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In  our news roundup for Friday, August 10:

Last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East to discuss regional security issues including the Syrian conflict and the Iranian nuclear program.

Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto visited the Pentagon to discuss safety concerns following the deployment of several Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft to Okinawa.

The flight restrictions placed on the F-22 Raptor following apparent hypoxia-like symptoms in some pilots will be lifted. The restrictions will be phased out following a successful investigation by the U.S. Air Force.

This year marks the 59th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. The Defense Secretary and South Korean Ambassador Choi-Young Jin honored Korean War veterans at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, Va.

Download the audio podcast here.

You may notice this week’s podcast looks different! We’ve updated our podcast to a bi-weekly release, giving you one that’s easier to access and easier to share (please do!). We’ve also created a video version of the podcast, for those of you who are more visually inclined. Leave us a comment, let us know what you think!

In “This Week in the DoD” for July 27:

The U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet is demonstrating its biofuel capability at this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership and Hiring Our Heroes initiative are working to help military spouses find and keep good jobs.

Marine Explosive Tandem Team shows how sometimes demolition can be the best defense.

NASA’s Desert RATS program helps prepare people and equipment for extreme environments.

The 2012 Olympic Games are taking place in London. Among Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes are nearly 30 service members and veterans.

Download the audio podcast here.

A message from Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense:

For many Americans, Memorial Day is a welcome break from work, a time for outdoor barbeques or a day at the beach.  But today is above all an opportunity for Americans to come together and pay tribute to all those who have fought and died in defense of our freedom.  It is a day to reflect on the service and sacrifice of these heroes, and to honor those American families for whom Memorial Day is another day of longing for their loved ones.

This Memorial Day, the American people pay particular tribute to the generation who stepped forward after the attacks of September 11th, and volunteered to put their lives on the line in far-off lands to protect our nation.  Today, we remember the more than 6,400 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who have paid the ultimate price for us to live in safety over the last ten years of war.  They and their families have paid a heavy price so that we could be more secure, but because of their sacrifice the torch of freedom burns bright.

Since taking this position, I have written hundreds of letters of condolence to the families of the fallen.  It is the hardest part of my job.  There are no words that can heal, no sentences that can lessen that loss.  I keep the fallen and their families in my heart and in my prayers, and I tell those families that their loved one died to give their fellow Americans a better life.  That is the price they paid for us.  Let us never forget them and what they have done for this country.

As we emerge from a decade of war, we must renew our pledge on this Memorial Day to do all we can to ensure that the sacrifices of our service members and their families are honored, and that those who fell in battle are remembered.  They fought for us.  Our duty is to fight to make sure they are never forgotten.  As Americans, that must be our charge and our sacred mission not just on Memorial Day, but every day.

“As leaders of this department, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of our people,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. “These women and these men who are willing to fight and die to protect and serve our country – they deserve better protection. Their families and dependents also sacrifice and serve. And so for this reason, we must spare no effort to protect them against this heinous crime.  One sexual assault is one too many.”

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. While the Department of Homeland Security is focusing on “Our Shared Responsibility,” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is taking cyber security international.

Following the 2007 cyber-attacks on Estonia affecting national and private industries such as banks, media, and even parliament, NATO recognized the need for cyber defense not only for its networks, but for its member states as well.

In 2008, NATO established the Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.

Check out this video promoting NATO Channel’s documentary “NATO Chronicles: Fighting the Invisible Enemy” and then click here for the full episode on their YouTube channel.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan A. Simmons, electronics technician and a search and rescue swimmer assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver, swims toward a training dummy during a man overboard drill. Denver is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting operations in the western Pacific. 
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Casey Kyhl (DVIDS)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan A. Simmons, electronics technician and a search and rescue swimmer assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver, swims toward a training dummy during a man overboard drill. Denver is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is conducting operations in the western Pacific.

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Casey Kyhl (DVIDS)

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In the “This Week in the DoD” podcast for October 7:

U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey has taken office as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has also appointed Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia as his Senior Enlisted Advisor. Battaglia is only the second service member, and first Marine, to hold the position.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Spanish leadership have reached an agreement to port Destroyers equipped with Aegis anti-missile technology in Rota, Spain.

The Department of Defense is recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month, encouraging military families to learn the signs of abuse and seek help if they need it. The DoD Family Advocacy Program can help.

William Lynn III has retired from his role as Deputy Secretary of Defense. His successor, Ashton Carter, pledged to continue the work of making the Department of Defense a more financially efficient organization.

Armed Forces Network – Afghanistan brings us a story about how troops involved in Afghan Hands are breaking language and cultural barriers.

Listen to the podcast here.

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In the “This Week in the DoD” podcast for September 30:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen retired from military service today. His successor as chairman is Army Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Robert Gordon, Deputy Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) joined a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable Thursday to discuss a new the Military Spouse Employment Porgram, which aims to provide career and education options for spouses.

Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month and DoDLive is commemorating the month with“Profiles in Heritage,” highlighting notable historic hispanic service members.

After eight years of broadcasting, American Forces Network Radio-Iraq, known as “Freedom Radio” has gone off the air. “Freedom Radio” has provided service members stationed in Iraq music and other entertainment since March of 2003.

Listen to the podcast here.

The essence, the core of our military is and always will be its people: men and women who raise their right hands and recite the oath of enlistment, even though they know that act may result in them deploying to a combat zone where they will be asked once again to put it all on the line, day after day, in crushing heat and numbing cold, under body armor and Kevlar, against resilient, tough, often barbaric enemies; never knowing, as they go outside the wire, whether they’ll be greeted with a hand grenade or a handshake, but being ready and capable of responding appropriately to either
Gen. David H. Petraeus in his farewell speech at Fort Myer, Va.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Steven Armenta (front), rifleman, and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Russell, platoon sergeant, secure an area along the Tarnek River in Qalat City, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2011. Armenta is a member of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul’s security force and is a services airman deployed from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Russell is also a member of PRT Zabul’s security force and is deployed from the Massachusetts National Guard. (Photo by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras) 

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Steven Armenta (front), rifleman, and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Russell, platoon sergeant, secure an area along the Tarnek River in Qalat City, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2011. Armenta is a member of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul’s security force and is a services airman deployed from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Russell is also a member of PRT Zabul’s security force and is deployed from the Massachusetts National Guard.
(Photo by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras)