Deputy Secretary Shanahan Hosts Vietnam War Commemoration

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2017 — Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan welcomed the directors of “The Vietnam War” documentary to the Pentagon today and spoke directly to Vietnam vets as the Defense Department continued its commemoration of the Vietnam War.

Shanahan thanked directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for capturing the stories and histories and sparking “a national conversation” on the war.

The Burns and Novick documentary and the DoD commemoration share the emphasis on the human cost of Vietnam, Shanahan said. “As the years go by, we risk losing touch with the most important aspect of that time or any time: The people — the Americans who put on a uniform, answered the call and sacrificed for our country,” he said.

The commemoration event featured about 20 minutes of the Vietnam documentary — showing a battle of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in South Vietnam, bombing raids in North Vietnam and peace protestors marching on the Pentagon. The documentary tried to include all viewpoints and voices from all sides.

“One of the great strengths of our country … is not just our ability to compromise, but our ability to look at ourselves and be critical of what we are doing,” Burns said in a short question-and-answer period following the film. “All of us are the beneficiaries of … that generation of Vietnam soldiers who came out of that. We learned one lesson from the war: We are not going to blame the warriors again, and that is a really good lesson.”

Developing the Next Generation

Shanahan noted that the Vietnam generation raised today’s generation of military leaders. “In that way, their protection of our country extends beyond their own years in uniform to the present day,” the deputy secretary said. “We’re here to say thank you to these good and faithful servants and to their families.”

Shanahan said those who served in Vietnam were men and women “of quiet courage and patriotism, men of grit and determination who rendered superior service in uniform and later as civilians in their communities.”

The deputy secretary is the son of Vietnam veteran Mike Shanahan, who served in the U.S. Army. “He returned home and continued his selfless service to his fellow Americans with another 25 years in law enforcement,” Shanahan said. “Growing up, my understanding of the war came from my Dad, his friends and the few stories they would share.”

New generations need to know of the courage the Vietnam generation showed in Southeast Asia, Shanahan said. New generations need to understand the trials endured and sacrifices Vietnam vets made.

Shanahan spoke for the department and all its service members telling the Vietnam vets in the standing-room-only audience that today’s military looks up to them. “We in the Department of Defense are proud of you,” he said. “On behalf of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and everyone on the Pentagon: Thank you.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDODNews)

Owner and Employee of Metal Plating Government Contractor Plead Guilty to Hazardous Waste Crimes

Phillip Michael Huddleston, 61, pleaded guilty today to violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) by illegally storing hazardous waste without a permit at Protech Metal Finishing, LLC, a metal plating facility he owned and operated in Vonore, Tennessee.  

John Thomas Hatfield, 43, Protech’s production manager, pleaded guilty on October 2, 2017, to being an accessory after-the-fact to Protech’s illegal storage of hazardous waste.  In order to hinder an investigation of Protech’s compliance with the RCRA, Hatfield represented that containers of hazardous waste were accurately labeled when he knew that they were not.

“These guilty pleas are the result of notable efforts undertaken by multiple law enforcement agencies to enforce provisions in government contracts and the RCRA that protect human health and the environment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood. “In this case, what was at stake was the health and safety of Protech employees and the community of Vonore, Tennessee.”

When Congress passed the RCRA, it determined that the disposal of, and inadequate controls over hazardous waste “will result in substantial risks to human health and the environment.”  To that end, the RCRA imposes “cradle-to-grave” tracking, handling, and reporting controls to ensure that companies like Protech properly manage the generation, storage, transport, and disposal of hazardous wastes.  The maximum penalty for each felony RCRA count is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for this accessory-after-the-fact count is one year in prison and a fine of $25,000.  

Defendants Hatfield and Huddleston are scheduled to be sentenced by Senior District Court Judge Leon Jordan on January 10 and January 8, 2018, respectively.  

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Morris of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Trial Attorneys Cassandra Barnum and Senior Trial Attorney Todd W. Gleason of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, EPA-CID, TVA-OIG, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.
 

Myanmar: Plight of refugees focus of top UN political official’s meetings

17 October 2017 – Concluding a visit to Myanmar, the top United Nations political official has underscored the importance of accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety as part of the comprehensive approach needed to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.

According to a press note issued by the UN, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited several communities affected by the recent violence in northern Rakhine state and viewed dozens of burned and destroyed villages by air.

“He witnessed how, in addition to the documented endemic discrimination against the Rohingya population, socio-economic challenges adversely affect all communities,” read the note.

