Friday, May 22, 2009


United States Marine, Inc., Gulfport, Miss., is being awarded a $61,562,641 firm-fixed-price contract for detail design and construction of 10 Mark V Patrol Boats for the Kuwaiti Navy under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The vessel is designed for coastal patrol and interdiction, and other special operations at sea. Work will be performed in Gulfport, Miss., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-2252).

URS Group, Inc., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a maximum $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for environmental restoration projects in the NAVFAC Northwest area of responsibility. The work to be performed provides for environmental restoration under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and similarly complex local and state environmental investigations. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within NAVFAC Northwest AOR including, but not limited to Washington, (75 percent), Alaska, (22 percent), Oregon, (1 percent), Idaho, (1 percent), and Montana, (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation websitewith four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity (N44255-09-D-4001).

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $21,000,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2100) for the accomplishment of the FY08 Extended Drydocking Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) of USS Enterprise (CVN 65). EDSRAs are similar to overhauls in that they restore the ship, including all subsystems that affect combat capability and safety, to established performance standards. Additionally, an EDSRA provides an opportunity to perform hull inspections and recoating and other maintenance related evolutions below the waterline that cannot be accomplished while the ship is waterborne. The EDSRA provides sufficient time to perform more extensive propulsion plant repairs and testing than is possible during an Extended Selected Restricted Availability. Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed by August 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $21,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics – Ordnance and Tactical Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded $18,574,472 for firm-fixed-price delivery order #0019 under previously awarded contract (M67854-05-D-6014) for the procurement of 70 full rate production Internally Transportable Vehicles together with their corresponding Basic Issue Item kits and Additional Authorization List hardware. The Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) is a USMC program to field an expeditionary vehicle supporting Over-the-Horizon amphibious operations, Irregular Warfare and Enhanced Company Operations. The ITV will provide a deployed Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with a ground vehicle that is internally transportable in the MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and CH-53 helicopter, as well as the US Army MH-47 helicopters and U.S. Air Force CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The vehicle will serve primarily as a high mobility weapons-capable platform to support a variety of operations to provide ground units equal or greater mobility than the MAGTF maneuver elements they support, thereby enhancing their mission performance and survivability. Work will be performed in Forest, Va., (19 percent); Robbins, N.C., (26 percent); Columbus, Ohio, (11 percent); and St Petersburg, Fla., (7 percent), and work is expected to be completed by May 21, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Skill Metric Machine & Tool, Inc.*, Delray Beach, Fla., is being awarded a $7,690,670 fixed-price contract for the manufacture and delivery of 196 AM-2 Accessory Packages for the U.S. Marine Corps. These AM-2 Accessory Packages are utilized to build and maintain Expeditionary Airfields. Work will be performed in Delray Beach, Fla., and is expected to be completed in October 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $7,690,670 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-09-C-0325).

Navy Innovation Reduces Fuel Consumption at Sea

By Bob Freeman
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - As the world struggles to manage increasing demands for energy, dwindling natural resources, a highly vulnerable environment and an economic downturn, the Navy is developing new technologies to significantly reduce energy consumption at sea. Lawrence Schuette, director of innovation at the Office of Naval Research, said the Defense Department spent about $17 billion last year on transportation costs.

"Navy ships account for roughly 40 percent of what we call logistics fuel consumption, that is fuel that we use to move something," he explained during an interview on Pentagon Web Radio's "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" audio webcast, May 20.

Schuette discussed efforts by the Office of Naval Research, in conjunction with the Naval Sea Systems Command, to find innovative technologies to reduce fuel demand, consumption and improve the energy resilience of naval forces.

"We've had a long interest in making ships more efficient at sea, and we've done that by pioneering better hull coatings and better hull forms," he said. "Now we're looking at a hybrid electric drive ... to reduce fuel consumption on ships."

In addition to the obvious benefits to taxpayers of reducing cost, Schuette explained that hybrid electric drives provide greater operational capabilities by allowing ships to operate longer without refueling.

"And then there's the obvious carbon offset," he added. "We're not producing as much greenhouse gas as we steam at sea, and we see all three of these benefits as being important."

A key component of the hybrid electric drive is an uninterruptable power supply. Schuette explained that ships typically run two generators simultaneously to provide shipboard power requirements, with one acting as an emergency back-up for possible power loss. The uninterruptable power supply would allow ships to routinely run one generator.

"Only running one generator at 70 percent load versus two generators at 35 percent load saves about 10 percent of the fuel, somewhere on the order of six to seven thousand barrels of fuel a year. It's amazing," Schuette said.

Now that the hybrid electric drives have proven themselves in the laboratory, the next step is to actually build them for delivery and certify them for shipboard use.

"When it goes on a ship, we're going to understand it, we're going to characterize it, and we're going to make sure that the risks are well known," Schuette said. "Nothing is 100 percent safe, but you have to be able to understand and characterize those risks."

In addition to hybrid electric drives, Schuette said, the Navy is sponsoring research into alternative energy sources such as photovoltaics, hydrogen fuel and microbial fuel cells. When designing systems for shipboard use, space limitations must be considered so power density, an expression of energy concentration, also is an important factor, Schuette explained.

Another research initiative that Schuette discussed was in solid-state lighting. In addition to having significantly longer life than conventional fluorescent lighting, solid-state lights are more compact, require less energy, have no mercury to dispose of and do not require starters.

Schuette said a particular area of interest for naval research is in the development of autonomous systems, including air, surface and underwater vehicles. Using relatively small, unmanned systems to accomplish various operational missions can also result in energy savings.

"You know, we do all of this for three right reasons. It makes our sailors and Marines more capable at sea, it reduces the cost to the taxpayers, and it's also better for the planet," Schuette said.

(Bob Freeman works in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy.)

Mullen Offers Appreciation to Surviving Families

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

May 22, 2009 - There's no responsibility in the military community more important than caring for families who have lost loved ones to war, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today in an address to an organization specifically geared to help families cope with the death of their servicemember. "[The Defense Department] has a commitment to you and your needs, and the entire gathering, of the families of the fallen," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said at the 15th Annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. "That commitment is for the rest of your lives."

