Military News

Friday, March 05, 2010

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 5, 2010

NAVY

Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is being awarded an $117,401,603 modification to a previously awarded fixed-price incentive fee V-22 multi-year production contract (N00019-07-C-0001) to provide two additional MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft. Pursuant to the variation in quantity clause, this procurement will bring the number of MV-22 aircraft on this contract from 141 to 143. Work will be performed in Ridley Park, Pa. (50 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); and Amarillo, Texas (15 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $117,401,603 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, LLC, Tampa, Fla., is being awarded a $70,140,000 firm-fixed-price letter contract for the detail, design, and construction of two offshore support vessels and associated equipment and services for the Iraqi Navy. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Iraq. Work will be performed in Houma, La., and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $47.6 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured based on the terms of a Foreign Military Sales case which the Government of Iraq specified RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, LLC, as the source for this effort. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-C-2222).

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Bloomington, Minn., is being awarded a $30,602,134 firm-fixed-price contract for the full-rate production of 118 Type 3 advanced mission computers for the F/A-18 and E/A-18G aircrafts. Work will be performed in Bloomington, Minn., and is expected to be completed in December 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $6,480,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0014).

Atlantic Marine Philadelphia, LLC, Philadelphia, Pa., is being awarded a $12,771,174 firm-fixed-price contract for a 70-calendar day regular overhaul of Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Joshua Humphreys. The ship's primary mission is to provide fuel to Navy ships at sea and jet fuel to aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers. Humphreys, which deactivated and joined the Navy's Inactive Ships program in 1996, is being reactivated this summer by the direction of U.S. Fleet Forces Command to support counter-piracy and global war on terrorism operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations where the ship will serve as a duty oiler to U.S. and coalition warships. Work performed will include tank inspections; ballast tank preservation; main engine cylinder head inspection and overhaul; underwater hull cleaning; and paint and propeller system maintenance. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $15,492,209. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pa., and is expected to be completed by May 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an unrestricted solicitation and four offers were received. The solicitation was posted to the Military Sealift Command, Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities Web sites. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Fleet Support Command, a field activity of Military Sealift Command, is the contracting activity (N40442-10-C-1001).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $10,232,032 cost-plus-fixed-fee task order # 0002 under previously awarded contract (N00014-09-D-0702) for the Integrated Topside program. This task order supports the technology development phase of a Navy acquisition program to develop a satellite communication prototype/advanced development model system suitable for integration into Navy submarines. This contract contains options which, if exercised, will bring the value of the contract to $32,003,899. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J., and work is expected to be completed March 2011. With options exercised, the completion date is July 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $7,111,723 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0008) for 12 months of AIM-9X Sidewinder missile support for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the governments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey and Switzerland. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. and is expected to be completed in December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($2,678,281; 38 percent), U.S. Air Force ($2,578,282; 36 percent), and the governments of Australia ($438,658; 23 percent); Denmark ($202,358; 11 percent); Finland ($202,357; 11 percent); Korea ($202,357; 11 percent); Saudi Arabia ($202,358; 11 percent); Singapore ($202,358; 11 percent); Turkey ($202,357; 11 percent); and Switzerland ($202,357; 11 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Sealaska Environmental Services, LLC*, Juneau, Alaska, is being awarded a $6,832,006 firm-fixed-price contract modification to increase the maximum dollar value of previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N44255-09-D-4005) for the operation, maintenance, and long term monitoring environmental services at various locations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for operation and maintenance of various remediation sites, systems, wellsm and long-term monitoring in order to ensure compliance with environmental agency requirements. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $34,913,885. Work will be performed in the NAVFAC Northwest AOR, including, but not limited to, Washington (78 percent), Alaska (18 percent), Oregon (1 percent), Idaho (1 percent), Montana (1 percent), and Wyoming (1 percent). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

