Military News

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Domestic Violence in the Military: Implementing Collaborative MOUs

Though separated from surrounding communities in many ways, military installations are not islands. Service members and their families regularly visit such communities, and many live outside the installation in them. Any domestic violence (DV) incident that occurs off installations is under the jurisdiction of local civilian authorities. In fact, civilian authorities may also have jurisdiction (and be first responders) over incidents that occur on installations. Thus, one of the recommendations of the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence (DTFDV) — which conducted a comprehensive review from 2000 to 2003 of how the military could most effectively prevent and respond to DV by and against its service members — was that the Department of Defense (DoD) “require installation/regional commanders to seek MOUs [memorandums of understanding] with local communities to address responses to domestic violence.”

While issuing such uniform policy may be relatively simple for the DoD, meeting this goal is likely to be a considerable challenge for both installations and communities. RAND examined some of the key challenges that must be addressed in establishing MOUs and recommend some ways to address them.

READ ON
http://rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB6016/index1.html

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 13, 2008

NAVY

Harris Corp., (RF Communications Division),
Rochester, N.Y., is being awarded a ceiling price $350,000,000 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract resulting from Request for Proposal No. M67854-08-R-7009 for the Multi-Band Radio (MBR). Work will be performed by Rochester, N.Y., and work is expected to be complete May 2013. Delivery of the production quantities of MBR is expected to begin in Sept. 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 (M67854-08-D-7009).

Raytheon Co.,
Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $61,154,903 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5444) for MK15 Phalanx Close-In-Weapon System (CIWS) ordnance alteration kits, spares, and associated hardware. The US Army procures Land-Based configurations of the CIWS system to support the Global War on Terrorism. Work will be performed in Louisville, Ky., (22 percent); Andover, Mass., (19 percent); Tucson, Ariz., (16 percent); Syracuse, N.Y., (9 percent); Long Beach, Calif., (9 percent); Radford, Va., (7 percent); Burlington, Vt., (7 percent); Palm Bay, Fla., (3 percent); Pittsburg, Pa., (2 percent); Bloomington, Minn., (2 percent); Salt Lake City, Utah, (2 percent); Norcross, Ga., (1 percent); and New Albany, Ind., (1 percent), and work is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $1,494,004 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Martin-Baker Aircraft Co., Ltd., Middlesex, England is being awarded a $42,172,647 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0011) to exercise an option for 178
Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seats (NACESs), including 78 for the Navy F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G; 12 for the Marine Corps F/A-18A+; 46 for the Government of Canada; 42 for the Government of Australia and 285 thermal batteries for the NACES, including 251 units for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corp and 23 units for the Government of Finland and 11 units for the Government of Switzerland. In addition, this contract provides for associated component parts and production support for the U.S. Navy production aircraft and the Governments of Canada and Australia. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, ($21,795,277; 51.69 percent); and the governments of Canada, ($10,550,649; 25.01 percent); Switzerland, ($49,085: .12 percent); Finland, ($102,632: .24 percent); and Australia, ($9,675,004: 22.94 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Middlesex, England, (71.5 percent); Johnstown, Pa., (16 percent); Northridge, Calif., (7 percent); and Ronkonkoma, N.Y., (5.5 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.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded a $21,224,759 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-5435) for 68 MK 20 MOD 1 Canisters and 156 MK 20 MOD 1 Frangible Covers in support of the Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM). The MK 20 MOD 1 Canisters are for Canada and the MK 20 MOD 1 Frangible Covers are for Canada, Netherlands and Belgium. The NATO SEASPARROW consortium, which includes the United States and 12 other countries, will fund all of the effort under this modification. Work will be performed in Hooveveen, Netherlands, and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Trident Systems, Incorporated*, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $9,934,155 modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-6265) for Phase III engineering services. The engineering services are in support of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Topic No.N99-106 "Mobile Computing for Submarine Application". The contract modification for engineering services includes software development, procurement of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products and hardware/software integration in support of USS Virginia Class Submarine and other submarine/surface ship systems, surveillance and air platforms. The Phase III SBIR effort addresses systems and subsystems ranging from simple single processors to highly complex multi-processor network architecture. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va., and work is expected to be completed by Apr. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington
Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Government & Missile Systems,
Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $8,887,717 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-03-D-0009) to exercise an option for depot level repair, maintenance, and post-production services of up to 300 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs) for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and the Governments of Korea and Turkey. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force ($7,960,411; 89.6 percent); the U.S. Navy ($396,694; 4.43 percent); and the Governments of Korea ($437,846; 4.93 percent) and Turkey ($92,766; 1.04 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., 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 is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $5,818,376 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-4403) for exercising an option for Program Management Organization (PMO) support for the USS Wasp (LHD-1) FY08 drydocking phased-maintenance availability. The PMO Spec provides the following support: program and production management support, estimating and contract administration services, material services to requisition and coordinate material requirements, technical library services, and provisioning technical documentation. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $5,818,376 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

