Military News

Friday, January 23, 2009

Missing WWII Soldiers are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing from World War II, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Pfc. Julian H. Rogers, of Bloomington, Ind, and Pvt. Henry E. Marquez, of Kansas City, Kan. Both men were U.S. Army. Rogers will be buried in the spring in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., and Marquez will be buried on May 30 in Kansas City, Mo.

Representatives from the Army's Mortuary Office met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

In November 1944, the 112th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, was attacking east through the Hürtgen Forest in an attempt to capture the German towns of Vossenack and Schmidt. On Nov. 4, the Germans counterattacked in what would become one of the longest running battles in U.S. history. Rogers and Marquez, both members of G Company, 112th Infantry Regiment, were reported killed in action near Vossenack on Nov. 4. Their bodies were not recovered.

In 2007, a German citizen searching for wartime relics in the Hürtgen Forest uncovered human remains and military identification tags for Rogers and Marquez. He notified U.S. officials and a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team excavated the site later that year. The team recovered human remains and non-biological material.

Among dental records, other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.

Partnership Key to Joint Forces Command Experimentation Success

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - As U.S. Joint Forces Command pursues capability improvements over the long term, its experimentation chief is keeping one eye focused on current needs -- as defined by warfighters themselves. Navy Rear Adm. Dan Davenport's job as director of the command's Joint Concept Development and Experimentation, or J9, directorate is to come up with long-term solutions to meet unmet or yet-unrecognized requirements.

"Joint concept development and experimentation is really about finding solutions to the biggest challenges facing [the Defense Department], as defined by our warfighters," he explained.

As Davenport describes the process, the word "partnership" peppers the explanation.

"This effort isn't done in a vacuum," he said. "It's a partnership all the way, from identifying problems to coming up with appropriate solutions to developing the tools to implement those solutions."

The partnership begins at square one, with combatant commanders and service chiefs submitting their most pressing problems or needs, which Joint Forces Command officials call "warfighter challenges."

The command's experimentation directorate compiles these requirements, prioritizing those with the biggest impact on capability and the broadest defense application.

The results, captured in the Joint Concept Development and Experimentation campaign plan for 2009 and 2010, spell out major projects the command will undertake or support during the next two years.

Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of Joint Forces Command, signed off on the plan last fall, and it is already being implemented to meet some of the biggest military challenges, Davenport said.

The new plan balances near- and long-term needs. "Joint Forces Command is one of [the Defense Department's] primary futures organizations, and we need to be looking to the future," Davenport said.

"But we also need to be contributing to the current fight and current operations," he continued. "So we maintain a balance in our focus between providing near-term solutions and looking to the future and developing concepts and capabilities that will meet those future needs."

Big improvements Joint Forces Command aims to achieve in its new campaign plan are improved command and control capabilities for joint force commanders, enhanced cyber-operations capabilities and better ways to detect and interdict radiological and nuclear threats.

"Most of the things we are working on are really hard," Davenport conceded. "But that's what we at Joint Forces Command should be about. We should be the command that works on the hard stuff and comes up with solutions that really hit pay dirt."

Hitting "pay dirt" requires partnership at every level -- from identifying requirements to testing potential solutions to putting the best ones into effect.

So as it addresses challenges outlined in its 2009-2010 campaign plan, Joint Forces Command's Joint Concept Development and Experimentation directorate is keeping its ultimate customers -- the warfighters themselves -- front and center throughout the process.

The first step, Davenport explained, is to develop a precise and universally accepted description of what the command is setting out to do.

"The key is to define clearly the problem that needs to be solved," he said. "The more clearly we can define the problem, the more effective our solution will be."

Next, Joint Forces Command looks across the Defense Department, tapping into its laboratories and other services that Davenport calls "solution providers" and bringing them face to face with the operators.


"The idea here is to bring together the solution providers with the operators -- the users -- and put them together in an experiment and see where the gaps are, what works and what doen't," he said.

