Military News

Monday, November 30, 2009

Executives Honor Soldier Working for Wounded Care

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 30, 2009 - A young Army captain wounded in Iraq and now working to improve conditions for other wounded servicemembers will be honored by the Business Executives for National Service tonight in New York. Capt. D.J. Skelton will receive a special recognition from the group during their annual black-tie Eisenhower Award dinner. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is the recipient of this year's Eisenhower Award.

Skelton, from Elk Point, S.D., was grievously wounded when he was hit in the chest by a rocket-propelled grenade in Fallujah in November 2004. Today, he works in the Office of Warrior and Family Support for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The young captain was a Chinese language specialist as an enlisted soldier, then attended West Point where he graduated in 2003. He was an infantry officer in the 5th Infantry's 1st Battalion, based at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Skelton lost his left eye and is still undergoing operations, but he works a full day and then some to ensure wounded servicemembers get the care they need.

His own experiences inform his work. "I was in Walter Reed for five months and went through a number of operations," he said during an interview. "Then, I left to go back to Fort Lewis for my review board."

His unit was still deployed and he went back to Lewis to help the rear detachment cope. Skelton had grown up rock climbing and doing all sorts of outdoor activities. He reconnected with outdoor organizations at Lewis and rehabilitated his arms and legs.

"Between May and August [2005] I had learned how to walk, learned how to jog, ran a marathon, rock-climbed, climbed Mount Rainier with one arm and did all this fun stuff, and didn't really want to hear the Army say, Thanks, but now you're broken and we don't need you anymore," he said.

Skelton stayed in the service and was assigned to Fort Greeley, Alaska, as part of the Ballistic Missile Defense project. "I was the operations officer and those people really helped me," he said. "I also did a lot of thinking about the gaps in the system that really bothered me."

The process for those wounded is incredibly complicated and has many moving parts, Skelton said. DoD, VA, Congress, local organizations all have roles to play. "I was trying to take all these real-life experiences and apply them," he said.

He started firing e-mails to department leaders. "To make a long story short, [Defense] Secretary [Donald H.] Rumsfeld contacted my boss at Fort Greeley and said tell Lieutenant Skelton to stop -- he's coming to the Pentagon," the captain said.

Skelton reported to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and advised his office on how to address the challenges posed by those severely wounded. "It put pressure on the services to provide for the needs of these people," he said. "There were a lot of growing pains."

The captain served for two years before reporting to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, Calif., as a company commander.

Then Skelton got the call to report to the chairman's office at his current job. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen has made warrior and family care his highest priority after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Admiral Mullen says our most valued weapon system isn't even a weapon system, but our people," he said.

The captain is working on the continuum of care from the battlefields to military hospitals to the Veterans Administration, and communities. "There has to be a better way to do this," he said. He believes Americans have a sea of goodwill toward servicemembers and there has to be a way to tap into it.

Skelton also is working to connect with the families of those killed.

The Business Executives for National Security chose to honor Skelton, but he is accepting the recognition for all those striving to make the system work. "This is new for us," he said. "We're inventing better and more humane ways of doing this and we need to. We owe these men and women."

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 30, 2009

NAVY
McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $386,046,463 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0086) for the procurement of 22 EA-18G Lot 33 Full Rate Production (FRP) airborne electronic attack (AEA) kits, 22 EA-18G Lot 34 FRP AEA kits, and the associated non-recurring engineering. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Md. (46.5 percent); Bethpage, N.Y. (22.7 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (13.5 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (5.5 percent); Fort Wayne, Ind. (3.7 percent); Thousand Oaks, Calif. (3.7 percent); Wallingford, Conn. (2.6 percent); Nashua, N.H. (1.1 percent); and Westminster, Colo. (.7 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 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.

Advanced Technology Construction Corporation*, Renton, Wash. (N44255-10-D-5003); LCC-CJW Joint Venture*, Homedale, Idaho (N44255-10-D-5004); San Juan Construction, Inc.*, Montrose, Colo. (N44255-10-D-5005); Vet Industrial, Inc.*, Bremerton, Wash. (N44255-10-D-5006); Veterans Northwest Construction LLC*, Seattle, Wash. (N44255-10-D-5007); and Washington Patriot Construction LLC*, Gig Harbor, Wash. (N44255-10-D-5008), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-build construction contract for construction projects located primarily within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest area of responsibility. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all six contracts combined is $200,000,000. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, new construction, renovation, alteration, demolition and repair work by design-build or by design-bid-build of commercial and institutional facilities, administrative and industrial facilities, housing facilities, child care centers, lodges, recreational/fitness centers, retail complexes, warehouses, offices, community centers, medical facilities, operational airfield facilities, hangars, armories, fire stations, auditoriums, religious facilities and manufacturing facilities. Veterans Northwest Construction is being awarded task order 0001 at $9,175,000 for the design and construction of a new child development center at Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, Wash. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by June 2011. All work on this contract will be performed primarily within the NAVFAC Northwest AOR which includes Wash. (92 percent), Ore. (2 percent), Alaska (2 percent), Idaho (1 percent), Mont. (1 percent), and Wyo. (1 percent). Work may also be performed in the remainder of the U.S. (1 percent). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of Nov. 2014. Contract funds for task order 0001 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 15 proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded a $61,038,188 fixed-price delivery order #0059 under previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-06-D-5028). This delivery order is issued against exercised priced options for the purchase of 155 logistic vehicle system replacement production cargo vehicles. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work for this delivery order is expected to be completed by Dec. 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., is being awarded a $54,206,356 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-C-2052) to purchase 24 Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan (10 Capability Set (CapSet) III's, 10 CapSet IV's and 4 CapSet II's) Combat Operations Center replacement systems, additional generators, trainers, and engineers. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

L-3 Communications Corp., Arlington, Texas, is being awarded a $52,282,576 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-07-D-0100) to exercise an option for aircraft depot repairs and aircraft engine depot repairs, consumables and line replaceable unit supply support for the Navy C-9 aircraft. Work will be performed in Everett, Wash. (35 percent); Oklahoma City, Okla. (25 percent); Oceana, Va., (10 percent); Willow Grove, Pa. (10 percent); Whidbey Island, Wash. (10 percent); and Cherry Point, N.C. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

American Securities Programs, Inc.*, Dulles, Va., is being awarded a $25,298,393 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N69450-07-D-1261) to exercise option 3 for regional security services at Commander Naval Region Southeast, Jacksonville; Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, entry control point (ECP) services such as identification checks, fixed vehicle inspections, commercial vehicle inspections, and emergency ECP closures; and roving guard services. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $85,337,789. Work will be performed in the Southeast region at the following installations: Naval Support Activity Orlando, Orlando, Fla.; Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Gulfport, Miss.; Naval Air Station Meridian, Meridian, Miss.; Naval Weapons Station Charleston, Charleston, S.C.; Naval Support Activity Athens, Athens, Ga.; Naval Support Activity Panama City, Panama City, Fla.; Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Fla.; Naval Air Station Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas; and Naval Hospital Charleston, Charleston, S.C. The work is expected to be completed by Nov. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $22,620,960 firm-fixed-price contract to provide maintenance services in support of the MV-22 and CV-22 AE1107C engines. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $21,330,144 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($12,384,221; 54.7 percent) and the U.S. Air Force ($10,236,739; 45.3 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0020).

