Military News

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Total Fitness' Seeks Unit, Troop Effectiveness

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

Oct. 29, 2009 - Being fit to fight in today's military means more than simply being physically fit, and through the concept of "total fitness," Defense Department officials hope to build on what many say already is the most resilient force in U.S. military history. Total fitness strikes a balance between strong minds and bodies, a balance servicemembers today need more than ever, said Army Maj. Todd Yosik, chief of the operational division for the Defense Centers of Excellence, in an interview with American Forces Press Service yesterday.

Yosik echoed recent comments by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top officials, noting that mental readiness has become increasingly important for servicemembers as they continue to deal with the stress of frequent deployments. Even the most optimistic troops have had difficulty staying vigilant over the past eight years in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"This has really challenged even the most resilient and best warriors that we have," Yosik said. "Through the last several years, a lot of very resilient folks have struggled with deployments. Warriors today, probably more than ever before, need to possess more strength and stamina than what we've ever really encountered in the history of our military within the U.S. Defense Department."

A servicemember who is in top physical as well as mental shape will be more efficient and effective and, more importantly, better equipped to sustain the rigors of a variety of tough missions, he explained.

It's not uncommon for troops to carry up to 150 pounds of equipment for days and weeks in an operation. Although the physical toll is great, such servicemembers still need to be as stress-free as possible and able to process their task, he added.

"Total fitness is an emerging concept that integrates not only the physical part of being a warrior, but also the mental part, and also that larger part of having a sense of purpose and being connected to something bigger than yourself," Yosik said. "The bottom line is you can't do it all on your own."

Family, community, emotional strength and stamina are just as important as physical fitness, Yosik said. He said he encourages troops to be open and communicate with their families and units, rather than bottling up their stress.

Also, focusing on good nutritional and sleep habits can lead to positive differences, he said. These practices will culminate into a more well-rounded servicemember and overall force.

"The total fitness concept is really an effort to build on existing strength that are already there to help enhance some of these elements to make warriors stronger, to prepare them better and to help them sustain better," he said, "[and] also, at the same time, enhance their performance and their mission effectiveness."

The Army, Yosik noted, recently began a servicewide program to teach soldiers the value of total fitness. Through its Comprehensive Fitness program, the Army is implementing online and classroom training in individual units and various levels of leadership education. The program began earlier this month to give soldiers a means to evaluate their psychological strengths and improve on their weaker areas. Also, soldiers who are deemed mentally fit through their evaluations learn to educate others.

"Comprehensive Soldier Fitness is a perfect example of a total fitness initiative, and the Army is out in front on that," he said. "It's a commendable effort of bringing together these topics, and that's something that is emerging across the [department]."

As the total fitness idea continues to spread throughout the force, Yosik and others recognize the long-term effect psychological fitness can have on troops. More and more servicemembers are being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Research indicates that untreated psychological conditions can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, problems at home, depression and even suicide. At a joint Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Summit here this week, health care professionals gathered to address the emotional wounds of war.

Gates noted in his keynote address Oct. 26 that more than 6,000 servicemembers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with psychological conditions. Eight years of fighting terrorism in the two countries has impacted the troops, he said, and Pentagon leadership is cautious about pushing troops to their limits.

But through initiatives such as the total fitness concept and the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, Yosik said, the force will only get better.

"The Defense Department is really taking an aggressive stance on mental health and resilience," Yosik said. "That's very telling when you have the most senior person in the [department] saying this is an important thing.

"I think in order to sustain yourself in full-spectrum operations, you really can't separate the two. You can't separate the mind and body, because mental stamina [and] physical fitness are so critical for mission success."

Exercise Seeks Battlefield Information Effectiveness

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 29, 2009 - U.S. warfighters and allies operating in Afghanistan and Iraq depend on various sensor platforms that can provide information about the enemy's whereabouts night or day, a senior U.S. military officer said today. That's why the annual joint Empire Challenge demonstration, which explores how to improve dissemination of vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to battlefield commanders, is so important, Air Force Col. George J. Krakie, the director of this year's exercise, told American Forces Press Service.

