Military News

Friday, February 13, 2009

Air Forces Africa Works to Boost Nigerian Air Safety

By Air Force Maj. Paula Kurtz
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - While taking to the skies has some inherent risk, advances in technology, stringent maintenance requirements and rigorous training procedures for aircrews have contributed to a safe aerial environment in most parts of the world. But some parts of the world lack basic infrastructure and technology such as radar or air traffic control. Formal maintenance programs for aircraft do not exist, and communication between pilots and ground personnel is sporadic or nonexistent.

These are just a few of the air domain challenges faced by many of the 54 nations that make up the African continent. Since it stood up as the air component for U.S. Africa Command on Oct. 1, members of U.S. Air Forces Africa have been building a program aimed at bolstering air safety and security on the continent.

Air Force Lt. Col. David MacKenzie, deputy director of the plans directorate, traveled to Nigeria in January to work with Nigerian and U.S. aviation experts on charting the future of Nigeria's air domain program and to give a presentation on the U.S. search and rescue program and its capabilities.

"This was really a comprehensive and synchronized effort ... to enhance partner capacity in building Nigeria's air domain," MacKenzie said.

During the first portion of his visit, MacKenzie brought his expertise as a C-130 pilot and instructor to an assessment of the Nigerian air force's C-130 fleet and its logistics program. With only one of Nigeria's eight C-130s currently airworthy, the team evaluated the others for possible reconstitution, placing heavy emphasis on the maintenance required to keep them safely in the air.

"It's not just about fixing the aircraft," MacKenzie said. "There is a big sustainment piece in the supply, logistics and training areas as well. Spare parts should be available, and a supply system for technical orders and back-shop equipment, plus training for your maintenance, communications and supply people is required."

Ultimately, the goal of rebuilding the C-130 fleet is to facilitate Nigeria's commitment to contribute more support to peacekeeping operations on the continent through airlift of indigenous or neighboring troops and equipment, officials said. On the ground, Nigeria is building a force of seven peacekeeping battalions to support African Union and United Nations peacekeeping operations in Liberia, Sudan and Somalia.

"Right now, they have very limited ways to get people to the fight or sustain them when they are there," MacKenzie said.

His findings during this assessment will help to shape future theater security cooperation plans with Nigeria as issues are addressed through military-to-military capacity-building events led by the California National Guard in the State Partnership Program, joint exercises, conferences and senior-leader engagements.

While the Nigerian air force is focused on refurbishing its C-130 fleet, its civil aviation leaders are taking a hard look at equally important search and rescue procedures.

"Search and rescue really takes a coordinated approach," MacKenzie said Jan. 20 in Abuja, the country's capital. "They discussed the need to exercise their programs ... through tabletop and field exercises ... so they'll be better prepared when something happens. That's not the time you want to be testing your communications and procedures."

MacKenzie used the recent U.S. Airways emergency landing in New York's Hudson River as an example of well-practiced rescue procedures.

"We talked about the quick response of the rescue folks on the ground as part of that success story," MacKenzie said. "Those who had boats in the water -- Park Service, ferry operators, New York City police -- wasted no time in getting to the wreckage to render aid to the survivors. That was critical in minimizing injuries and saving lives."

Though acknowledging the Nigerian air domain has "significant gaps" in its safety and security procedures, MacKenzie was quick to compliment officials on their bird and safety hazards program, describing the country's main port city, Lagos, as a "sprawling city with lots of birds" that pose hazards to aircraft.

A three-tiered air domain safety and security program is designed to capitalize on "natural air linkages," where U.S. Air Force programs and capabilities can contribute to increasing capacity within the military and civil aviation programs on the continent.

Speaking at the African Aviation Leadership Conference in August, a Federal Aviation Administration official noted that in the 10-year period between 1994 and 2004, African nations accounted for only 4.5 percent of the world's total air traffic, but had a startling 25 percent of aviation accidents.

"We hope the Nigerians establish a safe and efficient air domain model in Nigeria, and hope it takes root and spreads," MacKenzie said. "It will if the leaders there have the political will to share and teach others in the region."

