Wednesday, June 03, 2009

City in Oklahoma Appoints Ambassador to Military Families

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - Having been part of their tightly knit community all her life, Teresa Vance always has had an interest in military families. Her father made a career out of the Army, serving in World War II and Korea. Her husband was a career surface warfare officer in the Navy, and her son spent four years in the Marine Corps. "I have not been in active duty service, but I have served on the home front by supporting my husband's military career, raising two very well-adjusted Navy 'brats' and helping other military families find ways to meet the challenges of the military lifestyle," Vance said.

From 1999 through 2002, Vance had what she considered her "dream job" as a deployment specialist at the Navy Fleet and Family Service Center in Norfolk, Va. This position gave her the opportunity to work with commands, servicemembers and military families.

After her husband's retirement, the couple moved to Lahoma, Okla., outside of Enid, where they both grew up. She quickly accepted a position as Family Readiness Group trainer with the Oklahoma National Guard.

"This gave me an opportunity to still work with military families," Vance said. "Throughout my husband's career, I have been an involved spouse and advocate for quality-of-life issues facing military families. I still wanted that connection after he retired."

Through her work with the Oklahoma National Guard and the Enid City Council, Vance was instrumental in getting the community to start recognizing Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Military Appreciation Month every year.

"She has always advised me on issues relating to military families," Eric Benson, Enid city manager, said. "She has the compassion and she has the drive to get things done. You can depend on her."

Honoring her steadfast work with military families, Vance was appointed last month by the Enid City Commission as Enid's ambassador to military families.

"This new leadership role fits her perfectly," Benson said. "She has always advised me on military issues, so I wanted to make it official. I was a former base commander, and I've known her husband for four years, so I've always known her capabilities. I know the value of her in this new role, and I know she understands the military and the community. It just made good sense to do this."

The goals of Vance's new position are to build upon existing partnerships between the city and servicemembers and families associated with Vance Air Force Base, the National Guard armory and the U.S. Army Reserve Center. She will market and promote Enid to local military families, asking them to participate in events throughout the community. She will survey local military spouse organizations to get their input on issues most important to them, and she'll also act as city representative at military events.

"This ambassadorship is just the latest in a long list of efforts to continually improve the quality of life of servicemembers and their families that live in our community," Vance said. "Enid has always been supportive of our military. We understand the military has an important economic impact on our community and our community's identity. For 41 consecutive years, we've held an enlisted appreciation night."

Vance said she believes she will bring a different perspective to the city's partnership with military families because she really has "been there, done that."

"With my personal background and professional experience, I can relate to the challenges that military families face with each relocation to a new community," Vance said. "My goal is to have military families' stay here in Enid [be] a positive one. A local community's support can have a big impact on a military family's quality of life, whether they are stationed here for a short time or extended duty."

Face of Defense: Paratrooper, Ex-boxer, Earns Citizenship

By Army Spc. Michael J. MacLeod
Special to American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - Irony, our English teachers told us, often is confused with odd coincidence. Just ask Army Pfc. Wenderson Jangada of the 82nd Airborne Division, who will tell you it is ironic that the benefits of enlisting in the U.S. Army can be more significant to immigrants than to citizens. Jangada, who became a U.S. citizen in Raleigh, N.C., on May 22, has a knack for linguistics. Not only does he speak six languages, but he also has written an historic novel about Attila the Hun.

The well-spoken, 34-year-old Brazilian immigrant who serves with 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, also is a former professional boxer.

Every enlistee has a story, but the tracks laid by older enlistees often are the most colorful. Jangada's is a love story, for a woman and a country.

"I was in Paris sparring the French heavyweight champion and teaching soldiers in the French Foreign Legion to box when I met my wife," he said.

A likely story.

"I met him at a bar," said Susan Jangada. An American from the small town of Linn Grove, Ind., she was a star volleyball player, the second best pro "middle" in all of France.

Jangada introduced himself and gave the attractive American his phone number. She stuck it in her pocket, she said, intending to throw it away at first chance.

"I didn't want anything to do with someone I met at a bar, and besides, I didn't want to be tied down in France," she said, noting the irony.

Jangada began his fighting career studying muay thai at Chute Boxe, the same Brazilian gym that spawned mixed martial-arts champs Wanderlei and Anderson Silva.

