Military News

Thursday, October 30, 2008

SECNAV Names New Zumwalt-Class Destroyer USS Michael Monsoor

Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter announced last night at a Navy SEAL Warrior Fund Benefit Gala at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, the name of the newest Zumwalt-class Destroyer will be USS Michael Monsoor. Designated as DDG- 1001, the name honors Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Ramadi, Iraq, on Sept. 29, 2006.

Winter discussed the qualities, values, and dedication to duty that Navy SEAL's exemplify, including the extraordinary acts of Michael Monsoor.

"Tonight I would like to single out one of those heroes from the community of
Navy SEAL's," Winter said. "Those who served with Michael Monsoor will remember him always as a consummate professional who faced terrorist enemies with aplomb and stoicism."

"The full extent of Michael's courage, gallantry, and self-less heroism were revealed on the 29th of September, in Ramadi. When his team was surprised by an enemy grenade, Michael could have escaped and saved himself," Winter said. "But he chose a different path, a path of honor that embodies the way of a
Navy SEAL. For having chosen that path, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor joined the ranks of those who have earned our nation's highest distinction, the Medal of Honor."

Winter concluded that Michael Monsoor's heroism and self sacrifice for his teammates and his nation epitomize the Navy's core values, and will forever provide prideful admiration for our sailors.

"Michael Monsoor's name will now be linked with one of our nation's most visible examples of military power, a U.S. Navy warship," Winter said. "His legacy will inspire the hearts of future Sailors who serve on the ship that bears his name."

The USS Michael Monsoor will be a multi-mission surface combatant tailored for advanced land attack and littoral dominance. The ship's mission is to provide credible, independent forward presence and deterrence and to operate as an integral part of naval, joint or combined maritime forces.

The USS Michael Monsoor will be the 2nd Zumwalt-class destroyer. She will be 600 feet in length, have a beam of 80.7 feet, and displace approximately 15,000 tons. Michael Monsoor will have a crew size of 148 officers and sailors, he will make speed in excess of 30 knots.

Additional information about Monsoor and Winter is available online at
http://www.navy.mil/moh/Monsoor/ and
http://www.news.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=325 .

Navy Reserve Maintenance Group Saves Time, Money, Manpower

By Navy Chief Petty Officer David Votroubek
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Miriam Verbarg, a boatswain's mate, watched over a young sailor as he sewed panels on a foul-weather hatch cover. Known as a "dogshack," the small shelter was being made at the Navy Reserve Intermediate Maintenance Activity here to help protect fleet submarine watch standers from the elements.

While the group and what they do may be unfamiliar to many, the RIMA program provides products that have been used by thousands of sailors out in the fleet. RIMA shops manufacture items such as cofferdams, damage-control plugs, podiums, award plaques and bunk curtains to support fleet operations around the world and improve shipboard quality of life.

"The support from RIMA for manufacturing submarine rack curtains has allowed all Norfolk-area submarines to deploy with a full load of rack curtains in excellent repair," said Chief Petty Officer John W. Johnson, a fire control technician who helps to initiate RIMA projects.

One of the most successful RIMA products is a man-movable submarine brow with a counter-balance that allows it to be placed and removed without the aid of a crane. Eliminating crane dependency reduces costs, improves operational flexibility and saves valuable time required to place and remove brows during arrival or when getting underway.

Johnson added that RIMA sailors respond to the needs of the fleet and can change their products to meet those needs.

"RIMA personnel have been very flexible in customizing products such as dogshacks to meet the operational submarine force needs for a portable and rugged product," he said.

Although RIMAs usually support commands within the submarine force, they also can provide services to any fleet asset. The RIMAs charge the requesting command only for the cost of the production materials, while the balance is funded by
Navy Reserve Force via Submarine Group 2.

This arrangement saves money on products and services while sustaining a high level of technical and production proficiency within the Navy Reserve. Occasionally, the RIMAs become the only source for repair parts and equipment that are no longer available in the military supply system.

Each activity is manned by reserve-component expeditionary maintenance detachment sailors who work on the projects during their monthly drill weekends. For that reason, projects that can be finished over several drill periods are best suited for RIMA support.

"The key to receiving a requested product within a desired timeframe is advanced planning and scheduling," said
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tony Marrero, Submarine Group 2 operational support officer.