(Air Force Maj. Paula Kurtz serves with the 17th Air Force public affairs office.)

U.S. Must Prepare for 'Hybrid' Warfare, General Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - The U.S. military boasts dominant nuclear and conventional capabilities, but must improve its capacity to fight irregular wars, NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation said yesterday. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who also serves as the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, said the United States has lost some of its nuclear and conventional war edge in recent years, but remains superior on these fronts.

"We are not superior in irregular warfare," he said in a speech at the Foreign Policy Research Institute here. "And that's what we've got to be."

Mattis discussed the need for the U.S. military to transform to a "hybrid" force that expands its nonconventional means without sacrificing classic warfighting competence.

Broadly defined, irregular warfare refers to conflict with an enemy that does not organize itself as a traditional military. As in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, this type of fighting entails stealthy attacks such as roadside bombings and ambushes, instead of direct military-to-military engagement.

In calculating how to establish greater balance among the two types of warfare, the general said, he noticed a common thread among past armies that morphed to meet a new set of challenges.

"Every military that transformed, that changed, that modernized, did so on the basis of one thing," he said. "They identified a problem and solved it."

These historical precedents are relevant today because the fundamental nature of war is unchanging, he added.

"If I was to sum up everything I've learned in 35 years of wearing this uniform, I'd do it with three words: improvise, improvise, improvise. And the more we anticipate, the more we try to get it right ahead of time, the less we have to improvise in combat," he said.

To help quantify problems the military may face over the next quarter century, officials developed the idea of the Joint Operating Environment. This conceptual battlefield takes into account potential threats born out of competition for resources, economics, increased urbanization and the possibility of nonstate actors obtaining more deadly weapons.

Joint Forces Command released its findings in December in a report called Joint Operating Environment 2008. A follow-on document, known as the Capstone Concept, created with approval from Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will guide how U.S. joint forces are implemented.

"Today's challenges and threats are not strictly military in nature, solved or countered by military means alone," Mullen said last month. "We owe future generations a longer-term view of security. The concept is designed to help military and other national security leaders think about challenges and opportunities."

Mattis said one certainty is that the United States will fight 21st century war among "hybrid conditions" and emphasized the need to maintain focus on the mixed-type of warfare and to make irregular war a core competency.

"If we don't set up some kind of magnet to pull the [Defense] Department out of its good old 'mano-a-mano' conventional war focus, then we won't shift the budgeting, we won't shift the focus over where it has to go," he said. "Really, we're going to have to be able to fight hybrid enemies."

Card Decks Raise Awareness of Egyptian Antiquities

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - Legend has it that when the French invaded Egypt in 1798, artillerymen used the Sphinx for target practice and shot the nose off of it. Laurie Rush wants to make sure American troops traveling to Egypt for the upcoming Bright Star military exercise don't make the same impression.

Rush, the cultural resources program manager at Fort Drum, N.Y., has put together a deck of cards for servicemembers that urges them to respect Egyptian heritage. She was the brains behind a similar deck distributed to servicemembers deploying to Iraq.
The cards are part of the Defense Department's Legacy Resource Management Program, which is aimed at preserving natural and cultural resources. Archeologists from around the world are working together to preserve mankind's common heritage.

The effort will include distributing 10,000 decks of cards to Americans and, perhaps, international servicemembers who will deploy to the "Land of the Pharaohs," Rush said in an interview. "The cards have English and Arabic, so it's a good way to spread the word," Rush said.

The Bright Star exercise will begin in September, but servicemembers will start arriving for planning sessions months earlier. Personnel deploying to Bright Star will receive instruction in safeguarding artifacts and archeologically sensitive sites. The cards will serve as a reminder of those lessons.

Each card has a photograph of the gold funerary mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, on one side. On the other, each card has a different photo and factoid on Egyptian history or generic tips to preserve archeological treasures. For example, the five of hearts has a picture of the temple of Abu Simbel and the words "Protecting archeological sites helps preserve them for future generations."

