Military News

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Navy Museum Hosts Girls Make History Day

By Lt. Laura K. Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

June 30, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- History came alive for nearly 800 children who attended the second annual Girls Make History Day celebration at the U.S. Navy Museum June 26.

The event, based on the popular American Girl product line, explored U.S. history and naval heritage through the stories of the nine American Girl characters who "lived" during significant periods in U.S. history, including colonial America, the American Expansion, the Civil War, World War I the Great Depression and World War II.

"The success of today's Navy can largely be attributed to the diversity of its Sailors. Girls Make History Day shows not only the importance of this diversity, but also the importance of history and how it is still relevant in our lives today," said retired Rear Adm. Jay DeLoach, Naval History director. "This event is an excellent way for us to reach out to the American people and for them to learn more about their Navy."

The event featured eleven hands-on activity stations throughout the museum. Each was uniquely paired with an American Girl character and was designed to stimulate the children's interest in naval history and science and technology.

According to Laura Hockensmith, deputy director of Education and Public Programs at the museum, the activities played a special role in teaching children about maritime culture.

"From our standpoint, naval history is American history. So, a lot of the [American] Girls do have a tie to a specific war or era," said Hockensmith.

For instance, American Girl "Samantha" whose story was set in the early 20th century, would have lived during the sailing of the Great White Fleet. Other activities were similarly designed to correspond with other American Girl characters. For example, children could learn more about the life of American Girl Molly, who lived through World War II, by creating ration recipe books and victory gardens and by writing letters to service members deployed overseas.

Two of the American Girl series authors, Valerie Tripp and Jackie Greene, also attended the event to meet with the children and sign autographs. Additionally, children had the chance to enter to win one of three full size and three miniature American Girl dolls.

More than 40 women and men in uniform were on hand to guide the activities and share their individual experiences with the children, who were primarily young girls.

Karin Hill, the museum's Director of Education and Public Programs, explained the important role this participation played in shaping the total force of tomorrow.

"I think the Sailors volunteering for Girls Make History Day played a critical role in the success of the overall event," said Hill. "We are trying to showcase the careers for women in the Department of Defense, the Navy and the Marine Corps, and we want our young ladies to understand that there are so many opportunities for them, especially in science and technology jobs."

"All of our volunteers in uniform are so enthusiastic that they're giving our young ladies really good insight into what it's like to work for the US Navy," said Hill.

Flag Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr. for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command. Maj. Gen. Schmidle is currently serving as assistant deputy commandant for programs and resources (programs) in Washington, D.C.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John E. Wissler for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy commandant for programs and resources. Wissler is currently serving as deputy commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Army Works to Right Wrongs at Arlington, Secretary Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 30, 2010 - The Army is taking every measure possible to fix the problems at Arlington National Cemetery, and it should continue to manage the nation's "most hallowed ground," Army Secretary John M. McHugh told a congressional committee today.

The top two officials in charge of cemetery were disciplined earlier this month after an Army investigation found the cemetery's management to be dysfunctional.

"For 146 years, the Army has proudly served in the administration of this hallowed ground," McHugh told the House Armed Services Committee. "Clearly, we lost that commitment and that record of success. I want to pledge that the Army is doing everything necessary and possible to right these unimaginable, unacceptable wrongs."

McHugh, a former congressman who served as the committee's ranking member before being appointed Army secretary in September, outlined the measures he has taken since Army Inspector General Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb issued a June 8 report identifying 76 deficiencies at the cemetery and 101 recommendations for change.

McHugh said he has ordered structural and leadership changes, including rescinding "fractured, unmanageable oversight" in the cemetery's superintendent and deputy superintendent and appointing Kathryn Condon, a senior Army civilian executive, to a new position of executive director of the Arlington National Cemeteries Program.

The secretary also said he has established an Arlington National Cemetery oversight group, and an advisory commission that is headed by former U.S. Sens. Robert Dole and Max Cleland, both war veterans. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki has detailed two officials with the VA's National Cemetery Administration to help with the overhaul, he said.

McHugh rejected a suggestion that Arlington be turned over to the National Cemetery Administration. "I'm not sure it's the fair thing to do to burden other agencies with the stresses of the United States Army," he said. "For over a century and a half, the Army has helped to polish its reputation [at Arlington], but clearly that record been tarnished. We will work as hard as possible to [fix] what we consider an Army problem."

Nearly half of the roughly 330,000 people interred at Arlington are Army soldiers, McHugh noted. "We feel it's important, especially during this time of war, that the Army stay responsible for interring our fallen heroes," he said. "Until we're ordered to step down, we're going forward."

McHugh also rescinded Army "General Order 13," which was the management authority for the cemetery. That order, he said, inadvertently led to a lack of oversight at the cemetery.

"There was real confusion among the agencies as to who had exact oversight authorities," McHugh said. "By placing everyone in charge, no one was in charge. There were no clear lines of who was in charge. Whatever the reasons, it should never have happened."

Now, he said, "the lines of authority are clear from the deputy director right to my desk."

McHugh said he also has ordered audits of all contracts at Arlington, which the report found to be rife with irregularities. The findings will be turned over to Army criminal investigators, he said.

The IG report already was under way when he took office in September, McHugh said, and he ordered it expanded in November to investigate several other cemetery functions. He said he has tried to be transparent in publicizing and fixing the problems.

Whitcomb, who testified alongside McHugh, put blame with Arlington's senior leaders and not its 95 employees. "While our findings raised very serious issues and require significant remedial actions," he said, "I want to make clear that Arlington National Cemetery employees work under extraordinarily high operations tempo with a lack of leadership and still manage to serve our soldiers, honor their families, and honor all Americans with first-class services."

The Army's priority at Arlington now is in examining the 211 graves that the report identified as not matching up with site maps and burial cards, McHugh said. The Army hopes to accept some offers of Northern Virginia-based private information technology firms to cross-check the information of all of the cemetery's graves, he said.

The Army has verified 27 of the 211 graves as being recording mistakes on site maps, meaning graves never existed in those locations, he said.

Upon release of the IG report, the Army established a call center from which people could seek information about the graves of loved ones. So far, McHugh said, 867 calls have been received, and the service has resolved 169 of the cases.

The Army also will assess military cemeteries outside the United States to find out if similar problems exist there, McHugh said. "We're not just stopping at Arlington," he said. "Where we find deficiencies, we will address them."

The changes so far are just the start, McHugh said. "For us, this is the beginning of the process, and we are going to pursue it to its end."

The Army secretary said he welcomes the committee's continued oversight of the matter.

"These problems were committed under the watch of the Army, and it's the Army's responsibility going forward," McHugh said. "For all importance Army places on this, Arlington National Cemetery was somewhat of a satellite spinning off in the distance. The more eyes on the process, the better."

Taylor Crew members Visit Orphange in Croatia

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Edward S. Kessler, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

June 30, 2010 - SPLIT, Croatia (NNS) -- USS Taylor (FFG 50) crew members participated in a community relations project and donated Project Handclasp materials at the Maestral Orphanage during a port visit to Split June 24-28.

The project was designed to enhance the livelihood of the 60 orphans at Maestral Orphanage and forge friendships with Croatian citizens.

"This was a very meaningful visit for the crew of Taylor," said Ensign Kelly McWhorter. "Not only were we able to donate needed goods, we were able to spend personal time with the children and interact with them on a personal level."

Maestral Orphanage cares for children ranging from infants to teenagers.

Taylor crew members donated a pallet of Project Handclasp supplies of toys and clothes during their visit to the orphanage. They were later treated to a tour by the staff and children and spent time working and playing with the students and their new toys.

"Being able to see the looks on their faces and how excited they are is very fulfilling," said Quartermaster 3rd Class Michael Bell. "It really makes you enjoy your job that much more."

For the next two days, Taylor's crew hosted 20 children. Sailors conducted tours and demonstrated some of the ships basic damage control capabilities, navigational aides and gave the children a chance to ring the ship's bell.

"The children loved the tour," said Suzana Svrtan, a teacher at Maestral Orphanage. "The children looked on the internet when they heard the ship was coming, but they were even more excited to be on the ship."

Svrtan added that when the children returned from their tour aboard Taylor, they were very excited.

Taylor is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate homeported in Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Truman Strike Group Begins Operations In Support of OEF

From Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

June 30, 2010 - USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) launched its first combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) June 29, while conducting turnover with Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), will provide support for coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

"Our air wing has spent several months training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon in preparation for this deployment," said Capt. Jay Bynum, commander,

CVW 3. "We've worked to line up every possible opportunity to train and make sure that we would be ready to go from day one."

Bynum noted that one of the most important parts of the training was the communication between the pilots in the sky and the troops on the ground.

The air wing squadrons worked extensively with joint tactical air controllers (JTAC) at NAS Fallon to ensure that the training was as relevant and realistic as possible. JTACs are the liaison between the ground troops and the aircraft that provide close air support.

Many of the same JTACs that trained with the air wing are currently serving in Afghanistan, said Bynum.

Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Marcos Rodriguez, from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37, takes great pride in ensuring that the jets he maintains stay mission-ready.

"We're out here for something good," said Rodriguez. "I have a friend in the National Guard in Afghanistan and being out here has personal meaning."

"It's awesome to know that we'll be there for the troops," said Lt. Davin O'Brien, of VFA 37. "Every pilot in the air wing is ready to support them."

Truman CSG will relieve Eisenhower CSG as Task Force 50 on July 2. Eisenhower CSG has operated in the 5th Fleet AOR since Jan. 25 with CVW 7 aircraft flying 2,970 combat sorties and logging 17,730 cumulative flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

Truman CSG deployed May 21 from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., on a routine scheduled deployment and will conduct Maritime Security Operations and theater security cooperation.

