Military News

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clinton Meets Japanese Leaders on First Leg of Asian Tour

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2009 - The American alliance with Japan is the cornerstone of security in Asia, Hillary Rodham Clinton said during her first trip as secretary of state. Clinton discussed North Korea and commended Japan for its efforts in contributing to stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan during a joint news conference with Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone in Tokyo yesterday. In addition to Japan, Clinton will visit Indonesia, South Korea and China.

Clinton and Nakasone discussed the problem North Korea poses to peace in the region. The two discussed the Six-Party Talks with North Korea and the importance of close coordination in those negotiations. The talks -- with South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States -- seek to engage North Korea and convince leaders to shut down its nuclear weapons production system and stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"We must advance our efforts to secure the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea," Clinton said. "The possible missile launch that North Korea is talking about would be very unhelpful in moving our relationship forward."

Clinton urged North Korea to abide by denuclearization agreements it already has approved. If the communist north does that, "there will be a reciprocal response, certainly from the United States: a chance to normalize relations, to enter into a peace treaty rather than an armistice and to expect assistance for the people of North Korea," she said. "So it is truly up to the North Koreans."

The secretary commended Japan for its contributions to building stability and prosperity in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including Japan's cooperation with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

"It's been very important for our overall success of the coalition mission in Afghanistan," she said.

Clinton invited Japan's participation in the White House review of Afghan strategy. "I invited the minister to have someone work with us on our policy review of Afghanistan and Pakistan, because we want to have the benefit of the experience of the Japanese involvement as we go forward to determine the approach that we will be taking," she said.

She also thanked the Japanese people for the dispatch of two Japanese naval vessels to the Gulf of Aden to join the multinational anti-piracy effort.

Nakasone said through an interpreter that the United States and Japan see many of the challenges in Asia the same way.

"We agreed to aim at building an affluent, stable and open East Asian region, and in that, we shared the hope that China will play a constructive role in the international community," Nakasone said.

Japan is a treaty ally of the United States, and Clinton reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan, including nuclear deterrents, the foreign minister said.

The two also discussed the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and signed the Guam Agreement that will help transfer 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam.

"We agreed that we will steadily implement this realignment on the basis of a roadmap from the viewpoint of alleviating burdens on Okinawa and local communities while maintaining deterrence," Nakasone said.

Coast Guard Contributes to Counter-piracy Mission

By Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2009 - The Coast Guard is actively engaged in implementing the president's counter-piracy action plan, senior Coast Guard officials said. Capt. Charles Michel, chief of the Office of Maritime and International Law, and Capt. Michael Giglio, chief of law enforcement, discussed the Coast Guard's international counter-piracy efforts yesterday with bloggers and online journalists.

"Piracy goes back many, many years -- many thousands of years, actually -- about the time that man started first taking onto the water in ships," Michel said. "Piracy is essentially an act of violence or depredation conducted on the high seas from one vessel to another vessel for private ends. ... That's the definition of piracy that's captured in both the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, of which the United States is a party, as well as the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention."

Recent incidents of piracy off the coast of Africa have raised the awareness of the issue on a global level. However, Michel described the Coast Guard's longstanding efforts to combat acts of piracy internationally. "Modern piracy really, at least in my world of work, has been focused primarily in Southeast Asia, in the South China Sea and in the Straits of Malacca."

The Coast Guard is an active member of the multinational Combined Task Force 151 conducting counter-piracy missions around the Gulf of Aden, Giglio said.

"From my vantage point, my particular interest is ensuring the proper application of Coast Guard authority, competency and capability in support of the combatant commanders' requirements," he said.

CTF 151 apprehended seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Feb. 11, and nine additional suspected pirates were apprehended Feb. 12.

"This is just one small example of the ways in which the Coast Guard and the United States Navy can partner to deliver a very broad mix of skills to address what is a pretty broad spectrum of threats in the maritime environment today," Giglio said.

The counter-piracy plan focuses on three lines of action, Michel said: prevention of attacks, responding to attacks and prosecution of pirates. Through the combined task force, he added, the Coast Guard is working to execute all three lines of action.

The first line of action to combat attacks is prevention. The primary means of prevention include the hardening of targets, the establishment of a maritime security patrol area and international diplomacy, Michel said.

One of the primary roles of the Coast Guard personnel assigned to the combined task force, Giglio said, is to provide training in evidence-collection practices and procedures to ensure a complete case package, which facilitates prosecution.

From a legal perspective, the issue of prosecuting pirates in international courts is complex, Michel explained. "The challenges are pretty daunting, because you may actually have, for example ... Coast Guard and Navy personnel involved with [Somali] pirates who may have attacked a Panamanian vessel with a Filipino crew being tried in a Kenyan court."

However, processes now are being put in place to effectively deal with the prosecution of pirates.

"We are in the best shape we've ever been for Horn of Africa pirates with the establishment of a [memorandum of understanding] with one of the regional partners that will allow us to bring those pirates ashore and, if the evidence can be tied up correctly, prosecute it in a Kenyan court," Michel said.

Michel emphasized the importance of dealing with the piracy issue. Even though "your chances of getting taken by pirates in that area are actually pretty small, should we tolerate that type of lawlessness and criminal activity and the nefarious results that can happen by the introduction of money and people being held at gunpoint?"

(Coast Guard Lt. Tony Migliorini serves in the Coast Guard Headquarters public affairs office.)

