Military News

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Face of Defense: Soldier Leads by Being Part of Team

By Army Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 23, 2008 - During a World War II battle in Holtzwihr, France, a wounded U.S. soldier climbed into a burning tank, took a spot behind a .50-caliber machine gun and fired until the enemy was vanquished. At the age of 19, Audie Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, and to this day, he inspires military leaders and soldiers – especially Army Sgt. 1st Class Ernest Oberst.

"As a kid, I used to watch the Audie Murphy biography 'To Hell and Back' on TV, and I wanted to be a soldier. He was my hero," Oberst said.

Oberst joined the Army three months after graduating from high school in Gladstone, Mich.

Now a platoon sergeant in Multinational Division Baghdad with 1st Platoon, Company B, 52nd Infantry Regiment, attached to the 25th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Oberst is responsible for the 33 soldiers in his platoon. He takes care of administrative paperwork, leads patrols, makes sure each soldier has the right equipment and takes care of any issues that may arise, whether personal or work related.

"I do anything a mom or dad does," he said jokingly.

Oberst has served in the Army for 14 years, and said he believes the best way to lead his soldiers is by setting an example for them and sharing the load.

"You can't just supervise; you have to be a part of the team," he said. "If my soldiers are out digging for caches, you won't find me sitting in the truck. I'm an able body that can work, and I'll be out there digging with them."

His soldiers describe him as a well-rounded leader who maintains discipline and has the ability of doing the right thing at the right time, every time.

"No matter what the mission is, Oberst is the first one on the ground and the last one back in the vehicle. That's just his style," Army Cpl. Zachary Manuel said. Sgt. Lucas Collins said Oberst will give any soldier a chance to succeed.

"When I came into this unit, I had two blown-out knees," said Collins, a team leader. "In the infantry, you are looked at as done. I was going to be chaptered out, but he gave me the chance to get better."

Three years later, Collins is awaiting promotion to staff sergeant and said a great amount of what he's learned is attributable to Oberst.

"He has shown me that taking care of my soldiers is No. 1," he said. "And if something needs to be done, make sure it gets done." Oberst not only makes sure the job gets done, but also ensures the job gets done right the first time, Collins added.

"He requires the best out of his men and expects nothing less," Manuel said. "For that reason, he gets the best."

(Army Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

America Supports You: President Honors Guardsman's Volunteerism

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 23, 2008 - Just before heading overseas for his third tour in Iraq, an Oklahoma Air National Guardsman found himself standing in the limelight with the president. Air Force Maj. Dan Rooney received the President's Volunteer Service Award from President Bush when the president arrived at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., Sept. 12. Since March 2002, Bush has been personally thanking volunteers for their service during his travels.

The award presented to Rooney is a reflection on his work starting and running the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides educational assistance for fallen or disabled servicemembers' spouses or dependents.

"The Folds of Honor Foundation is honored and fortunate to be led by such an outstanding American patriot [as] Major Dan Rooney," said Josh Miller, the organization's vice president for program coordination and compliance.

Rooney's receipt of the award is a tribute to his outstanding efforts and is a sign that Folds of Honor has made at least a minor impact on the military community, Miller said. "More importantly though, Dan's receipt of the award is an encouragement to continue on our mission to ensure every last eligible spouse and dependent receives a scholarship," he added.

As of last month, Folds of Honor had presented some 200 scholarships totaling $1.1 million. The organization has even higher hopes this year, as the organization's annual fundraiser, Patriot Golf Day, held at about 3,800 PGA golf courses on Labor Day, is estimated to have generated more than $3 million toward more scholarships.

With about 1,250 golf courses tallied so far, Patriot Golf Day has raised about $830,000, Miller said.

The President's Volunteer Service Award developed out of Bush's call during his 2002 State of the Union address for Americans to make a difference by volunteering in their communities. Three months later, the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation created the award.

The awards are available to individuals 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of service. Those 15 and older must have completed 100 or more hours, and families or groups can be recognized for pitching in for 200 or more hours or volunteering in the community.

Miller said he's not sure how many hours Rooney has put in since starting the Fold of Honor Foundation.

"I couldn't even begin to estimate, but essentially in 2007, just getting the foundation up and running was pretty much a second full-time job for Dan," Miller said. "I can say with confidence that he far exceeded the 100-hour volunteer requirement."

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

Coast Guard Embraces 'Social Media' to Tell Its Story

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

Sept. 23, 2008 - The Coast Guard's top officer discussed plans to adopt social-media practices to modernize the Coast Guard and increase the organization's transparency in a teleconference yesterday with bloggers and online journalists. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen spoke about ways the Coast Guard plans to use social-media tools to get the broadest representation of the Coast Guard to the public.

"We're going to be moving from (Web) 1.0 to 1.2 to 2.0 to 2.5, and ... the challenge and the problem is we shouldn't take the status quo as an acceptable position," Allen said. "We need to keep improving wherever we can, whether it's my presence inside or outside the Coast Guard, how we deal with the American public, but more importantly, how we deal with the folks in the Coast Guard."

Making the organization more transparent comes at a crucial time, especially during hurricane season, when communication is extremely vital.

"If you look at the recent coordination in our response to Hurricane Ike, I knew from my own experience as the principal federal official in Hurricane Katrina that we can only be effective to the extent that we empower our leaders on scene and make what they are doing visible to senior leaders without endless routing of information through echelons," Allen said. "[And] what they are doing has to be visible to us, and using things like chat rooms among senior leaders at the same time we're using conference calls, to using all the modern [information technology] tools we have within the Coast Guard suite to simultaneously make all senior leaders aware of the situation and the operational picture down there is what we've got to do."

While the Coast Guard won't constrain itself to any particular social media platform, Allen said, officials initially will use one tool he has been experimenting with personally for the past few months.