People said he had "heavy hands."

"Anyone you touch, you put to sleep," a friend said of Jangada's quick knockouts. He suggested the 6-foot-5-inch, 230-pound Brazilian try boxing.

Jangada's first boxing match ended in a knockout. "I broke the guy's nose and knocked him down. There was blood everywhere. But I had no technique," he said.

He became a student of the sport. He trained hard, went pro and became the transcontinental heavyweight champion for 2001 and 2002. He aspired to make Brazil's Olympic team, but the soccer-loving country had no money for boxers.

A friend suggested he move to Europe. "There are too many obstacles for foreigners to fight in the U.S.," Jangada said. "Europe is easier, and the money's the same."

Coincidentally, a certain pro volleyball player from Indiana was in Paris at the same time. The phone number that she intended to throw away — the one a friend encouraged her to dial, the number she texted two weeks later — would connect her to her future husband and father of her children.

Now pregnant with the couple's second child, Susan Jangada recounted their journey to her husband's enlistment in the Army and eventual U.S. citizenship as one that only true love could endure.

A doctor advised Jangada to quit boxing before recurring health issues became serious. Facing similar issues on the court, Susan Jangada suggested that starting a family would be easier in the United States.

"She took me to a Starbucks and fed me cheesecake and hot chocolate. I could not believe how good it was, and this came from America," he said, laughing. "I wanted to go to this country."

Each went home -- Jangada to Brazil for a visa, Susan to Indiana, where she worked three jobs to save money to start a family.

"It took seven months for him to get the visa interview," Susan Jagada said. Once his application was approved, he was in Indiana within 24 hours. The couple was married two weeks later on Nov. 27, 2005.

Jangada submitted paperwork for a green card so that he could find work. Susan took a job in Shreveport, La., coaching college volleyball, but the $15,000 salary wasn't enough. The couple moved in with Susan's parents, and Susan taught high school as a substitute teacher. When she landed a coaching job at Houston Baptist University, a Division One school with a more generous salary, the couple moved again.

"But I was pregnant, and my husband wanted to take care of me and the baby," she said. A short while later, Jangada's green card was approved.

"I went to the Marine recruiter, but since I did not speak any English, they would not take me. They suggested I try the Army," Jangada said. He guessed his way through the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and passed.

"He asked me what job he should choose in the Army, and I suggested cook, plumber or electrician," Susan Jangada said. "Anything but infantry."

Jungata chose infantry. "I am a fighter," he said. "I want to be in the lead. It's my nature."

At basic training, he learned his sixth language – English – from fellow recruits and earned Soldier of the Cycle honors. Airborne school was easy, the ex-athlete said, though he acknowledged landings for the big man always were hard.

Assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 82nd's 1-504th, Jangada was hand-picked by Army Sgt. Maj. Frank Hacker to serve on the team that provides security for the battalion's senior leaders.

"I was impressed with his boxing background and the way he presented himself," said Hacker, who, with his wife, attended Jangada's citizenship ceremony. "The man knows six languages, and now he is teaching himself Arabic — not just to speak it, but to read and write it."

Jangada said it just makes sense to him. "It is like in boxing," he explained. "When I am deployed, my opponent will speak Arabic. I want to know him."

Set to deploy to Iraq in August with 1st Brigade, Jangada said he believes that, in his absence, his pregnant wife and 16-month-old daughter will be well cared for by the Army family. With readily available health care, his steady Army income, and other resources available to his family, he will be able to stay focused on his job, he said. When he returns from Iraq, he may use his GI Bill to go to college, he added.

"I come into the Army, and they don't care that I am not a citizen. They accept me anyway," he said. Even better, the Army made it easy for him to become a citizen, he noted.

"I am so grateful for all that I received that I will put my life on the line for this country," Jangada said.

"Sometimes I can't believe that he used to be a professional boxer," his wife said. "But then we run into some of his old acquaintances, and they holler, 'Jangada, where have you been?' And they cannot believe he is in the Army."

Life is full of the unexpected, she said.