Mullen admitted he was a bit overwhelmed to speak to the nearly 300-member audience, all of whom had lost loved ones in the military. "I am so grateful for the service and sacrifice of Americans that you represent," he said. "I can't say enough about your courage and our admiration for who you are and what you are about."

The four-day seminar and camp began yesterday and involves about 1,200 participants, including more than 350 children, attending workshops and a camp to learn to cope with the loss of their loved one. The organization, better known as TAPS, was started in 1994 by families whose loved ones died in a military plane crash. To date, TAPS has helped more than 25,000 surviving family members grieve for their fallen military person.

Mullen expressed his appreciation for TAPS, calling the organization "a reminder of who we are as Americans."

The members of TAPS have dedicated the past 15 years to helping families through their grievance with support groups and in understanding their government benefits. Basically, TAPS provides a network for families so don't have to be alone, he said.

"I'm eternally grateful for TAPS," the admiral said. "[The Pentagon] spends a lot of time, in these very challenging times, looking for organizations that make a difference. There's not one that makes more of a difference, in my view, than TAPS.

"None of us go through life alone, and none of us should go through grief alone," he continued. "I understand the value of support."

Mullen said that while no one else ever can fully understand the pain suffered by families of the fallen, organizations such as TAPS and observances such as the weekend's Memorial Day celebration will ensure their legacies live on. He pledged always to remember their sacrifices.

"This is the most important weekend of the year, because we remember those who have made this country good -- every patriot, every hero, every sacrifice," Mullen said. "My promise to you is that we will never forget."

Arlington 'Flags In' Tribute Begins Memorial Day Commemoration

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - More than 3,000 servicemembers officially kicked off the Memorial Day commemoration last evening as they placed more than 250,000 miniature flags at every grave at Arlington National Cemetery. The tradition, known as "Flags In," dates back to 1948, when soldiers of 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard," began the annual Memorial Day tribute.

This year marked the sixth year company-size elements of sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen joined about 3,000 soldiers in placing a U.S. flag at the base of the gravestone and columbarium niche of every servicemember buried or inurned at Arlington.

Yesterday afternoon, the troops fanned out across the cemetery's hills and valleys, carrying rucksacks bulging with bundles of flags. They approached each headstone, centering a miniature flag exactly one boot length from the base before sinking it into the ground.

"I can't say how lucky I feel to have the opportunity to do this," said Army Sgt. Daniel Sonntag, a member of the Old Guard's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion.

"Not many people get to do something like this," said Sonntag, who deployed to Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division in September 2006 and has friends buried at Arlington. "This is something small we can do to honor those who have fallen before us. ... It's a way to recognize how important each one of these men and women here really was."

Airman 1st Class Rion Ehrman, a member of the Air Force Honor Guard who routinely participates in funeral details at the cemetery, said he felt humbled to participate in the Flags In tribute to honor the fallen. "It's a real honor to be putting the flag they died for right in front of them, especially on Memorial Day," he said.

"It's just beautiful," Ehrman said as he paused to look out over the sea of flags fluttering in the wind. "I just love Arlington, and I think it's the best job in the world, to be here every day."

Arms laden with flags, Navy Seaman Christopher Crespo knelt down at one gravestone after another, eyeing the flags to ensure they were properly aligned. "We're honoring the people who have served before us," he said. "What we are doing symbolizes that we haven't forgotten them."

At the same time, he said, it will send that message to all who will visit the cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend. "Everyone who sees this will know that we have not forgotten, and that we still care," he said.

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carson Zumalt turned the Flags In tribute into a family affair, with his wife, Candice, sons, Aiden and Connor, and sister, Amber Lane, joining in the effort.

Zumalt called participating in Flags In "a powerful reminder of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms" and the ultimate cost that many, including some of his brothers in arms, have paid. "We all know what we're up against when we join the service and deploy," he said. "This is a way to tell them, 'Thank you for your service.'"

Airman Jacob Proffer, a member of the Air Force Honor Guard, paused to salute a grave after placing a miniature flag at its base. "When I do this, it makes me take a lot more pride every time I put on my uniform, seeing the measure of sacrifice so many have made," he said. "I hope that when people come here and see this, they will understand the price of our freedoms."

Nowhere at Arlington did that sacrifice feel quite as poignant as in Section 60, lined by the graves of many casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Christine Bellavia and her sister, Amelia Stillwell, bent over the grave of a fallen Marine they'd never met – but whose mother they had promised the previous day they'd visit. Bellavia had just come from the flag-adorned grave of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Bellavia. The 101st Airborne Division soldier was killed in Karbala, Iraq, on Oct. 16, 2003.

After placing red, white and blue bouquets by the headstone and arranging two red roses between them on the ground beside the miniature flag there, Bellavia retrieved a single rose petal to take back home with her to Clarksville, Tenn.

It was purely coincidental, she said, that she happened to be on the East Coast and visiting her husband's grave just before Memorial Day and during the Flags In tribute.

"This is just awesome," she said as she watched the soldiers moving through the cemetery. "It's just amazing to see all this."

While Memorial Day represents a special time of remembrance, Bellavia said that in many respects, Memorial Day for her is a year-round observance. "I think about him and remember him every single day," she said.

Troops Serve as Worldwide Examples, Obama Tells Naval Academy Grads

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - U.S. servicemembers are the key to America's success in the world, President Barack Obama said at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation in Annapolis, Md. "It's not the strength of our arms or the power of our technology that gives the United States our military dominance; it's our people," Obama said. "It's our sailors and Marines, soldiers and airmen and Coast Guardsmen who perform brilliantly in every mission we give them."

The president said servicemembers serve as an example to Americans and others in the world and that their service fulfills the true meaning of citizenship. "In an era when too few citizens answer the call to service, to community or country, these Americans chose to serve," he said. "And they did so in a time of war, knowing they might be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice."

The newly commissioned officers in the Navy and Marine Corps do not chase outward markers of success, Obama said. "These Americans have embraced the virtues that we need most right now: self-discipline over self-interest, work over comfort, character over celebrity," he said.

And it is a diverse force that lives the U.S. motto of "Out of Many, One," Obama said.

The class of 2009 is defined by the values of honor, courage and commitment, the president said. The young officers will need these values as they go into a force confronting many new and different challenges, he said.