In addition to the unit here, the RIMA program comprises maintenance activities in Washington, D.C.; Cincinnati; Denver; Great Lakes, Ill.; Eleanor, W.Va.; Louisville, Ky.; and Tucson, Ariz.

"The unit pulls together as a team to produce a final product that directly benefits the fleet," Verbarg said.

After it was finished, several RIMA sailors assembled the dogshack under the gray
Spokane skies. Soon, it will protect submarine sailors from worse weather around the world.

(
Navy Chief Petty Officer David Votroubek serves with Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific Detachment Northwest.)

Army, National Institute of Mental Health Begin Suicide Study

By J.D. Leipold
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - The
Army and the National Institute of Mental Health have begun a five-year, $50 million research program into the factors behind soldier suicides and how to prevent them, Army Secretary Pete Geren told reporters at the Pentagon yesterday. Geren said the new partnership with NIMH, the Army Science Board and the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs would build on work that already is under way to conduct the most far-reaching and comprehensive research project ever undertaken on suicide and its prevention.

"It's a five-year study to examine the mental and behavioral health of soldiers, with particular focus on the multiple determinants of suicidal behavior and resiliency across all phases of Army service," Geren said. "Family members and family relationships, including parents and siblings, will also be included in the study where it's appropriate."

The study also will include the National Guard and Army Reserve.

This effort will be followed by an
Army Science Board study with the goal of identifying correlated risk factors and recommending mitigation strategies and practices to prevent suicide. At the same time, the secretary said, the Army would not wait for the end of the study to implement mitigation strategies, but would put those strategies into practice as they make themselves clear.

According Dr. Thomas R. Insel, NIMH director, the study will give NIMH a bigger picture on the suicide risk factors of the nation's population, critical information that he said affects the entire United States because the
Army is a "microcosm of the nation."

"There are more than 30,000 suicides in the U.S. each year, actually 32,000 in 2006, the most recent year for which we have numbers," he said. "That's almost twice the number of homicides in the country. Suicide is really a significant public health problem. If we can reduce the rate in the Army, it will ultimately reduce the rate in the nation. Those are really the goals for this collaborative effort."

Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said that "suicide rates aren't exactly plummeting."

"Half the suicides we can't figure out what happened, so that's why we need the NIMH's help," he said.

Geren said that of the 115 suicides the
Army confirmed in 2007, 36 of the soldiers were deployed at time of death, 50 had been deployed prior to their deaths, and 29 never had been deployed. The secretary said he expects suicide rates for 2008 will be up compared with 2007 rates.

(J.D. Leipold works at
Army News Service.)

Face of Defense: Company Commander Exemplifies Warrior Ethos

By Sarah Maxwell
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - In most ways,
Army Capt. Alex Houston is like any other Army commander. He comes to work here every day ready to lead and set the standard for the soldiers who work for him. He diligently performs all of his administrative duties as the 21st Signal Brigade Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander, and he gets down and dirty with the unit during company physical training. He jokes with his staff, and even has been known to sing off-key for them.

And he does this all as a wounded warrior. As a platoon
leader in Iraq, Houston lost his left hand when his convoy was attacked during a night mission.

The electricity was going on and off while his 1st Cavalry Division unit was on patrol, Houston recalled. "It was so dark -- the kind of dark that you can't even see your hand in front of your face," he said.

As the lights flickered off, the unit's battalion commander came under fire from enemy forces. Although others were in the area, Houston said, he was trained to step up as the ranking officer on the mission, and he headed into the battle to support his commander. He took charge, and while on the radio, he also took a hit.

"There was melted metal all around my hand, and shrapnel went through my arm," he said, "but I was still on the radio giving information to headquarters."

His duty came before the pain, he said, and his faith in God allowed him to remain calm and accomplish the mission of getting the convoy through the area.

"After everyone came over to see how I was, I kept saying, 'I'm OK.' And I was," he said.

He was rushed to the combat support hospital, and doctors later told him they couldn't save his hand. The division commander presented his Purple Heart while he was still sedated in the combat hospital.

"I just said 'Hooah,'" said Houston, "and they saw the soldier in me."

Houston was given the choice of going back to Fort Hood,
Texas, or to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Having heard the Army's best care was at Walter Reed, he said, he spent about a year recovering there.

