Military News

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Face of Defense: Marine Midshipman Follows Her Dream

By Linda Hosek
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - A
Navy Web site showing midshipmen crawling through mud and carrying rifles was all Lauren Reisinger needed to see to set her military future in motion. Then a high school sophomore and now a Marine midshipman, Reisinger couldn't have predicted the extreme pain of her first five-mile "hump" or the absolute thrill of graduating No. 1 in her Marine Corps ROTC class and receiving the top awards for leadership, military knowledge and physical fitness.

She also couldn't have predicted where she would be now: spending a year abroad at the University of Jordan to pursue Middle Eastern studies and Arabic, thanks to a Defense Department scholarship for tuition.

But that's the future that lay ahead in 2004 when Reisinger applied for a full ROTC scholarship at Drexel University and selected the Marines – not knowing exactly why.

"I chose to check the 'USMC' box simply because something in my heart told me I should," she said. "That simple choice has made an immense impact on the rest of my life."

Now 22, Reisinger is close to completing these phases of her academic and
military training. In May, she will receive a degree from Drexel in international studies with minors in Arabic and world politics. In June, she will earn her commission and be sworn in as a second lieutenant.

From there, she sees a career with the Marines – or one that could go in a variety of directions, depending on what drives her at the moment.

"For years, I have dreamt of being the secretary of state, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a senator, a foreign ambassador or even in my wildest dreams I have imagined myself as president," she said.

While the
military seems like a perfect fit for Reisinger, she had to forge it by herself, leaving the comfort zone of her life in Marin County, a northern California area she describes as "extremely sheltered, wealthy and liberal" and that local people refer to as the "Marin bubble."

"Within my family, I am somewhat of a 'black sheep,'" she said. "Of the four children, I am the only one to join the military, go to college outside of Northern California, not be a die-hard, very left-wing liberal, live in the Middle East and want to pursue a political career. My siblings support what I do, although they don't understand where I get my drive from and don't identify with my choices."

In fact, most people tried to talk her out of it, she said.

No chance of that for a person as focused and self-aware as Reisinger, going back to when she saw those pictures of midshipmen crawling through the mud as a high school sophomore. Shortly after, she set out to sink her own feet into
military life by applying for a summer seminar at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., before her senior year – and got it.

"I felt like I was in my element for the first time," she said. "The military atmosphere made me come alive, and I just knew that I was destined to be an officer."

Reisinger did so well that summer she received congressional nominations to both the Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. She also filled out an ROTC application, saying she didn't really know what it was – only that "it was something military."

When it came time to make decisions, she said, she relied on a gut feeling. She chose
Marine Corps ROTC over Naval Academy Prep School and launched her academic and military life on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

As a freshman, she decided to concentrate on the Middle East and take Arabic, thinking she could use her language skills in the
Marine Corps and later at the State Department or CIA.

"I became completely intrigued with not only the language, but the culture, religion and history of the Middle East as well," said Reisinger, who arrived in the military with considerable cultural exposure. To date she's traveled to 27 countries, and every continent except Antarctica.

Then there was the ROTC challenge – one she wasn't always sure she could hack.

"When I began ROTC, I was probably one of the worst in my class," she said. "I obviously knew the least about the
military, [and] wasn't accustomed to the rigorous physical training or demanding military lifestyle. ... It didn't help that I was the only female Marine in my freshman class. Many of my upperclassmen thought I wouldn't make it through [that year], but I was determined to prove them wrong."

The hardest moment came the second weekend during a field exercise to Fort Dix, N.J., that started with a five-mile "hump," or speed walk – something she had never done. She carried a 40-pound pack and wore boots two sizes too large because there weren't any that fit her.

It was unmitigated misery from the beginning, she recalled, and she fell behind.

"I remember my back aching under the weight and pressure of the pack," she said. "My legs ached from the unusually wide strides. My arms were going numb, because the weight of the straps on my shoulders was so heavy it cut off blood flow. But the worst of all, my feet were rubbed raw from the new, oversized boots."

Following in a van was a gunnery sergeant she described as the "scariest force" she had ever experienced, even though she knew it was his job to toughen her up.

