Military News

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reports of Electrical Hazards Overblown, Pentagon Spokesman Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - Reports of electrical hazards caused by negligence in Iraq are overblown, a senior Defense Department spokesman said here today. Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell spoke at a news conference on the eve of testimony before the House Government Reform Committee. Acting DoD Inspector General Gordon S. Heddell is one of four Pentagon officials expected to testify, according to House officials.

The hearing will examine allegations that KBR, a large defense contractor responsible for building and maintaining much of the U.S. infrastructure in Iraq, and the
Army have caused deaths among American servicemembers in Iraq through negligence.

"We certainly understand and appreciate Congress's concern for the well-being of servicemembers and other U.S. personnel deployed in Iraq, but there seems to be a misperception out there that our facilities in that theater are replete with electrical hazards that have caused hundreds of fires and multiple fatalities," the press secretary said.

"What's more, some seem to believe that this department and one of the
Army's lead logistical support contractors are so negligent or callous that we have failed to address these dangers," he continued.

Morrell said the characterization is "flat-out wrong."

"We care far too much about our men and women in uniform, as evidenced by the tens of billions of dollars we spend on force protection equipment, to knowingly allow them to live or work in an unsafe environment," Morrell said. "Our civilian and military
leadership would simply not tolerate that."

He acknowledged that 16 servicemembers have been killed in electrical accidents since March 2003. "We grieve for each and every one of them," he said. "But it is wrong to suggest that all these deaths were the result of shoddy workmanship by defense contractors or lack of oversight by the Pentagon."

Of the 16, eight deaths occurred outside
military bases and are attributable to servicemembers accidentally making contact with live power lines. This is a constant risk in the cities and villages of Iraq, where people hook up their homes to the power grid with any kind of wire possible -- including barbed wire. Overhead wires also often are lower than 10 feet off the ground.

"Three more troops were killed while working with electrical generators that were not properly grounded," Morrell said. Another was electrocuted in a pool that once belonged to deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

"The remaining four deaths do seem to stem from wiring problems, but only one of them involves work done by KBR, although the inspector general is still looking into all these incidents," Morrell said.

A total of 10 U.S. troops have been electrocuted outside Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, he noted.

Every death is a tragedy, Morrell said, adding that he is not attempting to diminish them. "But they should be viewed in proper context," he said.

DoD has several investigations under way into this issue. In the meantime, "every facility our troops operate out of in Iraq is undergoing a safety inspection," he said. "That's nearly 5,000 buildings in all."

U.S. officials in Iraq have created a uniform electrical code for
military facilities in the country.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, has appointed Army Maj. Gen. Timothy P. McHale as his chief safety officer. McHale also serves as the command's director of personnel, logistics and resources.

Older Vets Offer Encouragement, Example for Newly Wounded Troops

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - Recently wounded combat troops are here getting advice and encouragement from those who understand best what they're up against: other disabled veterans who have learned to live with their disabilities. Veterans of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including five current patients at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center, are among about 500 participants in the 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

The event is cosponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America, and is open to all veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations and other conditions that impair mobility.

For Mitch Bocik, an
Army reservist wounded when an improvised explosive device hit his vehicle just south of Baghdad in May 2006, the games offer a chance to recapture his love of competition. By yesterday afternoon, he'd already collected a silver medal in slalom and a bronze in nine-ball pool, and he had his sights on a silver or gold in basketball.

But beyond the thrill of victory, Bocik said, the biggest takeaway from the games is the chance to get motivated by what other disabled veterans have accomplished. "That's the main thing," he said. "It's helped me realize that I can pretty much do everything I used to do. I just do it differently."

Army Spc. Darrell Lawrence was back from his deployment for just over five months when a motorcycle accident at Fort Campbell, Ky., put him in a wheelchair. Two years later, he's medically retired and back for his second summer games, where he's already won two gold medals, in air rifles and slalom.

Lawrence called winning sports competitions "a big boost to morale," but agreed that getting to meet and learn from with other disabled veterans is the event's biggest draw.

"I've seen so much and learned so much talking to these guys," he said. "You can get a wealth of knowledge as they show you things that you thought weren't possible before."

Like Lawrence,
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Felder was injured in a motorcycle accident, losing his left leg after returning from a Middle East deployment in 2006. Still assigned to the patient squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., he has received approval to remain in the Air Force as an F-15 crew chief.

Felder said he loves the competition of the games, which he calls "downright fun," but said he's found inspiration here, too.

"It's great being around people in similar situations and be able to share stories and network," he said. "Everybody wants to win. But being around here and getting to learn from each other is inspirational."

Among those offering that inspiration is Charles Allen, who was injured during a 1993 training accident at Fort Hood,
Texas. Allen, now 36, called the games an opportunity to share what he's gained during the past 15 years. "The older guys taught me when I was new," he said. "Now it's time for me to help steer someone else in the right direction."

Like many of the newly wounded troops, Allen said, he went through tough times as he adjusted to the physical and mental challenges of being confined to a wheelchair. He credits his introduction to wheelchair basketball as a big step in his rehabilitation.

"Life is not over because you are injured," he said. "It might not be the life you had planned, but it can also be a new beginning, like being reborn."

Kevin Poindexter, a
Navy petty officer 3rd class who was medically retired after being shot in the back during a carjacking attempt, said the wheelchair games offer more than an opportunity to chalk up medals, although he already has two and hopes for a third today.

Even more valuable, he said, is the opportunity to meet and encourage veterans with new injuries. "I like to be able to give back what I've learned during the past 13 years," said Poindexter, who now lives in
Tampa, Fla. "If we can get these guys out here and show them what people just like them are able to do, it can help them a lot."

Tourgee Bryant, a former
Marine corporal paralyzed 19 years ago when he fell asleep at the wheel and his car hit a tree, said he's excited to be able to help motivate newly disabled veterans. "We've got to let them know that there are still opportunities for them to do things. They just have to go out there and try," he said.

As he sat in his chair watching a high-action basketball playoff, Bryant found himself cheering wildly for his fellow veterans, especially the younger ones.

"You can't help but yell for them," he said. "That's what the spirit of the games is all about."

America Supports You: Songwriting Contest for GIs Yields 18 Winners

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - A
Marine in Fallujah pens a song about standing watch. A sailor stationed in Hawaii scribbles a lullaby for his son while in the Iraqi desert. A soldier raps into a tape recorder to entertain his unit. Songwriters like these servicemembers were among the many who submitted their original songs to this year's "Songs From the Soul of Service" songwriting contest. Now in its third year, the amateur songwriting contest is a collaborative effort between the Dallas Songwriter Association and the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which highlights corporate and grassroots support for U.S. servicemembers and their families.

