Military News

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pentagon Library Makes Valuable Documents More Accessible

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 16, 2008 - As goes technology, so goes much of the Pentagon Library's collection, its chief of technological services said. "What we're trying to do is to improve digital access," Trudie Root explained. "We call it the 'virtual library.'" The two-pronged project will help to preserve some of the library's old, historic documents, and will spare users the trek to the library, allowing them to click through documents on the library's Web site, www.whs.mil/library.

Since the effort began in January, 16 documents have been "digitized," and uploaded to the library's Web site. Individual documents were scanned on one of two large book scanners, creating TIF files that were converted to PDF files and uploaded to the Web site.

It may seem like a small number of documents for the amount of time, Root acknowledged, but she explained that the process is labor-intensive and the equipment is relatively new to the staff.

"I started with the shortest documents, because we're still learning," Root said. "So, these are around 100 pages, but now I'm going to move on."

That's where Root encountered a conundrum. She's unsure which documents to digitize next. The library's collection of 300,000 to 500,000 volumes contains many important documents, she said.

Root said she and Linda McGuire, a technical information specialist hired to work on the project, want to ensure that the next documents digitized will offer the greatest benefit to the library's customers. To make wise decisions, they're asking for input as to which documents should be made available next.

Library customers can make suggestions or comments via the "Comments to the Library" link on the library's Web site, Root said. "Really, we're just trying to pick out the jewels," she said.

Other impending changes will affect the project as well, Root said.

Eventually, the library will migrate all of its information to a new, integrated library system. This move will replace the current alphabetized listing of digitized documents on the library Web site and allow users more flexibility to search for desired documents by author, title or keywords, she said.

While this news may have frequent library visitors celebrating, it won't help everyone needing to research, for example, the president's budget. Only Pentagon employees can access this digitized material, and classified documents won't be included, Root said.

Financial Crisis Has Military Implications, Vice Chairman Says

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

Oct. 16, 2008 - The current global financial crisis is a far-reaching problem that has implications for the U.S.
military and other organizations, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright spoke to more than 150 business leaders, professors and students from the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School about several different business-related topics.

The general said the recent Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia played havoc with the Russian economy, which could have led to problems militarily.

"In this market turmoil, Russia and China could have chosen a different path that would have been incredibly difficult for us to survive," Cartwright said. He said they didn't do so because of the interdependence of the world's economy and "a conscious choice by their governments."

Cartwright said that interdependence is reflected in an "as they go, we go and as we go, they go" mentality, which is something that is easier to deal with than the Russian-U.S. strategy during the 1950s to 1980s.

"Much as nuclear weapons in the Cold War tended to be able to tell each other when we were uncomfortable, it's far more comfortable in my mind to use the economy to tell each other when we're uncomfortable," he said.

The market economy, the vice chairman added, is one of the most effective tools against al-Qaida, because it leaves a paper trail of how money is used. And although the U.S. economy is slumping, Cartwright said, it hasn't had an effect on
military recruiting, because the "lines are out the door."

"When times get tough, the lines start to form," he said. When that happens, he explained, it typically means a deeper talent pool of potential recruits.

"We can raise our standards and keep them high," Cartwright said. "That benefits the nation."

The
military's 18- to 21-year-olds are the bulk of the force, doing high-risk jobs all over the world, the general said. This group of young people is different from the generals who lead them, he said.

"They don't think like us," the general said. "They don't have national boundaries in their mind. They live in [an information
technology] world. They came up in an IT world. They are global in their mindset. As soon as you get them out and amongst cultures, they assimilate it very quickly."

He said whether manning a nuclear aircraft carrier or helping develop business as part of a provincial reconstruction team in Iraq or Afghanistan, the nation's servicemembers are doing a phenomenal job.

"We can't get them to come home," Cartwright said. "They are so satisfied and self-fulfilled with that kind of work."

Cartwright said the model of the servicemember returning home will be a 24-year-old with three combat tours in two different countries and with global experiences. He said the bulk will be the teachers, mayors,
firefighters, police officers and business people of tomorrow.

"That's our heritage," the vice chairman said. "That's what's going to keep us at the cutting edge. They will keep us competitive, even if we try to do otherwise. Our challenge is keeping up and making sure we don't screw it up for them."

Another business challenge the U.S. faces is funding research and development, Cartwright said. While the government still needs warfighting laboratories, there needs to be a solution to partnering with the civilian sector for funding.

"We believe as a government we'll take 10 or 15 of the smartest people in the world, we'll tell them what our problem is, stuff them in a room, stick pizza under the door until they come up with the answer and come out, then we'll keep it a deep, dark secret for 10 or 15 years until we're ready to leak it to the private sector," he said. "That paradigm is long gone."

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

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 16, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Columbia Nut & Bolt, LLC, Moonachie, N.J., is being awarded a maximum $19,173,589 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for delivery of bolts, nuts, studs, and retaining rings. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy and Air Force. This proposal was originally Web/Dibbs solicited with 14 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a two-year base with three one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 2010. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM5AZ-09-D-0003).

Davis Aircraft Products Co., Inc., Bohemia, N.Y.*, is being awarded a maximum $14,014,151 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set-aside contract for tie down adjusters. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is
Air Force. There were originally three proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a one year base period and four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 15, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM4A7-09-D-0009).

Spencer Industries Inc.,
Belleville, N.J.*, is being awarded a maximum $12,123,576 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set-aside contract for tie down adjusters. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There were originally three proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a one year base period and four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 15, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM4A7-09-D-0011).

Peck & Hale LLC, W. Sayville, N.Y.*, is being awarded a maximum $11,745,812 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set-aside contract for tie down adjusters. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is
Air Force. There were originally three proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a one year base period and four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 15, 2009. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM4A7-09-D-0010).

Herndon Products, Inc., Maryland Heights, Mo.*, is being awarded a maximum $11,185,994 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for delivery of bolts, nuts, studs, and retaining rings. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy and Air Force. This proposal was originally Web/Dibbs solicited with 14 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a two-year base with three one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 2010. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM5AZ-09-D-0004).

Navy

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $15,161,403 firm fixed price order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-08-G-0010) for the procurement of MH-60S Armed Helicopter Mission Kits, which consist of the Integrated Self Defense Mission Kit (32); Weapons Kit (31); and the B-Kit installation hardware. The ISD Weapons Kit is comprised of the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Mission Kit and the External Weapons System (EWS) Wings Mission Kit. Work will be performed in Tallassee, Ala., (76 percent); Coxsackie, N.Y., (17.5 percent);
Wichita, Kan., (4 percent); Valencia, Calif., (1 percent); Stratford, Conn., (7 percent); Ronkonkoma, N.Y., (2 percent); and at various locations across the United States, (6 percent) and is expected to be completed in Apr. 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.

Thomas/Wright, Inc.*, Tigard, Ore., is being awarded a firm fixed price, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity, architect engineering contract with a maximum amount of $7,500,000 for waterfront facilities projects in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest area of responsibility. 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 Oct. 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 websitewith nine proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-09-D-1602).

BA Architecture & Interior Design, Inc., – Hankins and Anderson, Inc., a Joint Venture*, Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded a maximum $7,500,000 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery indefinite quantity, architect engineering contract with for architectural design and engineering services throughout Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic's area of responsibility. Task Order #0001 is being awarded at $618,501 for request for proposal packages for Phase II of the Wallace Creek Complex. Work under this task order will be performed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 2009. All work will be performed at various
Navy and Marine Corps facilities in NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic's AOR including, but not limited to, North Carolina Region, (80 percent), Hampton Roads Region, (15 percent), Northeast Region, (5 percent), and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2013. Contract funds for Task Order #0001 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website, with 34 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-09-D-5000)

ECC International, LLC,
Burlingame, Calif., is being awarded a $6,646,477 firm fixed price modification under a previously awarded construction contract (N33191-08-C-0202) for design and construction of three utilities upgrade projects including an electrical power plant, water storage, and a wastewater treatment plant at Camp Lemonier. The total contract amount after award of this modification will be $27,935,573. Work will be performed in Djibouti, Africa, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe and Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity.

Dod Announces Non-Certification Of Armed Reconaissance Helicopter Program

Today, the Department of Defense notified the Congress and the contractor, Bell Helicopter, that it will not certify the U.S. Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program for continuation.

John Young, undersecretary of defense for acquisition,
technology and logistics, in consultation with senior Defense and Army officials, has determined that the fundamental cost and schedule basis underlying award of the ARH contract is no longer valid.

The ARH contract was awarded for an expected development cost of $359 million and a procurement average unit cost of $8.56 million. Currently, DoD estimates that development will cost $942 million and the procurement average unit cost will be $14.48 million. Delivery of ARH to the
Army was originally scheduled to take place by 2009, but the current projection is for 2013.

"Rather than continue this program", Young said, "I have decided that the best course of action is to provide the
Army with an opportunity to define a coherent, disciplined Kiowa Warrior helicopter replacement program, and to obtain more rigorous contract terms for its development."

