Friday, August 07, 2009

Jews who shoot back

I must say I am most intrigued by the premise behind Quintin Tarantino's new movie, Inglorious Basterds. Briefly, a half dozen Jewish soldiers are dropped into German occupied France with orders to raise hell. Each man owes, as their commander, played by Brad Pitt says, '100 Nazi scalps.'

Being Jewish myself, I say-bravo, and more. Why stop at 100? Why 1,000, or 100,000?

As I write this my daughter is watch An American Tale, about a Jewish mouse and his family fleeing the Cossacks, in what I suppose is Polish Russia. This theme annoys me, and always has. Why flee? Instead of shouting 'aye Gawalt!' when the Cossacks come, why not instead run back to your house and get your rifle? Don't say Kaddish when your loved one is impaled upon a Cossack sword, kill the SOB who did it.

This is why I've always enjoyed the story of the hunting don and execution of the Palestinian terrorists behind the Munich Massacre. Revenge was an end unto itself. Steven Spielberg's inadequate movie on the subject was full of hand ringing and equivocation on the part of the protagonist. He brought justice to the fiends who murdered his countrymen, what is the problem?

Jewishness is one of my the themes of my novel, A Line Through the Desert. Sgt Jake Bloom is large, works with his hands, and indulges in bar fights. When the school thug called him a 'Kike' Jake just punched his lights out. He has no use for the ADL. Once his cousins wanted to play Fiddler on the Roof, but he wanted to play Raid on Entebbe. As he asks his girlfriend, 'Do all Jews have to be wimpy little fags?'

Will Stroock's Novel about Operation Desert Storm can be purchased at Amazon

DoD to Award $14.1 Million for Science and Engineering Research

The Department of Defense announced today the awarding of 28 grants totaling $14.1 million as part of the fiscal 2009 Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR). The grants will enhance research and engineering capabilities at 20 academic institutions in 14 states in scientific disciplines critical to national security and the DoD.

The list of projects selected for fiscal 2009 DEPSCoR funding is available online at 2009/DEPSCOR.pdf

The awards are the result of a merit competition for DEPSCoR conducted for the DoD research and engineering directorate. The Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) solicited proposals using a defense-wide broad agency announcement. The solicitation was published on the Internet and available at The fiscal 2009 program solicitation received 131 proposals.

Academic researchers in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, US Virgin Islands, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming were eligible to receive awards under this competition.

The average award is approximately $504,372. All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between the DoD and the academic institutions.


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Western Region, El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $57,100,000 modified contract to provide a demonstration unit of the initial parts of the MP-RTIP for the Joint Stars E-8 platform. At this time, $27,200,000 has been obligated. Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft Program Office, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-00-C-0100 P00174).

DWG & Associate, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded a $40,000,000 modified contract for simplified acquisition of base engineer requirements at the Air Force Academy. At this time, $100,000 has been obligated. 10th Contracting Squadron, USAF Academy, Colo., is the contracting activity (FA700-09-D-0020).

Alion Science and Technology Corp., Chicago, Ill., was awarded a $32,678,765 contract that will provide research to expand technological developments, integration, validation, and program deployment in the areas of intelligent ground system, force protection technology, vehicle electronics and architectures, ground vehicles power & mobility, and ground system survivability. At this time, $12,744,203 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt AFB, Neb., is the contracting activity (N61339-03-D-0300).

Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded a $19,323,655 contract for the Reliability Information Analysis Center to research, test, develop and deliver engineering and technology assessment reports, standards and specification reports, configuration assessment reports, feasibility assessment reports, and interoperability test reports for the secure site technology analysis, upgrades, installation and testing project. At this time, $2,811,594 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt AFB, Neb. is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4005).

Telecommunications Support Services, Inc., Melbourne, Fla., was awarded a $9,138,334 contract to provide operations, maintenance and technical support to the Mobile Air Surveillance Systems, in support of U.S. and allied nations' counterdrug effort in U.S. SOUTHCOM area of responsibility. At this time, $387,810 has been obligated. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Newport News, Va., is the contracting activity (FA4890-09-C-0009).

