Military News

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Army Guard Ad Campaign Features Kid Rock, Earnhardt

By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2008 - The National Guard has enlisted two superstars to attract new members and remind those already serving what the Guard is all about through a new nationwide theater advertising campaign that made its debut last week. The new "Warrior" campaign includes music from Kid Rock and features Dale Earnhardt Jr., the National Guard-sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

Over the next two months, the "Warrior" video will appear in more than 3,000 theaters and on more than 27,000 screens around the country. The video and pre-show slides will air before every movie except those rated G and PG.

Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, director of the
Army National Guard, said during an Aug. 20 screening that the new campaign will make an impact.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we're going to attract a lot of folks that are interested in serving," he said. "Obviously, we think we are really, really strong in all the communities around the country based on the things we did last year. We think we have irreversible momentum right now."

Kid Rock wrote a song, "Warrior," specifically for the
Army National Guard. He was chosen for this project because of his popularity among the 17-to-24-year-old market and his demonstrated support of the military, Col. Mike Jones of the Army National Guard's strength maintenance office said.

"He is as real as it comes," Jones said. "And he was unapologetic about supporting the Army National Guard recruiting program."

The new campaign will highlight the
Army Guard's relationship with Kid Rock and Earnhardt. "They did a magnificent job," Vaughn said. "Folks need to know that they are doing a lot for this country. They are real patriots."

The campaign is a multi-dimensional marketing approach consisting of the new two-minute music video, lobby stands, popcorn bag advertising, pre-show slides, a lobby presence, an interactive micro-site, a free mp3 download of the "Warrior" song and print advertising in national magazines.

"Our approach has been really unique," Jones said. "We really tried to set the bar and set the standard for this type of advertising.

"We really tried in the last few years -- starting with Three Doors Down -- we wanted to get music that really engages people," he continued. "Not just a song about the National Guard, but a cool song that young adults would like to have in their Ipod. I think we have done that."

The two-minute video was created for theaters featuring three parallel stories, including Kid Rock performing a USO-type show, Earnhardt overcoming adversity on the racetrack and a National Guard soldier serving heroically in the face of danger.

In addition to the video, the
Army Guard will place ads in Blender and Spin magazines.

The official "Warrior" microsite will be hosted at www.NationalGuardWarrior.com and features free downloads of the "Warrior" commercial for mp3 players and of computer screen wallpaper as well as behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

"You have to hit them in many, many different outlets," Jones said.

The
Army Guard's first music video, "Citizen Soldier" by Three Doors Down, was very popular in theaters around the country last year. The song is included in the band's current self-titled album, "Three Doors Down."

(
Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Michigan Sheriff's Office Earns Award for Military Support

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2008 - In Oakland County, Mich., every day is Veterans Day, thanks to strong
military support from Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. The department is one of 15 organizations receiving the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for outstanding support of its employees in the National Guard or Reserve. The department also is a co-recipient of the 2008 Michigan Employer Support Guard or Reserve Pro Patria Award.

Initiatives such as the "Every Day is Veterans Day" campaign launched by Bouchard's department and other local organizations are a testament of the department's respect and efforts to support
military veterans.

The department is the first
Michigan law enforcement agency to partner with the Army in the "Partnership for Youth Success Program," which actively recruits armed forces members for employment. Because of the program and other initiatives, a number of reserve-component servicemembers, including 12 deputies, now work for the sheriff's department.

Servicemembers welcomed into the department's work force are provided the difference between their
military pay and their sheriff's department salary and full benefits for themselves and their families throughout their military career.

Deploying employees are given laptop computers purchased by the department for their personal use, while the department provides employees returning from deployments 10 days of paid time off in appreciation for their service.

The department also remembers its employees who were injured in combat. Employees recovering from wounds and undergoing rehabilitation continue to receive benefits and support from the department.

Bouchard recently was recognized by the Michigan
Army National Guard with the Michigan Distinguished Service Medal for his exceptional support to deputy sheriff and Army Sgt. James McKelvey and his family while McKelvey recovered from injuries suffered during a deployment to Iraq.

Bouchard personally visited McKelvey on multiple occasions at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center here, and provided weekly updates of his recuperation to the department as well.

"It's been an honor and privilege to work for the
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office," said Shawn Wilson, who also is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve corporal. "They continue to be a tremendous support system to the individuals who are deployed around the world and their families."

Whether employees are deployed or at weekend and annual drills, they feel they are able to concentrate more on their
military missions and obligations and worry less about their families because of the high level of support the department provides, Wilson said.

"Knowing that our families are taken care of at home allows us to more effectively focus on the mission at hand," he said. "I will always be in debt to the
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and its employees for providing my family with the assistance they did while I was deployed."

The
Oakland County Sheriff’s Office 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.

Cheney Calls Georgia Victim of 'Unjustified' Russian Assault

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2008 - Russia's invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia was unjustified, Vice President Richard B. Cheney told members of the American Legion veterans group in Phoenix today. "That young democracy has been subjected to an unjustified assault, and the international community has joined in condemning Russia's invasion of a sovereign, democratic neighbor and its recognition of Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Cheney said during his address at the American Legion's annual convention.

President Bush has asked Cheney to travel to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Italy next week for discussions with these key U.S. partners on issues of mutual interest, according to a White House news release.

Today in Phoenix, Cheney said his trip includes a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia's capital city.

Russia and Georgia have argued over the northern Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for some time. On Aug. 7, Georgian forces attacked separatists in South Ossetia. The next day, Russian troops engaged and pushed back the Georgians. The Russian forces lodged themselves in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and in other parts of Georgia. A French-brokered cease-fire between Georgia and Russia ended the hostilities.

A partial pullback of Russian forces on Aug. 22 has failed to satisfy the United States or NATO. Georgia has been working toward NATO membership, and the Russian government has voiced its displeasure over the very thought of Georgia joining the alliance.
Russian
military forces still are present in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and in parts of Georgia farther south. U.S. aircraft and ships have since delivered millions of dollars of humanitarian provisions to the Georgian people.

Yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that Moscow intends to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. President Bush yesterday decried Russia's "irresponsible decision" to recognize the Georgian provinces as independent nations.

"Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations," said Bush, who is vacationing at his ranch in Crawford,
Texas.

The United States will continue to support Georgia in its hour of need, Cheney vowed today in
Phoenix.

"We support their democracy, and we'll work with our allies to ensure Georgia's territorial integrity as a free and independent nation," Cheney said. "The Georgian people won their freedom after years of tyranny, and they can count on the friendship of the United States."

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 27, 2008

Army

Sterling Medical Associates, Inc,
Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded on Aug. 25, 2008, a $11,326,360 firm fixed price contract. The purpose of this contract is to obtain the personal and non – personal services of traumatic brain injury health providers for the Military treatment facilities located throughout Germany and Vicenza, Italy. Work will be performed in Landstuhl, Germany with an estimated completion date of Sept 18, 2013. Ten bids were solicited and five were received. US Army Medical Command Europe Regional Contracting Office, Landstuhl – Kirchberg, Germany, is the contracting activity (W911F4F-08-C-0020).

Inglett and Stubbs, International, Smyrna, Ga., was awarded on Aug 26, 2008, a $8,900,000 firm fixed price contract. This award is for electrical inspection and repair services. Work will be performed in Combined Operation Joint Area, Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 26, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. USA Engineer District,
Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity
(W912BU-08-C-0039).

B.L. Harbert International, Birmingham, Ala., was awarded on Aug 26, 2008, a $23,660,000 indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) (MATOC), firm fixed price contract. This project is required by the
Army's Military Construction Transformation initiatives and will provide single solider housing is similar to apartment type housing in the private sector, room shall include but not limited to private sleeping areas, walk-in closets, shared bathroom and kitchenette. Contractors will compete for the contract capacity of $225,000.00 for the IDIQ MATOC contracts. Work will be performed in Fort Campbell, Ky., with an estimated completion date of Aug 26, 2013. Bids solicited phase two, six offers and bid received phase two, six offers received. US Army Engineer District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-08-D-0041).

The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on Aug 26, 2008, a $722,713,876 firm fixed price contract. CH-47 multiyear contract for five years, 109 each CH-47F new build aircraft, 72 each CH-47F remanufacture aircraft, priced options for 34 each CH-47F new build aircraft. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Sept 30, 2013. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. US
Army aviation & missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0098).

Navy

Raytheon Co.,
Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $87,441,266 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0569) for the procurement of 103 Tomahawk Block IV All-Up-Round (AUR) missiles. The Tomahawk Block IV missile is capable of launch from surface ships equipped with the Vertical Launch System (VLS), submarines equipped with the Capsule Launch System (CLS), and submarines equipped with the Torpedo Tube Launch (TTL) System. This effort will include 71 VLS missiles, 32 CLS missiles, and 32 Composite CLS capsules. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., (32 percent); Walled Lake, Mich., (9 percent); Camden, Ark., (8 percent); Anniston, Ala., (5 percent); Huntsville, Ala., (4 percent); Glenrothes, Scotland, (5 percent); Ft. Wayne, Ind., (4 percent); Minneapolis, Minn., (4 percent); Ontario, Calif., (3 percent); Spanish Fork, Utah, (3 percent); Westminster, Colo., (2 percent); El Segundo, Calif., (2 percent); Middletown, Conn., (2 percent); Largo, Fla., (2 percent); Vergennes, Vt., (2 percent); Ontario, Canada, (1.4 percent) and various locations within the United States, (11.6 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jul. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $725,578 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Analex Corporation, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a potential $63,291,724 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for lifecycle support services in support of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego), Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Programs Office in
Philadelphia. Specific efforts include logistics planning, post-development assembly and testing, world-wide system maintenance, development of user documentation and training courses, delivery of training to users and maintainers, 7/24 help desk support, installation and fielding of systems at user sites, site installation plans, and site configuration management. Support efforts will also address supportability, maintainability and sustainability issues during system development and throughout the system's life and retirement or recapitalization of the systems. This contract is one of two contracts awarded: both awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes one optional two-year award term and one three-year award term, which, if awarded, will bring the potential, cumulative value of the contract to $206,393,978. All work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa., and is expected to be completed Aug. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and posting to the Space and Naval Warfare e-Commerce Central website, with two offers received. SSC San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-08-D-0149).

Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md., is being awarded a potential $59,255,670, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for lifecycle support services in support of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego), Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Programs Office in
Philadelphia. Specific efforts include logistics planning, post-development assembly and testing, world-wide system maintenance, development of user documentation and training courses, delivery of training to users and maintainers, 7/24 help desk support, installation and fielding of systems at user sites, site installation plans, and site configuration management. Support efforts will also address supportability, maintainability and sustainability issues during system development and throughout the system's life and retirement or recapitalization of the systems. This contract is one of two contracts awarded: both awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. This three-year contract includes one optional two-year award term and one three-year award term, which, if awarded, will bring the potential, cumulative value of the contract to $189,482,372. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa., and work is expected to be completed Aug. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and posting to the Space and Naval Warfare e-Commerce Central website, with two offers received. SSC San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-08-D-0014).

Vericor Power Systems, LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., is being awarded a $20,541,344 firm-fixed-price contract for the manufacture, testing and delivery of 16 ETF40B marine gas turbine engines for the fiscal year 2008 (FY 2008) Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) requirements. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $57,779,224. Work will be performed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The solicitation was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington
Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-08-C-4117).

Tetra-Tech, Inc. Falls Church, Va., is being awarded a maximum $50,000,000, guaranteed minimum of $10,000 (base period), firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide natural resource management services, including biological resources studies, evaluations, and assessments for projects located within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic area of responsibility. Work will be performed primarily in Va.,(12 percent); N.C.,(15 percent); Maine, (5 percent); D.C., (3 percent); Fla., (12 percent); Texas, (3 percent); N.J., (7 percent), N.Y.,(2 percent); N.H.,(2 percent); Conn., (2 percent); Pa., (2 percent); W.V., (3 percent); Md., (4 percent); Calif., (10 percent), and overseas and other states (18 percent), and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2013. 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 six offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-08-D-1008).

DTC Engineers and Constructors, LLC, North Haven, Conn., is being awarded $9,918,135 for firm-fixed-price Task Order #0004 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40085-06-D-4008) for design and construction of main gate and physical security upgrades at
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The work to be performed provides for construction of a gatehouse, visitors center, and canopies with supporting anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP) facilities at the main entry gate; and construction of a gatehouse, canopy, and commercial inspection enclosure with supporting AT/FP facilities for a truck inspection gate at Piney Green. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Amplifier Research Corp.*, Souderton Pa., is being awarded a $5,688,581 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for high power radio frequency amplifier systems in support of Expeditionary Electronic Warfare Systems. The high power radio frequency amplifiers required are portable, self-contained, broadband, solid-state amplifiers designed for instantaneous bandwidth, high gain and linearity and range from 30 watts to 500 watts. Work will be performed in Souderton, Pa., 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 not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-08-D-WQ03).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Rockford, Mich., is being awarded a maximum $9,100,079 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for safety boots. Other locations of performance are Jonesboro, Ark.; Big Rapids and Cedar Springs, Mich. Using service is
Navy. Contract is exercising option year one. Proposals were originally bidders list solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. T he date of performance completion is Aug. 31, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SP0100-06-D-0352).

Graybar Electric Co., Inc., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $400,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment indefinite delivery/quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations for the Northeast Region. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. Contract is exercising option year three. Proposals were originally Web-solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 30, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-04-D-BP25).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Bremen-Bowdon Investment Co., Bowden, Ga.*, is being awarded a maximum $8,910,828 firm fixed price, total set aside contract for men's coats. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is
Army. This proposal was originally DIBBS solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-08-D-1101).

America Supports You: Search for Top Military Spouse in Full Swing

American Forces Press Service

Aug. 27, 2008 - Servicemembers who think their spouses are top-notch now have the opportunity to tell the world why everyone else should agree.
Military Spouse magazine is accepting nominations for its 2009 Military Spouse of the Year award, which recognizes military spouses' myriad contributions.

"This award is MSM's opportunity to thank all
Military spouses for their invaluable contributions, in addition to recognizing them for the challenges they overcome every day," said Babette Maxwell, the magazine's co-founder and executive editor.

The
Military Spouse of the Year honoree represents millions of unsung heroes who maintain the home front, give selflessly to their communities and provide support to the nation's troops, Maxwell said. Often, these spouses also have full-time jobs and raise families, she noted.

Nominees must be the spouse of a current member of the U.S. armed forces. Criteria for selecting the winner include impact on community change, volunteerism, personal sacrifice, education and career pursuits and other military spouse-related efforts.

Nominations can be made online at www.msoy.milspouse.com, and must be received by Oct. 8.

After judges review all submissions and select 10 finalists from each
Military service, Military Spouse magazine and its readers will select the 2009 Military Spouse of the Year. The winner will be announced nationally in the June issue.

He or she also will be honored during the second annual
Military Spouse of the Year awards ceremony here in conjunction with National Military Spouse Appreciation Week in May.

The winner will make additional public appearances, write a monthly column to appear in
Military Spouse magazine, and maintain a blog during his or her reign, which will last through May 2010.

Last year's award generated hundreds of nominations from across the country, culminating in the selection of
Army wife Chelle Brewer as Military Spouse of the Year for 2008.

The
Military Spouse of the Year award is sponsored by USAA, a financial services company that serves military members and their families.

"The reason USAA exists is to help
Military families with their financial security and the peace of mind that brings – especially to the military spouse who shoulders so much responsibility," said Joe Robles, USAA's chief executive officer and a retired major general. "I know I couldn't have done what I did for the Army if my wife, Patty, hadn't taken care of everything else.

"Being the title sponsor of this award is a natural for us. We feel honored to honor military spouses," he added.

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

TransCom Rolls Out New Program for Household Moves

American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - U.S. Transportation Command and the Army's
Military Surface Distribution and Deployment Command have announced the initial rollout of a new automated system for movement of servicemembers' and government civilians' household goods. The Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, automates much of the process of pre-move counseling, scheduling, tracking, invoicing and claims filing for household goods shipments, officials said.

DPS operations will begin Sept. 10 at 18 transportation offices designated in conjunction with their service headquarters, and it will be available to transportation offices worldwide Jan. 22.

The new system implements elements of TransCom's "Families First" initiative, and will replace TOPS, the Transportation Operational Personal Property Standard System.

(From a U.S. Transportation Command news release.)

Air Force Captain Finishes 23rd in Olympic Modern Pentathlon

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 -
Air Force Capt. Eli Bremer predicted there would be a shakeup in the shooting and fencing portions of the Olympic men's modern pentathlon. Bremer, however, got all shook up during his first two shots of the five-sports-in-one-day event. "History has shown the top guys have blown it in the first couple of events," Bremer said two days before finishing 23rd with 5,204 modern pentathlon points in the event that consists of 10-meter air pistol shooting, epee one-touch fencing, 200-meter freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping and 3,000-meter running in one day.

History was not on the side of the
Air Force World Class Athlete Program modern pentathlete on Aug. 21, when he competed in the pentathalon.

"It started out really badly the first two shots," said Bremer, 30, a native of Hancock, N.H., who is stationed at Peterson
Air Force Base, Colo.

"The first shot, I was too aggressive on the trigger, I wasn't settled into my hold, and it was a four, and that really, really unnerved me," he said. "My next shot, I came onto the target, and I wasn't looking at the sights because I was so distracted, and I shot a six.

"I sat myself down, calmed down, and said, 'You're better than this. You can clean up your act a little bit,'" he continued. "I refocused and shot a lot better, but I dropped 10 points in the first two shots, and you can't do that and expect to do well at the Olympics."

With 916 shooting points, Bremer was 34th among 36 athletes after one event. He followed with a four-way tie for 29th place in fencing, worth 736 points, that left him in 35th place after two disciplines.

"Had I had a better shoot, I think the fence would have gone better, too," Bremer said. "As much as you would like to think that the sports don't interact with each other, when you're having a great day, it just continues to build on itself.

"When you're having a bad day, it's real hard to pick yourself up by the bootstraps four more times," he said. "I can't expect to come out of a shoot like that and do well. I knew right after that it would be virtually impossible to pull back up."

The remainder of Bremer's long-awaited day was an exercise in salvaging pride.

In swimming, his forte, Bremer finished seventh with a time of 2 minutes, 2.80 seconds, earning 1,328 points that put him in 34th place.

"It was my best swim this year," he said. "Actually, it was my best swim since I've been in pentathlon. But even that was a little off. I swam a 2:02, and I was aiming for about 2 minutes. Had the day been a little more optimal, had preparations of the last couple of weeks with travel and all that gone a little better, I think it could have been closer to 2 minutes."

A lot of little things added up to a disappointing overall day, Bremer said, giving himself a grade of D for the performance.

"I was coming off of a very strong performance in the world championships, which is probably harder than the Olympics," he said. "I didn't rest for it and got 12th. I just did everything right there, and then kind of did the opposite here – just had the opposite day."

On horseback, Bremer rode Dangdang to a 14th-place finish worth 1,060 modern pentathlon points. He entered the run in 25th place and gutted out 3,000 meters in pouring rain to finish with the seventh-fastest time of 9:19.61 for 1,164 points and a 23rd-place finish, with a 5,204 modern pentathlon total.

Defending Olympic champion Andrey Moiseev of Russia became only the second back-to-back winner of gold medals in Olympic modern-pentathlon history with 5,632 points. Lithuania's Edvinas Krungolcas took the silver with 5,548 points. The bronze went to Lithuania's Andrejus Zadneprovskis at 5,524.

Despite his ominous start, Bremer kept competing like a champion.

"I tried to fight as much as I could, and I was pretty proud of the fact that I didn't give up," said Bremer, who cherished living his lifelong dream.

"I love the city and it's been a lot of fun to be here," he said. "It's been a fantastic experience being in the Olympics. It's a dream come true from that point of view. It's possible that I'll compete on to 2012. About six months ago, I was saying, 'Absolutely not,' but I'm definitely not writing it off now.

"I think I've got a lot better performance in me than we saw today, so I wouldn't mind taking another crack at it and ending the career on a higher note," the captain said. "That right there is kind of motivating to me. I don't like to go out on a low note."

Bremer could not complete his Beijing experience without saluting his
Air Force supporters.

"I couldn't do this without the
Air Force," he said. "They're really the reason I'm here. It's just impossible for me to do this sport without their support. It's been terrific to represent them, and this week has been awesome.

"Today was a bad day," he continued, "but I've probably gotten 50 e-mails from servicemembers who I didn't even know who are e-mailing from around the world, from Qatar to Maxwell
Air Force Base in Alabama, to a former first sergeant who's now a chief master sergeant who sent me an e-mail. I haven't talked to him in seven years, and he sent me an e-mail saying, 'Hey, congratulations on making the Olympics. I always knew you could do it.' So having the Air Force as a backer has been terrific."

Given the sacrifices he's had to make in pursuing his dream, Bremer said, the support from friends and strangers alike was important. "Really, I couldn't do it without them," he said. "It's a tough sport financially. It's a tough sport emotionally and physically, and you've got to have to have a strong background cast."

(Tim Hipps works at the U.S.
Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.)

Bush Condemns Russia's Recognition of Breakaway Georgian Provinces

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - President Bush condemned what he called Russia's "irresponsible decision" today to recognize the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. "Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations," Bush, in Crawford,
Texas, said in a statement.

The president's response comes after a reported announcement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Moscow intends to formally recognize the two breakaway provinces in Georgia, where Russia continues to maintain troops in defiance of a cease-fire agreement and mounting international pressure to withdrawal.

"We expect Russia to live up to its international commitments, reconsider this irresponsible decision, and follow the approach set out in the six-point agreement," Bush said, referring to a French-brokered peace deal signed two weeks ago by Medvedev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

"In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions that remain in force, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, and they must remain so," the president said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today called Moscow's decision "regrettable," saying it puts Russia in opposition to security resolutions negotiated by the United Nation's Security Council, to which Russia is a member.

"It simply means that the Russian president continues not to honor the commitments that the Russians have signed onto," Rice said at a news conference in Ramallah, Palestine.

Russia escalated a simmering conflict with neighboring Georgia on Aug. 8 when it invaded the former Soviet republic, followed by bombing of civilian infrastructure and clashes in Georgian villages.

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 26, 2008

Navy

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Marietta, Ga., is being awarded a $129,259,000 not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action (UCA) for the fabrication and delivery of 13 P-3 Outer Wing Assembly (OWA) kits in support of the P-3 recovery plan. Work will be performed in Marietta, Ga., and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity (N00019-08-C-0066).

C. Pyramid Enterprises, Inc.,* Robbinsville, N.J., is being awarded a $48,375,200 firm-fixed-price construction contract for design and construction of fixed-wing aircraft hanger at McGuire
Air Force Base, N.J. The work to be performed provides for a new aircraft maintenance hangar with administrative and maintenance support space. The new facility will include high-bay Navy fixed-wing aircraft hangar area, aircraft maintenance shops and crew equipment areas, maintenance administrative and unit operations support space, plus Squadron Operations administrative space, POV parking and roadways. The contract is incrementally funded with the first increment of $24,133,400 being allocated at the time of award. The second increment will be funded in FY09 at $24,241,800. The contract contains two unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $51,898,900. Work will be performed in Burlington County, N.J., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with two proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-08-C-2100).

URS Group, Inc.,
San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $40,000,000 (base and options - with a guaranteed minimum of $25,000) firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for preparation of Navy and Marine Corps facilities planning and environmental documentation in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility. The work to be performed provides for plans, studies, events, project planning documents, geo-spatial information and service, GPSservices and National Environmental Policy Act planning. 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 percent), and work is expected to be completed Aug. 2009 (Aug. 2013 with options exercised). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website, with seven offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8603).

Sikorsky Support Services, Inc., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $10,514,121 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-01-C-0109) for additional organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by the adversary squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Fla.; NAS, Fallon, Nev.; and
Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz. Work will be performed in Key West, Fla. (40 percent); Fallon, Nev. (30 percent); and Yuma, Ariz. (30 percent), and work is expected to be completed in December 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $2,996,871 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Robertson Aviation LLC, Tempe, Ariz., is being awarded a $10,485,067 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-08-D-0009) to exercise an option for the procurement of V-22 Mission Auxiliary Tank Systems and related hardware for the V-22 aircraft for the U.S.
Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force. Work will be performed in Tempe, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in August 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $6,666,955 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Daniels & Daniels Construction Co., Inc.,* Goldsboro, N.C., is being awarded a $9,069,500 firm-fixed-price contract for interim facilities for counter battery radar platoon, artillery battery, and
civil affairs at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. These interim facilities consist of trailers and pre-engineered buildings. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C., and is expected to be completed by August 2009. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (contract number N40085-08-C-8461).

Blue Rock Structures, Inc.,* Pollocksville, N.C., is being awarded a $9,066,505 firm-fixed-price contract for military police interim facilities at
Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. The work to be performed provides site work and interim facilities for military police. These interim facilities consist of trailers and pre-engineered buildings Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C., and is expected to be completed by August 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities website with, eight offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va.,) is the contracting activity (N40085-08-C-8460).

Boeing Aerospace Operations,
Oklahoma City, Okla., is being awarded a $7,341,248 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-01-C-0110) for additional organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 23 F-18, 4 H-60, 2 E-2C and 14 F-16 aircraft operated by the adversary squadrons based at the Naval Air Station, Fallon, Nev. Work will be performed in Fallon, Nev., and is expected to be completed in December 2008. Contract funds in the amount of $2,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Air Force

Strong Enterprise, Inc., of
Orlando, Fla., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract for a minimum of $45, 000,000. This action will provide Guardian Angel Advanced Parachute System (GAAPS). The GAAPS system will consist of three different parachute systems (GAAPS – freefall, GAAPS static line, and GAAPS tandem). The procurement includes the necessary development and integration effort, procurement of the systems, initial spares, training and sustainment. At this time $655,154 has been obligated. 670 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8629-08-D-2354).

Lockheed Martin Co. of King of Prussia, Penn., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract not to exceed $12, 2000,000. This action will design, fabricate, and test the Payload Delivery Vehicle for the calendar year 2010 flight demonstration of the conventional prompt Global Strike capability. At this time $5,600,000 has been obligated. SMC/XRC,
El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8814-08-C-0003).

Army

Christopher Chadbourne & Associates,
Boston, Mass., was awarded on Aug 22, 2008, a $7,160,973 firm fixed price contract for a professional services contract for the development of exhibits for the National Museum of the United States Army. Work will be performed in Boston, Mass., with an estimated completion date Aug 22, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web and two bids were received. Corps of Engineers- New England District, Concord, Mass., is the contracting activity (W912WJ-08-D-006).

Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Co., Llc, Independence, Mo, was awarded on Aug 22, 2008, a $6,817,136 firm fixed price contract. The award of the following small caliber ammunition: cartridge 5.6mm, ball LFS, M855, AA45. Work will be performed in Independence, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Sept 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. US
Army Sustainment, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-99-D-0016).

Hellfire Systems L.L.C.,
Orlando, Fla., was awarded on Aug 21, 2008, a $9,256,594 firm fixed price. The contract is for 14 missile spares to support various Hellfire II missile systems. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date June 30, 2012. One bid solicited and one bid received. US Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contract activity (W31P4Q-05-C-0021).

DynCorp International LLC, Falls Church, Va., was awarded on Aug 17, 2008, a $18,122,155 firm fixed price contract. The contract is for site improvement and construction of facilities to support the ANCOP Patrol Unit and Urban Unit in Garmser, Partika, Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Garmser, Partika, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date Aug 15, 2009. Bids solicited Web and one bid received. US
Army Engineer District, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-07-D-0014).

Northrop Grumman Technical Services Sierra Vista (Garden Canon), Ariz., was awarded on Aug 25, 2008, a $6,490,931 cost plus fixed fee contract for increased operational tempo for Green Dart deployment to operation Iraqi Freedom. Work will be performed in Sierra Vista (Garden Canon), Ariz., with an estimated completion date Aug 24, 2008. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. US
Army Aviation and Missile Command, AMSAM-AC-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0025). At this time $5,600,000 has been obligated. SMC/XRC, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8814-08-C-0003).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Caterpillar Inc., Mossville, Ind. is being awarded a maximum $5,806,314 firm fixed price, long term contract for bulldozer services. Other location of performance is East Peoria, Illinois. Using service is Multi National Security Command, Iraq. There were originally 4 proposals solicited with 2 responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is October 10, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM500-01-D-0059-0215).

America Supports You: Elmo and Friends Entertain, Educate Families

By Cheryl Harrison
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the program "Sesame Street," and the United Service Organizations joined forces to bring "The Sesame Street Experience for
Military Families" to 43 installations across the country. "The tour travels for four months, and is for Military families only," Kelly Mariska, tour manager, said during the show's visit here. "The 'Talk, Listen, Connect' theme helps kids learn to cope with a deployed parent and how to adapt to a family member being away. Also, it deals with their emotions when that person returns home."

The free tour held performances here Aug. 10 and 11. The 60-minute experience consisted of a 25-minute mini-show and opportunities for
Military families to connect with outreach organizations.

Show preparations started with a set-up that involved an extreme makeover. What once looked like an auditorium began to look like something right off Broadway. Spotlights went up, enormous speakers were stacked and tested, and a backdrop was hoisted.

Even the cast and crew's bus driver went to work hooking up spotlights. Lewis the driver, as he is known, said, "I am the least-hardest-working person here. I only drive the bus, but help out when I can."

When the scene was finally set, the magic began. Tables were loaded with free information, stickers, magnets and postcards, not to mention twirling toys topped by "Sesame Street" favorite Elmo.

As the excitement of the day's event began to build, the cast began warm-ups to the unforgettable tune of the "Sesame Street" theme.

Antwaun Steele, a St. Louis native, took a few minutes to rest from his warm-up routine.

"I have been with the touring company since 1996. Performing has always been a part of my life, but it is the look on the children's faces that energizes me," he said.

Steele, a dancer and performer, leads a double life. The cast and crew know him as Antwaun; the children he entertains know him as Cookie Monster.

Sesame Street fans began lining up outside the building at about noon Aug. 10 for the 3 p.m. show. Once the doors opened, the auditorium filled quickly, and the full house was not disappointed.

The next day's performance didn't disappoint the audience, either. More than 600 people -- child development center children, warriors in transition, child care providers, and children with parents, friends and family -- enthusiastically awaited the appearance of their favorite TV characters.

Grover, Zoe, Rosita, Cookie Monster and, of course, Elmo, entertained the wide-eyed children with songs and dances depicting ways to handle their feelings.

"I enjoyed the singing and dancing," Sandra Salinas said. Salinas' 3-year-old nephew, Noah Salinas, exclaimed, "I saw Elmo!"

A few teens spotted among the crowd didn't want to appear too enthusiastic about seeing the furry celebrities. "My mom made me come," said 13-year-old Marcus Pratter. "I kind of wanted to come, and I kind of didn't." Pratter's buddy, 13-year-old Brodrick Hill, wasn't as shy about his feelings. "I loved Elmo when I was a little kid," he said.

Whatever their expectations, the capacity crowds left the auditorium with smiles on their faces.

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

(Cheryl Harrison works in the
Army Community Services marketing department at Fort Sam Houston.)

SouthCom Transformation Promotes New Approach to Regional Challenges

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - Along with U.S. Africa Command going fully operational Oct. 1, the Defense Department will reach another milestone as U.S. Southern Command completes a major reorganization that also promotes joint, interagency and even private- and public-sector cooperation. The concept supports universal agreement among President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the service chiefs and the combatant commanders that the military can't tackle 21st-century security challenges alone.

The 2008 National Defense Strategy, released July 31, reflects in its first update since 2005 the importance of interagency as well as interservice and international cooperation to face today's and tomorrow's challenges.

"We are working to create an organization that can best adapt itself to working with the interagency, with our international partners and even with the private-public sector," said
Navy Adm. James Stavridis, SouthCom commander. "And we want to do it in a way that is completely supportive of all our partners.

"If I would put one word on it, it's partnership," he continued. "That is our [SouthCom] motto -- Partnership for the Americas – and our objective is to become the best possible international, interagency partner we can be."

Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted the similarities between what's happening at SouthCom and AfriCom during his late-June visit to the AfriCom headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Looking out at the audience during a town hall meeting, he called the new command's interagency makeup and the expansive capability it will bring a sign of things to come.

"I think you, in many ways, represent the face of the future with respect to our combatant commands," Mullen told the group. "You may be leading what we are doing in our government."

As they carry that charge, both SouthCom and AfriCom are breaking the mold for the way U.S. combatant commands have operated since passage of the National Security Act in 1947.

"The United States needs organizing structures that are custom-made for the age we live in, not where we have come from," said
Army Lt. Col. Bryan Sparling, Stravridis' special assistant for long-range planning. "We in the federal government need to be organized so we can build and put together solutions to 21st-century security challenges, because they are not the same challenges we had in the 20th century."

Stavridis described the "enormous challenges" facing Central and South America during his mid-March testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. Without large-scale conventional wars looming on the horizon, the bigger regional challenges are poverty, drugs, the risk of regional
terrorism and the beginnings of Islamic radical terrorism, he told the committee.

Like a long line of commanders before him, Stavridis recognized that traditional Cold War-era ways of operating didn't fit in SouthCom's area of focus, which includes all of Latin America and parts of the Caribbean. "Previous SouthCom commanders have recognized we need to fundamentally change how we do business around here," Sparling said.

Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, who preceded Stavridis as SouthCom commander, put together a tiger team in early 2006 to evaluate the command's organization, internal processes and strategy in light of its mission. "Our philosophy from the beginning was to say, 'This is about rethinking SouthCom and rethinking what a combatant command is,'" Sparling said.

Stavridis embraced many of the teams' conclusions and recommendations when he took command in October 2006, fine-tuning them with his staff before taking them to Gates for approval, Sparling said.

Gates gave the plan the green light, putting SouthCom's reorganization on his list of 25 transformation priorities for the Defense Department. SouthCom shares a single bullet on the list alongside AfriCom, with both commands to be structured as interagency operations by Oct. 1.

"So we are first cousins with AfriCom, no doubt about it," Sparling said. "The end state we and AfriCom are aiming for is really the same end state, philosophically."

Stavridis said he communicates regularly with
Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, the AfriCom commander, and Navy Vice Adm. Robert T. Moeller, Ward's deputy commander for military operations and a close personal friend, to share ideas about their ongoing efforts. "Our staffs are talking constantly, and we are indeed sharing lessons back and forth," he said.

He compared AfriCom's Africa Partnership Station initiative in the Gulf of Guinea, which provides maritime training to African volunteers, to a similar effort USNS Grasp is conducting in the Caribbean. "We are trying to do some very similar things, and it all goes back to partnership," he said.

Both commands have adopted a command structure with two deputies reporting to the commander – one focused on
military operations and one on civil-military activities. At AfriCom, Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates is the civilian deputy and Moeller is the military deputy. Their counterparts at SouthCom are Air Force Lt. Gen. Glenn F. Spears, military deputy to the commander, and Ambassador Paul A. Trivelli, civilian deputy to the commander and foreign policy advisor, who came on board earlier this week.

In addition, interagency staff members are spread throughout both commands, where they bring skills and expertise needed to elevate stability operations and prosperity-generating activities to the same level as security activities. The plan, Sparling said, is to increase interagency billets within the command by about 50 percent, to about 60.

While SouthCom and AfriCom are focused in the same direction, they're approaching their reorganization and standup, respectively, in ways tailored to their unique circumstances.

"We have the same end state, but our paths to get there are very different," Sparling said. "AfriCom was a top-down initiative that started with a presidential directive. Ours was a grassroots, bottom-up effort. It started down here, where we did some things internally, studied it, then ultimately, the commander took it forward."

As a result, "AfriCom has an initiation challenge, and we have a transformation challenge," Sparling said. "I won't say that one is easier or harder than the other. They are just different."

SouthCom approached its reorganization with a proven model of interagency cooperation in its Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West, Fla. The task force, which has overseen air and maritime counterdrug missions in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and eastern Pacific for almost two decades, has become a model of interagency success.

In addition to the Defense Department, the
Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency, Customs and Border Protection, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency bring their unique capabilities to the task force.

The task force's success – exemplified by last year's interdiction of more than 200 metric tons of cocaine – didn't happen overnight and came through learning what worked and what didn't, Sparling said.

"You need to have all these folks working together and cooperating. You have to build a coalition of the willing," he explained. "And that's the way they work today. It is truly remarkable."

The task force has "without a doubt, been our model" for the SouthCom transformation, Sparling said.

To take that model commandwide, SouthCom started by breaking its mission down to three priorities: ensuring regional security, enhancing regional stability and enabling partnering.

"Our focus has broadened to maintaining security, building and increasing stability and setting the conditions for prosperity in the region," Sparling said.

The next step was to replace the old J-coded staff structure – another constraint better suited to large troop movements than current operations in the region – and realign SouthCom into what Sparling called a "strategy-focused organization."

The headquarters now operates with six directorates – three mission directorates in line with the command's three long-term goals, and three functional directorates that support them.

The changeover to this new organizational structure began in February, with most of the internal shuffling of people finished by late May.

"We're in the refinement phase right now, and will call our provisional reorganization complete by the end of the fiscal year," Sparling said. "That's an important milestone."

While the reorganization provides a framework better suited to SouthCom's operations, Sparling said, a true transformation ultimately boils down to the people involved. "Yes, we believe the new structures will better enable us to work together in new ways to address the security challenges we have," he said.

