Military News

Monday, August 18, 2008

Children of Deployed Parents Aim for Stars at Space Camp

By Ray Johnson
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2008 - With Joshua Mayo in the pilot seat and flight director Daniel Arvleo-Perez overseeing a mission control center hundreds of miles away, the space shuttle landed flawlessly. Not bad for a couple of teenagers. Obviously, Arvleo-Perez, 15, wasn't at
Houston's Johnson Space Center, and Mayo, 17, didn't touch down at Cape Canaveral, Fla. In fact, they were manning a shuttle mock up and miniature mission control center found here at the Euro Space Center, which educates visitors on space, its exploration and its consequences on everyday life.

And for 24 children of soldiers stationed in Europe, it provided a break from the realities of having a parent deployed to global hotspots such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The space camp, held Aug. 3-8, was one of three destination camps hosted this summer by Installation Management Command Europe Region's Child and Youth Services as part of its Camp A.R.M.Y Challenge program. The acronym stands for adventure, resilience, memories and youth -- all of which certainly proved true for participating high-school students who wanted to learn more about the cosmos.

"Based on the kids' evaluations, we hit the mark in providing them with activities they wanted," said Joe Marton, the program's director. "They wanted a fun experience to enjoy in the here and now while also developing or enhancing skills for use during life's travels."

Besides planning, launching and landing a simulated shuttle mission, the campers also worked with past and present astronaut-training tools, including:

-- The Multi-Axis Trainer, wimulates what an astronaut felt during a tumbling spin when reentering the Earth's atmosphere in Apollo program space vehicles;

– The 1/6th Gravity Chair, which replicates movement than an astronaut experiences on a surface with one-sixth the gravity of earth -- like the moon. It was used by Apollo crews to prepare for their mission to the moon.

-- The Rotating chair, which reproduces disorientation and vertigo; and

-- The Microgravity wall, which creates what it's like to move in the frictionless environment of space when working on satellites or the shuttle itself.

In between these amusement-park-like rides, the teenagers prepared for their shuttle launch by splitting into two groups: mission control, where participants took on various jobs performed by NASA members on the ground, and mission in space, which had the campers performing the roles of space shuttle astronauts.

Two days before their mission, the 24 Camp A.R.M.Y Challenge campers truly got a sense of what it's like to reach the stars as they connected for an hour with astronaut
Air Force Col. Mike Finke, via Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, a volunteer program that builds and operates equipment that allows communication between the orbiting outpost and Earth.

Originally, the teenagers were to be allotted a 15-minute session with two Japanese astronauts training at Johnson Space Center. However, a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico forced the pair's evacuation. Staying behind and volunteering to replace them during the question-and-answer program, Finke, who is preparing for a six-month mission on the space station, took every query. The questions ranged from the complex to the simple, such as: "What physical, physiological and behavioral changes can occur in astronauts while in space?" to "What grades did you make in high school?"

Pegged to lead the ISS Expedition-18 crew in October and a father of three, Finke noted he could relate to the campers' parents being separated from their children, saying: "It's tougher for me every time I leave; ... your moms and dads feel the same."

Marton said the teenagers -- many of whom have had a mother or father deployed numerous times -- took note of Finke's comments of his time away in space and reintegrating with his family. "There was a synergy there, a sense of, 'I understand what you're going through.' Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise that we weren't able to connect with the two original astronauts. Colonel Finke certainly understood what these
military children are experiencing."

Besides the space camp, Installation Management Command Europe Region also held a Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge sports and fitness camp for middle- and high-school-age children and an island adventure for middle schoolers, along with specialty camps at garrisons heavily impacted by deployments. Overall, almost 1,250 children of deployed U.S. servicemembers participated in the camps.

Now in its second year of existence, the program continues be part of what Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates calls "a sacred responsibility" to care for U.S. military children affected by deployment.

Speaking last month at a conference for members of the
Military Child Education Coalition, Gates said: "The empty seat at the dinner table night and after night is a constant reminder of a child's worry for his or her parent's safety."

"Our
military children are awesome," he declared, "just as their parents are, but they have extra hurdles to clear, burdens to bear. ... The sons and daughters of our all-volunteer force also serve this nation; we have a sacred responsibility to care for them."

(Ray Johnson serves in the Installation Management Command Europe Public Affairs Office.)

$2 Million Humanitarian Mission in Georgia to Continue

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2008 - The U.S.
military has delivered $2 million worth of humanitarian aid to Georgia in an ongoing effort to relieve the war-torn former Soviet republic that came under Russian attack 10 days ago. In addition to 130 tons of airlifted cargo, U.S. European Command has granted the Georgian government in Tblisi access to a $1.2 million stockpile of disaster relief and medical supplies stored in Georgia.

"We are going to continue to flow in assistance," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today. "We have been over the weekend, and we will continue this week."

More than 700 pallets sent by the U.S. have consisted of thousands of blankets, sheets, sleeping bags, and hundreds of cots. Another 40 pallets have contained medical supplies like sutures, needles, syringes, catheters and gauze, Whitman said.

But despite the steady flow of supplies, there remains a shortage of food, bedding, tents and other supplies in Georgia, where an estimated 80,000 people are displaced, according to U.S. Agency for International Development figures.

"There is a real need, and we're trying to fill that need and alleviate the suffering," Whitman said.

Sustained flights by American C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing from Charleston, S.C., will deliver food over the next several days, in addition to twice-daily deliveries by C-130 Hercules planes leaving Germany with other supplies.

Meanwhile, a C-9 Nightingale is expected to land in Georgia today carrying humanitarian aid, and a C-17 will deliver a shipment of forklifts to aid distribution efforts.

Whitman said fewer than 125 U.S.
military personnel are on the ground involved in the relief mission.

Deliveries from U.S. aircraft are handed off to personnel from about 6 non-governmental organizations responsible for delivering the supplies in Georgia, Whitman said. There have been no reports of significant problems with distribution, he added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is looking at other options for sustaining the humanitarian operation, including sending naval vessels to the area, Whitman said. The State Department is working necessary agreements to achieve passage through the straits of Turkey and elsewhere, he added.

"Surface vessels give us the capability to provide larger amounts of relief supplies because they can obviously carry more, and they also give you platform to operate off of; they give you aerial assets, vertical lift, those kind of things," he said.

Fighting that began in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia on Aug. 8 broadened to include Russian attacks on other parts of the country, including Abkhazia, another heavily separatist region. As clashes escalated, the conflict fueled fears internationally that Moscow would attempt to depose the democratically elected government in Georgia and that Russian aggression could spread to other parts of the region.

Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev on Aug. 16 signed a French-brokered peace deal, a move that came a day after Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili endorsed the agreement. The plan includes a drawdown of
military forces to pre-escalation levels.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed to Europe today reportedly to talk with NATO allies about what message the U.S. and its allies should send to Russia about the
military intervention.

Meanwhile, a host of international partners have contributed to the U.S.-led humanitarian mission in Georgia, Whitman said.

"There is broad international support for the relief efforts," he said.

Florida National Guard Prepares for Tropical Storm Fay

By John Myatt
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2008 - The
Florida National Guard activated about 125 soldiers and airmen for its planning cells and alerted other units in preparation for Tropical Storm Fay as the storm approached Cuba over the weekend. The Joint Emergency Operations Center was activated in St. Augustine, unit planning cells were established across the state, and senior leaders were moved to the State Emergency Operations Center here as Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order Aug. 16 to support operations in advance of Tropical Storm Fay.

The executive order placed the
Florida National Guard under control of the state coordinating officer and allows the Florida adjutant general to preposition Guard units prior to the storm making landfall.

Earlier today, the National Hurricane Center issued an advisory for Tropical Storm Fay, which was located 70 miles south of Key West, Fla. The center of the storm is expected to be near the
Florida Keys this afternoon and near the southwestern coast of Florida's peninsula tomorrow. Maximum sustained winds are reported near 60 mph, with higher gusts.

Fay is forecast to become a hurricane as it nears the southwestern
Florida coast tomorrow. The Florida Keys and portions of southern Florida could receive up to 10 inches of rain over the next 24 hours, according to the center.

While activated for state duty, the Florida National Guard will serve in support of the
Florida Division of Emergency Management.

"It's important for the people of Florida to know the citizen-soldiers and -airmen of the Florida National Guard are prepared to respond to Tropical Storm Fay as assigned by the
Florida Division of Emergency Management," Army Maj. Gen. Douglas Burnett, the adjutant general of Florida, said. "The National Guard is poised to provide humanitarian aid, security, equipment, debris removal and search and rescue assistance."

The
Florida National Guard has more than 9,000 soldiers and airmen available who can respond to various and simultaneous emergencies in Florida, including efforts to deter terrorist-related activities.

"The Guard has continuous contact and coordination in effect with the
Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee and has established planning cells to ensure a rapid build-up of personnel and equipment if needed," said Air Force Lt. Col. Ron Tittle, the Florida Guard's chief spokesman. "We have much experience in responding to emergencies and we will continue to rise to the occasion."

Florida National Guard soldiers and airmen are trained and equipped for a wide range of life support, security and public safety missions, he added.

If needed, the Florida National Guard can request additional personnel and resources from other states through the National Guard Bureau, as part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, Tittle said.

(John Myatt works for the
Florida National Guard.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 18, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Suez Energy Resources NA, Inc.,
Houston, Texas is being awarded a maximum $646,007,724 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for electrical services. Other locations of performance are in Maryland, and New Jersey. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 195 proposals solicited with 11 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2013. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Supply Center, Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-08-D-8027).

Red Star Enterprises, Limited, Gibraltar is being awarded a maximum $308,257,762 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for jet fuel. Other location of performance is in Bagram, Afghanistan. Using service is
Army. This proposal was originally solicited on FedBizOps with 14 responses. This contract represents a two year period with a one year option. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug.31, 2011. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Supply Center, Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-08-D-1017).

Supreme Site Services, Dubia, U.A.E. is being awarded a maximum $104,743,071 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for jet fuel. Other location of performance is in Bagram, Afghanistan. Using service is
Army. This proposal was originally solicited on FedBizOps with 14 responses. This contract represents a two year period with a one year option. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug.31, 2011. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Supply Center, Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-08-D-1018).