Mr. Feltman noted the Government’s endorsement of the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and urged their comprehensive implementation – which the UN can help support if so requested – the note added.

Visiting the country from 13-17 October, the UN official met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Tatmadaw (the country’s armed forces) Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, among other officials, as well as with representatives of Myanmar’s civil society, the resident diplomatic community and representatives of international non-governmental organizations.

Most of Mr. Feltman’s discussions focused on the situation in Rakhine state and the plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh in the aftermath of the 25 August attacks on security positions and subsequent military action.

“He reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call that humanitarian actors be given full and unhindered access to northern Rakhine state and that refugees be allowed voluntary, safe and dignified return to their place of origin,” added the press note.

Acknowledging the announcements by the Government of Myanmar, including the State Counsellor’s address to the nation on 12 October, regarding the establishment of programmes and policies to address the humanitarian concerns in Rakhine and the return of refugees from Bangladesh, Mr. Feltman encouraged the authorities to utilize the capacities, best practices, and extensive experience of the UN to help assure that stated intentions could be implemented in a timely and effective manner.

In his meeting with the Tatmadaw officials, Mr. Feltman said that in the UN’s experience, successful counter-terrorism efforts do not rely exclusively on security measures.

Returning to New York, Mr. Feltman will report to Secretary-General as the Organization continues to respond to the humanitarian and human rights crisis and positions itself to work with Myanmar to help relieve the suffering of the Rohingya population and address the grievances and needs of Rakhine and other ethnic groups.

During his visit, the UN official also attended the commemoration of the signing of Myanmar’s National Ceasefire Agreement and met with the signatory ethnic organizations. He also visited internally displaced persons’ camps outside Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state, set up in 2012.

OIR Spokesman: ISIS Faces Devastating Defeat on 3rd Anniversary of Operations

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2017 — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is now on the verge of a devastating defeat in Raqqa, Syria, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Baghdad, Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon called the impending collapse of ISIS in the city it declared the seat of its so-called caliphate “momentous,” noting that today is the third anniversary of coalition operations.

Three years ago, the global threat of ISIS was met with a U.S.-led coalition of 69 nations and four international organizations and partner forces on the ground, Dillon said. That coalition has beaten back ISIS on all fronts in Iraq and Syria.

Quickly Shrinking Territory

“ISIS in Iraq and Syria are all but isolated in their quickly shrinking territory,” he said, citing another hard-fought victory in Mosul, Iraq.

Raqqa is now more than 90 percent cleared of ISIS forces, he said.

“Over the past 96 hours, we have seen about 1,300 civilians assisted to safety by the [Syrian Democratic Forces], and just about 3,000 civilians rescued in the last week,” he said.

And in the last few days, about 350 fighters surrendered to the SDF in Raqqa, with several confirmed foreign fighters taken into custody after SDF screening, Dillon added.

Raqqa Clearance Speeds Up

Clearance of the remaining portion of Raqqa’s city center has accelerated after the SDF ensured the safety of civilians, he said, adding that the SDF have moved on the national hospital complex and the soccer stadium.

The SDF also fully cleared the Naim traffic circle, once a symbol of fear and terror under ISIS, where the enemy organization conducted public executions.

“In Raqqa and elsewhere across Syria, our focus remains on reducing risk to the civilians, while continuing to pursue and defeat ISIS terrorists at every opportunity as they retreat into the remaining held areas in the Middle Euphrates River Valley,” Dillon said.

Anbar Province

Meanwhile, in Iraq, coalition forces remain focused on supporting the Iraqi offensive against ISIS holdouts in Rawa and Qaim in western Anbar province, the spokesman said.

In the past week, the coalition has conducted more than 30 strikes against ISIS military targets in the area, including command-and-control facilities, car-bomb factories, weapons caches and a training camp, he added.

Back-clearance operations are ongoing in areas recently liberated from ISIS.

“In the Tal Afar area, since the beginning of this month, the [Iraqi forces] have found [and] removed large caches of weapons and explosives left behind by ISIS,” Dillon said. “These caches contain a total of 550 improvised explosive devices, 1,800 mortars, 25 land mines, 101 suicide vests, 16 tunnels and 11 factories for making IED’s.”

(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoDNews)

Forest Service Funds Georgia Tech Project Using Georgia Timber for Stronger Army Barracks

Science and Technology

Forest Service Funds Georgia Tech Project Using Georgia Timber for Stronger Army Barracks

CLT Ballistic Tests

Click image to enlarge

This specimen of cross-laminated timber was used in ballistic tests conducted by Georgia Tech for proposed new portable, temporary housing for the military.

