Friday, August 28, 2009

Conference to Deliver Latest in Military Family Care

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 28, 2009 - The Defense Department's first joint family readiness conference in nearly a decade will take place next week in Chicago, the director of the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth said. The conference is expected to draw about 1,500 helping professionals from throughout the world and will offer information and resources as well as the latest research affecting military family care, Barbara Thompson said.

"We are really excited about the depth and breadth of information that will be available at the conference," Thompson said. "We expect the conference to reaffirm, rekindle and to re-energize -- reaffirm the importance of the work the conference attendees do each day as they support and assist our families.

"We know that the high-operational tempo has had an impact on our helping professionals, too, so we want the conference to rekindle their energy and passion," she continued. "And we want them to return to their home stations re-energized and ready to continue their support."

Participants -- who represent each military service and active and reserve components -- serve military members and their families in professions such as family support, children and youth, psychological health, health care, education and the chaplaincy.

Conference topics are wide-ranging to address the needs of the multidisciplinary audience, Thompson said. Each day is packed with workshops and sessions on topics such as deployment and redeployment support, exceptional family members, youth support, relationship building, education, spouse employment, personal finance and health care and psychological services.

The keynote speakers are Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, and his wife, Christi. The conference also will feature a town-hall session with senior enlisted advisors from each military service.

"Today there is a tremendous groundswell of support for military families resulting from an increased interest in and awareness of the sacrifices military families make," Thompson said. "In [the Office of the Secretary of Defense] and across the services, we've been working hard to build programs and support services that are responsive to the needs of our military families.

"We look to the conference as a time to solidify awareness of these programs, to improve communication across disciplines and provide an opportunity for professional growth and development," she said.

Thompson said the conference will be one of three this year that will focus on family readiness. The next conference will focus on the needs of families with young children, and the third will address support to families with special needs.

American Forces Press Service will cover the family readiness conference for Defense Department news and the department's "Family Matters" blog.


Oshkosh Corporation, Oshkosh, Wisc., was awarded on August 26, 2009 a $ 280,919,717 5 year firm-fixed-price contract to purchase 2,568 Medium Tactical Vehicles plus Ordering Tear (OY) 01 Program Support, OY 01 data, additional care and storage, component first article test, first production vehicle inspection test, production verification test, live test family medium tactical vehicles winch, armor B-kits, and federal retail tax on subject contract. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wisc. with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. TACOM LCMC Warren, AMSCC-TAC-ATB, Warren, Mich. Is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0159)

PAE Government Services, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., is being awarded a $47,502,557 modification under a previously awarded cost reimbursement, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N33191-07-D-0207) to exercise Option 2 for base operating support services at Camp Lemonier and forward operating locations, i.e., Manda Bay. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $211,375,389. Work will be performed in Djibouti and Kenya, Africa, and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Europe and Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity.

Atlantic Electric, LLC*, N. Charleston, S.C., is being awarded a $14,909,128 firm-fixed-price contract for construction to repair and replace airfield lighting at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans. The work provides for the demolition and replacement of runway lights, guidance signs, taxiway lights with LED, transformers/ pads, all new electrical conduits and circuits, main 5kv feed, control panels, threshold lights, wave off lights, handholds, vaults, helipad lighting system and wind socks. The proposed new construction will also consist of repaving shoulders on Runway 4-22, Runway 14-32, Taxiways A, B, J & K along with adjacent shoulder areas for the purpose of providing positive drainage runoff. Portions of some runway and taxiway areas themselves will require demolition and replacement. Work will be performed in New Orleans, La., and is expected to be completed by April 2011. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with four proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-0762).

Anderson Drace Joint Venture*, Gulfport, Miss., is being awarded a $14,453,279 firm-fixed-price construction contract for construction of a dormitory at Keesler Air Force Base. Work will be performed in Biloxi, Miss., and is expected to be completed by June 2011. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 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 eight proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N69450-09-C-0770).

