Military News

Friday, September 19, 2008

Defense Department Fights Binge Drinking Through 'That Guy' Campaign

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - Now in its third year, a campaign by the
Military Health Systems and the Tricare Military health plan continues the Defense Department's effort to reduce excessive and binge drinking among 18- to 24-year-olds serving in the armed forces. The 'That Guy' campaign has two goals: to reduce alcohol abuse and to raise awareness of the negative short-term social consequences of excessive drinking. It was developed in response to findings of the Defense Department's survey of health-related behaviors, Chuck Watkins, "That Guy" campaign program manager, said in a "Dot Mil Docs" radio program on BlogTalkRadio.com Sept. 16.

The "That Guy" campaign tells cautionary tales of excessive drinking and its consequences in a way to which young servicemembers can relate, Watkins explained.

Watkins, who has been involved for the past three years on the harm-reduction campaign, said its style is unlike that of other health-promotion campaigns.

Its use of edgy humor and peer-to-peer mentoring captures the essence of who "That Guy" is and ways to prevent abusing alcohol and becoming the subject of ridicule, he said.

"Most recently, the survey detected there has been an uptick in binge drinking among junior enlisted of about 2 percent, and now about 56 percent of junior enlisted said they have engaged in binge drinking at least once in the past month," Watkins said.

"'That Guy' is anyone who, after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol, loses their self control," he explained. "And, ... this frequently has humiliating or embarrassing results, and some of us may be older [than] 18 to 24 and have been 'That Guy' perhaps in our distant past."

DoD surveys have found that while men are more likely to engage in binge drinking, it can apply to anyone who, because of excessive drinking, "behaves in a manner where your friends just don't want to be around you or copy you," Watkins said.

Early data shows that attitudes are changing, he noted.

"That early data does indicate that attitudes ... toward excessive drinking have begun to shift in a positive direction," Watkins said.

Offering support, particularly for servicemembers who recently have returned from combat, is part of educating them on the negative health consequences of excessive drinking, he said. "Deployment is definitely a risk factor for disorders such as anxiety and binge drinking, and each of the four armed services have several programs that address these programs both through prevention and treatment," he added.

Small and large
Military installations around the world actively participate in the "That Guy" program. "We have nearly 150 installations that are involved that range from the giant installations to the smallest," Watkins said.

The campaign is based on social marketing research concerning changing behaviors, Watkins emphasized, and is not an abstinence campaign. He added that officials want people to think before they take their next drink and to avoid becoming "That Guy."

"The aim is to raise awareness, and ultimately change drinking behavior among the targeted audience," he said. "An example is while most people agree that drinking and driving is unacceptable, maybe they don't feel that same way about getting just totally wasted, as long as they don't harm anyone other than themselves. But what we are trying to do is point that out and promote peer disapproval about out-of-control behavior."

(
Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg serves in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

POW/MIA Command Keeps Nation's Promise to Troops, Families

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 18, 2008 - The remains of U.S.
Navy Seaman Apprentice Thomas Hembree have laid in the same grave in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii for more than six decades. Until six years ago, Hembree's body rested in a grave under a headstone that read "Unknown." He was a 17-year-old sailor from Kennewick, Wash., serving on the USS Curtiss in Pearl Harbor when he was killed in the Japanese attack there in 1941.

Eventually, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC, based in Hawaii, was able to identify Hembree's remains. His family chose to rebury him in the same place, still wrapped in the same simple, white U.S.
Navy blanket.

Only now his headstone reads, "Seaman Apprentice Thomas Hembree." Now his family knows where "Uncle Tommy" is.

"It's just an incredible thing, said Robert Mann, the deputy scientific director at the JPAC. "The family knows where he is now. It's the same resting spot, but now they know where he is."

Mann worked Hembree's case along with a host of others in the past 16 years. He is the longest-serving anthropologist at the lab and has gone on more than 40 missions in some of the most remote locations around the world. He's reviewed hundreds of case files and pieced thousands of bones together. For Mann, each case is personal.

"I remember every single one of them," Mann said. "When you hear a family say 'Tommy,' it's not Thomas Hembree any more. It's Tommy. It becomes very personal."

One of a handful of offices within the Department of Defense charged with recovering missing servicemembers, the JPAC is based in the U.S. Pacific Command and conducts 80 percent of its missions there. The command has 350
military and civilians on staff. Its research and recovery teams deploy on about 70 missions per year around the world and team members average more than 100 days per year away from home.

The JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory is the world's largest skeletal
forensic lab and is home to the largest concentration of forensic anthropologists in the world. There are 14 forensic anthropologists on permanent staff along with six archaeologists. They also have three forensic odontologists who review dental remains. It is the only skeletal laboratory accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, according to officials.

At the lab, the anthropologists work through the tedious task of piecing together the remains in hopes of working toward identifying recovered servicemembers. Some remains are severely degraded. Others come to the lab in boxes, mixed with other human remains, or even animal bones.

At the start of the identification process, each set of remains is laid on one of the lab's 23 tables. The bones are placed in anatomical order, on their backs, hands up and facing the U.S. flag.

Some of the tables have nearly complete skeletons, while others have only a few bones or a handful of teeth. As tedious as the job is, and as abstract as some sets of remains appear, Mann said the reality of whose remains they are handling always sets in.

"As you start piecing them together you always remember they are a person," Mann said. "It's always a very personal thing, because that's somebody's brother or somebody's father or somebody's sister."

The anthropologists sort through the bones, separating out pieces that are not human or those that may belong to another human. They chart out a biological profile, assessing the age at death, race, sex, stature, any injuries or trauma or unusual features.

During this stage, the anthropologists work blind, meaning they do not know who it is they are working to identify. This maintains the integrity of the process and keeps them from being biased toward making an identification.

Also at the lab, bone samples are taken and sent to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Lab in Rockville, Md.

The
forensic odontologists work alongside the anthropologists analyzing teeth. A key player in the process, teeth offer the best means of positive identifications when compared to individual dental records because of unique characteristics such as fillings, crowns, extractions and partial dentures.

Once the
forensic reports are complete, a comparison is made against the person they are trying to identify to see if the profile matches.

The JPAC is attempting to speed the time between the recovery and identification of remains by expanding its size. Congress has approved a $100 million, 140,000-square-foot facility that will triple its current lab size. Construction should begin in 2010. In the meantime, the
Navy has given the lab 20,000 square feet of temporary space so that it can work the identification of more remains simultaneously.

The JPAC lab identifies about two Americans per week and each case can take months or years to complete. Historians there work on as many as 800 cases at a time, piecing information together like a puzzle.

"The reality is we go as quickly as we can, knowing all along that we have to be accurate," Mann said. "Accuracy for what we do is 100 percent. It's got to be. You can't be a little accurate. You can't be almost accurate. To be accurate means you've nailed it. And to be 100-percent accurate, it takes time."

The biological profile is only a piece of the evidence that leads to identifying remains. Other factors include material evidence such as personal effects recovered at the site and DNA test results.

Mann acknowledged that the identification is a long and complicated process, but when families are notified, they can be assured they are getting the remains of their missing servicemember.

"When an identification is made and the remains go to the families, everybody here is absolutely certain that's who it is. There's no question anymore," Mann said.

