Military News

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Starting Glitch Costs Teela in Olympic Biathlon


By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 17, 2010 - Army World Class Athlete Program biathlete Sgt. Jeremy Teela of the Vermont National Guard was penalized for starting early and finished 24th in the Olympic men's 12.5-kilometer pursuit race yesterday. Sweden's Bjorn Ferry, who was supposed to start eighth and one spot ahead of Teela, rallied from a 1-minute, 12-second starting deficit to win the gold medal with a time of 33 minutes, 38.4 seconds at Whistler Olympic Park.

Summan Christoph of Austria took the silver medal with a time of 33:54.9. France's Vincent Jay, who won the men's 10-kilometer sprint Feb. 14, claimed the bronze in 34:06.6.

Teela, who was penalized 22 seconds for leaving the starting area two positions early, realized something was wrong when he arrived at the shooting range in seventh place without passing anyone. He was scheduled to start ninth, 1:14 behind top-seeded Jay.

"I was in No. 7, and I was Bib 9, and I had passed nobody on the course," Teela said. "That's when I realized that something was wrong. I saw the Swedish guy pass me on the third loop, and that's when I knew that he wasn't sitting out of the race and they actually started me too soon.

"They gave me a countdown," Teela said. "They said, 'Go.' I left. That's what I do I'm a racer."

Teela's official time was 35:45.4 2:07 behind gold medalist Ferry. Teela nailed all 10 of his targets from the prone position, but missed four while standing.

"Halfway through the race, when I realized this was happening, it just zapped the energy from me," he said. "It just mentally kind of drains the will out of you. But we've got a couple more races this week. ... I think we'll be all right."

(Tim Hipps works in the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command public affairs office.)

Army Releases January Suicide Data

February 17, 2010 - The Army released suicide data today for the month of January. Among active-duty soldiers, there were 12 potential suicides: one has been confirmed as suicide, and 11 remain under investigation. For December, the Army reported ten potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, three have been confirmed as suicides, and seven remain under investigation.

During January 2010, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were 15 potential suicides. For December, among that same group, there were seven total suicides. Of those, five were confirmed as suicides and two are pending determination of the manner of death.

"In the new year, we won't just maintain our current focus on suicide prevention, we're going to sharpen that focus," said Col. Christopher Philbrick, director, Army Suicide Prevention Task Force. "We've made significant changes in our health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention programs, policies, and initiatives. But over the last year, you could describe our Army effort as shining a flood light on the problem of suicide. Now in 2010, we're going to move from a flood light to a laser light— identifying our most effective programs, so we can target and reinforce what's working and fix what isn't."

In January, the Suicide Prevention Resource Council and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention selected the Army's "Ask, Care, Escort" model for inclusion in their national registry of programs reflecting "best practices" in suicide prevention. The Army's model is one of only thirteen suicide prevention programs, nationwide, included in the registry.

"One suicide prevention approach that is working is the Army's 'Ask, Care, Escort' model of suicide prevention," said Philbrick. "The 'Ask, Care, Escort' model is fundamentally about engaged, concerned leadership, and caring for your fellow soldier. That's something the Army knows how to do."

Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600-63, Health Promotion at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600-24 Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf.

Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20. Army Knowledge Online is required to download materials.

Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence (DCOE) for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

The Military OneSource toll-free number for those residing in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647; their Web site address is http://www.militaryonesource.com/. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.

The DCOE Outreach Center can be contacted at 1-866-966-1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org .and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil/

The Army's comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/default.asp

More information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/

Demand Dwindles for U.S. Forces in Haiti, Official Says

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 17, 2010 - The need for U.S military forces in Haiti is dwindling as Haitian authorities and nongovernmental organizations begin to accept a greater share of relief efforts in the ravaged country, an American military official said.

About 13,000 U.S. troops are involved in the earthquake-relief effort -- with 7,000 forces on the ground -- down from a peak overall level of about 20,000 at the start of this month, Army Lt. Gen. P.K. "Ken" Keen, the top U.S. commander in Haiti, told Pentagon reporters today.

