Military News

Friday, October 10, 2008

Germans, Americans Honor Fallen U.S. Troops

By Brandon Beach
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - An eyewitness never forgets. So was the case on Aug. 11, 1955. On that day, two C-199 Flying Boxcar planes collided in midair 45 miles south of here. One crashed in a field close to the village of Edelweiler. The other spiraled into the woods near Grömbach. Sixty-six American airmen and soldiers died.

"It was the worst aviation disaster in Europe since the end of the
Second World War," James McNaughton, U.S. European Command historian, said.

No one survived. What did survive, though, was the memory that many residents still hold today.

"A lot of people here are connected to this tragedy," Edelweiler Deputy Mayor Thomas Sannert said. "It happened in front of their eyes. The accident is part of our town's local history."

Karl Bross, a farmer from Edelweiler, was 36 years old when the two planes collided 4,000 feet above his fields. Since that ill-fated day, he has not farmed the place on his land where one of the planes came down. Steel parts still are embedded in the ground, and during heavy rains, oil seeps up to the surface, leaving a purplish, damp residue, he said.

For decades after the accident, local farmers would take relatives of the fallen to the crash site. To this day, many residents still stay in touch with grandchildren of the fallen soldiers and airmen by mail, said Gudrun Kaper, a U.S.
Army Garrison Stuttgart host nation liaison.

"There has always been a feeling of closeness since the accident," she said.

In 1993, Karl Ziegler, a local forest ranger, planted an oak tree near the crash site. Village officials later set it aside as a memorial. "They have always treated it like a cemetery," Kaper said.

Several years ago, a large stone was placed near the tree. And last year, a steel plate was added to the stone, etched with the names of the 66 fallen Americans.

In each case, Germans and Americans gathered to honor the dead by name in a religious ceremony marked by reflection and prayer.

This year – 53 years after the crash – the unfinished work continues. A stone similar to the one just outside Edelweiler was placed at the site where the second plane spiraled into the forest.

"We can now properly honor the fallen from the second aircraft that went down in these woods," said
Army Col. Richard M. Pastore, USAG Stuttgart commander, who helped to unveil the memorial alongside Grömbach Mayor Peter Seithel during a remembrance ceremony.

Many of the eyewitnesses still living in Edelweiler and Grömbach believe they have been entrusted with a piece of history, and they have kept it alive.

"These soldiers who died here died on German soil to preserve the peace," McNaughton said during the ceremony. "Today, we have a great task remaining ahead of us: to continue to preserve that peace."

The one-hour ceremony concluded with the playing of "Taps" as people bowed their heads in silence.

(Brandon Beach works at the U.S.
Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office.)

Couple's Personal Tragedy Helps to Educate Others

By Air Force Master Sgt. Greg Rudl
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - No one would have faulted Carol Graham or her husband,
Army Maj. Gen. Mark A. Graham, if they had kept their enormous grief private. Their youngest son, Kevin, committed suicide in June 2003. Seven months later, their other son, Jeffrey, an Army lieutenant, was killed in Iraq.

Instead, the two have gone public with their personal tragedy to teach others about suicide prevention.

In front of more than 100 people at the
Army National Guard Readiness Center here Oct. 8, Graham talked about losing her two sons and how it changed her life.

Her appearance was part of the Army National Guard's Suicide Prevention Program guest speaker series. She was introduced by Alice Nuttall, wife of Maj. Gen. James W. Nuttall, deputy director of the Army National Guard.

"Pain is the price we pay for being alive," said Graham, quoting Rabbi Harold S. Kushner from his book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."

She and her family have had more than their share of bad things.

Kevin was a University of Kentucky senior and
Army ROTC scholarship cadet when he took his own life. Jeffrey, a second lieutenant in the Army, was readying for a deployment to Iraq. Because of his brother's death, the Army offered him stateside duty instead. He declined.

On Feb. 19, 2004, while leading a foot patrol in Khaldiyah, Iraq, Jeff Graham stopped his platoon short of a bridge after noticing something out of the ordinary on the guard rail. As he was calling in the report, the roadside bomb detonated, killing him.

Graham, with Jeff's picture on a screen behind her, read a prepared statement in a somewhat tired, monotone voice about how she and her husband received the news, but couldn't accept it. Her husband felt that he couldn't lead any more, she said, and wanted to retire from the
military.

"We joined every support group in Lawton [Okla.]," Graham said. Her husband was stationed at nearby Fort Sill at the time. In her despair, she thought, "How could the world keep spinning without Jeff and Kevin in it?" she told the audience.

But something happened at those recovery groups when the couple shared memories of their sons and the grief over losing them. They found that the more they talked about them, the better they felt. Instead of withdrawing, they decided to get involved in educating others about suicide and how to prevent it.

For the past four years, Graham has been instrumental in raising depression and suicide prevention awareness for families and soldiers at Fort Sill. She received the Oklahoma Governor's Commendation for Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness in support of the post-traumatic stress disorder program in July 2004. She also was awarded the Texas Governor's Yellow Rose of Texas for her work with wounded soldiers and their families at Brooke
Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Following Kevin's death, his parents established a memorial fund at the University of Kentucky to raise suicide and depression awareness. After Jeff's death, the fund was endowed and renamed for both.

Graham's somber tone in the first half of her talk changed to a lively exchange with the audience in the second half, as she stepped from behind the podium to take questions.

"Kevin wore the mask very well," she said, meaning he disguised his discontentment by putting up a normal front. He had won several awards in his ROTC class, she said.

Graham recounted the suicide warning signs her son was giving off -- indicators she didn't pick up on then, but now knows through education.

The mental health community agrees that the classic signs are talk of suicide, giving away possessions, acting in a bizarre manner, financial problems and withdrawal. Her son also had suicide risk factors, Graham said, including a history of depression that required medication and a family history of the illness. She found out later that her father suffered from depression most of his adult life.

Graham said she remembers talking to a Tricare health care representative over the phone and trying to get psychiatric help for her son. She was warned by others that it would cost $250 an hour. The representative said there wasn't a psychiatrist in the Tricare network in her area, so she didn't pursue it.

Guard members suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or contemplating suicide have more resources that can help them than ever before. One of those is
military OneSource, a program through which they can receive up to six sessions with a counselor for no charge.

Graham warned that people considering suicide show signs. "No one [who] commits suicide is compulsive," she said, explaining that no one thinks about it for the first time and does it. It's a gradual process, she said.

"It's like a jar sitting on the shelf," she explained. "They take it down several times and put it back before finally going through with it."

She ended her talk with a plea to everyone in the room: "I beg you, if your buddy is showing signs of suicide, do what we didn't do and reach out to them. And don't be afraid of mentioning the 'S' word."

Program Sets Shape for Future Humanitarian Operations

By Tim Kilbride
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - The National Defense University is leading a coalition of businesses, foreign governments, nonprofit groups, universities, federal agencies and the U.S.
military to assemble solutions for helping people who live in stressed environments, the program's director told military bloggers Oct. 8. Linton Wells, distinguished research fellow and force transformation chair at the university, leads the STAR-TIDES program, short for Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research - Transportable Infrastructures for Development and Emergency Support.

