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June 2022 — M2CC Newsletter

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News from M2CC

JUNE 2022 EDITION

Special Olympics Drops

Vaccine Rule After $27M Fine

Threat

See page 17

Monthly Newsletter

Pfizer COVID Shot

80% Effective in

Young Kids, Early

Data Shows

Pfizer and its German

partner, BioNTech, said

Monday that an early

analysis showed their

three-dose coronavirus

vaccine regimen

triggered a strong

immune response in

young children, proving

80% effective at

preventing symptomatic

infections in children 6

months to 4 years old.

The results, along

with other recent

developments, signal

that the long and

frustrating wait for a

vaccine for the youngest

children, the last group

to lack access, could be

over within weeks.

A few hours after

Pfizer and BioNTech

issued a news release

announcing the data,

which has not been peer

reviewed, the Food and

Drug Administration

said its outside experts

will meet June 14 and 15

to discuss the Moderna

Continued on page 12

WWW.M2CC.US

and Pfizer-BioNTech

pediatric vaccines.

Pfizer and BioNTech

said they plan to finish

filing data with the FDA

this week and warned

that the efficacy number

was fluid because results

are still arriving.

If the FDA advisory

panel looks favorably on

the vaccines, the agency

could authorize them as

soon as June 16 or 17.

Vaccine advisers to the

Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention

then would consider

who should get the

vaccines, with a final

recommendation

coming from agency

director Rochelle

Walensky shortly

afterward. The vaccines

would probably be

available immediately.

"This is incredibly

exciting data!" Kawsar

Talaat, a pediatrician


2 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

American Airlines has Parked 100 Jets Due to

Pilot Shortage

A shortage of pilots from retirements and

pandemic cutbacks has forced Fort Worthbased

American Airlines to park about 100

of its smaller regional jets, even amid strong

summer passenger demand.

“There is a supply and demand imbalance

right now and it really is within the regional

carrier ranks,” American Airlines CEO Robert

Isom said Friday at the Bernstein Strategic

Decisions investor conference in New York.

“We have probably 100 aircraft or almost 100

aircraft that aren’t productive right now, that

aren’t flying.”

Isom’s comments come amid soaring airfare

prices as travelers are eager to get out after two

years of pandemic restrictions and as airlines

work to get back to pre-pandemic flying levels.

Nearly every airline in the industry is facing

similar issues with struggles to replace pilots

and other key workers, even though several

are forecasting record revenues.

Airlines would love to take advantage of rising

ticket prices from high consumer demand.

Airline ticket prices for summer travel are up

about 48% compared with 2019, according

to travel site Hopper. That more than offsets

rising fuel and labor costs. American upped its

second-quarter revenue projections on Friday,

now expecting to bring in sales 11 to 13%

higher than during the same period in prepandemic

2019.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 3

The 2022 summer travel season has seen

airlines try to balance their own ability to fly

bigger schedules versus the risk of meltdowns

if operations are stretched too thin. As carriers

such as Delta, JetBlue and Southwest have cut

flights to focus on reducing delays, American

Airlines is flying a schedule that is about 20%

larger than its next nearest competitor at Delta.

The biggest constraint, Isom said, comes in

the number of pilots American Airlines and

its regional carriers are able to hire. About

1,000 of American’s 15,000 pilots took early

retirement packages during the COVID-19

pandemic. Paired with a large number of pilots

slated to hit mandatory retirement age, it hass

left carriers such as American with a deficit of

key employees.

American has filled that gap by hiring pilots

from regional carriers, including its own at

wholly-owned airlines such as Envoy and

Piedmont. In turn, that leaves a shortage of

pilots to fly the smaller 50 and 75-passenger

jets.

“There are constraints out there in terms of

aircraft, there are constraints around pilots

from the perspective of the mainline and

through training,” Isom said.

American has been able to make up some of

the cutbacks in flights by using larger regional

jets and parking smaller models, Isom said.