"As we see this transition occurring, we see our civilian partners increase their capabilities -- both the government here in Haiti as well as the nongovernment organizations -- and we see the need for our military assistance dwindling," Keen said via video teleconference from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

The update on Haiti's recovery comes about a month after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the Caribbean nation, creating what an official called one of the greatest humanitarian emergencies in the history of the Americas. U.S. aid began pouring into affected areas in the immediate aftermath, but a greater share of relief efforts has been transferred to partners as conditions progress.

The American commander declined to describe a timeline or expected scope of the U.S. military presence in Haiti, saying conditions in the country would determine the response.

"As we look at our military requirements in supporting [the U.S. Agency for International Development] and the government of Haiti," Keen said, "we're dialing it back where unnecessary as we right-size the force as requirements are needed on the ground, and we're dialing it up where it's necessary, based upon the needs on the ground."

Keen estimated military operations to date have totaled about $250 million.

As of yesterday, U.S. military forces had delivered more than 2.6 million bottles of water, 2.2 million food rations, 15.1 million pounds of bulk food and 125,230 pounds of medical supplies into Haiti.

In addition to running ongoing humanitarian assistance missions, Keen said U.S. forces also are assisting in procuring shelter for Haitians affected by the earthquake. Troops also are working to provide medical care, removing rubble from damaged sites and assisting in engineering and logistics.

Keen said the U.S. military is working under USAID, the lead American component, and alongside partners such as the United Nations.

"So we will continue to be involved in those two entities until [operations are] completely transferred to either the government of Haiti or other organizations," he said.

Soldier Suicides

Task Force Vows Sharper Focus on Soldier Suicides


By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 17, 2010 - The number of suspected soldier suicides increased for the first month of this year, and the Army's head of suicide prevention vowed today to sharpen the focus on combating the problem. "In the new year, we won't just maintain our current focus on suicide prevention; we're going to sharpen that focus," Army Col. Christopher Philbrick, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, said in a statement the service released today, along with higher numbers of suspected suicides.

"We've made significant changes in our health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention programs, policies, and initiatives," Philbrick said. "But over the last year, you could describe our Army effort as shining a flood light on the problem of suicide. Now in 2010, we're going to move from a flood light to a laser light – identifying our most effective programs so we can target and reinforce what's working and fix what isn't."

For January, the Army identified 12 potential suicides – one confirmed, the rest under investigation – among active-duty soldiers, compared to 10 potential suicides among the same group in December, an Army news release says. Of the 10 in December, three have been confirmed as suicides and seven remain under investigation.

Also for January, the Army identified 15 potential suicides among reserve-component soldiers who were not on active duty, compared to seven in December. Of the seven, five have been confirmed as suicides and two investigations are pending, the release says.

2009 saw 160 reports of potential soldier suicides, the most since the Army began recording such data in 1980, Army officials have said.

Still, the Army is being recognized for its suicide prevention programs. In January, the Suicide Prevention Resource Council and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention selected the service's "Ask, Care, Escort" model for inclusion in their national registry of best practices in suicide prevention, along with 12 other programs.

The Army last year began a partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health to prevent suicides.

"One suicide prevention approach that is working is the Army's 'Ask, Care, Escort' model of suicide prevention," Philbrick said, adding that the model "is fundamentally about engaged, concerned leadership, and caring for your fellow soldier. That's something the Army knows how to do."

