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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#Libya: US Navy P-3C, USAF A-10 and USS Barry Engage Libyan Vessels

US Navy P-3C, USAF A-10 and USS Barry Engage Libyan Vessels

Navy News Service for Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52)
USS MOUNT WHITNEY, At Sea (NNS) -- A U.S. Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft and guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52), engaged Libyan Coast Guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller craft March 28.

The vessels were engaged after confirmed reports that Vittoria and accompanying crafts were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata, Libya.

The P-3C fired at Vittoria with AGM-65F Maverick missiles, rendering the 12-meter patrol vessel ineffective and forcing it to be beached after multiple explosions were observed in the vicinity of the port.

Two smaller Libyan craft were fired upon by the A-10 using its 30mm GAU-8/ Avenger cannon, destroying one and forcing the other to be abandoned.

Barry provided situational awareness for the aircraft by managing the airspace and maintaining the maritime picture.

The P-3C, A-10 and Barry are currently supporting operations for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces.

For more news, visit www.navy.mil.
Original Source Link
Occasionally we will share off topic stories we think may be of interest....
Related @Wikipedia: The General Electric GAU-8/A Avenger is a 30 mm, hydraulically-driven seven-barrel Gatling-type rotary cannon that is mounted on the United States Air Force's Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. It is among the largest, heaviest and most powerful aircraft cannons in the United States military. Designed specifically for the anti-tank role, the Avenger delivers very powerful rounds at a high rate of fire.

The standard ammunition mixture for anti-armor use is a four-to-one mix of PGU-14/B Armor Piercing Incendiary, with a projectile weight of about 15.0 oz (425 grams or 6,560 grains) and PGU-13/B High Explosive Incendiary (HEI) rounds, with a projectile weight of about 12.7 oz (360 grams or 5,556.25 grains). The PGU-14/B's projectile incorporates a lightweight aluminum body, cast around a smaller caliber depleted uranium penetrating core.[6] The Avenger is lethal against tanks and all other armored vehicles.

YouTube Video:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

#USFS Black Rock crewmember, Christina Speer, Firefighter of the Year for the National Park Service.

Honorees at Saturday’s Firefighters Appreciation Dinner are, from left, Dennis Sliney, Gene Lombardo, Michael Terriquez, Alfonso M. Razo, Thomas French, Cody Bevan and Christina Speer. (Stacy Moore, Hi-Desert Star
Basin salutes firefighters
Honorees praise their families


By Stacy Moore
Hi-Desert Star
Published: Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:34 AM CDT
JOSHUA TREE — “Our motto is service above self, and that’s what you give every day,” Shannon Luckino, president of the Yucca Valley Noon Rotary, told a room full of firefighters at an annual appreciation dinner Saturday.

Held at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, the dinner is hosted by the Twentynine Palms Rotary and Yucca Valley Noon Rotary Clubs.

Firefighters from Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Homestead Valley and Joshua Tree National Park along with Wonder Valley, Twentynine Palms and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center were honored in the evening’s awards ceremony.

“We’re here for you tonight because you’re always there for us,” Luckino told the room full of uniformed men and women.
 
The firefighters themselves thanked their loved ones often and earnestly.

Led by Division Chief Gary Benedict of the San Bernardino County Fire Department, they stood to give their spouses and significant others an ovation.

“We can’t do our jobs without your support,” Benedict said.

A member of the Black Rock crew, Christina Speer, was honored as Firefighter of the Year for the National Park Service.

“Your actions have exemplified the highest ideals of your profession,” Superintendent Mark Butler told Speer. “Your performance has earned the respect and admiration of your colleagues.”

Speer said it’s she who is grateful to the Hi-Desert and her peers. “It’s a very great honor to serve the community I grew up in,” she told the crowd. “I’m very blessed to be here.”


Dennis Sliney is the Morongo Valley Community Services District’s Firefighter of the Year.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1992 to 1994, Sliney went on to graduate from the Victor Valley Fire Academy. He’s continued to train and improve himself, Chief Curtis Hooper said. Sliney received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and an associates degree in fire science, and recently attended a FEMA course to become a hazardous materials technician.

“He’s always there helping us out and going the extra mile for us,” Hooper said.

His trophy in hand, Sliney thanked the community. “Thank you for all you do for us,” he said.

Michael Terriquez is Firefighter of the Year for Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency.

The 39-year-old father of two was born in East Los Angeles. “He grew up in a neighborhood where you had to know defense tactics to survive,” Chief Rod Delgado said.