The most emotional part of the process is when family members come to the lab to receive the remains, Mann said. A special room is prepared for them to view the remains and they often bring photos. Receiving the remains brings closure to many who have had a piece of their family missing for years.

"To have their remains come home is the way that they can really finalize it," Mann said. "We're all used to going to funerals. We're all used to going to the cemetery. And the end of that life is a funeral. I think it closes the loop in the entire circle of life."

Mann has been with the lab nearly 17 years and has stomped through jungles and climbed mountains searching for missing troops' remains.

As a kid, Mann wanted to be a race car driver or a rock-and-roll star. He dropped out of high school and earned his general equivalency degree while serving in the
Navy. Eventually, he left the Navy and went to college where somebody "turned me on to bones," he said.

His job as anthropologist at the JPAC is a dream-come-true, Mann said. It combines his love for bones, anthropology and a sense of greater purpose, he said.

"America has made a promise to servicemembers that if you go into harm's way and don't come back, somebody will come find you. Somebody will bring you back. That's a solemn commitment to those who serve and to the families," Mann said. "It's the American way."

U.S., Czechs Sign Ballistic Defense Treaties

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - The United States and the Czech Republic signed agreements today that will allow the United States to build a limited ballistic missile defense system to protect Europe from missiles fired from Iran or other rogue nations. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova signed the status of forces agreement that will allow basing of U.S. forces in the Czech Republic and a declaration on strategic defense cooperation between the two nations.

Gates is here for a NATO defense ministers meeting.

The Czech Republic will host a U.S.-built radar that will protect most of Europe from a limited ballistic missile attack. The radar – along with missiles based in Poland – will be able to shoot down a small number of missiles launched by rogue states.

"[The two agreements] will finalize the framework for stationing U.S. personnel in the Czech Republic in connection with the missile defense radar site," Gates said. "This is a culmination of a process that will draw our nations closer and will help protect Europe from limited missile attacks."

Gates praised the Czech Republic for taking the lead against future Euro-Atlantic threats and thanked the minister and her people for their support. He specifically thanked the Czech people for their sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The agreement ... will be a significant contribution to the security of own country, to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region and ... also a significant contribution to the Atlantic Alliance," Parkanova said through a translator. "It may seem that we have taken a lot of time to sign the two documents, ... but this is indicative and proof of one fact: that the negotiations were tough, but fair, and that both parties can carry through their collective requirements."

The radar site will be built in the Brdy
Military Training Area. A study U.S. experts will conduct in November will give a better idea when the facility will be finished. Under the agreement, no more than 250 American personnel can be based at the facility.

Gates spoke about the NATO meeting after the signing.

"This meeting was about transformation of the alliance," Gates said. "I think there was general agreement that the kinds of measures that we discussed and the actions the ministers have mandated are aimed at improving NATO's capabilities across the board. If we are able to follow through on the initiatives that we have discussed, NATO's ability to meet all its commitments will be significantly enhanced."

Gates also said the ministers discussed funding for doubling the size of the Afghan National
Army. "There was discussion of the expansion of the Afghan National Army and the added costs that will be involved," he said. "On the margins of the conference, I let a number of my colleagues know that we would be in touch in terms of sharing the cost."

Improving the capabilities of the Afghan
army is NATO's long-term exit strategy from Afghanistan.

"Good governance, civic development are equally important [in Afghanistan], but turning security responsibilities to the Afghans themselves at some future date is really the goal we all have in mind," Gates said. "We need to be prepared the share the cost to make that happen."

Kearsarge Medics Begin Health Assessments in Haiti

American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - The amphibious ship USS Kearsarge expanded its assistance to disaster relief operations in Haiti on Sept. 17, dispatching medical teams to conduct health assessments of Haitian communities suffering in the aftermath of tropical storms Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Hurricane Ike. Kearsarge medical teams were the first to arrive in the small village of Morase, quickly setting up operations to determine what services the population needed most. With malnutrition topping the list of concerns, the medical teams conducted health assessments of residents, especially children.

The Kearsarge medical teams, which include partner-nation
military medical personnel, are working in concert with the U.S. Agency for International Development and other multinational relief groups.

The medical personnel join Kearsarge's nearly two-week support to the relief efforts. Since Sept. 8, helicopters and landing craft from Kearsarge have delivered more than 980 metric tons of relief supplies and 26,000 gallons of water to devastated communities isolated by damaged roads and bridges.

"Today is a big day, because we are finally 'boots on the ground' with the medical part of the mission to see where the people are, and the needs that they have," Cmdr. Angelica Almonte, a
Navy Nurse Corps officer, said.

Heavy rains and major flooding destroyed much of the region's crops, driving food prices higher than the villagers can afford. Medical personnel, concerned about malnutrition, began taking weight-for-height and mid-upper arm circumference measurements to conduct surveys to determine the village's current nutritional needs.

"We are trying to get a nutritional assessment of the children," said Capt. (Dr.) Tim Shope, a
Navy pediatrician. "We are also sending a group of health officials into the community to test water and get a general sense of their food and water supply."

The Kearsarge medical team members said the overall health in Morase is good. However, there is a concern that, with difficulty of getting enough food to outlying areas due to washed-out roads and bridges, the population will begin to suffer from severe malnutrition that can impair the immune system, leaving children more vulnerable to diseases such as diarrhea, measles and tuberculosis.

Additionally, an inadequate supply of fresh water could lead to disease outbreaks such as cholera, typhoid and Hepatitis A.

"From the initial assessment, it looks like the people are generally healthy," said Lt. Candace D'Aurora, a
Navy Nurse Corps officer. "The main issue right now is the villagers are saying they don't have food or water. That is the biggest issue we must address."

The areas needing the most immediate assistance have been prioritized by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

Medical teams from Kearsarge will continue to meet with other agencies working in the country, such as the Centers for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders and the Pan American Health Organization, to plan what services to provide after the initial assessments.

Kearsarge has about 150
military, Public Health Service and nongovernmental organization medical professionals aboard. The medical team was part of the ship's five-month Continuing Promise 2008 humanitarian deployment to the region.

(From a U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet news release.)

Face of Defense: Soldier Counts Being Alive, in Uniform Among Blessings

By Jason L. Austin
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - Though he's never regretted joining the
Army, a soldier here said, his decision never felt more right than when he faced the greatest challenge of his life: battling cancer. It's been almost nine years since Army doctors found a grapefruit-sized tumor growing in Sgt. 1st Class James Jordan's chest. He was 33 then and stationed in South Korea. Today, Jordan has survived two bouts with cancer and is planning a long career before retiring from the Army.

"I love the Army," said Jordan, a senior paralegal for the Europe Regional Medical Command judge advocate general office here.

Jordan arrived at his duty station in July, glad to have another shot at a tour in Germany; a previous tour here was cut short by cancer treatments. Mostly, though, Jordan said, he is just thankful to still wear the uniform.

"I praise God for that," he said. He has 16 years of active-duty service as a paralegal, and with reserve time, his service exceeds 20 years.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, his commander asked Jordan what he wanted to do about his
Army career. He could have chosen medical retirement, but Jordan decided to stay in the Army.

"It would have been too easy to get out," he said. "I thought about my wife and my kids, and there are a lot of things I hadn't accomplished."

Jordan said he hopes someday reach the rank of sergeant major. The
Army has been right for him, he said, and his loyalty runs deep.

