Military News

Friday, June 05, 2009

Military Entrance Processing Stations Memorialize Fallen Troops

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 5, 2009 - The Baltimore Military Entrance Processing Station at Fort Meade, Md., will dedicate its ceremony room tomorrow to Marine Corps Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell, a fallen hero who processed through its doors and into the Marine Corps two years after her 18th birthday. Parcell, a Maryland native, died protecting her fellow Marines during a deployment to Iraq in February 2007. She had volunteered for the Lioness program, in which she searched female Iraqis at a checkpoint in Anbar province. She was carrying out the mission when she died at the hands of a female suicide bomber.

Parcell will become the 30th fallen servicemember – and the first woman -- to be immortalized by a Military Entrance Processing Station within U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command's Eastern Sector. The initiative honors fallen troops at the facility where they swore their oath to protect and defend the United States and its Constitution, Army Col. Barrye Price, the Eastern Sector commander, said.

Price came up with the concept after escorting the remains of his mentor's son home from Dover Air Force Base, Del. He said the magnitude of that task drove home the significance of what the 34 MEPS stations he commands do every day.

"We process volunteers from across our country into our military services at a time when our nation and its military is embroiled in armed combat in two different theaters," he said.

The station, one of the three busiest in the country, serves as the link between the military and recruits from Maryland, the District of Columbia and parts of Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Its staff administers a flurry of tests– a medical exam, drug test and HIV test, among them – to ensure they're fit for duty. Another test, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, ensures they meet the military's aptitude standards.

By the day's end, recruits who entered the station as civilians before 5:30 a.m. leave as new members of the armed forces who have signed their military contracts and taken the oath of enlistment. From there, they proceed to their service's basic military training.

Price said he wants to ensure that his predominately civilian work force appreciates the commitment that the nation's young people are making and the sacrifices they stand ready to make.

These employees are "sending youngsters who could pay the last full measure of devotion for our nation -- possibly within just a year of duty," he said. "We must embrace and honor these warriors, as they are protecting the values and freedoms that we hold dear as a nation."

As future servicemembers process through the MEPS, Price said, he wants them to feel a personal connection to those immortalized there.

"This provides new enlistees with a real and tangible figure who they can identify with," he said. "This is somebody who walked these same halls, who sat in the same chairs and went through the exact same process that they're going through."

For example, all 12,000 future soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who will process this year at the Baltimore MEPS will learn Parcell's story and see her memorialized as they enter the ceremony room to take their oath of enlistment, Price said.

"Every one of them will know who Jennifer Parcell is as a result of that," he said. "Thousands of kids who process through this room will get to know who she was and what her contributions were to this nation."

Most importantly, Price said, he wants the dedication to assure the Parcell family that their daughter's sacrifice hasn't been forgotten.

"President Calvin Coolidge said that a nation that forgets its defenders will itself one day be forgotten," Price said. "This dedication will serve as absolute proof to the Parcell family that Jennifer was not just a name or Social Security number. Jennifer was an appreciated member of a team who will now be immortalized."

Missing at this weekend's dedication ceremony will be Parcell's brother, Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Parcell, who is based in Okinawa, Japan. Army Col. Robert S. Larsen, commander of the Baltimore MEPS, said he plans to send him a video of the ceremony.

Two additional dedications – one at the MEPS in Cleveland and one in Jacksonville, Fla. -- are slated for next week.

The Cleveland MEPS will honor Air Force Airman 1st Class Eric M. Barnes of Lorain, Ohio, during a June 10 ceremony. Barnes died June 10, 2007, near Forward Operating Base Scania in Iraq as a result of a roadside bomb attack.

Two days later, on June 12, the Jacksonville MEPS will honor Army Sgt. Bradley Crose. The Orange Park, Fla., native was killed in action March 4, 2002, during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.

Other fallen heroes honored at the MEPS ceremony rooms where they were sworn into the military, listed in the order in which the dedications occurred, are:

-- Army Pfc. Jason D. Hasenauer of Hilton, N.Y., who was memorialized at the Syracuse, N.Y., MEPS on Feb. 28, 2008. Hasenauer was killed Dec. 28, 2005, when his Humvee rolled over during patrol operations near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

-- Marine Sgt. Shawn P. Martin of Delmar, N.Y., who was memorialized at the Albany, N.Y., MEPS on Aug. 1, 2008. Martin died June 20, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Saqlawiyah, Iraq.

