Military News

Monday, March 30, 2009

Face of Defense: Captain Mentors Teens in Senate Youth Program

By Army Staff Sgt. S. Patrick McCollum
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2009 - Students participating in the U.S. Senate Youth Program recently toured government buildings including the Pentagon, met their elected representatives and learned about the foundations of democracy. They also became personally acquainted with a citizen-airman who defends this democratic process.

Air Force Capt. Ladonna Singleton, a communications officer with the 254th Combat Communications Group in Garland, Texas, was the only Air National Guard member to mentor students in the weeklong program that brings young people to the nation's capital from across the country to learn more about the political process.

"We have to make sure we have them all 100 percent accounted for from the time we get up for breakfast at 7:30 to the time we go to bed," Singleton said during the event. "We have to stay in service-dress uniform until 11 at night."

Singleton escorted the students as they talked with high-level officials, including senators, Supreme Court justices, and even President Barack Obama. Though the students already knew a lot about the political process, Singleton said, many were unfamiliar with the military.

"Some of the students had no idea what the Air Force did or the Army or the Marines or the Coast Guard or any of the other services until they met up with us," she said. "They now have a face, and now they're like, 'Maybe I can consider this.'"

Singleton said the students were very curious about her job in the military. Among other things, she took these opportunities to talk to them about the Guard and its role in hurricane relief, she said.

Singleton took a little more time with Evan McCartney, a student from Missouri, who expects to go to the Air Force Academy.

"I want to be a pilot," McCartney said, expressing a particular interest in jets. Although that is still his plan, McCartney said, Singleton introduced him more to the day-to-day workings of the Air Force, and the growth fields of unmanned aerial vehicles, intelligence, and Singleton's favorite: communications.

"She's just brought an awareness of the internal side of the Air Force," McCartney said. "I've always kind of known about the UAVs, but she's shown me how it is growing."

For her part, Singleton admitted that even as a mentor, participating in the Youth Program taught her something as well.

"I got a chance to get some deeper insight," Singleton said. "Definitely more detail about the Senate than I ever knew."

(Army Staff Sgt. S. Patrick McCollum serves with the National Guard Bureau.)

Chairman Recognizes Civil Servants for Defense Contributions

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

March 30, 2009 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today recognized eight civil servants for their positive impact on national security and their efforts in support of the Joint Staff throughout the past year. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen presented them with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award in a ceremony at the Pentagon.

"For the eight of you ... this is really in recognition of the special relationships, special efforts on your part, to really make a difference in what has been and what continue to be the most challenging of times," Mullen said.

The recipients are:

-- John Young, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Under Young's leadership, major defense acquisition programs delivered vital capabilities to warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mullen said. Most notably, Young's efforts led to the eventual fielding of mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles that are responsible for saving the lives of countless troops who've encountered roadside bombs in the war on terror. Young also led a work force of more than 126,000 acquisition personnel.

-- Tina Jonas, former Defense Department comptroller and chief financial officer. Jonas managed, developed and executed an annual defense budget of more than $665 billion for fiscal 2009, Mullen said. Her expertise and direction allowed for rapid funding and fielding of the MRAP protective vehicles to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, she directed more the 50,000 financial professionals, oversaw the Defense Department's financial policy, financial management system and business modernization.

-- Thomas Hall, assistant defense secretary for reserve affairs. Hall managed changes in equipment procurement, funding, benefits and entitlements and roles and missions within the National Guard and Reserve forces. He oversaw $30 billion in National Guard equipment funding, as well as a concurrent increase of more than $20 billion for the reserves. Hall helped to give reserve-component troops, their families and employers greater flexibility by reducing barriers to serve, with enriched family care programs and the expansion of Tricare military health plan service. Mullen said that Hall "is singlehandedly responsible for shaping a force that is the most combat experienced and ready since World War II."

