Military News

Friday, May 08, 2009

Military Office Director Resigns in Wake of New York Fly-by

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 8, 2009 - The director of the White House Military Office has submitted his resignation in the wake of an April 27 aerial photo shoot with a presidential aircraft over New York City. Louis Caldera, who served as secretary of the Army during the Clinton administration, resigned his office effective May 22.

"I have concluded that the controversy surrounding the Presidential Airlift Group's aerial photo shoot over New York City has made it impossible to effectively lead the White House Military Office," Caldera wrote in his letter of resignation.

President Barack Obama has accepted the resignation, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

"The president has asked his deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates or his designee to jointly review the organizational structure of the White House Military Office and the reporting relationship of its components to the White House and the Air Force, and to make recommendations to him to ensure that such an incident never occurs again," Gibbs said in a written release.

On April 27, a 747-200 aircraft that often carries the president flew over lower New York. An F-16 fighter followed and took photos of the aircraft with iconic structures such as the Statue of Liberty in the background. The aircraft flew as low as 1,000 feet, and many New Yorkers believed they were seeing a repeat of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that killed 3,000 people at the World Trade Center.

The flyover caused much consternation on the ground, with many people in Lower Manhattan and across the river in New Jersey evacuating their buildings.

A review of the incident by the White House counsel's office found "structural and organizational ambiguities" within the White House Military Office and urged a comprehensive study of the organization.

Related article:

Air Force One Flight Causes New York City Confusion http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=54097

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 8, 2009

ARMY
Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas was awarded on May 7, 2009 a $32,363,199 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) Full Rate Production (FRP) II – optional exercise; 44 United Arab Emirates DPICM rocket pods and 44 unitary rocket pods. Work is to be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas, (20.8 precent), East Camden, Ariz., (76.8 precent), and Orlando, Fla., (2.4 precent) with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0021).

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Productions, Inc., Burlington, Vt., was awarded on May 7, 2009 a $24,198,500 four-year- firm-fixed-price Indefinite Quantity, Indefinite Delivery (IDIQ) contract. This contract is for the procurement of 2,193 each M2 machine guns with a potential contract maximum quantity of $39,452. Work is to be performed in Saco, Maine, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2012. Six bid was solicited with six bid received. TACOM LCMC (RI), AMSTA-LC-WSCA, Rock Island, Ill is the contracting activity (W52H09-09-D-0175).

SSA Cooper, LLC Savannah, Ga., was awarded on May 7, 2009 a $7,000,000 fixed-price requirement contract to arrange for and provide stevedoring and related services of the 832nd Transportation Battalion in Jacksonville, Fla., funding modification. Work is to be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., with an estimated completions date of May 25, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (W81GYE-06-D-003).

Purcell Construction Corp., Watertown, N.Y., was awarded on May 6, 2009 a $29,640,700 firm-fixed-price construction contract to construct a 5-story barracks/company operations facilities and battalion headquarters. Work is to be performed in Fort Lee, Va., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 15, 2011. Eighty (80) bids were solicited with eleven (11) bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Norfolk District, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-09-C-0046).

Great Lakes Dredging & Dock Co, LLC, Oakbrook, Ill was awarded on May 6, 2009 a $7,329,750 firm-fixed-price contract for the maintenance dredging on Columbia River with optional dredging at Coos Bay entrance channel. Work is to be performed in Brandon, Ore., (11.8 precent), Arch Cape, Ore., (44.1 precent), and Pacific, Wash., (44.1 precent) with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2009. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Portland District, Portland, Ore., is the contracting activity (W3127N-09-C-0016).

A. Mortenson, Minneapolis, Minn., was awarded on May 5, 2009 a $21,702,000 firm-fixed-price contraction contract for a digital multi-purpose range complex. Work is to be performed in Fort Riley, Kan., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 29, 2010. Bids were solicited on FedBizOpps with twelve (12) bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Kansas City District, Mo., is the contracting activity (W912DQ-09-C-4020).

CACI, Inc-Federal, Chantilly, Va., was awarded on May 5, 2009 a $7,600,000 firm-fixed-price contract for acquisition support services for Joint Contracting Command- Iraq / Afghanistan (JCC-I/A). Work is to be performed in Iraq/Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2012. Ten bids were solicited with two bids received. Army Contracting Command- Rock Island Contracting Center, CCRC-FJ, Rock Island, Ill., Is the contracting activity (W52P1J-09-F-0005).