"I remember him yelling at me: 'Hey, Blondie! What's someone like you doing in my
Marine Corps?'"

He ordered her to catch up. When the "hump" ended, it was only 9 a.m., with the rest of the day ahead of her.

"I felt as though I might die," she said. But she stuck with the exercise until it was over, when she collapsed into bed, unable to move for a full day. "After that," she said, "I made it my mission to get into shape."

And she did – with help from the same gunnery sergeant who had terrified her. She worked out in the gym for up to two hours a day on top of regular training – and it paid off with high fitness scores and awards.

She applied that same focus to all her ROTC activities to prove herself and pull ahead.

"I never once slept in, always showed up with my uniform perfectly ironed, volunteered for everything, attended all extra optional evolutions and was easily the best in my class when it came to memorizing the military knowledge," she said. "It took several months for all of these traits to show through, but once they did, I could tell that other midshipmen began to respect me and realize that I was a dedicated, committed, strong-willed person who was not going to accept failure."

Reisinger also used her summers to absorb
military experiences to make her more knowledgeable about the big picture. She spent a week on a destroyer ship, a week on a nuclear submarine, a week in aviation and a week in infantry training. She also attended Mountain Warfare School and Officer Candidate School.

As respect for her grew, she was chosen as the battalion commander, making her the highest-ranking midshipman. With that came the freedom to pick the brains of officers about
leadership and to attend officer staff meetings.

"My passion for
leadership began at a young age when I was always selected as team captain, was editor of the yearbook and was a class officer all four years of high school," she said. "The military has taken that passion and given me a set of skills to develop my natural ability to lead."

After four years, the once "weakest link" graduated at the top of her ROTC unit. For that, she earned the Professor of Military Science Award, which comes with a Mameluke sword with her name engraved on it. She also received national recognition, including the Dr. Sidney Ross Young American Award, the
military Officers Association of America Award and the National Defense Industrial Association's ROTC award.

Back on the academic side, Reisinger said, she wanted to commit herself to learning the Arabic language and believed she needed to immerse herself in Arabic culture. She proposed a fifth year of study at the University of Jordan – and it was approved, along with a $49,205 scholarship from the Defense Department for tuition. She's been there since late July and lives on a short leash with a family that monitors her friends, wardrobe and actions.

Despite the restrictions she feels as a woman, she said, she values the cultural and political exchanges she has had with Arabs. "I absolutely love representing the USA and feel like I have [had] a positive influence," she said.

She added that she also hopes to have a positive influence on the world stage after she leaves Jordan – first as a
Marine Corps officer and later as a politician. She knows exactly where to place the credit for her successes.

"After my parents, the
Marine Corps has had the most influence on my life," she said. "The military makes me a stronger, sharper, harder and even more driven person than I would be otherwise."

Group Helps Families of Fallen Warriors

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - Children of fallen warriors will enjoy camp activities and get help managing their grief this month at a program designed especially for them. Helping Unite Gold Star Survivors, or HUGSS, will host its fourth "Camp Life" at Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 15- 16. The camp combines grief counseling with physical activities such as water sports, skiing, sailing, archery, canoeing, horseback riding, fishing and art.

HUGSS operates the Gold Star Family Support Center on Fort Hood, which serves families of fallen servicemembers with grief support, camps and daily outreach. Gold Star families are those who have lost a loved one serving in the
military.

"Camp Life is a very successful camp for us, where we usually have 30 to 50 campers per camp," Debbie A. Busch, executive director and founder of HUGSS, said. "Camps mean many different things to our Gold Star families. They mean coming together with other families who understand and who allow them to take the time to acknowledge their loss. It allows children and adults alike to realize there is so much to be thankful for, and that death cannot steal their memories or love that they have for their loved one."

HUGSS serves more than 50 families in the Killeen area of Texas and about 1,200 others throughout the United States. Programs and services offered include support groups, bereavement camps and events, and phone calls and cards.

The program provides age-appropriate support and activities for children 5 and older, as well as for adults, Busch said. Gold Star spouses, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters are welcome to attend. Child care is provided for infants and preschool children.