-- Army Cpl. Steven R. Koch of Milltown, N.J., who was memorialized at the Fort Dix, N.J., MEPS on Jan. 14, 2009. Koch was killed March 3, 2008, in Afghanistan's Sabari district of wounds suffered during combat operations.

-- Army Pvt. Dwayne A. Covert Jr. of Tonawanda, N.Y., who was memorialized at the Buffalo, N.Y., MEPS Jan. 16, 2009. Covert died Nov. 3, 2007 in Iraq.

-- Army Pfc. Keith Matthew Maupin, of Botavia, Ohio, who was memorialized Jan. 26, 2009, at the Columbus, Ohio, MEPS. Iraqi insurgents captured Maupin April 9, 2004, and his captors released a videotape showing him in captivity. His whereabouts remained unknown until the Army found and positively identified his remains in March 2008.

-- Marine Cpl. Marcus W. Preudhomme of North Miami Beach, Fla., who was memorialized Jan. 28, 2009, at the Miami MEPS. Preudhomme was killed in a suicide attack in Iraq's Anbar province June 26, 2008.

-- Army Pfc. Stephen D. Bicknell of Prattville, Ala., who was memorialized at the Montgomery, Ala., MEPS on Feb. 20, 2009. Bicknell died of injuries when land mines detonated near his Humvee in Samara, Iraq, Oct. 15, 2006.

-- Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Brown of Mabscott, W.Va., who was memorialized at the Beckley, W.Va., MEPS on March 3, 2009. Brown died of injuries suffered in a Humvee accident in Mosul, Iraq, July 3, 2005.

-- Five members of the North Carolina National Guard's 1132nd Military Police Company who were memorialized at the Raleigh, N.C., MEPS on March 7, 2009. Army Sgt. Thomas Ray II, Sgt. David Stelmat Jr., Sgt. Blake Williams, Staff Sgt. Emanuel Pickett and Sgt. Lance O. Eakes died in March through April 2008 during their unit's deployment to Iraq.

-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Robinson of Brandon, Miss., who was memorialized at the Jackson, Miss., MEPS on March 16, 2009. Robison was killed in action near the Sangain district of Afghanistan's Helmand province March 25, 2006.

-- Army Staff Sgt. Morgan Kennon of Memphis, Tenn., who was memorialized at the Memphis MEPS on March 17, 2009. Kennon was killed in Mosul, Iraq, when his position came under rocket-propelled grenade attack, Nov. 7, 2003.

-- Army 1st Lt. Andrew Bacevich of Walpole, Mass., who was memorialized at the Boston MEPS on March 18, 2009. Bacevich was killed in Balad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated, May 13, 2007.

-- Army Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, of Lincoln, Maine, who was memorialized at the Portland, Maine, MEPS March 20, 2009. Gordon was the only servicemember honored through the MEPS initiative who was not killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously after he was killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, Oct. 3, 1993.

-- Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith of South Tampa, Fla., who was memorialized at the Tampa MEPS on April 4, 2009. Smith was the first Medal of Honor recipient in the global war on terror and in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received the honor posthumously for actions April 3, 2003, when he saved more than 100 soldiers in the battle for Baghdad's airport, a battle in which he lost his life.

-- Army Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude, U.S. Army deputy chief of staff for personnel, who died Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into his Pentagon office. Maude was memorialized at the Indianapolis MEPS on April 15, 2009.

-- Army Sgt. Joseph Vanek of Elmhurst, Ill., who was memorialized at the Chicago MEPS on April 20, 2009. Vanek died of his wounds following a firefight in Baghdad, Nov. 12, 2007.

-- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jonathan Yale of Meherrin, Va., who was memorialized at the Fort Lee, Va., MEPS on April 24, 2009. Yale was killed in action stopping a suicide truck bomber from detonating inside his unit's compound April 22, 2008.

-- Marine Corps Sgt. Canaan J. Alicandro of Springfield, Mass., who was memorialized at the Springfield MEPS on May 7, 2009. Alicandro was killed in a vehicle accident while stationed at Camp Lejeune, N. C., in 2004.