The timber industry, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are teaming with Georgia Tech to design and build better portable housing for overseas troops.

Funded by a grant from the United States Forestry Service (USFS), the project will explore ways to utilize new laminated wood products in the construction of temporary barracks. Lauren Stewart, principal investigator on the project and an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Russell Gentry, associate professor of architecture and civil engineering at Georgia Tech, saw the products — called cross-laminated timber, or CLT — as an ideal material for both constructing the short-term structures and creating a new market for Georgia’s timber industry, the largest in the country.

“With 22 million acres of working forests and a $32 billion economic impact, Georgia is blessed to be the No. 1 forestry state in the nation,” said Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. “That’s why we at the Georgia Forestry Association are fully supportive of the research that Georgia Tech is doing with cross-laminated timber through the USDA’s Wood Innovation Grant. 

The Forest Service was looking for new uses for the CLT products, a wood panel typically consisting of three, five, or seven layers of lumber oriented at right angles to one another and then glued together.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) spent more than $150 million over the past five years to design lightweight bunkers, or “b-huts,” for troops, which were an improvement from the tents typically used in combat. Georgia Tech is proposing CLT as a way to make the barracks more durable than previous building materials and ultimately safer for the troops.

The proposed CLT designs use less energy for heating and cooling, and the bunker will be far easier to disassemble and relocate. Both are key attributes for military housing, along with providing adequate protection for troops.

“New markets for wood are critical for the future of our state’s forests, and I can think of no better way to utilize our state’s sustainable timber resources than in a way that benefits both our brave men and women in uniform and our state’s economic vitality,” Villegas said.

This project could be used worldwide, but the research team has proposed it for the southern United States. The wood they’ll use will be mostly indigenous to the South, allowing for less harmful forest management and lower costs. The Georgia Tech team aims to motivate new fabrication facilities and spur economic development in the region.

“This project is a unique opportunity to bring together the USFS, state agencies, military, and academia to advance the state of knowledge of CLT, promote forest health, and develop an application that can enhance troops’ safety, security, and comfort,” said Stewart.

CLT has the potential for broader applications, too, as more and more designers look for low-carbon alternatives to traditional construction materials. The research team, along with the Georgia Forestry Foundation and WoodWorks Wood Products Council, hosted a symposium Sept. 26 at Georgia Tech on design and construction using mass timber from the Southeast. They highlighted hotels, mid- and high-rise buildings, and other projects around the country that are using wood products.

Stewart and Gentry were assisted by Ph.D. student Kathryn Sanborn, who’s also a major in the U.S. Army. The three-year project’s total cost will be nearly $375,000, including $125,000 that the Institute has contributed as a match. Other significant contributions to the project came from the Army Research Laboratory, West Point, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

By Jonathan Bowers

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Schedules Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call for Thursday, November 2nd

October 17, 2017

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that it will publish financial results for the third quarter 2017 after the close of market on Thursday, November 2, 2017.  Management will discuss the Company’s operations and financial results in a conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. Pacific (5:00 p.m. Eastern).

Analysts and institutional investors may participate on the conference call by dialing 866-393-0674, referencing the call by ID number 1146136.  The general public may access the conference call by dialing 877-344-3935, or on the day of the event visit www.kratosdefense.com for a simultaneous webcast. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Kratos website approximately two hours after the conclusion of the conference call.

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops transformative, affordable technology for the Department of Defense and commercial customers. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technologies for these industries are brought to market through proactive research and a streamlined development process. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, training and combat systems. For more information, go to www.kratosdefense.com.

Press Contact:
Yolanda White
858-812-7302 Direct

Investor Information:
877-934-4687
investor@kratosdefense.com

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Source: Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.

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Pentagon, Services Observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2017 — As part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer held a media roundtable at the Pentagon with her service counterparts yesterday to discuss key DoD and military initiatives.

Joining Essye Miller, who is also DoD’s chief information security officer, was Air Force Maj. Gen. Burke ‘Ed’ Wilson, deputy principal cyber advisor to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and senior military advisor for cyber in the office of the under secretary of defense for policy.

Miller’s service counterparts were Gary Wang, Army deputy CIO; Ken Bible, deputy CIO for the Marine Corps; Peter Kim, Air Force chief information security officer; and Theresa Lang, director of the Navy’s cybersecurity division.