"We will be standing up what I would call a semi-official Facebook site for me to be able to communicate and make available content to the folks that are working online," Allen said. "I have been working a personal Facebook account for a couple of months just to experiment myself with the dynamics associated with dealing with the Facebook community. It's been a very rich and rewarding experience for me."

Allen added that the need for institutionalizing this tool and others is important to allow for equal access for everybody. While the Coast Guard's current push is to become more intertwined in the social-media realm, Allen said, this initiative isn't about recruiting, but rather providing new recruits access to the tools they already are using.

"Young kids coming into the Coast Guard today demand parity with what they've been using all their lives and growing up with," he said. "And to the extent they enter an organization that's not evolving and upgrading the technology and the access and the social networks that they're used to, there's no incentive for them to join."

Allen said he encourages everyone in the Coast Guard community who is interested in blogging to remember that interacting in the blogosphere should be seen as no different from operating on a Coast Guard base.

"Whether you're a civilian, auxilarist, reservist, active duty, contractor or retiree, to understand that when you're blogging, that's no different than operating in a social environment on a Coast Guard base or anyplace else," he said. "We have a duty to the American public; we have a duty to each other to be guardians of each other. And to the extent that we have core values, I think we need to demonstrate that as we operate on a daily basis in the blogosphere."

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

Defense Department, Services Launch New 'e-Library'

By Barbara A. Goodno
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 23, 2008 - Who goes to the library at 2 a.m.? Anyone can now, thanks to an initiative that makes Defense Department library materials available online.
The new initiative, soft-launched in July and formally announced Sept. 18, expands DoD's library program beyond the 197 libraries located on military installations. Officials said the new endeavor will bring library materials to military members and their families, including those in the National Guard and Reserve, wherever they live and whenever they want -- at no charge.

"Libraries have long been considered mission-essential, supporting recreation pursuits, off-duty education, spouse careers and education and life-long learning," said Leslye A. Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy. "For quite some time now, we in the Department of Defense have been looking for effective ways to deliver services to all our servicemembers and their families, regardless of location, service or component. This is a huge step in the right direction."
The new library initiative is the result of a Lean Six Sigma study that showed DoD could provide more high-quality library materials with joint procurement, Arsht said. Lean Six Sigma is a widely used business management strategy.

"We were able to not only enhance the services' online library portals, but also to create an entirely new resource on Military OneSource," Arsht said. Military OneSource is a DoD initiative that provides a consolidated starting point for a wide variety of life issues for servicemembers and their families.

The new online library will offer resources and services in electronic and hard-copy versions. The Military OneSource Online Library Resources are links to electronic databases, e-books and audio books, including:

-- EBSCO's Do-it-Yourself guides for auto repair, which feature more than 31,600 vehicles from 1945 to the present with more than 205,000 drawings, step-by-step photographs and 130,000 wiring diagrams, specifications, maintenance schedules and labor time guides, as well as a labor estimator and quick tips;

-- EBSCO's home improvement reference center, with 26 full-text major reference works and full-text magazines such as "This Old House." Materials offer assistance with maintenance, remodeling, electrical work, plumbing decorating, and home and garden needs;

-- Peterson's Educational Life Long Learning Resource, in which service and family members can practice Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery tests and tests used for college entrance and course credits, and search through a list of nearly 4,200 two- and four-year accredited schools;

-- Career Library access for comprehensive information for career and college research;

-- NetLibrary, with more than 2,650 full-text electronic versions of published books such as the "ASVAB Core Review," computer books, resume books and 213 CliffsNotes;

-- MyILibrary, which includes more than 400 e-books, including Encyclopedia Britannica, 95 books covering legal issues, 24 foreign language guides and 169 "For Dummies" books;

-- Safari Books Online, an e-reference library that allows access to books from O'Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Cisco Press, MicroSoft Press and more for users who register;

-- EBSCO's small engine repair reference center, with 410 full-text reference books with original photos and illustrations for small-engine repair assistance for all-terrain vehicles, commercial mowers, generators, motorcycles, marine and outdoor power equipment, personal watercraft, snow blowers, tillers, and other items with small engines;

-- A teacher reference library with index and abstracts for more than 270 of the most popular teacher and administrator journals and magazines to assist educators;

-- Tumblebook Library e-books for children ages 4 to 12, Tumblebook Readables with adjustable online text and complete audio narration, Tumble Talking Books, which are unabridged, high-quality audio versions of classic literature, nonfiction fiction books and books for children and teens; and

-- Playaway talking books, which are pocket-sized current and popular titles in audio book format, complete with head-set and battery, and paperback books, both of which soon will be available upon request from Military OneSource.

Program managers said that even though they haven't been advertised, the new resources already have been popular. Since the soft launch in July, Military OneSource has distributed 8,723 e-books and 1,860 audio books. New accounts through Military OneSource and the service library portals show a 68-percent increase in new accounts with Peterson's Lifelong Learning Database, a 33-percent increase in the number of online CLEP tests taken, and a 115-percent increase in the number of practice ASVAB tests taken.

Arsht said that beginning this summer, a variety of Playaways have been sent each month to troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other remote locations. They are especially popular in remote locations, where access to electricity may be limited, she noted. A variety of paperback books also are distributed each month.

"This is a wonderful example of what joint collaboration can do as we strive to improve the quality of life for all our servicemembers and their families," she added.

Service librarians agree. They say that military libraries are some of the busiest places on their installations, and that expanding the reach of these resources to those with limited library access because of duty requirements, who are far from home, or are assigned away from an installation is the right thing to do. They see libraries as a key link in today's networked world.

"Some books in our installation libraries are in such high demand – especially the CLEP materials," Army librarian Barbara Christine said. "We are pleased and excited to be able to offer all these resource materials when people need them."

(Barbara A. Goodno works in the Defense Department's Office of Family Policy and Office of Children and Youth.)