While at Walter Reed, he had access to many programs that helped wounded warriors transition into the civilian job market, but he said when the
Army asked him if he wanted to stay in, he knew his answer was yes. Houston, who started out as an enlisted soldier, already had made a commitment to a career in the Army. "I made a decision a long time ago that I'm going to give 100 percent," he said.

Before he deployed to Iraq and before he attended Officer Candidate School, Houston was a chaplain's assistant for the 21st Signal Brigade.

Army Col. Theresa Coles, the brigade commander, said Houston was an easy choice to take command of the headquarters company, since he desired to lead and already had strong connections to the unit and Fort Detrick.

"I thought he was a committed officer and soldier — committed to his profession," she said. "He went to OCS, became an officer and hadn't gotten a chance to fulfill his goals. He wants to be a
leader and is not letting the injury stop him."

Coles said she couldn't be happier with her decision, as Houston has been an outstanding company commander.

"He walks the walk, and talks the talk," she said. "He and his family are committed to the unit and soldiers. His injury has not been an impediment at all. He's a true testament to the Warrior Ethos — a testament to what the folks at Walter Reed and he have done."

(Sarah Maxwell works at Fort Detrick Public Affairs.)

Runners Tackle Marine Corps Marathon to Support Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - As they have for the past 32 years, nearly 20,000 runners gathered at the
Marine Corps War Memorial here to tackle the 26.2 miles of the 33rd Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 26. Among the runners were many individuals and teams who participated as a show of support for servicemembers. Marie Campbell, who lost her husband in the 1996 attack on Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, ran as her way of helping the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

"I do this to give back to others who need grief and recovery support, so TAPS can continue to support the many surviving families who've lost someone serving in the
military and are walking the road I once walked down," she said. "TAPS helped me so much in those early years, and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon as part of my own healing."

Campbell, director of the TAPS "Run and Remember Team," ran her eighth
Marine Corps Marathon this year. TAPS provides care for the families of America's fallen servicemembers.

While many, if not all, of the participants who ran as part of a troop-support group's team were running in support or memory of a loved one, they had another important purpose. They helped to raise funds that will be used to support servicemembers and their families. And not all of them were civilians.

Two injured Marine veterans joined together to overcome their injuries, help each other make it across the finish line and help out MarineParents.com in the process.

Lance Cpl. Josef Lopez suffered a sudden illness while serving in Iraq in 2006 that left him paralyzed. He spent months recuperating in the hospital. On the day of the race, however, Lopez faced the challenging course with a customized hand cycle and the encouragement of Cpl. Neil Schalk. The corporal earned a Purple Heart after being injured by a homemade bomb while serving in Iraq in 2005.

The money the two veterans raised will support two outreach programs offered by MarineParents.com. Purple Heart Family Support and Operation PAL provide meals to patients and families at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and "adopt" injured Marines, sending cards, letters and prayers.

MarineParents.com provides education and support for
Marine Corps families, provides support for Marines, and provides community awareness programs for troop support.

Homes for Our Troops also had a 15-person team running to raise funds to build adapted houses to meet the needs of injured veterans.

"We had a couple of people from Massachusetts travel [to run in the marathon], and really, they're just supportive of the mission ... and they're looking for a way to give back," Dawn Teixeira, the organization's vice president, said. "We raised about $20,000. It'll go a long way toward something in one of the houses."

As the race concluded less than three hours after it began, it was two first-time runners who took first place in the men's and women's open divisions.

Andrew Dumm, 23, of Washington, won the men's race with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, 42 seconds. He was recruited by his brother, an Air Force first lieutenant who won the armed forces division, but finished behind his younger brother.

Cate Fenster, the daughter of a former
Army Ranger, won the women's race with a time of 2:39:32. The 37-year-old teaches neurobiology and physiology at the College of Wooster in Ohio but is currently on assignment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

At the end of it all, however, the big winners were the troops who saw the support of the individual runners as well as that of the troop-support organizations.

Commissaries to Promote Warrior Care in November

By Kevin L. Robinson
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - The Defense Commissary Agency will join other Defense Department organizations in observing November as Warrior Care Month. The observance is designed to inform military members and their families about the many programs that are, and will be, available to assist wounded warriors.

In a memorandum announcing this initiative, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he wants to focus DoD's efforts in drawing attention to improvements for the support of wounded warriors.