Terriquez took up boxing at age 7 and graduated from Garfield High School, made famous by the film “Stand and Deliver” about algebra teacher Jaime Elscalante.

He became a paid-call firefighter in Highland in 2001. “The program required a PCF put in a minimum of 60 hours per month. Mike regularly put in in excess of 300 hours,” Delgado told the audience.

A member of the Cal Fire Station in Yucca Valley for the past two seasons, Terriquez distinguished himself with his work ethic, Delgado said.

“Mike’s determination to better himself is evident every day. I don’t think he takes a moment to slow down,” the chief said.

“He’s the type of firefighter you can put your faith in.”

Holding his award, Terriquez put the praise back on his colleagues and leaders.

“I stand before you a humble man. I did not expect to receive this recognition,” he said. Gesturing to the Cal Fire captains and engineers, he said, “Their dedication to the community and the fire service is beyond words.”

He acknowledged his daughters and wife as well, telling them, “Thank you for the sacrifices you make for my career.”

For the county Fire Department’s Homestead Valley station, Gene Lombardo, a paid-call firefighter, was the Firefighter of the Year.

“This guy here got 1480 on his SATs,” a bemused Benedict told the audience. “Who does that?”

After attending the University of California, Irvine, Lombardo decided to join the fire service. He also earned a contractor’s license and puts his remodeling skills to use at the fire house.

“The greatest thing is the determination we see in him,” Benedict said.

The chief described Lombardo’s actions on “a particularly nasty call in bad weather” on the 40 freeway — a car crash where the occupants were trapped. “There are no resources out there and the airships couldn’t come in because of the weather,” Benedict said. “Not only did he perform the extrication and assist in treating critically injured patients with few resources, he jumped into the ambulance and went with them to the Barstow medical center. Who does that?”

Lombardo thanked Benedict for his accolades. “With my deepest gratitude, it is my honor and privilege to accept this award,” he said.

Dave Faller is the Firefighter of the Year for the county’s Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley stations.

Starting out as a paid-call firefighter, Faller put himself through the fire academy and paramedic school, Benedict said.

For Faller, the chief said, “It all comes down to his perpetual smile. Show them your smile,” he told the firefighter, who had been beaming since he walked into the room.

“Do it again, I missed it,” another fireman called out from the audience to more laughter.

Faller has shepherded the Fire Explorer program in the Basin. “Dave takes the program and it goes from six individuals and not a lot of gear to 17 individuals and he held fundraisers to get them all safety gear,” Benedict said.

Faller teaches at the fire academy and leads drills and training among the local agencies.

“If I call for help, I’m proud to see Dave walk into the house,” Benedict concluded.

Faller said he enjoys working in the community where he grew up and went to school.

“There’s not enough thanks I can give to my wife and kids for the support they give to me,” he told his colleagues.


Source Article:  High Desert Star - Link

EL DORADO COUNTY SAR JOY - SNOWBOARDER

Missing Snowboarder
Department:
Sheriff
Bryan Golmitz
Contact:
Date:
March 26, 2011
Phone#:
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team in partnership with Douglas County Nevada Search and Rescue Team, responded to rescue a lost and stranded snowboarder in the backcountry near Waterhouse Peak.  Waterhouse Peak is located on Forest Service Lands near the El Dorado County and Alpine County Line just south of Christmas Valley, South Lake Tahoe.  At the time of the rescue there was very heavy snow, cold temperatures and falling snow.

Sean Voss from San Francisco and a friend had been backcountry skiing when the two became separated.  Sean was equipped with avalanche equipment to include a shovel and avalanche beacon.  Sean was riding a snowboard when he got trapped in a tree well.  In his efforts to free himself he lost his snowboard, as it was not leashed to him.  Due to the heavy snow load Sean could not walk out.  At about 6:30 pm, Sean called 911 to summon assistance. 

Search and Rescue Teams were assembled and we were able to obtain a GPS coordinates of Sean’s location from his cellular call to 911.  Using Ground Teams, Nordic Teams Snowmobiles and Snow Cats, Search and Rescue teams were able to get to the area where Sean’s GPS Coordinates placed him. 
In an effort to survive, Sean had built a snow cave and was awaiting our arrival.  Due to the fact Sean was in a snow cave, Search and Rescue teams located Sean using their avalanche transceivers. 
Despite being very cold and exhausted Sean was in good health and with the assistance of Ground Teams and Snow Cats, Sean was returned safely.  Sean did not require any medical attention.
If this incident would have gone any other way or Sean not had the equipment and desire to survive, Sean may not have survived this experience.
 