While that helps carry more passengers, using

bigger planes also means fewer frequencies,

especially to smaller destinations. Regional

airlines fly 43% of the country’s flights.

according to the Regional Airline Association,

and two-thirds of the country’s airports are

only served by regional carriers.

American and others have increased pay for

regional pilots and have added signing and

retention bonuses to help students through

flight school. The economic incentives of jobs

that pay more than $200,000 a year should

eventually attract more pilots, but it could take

several years to get the number of pilots needed

to properly staff airlines, Isom said.

“I see demand for travel,” Isom said. “I see an

industry that has been more or less constrained

and now trying to say back up and is still facing

those constraints.”

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AT M2CC.US


4 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 5

Focus on Oversight a Key for Success at

CoreCivic

In the corrections industry, maintaining high standards of

operation is imperative to meeting the needs of the individuals

in our care. That's why CoreCivic adheres to a stringent set of

guidelines set forth by our own standards, as well as those of our

government partners and the American Correctional Association

(ACA).

Founded in 1870, the ACA is considered the national benchmark

for the effective operation of correctional systems throughout

the United States. To become accredited, a facility must achieve

compliance with ACA mandatory standards and a minimum of

90 percent non-mandatory standards. CoreCivic facilities adhere

to ACA standards, and in 2020, CoreCivic earned an average

ACA audit score of 99.6 percent across all facilities.

Key ACA audit areas include facility personnel, resident reentry

programs, resident safety, health care, and more.

holds our facilities and staff to a high standard. To be able to

represent our facility and receive reaccreditation in person is an

honor."

Adhering to ACA standards is only one part of CoreCivic's

commitment to robust oversight. When government partners

utilize CoreCivic's services, we are held not only to our own

high standards and those of the ACA, but we are often held to

the same or higher accountability of our public counterparts

through stringent government contracts, unfettered access to

our facilities for our partners, and hundreds of on-site quality

assurance monitors.

We provide access to our government partners, with most of

our facilities having government agency employees known as

contract monitors who are physically on-site to ensure we are

operating in line with partner guidelines.

Recently, the ACA held in Nashville, Tennessee, its 151st

Congress of Corrections, an annual convention that brings

together corrections professionals from across the country. In

addition to various workshops and events at the convention, the

ACA Commission on Accreditation also held panel hearings to

award accreditation to correctional facilities that meet the ACA's

rigorous requirements. Listed below are the seven CoreCivic

facilities that earned reaccreditation this year, with mandatory/

non-mandatory scores:

• Bent County Correctional Facility - 100/99.0

• Citrus County Detention Facility - 100/100

• Eloy Detention Center - 100/100

• Lake Erie Correctional Institution - 100/99.3

• Saguaro Correctional Center - 100/99.8

• Stewart Detention Center - 100/100

• Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility - 100/100

"The accreditation process is very important," said Warden

Fred Figueroa from Eloy Detention Center, one of the seven

CoreCivic facilities that was awarded reaccreditation. "ACA

To maintain our own high standards, annual on-site audits covering

all operational areas are administered to ensure compliance with

contractual and regulatory obligations and corporate-mandated

requirements. Each CoreCivic Safety facility is audited by our

internal quality assurance division, which is independent from

our operations division. Facilities are expected to be audit-ready

year-round, maintaining continuous compliance with numerous

applicable standards.

CoreCivic employs 75 staff members dedicated to quality

assurance, including several subject matter experts with extensive

experience from all major disciplines within our institutional

operations.

"A lot of hard work goes into preparing for these audits,"

Figueroa said. "Once they're complete, the staff can see their

accomplishments and feel proud."

Having multiple levels of oversight helps CoreCivic maintain

a safe environment for those in our care. By holding ourselves

accountable to our own high standards, along with our

government partners' and ACA's standards, CoreCivic continues

to be a trusted partner working to better the public good.


6 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 7


8 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

Army Poll Finds

Widespread

Unawareness Among

Gen Z About Perks of

Military Career

Young adult Americans think they know a lot about

Army life, but a newly released cross-generational survey

showing otherwise is giving the service impetus to fill in the

knowledge gaps amid a recruitment crisis.

