Military News

Monday, May 04, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 4, 2009

NAVY
Lockheed Martin MS2, Manassas, Va., is being awarded awarding a $39,373,147 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-6207) for Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Insertions (A-RCI) Hardware consisting of Phase III, IV, V insertions, pre-cable kits, spares, production support, and legacy replacement systems, pre-cable kits, and spares. A-RCI is a sonar system upgrade that integrates and improves Towed Array, Hull Array, Sphere Array, and other ship sensor processing through rapid insertion of COTS-based hardware and software. It has already been successfully integrated into the first ten ships of the Va., Class which have now begun a modernization program and the procurement of new construction systems for the next four ships. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., (65 percent) and Clearwater, Fla., (35 percent) and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command is the contracting activity.

Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $14,461,045 modification to a previously awarded indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract (N00019-02-D-3158) to exercise an option for airborne threat simulation capabilities to train shipboard and aircraft squadron weapon systems operators and aircrew how to counter potential enemy electronic warfare and electronic attack operations in today's electronic combat environment. Work will be performed in Point Mugu, Calif., (44 percent); Newport News, Va., (42 percent); Honolulu, Hawaii, (9 percent); and throughout various other countries (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jun. 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.

L-3 Services, Inc., Mount Laurel, N.J., is being awarded a $8,830,652 firm fixed priced, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to provide technical and engineering support services to the Naval Air Warfare Center's Structures Division. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md., and is expected to be completed in May 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $987,143 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via electronic request for proposal, and one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-09-D-0009).

Head, Incorporated,* Columbus, Ohio, was awarded a $6,001,740 firm fixed price contract on Apr. 30, 2009, for runway repairs at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. The contractor will required to perform milling and asphalt overlayment of three primary airfield runways, the placement of steel plates in the runway, paving at the arresting gear systems on all four runways, and cured-in-place lining of storm and sanitary drain lines below the runways. The contract also contains eight unexercised options, which if exercise, will increase cumulative contract value to $12,764,970. Work will be performed in Kingsville, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Apr. 26, 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with five proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-0761).

The Boeing Co., Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a $5,989,487 cost plus fixed price delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) for the supplies and services necessary to plan, manage, and execute engineering support for the U.S. Navy's E-6B aircraft Service Life Sustainment effort. Work will be performed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Okla., and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Joyce & Associates Construction, Inc.*, Newport, N.C., is being awarded $5,570,223 for firm fixed price task order #0097 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40085-09-D-1908) for major interior and exterior repairs to BEQS G540, G541, G542, G543 and G544, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. The work to be performed provides for complete renovation including masonry and concrete repairs, window and door replacement, construction of new sloped wood-truss roof system and major mechanical and electrical renovation. Work also includes removal of lead and asbestos contaminated materials and new interior and exterior finishes and incidental related work. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C., and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Fisher Scientific Co., LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa., is being awarded a maximum $8,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery contract for laboratory supply distribution. Other locations of performance are Mass., Ill., Calif., Ken., Del., Col., Texas, N.J., Puerto Rico, N.Y., N.M., Wash., Ga., Md., and N.C. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Federal Civilian Agencies. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The original proposal was solicited on Dibbs with eight responses. This contract covers a one year base period with four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is May 3, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2DE-09-D-7340).

Allied Joint Venture, Hialeah, Fla.*, is being awarded a maximum $3,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery, total set aside contract for medical and surgical items delivery. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was one proposal originally solicited with one response. This contract covers a one year base period with four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is May 3, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2DE-09-D-7601).

After 60 Years, NATO Still Committed to Shaping Security Environment

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - Sixty years after its inception, NATO remains committed to helping to shape the security environment, the alliance's chief of staff said. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union -- NATO's long-time ideological and military rival -- the 28-member collective security group currently is redefining itself, German Gen. Karl-Heinz Lather, chief of staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, said last week in an interview and roundtable discussion with military bloggers.

"I think we are an alliance which is redefining itself, which is helping and shaping the security environment to safeguard the freedom of our citizens and increase security around the world," Lather said.

