Military News

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Navy to Christen Submarine New Mexico

The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine, New Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008, during a 10 a.m. EST ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va. Rep. Heather A. Wilsonof New Mexico will deliver the ceremony's principal address.

Designated SSN 779,
New Mexico is named in recognition of the people of the 'Land of Enchantment'. The submarine began construction under a unique teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat in 2004. The battleship New Mexico (BB-40) (1918-1946), the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines and Okinawa.

The sixth Virginia-class submarine,
New Mexico is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions . By doing so, New Mexico will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Cmdr. Mark A. Prokopius, a native of Seven Hills, Ohio, is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

The 7,800-ton
New Mexico is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged.

Additional information about this class of submarine is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4.

Defense Officials Recognize Manheim Steamroller for Troop Support

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2008 - For years, musical group Manheim Steamroller has supported U.S. troops by giving away its Christmas CDs and concert tickets. Today, Defense officials paused to thank the group's founder. I represent all the men and women who serve in uniform and [department] civilians, and it's an opportunity for us to say thank you," Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said just before presenting Louis "Chip" Davis Jr. with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service award.

Through Manheim Steamroller, which plays what Davis refers to as "18th Century Classical Rock," Davis has played for
military crowds and donated millions of CDs to troops and their families. And this year is no different.

For its 2008 support effort, dubbed "A Million Reasons to be Thankful," the group is providing 1 million Manheim Steamroller CDs to troops and their families at home and abroad.

"When somebody like yourself does that, you represent the American people to [the troops]," England said. "So it's a way of the American people saying thanks to them when people like you step forward and do this."

Davis has no plans of lessening his support any time soon, he said.

"You can plan on us continuing," he said. "It's something we love to do."

And it's from the heart, he said.

"I was thinking about ... the men and women over there at Christmastime and not being able to necessarily be with their families," he said. "I wanted to just simply give. I think a lot of times, it's highly underestimated what happens out there in the big world and all of the things that the soldiers do for us to protect and keep our country free."

Davis and Manheim Steamroller have a long history of troop-support efforts through the United Service Organizations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Military Books

Military-Writers.com is pleased to announce the addition of these servicemembers to the website:

Major General Robert E. Wagner
Captain Robert LeRoy Thorson, USN (ret.)
Captain George Brennan, USN (ret.)
Captain Norman E. Berg, USN (ret.)
Captain Bud Gore, USN (ret.)
Captain Byron A. Lee, USN (ret.)
Colonel Wilson Allen Heefner, MD, USA (ret.)
Lt. Colonel Robert F. Casemore, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander A. M. “Mike” Granat, USN (ret.)
Major Richard N. Hathaway, USN (ret.)
Major Frederick F. Nyc, USAF (ret.)
First Lieutenant B. David Mann, USA (ret.)

MORE INFORMATION
Military Books

Disability Awards Shed Light on Underrepresented Workers

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2008 - The Defense Department recognized some of its outstanding disabled employees in a ceremony here yesterday that doubled as a forum to advance the cause of disabled workers. Though federal employers should focus on disabled workers' abilities, not their limitations, that's more wishful thinking than reality, a government official said yesterday at the Defense Department's Disability Awards Ceremony here.

"People with disabilities are much more likely to be unemployed than to be hired by the federal government. And there's something wrong with that picture," said Christine M. Griffin, commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and keynote speaker at the ceremony.

Griffin characterized as "dismal" the current number of disabled employees on Uncle Sam's payroll, representing less than 1 percent of the federal work force.

"We can always do better," Griffin said. "We are at kind of an all-time low."

Of the 6,000 federal senior executives, only 35 are severely disabled, Griffin said. And disabled federal employees endure pay gaps compared to the salaries of their counterparts, she added.

"This doesn't reflect the public we serve," said Griffin, who was paralyzed in a car crash while in college and uses a wheelchair. "This is not what society looks like."

Griffin said employment correlates to one's level of life satisfaction, and she stressed that champions of disabled workers must emerge to change employers' perceptions and hiring practices.

"I know that self worth and net worth are linked together," she said. "To deny that to millions and millions of people with disabilities is wrong."

David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said the Defense Department employs about 5,000 disabled workers, or 1 percent of its civilian work force.