"It's about bringing all these different ISR capabilities together to form a coherent picture for the warfighter of the battle space that's around them," Krakie said. This year's four-week demonstration, he said, was held in July at several locations across the world.

Empire Challenge 2009 was the sixth of the series and the first managed by Norfolk, Va.,-based U.S. Joint Forces Command, Krakie said. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, he said, ran the previous exercises, which are directed by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Senior officials had decided the demonstration needed to be "more operationally realistic and relevant," Krakie said, so Joint Forces Command was directed to take the lead.

U.S. military members from all service branches as well as allied participants from France, Norway, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand took part in this year's demonstration, Krakie said.

Wartime commanders crave situational awareness –- the ability of knowing what is happening around you -- so they can make better, more informed decisions, said Krakie, who is chief of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance integration division at Joint Forces Command's intelligence directorate.

"What we're trying to do for the warfighter," Krakie said, "is to make sure that all the intelligence that is available, whether it be from these ground sensors or airborne sensors, can be brought together, moved around in an enterprise and made available to the warfighter."

However, Krakie said, though unmanned aerial systems can provide analog or high-definition photo imagery and other useful information to commanders, that information quickly loses value if it's not accessible and tailored to users' needs.

"We don't want to 'dump' large amounts of data on the warfighter at the tactical edge and force him to sort through all that data," Krakie explained. "But what we do want to do is to make this data available to them to answer specific problems that they're facing in accomplishing their mission."

Empire Challenge demonstrations also evaluate new technologies -- such as the high-definition full-motion video sensor being considered by the Air Force -- and how they could fit into existing infrastructure, Krakie said.

The high-definition video was impressive, he said, but some allied participants in the exercise had difficulty accessing the information. "That's another piece of the interoperability that we work -- to make sure that these sensors are interoperable" among U.S. and allied forces, Krakie said.

This year's Empire Challenge was conducted at 20 sites worldwide, Krakie said, with scenarios based on lessons learned and case studies that came out of Iraq or Afghanistan.

The main ground demonstrations conducted at China Lake, Calif., took advantage of geographic and climatic conditions similar to those found in Afghanistan. China Lake "had the terrain we wanted," Krakie said, as well as the heat, dust and wind.

Empire Challenge 2010, slated for August, is planned to be of two-week's duration will "be very focused on the battlefield problems that are faced in Afghanistan," Krakie said. "We will do our best to mimic the network and command structure there," he added.

One of the scenarios for next year's demonstration, Krakie said, involves analysis of ISR involvement in joint close-air support missions. The focus in that area, he said, is to see how ISR capabilities can help to improve combat effectiveness while minimizing civilian casualties and reducing the likelihood of fratricide.

MILITARY CONTRACTS October 29, 2009

AIR FORCE
MWH Americas, Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., and ARGO/LRS JV of Glen Burnie, Md. were awarded a $3 billion contract which will provide primarily environmental requirements that include completion of a conceptual design, construction, implementation, demolition, repair, and operation and maintenance of installed systems prior to delivery to the government. At this time, $3,000 has been obligated for each prime contractor. AFCEE/ACV, Brooks City-Base, Texas is the contracting activity (FA8903-10-D-8573; FA8903-10-D-8551).

Lockheed Martin Corp., of Fort Worth, Texas was awarded a $474,200,000 contract which will provide for the issuance of full production of four F-22 Lot 10 air vehicles, alternate mission equipment, production engineering support and work in process through Aug. 11, 2009 for 16 shipsets of raw material aircraft fuselage titanium. 478 AESG/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity (FA8611-09-C-2900,P00007).

Lockheed Martin Corporation of Marietta, Georgia was awarded a $13,200,000 contract which will provide initial funding for the delivery of an engineering change proposal for the replacement of the C130J Star VII mission computer. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 657 AESS, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8625-06-C-6456)

NAVY
Harris Corp., (RF Communications Division), Rochester, N.Y., is being awarded a five year $90,000,000 ceiling firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract resulting from Request for Proposal No. M67854-09-R-7028 for up to 3,385 multi-band radio vehicular installation kits. Work will be performed in Rochester, N.Y., and is expected to be completed October 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively awarded, with one offer received. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-10-D-7000).