Hickory Construction, Inc., Alcoa, Tenn., was awarded on Apr. 30, 2009 a $6,406,919 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of 241st Electronics Training Facility. Work is to be performed in Chattanooga, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 2, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. National Guard Bureau USPFO for Tennessee, Nashville Tenn., is the contracting activity (W912L7-09-C-0002).

CACI-WGI, Inc. Chantilly, Va., was awarded on Apr. 20, 2009 a $13,772,249 IDIQ time & material task order for operational support services to the Joint Improvised Explosives Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Special Operations Forces Support. Work is to be performed in Iraq/Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Apr. 20, 2011. Four existing multiple awards IDIQ proposals solicited and four proposals received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command, Acquisition Center (RDECOM AC) Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-08-D-0027).

AIR FORCE
The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee contract to Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., of Herndon, Va., for an estimated $24,154,462. This contract action will provide technical area task to the Space and Naval Systems Center Atlantic with quality, full service systems engineering to rapidly deploy CRISR capabilities in support of Naval, Joint and National Warfighter forces. At this time, $59,362 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with Alliant Techsystems Inc., of Clearwater, Fla. This action will provide 21 common munitions built-in test reprogramming equipment. At this time, $10,179,541 has been obligated. 647 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8626-06-C-2060, P00017).

NAVY
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Marietta, Ga., is being awarded a $22,800,000 firm-fixed-price contract for development of a roll-on, roll-off armed targeting capability for installation in the Marine Corps KC-130J. Work will be performed in Palmdale, Calif., and is expected to be completed in Dec. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $15,500,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0053).

H. V. Collins *, Providence, R.I., is being awarded an $11,585,635 firm-fixed-price construction contract for design and construction of Maritime Subsurface Sensor OPS Facility, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, Rhode Island. The work to be performed provides for construction of an addition to Building 1176. The functions contained within the facility will be comprised of administrative support, testing labs, operational assembly areas, and indoor and outdoor storage. Work will be performed in Newport and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with seven proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-09-C-7010).

3 Phoenix Inc.*, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $10,054,719 cost-plus-fixed-fee Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract to provide engineering services to support software development, procurement of commercial off-the-shelf products, and hardware/software integration required to provide improved technology for U.S. Navy Open Architecture and Network Centric Operations and Warfare systems in support of USS Virginia Class Submarine and other submarine/surface ship systems. This effort is for Phase III of SBIR topic number N04-138 – real-time data fusion and visualization interface for environmental research data. These services will be rendered as needed to support the Navy's initiative to maintain the pace of performance improvement through judicious use of lower power electronics, advanced algorithm design, and innovative applications of open software and hardware. This requirement shall include system engineering, architecture design, software engineering, prototyping, integration, and test activities. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va., (35 percent); Wake Forest, N.C., (35 percent); and Hanover, Md., (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2010. 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 (N00024-07-C-6274).

General Electric, Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $7,500,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-09-G-0009) for the demonstration of new technologies to reduce the specific fuel consumption (SFC) of the F414-GE-400 engine, which powers the F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G aircraft. This effort is in support of the Near Term Energy Efficiency Technology Demonstration and Research Project, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass., (91 percent), and Evendale, Ohio, (9 percent), and is expected to be completed in Dec. 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.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
MidAmerican Energy Co., Urbandale, Iowa is being awarded a maximum $16,786,784 firm fixed price contract for electricity. Other location of performance is in Maryland. Using service is Navy. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were originally 102 proposals solicited with seven responses. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-8019).

Suez Energy Resources NA, Inc., Houston, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $5,193,782 firm fixed price contract for electricity. Other location of performance is in New Jersey. Using service is federal civilian agencies. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were originally 102 proposals solicited with 7 responses. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-8020).

President Issues Military Spouse Day Proclamation

American Forces Press Service

May 8, 2009 - President Barack Obama signed and issued a proclamation today designating the day as Military Spouse Day. Here is the presidential proclamation:

"Military spouses share the sacrifices of service with our Nation's men and women in uniform. As members of the Armed Forces serve in the United States and across the world, military spouses also serve our Nation.

"When a servicemember goes to war, we know their spouse also shares in that sacrifice. I am inspired by their commitment to family and our Nation, and on Military Spouse Day, we honor these individuals for their contributions.