-- Mary Beth Long, former assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. Long was instrumental in the conclusion of the negotiations for the U.S.-Iraq status-of-forces agreement. She also was highly involved in the efforts to pursue missile defense agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland, which resulted with enhanced security agreements for the United States and Europe, Mullen said. She was responsible for shaping improved relations with Middle Eastern allies, as well as the U.S. response for the Russian invasion of Georgia. She also helped develop approaches for reducing the Taliban's use of narcotics as a revenue source in Afghanistan.

-- John Grimes, assistant defense secretary for networks and information. Grimes led efforts to improve the defense of national security systems and vital cyber infrastructure. He also supported information sharing demands and trust between individuals and organizations, which resulted in an increased and secure capability to fight terrorism, help in the wake of natural disasters and assist in maintaining national security, Mullen said.

-- Patricia Bradshaw, deputy defense undersecretary for civilian personnel policy. Bradshaw is responsible for developing the concept of an expeditionary civilian workforce. The Defense Department's civilian work force is more agile and responsive to the operational needs of combatant commands, Mullen said. She created policies to increase medical support for deployed civilians as well as those recovering from deployment injuries. She's also responsible for ensuring combatant commanders were staffed with quality senior executives for global joint interagency needs.

-- Cheryl Roby, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration. Roby helped to deliver network-centric capabilities and products to warfighters designed to defend against and defeat the ever-changing cyber threat, Mullen said. She also helped to develop program and budget reviews that led to success in antiterrorism and defense of national security systems.

-- Michael Coulter, former principal deputy and now acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Coulter helped to improve relations between the United States and nations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in which he fostered significant improvements security cooperation, foreign military sales and military education and training programs, Mullen said. Coulter's role in U.S.-Denmark defense talks improved the Danish commitment to NATO, and his representation for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at the U.S-Ukraine Bilateral Defense Consultations led to significant Ukraine defense reforms, Mullen added.

Mullen also lauded the recipients' families for their support, calling their contributions "absolutely critical."

"These are very demanding times and very demanding jobs, and we couldn't do them without tremendous family support," he said. "The hours are long; the travels are tough. And those who support us are absolutely critical."

Six States Send Troops to Flood Duty in North Dakota

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2009 - Governors in six upper Midwestern states have sent more than 2,400 National Guard members and some much-needed equipment to help fight flooding for a second week in North Dakota. North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven said on March 28 that his state was continuing to fight rising waters in Fargo and at other locations with the help of Guard members from Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Missouri and South Dakota.

"We are mustering all of our state agencies and working with federal and local officials to meet this unprecedented event, as well as other flooding around the state," Hoeven said. "Historic levels on the Red River are testing our resources, but not our resolve to do everything in our power to meet the challenge and protect this community."

The National Weather Service said today that strong spring storms will continue bringing freezing rain, heavy snow and blizzard conditions to western and central North Dakota today and tonight.

National Guard Bureau officials reported a wide array of equipment was being used to assist state responders, including more than two dozen helicopters, generators and high-water vehicles, among other equipment.

Three of those helicopters and 17 soldiers are from the 832nd Medical Company; the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation; and Detachment 1, Company B, 248th Aviation Support Battalion, all of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Once in North Dakota, the soldiers expect to conduct search-and-rescue operations and provide air transportation, according to a news release from state officials. They also have the ability to provide medical evacuation if needed.

A news release from the Missouri National Guard said two C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft with 14 airmen from the 139th Airlift Wing in St. Joseph, Mo., and a helicopter maintenance team with 20 soldiers from the 1107th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group in Springfield, Mo., headed to Grand Forks on March 28.

Grand Forks also was the staging area for two UH-60 Black Hawks and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and about 26 soldiers from the 248th Aviation Support Battalion and 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion of the Iowa Army National Guard.

Guardmembers also will conduct sandbagging and snow-removal operations, work at traffic control checkpoints, help in evacuations and assist local law enforcement in dike and shelter security.

More than 340 South Dakota Guard members have been sent to North Dakota on state active duty to assist with the response efforts, Army Maj. Brendan Murphy, of the South Dakota National Guard, said.