-- Army Sgt. Daniel W. Wallace of Dry Ridge, Ky., who was memorialized at the Louisville, Ky., MEPS May 15, 2009. Wallace died of wounds suffered in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan on Oct. 31, 2008.

-- Army Spc. Ross McGinnis of Knox, Pa., who was memorialized at the Pittsburgh MEPS on May 18, 2009. McGinnis was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after throwing himself on a grenade to save the other occupants of his Humvee on Dec. 4, 2006.

-- Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jason Lee Frye of Landisburg, Pa., who was memorialized at the Harrisburg, Pa., MEPS on May 19, 2009. Frye was killed in action in Fallujah, Iraq, when his vehicle detonated an improvised explosive device Oct. 6, 2005.

-- Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Ayers of Snellville, Ga., who was memorialized at the Atlanta MEPS on May 20, 2009. Ayers was killed in action defending Combat Outpost Bella in Afghanistan's Kunar province July 13, 2008.

-- Army Spc. Robert Trevithick of Gaines, Mich., who was memorialized at the Detroit MEPS on May 21, 2009. Trevithick died April 14, 2004, in Balad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device exploded near his convoy vehicle.

-- Marine Corps Pfc. Ryan Jarabek of Hobart, Wis., who was memorialized at the Milwaukee MEPS on May 22, 2009. Jarabek was killed by hostile fire in Ramadi, Iraq, April 6, 2004.

-- Marine Corps Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr. of Maryville, Tenn., who was memorialized at the Knoxville, Tenn., MEPS on May 26, 2009. Ferschke was killed in Tikrit, Iraq, Aug. 10, 2008, while supporting combat operations.

Navy's Top Officer Marks Battle of Midway's 67th Anniversary

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

June 5, 2009 - The Navy's top officer yesterday marked the 67th anniversary of World War II's Battle of Midway at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Navy Memorial here. The Battle of Midway, fought June 4-7, 1942, pitted U.S and Japanese naval and air forces in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Midway is part of the Hawaiian island chain; the battle was fought about 1,300 miles northwest of Oahu.

The United States lost the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and a destroyer at Midway, but the Japanese navy incurred more extensive losses, including the destruction of four aircraft carriers and their aircrews and a cruiser. The battle's results permanently weakened the Japanese navy; the momentum in the war's Pacific Theater of operations would now be with the U.S. and allied forces.

Navy Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, who commanded U.S. forces during the Midway battle, described its outcome as "'a glorious page in our history,'" Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, told a group of military veterans gathered at the Navy Memorial.

Midway "was a battle that seized the strategic initiative" in the Pacific, Roughead said, and demonstrated "the importance of naval power in conflict."

Most of all, the admiral said, Midway "showed the world what an American sailor could do." The battle is replete with scenes of courage and heroism, he said, from "the stories of those sailors who stayed at their posts until the bitter end to the stories of the sailors who rescued shipmates from the sinking Yorktown."

The USS Yorktown had been heavily damaged during the Battle of the Coral Sea a month earlier. Shipyard workers at the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor had worked around the clock to repair the carrier. Consequently, the Yorktown would participate in the Midway battle, which would turn out to be its last fight.

At Midway, Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto had planned to draw out and destroy the U.S. Pacific fleet, thus opening the way for a negotiated peace settlement with the United States. Yamamoto realized that Japan couldn't compete industrially with the United States, and that his forces needed to win a decisive victory early in the war.

However, what Yamamoto didn't know was that U.S. and British cryptologists had broken the Japanese naval code. Therefore, Nimitz knew, before the battle, the approximate date of the Japanese attack on Midway, as well as the types of ships in Yamamoto's strike force and its location.

"The code breakers that gave us the location and date of the battle, the shipyard workers, the airmen and Marines who fought from Midway Island and the sailors who fought at sea" all were among the battle's many heroes, Roughead said.

The U.S. victory at Midway came just six months after the successful Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he pointed out.

"And in those months, the carrier Yorktown had been nearly sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea," Roughead said. Thanks to the shipbuilders at Pearl Harbor who repaired much of the damaged fleet, he said, the U.S. sailors at Midway "were able to overcome the enemy in battle."

