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UNPLANNED OUTAGE  -- [23 AUG 2015 2225 HRS ET] We are continuing progress on the recovery from the server failure.  Status report follows:
  • Listserve traffic -- UP.  All seems to be fine with listserve traffic.
  • Personal email --  UP.  Personal email seems to be flowing well today
  • Main web page, class/society/parent club web pages -- UP.  Sites are rendering significantly faster on the new hardware.  We monitored the logs and turned off a few of the older sites that hadn't been updated but were exhausting our processing/memory resources and removed any software on sites that were causing issues.  If you have issues uploading files via your CMS, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  Sites will not have FTP access yet (final bullet below) and may have some permission issues with Joomla or Wordpress until secure FTP is restored.
  • Virtual sites -- UP.  The virtual sites are up.  Email should also be flowing to these sites as well. If you're still not receiving email addressed to your domain, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  Sites will not have FTP access yet (final bullet below) and may have some permission issues with Joomla or Wordpress until secure FTP is restored.
  • Webmail -- UP.  The latest version of SquirrelMail has been loaded.
  • SFTP access -- DOWN.  ETA 26 AUG.  If you are a webmaster and need to upload files immediately, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
EMAIL MIGRATION  -- The SSL certificate has been updated on the new server. You should no longer get a warning about an untrusted certificate.  We are in the midst of migrating our email in both hardware and software.  We have migrated over 7,000 of our mail users and have about 1,500 to go.  If you would like to know your status, please use https://tools.west-point.org/users/checkmystatus.mhtml  to check.  If you have *not* been migrated, you cannot use SquirrelMail or IMAP.  If you have been migrated, all services are working.

 

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Film showcases West Point stained-glass windows

he stained-glass windows, all 178 of them, are the subject of a new documentary by Norman Shaifer.

West Point is known for molding the Army's top brass, not necessarily for its collection of stained glass.

But the stained-glass windows at its landmark Cadet Chapel are widely considered to be among the finest examples of the art form in the United States.

The windows, all 178 of them, are the subject of a new documentary by Norman Shaifer, a Tappan publisher who specializes in church congregation histories. The documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at one of West Point's most hallowed — and unheralded — sights.

"I have never seen anything like it myself," Shaifer, 83, said during a recent interview at his cluttered office on Main Street. "Nothing comes close — they're so unusual."

The film project took six months. Shaifer said he based much of his research on a 1987 book written by West Point graduates.

Read more... 

 

 
US Army Leaders Make Case for AMPV Decision
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — US Army officials shot down the possibility for a wheeled ambulance variant of the armored multipurpose vehicle (AMPV), just the latest chapter in a drama over the vehicle between industry, the Army and Capitol Hill.

In December, the US Army awarded a contract worth $1.2 billion to BAE Systems to begin building the AMPV. BAE was the only contractor still in the running after General Dynamics Land Systems pulled out of the competition in May, complaining that the Army's requirements unfairly favored the tracked Bradley fighting vehicle derivative that BAE was submitting.

BAE is signed to deliver 29 vehicles in five variants in a 52-month engineering, manufacturing and development phase that will lead to a contract to replace all 2,897 M113 vehicles in the Army's armored brigade combat teams (ABCTs). However, GD lobbied the Hill get its eight-wheeled Stryker vehicle in the running for an ambulance variant and another 1,922 M113s in use supporting echelons above brigade (EAB) the service eventually wants to replace.

In a brief at an Association of the US Army convention here, acquisitions officials strove to put the matter to rest, outlining why the BAE's tracked vehicle provided the best mobility, as compared with the Stryker on a variety of terrain, particularly for an ABCT, and defending the program's fairness.
 
3 West Point grads part of upcoming space missions
Retired Navy Capt. Scott Kelly is set to kick off a year in orbit with a March 27 launch to the International Space Station, but beginning in November, the ISS will take a decidedly Army slant.

Three retired colonels, all U.S. Military Academy graduates, will head skyward starting that month, with Tim Kopra (Class of 1985) off to the station for the more standard visit of about six months. Before Kopra returns to Earth in May 2016, Jeff Williams ('80) will launch in March, returning that September.

The same month Williams lands, Shane Kimbrough ('89) will head into orbit, scheduled to be gone until early 2017.
 
Bergdahl Charged With Desertion and Misbehavior
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured and held by the Taliban and its allies in Afghanistan for five years, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the Army said Wednesday.
 