(Army Spc. Michael J. MacLeod serves with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)

Wounded Veteran Hopes to Inspire Others in Mountain Quest

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - The loss of his right arm while serving in Iraq made something as simple as eating a challenge for retired Marine Capt. Jonathan F. Kuniholm, who recently set out with three other wounded veterans to conquer Mount McKinley, also known as "Denali" because it's located in Alaska's Denali National Park and Reserve. "Following the loss of my right arm in Iraq on New Year's Day 2005, the most basic of things became a challenge -- writing my name, putting on a pair of pants in the morning, tying my shoes, cutting a steak," he said. "After putting up a ceiling fan that spring with my 5-year-old son, I realized that as long as I was patient enough, I could do whatever I wanted."

By the end of that year, Kuniholm had resumed many of the things he'd done before his injury, though he finds some activities difficult enough that he doesn't pursue them much, including playing the guitar or sports with his son.

In fact, it's affected just about every other area of his life as well.

"All of it is impacted in some way, from the moment I get up in the morning," he said. "I can do many things, ... and many take much longer or I do inexpertly."

Kuniholm was dismounted from a riverine craft on the shore of the Euphrates River south of Haditha, Iraq, when insurgents used a homemade bomb to initiate what he described as a sophisticated ambush on the platoon. The platoon, which was not his assigned unit, handled the ambush effectively, but three servicemembers suffered serious injuries and one was killed. One sailor, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Juan Rubio, earned a Silver Star during the engagement.

Kuniholm had played his guitar the night before in a talent show. He described himself as pretty rusty, since he hadn't played in months. In retrospect, he said, it was interesting, considering what would happen the next day.

"It took about a year before I was done with surgeries, fitted with prostheses, and ready to get back to my life," Kuniholm said. "Prosthetic arms are, as I discovered, still very much a work in progress, and if you want to call that part of my rehabilitation, my work to improve prosthetic arms continues."

This, he said, has become his new calling in life. Realizing the deficiencies in prosthetic arms, he began working as an engineer on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program. He also started Open Prosthetics Project, a nonprofit group, to further innovations in arm prosthetics.

"While my professional goal is to improve the technology amputees all over the world use to replace their arms, I have a new personal goal as well," Kuniholm said.

Human beings are incredibly resilient and capable of nearly anything they set their minds to, he said.

"People with disabilities have a greater set of challenges, and while the road may be longer and harder, [we] have just as few limits to what we can achieve," he said. "Climbing Denali is a task that many able-bodied folks would never undertake. By being part of a team tackling that task while sharing the additional challenges of disability, I hope to inspire others with similar challenges.

"I hope as well to remove the limits placed on their expectations of what they can achieve," he added. "This won't make getting dressed, eating, or anything else any easier, but it's my hope that it will make any challenge seem possible and less of a chore to undertake."

Kuniholm already has started to set an example for others who have disabilities and big dreams.

With the help of his flight instructor, he recently renewed his pilot's license and has returned to flying as a private pilot. Earning a private pilot's license is possible for those with disabilities who have never flown before, he said.

The successes occasionally are tempered by the public's reaction, which he said his cousin likened to being out and about with a pregnant woman.

"It's undeniable [that I'm missing an arm], and many people assume that this fact means you want to talk about it," Kuniholm said. "As you might imagine, being involved in prosthetic arm research, I'll always talk about prosthetic arms, but I have had that conversation before, and sometimes it's nice to talk about something else."

Kuniholm lives in Durham, N.C., with his wife, Michele, and son, Sam, 7. He served as the engineer officer and platoon commander of the 2nd Platoon, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, attached to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines, in Iraq's Anbar province from Aug. 17, 2004, until his injury.

He is part of a seven-member team -- four wounded veterans, two mentors and one guide – whose attempt to reach North America's highest peak began this week.

Senior Veterans Compete to Win at Golden Age Games

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

June 3, 2009 - Military veterans competing in the National Veterans Golden Age Games each year have their own reasons for participating. Some come out for the camaraderie, while others come to socialize and catch up with old friends. But others simply come to win.

This year's 23rd Annual National Golden Age Games here are no different.

"I train for the games all year long," Don Starler, a 74-year-old Korean War-era veteran, said. "Working out and staying in shape is a large part of my life, and I love to compete."

With 19 years of experience in the Golden Age Games, Starler is a fierce competitor who's tallied more than 50 medals. He's competed in a variety of events throughout the years, and has even qualified for the National Senior Olympics. His favorite events, he said, are the shot put, discus throw and cycling.

