Military News

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Officials Step Up Efforts to Detect, Prevent Brain Injury

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2010 - The Defense Department is "extremely invested" in the early detection of traumatic brain injury, and is pushing new guidelines and numerous research initiatives to the front burner to aid in that effort, a brain injury expert said today.

Kathy Helmick, senior executive director of traumatic brain injury for the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, joined several defense and service officials for a teleconference to explain the upcoming change to brain injury guidelines in the combat theater and other initiatives taking place throughout the department.

Traumatic brain injury, commonly known as TBI, is defined as a disruption of brain function resulting from a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating brain injury. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have yielded a "significant" number of TBI cases, noted Col. H. Morita, chief of medical operations for the Air Force Medical Support Agency.

Between January 2000 and September 2009, more than 161,000 servicemembers were identified as having suffered a traumatic brain injury, the majority of which were classified as a concussion, also referred to as mild TBI, according to the Defense Department report, "Traumatic Brain Injury Care in the Department of Defense."

"While [the number of cases is] unfortunate, it has resulted in the ability to further characterize and understand concussions and to improve the future care of our servicemembers," Morita said.

Early detection and treatment is the cornerstone for a successful recovery, Helmick noted. "Rapid detection, both on the battlefield and home base, when mild TBI occurs, is something that we're deeply committed to," she said. To that end, a new policy, expected to launch in the coming months, will require servicemembers who suffer possible concussions to seek medical care, she said.

"Servicemembers, under certain circumstances -- certain operational exposures to potential concussive events -- are going to be required to go see a medical person and at least have an initial intake evaluation of some sort," explained Navy Cmdr. Fred Kass, director of clinical programs and acting director for psychological health for Marine Corps Health Services.

Currently, servicemembers self-identify a need to be evaluated, Kass said, but these self-reporting guidelines only go so far with a motivated servicemember who wants to stay on patrol. While he may be concerned about some symptoms he's experiencing, "he may not raise his hand and say, 'I need some help.' He doesn't want to let his buddies down," he added.

Under the new guidelines, all servicemembers exposed to a potential head injury will be assessed before they're able to return to duty.

Kass said he has high hopes for the policy. "At the end of the day, I think it will be one of our key initiatives in helping better define this population, understanding them better, providing better care," he said.

Helmick said she hopes the new in-theater guidelines will send a message that treatment works. "We want to find everybody and we want to get everybody back in the fight. So let us find you, and let us treat you, and we'll get you back," she said.

Along with the new policy, significant research is ongoing to refine methods for early detection, said Morita, highlighting projects such as serum biomarkers to obtain more independent and objective markers of injury, sensor imaging studies and instruments to diagnose concussion.

Morita also pointed out an ongoing Air Force study that looks at the effectiveness and safety of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat chronic symptoms of mild and moderate TBI. The Defense Department also is funding a larger, multicenter study to examine hyperbaric oxygen's effects, he added.

On the preventive front, Morita noted that studies have suggested the need for improved protective gear for servicemembers, including a next-generation combat helmet. A state-of-the art enhanced combat helmet and a head-borne system designed to mitigate the impact of blasts and blunt impacts are in development, he said.

Air Force Col. Michael Jaffee, director of the Veterans and Brain Injury Center, praised the collaboration that's resulting in innovations in protective gear. The Defense Department's materiel and medical communities work alongside the civilian academic and sports communities. In the sports field, experts are looking at the developments made in helmet design in the National Football League, he said.

Experts are working to combine this knowledge into a combat helmet "that can maintain its safety for ballistic, for bullet protection, as well as enhancing its safety for other types of concussive forces as well," Jaffee said.

When combined, "These joint efforts ensure the best care for our servicemembers who put themselves in harm's way," Morita said.

Gates to Recommend Vice Admiral to Head F-35 Program

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will recommend that President Barack Obama nominate Navy Vice Adm. David J. Venlet, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, to oversee restructuring of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter program, a Defense Department official told a congressional panel today. Ashton B. Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, announced Gates' choice of Venlet as he described a five-point restructuring plan for the F-35 program to the House Armed Services Committee.

Gates announced last month that he would elevate the program's oversight to the three-star level to reflect the importance of the program to the future of military aviation.

The F-35 is the first aircraft to be developed to meet the needs of three services the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and U.S. allies with variants being developed simultaneously by prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The F-35 is to replace the current F-15s, F-16s and F-18s, resulting in cost-savings and economies of scale not possible with maintaining separate aircraft.