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $19,078,537 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0008) for AIM-9X Sidewinder (Block II) missile obsolescence and engineering technical support for the Navy and Air Force. Efforts to be provided include missile obsolescence tasks, engineering technical support and software development. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (90 percent); Eglin, Fla. (5 percent); and China Lake, Calif.(5 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force ($11,404,293; 59.8 percent) and the U.S. Navy ($7,674,244; 40.2 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

BREMCOR (a joint venture), Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $16,562,810 modification under a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N62470-06-D-4611) to exercise Option 3 for base operation support services at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. The work to be performed under the option provides for, but is not limited to, scheduled maintenance of base facilities, environmental, transportation and fire alarm systems. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $62,205,141. Work will be performed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and this option period is expected to be completed by Nov. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded a $15,751,790 fixed-price delivery order #0058 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-06-D-5028). This delivery order is issued against exercised priced options for the purchase of 40 logistic vehicle system replacement production cargo vehicles. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work for this delivery order is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Virtexco Corporation, Norfolk, Va. 23502, is being awarded $13,864,000 for firm-fixed price task order #0004 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40085-09-D-5033) for modernization of a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning plant at Naval Support Activity Norfolk. The work to be performed provides for renovations and upgrades to the existing building systems in Building SC-1 and provides new distribution piping from the chilled water plant and hot water plant to Buildings SC-4 and SC-400. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2012. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Eight proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Corporate Electronics Systems, Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded an $11,987,051 ceiling priced definite-delivery contract for procurement of component parts for support of repair of Department of Navy large aircraft cnfrared counter measure systems, AN/AAQ-24 (V) 25 supporting H-46 and H-53 helicopters. Work will be in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and work is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPAPA-09-G-004Z-GB01).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $9,370,636 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-04-C-0014) to incorporate engineering change proposals 6251 and 6251R1 to convert 22 Lot 33 F/A-18F aircraft to E/A-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo. (62 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (36 percent); and Mesa, Ariz. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 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.

Mohr & Associates, Richland, Wash., is being awarded a $7,422,650 firm-fixed-price requirements contract for the manufacture of time domain reflectometer cable testers to support the general purpose electronic test equipment weapons system. Work will be performed in Richland, Wash., and work is expected to be completed by November 2014. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was awarded procured, with 12 proposals solicited and two offers received. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00104-10-D-D001).

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $6,764,358 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5203) for the fabrication, assembly, and testing of AN/USG-3B Airborne Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Systems. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information such that the superset of this data is available to all participating CEC units. CEC improves battle force effectiveness by improving overall situational awareness and by enabling longer range, cooperative, multiple, or layered engagement strategies. The AN/USG-3B Airborne systems will be deployed on E2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work will be performed in Largo, Fla. (80 percent); St. Petersburg, Fla. (19 percent), and Dallas, Texas (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamic Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded $5,979,191 for task order #0041 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-02-A-9014) to provide on-going programmatic, technical, managerial, and logistics support for PG-11, Marine Air Ground Task Force Command and Control (MAGTF C2) Weapons and Sensors Development and Integration (MC2I) Program Manager Radar Systems principal programs and emerging requirements. Efforts associated with the currently fielded systems. AN/TPS-59, AN/TPQ-46 Firefinder, AN/TPQ-48 Light-weight Counter Mortar Radar, Radar Environmental Simulator (RES) I and II and the AN/UPX-37, will focus on product improvement, sustainment and assessments of solutions mitigating obsolescence issues. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and work is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Allied Tube and Conduit, Harvey, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $11,100,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for barbed tape, concertina wire. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is November 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM8E6-10-D-0001).

Hutchinson Industries, Inc., Trenton, N.J. is being awarded a maximum $10,788,655 firm fixed price, sole source contract for pneumatic tire, wheels. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is November 15, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Warren (DSCC-ZG), Warren, Mich. (SPRDL1-10-C-0027).

Golden Manufacturing Company, Inc., Golden, Miss.* is being awarded a maximum $8,133,585 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set aside contract for navy task force working/utility uniforms. Other locations of performance include Marietta and Taylorsville, Mississippi. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was Web solicited with 17 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option year period. The date of performance completion is December 3, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM1C1-08-D-1030).

Armorworks Enterprises, LLC., Chandler, Ariz.,* is being awarded a maximum $21,636,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery, partial set aside contract for enhanced small arms protective inserts. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There are no other locations of performance. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising second option year period. The date of performance completion is November 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM1C1-08-D-1023).

BAE Systems Aerospace & Defense Group Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., is being awarded a maximum $20,340,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery partial set aside contract for enhanced small arms protective inserts. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There are no other locations of performance. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising second option year period. The date of performance completion is November 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM1C1-08-D-1024).

Cobra Systems, Inc., Bloomington, N.Y.,* is being awarded a maximum $12,172,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for concertina wire. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There are no other locations of performance. There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is November 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM8E6-10-D-0002)

Employee Aids Leukemia Patient

By Karl Weisel
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 30, 2009 - For 102nd Signal Battalion telephone technician Alexander Weber-Fetscher, June 22, 2007, will be remembered as the day he welcomed a new life into the world and helped to save another. That's the day his son was born and also the day he learned he was an ideal match as a stem cell blood donor for a young leukemia patient.

"The same day as my son was born there was a letter at my house," Weber-Fetscher recalled, explaining he had registered with the German Bone Marrow Donor bank in Koblenz in 1994 after seeing a German television program seeking a donor for a 4-year-old boy.

While he wasn't a match for the 4-year-old, he did come up as a match for another patient five years ago. "But they didn't take me," Weber-Fetscher said, explaining that the series of blood tests matches an initial four blood markers, and if successful, doctors take more blood and try to match an additional six markers of the donor with the patient in need of a transfusion.

Weber-Fetscher, who lives in the town of Spall near Bad Kreuznach, has worked for the U.S. Army since 1999. Initially he worked with the 410th Base Support Battalion before joining the 102nd Signal Battalion. He shifted to Baumholder when the Bad Kreuznach military community closed.

When notified he was a match for a young German girl in 2007, Weber-Fetscher was sent a package that he took to his doctor for another blood test. He then was invited to visit the Red Cross office in Frankfurt, where he was examined to ensure he was healthy enough for the donation.

In preparation, Weber-Fetscher had to administer four injections a day for five days to stimulate the growth of more stem cells in his blood. The cells were then filtered out of his blood during the donation process.

The story could have ended there, because donors are not allowed to have information about or contact with the recipient for two years. But after two years of recovery, Kristina, the grateful mother of Maike Siemer, now a 16-year-old still living in the northern German town of Lähnden, wrote to the organization where Weber-Fetscher was registered. After email correspondence between Weber-Fetscher and Kristina, it was arranged that he and his family would travel to Niedersachsen in Lower Saxony to surprise the girl.

"It was emotional, indescribable, beautiful," Weber-Fetscher said, in describing the wave of emotions felt by both him and the Siemer family during the get-together. After years of struggling with the disease, Maike made rapid strides following the stem cell donation.

"She said, 'Oh my God.' She was overwhelmed," Weber-Fetscher said in recalling Maike's reaction to meeting him.

In gratitude, Kristina later contacted a German TV show that features lifesaving stories. Weber-Fetscher agreed to participate in a re-enactment sequence for the program.

Weber-Fetscher's colleague, Aizaz Husain, saw the program, "Visite," on North German television.

"It was great, what he did," Hussain said of Weber-Fetscher's unselfish efforts in helping to save a young girl's life.

While bone marrow donations have the reputation of being a sometimes painful process, Weber-Fetscher said modern techniques have improved the process and, in his case, it was relatively painless because he donated stem-cell enriched blood, rather than marrow from his spinal column.

(Karl Weisel works in the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden public affairs office.)

Liquid Wound Dressing to Improve Battlefield Care

By Barb Ruppert TATRC Science and Technology Writer

Researchers are developing a new, spray-able liquid wound dressing technology that an injured warrior could apply one handed in a combat setting. The spray forms a tough hydrogel in seconds that conforms directly to the wound without sticking to it when removed. The GelSpray Liquid Bandage was approved by the U.S. FDA for minor cuts and irritations in 2008, and its developers are preparing for a human clinical study required to extend the technology to battlefield care. The team is also working on variations that include medications to treat infection, speed healing and relieve pain.

“Because GelSpray conforms to the wound bed while in direct contact with the wound margins, it offers significant clinical advantages,” said investigator Dr. Joachim Kohn of Rutgers University. “The thick, protective film limits bleeding, absorbs wound fluids and directly transports medication to the entire wound bed. It does not significantly adhere to the wound bed -- unlike most other dressings, where there is re-bleeding or delayed healing due to removal of granulation tissue whenever the wound dressing is removed.”