Secretary of the
Army Pete Geren stated, "The cost and schedule that were the focus of the decision to award the contract to Bell Helicopter are no longer valid. We have a duty to the Army and the taxpayer to move ahead with an alternative course of action to meet this critical capability for our Soldiers at the best price and as soon as possible."

National Guard Responds to Hurricane Omar

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

Oct. 16, 2008 - More than 90 National Guard members in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are on duty today after Hurricane Omar passed through their area as a major Category 3 storm that caused little damage. "Take this very seriously," Gov. John deJongh of the U.S. Virgin Islands said yesterday after he activated his National Guard, closed all public schools and imposed a 6 p.m. curfew for all islands.

The National Hurricane Center said the core of the storm with the most intense winds passed between St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands overnight.

The storm knocked down trees and caused some flooding and minor mudslides, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, Mark Walters, director of the U.S. Virgin Islands disaster management agency, told the Associated Press.

About 75 Guard members are providing communication support in St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, and transportation support on St. Croix with three Humvees and two 2.5-ton trucks. They also are manning shelters in St. Croix and St. Thomas.

Aviation assets, including an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter and a C-23 Sherpa turbo-prop airplane, are flying reconnaissance and damage assessment missions on the three islands.

National Guard officials said St. Croix is without power, and St. Thomas and St. John have no power on their north sides. All of the islands are still being hit with heavy rain and strong winds.

Puerto Rico, which was brushed by the storm, has 12 Guard members conducting command and control in the state's Joint Operations Center.

Yesterday, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from Puerto Rico were used to move rescue and medical personnel to the islands of Vieques and Culebra. One death was reported on Culebra. Authorities say a man collapsed from cardiac arrest while trying to install storm shutters to his house.

Four C-130 Hercules transports from the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico were evacuated yesterday, with three going to MacDill
Air Force Base, Fla., and one going to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Three are scheduled to return to the island today, with the remaining aircraft scheduled to return tomorrow.

Air National Guard officials are planning at least one mission tomorrow to transport packaged meals from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The National Hurricane Center reported this morning that the storm is moving toward the central Atlantic, away from the U.S. East Coast.

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

Judith Gilliom, Pentagon Advocate for Disabled Employees, Dies

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 16, 2008 - Judith C. Gilliom, a senior Pentagon civilian who for 25 years championed Defense Department programs for disabled employees and work force diversity, died at age 65 here yesterday, officials said. Gilliom died of respiratory and other complications during treatment at a regional hospital following an Oct. 10 stroke.

Her passing represents "a great loss," David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, stated in an e-mail. "Her indomitable spirit was an inspiration," Chu added.

Gilliom's earlier work at the U.S. Civil Servant Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included writing two of the basic documents upon which the federal affirmative-action program for people with disabilities is based.

Upon joining the Defense Department in 1983, Gilliom became the Pentagon's first department-level disability program manager.

At age 27, Gilliom was permanently paralyzed from the neck down as the result of an accident.

"Inclusion and empowerment are the things that make diversity great," Gilliom said at the Defense Department's annual disability awards ceremony in 2002. "People with disabilities are now part of the mainstream. We belong."

At the Pentagon, Gilliom served as the disability program manager on the staff of Clarence A. Johnson, principal director of the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, formerly known as the Office of Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity.

"She was a key component in this office as our DoD disability program manager," Johnson said of Gilliom.

Johnson praised Gilliom as a tireless worker and a
leader in the federal disability community. Her photo and story are featured along with those of several other distinguished DoD civilian employees at a wall-mounted display in the Pentagon's A-ring.

Gilliom established the department's disabled work force recruitment program about 12 years ago, Johnson said. She also assisted in the start-up of the
Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program for disabled employees, he said, and managed DoD's Asian/Pacific-American heritage program.

Gilliom had been hospitalized off and on during the last several years, Johnson said. She took ill again in January, he said, and often worked from her Wheaton, Md., home until her death.

Johnson said Gilliom was planning to return to work part-time at the Pentagon following another stint in the hospital a few weeks ago. However, he said, her health worsened after the stroke, and she died.

Gilliom specified in her will that she didn't want a funeral or a memorial service. So Burton Rothleder, her long-time friend, asked that no flowers or donations be sent, Johnson said. Gilliom did arrange, at her expense, a party for family and friends at a local restaurant. Rothleder will ensure invitees are notified when it is planned, Johnson said.