National Fuel, Inc., Kabul, Afghanistan is being awarded a maximum $44,854,500 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for diesel fuel. Other location of performance is in Bagram, Afghanistan. Using service is
Army. This proposal was originally solicited on FedBizOps with 14 responses. This contract represents a two year period with a one year option. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 31, 2011. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Supply Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-1019).

Afghan National Petroleum Co., Ltd, Jalaluddin St., Mazar-Esharif, Afghanistan is being awarded a maximum $4,526,400 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for gasoline fuel. Other location of performance is in Bagram, Afghanistan. Using service is
Army. This proposal was originally solicited on FedBizOps with 14 responses. This contract represents a two year period with a one year option. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 31, 2011. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Supply Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-1020).

Graybar Electric Company, Inc., St. Louis, Mo. is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity, prime vendor contract for maintenance, repair, and operations services. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was web solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising third one-year option. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-04-D-BP14).

Science Application International Corp.,
Fairfield, N.J. is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for maintenance, repair, and operations services. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Federal Civilian Agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with five responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising third one-year option. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-04-D-BP15).

Army

Hellfire Systems Limited Liability Co., Orlando, Fla., was awarded on Aug. 15, 2008, a $356,665,089 firm-fixed price contract for Hellfire II High-Energy Anti-Tank missiles. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Oct. 22, 2007. U.S.
Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0361).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Inc., York, Pa., was awarded on Aug. 15, 2008, a $11,160,117 cost-plus fixed fee contract for Bradley M2/M3 improved explosive device mine armor kits and mine armor kits. Work will be performed in York, Penn., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Dec. 17, 2007. U.S.
Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-G-0005).

GE Engine Services, Inc., Cincinatti, Ohio, was awarded on Aug. 14, 2008, a $9,999,400 firm-fixed price contract for maintenance and overhaul of 10 conversion / recapitalization T701C to T701D engines. Work will be performed in Arkansas City, Kan., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three bids were solicited on Jan. 17, 2008, and three bids were received. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-D-0226).

L-3 Communications System West, Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded on Aug. 14, 2008, a $7,195,110 firm-fixed price contract for E-ROVER systems. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 4, 2008. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contract activity (W58RGZ-07-C-0209).

Taylor Brothers Construction Co., Inc., was awarded on Aug. 12, 2008, a $6,024,699 firm-fixed price contract for rehab project of five buildings. Work will be performed in Butlerville, Ind., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 7, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Seven bids were solicited on Jun. 10, 2008, and two bids were received. USPFO,
Indianapolis, Ind., is the contract activity (W912L9-07-D-0004).

Navy

DRS Technical Services, Inc., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a $15,733,333 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract for satellite communications equipment and training. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to an estimated $47,200,000. Work will be performed in Herndon, Va., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities web site and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command E-commerce website, with seven offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-08-D-5152).

ERAPSCO, Columbia City, Ind., is being awarded an $11,496,960 firm-fixed-price contract for AN/SSQ-101 sonobuoys and associated data. The AN/SSQ-101 sonobuoys are dropped from various airborne platforms and utilized for search and detection of submerged submarines. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $17,245,440. Work will be performed in DeLeon Springs, Fla., (66 percent) and Columbia City, Ind., (34 percent), and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-08-C-GP03).

Conquistador Dorado JV,* Sanford, Fla., is being awarded an $11,195,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the Airfield Vegetation Conversion Project at Naval Air Station Key West, Fla. This project is for the design and construction of drainage and conveyance systems within the airfield area, removal of vegetation, clearing and grubbing of existing vegetation. This contract contains an option, which when exercised within 365 days, will bring the contract value to $21,769,000. Work will be performed in Key West, Fla., and is expected to be completed Aug. 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the
Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with four offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-08-C-1267).

America Supports You: Volunteers Unite to Serve Hospitalized Veterans

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2008 - For more than 60 years, a group of
California-based volunteers has worked to ensure that no hospitalized veteran anywhere in the country making a worthwhile request gets "no" for an answer. "United Voluntary Services is a national organization committed to recruiting volunteers and raising funds to help meet the needs of hospitalized veterans in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers," said Mary Lee, the organization's national president. "We have 43 units in 20 VA medical centers, with over 600 volunteers conducting varied programs for veterans that the hospitals do not and cannot financially afford."

United Voluntary Services helps veterans out in financial emergencies by paying electric or phone bills. Not all of their efforts are along those lines, however. The volunteers also hold barbecues and ice cream socials in addition to arranging outings to restaurants, sporting events and even local fishing holes, as well as "many more activities that could fill a book," Lee said.

Sometimes it's as simple as reading to patients, helping them call home or just visiting with them for a little while, she added.

All that's required of a volunteer is a willingness to serve, Lee said. "We have a large contingent of young people who volunteer for us in the summer," she noted.

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

Hawaii Window Company Keeps Military Employees in the Family

By Sara Moore
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2008 - Because it always has been a family-owned and -operated business, it's no surprise that Coastal Windows, a small
Hawaii company, knows how to take care of its employees. Coastal Windows applies its family philosophy in taking care of all employees, including those who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. For its support of employees who serve part-time in the military, Coastal Windows is being awarded the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Coastal Windows has 62 employees, and at present, only one of them serves in the National Guard, said Bob Barrett, Coastal Windows vice president. However, that one employee,
Army Sgt. Mike Echiverri, is well taken care of when he's at home and when he's deployed.

