Military News

Thursday, March 04, 2010

General Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Army Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez has been nominated for re-appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command/deputy commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. Rodriguez is currently serving as the commander, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command.

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 4, 2010

AIR FORCE

Wyle Laboratories, Inc., West Huntsville, Ala., was awarded an $8,917,289 contract which will provide for the Reliability Information Analysis Center which will research, test, develop, and deliver data analysis and interoperability testing results. At this time, $273,000 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4005).

NAVY

Lockheed Martin, MS2 Division, Syracuse, N.Y., is being awarded a $24,168,312 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5201) to exercise FY 10 options for Navy's AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 undersea warfare system. The AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 is a surface ship combat system with the capabilities to search, detect, classify, localize and track undersea contacts; and to engage and evade submarines, mine-like small objects, and torpedo threats. Work will be performed in Lemont Furnace, Pa. (50 percent), Syracuse, N.Y. (25 percent), and Eagan, Minn. (25 percent). Work is expected to be completed by August 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp., Reston, Va., is being awarded a $17,437,358 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) common computing environment. The primary goals of the CANES program are to build a secure afloat network required for naval and joint operations, and consolidate and reduce the number of afloat networks through the use of mature cross domain technologies and common computing environment infrastructure. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $775,339,532. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by April 2011. If all options are exercised, work could continue until September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with unlimited proposals solicited and four offers received via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities Web site, and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central Web site. The Space and Naval Warfare System Command in San Diego is the contracting activity (N00039-10-D-0028).

Lockheed Martin MS2 Tactical Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $14,999,994 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract for the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) common computing environment. The primary goals of the CANES program are to build a secure afloat network required for naval and joint operations, and consolidate and reduce the number of afloat networks through the use of mature cross domain technologies and common computing environment infrastructure. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $936,902,393. Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by April 2011. If all options are exercised, work could continue until September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with unlimited proposals solicited and four offers received via the Commerce Business Daily's Federal Business Opportunities Web site, and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central Web site. The Space and Naval Warfare System Command in San Diego is the contracting activity (N0039-10-D-0027).

Economic Training for Junior Ranks Resonates With Military Chief

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

March 4, 2010 - As a student at the Command and General Staff War College here, part of Maj. Jackie Thompson's studies have included examining how broad economic theories relate to warfare. While such macroeconomic lessons provide an entrée to the relationship between markets and military missions, scarce practical economic education exists for training junior- and mid-ranking officers and enlisted troops bound for places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where development is considered a key to success.

"To have the overall 'why' without the 'how' doesn't work," Thompson, who served as a JAG officer in Mosul and Basra, said of the contrast between theoretical and practical lessons. "You have to have a method to implement the economic program."

Creating a fiscal "how-to" guide to inform deploying U.S. forces on economic decisions -- a concept floated in a discussion here with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- resonated across a spectrum of military officers today.

As part of its current intellectual arsenal, the military boasts a doctrine known as the "Money as a Weapon System Manual" that serves as a primer to the role of finance in armed forces operations. What's missing is practical guidance to help steer the economic decisions of troops endowed with significant discretionary spending to gin up local business and help jumpstart the economies of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We have handed young captains and senior NCOs millions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the CERP funds to essentially create jobs, to essentially create communities, to build a chamber of commerce, if you will, in ways where a structure didn't exist," said Mullen, referring to the Commander's Emergency Response Program. "So having some training, some education, some focus on that before we go and do that, I think is really important."

At a roundtable discussion here among senior military officers, academics and policy think tank members, Army Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., commander of the college, embraced the notion of spreading economic knowledge throughout the ranks.

"From a division commander who had responsibility for the seven northern provinces of Iraq here recently, we had an economic line of effort and we put a lot of energy into the development of the economy through CERP or starting new businesses," he said. "If I had had this background, and if our officers had had this training, this was exactly the kind of thing we need to go into these kinds of operations."

Mullen listened during the discussion to a proposal for a new armed forces field manual focused on so-called "Expeditionary Economics." Though in its early phase, the concept would provide guidance on how young officers and more senior noncommissioned officers could help set the conditions for economic growth downrange.

