Army chief to leaders: Winning is everything in combat
Michelle Tan, Army Times April 22, 2016
Competence, compassion and character should drive the men and women who want to lead America’s sons and daughters into battle, the Army’s top general said Thursday as he marked the 100th anniversary of the ROTC program at Norwich University.
“Our sons and our daughters of this nation deserve good leadership,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said to an audience filled with ROTC cadets. “If you look at readiness, if you look at combat power, the most important element of that is not technology. It’s not the guns, the planes, the ships. It’s not the weapons. It’s not the computers. It’s the people, and, most importantly, it’s the leaders.”
Milley characterized leadership as “far and away the most important element” to winning “in the crucible of ground combat.”
Leaders must be competent, Milley said.
Soldiers are not going to follow a platoon leader who can’t call and direct fire, or call for a medevac or close-air support, Milley said.
“There’s no room for second place in combat,” he said. “There are no coins or trophies given out for ties. You either win or lose. What’ll make the difference … is going to be your personal competence.”
Leaders must also be compassionate, Milley said, caring for their soldiers as if they would their own children.
And leaders must have “tremendous character,” he said.
“I guarantee you your character is going to be tested like it never has before,” he said. “You’re going to have to have steel spines to endure the pressure you’re going to face in the years ahead.”
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, visits Norwich University for its Reserve Officer Training Corps Centennial Symposium, April 21, 2016. Milley said that as future leaders in the military, students must prepare now to lead and win in a complex world. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Chuck Burden/Army)
These characteristics are critical for all military leaders, especially for cadets preparing to enter the service, because of the turbulence in the world today, Milley said.
“If the world of 1916 was complex, or the world of 1945 was complex, the world of 2016 is intensely complex, and I can tell you that from personal experience,” he said. “You’ll be dealing with terrorists, you’ll be dealing with hybrid armies, you’ll be dealing with little green men, you’ll be dealing with tribes, you’re going to be dealing with it all, and you’re going to be dealing with it simultaneously.”
Cadets preparing to don the uniform will find themselves “engaged in a very deep, long struggle with radical terrorism,” Milley said. They also will face a revanchist Russia, an aggressive China, a provocative North Korea and Iran, and “any other multiple contingencies that may arise.”
After his remarks Thursday, Milley also took questions from the audience, discussing issues such as efforts to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq as well as U.S. military presence around the world.
On Iraq, Milley said “very, very significant progress has been made” against the Islamic State group.
“Progress, however, is not winning,” he said. “No one should be high-fiving in the end zone yet.”
President Obama has tasked the military to destroy the Islamic State, Milley said.
“I am confident that the strategy we are currently executing is applying a significant amount of pressure and a lot of punishment to that organization,” he said. “It remains to be seen whether or not that is going to be enough to destroy it, with the common understanding of the world ‘destroyed.’”
Meanwhile, ongoing efforts have left the enemy without “the strategic momentum, which they did have,” and the group also has suffered “a tremendous amount” of casualties, including in their leadership ranks, and their finances have been affected, Milley said.
“They’re under a very, very significant amount of pressure from the air, from the ground, and through other domains,” he said.
The group is not destroyed yet, however, Milley said.
“I believe we will do that,” he said. “I do think we’re on the right path.”
When asked about whether the U.S. has the right number of troops stationed overseas, Milley said “that’s a tough question that’s currently under debate.”
The issue is whether the U.S. has too much of a forward presence, he said, adding that many partners and allies around the world want to work alongside U.S. troops.
“There is something to be said about being there,” he said. “Our allies and partners do want us.”
The Ridge is the brand new film from Danny Macaskill... For the first time in one of his films Danny climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.
Mammal-like reptile survived much longer than thought
Fossils in Japan overturn widely accepted theory about tritylodontid extinction
Date: April 25, 2016 Source: Kyoto University
Teeth can reveal a lot, such as how the earliest mammals lived with their neighbors. Researchers have uncovered dozens of fossilized teeth in Kuwajima, Japan and identified this as a new species of tritylodontid, an animal family that links the evolution of mammals from reptiles. This finding suggests that tritylodontids co-existed with some of the earliest mammal species for millions of years, overturning beliefs that mammals wiped out mammal-like reptiles soon after they emerged.