"We are performing our mission, helping prevent property damage and threats to life and limb of the citizens," said Army Sgt. Theanne Tangen, a member of the 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment from Sioux Falls, S.D.

The South Dakota Guard has provided personnel and resources to key flood-fighting areas. They're filling, storing and distributing sandbags, patrolling dikes, breaking ice jams, providing security and operating traffic control points, and helping or rescuing stranded citizens threatened by flood waters.

"It's a shock to see the amounts of water they have to deal with, especially when you see street signs and stop lights within a few feet of being completely submerged," Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Schimke said. "It feels great to be here and help out our neighbors in need."

These soldiers, along with leadership from the 153rd Engineer Battalion, conducted a reconnaissance mission over the weekend to become familiar with the dikes they are assigned to patrol during their 12-hour shift to report leaks or breaches to the North Dakota joint operations center.

Five 5-ton dump trucks from the 842nd Engineer Company with more than 10 personnel also deployed to Fargo, Murphy said.

(Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith serves with the National Guard Bureau.)

U.S. Northern Command Assists With North Dakota Flooding

American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2009 - U.S. Northern Command continues to coordinate additional and ongoing Department of Defense support to Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local authorities in North Dakota and Minnesota supporting disaster operations in response to flooding in North Dakota. Northcom officials mobilized defense coordinating officers and defense coordinating elements to the FEMA Regional Response Coordination Center in Bismarck, N.D., serving FEMA regions 5 and 8. The DCO acts as the liaison between FEMA and Northcom, relaying capabilities available to FEMA and coordinating movement of active-duty personnel and equipment to assist should the need arise. The DCE acts as administrative support to the DCO.

Northcom officials also deployed five CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., for a variety of missions in support of FEMA. Potential missions include search and rescue, supply transportation, and movement of evacuees or other response personnel.

The command also deployed three search-and-rescue planners from its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., and two more from Air Forces Northern at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., to assist in SAR planning at the Joint Personnel Recovery Center at Tyndall. The three planners from Northcom's Standing Joint Force Headquarters North division will assist in the efforts being conducted at the JRPC, which focuses specifically on large-scale search-and-rescue operations in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster.

When a disaster occurs, the JPRC activates and coordinates the SAR actions of all rescue aircraft in the disaster area to improve the efficiency of rescue operations and reduce the potential for accidents.

In coordination with Air Forces Northern, Northcom also is sending an aviation planner to the North Dakota Emergency Operations Center to prepare for potential SAR missions in the affected areas.

FEMA requested, and Northcom is supporting, use of Grand Forks Air Force Base as a national logistics staging area. The NLSA will consist of five to 10 acres of space, including 1,000 square feet of office space, necessary to support forward distribution of supplies and equipment to affected areas in North Dakota. The airfield at the base also is being used to forward stage active-duty helicopters.

In addition, Northcom officials mobilized a defense coordinating officer and defense coordinating element to FEMA Region 8's Regional Response Coordination Center in Bismarck, N.DU.S. Northern Command, established in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities.

(From a U.S. Northern Command news release.)

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Reaches Milestone

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2009 - The advisory board of a new program mandated by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act held its inaugural meeting here today. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program fulfills the requirement of establishing a national combat veteran reintegration program. The program's goal is to prepare servicemembers and their families for mobilization, sustain families during mobilization, and reintegrate soldiers with their families, communities, and employers upon redeployment.

"[Post-traumatic stress disorder], the specter of suicides and all sorts of things have told us that it's critical to make sure that our troops and their families are readjusting properly," said Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "We recognized that when ... active Guard and Reserve [servicemembers] go off to conflict and come back, and then demobilize or go back to their home base, it's really necessary that they get back together with their families and have a chance at a 30-, and a 60-, and a 90-day point to talk about their experiences, to see if everything's going OK."

The undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness serves as the program's executive agent and established the Office for Reintegration Program within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.

To provide servicemembers and their families with a wide range of options as close to home as possible, Defense Department officials are working to unify efforts among the services, the reserve components, other federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

The advisory board includes representatives of small-business associations, veterans associations, the services, and the Guard and reserves, Hall said.