Judges select winners and runners-up in each of 18 categories, which include Afghanistan and Iraq, country, hip-hop, inspirational, instrumental and pop/rock. They then select three of the category winners for grand prizes.

The top three songs for 2008 are:

-- First Place: "Ask Me To" by
Air Force Capt. Steven Wilson, which took top pop/rock honors;

-- Second Place: "If Tomorrow Were a Dream" by
Army National Guard Spc. Greg Pritchard, which was the contest's top country song; and

-- Third Place: "I Can't Wait to Love You" by Jill Charles, wife of
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Charles, the top song in the inspirational category.

"Every
military conflict from the American Revolution to the Civil War to the first Gulf War has spawned music that reflected the moods, emotions and sentiments of the nation's fighting men and women," said William Brown, Dallas Songwriter Association board member and committee chairman for Songs From the Soul of Service.

"Songs From the Soul of Service serves to capture some of this history," he continued, "while providing recognition to talented songwriters and diversion and entertainment to participants and nonparticipants alike."

Wilson, who earned the top grand prize, said his own life provides his songwriting inspiration.

"Over the years, writing music has been so autobiographical," he said. "It's so honest and personal. I think this contest truly personalizes the image of the
military. It shows civilians that as 'the troops' we represent so much more than uniforms and duty. This contest gives us the chance to showcase what might otherwise remain silent or be forgotten."

The contest is open exclusively to amateur songwriters currently serving in the U.S.
military and those currently inactive due to injury or disability suffered after the start of the war in Afghanistan. Eligible participants may submit songs on behalf of an immediate family member, a fallen comrade or a fallen comrade's immediate family member.

Brown said he thinks the contest is an excellent outlet for servicemembers.

"These songs provided respite, unit bonding and an expressive outlet during trying times," he explained. "In some cases, these songs will transcend their times and become permanent fixtures in the nation's patriotic songbook."

Wilson, along with the other winners of each category, will be included on a compilation CD provided to radio and music industry professionals, as well as to the contest participants. The first-place grand prize includes a weekend stay at the Gaylord Texan Hotel.

Public events to showcase the winning songs and songwriters are in the planning stages. The events will culminate with a concert at the end of the year, headlined by well-known recording artists.

A complete list of the winners and runners-up is available at www.songssoulservice.org.

California Guard Rescues Nation's Largest Ponderosa Pine

By Air Force Lt. Col. Lloyd J. Goodrow
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 -
California National Guard's Task Force Pick came to the rescue when wildfires in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest here threatened the nation's tallest Ponderosa pine tree. Ponderosa pines are plentiful in the forests of the western United States and are among the most widely distributed pines in North America. They have an average height of 180 feet, and they usually can live for 300 to 600 years.

When the team of about 20 Guard
firefighters reached the pine's location, a few miles north of the Forest Glen campsite, they knew this tree was something special.

Standing at 240.5 feet high -- almost 24 stories -- with a trunk nearly eight feet thick and estimated at an age of 700 years, this tree had to be saved.

The significance of the tree was verified by the U.S Forest Service team member as being documented by American Forests' National Register of Big Trees.

"It was a lot of hard work and heart that went into keeping this incredible tree safe," said
Army Spc. Diana Diaz. "This majestic tree has witnessed a lot of history and stands as a symbol for survival. There have been wildfires through these forests before, ... and this tree still stands. We're working hard to make sure that she makes it through this fire, too."

That task wasn't easy. With low-hanging branches, the tree was threatened by sparks and embers from nearby fires that could easily ignite the tree if the wind shifted just right.

The team of Guardsmen spent hours trimming the low-hanging threats and cleared a wide area around the tree that would eliminate any fuel source on the ground.

Two Guard members spent the entire day cutting down neighboring trees, and the rest of the team stacked piles of wood that would burn a safe distance from the tree. They also set up a water sprinkler system that will keep the cleared area moist.

"Rescuing a tree that some might consider a national treasure has been one of the most unusual missions I've ever been on," said
Army Spc. David Walker. "Being here in the Shasta-Trinity Forest with the other members of my unit has been a rough, but rewarding, mission. I'm proud to be here, and I'm very proud of my fellow soldiers who are serving here with me."

(
Air Force Lt. Col. Lloyd J. Goodrow serves with the Vermont National Guard.)

Face of Defense: Army Service is Family Tradition

By Lindy Kyzer
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - Order 9981 on July 26, 1948, he set the end to segregation and the integration of the armed forces into motion. For the Brunson family of Fayetteville, N.C., Truman's order paved the way for
Army service to become a family tradition. Six members of the Brunson family -- retired Sgt. Maj. Albert Brunson; his sons, Lt. Col. Xavier Brunson, and Majs. LaHavie Brunson and Tavi Brunson; and his daughters-in law, Lt. Col. Kirsten Brunson and Capt. Miryam Brunson -- have made a career of Army service.

Five members of the family came together last week to speak with online journalists and bloggers as the nation celebrates the 60th anniversary of the integration of the armed forces.

Sergeant Major Brunson, the first in his family to serve in the
Army, discussed growing up during the period when segregation was the norm, inside and outside the military. He recalled signs designating separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks.

"And I suppose for me to go back and talk about all of the changes that I have witnessed, we'd probably need a lot more than an hour," he said. The
military, he said, "probably was at the forefront" in the movement away from segregation in American society.

Brunson served in Vietnam, and he remained in the
Army when his initial tour of duty was complete. His eldest son, Lt. Col. Xavier Brunson, cited the image of his father as the key reason behind his decision to join the Army. Following him, younger brothers Majs. LaHavie Brunson and Tavi Brunson had both a brother and a father to look up to when making their decisions to serve.

"That's what my father brought home, so a lot of the values that you talk about as inculcating from our service really had their earliest roots in the love of our family and the love of this great nation," Lt. Col. Xavier Brunson said. "So I would just like to throw that out there to everybody and let you know that we treat this like a profession. This is our family business.

"The Brunsons have passed on a tradition of service to this nation that it was all we were ever meant to do," he continued. "This is our calling. From the folks we married to the things we do professionally, this is it for us. And so our treatment has always come from really looking at things through the filter of our own experiences in the
Army. And it's always been good."

The Brunson family has maintained a high standard throughout its tradition of service. Lt. Col. Kirsten Brunson was recently named as the first African-American woman
military circuit court judge, making her the second military judge in the Brunson family with the ability to argue before the Supreme Court. The family has more than 100 years of combined service and has deployed to places including Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Italy, Kuwait, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Macedonia, Belgium, Japan, Guam, Spain and England.

