Military News

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Army Vet, Hockey Player Puts Iraq War Injuries 'On Ice'

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 16, 2008 - Retired
Army reservist Joseph L. Bowser was 9 years old when he first experienced the thrill of skating and using his hockey stick to whack a rubber puck across the ice on a frozen pond in his birthplace of Toledo, Ohio. Today, the 48-year-old Iraq veteran still plays ice hockey, despite the loss of the lower portion of his right leg four years ago during a rocket attack on Camp Anaconda, in Balad, Iraq.

Bowser, then a truck driver with 283rd Transportation Company based in
Fairfield, Conn., recalled that the enemy attack occurred on April 12, 2004, soon after he returned to Camp Anaconda after delivering a 5,000-gallon load of jet fuel.

Bowser credits Connecticut
Army National Guard Maj. Michael McMahon, a physician assistant, for saving his life. McMahon, he said, used his fingers to slow the bleeding from a gashed artery on Bowser's injured right leg.

"He reached up on my leg to clamp off my artery so I wouldn't 'bleed out,'" Bowser recalled.

McMahon, now 45, recalled during a recent phone interview from his home in Hamden, Conn., that his
military training kicked in when he saw the stricken Bowser bleeding profusely.

"You just react," McMahon said. "We took care of him and got him stabilized. There was a combat surgical hospital in Balad.

"Once we got the bleeding controlled, ... I thought he was going to make it," McMahon recalled. Bowser and McMahon keep in touch; they met up in February when Bowser was in Connecticut to play a hockey game.

Wearing
body armor probably also saved his life, Bowser said, noting his armored vest was riddled with shrapnel damage. The then-staff sergeant also suffered shrapnel injuries to his left hand.

Bowser said he arrived at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center here about a week after being wounded. The doctors thought he would have more mobility with a prosthetic leg, he recalled, rather than by keeping his mangled limb.

"The first thing that I thought of was that I wanted to play hockey again," Bowser said. "So, I said I wanted to have it amputated."

Bowser spent more than two years of inpatient and outpatient recovery at Walter Reed, and he was medically retired from the Army as a sergeant first class in July 2006. He rates the medical care he received at Walter Reed as "awesome."

"You couldn't ask for a better place," Bowser said of Walter Reed.

Bowser now works at the Pentagon as an administrator for
Army Secretary Pete Geren. In his spare time he plays pickup hockey games at Maryland rinks near his present-day home near Baltimore. He also occasionally travels to play in hockey tournaments.

Bowser plays right wing, one of the three forwards on an ice hockey team. The center and left winger make up the other two-thirds of the forward line, and their job is to harass the opposing team and score goals. Two defensive players are positioned rearward to protect the goalie.

Bowser said his artificial leg can be adjusted to accommodate his skating style, and that having a prosthetic limb actually has its advantages during a rough-and-tumble game of hockey.

"You don't have to worry about getting a puck slapped on your foot," Bowser said, noting he enjoys ice hockey's speed of play and physical aspects.

Bowser completed as a member of the U.S. National Amputee Hockey Team during the 2008 Standing Amputee Hockey World Championships that were held April 2-6 in Marlborough, Mass. Team USA won the silver medal at that four-team tournament, beating out teams from Latvia and Finland. Canada won the gold medal, and Finland took the bronze.

Before he got his job in the secretary of the
Army's office, Bowser had volunteered to work with injured military veterans as part of an initiative administered through Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England's office.

Bowser met with a number of Washington Capitals professional ice hockey team players and coaches when they paid an April 6 visit to the Pentagon last year. Later, he got to skate with some Capitals players during a team practice.

The Capitals hockey club has sponsored several
Military Appreciation Nights at the Verizon Center here for servicemembers and their families, Bowser noted.

"I've gone there several times with wounded warrior guys from Walter Reed," Bowser said. "They've just opened their doors to us. They totally support us."

Bowser, who got married April 12, said God gave him a second chance at life after being severely wounded in Iraq. Grateful for each day of existence, he strives to help his fellow wounded warriors.

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 16, 2008

ARMY

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Apr. 15, 2008, a $127,595,750 firm-fixed price contract for the full rate production buy for 14 SHADOW unmanned aerial vehicle systems and associated support equipment. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., and is expected to be completed on Mar. 15, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Aug. 16, 2007. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command is the contracting agency (W58RGZ-08-C-0023).

