Military News

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Navy to Christen Submarine Missouri

The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine Missouri, Saturday, Dec. 5, during an 11 a.m. EST ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. Sen. Claire McCaskill will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Becky Gates, wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, will serve as ship's sponsor.

This is the fifth Navy ship to be named in honor of the people of the "Show Me State" and its leaders for their continuous support of the military. The last USS Missouri, a legendary battleship, saw action in World War II, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, and was also the site where Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and many other U.S. and Allied officers accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II on Sept. 2, 1945.

The seventh Virginia-class submarine, Missouri is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Adept at operating in both the world's shallow littoral regions and deep waters, Missouri will directly enable five of the six Navy maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode of Spencer, W.Va., is the ship's commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel.

The 7,800-ton Missouri is being built under a teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News. She is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Missouri is designed with a nuclear reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing underway time.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. For more information visit http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4.

DOD Task Force On Sexual Assault Submits Findings, Recommendations

The DoD Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military Services recently submitted its congressionally-mandated report to the secretary of defense. The report finds DoD has made progress in improving the response to victims' needs, but calls for DoD to do more to fully address the spectrum of sexual assault prevention and response.

"Our recommendations highlight the need for institutional change to more effectively prevent sexual assault and address related issues. Doing so is not only ethically and morally correct, but also essential to military readiness – all the more critical at this time," said Louis Iasiello, task force co-chairman.

The task force made a number of recommendations involving DoD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, including: temporarily elevating oversight of this office to the jurisdiction of the deputy secretary of defense until the program meets established institutional goals; changing the budgeting process to overcome inconsistent funding among the military services; strengthening the policy and oversight functions of the office; calling for collaboration with the military services and national experts in sexual assault prevention to develop a comprehensive prevention strategy and a plan to routinely evaluate it; and more rigorous oversight of military service training programs.

The task force found DoD has made demonstrable progress in providing assistance to victims of sexual assault by offering restricted reporting, which permits a victim to obtain immediate care and counseling without engaging law enforcement and command authority.

The task force did recommend, however, that Congress should, as a permanent measure, enact a comprehensive military justice privilege for communications between a victim advocate and a victim of sexual assault.

Among the other recommendations:

· Ensure service members who report they were sexually assaulted are afforded the assistance of a nationally certified victim advocate.

· Ensure victims understand their rights, including the opportunity to consult with legal counsel to minimize victim confusion during the investigative process.

· Improve medical care for victims of sexual assault, particularly those in deployed areas.

· Ensure gender-appropriate care for male victims.

· Inform victims and service members of disciplinary actions related to sexual assault.

The task force based its assessment on data collected over a 15-month period at 60 sites around the world. Task Force members spoke to more than 3,500 people, interviewing active duty and reserve component victims of sexual assault and other military personnel. During their assessment, they also interviewed general court-martial convening authorities, legal and investigative officials, senior policy officials, sexual assault response coordinators, and victim advocates.

A copy of the full report can be found at http://www.dtic.mil/dtfsams/reports.html . The secretary of defense has 90 days to review, comment on and submit the report to Congress.

For more information regarding this release, media may contact Col. Cora Jackson-Chandler, 703-325-6494.

Cambodian military visits Idaho for first time

Story courtesy of Idaho National Guard

Members of the Idaho National Guard have made several trips to Cambodia this year as part of the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, and this week Royal Cambodian Armed Forces personnel will visit Idaho for the first time.

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces delegation of 10 officers will be led by Maj. Gen. Phat Vibolsopheak. They will visit Gowen Field and the Idaho National Guard to become familiar with how they are organized and operate.

SPP was founded in 1993 as a way for National Guard units around the country to develop long-term relationships with military forces in nations around the world. The program has since developed into a key security cooperation tool that fosters interaction in areas not just including military partnerships, but also civil cooperation.

Today, nearly all U.S. states and territories have SPP partner nations. Idaho's new partnership with Kingdom of Cambodia now provides the Idaho National Guard the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the interests and security of the U.S. and the Pacific region.

At this point, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces interests in SPP fall within the following categories:

Developing a maintenance program for their fleet of U.S.-manufactured military cargo trucks
Law enforcement
Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
Language training
Medical exchanges
Education

Other areas being discussed for inclusion in the program include environmental resource management, agricultural management, police reform and governance.
The Idaho Guard formally entered into a partnership with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces on Aug. 4.

Aircraft Maintainer Becomes Logistics Manager

By Air Force Capt. Kellie Courtland
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 4, 2009 - Craig "Bud" Weiser truly understands the required sense of urgency at Defense Supply Center Richmond here when it comes to warfighter support. As a supplier relations manager, Weiser knows how important his job is to military customers because he used to be one of them. The supply center manages the aviation demand and supply chain for the Defense Logistics Agency. It the Defense Department's primary source for more than 1.3 million aviation repair parts and operating supply items, supporting more than 1,300 major weapons systems.

