Military News

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Navy Re-establishes 4th Fleet to Promote Future Interoperability

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - The recent re-establishment of U.S. 4th Fleet will promote increased alignment with the 32 countries and 13 territories in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, a senior
Navy official said yesterday. "The Navy, and probably the Department of Defense, recognized the importance of the region to the south of the United States that includes the Caribbean and western side of the Atlantic and the eastern side of the Pacific and all our partners down there," Navy Rear Adm. James W. Stevenson Jr., commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, said in a teleconference with online journalists and "bloggers."

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced the 4th Fleet's re-establishment April 24.

The 4th Fleet will man, train and equip U.S. ships deploying to Latin America, Stevenson said. He added that it will be patterned after the 5th Fleet and the
Navy component of U.S. Central Command.

"The Navy, by re-establishing the 4th Fleet, is serious about the countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, and ... we're very mindful of the 40 percent of U.S. trade that goes on with those countries and the 50 percent of the oil imports from that region," Stevenson said. "I think that the other navies and
coast guards recognize that, and they would view that as a positive step."

With headquarters in Mayport, Fla., the new U.S. 4th Fleet commander also will command U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, which will retain the mission as the
Navy component for U.S. Southern Command.

"The area of operations within the Caribbean [and] Central and South American waters will be under the operational and tactical control of the 4th Fleet," Stevenson explained. "[This includes] its aircraft, submarine, surface ships and personnel."

The U.S. 4th Fleet originally was established in 1943 to protect the United States against raiders, blockade runners and enemy submarines. It was disestablished in 1950, when its responsibilities were taken over by U.S. 2nd Fleet. While its missions may evolve over time, Stevenson said, the new 4th Fleet's objectives are to keep the economic sea lanes of communication free and open.

"In this area, ... there are no conflicts on the seas or anything like that," he said. "And so, we're focused on building relationships and trying to improve the interoperability of our partner navies and
coast guards in the region."

Stevenson said building on the cooperative maritime strategy for the 21st century will include core competencies such as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and theater
security cooperation. The admiral said he believes amphibious forces are among the best assets he has to help in carrying out the theater's objectives, as they typically have enormous capacity to bring in equipment for military-to-military training.

Stevenson added that he looks forward to using that capability later this year when USS Kearsarge and USS Boxer deploy on humanitarian missions.

"Kearsarge and Boxer will be primarily a humanitarian assistance type of load-out, in that doctors and dentists and nongovernmental organization people will embark, and we're going to try and perform medical assistance [and] medical training within the Caribbean and also Central and South America," he said.

The Norfolk, Va.-based Kearsarge will visit about 12 different ports in the Caribbean, and will focus on the northern portion of South America and a few ports in Central America. Boxer, based in San Diego, will visit eight ports in the eastern Pacific.

Stevenson said the
Navy's forward presence and the ability to sail anywhere, any time and sustain itself will be a benefit to the region, especially when that region is faced with natural disasters such as earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires and flooding.

Amphibious units provide "the perfect platform" for those types of missions if they're postured correctly and officials keep a sharp eye on indications of impending natural disasters, Stevenson said.

Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg is assigned to the New Media branch of American Forces Information Services.)

Face of Defense: 'Sgt. Ken' Urges Enlisted Leaders to Stress Fitness

By Army Master Sgt. Bob Haskell
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - The
Army Physical Fitness Test would be a lot more demanding if "Sgt. Ken" was in charge. It would, in his world, gauge soldiers' ability to do a lot more than perform a mandatory number of push-ups and sit-ups in two minutes and run two miles within a required time. The test would determine soldiers' fitness for combat, if Sgt. Ken had his way. "We need to be focused on physical conditioning for combat, not just the APFT. The battlefield is no place for those who fatigue quickly," Sgt. Ken told the Army and Air National Guard's state enlisted leaders here in mid-April.

"Sgt. Ken" is Staff Sgt. Kenneth Weichert of the Tennessee
Army National Guard. He has gone to war in Southwest Asia twice: during Operation Desert Storm as an active Army soldier in the early 1990s and again during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a California Army Guard soldier in 2003-04.

He is 41, and he may best be known in Guard circles as the fitness guru for GX (Guard Experience) magazine. That magazine, which focuses on Army Guard soldiers, has included his feature, "Start Fitness," for the past three years. He is now the monthly publication's co-editor for health and fitness. He also has created workouts in video, audio and print products as the fitness director for He has, in short, become the 21st century's Jack LaLanne for the
Army Guard.

Weichert enlisted in the
Army in 1988 and then joined the Louisiana Army Guard in 1992 after serving during Desert Storm. He was a traditional soldier and full-time recruiting and retention NCO with the California Guard from 1997-2007 before transferring to Tennessee to join the IOSTUDIO team that publishes GX in Nashville. He has been a master fitness trainer since 1993 and has trained servicemembers and civilians for nearly 20 years.

The man who was partially paralyzed for four weeks from a football injury during his senior year in high school has made physical fitness his lifestyle and career.

Weichert is as much showman as he is a soldier. He has a Schwarzenegger-like body. He is polished and outgoing in word and manner. He has studied theater at Drake University and the University of Southwestern
Louisiana. He was clearly the celebrity at the National Guard Bureau's first Senior Enlisted Leaders Conference here April 18-21. He barked encouraging commands, sang inspirational songs and counted cadence like a seasoned drill sergeant during nonstop, half-hour morning workouts that were not for the faint of heart.

He attended the conference, however, not to promote himself but to promote physical fitness among Guardmembers who could find themselves in combat during the global war on terrorism or engaged with wildfires or floods in this country.

Command Sgt. Maj. David Ray Hudson, the National Guard Bureau's senior enlisted leader and the driving force behind the first-of-its-kind conference, acknowledged that his emphasis on fitness was Weichert's most important contribution.

Soldiers should train as if they are athletes year-round to be physically fit for those challenges, Weichert told the state command sergeants major and the command chief master sergeants. Combat, he observed, requires a lot of upper body strength. An infantryman should be able carry a 160-pound person in full combat gear on his back for 30 meters, as if he were carrying his injured buddy to a landing zone, Weichert said.

Guard soldiers should be able to sidestroke the length of an Olympic pool in full uniform, holding a rifle above the water, to be fit enough to swim across a flooded river. They also should be prepared to hit a hill in full gear to help fight the wildfires that scorch sections of this country from March through October.

Push-ups, tummy crunches, pull-ups, marches with full rucksacks, and swimming in uniform are the drills that Sgt. Ken advocates for those who must be prepared to support their state or defend their country during crises. And the traditional troops who are not inclined to exercise have to be encouraged to work out during the 28 days of most months when they are not in uniform. "We have to 'think smart, not hard' about ways to stay in shape," Weichert said.

