Military News

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Soldier Credits Civilian Employer for Military Success

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

Aug. 12, 2009 - Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rob Lawrence's position as the Colorado National Guard's top enlisted soldier is underscored by nearly 25 years of steadfast support from his civilian employer. No matter what his military mission has been, First Data Corp.'s loyalty to part-time soldiers never ceases to amaze him, Lawrence said. Such efforts have earned the Greenwood, Colo., payment processing company recognition as one of the most supportive civilian employers of reserve-component military members and a 2009 Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Freedom Award.

Lawrence nominated First Data for the award after returning from his most recent Iraq deployment. He requested certificates of appreciation for the company and presented them with American flags that were flown over his Baghdad headquarters. But he wanted to make sure people knew what a great supporter First Data is and continues to be, he said.

"I nominated First Data for a Freedom Award because, as I returned from another deployment last year, it made me appreciate all over again the great support that my employer continues to give," he said.

Lawrence has been a devoted employee of First Data Corporation since 1982, and he became a soldier in the Colorado Army National Guard in 1985. Over the course of his dual career, he said, First Data's support has allowed him to be a fully dedicated soldier, while still affording him the opportunity to advance within the company.

Much like his success in the National Guard, Lawrence started from the bottom and worked his way up in First Data. The former mailroom clerk is now the director of vendor relations for the company. He ensures global sourcing vendors comply with federal rules for financial institutions.

During the span of his military service, Lawrence has been mobilized and activated for a number of operations and deployments. He served in support of Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989, operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and again in 2008.

He's also been called to duty for numerous state humanitarian missions involving major fires and blizzards. And as the state's senior noncommissioned officer, he frequently visits Colorado reserve-component soldiers and airmen deployed throughout the world with full support of his employer, he said.

For his most recent visit to Colorado troops in Kuwait and Iraq in July, First Data provided Lawrence with an international BlackBerry so he could stay in contact with his family as well as on top of his First Data responsibilities, he said.

"It is truly a cooperative situation where I feel [First Data Corp. and the Guard] share my time, skills and abilities equally," Lawrence said.

First Data's support of the military began well before Colorado Guardsmen were being activated for the war on terror after Sept. 11, 2001, he said. The company always has been a strong supporter of the military's state and federal missions by continuing benefits for families and employees and implementing company policies specifically for reserve-component troops, he said.

In his Freedom Award nomination, Lawrence explained how First Data continues health care, legal and education benefits for employees called away on military duties, as well as for their families. The company also has ongoing training and policies to provide insight to managers and supervisors on the needs and rights of its citizen-soldiers and -airmen, he said.

Even if company officials don't fully understand employees' military missions, their support never wavers, he added.

"Over my years of association with the National Guard and First Data Corp., I have had the pleasure of the support of the company whether they truly understood my military role or not," Lawrence said. "Personally, the greatest impact of the First Data Corp.'s understanding and support of my military service has been the blessing to continue to serve my state and this nation in the highest capacity possible."

ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve-component members and their civilian employers, and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. It is the lead Defense Department organization for this mission.

Pentagon Officials Plan Cultural Awareness Training

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 12, 2009 - Defense Department officials are developing a new training program that will teach military members and civilians how to be culturally competent and aware when interacting with people from different lands, a senior official told reporters here today. Cross-cultural competence is "something that we want to bring to the department as a critical piece of training that we think needs to be incorporated into our overall training establishment," Gail H. McGinn, deputy undersecretary of defense for plans, said during an interview with Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service reporters.

Among her many responsibilities, which include performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, McGinn also is the senior language authority for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is responsible for improving foreign language capability within the department and also oversees policy development for the diversity and equal opportunity programs.

Since U.S. military forces conduct missions worldwide, McGinn said, they should "understand the cultural nuances of areas into which they are going to be deployed."

And as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse, it's also useful for military members to be culturally aware so they can better understand comrades in the ranks from different cultural backgrounds, she added.

Cross-cultural competence training "is basically equipping people with the skills to understand what culture is, how people use culture, how they interact with each other within their culture," McGinn explained, "so that wherever they are – deployed in the world or with host populations or with our allies – that we understand that people operate differently based upon the cultural background they come from."

Military and civilian personnel who've been cross-culturally trained should be more effective in different cultural environments, McGinn pointed out. And that, she said, contributes toward mission success.
Though U.S. military forces today normally receive pre- =deployment training, McGinn said, servicemembers may be deployed on short notice or can be quickly sent to perform humanitarian missions in foreign countries.

"So, what cross-cultural competence (training) tries to do," she said, "is provide foundational skills, to say 'Let's understand what a culture is. Let's understand what it means to people that grow up in a certain area in terms of how they interact, how they engage with the world, how they engage with you.'"

Cross-cultural competence training also involves lessons on specific cultures, McGinn said.