"While that percentage may be higher than some other agencies, we know we can do better," Chu said. "The emphasis should not be on what you can't do; the emphasis should be on what you can do."

A network of programs in the federal community helps disabled workers and their employers.

Dinah F.B. Cohen directs the Defense Department's
Computer Electronic Accommodations Program, which has provided technical assistance to disabled employees for nearly 20 years. In fiscal 2008, she said, the program filled more than 10,000 requests for accommodations, almost half of which supported wounded servicemembers.

"When you see that 44 percent of those accommodations were directly related to support our men and women with devastating injuries, I feel we are making a difference," Cohen said. "We have gotten rid of that excuse, 'I can't afford to accommodate [disabled employees]."

On behalf of the Defense Department, Chu presented awards to the following outstanding employees with disabilities:

-- Gary Szymanski, Department of the
Army;

-- Dierdre McVoy, Department of the
Navy;

-- Joanne Jordan, Department of the
Air Force;

-- Darrell H. Gates,
Army and Air Force Exchange Service;

-- Frank William Jenkins, Jr., Defense Commissary Agency;

-- Yvonne E. Brauer, Defense Contract Management Agency;

-- Richard Allen Larue, Defense Finance and Accounting Service;

-- Michael D. Martin, Defense Information Systems Agency;

-- David E. Anders, Defense Logistics Agency;

-- Georgia Williams-Fitzpatrick, Department of Defense Education Activity;

-- Dorthea Barbour, National Guard Bureau; and

-- Paul W. Kahn, National Security Agency.

In addition, the Department of the
Army took the honors for best military department, the Defense Logistics Agency accepted the award for best mid-size agency, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency earned the prize for the best small agency.

Award recipient David E. Anders works as a supply supervisor at a Defense Logistics Agency office in
Columbus, Ohio. Anders, who was paralyzed from the chest down at age 16 after a car accident, uses a wheelchair in the office. Despite his injury, he's no less efficient than his coworkers.

"Actually, I move a little faster than most of them do. I get yelled at all the time for buzzing around," said Anders, who has completed five marathons, including one that he was forced to finish with a flat tire on his wheelchair.

Anders -- who calls himself not "disabled" but "super-abled" -- said a positive attitude can help one transcend a handicap and change people's perceptions.

"If you have a positive attitude, a can-do attitude, people will look past the disability," he said.

His advice to employers who are skeptical of disabled workers: "Give them a chance, and let them show you what they can and can't do."

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 10, 2008

NAVY

Navistar Defense LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $362,283,452firm fixed priced delivery order #0010 under previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for the procurement of Category I Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) vehicles with Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) upgrades for enhanced maneuverability with greater armor protection. This delivery order will procure 400 Category I MRAP MaxxPro DASH vehicles to provide protection for U.S.
Military personnel currently in theater. The MRAP vehicles are armored vehicles with blast resistant underbodies designed to protect the crew from mine blasts, fragmentary, and direct fire weapons. Work will be performed in WestPoint, Miss., and work is expected to be completed by the end of May 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.

CBZG Design Builders, LLC, (Clark, Blinderman, M+W Zander, and Graef, Anhalt, Schloemer) Chicago, Ill., is being awarded a $48,230,067 modification under a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N40083-06-C-4017) to exercise option #0004 which provides for the last phase of the Camp Porter Barracks and infrastructure project at the Recruit Training Command, Naval Station Great Lakes. The work to be performed under this option provides for the design and construction of a Special Recruit Barracks as well as the demolition of two buildings on-site. The award of this option will be the final and third barracks building under this contract to complete the barracks complex. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $201,850,341. Work will be performed in Great Lakes, Ill., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Midwest, Great Lakes, Ill., is the contracting activity.