"They don't call out the Guard when things are going good. They call us out when things have gone bad," he observed. "We have to be ready -- mentally and physically. Fatigue makes cowards of us all."

Army Master Sgt. Bob Haskell is assigned to the National Guard Bureau.)

America Supports You: Radio Program Gives Troops a Voice

By Air Force Maj. Miki Gilloon
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - One program on
Phoenix's KFNX 1100 AM News-Talk Radio has a simple mission: give troops the world over a voice through a weekly show. Voice of the Troops debuted on News Talk KFYI last year as a monthly feature created by Dave Whitten, one of the original and current hosts. The show later moved to KFNX and evolved into a weekly Sunday feature.

"The philosophy is simple: We want to give a voice to those boots on the ground and hopefully be an outlet our servicemen and women can use to get their message out from the front lines," said Whitten, who currently hosts the show with retired
Army Lt. Col. Dawn Lake, who served in Afghanistan.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Noel T. "Tom" Jones, commander of 56th Fighter Wing here, was a special guest on Voice of the Troops, helping the station kick off its fourth program. Questions asked of the general during the show included local topics such as the importance of the Barry M. Goldwater Range, encroachment issues and training in military operations areas. When Whitten asked Jones about his most harrowing combat experience, the general spoke of a night sortie he was involved in during Operation Desert Fox.

"We were bombing the Republican Guard barracks in the center of Iraq. There were anti-radiation missiles being shot at the surface-to-air missile sites, and when missiles hit ground, everybody woke up," he said. "There was a lot of triple-A (anti-aircraft artillery), and it was pretty eye-opening."

Listeners can tune into Voice of the Troops between 7 and 8 p.m. Mountain Time on Sundays to hear airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines talk about their personal or combat experiences. The program streams live at

Air Force Maj. Miki Gilloon serves in the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.)



Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.,
Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $190,000,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-07-C-0097) for special tooling and special test equipment associated with the Lot two Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP II) of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., (25 percent), Ft. Worth, Texas, (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom, (15 percent); Orlando, Fla., (10 percent); Torrance, Calif., (5 percent); Eagan, Minn., (5 percent); Nashua, N.H., (5 percent); Broomfield, Colo., (5 percent); and San Jose, Calif., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in Apr. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

BRDC A Joint Venture of Burns & Roe and Dick Corp., Large, Pa., is being awarded a not to exceed $50,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity job order contract for construction projects at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay. The work to be performed is for construction, addition, renovations, alterations and/or repair various types of facilities/buildings and provide minor construction and marine work. Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of May 2013. The contract was competitively procured via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-08-D-1273).

American Systems, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $34,801,258 ceiling Blanket Purchase Agreement resulting from Request for Proposal (No. M67854-07-R-7034) for the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate Omnibus Support Services. Work will be performed in Dumfries, Va., (90 percent) and Quantico, Va., (10 percent), and work is expected to be completed April 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively awarded under a full and open, best value competition, with two offerors providing proposals in response to the solicitation. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-08-A-7038).

Northrop Grumman Corp.,
El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a ceiling priced $24,999,810 for delivery order #5115 under a Basic Ordering Agreement (N00383-06-G-032D) for aircraft rudders which are spares in support of the F/A-18 aircraft Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., and work is expected to be completed by April 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity.

John C. Grimberg Co., Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded $15,805,000 for firm-fixed-price task order #0022 under a previously awarded indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62477-04-D-0012) for construction of an aircraft prototype facility at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River. The work to be performed provides for construction of a single hangar structure with an adjacent second level support and office space. The facility will provide secure work space consisting of a secure aircraft preparation bay, technical service laboratory, assembly area, tool crib and special access program facilities. The facility will also provide other office and support spaces, a conference room with video teleconferencing capabilities. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md., and work is expected to be completed by January 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, Wash., D.C., is the contracting activity.

Marshall Co., Ltd.*, Corpus Christi, Texas, is being awarded $13,750,000 for firm-fixed price task order #0001 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62467-04-D-0078) for design and construction of an aviation training facility at Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi. The work to be performed provides for construction of a standard single story facility with high bay simulator trainer areas. The facility includes spaces for brief/de-brief, instructors, simulator maintenance, administrative support,
computer support, and mechanical rooms. Three existing structures will be demolished in site preparation. The new structure will be a secure limited access facility and will be constructed with sustainable features. The contract contains two options totaling $258,600, which may be exercised within 180 calendar days, bringing the total contract amount to $14,008,600. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and work is expected to be completed by Sep. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Referentia Systems Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded an $11,719,335 cost-plus-fix-fee contract to provide investigative research and analysis to develop individual and cultural behavior simulation models for the
Navy to achieve its "Revolution in Training" and to increase the level of trained and missioned ready Navy and Joint Forces. This contract will include a scenario generation editor that will make use of agent-based distillation models technology creating rapid scenario generation and performance measurement metrics for analysis, experimentation, and training federations; a prototype system that creates and builds on the novel use of these emerging technologies as they are applied to a live virtual constructive training environment; and a prototype eLearning testbed that will allow research into when, where, what and why basic eLearning courses should be enhanced with gaming and distributed training technologies. Work will be performed in Honolulu, Hawaii and is expected to be completed in Apr. 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $1,120,500 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a Broad Agency Announcement; with one offer received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61339-08-C-0023).

L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC,
Madison, Miss., is being awarded an $11,262,673 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price, cost-reimbursable contract (N00019-03-D-0010) to provide additional funds for services in support of the T-45 trainer system contractor logistics support effort. Specifically, this modification provides for the fiscal 07 and fiscal 08 cost impact for wages and fringe benefit adjustments as a result of the collective bargaining agreement, dated Oct. 1, 2006 through Aug. 1, 2009, and area wage determination No. 05-2300 (Rev-4), 05-2300 (Rev-5), 94-2300 and 05-2508. This action is in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act – price adjustment clause and notification of changes cslause. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas, (51 percent) and NAS Meridian, Miss., (49 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Sep. 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc., Aiea, Hawaii, is being awarded $6,299,940 for firm-fixed-price task order #0022 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract (N62742-04-D-1300) for maintenance dredging of Sierra Wharves, Yankee Wharves and Kilo Wharf and construction of a confined disposal facility cell #3 at Waipio Peninsula, Naval Station, Pearl Harbor. Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and work is expected to be completed by Apr. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

Future Research Corp.,
Huntsville, Ala., is being awarded a $6,132,815 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for laptop computer, associated accessories and integrated services to support the DOD Joint Technical Data Initiative. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala., and work is expected to be completed by September 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was awarded competitively, with six offers received. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00104-08-D-Q277).