Carter underscored the need to get the joint strike fighter on track in light of delays and cost overruns.

"The joint strike fighter is our largest, most critically important program," he said. "It's important to the three services and international partners to know if restructuring has placed us on a realistic and stable path."

The department initially ordered 2,443 of the jets, and eight foreign militaries purchased an additional 730, Carter said. But cost estimates have risen from $50 million per aircraft when the program was introduced in 2001, to about $95 million, he said. Gates added $450 million to improve the program, but a study by Carter's office that began in November and was completed in January showed that the production line at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant still was taking too long and delaying flight testing by at least two years.

"It became clear in November of last year that [the joint strike fighter] would breach Nunn-McCurdy," Carter said, referring to a 1982 law that calls for termination of weapons programs when costs grow by more than 25 percent above original estimates. "This indicated to the department that we needed to take a more forceful management stance," he said.

As part of the restructuring plan, the department will reduce delays in the development and test schedule from 30 to 13 months by purchasing additional aircraft to add to testing, borrowing three operational test aircraft, and adding another software integration line, Carter said.

Also, the department will withhold $14 million from the contract "since it is not reasonable for the taxpayer to bear the full burden," he said.

Additionally, the department will reduce the concurrency of the development of the three variants, and will accept independent cost estimates as a basis for the program, Carter said.

"We believe this restructuring puts the [program] on a realistic path toward performance," he said.

J. Michael Gilmore, the department's director of operational test and evaluation, testified with Carter and told the committee he is concerned that the production stay on track to allow for adequate joint testing.

"My primary concern is that it be ready for joint testing to begin in 2015," he said, with a completion date in April 2016.

"It is less costly to discover problems early with a robust developmental test program," Gilmore said. The restructuring plan would ensure that adequate testing occurs, he added.

Despite the delays and cost overruns, Carter said, "no fundamental technical problems have surfaced, nor have the capabilities of the aircraft changed."

Gates, Mullen Report on Merida Summit in Mexico

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates assured Mexican military leaders during yesterday's Cabinet-level visit to Mexico City that he'll look into ways to speed up equipment deliveries to support their fight against drug cartels. Testifying today before the House Appropriations Committee, the secretary and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the one-day visit a positive step in advancing the Merida Initiative that helps Mexico combat drug trafficking and related violence by the cartels.

The two were part of a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that also included Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair.

Gates told the congressional panel today he shares their concern about how long it's taking to deliver the helicopters and aircraft the United States has committed to Mexico as part of the three-year, $1.6 billion program.

"The leaders of the Mexican military made the point [that] the house is on fire now," he said. "Having the fire trucks show up in 2012 is not going to be particularly helpful."

The problem, he told Congress, is a backlog in manufacturing the equipment Mexico is waiting for.

"Helicopters are in demand everywhere around the world," he said, adding that he had assured his Mexican counterparts he'll explore temporary solutions until the aircraft are delivered.

Mullen praised the partnership that's developed between the U.S. and Mexican militaries, and said it's been strengthened through the Merida Initiative.

"They're in a very difficult fight," Mullen said of the Mexican leadership, calling the threat they face their own version of counterinsurgency.

"We're working with them to generate as much capability as they can in that fight," he said.

That involves not only helicopters and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, the chairman explained, but also the ability to fuse the intelligence gathered and the doctrine, training and leadership development required to support drug-fighting initiatives. It also requires interagency cooperation within Mexico to counter the threat, he said.

It's an "extraordinary, complex challenge," Mullen conceded, "but one that everybody recognizes is deadly serious [and] that has to continue to be addressed."

While the United States focuses primarily on Mexico's northern border, Mullen called its southern border through which weapons and drugs flow north an equal concern. "It's a regional issue that we've really got to continue to focus on," he said.

MILITARY CONTRACTS March 24, 2010

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman of San Diego was awarded a $50,000,000 cost plus fixed fee/firm fixed price contract which will provide Global Hawk Enhanced Integrated Sensor suite interim repair capability separate from the productions repair line. It also provides additional specialized test equipment to support the current datalink repair line as well as additional test equipment to support the current integrated mission management controller repair line. At this time no money has been obligated. 560 ACGS/GFKAB is the contracting activity (FA8620-08-G-3005).

