Military News

Monday, February 01, 2010

Defense review foresees long-term role for National Guard

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau

(2/1/10) – A National Guard that has been vital to national defense for the past eight years will remain an operational force, according to the Department of Defense’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review released today. “Preventing and deterring conflict will likely necessitate the continued use of some elements of the Reserve Component … in an operational capacity well into the future,” the QDR states.

The QDR is a legislatively mandated review of DoD strategy and priorities that occurs every four years.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates delivered the 2010 QDR report to Congress today. It is the fourth QDR since the 1997 act that made it mandatory and the second conducted in wartime.

“Over the past eight years, the National Guard and Reserves have consistently demonstrated their readiness and ability to make sustained contributions to ongoing operations,” the QDR states.

“We don’t want to put our National Guard back on the shelf like we’ve done after every major war our nation’s been in,” said Gen. Craig McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We’re going to have a demand on our National Guard for the foreseeable future.”

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997, which established the QDR, also required that it be conducted in consultation with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“We could not have accomplished what we have these past eight years were it not for our Reserve and National Guard forces,” Navy Adm. Michael Mullen wrote in his formal assessment of the QDR.

The QDR commits to a comprehensive assessment of reserve component policies.

“In that review, it is important that we consider the proper balance of maintaining the operational capabilities and strategic depth of the Reserve Component as an integrated force to meet requirements across the full spectrum of conflict,” Mullen wrote. “Access to the Reserve Component remains a critical lever for meeting global operational demands without substantially increasing the size of the active force.”

The QDR also contemplates a reorganization of the nation’s chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives response packages, or CBRNE.

It outlines a plan to draw on existing National Guard forces to build a homeland response force in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions. HRFs would provide a regional response capability, focus on planning, training and exercises and forge links between federal state and local authorities.

“The challenges facing the United States today and in the future will require us to employ National Guard and Reserve forces as an operational reserve to fulfill requirements for which they are well-suited in the United States and overseas,” the QDR states. “The National Guard often serves at the forefront of [DoD] operations.”

Until the attacks of 9/11, the National Guard was viewed as a strategic reserve. Following the attacks, the Guard underwent a no-notice transformation to an operational force.

The QDR portrays a future where the Guard will be a little of both. “The department will seek ways to rebalance its reliance on the Reserve Component to ensure the long-term viability of a force that has both strategic and operational capabilities,” the QDR states.

“Using the National Guard … will lower overall personnel and operating costs, better ensure the right mix and availability of equipment, provide more efficient and effective use of defense assets and contribute to the sustainability of both the Active and Reserve Components,” the QDR states.

The QDR’s defense objectives for the United States are to prevail in today’s wars, prevent or deter conflict, prepare to defeat adversaries and succeed in a wide range of contingencies and preserve and enhance the all-volunteer force.

The document outlines six key missions:

• Defending the United States and supporting civil authorities at home

• Succeeding in counterinsurgency, stability and counterterrorism operations

• Building the security capacity of partner states

• Deterring and defeating aggression in anti-access environments

• Preventing the proliferation of and countering weapons of mass destruction

• Operating effectively in cyberspace

The DoD will support the Department of Homeland Security and civil authorities in domestic operations, the QDR states.

With a strong emphasis on “taking care of our people,” the QDR anticipates a deployment tempo of five years demobilized for every one year mobilized for National Guard units, Gates said.

Air Force Recruiting campaign features Arkansas A-10


By Capt. Heath Allen
Arkansas National Guard

(1/28/10) -- The 188th Fighter Wing is no stranger to the spotlight. That light was never more luminous than during a recent partnership with the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service. The 188th's A-10C Thunderbolt II "Warthogs" will be used in a marketing campaign, which will feature photos and video of an A-10C with a monster truck that resembles the aircraft.

A marketing team with USAF Recruiting Services concluded a three-day project at the 188th Jan. 27. The photo and video shoot featured shots of the A-10s with the monster truck.

Tight project deadlines put the 188th under the gun and the microscope.

"We sent out the message to several A-10 units and the 188th was the first to respond," said Tech Sgt. Christian Bolduc, a spokesperson with USAF Recruiting. "The 188th went out of its way to make sure that we had everything we needed. A project like this takes time and a lot of coordination and the 188th did a great job and made our jobs a lot easier. We're very appreciative of all their efforts."

The monster truck was designed to mimic many of the A-10's attributes, including a replica of the aircraft's 30mm Gatling gun. The monster truck's version of the weapon functions as a T-shirt launcher during Air Force recruiting events.

The monster truck also features non-functioning models of the A-10's wings and its two General Electric GF-34 engines.

The 188th's A-10s along with the monster truck will be featured in USAF Recruiting Service videos and literature that will be disseminated nationwide, including professional sporting events. Photo and video products from the project will also be available on computer desktop and cell phone wallpapers. Audio from the A-10's 30mm Gatling gun will be made available in a cell phone ring tone as well.

"We know the Air Force could have selected any number of A-10 units," said Col. Tom Anderson, 188th commander. "We were very appreciative that we were afforded the opportunity to showcase our A-10s and the 188th on a national level. I know everyone from Operations to Maintenance and Public Affairs went above and beyond to ensure the Air Force Recruiting team had what they needed to do the job right."

The recruiting program also includes a similar partnership with Orange County Choppers in which one of the company's motorcycles is featured with an F-22 Raptor.