Robert Litan, vice president of research at the Kaufman Foundation which is underwriting the project, said the goal would be to spark an interest in entrepreneurship among local populations. His caveat was that the chaotic nature at the root of capitalism might create a clash of cultures for a military more accustomed to strict regimentation.

"A key point that has come out of a lot of our work is that this can't be too planned. By nature, capitalism is messy as hell," Litan said. "The question is, can you pull off a situation where you have just enough planning to ignite the messiness that's called capitalism, then let a thousand flowers bloom."

In a riposte that elicited laughter, Mullen, who was receptive to the overall objective, said, "The military doesn't do messy." Acknowledging the contribution of Wall Street that lead to the current financial woes, the chairman said the credibility blow to U.S. fiscal advice wouldn't preclude the nascent economies of Iraq or Afghanistan from benefitting from American-led development as they seek to sustain themselves.

Speaking more broadly about the nexus of economics and the threat of terrorism, Mullen cited a drive inherent in human nature that could be facilitated -- or thwarted -- by on one's economic situation.

"Parents around the world would like to raise their kids to a higher standard of living," he said. "And that means young sons and daughters choosing careers that don't include blowing themselves up and killing innocent people. The economics behind that are very important, as are the beliefs."

Shooting Outside Pentagon Causes Lockdown

American Forces Press Service

March 4, 2010 - The Pentagon was in lockdown for some time Thursday evening after a gunman opened fire on two Pentagon Force Protection Agency officers, according to a statement released by the Defense Department.

The shooter fired at the officers at the entrance to the Pentagon Metro station outside the Pentagon building about 6:40 p.m., the statement says. The officers returned fire, injuring the gunman, it says.

The two officers and the gunman were transported to a local hospital, the statement says. The officers' injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, it says.

"The officers acted very quickly and decisively to neutralize the threat," a police spokesman said.

The Metro station likely will be closed Friday morning, he said.

The shooting is under investigation.

Flag Officer Assignments

March 4, 2010 - Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Jerry K. Burroughs will be assigned as program executive officer for command, control, communications and intelligence, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif. Burroughs is currently serving as chief Engineer Directorate, Code 05, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Anatolio B. Cruz III will be assigned as deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/deputy commander, Fourth Fleet, Mayport, Fla. Cruz is currently serving as deputy commander, Navy Region Southwest, San Diego, Calif.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Dennis E. Fitzpatrick will be assigned as commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. Fitzpatrick is currently serving as director, joint operations, N3, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina will be assigned as deputy and chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Giardina is currently serving as director, readiness and training, N4/N7, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Robert J. Kamensky will be assigned as deputy/reserve deputy commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. Kamensky is currently serving as chief of staff, Submarine Force Reserve Component, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio will be assigned as chief of staff, U.S. European Command, Germany. Martoglio is currently serving as director of operations, J3, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Scott E. Sanders will be assigned as deputy commander, Second Fleet, Norfolk, Va. Sanders is currently serving as vice commander, U.S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command, Bahrain.

Flag Officer Announcement

March 4, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Navy Vice Adm. Paul S. Stanley has been nominated for reappointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as principal deputy director of cost assessment and program evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. Stanley is currently serving as director, force structure, resources and assessment, J-8, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

Budget Balances Security, Economics, Lynn Tells Congress

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

March 4, 2010 - The fiscal 2011 defense budget request includes modest but necessary spending increases in line with President Barack Obama's effort to balance national security with economic needs, the deputy defense secretary told Congress members today. The $708 billion request "reflects the administration's commitment to modest, steady, and sustainable growth in defense spending," William J. Lynn III told the House and Senate budget committees in prepared testimony. "Even as the president imposes a spending freeze on domestic agencies, he has made a strategic choice to continue funding modest growth in the military and in other national security agencies."

