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Peace at any cost is a Prelude to War!

001595.  DOD winning 30-year war against drugs in the ranks

by Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The incidence of service members using illegal drugs is
at a 20-year low, evidence that the Department of Defense is winning the war
against drug abuse in its ranks -- a conflict that began during the Vietnam

Ana Maria Salazar, deputy assistant secretary of defense for drug
enforcement policy and support, said drug use by DOD personnel is down 90
percent compared to two decades ago.  Just 2.6 percent of all service
members reported drug use within the 30 days preceding their response to a
1998 survey, she said.  More than 27 percent of respondents in a 1980 survey
said they used illegal drugs in the preceding 30 days, she noted.

"Overall, the use of illegal drugs by service members is down.  Drug use has
decreased every year since we started monitoring it in 1980," Salazar said.

She pointed to the effectiveness of DOD's "zero tolerance" policy toward
drug use, pre-employment and random drug testing, and substance abuse
education programs.  Salazar also cited DOD's participation in such drug
awareness information campaigns as national Red Ribbon Week -- Oct. 23-31
this year.

"Drug use is incompatible with military service," she said.  "Not tolerating
drug use is the cornerstone of our deterrence program.  "Our system
identifies users and ensures that they are punished.  This approach deters
drug use by other service members and promotes readiness."

Salazar said drug use "has always been a national security concern" that
affects both the Defense Department and civilian society.  According to the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, illegal drugs cost the national
economy $110 billion in expenses and lost revenue in 1995, she said.

"Drug use by service members threatens their readiness to defend our
nation," she said.  "Drug use by society in general damages our ability as a
nation to have a strong economy with citizens who are focused on healthy
lifestyles.  This, in itself, threatens security."

Almost a third of service members weren't living drug-free lifestyles 20
years ago, but drug use had become a problem for the U.S. military much
earlier, Salazar said.  In 1970, increasing numbers of service members in
Vietnam were found to be using heroin and other illegal drugs.  This
prompted President Richard Nixon in 1971 to direct the secretary of defense
to initiate a program of drug prevention, identification of abusers and

Throughout "the post-Vietnam era" of the 1970s and early 1980s, many young
Americans -- military and civilian -- experimented with illegal drugs like
marijuana, LSD and cocaine.  DOD had been conducting drug tests on service
members since 1971, in large part to identify and treat heroin addicts who'd
picked up the habit in Southeast Asia, Salazar said.

Ten years later, service members were found to be using more and different
types of illegal drugs.  Drug use in the military was prevalent, with the
1980 military survey identifying disturbing drug abuse problems among both
enlisted members and junior officers, Salazar said.

"At that time, units with as many as one-third of their members using drugs
were unprepared for combat," she said.

The tripwire was an explosion aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on May
26, 1981.  The ship suffered 14 people dead, 48 injured and $150 million in
property losses, including seven aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged.  DOD
adopted its "zero tolerance" drug policy in 1982 after investigators
indicated Nimitz crewmen's drug use possibly contributed to the disaster.

"Drug users are more prone to have accidents, to use poor judgment and more
likely to injure themselves and others ... the disaster aboard the Nimitz is
a grim reminder of this fact," Salazar said.  "As a group, drug users have
demonstrated that they do not maintain the unit morale necessary to carry
out the dangerous duties we demand of military personnel."

As part of its drug deterrence efforts, "DOD must encourage its members to
become active in drug education and community support," Salazar said.  Each
of the services manages programs that distribute information on the dangers
of drug use, she said.

"Among the most effective educational tools are local community programs
that focus on children and families," she said.  The annual Secretary of
Defense Community Drug Awareness Award, for example, recognizes outstanding
service-level drug awareness programs.  Many of these programs, Salazar
said, feature service members interacting with military and civilian
communities as educators and youth role models.

DOD officials are also alert for any new patterns in youth drug use, such as
the illegal "designer drug" Ecstacy.  Service members' use of Ecstasy,
although small, increased from a prevalence of 0.004 percent in fiscal 1998
to 0.019 in 1999, Salazar said.

"Civilian police agencies tell us in 1999 elements of organized crime
dramatically increased the amount of Ecstasy sold on the streets," she said.
"Large numbers of young people across the nation began to use this dangerous
drug, which can cause brain damage, and some of them died as a result."

DOD anticipated Ecstasy might be an emerging drug and mandated testing in
1997, Salazar said, noting "through testing we've deterred many young people
from using the drug."  This year, she added, DOD plans to use a more
sensitive drug test that will identify more Ecstasy users.

