Thursday, November 19, 2009

Obama Leads Troop Rally at Osan

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Terri Barriere
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - More than 1,500 airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines from throughout South Korea had the opportunity to hear President Barack Obama speak, for the first time in Korea, at a troop rally here today. Obama said he stopped here en route home from a weeklong Asia trip to reaffirm the enduring alliance between the U.S. and South Korean governments. "This is an alliance rooted in sheer sacrifice, common values, mutual interests and a mutual respect," he said. "And as we look to the future, with a shared vision of our alliance in the 21st century, I made it clear America's commitment to the Republic of Korea will never waver and our alliance has never been stronger."

The president noted that though the reason for his visit was business, it would not be complete without visiting the troops. He had a message to deliver.

"I couldn't come to the Republic of Korea without coming to see you and delivering a simple message -- a message of thanks to you and your families, because of all the privileges of serving as president, I have no greater honor than that of serving as commander in chief of the finest military the world has ever known," he said.

The security that allows families to live in peace in both Asia and America, the prosperity that allows them to pursue their dreams and the freedoms they all cherish have not been accidents of history, the president said.

"It is no exaggeration to say the progress that we see, not just in Korea, are provided by generations of American men and women in uniform, and has transformed the lives of millions of people," Obama said. "Many people have to wait a lifetime to see the difference they made, but you see the life of your service, and you have only to look around. Like generations before you, you've helped keep the peace, ... working with the wonderful people of the Republic of Korea as they forged a reliable alliance."

The president said that the alliance has seen South K
"Backed by our alliance, the Republic of Korea has taken on a leadership role -- promoting security and stability around the world, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the waters off the Horn of Africa and Eurasia, helping prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction - and that makes us all more secure," he said. "And that too, is part of your legacy."

However, he noted, that legacy did not come without sacrifice, a price the president said he recognizes few Americans will ever truly be able to understand.

"I want to assure you that every American appreciates what you do," Obama said. "I say to you today, on behalf of the American people, 'Thank you for your service. We honor your sacrifices, and just as you fulfilled your responsibilities to your nation, your nation will fulfill its responsibilities to you.'"

Before wrapping up his visit, Obama thanked Army Gen. Walter "Skip" Sharp, U.S. Forces Korea commander, for working to normalize tours in Korea, a feat he said will help to provide more stability and security in the region.

"This is a day that stands out in history for not only Osan, but the Republic of Korea," said Air Force Col. Thomas Deale, 51st Fighter Wing commander. "President Obama made it a point to come to Korea and commend the servicemembers here for what they do best - being ready to fight and win. ... I am proud to be their commander, and proud to present their accomplishments to our president."

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Terri Barriere serves with the 51st Fighter Wing public affairs office.)

Wife Succeeds Husband on Deployment

By Air Force Senior Airman Stephen Linch
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - He was there, and then he was gone. It was just a glimpse on the night of Oct. 31. She continued to exit the C-130 Hercules that had just landed at an air base here, still scanning her surroundings to see if it could be. Then she saw him again. Her face lit up as she joyfully greeted her husband at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing reception area. Although she was ecstatic to see her husband for the first time in six months, Air Force Capt. Kieran Dhillon-Davis, the newly arrived chief of the wing's mental health services, didn't come here to see him. She came to take his place.

Her job is to ensure mission readiness by providing mental health services such as individual therapy, tobacco cessation aid and suicide awareness training to airmen and soldiers. She also focuses on behavior change and on stress and anger management.

Her husband, Air Force Capt. Luther Dhillon-Davis, the departing chief of mental health services, soon would return to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, the couple's home station. But for now, he was focusing on managing the hand-off and preparing his wife for a successful stay.

"I was eagerly anticipating her arrival," he said. "I was and still am excited to get to share with her this transition."

Over the next 14 days, he facilitated the transfer by seeing patients alongside his wife, providing her with continuity, detailing location-specific information and showing her around the wing. He noted how grateful he was to spend time with her over the changeover period, saying it was the "closest thing to a traditional mid-tour break," they would get.

The couple became acquainted when 23-year-old Kieran Dhillon enrolled in a neuropsychology class on the nature of emotion in the summer of 2002, after seeing 24-year-old Luther Davis's name on the class's roster at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif.

Over the next four years, Luther Davis would create a holiday for his college sweetheart: "Blue Day," named after her favorite color and a commemoration of their engagement. Both would join the Air Force and start their residency, and they would combine and hyphenate their last names in a wedding ceremony at a winery in Temecula, Calif.

They celebrated their third wedding anniversary separately on May 28, shortly after Luther left for his deployment.

They knew there would be sacrifices when both entered the Air Force. The couple agrees that getting deployed back-to-back is not an ideal situation, but they are learning to deal with the challenges it brings.

