Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NORAD, NorthCom Open Integrated Command Center

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command unveiled their new integrated command center in a ceremony attended by Canadian and U.S. dignitaries here yesterday. The command center opening coincided with NORAD's observance of the 50-year mark in the partnership between Canada and the United States in defending North America from air and space threats.

Attendees included U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates; Canadian National Defense Minister Peter MacKay; Rick Casson and Anthony Rota, members of Canada's Parliament; Paul McHale, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas' security affairs;
Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command; Lt. Gen. M.J. Dumais, commander of Canada Command; and Lt. Gen. Angus Watt, Canadian air force commander.

Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart, who wears two hats as commander of NORAD and NorthCom, praised the cooperative spirit the new command center represents.

"This is really the culmination of a lot of great effort by people who have taken this idea of unity of effort, of integration of capabilities, and brought them together in this room as a symbol of a true integrated approach to both warning and defense of our homelands," he said.

NORAD and NorthCom have shared a commander and a headquarters building since 2002, when NorthCom was established. Sharing a command center with integrated land, air, space, missile warning, maritime and
cyber domains brings the commands' missions together in a way "that creates great synergy," Renuart said.

"Our command center will be a huge improvement in our ability to integrate situational awareness, to begin to respond to a major event in either of our countries, and then to take the national capabilities that respond to disasters, both man-made and natural, and bring relief to our citizens in our communities," the general continued. "So this is really a weapons system for the future."

Canadians greatly value their defense partnership with the United States, MacKay said. "In fact, we're constantly revisiting and constantly upgrading our participation --– our ability --– to continue this strong relationship that we have enjoyed now for 50 years. The opening of NORAD and NorthCom's new command and control center, especially now in the context of this ongoing 50-year anniversary celebration, is truly something that we value.

"NORAD remains the cornerstone of Canadian-American continental defense partnership," MacKay added. "This new command and control center is certainly evidence of that. It will maintain constant links with Canada Command, Canada's domestic
military operations command, and it will help NORAD meet the challenges of the future by allowing for effective, efficient communications between Canada Command, NORAD and U.S. NorthCom. These links, and the work of the personnel who staff the command center, contribute to the defense of the continent every day."

The new command center, Gates said, "enhances the collaboration between Canada and the United States [and has] a key role in defending the United States and Canada in the near and far future."

"It embodies our nations' shared commitment to protecting the North American continent from any and all threats," he said. "Additionally, this center will be able to connect and coordinate with other command centers around the nation with improved communication processes, thus allowing us to respond more quickly to any threat."

NORAD is the binational Canadian and American command responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning for Canada and the United States. U.S. Northern Command was established on Oct. 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct
homeland defense and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen serves in Public Affairs with North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.)

America Supports You: USO Dedicates New Lounge at Reagan National Airport

American Forces Press Service

May 13, 2008 - Servicemembers transiting through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, near Washington, D.C., now have a new area to spend time between flights after the recent dedication of a new United Service Organizations lounge. This newly relocated lounge, which began offering services in March, provides a home away from home for traveling servicemembers and their families. It offers active-duty
military personnel, National Guardsmen, reservists, Merchant Marines, and their families a variety of free amenities.

Lounge visitors can enjoy high-definition TV with a movie library of current feature films, a fully-stocked snack bar, wireless Internet access, and domestic and international calling courtesy of Verizon.

"Offering these free services gives us a chance to say thank you to those who sacrifice so much for our country," said Elaine Rogers, president of the USO of Metropolitan Washington. "We are so lucky to have such dedicated sponsors who have enabled us to provide these lounges."

This lounge, like all USO lounges was made possible by the generosity of corporate sponsors. URS Corporation, Turner Construction, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and corporate partners Verizon, CACI and Pitney Bowes all contributed to making the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport USO lounge possible.

USO of Metropolitan Washington dedicated the new lounge May 8. Senior
leaders from the military and government, including Bobby Sturgell, acting administrator of the FAA, and Virginia Sen. Patsy Ticer, performed the ribbon cutting ceremony.

USO is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families stationed at home and abroad.



Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.,
Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an advance acquisition contract with an estimated value of $197,050,000 for long lead materials and effort associated with the Joint Strike Fighter Air System Low Rate Initial Production Lot III procurement of 8 Air Force Conventional Take Off and Landing, 8 Marine Corps Short Take-off and Vertical Landing and 2 United Kingdom, STOVL aircraft. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif., (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom, (20 percent); Orlando, Fla., (10 percent); Nashua, N.H., (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md., (5 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Feb. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-08-C-0028).

