Military News

Monday, March 24, 2008

Face of Defense: Woman Soldier Receives Silver Star

By Spc. Micah E. Clare, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2008 - Heroes are made, not born. And a hero like
Army Spc. Monica Brown, 19, is no different. Brown, recognized for her gallant actions during combat in Afghanistan in 2007, is the second woman soldier since World War II to be awarded a Silver Star. She received the medal from Vice President Richard B. Cheney during a ceremony here March 20.

It was dusk on April 25, 2007, when Brown, a medic from the 82nd Airborne Division's 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, was on a routine
security patrol along the rolling, rocky plains of the isolated Jani Khail district in Afghanistan's Paktika province when insurgents attacked her convoy.

"We'd been out on the mission for a couple of days," said Brown, who at the time was attached to the brigade's 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment's Troop C. "We had just turned into a wadi (empty river bed) when our gunner yelled at us that the vehicle behind us had hit an (improvised explosive device)."

The soldiers looked out of their windows in time to see one of the struck vehicle's tires flying through the field next to them. Brown had just opened her door to see what was going on when the attack began.

"I only saw the smoke from the vehicle when suddenly we started taking small-arms fire from all around us," she said. "Our gunner starting firing back, and my platoon sergeant yelled, 'Doc! Let's go.'"

Brown and her platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jose Santos, exited their vehicle, and while under fire, ran the few hundred meters to the site of the downed Humvee.

"Everyone was already out of the burning vehicle," she said. "But even before I got there, I could tell that two of them were injured very seriously."

In fact, all five of the passengers who had stumbled out were burned and cut. Two soldiers, Spcs. Stanson Smith and Larry Spray, suffered life-threatening injuries.

With help from two less-injured vehicle crewmen, Sgt. Zachary Tellier and Spc. Jack Bodani, Brown moved the immobile soldiers to a relatively safe distance from the burning Humvee.

"There was pretty heavy incoming fire at this point," she said.

"Rounds were literally missing her by inches," said Bodani, who provided suppressive fire as Brown aided the casualties while injured. "We needed to get away from there."

Attempting to provide proper medical care under the heavy fire became impossible, especially when the attackers stepped up efforts to kill the soldiers.

"Another vehicle had just maneuvered to our position to shield us from the rounds now exploding in the fire from the Humvee behind us," Brown said. "Somewhere in the mix, we started taking mortar rounds. It became a huge commotion, but all I could let myself think about were my patients."

With the other vehicles spread out in a crescent formation, Brown and her casualties were stuck with nowhere to go. Suddenly, Santos arrived with one of the unit's vehicles and backed it up to their position, and Brown began loading the wounded soldiers inside.

"We took off to a more secure location several hundred meters away, where we were able to call in the (medical evacuation mission)," Brown said.

She then directed other combat-life-saver-qualified soldiers to help by holding intravenous bags and assisting her in preparing the casualties for evacuation.

After what seemed like an eternity, Brown said, the attackers finally began retreating, and she was able to perform more thorough aid procedures before the helicopter finally arrived to transport the casualties to safety.

Two hours after the initial attack, everything was over.

In the darkness, Brown recalled standing in a field, knee-deep in grass, her only source of light coming from her red head-light, trying to piece together the events that had just taken place.

"Looking back, it was just a blur of noise and movement," the Lake Jackson, Texas, native said. "What just happened? Did I do everything right? It was a hard thing to think about."

Before joining the
Army at the age of 17, the bright-eyed young woman said she never pictured herself being in a situation like this. Originally wanting to be an X-ray technician, she changed her mind when she realized that by becoming a medic, she'd be in the best place to help people.

"At first, I didn't think I could do it," she said. "I was actually afraid of blood. When I saw my first airway-opening operation, I threw up."

She quickly adjusted to her job and received additional training both before and during her deployment to Afghanistan.

"I realized that everything I had done during the attack was just rote memory," she said. "Kudos to my chain of command for that. I know with training, like I was given, any medic would have done the same in my position."

"To say she handled herself well would be an understatement," said Bodani, who quickly recovered from his injuries and immediately returned to work. "It was amazing to see her keep completely calm and take care of our guys with all that going on around her. Of all the medics we've had with us throughout the year, she was the one I trusted the most."