Airborne Tactical Advantage Co. LLC, Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $43,514,490 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0021) to exercise an option for contractor owned and operated type III high subsonic and Type IV supersonic aircraft (approximately 2,800 and 1,000 flight hours, respectively) in support of the Commercial Air Services (CAS) program for the Navy. Efforts to be provided include a wide variety of airborne threat simulation capabilities to train shipboard and aircraft squadron weapon systems operators and aircrew how to counter potential enemy electronic warfare and electronic attack operations in today's electronic combat environment. Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., (45 percent); Point Mugu, Calif., (35 percent); and various locations outside the Continental United States, (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 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 Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $19,067,850 undefinitized not-to-exceed contract for procurement of the MK 698 guided missile test sets (GMTS). This contract action initiates the procurement of MK 698 GMTS, that will be used to support production, testing and interim level maintenance work for the Evolved SEASPARROW missile sonsortium consisting of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, and United States. The United States and Turkey will fund the effort under this contract. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., (79 percent); Charleston S.C., (13 percent); Irvine, Calif., (8 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2012. 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, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-07-C-5431).

Bell Aerospace Services, Inc., Bedford, Texas, is being awarded a $13,199,152 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity time and materials contract to provide up to 145,152 hours of contractor engineering technical services on-site proficiency training for the airframe, avionics, and electrical systems of the H-1 aircraft. Work will be performed in Camp Pendleton, Calif., (53 percent); Cherry Point, N.C., (11 percent); New Orleans, La., (9 percent); New River, N.C., (9 percent); Johnstown, Pa., (9 percent); Okinawa, Japan, (5 percent); and Atlanta, Ga., (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $4,381,074 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0007).

General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, Marion, Va., is being awarded a $10,382,683 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for antenna reflectors for the AN/SPG-62 antenna; a component of the AEGIS weapon system. Work will be performed in Marion, Va., and is expected to be completed by October 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $650,460 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-GR39).

Lockheed Martin Corp, Maritime Systems and Sensors (MS2), Manassas, Va., is being awarded a $7,378,662 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-04-C-6207) to exercise a cost-plus-incentive fee/award fee option for the procurement of TI08 Tech Insertion for Virginia Class (SSN 774) modernization and spares in support of the Acoustic Rapid Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Insertion (A-RCI) system improvement and integration effort program. A-RCI is a sonar system that integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other ship sensor processing, through rapid insertion of commercial-off-the-shelf based hardware and software. Work will be performed in Clearwater, Fla., (60 percent); Manassas, Va., (40 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Sector, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $5,695,624 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-07-C-0055) for the design and development of Airborne Precision Guided Positioning System (PGPS) algorithms in support of the X-47 unmanned combat air system demonstration program. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed in September 2013. 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.

ARMY
Lear Siegier Services, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md., was awarded on Oct. 23, 2009 a $140,682,292 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is to provide for the Iraq maintenance and tire repair program maintenance, supply and logistics support for the theater provided equipment add on armor modifications and enhancements, upgrades and installs, fragment kit 7, tire assembly repair program, security, standard depot system/Army war reserve deployment system and property book unit supply enhanced support. Missions are assigned to the 1/402nd Army field support battalion in Iraq. Work is to be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 23, 2014. Fifteen bids were solicited with three bids received. U.S. Army Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W911SE-07-D-0008).

Weeks Marine, Inc., Covington, Lo., was awarded on Oct. 26, 2009 a $61,810,000 firm-fixed-price contract. The work consist of dredging approx., 6.8 miles of navigation channel and the design and construction of five new dredged material placement area including the proposed Shoal Point Pas 2,3,4, and 5, and the Pelican Island placement area. In additional work will include levee repair and rehabilitation, levee raising and shore protection for two upland Pas 5 and 6. The levee repairs consist in general of restoring the levees to conditions prior to Hurricane Ike. Levee improvement includes levee raising and shore protection. Work is to be performed in Galveston County, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Mar. 30, 2011. Three bids were solicited with three bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W912HY-10-C-0004).