"Wives and husbands of servicemembers display an uncommon courage and strength as they steadfastly support their spouses during long and arduous deployments. While they endure separations that are filled with worry and anxiety, they face unique stresses. Foremost is the concern about the safety and well-being of deployed loved ones, but there are many other challenges. From managing household finances to comforting children impacted by a military parent's absence, military spouses take on the burdens of maintaining families largely on their own.

"This task is complicated even more as spouses work to maintain careers and a sense of community while moving to new duty stations around the country and the world.

"Despite these hardships, military spouses are an inexhaustible source of strength for our military families and donate their time generously to local communities. Military spouses offer the love and encouragement that help servicemembers endure the challenges of serving our Nation.

"Military spouses support one another as friends and mentors. They serve in family readiness groups to keep fellow spouses informed and to provide mutual support. They contribute as volunteers to improve neighborhoods, military installations, and communities. These contributions strengthen both our Nation's character and its security.

"All Americans should express appreciation for military spouses and let them know they are not alone. To help those who need it, friends, co-workers, and neighbors can offer to help with the burden of daily tasks and thus give military spouses more time for themselves and their families. To assist spouses who are coping with the absence of a loved one, individuals can listen and offer their counsel. Americans can also volunteer through the many organizations that provide assistance to military families.

"Our Nation maintains a sacred trust with every individual who serves. My Administration is committed to showing our Nation's gratitude for them by honoring our obligations to their families.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 8, 2009, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities today and in the future.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third."

Agent Orange Legislation

Here is some proposed legislation in the House of Representatives that will be of interest to all aircrew who flew into Vietnam but were never stationed there. It changes the definition of Vietnam Service to make eligibility for Agent Orange benefits less difficult to obtain. HR2244, The Agent Orange Equity Act of 2009, was introduce by Rep Filner on 5 May 2009. It would clarify the legal presumption of exposure to Agent Orange for veterans who served in the vicinity of Vietnam. Currently, 38 US Code Section 1116, defines a Vietnam veteran as "a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975." The Department of Veterans Affairs uses a conservative interpretation to mean "boots on the ground" which excludes most Navy and Air Force personnel who have Agent Orange related issues but who can not prove "boots on the ground." HR 2244 would clarify this section by redefining a Vietnam veteran as one who, during active military, naval or air service (a) served in the Republic of Vietnam (including the inland waterways, ports and harbors of such Republic, the waters offshore of such Republic and the airspace above such Republic) during the period January 9, 1962 - May 7, 1975: (b) served in Johnston Island during the period April 1, 1972 - September 30, 1977: or (c) received the Vietnam Service Medal of the Vietnam Campaign Medal. This is something important about which to contact your representative.

'Little Warriors' Surf Camp to Host 100 Military Children

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

May 8, 2009 - Surfs up! Military children of wounded or fallen servicemembers will be able to catch their first wave this summer, thanks to Freedom Is Not Free, a California-based troop-support group. The "Little Warriors" Surf Camp will host 100 military children ages 8 to 15 in La Jolla Shores, Calif., Aug. 10-14.

"This is the third year that Freedom Is Not Free has sponsored a surf camp for children of wounded and fallen servicemembers," retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman, executive director of Freedom Is Not Free, said. "In the past, this camp was an all-sports camp, combined with enrichment sessions. I thought that a surf camp made a lot more sense. The venue is always available, and I happen to have caught the surfing bug after moving here a number of years ago."

Kopelman said he hopes the surf camp will give the military children an opportunity to learn a new sport and connect with others who have similar experiences.

"There's something very peaceful and life-affirming about being on your board, even when the surf isn't particularly great," Kopelman said. "This camp gets the kids away from home and the reminders of what has made their lives a little less happy – if even for just a day."

The surf camp lasts five days, and each group of 20 campers attends for one day, which includes three and a half hours of instruction. Freedom Is Not Free will provide water and lunch for the campers, and Surf Diva Surfing School will give campers rash guard, ball caps and T-shirts to commemorate their experiences.

"Wahoo's Fish Tacos, a local restaurant, will provide burritos every day for the kids," Kopelman said. "At the end of each day, as an added treat, all campers will get boards."

Sector 9 Skateboards and INT Softboards will give Freedom Is Not Free boards to raffle, and Bessell Surfboards is designing a custom Freedom Is Not Free surfboard.

"I heard about this through a friend," said Tim Bessell, owner of Bessell Surfboards. "I didn't hesitate. Our servicemembers are on the front line for us every day. Their kids are paying a price when they are away or when they don't come home. Their kids are their legacies. This surf camp will be an awesome experience for them."

