Tag Archives: Department of Defense

From the White House Blog–Holiday Cheer for the Heroes

The excerpt below was written by Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan, a member of the ISAF Joint Command, Afghanistan. Tech. Sgt. Gallahan’s post  is currently running on the official White House blog. Click here to read the full post.

I started this year’s holiday season off right – waking up Thanksgiving morning in a tin building with 200 Army soldiers at a combat outpost in eastern Afghanistan.

I’m a U.S. Air Force Airman, journalist and photographer deployed to the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. My two-week mission was to document and tell the story of the Afghan National Security Forces. I visited many locations including battalion headquarters and combat outposts; I witnessed everything I expected… and then some.

I went out anticipating combat patrols and handing out supplies, check.
I went out anticipating the Afghan’s taking greater control of their country, check.
I went out anticipating the Afghan’s tracking down bad guys, check.

Then there were the holiday cards and smiles. I didn’t anticipate that.

New Department of Defense website hosts social media and Q&A features

Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, was on the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable yesterday discussing the recent launch of the Department of Defense’s new home page, http://www.Defense.gov. Visitors to the new site will quickly notice icons linking to the DoD’s official presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, amongst others. Additionally, at the top of the page there is a box that says, “We Want to Hear From You.” This box links to a page that allows participation from the public. Specifically, it allows users the opportunity to ask questions of Defense Department leaders, vote on policy issues they want explained, and explore frequently asked questions and answers.  (Note that the new site, http://www.Defense.gov, replaces http://www.DefenseLink.mil as DoD’s main Internet presence.)

The inclusion of social media links and an open Q&A may seem at odds with recent news reports about some service branches banning access to social media sites while others are allowing access. Yet, Mr. Floyd stated that the idea for these initiatives on the new Website came directly from Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Sec. Gates wanted to hear from people and engage with them. Opening up Q&A and participating in social media allows the public to share their ideas and will give the Secretary, and other DoD leadership, the chance to hear what people are thinking.

Additionally, DoD realized that service members in the combat arena have been ahead of the game and using these tools for a long time and now DoD had to play catch up to communicate on the same playing field. Mr. Floyd stated that DoD has “three audiences–internal, the American public and overseas. Our target audience is 18 to 25. We want them to take part and ask questions. We want to keep the audience we have, but build up and capture younger audiences.” Including social media links shows that the DoD recognizes the importance of the potential audience, and realizes where they are participating. Mr. Floyd emphasized that operations security is still paramount and DoD needs to push that message, especially in the social media realms.

Overall, the new Website holds promise for the DoD, as well as for the service branches that fall under its purview. Transparency and conversation continue to be important for all types of organizations, and opening up dialogue is a great step to share ideas. As always, in an effort to continue open dialogue, we welcome your comments, suggestions and questions about the Air Force.

You can visit and interact with us at the following Websites:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AFPAA
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/Usairforce
Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce
YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/afbluetube
Blog:  http://airforcelive.dodlive.mil/

Posted by Paul F. Bove, Digital Media Strategist

Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Emerging Technology Division

“On the Definition of Energy Security” by Mike Aimone

Below is a blog post about energy security by Michael Aimone, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In light of the upcoming Earth Day, as well as the overall ongoing news about energy concerns, Mr. Aimone wants to open up a discussion about energy security. Following this blog post, and the interest of readers, we may look for a place to keep the energy discussion going.

On the Definition of Energy Security” by Mike Aimone

The purpose of this blog post is to open a dialogue on the definition of the term “Energy Security”. Google the term “energy security,” and you’ll get 92 million hits. Say energy security (ES) to five different people, and I bet you’ll get 10 different answers!

Is ES achieved by U.S. Naval oil tanker convoys through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf? Or the piracy concerns off the horn of Africa? Or possibly the implications of a blockade within the Strait of Malacca? You can see there is a strong tie between National Security and Energy Security.

Some say the current financial debacle is somewhat tied to the high oil prices over the past three years. Some suggest that ES is achieved by energy independence, though others will point out that crude oil prices are fungible in the worldwide economy, and even if the U.S. had significant domestic resources available to meet domestic needs, prices would have risen to the worldwide price standard. That is, there is a strong tie between Economic Security and Energy Security.

I think most people have accepted the fact that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are climbing, and with that the effect on climate change. Certainly manmade GHGs are rising as the developing nations expand their middle class expansion through industrialization. Imagine a China or India with a greatly expanded automobile sector. That is, there is a strong tie between Environmental Security and Energy Security.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense is working to create an Energy Security definition for the Department of Defense. One working definition is

DoD Facilities energy security encompasses sufficiency, surety, and sustainability. Above all, energy security means having adequate power to conduct critical missions for the duration of that mission (sufficiency).

Secondarily, and leading to sufficiency, is ensuring resilient energy supplies that are accessible when needed (surety). Finally, the energy supplies must present the lowest life cycle cost, while considering all statutory and executive order requirements, as well as the impact to mission, community, and environment (sustainability).

I look forward to hearing your comments about this working definition.

Update #1

In addition to the comments we’ve received, a reader posed the following question:

Q: Does the OSD interest in the energy security definition stem from Al Shaffer?

A: (from Mike Aimone.) Energy issues, and the interest in the term “energy security” in OSD is
shared by functionally between DDR&E for weapon systems, I&E for installations & ground (non tactical) transportation, and HD&ASA for issues associated with energy systems Critical Infrastructure Protection.  All these organizations share common interest in what I am seeking by defining, for the department, the term energy security.  Mr. Shaffer is just one of those interested parties, though Mr. Lally in I&E also helped draft the definition on the blog.