Kawan Baru FALL 2015
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CONTENT 10 KAWAN BARU
Cover photo: Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess
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Courtesy photo gofundme
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Story by Tech Sgt. Tim Chacon 4 - EVERGREEN MAGAZINE VOL.II // ISSUE 4
GUARDING THE STATE AGAINST WILDFIRES
Multiple wildfires burning across Washington state have led to the activation of service members from both the Army and Air National Guard to help assist with the fire response.
A portion of the fire intersects with the Pacific Coast Trail, a hiking trail that runs 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. Hikers along the trail are often unaware of the dangers around them.
Of the more than 300 guardsmen mobilized statewide, more than 100 are attached to the Norse Peak fire near Mt. Rainer National Park to assist the 600 fire personnel working to control the fire.
“We have had several hikers come through here and we had to stop them,” said Spc. Jackson Meekins, 303rd Cavalry Squadron who was manning one of the security check points. “If they want to continue on the trail we have someone come pick them up and drive them to an area “We have three hand crews actively fighting the fire protecting structhat is safe for them to continue on the trail. tures and people’s land,” said Capt. Daniel Baker, Some of them are pretty upset about it, because officer in charge of Washington National Guard personnel supporting the Norse Peak Fire. THESE ARE SOLDIERS they hike a long way and want to complete the whole trail, but it’s for their own safety they “They are removing brush from the path of the THESE ARE SOLDIERS AND AND AIRMEN don’t travel through here.” fire to eliminate fuels for the fire. They clear wood or organic material that can burn, for a VOLUNTEERING TOTO AIRMEN VOLUNTEERING Encounters at the checkpoints have been mostpreventative measure of fighting the fire and to DEFEND THEIR ly pleasant and are of an informational nature. keep it from spreading.” DEFEND THEIR HOME.
“Mostly it is curious visitors who want to know why the road [or area] is closed and when will it be open again,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sheri Poland, 262nd Network “There are both Army and Air National Guardsmen doing security opera- Warfare Squadron industrial control systems flight chief. “Some interactions here at checkpoints on the roads and [fire camp],” said Baker. “They tions are a little complicated because at some locations people can access the area on one side of the road but not the other.” make sure only authorized personnel are coming onto the site.” Along with the hand crews many other guardsmen are contributing to the fire response.
The guardsmen at the check points along the roads are also able to keep Despite making up a small portion of the total force, Washington National Guardsmen are making a big impact due to the quality and amount of travelers out of potentially dangerous areas and redirect them to safer work they are doing. routes. MIL.WA.GOV VOL II // ISSUE 3 - 5
“The feedback we are getting from the Department of Natural Resources and the Spokane County fire department has been really positive,” said Baker. “They are very impressed with what we bring to the table, how fast we catch on and how hard we are willing to work.” Despite the long hours and difficult work conditions the guardsmen continue to work hard and stay positive. “Everyone here is really motived and happy to be out here. For a lot them [both Army and Air Guard] this is their first time on state active duty and it really gives them a better understanding of what we do and an appreciation of what it means to serve,” said Baker. “Hopefully the incident management teams we have worked with will tell their counter parts and peers how hard we work and about the capabilities we can bring, so we can better work together in the future,” Baker continued. “We want to take the lessons learned here and share them not only across the task force, but across the state.”