Broadly stated, Wells said, STAR-TIDES' mission is to facilitate assistance to stressed populations in a rapid, but affordable and sustainable manner. He defined stressed populations as those that are "post-war, post-disaster or impoverished."

The program has no mandate to develop, produce or deploy technology or resources, Wells said. Rather, it encourages information sharing, expansion of social networks and identification of effective humanitarian assistance solutions.

STAR-TIDES is a knowledge repository, not a field activity, Wells said. "We try to pull together information about what's happening in this space," he explained, "[and] make it available to decision makers and those who work in the field."

Improvements in this area support the Defense Department's missions of building partnership capacity, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, stabilizing and rebuilding, and supporting
civil authorities, Wells explained.

The program has three broad focus areas, Wells said: enhancing the ability of civilian coalitions to operate in stressed environments; extending the
military's ability to operate in partnership with civilian organizations; and economizing in logistics and supply-chain management.

Within that focus, he added, the program pursues seven "buckets" of infrastructure solutions: cooking, heating, cooling and lighting, integrated combustion, power, sanitation, shelter and water.

Private-sector and academic experts recommend technologies and pursue research and development, Wells said. "It's been just really interesting to see some of the ideas that come up," he added.

Solutions have to be individually tailored to apply across a range of environments, Wells noted. Part of his team's research, he said, involves testing potential solutions across four case studies: refugee support in Africa, stabilization reconstruction in Afghanistan, defense support to
civil authorities in case of a major disaster in the national capital region, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in tropical regions such as Central America or the Western Pacific.

The scale of the solutions required depends on the environment in which agencies would be working and the expected duration of the crisis, Wells said.

In any given scenario, Wells said, the question becomes how to find the right mix of business, government and
civil society elements that need to work together to solve the problem.

In the Central American case, for example, officials would need to identify the affected country's equivalent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, determine what local languages need to be spoken, and find out which nongovernmental organizations operate there, Wells said. Next, officials would determine how entities such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. Southern Command would work with them.

"We're trying to take a holistic approach to this," Wells said.

Wells described a layered process of identifying infrastructure solutions, checking them against likely scenarios and determining a supply-chain model. But that work is only one portion of the equation, he said. Other factors include:

-- Establishing and maintaining social networks must be so the agencies involved are comfortable working together;

-- Developing policy, operating procedures and legal frameworks so organizations can proceed confidently; and

-- Conducting training and education regularly so that lessons become institutionalized.

Developing those solutions requires enormous brainpower and brainstorming, Wells said.

"The heart of STAR-TIDES is a broad coalition of several hundred people and organizations that range from Iceland to Singapore," he said. "There are a lot of different folks involved."

(Tim Kilbride works in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

Servicemembers Get Free National Depression Screening Day Evaluations

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - Servicemembers, retirees and their family members are getting free, anonymous screenings for depression and other mental-health-related issues at
military bases nationwide during National Screening for Depression Day today. National Depression Screening Day is an annual program run by a nonprofit organization called Screening for Mental Health, U.S. Public Health Service Capt. Mark Paris said during a recent interview with the Pentagon Channel.

The organization manages a special program for the Defense Department called the Mental Health Self-Assessment program, Paris said, providing materials and information and offering free mental-health assessments at
military health fairs.

"It's anonymous. You're not writing your name or telling anybody who you are," Paris said. "You have that privacy, which is very important to our servicemembers."

Servicemembers fill out an assessment form, which is scored on site, Paris said. If there is an issue, he said, the person conducting the assessment recommends that the servicemember seek help at resources such as on- or off-base treatment facilities, the Military OneSource Web site and others.

Evaluations also are available, he said, for post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug problems, anxiety and other maladies.

The evaluation program is especially useful, Paris said, for servicemembers returning from deployments in Afghanistan or Iraq, who may experience stress-related symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health-related issues.
"Some of those folks are going to have problems that are going to last for a little while, and then there're going to go away on their own; that's true, we believe, for most folks," Paris said. "And some are going to have more of a problem."

The screening takes just a few minutes, Paris said.

"You can answer honestly, because, again, nobody knows who you are," he said. "And, you get pretty quick feedback."

Paris cited "A Different Kind of Courage," a DVD produced by the
military that features interviews with military health care providers and senior enlisted and commissioned leaders, some of whom talk about how they experienced and confronted emotional difficulties that surfaced during the course of overseas deployments. The video, he said, is available for viewing online and also can be obtained at military health fairs.

"Nothing happened to their careers," Paris said, describing the experiences of the
military members featured in the video who experienced emotional issues and sought and obtained treatment.

The U.S. Public Health Service is a component of the Department of Health and Human Services. DoD and HHS announced on June 4 that they'd agreed to team up to expand the availability of mental health services for returning warfighters, their family members and
military retirees.

As part of this agreement, mental health officers in the PHS's commissioned corps are being attached to military medical treatment facilities across the United States to provide psychiatric care, counseling and family and group therapy for servicemembers,
military retirees and family members.

Gates Cites Importance of Europe Visit

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today his five-day trip to southeastern and central Europe was important to allies in the region and to relations among NATO nations. The secretary's first stop was in Kosovo, where he was the first defense secretary since 2001 to visit the Americans who are a part of NATO's Kosovo Force. He also became the first U.S. cabinet official to visit the nation since it declared independence in February.

The secretary visited with National Guardsmen of the 110th Enhanced Maneuver Brigade. The unit has Guardsmen from
Missouri and six other states. Young soldiers explained what they do to help maintain calm in the newly independent nation -- taking the pulse of the population and even vaccinating sheep among the tasks they perform. The 1,400 men and women of the brigade are doing an excellent job in a challenging place, the secretary said.

Gates also met with Kosovar
leaders. "It was helpful to the Kosovars, and I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time with our National Guardsmen who were there doing such an incredible job," the secretary said in an interview with reporters traveling with him.

Gates went from Kosovo to Macedonia, where he participated in a southeastern Europe defense ministers conference. While there, he met with his Ukraine counterpart and expressed America's support for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. He also spoke to the defense ministers of Montenegro and Macedonia about recognizing Kosovo. Both nations did so yesterday.

Gates also encouraged the Macedonians to work with Greece to resolve their differences over the fact that Macedonia also is the name of a Greek province. He said he told Macedonian officials to be "as creative as they could and forward-leaning as possible ... so we can try and get their NATO membership done at the foreign ministers meeting in December."

The trip sent the signal to the nations and people of the region that the United States is concerned about them and values them as allies, the secretary said.

Finally, Gates traveled to Budapest for a NATO defense ministers conference. Afghanistan was the main point of discussion at the meetings, but the ministers also spoke about Russia's invasion of Georgia, NATO headquarters reform and membership action plans.

Air Force Reservists Fight Insect Infestation in Wake of Hurricanes

By Navy Seaman William Selby
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - An
Air Force Reserve C-130 crew recently sprayed insecticide in southern Louisiana to combat insect infestation, the squadron's commander said yesterday. The 757th Airlift Squadron responded to a request from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to spray and control the growing mosquito and fly population in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, Air Force Lt. Col. John Williams said during a teleconference with bloggers.

"It's no secret that controlling the mosquito populations is very important, especially in the South, in the aftermath of the hurricanes," Williams explained. "They are disease carriers that can transmit diseases like the West Nile virus and various forms of encephalitis."