Experimentation is a complicated endeavor that frequently uses modeling and simulation to replicate real-life operating environments. Davenport's team sets up experiments that put operators through the exact procedures they'd follow in real-world operations. As they go through the paces, the operators provide feedback and they help test new approaches, tools and capabilities.

"The experiments we do are not done in isolation," Davenport said. "We don't come back here to Suffolk and close all the doors and do all this magic work and them come out with a solution. We have the experts and operators doing all this kind of stuff on a day-to-day basis involved throughout."

Although the command often hosts experiments at its Warfighter Center here, technological advances have made long-distance experimentation a more viable alternative, Davenport said.

"That's really our preferred way of doing business," Davenport said. "We can generate scenario and experimentation environment stimulants for the participants here, but distribute out to their home station. That way, they are sitting in their own operations center with their own equipment and able to participate in the experiment just as if they were doing real-world operations."

This produces the most valid results and the best evidence of success to decision-makers, he said.

The command's work isn't over when it comes up with a workable solution. The final challenge is to pave the way for it to be put into effect, a process that can require changes in doctrine, organization, training, logistics, staffing, facilities and even policy.
Again, Davenport said, that requires partnership so the right people are ready to do what's necessary to put a new solution into effect as quickly as possible.

"It's not acceptable for us to come up with great ideas in experimentation, and then put them on a shelf," Davenport said. "Once we come up with solutions, we need to ensure that the solutions actually drive change. We owe that to the warfighters we are working to support."

Military Service Secretaries Stay On, Help Ensure Smooth Transition

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - Each U.S. military service secretary has agreed to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' request to stay in office for at least several weeks to help ensure the Defense Department's smooth transition under the Obama administration, Pentagon officials said recently. "They have been asked and have agreed to serve for some time as the new administration works on identifying individuals to fill those positions," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told American Forces Press Service yesterday.

Navy Capt. Beci Brento, a spokeswoman for Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter, said "he will not stay on for any duration of time after March 13."

Winter became the 74th Navy secretary in January 2006. Before swearing into office, he was a corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector.

Army Secretary Pete Geren and Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley have not announced a timeline for their stay, but Army and Air Force officials today confirmed both secretaries' willingness to continue serving in their positions until their successors are named and confirmed by Senate.

"I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Gates in service to our soldiers and their families, and working with the transition team to ensure an orderly transition to the new administration," Geren said in a recent statement, adding that his work with the men and women of the U.S. Army is "truly the privilege of a lifetime."

Geren became the acting Army secretary in March 2007 and was confirmed by the Senate as the Army's 20th secretary the following July. Geren also has held the Army's No. 2 civilian leader position, serving as its undersecretary from February 2006 until he assumed top responsibilities. Before that, he served six months as the acting Air Force secretary.

Donley was sworn into office in October 2008. Prior to becoming the 22nd Air Force secretary, he served as the Defense Department's director of administration and management. He was responsible for the department's organizational and management planning.

'Helping A Hero' Donates Homes to Wounded Soldiers

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - Army Spc. Sergio Trejo always dreamed of owning his own home. But after he was injured by a homemade bomb during his second tour of duty in Iraq, he said he felt his dream was out of reach. The explosion left him with a broken back, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"My [Veterans Affairs] counselor was helping me look for a home," Trejo said. "It was, at times, overwhelming. She told me to look into the 'Helping A Hero' program and fill out the application. After several weeks I finally did, and today, my family and I are enjoying our new home."

Helping A Hero is a troop-support group dedicated to providing an array of support, including financial and emotional, to severely injured military personnel and their families, according to the group's Web site. Its 'Wounded Hero Home' program provides specially adapted homes to wounded warriors, with 11 homes donated to wounded servicemembers and veterans last year, officials said.

Trejo, his wife, Jessica, and children, Trinity and David, received the keys to their new home last month in the Delany Cove community of Houston.

Working in partnership with Helping a Hero, Friendswood Development Company donated the home site.