"For history teaches us that the nations that grow comfortable with the old ways and complacent in the face of new threats, those nations do not long endure," he said. "In the 21st century, we do not have the luxury of deciding which challenges to prepare for and which to ignore. We must overcome the full spectrum of threats."

Servicemembers and the president swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. "Yesterday I visited the National Archives and the hall that holds our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights," Obama said. "I went there because as our nation debates how to deal with the security challenges that we face, we must remember this enduring truth: the values and ideals in those documents are not simply words written into aging parchment, they are the bedrock of our liberty and our security.

"We uphold our fundamental principles and values not just because we choose to, but because we swear to. Not because they feel good, but because they help keep us safe."

Straying from these basic values not only undermines the rule of law, but also alienates the country from its allies, and gives enemies aid, Obama said. "So as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals," he said. "We can and we must and we will protect both."

By swearing the oath, the new officers will defend American ideals and accept lives of sacrifice. "That is the oath you take, the life you choose, the promise you make to America," the president said.

But the commander in chief also made a promise. "I will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, and with the strategy, the well-defined goals, the equipment and the support you need to get the job done," he said. "This includes the job of bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end, and pursuing a new comprehensive strategy to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan."

The president also promised that all aspects of the federal government will participate in this conflict, "so that you and the rest of our military do not bear the burden of our security alone."

Obama told the class of 2009 that in months or years or decades from now, to remember their academy days and the motto on their rings: "Devotion to Honor, Strength from Courage."

"Live these values. Live these virtues. Emulate the deeds of those who have gone before you," he said. "Do this and you will not only distinguish yourselves as sailors and Marines. You will be in the lead as we write the next proud chapter in the story of the country we love."

Chairman Notes Fallen Airman's Sacrifice in Memorial Day Message

American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - In his annual Memorial Day message to servicemembers worldwide, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff evoked the sacrifice of an airman who died in Afghanistan last month. Here is Navy Adm. Mike Mullen's message:

"On Memorial Day, and every day, we honor Americans who volunteer to serve a cause greater than themselves – Americans just like Phillip Myers.

"Growing up in Hopewell, Virginia, Phillip was, some say, just 'like any other teenager.' He went to school, loved cars and music, and for a few years after high school, he held a job near home. Phillip joined the Air Force in 1999 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician because, as he once half-joked, "it paid more." But everyone around him knew differently – he was merely following his dreams.

"Spending all ten years of his service overseas, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, his father said Phillip always looked out for the people serving under him, and that 'if he thought a job was too dangerous, he'd get out and check it himself.' He had previously received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for valor, but Phillip wasn't motivated by accolades. He knew he was just looking out for his people, and trying to get the job done.

"On April 4th, 2009, near Helmand Province in Afghanistan, Technical Sergeant Phillip Myers died doing what he loved to do – protecting the lives of others – while disarming an improvised explosive device.

"It was nearly 65 years ago when Ernie Pyle, the famous wartime reporter, captured a similar spirit of seemingly ordinary young men, extraordinarily fighting and dying on the beaches of Normandy: they were 'fighting for each other.' We are reminded that the story of Phillip Myers is a special but timeless one – the story of Americans simply doing what they love, on behalf of those they care for most.

"Memorial Day is about families and friends, bound by service, commitment, and sacrifice. As you gather this holiday weekend with those you love, please remember Phillip's family, his wife, daughter, and son, and thousands of other families of the fallen, just like them – for whom this day will be forever sacred.

"On behalf of the more than two million soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and their families, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I wish you a very enjoyable and safe Memorial Day."

Joint Summer Safety Campaign Aims to Reduce Off-duty Deaths

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - As Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pushes to get deployed troops whatever they need to succeed and return home safely, the services are gearing up campaigns to reduce deaths at home during the summer vacation season that kicks off today. The period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day typically sees a big spike in vehicle and recreational accidents, Defense Department safety officials note. People tend to spend more time outside enjoying off-duty activities, and they travel more. The unfortunate result is that accident rates increase, too.

Last year, 115 servicemembers died in off-duty accidents during the so-called "101 Critical Days of Summer."

Motor vehicles remained the No. 1 cause of off-duty military deaths, despite broad safety awareness efforts, officials reported. Motor vehicle accidents claimed 88 servicemembers' lives last summer.

Motorcycles were the biggest culprits, claiming 50 lives. Another 38 servicemembers died last summer in cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans.

To reduce those statistics this year, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard launched the 2009 Safe Summer campaign earlier this month. Safety chiefs are emphasizing the importance of everyone – servicemembers, civilians and family members alike – to make the campaign a success.

Just one loss is one too many, particularly for a military at war, said Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, commander of the Army Combat Readiness and Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.

"In combat, a soldier's battle buddy is frequently the first line of defense when it comes to affecting a soldier's decision-making process or reaction to a particular situation," he said. "I am encouraging leaders, soldiers and family members to be a battle buddy this weekend to help ensure a great start to a fun, safe summer season."

Rear Adm. Arthur J. Johnson, commander of the Navy Safety Center, urged the Navy and Marine Corps communities to arm themselves with the information they need to avoid becoming statistics.

"Make a plan to stay safe while enjoying recreational and off-duty events," he said. "We're counting on you to know the statistics so you don't become one."

"The enemy 'risk' can be defeated, but it takes teamwork," said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Tod Glidewell, top noncommissioned officer at the USACR Safety Center. The team requires leaders, troops, civilians and family members alike, "both on and off duty, protecting our most precious resource to ensure 'no one stands alone,'" he said.

Defense Official Outlines Hurdles in Defense Acquisition Reform

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - Reforming the Defense Department's acquisition system is going to be a long and difficult process that will require cooperation across the department and with Congress. One of the recommendations in Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' fiscal 2010 defense budget request is to reform the department's procurement system.

People of all political stripes agree the acquisition system needs reform. Cost and timeliness are just two areas that often spiral out of control.

Understanding the bureaucracy and the laws surrounding the process are key to reform, a senior military official who has studied the issue said, speaking on background.

Many people come to government believing they are going to reform acquisition, the official said. "Acquisition is an incredibly regulated activity," the official said. "If you gloss over that, you really don't have a chance of succeeding."

Laws and federal and defense acquisition regulations govern the process. The Office of Management and Budget has a way of looking at procurement. Then, the Congress has oversight of the process via appropriations and authorization. Each perspective brings different needs and different checks and balances into play.