Maj. LaHavie Brunson is deployed to Iraq with 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, but made time to participate in the call while he was on leave with his family. He cited the quality of the soldiers with whom he serves and said he considers re-enlisting the soldiers serving under him as a very proud moment in his career.

"I don't think there's any degrading in the quality of soldiers that are coming today," he said. "I think the ones that are coming today know what they're up against. ... They show their mettle in the fact that they commit during a time of war, and knowing that there is a potential that they will have to deploy."

For the Brunson family, the commitment to serve continues to be a family tradition, with another niece recently making the decision to enlist in the
Army. Retired Sergeant Major Brunson summed up the family commitment to service.

"She's just happy to get into this business, as well," he said.

(Lindy Kyzer works for the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Department of the Army.)
Air Force

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems of Linthicum, Md., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract with cost plus fixed fee (completion) type task order for a shared ceiling of ID/IQ contract of $41 million. This contract action for Sensors
Technology Automated Recognition is to develop technologies in a wide-range of application areas that continue to advance the technical improvements to warfighters either directly or indirectly. Examples include CID, data fusion, Ground Moving Target Indication/Airborne Moving. At this time an incremental funding amount on task order 0001 of $2 million has been obligated. AFRL/PKSR, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-D-1447, FA8650-08-D-1447-0001).

Raytheon Co., of
El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract with cost plus fixed fee (completion) type task order for a shared ceiling of ID/IQ contract of $41 million. This contract action for Sensors Technology Automated Recognition is to develop technologies in a wide-range of application areas that continue to advance the technical improvements to warfighters either directly or indirectly. Examples include CID, data fusion, Ground Moving Target Indication/Airborne Moving Target Indication, Suppression of Enemy Air Defense, countermeasures, Sensor to Decision Maker processing, Targeting, Intelligence and Battle Damage Assessment and ISR. Additional examples of specific technologies that may be encountered on this program include Electro-Optical, Infrared, Radar, Multi-Spectral, Hyperspectral, Laser Technology, and processors but are not limited to these. Improvement in these areas involves technical assessment, hardware and software modifications and development, systems engineering development and integration, Technology and/or Technology application demonstration in the laboratory or in a flight test or as a participant in a larger demonstration or exercise. The performance of the technologies developed will also be evaluated. Task Order 0001 for this contract is "Airborne Data Collection for Combat Identification." The scope of this Task Order is to utilize an airborne CID test bid to collect data with an air-to-air (A/A) CID radar waveform. The effort will involve collection, processing and delivery of both processed and unprocessed airborne target data. At this time $533,000 has been obligated (incremental funding amount on task order 0001). AFRL/PKSR, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-D-1446, FA8650-08-D-1446-0001).

Accenture National Security Systems, LLC, of Reston, Va., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $22,183,000. These DNCE-M&S services will expand on existing services, develop workflows, and target deployment to warfighter environments where applicable. At this time $2,608,200 has been obligated. 753 ELSG/PK, Electronic Systems Center,
Air Force Materiel Command, USAF, Hanscom AFB, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8731-08-C-0003).

FlightSafety Services Corp., of Centennial, Colo., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $14,110,453. This contract is for one Weapons System Trainer. This trainer is being procured for training of pilots and crew on the MC-130W aircraft. This trainer is used to support the Aircrew Training and Rehearsal Systems contract. At this time all funds have been obligated. Department of the
Air Force, OO-ALC/ACSG/PK, Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8223-08-C-0008).

The
Air Force is modifying a fixed price incentive firm contract with Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems, of San Diego, Calif., not to exceed $324,600,000. This contract will provide 2 RQ-4B Block 301 Global Hawk Air Vehicles, 3 RQ-4B Block 40 Air Vehicles with MP-RTIP sensor, one Mission Element, one Launch and Recovery Element, and associated equipment; option for four EISS sensor payloads. At this time $180,351,181 has been obligated. 303 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-07-C-4015 P00008).

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Systems Engineering Solutions, Boulder, Colo., is being awarded a task order against a GSA schedule contract for $13,752,953. This contract action is for Advisory and Assistance Services to include studies, analyses, evaluations, engineering and technical services for the Human Effectiveness Directorate,
Air Force Research Laboratory. At this time one million has been obligated. 88 CONS/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8601-08-F-0105).

L3 Communications Corp., Communications Systems West, of Salt Lake City, Utah, is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $10,764,222. This contract is for Manufacture, test and delivery for Ku Data Link Hardware. At this time $10,764,222 has been obligated. 703 AESG/PK (Predator Contracting Group), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3027-0020).

Army

Joint Tech Services Inc., Kailua, Hawaii, was awarded on July 24 a $5,777,507 Firm Fixed Price contract for a six-month extension for Iraqi Defense Network. Work will be performed in Iraq and is expected to be completed by Jan 24, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on July 24, and one bid was received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-C-D026).

Lockheed Martin MS2, Syracuse, N.Y., was awarded on Jul. 25, a $84,287,332 Firm Fixed Price, contract for accelerating the production and delivery of the twelve Enhanced AN/TPQ-36 Initial Production Radar Systems currently listed as options within contract W15P7T-06-C-T004. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 25, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on Mar. 23, 2008, and one bid was received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15-P7T-06-C-T004).

Joseph B. Fay Co., Tarentum, PA, was awarded on Jul. 25, a $34,442,049.75, contract for replacement of 8 vertical lift gates, operating machinery, electrical systems and controls; fabricating and delivering three new lift gates; transporting and installing three government-furnished lift gates; modifying one existing lift gate; removing the existing vertical lift gates, gate hoist machinery, and machinery houses; modifying the dam piers to accommodate the new hydraulic gate hoist equipment, replacing embedded metal in the gate recesses of the dam piers; installing the new lift gates; and constructing new machinery houses at the Emsworth Locks and Dam, Emsworth Main Channel Dam, Ohio River,Pennsylvania. Work will be performed in the Emsworth Locks and Dam, Ohio River, Penn., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 1, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were (web) bids solicited on Apr. 14, 2008, and three bids were received. US
Army Engineer District, Pittsburgh, PA is the contracting activity (W911WN-08-C-0008).

Science Application International Corp.,
San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Jul. 28, 2008, a $19,956,974 Firm-Fixed Price contract for maintenance and sustainment for vehicle and cargo inspection systems located in southwest Asia. Work will be performed in Southwest Asia, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 4, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on May 23, 2008, and one bid was received. TACOM-Rock Island, AMSTA-LC-CTC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52H09-08-D-0348).

