Military Transportation: “Nothing Happens Until Something Moves”

May 13, 2016

There’s a lot happening in terms of transportation this month. May 16-22 is National Transportation Week, an opportunity to celebrate the community of transportation professionals who keep our country moving. In addition, the third Friday of May is National Defense Transportation Day. And throughout 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Transportation infrastructure is quite literally the foundation of our country. Interstate highway trucks and freight trains get people and products where they need to go. Across bridges, along rail lines, and through tunnels, transport mobility is a part of life. And it’s also critical for modern Army readiness. In fact, there is a little known unit specializing in rapid troop and cargo delivery to distant theaters. It’s called the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

008-029-00597-2Spearhead of Logistics: A History of the United States Army Transportation Corps

This U.S. Army Center of Military History text chronicles over 200 years of U.S. military transportation. The “need to organize, control, equip, and man transportation resources” became evident during the Revolutionary War. Borrowing from the organized transport network of the merchant class, the Continental Congress authorized a Quartermaster General to contribute logistical support—mostly in the form of horses and river boats—to Revolutionary forces. Since then, every war, expeditionary operation, and worldwide commitment has been supported by what eventually became the Transportation Corps of today.

Corps history is in step with the timeline of transportation growth. Steamboats in the Mexican War. Locomotives in the Civil War. Wagons in the Spanish-American War. Transport from this era “was the prototype of that required for a modern war in the Industrial Revolution.” Army transportation matured dramatically with wartime demands. Troop movement in both world wars required considerable coordination. Motor vehicles were first employed in World War I when “truck convoys [carried] supplies from the ports to the forward areas.” Horsepower was officially out and “animal power would never again be a major consideration for the U.S. Army.”

SPEARHEAD OF LOGICITICS (002)

Forty men and eight horses. U.S. troops on their way to the trenches, 1918. Excerpt from publication.

When the world once again charged into a world war, the U.S. military expanded its transport mission. As it was “the first time U.S. troops were deployed throughout the world,” all ground and water transportation reorganized under one agency, the Transportation Corps. The newly formalized unit brought military might to bear in the beachhead landing on Normandy, campaign into the heart of Nazi Germany, MacArthur’s assaults in the Pacific theater, and the Berlin Airlift.

With continued speed and efficiency, the Transportation Corps sustained a massive combat force in Desert Storm. In a seven-month period, Corps officers participated in the “largest battlefield movement ever recorded for the time allotted.” Sea port and airlift operations and movement of “combat force[s] into attack positions…was one of the most significant achievements in the history of the Transportation Corps.”

us-armyThe Transportation Corps has embraced new technology and provided orderly service to the mission of defense. Without Army transport, personnel, equipment, and supplies would be immobilized. The book ends with an Albert Einstein quote that perfectly describes the Corps: “nothing happens until something moves.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS MILITARY HISTORY PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Los Zetas: Mexico’s Most Feared Drug Cartel

April 11, 2016
Copyright free photo of El Chapo

Copyright free photo of El Chapo

El Chapo. A household name that sends a paralysis of fear through many who hear it. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is the toppled drug kingpin who heads the Sinaloa Cartel in absentia. The notorious druglord’s capture, jailbreak, and recapture made headlines over the past year. Although the crime boss is behind bars, the dramatic and deadly exploits of Mexican drug cartels are far from over. Sinaloa’s archrival, Los Zetas, is a pillar of the narco-violence underworld. GPO makes available a U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institution (SSI) publication on the evolution of the most vicious drug-trafficking organization in Mexico.

In “The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare,” SSI expert George G. Grayson charts Los Zetas ruthless rise to prominence. Once a counter-narcotics paramilitary outfit, core members deserted the Mexican Army in the late 1990s. They morphed into a new organization and soon built a savage reputation. Los Zetas “not only traffic in drugs, murder, kidnap, and raid PEMEX [Petróleos Mexicanos] but also involve themselves in extortion, human smuggling, torture, money laundering, prostitution, arson, prison breakouts, murder for hire, and other felonies.”