NAVY

ITT Corp., Electronic Systems Radar Systems - Van Nuys, Calif., is being awarded a $19,326,594 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5395) for AN/SPS-48G(V) radar modification kits to support the Recovery Obsolescence Availability Radar (ROAR) used to enhance Launch on Search (LOS) capability aboard U.S. Navy ships. AN/SPS-48's are radars that are installed on USN ships to enhance capability of missile guidance. The modification kits are expected to increase operational availability and decrease operating and support costs. Work will be performed in Van Nuys, Calif. (63 percent), San Diego (20 percent), and Johnstown, Pa. (17 percent), and is expected to be completed by April 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin-MS2, Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $12,184,725 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification under an existing contract (N00024-08-C-6282) to exercise an option for the production and support of Multi Function Towed Arrays (MFTAs) for the AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Combat Systems. The MFTA is the next generation passive and active sonar receiver. It affords several enhancements to the AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) allowing greater coverage, increased capability/reliability, and reduced obsolescence. MFTA significantly contributes to the capability of surface ships to detect, localize and prosecute undersea threats and is a critical sensor to a combat systems suite. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y. (60 percent); Baltimore, Md. (20 percent); Cleveland, Ohio (14 percent); and Phoenix, Ariz. (6 percent), and work is expected to be complete by December 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.

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded an $11,764,421 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0060) for the procurement of six spare AE1107C engines for the U.S. Air Force CV-22 aircraft. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Professional Contract Services, Inc., Austin, Texas, is being awarded an $8,598,299 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for base operating services at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP). The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, all management, supervision, tools, materials, supplies, labor, and transportation services necessary to perform hospital and clinic housekeeping services; heating ventilating, air conditioning maintenance and repair; water treatment services; automated grease digest systems maintenance; automatic door maintenance and repair; emergency generator maintenance and repair; entrance gates and roving guard services; hospital cart washer repairs; building re-lamping services; hospital medical gas system maintenance and repairs; and hospital firestop inspection and repair at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va. and its outlying clinics in the Hampton Roads area. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Va. and outlying clinics in the Hampton Roads area and is expected to be complete by September 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a sole source award to an AbilityOne participating nonprofit agency pursuant to the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 8. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid Atlantic is the contracting activity (N40085-10-D-3017).

Critical Solutions International, Inc., Carrollton, Texas, is being awarded $7,166,816 for firm-fixed-price delivery order #0004 under a previously awarded contract (M67854-09-D-5115) to provide spare parts to the Vehicle Mounted Mine Detectors (VMMD) System. Work will be performed in South Africa, and work is expected to be completed November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $5,862,927 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5437) to exercise options for engineering and technical services in support of the MK15 Phalanx Close-In-Weapon System. Phalanx Close-In Weapon System is a fast reaction terminal defense against low and high flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other ships' defenses. The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System is an integral element of the Fleet Defense In-Depth concept and the Ship Self-Defense Program. Operating either autonomously or integrated with a combat system, it is an automatic terminal defense weapon system designed to detect, track, engage, and destroy anti-ship missile threats penetrating other defense envelopes. Phalanx Close-In Weapon System is currently installed on approximately 187 U.S. Navy ships and is in use in 20 foreign navies. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Government Scientific Source, Reston, Va.*, is being awarded a maximum $15,000,000 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity and indefinite delivery contract for laboratory supplies and wares purchases. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with eight responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is exercising the first of four one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Mar. 26, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2DE-09-D-7339).

Agency Provides Meals, Supplies for Religious Observances


By Larry Levine
Defense Supply Center Philadelphia

March 24, 2010 - The Defense Logistics Agency's supply center here is ensuring servicemembers around the globe have Passover meals available for observance of the upcoming Jewish holiday and palm fronds for the upcoming Christian observance of Palm Sunday. In addition to supplying all daily meals, the Defense Logistics Agency also ensures troops receive traditional holiday meals and necessary religious supplies.

"As with all our holiday or special-event meals, our personnel begin demand planning and contacting customers as well as potential suppliers several months in advance to ensure timely delivery," said Ray Miller, subsistence deputy director. "Our planning for meals for this Passover holiday began back in November."

Passover, the Jewish holiday commemorating the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, is observed from sundown March 29 to April 9 this year. Traditionally, many Jewish people refrain from eating many leavened baked goods, including bread and cakes, during Passover. Some also refrain from eating rice or legumes, including beans and peas, during Passover. This can be difficult for military members in remote locations.

The four different main courses of the special Passover meals are canned salmon, bone-in chicken, gefilte fish and beef stew, all certified Kosher for Passover. The meals also contain with other Passover extras such as matzo and macaroons. Each meal is in a chemically activated, self-heating package.