"Burt said many years ago that Judy said she didn't expect to live past 50," Johnson said. "She lived beyond age 65, and we were blessed and inspired by her presence. We will surely miss Judy."

Spouses Help Teachers Understand Life for Deployed Families

By Jason Austin
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 16, 2008 - What began as a chat over coffee became a learning opportunity for teachers here. Seven women, all who have, or have had husbands deployed or frequently away on temporary duty, shared their experience with a room full of teachers and support staff at Patrick Henry Elementary School during a teacher in-service day Oct. 10.

The topic was one that touches almost everyone in the community: deployments and the effect they have on
military children.

Fifteen to 20 percent of students in Heidelberg have a deployed parent at any one time, according to Jim Ruehmling, Heidelberg schools liaison officer.

The panel idea came up during "Coffee Friday" time, when the school invites parents to come by, have coffee and talk - no agenda, just to chat, said Russ Claus, the school's principal.

"Many of these parents have moving stories, and I wanted all our teachers to hear them," he said, quoting author and motivational speaker Stephen Covey: "Seek first to understand, then to be understood."

"I watched the faces of the audience, and they got it," Claus said.

The women gave the teachers a "clearer view into their worlds," he said, and helped them better understand what the children are experiencing.

Jane Shumway, one of the parents, related a telling story to the audience. Her husband had been deployed to Iraq for about four months, she said, and her daughter told her she'd better learn how to type. She asked her daughter why such a skill was necessary, and her daughter pointedly told her, "If Dad dies, you have to get a job."

It was the first time she fully understood how the deployment was affecting her daughter, she said.

Mothers of younger children described their children regressing. One mother said her 3-year-old started wetting himself again, months after successful potty training.

Another mother, Jade Rangel, said her daughter stopped talking and would only point to what she wanted. When her husband came home on rest and relaxation leave, her daughter was once again a chatterbox, showing him all the toys and drawings she had.

Rangel said her daughter confided, "My daddy left me," early in the deployment.

Her daughter suffered separation anxiety, fearing that her father had left her and her mom might, too, Rangel said. The anxiety lasted well after the deployment and involved more than just her immediate family.

Her daughter's teacher was out one day for some personal appointments, and her daughter was clearly upset, saying that her teacher left her, too. "A year later, and she's still scared that someone is going to leave her," Rangel said.

Several mothers talked about ways in which their children acted out -- kicking, screaming and, in some cases, biting.

Other children retreated. Madeline Lanza talked about how her son is very outgoing, willing to talk to anyone, but that when her husband was deployed, the boy gradually pulled into himself. When asked why, he replied, "Daddy's not here, so I don't have to talk."

Today, when her husband is on temporary duty, her son becomes more belligerent, she said. She recalled a time when she accompanied her husband on a business trip, and she was told her son became very aggressive and was easily turned to tears.

One mother confessed that although she tried to maintain a stoic appearance, "I lost it." Katherine Hite said her experience was a lot of firsts for her: her first assignment, her first time overseas and her first deployment.

She was able to handle it in public, she said, but not at home. "I hit depression hard," she said. "I would go to the commissary to have adult conversation."

Claus said that was one comment that evoked emotions on his teachers' faces. Hite said one of the things that brought her out of the depression was when her daughter's teacher would show her what her daughter was doing in class.

"It made my day," she said.

Many teachers in the room made a mental note when Hite made the comment, Claus said.

Hite said she went to counseling and began talking to other parents, and that she has learned to cope in a deployed marriage. "Once I got myself straight," Hite said, "[My children] took their cues from me."

Many mothers talked about the ways they help their children cope with the deployment. Many of the coping strategies involved keeping everyone busy and in a routine.

"I got my son involved in everything I could," Lanza said. "Mothers in this community are running trying to keep up with their children."

The panel discussed ways teachers can help them and their children.

"Hook parents up with other parents," Hite said. She had a hard time finding a deployment support group, she said, but the teachers know other parents and programs. She also said it's important for teachers to communicate to the parents what their children are doing in school, so they can relay that information to their deployed spouses.

One of the moderators, Sally March, a
military and family life consultant, said she has never met a bad child, just children who are in pain and who are scared. Teachers should take that into consideration when a child acts out. "It doesn't mean the rules or discipline changes," she said.

"I look for opportunities to talk to my children one on one," Shumway said. They open up at those times. "Remember, when a child has a tantrum, it is not time to have your own."

The parents advocated for two-way communication, asking that teachers ask how the children are behaving at home. They also told other parents to keep in mind that the teachers follow multiple children and will need to be prompted from time to time for information about their children.

