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Fort Hamilton Army Base Going Green

According to an article by Harold Egeln from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn, NY will get over $4M from U.S. stimulus package in an effort to go green

Over hill and over dale, hitting that dusty trail since 1825 in war and peace, Fort Hamilton Army Base here is undergoing changes, updating for the 21st Century and getting federal economic recovery funds. Almost all of those funds are for “green” conversion projects for greater efficiency.

On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the 184-year-old military garrison is getting $4,071,300 of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the stimulus bill) funds through the Department of Defense. This is part of a $10.9-million federal package for military bases.

“These projects are a win-win for Fort Hamilton and for Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst that will bring greater investment in these facilities and improve conditions for the brave men and women who served in our forces,” said Schumer.

“This funding for Fort Hamilton will vastly improve the infrastructure at the base and at the same time will create jobs to give a much needed economic boost to Brooklyn.”

Saying that job creation is her “number one priority,” is junior Senator Gillibrand, who recently made her first visit to Bay Ridge with Congressman Michael McMahon at a senior center. “This funding will strengthen our economic recovery efforts and ensure that our men and women in uniform have the very best facilities and opportunities.”

The funding for Fort Hamilton, where Gen. Robert E. Lee once served as commanding officer, is going to seven projects.

The projects include three “green energy” eco-conversion projects. The biggest, costing $1,549,000, would replace HVAC with geothermal energy for Building 209, a major base facility. Some $1,450,000 in funds are slated for construction of two geothermal plants, and $683,000 would go to convert oil boilers to gas and remove the oil fuel storage tanks.

The grant contains $597,300 allocated for road repairs, $250,000 for electric and water meter replacements, $210,000 for elevator repair and $24,000 for a kitchen remodeling.

New Building Projects Progressing

Besides these federal funds, Colonel Stephen Smith, the new base commander who took charge last fall, updated Community Board 10 at its recent meeting in Dyker Heights about other projects.

“Our biggest new project is our new Armed Forces Reserve Center, a building for over 60 personnel of civilian and military staff, set for opening in 2011. Four of our older buildings were demolished in the last two months,” Smith reported.

The Seventh Avenue gate at Poly Place is being used to ferry construction equipment early in the morning, he said, adding that there will be no such activity at the busier 101st Street gate at the south end of Fort Hamilton Parkway.

“We already have 600 construction workers living and working on post to do the work,” Col. Smith said to re-assure the board that traffic disruption will be minimal. “Right now we’re trying to re-cycle a lot of debris from the recent demolitions. If a problem develops, we’ll look to open a little used post gate.”

Among new projects, Smith said, are a new youth center for both military and community use and a new ballfield planned for the fall of 2010. “This will be good for Little League Baseball games and other sports and recreation activities,” he said.

At the Community Club building, used by many veterans and community groups, Smith had “outstanding good news” for the elderly and disabled. “We’re trying to get an elevator built,” he said.

Federal Stimulus to Reach Fort McCoy

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Federal stimulus money will pay for $30 million in renovations at Fort McCoy near Sparta.

The money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used for a number of projects, including renovating the World War II era barracks, road reconstruction and water main maintenance.

A total of $37 million will be available for upgrading Army facilities in Wisconsin, including Camp Williams in Tomah and the Army National Guard in Onalaska.

Wounded Soldiers Punished Three Times More Often

An article in the Associated Press claimed that wounded soldiers were three times more likely to be punished than their healthy counterparts. Secretary of the Army Pete Geren visits Fort Bragg and said he spoke with wounded soldiers himself.

The secretary of the Army visited the wounded warrior barracks at a North Carolina post after the service said it would review disciplinary actions against recuperating troops.

Secretary Pete Geren’s visit to the unit came after an Associated Press story last week said wounded soldiers were punished three times as often as healthy soldiers. Geren also was at Fort Bragg to speak at a 50th anniversary ceremony for the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team.

Geren said he has been to nearly every one of the 35 wounded warrior units to talk to soldiers about what works and what doesn’t in their care and treatment, The Fayetteville Observer reported Tuesday.

Geren also said the units were evolving and that he personally hadn’t heard any complaints.

“I’m here to hear firsthand from them what their experiences have been,” Geren said before his visit to the unit, which wasn’t open to the public. “These are men and women who’ve carried the burden of battle for our country, and we’re doing everything we can to make the warrior transition units work for them, to help them to get rehabilitated.”

