Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Military Spouse of the Year Award Now Accepting Nominations

Nominate an Outstanding Military Spouse to Be 2009 Honoree

PITTSBURGH, August 18, 2008 –
Military Spouse magazine (MSM) today announced that it is now accepting nominations for its 2009 Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) award, sponsored by USAA. The MSOY honoree represents the millions of military spouses who are unsung heroes maintaining the homefront, giving back selflessly to their communities, and providing support to our nation’s troops. Often, these spouses also have full-time jobs and raise families.

In recognition of their countless contributions, MSM will honor one exemplary military spouse from each service branch and also select one overall winner. The 2009 MSOY will be announced and honored nationally in the June issue of Military Spouse magazine and at the second annual MSOY Awards Ceremony to be held during the week of May 4, 2009 in Washington, DC, in conjunction with National
Military Spouse Appreciation Week. The winner will make additional public appearances, write a monthly column to appear in Military Spouse magazine, and maintain a blog during his/her reign, which will last through May 2010.

MSM and its readers will select the winner based on his/her inspirational representation of all military spouses. Nominees must be the spouse of a current member of the U.S. armed forces. Criteria for selecting the recipient include: impact on community change, volunteerism, personal sacrifice, education and career pursuits and other military spouse-related efforts. Last year’s award generated hundreds of nominations from across the country, culminating in the selection of Army wife Chelle Brewer as MSOY 2008 (

MSM encourages individuals to submit a nomination for either themselves or an eligible nominee of their choice. To submit a nomination, individuals must complete the nomination form online at The nomination period runs from today through October 8, 2008. Judges will review all submissions and select ten finalists from each military service branch, after which readers will select one branch winner. Judges include a hand-selected portion of MSM’s “Who’s Who of Military Spouses,” a list of influential military spouses.
“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, Military Spouse magazine co-founder and executive editor.

“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 CEO 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.”

About Military Spouse
Military Spouse magazine and, published by Victoria Media, is the leading national magazine and online destination for the nation's 1.1 million current and 20 million former military spouses. The company also publishes G.I. Jobs magazine ( and Vetrepreneur magazine ( For more information, please visit

About USAA
USAA, a diversified financial services group of companies, is the leading provider of financial planning, insurance, investments, and banking products to members of the U.S. military and their families. Named by BusinessWeek as No. 1 Customer Service Champ in 2007 and 2008, USAA provides highly competitive financial products to its 6.4 million members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit

Servicemembers to Follow Long Absentee Voting Tradition

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2008 - A pen-and-ink drawing in the Oct. 29, 1864, issue of Harper's Weekly portrayed a long line of Pennsylvania soldiers outside their A-framed tents, each awaiting his turn to vote in the 1864 presidential election. Artist William Waud's rendering captured the high interest in the high-stakes election that pitted incumbent President Abraham Lincoln against
Army Gen. George B. McClellan, former commander of the Army of the Potomac.

It was the first national election any nation had ever conducted in the midst of a
Civil War.

In the coming weeks, U.S. servicemembers around the world, many in combat zones far from their home states, will have the opportunity to help elect their next commander in chief. They'll be exercising a right the United States has endeavored to extend to them throughout its history – in war as well as peacetime, and regardless of where they're stationed or deployed around the world.

Polly Brunelli, director of the Defense Department's Federal Voting Assistance Program, expressed hope they'll take advantage of the opportunity during the second presidential election since the war on terror started in 2001.

"We have
military members spreading democracy all over the world, and it's important that they themselves participate in the process," she said. "They are electing our policymakers, whose work has a direct impact on these individuals' lives and their family lives. So it is important that their interests are represented."

A random survey after the 2004 election showed 73 percent of the military and 77 percent of federal employees overseas voted, Brunelli said. Those numbers reflected a jump from the 2000 election, in which 57 percent of the military and 55 percent of federal employees overseas voted.

All indicators point to this trend continuing in 2008, she said, when elections will determine who will take the presidency, 35 U.S. senate and 435 U.S. representative seats, as well as 13 state governor posts.

Solid participation in the presidential primaries, a surge in activity on the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site and extensive outreach by legions of voting assistance officers throughout the
military sets the stage for high voter participation among soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and their families, Brunelli said.

