Military News

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Military Olympians: Soldier Takes 9th in Biathlon Sprint


By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 16, 2010 - U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program biathlete Sgt. Jeremy Teela had the best American performance at the Winter Olympics in biathlon history here Feb. 14. Teela, a member of the Vermont National Guard, led four Team USA competitors with a ninth-place finish in the men's 10-kilometer sprint race at Whistler Olympic Park.

France's Vincent Jay, 24, won the gold medal with a time of 24 minutes, 7.8 seconds. Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen, 24, a four-time winner this season on the World Cup circuit, battled illness and took the silver in 24:20. Croatia's Jakov Fak, 22, who is ranked 64th in the World Cup standings, claimed the bronze with a time of 24:21.8.

Teela, 33, of Heber City, Utah, missed one of five shots from both the prone and standing positions that forced him to ski two 150-meter penalty loops. He finished just over a minute behind the winner with a time of 25 minutes, 21.7 seconds. Had he hit either of the two missed targets, Teela likely would have medaled.

"I would say normally this would be a decent race with the amount of penalties that I had, but definitely not a medal race," Teela said after the race. "It was an OK race, but as far as trying to get on the podium, it was a little disappointing.

"I don't think anyone's going to land on the podium with two penalties," he added. "I missed one or two too many (targets) – however you want to look at it."

Teela, however, was relieved to put the first of a potential five Olympic races behind him.

"The nerves and the jitters you get from racing your first Olympics in the quad, having your parents here, and having kind of a home-course-advantage feeling, it was a little stress for a little bit," he said. "It's good to get this one out of the way."

Teela, who started 13th in the staggered start, led all Team USA competitors. Lowell Bailey, who cleanly shot his 10 targets, finished 36th in 26:26.6. Tim Burke was 47th in 26:54.8. Jay Hakkinen also shot perfectly and finished 54th in 27:17.4.

All four Americans qualified for the 12.5-kilometer pursuit race on Tuesday. Teela's ninth-place finish, much better than the "top-20 or top-25" he had anticipated before the results were announced, places him in a much stronger position to medal. He will lead Team USA's parade by starting ninth, 1:14 behind Jay.

On Valentine's Day, Teela was the biathlon heartthrob not only for Team USA but the U.S. Army, as well.

"It's an honor to be able to represent the United States, but I get the special privilege to also represent the United States Army," he said. "I'm just trying to do something here to make them proud and give them something to cheer."

Teela said he needed this race to get his legs into competitive rhythm for the upcoming Olympic contests.

"I was a little tired, actually, a little lethargic," he said. "I think I needed this to get it into the legs. The last two weeks I've just been resting and prepping but really not pushing it to the extreme during my prep... I think this will be good for the rest of the week to have one hard race in."

Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, the 36-year-old sentimental favorite who holds five Olympic and 13 World Championship gold medals, finished 17th with a time of 25:48.9. He missed three shots from the prone position and another while standing.

All in all, Teela accepted his performance as a starting point for the Vancouver Games.

"It's an OK race to start," he said. "Obviously, you want to start out swinging. It would be nice to land on the podium first run at it. We have a race on Tuesday. On Thursday, we have the mass start, and we've got the relay. We've got five chances, four guys, so I think it's looking pretty good for us to medal."

(Tim Hipps works with the U.S. Army's Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command public affairs.)

Mullen: Iran's Goal to Further Enrich Uranium 'Destabilizing'

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 16, 2010 - The top U.S. military officer criticized Iran's recent announcement that it would increase levels of uranium enrichment to 20 percent, saying the move further destabilizes the Middle East. The remarks by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came after the government in Tehran reportedly vowed on Feb. 9 to produce uranium at higher levels, fueling fears it would move Iran a step closer to obtaining nuclear weaponry. "The Iranian announcement a couple of days ago is of concern to all of us," Mullen told reporters on Feb. 14 in Tel Aviv, Israel. "I think Iran needs to make strategic moves which help stabilize the region, and in fact, they continue to make moves which further destabilize the region, which is what happened the other day with this announcement."

Tehran has stated its nuclear pursuit is toward peaceful ends, saying the more highly enriched uranium would produce fuel to power medical equipment. But many international observers believe that Iran wants to obtain a nuclear weapon.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on Tehran to provide assurances to the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful and transparent, a request backed by the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany. But Iran continues to ignore demands by these so-called P5-plus-1 nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog organization.

