Military News

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Military 'Borrows' Civilian Mental Health Workers for Troops

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 4, 2008 - The Defense Department has partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer more mental health professionals on
military bases, officials announced at a Pentagon news conference today. Under the agreement with HHS's Public Health Service, some 50 mental health practitioners will be detailed in the coming weeks to military bases throughout the United States to provide additional resources for military members and their families to seek treatment, Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said.

Pentagon officials expect to detail to bases as many as 200 doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers, as those professionals are identified, Casscells told reporters.

The agreement was months in the works, as the military became increasingly "overwhelmed" by the need for mental health professionals due to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Casscells said. "We've been in 'beg, borrow and steal' mode, but it's no crime to borrow from the Public Health Service, and we will give them back," he said. "During a time of war, there is enormous need. Today, the cavalry riding to the rescue is the Public Health Service."

Casscells noted a longstanding shortage of mental health workers, not just in the
military, but also among civilian facilities nationwide. Such a shortage is particularly problematic in mental health, he explained, as successful treatment is built around a trusted and understanding relationship between the provider and the patient. With mental health services, "a person may legitimately say they only want a woman" counselor or make some other personal request, he said.

"This is the most sensitive and most personal form of health care," said Casscells, a cardiologist. "The right counselor is worth his or her weight in gold. It's hard to find that hand-in-glove fit. So, people need choices [in mental health professionals], and you need a lot of people to provide those choices."

Casscells recently returned from an eight-day trip to Afghanistan, where he traveled the country talking to U.S. servicemembers about health care. Troops from one unit were particularly nervous about losing a popular military psychologist who soon would be redeployed, he said. "You could fill the billet and it still may not be the right person" for servicemembers to receive effective counseling, he said.

The mental health professionals will not all be doctors, but they must be skilled listeners with advanced training who understand the
military, Casscells said. Some will be former military members, he said.

"I love the fact that we'll have counselors who have not been over there and who have not been in uniform, because that gives a second opinion," Casscells said. "These people are going to be good for the military. They're going to come in and ask questions and chafe at the bureaucracy."

The practitioners will provide medical services in psychiatry and neurology, including speech and behavioral therapy, and a host of psychological services including individual, family and group counseling, said Dr. Joxel Garcia, assistant secretary for health at HHS, who holds an admiral's commission in the Public Health Service.

The agreement with the Defense Department is one of seven such partnerships in which the Public Health Service is reaching out to raise public awareness and services for mental health treatment, he said.

"This is not only to help veterans returning from conflict, but will also become a model for our nation," Garcia said. "We learned a lot after 9/11. This is a science that is developing."

Because servicemembers historically are reluctant to disclose mental health problems, it is hard to quantify the demand for services. In one post-deployment survey, 20 percent of combat troops reported having some mental health problems, said Ellen P. Embrey, DoD's deputy assistant secretary for force health protection and readiness.

The agreement coincides with a Defense Department effort to decrease the stigma associated with mental health treatment, an effort Casscells said is working.

"Everyone in this building -- and not just doctors, even hard-line
leaders -- are talking a lot about who is really ready" to go to combat and how they are doing while they're there, he said. "There's clearly been a change in the minds of the combatant leaders on this issue."

The program will mark the first major effort at trying to prevent mental health problems among U.S.
military members, Embrey said. "We are focused on education. We would like to prevent [mental health problems] from happening in the first place."

National Security Archive Update, June 4, 2008

THE SOVIET PLAN TO DESTROY GUANTANAMO NAVAL BASE

Archive Publishes Key Sources Behind One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War, the new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs

http://www.nsarchive.org

For more information contact: Michael Dobbs
Email: dobbsm@washpost.com / Office: 202/334-4399 / Mobile: 202/309-5014

Washington, DC, June 4, 2008 - Soviet nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were ready to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo had the U.S.
military persuaded President Kennedy to invade Cuba during the missile crisis in 1962, according to a new book by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs (citing documents and interviews posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive, www.nsarchive.org).

The documents show that U.S. intelligence listed the Soviet weapons as "unidentified artillery" pieces, when they were actually cruise missiles armed with Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices. They were deployed to within 15 miles of the Guantanamo base on the same day -- October 27, 1962 -- that the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an all-out U.S. invasion of Cuba to destroy the Soviet missile bases. President Kennedy rejected the advice of his
military advisers in favor of a diplomatic solution to the crisis that included a secret understanding between his brother and the Soviet ambassador.

The new book, One Midnight to Midnight, draws on the National
Security Archive's long-standing documentary work on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dobbs conducted extensive interviews with Soviet combat veterans and discovered previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence documents that explode the myth of successful crisis management and offer new insights into how a U.S. president makes decisions at a time of grave international crisis.

Over the next five weeks, the National
Security Archive will publish more of the key primary sources behind One Minute to Midnight. These postings will include such episodes as the storage and handling of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba and the "Eyeball to Eyeball" confrontation between U.S. and Soviet ships that never happened.

Visit the Web site of the National
Security Archive for more information about today's posting.

http://www.nsarchive.org

America Supports You: Mouse Click Closes Distance Between Troops, Families

American Forces Press Service

June 4, 2008 - For deployed servicemembers and their loved ones, maintaining close family ties takes more than the occasional phone call or e-mail. It happens through a free, personalized and password-protected Web site.

