Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: 'Web/Tech' (5) Currently Viewing: 1 - 5 of 5

June 7, 2013 at 8:46am

Morning Report: PRISM Internet spying, DOD moves to mobile devices, new superman and more ...

Airmen with the 451st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron emplace chemical lights for a helicopter landing zone at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, June 1. Photo: Senior Airman Scott Saldukas

INTERNET SPYING: The National Security Agency and the FBI have been pulling personal data directly from the mainframes of nine top US tech giants, including Apple, Google and Facebook, for the past six years as part of a top-secret initiative codenamed PRISM.

SECUIRTY: The Defense Department wants to provide secure access to information from any device, anywhere and anytime, but the priority is security.

OH NO: Five organizations with "veterans" in their name made the list of "America's Worst Charities."

YEMEN: It's one of the most heavily armed countries in the world.

SYRIA: How Saudi Arabia and Qatar are fighting to control the Syrian rebels.

POSITION CLASSIFICATION PROCESS: New classification submission process now Air Force-wide.

AIR FORCE: Logistics Airmen own the night during joint-service training.

DRONES: Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are working with the military at Fort Benning to test the ability of drones to perform tasks that may help in reconnaissance missions.

ARMY'S NET ZERO: The energy initiative is a model for the private sector and a testament to the "art of the possible."

THE HULK: The superhero(?) wants you to read.


Filed under: Morning Report, Web/Tech,

May 10, 2013 at 9:52am

Let's talk award-winning online education

Brandman University - part of the Chapman University System (founded in 1958) - has always striven to meet the needs of veterans and active military members. In Washington state alone, the university system has campuses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Joint Base Lewis-McChord (class graduated yesterday!), NAS Whidbey Island, NBK Bangor and a campus in Lacey. Brandman just got a little bonus recognition for its efforts - it was named the second best online school in the country for undergrad programs for veterans by U.S. News & World Report.

You want to go to college? You want to go to a good college? You look to the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, yo.


Filed under: Education, Veterans, Web/Tech,

July 29, 2011 at 12:13pm

JBLM mental health services extends reach

Dr. Daniel Christensen, on screen, Madigan’s chief of Soldier Readiness Service, chats with a room full of Telehealth and Technology’s Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery workshop participants July 21. (Photo by Ingrid Barrentine)

Imagine being a psychologist sitting across from your patient.

Now imagine that patient is actually hundreds of miles away.

The first-ever live Introduction to Telemental Health Delivery Workshop at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology's (T2) headquarters on Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week offered guidance to providers on offering mental health services from a distance - in this case, using videoconferencing technology.

"The (Department of Defense) is pushing for this form of care because it's a way to reach a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't get care," T2 clinical health psychologist Dr. Greg Kramer said.

Kramer was one of the all-day workshop's presenters. About 25 health care professionals from every military branch attended the training, some coming from as far away as Japan. The idea was to build a knowledge base so that clinicians can provide care even when their patient is too far to get to.

The session included information on the history of teletechnology in health care, addressed legal concerns and gave them the chance to practice videoconferencing with each other.

"It allows them to get comfortable with the technology," Kramer said.

In fact, the use of remote technology in mental health care is relatively new. Efforts to incorporate it into DOD policies and procedures increased in the late 2000s.

Since then emphasis on these programs has increased, in hopes to better serve those who live in areas where there are shortages of mental health care providers. An estimated 87 million Americans live in places where care is scarce, and up to 25 percent of servicemembers screen positive for mental health concerns, according to T2's Introduction to Telemental Health.

"This allows us to provide things like telepsychiatric appointments especially in rural and high needs areas," T2 clinical telehealth division chief Dr. Jamie Adler said.

The technology can be used in a variety of ways, from treating post-traumatic stress disorder and depression to wellness and resiliency interventions.

Of course, the new medium for care comes with some specific quirks. Participants at the workshop got a taste of technical difficulties when T2's network went down briefly during the training. Other issues had to do with clinical practice - for instance, if a patient appears to be avoiding eye contact, it's more likely that they're looking at the face on the computer screen instead of the video camera.

Many of the attendees had already begun using teletechnology to provide services to patients at off-site locations, but the rare in-person training (as opposed to online sessions) gave providers the chance to learn about and discuss technical, legal and clinical elements of providing telemental health care.

"I took some notes that I think are valid points for implementing this," Dr. Agnes Babkirk, a psychologist from U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan, said.

She's bringing that information back to her colleagues, who currently use teletechnology to interact with patients three or four times a week.

Dr. Daniel Christensen, the chief of Madigan's Soldier Readiness Service, had a similar experience. The service has been using teletechnology for post-deployment behavioral health screenings since March of this year. He said the training validated the practices they already had in place.

In the future, psychologists at T2 hope to offer more trainings, and expand them to reach providers at different levels (for instance, separate sessions for those considering using teletechnology, beginners and experienced clinicians).

For more information, including a Telemental Health Planning and Implementation Guide, visit

December 14, 2010 at 2:45pm

Smart phones for every soldier?

This from The Los Angeles Times: The Army wants to issue an Apple iPhone or Google Android smart phone to every soldier.

Previously the weapon of choice for hipsters looking up the hottest indie concert or Wall Street types checking stock prices, the devices could be used by troops in war zones to share intelligence and scout out the enemy as soon as next year.

The Army is already testing smart phones at three stateside bases in a pilot program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications. And in February, smart phones are scheduled to be fielded for potential combat situations.

Officials are also considering other devices, such as iPads, Kindle and Nook readers and mini-projectors, according to the Army Times. Other than potentially making the devices a bit more rugged, the Army doesn't plan to tinker too much with the technology.

The devices' communications and mapping capabilities could change battlefield techniques, officials said, but there are also concerns about hacking and data security. Another issue: How to get signal in far-flung combat sites.

Filed under: Army News, Web/Tech,

April 27, 2010 at 1:48pm

Death by PowerPoint

The phrase "death by PowerPoint" is quite popular in many military circles, often referring to the common overuse of the program by commanders to illustrate key points in military briefings.

Lately, a PowerPoint slide illustrating the war in Afghanistan has made its way around the Internet. It's quite a piece of art.

The New York Times has a great story about the use of PowerPoint and how useful it is in actually conveying understanding of certain topics in military briefings.

Read more here

Filed under: Afghanistan, Web/Tech,

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