"I've had to learn how to be supportive without being there physically," admitted Luther, a 31-year-old Wichita Falls, Texas, native.

When the couple informs people of their situation, the response they normally receive is, "Geez, that sucks! Why couldn't they work something different?" he said.

Kieran explained that their career field is critically undermanned, and constant deployments have left a shortage of airmen capable of deploying. They agree the situation could have been far more stressful if they were deployed to separate locations.

As their two-week overlap drew to a close, the couple sat beside each other, smiling, laughing and getting lost in somber moments of silence -- moments that soon were ended by the realization that the KC-10 Extender was waiting on the ramp to take him home, and the two would have to say goodbye again.

In the upcoming months, Luther will re-integrate into the 82nd Medical Group and serve the airmen of Sheppard Air Force Base, and Kieran will continue to hold the line as the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing's only clinical psychologist.

Reflecting on her husband's departure, the 30-year-old Redland, Calif., native said she has only the mission at hand on her mind, and plans on "doing what I have been called out here to do, just like everyone else."

The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing provides intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and aerial refueling in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

(Air Force Senior Airman Stephen Linch serves with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs office.)

Gates Supports 'Contiguous Training' for Reserve Components

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - While admitting initial reservations, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told a National Guard conference today he sees benefits of a new plan that allows reserve-component servicemembers to conduct pre-deployment training before the clock starts ticking on their 12-month mobilization cycles. Gates told the National Guard Bureau Senior Leadership Conference he wasn't initially a fan of the so-called "contiguous mobilization" plan he approved earlier this month at the Army and National Guard leadership's request.

The plan authorizes reserve-component members to conduct pre-deployment training – frequently by amassing scheduled annual training and weekend drill periods into a block period – without counting it as part of their official mobilization cycles.

The exception to policy will last for one year as the Defense Department studies its impact and effectiveness, Gates said today.

Gates emphasized that he remains committed to the 12-month mobilization policy he instituted for reserve-component members, and thought long and hard before approving the contiguous mobilization plan.

"I really wrestled with this, worried our soldiers would see it as breaking faith with my decision in January 2007 to limit mobilization to 12 months," he said. "But I was persuaded that contiguous training may lead to improved combat preparation for our reserve-component servicemembers."

He said he also realized that contiguous mobilizations would support another goal: giving Guardsmen and reservists more predictability about deployments.

"I was told that, by grouping training [periods] together immediately before federal mobilization, the reservists, their families and their employers may realize more stability and predictability within the deployment cycle," he said, prompting the audience to jump to its feet in broad applause.

"Thank you for that," he told the group. "It truly was a difficult decision for me."

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the group the new policy is designed to reduce the "churn" within reserve-component members' lives as they balance their military and civilian obligations.

"I worry about Sergeant Jones sitting at the table in his civilian capacity with his family looking at their future, having some predictability, along with the employer," Mullen said.

Gates thanked the leaders who brought the issue to his attention, and said he was gratified by the deliberate process, with well-considered solutions, that led to his decision.

The Defense Department will gather information during the next six months or so to support an analysis Gates said he hopes charts a "clear way ahead" about whether to continue contiguous training.

Gates and Mullen both emphasized the need to build more predictability about deployments and "dwell time" at home between deployments for the Guard and reserve.

Expanding the active Army's end strength will translate into less demand – and stress – on the National Guard, Gates said.

The secretary emphasized the long-term need for support networks established for reserve-component members during their deployments and after they return home.

"You have made great strides in all of these areas to reduce stress and improve quality of life for the force, but don't let up," he said. "Our current engagements will keep forces on foreign soil at some level for years to come."

Both Gates and the chairman praised the multiple roles the National Guard has played, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as at home in responding to natural disasters and security threats.

"We could not have done it without you," Mullen said.

"Please convey to your Guardsmen my thanks for their significant contributions to our national security," Gates said. "The service Guardsmen render to the nation and the cause of freedom around the world represents the best America has to offer."

'Real Warrior' Helps Others Get Help

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - Sheri Hall could tell something was wrong with her husband, Army Maj. Jeff Hall, at the hangar during his welcome home ceremony. "His eyes were dead," she said. It should have been a joyous time. The major was returning from his second deployment to Iraq at the end of 2005. He had been with a military training team with the 3rd Infantry Division. He went from Fort Stewart, Ga., to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La.

But he was having problems. One boss told him he exhibited "visceral anger."

"I do know I was trying to correct a lot of deficiencies physically," he said. "I've had nightmares. I was distant from my family, and I had thoughts of killing myself."

But he coped, letting the anger build up for two and a half years. "I went through 28 rotations at the JRTC, and I finally said, 'I can't do this any more,'" he said.

Hall expected "the hammer" from his boss, he said. Instead, his boss got him the help he needed. He was accepted for a three-week treatment program at the Deployment Health Clinical Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here.

