Military News

Monday, May 12, 2008

Services Meet or Exceed April 2008 Recruiting Goals

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 12, 2008 - All
military services met or exceeded their recruiting goals for April, with the Marine Corps recruiting 142 percent of its goal, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said here today. The Army reached 101 percent of its goal, and the Navy and Air Force met their goals.

In the re-enlistment arena, the
Army, Navy and Marine Corps met or exceeded their active-duty retention objectives. "The Air Force still faces challenges, but they still seem able to meet their year-end strength goals," Whitman said.

All the reserve components also met or exceeded their recruiting goals, with the Air National Guard at 130 percent and the Army Reserve at 120 percent.

April "was another strong month for recruiting and retention," Whitman said.

The
Army brought in 5,681 recruits and had a goal of 5,650. The Navy enlisted 2,905 new sailors, and the Air Force brought in 2,435 airmen -- both meeting their goals on the button.

The
Marine Corps enlisted 2,233 recruits and had a goal of 1,577. One reporter on the Pentagon beat likened the Marine numbers as "recruiting on steroids." Whitman said it is an indication that the recruiting environment is strong.

"The
Marine Corps, if they continue to achieve the kind of success they have had, could meet their growth figures more than a year early," he said.

On the reserve-component side, the
Army National Guard brought in 6,201 soldiers on a goal of 5,538 for 112 percent. The Army Reserve enlisted 3,520 soldiers on a goal of 2,937 for 120 percent.

The
Navy Reserve hit its enlistment goal of 831, and the Marine Corps Reserve hit its mark of 459.

The Air National Guard enlisted 875 airmen and had a goal of 672 for 130 percent, and the
Air Force Reserve went one over on its goal of enlisting 680 airmen.

While a slower U.S. economy may account for some of the success, it only tells part of the story, a DoD personnel and readiness official said. "We had recruiting success when the economy was going at virtually full throttle," the official said, though he acknowledged that, when unemployment rates go up, the interest in enlisting also rises.

Still, the greatest single reason for the improvement in recruiting is the availability of recruiters, the official said. "The principal thing is the growth in recruiters and the increase in benefits -- money, education, mortgages and so on," the official said.

The
Army and Marine Corps have increased the number of recruiters on the street. The services also have increased enlistment bonuses and the money spent on advertising.

"Overall, the services have doubled the amount of money spent per recruit," the official said. "When you turn up the volume on a resource, people listen."

First of Three Planned U.S. Relief Flights Brings Aid to Burma

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 12, 2008 - The first U.S.
military plane loaded with relief supplies arrived in Burma today as members of Joint Task Force Caring Response prepared to dispatch two more relief flights to the cyclone-stricken region. A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft loaded with emergency relief supplies arrived yesterday at Rangoon International Airport in Burma, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. After delivering its load -- 8,300 bottles of water, two pallets of mosquito nets and a pallet of blankets -- to Burmese military officials for distribution, the plane returned to Utapao Thai Royal Navy air base in Thailand.

Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the U.S. Pacific Command chief, accompanied the C-130 shipment to Rangoon. "He was greeted by a Burmese naval officer who thanked him for the assistance," Whitman said. Keating returned to Thailand with the flight crew.

The delivery was the first of three planned flights in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Relief, approved by the
military junta that has ruled Burma for 19 years.

Tomorrow's flights will carry food and water, the two greatest needs, into the cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy River delta. Those deliveries, like today's, will be turned over to the Burmese officials for distribution, Whitman said.

Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman, commander of Marine Forces Pacific, is coordinating the U.S. military response as commander of Joint Task Force Caring Response.

U.S. State Department officials are working with the Burmese government to allow more aid into the country, Whitman said. State Department officials said today that their personnel in Burma and Thailand are working with other nations to find ways to get more aid into Burma quickly.

"The goal of the United States government is to try to get as much assistance as we can to the Burmese people," Whitman said.

The USS Essex Expeditionary Strike Group will arrive in international waters off Burma tomorrow and be ready to lend a hand if allowed by Burmese authorities. The group includes USS Essex, USS Juneau and USS Harpers Ferry, and is equipped with 23 helicopters, three landing craft air cushions, two landing craft units, and 1,800 Marines.

Additional U.S.
military assets are on standby, ready to respond if the Burmese junta permits. The Marine Corps has four KC-130J aircraft in Bangkok, and the Air Force has six C-130s in Utapao and Korat, Thailand. In addition, the 36th Contingency Support Group, based in Guam, is preparing to provide a water purification unit and two airfield opening and operating teams to the region.

