Military News

Friday, March 21, 2008



Absher Construction Company, Puyallup, Wash., is being awarded a $40,980,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed price contract (N44255-08-C-6002) for design and construction of a bachelor enlisted quarters and parking garage at Naval Base Kitsap. The work to be performed provides for all labor, materials, and equipment for the design and construction of market style apartments and a parking structure. Related work includes utility infrastructure design and replacement of existing utilities. This modification provides incremental funds for fiscal year 2008, bringing the cumulative value of the contract to $70,900,000. Work will be performed in Bremerton, Wash., and is expected to be completed by November 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas, St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded $24,135,158 for firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity delivery order #7037 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement contract (N00383-06-D-004H) for procurement of newly manufactured spares in support of the F/A-18 C/D Flight Surfaces System. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and work is expected to be completed by May 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.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a $15,484,128 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for United Kingdom technical services in support of the TRIDENT Strategic Weapon System. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif. (74.47 percent); Cape Canaveral, Fla. (17,37 percent); St. Mary's, Ga. (1.35 percent); Silverdale, Wash. (.73 percent); Jenkintown, Pa. (.34 percent);
Indianapolis, Ind. (.05 percent); Broomfield, Col. (.03 percent) ; Herndon, Va. (.02 percent); other U.S. locations to be determined (.32 percent); locations to be determined in the United Kingdom and Italy (5.32 percent), and work is expected to be completed March 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was not competitively procured. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-08-C-0019).

Why We Serve: Student Leaves Campus for Boot Camp

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

March 21, 2008 - After completing four semesters at the University of Alabama, 19-year-old Daniel K. Winnie felt his life lacked discipline and direction. "I was sitting around enjoying college life, which was good, but I wasn't doing much of anything else," he recalled. At that point, about halfway through his
college career, Winnie made a bold decision.

"I thought the
military maybe would get me out of the rut that I was in," he said, "and give me some other opportunities that I certainly didn't have doing what I was doing."

Winnie, a native of Everett, Wash., enlisted in the
Marine Corps in 1993, turning 20 years old during basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Now a chief warrant officer and 15-year veteran of the Corps, Winnie is one of 10 servicemembers selected to tell the
military's story to the American public. As a participant in the Defense Department's "Why We Serve" outreach program, Gregg shares his tale of service at community and business events, veterans' organizations and other gatherings.

Winnie's first deployment to Iraq in 2003 truly opened his eyes, he said. For some, the raging battle between coalition forces and insurgents brought out the worst, he recalled, but for others it brought out the best.

Winnie, a communication electronics platoon commander, remembers being with his unit near Nasiriyah, Iraq, in what he described as a "free fire" zone -- a designated area in which weapons may be fired with minimal restrictions.

"There was a goat herder who had gotten lost, and lost his entire herd, and was headed into (the free fire zone). Of course, he didn't really know what was going on," he said.

Compounding the herder's trouble was the fact that his donkey, which he used to corral his flock, had wandered onto the deadly tract of land. Then, one of Winnie's fellow
Marines intervened in a display of compassion for the Iraqi man.

"A guy that was working for me went out there in the open, got this guy, and personally walked him over to get his donkey," Winnie recalled with some laughter. "The grown man got back on and rode this donkey -- which wasn't a whole lot bigger than a German shepherd -- and got his sheep back."

Instead of ignoring the herder, Winnie's fellow
Marine was willing to help him recover his "scraggly, scrawny donkey" and sheep, the chief warrant officer said. "That was wonderful," said Winnie, noting that the herder's two young sons and daughter observed as the Marine helped their father regain his cherished possessions.

On his second deployment, Winnie witnessed a larger-scale transformation occur during his nine months in Iraq's Anbar province.

Upon his unit's arrival in the war-torn province in January, insurgents regularly engaged the
Marines with indirect fire, he recalled. But by mid-April, a strange phenomenon occurred: the firing stopped.

Winnie attributed the security improvement to several factors stemming the new strategy implemented by
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force in Iraq. In addition, he said, U.S. operators began to solidify their relationships with Iraqi government officials and local tribal sheiks, as Iraqis themselves tired of the radical insurgency.

