Military News

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.)

Leadership Book Garner’s more Praise

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

San Dimas, (CA) April 27, 2008,
Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style, a recent finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, continues to receive praise from readers.

Andrew Borello, a reader noted on, “Wow...what a great book. As a consultant for career development and promotion, I read all the leadership materials I can get my hands on. The problem is, much of it is disappointing. It's too long; too theoretical; too convoluted; or just plain boring. Harvey & Foster created a leadership encyclopedia of sorts that is packed with the essentials of leadership. This book has all the basics: Delegation, Decision Making, Teamwork, and many more, but it also has valuable details on important elements of leadership that other books often overlook: Consistency (important), Accountability (one of the biggest problems with new generation employees), and How to fail. This book is well written and detailed, but concise in that it won't overwhelm the reader. It weaves the information through stories, definitions that are right on the money, great quotes, simple diagrams, and nice-to-know parallel information. This book serves as a great resource and will always be at an arm's reach for years to come.”

About the Book
Using card playing as analogy for
leadership, Captain Andrew Harvey, CPD (ret.), Ed.D. and Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA found the right mix of practical experience and academic credentials to write a definitive book for leaders. Working together, Harvey and Foster have written Leadership: Texas Hold em Style. Most often leaders find they are given a set of resources people, equipment, funds, experience and a mission. As Foster noted, "You're dealt a certain hand. How you play that hand as a leader determines your success."

About the Authors
Andrew Harvey served in law enforcement for 25 years, the last 12 as a captain with a Southern California police agency. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal State Los Angeles, and an educational doctorate in the field of organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the California POST Command College, the West Point Leadership Program, and is recognized in California as a master instructor.

Andrew Harvey is an experienced college educator, currently serving as a professor at the University of Phoenix, and as a faculty advisor at the Union Institute and University. He has been published numerous times in national and international publications. He is a recognized expert in leadership and career development, and has served as an instructor in command leadership at the Los Angeles Police Department Academy.

Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton. He is has concluded the course work for his doctorate. Raymond is a graduate of the West Point Leadership program and has attended law enforcement, technology and leadership programs such as the National Institute for Justice, Technology Institute, Washington, DC.

Raymond is currently a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in
law enforcement, public policy, technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. His first book, “Police Technology (Prentice Hall, July 2004)” is used in over 100 colleges and universities nationwide.

More Information:



Defense Training Services, a division of ILSC Holdings, LC, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a $91,778,280 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide civilians on the battlefield foreign language specialist role players to support United States
Marine Corps pre-deployment training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The preponderance of the work will be performed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and work is expected to be completed Mar. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This effort was awarded as a sole source eight(a) set aside. The Marine Corps System Command, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (M67854-08-D-8028).

Cubic Applications, Inc., Lacey, Wash., is being awarded a $72,487,405 firm-fixed-price contract to provide both unit level and staff training support,
information technology and technical simulation support services at designated simulation sites and training facilities in support of live, virtual, and constructive standards-based training events to support United States Marine Corps pre-deployment training. Work will be performed at all Marine Corps Bases, to include: I MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force), II MEF, III MEF, and work is expected to be completed May 2013.

Contract funds in the amount of $12,300,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using a full and open competition, with two offers received. The
Marine Corps System Command, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (M67854-08-C-80003).

Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, is being awarded a $28,585,655 firm-fixed-priced delivery order modification under a previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5028) for the purchase of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle tranportation to Durbin, South Africa, battle damage assessment repair list, removal of gun ports in the ballistic windows, revised statement of work and related contract data requirements list. Work will be performed both in a combat area of operations operating in an austere environment (35 percent); Lansing, Mich., (35 percent); and Texarkana, Texas, (30 percent), and work is expected to be completed by Apr. 2009. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., is being awarded a $21,738,576 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0028) for the procurement of 17 point-and-click operator system interface test assets for the obsolescence redesign of the common cockpit of the MH-60 helicopter, including modification, testing, integration, training and logistics support tasks. Work will be performed in Owego, N.Y., (80 percent) and
Austin, Texas, (20 percent), and work 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.

