Military News

Thursday, April 30, 2009

VA Emphasizes Education Before Post-9/11 GI Bill Switch

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - As the Department of Veterans Affairs begins accepting sign-ups tomorrow for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, officials are encouraging anyone considering enrolling in the program to get educated about it first to ensure it's right for them. "Starting tomorrow, people can start applying for the new benefit," said Keith Wilson, director of education service for the Veterans Benefits Administration. "We're excited."

The Post-9/11 Bill that takes effect Aug. 1 has generated a lot of buzz. In addition to broader educational benefits, it includes a popular provision that will enable enrollees to transfer their benefits to immediate family members.

But before electing to shift to the new program from the Montgomery GI Bill or another VA-sponsored education program -- an irrevocable decision -- Wilson recommends that they get the facts to make sure it's the best move for them.

"It's a great program, and it's going to be beneficial for a lot of veterans," he said of the Post-9/11 benefit. But jumping too quickly to sign up without fully evaluating it ultimately could shortchange some people, he said.

So as VA works to get word out about the Post-9/11 GI Bill, it has also geared up a big education campaign about what it does and doesn't deliver.

"The important thing to remember is that this is one of several programs we administer, all of which have different eligibility criteria," Wilson said. "The program that is best for the individual veteran is not always going to be the Post-9/11 GI Bill."
Among questions Wilson encourages people to consider when making the decision are:

-- Which benefit will pay more? This needs to factor in, not just what VA pays, but also the impact on any other educational assistance the person receives. For example, if the student attends school in one of the many states that offers veterans free tuition or receives another form of state or campus aid, will switching to the Post-9/11 benefit change that?

-- What tier of benefit are they eligible for under the Post-9/11 GI Bill? The program includes three payments: tuition and fees, a living allowance, and a book and supply stipend. But current active-duty members can't receive the living allowance.

-- What type of training do they want to pursue? Not all training covered by the Montgomery GI Bill, for example, is covered by the Post-9/11 bill. The new benefit, for example, doesn't cover technical school training.

-- How long do you expect to take to use the benefit? The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays out benefits for 15 years, five years longer than the Montgomery GI Bill benefit.

-- Do you plan to attend school less than full-time? It will affect whether you receive the housing allowance under the Post-9/11 benefit.

-- Do you plan to transfer your unused benefits to an immediate family member? Only the Post-9/11 benefit offers that option.

"There are a series of things, both monetary and nonmonetary, that individuals need to consider," Wilson said.

Wilson encourages anyone eyeing the new Post-9/11 program to read up about it on the VA Web site. Those who need additional assistance can click on a link on the site to e-mail VA officials with a question, or can talk with a VA benefits counselor by calling 1-888-GI-BILL-1 toll-free, he said.

"We're emphasizing education so people understand the full range of our educational programs," Wilson said. "We really want to be sure we tailor the best program to the individual."

Meanwhile, a disabled Iraqi war veteran now serving as a top VA official is going to some unprecedented lengths to ensure servicemembers and veterans alike understand the opportunities available to them through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Tammy Duckworth, who was confirmed last week as VA's assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, taped a YouTube video earlier this week to encourage those who qualify for the benefit to check it out.

Although the new benefit doesn't take effect until Aug. 1, Duckworth said, it's time to get busy now so people can make decisions about enrolling in the program in time to use it to cover educational costs during the upcoming fall semester.

"Right now is when students are getting their acceptance letters from universities and trying to decide what school they are going to," she said.

Similarly, she said, current servicemembers may be making decisions about whether they will re-enlist in the military, and whether they can afford college.

Defense Department officials emphasize that applicants must be on active duty or in the Selected Reserve on Aug. 1 to qualify for transferability provisions under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Duckworth is busy tapping into just about any communications vehicle available – from the VA Web site to newsletters to veterans service groups and community outreach – to help get word out about the new benefit.

She's also hoping the YouTube video will help. "It's to put a face of another [Operation Iraqi Freedom] veteran out there telling other OIF vets, 'You have earned these benefits, this is going to start in August,' and encouraging them to get more information so they can decide if this is right for them," she said.

Duckworth understands her audience well. A member of the Illinois Army National Guard, she was deployed to Iraq in November 2004 when militants attacked the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting. The rocket-propelled grenade cost Duckworth both legs and severely damaged her right arm.

Now, as she reaches out to fellow veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Duckworth emphasized that she's not "selling" the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

"There are three different GI bills that they can choose from," she said, echoing Wilson. "Just because this is the newest doesn't mean this is the most appropriate for the veteran. They have to get good information so they can make the best decision as to whether or not the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the right one for them."

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 30, 2009

AIR FORCE
The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Lockheed Martin Corp., of Marietta, Ga., for an amount not to exceed $292,800,000. This contract will provide four C-130J aircraft for the Iraq government. At this time, $6,920,907 has been obligated. 657 AESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8625-06-C-6456,P00080).

The Air Force is modifying a fixed price contract with Lockheed Martin Corp., of Marietta, Ga., for $15,840,000. This contract modification will exercise options to purchase the MC-130J unique configuration increment for 6 Global War on Terror aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 657 AESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8625-06-C-6456).

NAVY
Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Greeley, Colo., is being awarded a $53, 787,000 firm fixed price construction contract for design and construction of new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Naval Base Guam. The multi-story building will provide standard 1+1E room configuration with 140 two-person rooms for 280 E1-E3 personnel. The building will include central services within the module, spaces for mechanical, electrical, telecommunication, janitor, storage rooms, and vending and lounge areas. The project will also provide supporting utilities and facilities, surface parking lot, and paving and site improvements. Work will be performed on U.S. Naval Base Guam and is expected to be completed by May 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively negotiated with 41 offers solicited via the Naval Facilities Engineering Command e-solicitation website with seven proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Marianas, Guam, is the contracting activity (N40192-09-C-1314).

Trijicon, Inc.*, Wixom, Mich., is being awarded a $33,000,000 not-to-exceed ceiling firm fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for the procurement, delivery, maintenance, and logistical support of the Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) Day Optic (SDO). The SDO is a magnified day optic that mounts onto the M249 Light Machine Gun. The SDO is to aid the SAW gunner in target detection, recognition, and identification, thereby increasing the combat effectiveness and lethality of the user. This contract is a five-year contract with a not-to-exceed value of $33,000,000, with a minimum buy of 25 SDO systems within the first contract year. Work will be performed in Wixom, Mich., and is expected to be completed by five years from date of contract award. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with proposals solicited via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with three offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-09-D-1014).

Rolls Royce Engine Services-Oakland, Inc., Oakland, Calif., is being awarded a $26,721,591 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for the repairs of up to 32 T56-A-427 Series IV engines for the E-2C and C-2 aircraft. Work will be performed in Oakland, Calif., and is expected to be completed in Jun. 2010. 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 (N00019-09-D-0006).

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $21,523,093 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 580,139 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 Dec. 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.

The Boeing Co., Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a $15,499,084 modification against a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-09-C-0051) to exercise an option for the procurement of 15 each Crash Survivable Flight Incident Recorders and Flight Data Recorders (CSFIR/FDR) for E-6B Mercury Aircraft. In addition, this modification provides for the procurement of associated technical data and spare and repair parts. Work will be performed at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2012. 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.

Northrop Grumman Corp., Integrated Systems, Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $12,742,098 modification to a previously awarded cost plus incentive fee contract (N00019-03-C-0057) to provide integrated logistics services for the E-2D Pilot Production aircraft in support of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye system development and emonstration effort. Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y., (91 percent) and at various locations throughout the United States (8 percent), and is expected to be completed in Sept. 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.

Systems Application & Technologies, Inc.*, Oxnard, Calif., is being awarded a $9,542,443 modification to a previously awarded cost plus award fee contract (N68936-09-C-0003) for operational, maintenance, and technical support services for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division Ranges Department. These requirements include preparation of land targets and target areas, operations and maintenance of range instrumentation/communication systems, frequency monitoring, field power systems (fuel-powered generators and photo-voltaic systems), photo-electronics (maintenance and repair of video equipment, cameras, tracking mount trailers, and domes), land targets, range scrap removal, ordnance removal and cleanup, range scheduling and billing, meteorology, operational support, stand-by maintenance, and post-operation analysis of test data. The estimated level of effort is 175,467 man-hours. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., (70 percent), and Point Mugu, Calif., (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in Septe. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Drace Construction Corp.*, Gulfport, Miss., is being awarded a $7,242,888 fixed price design-build construction contract for the 25th Naval Construction Regiment Headquarters Building in support of Naval Construction Battalion Command at Gulfport, Miss. This project consists of design, site development for, and construction of a new specialized office building to house the functional space for the 25th NCR Command and Control staff to carry out their mission. It includes administrative offices, training space, SCIF room, auditorium, data center, file storage, associated support areas, electrical and mechanical utilities, demolition, paving and site improvements. Work will be performed in Gulfport, Miss., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 8, 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 two proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-0757).