Truman CSG includes CSG 10, Harry S. Truman, USS Normandy (CG 60), Destroyer Squadron 26, USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Ross (DDG 71), CVW 3 and its associated squadrons; VFA 105 "Gunslingers," VFA 32 "Swordsmen," VFA 37 "Ragin Bulls," Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 "Checkerboards," Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 "Seahawks," Electronic Attack Squadron 130 "Zappers," and Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 7 "Dusty Dogs."

Chef Feeds New Horizons Troops

By Army Maj. Scott Bell
Task Force Kout Men

June 30, 2010 - Normally, a hot meal for servicemembers working in austere conditions means warming up a field rations package that includes a dinner, dessert and a snack. But for the 500 troops of Task Force Kout Men serving in a New Horizons humanitarian exercise here, chow time is a treat.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Mike Larey, a member of the Louisiana National Guard and owner of Louisiana Cooking Services in New Orleans, is serving his Cajun cuisine out of a 24-by-20-foot kitchen trailer.

"I look forward to seeing all the troops smiling when they come in here each night," said Larey, who trained for his third chef discipline -- Cajun and Creole -- at Dragos in New Orleans. "My cooking staff takes great pride in the fact these soldiers, sailors and airmen look forward to supper each night."

Larey wasn't always a cook in the Louisiana National Guard. He began his career in the military as an engineer, and then he became a truck driver. He said he knows what it's like to run a shovel on a backhoe all day or drive a truck for long hours in the heat and humidity with no air conditioning.

"I also remember how nice it was to come in after a long day at work to a hot meal at night," he added.

Larey said those memories are what drives him to continue to serve in the Louisiana Guard and to do his best to make sure every military member he feeds knows he or she is appreciated.

"I'm sure not doing this for the money," he said.

Face of Defense: Five Generations Graduate From West Point

By Randy Mitchell
U.S. Army North

June 29, 2010 - Service before self is expected in the military, but one family has taken that concept to new heights. Army 2nd Lt. Mark Armstrong Jr. graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., marking the fifth consecutive generation of his family to do so.

"I wanted to serve my country, develop my leadership skills and get a world-class education," Armstrong said. "At West Point, I was able to do that and much, much more."

Armstrong has some big shoes to fill. His father, Army Col. Mark Armstrong Sr., serves on active duty as the U.S. Army North Region 9 defense coordinating officer in Oakland, Calif., near his birthplace of Palo Alto, where generations of his family have lived and served.

The senior Armstrong, a 1981 West Point graduate, proudly administered the military oath of office to his son.

"I was thrilled to be able to commission my own son into the Army," the colonel said, fully aware that his son may soon be deployed in harm's way in Afghanistan or Iraq. "West Point has prepared him well to be a leader of character in today's complex, volatile, uncertain and multi-national combat environments."

The senior Armstrong grew up in the San Francisco Bay area into a family that already was rich in military family tradition. His father, Army Lt. Col. John L. Armstrong, was a 1946 graduate of West Point. A Pearl Harbor survivor and veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, John died in 2004 and never got to see his grandson in uniform as a cadet.

"We are all so proud of Mark Jr.," said Kathryn Halsey Armstrong, John's widow, who still lives in Palo Alto. "His grandfather would have been so proud of him, too. He's a fine young man, and carrying on a wonderful tradition of service to our nation as part of the 'Long Gray Line.'"

Both of Mark Jr.'s great-grandfathers attended West Point as well. Army Col. John D. Armstrong, also of Palo Alto, was a 1919 graduate. A Pearl Harbor survivor, he served as commander of the 92nd Infantry Division's 365th Infantry Regiment during World War II's Italian campaign.

The other great-grandfather, Army Maj. Gen. Milton B. Halsey, was a 1917 graduate who joined the search for Pancho Villa in the Desert Southwest immediately after graduation. He later served with Gens. George Patton and Douglas MacArthur and commanded the 97th Infantry Division in World War II when it liberated Czechoslovakia.



Halsey then moved to the Pacific theater as commanding general of the Yokohama Command and chief of staff of 9th Corps during the occupation of Japan. He later served as chief of staff of 8th Army, overseeing operations in both Japan and Korea.

However, the rich family tradition began more than a century ago in 1891 when Mark Jr.'s great-great grandfather, Army Col. Frank Spear Armstrong, graduated from West Point - starting the chain that hasn't been broken since.

Frank Armstrong was taught by the great Civil War generals from West Point. He served in the Philippines as a young officer and in France in World War I as the quartermaster inspector of the American expeditionary forces and chief of the Remount Service. He later served as the quartermaster of the Army.

Additionally, two of Mark Jr.'s uncles, John Armstrong Jr., 1978, and Jon Halsey, 1985, also are graduates of West Point.

The Armstrong military tradition in America started long before West Point was founded. The earliest Armstrong in his direct line of descendants to serve in America was Army Col. John Armstrong, who served with George Washington and made the famous Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War, earning the "Order of the Cincinnati."

The military ties also extend to the maternal side of the Halsey family, with Army Col. Lee Crandall, commander of 47th Arkansas Cavalry, who served during the Civil War. Mark Jr.'s brother, Andrew, is an ROTC cadet at the University of California Santa Barbara, where his sister, Apryl, recently graduated.

As to whether his younger sister, Leah, will attend West Point, Armstrong said "it is too early to say - but don't rule it out."

Armstrong will attend communications training in Georgia before attending the U.S. Army Airborne School. His first duty assignment will be in Bamberg, Germany, as part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Veterans' grave medallion available for order

June 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced June 29 that the Department of Veterans Affairs is offering bronze medallions to attach to existing, privately purchased headstones or markers, signifying a deceased's status as a veteran.

"For veterans not buried in a national or state veterans cemetery, or those without a government grave marker, VA is pleased to offer this option that highlights their service and sacrifices for our country," said Secretary Shinseki.

The new item can be furnished instead of a traditional government headstone or marker for veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

Under federal law, eligible veterans buried in a private cemetery are entitled to either a government-furnished grave marker or the new medallion, but not both. Veterans buried in a national or state veterans cemetery will receive a government headstone or marker of the standard design authorized at that cemetery.

The medallion is available in three sizes: 5 inches, 3 inches and 1½ inches in width. Each bronze medallion features the image of a folded burial flag adorned with laurels and is inscribed with the word "Veteran" at the top and the branch of service at the bottom.

Next of kin will receive the medallion, along with a kit that will allow the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the medallion to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.

More information about VA-furnished headstones, markers and medallions can be found at www.cem.va.gov/cem/hm/hmtype.asp.

VA is currently developing an application form for ordering the medallion. Until it is available, applicants may use the form for ordering government headstones and markers, VA Form 40-1330. Instructions on how to apply for a medallion are found on the VA website at www.cem.va.gov/hm_hm.asp.

Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in a VA national cemetery. Other burial benefits available for all eligible veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or grave marker.

The new medallions will be available only to veterans buried in private cemeteries without a government headstone or marker. Families of eligible decedents may also order a memorial headstone or marker when remains are not available for interment.

VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, and 33 soldiers' lots and monument sites. More than 3 million Americans, including veterans of every war and conflict -- from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan -- are buried in VA's national cemeteries on more than 19,000 acres.

Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the VA website on the Internet at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. (Courtesy of VA News)

Carter Promotes Pentagon Procurement Efficiency

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - The Defense Department must become more efficient in providing the military capabilities the nation needs, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.

At a Pentagon news conference, Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, outlined steps the department is taking to achieve efficiencies needed to save $100 billion over five years beginning in fiscal 2012.

The Defense Department must have 2 to 3 percent annual growth to support continued robust warfighting capabilities, Carter said. Understanding that a certain amount of growth is needed, he added, President Barack Obama's defense budget proposal calls for 1 percent real growth each year at a time when the funding curve for all other federal agencies has flattened. This, Carter explained, leaves the remaining 1 to 2 percent of necessary real growth for the department to come from efficiencies.

The department must identify and eliminate unproductive or low-value-added overhead and transfer the savings obtained to warfighting capabilities – "in effect, doing more without more," Carter said.

The defense budget is more than $700 billion, Carter said, but the focus of the initiative is on the $400 billion that is contracted out for goods and services.

The objective is to deliver the warfighting capabilities needed for the money available, Carter said, by getting better buying power for warfighters and taxpayers. The policies aim to restore affordability in defense procurement and to improve defense industry productivity, he added.

The efficiencies Carter is seeking come from what economists call productivity growth. "That's what we're looking for," he said. "In the rest of the economy, we expect this -- you get a better computer every year, and cheaper. But we haven't seen productivity growth in the defense economy. More has been costing more, and we need to reverse that trend and restore affordability to our programs."

Carter said he will issue guidance to ensure contracting officers are using the proper contract types to give the taxpayer buying power. "An example would be using a fixed-priced contract for development of the KC-X tanker, which we're doing," he said. "This stabilizes design and enhances the value of competition."

Carter said the funding spigots were turned on after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, and some inefficiency crept into procurement practices.

"That's why we're setting an annual goal of 2 to 3 percent, which accumulates over the coming years," he said. "But there will be specific targets for going down and getting leaner in these different categories."

Carter said the efforts are needed, and they're needed quickly. He noted that he had spoken with acquisition experts and the chief executive officers of many defense companies earlier in the day.

"First of all, everybody knows that we're entering a new era, that we're at an inflection point, and that therefore we need to adapt our management practices to that reality -- play the game that's on the field," he said. "Secondly, they can do the math, which is that we're going to enjoy some real growth in defense spending, but not the kind that we've enjoyed over the last decade."