“The Army has what Gen Z is looking for in an employer.

They just don’t know it yet,” Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, chief

of Army enterprise marketing, said in a statement issued

Wednesday.

The Know Your Army national consumer survey found that

73% of respondents ages 18 to 25 claimed familiarity with

the Army, the highest level of any generation polled.

But survey participants in that age group turned out to be

largely unaware of what the Army can offer them.

More than half of Generation Z respondents did not realize

that soldiers can receive benefits such as tuition assistance

and the possibility of earning full college tuition. Regarding

early retirement benefits, only 31% were in the know.

Another misperception about Army life for 30% of

Generation Z polled is that the majority of jobs available to

soldiers are combat-related, the Army said.

The survey was conducted by the Army in March across a

sample of 3,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 76.

No margin of error was listed.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT M2CC.US

Top brass has previously sounded alarms over the service’s

difficulty finding qualified recruits in that 18-25 age range.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 9

TO ADVERTISE

contact Nathan.Stiles@mhce.us

“We are in a war for talent,” Gen. James McConville,

the Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services

Committee in May.

The release of the polling data comes as the service touts a

new advertising campaign that talks up the wide range of

benefits associated with military life.

Instead of highlighting soldiers in the field, the “Know Your

Army” ads call attention to things such as pension plans,

mortgage loan perks and free schooling. The aim is to

show how such privileges set the Army apart from civilian

employers.

Given the difficult recruiting environment, which military

officials have blamed in part on a competitive labor market,

the Army’s 2023 budget request calls for an end-strength

of 473,000 active-duty soldiers, even though Congress has

authorized the force to grow to 500,000 by 2022.

Military officials have said that the cap is temporary and that

the Army intends to grow once the recruiting environment

improves.


10 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 11

VISIT OUR

WEBSITE AT M2CC.US


12 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

and vaccine expert

at Johns Hopkins

Bloomberg School of

Public Health, wrote in

an email. "I also think

that it reinforces what

we've seen in adults as

well. For the Omicron

variant, a third dose is

necessary for optimal

protection."

Federal officials are

already reviewing

the pediatric vaccine

from biotechnology

company Moderna, a

two-shot regimen that

was 51% effective in

preventing illness in

children between 6

months and 2 years

old, and 37% effective

in children 2 to 5 years

old.

Regulators previously

had set aside three dates

for the FDA's outside

experts to review the

vaccines for young

children, beginning

with a session on June

8. Those meetings are

now canceled.

Under the revised

schedule, the FDA and

its outside experts will

discuss the Moderna

vaccine for children and

adolescents from 6 to

17 years old on June 14.

The following day, they

will review vaccines

for the youngest

children, with advisers

evaluating the Moderna

vaccine for children 6

months through 5 years

old and the Pfizer-

BioNTech vaccine for

children ages 6 months

through 4 years old.

"The overall data are

encouraging such that it

is really hard to look at

one vaccine apart from

the other," according

to an official familiar

with the process

who spoke on the

condition of anonymity

because that person

was not authorized to

speak publicly. The

official suggested the

two vaccines would

probably be reviewed

side by side.

A CDC planning

document notes that

vaccines are expected to

be shipped immediately


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 13

after being authorized

by the FDA. Preordering

for doses could begin in

late May or early June,

but an exact date will be

contingent on when the

FDA's external advisers

meet.

The Pfizer-BioNTech

vaccine for children

younger than 5 is a

three-shot regimen

tested in nearly 1,700

children. Each dose is

one-tenth of the adult

dose. The third shot

was added in December

after it became clear

that two shots failed

to muster an immune

response equivalent to

what was generated in

young adults in early

coronavirus vaccine

trials. It is given two

months after the second

shot.

Although that

setback was hugely

disappointing to

parents, the addition

of a third shot was

seen by many experts

as necessary because

the omicron variant of

the coronavirus had

fundamentally changed

the pandemic. The two

shots that provided

robust protection

against infection and

severe illness early on

were markedly less

protective against the

omicron variant.