Aerial spray operations started in World War II, when more soldiers were dying of malaria and other insect-transmitted diseases than were being killed in combat, said
Air Force Maj. Karl Haagsma, an entomologist attached to the 757th Airlift Squadron. Since then, state governments have called for aerial spraying to deal with insects after tropical storms and hurricanes.

"The largest-scale one that we did was after [hurricanes] Katrina and Rita three years ago, and we ... sprayed 2.88 million acres, and that was in Louisiana and Texas," Haagsma said.

While the Modular Aerial Spray System, or MASS, is capable of various missions, it is predominantly used for mosquitoes, said
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. John Daniels with the 910th Aerial Spray Maintenance Flight.

"We're spraying at a half ounce per acre, and sometimes when you get heavier populations of mosquitoes, we will increase to almost three quarters of an ounce per acre," Daniels said.

"With one aircraft, we can apply approximately 930 acres per minute, so you can see that we can cover a lot of an area in a very short period of time," Williams said.

Even though the squadron's primary mission is for troop protection against insects, Haagsma said, the unit also can apply herbicide, spray oil dispersants and perform decontamination missions.

"You hate to see any kind of disaster hit anyone," Williams said. "But we do maintain the capability, and we're ready to deploy as soon as needed to provide relief to those particular areas."

(
Navy Seaman William Selby works for New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

All Services Meet Fiscal Year Recruiting Goals

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - All military services, including their reserve components, met their recruiting goals for fiscal 2008, marking one of the strongest recruiting efforts in four years, senior Defense Department officials announced today. "This is the strongest recruiting year we've had overall ... since fiscal year 2004," said David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Notably, the Army and Marine Corps had raised their recruiting goals for fiscal 2008, as both services continue to grow their ranks to meet the demands of the wars on two fronts. In fact, the Army was the sole active-duty service to exceed its goal by a full 1 percent, recruiting 517 more soldiers than its 80,000 target.

And the service increased the overall quality of its recruits, its top recruiting officer said, and put more recruits into the pool waiting to join in fiscal 2009.

"I've never seen a better Army," Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the commander of the service's recruiting command.

Only 20 percent of recruits joining the Army in fiscal 2008 required a waiver for medical or conduct reasons, Bostick said. The Army granted only 372 waivers to allow recruits with felony convictions to enlist, down from 511 in fiscal 2007, he added.

Also, the Army increased its percentage of active-duty recruits who hold high school diplomas to 83 percent, up from 79 percent in fiscal 2007.

DoD's goal is that 90 percent of those enlisting have a high school diploma. All other active-duty and reserve services met or exceeded the 90 percent goal, except for the Army Reserve, which came in at 89 percent. All recruits must have a high school certification to join.

The other active-duty services weighed in at 100 percent of their fiscal year recruiting goals, and each exceeded its goal by at least a few dozen recruits.

The Navy came in at 38,485 accessions, 66 above its goal of 38,419. The Marine Corps came in at 37,991, 24 above its goal of 37,967 and the Air Force recruited 27,848 new airmen, 48 above its goal of 27,800.

Retention was strong for the active-duty Army and Navy, as each exceeded its fiscal 2008 target. The Marine Corps did not reach its goal for retaining first-time recruits, and its retention rate dropped to 95 percent.

Air Force retention suffered in a tumultuous year for the service, although officials did not release specific numbers. Part of the problem, Chu explained, was that the Air Force was drawing down its force at the start of the fiscal year, and therefore did not have strong retention incentives in place.

The Air Force stopped its reduction in strength about mid-year, but it was too late to stop the flow of airmen leaving the service, Chu said. He added that those retention rates are expected to rebound for fiscal 2009, which began Oct. 1.

The reserve forces had a strong recruiting year, as the Air National Guard came in at 126 percent of its recruiting goal, recruiting 2,200 airmen above its goal of 8,548.

The Army Reserve recruited 106 percent of its 37,500-soldier goal, bringing in 39,870 new recruits.

The Air Force Reserve finished the year at 105 percent, with 7,323 accessions, 360 above its goal of 6,983.

The Army National Guard closed out the year at 103 percent, with nearly 2,200 recruits over its 63,000 goal.

The Navy and Marine Corps reserves both came in at 100 percent of their recruiting goals, with 9,134 and 7,628 accessions, respectively.

Retention numbers were not released, but officials said losses were within acceptable limits.

Chu said that DoD begins this recruiting fiscal year in a stronger position than last year. Also, he said, the strength of the all-volunteer force is shown in the overall quality of the recruits.

"We aim for the typical person to be above average," he said.

More than 92 percent of recruits hold a high school diploma, contrasted with 75 percent of the general U.S. population in the same age range.

Nearly 70 percent of new active-duty recruits came from the top half of those in the United States testing highest in math and verbal aptitude, and about three-quarters of new recruits come from neighborhoods that are at or above the U.S. median annual household income of about $50,000.

"[It] is a great tribute to the qualities of America's youth today, their willingness to step forward, and their willingness to serve," Chu said. "The fact that we are getting some of the best and brightest in our society is a great tribute to the spirit that young people put into the notion of public service today."

Cartwright Urges Improving Technological Advances

By Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - The U.S.
military needs to continue working on technological advances to fight a pair of wars that are "winnable," the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday. Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, speaking to a group of Marine Corps University students during the Erskine lecture series, said the U.S. military's priority is to win the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and be ready for future challenges and threats.

Addressing the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cartwright said, "This fight is winnable."

The service chiefs are doing a great job preserving, training and equipping the force, Cartwright said. The
Army, in particular, has done an amazing transformation by turning from a garrison structure to a more expeditionary force, he said.

"We're taking an
Army and completely transforming it," Cartwright said. The Army has switched from a division construct to a brigade construct, all while fighting two wars.

"Those are huge changes, larger than anything this
Army has done since World War II," he said.

The reserve forces also have undergone a notable transformation, turning from a strategic mobilization force into an operational force, all while growing larger than the active-duty side of the
military.

All of this, the vice chairman said, has transformed the U.S. military into an experienced and more capable force. With the increased experience and capability, Cartwright said, the
military will be more able to adapt to a future conflict.

"We might have to spend a couple of months to be ready to go to some different kind of conflict, but it's going to be a couple of months, not a couple of years," he said.

The vice chairman said another major advance during the past few years has been unmanned aerial vehicles. Cartwright said the United States has gone from a handful of UAVs at the start of the war in Iraq to hundreds currently. However, he said, UAVs need to develop a common ground station to communicate better.

In addition, the general said, UAVs need to be used more efficiently, and policies need to be examined so UAVs can use different tactics. The general added that the platform also needs to become an all-weather capability.

Another challenge the U.S.
military is facing is cultural and language training. While the military has ramped up the training capability, Cartwright said, the United States still is behind allies because of a "speak my language or you're dumb" mentality.

A great model of success is the international package-delivery company UPS, which runs an aggressive cultural and language training program, the general said. UPS puts employees into the program before stationing them overseas, he said.

"We've got to get in the same boat," Cartwright said.