Mullen Praises Recruiters for Success in Challenging Environment

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

Sept. 23, 2008 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told more than 100 military recruiters here yesterday that their work is vital to mission accomplishment, especially in an environment in which people who influence potential recruits are reluctant to steer them toward service in uniform. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen spoke to the recruiters at the University of Southern California.

"We just cannot be a military without successful recruiters," Mullen said. "Recruiting is as important a duty assignment as any, and we need good people from every branch of service to recruit young people into the military."

The military is busier than at any other time in the nation's history, Mullen said. The past six-plus years of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the frequency of deployments, the lack of time at home stations between deployments and the expectations for success have made serving in today's armed forces more challenging than ever, he added.

"The environment you're recruiting in is the toughest we've ever known, and it's a tough world to be engaged in," he said. "We recognize there are challenges, but we just can't move forward without what you're doing and how you're doing it."

The fact that the military has sustained such a high tempo as an all-volunteer force makes it the best military the United States has ever had, the admiral said. Recruiting has been surprisingly successful in recent years, he added, but he noted that the characteristics that make the current generation of servicemembers so great are the same ones that make the recruiters' jobs more difficult.

Today's generation lives in a time of persistent conflict, he said, and a great many young people feel a responsibility to serve the nation in a time of need. But parents, teachers and other mentors are more reluctant to support the military, knowing that if their young people join, they're likely going to war.

The stress of two wars is straining on the military, as thousands of soldiers and Marines have deployed to combat three or four times since 2002. Mullen said increasing time between deployments, thus reducing the number of deployments by individuals, will be helpful when it can happen, but as long as the military needs to sustain its current high-tempo pace, recruiters are going to be among the Defense Department's top priorities.

"Your avocation to recruit young people into the military is as vital as any part of our profession," he said. "I depend on you as great leaders, and there's no success that gets generated more quickly and can be sustained more readily than that which occurs through great
leadership."

National Guard Aids Stranded Livestock in Louisiana

By Army Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Cross
Special to American Forces Press Service

Sept. 22, 2008 - National Guard soldiers teamed up with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to airlift food and water to thousands of cattle isolated by the flood waters of Hurricane Ike. Trapped in remote areas south of Vinton, La., in Calcasieu Parish, more than 3,000 cattle were at risk of starvation and kidney failure due to the lack of feed and the high percentage of salt in the surrounding flood waters.

Two National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopters distributed more than 52,000 pounds of hay to the livestock and worked vigorously to provide fresh water, dropping more than 13,500 gallons to the different locations.

"It was pretty sad that the cattle were stranded out there with no food or water, but the ranchers had grid coordinates for us to drop the hay and water, [which] made it easier for us to conduct a successful mission quickly," said Army Spc. Michael Nolan of Metairie, La., who assisted with the mission.

"Without the help from the National Guard and the donated hay from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, these cattle could not have survived," said a tearful Kent LeDoux, manager of Gray Ranch in Vinton, La. "They are isolated into small areas and need the fresh water and hay desperately." LeDoux said he was impressed by the speed of the National Guard's response, which he said was "much quicker than we expected."

Bill Bruce, another local rancher, of Gum Cove, La., went out by air-boat to check on his livestock Sept. 14, the day after Hurricane Ike struck, and already had lost about 100 cattle. He was especially grateful that the Guard delivered fresh water to the livestock. "Water is even more critical than food at this point, because they have been ingesting a lot of salt water," he said.

"This is their life; they depend on their cattle," said Army Sgt. Joshua Davis, a volunteer with 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion who is home on leave from Iraq. "As soldiers, it's our duty and an honor to help them."

Davis added that in addition to the good feeling he got from helping, he was able to enhance his skills. "This was a good experience for me," he said. "Not only was I able to make a difference, I also got a chance to familiarize myself with the Bambi buckets during a real-world mission." A Bambi bucket is a collapsible container that enables helicopters to lift and transport water or fire retardant.

With more than 52,000 pounds of hay and 13,500 gallons of water distributed to the cattle so desperately in need, the National Guard will continue to provide as much assistance as resources will allow to help the cattle ranchers affected by Ike, Louisiana National Guard officials said.

(Army Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Cross serves with the Louisiana State Aviation Command.)

Remembrance Ceremony Honors Fallen Servicemembers, Military Families

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 21, 2008 - Hundreds of relatives celebrated the lives of departed loved ones lost in the war on terrorism during a national remembrance ceremony on the grounds of the Washington Monument yesterday. The third annual "A Time of Remembrance" honored military members who died during the nation's wars, as well as their families and veterans. It is sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance, established by Congress in 2000.

Carmella LaSpada, chairman of the "A Time of Remembrance" program, saluted the military families who attended the event.

"You, the families of the men and women who fought and died to preserve our precious land of hopes and dreams, I ache for your loss," LaSpada said. "Your wounds are deep, and you are all bonded by a shared pain.

"Though your grief is overwhelming, we hope you'll be consoled in the knowledge that others remember that you are not forgotten and never will be," LaSpada said.

A number of distinguished civilian and military officials ascended the stage to praise the sacrifices of fallen military members and those of their families. About 200 children of military members who died during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom received the commission's Gold Medal of Remembrance at the ceremony.

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright greeted the children of fallen military members on the stage during the presentation of the gold medals.

America has always been fortunate to have those willing to serve the nation in uniform, acting Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said. To date, he said, more than 4,000 U.S. servicemembers have died during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"To the families, and especially to the children who will receive the Gold Medal of Remembrance today, those of us who lead this nation's military, both in a civilian capacity and in uniform, are incredibly honored and humbled to be in your presence," Donley said to gathered family members. "Please note that our nation will be forever grateful and indebted for your sacrifice."

Donley introduced the event's keynote speaker, businessman and military veteran Ross Perot, to the audience. Perot served as a Navy officer and is a strong supporter of the White House Commission on Remembrance and its "A Time of Remembrance" program.

