Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Army Destroys Last Landmine Containing VX Nerve-Agent Munitions

American Forces Press Service

Dec. 30, 2008 - The U.S.
Army Chemical Materials Agency destroyed the last landmine in its stockpiles containing VX nerve-agent munitions Dec. 24 at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility in Anniston, Ala. "We have reached a truly remarkable milestone following more than five years of deliberate, but careful, operations," Timothy K. Garrett, ANCDF site project manager, said. "All nerve-agent munitions -- those containing GB and those containing VX -- have been safely processed."

CMA personnel and contractors have destroyed the VX munitions at six disposal sites: Anniston, Ala.; Umatilla, Ore.; Newport, Ind.; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Tooele, Utah; and Johnston Island, about 800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

"I commend Anniston and all CMA destruction sites on this extraordinary achievement. By destroying the VX agent at each of CMA's destruction sites, you have made the world a much safer place," Conrad Whyne, CMA director, said. CMA continues to safely and securely store the remaining VX in the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass Chemical Activity near Richmond, Ky., officials said. Construction is under way on a neutralization facility there, and the U.S.
Army Element Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives is charged with the agent's destruction.

Destruction of chemical weapons already is complete at Newport, Aberdeen and Johnston Island, officials said. Operations continue at Tooele, Umatilla, Anniston and Pine Bluff, CMA's remaining destruction sites. These sites are destroying or preparing to destroy blister agent and the only remaining nerve agent for CMA's destruction mission -- GA at Tooele, officials said. VX is the least volatile, but most potent, of all chemical warfare agents, officials said. The agent attacks the nervous system, causing muscles to convulse uncontrollably. Exposure can result in loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure.

The nerve agent first was developed in the early 1950s. The nation's original stockpile of about 4,400 tons was produced at Newport Chemical Depot between 1961 and 1969. Newport's production facility was destroyed in 2006. The nerve agent never was used in combat by the United States.

"The elimination of this deadly chemical agent from each site's stockpile is a relief to the stockpile communities, and a sign of our commitment to other nations as we move one step closer to a safer world," Whyne said.

(From a U.S.
Army Chemical Materials Agency news release.)

Armed Forces Inaugural Committee Moves Into High Gear

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 30, 2008 - Exactly three weeks before Inauguration Day, the buzz of activity at the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee here is a notable exception to the traditional holiday lull that settles over the nation's capital between Christmas and New Year's Day. More than 400 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – active duty, reservists and National Guardsmen -- are busy preparing for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20. Another 300 will report for duty after New Year's, bringing AFIC to full strength with about 700 servicemembers.

"We're spinning up for the full dress rehearsal Jan. 11,"
Navy Lt. Mike Billips, a reservist from Atlanta serving as an AFIC spokesman, said. The rehearsal will kick off in the dark at about 3 a.m., when participants go through two full iterations of the swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol, then parade down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House.

"The curtain goes up on Jan. 20, and everything has to be locked down perfect before then," Billips said. "So it's a lot of rehearsal, a lot of coordination and a lot of training for the people who are coming in."

The incoming servicemembers will get intensive training for the ceremonial support they'll provide at the inauguration ceremony and 10 official inaugural balls, Billips said. Some will be in the midst of the fanfare, serving as honor guards, marching bands, musical units, salute batteries, drivers, ushers and escorts for distinguished visitors. Others will work behind the scenes, helping to ensure the events go off seamlessly.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Finney, a telecommunications technician from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, assigned to AFIC's information technology directorate, called being a part of the inauguration a rare opportunity. "I am excited to be a part of our nation's history," he said.

"I am honored to be a part of a committee of this caliber," Army Spc. Kevyn Coleman agreed. "This is definitely an assignment to talk about years from now. In my personal opinion, I don't think that I have ever had a better assignment."

The 2009 inauguration will be the 56th in which the military has played a role in welcoming the incoming commander in chief. During the first, in April 1789, U.S. Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his inaugural ceremony at New York City's Federal Hall.