Busch said the center and the organization augment the extended care for families provided by
military care teams and casualty assistance officers. HUGSS provides a voice and liaison between families and their loved ones' units, communication assistance for special memorials and events, and training for family readiness groups, care teams and casualty assistance officers, she said.

"HUGSS is dedicated to serving the families of our fallen heroes," Noah Boucher, public relations and event coordinator for HUGSS, said. "HUGSS has taken care of Gold Star families over the past four years by helping them work through their grief as a family and community."

Busch started HUGSS nearly five years ago. As the wife of a command sergeant major, she has led family readiness groups during her 25 years as an
Army spouse.

"HUGSS gives hope to these families that they are not alone in their grief by providing this sense of community," Busch said. "It is our goal and honor to support these families, and it is our way of telling them we will never forget their sacrifice."

Officials Extend Survey Deadline for Wounded Warriors, Families

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - As the Defense Department observes November as Warrior Care Month, officials have extended to Nov. 28 the deadline for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and their families to respond to a survey designed to assess the programs and services they receive. Dr. S. Ward Casscells, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said the extension resulted from overwhelming response.

Two
Military Health System questionnaires, one for servicemembers and another for their family members, solicit feedback about satisfaction with the care and services provided. All responses to the online surveys are anonymous to encourage honest assessments, officials said.

The questionnaires are part of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' focus on providing the best care possible for wounded warriors and their families. "I take the issue of wounded warriors personally," Gates told wounded warriors and families of wounded and fallen troops who attended last month's Wounded Warriors Family Summit.

"I will repeat here the pledge I made to myself, to Congress and to countless moms and dads, husbands and wives," Gates told the group. "Other than winning the wars we are in, my highest priority is providing the best possible care for those who are wounded in combat."

With that goal in mind, Gates directed Defense Department
leaders to review all programs affecting wounded, ill or injured servicemembers and their families to identify best practices that can be more broadly applied.

Casscells noted that support for wounded warriors and their families has improved continually since the beginning of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

"Yet we know there is still more that can be done," he said. "Each individual and each family has specific needs, and our goal is always to provide services which meet or exceed the expectation of those we serve."

He encouraged wounded warriors and their families to respond to the survey to help
Military Health System leaders get a clearer picture of where they stand in meeting their needs and expectations.

The questionnaires are posted at: www.health.mil/Pages/Page.aspx!ID+18.

Gates assured participants in the first Wounded Warriors Family Summit their concerns – expressed directly or through the survey -- won't fall through the cracks with the upcoming change of administration. He promised to "continue to press forward with a sense of urgency" to provide top-level care and support for wounded warriors in a way that lays groundwork for the next administration's
leaders to build on.

As it presses forward, Gates said, his team will "do everything we can to set up the next
leadership team for success" to ensure the work continues without interruption.

"As long as there are wounded warriors in our care, we must – and we will – continue to fulfill our obligation to them," he said.

Retailer Helps to Keep Care Package Drive on Target

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - With mailing deadlines rapidly approaching, a "targeted" effort at the Van Nuys National Guard Armory on Nov. 1 and 2 ensured that 70,000 servicemembers would receive goodies from
California this holiday season. Operation Gratitude was joined by employees of retail giant Target. At least 100 Target employees from southern California helped to pack boxes during the weekend initiative.

"Not only did so many employees devote their weekend to assembling care packages, but their companies also made large donations of products to fill the packages and funds to pay for shipping," said Carolyn Blashek, founder of Operation Gratitude. "Such dedication and generosity send an important message to our
military that 'supporting the troops' is not just an empty phrase but, in fact, a belief that is backed up by action."

Employees from other companies -- including Disney, NBC/Universal and American Airlines – also pitched in with the packing, along with members of church and school groups.

One young lady celebrating her 16th birthday brought 15 friends and spent her birthday party working to support the troops. Her reward was the playing of singer Neil Sedaka's "Happy Birthday Sweet 16," and a 400-plus strong rendition of "Happy Birthday."
"Large groups like [the corporate volunteers] add a level of excitement and fun to the package assembly days," Blashek said. "Each group wears their own T-shirt, which fosters a team spirit that energizes all the volunteers."