"The Army really took care of me," he said. "I received a lot of treatment I wouldn't have gotten on the outside."

Jordan's wife, Dara, said she feels the same way.

"He needed to take care of his family," she said. "He needed a sense of normalcy. ... Besides, I kind of like being an
Army wife."

After the first tumor was found in 1999, the Jordans flew to Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. James passed out during the flight and almost died en route, Dara said. Once at Tripler, James' tumor was initially diagnosed as non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Dara was sent back to South Korea to bear the news to her three children and to move her family to Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Through trying times of high-dosage chemotherapy, Jordan insisted on working as much as possible, and Dara kept the household running. After three years of chemotherapy, the tumor had shrunk, and Jordan was allowed to relocate to Kitzingen, Germany, with the 1st Infantry Division, which was preparing to deploy to Iraq.

But soon after settling in, Jordan began having chest pains - a tumor was growing again. He would have to return to Fort Sam Houston for more treatments.

"I felt bad about my soldiers going to Iraq," Jordan said. "I went to Fort Sam to focus on getting well and back to work ... serving the country."

This time, the tumor was diagnosed as a form of thyroid cancer. Jordan again was reassigned to Fort Sam Houston, and Dara had to move the family by herself. Surgeons removed his thyroid gland and surrounding tissues, including some lung tissue. Doctors followed the surgery with radiation treatment.

The surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments and various medicines have changed Jordan's body.

He used to run upwards of 10 miles per day, doing physical training in the mornings and then helping his soldiers bring up their scores in the evenings, Dara said. He was a track star in high school - ranking third in his home state of Oklahoma.

Today he has bad knees, a result of the steroids doctors prescribed to keep his strength up during chemotherapy. His lung capacity also is diminished from radiation treatments and the loss of tissue.

Still, he passes his
Army physical fitness tests, riding a bicycle 6.2 miles in less than 27 minutes as an alternative to running, and he performs the standard push-up and sit-up tests.

During his battle with cancer, Jordan has been surrounded by family and friends. At Fort Sam Houston, he was close to his extended family in Oklahoma. Soldiers called from Iraq to check on him, and many churches prayed for him.

"Prayer really, really works," Jordan said, adding he would receive letters from churches he had never heard of, saying they are praying for him.

Those letters helped Dara, too, who admitted she has had some dark days during her husband's struggle.

The Jordans' support was widespread. A South Korean soldier who augmented U.S. troops in his country frequently called Jordan to see how he was doing.

"I'd like to think that if I can have that impact on a Korean soldier, I have an impact on American soldiers," Jordan said.

He said he knows he has made an impact on his children. When they were asked in school to write about a hero, they chose to write about him. He remembers his children visiting him in the hospital, knowing they were uncomfortable seeing him with tubes coming out of his body.

"I'd rather have him deployed for a year and come back the same man than go through what we've gone through," Dara said.

The lack of a deployment weighs heavily on Jordan, not only because he wasn't with his soldiers downrange, but also because he believes he owes it to his country. "He feels like he's been cheated," Dara said.

In today's Army, a soldier not wearing a combat patch is viewed by some in a negative light, she said, noting that she's had to defend Jordan's bare right shoulder to other spouses who judged the situation before being told about his personal war with cancer.

With the cancer now in its fourth year of remission, the Jordans are back in Germany, and they keep in touch with their now-adult children and their grandson via Web cam. "He's stole the show," Dara said about their grandson.

Jordan said he has worked with two soldiers who have died of cancer, and several others who have been diagnosed.

"When I went to the hospital, I saw a lot of soldiers with cancer," he said. He uses his cancer story to tell others that a diagnosis doesn't mean a death sentence.

Almost nine years after his initial diagnosis, Jordan is enjoying life with his wife in Germany, where they like bike rides, working out and dining out together. They also hope to travel to Rome, Paris and Israel.

"There are a lot of things we didn't do," Jordan said of their last tour in Germany. "We want to go places."

But for now, Dara said, "We're just counting our blessings, every day."

(Jason Austin works in the U.S.
Army Garrison Baden-Wuerttemberg Public Affairs Office.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS September 19, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

BP West Coast Products LLC, La Palma, Calif. Is being awarded a maximum $1,130,287,795 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is Ferndale, Washington. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. There were originally 29 proposals solicited with 16 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 30, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-0508).

Montana Refining Co., Inc., Great Falls, Mont.*, is being awarded a maximum $24,856,825 fixed price with economic price adjustment, partial set-aside, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for jet fuel. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 16 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 31, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-0510).

Excel Manufacturing,
El Paso, Texas,* is being awarded a maximum $8,375,220 firm fixed price, total set-aside contract for coats. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 13 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract represents option year one. The date of performance completion is Sept. 24 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-07-D-1501).

Navy

Raytheon Co.,
Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $220,509,647 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5444) for MK15 Phalanx Close-In-Weapon System Block 1B upgrades and conversions, system overhauls, and associated hardware. The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) is an automatic terminal defense weapon system designed to detect, track, engage, and destroy anti-ship missile threats penetrating other defense envelopes. The Phalanx Block 1B CIWS weapon systems are also being installed on low-boy trailers with self contained diesel electric power and cooling water. This configuration of the Phalanx CIWS is the MK 15 MOD 29 land-based Phalanx Weapon system and has been deployed to Iraq. Work will be performed in Louisville, Ky., (30 percent); Andover, Mass., (19 percent); Tucson, Ariz., (16 percent); Syracuse, N.Y., (7 percent); Long Beach, Calif., (6 percent); Radford, Va., (6 percent); Burlington, Vt., (6 percent); Palm Bay, Fla., (2 percent); Pittsburg, Pa., (2 percent); Bloomington, Minn.; (2 percent), Salt Lake City, Utah, (2 percent); Norcross, Ga., (1 percent); and New Albany, Ind., (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $19,904,529 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

ITT Industries Avionics Div., Clifton, N. J., is being awarded a $55,744,000 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-05-C-0054) to exercise an option for the procurement of 32 AN/ALQ-214 On-Board Jammer Systems for the F/A-18 E/F aircraft for the U.S.
Navy, (13) and the Government of Australia, (19). Work will be performed at various locations for all other vendors throughout the United States, (43.5 percent); Clifton, N.J., (34.4 percent); East Syracuse, N.Y., (8.8 percent); San Diego, Calif., (8.3 percent); and Rancho Cordova, Calif., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in Dec. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This option combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, ($22,646,000; 41 percent), and the Government of Australia, ($33,098,000; 59 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Space and Strategic Missiles, Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded $54,131,262 for modification #P00017 under a previously awarded contract (N00030-06-C-0100) for low-cost test missile kit production. This modification increases the total contract value to $854,612,333. Work will be performed in Pennsylvania, (Lancaster, Bristol) (65 percent); California, (Camarillo, Hollister, Sunnyvale, San Diego,
Simi Valley, Santa Ana, Los Angeles) (24 percent); Missouri, (Joplin) (3 percent); Virgina, (Fairfax) (1 percent); New York, (Depew) (1 percent); Massachusetts, (Walpole) (1 percent); and other (5 percent). The expected date of completion is through Dec. 31, 2011. Contract fund will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting agency.