Echiverri has been on two deployments and is preparing to leave for his third. While he's gone, Coastal Windows maintains all his benefits, including health, dental, vision and retirement plans. He also continues to earn sick leave and vacation time, and he's given additional time off to spend with his family before and after each deployment. The company also takes care of Echiverri's family, Barrett said, including them in company functions and keeping them informed with the company newsletter.

Supporting an employee who serves in the
military is something that comes naturally to this small company, Barrett said. "We're a family-run business, and people who work here are part of the family," he said. "To us, it's not just an employee that goes to war, it's a family member."

Coastal Windows extends its support of the
military to the community. The company participates in the Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" program each year and has provided a window for a vehicle used by the Army Rangers.

"It's our way of serving the country," Barrett said of the company's efforts. "It's kind of like serving the country through proxy. We can help support them so they can do their job."

Having an employee who serves in the
military benefits the company in more than one way, Barrett said. Servicemembers are disciplined and work well on a team, which helps with daily tasks, he said, and having Echiverri as part of the team brings all the employees closer together.

"It gives everyone something to cheer for," Barrett said. "They all know [Echiverri] really well, and they're happy to see him come back in one piece. It gives us something to bring us together."

Coastal Windows also employs many people who have spouses or other relatives in the
military, Barrett said, and the company is happy to assist them as well. The company is flexible with time off and helps with communication when family members are deployed. "Pretty much whatever they need, we'll help with," he said.

Barrett said he is honored that Coastal Windows is receiving the Freedom Award. He said it came as a surprise, however, because no one in the company was looking for recognition when they were supporting Echiverri.

"To us, it's not something that we really have to work at; it's just taking care of your family," Barrett said. "It's something that comes natural to us."

Coastal Windows will receive the Freedom Award along with 14 other companies in a ceremony Sept. 18 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center here. The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.

Gates Voices Doubts About Swift Withdrawal of Russian Forces from Georgia

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

, Aug. 17, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today expressed skepticism that Moscow would quickly remove its forces from Georgia, despite a reported pledge by the Russian president to begin a drawdown tomorrow. Gates said the rate of withdrawal is partly tied to how fast the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe could get monitors to Georgia, where Russian tanks and troops entered last week and reportedly remain entrenched in some areas.

"My own view is that the Russians will probably stall and perhaps take more time than anybody would like," Gates said in an interview with CNN. "I think we just need to keep the pressure and ensure that they abide by the agreement that they've signed and do so in a timely way."

Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev yesterday signed a French-brokered peace deal, a move that came a day after Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili endorsed the agreement. The plan includes a drawdown of
military forces to levels that existed before Russia's Aug. 8 invasion of the former Soviet republic.

Medvedev reportedly announced today that it would start pulling out its troops tomorrow, a reduction of force that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Moscow to uphold.

"I hope he intends to honor the pledge this time," Rice said of Medvedev on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"The word of the Russian president needs to be upheld by his forces or people are going to begin to wonder if Russia can be trusted," said Rice, citing recent examples of broken Russian promises to drawdown troops.

Asked what kind of measures would be available to censure Russia if it fails to deliver on its vow, Gates said there is "a broad menu of possibilities."

"I think there needs to be a strong, unified response to Russia to send the message that this kind of behavior, characteristic of the Soviet period, has no place in the 21st century," Gates said.

"I think we just have to work with our allies and, above all, we need to look at what Russia does from here on in terms of the severity of whatever measures would be considered," he added.

Fighting that began in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia last week broadened to include Russian attacks on other parts of the country, including Abkhazia, another heavily separatist region. As clashes escalated, the conflict fueled fears that Moscow would attempt to depose the democratically elected government in Georgia and that Russian aggression could spread to other parts of the region.

But Gates tempered such speculative concerns, expressing hope that Russia's invasion of Georgia will be viewed in hindsight as anomalous.

"My hope is that their actions in the weeks and months ahead will provide some reassurance that these actions in Georgia are an aberration and not symptomatic of a new approach by Russia to the rest of the world and to their neighbors that looks a lot like the old Soviet Union," he said.

Military Humanitarian Mission in Georgia to Continue, Bush Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 16, 2008 - The U.S.
military flights that have delivered humanitarian assistance to Georgia this week will continue in the days ahead, President Bush said today. American C-17 aircraft began delivering aid to Georgia Aug. 14 in the wake of attacks by Russian forces in two breakaway Georgian regions and other parts of the former Soviet republic.

"In recent days, U.S. cargo planes carrying humanitarian supplies have arrived in Georgia. In the days ahead, we will continue using U.S. aircraft and other assets as needed to deliver more humanitarian and medical supplies," Bush said today in his weekly radio address.

As the humanitarian mission proceeds, Russia must honor its commitment to keep open all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads, and airspace for civilian transit and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, the president added.

Bush, at his family ranch in Crawford,
Texas, received briefings today from both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is overseeing the humanitarian mission, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice traveled to Crawford to discuss her recent diplomatic jaunt to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where she met with President Mikheil Saakashvili and his team.

During Rice's trip, Saakashvili and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev signed a six-point peace plan, which, in separate remarks there this morning, Bush hailed as an important development and a hopeful step.

