Service Members Continue Aid in Harvey Relief Efforts

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 — National Guard and active duty service members are making a huge difference in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, saving thousands and preparing for recovery efforts, Defense Department officials said here today.

Service members are bringing capabilities to the rescue effort that is still ongoing. The priorities for the Harvey effort are lifesaving, housing and feeding refugees, power restoration, law enforcement, health care and medical support.

Texas National Guard rescued 3,801 personnel and assisted thousands more. Guard search and rescue assets include 244 high-water vehicles, 271 Humvees, 22 wreckers, 23 fuelers, 30 Blackhawk helicopters, four Chinook choppers and 16 boats.

Relief Efforts Continue

Active duty service members have rescued 1,234 people. U.S. Northern Command has deployed 100 high-water vehicles to Katy, Texas. The command has also sent 73 helicopters, three C-130 Hercules aircraft and eight pararescue teams to the region.

The U.S. Coast Guard has 42 helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft conducting missions. The service has also deployed 65 shallow-water rescue boats to help conduct block-by-block rescue efforts. More than 4,700 people have been rescued/assisted by air and shallow-water boats.

Texas currently has 5,209 National Guardsmen on duty, and that number is expected to gradually grow to 12,000. On the active duty side, about 6,300 service members have been deployed with another 1,100 alerted for movement.

Airlifters are flowing to the area including seven C-17s from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, and two C-5 Galaxy airlifters at El Paso, Texas.

Medical facilities in Houston and the surrounding area have been hit by flooding. Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio is providing treatment for victims. Texas also asked for the DoD Disaster Aeromedical Staging Facility to deploy to George H. W. Bush International Airport in Houston. The facility has already started seeing patients.

Supplies, Fuel, Water

The Defense Logistics Agency is flooding the area in a good way — with supplies, potable water, generators to bring power grids back up, aviation and vehicle fuel, and with millions of meals for victims.

The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting air and ground post-storm assessments and harbor surveys in coordination with interagency partners. Two dredges are on standby, with two corps dredges in ready reserve.

The Navy has dispatched the USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill – amphibious ships that are transporting members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit — that should arrive off Texas Sept. 6.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

U.S., Allies Conduct Aerial Show of Force in Response to North Korean Missile Launch

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii, Aug. 31, 2017 — The United States’ newest and most advanced fighter, the Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II, joined U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers for the first time in a sequenced bilateral mission with Japan and South Korean air forces in Northeast Asia yesterday, according to a Pacific Air Forces news release.

Two B-1Bs from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam; four U.S. Marine F-35Bs from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan; two Japan Air Self-Defense Force Koku Jieitai F-2s; and four South Korean air force F-15Ks executed this mission to emphasize the combined ironclad commitment to the defense of allies and the U.S. homeland. Enhancing combined military readiness through integrated missions ensures national leaders of viable and ready military options.

This mission was conducted in direct response to North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missile launch, which flew directly over northern Japan on August 28 amid rising tension over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development programs.

North Korean Threat

“North Korea’s actions are a threat to our allies, partners and homeland, and their destabilizing actions will be met accordingly,” said Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander, U.S. Pacific Air Forces, who just returned from an unscheduled visit to Japan to meet with his counterparts.

“This complex mission clearly demonstrates our solidarity with our Allies and underscores the broadening cooperation to defend against this common regional threat,” O’Shaughnessy added. “Our forward-deployed force will be the first to the fight, ready to deliver a lethal response at a moment’s notice if our nation calls.”

Over the course of the 10-hour mission, the F-35Bs, B-1B bombers and Koku Jieitai fighters flew together over waters near Kyushu, Japan. The U.S. and South Korean aircraft then flew across the Korean Peninsula and practiced attack capabilities by releasing live weapons at the Pilsung Range training area before returning to their respective home stations.

“The F-35 embodies our commitment to our allies and contributes to the overall security and stability of the Indo-Asia Pacific region,” said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific. “By forward basing the F-35, the most advanced aircraft in the world, here in the Pacific, we are enabling the Marine Corps to respond quickly during a crisis in support of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and all our regional partners.”

U.S. Pacific Command maintains strategic bomber and fighter capabilities in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, retaining the ability to respond to any regional threat at a moment’s notice.

DoD Identifies Army Soldier Listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown

The Department of Defense announced today the identity of a soldier listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). The announcement resulted from an Aug. 25 training incident off the coast of Yemen, where the soldier was supporting U.S. Central Command operations.


Staff Sgt. Emil Rivera-Lopez is listed as DUSTWUN from the Aug. 25 incident. The incident is under investigation. 


For more information regarding Staff Sgt. Emil Rivera-Lopez, media may contact the U.S. Central Command Public Affairs Office at 813-529-0220.

