Military News

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Military Books

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

General Wilbur L. Creech, USAF (ret.)
Colonel Sanford L. Graves, USAF (ret.)
Colonel William Cavenaugh, USMC (ret.)
Lt. Colonel Charles A. Moose, USAF (ret.)
Major Robert J. Girod, Sr., USA
Captain D. Clayton Mayes, USA
Captain George H. Waple, USA (ret.)
Sergeant Michael Volking, USA
Specialist John M. Wills, USA
Corporal Otto J. Moravek, USA
Richard Clason, USN
Jack Muller, USN
Michael Egerbt, USN
Kendall J. Matthews, USMC
Terry G. Hillard, USMC
Charles D. Hayes, USMC
Brent Walker, USMC
Robert Ruble, USMC
Robert Downey, USAF
Joe Tip Thomas, USAF
Kim Thomas, USA
Randy Jurgensen, USA
Francis J. Connelly, USA
Alex H. Richardson, USA
Sargei Hoteko, USA
Don E. Lucier, USA
Joseph Reass, USA
Brian E. Voncannon, USA
Ralph W. Landre, Jr., USA
Richard Reed, USA
Michael A. Black, USA
Ruben Benjamin Whittington, USA

The Website now lists 747 servicemembers and their 2414

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Africom to Airlift Peacekeeper Equipment to Darfur

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 6, 2009 - U.S. Africa Command is laying plans to airlift heavy equipment to Sudan to support African Union and U.N. peacekeepers involved in the country's Darfur region, an Africom spokesman told American Forces Press Service today. Africom will transport about 75 tons of heavy equipment -- water tankers, fuel tank trucks, forklifts and other oversized cargo – from Kigali, Rwanda, to Darfur aboard two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, Vince Crawley said.

President George W. Bush announced the decision yesterday after meeting at the White House with Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir, a former south Sudanese rebel leader.

"I have provided a waiver to the State Department so they can begin to move 240 containers worth of heavy equipment into Darfur, and that the Defense Department will be flying Rwandan equipment into Darfur to help facilitate the peacekeeping missions there," Bush said.

Bush sent a Jan. 1 memo to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice authorizing the airlift mission without reimbursement from the United Nations. He called the mission "important to the security interests of the United States."

The president also waived the standard 15-day congressional notification requirements to allow the airlift assistance to proceed immediately, "because failing to do so would pose a substantial risk to human health and welfare," National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said in a statement released yesterday.

Hadley said the mission will help African Union and U.N. peacekeepers protect civilian lives and improve the safe and effective delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid to areas of western Darfur currently inaccessible due to security concerns.

The exact date of the missions has not been determined, but Crawley said he expects them to take place "within the next several weeks." Africom, like U.S. Central Command, has no aircraft of its own, so the C-17s will come from another command, he said.

Crawley noted that the U.S. military has provided peacekeeper training in Africa for more than a decade and first transported troops and cargo in support of the mission in Darfur in 2004. The last mission, the fourth, was in October 2007.

The upcoming airlift mission represents the first large-scale peacekeeper support mission for Africom since it became fully operational Oct. 1. Previous support missions were conducted under the direction of U.S. European Command, which had responsibility for Africa before Africom's standup.

"The U.S. military has been working in Africa for a number of years now," Crawley said. "Africom wants to add value to what the U.S. military has been doing."

Africom plans to incorporate its new ADAPT – Africa Deployment Assistance Phased Training – initiative into the mission, Crawley said. This effort aims to teach militaries the logistical skills required to deploy in support of peacekeeping missions. The ADAPT initiative was first used last summer in transporting peacekeepers into Somalia from Uganda, he said.

By taking over and building on missions such as peacekeeper support in Darfur, Africom officials hope to "help Africans build the long-term security capacity that they are eager to have," Crawley said.

Hadley said the United States will continue working closely with the U.N. to ensure peacekeepers not only are deployed, but also are trained and equipped to carry out their mandate.