"It's an honor and privilege to be with you on this special day to honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us in our great country, and they also made the ultimate sacrifice for you, their families, because they loved you," Perot said.

The Texas entrepreneur and former Reform Party presidential candidate quoted Abraham Lincoln's statement that any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.

Perot saluted Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman, a Special Forces noncommissioned officer from San Antonio, who died in Afghanistan in early 2002. The fallen soldier, Perot said, was the son of one of his former employees.

"His parents gave me a small bronze statute of Nathan in his combat uniform that I placed in the entrance of my office," Perot said. "I walk by it many times every day and think of him and all the great troops that sacrificed their lives to give us the freedom in this country."

ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz served as master of ceremonies. "All around us are the hallowed memories of America's heroes, the evidence that America remembers and cherishes its fallen," she said. "We gather not to mourn or grieve, but to call attention to the fact that all of America's fallen have collectively brought us to this place, to this time."

Raddatz then read a message from President Bush:

"Today, the volunteers of our military are completing difficult missions in some of the most dangerous and desolate parts of the world with skill and honor. We are grateful to our men and women in uniform and their families for their courage and sacrifice during these historic times. Their service and dedication make every American proud. I appreciate those who support the members of our military and their families. Your efforts reflect the compassionate spirit of our nation. Laura and I send our best wishes on this special occasion. May God bless you and may God bless America."

The remembrance ceremony also featured two foreign-born soldiers taking the oath of U.S. citizenship. Spc. Nakisha Trisca Simon was born on Dominica, an island country in the Caribbean Sea. Spc. Morgan Fuentes Facundo was born in Mexico. Both soldiers have served in Iraq.

Raddatz also introduced recent Iraqi immigrant Nazar Joodi and his family. In 1994, during Saddam Hussein's regime, Joodi was been accused of exchanging foreign currency. The Iraqi's right hand was cut off during his imprisonment. After Saddam's fall, benefactors brought Joodi to America to have nerves damaged by the amputation of his hand repaired. He soon returned to Iraq.

About two years ago, insurgents accused Joodi of being an American sympathizer and threatened his life. Joodi, his wife and four children arrived in the United States in March.

In broken English, Joodi expressed gratitude to the audience for helping to bring freedom to his country.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the son of a fallen warrior, noted the high cost of freedom. Casey's father, Army Maj. Gen. George W. Casey Sr., commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, died in a helicopter crash in the Vietnam's central highlands on July 7, 1970.

"Throughout our history, our freedom and the freedom of others has been bought by the sacrifice and selfless service of men and women like those we honor today and whose memories are enshrined in the memorials that surround us," Casey said. "I know that you will never forget the loss of your parent, but know that we share your grief and I share your perspective. And I pray that you will remember that your parent died in the service of this great country, doing what they believed in to maintain your ability to live, grow and prosper in freedom."

Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey remarked that such ceremonies help comfort surviving spouses and other family members who must continue with their lives after a military parent dies.

"These ceremonies are here for memories, for remembrances, for celebration; we don't get over the loss of these loved ones," McCaffrey said.

The event was "a wonderful honor for the children of our fallen heroes and we're proud to be here today," said Virginia resident Maggie McCloud, the widow of Marine Lt. Col. Joseph T. McCloud of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. McCloud's husband died at age 39 in a helicopter crash in Iraq's Anbar province on Dec. 3, 2006. The McCloud family includes a son, Hayden, and daughters Grace and Meghan.

Kenny V. Butler and his wife, Laura, traveled from Liverpool, Ohio, to attend the ceremony. They are mourning the loss of their 21-year-old son, Army Cpl. Kenneth Tyler Butler, who died in Baghdad on Feb. 1, 2007, when the military vehicle he was riding in accidently flipped over into a water-filled canal.

Butler said his military policeman son "stepped up and did what he wanted to do" upon joining the Army in March 2006.

"I think it's nice that they do this to recognize the fallen soldiers," Laura Butler said. Her son, she said, was determined to become a police officer, and he told his parents the Army offered the best training to realize his dream.

Austin Tyler Butler, the Butlers' year-and-a-half-old grandson who lives in Michigan, will receive the gold medal of remembrance in memory of his father.

A replica of the Liberty Bell was rung five times during the program to commemorate fallen servicemembers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Korean War combat veteran Alfred Ortiz, 80, and his wife, Val, from Vienna, Va., were in front-row seats to observe the ceremony. Ortiz, a former Army master sergeant, served in the infantry in Korea from 1951 to 1952. Ortiz' service in Korea was cut short when he suffered a severe wound to his left arm.

"I wish there weren't any wars, because they're all so bad," Ortiz said. "But it's something we have to do at times. It's the high price we have to pay for freedom, but we're proud to do it."

Garry M. Green Sr. and his wife, Yvonne, came from Rosedale, Md., to celebrate the memory of their daughter, Army Spc. Toccara R. Green, who died at age 23 on Aug. 14, 2005, when her convoy encountered roadside bombs in Asad, Iraq. To date, 114 military women have died during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Greens have attended all three "A Time of Remembrance" events in Washington.

"It gets bigger and better every year. It's wonderful. I just wish more families came out to partake of it. I think it would make a difference in their lives," Yvonne Green said.

Toccara, the Greens said, was proud of her military service and aware of the dangers.

"Sitting behind a desk was not something she wanted to do. She had to be out there getting into the midst of it," the fallen soldier's father said. The couple's son, Gary Green Jr., is a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps.

Amanda Doster from Manhattan, Kan., adjusted the bow in the hair of her 4-year-old daughter, Grace Anne, as she described her feelings about the loss of her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class James D. Doster of Pine Bluff, Ark., who died at age 37 during an insurgent attack on his patrol in Baghdad on Sept. 29, 2007.