Baldi Bros. Inc.*, Beaumont, Calif., is being awarded a $44,288,213 firm fixed price contract for repairs to Runway 21L-03R and assault landing zone lighting at Travis
Air Force Base. The contract also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $57,008,804. Work will be performed in Fairfield, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $44,288,213 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website, with six proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-C-2206).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $31,617,706 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-03-C-0055) to exercise an option for the manufacture, test and delivery of 23 Reconfigurable Transportable Consolidated Automated Support System for the U.S.
Navy, (21); U.S. Air Force, (1); and the Government of Finland, (1) and 13 Self -Maintenance and Test/Calibration Interface Devices (SMAT/CAL ID) for the U.S. Navy, (11); the U.S. Air Force (1); and the Government of Finland, (1). Work will be performed in North Reading, Mass., (60 percent) and St. Louis, Mo., (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in Aug. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, ($28,786,790; 91.04 percent); the U.S. Air Force, ($1,415,458; 4.48 percent); and the Government of Finland, ($1,415,458; 4.48 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ESY Co.*, Everett, Wash., was awarded an $8,955,694 firm fixed price contract on Sept. 17, 2008, for the construction and installation of dry dock Caisson #3. The contractor shall construct, test, and deliver dry dock Caisson #3. This caisson will replace the existing caisson and will be a reversible, ship-type, floating caisson having super flood-through capability constructed of steel. Work will be performed in Everett, Wash., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $8,955,694 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with six proposals solicited and two offers received via
Navy Electronic Commerce Online. The Northwest Regional Maintenance Center, Bremerton, Wash., is the contracting activity (N4523A-08-C-0308).

Advanced
Technology Construction*, Renton, Wash., is being awarded $7,926,790 for firm-fixed price task order #0002 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N44255-08-D-3015) for emergency power repair and upgrades at Naval Hospital Bremerton. Work will be performed in Bremerton, Wash., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

Barling Bay, LLC,* Anchorage, Ala., was awarded a $7,352,515 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus fixed fee, performance-based contract on Sept, 17, 2008, to provide services in the full range of hardware, software, and network engineering, information
Technology (IT), and information assurance (IA) disciplines. This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value of the contract to an estimated amount of $47,652,820. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., (80 percent) and Charleston, S.C., (20 percent), and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2009 (Sept. 2013 with options exercised). Contract funds in the amount of $50,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (N65236-08-D-6810).

Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, S.C., is being awarded a $6,824,720 firm fixed priced modification to previously awarded delivery order #0006 under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5031) for the purchase of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle OCONUS Field Service Representative (FSR) Site Lead, OCONUS Welders and definitizing the cost for Battle Damage Assessment Repair (BDAR) Kits and Deprocessing Kits. Work will be performed in Ladson, S.C., and in OIF/OEF Area's of responsibilities, and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Adaptive Technologies, Inc.*, Blacksburg, Va., is being awarded a $6,174,521 cost plus fix fee, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to research and develop a noise dosimetry for personnel noise exposure assessments which include digital noise-cancelling microphone, pilot active noise reduction earplug, active noise reduction impulse control, and noise monitor. Work will be performed in Blacksburg, Va., and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a Broad Agency Announcement with one offer received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (N00421-08-D-0022).

Solpac Construction Inc., dba Soltek Pacific Construction Co., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $5,890,000 for firm fixed price task order #0003 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-08-D-8615) for design and construction of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Office (JIEDDO) battle courses at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. The work to be performed provides for the design and construction of battle courses, three training lanes, an observational tower, and a range support facility. The contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $6,543,000. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Two proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Army

AAI Corporation, Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $66,334,705 cost plus fee price contract for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System, Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) IV
Technology Refreshment. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0016).

Basic Marine Inc, Escanaba, Mich., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $25,102,510 firm fixed fee price contract for 14 deck barges. Work will be performed in Escanaba, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Oct 31, 2009. Bids were solicited via the Web and two bids were received. U.S.
Army Engineer District Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (W912BU-08-C-0037).

Korte Construction Co., St. Louis, Mo., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $17,496,964 firm fixed fee price contract for fiscal year 2008, construction of medical and dental clinics at Fort Lewis, Wash. Work will be performed in Fort Lewis, Wash., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 18, 2010. Bids were solicited via the Web and four bids were received. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle, Wash., is the contracting activity (W912DW-08-C-0018).

Sauers Incorporated d/b/a Sauer Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., was awarded on Sept. 17, 2008, a $17,376,400 firm fixed fee price contract for design and construction of a new ammunition storage facility. Work will be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 26, 2010. Four bids were solicited and three bids were received. U.S.
Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-07-D-0061)

Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Sierra Vista (Garden Canon), Ariz., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $16,900,000 cost plus fixed fee price contract for over and above effort for reset of hunter hardware for interoperability verification. Work will be performed in Sierra Vista, (Garden Canon), Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 17, 2011. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0025).

M.C. Dean Inc, Dulles, Va., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $16,206,929 firm fixed fee price contract for construction of electrical systems upgrade at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center,
Atlanta, Ga., (Del Kalb County), Ga. Construct new electrical penthouse on the second floor of the main hospital, install new normal power distribution switchboards and connect to existing power ring bus. Work will be performed in Atlanta, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 1, 2010. Bids were solicited via the FedBizOps and one bid was received. Corps of Engineers Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W9127-08-C-0056).

Nicholson Construction Company, Cuddy, Pa., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $10,415,194 firm fixed fee price contract for Phase I of auxiliary spillway channel excavation, Canton Lake Dam, and Canton Lake, Okla. Work will be performed in Canton, Okla., with an estimated completion date of Sept, 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the FedBizOps were solicited and two bids was received. U.S.
Army Engineer District Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla., is the contracting activity (W912BV-08C-1010).

Leupold & Stevens Inc, Beaverton, Ore., was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $9,498,475 five year IDIQ firm fixed price contract. This award is for various sight scopes from Leupold & Stevens Inc. Work will be performed in Beaverton, Ore., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 19, 2013. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM LCMMC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52H09-08-D-0445).

Texas Sterling Construction Co., San Antonio, Texas, was awarded on Sept. 18, 2008, a $6,449,071 firm fixed price contract. This work includes design and construction of a new bridge structure over Salado Creek, extending from Nursery Road to W.W. White Road and includes approach roadways and a three-way intersection at Nursery Road, utilities, drainage structures and area lighting. Work will be performed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. Bids were solicited via the Web and two bids were received. US
Army Engineer District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-08-C-0050).

Air Force

Wyle Laboratories, Inc., of Huntsville, Ala., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for an estimated $19,323,667. This contract action is for the Reliability Information Analysis Center and will perform Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division research, and development and testing of the Exodus Data Warehouse program. At this time $1,515,589 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4005, DO: 0072).

Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for an estimated $15,865,585. The objective is to investigate and analyze current and anticipated health, medical, veterinary, and agricultural related chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear and weapons of mass destruction issues and requirements; develop plans for modernization; and conduct senior leader workshops. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-00-D-3180, DO: 0557).

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus award fee contract with LinQuest Corp., of Los Angeles, Calif., for $10,597,239. This contract modification will provide system engineering and integration support to the Military Satellite Communications Wing through FY09. At this time $8,032,327 has been obligated. Space and Missile Systems Center, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8808-06-C-0002, P00045).