Nova Group/Tutor-Saliba, a joint venture,
Napa Calif., is being awarded a $35,000,000 modification (second increment) to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N44255-08-C-6000) for replacement of the CVN maintenance pier at Naval Base Kitsap. The work to be performed provides for all labor, materials, and equipment to demolish the existing Pier Bravo and construct a new ship repair wharf, including the replacement of approximately 300 lineal feet of quay wall (Structure 729), the strengthening of the sheet pile wall west of the Dry Dock 6 mole, and the demolition of Pier 8. An additional $48,877,000 will be funded subject to the availability of FY10 funds making the total contract amount $122,877,000. Work will be performed in Bremerton, Wash., and work is expected to be completed by Jan. 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

TEC, Inc., Joint Venture, Charlottesville, Va., is being awarded $16,849,851 under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N62742-06-D-1870) to exercise option year two for architect-engineer services for environmental planning. After exercise of this option the total cumulative contract amount will be $23,150,149. This contract contains two additional one-year option periods which if exercised, will bring the total contract value to a not to exceed amount of $40,000,000. Work will be performed predominantly in Guam (95 percent), and in Hawaii, Saipan, and various locations in areas under the cognizance of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific (NAVFAC Pacific), other NAVFAC components, or other governmental agencies for which NAVFAC Pacific is tasked to provide assistance (5 percent). The exact location of individual efforts will be designated on individual contract task orders. Work is expected to be completed May 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

Alliant Techsystems, Inc., Integrated Systems Division,
Clearwater, Fla., is being awarded a $16,405,193 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0107) to exercise an option for the procurement of AAR-47(V)2 Missile Approach Warning Set hardware weapons replacement assemblies. This modification provides for 572 Integrated Optical Sensor converters with laser warning capabilities for the U.S. Navy, (364), U.S. Air Force, (136), U.S. Army, (12), and the Governments of Pakistan, (36) and Norway, (24). In addition, this modification provides for 143 Computer Processor upgrade kits for the U.S. Navy, (76), U.S. Air Force, (49), U.S. Army, (3), and the Governments of Pakistan, (9) and Norway (6). This modification also provides for 32 Control Indicators for the U.S. Air Force, (15), U.S. Army, (3), U.S. Navy, (5), and the Government of Pakistan (9). This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, ($9,894,964; 60 percent); U.S. Air Force, ($4,349,671; 27 percent); U.S. Army, ($372,081; 2 percent); and the Governments of Pakistan, ($1,116,243; 7 percent); and Norway, ($672,234; 4 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Clearwater, Fla., (52 percent); Austin, Texas, (34 percent); Iwata-Gun Shizoka, Japan, (8 percent); and Natanya, Israel, (6 percent), and is expected to be completed in Aug. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $224,078 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

I.E. Pacific, Inc.*, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $7,111,000 for firm-fixed-price task order #0002 under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract for design and construction of a weapons and armaments facility at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. This task order contains one option at $880,000, which if exercised, will bring the total contract amount to $7,991,000. Work will be performed in Ridgecrest, Calif., and work is expected to be completed by Oct. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-07-D-2008).

Rolls-Royce Corp.,
Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $9,904,384 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0060) for the procurement six MV-22 AE1107C engines. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and work is expected to be completed in Dec. 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.


AM General, LLC, South Bend, Ind., was awarded on May 13, 2008, a $187,750,244 firm-fixed price contract for 1,470 High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles. Work will be performed at Mishawaka, Ind., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. Test and Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity. (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

Protective Apparel Corp., of America, Jacksboro, Tenn., was awarded on May 6, 2008, a $13,507,958.00 firm-fixed price; delivery order off GSA contract for
body armor for Government of Iraq Ministry of Interior security forces. Work will be performed at Jacksboro, Tenn., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 1, 2008. Bids were solicited via the Web with 15 bids received. Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq/Joint Contracting Command – Iraq, (MNSTC-I/JCC-I), Baghdad, Iraq is the contracting activity. (GS-07F-9075D).


Kent Construction Co., Incorporated of Smyrna, Del., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $13,899,000. This action will construct a new 8-room dormitory, approximately 62,000 square feet, three story with open balconies, precast concrete plank and concrete masonry block construction with brick and stucco exterior finish, standing seam metal roof, common and mechanical/electrical/communications space, complete fire protection, alarm, and mass notification system, complete heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, electrical, and communications systems, and all appurtenances for a complete and usable facility. At this time $13,899,000 has been obligated. Dover AFB, Del., is the contracting activity (FA4497-08-C-0004).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $7,268,521. This contract action will provide survivability and vulnerability assessment support to the Director, Surface Warfare, for the Office of Naval Operations. At this time $360,537 has been obligated. Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380, Delivery Order: 0253).

ITT-AES of Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $50,168,645. The objective of this Technical Area Task is to research and develop to provide anti-insurgency analysis capabilities and methods for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in ways that benefits the warfighter and counter evolving insurgency threats. At this time $0 has been obligated (will advise). Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SPO700-98-D-4000, DO 0063).

ITT-AES of Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $11,559,925. The objective of this Technical Area Task is to provide engineering research and analysis to provide expertise to the combat, training, and material developer and operational units in current and future operations. At this time $0 has been obligated (will advise). Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SPO700-98-D-4000, DO 0064).


U.S. Foodservice Inc.,
Salem, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $6,449,588 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity contract for full line food distribution services. Other location of performance is Kansas. Using services are Army and Air Force. This contract is exercising an extension of option year four. There were originally 178 proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is Sept. 27, 2008. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM300-08-D-3033).

Labatt Food Service, Inc., San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $8,152,658 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery contract for full line food distribution services. Other location of performance is Dallas, Texas. Using services are
Army, Navy, and Air Force. There were originally 125 proposals solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is Dec. 23, 2008. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM300-08-D-3028).