These assets already were in the region for Cobra Gold 2008, a U.S.-Thai humanitarian- and civil-assistance exercise, when Cyclone Nargis hit May 2. This year's Cobra Gold, the 27th annual exercise, was slated to run May 8 to 21, officials said.

Nine days after the cyclone, Burmese officials estimate the death toll at 31,938, with another 29,770 missing. United Nations officials put the toll between 62,000 and 100,000. The U.N. also said about 2 million people may be refugees.

(Donna Miles of American Forces Press Service contributed to this article.)

Guard Answers Calls in Weather-Battered States

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

May 12, 2008 - National Guard members in four states were called out by their governors to assist civil authorities today after tornadoes crossed the southwestern United States on May 10 and flooding on the Delaware coast left communities in need of emergency assistance. Since May 7, the National Weather Service has confirmed at least 42 tornadoes in the southern plains and the southeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the nation, with the strongest tornado recorded May 10 as an F-4. It developed from a super-cell storm that tracked through three states.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina were affected by severe weather during the weekend, with at least 22 confirmed deaths, many homes destroyed and thousands of people without power. The Guard also is responding to flooded areas in Delaware after heavy rains on Mother's Day.

In
Oklahoma, Gov. Brad Henry called out the National Guard to assist emergency responders after five confirmed tornadoes touched down in the state. At least 25 Army Guard members are providing security support in the town of Picher after an F-4 tornado churned up a 63-mile swath of damage from Oklahoma to Missouri.

Soldiers reportedly are assisting local
law enforcement in securing the area, which includes routes in and out of the town four miles south of the state's border with Kansas. An Army Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew is flying aerial assessment missions for the governor.

In
Arkansas, where at least two tornadoes touched down and tracked through the central part of the state the evening of May 10, homes were destroyed in the town of Stuttgart.

"We've deployed 50 Guardsmen from the Guard's 875th Engineer Battalion," said
Air Force Maj. Keith Moore, a National Guard spokesman. Moore said the soldiers traveled from their station in Jonesboro and are providing security support at traffic control points and conducting patrols to prevent looting.

The soldiers are working two shifts during an around-the-clock operation and are expected to be on station through May 14. The
Army Guard is flying Gov. Michael Beebe and emergency management agency personnel on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter out of Camp Robinson to assess damaged areas.

"This is one of the key roles of the Guard, being a dual-mission force, that we are here to support our local communities [and] respond to the governor," Moore said.

After severe storms and tornadoes swept through southwestern Missouri, nearly 20
Army Guard soldiers deployed on state active duty to support Gov. Matt Blunt in his emergency response efforts for the towns of Newtonia and Grany. The soldiers are assisting local law enforcement agencies with security. Eight soldiers and two military vehicles deployed to each town.

In Delaware, tidal flooding and heavy rains led to Guard members deploying in six light medium tactical vehicles and one 2.5-ton truck to assist in flood evacuations at South Bowers Beach, Kitts Hummock Beach, Woodland Beach and Slaughter Beach.

"The LMTVs can carry up to 15 people and have a high ground clearance, which allows them operate in up to 4 feet of water," said Lt. Col. Len Gratteri, Delaware National Guard spokesman. Gratteri said the state's Guard members are deployed from the 262nd Maintenance Company, the 261st Signal Brigade and the 72nd Troop Command.

The Delaware Guard is coordinating emergency assistance through the state's emergency management agency with its Joint Operations and Emergency Operations Centers. A shelter area is also set up in Kent County.

(
Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith serves with the National Guard Bureau. Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill of the National Guard Bureau contributed to this report.)

General Addresses Misconceptions About Army Individual Ready Reserve

By Kristen Noel
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 12, 2008 - News reports suggesting that injured former soldiers are being called back to active duty and confusion over what the Individual Ready Reserve is have resulted in misconceptions, a senior
Army personnel officer said May 9. Many people seem unaware of the purpose of the Army Individual Ready Reserve and its obligations, Maj. Gen. Sean Byrne, commander of U.S. Army Human Resources Command, said during a teleconference with online journalists and "bloggers" March 9.

"I see three main fallacies ... associated with IRR soldiers," Byrne said. First, many do not fully understand the delay or exemption program available to soldiers who receive mobilization orders, he said. Secondly, he said, people seem to believe any soldier in possession of a DD214 form -- the official separation document -- is completely discharged with no further obligation.

