Wednesday, July 29, 2009


AAR Mobility Systems, Cadillac, Mich., is being awarded a maximum $94,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for procurement of specialized shipping and storage containers, shelters and accessories. Other locations of performance are in North Carolina and California. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Federal Civilian Agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is August 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM8ED-07-D-0003).

Freightliner of Savannah, Inc., Savannah, Ga.*, is being awarded a maximum $8,491,350 firm fixed price contract for cylinder assembly. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There were originally three proposals solicited with six responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is July 27, 2014. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Warren, Warren, Mich., (SPRDL1-09-D-0033).

AMEC Earth & Environmental, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pa., (N33191-09-D-0118); American International Contractors, Inc., Arlington, Va., (N33191-09-D-0119); United Infrastructure Projects , Dubai, UAE (N33191-09-D-0120); Kooheji Contractors W.L.L. Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain (N33191-09-D-0121), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award construction contract for design and construction, renovation or repair of facilities, waterfront or airfields throughout Southwest Asia and Africa. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all four contracts combined is $75,000,000. Work will be performed in Bahrain (50 percent), Djibouti (40 percent), and United Arab Emirates, (10 percent), and work is expected to be completed July 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the European Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with eight proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Europe and Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity.

SRS, Inc.*, Gallatin, Tenn., (N40083-09-D-5014); Precise Concrete *, Memphis, Tenn., (N40083-09-D-5015); Chief Electric*, Memphis, Tenn., (N40083-09-D-5016); A&H Contractors *, Memphis, Tenn., (N40083-09-D-5017); G&M Associates*, Cookeville, Tenn., (N40083-09-D-5018); are each being awarded a guaranteed minimum of $25,000 (base period), design-build multiple award construction contract for design, construction, and renovation of government facilities in Millington, Tenn. The total amount for all contracts combined is not to exceed $10,000,000 (base period and four option years). SRS Inc. is being awarded the initial task order in the amount of $1,901,908 (including the minimum guarantee) for design and renovation of Bldg-452 at Naval Support Activity MidSouth, Millington, Tenn. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by April 2010. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of August 2014 (August 2010 for the base period). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The basic contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with five proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Midwest/PWD MidSouth, Millington, Tenn., 38054, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $9,950,543 delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement (N00019-05-G-0008) for incorporation of Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) 0035, entitled Electro Optical (EO) Daylight Operations Improvements Step 2. ECP 0035 will bring EO sensor performance within specification compliance for laser designation accuracy, geo-point targeting, tracker performance, and weapons delivery through hardware and software retrofits. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas, (60 percent); and El Segundo, Calif., (40 percent); and is expected to be completed in April 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $9,950,543 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

International Business Machines Corporations, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., was awarded a $23,693,109 cost-share contract to develop a prototype machine reading system, reader and context reasoner, that builds domain knowledge automatically from input test allowing the creation of DoD applications with limited cost. At this time, $2,308,559 has been obligated. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-09-C-0172).

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Air Guard Needs Newer Aircraft, Director Says

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
Special to American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2009 - One of the biggest challenges facing the Air National Guard today is replacing its fleet of aircraft that are approaching the end of their service lives, the Air Guard's director said here today. "A big problem we have in the Air National Guard is figuring out how to recapitalize our aging fleet," Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. The problem extends to fighters, tankers, airlifters, airborne warning and control systems and early warning radars. "It's the whole system that is old and needs to be recapitalized," the general said.

It's an issue facing not only the Air Guard, but the Air Force as a whole.

"To be quite honest with you, the Air Force has the same recapitalization problem as the Air National Guard," Wyatt said. "Ours is a little bit more acute and a little more immediate, because our airplanes are a little bit older." And that immediacy, he added, affects the readiness status of Air Guard units.

"If you take a look at our F-16s that do the air sovereignty alert mission, 80 percent of those will be aging out within the next eight years," he explained. "Right now, the recapitalization plan for those units doesn't have [replacements] going to those units until the mid-2020s, and that is several years too late."

