Thursday, June 04, 2009
American Forces Press Service
June 4, 2009 - During this season of graduation celebrations, high school seniors heading off to college normally are held in high regard by their teachers, families and friends. Sometimes overlooked are those seniors choosing to bypass college to serve their country. A man from Camden, N.J., started a crusade in his community to make sure these seniors also were recognized for their "honorable" career choice of joining the U.S. military.
"To join the military and serve your country is an awesome feat," said Ken Hartman, founder of Our Community Salutes, a troop-support group. "To serve your country at a time of war says a lot about your character and how much you love your country. This should never go unnoticed. Many high schools do not recognize or honor these students. I want this to change."
Hartman, also a member of the Cherry Hill School Board in Camden, decided to set up a committee and began mobilizing businesses, colleges, educators and veterans groups to plan and fund the county's first High School Enlistee Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony took place June 2, honoring 44 Camden County high school seniors who enlisted in the armed forces.
More than 220 people attended the event, including active duty servicemembers, veterans, college representatives, state lawmakers and special guest Army Maj. Gen. William Monk III, commanding general of the 99th Regional Support Command.
Many in attendance said the event was a success.
"These seniors have a tremendous challenge ahead of them," said Army Lt. Col. Ronald Tuczak, commander of the Army Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion. "[Considering] what they are about to undertake, what they are about to be charged with, this event can only inspire them. These kids need all the support they can get, especially from the start. I had to be a part of this. "
Jennifer Grimaldi, a counselor at Haddonfield High School and past president of the Camden County School Counselors Association, also attended the event.
"This was a great opportunity for school counselors to show their support for these students," Grimaldi said. "We really wanted to be a part of this. School counselors support these enlistees just like we support our students going off to college. Both groups will make a positive impact on our world."
Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Al Bancroft also wanted to thank the seniors' families. "I have so much admiration for these young people," he said. "Their families have given them the support they need to move forward, and I know they will continue to uplift them. I am very proud of all of them."
A Marine Corps brass quartet performed for the reception, which was followed by a dinner ceremony. All parents of enlistees received the pamphlet, "A Parent's Guide to Education in the U.S. Armed Services." Each senior received a proclamation from the state senate and a commemorative gold coin.
"It was a tremendous evening," Hartman said. "The combination of everyone that attended made it perfect for the seniors. This was a chance to recognize all of them before the start of their service. We will continue to do this each year, and hope other communities will follow."
American Forces Press Service
June 4, 2009 - At first glance, Angelo Athas and Harry R. Johnson looked as though they'd known each other their entire lives. They looked more like teenagers than senior citizens, talking and laughing and joking as they waited for their turn at shuffleboard. But the truth is they met just this week, and their quick bond developed through mutual experiences in their military service as well as their passion for competing each year in the National Veterans Golden Age Games, they said.
"It seems as though we've known each other for years," said Johnson, 76, a Navy veteran who served during the Korean War era. "That's one thing about the people you meet [at the Golden Age Games]; everyone enjoys each other's company and meeting fellow veterans."
Forging new bonds and reuniting with old friends has been a common theme among the senior veterans competing here this week in the 23rd Annual National Golden Age Games. And although many of them haven't served in the military or been a part of a team in decades, the camaraderie and brotherhood of the military community never really goes away.
Johnson served from 1951 to 1954, spending much of that time on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific Ocean. He said he and his shipmates were like one big family. But he found a new extended family after nearly 54 years when he decided to compete in the Golden Age Games for the first time in 2008, the Chula Vista, Calif., native said.
"This kind of camaraderie and easiness is something you tend to miss from the service once you go into the civilian world," he said, adding how much he's enjoyed being here for his second Golden Age Games.
More than 700 veterans, representing 38 states and every major American conflict from World War II to the Persian Gulf War are participating in this year's games. New bonds are being built at every event, said Athas, an 83-year-old Army and World War II veteran.
Even in the hotel where most of the veterans here are staying, new friendships are being made, as veterans can be found in the lobby and hallways playing dominoes or spades or having a cup of coffee with one another.
"[The Golden Age Games] gives us an opportunity to meet new friends, new acquaintances, and not only that, you have the camaraderie of being fellow veterans," Athas said.