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Santa Clara, Calif., was awarded a $5,605,006 modified contract to provide a configuration change to the Counter Space Plug-in, providing increased capabilities to support counterspace operations. At this time, $4,134,348 has been obligated. SMC/SYSW/PK, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8819-07-C-0004).

Eagle Industries Unlimited, Inc., Fenton, Mo., is being awarded a $20,609,459 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-08-C-3009) for an additional 49,500 enhanced small arms protective insert carriers. The work will be performed in Lares, Puerto Rico, and work is expected to be completed February 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $20,609,459 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was a sole source award issued pursuant to the statutory authority under 10 U.S.C. §2304(c)(2), as implemented by FAR 6.302-2, "Unusual and Compelling Urgency." The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Eagan, Minn., is being awarded a $19,806,856 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for technical engineering, life cycle support, and repair services of Ohio class submarine data processing subsystem equipment and related systems. Work will be performed in Middletown, R.I., and is expected to be completed by August 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $75,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport, R.I., is the contracting activity (N66604-09-D-1340).

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Keyport, Wash., is being awarded a $19,327,300 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-6101) to provide additional MK54 torpedoes and support services necessary to support Fleet Operational Requirements for the various torpedo product lines. Work will be performed in Keyport, Wash., (50 percent) and Portsmouth, R.I., (50 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

American Systems Corporation, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a $14,487,200 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a cost-plus-fixed-fee pricing arrangement to provide engineering and security engineering services to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific in the area of assured computer and network operations. This contract contains four options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $23,955,600. Work will be performed at the contractor's facility in San Diego (15 percent) and at government ship and shore facilities worldwide (85 percent). The period of performance of the base award is from Aug. 7, 2009 through Aug. 6, 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of this fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website (under solicitation N66001-09-R-0014), and posting to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with four offers received. SSC Pacific is the contracting activity (N66001-09-D-0014).

Navistar Defense LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $7,757,743 firm-fixed-priced modification under contract (M67854-07-D-5032) delivery order #0006 to order engineering change proposals, ambulance sustainment parts, and ambulance head clearance retrofit kits for Category I Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Work will be performed in West Point, Miss, and work is expected to be completed by the end of December 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The base contract was competitively awarded, and the new requirements are sole source additions to the contract. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

King Fisher Marine Service LP, Port Lavaca, Texas was awarded on August 5, 2009 a $12,952,200 firm-fixed-price contract for the removal of approximately 1 million cubic yards of new work grudging of the Galveston Channel from Stations 8+031.53 to 0+500, and the construction of the following principal features at San Jacinto placement area: mechanically constructed levees, construction of hydraulic fill berms, installation of new drop-outlet structure, rehabilitation of existing drop-outlet structure, removal and backfill of existing weir, installation of stone protection templates. Work is to be performed in Galveston County, Texas with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2010. Four bids solicited with two bids received. U.S.A. Engineer District, Galveston, Texas is the contracting activity (W912HY-09-C-0029).

MACRO Industries, Inc, Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on August 5, 2009 a $9,514,350 firm-fixed-price contract for the acquisition of 357 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter armor panel ship sets and 36 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter Armor Repair Kits. Work is to be performed in Huntsville, Ala.,with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, CCAM-AR-B, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0222).

North America Aerodynamics, Inc, Roxboro, N.C., was awarded on August 4, 2009 a $13,390,025 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 1,999 each G11 Cargo Parachutes with an option for an additional quantity of 1000 each NSN 1670-01-016-7841. Work is to be performed in Roxboro, N.C., with an estimated completion date of Jul. 30, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with five bids received. Research Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W58P05-C-0028).

