Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beyond the Strait: PLA Missions other than Taiwan

While preventing independence likely remains the central aim of the PLA vis-a-vis Taiwan, Chinese foreign policy objectives worldwide are rapidly growing and diversifying. This volume analyzes the PLA’s involvement in disaster and humanitarian relief, United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO), counterterrorism and border defense, security in outer space and cyberspace, and the level of activity in regional “joint” operational contingencies. On the whole, the volume provides a discerning analysis of these varied PLA developments and how they affect policy towards both Taiwan and the entire Asia-Pacific region. While the significance of China has long been understood, the nation’s rise to prominence on the world scene is becoming more acutely felt. An understanding of the PLA’s growing roles both within China and internationally is of critical importance to the United States.


The New Balance: Limited Armed Stabilization and the Future of U.S. Landpower

The author takes a critical look at the mission assignment and orientation of U.S. landpower. He calls for an unconventional revolution in U.S. land forces that optimizes them for intervention in complex and violent crises of governance and security in states crippled by internal disorder. In the end, he argues that the armed stabilization of states and regions in crises will be not just equivalent in importance to traditional warfighting in future land force planning but instead the primary land force mission for the foreseeable future.


A History of Socio-Cultural Intelligence and Research Under the Occupation of Japan

American forces entered a seemingly dangerous and very foreign world following the surrender of Japan. A nation-building mission unlike any other previously in U.S. history ensued. Insight into Japanese sentiment and ways of conducting business would be paramount to the success of General Douglas MacArthur in demilitarizing and democratizing Japan. Two complementary but rival organizations within MacArthur’s Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) staff were created and charged with understanding Japanese thought patterns and culture to assist with successful reform. The Research and Analysis Branch (R&A), subordinate to the Civil Intelligence Section (CIS), was responsible for turning out quality anecdotal intelligence analysis. It produced weekly “Occupational Trends” reports critical to monitoring Japanese sentiment on issues of seminal importance to demilitarization, such as Japanese popular opinion concerning the maintenance of the Emperor. The other organization, the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division (PO&SR) under the Civil Information and Education Section (CI&E), employed social scientists who worked closely with Japanese nationals on democratization. For perhaps the first time in history, sociological research supplemented traditional intelligence analysis in informing occupational leaders. PO&SR prepared scientific socio-cultural reports that served various sections across MacArthur’s government. While rivalries existed between the R&A and PO&SR over methods and utility of services, the framework established under the occupation serves as a model of how to process and produce foreign socio-cultural intelligence and research during nation building. Analytic lessons learned include encouraging close cooperation between intelligence professionals and more specialized sociologists, incorporating diverse collection sources, working closely with host nationals, and formally documenting social science project findings.


New NATO Members: Security Consumers or Producers?

This monograph examines the burden-sharing of new members in NATO. Qualitative and quantitative methods are used to test the hypothesis that new NATO members are burden-sharing at a greater rate than older NATO members. An analysis of the burden-sharing behavior of NATO’s 1999 wave of new members reveals that new NATO members have demonstrated the willingness to contribute to NATO missions, but are often constrained by their limited capabilities. However, new member contributions to NATO have improved and, in comparison to older NATO members, the new members are doing quite well. The United States should focus on improving the capabilities of the new members while encouraging its older allies to increase their own contributions to the alliance where feasible.


Navy Christens Newest Arleigh Burke Class Ship Gravely

The Navy will christen the newest Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer, Gravely, on May 16, during a 10 a.m. CDT ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.

The new destroyer honors the late Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely Jr. Gravely was born in Richmond, Va., June 4, 1922. After attending Virginia Union University, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve in September 1942. In 1943 he participated in a Navy program (V-12) designed to select and train highly qualified men for commissioning as officers in the Navy. On Dec. 14, 1944, Gravely successfully completed midshipman training, becoming the first African American commissioned as an officer from the Navy Reserve Officer Training Course. He was released from active duty in April 1946, but remained in the Naval Reserve.