After 22 years in the Air Force as an aircraft maintainer for the F-16 and F-4, Weiser said he was naturally attracted to DLA's mission in warfighter support. His background in quality assurance and experience as an original equipment manufacturer technical supervisor – coupled with his military experience – made him the top pick for his current job.

The wide scope of daily responsibilities for the center's supplier relations managers includes helping procurement directors interact with major equipment manufacturers.
As a supplier relations manager, Weiser builds and monitors supplier partnerships, develops new business, and communicates and acts as a liaison between manufacturers and customers.

Mark Shultz is one of Weiser's few fellow supplier managers in Richmond under the Strategic Acquisition Directorate. He said their job allows them to reach out to new procurement sites and really work the demand and supply chain enterprise. "Unlike many jobs, I can do a variety of things every day with very few boundaries," he said. "I work with people everywhere in DLA and across the globe, and with all my supplier partners."

"SRMs make the job; it is all about what they do with it," said Weiser's manager, Carol Martin. "They must be able to balance many different types of scenarios simultaneously."

Weiser said he starts his day with a cup of coffee, a smile and a great attitude. "You have to be friendly and ready to do business every time you talk to or meet with your strategic partners."

Weiser's is a supplier manager for Eaton Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and Canadian Commercial Corporation, which primarily provide aviation parts and engine components. He focuses on giving his suppliers timely and accurate advice so they have the tools and information needed to best support DLA and its military customers.
Weiser directs much of his energy into coordinating quarterly joint steering group meetings with each of his suppliers. At a recent Eaton Aerospace meeting, for example, he brought Eaton's corporate leaders together with members of a DLA Integrated Supplier Team to address target areas for improvement. As co-chair, he led the discussion to tackle issues that included corporate contracts, joint opportunities, a new charter, roadmap updates, goals, metrics, hot DLA items, and team accomplishments.

Defense Logistics Agency Oklahoma City, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the forward arm of Defense Supply Center Richmond. DLA Oklahoma City is responsible for the daily operations of all aviation supply chain retail supply, storage and distribution support to the Air Force's 76th Maintenance Wing.

(Air Force Capt. Kellie Courtland serves in Defense Supply Center Richmond public affairs.)

Toy Giveaway Benefits Military Families

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 4, 2009 - More than 3,000 military families will have a few extra presents under the tree this year thanks to the generous efforts of Operation Homefront and The Wal-Mart Foundation. Operation Homefront, a troop-support organization, invited spouses of deployed servicemembers to shop for free today in six make-shift toy stores stocked with toys and books donated by Wal-Mart and set up in locations near military installations throughout the country, said Jim Knotts, Operation Homefront chief executive officer.

"This has been an especially difficult year for our military families and their children. They're not only dealing with deployments but also the economic recession," Knotts said. "Through the generosity of Wal-Mart, these donated toys and books will allow the military families to provide a happy holiday for their children while using their limited resources on the vital basic needs."

Each family had the opportunity to choose three toys and one book per child, Knotts said, with a total of about 10,000 military children served.

The toy shops were set up near Fort Hood and Fort Bliss in Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Camp Pendleton, Calif. - markets that top the Pentagon's list of cities with the highest troop deployments, according to an Operation Homefront release.

Catherine Fontanez shopped today at the toy store in the National Guard Armory gymnasium in Fayetteville, N.C., near Fort Bragg. Her husband, Army Sgt. Nelson Fontanez, is deployed, and she said events like this are a big help to military families.

"The toys are great; very educational," said the mother of three. "This will definitely help me out a lot financially."

Knotts said many of the military spouses he met with today were grateful for the financial help during tough economic times.

"I met a spouse with six kids; her husband is on his first deployment in Afghanistan," he said. "They only have $25 of disposable income for the month left over for Christmas gifts. This is a huge benefit for these families."

The toy giveaway today was just one part of a month-long effort to help military families, Knotts said. Over the next two weeks, Operation Homefront will give a $1,000 Wal-Mart gift card to five military families in 10 locations.

Homefront also will distribute, through 30 of its chapters, an additional $225,000 worth of Wal-Mart gift cards to help military families meet unmet needs. And, finally, the organization will provide caregivers of wounded warriors with 1,000 special gift packages.

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 5, 2009

NAVY
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $329,400,000 modification to the previously awarded Joint Strike Fighter air system low rate initial production Lot III cost-plus-incentive-fee/award-fee contract (N00019-08-C-0028) for special tooling and special test equipment. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in November 2011. 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.