P & S Construction, Inc.*, Lowell, Mass., is being awarded a $6,957,000 firm fixed price construction contract for design and construction of Submarine Learning Center, Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn. The work to be performed provides for a new two-story building and parking for 70 personally owned vehicles. The new facility will include demolition of building 137, landscaping and reconfiguration of an adjoining parking lot. Work will be performed in Groton, Conn., and is expected to be completed by November 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 seven proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-09-C-7000).

ARMY
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2009 a $ 48,899,067 firm fixed price with incentives contract. The nomenclature of the item being procured is Transmission, Mech., for a minimum quantity of 130, maximum quantity of 650 in support of the UH-60 program. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0156).

Nova technologies, Panama City, Fla., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2009 a $ 48,860,381 firm fixed price, time & material and cost contract for designing, developing, testing, integrating, installing, documenting, and delivering of the Special Operations Forces Requirements Analysis, Prototyping, Training, Operations and Rehearsal II (SOF RAPTOR II) in support of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Work is to be performed in Panama City, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 27, 2014. Bids were posted on the Web with One bid received. U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity (W900KK-09-C-0044).

Smiths Detection, Inc., Edgewood, MD., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2009 a $ 36,950,960 commercial firm fixed price contract for a joint chemical Agent Detector (JCAD) Increment I- Power Communication Adapter kits. Work is to be performed in Edgewood, Md., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army RDECOM Acquisition Center Aberdeen Proving Ground Contracting Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W911SR-07-C-0054).

AAI Co., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on Apr. 28, 2009 a $ 29,211,614 cost plus fixed fee contract for 12 months or Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) on One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT) and Mobile Directional Antenna System (MDAS). Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-06-C-0190).

Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, LLC., Thousand Oak, Calif., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a $ 6,399,917 cost plus fixed fee contract for Backpack Portable Desalinator (BPod) is a human powered, two stage system comprised of an ultra filtration stage for particle removal and a reverse osmosis stage for chemical separation. Work is to be performed in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2011. Bids were posted on the Web with eleven bids received U.S. Army RDECOM Acquisition Center, research Triangle Park, N.C., is the contracting activity (W911NF-09-C-0023).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Foster Fuels Inc., Brookneal, Va.*, is being awarded a maximum $48,364,590 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Using services are federal civilian agencies. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The original proposal was Web solicited with one response. This contract is exercising the first option year. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-08-D-4000).

Johann Haltermann Ltd., Channelview, Texas*, is being awarded a maximum $7,897,261 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for manufacture and distribution of rocket grade kerosene propellant. Other location of performance is in Pearland, Texas. Using services are Air Force, federal civilian agencies and commercial DoD customers. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The original proposal was solicited on FedBizOpps with one response. The date of performance completion is Apr. 30, 2014. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC-MK), San Antonio, Texas (SP0600-09-D-1513).

Air Wilmington Inc., Wilmington, N.C.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,007,658 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other location of performance is in Wilmington, N.C. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and other activities. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one proposal originally solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Mar. 31, 2013. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC-PH), Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-0124).

Sexual Assault Prevention Videos Available from Defense Department

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Defense Department agencies at all levels have valuable resources at their fingertips for training servicemembers, civilian employees and contractors on prevention of sexual harassment and assault. More than two dozen prevention training DVDs are available through the DefenseImagery.mil Web site, said Vince Rotell, director of the Defense Imagery Management Operations Center's Customer Relationship Management Office at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.

Although 25 DVDs are offered for sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention training, many are geared to a specific audience, Rotell noted. For instance, the Army is designated as the primary audience for the video titled, "The Many Faces of Sexual Assault," which was completed in May 2006 and serves as a way to generate discussion of sexual assault prevention. It also depicts a clear case of sexual assault vice sexual harassment.

Likewise, "SAVI: Putting the Pieces Together," completed in May 2003, targets the Navy, and explains the Navy's Sexual Assault Victim Intervention Program. The video was reviewed in 2008 to make sure the information contained in it was still current, Rotell said.

Another video, titled "Targeting Sexual Assault: Air Force Campaign Plan for Prevention and Response," was completed in November 2005 and is aimed at the Air Force. It explores the myths and realities surrounding sexual assault, as well as serving as a forum for the Air Force chief of staff and other senior leaders to address sexual assault and introduce the steps the Air Force is taking to enhance its prevention.

The videos, some of which date back to 1990, are reviewed about every three years to ensure they still contain valid information, Rotell said. "It comes back that these are still current," he said. "So there's some expert out there that's saying it's still good."

All of the more than 8,000 titles in the Defense Imagery catalog are available to Defense Department customers at no charge. Each request is checked to ensure only those eligible to have the videos get them.

The DefenseImagery.mil site employs a keyword search function. Users can search "sexual assault prevention," Rotell said, but should also search "sexual assault harassment," as both terms are used. Also, in the search box the only two "Result types" that should be checked are "A/V and IMI Products," and "Site Content," he added.

Obama Praises Support for Pentagon Procurement Reform

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - There is strong support on Capitol Hill for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' procurement-reform efforts at the Pentagon, President Barack Obama told reporters at a White House news conference today. Obama was accompanied by Sen. Carl Levin, D–Mich., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., the chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the House Armed Services Committee.

"These four leaders have put together a procurement reform package that is long overdue," Obama said of the four legislators' efforts. "They've shown extraordinary courage and extraordinary leadership in moving it forward."

The legislators' work on Pentagon procurement reform mirror sGates' concerns about wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary or too-costly weapons systems.

During the development of the Pentagon's fiscal year 2010 budget, Gates proposed eliminating or reducing funding for several defense projects that incurred large cost overruns or didn't perform.

Gates told reporters at an April 6 Pentagon news conference that "every defense dollar spent to over-insure against a remote or diminishing risk – or, in effect, to 'run up the score' in a capability where the United States is already dominant – is a dollar not available to take care of our people, reset the force, win the wars we are in, and improve capabilities in areas where we are underinvested and potentially vulnerable."

"That is a risk I will not take," Gates added.

"Secretary Gates has done a tremendous job with the budget that he's crafted, going forward, in reflecting some of the same principles, that we spend our money where it's needed, based on national security interests and not based on politics," Obama said.

Obama suggested that Gates' efforts should be emulated across the federal government.

"And, I'm going to be urging everybody to take a hard, close look at the reforms that Secretary Gates has proposed," Obama said. "I think it's part and parcel at the overall attempt at gaining efficiency and improving our national security."

Clinton Praises Partnership Between State, Defense

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today she appreciates the partnership that has developed between her department and the Defense Department, and that she looks forward to further collaboration in the months ahead. Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee about the $83.4 billion fiscal 2009 supplemental war-funding request.

"Secretary Gates and I are here together because our departments' missions are aligned and our plans are integrated," Clinton said.

U.S. foreign policy is built upon defense, diplomacy and development, Clinton said. "The men and women in our armed forces perform their duties with courage and skill, putting their lives on the line time and time again on behalf of our nation. And in many regions, they serve alongside civilians from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as other government agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

State Department employees work with servicemembers in two ways, Clinton said. In Iraq and Afghanistan, they build on military efforts. They also use diplomatic and development tools to build more stable and peaceful societies, "hopefully to avert or end conflict that is far less costly in lives and dollars than military action," she said.

The United States faces serious challenges around the world, Clinton said. These include two wars, political uncertainty in the Middle East, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, an economic crisis, terrorism, climate change and trafficking in drugs and human beings.

"These challenges require new forms of outreach and cooperation within our own government and then with others as well," she said. "To achieve this, we have launched a new diplomacy powered by partnership, pragmatism and principle."

State is strengthening historic alliances and creating new ones. "The 2009 supplemental budget request for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development is a significant sum," she said. "Yet our investment in diplomacy and development is only about 6 percent of our total national security budget.

"For Secretary Gates and myself," she continued, "it is critically important that we give our civilian workers, as well as our military, the resources they need to do their jobs well."