Earning trust with a combat unit is not something easily earned, said
Army Capt. Todd Book, Troop C's commander at the time of the attack, but it was something Brown had taken upon herself to prove long before the Jani Khail ambush.

"Our regular medic was on leave at the time," Book said. "We had other medics to choose from, but Brown had shown us that she was more technically proficient than any of her peers."

Having people call her "Doc" means a lot to Brown because of the trust it engenders.

"When people I've treated come back to me later and tell me the difference I was able to make in their life is the best part of this job," she said.

During her rest and recuperation leave in May, Brown visited Spray in the hospital and met his mother.

"I almost cried," Brown said. "Spray's mother was so thankful, and she hugged me. That was the moment that made me feel the best about what I did."

Even though she felt proud when she was informed that she was going to receive a Silver Star, she considers her actions to be the result of effort put into her by everyone she's worked for.

"While I'm not scared to get my hands dirty, I have to say that I never fully became a medic until I came over here and did it first-hand," she said. "I just reacted when the time came."

Due to her quick and selfless actions, both Smith and Spray survived their injuries.

Army Spc. Micah E. Clare serves with the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

Missing WWII Airman is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is 2nd Lt. Arthur F. Eastman, U.S.
Army Air Forces, of East Orange, N.J. He will be buried in September in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

Representatives from the
Army met with Eastman's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

On Aug. 18, 1944, Eastman departed the airdrome at Finschhafen, New Guinea, on a test flight of his F-5E-2 aircraft, but never returned. Subsequent searches failed to locate Eastman or his aircraft.

In 2003, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) found documents in the Australian National Archives about an earlier site visit believed to be associated with an F-5E crash. According to the archives, an Australian official had visited the crash site in 1950 in Morobe province near Koilil Village, but there was no subsequent recovery.

In 2004, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) investigated the crash site in the mountains of Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The team found aircraft wreckage and recommended the site be excavated.

In February-March 2007, a JPAC team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains, pilot-related items and other personal effects, including Eastman's
military identification tag.

Among other
forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call (703) 699-1169

Australia to Alhambra

Editor's Note: One of the authors is a former servicemember.

March 23, 2008 (San Dimas, CA) is a website that lists state and local
police officers who have written books. The website added police officers from Alhambra (California), San Francisco (California) and Australia.

David Savage is a former member of the Australian Federal Police, having served for 19 years in a range of areas including General Policing, Criminal Investigations, Close Personal Protection, and as a member of the police Special Operations Team. He has also served as a Civilian Police Officer on United Nations missions in Mozambique, East Timor twice and as a Truce/Peace Monitor in Bougainville. He currently works for the United Nations. David Savage is the author of Dancing with the Devil: A Personal Account of Policing the East Timor Vote for Independence. According to the book description, “Dancing with the Devil is a UN police officer memoir of the independence ballot in East Timor. With compassion and humor, David Savage tells the simple truth about the horrific events he witnessed, and the triumph of a quiet, resilient people.”

Chief of Police
William Palmini’s thirty-four year law enforcement career was spent mostly with the Albany Police Department (California). Chief William Palmini is currently the chief of police for the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Department of Safety and Security. He holds a masters degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Chief William Palmini is a past recipient of the J. Stannard Baker Award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the author of Murder on the Rails.

Publisher’s Weekly wrote about Murder on the Rails, “Retired California police detective Palmini's account of the career murderer Robert Silveria Jr., dubbed the Boxcar Serial Killer, is long on splatter and short on insight. Palmini himself is like a figure from a David Lynch movie—a veteran cop who received a government grant to "do Elvis impersonations to promote traffic safety among California teens and their families" through a group called Elvis and the Lawmen. After a Vietnam vet is brutally slaughtered in a transient camp near Albany, Calif., Palmini's investigation leads him to the vicious underworld community of the Freight Train Riders of America, a little-known national criminal association.”