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 30, 2008


The Boeing Co., Integrated Defense Systems,
Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded $397,900,000 (not-to-exceed ceiling) for a cost plus award fee, cost plus fixed fee contract to continue development of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program; including Block 3 development and fielding activities for six months until a long-term, Core Completion contract for development can be awarded. The principal place of performance will be at the contractor's facility in Huntsville, Alabama. The contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This is a sole source contract under the authority of 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0147-09-C-0008). The period of performance is from January 2009 through June 2009. FY09 research, development, test and evaluation funds (RDT&E) funds will be used.


Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Co., LLC, Independence, Mo., was awarded on Dec 29, 2008 a $49,236,000 firm fixed price requirements contract for modernization and upgrade of small caliber production equipment. Work will be performed at the Lake City
Army Ammunition Plant, Independence, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Sep 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-00-D-0016).

DRS Optronics, Inc, Optronics Division,
Palm Bay, Fla., was awarded on Dec 29, 2008 a $30,348,977 firm fixed price and cost plus fixed fee five-year contract that will cover spares, repairs and services for the mast-mounted sight for KIOWA and award of Order 0001 for the services for Program Year One. Award of a 5-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quality contract and issuance of orders under such contract allows the government to meet its need more rapidly and advantageously, reducing Administrative Lead-Time (ALT); thereby saving time and money. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Dec 31, 2013. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-D-0001).

Weeks Marine, Inc., Covington, La., was awarded on Dec 29, 2008 a $7,844,330 firm fixed price contract for work consisting of dredging approximately 1,200,000 cubic yards of maintenance material with a deep draft pipeline dredge. Work will be performed in Harris County, Texas with an estimated completion date of Mar 31, 2009. Four bids were solicited with three bids received. USA Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HY-09-C-0004).

Air Force

Air Force awarded a contract to the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), San Diego, California for $42,638,374. This contract includes all program management, urgent repairs and services, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, engineering technical services, contractor engineering technical specialists, contractor inventory control point and spares management, depot repair, flight operations support, reliability/maintenance enhancements, and CAMS/REMIS/CEMS data collection/entry for the Predator/Reaper MQ-1 and MQ-9 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program. At this time, $42,638,374 has been obligated. 703rd Aeronautical Systems Squadron, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028-0048).

Air Force awarded a contract to Honeywell International Incorporated, Clearwater, Florida for $26,539,601. This contract provides for 316 EGI Production units, 58 EGI Multi-Mode Receivers, and 33 EGI Contractor Deport Repairs. At this time, $26,539,601 has been obligated. 647 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8626-06-C-2065-P00078).

Air Force awarded a firm fixed price contract to the Computer Sciences Corp., (CSC), Falls Church, Virginia for $9,192,534. This will authorize CSC to provide technical support of Applications Infrastructure and Systems Supports for programs within the Mission Systems. At this time, $9,192,534 has been obligated. HQ AMC/A7KQB, Scott AFB, Illinois is the contracting activity (FA4452-09-D-0004, 0001).

Air Force awarded a firm fixed price contract to Eaton Electrical Incorporated, Raleigh, North Carolina for $9,192, 523. This will authorize Eaton to provide an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system to sustain, filter, create redundancy and establish emergency power for mission critical equipment at the Defense Information Systems Agency. At this time, $9, 192,523 has been obligated. 84 CBSG/PK, Hill AFB, Utah is the contracting activity (FA8217-09-C-007).

Air Force modified a contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.,, Sunnyvale, California for $7,189,000. This contract action authorizes Lockheed to perform two additional thermal vacuum (TVAC) cycles on the AEHF Space Vehicles 2. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing (MCSW)/PKA, El Segundo, California is the contracting activity (F04701-02-C-002, P00343).

Air Force modified a contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.,, Sunnyvale, California for $9,909,270. This modification will provide feasibility studies to extend the Advanced High Frequency (AEHF) system in the Military Satellite Communications Program. At this time, $9,909,270 has been obligated. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing (MCSW)/PKA, El Segundo, California is the contracting activity (F04701-02-C-002, P00340).

Air Force awarded a firm fixed-price contract action to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.,, Rolling Meadows, Illinois for $5,934,743. This will authorize Northrop Grumman to provide contractor logistic support for the LITENING Advanced Targeting Pod. At this time, $5, 934,743 has been obligated. 647 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity (F33657-98-C-2020-P00104).