"Now Russia needs to honor the agreement and withdraw its forces and, of course, end
military operations," he said in Crawford.

Rice soon will travel to Brussels, Belgium, where she will meet with the foreign ministers of America's NATO allies and European Union officials to "continue to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia," the president said.

Fighting that began in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia last week broadened to include Russian attacks on other parts of the country, including Abkhazia, another heavily separatist region. Russia contends that the heavily pro-Moscow breakaway regions may not belong within Georgia's borders in the future, a stance that Bush characterized as "a major issue."

"These regions are a part of Georgia, and the international community has repeatedly made clear that they will remain so," Bush said. "Georgia is a member of the United Nations, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia lie within its internationally recognized borders.

"Georgia's borders should command the same respect as every other nation's," he said.

The situation already was tense when Russian tanks and troops on Aug. 8 crossed the border into South Ossetia, where they were aided by regional separatists. Clashes escalated a day later in and around Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's capital, as Russian aircraft were reported to have bombed that city and mounted attacks later in Abkhazia and other Georgian areas, fueling fears that Moscow would attempt to depose the democratically elected government in Tblisi.

"We will continue to stand behind Georgia's democracy," Bush said. "We will continue to insist that Georgia's sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity be respected."

Georgia Transportation Plan Demonstrates U.S. Flexibility, Responsiveness

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 15, 2008 - The transport of more than 1,800 Georgian soldiers from Iraq to Tbilisi and humanitarian supplies from Germany to Georgia highlights the flexibility and responsiveness the U.S.
military manifests, a senior U.S. Transportation Command officer said today. "When this requirement came up, we had to figure out how do we make this happen quickly," Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael C. Gould, TransCom's director of operations and plans, aid in an interview today. "We had to get the Georgian troops back, and sustain what we have going in Iraq and Afghanistan."

When the Russians attacked into South Ossetia last week, U.S. planners around the world quickly surged into motion and TransCom coordinated plans to accomplish these missions.

The Georgian government had sent a brigade's worth of troops to Iraq as part of the coalition. The U.S. government had promised Georgian
leaders that the troops would be transported home quickly if needed. The Russian invasion of Georgia fit that bill.

Gould said TransCom
leaders worked closely with planners from the Air Force's Air Mobility Command and with the operators at U.S. Central Command. Within 36 hours, the Air Force began flying the Georgians back to their capital at Tbilisi. Some of that time was spent collecting the Georgians from their duty stations in and around Baghdad and from Baqouba.

"In the 36 hours from notification to when we started flying missions, it all came together," Gould said. Fourteen missions were required to fly the Georgians and their equipment home.

"It was a total teamwork effort from a planning perspective," Gould said. "It was also a great team effort on the part of aircrew members, maintainers and loaders."

Gould said the cooperation the command received from the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi was outstanding. This was a time when news outlets were saying the airport was closed and that Russian aircraft ruled the skies over Georgia. The last Georgian soldier based in Iraq reached Tbilisi Aug. 10.

The operation was barely completed when the command received another order: get ready to transport humanitarian relief supplies to Georgia. "I think we had about 36 to 48 hours to plan this," Gould said.

The command was leaning forward and had begun planning efforts without receiving orders. "We got wind of the mission and began working closely with our contacts at U.S. European Command," he said. "Again, it was on very short notice."

Usually, the command can take months to plan "big muscle movements" like this, Gould said. TransCom officials worked closely with EuCom to decide what needed to be moved, when they wanted it, and how to get it there.

The command chose a C-17 Globemaster III to get the first two loads of humanitarian supplies to Tbilisi. Since then, two C-130 Hercules airlifters have flown to Tbilisi with supplies, and TransCom planners are in constant contact with their counterparts at EuCom and the Joint Staff to find out what type of sustainment lift is needed.

"We wanted the missions to be fast, visible and effective," Gould said.

As the situation unfolds in Georgia, TransCom officials are looking at other ways to get humanitarian assistance to the country.

"We work with our customers across the globe, and depending on what needs to be moved and how quickly it needs to be there, we will find the right mode of transportation," the general said. "Sealift is a possibility, and we are working with [the
Navy's] military Sealift Command to examine the possibilities."

The command is working with
military and civilian agencies in the effort. Gould said the State Department has been actively involved on all fronts.

TransCom didn't just drop everything else it was doing to concentrate on this crisis. The command has worldwide responsibilities that include keeping hundreds of thousands of U.S. servicemembers fighting two wars supplied.

"In this case, in a two-day effort, there was hardly any impact on sustainment operations or deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere," Gould said. "Had it been a longer-term operation, over time there would be some degradation, but that would not happen to troops in contact."

Gould said he is pleased with the successes of both operations.

"To my mind, the real beauty of it was our young men and women who maintain and launch and load and fly these airplanes – that they were able to respond and make this move happen," he said.

"The aircrews flying in [were] pretty brave guys," Gould said, noting that at the time there were safety questions about landing in Tbilisi. "They took a chance because that's what they were called to do, and they did a phenomenal job.

"It all boils down to we have a mission to do, and we do it," the general continued. "Our motto out here is 'A promise made is a promise kept.' In this case, America made a promise to an ally, and we kept that promise."