Salazar credits DOD's drug urinalysis program as being "one of our most
effective programs" in fighting the war against drugs in the ranks.

"When any drug users are identified, appropriate punitive action is taken,
depending on the program, and can range from mandatory rehabilitation to
courts-martial," she said.  "The numbers speak for themselves in measuring
the effectiveness of this program."

001594.  Cooperation replaces conflict in the former Soviet Union

by Staff Sgt. William J. Seabrook Jr.
16th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla (AFPN) -- A little more than 10 years ago, serving in a
country deep behind the former Soviet Union's Iron Curtain was unthinkable.
Today, however, it is!  The U.S. European Command's Joint Contact Team
Program now deploys military liaison teams to former Soviet satellite states
participating in the program.

"We're here to basically show (these countries) how the U.S. military does
business," said Senior Master Sgt. Terry Porch from the 16th Civil Engineer
Squadron here, who is temporarily assigned to a four-person JCTP in the
Baltic state of Estonia.  There are currently 16 area countries in this

The Estonian liaison team is tasked with assisting Estonian defense forces
to evolve smoothly along with the country's economic and democratic growth.
Each outreach team consists of three officers and a senior enlisted person
to handle the administrative side of things.

"We promote things such as civilian control of armed forces, a
de-politicized military, respect for human rights and the rule of law and
cooperation between regional and U.S. armed forces," Porch said.  "I'm a
civil engineer by trade, but I'm actually handling the money we spend over
here.  I think this assignment is a great opportunity for any senior NCO
who's looking to do something completely different for a while."

The deployment is on a volunteer basis and usually lasts about six months.

"I like working in the small team environment because I really feel like I'm
making a substantial contribution to the mission," Porch said.

Another interesting aspect of the program is that each participating country
partners with a U.S. National Guard unit, the sergeant said.  Estonia's
partner is the Maryland Air National Guard.

Since the Estonian forces face many of the same missions as the Maryland ANG
such as coastal search and rescue operations, civil/military cooperation and
hazardous material response, it allows many joint training opportunities.

"The Maryland Air National Guard provides the liaison team with its leader
and supports many of the training events we conduct," Porch said.  "They
also work together in community outreach and cooperation programs such as
sharing business and education ideas."

This summer an aircrew from the Maryland ANG spent two weeks working with
the Estonian Air Force on aircraft safety maneuvers and crash recovery

Porch's team presents U.S. military procedures to the Estonian military by
giving presentations, showing field manuals and conducting various training

"Some of the training we've conducted includes crisis management response
exercises, civil/military cooperation and officer/NCO professional
development courses," Porch said.

Within the JCTP, Estonia is considered one of the best assignments because
of its natural beauty, interesting people and rich culture, Porch said.

"Last week we ate lunch in a building that dated back to the 1400s," he

Also, there are signs of the former Soviet military throughout in the
country, Porch said.

"Mari Air Base is the one working air base in the country and the Soviets
used to fly fighter aircraft out of it," he said.  "We were traveling near
this air base recently and we found an old graveyard where they buried
pilots who had died flying these aircraft.  The tombstones were made from
the tail fins of the aircraft.  It was very strange to think that a little
more than a decade ago our enemies were working, living and dying in this
very land where we're now spreading the seeds of democracy."

001596.  Air Force provides flood relief to Vietnam

by Master Sgt. Darla J. Ernst
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii (AFPN) -- A C-130 Hercules crew from Elmendorf
Air Force Base, Alaska, is providing relief supplies to victims of massive
flooding in Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

The 11-person crew from the 517th Airlift Squadron delivered 87 cartons of
plastic sheeting to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Oct. 17, enough to shelter
4,000 people.

When they arrived in Vietnam for the delivery, they were greeted by
teenagers from the Vietnamese Red Cross, who adorned them with flower
bouquets and held up thank you banners.

"It's a good feeling to have the means to reach out and help these people in
need and be a direct part in providing aid," said Capt Mike Miller, aircraft

The Alaska C-130 crew was on a routine 30-day rotation to Yokota Air Base,
Japan when they received word of their part in the humanitarian mission.
The crew flew to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to pick up the cartons of
plastic sheeting.  After delivering those supplies, they flew to Manila,
Philippines, to pick up water purifiers.  They are scheduled to deliver
those supplies to Ho Chi Minh City Oct 20.

