Military News

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of February 23, 2010

February 24, 2010 - This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 137 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 110,806; Navy Reserve, 6,574; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 16,790; Marine Corps Reserve, 6,399; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 762. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 141,331, 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/d20100223ngr1.pdf.

Tanker Solicitation Seeks Fair Competition, Best Value

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - The final request for proposals to solicit bids for a new aerial tanker was designed to promote fair, open competition that provides the best warfighting capability for the best value, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here today.

Meanwhile, the process will serve as a model for the Defense Department's acquisition reform effort, Lynn said, eliminating requirements added after the contract award that drive up costs and delay delivery.

Lynn joined Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, in unveiling details of the solicitation for a new KC-X aerial tanker. The new tanker will replace the Air Force's aging KC-135 Stratotanker fleet that refuels other aircraft in flight to extend their reach and warfighting capability.

The highly detailed request for proposals released today -- which includes 372 mandatory requirements and incorporates 230 mostly technical changes in response to comments on a draft document issued in September stays true to three guiding principles, Lynn told reporters.

"This is going to be an objective completion. It is going to be fair, it is going to be open," he said, recognizing the high stakes in the determination in terms of jobs as well as revenues and "buffeting" from both primary competitors, Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

"We are resisting that buffeting, and we are going to play this straight down the middle," Lynn said.

The Defense Department has rejected going for a low-bid contract in favor of a "best-value competition" that considers other factors as well, the warfighting contribution and lifecycle costs among them.

"Price is very important," Lynn emphasized, but will be weighed along with other variables during the selection process. "The reason you can be sure this is not a price shootout is it is actually possible to have a higher price and to win this competition," he said.

Lynn expressed hope that the tanker selection process will serve as a flagship for the department's broad acquisition reform agenda.

It's highly detailed with 10 times the mandatory requirements that were in the last bid proposal that was withdrawn almost immediately after being issued. Laying out all the requirements up front rather than tacking them on midstream, Lynn said, will guard against cost overruns and program delays.

The Air Force's solid understanding of its requirements, along with the maturity of the technology involved and the contractors' well-established industrial bases set the stage for what Lynn called another major acquisition reform initiative: fixed-price contracts.

"We can't do fixed-price development in every case," Lynn said, but he called the tanker solicitation the perfect opportunity do so.

Incorporating technical changes in response to 350 comments on the draft request for proposals, the final solicitation maintains the focus on providing critical military capability, Lynn said.

"Where we haven't changed things is in the basic requirements of the airplane," he said. "The warfighter has set out what they need. We think the 372 requirements that we've laid out will bring the Air Force the plane it needs to bring to the war fight on Day One."

Ultimately, "this is about what the Air Mobility Command needs to meet the warfighting needs of the nation," Lynn said. "We think that the structure in this RFP is going to get us that, and we're going to proceed in that direction."

The contractors vying for the contract, worth an estimated $35 billion, will have 75 days to submit their bids. The Defense Department will evaluate the proposals for 120 days, then the Air Force will award a contract in the mid-September timeframe, Lynn said.

He expressed hope for a "robust competition" that delivers "the best value for the taxpayer and the best airplane for the warfighter."

Donley echoed that sentiment, expressing hope that both Boeing and Northrop Grumman will bid on what he called "a very strong RFP."

"We believe that both offerors are in a position to win this competition," Donely said. "We think both offerors can meet the mandatory requirements that we have laid out. And we hope and expect to have a good competition."

Regardless of which contractor wins the contract, Carter said, the "clarity and precision" used in the solicitation will leave no one wondering how the decision was made.

"The source selection strategy is crystal clear," he said. "Everybody will know, when a winner is picked, exactly why they won. And up front, both offerors know exactly what they need to do to win."

Officials are hopeful this will eliminate the challenges and acrimony that have plagued the aerial tanker process to date.

The Air Force initially awarded the contract to build up to 179 new KC-45A tankers over the next decade to a consortium of Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., the parent company of Airbus.

The award drew a protest from rival Boeing. General Accounting Office auditors upheld the protest, identifying irregularities in the awarding of the contract.

The Air Force reopened the bidding process for the tanker contract in July 2008, but Gates announced two months later that he had decided to cancel it for fear it could not be awarded before he planned to leave his post along with the Bush administration.