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $133,347,704 modification (#P00003) under previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-09-C-0008) for the Trident II (D5) guidance system tactical engineering support and guidance applications program. Specific tasks include tactical engineering support, MK6 field support services, engineering support to develop a strategic guidance application program, develop a GPS receiver design approach, provide support for the Extended Navy Test Bed (ENTB) and ENTB derivative reentry body experiments, and assess maintaining the accuracy of the existing reentry systems. The modification increases the total contract value to $290,690,456. Work will be performed in Cambridge, Mass. (73 percent); Pittsfield, Mass. (21 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (4 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (1 percent); and Andover, Mass. (1 percent). Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $86,512,731 will expire at the end of current fiscal year. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., is being awarded a $109,691,035 modification (#P00009) under previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00030-08-C-0010) for the Trident II (D5) guidance system repair, and MK6LE. Specific tasks include guidance system repair and the delivery of MK6LE pre-production units to support three planned proofing test missile flights. The modification increases the total contract value to $547,578,527. Work will be performed in Cambridge, Mass. (82 percent), and Pittsfield, Mass. (18 percent), and is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of current fiscal year. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $36,253,351 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-2205) to exercise an option for life cycle engineering and support services for LPD 17 class integrated shipboard electronic systems. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (95 percent); Chula Vista, Calif. (3 percent); and Norfolk, Va. (2 percent). Work is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $478,276 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

General Electric Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $28,096,373 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0088) for engineering and integrated logistics services in support of the F/A-18E/F F414-GE-400. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass. (78 percent); Evendale, Ohio (13 percent); Lemoore, Calif. (5 percent); and Jacksonville, Fla. (4 percent). Work is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $1,039,505 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $15,250,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for technical and engineering support and related operation and maintenance for the Navy's Combat Systems Engineering Development Site, and technical engineering support for the SPY-1A test lab and Naval Systems Computing Center. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $243,182 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-5124).

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $12,465,000 not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-04-C-3146) for non-recurring engineering in support of the P-8A initial operation test and evaluation. Specific efforts include the modification of courseware and training devices and transition and integration of organic maintenance. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo. (60 percent), and Seattle, Wash. (40 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $1,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity.

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $9,875,760 time-and-materials contract to provide support for the care, maintenance and operation of marine mammals that serve in the Navy's Marine Mammal Systems and associated fleet mine countermeasures and force protection systems. This one-year contract includes four one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to a potential $49,721,193. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (96 percent), and Kings Bay, Georgia (4 percent), and is expected to be completed Dec. 3, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $4,391,950 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website, and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with one offer received. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-10-C-0070).

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., is being awarded a $7,384,860 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-6306) to exercise an option for spares and consumables for 1,300 production systems, four field service representatives, and 350 training surrogates for 1,300 dismounted joint counter radio-controlled improvised explosive device electronic warfare systems. Dismounted Joint Counter Radio Electronic Warfare (JCREW) systems are electronic jammers designed to prevent the initiation of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices. This contract is for the procurement and support of JCREW systems to be used by forces in each of the military services of the Central Command area of responsibility. Work will be performed in Sparks, Nev. (90 percent), and Rancho Cordova, Calif. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2010. 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.

McDonnell Douglas Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $7,212,000 firm-fixed-price order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-05-G-0026) in support of Navy F-18 aircraft. This order provides for the production and delivery of 14 multipurpose display indicators (MDI); seven horizontal situation displays (HSD); seven AFC-430 install kits (kits to install MDIs and HSDs); 12 AFC-493 install kits (kits to install ejection seats); and seven AYC-1363 install kits (kits to prepare canopy for the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System). Work will be performed in Toronto, Canada (57 percent); St. Louis, Mo. (22 percent); various locations throughout the continental United States (9 percent); Halifax, Canada (4 percent); Grand Rapids, Mich. (2 percent); Sylmar, Calif. (1 percent); Tempe, Ariz. (1 percent); Mesa, Ariz. (1 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (1 percent); O'Fallon, Mo. (1 percent); and Butler, N.J. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2012. 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.

G2 Software Systems, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $6,855,868 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide support in the areas of veterinary care, scientific research and animal management of marine mammals involved in the Navy's Marine Mammal Program. This one-year contract includes four one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to a potential $36,269,609. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (96 percent), and Kings Bay, Ga. (4 percent), and is expected to be completed Dec. 3, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $3,047,052 will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities website, and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website, with one offer received. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-10-C-0066).

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Hurst, Texas, is being awarded a $5,900,000 ceiling-priced order (#0031) contract for the repair of left hand and right hand blades for the V-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Inventory Control Point is the contracting activity (N00383-05-G-048N).

AIR FORCE
Composite Engineering, Incorporated of Sacramento, California was awarded a $29,342,315 contract which will provide Lot 7 option to procure a quantity of 36 additional BQM-167As, also known as the Air Force Subscale Aerial Target. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 691 ARSS/PK, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida is the contracting activity. (FA8678-10-C-0051)

IAP Worldwide Services, Incorporated of Cape Canaveral, Florida was awarded a $7,117,529 contract which will provide for Public Works services at Fort Dix New Jersey for 1 October 2009 through 31 March 2010. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 87 CONS, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey is the contracting activity. (W911S1-05-C-0001)

ARMY
Tug Hill Construction, Inc., Watertown, N.Y., was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $15,919,840 firm-fixed-price contract for raising trail profiles to improve drainage conditions and placement of compacted base course and gravel surface course materials, resulting in a 28-foot wide roadway with adequate shoulders and associated drainage structures for track and wheeled vehicles for approximately 35 miles. Work is to be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of April 2011. Bids were solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities website with five bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-09-D-0006).

Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Baltimore, Md., was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $15,793,363 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of the General Instruction Building, Vehicle Maintenance Instruction Facility, Project No. 65438, Fort Benning, Ga. This project includes site design and construction to the five-foot line, facility design and construction of associated site work, complete outside the five-foot-line. Work is to be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011. Four bids solicited with three bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W912HN-07-D-0055).

Weston Solutions, Inc., Houston, Texas, was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $14,681,612 firm-fixed-price contract for the removal/replacement and off-site disposal of damaged sections of articulating concrete block revetments at Placement Areas 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42 and 43, Rollover Pass to Bolivar Emergent and containment levee placement areas. Work is to be performed in Chamber County, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 3, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity.

Caterpillar, Inc., Defense and Federal Products., Mossville, Ill., was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009, a $6,980,798 firm-fixed-price contract for interim contractor logistics support for 51 armored 966H heavy loaders. Work is to be performed in Peoria, Ill., with an estimated completion date of December 2010. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website with five bids received. U.S. Army TACOM-Warren, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-DL424).

A/B Electrical & General Contracting Services, Inc., Detroit, Mich., was awarded on Nov. 23, 2009, a $6,673,400 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of commercial vehicle access control points. Work is to be performed in Warren, Mich., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0002).

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., was awarded on Nov. 30, 2009, a $8,261,800 firm-fixed-price contract to analyze, test, repair and overhaul 50 each T63-A-720, gas turbine engines applicable to the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter. Work is to be performed in Neosha, Mo. (50 percent), and Oakland, Calif. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, CCAM-AL-M, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-D-0207).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Valley Apparel LLC, Knoxville, Tenn.*, is being awarded a maximum $8,002,706 firm-fixed-price, total set-aside contract for Navy task force uniforms. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy. The original proposal was web solicited with five responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the second option year period. The date of performance completion is Dec. 4, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-08-D-1029).

Battle of Bulge Anniversary Remembered at Tree Lighting

By J.D. Leipold
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 4, 2009 - The Army's chief of staff stepped back in history Thursday evening to Christmas Eve in Belgium 65 years ago by reading one of the most inspirational letters written by a commander to his troops. "What's merry about all this, you ask? We're fighting – it's cold, we aren't home," Gen. George W. Casey read to onlookers at the annual Union Station Christmas tree lighting ceremony and tribute to the 99th Infantry Battalion, a Norwegian-American World War II unit which rescued 52 U.S. soldiers in Malmedy, Belgium.

"All true, but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades, the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest?" Casey continued reading of the letter written by Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe.

McAuliffe was acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division between Dec. 16, 1944 and Jan. 25, 1945, when he and more than 800,000 Allied troops found themselves in a raging battle in Bastogne, Belgium, and the surrounding area. The nearly six-week battle pitted slow-moving, massive German Tiger tanks against nearly twice as small, nimble American Shermans with significantly less firepower.

The outcome of the Battle of the Bulge -- the German army's last offensive drive to split the Allies in the Ardennes -- ultimately determined who would be left standing at the end of World War II in Europe.

Casey continued reading McAuliffe's letter to the troops, many of whom that winter were still wearing clothing from the June 6, 1944, D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, France.

A special guest at the lighting of the 32-foot fir, 87-year-old Jarvis Taylor was a heavy weapons 30-caliber machine gunner with the 99th Battalion. He recalled in a phone interview how it was a treat to occasionally get shuttled by a jeep behind the battle line for a shower.

"I know it was a great relief to a lot of us when there was a quiet spell where we'd get a chance to have showers, and usually they would give you a change of underwear and maybe socks, but you pretty much had to make do with the uniform you had," he said.

Casey continued with the Christmas letter in which McAuliffe talked about how the Allies had stopped the German advance, though he had conceded that the Germans had surrounded the Allies while "their radios blared our doom. Their commander demanded our surrender in the following impudent arrogance," Casey read.

The German commander's Dec. 22 letter to McAuliffe described how "the fortune of war was changing," how the American forces were encircled and that there was only one way in which McAuliffe could save his troops from "total annihilation"... through "honorable surrender." McAuliffe was given two hours to respond.

McAuliffe's four-letter reply to the German commander: "NUTS!"

Norwegian Ambassador Wegger Chr. Strommen presented the Christmas tree as a gift for the 13th year to the people of the district. The tree bears hundreds of Norwegian and American flags and is accompanied by a ribbon honoring the 99th Infantry Battalion.

Like the troops far from home during Christmas 1944, Casey reminded the crowd that thousands of U.S. servicemembers are serving worldwide this holiday season.

(J.D. Leipold writes for Army News Service.)