Kalman & Co., Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded $6,624,698 to exercise task order #0023 option under previously awarded contract (M67854-03-A-5158). The scope of this effort is to provide business and analytical support to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) systems. Objectives of this initiative include risk analyses supporting enterprise-wide efforts and current programs of record, leading to concise business case analyses that identify cost and performance projections, schedule impacts, and sustainment/lifecycle considerations. This effort will require applied use of decision support tools to conduct comparative analyses of costs, quantify benefits and attendant risks, and fully vet each alternative through appropriate stakeholder business forums. The expected outcome of this effort is to assist the JPEO-CBD in continuing best business practices and effective course of action selection criteria for the management of their portfolio of acquisition programs, efforts, and initiatives. Ancillary efforts will include subject matter expertise representation at stakeholder sponsored forums, program objectives memorandum and budget planning, preparing Congressional testimony and briefings, and ensuring a comprehensive program of technology insertion (e.g., research-and-development-based investment) is established and maintained. Work will be performed in Marine Corps Command organizations in Falls Church, Va., and is expected to be completed in September 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps System Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $6,165,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5100) for system integrator/design agent for Open Architecture Track Manager. As the systems integrator design agent, the contractor assists in developing and maintaining architecture and requirements; modifies government-furnished information to implement and maintain the open architecture track manager; and integrates open architecture track manager onto Navy-specific platforms. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Va. (98 percent), and San Diego, Calif. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 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.

ARMY

Northrop Grumman Corp., Apopka, Fla., was awarded on March 1, 2010, a $79,000,624 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract is for the lightweight laser designator rangefinders. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. Bids were solicted on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-09-D-0061).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Height, Mich., was awarded on March 1, 2010, a $62,123,818 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the award program Year Four Increment 2 of the Abrams multi-year contract for a quantity of 22 M1A2 systems enhancement package, Version 2 upgrade vehicles. Work is to be performed in Lima, Ohio (75 percent); Tallahassee, Fla. (10 percent); Anniston, Ala. (9 percent); Scranton, Penn. (3 percent); and Sterling Heights, Mich. (3 percent), with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2012. One bid was solicted with one bid received. TACOM, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

Northrop Grumman Corp., Apopka, Fla., was awarded on March 1, 2010 a $46,172,662 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract is for the lightweight laser designator rangefinders. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. Bids were solicted on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-09-D-0061).

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded on March 3, 2010, a $34,416,000 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for a requirement to procure a minimum of 144, maximum of 326, upturned exhaust systems to be installed in UH/HH 60M production line aircraft and retrofit of aircraft that will be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Work is to be performed in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2015. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, CCAM-BH-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-D-0001).

Oshkosh Corp, Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on March 2, 2010, a $29,735,676 requirements contract for the purchase of 79 new Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, M978A4 trucks on the existing HEMTTA4 contract along with ancillary items. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2012. One bid was solicted with one bid received. TACOM , Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0024).

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services, Inc., Rockville, Md., was awarded on March 2, 2010, a $22,365,515 cost-plus-award-fee contract for logistical support and services consisting of the three major functional areas of maintenance, transportation, and supply on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Work is to be performed in the island of Oahu (96.4 percent) and island of Hawaii (3.6 percent), with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2018. 54 bids were solicited with seven bids received. Regional Contracting Office, Hawaii, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (W912CN-08-C-0085).

Northrop Grumman Corp., Apopka, Fla., was awarded on March 1, 2010, a $17,615,004 fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract is for the lightweight laser designator rangefinders. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. Bids were solicted on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-09-D-0061).

Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc., Edgewood, Md., was awarded in Feb. 26, 2010, a $16,933,000 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is to provide all labor, personnel, supervision, administration, materials, equipment, tools, and transportation necessary to perform public works functions at the following general locations in the state of Alaska: Fort Wainwright and the Donnelly, Yukon, and Black Rapids training areas. Work is to be performed in Fort Wainwright; the Donnelly, Yukon, and Black Rapids training areas; and Seward campground, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Expeditionary Contracting Command, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, is the contracting activity (W912CZ-09-D-0004).

FN Manufacturing, Columbia, S.C., was awarded on March 3, 2010, a $10,326,020 firm-fixed-price contract for a 5 year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the FN303 firing device. The FN303 firing device is a non-lethal launcher used for riot control and training purposes. Work is to be performed in Columbia, S.C., with an estimated completion date of March 1, 2015. One bid was solicted with one bid received. TACOM Rock Island CCTA-AR-SR-SC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52H09-10-D-0125).

SUMO-NAN, LLC, Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded on March 2, 2010, a $10,260,010 firm-fixed-price contract for an upgrade air support operations center complex, Wheeler Administration Annex, Wheeler Army Airfield, Oahu, Hawaii. Work is to be performed in Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 5, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (W9128a-10-C-0004).