The general in charge of the Army’s more than 9,000 wounded soldiers said last week he is ordering a review of how the ones at Fort Bragg are being punished for minor violations. The units were created two years ago after reports of poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.

Former soldier Christina Steele told The Observer that she spent more than a year in the unit before getting out of the Army. Steele told the newspaper she was disciplined several times for sleeping through a morning formation because of sleeping pills doctors prescribed for her.

Steele said she saw other soldiers treated similarly.

“The morale is terrible,” she said. “You’ve got a bunch of already busted and broken soldiers as it is.”

Seattle Times

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Michelle Obama visits Fort Bragg

Michelle Obama has started her solo tour and visited the North Carolina base.

During her visit to Fort Bragg, the first lady read “The Cat in the Hat” to a dozen preschoolers at the Prager Child Development Center, and the folks at Fort Bragg were touched by her performance.

“It was like she was reading to her children,” said Mattie White, a lead education technician at Fort Bragg.

While reading “The Cat in the Hat,” the first lady told the children she had two young daughters, and one tyke chimed in “I know Sasha.”

Her concern for military families is an agenda issue that began during the presidential campaign, and one that she vowed she would continue to work on from the East Wing of the White House.

The Fort Bragg visit is a setting that the first lady seems comfortable in — it combines her top policy issue and the qualities of the “mom-in-chief” she aims to be.

And any mention of the Obama daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, is an emotional touchstone for Mrs. Obama and, she suggests, for many in the country.

from ABC News

New Program Aims to Lower Suicides

This article illustrates the efforts that the US Army is employing to reduce the tragically high rates of suicides.

The Army is bolstering their suicide prevention programs following an alarming rise is soldier suicides.

This year alone, 42 are believed to have taken their own lives. In 2008, the Army said there were 128.

The Fort Carson Army Base confirms there have been an unusually high number of suicides there. The base said there were eight documented cases in 2008, and one already this year. That is why Fort Carson and other military bases are undergoing intensive training in suicide prevention.

“We send them to the range to learn how to shoot their weapon. We teach them how to drive a vehicle. However, we’ve never really taught them how to ask about suicide,” said Kimberly Hunter, an alcohol, drug and control officer at Fort Carson.

The training involves three phases that include interactive videos, education and open dialogue with suicide survivors and families of soldiers who have taken their own lives.

Lt. Col. John Thompson said while he has never had anyone attempt suicide in his unit, he has noticed the toll of back-to-back and extended tours of duties on his soldiers.

“You can see how it wears on certain soldiers. They each show individual signs,” said Thompson.

Fort Carson Maj. General Mark Graham lost his son to suicide in 2003. The top ranking ROTC student hung himself while attending the University of Kentucky.

Graham said his son suffered from depression and was managing it with Prozac. Graham said he quit taking it when preparing to go to ROTC advanced camp. They said he was embarrassed to admit he was taking the anti-depressant, even though the Army has no problem with soldiers taking the drug.

Source: The Denver Channel

Fort Pickett, VA

Fort Pickett TrainingFort Pickett Virginia is near Blackstone Virginia and is a Virginia National Guard Base. The fort was originally opened up in 1941. For more information go to: Fort Pickett Information, for more information on Ft Pickett Virginia.
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Fort Greely Alaska

Ft Greely missileFort Greely is located in Fairbanks Alaska. The base is designated as a launch site for anti-ballistic missiles. Ft Greely has a history dating back to World War II (1942). For more information on the camp, check out Fort Greely Information

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Fort Drum

Fort Drum is located in Jefferson County, New York, United States. Canada (30 miles), New York, Bostona re few surrounding cities. The base serves United States Army. It is home to the 10th Mountain Division. The base consists of 107,265 acres.

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Fort Knox

Fort Knox Kentucky is the home of the US Army Armor Center and the US Army Recruiting Command. Fort Knox is 35 miles south of Louisville, KY. The population of Ft Knox, which is considered a military base and a city is 23,000 people. This includes all soldiers and family members along with civilians that work and live there.

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Fort Huachuca

Fort HuachucaThe base is located in Cochise County, in the Southeastern part of the state of Arizona, approximately 15 miles north of the border with Mexico. Dallas, San Antonia are some of the surrounding cities. The base serves United States Army.

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