Military News

Monday, January 05, 2009

Face of Defense: Soldier Rejoins After 38-Year Service Break

By Army Sgt. Whitney Houston
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 5, 2009 - Young men and women frequently follow the footsteps of their parents and grandparents by joining the military. Army Maj. (Dr.) Robert Sexton reversed that role when he followed his two sons into the military after a 38-year-break from his previous service. Sexton was an unlikely candidate when he was commissioned in November 2007 in his mid-50s and assigned to serve as a physician with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to the 4th Infantry Division here.

Sexton enlisted in the Army at 17 and left his native Cleveland in 1968 for Vietnam, where he would spend the next two years attached to the 101st Airborne Division, working with Korean troops on Army boats that provided transport, insertion and evacuation.

Sexton was honorably discharged at 20 and returned home only to become disillusioned with the social upheaval happening in the United States. He and his wife decided to move to her native country of Guatemala.

Sexton worked multiple jobs to support his family in Central America, but eventually decided to realize his desires and go to medical school in Guatemala.

"I had always thought about medical school, but because we were just married and right out of the Army and we had two kids, I had to work two and three jobs all of the time – landscaping, painting houses. There just was no time for studies," Sexton said. "But it had always stuck in the back of my mind, and I don't know why, but we visited a medical school down in Guatemala, and they had an open-door policy."

Sexton said he didn't think he would make it through that first year of medical school because of the language barrier. However, he said, because medical terminology is pretty much the same in every language, especially with the basic sciences, he passed even as his class of more than 1,200 first-year students was thinned to 120.

Sexton finished medical school in Guatemala and gained his residency. He planned on staying there and starting a practice. However, when violence and turmoil spread there, he relocated his family back to the United States in 1981.

Sexton regained his residency and was licensed to practice medicine in several states. Eventually, he ended up in Tucson, Ariz., where he practiced as a neonatologist, a doctor who works in intensive care for newborn babies, and started a private emergency medical practice with a close friend.

Nearly two decades later, Sexton and his family began a transformation of sorts as two of his sons joined the Marine Corps, both at 17.

Their decisions to join the Marines surprised and moved Sexton, he said, because they never talked about the military at home and he thought his children would get through high school and then go on to college. He began to feel the tug of inspiration.

Sexton's third son, who had joined in 1997, was due to get out of the Marines in 2003, but chose to re-enlist. "He insisted on going to Iraq, so he extended himself and went into Iraq on the first wave," he said.

"My two sons inspired me," he said. "Then, two years later, after reading what the Army had done over there, I got more and more inspired with everything I read."

Concluding that the fight against terrorism would be a long one, and feeling he could still make a contribution, Sexton accepted a commission to the Army in November 2007 and has been serving as a doctor in Baghdad since October.

"I figured we have less than 1 percent of the American people in the service, and some of those people are going to need a break sometime - and that's what I aim to do. I'm still physically fit. I thought I could make a contribution," Sexton said.

Sexton's decision to rejoin the Army after a 38-year break in service leaves him little possibility of earning a military retirement because of his age. Still, he said, he derives satisfaction from making a contribution to a noble cause – working with Iraqi forces to bring medical care and training to needy areas in Baghdad.

"He blows us away. He's pushing 60, and he's more physically fit than some of the younger guys here," said Army 1st Sgt. George Guerra, the battalion's senior enlisted leader. "We hardly ever see him because he's always gone doing these combined medical engagements. He's really into his work, and he loves it. He just wants to get out and do this work with the Iraqi people."

Sexton said he finds great satisfaction helping Iraqis by providing them with needed medical care, and he expressed a desire when his tour is over to go to other places with the Army where he can continue his work.

"I'll be going to Afghanistan next year with my old unit," Sexton said. "After Afghanistan, I would like to go to the Horn of Africa, because that's where I think civil affairs probably shines the most. I would like to do tours in Central and South America because of the language, and I wouldn't mind going to the Philippines."

(Sgt. Whitney Houston serves in the Multinational Division Baghdad public affairs office.)

Defense Students Invited to Work With 'Best Minds' in Science

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 5, 2009 - The search is on for three Department of Defense Education Activity students to represent the department's schools at the 2009 Research Science Institute. The institute, sponsored by the nonprofit Center for Excellence in Education in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hosts the residential program at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., from June 21 to Aug. 1. The six-week program allows students to work with eminent scientists and researchers and participate in college-level classes designed to sharpen students' skills as they complete hands-on research.

The institute reserves 50 openings for U.S. students, three of which will go to DoDEA students. Thirty openings are reserved for international students, said Joann DiGennaro, president of the center.

DiGennaro, a former chairman of the U.S. Army War College, founded the center with the late Adm. H.G. Rickover, a nuclear scientist, in 1983. They started the institute as the Virginia-based center's flagship program a year later to encourage young people to enter careers in science, technology and math, DiGennaro said.

The institute provides "a natural symbiosis" between students from Defense Department schools and the military services and contractors who recruit from its ranks, DiGennaro said, adding that the center has been "extremely pleased" with the DoDEA students they've hosted in the past.

"It's an incredible opportunity for students," said Frank O'Gara, the department's educational communications officer. "Students get to meet and to work with some of the best scientists, and best minds really, in the world.

"They're looking at current research that's going on in science, in technology and engineering and mathematics," he added. "They come away from there with some incredible skills and also some wonderful connections that they've made."