But although they have their military experiences in common, "the old days" aren't talked about as much as one may think, said Athas, a Garland, Texas, native. Just knowing that so many other people can relate is enough to build new friendships, he said.
"We come here not to rehash what we did in the old days," he explained. "We come here to make new memories with our new friends. You look forward to seeing them next year."
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 organization and the Veterans Canteen Service. They also serve as a qualifying event every other year for the National Senior Olympic Games.
Special to American Forces Press Service
June 4, 2009 - Inbound soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team will be a welcome addition for the Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix mission of mentoring and training Afghan soldiers and police officers, the task force commander said. "I think the additional soldiers, mainly the 4th Brigade out of the 82nd, which is going to be the second brigade to fall under Phoenix, is going to be a great help to allow us to meet the requirements to staff the different ... embedding training teams and police mentor teams," Army Brig. Gen. Steven Huber told participants in a "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable June 2.
Huber said the task force's efforts are geared to helping Afghanistan's security forces build sustainable capacity and attain the capability to protect the Afghan populace.
Huber, a 30-year member of the Illinois National Guard, said about 3,000 Guardsmen from Illinois serve in CJTF Phoenix, along with another 4,000 U.S. servicemembers and coalition and Afghan partners.
Despite those numbers, Huber said, the task force lacks the resources to meet all of the current requirements for the police districts that they are asked to cover.
"That causes us to make smaller teams," he explained, "and some -- very few, but some districts ... go uncovered or are delayed in getting their mentors."
When the 82nd Airborne Division brigade arrives, Huber said, CJTF Phoenix should be able to satisfy its current mentoring and training responsibilities. Another brigade may be necessary later if Afghanistan's army continues to grow beyond the current projection of 134,000 soldiers, he said.
Huber said the effort to grow Afghanistan's security forces is on track. "It takes awhile, but training and fielding of units and equipment does take awhile, even in the United States," he said. For example, he said, the effort to equip Afghanistan's security forces with M-16 rifles is about one-third complete, and the Afghans now are receiving other equipment as well, such as Humvees.
"We've just started turning over those to them in lieu of their pickup trucks," he said, "which they really love and prefer to drive."
Noting that a force needs good leaders to be effective, Huber cited the June 2 opening of a new noncommissioned officers academy for Afghan sergeants major and first sergeants as an important development.
"I think that's a huge step towards building an NCO corps that actually runs the army or makes it operate, and then allowing the officers to do the planning and guiding for the military," the general said.
(Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg serves in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)
Hartland Fuel Products, LLC, Onalaska, Wis.*, is being awarded a maximum $54,990,903 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are various military and federal civilian locations in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas. Using services are Army, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. 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-4533).
Southern Counties Oil, Co.,/dba SC Fuels, Orange, Calif.*, is being awarded a maximum $13,370,337 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are various military and federal civilian locations throughout Midwestern states. Using services are Army and federal civilian agencies. There were 48 responses to the original proposed solicitation. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-4538).
Eyak Technology, LLC Dulles, Va., was awarded on Jun. 2, 2009 a $42,994,648 commercial firm-fixed-price contract for the Project Manager Defense Wide Transmission Systems, under the auspices of the Project Management Office Defense Communication and Army Transmission Systems, has a requirement to procure, deploy, and maintain 970 Combat Service Support Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATS), manufactured by L-3 Global Communications Systems. These VSATS are for the Army modular was fighting force and other tactical and logistics units, mostly deploys to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Work is to be performed in Victor, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited using ASFI and FedBizOpps with three bids received. Army Contracting Command, Alexandria, Va., is the contracting activity (W91QUZ-09-C-0028).
Jacobs-Tetra Tech EC Joint Venture, Lincoln, Mass., was awarded on Jun. 2, 2009 a $27,188,894 cost reimbursable contract for the total environmental restoration at New Bedford Harbor Superfund site to perform additional work associated with the dredging, treatment, transport, and disposal of the upper harbor of the Acushnet River. Work is to be performed in New Bedford, Mass., with an estimated completion date of May 26, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. Corps of Engineers-New England District, Concord Mass., is the contracting activity (DACW33-03-D-0006).