Guard assists seven states with winter storm emergencies


By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

(2/1/10) – Winter storms created dangerous conditions across the nation's midsection late last week and into the weekend, and more than 560 National Guard members were called out in seven states to deal with the mess. Before the units were activated most were placed on standby by their state governors in anticipation of the bad weather. Emergency declarations were declared by the governors of Arkansas, Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Virginia.

In Virginia, more than 200 Guardmembers were placed on state active duty with Humvees and heavy equipment to assist emergency responders. Snowfall totals of up to 14 inches were reported around the state.

Maj. Cotton Puryear, the state public affairs officer for the Virginia National Guard, reported Gov. Bob McDonnell visited the Guard's Joint Operations Center in Sandston, Va., Jan. 30 to receive a first-hand briefing from Guardmembers involved in the state-wide response.

The same storm dumped up to 13 inches of snow in North Carolina. About 10 Soldiers and Airmen were on duty in the Tarheel state assisting civilian emergency responders.

In the Midwest, Oklahoma and Arkansas Soldiers and Airmen were dealing with freezing rain that coated trees and power lines in some areas as well as dropped snow and sleet. Hundreds of auto accidents were reported. Over the weekend, up to 82,000 home were reported without power in Oklahoma.

More than 200 Oklahoma Guardmembers were placed on state active duty, delivering food and water and cots to 23 shelters and warming shelter sites throughout the state as well as generators to water plants.

Weeks before these response efforts, severe winter weather blasted northern Arizona. Thunderstorms, snow, rain and fog hampered the continued relief supply flights of Guard aircraft in reaching Indian reservations that were cutoff in northern areas of the state, the Arizona Republic reported.

"As weather across the state begins to clear and communities start to assess damage from this week’s storms, Arizona emergency management officials continue to respond with life-saving resources for those affected by the consequences of heavy rain and snow," according to an Arizona Guard press release.

The Arizona Guard has 79 Soldiers and Airmen still on emergency duty there today, operating heavy equipment and aircraft including Humvees, five-ton trucks and wreckers and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

"The Arizona National Guard is repositioning trucks, Soldiers and helicopters to transport supplies and assist local agencies and tribal nations," Guard officials said.

A recent request from the Arizona Emergency Operations Center asked for seven additional Guardmembers from the Arizona Air Guard's 161st Air Refueling Wing to support the storm relief efforts.

The Nevada National Guard also supported Arizona during its emergency declaration with nine Soldiers, one CH-57 Chinook, two UH-60 Blackhawks, 47 generators and 37 pallets of food, water and cots.

South Dakota Guardmembers continued their support to civil authorities after a winter storm brought high winds, snow and freezing rain to their state.

The governor's office reported that nearly 12,000 households were without power, and a water delivery system serving a three-county area that includes the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation was out of operation. The water system has been returned to operation, and about 2,000 people remained without electrical power as of Jan. 29.

South Dakota National Guard today had 54 members operating heavy equipment, including several dozers and wreckers, conducting search and rescue missions and providing other support to civil authorities.

Alaska Air Guard trains Japanese pilots on air refueling


By Maj. Guy Hayes
Alaska National Guard

(1/29/10) -- The Alaska Air National Guard trained two members from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) here Jan. 9-25 on air refueling operations. Capt. Junichi "Mia" Takamiya and Capt. Yasutaka "Zono" Higashizono, both UH-60J pilots from Japan, received hands-on training during day and night air refueling missions on the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter.

"The first day of their training was centered on ground training," said Lt. Col. Thomas Bolin, commander of the 210th Rescue Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard's 176th Wing. "We built a syllabus to teach them the differences between the UH-60J and the HH-60, and then we focused on air refueling operations, procedures and techniques."

The second part of training focused on two-day and three-night air refueling missions. "Mia" and "Zono" flew on a two-hour air refueling track, following three different air refueling rendezvous procedures.

"We started out with two day flights and transitioned to three night flights with the JASDF members sitting in the co-pilot seat and watching us before taking over as pilot," said Bolin.

The Air National Guard has also recently trained two UH-60J pilots and two HC-130 pilots in helicopter air refueling at Moffett Federal Airfield in December and is working on deploying an HC-130 and crew from New York to Japan to provide additional training to the JASDF crews.

The training is part of the JASDF desire to purchase refueling pods for the C-130H. They are currently flying KC-767 Jet Tankers and the UH-60J, but don't have air refueling capability, limiting their ability to assist in long range rescue operations.

"Mia" and "Zono" will take their new learned skills back to Japan to train other JASDF UH-60J pilots on air refueling techniques.

"Mia" and "Zono" are both accomplished pilots and learned quickly from our 210th Rescue Squadron instructors, said Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Foster, 176th Wing commander, Alaska Air National Guard. "We can be very proud of the 210th and 211th aircrews and the maintenance and other logistical support that made this happen, and all without disrupting the level of services we routinely provide to the state and nation."

"The Japan Air Self-Defense Force can never say thank you enough to all who made enormous efforts to make this unique helicopter air refueling training happen," said. Maj. Hiroshi "Kage" Kageura, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. "In the very near future, our UH-60J will fly extended range and save lives by using the tactics, technique and procedures given by the Alaska Air National Guard."

Review Upgrades Personnel Status; Budget Confirms It

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - The Fiscal 2011 Defense Budget Request and the Quadrennial Defense Review look at personnel as a strategic asset, the Joint Staff's director for force structure, resources and assessments said today. Navy Vice Adm. Stephen Stanley spoke during a Pentagon news conference explaining both documents.