"It has now become clear that the solicitation and award process cannot be accomplished by January [2009]," he said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. "Thus, I believe that rather than handing the next administration an incomplete and possibly contested process, we should cleanly defer this procurement to the next team."

Still serving as defense secretary as part of the Obama administration, Gates is leading the team that will oversee the new tanker acquisition.

Military Leads Mental Health Care Transformation

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - The United States is in the middle of a "cultural transformation" in mental health treatment led by the Defense Department and the military services, the department's top mental health expert told a congressional panel today.

Mental health resilience "is fundamentally underlying everything we do," Army Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Loree K. Sutton told the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Sutton, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, testified along with Dr. Ira Katz, chief of the Veterans Affairs Department's mental health services, during a committee hearing on suicide prevention.

In 2009, there were 312 confirmed suicides among servicemembers, of which 26 were in the reserve components, according to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Sutton said in testimony submitted to the committee. The data shows those particularly at risk were white men younger than 25, with a rank at or below E-4 who were divorced and had not graduated from high school. Other common factors, as mirrored in the private sector, included substance abuse, relationships, legal or financial problems.

While the impact of deployment is under investigation, Sutton said, only 16 percent of the suicides occurred in Iraq or Afghanistan. Still, the counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare that servicemembers have battled since 9/11 "continues to place a great amount of strain" on troops, she said, adding that "the invisible wounds of war can be most deadly of all."

Defense Department data shows that 30 percent of servicemembers who died by suicide communicated their potential self-harm, 49 percent had been in treatment within 30 days of their suicide, and 26 percent had sought mental health resources.

The department's core message to servicemembers and their families, Sutton said, is:

-- You are not alone;

-- Treatment works;

-- The earlier the intervention, the better; and

-- Reaching out is an act of courage and strength.

"Suicide has a multitude of causes and no simple solutions," Sutton said, adding that each suicide is as unique as each victim. Because of that, it is difficult to pinpoint an outreach or treatment approach, she said. The department and the services are using a multipronged, holistic approach to tackle prevention education, research and outreach, she told the legislators.

"We are in the middle of a cultural transformation -- one in which the [Defense Department] and the services are leading the country," Sutton said. "'Suck it up and drive on' led us for years, but that is no longer adequate" as an attitude toward mental health problems, Sutton said.

"A new public health model is being led by [defense] leaders at all levels, starting with the secretary of defense," she added.

While the medical field is undergoing a "revolution" in neuroscience, it is a complex discipline, and "the human brain is not subject to command and control," Sutton said. So the Defense Department is leading the way in partnering with other departments and nonprofit groups to better understand and prevent suicide.

For example, the Army began a partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health last fall to conduct the largest study ever of suicide and mental health among U.S. servicemembers. Data collection is to begin in March to assess hundreds of thousands of soldiers over five years.

Other Defense Department initiatives that should help in suicide prevention, Sutton said, include the ongoing effort with VA to have interoperability of electronic medical records, a pilot program for mandatory protocol for treating concussions in the field, and partnerships with VA, the USO and the Red Cross for treatment outreach.

"We are working this at all levels," Sutton said. "We understand we are in unchartered territory. Never in the history of our republic have we placed so much [burden of war] on so few for so long."

MILITARY CONTRACTS February 24, 2010

NAVY

SunEdison*, Beltsville, Md. (N62583-10-D-0326); AECOM Energy/Solar Power Partners, Inc.*, Mill Valley, Calif. (N62583-10-D-0327); Chevron Energy Solutions Co., a division of Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Eagan, Minn. (N62583-10-D-0328); SunPower Corp., Richmond, Calif. (N62583-10-D-0329); and SunDurance Energy, LLC*, South Plainfield, N.J. (N62583-10-D-0330) are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, fixed-price multiple award contract for the purchase of renewable electrical power through power purchase agreements at Naval and Marine Corps installations in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest area of responsibility (AOR). The dollar value for all five contracts combined is $100,000,000. The work to be performed provides for the generation of electric power from renewable power systems that are constructed, owned, operated and maintained by the contractor on government property located within the installation boundaries. The government will procure the power through power purchase agreements. The contract also includes four unexercised options which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative contract value to $200,000,000. Work will be performed at various federal sites within the NAVFAC Southwest AOR including California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. The contract ordering period will be for a base year plus up to four option years, with an expected completion date of February 2015. Task orders issued under the contract are contemplated to be for a period of up to 30 years pursuant to the statutory authority of 10 U.S. Code 2922a. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with 12 proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity.