Solpac Construction Inc., dba Soltek Pacific Construction Co., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $23,076,612 modification under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-08-D-8615) firm fixed price task order to exercise options 0005 and 0007 which provides for the design and construction of a Hardware in the Loop and Flight Tables at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. The work to be performed provides for design and construction of a new high bay building enclosing three different anechoic chambers, control rooms, shielded target generation rooms, and preparation laboratory spaces, and equipment room. The total task order amount after exercise of these two options will be $40,385,259. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Agilent Technologies, Inc., Englewood, Calif., was awarded a $15,279,350 firm fixed price requirements contract on Dec. 9, 2008, to manufacture synthesized sweep generators to support the General Purpose Electronic Test Equipment Weapons System. Work will be performed in Singapore, and work is expected to be completed by December 2013. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with ten proposals solicited and four offers received. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00104-09-D-D002).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded an $11,988,449 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) for research and development services in support of the
Technology Development phase of an InfraRed Search and Track (IRST) system for the F/A-18E/F. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo. (50 percent) and Orlando, Fla. (50 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 Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Stauder Technologies*, St. Peters, Mo., is being awarded a $5,949,359 modification to previously awarded contract (M67854-07-C-2062) for additional StrikeLink Systems/spares through the Tactical Location Designation Hand-off System Program. Work will be performed in St. Peters, Mo., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $55,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Air Force

The
Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to McDonnell Douglas Corporation, St. Louis, Mo. for $110,224,001. This contract action will exercise the Lot 5 Option for Small Diameter Bomb, Increment I Production for munitions, carriages, and technical and logistical support. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 681 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity (FA8672-09-C-0047).

The
Air Force is awarding a contract to Latrobe Specialty Steel Company, Latrobe, Penn. for $44,126,211. This action is for the Phase I OSD Title III Program to improve domestic access to multiple grades of low-alloy, iron-based Vacuum Induction Melting Vacuum Arc Re-melting steels. At this time, $16,606,000 has been obligated. Detachment 1 AFRL/PKMD, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8650-09-2-5506).

The
Air Force is modifying a contract with Raytheon Company, Tucson, Ariz. for $7,924,403. This action is for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Air Intercept Missile – Greece Offset Administration. This action is a modification to the Production Lot 21 contract. At this time the entire amount has been obligated. 695 ARSS, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. is the contracting activity (FA8675-07-C-0055, modification P00020).


Army

BL Harbert International, Birmingham, Ala., was awarded on Dec 9, 2008 a, $53,848,000 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity firm fixed price contract for Advanced Individual Training, and Basic Training Barracks, as well as Warrior-in-Transition Facilities. Work will be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of Dec 8, 2011. Bids solicited were via Phase 2-5 Offerors and bids received were via Phase 2-5 Offerors. US
Army Engineer District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-09-D-0017).

Shavers- Whittle Construction, LLC, Covington, La., was awarded on Dec. 8, 2008, a $32,010,875 firm fixed price contract for west banks and vicinity, New Orleans, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project, west of Algiers Canal, Contracts 3b, Hero Pumping Station to Algiers Canal east of Harvey Canal Floodwall, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes, Louisiana. Work will be performed in Jefferson Parrish, La., with an estimated completion date of Feb 2, 2010. Bids solicited were via FedBizOpps and eight bids were received. USA Corp of Engineers, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-09-C-0008).

RAND Enterprises, Inc, Newport News, Va., was awarded on Dec. 8, 2008 a, $14,964,759 firm fixed price contract for design/build dining facilities, Leonard Wood, Missouri. The project shall include site work, building, food service equipment and furnishings. Work will be performed in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Aug 30, 2010. Bids solicited were via the FedBizOpps and four bids were received. USACE Norfolk District, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-09-D-0014).

Support Group's Scholarships Help Spouses Finish Education

American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2008 -
Military spouses with an eye on professional certification or a post-secondary education may not have to foot the entire bill, thanks to a National Military Family Association scholarship program. The group is accepting applications for its annual Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to spouses or surviving spouses of servicemembers on active duty or in the National Guard or reserves and spouses of military retirees.

The scholarships, ranging from $500 to $1,000, can be used for tuition, fees, and school room and board while the spouse obtains professional certification or attends post-secondary or graduate school.

The number of scholarships awarded each year varies, depending on funding. But thanks to a partnership with the Fisher House and Folds of Honor foundations, the association is able to provide a larger number of scholarships.

Scholarship selection is based on answers to survey questions used to help the association advocate for education changes on the applicant's behalf.

Applications are accepted online only, through the National
Military Family Association Web site, http://www.nmfa.org, and must be submitted by midnight Feb. 1.