That's despite the vast challenges inherent in extending the vote to servicemembers serving around the globe, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Our men and women are deployed to combat zones. They're in disaster areas. They're also serving aboard surface vessels and submarines, as well as in remote areas where mail delivery is unpredictable," Brunelli said. "So this sometimes makes absentee voting particularly challenging."

It's not a new challenge for the

Absentee voting actually predates the United States, and some of the original 13 colonies made provisions for voters who couldn't get to the polls on Election Day – as long as those voters were white male property owners.

But the first major development in expanding absentee voter rights didn't occur until the
Civil War, Brunelli explained. Mass conscription forced both Union and Confederate states to consider ways for their many electors away from home to vote.

When the war started, just one state allowed soldiers to vote outside their election districts. But in the run-up to the 1864 election, 25 states enacted legislation allowing absentee voting, historical documents show. A soldier could vote in the field, as depicted in the Harper's Weekly artwork, or by proxy, sending his marked ballot to someone in his home voting district to cast on Election Day.

Absentee voting during the
Civil War wasn't without incident. Army Pvt. William James Smith, a member of the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, recalled breaking away from his unit to vote in a village somewhere between Winchester, Va., and Hagerstown, Md.

"I went to the polls with two comrades, one of whom was killed and the other badly wounded within 20 minutes after we cast our votes for Abraham Lincoln," he wrote sometime after the shift-key model typewriter was introduced in 1878.

After the war, many of the state absentee laws lapsed, to be revived only in brief spurts during the
Spanish American War and World War I.

It wasn't until 80 years after the
Civil War -- when some 5 million U.S. troops were fighting in Europe and the Pacific during World War II and the 1944 presidential election loomed -- that the United States launched a concerted effort to ensure its deployed troops could vote.

The Soldier Voting Act of 1942 represented the first legislation guaranteeing
military members a vote in presidential and congressional elections during wartime, even when away from their homes of record, Brunelli said. It extended that right regardless of registration and poll tax requirements, as long as the voter met state qualifications.

The law directed the states to adopt specific absentee voting procedures and provided for a federal post card application for an absentee ballot, along with free postage for balloting materials.

But because the law wasn't enacted until Sept. 16, 1944, it had little impact on the November 1944 election, Brunelli said. Shortly after passing the law, Congress amended it to provide a Federal War Ballot for use by voters who, despite applying for an absentee ballot within the deadline, didn't receive a state ballot 30 days before the election. Use of the federal ballot was conditional on each state's acceptance.

Seven years later, President Harry S. Truman was concerned that the law hadn't gone far enough. He asked the American Political Science Association to study the
military voting problem and come up with recommendations. With the United States in the midst of the Korean War and the 1952 presidential election just around the corner, Truman – who didn't run for re-election -- endorsed the association's findings and took the case to Congress.

"About 2,500,000 men and women in the armed forces are of voting age at the present time. Many of those in uniform are serving overseas, or in parts of the country distant from their homes. They are unable to return to their states either to register or to vote," Truman noted in a letter to Congress. "Yet these men and women, who are serving their country and in many cases risking their lives, deserve above all others to exercise the right to vote in this election year. At a time when these young people are defending our country and its free institutions, the least we at home can do is to make sure that they are able to enjoy the rights they are being asked to fight to preserve."

Congress passed the Federal Voting Assistance Act in 1955 to allow and assist
military members, federal employees overseas and other U.S. citizens associated with the military to vote when away from their voting residences.

More than two decades later, Congress passed another law expanding absentee voting rights to other U.S. citizens living overseas.

The two laws were merged in 1986 into the Uniformed Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. This law, administered by the Defense Department, ensures
military members and their families, as well as U.S. citizens living outside the United States, have the right to register and vote in federal elections.

The law also provides for the Federal Write-In Absence Ballot, a back-up ballot to be used when a state ballot doesn't arrive on time, as long as the voter applied for it before the deadline. This ballot is available at U.S.
military bases and embassies worldwide, as well as on the Federal Voting Assistance Program Web site.

As director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program, Brunelli said, she's seen big improvements in the department's ability to reach out to servicemembers and their families to encourage them to vote.

"We've made a tremendous effort to train and equip the voting assistance officers," who number in the "tens of thousands" and serve across the services, from the installation to the unit level, she said.

Working hand in hand with the military, but also with embassy and consulate staffs and overseas citizens groups, these voting assistance offers are getting the word out about how to vote.