Honeywell International, Inc, Phoenix, Ariz. was awarded on July 31, 2009 a $255,076,495 firm-fixed-price contract to provide parts and support for the overhaul of 1,000 SAGT (Automotive Gas Turbines) 1500 engines of equivalents per year for Program year 4 (PY4) and the potential Program Year 5 (PY5) of the Total InteGrated Engine Revitalization (TIGER) program in support of Abrams tank production, Abrams derivative vehicles and Army stock spares. The engine equivalents will support the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) turbine value stream (TVS) AGT 1500 engine overhaul line. This action is required as soon as possible but no later than the end of the 3rd quarter fiscal year 2009 to ensure a continuous flow of engines through the engine overhaul line to meet the tank production line requirements at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) and to meet field spare requirements. The TIGER program is an Army initiative to revitalize the Automotive Gas Turbine (AGT) 1500 (horsepower) engine fleet which supports the Abrams tank and derivation vehicles (M1A1 tank, M1A2 tank and the Heavy Assault Bridge (HAB)). The TIGER program will increase the reliability of the AGT 1500 engine by improving the overhaul processes to a "near" new engine standard, including durability based design improvements and will provide the support to Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) for the overhaul of up to 1000 each AGT 1500 engine equivalent per year. This approach will foster a long-term partnership between PM Heavy Brigade Combat Team (configuration management), TACOM Heavy Combat Products Support Integration Directorate (forecasting oversight), Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) (depot facilities, workforce, warranty support) and Honeywell Int'l (technical support, overhaul process expertise, demand management, supply chain management, inventory control and field service/ warranty support). Work is to be performed in Anniston, Ala., (13 percent), Phoenix, Ariz., (66 percent), Greer, S.C. (19 percent), and Rocky Mountain, N.C., (2 percent) with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S.A. TACOM- Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-C-0173).

AM General, LLC South Bend, Ind., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $ 124,118,947 firm-fixed-price contract to add 843 EA High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) to contract. Work is to be performed in Mishawka, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2009. One bid solicited with one bid received. TACOM Warren, AMSTA-AQ-ATCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

Carothers Construction, Inc, Oxford, Miss., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $ 32,526,500 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of a vehicle maintenance instruction facility (VMIF) at Fort Benning, Ga. This is comprised of an 185,500 sq. ft. VMIF, vehicle parking, security building and support infrastructure. The project scope also includes utilities, access roads and drivers, parking lot, paving, walks, curbs, gutters, lighting, and security for parking lot. Site improvement, exterior communications, fire protection, storm sewer system, site preparation, erosion control grassing, landscaping and signage. Work is to be performed in Fort Bragg, N.C., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 25, 2010. Seven bids solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W91278-07-D-0036).

Tetra-Tech EC, Inc, Norcross, Ga., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $ 33,250,205 firm-fixed-price contract for Lake Ponchartrain and vicinity, LPV-101 Phase 2, 17th Street Canal to Topaz St., Orleans Parish, La. The work consists of demolition and replacement of floodwalls, fabrication and replacement of floodwall gates, driving piling, earthwork to upgrade levees, upgrading roadwork and utility installations. Work is to be performed in Orleans Parish, La. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Protection Office, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-09-C-0077).

T J Fig Inc, Stockton, Calif., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $27,193,855 time and material contract for mobile training teams to conduct CONUS and OCONUS field level maintenance new equipment training and operator level new equipment training training on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected family of vehicles. Work is to be performed in CONUS, OCONUS, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. One bid solicited and one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0486).

Kiewit Pacific Co., Vancouver, Wash., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $16,133,285 firm-fixed-price contract for the Tillamook North Jetty capping project with requirement to procure and place stone to repair the jetty. Work is to be performed in Tillamook, County, Ore., with an estimated completion date Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S.A. Corps of Engineer, Portland, Ore., is the contracting activity (W9127N-09-C-0031).

Weeks Marine, Inc., Covington, La., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $ 14,947,500 firm-fixed price contract for the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection & Restoration Act (CWPPRA), Pilottown Anchorage Area maintenance dredging, Plaquemines Parish, La. Work is to be performed in Plaquemines Parishes, La., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 15, 2009. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-09-C-0091).

