Monday, November 23, 2009

MILITARY CONTRACTS November 23, 2009

Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a not-to-exceed $45,041,786 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee task order for prepositioning and Marine Corps logistics support services, under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67004-09-D-0020). Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., and work is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. U.S. Marine Corps, Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Eagan, Minn., is being awarded a $43,988,555 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-06-D-0012) for the upgrade of seven P-3C aircraft for the government of Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales program. This modification in support of the Pakistan Navy P-3C upgrade program will replace the obsolete and unsustainable avionics systems currently installed with modern equipment that provides increased capabilities, reliability and will be sustainable for future operations. Work will be performed in Eagan, Minn. (70 percent), and Greenville, S.C. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Stedman & Dyson Structural Engineers, San Diego, Calif.*, is being awarded a maximum amount $20,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect/engineering contract for structural engineering services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for structural engineering studies and site investigation reports, structural design, preparation of Request for Proposal for design-build projects, fully designed plans and specifications for Invitation for Bid projects, preparation of DD1391 documents, cost estimates, evaluations, construction inspection and construction support services. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including, but not limited to, California (87 percent), Arizona (5 percent), Nevada (5 percent), Colorado (1 percent), New Mexico (1 percent), and Utah (1 percent). Work is expected to be completed by November 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the NAVFAC e-solicitation website with 16 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-10-D-5401).

Valley Tech Systems, Inc., Folsom, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0002); Advanced Integrated Systems, Santa Barbara, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0003); LC Engineers, Inc., Rahway, N.J.* (N68936-10-D-0004); and New Directions Technologies, Inc., Ridgecrest, Calif.* (N68936-10-D-0005) are each being awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contracts for advanced technology products in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Weapons Prototype Division. Products and support to be provided include electronic components and systems, mechanical components and systems, energetic materials and systems, chemical materials and components, fabrication, assembly, plating/painting/finish, and packing and shipping. The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts is $8,166,666, and the companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Valley Tech Systems, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Folsom, Calif.; Advanced Integrated Systems will perform work under its contract in Santa Barbara, Calif.; LC Engineers, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Rahway, N.J.; and New Directions Technologies, Inc., will perform work under its contract in Ridgecrest, Calif.. Work is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were solicited via a multiple award electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set aside, with five offers received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $7,599,582 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0005) to exercise an option for control and guidance section repairs for the AGM-88 high speed anti-radiation missile for the Air Force. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in May 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $7,599,582 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Volvo Construction Co., North, Ashville, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $14,596,158 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for wheel loaders. Other location of performance is Sweden. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. There were originally four proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-05-D-0006-0064).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $9,528,310 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for motor grader. Other location of performance is in Decatur, Ill. Using service is Foreign Military Sales. There were originally three proposals solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Aug. 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-01-D-0059-0395).

US Foods International, Gardena, Calif.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,766,894 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-quantity contract for full line food distribution. Other location of performance is La Miranda, Calif. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and child development center. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jan. 29, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-08-D-3084).

Campbellsville Apparel Co., LLC, Campbellsville, Ky.*, is being awarded a maximum $5,760,000 firm-fixed-price, total set-aside contract for men's undershirts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising option year two of four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Oct. 30, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-08-D-1026).

Contracts Manager Retires After 38 Years

By Debra R. Bingham
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - There's a pair of shoes at Utah's Hill Air Force Base that will be hard to fill. They once belonged to Pamela Day, who retired last week after 38 years of federal service. Day, who most recently served as director of depot-level reparable procurement operations for Defense Logistics Agency-Ogden, was recognized during a Nov. 19 retirement ceremony at Hill Aerospace Museum.

"Finding a professional contracting manager who is Pam's equal in federal government will be difficult, to say the least," said Yvette Burke, acquisition executive for DLA's aviation demand and supply chain, Defense Supply Center Richmond, Va. DLA Ogden is the forward arm of the Richmond supply center at Hill. "Her knowledge, experience, dedication and enthusiastic approach have been invaluable assets throughout her career, and they have been of immeasurable benefit to the warfighters she dedicated her life to supporting."

