Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Defense Department Web Site Eases Information Delivery

By Judith Snyderman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - The new Defense Department Web site is designed to make military news and information more accessible, and also invites greater participation from the public, the department's top public affairs official said yesterday. "[Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates] wanted to hear back from people more. He felt that he couldn't really engage with people outside of the senior leadership that he talks to here in the building," Price Floyd, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told bloggers and online journalists during a "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable.

Prominent on the Web site –- at -- is a new "We Want to Hear from You" feature that invites users to ask questions and vote on policy issues they want explained. Floyd said submissions will be tallied every few weeks, and that Gates and other senior leaders will reply to questions that garner the most interest.

Floyd said the redesign places greater emphasis on social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, citing anecdotal evidence of the benefits.

"Some of these stories about the men and women being able to do homework with their kids back here in the States in real time because of these social networking sites and the software that is out there, I just think those stories are amazing," Floyd said.

A new defense policy is under review to make access to social networking sites from "" accounts more uniform across the services. Floyd noted that the policy will balance both the benefits and legitimate security concerns related to social networking.

"In the past, when you'd send a letter home to your mother or family member, that was the one person who got it, and they might tell a couple of friends what was in there," he said. "But the nature of the new technology is that you put an update on your Facebook or Twitter account and thousands of people know about it right away, and they can forward it to thousands of people. So, operational security is possibly even more important than it was before."

Other redesigned "" features provide quicker access to pages and services -- such as the Pentagon Channel and Defense Department news -- that are most sought by Web site visitors. A subscription area for RSS feeds and widgets allows visitors to pull news stories and updates to their own sites automatically.

While the new site replaces as the department's main Internet entry portal, the target audience remains unchanged, Floyd said. "No. 1 is our internal audience of about 3 million, both active-duty military and civilian folks," he said. "Another one is the U.S. public, and the third is those overseas."

Floyd said that the number of people getting their news from social networking sources is growing; however, "we don't just want to do this to do it; we want to do it because it has impact and so that we have a real engagement with people back and forth."

Floyd invited bloggers and the public to send him a "tweet." Visit and click on Twitter in the left-hand column.

(Judith Snyderman works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Company Goes Extra Mile for Military Employees

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - Waking up for work rarely ranks high on people's "favorites" lists, but John Sookikian said he is perfectly happy to be in the minority. Sookikian, a first sergeant in the Army Reserve, works for Consolidated Electrical Distributors Inc., one of 15 recipients of the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award recognizes public and private employers for going above and beyond what's required by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve manages the award program.

"The company is just fantastic," Sookikian said. "I love getting up in the morning and coming to work, because I know I work with [great] people."

In the seven years he's worked for Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Sookikian has been deployed for an accumulated total of about four years. And each time, he said, the response has been the same.

"They didn't even blink an eye," he said. "In 2003, I deployed and actually only had 15 minutes to notify my manager. He [had] no issues, just 'Go do what you've got to do.'"

Within six months of returning from that deployment, Sookikian deployed again. He was to be gone a year, but Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, then a lieutenant general in charge of training Iraqi security forces, needed him to stay longer.

"General Petraeus asked if I could stay another six months, which I did," he said. "When I finished with that six months, I was ready to come home, and they asked me to do another mission [and] extended me for another six months."

Upon his return, he requested a transfer from Consolidated Electrical's branch in Columbia, S.C., to the one in Charleston to be closer to his two sons.

It was a mere six months before Uncle Sam requested his services again.

"I got deployed again for another 18 months, and again, they didn't blink an eye," Sookikian said.

In fact, his co-workers helped to collect 20 boxes of toys and clothing to support a program he had set up to benefit the children of Iraq, where he had served during each deployment.

Consolidated Electrical Distributors, with nearly 1,000 branches worldwide, took care of Sookikian's fellow soldiers as well.

"They made sure that my soldiers had goodies and coffee," he said. "Every two weeks, they would send 10 pounds of coffee.

"It was actually pretty cool, because the manager here in Charleston was just doing it on his own," Sookikian added. "Then the district manager found out that he was doing it, and he made him start expensing it so that the company would pay for the coffee and the goodies."

And despite his protests that he didn't deserve them, Sookikian received profit-sharing checks while he was deployed.

Management also maintained contact with the citizen-soldier's family during the deployments. "Even the president of the company, who's never met me ... always [asks], 'So, how's John doing?'"