Nelson Inc., Memphis, Tenn., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $9,241,900 firm-fixed-price construction contract for the Stone Dike construction at various locations along the Mississippi River between Miles 954.0 to 599.0 AHP. Work is to be performed along various locations along the Mississippi River with an estimated completion date of Jan. 29, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District Memphis, Memphis, Tenn., is the contracting activity (W912EQ-09-C-0025).

GDLS, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Jul. 31, 2009 a $7,591,072 firm-fixed-price contract to follow on procurement to extend periods of performance (tech services) on the existing contract in Morocco. Work is to be performed in Casablanca, Morocco with an estimated completion date of Jun. 15, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. TACOM-Warren, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-C-0371).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthieum Heights, Md., was awarded on Aug. 6, 2009 a $9,449,478 firm-fixed-price contract for the Electromagnetic Imaging/ Interface Control Document (EMI/ICD) engineering change proposal for a required design change to the synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator STARLite System. Work is to be performed in Linthieum Heights, Md., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2009. One Sole Source bid solicited with one bid received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-08-C-P427).

Crowley Petroleum Distribution, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska is being awarded a maximum $6,953,300 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for petroleum products. Other locations of performance are posts, camps and stations throughout the state of Alaska. Using services are Army and Air Force. The proposal was originally Web solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is September 30, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-08-D-1009).

Adirondack Book House Talks Leadership

Editor's Note: The author is a former servicemember.

August 7, 2009 (San Dimas, CA) American Heroes Press announced that the co-author of
Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style, Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.) will be a guest on the internet-based radio program Adirondack Book House.

Date: September 4, 2009
Time: 7:00 PM Pacific
Listen Live:

Adirondack Book House reviews books and provides authors an outlet to dicuss their work. The Adirondack Book House is hosted by Peter Klein, the author of numerous travel and hiking books on the Adirondack area of New York State as well as the author of the fiction series The Valkyrie Vampire.

Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in
Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton. He has completed his doctoral studies in business research. Raymond is a graduate of the West Point Leadership program and has attended law enforcement, technology and leadership programs such as the National Institute for Justice, Technology Institute, Washington, DC.

Raymond has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and is currently a faculty advisor and chair of the
Criminal Justice Program at the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

His first book,
Police Technology is used in over 100 colleges and universities nationwide. He latest book, Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style has been adopted by several universities for course work in leadership; by several civil service organizations and required reading for promotion; and, has been well received in the wider market.

Using poker as analogy for
leadership, Captain Andrew Harvey, CPD (ret.), Ed.D. and Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA found the right mix of practical experience and academic credentials to write a definitive book for leaders. Working together, Harvey and Foster have written Leadership: Texas Hold em Style. Most often leaders find they are given a set of resources people, equipment, funds, experience and a mission. As Foster noted, "You're dealt a certain hand. How you play that hand as a leader determines your success."

More than a book: A fun and entertaining journey through
leadership that includes an interactive website to supplement knowledge gained from the book.
Proven and Tested: Not an academic approach to
leadership, but rather a road-tested guide that has been developed through 50-years of author experience.
High Impact: Through the use of perspective, reflection, and knowledge, provides information that turns
leadership potential into leadership practice.
Ease of Application: Theory is reinforced with real-life experience, which results in accessible and practical tools leaders can put to use immediately.
High Road Approach: Personal character and ethical beliefs are woven into each leadership approach, so leaders do the right thing for the right reasons.
Uses Game of Poker: Rather than a dry approach that is all fact and no flavor, the game of poker is used as a lens through which to view
leadership concepts.

Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret)

Customer Input Drives Moving Company Selection

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

Aug. 7, 2009 - The Defense Department is shifting the way it selects the civilian companies that move servicemembers and defense civilians to new duty stations by focusing on customer service rather than on cost. Officials now rank companies' performance based in part on input from people they've moved. Servicemembers and defense civilians are asked to fill out a 12-question survey after the move is made.