Obama Issues Pearl Harbor Remembrance Proclamation

American Forces Press Service

Dec. 4, 2009 - President Barack Obama today issued a proclamation recognizing Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Here is the complete text:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, a "date which will live in infamy." With over 3,500 Americans killed or wounded, the surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese on Pearl Harbor was an attempt to break the American will and
destroy our Pacific Fleet. They succeeded in doing neither.

On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and we honor all those who selflessly served our nation at home and abroad during World War II.

On a tranquil Sunday morning, as war raged around the globe, the attack on Pearl Harbor effectively ended American isolation -- thrusting our nation into action. Japanese airplanes had launched an unprovoked assault on our military with immense firepower, and our servicemembers valiantly answered the call. They defended their positions, fought back against the attackers, and cared for the wounded. In that darkest hour, men and women who had considered themselves
ordinary found within themselves the ability to do something extraordinary. And in the months and years that followed, Americans all across the country would respond to Pearl Harbor with firm resolve, many joining our armed forces to defend our shores and our freedom.

This courage is not uncommon in the story of America -- a story of heroes whose sacrifice and valor speak to their love of comrades and country; and whose goodness guides our quest for lasting peace. Today, and every day, we draw strength from the
moment when the best among us defended an island and a nation from the onslaught of tyranny, and forever altered the course of our history.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as "National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”

Packers-Ravens Contest Will Feature "Military Appreciation Night"

Wisconsin National Guard, Oshkosh Corporation To Join Packers In Salute

The Green Bay Packers, along with the Wisconsin National Guard and Oshkosh Corporation, will offer a multifaceted "Military Appreciation Night" in honor of our nation's military at Monday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

The salute will culminate at halftime when four individuals and their families, two from the Wisconsin Army National Guard and two from the Wisconsin Air National Guard, will be recognized on the field with a brief ceremony that will end with a short volley of fireworks.

Pregame activities will feature the two Rumble With A Cause motorcycles on display to fans in the Lambeau Field Atrium, one with Army styling and one with Marine styling. The fundraiser by Oshkosh Corporation and the Armed Forces Foundation is helping raise money for service members and their families in time of need, and features a chance to win one of two unique Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy® motorcycles. A $10 donation enters individuals in the sweepstakes, with tickets available in the parking lot and in the Atrium. More information about the program is available online at www.rumblewithacause.org. No donation or purchase is necessary to enter.

Also, an Oshkosh Corporation M-ATV will be on display in the parking lot in the fan walkway adjacent to the Tundra Tailgate Zone, along with a Wisconsin Air National Guard flight simulator available for fans to experience and interactive football-related activities, including a football toss and Sony PlayStation games.

Inside the stadium, TundraVision will broadcast video greetings from Wisconsin National Guard members in Iraq and Afghanistan offering well wishes to the Packers and fans at Lambeau Field. Additionally, the national anthem will performed by Army Sfc. Jeffrey Vanderlin, a Green Bay native who will be retiring in 2010 from the military.

Fans are encouraged to experience the evening's different offerings and join in the salute to our service men and women and their families.

HIV/AIDS Vaccine Has Promising Results

By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Molly A. Burgess
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 3, 2009 - Through combined military research programs and medical cooperation, the Defense Department has been able to accomplish incredible promise in a future vaccine development for HIV and AIDS, a senior official in that effort said today. "The U.S. Army has sponsored a vaccine program which has now, for the first time ever, shown efficacy in being able to protect individuals from infection with HIV," Dr. Rick Shaffer, director of the Defense Department's HIV and AIDS Prevention Program, said during a Military Health System "Dot Mil Docs" podcast interview.

The prevention program was established in an effort to minimize and prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS through the uniformed services, and to provide support to various countries in the fight for prevention, Shaffer said.

Comprehensive prevention programs that include policies and priorities from the highest leadership levels on down work better than individual activities and efforts, Shaffer noted, citing an interagency program called the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, a program launched to help combat global HIV and AIDS.

"We were able expand the opportunities for security cooperation through PEPFAR," Shaffer said, adding that PEPFAR enabled department officials to broaden support to additional countries and within the countries they're already helping.
Although the program has made amazing successes thus far, Shaffer said, it still has obstacles to overcome when it comes to prevention and treatment.

"There's still a long way to go to make sure the treatment is accessible and comprehensive for individuals," he said. "We have a lot to learn about how to enable individuals to get the skill to change their behavior."

(Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Molly A. Burgess serves with the Defense Media Activity's emerging media directorate.)

Belgians Recall Battle of the Bulge

By Christie Vanover
Special to American Forces Press Service

Dec. 3, 2009 - It was the early days of the Battle of the Bulge. Germans were advancing into Belgium, and the supplies they needed to strengthen their force were close at hand, until the bravery of a lone rifle company helped to halt their advance. It was Dec. 18, 1944, in the Belgian town of Stavelot. "The U.S. Army evacuated the city, and the 5th Battalion was the only one between this treasure and the Germans," recalled Robert Lemaire, a Belgian soldier who was assigned to the company.