008-000-01085-4Zeta influence spans most of Central America. From its base in Nuevo Laredo, “the largest commercial portal joining Mexico to its northern neighbor,” the Zeta brand of cruelty is trending throughout Mexico and bleeding out elsewhere. Borderland bloodshed gives Los Zetas a launchpad for U.S. incursions. At this point, most criminal activity remains south of the border. Not a exactly a safe place to be an American. Grayson writes that narco-violence is tied to 684 U.S. citizen deaths in Mexico from 2002-2012—“40 percent of American violent deaths worldwide in this period.”

Other cartels are copycatting Zeta-style cutthroat tactics. Grayson calls it the “Zetanization” of Mexico’s explosive drug war. The use of retributive, gruesome practices—that include butcherings, beheadings, and stewing foes in boiling gasoline vats—advances the mafioso agenda and solidifies territorial claims. Los Zeta’s tight grip is secured with brutal leadership, publicity ploys, and fresh teenage recruits.

“The Evolution of Los Zetas” shows how the cartel has transformed itself from ragtag bandits into a cash-flush, heinous crime syndicate. The White House branded it “a unique and extraordinary threat to the stability of international economies and political systems.” Los Zetas is truly a menace. Drug enforcement agencies want to eliminate it. Adversarial cartels want to overtake it. Mexican citizens just want to stop being terrorized by it.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


How the Army Cares for Its Warriors

April 5, 2016

April 6 is the anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. It’s also Army Day, a time to appreciate our national defense and support military preparedness. Nothing bolsters those two things better than a healthy, ready soldier force. GPO makes available several resources for warrior rehabilitation and transition professionals.

9780160926761Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Toolkit

In this U.S. Army Medical Department’s Borden Institute publication, rehabilitation professionals review the best research-driven treatment practices for concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI). Recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted the military’s rehabilitative community to advance care excellence for service members with mTBIs. Concussions are sustained on and off the battlefield, thus, post-concussive clinical guidance is ever more imperative. Although this work of clinicians and therapists is intended for clinicians and therapists, the research on balance, vision, post-traumatic headache, cognition, fitness and other functions is an education for non-medical types as well. This toolkit is evidence of “significant contributions to the recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration of Service Members who are symptomatic after sustaining an mTBI.” It’s an “Army strong” addition to the medical body of knowledge.

9780160893667Warrior Transition Leader: Medical Rehabilitation Handbook

The U.S. Army has a comprehensive rehabilitation and reintegration system for what it terms Warriors in Transition (WTs). In the words of the Warrior Transition Command mission, Army healthcare professionals “establish conditions for healing and promote the timely return to the force or transition to civilian life.” This Army medicine handbook charts the modern soldier rehabilitation practices. Several chapters address the essential topics of military-related disability rights, self-medication and suicide risks, assistive technologies, and resilience development. Accounts from real soldiers show that  “wounded, injured, and ill” service member care is focused, collaborative, and innovative. Engagement of soldiers and family throughout transition and rehabilitation programs certifies this system’s world-class status.

008-000-01151-6A Shared Burden: The Military and Civilian Consequences of Army Pain Management Since 2001

According to author Craig Trebilcock, “the Army has an opioid drug problem.” It’s not a simply a matter of recreational misuse or delinquent soldiers. Prescription opioid pain medications do have a legitimate rehabilitative application. However, usage tracking is failing and knowledge gaps need patching up. This U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute paper gives Army leadership “a new way of thinking about…impact on combat readiness and civil-military relations.” A survey of senior officers reveals that greater opioid medication monitoring, training, and education is one strategy for consideration. Just as service doesn’t end when a solider becomes a veteran, medical monitoring and rehabilitation should accompany veterans for the long-term. To contravene the impact of opioid dependency on civilian society, military policy needs to proactively address this “shared burden.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Here’s Lookin’ at You, Hard Power

March 29, 2016

Since World War II, the worldwide presence of the United States has been reinforced by the allied military network it maintains. As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the same can be said of U.S. security partners. In “A Hard Look at Hard Power,” thirteen U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) expert contributors address the question: “is that bargain unraveling?”