A teacher told the group that deployed parents can call teachers using the Defense Switched Network. Another teacher suggested that parents tell teachers if their child is having a hard time with academic support at home. Parents may need to spend some special time with their child during deployments, and academics might be secondary, the teacher noted.

Claus said now that the panel exists, and more than 30 teachers attended, they can tell other teachers and the parents can tell other parents, and a dialogue will develop.

Teachers already network within the school and discuss how they can support the children better, Claus said. The panel's input will influence those discussions.

The panel helped him go through his list of ideas for helping deployed children, and helped him decide what to continue, what to change and what to start, the principal said.

"The parents are really accepting and helpful," Claus said. "It's great to be in a community where the parents are willing to help."

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

Army to Activate First Company of Native Linguists-Turned-Soldiers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 15, 2008 - The
Army will activate its first company of native linguists-turned-soldiers next week to act as interpreters and translators, representing a new phase in the service's reinvigorated approach to foreign language. This unit of "heritage speakers" -- known as the 51st Tico Company -- comprises members of the service's most recently added Military occupational specialty, 09L, referred to as "09 Limas." In addition to holding the Army's newest job, this cadre of native linguists trained at Fort Irwin, Calif., also reflects a change in Army recruiting strategy.

"We've found it's easier to train a linguist to be a soldier than to train a soldier to be a linguist," said Army Brig. Gen. Richard C. Longo, director of training in the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Training.

Since cultivating a working knowledge of foreign language and culture is time- and labor-intensive, the
Army is unable to "surge" a group of linguists in the same way it has in the past with combat troops. This is why when the Army was tasked by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in February 2003 to establish a pilot program that focused on recruiting native and heritage speakers of Arabic, Dari and Pashto to meet critical foreign language requirements, it launched 09L.

The program became an specialty three years later, and the Army now recruits speakers of Arabic, Kurdish, Dari, and Farsi, with hopes to expand to African languages in coordination with the recent standup of the U.S. Africa Command, Longo said.

About two-thirds of 09 Lima soldiers are legal permanent residents of the United States, with the remainder entering the program as U.S. citizens, according to the
Army's Web site. In addition to receiving a signing bonus, these native speakers also are offered an expedited path to citizenship.

The 09L program is one of several initiatives the Army has created to help harness foreign language as part of its arsenal. To date, the service has narrowed down 14 "critical languages" –Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Swahili, French and others, in addition to those aforementioned – and has a growing list of training programs to achieve broad proficiency.

Longo, who said he spends roughly half his time in his current post focusing on language, noted the Army hopes to provide rudimentary training to all soldiers. The programs will aim to instill a balance of linguistic and cultural training.

"If you speak the language, then you know what they're saying," Longo said at an
Army roundtable earlier this month. "But if you know the culture, than you know what they mean."

Army Col. Sue Ann Sandusky, commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif., said that about 80,000 soldiers responded to a recent voluntary survey inquiring about language skills, and about 50,000 reported having some foreign language skill. Of these reported skills, the majority probably was referring to Spanish language, said Longo, adding that the statistics are immature at this point. Achieving a force-wide assessment of soldiers' foreign language skills is one of the current Army goals.

Meanwhile, the
Army has increased the number of foreign area officers -- Military officers with regional and linguistic expertise -- embedded in combatant commands, and the Defense Language Institute, or DLI, has doubled the number of Arabic students and tripled the enrollees of its Urdu program.

Among rank-and-file soldiers, about 178,000 have taken language lessons through the popular commercial supplier Rosetta Stone, and DLI has shipped a million language survival kits to troops overseas.

Linguistic training also is finding wider appeal on college campuses. Language curriculum is now mandatory coursework at the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and universities that implement language training that intersects with the National Security Education Program can receive grants. A dozen schools already have received funding, and a dozen others are in the early phases of adopting the NSEP curriculum.

The Army estimates that roughly 60 percent of all West Point cadets will take at least one semester of a foreign language. About half of the cadets currently enrolled in language training have completed a semester of a critical language. As of August, cadets who participate in these programs can earn up to $100 to $250 extra per month.

The
Army also has taken advantage of melding language with emerging technology. Using a portable music player, soldiers can listen to their proficiency enhancement program almost anywhere at any time. And at DLI, classroom sizes have been slashed, allowing professors to pay greater attention to students, with an average of about six per class. The general force also can receive tuition assistance – a separate benefit from their GI Bill education incentives – to further their own foreign language skills, Longo said.