The GelSpray product for the far-forward soldier is designed for lacerations, small burns and gunshot and shrapnel wounds that are often on irregular surfaces such as the hand, face, neck and outer ear. It is meant to provide flexible protection that enables the soldier to complete his or her mission.

Col. Dallas Hack, director of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program said, “This technology shows promise for quicker wound healing with less care needed. The dressing is breathable, and if it can include an antimicrobial to prevent infection, then we may not need to damage tissue further through debridement [removing dead or contaminated tissue].”

Kohn is the principal investigator of the Center for Military Biomaterials Research, a network of academic, industry and military organizations whose mission is to support wounded warriors on and off the battlefield with practical, leading edge innovations. He said, “CeMBR partnered with BioCure, Inc., to develop the GelSpray technology. Under the leadership of BioCure co-investigator Sameer Shums, we have made significant progress.”

CeMBR research programs are supported and guided by USAMRMC’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC). “Feedback provided by TATRC’s national expert review panels has guided our product design efforts,” said Kohn. “TATRC and our program manager there, Wilbur Malloy, have provided us unwavering support.”

“Our goal is to address the most critical needs of injured warriors for improved wound dressings. There is no other product that provides all these benefits and is specifically designed to meet military requirements.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 25, 2009

ARMY
General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009 a $322,111,129 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide initial outfitting and transition services to support one new military medical facility, and the new additions and newly renovated spaces at one military facility in the National Capitol Region. Work is to be performed in Washington D.C. (10 percent); Bethesda, Md. (50 percent); and Fort Belvoir, Va. (40 percent); with an estimated completion date of Nov. 29, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with five bids received. U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Md., is the contracting activity (W81XWH-10-C-0025).

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Nov. 20, 2009 a $42,555,068 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to fund Stryker modernization program which will bring the program to Milestone B/preliminary design review. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich. (81 percent); and London, Ontario, and Canada (19 percent); with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2011. One bid solicited with one bid received. TACOM LCMC Stryker, Warren, Mich., was the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

BAE Systems, Nashua, N.H., was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009 a $41,982,576 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of 1,203 each of laser target locator modules. Work is to be performed in Nashua, N.H., with an estimated completion date of May 14, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development & Engineering Command, Acquisition Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-09-D-0029).

Alliant Tech Systems, Plymouth, Minn., Textron Defense Systems, Wilmington, Mass., were awarded on Nov. 20, 2009 a $41,074,271 cost plus incentive fee contract for the procurement of the 70 Spider XM-7 networked munitions. Work is to be completed in Pymouth, Minn. (30 percent); Wilmington, Mass. (53 percent); and Rocket Center, W.V., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2012. One bid solicited with one bid received. Army Contracting Command JM&L Contracting Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15QKN-06-C-0154).

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., Inc., Oak Brook, Ill., was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009 a $20,143,303 firm-fixed-price contract for the beach re-nourishment for Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Ocean Isle Beach and maintenance dredging of Masonboro Intel and Sand Bypassing, Brunswick County, N. C. Work is to be performed in Brunswick County, N.C., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, Wilmington, N.C., is the contracting activity (W912HN-10-C-0005).

Kongsberg Defense, Konsberg, Norway, was awarded on Nov. 20, 2009 a $15,094,837 firm-fixed-price contract for a minimum 1,000 common remotely operated weapon station systems with a maximum of 6,500, also to include the acquisition of spare parts, dept operations as well as field service representatives, Work is to be performed in Johnstown, Pa., completion date of Aug. 1, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide with three bids received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Joint Munitions & Lethality Contracting Center Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15QKN-07-D-0018).

AECOM Government Services Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded on Nov. 24, 2009 a $20,126,971 sole source, cost plus fixed fee contract for the Iraqi asset management program services providing automated maintenance and logistics support for maintenance, training, supply automation, and management reporting tools to the Iraq Security Forces in the Iraq theater of operations. This is a six month bridge contract while a new long term contract is being competed. Work is to be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-C-0007).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadow, Ill., was awarded on Nov. 20, 2009 a $12,556,000 firm-fixed-price contract to purchase the next generation automatic test system. Work is to be performed in Rolling Meadows, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 28, 2011. One sole source bid was solicited with one bid received. Joint Munitions & Lethality Contracting Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., was the contracting activity (W15QKN-10-C-0040).

Phylway Construction, LLC., Thibodaux, La., was awarded on Nov. 24, 2009 a $12,191,374 firm-fixed-price-construction contract for Lake Ponchatrain and Vicinity, La., project, North of airline highway, St. Charles Parish, Levee - Reach 2B from Good Hope to Cross Bayou-Phase 2. Work is to be performed in St. Charles Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 17, 2011. Bids were solicited and restricted to multiple award task order contract pool with five bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-09-D-0046).

Urban Associates, Inc., El Paso, Texas, was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009 a $11,012,029 firm-fixed-price contract. This construction project is entitled, F-22A Low Observance/ Composite Repair Facility, Building 898 at Holloman Air Force Base, Otero County, N.M. This project will place paint booths on an existing F-22 hanger at Holloman Air Force Base. Work is to be performed at Holloman Air Force Base, Otero County, N.M., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2011. Thirty five bids solicited with 16 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District-CESPA-CT, Albuquerque, N.M., is the contracting activity (W912PP-10-C-0004).

AIR FORCE
Raytheon Technical Services Co., of Reston, Va., was awarded $93,186,713 contract which will provide for program management, operations, organizational and depot-level maintenance, logistics, sustainment engineering of all radar and support instrumentation, and the software maintenance management facility, to ensure successful mission accomplishment of the mobile radar sensors. At this time no money has been obligated. AF ISR Agency/A7KA of San Antonio, Texas is the contracting activity (FA7037-10-D-0001).

Kilgore Flares Co., of Toone, Tenn., was awarded a $54,996,692 contract which provides for procurement of infrared flare countermeasures. At this time, $24,075,876 has been obligated. 784 CBSG/PK, Hill Air Force Base, Utah is the contracting activit (FA8213-10-D-0012).

General Electric Aviation of Cincinnati, Ohio was awarded a $44,238,381 contract which provides for newly redesigned high pressure compressor and high pressure turbine assemblies, newly redesigned aging engine upgrade components, initial provisioning spares, and new technical data to support the service life extension plan and aging engine upgrade initiatives applicable to the engines used on the F-16 aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8104-05-C-0053, P00017).

Composite Engineering Incorporated was awarded a $37,551,848 contract which procures additional subscale aerial targets. At this time, $37,551,848 has been obligated. 691 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8678-10-C0051).

Lockheed Martin Corp., of Marietta, Ga., was awarded a $30,410, 132 contract which will provide for the C-5 avionics modernization program Lot VIII procurement of components for one lot of readiness spares package, one lot of peacetime operating spares, one lot of C-5 aircrew training device kit components and one lot of C-5 avionics modernization program kit components. At this time the entire amount has been obligated. 716 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (F33657-98-C-0006, P00226).

L-3 Communications Corp., of Arlington, Texas was awarded a $21,578,453 contract which will provide the Royal Moroccan Air Force two F-16 block 52 aircrew training devices and associated support. At this time the entire amount has been obligated. 677 AESG/SYK, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8621-10-C-6251).

L-3 Communications of Arlington, Texas was awarded a $20,967,607 contract which will provide a fully immersive block 40/50 F-16 Mission Training Center. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 677 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8621-09-C-6292, P00015).

Accenture National Security Services of King of Prussia, Pa., was awarded a $19,294,440 contract which will provide for the Air Force modeling and simulation training tool kit used to train the Joint Forces Commander, Joint Force Air component commander and their battle staff in multiple federation environments. At this time, $536,372 has been obligated. 653 ESW/CONS, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts is the contracting activity. (FA8731-06-C-001, P00031)

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., of Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded a $11,500,000 contract which will provide for a reaction wheel shop set that uses new hybrid wheel bearings. At this time, $10,278,943 has been obligated. SMC/MCSW/PKA of El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-02-C-0002, P00400).