(
Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump serves in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs Office.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 10, 2008

Army

American Ordnances LLC, St. Pittsburg, Kan., has three contract were awarded Oct. 2, 2008, a $427,782,611 firm/fixed-price contract for the operations
Iowa and Milan Army Ammunition Plants. Work will be performed in Iowa Army Ammunition, Middleton, Iowa, Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Milan, Tenn., with estimated and completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. Bids solicited were via the Web and two bids were received. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activities (W52P1J08-E-003, W52P1J08-D-0074, and W52P108-G-004).

LW Matteson Inc, Burlington,
Iowa, was awarded on Oct. 9, 2008, an $11,730,750 firm/fixed/price contract to repair more than one mile of levee breaches at the Hunt and Lima Lake Drainage Districts and Indian Grave Drainage District, located along the Mississippi River in Illinois. Work will be performed in Mississippi River Hunt Lima Lake Drainage District and Indian Grave Drainage District, Quincy, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 15, 2009. Bids were solicited via the www.fbo.gov and one bid was received. US Army Corps of Engineer, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W912EK-09-C-0002).

Lockheed Martin Corp, Missile and
Fire Control-Dallas, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded Oct. 7, 2008, a $5,414,500 firm/fixed/price contract to support recertification of 72 each baseline PAC-3 missiles during the fiscal years of 2009 and 2010 and 1 Lot of consumable material to support recertification of 24 each baseline PAC-3 missile during fiscal year 2009. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with estimated and completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone, Ala., is the contracting (W31P4Q-06-C-0180).

Navy

Bechtel Bettis Inc., Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, West Mifflin, Pa., is being awarded a $205,340,000 cost-plus-fixed fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-98-C-4064) for naval nuclear propulsion work at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. Work will be performed in West Mifflin, Pa. Contract funds in the amount of $89,580,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured. This action represents funding of the contract's fy09 effort. No completion date or other additional information is provided on naval nuclear propulsion program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the Contracting Activity.

Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc. dba HOK Architects, San Francisco, Calif., is being awarded $13,000,000 for modification #P00032 under a previously awarded firm-fixed price architect/engineer contract (N62742-05-C-0001) for design and engineering services at the Pacific Region Center and Wet Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The work to be performed provides for all design and engineering services to develop design-bid-build documents for construction of the facilities comprising Buildings 175, 176, A and S181/220, and all associated facilities. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contact value will be $22,455,895. Work will be performed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by June 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Ground Systems Division, York, Pa., is being awarded an $8,014,050 firm-fixed-priced modification to previously awarded delivery order #0003 under a previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5025) for integrated logistics support to support Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Work will be performed in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by the January 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.

Air Force

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with Honeywell International Incorporated of Clearwater, Fla., for $9,391,835. This action will provide "Advanced Inertial Measurement Unit" for the Advanced Ballistic Missile Technological Program. At this time $80,000 has been obligated. Det 8 AFRL/RVKV, Directorate of Contracting, Kirtland AFB, N.M., is the contracting activity (FA9453-08-C-0612, P00003).

The
Air Force is modifying a cost plus fixed fee contract with McDonnell Douglas Corporation, A Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of the Boeing Company, of Long Beach, Calif., not to exceed $7,184,203. This contract modification is a Foreign military Sales (FMS) requirement for the Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster III sustainment partnership program. This action incorporates Block 17 spares and aeromedical litter station augmentations set. This effort supports foreign military sales to the Royal Air Force, United Kingdom. At this time $2.32 million has been obligated. AFMC/516/AESW/516 AESG/SYK, Area B, Bldg 558, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (FA8614-04-C-2004 P00271).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

West-Mark, Ceres, Calif.* is being awarded a maximum $5,952,710 firm fixed price contract for water distribution truck. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is
Navy. There were originally 2 proposals solicited with 1 response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is July 18, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM509-01-D-0068-0022).

Macqurie Aviation North America 2, Inc., DBA Atlantic Av, Louisville, Ky.* is being awarded a maximum $5,154,523 fixed price with economic price adjustment, into-plane contract for fuel. Other location of performance is KSDF Louisville International Standiford Field, Louisville, Kentucky. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies and National Guard. There were originally 103 proposals solicited with 1 response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is September 30, 2012. The contracting activity is Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-09-D-0008).

Top Rating Confirms What Retirement Home Residents Knew

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 10, 2008 - Nearly 100 Armed Forces Retirement Home residents attending a
Navy birthday observance were lauded as heroes during a ceremony yesterday that underscored what makes the home stand apart from – and as a new accreditation shows, above – most other retirement facilities. "Thank you for all you have done to preserve our freedoms, and for doing it with honor, courage and commitment," Navy Capt. Timothy R. Fox, commander of Navy District Washington Reserve Component Command, told the group, mostly Navy retirees and veterans. "Thank you for being our heroes."

Pasquale Giudice, a retired
Navy senior chief petty officer who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, rolled his wheelchair to a front-row spot in the auditorium to take part in the commemoration. A few rows back sat retired Chief Petty Officer Hugh Wingo, whose ship delivered Lt. Col. James Doolittle and his crew within range of Tokyo so they could launch the Doolittle Raid in 1942.

They joined with the other residents, singing the
Navy song and clapping as 91-year-old Marian Ritchie, the second-oldest Navy veteran at the home, accepted the honor of cutting the Navy birthday cake.

Since 1851, the Armed Forces Retirement Home has offered a premier retirement community for
military retirees and qualified veterans. The historic home in the heart of the nation's capital has housed four U.S. presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. A second campus, in Gulfport, Miss., was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and is being rebuilt. It's slated to reopen in 2010.

The facilities operated separately for many years until Congress passed a law in the early 1990s combining them into the Armed Forces Retirement Home. They're operated as an independent federal agency funded by a permanent trust made in part from a 50-cent-a-month payroll deduction from active-duty troops.

Many of the residents, like Giudice, said they were attracted to the AFRH by the first-class care and services it offers, but also by the opportunity to bond with fellow veterans.

"We share sea stories, talking about where we've been and what we've done," he said. "We all have one thing in common, and that's what brings us together."

AFRH Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cox cited a long list of programs and initiatives to ensure 1,100 residents now at the Washington campus get the quality care and services they deserve. "We've raised the bar, because we are treating the nation's heroes, and that means we have to do the very best we can," he said.

Findings of the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities' Continuing Care Accreditation Committee show the effort is paying off. The independent accrediting body conducted a five-day, on-site survey in August, and announced earlier this week that it had awarded the Armed Forces Retirement Home its highest-level rating.

"It's a piece of paper that grades us on how we are doing ... in comparison to other homes in America," said David Watkins, director of the Washington campus. "And we're in the top!"

Cox called the rating a huge achievement, particularly because it was awarded by retirement housing industry leaders. "A peer review is so tantamount to making sure we are doing the best we can for the people we serve," he said.

But ask the residents themselves, and they'll tell you they already knew what the accreditation officials made official.

"This is a nice, comfortable atmosphere, and the care we receive here is top-rate," said Eska McConnell, a retired Army sergeant first class who moved to the AFRH four years ago and now serves as president of its Resident Advisory Council. McConnell called the staff the key to the home's success.

"I see it day in and day out, and the staff here really cares about what happens to people," he said. "It's really neat, and I'll tell you, I do not intend to leave here, ever."