The customer input gives military transportation offices a new measure for determining which movers are used and how often, said Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Bradley, deputy chief of staff for personal property for the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

"The survey was determined to be a way to get servicemember feedback on improving the quality of service they get from the mover," he said. "It came from a quality-of-life issue where people said they didn't like moving or the moving process, and [that] it was difficult and should be better."

The survey is completed online. Customers receive an e-mail message with a link to the survey after their household goods are delivered at their new duty station. This input gives them a direct voice and an opportunity to improve their quality of service, Bradley said.

"Basing part of the transportation acquisition services on customer feedback forces moving companies who want to stay active in the program to focus on servicemembers," Bradley said.

The survey is one of three factors used to choose and rank moving companies. It's the cornerstone of the "best-value acquisition" program the Defense Department is shifting toward to better accommodate servicemembers, he said. Moving company rates and how well the company handles servicemember claims for lost or damaged items also determine which companies are used and how frequently.

Each survey is used for a year to determine the overall quality of the mover. Although the Defense Department has been collecting the data since November, Bradley said, participation in the survey hasn't been as high as he and personal property representatives would like. Only about 20 percent of military members who used military-contracted transportation companies have participated in the survey.

"It's absolutely key that the servicemembers take their time and fill out that [survey], which is quick -- it's only 12 questions," he said. "We just want to get a sense of [whether] it's a good mover or bad mover and go from there.

"As you can imagine, the moving industry wants to be evaluated on 100 percent of the surveys, not 20 percent," he continued. "They beat us up pretty well to get the survey-return rate up higher to establish a good basis of who's good and who's not."

Moving companies also review the surveys. Movers will be issued warning letters if they receive too many low ratings and survey scores. The more warning letters a moving company receives, the further down the list they move among preferred moving companies. Poorly ranked companies will be used less frequently, and eventually will be removed from the list all together, Bradley said.

"Servicemembers and [Defense Department] civilians now have a specific way to influence how many shipments a mover can get," he said. "If you're in the lowest [ranking] for long, you're eventually going out of business. But if movers are great, we want to reward them with more shipments, so other servicemembers can get a quality move as well."

Bradley acknowledged that most people dislike participating in surveys, but stressed the positive effect this particular survey can have on military members and civilian moving companies.

"Surveys are frustrating, but this one has an impact on your quality of life," he said.

The survey scores have been used to calculate mover rankings since November, but the survey itself has been available and collected since spring 2004. Defense employees who don't receive the e-mail prompting them to fill out the form can go to to complete the survey.

Global Strike Command Will Stress Nuclear Mission

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 7, 2009 - A key step in reinvigorating the Air Force's nuclear deterrence mission will be made today with the activation of the service's Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said the new command will bring together the Air Force bomber force and intercontinental ballistic missiles under a single commander.

"Standing up the command is no small task, and actually we're doing it sooner than we anticipated," Donley said during a Pentagon news conference Aug. 5. "This command will provide the combatant commanders the forces needed to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global strike operations through ICBM, B-2 and B-52 operations."

Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz will command the organization. The headquarters will include 900 people, and is slated to reach full operating capability by Aug. 7, 2010, Donley said. The 20th Air Force, the service's missile organization, will come under the new command in December; and the 8th Air Force, the bomber component, will come under the command in April.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz stressed that the new command will be a major command like Air Combat Command or Air Force Special Operations Command. The role is to "organize, train and equip America's ICBMs and nuclear-capable bombers, and prepare a cadre to do this important work with passion and professionalism," he said during the news conference.

Ensuring professionalism and pride in the nuclear field will be vital to the command's success, Schwartz said, noting that airmen with nuclear expertise had been leaving the service, feeling their work was not appreciated.

"The bottom line is retention has a lot to do with perceptions on how important people's work is, and how worthy that work is," the general said. "We've worked to make it clear to those who will serve in this command that the work is important to the country's defense and it will continue to be so."

Making the command a major command also will give airmen in the nuclear fields an advocate equal to the other commands, he said.