The request includes $549 billion in discretionary budget authority for baseline defense programs, an increase of more than $18 billion over the current year. Lynn, accompanied by Robert Hale, Pentagon comptroller, said the increase is necessary to increase pay and benefits to match inflation and fund programs such as health-care expenses, which are growing beyond the rate of inflation.

"Because the total cost of sustaining the force is growing faster than inflation, [the Defense Department] needs real growth simply to maintain present force levels," Lynn said. "Sustaining our current size and capabilities is essential to prosecute current wars, meet U.S. commitments worldwide, and conduct unanticipated operations, including relief efforts for natural disasters.

"We cannot afford to make cuts in the size of our force or our operations while we are at war," he added.

The budget reaffirms the commitment to the all-volunteer force, Lynn said, with $138.5 billion for military pay and allowances that includes a 1.4 percent pay raise; $2.2 billion for programs to support wounded warriors; $50.7 billion for medical coverage for 9.5 million beneficiaries; $8.1 billion for family support programs; and $18.7 billion for military construction and family housing.

Lynn noted health care as an area of large growth, but one in which the department also has found savings in the budget. "Health care is one area in particular where the introduction of efficiencies may yield cost savings," he said. "If present trends continue, we can expect health care to consume 10 percent of [the department's] budget by 2015."

The request continues the "rebalancing" of the defense posture for the current wars while preparing for future conflicts by providing more rotary-wing aircraft; hiring 1,500 new helicopter pilots; and increased funding for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, electronic warfare platforms and special operations.

The budget includes $189 billion for conventional and strategic modernization, including $10.7 billion for continued development of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and procurement of 42 of the aircraft; $25.1 billion for procurement of new ships, equipment and research and development; $9.9 billion for missile defense; and $3.2 billion to restructure the Army's Future Combat Systems program.

"These advanced weapons and capabilities are essential to keep us ahead of our adversaries," Lynn said. "We need weapons systems that give U.S. forces an overwhelming advantage in combat, which will both save lives and shorten conflicts."

Another priority, the deputy secretary said, is reforming the acquisition process. The base budget request will allow the department to bolster its acquisitions work force for the eventual hiring of 20,000 workers to replace contractors. The "in-sourcing" ultimately will reduce costs and operational risks and ensure that every defense dollar is spent wisely, he added.

The ax must fall on programs the department doesn't need or that are costing more than expected, Lynn said. "An important component of acquisition reform is having the discipline to curtail or end unneeded and troubled programs," he told the legislators. The budget request calls for cutting seven major systems: the Next Generation Cruiser, the Navy Intelligence Aircraft, the Third Generation Infrared Surveillance System, the Net Enabled Command and Control System, the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System, more C-17 Globemaster III transport jets and an alternate engine for the joint strike fighter.

Besides the base budget, the request includes $159.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That includes $89.4 billion for operations, $12 billion for force protection, $3.3 billion to counter roadside bombs, $13.6 billion to grow and train Afghan and Iraqi security forces, $2 billion for coalition support, $1.3 billion for the Commanders' Emergency Response Program and $21.3 billion for the reconstruction and resetting of equipment.

"Building the capacity for partner nations to support U.S. counterterrorism operations has emerged as a crucial national security priority," Lynn said.

EOD Experience Benefits Guard Soldier


By Army Spc. Kelsey Blankenship
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 4, 2010 - Army Staff Sgt. Tracy Dice was a 12-year veteran of the law enforcement field when she decided to become an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the North Carolina National Guard. "I wanted to come out of the military with a strong cap for my law enforcement resume, and as we were looking at jobs, EOD popped up, and I asked if females could do that," she said. "When they told me yes, I said that it was for me. It was like the clouds parted and the angels sang."

Dice, who is a member of the 430th EOD Company, said EOD is a lot like law enforcement and sky diving, because they are both thought of as unsafe.

"There are a lot of safeties we have to adhere by in EOD, and you have to rely on your teammates," she said. "If you adhere by those safeties and trust in your teammates, it can be a relatively safe job."

Dice said she believes that everyone can do the same work as long as they put their minds to it.

"I always did my work, and I always had a good work ethic, and when you put that first and foremost, nobody doubts you," she said.