Gravely was recalled to active duty in 1949. As part of the Navy's response to President Truman's executive order to desegregate the armed services, his initial assignment was as a Navy recruiter, recruiting African Americans in the Washington, D.C. area. Gravely went on to a Navy career that lasted 38 years and included many distinguished accomplishments.

Gravely was a true pathfinder whose performance and leadership as an African American Naval officer demonstrated to America the value and strength of diversity. Gravely's accomplishments served as watershed events for today's Navy. He was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler); to command a major warship (USS Jouett); to achieve flag rank and eventually vice admiral; and to command a numbered fleet (Third).

Retired Adm.J. Paul Reason will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Alma Gravely will serve as sponsor of the ship named for her late husband. In accordance with Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne across the ship's bow and christen the ship.

Designated DDG 107, the 57th Arleigh Burke class destroyer, Gravely will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection. Gravely will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," the new maritime strategy that postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.

Cdr. Douglas Kunzman is the prospective commanding officer of the ship and will lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Gravely is being built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding - Gulf Coast in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

The christening ceremony will be streamed from the following site:

Additional information on Arleigh Burke class destroyers is available online at


CH2M Hill-Kleinfelder, Joint Venture, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $100,000,000 cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for comprehensive long-term environmental action Navy in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility. The work to be performed provides for comprehensive services pertaining to studies, investigations, evaluations, consultations, conceptual design, value engineering, risk assessments, pilot or treatability projects, operation monitoring and optimization of environmental treatment or control systems, related Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and Base Realignment and Closure to meet statutory compliance for all applicable DoD, federal, state, local, and installation specific environment laws, regulations, and guidance. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps installations and other government facilities within NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to Calif. (80 percent), Ariz. (5 percent), Nev. (5 percent), Colo. (4 percent), N.M. (2 percent), Utah (2 percent), and other federal and DOD installations nationwide (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2014. Task Order 0001 is being awarded at $1,942,689.00 for Program Management Office over sight at the time of award. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by May 2010. Contract funds for Task Order 0001 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities and Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-09-D-2622).

QinetiQ, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $44,893,398 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the development and manufacture of seven Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial systems and one ground station. The HALE will offer solar-powered, persistent coverage capability with mission durations of up to 3 months continuous operation. Work will be performed in Farnborough Hampshire, United Kingdom, and is expected to be completed in May 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a Broad Agency Announcement. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-09-C-0194).

ERAPSCO, Columbia City, Ind., is being awarded a $31,316,120 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 7,320 AN/SSQ-101A sonobuoys and 20 test, analyze and fix units in support of the Navy Antisubmarine Forces. Work will be performed in DeLeon Springs, Fla. (65 percent), and Columbia City, Ind. (35 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2011 Contract funds in the amount of $229,070 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-09-C-0068).

Resubmission from yesterday, 13 May – Spelled out acronym (MSIAC) from yesterday

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee contract to Alion Science and Technology Corporation of Chicago, Illinois for an estimated $6,411,510. This contract action is for a Modeling and Simulation Information Analysis Center will provide research analysis, findings and recommendations to the newly established Army Enterprise Task Force to establish an enterprise approach to Army decision making management process. At this time, $434,782 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska is the contracting activity. (FA8722-09-C-0001)

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to Raytheon Missile Systems Company of Tucson, Ariz., for $53,919,693. This action will provide miniature air launched decoy Low Rate Production for 25 month production effort to include all 162 up rounds, 81 containers, warranty rotable spares and a 12-month Interim Contractor Support. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 692 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (FA8682-09-C-0059)

The Air Force is awarding a contract to Lockheed Martin Corporation of Gaithersburg, Md., for $43,036,000. This contract will provide the satellite broadcast management functions of the Global Broadcast Services will be transferred to the Defense Enterprise Computing Center with new hardware and software architecture by FY 2010. At this time, $5,931,000 has been obligated. 653 ELSG/KCK, Bedford, Mass., is the contracting activity. (FA8726-09-0006)

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee contract to M/A-COM, Inc. of Lowell, Massachusetts for $14,801,848. This action will design, develop and demonstration of low-cost wireless network nodes which support adaptation by means of distributed network processing for the Wireless Adaptable Network Node. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. AFRL/RIKD, Rome, N.Y. is the contracting activity. (FA8750-07-C-0005, P00006)

Ledoor Construction, Richardson, Texas. was awarded on May 12, 2009 a $ 20,328,178 firm-fixed-price construction contract for the construction of Fort Bliss Commissary. Work is to be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of May 9, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with five bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Little Rock, Ark., is the contracting activity (W9127S-09-C-6002).

