Military News

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gates Downplays Rhetoric on North Korea

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

May 29, 2009 - As the plane flying him to a security conference in Singapore travels into a storm of regional unrest stirred up by this week's North Korean nuclear tests, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today downplayed the swirling rhetoric and said he sees no need to adjust U.S. military forces levels in the region. "I don't believe that anybody in the administration thinks there is a crisis," Gates told reporters traveling with him to this weekend's "Shangri-La Dialogue" Asia security summit.

"What we do have, though, are two new developments that are very provocative, that are aggressive, accompanied by very aggressive rhetoric," Gates said. "I think it brings home the challenge that North Korea poses to the region and to the international community."

North Korea reported conducting both nuclear and missile tests this week and threatened to attack U.S. and South Korean warships. Nations of the region have denounced North Korea's actions, with a strong reaction coming from China, the country's longtime ally.

Gates said North Korea's actions actually may work for the United States as it goes into the security talks in Singapore hoping to build on and strengthen relationships in the region. For the first time, Gates will sit down with his counterparts from both Japan and South Korea at the same time. He also will meet briefly with a senior military official from China.

"I think ... it may create opportunities for multilateral cooperation to try and persuade the North Koreans to change that behavior," Gates said. "My impression is that [China was] surprised by the nuclear test. I think there may be some opportunities here."

At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Gates said, he hopes to articulate the U.S. administration's commitment to the region, a point he said was underscored by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's recent visit to the region.

Gates will meet with defense ministers, senior military officials and other senior officials from across the region. He said that although North Korea likely will dominate the discussion, the participants also will discuss other security issues. The secretary said the meetings are critical as the countries move ahead together to form a response to North Korea's actions, and that they'll need "to be on and stay on the same page."

"I think that there is a general agreement that whatever responses there are need to be multilateral, preferably under the auspices of the U.N.," he said, "but perhaps there are other means as well."

China probably has more influence on North Korea than any other country, Gates said, though he conceded that even China's sway has limits. Still, it is important for the Chinese to be a part of any dealings with North Korea, he said.

Gates said plainly that there are no plans for U.S. military action against North Korea unless the country does something that requires a military response. The secretary said that international diplomatic measures are the first choice to curb further development of nuclear and missile capabilities in the north, while avoiding destabilizing the country.

"I would say that what we're talking about principally would be diplomatic and economic measures," he said. "But also, are there ways potentially to help strengthen our military cooperation and perhaps [defensive] military capabilities?"

Whatever sanctions are agreed upon, the secretary said, he hopes they will strike at the heart of North Korea's government without hurting the country's people.

"The North Korean regime has already done enough damage to the North Korean people," gates said. "I think we should be cautious in the way we look at reactions in terms of doing something that would be further damaging and harmful to the North Korean people."

About 25,000 U.S. military troops serve in South Korea. Some 250,000 -- or nearly one-fifth of total U.S. military strength -- are assigned to U.S. Pacific Command.

Army Reserve Offers Military, Civilian Return on Investment

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 29, 2009 - When Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz assumed his post as chief of the Army Reserve three years ago, he brought a mindset of focusing on the bottom line, a perspective he forged over 28 years in the private sector. That focus, he said, has become more important than ever.

"Especially now, as we are going into a Quadrennial Defense Review, and with a new administration, we as a nation are looking at what we want our military to be," Stultz told American Forces Press Service yesterday. "And we are asking, 'What are we getting as taxpayers for what we are investing?'"

So whenever Stultz talks about his Army Reserve soldiers -- whether within the defense establishment, with Congress or to the troops themselves – he peppers the discussion with the term, "return on investment."

"The theme I want to get across is that the Army Reserve is a great investment for America because of what you are getting in return," he said.

Stultz pointed to the "huge" impact Army Reserve soldiers are making as they support national security missions stateside as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Europe, Kosovo and elsewhere around the world. They work side by side with their active-duty counterparts, he said, demonstrating the same military competencies as they carry out the mission.

But, Stultz said, they bring something more to the table: their civilian-acquired job skills and education.

Every time he visits the combat theater, Stultz said, he looks for examples of how deployed Army Reservists are "applying some kind of civilian skill you would never expect in a soldier, that he is using on the battlefield."