That enthusiasm is greatly appreciated by the troops, judging by the responses posted on the organization's Web site after other care package drives.

One soldier wrote: "We are happy to have received one of your care packages this past week. In fact, we received your box on July 4th! Mail is certainly the most important thing for morale for our platoon, and getting a big shipment of mail on the 4th made the day great. Packages from support groups remind us about the many folks back home who support the
military and our Soldiers. So thank you very much for your support, we appreciate all the work that goes into each box."

Volunteers are working to get the more than 70,000 boxes out the door to servicemembers for Operation Gratitude's sixth annual holiday drive. It will take nine full days to make it happen, Blashek said, and Dec. 13 will mark another milestone for the group when volunteers assemble the program's 400,000th care package. In the past, such milestone boxes have included items such as keys representing a new vehicle and tickets for sporting events.

Troops in Iraq Become U.S. Citizens on Election Day

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - On a day when Americans exercised their right to vote, 186 servicemembers deployed across Iraq became U.S. citizens today at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory here. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, presided over the ceremony. He expressed his appreciation for each new citizen and expounded on the significance of the step they had taken.

"Diverse as your backgrounds may be, you all now have one thing in common: you are all Americans," Odierno said. "You represent the very best of all that our nation stands for: freedom, opportunity, equality and service."

The ceremony was the 12th of its kind to be held in Iraq, but for many troops, it took on special meaning, as it occurred on Election Day for U.S. citizens. The newly naturalized servicemembers - from 60 different countries - had earned the right to vote for their new leaders.

"I'm excited to be able to vote," said
Army Spc. Ruth McKoy, a supply specialist with 62nd Quartermaster Company, 553 Sustainment Brigade. "If something good comes out of a future election, I can say I had something to do with that. It's like my voice is being heard now."

McKoy, born in Jamaica, joined the
Army in December 2002 and has since aspired to become an American citizen. After one unsuccessful application in Germany, she said, she decided to apply for citizenship a second time from Fort Hood, Texas, and finally achieved her goal.

Spc. Rasha Hennessy, a linguist with 1st Higher Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 206th Field Artillery, 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, was born in Baghdad, just miles from where she took her oath of U.S. citizenship.

"Honestly, I can't even think of how blessed I am to have this privilege," Hennessy said. "It's a great thing." She said she is ecstatic to attain her citizenship on such an important day for the United States, and she compared the freedoms she will have as a U. S. citizen to those under Saddam Hussein's regime years ago in Iraq.

"It's a really good opportunity to be able to vote freely and not live in fear," Hennessy said.

Though the 186 servicemembers are new U.S. citizens, many said they've always felt the unity all Americans feel when serving in the
military, and realize every servicemember is fighting for a common goal.

"We all play a big part in what's going on over here," McKoy said. "We're doing everything we can to help Iraq gain its democracy."

Defense Officials Plan for Smooth Transition to New Administration

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - The Defense Department has made extensive plans for a smooth transition from the present administration to that of the president-elect, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said here today. Pentagon officials are ready to begin briefing a new president-elect's transition team as soon as he's chosen, Whitman said.

The transition between administrations comes when the United States is at war, the first time this has happened since 1969, when the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson transitioned to that of President Richard M. Nixon in the midst of the Vietnam War.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has launched early preparations to minimize disruptions as the administrations change, Whitman said. Gates has created a transition task force that will operate under five guiding principles:

-- Maintaining continuity of operations;

-- Assuring efficient and effective transition of outgoing
leadership;

-- Assuring the efficient and effective in-processing of the incoming leaders;

-- Facilitating the transfer of information to the new administration; and

-- Sustaining focus on existing programs and processes while allowing the incoming administration to focus on its governing processes.

"One of the important components of this is ensuring that we've identified and highlighted some of the key department events, actions [and] milestones that a new administration will face in its first 90 days," Whitman said.

These include normal yearly actions such as the submission of the DoD budget in early February to other events that a new administration must work on immediately. "These are recurring or cyclic things that perhaps a new administration needs to be reminded of," Whitman said.

Gates also has taken an inventory of the political
leadership of the Pentagon – roughly 250 people – to see who would be willing to stay on in their jobs if asked by the new administration.