Cardinal Maintenance Service of Grand Rapid, Mich., is being awarded an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract for a maximum of $9.6 million. This action will provide grounds maintenance requirement for Hill
Air Force Base, Utah. At this time $1,219,343 has been obligated. 75 CONS/PKB, Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8201-08-D-0019).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated System Sector, of El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $8,000,005. The INVENT program will design, develop and ground test an integrated suite of energy, power, and thermal advanced technologies based on the INVENT consensus architecture. This effort will consist of critical subsystems and vehicle system
Technology integrations and demonstrations that ameliorate the risks identified by the INVENT consensus architecture studies. Component Technology and subsystem development work will be done outside of this effort. The three critical INVENT subsystem demonstrations identified are defined as 1) Adaptive Power and Thermal Management System, 2) Robust Electrical Power System, and 3) High Performance Electric Actuation System. Integrated designs shall be developed using high fidelity modeling and simulation techniques at an air system level to validate the approach achieves the expected benefits identified by the INVENT consensus architecture study. At this time $10,000 has been obligated. AFRL/PKPA, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-2935).

ITT Corp., of Clifton, N.J., is being awarded a time and material, cost reimbursement no fee contract for $7,527,936. This action will provide AN/ALQ-172 (V) Software Block Cycle Support. At this time all funds have been obligated. 542 CBSSS/PKS, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8523-05-G-0002-0014).

Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, and requirements contract for an estimated $5,924,814. This contract action will conduct development of the DoD's chemical and biological equipment database, develop Chemical and Biological (CB) defense analytic tools, and perform research and analysis on CB defense initiatives. At this time $347,826 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-00-D-3180, DO: 0565).

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

Agarigen Inc.*, Durham, N.C., is being awarded a $9,360,477 modification to a previously awarded other transaction for prototypes agreement for phase II of the Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals program. Work will be performed in Durham, N.C., (96 percent), Coatsville, Pa., (1 percent), University Park, Pa., (3 percent), and is expected to be completed Dec. 2010. Funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This is a follow on to a competitive award based on a solicitation issued in Federal Business Opportunities on May 11, 2006, for which over 10 proposals were received. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-07-9-0004, P00006).

BAE Systems National Security Solutions, Burlington, Mass., was awarded on Sept. 12, 2008, a $7,177,621 cost plus fixed fee contract for the video and image retrieval and Analysis Tool program. Work will be performed in Burlington, Mass., (70 percent), Cambridge, Mass., (21 percent), and
Los Angeles, (9 percent), and is expected to be completed in Mar. 2010. Funds being obligated at time of award ($1,803,138) will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. DARPA issued a solicitation in Federal Business Opportunities on Mar. 3, 2008, and 20 proposals were received. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-08-C-0134).

Gates Urges Restraint, Resolve for NATO

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - Problems with Russia highlight problems with NATO as the alliance attempts to take steadfast and prudent steps to shape the international environment, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today. Gates spoke to the Oxford Analytica in the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough. The huge and magnificent estate was built by John Churchill, a brilliant general and savior of Europe in the early 1700s, and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's World War II prime minister.

The speech was the last event in a trip that took him to Iraq, Afghanistan and a NATO meeting in London.

Gates invoked Winston Churchill in his speech. He said America and Europe must "balance restraint in international affairs with the resolve and will to back up our commitments and defend our interests when called upon."

He used two examples from Churchill's life to make the point: the Munich Crisis of 1938 and the rush to World War I in August 1914.

Churchill had opposed any appeasement of Adolf Hitler, but in September 1938, then-British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain traveled to Munich and ceded the Czechoslovakian region of the Sudetenland to Hitler.

"Still today, Munich is invoked as a case study of the need to confront tyrants, adversaries and threats, lest early inaction bring war and even genocide," Gates said.

In August 1914, a combination of miscalculation, hubris, bellicosity, fear of looking weak and runaway nationalism led to a cataclysmic and unnecessary war, the secretary said.

"In the crudest sense, failure to recognize one lesson – August 1914 – leads to the Somme," Gates said. "Failing to properly heed the other – September 1938 – leads to Dunkirk and Dachau."

Russia's current actions against Georgia have put the lessons of the past to the test, said Gates, who holds a doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University. Russia's policies are born of a grievance-based desire to dominate its neighbors, and do not represent "the existential and global threat the Soviet Union represented," he said.

Russia wants to be a 21st-century nation and enjoy the benefits of international norms, markets and institutions, the secretary explained, but it challenges the way these institutions are set up by its 19th-century big power actions.

"At the end of the day, Russia faces a decision: to be a fully integrated and responsible partner in the international community, or ... to be an isolated and antagonistic nation viewed by much of the world as little more than a gas station for Europe," Gates said.

Confronting such a challenge will require strength and solidarity between America and Europe, the secretary said.

"Our policies and responses must show a mixture of resolve and restraint," he said. "To be firm, but not fall into a pattern of rhetoric or actions that create self-fulfilling prophecies; to heed the lessons of both 1914 and 1938, but not be trapped by them."

Georgia is a candidate member of NATO, and many in Europe are having discussions about what Article 5 of the NATO Charter – which states that an attack on one country will be regarded as an attack on all – really means in light of the Russian attack on that country.

"We need to be careful about the commitments we make, but we must be willing to keep commitments once made," Gates said. "In the case of NATO, Article 5 must mean what it says. As the allied troops fighting in Afghanistan can attest, NATO is not a talk shop or a Renaissance Weekend on steroids."

As a
military alliance, NATO requires trained, ready and -- above all -- deployable troops, Gates said. NATO is no longer the old garrison force that studied German Defense Plan positions and awaited Soviet tanks. But only five of the 26 NATO nations have met the alliance goal of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on national defense: France, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Romania and the United States. The European NATO allies have more than 2 million men and women in uniform, but most aren't deployable.

"The alliance, nonetheless, struggles to scrape together a few thousand more troops and a few dozen helicopters for our commanders in Afghanistan," the secretary said.

The fact that a major war hasn't been fought in Europe since World War II has to be regarded as a triumph, Gates said. But, he added, the pacification of the continent has gone too far.

"De-militarization has gone from a blessing to a potential impediment to achieving real and lasting peace, as real or perceived weakness is always a temptation to miscalculation and aggression," he said.

Gates quoted President George Washington, who told Congress in 1790, "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

NATO must be prepared for war to give
leaders and diplomats options and give enemies pause, Gates said. "We must try to prevent situations where we have only two bleak choices: confrontation or capitulation – 1914 or 1938," he said.

Influencing Russia is the obvious case, he added, but Iran is another.

"One of those bleak choices would be presented by an extremist regime possessing nuclear weapons that could be used for blackmail or set off a regional arms race," he said. "The other scenario is a costly and potentially catastrophic
military intervention – the last thing the Middle East needs. That is why it is so important for strong, sustained economic and political pressure to continue, to head off that nightmarish narrowing of choices."

Leaders Pledge Support to Bring Missing Servicemembers Home

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - On a small parade field at the steps of the Pentagon and across the river from the skyline of the nation's capital, top
military and political leaders today pledged to continue looking for missing servicemembers no matter the cost. "Over the past 230-plus years, a promise has been made to the men and women who wear the cloth of our nation," said Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. "However long it takes. Whatever it takes. Whatever the cost. No American will be left behind.
"Every effort and attempt will be made to rescue and recover the captured and fallen and bring them home," England said.