Burke praised Day for her leadership and willingness to take on challenging missions and accomplish them based on her understanding and steadfast support of America's military men and women.

"After all, the first breath Pam ever took in this world was on a military installation," Burke said, noting that Day was born at Alameda Naval Station in California while her father served in the Navy. "But at heart, Pam is a Utah girl through and through—she was raised in Clinton, graduated from Clearfield High School, and earned her undergraduate degree from Weber State and Park College."

Day began working for the federal government as a supply clerk at the Bureau of Reclamation in 1971 and later became a purchasing agent. Recalling that first job and her subsequent Air Force career, Day said, "I learned that it takes longer to process an environmental statement than it does to complete a source selection – amazing."

In 1976, Day entered the contracting field and began working for the Air Force at Hill, where she has been ever since. She has served in a variety of positions, including contract negotiator; contracting officer; chief of the commodities, services and construction branches in operational contracting; chief of the aircraft contracting division; and as chief of contracting for the aircraft and commodities sustainment wings.

Day distinguished herself on numerous successful department programs, including her work on the Simplified Acquisition of Base Engineering Requirements contract – a pilot program – and the $450 million, multiple-award Remedial Action Contract program. She was an instrumental leader in the A-76 Consolidated Study involving 1,200 full-time employees at Ogden Air Logistics Center. Day played a key role in the $13 billion F-16 Sustainment Contract, managed the first strategic sourcing contract at Hill, and supervised the Decentralized Design Engineering Support Contract – a complex multiple-award contract with involvement from multiple Air Force sites.

"Pam was a key player in the $1.2 billion Secondary Power Logistics Solution, Hill Air Force Base's first performance-based logistics contract," Burke said. "And, most recently, Pam was actively involved in and supervised the administration of the incredibly innovative $1.5 billion Landing Gear Prime Vendor Contract, an enterprise solution used by both DLA and the Air Force to support the worldwide sustainment of landing gear."

Day was hard pressed to pick a favorite assignment, but said she enjoyed working construction and environmental contracts. "F-16 [Sustainment Contract] was at the top of my list. I love being challenged, but also being able to see something from beginning to a successful end," she said.

Day played a key role in the standup of DLA Ogden, which came out of 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law calling for the transfer of supply, storage and distribution and depot-level reparable procurement operations from the military services to DLA.

"DLA Ogden was activated with minimal difficulty and without impact to customers or employees. The standup went off without a hitch thanks in large part to her management and procurement expertise," Burke said.

Under Day's leadership, Burke said, the organization has shown exemplary performance through its 17 months of operations – including two successful year-end closeouts.
"Her keen oversight of Ogden DLR operations resulted in continuous improvements in procurement lead times and overall strategic performance – one of the primary visions of BRAC," Burke said.

Day worked closely with the Air Force to combine procurement efforts, find more savings for the taxpayers and improve DLA performance to keep warfighters flying – and landing – safely.
That sentiment was echoed by Air Force Maj. Gen. Andrew Busch, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander.

"The Air Force and DLA could not have successfully transferred the DLR procurement functions as part of BRAC without Pam's engaged leadership," Busch said. "Ogden was the first of the five DLR procurement sites that Ms. Burke transferred to the aviation demand and supply chain, and Pam's willingness to partner with DLA and work through tough issues was the foundation for the sustained success of the transfer process."

Busch was commander of Defense Supply Center Richmond when Day joined the DLA team, but he knew about her reputation of excellence long before that.

"Pam is widely respected within the Air Force and brought with her a huge amount of credibility that was needed to convince the Ogden team that DLA was a trustworthy partner on this BRAC challenge," Busch said.