He said he never has to look far, and he rattled off just a few examples. A reservist who is a building demolition expert in civilian life advised his commander in how to take down a bombed-out structure without causing additional damage. Soils engineers and hydrologists deployed with their units to Afghanistan are putting their civilian know-how to work making infrastructure improvements. Carpenters and masonry workers deployed to Afghanistan set up a school in Afghanistan to share their skills and help to build a local labor force.

Perhaps one of the most striking examples is Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, who served as an engineer for Multinational Division Baghdad, leading efforts to improve sanitation and restore essential services for the local people. In carrying out the mission, Talley drew heavily on his background as an engineering professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Stultz said he's awestruck by the quality of soldiers serving in the Army Reserve.

"I continue to run across soldiers on the battlefield who have great civilian educations, great civilian occupations, and they are willing to walk away from all that and put it on hold, and risk their lives to serve their country," he said. "This is the added value of the Reserve. We are getting a return on investment as a military."

But the return on investment isn't limited to what the Army Reserve brings to the force, Stultz said. He pointed to a frequently overlooked part of the equation: what the Army Reserve brings to civilian communities and businesses.

"We develop talent. We develop capability," he said. "And we give that back to America."

Stultz introduced several soldiers he said exemplify the "value added" the Army Reserve delivers during a March hearing of the Senate Appropriation Committee's defense subcommittee.

Among them was Army Sgt. Jason Ford, an Army Reserve drill sergeant who molds basic trainees into soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. While deployed to Iraq, he applied that expertise to train Iraqi soldiers. Now home in Brockton, Mass., he's applying the professional experience he's gained as a member of his community police department.

Meanwhile, the popular Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative that links Army reservists with civilian employers soon will sign on its 400th partner. As Stultz began sitting down with employers to hammer out details of the program, he said, he realized how much it would benefit employers as well as reservists.

"What became very quickly evident is that the employers of America are still starved for talent in a lot of areas," he said. "Not starved for applicants, but starved for the talent they need.

"We've been thinking about the burden that the Army Reserve is putting on employers, because we are taking their employees away from them," he continued. "What we ought to be thinking about is the value we can become to an employer if they tell us what their needs are. We can bring trained, talented individuals to go to work for them."

The program has snowballed, with employers from the health, law enforcement, transportation and other sectors clamoring to be included. "They say they really value the skills we have taught soldiers," Stultz said. "They're asking, 'How do we get involved in this?'"

Stultz talked about the program during a Senate hearing in March that focused on the fiscal 2010 budget request. "That's a return on investment for this nation," He told the senators. "That's taking capability that we're building, that we provide for our military in uniform, but we bring back to the communities of America."

Yet for all this capability, Stultz noted that the Army Reserve represents a "very minimal" percentage of the defense budget. Stultz told the Senate Armed Forces Committee's personnel subcommittee in March he's committed to building on this investment.

"The Army Reserve is giving this nation a great return on investment," he said. "The dollars that we're given in our budget are used wisely, and we're returning back to America, not only in terms of the military capability, but the civilian capability."

Obama Announces Cyber Security Office

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 29, 2009 - The nation's computer network infrastructure will be defended as a national strategic asset, President Barack Obama said here today. In a White House announcement, Obama said he will appoint a cyber security coordinator for the critical infrastructure that all Americans depend on.

"We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient," he said. "We will deter, prevent, detect and defend against attacks, and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage."

The cyber security office will orchestrate and integrate all cyber security policies for the government, the president said. It will work closely with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure agency budgets reflect those priorities, and, in the event of major cyber incident or attack, it will coordinate government response.

The cyber security coordinator will be a member of the national security staff and will serve on the president's national economic council.

"To ensure that policies keep faith with our fundamental values, this office will also include an official with a portfolio specifically dedicated to safeguarding the privacy and civil liberties of the American people," Obama said. "Clear milestones and performance metrics will measure progress."

The cyber infrastructure is not limited to the federal government. The office will work with state and local governments and international partners to combat cyber attacks, and also will work with the private sector to ensure an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents.

"Given the enormous damage that can be caused by even a single cyber attack, ad hoc responses will not do," Obama said. "Nor is it sufficient to simply strengthen our defenses after incidents or attacks occur. Just as we do for natural disasters, we have to have plans and resources in place beforehand, sharing information, issuing warnings and ensuring a coordinated response."