"The children are the ones that suffer the most" after the death of a military parent, Doster said. James, she said, had completed more than 17 years of Army service at the time of his death.

"He loved it, every minute of it, and he never complained," Doster said of her late husband. "I am an Army wife, and I suck it up and drive on."

USS Iwo Jima Crew, Technology Wow Civilian Leaders

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 21, 2008 - Loaded bow to stern with 26 combat aircraft and ready to deliver up to 1,800 Marines ashore on demand, USS Iwo Jima has a lot to bowl over a first-time visitor. But Navy Capt. Robert M. Irelan, Iwo Jima's commanding officer, said he has little doubt the civilian leaders who visited today were as wowed by the ship's crewmembers as by its technology and combat power.

"It's not the steel," Irelan told participants in the Defense Department's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference of Iwo Jima, one of the Navy's largest amphibious assault ships that honors the 6,000 Marines and sailors killed during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.

"It's the flesh and blood. It's the sailors and Marines who really are the Iwo Jima," he said. "They are a national treasure, and the reason they are out here is they are committed to what they do. They are proud of what they do, and they want to show off what they do."

The crew had a captive – and captivated – audience today as 47 business, civic and local government leaders boarded CH-46E Sea Hawk helicopters at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay and flew 15 miles off the coast of Crete to spend the day on Iwo Jima.

Iwo Jima left its homeport of Norfolk, Va., in late August and is in the Mediterranean Sea with five other ships and a fast-attack submarine that make up the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Group. In the days ahead, the group will begin its scheduled transit to the 5th Fleet area of operation in the Middle East.

"This is going to be a fascinating deployment," Navy Capt. Brian T. Smith, the strike group commodore, told the JCOC group. "There are a lot of interesting events taking place in the world, and we have several 'firsts' for this strike group."

One of its ships, USS San Antonio, is on the first operational deployment for its class of warship that brings advanced communications, targeting and force protection capabilities to the strike group. "It's performing extremely well, beyond our wildest expectations," Smith said. "It's having a very successful first deployment."

In addition, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage is the first ship from the East Coast to deploy with a ballistic missile defense system.

The JCOC group got a glimpse at the strike group's capabilities as they toured Iwo Jima, the centerpiece of the group, which stretches three football fields long.

Iwo Jima carries 26 aircraft, including Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers that provide air defense and close-ground support, CH-53 Super Stallions and CH-46E Sea Knights that ferry troops and supplies, and AH-1W Super Cobras that provide close-in air support.

But much of the ship's power rests below deck, where landing craft air cushions stand ready to deliver the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit with its vehicles and equipment for an amphibious assault. With some of the MEU forward deployed for a mission in the U.S. Central Command area, Iwo Jima has 1,100 Marines aboard, ready to respond to any contingency in the region.

"We are the strategic reserve for CentCom," said Marine Corps Col. Mark Desens, the 26th MEU commander. "So we are part of the Johnny-on-the-spot guys. ... We're thrilled to be here, and we're ready."

Desens called the mission an important way to reacquaint his Marines with their amphibious roots. Although about 65 percent have deployed to Iraq, 85 percent are serving their first deployment aboard a ship, he said.

With so much of the world population in littoral areas, Desens said, it's important that the United States maintain its amphibious capabilities.

"We are carrying the torch for the rest of the Marine Corps right now. We are keeping that flame alive and building to the future," he said. "It's a critical capability to the nation, not just for down the road, but for today, too."

The JCOC group observed those capabilities as they watched an LCAC zip by at speeds hitting 45 knots, and saw Harrier aircraft demonstrate their vertical takeoff and landing capabilities from Iwo Jima's flight deck.

They also saw how, in addition to its combat capability, Iwo Jima contributes to the U.S. maritime mission in a way a traditional carrier simply can't.

Iwo Jima can support humanitarian and disaster relief missions by transporting people, delivering food, making drinkable water and providing medical care in an onboard facility that includes operating rooms, X-ray rooms, a blood bank, laboratories and patient wards. In a catastrophic situation, most of the ship's hangar bay and flight deck would provide an overflow triage area.

Iwo Jima served as a command and control platform off New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 aided in an evacuation of Americans from Lebanon in 2006.

"This is not just a combat force but it is also a force for good in the world," Smith said. "We have a tremendous span of capability as an expeditionary strike group, with an ability to provide humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and a great deal of assistance when it's needed."

That's a big source of pride for the Iwo Jima strike group, but it also sends an important message, he said. "It's a way of showing the world the type of people Americans are – good citizens who care about helping other people."

As they toured the ship, the JCOC members chatted with the ships' crew, asking about their jobs, why they joined the military and what keeps them motivated.

The participants walked away from the experience raving about what they saw and heard.

"There wasn't one crewmember who wasn't extremely enthusiastic, and they all seemed duty-bound to what they were doing," said Brad Howell, chief executive officer of Lodestar Logistics Corp. in Houston. "Getting the opportunity to visit with them was truly inspirational."

Admitting to a penchant for all things high-tech, Mona Bonaci, Microsoft Corp.'s senior director for strategic partnerships, said she was wowed by Iwo Jima's technology. But what stood out most from her visit, she said, were the people.

"It's just amazing to get to talk with these people who are giving their lives to serve," she said. "This sounds corny, but I felt proud just to be in their company. The technology here is great, but it just doesn't compare to seeing these men and women."

"You look at the equipment and it's pretty impressive," agreed Brad Bulkley, president of Bulkley Capital in Dallas. "There's a lot of the 'awe factor' here. But the bigger piece is meeting the sailors and Marines."

Bulkey said he was particularly impressed by the leadership they demonstrate at such a young age. "It's obviously instilled in them by the Corps and the Navy," he said. "To see how this is all organized, and how well it all comes together, all I can say is that corporate America has a lot to learn from the armed forces."