The Haskell Company, Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded an $11,599,400 firm-fixed-price contract to design and build a headquarters building for United States Joint Forces Command at Naval Support Activity, Norfolk. The multi-story building will contain administrative areas, space for commercial food service vendors, open storage/secret, one sensitive compartmented information facility, conference rooms, data processing areas, storage, and an emergency generator. The contract also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase the cumulative contract value to $16,480,700. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by January 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, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-09-C-5093).

Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton, Ore., is being awarded a $10,750,000 firm-fixed-price requirements contract for manufacture of oscilloscopes to support the general purpose electronic test equipment weapons system. Work will be performed at Beaverton, Ore., and work is expected to be completed by August 2014. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with eleven proposals solicited and three offers received. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00104-09-D-D014).

Stronghold Engineering Inc., Riverside, Calif., is being awarded $9,955,127 for firm-fixed-price task order #0006 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62473-06-D-1057) for design and construction of whole bachelor quarters modernization, Buildings 14 and 15, at Naval Air Station Lemoore. The work provides for the design and construction to repair existing bachelor enlisted quarters, converting 130 rooms from 2+0 to 1+1E bachelor housing standard. The 1+1E module will feature two private sleeping rooms with closet, a shared bathroom, kitchenette, an area for stackable washer and dryer, and telephone, internet, and cable TV capability in each private room. The planned modification is for the associated furniture, fixtures and equipment necessary for a complete usable facility. The task order also contains one planned modification, which if issued would increase cumulative task order value to $11,355,127. Work will be performed in Lemoore, Calif., and is expected to be completed by January 2011. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

CDWG Government Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill., is being awarded a $9,861,119 firm-fixed-price delivery order under previously awarded contract (W91QUZ-06-D-0003) for a quantity of 10,404 General Purpose Laptops for the Operational Forces refresh and includes Logistics Support Requirements (LSR), and 2 year extended warranty for a total of five years. Delivery of equipment is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 27, 2009, thirty days after receipt of order. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. A mini competition was conducted for this delivery order between eight contractors via a posting to the Army Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions, Army Desktop and Mobile Computing contract holders, and six proposals were received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

THR Enterprises, Inc.*, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded $9,357,000 for firm-fixed price task order #0005 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract for the construction of a child development center at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. The child development center facility will support 305 children. The task order also contains two unexercised options, which if exercised would increase the cumulative task order value to $9,474,000. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-06-D-6009).

F and T Joint Venture*, Prospect Heights, Ill., is being awarded $6,850,645 for firm-fixed-price task order #0002 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N69450-08-D-1297) for renovation of a fitness center at Naval Air Station Meridian. The work provides for an addition to the existing fitness center to include a new area for aerobics and two racquetball courts; installation of a complete fire protection system; replacement of the roof; replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system and extension of HVAC service to the existing basketball court area; renovation of the existing restroom, shower and locker areas and upgrade electrical and data circuits and demo/construction to meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection requirements; design-build construction of a standalone pool facility which includes pool, decking, fencing, splash pad, locker rooms and bath facilities, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, pool mechanical and chemical storage; resurfacing and striping of two tennis courts, and installation of a jogging track. Work will be performed in Meridian, Miss., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Hess Corporation, Woodbridge, N.J. is being awarded a maximum $21,291,328 firm fixed price contract for electricity. Other location of performance is Newport, Rhode Island. Using service is Navy. There were 50 proposals originally solicited with five responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va. (SP0600-09-D-8027).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Integrated Systems Sector, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $13,423,877 modified contract for Global Hawk engineering, manufacturing and development activities to develop replacement of the current engine turbine with its commercial variant. At this time, $6,313,284 has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the contracting activity. (F33657-01-C-4600, P00316)

Harris Technical Services Corporation, Colorado Springs, Co., was awarded a $10,000,000 modified contract for operations, maintenance, and logistics support to Air Force Space Command's 50th Space Wing. At this time the entire amount has been obligated. 50 CONS/LGCZW, Schriever AFB, Calif. is the contracting activity. (FA2550-08-C-8011,P00032)

Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio was awarded a $9,227,662 modified contract to conduct studies and analysis required to protect Air Force and Department of Defense personnel and based against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear hazards. At this time, $743,961 has been obligated. 55th Contracting Squadron, Offutt AFB, Ne. is the contracting authority. (SP0700-00-d-3180)