Through Warrior Care Month, Gates said, he also intends to send "a clear message to our servicemembers and the public that there is no higher priority for this department than caring for those who have made personal sacrifices in the defense of our nation."

Throughout November, commissaries will display posters to emphasize wounded warriors and the programs that exist for their care and support. Throughout the year, personnel from DeCA's human resources and equal employment opportunity offices have teamed to recruit wounded warriors, along with civilians with targeted disabilities and veterans with a 30 percent or more disability rating.

"Our men and women in uniform who have been wounded or injured deserve more than our spoken gratitude," said Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., DeCA director and chief executive officer. "During Warrior Care Month, the Defense Commissary Agency will do its part to focus more attention on the resources to support our troops in their recovery and rehabilitation." Article sponsored by
leadership seminars online.

In addition to posters in commissaries to raise awareness, DeCA will use its Web site, www.commissaries.com, to highlight programs and initiatives being provided through the warrior care system and to direct visitors to the agency's job opportunities for wounded warriors.

To further help wounded warriors and their families with any questions, concerns or problems during their recovery process, DoD created a Web site, www.warriorcare.mil, to provide a lasting gateway for resources and ongoing programs. The site includes a directory to find information throughout DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs about the military health system and existing service programs. Over time, warriorcare.mil will grow as new programs are introduced, officials said.

The term "wounded warrior" applies to all wounded, ill and injured military members and veterans. Each military service has specific units to address the needs of these troops. The Marines and the Army, for example, have established wounded warrior battalions and warrior transition units, respectively, to assist their servicemembers as they receive medical treatment.

Military OneSource also has created a 24-hour Wounded Warrior Resource Center that can be reached by telephone at 800-342-9647 and by e-mail at wwrc@militaryonesource.com. The center is staffed with trained consultants who will direct callers to the military or federal agency that can best help them. The consultant is expected to maintain contact with the caller until their question or concern is resolved, officials said, though the center is not designed to replace existing military units that support wounded warriors.

(Kevin L. Robinson works at the Defense Commissary Agency.)

Office Readies Defense Department for Transition to Next Administration

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - No matter who wins the election Nov. 4, Defense Department officials will work to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to the new administration, DoD officials said today. "There is a ... rather robust structure to deal with transition," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Robert Rangel, special assistant to the secretary and the deputy secretary of defense, is in charge of the process in the department. Marine Brig. Gen. Frank McKenzie reports to Rangel in leading the effort for the Joint Staff.

How the transition moves forward will depend largely on the president-elect, Whitman said, noting there is an added emphasis on the transition this year because it will occur as the United States is involved in two wars and operations around the world.

"There is a recognition that ... given that we are a nation at war, that energy and effort [should] be sufficiently placed to ensure that we don't drop any balls, because national security and supporting our fielded forces that are engaged in combat is of paramount importance to this country," Whitman said. "We are preparing to make this as smooth a transition as we can."

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued principles to guide the transition. The first is that the department must maintain its continuity of operations. The second is to ensure efficient and effective transition between the out-going political leaders and the incoming administration.

The department also will "facilitate quality transfer of information to the new administration [and] sustain focus on our existing programs and processes while allowing the in-coming administration to establish its governance processes," Whitman said.

AFPS Presents 15-Part Series on Warrior Care

American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - From the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are returning home, some with wounds so serious that they would not have survived in wars past. Remarkably, modern medicine, changing policy and pure grit have allowed many to recover and return to active duty.

These wounded warriors are hard to discern from the ranks of others. Often their prostheses are covered by combat boots and their scars by their uniforms. Their post-injury jobs vary, from returning to combat to serving as trainers, but all are driven to overcome their physical limitations by a common motivation - they are simply not ready to take off the uniform.

American Forces Press Service writer Fred Baker followed a handful of these servicemembers and chronicled their stories. He also interviewed top general officers in charge of each service's wounded warrior programs and updated each program's progress. These stories will be sent out starting Nov. 5 as part of DoD's Warrior Care Month.

To see all of the stories written by Baker and other DoD reporters on this topic, visit our Warrior Care Web special, "Staying Power," which will be posted Nov. 5 on Defenselink.mil.