Alvin Vaughan was a member of the U.S. Navy during WWII. Surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor we went on to served on the USS. New Orleans, the USS Lexington and the USS Enterprise. Alvin Vaughan joined the Alhambra Police Department (California) in the late 1940s and served 18 years until medically retired. Alvin Vaughan is the author of Tales from Alvin’s Place, Sharon’s Loves and Elcor. According to the book description of Sharon’s Loves, “Sharon a California girl has a life filled with difficulty through three marriages. She exhibits strength of character beyond her years and is an example and role model for her two sisters.” now hosts 887
police officers (representing 387 police departments) and their 1853 police books in 32 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.

England Presents 'Check It' Awards to Agencies

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2008 - Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England today presented seven top "Check It" campaign awards to agencies from across the department for their process-improvement and quality-assurance efforts. In a ceremony here, England presented four Honorable Mention awards for the most improved processes in the first round of the second phase of the campaign. He also presented awards to three fiscal 2007 Statement of Assurance Scorecard Winners.

The deputy secretary launched the campaign in 2006 to raise awareness of internal controls. This second phase started in October.

"It's important to the department. It's important to the warfighter, and therefore it's important to the nation," England said at the ceremony. "I thank you."

Defense Department Comptroller Tina W. Jonas was on hand for the event. In her role, Jonas said, she is always concerned about using government dollars wisely. There are two parts to the program, she said -- improving internal controls, but also delivering products and services to the warfighter in a way that is effective and efficient.

"Our bottom line is not shareholders. Our bottom line is really the warfighter," Jonas said.

Those receiving the Honorable Mentions were:

-- Financial management improvement program, accounts receivable tracking and reporting, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The office's improvements cleared $80 million in old accounts payable and $90 million in old undelivered orders. They reduced delinquent accounts receivable by $2.6 billion, according to award documents.

-- Executive management system, Office of the Defense Research and Engineering, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology and Logistics. The office's improvements automated financial performance data, resulting in a 97 percent reduction in cycle time, according to award documents.

-- Disbursing and cash management, Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command. The office improved disbursing and cash management, resulting in no losses or overages and 100 percent accountability for nearly $10 million, according to award documents.

-- The amphibious assault vehicle depot production line,
Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif. The program improved the amphibious vehicle production line, reducing cycle time by 25 percent and decreased overtime by 50 percent, while improving quality checks, according to award documents.

Marine Capt. Mike Nolan, who served as the amphibious vehicle program director at the Barstow logistics base, said the process improvements started at the lowest level.

"We built from the bottom up the cultural change to ensure they can make the process better and produce the vehicles of better quality and less cost," he said after the ceremony. "That saves the
Marine Corps money, and the warfighters get a better product."

Nolan said the Barstow team focused on the assembly line process because that was taking the longest and costing the most. The group developed process-improvement teams and looked at every step of the process. Overall improvement delivered $6 million in savings, and more inspections inherent in the new processes yielded a better product, he said.

In the same category, Multinational
Security Transition Command Iraq was awarded first place honors in a ceremony in Iraq last week. Since June, the command reviewed some 950 contracts and freed up $831 million in funds, according to a news release. There were no other placings for the award.

The three scorecard winners are the Joint Staff, the Defense Commissary Agency and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. As required by the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act, the statement of assurance addresses the management controls of the department and makes required disclosures.

Richard Page, acting director of the Defense Commissary Agency, said accountability starts in the back rooms of the 259 commissaries and 10 distribution centers around the world when receiving, pricing and accounting for all products correctly.

"We do check it, and we do check it twice," he said.

This is the second straight year the agency has received the award.

"It's a top-down and bottom-up approach to how we do business," Page said. "When you start looking at ... who we serve and who we support, it is critical that we are doing everything as well as it can be done."



Affordable Engineering Services, LLC of Totowa, N.J.; Defense Support Services, LLC of Mount Laurel, N.J.; J.K. Hill and Associates, Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va.; L-3 Communication Vertex Aerospace of Madison, Miss.; MI Support Services, LP of Denton, Texas; and MacAulay-Brown, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, are being awarded a contract for $98,000,000. This action will provide multiple awards. The Depot Onsite Contract Augmentee Team program provides depot onsite contract augmentee teams to perform maintenance and related tasks at
Ogden Air Logistics Center Utah and Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson Arizona. At this time $30,000 has been obligated. HAFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8224-08-D-0003-0001, FA8224-08-D-0005-0001, FA8224-08-D-0006-0001, FA8224-08-D-0009-0001, FA8224-08-D-0003-0010, FA8224-08-D-0011-0001).


Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded $15,825,522 for delivery order #5005 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement contract (N00383-06-G-011F) for procurement of initial and wholesale spares requirements for various weapons replacement assemblies used in the development and deployment of the airborne low frequency sonar system for the MH-60R helicopter. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I., and work is expected to be completed by October 2010. 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.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded $8,113,705 for delivery order #5004 under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement contract (N00383-06-G-011F) for procurement of initial and wholesale spares requirements for various weapons replacement assemblies used in the development and deployment of the airborne low frequency sonar system for the MH-60R helicopter. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I., and work is expected to be completed by October 2010. 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.

ITT Industries, Inc. Clifton, N.J., is being awarded a $7,851,563 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop and demonstrate a prototype decoy payload with an electronic countermeasure capability. This system shall be capable of recognizing friendly emitters and limiting the response for those emitters. This contract contains options, which if exercised, will bring the value of the contract to $21,083,937. Work will be performed in Clifton, N.J., and work is expected to be completed November 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $3,685,335 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under Broad Agency Announcement # 57-07-08. The Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00173-08-C-2025).

Compass Systems, Inc., Lexington Park, Md., is being awarded an $8,959,518 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for specific engineering and technical expertise in the design, development, manufacture and repair of
Navy special projects avionics, electro-optic sensors and field equipment. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md., and is expected to be completed in March 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-08-C-0147).

KTU+A, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $7,500,000 (base and options - with a guaranteed minimum of $5,000) firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for preparation of
Navy and Marine Corps military construction projects planning documentation in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to California (87 percent); Arizona (5 percent), Nevada (5 percent), Colorado (1 percent), New Mexico (1 percent) and Utah (1 percent), and work is expected to be completed March 2009 (March 2013 with exercised options). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website,with seven offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8623).

BAE Systems
Technology Solutions & Services, Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $6,774,379 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00421-01-C-0077) to exercise an option for technical and engineering support services for the development, procurement, integration, testing, installation and certification of shipboard communication systems; the development and integration of like systems at shore sites associated with the deployment of, or fleet support to, surface combatants; and the development, testing and integration of mobile and airborne communication systems designed to interface with the command, control, communication, computers and intelligence architecture of surface combatants. The estimated level of effort for this option is 195,000 man-hours. Work will be performed in California, Md. (80 percent); St. Inigoes, Md. (10 percent); Bath, Maine (5 percent); and Pascagoula, Miss. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity.

Rockwell Collins Government Systems, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $6,355,030 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-05-C-0050) to exercise an option for the FY 2008 production of 137 each RT-1556B AN/ARC-210 Receiver-Transmitter Radios and 81 each C-11898A Radio Control Sets for the U.S.
Air Force Unmanned Air Vehicle Predator aircraft. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in May 2009. 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.

America Supports You: Manhattan 'Jewel' Offers Troops Respite

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2008 - What began in 1919 as simple lodging for servicemembers returning from
World War I has since become a "jewel in the heart of Manhattan," with an expanding mission that includes supporting deployed troops.
"The main effort of the Soldiers', Sailors',
Marines', Coast Guard & Airmen's Club is to provide reasonably priced accommodations to servicemen and women, as well as any members of the (New York Police Department and New York Fire Department) in order to express our gratitude for all of their efforts," said Connie Morinello, one of the organization's committee members.

In addition, the organization founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, Gen. John J. Pershing and Cornelia Barnes Rodgers, who served with American forces in France as an ambulance driver, now offers veterans a variety of services.

"We also work with wounded warriors at events such as the NYC marathon and the Veterans Day parade," Morinello said. "(We) organize fundraisers, social gatherings and send out care packages and correspondence to troops deployed overseas and at bases nationwide."

The club recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

Morinello said the club hopes this affiliation will increase its visibility among those who wish to support its efforts as well as those eligible to use the facility.

"We hope to be able to reach out to an increasing number of individuals and organizations around the country, making them aware of what we do and how we support our heroes," she said.