Miller said that the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for orchestrating cybersecurity awareness month activities, and each week during October has a different theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety, Cyber Security in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business, Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet, The Internet Wants You to Consider A Career in Cybersecurity, and Protecting Critical Infrastructure From Cyber Threats.

“This is not just about the Defense Department and our mission,” she said, “this is about helping people understand that resilience in mission assurance is everybody’s responsibility at home or in the workplace.”

Cybersecurity is not just an information technology area, Miller added.

“Everyone who’s operating on the network — be it the DoD information network or the general internet — has a responsibility with regard to safety and cybersecurity awareness,” she said, noting that DoD has hosted external engagements in schools and technical forums and has had a booth at the Pentagon to make sure everyone in the building is educated about their cybersecurity responsibilities.

U.S. Cyber Command

U.S. Cyber Command is being elevated to a full combatant command and the work to make that happen is ongoing, Wilson said, describing the command’s elevation as an effort to backstop each service with regard to cybersecurity.

“It was laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act last year, and in concert with that we’re in the process of standing up the command for two reasons,” he explained.

One is recognition that the command has matured and it will be key in the department’s cyber strategy and the way forward. The second is that Cybercom is a critical element in dealing with cyber threats that are growing in complexity, sophistication and proliferation.

Elevating Cybercom to a full combatant command is a signal to allies and adversaries alike, Wilson said, and the pacing item is nomination and confirmation of a commander, which is being worked through with the department’s senior leaders and the president’s office.

The Cyber Mission Force — a 6,200-person maneuver force broken up into 133 teams — reached initial operating capability a few months ago, and work continues toward achieving final operating capability by October 2018, as scheduled, he said, adding that the teams are already “engaged in this fight from a cybersecurity perspective.”

Wilson said the Cybercom team has just established a cyber excepted service, meaning that people with needed cyber skills are excepted from the federal government’s competitive hiring process.

“It streamlines the process in terms of how we can bring civilians into the department for our cyberspace operations and cyber security needs,” he said.

The focus now for Phase 1 is on Cybercom, the joint force headquarters, the DoD information network at Fort Meade, and a small element of the Pentagon CIO team.

“In 2018 we’ll begin to go into Phase 1 and then ultimately Phase 3, which will be departmentwide in late 2018,” he said, adding that it’s a big step for the department.

“We see that as bolstering cybersecurity for the department and gives us a new tool to go about doing that,” Wilson added.

Army

Army Deputy CIO Gary Wang said his service has named cybersecurity a readiness priority and are emphasizing educating people about designing cybersecurity into mission systems and weapon systems rather than trying to add it later.

For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Wang said the Army is focused on training and making cybersecurity an operational priority, “ensuring that resources, support and training and policies are geared toward that.”

An external focus is helping ensure that small business or small business innovation research contractors are putting cybersecurity mechanisms in place, Wang added, and helping Army families and extended families integrate cybersecurity into their lives.

Navy

Navy Cybersecurity Division Director Theresa Lang said the Navy began taking cybersecurity very seriously in 2014, first standing up Task Force Cyber Awakening, and then spending a year to determine how to protect Navy systems and to reorganize to support cybersecurity in every domain.

“One of the things we did was stand up the Navy Cybersecurity Division, and later on we folded that into the Navy CIO organization,” Lang said, “so now we have cybersecurity and the CIO organization working together as a single group and it’s made a huge difference.”

The Navy also expanded a focus on cybersecurity in traditional business systems to all control or industrial systems. To protect the the service’s key cyber terrain, she said, cyber officials established an office called CyberSafe — for cybersecurity safety — to ensure proper protections, risk management and investment in the right areas.

Lang said the Navy has established its own standards for cybersecurity across the service, and has set up a cybersecurity executive committee that hears cybersecurity framework briefings every six months by commanding officers from every domain.

Marine Corps

Marine Corps Deputy CIO Ken Bible said his service’s cybersecurity priorities include protecting and defending data, users, systems and the reputation and image of the Corps.

In March, the service released its strategy for assured command and control, he said, which emphasized an integrated network for enhancing warfighting and statutory functions and command and control capabilities across the Marine Corps.

Bible said the focus was to transform the former Navy-Marine Corps internet into a unified network, modernize the civilian and military work force by upgrading old military occupational specialties for the information age, and invest in IT modernization.

This summer the service added a three-star deputy commandant for information, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Daniel O’Donohue.

“We’re in the midst of standing up that organization,” Bible said, and O’Donohue’s priority is getting the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Information Group operational as the Corps seeks to make information-related capabilities relevant in the fight.