Daimler Trucks North America LLC, Portland, Ore., was awarded on May 11, 2009 a $7,945,947 firm-fixed-price 9 year requirements contract for delivery order 0116 adds 37 each, M916A3 light equipment transporters to the contract. Work is to be performed in Portland, Ore., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2009. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is contracting activity (DAAE07-00-D-S022).

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded on May 11, 2009 a $ 7,815,629 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to greatly increase the effectiveness of personnel recovery missions within the Marines and potentially the other services. This will provide soldiers low cost, easy to use tags to quickly and efficiently indicate a state of distress initiating rescue. Work is to be performed in San Diego, Calif. (22.5 percent), Lowell, Mass. (69.3 percent), and Redwood City, Calif. (8.2 percent) with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity. (HR0011-09-C-0006)

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc. (DRS SSI) Saint Louis, Mo., was awarded on May 08, 2009 a $ 22,972,589 STS cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the base award of 232,000 hours of system technical support for the M1200 Knight vehicle system for FY09/FY10, with an option for an additional 48,000 hours. Work is to be performed in St. Louis, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S.A. TACOM LCMC- Warren, AMSCC-TAC-AHLC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0398)

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc. (DRS SSI) Saint Louis, Mo., was awarded on May 08, 2009 an $11,987,030 firm-fixed-price contract for 38 each, M2100 armored Knight vehicles and 10 each of six individual items of authorized stockage list spare parts. An option is available for 42 each, M2100 Armored Knight Vehicles and 12 each of six individual items of authorized stockage list spare parts. Work is to be performed in St. Louis, Mo., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 30, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S.A. TACOM LCMC- Warren, AMSCC-AQ-AHLC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0397).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missile and Fires Control (LMMFC) Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded on May 11, 2009 a $11,851,101 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the acquisition of nineteen each High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) increased crew protection cabs for the Army and seven each for the Marine Corp as kits for installation on HIMARS M142 launchers and required spare items. Work is to be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas (20 percent), Sealy, Texas (53 percent), Rock Center, W.V. (14 percent), and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. (13 percent) with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2009. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-06-C-0140).

Air Force Leaders Chart Way Forward for Service

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - The Air Force has made tough choices and some prudent trade-offs to balance the service across the spectrum of capabilities needed for the future, Air Force leaders said. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz discussed the service's efforts to balance between today's operations and tomorrow's needs. The two spoke to a group of reporters in the Pentagon today.

The service is working to balance the missions from irregular warfare on one end of the spectrum of conflict to nuclear deterrent operations on the other.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates agreed with an Air Force recommendation to retire early 250 older aircraft, to allow the service to reprogram money to other areas. "[The decision] allows us to take some additional strategic risk over the next six to seven years, which we think, given the threat environment and the current strategic interests, is a good time to take this risk," Gates said.

The service will reinvest the money into modifying the remaining aircraft, improving munitions and moving manpower into new high-demand requirements. These requirements include unmanned aerial vehicles, the nuclear enterprise and in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"At the same time, we also focused on the future of the tactical air force structure and on fifth generation solutions," Donley said. "Our interest is in getting on with the Joint Strike Fighter program."

The service ultimately will buy more than 1,700 of these aircraft. The fiscal 2010 budget request looks to increase testing of the aircraft and buying 30.

The Air Force also intends to go ahead with F-22 modifications, budgeting more than $1 billion for it in fiscal 2010, Donley said. "We think this is a good package for the Air Force and that it makes good strategic sense," he said.

The secretary also highlighted the Air Force acquisition improvement plan, which began after the General Accountability Office found the service erred in its contract for the new tanker.