Creative Times Day School, Inc., dba as Creative Times, Inc., Ogden, Utah, was awarded on March 1, 2010, a $9,023,000 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a training support center at Fort Riley, Kan. Work is to be performed in Fort Riley, Kan., with an estimated completion date of July 10, 2011. Bids were solicted on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Mo., is the contracting activity (W912DQ-10-C-4010).

Rockwell Collins Simulation & Training, Sterling, Va., was awarded on March 1, 2010, an $8,704,479 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of one transportable Blackhawk operations simulator US Device 8. Work is to be performed in Sterling, Va., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2013. One bid was solicted with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, CCAM-BH-C, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0257).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

GE Datex-Ohmeda, Inc., Madison, Wis., is being awarded a maximum $19,847,688 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for patient monitoring systems, subsystems, accessories, parts, and training. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. There were originally 17 proposals solicited with nine responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the first option year period. The date of performance completion is March 5, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM2D1-10-D-8348).

Chairman's Corner: Three Principles for Use of Military Force

By Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 5, 2010 - As I laid out during the Landon Lecture this week, our nation has been at war continuously over the last nine years against a syndicate of Islamic extremists, led by al-Qaida and supported by a host of both state and nonstate actors. I have watched -- and advised -- two administrations as they have dealt with this struggle, and I have come to three principles about the proper use of modern military forces. The first is that military power should not, maybe cannot, be the last resort of the state. Sometimes, the military -- because of its unique flexibility and speed -- may be the first, best tool to use. But it should never be the only tool.

Use of military forces must be accompanied by other instruments of national and international power. Defense and diplomacy are simply no longer discrete choices, one to be applied when the other one fails, but must, in fact, complement one another throughout the messy process of international relations.

And I believe that U.S. foreign policy is still too dominated by the military. Should we choose to exert American influence solely through our troops, we should expect to see that influence diminish over time.

In fact, I would argue that in future struggles of the asymmetric, counterinsurgent variety, we ought to make it a pre-condition of committing our troops that we will do so only if and when the other instruments of national power and our allies are ready to engage as well.

The second is that to the maximum extent possible, force should be applied in a precise and principled way. Precisely applying force in a principled manner can help reduce those costs and actually improve our chances of success.

This doesn't mean we don't do the things necessary to win. It means we do those things as mindful as we can about the impact to the innocent people we are trying to protect. Each time we kill a civilian inadvertently, we not only wreak devastation on the lives of their loved ones, we set our own strategy back months if not years. We make it hard for people to trust us.

Frankly, the battlefield isn't necessarily a field anymore, but rather is the minds of the people.

My third principle is that -- in the very dynamic security environment we find ourselves in -- we should welcome a constant struggle between policy and strategy.

The experience of the last nine years tells us two things: A clear strategy for military operations is essential, and that strategy will have to change as those operations evolve. In other words, success in these types of wars is iterative, not decisive. We will win, but we will do so only over time and only after near-constant reassessment and adjustment.

The notion proffered by some that once set a war policy cannot be changed, or that to do so implies some sort of weakness, strikes me not only as incompatible with our own history, but also as quite dangerous.

War has never been a set-piece affair. The enemy adapts to your strategy, and you adapt to his, and so you keep the interplay going between policy and strategy until you find the right combination at the right time.

The day you stop adjusting is the day you lose.

(Navy Adm. Mike Mullen is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.)

Missouri Air Guard C-130s, Crews Fly to Chile


By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 5, 2010 - Two Missouri Air National Guard C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with 47 crewmembers are en route to aid earthquake-ravaged Chile today. The 139th Airlift Wing sent the two aircraft, crews and maintenance support personnel from Puerto Rico where they had been supporting U.S. Southern Command to Santiago, Chile, yesterday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced in a news release.

The wing, which is scheduled to send additional aircraft and crews to Santiago in the coming weeks, also has supported earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, flying personnel and supplies to Port-au-Prince, Missouri Guard officials said.

"The men and women of the Missouri Air Guard are uniquely qualified to provide emergency response, relief and recovery services, both at home and abroad," Nixon said. "I am especially proud of the skill and professionalism of our Air Guard units, and I know they will provide invaluable service to the people of Chile during this time of need."