Rice Expects Russian Troops to Withdraw From Georgia

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 16, 2008 - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today she expects Russia, which reportedly signed a cease-fire deal with Georgia, will begin to its forces "expeditiously" from the former Soviet republic. Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev today signed a French-brokered peace deal, a day after Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili endorsed the agreement, which includes a drawdown of troops to levels that existed before Russia invaded its neighbor last week, according to news reports.

"Now that President Medvedev has reportedly signed the cease-fire agreement, I assume that Russian forces are going to begin to withdraw expeditiously," Rice told reporters today in Crawford, Texas, where she met with President Bush.

The agreement includes a limited mandate for Russian peacekeepers to maintain the same level of security presence it had in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Sanctioned Russian peacekeepers in Georgia will be allowed to have limited patrols in a prescribed area within the zone of conflict. But they are barred from Georgian urban areas and highways, Rice said.

Bush today characterized the agreement as "an important development."

"President Medvedev of Russia has now signed on to the terms of this agreement. And that's an important development; it's a hopeful step," he told reporters this morning in Crawford.

Rice soon will travel to Brussels, Belgium, where she will meet with the foreign ministers of America's NATO allies and European Union officials to "continue to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia," the president said.

Fighting that began in South Ossetia last week broadened to include Russian attacks on other parts of the country, including Abkhazia, another heavily separatist region. Russia contends that the heavily pro-Moscow breakaway regions may not belong within Georgia's borders in the future, a stance that Bush characterized as "a major issue."

Echoing remarks by the president, Rice emphasized that Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected. "These regions ... are within the internationally recognized boundaries of Georgia," she said. "And there will have to be a negotiated solution on that basis."

The situation already was tense when Russian tanks and troops on Aug. 8 crossed the border into South Ossetia, where they were aided by regional separatists. Clashes escalated a day later in and around Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's capital, as Russian aircraft were reported to have bombed that city and mounted attacks later in Abkhazia and other Georgian areas, fueling fears that Moscow would attempt to depose the democratically elected government in Tblisi.

"We do want to send a strong message of support for Georgia," Rice said. "Georgia is going to emerge from this, and ... its infrastructure will be rebuilt."

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 15, 2008

Army

AeroVironment Incorporated, Simi Valley, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13, 2008, a $17,757,543 firm-fixed price contract for additional
Army Standard Raven Systems and Raven initial spares packages. Work will be performed in Simi Valley, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jan. 30, 2008. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-05-C-0338).

General Atomics Aeronautical system,
San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 14, 2008, a $10,487,251 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for logistics support for the IGNAT/Sky Warrior alpha unmanned aircraft system. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 27, 2008. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0082).

ECC International, LLC,
Burlingame, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13, 2008, a $9,979,477 firm-fixed price contract for the Afghan National Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal School camp and garrison upgrade. Work will be performed in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 13, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five bids were solicitedon Jul. 13, 2008, and two bids were received. U.S. Army engineer District, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-07-D-0015).

Science Application International Corp.,
San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 14, 2008, a $6,081,000 time and materials contract for post deployment/post production software support and fielding, training, logistics, documentation, engineering and technical support services for the Joint Network Management System. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and Fairfax, Va., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 14, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Jun. 17, 2008. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J. is the contracting activity (W91QUZ-06-D-0016).

BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems, Sealy, Texas, was awarded on Aug. 14, 2008, a $6,019,671 firm-fixed price contract for medium tactical vehicles. Work will be performed in Sealy, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2008. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two bids were solicited on Aug. 15, 2002, and two bids were received. U.S.
Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-03-C-S023).

Navy

BriarTek, Inc.*, Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $18,989,915 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the acquisition of material and services for the installation and validation of Man Overboard Indicator (MOBI) systems on approximately 105
Navy ships. The MOBI system is capable of alerting the crew to a man overboard event so that a life saving rescue can be initiated. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Va., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61331-08-D-0036).

Nokomis, Inc.*, Charleroi, Pa., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $9,900,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovative Research Program under topics N04-016 entitled "Super-Efficient Omni-Directional Antennas for Low Power Wireless Ammunition "Health" Monitoring Systems"; DTRA-06 "Novel Methods of IED Suppression and Neutralization to Include Next Generation WMD Dispersal Devices"; and AF-071-219 "Remote-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Detection Identification and Classification Algorithms." The contractor will provide the continued development of UAV based AELED IED detection, to include exploratory study of application, further research and development, analysis for system integration, customizing prototype to specific platform needs, test and evaluation, production buys, support and training, as necessary. Work will be performed in Charleroi, Pa., and is expected to be completed in Aug. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This SBIR Phase III contract was competitively procured using SBIR Program Solicitations under Topic A04-016, DTRA06-007; and AF07-219; 14, 21, and 15 offers were received, respectively. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-08-D-0026).

Military Strives to Maintain Financial Readiness Among Troops

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 15, 2008 - The economic downturn that has hit many Americans appears to have had less impact on U.S. servicemembers, partly because of the nature of military service and partly due to the vast network of programs and services available to help them, defense officials said. The latest annual Defense Department status of forces survey conducted in April by the Defense Manpower Data Center supports that assessment, said
Navy Cmdr. Dave Julian from the Pentagon's new Office of Personal Finance and Transition.