On the heels of NATO's historic 60th anniversary and summit in early April, Lather discussed some important recent developments to the alliance.

"We welcomed two new members, Croatia and Albania, and we welcomed France back into our integrated structures, where they have not been in for the past 30 years or so," he said. "In doing so, I think we reaffirmed our open-door policy to those who want to be members of the alliance."

He added: "We continue to advance the democracy throughout Europe and to get another step forward to what one of the visions of NATO is, which is a Europe whole and free."

The general noted that the summit in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, produced the selection of the next NATO secretary general, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The April 3-4 summit also saw members pledge more finances and personnel to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan – a move that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates characterized as a "pleasant surprise."

NATO members promised to finance and provide more security -- including 3,000 more personnel -- for the Afghan election in August, to send 300 additional military trainers and mentors, and 70 NATO embedded training teams to help grow the Afghan National Army. Other pledges include $500 million for civilian assistance and $100 million in support of the Afghan army.

"For the Europeans to have pledged an additional 3,000 or so troops plus the trainers, I think, was a significant achievement," said Gates, who did not attend the summit due to defense budget obligations here.

Lather said the commitments sounded an important message.

"We signaled a continued determination to stay the course in Afghanistan, even if all members don't see everything in the same way," he said. "But that's what an alliance is about."

The alliance faces significant challenges, not least of which include shaping the organization to meet operational and institutional needs within an increasingly dynamic security environment, the general said. But he expressed optimism at the alliance's ability to adapt to these 21st century requirements.

"What NATO does on the ground today, I think, is a visible demonstration to the world, to our peoples, of our willingness to act in the name of collective security for those peoples," he said. "NATO demonstrates its importance in today's environment, and we do that each and every day."

Chairman Emphasizes Importance of Personnel in Budget Considerations

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - Getting the defense budget right for servicemembers and their families will be the measure of success, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. "There's no more important part of that than our people and their families," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told an audience at the Navy League's 2009 Sea-Air-Space Exposition. "If we get it right for our mid-grade [noncommissioned officers] and we get it right for our young officers, we will get it right for the future of this country from a national security standpoint and for the capabilities that we need no matter what the challenge."

The fiscal 2010 defense budget has been submitted to Congress and soon will be the subject of much testimony by senior military officials, Mullen said.

When he served as the chief of naval operations, Mullen said, an estimated 60 to 70 percent of every dollar the Navy had was connected to personnel. Today, that focus on personnel should include wounded warriors, their families and the families of the fallen, he added.

"They still want to contribute. They want to raise their kids in a nice place. They'd like an education. They want their kids to go to school, and they want to make a difference," Mullen said. "In my view, we cannot do enough for them, and that's a check we ought to write right off the top of our budget to make sure they're taken care of for the rest of their lives."

It's an area where the Defense Department has made great progress, but it still has a long way to go, he said.

The chairman said he considers "people issues" to be his top strategic priority, and fighting the wars the country is in as the top operational priority. That includes shifting the military's focus to Afghanistan, he said.

"As we look at the operational requirements right now, you see us, as a nation, shifting our weight where the main effort is now Afghanistan," he said. "We've got to make it so. We must shift our weight and make it a priority."

Part of making it a priority means breaking down service cultures, the chairman said. War College attendance, career paths or other institutional entities should not impede making Afghanistan the country's No. 1 priority, he said. Mullen noted that today's military is is a combat-hardened force that has maintained an accelerated operations tempo for nearly eight years. In response, he's calling for, among other things, a focus on balance of forces and resources. He said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has made that clear in his budget recommendations.

"I think Secretary Gates has sent pretty strong signals that programs that are spinning out of control just don't have much of a future," Mullen said. That's also true, he said, for "over-required" programs that are increasing in cost.

"Clearly, there's focus on balance that we need to make sure we get that right," he said. "The characteristics ... which our Special Forces have - an agility, a speed, an adaptability, a precision, a lethality, a small footprint – those are types of characteristics are absolutely vital for our military, not just now, but in the future."

The Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition is a maritime exposition featuring more than 150 Defense industry exhibits and professional seminars. The organization has presented the expo in Washington for more than 40 years.

Gates Trip Aims to Reaffirm Ties With Egypt, Saudi Arabia

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is en route to Egypt and Saudi Arabia for sessions aimed at reaffirming ties with the important regional powers that both have strong military-to-military relationships with the United States. The visits "clearly are all about strengthening relationships with long-time friends," Gates told reporters traveling aboard a military aircraft with him.

The secretary, who last visited both countries a year and a half ago, is expected to focus on regional security issues, including the Middle East peace process and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The trip is Gates' first overseas visit in almost five months, except for a brief NATO conference in Krakow, Poland, in February.

"I felt that it was important to focus on the budget and the strategy relating to the budget," he explained. "And I also thought it was important to stick around Washington and get to know my new colleagues and establish strong relationships with them, which I think I have been able to do."

Now back on the road, Gates said, he'll encourage both Egypt and Saudi Arabia to forge stronger diplomatic ties with Iraq. Recognizing suspicion "about how much influence Iran has in Baghdad," Gates credited the Egyptians with taking "some serious steps forward to re-engage" with the Iraqi government.

"If the Arab world is concerned about Iranian influence, then the way to deal with that is to have more Arab influence in Baghdad – more ambassadors, more engagement with regional security arrangements that involve the Arab states," he said. "So I think one way to allay their concerns if for them to reach out and be a counter-influence in Baghdad. I think that is very important."

Gates said he'll also offer assurances that any U.S. outreach to Iran "will not be at the expense of our long-term relationships with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states that have been our partners and our friends for decades."

The United States will deal with Iran "in a sensible way, and in a way that hopefully increases the security of everybody in the region, not just us," he said.

"I just think it is important to reassure our friends and allies in the region that while we are willing to reach out to the Iranians -- as the president said, with an open hand -- I think everybody in the administration from the president on down is pretty realistic and will be pretty tough-minded if we still encounter a closed fist," Gates said.

During the first stop of his trip, in Cairo, Gates said, he plans to discuss Egypt's role in the Middle East peace process.

"The Egyptians have played a huge role in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian problem in trying to be a go-between and help move that process forward," he said. "The Egyptians have played a critical role in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a long time."

The U.S.-Egyptian bilateral military relationship will be another major agenda item. "We also undoubtedly will talk about smuggling in the Gaza and the programs we are working on together to try and limit that kind of smuggling," Gates said.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers team in Egypt is testing advanced tunnel detection systems to be used to stem Palestinian weapons smuggling along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip. The team also will teach Egyptian security forces how to operate the system, purchased through the military sales program.

During the next leg of the trip, in Saudi Arabia, Gates is likely to discuss its possible role in helping Afghanistan's democratically elected government reconcile with the Taliban. Gates said he'll also encourage continued efforts to influence events in Pakistan.

"Whatever they can do to help bring the Pakistanis together in a broader sense to deal with the challenge for the government in Islamabad obviously would be welcomed," he said.

Gates said he expects the discussions to extend to the deposition of Yemeni detainees now at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "The Saudis have perhaps the most successful repatriation [and] reeducation program of any country at this point," he said. "So clearly there will be an interest in pursuing that with them."

The secretary turned reminiscent as he anticipated returning to Egypt. He recalled the exact date of his first meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek – Aug. 4, 1990 – as the United States was preparing to send troops into Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield.

He also remembered his first visit to Egypt 30 years ago, accompanying then-President Jimmy Carter during the final stages of the Camp David peace talks. "So I always look forward to visiting Egypt and rekindling old friendships," he said. "It is basically all about strengthening relationships."

Similarly, Gates said he has made several return visits to Saudi Arabia. "It is good to go back and renew these relationships," he said.

Fort Lewis Warrior Transition Battalion Hosts Paralympics Sports Camp

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - Wounded warriors will get a chance to compete in sports while working toward their rehabilitation this week when the Warrior Transition Battalion on Fort Lewis, Wash., hosts a Paralympics Military Regional Sports Camp. More than 30 WTB soldiers and veterans are scheduled to participate in the battalion's first-ever Paralympics sports camp May 5-8. The camp will expose them to adaptive sports as part of their recovery and continued transition in life.