The creation of the command is an effort to boost security and reduce errors. In a 2007 incident, nuclear weapons were loaded aboard a B-52 bomber at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and flown to Barksdale before the mistake was discovered. In another incident, nuclear nose cones mistakenly were shipped to Taiwan. As a result, the service's top civilian and military officials -- Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley -- resigned.

Multiple studies of the incidents and the Air Force's atmosphere revealed that the service's nuclear forces and the entire enterprise lacked clear lines of authority and responsibility, officials said. The Global Strike Command is one of the solutions.

Donley said moves at the Air Staff and in the field have emphasized accountability and compliance with respect to nuclear issues at all levels. The service has re-emphasized training for inspectors and added $750 million over the Future Year Defense Plan for nuclear efforts, in addition to a $4.2 billion base budget. The service also is standing up another B-52 squadron, in part to provide for longer and more focused training.

A number of entities have an interest in the nuclear arena, including the U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. These agencies will play a key role in inspections of the new command, Schwartz said.

The command will have an inspector general, and the service has made a special effort to make the inspections "more challenging and intrusive to ensure that commanders get good feedback in how healthy their commands were," the general said.

Inspections will be demanding, he promised, and will include operations, security, maintenance and weapons.

The emphasis on the nuclear missions means that when a mission requires B-2s or B-52s to carry conventional weapons, they will be reassigned from the new command to the regional commanders for that mission. Global Strike Command will ensure that air and ground crews have expertise in conventional weaponry and raids, but the focus must remain on the nuclear capability, the chief of staff said.


The Air Force Global Strike Command activation ceremony takes place here August 7 during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony in Hoban Hall.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, will participate in the ceremony with General Schwartz serving as the presiding officer.

Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz will assume command of Global Strike Command, taking responsibility for the organization, training and equipping of Airmen for the nuclear deterrence and global strike operations.

The command’s mission will stretch across five Air Force bases and several direct reporting units. The most notable change that will take place over the next several months will be the transfer of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile forces, plus B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bombers’ operational responsibility from Air Force Space Command and Air Combat Command, respectively.

Media members interested in attending the activation ceremony should contact public affairs by 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, so they can make arrangements to attend. ** Broadcast media planning to bring live trucks to the base must contact public affairs no later than Friday, July 31, so arrangements can be made for parking the trucks.** Due to the amount of traffic and construction on the base, media interested in covering the activation ceremony August 7 should be at the 8th Air Force Museum parking lot no later than 8:30 a.m. for the scheduled events.

AFPS Blog: New GI Bill Will Make Huge Impact

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 7, 2009 - If history is any guide, the new Post-9/11 GI Bill may be the most effective piece of legislation Congress ever has passed. The new GI Bill that President Barack Obama signed in June went into effect Aug. 1. It is aimed at giving today's servicemembers the same benefit that warriors from past wars received.

The World War II GI Bill gave veterans unprecedented educational opportunities. The bill provided money for college, training and homes. The generation that came of age in the Depression and during the war took to the benefit like fish to water.

I was privileged to attend the 60th anniversary of the Normandy invasion with Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers in 2004. The ceremony on June 5 was held at the drop zone for the 101st Airborne Division outside the town of Ste. Mere Eglise. Veterans of the drop -- then in their late 70s and early 80s -- attended.

The reporters traveling with Myers spoke with many of the veterans, and one in particular I remember. A reporter made the statement to one 101st Airborne vet that dropping into Normandy on June 6, 1944, was probably the high point of his life. The man thought a bit and said (as best I can recollect), "I like to think I did more with my life. I helped put a man on the moon, too."

When the veteran got out of the service in 1946, he attended college using the GI Bill. He received an engineering degree from Cornell University and went to work at Grumman on Long Island where he helped design the lunar lander.

Could he have done this without the GI Bill? No way, the man said. College wasn't an option for anyone in his family, he said. It was too expensive.

