Delaware Chapter Lunch and Tour of ** Fort Miles **

The Delaware Chapter is having the next Chapter Members Lunch meeting on April 21, 2018 at Fort Miles in the Cape Henlopen State Park. As you may know, Ft Miles was an active Army installation constructed in World War II to protect the Delaware coast and shipping near the Delaware Bay. It was linked to the many observation towers along the Delaware shoreline.

Over the past 12 years the Ft Miles Historical Association has worked to engage the community, local businesses, and State government to preserve and restore a portion of this facility. Battery 519 is the centerpiece of this restoration and is currently the Museum. The Association staff
will meet at 10am, have a site overview from a member of the Ft Miles Historical Association, followed by a tour of Battery 519. This battery, the last one constructed, was built to house two 12-inch guns, a railway, and a chart room. It now serves as the Museum.
After the tour, we will have lunch with a Chapter update. The cost of the lunch and tour is $15.00. (Reduced, thanks to sponsor support).
Please RSVP with your check + contact info to CSM (Ret) Jim Vavala, 2628 Longfellow Drive, Wilmington, DE 19808 by April 10, 2018.

U.S. Army Dual Arms Combat units

U.S. Army weapons officials today explained the service’s recent decision to dual-arm more soldiers in combat units with the service’s new Modular Handgun System (MHS) in addition to the M4 carbine. Last month, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky became the first Army unit to receive the MHS, which comes in two versions —the M17 and M18.

The MHS is designed to provide soldiers with more of an offensive weapon than the Cold-War era M9 pistol it is replacing, The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning searched for weapon system that did not require development and offered more offensive capability to those in close combat with the enemy.

Initially, the MHS will be issued to squad leaders and team leaders to carry along with their M4 carbines. In the past, these junior leaders have not typically carried sidearms. Close combat often involves maneuver into tight spaces where a pistol is more effective. Dual arming the pistol down to the team leader level will introduce the MHS into the squad. The Army will regularly reassess the fielding plan.


National Army Museum Store

The Army Historical Foundation has launched the National Museum of the United States Army’s online museum store, which includes apparel, souvenirs and a line of exclusive National Army Museum products. The museum is under construction and due to open in late 2019 on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The store can be reached through the foundation’s website at


Vietnam Vets to Honor UH-1 Crews

Kent Vietnam Veterans to Honor
Vietnam Dustoff Association Crews Who Saved Them
Published July 17, 2017 | By LMcCloskey
Joe Start, Vietnam Veteran

“That others may live,” was the slogan of the UH-1 Dustoff helicopter crews who flew into firefights to rescue the wounded in Vietnam. That slogan and heroism have been passed down to today’s medical evacuation crews who serve in harm’s way across the globe.

The Vietnam Dustoff Association is coming to Dover for their September 21-23 national convention. They will be hosted by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

They have special meaning to Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president, who will never forget his own life-saving ride after being wounded in Vietnam in 1969.

“I remember being told to hold on, help was on the way. In less than 15 minutes the ‘whop, whop, whop’ was like an angel’s voice telling me I’d survive. The UH-1 Huey on display at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park serves as an ongoing reminder of their heroism,” he said.

Paul Davis, vice president of Chapter 850, worked for two years with the federal government and even the White House to secure the helicopter. That was followed by a road trip caravan to Florida by Joe Startt and other members of the chapter to pick it up with the help of a trucking company sympathetic to veterans.
One of the highlights will be a Friday, September 22, 7 p.m., dinner hosted by the chapter at the Modern Maturity Center and followed by several events the next day.

Saturday’s agenda will include a special 10 a.m. ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road in Dover where crew members will be honored, followed by lunch at the Dover AFB dining facility where the Dustoff crews with be greeted by representatives of the 436th Airlift wing and some of the today’s airmen. A special tour of the AMC Museum will follow.

“These men, several thousand of whom paid the ultimate price saving lives in Vietnam,” are our brothers who traded their tomorrow for our today,” said Mr. Startt. “We will always honor and revere them.”

The $35-a-plate dinner will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The cutoff date is September 15. “Sponsorships are also available to help with the costs of honoring these heroes,” said Paul Davis, VVA State Council president. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call 302-697-8384 or email

Why Cyber Matters


“The opening shots of a large-scale conflict are likely to begin with cyber,” acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our emphasis is on defense for the Army,” he said, noting that protecting the network and protecting the ability to operate with degraded information or a complete shutdown of communication and data lines is important.

What to watch: Tactical units cycling through the National Training Center are being exposed to cyberattacks so they can learn to operate with limited contact to higher headquarters and adjacent units.

Surprise Victory in 1776

On May 23, 1776 at Sag Harbor, New York, Patriot troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R. Jonathan Meigs captured several British vessels and burned tons of Redcoat supplies.

With the help of two local men, Meigs and his Connecticut raiders grabbed the British garrison commander from his bed in the wee hours of the morning, firing only one gunshot. Instead of guns, the Patriots used bayonets to capture the British fort, successfully avoiding announcing their presence with gunfire.

With six Redcoats dead and 53 captive from their success on land, the Patriots moved from the hilltop fort towards the harbor. The British ships anchored there eventually noticed the body of men in long boats moving towards them and opened fire. The Patriots, though, went on to burn 24 British ships and their cargoes of hay, rum, grain and other merchandise. With an additional 37 prisoners in custody, the 170 Yankee raiders returned to Connecticut without having lost a single man in their party.

The Sag Harbor ambush was the only successful Patriot attack on Long Island between the British takeover in 1776 and their departure following the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Army prepares a needs list

In anticipation of Congress and the Trump administration boosting defense spending, Army leaders have created funding wish lists that focus on troops, modernization and delayed installation maintenance.

The lists, totaling $8.2 billion for 2017 and $18.3 billion for 2018, reflect unfunded priorities aimed at both near- and long-term readiness.

For 2017, the Army’s request includes $2.5 billion for aviation programs, $1.8 billion for armored vehicles, $1.3 billion for air defense, $500 million for command and control, $500 million for installation maintenance and operations, and $100 million for test and evaluation.

For 2018, the Army seeks $7 billion to cover the cost of higher troop end strength plus $2.5 billion for aviation, $2.5 billion for armored vehicles. $1 billion for air defense, $800 million for Stryker vehicle improvements, $800 million for installation maintenance and operations, $500 million for command and control, $300 million for soldier equipment, and $200 million for test and evaluation.

The list of unfunded priorities was prepared after President Donald Trump charged Defense Secretary James Mattis with conducting a 30-day review to assess readiness conditions including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization and infrastructure. That information will be used to draft an amendment to the 2017 budget, and to help form the 2018 budget.

Separately, President Trump has directed reviews of the U.S. nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense capabilities.