And despite having to learn to deal with a pacemaker over the past two years of games, he's still focused on competing and winning gold. Back home in California, he works out every morning at his local Veterans Affairs hospital and urges other veterans regularly to make stronger efforts to improve their health and fitness. He credits the Golden Age Games for keeping him motivated.

"The Golden Age Games keeps me in shape all year long, because I work at it," he said. "It's definitely fun, and it's good to keep going and pushing yourself for as long as you can."

Even if senior veterans can't compete in the physical competitions, Starler said, the less-strenuous games are just as fun to compete in and train for. This year's games feature checkers, bowling, shuffleboard and table tennis as well as the biking, swimming and running events.

"There's a huge variety of events here to participate in, and if you're good at them, compete," he said. "If you're not good at them, start training and practicing. You'll be happy you gave it a shot."

Samuel J. Hicks Jr. is one of the younger competitors at 57, and is competing in his third Golden Age Games. The retired Marine said his first experience was an overall good time, and he quickly learned that even beyond youth, the spirit of competition never really dies.

"My first year was fun, because I just came out and enjoyed myself," the Fresno, Calif., native said. "But then I quickly found out these guys are out for blood, and they want yours. They want that medal.

"It's competitive," Hicks said, "but it's for a good purpose and to have a good time."

Hicks shared Starler's sentiment that the need to stay active and goal-oriented doesn't go away with time. Being involved in as many activities as possible leads to a longer, healthier life, he added.

"You don't have to be the strongest or the fastest," he said. "You just have to keep yourself going and motivated. You'll be healthier and feel better about yourself."

Frank Dixon, a 28-year Air Force veteran, got into the Golden Age Games to give him a goal to work toward in his workouts. Before he learned about the games, he said, he trained for his health. Though that's reason enough to stay fit, he added, he now he has an objective and a new mission.

"The games provide me with a positive reward for training and aids my physical condition," Dixon, 63, said. "Hopefully, the event inspires my grandchildren to live an active life."

Fitness is such a big part of Dixon's life, he said, that he feels guilty on the occasional day he misses a workout.

"Once you get into the routine, focusing on your health is easy," he said. "Just give the games and competition a shot and start out easy. Eventually, you may get into the medal running."

The Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military veterans 55 and older who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. The games are co-sponsored by the VA, the Help Hospitalized Veterans nonprofit group and the Veterans Canteen Service. The games also are a qualifying event every other year for the National Senior Olympic Games.

Demonstration to Showcase Life-saving Information-sharing Technologies

American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - Wildfires in California, hurricanes battering the East Coast and insurgents attacking a U.S. convoy are among simulated real-time events that will put life-saving information-sharing technologies on center stage during the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration scheduled June 15-25. New and emerging technologies are positioned for testing as military members, emergency first responders and coalition partners determine which technologies could solve their near-term information-sharing and communications problems, officials said.

The annual event, directed by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, evaluates cutting-edge information technology that focuses on criteria defined by combatant commanders and government agencies, organizers said. Technologies are approved for participation because they address a new information-sharing capability or might improve an existing capability, officials explained.

U.S. Joint Forces Command is the host combatant command for the event, and its Joint Systems Integration Center in Suffolk, Va., is among the sites for demonstration events. Other sites include the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Dahlgren Division at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren, Va., and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific at San Diego State University in California.

"Coalition participation is the cornerstone of U.S. CWID 2009 and the entire CWID enterprise," said Army Lt. Gen. Carroll F. Pollett, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, which manages the demonstration's daily operations.

U.S. Joint Forces Command is the primary site, and command officials will work with coalition partners running their own interoperability trials and assessments, targeting information technologies that can be moved into operational use within 18 months of the execution period, officials said.

At Dahlgren's execution site, the battle lab will host various simulated military combat operations centers. Visitors to the demonstration will see a cross-section of real-world warfighters collaborating in real time on military activities and national emergency scenarios, officials said.

On the West Coast, the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific will team with the San Diego Office of Disaster Preparedness and San Diego State University to find potential solutions to local emergency response capability gaps, officials said.

U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., also will collaborate with the Pacific center. Northcom is the demonstration's primary homeland security and homeland defense site.