"This is a wonderful place," agreed Marie Townsend, a
Navy veteran who became the first woman vocalist assigned to the Navy Band in 1945. "They do so much here – trips, concerts, shows and other activities. ... And our food is like the Country Buffet!"

Moving from a five-bedroom house into a tiny room at the AFRH wasn't easy, Townsend conceded. But rather than getting rid of the things she loved, including her Shirley Temple doll collection, she saved just one or two of each to bring to her new home.

Cox said he feared the small rooms at the Washington campus would be considered a drawback when the accrediting committee toured the facility. But the goal, he said, isn't to keep people comfortably cooped up in apartments; it's to encourage them to get out and mingle in the facility's common areas that include a bowling alley, a nine-hole golf course, a wellness center and a library.

"The main living space is all of our common areas," Cox said. "All of the space is theirs, and we want them to use it."

Ritchie is among several hundred AFRH residents who lived at the former U.S. Naval Home in Gulfport before it fell victim to Hurricane Katrina's surge waters. She remembered arriving at that facility less than a year after her husband died, wanting more than what she had at her empty house in California.

"What I found here is camaraderie. We're all one family," Ritchie said of the AFRH and its residents. "My life is here. It's not back in California any more. I go to bed at night and say 'thank you.'"

But as active as she is at the Washington campus, Ritchie said, she has every intention of returning to Gulfport when it opens. "I'm going to be on the front bus," she said.

Wingo had been preparing to move into the Gulfport facility when Katrina hit, and he said he hopes to move there when it reopens to be closer to his family. But in the meantime, he said, he's taking advantage of all the Washington campus has to offer, and knows he made the right decision when he moved to the AFRH.

"You seldom hear a negative here about anything," he said. "I found a home here. I'm happy."

Navy Names Ship After Howard O. Lorenzen 'Father Of Electronic Warfare'

The Navy announced today that the name of the next missile range instrumentation ship will be USNS Howard O. Lorenzen. Designated T-AGM 25, the ship will honor the late Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) electrical engineer who was instrumental in the creation of our nation's electronic intelligence capabilities. Considered by many to be the 'Father of Electronic Warfare,' Lorenzen's accomplishments include developments in radar, electronic countermeasures systems, and intelligence satellite designs.

Lorenzen led the Galactic Radiation and Background (GRAB) program, the earliest successful U.S. reconnaissance satellite program and the first electronic intelligence satellite. The NRL began the classified GRAB program shortly after the U-2 incident of 1960 to obtain information on Soviet air defense radars that could not be observed by U.S.
military aircraft.

USNS Howard O. Lorenzen will be 12,575 tons, 534 feet in length, and have a beam of 89 feet. Manned by a combined crew of 88 sailors and civilian mariners, the ship will host embarked
military and civilian technicians from other U.S. government agencies. The construction contract for T-AGM 25 was awarded to VT Halter Marine Inc., in Pascagoula, Miss.

Missile range instrumentation ships provide platforms for monitoring missile launches and collecting data that can be used to improve missile efficiency and accuracy. Like the
Navy's two current missile range instrumentation ships – USNS Observation Island and USNS Invincible – T-AGM 25 will be owned and operated by military Sealift Command and conduct missions sponsored by the Air Force.

Department Works to Give Military Families Coordinated Care

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - The Defense Department, in conjunction with the
military services and the Department of Veterans Affairs, has created a framework to help wounded, ill and injured servicemembers not only survive, but also thrive as they transition from military service back into their communities. "We want them to really not only survive their injuries, but now thrive in what's called oftentimes 'the new normal,'" said Lynda C. Davis, DoD lead for case/care management reform for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families. "We've been able to, jointly with the services and [Veterans Affairs], develop a framework to make that happen."

For the past 16 months, the Wounded, Ill and Injured Senior Oversight Committee worked to create a program to help wounded, injured or ill servicemembers and their families develop what Davis referred to as a "life plan." It goes beyond medical care to address financial and housing needs, transportation, education and employment, and even spiritual desires and needs, she said.

This life plan is one of four pieces to help servicemembers and their families successfully reintegrate into civilian life.

Another piece will provide severely injured servicemembers and their families with a recovery coordinator to oversee the development of the recovery plan and delivery of service and resources. In addition, servicemembers and their families will be assigned a recovery team that will work directly with them to ensure responsive, quality care, Davis said.

The fourth cornerstone will be unveiled in November during
military Family Month and Warrior Care Month.

"It's a 'Yellow Book' that will be available throughout the country online so that anybody serving or supporting the wounded, ill, or injured servicemember or their family will have access to services and resources [offered through] federal government, state and local, county, not-for-profit, academic and philanthropic [sources]," she explained.

These four facets of the "Uniform Cornerstones of Care Coordination" work in a 10-step process. It begins with a screening phase and continues through a review phase.

"[The Uniform Steps of Care Coordination] helps us identify serious or severely injured servicemembers who need these kinds of support," she said. "It prepares people for the transition, and then it continues to review and stays in contact to make sure that their personal and professional goals are met."

Those pieces already are in place, but family support also is crucial to the healing process, Davis said. To make sure it's part of the plan, the "Summit on Consistent Best Practices for Support of Families of Fallen and Wounded, Ill and Injured Service Members," will be held Oct. 20 at the Pentagon from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About 300 people are expected to attend the summit, including family members, warrior and family support programs, and veteran service organizations.

"At the summit, we will have panels of family members, ... and they will be discussing their experiences in the different phases of recovery," Davis said. "Then we will also be highlighting some programs that are really nominated by the families that are best practices."

Family members will share some of the programs they see as model programs in a panel format that morning. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will have lunch with the group before he addresses them.

"In the afternoon, we're going to concentrate really on families of the fallen," Davis said. "They will also have some best practice programs that they've been able to nominate. We'll wrap it up with another announcement, which is another Web site that's more narrow in scope. It's in response to a requirement from the National Defense Authorization Act, ... which required us to create this Wounded Warrior Resource Center Web site."

The site's goal is to focus on giving families and servicemembers a conduit to ask questions or give input on their experiences working with things like health care services,
military facilities and benefits and compensation. A call center already has been established in response to this requirement, Davis said. The number is 800-342-9647.

Though the summit is being held at the Pentagon, servicemembers and their families around the world will be able to watch via live webcast on the Pentagon Channel's Web site, www.pentagonchannel.mil. They also can ask questions as they're watching by e-mailing them to questions@familysummit.net during the summit. This e-mail address will be valid only on the day of the summit from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Davis said.

NATO Maritime Group to Combat Pirates off Somalia

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - NATO will send its Standing Naval Maritime Group to the waters off Somalia, a spokesman for the alliance said today. James Appathurai told reporters at a news conference that the decision came out of the defense ministerial conference under way here. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is meeting with his NATO counterparts.

Piracy off Somalia's coast has become an increasing concern, highlighted by the recent taking of the Ukrainian cargo vessel Faina. The ship is carrying tanks and other
military supplies. The pirates, who operate from small boats launched from the beach, also have endangered food shipments to the country. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said 3 million Somalis are in danger of not receiving the supplies they need via the World Food Program.