Tyonek Fabrication Corp., Madison, Ala., was awarded on Jun. 2, 2009 a $6,822,000 firm-fixed-price contract for 344 each, de-ice control and indicator unit, NSN 1680-01-541-1782 / PR 53251000 for the UH-60 A/L Blackhawk. Work is to be performed in Madison, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. One bid was solicited and one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-04-D-0061).
URS Group, Inc., Columbus, Ohio was awarded on Jun. 2, 2009 a $6,065,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the development of 35 percent design documents for the FY11 military construction Army 59044, United States Military Academy Science Center. Work is to be performed in West Point, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 2, 2010. Proposals were solicited using FedBizOpps with thirty-two (32) proposals received. Corp of Engineers, CENAN-CT, New York, N.Y., is the contracting activity (W912DS-09-C-0008).
Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group, Inc., Pasadena, Calif., was awarded on Jun. 1, 2009 a $69,469,476 cost-plus-award-fee (base year) and firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for base operations and services in support of all National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's East facilities to include Bethesda, Washington Navy Yard, and Springfield campuses. Work is to be performed in Bethesda, Md., (35 percent), Springfield, Va., (35 percent), and Washington, D.C., (30 percent) with an estimated completion date of Apr. 28, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, ACF-N, Springfield, Va., is the contracting activity (HM0176-09-C-0001).
Bell Helicopter Textron Incorp., Hurst, Texas was awarded on Jun. 1, 2009 a $51,460,178 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of 5 each bell helicopter 412EP aircrafts along with logistical support, spare parts package, special tools, and training. Work is to be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (4 percent), Piney Flats, Tenn., (8 percent), and Quebec, Canada (88 percent) with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 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-0173).
Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on Jun. 1, 2009 a $5,924,428 cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract for FY09 Patriot engineering services contract option award for 34,963 man-hours effort. Work is to be performed in Andover, Mass., (21.44 percent), Burlington, Mass., (0.24 percent), Huntsville, Ala., (46.17 percent) and Tewksbury, Mass., (32.17%) with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-C-0057).
Iridium Government Services, LLC, Tempe Ariz., is being awarded a $21,688,808 indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity cost type contract to provide enhanced Iridium services in support of over-the-horizon, tactical communications in support of expeditionary maneuver warfare and distributed operations. Iridium will provide a communications capability that will support multiple user nets. They will design, develop, fabricate and deliver a distributed tactical communications system to support the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory experimentation. Work will be performed in Bethesda Md., (75 percent and Tempe Ariz., (25 percent)), and is expected to be completed by May 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $200,000 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-D-3007).
The Center for Transportation and Environment, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., is being awarded an $8,327,359 cost no fee contract for research and development into hydrogen generation using digester gas, hydrogen fuel cell-powered material handling equipment, and hydrogen fuel cell powered bus at Fort Lewis, Wash. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $8,504,859. Work will be performed at Ft. Lewis, Wash., (25 percent), Chicago, Ill., (20 percent), Allentown, Pa., (20 percent), Golden, Colo., (20 percent), and Latham, N.Y., (15 percent), and is expected to be completed by Oct. 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $7,847,359 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with five offers received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-09-C-GS18).
Science Applications International Corp., St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $5,556,809 firm-fixed-price contract for the fabrication, assembly, and testing of compact solid state antennas in support of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, including the Marine Corps Composite Track Network (CTN) and the U.S. Army Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS). The CEC compact solid state antenna is a small, lightweight antenna that supports mobile applications of the CEC system, including the Marine Corps CTN and the U.S. Army JLENS system. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $18,409,860. Work will be performed in St. Petersburg, Fla., and is expected to be completed by Jun. 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through full and open competition via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities websites, with two proposals received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-5213).
DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Western Petroleum Co., Eden Prairie, Minn.*, is being awarded a maximum $7,379,126 fixed price with economic price adjustment for fuel. Other locations of performance are various military and federal civilian locations throughout Midwestern states. Using service is Army. There were 48 responses to the original proposed solicitation. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jun. 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-4537).
The Air Force is awarding an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Inc. of Bethesda, Md., and L-3 Services, Inc. of Alexandria, Va. This contract action is for the USAFE advisory and assistance services contract shall serve as a vehicle to provide broad technical and analytical services, to support and improve policy development; decision making; management and administration; program and or project management and administration as well as improve the operation of systems. At this time, $5,000 has been obligated. 700 CS, APO, AE is the contracting activity (FA5613-09-D-5001, FA5613-09-D-5000).