3 Phoenix Inc.*, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded an $11,949,880 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-6274) to exercise an option to provide engineering services to support software development, procurement of commercial off-the-shelf products, and hardware/software integration to improve technology in support of U.S. Navy Open Architecture and Network Centric Operations and Warfare systems for USS Virginia class submarine and other submarine/surface ship systems. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va. (35 percent); Wake Forest, N.C. (35 percent); and Hanover, Md. (30 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 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.

Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-0807); Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc.*, Walnut Creek, Calif. (N62473-10-D-0808); Tetra Tech EC, Inc., San Diego, Calif. (N62473-10-D-0809); Integrated Solutions for Remediation, JV, Walnut Creek, Calif. (N62473-10-D-0810); and Cabrera-Insight, JV*, Hartford, Conn. (N62473-10-D-0811) are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity environmental multiple award contract for environmental remediation services of radiological contaminants at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest and Atlantic areas of responsibility and other Department of Defense (DOD) locations nationwide. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all five contracts combined is $250,000,000. Work under these contracts will be performed in California (80 percent); Alaska (2 percent); Arizona (2 percent); Colorado (2 percent); Nevada (2 percent); New Mexico (2 percent); Oregon (2 percent); Utah (2 percent); Washington (2 percent); and other DOD locations (4 percent). The term of the contracts is not to exceed five years, with an expected completion date of February 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with five proposals received. These five contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Coastal Marine Services, National City, Calif., is being awarded a maximum ceiling $14,150,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity single-award contract to provide hullboard and insulation lagging services onboard Navy ships and other government vessels within a 50-mile radius of San Diego. The contractor shall provide all personnel, management, administrative and production services, material, tools, equipment, and required support to accomplish hullboard and insulation services. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by February 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $3,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, with six proposals solicited and three offers received. The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N55236-10-D-0012).

Tabet Manufacturing Co.*, Norfolk Va., is being awarded $8,334,176 for delivery order #0001 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-10-D-2211) to purchase fabricated mount and cable assemblies required for Dismounted Data Automated Communication Terminal radio interoperability and Mounted Refresh Computer/Blue Force Tracker platform integration for the amphibious assault vehicle. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and is expected to be completed by February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Alliant Techsystems, Inc., ATK Tactical Propulsion and Controls, Allegany Ballistics Laborator, Rocket Center, W.Va., is being awarded a $7,299,424 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development efforts for solid rocket propulsion technology in support of the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Program. Work will be performed in Keyser, W. Va. (85 percent), and China Lake, Calif. (15 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $900,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via broad agency announcement and four offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-C-0012).

ARMY

AMTEC Corp., Janesville, Wis., was awarded a $33,676,800 firm-fixed-price contract for 40mm grenade family systems contract for fiscal 2010 through 2014. Work is to be performed in Janesville, Wis., with an estimated completion date of September 2014. Bids were solicited on the Web with two bids received. Rock Island Contracting Center, Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-C-0013).

DSE, Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $22,466,802 firm-fixed-price contract for 40mm grenade family systems contract for fiscal 2010 through 2014. Work is to be performed in Tampa, Fla., with an estimated completion date of September 2014. Bids were solicited on the Web with two bids received. Rock Island Contracting Center, Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-C-0014).

Raytheon Southeast Asia Systems Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded a $6,860,000 firm-fixed-price contract for technical assistance for the United Arab Emirates for the Hawk program. Work is to be performed in the United Arab Emirates, with an estimated completion date of February 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-10-C-0177).