NAVY
Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded an $84,400,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5346) to exercise an option for FY10 class services engineering efforts to facilitize for testing mission systems equipment, produce test documentation, conduct component and design level verification tests and maintain related design and test class documentation for the DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer program. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I. (38.5 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (19.3 percent); Marlborough, Mass. (16.6 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (12.6 percent); Tewksbury, Mass. (5.5 percent); Minneapolis, Minn. (3.5 percent); San Diego, Calif. (2.2 percent); and Towson, Md. (1.8 percent); and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded a $46,627,723 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5346) to exercise an option for class services engineering to support design assurance, develop verification plans and conduct verifications for the DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class destroyer program. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, Mass. (28.3 percent); Portsmouth, R.I. (27.1 percent); Falls Church, Va. (12.8 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (11.9 percent); Minneapolis, Minn. (7.4 percent); Washington, D.C. (6.9 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (3.7 percent); San Diego, Calif. (1.1 percent); and Marlborough, Mass. (0.8 percent); and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Valley Apparel, LLC, Knoxville, Tenn.*, is being awarded a maximum $15,395,000 firm fixed price, total set aside contract for universal camouflage pattern parkas. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. The original proposal was Web solicited with five responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Mar. 24, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-10-D-1013).

Bethel Industries, Inc., Jersey City, N.J.*, is being awarded a maximum $13,740,816 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, total set aside contract for navy task force working/utility uniforms. Other locations of performance include New Jersey and Mississippi. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was Web solicited with 15 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising second option year period. The date of performance completion is Nov. 29, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-08-D-1028).

Altec Industries, Inc., Birmingham, Ala., is being awarded a maximum $5,658,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for 30 ton telescopic truck cranes. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. There were originally seven proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 3, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-04-D-0090-0099).

'First-strike Ration' Aims for Better Nutrition

By Christen N. McCluney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 25, 2009 - Several military organizations are working together to provide soldiers with healthy, good-tasting, sustainable and nutritionally sound combat rations. "We're charged with a fairly awesome task, and that is to fuel the Defense Department's most flexible and adaptable weapons platform, and that of course is the individual warfighter," said Gerry Darsch, director of the Defense Department's Combat Feeding Program at the Massachusetts-based Natick Soldier Systems Center during a Nov. 23 interview on the Pentagon Channel podcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military.

Darsch was joined by Andy Young, chief of the Military Nutrition Division at the U.S. Army Institute of Environmental Medicine.

Because many military personnel have jobs similar to those in the civilian sector, their nutritional requirements aren't going to be very much different from those of their civilian counterparts, Young said, but some servicemembers in operational specialties do require more fuel and energy then most civilians. Achieving their nutritional requirements while working in the field can be especially difficult, he added.

The MRE -- shorthand for its designation in the supply system as Meal, Ready-to-Eat -- is the standard military ration. Each meal provides one-third of the military-recommended dietary allowance and must meet a variety of requirements, including long shelf life, tolerance of changes in temperature and stability in varying conditions, Darsch said.

"We do have a business philosophy here, and that is, 'Warfighter recommended, warfighter tested, and warfighter approved,'" he said. "And that is driving our continuous product-improvement program."

One of the latest developments that has come out of this program is known as the first-strike ration, or FSR. Before its introduction, servicemembers who were outside of a forward operating base for two to seven days were given MREs to travel with. Because of space limitations, soldiers would field-strip the meal and throw away more than half of the food, including a large portion of nutrients.

"The first-strike ration, in essence, is issued at one per warfighter per day, instead of two or three MREs," Young said. It reduces the weight and volume of the MRE by 50 percent, and also is more cost-efficient.

"The first-strike ration provides all the components that can be easily eaten on the move," Young said. "And we now can regain control, if you will, of nutrition and make sure that those warfighters are getting the nutrients that they so desperately need to maintain [or] enhance both cognitive and physical performance."

Working with the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, the group convened a panel of nutrition experts from all over the world, many of whom had served in the military, and challenged them to get the best nutrition possible into a limited amount of space.

"After that, it was simply a matter of testing the actual performance improvements and capabilities of the ration in human subjects in the field conditions that would be used," Young said.

Focus groups and surveys revealed what products were being left behind, and from there, a list was put together of items that servicemembers wanted.

Packaging was one of the main issues, Darsch said. When the design of an electrolyte drink was changed into an hourglass-shaped package with a feature that allowed water to be added directly from a canteen or CamelBak, the consumption rate went from 33 percent to more than 70 percent.

The addition of a shelf-stable, pocket-style sandwich was another request from soldiers. Because microwave ovens and frozen food items aren't available in the field, the combat feeding team's technologists used "hurdle technology," a packaging process that balances water, atmosphere and acidity in the package, creating hurdles to bacterial growth and keeping the products shelf-stable.

The groups did field tests with the U.S. Forest Service, testing the rations on forest firefighters who have similar metabolic and work demands as infantry soldiers on the ground, Young said. They later tested the rations at Fort Benning, Ga., on the 75th Ranger Regiment's Pre-Ranger Course and with the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va.

The next goal, Darsch said, is to expand the first-strike rations menu from three to nine meals and to go into the field and allow warfighters an opportunity to rate the new menus.

"The most important thing about the first-strike in particular, and nutrition in general, for the warrior in the field is, it's not nutrition unless it's eaten," he said. "So it doesn't do you any good to take the package; you've got to actually eat it. And that's why the first-strike is such an important step forward for the particular audience it was targeted at -- that it actually improves consumption, and that, in turn, improves the nutrition."

(Christen N. McCluney works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Guard Wife Spreads Thanksgiving Spirit

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 25, 2009 - Amanda Bailey has a lot to thankful for this Thanksgiving, with her husband, Army Spc. Christopher Bailey home from Iraq for rest and relaxation leave. And as head of his National Guard unit's family readiness group, she's helped to galvanize a communitywide show of appreciation for families of its deployed troops. Bailey, a military policeman with the Alabama Army National Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 203rd Military Police Battalion, returned home to Ardmore, Ala., earlier this week for 15 days of R&R.

"It's fantastic," Amanda said of the timing, five months into her husband's first deployment since joining the Guard six years ago. The Baileys and their three children will enjoy two Thanksgiving feasts this year: one today with Specialist Bailey's family, and another on Thanksgiving Day with Amanda's family.

Meanwhile, the detachment's family readiness group has been hard at work, ensuring every unit family whose loved one is deployed has a memorable Thanksgiving, as well.

With its families spread throughout Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, getting together to celebrate as a group wasn't a viable option, Amanda said. So the family readiness group initiated the next best thing, sponsoring fundraising events and gathering donations from the local community and corporations.

As a result, 53 Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment families received gift certificates for a Thanksgiving turkey or ham. Already looking ahead to Christmas, Amanda said she expects an even bigger outpouring of support for the families of all 85 deployed soldiers.

"The response from the community has been really amazing," she said. "People out there all want to help and show their support." One donor made a $500 contribution and wants to begin offering monthly assistance to some of the needier families, she said.

Bailey, still fighting jet lag from his flight home from Iraq, said he's passed word of the family readiness group's activities to his unit members. "It's a great feeling to know that people are doing these little extra things," he said. "It means a lot."

In addition to gift certificates, Amanda signed each of the 85 families up to receive free copies of a children's Thanksgiving activity book through Operation Thanksgiving Eagle.

The program, sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army and underwritten by BAE Systems and Raytheon, provided 500 copies of "It's a Family Thanksgiving! A Celebration of an American Tradition for Children and Their Families" to military children stateside and overseas.

The book, written by Deborah Fink, introduces young readers and their families to the history, foods and traditions associated with Thanksgiving, while recognizing families separated during the holiday because of deployments.