Air Force

Air Force Chief Information Security Officer Peter Kim said that in addition to the five Department of Homeland Security focus areas, another priority this year has been to extend its cybersecurity messaging into the field.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to have teams and myself go out to several Air Force bases,” he said, to help educate airmen and their families.

They began in August in Montgomery, Alabama, at the Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower Conference, he said, adding that the team also visited locations in the continental United States and Hawaii and would continue the trips into November.

Kim said the Air Force developed pamphlets about cybersecurity hygiene, identity theft, password safety and other cybersecurity tips for spouses, children and even grandparents.

Such a need hit home with Kim last year when his father began receiving spear-phishing emails asking for passwords and account numbers.

“I found myself at work, worried about him,” Kim said, “and I realized that not only do our airmen have to be aware of these cybersecurity threats and simple hygiene, but [so do] my spouse at home and even my children … and my parents. If they’re not cyber safe and cyber secure, it affects me and the workplace.”

This is one of the themes Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff David L. Goldfein are promoting, he said.

“We need to take of each other, not just the uniformed folks but extend that to the families of our airmen. That goes for cybersecurity also, so we’re making a concerted push into those areas,” Kim added.

(Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter @PellerinDoDNews)

Milwaukee to use DNR brownfield assessment funds at inner harbor property

Contact(s): Christine Haag, Brownfields Section chief, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422.

MADISON – Efforts to repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor will get a boost from a recently issued Department of Natural Resources brownfields award.

The award comes from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $25,000. The work will help Milwaukee – specifically the Redevelopment Authority of the City of the Milwaukee (RACM) – assess potential contamination, leading to eventual remediation and redevelopment of the prime waterfront site.

A WAM grant will help repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee's inner harbor as part of a continueing effort to improve this gateway to the city.
A WAM grant will help repurpose a century-old coal storage site at Milwaukee’s inner harbor as part of a continueing effort to improve this gateway to the city.
Photo Credit: US Army Corps of Engineeers

The nearly 14-acre site on Greenfield Avenue is located across the street from the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and is currently a vacant lot that had historically housed fuel oil tanks. Over the years, fill material has been used to shore up a nearby dock wall and fill in a former boat slip.

“The DNR is honored to be a part of the future of this site,” said Christine Haag, chief of the DNR’s brownfields program. “Assessing this property for historic contamination is an important first step to the development of this waterfront property, which has so much potential given its location on Milwaukee’s Inner Harbor near the Freshwater Sciences building.”

Administered by the DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination.

Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the award is an attractive opportunity for communities. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.

Applications can be submitted for WAM awards at any time. Properties eligible for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing. Gas stations, dry cleaners and salvage yards are not eligible.

For more information search the DNR website dnr.wi.gov, for WAM, or search keyword “brownfield.

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oct. 31 deadline to buy sturgeon spearing licenses

Contact(s): Ryan Koenigs, DNR Lake Winnebago sturgeon biologist, Ryan.Koenigs@wisconsin.gov,

2017 surveys show plenty of big fish for unique winter fishery

MADISON — The deadline to purchase licenses for the 2018 Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season is Oct. 31, with state biologists forecasting great opportunities to land the fish of a lifetime while enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

“Getting together with family and friends is what keeps people coming back year after to year, but spearers will be happy to know that our 2017 assessments once again show there are a lot of really large fish out there to challenge them,” says Ryan Koenigs, Department of Natural Resources Lake Winnebago sturgeon biologist.

“We handled nine fish greater than 75 inches and 65 fish over 70 inches this spring,” he says. “The biggest fish we measured was 81 inches, so it should be a really exciting year for everyone enjoying this unique winter event.”

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The Winnebago System is home to one of the largest populations of lake sturgeon in North America. DNR’s careful management of that population, in conjunction with citizens and conservation groups, allows the continent’s largest recreational harvest through a unique winter spear fishery dating to the 1930s.

The 2018 spearing seasons open on February 10, with separate but simultaneous seasons for Lake Winnebago and for the Upriver Lakes. Participation in the Upriver Lakes season is determined by lottery.

The seasons run for 16 days or until harvest caps are reached; those harvest caps for 2018 will be set on Oct. 18 when DNR biologists meet with the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee, which helps set the harvest caps.