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC, JV, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded an $8,705,525 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to acquire additional Stryker retrofit level of effort manhours, material/other direct cost and travel. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich. (1 percent); Shelby Township, Mich. (1 percent); Auburn, Wash. (72 percent); Bremerhaven, Germany, (10 percent); Vilseck, Germany (15 percent); and Qatar (1 percent), with an estimated completion date of March 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Tank Automotive & Armament Command, SFAE-GCS-BCT-P, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., Philadelphia, Miss., was awarded a $10,934,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of an Army Forces Reserve Center in El Dorado, Ark. Work is to be performed in El Dorado, Ark., with an estimated completion date of August 2011. Bids were solicited on the Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-10-C-0035).

U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND

American Auto Logistics, LP, Park Ridge, N.J., is being awarded a $6,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification to add additional funds to a previously awarded contract (DAMT01-03-D-0184) to provide continuing services for the transportation and storage of privately owned vehicles. Work will be performed at worldwide locations and is expected to be completed by October 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity.

Approved Spouses Unaffected by Career Program Pause

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - A week after announcing the temporary halt of the Defense Department's Military Spouse Career Advancement Account operations, the head of the program assures participants with approved financial assistance that their enrollment will be unaffected.

"For those of you who have currently approved financial account documents, your documents will be honored," said Tommy T. Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for the Pentagon's office of military community and family policy. "We encourage those spouses who were in the process of developing their career plans to continue to do so."

The halt, announced Feb. 18, came as a result of an unprecedented six-fold spike in enrollments during January. Since the soft launch in March 2009, more than 136,000 military spouses have applied for the MyCAA program. Currently, 98,000 are enrolled in courses or have been approved for tuition assistance.

"These applications were overwhelming the system intended to support the program and almost reached the budget threshold," Thomas said. "We are looking to ensure the viability of this valuable program."

The overall program, including all procedures and financial assistance documents, is currently under review, Thomas said, adding that he expects to announce the program's long-term strategy soon.

The MyCAA program provides military spouses with opportunities to pursue portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations through training programs, job readiness counseling, and employment assistance.

While no new financial assistance applications are being accepted, counseling support will remain available at local installations. Spouses also can receive assistance using other government resources such as Military OneSource and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Spouses are encouraged to continue to pursue career counseling and the development of their career training plans, Thomas said.

Medal of Honor Recipient


By Army Sgt. Robert G. Cooper III
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - More than 100 soldiers preparing for deployment to Iraq got a special treat Feb. 13 when Medal of Honor recipient Sammy L. Davis visited the Indiana National Guard's 2219th Brigade Support Company at the Bedford National Guard Armory here. "There's nothing any better to boost morale than having a legend like him come to our little unit just to mingle with the troops," said Army Sgt. Ricky Stork, a fuel handler with the company.

A Vietnam veteran, Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1968 for his actions during an intense enemy mortar attack. Despite being injured, Davis – a sergeant at the time -- managed to cross a river to rescue three other wounded soldiers. Since then, the Indiana native and graduate of Mooresville High School has continued his service to his country by visiting and speaking with his fellow servicemembers.

Davis shared lessons he learned from his deployment with the Guardsmen here.

"I thought I knew what to expect," Davis said. "I saw the jungle in the movies. I'd been to basic training and all that, and I knew what I was supposed to do. But it didn't take me very long to figure out that I didn't know anything about anything. The more training you can consume and the more knowledge you have going into any situation in life, the better you should be able to react to it."

Davis also urged his fellow soldiers to make the most of their deployment and not to reflect on its negative aspects.

"As I see it, the purpose of life is to enjoy life," Davis said. "If you consume yourself with the task at hand, when you get old like me, you suddenly realize there were things in life you could have enjoyed, but didn't. So I enjoyed life, because at the time when I was in Vietnam, I was not assured of tomorrow."

Army Pvt. Allyssa Masterson, one of the 2219th's newest soldiers, was on hand to hear Davis' words and said she gained some peace of mind from his advice.

"I believe it makes you a little more at ease when you hear from somebody who's been deployed," Masterson said. "He reminded us that you're going to have to do it, so you might as well think positively about it, be grateful and enjoy what you're going to do, because there's no reason to harbor the bad parts of deploying."

Army Col. Ivan Denton, commander of the 219th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, was in attendance as well, and said the unit gained some wisdom through Davis' speech.