For the first time, the Quadrennial Defense Review – a congressionally mandated look at the strategic situation facing the Defense Department – treated personnel as a strategic asset. The 2011 budget request put money behind that contention.

"Our personnel programs are literally the foundation upon which all capabilities are built," Stanley said. "Without strong personnel, personnel that aren't distracted by family problems, child care concerns, medical concerns, our capabilities are lacking. So this budget reflects that idea."

Preserving and enhancing the all-volunteer force is a priority of the review. "For too long, the health of the all-volunteer forces, the civilian workforce that supports it and the processes by which the department provides needed equipment and platforms have been underemphasized priorities," according to the review's executive summary.

The review discusses the problems the force has experienced in fighting America's wars – repeated deployments, family separation, psychological trauma and so on.

"We recognize that they're a strategic asset to our nation; also that it's an enduring commitment," Stanley said. "And it's not just an enduring commitment to our men and women in uniform today, it's a commitment to our wounded warriors, our fallen heroes and their families, and the families of our men and women in uniform."

The budget calls for a 1.4 percent pay raise -- equal to the full Employment Cost Index -- for both military members and civilians. The budget also calls for commensurate raises in the basic allowances for housing and subsistence.

Health care also is fully funded. There has not been a raise in TriCare co-pays since 1995, but the department still is fully funding the program, but reserves the right to address the situation with Congress later, officials said. DoD's Health Care Program covers 9.5 million eligible recipients.

Family support programs are a big winner in the budget with $8.1 billion. This includes funds for child support and youth programs, spouse employment, and commissaries. Also, the DoD Education Activity gets an increase along with a big plus up for school building projects.

"A number of our schools are very significantly in need of maintenance," Stanley said. "This adds considerable funding to fund about half of them over this next five-year period. So it's a very important program for our families and children."

Missile Defense Review Links Strategy to Threats

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - The Ballistic Missile Defense Review released today aligns U.S. missile defense posture with near-term regional missile threats, and sustains the ability to defend the homeland against limited long-range missile attack, said Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy. Flournoy today described six major priorities that will shape U.S. missile defense at a Pentagon news conference.

The first goes to the heart of defense and that is to defend the United States from a limited ballistic missile attack. The second is to defend against growing regional threats.

A third priority is "to test new systems under realistic conditions before they're deployed to ensure their effectiveness," Flournoy said.

The fourth priority is to develop new fiscally sustainable capabilities, while the fifth is to develop flexible capabilities that can adapt as threats evolve. Finally, the United States wants to lead expanded international cooperation on missile defense, she said.

"We believe this approach will provide reassurance to our allies that the United States will stand by our security commitments to them," Flournoy said, "and will help to negate the coercive potential of regional actors attempting to limit U.S. influence and actions in key regions."

That approach, she added, will also serve to strengthen regional deterrence alliances against states seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

The missile review was conducted with an eye toward engaging Russia and China in a strategic dialogue.

"We're currently protected against a limited ballistic missile attack, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future," Flournoy said. "We will continue to invest in this capability and to hedge against the possibility of new threats emerging."It's important, Flournoy emphasized, to note that U.S. homeland missile defense efforts are focused on regional actors such as North Korea and Iran, and "are not intended to affect the strategic balance with Russia or China."

U.S. Carrier Leaves Haiti; Relief Mission Continues

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - The release of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and other military assets from the humanitarian assistance mission in Haiti in no way signals a winding down of U.S. military operations there, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters today.

"It does not mean the beginning of the end," Gates said during a news briefing that focused primarily on the fiscal 2011 budget request and 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. "We anticipate being in Haiti for as long as we are needed, and as long as the president wants us to be there and the Haitians want us to be there."

U.S. Southern Command announced today that Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, its commander, had released USS Carl Vinson from the Operation Unified Response mission it has supported since arriving in Haiti Jan. 15.

Ten of its embarked helicopters will remain with Joint Task Force-Haiti and will continue to support international relief efforts from other U.S. Navy ships operating near the Haitian coast, officials said.

Meanwhile, Fraser also released the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and the oceanographic survey ship USNS Henson, among the first Navy ships to join the Vinson in the days immediately after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Fraser said he also plans to release elements of three Army aviation units, expressing confidence that JTF-Haiti has the resources and personnel needed to assist U.S. Agency for International Development and UN-led relief efforts..

As of today, 19 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Military Sealift Command ships continue to support the relief effort, and seven additional U.S. military and civilian ships are en route to join them, Southcom reported.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognized that demand for these assets will diminish as USAID and non-governmental-organization projects evolve. But, the admiral reiterated the U.S. military's continued commitment in Haiti. "We will remain in Haiti just as long as we are needed," Mullen said. "At the request of the Haitian government and in partnership with the U.N. and international community, we will continue to do all that is required to alleviate suffering there."

Mullen expressed appreciation for the way the U.S. military has stepped up to the mission. "I couldn't be more proud of the way in which our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have stepped up to perform this important mission of mercy."

Fraser echoed Mullen, offered high praise today to the support the vessels leaving Haiti and their crews provided.

"I want to thank the thousands of sailors who steamed toward Haiti in near-record time to help the nation overcome the humanitarian crisis that immediately followed this natural disaster," Fraser said. "From emergency medical care aboard ships, to medical evacuation missions, to the rapid delivery of urgently-needed supplies, they helped save countless lives in the most desperate of times."