The Air Force is awarding a broad agency contract to SRI International, of Menlo Park, Calif., for an estimated $43,796,834. This action is for the development of a prototype machine reading called Flexible Acquisition and Understanding System for text. At this time, $4,000,000 has been obligated. AFRL/RIKF, Rome, New York is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-C-0181).
The Air Force is awarding a cost plus incentive fee contract to Lockheed Martin Corp., of Gaithersburg, Md. This contract action will transfer the satellite broadcast management functions of the Global Broadcast Services to the Defense Enterprise Computing Center with new hardware and software architecture by FY 2010. At this time, $5,931,000 has been obligated. 653 ELSG/KCK, Bedford, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8726-09-C-0006).
The decision is not tied to any other force structure or stationing issues. The one-year retention of V Corps Headquarters in Germany does not fall under the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, nor will it have any impact on the two heavy brigade combat teams currently stationed in Europe.
This action is part of a larger effort to relieve the extraordinary demands that are being placed on the Army's corps headquarters and that have reduced 'dwell time' to unacceptably low levels. Geren's decision calls for the delay of force structure actions for the V Corps and U.S. Army Europe Headquarters for a period of one year, from July 2009 to July 2010. Under this directive, both organizations will remain in their current approved designs and at current resourcing levels. V Corps Headquarters will maintain its current military authorization of 411 personnel, and U.S. Army Europe Headquarters will retain its current military authorization of 377 personnel.
When the inactivation of V Corps was announced last year, certain staff sections were merged to create efficiencies as the inactivation date approached. The inactivation delay does not affect those mergers.
At this point, V Corps Headquarters will continue to provide oversight of its subordinate units, and will continue to report to the commanding general, U.S. Army Europe. V Corps' priority function will be to ensure units that deploy from Europe for operational missions are trained and ready. Both V Corps and U.S. Army Europe Headquarters will continue to operate under their current structures.
The Army leadership is committed to informing all members of the U.S. Army Europe family (soldiers, family members, civilian employees, and the public) as developments occur.
For more information please call LTC Lee Packnett, Office of Public Affairs, Media Relations Division, (703) 614-2487.
President Obama spoke in Cairo today.
The military history of Egypt since WWII illustrates everything wrong with the Muslim world today. Over the course of the Cold War, Egypt received billions in Soviet hardware, from small arms to tanks to cutting edge radars. During the 50's and 60's thousands of Soviet advisers helped train the Egyptian army.
In is masterpiece on the subject, Kenneth Pollack detailed Egypt's colossal military failures, not only against Israel, but also in Yemen, where that country was involved in an eight year insurgency. Historian Michael Oren points out that the Vietnam war could easily be called 'America's Yemen'. The Egyptians also failed to live up to their potential in Operation Desert Storm. Two Egyptian divisions fought with American forces. Their officers lacked initiative, insisted in deploying the entire division to attack minor Iraqi positions, and in one case, would not advance without a direct order from President Mubarak.
In his own book, 'The Crossing of the Suez', General Saad el Shazli descibes how the operation was meticulously planned down to the minute, and brilliantly executed. Several divisions were put on the east bank of the canal within 12 hours, and the ensuing counterattack saw the destruction of three Israeli armored brigades. However, after the initial success the Egyptian operation lacked purpose and Egyptian commanders were unable to adapt to Israeli tactical changes. Seeking to take pressure off Syria, whose own offensive had floundered, President Sadat ordered a thrust deep into the Sinai. Israel armor and air power chopped Egyptian armored units to bits. Israel forces, led by the great Arial Sharon, crossed the Suez, and at the Battle of the Chinese Farm, utterly destroyed what remained of the Egyptian army.
The flaws of the army seem to be replicated in the rest of Egyptian society.
Egypt's is a corrupt government, a nation stagnated by judenhaus on one end, and the failed ideology of Arab-Marxism on the other. Any election would no doubt put the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood to office. With no other option the United States supports the cleptocracy of Hosni Mubarak. We also supported the Shah of Iran.