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Inc., Rockville, Md., was awarded an estimated $7,127,725 modified contract to support the Instrumentation Radar Support Program and provides serviceable radar components and subsystems and technical field support for instrumentation radar of the C and X band families located ibn25 ranges in the United States and in five foreign countries (United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and Australia). At this time no funds have been obligated. 45 CONS/LGCZR, Patrick AFB, Fl., is the contracting activity. (FA2521-07-C-0009, P00117)

OPNET Analysis, Inc., Bethesda, MD, was awarded a $7,518,206.16, firm-fixed-price contract consisting of one one-year base period and four 1-year option periods. The solicitation was issued as an other-than-full-and-open competitive action pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1). One solicitation with one amendment was issued and posted on FedBizOps with one offer submitted in response to the posting. Performance will be at the Defense Information Systems Agency National Capital Region (Arlington VA) and is for OPNET software support services. OPNET Analysis, Inc. is a large business. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, National Capital Region is the contracting activity (HC1047-09-C-4020).

Kennedy Burial Steeped in Military, Personal Symbolism

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 28, 2009 - Twenty-six years ago, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy received a dire letter from a member of his Massachusetts constituency. A poor Boston woman with flagging health was pregnant with her first child. Unable to afford health care, her letter was a plea for the coverage she desperately needed. Kennedy personally responded.

"She might not have even had kids," Army Sgt. John Kenney said of his mother. "I might not be here today if it wasn't for him."

As Kenney narrates the circumstances surrounding the "high-risk" birth he survived, he crosses his arms and bears a tattoo with "Boston" scrawled in block letters across his right forearm. But tomorrow, the sergeant's ink homage will be obscured by the sleeves of his Army dress uniform, his hands covered with white gloves.

Kenney, a member of an elite team of military members, will lay his hometown hero's remains to rest at Arlington National Cemetery here.

"When I heard he was being buried down here, my first thought was: 'I have to be on that team,'" he said.

Despite any sense of personal connection or the prominence associated with the senator, Kenney and other members of the "casket team" assigned to overseeing the senator's remains from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., agree that their focus on their mission will be unwavering when duty calls.

This level of precision is customary throughout the military traditions will be evident throughout ceremonies honoring Kennedy, as the services join the nation in bidding farewell to the "Lion of the Senate."

Splashed on newspaper front pages across the country today were images of steadfast servicemember pall bearers leading Kennedy's flag-draped casket to a procession that departed yesterday from Hyannis Port, Mass., where the senator succumbed to his battle with brain cancer Aug. 25. The procession then traveled to Boston, where Kennedy will lie in repose until his funeral Mass and burial here.

Kennedy's coffin will arrive tomorrow afternoon at Andrews Air Force Base, where Kenney and the seven other members of the team will prepare the casket for a motorcade bound for Arlington National Cemetery. At the cemetery, a separate casket team and its commanding officer will assume responsibility. Teams are jointly composed of members of each military branch, with Army members hailing from the the 3rd Infantry Regiment, or "Old Guard."

The senator's coffin will be enshrouded in a U.S. flag, with the blue field over his left shoulder. The custom began in the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when a flag was used to cover the dead as they were taken from the battlefield on a caisson.

Kennedy's service in the Army and his tenure as an elected official made him eligible for burial at the nation's most hallowed military cemetery. But Kennedy's contribution to the U.S. military endured long after he left the Army.

The senator was a vocal 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.

Graveside military honors will include the firing of three volleys each by seven servicemembers. This commonly is confused with an entirely separate honor, the 21-gun salute. But the number of individual gun firings in both honors evolved the same way. The three volleys came from an old battlefield custom. The two warring sides would cease hostilities to clear their dead from the battlefield, and the firing of three volleys meant that the dead had been properly cared for and the side was ready to resume the battle.