Thales-Raytheon Systems Co., LLC,
Fullerton, Calif., was awarded on Apr. 15, 2008, a $61,597,819 firm-fixed price contract for the purchase of 11 each of reliability, maintainability, and improvement modification kits and production ramp-up. Work will be performed in Fullerton, Calif., and is expected to be completed on Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Feb. 29, 2008. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J. is the contracting activity (W15P7T-06-D-T001).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Apr. 14, 2008, a $44,773,920 firm-fixed price contract for 2,832 loaders' armor gun shields II to support the Abrams Tank Urban Survivability Kits. Work will be performed primarily in Lima, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Oct. 5, 2007. TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

General Atomics Aeronautical System, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Apr. 14, 2008, a $38,465,000 cost-plus incentive fee contract for the acquisition of eight extended range multi-purpose quick reaction capability unmanned aircraft vehicles and assorted support equipment. Work will be performed primarily in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be complete on May 15, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Mar. 17, 2008. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-05-C-0069).

BioEngineering/ARCADIS LLC, Metairie, La., was awarded on Apr. 15, 2008, a $20,251,574 firm-fixed price contract for inner harbor navigation canal hurricane protection project professional support for design and construction management. Work will be performed in St. Bernard Parish, La., and work is expected to be completed on Dec. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Feb. 27, 2008, and three bids were received. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-07-D-0021).

L3 Communication Titan Corp., Reston, Va. was awarded on Apr. 15, 2008, a $12,511,901 firm-fixed price contract for the exercise of option three for continued contractor support to the Joint Staff systems integration services firm fixed price effort. Work will be performed at the Pentagon, and is expected to be completed on Apr 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Oct. 12, 2005. Contracting Center of Excellence, Washington, D.C. is the contracting activity (W74V8H-05-D-0004).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Apr. 14, 2008, a firm-fixed price contract for 2,832 loaders' armor gun shields II to support the Abrams Tank Urban Survivability Kits. Work will be performed primarily in Lima, Ohio, and is expected to be completed on Feb. 28, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Oct. 5, 2007. TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

Benham Constructors, Oklahoma, Okla., was awarded on Apr. 14, 2008, an $11,744,344 firm-fixed price contract for the construction of an aircraft component repair facility. Work will be performed at Robbins
Air Force Base, Ga., and work is expected to be completed on Oct. 6, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. 120 bids were solicited on Sep. 10, 2007, and four bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-C-0018).

NAVY

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded $69,335,504 for fixed-price delivery order #0048 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-04-D-5016) for the purchase of 284 Medium
Tactical Vehicle Replacement vehicles (254 cargo, 20 dump and 10 wrecker variants). Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work is expected to be completed by Nov. 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $33,765,946 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-4403) to exercise an option for the USS Wasp (LHD-1) FY08 drydocking phased maintenance availability. There are 80 plus work items that are repair/replace/preserve/install/clean in nature. The following ship alterations will be accomplished: LHD1-6 SCD 3263 – fuel oil compensation stability improvement modifications (requires drydock), LHD1-0248K – install additional A/C plant, LHD1-0270K – install nitrogen generator, LHD1-0274K – accomplish MV-22 service and shop modifications, LHD1-0283K – accomplish MV-22 topside modifications, and S/A 71265K – low light flight deck surveillance system. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and work is expected to be completed by Nov. 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $33,765,946 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $20,385,443 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for specialized network infrastructure support for the legacy force-wide
tactical information and combat support systems for the Program Executive Office for command and control, communications, computer and intelligence (PEO C4I, PMW 160.1). Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and work is expected to be completed Apr. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured since it was determined that SAIC is the only firm with the requisite engineering experience to provide sustainment support to five legacy afloat network programs during a 24-month transition to the new network security architecture. A sole-source justification and approval was signed in accordance with FAR Subpart 6.302-1 and 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), for Only One Responsible Source. The sole source synopsis was published on the Federal Business Opportunities web site and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) e-Commerce web site on Oct. 9, 2007. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego is the contracting activity (N66001-08-D-0003).

Phoenix Air Group, Cartersville, Ga., is being awarded a $10,313,147 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for range clearing support for missile testing performed by the Theatre Missile Defense systems and fleet training exercises. This testing includes sub-surface, surface, and air testing with a number of multi-service projects for the research, development, test and evaluation community at Pacific Missile range Facility, Hawaii as well as other DOD ranges. Work will be performed in Kekaha, Hawaii (90 percent) and Point Mugu, Calif., (10 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Apr. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through an electronic request for proposals and two offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-08-D-0011).