Demand for Special Operators Could Strain Force, Commander Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 5, 2009 - Demand for the services of U.S. Special Operations Command could strain the force, the command's top officer said here yesterday. Navy Adm. Eric Olson testified before the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities.

Special Operations Command, with headquarters in Tampa, Fla., is responsible for organizing, equipping, training and providing fully capable special operations forces to serve under the operational control of geographic combatant commanders around the world. This gives the command many of the administrative details in managing the force.

In addition, the command is a combatant command in its own right, responsible for synchronizing Defense Department planning against global terrorism, and also is the department's proponent for security force assistance.

"In this role, we expect to foster the long-term partnerships that will shape a more secure global environment in the face of global challenges such as transnational crime, extremism and migration," the admiral said.

The command has broad responsibilities and capabilities, and this makes it "the force of choice," Olson said. While 86 percent of the overseas force is deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations – most in Iraq and Afghanistan -- the command must maintain a global presence. "In fiscal 2009, special operations forces have already conducted operations and training in 106 countries around the globe," Olson told the representatives.

This has put stress on the force, but the command – along with the services – is handling it for now. Rotations are different for different services and specialties, the admiral said.

"The service components have sort of evolved into different rotational paces," he said, "depending on the nature of the force, the type of equipment they use [and] the nature of the operations that they're conducting.

For example, Olson said, some aviators who fly a lot at night with night-vision goggles may deploy for periods as short as 90 days. Special Forces Operational Detachment "A" teams have battalion-level rotations of seven months. Still others, usually at higher levels, deploy for a year.

"The rate now is sustainable," Olson said. "We didn't think that we could sustain it at this pace this long, but the force is proving resilient beyond our estimate. I think, personally, that we are at about the maximum rate that we can sustain, but I think that we can sustain this rate for some time longer."

The current high deployment pace "has now become the new normal," Olson said. Retention remains high and recruiting remains healthy, he noted.

"So if the demand didn't increase, we're probably pretty OK," he said. "But what we see is an increasing demand for special operations forces, and so we've got a growth plan in place to accommodate that."

Working with interagency partners is integral to the command's mission. "The most important thing to push forward are structures that provide a forum so that the interagency community can provide the content to the discussions," Olson said. "These are relationships that are building over time. We are way better than we have ever been."

Even before the attacks of 2001, the command led in integrating personnel from other government agencies, Olson said. "We're even seeing now what I call second- or third-generation, or second- or third-order effects, as people [who] have worked together in one place now [are] coming together in another place and already having a relationship so that they can move much more quickly together," he added.

In addition, 85 uniformed members of Special Operations Command go to work each day in other agencies of government inside the national capital region.

"We also wake up every day at our headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa with about 140 members of other agencies coming to work in our headquarters," Olson told the subcommittee, "and this has provided a transparency in the interagency environment that's very helpful.

"It's hard now, having seen it in action for a few years, ... to remember back what it was like before," he continued, "back when we used to look around the room and see only uniformed members. It really is a good, solid team effort at this point."

Olson called the command "a team of teams." The force is suited to the irregular operating environments, "and its proven abilities have created an unprecedented demand for its effects in remote, uncertain and challenging operating areas," he said.

Special operators will continue to find, kill or capture irreconcilable enemies, and will continue to train, mentor, and partner global friends and allies, Olson said.

"United States Special Operations Command headquarters will continue to lead, develop and sustain the world's most precise and lethal counterterrorism force," the admiral said. "We will provide the world's most effective special operations trainers, advisors, and combat partners with the skills, leadership, and mindset necessary to meet today's and tomorrow's unconventional challenges."

Member of All-Black D-Day Battalion to Receive Overdue Honor

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

June 5, 2009 - Sixty-five years ago, he was a young black soldier whose role in the allied landing at Normandy would go largely ignored. But now William Dabney returns to France with due honors. Then a 20-year-old corporal, Dabney stormed the beleaguered Omaha Beach armed with a type of explosive-laden helium balloon the Army floated at low altitude to interfere with German aircraft. He represented the 320th Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion, the first exclusively African-American unit to fight in World War II.

Dabney, the lone surviving member of the 320th Battalion, will receive France's Legion of Honor tomorrow in conjunction with other D-Day ceremonies across France. The honor marks time the black soldiers of the battalion have been officially recognized for their role in the famed 1944 operation, a defense official said.

