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November 2004

Release Date: November 5, 2004

ASU Sciences Dean Tours U.S. Defense Facilities in Pacific, Asia

Angelo State University's dean of sciences was selected this fall to participate in the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC) that included military briefings and a tour of U.S. military facilities in the Pacific.

Dr. David H. Loyd, Jr., was one of 50 participants selected nationally for the program that identifies civilian public opinion leaders and invites them to meet with military leaders and to visit military facilities worldwide in order to reach a greater understanding of national defense issues and policies.

The program began with an overview briefing in Honolulu and then moved to the field where participants observe military exercises, weapons demonstrations and training involving all branches of the military.

After completing the program Loyd indicated that while the equipment systems were remarkable, he was even more impressed with the young men and women.

"At all levels from the lowest enlisted ranks to the four-star generals and admirals that I met," Loyd said, "the competence, dedication and intelligence of our service men and women gave me a very good feeling about the state of our military. They are well-trained and most knowledgeable about the history, sociology and economics of the region where they are stationed. Clearly, they are serious about their role and their mission."

One thing that made a particular impression on Loyd was landing on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis and learning that the average age of all 5,500 members of the crew, including the officers, was 20.

"Just think about it," he said. "We have 18- and 19-year-olds doing a superior job of taking care $2 billion worth of aircraft on that ship. It showed me that the volunteer military is doing an exceptional job in protecting our nation."

The JCOC is the only civilian orientation program conducted directly by the secretary of defense. The JCOC is the Pentagon's oldest civilian program, having been held 66 times since 1948.

The goal of the program is to ultimately help the public better understand national defense policies and programs through opinion leaders who return to their communities and share firsthand observations and knowledge gained through the program.

As a JCOC participant, Loyd in September visited facilities at Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii as well as Osan Air Base in Korea; Atsugi, Japan; Yokosuka, Japan; Atsugi, Japan; Peya Lebar Air Base in Singapore; and Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.

During the eight days of the field program, various activities included flights on Chinook Helicopters, landing on an aircraft carrier, displays of various weapons systems and observation of various aircraft, including B-52s and KC-135s.

Loyd and his fellow JCOC participants visited several historic sites including the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the building in Panmunjon, Korea, where the armistice that ended the Korean War was signed July 17, 1953, by Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr., deputy commander of the U.S. Eighth Army and North Korean Gen. Nam Il.