Julie Weckerlein is no stranger to the blogosphere. As a personal and professional blogger for the past 10 years, she further contributes to the internet as a web content manager for the Department of Defense. She's also an Air Force Reserve public affairs non-commissioned officer after a nine-year active duty career with assignments in Germany, Italy and the Pentagon, and a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan as a combat correspondent for the Air Force News Service. Her affinity for science media started with her first magazine subscription to Ranger Rick at age 9 and she's never lost her excitement for the cool things happening in the world of science.
At the 2011 LandWarNet Conference, August 22 – 25 in Tampa, Fla., cyber experts, Giorgio Bertoli and Stephen Lucas, from the Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communications-electronics center will be presenting, “Future Cyber Initiative,” Aug. 24 at 2:30 p.m. as part of Track 6, which focuses on the C4ISR Materiel Enterprise’s work in cyber capabilities.
The presentation provides a high level view of the current and emerging cyberspace technology landscape and the technology research & development being pursued by (CERDEC) in this new operational domain.
Carol Jacoby, a research scientist for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Institute of Chemical Defense, works in the newly renovated Collaborative Research Facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (Army photo)
By Geoff Fein, Office of Naval Research
While an Aug. 3 government study shows women still lag behind men in high-tech educations and careers, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been working to narrow that gap within the Department of the Navy.
ONR is coordinating the Navy’s response to emphasize and encourage K-12 students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The science and technology organization works closely with nonprofits, academia and industry developing STEM programs, many with an emphasis on girls.
ONR is not just focusing on young women, said Dr. Michael Kassner, ONR’s director of research. His office oversees the STEM effort. There is also a need to provide STEM outreach to underserved youths.
“We’re aware of the conclusions of the report and are proactively developing solutions,” Kassner said.
The “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” released by the Commerce Department this week, concluded that women continue to be “vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce.”
By Bradley Peters, NREIPIntern at SPAWARSystems Center Pacific
Mission readiness throughout the military depends on the global reach of the Navy, which ensures the safety of our country and allies. Despite tremendous advancements in weapons technology and naval engineering, Navy vessels still rely heavily on the use of land-based naval facilities at home. Navy installations must be prepared to repair, resupply, and turn aroundships in an appropriate amount of time to ensure that the fleet is able to carry out missions throughout the world’s oceans. In the future, climate change and related events, including sea level rise, may impair the Navy’s ability to maintain the land-based facilities that are essential to mission readiness.
By Dr. Greg Reger
Shortly after returning from deployment to Afghanistan, Sgt. Jackson finds himself at a local mall, struggling with his emotions. Images from a suicide bombing he witnessed fill his mind as he walks. Stopping at a restaurant, he’s on edge – can’t relax – his eyes constantly sweeping the area for a threat that will never materialize. Exhausted, he enters a mattress store. As he tries out a bed for his room at home, he falls asleep. There in the middle of the showroom, he re-lives the bombing in a vivid nightmare, waking in cold a sweat.
Dr. Daniel Christensen, on screen, Madigan's chief of Soldier Readiness Service, chats with a room full of Telehealth and Technology's Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery workshop participants July 21, 2011. US Army photo
Imagine being a psychologist sitting across from your patient.
Now imagine that patient is actually hundreds of miles away.
The first-ever live Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery Workshop at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology’s, or T2, headquarters on Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week offered guidance to providers on offering mental health services from a distance — in this case, using videoconferencing technology.
“The (Department of Defense) is pushing for this form of care because it’s a way to reach a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t get care,” T2 clinical health psychologist Dr. Greg Kramer said.
Kramer was one of the all-day workshop’s presenters. About 25 health care professionals from every military branch attended the training, some coming from as far away as Japan. The idea was to build a knowledge base so that clinicians can provide care even when their patient is too far to get to.
Doc Bender on top of the Ziggurat of Ur in Southern Iraq, in February 2009. (DCoE photo)
Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.
I’m sometimes asked about how the brain responds when exposed to stressful situations, like being in combat or intense training. Think about that first Airborne jump or testing for military combatives. Your brain has one main reaction to stress, whether that stress comes from being shot at during a combat deployment, asking someone out on a date, or any other situation where you’re scared or anxious. Knowing how the human brain responds to stress is helpful for military training. Not only is it good to understand how your brain operates under intense conditions, but also understanding the importance of physical fitness and psychological fitness in your ability to handle all aspects of a demanding mission is important.
One of the first parts of your brain to be affected by stress is the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which is the “smart” part of your brain that plans tasks, predicts outcomes, controls behavior and directs attention. Unfortunately, the PFC generally shuts down during intense stress, impairing these functions. Under stress, you stop paying attention to parts of your environment that are most relevant to completing your goals and start paying attention to things that are loud, brightly colored or moving, but not necessarily helpful in achieving your mission. In a firefight, you might pay very close attention to the pop of a weapon but completely miss a small alley that can lead to an escape.
Holly Schnelbach, science teacher at Palmer Ridge High School, launches her rocket during the STEM boot camp June 27-29 at the Air Force Academy. The camp taught high school teachers about the entire U.S. space mission and each built and launched their own rocket. Courtesy Photo| United States Air Force Academy
The U.S. Air Force Academy recently hosted a boot camp for math and science teachers.
This boot camp didn’t involve push-ups, though.
Instead, it focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. The goal is to provide training and motivation to K-12 science and math teachers that they can pass on to their students.
The STEM boot camps provide teachers with hands-on learning labs for classroom use. They don’t leave empty-handed: All teachers receive GPS units and software, and some take home robots and other kits.
With a deafening blast, Rakkasan mortarmen from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division fire a 120 mm mortar system during the brigade level training, Sept. 29, 2007 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The rounds' targets were far behind the hills in the distance. U.S. Army Photo by Pvt. Mary Gurnee
Troops out in the field, wearing heavy battle rattle and carrying their weapons, will soon have lighter mortar systems in their arsenal.
Mortar crews have started receiving new lightweight 60mm mortar systems that are approximately 20 percent lighter than previous versions. The Program Executive Office for Ammunition fielded the Army’s first M224A1 60mm Lightweight Company Mortar Systems to 1st Special Forces Group in Fort Lewis, Wash., last month.
Eventually all former legacy M224 systems will be replaced with the new lightweight systems.