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 1, 2010

AIR FORCE

Rolls-Royce Corp., of Indianapolis, Indiana was awarded a $145,950,000 firm fixed price contract which will exercise Option III (year 4) for sustaining services including logistics support, program management support, engineering services, spares and technical data in support of the C-130J propulsions systems which includes the AE2100D3 engine and R-391 propeller system. At this time, $42,747, 403 has been obligated. 330ACSG/GFKA, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8504-07-D-0001, Delivery # FA8504-07-D-0001-0400).

CSC Applied Technologies LLC of Ft. Worth, Texas was awarded a $30,175,532 firm fixed price contract for option exercise (Option year 1) for the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada back-shop maintenance A-76 requirement for the 57th Maintenance Group (57 MXG) which includes on an off equipment maintenance, repair and inspections on Air Force aircraft along with associate unit supply functions to support maintenance activities and flying and maintenance scheduling, database management and analysis, centralized control (a maintenance operations center), and maintenance training functions. At this time, $2,550,909 has been obligated. 99 Cons/LGCC, Nellis AFB, Nevada is the contracting authority. (FA4861-08-C-C001).

Tried & True Corp., Cleaning of El Cajon, Calif., was awarded a $20,000,000 firm fixed price contract which will provide for management, supplies, equipment, transportation and labor for non-personal custodial services at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado. At this time an estimated $2,362,746 has been obligated. 21 CONS/LGCAB, Peterson AFB, Colorado is the contracting authority (FA2517-10-D-5000).

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri was awarded a $19,802,272 firm fixed price incentive contract for overhaul of Tunner aircraft cargo loaders in support of the Tunner 60K loader program. At this time $6,600,757 has been obligated. 542 Combat Sustainment Wing Contracting Flight, PKBA, Robins AFB, Ga., is the contracting authority (FA8519-04-D-0006-0064).

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., of Poway, Calif., was awarded a $12,804,804 cost plus fixed fee term contract to provide two MQ-9 Reaper test aircraft to support immediate and future development tests needs on the Reaper Increment I program. The total amount has been obligated. 703rd Aeronautical Systems Group, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting authority (FA8620-05-G-3028-005005).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Simulator, training and support, Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $7,190,146 modification to a firm fixed price contract to provide Type I special training (operations and maintenance) for the government of Pakistan in support of their F-16 program. At this time, $6,115,480 has been obligated. AETC/CONS/LGCI, Randolph AFB, Texas is the contracting authority (FA3002-06-G-0001, Call 0014, Modification 02).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc., Tustin, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $36,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for radiology systems, subsystems and components. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The proposal was originally Web solicited with 43 responses. This contract is exercising the first option year period. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 3, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2D1-09-D-8322).

Hartland Fuel Products, Onalaska, Wis.*, is being awarded a minimum $6,686,607 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuels. Other locations of performance include Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Illinois. Using services are Army, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. There were 48 proposals originally solicited with 25 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-09-D-4533).

Ports Petroleum, Wooster, Ohio*, is being awarded a minimum $12,135,550 fixed price with economic price adjustment contract for fuels. Other locations of performance include Texas, Michigan and Nebraska. Using services are Army and federal civilian agencies. There were 48 proposals originally solicited with 25 responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is June 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-10-D-4525).

NAVY

Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, Baltimore Md., is being awarded a $31,357,938 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for electrical design agent for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $104,894,277. The MK 41 VLS provides a missile launching system for CG 47 and DDG 51 class surface combatants of the U.S. Navy, as well as surface combatants of allied navies. Efforts under the contract include design agent services to support the MK 41 VLS program and the life cycle support facility through efforts such as the integration of new missiles into VLS, integration of VLS into new ships, technical refresh, systems engineering, computer program engineering, and failure analyses. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (26.7 percent); and the governments of Japan (29.7 percent); Turkey (14.2 percent); Australia (7.7 percent); Spain (7.0 percent); Canada (6.0 percent); South Korea (5.0 percent); Netherlands (2.1 percent); and Germany (1.6 percent); under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Md. (92 percent); and Ventura, Calif. (8 percent); and is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $3,184,020 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. 20376-2040, is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-5347).

Stara Technologies, Inc.*, Gilbert, Ariz., is being awarded $23,229,967 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development efforts associated with alternative energy sources for persistent ground surveillance systems. Work will be performed in Gilbert, Ariz., (90 percent) and at the Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Ariz., (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in January 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-C-0103).

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Inc., Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $9,087,526 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for continued design agent and technical engineering support to the Weapons Direction Systems of the Standard Missile Programs. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $12,244,062. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (24.7 percent), the government of Australia (73.6 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program and the governments of Germany (0.8 percent) and the Netherlands (0.9 percent) under Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). Work will be performed in Rockville, Md. (85 percent) and Sydney, Australia (15 percent), and is expected to be completed by May 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $147,157 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-5345).

Gates is Hopeful U.S.-China Can Resolve Issues

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today said he hopes that the U.S. and China quickly resolve any potential issues that emerge in the wake of a U.S. arms deal to Taiwan.

The U.S. last week notified Congress of the nearly $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province. The government in Beijing responded by signaling its intention to suspend military relations with the U.S., and threatened sanctions against individual American businesses involved in the deals.

"I hope that if there is a downturn it is a temporary one, and that we can get back to strengthening this relationship," Gates said, referring to U.S-Chinese relations, during a news conference at the Pentagon today.

Gates cited a congressional act passed three decades ago that allows the U.S. to support Taiwanese defense, despite the two countries' lack of formal diplomatic ties. He said similar arms deals exchanged under the act during the Bush Administration also angered Beijing, prompting them to cool military-to-military relations with Washington.