General Atomics of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a cost plus fee term contract for $177,082,588. This contract includes all programs management, urgent repairs and services, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, engineering technical services, contractor engineering technical services, contractor engineering technical specialists (formerly field support representatives), contractor inventory control point (formerly depot supply support) and spares management, depot repair, flight operations support, reliability/maintenance enhancements, CAMs/REMIS/CEMS data collection/entry and numbered periodic depot maintenance for the Predator/Reaper MQ-1 and MQ-9 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) programs. At this time $163,082,588 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028 003502).

Northrop Grumman Information
Technology of Herndon Va., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for $177,082,588. This effort will accomplish the delivery of Joint Enterprise DoDIIS Infrastructure software and DoDIIS Trusted Workstation software. This effort will include requirements definition analysis, systems engineering, development, integration management, quality control, requirements definition analysis, systems engineering, development, integration management, quality control, familiarization, integration/interoperability testing, security and system operation and administration. This effort will result in the delivery of several software releases (approximately one release every six months) to the DTW/JEDI user community, to include computer software, technical documentation, and as required, the installation and maintenance of the current systems located at existing intelligence sites worldwide. At this time $3,500,000 has been obligated. Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-08-D-0001 (Umbrella) and Order 0001).

Honeywell International Incorp., of Clearwater Fla., is being awarded a firm fixed price modification contract for $15,433,853. This action will provide one hundred eighty-one EGI production units, thirty EGI retrofit units, twenty-one EGI contractor depot repairs and one EGI mount. The embedded GPS/INS (EGI) unit is a non-development Item being procured to meet the navigation requirements of Tri-Service and Foreign
Military Sales platforms. This is a modification to exercise options for the aforementioned efforts. At this time $15,433,853 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8626-06-C-2065 P00058).

Boeing Co., Integrated Defense Systems of
Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a firm fixed price modification contract for $8,220,600. This contract modification will provide additional contract funding in support of the fourth year of a five year contractor logistics support for contract the VC-25A aircraft. At this time $8,220,600 has been obligated. Tinker AFB, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8106-04-C-0006 / P00081).


SRTec., Inc., Syracuse, N.Y. was awarded on Apr. 29, 2008, a $42,013,967 firm-fixed price/cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a change-order for V(2) upgrades. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by May 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Apr. 14, 2008. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-05-C-P004).

Phillips Corp.,/Viereck Co., Columbia, Md., was awarded on Apr. 29, 2008, an $8,390,000 firm-fixed price contract for 1 fluid cell press used for metal working. Work will be performed at Corpus Christi
Army Depot, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 23, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five bids were solicited on Mar. 10, 2008. Corpus Christi Army Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas, is the contracting activity (GS-07F-7729C).

Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2008, a $6,331,055 cost-reimbursement contract for support of the Future Combat Systems spin out 1 low rate initial production, procurement of long lead items for the initial operational test and evaluation set. Work will be performed at Boeing, BAE Systems, Textron Defense Systems, and General Dynamics Systems across the nation, and is expected to be completed on Jan. 27, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Aug. 17, 2007. U.S.
Army TACOM, Warren, Mich. is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-C-0145).


Delta Coals Inc., Nashville, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $10,969,600.00 firm fixed price contract for bituminous coal. Other location of performance is in Virginia. Using services are
Army and Marine Corps. There were originally 160 proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is May 31, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-0654).

Petro Marine Services, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a maximum $7,407,737.20 fixed price with economic price adjustment for delivery of gasoline, fuel oil burner, jet fuel and diesel fuel products. Other locations of performance are throughout the state of Alaska. Using services are
Coast Guard and federal civilian agencies. This proposal was originally solicited on FedBizOps with eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is Sep. 30, 2011. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-1010).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chairman Accepts Award on Behalf of Servicemembers

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff accepted the Gold Medal of the Union League of
Philadelphia here last night on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. military, who he said make America's freedom possible. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told the league members that he was honored and humbled to receive the award, but that the men and women of the armed forces are the real honorees.

"We should remember tonight those who serve around the world, particularly those who serve in harm's way," Mullen said. "It is their service that is the foundation for us as a nation. They make such a difference, and they make all of us proud."

The chairman told the black-tie crowd that, while the world is full of challenges, U.S. servicemembers have risen to surmount them. He told of a recent visit he made to Iraq and the fact that he walked through neighborhoods in Baghdad and northern Iraq. "This is something you couldn't do just weeks earlier," Mullen said. "It is like that in many places in Iraq, and it wasn't that way a year ago."

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, deservedly gets credit for turning the country around, the chairman said. "But the individuals who really get the credit in my book are the soldiers, the Marines, sailors and airmen who are on the streets making that happen," he added. "They're the ones who made the surge succeed. They're the ones that get the credit. They have done it with their blood, with their sacrifices and with the American spirit, which has tied them to those who first served when our country was formed."

Mullen said he spends a lot of his time trying to understand the pressure the ground forces are under. He said he has traveled to visit servicemembers stateside and overseas "to be in touch with what's on the ground," so he can use that input in the decisions he makes or when he recommends courses of action.

Servicemembers are not shy about telling him their feelings, especially when they are in a combat environment, he said. "I treasure that," he told the audience. He said he has seen that troops are under pressure, "but they are performing at an exceptional level."

"They are resilient, and they are proud of what they are doing," he added. "They are seeing themselves succeed in a way they weren't a year ago, and they have a skip in their step."

The chairman said that, although work remains to be done in Iraq and a growing insurgency in Afghanistan isn't going to go away, the
military must manage the conflicts in such a way that servicemembers have more time between deployments with their families.

"It is in getting it right for the immediate future that consumes a great deal of my time," he said. "But it is not just the immediate future that I am concerned about, because this war we're in, and the extremists that we are fighting, is going to be around for decades, not for months or years. And we're going to have to stay focused on this."

The United States has to build a
military for the future that can handle the unconventional enemies of today and conventional threats that may crop up, the chairman said, and the country cannot do it alone. "We've got to build relationships and partnerships with countries around the world," Mullen said.

During and after
World War Two, the admiral noted, U.S. leaders understood the need for allies in the struggle against fascism and communism, and the same is true today. "We need those partners. We need those relationships," he said.

The United States must continue to bolster on-going relationships and cultivate emerging relationships with other nations, Mullen said.

"We live in an incredible time, a time of great uncertainty, very unpredictable, and the only way I can see us moving ahead is together -- with allies and partners who have the same objectives in mind," he said.