C-130 aircraft can airlift people and cargo long distances in all weather conditions day and night from low to high altitudes and can land in austere areas.

"The 139th Airlift Wing is again at the tip of the spear in supporting humanitarian relief efforts," said Air Force Col. Michael McEnulty, the wing commander. "We are always leaning forward to come to the aid of those who have been affected by disasters, whether at home or abroad."

Missouri is one state that is acutely aware of the need for earthquake preparedness. It sits on the New Madrid fault, named for the Missouri town hit in 1811 and 1812 by some of the strongest earthquakes in North American history. The Missouri National Guard routinely trains for earthquake response and hosts national earthquake planning workshops. At the most recent, in September, more than 200 Guard officials and representatives of civilian agencies from eight states discussed emergency response to a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

The National Guard is uniquely qualified to respond, a Missouri University of Science and Technology geological engineer told the workshop.

"That's because the National Guard has combat engineering familiarity and background and in a combat situation you don't control the cards you are dealt," David Rogers said. "The response in an emergency situation has to be fluid and capable of changing. There is no manual for disaster response."

The National Guard has a history of responding to earthquakes that goes back at least 100 years. And the Guard has decades of experience supporting disaster relief operations in Central and South America.

In 1906, after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit San Francisco, California National Guard members didn't even bother waiting for orders they just started showing up at their armories ready to assist, which the Guard did in support of civilian agencies throughout the aftermath.

"The work done and still being done by the National Guard ... will be long and gratefully remembered," a newspaper editorial stated. "Our present National Guard is descended in direct official line from those citizen soldiers that stood, yielding not, at Saratoga, Ticonderoga, Stony Point and Yorktown, and have proved themselves worthy of their ancestors."

Earthquakes are notoriously unpredictable. Scientists debate whether even trying to predict them is a worthwhile exercise, and the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center flatly states that they cannot be predicted, while also noting that there is a 100 percent chance that one will strike somewhere on the planet today.

In 1990, a New Mexico climatological consultant predicted devastation coming to New Madrid, Mo., on Dec. 3 that year. The prediction was enough to spark state planning, but the day came and went without incident.

As scientists try to predict where the next big earthquake is likely to strike in the United States, the National Guard stands ready to respond, Guard officials said.

"The National Guard has the trained personnel, the equipment and the command and control capabilities in order to execute this mission to help provide food, water, electricity anything the citizens would be in need of during a major disaster such as an earthquake," said Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner, Missouri's adjutant general.

(Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill serves at the National Guard Bureau.)

Navy to Commission Guided Missile Destroyer Dewey

The Navy will commission the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, Dewey, Saturday, March 6, 2010, during an 11 a.m. PST ceremony at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. His wife, Deborah Mullen, will serve as the ship's sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when she gives the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

Designated DDG 105, the new destroyer honors Adm. George Dewey (1837-1917) who commanded the Asiatic Station from the cruiser Olympia. Shortly after the onset of the Spanish-American War, Dewey led his squadron of warships into Manila Bay on April 30, 1898. The next morning, his squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet in only two hours without a single American loss. A widely popular hero of his day, Dewey was commissioned Admiral of the Navy, a rank created for him, in March 1903. Two previous ships have proudly carried his name. The first was a destroyer (DD 349) that survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and went on to receive 13 battle stars for World War II service. The second was a destroyer commissioned as a guided-missile frigate (DLG 14) before being reclassified as a guided missile destroyer (DDG 45).

Dewey is the 55th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The ship will be able to conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management, to sea control and power projection. Dewey will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously and contains a myriad of offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime warfare in keeping with "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower," which postures the sea services to apply maritime power to protect U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.

Cmdr. Warren Buller, of Concord, Mass., will become the first commanding officer of the ship and lead the crew of 276 officers and enlisted personnel. The 9,200-ton Dewey was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss. The ship is 509 feet in length, has a waterline beam of 59 feet, and a navigational draft of 31 feet. Four gas turbine engines will power the ship to speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. More information on Arleigh Burke-class destroyers can be found at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=900&ct=4.

