Military News

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Face of Defense: Soldier Continues Holiday Tradition in Afghanistan

By Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 18, 2008 - Although far from home, a deployed soldier here will continue a long-standing holiday tradition with his family in
Louisiana. Every Christmas Eve, Army Lt. Col. Stephen Jeselink, Task Force Warrior deputy commander, reads the poem "The Night Before Christmas" to his family – a tradition he started 18 years ago when the family was stationed in Karlsruhe, Germany.

"It's a simple act, but it means so much to me and my family," Jeselink said.

Jeselink will be able to continue that tradition, thanks to the United Through Reading military program, which allows servicemembers to record themselves reading books and then send the DVD to their children back home. United Through Reading is, in part, a troop-support group that offers DVD services at deployed and some USO locations.

"Many Americans only see the USO centers in airports throughout the United States, but they're providing an incredible service to our servicemen and civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, too," Jeselink said.

Jeselink said he is grateful for the program, particularly since this will be the first Christmas he and his wife, Barbara, will be apart in their 26 years of marriage.

"I felt like we needed to do this even though he is deployed," Barbara said.

She mailed her husband a copy of the poem by Clement Clarke Moore so he could record himself reading it at the USO here.

Barbara hopes to surprise her family by playing the recording of Jeselink after Christmas Eve dinner when the entire family gathers in the living room in front of the Christmas tree.

"Dad gets the book while Mom gives an envelope to everyone," son Stephen II said, adding that the envelopes may have money, gift cards or gifts inside.

"Dad usually sits with us in a circle and gives instructions on what to do with the envelopes. As he reads the story, every time he says the word 'the,' we pass the envelopes to the person on our right," he said.

"The best Christmas memory I have is sitting around the tree with my family, listening to my dad read the story, and watching his face light up every time he read the word 'the,'" his son Jarod said.

"He has such enthusiasm reading the story for us, it makes it all the more fun," daughter-in-law Stormy added.

The fun starts after Jeselink finishes the story. Everyone, beginning with the youngest, gets to exchange, if desired, an envelope with another family member. After everyone has had a chance to pass the envelope or keep it if they wish, everyone opens their envelope at the same time.

"It's special to be part of something that was started so many years ago," daughter-in-law Shelley said.

(
Army 1st Lt. Lory Stevens serves in the Task Force Warrior public affairs office.)

U.S. Welcomes Chinese Plans to Fight Piracy, Admiral Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 18, 2008 - The United States would welcome China's participation in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific said today at the Foreign Press Center here.
Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said Beijing's plans to send warships to help fight piracy could help rekindle stalled military-to-military relations between the United States and China.

"I hope the Chinese do [send People's Liberation Army
Navy ships to the region], and we will work closely with them," Keating said.

"I think this could be a springboard for the resumption of dialog between the PLA forces and U.S. Pacific Command forces. So I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful," he said.

China cancelled or postponed several planned
military-to-military exchanges with the United States in early October, in response to announced U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. China's actions reversed progress Pacom had been making in promoting closer collaboration between the two countries' militaries.

A Chinese foreign ministry official announced this week at a U.N. Security Council meeting that China was considering sending naval ships for escort operations in the region "in the near future."

China relies heavily on the Gulf of Aden, where more than 100 vessels have been attacked this year, for its oil imports and other maritime commerce. Six Chinese ships have been attacked, including a hijacked cargo ship that was rescued yesterday by the International Maritime Bureau's antipiracy force.

The U.N. Security Council voted Dec. 16 to permit attacks on pirate bases on the ground. Earlier this month, the council passed a resolution that allows navies to operate within Somalia's 12-mile territorial waters to pursue suspected pirates.

Pacom is communicating with various agencies and commands, including U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for the Gulf of Aden, to determine ways to enhance cooperation and collaboration with China if it joins the anti-piracy effort. Keating said he plans to meet with Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the Centcom commander, in the next days to discuss this and other issues.

