the home, click here. To watch a video of the home dedication, click here.

About ELAN
ELAN, now part of Nortek Security & Control, develops an award-winning line of whole-house entertainment and control solutions distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers throughout the United States, Canada, and countries worldwide. The ELAN 8 update was honored with the “2017 Human Interface Product of the Year” award and continues to expand its intuitive functionality. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com.

About Nortek Security & Control
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC) is a global leader in smart connected devices and systems for residential, security, access control, and digital health markets. NSC and its partners have deployed more than 4 million connected systems and over 20 million security and home control sensors and peripherals. Through its family of brands including 2GIG®, ELAN®, GoControl®, Linear®, Mighty Mule® and Numera®, NSC designs solutions for national telecoms, big box retailers, OEM partners, service providers, security dealers and consumers.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, NSC is a subsidiary of Melrose Industries PLC, a global investment company specializing in acquisition and performance improvement. With over 50 years of innovation, NSC is dedicated to addressing the lifestyle and business needs of millions of customers every day. For further information, visit nortekcontrol.com.

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PAVE Employment Event Series Connects Veterans to a World of Opportunity

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PVA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment), a leading provider of vocational counseling and job placement assistance for veterans a flagship program under Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans), will be conducting six PAVE Employment Events that bring veterans and transitioning service members together with prospective employers to overcome the significant barriers they face in the workplace. Events will be held in key markets across the U.S. in 2018.

PAVE is open to all veterans, their spouses and the caregivers of disabled veterans. PAVE counselors work to connect those individuals with a network of over 1,200 corporate partners committed to supporting veterans and their families. Services are offered to veterans, spouses and caregivers at no cost and once a participant joins the program, they are a partner for life. This ensures the long-term success of the veteran workforce and gives participants the confidence needed to take on whatever challenges lie ahead.

“We have this great group of veterans entering the workforce that has already undergone extensive training but in many cases, needs a little assistance navigating the job market,” said Shelly Stewart, national program director for PAVE. “It’s incredibly rewarding to help guide them through that process and watch them flourish.”

While PAVE is open to any veteran, spouse, or caregiver, the program is run by the Paralyzed Veterans, an organization chartered over 70 years ago to ensure paralyzed veterans receive the benefits they deserve through their service. This has placed PAVE in a unique position to address the needs of paralyzed veterans in the job market, such as mobility, accessibility, and other physical challenges.

“PAVE has been an integral part of our recruiting efforts and helping us place veterans in our organization. They put veterans’ needs first,” said Thomas Birch, recruitment consultant for Xceed Group.

In 2016, there were roughly 20.9 million veterans in the U.S. That accounts for about nine percent of the civilian non-institutional population and a major contributor to the American workforce. PAVE Employment Events give organizations the opportunity to directly connect with this vast pool of potential employees and play a pivotal role in the lives of veterans looking to take the next step in their careers.

“PAVE events are a rich environment for a job opportunity,” said Leon Mallery, Air Force veteran and PAVE participant that secured a job as a result of a PAVE event. “There are employers eager to spend one-on-one time with you and see if there’s a way you can fit into their organization.”

For more information on how veterans, spouses, caregivers, and employers can join the PAVE program and participate in upcoming Employment Events click here. For additional details on the event in Tampa, click here.

Upcoming Event Times and Locations:
• February 7, 2018 – Tampa, Florida
• April 11, 2018 – New York, New York
• July 11, 2018 – Nashville, Tennessee
• October 17, 2018 – San Diego, California
• February 13, 2019 – Seattle, Washington

About PAVE:
PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment) provides vocational counseling and job placement assistance to veterans, spouses and caregivers across the country. Our unique, no-cost program offers assistance with a variety of customized job search strategies that position our clients for success. Through the generous support of both private and public partnerships, the PAVE program strives to place at least one veteran, caregiver or spouse every day.

PAVE also provides on-going support to employer partners who want to leverage the unique training and skills of our nation’s veteran workforce. By partnering with PAVE, employers will recognize why hiring veterans is good for their bottom line. PAVE strives to find the best jobs for veterans and the best veterans for jobs.

About Paralyzed Veterans of America:
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For over 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation, and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 74 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Airpower Foundation Announces Changes to it’s Executive Board of Directors

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The Airpower Foundation is announcing changes to it’s Executive Board of Directors. These changes were effective January 1, 2018.