The 12-meal cases will be distributed to U.S. warfighters throughout the world. While most U.S.-based servicemembers will have access to regular dining facilities or other local options for their Seder meals, most of the domestically delivered meals will go to servicemembers on training missions.

The retail value of the 10,932 Passover meals provided this year is $141,988.46. This represents an increase by almost 30 percent from 2009, when 8,424 meals were provided.

In addition to food items, the agency's clothing and textiles supply chain provides Passover Seder kits containing special prayer books and robes. The supply chain's ecclesiastical branch provides Seder kits to chaplains and Jewish servicemembers in the field.

DLA also supplies Christian and Orthodox Christian celebrants of Palm Sunday with palm leaves. Palm Sunday is celebrated the Sunday before Easter, and it commemorates Jesus Christ's entrance into Jerusalem, when palm fronds were strewn in front of him. Traditional services include a procession of members of the congregation carrying palms.

"Whether servicemembers are in the field or on training assignments away from the regular places they would celebrate, Jewish and Christian alike, we offer all the items needed to conduct their respective ceremonies," said Maryann Bonk, an inventory management specialist in the clothing and textiles ecclesiastical branch.

Delivering Value for Leaders

Editor’s Note: Richard Botkin is a former USMC Major.

By Richard Botkin

March 24, 2010 - Andrew Harvey and Raymond Foster have crafted an exceptionally outstanding learning resource--it is far more than a 'book' if the reader accesses all that is available through their generous and dynamic leadership website--for leaders of every experience level. "Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is a great read for the young leader starting out with its wealth of ideas and thought-provoking real-world situations. For the very same reason the book has as much or more significance for seasoned folks in positions of responsibility who simply need to continue to improve their level of expertise and excellence.

As I read the book and was underlining idea after idea, I was struck by how critical the information contained in it is for young people. I immediately thought of my oldest son who is set to graduate from college and how valuable the knowledge included herein is. Clearly he will receive a copy from his dad--his own copy since I will continue to refer to the gems identified as I go back to it again and again. Similarly I can think of any number of friends operating at all levels of business who would benefit by the dozens of ideas and practical issues covered.

"Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is, as mentioned above, the kind of resource, very much like the Bible, something to return to again and again. Be prepared to read it through once highlighting as you go. Then go back and drill down into those portions most germane to your own situation. Check out the incredibly dynamic supplemental website the authors have created and continue to update. This 'book' truly is a superior investment for everyone who is interested in improving his or her impact/positive contribution to any organization--be it family or business or governmental. Harvey and Foster deliver incredible value. Well done!

Citizen Service Above Self Honors 2010 Recipients to Be Honored

Three Unsung Heroes Will Be Honored Nationally for One of the Highest Civilian Honors

WHAT: The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to host its third annual Citizen Service Above Self Honors press conference to announce and nationally recognize three ordinary Americans who have become extraordinary through their indomitable courage and selflessness.

Citizen Service Above Self Honors will be presented to Dr. Jordy Cox of Phoenix, Ariz. and Jeffrey Michael Ross of Roseville, Calif., and posthumously presented to Dylan Nelson of Madison, S.D. on National Medal of Honor Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns by our nation’s most honored heroes—the fewer than 100 living Medal of Honor recipients.

WHO: The Honorable James B. Peake (Ret.), M.D., Former Secretary of Veterans

Affairs

– Martha Raddatz, Chief White House Correspondent, ABC News

– Medal of Honor recipients (more than 30 recipients)

WHEN: Thursday, March 25, 2010

2:15 p.m. EDT—National Medal of Honor Wreath Laying Ceremony

2:45 p.m. EDT—Citizen Service Above Self Honors Ceremony

WHERE: Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

All media should check in with the security guard on Memorial Drive (main entrance) and arrive no later than 1:45 p.m. EDT. All media will be escorted to the ceremony and wreath laying.

WHY: Citizen Service Above Self Honors recipients represent the values of courage, sacrifice and selfless service. After considering all nominations, a panel, including Medal of Honor recipient representation, considered all nominations and selected national finalists. From among the 20 finalists, a second panel of Medal of Honor recipients selected three individuals to receive one of the highest civilian honors, Citizen Service Above Self Honors. A complete list of the 20 finalists is available on the Web site, http://citizenserviceaboveselfhonors.org/.

