Military News

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 27, 2009

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
AmeriQual Group, LLC D/B/A AmeriQual Packaging, Evansville, Ind., is being awarded a maximum $177,835,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Humanitarian Daily Ration. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally three proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the fourth option year period. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM3S1-06-D-Z103).

Sopakco Inc., Mullins, S.C.*, is being awarded a maximum $157,296,250 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Humanitarian Daily Ration. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally three proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the fourth option year period. The date of performance completion is December 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM3S1-06-D-Z104).

The Wornick Co., Cincinnati, Ohio is being awarded a maximum $136,881,250 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity contract for for Meal, Ready-to-Eat and Humanitarian Daily Ration. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally three proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the fourth option year period. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM3S1-06-D-Z105).

NAVY
Innovative Defense Technologies, LLC * Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $49,145,248 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed fee contract for software development and engineering services in support of the automatic test and re-test (ATRT) product. This contract will continue development of the ATRT product and associated technical and engineering support to produce documentation and training in support of the long term goal of implementation of automated testing of submarine combat systems for all classes of submarines currently in the fleet and under development. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va., and is expected to be completed by October 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $775,000 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 (N66604-10-D-0037).

Marine Keeps Vehicles Rolling

By Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Luis R. Agostini
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 27, 2009 - Within a week of arriving here, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Gary Mishoe is preparing his motor pool for his unit's takeover of counterinsurgency operations in the province. From preventive maintenance to headlight and tire checks on the unit's Humvees and 7-ton trucks, Mishoe works to ensure his fellow Marines will have safe and operable vehicles throughout their deployment.

Mishoe, a 27-year-old Marine from Virginia Beach, Va., is deployed as a motor transport operator with Regimental Combat Team 7, which will conduct counterinsurgency operations in support of Afghan forces throughout the province.

But his path from Virginia Beach to Afghanistan was not a simple high school-to-boot camp route.

Within a year of graduating from high school in 2002, Mishoe secured a spot on the assembly line at a car assembly plant in Norfolk, Va. His job was simple: assemble drive shafts. The task earned him about $75,000 a year. Life was good.

"I felt very secure. I had a good job, an apartment, bought a new car and had a family," Mishoe said. "I thought I was going to retire there." But four years later, the assembly plant couldn't survive a weakened economy and its effect on the auto industry. He received three months notice that the plant was shutting down.

"I got a $100,000 severance package. But I still needed a job," said Mishoe, who had a wife, toddler and baby on the way.

The Virginian's life revolved around the auto industry as far back as he can remember. His mother had worked at the same assembly line 10 years earlier.

"When I was in high school, I would wash some of my mom's co-worker's cars. I was a kid, washing these people's cars, and then I found myself working right next to them on the assembly line," he said.

Following the layoff, Mishoe traveled up and down the East Coast, securing modeling gigs at New York fashion shows, and eventually following his wife to Atlanta. It was there that he decided to accept a commitment he's always had on his mind: to enlist as a U.S. Marine. He knew the challenge ahead.

"I knew it was going to be hard," he said. "I knew I had to work for it. But I was willing to do it."

Mishoe knew he was enlisting in a wartime Marine Corps, and was fully aware of the chance that he may deploy to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

"I wanted to come out here and do what Marines do," he said. "I've been training since boot camp to do this, and here I am."

Mishoe enlisted Aug. 11, 2007, and after graduating from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., he completed follow-on training at Camp Geiger, N.C., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he learned how to become a motor transport operator.

"Working for Ford was tougher, not because of the job itself, but because of the lack of a team attitude. I was doing the job by myself," he said. "There's a lot more pride in the Marine Corps. If you're struggling, there's always someone to help. There's always that team spirit."

Mishoe looks forward to heading out of the forward operating base and into the country roads, driving convoys and leading Marines.

"I want to learn about the Afghan culture, what they've been through," he said. "I believe that we are helping them in a turning point in their civilization. It's good that we are here."