The department sponsored a symposium, "The Role of Cross-Cultural Competence in Organizational and Mission Success," June 30 and July 1 at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., McGinn said. Participants discussed the best way to integrate cross-cultural competence curriculum into the military's existing training and education system.

The institute also serves as the coordinating agency for the Defense Language Office to ensure synchronicity among all services with respect to cross-cultural training.

Learning another language can become a window into the culture of a foreign people, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during his Aug. 10 visit to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. And as U.S. servicemembers continue to conduct missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the institute's language courses "are as important as any undertaking that we have in the United States military right now," he added.

"It is really important that we listen to other people, that we listen to other cultures, that we pay attention to how they see their problems," Mullen said. "I call that seeing it through their eyes – putting yourself in a position that actually focuses on what they are thinking about, as opposed to how we think of them, or how we think about, in our Western ways, we might solve their problems."

Air Force Announces Decision On Location Of 24th Air Force

The U.S. Air Force announced today that Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, has been selected as the permanent location of the 24th Air Force headquarters, a numbered air force (NAF) designed to conduct cyber operations activities for the Air Force.

The selection of the 24th Air Force headquarters location follows completion of the Environmental Impact Analysis Process required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

"The thorough evaluation process, which included a 30-day public comment period, determined a finding of no significant impact," said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations.

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was previously identified as the Air Force's preferred alternative and Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., was another alternative considered in this process.

"The standup of this NAF will provide clear lines of authority and responsibility dedicated to cyber operations," said, Maj. Gen. Richard Webber, who will assume command of 24th Air Force later this month.

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 12, 2009

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Valero Marketing and Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas is being awarded a maximum $230,517,297 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is Benicia, Calif. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web solicited with nineteen responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is October 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-0498).

Chevron Global Aviation, Houston, Texas is being awarded a maximum $53,589,360 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for fuel. Other location of performance is Salt Lake City, Utah. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web solicited with nineteen responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is October 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-09-D-0499).

Caterpillar Inc., Mossville, Ind. is being awarded a maximum $7,896,042 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for tractor crawler. Other location of performance is in Illinois. Using service is Navy. There were originally three proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is May 30, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-01-D-0059-0340).

AIR FORCE
Hawker Beechcraft Corp., Wichita, Kan. was awarded a $170,430,952 firm fixed price contract to provide for seven T-6A, Texan II training aircraft including ground based training systems, aircraft spare parts, technical publications, and two years of contractor logistics for the Iraqi Air Force. At this time $68,810,380 has been obligated. 877 AESG/SYI, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8617-09-C-6175)

Long Wave, Inc., Forth Worth, Texas was awarded a $10,522,000 firm fixed price contract to provide for the services necessary to support the high frequency global communications system mission by providing the engineering, labor, parts and material for antenna systems inspections, installation/de-installation and maintenance, procurement of antennas, antenna parts, grounding, bonding, shielding and lighting protection, as well as electrical power evaluation. At this time $10,522,000 has been obligated. 727ACSG/PKC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. is the contracting activity. (FA8106-09-D-0001)

ARMY
First-Yates, A Joint Venture, Edwards, Ms. was awarded on August 11, 2009 a $15,986.956 firm-fixed-price contract for a design-build contract for the construction of an Engineer Research Development Center, Environment Office Building. Work is to be performed in Vicksburg, MS. with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 3 bids received. U.S. Corp of Engineer, Vicksburg District, Vicksburg Contracting Office is the contracting activity (W912EE-09-C-0027)

DeMaria Building Co., Detroit, Mich., was awarded on Aug. 11, 2009 a $ 9,015,000 firm-fixed=price contract for the FY 09 replace and convert steam distribution system. Work is to be performed in Saginaw, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2011. Twenty (20) bids solicited with eight (8) bids received. U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers Detroit District, National Contracting Organization, Detroit, Mich., is the contracting activity (W911XK-09-C-0029).

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc, Columbia, Md. was awarded on August 10, 2009 a $43,368,899 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB), Headquarters, Joint Base Balad, Iraq, staff augmentation and facilities operations and maintenance program supports the 402nd AFSB for the execution of task and responsibilities relating to their mission as the Army Material Command forward based brigade for logistics to field commanders in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Concentration of effort shall be in support of ongoing and future contingency operations supported by Army Sustainment Command including but not limited to operations in South West Asia or other locations based on changing missions of the 402nd AFSB.

BBN Technologies Corp., Cambridge, Mass., was awarded on August 10, 2009 a $22,460,000 firm-fixed-priced contract for the procurement of 1,095 Boomerang Generation III Systems and 2,195 vehicle installation kits. Work is to be performed in Cambridge, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2010. 1 bid solicited with one bid received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-09-C-M410).
Eastern Construction & Electric, Inc, Wrightstown, N.J., was awarded on Aug. 10, 2009 a $6,609,546 firm-fixed-price contract for the design/build. Unified Security Forces Operation Facility, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. Work is to be performed in McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., with an estimated completion date of August 30, 2011. Fifty (50) bids solicited with eight (8) bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District Philadelphia, Pa. is the contracting activity (W912BU-09-C-0033).