Discussions are under way about how to retool the Air Guard fleet. "We're working with the Air Force to address that problem, and we're making some progress, but to date there is no plan that addresses Air National Guard issues," Wyatt said.

One of the issues taking shape within those discussions is rebalancing the force structure of the Air Force as a whole. Wyatt said that rebalancing should come at the same rate across all components of the Air Force.

"In my opinion, since the Air National Guard provides 34 percent of the capabilities of the United States Air Force -- at 7 percent of the budget, I might add -- the smart thing to do would be to take a look at bedding down whatever capability the Air Force requires concurrently and proportionally in the Guard."

Wyatt said he is afraid to see a return to the days of the Air Guard flying castoffs from the active duty force, citing his experience with the results of that formula. He flew the A-7 Corsair II for the Oklahoma Air National Guard in the early 1990s.

"When Desert Storm kicked off, we had some great capability within the Air National Guard and the A-7 platform," Wyatt said. "But the active duty [Air Force] was not flying the A-7, and they were concerned with getting the top-of-the-line weapons in the fight, and we were not asked to participate.

"That seems to me to be a great waste of money," he continued. "It makes no sense to have a platform that you're not going to use in war."

Another waste is not capitalizing on the years of experience that Air Guard members bring with them, the general said. "We have the most experienced pilots, the most experienced maintenance crews," he told the group. "We are an older force, a more mature force, and if you don't provide a platform or the capability within the Air National Guard, then that great experience withers and it dies.

"It will take you generations to regenerate that," he said. "What the Air Guard offers is the capacity on top of what the Air Force offers."

On the recent debate on the future funding of the F-22 Raptor versus the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Wyatt -- who describes himself as a "platform agnostic" -- said capability is more important than the platform.

"I think we need to be in the same platform as the Air Force," he said. "If the decision is made in the future to acquire fourth-generation airplanes, similar to what the Navy is doing with the F/A-18 purchases, then I would advocate for the Air Guard to be in those same platforms, provided it's fielded concurrently and proportionally to the Air Guard."

And that makes fiscal sense, said Wyatt, who added that the planes and crews often pull double duty with regard to mission sets, since many Air Guard aircraft are flown as part of the air sovereignty alert mission, but can be deployed overseas as well.

"Those same airplanes that fly air sovereignty alert, they don't just do air sovereignty alert," Wyatt said. "They're written into the war plans. They do [air expeditionary force] rotations, and we participate the same as the Air Force does, so we should have the same equipment."

Wyatt said the biggest need is maintaining the Air Guard's capability to stay current in the roles it fills.

"What airplane we put it on, or how it's acquired, that's basically a decision for Congress to make," he said. "It doesn't make any difference to me. We just want the capability, and we need it before we lose the capability we currently have."

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy serves with the National Guard Bureau.)

Moscow Summit Produces Successes, 'To-Do' List

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

July 29, 2009 - The United States had high goals for the recent Moscow Summit, and while significant progress was made, distinct challenges were identified as well, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasian policy told a congressional panel yesterday. "It was a test of whether the U.S. and Russia can work together to address core defense and security challenges, including strategic arms reductions, Afghanistan, proliferation of dangerous technologies, military relations and missile defense. The results were strikingly positive," Celeste A. Wallander told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"While we did not achieve everything on the list with this first step," Wallander said, "we made significant progress on a number of very important issues and achieved very real agreements in the defense and military spheres."

Of the eight agreements and statements signed at the three-day summit that began July 6, seven addressed defense and security challenges, she said.

Earlier this year the United States began transporting nonmilitary goods through Russia under a NATO-Russia arrangement. On or about Sept. 6, a new agreement between the United States and Russia will take effect, allowing transit of lethal materiel and personnel through Russian airspace.

Providing for up to 4,500 military flights and unlimited commercial flights, the agreement will save the United States as much as $133 million over the use of other routes. It also allows for diversification of supply lines, and reduces transit times and fuel usage, Wallander said.

"The lethal-transit agreement is part of a broader improvement in U.S.-Russian cooperation on Afghanistan," she said, adding that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has acknowledged that Afghanistan is a common problem for his country and the United States.