England joined a small group of senior DoD officials and congressional
leaders, servicemembers and civilians, veterans and families who gathered at the river entrance on the east side of the Pentagon for the National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony.

Under partly cloudy skies, the short ceremony was packed with troops decked out in
military dress uniforms, their chests full of glittering medals. Veterans donned their association caps. A handful of ex-POWs dotted the crowd with red jackets and hats poked with medals and unit insignia. Veteran bikers sported patriotic leathers. A cool breeze unfurled the brightly colored flags and streamers covering the grassy parade field as a military band belted out traditional tunes.

Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the crowd his first military memories as a child were associated with those servicemembers still not home from the Korean War.

More than 8,000 still are missing.

Cartwright said that in high school and college, he wore bracelets bearing the names of those not yet home from Vietnam. Some 1,800 servicemembers still are missing from the
Vietnam War.

So for the families of those and the other 79,000 U.S. servicemembers still listed as missing, and to those serving in the two wars now, the nation's second-highest-ranking
military officer offered a promise.

"We have a solemn pledge that everyone comes home," Cartwright said. "For families who sacrifice so much, and give their treasures, the youth of this nation, we have a debt to ensure that, no matter what, we will do everything within our power to ensure that everyone comes home."

U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri said that those who sign up to serve expect some hardships – tough training, time away from families and combat. But those who are captured and held have had to endure beyond those expectations.

"Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have been captured and held prisoner of war have experienced hardships we can barely imagine and frequently even they cannot bear to share with anyone," Skelton said.

Skelton traveled in 1978 on a delegation to Vietnam to bring home the remains of 14 American soldiers killed in the war there.

"It was an experience I will never forget," he said.

The congressman praised DoD efforts to recover and identify those still missing, especially the efforts of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, based in Hawaii.

One of a handful of offices within the Defense Department charged with recovering missing servicemembers, the JPAC is based in the U.S. Pacific Command and conducts 80 percent of its missions there. The command has 350
military and civilian staff members. Its research and recovery teams deploy on about 70 missions a year.

On any given day, investigative and recovery teams are deployed in some of the most remote regions around the world. Their work takes the teams deep into jungles and to the tops of mountains. They work on sites for up to two months at a time, taking on inhospitable living conditions, rough weather, poisonous snakes and insects and unexploded ordnance. Nine Americans have died in those missions.

"It's impossible not to admire the skill, dedication and professionalism of those who work to bring our servicemembers home to their families," Skelton said.

Skelton pledged continued support for the DoD's efforts to recover and identify missing servicemembers to "ensure our nation never forgets."

The congressman said nothing can repay the servicemembers and their families for their sacrifices.

But, "as a nation, we can and we must thank them for their willingness to pay the price required to ensure the nation's freedoms," he said.

Guard Members Can Receive 'Safe Haven' Compensation

By Army Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - When Hurricane Ike made landfall on the
Texas coast, it left behind damaged and destroyed buildings, massive flooding, and thousands of residents without power or, in many cases, without homes. For many of those affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters, it can be a time of uncertainty. But for some National Guard members, assistance is available if a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes.

The Safe Haven program offers financial compensation to Guard members on Title 10 or Title 32 active duty status who must evacuate an area because of a natural disaster.

"Safe Haven provides for a National Guard or an active duty member or a federal employee to be compensated for their relocation to a safe haven," said Blaine Coffey, chief of Personnel Readiness and Compensation at the National Guard Bureau. That compensation, Coffey said, covers transportation expenses to a safe area as well as expenses to return to the Guard member's home or duty station.

Additionally, Guard members are eligible for compensation at the full per diem rate, which includes lodging, meals and incidental expenses, for up to 30 days. They may be compensated for up to 180 days, but the daily per diem rate drops to 60 percent after the first 30 days.

Before a Guard member can take advantage of the benefit, however, an evacuation order must be issued in writing by federal or local officials. "It's incumbent upon the competent authority to declare your duty station or quarters to be uninhabitable," Coffey said.

Additional limitations apply to what qualifies as a safe haven location. One limitation is that if the Guard member elects to stay with family or friends, that individual does not qualify for lodging expenses, Coffey noted.

The Safe Haven entitlement grew out of an older benefit intended for those in embassies and other overseas locations. "It was more associated with embassies and locales that in many, many cases had to be evacuated based upon the threat to life or limb of the members," Coffey explained, "not from natural disasters necessarily, but that of actual armed conflict."

That began to change when Hurricane Andrew devastated southern Florida in 1992. "When there had been major incidents in the United States back in the early '90s, beginning with the evacuation of Homestead
Air Force Base [because of Hurricane Andrew], DoD began to look in more detail at the authority for entitlements of the active component member and his or her family to be evacuated from an installation like Homestead," said Coffey.

Hurricane Katrina changed the way the law affected Guard members. "We had a number of Guard members in two major brigades in Mississippi and Louisiana that were on Title 10 orders. So they were active duty members having their homes destroyed, having their duty locations destroyed – whether it be Jackson Barracks or any number of installations in Louisiana," Coffey said.

While soldiers on Title 10 orders were covered by Safe Haven, those on Title 32 orders were not. That changed with Hurricane Katrina.

"What we did during Katrina and Rita was to get an exception to policy waiver authority to include Title 32 members for eligibility for Safe Haven benefits," Coffey said. "At the same time, we recognized that Katrina was not isolated. We are going to continue to have this potential issue."

The authority to have similar benefits apply if a similar disaster occurred was put into place, and recently the law was changed to include Title 32 Guard members.

The number of people who have taken advantage of the Safe Haven benefits during recent hurricanes has been low. "Within the Guard at this point, the numbers aren't tremendously large, but during Katrina, it was close to 1,000 members," Coffey said. "You had so many Title 10 mobilized soldiers returning, and many of them were given the option to stay on duty. That was part of the 'soft landing' that we tried to formulate for the soldiers."

Those who believe they may be eligible for benefits under Safe Haven should contact their state's joint forces headquarters personnel office.

(
Army Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Civilian Leaders Begin 'Military 101' Orientation at Pentagon

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England welcomed civilian business, academic and local government
leaders to the Pentagon today to kick off a weeklong schedule that will give them a firsthand look at the military at work. The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference participants are slated to travel to sites throughout Europe to meet U.S. servicemembers and learn about their equipment and capabilities and national defense strategy.

England urged the JCOC participants to learn all they can about the
military that's dedicated to protecting their freedoms. "We have one mission, and it is protecting and defending our nation, and that is what everybody does," he said.

That fundamental mission is particularly important as the United States confronts the threat posed by violent extremists who revealed their intentions on 9/11, he told the group.

"Do you know why 3,000 people died that day?" he asked. "We lost 3,000 people that day because the guys who did it didn't know how to kill 30,000 or 300,000 or 3 million. But they would have if they could have."

The threat continues, England said, and the only way to confront it is head-on.

"I am absolutely convinced that if we ever get off the side where we are no longer on the offense, we will be in serious trouble," he said. "When [extremists] are on the offense and we are on the defense, we lose. You cannot play defense, not in the United States of America."

England praised the entire defense team that leads the United States' offensive line in the war on terror, but reserved his highest praise for the men and women of the armed forces. All are volunteers who continue to enlist and re-enlist in the
military despite their clear understanding of the demands and potential cost, he said.