As part of the treatment, doctors checked Hall out thoroughly. They discovered old injuries from his airborne days and a new back injury he incurred in Iraq charging through what he called "the only oak door in Baghdad." They started a regimen to help him deal with the pain of these injuries, which, he said, "helped with everything else."

The program had group therapy in the morning followed by one-on-one sessions with a therapist. He asked, and the other soldiers in the group agreed, for Sheri to be involved.

"It was kind of a cry of desperation on my part," he said. "I was trying to hang on to my family, even though I thought I'd already lost them."

Including Sheri led to what the major said was the best part of the one-on-one sessions, when the therapist told him to "shut the hell up and listen to my wife," he said. "I had just tuned her out," he added.

People have to want to get better, Hall said. "You learn coping mechanisms, and I learned I wasn't alone in the process."

He also learned his reactions to the stress of combat were normal. "They keep telling you it's a normal reaction to abnormal things," he said. "They made this very clear."

The Halls have two teenage daughters. "They knew something was going on," Sheri said. "It was not the father they knew." She said she tried to shelter the girls as much as possible, "but kids are really smart, and they knew a lot more than they let on."

Following the treatment at the clinic, the Halls went back to Fort Polk, and Jeff eased back into work. "I was able to function again at the JRTC," he said.

With the help they got at the clinic they are better able to deal with the depression and anger, Sheri said. "We also started having more fun together," she said. The two are high school sweethearts from Oklahoma.

After he got help, Hall reached out to the soldiers he commanded in Iraq to get them help, too. Some have gone through the Walter Reed clinic. Others were worried that getting help "would ruin their careers and cause them to lose their security clearances," Hall said.

Then representatives from the "Real Warrior" program contacted him. The program aims to take the stigma away from receiving mental health treatment by encouraging servicemembers to seek treatment. It involves a series of public service announcements by servicemembers describing what they have gone through and how they got the help they needed.

"I wanted to help guys who want to keep their career, but don't know how to," Hall said. "I'm here to say there is a way to do it."

Sheri also is featured in the ads, and she wants families to know what is available.

"I want to help him get his message out, but I also want to see that families are taken care of," she said. "We suffer through [post-traumatic stress disorder], too."

Hall is now with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

Gates Welcomes New German Defense Minister

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates welcomed new German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to the Pentagon today. Guttenberg was appointed as Germany's defense minister Oct. 28, replacing Franz Josef Jung. After meeting with Guttenberg in the Pentagon, Gates told reporters that he and his German counterpart "agreed to consult on a frequent basis on common challenges we face as close allies, particularly in Afghanistan."

Germany, which has more than 4,000 troops in Afghanistan, is the second-largest contributor to Afghan National Police training, Gates said. Germany also is the third-largest troop contributor to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Gates added, and the fourth-largest provider of civilian-development assistance.

Gates said he congratulated Guttenberg for Germany's continued leadership and steadfast response to increased violence in northern Afghanistan. Guttenberg recently returned from a visit to Afghanistan.

Gates said he and Guttenberg welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel's initiative with British and French counterparts to convene an international conference on Afghanistan in January.

Other common issues, such as the new NATO strategic concept, Iran, and advancing nuclear nonproliferation, also were part of today's discussion, Gates said.

The German government yesterday approved a one-year extension of Germany's troop deployment to Afghanistan, according to news reports. Guttenberg said he told Gates today that Germany's commitment regarding Afghanistan "is firm."

Guttenberg said he and Gates also discussed the need for NATO to continue as an instrument for international security.

The German defense minister thanked Gates for welcoming him to Washington, noting he would meet the U.S. defense secretary again tomorrow at a security conference held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Asked by a reporter if Germany would boost the number of its forces in Afghanistan, Guttenberg replied that his country would maintain the current number of about 4,500 troops.

Guttenberg said his government is awaiting President Barack Obama's decision regarding the way ahead in Afghanistan. Germany, too, is concerned, he said, about allegations of corruption within Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's government.

Karzai, who was elected to a second five-year term, today pledged to address the corruption issue at his inauguration ceremony in Kabul.

"We will see what will be the result of it," Guttenberg said of Karzai's vow to attack corruption. "We need more than just words; we need action also in Afghanistan, by the Afghan government."

Meanwhile, Guttenberg said, Germany is awaiting developments regarding potential change in U.S. strategic policy in Afghanistan, the Afghan's government's resolve to fight corruption, and the outcome of the international conference on Afghanistan in January.

Germany "will certainly reassess its mandate" regarding its troop presence in Afghanistan and make decisions after the conference, Guttenberg said.

"We can use all the help we can get," said Gates, noting 43 countries contribute troops to the mission in Afghanistan. However, he cautioned against speculation about potential troop plus-ups by other nations engaged in Afghanistan.