Anyone wishing to reform the process needs the knowledge of each stakeholder, the official said.

"Not having that insider understanding of the real bureaucracy that's associated with it, you can get to the point where you think you have some influence over the process and it will only take you a few months to learn that you don't," the official explained.

While it's a daunting task, it is not an impossible one, the official said. There are ways to make changes in the system.

There is room for different procurement, the official said.

The regulations don't restrict the department from having different systems. The systems in the past were based on cost, and while cost needs to remain an element, it can't be the main determinant, the official said. "We need to figure out how to re-categorize in ways that make sense."

Part of the problem is the differing needs of war and peacetime. When the nation is not at war, the department becomes risk-averse and tries to be more businesslike, the official said. When the nation goes into a conflict and lives are on the line, the risk calculus in the bureaucracies often doesn't change.

Gates has said on a regular basis that he has a department at war, but there are portions that have not made the transition. "That's the disconnect," the official said. But even in war, the official added, there should be priorities of acquisitions.

Urgency, the official said, obviously is a factor in determining the risk factor. There is a difference in a procurement where "somebody is going to die and an 80 percent [solution] might save them," the official said.

In the successful procurements in the current wars, officials have built a process driven with urgency from the field. What's fundamentally different is that it's the customer -- the combatant commands -- saying what they need, and not the supplier.

The definition of success is a 60 to 80 percent solution, the official said. "We'll establish what the key attributes are going to be for functionality so they have commonality," the official added. Then the program transitions to a service.

But once a service is carrying the ball, procurement specialists still will need to live with the basic configuration, the official said.

The process today, the official said, tends toward a greater role for the combatant commands.

"In peace, the pendulum swings toward services," the official said. "In wartime, it swings to combatant commanders, because they see changes on the battlefield that become emergent needs."

The fight against roadside and car bombs tends to turn every 30 days. Changes must happen quickly to remain ahead of the enemy. "If you are dealing on a 30-day cycle, then a two-year budget to build and field can't work," the official noted.

Requirements, acquisition and resources need to be tied together, the official said. "It is critical to have resourcing match acquisition and requirements," the official said.

Bringing the requirements, acquisition and resourcing is possible if the principal officials who make those decisions are consistent across all three areas, the official said.

The official said he doesn't believe changes in the laws are necessary now. "We have to clearly and implicitly define the law that is impeding the process and then suggest changes to statute," the official said. "I've seen people go in and try to legislate changes. They have to think about Congress, the oversight and unintended consequences."

Gates also wants to hire more government employees to manage procurements. He spoke of "contractors managing contractors" in some acquisition projects and the need for government oversight. Again, this goes back to the differences between war and peace, the official said.

In war, building a robust acquisition force makes sense. A lot of money is being spent on a lot of equipment, but when peace returns, there will be a large acquisition force with few projects to manage. (The next Quadrennial Defense Review could review whether National Guard and reserve personnel may be the answer to this, the official said – check if in the terms of reference) The department has to be careful to not in-source just to get more government employees, the official said, and must understand what the "shock absorber" is once the conflict stops.

The acquisition work force should include all components, the official said. Active-duty acquisition experts would be fully usable across the full range of activities. Guard and reserve personnel could be the shock absorber when the nation goes to war and acquisition professionals are needed quickly.

Government employees and, finally, contractors, could also be part of the mix. The government would use more contractors as temporary employees to bridge the time it takes to bring a Guard and reserve person on active duty or to hire and train a government employee, the official said.

There is precedent for using the Guard and reserve to fill out a specialty. The reserve components have the vast majority of civil affairs specialists, for example. These personnel often bring the experiences of their civilian jobs with them, and there is no doubt that they could do the same in the acquisition field, the official said.

"We would have to set an expectation with the force on how they will be used," the official said. "This would allow them to set expectations of employers as well."

All this requires a change of culture – one of the hardest things for any organization to do, the official said. Joint acquisition is an increasing goal for the department.

"We must get away from the mindset of 'I must have my own,'" the official said. "There is a difference between a radio that goes into an airplane and a radio that goes into a truck. But there doesn't have to be a difference in the waveform."

A certain amount of duplication of capabilities is necessary, the official said. Car rental companies, for example, affiliate with a specific automobile company, but a certain number of cars will come from a different company to guard against a systemic problem with one company.

Frustration in the Defense Department stems from a culture that says each service must have all its own capabilities and cannot depend on other services to provide it, the official said.

Air Force Chief Predicts Fewer 'Exquisite' Acquisition Programs

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - The Air Force is taking a more critical eye in weighing the technological capabilities of new systems against their corresponding cost, the Air Force's top military officer said here yesterday. "We have had a temptation to design and try to build the most exquisite systems, and we've proven we can do that," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz said during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

Ultra-capable, sophisticated –- and correspondingly expensive –- weapons and other military-related systems "may have a place in certain instances," Schwartz said. But building "too much capability" onto some military platforms may be unnecessary and drives up procurement costs, he added.

"My observation is we went way over," Schwartz said of some military procurement programs, "on trying to build too many things on the same 'bus,'" or platform.

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates are seeking to rein in rising defense procurement costs. Some proposed fixes include more supervision of the acquisition process, including better definitions of exactly what capabilities are needed, with an eye toward controlling cost-overruns when a project is predicated on new, but untested and expensive, emerging technologies.

For example, Schwartz said, the Air Force's sophisticated, multi-billion dollar Transformational Satellite Program, or TSAT, was cancelled because of its exorbitant cost. Instead, the Air Force decided to purchase two existing, proven, and less-expensive satellite systems to do the job.

"But the truth is that TSAT was a $20 billion program," Schwartz said. The axed satellite system offered "an exquisite platform," he said, but it was simply too expensive.

The less-costly legacy satellites won't be as technologically "nifty" as the TSAT, Schwartz acknowledged, but on the other hand, they're "not bad" and will perform the mission.

And "there's going to be a lot more of 'not bad,' than there is of 'wow,'" Schwartz predicted, regarding the Air Force's acquisition process.

Obama Signs Defense Acquisition Reform Bill

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

May 22, 2009 - President Barack Obama today signed legislation aimed at reforming the Defense Department's buying process. The Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act, which garnered unanimous support yesterday in voting by the House of Representatives and Senate, will increase government oversight, save taxpayer dollars and spend defense funding more efficiently, Obama said at the White House signing ceremony.