Hodges Transportation Inc., Silver Springs, Nev., was awarded on Jul. 28, 2008, a $5,822,596 Cost-plus Fixed Fee contract for designing, fabricating and testing multiple
Technology Demonstration Integration Test Beds with TRL 7 or higher Technology and delivering a detailed final report of the results and findings. Work will be performed in Silver Springs, Nev., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on Jun. 6, 2008 and one bid was received. TACOM-LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-F-0102).

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.,
Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on Jul. 28, 2008, a $79,768,459 Firm Fixed Price, contract for the procurement of five War Replacement AH-64D Apache Longbow Aircraft. Work will be performed in Mesa, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by Apr. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on Dec. 20, 2007 and onebid was received. US Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ05-C-0274).

Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin, were awarded on Jul. 28, 2008, a $103,413,788, contract for missile rounds, Command Launch Units, Battery Coolant Units, Field Tactical Trainers – Student Stations, Authorized Stockage Lists and Enhanced Productibility Basic Skills Trainers (EPBSTs); and Missile Rounds for United Arab Emirates and Oman. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Feb. 29, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one bid solicited on Jul. 31, 2007, and 1 bid was received. US
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-04-C-0136).

Navy

ALFAB, Inc.*, Enterprise, Ala., is being awarded a $43,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the manufacture of three types of AM-2 matting packages, F-71, F-72, and F-73, which include end frames, stampings/markings, end sheets, and locking bars. AM-2 Matting is utilized for aircraft launch and recovery. The initial delivery order will include 1,675 F-71 AM-2 matting packages. Work will be performed in Enterprise, Ala., and is expected to be completed in July 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under an electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set-aside; two offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-08-D-0025).

Psomas and Associates,
Costa Mesa, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $7,500,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for engineering services for surveying and mapping in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for surveying and mapping services such as cadastral surveys, topographic surveys, aerial surveys, geodetic surveying, construction surveys, Alta surveys, hydrographic surveys, special studies, title searches, civil site improvements drawings and specifications and GIS (geographic information system) database/mapping. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to Calif., (87 percent); Ariz., (5 percent), Nev., (5 percent), Colo., (1 percent), N.M., (1 percent) and Utah, (1%), and work is expected to be completed Jul. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation websitewith 13 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8640).

Architects Hawaii, Limited, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $7,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for architect-engineer services for preparation of plans and specifications for bachelor quarters and other architectural projects. The scope of work is to procure design and engineering services for preparation of engineering studies and/or project design consisting of contract documents for construction, cost estimates, design analysis, prepare request for proposal documents for design-build, geotechnical investigation, topographic survey, post construction award services, and architect-engineer quality assurance plan. Work will be performed in various locations throughout Hawaii, and the expected date of completion is Jul. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with 15 proposals solicited and 10 offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62478-08-D-5003).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Akima Corp., Charlotte, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $18,701,847 firm fixed price contract for operation and maintenance services of bulk fuel facilities. Other locations of performance are Calif., Nev., Ariz., and N.M. Using service is
Air Force. This proposal was originally Web solicited with nine responses. This is a five-year multiyear contract. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Sept., 1, 2013. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va. (SPO600-08-C-5839).

Wheelchair Games Provide Therapy, Fun for Disabled Vets

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - About 500 disabled veterans, including recently wounded warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan, are entering their final day of competition here today at the 28th National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The event is the world's largest annual wheelchair sports competition. It brings together veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations or other mobility or neurological conditions to compete in 17 different events.

Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake, who opened the competition July 25, called it a big part of the veterans' rehabilitation and said the games provide "a therapeutic extension" of the top-notch health care veterans receive in VA medical centers.

"Rehabilitation is crucial to living a full life following an injury," Peake said. "I applaud all of the veterans participating as they strive to achieve their goals during this week of athletic competition."

Competition was running fierce during the third day of competition yesterday, with participants fanned out to venues across Omaha to compete in swimming, basketball, track, weight lifting, softball, air guns, quad rugby, nine-ball billiards, field events, bowling, table tennis, archery, hand cycling, wheelchair slalom, trapshooting, a motorized wheelchair relay, and power soccer.

In addition, athletes with prostheses had the option of competing in several stand-up events.

Airmen 1st Class Silvia Lisseth and Crystal Holk, both active-duty airmen at nearby Offutt
Air Force Base served as volunteers at a platform in the Qwest Center, where winners received their medals.

Lisseth said she was blown away by the veterans' enthusiasm for the games.

"It's amazing to see how much they put into this and how much heart they have in it," she said. Holk said she felt honored to announce each winner's awards before the medal presentations. "It's really inspiring to see how motivated they are to come and win these, and then to see the big smiles when they wear those medals," she said.

But Randy L. Pleva Sr., president of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, which cosponsors the games, said the games are about much more than medals. "They're a mix of camaraderie, competition and courage," he said. "And they're rehabilitation at its best for our paralyzed veterans."

Tiffany Smith, a recreational therapist from Walter Reed
Army Medical Center in Washington, brought five patients to the games, three of them for the first time. "It's a real morale boost for them to come here and get challenges personally outside the hospital setting," she said.

The games "bring back their competitive streak and show them that they are able to return to what they used to do in a competitive way," Smith said. Meanwhile, they provide a forum for building
leadership, self-esteem and a sense of teamwork, she said.

Participating in the games "opens a whole doorway for them," said Steve Zaracki, a sports coordinator who works for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. "You see their spirit open up. It's inspiring."

Zaracki said it's particularly gratifying to work with recent combat veterans who still are adjusting to their wounds.

"It makes you really want to provide for them because of all that they have done for us," he said. "You want to motivate them. You want to push them. You want to inspire them to say, 'Look, I can do this. There is life in a wheelchair.'"

International Partners Build Skills During Exercise

By Tim Kilbride
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2008 - An international
security cooperation exercise taking place in the former Soviet republic of Georgia is teaching lessons that will be applied in Iraq and around the world, the U.S. commander in charge of the exercise said today. Army Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of the Southern European Task Force (Airborne), is serving as exercise director for Exercise Immediate Response 2008. He told online journalists that the series of training programs and cross-cultural activities is designed to reinforce the participating militaries' existing skills, teach new ones and forge professional bonds among the forces that will serve them in future partnerships.

The exercise, taking place outside the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, has united forces from several nations to participate in small-arms, combat lifesaver and situational training exercises. Countries involved include the United States, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

"To accomplish all these events, we are forced to live together, work together, train together. And this combined approach, in my view, has provided an opportunity to learn about different cultures and also to promote understanding and cooperation between our forces," Garrett said.