The first component of the plan is to strengthen and improve the acquisition workforce. The Air Force is to hire about 2,000 employees over the next year; provide additional training to all acquisition personnel; and beef up systems engineering and cost analysis capabilities.

A second area of emphasis is to pay more attention to requirements and to ensure Air Force officials understand the technology risks involved in meeting operator demands for more capabilities.

A third area for improvement is financial stability, and a fourth is a stronger source selection process. "This is where we make the final procurement decisions and the Air Force has already started retraining personnel for this highly visible portion of the acquisition," Donley said.

The final area reviews the Air Force organizational structure.

Biden Announces Pentagon Housing Assistance Program Expansion

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - Vice President Joe Biden today announced the Defense Department's plan to expand its housing assistance program with $555 million devoted to servicemembers forced to sell their homes at a loss due to the country's struggling housing market. The financial support comes from President Barack Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to supplement the department's Homeowner's Assistance Program, Biden said aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during a visit with sailors and their families at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego.

The funds are allocated to provide benefits to military and civilian employees, according to a specific priority order, who suffered housing financial losses since 2006.

"The sacrifices military families make for our country, in terms of deployments but also moving several times in their career, are immense," he said. "They often don't get to choose when they move and may be forced to sell their homes when they don't want to."

Several times during the average military career, military members may be ordered to change duty stations to meet the mission requirements for their respective branch of service. Duty calls on servicemembers and their families to relocate and establish a new home as frequently as every two to three years. Many have moved because of base closures under the 2005 Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act.

Some families have been forced to sell their homes despite the possibility of losing thousands of dollars amid the country's struggling economy and housing market. Many military members can't afford to own a home near Fort Bragg, N.C., and rent or buy another near Scott Air Force Base, Ill., for example.

"We are in the middle of a credit and housing crises, and we recognize that military families cannot generally choose when to move," the vice president said, "so we've used the Recovery Act to dramatically expand what was once a fairly small program, assisting families forced to relocate due to base closures or normal assignment rotations."

The initiative isn't entirely new, however. The Pentagon has offered and provided similar financial assistance to military and civilian employees for more than 40 years, defense officials said. Until now, the program's primary support has focused on those who owned homes and lost money near closed or soon-to-be-closed down military installations under BRAC.

With the expansion, the Pentagon can now provide partial reimbursement for home-sale losses to other groups. The priority order for the benefits, according to Pentagon officials, are as followed:

-- Wounded servicemembers relocating for treatment or medical retirement, and for the surviving family members of those who have died while on deployment.

-- Military and Defense Department civilian employees affected by BRAC without the need to prove whether the base closure or the general housing market decline caused the loss.

-- Normal permanent change of station moves, but only on a retroactive basis that covers PCS moves between July 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2009.

All active and former members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as DoD civilians who have sold a home since 2006 may visit the Homeowners Assistance Program Website to learn specific program criteria and eligibility.

22nd Security Policy Initiative Held

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense held the 22nd Security Policy Initiative (SPI) today in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. delegation was led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia Michael Schiffer and the ROK delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Policy Lt. Gen. Kim, Sang Ki.

During the 22nd SPI, the two sides discussed a range of U.S.-ROK Alliance issues in a continuing effort to strengthen the bilateral defense relationship and ensure the solidarity of the combined defense posture.

The two sides discussed the close US-ROK coordination related to North Korea's long-range rocket launch and agreed to continue such coordination. Also, both sides reviewed current U.S.-ROK Alliance issues, including the USFK base relocation plans and future implementation of those plans.

The SPI is a policy-level U.S.-ROK dialogue held every two to three months, alternating in venue between Washington, D.C., and Seoul. It is a consultative mechanism used to strengthen the future vision of the U.S.-ROK Alliance and to discuss ways to develop defense policy to cope with the changing security environment.

Budget, Acquisition Reforms Reflect 'New Direction in Defense,' Lynn Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - The defense department's budget and acquisition reform efforts represent a dramatic, and needed, departure from the past, so that the U.S. military can stay strong and be flexible in challenging times, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here today. "The United States of America has the best-trained, the best-equipped, the best-led military that the world has ever seen, and we intend to keep it that way," Lynn told attendees at the annual Joint Warfighting Conference that ended here today.