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 18, 2009

NAVY

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded a $23,330,730 fixed price delivery order #0039 under previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (M67854-06-D-5028) for the purchase of 60 Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) production cargo vehicles, and 30 production weapons mount kits. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., and work is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

The Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Space and Strategic Missiles, Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $20,517,264 modification (P00002) under previously awarded contract (N00030-08-C-0100) for the Alternate Release Assembly. This modification increases the total contract value to $760,800,560. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., (87.85 percent); Cocoa Beach, Fla., (7.30 percent); St. Mary's, Ga., (2.51 percent); Bremerton, Wash., (2.09 percent); other locations (.25 percent), and work is expected to be completed Aug. 30, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting agency.

Baldi Bros., Inc.*, Beaumont, Calif., is being awarded a $12,269,942 modification under a previously awarded firm fixed price contract (N62473-08-C-2206) to exercise Options 0002 and 0003 which provides for repairs to Runway 21L-03R and Assault Landing Zone Lighting at Travis Air Force Base. The work to be performed provides for repairs to runway 21L-03R including the construction of an assault landing zone lighting pattern on runway 21L-03R and the construction of a new C-17 Southwest Landing Zone Runway. The total contract amount after exercise of these two options will be $56,558,155. Work will be performed in Fairfield, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., is being awarded an $8,555,300 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (N00421-08-D-0032) to exercise an option for the procurement of 100 AN/APN-245 Radio Beacon Sets in support of the AN/SPN—46 Automatic Carrier Landing System capability and the F/A-18-E/F/G series aircraft. Work will be performed in Sparks, Nev., and is expected to be completed in Feb. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, St. Inigoes, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

General Atomics Technologies Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Feb. 13, 2009, a $30,156,316 cost plus fixed fee contract for 25 months of operation and sustainment support of the Highlighter change detection system in Operation Iraqi Freedom locations. Work is to be performed in Iraq, (97 percent), at San Diego, Calif., (2 percent), and at Arlington, Va., (1 percent), with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2011. Bids were solicited by sole source and one bid was received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-09-D-T202).

CB&I CONSTRUCTION CO., Alpharetta, Ga., was awarded on Feb. 13, 2009, a $27,778,000 firm fixed price contract to design/build for repair Turbine Engine Dry Air Capability (TEDAC) – Phase I, Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., (Coffee County). The work shall consist of the following: Design and construction of Desiccant Drying System including Desiccant Dryers, foundations, duct supports, hot bypass line, cooler bypass lines, spools and isolation spools, values and expansion joints. Work is to be performed at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 23, 2011. Bids were solicited on FedBizOpps with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-09-C-0018).

WATTERSON/DAVIS JV, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on Feb. 13, 2009, a $20,074,250 firm fixed price construction contract for a project that includes design and construction of an Operations Facility at Fort Wainwright, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Jul. 28, 2010. Bids were solicited on the Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Ala., Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ala., is the contracting activity (W911KB-07-C-0013).

TEXTRON MARINE & LAND SYSTEMS, DIVISION OF TEXTRON INC., New Orleans, La., was awarded on Feb. 17, 2009, a $10,936,905 firm fixed price contract in which the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) Contracting Center is exercising the option to purchase 10 each Armored Security Vehicles (ASV) from Textron Marine and Land Systems. Work is to be performed at New Orleans, La., with an estimated completion date of Jun. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-C-0470).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Seagoing Uniforms, Marshville, N.C.*, is being awarded a maximum $7,528,666 firm fixed price, total set aside contract for Navy utility uniform items. Other locations of performance are in Prospect Hill, N.C. and Pelham, Ga. Using service is Navy. The proposal was originally Web solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising fourth option year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 21, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SP0100-04-D-0457).

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Fisher House Announces 2009 Newman's Own Award Competition

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 18, 2009 - The Fisher House Foundation has announced the start of the 2009 Newman's Own Award competition, jointly sponsored by Newman's Own, the Fisher House Foundation and the Military Times Media Group. The program awards grants to organizations with innovative solutions to improving quality of life for active-duty, reserve or National Guard families. Also acceptable are organizations with programs benefiting veterans' families, Jim Weiskopf, executive vice president of communications for the Fisher House Foundation, said.

Actor Paul Newman, who died in September, began his Newman's Own line of food products in 1982. All royalties and after-tax profits of the sales from the line have been donated to educational and charitable organizations.

In 1997, the World War II Navy veteran decided he wanted to take his line of products to the military. It was suggested that the proceeds from those sales at military facilities go back to the military, and the Fisher House Foundation was chosen to make that happen. Newman's Own salad dressing, pasta sauces and salsas are sold in military commissaries worldwide.

The Newman's Own Awards program awards grants totaling $75,000 to between 12 and 15 volunteer and nonprofit organizations each year, Weiskopf said.

"When Mr. Newman was alive, ... he wanted us to have one grand-prize winner. He wanted one to be designated above the rest," he said. "Because we're now getting $75,000 from [Newman's Own], the group with the highest score gets $15,000."

The remaining $60,000 in award money will be divided among the top-scoring entries by the judges as they see fit, Weiskopf said.

"Because we're not giving out a huge amount of money, ... we're more focused on small nonprofits," he said. "We're looking for where the infusion the money from us will mean the difference of whether or not they can do their program."

Organizations wishing to be considered for a Newman's Own Award can find more information and eligibility requirements on the Fisher House Foundation Web site. All proposals must be received by May 1.

Award recipients will be announced in early September.

In nine years, the program has recognized 114 organizations with grants totaling more than $500,000. This includes last year's top winner, Freedom Calls Foundation, which focuses on keeping families and deployed servicemembers connected.