"An awful lot of people [are focused] on Iran and the announcement the other day that they've increased the level of enrichment in what I would call a pretty public and defiant way," Mullen said in a Feb. 14 interview with McClatchy Newspapers.

Mullen, during a trip through the Middle East, said the Iranian government's announcement presented an opportunity to reinforce engagement with Iran. He characterized the U.S. as working from "the diplomatic and engagement and sanctions point of view," and added that tougher sanctions were being discussed.

Speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv, Mullen declined to identify at what point Tehran's nuclear ambitions might prompt military action. But he warned against the prospect of war with Iran.

"I think them getting a weapon and/or the outbreak of a conflict would be a big, big problem for all of us," he said, "and I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike."

But the chairman repeatedly has refused to rule out any options in dealing with Iran, which appears to be extending its reach in the Middle East.

Mullen said Iranian influence appears to be growing in Yemen, where Tehran reportedly is backing the Shiite Houthi clan engaged in a civil war against the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. Iran also reportedly has contacts with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"Their reach into Lebanon, their reach into Gaza and throughout the region; their reach into Yemen," he told reporters in Cairo, "I think all those things may continue to foment a lot of instability, which is very dangerous for all of us."

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 16, 2010

NAVY

Navistar Defense, LLC, Warrenville, Ill., was awarded on Feb. 12 a $751,514,198 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0014 for the procurement of Category I Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) low rate initial production vehicles with engineering change proposal upgrades for enhanced maneuverability. This order will also be used for the procurement of Category I MRAP vehicles which provide protection of U.S. military personnel supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Work will be performed in WestPoint, Miss. and the period of performance is expected to be completed by the end of August 2010. Procurement funds in the amount of $751,514,198 will expire on Sept. 30, 2012. This contract was competitively procured. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5032 / D.O.0009).

CACI, Inc., Chantilly, Va. (N00039-10-D-0005); Computer Sciences Corp., San Diego (N00039-10-D-0006); G2 Software Systems, Inc.*, San Diego, Calif. (N00039-10-D-0007); Northrop Grumman, Herndon, Va. (N00039-10-D-0008); and Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif. (N00039-10-D-0009), were each awarded on Feb. 11, 2010, an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for Department of Defense command and control (C2) software development, as well as modification and enhancement of existing C2 systems. Services that may be ordered under these contracts include software design, development, and modification; software integration at the unit- and system-level; related test and evaluation support; software systems engineering support; and support functions including integrated logistics support, configuration and program management support. Each contractor will be awarded a $5,000 task order at the time of contract award. These contracts include a three-year base period and two one-year award terms, making the potential period of performance five years. The five-year estimated amounts of each of these contracts range from $493 million to $648 million. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contracts. Work will be performed in the contractors' facilities and is expected to be completed by January 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This requirement was solicited using full and open competition via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command e-commerce Web site and the Federal Business Opportunities Web site, with 13 offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare System Command, San Diego, Calif., awarded the contracts on behalf of its organizational partner, the Navy's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence.

General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada, London, Ontario, was awarded on Feb. 12, 2010, a $227,380,750 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0007. The procurement is for 250 MRAP RG-31A2 vehicles and associated engineering change proposal upgrades to include an independent suspension system. The work is expected to be completed no later than Oct. 30, 2010. The major production and assembly work will be performed in South Africa. Major subassemblies will be purchased from companies in Fairfield, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Ogdensburg, N.Y. This contract delivery order was sole source procurement. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5028).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded on Feb. 9 a $143,882,042 modification to previously awarded contract for the FY10 STANDARD Missile II option for production of all-up-round missiles, missiles serviced under the service life extension program, section level spares, post production spares, shipping containers, and associated data. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (74 percent); Andover, Mass. (18 percent); Camden, Ark. (5 percent); and Farmington, N.M. (3 percent). Work is expected to be completed by December 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-5301).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Ground Systems Division, York, Pa., was awarded on Feb. 12 a $90,561,200.00 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity delivery order #0012 for the purchase of 58 U.S. Special Operations Command Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Category I vehicles including independent suspension systems, engineering change proposals and integrated logistics support sustainment. Work will be performed in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds of $44,820,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5025).