Every individual who assumes active duty in the
Army automatically incurs an eight-year mandatory service obligation and is made aware of that obligation, Byrne said. But seemingly widespread unawareness of this obligation accounts for the third misconception, he said.

"Soldiers typically serve two to four years on active duty," he explained, "and when they leave active duty, they're transferred into the reserve components to fulfill the remainder of their obligation."

The IRR is one of several ways soldiers may fulfill their remaining years of service, Byrne said, with the other options including remaining on active duty, or serving in uniform with the National Guard or Reserve.

While the Guard and Reserve often require weekend training and periodic duty assignments, the IRR only obligates soldiers to meet minimal annual requirements, such as keeping personal contact information current, attending musters, updating readiness screening questionnaires, and responding to official correspondence, Byrne said.

"The IRR is a group of trained, experienced
military professionals who stand ready to augment Army units," he explained. "We mobilized and deployed soldiers of the IRR for Operation Desert Storm, and since 9/11, we've been mobilizing and deploying them to support the global war on terror.

"Today, we have almost 72,000 soldiers in the IRR, with approximately 6,500 of them on active duty," he added.

The
Army expects IRR soldiers will serve in duty positions when called upon, Byrne said. But, he said there is a formal process for requesting a delay or exemption, if an injury, illness, or extenuating circumstance prevents the soldier's return to active duty.

Byrne said the IRR's mobilization orders include a toll-free phone number for soldiers to call to request a delay or exemption from returning to active duty.

"We tell them formally, as we give them mobilization orders, ... what they need to do if they need a delay [or] exemption," he said. About half of requests for delays or exemptions are approved, he added.

He explained that the requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and aren't subjected to any standard determining factors.

"We are really very careful as we review anybody's request for an exemption, a delay, any of those, to make sure that we're doing the right thing for the individual and the institution," he said.

If a case has not been adjudicated before a soldier's scheduled report date, Byrne explained, he or she will be granted an administrative delay from returning to active duty.

"Administrative delays are not unusual special favors," he said. "They're granted in accordance with standard operating procedures that exist to ensure a soldier's situation is carefully and completely considered."

The
Army has "a pretty deliberate process" by which IRR soldiers who are called back can ask for a delay or an exemption should they feel they're not qualified to serve on active duty, Byrne said.

"One of the worst things that we can do is try to bring somebody on active duty who's got problems that are insurmountable," he added, "that are basically going to make it very hard or difficult for them to focus on their active-duty time."

(Kristen Noel works for the New Media branch of the American Forces Information Service.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 12, 2008

NAVY

Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Inc., Bethesda, Md., is being awarded a $36,893,216 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee/cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contract with provisions for firm-fixed price orders to provide Joint Medical Information Systems information assurance technical support services, including, but is not limited to, Network Operations, Network
Security, Computer Network Defense, Security Life Cycle Management, Identity Management, Public Key Infrastructure Implementation and Engineering Support, Security Policy and Standards Guidance and Development, Secure Wireless Network Infrastructure Support, Secure Network Infrastructure Systems and Applications, Governance, Certification and Accreditation, Risk Management, Security Engineering, Cryptographic Repair, Crypto Modernization, and Cross Domain solutions that Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Charleston and Naval Network Warfare Command support. This contract includes four one-year option periods, which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated amount of $189,865,750. Work will be performed in Charleston, S.C., and work is expected to be completed by May 2009 (May 2013 with options exercised). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competitive procedures via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center E-commerce website, with six offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-08-D-6801).

Communication and Ear Protection*, Enterprise, Ala., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $25,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovative Research Program under Topic N02-151, entitled "Passive Noise Reduction
Technology to Improve Speech Intelligibility and Reduce Noise for Pilot and Deck Crew Helmet Mounted Systems." The contractor will provide services and materials for engineering tasks, including research and development, prototype and testing of the hearing protection devices. Work will be performed in Enterprise, Ala., and work is expected to be completed in May 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $451,714 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using the SBIR Program Solicitation under Topic N02-151 and 16 offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-08-D-0013).