U.S - Japan Search for WWII Japanese MIAs in Alaska

The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a small team of Japanese and U.S. specialists is visiting Attu Island, Alaska, in search of burial locations of the Japanese soldiers who are still missing from a 1943 World War Two battle there.

The Department of Defense, the U.S.
Coast Guard and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are supporting a team of three Japanese and 11 Americans. The team departed from Kodiak today via a C-130 on a flight to the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Attu Island. Some engineering equipment will be flown to Eareckson AFS on a U.S. Air Force C-17 and from there, the Coast Guard will move the equipment via C-130 to Attu Island.

The team's work on Attu Island will be supported by
Army engineers from Ft. Richardson, Alaska, who will also employ ground-penetrating radar to help locate remains and guard against unexploded ordnance.

While visiting the island, the team is being housed at the long range navigation station and will be supported by the U.S.
Coast Guard garrison. Attu Island is under the management and protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which administers the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. At the end of Alaska's Aleutian island chain, Attu is the westernmost point of land of the United States.

In June 1942, a unit of the Japanese
Army occupied Attu, capturing and imprisoning many of its inhabitants. U.S. forces began action to recapture the small island in May 1943, where fierce hand-to-hand battles led to about 540 American and 2,300 Japanese deaths. It was the site of the only land battle in WWII in North America.

In 1953, 235 sets of Japanese remains were recovered on Attu and reburied at Ft. Richardson, near Anchorage, Alaska. The Japanese later disinterred those remains, cremated them as part of a religious ceremony and reburied them at the same location.

The Japanese government assisted U.S. investigators in June 2007 in a visit to Iwo Jima in search of information related to American WWII MIAs. This 14-day deployment to Attu Island follows a similar four-day investigation there in July 2007. For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Gates Salutes NORAD's 50 Years as Guardian of Skies

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 13, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates saluted North American Aerospace Defense Command's role as the guardian of North American skies at the organization's 50th anniversary observance here last night. NORAD, a U.S.-Canadian
military organization, was established May 12, 1958, to defend North America from air and space threats.

"Both of our nations are dedicated to protecting North Americans from air attacks, and this institution remains a vital part of the defense of the continent," Gates said during his address at NORAD's Golden Jubilee Ball at the Broadmoor resort.

Canada has long been a valued friend of the United States, Gates said, noting he shared the podium with Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter Gordon MacKay.

Gates thanked Canada for its partnership in the
war on terror. Some 3,000 Canadian troops are serving in NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. "I also thank you for your ongoing commitment to NORAD," Gates told MacKay.

The then-Soviet Union's launch of its Sputnik satellite in 1957 "accelerated the space race and raised the specter of attack on our
homeland by intercontinental ballistic missiles," Gates recalled. The United States and Canada set up an extensive radar network to protect North American air space, Gates said, and NORAD operations began on Sept. 12, 1957, eight months before the command's formal establishment.

NORAD's mission is no less important today, Gates observed, especially with the advent of transnational
terrorism. Operation Noble Eagle airspace-protection missions have been flown over the homeland since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he said. Noble Eagle supplies a ready alert force, air patrols, and surveillance to the United States and Canada, Gates said. Its pilots have flown 45,000 sorties since the terror attacks, he noted.