Lynn served as the Defense Department's comptroller from 1997 until 2001. Four years prior to that, he was the director of Program Analysis and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal 2010 defense budget announced earlier this week increases defense spending by 4 percent, Lynn said, for a total expenditure of $534 billion.

"We need to uphold our solemn commitment to take care of our all-volunteer force, to ensure that they can prevail in the wars that they are in now," Lynn said. To this end, he said, Army and Marine Corp troop plus-ups have been achieved two years early, while previously planned cuts in Air Force and Navy personnel have been halted.

The more than $13 billion increase in the 2010 defense budget's personnel account, Lynn said, will be used to fund military and civilian pay raises, to provide new troop barracks, family housing and child care centers, and to fully fund military health care, including programs for wounded warriors.

The defense department also is ending the practice of funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through a budget supplemental process separate from the annual budget, Lynn said.

Lynn also said that the fiscal 2010 defense budget strengthens computer-system security by providing funds to triple the number of defense cyber experts. And, President Obama's 60-day review of the nation's cyber policy has been completed, he said, noting the report likely will be released in the coming days.

Meanwhile, recent tough budget- and acquisition-related decisions that scaled back or jettisoned unnecessary or too-costly defense programs reflect the intent of the Obama administration and the Pentagon to embark on "a new direction in defense," Lynn said.

"President Obama has made it clear that it is time to break out of the conventional thinking that has failed to keep pace with unconventional threats," Lynn said.

Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates are consequently making hard decisions and bold changes as they propose far-reaching reforms during the first defense budget the president is presiding over, Lynn said.

"This budget is one of the most-dramatic set of reforms I've seen," Lynn said, "from the forces and systems we field, to how we develop them."

For example, he said, U.S. and allies' concerns about missile defense needs are growing. Unfortunately, billions of dollars have been spent on missile defense programs facing major technological challenges or questionable operational roles, Lynn said.

As a result, Lynn said, the Pentagon has decided to restructure its missile defense program to focus on the theater missile threat from rogue states.

"We decided not to invest in the second airborne laser prototype aircraft and we're terminating the multiple-kill vehicle program," Lynn said of those costly, high-tech programs. Instead, he said, the U.S. will focus investment on its capable Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and sea-based SM-3 missile defense systems. Also, he added, the Pentagon proposes to convert six more Aegis-class ships to provide additional theater missile-defense coverage.

"In fact, across a whole range of programs, we've made a decision to halt or delay production of systems that relied on promising, but unproven technology," Lynn said, "while continuing to produce, and if necessary, upgrade, systems that are best in class and we know will work."

That's why the new Presidential Helicopter Program was cancelled after its cost had doubled to more than $13 billion, Lynn said. The $19 billion Transformational Satellite Program also was axed due to its rising costs, he added.

"We'll instead buy two proven and more affordable satellites to fill the gap," Lynn said.

The 2010 fiscal defense budget, Lynn said, also funds military leaders' requirements to field joint forces that possess the right capabilities needed to confront both current and perceived future threats, Lynn said. Current threats, he noted, include today's terrorists and extremists who wage irregular warfare against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Future potential threats, Lynn continued, include the possibility that a failed or weaker state could employ hybrid war -- a mix of irregular and conventional forces –- against U.S. forces, or that there may one day be a peer-to-peer conflict mostly waged with conventional forces.

Consequently, Lynn said, the decision was made to train, equip and field joint, balanced and flexible U.S. forces that can fight enemies practicing irregular, hybrid or conventional war.

The message, Lynn said, is that "from now on, irregular warfare is a regular part of America's military planning."

Senior Pentagon leaders are committed to the joint-force concept, Lynn said, which involves not only "the way we fight, but in the way we buy" equipment. For example, he said, production of the Air Force-centric F-22 fighter jet was ended at 187 aircraft, while more Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will be purchased.

It is imperative "to have an acquisition system that is as flexible and effective as the force it serves," Lynn said. "A modern, effective acquisition system should deliver savings and speed – savings to the taxpayer and speed for the warfighters that provides them the tools and technologies they need within the time they need them."