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cory Grogan
Introducing the 56th Theater Information Operations Group
194th Wing Provides Mentorship to Youth Academy:
UNDER THEIR WING BY STEVEN FRIEDERICH
More than a dozen airmen from the 194th Air Wing https:// www.mil.wa.gov/194th-regional-support-wing spent the day at the Washington Youth Academy recently to get a feel for the school, the cadets and to potentially become mentors. Chief Master Sgt. Jim Hunt says it’s the start of what he hopes becomes a fruitful partnership. Washington Youth Academy Director Larry Pierce said that the Academy sometimes struggles to find mentors for cadets. Meantime, Hunt says the 194th has Airmen all over the state that may be willing to step in and fill a gap. “If we can pass on what we have learned to be mentors with each other to the youngest of these citizens and help them out, that’s a goal worthwhile,” Hunt said. Mentors are a critical element of a cadet’s success, especially once the teens leave the Academy and go back to their home
life. Mentors provide emotional support, advice and guidance to help the younger person deal with the challenges of life. The goal is to help the cadet gain the skills and confidence to deal with those situations and be able and responsible to make good choices in the future. As part of entry into the Youth Academy, cadets are required to find mentors, with an emphasis on someone the cadet already knows, but isn’t an immediate family member and doesn’t live with the cadet. But sometimes the mentor arrangement doesn’t work out or a mentor has to move. That leaves it up to the cadet and the Youth Academy to find a replacement. A skilled member of the 194th may be a solution to help out, Hunt said. “The goal was not only to get an orientation of what they
do here, but to pique our interest in the mentorship
program and also to learn as much as we can to bring back to our people,” Hunt said. “I’m really looking forward to learning to do this. Everyone who works for me has the potential to be a good mentor. … The beauty of it is we have people spread out all over the state. The unit I’m associated with has two detached units at Fairchild in Spokane. That’s another couple hundred people we can get interested in this cause.” Hunt, who has been with the Washington Air National Guard for nine years, said his tour on Oct. 12 was the first time he had been at the Academy, noting he was spurred to find out more information after hearing Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty talk about it at recent town hall meetings. Hunt and other airmen ate lunch with cadets and had a chance to talk to them about why they were attending the Academy and what they hoped to gain from being here. “There’s no way you could have met with these kids today and walked away not wanting to fulfill that role,” Hunt said. “You don’t have a heart if you walk away feeling you can’t be a part of this.” Pierce notes that there would be good synergy if more mentors from the Air National Guard come about. Brig. Gen. Jeremy C. Horn is both in charge of the Air National Guard and the Washington Youth Academy. Pierce notes that although the school is a program of the National Guard, it’s not about turning cadets into soldiers. “We’re not making soldiers, we’re making good citizens,” Pierce told the 194th visitors during a presentation. “That’s the theory behind ChalleNge. Our job is to make good citizens. If they happen to go to the military, that’s just what happens.” Learn about WYA Mentors: https://www.mil.wa.gov/youth-academy/mentor-resources See the WYA Mentor requirements: https://www.mil.wa.gov/uploads/pdf/ youth-academy/forms/complete-mentor-application.pdf Photo by Staff Sgt. VIrginia M. Owens
By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess
Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA -Gathered in an open foyer of the Malaysian Ministry of Defence overlooking the sprawling and complex skyline of Kuala Lumpur, the leaders of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Washington National Guard signed a written agreement pledging each other’s commitment to build enduring relationships through sustained cooperation on areas of mutual interest. Maj. Gen. Bret D. Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, and General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces, signed the agreement on August 16, 2017 as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP). SPP is a Department of Defense joint security cooperation program administered by the National Guard Bureau that links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces of a partner country in order to build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with U.S. allies around the world. This brings together trained forces to interact in a broad range of cooperative engagements on various topics including homeland defense, disaster response, crisis management and inter-agency cooperation. Although the partnership with Malaysia will begin by engaging the two organization’s armed forces, Daugherty hopes that after continued collaboration we will soon be able to link
Kawan Baru civilian areas of government for a more robust partnership. “I’m hopeful that our partnership will grow over time to areas beyond just the military. Areas like commerce, education, health care and energy,” Daugherty said. “These are just a few areas that I think Malaysians and people from the state of Washington can explore together.” The SPP has been successfully building relationships around the globe for more than 20 years and this agreement marks the 73rd unique partnership under the SPP and is Washington’s second. Thailand is Washington’s other partner nation. “What we have signed today will move us forward, not an inch but leap-frog us forward for better cooperation,” General Affandi said. “This partnership will open the gateway for more dedicated cooperation and commits us to work collectively toward our common goals.” With Washington now having two partner countries that border each other, Daugherty hopes to leverage their proximity to begin engaging the three countries together. “When you look at other states that have two partnership countries sometimes they’re
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess
on two completely different continents,” Daugherty said. “It’s a really unique opportunity for us to be able to not only work just with Thailand or just with Malaysia, but to do some trilateral work between all three of us at some point in the future.” “For more than 60 years, the U.S. is proud to have partnered with Malaysia to enhance regional security,” said Lieutenant Colonel Sukhdev Purewal, Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at U.S. Embassy, Kuala Lumpur.