The problem is spreading. Obama said cyber criminals launched attacks worldwide last year that cost consumers $1 trillion.

America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cyber security, which also affects public safety and national security, the president said. "We count on computer networks to deliver our oil and gas, our power and our water," he said. Computers help run public transportation networks from the skies to subways, he noted, and hackers have launched attacks on electrical grids.

"Our technological advantage is a key to America's military dominance, but our defense and military networks are under constant attacks," he said. "Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups have spoken of their desire to unleash a cyber attack on our country, attacks that are harder to detect and harder to defend against. Indeed, in today's world, acts of terror could come not only from a few extremists in suicide vests, but from a few keystrokes on the computer – a weapon of mass disruption."

Part of the program is a national campaign to promote cyber security awareness and digital literacy. The effort also will be part of the president's initiative to build a digital work force for the 21st century.

"The task I have described will not be easy," he said. "Some 1.5 billion people around the world are already online, and more are logging on every day. Groups and governments are sharpening their cyber capabilities. Protecting our prosperity and security in this globalized world is going to be a long, difficult struggle, demanding patience and persistence over many years."

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 29, 2009

AIR FORCE
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a cost-plus fixed fee contract for an amount not-to-exceed $1,487,400,000. This contract action is for the production of the 3rd Space Based Infrared Systems Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite 3, the production of Highly Elliptical Earth Orbit payload 3 and modification of the Space Based Infrared Systems Ground systems to accommodate operations of three payloads simultaneously. At this time, $1,115,550,000 has been obligated. SMC/ISSW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8810-08-C-0002, P00002).

Raytheon Co., of McKinney, Texas, is being awarded a firm fixed price contract for an amount not-to-exceed $87,327,441. This action will provided 35 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems Model A, 25 Preproduction Units including one retrofit gyro and one retrofit imager, and associated replaceable unit spares and containers to support the predator/reaper. At this time $14,094,649 has been obligated. 703rd ASG, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-06-G-4041).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost-plus fixed fee requirements contract for an estimated $19,322,673. This action will provide Technical Area tasks to provide the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration/Department of Defense Chief Information Officer with state of the art technologies and innovative solutions to ensure they are incorporated into all components of the Global Information Grid. At this point, $49,662 has been obligated. 55CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a contract for $14,492,056. This action will provide Information Assurance and full spectrum defensive network warfare operations, analytical and techniques, and procedures for the Air Force Network Warfare Wing. At this time, $966,184 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost-plus fixed fee contract for $11,593,313. This action will provide Information Assurance Research & Development/Scientific & Technical analysis for the Air Force Communications Agency in order to ensure IA compliant secure communications for the warfighter. At this time, $966,184 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a cost-plus fixed fee contract for $10,014,409. This contract action will provide International Affairs Research and Development Scientific and Technical analysis of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers remote sensing geographic information systems networks and capabilities. At this time, $154,589 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., for is being awarded a cost-plus fixed fee contract for $6,521,436. This contract action will provide Technical Area Task to provide the Office of Naval Operations with sound, unique International Affairs solutions for transforming the Navy's enterprise architecture capability for Office of Naval Operations to ensure development of an assured secured information solution for naval, joint, and coalition environments. At this time, $74,396 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-98-D-4002).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
BAE Systems, Specialty Group, Jessup, Pa., is being awarded a maximum $114,034,530 firm fixed price contract for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment. Other locations of performance are in Ky., Penn., Tenn., Ariz., Wis., and Puerto Rico. Using service is Army. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is for the first term option period with one one-year option period remaining. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. The date of performance completion is May 28, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM1C1-08-D-1080).

World Fuel Services, Inc., Miami, Fla., is being awarded a maximum $5,263,420 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other location of performance is District of Columbia. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Mar. 31, 2013. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-0114).

NAVY
Caddell Construction Co., Inc., Montgomery, Ala., is being awarded a $91,600,000 firm fixed price contract for construction of a new 3rd Army Headquarters Complex to be located at Shaw Air Force Base. The work to be performed provides for the construction of an Army Central (ARCENT) Headquarters Complex. The project will include the design and construction of the ARCENT Headquarters Complex which includes the Command and Control Facility (C2F Facility), the Headquarters, and a Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility exterior covered equipment hardstand area and staff parking. The contract is incrementally funded with the first increment of $58,079,920 being allocated at the time of award. The second increment will be funded in fiscal 2010 at $33,520,080. Work will be performed in Sumter, S.C., and is expected to be completed by April 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 18 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-1756).