In Iraq, the mission is changing as the troop drawdown continues. "We must reinforce security gains while supporting the Iraqi government and people as they strengthen public institutions and promote job creation and assist those Iraqis who had fled because of violence and want to return home," the secretary said.

The supplemental request calls for $482 million for State Department programs in Iraq and $108 million more for refugee aid.

"In Afghanistan, as you know, the president has ordered additional troops," Clinton said. "Our mission is very clear; to disrupt, dismantle and destroy al-Qaida. But bringing stability to that region is not only a military mission; it requires more than a military response. So we have requested $980 million in assistance to focus on rebuilding the agricultural sector, having more political progress, helping the local and provincial leadership deliver services for their people."

Pakistan is crucial to peace in Afghanistan, Clinton said. "We have seen how difficult it is for the government [in Pakistan] to make progress as the Taliban and their allies continues to make inroads," Clinton said.
"Counterinsurgency training is critical, but of equal importance are diplomacy and development, to work with the Pakistani government, Pakistani civil society, to try to provide more economic stability and diminish the conditions that feed extremism."

The supplemental request seeks $497 million for Pakistan, "which will support the government's efforts to stabilize the economy, strengthen law enforcement, alleviate poverty and help displaced citizens find safe shelter," Clinton said.

Clinton said she and Gates are looking at ways to make the departments collaborate more effectively.

"Secretary Gates and I are committed to working closely together in an almost unprecedented way to sort out what the individual responsibilities and missions of Defense and State and USAID should be, but committed to the overall goal of promoting stability and long term progress, which we believe is in the interests of the United States and which we are prepared to address and take on the challenges and seize the opportunities that confront us at this moment in history," she said.

Face of Defense: Airman Provides Legal Advice on Detainee Operations

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Tim Beckham
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Many Air Force attorneys spend their days providing legal counsel and preparing documents, but for one Air Force captain here, being deployed means serving in a one-of-a-kind legal position. Capt. Sophia Crawford, detention, judicial and legal policy attorney in the Multinational Force Iraq staff judge advocate's office, provides a service that she would never get to do outside of Iraq. She is the U.S. legal representative on issues pertaining to detention facilities.

"I specifically work in detention operations, so everything that has to with a detainee or anything potentially relating to a detainee is what I do," said Crawford, who is deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base's Gunter Annex, Ala. "This could range from detainee deaths to detainee imagery. We also deal with interrogation procedures, and provide legal reviews and advice to the MNF-I commanding general."

Working in this area of responsibility is a singular experience, she said, because she has to work from three sides of the law.

"Just learning all the law has been a challenge," Crawford said. "We must have the appropriate authority to detain someone and authority to question someone. This, she added, represents a dramatic change brought about with the Jan. 1 implementation of the security agreement between the United States and Iraq.

"It's a big realm of law," the Dallas native said. "Not only do we use United States law, but we use international law and abide by Iraqi law. We have to coordinate and make sure we operate within all three. It's a lot of coordination with Iraq."

Air Force attorneys are compelled to view cases objectively and do what is in the best interest of the United States.

"I am a JAG who represents the United States, and it's my job to advocate for the commander," Crawford said. "I'm also a prosecutor, and it's my responsibility to make sure people are operating within the law. No matter who you are, you have to realize that detainees have rights."

The 30-member Multinational Force Iraq legal team is a total-force operation, with reserve-component and active-duty attorneys ranging from captains to colonels in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and even the Australian army.

"I have just learned so much," Crawford said. "I am the junior-ranking officer, so everyone is a mentor to me. It has been a great experience from the officer standpoint as well as a JAG."

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Tim Beckham serves with U.S. Air Forces Central's Baghdad Media Outreach Team.)

Petraeus, Gates Honor Leaders of Military, Statecraft

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates were on hand at a star-studded ceremony here last night honoring giants of military, government, industry and the arts. Petraeus received the Atlantic Council's Distinguished Military Leadership Award at the council's annual gala, while Gates was there to introduce former President George H.W. Bush, whom he served in several capacities. Bush also received an award.

"Needless to say, I am most grateful for the honor accorded me this evening," Petraeus said upon receiving his commendation. "I hasten to add, however, that I can only accept this award inasmuch as I do so on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of troopers, who day after day don Kevlar helmets and body armor, strap themselves into a cockpit or take to the sea and perform complex missions against tough enemies in challenging conditions to do what our country has asked them to do."

In addition to highlighting the work of key leaders, the event also celebrated the 60th anniversary of NATO and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and emphasized the role the Atlantic community has played since World War II.

Petraeus, whose command responsibility includes the war in Afghanistan, underscored the significance of NATO's commitment to that mission.

"In signing on to support missions in Afghanistan, NATO nations signaled their recognition that transnational extremism poses a threat to all of us," he said. "In so doing, NATO committed its resources, its institutions and its expertise in cooperative defense endeavors -- built over 60 years of partnership -- to the international effort to ensure that extremists cannot re-establish safe havens in Afghanistan like those from which they launched the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in 9/11."

The general said critics have seized on the deteriorating security conditions in some parts of Afghanistan and questioned NATO's competency and level of commitment.

"Afghanistan has thus emerged as a critical challenge for NATO, and the alliance now faces a very urgent moment," Petraeus said. "I offer that observation while noting that with the recent announcement of the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and with the conduct of the NATO summit earlier this month, new resources have been pledged and new resolve has been demonstrated."

The ceremony last night was punctuated by Cold War anecdotes and nostalgia for the era when former Soviet satellite states emerged from behind the Iron Curtain.

Gates recalled witnessing these moments in history from a front-row seat.

"I remember being the note-taker when President Bush spoke on the phone about these matters with [German] Chancellor [Helmut] Kohl," recalled Gates, who was Bush's deputy national security advisor at the time. "It was the afternoon of Nov. 10, 1989, the day after the Berlin Wall came down, and thousands of East Germans had already begun moving freely across the border."

Before welcoming Bush onstage to accept his award, Gates shared his recollection of the president's deft handling of the vanquished Soviet empire during Moscow's moment of great vulnerability.

"As the communist bloc was disintegrating," he said, "it was George Bush's skilled, yet quiet, statecraft that made a revolutionary time seem much less dangerous than it actually was."

Gates Asks Senate to Pass Supplemental Funding by Memorial Day

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked the Senate today to pass the fiscal 2009 supplemental funding request it's considering by Memorial Day. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the $83.4 billion budget request today.

Most of the request – about $76 billion – would go to the Defense Department and would directly support operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Gates said. Most of the rest would fund State Department operations.

The pending legislation is the second half of the fiscal 2009 supplemental funding request. Congress passed $65.9 billion in supplemental spending earlier this year. If the second portion is approved, the total package would be $141.7 billion.

Gates stressed that this will be the last supplemental funding request. "This is intended to be the last planned war supplemental request that the administration will make," Gates said. "Future budgets – starting with [fiscal] 2010 – will instead be presented together, with money for overseas contingency operations clearly marked as such."

Moving funding to the base budget will ensure that funding for programs that directly affect warfighters will receive the support they need in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, Gates said. This move will "most directly affect our nation's greatest strategic asset: our troops, and the families that support them," he said.

Gates broke down the request. Some $38 billion covers the everyday costs of maintaining forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, from pre-deployment training and transportation to or from theater to the operations themselves. "This supplemental takes into account planned reductions in troop numbers in Iraq this year, and increases in Afghanistan," Gates said.

Another $11.6 billion is set aside to replace and repair equipment that has been worn out, damaged or destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan. This includes money for four F-22 fighter jets to replace an F-15 and three F-16s classified as combat losses.

Another $9.8 billion will go for force protection. This will fund the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle program that aims to put all-terrain vehicles into Afghanistan. The money also would fund body armor, aircraft survivability equipment, unmanned aircraft systems and equipment and vehicles to detect and clear mines.

A further $3.6 billion is slotted to expand and improve the Afghan security forces, but the request calls for no money to fund Iraqi forces. "The government of Iraq has taken on that financial burden," Gates explained.

The supplemental funding bill includes $1.5 billion to counter the threats of roadside bombs, $450 million for the Commander's Emergency Response Program, and $400 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund.

The Pakistan Fund will allow the U.S. Central Command commander to work with Pakistan's military to build the nation's counterinsurgency capability. "We are asking for this unique authority for the unique and urgent circumstances we face in Pakistan – for dealing with a challenge that simultaneously requires wartime and peacetime capabilities," Gates said.