Situational training involved "tough, realistic counterinsurgency" drills based on an Iraq scenario with small-unit live-fire exercises, improvised-explosive-device recognition and response, and simulated helicopter evacuation of wounded troops," Garrett said.

Those skills will be put to use by the Georgians' 4th Brigade when it deploys to Iraq in 2009, he said.

"What I kind of consider the golden nugget in all of this," Garrett said, "is a fully digital command post exercise that we conducted to train the 4th Brigade commander and his staff on the procedures they will employ in Iraq."

At the same time, the small-unit drills "encouraged independent decisions by
leaders, while providing soldiers with immediate target feedback," Garrett explained.

The exercise involves about 1,000 U.S. troops, 600 Georgian soldiers, and teams of roughly 12 people each from Azerbaijan, Armenia and Ukraine. Representatives from Armenia and Azerbaijan requested to come back next year with larger contingents, Garrett said.

The location of next year's exercise is still to be determined. Poland and Bulgaria have played host in previous years.

Garrett indicated the focus during this year's remaining time would switch to strengthening professional ties, with events including a sports and culture day.

(Tim Kilbride works in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

Cartwright Returns Home to Dedicate Korean War Memorial

By Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 28, 2008 - The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff returned to his hometown to help dedicate a
Korean War Memorial yesterday. Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, a native of neighboring Rockford, served as the keynote speaker at the dedication.

The general, speaking to an audience of dozens of
Korean War veterans and hundreds of others, said that while it may carry the "forgotten war" moniker, the conflict and the sacrifices of those who fought in Korea will never be forgotten.

"The
Korean War was hard-fought and a great sacrifice," the general, a graduate of Rockford West High School, said.

Cartwright said the sacrifice included the thousands of men who died, including more than 50 from the tri-county area near Rockford.

"It is often said a nation's greatest treasure are its youth," Cartwright said. "We commit our youth every time we commit ourselves to war. Many of that great population of youth perished."

The general said he's seen a lot of the battle sites in Korea, having served five tours in the Pacific. Cartwright said he once took a
Marine general on a flight parallel to the demilitarized zone, showing him the valleys and other areas where armed conflicts had occurred years earlier. In one of the corridors, Cartwright was telling the general about Chesty Puller, a famous Marine general who had been overrun and was heading back south.

The general Cartwright was flying that day had been a company commander under Puller. His entire company had been killed in one night during the battle. He then went back and got another company and every one of them was killed, as well. Cartwright said the experience was truly humbling.

"It is hard to explain the emotion of the people I was privileged to spend time with, to listen to their stories, to listen to their understanding of what occurred over there," Cartwright said.

But, the fight was well worth it, Cartwright said. Over his time in the
military, he said, he's watched South Korea turn into a nation with a vibrant economy, massive industry and numerous highways. He said when someone looks across the DMZ into North Korea, "you don't see much," noting the country's struggling economy, limited industry and lack of highways.

"Today, we are turning over control of most of the combat forces and most of the combat responsibilities to the South Koreans," the vice chairman said. "We are moving from the DMZ as a nation to south of the Han River. It's the right thing to do. [South Korea] is ready to stand up."

(
Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump is assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs Office.)

First Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Dies in San Antonio

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 28, 2008 - Retired
Air Force Gen. Robert T. Herres, the first vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died July 24 after a long illness. He was 75. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said all members of the armed forces mourn the passing of a man he called a pioneer.

"As we mourn his passing, so too should we reflect on his contributions to our national security -- of the thousands of lives he guided, the careers he mentored, the difference he made simply by virtue of his leadership," Mullen said. "We are a stronger, more capable military today in large part because of his efforts to make us so. He will be missed."

Herres was born in Denver on Dec. 1, 1932. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, but took his commission in the
Air Force in 1954. He flew F-86 fighters and served at various posts in the United States and Europe.

In 1966, the
Air Force selected Herres as an astronaut-pilot for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, but officials cancelled the program in 1969, and Herres never got a chance to fly in space.

As a colonel, Herres commanded the provisional 310th Strategic Wing, based in Utapao, Thailand. The wing supported U.S. operations in Southeast Asia. He became a brigadier general in 1974. He commanded
Air Force Communications Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., from 1979 to 1981 and 8th Air Force based at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., from 1981 to 1982.

In 1984, Herres pinned on his fourth star and took over North American Aerospace Defense Command. The Defense Department was working to put all space assets under one command, and on Sept. 23, 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating the U.S. Space Command and appointed Herres as its first commander.

Military actions in the early 1980s in Iran, Grenada, Lebanon and other areas highlighted the need for the services to act jointly. The result was the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which reorganized the Joint Chiefs of Staff and created the position of vice chairman. Reagan selected Herres to be the first vice chairman, and he took office serving first under
Navy Adm. William J. Crowe and then under Army Gen. Colin Powell during their terms as chairman.

The job was new, and Crowe, Herres and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger set out to make it meaningful. In addition to acting as the chairman when the chairman was not available, they decided the vice chairman would chair the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and the Nuclear Command and Control System. Herres also served as the vice chairman of the Defense Acquisition Board. These positions allowed him to help set military requirements for major acquisitions. During his term, he concentrated on close-air support, space-based surveillance and anti-satellite systems.

Herres retired in February 1990. He moved to
San Antonio and joined USAA, an insurance and financial services association.

"As the very first vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ... it was he who institutionalized the role of the
military in setting requirements for major weapons systems, putting that process back in the hands of the Joint Staff," Mullen said. "He served his nation nobly for more than 35 years as a skilled pilot, engineer, programmer and analyst. He was an early pioneer of aerospace research and a master of command, control and communications management, leading at virtually every level in the U.S. Air Force."

Herres is survived by his wife of 51 years, Shirley, and three children: Julie Latenser, Michael Herres and Jennifer Babeon. He will be buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Louisiana Guard Black Hawks Respond to Yosemite Fire

American Forces Press Service

July 28, 2008 - Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the
Louisiana National Guard departed the Mather Flight Facility here yesterday to support firefighting operations in California's Yosemite Valley. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Calfire, is leading the firefighting effort.

A
Fire that grew from about 1,000 acres to around 10,000 acres July 26 forced the evacuation of 170 homes and is threatening more, officials said. Midpines is located along Highway 140, which leads to the west entrance of Yosemite National Park.

Aircraft from the 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Brigade, of Pineville, La., which completed
Fire support missions in Butte County on July 25, will operate from Mariposa Airport, performing tasks as requested by Calfire officials.