"Whether we got credit for it or not, we still felt that we did our job," the 84-year-old Dabney said in an interview yesterday at the French Embassy ahead of his flight abroad. "And we felt that maybe one day we would get recognition, and this has come that I'm getting some recognition for what I did.

"I'm very thankful for it," he said of receiving the Legion of Honor, the French's government highest award.

Dabney is one of about 40 Americans to receive the Legion of Honor during the D-Day anniversary ceremonies tomorrow. The event holds additional significance, since it will be presided over by President Barack Obama, the first African-American to hold the highest U.S. office, Dabney said.

"It's going to make me feel real proud. I feel as though that we – African-Americans -- have come a long ways," he said. "And it's not only me, but it's something that my grandchildren, my great grandchildren have seen already, and they are grateful."

For Dabney, Obama's ascension to the White House reflects the American values he felt he was fighting for during World War II.

"I never would have thought that I would see the day that we would have an African-American president," he said. "That sort of relieved me. I was over here fighting, and now I can look and see that we have an African-American president."

Dabney was one of five World War II veterans on hand yesterday with their families at the embassy for a luncheon before their voyage. Joining the elder Dabney was his son, Vinny Dabney, of Roanoke, Va.

"It's really an honor for me to be able to accompany him as he receives this magnificent honor," Vinny Dabney said. "He was able to attend the 60th anniversary, but this one is even more important because of the honor, the medals, that will be bestowed on the veterans.

"The contribution of my dad and other African-Americans was kind of something that was swept under the rug for a long time. And now they've finally pulled the rug back, and here's all this history."

The other veterans at the embassy yesterday who are attending the D-Day anniversary in Normandy include:

-- Burnett Bartley, who also took part in the D-Day landing. For 264 consecutive days, he fought with the 35th Infantry Division, in which more than 25,000 soldiers would lose their lives. During a battle to liberate the town of Destry, he was wounded in the throat; his vocal cords were severed, and the effects have endured to this day. Bartley distinguished himself during the war by his behavior, his courage and his keen judgment, as attested by the honors bestowed upon him by U.S. military officials.

-- Elmer De Lucia, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day with the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion. During this operation, he saw dozens of his friends die; he witnessed the beach become a veritable mass grave, with hundreds of young soldiers mowed down by enemy fire. With his company, he spent 313 days in Normandy, including 60 consecutive days without a day of rest. He fought in five major campaigns -- Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes and Central Europe -- earning five Bronze Stars. Twice wounded in action, in France in October 1944 and in Germany in March 1945, he also received the Purple Heart.

-- James Huston, an intelligence officer with the 35th Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 134th Regiment, who participated in the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach. During his first battle, in Saint-Lô, with a five-man patrol, he took Hill 122, a heavily fortified and mined position occupied by the enemy. This act earned him the Croix de Guerre avec Palme. He subsequently served as a commander when his unit crossed northern France toward Nancy. He then led the battalion that crossed the Meurthe as an operations officer. He carried out the attack and capture of Malzeville, east of Nancy, to establish a bridgehead for the region. His strategic abilities, sharp analyses and personal involvement during his command of this action earned Huston a Bronze Star.

-- Nathan Kline, who was 18 when he enlisted in the Army in 1942. After months of training, he was assigned to the 323rd Bomb Group of the 9th Air Force as a bombardier/navigator on a B-23. He took part in the D-Day landing, with subsequent missions taking him to Reims, Chartres, the Belgian border and, in May 1945, Valenciennes. He carried out no fewer than 65 bombing missions during World War II. His plane was hit twice during the battle of the Ardennes. Without abandoning his position, he continued bombing his target until the action was successful. He provided first aid to his radio operator, who was wounded, before returning to his navigator post and bringing the plane back down into allied territory. For this action, which was decisive to the outcome of the battle, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Before their departure, French Defense Attache Maj. Gen. Gratien Maire saw the veterans off and told them it was a pleasure to honor their sacrifice.