Technology, particularly the Internet, has helped this effort immensely, Brunelli said. The recently redesigned Federal Voting Assistance Web Site provides detailed information about overseas voting procedures and materials, including instructions for obtaining and using the Federal Post Card Application and for using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot.

The site also provides online voter registration for residents of states that accept the procedure. Citizens of participating states can register online and receive a ballot. However, they still must meet all registration deadlines and return their completed ballot by "snail mail," officials said

For voters without Internet access, 51 states and territories accept the federal postcard application by fax, as long as the voter also mails in the original form, Brunelli said. Thirty-eight states will fax out a blank ballot, and 26 allow voters to return their completed ballot by fax.

"So if a voter has no other way to vote, and the state has a mechanism in place, then the voter can choose whether he or she wants to use that mechanism," Brunelli said.

With the clock ticking toward the cut-off for voter registration – 45 days before the election – voting assistance officials are encouraging servicemembers and their families overseas to act quickly.

Air Force Capt. Gretchen Haywood, voting assistance officer at Aviano Air Base in Italy, has been busy trying to reach more than 3,200 active-duty members and more than 2,300 civilians at the base who are eligible to vote.

"It's important for all Americans to exercise their right to vote in order to play a part in our democratic system and have their voices heard," she said in an interview with the base newspaper. "After all, how many professions do you know of that are able to vote for their next leader? As members of the armed forces we are essentially electing our next commander -- our commander in chief."

Everyone in the
military has an opinion on issues ranging from pay to health-care benefits to the U.S. role in the global war on terror, she said. "Voting is our chance to have our voices heard on issues important to us," she said.

Ron Holland, voting assistance officer at U.S.
Army Garrison Schinnen in the Netherlands, emphasizes to the servicemembers he meets with that every vote counts.

"Don't forget that absentee ballots played a significant role in past elections," he said. "If you don't vote, then you're allowing others to make decisions without any input from you."

Brunelli said she'd like to see more Web-based tools offered in the future to make voting more convenient and more accessible for servicemembers and their families overseas.

"What we are doing and continue to do is provide opportunities for these members to vote and to get them access," she said. "We don't force them to vote. It's their choice to vote, but we want to make sure they have all the means possible at their disposal."

Army Researchers Study Effects of High Altitude on Soldiers

By Sarah Maxwell
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2008 - Looming in the distant skyline here, Pike's Peak is one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations, hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors on its 14,110-foot summit each year. What most vacationers don't know as they peer across the serene landscape is that just a few hundred feet away, researchers from the U.S.
Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine are sharing the summit to advance military medicine.

For years, research physiologists from the U.S.
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's USARIEM and research volunteers have spent their summers above the tree line to study ways of improving servicemembers' capabilities in high-altitude environments at the Maher Memorial Altitude Laboratory.

Army is very interested in any means to accelerate acclimatization," said USAREIM research physiologist Dr. Allen Cymerman. "We're obligated to have our troops knowledgeable and experienced in how to handle their environments."

Although the lab has been home to physiological research since it was placed on the peak in the late 1960s, altitude sickness studies became even more relevant when troops were deployed to the mountains in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The
Army sometimes moved faster than the soldiers' bodies could keep up. Most people need time to acclimate to the lower levels of oxygen in the air the higher they go, or they run the risk of developing acute mountain sickness or even more severe health issues, said USARIEM research physiologist Dr. Steve Muza, who has spent the last few summers on Pike's Peak.

"We scoop them up on helicopters, drop them off in the mountains, and they can become susceptible to problems," Muza said. "Our goal is to understand how the lack of oxygen affects soldiers biologically and physiologically, and then take the information to mitigate or reduce them getting sick."

The effects of AMS run from minor annoyances of light-headiness and a treatable headache to severe nausea. Cymerman said about 75 percent of people who venture above 8,000 feet without taking a few days to let their bodies adjust along the way will get some form of AMS. Fewer than 10 percent of people will react even more strongly, with life-threatening illnesses.

"Everyone has the same basic physiology," Cymerman said. "But some people can just adapt faster for unknown reasons."

Some of the medical breakthroughs from previous research on Pike's Peak have led to the Federal Drug Administration's only approved altitude sickness prevention medicine, and to better understanding of nutrition and hydration effects and other usable information for soldiers in the field.