Until Obama announces his decisions regarding Afghanistan, Gates said, any guesswork about other nations' troop contributions "is probably premature."

Guttenberg said he believes that Germany is an equal partner among the coalition nations engaged in Afghanistan. "Togetherness is the basis for any success in Afghanistan," he said.

Sailors Seek to Deter Piracy

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew A. Hepburn
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - USS Chosin, home-ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, has assumed the role as flagship for the counter-piracy efforts of Combined Task Force 151 after arriving in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. "We're extremely well equipped to support this mission," said Navy Capt. Timothy Smith, the ship's commanding officer. "An Aegis-class cruiser has an awful lot of capabilities to search and identify, perform command and control operations, collect intelligence and maintain communications related to counter piracy."

Early in the deployment, the Chosin crew sighted a suspicious group of small boats called "dhows," and within 10 minutes coordinated and intercepted with the crew of the Italian frigate Lebeccio. The two ships operated in close quarters and coordinated all operations to ensure the safety of the boarding team.

"There is an extraordinary level of communication and cooperation among all of the nations conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden," said Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, commander of Combined Task Force 151. "Because of our close cooperation with the European Union, NATO and independent navies, we've been able to prevent several suspected pirate attacks."

The presence of coalition navy vessels in the region demonstrates a commitment to regional security and stability. To continue to counter and deter piracy, commercial shippers, regional governments and the international community must compliment coalition efforts, task force officials said.

Combined Task Force 151 was established in early January and has a mandate to deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. It includes naval forces from the United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Australia and Turkey.

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew A. Hepburn serves with the Combined Maritime Forces public affairs office.)

Task Force Teaches Mental Health Classes in Philippines

By Navy Lt. j.g. Theresa Donnelly
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - Members of the Camp Navarro General Hospital and the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines chaplain team concluded three days of teaching crisis intervention management techniques to more than 50 care providers at the Philippine armed forces Western Mindanao Command yesterday. The classes focused on the hidden scars of the battlefield -- the psychological wounds that affect many servicemembers. Participants included hospital staff, volunteer Red Cross workers, Philippine soldiers and spouses of Marines in combat operations.

"Some of our deepest wounds of war are in our hearts, our souls and our minds," said Col. Jose Johriel M. Cenabre, chief of staff for Western Mindanao Command. "We must find effective treatments for these wounds. We may not be wounded in violence, but wounded inside."

The class was taught jointly by Camp Navarro General Hospital psychologist Lolina Necesario Bajin and task force chaplain assistant Air Force Master Sgt. Rose Gould.

Gould, an Air Force reservist, has more than 20 years of experience working with military trauma victims, and helping people in her civilian career deal with the impact of humanitarian crises, critical incidents and war zones at the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants.

Seminars focused on several aspects of combat stress, from psychological first aid for manmade disasters to family crisis intervention. One seminar focused on how to explain to a child the appearance of their parents after being wounded on the battlefield.

The intent of the class, task force officials said, was to train select members who will then go back to their respective units and teach others. All participants received a packet with all the training materials, including copies of the lectures, videos and handouts.

This is the first time the joint special operations task force and the hospital staff have worked together for this type of training, officials said, adding that the team hopes to have more seminars to help those who provide care for others.

Many of the participants expressed their appreciation for the seminar and the help it has provided for them.

"We can now take what we have learned and conduct our own training ... for all those who were unable to attend," Bajin said. "This training is so important, because there is so much happening here in terms of disasters, armed conflict and manmade incidents, and we have to know how to effectively respond."

At the course's end, participants received graduation certificates and an increased understanding and best practices on how to treat the psychological effects of war effectively.

"It's easy to identify and appreciate the sacrifice of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen when they bear visible physical injury from the execution of their duty," said Army Lt. Col. David Smith, the task force's chief of staff. "However, it is much more difficult to identify mental injuries. The need to provide care to people with these types of problems is very real."

At the request of the Philippine government, the joint special operations task force works in partnership with the Philippine armed forces in a variety of subject-matter exchanges, humanitarian missions and construction projects in the southern Philippines.

(Navy Lt. j.g. Theresa Donnelly serves with the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines public affairs office.)

Army Guard Leaders Key to Ready, Capable Force, Director Says

By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 19, 2009 - The quality and readiness of the Army Guard is in the hands of its senior leadership, the Army Guard's top officer told more than 2,000 officers and senior noncommissioned officers here today. "Historically, the National Guard has always been responsible for manning the National Guard, and that has not changed," said Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard, who spoke at the National Guard's first-ever Joint Senior Leadership Conference.

Pointing out the "absolutely tremendous" accomplishment of recruiters and retainers in meeting the Army Guard's end strength in 2009, Carpenter told those gathered that the component's level of readiness and quality of its ranks this year were the highest in its modern history.

