Wednesday, April 01, 2009


General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, is being awarded a basic ordering agreement with a potential value of up to $47,400,000 for Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) for DDG 51 Class Destroyers. The orders to be issued are for PSA planning and support services and will include advance planning, engineering support, on-site engineering liaison, craft assistance, the ordering and processing of required material in support of PSAs, and the accomplishment of emergent industrial availabilities. Emergent industrial availabilities include, but are not limited to, restricted availabilities, drydocking availabilities, and technical availabilities which may be required from time of ship's delivery through the SCN Obligation Work and Limiting Date (OWLD). Work will be performed in Bath, Maine, (60 percent), and in the ships' homeport (40 percent) which may include Norfolk, Va., San Diego, Calif., Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Mayport, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-G-2304).

American Defense Systems, Inc., Hicksville, N.Y., is being awarded a $29,999,382 firm fixed price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract with a maximum ordering quantity of 206 Add on Armor (AoA) Crew Protection Kits (CPK), associated manuals and spares parts kits. The initial delivery order is for Contract Line Item Numbers (CLINs) 0001 through 0011 available on the contract and is valued at $16,027,057.87. Work will be performed in Hicksville, N.Y., and work is expected to be complete by Mar. 31, 2012. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a sole source award to American Defense Systems, Inc. as they are the sole manufacturer of the Add on Armor (AoA) Crew Protection Kits (CPK). The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-09-D-5069).

Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded a $20,917,403 firm fixed price contract for the procurement of ScanEagle Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) hardware for four operational sites, 3 spare/operational float packages, and critical spares kits in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) missions. Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash., and is expected to be completed in Jul. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to the FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0005).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Archbald, Pa., is being awarded a $16,531,431 not-to-exceed order against a previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (N00019-05-D-0020) for the procurement of 9,303 enhanced laser-guided training rounds and containers. Work will be performed in Archbald, Pa., and is expected to be completed in April 2010. 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.

BAE Systems TSS Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $10,538,835 modification to previously awarded delivery order (N00024-08-F-B062) to provide engineering, technical, professional and operations support services for the Navy Above Water Sensors Program. The contract shall provide engineering, technical, professional, and operations support services in the program areas of program management, financial management, engineering, test and evaluation, and logistics for above water radar systems. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $1,040,429 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. is the contracting activity.

Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., is being awarded a $10,366,346 modification to a previously awarded cost plus fixed fee contract (N00421-08-C-0025) to exercise an option for services to support the Naval Test Wing Atlantic and Naval Test Wing Pacific with operation, scheduling, and aircrew support. The estimated level of effort for this option is 118,600 man-hours. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md., and is expected to be completed in Mar. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $627,642 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Rockwell Collins Government Systems, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $7,640,028 modification to a previously awarded firm fixed priced contract (N00019-05-C-0050) to exercise an option for the FY 2009 production of the AN/ARC-210(V) Electronic Protection Radio Systems for the U.S. Air Force F-16 Block 40-50 aircraft. This modification provides for 118 MT-4935/ARC mounting bases, and 118 RT-1851A (C)/ARC receiver-transmitters. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in Sept. 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.

Chesapeake Sciences Corporation, Millersville, Md., is being awarded a $7,398,262 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-6223) to exercise an option to procure 10 additional TB-34 Towed Bodies and associated interface hardware. The TB-34 Towed Body Arrays consists of one Array and Tow Cable, including Inboard Termination Hardware that will be deployed on submarines. Work will be performed in Millersville, Md., and is expected to be completed by Mar. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Tekia Research Inc., Woodbridge, Va., is being awarded a $5,585,348 modification (P00124) under a previously awarded cost plus fixed fee term contract (N000173-05-C-2056) for research and development support services. Work will be performed at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., and work is expected to be completed Jul. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. Modification

Outdoor Venture Corporation, Stearns, Ky.*, is being awarded a maximum $35,753,790 fixed price with economic price adjustment, total set-aside, indefinite delivery contract for modular general purpose tent system. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is October 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-09-D-0019).

