Around the Force

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A spot check of events happening in the military

Readiness challenges could become retention problem
American Forces Press Service
The readiness challenges in the American military could turn into a retention challenge if allowed to continue, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in Washington, D.C., April 30.
Sequestration spending cuts are being piled on to the effects of already scheduled defense budgets cuts, Gen. Martin Dempsey told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch event.
The cuts are coming from operations and maintenance funds—the money the department uses to ensure military readiness, the chairman said. Troops are aware of this, he added, and they tell him of their concerns.
At a town hall meeting he conducted recently at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, Dempsey said, rather than hearing about how operations are going there, he heard service members voice their concerns about the future.
“They are worried about their careers in the military, (and) they are worried about readiness,” the chairman said.
Pilots coming into the Air Force want to fly, just as Soldiers, Sailors and Marines want to do their jobs.
“If they can’t do their jobs, there is a level of dissatisfaction,” Dempsey said.
The chairman emphasized that service members deploying to combat areas receive all the training they need to succeed, but added that cutbacks are affecting the rest of the force.
“We have a current readiness challenge,” he said. “Today’s readiness challenges could indeed, lead to tomorrow’s retention challenges.
“They are not there yet,” Dempsey continued, “but again, we have to watch our service members who have operated at such a significant pace, with such significant responsibilities, and we bring them back to sit. That will, I predict, impact retention.”
All services meet, exceed March accession goals
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense announced May 2 recruiting and retention statistics for the active and reserve components for fiscal 2013, through March.
All four active services met or exceeded their numerical accession goals for fiscal 2013, through March.
* Army—33,857 accessions, with a goal of 33,520; 101 percent.
* Navy—17,350 accessions, with a goal of 17,350; 100 percent.
* Marine Corps—13,010 accessions, with a goal of 12,978; 100 percent.
* Air Force—13,989 accessions, with a goal of 13,989; 100 percent.
The Army, Air Force and Marine Corps exhibited strong retention numbers for the sixth month of fiscal 2013. The Navy exhibited strong retention numbers in the mid-career and career categories. However, the Navy’s achievement of 90 percent in the initial category is a result of reduced accessions from four to six years ago.
Five of the six reserve components met or exceeded their fiscal-year-to-date 2013 numerical accession goals. The Army Reserve finished January 1,501 accessions short of its goal.
* Army National Guard—26,100 accessions, with a goal of 25,005; 104 percent.
* Army Reserve—12,976 accessions, with a goal of 14,477; 90 percent.
* Navy Reserve—2,700 accessions, with a goal of 2,700; 100 percent.
* Marine Corps Reserve—4,518 accessions, with a goal of 4,472; 101 percent.
* Air National Guard—4,875 accessions, with a goal of 4,875; 100 percent.
* Air Force Reserve—3,685 accessions, with a goal of 3,685; 100 percent.
All Reserve components have met their attrition goals. Current trends are expected to continue.
Pentagon approves security technical for smartphones
American Forces Press Service
Pentagon officials May 2 approved the security technical implementation guides for BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, as well as Samsung’s Android Knox, to be used on Defense Department networks.
“This is a significant step towards establishing a multivendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems,” Air Force Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement announcing the approval.
Several mobile devices and operating systems are going through the Defense Information Systems Agency’s review and approval process. A security technical implementation guide approval establishes a configuration that allows a secure connection to DoD networks, which facilitates the process by eliminating the need for security reviews at the individual organization level, Pickart explained. However, he added, the May 2 decision doesn’t result in product orders.
The level of security necessary throughout the department doesn’t rest solely on any one mobile device, Pickart said, adding that the network and software also must be secured and managed appropriately. An integral part of the secure mobility framework will be the Mobility Device Management and Mobile Application Store, which is in source selection now and anticipated for award in early summer, he said.