"The readiness inside your formations, out there in hometown America, is better than it has ever been in terms of people we are bringing in and the people who are coming to drill," he said.

The Army Guard's end-strength goal for fiscal 2010 is 358,200 soldiers.

Carpenter told the audience that finding quality recruits in hometown America to maintain that end strength will become increasingly challenging.

Tying the future of the nation's youth with the future of the Guard, Carpenter called on leaders to continue their engagement in programs that mentor and assist the nation's growing percentages of troubled youth.

He pointed out the success of the Guard's community programs, including the Patriot Academy, Youth ChalleNGe, About Face, Partners in Education and Forward March, as well as many other programs in the states and territories that support hometown America.

"We live in these towns, and if we don't [help] solve the problems [of this nation] we will also be the benefactors of what we have not taken care of," he said. "I applaud all of you for what you are doing."

Carpenter also said that one of the greatest success stories in his more than 42-year military career was the rebuilding of the NCO corps of the Army.

The NCO corps of the Army National Guard is a strategic asset to this nation, he said.

The Army and the reserves celebrated their enlisted forces in 2009, calling it the "Year of the NCO."

In the last 11 months, the Army Guard sponsored many events paying tribute to the competence, qualifications, experience and leadership that NCOs provide the Army Guard every day, he said.

"It has truly been a great year of the NCO," Carpenter said. He asked the audience to stand and applaud NCOs in all service components.

"Next week, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a time to count our blessings," he said. "I would hope that as you give thanks, one of the blessings you count is the modern day National Guard and Army National Guard. It's truly a treasure, and that treasure is the soldiers, families, friends, communities and employers who are on-point for this state and nation."

(Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith serves in the National Guard Bureau.)

Shinseki Urges Guard Leaders to Spread VA Message

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

Nov. 19, 2009 - The National Guard can play an important role in helping to spread the news about the Veterans Affairs Department's new programs to veterans in their communities, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki told a National Guard conference just outside the nation's capital today. Despite a long list of successful new programs this year, only about one-third of the nation's veterans have taken advantage of the services, Shinseki told more than 2,400 participants in the National Guard's first Joint Senior Leadership Conference at the National Harbor.

"We want them to know that VA is here," Shinseki said. "If you have the opportunity to talk about what VA offers, I appreciate some help here, and if you need help getting a VA representative to speak with veterans in your communities, call and we'll provide someone to do that. But I do need your help."

Shinseki highlighted some of VA's efforts this year to enhance education benefits through the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the department's efforts to end homelessness among veterans and to reduce veteran unemployment.

VA has the nation's largest integrated medical system, with 153 health care centers with affiliations with 102 university medical schools, the secretary said. VA's electronic health care records also are networked with nearly 800 community-based outpatient clinics in the United States, and VA operates 232 veteran centers, including mobile clinics, to reach veterans in rural areas, he added.

Nearly 300,000 civil servants man VA's health, benefits and national cemetery administrations to provide care and services for those who've served, Shinseki told the group.

In addition, he said, VA is the eighth-largest life insurance enterprise, with more than $1 trillion in coverage to more than 7 million clients. In education, VA is behind only the Department of Education in education benefits provided to Americans, with an annual payout of $9 billion a year. Also, VA guarantees about 1.3 million home loans with a balance of $175 billion.

But of the 23 million veterans in the United States, Shinseki said, fewer than 8 million are enrolled in VA programs.

"In purely business terms, that would describe a 30 percent market penetration," Shinseki said. "Veterans are our clients, so caring for veterans and providing them the services and benefits they have earned is VA's sole reason for existing, yet 70 percent of our market chooses to go elsewhere for support, or they do without."

With support from the National Guard, Shinseki said, he is certain more veterans can learn about what VA has to offer. It's the business of VA to make sure veterans get the benefits and services they've earned, he said.

"It's our intent to go after that 15 million part of the population that are not enrolled with us," he said.

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 20, 2009

Valero Marketing & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas is being awarded a maximum $118,035,840 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for aviation turbine fuel. Other location of performance is in Corpus Christi, Texas. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. The original proposal was web solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Oct. 31, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SPO600-10-D-0460).

Accenture National Security Services, LLC, Reston, Va., is being awarded a maximum $22,753,881firm fixed price, FSS blanket purchase agreement contract for integration and management support of supply chain systems and into the Enterprise Business System. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Logistics Agency. The original proposal was web solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Nov. 19, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, Pa., (SP4701-10-A-0001).

DRS Systems, Parsippany, N.J., is being awarded a $22,488,322 modification to previously awarded contract for the DDG 1002 low voltage power distribution system and associated engineering services for use in the Navy's Integrated Power System Land Based Test Site. Work will be performed in Milwaukee, Wis. (70 precent), Johnston, Pa. (28 precent) and High Ridge, Mo. (2 precent), and is expected to be completed by 30 September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-4206).