But the GI Bill paid for his education and gave him enough to live on -- in fact, he got married while in college. The GI Bill also helped him finance his first home, and one of his sons used the Vietnam-era legislation to go to college.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, just over half of the servicemembers from World War II used the GI Bill's educational benefits. Still, that means roughly 7.8 million men and women were able to tap into an educational opportunity that otherwise probably wouldn't be available.

The success of the GI Bill encouraged lawmakers who introduced legislation for veterans of the Korean and Vietnam eras. After the Korean War, 2.4 million servicemembers used GI Bill benefits and 7.8 million veterans of Vietnam. In fact, 75 percent of Vietnam vets used the educational benefit to some extent.

Since the GI Bill went into effect, servicemembers have used $83.6 billion for education and training benefits. The GI Bill was much more than a simple give-away. The men and women who used the bill bettered their situations. They earned more money and contributed more to America than just their service during war. They formed the largest middle class the world has ever seen and paved the way for post-war prosperity.

Along the way, they introduced a few things to the world -- computers, television, artificial hearts, satellites, rocketry and countless other discoveries, inventions and processes.

The money invested in educating and training generations of Americans has made the United States a leader of the world. This was not lost on President Barack Obama when he spoke at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Aug. 3.

"The contributions that our servicemen and women can make to this nation do not end when they take off that uniform," he said. "We owe a debt to all who serve. And when we repay that debt to those bravest Americans among us, then we are investing in our future -- not just their future, but also the future of our own country."

No one can tell how the investment in the new GI Bill will pay off for America and the world. The servicemembers in the military today are all volunteers and have already proven to be among the most motivated and goal-oriented members of their generation.

Perhaps when some vet is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom he or she can say, "It was a highlight of my life, but I also helped put a man on Mars."

Military Officers Climb in Perceived Status

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 7, 2009 - U.S. military officers have "very great prestige," and their status is climbing, according to a poll released this week. The Harris Poll ranked 23 occupations based on the responses of more than 1,000 adults polled last month.

More than half of those polled gave military officers top marks, saying that the position held very great prestige. Military officers tied with teachers for 51 percent.

Firefighters, scientists, doctors and nurses topped the list, and accountants, stockbrokers and actors were at the bottom of the list.

Military officers garnered a 5 percent increase over last year's poll results. Of those surveyed, 24 percent said military officers held considerable prestige, 17 percent responded with some prestige, and 7 percent said the job held hardly any prestige at all.

The Harris Poll has asked this same question since 1977, but military officers didn't make the list of occupations until 1982. In that year, only 22 percent said the job held very great prestige. Ten years later, that percentage raised 10 points to 32 percent. By 2000, the number had jumped to 42 percent, and in 2002 it was up to 47 percent.

This year's increase follows last year's drop to 46 percent. Polls in 2006 and 2007 reported top spots at 51 and 52 percent, respectively.

More than 200,000 officers serve in the active-duty military forces.

Geren to Remain as Senate Delays Successor's Confirmation

American Forces Press Service

Aug. 7, 2009 - The Senate adjourned without voting to confirm New York Rep. John M. McHugh as Army secretary, but Pete Geren will remain on the job until formally replaced, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today. It will be at least a month before a vote can be held.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates "is deeply disappointed" that the Senate delayed the confirmation of the Army secretary and undersecretary, Morrell said.

In the meantime, Geren will continue to serve as Army secretary. "It's too important a job to be left vacant or manned in an acting capacity while we've got tens of thousands of soldiers in combat," Morrell said.

President Barack Obama announced the nomination of McHugh, a Republican representative from upstate New York, on June 2. His district in New York includes Fort Drum, and he has served on the House Armed Services Committee. The Senate Armed Services Committee held confirmation hearings July 30.

Army Completes Staff Sgt. Maseth Death Investigation

The Army announced today that the investigation into the tragic death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth has been completed. The extensive, eleven-month investigation conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Command concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove that any one person, persons or entity was criminally culpable in the death of Maseth.

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology medical examiner previously found the cause of Maseth's death to be electrocution and the manner accidental. The completed Criminal Investigation Division death investigation concurs with those findings.