"We at AUSA believe that projects such as this are important ways to draw Army families together and celebrate our history," said John Grady, AUSA's public affairs director.

VA Initiative Aims to Improve Veteran Health Care

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 25, 2009 - Officials with the nation's two largest electronic medical records systems announced a pilot program today designed to further enhance health-care services for military veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Kaiser Permanente plan to exchange their records information using the Nationwide Health Information Network, which was developed by the Health and Human Services Department last year. The initiative is scheduled to begin next month, VA officials said.

The network allows government and several private health care providers to share integrated delivery networks, pharmacies, labs and patient information.

"The ability to share critical health information is essential to interoperability," VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in a written statement issued today. "Utilizing the NHIN's standards and network will allow organizations like VA and the Department of Defense to partner with private-sector health care providers to promote better, faster and safer care for veterans."

VA and Kaiser Permanente plan to invite veterans in San Diego this week who receive health care from both organizations to participate in the pilot program, VA officials said, noting that patients must formally consent to their information being shared among different organizations.

"Veterans who respond and ask to participate will enable their public- and private-sector health care providers and doctors to share specific health information electronically, safely, securely and privately," the VA statement said.

The NHIN network also works to cut health care costs for patients and providers through reducing redundancy in medical services.

"Securely digitizing American's health-care information is only the first step in realizing the cost savings and improved quality benefits possible with health-care technology," said Dr. Andrew M. Wiesenthal, associate executive director of The Permanente Federation, in the VA statement.

"The reality is that most people receive care from multiple providers," Wiesenthal said. "Without the ability for caregivers and patients to have access to their data, all of the time, there is the possibility for wasted time and resources duplicating tests and procedures."

The Defense Department will be included in the second phase of the pilot program early next year, officials said.

Joint Program Aims to Reduce Firefighter Injuries

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 25, 2009 - Firefighting may be near the top of the Defense Department's list of high-risk occupations, but there's a move afoot to make it safer. Defense Department firefighter injury reports -- more than 1,000 new incidents each year -- have cost the department nearly $30 million a year.

When the Defense Safety Oversight Council realized more than a year ago that Firefighter injury-related lost time rates were higher than any other civilian occupation within the department, it sought help in turning the situation around.

Enter the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Service Working Group.

"[The Defense Safety Oversight ] wanted us to look into what was causing the injuries to see if we could come up with suggestions on reducing the injury rates and the lost work days," said Carl Glover, the director of the Navy Fire and Emergency Service for Navy Installations Command. "[The working group] thought that the awareness training would be an opportunity to ... spread the work on the problem and create some awareness and potentially reduce the [accident rates]."

Glover served as chairman of the working group. He no longer holds that position, but continues to be engaged in the project.

The Firefighter Injury Prevention Training project started with a 26-month analysis of firefighter injuries within the Navy, he said. Of all the injuries reported, 41 percent were classified as "falls, slip, trip, or bodily exertion." Of those cases, 40 percent, or 75 incidents, were directly related to the firefighter entering or exiting the fire apparatus and lifting patients.

Comparing Navy incidents with those of other department components showed similar types of injures. "We operate under the same instruction and same methodology," Glover explained.

The resulting effort to lower the rate of injury is an eight-lesson, Web-based training program. The multimedia program uses text, audio, video, photographs and graphics to demonstrate proper techniques for the actions determined to lead to falls, slips, trips, and exertion injuries.

Video for the course which was shot at Bolling Air Force Base in the nation's capital, and features participants from Defense Logistics Agency, the Air Force, Army and Marines. The Navy has been using it for about a year, Glover said. Funded by the Defense Safety Oversight , the course also has been provided to the other services.

Though it's being used and is creating awareness of the issues in question, it's too soon to tell if it's actually been effective in lowering incident rates, Glover said.

"We've had some internal Navy feedback that it's well-received," he said. "We just don't know if it's achieving its desired result yet. I don't have any statistical numbers to [prove] that our number of injuries have reduced."

The plan is to evaluate the program's success once it's yielded enough data to study.

"If it's successful, maybe we approach DSOC for a Part Two, but tackle a different specific type of injury," Glover said. "Or, if it's not successful, then we'll go back to DSOC and say, 'Is there some other option we can look [at] ... to see if there's some other program we could implement to reduce the injuries.'"

The Navy intends to make the course mandatory for all new firefighters and an annual requirement for all firefighters.

And though it was created for Defense Department civilian, military and contracted firefighters, the program could easily be of value to any firefighter, Glover said.

Respite Child Care Expands to All 50 States

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 25, 2009 - It's a few hours a month, but the break the Armed Services YMCA Respite Child Care program provides parents with a deployed spouse always is welcome. And since the program's Oct. 1 nationwide expansion, many more parents will benefit. The Armed Services YMCA, as part of a Defense Department contract, provides health and wellness opportunities, including the Respite Child Care program, for reserve-component servicemembers and their families across the country through their local YMCAs.
This means deploying Guardsmen and reservists and their families are eligible for a full YMCA membership for three months before deployment, the 12 months of deployment, and three months after, said Mike Landers, deputy national director of the Armed Services YMCA.

"This entire health and wellness contract was designed for them because they don't have the infrastructure that the active-duty families that live near major military installations have," Landers said. "So the YMCAs, the Pentagon thought, would be a great place for them to be able to connect with other Guard and reserve families who have their same circumstance."

The Respite Child Care program, part of that contract, provides up to 16 hours of child care for families of deployed Guard and reserve personnel. It's meant to be a "short break" for the parent or guardian responsible the child's care, Landers said, and not a substitute for full-time or daily care.

"The respite care was designed to be an opportunity for the mom, whose husband is deployed, or the [dad] whose wife is deployed, to be able to drop their kids off to just have a little peace and quiet, to go to the commissary, to go shopping, to do whatever they need to do," Landers said.

During the first year, however, only the families in 10 pilot states were able to take advantage of the program, which must be offered through state licensed and certified programs and is free to parents. More than 220 children were served. Since Oct. 1, when the program expanded to all 50 states, another 200 children have taken advantage of the program.

"We saw a pretty significant uptick in the demand during the month of October," he said. "There are hundreds and hundreds of YMCAs that are now signed up to do this. I think we'll see a big uptick for the remainder of the year."

Armed Services YMCA officials said they would like to see those using the program establish a monthly routine. This, they explained, makes it easier for the participating YMCAs, since most don't have much excess capacity in their child care programs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vice President Opens Home to Recovering Troops

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 24, 2009 - As Army Sgt. First Class John Wright lay in a hospital room after being wounded in Afghanistan this summer, he probably didn't envision himself feeling especially thankful a few months later. While on a dismounted patrol in Kandahar province in July, Wright led his platoon through a dangerous area where he thought a weapons cache was hidden. As he walked in the direction where he thought the stockpile was located, his foot triggered an improvised explosive device.

"I don't remember the blast or the pressure or the heat from the explosion," he said. "I just remember waking up afterwards and realizing that my leg was missing."

Last night, Wright and other wounded warriors recovering at local Fisher Houses and their families joined Vice President Joe Biden and the vice president's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, at their residence here for a family-style Thanksgiving meal.

"I think it was a wonderful thing that the vice president and his wife did to open their home to soldiers and wounded warriors," Wright said today in an interview. "The hospitality was amazing, the conversation was great. I sat right next to Dr. Biden for part of the meal, and the other part of the meal, the vice president sat down with me. The conversation was common folk conversation. It was Anywhere, USA."

Though Wright is now fitted with a prosthetic leg that allows him to walk, he needs a wheelchair until he's able to build his endurance to remain mobile for long periods of time. "Within 3 to 4 months, I should be able to ditch the wheelchair and be able to walk," he said optimistically.

Speaking to Wright and about 35 other wounded warriors, military families and other guests, Biden recalled that the vice presidential home through the years has hosted presidents, heads of state and famous world leaders.