However, Lynn said, today's defense acquisition system fails to meet those criteria. That's why, he said, reform of the system is vital.

Therefore, he said, the defense department is launching five acquisition-reform initiatives. They are:

- Dramatically increase the acquisition workforce by 20,000 total positions.

- Bring more discipline to projects' requirements development, to better balance performance needs with respect to cost and schedule limitations.

- Improve cost estimating and reduce the risk of cost overruns by relying more heavily on independent, outside cost estimates.

- Strengthen the project-execution phase by making more use of fixed-price contract agreements, where appropriate, and by employing more steering boards to limit requirements "creep."

- Cancel poorly performing systems whenever they fail to meet desired requirements.

It's true, Lynn said, that numerous commissions and studies over the years have called for reform of the defense acquisition system without effect. However, Lynn said he is bullish that new efforts to reform the acquisition system will succeed, citing President Obama's, Capitol Hill's and the Pentagon's strong interest to do so.

"I'm optimistic that we will achieve real acquisition reform that will deliver real savings and increase speed of delivery to the warfighter," Lynn said.

Face of Defense: Captain Pursues Commitment to Fitness

By Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - Air Force Capt. Charlotta Blalock admits she gets some strange reactions from people when she does push-ups in the aisle of an aircraft 41,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. "I get teased a lot. My boss thinks I'm nuts," said Blalock, an amateur figure competitor of the National Physique Committee who travels up to 20 days a month in her job as aide-de-camp to Gen. Roger A. Brady, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and head of the NATO Allied Air Component Command here. "I can crank out 400 to 500 if we're heading to the U.S."

Though she has always been athletic, she said, the 36-year-old mother of two increased her commitment to fitness in 2005 while stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Working with a personal trainer, she started a new diet, worked on her body's weak spots and took gymnastics lessons to increase her flexibility. She went from exercising three to four times a week to five or six, and she expanded her focus from cardiovascular activities.

"I did some lifting, but with no organization," she said. "[The personal trainer] established that for me."

Blalock amplified her cardiovascular work as well, adding sprints and lots of inclines, and moved from using a treadmill to a StairMaster to an elliptical trainer.

"My fitness level was always high in terms of the cardio piece," the San Antonio native said. "Now I've turned this into the competition mode, which is a little bit different. I'm more fit now. I have less body fat."

She exercised under the trainer's tutelage for a year before being reassigned to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., where she worked as executive officer at the 55th Wing before coming to Germany in June 2008.

Blalock competed in her first bodybuilding contest in 2005 and has since participated in five more, the most recent of which was the Texas Shredder Classic Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness and Bikini Championships April 25 in Austin, Texas.

Rooting for her in person were her parents, Charles and Charmane Gilmore.

"My dad is proud," Blalock said. "[He's] in the audience yelling. He's embarrassing, actually."

Her father, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant, said there's an "aura of excitement" being in the audience when his daughter is onstage.

"[I'm] just kind of blown away to see her go out and compete," he said. "It's good for her to have something to put her heart and soul into. She's a strong young lady. I've seen nothing but the best out of her."

Blalock placed fifth among women 35 to 49 and received personal feedback on how she can be more competitive.

"I have work to do. I'm going to challenge myself to place better," the captain said. "They're very critical [and] take the whole bodybuilding thing seriously."

In the gym, the captain alternates body areas on which to focus. If it's a cardio day, she'll do 30 to 45 minutes of hard exercise to increase her heart rate, coupled with 30 minutes of relatively light weightlifting. When she concentrates on weights, she does 30 minutes of cardio work and lifts for 90. Between repetitions, she does pull-ups, crunches and circuit training.

"She's definitely focused," said Air Force 2nd Lt. Neil Wood of the 86th Air and Space Communications Group, who befriended Blalock last fall at Ramstein's Southside Fitness Center. "Once she starts, she's in the zone."

Capt. Michael McKenzie, who works at USAFE headquarters, said he admires Blalock's willpower when they travel together.