Search and Rescue Teams would like to remind everyone that backcountry experiences can be very dangerous during winter conditions and cold temperatures.  We would like to remind everyone to have a plan and convey this plan to someone not in your recreational party. Have appropriate equipment for the conditions by not wearing cotton clothing.  Wear synthetic fibers and have enough layers to survive if your plan doesn’t go according to plan.  Everyone should travel with a friend and do not separate.  If you become lost do not wander.  If you cannot develop a plan, stay put and have a desire to survive. 

Deputy Greg Almos Jr
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Coordinator

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cal EMA: 2011 Tsunami Awareness Week March 21-26

*The following news release was issued by Cal EMA on Monday, March 21, 2011.*

Cal EMA Announces 2011 Tsunami Awareness Week March 21-26

SACRAMENTO – Today, California Emergency Management Agency Acting Secretary Mike Dayton announced March 21-26 as Tsunami Awareness Week.

“Certainly, the catastrophic disaster in Japan brings to light the need to prepare ourselves and our families for all hazards,” said Acting Secretary Dayton. “I encourage all Californians to join me in setting aside time this week, during Tsunami Awareness Week, to educate themselves on the potential risks we face.”

As part of Cal EMA’s overall awareness and education strategy, Acting Secretary Dayton testified before the Senate Select Committee on Earthquake Preparedness. Dayton provided Senator Corbett and other Committee members a demonstration of Cal EMA’s “My Hazards” website.

“The ‘My Hazards’ page is an integral first step for all Californian’s to develop their own personal preparedness strategy,” said Dayton. “This small investment of time could have tremendous effect on your family.”

More Information: To access the Cal EMA My Hazards page and to find out more information on tsunami readiness resources, visit www.calema.ca.gov.
National Weather Service website: http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov.

Original Source: CALEMA Link Cal EMA Announces 2011 Tsunami Awareness Week March 21-26

CA-SBU CENTER IC 850 acres - 100% contained.

Center Fire


Center Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: March 20, 2011 7:00 pm  
Date/Time Started: March 18, 2011 3:18 pm  
Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit 
County: Inyo County  
Location: Community of Big Pine area  
Acres Burned: 850 acres  
Containment 850 acres - 100% contained.  
Structures Destroyed:19 residences destroyed.Inyo County Building officials continue to asses the outbuildings that may have been damaged or destroyed.  
Evacuations: All evacuations have been lifted.  
Injuries: 1  
Cause: Under Investigation 
Cooperating Agencies: Inyo County Sheriff, US Forest Service, CHP, Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department, Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department, Bishop Volunteer Fire Department, Long Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Wheeler Crest Volunteer Fire Department, BLM, CalTrans & DWP  
Total Fire Personnel: 100 firefighters  
Engines: 10  
Fire crews: 4  
Conditions: Firefighters remain at scene to mop up and patrol for hot spots. Rain continues to fall in the fire area. There is no impact to Highway 395.
The American Red Cross is offering assistance to the victims whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the fire and will be holding a meeting today at 10 a.m. at the Big Pine School to discuss disaster assistance.
Despite the extreme winds, firefighters were able to quickly contain this fire due to the work and cooperation between the volunteer, state, local and federal firefighters, we well as the law enforcement agencies and public works departments.  
Phone Numbers  (760) 873-2427 (Center Fire Information) 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

CATF-2 #USAR Team Returns from #Japan Today

California Task Force 2 Members Returning From Japan

LOS ANGELES – March 18, 2011 – The 74-member California Task Force 2 (CA-TF2) heavy rescue team deployed on March 12 to assist the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) with rescue and recovery efforts in Japan following its 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, and are returning to Los Angeles this afternoon.

They are expected to arrive into LAX at approximately 4:00 p.m. Saturday, March 19th.

(Note: Team members will not be available to do any media interviews at LAX, but will be available for interviews at our Pacoima facility, see below)
“The team spent six days in Japan searching for victims in the Ofunato and Kamaishi City areas, and has completed its mission,” says Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby.

Once the team arrives and clears U.S. Customs at Los Angeles International Airport, members will be transported directly to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue facility, located at 12605 Osborne Street in Pacoima, to awaiting family members and will be available for brief interviews.

The expected time of arrival at the Pacoima facility is anywhere from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. depending on the time required to go through customs.

For more information: Call Fire Captain Mark Savage at (213) 247-7014 or the Public Information Office at (323) 881-2413.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CA-BDU CENTER IC - #WILDFIRE 300 ACRES / EVACUATIONS

New Fire, 300 acres located 1.5 miles south of Big Pine.