"The United Nations asked for NATO's help to address this problem," Appathurai said. "Today, the ministers agreed that NATO should play a role. NATO will have its Standing Naval Maritime Group, which is composed of seven ships, in the region within two weeks."

The NATO force will ensure World Food Program ships have the escort they need to deliver their essential food supplies and patrol the waters around Somalia to help to stop acts of piracy.

Well in excess of 40 percent of Somalis are dependent on food aid delivered by World Food Program ships, Appathurai said, and the increased danger of piracy requires that the aid ships have escorts. A Canadian warship is performing that mission now.

The NATO ships will work with all allies who have ships in the area now, the NATO spokesman said. The U.S.
Navy has ships in the region.

"There are still important details to work out, but the bottom line is there will soon be NATO
military vessels off the coast of Somalia deterring piracy and escorting food shipments," Appathurai said. "That is good news for the Somalis, and good news for international shipping."

America Supports You: Organization Celebrates 100 Scholarships

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - Operation Life Transformed honored six scholarship recipients, including the recipient of the 100th "Caregivers of War Wounded Training Scholarship," during its "Celebrate 100" reception held here recently. Operation Life Transformed provides education and resources to wounded-warrior caregivers and
military spouses through private and corporate entities. Its focus is to enable caregivers and military spouses to create a portable lifestyle.

"Forty-three percent of our applicants are moms and dads that move across several states [and] give up their jobs so that they can sit bedside with the loved one," said Tania Mercurio, chief executive officer of Operation Life Transformed, during the Sept. 17 event. "We need to lift just a little bit of pressure off our [servicemembers'] shoulders."

The last thing deployed servicemembers should be concerned about is the state of their family finances back home, she added. "We want them to concentrate 100 percent on the job at hand and returning to their loved ones," she said. "That's why we need to support these families."

The 100th scholarship was presented to Dimitrios Panagakos, whose wife, Lillian, an
Army reservist, was severely injured in a mortar attack in Iraq 2005. She is continuing treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

Linda Betancur, another recipient honored at the reception, said the scholarship offers her family a brighter future.

"It's an honor, and an answer to our family's prayers," she said. "The opportunity [Operation Life Transformed] and its sponsors have provided us with has helped us with having a hopeful future during our difficult time."

The event was held aboard the USS Sequoia, a yacht that has served more than nine presidents. The 83-year-old vessel, which Congress has designated a national historic landmark, is privately owned and its use was donated for the reception.

Operation Life Transformed 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.

Defense Leaders Meet, Reaffirm Georgia's NATO Aspirations

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates reaffirmed the U.S. and NATO pledge for Georgia's aspirations to join the alliance at a meeting with Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili here today. Gates and Kezerashvili met prior to the beginning of the NATO defense ministers meeting being held here on the banks of the Danube.

"I urge our allies to support [the membership action plan] for Georgia in December and to support Georgia's efforts to accomplish needed reform," Gates said during a news conference after the meeting.

"The United States of America is our strategic partner and largest assistance provider with whom we share not only common values, but also common understanding of many issues, be it energy security issues, democratic NATO enlargement or the fight against terrorism," Kezerashvili said. "NATO membership remains Georgia's top security priority."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Oct. 2 that it is too soon for NATO to provide membership actions plans to Georgia and Ukraine. The United States pressed for Georgian membership at NATO's April summit meeting in Bucharest, Romania. U.S. officials would like membership action plans for the two nations approved at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in December.

"Heads of government of the alliance declared unanimously in April in Bucharest that Georgia should be a member of the alliance," Gates said. "The question is whether we can get this accomplished at the foreign ministers meeting in December."

Russia's invasion of Georgia and its recognition of the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as nations – something with which only Nicaragua and the terror group Hamas agree – has served to isolate Russia, officials traveling with Gates said.

"We have sought a constructive relationship with Russia, but unfortunately their behavior has undermined security in the region and raised real concerns about their intentions," the secretary said. "Russia's invasion of Georgia in my view has achieved, and will achieve, no strategic objective."

The secretary said he is pleased that Russia appears to be fulfilling its agreement to withdraw from Georgia. News reports out of Georgia indicate the Russian withdrawal from Georgia proper is finished. Russian troops still are in the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Gates reiterated U.S. support for Georgia's "sovereignty, its independence and its territorial integrity."

Tomorrow, the NATO-Georgia Commission will meet for the first time. Gates said the meeting is historic, and "a sign of the alliance's firm commitment to our Georgian partner."

Later this month, U.S. and Georgian defense officials will meet in Washington to discuss bilateral defense cooperation. Kezerashvili said the talks will help to streamline defense cooperation and outline in a more precise way bilateral defense cooperation projects.

These will include rebuilding the Georgian
military. The Russian invasion decimated Georgia's 28,000-man military. The Russians also destroyed two Georgian bases built to NATO standards in Senaki in the western part of the country and in Gori in central Georgia.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Reflects on First Year in Office

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - With just over a year as the top U.S.
military officer, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said he's impressed by the resilience of the force despite repeated deployments, and he vowed to ensure troops get more time at home between deployments and support in line with their sacrifices. "I continue to be very concerned about the stress on the force," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday during a Pentagon Channel podcast interview. "It has been a priority for me since I took over as chairman, and will continue to be, because the Army and the Marine Corps have been pushed very hard in fighting this war."

Mullen said he's learned many things in the past year, but one thing stands out. "Probably more than anything else," he said, "I have learned how resilient our armed forces are, and particularly our
Army and Marine Corps and their families. I don't take that for granted. That resilience isn't infinite." Mullen said he will continue to press for more "home tempo" -- time between deployments -- that gives troops time to decompress from the stresses of combat and reconnect with their families. He's quick to draw the distinction between time at home and time in the field.

"When you are home, you are home," he said. "You are actually spending the night in your house, and not necessarily out training."

The
Marine Corps soon will be in a position to increase home tempo, thanks to a recent boost in its end strength, Mullen said. But he expressed concern that the Army won't reach that point for a couple of years.

The chairman also expressed hope that the force drawdown in Iraq will continue, providing more opportunities not just to send additional forces to Afghanistan, but also to build in more time at home stations between deployments.

Meanwhile, Mullen promised to ensure troops – particularly those wounded in combat and families of those killed – get the support they deserve.

"We have got to focus on our families and those who have been pressed so hard, and do all we can to make sure they are well taken care of across the board," he said.

Today's troops represent the
military's future, he said. "They are combat-hardened. They have within them the future of a very healthy force. We ... have to pay a lot of attention to making sure we can take care of ... those who have given so much."

Mullen said he'll also be a solid advocate for veterans to ensure they receive better treatment than the troops who served with him in Vietnam. He said he's working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure a better transition to VA care and support services to help head off problems such as homelessness.

"I want to be a voice with respect to this, to not generate the kind of homeless numbers we generated coming out of Vietnam," he said. "We did not get that right before. So I am very much committed from a
leadership perspective to do as much as I can to ensure we don't do that."

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 8, 2008

Army

DRS-C3 Systems Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was awarded Oct. 7, 2008, a $8,694,387 firm fixed price contract. This procurement is for 564 tube-launched optically-tracked wire guided missile launchers. Work will be performed in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., with estimated and completion date of Jul. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S.
Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0145).