The nine of spades has a shot of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter and the caption, "Helicopter rotor wash can damage archeological sites. Locate your [landing zones] a safe distance away from known sites."

"In Egypt, we need our people to really pay attention to their surroundings," Rush said. "If they are in areas where the ground is more than just sand, they need to be as careful as they can be."

Egypt is one of the world's oldest civilizations. People have lived along the Nile River for at least 8,000 years, and great cities rose and fell along the banks of the river. It's not uncommon for visitors there to stumble upon an artifact.

Being mindful of artifacts is more than just being careful in the field, Rush said. Egyptian grave robbers and artifact scavengers sell antiquities.

"Aside from the fact that many of these artifacts are fakes, the Egyptian government and the U.S. military has severe penalties for anyone caught buying or selling these goods," Rush said.

These artifacts often are all that remain of ancient civilizations, Rush said. Professional archeologists who find artifacts in place can fill in gaps in human history.

Rush worked with experts at the Colorado State University. James A. Zeidler and Tracy Wagner were responsible for the final design and production of the decks.

Suicide Prevention Hotline Saves Veterans' Lives

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

Feb. 13, 2009 - Help is only a phone call away for military veterans considering suicide.
Nearly 100,000 veterans, family members or friends of veterans have reached out for help by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. The hotline was launched July 2007.

The VA initiative is part of a collaborative effort with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a nationwide network of 133 crisis centers. Calls automatically are routed to the nearest center based on the caller's area code.

The hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is staffed by trained mental health professionals prepared to deal with immediate crisis. Although the lifeline isn't restricted to military veterans only, callers are prompted to "please press 1 now" if they are a U.S. military veteran or are calling about a veteran. Callers who press 1 are transferred to the nearest VA call center.

More than 2,600 veterans have been "rescued" through the hotline, according to a recent VA statement.

"I urge veterans and their loved ones to take advantage of our suicide-prevention program," VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said in the statement. "Help for these heroes is a phone call away."

An estimated 5,000 veterans commit suicide annually, with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans 35 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population. VA statistics show that between 2002 and 2006, more than 250 veterans who left the military after Sept. 11, 2001, committed suicide.

The trend has grown within the active-duty military rank,s too. A steady increase in suicides among veterans and active-duty members has been persistent in recent years. The Army recently announced 2008 as its highest suicide year since 1980, with at least 128 soldiers confirmed to have taken their own lives, while 15 other cases are pending investigations.

VA, the Defense Department and local communities are making it a point to understand suicide and determine better prevention methods. Defense leaders, including Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have voiced concerns for short- and long-term solutions.

"We have got to be able to support those individuals in ways that, in some cases, we haven't quite figured out yet," Mullen said during a lecture at Grove City College, Pa., earlier this month.

Mullen routinely advocates for solutions to increase the amount of rest and time at home troops have in between deployments. Officials recognize the high tempo of deployment rotations as being a likely factor for the increased suicide rates.

VA and active-duty military officials are working with outside research organizations to improve their programs and lower the numbers. The Army and National Institute of Mental Health recently launched a five-year research initiative to gain a better understanding in the hope of preventing suicides in the military and nation.

To identify and treat at-risk patients, prevention efforts and initiatives are in place in each of VA's 153 medical centers and more than 750 outpatient clinics across the nation. Also, suicide prevention coordinators are on hand at each facility.

Troubled veterans, whether they call the suicide prevention hotline or walk in, receive follow-up care almost immediately. Preliminary evaluations occur within 24 hours of requests, and referrals are given for mental health appointments. Comprehensive evaluations are conducted within 14 days, with emergency cases handled immediately.

Center Tracks Icebergs to Ensure Safety at Sea

By John Ohab
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - A multiagency center operated by the Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard provides continuous tracking and monitoring of ice movements to support national interests throughout the world. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Gary Premo, a senior ice analyst at the National Ice Center, was interviewed on "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" on BlogTalkRadio.com on Feb. 11 about the NIC's role in analyzing ice movements for safety of navigation and operations and in monitoring the changing Arctic climate.