“By leveraging all the various aspects of the multi-faceted SPP, the signing of this agreement marks another important milestone in the strengthening of this long-standing relationship.”
The State Partnership Program arose from a 1991 U.S. European Command decision to pair reserve component soldiers and airmen with the armed forces of the then newly formed nations of the Baltic Region following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.
How do I get promoted? Stay FIT KEEP LEARNING FINISH YOUR SSD GO TO SCHOOLS BE FLEXIBLE BE Proactive Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess
Remembering A Leader
By Capt. Joseph Siemandel
aj. Gen. (Ret) Tim Lowenberg once said he wanted to be remembered as a general that took care of the soldiers â€“ and never backed away from a challenge. His legacy will far exceed his wishes.
On August 27, Lowenberg, the former adjutant general of the Washington Military Department and commander of the Washington National Guard, unexpectedly died at the age of 70.
He helped oversee a time of deep transition for the state agency, with soldiers being deployed to the Middle East, emergency preparedness coming into focus for the state and a brand new school coming online to give troubled teens a second chance. He served as the adjutant general from 1999 to 2012, highlighting a career that spanned more than 44 years in the U.S. Air Force.
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“I want to be remembered as someone that took care of the troops, never backed down from a challenge and loved everything he did,” said Lowenberg. “He was a great leader, mentor and friend to all of us and led our team through many difficult challenges during his 13 years as adjutant general,” said Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, the current adjutant general. “America’s freedom endures because of those who answer the call to serve. General Lowenberg was the epitome of service, and on behalf of a grateful state and nation, I want to thank him and his family for their service and sacrifice,” Gov. Jay Inslee said after hearing of Lowenberg’s death. Lowenberg’s impact and dedication to service will leave a lasting impression on the U.S. Air Force and the Washington Military Department. Prior to his retirement, Lowenberg sat down to provide a historic look back at his career, talking about his life, legacy and service to our nation. Lowenberg was raised in the small rural town of Donnellson, Iowa and after graduating high school, enrolled at the University of Iowa in 1964. At the time, all freshmen were required to take first year Reserve Officer Training Corps classes, and he enjoyed the experience and continued. “I was influenced a lot by an uncle who served in the Army, and then two tours in the Navy in World War II,” said Lowenberg in the 2012 interview. “I wanted to serve in any way I could.”
After receiving his commission in 1968, Lowenberg started law school at Iowa. “Along with an ROTC scholarship, I had to work multiple jobs to pay for school and that continued all the way through law school,” he recalled. After completing law school in 1971, Lowenberg served on active duty at McChord Air Force base. Originally assigned as personal affairs officer with the 62nd Air Base Group, he was reassigned as a judge advocate a year later. In May of 1978, Lowenberg, then a major, left active duty and joined the Washington Air National Guard as a Judge Advocate Staff Officer. “I left active service. I did enjoy service, but like most guardsmen I wanted to have it all, serve my country, I wanted to be in uniform, and wanted to pursue my own interests,” Lowenberg recalled. His first few years in the National Guard weren’t what he was expecting. In his historical interview, Lowenberg recalls that the Guard of the late ’70s was not up to the standards he had grown accustomed to in the active duty. “I had been in the Guard about a year and a half and I remember walking into the Air Guard Chief of Staff’s office, it was a
colonel as I recall, and asking for a transfer to the Air Force Reserve,” said Lowenberg. “He asked me to tell him more, and I did, and at the end of the conversation he said, ‘Would you give us a try for another year? If you still feel the same way I will sign your paperwork.’” Later that year, Col. Robert Collins was named the adjutant general of the Washington National Guard, and one of his first calls was to Maj. Lowenberg. “He asked me, ‘Remember the conversation we had, remember the things that were broken? Can I count on you to help me change them?’” said Lowenberg. “If he had been threatened or offended by my candor, I might have just well been in and out of the Guard.” In May 1989, Col. Lowenberg was promoted to the assistant adjutant general for the Air National Guard. This is where Lowenberg and his fellow general officers MIL.WA.GOV VOL II // ISSUE 3 - 17