"People put on the uniform and they give their lives for our freedom. Who else does that?" England said. "This is profound."

Their dedication, like that of those who served before them, has ensured America's freedoms throughout its history, he said. And it's what continued to protect them in a post-9/11 world.

"A remarkable thing happens every single morning in America," England told the group. "Every single person wakes up free. And it's not by accident, it's not by chance, it is not some inalienable right we all have. It's because somebody went forward these last 230 years and served their country."

Before meeting with England, the JCOC group attended a POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony on the Pentagon's ceremonial lawn. Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for internal communications and public liaison, called the ceremony a fitting start to the trip because it recognized the sacrifices U.S. servicemembers and their families have made -- and continue to make.

Later, the JCOC participants received operational briefings and toured the Pentagon, including the Pentagon Memorial that was dedicated Sept. 11 to honor the 184 victims of the terrorist attack at the Pentagon in 2001.

Air Force Brig. Gen. David A. Cotton, U.S. European Command's director of command, control, communications and warfighting integration, gave the group a "big picture" look at what's ahead for them this week. He laid out the ambitious schedule ahead, with participants to fly on military aircraft, experience a landing and launch from a Navy ship and observe amphibious landings, urban area combat techniques, special operations assaults and other warfare demonstrations.

England told the group he wishes every American could have the opportunity to participate in a JCOC trip.

"If they could, I think they would have a whole different view about what's being done for them every day," he said.

The first U.S. defense secretary, James V. Forrestal, created the JCOC in 1948 to introduce civilian "movers and shakers" with little or no
military exposure to the workings of the armed forces. Nearly six decades later, it remains the Defense Department's premier civic leader program. The program rotates among the U.S. combatant commands to showcase operations under way around the world. The last JCOC visit to U.S. European Command was in October 2005.

JCOC participants are selected from hundreds of candidates nominated by
military commands worldwide, and they pay their own expenses throughout the conference.

JPAC Teams Serve on Front Lines of Recoveries

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 18, 2008 - Tech. Sgt. Valda Wilson is an
Air Force photographer. But last month in a harvested wheat field in the village of Strass near Germany's Hurtgen Forest, she spent most of her days with her hands full of dirt. Wilson is one of about 10 members of a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team who deployed there in the hopes of recovering the remains of a missing P-38 Lightning fighter pilot downed in combat during World War Two.

While Wilson's main job is to help the team anthropologist document the mission, all team members on site, regardless of specialty, get their hands dirty.

"Everybody digs. There's nobody on this team who is so special that they don't dig," Wilson said. "I want to be a part of the entire process. We're all expected to pull our weight. And part of pulling your weight is digging, moving dirt."

JPAC teams deploy on about 70 missions annually to some of the most remote locations in the world. Their work can take them to the tops of mountains and deep into jungles. This year, so far, team travels include Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Poland and Hungary.

Team members are deployed an average of more than 100 days per year. The work can be monotonous, back-breaking and dangerous, but you rarely hear a team member complain, said
Marine Master Sgt. Jonathan Couturier, a recovery team leader.

"When you look down and find some bones, that really hits you," Couturier said. "You know that's one of our own. If that doesn't keep you going, I don't know what does."

The JPAC has 18 recovery teams and each includes an anthropologist, a team leader, an explosive ordnance technician, a medic and a photographer. They are a combination of ranks and services and often are augmented with servicemembers from other commands. Many times, locals are hired to help. Because the missions are considered humanitarian, the team members do not wear
military uniforms.

The process that leads to a recovery team excavating a site begins at JPAC headquarters in Hawaii months or years before teams put boots on the ground. Historians piece together information from databases, tips that come in from around the world and information in case files to determine, first, if the site is likely to yield the remains of missing servicemembers. Often, a research team is sent out first to talk to local residents, interview any witnesses, meet with local government officials and lay the groundwork for the mission.

Once on site, the anthropologist surveys the area, mapping out the site to take into account its topography and history for establishing a site grid for digging. Then, they develop an excavation strategy.

Sites can be as small as a few meters and as large as a football field. Excavation strategies vary depending on location and the type of site and whether the team is searching for a single burial or remains alongside a plane crash. Many times, where to start digging is determined by a combination of aerial reconnaissance, witness statements, metal detection sweeps, and the basic gut instinct of the anthropologist, said Denise To, a
forensic anthropologist for the Central Identification Lab at the JPAC.

To has worked about 10 sites, mostly in Southeast Asia. This was her first excavation in Europe.

"I love it. It's very rewarding," she said. "There are very few dull days. [There are] many days where something happens and you are just in awe and you are speechless."

As the anthropologist maps out the strategy, the rest of the team begins working the logistics of the site, building a screening station, pitching tents or building shelters, setting up storage areas and latrines. The team is set up and ready to dig on the first day there. If possible, the team will stay in area hotels, but in many areas the remoteness of the site dictates that they camp onsite.

Once the strategy is in place, digging begins. Backhoes are sometimes used to trench until remains are found. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of dirt is taken to the screening stations. Hundreds of buckets are filled for dumping into the screens.

The screening stations vary in size, depending on how many people are manning the stations. It can be only a handful of screens, or as many as 50 if many locals are hired to help.

The screens are one-quarter-inch mesh affixed to rectangular frames of one-inch-by-four-inch boards. They dangle from a support beam that allows team members to push and pull the screen freely as they filter the dirt from the rocks and other materials.

It's a tedious process that starts by dumping a bucket of dirt into the screen, shaking it, running gloved hands over the remaining material, picking at the debris with trowels and throwing away the rocks, sticks or roots.

Team members are trained on what to look for before they deploy. But, for the most part, they are looking for anything that is man-made. When in doubt, the rule is to throw it in a bucket and let the anthropologist review it, To said.

Besides bones, the team looks for dog tags, buttons, eye glasses, clothing, or anything that can help identify that the remains are of the servicemember they are looking for. Most airplane pieces and other debris are not kept, only items that can help make an identification.

The teams can go through hundreds of buckets of dirt each day. To break the monotony, they joke, play music and take breaks. They also switch duties, and each member spends time digging with the back hoe, shoveling, moving the dirt from the site to the screens by wheelbarrows, filling buckets with dirt and retrieving empty buckets.

At the site in Germany, the group went four days before the impact crater of the aircraft was found. It can be both frustrating and monotonous for the team, To said. But once the crew hits pay dirt, its motivation spikes.

"Once we find things the attitude instantly changes, and you get up every morning and you realize why you are doing what you are doing," To said. "And no matter hard I make the team work and how much I make them shovel, they don't complain because they know that what they're doing is nowhere near as bad as having to wait for your loved one to come home for 60 years."

The team reads up on the historical case files of those they are looking for, which can create a personal connection beyond the details of the work. Wilson said that while the work can be mundane, it is always in back of her mind that they are looking for a missing servicemember.

"You don't want to lose sight of that. When you lose sight of that, why are you even here?" she said.

Recovery operations wrapped up at the site in Germany early this month, with the teams finding osseous material, or bones, and possible material evidence. Lab tests will allow them to determine whether the remains are those of the missing pilot.

At the site, the team also recovered a significant amount of aircraft wreckage, as well as two complete and intact 1,000-pound bombs. That site was closed and there are no plans to return, To said.