"During Hurricane Katrina, we had great support from all the other National Guard states, and to be able to come out here and return that favor and support the state of
California and Calfire and the California National Guard is a great opportunity," Army Maj. Joseph Brocato, the unit commander, said.

The
Louisiana National Guard has supported the Fire operation with two Black Hawks and 10 crew members since July 13. The helicopters are equipped with 660-gallon water buckets and can carry firefighters and equipment to the fires.

A truck that will provide fuel support to the aircraft departed Mather on July 26 and is at Mariposa Airport, awaiting the arrival of the aircraft. An additional aircraft, an S-70 Firehawk with a 1,000-gallon water tank, is on standby at Mather and is available for rapid-response missions supporting Calfire operations if needed.

To date, more than two dozen National Guard helicopters have dropped nearly 4 million gallons of water on fires that have been burning throughout the state since June 22.

(From a
California National Guard news release.)

Sixty Years After Integration, Opportunities Abound for Minority Soldiers

By Army Staff Sgt. Mike Pryor
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 28, 2008 - By the time the Army was officially desegregated on July 26, 1948, Joe Murchison already was a proud member of the 82nd Airborne Division. A year earlier, his all-black paratrooper unit, the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, had been absorbed into the 82nd at the personal request of the division's legendary commander, Army Maj. Gen. James Gavin. As a result, Murchison and his fellow "Triple Nickels" were some of the first black soldiers to work and train side by side with white soldiers.

At the time, the ugly racism of the Jim Crow-era South was inescapable, Murchison said. Off post, black soldiers found "white" and "colored" drinking fountains, they were forced to ride in the back of the bus, and restaurants wouldn't serve them. Even on Fort Bragg, white and black soldiers had separate living quarters, and blacks were barred from the officers' club.

But in the field, at the range, or jumping out of an airplane, Murchison said, he and the other black paratroopers felt they were the equal of anyone. Their special airborne status earned them respect from troops of every color.

"Paratroopers were paratroopers, whatever their color was," Murchison said.

In the 60 years since the armed forces were desegregated by President Harry S. Truman's executive order, opportunities for blacks and other minorities in the military have grown exponentially. In Murchison's day, blacks often were assigned to menial jobs supporting white soldiers, and there were few black officers.

Today, blacks account for 17 percent of all military personnel, and 11 percent of all Army officers. Black officers hold key positions at the most senior levels of command. Indeed, the man who now sits in General Gavin's chair as commander of 82nd Airborne Division is a black man, Brig. Gen. Rodney Anderson.

But military leaders acknowledge more work remains to be done. While opportunity has never been greater, black soldiers serving today still face some of the same prejudices Murchison did 60 years ago. But they also share the same pride.

The end of segregation in 1948 did not mean the end of racist views. Murchison said black soldiers during the period of integration knew all eyes were on them, with some hoping they would fail.

"We knew we had something to prove, and we had to be better than the best," he said.

Walter Morris, who was first sergeant of the Army's first all-black paratrooper company, recounted the skepticism he and his troops faced in a 1990 issue of Patriots Magazine.

"The entire post was making bets that we wouldn't jump, we'd be too afraid. The thing that inspired us was that this was the only black combat outfit then, and it was an opportunity for black troops to enter something they could be proud of," Morris recalled.

Sixty years later, some minorities still feel pressure to be better than their white peers, said Master Sgt. Major Bryant, the equal opportunity advisor for the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

"They feel like, 'I have to go out there and go above and beyond in order to get their attention and respect,'" Bryant said.

But not all black soldiers feel that pressure. Capt. Devin Henry, a staff officer with the 2nd BCT's 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, said he never felt he was held to a different set of expectations as a black officer.

"I'm just another guy in the 82nd," he said.

A common saying around the Army is that the only color that matters is green. It's another way of saying that the shared intensity of Army life tends to break down barriers between people of different ethnic or cultural backgrounds. It was something Murchison noticed back in 1948, and black soldiers serving today see the same thing.

"It's that common bond that pushes differences away," Henry said.

Growing up as a black kid in overwhelmingly white Newport, R.I., he noted, he learned a thing or two about overcoming differences, and he brought that attitude with him in his Army career. Henry said race isn't invisible in today's military; it is simply irrelevant.

"You have to look past it; you have no choice," Henry said. "You have to work as a team and put aside your differences in order to get things done."

That process begins at basic training, Henry said. At basic, whatever biases or prejudices new recruits have are shaved away, just as the hair on their heads that gets unceremoniously buzzed off on Day One.

"It's like a clean slate. From that moment on, you have to start proving yourself," he said.

As soldiers progress in their Army careers, they develop loyalty to their units. That kind of loyalty can be a more powerful source for bonding than racial or ethnic associations, Bryant said.

"If I've got an 82nd patch on and you've got an 82nd patch on, I'm more apt to go and talk to you whether you're black, green or yellow," Bryant said.

Perhaps the most important factor in overcoming racial stereotypes is the "foxhole phenomenon." Soldiers spend so much of their time in such proximity to each other that they can't help but get to know one another as human beings. Murchison saw it first-hand during the early days of integration.

"What happened was that the individual soldiers -- the 'dogfaces' and the grunts -- started interacting with each other and going home on pass together and meeting each others' families, and that led to acceptance," Murchison said. "The diversity you see now comes from that."

It is not only up to individual soldiers to confront stereotypes. With the advent of the all-volunteer military, the Army as an institution has also made a concerted effort to combat discrimination. Several ugly incidents in the 1970s and 1980s made it clear that discrimination was undermining unit cohesion and overall readiness. The response was to create an equal opportunity program to end discriminatory practices and ensure all soldiers were being treated fairly.

Today, every brigade has an equal opportunity advisor like Bryant, a former infantry platoon sergeant who now spends his days teaching soldiers about the value of diversity.

"We all don't look the same or think the same, and that gives you different perspectives when you are looking at a problem," he tells the paratroopers who attend his class.

Bryant, who is black, said he challenges soldiers to confront all stereotypes, not just racial ones. He used himself as an example, noting that as an infantryman, he used to hold a low opinion of support-specialty soldiers. That all changed, he said, during a deployment to Iraq, when his base was attacked and he saw two cooks and an administrative clerk spring into action to secure the scene.

"I never thought those type of guys would be able to perform like that," he said. Now, he tries to teach others with similar opinions the error of their ways.

Diversity is a philosophy that has backers in high places. In recent comments to the Associated Press, Lt. Gen Lloyd J. Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said diversity is healthy for the military.