Remembering A Leader started breaking down walls. The post-Vietnam war military was very different than it is today. Army National Guard and Air National Guard headquarters were separated. No information was being shared and the relationship between professional officers was very stand-offish. “The adjutant general would hold leaders meetings, we were friendly but it always seemed like we were at arm’s length from one another.” After a successful four and a half years as the assistant adjutant general, then Brig. Gen. Lowenberg was selected to work at the Pentagon as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Air Force. For six years, he worked on multiple high profile assignments that would shape the Air Force. It was while planning a United Nations’ peace keeping trip to Haiti, Lowenberg got the call that would bring him back to Washington state. “I clearly remember it was a 2 o’clock on a Friday afternoon, with a change of command ceremony already scheduled for noon the following Monday, no announce18 - EVERGREEN MAGAZINE VOL.II // ISSUE 4
ment had been made and I didn’t think I was a serious candidate for adjutant general,” said Lowenberg. “I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, and my receptionist called back to my office and said Governor Locke is on the phone, and I am thinking he is going to tell me who he picked.” The offer to be the adjutant general came as a shock for Lowenberg. “I hadn’t even talked to my law partners about a change in career, so we had a quick huddle and it was something you follow your heart in.” On Sept. 13, 1999, Lowenberg became the adjutant general. “I remember mostly the feeling of responsibility for getting it right and setting the tone right from the beginning,” said Lowenberg. “Until that point only one Air National Guardsman had served as the adjutant general.” Lowenberg took the position with a great focus. In 1995, the Washington Military Department took over responsibility for Emergency Management. Not only would Lowenberg be the adjutant general, he also was the director of emergency management and the homeland security advisor to the governor. “At the time, the Guard was very much, militarily, a strategic reserve. But because of the other part of the Military Depart-
ment portfolio, our Emergency Management oversight for state and local agencies, because of our access to intelligence information, what shaped my perspective from the earliest days was, long before I became adjutant general, we had gone a decade with terrorist activities that came close to home.” Right away, Lowenberg helped Locke stand up a statewide committee on terrorism. He realized that the Guard could have a bigger role to play in global defense and counter-terrorism. While in Montana to attend a meeting with national emergency management directors, Lowenberg learned of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In the public eye, National Guardsmen began standing armed at airports across the country, providing security and reassuring passengers. Behind the scenes the Guard was also beefing up operations overseas. In Nov. 2003, more than 3,000 members of the 81st Brigade Combat Team reported for active duty service at Ft. Lewis to begin training for a deployment to Iraq. “I anticipated the deployment of every element of our force, I didn’t anticipate this was going to be a short-term engagement,” Lowenberg recalled. “But you prepare for the worst and gladly accept anything less than that, but you always think big and plan for that.”
In August 2011, the Washington National Guard’s Homeland Response Force was certified, becoming the second in the nation, and ready to support Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 10 during large scale disasters. They would be tested less than 20 months later when called to respond to the State Route 530 land slide in Oso, Washington.
After a short train up period during the winter of 2004, 3,000 Washingtonians in the 81st Brigade Combat Team mobilized and spent 2004 and part of 2005 in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. At home, Lowenberg oversaw the morphing of the Western Air Defense Sector, which has grown significantly since 2001, and worked heavily at the national level to see the creation of the 10th Civil Support Team.
On July 28, 2012, Lowenberg retired from the Washington National Guard passing the torch to Daugherty.
“One of my biggest regrets was not getting into theater more, and visiting the troops, the rigorous schedule of being adjutant general kept me here.” Deployments not only kept the Guard busy from 2003-2009, the National Guard was also responding to multiple state emergencies, including floods, fires, snow storms and national emergencies such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ground on a 17,000 square foot facility in Bremeras well as supporting multiple Olympic games in ton for the Washington Youth Academy. Even after retiring from service in 2012, Lowenberg stayed Salt Lake City and Vancouver, B.C. active with the Washington Youth Academy, was In March 2008, Lowenberg along with Gov. Chris active with the Youth Academy’s foundation and Gregoire and Congressman Norm Dicks broke was on stage in December 2016 to congratulate the 2,000th graduate of the program.