All human material is cataloged, photographed, and its location annotated. It is then placed in transport containers, sealed with evidence tape and kept in double-locked containers until it is returned to the JPAC headquarters. An arrival ceremony is held in Hawaii. While the identification could be months or years away, the ceremony is a symbolic gesture of the remains' return to American soil.

Most team members are off to another site by the time remains are identified and families are notified, but they often keep up on the cases. In To's role, though, she sometimes is able to see the case develop from start to finish.

"It makes the job so worthwhile when you're able to hand the remains over to a family member," To said. "It's as if they lost that person yesterday. It doesn't matter that 60 years went by."

For Couturier, who has done two tours in Iraq, the team's work is a promise kept, he said.

"This is a commitment that America has made to all of our fallen heroes," Couturier said. "I can't think of anything more honorable to do. We're in a war and we're still doing this."

But for Wilson, the job is even more personal. She has sweated through 11 missions including trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. She has eaten ants and porcupine. In the end, Wilson is doing for her fellow servicemembers what she would want done for herself.

"If I was out here I would want somebody to come and get me," she said.

(This is the second in a series of AFPS articles on the Defense Department's efforts to account for missing servicemembers. AFPS reporter Fred W. Baker III talked with the leaders of the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Crystal City, Va., and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam
Air Force Base, Hawaii, and others involved in the quest to bring closure to the families of those lost in the line of duty. Baker then travelled to Germany to the site of an excavation where a JPAC recovery team searched for the remains of a downed World War Two fighter pilot.)

Pentagon Honors Exceptional Employers of Citizen-Servicemembers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 - Fifteen employers accepted a Defense Department award last night for their exceptional financial and emotional support of National Guard and Reserve members on their payrolls. The recipients were selected from the nearly 2,200 employers nominated for the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the U.S. government's highest recognition for efforts made in the civilian lives of America's citizen-servicemembers, which make up roughly half of the nation's armed forces.

Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, said 650,000 National Guard and reserve members have mobilized since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Currently, 110,000 are on active duty around the world.

"This evening is about the young men and women serving today, and I have said in many places and many times the
World War Two generation will always be the greatest generation," Hall said at the award ceremony last night. "But ladies and gentleman, what we're seeing today is what history will record as the next greatest generation.

"They're fighting and dying for their country, and they will never fail us," he told the audience. "And to the employers: they simply could not serve without your support."

Robert Nardelli, chairman and chief executive officer of Chrysler, accepted the award on behalf of the
Detroit-based automaker. Chrysler, which employs thousands of National Guardsmen and reservists that include about 70 on active duty, continues providing salaries and benefits to employees who deploy.

"Many times I'm asked, 'Gee Bob, isn't that an expense to the company to have to cover these people, fill the gaps, make up their pay, continue their benefits?'" Nardelli said at the Pentagon yesterday. "And my answer is, 'This isn't an expense, it's an investment in our country.'"

One employee who nominated Chrysler for the award was
Navy Reserve Petty Officer 2nd Class Theresa Jones, who has spent two years away from work fulfilling her reserve duties. In addition to providing pay and benefits, the Chrysler Veterans Committee collects items and sends comfort packages to deployed employees and other servicemembers.

"The fact that Chrysler made up my pay was a huge help, because I don't think I could have made it financially without them," she said. "It was so nice to receive care packages from my colleagues at Chrysler while I was serving in Iraq. They even sent me a microwave so we could pop our own popcorn!"

Chrysler's chief executive described such citizen-servicemembers as great employees. "They were great before they were called to active duty, and I think they come back with an unbelievable perspective about commitment, about teamwork, about responsibility, [and] how blessed we are to live in this country," Nardelli said.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England greeted the ESGR award recipients at the Pentagon. England, who held top positions in the private sector prior to his tenure in public service, told awardees their efforts, in part, are responsible for improving the economic health of Iraq.

By offering support to citizen-servicemembers who have deployed to Iraq, England said, employers are contributing to increasing the number of security forces there. Improved security often predicates a healthier economy, he said.

Foreign investment in Iraq is one of his most trusted measures of success, England said. If industry coffers are willing to put capital in the country as has been predicted in recent reports, he said, investors have therefore deemed that the potential gains outweigh the potential risks.

Ahead of their scheduled meetings with President Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney this morning, England told the guests, "You are going to meet more important people than me, but you won't meet anyone more appreciative of what you do."

Delivering the keynote speech at the award ceremony last night was
Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig R. McKinley, director of the Air National Guard. The president has recommended McKinley to be the next chief of the National Guard Bureau and for a promotion that would make him the first four-star general in National Guard and reserve history, if confirmed by Congress.

"Without your support, these young men and women could not keep their lives in balance," he told the employers of their commitment. "Because when you're a reservist or a member of the [National Guard], you have three great stressors.

"You have your family, and they should always come first ... They have their jobs -- you are their employers -- they have to make sure that they keep that in balance," he said. "And then we ask so much of the young men and women who take the oath of enlistment, that if they keep those things in balance, we will continue to serve the United States of America."

This year's recipients are:

-- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Durant, Okla.
-- Chrysler LLC, Auburn Hills, Mich.
-- City of Austin, Austin, Texas
-- Coastal Windows, Inc., Waipahu, Hawaii
-- Dominion Resources, Inc., Richmond, Va.
--
Jersey City Fire Department, Jersey City, N.J.
-- Lochinvar Corporation, Lebanon, Tenn.
--
Oakland County Sheriff's Office, Pontiac, Mich.
-- Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh, Wis.
-- Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority, Reno, Nev.
-- Robinson Transport, Inc., Salina, Utah
-- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Bloomington, Ill.
-- Union Pacific Corporation, Omaha, Neb.
-- Winner School District, Winner, S.D.
-- Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Winston-Salem, N.C.

America Supports You: Group Aids Children of Fallen Pararescue Jumpers

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 19, 2008 -
Air Force pararescue jumpers recover servicemembers from any compromising situation in which they may find themselves. Their motto is "That others may live." A troop-support group that assists the children of fallen Air Force personnel has adopted that motto.

"Our main effort is to augment post-secondary educational funding for children who lost a parent in a [U.S.
Air Force} search-and-rescue operational or training mission," said Laura Lerdall, communications coordinator for That Others May Live Foundation. "Other missions of the foundation include providing assistance in a home purchase or the start-up of a business to qualified beneficiaries."

Michael Agin, president of Pioneer Technologies Corp., and Brett Bolt Rota, chief executive officer of MOC1 Solutions Air Force pararescue jumpers recover servicemembers from any compromising situation in which they may find themselves. Their motto is "That others may live."

A troop-support group that assists the children of fallen
Air Force personnel has adopted that motto., founded That Others May Live in 2002.

The organization works only with Air Force dependents. "The
Air Force is the only [Defense Department] service with a dedicated personnel recovery force," Lerdall said. "This force routinely responds to the needs of all services and of civilian needs worldwide. They are a unique group with a unique calling."

Fundraising to date allowed the foundation to award three scholarships this fall, Lerdall said.

Lerdall said the organization's new affiliation with America Supports You, in addition to offering credibility, will help to get the word out so the group can award more scholarships in the future.

"As with any nonprofit, awareness is key to success," Lerdall said. "Connecting [also] may offer collaboration on some occasions," she said.

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