"We're inundated with free food [and] wine, and she just says, 'No, thanks.' She has amazing self-control. She is dedicated to her diet."

When they put in a 15-hour day, including flying elsewhere in Europe, "she heads straight to the gym when she's back at Ramstein," McKenzie said. "That's always impressed me."

Eight to 12 weeks before a competition, Blalock adjusts her diet, exercise routines and the amount of rest between working out specific areas of her body. Her pre-contest diet is made up of 10 percent fat, 40 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent protein.

"It's completely structured, and very strict," she said. "If I'm not looking like I think I need to look, if I'm not as lean as I think I need to be, then [there's] going to be a significant calorie cut."

When she's not preparing for a competition, Blalock said she puts on a couple of "vanity pounds."

"I eat clean for the most part," she said. "I do cheat. I like pizza. I'll eat a burger a couple of times per year. But as a lifestyle, I eat healthy."

She credits being fit with helping her deal with the workload she has as Brady's aide at USAFE headquarters. Another officer does the same job for the general in his NATO post.

"When you're fit, you feel good when you come to work. If I wasn't in really good shape, I'd have a hard time traveling as much as we do. Being fit helps [my] mental state to deal with those stresses."

She described her job as "overwhelmingly crazy, fun and humbling."

"You observe, you see a lot, you learn a lot," she said. "You often wonder how policies come about. Now I'm actually privy to kind of watch them in the early making of those decisions."

Though she works for one of the highest-ranking officers in the Air Force, getting a commission wasn't an early goal for Blalock when she was serving as an enlisted finance specialist.

"I wanted to be a chief, like my dad," she said.

With the encouragement of her superiors in the 60th Operations Group at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., she earned a bachelor's degree in education from Southern Illinois University and applied for a commission. She learned she had been accepted for Officer Training School while assigned to Osan Air Base, South Korea.

Blalock routinely scores "excellent" in the annual Air Force fitness test, but hasn't set a goal of scoring 100 on it. Completing the 1.5-mile run fast enough has been a chore, she said.

"I'm going to challenge myself to max it this year. The fact is, I could go test right now and get an 'excellent.' That doesn't motivate me, [but] if someone tells me I need to do [the run] in 11 minutes to get an 'excellent,' I'm going to get 11 minutes."

Her long-term fitness goal is to turn professional as a bodybuilder.

"It's a personal achievement; I'm no longer an amateur," she said. "They have recognized my body as a form of -- no kidding -- excellence, diet, training, discipline, commitment, all of that stuff. That's what it means to me."

(Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti serves in the U.S. Air Forces in Europe public affairs office.)

Keating Visit Promotes Growing U.S.-India Military Relationship

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - The senior U.S. commander in the Pacific today shared with Indian government and military leaders the importance of the U.S.-Indian military relationship in furthering peace and stability in a challenging neighborhood. Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told reporters after a whirlwind day of sessions here he hopes that relationship can grow in ways that promote the two countries' shared interests in maritime security, counterterrorism and defense trade.

Keating met with Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and National Security Advisor Mayankote Kelath Narayanan. He also called on Adm. Zurres Mehta, the naval staff chief and chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee; Lt. Gen. Noble Bhawan, vice chief of the army staff; and Air Marshall Pradeep Vasant, slated to take India's top air staff position later this month.

Throughout his visits, Keating said he emphasized the principal tenets of U.S. Pacific Command's strategy: partnership, readiness and presence. He called India an important partner in carrying out that strategy.

"We have a longstanding friendship on a military-to-military basis, we exercise frequently, we exchange personnel, [and] we have frequent visits," he said. "India is a strong partner and a good friend."

The relationship, he told reporters, enhances both militaries' high state of readiness as it enables them to operate together and share expertise and lessons learned.

Keating pointed to the Malabar 2009 naval exercise that wrapped up May 3 as an example of the growing combined exercise program.

India led Malabar 2009, in which about 4,000 members of the Indian, U.S. and Japanese navies trained together in surface, subsurface and air operations. They also conducted a visit, board, search and seize operation aboard USS Blue Ridge to simulate searching a merchant vessel.