"We are working with the Chinese to ensure they are aware of the lanes of communication available to them" and to share pertinent intelligence in the event that they send ships, he said.

Keating called freedom of access to both the maritime and air domains critical to global supply chains. "And we concentrate on sustaining and maintaining that freedom of access," he said.

Pacom's strategy in the Pacific, he said, is based on three basic principles: partnership, presence and
military readiness.

"We want everyone in our area of responsibility to know we are committed to security, stability and prosperity all over throughout our region, which covers over half the surface of the Earth," Keating said.

"We are going to remain present and engaged throughout the area of responsibility," he continued, "and we want to emphasize to our friends and allies that we will be there in the years ahead as we have been there for decades in the past."

NORAD Prepares for 50th Year Tracking Santa

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 18, 2008 - Among North American Aerospace Command's diverse and challenging missions, none is more gratifying -- or as downright fun -- as tracking Santa Claus each year for children around the world, the NORAD commander said this week. "It is the most wonderful experience you can ever imagine to talk to children from literally all over the world who want to know where Santa is and 'When is he going to be at my house?'"
Air Force Gen. Victor E. "Gene" Renuart told local, state and federal leaders during a Dec. 16 symposium here on community resilience.

"Of course you always have to say, 'After you are asleep,'" Renuart told the group, chuckling.

The "NORAD Tracks Santa" program dates back to 1955, when an errant Christmas Eve phone call reached what was then the Continental Air Defense Command operations center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The call came from a local youngster who dialed a misprinted telephone number in a local newspaper ad and wanted to know where Santa was.

The commander who answered the phone gave the child the information he wanted, starting an annual tradition that NORAD assumed when it formed in 1958. This year marks NORAD's 50th anniversary of tracking Santa as he travels the world delivering gifts.

The program has grown significantly, particularly since it was first presented on the Internet in 1998. The Web site registered 10.6 million visitors last year from 212 countries and territories, NORAD officials said.

In addition, more than 1,000 volunteers who staffed the NORAD Tracks Santa Operations Center last Christmas Eve answered nearly 95,000 phone calls and received 140,000 e-mails from families around the world, they said.

This year, NORAD will begin tracking Santa's journey Dec. 24 via live video feeds on the NORAD Tracks Santa Web site. The site also features fun holiday games and activities that change daily.

"This is not necessarily national defense," Renuart said of the special holiday program, comparing it to NORAD's 24/7 mission providing aerospace warning and defense. "But it is a mission we have taken great pride in over the years and that has connected us with communities around the world."

National Guard to Support Presidential Inauguration

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

Dec. 18, 2008 - More than 4,000 citizen-soldiers and airmen from at least eight states will provide security, medical and other support during the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, a National Guard official said today. "We will be there to fill the gaps and help out the first responders,"
Army Maj. Kenneth Napier, deputy director of the Deliberate Operations branch for the National Guard Bureau, said.

About half of the 4,000 personnel will be dedicated to security, including crowd control, civil-disturbance missions, manning traffic-control points and assisting with the screening process.

"The states are planning and ready to support," Napier said. "Making sure that everyone is safe is the priority."

Air Force Gen. Victor E. "Gene" Renuart Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, told reporters yesterday that another contingent on alert would be able to respond to a chemical attack.

In addition to marching units, bands and other ceremonial support, the National Guard will provide communication, medical evacuation and explosive ordnance disposal assets. National Guard members and re-enactors from the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment have been invited to march in the parade. The 54th represents the all-black regiment that fought in the
Civil War and was memorialized in the movie "Glory." "These organizations embody the best of our nation's history, diversity and commitment to service," President-elect Barack Obama said in a Dec. 8 statement. "Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade."

The District of Columbia National Guard's efforts will be larger this time because of the expected crowds. "We will be involved in almost every facet of the operation," Officer Candidate Robert Albrecht, a spokesman for the D.C. Guard, said.