"I'm proud to join Democratic and Republican members of Congress for the signing of a bill that will eliminate some of the waste and inefficiency in our defense projects -- reforms that will better protect our nation, better protect our troops, and save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars," he said.

Obama echoed Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, saying that a dollar of wasted defense spending is a dollar not spent on supporting U.S. troops, preparing for future threats or protecting the American people.

"Secretary Gates, working with our military leadership, has also proposed a courageous set of reforms in our defense budget that will target waste and strengthen our military for the future," Obama said. "In taking on this enormously difficult task, he's done a tremendous job."

The Government Accountability Office last year examined 95 major defense programs and found cost overruns totaling $295 billion.

"To put this in perspective, these cost overruns would have paid for our troops' salaries and provided benefits for their families for more than a year," Obama said. "At a time when we're fighting two wars and facing a serious deficit, this is inexcusable and unconscionable."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman today said the bill demonstrates the Defense Department's commitment to acquisition reform.

"This new legislation will be a key component of that in building a more responsible, high-performance government, and right here in the Defense Department," he said.

Whitman said the legislation will help to create improvements in the areas of systems engineering, development evaluation and pricing, and also will cut the number of no-bid contracts.

Naval Support Activity Shines During Rare Carrier Visit

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - Naval Support Activity Bahrain rose to the challenge May 16-19 to support the historic visit by USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first American aircraft carrier to dock pierside in Bahrain in more than 60 years. Thousands of Eisenhower and Carrier Air Wing 7 sailors spent time at NSA Bahrain, with a peak of 3,100 sailors on liberty May 18.

"Having an aircraft carrier at pierside was very significant," Navy Capt. John D. Schoeneck, NSA Bahrain's commanding officer, said. "It demonstrated the capability of the base to support a large influx of transient personnel, proving the concept for the port facility and providing U.S. 5th Fleet with an alternative port of call for the largest classes of U.S. Navy ships. It also re-emphasized the importance of our nation's relationship with the kingdom of Bahrain."

To support the increased number of sailors on base, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Navy Exchange and Navy Federal Credit Union extended their hours of operation for all programs and services on base.

MWR also offered a host of special programs and events for Eisenhower sailors. MWR officials coordinated a special performance by the Japanese Maritime Defense Band and two Armed Forces Entertainment performances by the Don Barnhart Comedy Tour.

"It's nice to come out and be a part of the team," said Barnhart, recently nominated as 2009's best comedian in Las Vegas. "It's like being the water boy on the Super Bowl team. Someone has to get the water and refresh them, and that's how I look at my role with all of this. I'm just so grateful to be able to support the men and women who make our country free."

To give the visiting sailors the opportunity to experience the local culture, customs and cuisine, MWR coordinated 38 trips and tours to sites in Bahrain.

Sailors who spent their liberty time on base had a host of MWR programs to choose from. MWR also held multiple sporting activities to include basketball, tennis, racquetball, softball, soccer and flag football events. Eisenhower and CVW 7 sailors fielded 16 basketball teams, 14 softball teams and nine flag football teams May 17 and 18.

"I'm used to playing basketball on the non-skid [hangar bay surface], so being able to come to Bahrain and play on a real court has been great," Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jermaine Bradford of the Eisenhower's air department said. "All the different sports - basketball, flag football and softball - have been a lot of fun and a good way to get some exercise. The port visit has been a great stress-release. After so many weeks at sea, it's nice to come here and do something relaxing."

The MWR Single Sailor and Liberty Program also gave sailors a place to relax on base, play video games, participate in spades, hearts and Texas Hold 'em tournaments, surf the Internet and chat with loved ones back home.

"This is way more than I expected," said Navy Seaman
Andrew Scott, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 83 aboard Eisenhower. "MWR really had a lot to offer, and I just wish we were here longer so I could go out and do everything. This has been really nice, especially after being on the ship for a few weeks straight."

MWR also held special food events at the officer, chief petty officer and enlisted clubs.

"The entire MWR staff was extremely excited to provide direct service to the Ike and her crew," Tom Linscott, MWR director, said. "It was a total team effort from our staff, who worked 12 and 14 hour days to support this visit."

The NEX and its staff also provided significant support for the ship's visit, and began preparing for the visit several months ago by ordering and stocking its inventory with items that shipboard sailors typically need and want. During the ship's port visit, the NEX also extended its hours until midnight.

"Right up until midnight, our staff was friendly and cheerful and working as hard as they could, stocking, cleaning and helping customers," Dan Cougevan, NEX general manager, said. "From the time the doors opened until midnight, they were dead on, performing great."

The NEX set record sales numbers on both May 17 and May 18, with sales topping $1 million. The record sales resulted in the store earning the top spot as the No. 1-selling NEX worldwide on both days.

"Everyone did a fantastic job, but not just the folks you see on the sales floor," Cougevan said. "There are a lot of folks behind the scenes that you don't see, but they're very important too."

Cougevan also credited the support of the NSA Personnel Support Detachment, which purchased additional change for the NEX.

"It takes a lot to pull this off, and everyone just really stepped up," he said. "I think everyone was just so excited and wanted to make this a success."

Schoeneck agreed. "Overall, the base employees answered the call superbly and were the main reason behind Ike's successful visit," he said.

The last carrier to moor pierside during a liberty call to Bahrain was the 11,373-ton Commencement Bay-class escort aircraft carrier USS Rendova in 1948.

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer serves with The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command public affairs office. The Naval Support Activity Bahrain public affairs staff contributed to this article.)

Paratroopers Build Team Spirit With Sports

By Army Sgt. Stephen Decatur
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - Sometimes a football game is more than just a game. Although tens of millions of Americans watch the Super Bowl every year, at the end of the day, it's just a game. But when 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers participated in sporting events during this week's All-American Week here, they knew that one day they might have to depend on their fellow players in combat. Although this year's All-American Week was scaled down because of deployments in the division, the most important elements, such as team-building, esprit de corps and fun, were still on the schedule.

"Sports bring the team closer and give young Joes the opportunity to see what teamwork is," said Army Sgt. Jonathon Clements of Company B, 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team. "All-American Week brings everyone together in the whole division."