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, Conn., was awarded on Oct. 26, 2009 a $8,713,631 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Red Stick Program will develop and demonstrate health prediction technologies for modern combat aircraft. Work is to be performed in East Hartford, Conn., (88.3 percent), Lovettsville, Va., (2.3 percent), Birmingham, Ala., (4.3 percent), with an estimated completion date of Apr. 30, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with over 25 bids received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0002).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
McDonnell Douglas Corp., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $51,000,000 firm fixed price, sole source contract for ceiling price order for the procurement of twenty-three line items in support of the fiscal year 2010 requirement for the EA-18G program. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. There was originally 1 proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (N00383-06-D-001J-TH05).

Direct Energy Business, Pittsburgh, Pa. is being awarded a maximum $11,628,229 firm fixed price contract for electricity. Other locations of performance are Tobyhanna Army Depot, Army - Carlisle Barracks and Defense Distribution Depot, New Cumberland. Using services are Army and DOD installations. There were originally 107 proposals solicited with seven responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is January 31, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-10-D-8000).

BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle, Sealy, Texas is being awarded a maximum $7,821,543 firm fixed price, sole source contract for heater comp housing for MRAP vehicles. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy and Air Force. There were originally two proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 8, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Columbus, Columbus, Ohio (SPM7L2-10-M-0056).

Analyst Warms Hearts With Magic

By Marine Corps Cpl. Katie Densmore
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 29, 2009 - The ability to mislead an audience and make them believe the impossible is a skill few possess. A good magician leaves the audience with a sense of awe and mystery and the lingering question, "How did he do that?" For Bill Frost, the site lead simulations analyst with the School of Infantry East at Camp Geiger, part of the Camp Lejeune complex, his road to becoming a magician started in an unusual manner.

A martial arts practitioner since the age of 3, Frost met a man 20 years ago who would introduce him to a new love.

"I met Bill in Nashville, Tenn., in 1989," said Special Agent Gary Thomas, with the FBI office in Houston. "At the time, we were both training under the same [martial arts] master. I showed him a coin trick, then a card trick." One trick changed Frost's perception of magic and made him hungry to learn more.

"He showed me a magic trick that blew my mind," Frost said with grandiose gestures, smiling as he began to recall the beginning of his magic career. "I had seen tricks before, but I couldn't figure out how he was ripping and repairing things."

Thomas agreed to teach Frost magic if he, in turn, taught him martial arts. This sparked an unusual partnership that led to them starting the "Magic and Martial Arts Show."

"We started part of the time doing close-up magic tricks," Thomas said. "We would come out in our martial arts uniforms and perform Kung Fu forms and techniques. Afterward, we did the magic show. It was great. Everyone loved it, and it was just a lot of fun."

As a beginning magician, Thomas said, Frost had a natural talent and a rapport with the audiences that made the shows a success.

"From the beginning, it was definitely there," he said. "It was just amazing for someone who had never done it before. It's all about presence, dexterity and showmanship. You have to have these things to mislead the audience and not make it look lame."

From the first magic trick Thomas taught him, Frost immediately began making the tricks his own.

"After he sees something, he electrifies it and charges it up," Thomas said. "He was always wanting to innovate. If I taught him a trick, he would always have to put his own spin on it. He was always thinking of ways to add the martial arts into the magic for more flair, like using the martial arts to cut somebody in half. That's just his personality as a whole."

But when Frost turned 18, the two would part ways, as Thomas joined the FBI and Frost joined the Marine Corps. But they remained in touch.

"My guidance counselor was very disappointed I enlisted in the Marine Corps," Frost said with a sly look as he recalled the disappointment on his counselor's face. "I had a choice to go to [the U.S. Naval Academy], but I chose to enlist and join the grunts. I knew I wanted to serve my country. I wanted the hardest thing to do. I guess being into full-contact fighting, I was looking for the most aggressive thing to do."