Sailor Missing From Korean War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

U.S. Navy Ensign Robert W. Langwell, of Columbus, Ind., will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on July 12. On Oct. 1, 1950, Langwell was serving on the minesweeper USS Magpie when it sank after striking an enemy mine off the coast of Chuksan-ri, South Korea. Twelve crewmen were rescued, but Langwell was one of 20 men lost at sea.

In June 2008, personnel from the Republic of South Korea's Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) canvassed towns in South Korea in an effort to gather information regarding South Korean soldiers unaccounted-for from the Korean War. An elderly fisherman, interviewed in the village of Chuksan-ri, reported that he and other villagers had buried an American serviceman in 1950 when his body was caught in the man's fishing net.

The MAKRI located the burial site on April 28, 2009, where they excavated human remains and military artifacts. The burial site was approximately three miles west of where the USS Magpie sank in 1950. The team turned the remains and artifacts over to U.S. Forces Korea, which sent them to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command for analysis.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, JPAC scientists used dental comparisons in the identification of Langwell's remains.

With Langwell's accounting, 8,025 service members still remain missing from the Korean War.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/ or call 703-699-1169.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nimitz Prepares for Underway with Fast Cruise

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Peter Merrill, USS Nimitz Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) successfully completed a 14-hour fast cruise June 28.

Fast cruise allowed Nimitz crew members to simulate life at sea and to reinforce the underway watch standards while still tied to the pier.

"This has been a great fast cruise, exactly what the crew needed," said Capt. Paul O. Monger, Nimitz commanding officer. "Since our return from deployment in March, this crew has been working hard to get the ship ready again, fast cruise is the last step to get this warship back to sea."

During the fast cruise, Sailors conducted a sea and anchor detail to simulate Nimitz getting underway along with executing underway watch team rotations and steering drills.

"It's good to flex the watch stations to see where everyone's at and to see how prepared we are to get underway," said Damage Controlman 1st Class (SW/AW) Scott Loendorf, Nimitz' assistant damage control training team coordinator.

The crew also participated in a man overboard drill, general quarters and flight deck drills.

The drills prepared Nimitz' Sailors to work as one entity, said Loendorf. They also introduced new check-ins, and refresh veteran Sailors, to the evolutions they will experience while at sea.

New Sailor or veteran, Nimitz is prepared for the job ahead, said Loendorf. "Motivation was way up. We put in some good effort and it was just awesome training."

Nimitz is scheduled to conduct sea trails, June 29 to test the ship's at-sea maneuvering and system capabilities to ensure mission capability.

Nimitz is the flagship for Carrier Strike Group 11. Nimitz returned home to San Diego March 26 after completing a successful eight-month Western Pacific deployment.

Taylor Arrives in Split, Croatia

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward Kessler, USS Taylor Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - SPLIT, Croatia (NNS) -- USS Taylor (FFG 50) arrived in Split, Croatia, June 24, as part of a scheduled port visit to further strengthen the relationship between the United States and Croatia.

While in port, Taylor Sailors will participate in community relation (COMREL) projects, give out donated Project Handclasp materials, provide tours of the ship and participate in a baseball game against a local Croatian club team.

Cmdr. Lyle Hall, Taylor's commanding officer, will meet with Croatian Vice Adm. Zdravko Kardum, commander, Republic of Croatia Coast Guard and his staff.

"This promises to be a unique and valuable experience for us," said Hall. "We hope to gain a tremendous amount of insight with our Adriatic partners through our sharing of experiences and training techniques."

The COMREL projects involve giving the children from Maestral Orphanage a tour of Taylor and delivering Project Handclasp materials to the orphanage.

Taylor, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is home ported in Mayport, Fla., and is on a scheduled deployment to the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

One-of-a-kind MSC Ship Trains to Deliver Fuel to Shore

By Ed Baxter, Sealift Logistics Command Far East Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - POHANG, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The crew of Military Sealift Command offshore petroleum distribution system ship MV Vice Adm. K.R. Wheeler trained June 21-26 to do something that no other ship in the world can do: pump fuel to shore from a tanker as far as eight miles out to sea.

The training took place off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, and gave the ship's crew, operators and shoreside support personnel an opportunity to practice the first and final phases of a complex evolution that allows the unique, MSC-chartered Wheeler to quickly and efficiently deliver fuel to Soldiers and Marines operating ashore where port facilities are inadequate or non-existent.

The 349-foot long ship is designed to operate as an at-sea pumping station, receiving fuel pumped to it from a commercial or military tanker at sea, and in turn, pumping that fuel to shore.

The exercise provided an opportunity to practice deploying and re-deploying the eight miles of yellow, flexible pipe that Wheeler carries aboard its weatherdeck wrapped around five, 35-foot-tall spools. No liquid was pumped during the training exercise.

Forty-four people participated in the evolution, which required close coordination from a diverse group of civilian and military partners. Wheeler's 26 civilian mariners - who work for a private ship company under contract to MSC - operate and navigate the ship, while eight civilian technicians assigned aboard Wheeler manage the petroleum distribution system. For this exercise, Military Sealift Command Office Korea, along with 10 Sailors from two MSC Reserve units oversaw the shoreside fuel reception infrastructure.

"Our units have never supported Wheeler or a mission like this before," said Navy Lt. Sal Lopez of MSC's Fort Worth, Texas-based Expeditionary Port Unit 113, one of the two MSC Reserve units participating in the exercise. "This is a great opportunity to train in something completely new." Sailors from EPU 109, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., also participated.

"We sharpen our skills and become more proficient by doing this type of hands-on training," said Rick Bower, one of the eight contract personnel assigned aboard Wheeler whose sole mission is to manage the offshore petroleum distribution system. "We can more effectively deliver fuel ashore to our Soldiers and Marines when they need it."

The exercise enabled the crew to inspect and perform routine maintenance on the nine-layers of metal-lined, flexible fuel pipe valued at more than $25 million.

The first step in getting the pipe to shore was to run a line between Wheeler and the beach that would serve as a guide for the pipe. Upon arrival June 21, Wheeler's crew launched one of the ship's two, 45-foot amphibious watercraft, called a LARC, and positioned on the beach to serve as the shoreside anchor for that guiding line. The next day, the line was taken to shore in one of Wheeler's small boats and secured to the LARC's winch. The other end of the line was then secured to the pipe still aboard Wheeler and the LARC used its winch to bring in about 3,000 feet of Wheeler's pipe onto the beach where the pipe was attached to a receiving device called a beach terminal unit that delivers fuel to nearby storage facilities and is stored aboard Wheeler.

Over the next three days, Wheeler steadily deployed its pipe to shore at a rate of approximately 60 feet per minute. At the same time, the ship slowly moved forward at a speed less than one knot as the pipe was deployed to the seabed in about 70-100 feet of water.

By the afternoon of June 24, all eight miles of the pipe had been deployed and Wheeler immediately began to retrieve the pipe. By June 26, the entire pipe was back on board the ship.

In a real world scenario, Wheeler's crew can run the full length of pipe ashore, run a float hose to a tanker and be ready to pump fuel at a rate of about 1,400 gallons per minute - up to 1.7 million gallons in 20 hours.

Wheeler, part of Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three and normally located in Guam or Saipan, stopped at nearby Busan June 27, for fuel and supplies. MSC operates approximately 110 noncombatant, U.S. merchant mariner-crewed ships that replenish U.S. Navy ships at sea, conduct specialized missions, strategically preposition combat cargo at sea around the world and move military cargo and supplies used by deployed U.S. forces.

Family Matters Blog: Program Helps Military Families Adopt

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - I met an amazing military family the other day that opened their hearts and home to three children. Air Force Master Sgt. Kipp M. Bourgeois and his wife, Christina, adopted their children, thanks in part to financial assistance from the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program. The couple had been trying to conceive for more than a decade, but Christina's battle with endometriosis served as a barrier to their attempts.

They moved to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in 2000, and saw a fertility specialist who told the couple their only hope was in vitro fertilization. But at $15,000 a try and only a 30-percent success rate, as the doctor told them, the family just couldn't swing the cost.

They decided to look into adoption, specifically a special-needs adoption through the state. "Dealing with special needs wasn't an issue for us," Bourgeois told me.

They set their sights on two siblings, Emalie and Kameron, who were 4- and 3-years-old at the time. The state considered the children as having special needs due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and allergies. But the couple didn't think twice about their special needs or the fact that they would be accepting two children into their home rather than one.

"My wife fell in love with both of them, just based on their picture," Bourgeois recalled. "They just looked like they fit in our family." Since the adoption was done through the state of Nevada, the family's costs were minimal. Still, they had to pay about $2,000 out of pocket for fingerprinting, training classes and a lawyer to finalize the adoption. The couple turned to the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program for financial help, joining thousands of other military couples who have received compensation to defray adoption costs through the program since 1991. In 2009, the program distributed nearly 650 payments throughout the services, totaling more than $1 million.

The program reimburses servicemembers for certain adoption expenses such as agency and placement fees, legal fees and medical expenses. Servicemembers who serve continuously on active duty for at least 180 days can receive up to a maximum of $2,000 per child, but can't exceed $5,000 per calendar year.

For the Bourgeois family, the money covered their out-of-pocket expenses almost entirely after their first adoption was finalized in 2003.

They again turned to the program for help on their next adoption, three years later.

Bourgeois was working with the birth mother and father at the time. When the birth mother found out she was pregnant, she was distraught, knowing her family wouldn't approve since she wasn't married, he said. Knowing they had adopted before, she called and asked the couple if they would take the baby.

Since this adoption was private, it was more costly, adding up to roughly $13,000, Bourgeois said. But between the department's reimbursement program and IRS tax credits, their out-of-pocket expenses were minimal.

Emalie and Kameron are now 14 and 12, and their youngest, SkylarRae, is 3.

While Bourgeois said he remains grateful for the resources that aided his family: "The love that [my children] return makes the money not even a thought in the end."