"We were honored to present the keys to this new home to a deserving American hero and say thank you in a tangible way for his valiant service to our great nation," Meredith Iler, national chairman of the Helping a Hero home program, said. "This beautiful new home will enable this wounded hero to build a new life."

The new home offered Trejo a fresh start since the long-term effects of TBI and PTSD, accompanied by his short-term memory problems, left Trejo unable to work.

"If it wasn't for Helping Hero, we would probably still be in an apartment," Trejo said. "This has allowed me to focus more on getting better."

By providing specially adapted homes to qualifying wounded military members and veterans, Helping Hero leaders hope to equip them with the foundation they need to transition successfully into their local communities.

"I am so proud of Sergio Trejo for his bravery in combat and his courage in the rehabilitation process," Iler said. "He is a leader and an encourager to other wounded heroes who have just begun their journey of recovery."

The average value of each home donated by Helping a Hero is about $250,000. Iler said the current housing crisis has not affected the groups' ability to secure donations and volunteers.

"We have been blessed to bring together patriotic Americans who are builders, developers, individual and foundation donors who are committed to saying 'thank you' to our wounded heroes in a tangible way," Iler said.

Trejo said he is thankful for the program.

"I feel extremely blessed," Trejo said. "Just the other night, my wife and I were sitting, looking around the house, still not believing it is ours. We could have never purchased a house like this on our own. It's just a dream come true."

Africom Commander Pledges Support to African Nations

By Kenneth Fidler
Special to American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - The commander of U.S. Africa Command delivered an unwavering message of assistance during his recent travels to African nations. Africom officials are listening to and learning about security issues from their African partners and will help where possible, Army Gen. William E. Ward said.

Ward brought that message in person Jan. 21 to this island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. It was the first official visit of a top U.S. military commander to the nation.

"Our command is dedicated to doing its best 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help the nations of Africa address their security concerns," Ward said to about 40 Comoran journalists, students and teachers gathered for a press conference.

"What you say matters to us," he said.

Ward and U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Stromayer met with Comoros' Vice President Idi Nadhoim, Defense Minister Mohamed Dossar and Defense Forces Chief of Staff Salimou Mohamed Amiri to fully understand the security challenges facing the country.

The previous day, Ward met with the president of Madagascar and top government ministers to discuss ways to boost its homeland security.

Africom, from its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, works to assist militaries of African nations to increase their security capacity. Prior to the creation of the command, U.S. military relations with Comoros and Madagascar were coordinated by U.S. Pacific Command, headquartered in Hawaii.

"Africa Command works through U.S. embassies to provide military-to-military assistance to African countries when appropriate and requested," Jerry Lanier, Ward's foreign policy advisor, said.

"We only go where we are invited and where our presence and what we do reinforces U.S. foreign policy," he said.

Lanier attended the meetings with Ward and said they helped to provide general insight into each country's priorities and desires.

"What's important is that now the dialogue has been established," Lanier said. "When a request for military assistance comes to us from the ambassador, we will already have a good amount of clarity of what it is they are looking for."

According to Ward, the Comoran government asked for assistance with maritime safety and security. In response to this request, the United States will provide Comoros with a patrol boat later this year. The boat will be funded by the Foreign Military Financing program, which provides grants and loans to help countries buy U.S.-produced defense equipment.

Additionally, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa has sent training teams to conduct basic maritime security training. The task force is an Africom subordinate command in Djibouti with direct oversight of U.S. military assistance programs in Comoros and other nations in the east Africa region.

The U.S. Navy also is working with Comoros to eventually install an Automatic Information System to identify and track vessels in the country's territorial waters to improve maritime domain awareness.

However, the most visible impact of U.S. military assistance to Comoros comes from a dozen U.S. Navy Mobile Construction Battalion "Seabees."

Seabee teams have deployed in the region since 2007 to construct a six-room school building, which is scheduled to be completed in July 2009.