Association officials said they started the scholarship program to recognize that unique challenges, including frequent moves and deployments, can interfere with military spouses' ability to complete their education. The association also has created a Web portal at http://www.nmfa.org/SpouseEd that's stocked with
Military spouse education resources and information to help spouses reach their career and educational goals.

(From a National Military Family Association news release.)

All Military Services Meet or Exceed November Recruiting Goals

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2008 - All active-duty and reserve-component U.S. military services met or exceeded their November recruiting goals, according to a Defense Department news release issued today.

-- The
Army signed up 5,605 new active-duty soldiers, 106 percent of its target number of 5,275 enlistees.

-- The
Navy signed up 3,082 new active-duty sailors, meeting its target number of enlistees for the month.

-- The
Marine Corps signed up 1,868 new active-duty Marines, 105 percent of its target number of 1,782 enlistees.

-- The
Air Force signed up 2,916 new active-duty airmen, meeting its target number of enlistees for the month.

The
Army, the largest military service, has met its annual recruiting goals for the past three years, said Douglas Smith, spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command based at Fort Knox, Ky.

"We just finished up our third year in a row of recruiting success, and we're very pleased with what we're seeing as we enter into [fiscal] 2009," Smith said.

The active
Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy also met or exceeded their retention goals for November, according to the news release.

Guard and Reserve forces also met or exceeded their November recruiting goals.

-- The Army National Guard signed up 5,516 new soldiers, 113 percent of its target number of 4,889 enlistees.

-- The
Army Reserve signed up 3,270 new soldiers for 116 percent of its goal of 2,811 enlistees.

-- The
Navy Reserve signed up 719 new sailors, meeting its target number of enlistees for the month.

-- The
Marine Corps Reserve signed up 550 new Marines, meeting its target number of enlistees for the month.

-- The Air National Guard signed up 649 new Air Guardsmen, 110 percent of its target number of 588 enlistees.

-- The
Air Force Reserve signed up 610 new airmen, 101 percent of its target of 603 enlistees.

Attrition losses in all reserve components are within acceptable limits, officials said.

Some Tour Lengths in Korea to Increase

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 10, 2008 - Tour lengths for some family-accompanied assignments in South Korea will be extended to three years, Pentagon officials announced today. David S.C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed the directive Dec. 1, calling on the services to present implementation plans by March 1. After reviewing the plans, DoD officials will set an implementation date.

Under the directive, accompanied tours will be extended from 24 to 36 months in Pyeongtaek, Osan, Daegu, Chinhae and Seoul. Tours in Dongducheon and Uijongbu will change from not allowing family accompaniment to allowing 24-month accompanied tours.

Unaccompanied tour lengths are unaffected, and remain fixed at 12 months at all seven locations and 24 months for key personnel.

The longer tours will improve regional security objectives, as well as benefit training and cost savings, Pentagon officials said.

"Longer tours translate to better grounding in local operations, thus improved performance, and sends a clear signal of U.S. resolve in the region," Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said.

Longer tours would enhance training for servicemembers and reduce personnel turmoil while increasing stateside "dwell time" at home stations and reduce costs incurred when servicemembers move more frequently, officials said.

But officials acknowledged that longer tours have downsides, including the need for more schools, clinics, day-care centers and stores to accommodate the families. Also, defense
leaders will have to determine if troops in South Korea on long tours would be available for deployments out of the country. All these issues would be subject to discussions with South Korean allies, officials said.

The move is the culmination of a long process. U.S. commanders in Korea – including current U.S. Forces Korea chief
Army Gen. Walter Sharp – have long argued that conditions in South Korea have improved and that more accompanied tours are appropriate.

Under agreements with the South Korean government, U.S. forces are moving out of camps established in 1953 at the end of the Korean War. As the U.S. forces move from the Demilitarized Zone and from the headquarters in Seoul, U.S. officials have the opportunity to re-examine the short-tour approach to assignments.

With changes in the footprint of American forces in the nation, now is the perfect time for a change, officials said. Currently, 90 percent of U.S. servicemembers assigned to South Korea serve a year-long unaccompanied tour. Key personnel serve two-year tours. About 27,500 American servicemembers serve in South Korea.