"We record the ice change on a global scale. We also provide tactical support to the Navy and government agencies," Premo said.

Premo is an aerographer's mate, jokingly known as "weather guessers" in the Navy. They draw on extensive training in meteorology and oceanography to assess weather situations and provide commanders with tactical support. They can specialize in a variety of fields, including ice monitoring, aviation weather, hydrography, and anti-submarine and mine warfare.

Premo explained the breadth of factors that must be considered when monitoring ice, including variation in climate, currents and topography.

"To know a certain area, you have to know its climatological features dealing with weather, its wind regimes, and you have to know how to read the weather charts," Premo said.

Ice analysts rely on a wide array of satellite imaging and geospatial information technologies housed at the NOAA's Satellite Operations Facility. These tools include high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, infrared imagery, and passive microwave sensors for positional analysis of ice structures.

NIC also developed and maintains a system for naming Antarctic ice structures that have broken free from land. Icebergs that are at least 10 nautical miles at their longest axis are named and tracked through the open water until they melt below this threshold.

"We're actually the agency that does it globalwide. If you see a named iceberg in the news, that's actually us doing it," Premo said.

In addition to tracking ice movements, NIC provides tactical analyses and daily forecasts of ice conditions in the Arctic, Antarctica and the Great Lakes. The Fractures/Leads and Polynyas product is used by the U.S. Navy to identify ice fractures and aid in submarine surfacing. NIC makes daily sea ice edge measurements and ice consolidation data available to the public.

"The edge line is probably one of our most used products downloaded off our Web [site] and used by our customers," Premo said.

Premo described some of the climate changes observed in the Arctic over the past decade, including a decrease in "multiyear ice", the ice that historically survives the yearly summer melt.

"More and more of that multiyear ice has been diminishing," Premo said. "When you actually go into a melt season, that multiyear [ice] becomes smaller and smaller, which is making the Arctic more open water -- "sea ice free" as we call it -- and that's been happening over the last decade."

(John Ohab holds a doctorate in neuroscience and works for the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

Reserve Component Units Recognized for Superb Family Support

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - Seven National Guard and reserve units received recognition for their support of families of deployed troops at a Pentagon ceremony today. Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, hosted the annual Department of Defense Reserve Family Readiness Awards presentation, which highlighted the best National Guard and reserve unit family readiness support programs in 2008.

The awardees constitute "a mirror image of all of those units throughout our country" that labor to assist the families of deployed National Guard members and reservists, Hall said.

Each recognized unit received an engraved wood Defense Department plaque and a certificate signed by Hall. Award recipients also received a certificate and $1,000 from the Military Officers Association of America.

The military's aircraft, ships, tanks and other equipment have little value without the servicemembers who operate and maintain them, Hall pointed out.

"People are the key, and always have been the key, and that's what this ceremony today is about," Hall said. That's why, he added, it's important to support the families of deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members who perform vital wartime missions.

Having deployed to Iraq in 2003, Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Keough Cofield knows what it's like to serve in a war zone. Today, Cofield is a family program liaison with the 3rd Brigade, 98th Division, 108th Training Command, based at Lexington, Ky. The 108th was among the awardees at today's Pentagon ceremony.

"It's definitely an honor to win this [award]," Cofield said, noting that his unit established an informational Web site for families of deployed servicemembers.

"Families can go online and click on a link and find all of the resources that are available to them," Cofield said, such as the USO and the Red Cross.

When he was in Iraq, Cofield recalled being comforted by the thought that there were family support personnel ready to assist his family.

"Knowing that there were individuals back home taking care of my family put my mind at ease and let me focus on the mission at hand," he said.

Cofield's family support assistant, Chevonne Baxter, echoed his comments. "Helping families is very important, because they are the soldier's support system," she said. "If family isn't taken care of, the soldier will worry.

"We're going to make sure that the families are taken care of in support of that soldier," she said.

The 108th's family support program operates a monthly family newsletter, Baxter said, and families of deployed servicemembers are frequently contacted via e-mail "to see if everything is running smoothly."