The JCOC group visited Naval Support Activity Souda Bay and USS Iwo Jima as the first leg of a week-long trip through the U.S. European Command area of operations.

The JCOC program has been introducing civilian "movers and shakers" to the military since 1948 by showing them military operations and giving them an opportunity to see men and women in uniform on the job. The first U.S. defense secretary, James V. Forrestal, created the program that remains DoD's premier civic leader program.

Soldier Missing From The Vietnam War Is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Sgt. Timothy J. Jacobsen, U.S. Army, of
Oakland, Calif. He will be buried on Oct. 4 in Ferndale, Calif.

Representatives from the Army met with Jacobsen's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

On May 16, 1971, Jacobsen was one of four U.S. soldiers and an unknown number of Republic of Vietnam (R.V.N.) Marines who were aboard a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter. The crew was on a combat assault mission near Hue, South Vietnam when they came under heavy enemy ground fire as their aircraft touched down at the landing zone. The pilot tried to lift off, but the damaged aircraft struck a tree line and exploded. A few days later, a search and rescue team recovered the remains of some of the Vietnamese Marines, but there were remains still trapped under the helicopter wreckage. No remains for the U.S. soldiers were recovered.

In 1994, a joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), investigated the incident. The team surveyed the crash site and found wreckage consistent with a UH-1. The next year, another joint team excavated the site and recovered human remains, but they were not those of the U.S. soldiers.

In 2002, a joint team traveled to Hue and interviewed two Vietnamese citizens who showed the team two re-burial sites associated with this incident. In 2006, another team excavated the two sites and recovered human remains from one of them.

Among other
forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of Jacobsen's remains, which were recovered in 2006. The other U.S. soldiers associated with this incident are still unaccounted-for.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

MILITARY CONTRACTS September 23, 2008

NAVY

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $332,102,095 modification to a previously awarded cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-07-C-0098) to establish the final price and provide full funding for the procurement of seven U.S. Air Force conventional take off and landing propulsion systems, one initial spare module, initial spare parts, and six U.S. Navy Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) propulsion systems, and associated special tooling and special test equipment, program management, and financial and technical data. Additionally, this modification establishes an option for one spare Navy STOVL propulsion system; one STOVL initial spare module; STOVL initial spare parts and associated sustainment effort; future LRIP proposal and planning effort; and United Kingdom site activation effort. Work will be performed East Hartford, Conn., (73 percent); Bristol, United Kingdom, (17 percent); and Indianapolis, Ind., (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in Feb. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Harper Construction Co., Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $114,580,321 firm fixed price contract for the design and construction of five Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. This contract also contains eleven unexercised options, which if exercised will increase the cumulative contract value to $125,777,265. Work will be performed in Oceanside, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with six proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-C-8654).

Harris Corp., Melborne, Fla., is being awarded a $37,000,000 contract modification to a previously awarded firm fixed pricecontract (N00039-00-D-3210) to increase the ceiling value and to increase the ordering period for an additional 17 months from Oct. 1, 2008, through Mar. 6, 2010. This effort is for additional AN/WSC-6 Super High Frequency (SHF) Satellite Communications (SATCOM) terminals and additional data in accordance with CDRL, DD Form 1423. This contract modification would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $172,498,000. Work will be performed in Melborne, Fla., and work is expected to be completed Mar. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract wascompetitively procured in FY 2000 and this modification announcement was synopsized via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website, and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website on May 23, 2007. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Science Application International Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $30,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity architect/engineering contract for preparation of Navy and Marine Corps environmental planning documentation in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest area of responsibility. The work to be performed provides for National Environmental Policy Act documents such as Categorical Exclusions, Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements. Environmental studies and documents include, but are not limited to, historical, cultural, archaeological, traffic, acoustic (e.g., sound in water and on land), geotechnical, air quality and biological assessments for threatened and endangered species, and protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, wetlands surveys and Section 404 permitting, and agency consultation and permitting documentation for the California Coastal Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service and other miscellaneous environmental studies, and cost estimates and sketches for the preparation of Architect-Engineer (A-E) Documents and reports for the NAVFAC Southwest, and its customer commands. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to Calif., (87 percent), Ariz., (5 percent), Nev., (5 percent), Colo., (1 percent), N.M., (1 percent) and Utah, (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $5,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website,with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8807).

REDCOM Laboratories, Victor, N.Y., is being awarded a ceiling $28,000,000 firm fixed priced, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract resulting from Request for Proposal No. M67854-07-R-7038 for software upgrades to existing tactical switching equipment. Work will be performed in Victor, N.Y., and work is expected to be completed in Sept. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a sole-source procurement utilizing the procedures contained in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 15. No other suppliers were identified that could satisfy the Agency requirements. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-08-D-7062).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Simulation, Training and Support Division, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded an $11,075,000 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed priced contract (N00019-00-C-0480) to exercise an option for the F/A-18 Operational Test Program Set Production effort. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed in Jan. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

The Krempp Lumber Co.*, Jasper, Ind., is being awarded firm fixed price task order #0007 at $10,816,600 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40083-06-D-4018) for design and construction of the Secured Electronic Warfare Systems Engineering Facility at Naval Support Activity, Crane. The work to be performed provides for a two-story permanent addition to the electronics/communications engineering complex, B3330. Functional areas include high security engineering laboratory areas capable of supporting multiple projects requiring secure communications media, and supporting secure office areas. The addition will have conference rooms, break rooms, communications, electrical, and mechanical rooms. Paving and site improvements include vehicle parking areas and roadways, sidewalks, landscaping, and grading. The project will also include the demolition of an existing laboratory building. Work will be performed in Crane, Ind., and is expected to be completed by Feb. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Midwest, Great Lakes, Ill., is the contracting activity.