"We treasure diversity, because it brings in a lot of different viewpoints and blends in a lot of cultures," he said. "It makes us better."

After commanding an artillery battery of mixed black and white soldiers in 1958, Murchison retired from the Army and began a long and successful career as a businessman. Today, he lives in Tampa, Fla., where he is president of the Triple Nickel Alumni Association.

When a reporter reached him to comment on the 60th anniversary of Army desegregation, he was just sitting down to watch presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama give a speech on TV. Having grown up during a time when blacks and whites couldn't drink from the same water fountain, he said, he was excited about the possibility that a black man could soon be living in the White House.

"There's a lot of opportunity out there. Much more so today," he said.

Trail blazers like Murchison deserve at least some of the credit for that. Murchison said the experiences he had as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division profoundly changed the way he thought about race and color.

"I don't answer to African-American," he said. "I'm All-American."

(Army Staff Sgt. Mike Pryor serves in the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 28, 2008

Army

Purcell-Lawman, Watertown, N.Y., was awarded on Jul. 23, 2008, a $33,434,500 firm-fixed price contract for the construction of the Warrior in Transition facility. Work will be performed in Fort Drum, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by Feb. 10, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Twenty-three bids were solicited on Feb. 29, 2008, and five bids were received. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, N.Y., City, is the contracting activity (W912DS-08-C-0018).

BAE Systems Ground Systems Division,
York, Pa., was awarded on Jul.2 4, 2008, a $19,697,117 firm-fixed price contract for the procurement of M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicles. Work will be performed primarily in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by Apr. 30, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Aug. 2, 2007. U.S. Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-N030).

Sauer Inc.,
Jacksonville, Fla., was awarded on Jul. 24, 2008, a $13,118,300 firm-fixed price contract for the construction of a 41,832 square-foot clinical addition to the Robinson Health Clinic. Work will be performed at Fort Bragg, N.C., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Eighty bids were solicited on Apr. 11, 2008, and three bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-C-0040).

Weeks Marine, Inc., Covington, La., was awarded on Jul. 23, 2008, an $8,120,174 firm-fixed price contract for the deepening of an existing river channel and the disposal of dredged material. Work will be performed at the
Mobile Harbor Channel, Ala., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Mar. 28, 2008, and two bids were received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-08-C-0031).

BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Inc., Ground Systems Division,
York, Pa., was awarded on Jul. 24, 2008, a $5,740,192 cost-plus fixed fee contract for interactive electronics technical manual and 2-level maintenance for Paladin and Field Artillery Ammunitions Supply vehicles. Work will be performed in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Aug.30, 2006. U.S. Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0256).

Cape Environmental Management, Inc.,
Atlanta, Ga., was awarded on Jul. 24, 2008, a $5,373,916 firm-fixed price contract for construction of a special operations forces indoor range. Work will be performed at Fort Campbell, Ky., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on May 14, 2008, and five bids were received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-08-C-0025).

FLIR Systems, Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $21,578,780 firm-fixed price contract for G-BOSS rapid aerostat initial deployment sensor components. Work will be performed in Wilsonville, Ore., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jul. 11, 2008. U.S.
Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W9113M-07-D-0004).

SOFTEC Solutions Inc., Englewood, Colo., was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $15,448,536 firm-fixed price contract for guidance counselor and staff recruiter services for the U.S.
Army Recruiting Command. The contract will be managed from Radcliff, Ky., and performance locations will be at 76 locations throughout the country. Work is expected to be completed by Jul. 31, 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on May 7, 2008, and ten bids were received. Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Enterprise and Installation Operations Regional Contracting Center, Fort Knox, Ky., is the contracting activity (W9124D-08-C0038).

ARES, Inc., Port Clinton, Ohio, was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $10,214,127 cost-plus fixed fee contract for the design, engineering, manufacturing, test and performance evaluation services in support of the rarefaction wave gun
technology development and demonstration. Work will be performed in Port Clinton, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Bids were solicited on Sept. 29, 2005, and two bids were received. Joint Munitions & Lethality, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15QKN-08-C-0426).

FLIR Systems, Inc., Wilsonville, Ore., was awarded on Jul.2 5, 2008, an $8,425,586 firm-fixed price contract for RESET for rapid aerostat initial deployment sensor components. Work will be performed in Wilsonville, Ore., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jul. 14, 2008. U.S.
Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W9113M-07-D-0004).

W. Harley Miller Contractors, Inc., Martinsburg, W.V., was awarded on Jul. 24, 2008, a $6,787,710 firm-fixed price contract for the 167th Airlift Wing base conversion from C-130 to C-5 aircraft. Work will be performed in Martinsburg, W.V., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 12, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Apr. 10, 2008, and five bids were received. United States Property & Fiscal Office, Buckhannon, W.V., is the contracting activity (W912L8-08-C-0008).

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $5,734,002 cost-plus fixed-fee contract for engineering and logistics level of effort, systems technical support in support of the M707 KNIGHT and armored KNIGHT vehicles. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on May 5, 2006. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-C-0538).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $5,662,000 cost-plus fixed fee contract for system technical support for the Abrams tank program. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 8, 2006. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0046).

Bristow Academy Incorporated, Titusville, Fla., was awarded on Jul. 25, 2008, a $5,280,000 firm-fixed price contract for initial entry rotary training. Work will be performed in Titusville, Fla., and is expected to be completed by May 28, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Feb. 28, 2008. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0214).

Air Force

C.W. Roberts Contracting, Inc., of Hosford, Fla., is being awarded a firm fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract for $65 million. This contract will provide the government with a contract vehicle available to execute all concrete and asphalt projects at Eglin AFB, Duke Field, the Range and the Reservation. Projects include but are not limited to repair/rebuild roads, runways, parking lots, and site work for a variety of projects in support of mission requirements. At this time $5,000 has been obligated. 96th CONS/MSCA, Eglin
Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA2823-08-D-0009).

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus award fee contract with The Boeing Company of Anaheim, Calif., for $53,384,031. Item Procured: In order to continue providing survivable communications for U.S. Armed Forces, the Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) must update new platform requirements and advanced EHF (AEHF) system interface. At this time no funds have been obligated. Electronic Systems Center, Air Force Materiel Command, USAF, 653d ELSG/PK is the contracting activity (F19628-02-C-0048 P00143).

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp, Systems Engineering Solutions of Boulder, Colo., is being awarded a task order against a GSA schedule contract for $13,752,953. This contract action is for advisory and assistance services to include studies, analyses, evaluations, engineering and technical services for the Human Effectiveness Directorate,
Air Force Research Laboratory. At this time $1 million has been obligated. 88 CONS/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8601-08-F-0105).