Comoros, comprising three islands that together are about the size of Delaware, is among the world's poorest and least-developed nations. Among its leaders' top priorities is improving education. This school, on the island of Grande Comore, is the third such project the U.S. military has built there since 2007.

"You're basically improving something for somebody who doesn't have anything," Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Beardsley, the project's leading petty officer, said. "You get a good night's sleep. You get to make some family's life a little bit better. Their kids are getting a chance to learn."

Built entirely of cinder block and hand-mixed concrete, the school will accommodate about 250 students attending the U.S. equivalent of high school and junior college.

Ward toured the site, presented his commander's coin to the Seabees, and listened as they explained how they were building the school.

"You're here to help in an area that makes the greatest difference for the children," Ward told the Seabees. "I'm proud of the work that you're doing away from home. This resonates louder and longer than anything that we can do. Well done."

(Kenneth Fidler serves in the U.S. Africa Command public affairs office.)

Missile Defense Agency Successfully Tests Newest Target Launcher

By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - Missile Defense Agency officials announced the newest addition to the agency's "flexible target family" today after a successful rocket motor test yesterday at the China Lake Naval Warfare Center in Ridgecrest, Calif. The agency successfully completed a static-fire testing of the two-stage launch vehicle, known as the LV-2. It was integrated from former Navy Trident C4 rocket motors to imitate a long-range, intercontinental ballistic missile threat, Defense Missile Agency spokesman Rick Lehner told American Forces Press during a phone interview today.

"What we're trying to do, and what we have done, is develop different types of interceptors for different types of missiles based upon their range," Lehner explained, noting that the United States has proven interceptor missiles to use against short, medium, intermediate and long-range enemy missiles.

"What we have to do is develop target missiles that we would use in tests that would tell us what we think we may see from the enemy," he said.

In a statement released today, officials noted that the Missile Defense Agency has an array of target weaponry that emulates various measures of ballistic missile threats with a broad range of performance, characteristics and features to be used to test the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

The LV-2 replicates a long-range missile of the same type of technology that might be launched from North Korea or Iran, Lehner said.

"It's a new initiative by the Missile Defense Agency to develop this new generation of target missiles to make them more reliable, to make them better replicate what we think our threat missile will look like," he said. "You test your interceptors by what you think you will encounter during an actual war or attack."

The LV-2's test yesterday is the first, with one or two more to follow, Lehner said. Its first flight is planned for late spring or early summer as part of a larger-scale Ballistic Missile Defense System test, he added.

MILITARY CONTRACTS January 23, 2009

NAVY

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Sector, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $39,987,905 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-07-C-0041) for the procurement of three Low Rate Initial Production Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle units, including support. In addition this modification provides for three Ground Control Stations, three Light Harpoon Grids, three UCARS systems and six Portable Electronic Display devices. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed in Mar. 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.

GSE Dynamics, Inc., Hauppage, N.Y., is being awarded a $33,482,043 time and material, indefinite-quantity contract for machining, welding, assembly, test, refurbish and restoration services of naval submarine antenna, periscope and communication systems/components, as well as various submarine and surface craft hull, mechanical and electrical systems components. Work will be performed in Hauppage, N.Y., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $90,253 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-D-0011).

General Electric Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $27,030,876 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0088) for engineering and integrated logistics services in support of the F/A-18E/F F414-GE-400 Engine Component Improvement Program. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass., (78 percent); Evendale, Ohio, (13 percent); Lemoore, Calif., (5 percent), and Jacksonville, Fla., (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in Dec. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $905,353 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Allard Nazarian Group, Inc. dba Granite State Manufacturing Inc., Manchester, N.H., is being awarded a $26,753,130 time and material, indefinite quantity contract for machining, welding, assembly, test, refurbish and restoration services of naval submarine antenna, periscope and communication systems/components, as well as various submarine and surface craft hull, mechanical and electrical systems components. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Md., (90 percent), and Manchester, N.H., (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $102,117 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-D-0009).