The air operations center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., will set the stage for interactive support technology development and interoperability during the demonstration. Hanscom provides warfighting commanders with battlefield situational awareness and information on the global information grid, officials said.

Registration information is accessible on the CWID Web site.

(From a Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration Joint Management Office news release.)


L. C. Gaskins Construction Co., Jacksonville, Fla., (N69450-09-D-1270); DCK North America LLC, Large, Pa., (N69450-09-D-1271); DTC Engineers & Constructors, LLC Hamden, Conn., (N69450-09-D-1272); Harry Pepper & Associates, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., (N69450-09-D-1273); and Sauer, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., (N69450-09-D-1274), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-build construction contract for general building type projects at Department of Defense activities within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast area of responsibility of Southern Fla., and Andros Island, Bahamas. The work to be performed provides for general building type projects (new construction, renovation, alteration, and repair of facilities and infrastructure, roofing, demolition, and routine renovation) including but not limited to: aviation and aircraft facilities, marine facilities, barracks and personnel housing facilities, administrative facilities, warehouses and supply facilities, training facilities, personnel support and service facilities, security level facilities, abatement and handling of hazardous/regulated materials. Projects may also require comprehensive interior design and incorporation of sustainable features. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all five multiple award contracts combined is $100,000,000. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of Jun. 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 20 proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Alutiiq 3SG, LLC*, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded an $86,675,584 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for logistics product data lifecycle management services and products in support of the Naval Air Systems command's Logistics Product Data Division. Work will be performed in Cherry Point, N.C., (41 percent); North Island, Calif., (32 percent); Jacksonville, Fla., (10 percent); Patuxent River, Md., (8 percent); China Lake, Calif., (6 percent); and Lakehurst, N.J., (3 percent), and is expected to be completed in Jun. 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under an electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set-aside; two offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-09-D-0011).

Suffolk Construction Co., Inc., Boston, Mass., is being awarded a $12,969,443 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. The project will include the design and construction of the BEQ, associated storage, utilities, parking, site improvements, built-in equipment requirements, access, and anti-terrorism force protection. Work will be performed in Albany, Ga., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Website with 21 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-1757).

Solpac Construction Inc., dba Soltek Pacific Construction, Co., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded an $11,392,000 modification to exercise Option Items 3, 4, 5, and 6 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-08-D-8615) firm-fixed price task order which provides for the construction of ordnance storage facilities at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. The work to be performed under these options provides for construction of pre-engineered metal buildings and earth covered type "E" magazines, access roads, parking expansion, site improvements, and utilities (electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and telephone) to support the building facilities, fencing and incidental related work. The total task order amount after exercise of these options will be $18,989,500. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2010. 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 (N62473-08-D-8615).

B.E. Meyers & Co., Inc.*, Redmond, Wash., is being awarded a $8,991,185 firm-fixed-price contract for fabrication and delivery of GLARE LA-9/P Laser Systems for Navy forces in support of Naval Sea Systems Command, PEO Littoral and Mine Warfare, Anti-Terrorism Afloat Program. The GLARE LA-9/P laser system is a Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation illuminator system that emits a highly visible green beam when focused on surfaces, or used within fog and smoke. The systems' purpose is to hail and warn coalition forces, non-combatants, and enemy forces entering restricted areas thus providing enhanced Force Protection for security operations. Work will be performed in Redmond, Wash., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $8,991,185 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va., is the contracting activity (N00178-09-C-3014).

Kollmorgen Corp., Electro-Optical Division, Northampton, Mass., is being awarded a $6,743,386 modification to previously awarded contract (N66604-05-C-0572) for spare parts that includes 12 units of infra red module assemblies, ten Type 8 field change kits and one operator viewer as a provisioned item for the Integrated Submarine Imaging System (ISIS) is to be the imaging system for all Navy submarines. The Type 8 Mod 4 periscope set with its infrared imaging capabilities is to be the ISIS Sensor #1 on SSN 688 and SSN 21 class submarines. The purpose of this contract is to convert Type 8B Mod 3 masts from the fleet into Type 8K Mod 4 visual masts. Work will be performed in Northampton, Mass., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport is the contracting activity.