"We are thrilled to host the Paralympics Military Regional Sports Camp here, enabling our warriors and other veterans to improve their physical and mental fitness," Army Lt. Col. K.C. Bolton, Warrior Transition Battalion commander, told listeners of the Pentagon's "DotMilDocs" webcast April 30.

Bolton said he considers the battalion's work with U.S. Paralympics one of the most important efforts for his unit and the warriors and veterans they support.

"The camp is a chance for us to showcase the Paralympics movement and get warriors excited about engaging in adaptive sports and maybe inspire them to a lifetime of fitness, regardless of their disability," he said.

Servicemembers and veterans from around the country will descend on Fort Lewis for the two-day competition to motivate wounded warriors in competition, to foster teamwork, and to improve overall fitness.

Coaches from the U.S. Paralympics team will be running the camp, while Fort Lewis is handling all of the logistics required to put on a large-scale regional sports competition.

"For warriors in transition, we sometime have challenges in helping them find their new normal of what their life is going to be, and through sports we are able in a different way get them out and active and understanding 'yeah, I can do that,'" Bolton said. "And, getting over that mental block ... it is easier when we are throwing them into the sports environment."

With the help of U.S. Paralympics, the battalion created the "amazing warriors adaptive sports program," he said, that gives the battalion "a fitness aspect for our comprehensive transition plan."

Bolton expects at least 40 warriors will compete in the first regional sports camp. Ten of them will represent the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Lewis. Adaptive rowing, sitting volleyball, track and field, and swimming are some of the scheduled events.

Sitting volleyball is a favorite. "It is very competitive," he said. "When I was at Colorado Springs, the Paralympians for sit volleyball absolutely crushed me when we were practicing."

Paralympics levels the playing field in sports so even non-disabled compete alongside with those with disabilities, Bolton said.

"We are hoping that we get some Paralympians out of it," he said. "It would be an absolute joy to see one of my former warriors competing at the Olympics in the future."

The Warrior Transition Unit was one of the recommendations outlined in the Army Medical Action Plan to develop a holistic, sustainable system where soldiers are supported, treated and vocationally rehabilitated to prepare them to successfully return to duty or transition to civilian life.

"The camp allows warriors to build upon not only their physical fitness but also their self-confidence, which is in line with our goals for holistic healing," Bolton said.

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, offers Military Sports Camps in partnership with community groups and military installations for wounded troops. The camps foster the development of sports and fitness programs for wounded and injured military personnel. Additionally, U.S. Paralympics is helping to connect injured military personnel with sports programming in their local communities so they can continue to participate when they return home.

(Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg is assigned to the New Media Directorate of the Emerging Media Directorate.)

Face of Defense: Drill Sergeant Excels in Senior Leader Course

By Maureen Rose
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - A drill sergeant with two Iraq tours under his belt continued to show his mettle in the Senior Leaders Course at Fort Gordon, Ga. Staff Sgt. Mark Gomez finished as the honor graduate by maintaining a grade-point average of 97 percent, in addition to passing his physical training and field training exercise with flying colors.

On top of that, his peers chose him for the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Gomez is a drill sergeant in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 46th Infantry here, and he said he loves it.

"I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing," Gomez said. "It's been a dream of mine ever since I was in basic [training]; I love training new soldiers."

Gomez, a qualified instructor, said his experience me him a better trainer. Soldiers in training "understand you know what you're talking about; they have more respect for you," he explained. "They know you functioned in combat situations, so they need to learn from you."

Gomez deployed with the 75th Field Artillery Brigade as well as the 555th Combat Engineer Brigade. He said the strongest noncommissioned officer influence in his career came from a now-retired NCO.

"My last NCO at the 'Triple Nickel' taught me how to take care of soldiers and train them while still taking care of myself and my career," Gomez said. "He taught me to balance Army life with civilian life."