Terex Corp., Fredericksburg, Va., is being awarded a $9,320,871 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract to exercise an option for 27 heavy maintenance crane production units, which will be used for aircraft maintenance and component removal and replacement (engines, transmission, propellers, rotor blades, etc.) in support of the AV-8, C-130, CH-53, V-22, E-6, P-3, and H-46 aircraft. Work will be performed in Waverly, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in December 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-06-C-0459).

BAE Systems, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $7,152,343 firm, fixed-price contract for the 75-day post shake-down availability (PSA) for Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Wally Schirra. The contract includes options that, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $8,304,545. Work will be performed at BAE Systems, Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed within 75 calendar days. Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year 2010. This was competitively procured with an unrestricted solicitation posted to the MSC, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities web pages. Three offers were received. Military Sealift Command is the contracting activity (N40442-10-C-3003).

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Mass., is being awarded a Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity Cost Plus Fixed Fee contract in the amount of $5,566,768 for engineering services in support of platform and payload integration department. Work will be performed in Woods Hole, Mass, and is expected to be completed by November 2014. The contract was competitively procured with one offer received via Navy Electronic Commerce Online. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport, R.I., is the contracting activity (N66604-10-D-0002).

Northrop Grumman of Clearfield, Utah was awarded a $31,086,219 contract which will provide for the Remote Visual Assessment Program in support of the ICBM security modernization program. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Utah is the contracting activity (F42610-98-C-0001).

USO Targets Military Women With Care Packages

By Ian Graham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 18, 2009 - The USO has changed a lot in 68 years and today marked another milestone in the group's history of supporting the military when it sponsored a care package service specifically for female servicemembers. While previous USO care packages were unisex, containing little sundries from home – snacks, magazines, toiletry items – the new line of female-specific packages contain items specifically requested by servicewomen such as cosmetics, moisturizers and special soaps.

In a ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building here, Congress members joined servicemembers and volunteers, including Dr. Jill Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in stuffing the "for women only" packages.

"I've seen firsthand how acts of kindness and service can improve the life of a servicemember," Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, said. The Bidens' son, Beau, a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard recently returned from service in Iraq.

"Thank you to the USO for giving Americans a concrete way to give back to our men and women in uniform," she added.

USO President Sloan Gibson said he planned to have 2,000 packages prepared at the ceremony.

The USO of Metropolitan Washington began preparing care packages for servicemembers in 2002, he said, and will soon send its 2 millionth package abroad.

Pelosi applauded the many legislators and staffers who came to celebrate and contribute to the USO effort, noting that when it came to the well-being of servicemembers, party lines disappeared.

"It's not about any one of us here," Pelosi said. "It's about all of us, and the work we can do to support our troops."

Congressman Silvestre Reyes, a Vietnam veteran, said the USO was the only link to home that he and his fellow soldiers had when they were in the war zone.

"It's a connection the troops can have to home when they are, as you can imagine, under some of the harshest conditions in the world," he said.

He added that if there was any doubt about women's roles in the military, they've been answered. Women in the services make us proud, and like any other servicemember before or after them, "they make it possible for us to be here today," he said.

Donna Lagani, publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, said her company was "thrilled" to contribute to the USO's new effort. Cosmopolitan donated thousands of magazines to be included in the care packages.

"Our slogan at Cosmo is 'Fun, Fearless, Female,' and I can't think of any more fearless females than the ones in the military serving on the front lines," she said.

The care packages contained many items typical in care packages for servicemembers: hand wipes, sanitizer and food products, but also contained two cosmetic products courtesy of Maybelline.

Deborah Marquardt, vice president of marketing communications for Maybelline New York & Garnier, said even in a war zone, women like to be themselves.

"We want to support the brave women in uniform and we know how important the little things in life are -- beauty," she said. "Women intrinsically understand beauty and it can change their whole outlook to get a new lipstick or a mascara. Women like to feel like women no matter where they are and what context. I think anything that helps you feel like yourself and reminds you of back home and gives you confidence ... is important, no matter what the context."

Women make but about 15 percent of the active duty military, and about 18 percent of the National Guard and Reserve.

(Ian Graham is assigned to Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media Directorate. C. Todd Lopez with Army News Service contributed to this report.)

First Lady Honors Military Women, Vets

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 18, 2009 - First Lady Michelle Obama today cited Army Staff Sgt. Amy Krueger, one of 13 killed during the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, as an example of the determination and courage that has characterized women's service to the military throughout U.S. history. Obama, who hosted about 130 military women and veterans to tea at the White House today, remembered Krueger's response when her mother told her she could not track down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden singlehandedly.