Dice demonstrated her mettle during a deployment to Iraq from 2006 to 2008. She earned her senior badge after three years of conducting EOD missions and became the unit's first female team leader.

When she joined the Guard in 2004, there was one female EOD technician for every five companies, Dice said. Now, as many as four or five women serve in most EOD companies in the active Army. But the National Guard, Dice acknowledged, has yet to achieve those kinds of numbers.

Dice said she likes the bond that is formed among EOD specialists.

"I like the brotherhood," she said. "An EOD technician accepts another EOD technician like nothing else."

For example, if an EOD technician came into town and needed a place to stay, they are always willing to open their homes without any questions asked, Dice said.

"We understand what each other has gone through and are going to go through," she said.

(Army Spc. Kelsey Blankenship serves with the North Carolina National Guard.)

DCoE, Football Players Spread the Message about Concussions

March 4, 2010 - Sutton speaks with former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber.  What do warriors and professional football players have in common? Both are susceptible to sustaining concussions – whether in-theater or on the gridiron. And both are sometimes reluctant to seek treatment for fear of being seen as weak or forced to sit out of the action to recover.

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton and Marine Sgt. Josh Hopper of DCoE’s Real Warriors Campaign traveled to the Super Bowl Media Day last month to promote our newest relationship with pro football. Real Warriors has joined forces with the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) and the University of Michigan Depression Center to break the stigma among service members and NFL players in seeking treatment for concussions.

Sutton with former quarterback Joe Theismann and Sgt. Josh Hopper of the Real Warriors Campaign.

While at the Super Bowl, Brig. Gen. Sutton, SLI Founder and President Chris Nowinski and former Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler appeared on more than a half-dozen sports talk radio programs encouraging service members and football players that seeking treatment for concussions is an act of courage and strength – not a sign of weakness.

Stay tuned to our Real Warriors Web site this month for a PSA featuring retired Detroit Lions quarterback Eric Hipple, who is now the outreach coordinator for the University of Michigan Depression Center. This PSA will be the first of a few highlighting our collaboration with former NFL players. Also, be sure to check out our Media Day pre-Super Bowl XLIV photo album on Facebook!

What is DCoE learning from football players? If you missed it, read our recent article in the Holiday Issue of the DCoE in Action newsletter, “DCoE Collaborates with NFL Sports Medicine Experts.”

Battlefield Medical Records Assist VA Staff With Service Member’s Recovery Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) Public Affairs

March 04, 2010 - The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is the weapon of choice by enemy forces in Southwest Asia. In December 2009, an IED detonation in Afghanistan left an Army major with injuries to the face and multiple fractures throughout his body.

The soldier, who chose to remain anonymous, was medically evacuated to Camp Lacy at Bagram Air Field, where he underwent surgical procedures for his injuries. Clinicians with the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group and others digitally documented his care in computer systems fielded by the U.S. Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) program.

After a short stay at Camp Lacy, the patient received follow-up care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. On Christmas Eve, he boarded a plane bound for the U.S. for further recovery and to reunite with his family.

As he crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the staff at the North Chicago VA Medical Center in Illinois prepared for his arrival. Hours before the soldier arrived at the stateside treatment facility, physicians had reviewed a full account of his medical history.

“As soon as we got the call, we were able to generate a medical record for him in VistA Web, where his physician was also able to view all of his remote medical records from AHLTA,” said Bonnie Munkacsy, North Chicago VA Medical Center transfer coordinator. “This made all the difference with the speed and coordination of his care.”

Dr. Frank Maldonado, associate chief of staff for clinical affairs at the North Chicago VA Medical Center, said, “Our VA and DoD electronic medical records systems work extraordinarily well in situations like this. By reviewing the medical record before the patient arrived we were able to determine his allergies, medications, baseline labs, X-rays performed and review of progress notes including operative reports. This saved the patient lots of unnecessary tests and saved time for staff in determining a plan of care.”

The information exchange was made possible via a data interface between the DoD’s AHLTA and the VA’s VistA systems—the Bi-directional Health Information Exchange (BHIE).