Research Science Institute is open to students who will have completed the third year of high school by summer. While application packages must be to Education Activity area deputy directors by Feb. 20, students should check with their schools to see when their principals need them.

Packages must include essay answers to questions regarding goals in math or science, two teacher recommendations, a copy of the student's high school academic record and record of PSAT scores. It's recommended that the student's PSAT score in math be at least 75, and that the combined math and verbal PSAT score should be at least 140.

Students can demonstrate their leadership in a variety of ways, including leadership roles they have taken in various science classes and endeavors, O'Gara said.

"Many of these students have outside interests beyond school where they pursued science, and any of those activities would also be important to include," O'Gara added.

Students will be notified by mail in mid-March whether they've been selected. If selected, students' expenses, including lodging and meals, are covered. The Education Activity will pay travel expenses for its three students.

MILITARY CONTRACTS January 5, 2009

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Theodore Wille Intertrade (TWI), Zug, Switzerland* is being awarded a $1,825,000,000 firm fixed price, total set aside, prime vendor, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations of supplies and materials. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third one-year option. The date of performance completion is Jan. 2, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-05-D-BP02).

SupplyCore, Rockford, Ill.*, is being awarded a maximum $1,825,000,000 firm fixed price, total set aside, prime vendor, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations of supplies and materials. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third one-year option. The date of performance completion is Jan. 2, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-05-D-BP04).

Seven Seas Shipchandlers, Dubai, United Arab Emirate*, is being awarded a $1,825,000,000 firm fixed price, total set aside, prime vendor, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations of supplies and materials. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third one-year option. The date of performance completion is Jan. 2, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-05-D-BP05).

NAVY

CACI Systems, Inc., Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $19,489,391 modification to a previously awarded cost plus fixed fee contract (N00421-06-C-0074) to exercise an option for technical support, engineering services and supplies in support of the Special Communications Requirements Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. This modification provides support for various Navy, Army, and Air Force, Special Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Electronic Systems. The estimated level of effort for this contract is 286,000 man-hours. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md., (80 percent) and St. Inigoes, Md., (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jan. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity.

Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group Inc., Pasadena, Calif., is being awarded a $7,386,777 modification under a previously awarded multiple award contract (N00178-05-D-4487) firm-fixed price task order # EFE2 to exercise option period I which provides for program and engineering services in support of capital improvement projects: technical, project management, and data management to support planning, design, and post construction award for the Navy and Marine Corp clients within NAVFAC SW area of responsibility in the metro San Diego area. The total cumulative task order amount after exercise of this option will be $11,906,761. The task order also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase cumulative task order value to $35,140,123. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2010. Operation and maintenance (O&M) contract funds in the amount of $930,342 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

The Air Force modified a contract with Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., a for $12,247,290. This contract action will provide a miniature air launched decoy jammer Block II program contract for a fourteen month concept refinement study for data link and increased effective radiated power. At this time $9,000,000 has been obligated. 692 ARSS/PK, Eglin AFB, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8682-09-C-0082).

Citizen Survival of Terrorist Attacks

On January 9, 2009, Conversations with Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with self-defense expert Jim Wagner on how a citizen non-combatant can best survive a terrorist attack.

Program Date: January 9, 2009
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Topic: Citizen Survival of Terrorist Attacks
Listen Live:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2009/01/10/Citizen-Survival-of-Terrorist-Attacks

About the Guests
At the age of 14,
Jim Wagner began to his life long pursuit of self-defense by beginning his study of the marital arts. Four years later he joined the United States Army. In 1991 Jim Wagner, sponsored by the Costa Mesa Police Department, entered the police academy (Orange County Sheriff’s Department Training Academy Class 104). Like his Military training before, Jim Wagner was deeply influenced by the police academy’s realistic conflict scenarios.

During his career with the
Costa Mesa Police Department, Jim Wagner earned a place on the SWAT team. It was through this conduit that Jim learned about logistics, command post operations, hostage negotiations, entry team tactics, and sniping. On the job training included courses with LAPD SWAT, the U.S. Army Special Forces, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Training Center, and from U.S. Marines Division Schools Camp Pendleton (Advanced Sniper Course, Military Operations Urban Terrain, Helicopter Rope Suspension Training, and Range Safety Officer).

While conducting a myriad of courses at Camp Pendleton, both
Military units and other law enforcement agencies using the base for their own training discovered Jim Wagner’s unique approach to training and his seamless blending of defensive tactics with edged weapons and firearms skills. Before long he was getting offers from the United States Marine Corps, U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group, Department of Defense police, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Probation Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration & Naturalization Service, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines Provost Marshal Office, Drug Enforcement Administration. By 1996 Jim found himself being invited by foreign unit to train in their own countries: GermanGSG9, Brazilian G.A.T.E., Argentinean G.O.E., Royal Canadian Mounted Police, London Metropolitan Police, Helsinki Police Department, and various units in Spain, Mexico, and Israel.

The demand on
Jim Wagner’s time was overwhelming and in 1999 he decided to resign from the Costa Mesa Police Department and started teaching full time. Not wanting to fully give up his law enforcement career Jim applied as a Reserve Deputy at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Jim Wagner is the author of Reality Based Personal Protection.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles
police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, Criminal Justice technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/LawEnforcement/2009/01/10/Citizen-Survival-of-Terrorist-Attacks

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530