"I think it put the unit at ease a bit, especially when he spoke about enjoying," Denton said. "I can't imagine any of the soldiers here that didn't flat-out love this visit. It impacted training, but I think it impacted training in a very positive way." Davis spoke about the trials of returning from Vietnam to face criticism from the American people. While waiting to fly home to Indiana, Davis said, he was accosted by a group of anti-war demonstrators at an airport and forced to endure verbal and physical assaults. Despite the attacks that left him and his fellow soldiers bloodied and bruised, he said, not one of them lifted a finger to fight their fellow Americans.

"To think about how they were treated and how they took it upon themselves to make sure that future generations of warriors weren't treated that way meant a lot to me, and I think it meant a lot to the unit," Denton said. "I think it instills a sense a pride and some humility about the way we're treated now, but I hope that the younger folks, as they [find themselves] around Vietnam veterans, really thank them for all that they did. I don't think they can hear that enough."

Despite his place in history as an American hero, Davis remains humbled by the fact that each opportunity to speak with the next generation of servicemembers is just his way of "paying it forward."

"No matter how often I have the opportunity to speak to today's military, it always inspires me to see young men and women, who could be doing so many other things if they chose, choose to serve our nation," he said.

(Army Sgt. Robert G. Cooper III serves with the 120th Public Affairs Detachment.)

Rohbock Hopes for Great Bobsled Runs


By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
Special to American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - As the women's bobsledding events approached at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Army Sgt. Shauna Rohbock said she wasn't ready for what she was about to experience. "This track is so fast," said Rohbock, who is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. "You can't prepare for this kind of speed, because there's nowhere else in the world like this."

Rohbock, who is ranked as one of the top female bobsledders in the world, had been training on the track since Feb. 20 in preparation for her Olympic runs, which began with the first two heats last night. The intense speeds of the track already had broken a few records, "so I can't imagine what we're going to do on race day," Rohbock said. It's the same track that led to the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a training run.

Rohbock, who took the silver medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, expressed concern over the track when she first tested it out two years ago, saying that she felt the course was too fast, especially with the tight turns toward the end.

"I think the problem here is the curves are back-to-back in the bottom," she said. "They are really close, and with the speed, and having them back-to-back, as soon as you get in trouble it just multiplies, and then it's trouble."

Rohbock and her team took precautions during their training runs, such as pushing the sled off the start at a slower pace and using a heavier grit to sand the runners on the sled, to try to mitigate some of the high speeds at the end of the course.

Bobsledders also got extra training time to familiarize themselves with the track.

"I run this track through my mind constantly, wondering how I can do this better, how can I get this right," Rohbock said. "Corner 4-5 is going to haunt me before I get back on the track."

But despite the pressures of a fast, challenging course, Rohbock said, she doesn't feel the added pressure of winning a medal during this year's games.

"Actually, I feel like I got that monkey off my back in 2006," she said. "I've already won my medal. I just want to go and have four great runs and be happy with my performance in the end."

This also may be the last Olympics for Rohbock, who said she may continue to compete in the sport for the next few years, and then move on to other endeavors. But for now, her main concern centers on the next bobsled run.

"If it comes out that it's a medal, that's great, but I don't want to have the 'coulda, shoulda, wouldas' in the end and be like, 'I could have done that a little bit better,'" she said.

After last night's heats, Rohbock's USA 1 team was tied for sixth place. The remaining heats in the women's bobsledding competition are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PST today.

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Retired Guard Soldiers to enter Wisconsin Army Guard Hall of Honor

February 24, 2010 - Two retired Wisconsin Guard Soldiers have been chosen to enter the prestigious Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall of Honor.

A special committee of current and past Guard Soldiers selected retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Douglas Alfke of Jackson and retired Command Sergeant Major Douglas Gehrke of Monona to receive one of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's highest honors for exceptional achievement and devotion to duty.

They join the ranks of 40 individuals who have brought great credit to the state of Wisconsin and to the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Selection is based on exceptional achievement, devotion to duty and embodiment of the Army's core values - duty, honor, service, respect, loyalty, integrity and personal courage.

Alfke served as a supply sergeant, personnel supervisor, first sergeant, legal technician and equal opportunities advisor in the 32nd Infantry Brigade and as a military personnel technician and labor relations manager in the state headquarters of the Guard.