“General Lowenberg has been an invaluable advisor and confidant to me since the day I became Governor,” Gregoire said in a 2012 release. “His leadership at the state and national level on military issues, homeland security and domestic preparedness are second to none. He deserves a wonderful retirement, but he will be sorely missed.”
Lowenberg was the second longest-serving adjutant general since the Washington Territorial Militia was first fielded in 1855. His time in office was second only to Major General Maurice Thompson, a Washington National Guard icon who served for nearly half One of the last impacts that Lowenberg made of a century in the Guard; 27 of those years during his tenure as the adjutant general was the as adjutant general. standing up of the Washington National Guard “I want to be remembered as someone Homeland Response Force. that took care of the troops, never backed “We need to be able to deploy anywhere, and be down from a challenge and loved everyprepared to deploy anywhere around the world,” thing he did,” said Lowenberg. Lowenberg said. MIL.WA.GOV VOL II // ISSUE 3 - 19
Around the Department
Command Sgt. Major Abby West read â€˜Twas the Night Before Christmas to a group of captivated, wide-eyed children during a holiday concert at the Auburn Performing Arts Center. The performance was part of an annual holiday concert put on by the 133rd Army Band.
Photos by Photos by Staff Sgt. Virginia M. Sgt. David Owens Carnahan 20 - EVERGREEN MAGAZINE VOL.II // ISSUE 4
Around the Department
The Environmental Programs applied for a 2017 Department of Defense Legacy Grant funding through the National Environmental Education Foundation in order to work on restoration areas in Camp Murray. On September 30 (National Public Lands Day) and October 28 (Pierce County Volunteer Planting Event), volunteers from the Washington Youth Academy and the local community came out to work in the Camp Murray Pollinator Garden and in the riparian corridor along Murray Creek. Environmental staff wanted to utilize grant funds to build on currently successful projects that enrich the natural resources at Camp Murray. On September 30, volunteers helped to plant native plant species In the pollinator garden that are expected to bloom next spring and support local pollinators on Camp Murray.
They also created walkways and removed invasive plant species so that next spring the hillside will be full of native wildflowers. The hope for this pollinator garden is that those working at Camp Murray can stop by and enjoy watching pollinators in action. In the riparian corridor on October 28, volunteers performed invasive plant species removal and planted native shrubs to expand the current riparian habitat. This riparian habitat is important for erosion control and to protect marine life in the Murray Creek and American Lake. Volunteers on both days did an amazing job. On your next venture outside, go and check it out!
Around the Department
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Alpha Female Story and Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess
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On Friday, October 13th, the soldiers of Alpha Troop gathered together in the tiny National Guard armory in Puyallup, Washimgton. to witness the first ever cavalry-qualified female take command of a troop in the Army. Capt. Samantha Domingue took command of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment (1-303rd CAV), 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). “The squadron is already leading with a female platoon leader in Bravo Troop,” said Lt. Col. Chris Blanco, commander, 1-303rd CAV. “We have strong females in almost every formation. This was the next logical step to progress, not only for the squadron and where it’s at but the Guard in general.” Domingue said that she is honored to have been considered for the position and that she doesn’t take the task lightly. “I am new to the Armor community, so to be considered for a troop command is a privilege.” Domingue said. Domingue’s assumption of command marks a new milestone for the Army and National Guard as the military continues to integrate women into combat roles previously only held by their male counterparts. Domingue comes to “Assassin” Troop in the midst of a major transformation and reorganization within the Washington National Guard. The reorganization of the 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team removed the 1-303rd, placing the command and control of the historic unit between 96th Troop Command, Washington National Guard and the 41st IBCT, headquartered in Oregon.
“It’s going to be a long and challenging year ahead,” Domingue said after her ceremony. “But we’ve got the right soldiers, so I have the faith that we can overcome any challenge.” The squadron is currently preparing for an eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) rotation at Fort Hunter Liggett and Camp Roberts in California. XCTC is a brigade field training exercise designed to certify platoon proficiency in coordination with First Army. Despite the high operational tempo for A Troop, Blanco says that he has no doubt that she is the right person to lead the unit through this demanding exercise and the ensuing years.