"The United States will continue to lead the international community to stand by the people of Darfur and to deploy and support the U.N. peacekeeping operation," he said.

In Final Weeks as Commander in Chief, Bush Cites Military's Valor, Sacrifice

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 6, 2009 - With 15 days left in office, President George W. Bush today reflected on a list of "lasts" that includes his final weeks as the commander of U.S. military forces. Bush told the audience at an armed forces farewell ceremony at Fort Myer, Va., that he recently took his final overseas flight on Air Force One and delivered his last college commencement address as president.

"These have all been wonderful experiences," he said. "But nothing compares to the honor of standing before you today and addressing America's armed forces as your commander in chief."

Bush described his role as the top military commander over a two-term legacy marked early on by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, followed by a broadly defined global war on terror that included the sometimes controversial invasion and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The president cited servicemembers' courage in responding to the Sept. 11 attacks that killed some 3,000 people, in the ensuing Operation Enduring Freedom, concentrated mainly in Afghanistan, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I saw your valor in the days after the attack, when Americans crowded into recruiting centers, across our country, raised their hands to serve and pledged to defend our people and our freedom," said Bush, referring to the hijacked airplane attacks in New York, on the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

The president touted the U.S. military's role in toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, in which troops "closed down the terrorist training camps and ... drove the Taliban from power" within weeks of the invasion.

He also praised servicemembers who volunteered for multiple tours in Iraq in support of the 33,000-troop surge launched in early 2007. Bush characterized the surge, which military officials credit as one factor leading to increased security and a drop in violence in Iraq, as "one of the great successes in American military history."

The president said the cause that troops have served "has always been right and just," but he conceded that his decisions as commander in chief have "not always been popular."

Bush acknowledged sacrifices paid by those killed and wounded in battle, and the families who survive and support them. To date, 4,850 Americans have died in post-9/11 operations, and another 15,327 have been wounded without returning to duty.

The president highlighted the story of Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who died in September 2006 in Iraq when he used his body to absorb a grenade blast that likely would have killed two nearby SEALs and several Iraqi soldiers.

In April, Bush presented a posthumous Medal of Honor to Monsoor's parents.

"On that day, I saw the deep sadness that is familiar to anyone who has lost a loved one in the line of duty," Bush said. "But I also saw the pride that comes with such noble sacrifice and the recognition that our freedom and our security only endure because of the acts of bravery like Michael Monsoor's.

"That kind of courage, character and devotion defines our armed forces," he continued. "So this morning, I cannot accept your kind tribute unless I'm allowed to return the favor to the men and women of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and all those who serve in the Department of Defense."

As Bush relinquishes his post as commander in chief, President-elect Barack Obama is slated to take over the role Jan. 20. But a familiar face will remain at the helm of the Pentagon amid the transition.

Bush expressed confidence in Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, whom he appointed to replace former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and whom the president-elect has retained as Pentagon chief.

"I am pleased that President-elect Obama has asked you to stay on, and I am confident that you will continue to be a strong leader as the secretary of defense," Bush said. He also praised Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for his "strong advice, clear thinking and years of service to our country."

Gates, Mullen Thank Bush for Commitment to Troops

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 6, 2009 - The top Defense Department leaders honored President George W. Bush today at a farewell ceremony for his deep commitment to the men and women in uniform and their families and the trust he instilled as he led them through challenging times. avy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in praising Bush during the armed forces farewell ceremony at Fort Myer, Va.

"In my 44 years of wearing this uniform, I have never seen the American public and our military as bonded in understanding, purpose and spirit as I do right now," Mullen told Bush. "For this, Mr. President, we owe you our greatest gratitude."

Gates said Bush fostered that close relationship throughout his presidency.

"The president's deep regard and affection for our servicemembers and their families has played out in ways big and small," he said. Gates pointed to examples: "surprise visits to Iraq and Afghanistan to shake hands and high-five [troops], ... personal phone calls to those deployed over Thanksgiving, and even the occasional chest bump to unwary cadets."