"But I can say without fear of contradiction, never before has this place been accorded such honor as with your presence here today, and I mean that sincerely," he said. "You possess more courage, dignity and a sense of patriotism than any other group of Americans."

The Bidens, whose son Beau served in Iraq as a captain in the Delaware National Guard, felt the sacrifice a family experiences when their loved one is deployed over the holidays.

"Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and this year I feel especially thankful that we have our son Beau home with us, because like Joe said, we're a military family," she said. "I'm a military mom, and I remember what it was like on Thanksgiving for our whole family. We pretended like everything was OK, but our hearts felt heavy. I know how many of you feel or many of you have felt."

Dr. Biden, who has reached out to military families across the country since her husband joined the campaign trail, said she tries to impart a message to Americans.

"One thing I've tried to do is to say to American families, 'Reach out to a military family in your community,'" she said. "It doesn't matter what you're doing. Take them cookies. Put a wreath on the door. Stuff a stocking. Take some books over for their children. Whatever it is, reach out to a military family and say, 'Thank you.'"

As Wright continues his physical recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here, he also has embarked on another form of recuperation: learning to be comfortable with his place in society.

"When I got hurt, I kind of wanted to stay within myself and draw away from the public eye because of my injuries," he said. "I was kind of self-conscious about my scars. I didn't really want to interact with anybody, except my wife and my family."

But the more he interacted with the world outside his family, he said, the more his sense of normalcy began to return. A family-style dinner like last night's, he added, is a welcome shift of focus away from his injuries.

"You tend to focus on other activities such as the football game last night or the upcoming holiday season -- other than just, 'Oh, I got hurt, and now I've got this godawful scar, and now I have this leg,'" he said. "So it's very helpful. The social interaction really helps the psyche.

"It's a shame that more people did not accept the invitation because I wouldn't have missed it for the world," he continued. "It was the chance to meet the vice president and his wife, and just come to find out that they're normal Americans that like to open their home to wounded warriors."

Secretary Issues Holiday Season Message

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 24, 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today issued a holiday season message giving thanks to the military men and women who put their lives on the line every day. "This time of year calls on Americans to reflect on and give thanks for the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy. Of course, we can only do so because of those who put their lives on the line every day: the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who bear repeated deployments, hardships, and danger – without fail and without complaint.

"Many have made the ultimate sacrifice. Our nation will always honor their memory. For the loved ones of the fallen, I offer my deepest sympathies and prayers for your loss. And, in the wake of the shootings at Fort Hood, know that I am committed to ensuring that our home bases are safe and secure.

"I know the holiday season can be especially difficult for service members and their families, who may be separated from each other by thousands of miles. To the families of our men and women in uniform: know that the American people are indebted to you for the sacrifices of your husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters.

"This will be my third holiday season spent as Secretary of Defense. During these years nothing has impressed me as much as the determination, resilience and good humor of those who defend our nation. This holiday season, along with "Happy Thanksgiving," "Happy Hanukkah," and "Merry Christmas," I would add two words on behalf of millions of your countrymen: "Thank you."

HONORING THOSE THAT STAND ON THE WALLS

Nandell Palmer hosted a recent event honoring unsung heroes. We honored men and women that raise families, nurture churches and encourage others. The program included song, dance, oratory and a feast that Nandell and his family prepared and served themselves!

We are talking to Federal Way about such an event to honor law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical providers and other emergency personnel. The event should call attention to the need for the whole community to prepare for emergencies.

We are asking everyone in and around Federal Way to think about how we can honor our First Responders. Surrounding communities contain agencies such as South King Fire and Rescue that work in and around Federal Way so we may have to reach out and consider personnel from the surrounding area.

We also need to honor men and women like a JAG officer I know that had to leave his business for a year and assist as an active-duty military lawyer helping soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas. We now realize that stateside duty is just as dangerous as going to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Every place is now a danger zone! Modern tactical doctrine has evolved to the point where recognizable fronts and uniformed armies have been replaced with committed packs of warriors that randomly circulate in small teams looking for opportunities. Thus, a teacher, a firefighter or a janitor may need to be just as vigilant as a member of our special forces in Afghanistan!

The risks are all around us every day, not just during an obvious catastrophe. This is why churches and pastors may be the most important key to getting ready for future events. The sense of community that already exists in churches requires that pastors, priests and rabbis- even imams and other leaders- train those within our various spiritual communities so that we do not just react to crises. Get into CERT training and classes provided by the City, state and federal governments and recognize First Responders that labor among you.

Many of us already have extra food and emergency supplies. Many people meet the criteria to be honored as First Responders in one capacity or another. We need a committee to handle the nominations and determine which individuals will be honored. Each individual will represent all responders from the various agencies in and around Federal Way.

None of us are able to take all the steps necessary to prepare for every contingency. We depend on each other. The beginning of good government is when neighbors voluntarily pool resources in order to provide for each other’s well-being and for the common defense. Historically, public order starts with volunteerism. A militia is formed. We divide into specialties. Eventually a strongman starts using force to extort goods and services from his neighbors.

Every Thanksgiving, I appreciate America’s Biblical roots, the U.S. Constitution and the freedom to talk and write about such things. I also appreciate the professionals that have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and stand guard over the City!

Mark S Knapp, Attorney
(253) 661-1252
(Fax) 661-1263
www.firearmslawyer.net

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 24, 2009

NAVY
Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded a $105,417,721 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-fee multi-year contract (N00019-07-C-0001) for efforts associated with the Block C upgrade of 91 MV-22 and 21 CV-22 aircraft. In addition, this modification provides for the engine air particle separator upgrade and installation of a shaft driven compressor inlet barrier filter. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (90 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (5 percent); and Amarillo, Texas (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in October 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $5,533,237 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

The Boeing Co., Kent, Wash., is being awarded a $64,612,516 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0080) for the procurement of one C-40A Clipper aircraft for the Navy. Work will be performed in Renton, Wash. (88 percent), and Wichita, Kan. (12 percent). Work is expected to be completed in October 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems & Sensors, Mitchel Field, N.Y., is being awarded a $62,932,901 cost-plus incentive fee/cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide the FY10 and FY11 United States and United Kingdom TRIDENT II (D5) navigation subsystem engineering support services requirements. Specific efforts include United States and United Kingdom fleet support, strategic weapon system shipboard integration support and trainer, United States and United Kingdom trainer systems support, sea based strategic deterrent support, engineering refueling overhaul support, and navigation subsystem studies. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $141,389,203. Work will be performed in Mitchel Field, N.Y. (95.4 percent); Oldsmar, Fla. (3.6 percent); Baltimore, Md. (.4 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (.4 percent); Eagan, Minn. (.1 percent) and Manassas, Va. (.1 percent). Work is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2011. With options exercised the completion date will be Sept. 30, 2013. The contract was not competitively procured. Contract funds in the amount of $30,135,013 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-10-C-0002).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $34,302,846 delivery order on a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-07-D-0001) for the full recertification of up to 172 All-Up-Round (AUR) Tomahawk missiles for the Navy (162) and the government of the United Kingdom (10). In addition, this order provides for fixed support for encanisterization/decanisterization of MK-14 AUR missiles. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (80 percent) and Camden, Ark. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in April 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $32,302,846 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Navy ($32,340,646; 94.3 percent) and the United Kingdom ($1,962,200; 5.7 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being issued a $26,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for fiscal year 2010 repair of E/A-18G aircraft components. Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y. (90.34 percent), and St. Louis, Mo. (9.66 percent). Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $19,223,702 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee task order #0020 against a previously issued indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020) to obligate funding. Work will be performed at various locations within Kuwait and is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds of $19,223,702 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded an $18,045,324 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus incentive fee/award fee contract (N00019-08-C-0033) to exercise an option for special tooling and special test equipment for Navy and Air Force Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn. (70 percent); Bristol, United Kingdom (19 percent); and Indianapolis, Ind. (11 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($13,340,870; 73.9 percent) and the U.S. Air Force ($4,707,454; 26.1 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company, St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $12,860,585 a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for fiscal year 2010 repair of the F/A-18 AN/APG-79 (AESA) radar. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (92.5 percent); and St. Louis, Mo. (7.5 percent); and work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $12,325,371 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee task order #0021 against a previously issued indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020) to obligate funding. Work will be performed at various locations within Iraq, and is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds of $12,325,371 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. U.S. Marine Corps, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Bell Helicopter Textron, Hurst, Texas, is being issued $9,769,650 for ceiling priced order #0030 under previously awarded contract (N00383-05-G-048N) to repair various components for the V-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas, and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2010. One company was solicited for this non-competitive requirement and one offer was received in response to the solicitation. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