ITT Electronic Systems, Clifton, N.J., is being awarded a $44,703,060 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract to exercise an option for the full rate production Lot 7 of 17 AN/ALQ-214(V)2 on-board jammers, a component of the F/A-18 E/F Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasure for the Navy and the government of Australia. In addition, this option provides for spare AN/ALQ-214(V)3 weapons replacement assemblies for installation on F/A-18E/F aircraft. Work will be performed in Clifton, N.J. (34.4 percent); East Syracuse, N.Y. (8.8 percent); San Diego, Calif. (8.3 percent); Rancho Cordova, Calif. (5 percent); and at various locations throughout the United States (43.5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in October 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($35,566,060; 79.57 percent) and the government of Australia ($9,137,000; 20.43 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-05-C-0054).

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., was awarded on Feb. 10 a $41,288,005 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for life cycle engineering and support services on the LPD 17 class amphibious transport dock ship program. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $186,963 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-2203).

BAE Systems, Information and Electronics Systems Integration, Nashua, N.H., was awarded on Feb. 9 a firm-fixed-price requirements performance-based logistics contract in the amount of $31,215,444 for support of the AN/ALQ-12B electronic countermeasures system used in support of the F/A-18A-D and AV-8B aircraft. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla. (55 percent), Nashua, N.H. (33 percent), and Crane, Ind. (12 percent). Work is to be completed by February 2015. Funding is provided by Navy Working Capital Fund. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the fiscal year. This announcement does not include foreign military sales. This contract was not competitively awarded. One company was solicited and one offer was received. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-10-D-027G).

Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., is being awarded a $26,310,047 modification to previously awarded contract for continued procurement of common missile compartment prototype material, manufacturing and test. Work will be performed in Groton, Conn., and is expected to be completed by January 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-2100).

Pacific Science and Engineering Group, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $23,674,727, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for command and control (C2) technologies and capabilities and C2-related capabilities in the areas of research, systems engineering, architecture, design, development, integration, test, experimentation and implementation. Work will support C2 net-centric operations, information management and decision support operations dealing with joint, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and the Air Force, and their interfacing with civil and non-government components and capabilities. This contract is one of five total contracts awarded; all awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. This five-year contract does not include any options. Work will be performed at government and contractor sites in the San Diego area. The period of performance of the contract is from Feb. 16, 2010, through Feb. 15, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and posting to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central Web site. Five viable offers were received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-10-D-0018).

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $21,853,550 modification to previously awarded contract for the USS Bataan (LHD-5) FY10 phased maintenance availability. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to be completed by August 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $20,454,853 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Norfolk Ship Support Activity, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N00024-05-C-4403).

ISPA Technology, LLC, Alexandria, Va., is being awarded a $17,681,498 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for command and control (C2) technologies and capabilities and C2-related capabilities in the areas of research, systems engineering, architecture, design, development, integration, test, experimentation and implementation. Work will support C2 net-centric operations, information management and decision support operations dealing with joint, Navy, Marine Corps, Army and the Air Force, and their interfacing with civil and non-government components and capabilities. This contract is one of five total contracts awarded; all awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. This five-year contract does not include any options. Work will be performed at government and contractor sites in the San Diego area. The period of performance of the contract is from Feb. 16, 2010, through Feb. 15, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and posting to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central Web site. Five viable offers were received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-10-D-0017).

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo, was awarded an $11,392,787 firm-fixed-price contract for the production acceptance test and evaluation of the direct attack moving target capability. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed in February 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via electronic request for proposal and one offer was received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0030).

Stauder Technologies*, St. Peters, Mo., is being awarded a $9,256,117 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for nine lab prototype and engineering development StrikeLink/airborne units and the associated data package, to provide a prototype communications capability for use in the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier aircraft. Work will be performed in St. Peters, Mo. (95 percent), and China Lake, Calif. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-07-C-0004).

General Electric Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass., is being awarded a $7,340,382 modification to a previously issued order under basic ordering agreement. This contract action provides additional funding for the demonstration of new technologies, with the goal of reducing the specific fuel consumption of the F414-GE-400 engine by three percent. The F414-GE-400 engine powers the F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G Navy aircraft. This effort is in support of the Near Term Energy Efficiency Technology Demonstration and Research Project, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Work will be performed in Lynn, Mass. (89 percent), and Evendale, Ohio (11 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $7,340,382 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-G-0009).