Gehrke served in the 132nd Support Battalion and the 64th Troop Command where he held supply, personnel, intelligence, operations, first sergeant, and command sergeant major positions that supported Guard Soldiers in numerous overseas deployments.

Both men served active duty tours in Vietnam before joining the Guard.

A public induction ceremony will be held at the Wisconsin Army National Guard Hall Joint Force Headquarters May 2.

inTransition Now Available for Service Members Receiving Mental Health Treatment

February 24, 2010 - FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Health Protection and Readiness announced Feb. 24 the kick-off of inTransition. inTransition is a new program designed to offer service members currently receiving mental health treatment a bridge of support between health care providers when they transfer to a new location or separate from active service.

The program may be accessed by service members or referring mental health providers by calling 1-800-424-7877, in the United States including Alaska and Hawaii; or 1-800-424-4685 outside the United States. Individuals outside the U.S. may also call collect 1-314-387-4700.

Once contact is made, the service member is assigned a Transition Support Coach. These coaches are licensed, master’s-level behavioral health clinicians specially trained and skilled in understanding today’s military culture. They understand and respect the importance of service member privacy, and provide one-on-one coaching with the service member via telephone until the transition to the new mental health provider is complete.

Transition Support Coaches offer support through motivational consultation and action planning. They provide detailed information on how to successfully change providers, assist with referrals and follow-up with new providers to ensure continuity of care. Coaches also offer crisis intervention to those who need it, and provide information on local community resources, support groups, and other resources specifically tailored to the service member’s new duty station or location. In particular, coaches have the knowledge to assist service members transitioning their mental health care from the Military Health System to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information, please visit the inTransition Web site at www.health.mil/inTransition. Media with questions about inTransition can contact Peter Graves at 703-681-3279 ext. 173, or email at peter.graves.ctr@tma.osd.mil.

U.S. Forces Help With Dental Care in Philippines


By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

Feb. 24, 2010 - For the past 20 years, dental care has been somewhat of an afterthought in the Philippines, especially in the country's southern provinces. But with help from the American military, health care professionals here are working to change that trend through education and outreach. A small crew of local dentists provided care and consultation to more than 70 patients in Marwi City Feb. 22 and handed out more than 500 toothbrushes. U.S. troops from Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines provided much of the dental equipment and local anesthetics in support of the city's awareness campaign.

"The American and [Philippine] military has helped greatly in our work for dental and health care awareness," Dr. Pamela Tabao, a dentist and health services consultant for the Mawari City government, said. "We're really thankful for their support [and] their help."

With the aid of U.S. forces, the local government has proclaimed February as Oral Care Month. Local health-care professionals are using the time to raise awareness and to provide free care to poor residents in and around the city.

Similar outreach programs already have taken place in three nearby townships, with a few others scheduled this month.

The initiative is only a minor step in terms of the number of people affected, but considering the high percentage of Filipinos who suffer dental illnesses, the campaign has been a great success, Tabao said.

Much remains to be done, however, as about 97 percent of the Philippine population suffers from dental illnesses such as gingivitis, and that statistic hasn't changed since 1987, she said.

The country is fraught with cultural and economic challenges, she explained, which has made providing education and raising awareness extremely difficult. Mawari, which is known for its high Muslim population, is among the most under-cared-for populations in the country, she said.

Phil Health, the Philippine government's version of U.S. Medicaid, provides some drugs and equipment based on the number of people enrolled, but just a small portion of the populace actually participate in the program.

"It is not easy to educate people about dental health programs, and this is true to all of the Philippines," Tabao said. "The government has not given priority to the dental programs in this city or the whole Philippines in many years. It is one of the major problems in the department of health, and there's little solution."

Because of its poor economy, outreach is nearly impossible without foreign support and aid, Tabao said. But she added that she remains optimistic and will continue her efforts to educate those in need.

"We want to give service to as many people as we can," she said. "Our mission, our objective, is to reach out to those who can't afford to pay. This problem will hopefully get better one day, as we must keep trying."

The U.S. task force and Philippine military here have developed similar relationships with health care professionals throughout the southern Philippines, especially in insurgent strongholds. Dental and other health-care equipment and drugs are purchased in the Philippines.