Lankford Sysco, Inc., Pocomoke City, Md., is being awarded a maximum $31,250,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, prime vendor contract for total food and beverage support. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Job Corps. This proposal was originally DIBBS solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is May 24, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM300-08-D-3126).

TIFCO Industries Inc., Pinehurst, Texas* is being awarded a maximum $11,984,945 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity, electronic catalog contract for repair parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally 455 proposals solicited with 31 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is May 9, 2013. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.(SPM200-07-D-8262).

Pentagon Channel Turns Four Years 'New'

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - As the Pentagon Channel celebrates four years of service to troops, families and veterans today, it's not really getting older — its programming and
technology are getting newer. Launched as the Defense Department's broadcast news and information service with live coverage from the Joint Services Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on May 14, 2004, the channel started with about 20 staff members and was broadcast primarily overseas and on a handful of DoD facilities stateside via the American Forces Network. It simultaneously launched a Web site, offering its content through the Internet at

Now, the channel boasts a staff of nearly 100, and its reach has grown to include about 360 DoD installations and 13 million homes in the United States and nearly 2.2 million servicembers globally.

"If it wasn't for the dedication of the staff and the passion for the mission, we wouldn't be where we are today," Brian Natwick, general manager of the Pentagon Channel, said. "We're really focused on the mission of getting the servicemembers the news and information that they need, and not only for the active duty, but also for the Guard and reservists and family members and veterans."

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Liz Murray has been with the Pentagon Channel for almost a year, and was assigned to the channel for a month when it launched four years ago.

"I love working in an environment that allows us to tell the news stories that are going on around the world and affect our
military servicemembers," she said. "As a broadcast journalist in the Navy, I get to tell the stories as well as be a part of other people's world. It brings me a whole new appreciation of what our military men and women in the military do on a daily basis."

Being on hand for the channel's ambitious debut and again as it has become increasingly cutting-edge has given Murray a real appreciation for how far it has come.

"I have seen the Pentagon Channel grow tremendously, from a small-staffed organization that produced a few shows to a place that feels like an actual news organization that is catching the attention of many," she said.

Part of the channel's success has been in leveraging new
technology to reach its audience. About a year ago, it began offering "podcasts" to its list of services. This allows viewers to download most of the channel's content to portable listening and viewing devices. Since its start a little more than a year ago, nearly 7 million viewers have downloaded its free content.

Natwick got the podcast idea during a trip to combat zones in Iraq, where he saw troops constantly carrying portable music and video players. Now, podcasts are a "great means of distribution for the Pentagon Channel," Michael Winneker, the channel's marketing coordinator, said. The channel averages 400,000 downloads a month, he noted.

"It seems to be a way for them to get information literally on the go," he said.

The channel also stretched its programming legs this year by producing its first
military lifestyle shows. The channel regularly broadcasts DoD briefings, service and Pentagon news. This year, it launched "Fit for Duty," a physical fitness show, and "Grill Sergeants," a cooking show. Troops host both shows, and the programs have become some of the channel's most popular content, Winneker said.

Next, the channel plans to branch out its "video on demand" services. Viewers already can download most programming from the channel's Web site, but now the channel is making the service available to cable and public access channels nationwide. Specific shows can be downloaded and programmed directly into the stations' programming from a Web site. Already, 80 public access channels have signed up for the service, Winneker said.

A handful of U.S. cable and satellite television companies, such as Verizon, Dish Network, Comcast and Cox, have picked up the channel entirely, making it the only AFN channel available to non-DoD networks.

But reaching a general audience is not the channel's mission, Winneker said. Having the channel on local cable systems in communities near military bases makes the programming available to servicemembers and family members who live outside the base's gates.

"These are great ways for servicemembers who are in the Guard or Reserve or family members who don't live on base ... to watch the Pentagon Channel," he said. "We say it's 'where you want it, how you want it programming.'"

England Seeks to Boost Efficiency, Smooth Path for Next Leaders

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - Vowing to leave the next presidential administration no "spaghetti" to deal with at the Defense Department, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England today called on the department to speed up process improvements he said will reduce disruption when a new administration takes charge in January. In support of that goal, England announced plans to institute throughout the department organizational efficiency and effectiveness strategies he introduced last year within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Speaking at the department's first Continuous Process Improvement Symposium in Leesburg, Va., England praised strides made since OSD implemented continuous process improvement and Lean Six Sigma business-improvement strategies in April 2007. He announced that he signed a directive yesterday establishing policy and assigning responsibilities to institutionalize the effort throughout DoD.

England urged participants at the three-day conference to be
leaders in putting these strategies to work within their organizations. "You need to be out front, encouraging everyone in your organization to participate," he said.

leadership will be critical as the department prepares to face a period of disruption during the upcoming presidential administration change, England said. "Regardless of what administration comes in, there is a disruptive period," he said, with the exodus of current leaders and influx of new ones.

How the department deals with this disruption will be critical, he said, particularly in light of two ongoing wars and other operations around the world. "So we in the Department of Defense have a special responsibility to make sure this transition goes as smoothly and effectively as we can," he said.

England said he vows to leave the next administration an orderly transition.