The supplemental measure also includes $2.2 billion to finish the expansion of the Army and Marine Corps. "Due to higher-than-expected recruiting and retention rates, we are well ahead of schedule to expand the Army and Marine Corps – which will help ease the burden on our troops and help reduce – with the goal of ending – stop-loss," Gates said, citing a policy that allows the military to hold on to certain servicemembers past the expiration of their enlistment contract.

Wounded warrior care and programs to improve the quality of life for troops and their families account for $1.6 billion in the funding request, Gates said, emphasizing that quick action on the request is necessary.

"As was the case last year, the Department of Defense will have to be prepared for continued operations in the absence of the supplemental or another bridge fund," Gates said.

Some operational funds will begin to run out in July, and that historically has affected the Army and the Marine Corps first. "After Memorial Day, we will need to consider options to delay running out of funds," he said. "We also expect to run out of money to reimburse Pakistan by mid-May. I urge you to take up this bill and pass it as quickly as possible, but please not later than Memorial Day."

The symbolism of the two secretaries appearing together was not lost on the senators. The departments of Defense and State must work together. The supplemental measure includes $7.1 billion for international affairs and stabilization activities, including economic assistance for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Needless to say, I strongly support this funding," Gates said. "As I have said for the last two years, I believe that the challenges confronting our nation cannot be dealt with by military means alone. They require, instead, whole-of-government approaches – but that can only be done if the State Department is given resources befitting the scope of its mission across the globe. This is particularly important in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where our ability to provide resources beyond military power will be the decisive factor."

Gates said he and Clinton are dedicated to figuring out how best to bring to bear the full force of the entire U.S. government on the pressing issues of the day.

"So I ask you to continue supporting not just our men and women in uniform, but the men and women at the State Department who are just as committed to the safety and security of the United States," the defense secretary said.

Health Officials Discourage Aspirin Use by Troops in Combat Zones

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - The Defense Department is directing servicemembers and government civilians deployed in overseas war zones to refrain from taking aspirin unless under a doctor's orders, a senior military physician said here today. "Aspirin use for reasons other than medical indications is discouraged," said Army Col. (Dr.) Tony Carter, director for operational medicine and medical force readiness under the deputy assistant secretary of defense for force health protection, a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

Military medical authorities also advise that troops slated for deployment to combat zones should cease taking aspirin at least 10 days before departure, Carter told Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service reporters.

Aspirin is "a platelet-inhibitor," Carter explained. Platelets are small cells floating in the blood that induce hemostasis -- the process that causes bleeding to stop through the forming of blood clots. Low amounts of blood platelets can lead to excessive bleeding.

"Those platelets serve an important role in stopping bleeding once it occurs," Carter said.

Then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. S. Ward Casscells III signed a March 12 memorandum that noted aspirin use by troops deployed in contingency areas could contribute to excessive bleeding in the event of wounding or injury.

Blood loss is the most common cause of preventable death associated with combat injuries, the memorandum said.

Carter recalled Casscells asking his staff if the military was discouraging aspirin use by people deploying to combat zones where they stood risk of injury. The answer at the time was no, Carter said.

The subsequent memorandum, Carter said, also directed the cessation of "over-the-counter access" to aspirin through Army and Air Force Exchange Service outlets or morale, welfare and recreation activities in war zones. AAFES has jurisdiction over Army post exchanges and Air Force base exchanges.

AAFES is complying with the Health Affairs-issued memorandum, noting in a news release that its "operations in contingency locations are removing all products containing aspirin from their shelves."

The intent of the new policy, Carter said, is to "discourage the inadvertent use of aspirin" in combat zones. People who routinely take small doses of aspirin per doctor's orders to maintain vascular health should be all right, he said, but they should consult their physician.

Servicemembers and civilians could substitute over-the-counter, non-aspirin-based medications – such as Tylenol or Motrin -- for treatment of colds, fever, muscle aches and other maladies, Carter said.

"I think we should take every measure possible to make sure that we minimize blood loss," Carter said. "And, not taking aspirin, unless you need to take it, is one of those mechanisms that we want to use."

Defense Department Plans Morale, Welfare, Recreation Survey

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2009 - Defense Department officials are preparing to conduct the first militarywide survey to assess morale, welfare and recreation programs. "We've established standards for all the services," Arthur Myers, acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. "Now we want to get feedback from the [servicemembers] on how we're doing with our programs."

Myers' office is conducting the survey with the help of CFI Group, an international customer-satisfaction consulting firm with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The survey will be e-mailed to about 150,000 randomly selected servicemembers in the near future and will appear as being from CFI Group "on behalf of DoD."

"So, remember, when you get that, it's not spam," Myers said.

Though the survey will collect data on participants' service branches and, if they choose to provide it, their ethnicity, the responses will be completely anonymous, Myers emphasized.

It's also important, he added, that those selected participate in the survey to ensure the best level of accuracy in the results.

Though the survey will be sent only to active-duty servicemembers, Myers encouraged those selected to take their families' opinions into consideration when responding. As more data is gained, future surveys will be open to the reserve components, he added.

Those receiving the survey will have about three weeks to participate. When the responses are collected and analyzed, the findings will be published on the Defense Department Web site, as well as on Military Community and Family Policy's Military OneSource and MilitaryHomefront sites.

"This survey will actually tell us what [servicemembers'] needs are so we can meet those needs," Myers said. "We really believe our programs are a key thing in keeping our military ready and [in helping to retain them]."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - The Marine Corps commandant today confirmed a suspected case of what the U.S. Homeland Security Council now is calling H1N1 flu, but has been known as "swine flu," at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. A male Marine reported to a medical clinic on base over the weekend complaining of flu-like symptoms. Initial test results indicate the H1N1 virus, and the service is waiting for further results from testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway said.

The Marine, along with his roommate, are quarantined in the barracks, Conway said, adding that the roommate has shown no symptoms and the infected Marine is recovering.

"He's doing fine," the general said. "He's up and about. He said he feels pretty good. The doctors tell us that at this point, there appears to be no threat to him in terms of loss of life."

Doctors at the base also identified and restricted the activities of 37 other Marines who may have had contact with the infected Marine. The 37 are not officially quarantined, but are not allowed in public places such as unit formations and dining facilities.

The infected Marine was not given Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug used to prevent the flu, because he was past the point in his illness at which the medicine would have been effective, Conway said. All of the other Marines involved are taking Tamiflu.

The southern-California base is about 200 miles from the Mexican border, but the Marine had not visited Mexico, Conway said.

Marine doctors should receive the test results from the CDC in the next two days.

This case comes on the heels of two military family members in Texas, both teenage boys, with confirmed cases this month. Both boys have made full recoveries.

Defense Department officials say they are monitoring the outbreak closely, with a primary focus on protecting the military population.

Two prescription anti-viral drugs, Relenza and Tamiflu, already are standard stock at U.S. military treatment facilities, and larger quantities are stockpiled at several sites in the United States and overseas, officials said.

Official Explains Proposed Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Rules

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - With the Department of Veterans Affairs ready to begin accepting sign-ups for the Post-9/11 GI Bill May 1, the Defense Department is working to get word out on its proposed policy regarding the bill's transferability provisions to help servicemembers decide if the new benefit is right for them. Bob Clark, the Pentagon's assistant director for accessions policy, called the Post-9/11 GI Bill that takes effect Aug. 1 an important new benefit. In addition to providing broader educational benefits, it includes a provision that enables enrollees to transfer their benefits to immediate family members.

This long-sought-after provision is expected to be a boom for the military, Clark said, attracting and retaining the skilled force it needs.

"The Post-9/11 GI Bill is going to be an extremely good benefit to attract bright, young Americans to serve in the military," he said.

"The transferability is going to be a tool that will allow us to retain members who have earned that great benefit and share it with their family members and continue to serve," Clark said. "This gives them the opportunity to share those benefits that they have earned with those they love."

The rules for Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability are in the final stages, and Clark said the Defense Department expects few changes, if any.

In a nutshell, any enlisted or commissioned member of the armed forces serving on active duty or in the Selected Reserve on or after Aug. 1 will be eligible to transfer their benefits – as long as they qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill in the first place and meet specific service requirements, Clark explained.

He emphasized that, by law, anyone who has retired or separated from the service before that date – even if it's July 31 – won't be entitled to transfer their benefits. Also excluded will be members of the Individual Ready Reserve and Fleet Reserve.

Most servicemembers who have at least six years of military service as of Aug. 1 and agree to serve an additional four years qualify, he said. But the Defense Department has proposed measures to cover several categories of servicemembers whose circumstances don't fit neatly into this formula.