Rockwell Collins, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $7,323,056 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract to exercise an option for the procurement of 208 ARC-210 radio high power amplifiers and LNA diplexers for the Air Force F-16 Block 40/50 aircraft. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0069).

AMEC Earth and Environmental, Inc.*, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Feb. 11 a firm-fixed-price task order 0002 modification at $6,930,966 for the pre-design sampling and analysis plan and expansion of Area 1a; remedial action for Area 6; and full time radiological health and safety support to increase the maximum dollar value of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract task order for the remedial design and remedial action installation Restoration Site 1, 1943-1956 disposal area at Alameda Point. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $21,563,531. Work will be performed in Alameda, Calif., and is expected to be completed by March 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8816).

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., is being awarded a $5,698,440 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to exercise an option for the procurement of 60 AN/APN-245 radio beacon sets in support of the AN/SON46 automatic carrier landing system capability and the F/A-18-E/F/G series aircraft. Work will be performed in Sparks, Nev., and is expected to be completed in February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-08-D-0032).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Thermo Pac, LLC, Stone Mountain, Ga., is being awarded a maximum $22,735,230 firm-fixed-price contract for various food items. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 30 proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 13, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM3S1-06-D-Z135).

AIR FORCE

Boeing Co., Newark, Ohio, was awarded a $15,533,727 contract which will provide incremental funding for the ICBM Minuteman III missile system guidance repair. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 526 ICBMSG/PKE, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (F42610-99-D-0006).

U.S. Donates Boats, Military Equipment to Pakistan


American Forces Press Service

Feb. 16, 2010 - The United States recently donated a number of water trucks, field artillery cannon and patrol boats to the Pakistani government, according to U.S. State Department news releases. Four water trucks were provided to the Pakistani Army's special services group Feb. 12. The next day, Pakistan's maritime security agency obtained five American fast-patrol boats, while the Pakistani army received 48 self-propelled field artillery cannon.

The water trucks will be employed in humanitarian relief missions in Pakistan's South Waziristan region. The boats will enhance Pakistan's coastal interdiction and patrol capabilities. And, the cannon will be used by Pakistani government forces to combat terrorists that operate in its homeland.

"These field artillery cannons are an important part of enhancing the capabilities of Pakistan's army as it continues to wage its courageous fight against terrorists who seek to destroy Pakistan's people and way of life," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, U.S. Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan deputy commander, as he officially handed over the M1095A5 howitzers to Pakistani Army Brig. Gen. Farrukh Saeed, commander of the 25th Mechanized Artillery Division.

Nagata also participated in ceremonies featuring the turning over of the water trucks and fast boats to Pakistani senior military officials.

Pakistan is slated to receive another four fast-patrol boats later this year.

"Whether it's search-and-rescue, combating smugglers, preventing crime or protecting Pakistan's coastal areas, we hope the increased capabilities these boats provide greatly enhance the MSA's ability to conduct the full spectrum of maritime operations," Nagata said during the handover ceremony in Karachi Feb. 13.

During the past three years, U.S. civilian and military assistance to Pakistan has totaled more than $4 billion. Assistance provided and delivered has included support for medical aid, school refurbishment, bridge and well reconstruction, food distribution, agricultural and education projects, 14 F-16 fighter aircraft, 10 Mi-17 helicopters, more than 450 vehicles for Pakistan's Frontier Corps, hundreds of night-vision goggles, day/night scopes, radios, and thousands of protective vests and first-aid items for Pakistan's security forces.

In addition, the United States has funded and provided training for more than 370 Pakistani military officers in a wide range of leadership and development programs, covering topics such as counterterrorism, intelligence, logistics, medical operations, flight safety and military law.

(Compiled from U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan, news releases.)

Guardsmen Rescue Mom, Baby


By Army Staff Sgt. Sherree Grebenstein
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 16, 2010 - Necessity has often been called the mother of invention. Just ask two West Virginia National Guard soldiers who found themselves attempting to rescue a mother and her four-week-old premature baby stranded at their home in Morgan County.