"Omicron has really

thrown a curveball on

us it seems that two

doses are not sufficient

for adequate efficacy

against infection with

Omicron, with any

vaccine, at any age,"

Flor Munoz, a pediatric

infectious-disease

specialist at Baylor

College of Medicine,

said in an email before

the new data was

released.

While the adult trials

recruited tens of

thousands of volunteers

and waited to see if

vaccinated people

were better protected,

the children's vaccine

trials were primarily

designed to measure

immune responses

using blood tests.

The criteria for success

was whether a vaccine

provoked a comparable

immune response to

what was seen among

young adults in trials

conducted before the

widespread emergence

of variants. Both the

Pfizer-BioNTech and

Moderna pediatric

vaccines succeeded on

that measure, although

the significance of that

benchmark has shifted

with the emergence of

the omicron variant.

The companies also

measured cases of

symptomatic illness

in the population, and

Pfizer and BioNTech

said the 80% efficacy

finding was preliminary

and based on 10 cases

of COVID-19 in the

study population as of

the end of April. Once

21 cases have occurred,

the companies will

conduct a more formal

analysis of efficacy.

David Benkeser, a

biostatistician at Emory

University's Rollins

School of Public

Health, said the updated

data would probably be

ready before a decision

would need to be made,

and that he wouldn't be

surprised if the efficacy

number declined

somewhat as more

cases occur.

"Even still, it appears

the data are so far

pointing towards a safe

and effective vaccine

for young children,"

Benkeser wrote in an

email.

Moderna's two-shot

vaccine regimen was

about 51% effective in

children 6 months to

2 years old, and 37%

effective in children 2

to 5 years old.

If Pfizer's efficacy

data holds up, it could

pose a conundrum

for public health

officials, physicians

and parents. If both

vaccines are cleared

by the FDA, the CDC

advisory committee

could weigh whether

one vaccine should be

recommended over the

other.

Moderna is studying

a booster given six

months after the last

shot.

In either case, the hope

is that children will

be fully vaccinated in

advance of a potential

surge in the fall.

On Sunday, before the

Pfizer announcement,

White House

coronavirus response

coordinator Ashish

Jha predicted on ABC

News' "This Week" that

children could have

access to a shot "in the

next few weeks" and

that action would be

taken on the Moderna

vaccine as soon as

regulators were finished

with their review.


14 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

VA Secretary Sets Goals to House More Veterans

in LA, Prevent Homelessness

WASHINGTON–

Department of Veterans

Affairs Secretary Denis

McDonough said Friday that

the agency will get more

veterans into homes this

year in Los Angeles and help

prevent homelessness.

The agency will get 1,500

additional veterans into

homes, and 180 housing units

will be added to the campus

of the West Los Angeles

VA Medical Center, along

with 535 individual veteran

housing units through projectbased

vouchers, McDonough

told attendees at the National

Coalition for Homeless

Veterans Conference, a

three-day event that gathers

community-based service

providers working with

veterans experiencing or at

risk of homelessness.

The coalition held the

conference for the first time

in two years. The theme for

this year’s conference was

“Coming Together: Facing

the Future,” and consisted

of more than 600 service

providers and partners

who sought resources and

technical assistance for

homeless veterans in other

areas.

McDonough said the VA

would use 75% of its U.S.

Department of Housing

and Urban Development-

VA Supportive Housing

vouchers. According to the

VA Homeless Programs

website, the program pairs

HUD's Housing Choice

Voucher rental assistance

with VA case management

and supportive services for

homeless veterans.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 15

McDonough said 60% to

63% of the vouchers are used

yearly.

"We're going make sure that

50% of veterans who receive

HUD-VASH vouchers find

permanent housing within

90 days,” he said. "So we're

not only going to use the

vouchers more aggressively,

we're going to use them in a

more timely manner."

McDonough also said the

agency will get 38,000

veterans into permanent

housing and is "driving hard"

to prevent veterans from

becoming homeless.