The Boeing Co., Ridley Park, Pa., is being awarded $8,987,591 for ceiling priced delivery order #0027 against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00383-05-G-049N) for repair of various components for the V-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2010. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $8,741,602 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee task order #0022 against a previously issued indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020) to obligate funding. Work will be performed at various locations within Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds of $8,741,602 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. U.S. Marine Corps, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems, Defensive Systems Div., Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded a $7,526,205 delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-08-G-0012) to perform upgrades to the V-22 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system, including modifications to the Direct Infrared Countermeasure, the missile warning sensor and processor, and equipment. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and is expected to be completed in September 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.

Raytheon Co., Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded a $5,777,994 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order # D001 under previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00024-07-G-5433) for Canadian uplink on behalf of Foreign Military Sales customer, Canada. The primary goal of this is to upgrade the Canadian Mk-48 guided missile vertical launching system to include the uplink capability for engaging targets with Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. This will include both hardware and software upgrades. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, R.I. (85 percent); and Sudbury, Mass. (15 percent);, and is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $25,730,506 firm-fixed-price, sole source contract for procurement of two line items in support of F/A-18 flight surfaces systems. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2013. The Defense Logistics Agency Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-06-D-004H-THAK).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $15,500,000 firm-fixed-price, sole source contract for procurement of twenty line items in support of the F/A-18 AESA APG73 radar system. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-06-D-001J-TH07).

AIR FORCE
Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Santa Maria, Calif., was awarded a $23,700,000 contract which will extend range standardization and Automation IIA support to complete the mission flight control center. At this time, $15,224,822 has been obligated. SMC/LRSW/PK of El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-95-C-0029, P00311).

Progress Continues for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 24, 2009 - A program to develop a new family of light tactical vehicles for Army, Marine Corps and special operations forces is moving ahead at full steam, almost halfway through its technology development phase. The joint light tactical vehicle is an Army, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command program to replace the Humvee with a family of higher-performing, more survivable vehicles able to carry greater payloads, said Kevin Fahey, Army program executive officer for combat support and combat service support during a recent interview.

The goal, he explained, is to fill a critical capabilities gap while developing a family of vehicles capable of performing multiple missions and sharing common components.

The Army, lead agent for the program, announced just over a year ago that it had awarded three contracts valued at about $166 million for the program's 27-month technology development phase. The three contractors are BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Ground Systems Division; General Tactical Vehicles, a joint venture between General Dynamics Land Systems and AM Genera; and Lockheed Martin Systems Integration.

During this phase, each of the three competing contractors is developing prototype vehicles in three different payloads configured for specific operational missions, Fahey said.

Category A is intended for general-purpose mobility and would carry the lightest payload, about 3,500 pounds. Category B models would transport infantry troops or weapons, serve as platforms for command-and-control and reconnaissance missions and carry payloads in the 4,000-to-4,500-pound range. Category C models would serve as shelter carriers, prime movers and ambulances, and would carry payloads just over 5,000 pounds.

The vehicles are being designed with an "open architecture" concept to accommodate extra armor, sensors, radios or other equipment, as required, without sacrificing power or payload, Fahey said. In addition, the vehicles will have a digital architecture incorporated into their design to support current networking requirements, as well as on-board diagnostics so they're easier to maintain.

As a unique twist to past development programs, the contractors are developing prototype companion trailers along with the tactical vehicles, with both meeting the same standards. "In the past, we rarely developed a trailer with its vehicle," Fahey said. "So the focus of this program is to demonstrate the maturity of the technology in an integrated platform."

By the year's end, the three contractors are expected to provide the vehicles and associated equipment for performance and reliability testing. Joint warfighters will provide their personal assessments.

The trick, Fahey said, is to avoid the pitfall of adding new requirements along the way that's plagued many past development programs.

"Our system very much opens the door up to, 'Wouldn't this widget be neat?" he said. "This is the phase where we need to prove that the technology is mature and can be integrated. ... We continue to emphasize to them that it has to be integratable, because when we make a decision at the end of this phase, we are going to execute."

When that decision is made, Fahey said, he feels confident it will be based on proven performance that demonstrates it can meet delivery goals. A production decision is expected by the end of 2014, with full-rate fielding to begin in 2016.

Fahey emphasized the benefit of designing the next-generation light tactical vehicles from the ground up for their specific use rather than simply being adapted to meet operational requirements.

The military's fleet of Humvees, estimated at about 160,000, was developed in the 1970s and delivered in the early 1980s with a focus on Cold War threats rather than on today's needs, he noted.

When the vehicles proved vulnerable to roadside bombs in Iraq and, increasingly, in Afghanistan, the military responded by adding heavy armor plating. The typical Humvee was designed to weigh a maximum of about 12,000 pounds, but now weighs closer to 18,000 pounds.

"It's way overweight, so it is underpowered, and mobility is lacking," Fahey said. "Another problem is [that] they don't have the payload they used to."

Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, in contrast, were purchased essentially as quickly as they were built to meet a wartime requirement quickly.

"With the MRAP, the thought was, 'I need a more survivable truck that is available today to save soldiers' and Marines' lives," Fahey said. "We made the requirement meet what was available."

Fahey is quick to note that there's really little about the MRAP that's "light," but he recognizes that MRAPs are being used in the combat zones for missions typically conducted by light tactical vehicle crews.

Fahey welcomes the deliberate process and long-term focus being dedicated to the joint light tactical vehicle's development.

"Unlike MRAP, which we basically bought off the shelf and tested as we fielded it, we are designing [the joint light tactical vehicle] from the start with a focus on reliability and maintainability and commonality," he said.

Although the Army is leading the program, it's done "a fantastic job of integrating Marine Corps management" into the effort, said Bill Taylor, executive officer for the Marine Corps' land systems programs.

The biggest challenge in a joint program, Fahey said, is agreeing to a common set of requirements. The Marine Corps puts the highest emphasis on making the vehicles lightweight to meet its mobility requirements. The Army tends to focus more on troop protection.

"But I think we can come to that balance because of the way the program is structured," Fahey said. "After all, the bottom line is we all are in the same fight."

The program has received a lot of international attention, too. Australia and India both signed agreements to provide development support and share the associated costs, and other countries have expressed interest in participating as well.

"Everyone is interested," Flahey said. "When you go around the world, everybody has this capability gap that we are focused on: the light tactical vehicle that brings a balance of performance and protection."

Wounded Warrior Begins Second Career

By Alison Kohler
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 24, 2009 - A former soldier who spent about 16 months in the warrior transition battalion here now looks forward to a rewarding career as an Army civilian. Former Army Capt. Erik Stewart advises other warriors in transition not to rush the process.

"Make sure you're healthy and as whole as you can be," Stewart said. "It's all about your attitude. If you have a positive attitude and you work with the doctors, it goes well."

Stewart, 38, from Wakefield, Kan., currently on leave, saw his Army career of more than 19 years officially end Nov. 18. He now has a promising future ahead of him working in the plans, mobilization, training and security directorate here as an emergency management specialist.

Stewart uses his 15 years of experience as a military police officer and four years as an engineer in his new job.

"There's some stuff I'm still learning, but the emergency management aspect of it, it works out," he said. The married father of four said he spent a lot of time looking before he landed the GS-12 civil service position. Learning to navigate the online civil service application process was tough, he acknowledged.