As he sent troops into harm's way, Bush never hid from the human consequences of his decisions, Gates said. He made countless visits to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the National Naval Medical Center and other military hospitals. He and first lady Laura Bush also met with thousands of family members of wounded and fallen troops.

Gates recalled Bush's visit with Army Staff Sgt. Michael McNaughton, a Louisiana National Guardsman being treated at Walter Reed after losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan. The president suggested that the two go for a run after McNaughton received his prosthetic leg, and carried through with the plan several months later on a track around the White House's South Lawn.

"A single promise to a single soldier. A small act that reflects President Bush's commitment to care for and honor every member of the armed forces," Gates said.

"Mr. President, every day these volunteers execute your orders with courage and determination – facing down danger for the greater good of America," he continued. "On behalf of more than 2 million men and women in uniform, we are deeply grateful for your leadership and service to America in a time of war."

Mullen thanked the president and Mrs. Bush for embracing the military family, and particularly those who have sacrificed heavily in the war on terror.

"You have proven that how well we care for our wounded and the families of the fallen defines who and what we really are as a nation," he said. "You made it personal, and that has made all the difference."

Some of the most powerful accolades during the ceremony came not from the leaders, but from the troops themselves.

Mullen shared thoughts penned by several deployed servicemembers in a journal he and his wife, Deborah, carried with them during recent troop visits overseas.

"Mr. President, thank you and your family for your service. I am proud to serve under you, sir," wrote Army Staff Sgt. Ward from Queens, N.Y. Like several who signed the journal, he did not include his first name.

"You are awesome, and made a difference in the world," Ward wrote.

Army Lt. Col. Scott Raney, deployed to Baghdad, extended his thanks to Mrs. Bush. "Your class and dignity were an inspiration to us all," he wrote.

The writing of Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Fraser brought levity to the ceremony as he referred to a shoe-throwing incident in Iraq last month.

"Sir, nice to see that our president is still quick on his feet after eight years in office," Fraser wrote, bringing an outburst of laughter as Mullen read it at the ceremony. "Next time, pick up the shoe and throw it back," he continued. "We got your back."

Army Sgt. 1st Class Claude Cory from Waco, Texas, turned the tone serious. "Sir, you truly set the standard to uphold the peace and our very way of life so our kids can grow up in a peaceful world," he wrote. "We will always stand tall, one great nation and one great state, Texas."

Other servicemembers, who signed the journal simply as "Your soldiers," thanked Bush for his "service, example and leadership."

"We have not faltered. We will not fail," the anonymous servicemember continued. "With greatest respect and honor, we serve."

Mullen called the troop messages a sign of the deep mutual respect between Bush and the 2.4 million military men and women, as well as their families.

"Those voices are an answering volley to you for your high regard and great respect for every single man and woman who serves this nation," he said.

Gates presented the president and Mrs. Bush several awards in appreciation of their service. To Bush, he presented the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, U.S. Army Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, U.S. Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, U.S. Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, and U.S. Coast Guard Distinguish Public Service Award.

The secretary presented Mrs. Bush the Department of Defense Outstanding Public Service Award.

MILITARY CONTRACTS January 6, 2008

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Delta Petroleum Products Trading Co., Kasimpasa, Istanbul, Turkey is being awarded a $147,613,857 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel delivery. There are various other locations of performance within Iraq. Using service is Army. The original proposal was Web solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-1000).

AIR FORCE

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, requirements contract with Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., for $9,656,256. This contract action will provide HQ AMC/A5Q requirements for improved survivability in combat operations. At this time $200,000 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offut Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380).

ARMY

Technologists, Inc., Rosslyn, Va., was awarded on Jan. 5, 2009, a $96,090,519 firm fixed price contract for the construction of an Afghanistan National Police National Training Center. Work will be performed in Maydan Wardak, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Oct. 1, 2008, and 13 bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-09-C-0005).