"I don't want to hand any bowls of spaghetti over to the next administration," he said. "We will bring things to a conclusion, or at least have things packaged in a way that they can easily transition to the next team. The best thing we can do for that next team is to have our processes as good as we can get them – as straightforward and understandable -- so we can move in the next administration with as little confusion as possible."

A big step in that direction, he said, is to work to embed the continuous process improvement and Lean Six Sigma mindset throughout the department.

These strategies provide a well-grounded, well-thought-out management approach to improving organizations, England told the group. "The whole program is aimed at organizational effectiveness. It's 'How do I do things better?'" he said. "And I am convinced that when you do things better, it costs you less."

People want to work in effective and efficient organizations, England said. He cited one of his
leadership principles – that leaders provide an environment for people to excel – and said continuous process improvement and Lean Sigma Six strategies help to provide that kind of environment.

Air Force Lt. Col. Brou Gautier from the Air Staff's continuous process improvement office said the symposium is helping participants see how they can better apply proven industry processes within their own organizations.

"Our job here, in part, is to try to translate that this is not just about producing Camrys off of the Georgetown, Ky., [production] line," he said. "It's about applying process improvement into all facets of the DoD mission: maintenance, operations, administrative transactional areas, logistics, medical, energy. "All of those have many processes, and all can stand to be improved."

Navy Capt. Francis Tisak called today's conference an opportunity for the military services and DoD organizations to share ideas and success stories.

"It isn't about the numbers," said Tisak, chief of staff to the deputy assistant secretary of the
Navy for management and budget. "The numbers are nice: projects, how many people trained, dollars," he said. "But what's really more important is the mindset. If you have a process improvement mindset, the dollars will always follow [as savings]."

America Supports You: 'Bootcamp' Gives Vets Entrepreneurial Edge

By Annette Crawford
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - Starting your own business can be a daunting venture, even under the best of circumstances. But add to that the challenges of being a service-disabled veteran, and the experience can be overwhelming. That scenario troubled Mike Haynie, a former
Air Force major. A few months after beginning his new career as assistant professor of entrepreneurship and emerging enterprise at Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management in upstate New York, Haynie set out to help those veterans.

He felt "very linked in and connected to what was going on in the
military, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said, and had read newspaper articles about the challenges servicemen and women face when they return home with a disability as a result of their military service.

"At the same time, I had been doing some academic research on why people choose small-business ownership and entrepreneurship as a career," Haynie said. He found that people who are disadvantaged -- whether socially, economically or physically -- are drawn to business ownership and entrepreneurship.

"People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be self-employed than the general population in the U.S.," he said. "It occurred to me that here I am, at the No. 1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the country as a professor and a background in entrepreneurship -- why couldn't we do something? So I took that to my dean, who is a Vietnam-era vet. And before I even got halfway through my pitch, he stopped me and said, 'We're doing this.'"

"This" is the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, a free program that began at Syracuse University in 2007 and is expanding this summer to three other campuses: UCLA Anderson School of Management, Florida State University's College of Business, and Mays Business School at Texas A&M.

The program involves three phases. The first has a self-study curriculum facilitated by online discussion and assessment, and the students develop their own business concepts.

During Phase II, the students are immersed in business principles and practices during a nine-day residency at one of the four EBV universities. It features hands-on workshops and lectures from entrepreneurship faculty representing nationally ranked programs, plus presentations from Fortune 500 business

Students receive a year of ongoing support and mentorship from EBV faculty experts during the final phase.

The program's name is well-deserved, according to some of its first participants.

"When they say 'bootcamp,' they really mean it," said Charles Blackwell, a 21-year
Army veteran who served as a medic at Camp Bucca, Iraq, during his last assignment. "It was more than I expected. You're up late at night; you're doing study sessions; you have to prepare for venture capitalists. And to get all that stuff together, in just nine days' residency, you're really grinding."

John Raftery echoed his classmate's feelings. Not only was the program more than he expected, he said, but it also was a better experience than he'd envisioned.

"I had the traditional school setting in mind," said Raftery, who served in the
Marine Corps for more than four years. "The whole experience itself was entrepreneurial-like. You were learning about it and also doing it. It was challenging."

Phase III has also lived up to its billing.

"That's one of the things I was a little skeptical about at first," Raftery admitted. "How are they going to be able to mentor everybody? I thought, 'OK, we'll see.' That has been one of the strongest ongoing things I've experienced.

"I talk to Mike [Haynie] probably three to five times a month," he said. "If I have questions, I get a response the same day. They're just real open -- anything you need. If I have an idea, I can run it by them. If it's not in their area of specialization, there's always an expert answer they'll find for us. It's like having your own consulting firm at your disposal."

Raftery has seen the bootcamp pay off with big dividends. He formed Patriot Material Handling in Midlothian, Texas, with a business partner who has been in the material-handling business 15 years.

"If someone is moving materials or storing materials, that's where we find our core competency -- being able to go in and create a solution," Raftery said.

His company recently landed a large contract with the
Navy, and Raftery said he owes that success to the bootcamp program, where he learned about leveraging resources.

