Military News

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Army Ground Combat Vehicle Request for Proposal Released

March 2, 2010 - The Army released last Thursday a request for proposal (RFP) for the technology development phase of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle being developed under the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) effort. The Army has worked extensively with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to develop this program. The GCV acquisition program will follow Department of Defense best acquisition practices and be a competitive program with up to three contract awards. The GCV development effort will consist of three phases: technology development, engineering and manufacturing design and low rate initial production. The Army anticipates awarding the first contracts for the technology development phase in the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2010.

The technology development phase involves risk reduction, identification of technology demonstrations, competitive prototyping activities, and planned technical reviews. Industry will have 60 days to submit proposals to the Army for this development effort.

The Ground Combat Vehicle effort is part of a holistic Army plan to modernize its combat vehicle fleet. This includes incorporating Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles into the fleet while modernizing current vehicle fleets including Stryker. The first Ground Combat Vehicle will be an Infantry Fighting Vehicle offering a highly-survivable platform for delivering a nine-man infantry squad to the battlefield. The GCV is the first vehicle that will be designed from the ground up to operate in an improvised explosive device (IED) environment. It is envisioned to have greater lethality and ballistic protection than a Bradley, greater IED and mine protection than an MRAP, and the cross country mobility of an Abrams tank. The GCV will be highly survivable, mobile and versatile, but the Army has not set specific requirements such as weight, instead allowing industry to propose the best solution to meet the requirements.

Prior to the release of the RFP, the Army engaged with industry through a series of industry days to inform them of the government's intent for GCV development and gain their feedback from potential contractors about GCV requirements and emerging performance specifications. In response to these initiatives the Army received significant feedback and insights on requirements, growth, training, test and the program at large thereby informing the requirements process and indicating the potential for a competitive contracting environment.

For further information, contact Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, Army Public Affairs, 703-697-7591, jimmie.cummings@us.army.mil.

Haiti Native Gets Hometown Promotion


By Navy Lt. Arlo Abrahamson
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 2, 2010 - A Haitian-born Marine working with the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command was promoted to gunnery sergeant before family and friends here yesterday. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Michel Leandre, who was born in Port-au-Prince, moved to the U.S. when he was 6. He volunteered to deploy as a Creole interpreter after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

For Leandre, circumstances and timing provided him an opportunity to assist the Haitian people. To be promoted in the city of his birth was an experience that would not have crossed his mind just a few months ago.

"This is very personal for me," Leandre said. "My mission here has been to help fellow servicemembers communicate better with the people, because I know the culture and the language. But to pause today and be promoted to gunny in front of my family and friends is something I never imagined would happen and will never forget."

Danemarck Jacques, Leandre's uncle and a part-time resident of Port-au-Prince, said he's not surprised to see his nephew being promoted or to hear about the important role he is playing in Haiti.

"Michel was always a strong and focused person, even when he was young," Jacques said. "We are proud of his promotion today, but even more proud that he's here helping Haitians during this difficult time."

With the joy of accomplishing a major milestone in his Marine Corps career, Leandre now focuses his attention back on the mission of helping people through his language skills.

"I always feel like there's more I can do," Leandre said. "The people here have gone through so much. When I talk to Haitians in the street, they often tell me, 'We're glad you're here. You provide us with a little bit of hope for our future.'"

(Navy Lt. Arlo Abrahamson serves in the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command public affairs office.)

LTC “Beef” Wellington: Eyelash Icicles and Other Antarctic Challenges


By John Ohab

March 2, 2010 - Lt. Col. R.G. “Beef” Wellington spent the 2009-2010 Operation Deep Freeze season deployed as the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander in Christchurch, New Zealand.

1. What is your job, and from what unit are you deployed?

I am Commander of the 304th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and a C-17A Pilot, deployed from the 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. I’m originally from Newton Falls, OH, and have served 20 years in the US Air Force flying the C-141, the RAF VC-10 while on an exchange tour to the United Kingdom, and the C-17 when not on staff assignments. Having spent a lot of time supporting operations in the sand box, it’s a unique honor and challenge to participate in the spectacularly stunning and cold of Operation DEEP FREEZE.