Much of this year's All-American Week consisted of athletic events such as the division run, 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer foot races, softball, volleyball and football.

Army Pfc. Justin Schmidt of 782nd BSB's Company B said team-building events were one of the most important parts of All-American Week. "If [your fellow paratroopers] watch your back on the field, then they'll watch your back overseas," he said.

For units preparing to deploy, the week also has been one of the last chances paratroopers would have to come together as a team to do something fun.

"It's good for everyone to take a break," Clements said. "Especially with the upcoming deployment, it's an opportunity to clear our minds."

Perhaps the most important reason why paratroopers participate in All-American wWeek is because they are proud of the division's legacy.

"It's a tradition," said Army 2nd Lt. Paige Porchia of 782nd BSB's Company A said. "It gives us a sense of honor by doing what those who came before us did. We've held on to our values as a division. Despite the war, we've still set aside time to come together."

Whether paratroopers were calling cadence in a division run, squaring off with other brigades in a game of football or pummeling each other in an unarmed combat tournament, they were building pride in the paratroopers they serve with today and those who came before them.

"There's so much pride being able to say that you've got that patch on your shoulder and those wings on your chest," Schmidt said. "Wherever you go, people will know who you are."

(Army Sgt. Stephen Decatur serves with the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

Texas Community Brings Troops, Civilians Together Through Fishing

By Army Sgt. Stephen Decatur
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - Because soldiers spend most of their time with other soldiers, their everyday lives seem completely normal to them. But every once in a while, they run into someone who tells them that what they do is extraordinary. Army Pvt. Michael Varner, a cannon crew member from Carson City, Nev., who serves with 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, had such an experience during an event called Warrior's Weekend here May 16. The event was set up to thank soldiers for their service and sacrifices with a day of free fishing.

"I'm used to interacting with my fellow soldiers; I haven't had the chance to be around civilians too much," Varner said. "A lady walked up to me and shook my hand. I kind of had to get used it."

About 8,000 people came to the event, including almost 200 wounded soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Hood, Texas, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., as well as many soldiers who hadn't been wounded, said Ron Kocian, a co-chairman for the event.

So many boat owners volunteered to take the servicemembers and their families, Kocian said, that there was enough space for Vietnam veterans as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans.

"It's not just about the fishing," Kocian said. "It's about giving the public the opportunity to show that they love the troops."

Kocian served in the Army during the Vietnam War, and said he got together with friends to help set up the Warrior's Weekend because he remembers the way his fellow soldiers were treated when they returned to the United States.

"It will remind [soldiers] that they're loved, and that we're not forgetting them," Kocian said.

In addition to fishing, soldiers also participated in activities such as climbing and archery at the Port O'Connor Community Center. They also attended a dedication ceremony for a field of flags put up by a local church as a show of solidarity for servicemembers.

At the end of the day, a "dinner with the troops" was held at the community center to give civilians and troopers one more chance to connect.

Julian Perez heard about the event through a motorcycle group called the Patriot Guard Riders.

"It's for the troops," he said. "For everything they do for us, it's time we did something for them."

Perez said several members of his family have served in the armed forces, and that more people need to meet servicemembers in person. "They ought to be able to sit together with these veterans and realize what they're doing so we can enjoy our Saturday nights," he said.

Army Spc. Ross Pelto, a Detroit native and paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, is a fishing enthusiast who was wounded during his last deployment to Iraq. He ended up getting the largest catch of his life at the event, a 37-inch red drum, or "Texas redfish," as it's known locally.

"This is the first event I've ever been to like this," Pelto said. "I've never seen this kind of gratitude before; Texas really knows how to treat a veteran."

(Army Sgt. Stephen Decatur serves with the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

Troops' Example Provides Lesson for World, Biden Tells Guardsmen in Kosovo

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - The example the U.S. military sets can inspire people around the world, Vice President Joe Biden told servicemembers at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, today. "Just the fact that you are all here representing every hue and color, male and female, sends such a message throughout this region so loudly that I think you all underestimate the consequences," Biden told the National Guardsmen at the main U.S. camp in the country.

The American forces are serving shoulder to shoulder with NATO forces and other allies, and are an example to the people of the Balkan country on the strengths of diversity, the vice president said.

"You show the world ... what happens when nations resolve to stand together to defeat tyranny and to build free societies," Biden said.

He also called the U.S. military the most visible and vital examples of American values. "You're the embodiment of our deep-seated ethic of selflessness and sacrifice," he told the servicemembers.

All who have served in Kosovo can say they helped to integrate the Balkans into Europe, Biden noted. "This mission brings stability and prosperity to Kosovo, and it symbolizes the way that NATO has reached out beyond its original boundaries and mission to provide security in places that need help like this one, and in turn enhance our security," the vice president said.

The Guardsmen at the base do more than just provide security. They also help to establish health and dental clinics, they offer veterinary aid, and they work at local schools, with local engineers and with local governments.

"For every little thing you do, you do so much to secure a brighter future for those kids you see in the streets, for Kosovo, and you do it for the region -- and for America – [the] America that relies on you to create and maintain the peaceful world that we all desire," he said. "And for that, and so much more, we owe you."

Biden said the Obama administration has focused on providing servicemembers and veterans what they have earned. The revamped GI Bill, increased funding for medical care and increases in the Veterans Affairs budget all are designed to repay servicemembers for their sacrifices, he told the Guardsmen.

Earlier in the day, Biden received Kosovo's Medal of Freedom and addressed the national assembly. He praised Kosovar leaders for the progress they have made, but called on them to do more, saying the nation must continue to build strong national institutions and must reach out to all Kosovars regardless of ethnic background. He especially called on Kosovar leaders to respect the rights of the Serb minority in the country.

"Strengthening the rule of law must remain your priority," Biden said. "Do not let up in your efforts to eliminate corruption and tackle organized crime."

Kosovo faces many challenges, but the United States and the international community will remain to help them overcome any obstacles, the vice president said.