The 27-year-old soldier enlisted in the Army right out of high school, so he's been in for nine years. The father of three said his wife is very supportive, even though being "on the trail" takes extra hours away from the family. She stays busy through the unit family readiness group, friends and their children, Gomez said.

In spite of the toll it takes on the family, Gomez is proud of his work.

"An NCO's job is rewarding; it's almost like being a teacher. You see [soldiers in training] graduate, and know how much you impacted them," he said. "They come in as civilians and walk across the stage as soldiers. That is really rewarding."

He cited another example of an NCO's reward.

"One of my soldiers from a combat tour in Iraq is now a coworker in the same company," Gomez said, "and he's also a drill [sergeant]. I was his first NCO. I think I was a good influence."

No job, however, is without its drawbacks. If he could make one change in the NCO Corps, Gomez said, he would pump up the knowledge base.

"NCOs need more time to get together and go over NCO business to ensure everybody is training to standards," Gomez said. "Many NCOs today are very young; promotions come faster, and perhaps some younger NCOs are in leadership jobs without the NCO knowledge they should have. Perhaps we just need some fine-tuning of NCO knowledge."

That NCO knowledge, of course, is necessary to accomplish an NCO's most important job.

"The most important thing NCOs do is to take care of soldiers and train them, set an example for them, be a good mentor, and show them what 'right' looks like," Gomez said.

Army Lt. Col. Matthew Coleman, the 2-46th Battalion commander, said Gomez is a professional NCO who carries out his mission extremely well. "He is what 'right' looks like," Coleman said.

'Hybrid War' to Pull U.S. Military in Two Directions, Flournoy Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

May 4, 2009 - The type of "hybrid warfare" that defense experts predict the United States is increasingly likely to face will pull the military in two directions, the Defense Department's top policy official said today. Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, said America's conventional dominance gives incentive to its enemies to use asymmetric means to undermine U.S. strengths and exploit its weaknesses.

"Preparing for this operating environment will pull the Army, and the military writ large, in two very different directions," she told the roughly 200-person audience at the Army Leader Forum at the Pentagon.

On the one hand, the United States must be ready for irregular warfare, in which combatants blend in with civilian populations and conduct roadside-bomb attacks, suicide bombings and similar tactics, she said.

"Those of you who served in Iraq and Afghanistan know firsthand how challenging it is to operate effectively in such an environment," she said.

Meanwhile, she said, the United States must remain prepared to deal with high-end threats, though these are much more likely to be asymmetric in character. Illustrating this concept, Flournoy described a scenario in which rising regional powers and rogue states use highly sophisticated technologies to deny U.S. access to critical regions and to thwart its operations.

These tactics range from anti-satellite capabilities, anti-air capabilities and anti-ship weapons to weapons of mass destruction and cyber attacks.

Further complicating the battle landscape is the prospect of sophisticated nonstate actors using high-end capabilities such as weapons of mass destruction or guided rockets or munitions, as in the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon during its 2006 war with Israel.

"We can expect to see more hybrid conflicts in which the enemy combines regular warfare tactics with irregular and asymmetric forms of warfare," she said.

The concept of hybrid warfare garnered attention last month when Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced his budget recommendations at a Pentagon news conference.

Gates proposed distributing allocated funds in accordance with what he characterized as the type of "complex hybrid" warfare he expects will be increasingly common. He placed roughly half of his proposed budget for traditional, strategic and conventional conflict, about 40 percent in dual-purpose capabilities and the remaining 10 percent in irregular warfare.

Gates also said recently that the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review – a congressionally mandated Defense Department strategy review completed every four years – would be unique in its consideration of this blended type of warfare.

"This will be the first QDR able to fully incorporate the numerous lessons learned on the battlefield these last few years; lessons about what mix of hybrid tactics future adversaries, both state and nonstate actors, are likely to pursue," he said at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

Flournoy provided a glimpse of the 2010 QDR, which the department will submit to Congress early next year.

In addition to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, key security challenges include violent extremist movements, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, rising powers with sophisticated weapons and increasing encroachment across the so-called global commons, which include air, sea, space and cyberspace, she said.