"Thank you for what you did for

World War II Veteran Copes with Memories Through Golden Age Games

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

June 5, 2009 - Nearly 65 years ago, Robert Blatnik found himself fighting for his life on a beach in Normandy, France, on what he called a day of miracles for those who survived. Today, Blatnik talks openly about the U.S. and allied invasion on June 6, 1944, as well as other World War II campaigns he was part of. He explains the amphibious landings, the paratroopers overhead, and how, even after all these years, he's still amazed that he lived to tell his experiences. However, it took almost 60 years of harboring those memories before he could ever really open up, he said.

"Up until about six years ago, I couldn't even talk about it," the retired soldier said of his D-Day and World War II experiences. "It was only when I got involved with the [Department of Veterans Affairs] and Golden Age Games that I was able to relate and talk about things."

The VA and National Veterans Golden Age Games have given Blatnik an outlet and release for his painful memories. Meeting fellow World War II veterans, as well as veterans from later wars, has showed him that he's not alone, the Rowlett, Texas, native said. He's learned that other veterans have gone through similar distress.

"I've met these guys from all over the country who've been through all kinds of things," he said. "And going to the VA and taking part in the games has kind of opened me up a little bit."

The energetic 89-year-old talks easily about being missing in action for four days in a North African desert, and says proudly that Gen. George S. Patton wouldn't fight the Germans in Sicily without Blatnik's 1st Infantry Division. He'll tell you how nothing in the world ever will compare to the barrage of German artillery he encountered on D-Day.

Blatnik admits to suffering the occasional flashback of combat or random bout of anger, but the Golden Age Games keep him focused, he said.

"The games are great for guys like me," he said. "There's no better therapy in the world than training for and competing in the Golden Age Games."

Blatnik trains for the games all year to relieve stress and improve his fitness, he said. He swims and exercises six days a week, and this year, in the 23rd annual games, he participated in the shot put, discus, shuffleboard and swimming events, he said proudly.

"I even bought my own discus and shot put to practice with," he said, adding that he also works out at local VA hospital.

Although the competitions can be pretty intense, Blatnik said, obviously nothing compares to the shelling of artillery rounds that greeted him and his fellow troops on D-Day. Omaha Beach was black and smoky and riddled with dust, he said. "How the hell I survived -- how anyone survived and got off that damn beach alive -- is a miracle," he said.

Blatnik eventually was medically retired after being wounded in Cologne, Germany, in November 1944. He retired again from the U.S. Postal Service in Ohio, and then relocated to south Texas where he was a volunteer fireman and paramedic.

He survived some of the bloodiest combat in modern military history, and was awarded the Silver Star and multiple Purple Hearts. He was even given an award in Ohio for rescuing a young couple from a house fire in 1963, he said.

But despite his decades of selfless service and personal sacrifice, it wasn't until he found the Golden Age Games that he felt a sense of closure, he said.

"I owe the VA and the games a lot," he said. "They gave me a way to relate and meet people who understand."

The Golden Age Games are open to all U.S. military veterans ages 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 non-profit group and the Veterans Canteen Service. The Games also are a qualifying event every other year for the National Senior Olympic Games.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 5, 2009

NAVY
Jacobs Technology, Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn., is being awarded a $170,647,013 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for system engineering services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). Efforts to be provided include design studies and evaluations associated with research, development, production, and operations of weapons and weapons systems. The estimated level of effort for this requirement is 1,727,809 man-hours. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif., (83 percent) and Pt. Mugu, Calif., (17 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic Request for Proposals, with five offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-09-D-0040).