“You look across the formation and you try to recognize talent,” Blanco said. “She is the right fit for the right time.” Domingue hopes that her assumption of command inspires other officers to pursue leadership opportunities outside of their respective career paths. “Cross pollination of talent and knowledge is necessary for the betterment of the organization. If there are officers or soldiers on the fence about [changing career paths], I hope my command motivates them to pursue those positions.” Command Sgt. Major Brian Rikstad, squadron command sergeant major, added that the squadron has always led from the front. “Capt. Domingue is both physically and mentally tough and will provide Alpha Troop a diversity of talent, temperament and expertise.” Domingue is a graduate of the Army Reconnaissance Course, Cavalry Leader’s Course and Maneuver Captains Career Course. MIL.WA.GOV VOL II // ISSUE 3 - 23
TRUST THE PROCESS BY STEVEN FRIEDERICH
When an unidentified aircraft comes up on the screens at the Western Air Defense Sector, it took 18 distinct steps and a whole host of people to decide whether to scramble jets and determine if the aircraft posed a threat. Today, after a vigorous process improvement effort, it now takes three distinct steps, an accomplishment Brig. Gen. Jeremy Horn was proud to announce during a panel at the Washington State Government Lean Transformation Conference on Oct. 17. With a conference theme of “Growing a culture of problem solvers,” Horn explained why it was important to empower employees to look for and solve problems – and why managers and even military officers need to sometimes get out of the 24 - EVERGREEN MAGAZINE VOL.II // ISSUE 4
way and allow risks for efficiencies to becomes obvious. The prime example of letting employees take risks lies with the Western Air Defense Sector, where employees were used to a process that hadn’t changed in a long time, Horn said. But by letting employees take a hard look at the existing processes – and getting buy-in for change, lives are safer. “One of our organizations that you probably don’t even know about but you sleep better at night because it exists is the Western Air Defense Sector,” Horn told the mostly civilian audience. “We call them WADS, responsible for 24-7 monitoring of the air space between the Mississippi River up to Alaska, the entire western part of our United States, 70 percent of our land
mass. They are keeping constant vigilance making sure the bad guys aren’t coming into the air space unannounced.” Horn explained that a junior person seeing a blip on the screen would get the first indication that something may be wrong. Then, a sergeant would be notified. Then, another sergeant. Then, a watch officer. “And then they would have to go to a commander for a final decision on what to do,” Horn added. “So, they looked at this and all the steps on this and figured we could tighten it up, make it more accurate and be in a shorter duration. They realized they could do it better.” Horn said they used a value stream mapping to figure out how the system currently worked and what the ideal process would be. (http://leanmanufacturingtools.org/551/creating-a-value-stream-map/ )
Photo by Steven Friederich
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“What they were able to do is eliminate the steps that added no value and also do steps that allowed things to happen at the same time, in a parallel function,” Horn said. “They were able to take it down from 18 steps to three distinct steps and one of the tools they used was collaborative information sharing, where that young sensor operator could post something to a collaborative communications tool one time, and hopefully people can see that and have the information they need to begin their work to get the information they need to get it all to the commander.” “By taking 18 steps down to three, it reduced the engagement cycle significantly and it increased the accuracy because the process was more transparent,” Horn said.
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Hollie Jensen, the enterprise lean leader for Gov. Jay Inslee’s Results Washington initiative, noted that the lean process worked the way it was supposed to, identifying a gap from the beginning “and instead of saying this thing doesn’t work, we better fix it, you said, ‘What is the real gap and where are we headed?’” “How did you create a safe space to make it work?” she asked. “What we found out is if it’s our Continuous Process Improvement Office
going around and telling people, ‘you need to fix this,’” Horn said. “That’s not a way to succeed. If it’s a senior leader saying, we have a problem, help us figure out a way to fix it and here’s the tools to do it, it’s a much better way. Better it comes from a grassroots perspective, to have our employees be empowered to fix problems in order to try to innovate.” Horn offered another bit of wisdom, he says he recently had his team come together to craft a mission statement and wanted the ideas to come from everyone, not necessarily him. “The more senior I become in the organization, the more I realize that my ideas become “Go Dos” – and so I need to be very cautious of that,” he said. “It could be very easy to have things be a top driven team.” Horn shared the stage for about an hour with State Auditor Pat McCarthy, who emphasized the value of performance audits; Department of Revenue Deputy Director Marcus Glasper, who talked about being cognizant of public input and not creating policies in a vacuum; and Michael Meotti, executive director of the Washington Student Achievement Council, who noted that facilitating is connecting interested parties, working with them and learning to walk away.