During his time as a Marine, Frost was attached to the 2nd Marine Division's Company L, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. There, he was able to do training missions with the South Korean marines.

"We were training in the mountains, and it was very tough," Frost recalled. "It is just so different to see how other people live with so little, but are so rich in spirit."

Later in his 10-year career, Frost took a position as a combat instructor at Marine Combat Training Battalion East, and he re-ignited his passion for performing magic. He'd never lost his love for magic, and he revitalized that love by raising money for a ball.

"I really got back into magic when I told the colonel I wanted to do a magic show as a fundraiser for [Marine Combat Training Battalion]," he said. "I told him I would do everything. We sold out and made enough money to donate the extra to the USO. Afterward, I really got to thinking, 'That was really fun.' I got to raise money for a good cause, and I really enjoyed doing it."

Around that time, Frost decided to leave the Marine Corps.

"I am glad I left the Marines," he said, pausing to reflect on a difficult, but necessary choice. "I got to go have more fun and choose how I use my talents. Every time I tried to leave the Marine Corps, there was a connection. I had to get out. It was holding me back from pursuing my talents. But I didn't want to leave the Marines, so I stayed in the area and eventually got a job on base."

This allowed Frost to be close to the Marines and continue serving as a civilian.

"Everything I do is centered around some type of service, whether it is teaching people, training people or putting a smile on their faces," he said.

However, Frost knows that he will someday have a tough choice on whether he wants to stay here or continue on with his magic on a larger scale.

"I know one of these days I will have to make a decision to stay with my job on base or leave to pursue something else," he said. "I have connections with magicians in Las Vegas and around the [country]. I am working slowly to get to the national level."

(Marine Corps Cpl. Katie Densmore serves at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.)

2009 Visual Information Awards Program (VIAP).

The deadline (15 February 2010) is fast approaching for the annual Visual Information Awards Program (VIAP) competition year 2009. The competitions are open to enlisted active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel of all the armed services, including the Coast Guard, holding the occupational specialty code (MOS, NEC, or AFSC) of graphic artist, photographer, journalist, photojournalist, broadcasters, videographer, mass communicator or equivalent. The VIAP encompasses the Military Photographer of the Year (MILPHOG), Military Videographer of the Year (MILVID) and the Military Graphic Artist of the Year (MILGRAPH) competitions.

The registration process is very simple and can save time and increase efficiency. Those wishing to compete in MILPHOG and/or MILGRAPH can also submit their entries electronically (For those wishing to FTP their MILGRAPH entries to the competition, please contact the competition coordinators at milgraph@dinfos.dma.mil for the FTP url, username and password.) Those wishing to compete in MILVID must register, enter VIRIN, caption, category and other pertinent entry information online, but must FTP their MILVID entries to the competition, please contact the competition coordinators at milvid@dinfos.dma.mil for the FTP url, username and password. DINFOS will accept the registration page and caption page printed directly from MMES in lieu of an Entrant Data Form and/or Motion Media Caption Sheet as specified in the SOP.

Entrants must begin by filling out a registration form at http://viap.dinfos.dma.mil/
Once registered, entrants will be issued a username and password that can be used to access the entry system to submit entries, review and modify information about entries, and modify registration information. The MMES automatically generates extremely cryptic passwords, so to eliminate future conflicts, follow the following directions: type the password in a text editor (so you can see what you are typing), verify that it is correct, and then copy and paste the password into the login prompt on the MMES. Once in the system, use the "change password" utility to change your password to one that is easier to remember. If you are a returning entrant and do not remember your username and/or password, contact the competition coordinator for your information. Contact information can be found at http://www.dinfos.dma.mil/events/viap/index.asp. Entrants using the system may only view and/or edit their own entries. MMES will open 15 Dec 2009 and close at 2359, 15 Feb 2010.

For details on the competition visit, refer to the VIAP SOPs which can be viewed at http://www.dinfos.dma.mil/events/viap/index.asp.

Please send any comments or questions to lisa.hennessey.ctr@dinfos.dma.mil.