American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., is being awarded a $10,101,544, cost reimbursement, service contract to provide postdoctoral engineers and scientists, also know as fellows, of unusual promise and ability with opportunities for research on problem, largely of their own choice the area compatible with the interests of the Navy and other Department of Defense agencies, such as the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Centers (SPAWAR); Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC); Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); and Naval Surface Warfare Centers (NSWC). Work will be performed in Indian Head, Md., and work is expected to be completed Apr. 2013. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Indian Head Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity (N00174-08-C-0025)

International
Military and Government LLC (IMG), Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded $261,373,172 for firm-fixed-priced contract modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for engineering change proposals to upgrade Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) low rate initial production vehicles. The government will procure several engineering changes which will provide additional armor protection to increase the survivability of the MRAP Category I (CAT I) vehicles. The order also includes ambulance kits for the vehicles. Work will be performed in WestPoint, Miss., and work is expected to be completed Nov. 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Sea Box, Inc.*, East Riverton, N.J., is being awarded an $8,314,746 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for shop equipment, general purpose Common 10 and Common 12 to store general mechanics toolboxes and various items under a wide variety of conditions. These units shall consist of a Quadcon with adjustable shelving and a device to retain items in their intended locations. The contract contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $28,311,438. Work will be performed in New Riverton, N. J., and work is expected to be complete in Apr. 2009 (Apr. 2013 with options exercised). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is awarded as a result of a full and open competitive unrestrictive solicitation. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-08-D-3000).

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

Microelectronics Advanced Research Corp.,
Durham, N.C., is being awarded a $7,500,000 modification to a previously awarded other transaction agreement for phase four of the Focus Center Research Program. Work will be performed in Durham, N.C., (nine percent), Pittsburgh, Pa., (18 percent), Atlanta, Ga., (20 percent), Cambridge, Mass., (17 percent), Berkeley, Calif., (21 percent), and Los Angeles, Calif., (15 percent), and is expected to be completed Nov. 2008. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This is a sole source award. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-07-3-0002, P00003).

AIR FORCE

Honeywell International Incorp., of Clearwater, Fla., is being awarded a modified contract for $7,327,481. This action will provide research and development under Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) VS-07-03, call 00007), entitled "Advanced Inertial Measurement Unit" for the Advanced Ballistic Missile Technologies Program. At this time $225,558 has been obligated. Kirtland AFB, N.M., is the contracting activity (FA9453-08-C-0612, Option 1).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

International Resources, Inc., Glendale Springs, N.C.*, is being awarded a maximum $6,545,200 firm fixed price contract for delivery of bituminous coal. Other locations of performance are in West Virgina. Using services are federal civilian agencies. 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-0651).

Military Indebted to Surviving Families, Chairman Says

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 16, 2008 - The sacrifice of
military families who have lost loved ones in service to their country is integral to the strength of the military itself, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a speech here last night. "Of those who serve, yours have paid the ultimate sacrifice," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said in his address to many military families gathered for the inaugural TAPS Honor Guard Gala here. "Your support of those who've served has been such an integral part of that service, of that sacrifice."

TAPS, or the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, is a national organization in which families who have lost a loved one in military service can come together to help each other heal. It was founded by Bonnie Carroll after the 1992 death of her husband,
Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Tom Carroll.

Though the
military can never repay its debt to these families, its leadership has an obligation to reach out to these survivors, Mullen said.

"While we have progressed greatly in making sure that we take care of these families, there are still things we need to do," he said. "We need to remain committed to ensure that we never lose touch with these families.

"[And] the best way for this to work is for us to support you, and that you support each other," Mullen added, referring to TAPS.

The evidence of TAPS' work was scattered throughout the room. Many of the families in attendance have lost a mother, father, son, daughter, sister or brother in the global war on
terrorism.

The organization's success also was evident in a former
Army sergeant first class who said just four months ago he had difficulty speaking without tearing up. His fiancée, Army Capt. Maria Inez Ortiz, 40, was the first Army nurse to die in combat since Vietnam. She was killed by mortar fire in Baghdad's International Zone in July, just four months before she was to return home.

"The TAPS organization is a platform where all [
military] family members that have lost a loved one can come and share their grief," said Juan Casiano. "[It allows] us to come together where we can accept, understand, learn and then start living again."

Casiano said his experience has provided him with an extended family that truly understands what it means to lose a loved one in military service.

That extended family includes Beth and Michael Belle, whose son,
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Kirven, was killed by sniper fire in Afghanistan on May 8, 2005, Mother's Day. He was six months shy of completing his tour.

"I can't imagine not being a part of this. The people that we've met through TAPS ... are truly connected to us in a way that no one else is," Beth said.

Still, she said, it took her a couple of weeks before she could look through the material the casualty assistance officer had left with the family. "When I did and I saw what TAPS was about, I made the phone call," she said. A TAPS representative answered phone, and the two talked for more than an hour.

"She listened to me and she made me just feel like I wasn't alone," Beth said. "TAPS is an amazing organization. It's been a lifesaver for us."

TAPS offers many different programs, including peer support, grief support and other resources. Children can take advantage of "Good Grief Camps," where they have a chance to meet others their age dealing with similar issues.

The organization 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.