For example, those with at least 10 years of service – but who can't serve an additional four years because of a service or Defense Department policy –also would qualify, Clark said. They must, however, serve the maximum time allowed before separating from the military, he said.

"What we did not want to do was to penalize those people who had a service policy or statute that would not permit them to commit for the full four years," Clark explained.

Another Pentagon proposal would cover servicemembers who will reach the 20-year service mark, making them retirement-eligible, between Aug. 1, 2009, and Aug. 1, 2013.

Clark explained the breakdown, which basically enables those affected to transfer benefits as long as they complete 20 years of service:

-- Those eligible for retirement on Aug. 1, 2009, would be eligible to transfer their benefits with no additional service requirement.

-- Those with an approved retirement date after Aug. 1, 2009, and before July 1, 2010, would qualify with no additional service.

-- Those eligible for retirement after Aug. 1, 2009, but before Aug. 1, 2010, would qualify with one additional year of service after electing to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

-- Those eligible for retirement between Aug. 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011, would qualify with two additional years of service after electing to transfer.

-- Those eligible to retire between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012, would qualify with three additional years of service after electing to transfer.

The servicemember's 36 months of benefits – the equivalent of four nine-month academic years – could be transferred to a spouse, one or more children or any combination, Clark said. The family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System to receive the benefits.

Servicemembers also have the option to use some benefits themselves and transfer what they haven't used to one or more family members.

Even after transferring the benefits, they remain the "property" of the servicemember who earned them, who can revoke them or redesignate who receives them at any time.

More details about the Post-9/11 GI Bill are posted on the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs Web sites, and the Pentagon's proposed transferability policy is on the Defense Department site.

Retro Space Crew Module Undergoes Tests at Navy Facility

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - When future astronauts prepare to go to the moon or to a rendezvous with the International Space Station, their craft will look suspiciously familiar. Appearing to be a larger version of the Apollo spacecraft's crew module, the new Orion spacecraft is historical in its conical design.

"We know a lot about the aerodynamic properties of this shape," said Alan Rhodes, NASA's Constellation Program test and verification officer. "It's a great, great craft for space.

"It's not a great boat," he deadpanned.

Because the new spacecraft replaces the space shuttle, which has landed on runways, the Constellation Project team needs to be able to tell today's astronauts what to expect when they splash down in the ocean after a mission. The team also needs to develop best practices for getting the astronauts out of the capsule and recovering the vehicle after splashdown.

Toward those goals, the Orion crew module was brought to the calm waters of the test pond at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in Bethesda, Md., in late March.

No people have been aboard the capsule for any of the testing there, however. That will come later. Preliminary tests results have been gained through observation and instrumentation.

"The key here is safety," Rhodes said. "It's kind of ... 'learn as quick as possible,' but we've got to make sure we're safe, because we don't want anybody getting hurt with this."

Developing best practices for deploying the module's floatation collar is much safer in the pond's calm waters than in 10-foot seas, Rhodes explained.

The procedure began by lowering the 18,000-pound module into the water while team members guided it toward the center with ropes. Once it was in position, two teams of Air Force pararescuemen in rigid, inflatable Zodiac boats attached a sea anchor before deploying and inflating an 18-inch floatation collar. The sea anchor is the first step to slowing the motion of the capsule, which helps to make the crew more comfortable, officials explained.

Once inflated and attached to the module, the blue-and-yellow collar stabilizes the craft further and provides the recovery crew a platform from which to help the astronauts out of the vehicle.

"The Air Force guys are able to use this test pool to test out all the procedures they're going to want to use when we go to the ocean," Rhodes said.

They also got to test out a procedure they hope they won't have to use when the main hatch on the side of the module failed to open properly during the tests. This glitch, which later was easily explained, had the recovery crew looking to the alternate hatch on top of the vehicle.

"On top, ... there's a secondary hatch called the docking hatch," Rhodes said. "That'll be the hatch they use to enter the space station [or] to attach themselves to the lunar lander [or] the Martian vehicles. It also is a secondary egress path."

The team also should be able to tell the astronauts what to expect in different sea states, he said.

"It helps us understand, 'We think you will have this probability of being sick due to the motions.' 'We think you'll be able to move based on our interpretation of these motions in these manners,'" Rhodes explained.

When all the testing on the Orion crew module is complete the Constellation Project team will have developed best practices for retrieving the crew and recovering the capsule in just about any sea state, Rhodes said.

"It's extremely important to us to make sure that they can [recover the vehicle and crew] in 10-, 12-, and 14-foot seas," said Don Pearson, project manager for the post-landing test. "The reason for that is we want to have what's called a very high launch probability. Any day of the year I want to be able to launch my spacecraft from Kennedy [Space Center]. We have to be able to say, 'Yeah, we've got really rough weather off Boston, but not a problem. We could still pick you guys up [if the capsule splashed down there]. Let's go. Let's launch today.'"

While the capsule has a retro look, sentiment was not what led NASA to resume water landings upon re-entry; it was practicality. While the Russian space program has the expansive, soft soils of Kazakhstan on which to land their Soyuz spacecraft, the United States is not so fortunate.

"Weight is the biggest issue, and a system that can keep the astronauts safe landing on land," said Navy Cmdr. Andy Quiett, the Defense Department's liaison to NASA for the Constellation Program. "We don't have quite that big a [piece of] real estate in the U.S.

"There are several landing sites that they've evaluated," he continued, "and NASA made the call that weight costs money to put [the capsule] into orbit and to have a system to protect the capsule for a land landing. I know the astronaut office wants the safest landing they can have, and the water landing provides that."

The last splashdown of a crew module was Apollo 17, Quiett said. That was Dec. 19, 1972.

The team's consensus during a post-test debrief was that all had gone well and they were on the right track. That didn't mean they were done, however. The group took a break before returning to the pond to run through the same exercise at night.

U.S. Needs 'Pragmatic, Clear-Eyed' Defense Strategy, Flournoy Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - Defense Department officials should center strategy on smarter, more pragmatic engagement and closer cooperation with other U.S. government agencies and foreign allies, a top Pentagon official said. Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of Defense for policy, today summarized the department's approach as it gears up to conduct the strategic review it provides to Congress every four years.

"We need to look forward in a very pragmatic, clear-eyed way and develop the capabilities we need to respond across the spectrum to make sure the United States is well positioned to maintain its security and advance security in a changing world," she told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

Flournoy added that the United States is facing "one of the most daunting inheritances in generations," and must address difficult questions about balancing present needs with preparing for an uncertain and complex future.

Outlining her views on U.S. defense strategy, Flournoy said pragmatism, engagement in critical parts of the globe, a more balanced use of the government's tools, revitalizing relations with allies and a "whole-of-government" posture should underpin the approach.

But before highlighting the principles that likely will inform the department's congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review, Flournoy described current and emerging challenges, and the broad trends that "fuel and complicate" them.

Providing a thumbnail sketch of the present security landscape, she cited wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nearly 200,000 U.S. troops deployed in harm's way fighting a broad war against extremism, and the planned military drawdown in Iraq and increased presence in Afghanistan.

While the two wars constitute elements of the security picture, they are not the "sum total," Flournoy said. "We are going to seek to better address both the needs of today's conflicts but also tomorrow's threats," she added.

Other key security challenges include violent extremist movements, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, rising powers with sophisticated weapons and increasing encroachment across the so-called global commons, which include air, sea, space, cyberspace, she said.

Additionally, in contrast to the international dynamics of the past, in which strong countries were likely to pose security challenges, weak or failed states now represent significant cause for concern, she said.

"Historically, most security challenges have come from aggressive, powerful states overstepping the bounds of international norms and international law," she said. "We are now in a world where many of the threats we face will come from state weakness and the inability states to meet the basic needs of their population."

Flournoy said a number of factors are affecting the security challenges, including the global economic downturn, climate change, cultural and demographic shifts, increasing scarcity of resources and the spread of destabilizing technologies.

"These challenges are fueled and complicated by a number of powerful trends that are reshaping the international landscape," she said.

While there is no easy solution for challenges this vast and complex, Flournoy said, the example of America's ability to emerge from post-World War II challenges demonstrates the United States' resilience.

"We've faced a whole magnitude of challenges, and we have both survived and thrived," she said.

The Defense Department will submit to Congress its 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review that assesses department strategy and priorities early next year, according to a department news release.

Quadrennial Defense Review Fact Sheet Available on Defenselink

American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - People who are interested in learning more about the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review process can do so by just accessing the QDR fact sheet that was posted today on Defenselink, the Pentagon's public-internet web page.
To access the fact sheet, simply select the "press advisories" button located in the left column of the page, or click on the web link attached below.