"I think we have the right people highlighting and working the problem," he said. "It was an important first meeting, and we look forward to the future."

Reintegration program capabilities have been under way since last year, with services provided through the Joint Family Support Assistance Program and currently being tested in 15 states. Defense Department officials plan to expand the program beyond the pilot phase to all U.S. states and territories.

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 30, 2009

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Philips Medical Systems, Andover, Mass. is being awarded a maximum $77,172,660 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for patient monitoring systems, subsystems, accessories, consumables, spare/repair parts and training. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 17 proposals solicited with 9 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 29, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM2D1-09-D-8349).

Cardinal Health, Inc., Dublin, Ohio is being awarded a maximum $11,201,989 firm fixed price, sole source, prime vendor, indefinite quantity contract for pharmaceutical items. Other locations of performance are New Jersey, California, Washington, Florida, Mssachusetts, Texas and Mississippi. Using service is Department of Defense. There was originally 1 proposal solicited with 1 response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM200-04-D-7020).

Pepsico, Inc., Purchase, N.Y. is being awarded a maximum $6,040,896 firm fixed price contract for bag-in-box beverage support. Other locations of performance vary throughout the United States. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web solicited with 3 responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM300-08-D-1101).


NAVY
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Space and Strategic Missiles, Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a $21,336,422 cost plus fixed fee contract for United Kingdom Technical Services in support of the TRIDENT Strategic Weapons System. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif. (75 percent); Cocoa Beach, Fla. (10 percent); Hudson, N.H. (2 percent); St. Mary's Ga. (1 percent); Groton, Conn. (1 percent); Bremerton, Wash. (.5 percent); other US locations (.5 percent); and other UK and Italian locations (10 percent), and work is expected to be completed March 31, 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 activity (N00030-09-C-0018).

Progeny Systems Corporation*, Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $16,085,620 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-6256) for Phase III engineering services, which includes disciplines required to analyze, design, fabricate, and integrate hardware and/or software solutions for commercial-off-the-shelf electronics based subsystems that collectively provide C3I functionality to submarines, surface ships, surveillance and air platforms. The engineering services are in support of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Topic No.N96-278 "Technology Infusion Methodology". The Phase III SBIR effort addresses systems and subsystems ranging from simple single processors to highly complex multi-processor network architectures. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., and is expected to be completed by March 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Harper Construction Company, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded $14,203,660 for firm fixed price task order #0002 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-08-D-8611) for design, repair and renovation of the Helicopter Hangar (HSL), Building 1474, at Naval Base Coronado. Hangar 1474, a two-story, steel-framed structure is used for aircraft maintenance and administrative support for three aviation helicopter squadrons: HSM-41, HSL-43, and HSL-45. Renovation will provide repairs and upgrades to severely deteriorated utility and infrastructure systems. Work will include interior finish upgrades, replacement of roof membrane system, repair of existing 400 Hertz power systems and Flight Line Electrical Distribution System (FLEDS) mounds, exterior wash/drainage stations, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) mechanical systems renovation and upgrade, repair of hangar bay doors, new trench drain systems and low-level Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) fire protection system in the hangar bays, expansion of existing shower/locker areas, hazardous materials removal, and related plumbing, electrical, telecommunication, and fire sprinkler system upgrades. Work will be performed in Coronado, Calif., and is expected to be completed by April 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Six proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Raytheon Company, Goleta, Calif., for $7,317,766. This action will exercise and fund the Low Rate Production option of this upgrade development contract. At this time, $7,317,766 has been obligated. 542 CBSG/PKS is the contracting activity. (F09603-01-C-0330-P00121).

The Air Force is modifying a cost plus award fee contract with Harris Technical Services Corporation, Colorado Springs, Colo., for $6,270,436. This action will provide Mission Communications Operations and Maintenance to Air Force Space Command's 50th Space Wing. At this time, $6,270,436 has been obligated. 50 CONS/LGCZW, Schriever AFB is the contracting activity. (FA2550-02-C-0007-P00098).