In addition to the Guard's on-the-ground missions, the 113th Wing at Andrews
Air Force Base, Md., will lead the air-sovereignty effort through North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The D.C. Guard participated in a media event today with the Military District of Washington as well as the U.S. Park
Police and other D.C.-area agencies involved in planning for the inauguration. Renuart told reporters that it is "prudent" for the military to plan for the possibility of someone trying to interrupt the inauguration.

"And how well we respond will be defined by how well we trained," Napier added.

Earlier this year, the National Guard provided similar support to the Democratic and Republican national conventions, but only about 1,500 troops were involved in each of those missions. The size and scope of this mission is much bigger.

"I can't think of anything that we've done other than natural disasters that would be comparable to this operation," Napier said.

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

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 18, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

SupplyCore, Rockford, Ill.* is being awarded a maximum $4,400,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, partial set aside, indefinite quantity contract for support of tactical and non-tactical wheeled vehicle fleets. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally 4 proposals solicited with 3 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract has a four year base and includes three two-year option periods. The date of performance completion is December 17, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), Columbus, Ohio (SPM7LX-09-D-9003).

Seven Seas Ship handlers, Dubai, UAE is being awarded a maximum $2,880,888 firm fixed price, prime vendor contract for supply and distribution of food and non-food products. Other location of performance is Djibouti Free Zone, Republic of Djibouti. Using services are
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web solicited with 5 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising its third term option period. The date of performance completion is June 20, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa.
(SPM300-08-D-3129).

Army

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Ct., was awarded on Dec 17, 2008 a, $812,786,103 firm fixed price contract for funding of third program year of multi-year contract for
Army Lot 33 consisting of 51 UH-60M and 12 HH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters, and also tooling; program systems Management and technical publications. Work will be performed in Stratford, CT., with an estimated completion date of December 12, 2012. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. US Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command, Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-003).

Raytheon Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on Dec 17, 2008, a $165,506,750 firm fixed price contract. To provide UAE the services, hardware, facilities, equipment and all technical, planning, management and manufacturing efforts to produce Guidance Enhanced Missiles-T (GEM-T) missiles, Patriot Fire Units, associated ground support equipment, repair and return, system software, field surveillance, and documentation. Work will be performed in 42 states out of 52 states and Germany, Netherlands, Ontario, and Quebec with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2015. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. Aviation & missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone, Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-G-001).

Frontier Systems Integrators, LLC, Arlington, Va., was awarded on Dec 16, 2008 a, $8,694,256 cost plus fixed price contract for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) security support protecting personnel, information property and business continuity. Work will be performed in DARPA Arlington, Va., with an estimated completion date of December 12, 2013. Bids solicited were via the Web and one bid was received. Defense Advanced research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-09-C-0031).

Navy

Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems and Sensors, Saint Paul, Minn., is being awarded a $ $525,600,000 modification to previously awarded contract for AN/UYQ-70(V) Advanced Display Systems. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pa. (60%), Clearwater, Fla. (30%), and St. Paul, Minn. (10%), and is expected to be completed by August 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, Keyport, Wash., is the contracting activity (N00024-05-D-5130).

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded a $13,241,204 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed priced contract for the production and delivery of Identification Friend or Foe, Common Digital Transponder hardware and associated platform integration and testing consisting of 3 RT-1836(C) AN/APX-118 Common Digital Transponders for the Government of Australia; 1 RT-1836(C) AN/APX-118 Common Digital Transponders for the Government of Canada;509 RT-1836(C) AN/APX-118 Common Digital Transponders for the U.S.
Navy (73), the U.S. Army (420), and NAVICP (16); 2 repairs of RT-1912 AN/APX-123 Common Digital Transponders for the U.S. Navy; 12 C-12664 Mode 4 Remote Control Units (RCU) for the U.S. Navy (9), and for the government of Australia (3); 27 MT-7221 APX Mounts for the U.S. Navy. 4. Cryptographic units for the Government of Japan. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($1,954,333.00; 14.8%); U.S. Army ($10,747,380; 81.2%); NAVICP, Department of Defense Working Capital Fund ($409,424; 3.0%); and the Governments of Canada ($25,589; 0.19%), Japan ($7,524; 0.06%), and Australia ($96,954.; 0.73%). Work will be performed in Greenlawn, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in January 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-08-C-0061).