Bell Boeing Tiltrotor Team, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $19,000,000 ceiling priced delivery order #0270 contract for spare components of the CV-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Hurst, Texas, 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 awarded competitively. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00383-03-G-001B).

Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded a $15,279,151 modification to delivery order #0003 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-07-D-5031) for the purchase of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) sustainment parts. Work will be performed in Ladson, S.C., and work is expected to be completed Oct. 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.

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $15,200,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00383-06-D-001J) for in-service engineering and logistics services in support of the Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F aircraft under the Foreign
Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., (75 percent); Amberley, Australia (10 percent); Brisbane, Australia (10 percent); and Patuxent River, Md. (5 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Dec. 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.

Harry Pepper & Associates, Inc.
Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded $12,593,600 for firm-fixed-price task order #0006 under previously awarded contract (N62467-03-D-0188) for design and construction of a Littoral Warfare Systems Facility at Naval Support Activity, Panama City, Fla. The work to be performed includes the provision of a two-story facility with high bays, administrative, and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) facility spaces. The structure will be a secure limited access facility. Work will be performed in Panama City, Fla., and work is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The project was solicited among the four Florida Multiple Award Construction Contract contractors. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Annapolis, Md., is being awarded a $7,889,440 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for engineering and technical services supporting the Advanced SEAL Delivery System Planning Yard at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. This contract contains four one-year options which, if exercised, bring the total estimated value of the contract to $42,682,232. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Md., (75 percent) and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (25 percent), and work is expected to be completed by Apr. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Annex is the contracting activity (N00189-08-D-P002).

ITT Corp., Aerospace Communications Division,
Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded a $7,585,314 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). The SRW software application will operate on Joint Tactical Radio sets to provide voice, data, and video tactical communications services in support of network-centric operations. The cumulative amount of the contract including this modification includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $92,366,305. Work will be performed in Clifton, N.J., (90 percent) and Fort Wayne, Ind., (10 percent) and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2008. If all options are exercised, work could continue until Jan. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured because it is a sole source acquisition. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-07-C-5876).

Hydraulics International Inc., Chatsworth, Calif., is being awarded a $7,424,511 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N68335-04-D-0015) for 68 electric hydraulic power supply units; 67 diesel hydraulic power supply units; and 58 hydraulic fluid purifier units. These hydraulic power supplies provide system, sub-system, or component fault isolation, trouble shooting, and functional testing for aircraft maintenance on land or aboard ship. Work will be performed in Chatsworth, Calif., and work is expected to be completed in Apr. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.


Stanley Baker Hill, LLC, Muscatine, Ia., was awarded on Ap. 23, 2008, a $37,900,680 firm-fixed price contract for services for the gulf region divisions. Work will be performed in Iraq, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Feb. 6, 2004. U. S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Winchester, Va., is the contracting activity (W912ER-04-D-0021).

General Dynamics Land Systems Division, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Apr. 25, 2008, a $28,241,783 cost-no-fee contract for long lead material for the recapitalization of M1A2 System Enhancement Program Version 1 tanks. Work will be performed primarily in Lima, Ohio, and is expected to be completed on Nov. 28, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jan. 18, 2008. TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

General Dynamics Land System, Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2008, a $23,000,000 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for system technical support for the Abrams tank program. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., and is expected to be completed on Dec. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 8, 2011. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0046).

Global Fleet Sales, Inc., Charlottesville, Va., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2008, a $12,124,218 firm-fixed price contract for cargo transport II trucks. Work will be performed in Chonburi, Thailand, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 4, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on May 18, 2006, and nine bids were received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-D-G002).

Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Co., LLC, Independence, Mo., was awarded on Apr. 23, 2008, a $10,753,049 contract for small caliber ammunition. Work will be performed in Independence, Mo., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jan. 2, 2008. U.S.
Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-99-D-0016).

Alliant Ammunition and Powder Co., LLC, Radford, Va., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2008, a $6,077,626 firm-fixed price contract for M1 multi-perforated propellant and M67 propelling charge program. Work will be performed at Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Radford, Va., and is expected to be completed on Jan. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Feb. 19, 2008. U.S.
Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAA09-02-G-0010).