Sealift Inc. of Oyster Bay, N.Y. 11771-2298, is being awarded a $40,952,844 fixed price requirements contract for dedicated sealift services to transport lawful cargo by U.S. flag ships between points in the Continental United States of America (CONUS) and the terminals in Antigua and Ascension Islands. This contract is expected to be completed by December 31, 2011. Orders placed against this contract will be funded at the time the cargo is booked. This contract is a 100% Small Business Set Aside acquisition with three bids received. The contracting activity is United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) Directorate of Acquisition, Scott
Air Force Base, Ill. (HTC711-09-D-0005).


Watts Constructors, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded a $25,376,000 firm fixed price contract for the construction of a Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Center at the Naval
Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS) Pacific. The contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $25,909,000. Work will be performed in Wahiawa, Oahu, Hawaii, 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 via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-09-C-1300).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Ga., is being awarded an $18,667,585 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0015) for logistics and technical engineering services in support of the U.S.
Marine Corps' KC-130J aircraft. Work will be performed in Cherry Point, N.C., 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.

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $10,400,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity delivery order contract (N68936-06-D-0024) to provide specialized technical services in support of Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) work performed at the Fleet Readiness Center, Southwest (FRC-SW) on aircraft and rework of associated components and materials. Services to be provided include modifications, in-service repairs, and all other categories of service associated with aircraft DLM and its planning. The estimated level of effort for this modification is 346,666 man-hours. Work will be performed at FRC-SW, San Diego, Calif. (78 percent); the
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Camp Pendleton, Calif. (9 percent); the Naval Air Station (NAS), Lemoore, Calif. (4 percent); the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Pt. Mugu, Calif. (2 percent); NAS Whidbey Island, Bremerton, Wash. (2 percent); MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (2 percent); MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (2 percent); and MCAS Miramar, Calif. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak dies at 95

Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC (ret.) died at the age of 95, Monday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California.

Lt. Gen.
Victor H. Krulak saw action in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In 1934, he was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy on May 31, 1934. His pre-World War Two assignments included: sea duty aboard USS Arizona; the U.S. Naval Academy; 6th Marines in San Diego; and, the 4th Marines in China. As a Lieutenant Colonel, during World War Two, he earned the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart on Choiseul Island, where his battalion staged a week-long diversionary raid to cover the Bougainville invasion.

At the outbreak of the Korean War he was serving as Assistant Chief of Staff, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. He served in Korea with the 1st Marine Division as the Chief of Staff.

In 1964, Victor H. Krulak was the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Between 1964 and 1968, he made over 50 trips to Vietnam. Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak retired in the 1968 and is the author of First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps.

According to the book description of First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps, “In this riveting insider's chronicle, legendary Marine General "Brute" Krulak submits an unprecedented examination of U.S. Marines—their fights on the battlefield and off, their extraordinary esprit de corps. Deftly blending history with autobiography, action with analysis, and separating fact from fable, General Krulak touches the very essence of the Corps: what it means to be a Marine and the reason behind its consistently outstanding performance and reputation.

Krulak also addresses the most basic but challenging question of all about the Corps: how does it manage to survive—even to flourish—despite overwhelming political odds and, as the general writes, "an extraordinary propensity for shooting itself in the foot?" To answer this question Krulak examines the foundation on which the Corps is built, a system of intense loyalty to God, to country, and to other Marines. He also takes a close look at Marines in war, offering challenging accounts of their experiences in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In addition, he describes the Corps's relationship to other services, especially during the unification battles following World War II, and offers new insights into the decision-making process in times of crisis. First published in hardcover in 1984, this book has remained popular ever since with Marines of every rank.”


Navy to Commission Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush

The Navy's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush will be commissioned Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

President George W. Bush will deliver the principal address. Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch, daughter of the ship's namesake, is the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored
Navy tradition, she will give the order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

The lastNimitz-class aircraft carrier is named to honor World War II naval aviator and America's 41st president George H. W. Bush. Born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Mass., Bush began a lifetime of service to America when he joined the Navy on his 18th birthday as a seaman. He became the youngest pilot in the Navy at the time, receiving his commission and naval aviator wings before his 19th birthday.