"For instance, we demonstrated that we can improve performance by 25 percent by eating more carbohydrates," said Muza. "We're now in the process of developing carbohydrates supplement packages."

This year's research focused on determining the effects of hypoxic chambers in preparing for the altitude. World-class athletes use the low-oxygen chambers to help condition their bodies, and 20 soldiers and three civilians volunteered to sleep in them for seven days at USAREIM headquarters in Natick, Mass. They then were flown up to
Colorado for a five-day stay on Pike's Peak to see if the chambers, which gave them the equivalent of acclimatization to 8,000-foot altitude, actually improved their performance and adjustment to the altitude.

Adapting faster may have been on the mind of
Army Pvt. Scott Caine, a soldier who had a choice of studies in which he could be involved. Obviously not feeling well on his second day at Pike's Peak with a pale, greenish hue to his skin, he explained why he volunteered for something he was warned would make him sick, if only for a short time.

"This is one of the main studies I wanted to do," Caine said. "I'm heading to the 10th Mountain Division, which is deployed right now. If they can alleviate some of these problems before I get there, it would be great."

Caine and the other volunteers were tested both at Natick and on Pike's Peak for how sick they became, what kind of physical work performance they had, their mental performance and their physiological response to the altitude. Under the watchful eye of a doctor, researchers and other medical professionals, the volunteers usually adapted to the environment after a few days.

With peoples' lives involved, the researchers can't take their responsibility to the volunteers lightly, said Cymerman. Every year the scientists have to get the projected research approved by an Institutional Review Board and an approving official -- a three-month review process -- to ensure the volunteers are at minimal health risk.

"Although we are in a natural environment, it's not normal to take a soldier and very rapidly place him at more than 14,000 feet," he said. "If [someone] wants out of the study, we take him out. We make sure volunteers are protected."

While the USAREIM researchers protect their volunteers, Caine said, he was thinking about how his participation with the project was going to protect other soldiers.

"This is great to be a part of," he said between physical endurance tests. "A little bit of discomfort is OK, because the help we're giving to the soldiers outweighs anything I'm feeling right now."

(Sarah Maxwell works at the U.S.
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Public Affairs Office.)

Russia-Georgia Rift Prompts Questions About NATO's Future Role

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2008 - Russia's attack on Georgia, the first invasion orchestrated by Moscow since the end of the Soviet Union, raises questions about NATO's future role in the region, defense officials said. "We have heretofore, since NATO began to enlarge in the '90s, operated in an environment where the presumption was that Russia was a partner for NATO, not an adversary," Eric S. Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, said last week . "Unfortunately, Russia's behavior in the last month has now called that into question. And that's going to have to be reassessed," he said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

In the wake of Georgia's five-day war with Russia, the Defense Department has deployed a team to Georgia to assess the Georgian
military's organization, training, materiel and others aspects. A Pentagon official said yesterday that the government in Georgian capital city of Tbilisi requested the U.S. team, which began deploying over the past weekend and will comprise 15 core personnel.

"[The assessment team will] help us begin to consider carefully Georgia's legitimate needs and our response," Edelman told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 9.

As the U.S. response materializes, NATO is undergoing a self-assessment that centers on a related structural question: Should former Soviet states like Georgia come under the alliance's protective umbrella? Prior to Moscow's invasion of its southern neighbor, NATO's answer was hopeful, but fell short of offering a membership action plan, or MAP, which serves as a precursor to outright membership.

During NATO's summit in March, the
military and political alliance voiced optimism that it could eventually green-light MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine. As Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, the discussion took the possibility of MAPs "out of the realm of 'whether' and put it into the realm of 'when,' with a clear implication that 'when' is sooner, rather than later."

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer today said that the organization will continue to enlarge, though he gave no timeline for when Georgia would be placed on a MAP. Scheffer is on a two-day tour of Georgia.

"The process of NATO enlargement will continue, with due caution, but also with a clear purpose," he told students at Tbilisi State University, adding that no other country will have a veto over that process. "And while the events of last month may have been a setback, the road to NATO is still wide open for Georgia."

One stipulation of the membership plan is that aspiring states resolve their ethnic conflicts, which NATO cited as a principle challenge facing Georgia.

"We are concerned with the persistence of regional conflicts in the South Caucasus," read the declaration issued after the summit in Bucharest, Romania, in which NATO voiced support for the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Georgia, and its efforts toward a peaceful settlement.