"It means making existing

housing more affordable

through HUD-VASH and

through supportive services

for veteran families," he

said. "It means helping

unsheltered vets get off

the street through the grant

[and] per diem program,

and it means learning every

veteran's unique story and

getting them the wraparound

service they need."

disabled veterans. There are

several historic structures on

the campus, and most of the

buildings were built in the

Spanish Colonial Revival

style, with their characteristic

red-tile roofs and stucco

walls.

The campus contains a ninehole

golf course, a Japanese

garden and plenty of open

space. Many of the buildings

now sit vacant, some because

of their states of disrepair.

Others are vacant due to

the coronavirus pandemic

pushing employees out of

their offices.

In one part of the campus,

construction workers are

restoring two large buildings

into permanent housing units.

The VA expects to have 186

apartments ready for use by

the end of the year.

The Department of Housing

and Urban Development

estimated in January

2020 that 37,252 veterans

experienced homelessness in

a single night. An estimated

10% of those veterans lived

in Los Angeles.

McDonough also spoke

about two successes from

last year.

In October, McDonough

vowed to get all homeless

veterans living in the area

known as "veterans row" in

Los Angeles into housing by

Nov. 1. At the time, about 40

people lived along veterans

row, a homeless encampment

just outside the West Los

Angeles VA Medical Center.

McDonough said the agency

succeeded in placing Los

Angeles homeless veterans

into housing by the deadline.

In November, the secretary

promised the VA would house

an additional 500 homeless

veterans in Los Angeles

in time for the holidays.

In December, VA Deputy

Secretary Donald Remy said

the VA had surpassed that

goal and found housing for

537 veterans.

Of those veterans, 46% have

found permanent housing

using government vouchers,

and the rest have been

accepted into temporary

housing, Remy said.

In April, McDonough signed

an updated plan for a longdelayed

housing development

intended to help solve the

veteran homelessness crisis

in Los Angeles.

The 656-page plan,

called Master Plan 2022,

contains details for a major

construction project on the VA

campus in West Los Angeles.

The updated plan calls for

more than 1,000 housing

units for homeless veterans

to be under construction

within one to five years. The

plan states 220 additional

units will be built within six

to 10 years, and the VA will

add 350 more units sometime

after that.

McDonough said those

services include food, health

care, mental health care, and

child care.

"Whether a veteran needs

assistance addressing

physical or mental health,

a substance use disorder,

justice involvement, or

anything else… we're going

to be there to help," he said.

The VA campus in West

Los Angeles is 388 acres.

The land was donated to

the government in 1888

by a wealthy California

landowner who wanted the

area to be used to provide

health care and homes for


16 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 17

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced

the organization had removed the requirement for its

competition in the state, which is scheduled to run

June 5 to June 12.

"In Florida, we want all of them to be able to compete.

We do not think it's fair or just to be marginalizing

some of these athletes based on a decision that has

no bearing on their ability to compete with honor

or integrity," DeSantis said at a news conference in

Orlando.

Special Olympics Drops

Vaccine Rule After $27M

Fine Threat

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The Special Olympics

has dropped a coronavirus vaccine mandate for its

games in Orlando after Florida moved to fine the

organization $27.5 million for violating a state law

against such rules.

The Florida health department notified the Special

Olympics of the fine in a letter Thursday that said

the organization would be fined $27.5 million for

5,500 violations of state law for requiring proof of

coronavirus vaccination for attendees or participants.

Florida law bars businesses from requiring

documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination. DeSantis

has strongly opposed vaccine mandates and other

virus policies endorsed by the federal government.

In a statement on its website, the Special Olympics

said people who were registered but unable to

participate because of the mandate can now attend.


18 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

Join Our Team!

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Our Team Promotes

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Central New York Psychiatric Center is seeking

candidates to fill the following positions;

Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners,

Psychologists, and Registered Nurses.