Other units recognized at the ceremony include:

--Army National Guard: 263d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Anderson, S.C.;

-- Navy Reserve: Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24, Huntsville, Ala.;

--Marine Corps Reserve: 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Portland, Ore.;

-- Air National Guard: 153d Airlift Wing, Cheyenne, Wyo.;

--Air Force Reserve: 439th Airlift Wing, Springfield, Mass.;

--Coast Guard Reserve: Port Security Unit 309, Port Clinton, Ohio.

The department's Reserve Family Readiness Awards program was established in 2000. Robust family support programs are important and vital to mission success, officials said, as significant numbers of servicemembers have deployed overseas in support of the global war on terrorism.

Senior Leaders Examine 2010 Defense Budget Choices

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - Senior defense leaders are taking a serious and critical look at the president's fiscal 2010 defense budget request, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, the combatant commanders, and other civilian and military leaders from the Defense Department are discussing department-related issues, including the budget, during the Defense Senior Leadership Conference, Morrell said at a news conference.

Morrell said the secretary is reshaping the request to reflect current and future realities.

"He wants to make sure the budget balances the demands of the wars we are currently fighting and the future threats we may face," he said. "Of course, he is acutely aware that we are crafting this budget in the midst of a global financial crisis, so it must not only be militarily responsible, but also fiscally realistic."

Gates said in testimony before Congress last month that the department is ready to make the tough choices in the defense budget. The senior leader conference is looking at the budget with this in mind.

"First, we must make tough choices about programs suffering from serious execution problems," Morrell said. "Second, we have to find new ways of doing business more efficiently and cost-effectively. And third, the services must strive to be as joint in their acquisitions as they are in their operations."

The secretary has said he wants the combatant commanders to explore new ideas. "We need to look for cost efficiencies, and we need to be more joint in how we acquire [capabilities]," Morrell said.

The secretary often has mentioned that military services must depend on other services for capabilities. If one service is building a capability, another service does not have to duplicate it.

"The services clearly have been extraordinarily joint in their operations since Operation Enduring Freedom began in late 2001," Morrell said. "They have been increasingly joint in other aspects as well.

"[The secretary] really does believe that we need to put service interests aside as much as we can when it comes to budgeting and acquisitions and so forth, and work more jointly and not see ourselves as separate stovepipe budgets, but one larger defense budget that looks out for our collective capabilities and risks."

Morrell also discussed the Defense Department portion of the economic stimulus package. The White House asked for -- and the department delivered -- a list of military construction projects that could be part of the stimulus bill now being voted on by Congress. "The [Defense Department] portion of the stimulus package ... totals a little more than $7 billion," Morrell said.

If President Barack Obama signs the legislation, the Defense Department will receive the money for near-term construction projects "that could make a difference in the lives of our servicemembers and their families," Morrell said, such as barracks, medical clinics and child care centers.

"For us, anything helps," Morrell said. "It does help us address the needs of our servicemembers and their families, and for that we are thankful. ... And we look forward to executing that money as soon as we get it, because we think it can make a difference not only in their lives, but in the near-term economic state of the country, as well. We can put people to work and do these military construction projects in the next six to 18 months, and hopefully have an impact."

Decision Pending on Status of Suspected Somali Pirates

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - The 16 suspected pirates captured by American ships yesterday and Feb. 11 have been transferred to the USNS Lewis and Clark, defense officials said today. The suspects -- all believed to be Somali -- are being treated properly and humanely, Defense Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said during a Pentagon news conference.

The suspects will "remain aboard that ship until information and evidence is assembled and evaluated and a decision is ultimately made regarding their future transfer," Morrell said.

Servicemembers in Task Force 151 -- the anti-piracy group operating in the Gulf of Aden -- will compile the evidence in each case and determine if there is ample evidence to recommend prosecution.

"If there isn't, we will likely repatriate these individuals -- of course, minus the weapons that they were apprehended with," Morrell said.