"In the Army, you get orders [and] you show up," he said. "You don't have to bring your accomplishments with you. You don't have to worry about that in the military. That was stressful."

His civilian job has him preparing emergency management plans and, if necessary, assisting in emergency response. He's in charge of Fort Riley's Ready Army program, currently concentrating on the post's management of H1N1 flu.

Though he misses the Army's unit camaraderie, he said, working as a civilian has its advantages.

"No more deployments, and no more alerts," he said. "[You] come home every weekend and every night."

Stewart was wounded by a roadside bomb in the tenth month of his third deployment. For a while, he tried to tough it out, he said.

"I got to where I was trying to get in and out of a vehicle and I couldn't do it, and I was in pain all the time - my back, my groin, my head and my arm," he said. "I was having trouble holding on to my rifle, and I couldn't wear my gear without my back or my groin hurting. I was having trouble concentrating."

He was sent here through the Army's regional medical center at Landstuhl, Germany, and was assigned to the warrior transition battalion.

"[I was] scared at first, because I've been doing this since high school," he said. "When I first got there, I was just going to appointments, and that was OK at first, because I had been gone for like 39 months with deployment, home, deployment, home. Then I realized I was bored; I needed to find something to do."

He tried to take college classes, but ended up having to withdraw three times, he said, because he couldn't focus and study. Stewart completed an unpaid internship with a nature center and looked into a welding program at a technical college. His wife mentioned looking for a job on Fort Riley, so he began to learn about applying for civil service positions.

Though he expected a long wait after he interviewed for his current position, he said, he was selected the following day, and he has been on the civilian payroll since September.

He advises other warriors in transition to make a plan, including financial plans, for what they need to have and where they will be in three months and in five years.

"They can't just [say], 'I'm going to get out and live at my folks' house', or 'I'm going to move home,'" he said. That's not a plan."

But before they make plans for life after the Army, Stewart said, soldiers should first get all the help they need.

"Don't get out just to get away from it all," he advised.

Most importantly, he added, warriors in transition need to take a step back when everything seems overwhelming.

"It's easy to get caught up in 'Woe is me,' and it's easy to go to the dark, depressed place," he said. "Take a big problem and break it down. It's like a wall, but if you take it down a brick at a time, eventually the wall's gone."

(Alison Kohler works in the Irwin Army Community Hospital public affairs office at Fort Riley.)

Trade Commission Offers Gift Card Tips

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 24, 2009 - Because distance often separates extended and even immediate families in military life, gift cards are a popular choice for holiday gift-giving. After all, one size fits all, and the recipients can get exactly what they want from a retailer or restaurant. But the Federal Trade Commission advises servicemembers and their families, as well as Defense Department civilians and contractors to think before they buy holiday gift cards this season, and buy from sources they know and trust.

"Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites, because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently," said Carol A. Kando-Pineda, counsel for the commission's consumer and business education commission. So before you shell out your hard-earned money and buy a stack of gift cards, you should know a few things first.

It's true that shopping for gifts can be a real dilemma. Just what do you get your finicky Aunt Mary, your co-worker, or your child's babysitter? Though a gift card can be the answer, Kando-Pineda said, be sure to know what you're getting.

"Read the fine print before you buy," she said. "If you don't like the terms and conditions, buy elsewhere. Ask about expiration dates and fees when you're buying a card."

This type of information will always appear on the card itself, on the accompanying sleeve or envelope, or on the issuer's Web site. "If you don't see it, ask," Kando-Pineda cautioned. "If the information is separate from the gift card, give it to the recipient with the card to help protect the value of the card."

And buyers may not be aware, she added, that merchants often tack fees on to the gift cards -- for activation, maintenance or transactions, for example -- that may be deducted from the card's value at the recipient's end.

"It might be embarrassing to give someone a $50 gift card and find out later that fees gobbled up most of the amount," Kando-Pineda said.

Another note of caution to buyers of gift cards is what to do if the company you purchased the card from goes out of business.

"Well first, before you buy, you may want to consider the financial condition of the business and whether it has filed for bankruptcy," Kando-Pineda advised. "But if you do buy a card from a company that goes out of business or ultimately files for bankruptcy, it's as you might expect: the recipient may end up with a card that's worth less than the face value."

She added that before you decided to buy that gift card for Aunt Mary, you should consider how easy it will be for her to redeem that card. "Let's say the business closes stores near where the recipient lives or works," she said. "They may not be able to get to another location to redeem their card."

Kando-Pineda also recommends that recipients of gift cards shouldn't wait to use them. "Use your card as soon as you can," she said. "It's not unusual to misplace gift cards or forget you have them. Using them early will help you get the full value."

She noted that if a card does expire, the recipient should contact the issuer. "They may still honor the card," she said, "although they may charge a fee to do that."

Anyone who has a problem with use of a gift card should contact the company that issued it as soon as possible, Kando-Pineda said. If you can't resolve the problem at that level, she added, file a complaint with the appropriate authorities. If that doesn't fix the problem, she said, contact the Federal Trade Commission through its Web site or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) toll-free. Complaints also may be filed with your state's attorney general.

(Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg serves in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 23, 2009

NAVY
Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $45,041,786 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee task order for prepositioning and Marine Corps logistics support services, under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020). Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., and work is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. U.S. Marine Corps, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Eagan, Minn., is being awarded a $43,988,555 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-06-D-0012) for the upgrade of seven P-3C aircraft for the government of Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales program. This modification in support of the Pakistan Navy P-3C upgrade program will replace the obsolete and unsustainable avionics systems currently installed with modern equipment that provides increased capabilities, reliability and will be sustainable for future operations. Work will be performed in Eagan, Minn. (70 percent), and Greenville, S.C. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Stedman & Dyson Structural Engineers, San Diego, Calif.*, is being awarded a maximum amount $20,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for structural engineering services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for structural engineering studies and site investigation reports, structural design, preparation of Request for Proposal for design-build projects, fully designed plans and specifications for Invitation for Bid projects, preparation of DD1391 documents, cost estimates, evaluations, construction inspection and construction support services. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to, California (87 percent), Arizona (5 percent), Nevada (5 percent), Colorado (1 percent), New Mexico (1 percent), and Utah (1 percent). Work is expected to be completed by November 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with 16 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-10-D-5401).

Valley Tech Systems, Inc., Folsom, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0002); Advanced Integrated Systems, Santa Barbara, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0003); LC Engineers, Inc., Rahway, N.J.* (N68936-10-D-0004); and New Directions Technologies, Inc., Ridgecrest, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0005) are each being awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contracts for advanced technology products in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Weapons Prototype Division. Products and support to be provided include electronic components and systems, mechanical components and systems, energetic materials and systems, chemical materials and components, fabrication, assembly, plating/painting/finish, and packing and shipping. The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts is $8,166,666, and the companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Valley Tech Systems, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Folsom, Calif.; Advanced Integrated Systems will perform work under its contract in Santa Barbara, Calif.; LC Engineers, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Rahway, N.J.; and New Directions Technologies, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Ridgecrest, Calif.. Work is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were solicited via a multiple award electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set aside, with five offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $7,599,582 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0005) to exercise an option for control and guidance section repairs for the AGM-88 high speed anti-radiation missile for the Air Force. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in May 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $7,599,582 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Volvo Construction Co., North, Ashville, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $14,596,158 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for wheel loaders. Other location of performance is Sweden. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. There were originally four proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-05-D-0006-0064).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $9,528,310 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for motor grader. Other location of performance is in Decatur, Ill. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. There were originally three proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-01-D-0059-0395).

US Foods International, Gardena, Calif.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,766,894 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-quantity contract for full line food distribution. Other location of performance is La Miranda, Calif. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and child development center. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jan. 29, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-08-D-3084).

Campbellsville Apparel Co., LLC, Campbellsville, Ky.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,760,000 firm-fixed-price, total set-aside contract for men's undershirts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising option year two of four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-08-D-1026).