These positions are available at our Inpatient

Forensic Hospital in Marcy, New York, as

well as our Corrections Based Satellite Units

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Contact Us:

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CNpersonnel@omh.ny.gov


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 19

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT MHCE.US


20 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

Army Units in South Korea Receive Award for Initial

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea

Eighth Army received the Army

Superior Unit Award for its efforts

in curbing the spread of COVID-19

during the onset of the pandemic in

South Korea, according to a press

release Thursday.

“Eighth Army and cited units displayed

outstanding meritorious service through

their response to the global pandemic

cause by COVID-19, making their

#1 priority to protect the force during

these extraordinary circumstances,” the

award’s citation said.

The citation from the Army’s Human

Resources Command added that

Eighth Army’s efforts “enabled the

effective response to the pandemic

not only on the Korean Peninsula but

more importantly informed response

operations worldwide.”

Soldiers present for duty while being

attached to Eighth Army or one of

several units in South Korea between

Jan. 28, 2020, to April 30, 2020, are

eligible to wear the superior unit award

permanently. Army civilian employees

who served within the same timeframe

are also eligible for the award.

South Korea became one of the first

countries to report COVID-19 cases

outside of China in January 2020. In

Daegu, roughly 100 miles southeast

of Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek,

the U.S. military reported its first-ever

COVID-19 case on Feb. 20, 2020.

U.S. Forces Korea, the command

responsible for roughly 28,500 troops

on the peninsula, and its individual

garrison commanders initiated

lockdowns as case numbers increased

in the military community.

The Army’s response in South Korea,

which included the construction of

several quarantine facilities and the

reassignment of thousands of service

members, became the testing ground

for the military’s worldwide pandemic

response.

Col. Michael Tremblay, the former

garrison commander at Camp

Humphreys, did not leave the base for

102 consecutive days.

“Everybody’s singular focus from then

on was, ‘How do we get this from

getting inside,’” he said in June 2021.

“We quickly ramped up the things that

we were doing. For those three months,

we did nothing but 24-hour operations,

continuously coming up with new

processes.”

An Eighth Army spokesman said the

command was “extremely proud of our

soldiers, both past and present.”

“Their professionalism allowed us to

continue our mission of supporting our

regional allies and deterring potential

adversaries while simultaneously

managing the effects of the global

pandemic,” Lt. Col. Neil Penttila said in

an email to Stars and Stripes on Friday.

USFK counted 104 new infections in

the week ending Monday, down from

the 141 cases reported between May

10-16, according to a USFK update on

Tuesday.

The command reported 98 infections

May 3-9, down from the weekly record

of 1,599 cases Jan. 4-10.


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 21

The booster “is effective in

helping to prevent the most severe

consequences of COVID-19 in

individuals 5 years of age and

older,” Peter Marks, director of

the FDA’s Center for Biologics

Evaluation and Research, said in a

statement.

Pfizer COVID

Booster for

Children 5 to

11 Gets FDA

Authorization

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE gained

US emergency use authorization

for their COVID vaccine booster

shot for kids ages 5 to 11, a move

to bolster protection in schoolaged

kids as contagious omicron

subvariants spread across the

country.

The Food and Drug Administration

clearance allows the use of the

booster at least five months after

children receive the second of their

first two shots. The companies

submitted data to the agency in

late April showing the third shot

could bolster antibodies in the age

group.

Side effects of the booster shot in

kids included pain, redness and

swelling at the injection site, the

FDA said in a statement.

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No COVID vaccine has yet been

authorized for kids under 5. The

FDA has held several dates in

June for its advisers to discuss data

from Pfizer and its rival Moderna

Inc. on COVID vaccines for the

youngest kids.


22 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

Marine Corps Recruit

Depot Parris Island

Wages Battles, Not

War, Against Climate

Change

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. Rising seas are

encroaching on one of America's most storied

military installations, where thousands of

recruits are molded into Marines each year amid

the salt marshes of South Carolina's Lowcountry

region.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is

particularly vulnerable to flooding, coastal

erosion and other impacts of climate change, a

Defense Department-funded "resiliency review"

noted last month. Some scientists project that

by 2099, three-quarters of the island could be

under water during high tides each day.