"It was one of our more specialized opportunities. It was a project that my business partner had worked on with another company, and it was put on the shelf. When we started this up, I fired it up again and got in contact with the right people," he said.
"Everything I learned [in the program] has applied in every area. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Sometimes it's hard, because you want to be the go-to guy," Raftery said. "I've created a team of people with diverse capabilities, and our value proposition is that we're former
military and we've held clearances and we understand how the military and the government works, not to mention it's special for us. We understand the mission that we're supporting."

While the 46-year-old Blackwell hasn't started his own business yet, he's gearing up for the day when he opens his own special events facility. Meanwhile, he's applying his knowledge to his present job at the Cobb County, Ga.,
fire department.

"I didn't expect that going to bootcamp would enhance what I'm already doing. I'm working on a project right now in my job at the fire department, and I was able to cut the overtime budget in half. A lot of that is due to things I learned while at Whitman," Blackwell said.

New York City native said he continues to get guidance and ideas from Whitman faculty and classmates.

"Our strength is that everyone knows what the others' venture is proposed to be," Blackwell said. "Whenever we see something that's even remotely related to that venture, we just give them a call and let them know about it, even if it's just happening onto a relevant Web site."

Haynie said one of the aspects of the program he's most proud of is that there's no government money involved at all.

"Part of the deal was, if we're going to do this, we're going to do this for free. We're going to find a way to make this program entirely cost-free for veterans. So we went out and raised all the money privately. It's citizens standing up and saying 'I get this, and I want to help you make it happen.' Almost all of those people are entrepreneurs, and a lot of them are veterans," Haynie said.

Admission to the program is fairly straightforward.

"There's one criteria in our program, and it's a passion for entrepreneurship. It's a strong desire to go out, and today or tomorrow, be a business owner," Haynie said. "There are no educational prerequisites. We had students in our first class with master's degrees and four years of high school. We had all branches of the service represented. Our age range was 24 to 53.

"When you talk about the program, right now it is focused on veterans with a service-connected disability, post 9/11," he continued. "That's the qualification; what gets you into the program is demonstrating to us that you have a passion for entrepreneurship."

Haynie said an overarching defining moment keeps coming back to him.

"It's that when you talk to these veterans, they all have big plans, they all have big dreams, they all have something they want to accomplish," he said. "For a lot of them, their military career defines who they are -- I am a Marine. I am a soldier. I am an airman. I am a sailor.

"And for a lot of them, that identity is or was threatened because of their injuries, and entrepreneurship becomes a way for them to redefine who they are now," he added. "Now you hear them say, 'I am an entrepreneur.' What is potentially scary [is that] all of these dreams are being formulated at a time when the economy is on the downswing, college tuition costs are ever-increasing, the VA is overwhelmed, and the support structure and resources available for many of these folks might not do it.

"I think that's what the program means for me in that defining moment -- in that this program is certainly only a little piece of what needs to be a much broader effort. For entrepreneurship, here is where they can turn to," he said.

There is no deadline to enroll in the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans, which operates on a rolling admissions policy. Acceptance decisions are made as people apply, and assignment decisions are made as to which school they will attend. With a first-come, first-served policy, once the seats are full, a person's application will be rank-ordered by when it was received and offered a seat in next year's program, Haynie said.

(Annette Crawford works at the
Air Force Small Business Solutions Center.)

Face of Defense: Airman Runs in Memory of Bombing Victims

By Michael Fletcher
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - Blurred asphalt and burning lungs remained the constant companions of the runner on a lonely
Oklahoma back road as he struggled against a 35 mph headwind. Halfway into his third day of running 35.5 miles a day, the sound of slapping soles on his running shoes set the cadence that kept him going through rain, heat and wind.

Air Force Senior Airman Brendan Brustad left Altus Air Force Base on April 23 on a personal quest to run 168 miles in memory of the 168 people killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing. His course followed a route to the Oklahoma City Memorial that would cover 141.8 miles over four days. He would then finish the distance in the 26.2-mile Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 27.

His running jersey has the logo "168-4-168" to symbolize why he is going the extra mile.

"I was running the memorial marathon in 2006, my fifth marathon at the time, when I realized that Altus
Air Force Base was about 140 miles from Oklahoma City," Brustad, a medical material journeyman, said. "Adding the marathon, the distance was roughly 168 miles."

He mapped a route that would give him the exact distance needed.

"I saw a way that I could honor the lives that were lost in bombing," he said.

He began the long run to a chorus of cheering airmen lining the route to the base's main gate, followed by a number of runners who ran with him to the gate for the send-off.

Mother Nature's contribution to the send-off was two hours of steady rain.

A support crew of four friends followed Brustad, providing sports drinks, water and carbohydrate-rich foods. A medical technician weighed him and checked his temperature.

"We made sure he ate a lot of pasta each evening for carbohydrates. That kept his energy high," said Airman 1st Class Joel Boyd, a medical technician. "During the run, we fed him pretzels and jelly beans, and lava salt pills to maintain hydration. We weighed him every five or six miles to make sure his weight was good. It was the best way to see if he was dehydrating."

"(I ate) lots of pasta, but I still lost some weight, dropping six pounds to 132 pounds," Brustad said. "What surprised me was that each day I ran faster, so my friends kept me healthy. I couldn't have done this without their support."