New Web Program Aims to Reduce Fatigue-related Aviation Accidents

American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - A new Web-based program is helping military pilots and aircrews "FlyAwake," thanks to the combined efforts of the District of Columbia Air National Guard's 201st Airlift Squadron and the National Guard Bureau. "We were noticing the number of fatigue-related mishaps were quite high, and we needed to do something about it," said Air Force Capt. Lynn Lee. "So we took a look at what was out there, and the 201st Airlift Squadron's fatigue modeling program seemed to have the answer."

Lee is a flight safety officer with the Air National Guard Safety Directorate at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The 201st Airlift Squadron based there provides short-notice worldwide air transportation for the executive branch, congressional members, Defense Department officials and high-ranking U.S. and foreign dignitaries.

In both military and commercial aviation, Lee said, pilots and other aircrew members are required to have specific rest periods prior to flying. This can be challenging for aircrew members who transit many time zones or attempt to sleep in less-than-restful environments.

Research has shown that as fatigue goes up, cognitive effectiveness goes down, and the risk of an accident increases exponentially. "We want to stop that before it even gets to the pilots," she said. "So we're backing it up to the mission planning stage."

Air Force and Navy accident investigations have used fatigue modeling for some time to determine if fatigue was a factor, she noted. The new Web-based program gives squadron commanders and mission schedulers easy access and quick responses.

In 2007, a safety idea from the 201st Airlift Squadron's commander, Air Force Col. Gary Akins, led to creation of a proactive fatigue modeling program to allow identification and mitigation of high-risk fatigue areas prior to mission departure. Walter Reed Army Research Institute had developed a set of algorithms, Lee said, which are extremely accurate in predicting fatigue, given an individual's sleep and work history.

To mitigate a projected fatigue risk, the 201st Airlift Squadron would add a crew member or shift take-off or landing times if possible, she added, and would design nap rotations to minimize fatigue at the critical events during the flight.

"The program was shown [to be] very successful at the 201st, ... [and] we used it for about six months," Lee said. "At that point, Lt. Col. Ed Vaughan, our previous Air National Guard chief of flight safety, spearheaded bringing it to the rest of the Guard."

In 2008, the Defense Safety Oversight Council funded joint-service implementation of the program, under the name "FlyAwake." Feedback on the test site from flight surgeons, physiologists, schedulers and pilots is being incorporated into the release next month of "FlyAwake 2.0." The new version also will include a new intelligent sleep model based on crew surveys, technical studies and other data, Lee said.

A variation of FlyAwake, dubbed WorkAwake, also has the potential to help thousands of Defense Department shift workers, Lee said. This shift-work analyzer would provide commanders with actionable intelligence to help in designing schedules more effectively.

As much potential benefit as the FlyAwake program holds, there's no push to make it mandatory, Lee said.

"Eventually, tools like this will become part of the safety culture of the flying community," she said. "The first step is to get buy-in at all levels and demonstrate the program's efficacy.

"Our feeling," she continued, " ... is if we come up with a good product that helps the war fighter, it will get used."

DoD Launches Program to Fight Stigma of Seeking Psychological Health Care

The Department of Defense today launched the Real Warriors Campaign, a multimedia public education effort designed to combat the stigma keeping some service members veterans and their families from seeking needed psychological health care.

The campaign will promote the processes of building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration for those with psychological wounds via an interactive web site and through radio and television public service announcements.

"You're tough, and you go into the hospital when you receive a physical wound," said Dr. (Brig. Gen.) Loree K. Sutton, director, of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. "That doesn't mean you're weak in some way. So why wouldn't you seek treatment when you've received a psychological wound?"

The launch is part of a larger effort by the Department of Defense to ensure service members and their families can access necessary treatment for the invisible wounds of war as well as the visible wound.

For more information, visit or call the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center at (866) 966-1020.


DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc, Saint Louis, Mo. was awarded on May 20, 2009 a $103,855,708 firm-fixed-price contract for 274 each heavy equipment transporter system M1000 semi-trailers. Work is to be performed in Saint Louise, Mo., with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM-Warren, AMSCC-TAC-ATBC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0107).

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc, Poway, Calif., was awarded on May 20, 2009 a $10,614,469 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the issuance of contract W58RGZ-09-C-0153 for contractor logistics support for the extended range multi-purpose quick reaction capability unmanned aircraft systems in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Work is to be performed in Adelanto, Calif., (13 percent), Palmdale, Calif., (8 percent), Salt Lake City, Utah, (14 percent), and Hunt Valley, Md., (19 percent). The estimated completion date of this project is May 19, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0153).

ATK Space Systems, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, (N00014-09-D-0699); Argon ST, Inc., Fairfax, Va., (N00014-09-D-0708); BAE Systems, Nashua, N.H., (N00014-09-D-0690); Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Broomfield, Colo., (N00014-09-D-0711); The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., (N00014-09-D-0705); Cobham Defense Systems, Landsdale, Pa., (N00014-09-D-0703); Colorado Engineering, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., (N00014-09-D-0707); DRS Signal Solutions, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md., (N00014-09-D-0698); FTL Systems, Inc., Rochester, Minn., (N00014-09-D-0706), General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Fairfax, Va., (N00014-09-D-0709); HYPRES, Inc., Elmsford, N.Y., (N00014-09-D-0700); ITT Corp., Electronic Systems & Radar Systems, Van Nuys, Calif., (N00014-09-D-0704) ; ITT Force Protection Systems, Thousand Oaks, Calif., (N00014-09-D-0701); Lockheed Martin Corp., Moorestown, N.J., (N00014-09-D-0702); Northrop Grumman Corp., Baltimore, Md., (N00014-09-D-0710); Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Mass., (N00014-09-D-0696); S2 Corp., Bozeman, Mont., (N00014-09-D-0697); and Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, (N00014-09-D-0691), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the Integrated Topside Program. The Integrated Topside (InTop) Program encompasses the technology development and system development and demonstration phases of a Navy acquisition program. The program will develop in a spiral manner InTop technology development phase advanced development models suitable for proof-of-concept, and subsequent SDD phase systems for full system demonstration prior to installation and deployment on! various Navy platforms. Each contractor will provide efforts that lead to the appropriate integration and management of radio frequency sensor and communications functions into future platforms, with reduced cost, manning and impact on ship design relative to an assembly of federated systems with similar capability. The ordering ceiling for each contract is between $50,000,000 to $800,000,000. Work will be performed Dayton, Ohio; Fairfax, Va.; Nashua, N.H.; Broomfield, Colo.; Seattle, Wash, Landsdale, Pa., Colorado Springs, Colo., Gaithersburg, Md., Rochester, Minn., Fairfax, Va., Elmsford, N.Y., Van Nuys, Calif., Thousand Oaks, Calif., Moorestown, N.J., Baltimore, Md., Tewksbury, Mass., Bozeman, Mont., and San Antonio, Texas, as determined by each delivery order, and the end of ordering period is May 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via electronic solicitation. These 18 contractors may compete for delivery orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $32,373,219 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-03-C-0055) to exercise an option for the manufacture, test and delivery of 23 reconfigurable transportable consolidated automated support systems for the Navy, (21) and the Air Force, (2). In addition, this modification provides for 12 Self Maintenance and Test/Calibration Interface Devices for the Navy, (10) and the Air Force, (2). Work will be performed in North Reading, Mass., (60 percent) and St. Louis, Mo., (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in Sept. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, ($29,466,863; 91 percent) and the U.S. Air Force, ($2,906,356; 9 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics, Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., is being awarded a $15,800,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for advance planning and off-hull fabrication of the replacement hull patch and bridge access trunk, advance planning and material procurement for the port retractable bow plane, and advance planning for the sail for restoration of USS Hartford (SSN 768) to full service condition. Work will be performed in Quonset Point, R.I., (70 percent) and Groton, Conn., (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $15,800,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-08-G-6321).