According to Vietnamese disaster relief officials, 370 people have been
killed in the worst flooding to hit the Mekong River in 40 years.  Two
hundred sixty five of those killed were children, officials said.  More than
48,000 families in the Mekong Delta have lost their homes in this season's

001597. Air Force International Health Specialists to provide common thread
in global medicine

by Leigh Anne Redovian
Air Force Surgeon General Public Affairs

BROOKS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- The Air Force's first cadre of
International Health Specialists gathered at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas,
Oct. 10-13, to take their first steps toward developing regionally focused
and clinically competent military medical resources worldwide.

"You are the pace setters in international medicine" said the Air Force's
surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton, Jr., when he addressed the group
Oct. 12 at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine here.  "This is the
most exciting personnel program the Air Force Medical Service has on the
horizon and you are at the pointy end of the spear."

Twenty IHS team members and staff liaison officers were chosen from a pool
of more than 80 applicants seeking to be a part of the new program, said
Col. Jane Ward, the program's director.  An additional 60 medical
professionals attended the orientation course as partners in various
positions throughout the AFMS.

An additional 20 mission specialists across the AFMS who have earned special
experience identifiers based on language capabilities and regional medical
experience will be eligible for future IHS team member or staff positions,
Ward said.

So far, prototype IHS teams have deployed to more than 25 countries around
the world, providing humanitarian and civic assistance, educational training
opportunities, and subject matter exchange visits, as well as supporting
real-world contingencies.  Teams will continue to support health care
ranging from basic primary care to subspecialty care.  In addition teams
will provide dental and public health care across all area-of-responsibility

Carlton told IHS members the missions of the AFMS must be relevant to the
needs of the United States and must be reasonable in cost to the American
taxpayer.  He reminded the group that in the 40 years before the Cold War
ended, the United States was involved in 10 foreign contingency operations.
Since the Cold War ended in 1989, the country's involvement in contingency
operations has expanded to more than 40 worldwide.  The Air Force has become
more and more involved in other-than-combat areas, and that creates the need
for international medical experts, the general said.

"We have become a global society facing many of the same medical
challenges," Carlton said.  "In this society, medicine provides the common
thread that can transcend politics."

Carlton views the IHS program as an instrument of international policy, and
he is giving everyone working in the AFMS a chance to contribute.  The
initiative is a Total Force concept with active duty, Reserve and Guard
personnel, officer and enlisted, serving on the new IHS teams.

"The IHS program is rank neutral and corps neutral," Carlton said.

The new program also supports the Air Force chief of staff's language
initiative that calls for 10 percent of Air Force officers to be proficient
in a second strategic language by 2005.  Under the IHS program, officers and
enlisted will have the opportunity to receive foreign language training,
frequently taking part in Language and Area Studies Immersion, or LASI,
programs, run by the Air Force Foreign Area Officer office.  In addition to
learning a second language, team members will gain real-world experience in
dealing with the health conditions and challenges facing other countries.

"You will see and treat diseases that you have only read about in text
 the surgeon general told the IHS group.

Equipped to be international medical experts, IHS team members will carry
out Air Force medical readiness in the new millennium.  The teams are
designed to facilitate the medical readiness triad of shaping the world
environment via humanitarian and civic assistance missions, responding to
disasters worldwide, and preparing for Air Force war-winning operations.

IHS selectee Lt. Col. Jim Fike, an AFMS physician assigned to the 86th
Medical Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, has been a part of eight
humanitarian missions to Africa and is looking forward to traveling even
more with his new IHS team.

"It's not about simply working in a foreign country," Fike said.  "It's
working along side that country's doctors and nurses and building
relationships with them that will eventually lead to improvements in medical

Fike also said that working in a foreign nation is a great way to realize
that even though resources may be limited, their medical teams have the same
professional values as teams in the United States.

Eventually, IHS professionals will be assigned to Unified Commands.  The
initial teams and staff positions are at the Air Staff, schoolhouses and in
key planning positions such as liaison officers on the Air Force Reserve and
Air National Guard surgeon general staffs.

The first two IHS teams, supporting U.S. European Command and U.S. Southern
Command will co-locate with the 86 Medical Group and with the 59 Medical
Wing at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, so that team
members will maintain their clinical skills part-time and will be
multi-functional Air Force medical professionals.  While IHS personnel will
focus on regional medical threats, they are expected to maintain competency
in their primary Air Force specialty.

The Air Force Surgeon General's long term vision for the new initiative is a
Triservice program providing the service chiefs with a versatile tool to
support the theater commander in chiefs.

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