FIND OUT MORE IN THE NEXT ISSUE...
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By Spc. Brianne Kim
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hen a disaster strikes, resources are put to the test. Especially in smaller, rural communities. “We’re a small critical access hospital so we would anticipate in a real situation that we’re probably going to get a lot of patients and might even get overrun so it’s a great exercise for us to find out where the holes are,” said Nick Greeley, a registered nurse at Summit Pacific Medical Center. To strengthen its emergency response, the Summit Pacific Medical Center recently teamed up with the Washington National Guard and Grays Harbor County to conduct a regional exercise on October 14, 2017 in Elma, Washington. The exercise focused on incident response, decontamination (DECON) capabilities and medical treatment in the event of a major disaster. The exercise simulated an earthquake scenario causing damage to tanks and piping at Vertellus, a local chemical plant, resulting in the release of methanol and isopropylamine chemicals. Mock casualties contaminated with the chemicals were sent to Summit Pacific Medical Center for treatment. Training on DECON procedures is an important aspect for Summit Pacific hospital staff given the Vertellus plant is located just miles away, and contaminated patients are a real possibility for the hospital and Grays Harbor County. “We’re cross training with the hospital staff so that they can get practice utilizing their equipment and better understand the DECON process,” said Sgt. 1st Class Courtney Serad, a DECON land supervisor with 792nd Chemical Company.
D E C O N
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During the exercise, guardsmen acting as mock casualties were sent through the DECON process at the incident site and then transported to the hospital by Grays Harbor EMTs before going through the hospital’s DECON process and receiving medical treatment. “The decontamination station is where [hospital staff ] will be doing an undress, so cutting casualties out of clothing to try and remove the large amount of contaminate, and then doing a wash and rinse within the tent,” Serad said. “They got more practice with their equipment and they understand the DECON process so that in the event they have to do it themselves they’re prepared to do so.” In the event of an earthquake that disrupts infrastructure, if the limited staff that is trained and familiar with the DECON equipment cannot get to the hospital then it will be up to those with less knowledge and experience handling the equipment to set it up and begin operations, Greeley explained. “We need to be able to do that so I feel that we probably need to have more of our core staff regularly drilling on this.” The exercise not only enabled hospital staff to become more experienced with DECON procedures but also
strengthened the relations between the Washington National Guard and local emergency responders, ensuring that if the time comes each agency will be able to work seamlessly together to successfully care for casualties as quickly as possible. “There can be scenarios that are so big that we all have to work together quickly and efficiently even if we don’t routinely work together,” Greeley said. “And so I find that an exercise like this is really, really helpful to just see how different components of the machine work together. It’s hugely important to make sure we are all communicating well and we understand the plan so we can do the most good as quickly as possible for people that need help.” “Working with the community is a massive, massive benefit because this is what we do as the National Guard. We’re local state responders, our primary focus is how are we going to respond with locals when we need to whether it’s wild land fires or floods or in a scenario like this where we’re practicing for an earthquake,” Serad said. “Anytime we can get out into our local communities and practice these scenarios and how we’re going to interact and how we’re going to engage and build relationships is a huge, huge benefit.” MIL.WA.GOV VOL II // ISSUE 3 - 31
Around the Department
Steve Pool from KOMO4 News Station came to the Academy on October 7th to speak to the cadets. Steve was able to give them some words of wisdom as well as answer some of the cadetâ€™s questions. Photos courtesy of Hollie Stark
Photos by Staff Sgt. Virginia M. Owens
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Around the Department
Earlier this week, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess, 122nd Public Affairs Operations Center, joined other service members at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex to place the service stickers on the Seattle Seahawks helmets. All NFL teams wears the stickers at games in November as part of the NFL/USAA Salute to Service.