H1N1 Vaccine Order Includes Enough for National Guard

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
Special to American Forces Press Service

Oct. 29, 2009 - The Defense Department has acquired enough doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine to immunize all 460,000 members of the National Guard, officials announced today. The supply will go out to the Guard through the Army Medical Materiel Agency, said Army Lt. Col. Dawn Barrowman, chief of occupational health for the Army National Guard.

All states have ordered the H1N1 injectable vaccine through the agency, which is the same way that states order the seasonal flu vaccine.

Army Guard officials in two states, Arkansas and Indiana, plan to use the Department of Health and Human Services allotment procured by their state, said Army Col. Rob Brown, the Army Guard's chief surgeon.

For Air Guard personnel, the H1N1 injectable vaccine has been ordered through the active duty host base, using the same method and guidance as for the seasonal flu vaccine, said Air Force Capt. Tonya Moser, chief of medical logistics for the Air National Guard.

Shipments of the Defense Department vaccine are scheduled for the second week of November, but "exact dates will differ from state to state," Brown said.

The Defense Department has acquired 2.7 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine, which may be allocated to active duty members, reservists, Guard members, Defense Department civilians and essential contractors, according to a department memorandum.

Despite its availability this way, Guard members are encouraged to get the vaccine through the "most expedient route," Barrowman said. This includes registered H1N1 providers or a HHS source.

Army Guard members who receive a H1N1 vaccine from another source are strongly encouraged to provide the documentation to their unit's medical readiness noncommissioned officer, Barrowman said, so the Army Guard can track the number of soldiers who have received the vaccine.

The vaccine will be mandatory for uniformed personnel and highly encouraged for all others, according to a Defense Department memo. Priority would be given to deployed and deploying forces, new accession sites, including the service academies, and health care personnel.

Brown said the vaccine was produced by the same companies that made the seasonal flu vaccine, and it went through strict quality assurance inspections by the Food and Drug Administration before it was approved for release to the public.

He emphasized the H1N1 vaccine is the best and most effective way for people to protect themselves.

Brown also encourages Guard members to take everyday actions to stay healthy, including:

-- Covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze;

-- Washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing;

-- Avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth, because germs spread that way, and;

-- Staying home if they get sick.

(Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Office Seeks Balance Supporting Current, Future Warfighters

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Oct. 29, 2009 - It's a fine balancing act for the office of the Pentagon's director of defense research and engineering: how does the department fulfill the needs of today's warfighters and the needs of servicemembers a generation from now? The office has several functions, director Zachary Lemnios said during an interview with American Forces Press Service. One is to prepare for an uncertain future by investing in science and technology across the department. Another function is to find ways "to take early results from the science and technology community and quickly transition them to the warfighter," he said. A third function, he added, is to improve early technology testing activities to control cost, schedule and risk in Defense Department acquisition programs.

"My mantra for this organization is innovation, speed and agility. We're trying to innovate at speed with a lot of agility," Lemnios said.

This signifies a cultural shift in the organization, which in the past focused more on future capabilities.

"Everyone wants to get capability into the hands of those in theater as fast as possible," he said, "but the building doesn't always work on those coordinates, and we're trying to work it in that direction a bit."

The effort has the absolute endorsement of combatant commanders and the secretary, Lemnios said, and brings together the service science and technology community and agencies such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The office cannot stand by when servicemembers are putting their lives on the line fighting two wars, and the director called getting new capabilities to warfighters "a contact sport."

"We need to find ways to work with acquisition and science and technology organizations inside and outside the department to identify those core capabilities and find ways to transition them to use," he said.

The classic example is the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle. The vehicle went from a combatant command request in 2004 to fielding more than 16,000 vehicles by 2008. Industry ramped up production to 1,200 vehicles a month, and is still projected to produce 1,000 MRAPs in December.

"It's a stellar program," Lemnios said, "because it brought the science and technology community together with the combatant commands together with skill sets we had in department to build an entirely new vehicle."