Mullen stood in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, who received the league's first Gold Medal in 1863. Since Lincoln received the honor at the height of the
Civil War, 35 Americans have been so honored, including Army Maj. Gen. George G. Meade in 1866, Secretary of War Elihu Root in 1915, President Calvin Coolidge in 1927, General of the Armies John J. Pershing in 1928, President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1962, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger in 1986, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in 2006.

Sesame Street Coaches Kids Through Parent's Deployments, Returns

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Following a workshop that helped children cope with a
military parent's deployment, the familiar, furry denizens of Sesame Street are starring in a new program focusing on multiple deployments and family adjustments upon a parent's return. Sesame Workshop, the makers of Sesame Street, today released "Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployment, Homecoming, Changes," a video workshop that aims to aid children in understanding and unbundling the tangle of complex emotions many feel in the midst of a mother's or father's tours of duty away from home, and even broaches the difficult subject of dealing with a parent's debilitating war injury.

"This follow-on DVD to talk about the changes, dealing with new medical injuries -- living in the 'new normal' -- is tremendously important,"
Army Col. Loree K. Sutton, chief of the newly created Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, said here during the workshop launch at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

More than 80 percent of those surveyed said the first installment of Sesame Workshop's
military outreach effort -- which covered all phases of deployment -- was incredibly effective, Gary E. Knell, president and chief executive officer of Sesame Workshop. "And they really wanted us to also go to the next step to deal with two issues," he added, referring to multiple deployments and changes, especially mental or physical injuries parents suffer while deployed.

To help keep the program authentic to children's experience, an advisory committee composed of members of
military families and advocacy groups, child psychologists, educators and other experts offered perspective to Sesame Street creators throughout production.

The show's creators also vetted the program through "real world"
military families and adapted it according to their feedback, said Jeanette Betancourt, vice president for content design at Sesame Workshop's education and outreach division.

In the original script, for instance, writers used broad strokes to paint an effusive reunion between Elmo, a red, furry and perpetually 3-year old character, and his fresh-from-the-front-lines father. After seeing a rough cut of the scene, the advisors recommended tweaking the script to reflect a greater emotional range.

Leslye A. Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for
military community and family policy, said the first treatment failed to capture the emotional complexity of the reunion.

"In the original version, they had [Elmo] all excited and enthusiastic and happy. It's sort of what you expect if you really don't know how hard it is when somebody's been gone for a while and you're so anticipating their returning," Arsht said in an interview. "And yet there's this (worry), 'Is he going to be the same?' You know, all those mixed emotions."

The creators heeded their feedback and re-wrote the scene to be more three-dimensional and true-to-life, through what she described as "powerful adjustments" in the script. The effects of such realism are evident, she said: "You cannot watch these DVDs without crying."

Arsht said the anxiety arises, in part, because children feel ambivalent about the growth and progress they make in the midst of their parent's absence.

"The child has been growing; they can do things they couldn't do before. They don't know whether to be proud about that, or to think that the dad's going to feel bad that he didn't get to see that happening," Arsht said, describing a common reaction of 3- to 5-year olds, the show's target demographic.

According to statistics, some 700,000 children of
military members are under the age of 5. Through Sesame Street's lovable characters, the program manages to teach young children about painful subjects in a medium that speaks to them.

In one scene, Rosita, a cheerful, bilingual blue monster from Mexico, sees her servicemember father return home in a wheelchair after an injury he suffered during deployment.

"Initially she's angry. Her emotions emerge. And what Sesame Street is able to do is turn the conversation to what is the same, what the parent can do," Arsht said. "If he can't kick the ball -- which he couldn't -- he can catch the ball.

"It's elementary," she continued. "But it carries a much bigger message than the words themselves convey."

Elmo and Rosita are the best venues for relaying such tender messages because they are trusted by young audience members, said Barbara Thompson, the director of DoD's
military community and family policy office and advisory board member.

"The children will listen and resonate with their message," she said. "Sesame Workshop captured the right message and how to say it in a very sensitive way. It's a well-done resource for our families."

Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit education effort, has been doing these special projects since its inception in 1968. The group has done outreach projects on subjects like early literacy, asthma, lead poisoning, going to the doctor and school readiness.

Performed in English and
Spanish, the workshop will not air on television but will be distributed free to schools, child care programs and family support centers, thanks to a gift from Wal-Mart stores and other sponsors. The DVD kit or downloadable video is available at the Military OneSource Web site,

The previous Sesame Street workshop, a broader installment entitled "Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Families Cope with
Military Deployment," covered all phases of deployment, from predeployment to homecoming. A separate Sesame Street program, "When Parents Are Deployed," was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program.



Raytheon Co., Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded a $59,790,100 firm-fixed-price contract for the Fiscal Year 2008 Full Rate Production (Lot VI) procurement of 14 AN/AQS airborne low frequency sonar for the MH-60R helicopter. Work will be performed in Brest, France, (61 percent); Portsmouth, R.I., (30 percent) and Gaithersburg, Md., (9 percent), and is expected to be completed in Oct. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-08-C-0051).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $23,783,387 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0014). This modification provides for the procurement of ancillary mission equipment for the F/A-18 E/F and E/A-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in
Mesa, Ariz., (83 percent); and St. Louis, Mo., (17 percent) and is expected to be completed in Jan. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Serco Inc., Vienna, Va., is being awarded an $11,400,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, time and material modification to a previously awarded contract (N65236-02-D-3712) for air traffic control systems engineering, installation, and technical support services. Work will be performed in Charleston, S.C., (57 percent); Vienna, Va., (37 percent); Yuma, Ariz., (1 percent);
Reno, Nev., (1 percent); and OCONUS (4 percent), and work is expected to be completed by Aug. 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured via the Space and Naval Warfare e-Commerce Central website, with two offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity.


Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2008, a $30,421,105 firm-fixed price contract for conversion of 9 UH-60 M Blackhawk helicopters into unique aircraft configuration for the Bahrain Defense Force, and to provide
training, technical publications, integrated logistics support, field service representative, warranty, and ferry flight technical shipping support. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Oct. 20, 2005. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0003).

AM General LLC, South bend, Ind., was awarded on Apr. 25, 2008, a $11,601,414 firm-fixed price contract for 101 EA High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles. Work will be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. O ne bid was solicited on Mar. 17, 2006. TACOM,
Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

Kipper Tool Co., Gainesville, Ga., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2008, a $9,819,763 firm-fixed price contract for aviation maintenance armament and electrical shop set. Work will be performed in Gainesville, Ga., and is expected to be completed by Apr. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Ten bids were solicited on Nov. 29, 2001, and one bid was received. TACOM, Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAE20-03-D-0089).