W.F. MaGann, Corp., Portsmouth, Va., is being awarded a $24,550,000 firm fixed price contract for repairs to the floor and walls of Drydock 8 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The work to be performed provides for demolition, concrete installation, dewatering and removal, replacement, reinstallation of existing utilities, equipment, structures and appurtenances within the dock as well as incidental civil sitework. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to be completed by June 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-09-C-5040).

EFW, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $15,131,483 not-to-exceed undefinitized contract action (UCA) for the procurement and installation of 90 Tactical Video Data Links, 10 spares, and associated non-recurring engineering and technical data for the U.S. Marine Corp AH-1W helicopters. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, (50 percent), Camp Pendleton, Calif., (25 percent); Afghanistan, (10 percent); Patuxent River, Md., (5 percent); China Lake, Calif., (5 percent); and Iraq, (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $7,565,742 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.301-2. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0057).

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Monroeville, Pa., is being awarded an $11,657,866 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-2100) for Naval Nuclear Propulsion Components. Work will be performed in Pittsburgh, Pa., (90.5 percent) and Schenectady, N.Y., (9.5 percent). Contract funds in the amount of $233,157 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc., Aiea, Hawaii, is being awarded $8,723,483 for firm-fixed price task order 0024 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62742-04-D-1300) to provide repairs to V-1 Dock in Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The work to be performed provides for repairs to concrete piles and concrete wharf, superstructure; replace damaged mooring hardware; replace deteriorated timber fender systems with new concrete piles; plastic wales, chocks and blocks; install oil spill containment flotation device; install pneumatic floating fenders; upgrade safety deficiencies; and miscellaneous mechanical and electrical work. Work will be performed in Pearl City Peninsula, Oahu, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by July 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded a $7,929,028 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued Basic Ordering Agreement (N00019-08-G-0010) for 22 Armed Helo Weapons System Fixed Provision Armament Retrofit Kits for the retrofit of the MH-60S Block 2A aircraft to Block 3A configuration. The kits will allow the installation of Removable Mission Equipment which includes the Integrated Self Defense Countermeasures Dispensing System, Forward Looking Infrared and Armor, and various weapons. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn., (21.8 percent); Ontario, Calif., (13.1 percent); Ronkonkoma, N.Y., (11.3 percent); Milford, Conn., (8.6 percent); Tallassee, Ala., (6.7 percent); Mineola, N.Y., (5.9 percent); Wallingford, Conn., (5.4 percent); Sylmar, Calif., (5.3 percent); Vernon, Conn., (4.1 percent); Berlin, Conn., (3 percent); Orange, Conn., (2.7 percent); Coxsackie, N.Y., (1.7 percent); Shelton, Conn., (1.2 percent); Yaphank, N.Y., (1.1 percent); Tempe, Ariz., (1 percent); and at various locations across the United States, (7.1 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Virtxeco Corporation, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded $7,369,000 for firm-fixed-price task order #0003 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N40085-09-D-5033) for the construction of Navy Cargo Handling Operations Training Center at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Cheatham Annex. The work to be performed provides for construction of a two-story facility of instructional and administrative space. The task order also contains two unexercised options, which if exercised would increase the cumulative contract value to $7,489,900. Work will be performed in Williamsburg, Va., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Seven proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Army Investigates Misconduct Allegations

The Department of the Army announced today that the Army's Criminal Investigation Command and Multi-National Force – Iraq are investigating allegations of serious misconduct involving members of the 266th Military Police Company, Virginia Army National Guard, which allegedly took place during the unit's pre-deployment mobilization training at Fort Dix, N.J., in fall 2008.

The allegations state that several soldiers of the unit inappropriately photographed and filmed female soldiers while showering.

Commanders in Iraq learned of the allegations on May 21 and initiated an Army Regulation 15-6 investigation on May 22. The Criminal Investigation Command initiated a criminal investigation on May 23.

For more information regarding the investigation, please contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 697-2564.