Defense Department Program Aims to Create New Biodiesel Fuel

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 1, 2009 - Ever imagine filling up the fuel tanks on a military aircraft with french fry grease? It's no April Fools' Day joke -- that's exactly what the Air Force could do someday if a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research program proves successful. DARPA is the Defense Department's scientific agency that pushes the envelope toward what Anthony J. Tether, its long-time previous director, described as "the far side" of science and technology development to support military requirements.

So in an effort to reduce the military's huge reliance on imported oil, DARPA is on the fast track exploring ways to convert so-called "yellow grease oil" or plant-based "cellulosic and algae sources" into JP8 jet fuel.

The goal, explained Barbara McQuiston, director of the Strategic Technology Office and program manager for biofuels, is to come up with nonpetroleum sources to power military aircraft, ground vehicles and non-nuclear ships. Two side benefits, she said, will be lower fuel costs and fewer environmentally unfriendly carbon emissions.

The DARPA-funded biofuels program has the scientific community looking into some seemingly unlikely petroleum alternatives: algae, seeds and corn husks among them. These crops produce a type of oil that can be converted through a complicated process into biofuel, McQuiston said.

The private sector is exploring this possibility, too, in the quest for cheaper, domestically produced fuel. In fact, several commercial airlines already have conducted test flights using a blend of petroleum and biofuel.

This research may have some military application, McQuiston said, but the biodiesel produced through current commercial processes isn't necessarily suitable for military uses. The military, for example, needs a fuel that meets exceptionally high standards; it must be as efficient at minus 20 degrees as at 140 degrees.

Some participants in the DARPA program have produced samples that meet these standards. They could, if produced in a big enough scale and at a low enough cost, potentially serve as stand-ins for JP8 jet fuel, McQuiston said.

Within the next few years, she said, she expects to have a proven biodiesel alternative that meets all the established requirements, and to be able to present it to the military services so they can consider using it.

"Our interest is in being able to prove out the technology and be able to demonstrate that these goals are achievable," she said. "We want to show that this can be done, and that it can be done within a feasible and manufactureable and scalable process."

Developing alternative energies has strategic importance to the United States, McQuiston said. "Being able to develop this alternative energy independence is good for the military, and it's good for the nation," she said.

This recognition, McQuiston said, is a great motivator for her and her team. "I think all of us are here because we want to do service to the country," she said. "And at DARPA, we get to be able to do this high-risk, high-return investment that we feel is critical to the nation. We're able to not only address some of the more challenging problems, but also to provide leadership into the future."

DARPA was established in response to the Russian Sputnik launch, and celebrated its 50th anniversary last month. Its work has built the foundations for the NASA space program, the World Wide Web and myriad other technologies.

Technologies developed by DARPA have revolutionized warfare as well. Stealth aircraft, advanced precision munitions and the Predator and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles used in Iraq and Afghanistan today all began on DARPA's drawing boards.

Obama, Medvedev Commit to Reduce Nuclear Arms, Reset Relationship

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

April 1, 2009 - The leaders of the world's two largest nuclear superpowers today agreed to start new talks aimed at reducing nuclear arms stockpiles, and to use the platform to "reset" relationships between the United States and Russia. "What I believe we've begun today is a very constructive dialogue that will allow us to work on issues of mutual interest," President Barack Obama said following his first meeting with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev, held on the sidelines of the Group of 20 economic summit in London today.

Both presidents acknowledged a "drift" in relations between the United States and Russia, but said common interests should give them cause to work together.

In a joint statement released after the meeting, both leaders agreed "that the era when our countries viewed each other as enemies is long over," and pledged a "substantive agenda for Russia and the United States to be developed over the coming months and years."

"We ... are ready to move beyond Cold War mentalities and chart a fresh start in relations between our two countries," the statement reads.

In a separate news conference before the meeting, Obama said both countries have an interest in reducing nuclear stockpiles, reducing the threat of terrorism, and stabilizing the world economy. And, he said, nuclear arms talks are an ideal first front to begin moving the two countries toward common grounds.