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Around the Department
Thank you, EMD Staff Your food and toy drive donations have been delivered. Both organizations were genuinely grateful for the donations. Here’s what was donated: Nourish Pierce County Food Bank: The staff donated 12 large boxes of food and $175. For the monetary donation, the food bank will be able to purchase $1,225 worth of food because for every dollar donated they can purchase $7 worth of food. That’s amazing!! Dozens of competitors from across the state took to the mat for the 2016 Washington Army and Air National Guard Combatives Tournament at Camp Murray, Wash., Jan. 9-10, 2016.
Toy Drive – Joint Support Services Holiday Toy Event: They donated 2 large boxes full of toys. This year there are 485 local kids signed up for this program. Parents will pick out toys for their children and food for their holiday meal during this event.
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On August 16, 2017, Washington formally entered into a partnership with Malaysia under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. This is Washington’s second partner nation after Thailand. The SPP connects a state’s National Guard with a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship in order to foster longterm friendships with U.S. and allies around the world.
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EMAP TO SUCCESS
By Mark Stewart
It seems as if there is no civilian government program that uses more acronyms than emergency management. CEMP. EOC. EAS. IMT. ICS. NIMS. SAR. FMAG. The list goes on. Recently the Military Department’s Emergency Management Division added another acronym to its arsenal – EMAP. It stands for Emergency Management Accreditation Program, and it represents something EMD is working toward – national accreditation for the state’s emergency management program. EMAP, run by a non-profit organization affiliated with the Council of State Governments and the National Emergency Management Association, provides a national standard for emergencmanagement programs. A commission of experienced emergency
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management professionals from local, state and federal governments, academia, and the non-profit sector governs the organization. “Accreditation validates that a state emergency management program meets industry standards,” said Ed Taylor, the Emergency Management Division’s EMAP project manager. “It provides credibility for our program to stakeholders that include the Governor and Legislature, state agencies, the public, FEMA, and even other states.” Currently, emergency management programs of 32 states and the District of Columbia are fully accredited. Three local programs in Washington – King and Pierce Counties and the City of Seattle – are accredited.
Accreditation is a multi-step process that many EMD staff have been deeply involved in the past few months. Currently, EMD is in the self-assessment phase. This where the state emergency management program evaluates itself against the 64 standards that make up EMAP accreditation. The EMD self- assessment identified 16 areas that need additional work or documentation. “The projects we’re working on include things like bringing the EMD strategic plan into compliance with the standard, developing a multi-year training and exercise program, and updating training records and emergency plans and procedures,” Taylor said. Taylor is quick to point out that evaluation and accreditation is not solely for EMD, but for the state’s emergency management program as a whole. The state program involves other agencies ranging from the departments of Health and Agriculture to the Washington State Patrol and the Fusion Center. “We have the most difficult projects to come,” said Taylor. “For example, all state agency continuity of operations plans need to meet the EMAP standard, and we have to complete a continuity of government plan.” This plan would provide a framework for continuing critical Washington state government operations following a catastrophic disaster.
plete, Taylor said EMD will ask for an on-site assessment. Experienced emergency managers from around the country provide a peer review of the state program against the 64 standards. The state must meet every standard to qualify for accreditation. The on-site peer reviewers send their findings to the EMAP Commission, which reviews results and grants accreditation, good for five years. The last step in the accreditation process requires the state to maintain its emergency management program and provide an annual progress report to the EMAP Commission. Taylor said the plan is to complete the self-assessment phase by June 30, 2018, and for the on-site assessment to take place in the Fall of 2018, with accreditation in the Spring of 2019. “What I hope comes of this is that we can establish a culture of documentation, continuity and continuous improvement for the state’s emergency management program,” said Taylor. Cost to the state for accreditation is about $13,000, which pays for self-assessment training, on-site peer review, and related activities. EMD is paying for the accreditation process.
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Communications Director Karina Shagren State Public Affairs Officer Capt. Joseph F. Siemandel Chief Editor Spc. Tyler Main Copy Editor Virginia Owens Contributors Sgt. 1st CLass Jason Kriess Spc. Brianne Kim Steven Friederich Tech. Sgt. Tim Chacon Sgt. David Carnahan Hollie Stark Mark Stewart
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NEW STATE PARTNERSHIP WITH MALAYSIA; FIRST FEMALE CAVALRY-QUALIFIED COMMANDER IN THE ARMY