"The QDR takes a long-term, strategic view of the Department of Defense and will explore ways to balance achieving success in current conflicts with preparing for long-term challenges," Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III stated in a Defense Department news release issued April 23.

The QDR "will also look at ways to institutionalize irregular warfare capabilities while maintaining the United States' existing strategic and technological edge in traditional warfare," Lynn said in the release.

The QDR is performed every four years; previous QDRs were conducted in 1997, 2001, and 2006.

The purpose of the QDR is "to assess the threats and capabilities the nation faces, and then integrate strategies, resources, forces, and capabilities necessary to prevent conflict or conclude it on terms that are favorable to the nation now and in the future," Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated in an April 23 news release.

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 29, 2009

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
ENGINEERING AND SUPPORT CENTER, HUNTSVILLE
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded eight contracts with a shared capacity of $650 million to eight contractors who will perform utility monitoring and control systems work throughout the continental U.S. and overseas.

These contracts are for the procurement and installation of utility monitoring and control systems; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to include chiller/boiler systems installation and/or integration, supervisory control and data acquisition systems; and other automated control systems including fire alarm and life safety systems, chemical/biological/radiological contaminant detection/filtration/response, utilities (electric/gas/water/steam) metering; electronic security systems; and security and/or force protection measures worldwide.

The multiple award task order indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity service contracts have a three-year base period and one optional two-year period for a total of five years. The total capacity of these contracts is $650 million, with shared capacity among eight contractors: Ameresco, Inc., Framingham, Mass.; Honeywell Products, Inc., Austin, Texas; Johnson Controls Building Automation, Huntsville, Ala.; Siemens government Services, Inc., Reston, Va.; TAC Americas, Carrollton, Texas; Teng & Associates, Inc., Chicago, Ill.; Trane U.S. Inc., La Crosse, Wis.; and Williams Electric Company, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The Huntsville Center solicited this acquisition on a competitive basis.

U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND
McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Co., of St. Louis, is being awarded a one-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract with four annual options. The contract has predominantly firm fixed price items, and a not-to-exceed value of $250,000,000. The contract is for Mid Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System (MEUAS) Information Gathering, Target Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Services in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command Program Executive Office - Fixed Wing. The work will be performed in St. Louis and overseas locations and is expected to be completed by Apr. 30, 2014. This contract was awarded through full and open competition. The contract number is H92222-09-D-0015.

AIR FORCE

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to Rolls-Royce Corp., of Indianapolis, Ind., for a maximum of $79,764,987. This requirement will cover 27 initial spare engines in support of the C-130J unique systems in support of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and two foreign military sales cases for Norway and India. The entire amount has been obligated. 330 ACSG/GFKA, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8504-07-D-0001).

ARMY
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.., Hurst, Texas was awarded on Apr. 27, 2009 a $ 60,302,880 firm fixed price contract for the production of 24 Bell 407 helicopters for the country of Iraq, with an option to purchase up to 26 additional 407 helicopters. This contract will have a 27 month period of performance for the base requirement and up to a 13 month additional period of performance if the option is exercised. Work is to be performed in Alliance, Texas, (55 precent) and Mirabel, Canada, (45 precent) with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2012. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0160).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Maritime Systems & Sensors, Liverpool N.Y., was awarded $ 20,674,214 firm fixed price contract for procuring spares for the twelve (12) initial production Enhanced AN/TPQ-36 Radar Systems. Work is to be performed in Liverpool, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2010. One sole source bid solicited and one bid received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-06-C-T004).

Contrack International, Inc., McLean, Va. was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a $ 28,436,732 firm fixed price contract for its medium load concrete aircraft pavement including but not limited to aprons and connecting asphalt taxiways, modifications and additions to a munitions area and taxiways, lighting, markings, tiedowns, grounding point, water and sewer distribution and storm water drainage for rotary wing aircraft. Work is to be performed in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Feb. 01, 2010. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Winchester, Va., is the contracting activity (W912ER-09-C-0018).

The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a $ 22,947,428 firm fixed price contracts for MH-47G remanufacture for three (3) MH-47E Aircraft into a MH-47G Extra Airframe Configuration. Work is to be performed in Philadelphia, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 15, 2011. One bid was solicited and one bid received. Aviation Integration Directorate, Fort Eustis, Va., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-G-0023).

Head, Inc. Columbus, Ohio, was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a $ 11,614,400 firm fixed price contract to remove and replace the Combat Readiness Training Center ramp and airfield lighting, Phase I and Phase II. Work is to be performed in Savannah, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 20, 2009. Fourteen (14) bids were solicited and thirteen (13) bids were received. USPFO for Georgia, Atlanta, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912JM-09-C-0010).

Balfour-Walton JV, Dallas Texas, was awarded on Apr. 24, 2009 a $ 1,382,000 ECI construction, fixed price incentive contract to replace a hospital at Ft. Riley, Kan. Work is to be performed in Fort Riley, Kan., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 29, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web and seven (7) bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Kansas City District, Kansas City Mo., is the contracting activity (W912DQ-09-C-4024).

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc St. Louis Mo., was awarded on Apr. 23, 2009 a $ 22,419,508 firm-fixed-price/ Indefinite Quantity contract for 317 M989A1 Heavy Mobility Ammunition Trailers (HEMAT's are being purchase via Delivery Order 0009 on the above referenced IDIQ. Work is to be performed in St. Louis, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 02, 2010. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-D-0332).

AM General, LLC South Bend, Ind., was awarded on Apr. 23, 2009 a $ 14,001,542 firm fixed contract to add 88 each High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) to contract. Work is to be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. TACOM Warren, AMSTA-AQ-ATCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

ACC Construction Co., Inc, Augusta, Ga., was awarded on Apr. 32, 2009 a $ 16,409,480 firm fixed price for the design and construction of the tactical equipment maintenance facility, Grow the Force-Unit Operations-Phase C. Work is to be performed in Fort Campbell, Ky., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 16, 2010. Four bids were solicited and two bids received. Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912HN-07-D-0042).

The Joint Venture of CUh2A Smith Carter Hemisphere, Lawrenceville, N.J., was awarded on Apr. 16, 2009 a firm fixed price contract for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) design contract. Exercise Options: CLIN 0011, 0012, 0013, 0014, 0015, 0016, 0017, 0018, 0020. Work is to be performed in Fort Detrick, Frederick, Md., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 29, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web and six (6) bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers- Baltimore District, Baltimore Md., is the contracting activity (W912DR-06-C-0009).

NAVY
Straub Construction Co., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $24,839,000 for firm fixed price task order #0003 under a multiple award construction contract for repair and renovation of Building 232 (Spanagel Hall) and Building 235 (Root Hall), at the Naval Post Graduate School, Calif. The work will provide repairs and renovation to comply with current critical safety and building codes, and reconfigure deteriorated steam heating with a code complaint hydronic system. Mechanical upgrades and fire sprinkler system, fire protection system, HAZMAT abatement and associated interior renovation of the existing spaces shall also be completed. Work will be performed in Monterey, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Apr. 2014. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8616).

ITT Corp., Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $17,628,729 cost plus fixed fee contract for research and development support services in the areas of: systems engineering and research support in modeling and simulation; intelligent information systems; virtual and augmented reality systems and applications. This contract contains four 12-month options, which is exercised, would bring the total cumulative value of the contract to $94,167,918. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and work is expected to be completed Sept. 2010 (Sept 2014 with options). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured under NRL solicitation number N00173-08-R-JS09, with one offer received. The Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00173-09-C-2038).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $9,861,389 cost plus fixed fee contract for products and engineering services in support of the EA-18G Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Integrated Product Team. The level of effort is expected to be 73,571 hours and includes design, development, integration, test and distribution of Electronic Attack Unit software, technical evaluations and testing of changes, and will support follow-on test and evaluation integration and test. Work will be performed at Point Mugu, Calif., (85 percent); Bethpage, N.Y., (10 percent); and China Lake, Calif., (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to the FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-09-D-0026).

SyQwest Inc., Warwick, R.I. is being awarded an $8,264,980 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, firm fixed price contract for the repair and restoration of DT-699 High Frequency Sail Array (HFSA) Hydrophone Modules and TR-364 HFSA Projectors. Work will be performed in Warwick, R.I., and is expected to be completed by April 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $50,000 will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with two offers received. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport is the contracting activity (N66604-09-D-0200).