In keeping with tradition, an Army bugler will play "Taps," which originated in the Civil War with the Army of the Potomac. Union Army Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield didn't like the bugle call that signaled soldiers in the camp to put out the lights and go to sleep, and worked out the melody of "Taps" with his brigade bugler, Pvt. Oliver Wilcox Norton. The call later came into another use as a figurative call to the sleep of death for soldiers.

In a final gesture, the surviving members of Kennedy's family will receive the flag that draped the senator's coffin.

As with all military burials in which he's participated in the past two years, Kenney said he is striving to achieve technical perfection during the ceremony.

"We try to get it so the family says, 'I'm so proud how they honored our loved one,'" he said. "We go into doing the same thing we do with every funeral, and that's to give them their last honors."

But in a moment of introspection, Kenney revealed the personal symbolism underlying tomorrow's ceremony.

"It feels like it's come full circle," he said. "He helped me get here, and I'm going to see him out." (To comment on this article or if you have questions, e-mail John J. Kruzel at

Navy Announces Delay of Environmental Impact Statement for East Coast Landing Field Sites

The Navy announced today that it will delay the expected release of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) that examines five sites in Virginia and North Carolina for an outlying landing field (OLF) to support training for aircraft stationed at and transient to Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and Naval Station Norfolk.

The environmental planning which would lead to a decision to establish an OLF has been a challenging process. Various delays have pushed the OLF timeline to the point that it will now coincide with the commencement of the EIS process for homebasing of the F-35C Navy Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). As NAS Oceana is the East Coast master jet base and the home for the F/A-18 C/D aircraft, the Navy will likely consider whether it should be identified as a potential candidate site for the JSF.

Including JSF data in the OLF EIS will ensure the Navy incorporates all relevant factors in the analysis in a fiscally responsible manner. The National Environmental Policy Act process will inform the Navy and provide the public access to all information necessary to understand and comment upon the potential environmental effects of the proposed action.

The Navy has been exploring the development of an OLF since 2000 and will continue to work closely with the Congress, state and local officials, and the public to determine the best possible site. The Navy will continue to fully consider environmental impacts and remain transparent throughout the process.

Media may direct queries to the U.S. Fleet Forces command (757) 836-3600.

Guardsman Lauds Employer for Military Support

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

Aug. 28, 2009 - The past five years have been "the most exciting, dynamic and rewarding" of Brad Sams' professional career, not because of his success as an attorney, but because of the military opportunities his employer has enabled him to pursue, the Air National Guard major said.

"They create a culture that celebrates my involvement and service to this nation, its ideals, its dreams for a better world," Sams said of his employer, the Marks, O'Neil, O'Brien and Courtney law firm in Wilmington, Del.

The firm is recognized as one of the nation's most supportive employers of National Guard and Reserve troops, and was recently announced as one of this year's 15 recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the government's highest honor given to employers for outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

Sams was born in Kentucky but spent his childhood in Ontario, Canada, with dreams of serving in the U.S. military, he said. He vacationed in Kentucky and Cincinnati every year as a youth and decided to move to the area permanently when he was 20 to attend Ohio State University, he added. He also enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard and later was commissioned in Delaware's Air National Guard.

"Ever since I was a small child, vacationing every year in the Cincinnati/Kentucky area, where all my extended family lives, I wanted to join the U.S. military in some capacity and serve my nation," he said.

Between service in the Ohio and Delaware Air National Guards, Sams has accrued more than 20 years of military service. But the most gratifying of those years has come with the support of his current employer, he said.

"The work environment I enjoy every day leaves no doubt regarding the patriotism of the firm's partners and my colleagues," he said. "This has been the most exciting, dynamic and rewarding period of my professional career."

Sams has been called away for military duty an average of five weeks a year since he's been with the law firm, he said. And although the time away may not seem like much, 25 weeks of absence in five years can be a challenging load for a small, 23-person law firm. While Sams is away for military training and school, it takes time from several other lawyers and paralegals to pick up the slack, he added.

"Leaving for extended periods of time each year has its challenges in terms of coordinating personal and professional responsibilities," he explained. "The ease with which [the law firm] and all the staff allows me to transition back and forth removes any burdens and provides me with a level of support unparalleled. Even other deployed members are amazed when I share with them."

