Military News Briefs for the Week of Aug. 31, 2001
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2001 (This is a summary of the top American Forces Press Service
news stories for the week ending Aug. 31, 2001)
MEDICAL LOGISTICS SYSTEM SAVES DOD BIG BUCKS
For years, defense officials have been saying that the department would reap substantial savings by adopting private industries' "best-business practices."
The Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support System proves the point. The program is a partnership of DoD, TRICARE, the services and commercial companies, said Army Col. Dan Magee, program manager.
The system brings "best practices" to bear on medical logistics. With these changes, DoD has virtually eliminated the large inventories that military hospitals and clinics used to keep on hand. Further, DoD now pays the lowest prices for supplies and drugs of any large U.S. healthcare organization, he said. Finally, by using commercial systems the whole process of contracting, ordering and paying is totally electronic.
"We've reduced by over $600 million the amount of medical supplies that we hold," Magee said. "We also have $150 million a year in cost avoidance because we use these large central contracts."
*** DOD REMAINS WARY OF 'CODE RED' COMPUTER VIRUS
DoD continues to monitor its fortified computer systems for the so-called Code Red "worm" virus and its variants, the Pentagon's chief information officer said Aug. 24. John P. Stenbit, assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence said Code Red denial-of-service attacks against DoD computer systems appear to have been mitigated for now.
"But, it has had its effect. There is no question about that," he remarked.
DoD's prophylactic efforts against information warfare threats presented by viruses such as Code Red are centered in Washington and at U.S. Space Command in Colorado, which has computer system defense as one of its missions. Stenbit noted that DoD has bolstered its anti-information warfare efforts in recent years.
"The comparison with how the Pentagon deals with that kind of problem today compared with three or four years ago is enormously more positive," he added. "That is a good thing, because it is enormously more dangerous these days."
SHELTON TALKS CHANGE, TROOPS, TRANSFORMATION
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry H. Shelton reflected on change and present and future challenges facing the military during an Aug. 22 interview with American Forces Information Service.
The 59-year-old Army Ranger and Special Forces-schooled paratrooper is slated to complete his second two-year term as chairman and to retire Sept. 30.
The chairman noted that things have "changed considerably" across the military since he pinned on his gold lieutenant's bars.
"We had a draft at that time and a force that was predominately single," Shelton remarked, adding that the majority of service members in today's volunteer military force are married.
The active components performed most of DoD's missions during the Cold War years, said Shelton, a Vietnam and Gulf War veteran. However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the ensuing drawdown, the reserve components had to shoulder more of the load.
U.S. TAEKWONDO TEAM CAPTURES FIVE MEDALS AT CISM CHAMPIONSHIP The U.S. military Tae kwon do team captured five medals and finished ninth in a field of 19 at the 13th Conseil International du Sport Militaire World Tae kwon do Championship Aug. 8-16 at Woensdrecht Air Base, the Netherlands.
A strong Korean team took top honors in the men's division and China won the women's title.
Army Spc. Yelena Pisarenko of the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colo., took the silver in the women's lightweight division after a loss to Masechocha Thamae of Lesotho. Navy Petty Officer 1st class Liz Evans of Colorado Springs took the silver with a loss in the finals to Elena Asseeva of Russia.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Ivan Abudo from Ramstein Air Base, Germany scored the bronze medal in the men's welterweight division, losing to Young-Keun Lee from Korea.
Army Spc. Darrell Rydholm of Fort Bragg, N.C., earned a well-deserved bronze in the men's middleweight division. After winning two back-to- back contests, he lost to a well-rested Azat Ioussoupov of Russia.
In perhaps the most exciting contest of the entire championship, Army Spc. David Bartlett of Fort Carson met local hero Dennis Bekkers of the Netherlands in the men's featherweight division final. It was a heated contest between two talented and "class-act" fighters. The U.S. delegation did its best to "out-chant" the local crowd that had packed the stands.