NORAD always is on guard for enemy threats emanating from the skies or space, Gates said. In 2006, NORAD added maritime surveillance to its mission list.

Starting even before its formal establishment, NORAD has tracked Santa Claus each year as he flies around the world in his reindeer-drawn sleigh bringing Christmas gifts and cheer to children worldwide, Gates said.

"Looking back at all the years, and all the Christmases spent tracking Santa, we take for granted the advances that have been made --– like satellites in space and the ability to communicate across the globe in an instant," Gates observed.

NORAD has steadfastly performed its important missions with creativity and innovation for the past half-century, Gates said.

"It is, in the final analysis, still one of our first and last defenses of that which we cherish most: our loved ones, our liberties, our countries," Gates said.

"To all the men and women who have dedicated their lives to defending this continent, I thank you," the secretary said. "As we look back on all that has been accomplished, let us also look forward to new challenges and new triumphs."

MacKay echoed Gates' feelings about NORAD.

"Looking back over five decades, we can be proud of everything that NORAD has accomplished and everything NORAD stands for," MacKay said. In the future, he said, NORAD "must continue to adapt, innovate and cooperate, because our mutual security depends upon it."

NORAD and U.S. Northern Command are based at Peterson
Air Force Bbase here and are commanded by U.S. Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., whose deputy at NORAD is a Canadian flag officer, Lt. Gen. Charlie Bouchard. Established on Oct. 1, 2002, U.S. Northern Command conducts homeland defense and civil support missions.

U.S. and Canadian
military officials at NORAD are now "fusing together their mutual interests, their great planning capabilities" to improve the organization so it can successfully confront future challenges, Renuart said.

"So, we'll continue to guard what you all value most: our families, our friends and our communities," Renuart promised.

"That really is the legacy of NORAD," he said.

When you Hear the Bugle Call

I pray that the reading of this very personal account of war and its aftermath will benefit other combat veterans agonized by severe and chronic PTSD as it has been for me in the writing of it. The intention of this account is to help them, their friends and loved ones better understand this devastating “psychological, automatic, and natural response” to repeated, life threatening situations and to offer them hope and guidance in achieving a much brighter future. This publication will bring them to the realization that they are not alone in their sufferings and that professional help, understanding and comradeship, is as close as the nearest Veterans Administration Medical Center.

READ ON
http://www.police-writers.com/articles/griffin_bugle_call.html

PaCom Commander Accompanies Burmese Relief Mission, Appeals to Allow More Aid

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 13, 2008 - The top U.S. officer in the Pacific accompanied the first U.S. relief flight into Burma yesterday, delivering not only desperately needed supplies but also personal appeals to the ruling junta and a letter asking the prime minister to allow more help.
Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, chief of U.S. Pacific Command, is no stranger to disaster response. He was at the helm at U.S. Northern Command when he mobilized U.S. military support during Hurricane Katrina. At PaCom, he coordinated the U.S. response after a fierce tropical storm lambasted Bangladesh in November.

So after a devastating May 2 cyclone decimated much of Burma's Irrawaddy River delta, Keating knew what Pacific Command could do to help, if the Burmese government only gave the green light.

So Keating took his appeal in person, joining an
Air Force C-130 Hercules aircrew yesterday for the first U.S. military relief flight from Utapao Thai Royal Navy air base, Thailand, to Rangoon International Airport, Burma. Henrietta Force, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, joined Keating during the mission.

The flight, with 28,000 pounds of cargo, was the first of three relief flights Burma has approved to date. The
Marine Corps flew two additional C-130 flights today, delivering an additional 44,650 pounds of water, blankets, mosquito netting and plastic sheeting.

As the airmen helped Burmese troops and civilian volunteers offload the first load of cargo -- 8,300 bottles of water, two pallets of mosquito nets and a pallet of blankets – Keating met yesterday for more than an hour with Burmese officials to make his case.

Characterizing the session as "friendly and gracious," Keating said he told the delegation what kind of help the United States has to offer. "We made as rational and passionate a plea to get Burma's permission to begin relief operations," he said during a phone interview from Bangkok with American Forces Press Service.