Africa Command Headquarters to Remain in Stuttgart

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - U.S. Africa Command's headquarters will remain in its current location in Stuttgart, Germany, for the foreseeable future, a Pentagon spokesman said today. The decision by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates allows the newest unified command to gain greater operational experience and develop and foster relationships with both African and European partners, Bryan Whitman said.

"We certainly looked at a number of alternatives," Whitman said. "But at the end of the day, it was determined that for now, and into the foreseeable future, the best location was for it to remain in its current headquarters."

AfriCom, which became operational this month, eventually will be composed of some 1,300 personnel. About half will be members of the U.S.
military, with the other half from civilian agencies such as the departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security and Treasury, among others, said Eric Elliott, an AfriCom spokesman.

"Our primary focus is on
military-to-military programs," said Elliott, describing AfriCom's mission. "[It's] building partnership capacity, defense capacity, security capabilities with our African partners."

Whitman said that the decision to keep the headquarters in existing facilities at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart will not have any specific, unanticipated impact as AfriCom continues to develop and add staff members.

"Whenever you're embarking on building an enterprise such as a new combatant command, ensuring that all the partners in the region understand the purpose and the intent and how the command is designed to develop and foster relationships with these friendly nations is important," he added.

Echoing comments by
Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, AfriCom commander, Elliott noted that Stuttgart shares the same time zone, which affords easy communication with partners in Africa, and its proximity allows for easy air travel to and from the continent.
In addition, the command has inherited from the three regional commands that previously coordinated U.S.
military activities in Africa a "small, but meaningful, U.S. military presence in several African nations," according to a Defense Department information sheet. This includes Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, as well as department personnel assigned to U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions to coordinate Defense Department programs in support of U.S. foreign policy.

Locating a command headquarters outside its area of operations is not an unprecedented move, as U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Middle East, has its headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., and the headquarters for U.S. Southern Command, which oversees South America, is located in Miami.

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 30, 2008

Navy

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa., is being awarded a $605,030,234 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-2102) for additional naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, Pa. (68 percent) and Schenectady, N.Y. (32 percent). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on contracts supporting the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington
Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Oshkosh Corp, Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded a $45,919,820 fixed-price delivery order (0066) under their existing indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, M67854-04-D-5016. This delivery order is for the purchase of 173 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) variants, 172 Ready to Accept Armor kits (ECP 68R1), and 63 Sliding 5th Wheel kits (ECP 73) for MTVR vehicles. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work for this delivery order is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The
Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $28,745,380 modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract (N00019-06-D-0011) to exercise an option for logistics services in support of the E-6B Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) aircraft fleet. Work will be performed at Tinker
Air Force Base (AFB), Okla. (70 percent); Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. (10 percent); Travis AFB, Calif. (10 percent); and Offutt AFB, Nebraska (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $2,427,875 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

L3 Services, Inc., Marlton, N.J., is being awarded a $17,429,154 modification to a previously awarded cost plus award fee contract (N00421-05-C-0009) to exercise an option for engineering and technical support services and supplies to design, develop, procure, prototype, modify, integrate, test and evaluate, install and provide logistics support for telecommunication and related communication-electronic (C-E) systems for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Special Communications Requirements Division. The estimated level of effort for this option is 184,000 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md. (80 percent) and St. Inigoes, Md. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity.

Systems Application & Technologies, Inc.*, Oxnard, Calif., is being awarded an $11,233,629 cost plus award fee contract for operational, maintenance, and technical support services for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Ranges Department. These requirements include preparation of land targets and target areas, operations and maintenance of range instrumentation/communication systems, frequency monitoring, field power systems (fuel-powered generators and photo-voltaic systems), photo-electronics (maintenance and repair of video equipment, cameras, tracking mount trailers, and domes), land targets, range scrap removal, ordnance removal and cleanup, range scheduling and billing, meteorology, operational support, stand-by maintenance, and post-operation analysis of test data. The estimated level of effort is 215,433 man-hours. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif. (70 percent), and Point Mugu, Calif. (30 percent) and is expected to be completed in April 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif. is the contracting activity (N68936-09-C-0003).

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $9,933,738 indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, firm fixed price contract for the acquisition of various quantities of Digital Video Surveillance Systems (DVSS) for installation on U.S.
Navy Surface Combatant Ships and technical support. The required Digital Video Surveillance Systems is one of four core DDG Modernization alterations designed to reduce workload in the Central Control Station and Bridge on DDG 51 Class Destroyers. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with three offers were received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-D-0002).