BAE Systems
Technology Solutions & Services, Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded an $11,394,695 modification to a previously awarded cost plus fixed fee contract to exercise an option for engineering and technical services and supplies for Communication-Electronic (C-E) platform, equipment, systems and subsystems in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's Special Communications Requirements Division. The estimated level of effort for this option is 137,330 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md. and is expected to be completed in May 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 (N00421-04-C-0069).

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $10,479,128 firm-fixed-priced delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for Systems Engineering/Program Management (SE/PM) for the H-1 Upgrade Lot 6 production. Work will be performed in Hurst, Texas (79%); Amarillo, Texas (15%); and New Bern, N.C. (6%), and is expected to be completed in December 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 (N00019-06-G-0001).

Force Protection Industries, Inc., Ladson, SC, is being awarded a $10,429,958.00 firm fixed priced modification to previously awarded Delivery Order 0007 for the purchase of armor kits (B-Kits) to be installed on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Category I Cougar vehicles. Work will be performed in Ladson, SC and in the OIF/OEF Area's of Responsibilities. Work is expected to be completed by 30 June 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The
Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5031).

Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC, Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded an $8,500,946 firm fixed price and cost plus fixed fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement This delivery order will provide for the development of the upgraded Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response systems AWW-13 Data Link Pod with the AWW-13 Frequency migration. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in October 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-05-G-0008).

Kollmorgen Corp., (d.b.a. Kollmorgen Electro Optical, a Danaher Company), Northampton, Mass. is being awarded a $7,591,258 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity cost plus fixed fee contract for engineering services in support of reusable shipping containers, Special Support & Test Equipment (SS&TE), and the repair, overhaul, and restoration of the Type 2,8,14,15,18, and 22 periscope systems, Improved Non-Penetrating Periscopes (INPP), Naval Electronic Surveillance System Infrared Exploitation(NESSIE) and NESSIE GEN II Submarine Systems, along with new
Technology periscope imaging systems used on Los Angeles, Seawolf, and NSSN class submarines. Work will be performed in Northampton, Mass., and is expected to be completed by December 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $33,816 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport is the contracting activity (N66604-09-D-0224).

Sikorsky Support Services, Inc., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $6,631,325 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract for organizational, selected intermediate, and limited depot-level maintenance for 44 F-5 aircraft operated by the Adversary Squadrons based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West, Fla.; NAS, Fallon, Nev.; and
Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz. Work will be performed in Key West, Fla. (40%); Fallon, Nev. (30%); and Yuma, Ariz. (30%), and is expected to be completed in February 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $6,631,325 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity (N00019-01-C-0109).

Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems and Sensors, St. Paul, Minn., is being awarded a $5,720,874 cost plus fixed fee modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to exercise an option for approximately 94,080 hours of Air Traffic Control Software and operations services. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Md., and is expected to be completed in December 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $768,981 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-05-D-0005).

Air Force

The
Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract to Boeing Global Services and Support of San Antonio, Texas for $154, 893,960. This contract action will provide KC-135 Programmed Depot Maintenance. At this time, no money has been obligated. 827 ACSG/PK, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. is the contracting activity (FA8105-05-D-0004, Modification P00024).

The
Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price, fixed quantity contract to General Electric Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio for $68,067,563. This contract action will provide newly redesigned High Pressure Compressor and High Pressure Turbine assemblies, newly redesigned Aging Engine Upgrade components, initial provisioning spares and new technical data to support the Service Life Extension Plan and Aging Engine Upgrade initiatives applicable to F-16 aircraft. At this point, the entire amount has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. is the contracting activity (FA8104-05-C-0053, Modification P00016).