The Nutmeg Companies Inc, Norwich, Conn., was awarded Oct. 1, 2008, a $7,465,200 firm fixed price contract for construction of a new east Greenwich Readiness Center, at Camp Fogarty, East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Work will be performed in East Greenwich, R.I., with estimated and completion date of Jun. 10, 2010. Bids were solicited via the Web and seven bids were received. National Guard Bureau, Providence, R.I., is the contracting activity (W912LD-08-C-0037).

Army Armaments Inc., (AAI), Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Sept. 30, 2008, a $6,624,322 cost plus fixed price contract. This modification exercises options for additional engineering service hours for Laser Low Rate Initial Production in support of the Shadow 200 Unmanned Aircraft System. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, M.D., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 20009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0033).

Syracuse Research Corp., North Syracuse, N.Y., was awarded Sept. 30, 2008, a $6,601,860 fixed price contract. This is a sole source acquisition for the SR Hawk Mobile Radar ground surveillance systems. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., and Tunisia, with estimated and completion date of Jun. 27, 2009. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-C-D295).

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Taunton, Mass., was awarded Sept. 30, 2008, a $6,262,021firm fixed price contract for the following tactical communications equipment will be acquired under the proposed contract. Work will be performed in Taunton, Mass., and San Diego, Calif., with estimated and completion date of Sept. 30, 2013. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. CECOM Acquisitions Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-D-G206).

Future Research Corp.,
Huntsville, Ala., was awarded Sept. 26, 2008, a $6,170,000 indefinite delivery indefinite quantity firm fixed price contract for information Technology support services for support to the U.S. Army Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems, Transportation Information Systems Programs Transportation Coordinators and Automated Information for Movements System II Program. Work will be performed in Springfield, Va., with estimated and completion date of Sept. 21, 2012. Bids were solicited via the FedBizOpps and three bids were received. USA Corp of Engineers, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W912HZ-08-D-0008).

Gravois Aluminum Boats, Doing Business as Metal shark Inc, Jeanerette, La., was awarded on Sept. 29, 2008, a $6,079,095 firm fixed price contract for a quantity of 54 Fast Attack Boats with Active RFID Tags. Work will be performed in Jeanerette, La., with an estimated completion date of Jun. 30, 2010. Five bids were solicited and five bids were received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-F-L777).

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.,
Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on Sept. 30, 2008, a $5,595,048 indefinite delivery indefinite quantity technical service contract firm fixed fee price contract for. This contract is to support additional efforts for the Aircraft Survivability Product Improvement Kit improvement for the Longbow Apache Program-AMCOM. Work will be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-07-D-0251).

BAE System Land & Armaments, Anniston, Ala., was awarded on Oct. 1, 2008, a $5,724,776 firm fixed fee price contract for two items being procured, Engine Diesel and Transfer Transmission. Work will be performed in Charlotte, Mich., Anniston, Ala., and Livonia, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 27, 2009. One sole source bid was solicited and one sole source bid was received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0012).

Technologists Inc, Rosslyn, Va., was awarded on Sept. 30, 2008, a $5,593,685 firm fixed price contract. The project consists of the design & construction of the wastewater treatment system, Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 30, 2009. Bids solicited were via the Web and one bid was received. U.S.
Army Engineer District, is the contracting activity (W917PM-07-D-0016).

ECC International LLC,
Burlingame, Calif., was awarded on Sept. 27, 2008, a $5,430,727 firm fixed price contract construction of barracks at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Bagram, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. Bids solicited were Medium MATOC and two bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-07-D-0015).

HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu, Calif., was awarded on Oct. 7, 2008, a $5,240,466 cost plus fixed price contract for the principal goal of the Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastics Scaiable Electronics program is to build machines that can solve complex real-world problems with the intelligence and efficiency of biological systems. Work will be performed in HRL Laboratories LLC, Malibu, Calif., George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., University of California, Irvine, Calif., University of Nevada,
Reno, Nev., SET Corp, Arlington, Va., Neurosciences Research Foundation Inc, San Diego, Calif., Georgia Tech Research Corp, Atlanta, Ga., Portland State University, Portland, Ore., and Boston University Boston, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. Bids solicited were via the Web and thirteen bids were received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-09-C-0001).

Air Force

Systems Research and Applications Corp., of Fairfax, Va., is being awarded an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract for $49 million. The objective of this program is to improve human performance and organizational effectiveness within Cyber Science and
Technology, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) operator optimization S&T, Special Programs, Information/Influence Operations, Training S&T, and related research domains. Focus areas include: Cyber R&D, Information Operations/ISR, Special Programs/ISR, Special/Bio-Math, Influence Operations, IO/Cyber/ISR Training, Cyberspace Target Characterization/Visualization, Anticipatory/Predictive Environment, IO Speech-to-Speech Translation, and AF Transformation. At this time $600,000 has been obligated. AFRL Det 1 /PKHB, WPAFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-D-6802, Task Order: 2013).

Teledyne Technologies Inc., Teledyne Continental Motors – Turbine Engines, of Toledo, Ohio, is being awarded an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract not to exceed $15 million. The Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) Phase I. The VAATE Program is a Joint DOD/NASA/DOE/Industry effort to develop revolutionary and innovative technologies by the 2017 timeframe that will permit an order of magnitude increase in turbo-propulsion affordability over the year 2000 state-of-the-art
Technology. The Task order 0001 will conduct a study of conceptual candidate turbofan engine configurations and component technologies that meet the requirements of 1000 1b missile systems. At this time $1,000 has been obligated. Det 1 AFRK/PKPB, WPAFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-09-D-2929 and Task Order: 0001).

The
Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boeing Co., of St Louis, Mo., for $11,859,754. The T-38C Data and Video Transfer System, which improve the audio and video recording capability of the T-38C aircraft by replacing the current video tape recorder and data transfer system with a more modern, robust design that combines all data transfer functions into a single recording device, alleviates impending obsolescence issues, improve resistance to damage, and enhances operations. At this time all funds have been obligated. 663 AESS/SYKA, WPAFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8617-04-C-6153, Modification Number: P00096).

Navy

The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded an $18,127,705 modification to a previously awarded cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-03-C-3017) to exercise an option for engineering and logistics services in support of the MV-22 Total Life Cycle logistics support effort. Services to be provided include planning and management; supportability analysis; training; support equipment; facilities management; computer resources; supportability test and evaluation; packaging, handling, storage and transportation of supplies; post-DD250 engineering and technical support; site/unit activation; on-site representative support; logistics life cycle cost; age exploration; configuration management; technical publications; and Naval Air Training and Operational Procedures Standardization support. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., (45 percent); Fort Worth, Texas, (40 percent); New River, N.C., (10 percent); and OCONUS Deployment (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jan. 2009. 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.

Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp., Georgia Institute of
Technology, Atlanta, Ga., is being awarded a $7,813,117 cost plus fixed fee delivery contract for five years of uninterrupted essential engineering, research, development, test, and evaluation capabilities for advanced radar and simulation technologies. Work will be performed in Atlanta, Ga., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-D-5391).