Pennsylvania-based Credit Union PSECU Commits $20K to Hurricane Harvey Recovery Efforts

Encourages Member Giving with Donation Match up to an Additional $80K

It’s our sincere hope that through these efforts – potentially reaching $100,000, we can make a positive impact on those experiencing hardship as a result of Hurricane Harvey.”

— PSECU Board Chair Joseph Sassano


David James Misner (
Phone: 717.777.2169; Fax: 717.720.1190

Margaret Delmonico (
Phone: 717.777.2259; Fax: 717.720.1190

Pennsylvania-based Credit Union PSECU Commits $20K to Hurricane Harvey Recovery Efforts, Encourages Member Giving with Donation Match up to an Additional $80K

Harrisburg, PA – In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and surrounding areas, the Board of Directors of PSECU, a leading Pennsylvania-based credit union, authorized a corporate donation of $20,000 to assist with recovery efforts. Encouraging its members to contribute to the cause, the credit union has also committed to matching their donations up to an additional $80,000, increasing its potential give to a total of $100,000.

“At PSECU, we make it a priority to follow the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people,’ and with that in mind, we feel strongly that as an organization we need to take action to help those facing severe challenges as a result of heavy rains, wind, and flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Making financial contributions to charities that are doing work on the scene is how we are ensuring that funds are deployed quickly and efficiently to help those in need,” said PSECU Board Chair Joseph Sassano. “We also felt that it was important for us to give our more than 400,000 members the opportunity to contribute to the cause and help make a difference. Our matching commitment aims to strengthen their individual giving ability.”

PSECU’s initial $20,000 donation will be shared equally among eight national and international charities that are aiding hurricane recovery in diverse ways, from providing shelter to displaced individuals, to distributing essential food supplies, to assisting animals in need. Each of the charities will receive $2,500 to support their efforts. The full list includes:

• American Red Cross
• AmeriCares
• Direct Relief
• Feeding America
• The Humane Society of the United States
• National Credit Union Foundation
• Salvation Army
• United Way Worldwide

To be counted toward PSECU’s $80,000 matching commitment, the credit union’s members’ donations must be made to one of the selected charities listed above using a PSECU credit or debit card or PSECU Bill Payer service. After 90 days, the credit union will calculate total member donations and distribute the matching funds among the charities proportionate to members’ giving preferences.

“While we do greatly appreciate the work being done by countless organizations to assist those experiencing hardship due to Hurricane Harvey, for tracking purposes, to be included in our matching contribution, members must make their donation to one of the specified charities,” said PSECU President Greg Smith. “So that we have an accurate record of the donations, we are also asking that members make their donation using a PSECU credit or debit card or PSECU Bill Payer service.”

“It’s our sincere hope that through these efforts – potentially reaching $100,000, we can make a positive impact on those experiencing hardship as a result of Hurricane Harvey,” added Sassano.

Opened in 1934, PSECU was founded by 22 ordinary people who made an extraordinary commitment to each other: To create a financial institution where pooled resources benefit all members. Today, we are a full-service credit union serving more than 400,000 members and have over $5 billion in assets. As a not-for-profit financial institution, our goal remains to help our members and their families achieve a better life. For more information about PSECU, visit View our Community Report Card to learn how we contribute to the greater good.


David Misner
email us here

Electronic Warfare Aircraft Contribute to Defeat ISIS

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 31, 2017 — Often when people think about how air power is employed in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, thoughts may turn to cargo aircraft delivering critical supplies and personnel to the front lines or bombs being dropped on targets.

Yet, the Air Force has the non-kinetic ability to disrupt enemy communications on the ground and therefore turn the tables on the battlefield.

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing has the capability to deliver decisive airpower not only through its C-130 airlift mission, but through the highly sought after non-kinetic ability of the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft operated by the 43rd Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron. These heavily modified airframes are responsible for a highly specialized, unique mission: electronic warfare.

Precision Electronic Warfare Capability

“The mission of the 43rd EECS is to deliver precision electronic attack effects to deny or degrade enemy command and control, protect friendly forces and to achieve the combatant commander’s objectives to defeat our adversaries anytime, anywhere in the joint operations area,” said Air Force Capt. Joshua, a 43rd EECS electronic warfare officer.

The Compass Call aircraft is an airborne tactical weapon system that uses noise jamming to disrupt enemy command-and-control communications and deny time-critical coordination essential for enemy force management.

“The 43rd EECS provides the Combined Forces Air Component commander, or CFACC, with a critical non-kinetic option,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Cunningham, an EC-130H aircraft commander. “EC-130H employment of airborne electronic attacks functions as a force multiplier by degrading ISIS command and control. All military operations, to include those of our adversaries, require clear lines of communication between commanders and their forces. When we deny, disrupt or degrade these lines of communications, we reduce the adversary’s battlefield effectiveness and give friendly forces a decisive advantage in individual engagements.”