L-3 Communications Corp., Arlington, Texas, is being awarded a $9,600,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract (N00019-05-D-0012) to exercise an option for training support and up to 2,000 flight instructor hours on a Boeing 737 next-generation aircraft to serve as an E-6B in-flight trainer. Work will be performed at Tinker
Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Okla., and is expected to be completed in October 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $9,500,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

LINXX Security Services*, Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded a $9,037,024 ceiling priced modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract (N61339-07-D-0003) to exercise an option to procure the services of instructors for the Non-Compliant Boarding Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (NCB VBSS) and Visit, Board, Search and Seizure Boarding Officer (VBSS BO) courses in support of the Center for Security Forces, Little Creek, Va. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va.(30 percent); San Diego, Calif.(30 percent); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (20 percent); and Mayport, Fla.(20 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $6,499,998 modification for delivery order #0004 under a previously awarded contract (N00383-06-D-001J) to purchase repair-of-repairables support for the E/A-18 G Growler. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Correction: Contract awarded Oct. 24, 2008, to Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd., Newport Great Britain, had an incorrect contract number. The correct contract number is N61331-09-D-0003.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Herndon Products, Inc., Maryland Heights, Mo.* is being awarded a maximum $274,400,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, total set-aside contract for total supply chain management and customer direct initiative to provide equipment delivery support. Other location of performance is Chambersburg, Pa. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps. There were originally 10 proposals Web solicited with 5 responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is October 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), Columbus, Ohio (SPM7LX-09-D-9002).

Hess Corp., Woodbridge, N.J. is being awarded a maximum $16,639,153 firm fixed price contract for electricity supply. Other locations of performance are in New York. Using services are
Air Force and Federal Civilian Agencies. There were originally 50 proposals solicited with 4 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is December 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-09-D-8006).


Air Force

General Atomics of San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a cost plus fee term contract for $177,082,588. This contract includes all programs management, urgent repairs and services, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, engineering technical services, contractor engineering technical services, contractor engineering technical specialists (formerly field support representatives), contractor inventory control point (formerly depot supply support) and spares management, depot repair, flight operations support, reliability/maintenance enhancements, CAMs/REMIS/CEMS data collection/entry and numbered Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM) for the Predator/Reaper MQ-1 and MQ-9 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) programs. At this time $163,082,588 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028 003502).

Northrop Grumman Information
technology of Herndon Va., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for $177,082,588. This effort will accomplish the delivery of Joint Enterprise DoDIIS Infrastructure (JEDI) software and DoDIIS Trusted Workstation (DTW) software. This effort will include requirements definition analysis, systems engineering, development, integration management, quality control, requirements definition analysis, systems engineering, development, integration management, quality control, familiarization, integration/interoperability testing, security and system operation and administration. This effort will result in the delivery of several software releases (approximately one release every 6 months) to the DTW/JEDI user community, to include computer software, technical documentation, and as required, the installation and maintenance of the current systems located at existing intelligence sites worldwide. At this time $3,500,000 has been obligated. Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-08-D-0001 (Umbrella) and Order 0001).

Honeywell International Inc. of
Clearwater Fla., is being awarded a firm fixed price modification contract for $15,433,853. This action will provide one hundred eighty-one EGI production units, thirty EGI retrofit units, twenty-one EGI contractor depot repairs and one EGI mount. The Embedded GPS/INS Unit is a non-development item being procured to meet the navigation requirements of Tri-Service and Foreign Military Sales platforms. This is a modification to exercise options for the aforementioned efforts. At this time $15,433,853 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8626-06-C-2065 P00058).

Boeing Co., Integrated Defense Systems of Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a firm fixed price modification contract for $8,220,600. This contract modification will provide additional contract funding in support of the fourth year of a five year Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for contract the VC-25A aircraft. At this time $8,220,600 has been obligated. Tinker AFB, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8106-04-C-0006 / P00081).