Military authorities say they're confident they

can keep the second-oldest Marine Corps base


WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 23

intact, for now, through small-scale changes to

existing infrastructure projects.

Maj. Marc Blair, Parris Island's environmental

director, describes this strategy as "the art

of the small," a phrase he attributes to the

base's commanding general, Brig. Gen. Julie

Nethercot. In practice, it means such things

as raising a culvert that needs to be repaired

anyway, limiting development in low-lying

areas and adding floodproofing measures to

firing range upgrades.

Others advocate much larger and more

expensive solutions, such as building huge

seawalls around the base, or moving Marine

Corps training away from the coast altogether.

Parris Island has an outsized role in military

lore and American pop culture as a proving

ground for Marines who have served in every

major conflict since World War I. It remains

a crucial training ground, along with Marine

Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. But the rising

sea is proving to be a formidable enemy.

Salt marsh makes up more than half of the base's

8,000 acres, and the depot's highest point, by

the fire station, is just 13 feet (4 meters) above

sea level. It is linked to the mainland by a single

road that's already susceptible to flooding.

Low-lying areas on the island and the nearby

Marine Corps air station already flood about ten

times a year, and by 2050, "the currently floodprone

areas within both bases could experience

tidal flooding more than 300 times annually

and be underwater nearly 30 percent of the year

given the highest scenario," according to the

Union of Concerned Scientists.

Military reports have for decades acknowledged

threats from climate change to national security,

as wildfires, hurricanes and floods have

prompted evacuations and damaged bases. A

Pentagon document published last fall, after

President Joe Biden ordered federal agencies

to revamp their climate resilience plans,

says the Department of Defense now has "a

comprehensive approach to building climateready

installations" and cites an adaptation and

resilience study undertaken by Parris Island.

But day-to-day disruptions are growing,

from nuisance flooding on roads to rising

temperatures and higher humidity that when

combined, limit the human body's ability to

cool down with sweat.


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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 25

Those wetter, hotter days

could limit outdoor training.

Already, more than 500

people on Parris Island

suffered from heat stroke

and heat exhaustion between

2016 and 2020, putting the

base among the top ten U.S.

military installations for

heat illnesses, according to

the Armed Forces Health

Surveillance Branch.

All the training that happens

at Parris Island could be

technically replicated

on cooler, drier land

somewhere else, said retired

Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney,

who served as commanding

general at the base from

1999 to 2001.

But Cheney doesn't foresee

any appetite in Congress

for closing the base and

relocating its mission to less

risky ground, which means

the government needs to

start investing in structural

solutions to protect its

crucial components such as

the firing ranges near the

water, he said in an interview

with The Associated Press.

Spending millions to build

seawalls would be cheaper

than spending billions

to rebuild the base after

a devastating hurricane,

Cheney reasons.

Parris Island has so far

been spared the direct hits

that have caused billions

in damage to other military

installations, but it has been

evacuated twice in the last

five years for hurricanes,

which hit South Carolina

every eight years, on

average.

In 2018, Hurricane Florence

pummeled North Carolina's

Camp Lejeune, washing

away the beach used by

Marines for training,

destroying buildings and

displacing personnel. A

month later, Hurricane

Michael tore through

Tyndall Air Force Base in

Florida, devastating airplane

hangars and causing $3

billion in damage.

Those disasters should serve

as cautionary tales for Parris

Island, argues Cheney. But

there is no grand overhaul

currently planned no

concrete bulkheads or

other seawalls that could

dramatically revise the post's

visual character, no master

plan to raise buildings all at

once.

Hurricane planning is

focused on protecting

life and preserving the

equipment and buildings

necessary to limit training

disruptions, said Col.

William Truax, the depot's

director of installations and

logistics.

"We're not taking on any

major projects because

we've not experienced a

major threat to what we

have to do here," Truax

said. "To be honest, these

old brick buildings aren't

going anywhere."