Sams and his family receive full health care, dental and life insurance benefits as well as pay and vacation compensation from his law firm while he's activated. The firm's support of the military extends beyond Sams and the one other Guardsman it employs. The firm is extremely active in its advocacy of all military members, he said.

About two years ago, Sams got his office involved in Delaware's "Stockings for Soldiers" program. Since then, his firm has donated financial support and volunteer hours to the program, which provides toiletries and supplies to deployed troops, he said.

"It's just another amazing piece in [the firm's] establishment of a culture that is completely devoted to those who serve -- not just to me as an employer, but also all those members unseen overseas -- despite having no personal military connections themselves," he said.

"I am honored and privileged to serve my country as a uniformed member," Sams added. "I am equally honored and privileged, indeed blessed, to have stumbled upon an employer who takes service to country as seriously and vigorously as I do."

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve 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.

Navy Historian Traces Rise of Piracy

By Judith Snyderman
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 28, 2009 - Pirates often are in the news for their criminal activities at sea, but their antics are far from new. Pirates have been around since man first took to the high seas, and a type of sea raider known as a privateer made a mark between the 15th and 19th centuries.

Michael Crawford, a senior Navy historian, traced the rise of privateering and touched on strategies to combat modern pirates during an Aug. 24 "DoDLive" bloggers roundtable.

"A privateer is a private man of war who has a license from his sovereign government to attack the ships belonging to citizens of a country with which he is at war," Crawford said. "If he does capture an enemy ship, he has to go through all the legal requirements; he has to bring the ship into port and have it tried in an admiralty court."

Crawford traced the rise of privateering to the 15th century, when members of the merchant marine appealed to their kings after losing property in attacks at sea. The monarchs issued them letters of "marque and reprisal," giving them permission to retaliate and recoup their losses.

The use of privateers eventually expanded from peacetime to wartime, Crawford said. "The kings realized they could take advantage of these private merchant men who had armed ships to supplement their navies."

Privateers played a key role in the War of 1812, he said. Crawford estimates that the U.S. State Department issued a few thousand privateer ship commissions during the conflict with activity centered around Boston and Salem, Mass., and in Baltimore. The Baltimore privateers used highly maneuverable schooners and deployed them in pairs, Crawford said.

"One of these Baltimore clippers would go off and try to distract the British warships that were guarding the convoy of merchant men, and while that privateer was occupying the protecting ships, the other privateer would swoop in onto the merchant men and try to pick off as many of them as it could," he explained.

As a result, Crawford said, "the attack on Baltimore was, in large part, because the British hated the city for its role in sending out the privateers, which were actually doing a lot of damage to British commerce."

International conventions drafted in the 19th century effectively ended the recognition of privateering as a legitimate form of warfare. However, pirates continue to attack commercial and naval ships and to threaten regional security.

On Aug. 26, Navy officials reported that Somali pirates aboard a hijacked ship fired at, but did not hit, a Navy helicopter from the USS Chancellorsville. Somali pirates hijacked the Taiwanese-flagged Win Far vessel in April and have since used it as a "mother ship" to conduct attacks, including an attack on the U.S.-flagged Maersk-Alabama in the Indian Ocean south of Garacad, Somalia.

Meanwhile, Dutch Navy Commodore Pieter Bindt, commander of the European Union counter-piracy task group, visited the Combined Task Force 151 flagship USS Anzio at sea earlier this week to discuss counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

About 30 ships from 17 nations are taking part in missions to deter, disrupt and suppress acts of piracy off the Somalia coast.

"Piracy is a threat to the security of all nations," Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, task force commander, said. "We are committed to continuing operations with our naval counterparts to create a lawful maritime order and deter acts of piracy activity here."

The strategies used to fight privateers in centuries past still hold true today, Crawford said.

"One is you can't fight pirates with large warships. You have to have ships that have shallow drafts that can go in and chase the pirates close to shore," he explained. "And the other thing we learned is that it's best to hit the pirates in their shore facilities. It's easier to stop their depravations ashore than it is to do it on the high seas."

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