In the course of her career, Day was named Air Force Materiel Command's Contingency Contracting Officer of the Year, AFMC Professional Contracting Officer of the Year, Ogden ALC Manager of the Year, Ogden ALC Civilian of the Quarter and Civilian of the Year, and earned the Spirit of the American Woman Professional Award.

During her retirement ceremony, Day was able to add some final awards to the list. Busch presented Day with the Air Force's Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award; Burke presented her with the DLA Distinguished Career Service Award, a Silver Letter from the DLA director, Navy Vice Adm. Alan Thompson, and the Aviation Demand and Supply Chain Commander's Plaque.

Despite her success, Day was humble when it came to taking credit for her accomplishments.
"The job isn't about me – it's about the mission, and if that isn't your focus, you'll make decisions for the wrong reasons, which could lead to poor results. Fortunately, I learned that really early in my career," she said.

(Debra R. Bingham works for Defense Supply Center-Richmond public affairs.)

Top Air Force NCO Visits Canada to Develop Partnership

By Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - The Air Force's top enlisted leader visited multiple locations in Canada in recent days to start building a permanent enlisted professional military education partnership with one of America's closest allies. Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy visited Ottawa, Ontario, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Nov. 17 to 20 in an effort to continue building on the development of enlisted airmen, which Roy has named as one of his top priorities.

During his visit, Roy met with his Canadian counterpart, Chief Warrant Officer of the Air Force René Couturier, to discuss developing a permanent agreement to send U.S. Air Force senior noncommissioned officers to the Canadian equivalent course, Advanced Leadership Qualification.

"We already have a partnership," Roy said. "The Canadian air force has an instructor in our Senior NCO Academy, they send students to our Senior NCO Academy and we have a U.S. Air Force instructor in the Royal Military College. This is the next logical step."

The Advanced Leadership Qualification uses a combination of distance learning and residential training. The distance learning is about 10 days of work over the course of 10 weeks and the residential training is 15 days in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 30 miles outside of Montreal. The course has three modules: leadership and military ethos; national defense policy and national security; and Canadian Forces structure, defense team structure, and general systems of war and conflict.

"This is about a partnership, not just about sending a master sergeant or senior master sergeant to a school," Roy said. "These exchanges help us work together closer as two nations."

The exchange also is important because of the close working relationship the two countries have through the North American Aerospace Defense Command partnership.
"This enhances our ability to defend our homeland," said Chief Master Sgt. W. Allen Usry, who helped coordinate the trip and serves as command chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

The goal is to eventually develop an exchange at the NCO level by sending U.S. airmen to the Canadian Intermediate Level Qualification and sending Canadian airmen to one of the U.S. Air Force NCO academies, Roy said. This will help get maximum return on investment since the servicemembers will have up to 20 years left in their respective services.

"NCOs are a good target because they can develop a relationship early so when they are in Kandahar [Afghanistan], they can work with a friend," Couturier said. "The benefit isn't the different curriculum. The biggest benefit is the exchange between the students. The curriculum facilitates that exchange."

The two countries will be working in the coming months to look at curriculum to make sure the classes are equivalent, said Chief Master Sgt. Brye McMillon, the Air University command chief and a visitor on the trip. The Canadian air force already is looking into accepting Senior NCO Academy as an equivalent for its course and has the instructor exchange in place, said Chief Master Sgt. Alex Perry, Senior NCO Academy commandant and a visitor on the trip.

The United States and Canada already have a history of enlisted professional military education partnerships. The United States sent two National Guard airmen through Primary Leadership Qualification, the Canadian version of Airman Leadership School.

(Air Force Master Sgt. Adam M. Stump serves in the Office of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.)

Health Care Gains Recognition as Bridge to Stability

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - A theory gaining momentum among counterinsurgency and military medical experts is that the health of a nation's people affects the health of a nation. While no formal study has confirmed a causal connection, evidence culled from U.S. commanders as well as American allies and adversaries, suggests a correlation between health and stability. With the Defense Department's growing emphasis on stability operations, a better understanding of this relationship could help inform U.S. foreign policy.

