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Public Service Week Activities Begin

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 7, 1999 – Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre and DoD's top career civilian, David O. Cooke, took advantage of Public Service Recognition Week activities here May 6 to meet and greet hundreds of military and civilian personnel.

Hamre and Cooke, director of administrative management, Office of Secretary of Defense, visited recognition week exhibits on the National Mall. They toured exhibits showing the full range of DoD's activities and mission.

The celebration lasts through May 9. The theme of this year's celebration is "Public Servants Working for America." Officials said the Mall exhibit, set up near the U.S. Capitol, draws 50,000 to 90,000 people each year.

Hamre and Cooke visited members of the newly formed Defense Threat Reduction Agency, who exhibited new technology that allows inspectors to examine the contents of a barrel without opening it.

Army Special Forces soldiers showed Hamre and Cooke their gear. Hamre picked up a piece of equipment and said, "I've always heard this is the worst piece of gear you carry." The Green Berets agreed. "Complain a bit," Hamre said. "We need to get you better equipment."

The pair also saw chemical and biological reaction teams from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. They saw Navy divers demonstrating dive techniques in a dive tank. They saw Marines showing off the Cobra helicopter and soldiers showing off the AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter. The Air Force trucked in an F-16 Fighting Falcon and the "Red Wolves" from the Norfolk Naval Air Station, Va., flew in with one of their search and rescue choppers.

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency showed off an interactive mapping program adapted from an elementary school teaching aid. Air Force weather specialists showed Hamre and Cooke the current conditions over Yugoslavia.

Public Service Recognition Week, sponsored by the Public Employees Roundtable, honors federal, state and local government workers. During the week, U.S. public service employees worldwide put on exhibitions, demonstrations and static displays of the work they perform for America.

"The expression, 'It's good enough for government' used to have a negative meaning, but now thanks to the work of people like you, 'good enough for government' means top quality," said Cooke at an earlier ceremony.

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