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 17, 2010

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $64,778,516 contract which will provide mission communication system upgrade on four C-32A aircraft and four C-40B aircraft. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 655 AESS/SYKA, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8625-10-C-6500).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., El Segundo, Calif., was awarded a $46,213,411 contract which will provide the Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team Program to develop technologies enabling mission-driven command and control of a heterogeneous team on uninhabited platforms for the conduct of coordinated urban operations. At this time, $9,304,633 has been obligated. AFRL/PKDB, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-10-C-7004).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Greensboro, N.C., is being awarded a maximum $9,210,552 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, total set-aside contract for khaki cloth. Other locations of performance are Raeford, N.C.; Cordova, N.C.; and Hurt, Va. Using service is the Navy. The proposal was originally solicited through Gateway with one response. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 16, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

NAVY

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, is being awarded a $7,921,004 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-2303) for long lead time material (LLTM) associated with the construction of DDG 1001. This contract provides LLTM general material of plate, shapes, and pipe to support DDG 1001 ship construction commencing in FY 10. The LLTM procured or manufactured for construction or installation in DDG 1001 under previously contract awarded contract (N00024-06-C-2303) is expected to be transferred with its associated costs to the as-yet-to-be-negotiated DDG 1001 ship construction contract. Work is expected to be performed in Bath, Maine (38 percent); Coatesville, Pa. (31 percent); and Burns Harbor, Ind. (31 percent). Work is expected to be completed by August 2010. 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.

L-3 Communications, Menlo Park, Calif., is being awarded a $7,272,748 ceiling-priced order #7005 under previously awarded contract (N00383-06-G-072B) for the repair of items required to support the E-2C aircraft. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by February 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $7,050,112 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5215) for applied research in support of reliable acoustic path vertical line array (RAP VLA) sensor systems for distributed network systems (DNS). RAP VLA sensor systems for DNS advanced development efforts are intended to result in a deep water, bottom-mounted, high-grain sensor system that can automatically detect, classify, localize, track and report contacts of interest. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va. (40 percent); Riviera Beach, Fla. (30 percent); Greensboro, N.C. (25 percent); and Groton, Conn. (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed by April 2011. 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.

Lynn Sets Stage for Further U.S.-Australian Cooperation

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 17, 2010 - Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III's meetings with Australian leaders over the last several days have helped to set the stage for new levels of cooperation between the long-time allies. "I think we were able to establish a foundation that we will be able to build on for the rest of the year," Lynn said.

During the six-day trip, Lynn met with business and civic leaders in Sydney and with Australian government and defense leaders in Adelaide and Canberra. He also visited with Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command, during a stopover in Honolulu.

Lynn discussed Afghanistan and Australia's contribution to the effort against al-Qaida with government and defense leaders.

"I expressed our gratitude for all their efforts, both in terms of the direct military efforts and the training they are doing of the Afghan security forces," Lynn said. Australia has about 1,550 servicemembers in Afghanistan, most of them based in Oruzgan province in Regional Command South.

Lynn also spoke to Australian leaders about the F-35 joint strike fighter program and hopes for U.S. Senate ratification of the Defense Trade Cooperation.

"We were also able to exchange ideas on acquisition reform and budget reform, just to improve both our prospects in that regard," Lynn said.

But most important, he said, are the new doors opened especially in cyber and space operations in the alliance.

"I think we're going to be able to build our cooperation by building on the foundation of this decades-long alliance," the deputy said. "As these new threats emerge, I feel that we'll be able to rely on our oldest allies to aggressively go after them."

In space operations, Australia and the United States share common interests. "We're putting in place mechanisms to explore them jointly," he said. "Technology cooperation is one element, joint policy exploration is another, and how we integrate our assets with their assets is another."

The two nations also have mutual interests in cybersecurity. "We can develop shared awareness of the threat, we can cooperate on technologies, and we can collaborate as we work our way through the conception and development that needs to take place in this new domain," Lynn said.

The domain is new; just over 20 years old; but the pace of cyber operations; and threats against the cyber infrastructure will continue to increase, he warned.

"I don't think we have any choice but to keep pace with the technology," Lynn said. "The technology is going to drive us to develop doctrinal concepts, legal concepts and they are going to allow us to protect this critical area."

In Honolulu, Lynn briefed U.S. Pacific Command officials on the trip and had a chance to discuss with commanders their issues and concerns.

Officials briefed Lynn on the realignment of U.S. forces in the Pacific – the Marines moving from Futenma, Japan, to Guam; and other challenges, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Willard and Pacom's service-component commanders spoke about humanitarian and disaster operations, maritime security, weapons proliferation and combating terrorism and extremism.