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Electronics Systems Section of Linthicum Heights, Md., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $46,108,784. The objective of the Optical RF Communications Adjunct program is to develop the hardware and network software to instantiate an airborne hybrid optical and radio frequency communications network connecting geographically distant grounds nodes. At this time $34,725,998 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-C-7828).

Odyssey Research Associates Inc. of Ithaca, N.Y., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $24,900,000. This action will provide for research, develop, enhance and transition critical information management and decision support capabilities for the warfighter, including dynamic systems technology, quality of services technology, and enterprise technology. At this time $215,000 has been obligated. Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-08-D-0065; FA8750-08-D-0065 0001).

Politicized Military Would Lose Public Trust, Official Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - If the U.S.
military lost its politically neutral footing, the armed forces would surrender the public's trust, a senior U.S. military officer who explained a new Defense Department directive on troops' political activity said in an interview. "If we do appear to be influenced by our own views or our own understanding of how things should be, we're going to lose the public trust," Army Col. Shawn Shumake, director of legal policy within the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, told the Pentagon Channel. "We're going to lose the confidence that's so important and that the military has maintained for so many years."

To reinforce the
military's apolitical position, the Defense Department has renewed its emphasis on the rules limiting what troops may or may not do within the political arena, Shumake said.

The new version of a department-issued directive titled "Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces" became effective Feb. 19 and replaces the previous version, released in August 2004. It adds two sections that discuss candidacy and campaigning issues pertaining to former military members, retirees and current
military reservists running for elected office.

Under certain circumstances, some reserve-component members can run for or hold elective political office, Shumake said in an interview with American Forces Press Service. Yet, there is "a right way and a wrong way to do that," he stressed, noting the new language describing those issues.

The directive outlines specific rules pertaining to cases of regular, retired and reserve-component servicemembers holding elective or appointed office within the U.S. government, Shumake said, including elected positions with state, territorial, county or municipal governments.

In addition, the revised directive requires
military members holding such positions to apply for and secure the approval of their individual service secretaries. Shumake noted that the requirement for service secretarial approval depends on the length of the servicemember's call or order to active duty.

Active-duty servicemembers are strictly prohibited from campaigning for political office or actively taking part in a political campaign -- even behind the scenes -- and the revised directive specifies what active-duty members may or may not do regarding political activities, he added.

"The reason behind the limitations on political activities is the military has to be seen as exercising unvarnished
military judgment," Shumake told the Pentagon Channel. "We've got to make sure that the people understand that the military is not influenced by the events of the day and what could be considered partisan politics."

Servicemembers with questions about the rules affecting partisan political activities or participation are encouraged to talk to their commanders for guidance.

America Supports You: Silver Star Families Plan Day of Remembrance

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Last year, 44 states and the District of Columbia proclaimed celebrated May 1 as Silver Star Day. This year, Silver Star Families of America, which began the grassroots movement, is hoping all 50 states will remember and honor their wounded and ill veterans May 1 to kick off
Military Appreciation Month.

"While we want every state to join with us, this year we are going to the cities and asking them to help," Janie Orman, the organization's president, said. "We wanted 50 cities across the United States to hold ceremonies and remember our honored wounded."

Cities across the nation are responding "beyond our expectations," Orman said.

"To date we have received proclamations from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 89 cities, with more coming in every day," she said. "It has been a long time since I have seen such an outpouring of love and respect."

Silver Star Families of America is a banner organization, similar to Blue Star Mothers of America and American Gold Star Mothers. Since its founding three years ago, the organization has given out thousands of Silver Star Service banners and certificates to wounded U.S. veterans from all wars wherever they live.

The tradition of the Silver Star banner for the wounded and ill goes back to 1917 and lasted for years until it faded into history. Silver Star Families of America brought back this tradition so that every time someone sees a Silver Star banner in a window or a Silver Star flag flying, they remember the sacrifice of wounded servicemembers.

The Silver Star Service banner and flag fly at
military hospitals, Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities and combat support hospitals.

"We hope everyone will take a minute to reflect on the sacrifices of our wounded and ill soldiers on May 1," Orman said. "I also invite everyone to hold their own ceremonies or banner presentations."