The mother and her baby became isolated thanks to back-to-back blizzards that socked the region with more than three feet of snow in some areas.

To reach the pair in the early morning hours of Feb. 10, Staff Sgt. Harry F. Accor III and Spc. Derek C. Folk, two medics with the 201st Field Artillery Battalion based in Fairmont, W.Va., fashioned two pairs of snowshoes from pine tree branches and clothes lines.

What makes the feat perhaps even more amazing is that Folk performed the rescue with three bones broken in his right hand. He sustained the injury earlier in the week while helping to evacuate a bi-lateral amputee with diabetes from his home here.

Both soldiers were innovative in their efforts to rescue the trapped mother and baby, said Maj. Chris Nasser, assigned from the West Virginia Air National Guard's 167th Airlift Wing as a military liaison officer at the Morgan County emergency services complex.

"They made their own handmade snowshoes to evacuate them," Nasser said. "They were really prepared for whatever they faced."

A concerned neighbor alerted officials to help the mother and baby who were living in an area that had been without power for two days, Accor said.

Because the snow was so deep - up to eight-foot snow drifts in some places - the soldiers were forced to hike about three miles up a ridge to the home. The only way they could maneuver though the snow without sinking was on the snowshoes.

Getting the mother and baby back down the ridge to a waiting Humvee was just as tricky.

"The child was already wrapped," Accor recalled. Both men said they never stopped to learn the woman's name or even the sex of the baby as they were on a mission.

"We just wanted to get them out of there to safety," Accor said, noting after he got hold of the baby, he wrapped it in more blankets and tucked it into his rucksack. After the baby was nestled in the bag, he placed heated hand warmers around the blankets to keep it warm.

The woman was placed on a 6 feet by 3 feet sked, known as an emergency medical extraction device. Folk said he acted as a sled dog by putting the sked's rope around his waist and pulling it to the waiting Humvee down the ridge.

"The whole time I was walking through the snow I was happy that the snowshoes didn't break," Accor said. As the soldiers made their way back down the ridge, Folk would look in on the baby who was snuggled in the rucksack on Accor's back.

Once back at the Humvee, the soldiers transported the mother and baby to a nearby relative's home. "They made arrangements to go to another state to be with family members," Accor said.

Sgt. 1st Class David Hoffman, a fellow member of the 201st Field Artillery Battalion who lives in Falling Waters, praised his comrades for their successful rescue effort. "They did a really great job," Hoffman said.

"It's our job," Accor said. "That's what we are here for."

And what about the now famous snowshoes?

Both pairs are expected to be put on display in the battalion's headquarters ... after the two soldiers are finished using them.

(Army Staff Sgt. Sherree Grebenstein is assigned to the West Virginia National Guard.)

General Officer Assignments

February 16, 2010 - The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignments: Brig. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, vice commander, 7th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, and chief of staff, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea, Osan Air Base, South Korea, to assistant director of operations, plans, programs and requirements, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Brig. Gen. Robert P. Otto, commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Air Combat Command, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to director, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, deputy chief of staff, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Former Navy Sailor Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Fraud Schemes

February 16, 2010 - Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL L. WILLIAMS, 38, of Hamden, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. On October 15, 2008, WILLIAMS pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of making a false statement in a health care matter.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from October 1988 until his discharge on approximately August 14, 2003, WILLIAMS was a member of the United States Navy/United States Naval Reserve. Beginning on approximately April 18, 2003 and continuing until approximately August 14, 2003, WILLIAMS was assigned to the Transient Personnel Unit (TPU), Norfolk Naval Station. A Transient Personnel Unit serves as a temporary or transient residence for service personnel awaiting assignment to a permanent duty station, or for service personnel moving between duty stations. WILLIAMS has admitted that, during his assignment to TPU, Norfolk, and for a period of time thereafter, he participated in a scheme to defraud USAA Federal Savings Bank.

As part of the scheme, WILLIAMS fraudulently opened bank accounts and then withdrew funds from those accounts before USAA Bank discovered the fraud. WILLIAMS also used at the identities of 10 U.S. Naval service members to open the bank accounts. When the bank accounts were opened, WILLIAMS received debit cards at various addresses in Virginia and Connecticut, and then used the debit cards associated with the fraudulently opened accounts. Through this scheme, USAA Bank was defrauded of approximately $69,000.