When junior enlisted members in grades E-1 through E-4 were asked to describe their personal financial situation in the anonymous survey, 3 percent said they are "in over my head" or "having difficulty making ends meet," he reported, citing the yet-to-be-published results.

"Those levels have been declining over the years," he said, from a high of 5 percent in 2002.

Another survey question asked servicemembers if they or their spouse had missed a rent or mortgage payment during the past 12 months. Again, the number responding yes was 3 percent, down from 4 percent in 2007.

"I was very surprised," said
Army Col. Shawn Shumake, a legal advisor in the Pentagon's personnel and readiness office. "If they'd been like anyone else [in the general public], you would have expected it to go up 50 percent."

He cited record-high foreclosure rates nationwide, with reports that the number of households receiving foreclosure notices is up 50 percent or more over past year.

Julian said there's no question that soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines feel the pinch of spiraling gas, grocery and other prices. "The things that affect the general public are the things that affect our military, as well," he said. "But they do have some stopgaps in place to help them, more so than the average citizen."

Because servicemembers have secure full-time jobs, commissary and post exchange privileges, free medical care and cash for housing if the
military doesn't provide it, they're less likely to be as financially stressed as some of their civilian counterparts, he said. In addition, troops on deployments benefit financially from tax-free earnings in combat zones, hazardous duty pay, and if they're married, family separation pay.

Another big factor is the fact that three-quarters of troops who live off base rent their homes, so they're not as hard-hit by the depressed housing market, Julian said.

They have been affected, however, when they've had to scurry to find local housing when their landlord's lender repossessed the property they were renting, officials said. Until recently, servicemembers stuck in these situations had to pay for the move themselves.

No more. A new change to the Joint Federal Travel Regulation authorizes the
military to pay for local moves when a landlord defaults. Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy and chairman of the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee, approved the change Aug. 8, Eileen Lainez, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said. The change is retroactive to July 30.

One segment of the
military population likely to be hardest hit by the housing downturn is the 25 percent of servicemembers who own their homes, Shumake said. "If people bought high in 2005 and have to move now, they may be caught with negative equity in their house because the value has started to fall," he said.

If individuals are unable to sell their houses for what they owe and can't get enough in rent to cover the mortgage, they're likely to feel the pinch, he conceded. That's especially true if they're reassigned from a high-cost housing area to a lower-cost one where their housing allowance is reduced, sometimes by more than half.

A provision in the Joint Federal Travel Regulation offers a protection Shumake said many servicemembers don't know about: They can elect to leave their family at their old duty stations as they move to a lower-cost area and continue to draw their housing allowance at the higher rate where their family lives.

It's not an ideal circumstance, Shumake conceded, but could be a lifesaver to some families facing a financial crisis.

Julian and Shumake pointed to the broad array of services available to help servicemembers and their families avoid financial crisis and get help when they encounter one. Personal financial counselors and legal assistance staffs provide free services and can steer troops in financial difficulty to the help they need, they said.

"We have resources available, and encourage members to take advantage of the financial services and counseling available through their installation," Julian said.

Julian's office is putting together a financial road show -- technically "financial readiness challenge events" -- to take that message directly to the troops. The program, expected to kick off by October, will bring financial experts to
military bases, where they will present a full day of seminars and one-on-one sessions to help servicemembers better manage their personal finances. Each session will be tailored to specific installation's needs, based on input from commanders and senior enlisted leaders, Julian said.

Meanwhile, troops not comfortable with the idea of a personal meeting can take advantage of financial counseling over the telephone through
military One Source, he said. The program, in place about six months, enables callers to talk about their personal financial situation with a trained counselor who can offer advice and help. That service is provided by calling toll-free 800-342-9647.

Ultimately, servicemembers' financial readiness boils down to a
military readiness issue, Julian said. Worrying about whether they are going to be able to pay their bills or are about to lose their homes distracts troops from concentrating on the mission and can put them and their buddies at risk, he said.

"We want to keep our men and women overseas, especially the ones in harm's way, concentrating on the mission at hand and the important tasks they have to accomplish, rather than their financial situation at home," he said.

"They're not going to be keeping their eye on the target if they're worried about stuff back home," Shumake agreed.

Helping servicemembers get a handle on their finances reduces stress on the entire family, and that, in turn also helps readiness, Julian said.

"We look at the family and the servicemember as a team," he said. "So this is really a matter of allowing the servicemember to focus on his job, and allowing the spouse and the family to focus on their job so together, we can accomplish the mission."

Cease-Fire Accord Specifies Russian Troop Withdrawal from Georgia

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 15, 2008 - A cease-fire agreement signed today by the president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia calls for Russian troops to immediately leave his country, America's senior diplomat said in the Georgian capital today. "And now, with the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a news conference in Tbilisi with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at her side.

President Bush dispatched Rice to Europe to assist in resolving a now week-long international crisis involving Georgia and Russia. On Aug. 8, Russian tanks and troops crossed the border into the contested northern Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after Georgian
military forces had clashed with separatists in South Ossetia the day before.

The Russian troops caused Georgian forces to retreat south. Since then, the Russians have lodged themselves in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as in some Georgian municipalities farther south.

Rice was in Tbilisi today, she said, to demonstrate "the solidarity of the United States with Georgia and its people in this moment of crisis."