"The deputy commented on the broad nature of their work and that the command is leaning forward on missions that go beyond the traditional sphere," Whitman said. "They held good discussions on cybersecurity."

Willard hosted Lynn and his party for a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. "It was a very moving experience, and a reminder of the sacrifices made," Whitman said.

Former U.S. Military Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to Defense Department Contracts in Support of Iraqi War

Defendant to Forfeit $15,757,000 to the U.S. Government

February 17, 2010 - WASHINGTON—Former military contractor Terry Hall, 43, of Snellville, Ga., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to pay more than $3 million in bribes to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, an Army base in Kuwait, and to money laundering conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Terry Hall was indicted on May 6, 2009, along with U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley, 39, and his wife, Eurica Pressley, 37, both of Harvest, Ala.According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Hall’s companies received approximately $21 million between 2005 and 2007 in connection with contracts his companies received.To obtain the contracting business and facilitate unlawful payments by other contractors, Hall admitted he made more than $3 million in unlawful payments and provided other valuable items and services to U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at Camp Arifjan, including U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley, and former Majors John Cockerham, James Momon and Christopher Murray, among others.

According to court documents, Hall owned and operated several companies, including Freedom Consulting and Catering Co., (FCC) and Total Government Allegiance (TGA), which provided goods and services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in connection with Operation Iraqi Freedom.Hall’s companies received a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to deliver bottled water in Iraq and a contract to construct a security fence in Kuwait.

A BPA is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract by which the DoD agrees to pay a contractor a specified price for a particular good or service. ased on a BPA, the DoD is permitted to order the supplies on an as-needed basis, and the contractor is bound by the price agreed upon in the BPA.The term for this type of order by the DoD is a “call.”

The case against Hall arose out of a wide-ranging investigation of corruption at the Camp Arifjan contracting office.To date, eight individuals including Hall have pleaded guilty for their roles in the bribery scheme.

On Dec. 2, 2009, former Cockerham was sentenced to 210 months in prison and ordered to pay $9.6 million in restitution. According to court documents, Cockerham arranged for Hall’s companies to receive bottled water calls worth more than $2.6 million, as a result of which Hall paid Cockerham approximately $800,000.

According to court documents, Momon arranged for Hall’s companies to receive bottled water calls worth approximately $6.4 million, as a result of which Hall paid Momon more than $300,000.Momon pleaded guilty on Aug. 13, 2008, to receiving bribes from various contractors at Camp Arifjan, including Hall, and is awaiting sentencing.

Also according to court documents, Murray arranged for Hall to receive contracts to construct security fences at Camp Arifjan, as a result of which Hall paid Murray approximately $30,000.Murray pleaded guilty to receiving bribes from various contractors at Camp Arifjan, including Hall, and making a false statement.He was sentenced on Jan. 8, 2009, to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay $245,000 in restitution.

The case against Eddie Pressley and his wife, Eurica Pressley, is scheduled for trial on April 5, 2010.The indictment alleges that the Pressleys received more than $2.8 million in money and other valuable items from Hall, in exchange for Eddie Pressley’s agreement to take official actions to benefit Hall.Eurica Pressley, at her husband’s request, allegedly arranged for an entity named EGP Business Solutions Inc., (EGP) to be incorporated, opened a bank account in the name of EGP, and opened bank accounts in her name in the United States, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Cayman Islands, all in order to receive the bribe payments.

The charge of bribery conspiracy carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine.The money laundering conspiracy carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.According to the court documents, Hall will forfeit $15,757,000 to the U.S. government.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Edward J. Loya Jr. of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.The case is being investigated by special agents of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, and the FBI.

The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention, and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs.

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of February 16, 2010

This week all five services announced a decrease in activated reservists. The net collective result is 1,049 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 110,935; Navy Reserve, 6,627; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 16,729; Marine Corps Reserve, 6,403; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 774. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 141,468, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/Feb2010/d20100216ngr.pdf.