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded $10,765,906 for delivery order #0060 under previously awarded indefinite-delivery indefinite quantity contract (M67854-04-D-5016) for the purchase of an additional 48 ready-to-accept Armor Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement cargo trucks. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work is expected to be completed by Mar. 15, 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Bell Boeing Tiltrotor, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $9,971,572 ceiling priced delivery order #0296 under previously awarded contract (N00383-03-G-001B) for spare components for the CV-22 aircraft. Work will be performed at Hurst, Texas, and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity.

Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a potential $9,263,686 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, award term contract with a cost plus fixed fee pricing arrangement for engineering and technical support services for Tactical Data Link Systems, such as LINK 11 and 16, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, Command and Control Processor Subsystem, Tactical Digital Data Information Link and Common Data Link Management System, in support of a range of Navy projects. This contract will provide systems engineering, systems integration, test support, fleet support, software engineering, training, integrated logistics support, configuration management, and project management support. This one-year contract includes two, one-year options and four, six-month award terms, which if exercised, would bring the potential, cumulative value of this contract to $46,100,339. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and work is expected to be completion Sept. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the SPAWAR e-Commerce web site and the Federal Business Opportunities web site. Three offers were received and two awards were made. Both awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-08-D-0074).

Solpac Construction Inc., dba Soltek Pacific Construction Co., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $9,235,123 modification under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-08-D-8615) firm fixed price task order to exercise option 0001 which provides for the design and construction of a Weapons and Survivability Complex at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. The work to be performed under this option provides for design and construction of: (1) an elevated test pad with depressed gun trench below the test pad for shooting test articles from below; (2) a protected room underneath the test pad accessible from the gun pad for instrumentation; (3) three fragment protected (barricaded) utility buildings; 4) a wastewater collection system for wastewater/fuel generated from tests; and (5) electrical power, instrumentation and compressed air utilities. The total task order amount after exercise of this option will be $17,308,647. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $9,097,260 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity award term contract with a cost plus fixed fee pricing arrangement for engineering and technical support services for Tactical Data Link Systems, such as LINK 11 and 16, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, Command and Control Processor Subsystem, Tactical Digital Data Information Link and Common Data Link Management System, in support of various Navy projects. This contract will provide systems engineering, systems integration, test support, fleet support, software engineering, training, integrated logistics support, configuration management, and project management support. This one-year contract includes two, one-year options and four, six-month award terms, which if exercised, would bring the potential, cumulative value of this contract to $46,563,786. Work will be performed San Diego, Calif., and work is expected to be completed Sept.2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the SPAWAR e-Commerce web site and the Federal Business Opportunities web site. Three offers were received and two awards were made. Both awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-08-D-0152).

Stronghold Engineering, Inc., Riverside, Calif., is being awarded $8,129,100 for firm fixed price task order #0001 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-06-D-1057) for the repair and renovation of Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Building 41404 at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton. This task order also contains one option, which if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $9,335,100. Work will be performed in Oceanside, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Apr. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $7,200,000 modification (P0021) under previously awarded cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract (N00244-05-D-0045) for acquisition, engineering, technical, training, installation, repair, and program support for Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, Calif. Work will be performed at San Diego, Calif., (85 percent), Japan, (10 percent), and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (5 percent), and work is expected to be completed by May 2009. The contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was awarded competitively through Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities website. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, San Diego, Calif. is the contracting activity.

Rockwell Collins Government Systems, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $6,900,000 firm fixed priced order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-08-G-0016) for services in support of the FY 2008 ARC-210 Radio software changes to evolve the Ultra High Frequency Satellite Communication waveform capability in the next generation Tactical Networking Radio, RT-1939(C) radio system. Tasking includes program management, system engineering, and data deliverables. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in Feb. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $6,196,459 modification to a previously awarded cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-03-C-0057) for support equipment for three E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Pilot Production Aircraft, 1 Lot. Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y., (69.1 percent); Menlo Park, Calif., (Menlo Park, Calif., (5.7 percent); New Port Richey, Fla., (5.3 percent) Islip, N.Y., (3.2 percent); Dover, N.J., (3.1 percent); Holbrook, N.Y., (2.2 percent); and other various locations within the United States, (11.4 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jun. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Correction: Contract awarded to Solpac Construction Inc. dba Soltek Pacific Construction Co., San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 19, 2008 -- sentence should have read: for design and construction of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization Battle Courses at....

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Defense Enterprise Solutions, of McLean, Va., is being awarded an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract for $19.6 million. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Bioeffects Division is unique in the Department of Defense because it brings together in one organization the physical, biological, behavioral, science and engineering disciplines with specialized facilities to address all aspects of the human interface with optical sources in Air Force combat operations. Due to the laboratory's focus on man as an intrinsic part of the weapon systems, the laboratory is often tasked from other customers to evaluate the human aspects of their systems. AFRLL must respond with technical solutions and programs that address the customer's technical requirements. Optical radiation technologies, with potentially seriously hazards to aircrews, are being incorporated in many operational systems. Beyond today's target designator, rangefinders, and beam rider systems are dedicated laser systems capable of jamming and damaging both eyes and sensors. These systems have potentially serious consequences for air missions, special forces operations, and security of high-value targets in both U.S. and allied countries. In turn, similar systems can be utilized to enhance the warfighter's/peacekeeper flexibility by allowing them to respond with non-lethal methods. At this time $43,550 has been obligated. AFRL/PKHA, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-D-6930; Task Order 0002).

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract by exercising an option with Doss Aviation, Incorporated, of Colorado Springs, Colo., for an estimated $19,101,691. This action is for flight screening for USAF pilot candidates. At this time all funds have been obligated. AETC CONS/LGCU, Randolph AFB, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA3002-06-D-0010, Modification P00014).

Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio, is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for an estimated $14,168,363. The objective of this contract is to research and develop point of care and high-through put influenza diagnostic and surveillance test. At this time $2,415,459 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS.LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-00-D-3180, Delivery Order: 0556).