But another benefit, he said, is that the reorganization forces people to rethink their individual roles in the overall organization.

The people at SouthCom have become key to the command's transformation, Sparling said. He described the close interagency cooperation they are demonstrating, along with increased engagement with nongovernmental organizations, private-sector groups and others who share the same goals, as the "mass of the iceberg below the waterline" that will ensure the command's long-term effectiveness.

Stavridis said he'll leave it to others to determine if what works in SouthCom will work in other geographic commands.

"My job is to try to build an organization that is appropriate for the world to the south," he said. "I think we have done that, and I think we will continue to work very hard doing that, and I'll let others draw appropriate lessons."

Meanwhile, he said, he's impressed with the broad support the command has received from interagency partners, Congress and others who are watching and participating in the transformation. "It's going very well," he said. "We are working very hard to make sure we answer everyone's questions and do everything within the boundaries of policy and law, and do it with full transparency."

"The bottom line is that what we are doing here makes sense," Sparling said. "We want to be a shaper of ideas, helping build partnerships between actors that don't traditionally work together, all focused on a common purpose.

"Ultimately," he said, "that's what will give us the ability to develop security solutions that will be effective in our new contemporary operating environment."

America Supports You: Mayor Asks Counterparts to Support Guard, Reserve

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - The mayor of Anchorage,
Alaska, has asked his fellow mayors around the nation to publicly declare their support for their military employees. "Today, more than ever, we must do everything we can to support our employees who are also serving our nation through the Guard and reserve," Mayor Mark Begich said. "It is incumbent on every employer to give all the support possible to these brave servicemen and women.

"That's why I have reached out to my fellow mayors and asked them to join me in signing an [Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve] Statement of Support," he added.

ESGR, a Defense Department organization, works to promote understanding between employers and their
military employees. It provides volunteers who offer mediation and education services to employers, Guard and reserve members and their families regarding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

"When mayors sign a Statement of Support, they recognize National Guard and reserve as essential to the strength of our nation and the well-being of their communities," Begich said in his letter to more than 1,300 members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

A statement of support pledges to:

-- Fully recognize, honor and enforce USERRA;

-- Provide managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves; and

-- Continually recognize and support the country's servicemembers and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

The Anchorage mayor also heads the Conference of Mayors'
military and Community Relations Task Force. Through this task force, he hopes some of Anchorage's best practices can assist other mayors in improving their respective cities' interactions with the military, said C.W. Floyd, Begich's military and veterans liaison.

Begich has long understood the importance of his
military employees, Floyd said. In fact, more than 12,000 servicemembers stationed in Anchorage have recognized the city as a "benchmark city" for its support of their missions, he said.

"Mayor Begich realizes the integral role the Guard and reserve plays in our nation's defense. That has never been clearer than during the current global conflicts," Floyd said. "These servicemen and women cannot effectively carry out their military role if they're worried that they will lose their civilian job as a result of their service.

"Employers must do everything possible to eliminate this concern," he added.

Anchorage has about 70 to 75 employees that have been deployed, many for extended periods of time, Floyd said.

"The loss of a valued employee is always a concern, even on a temporary basis," he explained. "Overall, the impact has been minimal, but the mayor is committed to doing whatever we have to during this difficult time."

Anchorage's efforts aren't lost on ESGR, said Jim Rebholz, its national chairman, who acknowledged that often the city employees who are activated to
military duty are first responders.

"The courage it took for him and the it took for him, to stand up in front of his organization and say, 'This is the right thing to do,' really makes that guy twice the patriot in my view," Rebholz said. "As much as it seems like a challenge to some of us who are outside of governance I think ... the [positive] response should be overwhelming."

The effects of this challenge promise to be long-lasting and far-reaching, Rebholz said. He predicted a ripple effect that starts with mayors and works its way through other employers throughout the cities.

"This is the right thing to do, and it's the right time to do it," Rebholz said. "Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and reserve units."

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

Despite Movement, Russia Falls Short of Cease-Fire Mandates

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2008 - Though "significant Russian movements" have taken place in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Russia still is not living up to the terms of the cease-fire agreement, a senior Defense Department official said here today. "There is still a sizeable Russian presence in Georgia. ... They've established some self-declared security zones, observation posts and checkpoints and the like," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a meeting with reporters. "All are a reflection that they are not living up to the agreement."

The mission of the U.S.
military in the country now is to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Georgia, Whitman said, with the U.S. training mission to the Caucasus republic in abeyance for the time being.

The
Navy's USS McFaul is still off-loading humanitarian supplies at the Georgian port of Batumi, and five more airlift missions flew into the country yesterday. The Coast Guard Cutter Dallas is in the Black Sea, and is approaching Georgia with a cargo hold full of humanitarian supplies. Officials expect the ship to dock in the next 24 hours.

The total number of humanitarian flights in to Georgia is now at 53. With the latest C-17 Globemaster III delivery, the Georgians have received more than 300,000 humanitarian daily rations. Other supplies include bedding, sleeping bags, tents, medical supplies and other humanitarian items.

The United States has made it "very clear to the Russians what the purpose of the U.S.
military is [in Georgia], and we are not anticipating any problems with our ability to deliver humanitarian assistance," Whitman said.

Whitman said he expects that some U.S.
military personnel will be monitors for the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe as the group sets up its oversight of humanitarian operations. OSCE officials said that the group will draw about 100 servicemembers from its 55 member nations for the mission.