The Defense Department is one of many federal agencies working with Congress and the White House on spearheading linguistic initiatives. This broad, cooperative effort underscores the increasingly prominent role language skills play in U.S. missions at home and abroad.

"Deficits in foreign language learning and teaching negatively affect our national security, diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence communities and cultural understanding," a National Security Language Initiative fact sheet on the State Department Web site says. "The NSLI will dramatically increase the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages ... through new and expanded programs from kindergarten through university and into the work force."

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 15, 2008

NAVY

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., is being awarded a $200,532,975 cost plus fixed fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-2100) for Naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, Pa., (97 percent) and Schenectady, N.Y., (3 percent). No contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

KAPL Inc., (Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory), Schenectady, N.Y., is being awarded a $62,242,000 cost plus fixed fee modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-00-C-4011) for Naval nuclear propulsion work during fiscal year 2009. Work will be performed in Schenectady, N.Y. Funding in the amount of $39,114,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured. This action represents funding of the contract's ninth year of performance. No completion date or other additional information is provided regarding Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the Contracting Activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $39,100,000 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded cost plus award fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002). This modification requires Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., to incorporate operating system changes into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter design. Work will be performed in
El Segundo, Calif., (80 percent); Baltimore, Md., (7 percent); Nashua, N.H., (7 percent); Eagan, Minn., (3 percent); and Ft. Worth, Texas, (3 percent), and is expected to be completed in Oct. 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $16,250,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

ITT Corp., Fort Wayne, Ind., was awarded Oct. 11, 2008, a $25,862,042 firm fixed price contract. This requirement is necessary to expand the Command & Control (C2) capability for Iraqi signal platoons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance battalions. Work will be performed in Fort Wayne, Ind., with an estimated and completion date of Jul. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan, Baghdad, Iraq, is the contracting activity (W91GY0-09-C-0001).

Correction: L-3 Communications, Linkabit Division, San Diego, Calif., was awarded Sept. 30, 2008, a $16,546,100 cost plus fixed price contract for a fourteen-month period of performance to provide technology refresh for the Prophet Block III Spiral I Sensor Vehicle with Satellite Communications on the Move capabilities. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., Melbourne, Fla., Scottsdale, Ariz., Austin, Texas, and Aberdeen, Md., with estimated and completion date of Dec. 1, 2010. Bids solicited were via IBOP and three bids were received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (DAAB07-01-C-L539).

Correction: SRC TEC, Inc., 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 completion date Sept. 30, 2009. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-C-D295).

Soldiers Keep Combat Vehicles Rolling

By Army Sgt. David Hodge
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 15, 2008 - Thanks to the intuitive efforts of a team of Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers, combat vehicles undergo a few structural changes while deployed to this forward operating base in Baghdad's Rashid district. Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division's Company B, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, often face the demands of fixing many types of combat vehicles without an excess of available parts or the manufacturer's training manual.

"In our fabrication shop, it is always quicker to manufacture an item, which can get done in a day or so compared to ordering items from the States, which may take from one week to six months to get here," said
Army Chief Warrant Officer Mark Davis, brigade allied trades technician assigned to Company B.

It is important to have a quick turnaround when vehicles break down, because they are used every day by soldiers securing the brigade's operating environment, said Davis, who is from Wilburton, Okla.

"The soldiers need to be able to utilize as many vehicles as necessary to minimize attacks against us and our allies," Davis explained. "If our presence is perceived as being lax, there may be a spike in activity which could show us as being weak. We don't want that."

The company's support and recovery section fabricates replacement parts for armored vehicles, such as the mine-resistant, ambush-protected family of vehicles and Humvees, Davis said.

The rear steps on one model of MRAP vehicle, for example, present a reoccurring problem, said
Army Spc. Thomas Beaty, a wheeled-vehicle mechanic. The ramps often break because the length of the vehicle causes the rear end to hit the ground while crossing a deep rut, he said.

A collaborative effort between a small team of soldiers and a field service representative -- typically an engineer or mechanic sent by the manufacturer of each vehicle -- determines the method of repair when faced with either a broken part or manufacturing defect, Davis said.

Other improvements and repairs include door handles on Humvees and the sway bar on the MRAP vehicles, an anti-roll device that stabilizes the vehicle during cornering.

"The [noncommissioned officers] and soldiers work with each other to solve any problems," said Beaty, a native of Moreno Valley, Calif. "There is a lot of mechanical knowledge between all the soldiers."

The field service representatives also are very knowledgeable and a big help when addressing technical aspects of the vehicles, said Beaty, who worked on farm and marine equipment before he joined the
Army.