Adept Process Services, Inc., Imperial Beach, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0003); Delphinus Engineering, Inc., Eddystone, Pa., (N55236-09-D-0005); Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc., San Diego, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0006); Fraser's Boiler Services, Inc., San Diego, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0007); Integrated Marine Services, Inc., Chula Vista, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0008); Marine Group Boat Works, Inc., Chula Vista, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0009); Miller Marine, Inc., National City, Calif. (N55236-09-D-0010); Nielsen Beaumont Marine, Inc., San Diego, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0011); South Bay Boiler Repair, Inc., National City, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0012), are each being awarded a indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract - Lot I, for marine boatyard services and industrial support for boats, craft, lighterage or service craft less than 50 feet in length. Al Larson Boat Shop, Inc., Terminal Island, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0004); Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc., San Diego, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0013); Fraser's Boiler Services, Inc., San Diego, Calif., (N55236-09-! D-0014); Marine Group Boat Works, Inc., Chula Vista, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0015); Miller Marine, Inc., National City, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0016); South Bay Boiler Repair, Inc., National City, Calif., (N55236-09-D-0017), are each being awarded a indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract - Lot II, for marine boatyard services and industrial support for boats, craft, lighterage or service craft greater than 50 feet in length. Each contractor shall furnish the necessary management, material support services, labor, supplies, and equipment deemed necessary to provide marine boatyard and industrial support which includes specific modifications, upgrades, service life extension and repairs to non-commissioned boats, craft, lighterage and service craft and their associated systems and periodic maintenance primarily in support of San Diego area Naval Facilities boats, craft, lighterage, and service craft custodians. The maximum value for each contract under Lot I is $58,300,000. The maximum value for each contract under Lot II is $139,000,000. Each contract has four additional option years to be exercised. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., or contractor's facility along the west coast. Work is expected to be completed Jun. 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $27,000 for Lot I! and $18 ,000 for Lot II and contract funds in the amount of $3,000, for minimum obligation for each contract, will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 20 proposals solicited and 15 offers received. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., is being awarded a $36,479,655 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-only contract for production of Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) 3.1 dismounted systems to meet urgent requirements of the Department of Defense in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The dismounted JCREW systems are critical to protecting U.S. personnel from the threat posed by improvised explosive devices. Dismounted JCREW systems are electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIED). This contract is for the urgent procurement and support of JCREW systems, to be used by forces in each of the military services of the Central Command area of responsibility. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $248,312,153. Work will be performed in Sparks, Nev. (90 percent) and Rancho Cordova, Calif., (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three proposals solicited and three offers received. Contract funds will not expire at the end o! f the cu rrent fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-6306).

Praxis, Inc., Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $14,159,541 cost-plus-fixed-fee term contract for research, development and engineering support for specialized aerospace systems. The requirement is for highly skilled personnel to support applied research and development programs. The support includes system engineering and applications-oriented activities to preserve and enhance a strong aerospace systems technology base and to provide expert capabilities in the development, acquisition and operation of aerospace systems. This contract contains options, which if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of this contract to $75,926.335. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and work is expected to be completed June 2010 (June 2014 with options exercised). Contract funds in the amount of $85,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured under Naval Research Laboratory solicitation number N00173-08-R-SE08, for which two offer were received. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00173-09-C-6004).

Marvin Engineering Co., Inc.*, Inglewood, Calif., is being awarded a $9,544,705 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00421-06-C-0050) to exercise an option for 328 production BRU-32B/A ejector bomb racks for the Navy (299) and the Royal Australian Air Force, (29) for the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft. Work will be performed in Inglewood, Calif., and is expected to be completed in Jun. 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy, ($8,700,813; 91 percent) and the Government of Australia, ($843,892; 9 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va., is being awarded a $7,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost type contract for services as requested for all specific product areas and specific technical capabilities related to the research and development (R&D) needs of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division. This will entail performing R&D with regard to technologies related to Navy ships and combat systems. Specific tasks will range from applied research, and or exploratory development through technology assessments and engineering studies in support of surface combat systems development. Work will be performed in Blacksburg, Va., 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 not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va. is the contracting activity (N00178-09-D-3017).

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., is being awarded a $6,782,874 modification to previously awarded time and material contract (M67854-02-C-2052) to increase field service support for the Combat Operations Center for Operation Enduring Freedom. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by May 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems TSS Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $6,144,776 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-F-B062) to provide engineering, technical, professional and operations support services for the Navy Above-Water Sensors Program. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2009. Contract funds in the amount of $2,546,376 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Kaba Mas LLC, Lexington, Ky., is being awarded a maximum $8,919,600 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for high security digital combination locks. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The proposal was originally Web solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jun. 4, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM5L5-09-D-0058).

AIR FORCE

The Air Force is awarding a cost plus fixed fee contract with BBN Technologies Corp., of Cambridge, Mass., for an estimated $29,711,669. This action is for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's machine reading program. The purpose of this effort is to develop a prototype machine reading system that transforms prose into knowledge that can be interpreted by an Artificial Intelligence application. At this time, $3,389,759 has been obligated. AFRL/RIKF, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-C-0179).