The Air Force is modifying a firm fixed price contract with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems of Greenville, Texas for an estimated $81,000,000. This contract modification is for non recurring engineering from preliminary design review through critical design review to include both A & B kits for the Airborne Information Management System for the VC-25A aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 727 ACSG/PKB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8106-08-C0005, P00010).

The Air Force is awarding a time and material, cost reimbursement no fee contract to Scientific Research Corp., of Atlanta, Ga., for an amount not to exceed $30,000,000. This contract action will provide for engineering services for the AN/ALR-46/69 Class IV warning receiver for Air Force. At this time, $25,000 has been obligated. 542 CBSG/PKS, Robins Air Force Base Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8523-09-D-0001)).

Missile Defense Agency Contract Award
Raytheon Missile Systems Co., of Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a sole-source, cost-plus-award-fee contract modification under contract HQ0276-08-C-0001 for $49,642,186. The services are to continue the Block IIA Standard Missile – 3 cooperative development technology developments. This sole source award is a modification to extend the CLIN 0003 period of performance through Oct. 31, 2009. The amount obligated on this action is $16,521,739 using fiscal year 2009 research, development, test and evaluation funds. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity (HQ0276-08-C-0001).

Joint War Games Test Today's, Tomorrow's Security Challenges

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - A series of seminar-type, joint-force war games being held at McLean, Va., have reached the midway point, senior U.S. military officers said here today. The war games began May 31 and are slated to conclude June 5.

The U.S. military "had a great model for deterrence" during the Cold War, Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, deputy commander for U.S. Joint Forces Command, based at Norfolk, Va., said during a conference call with reporters. That model mostly was based on the use of conventional military forces to deter the Soviet Union.

Fast-forwarding to the war games' purpose of examining today's threats and those anticipated for tomorrow, Harward posited to reporters: "How does this deterrence work when we're dealing with nonstate actors who are empowered with technology and weapons that have significant impact upon the tactical and operational, if not the strategic level?"

The McLean war games look ahead to 2020 and feature scenarios that pit U.S. joint forces against three types of threats: a globally networked terrorist threat, a peer competitor, and a failed or failing state, said Navy Rear Adm. Dan W. Davenport, chief of Joint Forces Command's joint concept development and experimentation directorate.

These scenarios, Davenport noted, include military challenges involving "the ground domain, the maritime domain, the air domain, the space domain, and the cyber domain."

The war game situations also involve scenarios featuring conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and hybrid warfare, which is a mix of conventional and irregular warfare, Davenport said.

Today's national security environment is much more complex than that of 20 years ago, Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S Joint Forces Command, remarked May 12 at the annual Joint Warfighting conference in Virginia Beach, Va.

The emergence of global terrorism, the likelihood that weaker or failed states will rely on hybrid warfare to battle U.S. forces, and the possibility that a near-peer competitor may one day challenge U.S. national security interests, Mattis said at the conference, are driving efforts to develop a new, balanced and comprehensive strategy that addresses all of those scenarios.

"Our predicaments today are complex, but I do not believe they are more complex than many that civilizations have faced in the past," Mattis told conference attendees.

Input from the war games will be used with other material for the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated report that's prepared every four years that also seeks to predict future threats while balancing U.S. military capabilities to confront them.

It's too early in the war games' process to announce any conclusions, Davenport said, noting that the data first need to be shifted and analyzed. An unclassified report on the war games should become available at end of July, he said.

Vice President, Deputy Secretary Present Top Environmental Awards

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 3, 2009 - Vice President Joe Biden praised winners of the 2009 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards today for leading the way in environmental stewardship as they lead the way in the nation's defense. Biden joined Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III in the Pentagon auditorium to recognize installations and teams he said are excelling in an area most people in the general public would never expect.

"This is an outfit that does it all," Biden said. "When I look at the accomplishments of the teams we honor today, I am genuinely impressed by how our nation's armed forces, while fighting two wars overseas and many other contingencies across the globe, can still lead the fight for effective environmental stewardship."

Biden noted that the Defense Department, as the United States' largest employer, land owner and energy consumer, is making "a gigantic impact" in committing to environmental protection.

Today's winners have stood above the rest in protecting wetlands, promoting recycling programs and preserving archeological sites through "innovation, improvising as well as simple, plain hard work," he said. "But they don't stand alone," he said, pointing to the extensive environmental focus throughout the department.