NATO's concern about regional conflicts became a reality Aug. 8, when hundreds of Russian tanks and vehicles, and thousands of combat troops entered the Georgian province of South Ossetia, a heavily pro-Moscow enclave that proved the flashpoint in the standoff. Though Moscow escalated the level of aggression, Edelman said, Georgia was hardly inculpable in the run-up to the conflict, firing artillery and rockets at South Ossetian urban centers and nearby Russian peacekeepers in early August.

He told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that the United States does not condone Georgia's "lamentable" actions. Russia's response, nonetheless, was "disproportionate," he said, with dozens of planes conducting air and missile strikes into areas controlled by Tbilisi hours after Georgia's move into the province.

Russian forces remain in Georgia in defiance of a cease-fire deal reached Aug. 13, and the Kremlin further roiled the international community late last month when it recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia's other pro-Moscow region, as independent states.

Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, appearing with Edelman before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, said NATO membership can be a "strikingly effective mechanism for resolving disputes between nations."

"And we saw in the process of NATO's enlargement to Central Europe and Eastern Europe in the '90s that disputes that had plagued these countries in the past tended to vanish or become greatly attenuated as part of the NATO enlargement process," he said. "So as a result of NATO enlargement, we saw a Europe whole, free and at peace coming into being instead of a return to national conflicts."

But Fried urged caution as NATO continues to look at enlarging eastward, underscoring the sensitivity of the debate about extending the alliance to include Georgia.

"NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine is not on the immediate agenda," Fried said, adding that putting the countries on MAPs is an immediate interest. "It is a program under which countries can prepare and get themselves ready for membership, a process which usually takes a number of years."

Edelman interpreted Russia's actions in the region since the March NATO summit as, in part, intending to drive wedges between NATO and the Caucus countries of Georgia and Ukraine.

"It's tried ... to drive wedges between the newer and older members of the alliance, tried to drive wedges between the United States and NATO and the [European Union]," Edelman added. "It seems to me that our large, strategic interest is to make sure that that does not happen."

Edelman also suggested that Russia might not have invaded Georgia had it been a member to the
military alliance. Such aggression would have invoked NATO's Article 5 principle, under which an attack against one is an attack against all.

But Edelman tempered his conjecture, reflecting the caution with which the discussion of Georgian membership in NATO is unfolding.

"I think it's arguable that had Georgia been a member of the alliance, perhaps Russia would have acted differently in the light of the Article 5 guarantee," he said in last week's congressional hearing.

"That's a hypothetical," he added. "We don't know."

MILITARY CONTRACTS September 16, 2008


BAE Systems/Ordnance Systems Inc, Kingsport, Tenn., was awarded on Sept.15, 2008, a $33,231,000 fixed price contract to support various modernization projects at Holston
Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Kingsport, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the web and two bids were received. U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-98-E-0006).

Mil Mar Century Corp, Miamisburg
Ohio, was awarded on Sept. 15, 2008, a $27,489,878 firm fixed price contract for a 470 Hippo Water System. Work will be performed in Miamisburg, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-D-0165).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on Sept. 12, 2008, a $18,250,790 four year firm fixed price contract for the reset of vehicles, including forty one M1074PLS, sixteen M1075 PLS with 2nd Fuel tanks, and missing parts for 57 reset vehicles. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisc., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 23, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W586HZV-04-D-0322).

General Dynamics, Marion, Ill., was awarded on Sept.15, 2008, a $9,210,836 firm fixed price contract for 81mm M1220 propelling charges (quantity: 1,299,864). Work will be performed in Marion, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2010. Six bids were solicited and six bids were received. Joint Munitions & Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, is the contracting activity (W15KN-05-C-1167).

Lapeer Industries Inc, Lapeer, Mich., was awarded on Sept. 12, 2008, a $8,092,216 firm fixed price contract. The purpose of this modification P00004 is to contract W56HZV-07-C-07047 is to purchase 197 armor ready modification kits and provide transportation cost for the kits. Work will be performed in Lapeer, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. US
Army TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0747).