Universal Steel Fabrication, Inc., National City, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $24,000,000 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to prepare for and accomplish structural ship repairs aboard U.S. naval vessels and other Government vessels under the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center's Commercial Industrial Services program. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $3000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with 15 proposals solicited and 6 offers received. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N55236-09-D-0002).

Garvey Precision Machine, Inc., Willingboro, N.J., is being awarded a $23,819,768 time and material, indefinite quantity contract for machining, welding, assembly, test, refurbish and restoration services of naval submarine antenna, periscope and communication systems/components, as well as various submarine and surface craft hull, mechanical and electrical systems components. Work will be performed in Willingboro, N.J., and is expected to be completed by Jan. 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $92,103 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-D-0010).

A.K.O., Inc., Torque Specialties*, Enfield, Conn., is being awarded a $14,730,000 ceiling-priced, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for the procurement of the Torque Force Calibration System. The system, which calibrates various torque and force equipment and tools, will be used by the Naval Air Systems Command Metrology and Calibration Program in support of Fleet and depot calibration workload for shore-based, shipboard, and mobile calibration laboratories. This contract includes maximum quantities as follows: 125 motorized loaders with accessories; 200 transducers and indicator exchange kits; 200 force arm and test cable kits, and 15 torque calibration support standards. Work will be performed in Enfield, Conn., and is expected to be completed in Jul. 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via electronic Request for Proposal and one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-09-D-0091).

General Dynamics, Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., is being awarded a $10,250,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-4005) for non-nuclear maintenance and repair support at the Naval Submarine Support Facility, Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn. Under the terms of the contract, Electric Boat will continue to provide services required to support planned and emergent non-nuclear maintenance and repair for operational nuclear submarines, floating dry-docks, support and service craft, and other platforms and equipment. Work will be performed in New London, Conn., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $10,250,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Strategic Technology Institute Inc., Rockville, Md.; Accenture National Security Services LCC, Reston, Va.; General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va.; Information Based Technology, Foothill Ranch, Calif.; and Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, Calif., are each being awarded cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity multiple award contracts to provide professional support services to Commander, Naval Reserve Forces Command, New Orleans, La. Strategic Technology Institute Inc. is being awarded $9,744,806, and the contracts estimated value if all options are exercised is $51,479,310. Accenture National Security Services is being awarded $9,291,669 and the contracts estimated value if all options are exercised is $48,593,399. General Dynamics Information Technology is being awarded $9,682,714 and the contracts estimated value if all options are exercised is $51,888,395. Information Based Technology is being awarded $8,931,069 and the contracts estimated value if all options are exercised is $47,513,389. Science Applications International Corp. is being awarded $9,411,176 and the contracts estimated value if all options are exercised is $49,909,921. Work is to be performed in New Orleans, La., (60 percent) and various other sites (40 percent), and work is expected to be complete Jan. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This requirement was awarded through full and open competition, with 12 offers received. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Philadephia Office is the contracting activity. (Strategic Technology Institute Inc., N00189-09-D-Z025; Accenture National Security Services, N00189-09-D-Z026; General Dynamics Information Technology, N00189-09-D-Z024; Information Based Technology, N00189-09-D-Z022; Science Applications International Corp., N00189-09-D-Z023).

ARMY

DTC Engineers & Constructors, LLC, North Haven, Conn., was awarded on Jan. 22, 2009, a $12,413,062 firm fixed price contract for a project consisting of design and construction of Armed Forces Reserve Center, Arkadelphia, Ark. Primary facilities include an Armed Forces Reserve Center with an organizational maintenance shop, unheated storage building and organizational parking. Work will be performed at Arkadelphia, Ark., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 1, 2010. Bids were solicited by FedTeds with three bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-09-C-0011).