"There are a number of people that have given an indication that if they were asked to stay on and serve as a bridge after Jan. 20 until their replacement is on board, they would do so."

Whitman said the department has office space for a couple of dozen transition team members and remains leaning forward, ready to help.

"We have troops in harm's way in the war on terror, and ... I know that there will be herculean efforts on the part of this department to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible, so that on Jan. 20, this will be as seamless as possible," Whitman said.

Oregon National Guard Forms Partnership With Bangladesh

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - The
Oregon National Guard has established a partnership with one of the most populous -- and according to many at the State Department, one of the more strategically located -- countries in South Asia. A delegation from Oregon visited Bangladesh Oct. 25-30 to meet with military and civilian leaders and discuss a formal partnership.

"This is a chance for Oregon to reach out and share expertise in nation-building and to promote democracy and influence foreign policy," said
Air Force Brig. Gen. Bruce Prunk, Oregon's assistant adjutant general for the Air National Guard.

Oregon's partnership with Bangladesh stems from a national program launched by the National Guard Bureau and the U.S. State Department in the 1990s. The State Partnership Program was started to foster alliances between individual U.S. states and former Soviet countries, officials said.

Following formal State Department acceptance of the partnership, the
Oregon National Guard began implementing a plan to make it a reality. Army Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Oregon adjutant general, assigned the task to the Oregon Air Guard, since several Oregon Army National Guard units already were tasked with an upcoming deployment to Iraq.

Prunk said that besides building a civic and
military partnership, Oregon soldiers and airmen also can help to support the Bangladeshi government by assisting with disaster-relief preparedness and training.

While Oregon has had relationships with several countries in the past, including Bulgaria and Austria, the relationship between Oregon and Bangladesh is much more formalized, Prunk said.

"This is the first formal relationship between any country and Oregon," he said. "I think it's very exciting for
Oregon to establish a long-term relationship with a very strategic partner."

Rees said the Oregon National Guard can benefit from Bangladesh's skills and experience in peacekeeping operations with the United Nations.

"Bangladesh is the second-most-prolific contributor to U.N. peacekeeping operations," he noted.

Bangladesh is an active member of the Global Peace Operations Initiative, organized by the U.S. Institute of Peace, which is chartered with promoting post-conflict stability and development throughout the world, as well as assisting with amicable resolution to international conflicts.

The country also is a member of the Group of 77 Nations, a loose United Nations coalition of developing nations designed to promote collective economic interests for its members and enhance joint negotiating capacity within the U.N.

The Bangladeshi
military also has a formal school dedicated to training in peacekeeping operations. The Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training trains personnel on key areas of international peacekeeping.

"It is a very professional school, which gives us opportunities to train there and learn their skills," Rees said.

Another important component to the partnership, Rees said, is Bangladesh's experience with natural disasters. In particular, the Bangladeshi government is interested in Oregon's emergency preparedness and response plan. "We can share information on these capabilities," he added.

The Bangladeshi partnership comes out of a meeting early this year in Hawaii in which Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command,
Army Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Rees discussed a formal partnership between Oregon and Bangladesh.

"Admiral Keating's vision of Bangladesh's strategic role and location was instrumental as a catalyst for the partnership," Rees said.

Officials in Oregon and in Bangladesh are outlining key areas they will focus on over the next few years. Another
Oregon delegation plans to visit Bangladesh early next year to discuss further details.

(From an Oregon National Guard news release.)

Compensation Change Puts More Money in Injured Servicemembers' Pockets

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 4, 2008 - A
military compensation policy change provides more money for servicemembers injured during service in the global war on terrorism, a senior Defense Department official said here today. The Pay and Allowance Continuation program, known by the acronym PAC, is authorized by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, Tim Fowlkes, assistant director of military compensation, told Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service reporters.

The new initiative enables wounded servicemembers undergoing medical treatment to continue to receive overseas-related per diem and hazardous and hardship duty pays, as well as other special-incentive monies such as special assignment and parachute, or "jump," pay during hospitalization and recovery, Fowlkes said.