2. How does the extreme environment impact your job?

The harsh environment and rapidly changing weather dictate the pace of our operations, transporting researchers, support personnel, and supplies from the U.S. Antarctic Program logistical hub in Christchurch, New Zealand, to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The predictably unpredictable weather creates periods of operational lulls and surges, while risk management and contingency planning are key components to mission success. One always has to be prepared for a sudden snow storm, gusty winds, and frigid temperatures. At times, it’s best to cancel or abort the mission and try again another day–Mother Nature doesn’t fool around on Antarctica!

3. What is your favorite part about being in Antarctica?

I fully enjoy working and socializing with all of our international partners that contribute to program success. Specifically, my favorite activity and a source of great interest and satisfaction is speaking with the scientists and learning about their projects as we go back and forth from the continent. Not only is it educational, but it produces a great sense of pride in our contribution to science. I’m very proud to play a role in work that promises to benefit many generations to come.

4. What are some of the unique challenges of living and working in Antarctica that most people wouldn’t think about?

Eyelash icicles!!! Is there a cure or remedy? Regrettably, we do not get to spend much time on the surface. our job is to deliver the goods and people as efficiently as we can and get out before the cold negatively impacts our aircraft systems or a storm blows in, increasing the hazard to flight operations. So, on an average mission, we are only on the ‘ground’ from one to two hours. Even during that limited time, I’m always amazed when icicles form from my eyelashes when I’m not wearing my goggles. Is it just me?

5. Any advice for those east coast U.S. people currently experiencing the “Snowpocalypse”?

If you must go outside and need recommendations on some good quality but slightly used Extreme Cold Weather gear, let me know and good luck!

Coaches Ease Mental Health Care Transitions


By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

March 2, 2010 - The Defense Department has launched a new program that offers servicemembers undergoing mental health treatment a bridge of support as they transition between health care systems or providers. InTransition provides this continuity of care through a network of transitional support coaches who offer servicemembers one-on-one guidance through a transition, whether it's a move or a separation from service, a health care official explained.

"The Defense Department is very familiar with transitions and how difficult they can be," said Public Health Service Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Frazer, senior policy analyst for the Defense Department's force health protection and readiness programs. "We want to minimize the hassles or stress or barriers to receiving care across health care systems or providers -- and ensure no one falls through the cracks."

Both active and reserve-component servicemembers are eligible to participate in this voluntary program when they're receiving mental health treatment and undergoing a transition such as relocating to another assignment, transitioning from active duty to veteran status, or veteran to active duty, or returning to civilian life, Frazer said.

Servicemembers can connect with this free, confidential service 24/7 by calling 1-800-424-7877 toll-free from within the continental United States. If overseas, they can call toll-free at 1-800-424-4685 or collect at 1-314-387-4700. Referring mental health providers also can make the enrollment call.

Once connected, coaches can provide information on behavioral health services, patient support and education and specialized coaching, Frazer said. They're licensed, master's-level or doctoral-level mental health clinicians with extensive military and Veterans Affairs knowledge, she added.

While trained to provide information on a variety of health-related topics, their primary goal is to connect servicemembers with care at the transition's end.

"The coaches work with them to motivate them to stay connected and engaged with that goal to be seen," Frazer said. "We don't want the transition to be a barrier in terms of continuing or remaining with mental health care."

The program was developed in response to a Mental Health Task Force report released in 2007 that identified a need for better continuity of care across transitions. But the ultimate goal is to take care of servicemembers, Frazer emphasized.

"We're excited to see this program roll out and make a difference," she said. "It's been a wonderful response so far. We've been interacting with servicemembers and leadership across the services and VA, and folks are excited that this program is there."

Soldiers, veterans and first responders join forces to make a hero’s wish come true at Bike Week

March 2, 2010 - (Tampa, FL) The Post 911 Foundation along with such names as The Rolling Thunder, Defenders, Tampa Heat and The Special Forces Motorcycle Club, have been busy raising funds to create a custom motorcycle and sidecar that will be donated to severely wounded Green Beret, Romulo “Romy” Camargo, on March 4th in Daytona.