The day prior, German Col. Joachim Peiper and his 1st SS Panzer Regiment were quickly moving through Belgian villages, destined to reach the Meuse River and Allied supply ports in Antwerp. His army plowed through towns like Honsfeld and Büllingen, capturing and killing unarmed Americans.

While the SS Regiment faced casualties and lost tanks and vehicles along the way, Peiper moved them on toward Stavelot. His tanks crossed the only bridge leading into the village and launched a morning attack, capturing the city. Lemaire, who was guarding the American fuel depots while his company was attached to the 1st U.S. Army, recalled that Peiper executed 132 civilians in Stavelot, including numerous children.

Americans repositioned their forces to set up a perimeter defense. However, Lemaire's company was left behind along the Malmedy road.

"In a hurry, packed in a truck," he recalled, "we left our billets in direction of the depot. As we came closer, our lieutenant asked for 10 volunteers."

Lemaire was among the first to jump off the truck, along with Sgts. Harpigny, Magain, Vermeulen, Cpl. Suinen and fellow Pvts. Robert Delbois, Robert Tille, Alfred Cantigneau, Elomir Cambier, Jean Lesire, Paul Wantiez and F. Ingels. Their mission: to set fire to the fuel depot to prevent the SS from retrieving the supplies needed to rejuvenate their offensive.

"The lieutenant ordered us to set fire to the three first piles," Lemaire recalled. "As the first attempt to shoot tracer bullets with a Bren gun failed, we then pierced jerry cans with our bayonets and spread fuel on the three first piles, as well as, a trail of fuel on the road ahead of the piles. We set the fire with matches."

Within moments, the entire depot was engulfed in a trail of flames, stretching seven miles long. "It was impossible for the armored tanks to go through this wall of fire," said Lemaire.

According to the Office of the Chief of Military History, as the gasoline roadblock was still enflamed, the Americans launched a full-fledged ground and air assault against the Panzer unit, reclaiming the town.

Engineers had destroyed the Amblève Bridge that would have allowed the Germans to retreat to their fuel depots to the east, and Lemaire and his company had destroyed the fuel supplies in Stavelot, preventing Peiper from advancing much further.

"We began to realize that we had insufficient gasoline to cross the bridge west of Stoumont," Peiper said in January 1945, as reported by the Office of the Chief of Military History. The German powerhouse of heavy vehicles became meager road debris inefficient against the Allied forces. On Christmas Eve, the regiment was forced to abandon its vehicles and continue the battle on foot.

At the time, Lemaire didn't realize the impact that striking a match would have on defeating the Germans. "We just did our job," he said. It was a job that he had waited four years to accomplish.

Lemaire and a fellow soldier, Marcel D'Haese, began fighting the Germans in 1940. The Belgian Army had surrendered that year, and the Germans put out an order that all young men were to report to Germany as laborers. Therefore, D'Haese said the Belgians made the choice to start a resistance.

"At the beginning of the war, I received an obligation to go to Germany," said Lemaire, "so I became a resistance fighter."

"The resistance was really active in Belgium," said D'Haese. "We were doing sabotage to the Germans, like cutting the communications lines." But despite their heroic actions to defend their nation and "four dark years of underground fight and suffering", D'Haese said, "We waited and we prayed for the Americans."

"Americans brought power, engines and weapons. They were like God to us. They were the only ones that could help to liberate us," he said.

After the Allies jumped into Normandy and later liberated Belgium, the Belgian government called for volunteers. D'Haese said 53,000 men answered that call and joined the newly formed Belgian army.

D'Haese and Lemaire joined the 5th Belgian Fusiliers Battalion, which was made up of six companies from the Mons, Tournai and Charleroi regions. D'Haese, who is now 84, was assigned to the Headquarters Company and Lemaire, who is now 86, the 3rd Company.

The unit was officially activated on Oct. 7, 1944, and the volunteers, who had already been defending their country unofficially, enlisted on Oct. 9.

After two months of training in Charleroi, they joined the First U.S. Army and deployed to the Ardennes where the battalion was divided amongst the American forces. The battalion had 800 men dispersed over 30 miles, according to D'Haese.

"They call us war volunteers. Indeed, we are freedom volunteers," stressed D'Haese. "We were sick about war. We helped the Americans to finish it. We were ready to do anything we could for the Americans."

"If the U.S. did not liberate Belgium, the Germans would still be here," he added.

The 5th Fusilier partnered with the 1st U.S. Army until June 1, 1945. Throughout the war, five members of the battalion were killed, and 80 more injured.

The unit and its actions were recognized by Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, on July 13, 1945, in a memo that stated: "This battalion contributed materially to the successful operations of the unit with which it served. The high Esprit de Corps and great determination displayed by the officers and men of the Fifth Belgian Fusilier Battalion enabled it to carry through to a successful conclusion each and every assigned mission, thereby contributing immeasurably to the glorious victory of the Allied Nations. The outstanding achievements of this battalion bring credit not only to itself but also to the Belgian Army."