History Will Reveal Decisive Special Operations Role

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

March 5, 2010 - Addressing a group of Navy SEALs here yesterday, the nation's top military officer said history would show the decisive contributions provided by special operations troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I actually believe that when the story is told someday in history that the role of special forces in these wars will be told in a way where they were decisive you were decisive in many ways," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a group of SEALs at the Naval Air Station North Island here. "That's sometimes hard to see when we're doing it, but I believe that."

Special operations forces, the sector of highly-trained covert military personnel who sometimes are described as "the tip of the spear," are helping to lead U.S. efforts against al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Mullen said.

"I am engaged with your leadership routinely," he said, "to make sure that that edge is continuously honed."

The chairman praised the SEALs for lowering their attrition rate without lowering their standards for fitness or other qualifications, moving the group closer to its goal to increase its ranks by 500 SEALs by 2013.

"We're growing special forces across the board," Mullen said, "and that growth will continue even as we come under increasing budget pressure, as I think we will in coming years."

The rate of attrition among Navy SEALs undergoing the grueling six-month Basic Underwater Demolition School has lingered around 77 percent over the course of training. But that figure has decreased by about 10 percent, according to unofficial estimates by defense officials here.

"Just looking at the attrition statistics, it's a great improvement [while keeping] the same standard and the same course," Mullen said. "That's something we've been seeking for a while. ... That's a big change for the positive."

Mullen expressed his gratitude to the SEALs, who he said "represent the best of who we are in the military."

"You serve in extraordinarily challenging times in a very difficult fight that's going to be around for a while," he said, "and I'm thankful for all that you do and that you'd make the decision to serve our country at this particular point in time."

After meeting with about 20 spouses of Navy SEALs for about an hour before addressing the military operators, Mullen said the spouses allow the military to make a difference.

"I also want to express my appreciation to your families who support what you do, without which we couldn't succeed," he said. "They sacrifice a significant amount, as we all do. We could not do it without them."

Mullen praised the leadership within the ranks of Navy SEALs, and in special operations forces more broadly, saying their contribution allows for military success at the strategic level.

"We are extraordinarily dependent on your success, believe me," he said. "And I know that the leaders, from myself right through the president, understand that, and you've executed mission after mission successfully and we have great faith that you will continue to do that.

"I don't take it for granted. You shouldn't," Mullen continued. "Future success is going to be generated based on the continued level of excellence that this community seeks."

Capitals Host Appreciation Night to Honor Troops

By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Elliott Fabrizio
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 5, 2010 - The Washington Capitals showed their support for America's armed forces with their seventh annual "Salute to the Military" appreciation night event held yesterday at the Verizon Center here. While the Capitals gained a 5–3 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning, more than 800 service members and their families enjoyed the game courtesy of tickets the Capitals provided free through local military Morale, Welfare and Recreation offices.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Douglas B. Wilson and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli stressed the importance of garnering civilian support for the military and their families during a pre-game reception honoring the military.

"Less than one percent of Americans have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom," Wilson said. "All Americans need to understand who they are, and that we are all in this together. Military families, the men and women who support our troops are an important part of this country, and we need to give back. Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals epitomize that message, and we thank you."

"Not only does this event salute the troops, but we're also saluting the military families," Chiarelli said. "The families are absolutely critical to our troops, and the support of the American people goes a long way."

The Washington Capitals professional ice hockey team is part of the National Hockey League. Alexander Ovechkin, the team's star left wing, played on the national hockey team for his native Russia during the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Canada.

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis praised the men and women of the U.S. military.

"This is such a small, minuscule payback for everything that our men and women in the services do for us," Leonsis said. "The sacrifices our men and women do for us make it possible for us to live the life we are accustomed to as citizens. It's a great honor for us to be able to give something back for everything the military does for us."

The Capitals honored the troops with special performances and aired military "shout-outs" throughout the game. They also donated several viewing suites for use by Wounded Warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

"A lot of us are still going through surgeries and we've got many more ahead of us," said Wounded Warrior Marine Lt. Col. Keith Schuring. "This gives us a night where we can relax and be with our fellow warriors and just enjoy ourselves."

Service members attending the event expressed appreciation for the Capitals.

"Tonight has been great," Army Master Sgt. Andrew Berger said. "Since we've been here they've really taken care of us. The Washington Capitals are awesome. It's great to be here to show our support to them as they've shown their support for us."

(Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Elliott Fabrizio is assigned with the Pentagon Channel.)

General Officer Assignment

March 5, 2010 - The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignment:

Brig. Gen. Eden J. Murrie, special assistant to the vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., to director for legislative affairs, Office of Legislative Affairs, National Security Staff, Executive Office of the President, the White House, Washington, D.C.

Shooting at Pentagon Metro Station


March 5, 2010 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) and Arlington County Police Department, are investigating why a California man approached the entrance to the Pentagon at approximately 6:40 p.m. on March 4, 2010 and shot two PFPA officers.

The lone shooter, John Patrick Bedell, born May 20, 1973, was shot in the head and left tricep during an exchange of gunfire outside the Pentagon, near the entrance adjacent to the Pentagon Metro Transit Center. Bedell was transported to George Washington University Hospital and died at approximately 10 p.m.

Two PFPA officers, Jeffery Amos and Marvin Carraway, injured in the exchange were treated at George Washington University Hospital and released. A third officer was also involved in the exchange of gunfire but that officer’s name is not being released at this time.

Bedell, of Hollister, California, is believed to have driven to Washington, D.C. in a vehicle that has been located and removed from the Fashion Centre Pentagon City Mall parking garage. The vehicle is a 1998 green Toyota Avalon. At the time of the shooting, Bedell, who had a full beard, was dressed in slacks, a white collared shirt, and blazer.

Investigators are searching the car, conducting interviews, and reviewing a video of the shooting in an effort to piece together a timeline of Bedell’s activities leading up the incident. Investigative efforts include reviewing Bedell’s possible Internet activity, his cell phone usage, and other information which might assist in determining Bedell’s state of mind at the time of the shooting.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone who believes he or she may have witnessed the shooting, or may have additional information, is urged to call the FBI at 202-278-2000.

Wisconsin Guard members vie for Soldier of the Year honors

March 5, 2010 - At 5 a.m. today [March 5] 11 Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers started their day with push-ups, sit-ups and a two-mile run - the first events in a three-day span that will test their abilities in marksmanship, physical fitness, land navigation, Soldier task knowledge and military bearing. Each competitor's composure will also be tested by the weekend's long hours and demanding schedule.

These Soldiers are competing for the prestige of being the Wisconsin Army National Guard's Soldier of the Year and Non-commissioned Officer of the Year. The winners will go on to compete against National Guard Soldiers from six other states at the regional competition in May, also to be held at Fort McCoy this year.

Last year, Spc. John Wiernasz of Vadnais Heights, Minn., won the annual Soldier of the Year competition; and Sgt. Raymond B. Heilman, Spooner, won the Non-commissioned Officer of the Year competition. Both are members of Detachment 1, 950th Engineer Company, a Spoonerbased unit that specializes in mine clearance. Wiernasz advanced to the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition last August at the Warrior Training Center, Fort Benning, Ga.

The competition is not open to the public, but check out photos from each day of the competition at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiguardpics/.

Competitors include: Sgt. Amanda Pagac (Hartland), 135th Medical Company (Waukesha); Spc. Carlos Villa-Rivera (Kiel), Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 147th Command Aviation (Madison); Sgt. Cody Brueggen (Oconomowoc), Detachment 1, 107th Maintenance Company (Sparta); Spc. Seth Winchel (La Farge), Detachment 1, 107th Maintenance Company (Sparta); Pfc. Randy Fendryk (Waukesha), Battery C, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery (Sussex); Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson (Tomah), 106th Engineer Detachment (Tomah); Sgt. Peter Wetzel (Milwaukee), Detachment 1, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry (Abbottsford); Spc. Caleb Brown (Sparta), Detachment 1, Company C, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry (Onalaska); Sgt. William Atkinson (Whitewater), Headquarters Troop, 1st Battalion, 105th Cavalry (Madison); Spc. Aaron Wallander (Valders), Headquarters Troop, 1st Battalion, 105th Cavalry (Madison); Sgt. Nicole Mayberry (Sparta), Headquarters Detachment, 426th Leadership Regiment (Fort McCoy).