Army

General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008 a $45,061,720 cost share contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Family of Vehicles technology development phase. Work will be performed in Livonia, Mich., Sterling Heights, Mich., Muskegon, Mich., and South Bend, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received.Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity ((W56HZV-08-C-0430).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments-Grounds System Division, Santa Clara, Calif., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008 a $40,493,203 cost share contract for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles technology development phase. Work will be performed in Santa Clara, Calif., Warrenville, Ill., Johnson City, N.Y., and Troy, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received. Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity ((W56HZV-08-C-0426).

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., was awarded Oct. 29, 2008, a $35,942,059 cost plus fixed fee contract. The contract is for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles
technology development phase. Work will be performed in Owego, N.Y., and Sealy, Texas with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Web with seven bids received.Tank & Automotive Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-C-0431).

Gates' Nuclear Message Resonates in Research, Engineering Community

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' concerns raised this week about a "serious brain drain" at laboratories that design and develop nuclear weapons is resonating within the research and engineering community – and giving hope that the program, which some thought had lost its luster, is regaining its priority status. Gates raised concern during an Oct. 28 speech at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace that veteran nuclear weapons designers are retiring or leaving the work force. "Since the mid-1990s, the National Nuclear Security Administration has lost more than a quarter of its work force," he said.

"Half of our nuclear lab scientists are over 50 years old, and many of those under 50 have had limited or no involvement in the design and development of a nuclear weapon," he said. "By some estimates, within the next several years, three-quarters of the work force in nuclear engineering and at the national laboratories will reach retirement age."

Gates' observation was music to the ears of Robin Staffin, a veteran nuclear physicist who served as director for basic research within the Office of Defense Research and Engineering.

"If a secretary of defense makes a speech like this, this sets national priorities," Staffin said. "Students and practicing scientists pick this up, and it is vitally important those you wish to attract and retain believe that it is nationally important that they are devoting their talents to a career which the nation values."

Staffin said he remembers when the best and brightest minds flocked to the highly specialized field: nuclear engineers, nuclear physicists and material scientists. He spent 12 years himself at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, one of three major labs dedicated to nuclear weapons programs; the others, Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, are in New Mexico.

"The importance of nuclear weapons to the U.S. defense mission was very important to me and my colleagues," Staffin said. "We were attracted into this field, not just by the very interesting and challenging science, but also by its implications on the national security side. ... These were highly important national priorities, and critical toward the national defense, through deterrence, and the maintenance of peace in the world."

Gates emphasized the importance of the nuclear weapons programs to U.S. national defense during his Carnegie Institution speech, declaring that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, reliable and secure.

"The problem is the long-term prognosis, which I would characterize as bleak," he said. "No one has designed a new nuclear weapon in the United States since the 1980s, and no one has built a new one since the early 1990s."

In fact, Gates said, "the United States is the only declared nuclear power that is neither modernizing its nuclear arsenal nor has the capability to produce a new nuclear warhead."

This has been a deep source of concern within the scientific community, Staffin said, leaving the impression that the program had slipped in national importance.

"We were in it because it was of great national significance, and appreciated," he said. "And if it did not appear that the national
leadership – the government, the system – appreciated it, some of us would ask, 'Why are we doing this?'"

Meanwhile, opportunities appeared to be drying up and more and more technical know-how left the work force for retirement or jobs in the private sector. Last spring, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's layoff of more than 400 workers made national headlines. Many of those who received pink slips weren't involved in nuclear weapons or proliferation work, but about 100 engineers, physicists and chemists were affected.

"It has had a significant impact on the morale at Lawrence Livermore," Staffin said, and it confirmed some people's perceptions that the nuclear mission had "decreased in perceived importance."

But Gates made clear this week that he believes otherwise. He said the current nuclear stockpile was built on the assumption that it would be replaced as weapons approached their shelf life. "Sensitive parts do not last forever," he said.

Gates said it's time to re-evaluate the current program.

"To be blunt" he said, "there is absolutely no way we can maintain a credible deterrent and reduce the number of weapons in our stockpile without either resorting to testing our stockpile or pursuing a modernization program."

The department re-engineers its current stockpile to extend its lifespan, Gates said, but recognizes the risk of overstepping the narrow technical margins used to design and build them. "With every adjustment, we move farther away from the original design that was successfully tested when the weapon was first fielded," he said.

Gates also raised concern about the Stockpile Stewardship Program the United States has used to maintain nuclear weapons and evaluate their reliability since the United States unilaterally stopped nuclear testing in 1992.