General Electric Co., Aircraft Engines Business Group, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $24,681,174 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0088) to exercise an option for the Fiscal Year 2008 Lot 12 procurement of seven F-414-GE-400 spare engines for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass., (50 percent); Madisonville, Ky., (22 percent); Hooksett, N.H., (13 percent); Albuquerque, N.M., (6 percent);
Rutland, Vt., (5 percent); Dayton, Ohio, (2 percent); Evandale, Ohio, (1 percent); and Bromont, Canada, (1 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Jun. 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.

Communication & Power Industries, Inc.,
Palo Alto, Calif., is being awarded a $12,757,800 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for major repair/remanufacture of Traveling Wave Tubes (TWTs) and new TWTs for the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Countermeasures System. The AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Countermeasures System performs deception jamming of missile seekers and noise jamming of targeting radars. It can track multiple emitters and provides ship protection from radar-directed anti-ship missiles as well as confusing targeting radars on hostile platforms. The TWTs are integral parts of the jammer. Work will be performed in Palo Alto, Calif., and work is expected to be completed by May 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with a minimum of four proposals solicited and one offer received via Federal Business Opportunities website and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Acquisition Department's website. The NSWC Crane, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-08-D-GR15).

Lockheed Martin-MS2, Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $10,061,579 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the production and support of Multi Function Towed Arrays for the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Antisubmarine Warfare Combat Systems. MFTA is the next generation passive and active sonar receiver. It affords several enhancements to the AN/SQR-19
Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) allowing greater coverage, increased capability/reliability, and reduced obsolescence. MFTA significantly contributes to the capability of surface ships to detect, localize, and prosecute undersea threats, and is a critical sensor to a combat systems suite. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., (60 percent); Baltimore, Md., (20 percent); Cleveland, Ohio, (14 percent); and Phoenix, Ariz., (6 percent), and work is expected to be complete by Dec. 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with one proposal solicited and two offers received via the Federal Business Opportunities website. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-08-C-6282).

Vision Systems International*,
San Jose, Calif., is being awarded a $6,235,379 firm-fixed-price, definitive-contract for the stand-up of an organic repair depot for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System. The repair depot shall be established to provide Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane with in-house repair capability for failed Display Units. Work will be performed in Crane, Ind., and work is expected to be completed by April 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The solicitation was posted on Federal Business Opportunities website and the NSWC Crane website, with one proposal solicited and one offer received. NSWC Crane, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-08-C-JQ41).

ARMY

C. Martin Co., Inc.,
Las Vegas, N.V., was awarded on May 8, 2008, a $12,609,094 firm-fixed price incentive fee contract for installation support services. Work will be performed in Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Jun. 1, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. 21 bids were solicited on Jun. 27, 2007, and three bids were received. Department of the Army, Installation Contracting Command, Dugway, Utah, is the contracting activity (W911S6-08-C-0003).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on May 8, 2008, a $45,386,253 firm-fixed price contract for two SHADOW unmanned aerial vehicle systems and associated support equipment. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., and is expected to be completed by May 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, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0023).

Laughlin-Thyssen, Inc.,
Houston, Texas, was awarded on May 9, 2008, a $23,448,135 firm-fixed price contract for construction of a channel improvement project. Work will be performed in San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Feb. 4, 2008. U.S. Army Engineer District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-08-C-0020).

Harper Construction Co., Inc.,
San Diego, Calif., was awarded on May 9, 2008, a $22,022,448 firm-fixed price contract for re-stationing of 31st Air Defense Artillery including construction of primary infrastructure and site development. Work will be performed at Fort Sill, Okla., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 1, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Sept. 21, 2007, and two bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Tulsa, Okla., is the contracting activity (@912BV-08-C-2002).

MWH Construction Inc., Broomfield, Colo., was awarded on May 9, 2008, a $15,000,000 firm-fixed price contract for design and construction of three company operation facilities. Work will be performed at Fort Sill, Okla., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 5, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Six bids were solicited on Dec. 18, 2007, and five bids were received. U.S.
Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-D-0019).

K&S Associates, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded on May 8, 2008, a $10,170,000 firm-fixed price contract for design and construction of squadron operations facilities. Work will be performed at Scott
Air Force Base, Ill., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Mar. 3, 2008, and six bids were received. Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-08-C-0017).

Turner Denny Construction Co., Virginia Beach, Va., was awarded on May 9, 2008, a $5,811,295 firm-fixed price contract for an information systems server farm addition. Work will be performed at Fort Lee, Va., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two bids were solicited on Dec. 21, 2007, and two bids were received. U.S.
Army Engineer District, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-05-D-0054).