AM General LLC, South Bend, Ind., was awarded on Apr. 25, 2008, a $5,789,443 firm-fixed price contract for 54 EA High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles. Work will be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Mar. 17, 2006. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S0001).


Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics of
Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a contract for $8,272,771. This program seeks to achieve a technology readiness level (TRL) of at least five by 2010 on an integrated mobility configuration I the areas of high lift, efficient transonic flight, and flight control, in order to support future technology development and acquisition activities. At this time $1,100,000 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-05-G-5503).

General Acknowledges Shortfall, Pledges Fixes for Fort Bragg Barracks

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - A senior
Army officer responsible for soldiers' housing pledged remedial action in the wake of news reports citing some soldiers living on Fort Bragg, N.C., were housed in substandard quarters. "It is my responsibility for maintaining barracks throughout the Army," Brig. Gen. Dennis E. Rogers, deputy director of operations and facilities for U.S. Army Installation Management Command, in Arlington, Va., said today during a roundtable discussion with Pentagon reporters.

"Folks, we let our soldiers down, and that's not like us," Rogers emphasized to reporters. "That's not how we want America's sons and daughters to live, and there's no good excuse for what happened."

Earlier this month, the father of one of the Fort Bragg-based soldiers uploaded a video onto an Internet Web site that depicted a clogged bathroom drain and profuse peeling paint inside a 1950s-vintage barracks that housed his son and some other 82nd Airborne Division soldiers who recently redeployed to Fort Bragg after a duty tour in Afghanistan.

However, work orders had already been submitted to correct the barrack's discrepancies that were identified in the video, Rogers said. Most of the shortfalls, he added, had been corrected before the video's posting.

"The flaking paint condition was, in fact, ugly. ... We have scraped that paint off, and the surfaces are being repainted," Rogers said.

The clogged and flooded drain in the bathroom floor was reported and repaired immediately, he said.

Twenty-three other 1950s-style barracks are in use on Fort Bragg, and all of them are slated for demolition within the next five years as new barracks are constructed, Rogers said. There are no health or safety issues with those older barracks, he added.
There is a process in place at
Army posts worldwide in which older barracks in use are maintained until they are torn down, Rogers reported. That process failed at Fort Bragg, he acknowledged.

The older barracks used to house soldiers "are looking worse and worse, so we're getting the new barracks on line as soon as possible," Rogers said.

Senior Army
leaders directed garrison commanders worldwide to walk through and inspect their barracks April 26-27, Rogers said. The feedback is still being examined, and a report may be ready as early as sometime next week, he said.

"We got most of those barracks looked at," Rogers said, noting some rooms were unavailable for inspection until residents had returned from four-day passes.

Army garrison commanders and command sergeants major have made an assessment that soldiers are housed in accordance with Army standards, Rogers said. On-the-spot corrections have been made to bring unsatisfactory barracks living conditions into compliance with Army standards, he noted.

Installation Management Command's top enlisted person, Command Sgt. Major Debra L. Strickland, accompanied Rogers at the roundtable. Strickland will chair a noncommissioned officer forum that will provide an NCO perspective on
Army barracks issues, Rogers said.

Taking care of soldiers, including ensuring their living quarters meet
Army standards, is an NCO's primary task, Strickland told reporters.

"The noncommissioned corps has the basic responsibility for the welfare of our soldiers," Strickland pointed out.

More than 10,800 of Fort Bragg's 51,000 soldiers live in barracks or post family housing units, according to installation officials.

Mullen Asks Philadelphians to Embrace Wounded Veterans

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called on the citizens of
Philadelphia last night to embrace those who have lost loved ones or who have been wounded in service to America. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen received the Gold Medal of the Union League of Philadelphia during a ceremony at the 1862 building, right down the street from City Hall. The league was established during the Civil War as an organization to help restore the Union, and it has pursued its mission to uphold the nation for the 135 years since.

Mullen challenged the league to find ways to help the surviving spouses and families of servicemembers who paid the ultimate price, saying that communities have a moral responsibility to help returning wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Many of these veterans face stark choices as they try to plan lives that changed in an instant. "A poll in this morning's news said some 70 percent of those veterans who have come back from this war don't think America is doing everything it can for those who are serving," Mullen said.

The admiral didn't comment on the poll, but said he is "extremely concerned that we figure out a way to take care of those who sacrificed so much."

Deborah Mullen, the admiral's wife, often meets and spends time with surviving spouses, the chairman said. They tell her that they want to stay connected to their service, and the admiral noted that significant support groups are helping them do so.

The Mullens have visited young men and women in wounded warrior clinics in Hawaii; Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md.; and Walter Reed
Army Medical Center here. "As they recover from these life-altering wounds, my vision is that the Department of Defense, the [Department of Veterans Affairs] and the rest of America figure out a way to take care of these young people and their families for the rest of their lives," Mullen said. "In many cases, they are trying to figure out what they want to be for the rest of their lives, and their choices have changed."

Mullen said he wants to stop the focus on the disability side of the assessment and focus more on the abilities these wounded warriors still possess.

"I really believe that, in this great country, ... DoD, VA, but most importantly, the communities throughout the country can connect the sea of goodwill that is in this country, that I know is out there, with these young families," he said. "I would hope that we as a country reach out to them so their
American dream is still out there."

Though their dreams may change because of their circumstances, wounded warriors want to go to school, they want a family, they want to go to school, they want to have a family, they want their kids to go to school, and they'd like to own a home and have the income stream to support it, Mullen said.

"These are cases where young people sacrificed their all, and in other cases sacrificed their future -- certainly the way they saw it," the chairman said. "For them, we as a country must figure out how to best take care of them."

Mullen thanked the Union League members for their high honor. "If I could ask you to remember one thing about the evening, it would not be about who got the award," he said. "It would be about those who serve and, in particular, those have given so much in this war and those who will continue to do so."

In closing the ceremony, Union League President Frederick C. Haab said that one of the perks of his job "is to sit next to a gentleman like Admiral Mullen and talk with him and chat with him on a wide rage of topics. I wish you could all have that experience. It was wonderful, and I say in closing that there is a man who epitomizes our motto: 'Love of Country Leads.'"

America Supports You: Group Extends Scholarship Application Deadline

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Operation Homefront has extended the deadline for those interested in one of 25 American Patriot Freedom Scholarships the group offers to children of
military families for tuition and other education-related expenses. "The organization is extending its application date to allow the children stationed at military bases abroad additional time to submit their applications," Arthur Hasselbrink, founder and president of Homefront America, said.