Tetra Tech EC Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $12,782,243 firm-fixed-price contract modification to a previously awarded cost-plus award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity remedial action contract (N62473-07-D-3211) for installation restoration Sites 5 and 10 at Operable Unit 2C, Buildings 5 and 400, for storm drain and sewer line time critical removal actions at Alameda Point. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $23,102,974. Work will be performed in Alameda, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities engineering Command Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Bowhead Information Technology Services, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded $6,292,697 modification to increase the ceiling amount to previously awarded contract N00178-04-D-3093 for engineering, scientific analysis, technical, information technology and engineering services for non-NMCI systems and operational support. Work will be performed in Dahlgren, Va., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., is the contracting activity.

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed priced contract with IAP Worldwide Services Incorporated, Cape Canaveral, Fla for $24,075,800. This contract action will increase the estimates of project work on the CE Services contract to allow for the execution of American Recovery and Reinvestment Action and mid-year sustainment, restoration and modernization by contract projects. At this time, no money has been obligated. 66 CONS LGCA, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA2835-08-D-0001, P00007).

The Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to Immix Technology, Inc., of McClean, Va., for $11,492,000. This action will proved IBM NetCool Enterprise Licenses Agreements products. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 753 ELSG/PK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (DABL01-03-A-1003).

Farstad Oil, Inc., Minot, N.D.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,896,114 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are at various military locations throughout North Dakota. Using service is Air Force. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There were 48 responses to the original proposed solicitation. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-4514).

Vice President's Visit Boosts Soldiers' Morale

By Army Pfc. Nevada J. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

May 21, 2009 - Vice President Joe Biden visited the troops at Camp Bondsteel to boost soldiers' morale and show support for the Kosovo Force mission. Biden's visit to Camp Bondsteel was the last stop on a three-day trip to the Balkans during which he visited three countries.

Upon his arrival here, Biden first met with the commanding general of the U.S. led Multinational Task Force East, Brig. Gen. Keith D. Jones, and then spoke to the troops, thanking them for their service.

"You're the most visible, most vital symbol of our sense of justice and compassion that could possibly be demonstrated to the rest of the world, you're the embodiment of our deep-seated ethic of selflessness and sacrifice," said Biden. "You know, you're serving shoulder-to-shoulder with our NATO forces that are here; partners from Armenia and Greece, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania and Ukraine. You show the world, and you continue to show the world what happens when nations resolve to stand together to defeat tyranny and to build free societies."

As a proud father of a National Guard soldier serving in Iraq, Biden remarked on the importance of the National Guard and its relevance in today's military.

"Without the National Guard we would not be able to conduct the war in Iraq, we would not be able to conduct the War in Afghanistan, and we would most certainly not be able to conduct the efforts being made here," said Biden. "There's an old saying that goes, 'this is not your father's National Guard,' its an integral part of every Army operation, and its impossible to deploy a large force of the United States Military without the National Guard."

The vice president's visit imparted the importance of the Kosovo Force mission and highlighted the progressive changes that have taken place in the region.

"I look at the progress made since my first visit, and much of it has been attained, first and foremost, by American leadership, backed up by the courage and hard work of NATO military forces like all those standing with you here today," said Biden.

Biden also said that each soldier has the rare chance to be able to tell future generations about what is was like when for the first time in history the Balkans became a part of Europe.

"We dreamed of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. But the one missing piece of that puzzle remains the Balkans," said Biden. "Here in Kosovo, you protect the innocent; you protected innocents decade ago, and now you're providing Kosovars the security they need, and the space they need, to build an independent, democratic, and most importantly multi-ethnic state that has never existed in this part of the world."

Biden talked about what an opportunity the Kosovo mission represents and reaffirmed his support of the mission and how it acts as an example of freedom and democracy at work.

He stressed the U.S. soldiers' primary mission is to secure freedom of movement for the people of Kosovo and how the troops here do much more than that.

"You're literally building a free, vibrant, productive society from the ground up," said Biden, praising the soldiers' work with nongovernmental organizations, international donor organizations, to complete local improvement projects that change the lives of the Kosovo people.

Biden ended his with heartfelt words on the work of the soldiers and their continued dedication to the current mission, freedom, and the United States.

Some of the soldiers who were present for Biden's speech said they were impressed that a member of the Obama administration took the time to personally come to Kosovo to thank them for what they are doing.

"We have his support while we're here promoting freedom, and it was a very encouraging thing for him to come out here to let the troops know in person our vice president on behalf of our president is behind us," said Sgt. 1st Class Maria Weaver, who hails from Alaska.

"It's an honor to see the administration take time to visit us to show their appreciation," said Spc. David Noriega, a California Army National Guard soldier. "The speech was very nice to hear that they appreciate our sacrifices and our family that they are sacrificing as well."

(Army Pfc. Nevada J. Smith is assigned to the 68th Public Affairs Detachment.)