"Deployments are hard on families. When you're away and you're in harm's way, ... it's a lonely place," said Terry Gniffke, who founded "Websites for Heroes" with Mike Sawtell. "You miss home, and the greatest thing is to be connected in some way. 'Websites for Heroes' allows that to happen."

Each site allows for unlimited photo uploads and can support two hours of streaming video so parents can see what the family is doing back home. Among other features, it also provides a message board and kids' calendar, which helps Mom or Dad stay actively involved in their child's life.

"They can be proactive in communicating, 'Hey, how was your English test?'" Gniffke said. "[That way], their son or daughter feels like Dad's still connected or Mom's still connected to their life.

"You've got all these elements that make for a great interactive social network for the family to communicate," he added.

Websites for
Heroes keeps military families connected, whether they're deployed overseas or across the country, and it does so at no cost to the family. Each personalized, password-protected family Web site -- there are currently 1,200 -- is sponsored at a cost of $99 a year. The individual sites Websites for Heroes offers military families are sponsored by individuals and, in some cases, by corporations, including Gateway.

While the sponsorships are one-time donations, Gniffke said, he hopes donors will realize the benefit to the families and make it an ongoing part of their support for the troops.

"This is a mission for me," he said. "This is near and dear to my heart."

Gniffke knows from experience just how important something like Websites for
Heroes can be. The former Marine served in Vietnam, and he said he remembers waiting up to three weeks for a single letter from home. As tough as that was on him, he said, it was tougher on his family when his base got hit and the letter he wrote to let them know he was all right hadn't arrived before there was another attack.

"It's tough on the home front, and it's tough on the other side," he said. "What a difference [Websites for
Heroes] would have made."

Gniffke didn't have that luxury in Vietnam, but he and Mike Sawtell are going to make sure the gap between home and the front lines is much smaller for this generation of servicemembers.

Editor's Note: To find out about more individuals, groups and organizations that are helping support the troops, visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil. America Supports You directly connects
military members to the support of the America people and offers a tool to the general public in their quest to find meaningful ways to support the military community.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 4, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Constellation NewEnergy, Inc.,
Chicago, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $36,069,448 firm fixed price contract for electricity. Other location of performance is in Illinois. Using services are federal civilian agencies. There were originally 97 proposals solicited with nine responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2010. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-0409).

Supreme Foodservice AG, Ziegelbruecke, Switzerland is being awarded a maximum $2,801,334,120 firm fixed price, prime vendor contract for supply and distribution of food and non-food products. Other location of performance is in New Jersey. Using services are
Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web solicited with five responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Date of performance completion is Jun. 7, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., (SP0300-05-D-3130).

Specialty Defense, Jessup, Pa., is being awarded a maximum $15,919,690 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity contract for outer tactical vest components. Other locations of performance are Tennessee and Alabama. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was DIBBS solicited with five responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Invocation of second Term Option (12 month). Date of performance completion is Jun. 3, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SP0100-06-D-4106).

NAVY

Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, GMBH, DBA NICO, Trittau, Germany, has been awarded a $259,116,625 modification to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-06-D-1027) for the purchase of Mk281 Mod 0 and Mod1 training cartridges for use in the Mk19 Grenade Machine Gun. These grenades are non-dud producing and environmentally safe. The Government may purchase up to 4,800,000 Mod 0, and 4,800,000 Mod 1 Grenades. Work will be performed in East Camden, Ark., (70 percent) and Trittau, Germany (30 percent), and work is expected to be completed by Oct. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Global Sustainment, Greenville, S.C., is being awarded a $142,480,504 ceiling-priced modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity multiple award contract (N00019-05-D-0013) to exercise an option for the P-3C Sustainment, Modification and Installation Program. Work will be performed in Greenville, S.C., 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.

Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, GMBH, DBA NICO, Trittau, Germany, was awarded a $61,064,102 delivery order on May 22, 2008, to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-06-D-1027) for the purchase of Mk281 Mod 0 training cartridges for use in the Mk19 Grenade Machine Gun. These grenades are non-dud producing and environmentally safe. Work will be performed in East Camden, Ark., (70 percent) and Trittau, Germany (30 percent), and work is expected to be completed May 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This delivery order contract was not competitively procured. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $9,055,934 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-03-C-0057) for Electro Magnetic Interference Reduction System Process Hardware for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Pilot Production Aircraft; 1 Lot (three subsystems). Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., (90.9 percent) and Bethpage, N.Y., (9.10 percent), and is expected to be completed in Apr. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

The
Air Force is modifying a cost reimbursable, firm fixed price contract with Lockheed Martin Corp., Simulation Training and Support, of Orlando, Fla., for $23,412,922. This contract action will update the current Little Rock AFB FTU curriculum to move training events from the actual aircraft to the aircrew training systems and/or enhance existing training capability of the FTU. At this time $19,141,239 has been obligated. Ogden Air Logistics Center, 558 ACSG/PK, Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (F62430-99-C-0195, P00222).

L-3 Communications of Alpharetta, Ga., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity for a maximum of $6,785,212. This action provides for a five year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the C-130 Remote Display Units. This contract minimum is for 51 each and contract maximum is for 101 each. The order for 51 each will be issued concurrent with the basic award. At this time $2,547,399 (order 0001) has been obligated. 330 ACSG/GFKA, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8504-08-D-0001, DO 0001).