I'm grateful there are people out there like the Bourgeois family. Thanks to them, deserving children in need are able to grow up in healthy and happy homes.

If you're interested in adopting, don't hesitate to look into the adoption reimbursement program. The department also offers servicemembers who adopt up to 21 days of nonchargeable leave to be used in connection with the adoption. For more information, contact your local family support center or personnel office, or call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.

Texas Guard Prepares for Season's First Hurricane

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau

June 29, 2010 - About 2,500 members of the Texas National Guard are on standby in anticipation of Tropical Storm Alex, which is expected to become a hurricane and hit the lower Texas coast late July 1 or early July 2. The deployment of troops and the locations where they will go depends on future weather predictions and where landfall occurs, Texas National Guard officials said.

Texas Guard assets that may be employed include eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews, and three C-130 Hercules aircraft and crews that can assist with air evacuations if needed. Additionally, officials said, Guard members have vehicles capable of crossing high-water areas.

The Guard members would be working in support of local and state authorities, and in addition to providing evacuation capabilities, they also can bring medical personnel, communication equipment and security teams if those assets are needed.

"We continue to closely monitor this storm, and are preparing accordingly for its potential impact to our communities," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on his website today. "Tropical Storm Alex is now in the Gulf, and it is imperative that residents pay attention to this storm, heed warnings from their local leaders, and take the steps necessary to protect their families, homes and businesses."

Sailors, DoD Police Graduate Pilot Police Academy at Naval Base Coronado

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class AC Rainey

June 29, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors and Department of Defense (DOD) federal law enforcement officers graduated from a joint training course for the first time in the history of Navy Region Southwest at Naval Base Coronado June 25.

The inaugural Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Navy Security Forces Training Course is a pilot program designed to standardize advanced law enforcement training among all law enforcement agencies within the Navy community.

"The goals of this program are to get all of our police officers and our enlisted folks, masters-at-arms, on the same training pace," said E.A. Rhodes, force protection program director for Navy Region Southwest.

The graduation, which took place at Murphy Canyon Chapel in San Diego, was the end of a nine-week journey for the 10 DoD federal police and two Navy masters-at-arms enrolled in the course. Due to the nature of their work environments (military bases inside the United States) cadets were tasked with complex training evolutions involving the study of both federal and state law, search and seizure techniques, weapons training, and many other areas of law enforcement and anti-terrorism/force protection instruction.

"In nine weeks you cover a lot of material," said Officer Daniel Siler, one of seven graduates from Naval Air Station China Lake Police Department. "We have to go over state and federal laws constantly because laws on base are very different than out in town. It was a good course."

"It was a lot more classroom time; a lot more law; way more law than our 'A' school," said Master-at-Arms Seaman Lindsey Bakke, a Sailor assigned to Harbor Patrol at Naval Base San Diego. "We got to go do different practicals, see really a whole different side of enforcement and protection all around."

Graduates received their badges, pinned on by their families and friends, and took the police officer's oath. According to their instructors, they also saved a vast amount of time in that preparation.

"This course gives the officers the credentials they need to hit the ground running. It usually can take an officer anywhere between three to four months after arriving at a precinct in order to get into a school to receive this kind of advanced training," said Paul Gonzalez, the course's lead instructor. Gonzalez added that once in the advanced schooling officers could be in that training for an additional four months. "Nine weeks is a lot faster than nearly a year," said Gonzalez.

Instructors and administrators will review and evaluate the class to prepare for future training sessions within Navy Region Southwest.

Preparation Key to Weathering Hurricanes

By April Phillips, Naval Safety Center Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The annual hurricane season began June 1, and some experts predict this could be a busy year for storms. However, the Naval Safety Center has storm preparation tips that could lessen the damage to life and property if a hurricane does come ashore.

With the first storm of the season, Tropical Storm Alex, churning in the Gulf of Mexico and nearing hurricane strength, concerns are starting to rise. Current predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show the storm moving away from the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana and toward south Texas, where it may make landfall as a Category 1 storm the evening of June 29 or the morning of June 30.

Derek Nelson, a Norfolk, Va. resident, who heads the Naval Safety Center's Media Division, recently helped put together a pocket-sized hurricane preparedness guide.

Nelson said preparation is important even when evacuation isn't necessary.

"Don't wait until the wind is blowing and the rain is pouring to get water and non-perishable food," Nelson said. "Track the storm as it approaches and prepare before landfall is imminent."

The Naval Safety Center advises inspecting yards and property well in advance of the storm. Remove any diseased or damaged tree branches and secure any objects that could become airborne from high winds.

However, winds aren't the only danger during a hurricane. Flooding is also a major concern.

"Here in Norfolk, the city publishes a map that shows the flood zone," Nelson said.

He recommended that residents of any city find out if they're in a flood-prone location. If so, move valuables to the highest level of the house.

Loss of electricity is a nuisance during a storm, but it can also be dangerous if there's no way to monitor the hurricane.

"Think about what will happen when you don't have electricity for a few days. Don't fill your freezer with food that will spoil. Also, keep a battery-operated radio handy with plenty of spare batteries," Nelson said.

While he has evacuated the city several times in advance of storms, Nelson recognizes that most people won't have to take that drastic step. However, it's important to have a plan, just in case. Find an inland evacuation location well in advance, and make sure everyone in the family knows what to do and when to act.

"It's a lot easier to take a little time and energy to be prepared than to try to figure out what to do once it's too late," he said. "The regret you'll have will far outweigh the effort it takes to get you and your family ready for the storm."

NAS Kingsville Eyes Tropical Storm Alex

By Jon Gagné, Naval Air Station Kingsville Public Affairs

June 29, 2010 - NAVAL AIR STATION KINGSVILLE, Texas (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville set Condition of Readiness 4 (COR 4) June 28 in preparation for the arrival of tropical storm force winds from Tropical Storm Alex on the South Texas coast.

COR 4 is a normal destructive weather condition that is set when tropical storm or hurricane force winds are expected within 72 hours.

NAS Kingsville Commanding Officer Capt. Mark McLaughlin, who assumed command of the air station June 25, set COR 4 for the air station following a teleconference with Navy Region Southeast, and the Navy's weather command in Norfolk.

"It looks like Tropical Storm Alex's projected path has the brunt of the storm coming ashore south of Brownsville and Kingsville will not be in the direct path but we're still going to proceed with caution as the storm is over the Gulf of Mexico," McLaughlin said. "At this point, we're going to be securing potential missile hazards, making plans to protect aircraft and property, and ensuring our personnel have time to take care of their homes and families in case the storm should intensify."

As of noon June 28, the National Weather Service forecasts Tropical Storm Alex to intensify into a Category 2 Hurricane before making landfall somewhere near the Texas-Mexico border. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the coast of Texas south of Baffin Bay to the mouth of the Rio Grande River. The Mexican government has issued a similar warning from the mouth of the Rio Grande River to La Cruz, Mexico.

As of noon June 28, Tropical Storm Alex was located near 20.3N, 91.7W with an estimated minimal central pressure of 989 mb. Maximum sustained winds registered 50 miles-per-hour (mph), and the storm is moving north-northwesterly at about 6 knots. Projected landfall is expected from South of Baffin Bay to the Mexican border at about 7 a.m. central time July 1, as a Category 2 Hurricane.

Tropical Storm-force winds are expected for the Brownsville, Texas area by 9 a.m. June 30, and as far north as Baffin Bay just south of Kingsville, by 6 p.m. Storm surge potential for the watch area is 4-6 feet, with a rainfall potential of 6-8 inches, with isolated 10-inches or more for coastal counties.

At present, entry points into the air station are operating as normal, and all base facilities are operating normal hours.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 29, 2010

AIR FORCE

Carnegie Mellon University/Software Engineering Institute, Pittsburgh, Penn., was awarded a $994,997,561 contract modification which will provide software research and development pertinent to national defense. At this time, no money has been obligated. ESC/PKE, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8721-05-C-0003-P00108).

ARMY

BAE Systems, Sealy, Texas, was awarded on June 24 a $24,859,697 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for up to a total of 130 high mobility artillery rocket system launchers chassis with increased crew protection cabs and applique armor. This contract modification is for 63 vehicles, leaving the government with the option of ordering the additional 67 vehicles. Work is to be performed in Sealy, Texas, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-C-0460).

General Dynamics C4 Systems, Inc., Taunton, Mass., was awarded on June 25 a $9,002,017 firm-fixed-price contract for computer hardware. Work is to be performed in Taunton, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 7, 2010. One Business Opportunities Portal sole-source bid was solicited with one bid received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Fort Monmouth, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-10-C-G409).

W.M. Jordan Versar, JV, Newport News, Va., was awarded on June 25 a $7,185,824 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of West Gate and construction of LaSalle Gates at Langley Air Force Base. Work is to be performed at Langley Air Force Base, Va., with an estimated completion date of June 24, 2012. Six bids were solicited with three bids received. Norfolk District Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-08-D-0056).

American Ordnance, LLC, Middletown, Iowa, was awarded on June 24 a $6,117,147 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement to exercise Option 2 for the 81mm propelling charges; 861,570 of M220. Work is to be performed in Milan, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2013. Bids were solicited via the national technology industrial base with four bids received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, CCRC-AC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-09-C-0029).