The United States has a memorandum of understanding with Kenya on the piracy issue. Under the agreement, any pirates captured would be brought to justice in Kenya. Prosecuting these men will show there is a price to criminal behavior on the high seas, Defense Department officials said.

"The commander of the task force is ultimately responsible for determining whether or not these individuals will be taken to Kenya for adjudication or whether they -- some of them or all of them -- can be released," Morrell said.

The U.S. decision is being made even as a Russian cruiser seized 10 suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The Russian cruiser is part of a multinational effort to stop piracy in the region. The ships operate under a United Nations Security Council resolution.

"Overall, this speaks to the fact that the task force is aggressively patrolling this body of water as, frankly, are many other nations that are not a part of this task force, all in response to an international cry to do more to protect cargo and other material and individuals being shipped through there," Morrell said.

Guard, Reserve Members Score Support from USA Basketball

By Jessica Gonzalez
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - On the eve of the highly anticipated National Basketball Association's All-Star weekend, the managing director of the Men's USA Basketball National Team signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve statement of support here yesterday. Jerry Colangelo was joined by political, business and military officials from throughout Arizona.

ESGR is a Defense Department organization that works to promote cooperation and understanding between Guard and Reserve members and their civilian employers, and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.

The occasion represented USA Basketball's continued recognition of the nearly 700,000 citizen-soldiers and -airmen that have gone to war for the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

ESGR State Chairman Scott Essex thanked USA Basketball and other supporting businesses on behalf of nearly 13,000 Arizona National Guard and Reserve members. He also recognized the dozens of volunteers that help ESGR achieve its employer-outreach goals.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon extended the city's support for Arizona's servicemembers and veterans by offering the city and its resources in recognition and respect for their sacrifices, at one point noting that there is nothing more important to the city of Phoenix than assisting servicemembers in need.

Phoenix was the first major city in Arizona to support employees activated into service by providing differential pay to prevent financial hardship while deployed, officials said.

Reflecting on his world travels, Colangelo noted the pride he felt as an American overseas. He said he encountered servicemembers from foreign nations who spoke of the respect they had for America and how much its military aided in the protection of the world.

Colangelo also pointed out how much it meant to him and USA Basketball to be a part of ESGR. Supporting the Guard and Reserve, a seemingly basic responsibility of employers, took on a new meaning with USA Basketball's statement of support.

Colangelo said he hopes his organization's participation in this program will help other companies see the need to reform or establish their own polices.

(Jessica Gonzalez serves in the Arizona National Guard.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 13, 2009

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

United Technologies, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a minimum $120,526,032 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity, sole source contract for engines. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Navy and Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification is exercising the fifth option period of a ten-year contract with a three-year base period and provisions for seven one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Feb. 14, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Richmond, Richmond, Va., (SPM400-01-D-9405).

Pepco Energy Services, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a maximum $7,623,859 firm fixed price contract for electrical services. Other locations of performance are Md., and New Jersey. Using services are Army, Air Force, and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 81 proposals solicited with 16 responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2009. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-05-G-8029 D.O. 0011).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $396,081,495 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Pa., Mich., Tenn., Va., Ill., N.J., Ky., Ind., N.C., Md., and Wis. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Federal Civilian Agencies, Coast Guard, and other Non-DoD Agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7000).

Cardinal Health 200 Inc., McGaw Park, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $396,081,495 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Md., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Tenn., Ill., Mo., Mass., N.J., Minn., Ind., Ky., and Mich. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7001).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $206,681,129 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Ga., Ala., Mass., N.C., Va., Miss., Tenn., Okla., Texas, Fla., Md., La., and New Jersey. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7002).

Cardinal Health 200 Inc., McGaw Park, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $206,681,129 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Fla., Texas, N.C., La., Tenn., and Ga. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian cgencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7003).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va. is being awarded a maximum $201,422,492 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Colorado, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with 2 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is October 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM200-05-D-7004).

