Total Deaths 1,251
Total Deaths 1,251
The military is at a turning point following a remarkable and historic year, Defense Department officials said today.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that this year has also seen the demise of Osama bin Laden and the decline of al-Qaida,” he added. “And the increased pressure on [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula], to include the loss of Anwar al-Awlaki to that terrorist group.”
“2012 is likely to bring opportunities for the United States military, and for all Americans,” he said.
The United States is “seeing successful transition efforts in Afghanistan” and “building a new relationship with Iraq” following the departure of the last U.S. combat troops there, Little said. But that doesn’t mean relations end in those areas, he said.
“The secretary [of defense] has made it clear that we are going to maintain a presence in the Middle East … that’s going to protect our interests and those of our allies in the region,” Little said.
Navy Capt. John Kirby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations, emphasized no final decisions have been made about troop posture in the Middle East.
“We are still working through what the post-Iraq regional presence is going to be,” he said. “So there’s been no final decisions made about where any residual forces may stay, or for how long they will stay.”
“I would note that this was the most successful logistical drawdown in U.S. military history,” he said. “And General Austin and the men and women in uniform who carried that out deserve tremendous praise.”
Little expressed gratitude for service members and their families over the past year.
“The men and women of the U.S. military and their families have done incredible work, have had many successes, and of course, have made sacrifices,” he said. “And to them, especially, we say thank you.”
This week the Air Force announced an increase in activated reservists, while the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease. The net collective result is 432 fewer reservists activated than last week.
At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 67,487; Navy Reserve, 4,455; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 9,783; Marine Corps Reserve, 5,248, and the Coast Guard Reserve, 768. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 87,741, including both units and individual augmentees.
A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found on line at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20111220ngr.pdf .
The U.S. Army’s third annual sustainability report shows a 17.2 percent reduction in accidental military fatalities, and a 12.6 percent decrease in civilian lost time and fatal claims during fiscal 2009.
Covering fiscal 2009, the report documents successes and improvements in the Army sustainability areas of human capital, training and operations, materiel and acquisitions, services and infrastructure.
Released by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, the report is a key component in publicly communicating Army sustainability initiatives and accomplishments by providing an overview of Army operations and presenting a quantitative and qualitative assessment of Army progress according to Global Reporting Initiative framework and other sustainability indicators. The report also begins publically communicating the Army’s progress in implementing presidential Executive Order 13514 — Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. The Army is the first department in the Federal government to align GRI and EO 13514 reporting.
In releasing the report, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack said the report will serve as a road map to relate ongoing and new sustainability efforts. “The Army Sustainability Report highlights our actions and accomplishments. To accelerate our progress, the Army’s senior leadership initiated a comprehensive sustainability campaign plan to institutionalize sustainability throughout the Army’s core enterprises: human capital; training and operations; materiel and acquisitions; and services and infrastructure.”
She noted the report is oriented to these four tenets of sustainability. Each section of the report addresses topics of note, reports on EO 13514, DoD and Army sustainability metrics and highlights successes. The successes span the sustainability spectrum from reduced accidents to increased recycling, quality of life improvements, and increased cooperation with communities.
The report shows that the Army built 127 new Child Development Centers and 23 new Youth Centers between fiscal 2008 — 2009 in support of soldier and family quality of life. Operating hours at these and similar facilities were also extended. The number of supporting communities signing community covenant support agreements increased by 297 percent with 338 covenants in place at the end of fiscal 2009, up from only 85 at the end of fiscal 2008.
In 2009, the Army reduced hazardous waste disposal by 28.4 percent, compared to calendar year 2008. The recycling rate for solid waste and construction demolition debris increased from 58 percent in fiscal 2008 to 60 percent in 2009. New environmental enforcement actions were reduced by 42.3 percent with only 75 new actions received in fiscal 2009 as compared to 130 new actions the year before.
The number of acres protected by the Army compatible use buffer partnerships increased by 120,607; a 25.3 percent increase from fiscal 2008.
“Our plan is to appropriately manage our natural resources with a goal of net zero to ensure success of our primary mission of securing, protecting, and defending this Nation, while reducing costs and sustaining or increasing overall performance,” Hammack said. She noted an increase in number of installations having strategic sustainability plans, or having integrated sustainability considerations into their Installation Strategic Plan, saying 30 installations have plans in place, a 42.9 percent increase when compared to 21 installations at end of fiscal 2008.
The full report can be found at http://usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/222038.pdf .