Gerald Peterson's 83.4-inch, 154.9 pound sturgeon.Sandra Schumacher's 78.5-inch, 154.7 pound fish.
The 2017 season included some impressive fish, including Gerald Peterson’s 83.4-inch, 154.9 pound sturgeon and Sandra Schumacher’s 78.5-inch, 154.7 pound fish.
Photo Credit: DNR

Deteriorating water clarity and ice conditions as the 2017 season wore on combined for a lower total harvest but included some impressive fish, including Gerald Peterson’s 83.4-inch, 154.9 pound sturgeon and Sandra Schumacher’s 78.5-inch, 154.7 pound fish. Thirteen fish weighed in at 130 pounds or larger.

A total of 847 fish were harvested during the 2017 seasons, 552 from Lake Winnebago and 295 from the Upriver Lakes. This total is down from averages over the last decade, but still the largest recreational spear harvest for sturgeon in the world and an increase over the 2016 season total of 703 fish, Koenigs says.

Again this year, 12-year-olds are eligible to purchase a license and can participate in the lake sturgeon spearing season. Also, adults whose names were drawn in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing lottery can transfer their tags to youth ages 12-17, allowing youngsters a chance to spear on the lakes, where success rates have historically been higher.

How and where to get spearing licenses

Licenses are again $20 for residents and $65 for nonresidents and can be purchased by visiting GoWild.Wi.gov or any license sales location. To find a license agent near you, go to dnr.wi.gov and search with key words “license agent.”

The minimum spearing age is 12 years, and youth who turn 12 between Nov. 1, 2017, and the last day of the 2018 spearing season can still buy a spearing license after Oct. 31. Military personnel home on leave can also purchase a license after Oct. 31.

There are unlimited license sales on Lake Winnebago, while the Upriver Lakes fishery is managed by a lottery and limited to 500 permitted spearers. Once a person is authorized to buy an Upriver Lakes license for a season, they are not able to buy a license for Lake Winnebago.

Spearers are now able to transfer Upriver Lakes spear licenses to youth spearers (age 12-17) and can do so by filling a transfer of license form at least 15 days before the 2018 sturgeon spear fishery. Spearers who applied for an Upriver Lakes license in the lottery but were not authorized received a preference point and can still buy a Lake Winnebago license before Oct. 31.

For more information on harvest trends and management of the Lake Winnebago sturgeon fishery, visit dnr.wi.gov and search “Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing.”

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

South Sudan's leaders must pull country back from 'impending abyss,' UN peacekeeping chief

17 October 2017 – Amid worsening security and the dire humanitarian and human rights situation in South Sudan, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations on Tuesday called on the international community to demand that the country’s leadership act in a manner that is expected of them.

&#8220I would like to reiterate that the conflict in South Sudan is a man-made conflict for which the leaders of South Sudan bear a direct responsibility,&#8221 Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), told the Security Council.

&#8220The same leaders responsible for the conflict can also bring the country back from the impending abyss,&#8221 he added, underscoring the need for genuine political will to halt military operations, peacefully negotiate and make the compromises necessary to achieve sustainable peace in the country.

During the past month, South Sudan has seen rising insecurity because of numerous clashes in many parts of the country, as well as presence of armed groups and soldiers that continues to drive tension. The insecurity has also led to shrinking space for humanitarian action &#8211 which used to be very effective, reaching millions with assistance &#8211 as well as restrictions on the movement of relief actors and the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS).

The human rights situation too remains extremely concerning, with alarming reports of extrajudicial killings of civilians, arbitrary arrests and detentions, repression of free speech and harassment of political opponents.

In his briefing, Mr. Lacroix, said that while dialogue remains key, the unwillingness &#8211 so far &#8211 of significant opposition groups to join, notably because of the concurrent Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) military operations, the credibility of the National Dialogue process remains in question.

Recalling a meeting between Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD, an eight-country trade bloc in Africa) Foreign Ministers with President Salva Kiir and his cabinet, held on 13 October, during which the IGAD group reportedly committed to support the Revitalization Forum, the UN official called on the members of the Security Council to use their &#8220leverage on all parties and encourage them to engage in this process meaningfully and without any preconditions.&#8221

&#8220The conflict in South Sudan is a direct outcome of a prolonged disproportionate access to power and wealth in the country. All future dispensations, therefore, must rest on the principle of inclusivity that leads to equitable power and wealth-sharing,&#8221 he said, adding that it is critical that all processes and international support must strive to build institutions so that politics shifts from ownership by individuals to those institutions that must be accountable to the people of South Sudan.

Also in his briefing, Mr. Lacroix updated the Security Council on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) to the country.