The PAC program is a logical change to
military compensation policy that aids wounded warriors, Fowlkes said, so "they don't experience an immediate drop in pay" as a result of their injuries.

PAC was authorized at the Pentagon via a memorandum directive issued on May 15 by David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

PAC pay starts when injured servicemembers are first hospitalized and continues for a year, with possible six-month extensions due to extraordinary circumstances, according to a Defense Finance and Accounting Service news release issued in June. The pay normally would cease after an injured servicemember recovers and returns to active duty or is discharged from
military service.

Fowlkes said PAC "basically is a transition pay" that replaces a previous program called combat-related injury rehabilitation pay, or CIP, that was in effect since 2006. CIP enabled wounded servicemembers to continue to receive about $430 monthly, totaled from overseas per diem, hazardous and hardship duty pays –- but no other special assignment pays -- during their hospitalization and recovery.

In addition, servicemembers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries after departing overseas areas are entitled to PAC pay provisions, Fowlkes said. Under the CIP program, he said, eligible servicemembers had to be diagnosed for PTSD or TBI at overseas locales.

The PAC program "will be particularly beneficial to members hospitalized for traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving Iraq or Afghanistan," according to the DFAS news release.

"Moreover, the PAC program will apply to members who are hospitalized due to a wound, injury or illness incurred anywhere in the world from hostile action or event, and not just a combat operation or in a combat zone," the DFAS release stated.

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 4, 2008

Army

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $1,266,601,398 requirements/contract/firm/fixed/price contract. The purchase of 2285 new heavy Expand Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTTA4) trucks, 768 HEMTT RECAP, an upgrade a lower model truck. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2012. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0024).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Nov 1, 2008, a $135,049,801 cost plus/incentive/fee contract for Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle system, and performance based logistics. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0016).

AM General LLC, South Bend, Ind., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $100,447,177 firm/fixed/price contract for added 853 EA High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles to contract. Work will be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $58,340,939 cost/plus/fixed/price contract for engineering service for Saudi Arabian government update to convert the M1A2 Abrams tank into Saudi, M1A2S configuration. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0095).

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems,
Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on Oct. 30, 2008, a $50,999,999 firm/fixed/price and cost/plus/fixed/fee task orders contract. The statement of works calls for the contractor to support the FAAD C2/C-RAM program in the systems architecture design and analysis, systems software interface support, design/system engineering, system integration, and system fielding. Work will be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. US Army Contracting Command Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-06-D-0029).

L-3 Communication Combat Propulsion Systems, Muskegon, Mich., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $26,000,000 firm/fixed/price contract for remanufacture of hydro mechanical power transmission. Work will be performed in Muskegon, Mich., Huddersfield, and Yorkshire, United Kingdom, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0098).

South Carolina Commission for the Blind, Columbia, S.C., was awarded on
Oct. 31, 2008, a $9,266,299 cost/plus/award/fee/contract for contractor to provides food services post-wide for 13 dining facilities for soldiers at Fort Jackson, S.C. Work will be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2009. Two bids were solicited and two bids were received. Department of the
Army Mission & Missile Contracting Command, Fort Jackson, S.C., is the contracting activity (DABT47-02-C-0003).

Raytheon Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on Oct. 31, 2008, a $8,456,490 firm/fee/contract for. Work will be performed in Andover, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 21, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. Letterkenny
Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pa., is the contracting activity (W911N2-08-C-0042).

Air Force

Aerospace Corp., of El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $797,107,900. This action will provide acquisition of scientific, engineering, and technical support for the federally funded Research and Development Center (Aerospace Corp.) which supports the
Air Force and other Department of Defense programs. $27,923,400 has been obligated. Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is the contracting activity. F08802-09-C-0001.

Lockheed Martin Corp., of Littleton, Colo., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract modification not to exceed $145,600,000. The purpose of this Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) is to provide launch services and hardware coverage for the AFSPC-2 mission and to protect the current launch schedule under the Evolved Expendable Launch Services contract. This UCA will cover the launch service booster, flight hardware mission unique, and solid rocket booster nozzle portions of the AFSPC-2 mission. The contract has a required minimum lead time of 24 months to build and deliver a launch vehicle. Delay of this action will adversely impact the launch impact the launch manifest for a critical national security AFSPC mission and the contractor's ability to meet its lead time requirements. $72,800,000 has been obligated.
Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is the contracting activity. FA8816-06-C-0004, modification P00012.