The subsequent progress was later dubbed the "Anbar Awakening," a societal purging of extremism by Anbaris that ushered in a level of stability unprecedented since U.S. operations in Iraq began.

"It was like a light switch had been turned on," Winnie said of the sudden
security improvements in the province. "2007 will go down as the turning point in this entire story, and I was there for it."

Winnie said despite receiving some tough questions during Why We Serve events, he enjoys getting the chance to address an audience that is unaccustomed to hearing an unfiltered story from a U.S. servicemember.

"Every experience I've had has been wonderful," he said. "The people that are hearing it are hungry for (firsthand) information."

Face of Defense: Pilot Overcomes Injury to Succeed

By Spc. Emily J. Wilsoncroft, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 21, 2008 - When
Army Chief Warrant Officer Fred White sits down at the controls of a Black Hawk helicopter, he looks just like any other pilot in his battalion. He wears the same flight suit, the same helmet and the same air of confidence – the only difference is that at the end of the day, his wrist might be a bit sore. White suffered injuries that led to the loss of the first two fingers on his right hand in a 2003 roadside bomb attack in Iraq.

Now an aviator and communications officer with the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, White was not always a pilot. He enlisted in the
Army in 2001 as a cavalry scout.

"I always wanted to be in the
Army," he said. "Cav scout seemed like a cool job. I knew I didn't want to be infantry, but I did want to be in combat arms."

During the second year of his enlistment, White's unit became attached to 3rd Infantry Division for the initial push up to Baghdad from Kuwait in the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"There was a lot of fear and uncertainty when we originally crossed the berm," he said, "but after that, it became more of a daily routine."

The routine included route clearance, convoy
security, vehicle security, observation post setup and maintenance – "pretty much anything that needed to be done in Sadr City," as White put it.

On Sept. 5, 2003, the routine was disrupted.

"We were pulling
security for the engineers that day," White recalled. "We were on our way to the site, going down Highway 5."

As the convoy passed under an overpass, it was hit by a remotely detonated 120 mm mortar round.

"It blew up my truck," he said. "I was the gunner, and the blast threw me against the back of the turret. ... My driver took shrapnel in the side of his neck; the (vehicle commander) lost his left thumb and his right eye."

White -- who was hit by shrapnel in his hands, legs, face and buttocks -- lost his fingers as a result of the attack.

For many soldiers, that would have been the end of the road as far as a
military career was concerned. But White, who fully recovered from his injuries after less than a year, decided he wanted to be a pilot.

White said that although the doctor had cleared him medically, the ROTC medic said he wasn't fit for the
Army. "So I (turned in) my warrant officer packet and was picked up for flight school."

Although there were some who tried to tell White he wouldn't make it through flight training, he said, his injury didn't hold him back at all.

"Flying is more of a mental thing," he said. "You have to be physically coordinated, but a lot of it's in your mind. You have to think three-dimensionally to maintain control."

One of the controls in the helicopter resembles a joystick, he explained, on the front of which is a radio control that functions through a trigger-type mechanism.

"I just sewed up the first two fingers on my glove and changed my hand position," White said, demonstrating how he wraps his wrist around the control. "I was set on proving the people who doubted me wrong, and I adapted so I could succeed."

White's battalion commander,
Army Lt. Col. Alex Covert, was quick to note the young warrant officer's success.

"Fred is an above-average UH-60L Black Hawk pilot," Covert said. "He has flown over 150 hours in combat under the harshest conditions flawlessly."

Aside from White's skill as a pilot, Covert also lauded his perseverance and devotion to his
military career.

"I cannot describe in words what it takes for a young soldier, ... wounded in combat, to not only continue to serve his country, but to take the initiative, become a warrant officer, an outstanding
Army aviator and serve as a (battalion communications officer) in combat," he said. "His selfless service is clearly an example for others to follow."

White plans to stay in 2-3rd Aviation Regiment, based at Hunter
Army Airfield, Ga., for at least the near future.

"All the experiences I've had in the
Army have led me to where I am right now," he said. "I have no regrets, no resentments. I know I'm lucky to still be here, and I appreciate that."

Army Spc. Emily J. Wilsoncroft serves with the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office.)