"It is increasingly recognized that health is a critical bridge to peace and stability around the globe," said Navy Cdr. David Tarantino, M.D., in a presentation on Defense Department stability operations policy. "Health is perhaps the quintessential service among all essential services."

Early recognition of health as a stabilizing factor appears in the Geneva Convention of 1949, which requires an occupying force to contribute to its host nation's health-care infrastructure. Over the following decades, world superpowers including the United States and China and paramilitary groups like the Irish Republican Army and even al Qaida have recognized the strategic role health plays, officials said.

In modern-day counterinsurgency conflicts, where gaining support of the people is the prime objective, one of the crucial aspects is to provide the population essential services that improve quality of life, said retired Army Col. Pete Mansoor, the founding director of the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Mansoor, a professor at the Ohio State University, served as the executive officer to Army Gen. David Petraeus, then commander of Multinational Forces Iraq. He assisted in the strategic planning for the U.S. war effort in Iraq, including the troop surge that is largely credited with increasing Iraq's stability.

"Medical care is among the most sought after resource in this regard, as people worldwide appreciate good health over most other aspects of the human condition," he said in an e-mail today. "In counterinsurgency operations, doctors and other health-care professionals can be as important as soldiers."

Dr. Lynn Lawry, the senior health stability and humanitarian assistance specialist in the Defense Department's International Health Division, characterized health care as a "moderator" of stability.

"If you think about it, health is a basic need like food, shelter, clean water, health-care access --being able to get your kids help," she said in an interview last month. "What the anecdotal evidence points to is that health is really stability."

Lawry described two phenomena that suggest a link: the correlation between infant mortality rates and stability, and the incidence of mortar attacks on an area's health-care infrastructure.

As the stability of an area decreases, Lynn said, there is a dramatic increase in infant mortality, which is defined as the number of deaths of children one year or younger per 1,000 live births. Conversely, improved stability is met with a drop in infant mortality.

"That's a disproportionate marker," Lawry said of infant death rates. "It goes way up, as opposed to some of the other markers. So you can look at infant mortality, and that is directly related to having health-care services as a marker for stability."

Anecdotal evidence from the battlefield also suggests that health care can create stability. Military units in the field that are being shelled with artillery fire have found that medical care has proven to be a defensive measure in some instances, Lawry said.

"They go out into the community and set up some type of medical programming in the surrounding area," she said, noting that such facilities often meets the needs of communities lacking infrastructure to treat women and immunize children. "Then, all of a sudden, the mortars stop."

Evidence from conflict zones like the Gaza Strip, where Hamas' first social priority has been to provide health care, followed by education, and data from the Kosovo War in the late 1990s also suggest a connection, Lawry said.

"If you look at Gaza where there was a huge amount of uprisings and problems, they went in and put in a health clinic basically on every corner and stability ensued," she said. "The same thing happened in the opposite way in Albania where there was lots of health-care services. As health care started dwindling, so did stability."

Navy Lt. Cdr. William J. Hughes, MSC, the program director for contingency planning at the International Health Division, said insurgent groups have long recognized the value of health care in winning popular support.

"Michael Collins of the IRA wrote in his doctrine that if you break down the state and you want to view yourself -- the insurgency -- as the legitimate form of government, then health care is [critical]," he said in an interview last week.

Hughes noted that after the earthquake in Kashmir, the disputed region between India and Pakistan, the first medical unit to respond was one with direct links to al Qaida. "Now there's an adversary of ours who's learned what health can do to an environment," he added.

Hughes noted that countries like Venezuela and Cuba send their doctors around the globe to perform health care, and that China recently converted one of its ships into a floating hospital.

The move by China is similar to efforts by two American vessels, the USNS Mercy and USS Comfort, which travel to impoverished or disaster-stricken countries to provide medical care.