Source: archive.defense.gov

Source: archive.defense.gov

This essay collection examines the “economy of force” and “collective security” that key allies bring to the American geopolitical board game. Coalition members provide “hard power” capabilities and share the burden of reduced military spending. A multilateral cooperative of “like-minded liberal governments confers a degree of legitimacy on such operations that unilateral action is short of.” But as the essayists point out, this defense arrangement is enfeebled.

Much of the analysis points to shrinking defense forces and budgets in countries like Italy, Australia, Germany, and Great Britain. Country-specific chapters show public support for increased social spending. Maintaining modern military readiness just doesn’t receive the same backing. Much of Europe and elsewhere seems in a state of “strategic ambivalence.” Soft power is the force majeure. Hard power is softening.

a hard look at hard power_coverThe book details examples of other allies who are experiencing war power evolution and shifting power balances. Poland is boosting its regional defense capabilities. South Korea faces the advancing North Korean threat at its doorstep. Taiwan postures itself in the direction of China. Japan is undertaking ambitious military reforms for a greater strategic role. All the while, the NATO alliance force-structure is evolving.

Editor Gary J. Schmitt frames the challenge as “the absence of military capabilities or the strategy to deploy them effectively [that] can create regional dynamics that invite instability.” For the U.S. to understand allied military capability, there must be a frank discussion about what must be done to get the right resources on the table and the right forces at the table. Hard power shortcomings are everywhere. The U.S. multilateral defense network needs its friends now more than ever.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


What the Experts Say about Counterterrorism

March 28, 2016
CounterterrorismImage_jpg

Image Credit: U.S. Southern Command

No one needs reminding that the global security environment is volatile. Nihilistic groups mount an existential threat to U.S. interests around the world. Responding to unpredictability requires careful analysis and thoughtful strategy. GPO makes available two such policy-oriented reports from the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI).

Iraq’s Shia Warlords and Their Militias: Political and Security Challenges and Options

008-000-01164-8The battleground in the fight against ISIS is like shifting sands. Shia militias and their commanding warlords are reordering the power balance. Embedded in Iraq’s security system and U.S. military operations, militia in campaigns against ISIS present a dimension of complexity for policy interests on all sides.

This SSI assessment posits that emergent Shia militias “have become for Washington at least co-belligerents in what one can justly term the ISIS War.” Emboldened during the political-military morass of the post-Saddam early 2000s, they hold close ideological ties to Iran and hostility toward U.S. personnel. At the same time they fill the Iraqi police force’s need for boots-on-the-ground, militias are increasingly legitimized in the Shia community. Meanwhile, confrontation with counterterrorism allies is a very real possibility.

Assessing Egyptian Public Support for Security Crackdowns in the Sinai

008-000-01155-9Terrorist groups have a foothold in Egypt’s strategically important Sinai Peninsula. Most citizens support the Egyptian government’s use of hard-hitting tactics to stomp out extremist groups. Expert assessment of Egyptian public opinion of the crackdown shows how the counterproductive desire for stability makes “more terrorist recruits out of disaffected Bedouin youth than would otherwise be the case.” There’s a very real worry that this “very complicated piece of territory” is exporting extremist brutality to the mainland.

This publication makes the case for the U.S. military to provide sensible, sophisticated counterterrorism training to Egyptian counterparts. Bilateral U.S.-Egyptian relations would be best served by policies that effectively rid the Sinai of radical Islamists while boosting human and infrastructure development.

In complement to the publications listed above, here are two broader examinations of radicalized armed groups and global security implications.

008-000-01066-8New Approaches to Nonstate Armed Actors

Leading experts discuss the international community’s struggle to “confront, counter, and engage” nonstate violent groups. In the intro to this joint Marine Corps University Press and the Middle East Institute publication, editor Kenneth H. Williams states “for as long as governments have existed, groups have been forming to oppose them.”

ARMEDGROUPSArmed Groups: Studies in National Security, Counterterrorism, and Counterinsurgency

A U.S. Naval War College edited collection of scholarship, opinion, and context related to the influence of assorted armed groups on national security. Editor Jeffrey H. Norwitz argues that “armed groups are merely one vestige of mankind’s struggles in an increasingly smaller world.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Art and the Air Force: Top Guns Above the Clouds

March 23, 2016

Air Force art is a particular species of art. Limitless blue-skies yonder. Wispy white contrails. Gunners encased in gunmetal. Strategic bombing campaigns. Official portraits of commanders. And so much more.