"My job is great," Beaty stated. "I fix the vehicles, which keep the soldiers on mission safer."

(
Army Sgt. David Hodge serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team.)

America Supports You: 'Very Important Patriots' Recognized for Efforts

American Forces Press Service

Oct. 15, 2008 - The National
Military Family Association has announced the five recipients of its 2008 "Very Important Patriot" award, given for exceptional volunteerism. "These volunteers have demonstrated outstanding service that contributes to improving the quality of life in their Military and/or neighboring communities," said Michelle Joyner, National Military Family Association's communications director, in an NMFA news release. "Due to the challenges of the current pace of military operations, volunteers play a critical role in providing support and stability in their communities."

Recipients of the 2008 Very Important Patriot Award will receive a $1,000 prize and a trip for two to Washington, D.C., in November that will culminate in the presentation of the awards during a ceremony Nov. 18.

The Very Important Patriots are:

--
Navy Chief Petty Officer Benigno Adones, Afloat Training Group Western Pacific, Yokosuka, Japan. Among other volunteer services, Adones was a member of the Commander Fleet Activity Yokosuka's alcohol de-glamorization campaign program, "Clear Vision 2008." He assisted the community, sailors, and families in promoting alternatives to drinking in an effort to reduce and prevent alcohol-related incidents in the community.

-- Wesley Bauguess, Fort Bragg, N.C. Soon after Bauguess lost her husband,
Army Maj. Larry J. Bauguess Jr., she became actively involved in the formation of the Wounded Warrior Committee, established within the 82nd Airborne Division to benefit paratroopers wounded in combat. She hosted special events for wounded soldiers, visited them in hospitals, and gave each one special gifts, notes of support, and phone cards to contact their loved ones.

--
Air Force Staff Sgt. Veronica Bird, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. Bird has contributed countless volunteer hours and headed up multiple fundraisers to benefit both the civilian and Military community around her. She has led volunteers to care for pets at the Gulfport Humane Society, was a key member for the squadron Halloween party and "deployed family night at the movies," led volunteers for "Make a Difference Day," mentored fellow airmen, and was a member of the "Toys for Tots."

-- Karen Driscoll, Vienna, Va. When Tricare ended coverage for at-home applied behavior analysis treatment for Driscoll's autistic son, she was determined to resolve this issue for all
Military families with autistic children. She established a network of families, then gained the support of key senior military leaders, prepared position papers, and briefed staff members on Capitol Hill. Driscoll urged Congress to support increased federal funding for autism ABA treatment for Military families, and her efforts paid off when the legislation passed.

--
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Harper, Sub Force U.S. Pacific Fleet, Honolulu. After learning of the pending cancellation of the physical education program at Lehua Elementary School because of budget reductions, Harper worked with the leadership of the school. Harper was able to solicit volunteers from the staff to provide a no-cost physical education program for more than 400 students.

NMFA also is recognizing 11 servicemembers and 19 family members with 2008 Awards of Merit. The recipients will receive a $100 commissary gift certificate.

A complete list of the Awards of Merit recipients is available on the National
Military Family Association's Web site.

Air Guard Wing Prepares for Operation Deep Freeze

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 15, 2008 - The 109th Airlift Wing is preparing to begin its 20th year of Operation Deep Freeze, supporting the National Science Foundation in Antarctica. Two ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules transports will take off Oct. 27, followed by two more LC-130s and a C-5 Galaxy from the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y., on Oct. 28.

The aircraft will carry maintenance equipment, such as engines and propellers. Crews will spend a few days in New Zealand setting up their base of operations, and then will head down to McMurdo Station in Antarctica to get things going there, said
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joe Axe, a loadmaster with the 139th Airlift Squadron who works in the Antarctic Operations Office.

"Once we're established in Antarctica, the first mission we'll do is to open the South Pole," Axe said. "We'll take about 50 people. That first day will be about three or four trips just to get the South Pole going."

This season, financial challenges have lessened the missions required for the unit.

"This season we're doing about two-thirds of what we usually do; we're only doing five [sorties] a day vs. eight," Axe said. "I'm hoping to get somewhere around 8 million pounds of cargo moved at a minimum. Our best season was 14 million. "

Another change this season is a test of new, eight-bladed LC-130 propellers. If everything checks out OK on the test aircraft, it will be added to the rotation, Axe said.

"We're hoping the tests go well and get done fast and it can be proven that the aircraft is more fuel-efficient," he said. "During the testing phase, it will be flying its own separate missions, taking a little bit of cargo and increasing that each time."