Such "soft power" operations, which emphasize non-military government efforts, have gained visibility with the Defense Department this year, reaffirming a policy directive that puts stability operations on equal footing with major combat operations.

"This directive said that stability operations were on par with major combat operations," Hughes said of directive 3000.05. "Now that's groundbreaking. That's transformational because now when you do that, you say you have to train, equip and fund people to do these kinds of operations."

Hughes said critics expressed concern that the directive, created in 2005, would place the military at the front of America's image abroad, echoing concern that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has voiced about U.S. foreign policy's "creeping militarization." But Hughes said medical workers in uniform are unique in that they often are viewed as "neutral players," with an interest primarily in providing care.

"We have this Hippocratic Oath. It's in our blood to want to care and do good things," he said. "You can provide [health care] and you're not necessarily going to be viewed as an agent of your nation's policies."

Further, Hughes emphasized that the department's International Health Division, which aids the combatant commands in coordinating and carrying out health aspects of the department's stability operations, is concerned primarily with helping partner nations build their own capacity to provide health and maintain stability.

"[Sometimes] we work with the host nation so that we can work ourselves out of a job," he said of the division's mission to train its allied counterparts. "That's what we want to do with stability ops -- we don't want to stay."

Lawry, Hughes' colleague at the division, underscored that no formal evidence-based assessment has been conducted that establishes the link between health and stability.

"But you can say, anecdotally, that's what it looks like," she said. "It deserves a study."

Obama, Mullen Send Thanksgiving Day Messages

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - President Barack Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, released Thanksgiving messages today. Obama recalled that President George Washington proclaimed the first public thanksgiving, and President Abraham Lincoln established the annual Thanksgiving Day holiday to mend the nation during the Civil War.

It is Thanksgiving as a unique American tradition that "binds us together as one people, each of us thankful for our common blessings," the president said.

Obama added, "As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. This is a time for us to renew our bonds with one another, and we can fulfill that commitment by serving our communities and our nation throughout the year.

"In doing so, we pay tribute to our country's men and women in uniform who set an example of service that inspires us all. Let us be guided by the legacy of those who have fought for the freedoms for which we give thanks, and be worthy heirs to the noble tradition of goodwill shown on this day."

Mullen's Thanksgiving Day message follows in its entirety.

"On behalf of the Mullen family, I wish all of you serving in uniform today -- as well as your families -- a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

"We certainly have much for which to be grateful. Today, due in no small measure to your dedication, our nation -- indeed the world -- is a safer place to live. All around the globe and in all manner of ways, you stand a vigilant watch. From Afghanistan to Iraq and a thousand places in between, you help ensure peace and stability in places that have historically known neither. Giving hope to those in need and pause to those who threaten us, you make sure the fight remains on the enemy's doorstep and that lives torn asunder by war and natural disaster are restored and renewed.

"The people you have helped are grateful ... Americans everywhere are grateful ... and I am grateful for your service.

"That service, of course, can and does demand the highest of sacrifices. We should be especially mindful this year of those families who will have one less chair at the table, as well as those who have no chair at all, much less a home in which to keep it. Theirs will be a particularly poignant holiday, and I ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

"We live in a country that doesn't force its young men and women to pick up arms. You do it willingly, even eagerly -- not because you enjoy danger or killing or sacrifice, but rather in spite of those things. You and your families serve and work so hard so that someday perhaps your children and grandchildren might not have to. That is the greatest gift you can give a grateful nation.

"Again, from my family to yours, thank you for all you do."

Army Joins With Mental Health Institute to Study Suicides

By Christen N. McCluney
Special to American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - The Army is collaborating with the National Institute of Mental Health to launch the largest study ever undertaken of suicide and mental health among military personnel. "The bottom line is, we want to apply science in a way that it's going to solve this problem to the benefit of soldiers," Robert Heinssen, NIMH's acting director of intervention research said during a Nov. 18 interview on the Pentagon Channel podcast, "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military."