"This has been a complex investigation involving numerous people, circumstances and contractual agreements," said Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, commanding general, U. S. Army Criminal Investigations Command. "It was a lengthy, thorough and detailed investigation. Reviewing the many documents and issues did take an extraordinary amount of time, but we wanted to do everything we could to get it right. We owe that to Staff Sgt. Maseth and his loved ones."

The investigation revealed that there were numerous entities and individuals, both contractors and government employees, who breached their respective duties of care; however none of those breaches, in and of themselves, were the proximate cause of his death. The investigation was closed with a finding that there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove any criminal negligence in the soldier's death.

"As with all of our criminal investigations, if new, credible information becomes available, we stand ready to reopen the investigation to pursue the truth, wherever it may lead," Johnson said.

There have been 18 reported deaths due to electrocution in Iraq since March 2003, including 16 service members and two contractors. Fourteen of these cases occurred in the field away from military facilities or in work situations that included performing maintenance on electrical systems.

After a series of electrical accidents and incidents, Multi-National Force–Iraq created Task Force Safety Actions for Fire and Electricity in August 2008 to assess and analyze fire and electrical safety issues in Iraq and then direct actions to remedy those hazards.

As of July 25, the task force has inspected more than 67,000 of the approximately 90,000 pieces of equipment and facilities in Iraq, many of which were substandard structures dating from the Saddam Hussein era. The task force is ahead of schedule to complete the inspections by November. The inspections have led to the correction of nearly 14,000 deficiencies found thus far as the facilities are brought into compliance with the United States National Electric Code. Most deficiencies have been related to electrical grounding and bonding that enables the proper functioning of circuit breakers.

Since Maseth's death, there has not been another confirmed electrocution death of a soldier in Iraq.

For more information, contact Army Public Affairs, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, , or 703-697-2564.

For questions regarding the criminal investigation contact CID Public Affairs, Chris Grey,, or (703) 806-0372.

For questions about Task Force SAFE, contact the MNF-I Press Desk at

Speicher Search Details Announced

The Navy announced today additional details regarding the recent discovery of the remains of Navy Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher in Iraq. Speicher was shot down flying a combat mission in an F/A-18 Hornet over west-central Iraq on Jan. 17, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm.

Acting in part on information provided by an Iraqi citizen in early July, Multi National Force – West's (MNF-W) personnel recovery team went to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Speicher's jet. The Iraqi, a Bedouin, was 11 years old at the time of the crash and did not have direct knowledge of where Speicher was buried, but knew of other Bedouins who did. He willingly provided his information during general discussion with MNF-W personnel and stated he was unaware of the U.S. government's interest in this case until queried by U.S. investigators in July 2009.

The Iraqi citizens led MNF-W's personnel recovery team to the area they believed Speicher was buried. The area where the remains were recovered was located approximately 100 kilometers west of Ramadi, in Anbar province. There were two sites that teams searched. One site was next to the downed aircraft that was discovered in 1993 and the other site was approximately two kilometers away. The second site was where Speicher's remains were recovered.

The recovery personnel searched two sites from July 22-29. The personnel recovery team consisted of approximately 150 people, mostly Marines and other forces under MNF-W.

The recovered remains include bones and multiple skeletal fragments. Based on visual examination of the remains and dental records at the site, a preliminary assessment was reached that the remains were that of Speicher. After searching the site another day, no further remains were recovered.

On July 30, the remains were turned over from the recovery team to MNF-W mortuary affairs at Al Asad. The remains were then transported to Dover Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, Del. They were examined by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology's (AFIP) Armed Forces medical examiner who positively identified them as those of Speicher on Aug. 1.

Positive identification by AFIP was made by comparing Speicher's dental records with the jawbone recovered at the site. The teeth were a match, both visually and radiographically. AFIP's DNA Lab in Rockville, Md., confirmed the remains to be Speicher on Aug. 2 via DNA comparison tests of the remains by comparing them to DNA reference samples previously provided by family members.