"The Taiwan Relations Act commits the United States to providing a certain level of support to Taiwan so that it's able to defend itself. We went through this kind of a downturn in the last year of the Bush administration when there was an arms sale to Taiwan and we saw a reduction in the military-to-military relationships," Gates said. "They have clearly announced that they plan to reduce those contacts now again."

The defense secretary said he had previously emphasized to Chinese Gen. Xu Caihou, the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People's Liberation Army, his desire to insulate military-to-military relations from the two countries' political relationship.

"I told [Xu] that in the future, I hope that we could shield the military-to-military relationship from the political ups and downs in the relationship," Gates said, recalling an earlier conversation with his Chinese counterpart. "I think that we have a lot to learn from each other [and] I think that stability is enhanced by contact between our military and a greater understanding of each other's strategies."

The latest military hardware sale to Taiwan includes Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot missiles, and radar and communications equipment. China has reportedly threatened sanctions against the defense contractors, including Boeing, involved in the deal.

Asked today to respond to the alleged sanction threat by Beijing, Gates said: "We'll just have to wait and see."

Review Aims to Rebalance Forces, Puts People First

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - The Quadrennial Defense Review, released today, seeks to rebalance the military to better fight today's wars and to institutionalize department reforms, the undersecretary of defense for policy said. The report to Congress provides a strategy-driven framework used for determining the department's priorities, Michele Flournoy said in a recent interview.

People and today's wars, she said, are the most important aspects of the report.

The report, Flournoy said, mirrors Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' priorities. The first is to prevail in today's wars. The second is to prevent and deter conflicts. The third is to prepare the department for a wide range of contingencies and the fourth is to preserve and enhance the all-volunteer force.

For the first time the QDR "places the current conflicts at the top of our budgeting, policy and programming priorities, thus ensuring that those fighting America's wars and their families – on the battlefields, in the hospital, or on the home front – receive the support they need and deserve," Gates wrote as an introduction to the report.

The QDR, Flournoy said, reflects Gates' desire to re-balance the U.S. military to be more capable of handling today's wars – Iraq, Afghanistan, al-Qaida and its allies.

Senior defense planners who've worked on the QDR wanted to ensure "there are very strong links between the strategy, the program and the budget," Flournoy pointed out.

The QDR, she said, "pays particular attention to the enablers that are so critical to giving the force the flexibility it needs to succeed, and that have been in critical short supply in places like Afghanistan."

These enablers include increased intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, more helicopters, counter-improvised explosive device capabilities and increased emphasis on special operations forces. "So you'll see a real investment in those areas in support of today's fight," Flournoy said.

The review also focuses on the welfare of the department's people. "Every QDR talks about people being the No. 1 priority of the department," she said. "I think that's true, but this QDR, given the strain on the force and the strain on families, actually treats that as a strategic priority area for investment."

The QDR reflects continued attention on military compensation, health care and warrior care. "Probably the biggest additional investment is in areas of family support," Flournoy said. "This is a force that's been at war for eight years. We're seeing the need to give greater support to the families who make sacrifices alongside their loved ones."

Building alliances and partnerships is another essential theme of the review. "This administration and this secretary of defense believe it is going to be very rare indeed when the United States undertakes a military operation all on its own," Flournoy said.

The United States will maintain the capability to act alone to protect vital national interests, "but when you look time and time again, we are operating in concert with partners, with allies and others," she said. "It's in our interests to invest in helping them build their competence and capabilities and that serves our interests."

Flexible funding authorities, Flournoy said, are key to this endeavor. "We see a lot of other opportunity there," she said. "Yemen is a case in point. Yemen is facing a very serious al-Qaida threat and they want to do the right thing and deny a safe haven in their country. But they need some help in terms of training and equipment and so forth."

The State and Homeland Security departments also are doing QDR-like reviews which, Flournoy said, should be complementary and interconnected.

"One of the most interesting and valuable aspects of this whole review [process] is the degree that it is happening in a whole-of-government context and we're integrated with the other reviews that are going on in parallel," she said.

Past QDRs set out the military's force-sizing construct, and this report changes that, Flournoy said. Senior defense officials believe the future security environment is so complex, she said, that forces need the maximum versatility across the maximum range of conflict.

"So rather than optimize the force for two canonical, conventional wars – it used to be Iraq and North Korea – what we did this time is look at a variety of combinations that might come simultaneously," she said. "First and foremost, what do we need to prevail in today's wars? Then, what do we need on top of that to do our foundational activities of deterrence, conflict prevention, et cetera, in key theaters."

The department looked at multiple combinations of possible scenarios and tested that force across the range.

"There is no simple bumper sticker, there is no simple formula, but what we have is a force that has been tested in a much more robust and rigorous manner," Flournoy said. "We have much more confidence that it has not only the capacity, but the flexibility and versatility to deal with lots of different combinations that may come our way."

Is the force large enough? Flournoy said that is a challenging question because of the strain on the force. She implied that the current size is enough, but that deployment time to dwell time has to come into balance.

The QDR may be the most important report DoD provides Congress, Flournoy said.

"It really requires the department to step back and think strategically about the present and the future," she said, "to set its priorities and objectives and then to connect those to the program and to the budget."

The review, which includes input from senior military and civilian defense leaders, provides the framework for what DoD will do for the next four years.

Gates understands his first concern is people "and making sure they have very clear guidance on what their mission is, that they have the equipment and the support they need to be successful in that mission, and that they can count on the department to actually support them as human beings and as family members," Flournoy said.