Pentagon Ceremony Recognizes Disabled Employees' Contributions

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 8, 2008 - Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England praised the work and contributions provided by disabled Defense Department contract employees at a Pentagon award ceremony today. "I'm here to say thank you for your great, great work," England, the event's host, told a group of disabled employees hired through the federally managed AbilityOne program. The event was held in conjunction with National Disability Employment Awareness Month, observed each October.

This year has witnessed "a significant increase in the number of severely wounded warriors transitioning to the AbilityOne program," England said, which "provides these brave men and women with opportunity to continue to serve their country."

Formerly known as the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act, AbilityOne works with private and public groups to provide goods and services to the government and jobs for the blind and other people who have severe disabilities, including wounded veterans. The program is administered by the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, an independent federal agency.

England introduced former
Army Spc. Nathan S. Short, 28, the ceremony's guest speaker. Short is a medically discharged Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who was severely injured April 20, 2004, during a truck accident in Kuwait. Short, a native of Mustang, Okla., spoke of his nearly two-year struggle to find work after recovering from severe injuries that included a badly damaged right ankle and a fractured pelvis.

In 2006, Short was hired for an AbilityOne-affiliated contracted position as a truck-fleet manager at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

"Just because somebody has a disability doesn't mean that they can't perform a job," Short said in an interview before the ceremony. "They deserve a chance to have a career and be successful instead of having to sit around and draw a disability check."

AbilityOne is a great program, Short said, that provides a way for severely injured veterans to rejoin the work force.

"I think Nathan is absolutely fantastic. ... He does a great job," said Vicki Hoppes, Short's supervisor. "He was just so ready to go back to work for the
military. He was pretty shy, but now he is definitely an extrovert."

More than 1,300 wounded
military veterans are part of AbilityOne's 43,000-strong work force. The Defense Department is the program's largest customer, as it purchases more than $1.3 billion in goods and services each year, including laundry services, uniforms, office supplies, grounds maintenance and more.

AbilityOne employees Gregoria Reyes, Edith Portillo and Jerry Eley each received DoD job performance awards at the ceremony.

Reyes was born in El Salvador and suffers from depression. She has lived in the United States for 18 years and has provided cleaning services at the Pentagon for about five years.

"This program is very nice," Reyes said of AbilityOne. "There is no problem with my disability."

Portillo, who suffers from depression, has been in the United States 12 years and says she has a good job providing cleaning services at the Pentagon. Portillo, too, is from El Salvador and she has also worked at the Pentagon for five years.

AbilityOne enabled her to obtain a full-time position after years of part-time work at other jobs.

Portillo's supervisor, Sylvia Hammett, had high praise for her employee's work ethic. Portillo "always volunteers to help me out whenever I'm short-staffed," Hammett said.

Eley, who hails from Suffolk, Va., has worked as a purchasing agent at the Pentagon's office supply store for three years. A childhood accident, he said, destroyed the vision his right eye. Eley praised the AbilityOne program and said he feels comfortable working in the supply office.

"Anything I need to help me along with my work process, all I need to do is ask," Eley said of his work environment, noting he'd asked for and quickly received a magnifying glass to help him read small print at the supply store.

Defense Department civilian employee Linda Wright, the associate director for the small-business program office at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., was recognized for providing AbilityOne-affiliated employment for more than 1,000 people who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

"We really like supporting AbilityOne," Wright said. "We're constantly working to grow the program and to improve the opportunities for people with disabilities."

Dennis Dudek, deputy director of customer operations for the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia, also was recognized for supporting AbilityOne employment initiatives.

Shay Assad, DoD's director for defense procurement, acquisition policy and strategic sourcing, accepted the first Osborne A. "Oz" Day AbilityOne Awareness Award at the ceremony for DoD's efforts in support of the program. Day, who died May 20, was a private-citizen member of the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, the federal agency that oversees AbilityOne operations.

The committee, along with the National Industries for the Blind, and NISH, formerly known as National Industries for the Severely Handicapped, form a triad of support for AbilityOne. The present-day committee chairman, Andrew Houghton, has headed the body since July 2006. He praised DoD for its support of AbilityOne.

"I'm honored by the extent of our
military's combined leadership and support of the AbilityOne program," Houghton said at the Pentagon ceremony. "And, thank you all for the difference you've made, and the difference you will make in the future for people with disabilities."

Program Works to Ensure Absentee Voting Opportunities

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 9, 2008 - It's still not too late to register to cast an absentee ballot in the Nov. 4 general election in many states, a Defense Department official said today. "We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote, and that the vote is counted," said Polli Brunelli, director of the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Brunelli's office has spent the better part of the past two years working to ensure that the more than 4 million voters eligible to cast absentee ballots have them and understand the requirements to get their votes counted.

The FVPA administers the federal responsibilities of the Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act for DoD. Those voters include about 1.3 million
military servicemembers and their families living in the United States and abroad, and U.S. citizens living overseas.

With 26 days left before the general election, Brunelli said she expects much interest on the part of voters this year. Her job, she explained, is not so much to encourage those eligible to vote as it is to make sure that the opportunity is available to the voters.

To make that happen, Brunelli's office launched a Web site that has all the information voters need to find out how to cast an absentee ballot in their voting jurisdiction. Also on the site, voters can register and request ballots. The voter's respective state will then deliver the ballot electronically, and the voter can download it and send it in by whatever method the state allows.

Each state sets its own voting laws, so voters are encouraged to read and heed all requirements sent with the ballot. FVAP officials work with states to ensure they mail out the ballots to the voters, Brunelli said.

"We work with the states, eliminating barriers to absentee voting," she said.

Program officials also have worked with the U.S and
military postal systems to mark and expedite all ballots mailed. The two agencies have teamed to expedite requested ballots heading overseas through U.S. gateway cities such as New York, Miami and San Francisco. The military postal service reported that from Sept. 8 to 28, 50,000 requested absentee ballots had gone through the gateway cities.

Brunelli said her office also has worked out an agreement with the mail systems to provide express mail for ballots returning from overseas
military and State Department post offices from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.

Electronic delivery of registration, ballot requests and even ballot casting is becoming more popular and makes it much easier for DoD's mobile population, Brunelli said. Many states now allow registration request forms, and some allow ballots to be submitted electronically.

Fifty-one states and territories allow registration by fax, and 23 allow registration by e-mail. Thirty-eight will fax blank ballots to voters, and 21 will e-mail blank ballots. Twenty-six allow a ballot cast by fax and 11 permit voting by e-mail.

"It's a wonderful thing for our voters, because it cuts down significantly on ballot transfer time," Brunelli said. Electronic submission can cut the traditional transit time for ballots by half, she noted.

Also, electronic submission is very portable. Voters who move or are on temporary duty can still access and cast their ballot from their personal computer.

Those who have requested ballots should receive them soon. Brunelli's office sent out an e-mail last week to 1.3 million active-duty servicemembers, letting them know that now is the time to expect ballots, she said.

Brunelli said she encourages anyone who does not receive a requested ballot to use the federal write-in absentee ballot available on the FVPA Web site, www.fvap.gov.

Officials are encouraging those casting absentee ballots to do so next week.

"Mid-October -- the 12th through the 18th -- is a good time for these voters to mark their ballots and send them back to the states so that they can be counted," Brunelli said.