U.S. Military's Medical Role in Haiti Declines

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 5, 2010 - It's been a week since the last Haitian patient was treated aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, as the need for immediate medical attention is declining two months after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the island nation, the Joint Task Force-Haiti surgeon said. "The Comfort currently has no Haitian patients aboard," Army Col. (Dr.) Jennifer Menetrez told bloggers yesterday during a DoDLive bloggers roundtable. "The last patient was discharged from the Comfort on Feb. 27."

The hospital beds and hallways of the Comfort are now empty of Haitian patients, Menetrez said. Meanwhile, she said, the Comfort remains on station to provide any follow-on care as needed by the Haitian government.

"Over the last 10 days, we've seen over a 65 percent reduction in patients onboard the [Comfort] as they have been appropriately transferred to local hospitals for follow-on care," she added.

This follow-on care is being supported by the numerous mobile and on-site clinics that have been set up to give continued treatment to victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake.

"To date, there are 130 mobile clinics and 156 on-site clinics," Menetrez said. "The collaboration between military, government of Haiti and [U.S. Agency for International Development] continues to be wonderful. Collaboration between all parties has been a milestone of a unified response through a challenging event."

Since the Comfort arrived on station, she said, U.S. military medical personnel have provided care to more than 8,600 Haitian residents.

"Of the 8,600 patients seen, the U.S. military surgeons performed close to 1,000 surgeries, primary care physicians conducted over 7,200 outpatient visits and oversaw the care of 1,300 for post surgical care within the hospital wards," Menetrez said.

(Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg works in the Defense Media Activity's Emerging Media Directorate)

Lockheed to Speed Development of Joint Strike Fighter

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

March 4, 2010 - Defense Department leaders and Lockheed Martin executives explained to international partners changes that have been made in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Ashton B. Carter, the department's undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, and Robert Stevens, chief operating officer for Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the program, explained what measures Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has taken to right the program.

A department study of the program completed in October found the development phase of the revolutionary aircraft had slipped by 30 months. Gates has made changes that will reduce the slippage to 13 months, Carter said during a phone interview from Dallas today.

Carter was able to report to the partners that the Joint Strike Fighter program now has a realistic plan and "not a blindly optimistic one" or a "fatalistic one."

The undersecretary also said the study identified management measures to improve performance over the coming years. "I want to emphasize that this process of independent review and aggressive management to specific milestones will continue," he said.

Carter emphasized that the review turned up no fundamental technological or manufacturing problems with the JSF program and no failure to make military capabilities. He reiterated that the Joint Strike Fighter will be the backbone of collective air superiority for the next generation.

The report showed the JSF program was taking longer and costing more than either the government development office or the contractor had predicted, Carter said. "This schedule and cost trend was unacceptable for the taxpayers of the U.S. and for the other eight nations," he said. "The schedule slip was estimated at 30 months in the development program. The cost of the airplanes had grown since 2002 and that for a variety of reasons the JSF program would breach the Nunn-McCurdy threshold."

The Nunn-McCurdy law requires that Congress be notified of a cost growth of more than 15 percent in a program. It also calls for cancellation of programs for which total cost grew by more than 25 percent over the original estimate.

"We didn't wait for the Nunn-McCurdy paperwork to play out," the undersecretary said. "We began to review and restructure the JSF program as though it were already in Nunn-McCurdy breach and the results of that review and restructuring were subsequently described by Gates."

Gates announced the restructuring of the JSF program – the most expensive acquisition in U.S. military history – in early February. The objective is to restore the schedule in the development program.

"We assessed that this was feasible and was possible to reduce the slip in the development program from 30 months to 13 months and that we could realistically plan on that basis provided we took some immediate management steps," Carter said.

That means procuring one more carrier variant aircraft and additional regular aircraft to conduct flight testing "with the idea of hastening the completion of the program," he said.

The changes also call for development of aircraft software capability.

"All of these steps were directed in the restructuring and that's the first steps in the effort to buy back some of the slips in the development program," Carter said.

The defense secretary did not believe it was reasonable for the customers to bear all the costs of those actions, and decided DoD would withhold $614 million of the award fee from the contract, Carter said. "We will be adjusting contract structures in the future to align contractor performance to what we need," he said.

The restructuring allows for contractors to adopt a more realistic schedule and production ramp, and gives Lockheed Martin and subcontractors every opportunity "to accelerate production and make affordable aircraft, faster," he said.