All of this is on top of benefits that are more common these days, but no less important. For instance, the company provides full pay and benefits while the employee is deployed.

"It makes it really, really, really easy to be loyal to them," Sookikian said.

He was in Wisconsin on military-related business when he got the call from his supervisor, Mike Goss, telling him the company had been selected for the award.

Sookikian was thrilled, as was Goss, though the latter admittedly was a bit shocked.

"I was aware our company had made the 'short list' of the final 30 companies in June," Goss said. "When I got the call, ... I was quite surprised. The notification that we were selected made me feel quite proud and honored to receive such a prestigious award."

Iraqi Forces Detain Five Terrorism Suspects

American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - Acting on warrants issued by Iraqi courts, Iraqi forces arrested five terrorism suspects in recent days, killing another who attacked them while they were serving one of the warrants. Iraqi special operations forces arrested a suspected terrorist wanted on a Ramadi Criminal Court warrant, plus two others who attacked them while they were serving the warrant, in the city of Khaladiyah in Iraq's Anbar province Aug. 24. Another of the attackers was killed.

The targeted suspect -- an Iraqi police officer -- is suspected of killing a senior Iraqi police officer, taking part in the recruiting of terrorists and providing a suicide vest for an attack against Iraqi civilians, officials said. During his arrest, the Iraqi special operations unit came under fire from multiple directions and responded with appropriate force, killing one attacker and wounding another. An Iraqi soldier also was wounded.

In Baghdad on Aug. 23, Iraqi special operations forces, along with U.S. forces advisors, arrested a suspected terrorist on a warrant issued by the Central Investigative Court of Karkh. The suspect was wanted for kidnapping, murder and attacking Iraqi security forces.
In Iraq's Ninevah province Aug. 22, Iraqi commandos, with U.S. forces advisors, arrested a suspected terrorist on a warrant issued by the Central Investigative Court of Kharakh for suspicion of attacks on Iraqi security forces and facilitating terrorist movement throughout the province.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Leaders Mark Kennedy's Passing With Fond Memories

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - The national security advisor today expressed admiration for Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who succumbed to brain cancer yesterday. Retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, who rose through the ranks to become the Marine commandant and supreme allied commander for Europe, came to know Kennedy years earlier while working as a Senate liaison officer in the early 1980s -- a relationship that greatly contributed to the general's "Washington education," he said.

"I had the opportunity to get to know Sen. Edward Kennedy, who was then a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee," Jones said in a statement. "Senator Kennedy and his staff were among some of the best supporters the Marine Corps ever had on Capitol Hill.

"Despite his many responsibilities, he always made time for me on issues of importance to Marines and their families," he added.

The general's praise is part of a greater outpouring that came when news broke of 77-year-old Kennedy's death. To honor the so-called "Lion of Senate," President Barack Obama today ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at the White House and at other public buildings.

Regarding Kennedy's relationship with the military, Jones remembered him as a champion of legislation such as the Goldwater-Nichols act, which vastly reorganized the armed forces as a joint structure, and of military pay reforms, which ushered in the most comprehensive reforms of the military and defense establishment since the end of World War II.

Kennedy deserves to be honored for his genuine care and compassion for American men and women in uniform, which are reflected in the senator's tireless work and voting record on behalf of the military, Jones said.

"While he never shied from challenging our senior military leadership during hundreds of committee hearings, he could always be counted on to be fair and open-minded in letting witnesses like me make our case to the committee and to the American people," he said.

In a presidential proclamation today, Obama characterized Kennedy not only as one of the greatest senators of modern times, but also one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve the nation.

"Over the past half-century, nearly every major piece of legislation that has advanced the civil rights, health, and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts," Obama said in a White House statement. "With his passing, an important chapter in our American story has come to an end."

Kennedy to Be Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 26, 2009 - Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his brothers, Defense Department officials said here today. Kennedy, who died yesterday after a long battle with brain cancer, is eligible for in-ground interment, officials said. "He served in the Army, and he was an elected official of the U.S. government," an official said, speaking on background. "No [eligibility] waiver was needed."

Kennedy served in the Army from 1951 to 1953. He will be buried near the grave of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968. That site is just up the hill from the grave of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete. The Kennedy family had contacted Arlington National Cemetery officials about arrangements for the 77-year-old senator, officials said.