Cardinal Health 200 Inc., McGaw Park, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $201,422,492 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Minnesota, Nebraska, Arizona, Missouri, California, Washington, Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Arkansas. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with 2 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is October 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM200-05-D-7005).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Penn., Mich., Tenn., Va., Ill., N.J., Ky., Ind., N.C., Md., and Wis. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7006).

Midwest Medical Supply Co., Earth City, Mo.*, is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, back-up prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Conn., Ill., Mo., and Ind. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7007).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, back-up prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Ga., Ala., Mass., N.C., Va., Miss., Tenn., Okla., Texas, Fla., Md., La., and N.J. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7008).

American Medical Depot, Opa Locka, Fla.*, is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, back-up prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other location of performance is Fla. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7009).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, back-up prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Colo., Miss., Calif., Okla., Ariz., Utah, Ill., Iowa, Minn., Neb., Ore., and Washington. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7010).

Cardinal Health 200 Inc., McGaw Park, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 firm fixed price, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery, back-up prime vendor contract for medical and surgical supplies. Other locations of performance are Minn., Neb. Ariz., Miss., Calif., Washington, Colo., Kan., Utah and Ark. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, federal civilian agencies, Coast Guard, and other non-DoD agencies. The original proposal was FedBizOps solicited with four responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option period. The date of performance completion is Oct. 19, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM200-05-D-7011).

UNITED STATES TRANSPORTATION COMMAND

Horizon Lines, LLC, of Charlotte, N.C. 28211-3487, is being awarded a $100,000,000.00 fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for sea and intermodal freight service between U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Hawaii, U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Guam, and Alaska Ports to/from Guam. Work is expected to start Mar. 16, 2009 and the contract is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Orders placed against this contract will be funded at the time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition with four bids received. The contracting activity is United States Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., 62225, (HTC711-09-D-0010).

American Roll-On Roll-Off Carriers of Park Ridge, NJ 07656, is being awarded a $40,000,000.00 fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for sea and intermodal freight service between U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Guam. Work is expected to start Mar. 16, 2009, and the contract is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Orders placed against this contract will be funded at the time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition with four bids received. The contracting activity is United States Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., 62225, (HTC711-09-D-0009).

Matson Navigation Co., Inc., of Oakland, Calif., 94607, is being awarded a $100,000,000.00 fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for sea and intermodal freight service between U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Hawaii, and U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Guam. Work is expected to start March 16, 2009, and the contract is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Orders placed against this contract will be funded at the time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition with four bids received. The contracting activity is United States Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., 62225, (HTC711-09-D-0008).

Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines, LLC, of Corte Madera, Calif., 94925, is being awarded a $60,000,000.00 fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for sea and intermodal freight service between U.S. West Coast Ports to/from Hawaii. Work is expected to start March 16, 2009, and the contract is expected to be completed Nov. 2009. Orders placed against this contract will be funded at the time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition with four bids received. The contracting activity is United States Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., 62225, (HTC711-09-D-0007).

NAVY

Horus Vision, LLC*, San Bruno, Calif., is being awarded a not-to-exceed ceiling $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement, delivery, maintenance, and logistical support of the Scout Sniper Observation Telescope (SSOT). The SSOT is a lightweight variable power telescope tripod mounted devise that will replace the out-dated M49 Sniper 20x power fixed telescope throughout the United States Marine Corps. This contract is a five year IDIQ contract with a not-to-exceed value of $49,000,000, with a minimum buy of 100 SSOT systems within the first year. Work will be performed in San Bruno, Calif., and is expected to be completed by five years from date of contract award. The information contained in this announcement is unclassified. Contract funds in the amount of$7,810,335 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with proposals solicited via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with five offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity for contract number (M67854-09-D-1016).

TLD America Corp., Windsor, Conn., is being awarded a $39,540,902 fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for the procurement of Large Landbased Tow Tractors (LLTTs) which are used to safely move aircraft weighing up to 350,000 lbs. This contract provides for a minimum quantity of five pilot production units and up to 200 production LLTTs. In addition this contract provides for associated technical and logistics data and training in support of the LLTT. Work will be performed in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, and is expected to be completed in Feb. 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured by electronic request for proposals and five offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-09-D-0093).