NAVY

KPFF Consulting Engineers, Seattle Wash., is being awarded a not to exceed $20,000,000 firm-fixed priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect and engineering contract to provide marine/waterfront architect-engineer services at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest area of responsibility. Work will be performed at various
NAVY and Marine Corps installations at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest area of responsibility including but not limited to Washington, (94 percent); Oregon, (2 percent); Idaho, (2 percent); Montana, (1 percent); and Alabama, (1 percent)., and work is expected to be completed Jul. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity (N44255-08-D-3008).

L-3 Services, Inc, Advanced Products & Design,
San Diego, Calif., andSerco, Inc., Reston, Va., are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the production and delivery of Navigation Sensor System Interface (NAVSSI) system racks, kits, parts, and production engineering services support services. The contracts are for five one-year ordering periods. When combined, the aggregate value of all delivery orders awarded over the life of these two contracts will be approximately $16,000,000. Each contractor will be awarded a minimum $10,000 delivery order for the award. The NAVSSI system collects, processes, integrates and formats for distribution of Precise Navigation and Timing (PNT) data to weapon systems, combat support systems, C4ISR systems and other information systems aboard various ship classes. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. NAVY, (84.25 percent) and the governments of Australia, (9.50 percent) and Spain, (6.25 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and Chula Vista, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 2013 if all five ordering periods are used. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The multiple award contracts were competitively procured by full and open competition via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities, and the Space and Naval Warfare e-Commerce Central website, with four offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-08-D-0008, N00039-08-D-0009). The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command awarded the contract on behalf of its organizational partner, the NAVY's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence systems.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Keyport, Wash., is being awarded a $12,254,777 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-6101) for the procurement of production material in support of the FY07/08 MK48/MK54 torpedo buy. This effort is a continuation of MK48 ADCAP, MK48 CBASS and MK54 torpedo programs under contracts N00024-98-C-6107, N00024-00-C-6100, N00024-00-C-6102 and N00024-03-C-6104. The primary purpose of this contract is to purchase the necessary quantities of torpedoes and support services necessary to support Fleet Operational Requirements for the various torpedo product lines. Work will be performed in Keyport, Wash., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2008. 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.

Old Veterans Construction,*
Chicago, Ill., is being awarded an $8,045,000 firm-fixed-price contract for design and repair of the D-Street Bridge at Naval Station, Great Lakes, Ill. The work to be performed provides for the repair of our D-Street Bridge, which includes replacing much of the existing bridge with a similar concrete beam and reinforced concrete structure, replacing the utilities that are inside and attached below the deck of the bridge. Work will be performed in Great Lakes, Ill., and work is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured as an 8(a) Small business firm servicing Region 5 (Wis., Mich., Ohio, Ind., Minn., and Ill., is), via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website, with two qualified proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Midwest, Great Lakes, Ill., is the contracting activity (N40083-08-C-3025).

State Military Forces Help Texans Recover After Hurricane

By Army 1st Sgt. Lek Mateo
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 28, 2008 - Residents of the Rio Grande Valley are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Dolly after the second Atlantic hurricane of the 2008 season tore through south
Texas on July 23 with damaging wind and torrential rain. Remnants of the Category 2 hurricane could still be felt as severe flooding in some coastal cities displaced several hundred families whose homes were destroyed or made inaccessible.

Several thousand people were without electricity at the height of the storm due to downed power lines, but utility companies from all over the state worked tirelessly to restore service.

More than 800 members of the
Texas Military Forces, which comprise the Texas Air National Guard, Army National Guard and Texas State Guard, joined forces with local, state and federal emergency responders in a massive relief operation to help the communities recover.

The
military effort, under command of the Standing Joint Interagency Task Force, assisted the state's Texas Task Force 1 with search and rescue, food, water and ice distribution, and shelter management.

They established and manned 15 food, water and ice distribution sites and helped to man and administer seven shelter sites run by the Red Cross and other emergency agencies.

The Texas
military Forces had mobile distribution teams working in conjunction with Red Cross, Salvation Army, Department of Public Safety and other agencies. The distribution sites will be manned around the clock until the local authorities determine they are no longer needed.

Air Force Col. John Nichols of the Texas Air National Guard's 149th Fighter Wing in San Antonio, task force commander, said he is proud to lead all three components of the Texas military Forces involved with this mission.

"This is truly Texans helping Texans, and we are ready for this kind of contingency operation," he said.

U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, who represents the district affected by the storm, visited one of the distribution sites to see the relief effort first-hand. He commended the countless volunteers, especially the servicemen and women, who came to assist the people of south
Texas.

"I want to thank all the
military members who were activated and removed from their jobs and their family to come and help," he said. "This shows their dedication and their loyalty to the state and the community, and we appreciate that."

Army Sgt. 1st Class Eliberto Cavazos of the Texas State Guard and a resident of Raymondville, Texas, rode the storm out at the local high school with several members of his unit. The retired city employee said it was great to be able to work together as a team with his counterparts in the Army and Air National Guard and together show the community in which he lives in that the Texas military Forces can do the job at hand.

"We've received a lot of thanks for coming here and helping from the people in my neighborhood, and that they are truly very grateful. That makes me very proud to be able to serve in uniform," Cavazos stated.

Sharon Stanton, who had been out of power for three days, waited patiently for hours in her car until she reached the front of the line, where several Guardsmen and civilian volunteers quickly loaded her car with precious water and ice. The La Feria,
Texas, resident said she knew relief was on the way when she started seeing convoys of large, green National Guard Humvees and trucks arriving in her town hours after Dolly struck.

"The National Guard pretty much has got it together, and they know what they're doing, and that assures me that things are going to get better," she said.

Army Pfc. Michael Morales of the Texas Army National Guard's 449th Aviation Support Battalion based in San Antonio has been in the service for about a year, and this was his first hurricane-relief mission. The private and several civilian volunteers worked at a feverish pace in the oppressive heat and humidity, loading tons of water, food and ice into what seems like endless lines of cars at a distribution site in Harlingen, Texas.

He acknowledged that the work was arduous and back-breaking, but said it was nothing compared to the suffering that residents were going through, days after the hurricane had made landfall. Receiving a simple "thank you" and a smile from those seeking help made the task worthwhile and rewarding, he said.

"It feels good knowing that I can help distribute food and water to those that need it most and hopefully make their lives a little better," he said.

(
Army 1st Sgt. Lek Mateo of the Texas National Guard serves in the Texas military Forces Public Affairs Office.)