EC-130H crews are currently performing tactical command, control and communications countermeasures in support of U.S. and coalition forces throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility from the massive retaking of Mosul, Iraq to smaller, single-event missions, Joshua said.

The desired effects provided by the EC-130H’s unique communications jamming capability make the aircraft and its crew a low-density, high-demand asset in the Operation Inherent Resolve battlespace. The autonomous electronic attack capability is unique to Compass Call aircraft and cannot be duplicated by any other airborne communications jamming assets.

“Compass Call is the Air Force’s premier electronic attack platform,” Cunningham said. “It is the CFACC’s only autonomous communications jamming, electronic attack asset. This unique autonomy is attributed to a crew of about a dozen highly-specialized, competent airmen.”

Team Effort

The EC-130H’s flight deck personnel responsible for the aircraft’s flight and navigation are the same as found in most C-130 variants. In the back of the aircraft, however, are a number of linguists actively monitoring ISIS communications, while electronic warfare officers, or EWO, simultaneously employ the Compass Call’s electronic attack weapons system. The EWO, serving as the mission crew commander, acts as the conduit between the partner forces on the ground and the mission crew to ensure the right effects are being placed on the right targets at the right time.

Because the EC-130H aircraft requires unique and specialized maintenance support to keep the aircraft and weapon systems mission ready, maintenance airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, deploy with the Compass Call aircraft and aircrews.

“Operations and maintenance work together at home station and we fight together in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve,” Cunningham said. “They are a valued and integral part of our 43rd EECS team. We do not fly our mission without our maintainers’ dedication and effort.”

This non-kinetic capability allows the Air Force to reshape the combat environment by injecting unforeseeable command-and-control challenges on adversaries and dominating the electromagnetic spectrum, which in turn, enables joint and coalition military forces to seize initiative and dominate the battlefield.

“Non-kinetic warfare is, as the name implies, warfare without the utilization of kinetic resources such as missiles or bombs,” Joshua said. “The spectrum of non-kinetic warfare can include, but is not limited to, electronic attack, cyber operations and information operations. Non-kinetic warfare will continue to grow as we proceed into the future and face evolving and dynamic threats.”

Erickson Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Erickson Incorporated, a leading aerospace OEM and provider of global aviation services, announced today the appointment of government services veteran, Doug Kitani as Chief Executive Officer and Director effective August 31, 2017.
A photo accompanying this release is available at:
Mr. Kitani joins Erickson having most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of IAP Worldwide Services, a global defense services company specializing in logistics, expeditionary infrastructure, facilities engineering, and power systems. His prior experience includes leading portfolio strategies and corporate development for DynCorp International, an aerospace and defense company.  Mr. Kitani is known for his expertise in mergers and acquisitions and quality improvement having spent many years working in the private equity investment field and in general management at Honeywell International and General Electric.Erickson Chairman Jim Continenza said, “We are delighted to welcome Doug to the team.  As an accomplished aerospace and defense CEO with vast government services experience, Doug brings a unique skill set to Erickson and we feel confident he will be able to leverage Erickson’s unique capabilities into new markets while continuing to support and grow our existing relationships.”“Erickson is a global market leader in aircraft manufacturing, MRO, and air operations, and I am excited to be a part of building the business and expanding our market position in the days ahead,” said Doug Kitani.  Mr. Kitani earned his MBA in Finance and Strategy from Emory University and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served as a US Army helicopter pilot (qualified in the UH-1, OH-58, and UH-60 while completing 11 years of active and reserve duty), is a member of AOPA and is a supporter of the Green Beret Foundation.Acting President and CEO, Andrew Mills will continue to serve in an executive role at Erickson. Mr. Continenza said, “The board and I thank Andy for his leadership and guidance through this transition and know he will continue to be a valuable member of our team.”About Erickson
Erickson is a leading global provider of aviation services and operates, maintains and manufactures utility aircraft to safely transport and place people and cargo around the world. The Company is self-reliant, multifaceted and operates in remote locations under challenging conditions specializing in Global Defense and Security, Manufacturing and MRO, and Commercial Aviation Services (comprised of firefighting, HVAC, transmission line, construction, timber harvesting, oil and gas and specialty lift). With roots dating back to 1960, Erickson operates a fleet of approximately 50 aircraft, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA, and operates in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Australia. For more information, please visit our website at
This press release contains certain statements relating to future results (including, without limitation, “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “expect,” “predict”), which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on beliefs of Company management, as well as assumptions and estimates based on information currently available to the Company, and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated.You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.Contact
Susan Bladholm, 503.319.2164