Keating described some of the assets on standby: six C-130 aircraft at a staging area at Utapao air base, about a half-dozen CH-53 Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopters and several CH-46 Sea Knight medium-lift helicopters. Additional air assets are in a waiting mode with Joint Task Force Caring Response, headed by
Marine Lt. Gen. John Goodman, commander of Marine Forces Pacific.

In addition, USS Essex, USS Harpers Ferry, USS Mustin and USS Juneau arrived in the Bay of Bengal early this morning. Aboard them are 10 more CH-46s, four to six CH-53s and more than 14,000 5-gallon plastic bladders filled with fresh water.

Keating said they're also carrying what he described as a key capability: "about 1,000 to 2,000 Marines and sailors who are all prepared to go ashore, or at least provide relief efforts ashore when the Burmese will allow us."

Before returning to Thailand with the aircrew, Keating left a personal note to be delivered to the Burmese prime minister, reiterating his verbal appeal and promising to keep all support low-profile.

"We will leave no fingerprints," Keating said he wrote to the prime minister, who ultimately must authorize any additional relief missions. "We will not use any Burmese fuel. We will not take any Burmese food or water. When the Marines and the
Air Force personnel leave, the Burmese will not know we were there. We will be entirely self-sufficient. We can bring our own command and control. We will help, (and) the minute we are no longer desired or required, we will leave."

Despite his efforts, Keating said, he regretted that he wasn't able to get the acceptances he had come seeking -- at least not yet. It could be as long as two weeks before the prime minister decides whether to accept more help, the admiral said the embassy staff told him.

"Our diplomatic personnel there in Burma cautioned us against high expectations," Keating said. "They say that, historically, the Burmese are very slow to give approval. All decisions of this magnitude have to go to the prime minister. He and he alone retains the authority to make them."

Keating expressed frustration that
military assets and capability are sitting idle as the casualty numbers from the deadly cyclone that hit Burma on May 2 continue to mount.

"We have a disaster of near-incomprehensible magnitude," he said. Initial reports from United Nations and World Food Bank program workers who have been permitted into Burma indicate that conditions are becoming "very, very grim."

"We all know that each day that goes by, the situation is likely to degrade dramatically from catastrophic to worse," Keating said. "So it is frustrating, but it is worse than that. It is a catastrophe of epic proportions, in my view. And we are right there. We are ready to help, and we can't get permission."

Before returning to his headquarters at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, Keating said he planned visits in Thailand to thank Thai military
leaders, as well as U.N. and World Food Bank workers for their support for the Burmese mission.

Keating said he planned to tell the nongovernmental organization staffs that the United States will help support their work in Burma "in any way that we can."

The Burmese government is likely to be more receptive to NGOs than military forces providing support, he conceded. "That's fair enough. We just want to get the aid there and the supplies there," Keating said. "It doesn't matter to us nearly so much what kind of flag is on the side of the aid. We just want it to get to the folks who need it."

The bright spot of the yesterday's mission, he said, was watching the airmen roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help the Burmese, who formed a human chain at the back of the aircraft to pass relief supplies to a waiting 2-and-a-half ton truck.

They "have a very clear sense that this is a drop in the bucket [of what's needed], but at least it's a drop they are providing," Keating said. "They were hustling. It was pretty hot, and they were perspiring mightily as they were offloading goods yesterday afternoon."

"These are America's finest ambassadors, in my humble opinion," he said.

"This is not necessarily what they joined the service to do. Their primary mission is to defend the United States and our allies in the Pacific. And these guys are ready to do that on a moment's notice," he said. "But when the bell rings, they want to help out anyone and everyone who needs it."

Marine Capt. Dax McLendon, a C-130 pilot who delivered 24,500 pounds of aid during the first of two relief flights today, said it felt good to be able to lend a hand in Burma.

The crew, from
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, based in Okinawa, Japan, had been in the region for the Cobra Gold 2008 exercise when it got diverted for humanitarian assistance for Burma. "The whole crew was happy that we could help out," McLendon said.

The delivery went like clockwork, he said. Bad weather initially hampered visibility of conditions on the ground, but during the decent into Rangoon, McLendon and the crew saw evidence of extensive flooding.