"It's not just words. It's a strongly felt commitment that governs how he approaches every day," she said.

MHS a 21st Century Military Medical System

By David Loebsack
Health.mil

February 1, 2010 - Marine Sgt. Mike “Bulldog” Blair told his story of devastating injury and amazing recovery to a crowd of more than 3,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen at the 2010 MHS Conference Jan. 28.

“Once my recovery got a little further on, it would take me a half hour to list every person that has been really integral to my recovery, both physical and mental,” said Blair.

Blair was driving a Humvee on mission in Iraq when his vehicle detonated a pressure-plated mine, knocking him unconscious and all but obliterating his legs. Doctors performed roughly 60 surgeries so that Blair could walk on his own legs once again, albeit with a cane.

“I will never forget the friends, the mentors [and] the brothers that I have made being a part of this secret club,” said Blair.

The club he referred to was the community of support that rose up around him in the MHS, private and public sector organizations to facilitate his recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration into the Marine Corps.

Vice Adm. John Mateczun, commander of the Joint Task Force, National Capital Region, Medical followed Blair, emphasizing the amazing ways the MHS has grown over the years. He cited Blair’s amazing rehabilitation as proof that the MHS is truly a 21st century health care system.

Looking toward the future, Mateczun said the MHS needs to be an organization marked by disruptive innovation, a term introduced earlier in the week that refers to a mentality of seeking change in spite of the status quo.

He challenged everyone in the audience to constantly seek ways to make military health care better.

“It’s not the people in the front row that are disruptive innovators. It’s you all in the back rows that are going to be in the right place, to go out and be able to put together the pieces. That’s disruptive innovation,” Mateczun said.

Surgeon General of the Army Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker closed the session by revealing how the MHS is disruptively innovating today. By creating knowledge-building entities within the MHS, DoD leaders have crafted what Schoomaker calls a “learning system” – a system that, thanks to innovation and technology, can aggregate data and provide invaluable knowledge to decision makers.

“I want to leave no question to all of those who are in the audience who don’t understand our collective commitment to working as a team…to serve this nation, to protect and care for our warriors and their families. We are truly one team in this fight.”

Budget Request Continues Defense Reform Agenda

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - The fiscal 2011 Defense Department budget request continues an overall reform agenda and seeks a total request of $708 billion in budget authority, the Pentagon's chief financial officer said.

Comptroller Robert F. Hale said the total includes $159 billion in overseas contingency operations, or war spending.

The so-called base budget request – the budget before the contingency funds – is $549 billion in fiscal 2011, compared to $531 billion this year. After adjusting for inflation, this represents 1.8 percent real growth, Hale said.

"It's modest, but compared to what other federal agencies will be getting in this budget, we're doing well," he said. Real growth will average about 1 percent over the next five years.

The budget stresses Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' long-held belief that everything in the department starts with its people. The base budget contains $138.5 billion for personnel programs. It includes a 1.4 percent pay raise for military and civilian personnel – equal to the full Employment Cost Index.

The budget increases basic allowance for housing by an average of 4.2 percent in fiscal 2011 and includes a 3.4 percent increase for the basic allowance for subsistence. The budget request also fully funds military health-care programs at $50.7 billion.

The stresses of the wars and repeated deployments on families are being addressed with $8.1 billion for family support programs. This includes funds for child support and youth programs, spouse employment, commissaries and Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The programs also include financial planning aid, spousal education and a Military OneSource call center that now handles roughly 2,000 calls per day.

School construction gets a major plus-up, Hale said. DoDEA has 192 schools, and some haven't been modernized. "A number of them are in poor condition infrastructure-wise," he said. "The education is fine, but the instruction would be better if we had better buildings. So we doubled the construction budget for DoDEA, and we'll fix most of the schools over the next five years."

The budget also invests about $1 billion in research and care for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. "Short of winning the wars, there is nothing more important than taking care of our wounded warriors," the comptroller said. "Overall, we'll spend about $2.2 billion on wounded warrior care in 2011."

Another major priority in the fiscal 2011 budget request is funding the military to focus on today's wars. Helicopters are crucial to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The budget funds more training and will add two Army combat aviation brigades. The budget contains $9.6 billion to modernize the current helicopter fleet – about 6 percent over what was enacted in fiscal 2010.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are crucial to commanders and troops in today's wars. The budget proposes increasing the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities inherent in these aircraft. The budget calls for increasing the number of UAVs "so that we can increase the combat air patrols from 37 to 65," Hale said. "We will max production of the Reaper – the most advanced version of the Predator. It's at 24 in 2010; it will go to 36 in 2011, and then up to 48.

Special operations forces will get a big plus-up in the fiscal 2011 budget, with a raise of 6 percent of funding in just one year. "We're adding 2,800 people to the special operations command in fiscal 2011, and through fiscal 2015 about 10,000 military and civilian overall," Hale said. "Special operations forces are particularly important in irregular warfare such as we see in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The department not only is increasing the size of the forces, but also is placing the funding in the base budget. "About a third of the Special Operations Command budget is now in our overseas contingency operations," the comptroller said. "By 2015, our plan is to move all of that funding back into the base budget. Secretary Gates feels this is an enduring capability, and it shouldn't be tied to wartime funding."

Procurement reform also is high on the agenda. "We're also seeking to continue reforming what we buy and how we buy it," Hale said.

Last year, Gates capped the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program, terminated the Army Future Combat Systems program and restructured Navy shipbuilding. "We will continue that this year," Hale said.