NAVY

Navistar Defense, LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $13,407,071 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0014, modification #03 under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for the procurement of spare parts - authorized stockage list, prescribed load list, battle damage assessment repair, and deprocessing - for the independent suspension system for the MaxxPro vehicles; DASH engineering change proposal (ECP) Phase III upgrade, production; remote weapon station system upgrade; and collateral material/BII (unique). The objective of the aforementioned spare parts and ECP upgrades is to sustain operation of the DASH vehicles in Afghanistan. Work will be performed in West Point, Miss., and is expected to be completed by the end of January 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Archer Western Contractors, Ltd., Atlanta, Ga., is being awarded a $9,333,929 firm-fixed-price task order #0003 under a multiple award construction contract (N40085-08-D-9739) for construction of a field training facility at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The work to be performed provides for design and construction of a one-story pre-engineered academic instruction facility; a one-story battalion aid station; range toilet facilities; fire protection storage tank; and a laundry facility. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, N.C., and is expected to be completed by December 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

A-T Solutions, Inc., Fredericksburg, Va., is being awarded an $8,900,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Mobile Counter Improvised Explosive Device Interactive Trainers, a mobile, immersive learning environment for counter improvised explosive device awareness training. Enlisted personnel and junior officers are trained to recognize and defeat improvised explosive devices under complex attack scenarios. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $17,800,000. Work will be performed in Glendale, Calif. (67 percent), and Fredericksburg, Va. (33 percent), and is expected to be completed by October, 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $3,875,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with three proposals solicited and one offer received via the General Services Administration eBuy Web site. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport, Keyport, Wash., is the contracting activity (N00253-10-F-0054).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Troy Co.*, Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a minimum $6,580,813 fixed-price with economic price adjustment for gasohol, fuel oil, and low sulfur diesel. Other locations of performance are various locations throughout Montana. Using services are Army, Air Force, and other federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 33 responses. The date of performance completion is July 30, 2013. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4540).

Associated Petroleum Products, Inc.*, Tacoma, Wash., is being awarded a minimum $12,480,294 fixed-price with economic price adjustment for gasohol, biodiesel, fuel oil, and low sulfur diesel. Other locations of performance are various locations throughout Washington. Using services are Army, Air Force, Navy, and other federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 33 responses. The date of performance completion is July 30, 2013. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4530).

Mansfield Oil Co.*, Gainesville, Ga., is being awarded a minimum $7,478,568 fixed-price with economic price adjustment for gasohol, fuel oil, and low sulfur diesel. Other locations of performance are various locations in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Montana. Using services are Army, Air Force, and other federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 33 responses. The date of performance completion is July 30, 2013. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4535).

Wisconsin Guard artillery battalion rockets into 21st Century

By Army Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek
112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

June 29, 2010 - With the last rocket's glare, the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery gave proof last week at Fort McCoy of their Soldiers' unflagging determination to certify on the military's most advanced field artillery weapon system.

The 121st Field Artillery - with batteries in Milwaukee, Racine, Plymouth and Sussex - took full advantage of a window of opportunity to train on and fire the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS. Members of Battery A, who deployed to Iraq with the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in 2009, were not required to take part in this year's annual training but volunteered to do so for the opportunity to certify on the HIMARS.

"They wanted to be in on the tip of the spear or the tip of training and do a live fire mission with the HIMARS at Fort McCoy," said Battery A Commander Capt. Harvey Hubbard.

According to Lt. Col. Steve Sherrod, 121st Field Artillery commander, the battalion was not scheduled to field the HIMARS for a couple of years.

"Because of deployments and active duty rotations, we were asked to move forward and take an active duty slot for fielding the system this summer," he explained. "As a lifelong artillery man, to get this new, latest cutting edge equipment is very exciting for the Soldiers and for me."

From the side, the HIMARS looks like it could be your average, everyday military issue from the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) family of trucks that has become prevalent in the U.S military in recent years. However, the HIMARS replaces the tracked M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, the battalion's primary weapons system since 2003.

Staff Sgt. Kelly Shurilla of Milwaukee is a section chief on one of Battery A's HIMARS. Shurilla was in the active army for three years and has done eight years with the National Guard - all with the MLRS, with the exception of 2006, when the 121st deployed to Kuwait to perform convoy escort duties throughout Iraq.

"They made it more efficient, easier to understand and fail-safe," said Shurilla, who has taken part in at least a hundred MLRS fire missions during his career. "Everything's quicker, from the computer software to the hydraulics working the launcher itself."

Hubbard lauded the HIMARS' accuracy.

"With the right resources, we can drop a missile in the windowsill of a building," he said.

While the HIMARS has half the firepower of the MLRS, its lighter payload and wheeled chassis provide key advantages over its predecessor in speed and transportability by air in an aircraft such as the Air Force's C-130 Hercules, which is designed to operate on short grassy runways if necessary. The Hercules can land in remote areas bigger planes can't and unload a HIMARS, which then has the capability to roll into firing position in a matter of seconds.

"I really don't see any disadvantages to the HIMARS," Shurilla said.

The 121st Field Artillery's HIMARS crews are now fully trained and certified on the system following completion of the battalion's annual training, which included a two-day live fire by all three firing batteries.

Hubbard has 19 years in the artillery himself, working with everything from 105 millimeter and 8 inch howitzers to the MLRS. He said he does like the traditional artillery pieces but appreciates the addition of HIMARS to the Wisconsin Army Guard weapons inventory.

"With smaller rounds you get more bangs, but HIMARS brings the 121st into the 21st century," Hubbard said. "A lot of active duty units are dying to get this system."

Hubbard said that as Battery A personnel prepared for their deployment with the 32nd Brigade, they did not know the 121st would be getting the HIMARs. This year's fielding and live fire certification, along with a planned annual training at Camp Guernsey, Wyo. next year to train with the 115th Fires Brigade, means a lot for the Soldiers who did not have artillery missions on their latest deployment, he said.

"It's good because they can get back to the standard mission set of the artillery," Hubbard said. "This system is used in Afghanistan and the Soldiers can train to use it in a combat environment."

On the civilian side, Hubbard works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Milwaukee and says he has the best of both worlds - he gets to serve with other veterans currently in uniform and in his day job at the VA gets to work with veterans from World War Two and later conflicts.

"It's really an honor to be out here," said Hubbard. "As a commander, I couldn't have fallen into a better deal."

"Save a Life" Tour Visits Navy Region Northwest

From Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

June 29, 2010 - EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- The Save a Life Tour (SALT) visited installations around Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) June 21-30 providing alcohol awareness training and education about the dangers of drinking and driving.

According to their website, SALT is the most advanced high-impact alcohol awareness program in the nation. The event opened with a 20-minute video showing results of drunk driving along with facts and figures. The video also featured the Jacqueline Saburido story to show how drunk driving not only affects the victims, but their friends and families as well. Participants were required to take a 10-question alcohol survey during the event.

"I think everybody in the Navy knows not to drink and drive, but when you see a program like this, the sad stories, the bodies strewn over the highway, it just drives home the point better," said Cmdr. Dean Grant, Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Everett commanding officer, from Jefferson, S.C. "We all need to be reminded of the seriousness of drinking and driving. It's very effective, and it's a good reminder."

Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW) Darrel Upton, Naval Station Everett command Drug and Alcohol Program advisor, from Houston, who helped coordinate the events, said he likes to be inventive in his training, and when he found out about SALT two years ago he wanted to get it to the region installations.

"If more bases got involved with programs like this, I think our numbers [of alcohol related incidents] would go down," said Upton. "It's a very impressive set-up."

After the presentation, participants were invited to use a multimillion-dollar drunk-driving simulator. The simulator uses a gradual system that raises the difficulty level from 0, completely sober with no delay in reaction time, to 11, approximately a .34 blood-alcohol content in a 165-pound person, resulting in a one second delay in the gas, brake and steering of the vehicle according to Christopher Rich, a SALT manager, from Dayton, Ohio, who lost a sister to a drunk driving accident when she was 16.

"That simulator is outstanding. At first you sit there driving and everything's good, but the next thing you know you start swerving all over the place. I'm a pretty good driver, I've never gotten a ticket in my life, but with that I would've gotten tickets all over the board," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Dennis Cherry, assigned to NOSC Everett, from Oklahoma City. "This is a great learning tool to deglamourize [alcohol], especially for our younger Sailors."

The program runs three tours throughout the U.S., visiting military bases, high schools and colleges along with overseas military installations. Each tour runs for 10 months out of the year in five-month shifts with a month long break in-between.

According to Rich, the feedback he gets tells him the program is working.

"People usually call me back and tell me their numbers went down [after our training]," said Rich. "If we get just one person, then it's worth it, but, in a way, that's not good enough for me; I want to get everybody, but it's not really possible."

"SALT really gets the message out there to our Sailors," said Chief Electrician's Mate (SS) Randy Smitha, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor Trident Training Facility instructor. "The videos they show is a real wake-up call for service members and we hope to send the right message out there that drinking and driving is dangerous."

Atsugi Sailors Compete in JMSDF Swim Meet

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brock A. Taylor, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Det. Japan

ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) -- A group of Sailors assigned to Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi participated in a friendly swim competition with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) sailors June 28.

This year marks the third time that U.S. Sailors competed in the annual event, which featured swimmers from a handful of JMSDF commands. NAF Atsugi Sailors, including the installation's Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Gardner, were invited to take part and show off their swim skills.

"The JMSDF put on a great show here. They're entire fleet air wing is out here taking part, and it's just an honor that we can be a part of this too," said Gardner.

The competition was divided into several events, ranging from 50 and 100 meter freestyle and breast stroke events, as well as group relay races. The final event, a rank relay, offered both sides a chance to show off their swimming skills with sailors E-1 to O-6 exchanging laps.

The JMSDF brought out their elite swimmers, taking top place in most of the events. Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class (NAC) Sean Small, from Destin, Fla., said that although Atsugi Sailors were outmatched by the top-notch JMSDF swimmers, he still had a good time.

"This is definitely their competition," Small said. "They showed up with a smile on their face and even though we got our butts handed to us, it was still nice to show up."