Tritylodontids are the last known family of near-mammalian reptiles, before mammals with features such as advanced hearing evolved.
"Tritylodontids were herbivores with unique sets of teeth which intersect when they bite," explains study author Hiroshige Matsuoka, based at Kyoto University. "They had pretty much the same features as mammals -- for instance they were most likely warm-blooded -- but taxonomically speaking they were reptiles, because in their jaws they still had a bone that in mammals is used for hearing."
While excavating a geologic layer from the Cretaceous era in Kuwajima, researchers found fossils of dinosaurs, turtles, lizards, fish, many types of plants, and Mesozoic mammals. Among these were more than 250 tritylodontid teeth, the first to be found in Japan.
Tritylodontids lived in the Jurassic era and proliferated worldwide, but were thought to have died out as herbivorous mammals took over their ecological role in the late Jurassic. "This made sense, because otherwise tritylodontids and the herbivorous mammals would have competed for the same niche," says Matsuoka.
But according to the team's finding, trytylodontids seem to have survived at least 30 million years longer than what paleontologists had believed.
"This raises new questions about how tritylodontids and their mammalian neighbors shared or separated ecological roles," says Matsuoka.
The study is also the first of its kind to depend solely on details from teeth to determine whether the species is new, and also where it sits on the evolutionary tree.
"Usually fossils are identified as a new species only when a relatively complete set of structures like a jaw bone are found. In these cases, characteristics of teeth tend to be described only briefly," adds Matsuoka. "Tritylodontid teeth have three rows of 2-3 cusps. This time we paid attention to fine details like the size and shape of each cusp. By using this method it should be possible to characterize other species on the evolutionary tree as well."
"Because fossils of so many diverse families of animals are to be found in Kuwajima, we'd like to keep investigating the site to uncover things not just about individual species, but also about entire ecological dynamics."
Thanks for posting that....had not heard of him before. Beautiful wind sculptures...also a bit 'weird' at times since they do have an alien art feel about them. Like the island also.....be nice to live in a cool place and create art for a living.
Human life begins in bright flash of light as a sperm meets an egg, scientists have shown for the first time, after capturing the astonishing ‘fireworks’ on film.
An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception.
Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.” Professor Teresa Woodruff, Northwestern University
Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilised egg.
Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby. Eggs flash as they meet sperm enzyme, capturing the moment that life begins Eggs flash as they meet sperm enzyme, capturing the moment that life begins Credit: NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
The discovery could help fertility doctors pick the best fertilised eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
“It was remarkable,” said Professor Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s two senior authors and an expert in ovarian biology at Northwestern.
“We discovered the zinc spark just five years ago in the mouse, and to see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.
“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization.
“It’s a way of sorting egg quality in a way we’ve never been able to assess before. “All of biology starts at the time of fertilization, yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.” A fluorescent flash captures the moment that sperm enzyme enters the egg A fluorescent flash captures the moment that sperm enzyme enters the egg Credit: Northwestern University
Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.
Some clinics take videos of the egg developing to try pick up problems early, while others check for genetic mutations, but that is an invasive procedure which can damage the tiny egg. Often it is just down to a clinician decided which eggs look the healthiest.
But the new findings could give and extra indication that an egg is flourishing. A video of nine human eggs coming into contact with sperm enzyme showed two flashed much brighter than the rest.
“This is an important discovery because it may give us a non-invasive and easily visible way to assess the health of an egg and eventually an embryo before implantation,” said co-author Dr Eve Feinberg, who took care of the patients who provided eggs for the basic science study and collaborated with the research team.
“There are no tools currently available that tell us if it’s a good quality egg. Often we don’t know whether the egg or embryo is truly viable until we see if a pregnancy ensues.
“That’s the reason this is so transformative. If we have the ability up front to see what is a good egg and what’s not, it will help us know which embryo to transfer, avoid a lot of heartache and achieve pregnancy much more quickly.” The top right and bottom left egg flashed brighter showing they were healthier The top right and bottom left egg flashed brighter showing they were healthier Credit: Northwestern University
The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters and egg it triggers calcium to increase which releases zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up my camera microscopes.