"No weapons in our arsenal have been tested since 1992, so the information on which we base our annual certification of the stockpile grows increasingly dated and incomplete," Gates said. "At a certain point, it will become impossible to keep extending the life of our arsenal – especially in light of our testing moratorium. It also makes it harder to reduce existing stockpiles, because eventually we won't have as much confidence in the efficacy of the weapons we do have."

Staffin said the Stockpile Stewardship Program offers scientific, engineering and systems challenges that the work force finds "stimulating."

"It presents the challenge of, 'How do you maintain nuclear weapons without testing?'" he said. "And it requires a deeper understanding of the science and engineering of nuclear weapons, because you do not have new data from nuclear weapons tests."

That takes a highly specialized work force – something Staffin said the Defense Department has worked to maintain through a variety of education programs, internships and recruiting programs.

The National Defense Education Program, for example, invests in science, engineering and math education from middle school through post-college graduation with the goal of developing a new generation of scientists and engineers at the national defense laboratories.

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship program supports about 8,000 graduate students every year in fields important to national defense needs.

The National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship program provides extensive, long-term financial support to distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers who conduct unclassified, basic research on topics of interest to the department.

Other Defense Department programs target high school students "to channel interest into those areas of science and engineering which are critical to supporting these defense missions," Staffin said.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is expanding its use of flexible hiring authority and internships to bring the best possible people on board, reported Alan R. Schaffer, the Defense Research and Engineering Office's principal deputy director.

"The Defense Department recognizes the importance of generating and recruiting talent," he said. "There are a myriad of opportunities for students – from high school to graduate programs – to intern at Department of Defense laboratories, and we encourage people to take advantage of the opportunities."

Staffin expressed hope that Gates' words foretell broader challenges and opportunities in store for the nuclear weapons community.

"Just to have this kind of recognition makes a strong statement and goes a long way to demonstrate the importance the national
leadership holds for this field," he said.

Deadline Nears to Help Retailer Make Wishes Come True

American Forces Press Service

Oct. 30, 2008 - The deadline is tomorrow for servicemembers to apply for the Sears "
Heroes at Home Wish Registry." In consultation with the Defense Department, Sears has expanded the popular program, enabling America to fulfill holiday wishes for up to 20,000 servicemembers and their families.

military personnel can log on to www.sears.com/wish through tomorrow to apply for the Wish Registry. Between Nov. 2 and Dec. 25, Sears will invite America to help fulfill their wishes with a Sears gift card.

"Since 1916, Sears has been committed to America's servicemen and women with programs to employ veterans, reserve pay differential and benefits for full-time associates called up for active duty," said Don Hamblen, chief marketing officer for the retailer. "Last year, Sears launched
Heroes at Home to help military personnel renovate and rebuild their homes. Today, we are pleased to expand the Heroes at Home Wish Registry to incorporate elements to make the wishes of our military come true for the holidays and enable our customers provide a direct 'thank you' to members of the military."

The first 20,000 servicemembers who apply and can be validated with an active duty military status can become part of the Wish Registry. Active service personnel who participate will remain anonymous to ensure compliance with the military's standards of conduct regulations.

Ultimately, all 20,000 registrants will be granted Sears gift cards in equal amounts, which will be determined based on the number of entries and donations. The gift card denominations will not exceed $550, officials said.

Sears officials said they created the Wish Registry to thank servicemembers and their families at home and abroad for their service. Sears worked with the United Service Organizations to help communicate the Wish Registry to
military members, and will make a $250,000 donation to support USO programs and services around the world.

"The
Heroes at Home Wish Registry allows us to connect with the military community on a very personal level, and gives Americans the opportunity to fulfill their wishes," said Bill Kiss, divisional vice president of program development for Sears Holdings Corporations. "It's an extremely powerful program, with the potential to produce extremely meaningful results."

The program starts with the Sears family, not just their customers, officials said, noting that the first donations the registry received were from Sears associates, senior executives and vendors featured at the retailer.

The
Heroes at Home program also provides support to servicemembers, veterans and their families through joint efforts with various nonprofit organizations. Sears Holdings has spearheaded nationwide fundraising efforts in the spring and holiday seasons over the past year, officials said, and has raised more than $5 million through the Heroes at Home program for Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates homes.