The case has been referred for a preliminary hearing that’s equivalent to a grand jury in the military’s court-martial system, according to an Army statement.
While Bergdahl’s years in captivity may mitigate any potential punishment, he could face a maximum penalty of life in a military prison if convicted on the charge of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.” The charge of “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” can bring a maximum of five years’ confinement.
 
Both charges also could result in forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge. The Army didn’t disclose details of its case against Bergdahl, and said it won’t answer questions while the case is pending.
 
Bergdahl was released in May in a swap that freed five Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the U.S. said it received warnings that his life was in danger. Since then, the Army has been investigating the circumstances under which he left his unit at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan.
 
U.S. Army apologizes for treatment of soldiers

U.S. Army apologizes for treatment of soldiers exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq

 The undersecretary of the Army apologized Wednesday for the military’s treatment of U.S. service members exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, and announced new steps to provide medical support to those with lingering health effects and to recognize veterans who had been denied awards.

Undersecretary Brad R. Carson acknowledged that the military had not followed its own policies for caring for troops exposed to old and abandoned chemical munitions that had been scattered around Iraq, and vowed improvement. He also said that the Army had reversed a previous decision and approved a Purple Heart medal for a soldier burned by sulfur mustard agent, and Carson said he expected that more medals would be issued to other veterans after further review.

“To me, the scandal is that we had protocols in place and the medical community knew what they were, and yet we failed in some cases to implement this across the theater,” he said. “That was a mistake, and I apologize for that. I apologize for past actions and am going to fix it going forward.”

Carson was appointed last fall by Chuck Hagel, then the defense secretary, to lead a Pentagon working group to identify service members who had been exposed to chemical weapons and offer them medical screening and other support. The effort was in response to an investigation in The New York Times that revealed that the U.S. military had secretly recovered thousands of old and often discarded chemical munitions in Iraq.

Read More... 

 
US Army establishes first manned-unmanned unit
The US Army has established its first manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) squadron, combining Boeing AH-64D/E Apache helicopters with Textron Systems RQ-7B Shadow unmanned air vehicles in one heavy attack-reconnaissance unit.

The Fort Bliss, Texas-based 1/501st Aviation Battalion of the 1st Armoured Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade on 16 March became the first unit to combine manned and unmanned aircraft, reflagging to become the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment.

Although the Apache and Shadow have previously demonstrated MUM-T interoperability, having the two types fall under the same chain of command is the result of “years’ worth of planning”, the army says.

The Shadow is equipped with the new tactical common datalink, which will allow it to be operated alongside Apaches to fulfil the army’s armed aerial scout role previously provided by Bell Helicopter OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, which are due to enter retirement.
 
Statement on March 12 Airstrike in Somalia
DOD news release
 
On March 12 at approximately 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time, working from actionable intelligence, U.S. forces using unmanned aircraft struck a vehicle carrying Adan Garar, a member of al-Shabaab's intelligence and security wing, in the vicinity of Diinsoor, Somalia. The attack was a success and resulted in the death of Garar.
 
Garar was a key operative responsible for coordinating al-Shabaab's external operations, which target U.S. persons and other Western interests in order to further al-Qaida's goals and objectives. He posed a major threat to the region and the international community and was connected to the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. His death has dealt another significant blow to the al Shabaab terrorist organization in Somalia.
 
Continuing Global Tensions Call for Prepared U.S. Military
Peace in our time, which is what Neville Chamberlain called for in a 1938 speech, remains as elusive today as it did after World War I. While the Army has been getting smaller as large-scale combat operations ended in Iraq and Afghanistan, the world is not close to peace at all.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made this clear in a message to the entire Defense Department on the day he was sworn into office. “We confront a turbulent and dangerous world: continuing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, and the malignant and savage terrorism emanating from it; an ongoing conflict in Afghanistan; a reversion to archaic security thinking in parts of Europe; tensions in the Asia-Pacific; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and intensifying threats in cyberspace,” Carter said.
 
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USMA barracks to honor Tuskegee Airmen leader
The newest barracks at the U.S. Military Academy will honor a graduate who never had a roommate while at West Point.

The building will bear the name of Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the Air Force's first black general and a member of Class of 1936, the school announced Monday. Davis, the fourth black graduate from the school and the first in the 20th century, was shunned by the West Point community during his time on campus, with no roommates and no interactions outside official business.
 
 "Living as a prisoner in solitary confinement for four years had not destroyed my personality, nor poisoned my attitude toward other people," he would write in his autobiography, according to his New York Times obituary from 2002.
 
 
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