"Watch me," replied Krueger, who enlisted in the Army after the 9/11 terror attacks.

"That phrase, 'Watch me," sums up the spirit of our women in uniform throughout our history," Obama told her guests.

"When others doubted you, or dismissed you, or questioned whether you could endure the training or complete the mission, that was your response, 'Watch me," she said. "Watch me succeed. Watch me risk everything I have for the country I love. Watch me do my part to protect this nation and protect this union. Watch me."

Obama joined Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, in honoring military women, many who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and others whose service dates back to World War II.

Retired Air Force Wilma Vaught, president of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc., board of directors, had suggested the idea of a White House tea – a tradition popularized by Eleanor Roosevelt -- during the first lady's recent visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

So as Vaught and the other guests in the White House East Room sat around tables with vases of yellow roses and plates piled high with party sandwiches and cookies, Obama recognized women's long tradition of military service. Some served before the country's independence, she noted, and in many cases, before women had the right to vote or own property.

They overcame challenges through sheer determination and hard work, the first lady said, serving as role models for those who followed in their footsteps and breaking one "brass ceiling" after another along the way.

"Your legacy is more than your own service," she told the women. "I hope you know that your legacy will be measured in the service of every woman who follows in the trails that you've blazed – every woman who benefits from your daring and determination."

It will also be measured, she said, by those inspired by that service.

Biden told the group she and the first lady, in their travels around the country, have been "truly overwhelmed by the courage of our men and women in uniform, and inspired by the dignity and sense of patriotism that you exhibit every day."

"What an extraordinary group of individuals we have here today," she said, noting the women representing all branches and ranks of the U.S. military, as well as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, senior enlisted advisors and others serving the country.

"As each of you knows, women have always played a critical role in supporting our nation's defense and security, and this role will only continue to evolve and grow in the future," Biden said.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano joined Obama and Biden on the podium as they honored the guests.

Cartwright joked that it felt a bit strange for a Marine fighter pilot to sit down for a "spot of tea," but said he welcomed the chance to pay tribute to the strides military women have made and the contributions they continue to make.

"When Eleanor Roosevelt hosted similar events, attitudes were significantly different," he said, adding that, today, women are no longer considered a distinct, separate group within the military.

"Today's women are key contributors to our military team," he said, noting the achievements women have made and critical contribution they have made. More than 200,000 women have deployed since 9/11, more than 100 of them making the ultimate sacrifice.

Cartwright thanked the women at today's tea for their service. "These women represent the core and essential values of our military, and they also represent the true treasure of this nation – our youth and the people who serve," he said.

Navy Lt. Kate Maslowski, assigned to the U.S. Naval Academy as a flag lieutenant for Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler, said she felt overwhelmed to be part of today's event.

"I'm taking it all in, amazed to see so many influential men and women here, and others who have played such a big role in empowering women," she said. "It means a lot to be here. I'm excited beyond words."

Air Force Brig. Gen. Allyson Solomon, assistant adjutant general for the Maryland Air National Guard, said she felt particularly privileged to be among the women veterans who paved the way for today's women in uniform.

She noted two attendees at today's tea: 104-year-old Esther Corcoran, one of the Army's first women lieutenant colonels; and Alyce Dixon, who was born in 1907 and served with the Army's 668th Central Postal Directory Battalion during World War II.

"They're inspiring," Solomon said. "I just want to thank them for all the changes they helped make."

Children's Reactions to Deployment Vary

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 18, 2009 - It is hard to predict how a child will react to having a parent deployed in a war zone, the Marine Corps' family advocacy manager said here today on the last day of the 2009 Department of Defense Child Development Conference. Keita Franklin said she's often asked how children react to war, and she called it a "loaded question," noting that reactions depend on the individual child and any pre-existing vulnerabilities.

Some children do very well, she added.

"What I will tell you is that the normal sort of childhood trials and tribulations of parenting are all cranked up a notch," she told attendees at the conference hosted by the Pentagon's office of military community and family policy.

Children with a deployed parent may become increasingly clingy or whiny, cry more, exhibit aggressive behavior, and have a greater fear of separation, Franklin said. But, she reminded the group, war affects every child differently, and a child's reaction to one deployment will not necessarily be the same reaction he or she has to subsequent deployments.

Researchers have been able to isolate a correlation between repeat deployments and family stressors, as well as with behavioral problems in children, she said. "All of this becomes a 'feedback loop.'"

A child has behavioral problems, she explained, and then another parental deployment causes a higher level of stress, and then the behavioral problems can increase. "So, you can see how the cycle continues," Franklin said.

In addition, a parent's behavior can influence a child's reaction through what Franklin called "transgenerational transmission of trauma" -- children being raised by parents who have been exposed to severe situations of trauma and adopt some of those symptoms themselves.