Bush flew the Avenger torpedo bomber in combat from the carrier USS San Jacinto. During an attack on enemy installations near Chichi Jima in September 1944, his plane was hit by enemy fire while making a bombing run. Although the plane was on fire and heavily damaged, he completed a strafing run on the target before bailing out of the doomed aircraft. Bush parachuted into the sea and was later rescued by the
Navy submarine USS Finback. He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his Navy service in the Pacific theater during World War II.

After his time in the
Navy ended in September 1945, Bush held a number of public service roles that included two terms as a U.S. congressman from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to China and director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He then served two terms as vice president under the late President Ronald Reagan before being elected himself as President of the United States in 1988. As commander-in-chief, Bush led the United States and a coalition of nearly 30 other nations during Operation Desert Storm, which ended Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and liberated the people of the Persian Gulf nation.

Capt. Kevin O'Flaherty, from
Los Angeles, Calif., and a 1981 Naval Academy graduate, will become the ship's first commanding officer, leading a crew of more than 5,500 men and women, including embarked air wing personnel. George H. W. Bush will be initially homeported in Norfolk, Va., assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Construction of the tenth Nimitz-class ship took place at Northrop Grumman-Newport News, Va., starting with the ship's keel laying Sept. 6, 2003, and christening Oct. 7, 2006. George H. W. Bush towers 20 stories above the waterline, displaces approximately 95,000 tons of water, has a flight deck width of 252 feet, and at 1,092 feet long, is nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall. This floating airfield has a flight deck that covers 4.5 acres. Bush's two nuclear reactors are capable of more than 20 years of continuous service without refueling, providing virtually unlimited range and endurance, and a top speed in excess of 30 knots.

The ship will support a wide variety of aircraft, including the F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters, the E-2C/D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning aircraft, the C-2 Greyhound logistics aircraft, the EA-6B Prowler and the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, multi-role SH-60 and MH-60 helicopters, and other future carrier-based aircraft.

Interested media may contact the
Navy Office of Information at (703) 697-5342. Additional information on Nimitz-class carriers is also available online at
http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=200&ct=4 .

U.S. Military Team in Israel Reported Safe Despite Attacks

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 30, 2008 - About 100 U.S. European Command soldiers, airmen and Marines deployed to Israel to help set up an early warning radar system reported no close encounters with air strikes or retaliatory attacks along the Gaza Strip, a Eucom spokesman said. The Palestinian militant group Hamas refused to renew a ceasefire agreement with Israel when it expired Dec. 19, and began stepping up rocket attacks on civilian targets in Israel. Israel, in turn, began launching airstrikes against Gaza Strip targets Dec. 27 in an effort to eliminate Hamas' ability to fire rockets into Israeli territory.

Air Force Lt. Col. John Dorrian confirmed Stars and Stripes' report that the Eucom team is operating on an Israeli air base nowhere near the targeted areas.

The Eucom troops deployed to Israel to help set up an Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance system, Dorrian confirmed. The Israeli government requested the system to help defend against a potential missile attack from Iran.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed off on the deployment order in mid-September, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed during a Sept. 30 news conference.

Once fully operational, the system will be capable of tracking and identifying small objects at long distance and at very high altitude, including space, according to U.S. Missile Defense Agency officials. It also will integrate Israel's missile defenses with the U.S. global missile detection network.

"This will enable the Israelis to track medium- and long-range ballistic missiles multiple times better than their current radar allows them to," Morrell said. "It will ... more than double the range of Israel's missile defense radars and increase its available engagement time."

This, he said, will greatly enhance Israel's defensive capabilities.

"There is a growing ballistic missile threat in the region, particularly from Iran," Morrell said. "And no one in the region should feel more nervous about that threat than the Israelis. And they clearly do, and they have asked for our assistance. And we have now provided it in the form of this ... X-band radar equipment."

About 120 U.S. servicemembers initially deployed to Israel to set up the system, a number Dorrian said is now down to about 100.

Morrell estimated that the system will take about half that many U.S. personnel to operate once it is up and running. "This is and will remain a U.S. radar system," he said. "This is not something we are giving or selling to the Israelis."

The system, he said, is another sign of U.S. commitment to Israel. "We are committed to the Israelis, to Israel's defense," Morrell said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern about escalating violence in Gaza.