This budget will end the C-17 Globemaster III transport jet program. "We bought 223 of the planes – they are great aircraft – but we have all we need now, and as far as we can see in the future," the comptroller said. "So we propose ending that program and have included shut-down costs for the C-17 line."

The budget request reflects a decision not to buy an alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. "We looked carefully at this program, and have decided that we should not procure this engine," Hale said. The alternate engine would require another supply chain and would cost $2.5 billion – money desperately needed elsewhere, he explained.

Other programs cancelled include the Navy's next-generation cruiser, a new Navy intelligence aircraft and the Net-enabled Command Capability program. Also cancelled is the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, which after 10 years and $500 million in development funds, still doesn't work. It will be replaced by service programs.

While the focus is on re-balancing the force to fight today's wars, the budget also looks to the future, Hale said. The biggest single program in the budget is the F-35.

"We have restructured the F-35 this year to add about 13 months to its development period and buy more test aircraft," Hale said. "We'll buy 42 aircraft in our base budget in fiscal 2011 and one in the contingency budget for a total of 43." The total buy is $11 billion in fiscal 2011.

The budget has $864 million in research and development money for the new aerial tanker buy. The contract award is expected in the summer. The initial buy will be 179 aircraft to replace the current KC-135 fleet.

The shipbuilding plan calls for 10 new ships in fiscal 2011 – two Virginia-class subs, two DDG-51 destroyers, two littoral combat ships, one landing helicopter assault replacement, one mobile landing platform and two joint high-speed vessels – one each for the Navy and Army. The plan over five years calls for 53 new ships.

The budget contains $3.2 billion to support Army brigade combat team modernization. The budget also contains funds to rapidly replace the Bradley fighting vehicle.

The fiscal 2011 budget also contains the seeds for the next-generation bomber. "Over the next five years, we're spending more than $4 billion in long-range strike," Hale said. "Part is the [next-generation] bomber, but we're also upgrading our existing bombers – the B-2 and the B-52," he said. Officials also are looking at a prompt global strike capability – possibly a missile, he added.

Hale said he is confident the department is beginning to strike the right balance between funding today's wars and funding the force needed for the future.

"It's a hard judgment to know when you are there," he said. "We're not good at guessing where we will fight in five years, so we need a broad and capable portfolio. We need to focus on rebalancing the military to fight today's wars while not losing sight of the need for a broad-based capability. We're moving in the right direction, but probably not there yet."

DOD Releases Defense Reviews, 2011 Budget Proposal, and 2010 War Funding Supplemental Request

President Barack Obama today sent to Congress a proposed defense budget of $708 billion for fiscal 2011. The budget request for the Department of Defense (DoD) includes $549 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund base defense programs and $159 billion to support overseas contingency operations (OCO), primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. This proposal continues the reform agenda established in last year's DoD budget request and builds on the initiatives identified by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR).

The QDR examines DoD strategies and priorities. It assesses the threats and challenges that the nation faces and re-balances DoD's strategies, capabilities, and forces to ensure the U.S. military has the flexibility to address today's conflicts and tomorrow's threats. The BMDR evaluates the ballistic missile threat to the U.S. and its allies and articulates policy. It determines the appropriate role of ballistic missile defense in the country's national security and military strategies.

"The fiscal 2011 budget request builds on the reforms begun in last year's defense budget," said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "These substantial changes to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department's processes were broadened and deepened by the analysis and conclusions contained in the Quadrennial Defense Review."

The fiscal 2011 base budget request represents an increase of $18 billion over the $531 billion enacted for fiscal 2010. This is an increase of 3.4 percent, or 1.8 percent real growth after adjusting for inflation. The DoD needs modest real growth to maintain, train, and equip the forces that sustain our wartime efforts.

The fiscal 2011 OCO request will provide additional resources needed to sustain U.S. forces in Operation Enduring Freedom – in Afghanistan and elsewhere – and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Included are funds for pay and benefits, logistics and other support, force protection, continuing efforts to counteract improvised explosive devices, as well as funding to fully support the buildup in Afghanistan and to carry out a responsible drawdown in Iraq.

"The choices made and priorities set in these budget requests and strategic defense reviews reflect America's commitment to succeed in the wars we are in while making the investments necessary to prepare for threats on or beyond the horizon," said Gates.

Also accompanying the 2011 budget proposal is a fiscal 2010 supplemental request of $33 billion to support the added costs of the President's new strategy in Afghanistan and strengthen U.S. force levels with approximately 30,000 additional troops.

"To make sure we have the resources needed to support our troops deploying to the Afghanistan theater, I will be asking the Congress to enact the supplemental by spring 2010," said Gates.

Key highlights of the proposed DoD budget are outlined in the attached summary and charts. For more information and to view the entire fiscal 2011 budget proposal, please visit http://www.budget.mil and download the "FY 2011 Budget Request Overview Book."

The 2010 QDR and BMDR are available online at www.defense.gov/DefenseReviews.

Obama: Defense Budget Targets Wasteful Spending

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - Though the Defense Department is exempt from a proposed federal spending freeze, President Barack Obama said wasteful defense spending has been trimmed from the $3.83 trillion fiscal 2011 budget he submitted to Congress today.

Discussing the budget proposal at the White House, Obama said his push for a three-year discretionary federal spending freeze to begin next year doesn't apply to U.S. national security program funding.

"I also want to note, even though the Department of Defense is exempt from the budget freeze, it's not exempt from budget common sense," Obama said in a news conference today. "It's not exempt from looking for savings."