MacGregor Inc., Cedar Knolls, N.J., is being awarded a $6,096,547 firm fixed price contract for the procurement of two twin boom level luffing cargo handling cranes. The work to be performed under this contract includes crane procurement and transportation of the cranes, removal and disposal of existing cranes, refurbishment of existing boom stands and crane bases and providing pre-work for a stabilization system. Work will be performed in Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Va., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was negotiated under Other Than Full and Open Competition in accordance with FAR 6.302-1(a)(1)(2), "Only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements". The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Navy Crane Center, Portsmouth, Va., is the contracting activity (Contract Number N62470-09-C-7006).

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., was awarded a $6,000,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2100) for emergent and supplemental work for the accomplishment of the fiscal year 2008 Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Enterprise (CVN 65). The CVN 65 FY08 EDSRA is a ship depot availability of approximately 16-month duration. EDSRAs are similar to overhauls in that they restore the ship, including all subsystems that affect combat capability and safety, to established performance standards. Additionally, an EDSRA provides an opportunity to perform hull inspections and recoating, and other maintenance related evolutions below the waterline that cannot be accomplished while the ship is waterborne. The EDSRA provides sufficient time to perform more extensive propulsion plant repairs and testing than is possible during an Extended Selected Restricted Availability (ESRA). Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed by Aug 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Face of Defense: Small-town America Leads Marine to Big-time Success

By Marine Corps Cpl. Casey Jones
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - All across the United States, from coast to coast and from border to border, you'll find thousands of small, one-stoplight towns where livestock outnumber people. In these tiny towns -- just like Clarks Hill, S.C., population 376 -- your neighbors either are friends, family or both, and you usually never have to think twice about leaving your door unlocked at night.

Marine Corps Chief Warrant Office 4 Rodney Freeman, a 40-year-old Clarks Hill native and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear defense officer with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, credits his great-grandmother and being raised in small-town America for his success in the Marine Corps.

"My great-grandmother embedded in me some extremely valuable core traits," Freeman said. "She instilled in me discipline, a good work ethic, caring for others and a sense of family [and] unity."

Freeman, who's been in the Marine Corps for 21 years, said being a Marine has been one of his wisest decisions, and that he has enjoyed his time in service.

"Those values my grandmother instilled in me definitely made boot camp and being a Marine easier," Freeman said. "From my perspective, I believe that the majority of good Marines are the product of a good upbringing."

Freeman said as a teenager he was certain he wanted to become a Marine. He never second-guessed the decision.

"The Marine Corps caught my attention when I was in the 11th grade," he said. "I was at a baseball game when I saw a reservist Marine in dress blues. He didn't say a single word; he didn't have to. He just stood there with a high-and-tight, looking lean and mean. He didn't say anything. It's just the way he carried himself."

Courage, one of the core values he learned as a young boy, has been especially important to Freeman throughout his time in the Corps.

"One of the most challenging situations in the Marine Corps is having the courage to stand up to those who are senior to you," Freeman said. "To address issues that you feel are unfair, and not to just give up because they don't particularly agree with you. You just have to continue to fight for what you believe in."

While Freeman was in Iraq preparing for a flight to another location, he sparked up a conversation with a younger Marine. He asked the Marine a common question: "What do you do?"

The Marine then gave a common response, "Nothing much, sir."

"What do you mean by nothing much?" Freeman asked.

"Well, sir, I would rather do other things, I would rather [leave here]."

Freeman told him he was an important asset, and that's why he was doing that particular job. Then the Marine finally told him his exact job description.

"Sir, removing and loading dead, blood-dripping bodies from aircraft and vehicles gets really tiring," the Marine said.

At that instant, Freeman said, he realized how strong and selfless Marines are.

"It really dawned on me at that point. To be a Marine, or to be a servicemember, period, is special because we're all willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, which takes a lot of courage," Freeman said.

Freeman said after he serves his final two years in Indian Head, Md., working with the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, he plans to return to some small town in the Carolinas or Georgia.

"I'm not one of those guys who chase dollars," Freeman said. "So right now, I'm looking to do my dream job of becoming a Junior ROTC teacher, which would give me the opportunity to mentor, lead, and hopefully help out some young men and women."

(Marine Corps Cpl. Casey Jones serves with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.)

Obama Taps Stockton for Senior Pentagon Posting

American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - President Barack Obama has nominated a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation for a senior civilian position at the Pentagon. If Paul N. Stockton's nomination is confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Paul McHale, who resigned as the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and Americas' security affairs.

Congress established the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense in December 2002. Aligned within the Pentagon's policy directorate, the office provides supervision for the Defense Department's homeland defense activities.

Fort Sill Spouses Go Through 'Field Exercises'

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2009 - More than 300 military spouses attended one of two "Field Exercises" recently at Fort Sill, Okla., designed to assist them in dealing with life while their deployed spouses are away. Starlett "Star" Henderson and Tara Crooks, founders of the Army Wife Network, created the program so deployment-weary spouses could enjoy a break and connect with other spouses facing similar challenges.

"The Field Exercises were created to empower and rejuvenate military spouses," Crooks said. "We are devoted to changing the lives of our warriors and their families through a sincere desire to help military spouses where it matters most: in the field. These families deserve a night of appreciation and pampering. They need information and an opportunity to meet other spouses in order to succeed in military life."

The April 23-24 event featured tips and shared experiences, allowing spouses to learn about deployment survival resources while empowering them to make the right choices in their relationships, careers and personal lives and encouraging an outlet for relief and creativity in the often-stressful military lifestyle.

"We talked about the myths surrounding deployment, reintegration and ideas for staying connected," Crooks said. "After the break, we went over themed care-package ideas and talked about ways to send care packages and get others involved."

Book lists for military spouses and children also were shared at the event. As an added bonus, registered guests received giveaways such as an iPod Touch, a digital camera, pearl earrings and spa certificates, and they also got well-stocked gift bags containing massage gel, key chains, books and snacks for them and their servicemember spouses.

"Overall, this opportunity for sharing information, trading ideas and strategies, networking and building lasting relationships was a free 'time-out' for them," Crooks said.

Attendees of the event were pleased.

"I attended both days," Carol Herrick, a Fort Sill Army spouse, said. "I enjoyed spending time with other Army spouses who have experienced deployment and this challenging Army lifestyle. Tara and Star are high-energy, and you feel instantly connected to them as they tell their story."

Carla S. Norris, another Fort Sill Army wife, agreed.

"The information about resources that are available was so vast," Norris said. "Even as a spouse who has been in the Army for 15 years, I learned about resources that I had not previously been aware of. It was wonderful to share the camaraderie with other spouses. The Field Exercises were a very enjoyable event!"

Previous "Field Exercises" have taken place at Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Campbell, Ky. The Army Wife Network will visit Fort Bliss, Texas, on June 4 and 5 for Field Exercises.

"Field Exercises will always be about getting servicemembers and families together to see the faces of individuals who also experience military culture shock and to allow networking for long-lasting, satisfying relationships on their post or in their community," Crooks said. "Without the support of sponsors like USAA, these exercises would not be possible."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 28, 2009

NAVY
Humphrey Mechanical, Inc., Jacksonville, N.C.; MechWorks Mechanical Contractors, Inc.,* Beaufort, N.C.; North State Mechanical, Inc.,* Jacksonville, N.C.; R & W Construction Co. Inc.,* Jacksonville, N.C.; T. A. Woods Company, Wilmington, N.C.; and Virtexco Corp., Norfolk, Va., are each being awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity multiple award construction contract for mechanical construction type projects at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. The total contract amount for all six contracts combined, including the base period and four option years, is $300,000,000. The work to be performed provides for mechanical construction services including demolition, repair, replacement, modification, and new installation of various mechanical systems including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, boilers, high pressure steam distribution, electrical distribution, motors, generators, potable water distribution, sanitary sewer, storm water control, communications, and incidental work such as general construction, specialty trades, and removal of asbestos or lead contaminated materials. Work will be performed in Jacksonville N.C. (75 percent) and Cherry Point, N.C. (25 percent), and work expected to be completed April 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of this fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce! Online website, with 11 proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (contract numbers N40085-09-D-5340/5341/5342/5343/5344/5345).

