Military & Veterans News
Deputy Defense Secretary Meets with Polish Troops, Talks Partnership PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., American Forces Press Service   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:32

GHAZNI PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN (02/23/2012)(readMedia)-- Partnership has been essential to success in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this emphasis continued as Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter met with Polish troops here today.

Carter met with Polish Brig. Gen. Piotr Blazeusz, commander of Task Force White Eagle, Polish Col. Jan Rydz, deputy commander, and U.S. Army Col. Thomas Purple, Rochester, Ill. native and coalition deputy commander, at Forward Operating Base Ghazni to reaffirm the U.S. partnership with nations contributing to the effort in Afghanistan.

"Thank you very much ... to the Polish contingent here," Carter said. "You've been great partners right from the very beginning, and we are admiring of your professionalism and dedication."

Polish military leaders told the secretary they are working very closely with coalition troops from other nations, and there is a "very good partnership with U.S. forces in the area."

The group talked about logistics, building capacity in the area, construction and other operational issues. Following their discussions, Carter re-emphasized that the union between U.S. forces and Polish troops serves as "a great, great partnership."

Officials of the Illinois National Guard, which serves as part of Task Force White Eagle and has a state partnership with Poland, noted the partnership is extensive, as the Guard soldiers spend two months training in Poland before their six- to seven-and-a-half-month deployments.

"Chicago has the largest population of Polish in the world, superseding Warsaw," noted Army Maj. Rhonda Peterson, a logistics officer with the Illinois National Guard.

Carter showed his appreciation as the leaders exchanged gifts, and he spoke of the appreciation for the Polish troops' service.

"Thanks, once again," he said. "It's very clear this is a great partnership."

 
Grassley continues efforts to strengthen hand of military whistleblowers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:08

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Senator Chuck Grassley says a new report makes clear that there’s a lot of work yet to do for military whistleblowers who speak up on behalf of rank-and-file troops, national security and fiscal responsibility.

“While the situation is improving, there’s a long way to go in making it work as it should for those who step up and speak out about wrongdoing and problems.  Reprisal against military whistleblowers is alive and well in the Pentagon, unfortunately, so oversight efforts must continue full force,” Grassley said.

In a report released this week (click here to see the report), the Government Accountability Office said that until the Inspector General for the Defense Department implements certain oversight mechanisms, it can’t know that “it is effectively conducting its oversight responsibilities or implementing the whistleblower reprisal program as intended.”

Grassley said he requested this report from the Government Accountability Office to see how problems he identified previously with whistleblower reprisal investigations are being addressed.  “Several years ago, I did an in-depth review of how the Inspector General handled military whistleblower cases.  The lack of oversight was appalling.  The Inspector General was asking zero questions about the reprisal investigations being conducted by Inspectors General for the services, even though scrutiny was desperately needed,” Grassley said.

Grassley’s earlier review looked at an egregious case in depth, that of Navy Lieutenant Jason Hudson.  The Inspector General for the Justice Department subsequently did a peer review and confirmed many of Grassley’s findings.

Grassley said this worked helped to build a case for legislation that directed the Defense Department Inspector General to correct deficiencies.  It was passed in 2009, as part of the annual defense authorization bill.

“Whistleblowers are in a position to identify fraud that may otherwise go undetected, and courageous whistleblowers who stick out their necks and speak up about mismanagement and abuse help keep government accountable.  Our system is better off thanks to whistleblowers,” Grassley said.

Grassley has a long record of advocacy for individual whistleblowers, legislative reforms to protect and empower whistleblowers both in and out of government, and oversight of whistleblower protections.  His efforts began more than 20 years ago with questions raised by whistleblowers about Defense Department spending.

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Chatham National Guard Soldier Retires After 24 Years of Service PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. James Sims, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 27 February 2012 14:25

Soldier Will No Longer Don the Army Uniform, but Continues to Serve the Illinois National Guard

SPRINGFIELD, IL (02/22/2012)(readMedia)-- Retirement can conjure up images of traveling, relaxing or maybe grabbing a fishing pole and heading to the lake, but retired Master Sgt. Kimberly S. Broome, of Chatham, may be beginning her most challenging and important assignment of her career.