A member of his crew, Airman 1st Class Stuart Farris, from 97th Operations Support Squadron at Altus, is a nephew of one of the bombing victims.

Brustad arrived in
Oklahoma City on schedule and got a good night's rest in preparation for the next day's marathon.

"There were thousands of runners for the event, including a fellow runner from Altus
Air Force Base, Master Sergeant Roque Urena," Brustad said. "I got a good start and set a pace that I thought I could maintain to go the distance. At the finish line, I was shocked when I saw the big clock. Despite the long 'warm-up,' I had set my third-fastest marathon time at 4 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds."

He finished 776th out of more than 16,000 runners.

While far behind the winning time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, Brustad achieved his goal: renewed focus for the victims of the Murrah Building bombing. Over the five days of running, his tribute was covered by several newspapers and four television networks. At the finish line, he was asked to autograph 168-4-168 jerseys for admiring spectators.

Brustad ran his first marathon two years ago. Then he started looking at ways he could push the envelope even further.

"Running that first marathon was great, but it only benefited me," he said. "I wanted to do more, so for the second marathon I ran, all proceeds went to the
Oklahoma Cancer Centers. I started thinking about what I could do next to challenge myself more."
Since then, Brustad has run ultra-marathons to raise money for charities, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in
Memphis, Tenn.

Running is his way of changing the world, one mile at a time.

(Michael Fletcher works at 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.)

National Security Archive Update, May 14, 2008

Electronic and Classified Records are Overwhelming the National Archives, According to Senate Testimony by Archive Director

For more information contact:
Thomas Blanton - 202/994-7000

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2008 - The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is overwhelmed and behind the curve, facing huge increases in both electronic records and classified records, according to Congressional testimony today by National
Security Archive director Tom Blanton.

The U.S. Senate Committee on
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, chaired by Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), asked for the National Security Archive's expert testimony for an oversight hearing on NARA under the title "Protecting Our Nation's History for Future Generations."

Blanton warned: "[T]he National Archives today faces two overwhelming challenges - the exponential increase in government-held electronic records, and the geometric increase in currently classified and previously declassified records - with which NARA has neither the resources nor the strategy to cope."

On electronic records, Blanton cited the case of the White House e-mail to argue for Congressional mandates to agencies that they include archiving requirements at the front end of information
technology procurement (the government spends $68 billion a year on IT, compared to NARA's total budget of about $400 million and electronic archiving budget of $67 million), and for a much more active leadership and auditing role for NARA.

On classified records, the Archive's testimony urged Congress to impose a "classification tax" on federal agencies (the government currently spends more than $8 billion a year keeping secrets and only $44 million declassifying them) to fund a National Declassification Center. The Archive also recommended that Congress change the standards for current classification and for release of historical records, with independent review boards providing oversight (following the highly successful models of the Kennedy Assassination Records Act and the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act).

Government witnesses at the hearing included the Hon. Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States; Linda Koontz, Director, Information and Management Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office; and Paul Brachfeld, Inspector General, National Archives and Records Administration. Blanton appeared on the second panel along with Patrice McDermott, Director,; James Henderson, Former State Archivist of Maine, and George Mason University Professor Martin J. Sherwin on behalf of the National Coalition for History.

SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

Pentagon Delivers Nearly 100 Tons of Supplies to Battered Burma

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - The U.S.
military has flown nearly 100 tons of humanitarian relief supplies into Burma to assist its cyclone-stricken people, a senior Pentagon official said here today. Today, five more plane loads of relief supplies were delivered by U.S. military aircraft as part of Joint Task Force Caring Response, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.

That makes for a total of about 98 tons of U.S.
military-delivered supplies to Burma, including water, food, blankets and more, Whitman said.

"We continue to offer our assistance," Whitman said. "At this time, at this moment, at this hour, there has not been additional clearance granted for us to deliver any more supplies. But, as we know, these things have been executed on almost a day-to-day basis with respect to the clearance process."

Cyclone Nargis struck Burma on May 2. The storm killed as many as 30,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, according to news reports. Thousands of Burmese are reported missing more than week after the storm struck.

military committee, known as a junta, that rules Burma has been reluctant to grant landing rights to U.S. aircraft to assist in humanitarian-relief efforts there.

Whitman said he believes that nongovernmental relief agencies in Burma are distributing the U.S.-provided supplies.

"There are any number of other aid agencies that are helping with the distribution of humanitarian-relief supplies" in Burma, he said.

Meanwhile, Whitman said, a number of U.S.
military aircraft and additional supplies are positioned at Utapao, Thailand.

"So, they are available, and we do have relief supplies to put aboard them should we get permission later today to fly more flights in tomorrow," Whitman said.

Delivery of food and water appear to be the main priorities for relief agencies in Burma at the moment, Whitman said.

In addition, helicopters are available aboard the USS Essex and other U.S.
Navy ships in the Bay of Bengal near Burma, Whitman said.

"These are assets that would only be used once permission has been granted by the Burmese government," he said.

News reports cite the approach of another storm that may strike Burma. "We're watching it," Whitman said.