Since that time, many other Americans have recognized the accomplishments of the 5th Fusilier, including U.S. presidents, senators, ambassadors, generals and the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

The unit established the 5th Fusilier War Veterans Association in 1945, and D'Haese has served as the chairman since 1980.

"I accepted the role as chairman for six months, and I'm still here," he laughed.

The veterans join the U.S. Army Garrison Benelux color guard on a regular basis to commemorate the American-Belgian partnership that was formed 65 years ago, but that partnership is slowly fading.

"We have 40 to 50 members left in the battalion," said D'Haese, "but less than 10 are able to participate in ceremonies."

In May, a small group remembered the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day in Mons.

On Dec. 12, a few make the annual trip to Bastogne to pay tribute again to the cold, smog-filled days of December 1944 and the allegiance with the Americans that brought liberty to their nation.

"God bless the USA and Belgium," said D'Haese.

(Christie Vanover works for U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.)

Department Seeks to Reclaim Acquisition Expertise

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Dec. 3, 2009 - The Defense Department is in the throes of a "major in-sourcing initiative" that Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said will recapture some of the vital expertise the department had lost, particularly in the acquisition realm. Lynn told the Aerospace and Defense Conference here yesterday that he considers the rebalancing plan a vital piece of the department's sweeping acquisition reform efforts.

There's "clearly an important role" for private contractors within the Defense Department, Lynn said, noting important contributions they make both at the Pentagon and in the combat theater. But the "outsourcing metric needs to be more targeted," he added, not only to ensure contractors are conducting the appropriate type of missions, but also to prevent overreliance on contractor support in fields such as acquisition.

When the department outsourced many of its acquisition functions during the 1990s, Lynn said, it "lost some of the capabilities that we need to be a good buyer."

"We unbalanced the system," he said. The result was a shortage of in-house expertise in cost estimating, systems engineering and program management capabilities that "allow us to be a very informed buyer," he told the group.

"So we are trying to bring those functions back into government," he said, noting a dramatic increase in the department's acquisition work force.

The department's federal acquisition work force is expected to grow by 20,000 over the next five years. This, Lynn explained, involves hiring 9,000 new employees and converting 11,000 positions now held by contractors to federal jobs. Ultimately, the effort will expand the acquisition work force from its current 127,000 federal employees and 52,000 contractors to 147,000 feds and about 42,000 contractors by fiscal 2015, Shay Assad, acting undersecretary of defense for acquisition and technology, told American Forces Press Service.

The additional acquisition employees will focus on awarding more competitive contracts and providing more contract oversight, he said. Others will be hired across the department to improve business management, logistics management, systems engineering and program management functions, jobs now conducted largely by contractors.

Lynn called beefing up and restructuring the acquisition work force a big step toward the Pentagon's broader acquisition reform efforts.

The overhaul also includes:

-- Instilling more discipline into the front end of the process, as requirements are established, to better balance performance needs with schedule and cost limitations;

-- Reducing the risk of cost overruns by relying more on independent cost estimates, as Congress and President Barack Obama have directed;

-- Promoting more fixed-price contracts in which the contractors share more equal financial risks with the government; and

-- Cancelling failing or misdirected programs that either aren't working or are no longer needed.

Lynn praised Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' commitment to "making hard choices" to ensure defense acquisition programs align with genuine requirements and don't get bogged down with spiraling cost overruns and scheduling delays.

The fiscal 2010 budget reflects these priorities, he said, with the department retiring or reshaping the Army's future combat system, the transformational satellite program and the VH-71 presidential helicopter program.

"So we've made an important start on major reform," Lynn said. "And we are going to keep making tough decisions every budget, every year."

Serbian MOD visits Ohio National Guard bases

By Dr. Mark Wayda,
Ohio National Guard

This week, Serbian Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac led a delegation here as part of a partnership between the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ohio National Guard that started in 2006. The Serbian delegation included Dusan Spasojevic, the state secretary in the ministry of defense, and the Serbian ambassador to the United States, Vladimir Petrovic.

The Ohio-Serbia relationship has developed under the National Guard's State Partnership Program. That program pairs military organizations from different countries with a state National Guards to familiarize, build relationships and learn from each other's strengths.

There are currently 62 state partnerships in the program. In addition to Serbia, the Ohio National Guard has been partnered with Hungary since 1993.

"The Ohio-Serbia partnership has been one of the most active since we began in 2006," said Maj. Gen. Gregory L. Wayt, Ohio's adjutant general. "We have had dozens of exchanges with our Soldiers and Airmen going to Serbia and members of the Serbian Armed Forces coming to Ohio."

Prior to arriving in Ohio, Sutanovac and his team spent several days in Washington, D.C., where they were met by Wayt and Air National Guard Maj. Steven Shilliday, the Ohio's new director of the State Partnership Program office.

"Maj. Gen. Wayt attended meetings between the minister, the state secretary, the ambassador and other members of the Serbian delegation and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and with Gen. Craig McKinley, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau," Shilliday said.