"The presence of these deadly weapons, their proliferation, the possibility of them finding their way into the hands of terrorists, continues to be the gravest threat to humanity," Obama said.

In the joint statement, Obama and Medvedev agreed to strengthen their obligations under Article VI of the treaty on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and to replace the strategic arms reduction treaty. Talks on the new treaty are to begin immediately, and the two leaders called for a report on results by July.

"We committed our two countries to achieving a nuclear free world," the statement reads.

Still, the two acknowledged that differences remain over missile defense assets in Europe.

The United States wants to base missile defense interceptors in Poland and associated radar in the Czech Republic. U.S. officials want to extend the zone of coverage in Europe for the potential long-range missile threat from Iran or others in the region.

Russian officials, however, have downplayed the threat from Iran and have been outspoken opponents of the plan. Both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with former Russian president Vladimir Putin and Medvedev in the past two years in Moscow for talks on the plan.

In the statement, though, the two leaders agreed to forge ahead on the missile defense discussions, and Medvedev later said he looks forward to meeting with Obama in Moscow in July.

"We discussed new possibilities for mutual international cooperation in the field of missile defense," the statement reads. "The relationship between offensive and defensive arms will be discussed by the two governments."

The statement also put Obama and Medvedev on the same side of the fight against al-Qaida and other insurgent groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and it expressed joint concern over a possible upcoming North Korean ballistic missile launch. The statement said the launch "would be damaging to peace and stability in the region."

Chairman Lauds Group for Work With Families of Fallen Warriors

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

April 1, 2009 - Those in uniform must always remember their fallen comrades and their families, and those families deserve help in enduring their heartache, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here last night. "All of us know that nobody goes through life alone -- nobody," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told those gathered for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Honor Guard Gala. "[And] nobody should have to go through grief alone. It's really that that TAPS does so well."

Bonnie Carroll started TAPS after her husband, Army Brig. Gen. Tom Carroll, an Alaska National Guardsman, was killed in a plane crash in 1992. Seven others died in the same crash. TAPS, a nonprofit organization, provides ongoing peer-based support to anyone who is grieving the death of a loved one who served in the armed forces. It brings together survivors for comfort, healing, and hope through grief seminars for adults and its Good Grief Camps for children.

It's easy to call TAPS the "gold standard," Mullen said.

"I use it as a gold standard in my travels, in my discussions when I speak with people about organizations [that] reach out and help those who serve and help the families who serve and have sacrificed so much," he said. "All of you who are members, or who work for ... and support TAPS, please don't ever underestimate the impact of what you do.

"It's almost beyond what we can describe," he said.

Army Maj. Gen. Mark Graham found words after accepting the TAPS Honor Guard Leadership Award.

"Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is truly for survivors," the commander of Division West and Fort Carson, Colo., said. "TAPS touches every survivor. "[It's] there for everyone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They never take time off."

Graham's son, Army 2nd Lt. Kevin Graham, was killed in Iraq in 2004 after warning his fellow soldiers of a roadside bomb. Another son, Jeffrey Graham, an ROTC cadet, took his own life while studying to become an Army physician.

Graham's experience with a loved one's suicide allowed him to help two young men deal with their father's suicide. Marine Maj. John Ruocco, 40, returned from Iraq in 2004. The Marine Cobra pilot took his own life on Feb. 7, 2005. His sons, Joey and Billy, met Graham at a TAPS national convention.

"He took me aside and he explained how my dad was fighting a battle in his mind, and as well, on the ground," Joey Ruocco said. "I have a very deep understanding of suicide, since my mom's a counselor herself. He made me understand even deeper. I'd like to thank him for that, and I'd like to thank him for helping other people understand."

These shared stories, as well as those shared through a TAPS video, provided attendees, many of whom are survivors, with common ground.

"I think it's so important that we find ways to bond together in public and to understand the depth of the grief of these families and what they're going through," said Tom Brokaw, former NBC Nightly News anchor. "I want to pay a special, personal tribute to you who are here tonight -- for reasons that they would rather not be -- for their courage, for their bravery, and for serving as model citizens for the rest of us.