Once on the ground, the Burmese greeted them with open arms as they worked side by side with the Marines offloading the plane, he said.

"I've done humanitarian relief before, and it always feels good when you land with the supplies people need," he said. "Especially when they are the ones offloading your plane, you can see that they are happy you are there. They were real receptive to us and very happy and all smiling and shaking our hands. They wanted to take pictures with us, get around the plane and kind of check us out."

Marine Capt. Michael Scott, another pilot on the flight, recalled how much easier the offloading would have been if the Burmese would allow the United States to bring in offloading equipment, rather than offloading everything by hand. "You can tell that they can use our help," he said. "We have the ability to bring in materials to do that for them, but that just has to be worked out between our two governments."

The offloading was completed in 47 minutes flat, and exactly an hour and a half after touching down, the C-130 was headed back to Thailand. Now McLendon, Scott and their fellow aircrews remain on standby, wondering if they'll be called on to fly additional relief missions.

"We don't know yet," McLendon said. "But we're definitely here to support if the Burmese government asks for us."

Bear’s Lesson

Editor's Note: While Bear's Lesson is for law enforcement, there is a good application for military personnel.

I want to tell you about the Bear. He was, and to me still is, all that is pure and admirable about being a cop. I was assigned to him during the summer of ’69, and my five months with him left me so in awe, so touched and troubled, that I still often think of him.

The bear flew to the scene of an incident like an avenging angel. His small thick hands grasped the wheel so tightly in anger that I actually feared for the life of the unknown suspect at the other end of the ride. No red lights or siren; just a gut-wrenching wide-open acceleration born of Bear’s fury. I was nervous with this field training officer, who was known to all as Bear – or THE Bear to those who were perpetually in wonder of him, as I certainly was. I stole a glance at him as we throttled around the corner, a block away from our assigned location, and involuntarily shivered at the sight. A 220-pound, five feet, eight-inch body swathed in blue material, harnessed by a gunbelt partially obscured in fat, topped by an undersized head sporting a marine-style crewcut. A bear indeed, with an animal-like anger to match. He scared me then, for he looked so formidable. But this was before I came to know him. And it was before his final bout with evil.

READ ON
http://www.police-writers.com/articles/gilbert_bears_lesson.html

America Supports You: Vets Help Wounded Warriors, Families Relax

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

May 12, 2008 - Two former Marines have set out to provide wounded veterans with a week's worth of rest and relaxation in luxury homes. "Our mission is to pair up recently wounded veterans who are the recipients of the Purple Heart Medal with vacation homeowners who are eager to donate a week of free lodging in their vacation homes," said Peggy Carr, who founded the Vacations for Veterans with her husband, Christopher.

The Washington-based organization's focus is to get veterans wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan and their families on a "much-needed and much-deserved respite," she said. "A vacation serves as a time for these veterans to rejuvenate and to reconnect with families after spending time in hospitals and [rehabilitation] facilities," Carr added.

The idea for Vacations for Veterans originated when Peggy began debating which charity she would support with a portion of the proceeds from her business, "Exclusive Exchanges." The company helps to connect homeowners who would like to swap homes while they vacation, and she noticed that some of her luxury vacation homes were vacant for several weeks each year.

The enthusiastic response she received after explaining the idea to some of the home's owners sealed the deal, and Vacations for Veterans was born.

"What we have found to be pretty unique about our organization is that we set it up to help the wounded veterans, of course," Carr said. "We have found, though, that we have helped some of our home donors as well. Many have contacted us to thank us for allowing them to give back in some small way to our troops who have sacrificed so much."

Homeowners who would like to participate can sign up through the Vacations for Veterans Web site, which also is where eligible veterans can express interest. Veterans must provide a copy of their Purple Heart documentation to establish eligibility.

Vacations for Veterans is a new supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

Carr said she hopes the affiliation will help with exposure and networking, among other things.

"We especially need help with fundraising, as we have found that most of the veterans do not have the money to pay for travel costs to get to a lot of our vacations homes that are available to them," she said.