Broome, a native of Chicago, officially retired from the Illinois National Guard Dec. 31 and was recently hired by the Department of Military Affairs as the executive assistant to the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. The Adjutant General is the highest position within the Illinois National Guard, responsible for all daily operations of the Illinois National Guard and overseeing its 13,500 men and women in uniform.

"I love working with Soldiers," said Broome. "That is all I have been doing since I graduated from high school. It is like working with family."

Broome said the decision to continue to serve her country in a different capacity was an easy decision.

"Working at Camp Lincoln for the (Adjutant) General is a great honor," said Broome.

The commander of the Illinois National Guard is excited to have Broome working for him.

"With more than two decades in uniform, Kim offers a lot of experience and it's great to see her continue to serve her country and state," said Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.

Broome joined the National Guard Sept. 1, 1988 after graduating from high school.

"I wanted to go to college but did not want to burden my parents," said Broome. "I also thought it would be a great way to travel and be able to give back."

During her nearly 24 years of service Broome has served in several different military jobs including human resources specialist, automated logistical specialist, unit supply specialist and patient administration specialist.

Broome deployed as the supply sergeant with the 1244th Transportation Company of North Riverside in 2003 for 18 months to Kuwait. While deployed, Broome earned the Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.

Upon her retirement Broome was presented with an honorable discharge, certificates of retirement and service, a certification of appreciation from the President of the United States and a meritorious service medal.

Broome has a 14-year-old-daughter, Maya, who is a freshman in high school.

"One of the many blessings over my 24 year career is the amount of traveling and the many parts of the world I've been able to see; it is priceless," said Broome. "The experience is immeasurable. I am certainly grateful."

Broome said the end of her federal career and beginning of her state career is only the start of something else special.

"As I look back over my military career and all the friends I've made, which essentially has become a part of my family, it's not so much that I'm retiring, I'm just beginning a new chapter," said Broome, "One that will allow me more time to focus on my daughter as she becomes a young lady and prepare her for her future."

 

 
Braley Lauds Reopening of Iowa National Guard Aviation Readiness Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 24 February 2012 14:55

Braley helped secure $2 million to fund renovation project in 2009

 

Davenport, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today attended the reopening of the Iowa National Guard’s Aviation Readiness Center, lauding the renovation of the facility and saying it will enhance the ability of the Guard to save lives and protect Iowa.  In 2009, Braley helped secure $2 million to fund the renovation project.

 

“The renovation of the Iowa National Guard’s Aviation Readiness Center helped create jobs here in the Quad Cities and has given the facility new life,” Braley said.  “I’m proud of my work helping to make this needed renovation happen.  This beautiful facility is a great addition to the Davenport area and will help the Iowa National Guard do its job.”

 

The $2.1 million project completed today is the second part of a two-phase project that renovated the entire National Guard facility, originally constructed in 1972.  The first phase of the renovation was completed in 2010.

 

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Sparta Army National Guard Fire Fighting Team Deploys PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:30

SPARTA, IL (02/15/2012)(readMedia)-- Deployment ceremony

WHO:

• 662nd Engineer Fire Fighting Team in Sparta

WHAT:

• A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 10 Soldiers who are scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom this winter.

WHEN/WHERE:

• Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Sparta armory fire station, 1803 N. Hillcrest Drive in Sparta.

WHY:

• The 662nd will provide fire department emergency response services for deployed forces in the Operation Enduring Freedom theater of operations. Potential missions include, but are not limited to: fire prevention and protection, structural and aircraft fire fighting, vehicle rescue, emergency medical and hazardous materials incident response.

• Additionally, the team will be involved in the Rescue Air Mobile Squad (RAMS) mission, providing personnel rescue capabilities in tactical situations. During a RAMS mission, the team is transported via helicopter to a remote emergency incident and will perform rapid technical rescue and medical stabilization measures for U.S. and coalition personnel who are entrapped and/or otherwise injured as a result of enemy action.

For more information, contact the Public Affairs office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 217-761-3569.

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