Small added that some of the best U.S. Navy swimmers were unable to compete, because many are assigned to Carrier Air Wing 5, and currently embarked aboard aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), supporting operations in the Western Pacific. He hopes that in the future more Americans will continue to participate.

"I think it's something in the future; now that we see how it is we can put a team together and be more competitive."

Help for military children: Illinois governor signs state law easing school transitions

by Bob Fehringer
U.S. Transportation Command Office of Public Affairs

6/29/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- The governor of Illinois signed the Educational Opportunity for Military Children Act into law today during a formal ceremony here. Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, the commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, served as host for Gov. Pat Quinn's visit.

The law is designed to make it easier for military families with school-aged children to transition to and from various schools.

With the governor's signature, Illinois also becomes the 35th state to join the nationwide Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

The Council of State Governments, education and military family experts, and Department of Defense officials developed the interstate compact. States that sign on to the compact agree to work collectively with other compact states to create uniform standards of practice regarding the transfer of records, course placement, graduation requirements, redundant or missed testing, entrance-age variations and other transition issues.

"Governor Quinn, this is an especially great day for the state of Illinois, the 35th state to sign this military education compact," Gen. McNabb said. "It is also a great day for Scott Air Force Base to have you here to actually put pen to paper and make this compact a reality."

The governor followed General McNabb at the podium.

"In our state of Illinois, we had to adjust the law to make sure that the children of our heroic servicemembers would not be penalized in any way shape or form because their mom or dad is traveling and mobilized across the country and across the world," Governor Quinn said. "That's what the interstate compact is all about."

"Military families sacrifice a great deal in service to our nation when their loved one serves," said Dr. Cynthia Doil, the Scott AFB school liaison officer. "Military children oftentimes pay the greatest price. They transfer from school system to school system oftentimes losing credits for courses taken, their grade point averages often suffer, and they constantly face the unknowns of their class rank as well as their ability to qualify for advanced placement classes.

"The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children legalizes to a great extent that which many of us have been advocating for many years," Doctor Doil said, "to level the playing field for our highly mobile children."

Wendy Bence and her husband, Col. Christopher Bence, have moved their family 13 times in 23 years. They have been following the compact's progress.

"Children of military families change school systems an average of nine times, from kindergarten to senior high school year," Mrs. Bence said. "By signing the compact, it ensures, at local levels, that the children of military families are afforded the same opportunities for educational success as other children and are not penalized or delayed in achieving their education. The compact will benefit students entering as well as leaving Illinois."

Chief Master Sgt. Penny Boggis has been stationed at Scott AFB for two years.

Her daughter, Kelsey, was required to take classes she had already accomplished at past schools and receive seven immunizations in the same day in order to start school on time, Chief Boggis said.

Kelsey said a friend, who arrived here at the same time, with nearly an identical school history at the same Colorado high school, but attended a different Illinois school, was required to attend summer school for two years to meet graduation requirements.

"This is a big step forward in how we support the education of military children at Scott Air Force Base and across Illinois," Chief Boggis said. "The Interstate Compact will hopefully provide for more flexibility in accepting test scores, grades and coursework from previous out-of-state schools and enable students transferring in to Scott AFB to continue their education without undue disruption and stress. Well done Illinois. Thank you."

Dr. Nancy Gibson, the superintendent of O'Fallon School District 90, first attended a strategic planning meeting with DOD and Department of Education officials a few years ago, when she learned of issues presented to military families who must move often. "Some of the barriers that prevent an easy transition could be eliminated or reduced by furthering the understanding of what these issues are," Doctor Gibson said. "And I have come to understand that.

"I am the superintendent of the elementary district in O'Fallon and we have many military families and children in our school district," Doctor Gibson continued. "So I think this legislation is very important. I think it will help eliminate some of the artificial barriers that are present and make moves for military families a lot easier."

AF outlines special developmental education programs for officers

By Staff Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Officers have until Aug. 31 to apply for special developmental education programs available for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The four programs include the Olmsted Scholarship Program, White House Fellowship Program, Mansfield Fellowship Program and Information Assurance Scholarship Program.

Olmsted Scholar Program

The Olmsted Scholar Program provides an opportunity for Air Force line officers to study in a foreign language at an international university abroad. This program provides officers with an in-depth understanding of foreign languages and cultures so they will be knowledgeable and sensitive to the viewpoints and concerns of people around the world as they progress with their Air Force careers. The program involves cultural immersion as well as studying at the university in the native language. More information about the program is available at the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation website at www.olmstedfoundation.org.

White House Fellowship Program

The White House Fellowship Program provides officers with first-hand experience of the nation’s governing process. Annually, 11 to 19 U.S. citizens are selected to work full time for one year as special assistants to senior executives in cabinet-level agencies or in the executive office of the president. White House fellows also participate in an active education program that includes candid, off-the-record discussions with prominent leaders. Fellows also study U.S. policy in action both domestically and abroad by participating in policy study-trips.

Mansfield Fellowship Exchange Program

The Mansfield Fellowship Exchange Program awards two-year fellowships to U.S. federal government employees to develop an in-depth understanding of Japan, learn how its government works and establish relationships with their counterparts in the government of Japan as well as in the business, professional and academic communities. Each year, up to 10 fellowships are awarded to qualified U.S. government officials. The fellows spend a year working full time in Japanese government offices, preceded by a year of full-time, rigorous language and area studies training in the United States. After working in Japan, fellows are required to serve at least two additional years in the federal government where it is anticipated they will continue to work on projects involving Japanese issues.

Information Assurance Scholarship Program

The Department of Defense established the Information Assurance Scholarship Program to increase the number of qualified personnel entering the information assurance career field. This program was established to meet the nation’s increasing dependence on information technology for warfighting and the security of its information infrastructure. The program covers the cost of tuition, fees and books. Additional information on participating schools, entrance pre-requisites, requirements, eligibility and specific degrees is available at www.defenselink.mil/nii/iasp.

More information about these programs is available the Air Force Personnel Center personnel services website at http://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil under Officer Developmental Education Programs.

RIMPAC 2010 Officially Opens

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Top military leaders from 14 partner nations held a press conference to officially launch the 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise at Lockwood Hall on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 28.

Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT); and Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, Combined Task Force welcomed the participating foreign navies as they announced the official start of the month-long exercise.

"For us to be able to hold this exercise today represents a substantial commitment by the countries that are participating and represented here," said Walsh. "Our goal is to ensure a reciprocal level of commitment in terms of training opportunities for those who are here."

The exercise will bring to together units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

"It's an honor to stand here before you with the leadership that we have from each of the 14 nations that are represented in the Rim of the Pacific exercise 2010," said Hunt. "Throughout the one month period, a tremendous gathering of like minded nations will be working together to secure the maritime domain in a way that we have not been able to achieve in the past. We really look forward to the exercise."

Walsh said that information sharing is a key enabler and a force multiplier which is one of the key points of the exercise.

"It gives us opportunities when we have the ability to communicate with each other to take full advantage of the respective capabilities that each nation brings to the sea," said Walsh.

During the exercise, participating countries will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boarding, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing.

Hunt said that the exercise will also emphasize littoral operations with ships like littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), the French frigate Prairial (F 731) and the Singapore frigate RSS Supreme (70).

RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, and will take place in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Program Eases Adoption Expenses for Military Families

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - For many people, $2,000 doesn't add up to much money in the long haul; it won't, after all, buy a new car or a house. But for Air Force Master Sgt. Kipp M. Bourgeois and his wife, Christina, the money was just enough to fulfill their long-term dream: a family.

The couple received the money through the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program to help in defraying their adoption costs.

While successful in the end, the couple's path to adoption was a rocky one that took more than a decade, said Bourgeois, resource advisor for the 5th Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. He and his wife, together for 21 years this month, spent the first 12 years of their marriage exploring every option – from fertility drugs to surgery – in a quest to conceive a child of their own. But Christina's battle with endometriosis made it difficult for her to get pregnant, he explained.

They moved to Nellis in 2000 and were referred to a fertility specialist, who told the couple their only hope was in vitro fertilization. But as a staff sergeant, Bourgeois couldn't swing the cost at $15,000 a try and, as the doctor pointed out to him, only a 30-percent success rate.

Up against a financial brick wall, the couple decided to look into adoption and honed in on a special-needs adoption through the state. "Dealing with special needs wasn't an issue for us," Bourgeois said.

They set their sights on two siblings, Emalie and Kameron, who were ages 4 and 3, respectively, at the time. The state considered the children as having special needs due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and allergies. But the couple didn't think twice about their special needs or the fact that they would be accepting two children into their home rather than one.

"My wife fell in love with both of them, just based on their picture," Bourgeois recalled. "They just looked like they fit in our family."

Since it was a state special-needs adoption, Nevada picked up most of the adoption costs. The couple considered themselves lucky, since adoption funding varies from state to state.

Still, the couple had to pay about $2,000 out of pocket for fingerprinting, training classes and a lawyer to finalize the adoption. The couple turned to the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program for financial help, joining thousands of other military couples who have received compensation through the program since its inception in 1991.

The program reimburses servicemembers for certain adoption expenses such as agency and placement fees, legal fees and medical expenses, Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials said. Servicemembers who serve continuously on active duty for at least 180 days can receive up to a maximum of $2,000 per child, but can't exceed $5,000 per calendar year.

In 2009, the program distributed nearly 650 payments throughout the services, totaling more than $1 million. For the Bourgeois family, the money covered their out-of-pocket expenses almost entirely after the adoption was finalized in 2003.

They again turned to the program for help on their next adoption, three years later. But this time, they didn't seek out the adoption. They were sought out.

Bourgeois was working with the birth mother and father at the time. When the birth mother found out she was pregnant, she was distraught, knowing her family wouldn't approve since she wasn't married, he said. Knowing they had adopted before, she called and asked the couple if they would take the baby.