Taos Industries, Madison, Ala., was awarded on Jan. 22, 2009, a $5,607,468 firm fixed price w/200 precent option contract for Non Standard Ammunition – PG-7VM 70.5mm, 12.7 x 108mm Links, and 12.7 x 108mm PPL (the PPL round is a squib cartridge used to generate gas pressure to forward the chamber one round). Rounds are for the Government of Afghanistan. Work will be performed at Madison, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2009. Two bids were solicited and one bid received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-08-C-0049).

Manson Construction Co., Seattle, Wash., was awarded on Jan. 21, 2009, a $6,915,600 Construction contract for construction dredging, Mississippi River SWP, Hopper Dredge Rental No. 02-2009, Plaquemines Parish, La. Work will be performed at Plaquemines Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 12, 2009. Bids were solicited on the Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-09-C-0022).
AIR FORCE

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery requirements contract to Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. of Herndon, Virginia for $12,615,192. This contract provides analysis to the Joint Staff Security Office. At this time, $2,145,400 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

The Air Force is exercising an option with Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems of Clearfield, Utah for $8,760,261. This contact will incorporate changes into the Environmental Control System on the Prime Integrated Contract to support the Minuteman Weapon System. At this time, $3,994,072 has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (F42610-98-C-0001).

The Air Force is modifying a Cost Plus Award Fee contract to General Dynamics Advance Information Systems, Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., for $8,704,762. This contract will provide the spiral II technical upgrade to the Joint Execution and Tasking Systems for Space. At this time $450,381 has been obligated. SMC/SYSW/PK, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8819-08-C-0050, P00003).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

General Electric Co., Cincinnati, Ohio is being awarded a maximum $10,680,580 firm fixed price, fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for modern digital electronic control units. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. 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 Dec. 31, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Richmond, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla (FA8122-09-G-0001-UN02).

Fire Chiefs Association Signs Employer Support Statement

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - The International Association of Fire Chiefs joined thousands of other American employers of National Guardsmen and reservists today when its president and executive director signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve statement of support. "The first-responder employer segment is one of the largest employers of National Guardsmen and reservists in the country," said Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "Police chiefs, fire chiefs [and] emergency medical technicians are sort of a natural fit with the military, and many of them are with the Guard and reserve.

"So when they deploy and our employers support them, it means so much to the families," he added

Established in 1873, the association is a network of nearly 13,000 chief fire and emergency service officers.

Association President Larry J. Grorud also signed a statement.

"We understand the solemn duty of serving our communities and nation, and we support National Guardsmen and reservists," the Janesville, Wis., fire chief, said. "As employers we have the responsibility to support their service to their country."

He also challenged all the International Association of Fire Chiefs' member fire chiefs and emergency medical service managers to join him in signing statements of support to publicly honor their employees.

"I call on all fire chiefs to join me in publicly expressing [their] support for the brave men and women who have chosen [to serve in] the National Guard and reserves," Grorud said.

The 18 board members here for the association's annual board meeting met that challenge immediately, singing statements of support on behalf of their fire departments.

"I think the secretary said it best. The fire service and the military are so similar. The fire service really is a paramilitary organization," said Grorud, who served three years in the Army, including one in Vietnam. "I think there's a common thread there that bonds, and I think that's probably why you saw the entire board get up and sign that statement for their departments. I'm really proud of them."

The statement of support is a pledge to:

-- Fully recognize, honor and enforce military employment law;

-- Provide managers and supervisors with tools to manage employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves; and

-- Continually recognize and support the country's servicemembers and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Defense Department agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflicts between employers and military employees through mediation.

Air Force Works Aggressively to Reduce Bird Strikes

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Jan. 23, 2009 - As an ongoing investigation continues on a bird strike that caused a passenger jet's engines to fail last week after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, Air Force safety officials said they're well-versed on the dangers of bird strikes and aggressively are working to prevent them. National Transportation Safety Board officials confirmed initial indications that U.S. Airways flight 1549 struck a flock of birds, which were sucked into the engines and caused them to fail. The pilot, former Air Force pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, successfully landed the plane in New York's Hudson River and is credited with saving all 155 people on board.