Another high-priority issue for President Barack Obama at the summit was ensuring the security of nuclear materials and facilities, and strengthening U.S. cooperation with the Russians to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Wallander said.

"President Obama and President Medvedev agreed to broaden cooperation to increase the level of security of nuclear facilities worldwide," she said. "We also remain committed to implementing the disposition agreement, through which we will dispose of 34 metric tons each of weapons-grade plutonium."

Russia may be open to more significant cooperation in this area as the country shares the U.S. goal of ensuring additional countries in the Middle East and Asia don't seek nuclear weapons, she added.

The summit also resulted in a joint understanding on the basic framework for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, follow-on treaty, which Wallander described as a central security issue in the countries' bilateral relationship that has global implications as well.

The presidents agreed to an allowable number of strategic delivery vehicles in the range of 500 to 1,100 and 1,500 to 1,675 of their associated warheads. These numbers would have to be achieved within seven years of the treaty's entering into force, she said.

This is compared to the maximum 1,600 launch vehicles allowed by the expiring treaty, and the 2,200 warheads allowed by the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty.

"While we made progress on START and nuclear security, missile defense remains a difficult issue," Wallander said. "Nevertheless, we were able to make some progress in laying the groundwork for cooperation in the future."

Medvedev agreed to conduct a joint ballistic missile threat assessment, which primarily would focus on Iran and North Korea, she said. "We hope that the threat assessment will offer an effective venue in which to discuss and explain our respective viewpoints," Wallander added.

The joint threat assessment's first meeting will be conducted in Moscow later this week.

The United States also pledged to renew efforts to open a joint data exchange center in Moscow. The center would allow for the sharing of missile launch data between the two countries in the effort to reduce or eliminate the chances for an inadvertent launch due to misunderstandings over a test or other benign missile launch.

"We believe that through this center we could also exchange data from third-country launches, information that would be of obvious benefit to both parties," Wallander said.

The U.S. decision on how to proceed with missile defense in Europe will be dictated by its security interests and will take into account its own security commitments to friends and allies, Wallander said. "But as we move forward," she added, "the steps initiated at the Moscow Summit will provide an excellent opportunity to engage Russia constructively on how the United States and Russia should cooperate in protecting our populations from nuclear and ballistic missile threats from Iran and elsewhere."

Russia and the United States also are working to improve military-to-military programs, with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Russia's defense minister signing a new framework on military-to-military cooperation. The framework establishes conditions that will raise military cooperation to a new level and deepen mutual understanding between the respective armed forces.

An agreement also was made to re-engage this fall, both bilaterally and multilaterally, on discussions to re-start conventional arms control in Europe, Wallander said.

Russia renewed the work of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, as well. The act reaffirmed the importance of the commission as a forum through which both nations seek to determine the fates of their missing servicemen, she said.

"The summit offered an opportunity for the U.S. to clearly affirm our commitment to the security and stability of countries throughout Europe and Eurasia," she said. "President Obama affirmed our commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries -- naming particularly Georgia and Ukraine, and the right of all countries to choose membership in alliances, including NATO."

Obama made clear during his meetings with Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that U.S. support for Georgia's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity was "steadfast and unequivocal," she added.

The Russian leaderships' views to the contrary were not surprising, but it was a measure of how much work is yet to be done and the importance of the U.S. commitment to it, Wallander said.

Another concrete result of the summit is the agreement to create the Bilateral Presidential Commission, which will provide a structure for implementing agreements reached and will monitor progress in further negotiations through six committees, she said. It also will lay the groundwork for seeking agreement and cooperation in additional areas.

While many challenges facing Russia and the United States were positively addressed during the summit, others remain on the to-do list, Wallander said.

"On the issue of sovereignty and the principles of international law that reinforce it in Europe and Eurasia, the discussions revealed that we remain far apart," she said. "[This will not] prevent us from implementing successful agreements with Russia and pursuing the very promising start established at the summit for a broader cooperative agenda.

"It is far better for our friends and partners in Europe and Eurasia if the U.S. can build on our summit success to seek progress on these tough security challenges," she added.