Location: 941 Sugarloaf Road, Big Pine CA

Resources: BC 31, BC 3117, CH 2, DV 3, Eng 41, WT 21 all assigned

Updates:
1745hrs located southwest of Big Pine is now 800 acres. About 300 homes on the westside of Big Pine are being evacuated.1630HRS - CA-BDU sending a type 3 engine strike team to Big Pine, California immediate need for structure threat.

Current California Radiation Levels - EPA RadNet

Captured California Nuclear Radiation information For Today.

Due to the heightened interest in West Coast radiation monitoring data, I have curated this selected list of  EPA RadNet data including a snapshot of RadNet Map View which contains monitoring data and additional contextual information from EPA's Radiation Protection Programs.


These Radiation Measurements were capture in real-time for future comparison
CA: EUREKA
Map data ©2011 Europa Technologies, INEGI - Terms of Use
Map
Satellite
Hybrid
1000 mi
1000 km
EPA RadNet Interactive Google United States Radiation Level Map
Eureka California Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: EUREKA
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:02:39 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 06:02:47 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 14
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1958
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1216
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 378
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 176
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 109
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 138
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 63
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 30
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 34

San Francisco Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: SAN FRANCISCO
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:36:52 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:46:58 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 9
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 2057
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1317
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 384
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 210
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 134
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 162
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 102
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 30
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 38

San Jose Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: SAN JOSE
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 01:55:19 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 02:55:27 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): N/A
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1876
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1136
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 354
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 162
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 111
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 153
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 58
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 37
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 51

Sacramento Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: SACRAMENTO
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:00:08 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 06:00:16 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 44
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 1305
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 738
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 206
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 118
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 64
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 77
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 52
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 26
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 41

Anaheim Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: ANAHEIM
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:07:30 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 06:07:38 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 54
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 2866
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1685
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 500
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 257
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 172
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 194
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 122
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 38
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 49

Riverside Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: RIVERSIDE
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 04:49:28 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:49:36 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 72
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 2328
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1403
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 384
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 209
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 121
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 147
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 99
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 49
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 94

Los Angeles Monitor Information:
Fixed Monitor Location: CA: LOS ANGELES
Measurement Start Date/Time: 03/18/2011 05:09:47 PM
Measurement End Date/Time: 03/18/2011 06:09:56 PM
Beta Gross Count Rate (CPM): 70
Gamma Energy Range 2 Gross(CPM): 2325
Gamma Energy Range 3 Gross(CPM): 1304
Gamma Energy Range 4 Gross(CPM): 356
Gamma Energy Range 5 Gross(CPM): 195
Gamma Energy Range 6 Gross(CPM): 120
Gamma Energy Range 7 Gross(CPM): 142
Gamma Energy Range 8 Gross(CPM): 88
Gamma Energy Range 9 Gross(CPM): 38
Gamma Energy Range 10 Gross(CPM): 53
Note: No information was available for San diego monitoring station
Note: Zero Values for "Beta CPM", "Gamma CPM" indicate data not available.
Related Information: Update 1:30 am Japan time
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has released radiation levels for yesterday in the region of Tokyo Electric Power Corp's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Half a kilometre northwest of the No 3 reactor:
1.50pm - 3.484 millisieverts per hour
5:00pm - 5.055 millisieverts per hour
8:00pm - 3.611 millisieverts per hour

And 1.1km west of the No.3 reactor (west gate area):
8.10pm - 0.4476 millisieverts per hour
9pm - 0.4191 millisieverts per hour

The rise in radiation levels could be due to radioactive substances becoming mixed into the water that the Self Defence Forces etc have been spraying on No.3 reactor and escaping as the water is pumped out again, said Japan's public broadcaster NHK.
To put this into perspective, 100 millisieverts received over the course of a year is the lowest level at which any increased cancer risk is evident. A fatal dose is considered to be 5,000 millisieverts - in one hit.

Sources: 
EPA Central Data Exchange - Link
EPA RadNet Public Radiation Map - Link

More Information:
For more information, please call the California Department of Public Health nuclear emergency hotline at 916-341-3947.
Information on Radiation:
CDPH Website: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/RadiationFAQS2011.aspx
CDC Health Effects and Treatment for Radiation Emergencies:
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/healtheffects.asp
Preparing for emergencies:
San Francisco Emergency Preparedness: http://72hours.org
California Be Prepared: http://bepreparedcalifornia.ca.gov/epo

Twitter links

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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