9780160926617008And that so much more is honorably captured in ‘A Magnificent Showcase: History, Heritage, and Art: The United States Air Force and the Air Force Art Program.’ Authors Timothy R. Keck and designer Lori Ann Dawson show how the Air Force Art Program illuminates and preserves the heritage of the aerial warfare service of the U.S. Armed Forces. Part art piece, part historical compendium, the book’s watercolors and oil paintings showcase both machine and man of the “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win” branch.

Each artist’s portrayal of Air Force servicemen and servicewomen show an enthusiastic championing of aircraft meets artful craft. The hefty tome features full-page scenes of battle-ready bombers rocketing over bucolic fields, fly boys on reconnaissance missions, and the fiery hazards of war. The wide, stratospheric pages are inset with vignettes of historical milestones such as the Tuskegee Airmen, Berlin Airlift, Pacific island raids, and Desert Storm.

Ah oh the pop-out spread of colors!  The apricot-colored sundown of William Phillips’ ‘Fifty Miles Out’, the algae-green fields of Randy Green’s ‘The Bridge Busters—397th Bomb Group,’ and the alpenglow-purple of Michael Machat’s ‘Habu’s Last Hurrah’ are all standout.

The introduction to ‘A Magnificent Showcase’ includes a circa-1960s quote from former Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, General Curtis LeMay, who wrote: “To posterity, these paintings will furnish a priceless pictorial history of our Air Force in a brilliant era.” The general phrased it perfectly. There’s really nothing more to add then to say it’s simply a magnificent book.

9780160925634P.S. You can continue your exploration of U.S. military art with this beauty: In the Line of Duty: Army Art, 1965-2014. It’s rich with soldier-artist pieces depicting the warfare operations of Vietnam through twenty-first century Iraq and Afghanistan. Raw grit and real courage.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


60 Years of Tracking “Big Red One”

December 22, 2015

‘Twas Christmas eve 1955 when a misprinted Sears Roebuck & Co. newspaper ad directed kids to a top secret Soviet alert hotline instead of Santa’s direct dial. Wrong red phone! On the receiving end, an Air Force colonel played along and a team of Cold War-era serviceman became North Pole elves. And that’s how the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) eventually became the Santa tracking agency.

santatrackerimageNORAD is a bi-national U.S. and Canadian organization with the mission of aerospace warning and control in the defense of North America. But its most famous and favorite mission is watching the winter skies for the “big red one.” “Guarding What You Value Most: North American Aerospace Defense Command Celebrating 50 Years,” available thru GPO in hardcover and eBook editions, touches upon how NORAD triangulates Kris Kringle’s course. The publication proudly states that “using the same technology used to perform their day-to-day mission— satellites, high-powered radars and jet fighters— NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.”

That sleigh of different high-tech systems is used to read Rudolph’s infrared nose signature, capture high-speed video around the globe, and provide Santa and his reindeer with a NORAD fighter pilot escort. Fun fact to impress people at your holiday party: satellites and radar once clocked Santa’s flying delivery cart at 100 times faster than the Japanese bullet train.

santahotlinewebSanta positioning updates were originally delivered over the radio and through the Santa Tracking hotline. In 1997, the operation joined the worldwide interwebs. A few years ago, NORAD teamed up with tech companies to release a set of free apps. If you download the tracking app, that ding from your phone could be a radar ping showing the globetrotting sleigh’s whereabouts.

Want to track jolly St. Nick and his sleigh-pullers on Christmas Eve? Visit NORAD’s multilingual Santa site. It’s soundtracked with some pretty groovy holiday music, too. And while clicking around, do visit GPO’s bookstore. There’s a NORAD history publication there waiting for you. Unlike Santa, it requires no high-tech tracking.

How do I obtain Guarding What You Value Most: North American Aerospace Defense Command Celebrating 50 Years?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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