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $10,416,712 cost plus fixed fee, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to provide program management, logistics, and engineering services and incidental materials and technical data in support of F/A-18 aircraft of the Governments of Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Kuwait, Australia, Malaysia, and Spain F/A-18 aircraft program. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in Dec. 2009. Contract funds will not 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 Governments of Switzerland ($3,182,560; 30.55 percent); Finland ($2,220,600; 21.32 percent); Canada ($1,621,000; 15.56 percent), Kuwait ($1,297,000; 12.45 percent); Australia ($927,200; 8.90 percent); Malaysia ($806,352; 7.74 percent); and Spain ($362,000; 3.48 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-D-0010).

General Electric Co., Aircraft Engines Business Group, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $6,387,870 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N00019-06-C-0088) to provide technical, engineering and component life cycle management in support of the Fiscal Year 2009 F414-GE-400 Engine Component Improvement Program. The F414-GE-400 engine powers the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass., (90 percent); Johnson City, N.Y., (4 percent); East Aurora, N.Y., (4 percent); and Evendale, Ohio, (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in Dec. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Company Co., LLC, Independence, Mo., was awarded on Feb 12, 2009, a $7,371,596 firm fixed price requirements contract for which project funds will modify the basic mechanical and electrical refurbishment to accommodate the green bullet design. Work is to be performed at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Independence, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-99-D-0016).

Benchmark Contracting, Inc., Las Vegas, Nev., was awarded on Feb. 12, 2009, a $5,720,000 firm fixed price contract. The project is an 18,000 square foot dining facility that will be constructed using a pre-engineered building with reinforced foundation and floor slab, structural steel frames, metal exterior walls, standing seam metal roof, all required utilities, communication support, fire detection/protections, parking, site improvements, landscaping, and all other necessary support. Work is to be performed at Creech Air Force Base, Clark County, Nev., with an estimated completion date of Jun. 15, 2009. Bids were solicited on the Web with 20 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, Calif., is the contracting activity (W912PL-09-C-0005).

AIR FORCE

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus award fee contract with Lockheed Martin-Integrated Systems and Solutions, Colorado Springs, Colo., for an estimated $7,343,360. This contract action awards the continuing systems engineering and program management support for the CCIC2s program under the Integrated Space Command and Control. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 850 ELSG/PK, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contracting activity (F19628-00-C-0019, P00155).

'Honest Abe' Served Nation as Captain Lincoln

By Renee Hylton
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 13, 2009 - Many people know Abraham Lincoln as the 16th American president or the man who brought an end to slavery. But not many know of his military service. Abraham Lincoln, who is considered by many historians and political scientists to be the greatest U.S. president, was born 200 years ago yesterday in a one-room Kentucky log cabin.

"Honest Abe" was the real thing -- a self-educated man of the people who rose to greatness, guiding the country through the long and bloody Civil War that marked his presidency.

Many historians believe the outcome of the war might have been different if Lincoln had not been president. Over the years, historians have speculated that without Lincoln's political skills, northern states would have agreed to make peace rather than seek victory on the battlefield.

Between his inauguration in 1861 and his assassination in 1865, Lincoln became a student of military tactics and strategy. However, Lincoln was not without military experience of his own. In 1832, he served in the Illinois militia for three months during the Black Hawk War.

Lincoln, known for his humor and willingness to poke fun at himself, downplayed his military service. He once declared in a congressional debate: "I fought, bled, and came away. ... I had a good many bloody struggles with the mosquitoes."

In addition to serving as a private, Lincoln also was elected company commander. During this time, many militia companies elected their officers.

Thirty years later, his three months in the field as an officer and a private likely influenced his attitude toward the great armies of citizen-soldiers -- who fought on both sides in the Civil War.

As the nation celebrates the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War is not far behind. It probably will be commemorated, in the words of Lincoln's second inaugural address, now chiseled on the walls of his memorial, "with malice toward none, with charity for all."

(Renee Hylton is a historian for the National Guard Bureau.)