America Supports You: Historical Group Continues Serving U.S. Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - Through three
military conflicts, beginning with the Civil War, a group of women contributed to the war effort by making bandages for the troops. While they no longer make bandages, the Virginia-based United Daughters of the Confederacy strives to support the country's servicemembers through historical, educational, benevolent, memorial and patriotic means.

"Since we are a country at war against
terrorism, the patriotic objective is the one being focused upon at the present time," said Sherry Davis, chairman of patriotic activities for the general, or national, organization.

The organization meets its goals of patriotic outreach in many ways, Davis said. The members offer prayers for servicemembers and the country's
leaders, and sends care packages, phone cards, air conditioners and letters. They also send Christmas cards to the troops, with one chapter sending 10,000 cards one holiday season.

United Daughters of the Confederacy also supports the wounded, sending civilian clothing to Germany for those recuperating from injuries.

Appreciation for their support is evident in e-mails members receive from troops serving overseas. A young
Marine, Patrick Fike, acted as a mailman of sorts while serving in Baghdad. He received packages from United Daughters of the Confederacy chapters and passed them out to those who got little or no mail.

"We were so blessed to know Patrick and have him do this for us," Davis said. "I certainly didn't ask [him] to send me messages, as he had his family and girlfriend to send to, but he took time to send many to me."

A new supporter of the "America Supports You" program, United Daughters of the Confederacy is hoping to give more to the program than it receives.

America Supports You, a Defense Department program, connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

"We want to give support to our troops and our veterans as we have for all the years since we were organized in 1894," Davis said. "Our efforts warm our hearts and that is the reward received."

Perhaps the affiliation will help to inform the American public about what United Daughters of the Confederacy is undertaking and afford it a new credibility, she added.

"Credibility may come when people learn of the [United Daughters of the Confederacy's] current efforts and know that this organization is not refighting a 150-year-old conflict," Davis said.

Pilot of First Burma Relief Mission Describes Experience

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2008 - The
Air Force pilot who flew the first U.S. relief flight to Burma said today that, while he and his crew were received warmly, it was clear to him that more relief is needed. "Everyone ... was so ecstatic or excited to have us there on the ground," Capt. Trevor Hall said during a teleconference with online journalists and "bloggers." "With very little broken English that we could make out, they were trying to say, 'Please bring more; please bring more.'"

Hall was the pilot in command of the C-130E Hercules transport aircraft that flew the first U.S. emergency relief supplies into Rangoon International Airport in Burma. The supplies were to assist with the recovery from the devastation that Cyclone Nargis wrought over much of Burma's Irrawaddy River delta May 2.

"On board the plane, we took about 30,000 pounds of bottled water, mosquito nets and blankets for the first plane in," Hall said.

He said the offload at the airport took two hours.

"The first hour was spent unloading all the supplies that we brought in, because [the Burmese
military] did have to hand-offload all of the cargo," Hall said. "They offloaded it all directly off our plane and placed it into military trucks and drove it to a different staging area on the airport.

"When we landed, I didn't exactly know what to expect as far as what else would be on the ramp at the airport," he added.

When the U.S. aircrew landed, they saw a Hellenic
Air Force C-130 plane from Greece, two Malaysian C-130s, and some Indian planes, as well.

Following the first relief flight May 12, Hall said, the U.S.
Marine Corps transported similar items yesterday, and more relief flights are continuing today. "The stuff that they were carrying today was medical supplies, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, some food, and first-aid material," said Hall.

Air Force crew, consisting of six basic crew members and two maintainers, flew from the Utapao Royal Thai Navy air base, in Thailand. Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and Henrietta Fore, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, accompanied the crew on the mission.

After landing at the airport, Keating, Fore and a member of Thailand's government met with Burmese government officials, Hall said. After their two-hour meeting, the crew returned to Bangkok, Thailand, where Keating and Fore continued to coordinate further relief efforts.

Hall said Keating's visit with the Burmese government officials was to assure them that U.S. intentions are to help them.

"He went in specifically to negotiate with the government to figure out exactly what they would allow us to do," Hall said.

Before assisting with the relief efforts, Hall, assigned to 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, was on assignment in Thailand participating in a U.S.
Marine Corps exercise. "We were already in Thailand supporting a Marine exercise called Cobra Gold, and we were getting ready to go back home to Tokyo when all this kind of kicked off," he said.

Hall noted that the aircrew had been standing by on alert for 10 days, ready to go at a moment's notice.

"We were received very graciously. ... Obviously, [the Burmese
military] knew we were coming, and they were planning for us," he said.

Hall said he believes Rangoon International Airport could easily accomodate one of the larger C-17 Globemaster III or KC-10 Extender transport jets each hour, but might have difficulties offloading them.

"There would be no problems with handling the large amounts of traffic or even ramp space. The one problem they would have, though, is their offload capability is very limited," he explained. "They didn't have, for instance, forklifts or any type of equipment that was really needed to offload our plane, and the plane ended [up having] to be hand-offloaded."

During their flight to Rangoon, the crew flew over the cyclone-devastated area and saw the results firsthand.

"The majority of our route, once we crossed over the border, you could see the amount of devastation that the country had to face," he said. "There was a massive amount of flooding [and] lots of standing water.

"Many trees had been tossed over, and houses ... had been knocked down," he continued. "And obviously, from our perspective, it looked like not much had been done to really get it cleaned out at this time."