In 2008, Romy was shot during a firefight in the mountains of Afghanistan, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. He is still recovering at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa with his wife Gabriela and their 2-year-old son Andress by his side. Over the past 18 months Romy has maintained a positive outlook on life and become a mentor for other wounded soldiers and families struggling to accept the difficulties of the recovery process. Despite his paralysis, Romy’s dream is to ride again.

And so it became a mission for many. Izzy Izquierdo, owner of Lefty Brothers Motorcycles in Fort Bragg, NC donated his spare time to design and build a custom motorcycle for Romy. “As soon as I left the hospital,” Izzy said, “I told my wife Barb I was going to build a bike to be dedicated to Romy.” Izzy and his team have created a one-of-a-kind bobber with an attached custom sidecar that Romy can roll his motorized wheelchair up into. It’s waiting in Daytona.

A host of current and former members of the Special Operations Command, law enforcement, fire department, and other local supporters will escort Romy March 4th as he travels from Tampa to Daytona. Registration for the ride begins 9am at Old Town Brandon Harley-Davidson. Kickstands are up at noon and the group will make stops at Orlando Harley-Davidson, Altimonte Springs Wing House and Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson.

During a small ceremony at Rossmeyer’s Harley Davidson, Romy will be presented with his new custom motorcycle. From there, they will be escorted by the Daytona Beach Police Department, through downtown Daytona Beach, to the Seminole Hard Rock Road House “Biker Fusion Party” at The Dog House Bar. Estimated arrival is 7:30pm.

Master Sergeant Scott Neil, a fellow Green Beret from the Interagency Task Force at the Special Operations Command and Maj Gen (ret) David Scott will make remarks at the Biker Fusion Party. The expected crowd for the presentation is approximately 3,000 people.

Funds to build Romy’s miracle bike were raised over the last couple of months by the Post 911 Foundation by holding poker runs and fundraisers within the Tampa community. These fundraisers supported the completion of Romy’s custom motorcycle and side car in time to grant his wish to ride into Daytona with the Special Forces Motor Cycle Club during Bike Week 2010.

About the Post 911 Foundation: The Post 911 Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to honoring and assisting first responders and veterans who have served our nation in the aftermath of 9/11. The foundation is committed to creating grassroots awareness, community support, and tangible assistance for members of the military, government, police and firefighter communities, as well as other great Americans who have answered the call to duty since the attacks of September 11, 2001. Actsoft Inc of Tampa FL is a gold corporate sponsor of the Post 911 Foundation. To donate or research more visit http://www.post911foundation.org/

Gates Issues Terms for 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Review

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

March 2, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today released the guidelines and parameters of a Defense Department review of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law in preparation for its potential repeal.

The 10-month review should include input from service chiefs and all levels of the force and their families, Gates said in a memo to Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe, who was chosen to head the effort along with Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's top lawyer.

Gates established the review Feb. 2, saying it would be critical to ensuring a smooth transition if the law that bans gays from serving openly in the military is repealed, as President Barack Obama has proposed. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have stated their support for the repeal.

The review also should engage Congress members, Gates said, as well as "key influencers of potential servicemembers and other stakeholder groups." It should also take into account the experiences of foreign militaries, he added.

"To be successful," Gates said in the memo, "we must understand all issues and potential impacts associated with repeal of the law and how to manage implementation in a way that minimizes disruption to a force engaged in combat operations and other demanding military activities around the globe.

"Should Congress take this action," he continued, "strong, engaged and informed leadership will be required at every level to properly and effectively implement a legislative change."

Gates directed that the review should:

-- Determine how repeal of the law would affect military readiness, effectiveness, cohesion, recruiting and retention, and family readiness;

-- Determine leadership, guidance and training on standards of conduct and new training, as well as appropriate changes to policies and regulations, including management, leadership, training and benefits;

-- Recommend appropriate changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice;

-- Monitor and evaluate congressional proposals related to the repeal;

-- Monitor the work force climate and military effectiveness that support follow-through of a repeal; and,

-- Evaluate issues raised in ongoing litigation related to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Gates said the review is necessary to "minimize disruption and polarization within the ranks, with special attention paid to those serving on the front lines." It is due back to him by Dec. 1.

The review is to include input throughout the department and across services.