An example of the fat trimmed from the defense budget is congressional funding for additional C-17 transport aircraft. The department reached its goal of 180 aircraft four years ago, Obama said. Yet, he noted, Congress has provided unrequested funding for more C-17s in each subsequent fiscal year.

"We saved money by eliminating unnecessary defense programs that do nothing to keep us safe," Obama said of the $2.5 billion dollars saved by eliminating the excess funding. "Every year since, Congress has provided unrequested money for more C-17s that the Pentagon doesn't want or need. It's waste, pure and simple."

Obama's remarks today about the federal spending freeze reiterate the policy he first announced last week during his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress. In both appearances he also emphasized that his budget proposal includes funding for support of the nation's military veterans.

The president's budget also provides funding to support military families. First Lady Michelle Obama discussed budget details here last week in a discussion with military spouses at Bolling Air Force Base. The budget calls for a record $8.8 billion for military family support programs and also will include a 1.4 percent basic military pay raise and an average 4.2 percent housing allowance increase.

Supply Center Stocked Comfort for Haiti Voyage

By Diana Stewart
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 1, 2010 - Stocking the USNS Comfort hospital ship with supplies before it departed Baltimore en route to Haiti was a top priority for the Defense Logistics Agency's Philadelphia Supply Center.

One of DLA's primary level field activities, the Philadelphia Supply Center is responsible for the agency's medical, subsistence, construction and equipment, and clothing and textile supply chains.

Navy Cmdr. Lawrence Coleman, chief of the center's subsistence customer support division, and Michael O'Connor, a planner for Medical Troop Support stationed at Fort Detrick, Md., deployed with the Comfort.

According to Coleman, the ship's supply department immediately submitted hundreds of requisitions through the supply center for food items to arrive at the pier in time to be loaded on board the Comfort before it departed Baltimore early Jan. 16.

"The local prime vendor in Baltimore filled as many orders as possible and all other requisitions were diverted to the prime vendor in Norfolk for fulfillment," Coleman said. "The prime vendors have been outstanding in providing superb service and high-quality products."

Six-thousand cases of ready-to-eat meals and 100 pallets of bottled water, Coleman added, also were loaded onto the ship for the ship's crew that would be going ashore during the deployment.

Meanwhile, medical supply chain personnel worked with vendors to provide pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical/surgical products and laboratory items. Expedited deliveries were arranged to ensure products would be delivered and loaded onboard in time for the ship's departure.

Logistics personnel work closely with U.S. Southern Command and the Defense Department's joint medical logistics community, Coleman said. Building a responsive supply chain for medical material slated for Haiti is challenging, O'Connor said, because of the unique nature of many medicines and other products.

Logistics "is more complicated than people realize," O'Connor said. Many medical items slated for Haiti, he said, must be secured or may be perishable and thus require strict temperature controls.

Coleman and O'Connor said they are honored to play active roles in the Haiti humanitarian support mission.

"Obviously, this is a very challenging and exciting humanitarian opportunity for me personally," Coleman said, noting he's slated to be assigned as the Comfort's supply officer in June.

O'Connor, who served 24 years in the Air Force as a hospital administrator, said he's similarly honored to be part of the Comfort's deployment to Haiti.

"Being a medical professional is who I am and what I feel each and every day," he said. "To me, protecting and serving our nation while also being in the healing profession is truly the best of both worlds. I consider my profession more a calling than employment."

O'Connor recounted the first day's activities aboard the Comfort as the ship reached Port-au-Prince.

"Just up the hallway from my tiny little office is the emergency room teeming with desperately injured, critically wounded Haitians [being] cared for by American medical staff," O'Connor recalled. "Many of these wounded would have died if we Americans did not respond."

(Diana Stewart works with the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia public affairs office.)

USU Announces New Brigade Commander

By: Charles L. Rice, M.D.

February 1, 2010 - I am very pleased to announce the selection of Captain Tanis Batsel Stewart, MC, USN, as the University’s next Brigade Commander. She will officially assume the duties this spring.

Captain Batsel Stewart currently serves as the Director, Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Support, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED), in Washington, D.C., where she is responsible for implementing a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to guide Navy Medicine’s emergency management and public health emergency preparedness and response efforts. She is also responsible for sourcing Navy medical personnel in support of contingency operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response efforts worldwide, including the Haitian earthquake.

Captain Batsel-Stewart is a former Navy line officer, and is a graduate of USU’s medical and graduate degree programs, having earned her M.D. in 1993 and her MPH in 2000. She is board certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health. She holds a certificate in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from USU, and a master’s certificate in Homeland Defense from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her career spans operational, research, policy development, and leadership assignments, including Senior Medical Officer, Regional Support Group, Mayport, Florida; Surface Warfare Medical Department Officer, USS Spruance (DD-963); Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System Program Coordinator for South America while attached to the Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Lima, Peru; Chief of Preventive Medicine, and deputy for the Joint Pandemic Influenza Team, USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB, Colorado; and Head of Preventive Medicine Policy and Programs, Chief of Force Protection and Force Health Protection, and her current assignment at BUMED.

Captain Batsel Stewart will succeed Colonel Jack Wempe as Brigade Commander. Colonel Wempe will be transferring to his new assignment at the DoD Medical Examination Review Board in Colorado. His leadership, vision and dedication to the Brigade and to this university have been outstanding and he will be greatly missed.

A change of command ceremony will be held in late February.

Charles L. Rice, M.D.
President