ITT Corp., of Patrick AFB, FL is being awarded a cost-plus award fee; cost-reimbursable contract modification for $66,961,335. This modification provides for the unilateral exercise incremental funding of contract year (Nov. 1, 2008 thru Oct. 31, 2009) sustainment option contract line item numbers for the Space Lift Range System contract. The action provides for the continued support for the program management, interface management, systems engineering and integration, depot maintenance transition, product acquisitions and modifications, and instrument modernization for operational systems and infrastructure including instrumentation, network and control display. $8,748,182 has been obligated. Peterson AFB, Colo., is the contracting activity. F04701-01-C-0001, Modification P00522.

General Dynamics Information
Technology of Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a fixed-price incentive firm target contract for $42,316,801. The uni-comm contract provides score communications and Information Technology services to AFSPC locations; it also provides remote/IT services in support of AFNET Ops at Air Education and Training Command (AETC), Air Force Space Command, Air Mobility Command, Air National Guard and Pacific Air Force locations. The Uni-Comm contract also provides land mobile radio zone controller services that support non-AFSPC owned locations, including locations not under the Department of Defense (DOD). $42,316,801 has been obligated. Schriever AFB, Colo., is the contracting activity. FA2550-09-C-8001.

Lockheed Martin Corp., of Lockheed Martin Space System Company, Colo., is being awarded a cost plus award fee contract modification not to exceed $27,500,000. This purpose of this undefinitized contract action (UCA) is to provide launch services and hardware coverage for the AFSPC-2 mission and to protect the current launch schedule under the Evolved Expendable Launch Capabilities (ELC) contract. This UCA will cover the Atlas V geo-synchronous orbit and the ELC mission unique portions of the AFSPC-2 mission. The contract has a required minimum lead time of 24 months to build and deliver a launch vehicle. Delay of this action will adversely impact the launch manifest for a critical national security AFSPC mission and the contractor's ability to meet its lead time requirements. $13,750,000 has been obligated.
Los Angeles AFB, Calif., is the contracting activity. FA8816-06-C-0002, Modification P00121.

The
Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with McDonnell Douglas Corp., A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the Boeing Company, of St. Louis, Mo., for not to exceed $14,550,000. This action will provide for FY08 T-38C avionics upgrade program (AUP) post production support. This effort continues Air Education and Training Command (AETC) T-38C Training System operations such as providing continuing avionics block updates and sustaining Avionics Upgrade Program (AUP) engineering development capability. At this time $1,833,000 has been obligated. 663 AESS/SYKA, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (FA8617-04-C-6153, Modification Number P00130).

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., of Savannah, Ga., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract modification for $10,018,588. This contract modification provides for continued fleet maintenance support for nine Gulfstream aircraft owned by the Egyptian government. This contract action is exercising option period 1 of 6. $10,018,588.99 has been obligated. Tinker AFB, Okla., is the contracting activity. FA8106-08-C-0001, modification P0001.

SELEX sensors and Airborne Systems Electro-Optics (Overseas) Limited of Basildon, United Kingdom, is being awarded a cost plus award fee and cost plus fixed fee contract modification for $6,590,620. The action will provide 1 Lot contractor logistics support, 1 Lot over and above, contractor acquired property and contractor furnished material, 1 Lot award fee and 1 Lot data for the all low light television system applicable to the AC-130U gunship. $6,590,620 has been obligated. Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity. F33657-95-C-0072 Modification P00093.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., of El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a cost reimbursement with award fee contract modification for $5,822,000. This action provides for Joint Stars modernization risk reduction effort to study feasibility of a multi-platform radar
Technology insertion radar onto the JSTARS platform. $5,822,000 has been obligated. Hanscom AFB, Mass., is the contracting activity. F19629-00-C-0100 Modification P00153.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Electronic Systems, Defensive Systems Division of Rolling Meadows, IL., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for $5,514,206. This action is for production phase of the Next Generation Missile Warning System (NexGen MWS). The purpose of NexGen MWS is to improve the existing large aircraft infrared countermeasure system's probability of declaring threat missiles and to increase probability of detection in high clutter environments. The contract will include system engineering and program management, travel, logistics, studies and analysis, options for field services representatives and interim contractor support. $4,791,890 has been obligated. Wright-Patterson AFB is the contracting activity. FA8625-09-C-6454.