With the change in deadline, applications must be postmarked by May 30.
Homefront America, with the help of the W. Daniel Tate family and Sara's Hope, which offers annual scholarships to high school students performing random acts of kindness, will award 25 $1,000 scholarships in June. This year's awards will bring the value of the scholarships awarded since the program's 2006 start to $70,000.
Military dependent children of retirees, disabled or fallen servicemembers or active-duty servicemembers stationed stateside or abroad are eligible to apply. This eligibility extends to activated or deployed Guardsmen and reservists, officials said.

Applications consist of an essay of 500 words or less on one of four pre-approved topics. They will be judged on originality, length, and relationship to the topic chosen, as well as grammar and spelling.

Complete guidelines, instructions and application materials are available on the Homefront America Web site,

Homefront America is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

America Supports You: Guard Members Join 'Rebuilding Day' Projects

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - At least 60 airmen, soldiers and civilians with the Air and
Army National Guard brought Christmas early to a disabled Maryland resident here April 26 by repairing her home on "National Rebuilding Day." Members of the National Guard Bureau, the Air Guard Readiness Center and the District of Columbia National Guard were among the volunteers who repaired the home of Michelle Samuel for what they called a "Christmas in April" event.

Known nationally as Rebuilding Day, the annual event's
community projects are planned and organized for the last Saturday in April. Orchestrated by the nonprofit Rebuilding Together organization, this was the 20th National Rebuilding Day since its inception in 1988.

Across the country, more than 200,000 volunteers planned 10,000 home and community center projects for the day. The volunteers rehabilitated homes for low-income residents at no cost. Many residents were elderly, disabled veterans or needy families.

Samuel, a disabled retired federal worker for the U.S.
Army, said her fixed, limited income did not allow her to make needed repairs. She was chosen by the county's chapter after a review of many applicants.

"It needed lots of attention, from top to bottom -- the roof, everything," said Samuel through the noise of pounding hammers and buzzing saws. "It's happening, and I'm so happy."

The Guard volunteers shingled her roof, repainted the interior and exterior, installed a new stove, washer and dryer, repaired the ceilings and bathroom, installed a new storm door and made many other repairs.

"It's a great cause," said
Army Sgt. 1st Class Eugene McDonald from the National Guard's inspector general's office in Arlington, Va.

It was McDonald's first time volunteering. She and her cleanup team helped plant flowers and picked up shingles and other construction debris from the yard, while other volunteers measured or painted or ran to the hardware store for materials in a rush to finish the home before sunset.

"I was telling everyone, if you want to see what angels look like and a blessing looks like, just drive by and see," Samuel said. "I could kiss and hug everybody all day long, but they have to work, so I have to leave them alone."

"We got started with this 14 years ago through our [Air Guard] civil engineering," said Ray Detig, a retired federal worker now employed as a contractor with the Air National Guard. "It's grown to include [National Guard] joint staff and many other units. When it's done, it is such a good feeling, and it's really good for the

He added that Guard members in other states also volunteer in projects.

What some Guard volunteers here may have not known is that their support for National Rebuilding Day here indirectly supports fellow servicemembers.

"It's not just for folks who are over 65 and disabled," Detig said. "The organization helps servicemembers who are overseas, for instance, if some servicemember is deployed and his wife says, 'The roof is leaking. What do I do?'"

Thomas J. Cantwell, the organization's national director for veterans housing, said Rebuilding Together is assisting more than 150 veterans and their families this spring through their "Heroes at Home" program, and they hope to help many more in the years to come. This includes modifying veterans' homes to accommodate disabilities or making home repairs.

In the past, volunteers helped Minnesota
Army National Guard Sgt. Jonathan VanderWert. They renovated his family's home while he was deployed to Iraq and unable to make repairs. The organization also modified the home of Florida Army National Guard Staff Sgt. John Quincy Adams, who was severely injured in Iraq when a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee.

"Rebuilding Together appreciates the support of the National Guard and all our servicemembers on our home repair and modification projects," Cantwell said. "The National Guard has shown they support our nation and their fellow soldiers, overseas and at home."

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith serves with the National Guard Bureau.)

Guard Enlisted Leaders Get Lesson in Nonlethal Weapons

By Army Master Sgt. Bob Haskell
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - It was 20 times more painful, more debilitating, than any electrical shock she had ever experienced. Yet, a few minutes later, Arkansas National Guard state Command Sgt. Maj. Deborah Collins was walking and talking as normally as if she had never had a shocking encounter with one of the newest weapons available to the National Guard. Collins took part in a demonstration of nonlethal weapons during the National Guard Bureau's first Senior Enlisted
Leaders Conference here in mid-April. She let herself be zapped, or "tased," for a single second by a Taser X26, one of the devices the Guard now has for controlling unruly people without badly hurting them.

Nonlethal weapons, the
Army Guard's state command sergeants major and the Air Guard's state command chief master sergeants were told, give suitably-trained Guard personnel the ability to protect property after a hurricane or tornado, for example, without resorting to deadly force.

Every state Guard organization now has a nonlethal weapons kit that includes heavy plastic shields,
Tasers and weapons that can fire blunt-force rounds and tear-gas grenades designed to control crowds without inflicting serious injuries. The kits are stored in green, mobile containers.

"The policies and practices are still being developed, and our Guard people still need proper training," explained Maj. Tom White from the National Guard Bureau. "All but six states have nonlethal weapons instructors," added White, noting how seriously the Guard is subscribing to this idea of alternative force.

"Under United States law, the National Guard of each state is the only entity that can employ
military force in support of civil authorities unless the president declares martial law," the group was reminded.

"These nonlethal weapons are not a substitute for firearms. You don't take a
Taser to a gunfight," White observed. "But if they are used early enough, we can prevent the escalation to violence."

Collins discovered that for herself during the very long second that she was tased with the X26.

"I really didn't know what to expect. That's why I wanted to do it. It was immediate, intense pain," she explained. "For that one second, I don't remember anything but that pain. I had no thoughts about anything else. You know how you get shocked sometimes? Multiply that by at least 20 times."

Taser technology, which has been used since the late 1970s, is described as an electrical muscular disruption device. A one-second jolt will bring a grown man to his knees. The standard charge from an X26 lasts for five seconds, which can be administered in one- to two-second increments with a pistol grip to keep a subject under control.

Collins fared better than the three Guardsmen who also subjected themselves to the device, perhaps because women can withstand that kind of pain better than men, it was explained. She remained on her feet. The men fell to the ground.

"It's a good idea to use this equipment. You can control the situation without doing permanent damage to somebody, especially during a civil disturbance," she observed later. "The Guard is charged to help maintain order, but [those creating the disturbance] are citizens, too."