He also hopes to do some soul-searching.

"The Marine Corps has helped me become a better father, husband and person," he said. "Now, I want to learn about myself, about my limits," he said.

After completing his yearlong deployment, Mishoe said, he hopes to secure a spot at the Marine Inspector/Instructor staff at Chesapeake, Va., about 15 miles from the Ford plant where he used to work. The days of the lucrative assembly line are a distant memory, and the plant's closing may have been a blessing in disguise.

"I'm thinking about the here and now, and the future," Mishoe said. "My prayers were answered. I got what I wanted. I'm a Marine."

(Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Luis R. Agostini serves with Regimental Combat Team 7.)

Shinseki Cites Collaboration in Mental Health Care

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

Oct. 27, 2009 - Psychological war wounds are nothing new to U.S. servicemembers, but the support of the nation to care for their injuries, until recent years, was somewhat uncharted territory. The departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are committed to advancing that care because it's the right thing to do as a nation, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said yesterday when he and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates launched a joint National Mental Health Summit here.

Improving mental health care has become a top priority for both departments, which have made great strides in mental health research, treatment and overall care, respectively. And through this week's summit, they hope to advance their expertise and resources even further.

"Our collaboration with [the Defense Department] is mission-critical, because we share the same clients, the same population, at different stages in their lives," Shinseki said. "There can be no 'seamless transition' or 'continuum of care' without serious and high-quality collaboration between both departments."

The first-of-its-kind summit continues through Oct. 29. Shinseki said he hopes the gathering of more than 200 defense and VA health care professionals will advance both organizations' understanding and spark positive communication in their joint efforts.
"We hope this summit enables us to measurably enhance, strengthen and expand and better coordinate the operating relationships between [our] mental health activities," he said. "We want to ensure a fail-safe network of support for servicemembers and veterans that reaches out beyond the confines of either department."

Post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury have outcomes as devastating as those from physical injuries, and everyone is vulnerable, Shinseki said, noting that both departments are eager to learn how to better address those injuries through various programs and methods.

The debilitating effects of psychological trauma can lead troops and veterans into a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, anger issues, failed marriages and eventually suicide, he explained, noting that more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than the number of servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over that period.

"There is urgency in addressing the mental baggage of war," he said. "Our newest generation of veterans, returning from the ongoing conflicts, is experiencing increased rates of alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence as they undergo reintegration at home. While [Iraq and Afghanistan] veterans comprise no more than 10 percent of all veterans being seen for mental health care, they could be in treatment for a very long time if early intervention, diagnosis and treatment are not priorities."

Shinseki said the summit's work this week holds a profound potential for good. He left the group with three goals as they go into their group sessions:

-- To build on and enhance the current level of mental health care;

-- To maintain advances in mental health by promoting psychological health, enhanced resilience and prevention; and

-- To establish a mental health model that leverages the nation's resources, not just the military's.

"Beyond families, we must look to workplaces, educational institutions, houses of worship and community-based health and other organizations," Shinseki said. "At every juncture of care, we must ask ourselves pivotally: What else can be done?

"Your charter is to think broadly and boldly to envision a future with a unified public health approach to mental health," he continued. "We must translate the most promising ideas and strategies into research, policy and practice."

Army Announces Force Structure Actions

The Department of the Army announced today a series of planned unit activations and conversions at Fort Riley, Kan. These force structure actions will result in a net increase of 288 military authorizations at Fort Riley. Implementation of these changes is expected to be completed in October 2011.

The 3rd Engineer Battalion, 538th Engineer Company, 510th Engineer Team, and 10th Engineer Team will activate and the 1st Ordnance Support Maintenance Company will convert to modular design.

These force structure actions are a part of the integrated force structure changes that support Army transformation. These actions are not expected to change Army civilian authorizations.

Point of contact for this notification is Lt. Col. Lee M. Packnett, (703) 614-2487, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.