Parris Island also depends

on the resilience of

communities just off the

base. Stephanie Rossi, a

planner with the Lowcountry

Council of Governments,

said the group's Defense

Department-funded study

of climate change impacts

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suggests shoring up the

only road on and off the

island, elevating buildings

and bolstering the storm

water system of an area

where military families

live.

The base also works with

environmental groups to

support living shoreline

projects, building up

coastal oyster reefs to

strengthen natural buffers

to floods and hurricanes.

"The waters will

recede," said Blair, the

environmental director.

"The more resilient we

make this place, the

quicker we can get back to

making Marines."

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WWW.M2CC.US Monthly Newsletter | 27

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28 | M2CC - News www.m2cc.us JUNE 2022 EDITION

Thompson also noted efforts by the

command to care for Afghan evacuees

who passed through U.S. bases in

Germany on their way to the United

States after the fall of their country to

the Taliban.

Medical staff at Landstuhl treated

391 Afghan patients and delivered 26

babies, he said.

Infectious Disease Expert Takes

Charge as Army’s Top Health Officer

in Europe

LANDSTUHL, Germany U.S. troops

are unlikely to have to endure a repeat

of the heavy COVID-19 restrictions

they faced during the early days of the

pandemic, the Army’s new top health

officer in Europe said Wednesday.

“The extreme lockdown that we

experienced, I don’t think we’ll see that

again,” Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray told

Stars and Stripes after taking command

of Regional Health Command-Europe.

The regional command provides

medical and dental services to personnel

in about 40 countries, including support

for troops in U.S. central and Africa

commands.

Murray took charge of the unit from

Brig. Gen. Mark Thompson in a

ceremony at Landstuhl Regional

Medical Center. Soldiers stood in close

formation before dozens of attendees,

all without masks.

It contrasted starkly with the welcome

Thompson received when he arrived in

the spring of 2020, in the early stages

of an outbreak that countries the world

over struggled for two years to control.

In his speech Wednesday, Thompson

recalled the challenges of assuming

command as the COVID-19 pandemic

began raging.

He thanked the medical staff, who he

said had administered some 210,000

vaccine doses and 360,000 coronavirus

tests.

“You collectively did the impossible

over the last two years,” Thompson

said.

The regional command provides

medical and dental services to personnel

in about 40 countries, including support

for troops in U.S. central and Africa

commands.

Murray took charge of the unit from

Brig. Gen. Mark Thompson in a

ceremony at Landstuhl Regional

Medical Center. Soldiers stood in close

formation before dozens of attendees,

all without masks.

It contrasted starkly with the welcome

Thompson received when he arrived in

the spring of 2020, in the early stages

of an outbreak that countries the world

over struggled for two years to control.

In his speech Wednesday, Thompson

recalled the challenges of assuming

command as the COVID-19 pandemic

began raging.

He thanked the medical staff, who he

said had administered some 210,000

vaccine doses and 360,000 coronavirus

tests.

Thompson will head to U.S. Army

Medical Command headquarters at Fort

Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas,

said Gino Mattorano, a spokesman for

Regional Health Command-Europe.

He will trade cities with Murray, who

previously helmed Brooke Army

Medical Center in San Antonio.

The harsh restrictions at the beginning

of the pandemic were due to concerns

about a lack of hospital beds as well

as the absence of vaccines and testing

tools, which are now available, Murray

told Stars and Stripes.

Health officials will have to see whether

the virus continues to mutate into

new variants. But should that happen,

they’re more prepared than they were

at the beginning of the pandemic, he

added.

“We may move back and forth on

wearing masks and having events,

changing a little bit of what we do, but I

don’t think we’ll ever go back to when

we truly shut down,” Murray said.

Murray specialized in infectious diseases

at multiple points during his career,

according to a biography provided by

Regional Health Command-Europe.

He completed a fellowship in infectious

diseases in 2002 and reviewed infection

control procedures during a deployment

to Afghanistan in 2012. He is a member

of the Infectious Diseases Society of

America, a medical association based

in Arlington, Va.

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