NAVY

RDA, Inc.,* Doylestown, Pa. is being awarded a $9,866,295 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program under Topic No. N98-035 entitled "Signal Processing and System Concepts to Exploit Passive Signals in Airborne Active ASW Missions." The primary objective of this project is to provide advanced
Technology products in the field of undersea warfare research and development and to transition this Technology to the anti-submarine warfare fleet. Work will be performed in Doylestown, Pa. (50 percent); Warrentown, Va. (40 percent), Patuxent River, Md. (5 percent), and at various testing locations across the United States (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $100,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This SBIR Phase III contract was competitively procured using SBIR Program Solicitation under Topic N98-035 and 13 offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J. is the contracting activity (N68335-09-C-0048).

Canadian Commercial Corporation, General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada, is being awarded a $9,832,001 firm fixed priced modification to delivery order #0004 under contract (M67854-07-D-5028) for the purchase of prescribed load list parts to support 673 vehicles. Work will be performed in Durban, South Africa, and work is expected to be completed no later than July 6, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

P&S Construction, Inc., Lowell, Mass., is being awarded a $6,857,000 firm-fixed price contract for design and construction of a reserve naval mobile construction battalion building. The work to be performed provides for the following components; maintenance shop, supply/logistics, material storage, woodworking shop, classrooms, medical, operations office, quarterdeck, administrative offices, training offices, material logistics office, and an armory for storing small arms and ammunition. Work will be performed in Chicopee, Mass., and is expected to be completed by May 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured/negotiated via the
Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with eight proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. is the contracting activity (N40085-09-C-7017).

L3 Communications Titan Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $5,617,177 modification on a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0071), to exercise an option for the Phase II study and analysis to develop innovative solutions to be used in mission requirements for the Affordable Weapons System. This weapon system is being designed to fill a sea-based land attack and strike mission, to operate from ships, with potential for a sea-based
Navy and Marine Corps aircraft launch capability. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed in November 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

American Heroes Story Contest

Law enforcement, fire, military and other emergency services personnel are our American Heroes. Did one of your parents, a sibling, a friend or even an anonymous American Hero touch your life? Who is your American Hero and what is their story? American Heroes Press is looking for the best stories about our heroes. You don't have to be a member of the law enforcement, fire, military or emergency services community to enter. You simply need to share your story concerning these unique individuals – whether funny, compelling or truly life-altering

The contest launches Nov. 3, 2008. We will accept submissions through Jan. 31, 2009. Winners will be announced April 1, 2009.

Grand Prize
One Grand-Prize-winning story will be selected. The author of the story will receive the following prizes:

Choice of $200 cash, or $250 credit toward an American Heroes Publishing package
Featured spot for his/her Grand-Prize winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

Runner-Up
One Runner-Up-winning story will be selected. The author of the story will receive the following prizes:

Choice of $100 cash, or $150 credit toward an American Heroes Publishing package
Featured spot for his/her Runner-Up winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

Finalists
Fifteen Finalist stories will be selected. Each finalist author will receive the following prizes:

Inclusion of his/her winning story in the contest anthology
Printed and bound copy of the finished anthology

All participants will be eligible to receive an electronic copy of the finished anthology.

CLICK HERE FOR CONTEST DETAILS

About American Heroes Press
American Heroes Press is more than just a means of publishing your book. It's a growing, active and innovative community of writers. Retired police Lt. Raymond E. Foster of the Los Angeles Police Department started this community in 2003. Today it offers a brand of publishing designed specifically for true American Heroes: police, military, firefighters and emergency workers. As an American Hero, great things are accomplished through teamwork. This community – this team – is here to help you achieve success with your literary work.
More information about American Heroes Press can be found at:
www.americanheroespress.com