The nonlethal weapons are to be used with discretion by trained personnel, cautioned Command Sgt. Maj. David Ray Hudson, the National Guard Bureau's senior enlisted leader and a retired Alaska State Trooper captain.

"We have equipment out there that we are not adequately trained on," Hudson told the state enlisted leaders. "It's up to you to make sure your people get trained."

Army Master Sgt. Bob Haskell serves with the National Guard Bureau.)

PaCom Helps Establish Transnational Crime Unit in Micronesia

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - A new transnational
crime unit U.S. Pacific Command is helping to establish in Micronesia will support a multinational crackdown on drug trafficking and other crimes that have the potential to destabilize the region, a senior military official said yesterday. The Micronesia Regional Transnational Unit opened April 23 in Pohnpei, Micronesia, to promote information sharing critical to stemming the flow of drugs, particularly methamphetamines, throughout Asia and the Pacific, Navy Rear Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, commander of Joint Interagency Task Force West, told American Forces Press Service.

JIATF West, U.S. Pacific Command's element focused on drug-related threats in the region, provided $460,000 to refurbish a 10,000-square-foot facility and equip it with communications and
computer equipment, Zukunft said.

The task force also is training operators at the new facility "to, in simplistic terms, connect the dots to look at emerging trends," Zukunft said. The Australian National Police will provide a full-time mentor to support the unit for the first year.

Operators in the unit represent not just the Federated States of Micronesia, but also the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and Palau. "So this unit is really transnational in its composition," Zukunft said.

The unit is the sixth in the region, all linked to the Australian Federal
Police's Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Center in Samoa. Other units are in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Intelligence gathered through the new unit will support Micronesia's three patrol boats, provided through Australia's Pacific Patrol Boat Program to monitor against ocean-borne threats. "Absent acute information, it is very cost-ineffective to just send those patrol boats out at random without any advance knowledge of where the threats might exist in the ocean," Zukunft said. "Information is key."

Collectively, the network of facilities will build a more proactive
criminal intelligence and investigative presence in the Pacific that's critical in light of criminal elements who operate across borders, Zukunft said.

"What we are trying to do is support a network that will support the multinational sharing of information, since a lot of these transnational
crime activities are truly global enterprises," he said. In addition, many have nearly unlimited resources, which he said "puts law enforcement, obviously, at an extreme disadvantage."

Zukunft cited a strong correlation between areas with high drug-interdiction rates and those with strong information-sharing protocols that bolster
law enforcement capability.

This, in turn, supports good governance that discourages transnational criminals.

"The bad guys typically will look for paths of least resistance, where rule of law is weak," Zukunft said. "It is an opportunity for them to exploit, ... and that's what we are working to prevent."

JIATF West has been supporting the U.S. counterdrug effort since 1989, when it was established as Joint Task Force 5 with headquarters in Alameda, Calif. It was redesignated JIATF West in 1994, then moved four years ago to Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

There, it is collocated
with the PaCom headquarters and focuses on drug-related threats in Asia and the Pacific.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Pelkington, Alexander and Erler

Editor's Note: One of the authors is retired US Army.

April 22, 2008 (San Dimas, CA) is a website that lists state and local
police officers who have written books. The website added three law enforcement officials from the State of Florida.

Joe Pelkington’s 43 year career in law enforcement began with the Tampa Police Department, in 1960. As a member of the Tampa Police Department, he commanded the Patrol Division, Detective Division and the Selective Enforcement Bureau. In 1985, he retired from the Tampa Police Department as a Deputy Police Chief. He then began an 18 year career with the Treasure Island Police Department (Florida) as their chief of police. Joe Pelkington is the author of Shades of Blue.

According to the book description of Shades of Blue, “The early 1960's were the years that segregation started to wane and civil disobedience tested police
leadership. The police had broad discretion on the use of force including deadly force. Society demanded and pressured police to exhibit restraint and improve professional conduct. Police violence, tragedy, courage, dedication, compassion and misconduct are all revealed in this book. There are stories of police responding to dangerous encounters, humorous cases involving humans, animals and about police officers themselves.”

John Alexander is a senior fellow with the Joint Special Operations University. For more than a decade, Dr. John Alexander has been a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, he organized and chaired six major conferences on non-lethal weapons, served as a U.S. delegate to four NATO studies on the topic. He wrote many of the seminal articles on non-lethal weapons and was a member of the National Research Council Committee for Assessment of Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology.

John Alexander entered the U.S. Army as a private in 1956 and rose through the ranks to sergeant first class. He later attended Officer Candidate School and retired as a colonel of Infantry in 1988. During his varied career, he held many key positions in special operations, intelligence, and research and development. Academically, he holds an MA and a Ph.D. from Walden University. He has attended the Anderson School of Management, the Sloan School of Management, and the Kennedy School of Government.
Earlier in his life, Dr.
John Alexander worked five years as a deputy sheriff for the Dade County Sheriff’s Department. He is the author of Winning the War: Advanced Weapons, Strategies, and Concepts for the Post-9/11 World and a co-author of The Warrior's Edge and Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare, “In a thoughtful examination of the future of military doctrine, Alexander takes a hard look at what options might be available to the American
military in a world in which the rules of warfare have changed. Non-lethal weapons, he argues, will become more important for both political and practical reasons. Americans have grown increasingly aware of and sensitive to all casualties on any side in even the most just wars.”

Bob Erler, an ex-Green Beret, became a police officer Hollywood Police Department. One day he came home and found his wife and son had left him. Suffering from the effects of a high speed pursuit crash, Bob Erler went into depression. Later, on a day off, he came across a lady and her 12-year old daughter with no place to stay. He invited them to stay in his trailer but once there the lady told him she would call the police chief and tell him Bob was entertaining two women in his trailer unless he gave her $75.

Bob Erler shot the lady and her daughter dumping their bodies and calling the police station and saying "I've just shot two people, please catch me." From that day the suspect was known as "The Catch Me Killer." The next day he was assigned to investigate his own homicides. Bob Erler is the author of They Called Me the Catch Me Killer. now hosts 987
police officers (representing 413 police departments) and their 2090 police books in 35 categories, there are also listings of United States federal law enforcement employees turned authors, international police officers who have written books and civilian police personnel who have written books.

'Adopt a Platoon' Still Thrives After 10 Years

By Jamie Findlater
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Iga Hagg knows all about care packages; in fact, after 10 years of sending them out, she's pretty much an expert. "The troops appreciate beef jerky, sunflower seeds, movies, DVDs," she said. "In the outlying areas, they appreciate receiving baby wipes and socks and hygiene products -- and all this is topped off with tons of cookies."

Hagg first realized the importance of care packages when her own son was deployed to the Balkans, she explained during an "ASY Live"
BlogTalkRadio interview. The online radio program is an extension of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home or abroad.