Crews started preparing for this season even before last season was finished. They gather information during each Deep Freeze and send it up the chain so improvements can be made for the next season.

"As we enter our 20th year supporting Operation Deep Freeze, the one constant in an ever-changing environment is the attitude of our airmen and their dedication to completing the mission," said
Air Force Col. Anthony German, 109th Airlift Wing commander.
"The work ethic required to be successful in the environments we work in is the defining characteristic that led us to being selected as the best flying unit in the Air National Guard," he said.

There are different challenges each season and, this year, the challenges are financial, German said. "We will fly less missions, deploy less people and consolidate jobs in a number of areas, but in the end we will continue to serve the National Science Foundation in the same professional manner they are accustomed to. I look forward to the upcoming season with great confidence in all of our airmen to make this yet another successful season."

(
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Catharine Schmidt serves with the New York National Guard.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 14, 2008

NAVY

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., is being awarded a $348,986,474 cost plus fixed fee contract for Naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, Pa., (77 percent) and Schenectady, N.Y., (23 percent). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-2108).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Quality Distributors, Tamuning, Guam* is being awarded a maximum $60,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set-aside contract for prime vendor full line food distribution. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Guam Public School System and Child Development Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 23, 2010. The contracting activity is Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM300-08-D-3210).

ARMY

GE Engine Services Inc.,
Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded Oct. 9, 2008, a $7,260,400 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity technical service, firm fixed price contract. This contract is to support additional efforts for the Aircraft Survivability Product Improvement Kit, improvement for the Longbow Apache Program-Aviation & Missile Command. Work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio, with estimated and completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. One bid solicited was and one bid was received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activities (FA8104-05-G-004).

Army to Assess Soldiers' Emotional, Mental Fitness

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 14, 2008 - The
Army has launched an initiative to include soldiers' mental and emotional fitness, along with their physical form, as a comprehensive assessment of troop health. A driving force behind the creation of the wider-ranging appraisal is the high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, with 20 percent of combat forces returning from Iraq and Afghanistan reporting symptoms, said Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Rhonda Cornum, the Army's assistant surgeon general for force projection.

"Being '
Army Strong' is, in fact, being more than just physically fit," Cornum said last week in a panel discussion at the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference. "A lot of it's in your head."

Cornum recommended that the Army evaluate comprehensive fitness as aggressively as it does physical fitness. Similar to the way the
Army grades physical health along an axis, scores will be meted out for mental and emotional capacity.

Strong fitness in these latter realms is characterized as high levels of resilience, adaptability, self-confidence and agility. On the other hand, if soldiers exhibit stress, insecurity, immaturity or a lack of discipline, they might receive a poor score.

Soldiers who register a mid-level score may undergo education or training, while those with ratings just below average might receive some form of therapeutic regimen. The Army will step in when soldiers need direct intervention, Cornum said.

The general said the most vulnerable demographic is members of the junior enlisted ranks, who tend to be younger than their higher-ranking counterparts. But the proposal entails comprehensive fitness assessments for all force members, over their entire careers.

At the senior enlisted level and within the officer corps, emphasis will be placed on training programs to help these personnel instruct and instill these values in their younger subordinates.

"This is going to be a culture change for the
Army," Cornum said, "but I think it's really important, because these are life skills and capabilities that you can train."

Joining Cornum was Army Col. Craig Currey, director of the Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence at Fort Jackson, S.C. He said the
Army's goal is to produce "ground combatants" -- soldiers who are as fit mentally and emotionally as they are physically.

The amount of time to transform civilians into ground combatants is more limited than in the past, the colonel said, as 80 percent of new soldiers are deployed within a year after basic training.

"The old days of basic training and then going to a unit somewhere and learning from the [noncommissioned officers] really is not happening, because they're ending up in combat," he said.

The Army used to rely on role-modeling as its main mechanism for conveying what Currey deemed "intangibles" -- spiritual and emotional readiness for combat. Now, the service's goal is to institutionalize such training through their new comprehensive approach.

Army Col. (Dr.) Charles Milliken, a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Institute of Research, said that just as troops join the Army for different reasons, soldiers also have individual strengths and weaknesses. A more holistic initial assessment will help the Army steer individuals into more appropriate developmental programs, where necessary, he said.

"The goal of the assessment is to push people into programs sooner," he added.

Army Sgt. Maj. John Heinrichs, who works in the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Army, welcomed the new focus on mental health, which he called equally important as physical health.

"Every dollar, every hour we invest in this, will pay for itself in the future," he said. "This is a part of balancing the
Army."