Kopelman said parents interested in sending their children to surf camp should call or send an e-mail to get more information on applying. The camp is only for children of wounded or fallen servicemembers.

"I've contacted the San Diego Armed Services YMCA to solicit potential campers and the family readiness officer for [the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force] at Camp Pendleton," Kopelman said. "Because the population of military children from which to choose is so large right here in San Diego County, I hadn't thought about paying for an out-of-state camper.

"It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities," he continued. "In fact, that might be something to actually promote as we go forward."

Former Marine NCO Takes Military Spouse of the Year Honors

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 7, 2009 - Tanya Queiro, a former Marine Corps noncommissioned officer, was named the 2009 Military Spouse of the Year at a ceremony held here today. Queiro, who achieved the rank of staff sergeant during her 13 years in the Marine Corps, also was recognized as the Marines' top military spouse for 2009.

"Military spouses know that military service is not a job; it is a lifestyle," Queiro said upon accepting her two crystal-glass award trophies.

Living the military lifestyle, Queiro pointed out, provides "endless opportunities" for adventure and learning for many military spouses.

Military spouses, she said, take care of the children and perform other important tasks as part of maintaining the family home front, while their husbands and wives are away on military deployments.

Queiro's husband, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jose Queiro, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. They are raising three children: two sons, Jose, 12, and Marcus, 10, and daughter Adrianna, 8. Queiro said she met her future husband while she was in the Marines.

After having spent two tours each in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gunnery Sgt. Queiro said he's thankful for his wife's support while he's away performing special operations missions.

"I could walk out of that door at anytime, head to Afghanistan or Iraq, and know that everything back at home will be alright when I get back," he said. "I don't have to worry about any issues in the rear. I know my wife is handling everything.

"That means a lot. I can concentrate on the mission, and come back home alive," the Marine noncommissioned officer said.

Military spouses support their husbands or wives and serve the communities in which they live, Tanya Queiro said in an earlier interview. She volunteered to participate in the Marines' Lifestyle Insight, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills (LINKS) mentorship program that provides new military spouses with knowledge about Marine Corps' traditions, customs and courtesies and overall military culture.

"All the volunteers are spouses teaching spouses," she said. "So, we hand down best practices; things that have worked for us, and hopefully, things that will work for them in their marriage."

Diane Jones, the spouse of retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones Jr., who now serves as the U.S. National Security Advisor, praised Queiro's "very unique skill set" as a former military member as well as her selfless service to the military and civilian communities.

"Tanya goes out of her way to share this knowledge with other military spouses in an effort to make the difficult aspects of military life just a little easier for them," said Jones, who serves on the MSOY selection committee.

Queiro is "a blend of toughness and compassion," Jones continued, who "brings professionalism and commitment to everything that she does – her family, her friends, her work and volunteerism."

Other military spouses honored as service-branch winners at the ceremony include:

? Army -- Misti Stevens, wife of Army Lt. Col. Wendell Stevens, Fort Campbell, Ky.

? Air Force -- Susan P. Webb, wife of Air National Guard Master Sgt. Ken Webb, Air National Guard Base, Glasford, Ill.

? Coast Guard -- Trish Pruett, wife of Coast Guard Cmdr. Jim Pruett, U.S. Coast Guard District 7, Miami.

? Navy – Christy Kuriatnyk, wife of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alex Kuriatnyk,
Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, Miss.

Jones' husband, U.S. National Security Advisor James L. Jones Jr., a retired Marine four-star general, provided some remarks before the award ceremony.

"The military families are very, very much part of our national security portfolio and they have to be considered and maintained right up there at the forefront of things," the senior White House official said. "And, to all of the military spouses today, since today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I want to thank you and express my deepest appreciation for everything you have done and everything you are doing and will continue to do."

The MSOY award and ceremony are sponsored by Military Spouse Magazine and USAA, a financial services firm that serves military members and their families.

The Military Spouse of the Year awards honor people who embody the best characteristics of today's military spouse, said Babette Maxwell, a Navy spouse and the co-founder and executive editor of Military Spouse Magazine. Military spouses, she said, have provided important and distinguished service for the nation since the Revolutionary War.

And, the Military Spouse of the Year awards, Maxwell said, are "about recognizing the challenges and sacrifices that are unique to the military community."