"My wife wanted a newborn and jumped at the chance," he said.

Since this adoption was private, it was more costly this time, adding up to roughly $13,000, Bourgeois said. But between the department's reimbursement program and IRS tax credits, their out-of-pocket expenses were minimal. Emalie and Kameron are now 14 and 12, and their youngest, SkylarRae, is 3.

Bourgeois said he and his wife haven't ruled out a future addition. But in the meantime, he's content with the three they now have. "The kids know they're adopted," he said. "But as far as we're concerned, we're Mom and Dad. We're their family."

Bourgeois encouraged other military couples to look into resources such as the reimbursement program when considering adoption. The department also offers servicemembers who adopt up to 21 days of nonchargeable leave to be used in connection with the adoption.

While Bourgeois said he remains grateful for the resources that aided his family, "The love that [my children] return makes the money not even a thought in the end."

Gates: Overhead Savings Would Benefit Warfighters

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - The Defense Department must find $100 billion in savings over the next five years to ensure U.S. warfighters continue to have the resources they need to defend the nation now and into the future, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.

At a briefing today, Gates introduced Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, and spoke about his own commitment to the effort.

"Over the past month, I've directed the Pentagon to take a hard, unsparing look at how the department is staffed, organized and operated," Gates said. "The purpose is to significantly reduce our overhead costs in order to free up the resources needed to sustain our force structure, to modernize, and to create future combat capabilities."

President Barack Obama's defense budget requests for the next five years reflect the importance of growth for the department, the secretary said. While funding for other federal agencies is flat, the Defense Department is projected for a bit more than 1 percent real growth.

But that growth is not enough to ensure servicemembers receive the best equipment and materials. Gates said the $100 billion in overhead savings he's working to achieve over the next five years would be put back into the acquisition process.

"As a matter of principle and political reality, we must do everything possible to make every taxpayer dollar count," the secretary said.

Some of the savings will come from eliminating unneeded programs and activities. Gates already has canceled a number of underperforming or unneeded projects. "Other savings can be found within programs and activities we do need, by conducting them more efficiently," he said.

With $400 billion in contracts across the department, Gates said, the Pentagon must become more efficient in the way it buys goods and services. "Clearly, an important part of achieving that goal is working closely with our industry partners and departmental contracting professionals," he said. "Like all important and necessary institutional changes, this process will take time. But I'm confident we'll succeed.

"Ultimately," he continued, "we as leaders in government owe it to the men and women of our armed forces to do all we can to provide them with the very best support possible."

Pacific Partnership 2010 Departs Cambodia

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Brian Gaines, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (NNS) -- Pacific Partnership 2010 departed Cambodia June 28 after 12 days of working alongside the people of Cambodia to deliver a variety of humanitarian and civic assistance programs ashore and aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

"The time has flown by quickly and we should all take great pride in everything we have accomplished together in such a short time," said Pacific Partnership 2010 Mission Commander, Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti. "We have enjoyed a warm and friendly welcome from the Cambodian people, and will long remember the friendships we have made and the inspiring times we have shared during our visit."

Medical staff, Seabees, nongovernmental organizations, partner nations, and other U.S. government organization personnel not only provided their respective specialties in Sihanoukville, but extended these endeavors into distant regions such as Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Kandal, Ratanakiri, and Takeo provinces.

In remote areas such as Ratanakiri, more than 300 miles away from Sihanoukville, medical personnel treated more than 700 patients per day for a variety of medical conditions including such diseases as cholera, chronic skin infections, respiratory infections, and malnutrition.

"The crew we had in these areas exceeded my expectations," said Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Sandy Kimmer, officer in charge for the remote medical civic action program (MEDCAP) sites her team visited. "The crew included NGO, partner nation, U.S. Public Health Service, and joint service personnel. Even some of the contracted interpreters were physicians, and that was a huge asset."

Because of the importance of delivering medical care to such a remote location, Cambodian media braved the rugged terrain to Ratanakiri, located near the borders of Vietnam and Laos, to document the work being done and to spread the word.

"Cambodian television, radio, and newspapers were beneficial in getting the word out," said Kimmer. "A group from the Cambodian Public Health Service was even on-hand to educate the local population about diseases such as malaria and bird flu through skits and other means."

MEDCAP sites were also located in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampot, and Sihanouk provinces. In total, more than 29,000 patients received care at these sites.

Aboard Mercy, medical personnel treated 536 patients and performed 286 surgeries. Even a mother who brought her young son in for corrective urinary tract surgery benefited from an unexpected opportunity for cataract surgery.

"As the boy was being prepped for surgery, we noticed the mother feeling her way around the ship," said Australian Navy Lt. (Dr.) Elizabeth Livingstone, an ophthalmologist currently attached to Mercy. "So we decided surgery would benefit the mother and out of both eyes treated, her best eye now has 20/30 vision."

Various engineering civic action programs (ENCAP) throughout these regions provided a variety of projects including three water wells and two water towers, as well as various renovations to schools and children's centers. Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, along with Australian Defense Force Army engineers from the 2nd Combat Engineering Regiment, and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces engineers provided about 22,000 man-hours to these projects. The final well-drilling project is expected to complete on July 6.

Community service (COMSERV) program volunteers completed 11 different engagements at children's schools and orphanages accounting for more than 1,700 total volunteer hours.

"One of the common statements I hear from our volunteers after completing a COMSERV project is how much fun they had at the event. The impact of these projects are felt by not only those we are visiting or helping, but also by the volunteers," said Lt. Derrick Horne, a chaplain aboard Mercy. "When you can get volunteers of all different backgrounds, experiences, and occupations to stand in a circle with 20 children at a local shelter and do the 'Hokie Pokie,' you know the rewards must be great!"

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cambodia, Mercy was instrumental in repatriating ancient Khmer artifacts to their ancestral homeland. Sihanoukville Governor Sbong Sarath, five Buddhist monks, and a crowd of approximately 60 people gathered on the pier to watch the return of the relics. The artifacts included several Buddhist sculptures from the Angkor period, which spanned from 802 until 1431 A.D.

"As a Cambodian, I was very happy to learn of the return of these artifacts. On behalf of the Cambodian people, I would like to thank the U.S. government for their commitment to the Cambodian people," said Cambodian Ministry of Culture Director Khim Sarith.

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ship JDS Kunisaki (LST 4003) and her embarked medical team and NGOs also joined Mercy during her visit to Cambodia and provided medical personnel and supported MEDCAPs at the Sihanouk Provincial Hospital and the Andaung Thma elementary school, where on average, more than 800 locals were treated daily during their 10-day participation.

This marks the first time Pacific Partnership has visited Cambodia.

Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavors aimed at strengthening regional partnerships among U.S. government organizations, partner nations, and international humanitarian and relief organizations.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 28, 2010

DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY

On June 11, 2010, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) issued a bridge extension for the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) multiple-award Omnibus contracts as a modification to the three existing contracts. Each of the three JITC Omnibus multiple-award, Time and Material (T&M) contracts that are awarded to: 1) Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. (NGIT) under contract number NBCHC020001; 2) Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (NGMS) under contract number NBCHC020002; and 3) Interop Joint Venture II (IJV) under contract NBCHC020003 will be extended. The current contracts expire 31 August 2010. The six month bridge extension will add an additional six month period to each JITC Omnibus contract from September 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 with three 2-month option periods. The three 2-month optional periods will cover March 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011 if exercised. The total combined ceiling values for the extension period and option period will be increased by 70 million, changing the total contract ceilings from 1.05 billion to 1.12 billion. The statutory authority for other than full and open competition is 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), posted to FedBizOps website on April 19, 2010. Performance will be at done at various DISA/Joint Interoperability Testing Command locations. The original solicitation was issued as a full and open competitive action and 8 proposals were received. All three contractors are large businesses. A follow-on solicitation is pending. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, (DITCO) ,Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (satellite branch-JITC, Fort Huachuca), is the contracting activity.

Government Contracting Resources, Inc.*, Pinehurst, N.C., was awarded a $21,229,204, firm-fixed-price contract utilizing partial fiscal 2010 and 2011 operations & maintenance funding, base year, for base operating support services on June 18, 2010. The period of performance for the base period is Aug. 1, 2010 through July 21, 2011 with four 12-month options. Performance will be at Fort George G. Meade, Md. The solicitation was issued as a veteran-owned small business set-aside. The solicitation was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and three responsive offers were received. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, NCR, is the contracting activity (HC1047-10-C-4021).

NAVY

Raytheon Technical Services Co., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $250,475,758 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development, implementation and sustainment of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 V-22 Block Fleet release avionics systems software products, including V-22 aircraft avionics acquisition support. In addition, this contract provides for the development, test and production of V-22 situational awareness/Blue Force tracking software and prototype hardware products. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-10-D-0012).

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $88,202,604 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0061) for the Lot 10 production of 121 AIM-9X Block I all-up-round tactical missiles for the Air Force (65) and the government of Korea (55); 12 Block I captive air training missiles (CATM) for the government of Korea; 15 Block I special air training missiles (NATM) for the Air Force; seven Block II captive training missiles for the Air Force; 21 Block II NATMs for the Air Force; five Block I CATM guidance units (GU) for the Air Force; 15 Block II CATM GUs for the Air Force; seven Block II active optical target detectors for the Air Force; six Block I propulsion steering sections for the Air Force; 52 containers for the Air Force (30) and the government of Korea (22); and associated tooling and test equipment for the Navy, Air Force and the government of Korea. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (57.17 percent); Andover, Mass. (6.97 percent); various locations inside the contiguous U.S. (6.67 percent); Valencia, Calif. (4.76 percent); Goleta, Calif. (4.22 percent); Rocket Center, W.Va. (4.06 percent); Vancouver, Wash. (3.30 percent); Midland, Canada (2.94 percent); Austin, Texas (1.91 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (1.37 percent); Cheshire, Conn. (1.36 percent); El Cajon, Calif. (0.88 percent); Chatsworth, Calif. (0.88 percent); San Jose, Calif. (0.75 percent); Anniston, Ala. (0.74 percent); Simsbury, Conn. (0.70 percent); San Diego, Calif. (0.63 percent); Newbury Park, Calif. (0.52 percent); and various locations outside the contiguous U.S. (0.17 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($60,216,469; 68.27 percent); Navy ($2,833,799; 3.21 percent); and the government of Korea ($25,152,336; 28.52 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0061).