"To effectively accomplish this assessment, I believe it essential that the working group systematically engage the force," Gates wrote. "The participation of a range of age, rank and warfare communities in this study including families, in addition to active outreach across the force, is a critical aspect that will undoubtedly lead to insights and recommendations essential to the department's implementation of any change."

Noting the political nature of the law, Gates said it is "critical" that the review be conducted "in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner."

"It is equally critical that in carrying out this review, every effort be made to shield our men and women in uniform and their families from those aspects of this debate," he added.

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 2, 2010

AIR FORCE

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $568,531,272 contract which will provide the incremental funding for the original F-22 weapons system undefinitized contract action modification awarded on Dec. 15, 2009, to authorize and fund the Structural Retrofit Program II and the Reliability and Maintainability Maturation Program during the calendar year 2010. At this time, $411,201,032 has been obligated. 478 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8611-08-C-2897, P00040).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $213,000,000 contract which will provide the government of Egypt with the following: 20 F-16C/D Block 52 multi-role fighter aircraft; support equipment; technical orders and integrated logistics support. At this time, $106 Million has been obligated. 312 AESG/SYK, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. (FA8615-10-6051)

L3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, Madison, Miss., was awarded a $7,869,228 contract which will provide for aircraft flightline maintenance for F-16 aircraft and add sharpshooter targeting pod maintenance in support of Taiwan's F-16 program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. AETC/CONS/LGCI, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA3002-09-C-0006,P00004).

Electro-Methods, Inc., South Windsor, Conn., was awarded a $6,018,762 contract which provides for the build of three sub assemblies, inner, outer, and 28 radial gutters making the whole assembly. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8121-10-C-0011).

NAVY

The Ross Group Construction Corp.*, Tulsa, Okla. (N69450-10-D-0771); Leetex/Hill&Wilkinson, LLC*, Dallas, Texas (N69450-10-D-0772); Project Management Innovations International*, Austin, Texas (N69450-10-D-0773); K-W Construction, Inc.*, San Marcos, Texas (N69450-10-D-0774); Moab-Amigo, JV*, San Antonio, Texas (N69450-10-D-0775); Global Engineering & Construction, LLC*, Kent, Wash. (N69450-10-D-0776), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award design-bid-build construction contract for general building type projects at military installations in the south Texas region of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast area of responsibility (AOR). The maximum dollar value for all six contracts combined, including the base period and four option years, is $100,000,000. The Ross Group Construction Corp. is being awarded task order #0001 at $9,900,000 for the complete design and construction of a fitness center at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by June 2011. All work on this contract will be performed in the south Texas region of the NAVFAC Southeast AOR. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2015. Contract funds for task order #0001 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 16 proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, St. Petersburg, Fla., is being awarded a $25,493,949 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5203) for Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system production. CEC is a sensor netting system that significantly improves battle force anti-air warfare capability by extracting and distributing sensor-derived information and making the data available to all participating CEC units. Work will be performed in Largo, Fla. (47 percent); St. Petersburg, Fla. (20.0 percent); Dallas, Texas (18 percent); and McKinney, Texas (15 percent). Work 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.

Hal Hays Construction, Inc.*, Riverside, Calif., is being awarded $7,199,999 for task order #0002 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price award fee contract (N62742-09-D-1183) for the construction of the Arizona Memorial visitor parking center at Pearl Harbor Naval Base. The work to be performed provides for the construction of a new parking lot which consists of access road and drop-off area; sidewalks; chain link and ornamental fencing and vehicular gates; drainage improvements; lighting; closed circuit television; landscaping; and other miscellaneous items of work. Work will be performed in Oahu, Hawaii, and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Funds are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Wolverine World Wide, Inc., Rockford, Mich. is being awarded a maximum $13,228,034 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for temperate weather combat boots. Other locations of performance are in Arizona and Michigan. Using services are Army and Air Force. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the first of two one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is March 4, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-09-D-0033).

Ameriqual Group, LLC*, Evansville, Ind., is being awarded a maximum $11,384,897 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for various polymeric traypack ration items. Other location of performance is in Indiana. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the third option year. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM3S1-07-D-Z193).

Palm Springs FBO Two, LLC, Palm Springs, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $5,411,270 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other location of performance is in California. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally three proposals solicited with three responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2014. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0036).