The Air Force is modifying a fixed price with prospective price redetermination contract with Colorado Springs utilities of Colorado Springs, Colo., for $9 million. This action will provide safe, dependable and reliable natural gas and electronic services. At this time all funds have been obligated. 10 MSG/LGCA, USAF Academy, Colo., is the contracting activity (GS-00P-06-BSD-0399, Task Order FA7000-08-F-0001, Modification P00001).

Alion Science and Technology Corp., of Chicago, Ill., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for an estimated $8,695,652. This action will provide the Air Force Material Command (AFMC) with technical analysis and research for electronic warfare capability planning and development analysis. This research will enable AFMC to make key decisions regarding new system starts and modifications of electronic warfare operations and capabilities. At this time $144,928 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, 55 CONS.LGCD, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-99-D-0301, Delivery Order: 0164).

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus award fee contract with Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA) of Tullahoma, Tenn., for $8,282,316. This action is a modification for the operation, maintenance, information managements, and support of the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) for additional workload in FY08. This increase results from changes to the workload in the test facilities and increased maintenance, investment, and mission support requirements. At this time no funds have been obligated. AEDC/PK, Arnold AFB, Tenn., is the contracting activity (F40600-03-C-0001, Modification P00149).

ARMY

Advanced Technology Institute, North Charleston, S.C., was awarded on Sept. 22, 2008, a $40,000,000 cost/plus/fixed/price contract for individuals task orders will be issued on a cost plus fixed fee basis. Work will be performed in North Charleston, S.C., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 16, 2013. Bid was solicited and a bid was received. U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Acquisition Center, Adelphi, Md., is the contracting activity (W911QX-08-D-0008).

Harris Corp., Rochester, N.Y., was awarded on Sept. 21, 2008, a $31,648,787 firm fixed fee price contract. This requirement is for parts necessary to perform maintenance on non-mission capable armored personnel carriers within the Iraqi Security Forces. Work will be performed in Rochester, N.Y., Wokingham, Berkshire and United Kingdom, with an estimated completion date of May 16, 2008. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. Joint Contracting Command Iraqi, Afghanistan, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GY0-08-C-0056).

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded on Sept. 22, 2008, a $31,214,840 firm fixed fee price contract for spare parts for the Blackhawk UH60M. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2008. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, Acquisition Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0271).

Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Baltimore, Md., was awarded on Sept. 22, 2008, a $25,993,504 firm fixed fee price contract design and construct barracks facilities (250) approximately 97,000 square feet. Work will be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2010. Proposals solicited were four and two proposals were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-07-D-0049).

Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Chantilly, Va., 801-08was awarded on Sept. 20, 2008, a $21,500,000 firm fixed fee price contract for design and construction of the US Army Reserve Center Command Headquarters at Fort Bragg. Work will be performed in Fort Bragg, N.C., with an estimated completion date of Jun. 30, 2011. Proposals solicited were six and four proposals were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-08-C-0061).

General Dynamics Land System, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $13,046,844 firm fixed price contract for award program Year One INCR 3 of multi-year contract for a quantity of 5 Abrams M1A2 SEPv2 upgrade vehicles. Work will be performed in Lima, Ohio, Tallahassee, Fla., Anniston, Ala., Scranton, Pa., and Sterling Heights, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2011. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

Argon ST Radix Inc, Mountain View, Calif., was awarded on Sept. 22, 2008, a $5,837,957 T&M firm fixed price contract for undefinitized contractual action for Integrated TOS (the Other Signal) airborne development system quick reaction capability. Work will be performed in the Iraq and Mountain View, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 3, 2010. Bids solicited were one Sole Source and one bid was received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-C-T209).

American Mechanical Inc, Fairbanks, Ala., was awarded on Sept. 19, 2008, a $5,857,965 firm fixed price contract for design and construct upgrades to Kodiak Street Arctic Utilidors, Eielson Air force Base, Ala. Work will be performed in Eielson Air Force Base, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 15, 2009. Two bids were solicited and two bids were received. U.S. Army Engineers District, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ala., is the contracting activity (W911KB-05-D-0012).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

eneral Electric Transportation Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a maximum $15,149,847 firm fixed price, sole source, requirements type contract for aircraft engine parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. This contract is for ten years with a two-year base and four two-year options. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Mar. 31, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM400-00-D-9403).

England: CFC Contributions Aid Less-Fortunate Citizens

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Sept. 23, 2008 - Americans socked by natural disasters can get assistance through aid provided by donations to the Combined Federal Campaign, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England said at the Pentagon's CFC kickoff ceremony today. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike devastated the homes and lives of millions of Gulf Coast residents, England said.

Giving to the CFC, England said, provides a way to "help out our fellow Americans get back onto their feet." More than 3,600 charitable organizations are listed in the CFC beneficiary catalog.

The Defense Department's goal for this year's CFC campaign is $13.3 million, which is $100,000 more than last year. The CFC National Capital Area's goal is $61 million.

Service-branch goals for this year's CFC National Capital Area campaign are$3.6 million for the
Navy and Marine Corps, $2.95 million for the Army and $1.75 million for the Air Force.

Due to the type and nature of their employment, military members and Defense Department civilians enjoy good, secure jobs with great benefits and are in a good position to assist citizens undergoing hard times, England said.

"We are blessed," England told military members and defense civilians attending the kickoff ceremony. Servicemembers and defense civilians, he said. "And so, we are in a position that we can help people who are less fortunate."

Taking his third turn as honorary campaign chairman, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen noted the ease of donating in the workplace or by payroll allotment. The National Capital Area always has contributed generously to the campaign, Allen said.

The 2008 CFC campaign, which started Sept. 1 and runs through Dec. 15, repeats last year's theme: "Be a Star in Someone's Life."