The United States, she said, supports Georgia's independence, its territorial integrity and its democratically elected government.

"That is America's position, and in my discussions with my European colleagues, it is the position of the Europeans, as well," Rice said.

Rice was in France yesterday to consult with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France and the United States worked together to craft the cease-fire agreement.

"The Russian attack on Georgia had profound implications and will have profound implications for Russia's relations with its neighbors and with the world," Rice said in Tbilisi. "But, our most-urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia."

With today's cease-fire agreement, what's needed in Georgia now "are international observers on the scene -- fast," Rice said in Tbilisi. Finnish authorities have indicated that regional security monitors affiliated with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe could be sent to Georgia in a matter of days, she said. Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb is the organization's chairman for 2008.

"And, eventually, we need a more robust and impartial peacekeeping international force that would follow those monitors," Rice added.

The Georgian president accused Russia of conducting a premeditated invasion of his country.

"We are under [a] Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now," Saakashvili declared. "And, we want to end [this] Russian invasion and occupation."

The United States and other nations are providing humanitarian assistance to the Georgian people, Rice said.

"Access must be immediate and unimpeded for those humanitarian efforts," Rice said. "When the security situation in Georgia is stabilized, we will turn immediately to reconstruction."

Rice urged that Georgians who were displaced from their homes during the fighting be allowed to return.

The Defense Department-enabled U.S. humanitarian relief mission to Georgia continues, Rice said. U.S.
military transport planes already have delivered millions of dollars worth of humanitarian supplies to Georgians rendered homeless by the fighting.

"That mission will be vigorous and ongoing," Rice said.

Meanwhile, the United States is working with the Georgian government, the G-7 world economic organization and the International Monetary Fund "to rapidly develop an economic support package for the Georgian economy to build on its demonstrated track record and to resume its rapid growth," Rice said.

The economic package, Rice said, is designed to "restore Georgia's economy and reinforce investor confidence as Georgia returns to its position as the leading economy in the region."

Rice said it is imperative that "Russian forces leave Georgia at once." The world, she said, needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its independence.

"This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when a great power invaded a small neighbor and overthrew its government," Rice said, in recalling the Soviet Union's invasion of that European nation. "The free world will now have to wrestle with the profound implications of this Russian attack on its neighbor for security in the region and beyond."
A cease-fire agreement signed today by the president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia calls for Russian troops to immediately leave his country, America's senior diplomat said in the Georgian capital today.

"And now, with the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a news conference in Tbilisi with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at her side.

President Bush dispatched Rice to Europe to assist in resolving a now week-long international crisis involving Georgia and Russia. On Aug. 8, Russian tanks and troops crossed the border into the contested northern Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after Georgian
military forces had clashed with separatists in South Ossetia the day before.

The Russian troops caused Georgian forces to retreat south. Since then, the Russians have lodged themselves in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as in some Georgian municipalities farther south.

Rice was in Tbilisi today, she said, to demonstrate "the solidarity of the United States with Georgia and its people in this moment of crisis."

The United States, she said, supports Georgia's independence, its territorial integrity and its democratically elected government.

"That is America's position, and in my discussions with my European colleagues, it is the position of the Europeans, as well," Rice said.

Rice was in France yesterday to consult with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France and the United States worked together to craft the cease-fire agreement.

"The Russian attack on Georgia had profound implications and will have profound implications for Russia's relations with its neighbors and with the world," Rice said in Tbilisi. "But, our most-urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia."

With today's cease-fire agreement, what's needed in Georgia now "are international observers on the scene -- fast," Rice said in Tbilisi. Finnish authorities have indicated that regional security monitors affiliated with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe could be sent to Georgia in a matter of days, she said. Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb is the organization's chairman for 2008.

"And, eventually, we need a more robust and impartial peacekeeping international force that would follow those monitors," Rice added.

The Georgian president accused Russia of conducting a premeditated invasion of his country.

"We are under [a] Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now," Saakashvili declared. "And, we want to end [this] Russian invasion and occupation."

The United States and other nations are providing humanitarian assistance to the Georgian people, Rice said.

"Access must be immediate and unimpeded for those humanitarian efforts," Rice said. "When the security situation in Georgia is stabilized, we will turn immediately to reconstruction."

Rice urged that Georgians who were displaced from their homes during the fighting be allowed to return.

The Defense Department-enabled U.S. humanitarian relief mission to Georgia continues, Rice said. U.S.
military transport planes already have delivered millions of dollars worth of humanitarian supplies to Georgians rendered homeless by the fighting.

"That mission will be vigorous and ongoing," Rice said.

Meanwhile, the United States is working with the Georgian government, the G-7 world economic organization and the International Monetary Fund "to rapidly develop an economic support package for the Georgian economy to build on its demonstrated track record and to resume its rapid growth," Rice said.

The economic package, Rice said, is designed to "restore Georgia's economy and reinforce investor confidence as Georgia returns to its position as the leading economy in the region."

Rice said it is imperative that "Russian forces leave Georgia at once." The world, she said, needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its independence.

"This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when a great power invaded a small neighbor and overthrew its government," Rice said, in recalling the Soviet Union's invasion of that European nation. "The free world will now have to wrestle with the profound implications of this Russian attack on its neighbor for security in the region and beyond."