The MRAP is a V-hulled vehicle that mitigates the effects of a roadside bomb. The office worked closely with the Marine Corps Combat Development Center, the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and with Aberdeen Proving Ground to validate the concepts, the director said. "We shortened the acquisition time [and] went through all sorts of new lanes to make that happen, so it didn't take five years to make," he said.

Now the organization is heading a new effort to get all-terrain versions of MRAPs - known as M-ATVs -- to Afghanistan. This is an entirely new design with much of it done in-house - a break from past practices of taking designs from the private sector. The first M-ATVs arrived in Afghanistan this month, with many more coming.

Another example of getting technology to the warfighters is the recommendation to send A-160 Hummingbird autonomous helicopters to Afghanistan to handle resupply missions to remote forward operating bases. These unmanned helicopters belong to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The A-160s are capable of delivering 1,500-pound cargos and flying 1,700 miles.

A third effort looks to reduce the energy footprint of forward operating bases in Afghanistan. The office sponsored a team in the region to perform an energy survey. "If we can cut down on the number of fuel and water truck drivers, we would help a lot," Lemnios said.

Listening to and dealing with combatant commanders is imperative for the science and technology communities, Lemnios said. "We've got to be cognizant of the needs in the field," he said.

The office must be responsive when combatant commanders submit joint urgent operational needs statements. These are needs that they see as life-threatening or have a significant near-term impact.

"We vet all of those and match what the [combatant commanders] need with what we understand from the [acquisition and science and technology] community," he said.

The office "translates" each community to the other. Lemnios also manages the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell, which matches the combatant commanders' needs with private technologies.

Lemnios has met with five combatant commanders to try to understand the seminal needs that they want to see in place. He asks them what capabilities they would like to have in a perfect world. They need to get beyond the processes, he explained, and look to those capabilities without self-censorship.

The office has connected with the 65 science and technology advisors working for the combatant commands, Lemnios noted. And while the office is working to help warfighters today, it also has a responsibility to maintain the U.S. military's technological edge for the future.

Lemnios' office oversees DARPA, and coordinates research work by the Army, Navy and Air Force laboratory commands. "The role for this office is to [assemble a coherent] strategic plan for the entire scope of investments -- that's people and ideas for the strategic future," he said.

The fight against terrorism will take years. "The key is to find a way to use advanced technology as a force extender and a lever," Lemnios said. It also is about identifying potent new technologies, he added, noting the value of unmanned aerial vehicles on today's battlefields.
"There was no requirement for UAVs 20 years ago," he said.

The organization is working to take core ideas and move them out of the science and technology realm and into acquisition. The budget for science and technology is growing by a few percent each year, Lemnios said. "The growth is healthy and appropriate," he said.

The office stood up a systems engineering directorate targeted at helping major defense programs through the milestones. These experts also will study the early architectural trades for a system.

"Seventy to75 percent of a system's cost is determined before Milestone A," Lemnios said. "Once you lock down the system architecture, you've essentially nailed the program cost.

"It's like building a home," he continued. "You want to spend a lot of time with the architect and the builder up front so you minimize the changes downstream. Every one of those change orders cost you a bundle."

Lemnios opined that the next big technology breakthrough may have to do with "our ability to communicate with systems in a very natural way."

"We will be building systems that really do have cognitive abilities to understand the user - whether it is a computer system or whether an information system or a robotics system," he said.

Some systems already approach the ability to mimic human language understanding, and in some cases learning and reasoning, he said. "So you can think of, for example, a computer that you can have a conversation, and it will respond to you in the correct tone, or even perhaps with gestures."

This technology exists to some extent today, he said. "Within five to 10 years, you will see robotics systems you actually interact with at the human scale," he predicted. "That's going to be a revolution."

Managing vast amounts of information is another problem technology must address, Lemnios said.

"So if you look in theater today, ... it is trying to manage enormous sensor data, working with multinational troops and do it in a way that is time critical, that is persistent across large areas," he said. "Trying to manage that info and find the hidden features in large data sets. If we could really build information systems that allow the analyst to interoperate with that data in a natural way, it would have a huge impact."