"You have also demonstrated that in our military, you don't need to wear a green beret to be proud of being green," he said.

The $4.3 billion proposed for the department's environmental programs in fiscal 2010 will continue this effort, Biden said. "It's a big deal what you are doing, and we have a shot at doing so much more," he said.

Lynn lauded the commitment this year's awardees have demonstrated to environmental preservation. "They developed and implemented innovative techniques to eliminate waste production, use green alternatives in weapons systems development, reduce pollution and the consumption of energy and natural resources," he said.

"Since the Department of Defense is the single-largest consumer of energy in United States, it is important that we also be a leader in efficiency and in using renewable fuels," he said.

Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, opened today's ceremony noting the lasting impact the awardees' "extraordinary contributions" will have.

"The men and women we honor today are committed to maintaining and restoring our natural resources, not only to address the complex security challenges of today, but to ensure that generations to come will benefit from our nation's unquantifiable richness," he said.

The following environmental award winners were honored today:

-- Camp Ripley Maneuver and Training Center, a Minnesota Army National Guard facility, was the winner in the Large Installation Natural Resources Conservation category. With more than 19 miles of Mississippi River frontage, it was recognized for its role in protecting the river and its delicate ecosystem.

-- Fort Drum Cultural Resources Team, Fort Drum,, N.Y., won in the Team/Individual Cultural Resources Management category. The team was honored for its role in protecting more than 240 prehistoric and 700 historic archeological sites, as well as six districts on the National Register of Historic Places.

-- U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg, Germany, won in the Overseas Installation Environmental Quality category. The post was honored for its environmental management system that promotes pollution prevention, recycling, public health, and conservation.

-- Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., won in the Non-Industrial Installation Pollution Prevention category. The base was recognized for its combined pollution prevention efforts credited with reducing hazardous waste, solid waste, air and water contaminants and other pollutants.

-- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., won in the Installation Cultural Resources Management category. The base was honored for implementing an integrated cultural resources management plan that protects and preserves more than 1,600 irreplaceable archeological resources and historic properties, 14 rock art sites and other cultural assets.

-- Environmental Management Division, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, won in the Industrial Installation Environmental Quality category. The division was recognized for environmental excellence in managing nearly 1 million acres of the Utah Test and Training Range as it supported five wings and about 40 tenant units.

-- The 14th Civil Engineer Squadron Pollution Prevention Team, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., won in the Team/Individual Pollution Prevention category. The team was honored for its environmental program management efforts that include an innovative glass recycling program, increased use of biodiesel and other alternative energy sources and Earth Day-related education outreach.

-- Defense Depot Memphis, Tenn., won in the Installation Environmental Restoration category. The facility, which closed in 1997 under a Base Realignment and Closure program, was cited for applying innovation and forward thinking to speed clean-up operations and successful land reuse.

The secretary of defense has been recognizing installations, teams and individuals for outstanding achievement in environmental management each year since 1962. A panel of experts representing federal and state agencies, academia, and the public selected this year's winners.

That War in Afghanistan

The incomperable Ralph Peters has been arguing of late that our effort to build a democracy in Afghanistan was a mistake. Rather, he says we should have gone into Afghanistan in 2001 with the object of destroying the Taliban and al Qaeda, leaving a smoldering ruin in our wake (note, unable to find the link at this time).

This seems fundamentally right. Afghanistan is a patchwork of ethno-tribal groups without a unifying language or culture, and no tradition of good government. We are now the fourth (at least) great power to try to tame it, the other three being the USSR, Britain, and Macedonia.
American forces in Afghanistan are now commanded by General Stanley McChrystal, who oversaw special operations in Iraq for five years. In this effort, he helped form a special operations task force known by many names. When this outfit was called Task Force 145, it inflicted a series of devastating defeats on al Qaeda in and around Baghdad, culminating with the killing of the notorious abu Musab al Zarqawi.

Perhaps this was the strategy the United States should have employed in Afghanistan all along. Rather than send several brigades to the country, a much smaller force based around special forces groups, backed by say, a few air assault battalions, waging a brutal shadow war could have done the job better.

For more about Will, visit His novel, 'A Line Through the Desert' can be purchased here.