Bulltrack-Watts, A Joint Venture*, Marysville, Calif., is being awarded a $20,681,900 firm fixed price contract to repave runway, taxiway and aprons at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. The work to be performed provides for sawcutting and cold mill planing the existing asphalt concrete pavement of the runway, taxiway, and aprons. Also, includes restriping the runway, taxiway and aprons, including runway threshold markings and other airfield pavement markings. Work will be performed in Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii and is expected to be completed by February 2010. Funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 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 seven bids received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is the contracting activity (N62478-09-C-1486).

AIR FORCE
The Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation of Bethpage, New York for a maximum of $49,750,000. This action will provide for the Small Unmanned Aerial System Research and Evaluation program which will provide focus on the translation of promising basis and applied research into technology solutions for well-defined military needs and to affect rapid transition of small unmanned aerial system concepts and component improvements to warfighter applications. At this time, $5,000,000 has been obligated. AFRL/PKVC, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8650-09-D-3940)

The Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to multiple contractors for a maximum $48,000,000. Mark G. Miller, Inc. of Layton, Utah, SoBran, Inc. of Dayton, Ohio,, White Dot Solutions, Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah, Gauss Management Research and Engineering of Ogden, Utah, and Tybrin Corporation of Fort Walton Beach, Florida are the contractors. This action will provide engineering and related services in the development and sustainment of software engineering support for the 309th Software Maintenance Group. At this time, $5000 has been obligated. OO-ALC/PKES, Hill Air Force Base, Utah is the contracting activity. (FA 8224-09-D-0002, FA8224-09-D-0003, FA8224-09-D-004, FA8224-09-D-0005, FA8224-09-D-0006)

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee letter contract to the Utah State University Research Foundation of Logan, Utah for $48,000,000. This action will provide algorithm generation, implementation test and assessment for the Third Generation Infrared System program as well as the testing, characterization, and calibration of the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload program. At this time, $1,148,050 has been obligated. SMC/XRC of El Segundo, California is the contracting activity. (FA8814-09-D-0001)

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Lockheed Martin Corporation of Marietta, Georgia for $29,190,170. This modification will exercise an option to purchase equipment. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. ASC, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8625-06-C-6456)

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Signature Flight Support Corp., Savannah, Georgia is being awarded a maximum $19,614,659 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other location of is in Georgia. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2013. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-09-D-0125).

82nd Airborne Does Team-Building with a Few Twists

By Spc. Benjamin Watson
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2009 - How does this sound for your morning physical training session? Begin by carrying a canoe over muddy slopes in the dark, race in two-man teams through the forest to a river bank; then paddle your canoe nearly six miles down a cold and muddy river; next, put on your body armor, full rucksack and advanced combat helmet and push a tire up and down three-and-a-half miles of hills as the sun rises above the trees and out of the morning fog.

You could call it adventurous. Lt. Col. Robert J. Neitzel, chief of operations for the 82nd Airborne Division, does. He described the workout as "adventure PT," or a series of team-oriented challenges meant to work the upper body and test the overall physical fitness of his paratroopers.

On April 23, soldiers assigned to the Division's operations team found out exactly how exhausting and beneficial Neitzel's "adventure PT" could be.

"First and foremost, most people don't have a lot of experience canoeing," Neitzel, a native of Horicon, Wisc., said, "so just the simple fact of going straight down a river that's got a current and has a lot of twists to it, these guys have to talk to each other."

"Canoeing isn't something that we do on a regular basis," said Capt. Evan Hessel, battle captain with "The Team" and Portland, Ore. native, "so really for the first 30 minutes, you're really getting to know your teammate and basically getting in sync. It was not easy right off the bat."

Hessel's teammate was Staff Sgt. Kenneth J. Ciszek, a communications sergeant with "The Team."

"He's a good guy," Hessel said, "and he's from New York so he's got a little bit of experience outdoors – New York upstate, not the city."

Hessel said he hadn't been in a canoe since he was 12 years old.

"The river's a different animal, especially before the sun comes up," he said. "We ran into the bank a couple times, into a few branches, even a few trees that had fallen down. Luckily, I was not in one of the canoes that had, you might say, taken a swim. But I know a couple of the guys did just that."

One challenge few had planned for was a short, but intimidating waterfall. Teams could either try their hand at going through it, or disembark on the bank and walk their canoe around it before returning to the river.

Almost all of the teams chose to go around, taking the lost time in stride.

However, 1st Lt. Yonel Charles, a Miami native and battle captain with "The Team," and teammate, Maj. Charles D. Bovey, native of Everett, Wash., and shift director for the headquarter's Joint Operations Cell, elected to proceed right on through the falls.

To their surprise, they kept their canoe afloat. They were so surprised, in fact, they started cheering and high-fiving each other. Then their canoe flipped and they were suddenly shoulder-deep in the cold water of Fort Bragg's Little River.

But despite their spill at the waterfall, Bovey and Charles finished in second place.
Capt. Ben Salt, a native of Crantock, Cornwall, England, a captain in the British Army attached to "The Team," and his teammate, Capt. Jose. J. Hernandez, battle captain with "The Team" and native of Mayag├╝ez, Puerto Rico, finished the day's events in third place, but not before having to rally from an early last place position.

"We were second in the water," Salt said, "then we went to last and had to learn how to steer. At one point, we were about 300 meters behind everyone."

Once the teams exited the river, their positions were established. Teams did not pass each other on the long, tiresome push to the finish line.

After letting the tire fall at the end, Salt announced, "It feels like I just did one-thousand push-ups."

The team of Hessel and Ciszek came in fourth place, appearing more than happy to be done taking turns pushing their heavy, awkward tire up and down hills.

"This was definitely a team-building, cohesion event," Hessel said, referring to the persistence and communication "adventure PT" requires, "because everybody's done a ruck-run, but not everybody's done a ruck-run while pushing a tire."

Neitzel and his teammate, Capt. James G. Repshire, a battle captain on "The Team," finished first, crossing the line at almost exactly 8 a.m.

"Both of them are kind of woodsmenesque, so they've got it going on," Bovey said of Neitzel and Repshire.

As a trophy, Neitzel and Repshire – or "Team Awesome" – were given a customized ping-pong paddle with the words "The Team" written across its face with a marker.
"In everything we do, we always focus on team work," Neitzel said, wrapping up the morning with a few words for his paratroopers – nearly all of whom are deploying together very soon to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"We're more than one person or just an entity," he said as everyone stood in a huddle, sore but pleased with what they'd accomplished as a team. "If you look at what we are, we are 'The Team.' It's everybody and what they contribute."

(U.S. Army Spc. Benjamin Watson serves with 49th Public Affairs Detachment (Airborne)

Nominees Look Forward to Supporting Defense Department, Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2009 - President Barack Obama's nominees for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and General Counsel of the Department of the Army said they are looking forward to executing their new positions if confirmed. "If I am confirmed ... I look forward to continuing to work with the members of the Senate and House and their staffs to solve problems, implement legislation and provide needed information in a timely fashion," Elizabeth King, the nominee for assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, told the Senate Armed Services Committee during her nomination hearing today.

"I hope to foster a strong partnership between Congress and the Defense Department so that together we can reach the common goal of meeting the needs of the men and women in uniform who tirelessly serve our nation."

King currently serves as counsel and senior policy advisor on defense, foreign affairs and veterans for Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island.

In introducing King, Reed said she had an extraordinary grasp of the legislative issues and process. "She is also outstanding in terms of her intelligence, her integrity, her judgment, and her commitment to the men and women who serve in the military forces," King said.

Donald Remy, nominated for general counsel of the department of the Army, served in the Army and as a civil servant in both the Department of the Army and the Justice Department.

"I want to assure the committee that I am committed to working cooperatively with the judge advocate general to provide expert, timely, value-added advice to the Army secretary and the Army staff," Remy told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing this morning.

Remy said he is also dedicated to assisting the department's efforts to assure that the acquisition process for materiel and services is efficient, effective and compliant with laws and regulations.

"I am committed to making certain that the Army's transformation is accomplished consistent with the rule of law and a practical understanding of the issues affecting our all-volunteer force and their families," Remy added. "America's army is pivotal to the strength of our nation.

"In an ever-changing global dynamic, the Army continues to adapt its aim to achieve and maintain balance for the 21st century," he added. "The issues – particularly legal issues – are complex, challenging and, in some instances, unprecedented."

Remy, a cum laude graduate of Howard University Law School, is a former Army officer whose father is a retired Army master sergeant. While serving in the Army, Remy was assigned to the Pentagon where he advised senior Army officials on legal and policy issues related to major weapons acquisition systems.

When he worked for the Justice Department, Remy served as senior counsel for policy and as deputy assistant attorney general for torts and federal program branches in the civil division.