While in Ohio, the Serbian delegation spent a day at the Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, where they experienced firsthand many of the capabilities in the Army and Air National Guard, then spent another half day at the Ohio Air National Guard's 178th Fighter Wing in Springfield.

"They saw many of the missions performed by the National Guard and they were able to discuss with our leadership where additional opportunities for cooperation might exist," Shilliday said.

This visit by the minister of defense is about next steps, Wayt said. "We are looking to grow the relationship and establish new and more involved exchanges that will provide increasing benefits to the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ohio National Guard."

MILITARY CONTRACTS December 3, 2009

ARMY
EADS North American Defense, Arlington, Va., was awarded on Dec. 1, 2009, a $247,242,722 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the funding of program year 2005 of the Army's Light Utility Helicopter program for 45 light utility helicopters (UH-72A), 30 medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) mission equipment packages, 30 MEDEVAC B-kits, 30 hoist B-kits, four very important personnel mission equipment packages, 11 engine inlet barrier filters, 34 environmental control units, and 45 airborne radio communication 231s. Work is to be performed in Columbus, Miss., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command, CCAM-BH-C, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-06-C-0194).

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $32,328,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of 30 Marine Corps LAV C2A2 vehicles in the amount of $19,828,000 with the option for 22 additional vehicles in the amount of $12,430,000. Work is to be performed in Owego, N.Y., with an estimated completion date of July 20, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-05-C-0383).

Weston Solutions, Inc., Houston, Texas, was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $23,228,323 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of levee repairs, shore protection, and channelization within the placement areas and beneficial use sites along the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channel (HGNC): North and South Goat Island and Wave Trip; Evia Island; and Bolivar Marsh, including channelization of 200 Acre Marsh . Work is to be performed in HGNC multiple site repairs with an estimated completion date of Dec. 14, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Engineer District, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W912BV-08-D-2012).

The Boeing Company, Ridley Park, Pa., was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $21,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for interim contract support Phase II. Work is to be performed in Ridley Park, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-G-0023).

Textron, Inc., doing business as Textron Marine and Land Systems, New Orleans, La., was awarded on Nov. 24, 2009, a $20,867,107 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 39 extended personnel carriers to included necessary weapons, spare parts, manuals, and training support required to aid the Colombian Army to deter the narco-terrorist and illegally armed groups that threaten the stability of the region. Work is to be performed in New Orleans, La., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 24, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-10-C-0044).

NITEK, Inc., Sterling, Va., was awarded on Nov. 25, 2009, a $16,408,810 firm-fixed-price contract for two Husky Mounted Detection Systems, installation, new equipment training, initial spare parts, training manuals and 24 months of sustainment of these systems. The items and services to be acquired under this undefinitized contract action were identified in Foreign Military Sales Case CN-B-ZXR dated Oct. 20, 2008, and amended on Oct. 26, 2009. The acquisition will be made without full and open competition as authorized by DFARS 225.7304 (a); based on a letter of request by the Canadian government dated Oct. 13, 2009. Work is to be performed in Sterling, Va., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 24, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. CECOM Contracting Center Washington, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (W909MY-10-C-0017).

AIR FORCE
Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems, Carson, Calif., was awarded a $43,983,875 contract which will provide for a space based surveillance satellite. At this time, $4,713,395 has been obligated. SMC/SYSW of El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (F8819-04-C-0002).

NAVY
Synergy Electric Co.*, Santee, Calif., is being awarded $9,367,117 for firm-fixed-price task order #0024 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N68711-05-D-4013) for the installation of photovoltaic systems at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The work to be performed provides for full engineering, procurement, installation and testing of a solar power generating facility with a minimum peak clean power production of 1,445 kilowatt standard test conditions. Work will be performed in Oceanside, Calif., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $6,000,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-2100) for planned and growth supplemental work for the accomplishment of the fiscal year 2008 extended drydocking selected restricted availability (EDSRA) of USS Enterprise (CVN 65). EDSRAs are similar to overhauls in that they restore the ship, including all subsystems that affect combat capability and safety, to established performance standards. Additionally, an EDSRA provides an opportunity to perform hull inspections, recoating and other maintenance related evolutions below the waterline that cannot be accomplished while the ship is waterborne. The EDSRA provides sufficient time to perform more extensive repairs and testing than are possible during an Extended Selected Restricted Availability. Work will be performed in Newport News, Va., and is expected to be completed by January 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $6,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Correction: Contract delivery order awarded Nov. 24, 2009, to Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., (N00019-07-D-0001) for $34,302,846, should have read the completion date as April 2011.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY
Suez Energy Resources NA, Inc., Houston, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $5,997,922 firm-fixed-price contract for electricity. Other location of performance is Pennsylvania. Using service is Navy. There were originally 100 proposals solicited with six responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Jan. 31, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-8003).

Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard

The December issue of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard’s online newsletter "@ease Express" can be viewed directly at http://dma.wi.gov/dma/news/atease/pdf/AtEaseExpress_December-2009.pdf