Maldonado credits the EMR systems in place to making the time-critical transition of service members possible. “It’s safe to say that that without the EMRs, we would not have been able to prepare for the major’s arrival in the manner in which we did.”

Guard retirees eligible for dental coverage

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (3/3/10) - Good oral health is an important part of maintaining overall health and a military retiree's access to dental coverage doesn't end when they hang up their uniform.

With the Tricare Retiree Dental Program, retired servicemembers can purchase affordable dental coverage for themselves and their eligible family members.

The Tricare retiree dental program is available around the world to retired servicemembers who receive retirement pay, "gray area" retired National Guard and Reserve members who are entitled to but not yet receiving retirement pay and Medal of Honor recipients.

Spouses and children up to 21 years old, or 23 years old if they're full-time students, of these retirees are also eligible for the retiree dental program.

Participants in this voluntary plan may get dental care from any licensed dentist within the program's designated service area. However, visiting an out-of-network dentist may require participants to pay higher out-of-pocket expenses and file their own claims.

The Tricare retiree dental program is a premium-based plan administered by Delta Dental and it has cost shares for certain services after beneficiaries reach their $50 per-person deductible. Most preventive, diagnostic and emergency dental services are covered or available for cost-sharing immediately after enrollment, but some services including orthodontics, dentures and crowns are available with a cost-share only after 12 months of continuous enrollment.

The monthly premium rates vary based on the retiree's location and the number of people covered by the plan. These premiums are automatically deducted from retirement pay. The rates are available at www.trdp.org and adjust Oct. 1 for the next year.

Eligible members may enroll in the Tricare retiree dental program online, by telephone or by mail. Visit www.trdp.org and click "Prospective Enrollees" for more information on rates and benefits.

Wisconsin Guard part of national effort to ensure its Soldiers collect money earned

March 4, 2010 - At least 6,000 National Guard members nationwide may be eligible for Post-Deployment Mobilization Respite Absence, or PDMRA compensation. But the Wisconsin Guard needs Soldiers' help if they want to collect.

In 2009 the Department of Defense developed PDMRA for service members who deploy longer than established dwell ratios - a measure of time at home against time deployed. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review calls for the National Guard to have a dwell ratio of about five-to-one.

Soldiers who deploy longer than established ratios qualify for additional days of leave, or paid days off. For example, a National Guard Soldier who deploys longer than 12 months during the most recent 72 months gets one PDMRA day for each additional month or fraction of a month. The number of PDMRA days awarded increases after 18 months and again after 24 months served.

Soldiers receive their PDRMA at the end of their tour. However, Guard Soldiers who mobilized prior to policy enactment have not received their entitlement - specifically those that deployed between Jan. 19, 2007, and Aug. 18, 2007 and served longer than a year. With the help of the National Guard Bureau, Wisconsin has identified at least 430 past or current members that could receive payment for PDMRA days they earned.

Wisconsin Guard Soldiers eligible for the PDMRA compensation who are still serving in the Guard will be notified by their commands, and do not need to fill out any paperwork as they are still in the military pay system, according to Col. Mark Bruns, Wisconsin Army National Guard deputy chief of staff for personnel. However, Soldiers who have left the service honorably or retired are included under this authority. In Wisconsin that is about 240 former members.

"We are using every available means to contact these Soldiers," Bruns said, since reimbursement authority under the program expires Oct. 28, including mailing letters to last known addresses.

Given the limited time Soldiers have to seek compensation, Bruns wants to make certain that everyone who is eligible for compensation receives that information.

Soldiers have 30 days after receiving their letter to respond, Bruns said. However, the sooner they respond the more time personnel staff members have to make sure all paperwork is submitted properly to avoid problems in the future.

Individuals who receive the letter and have questions may call the contact person at the bottom of the letter. Soldiers who believe they may be eligible for compensation, but have not been contacted are urged to contact their chain of command.

Soldiers should receive their PDRMA entitlement payments between March and October.

Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill of the National Guard Bureau contributed to this release.