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $40,403,434 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0061) for the Lot 10 production of 54 AIM-9X Block I all-up-round tactical missiles for the U.S. Navy (45) and for the government of Korea (nine); seven Block I captive air training missiles (CATM) for the government of Korea; four Block II captive training missiles for the Navy; 15 Block II special air training missiles for the Navy; 21 Block I CATM guidance units (GU) for the Navy (three) and the governments of Singapore (eight), Australia, (eight), and Korea (two); seven Block II CATM GUs for the Navy; four Block II active optical target detectors for the Navy; and four Block I propulsion steering sections for the Navy. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (57.17 percent); Andover, Mass. (6.97 percent); various locations inside the contiguous U.S. (6.67 percent); Valencia, Calif. (4.76 percent); Goleta, Calif. (4.22 percent); Rocket Center, W.Va. (4.06 percent); Vancouver, Wash. (3.30 percent); Midland, Canada (2.94 percent); Austin, Texas (1.91 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (1.37 percent); Cheshire, Conn. (1.36 percent); El Cajon, Calif. (0.88 percent); Chatsworth, Calif. (0.88 percent); San Jose, Calif. (0.75 percent); Anniston, Ala. (0.74 percent); Simsbury, Conn. (0.70 percent); San Diego, Calif. (0.63 percent); Newbury Park, Calif. (0.52 percent); and various locations outside the contiguous U.S. (0.17 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Navy ($32,944,420; 81.54 percent); and the governments of Korea ($5,699,174; 14.10 percent), Australia ($879,920; 2.18 percent), and Singapore ($879,920; 2.18 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Electronics, Intelligence & Support, Electronic Solutions, Nashua, N.H., is being awarded a $30,954,068 firm-fixed-price contract for the low-rate initial production Lot 6 for the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures AN/ALE-55 subsystems for the F/A-18E/F aircraft, including associated technical support for the Navy, Marine Corps, and the government of Australia. In addition, this contract provides for recurring and non-recurring engineering efforts in order to fabricate, assemble, test and deliver the component hardware of the AN/ALE-55 subsystem. The AN/ALE-55 subsystem consists of an electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber optic towed device (FOTD) round. This contract provides for 72 EFCs for the Navy (55) and the government of Australia (17); and 334 FOTD rounds for the Navy and Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Nashua, N.H. (80.6 percent); Mountain View, Calif. (12 percent); and Chelmsford, United Kingdom (7.4 percent). Work is expected to be completed in September 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Navy and Marine Corps ($28,524,921; 92.2 percent), and the government of Australia ($2,429,147; 7.8 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0069).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a $29,665,942 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide systems engineering services to support the integration of the TRIDENT II (D5) missile and reentry subsystems into the common missile compartment for the Ohio SSBN replacement program. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif. (53.38 percent); Cape Canaveral, Fla. (40.02 percent); Magna, Utah (3.54 percent); Groton, Conn. (1.55 percent); Olathe, Kan. (0.67 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (0.50 percent); Bangor, Wash. (0.27 percent); Dallas, Texas (0.03 percent); and Port Washington, N.Y. (0.01 percent). Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was sole-source. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-10-C-0043)

Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Ariz., is being awarded a $26,385,013 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-fee contract for the full-rate production of seven GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea-skimming target vehicles, associated hardware, and kits. Work will be performed in Chandler, Ariz. (67 percent); Camden, Ark. (26 percent); Vergennes, Vt. (4 percent); and Hollister, Calif. (3 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $93,816 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0063).

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $26,500,000 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-10-G-0018) for the procurement of 50 forward looking infrared radar for the CH-53E helicopters (42) and CH-53K helicopters (eight). Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., and is expected to be completed in June 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $530,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Capco, Inc., Grand Junction, Colo. (N00164-10-D-WR31); PRN Associates, Indianapolis, Ind. (N00164-10-D-WR29); and Roselm Industries, Inc., South El Monte, Calif. (N00164-10-D-WR30), are each being awarded a $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for breech plates that are part of a countermeasure dispensing system. These breech plates are a component for the aircraft countermeasure dispensing system which ejects decoys to protect aircraft from exterior threats including surface-to-air missiles. Work will be performed in Grand Junction, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; South El Monte, Calif.; and is expected to be completed by June 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This is part of a multiple-award contract with four offers being received. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, Marlborough, Mass., is being awarded a $7,171,329 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00421-09-G-0002) for engineering and technical services in support of the air traffic, navigation, integration and coordination system. Work will be performed in Marlborough, Mass. (70 percent), and Largo, Fla. (30 percent); and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $7,171,329 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-09-G-0002).

Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, is being awarded a $5,694,383.80 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0008 under contract number M67854-07-D-5028 for the procurement of modernization safety kits to be installed on the RG-31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle fleet. The modernization safety kits include a fire-resistant self-sealing fuel tank; an upgraded 570 amp alternator; a back-up alarm system; an improved interior lighting system; and an increased crew ventilation kit. Approximately 33 percent of the product manufacturing will be produced in Buffalo, N.Y., with the remainder being completed at General Dynamics facilities in Canada and South Africa. All deliveries are expected no later than June 28, 2011. Fiscal 2008 OPA contract funds are being will be utilized and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5028).

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded a $5,528,860 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-08-C-0061) to exercise an option for the procurement of identification friend-or-foe common digital transponder hardware for the Navy and Army. This option consists of 23 RT-1836(C) AN/APX-118 transponders for the Army; 27 RT-192 AN/APX-123 transponders for the Navy (five) and Army (22); 450 Mode 5 modification kits for the Army; one MT-7221 APX mount for the Navy; and 150 power supplies for the Army. Work will be performed in Greenlawn, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in March 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $33,110 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Army ($5,362,725; 97 percent) and Navy ($166,135; 3 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

Balfour Beatty Construction, Fairfax, Va., was awarded on June 24 a $43,613,850 firm-fixed-price-construction contract. This contract is for Base Items 0001-0022 and Option Item 1003. This procurement is a design-build project for a dining facility at Fort Jackson, S.C. This project will design and build a new "quad" dining facility complex and renovate four starships including all site work. Work is to be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of June 3, 1012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District Contracting Office, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-10-C-0058).

Raytheon Co, Integrated Defense Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on June 24 a $31,502,788 cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract. This contract is for fiscal 2010 Patriot engineering services contract for 907,043 man-hours of effort. Work is to be performed in Andover, Mass. (9.34 percent); Burlington, Mass. (15.20 percent); El Paso, Texas (15.26 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (3.87 percent); and Tewksbury, Mass. (56.33 percent), with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-C-0057).

NCI Information Systems, Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded a $27,651,725 time-and-material contract. The contractor will provide a wide range of diverse services in the area of management, logistical and technical engineering support to Program Executive Office Soldier, Project Manager (PM) Soldier protection and individual equipment, PM Soldier sensors and lasers, PM Soldier Warrior, and PM Soldier Weapons, with performance through Oct. 31, 2010. Work is to be performed in Middle River, Md. (20 percent); Fort Belvoir, Va. (20 percent); Haymarket, Va. (30 percent); Hopewell, Va. (15 percent); Fort Benning, Ga. (4 percent); Afghanistan (1 percent); Iraq (1 percent); and Kuwait (9 percent), with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One single-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91BRF-07-D-0014).

John C. Grimberg, Rockville, Md., was awarded on June 24 a $13,478,000 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the design and construction of a multi-story emergency services center that will provide a fire station, police/law enforcement, and administrative support space. Work is to be performed in Fort Detrick, Md., with an estimated completion date of Sept 17, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with 13 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, Baltimore, Md., is the contracting activity (W912DR-10-C-0087).

SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., was awarded on June 24 a $9,036,694 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for Phases II/II of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's panoptic analysis of chemical traces program. SRI International will develop an advanced analytical system for processing and identification of chemicals in the atmosphere which will provide high-throughout, cost-effective, high fidelity identification of chemical constituents. This technology will facilitate rapid, accurate chemical mapping and reconnaissance. Work is to be performed in Menlo Park, Calif. (80.9 percent); Plymouth, Minn. (8.6 percent); Poway, Calif., (4.7 percent), Toronto, Canada (4.9 percent); and Seattle, Wash., (0.9 percent), with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2012. Bids were solicited through a broad agency announcement with four bids received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0113).

P&S Construction, Inc., Lowell, Mass., was awarded on June 24 an $8,967,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a new 150-member Army Reserve center, vehicle maintenance shop, and unheated storage building located in Luzerne County, Ashley, Pa. Work is to be performed in Hanover Township, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 30, 2011. Fifty bids were solicited with six bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-10-C-0062).

Omega Training Group, Inc., Columbus, Ga., was awarded on June 24 a $5,668,512 time-and-material contract. The contractor will provide support services for non-governmental-in-nature tasks that exceed organic capabilities of Task Force Marshall at Fort Jackson, S.C. Work is to be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of June 21, 2012. Seven bids were solicited with six bids received. Mission & Installation Contracting MICC Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., is the contracting activity (W91247-10-C-9001).