"We gather here as members of the American family, here and abroad, at war and at piece," Brokaw continued in the event's keynote address. "Those of us on the civilian side must make greater efforts every day to say, 'We're here. What can we do?'"

Jack May helped Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway present the TAPS Honor Guard Congressional Award to Virginia U.S. Sen. Jim Webb. May was 2 when his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Donald May, died in Iraq in 2003 when his tank fell off a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Information provided to TAPS by bereavement experts indicates that for each active-duty military loss of life, 10 people, on average, are significantly affected. From operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, that works out to about 49,350 affected survivors, including about 2,220 spouses and 3,454 children, estimates based on research by Scripps-Howard News Service in 2005.

TAPS has provided its services, free of charge, to more than 25,000 surviving family members, casualty assistance officers, chaplains and other who support bereaved families.

Shriners Support North Dakota Guardsmen During Flood Mission

By Army Spc. Chris Erickson
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 1, 2009 - Shriners here temporarily have shifted their focus from helping children to helping National Guard members. Members of the international organization that supports a health care system of 22 hospitals providing specialty pediatric care, research and teaching programs are providing refreshments and warm, dry shelter for citizen-soldiers and -airmen activated to help in fighting a massive flood.

The North Dakota National Guard has concentrated its efforts on ensuring the dike system in the Fargo area holds. To ensure leaks are promptly plugged, quick-reaction forces have been set up at 11 staging areas in the community. The El Zagal Shrine and Masonic Temple in northeastern Fargo is one of those places.

George Vettel, a temple member, said the city asked the organization to keep the building open so the National Guard could use it.

"We're here now to make sure that they have whatever they need, whether it's food, coffee or pop, or anything else," Vettel said. The shrine members also are making sure the building is maintained during inclement weather.

Although the Red River in Fargo crested earlier this week, the quick-reaction forces remain vigilant.

"If we get sustained winds of 30 miles per hour, that could erode some of the dikes," said Army Staff Sgt. Charles Todd of the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery, a member of the force based at El Zagal. "Even if the water level goes down, the pressure is still there on temporary dikes."

Between missions, life for the soldiers and airmen is a waiting game, and many of them have found time to help out at the shrine.

"They mopped the floor, put plastic down on the carpet, shoveled snow, cleaned chairs and swept mud off the street and sidewalks," Emily Garten said.

Bill Hovell, chief of staff at the El Zagal Shrine, said the organization has been working closely with the servicemembers since they set up at the shrine, and he is grateful for the work the North Dakota National Guard is doing.

"You look at the officers and higher enlisted, and they're very professional," Hovell said. "Then I saw a young man in uniform who looked barely old enough to shave. I asked him what brought him here. He looked me right in the eye and said, 'I enlisted to serve,'" Hovell said with a smile.

Barten said the community has been an important part of helping out the servicemembers based at El Zagel.

"We've gotten a lot of donations from various places in town - restaurants, other Shriners and area residents," she said. "We've fed close to 80 today for lunch. We're planning for that many for meals, because this is a command and control site."

Army 1st Lt. Loren Soma of the 957th Multi-Role Bridge Company in Bismarck said he and others have helped to build dikes throughout Fargo, including Lindenwood Park and Oak Grove Lutheran School, and have placed barriers on the eastern edge of the city.

Soma agreed that the response from area residents had been outstanding. "It's nice to have the support of the community," he said. "We've been working hard all week, and it's nice to have a break. We're actually getting babied here."

Blizzard conditions have not affected the morale of the soldiers and airmen at El Zagal, and during some down time, a group of soldiers decided to build a snowman, which Hovell thought brought some levity to an otherwise serious situation.

The waiting game has not taken away from the Guard members' professional attitude. "We are still on full guard," Todd said.

Hovell expressed his gratitude for the National Guard. "As Shriners, we couldn't have better guests," he said. "We're honored."

(Army Spc. Chris Erickson serves with the North Dakota National Guard.)