ARINC Engineering Services LTD, Annapolis, Md., was awarded on August 07, 2009 a $ 11,056,948 cost-plus-fixed-fee letter contract for the definitization of contract W58RGZ-09-0028, awarded Oct. 27, 2008. Contractor logistics support (CLS) for up to 17 MI-17 Helicopters. Option for 12 months of CLS for up to 27 MI-17 helicopters is included. The MI-17 is a helicopter platform. The contractor will be performing maintenance and training Iraq personal to maintain this type of helicopter. Work is to be performed in Iraq with an estimated completion date of Nov 03, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0028).

International Business Machines Corp.; IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., was awarded on Aug. 10, 2009 a cost-reimbursement contract. This research effort, entitled "Rosetta: An Analyst Co-Pilot, "will support the Global Autonomous Language Exploitation Program. 'Rosetta' will tightly couple speech transcription, language transition, and adaptive, multi-source information distillation in ways that permit English-speaking analysts to focus on and understand the most important information in their area of expertise. Modification P00004 initiated Phase 4 of this program and set up an option for Phase 5. Work is to be performed Yorktown Heights, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. Bids were solicited using a Broad Agency Announcement with twenty-one (21) bids received. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency Contract Management Office, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-08-C-0110).

Berschauer Phillips Construction Co., Olympia, Wash. was awarded on August 7, 2009 a $ 32,894,631 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of the Everett-Seattle Armed Forces Reserve Center, Marysville, Wash. Work is to be performed in Marysville, Wash., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011 Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., was the contracting activity (W912QR-090C-0060).

Costanzo Construction Group, Scranton, Pa. was awarded on August 6, 2009 a $13,394,981 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a command control communication computers intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (C4ISR) finishing center. This C4ISR finishing center is required to repair, refinish and apply protective coatings to large tactical systems, such as Ground Theater Air Control Systems, fire finder systems, radio terminal set, and numerous range threat systems, work is to be performed in Tobyhanna, Pa. with an estimated completion date of Jan. 28, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Md. is the contracting activity (W912DR-09-C-0049).

Lockheed Martin Services, Gaithersburg, Md. was awarded on August 7, 2009 a $ 10,921,846 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Firm Fixed Price contract for the initial outfitting and transition of the Medical Education and Training Campus. Work is to be performed in San Antonio, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 15, 2011. Two Hundred Forty-two (242) bids were solicited through GSA ebuy with four bids received. Center for Health Care Contracting, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W81K04-09-F-0013).

AIS Construction Co., Carpintaria, Calif. was awarded on August 7, 2009 a $ 7,961,550 firm-fixed-price contract for the recovery project for Morro Bay Harbor maintenance dredging, San Luis Obispo County, Calif. Work is to be performed in Morro Bay Harbor, San Luis Obispo County, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 23, 2009. Bids were solicited using www.fbo.gov and USFI with two bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Los Angeles, Calif. is the contracting activity (W912PL-09-C-0018).

Lockheed Martin Services, Gaithersburg, Md., was awarded on August 7, 2009 a $7,736,838 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Firm Fixed Price contract for the initial outfitting and transition of the San Antonio Area Military Medical Center. Work is to be performed in San Antonio, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 15, 2011. Two Hundred Forty-two (242) bids were solicited through GSA ebuy with four (4) bids received. Center for Health Care Contracting, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W81K04-09-F-0012).

Native American Vet Earns Presidential Medal of Freedom

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 12, 2009 - A 95-year-old Native American veteran who wore sacred tribal symbols with his uniform during World War II was among 16 people to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. President Barack Obama presented the country's highest civilian honor to Joe Medicine Crow during a White House ceremony.

Medicine Crow, the oldest Crow Indian, earned the distinction of war chief for his valiant service during World War II.

"Wearing war paint beneath his uniform and a sacred feather beneath his helmet, Joseph Medicine Crow completed the four battlefield deeds that made him the last Crow war chief," Obama noted today.

Obama called Medicine Crow a "warrior and living legend," noting that his grandfather was a scout who served for Gen. George Custer during the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Medicine Crow became the first member of his tribe to earn a master's degree, and now is a highly regarded historian who lectures extensively about the battle. He serves on the board of the Custer Battlefield Museum.

The president called Medicine Crow a "symbol of strength and survival" and said his life "reflects not only the warrior spirit of the Crow people, but America's highest ideals."