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

JCOC Experience 'Invaluable,' Participants Say

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

April 26, 2008 - The cost of a pound of coffee in Colombia: $8. A hand-carved souvenir iguana from Cuba: $10. A cold beer in Honduras: $1. Traveling throughout Central and South America talking to soldiers, sailors, airmen and
Marines and seeing firsthand the U.S. military's role in the region: priceless.

"You can't put a price on that," said Dan Simons, president of The World Company in Lawrence, Kan. "It's off the charts."

Simons and about 50 other participants in the 75th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference wrapped up their week-long journey to parts of the U.S. Southern Command area of operations here last night with a dinner and an opportunity to chat with the command's top officer,
Navy Adm. James Stavridis. Miami serves as the headquarters for the command.

The JCOC is the Defense Department's oldest outreach program. In this trip, participants traveled to Brazil, Cuba, Honduras, Colombia and here. The U.S. Southern Command area encompasses more than 30 countries and covers about 15.6 million square miles.

During the conference, participants stood on the deck of the USS George Washington and witnessed hair-raising night landings on the nuclear aircraft carrier up-close. They fired machine guns in Cuba, rode in helicopters in Honduras, and rappelled off towers in Colombia.

The civic and business
leaders toured maximum-security detainee facilities in Guantanamo Bay, sped across the Keys in super-fast U.S. Coast Guard drug interdiction boats and saw what a jungle cocaine lab looks like.

And while all are quick to say those experiences were exhilarating, stimulating, and sometimes frightening, being able to talk with U.S. servicemembers was the highlight of the trip, they said. SouthCom is home to more than 1,200
military and civilian personnel from all services. During the trip, the group dined in a Navy's ship's galley and chatted with sailors. They shared field rations with soldiers and airmen and talked about military life with Marines.

"I leave with a real sense of pride, and am just in awe of the men and women who serve," said Saul Kaplan, executive director of
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Providence, R.I.

This is the first time a JCOC has toured Southern Command since the program began in 1948. And it is the first JCOC to see more of the U.S.
military's "soft power," or humanitarian assistance and other aid-oriented missions. This group got to talk about drug eradication efforts with Colombian police who risk their lives spraying the coca plants across the country. They delivered school supplies and soccer balls to children in Honduras. They talked with the doctors who provide the medical care for the detainees at Guantanamo.

Many of the participants said that they're returning from the trip with a deeper understanding of the importance of the region to U.S. national
security interests.

"We tend to think of the
military as arms and defense. We saw the human heart of the military and the focus and concern for all people," said Rebecca Upham, head of the Buckingham Brown and Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass.

And as the event wrapped up, the business
leaders and educators talked about how they could spread the word of what they saw in their travels. Entrepreneurs penciled thoughts on paper for upcoming speeches, and authors sketched out ideas for upcoming seminars. No one is leaving without a sense of urgency to tell their story on some scale within their communities.

Simon said the trip gave him new appreciation for the efforts of U.S. servicemembers. He admitted he had become somewhat apathetic regarding their service, because it did not have a direct, personal impact. Now he is going to work with United Service Organizations on an upcoming project, and is also teaming with a nonprofit organization to sponsor races to be held across the country on Sept. 11.

"I could have been working on this for a couple of years," he said.

Michael Roberts, the chairman and chief executive officer of The Roberts Companies in St. Louis, said his experiences on the trip will be part of his regular speeches. As an entrepreneur and author, Roberts regularly speaks to businesses and on college campuses such as Harvard.

"In those environments, I can say to them what the
military is about from a humanistic perspective, as opposed to a strict warring and defense operation," Roberts said.

Roberts used a sports analogy to sum up his impressions of the military's use of soft power: "The best defense is a good offense." He said the humanitarian missions of the military, such as building schools, countering narco-
terrorism and providing health care to impoverished countries, is a side of the military most people do not know about.

In the end, the trip was a call to action for him and the others, Roberts said.

"We need to do what we can to spread the word about the humanitarian mission of the U.S.
military," he said. "We do have a 'good neighbor' policy. And the world is our neighbor."