Sid Eppes, former Vice Chairman, has been elected Chairman, and Major General Kevin Pottinger, (Ret.) USAF, has been elected Vice Chairman by the Airpower Foundation Board of Directors.

The Airpower Foundation expresses it’s sincere gratitude to Mr. Palomares for his numerous years, and countless hours of dedicated volunteer service and leadership as Chairman. Mr. Palomares will remain on the Foundation board.

Mr. Eppes has been a long time member of the Airpower Foundation board, has been instrumental in assisting with the growth and development of the foundation over the years, and served as Chairman of the Grants Review Committee. He served four years as Chairman of the Fort Worth Airpower Council, the oldest civilian military support origination in the nation, and also has served as the Sky Ball Vice Chairman / Operations Director for the past 10 years.

Mr. Eppes’ extensive experience with sponsor relations, organizational partnerships, knowledge of the veteran support community, and relationships with nationally elected officials, will be instrumental to lead the foundation as we continue to grow and increase our support to those who serve and their families.

Major General Pottinger joined the Airpower Foundation Board 4 years ago as the military liaison/advisor and was voted as a director in 2016. Mr. Pottinger has contributed significantly to the Airpower Foundation over the years with his guidance from his military background. We look forward to his leadership as Vice Chairman in the years to come, in addition to his newly appointed role as the Chairman of the Grants Review Committee.

Academy of United States Veterans Awards tiag® Steve Vincent with 2018 Honorary VETTY

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January, 2018 – At the Third Annual VETTYS Awards on January 20, 2018, Steven (“Steve”) D. Vincent was awarded an Honorary VETTY by The Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV).

Celebrating the remarkable work of individuals and organizations who demonstrate consistent, extraordinary quality of public service, exemplary advocacy efforts and exceptional service to the veteran community, the VETTY Awards is an annual event celebrating awards conferred by the Academy’s voting members.

At this star-studded event emceed by CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C., Vincent — who serves as senior business development manager at tiag® (The Informatics Applications Group, Inc.) — was recognized for his selfless service and relentless dedication to veterans.

Introduced by AUSV VETTYS award presenters actress Anne Heche and mixed martial artist Colton T. Smith, Vincent was celebrated as a stalwart advocate of veterans and lauded for his ongoing efforts to help active-duty military, veterans and employers overcome obstacles intrinsic in military-to-civilian workforce transitions.

Inspired by his prior 25-year U.S. Navy career and a personal sense of duty to empower the successful integration of veterans into the civilian workforce, Vincent reflected in his acceptance speech that, “Like any of my successes on active duty, this award is the result of a team rather than individual effort. I am privileged to work for an employer that values and supports veterans. And I would not be successful were it not for a great team of fellow veterans at a wide range of companies and government agencies working together to help those in transition.”

In his endeavors to help active-duty military, veterans and Steve Vincent militaryemployers overcome obstacles intrinsic in military-to-civilian workforce transitions, Vincent mentors veterans, teaching them effective, successful ways to articulate their value proposition to potential civilian employers. Likewise, Vincent educates employers and organizations on effective ways to improve their approach and ability to attract, hire and retain veterans.
“Ever since Steve joined us directly from his own military transition in 2012, we have wholeheartedly supported his tireless efforts to improve the lives of veterans,” says tiag President and Chief Operating Officer Neil Lampton, noting that one in every four employees is a veteran at tiag. “We applaud Steve’s immense contributions to veterans, evidenced by this prestigious award.”

About tiag®
Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and on the West Coast, tiag (The Informatics Applications Group, Inc.), is an innovative management consulting and technology services firm esteemed for providing superior technology solutions that transform business and advance critical missions. tiag takes pride in its people, achievements, processes and successes in leading initiatives to support our government and commercial clients. tiag’s extensive services portfolio delivers focused expertise and support ranging from complex, enterprise-wide solutions to stand-alone custom projects. Please explore our service offerings at tiag.net and connect with us to discover how we provide tremendous value beyond the scope of work.

Emergency Management Collaboration

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By: J. Christopher Murphy; Senior Associate, Retired US Secret Service

For the last forty years, I’ve worked in city, state, and federal public safety. I’ve encountered man-made emergencies from hostage situations to a mass murder incident spread over multiple jurisdictions. Natural disasters, from fires to hurricanes, are a fact of life. The successful management of these events requires one essential thing – collaboration.