The
Air Force is exercising a time and material firm fixed price contract option with the Boeing Company, Seattle Wash. for $11,183,600. This action will establish hourly rates and amounts for continued engineering services to maintain and upgrade the Air Launched Cruise Missile/Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile. At this time $4,490,754 has been obligated. 327 ACSG/PK, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. is the contracting activity (F34601-03-C-0042, Modification P00117).

The
Air Force is awarding a Broad Agency Announcement, cost plus fixed fee contract to EastCor Engineering, Easton, Md. for a maximum $5,703,024. This objective of this contract is to design, build, test and deliver state-of- the-art Unattended Ground Sensors. At this time, $160,000 has been obligated. AFRL/RIKF, Rome N.Y. is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-C-0021).

Military Books

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

Colonel Thomas P. Griffin, USAF (ret.)
Colonel James H. Critchfield, USA (ret.)
Captain Carl A. Nelson, USN (ret.)
Captain Michael S. Alexatos, USN (ret.)
Captain Paul Corrigan, USN (ret.)
Commander Roger L. Johnson, USN (ret.)
Commander Mark W. Danielson, USN (ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel John S. Westerlund, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Buso, USA (ret.)
Lieutenant Colonel Ralph K. Baber, USAF (ret.)
Maj. R. L. Cook, USAF (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Smith, USCG (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander John W. Hamlett, USN (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander LaDelle F. Blevins, USN (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander R. Stephen Bloch, USN (ret.)
Lieutenant Commander Edward R. Briscoe, USN (ret.)

The Website now lists 599 servicemembers and their 2111 books.

MORE INFORMATION
Military Books

Appreciation of Limits, Humility Important in Facing Future Challenges, Gates Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 17, 2008 - In his 42 years of service in the national security arena, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, the most important insights he's gained have been an appreciation of limits and a sense of humility. "The United States is the strongest and greatest nation on Earth, but there are still limits on what it can do," Gates wrote in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.

The U.S.
military's power and global reach have been "an indispensible contributor to world peace and must remain so," Gates continued in his article, titled "A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age."

"But not every outrage, every act of aggression or every crisis can or should elicit a U.S. military response," he said.

In fact, he said the United States "should be modest" about what
military force and technology can accomplish.

"The advances in precision, sensor, information and satellite technologies have led to extraordinary gains in what the U.S. military can do," Gates said. "But no one should ever neglect the psychological, cultural, political and human dimensions of warfare.

"War is inevitably tragic, inefficient and uncertain," the secretary said, "and it is important to be skeptical of systems analyses,
computer models, game theories or doctrines that suggest otherwise."

He dismissed notions of future conflict that gloss over the ugly realities of war and the heavy costs involved. He warned against concepts that "imagine it is possible to cow, shock or awe an enemy into submission instead of tracking enemies down hilltop by hilltop, house by house, block by bloody block."

Gates pointed to transformations the U.S.
military has made to conduct operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. What started as a smaller-scale Cold War force was able to become an effective instrument of counterinsurgency -- but only at a substantial cost and by bucking the ingrained Pentagon bureaucracy.

"For every historic and resourceful innovation by troops and commanders on the battlefield, there was some institutional shortcoming at the Pentagon they had to overcome," he wrote.

Gates called for institutional changes so "the next sets of colonels, captains and sergeants will not have to be quite so heroic or quite so resourceful."

A strong advocate of institutionalizing counterinsurgency skills and the ability to conduct stability and support operations, Gates said it's time to bring them on par with the United States' conventional and strategic capabilities.

He cited the tradition of the United States being able to fight and adapt to a diverse range of conflicts -- a capability dating back to the Revolutionary War.

The U.S. National Defense Strategy, he said, builds on this tradition, providing a balanced approach needed for the United States to meet its responsibilities and preserve America's freedom, prosperity and security.

(This is the last article in a four-part series based on Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' article, "A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age," published in the January/February 2009 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.)