The institute is partnering with an academic team led by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences that includes researchers from Harvard University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan. The team aims to develop a research agenda and research projects that look at the causes of, and areas for intervention in, a variety of mental disorders.

The project is going to capitalize on the data the Army already collects on servicemembers including training experiences, deployments, exposure during deployment, as well as information about health problems and utilization of health services, Heinssen said.

The first part of the study will look at the records of soldiers who committed suicide between 2004 and 2009, compared to a control group of soldiers from the same period that did not commit suicide, but have other characteristics that would be important for purposes of comparison, he said.

"By doing this kind of case-controlled study where the individual suicides are the cases and the controls are drawn from the rest of the Army, we think that we'll get some early leads on signals that may tell us something about potential risk and protective factors that will help us target the second part of the study, which will be a survey of soldiers who are currently serving in the active duty component," he said.

The survey will be conducted with several thousand soldiers every month over three consecutive years, covering about 90,000 servicemembers, Heinssen said. The investigators also will survey 100,000 new recruits a year over a three-year period and continue to follow them over time, he said.

Studies are a great way to identify risk factors and prevention and intervention practices, Heinssen said. He referenced the landmark Framingham Heart Study where participants agreed to have aspects of their lifestyle and medical conditions followed over time to shed light on the causes of heart disease and strokes, and how to better intervene before problems become critical.

"Our belief is that if we roll out a research program similar in its characteristics to what was done in heart disease, that we will identify risk and protective factors," Heinssen said, adding that such a program will help identify targets for intervention before acute distress leads to suicides.

"The end game here is to be able to intervene with preventive strategies early in the process so that we keep soldiers healthy and robust, and that we interrupt the kind of process that would lead to acute distress and the tragic choices to take one's life," he said.

Project researchers will use an adaptive research design that allows them to re-target the study based on what is happening in the Army at the time. Heinssen said doing the study in this method allows them to deliver "actionable information" to the Army at least twice a year and sooner if they find anything that may be relevant to treatment or intervention.

"It could not have been easy to look outside your own organization to ask somebody whether they had tools and perspectives that might be helpful," he said. "But the Army showed tremendous courage and leadership in doing that."

(Christen N. McCluney works in the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

CHAIRMAN'S CORNER: Mullen Offers Thanks to Military Families

American Forces Press Service

Nov. 23, 2009 - President Barack Obama has proclaimed the week of Nov. 22-28 as National Family Week, and the nation's top military officer has issued a message to all military families in honor of their contributions to the nation. Here is the text of the message from Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to military families worldwide:

As we count our blessings this month, America's soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guardsmen serve day and night around the globe to defend our Nation. We are all very proud of them, and yet we should never forget that none of them do it alone. The extraordinary families who support them sacrifice every bit as much to make their service possible. In the spirit of giving thanks, we devote this week to honor and appreciate our military families.

Our families serve as the bedrock for our Nation's defense. Family members may not shoulder a weapon, drive a ship or fly combat sorties, but their commitment, support and endurance is a source of great pride and inspiration for us all. From care packages to emails to invaluable friendship, your love and devotion helps our forces do their very best. I can think of no better words to express this than those spoken by a Soldier from the 25th Infantry Division upon his return from Afghanistan. Reflecting on his family's help while deployed, he said "just receiving letters ... seems to give you the motivation needed to stay upbeat. I couldn't do this without your support."

Our combat readiness stems from readiness at home, and America's might is a reflection of the power of military families. As a Nation, we can certainly never say or do enough to express our gratitude for their devotion and sacrifice, but this week is one way in which we show our appreciation.

On behalf of my family and those of the Joint Chiefs, to all our military families, past and present, we thank you for your service and for your love. Our Nation's strength and honor depend upon you. Because of you, we truly accomplish far more than we ever could alone.


Admiral, U.S. Navy