Keating said his talks today focused on continuing the increased scope and sophistication of these exercises and exchanges in ways that improve cooperation while sending a strategic message to friends and potential allies alike.

"It demonstrates our commitment to peace and stability throughout the region by being present forward all throughout our area of responsibility," he said.

Responding to reporters' questions, Keating addressed a few of the challenges facing the region: China's military expansion, turmoil in Pakistan and the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, among them.

Today's talks also focused on violent extremism and ways the United States and India can work together more closely, particularly through the continued sharing of timely information and intelligence that could preclude an attack.

That issue is near and dear to Indians, still stinging from the November terror attacks in Mumbai. The coordinated bombings in the country's financial capital left 173 people dead.

"We want to make it increasingly difficult for those who support violent extremists to move, whether it is financial or logistical support throughout the region," Keating said. "We want those extremists themselves to find it increasingly difficult to move.

"And we want to emphasize our relentless commitment to help those countries who have similar perspectives as we [have], and want to curtail or eliminate the threat of violent extremism," he said. He noted that "almost every country in the world" shares this goal.

Today's discussions also focused on defense cooperation and India's efforts to modernize its military, in part through its military weapons systems program.

This program has grown exponentially since 2006, when India purchased USS Trenton at a cost of $50 million, Joel Ehrendreich, political-military officer at the U.S. Embassy here, told American Forces Press Service.

Since then, India has bought six C-130J Hercules aircraft for its special forces and $2.1 billion in P-8-I maritime reconnaissance aircraft to add more capability to what Keating noted already is a world-class maritime force.

The latest military sales issue on the table involves India's plans to purchase more than 100 multi-role combat aircraft for its air force. The U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet are among the contenders in the $10 billion competition.

India also plans to buy more computer technology so its forces can better network battlefield information, Ehrendreich said.

While boosting India's capabilities, Ehrendreich said, these sales are "completely transforming the way our militaries interact" and improving opportunities for them to work more closely together.

Keating arrived in the world's largest democracy last night as it was wrapping up the last phase of its huge general election. Results are slated to be announced May 16.

"We emphasized from a Pacific Command perspective our terrific respect for and admiration of the democratic process that is unfolding," he said. An estimated 60 percent of India's 714 million eligible voters reportedly cast ballots over the past five weeks.

Regardless of which party wins, Keating expressed confidence that the positive trends between the United States and India will continue. "We look forward to dealing in the same manner in an open, candid exchange of ideas with the new administration in India," he said.

Combined Task Force Makes First Suspected Pirate Capture

American Forces Press Service

May 14, 2009 - Ships from Combined Task Force 151 prevented a piracy attack in the Gulf of Aden, which resulted in the apprehension of more than a dozen suspected pirates aboard an alleged "mothership" yesterday. The South Korean destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great and guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg responded to a distress call from the Egyptian-flagged motor vessel Amira, which reported being attacked about 75 nautical miles south of Mukalla, Yemen.

Several assault rifle rounds and a rocket-propelled grenade round struck the Amira, causing little or no damage. A rope was thrown from the skiff in an attempt to board, but the attempt failed and the suspected pirates abandoned their attack.

Gettysburg and Munmu the Great launched their embarked helicopters which flew immediately to Amira's location. During its flight, the SH-60B helicopter assigned to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 46 located a small boat suspected of serving as a pirate mothership.

A Gettysburg visit, board, search and seizure team boarded the boat along with members of U.S. Coast Guard Legal Detachment 409 and apprehended the suspected pirates after finding eight assault rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a rocket-propelled grenade. All 17 of the passengers were brought on board Gettysburg for further questioning.

"This is another clear example of how coordination between the Combined Maritime Forces resulted in the successful disruption of pirate activity," said Royal Navy Commodore Tim Lowe, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces. "It is imperative that all maritime forces continue to synchronize their efforts to deter and disrupt these unlawful and aggressive acts."

Gettysburg and Munmu the Great are operating in support of CTF 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counterpiracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the CMF area of responsibility to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy and secure freedom of navigation.

(From a Combined Maritime Forces news release.)