Hall said that during the flight crew's descent to the airport -- at about 1,000 to 2,000 feet -- they noticed a lot of main roads around the airport, but saw only saw one truck on the road, indicating continued obstacles to massive relief efforts.

"Based on what I saw, I really don't think they have the infrastructure. ... It would take a lot of people and resources to distribute it the way it needs to be distributed," he said.

Hall was born in St. Louis Park, Minn., but grew up in Rigby, Idaho, a small town outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho. He earned his commission through the U.S.
Air Force Academy.

Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg works for the New Media branch of American Forces Information Service.)

New York Unit Brings Canadian Forces, Air Guard Troops Together

By Brooke Davis
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 13, 2008 - While North American Aerospace Defense Command celebrates its rich and historic 50-year history, one unit will remain diligently watching the skies just as it did on Sept. 11, 2001. The
terrorist attacks on the United States are still etched in the mind of Capt. Rob Hogarth, who is assigned to the New York Air National Guard's Northeast Air Defense Sector.

Like other members of the unit, which is responsible for the air defense of the eastern United States, Hogarth found himself at war on the morning of Sept. 11, as the Twin Towers fell and United Flight 93 crashed in a farmer's field. He and other members of NEADS, as the Rome-based unit is known, did their utmost to secure the skies over America that day.

Hogarth, though, isn't a member of the Air National Guard. He's a member of the Canadian Forces and one of 15 Canadians who play a key role in the operational air defense mission of NORAD.

"It was impossible to separate the actions of the Canadians and those of the Americans, because the Canadian Component is an integral part of NEADS, and we have been incorporated seamlessly into the team," Hogarth wrote in an article for a Canadian air force publication. "It was a tremendous honor and responsibility to have a nation put its faith in you, to trust you to keep them safe. I am very proud to have been called upon to defend that faith and to justify that trust. In every sense, the men and women of NEADS rose to the occasion."

Since NORAD's inception, close cooperation between Canada and the United States has been a hallmark of the organization, and Hogarth -- now on his second tour at NEADS -- exemplifies this partnership.

In November 2006, the mission of the joint American-Canadian unit doubled when the Southeast Air Defense Sector at Tyndall
Air Force Base, Fla., was deactivated.

"Everyone in this unit worked tirelessly to ensure that the expansion of our air defense mission was seamless," said Col. Clark Speicher, NEADS commander. "Transitioning from controlling 500,000 square miles to 1 million square miles of airspace would seem like a huge undertaking, yet the professionalism displayed by everyone in the unit ensured that this expansion was and remains continuously flawless. At NEADS, we have a no-fail mission, and everyone works to ensure that this is achieved."

NEADS and the Canadian Component also reach out to the local community through speaking engagements, color guard details, and annual events such as the Canadian Component Mess Dinner.

"We encourage everyone in the unit, including the Canadians posted here, to support and contribute to the local community," Lt. Col. Wendy Rickards, the Canadian Component commander, said. "Our relationship with the community here has been strengthened by these positive actions and, in turn, community members have always remained extremely supportive of our unit and our mission."

The combined efforts of local veterans, the city of Rome, and members of the Canadian Component resulted in Rome becoming the first U.S. city to be presented a Canadian flag by the Canadian Forces, in a ceremony on May 21, 2005.

"In the course of planning the event, it became evident that it was a historical first," said Capt. Chris Semchuk, a Canadian forces member who is assigned to NEADS as a senior director aerospace controller. "No
American city had ever been presented a Canadian flag by the Canadian forces and, after almost two years of planning, two Canadian flags were presented to Rome Mayor James Brown."

The Canadian Component commander at the time, Lt. Col Fran├žois Malo, presented Brown with a Canadian flag -- previously flown on the Peace Tower of Canada's Parliament -- mounted in a shadow box and accompanied by a copy of the Jan. 28, 1965, National Flag Royal Proclamation. The second flag was raised over Rome's city hall, where it still flies today.

Brown captured the significance of the event by stating that he was "honored to be a part of this event which was a first in both
American and Canadian history."

From its beginnings in
World War Two, air defense has been a continuous process of modernization. Of more than 12 air defense sectors that have been deactivated, NEADS is one of the only two operational sectors in the continental United States still in existence. The Western Air Defense Sector, operating out of McChord Air Force Base, Wash., is NEADS' sister sector.

NEADS was the first sector to modernize from a manual air defense system to the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE, System. The unit became operational in 1958 and set the standard for other sectors to follow, according to the unit's history.

As part of an
Air Force reorganization that started in 1993, NEADS was the first air defense sector to transform from the regular Air Force to the Air National Guard. During that transition, Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome also was realigned into the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, where NEADS is located.

During the Griffiss realignment, NEADS was transformed as well. The unit's successful transformation set the transformation standard, and its lessons learned helped ensure a successful transition for the other sectors and 1st
Air Force, Speicher said.

In addition to the Air National Guard and Canadian forces
military personnel assigned to NEADS, the unit's staff includes federal civil service and civilian contractor personnel and active-duty members of the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard.

(Brooke Davis works at Northeast Air Defense Sector Public Affairs.)