"In every letter he would send, he would talk about how nine out of 10 of his buddies did not receive regular mail," Hagg said.

Since 1998, her organization, "Adopt a Platoon," has been sending out thousands of care packages to let U.S. troops know they care. In fact, she said, the group sends out about 30,000 pieces of mail and care packages a month.

"It is my experience," Hagg said, "that Americans want to support the troops, but unless they have a deployed servicemember -- a spouse or a son or daughter in the
military -- ... they don't know how. ... For this reason, we rely greatly on our 'platoon moms and dads.'"

The group also works closely with combat hospitals and gets word from chaplains who tell them what items the troops need the most.

One of Adopt a Platoon's current projects, "Operation Don't Bug Me," stemmed from one of these requests. The group sends mosquito repellent during the summer months. Other operations range from supplying soldiers with sunglasses, to seasonal
morale boosters such as "Operation Holiday Stocking" and even a special campaign called "Operation Underwear."

"Only American mothers truly care and understand the most important needs that you wouldn't normally think about," she said.

The group's "Operation Crayon" started in 1999 in the Balkans to help out with humanitarian missions in Bosnia and in Kosovo. Today, it serves areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Now, while our troops help with reconstruction efforts, we can provide the writing tablets and supplies for the schools," Hagg said.

A teacher by trade, Hagg said she understands that it is important to get everyone in the community involved.

"We rally fellow Americans, our neighbors and our community to stand behind our troops," she said. "We encourage people to submit an application, and we follow through with personal phone calls. We work to involve teachers and their students, families, business, civic groups."

Everyone can get involved as much or as little as they like, she said.

"A classroom in a senior high school wants to write letters, but can't afford the care packages," she said, "so we form a partnership with them."

Though trying to determine what items will truly give troops that extra push is a full-time job, Hagg said, it's worth the effort. She said troops appreciate cards and letters the most. "They just need to know that we're thinking about them all the time," she explained.

The success of the organization over the past decade is proof that America values its servicemembers, Hagg said.

"I had no idea in 1998 that we would be as big as we are today," she said. "It just goes to show that our American people want our support our deployed sons and daughters."

(Jamie Findlater, host of "ASY Live" on, works in the New Media branch of American Forces Information Service.)

DoD Announces New Relocation Tool for Families

By Barbara A. Goodno
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - It's almost peak moving season again for
military families, and Defense Department leaders want families to know new resources are available to help. "Plan My Move," soft-launched in late summer, is the next generation of DoD's MilitaryHomefront tools to provide an integrated "e-moving" solution, officials said.

Moving to a new community can be a stressful event for all service and family members," Leslye A. Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for
military community and family policy, said. "This tool helps to ease that burden. It will put our servicemembers and their families in direct contact with those who can help every step of the way, from their current home and community to the new one."

When the user enters the current location, the new location and the departure date into the new application, it generates installation overviews, a three-month planning calendar, valuable travel and arrival checklists, as well as important points of contacts and family program information, Arsht said.

The Plan My Move tool is designed to coach servicemembers and their families through the entire moving process, step-by-step. And while most moving takes place over the summer, it's never too early to start a plan, Arsht added.

Special features of Plan My Move include:

-- A planning calendar with useful information that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each move;

-- Decision tools, such as best communities to live in, best schools, and affordable housing, based on data from
military and civilian comparative community studies;

-- "Smooth move" tips;

-- Special calendars for moving to or from an overseas location; and

-- Information about moving with a special-needs family member.

In addition, families will be able to access 55 directories of programs and services on installations worldwide, from the barber shop to DoD schools to the family center; maps and driving directions to most locations on the installation; overviews, photo galleries and must-know information for each installation included in the database; current local weather conditions; and extensive local community point-of-interest information.

"We're very excited about this new e-moving resource for our servicemembers and their families," Arsht said. "Change is always challenging, but we can make it easier. This new application is one more way to support and serve those who sacrifice so much for our nation."

(Barbara A. Goodno is senior program analyst with the Defense Department's Office of Family Policy and Office of Children and Youth.)

Face of Defense: Air Force Photographer Becomes Marine Infantryman

By Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - A hard-fought transition brought one
Marine from shooting photos to shooting rifles. Cpl. Andrew M. Oquendo, a scout with Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, went from photographer with the U.S. Air Force to infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The 22-year-old infantryman from Paterson, N.J., joined the
Air Force after struggling to make payments on his tuition at Delaware State University. He said he was determined to experience what it takes to be successful, so after talking with a high school friend and a recruiter, he reported to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in February 2005.

Air Force was the only branch I could think of that I wanted to join," Oquendo said. "I didn't see any other options, so I signed the dotted line to start my future."

Upon graduation, he was provided the sense of pride by becoming a member of the U.S.

"I felt like most Marines feel when they graduate boot camp and earn the eagle, globe and anchor," he said. "I felt like I was on top of the world."

The new airman checked into the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Md., for training as a photographer. In July 2006, while stationed at Scott
Air Force Base, Ill., Oquendo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"While in Qatar temporarily, Oquendo was assigned to photograph a visit by Maj. Gen. Anthony Przybyslawski, then commander of the
Air Force Personnel Center. "He liked the photos so much he asked if I could accompany him through the rest of his tour," Oquendo recalled.

During the tour, Oquendo said, he saw
Marine infantrymen conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and had a feeling that something was missing in his life. He felt he wasn't contributing enough to the global war on terrorism.

"I knew what I really wanted to do, so I had to do whatever it took to achieve it," he said.

After building the courage, he talked to Przybyslawski about his ambitions and got the help he needed to make the transition from the
Air Force to the Marine Corps.

"I went to the administrative center to apply for separation forms, and the lady at the front desk thought I was crazy for filling it out after how long I'd been in," Oquendo said. "Little did she know how committed I was to becoming a

Within two weeks, his separation request was approved and he left the
Air Force on Nov. 1, 2006. Three weeks later, he stepped on the "Yellow Footprints" at Parris Island, S.C., with the ambition of becoming an infantry Marine.

"Since I had been in the
military for two years, it was kind of like cheating, because a lot of times were easier for me than the other recruits," Oquendo said.

He's now deployed to Iraq for his second combat tour, this time with the
Marine infantry, and he is as happy as ever.

"I wanted to be an infantryman, because it's the backbone of the
Marine Corps," he said. "It's the stuff you read about in the history book making a difference in the world."

"When it comes to motivation, Oquendo bring it to a different level," said
Marine Corps Sgt. James D. Leach, a scout squad leader with Company D, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. "It's good having him around."

Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson serves with Regimental Combat Team 5.)