There's little research on this idea, Franklin said, but some comparisons can be made by looking at the effects of depression on children since traumatic stress and depression often present similar symptoms. And just as the absence of a parent can affect a child, she noted, so can the parent's return, especially if the returning parent is exhibiting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some of those symptoms include irritability, hypervigilance, avoidance or emotional numbness. Early intervention is the key to helping the servicemember cope with those feelings as well as keeping those feelings from affecting children in the family, Franklin said, possibly averting "a full-blown diagnostic issue."

While Franklin's discussion included children of all ages, she read a letter from the son of a Vietnam veteran who was just a toddler when his father returned with signs of what is now called post-traumatic stress. His father was always angry and emotionally detached from the family.

"I share that with you because he says he was a toddler, and toddlers are the age group you are often dealing with," Franklin told the conferees. "Even though this person was a toddler, he's now an adult child reflecting on that experience. So, PTSD does have something to do with the mental health needs of children."

No one understands this in quite the same way as those with the Zero to Three organization.

With the mission of promoting the health and development of infants and toddlers, Zero to Three doesn't interact directly with parents, but rather provides training and guidance to those who do. For military children, the group's focus is resilience, said Colleen Legasse of Zero to Three's military projects department.

"We know that young children feel the spectrum of emotions that adults do [and] that older children do," she said.

She told the conferees that certain changes are normal during a deployment. Some children's eating and sleeping habits change, or they express anger toward the deployed parent. They may even refuse to come to the phone or computer to say hello to the deployed parent, Legasse said.

And much as it is for older children, homecomings aren't always as smooth as the parent or caregiver at home hopes they'll be.

"I think it's important to think of homecomings as very stressful as well," Legasse said.

Depending on the age of the child and the length of the deployment, young military children may have never met their returning parent before. Some may have been so young when the parent deployed that they don't remember them. And if a parent returns injured, temporarily or permanently, it can be traumatic for a young child who remembers Mom or Dad a certain way.

Caregivers can help to ease their young charges' stress by helping them build secure attachments, helping them maintain a schedule and to understand what's happening in an age-appropriate manner, and helping them gauge their reactions to stressful events.

Zero to Three offers resources for caregivers of military children on its Web site.

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 18, 2009

Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc., Monroeville, Pa., is being awarded a $248,787,610 modification to previously awarded contract (00024-07-C-2100) for naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Monroeville, Pa. (95 percent), and Schenectady, N.Y. (five percent). Contract funds in the amount of $326,653 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on naval nuclear propulsion program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Sauer, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded at $14,664,900 for firm-fixed price task order #0004 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N69450-09-D-1274) for Hangar 1552 repairs at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. Work includes reconfiguration of administrative spaces, replacement of hangar heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, structural upgrade to foundations and cladding, complete renovation of bathroom/shower spaces, replacement of hangar doors, repair/replacement of 400 hertz flight line distribution system, replacement of aqueous film-forming foam system and seismic retrofit. Work will be performed in Mayport, Fla., and is expected to be completed by April 2013. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

John Bean Technologies Corp., Ogden, Utah, is being awarded a $12,529,720 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N68335-07-C-0459) to exercise an option for 80 landbased air conditioner production units in support of the C-130, C-40, C-9, P-8, E-2 and P-3 aircraft. The landbased air conditioners will supply conditioned air to aircraft equipment and avionics compartments during ground maintenance. Work will be performed in Ogden, Utah and is expected to be completed in March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Engineering Services Network, Inc., Arlington, Va., was awarded a $47,000,000 contract which will provide information technology consolidated service supporting the 75th Air Base Wing. At this time, $10.3 million was obligated. 75 CONS/PKA, Hill Air Force Base, Utah is the contracting activity (FA8201-10-F-A006).

Northrop-Grumman Mission Systems, Clearfield, Utah, was awarded a $14,700,000 contract which will provide for sustainment support for the Minuteman weapons system. At this time, $13,843,248 has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Utah is the contracting activity (F42610-98-C-0001).

United Launch Services, LLC, Littleton, Colo., was awarded a $9,000,000 contract which will provide for the acceleration of the launch-to-launch time spans of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle launches to preserve the capability to launch the National Reconnaissance Office L-32 mission in October 2010. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. SMC/LRSW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8816-06-C-0002, P00171).

Northrop-Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp.,of Carson, Calif., was awarded a $8,000,000 contract for the Integrated Base Defense Security System which will provide continued support for the acquisition and maintenance of force protection systems, equipment and system requirements. At this time, no money has been obligated. 642 ESS/PK of Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (F19628-03-D-0019, P00028).

Ashland, Inc., Dublin, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $8,128,810 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery and indefinite-quantity contract for fuel system inhibitors. Other location of performance is in Louisiana. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. There were originally 20 proposal solicitations with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jan. 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SPO600-10-D-0750).