CSI Armstrong Inc,
Miami, Fla., was awarded on Sept. 14, 2008, $7, 358,250 firm fixed price contract. This requirement is for parts necessary to perform maintenance on non-mission capable armored personnel carriers within the Iraq Security Forces. Work will be performed in Miami, Fla., Chula Vista, Calif., Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with an estimated completion date of June, 9, 2009. Bids were solicited Posted via the FedBizOps and twenty bids were received. Joint Contracting Command, Iraq/Afghanistan, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GY0-08-M-0384).

CAS Inc,
Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on Sept. 15, 2008, a $5,623,538 cost plus firm fixed price contract for mission and sustainment support for the Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment Product Office. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Jun. 2,, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Contracting and Acquisition Management Office is the contracting activity (W9113M-05-C-0134).


General Electric Co., Cincinnati,
Ohio is being awarded a maximum $26,013,177 firm fixed price, sole source contract for aircraft engine parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contracting activity is Defense Distribution Center Okla., Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. (FA8104-05-G-0003-UN06).


Raytheon Co.,
El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $15,795,680 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-06-C-0310) for non-recurring engineering required to incorporate F/A-18E/F ATFLIR Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) 0035, entitled "EO Daylight Operations – Step 1". ATFLIR ECP 0035 Step 1 modifies the ATFLIRs but does not incorporate them into F/A-18s at this point. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (60 percent) and McKinney, Texas, (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $965,947 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Protective Products International,
Sunrise, Fla., is being awarded a $15,632,161 delivery order #0004 under firm fixed price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract (M67854-07-D-3065) for Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) consumable spare and repair parts to sustain currently fielded MTVs. Work will be performed in Granite Falls, N.C. (60 percent) and in Sunrise, Fla. (40 percent), and work is expected to be completed Nov. 30, 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $15,632,161 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a sole source award. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co.,
El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded an $11,621,821 delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-06-G-0008) for non-recurring engineering and recurring engineering required to incorporate ATFLIR Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) 0038, entitled "Stray Light" into the F/A-18E/F aircraft. ATFLIR ECP 0038 will be incorporated into the production of ATFLIR, as well as retrofit existing ATFLIR Pods currently on F/A-18E/F. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., (60 percent) and McKinney, Texas, (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $11,621,821 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $9,226,503 firm fixed price/cost plus fixed fee contract for the Standard Missile II depot-level maintenance facility tasks. This contract provides for the repair and maintenance of, or preparation, upgrade and installation of guidance and autopilot sections of the Standard Missile 2. In addition, the contract provides for maintenance of the missile tracking data base and performance of special maintenance tasks as authorized by Technical Instructions. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $73,893,041. This contract combines purchases for the U.S.
Navy, (59.8 percent) and the governments of Australia, (2.3 percent), Canada, (10.0 percent), Germany, (2.3 percent), Japan, (14.0 percent), The Netherlands, (2.3 percent), Spain, (2.3 percent), South Korea, (2.3 percent), and Taiwan, (4.7 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $6,434,087 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-08-C-5377).

Cascade General, Inc.*, Portland, Ore., is being awarded a $6,617,366 firm fixed price contract for a regular overhaul of
Military Sealift Command ammunition ship USNS Flint (T-AE 32). The ship's primary mission is to provide ammunition and stores to U.S. Navy ships at sea. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $9,167,628. Work will be performed in Portland, Ore., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, 2008. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was solicited as a small business set-aside, with two offers received. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, a field activity of Military Sealift Command, is the contracting activity (N40442-08-C-2003).

RQ Construction, Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., is being awarded $6,440,000 for firm fixed price task order #0004 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-06-D-1060) for repair and renovation of an existing 3-story Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ), Building 33531 at
Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. Work shall also be required in the existing mechanical boiler room in adjacent Building 33532. Work will be performed in Oceanside, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Tetra Tech, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $6,012,221 for cost plus award fee price task order #KR03 under a previously awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for non-time critical removal action for munitions clearance at
Navy/DRI Site (former Lowry Training Annex). The work to be performed provides for all the necessary work to perform efforts necessary to plan, document and execute. Work will be performed in Aurora, Colo., and is expected to be completed by Feb. 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity (N62473-07-D-3211).

Air Force

Terma North America Inc. of Warner Robins, Ga., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $12,309,896. This requirement is for the foreign
Military sales of the ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System for the countries of Belgium and Norway. This Electronic Warfare system will be used on the F-16 Aircraft. At this time all funds have been obligated. WR-AL C/542 CBSG/PKT, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8523-08-C-0014).

Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with Honeywell International Incorporated of Clearwater, Fla., for $7,675,180. This action will provide research and development for "Strategic Resonating Beam Accelerometer." Add within scope work to the Advanced Ballistic Missile Technologies Program. At this time no funds have been obligated. Det8 AFRL/RVKV is the contracting activity (FA9453-06-C-0241, P00020.

Face of Defense: Guatemala Mission Gives Airman New Perspective

By Air Force Capt. Al Bosco
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2008 - The
California Air National Guard's 163rd Medical Group brought much-needed relief to thousands of Guatemalan citizens during a recent medical readiness training exercise mission, but for one airman, the humanitarian effort meant more than just helping people. It was a walk down memory lane. Born in Santa Rosa, Guatemala, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shirley Morales, a force development technician with the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing, lived near many of the poverty-stricken communities the group visited during the mission. In 1992, at the age of 13, Morales left Santa Rosa with her family to seek a better life and new opportunities in the United States.

In 1996, Morales was looking for more opportunities, so she joined the
Army and served on active duty for nine and a half years as a logistics specialist. In 2007, wanting to spend more time with her family, she found a new home in the 163rd RW – a move she said she never thought would bring her back to her roots.

"I was excited when I learned the medical group was going to Santa Rosa on a humanitarian mission and was asked to translate for the team while in-country," Morales said. "I haven't been back to Guatemala in three years, so I was especially thankful for the opportunity to help."

Attending local schools and running through the streets as a child, Morales said, she was aware of the communities' plight, but didn't really understand it. She said it was a surprise to see things differently from her new perspective.

"When I was growing up, I didn't really see or understand the needs of the communities and how much the people needed help," Morales said. "When we arrived to our first site, and I saw the hundreds of people lined up, though, I saw it very differently than ever before. The people in these communities are hard-working, and many traveled great distances to be seen by American doctors. It filled me with hope and happiness that we could be there to do something for them."

Throughout the mission, Morales did as much as she could to help the people she once lived among. In fact, aside from performing her duties assisting the team with planning and translation, she helped medical personnel in the women's health and general practice clinics.

And her efforts were applauded by the most important member of the community: her mother, Elizabeth, who said she is proud of her daughter and all she has accomplished.

"It was a big surprise to have [my daughter] come here, and I am proud of all she has done for the people here," the airman's mother said. "I know this is something big for her, to provide humanitarian assistance, because helping others has always been a big part of our family."

And although the visit was anything but a vacation, Morales said her time in her former homeland with the team was inspiring, and that she's looking forward to future opportunities to help other countries' citizens.

"The medical humanitarian mission is outstanding," Morales said. "The medical team is very dedicated to helping the people, and I'm thankful to be a part of the team and the
Air Force , because we're brining hope and relief to thousands of people who really need it."

Air Force Capt. Al Bosco serves with the California National Guard.)

America Supports You: Groups Plan Wounded Warrior Forum

By Sharon Foster
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 16, 2008 - The
Military Officers Association of America and the U.S. Naval Institute will host a one-day forum titled "Measuring Success: Keeping Faith with Wounded Warriors and Their Families" tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill here. Michigan U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, will start the day, which also is scheduled to include remarks from Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. James B. Peake.

"Our wounded warriors deserve the best care and support that we can muster, and the American people rightly insist on no less," Levin said in a statement issued by his office. "I am hopeful that this conference will aid in our efforts to ensure that the men and women of our armed forces are well cared for while they remain in
Military service, during the transition from the Military to the VA, and after this transition while in the care of the VA."

At the forum, key uniformed service and administration leaders, legislators, health care providers and wounded warriors and family members will join fellow concerned professionals to discuss subjects such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and the progress to date on various pilot projects to improve programs and support for wounded warriors.

The forum also will include panel discussions on key wounded warrior issues, and questions from the audience will be taken, organizers said.

MOAA officials said the symposium will assess a report card measuring progress in wounded warrior issues, highlighting problems encountered and assessing additional options to sustain momentum and achieve common objectives.

Online registration for the forum is closed. Attendees will need to register in person beginning at 8 a.m. tomorrow. The forum, including lunch, is free to active-duty
Military members. The cost is $20 for MOAA and USNI members, and $35 for nonmembers.