Navy To Christen USNS Matthew Perry

The Navy will christen and launch the dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Matthew Perry, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009, during a 5 p.m. PDT ceremony at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, Calif.

Continuing the Lewis and Clark-class (T-AKE) tradition of honoring legendary pioneers and explorers, the Navy's newest underway replenishment ship recognizes Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858) who led a squadron of ships to Japan in 1853 with the aim of opening that nation to trade. He served during the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, and was sent to suppress piracy and the slave trade in the West Indies.

Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, 3rd Fleet, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Hester Evans, descendant of the ship's namesake, will serve as ship's sponsor. The ceremony will include the time-honored Navy tradition of the sponsor breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.

Designated T-AKE 9, Matthew Perry is the ninth ship of the class, a program of up to 14 ships, the first 11 of which will serve as combat logistics force ships and the last three of which are expected to be part of the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future). As a combat logistics force ship, Matthew Perry will help the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other dry cargo to U.S. and allied ships at sea.

As part of Military Sealift Command's Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force, Matthew Perry is designated as a United States Naval Ship (USNS) and will be crewed by 124 civil service mariners and 11 Navy sailors. The ship is designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea and can carry two helicopters. The ship is 689 feet in length, has an overall beam of 106 feet, has a navigational draft of 30 feet, displaces approximately 42,000 tons, and is capable of reaching a speed of 20 knots using a single-shaft, diesel-electric propulsion system.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Additional information about the T-AKE class of ship is available on line at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid

Army Employee Marks 55 Years of Service

By Anthony Ricchiazzi
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 12, 2009 - George McClure has served the nation 10 years longer than the average age of his co-workers here. Born in 1936, McClure, who speaks Vietnamese and Spanish, started his 55 years of service on Sept. 1, 1953, in the Army. "When I was in my teen years, the military was a very respected profession amongst my age group," he said. "My father, a World War II Navy veteran, always advocated the military as a career, expressing regret that he had not done so."

When he enlisted, he was selected and assigned to military police training and leadership. "We were not given the option to request a particular field; although I enlisted, this was in the days of the draft, and they placed us where they deemed fit," he noted.

McClure rose in the ranks and served in several posts throughout the country and overseas.

"My first duty ... was in Germany, at the tail end of the occupation period," he said. "Beautiful country, the people were friendly, the beer was delicious, and the girls were lovely. These were major factors in my decision to re-enlist."

Despite that quip, McClure took his duties seriously, evidenced by his increasing responsibilities, including an assignment at Fort Dix, N.J., where he served as military police operations sergeant in the provost marshal's office. There, he helped to maintain law and order at a post with a population of 50,000, and served as the functional supervisor of 144 MP patrolmen -- called "whitecaps" for their distinctive headgear -- on three shifts.

Prior to that, he served two tours in Vietnam: the first as squad leader and platoon sergeant with Company C of the 25th Infantry Division's 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Battalion, and the second as first sergeant of the 557th MP Company, 95th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade. He was wounded twice in firefights.

McClure said his most interesting and rewarding assignment was as the sergeant major of the 550th Military Police Detachment, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces, in the Panama Canal Zone.

"We traveled throughout Latin America, teaching police subjects, counterinsurgency, riot control, etc., in the Spanish language," he said. "Additionally, some of us were on jump status and training to become Special Forces-qualified, and the camaraderie amongst the Special Forces is very close."

McClure retired from active duty in 1974. His numerous awards include not only a Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster, but also the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service Medal with six major battle stars, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Qualification Badge with jump wings.

McClure said he would have remained in the Army, but felt he had no option other than to retire when his wife was diagnosed with cancer in 1974 and needed to return to the United States for treatment.

"When she was finally operated on, they took out a 20-pound ovarian cyst," he said. "At that time, ovarian cysts were 90 percent fatal."

McClure was hired as a security patrolman at Tobyhanna in 1975. "I came to Tobyhanna Army Depot because I missed the military atmosphere, and Tobyhanna supplemented that, in part," he said.

Now a senior security specialist in Tobyhanna's communications security division, McClure said he can't pin down what he likes best about working here, but said he knows his work at the Defense Department's major communications security storage and repair facility -- supporting all service branches and other major government agencies -- is extremely important to support the warfighter.

When asked the inevitable question of why he's worked for 55 years when most people retire at 30 or 35 years, his answer is direct and brief: "Why not? As I said from the podium when I received the 55-year award, I consider it a distinct privilege to work at Tobyhanna Army Depot."

At the July 15 ceremony, McClure received numerous awards and mementoes, including the Army Superior Civilian award; a coin and a note from Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command; a certificate of appreciation and commander's coin; a framed photo of the depot signed by members of the command group and co-workers; and a framed front page of an original July 20, 1954, newspaper in honor of his service entry date.

(Anthony Ricchiazzi writes for the Tobyhanna Army Depot public affairs office.)