After WILLIAMS’ discharge from the U.S. Navy, he sought medical treatment on several occasions at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) facilities in Connecticut, and at other locations. On several occasions, WILLIAMS stated that he had recently suffered seizures and, as a result of his complaints, he received treatment, including prescription medications, from VA facilities and other providers. On approximately October 20, 2003, WILLIAMS filed a claim with the VA seeking compensation benefits for a service connected disability. As part of his claim, he stated that he suffered from a service connected disability arising from seizures.

On approximately October 30, 2006, WILLIAMS provided the VA with a letter from “Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology” dated March 10, 2006 wherein it stated that a physician had examined an MRI of the defendant’s and found that he had a “cyst/tumor mass” located in his “front temporal lobe.” As a result of receiving this letter, the provider at the VA changed her determination and found that it is as likely as not that WILLIAMS’ seizure disorder is related to his active duty in the U.S. Navy. However, WILLIAMS admitted that the March 10 letter was fraudulent in that the purported author was not a medical doctor as described in the letter, the author of the letter never met or examined WILLIAMS, and no provider at Yale had ever diagnosed the condition as described in the letter.



As a result of the fraudulent letter and other false statements by the defendant, the VA increased WILLIAMS’ service-related pension. Also, when WILLIAMS applied for Social Security disability payments, the false records were considered by the Social Security Administration, which granted WILLIAMS disability payments for himself and his minor daughter.

Judge Droney has scheduled a restitution hearing for April 16 to resolve a dispute between the parties concerning the amount of restitution WILLIAMS must make to the VA and the Social Security Administration arising from the false documents, which the Government will argue is approximately $120,000.

WILLIAMS has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on July 16, 2008.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, and Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Sheldon and Brian P. Leaming.

Lynn Honors Australia's War Dead

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 16, 2010 - Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III concluded his visit to Australia today by paying tribute to Australian servicemembers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Lynn attended the daily closing ceremony at the Australian War Memorial here. He and his wife, Mary, then placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.

The ceremony was dignified and sad and is the way Australians close the memorial at 5 p.m. each day. A lone bagpiper marched slowly out playing the Scottish lament, "Flowers of the Forest." The piper's song signifies to servicemembers that "the duty day is over and they can now rest in peace."

"The whole ceremony was very moving and a fitting tribute to the sacrifice Australians have made," Lynn said during an interview. "Australia has fought alongside us in every conflict from World War I to Afghanistan. I thought it was important to recognize the sacrifices they've made as part of that partnership."

The war memorial was built to honor the dead of World War I. Designed in the 1920s, construction of the memorial was slowed by the Great Depression. It was dedicated on November 11, 1941.

"Of course, by then we were two years into World War II," said Gerard Pratt, a memorial official. The memorial is co-located with the Australian War Museum.

The memorial features an open area with a rectangular, reflecting pool at its center. The bottom of the pool is layered with coins that people have thrown in. On either side of the pool are steps leading up to covered hallways. Lining those walls are bronze tablets featuring the names of fallen servicemembers. On one side of the memorial are inscribed the dates "1914-1918" and 60,000 names are listed.

"It was an incredible sacrifice for a nation of at the time about 4.5 million people," Gerard said of Australia's military war dead of World War I.

On the other side of the courtyard is another hall featuring the names of Australia's war dead from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. All names are presented alphabetically by unit. There are no ranks or awards.

"The number of the names on those walls and the sacrifices Australians have made is quite staggering," Lynn said.

Alongside the thousands of names are small paper poppies put there by people remembering departed loved ones. Poppies symbolize World War I sacrifice and paper poppies have been a way to pay tribute since the publication of the poem, "In Flanders Fields" in 1915.

In all, the names of 102,000 Australian men and women are listed at the memorial.

At the end of the memorial's courtyard is a chapel housing the Unknown. The Australian government brought the Unknown to the site from a World War I battle cemetery in 1993. The soldier represents the sacrifices of all Australian servicemembers. Lynn placed a wreath at the tomb and then walked back toward the entrance looking at the names as he went along.

At the end of the row, there is a new plaque and on it are the dead from more recent operations in Somalia, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. Two Australian servicemembers were killed in Iraq, and 11 have died in Afghanistan.