Whether in military or civilian public safety, the natural tendency is to proudly assume, “We’ve got this!” Often, we do. However, if a situation grows beyond our expectation and ability to manage, it’s simply too late to add this essential tool to our plan. A willingness and ability to collaborate with sister agencies needs to be in place at all times. No matter how strong each component is, we are wise to include all available resources in the “We’ve got this!” plan.

All incidents start locally. That local authority, military or civilian, will answer for the successful or unsuccessful resolution of the crisis. There may be human life and property damage issues, but there will also be political and public relations issues. To successfully defend our solution, we must demonstrate that we “played in the sandbox well” and had the same goals. The training and assessment of such collaborative teamwork is one key to my success in public service.

As public safety director for Montgomery, AL, I was fortunate to be in partnership with Maxwell/Gunter AFB and Air University. With the support of the three star, the Colonel of the 42nd MSG and I coordinated a mock training exercise preparing for civil unrest. Other jurisdictions joined the exercise. An assessment, following this, provided lessons learned and training needs forward. Relationships were strengthened and unity of purpose set. These mock training scenarios are invaluable.

The Incident Command System (ICS) outlines the division of labor for an Emergency Operations Center (EOC). However, we have found equally important the Director’s Crisis Center (DCC). This center is designed to have top commanders of all collaborating agencies in one place to make command decisions. The EOC will, then, implement the decisions made in the DCC. The crisis will dictate the leadership in the DCC. This can include community, business, or academic leadership depending on the nature and location of the crisis. The DCC also provides a central place where these leaders can come to be fully briefed and participate in the decision-making process. This site also keeps those ultimate leaders from going to the scene! If the media knows the decision makers and the decisions are at the DCC, then it draws them to the DCC and away from the scene. This system lets the DCC better control the public information “message” and works to protect the on-scene commanders trying to do their job.

At Merletti, Gonzales & Associates, we have a wealth of experience in Emergency Management and are currently working various foreign and domestic projects in this arena. Please visit our website at www.MGSecurityTeam.com to learn more.

Calling all women veterans!

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Women Vets On Point is an organization that focuses on supporting women who have served and their health after service.

If you, or if you know a woman who has served, in any branch, in any capacity, for any length of time, the organization is interested to hear from you/her.

The process involves the women taking a less than 5-minute online survey to tell us a bit about her background.

This will help us identify a diverse group of women veterans across Los Angeles County.

If selected to participate, we will work together to schedule the women for a two-hour interview with our partners at the Frameworks Institute.

Interviews will be held the week of January 29 in and around Los Angeles County.

Click here to view the online survey.

Click  here for more information about this event.

U.S. Department of Labor Launches HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration

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Medallions

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration – an effort that will recognize up to 300 employers for their investments in recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation’s veterans.

The program demonstration will raise awareness of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which kicks off in 2019. The program utilizes the requirements of the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act) signed by President Trump in May 2017 to determine awardees. The program will recognize large, medium, and small employers at two levels, platinum or gold, depending on the criteria they meet.

The demonstration will use the same criteria as the full HIRE Vets Medallion Program and enable more employers to prepare to successfully complete the medallion award application for the full implementation of the program in 2019.

Program demonstration applications will be available on Jan. 31, 2018, online at www.hirevets.gov. The demonstration has no application fee and is limited to the first 300 applications across all categories (large, medium, and small employers). Any employer with at least one employee on staff is eligible to apply. Employers recognized in the 2018 Program Demonstration will also be eligible to apply for the 2019 Program.

“Military service develops leadership skills, technical expertise, and problem-solving capabilities—all in demand by America’s companies,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “The HIRE Vets Medallion Program provides a tremendous opportunity for employers to recruit talented veterans and demonstrate support for those who have sacrificed so much for their country.”

In November 2017, the Department announced its Final Rule for the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act. The HIRE Vets Medallion has a rigorous criterion that recognizes employers’ commitment to veteran careers, including hiring, retention, and long-term development. The award signals to veterans that an employer is committed to and supports veteran careers.

Employers seeking further information should visit www.HIREVets.gov for updates, or contact HIREVETS@dol.gov.

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