Arlington National Cemetery is located across the Potomac River from Washington. It is the site of the Tomb of the Unknowns and the burial spot for more than 300,000 people. It was established in 1864 on land once owned by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Servicemembers representing all of America's wars rest at Arlington. Those from pre-Civil War conflicts were reinterred there in 1900. The cemetery also is the resting place for fallen servicemembers from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Palmdale, Calif., was awarded a $3.44 billion modified (ceiling increase) contract to increase the ceiling and support the B-2 weapon system, a major program assigned to the program executive office. 702 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity (F33657-99-D-0028).

ATK Launch Systems, Inc., Corinne, Utah was awarded a $49,000,000 modified contract for the purchase of the MJU-62/B infrared flare countermeasure. At this time, $25,915,968.99 has been obligated. 784 CBSG/PK. Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8213-09-D-0002).

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded a $10,250,000 modified contract for one-year of Contractor Logistics Support for the Italian purchase of MQ-9 Reaper aircraft under the Foreign Military Sales program. At this time $5,022,500 has been obligated. 703 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-G-3028 0058030).

Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Warner Robins, Ga., was awarded a $9,838,299.80 contract for the contractor to perform necessary maintenance on-site and at the heavy maintenance facility in the region; provides for technical assistance and support to the Iraqi Air Force; assists the IqAF in achieving and maintain a 65 precent mission capable rate; maintains the support system; and the contractor will mentor Iraqi technicians toward self-sufficiency (Foreign Military Sales). At this time the entire amount has been obligated. 330 ACSG/GFKA, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8530-08-D-0008-0006).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $9,618,978 contract to provide Air Force lethal capability analysis and development. At this time $511, 975 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700P03-D-1380, D.O. 0318).

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $2,429,828,879 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for accomplishment of the Refueling Complex overhaul of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). This effort shall provide for the accomplishment of the overhaul, alterations, repair, maintenance, and refueling. Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to completed by February 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-2107).

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Baltimore, Md., is being awarded a $180,995,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of Walter Reed National Naval Medical Center, support facilities for the Warrior Transition Unit at National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. The work includes the construction of a new Warrior Transition Unit Bachelor Enlisted Quarters/dining/admin facility, physical fitness center, administration facility, parking garage and restoration of National Naval Medical Center Building 17 fa├žade. This contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $196,995,000. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Md., and is expected to be completed by August 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 13 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-09-C-0018).

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $25,000,000 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-04-C-3146) to update Annex B of the P-8A system specification to include additional requirement identifiers associated with the Advanced Airborne Sensor (AAS)/P-8A interface requirement specification (IRS) in support of the AAS Program. The IRS refines requirements for the integration of the AAS maritime and littoral intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance radar, and the associated special mission cabin equipment on the P-8A aircraft. Work will be performed in Seattle, Wash., and is expected to be completed in February 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded an $18,990,518 delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement (N00019-05-G-0008) for the procurement of 38 APG-73 radar expand 4/5 upgrade kits for Marine Corps F/A-18D aircraft. Work will be performed in Forest, Miss., (45 percent); El Segundo, Calif., (35 percent); Andover, Mass., (15 percent); and Dallas, Texas, (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $2,109,799 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Marotta Controls, Inc.*, Montville, N.J., is being awarded a $7,658,936 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-06-D-0021) for the production of up to 464 pure air generating systems for integration into the LAU-7 missile rail launchers, including associated technical and administrative data. Work will be performed in Montville, N.J., and is expected to be completed in February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., Pomona, Calif., is being awarded a $5,708,293 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for the furnishing of central atmosphere monitoring systems (CAMS) IIA units, hardware kits, associated engineering services and technical data. The CAMS IIA will serve as the analyzer utilized on the Los Angeles Class (SSN-688) to monitor the breathable atmosphere. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $8,631,856. Work will be performed in Pomona, Calif., and is expected to be completed by August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship System Engineering Station, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N65540-09-C-0018).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $13,952,224 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for adverse terrain forklifts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There were originally three proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Mar. 18, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM500-01-D-0036).

Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Rockford, Mich., is being awarded a maximum $9,329,901 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for safety boots. Other location of performance is Cedar Springs, MI. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third option year period. The date of performance completion is Aug. 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPO100-06-D-0352).