The incident brought public focus to a problem the Air Force, along with the airline industry, has long struggled to overcome.

Last year alone, the Air Force experienced more than 4,000 bird strikes, Eugene LeBoeuf, chief of the Air Force's Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard, or BASH, program at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., told American Forces Press Service.

Fortunately, none of those bird strikes was classified as a "Class A" accident, one that results in a death or more than $1 million in damages, LeBoeuf said. But collectively, they cost the Air Force an estimated $35 million.

Bird strikes are on the rise, he said, and present a serious safety issue. The crash of an E-3B Airborne Warning and Control System plane in 1995 after takeoff from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, painfully drove that point home. All 24 crew members died when the plane struck a flock of Canada geese just after takeoff.

"When you have a bird strike, it's like throwing a rock into the engine," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul White, airfield operations supervisor at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. "It stops the turbine from spinning, and that can be catastrophic."

The BASH program works to avert accidents like the one at Elmendorf and last week's incident in New York. Based on a system of "integrated pest management," it aims to keep air bases, airfields and the air space and ground in and around them free of birds and wildlife that can hamper aircraft operations, LeBoeuf explained.

That's a challenge, he said, with more Canada geese taking up permanent residence in the United States, a burgeoning snow goose population and a comeback for the pelican population after DDT and other insecticides were banned.

But birds aren't the only problem, LeBoeuf said. He's seen it all: deer, coyotes, wild pigs and even alligators finding their way onto Air Force flightlines. "They're mobile speed bumps, and aircraft don't take kindly to them," he said.

Step one in the BASH program is "habitat alteration," which LeBoeuf defined as making airfields as uninviting as possible. Anything that might serve as a perch is removed, denying birds an elevated place to roost. Potential perches that can't be removed get spikes driven into them.

Meanwhile, low spots in the land where birds can hide or seek water that collects are filled in.

Dan Vredenburgh, a contractor who oversees Andrews Air Force Base's BASH program, follows the Air Force protocol of ensuring grass around the airfield is maintained between 7 and 14 inches. That's too short for ground birds to nest in, but too long for them to feel safe feeding in, he explained.

"These are the benign approaches, but if they don't work, we turn to more active techniques," LeBoeuf said. In a word, he defined that as "harassment."

Vredenburgh, for example, has a whole list of tricks to make Andrews unwelcoming to seagulls, blackbirds, starlings, turkey vultures, cowbirds, ducks and geese that frequent the region.

He fires off pyrotechnics and propane cannons as needed to scare birds from the 4,320-acre base. One of his most effective tools is Bree, a two-tone border collie that chases away birds or other wildlife that might be tempted to take up residence. Vrendenburg and Bree patrol the base regularly, and he sets her loose when he discovers birds roosting.

"When she takes off, they leave in a hurry," Vrendenburgh said. "After a couple of times, they probably won't come back."

Other bases use different techniques. The Royal Air Force base at Mildenhall in England, for example, relies on a Moroccan lanner hawk named Goldie to ward off unwanted birds. At Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, a luger falcon named Mustang helps to keep unwanted birds at bay.

But no preventive measure will keep birds and other wildlife away indefinitely, LeBoeuf said. So as a last resort, BASH officials get the permits required to shoot, trap or otherwise remove them from the area.

At Andrews -- home of the 316th Wing as well as the 89th Airlift Wing that flies Air Force One and other aircraft in support of the president, vice president and senior U.S. leaders -- these measures are helping to reduce bird strikes.

Andrews reported 20 bird strikes last year, down from 30 in fiscal 2007 and an average of about 34 a year in past years, Vredenburgh said. Nearly all involved small birds, and none inflicted major aircraft damage or forced an emergency landing.

"We understand the importance of what we do, and believe we're helping reduce the problem through our efforts," he said.

"There's no question that the BASH program is making a difference," LeBoeuf said. "It saves lives and aircraft and allows us to maintain our mission. It's a very important program."