Over the last six years this team has shown that zinc controls the decision to grow and change into a completely new genetic organism.
In the experiment, scientists use sperm enzyme rather than actual sperm to show what happens at the moment of conception.
“These fluorescence microscopy studies establish that the zinc spark occurs in human egg biology, and that can be observed outside of the cell,” said Professor Tom O’Halloran, a co-senior author.
In a companion paper published in Scientific Reports on March 18, a zinc spark is shown at the precise time a sperm enters a mouse egg.
This discovery was made by Zhang, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern. Little is known about the events that occur at the time of fertilization, because it is difficult to capture the precise time of sperm entry.
The study will be published April 26 in Scientific Reports.
« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2016, 12:33pm by Sys_Config »
This system, refitted with the latest technology, has a new mission
One of the biggest changes in early detection radar is what it detects.
When Raytheon first developed an early warning radar for the U.S. Department of Defense, the idea was to track Soviet bombers, so the radar's gaze was directed toward the north. Today, the Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar has been enhanced for the 21st Century, with faster processors, better displays and operator tools, high-performance computers and other cutting-edge technology. Now it looks to the south, the better to find private planes smuggling cocaine, go-fast boats with contraband and other bad actors.
"It’s a critical asset that contributes to our nation's safety every day,” said Timothy Dotson, Raytheon ROTHR program manager.
ROTHR works by refracting radar signals off the ionosphere, where they bounce to the ground and back up again to spot aircraft at any altitude or boats on the water. Raytheon designed and built the system for the U.S. Navy, and has provided operations support and maintenance since 1986.
The Navy’s Naval Supply Systems Command just awarded Raytheon a five-year contract to continue running and maintaining ROTHR, which is the primary long-range air detection system for the Joint Interagency Task Force South. JIATF-S coordinates interdiction of illicit trafficking and other narco-terrorist threats to U.S. national security.
“Our team works closely with the Navy and the Joint Task Force, tracking hundreds of traffickers every year and helping to keep illicit materials from entering our borders,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business.
The system is always on, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In just one interdiction, ROTHR operations led directly to the seizure of 4.5 metric tons of cocaine, valued at about $90 million.
The ROTHR system surveillance area covers more than 10 million square miles of land and water. It is composed of a transmit array and a receiving array in Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico. The transmit sites radiate three overlapping wedges that blanket the transit and source zones of narcotic trafficking. The returning waves are captured by a 1.6-mile receiving array with 372 pairs of 19-foot-long antennas. the signals are forwarded to the Navy Operations Control Center in Virginia.
“The ROTHR control center is fairly unique within the Department of Defense, because it’s staffed entirely by civilian contractors from Raytheon,” Dotson said. “Normally, you’d have military operators on the watch floor of a DoD system like this, but the benefit of this arrangement to mission and radar performance has been dramatic. That's thanks to the continuity and experience of contractor operators, who do not have to transfer duty stations every two to three years.”
While the system may have been built in the late 80s, “it’s definitely state of the art today,” said Raytheon's Dotson. "We’ve modernized and upgraded almost everything on the system multiple times."
For the Task Force, ROTHR finds and continuously tracks the bad guys, allowing a response that coordinates efforts from agencies such as US Customs, the Coast Guard and DoD.
"And we do it for a very low cost,” Dotson said. “It would take many, many more assets, ships and planes, and a lot more money to provide comparable coverage."
A massive replica of Noah’s ark could travel from the Netherlands to Brazil this year.
The ark, which was created by Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers, will stop at several port cities in Brazil and make four stops along the coast of the U.S., according to the Ark of Noah Foundation, which is working to raise funds for the ark’s journey.
"That dream marks the start of an exciting adventure in which Johan overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve his ultimate goal: The building of a replica of Noah’s Ark," the organization said online.
The modern ark, dubbed "Johan’s Ark," is a fully-functioning replica of Noah’s Ark, as described in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
It is Huibers second ark and has been open to visitors in the Netherlands since 2012.
« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2016, 7:43pm by Sys_Config »