CONTACT: Kelly Dieter, Hayes & Associates
P: (703) 288-8684 C: (704) 619-5508, E: kdieter@hayespr.com

National Guard (In Federal Status) And Reserve Activated as of March 23, 2010

March 24, 2010 - This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Coast Guard announced an increase. The net collective result is 457 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 108,456; Navy Reserve, 6,153; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 15,895; Marine Corps Reserve, 6,453; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 752. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 137,709, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100323ngr.pdf.

Delivering Value for Leaders

Editor’s Note: Richard Botkin is a former USMC Major.

By Richard Botkin

March 24, 2010 - Andrew Harvey and Raymond Foster have crafted an exceptionally outstanding learning resource--it is far more than a 'book' if the reader accesses all that is available through their generous and dynamic leadership website--for leaders of every experience level. "Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is a great read for the young leader starting out with its wealth of ideas and thought-provoking real-world situations. For the very same reason the book has as much or more significance for seasoned folks in positions of responsibility who simply need to continue to improve their level of expertise and excellence.

As I read the book and was underlining idea after idea, I was struck by how critical the information contained in it is for young people. I immediately thought of my oldest son who is set to graduate from college and how valuable the knowledge included herein is. Clearly he will receive a copy from his dad--his own copy since I will continue to refer to the gems identified as I go back to it again and again. Similarly I can think of any number of friends operating at all levels of business who would benefit by the dozens of ideas and practical issues covered.

"Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is, as mentioned above, the kind of resource, very much like the Bible, something to return to again and again. Be prepared to read it through once highlighting as you go. Then go back and drill down into those portions most germain to your own situation. Check out the incredibly dynamic supplemental website the authors have created and continue to update. This 'book' truly is a superior investment for everyone who is interested in improving his or her impact/positive contribution to any organization--be it family or business or governmental. Harvey and Foster deliver incredible value. Well done!

Reservist Chosen to Represent Indiana


By Army Master Sgt. Serbennia A. Davis
205th Infantry Brigade

March 24, 2010 - Army Spc. Ryan Spurgeon visited Washington, D.C., with his family when he was 15, and the Freetown, Ind., native soon will get a chance to return to the nation's capital. Spurgeon will represent Indiana in an annual re-enlistment ceremony in Washington for select Army Reserve soldiers.

"I've always wanted to go back," said Spurgeon, a truck driver for the 478th Engineer Company based here. "Many of the memorials and monuments [in Washington] were made by Bedford Limestone Co., located in Bedford, Ind. [That limestone] happens to be grounded in the creek behind my house. There is no better way to say how I feel about D.C. It is grounded in my very soul, and is literally all around me."

When he signed his re-enlistment contract, Spurgeon's retention noncommissioned officer, Army Sgt. 1st Class Rosalind Fennell, told him he was eligible to compete for the honor of representing Indiana at the ceremony. "I visited the online Web site, signed up for the competition and won," he said.

Fennell said the annual ceremony is an important retention tool.

"In a nutshell, it is an opportunity for first-term soldiers to be a part of a lifetime experience while showcasing the importance of retaining our soldiers," she said.

A veteran of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, Spurgeon re-enlisted for an additional eight years of duty. He will participate in a public re-enlistment ceremony alongside other soldiers April 23 at the U.S. Capitol.

In addition to the Capitol, soldiers chosen for the ceremony will visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon.

Fiscal 2009 Department Of Defense Value Engineering Achievement Awards Announced

March 24, 2010 - The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the winners of the fiscal 2009 Department of Defense Value Engineering Achievement Awards. A ceremony will be held on May 12 at the Pentagon auditorium to recognize the recipients' outstanding achievements through the application of Value Engineering.

Value Engineering (VE) is a function analysis process to identify actions that reduce cost, increase quality, and improve mission capabilities across the entire DoD enterprise. During fiscal 2009, 3,347 in-house VE proposals and 43 contractor-initiated VE change proposals were accepted with actual and projected savings/cost avoidance in excess of $1.94 billion. The DoD value engineering program continues to be an incentive for government and industry partners to improve the joint value proposition by promoting innovation and creativity. Innovative VE proposals seek best value solutions as part of a successful business relationship.

Award winners from each DoD component are eligible for selection in the following five categories: program/project, individual, team, organization, and contractor. Additional "special" awards are given to recognize innovative applications or approaches that expand the traditional scope of value engineering use. The VE awards program is an acknowledgment of exemplary achievements and encourages additional projects to improve in-house and contractor productivity.

For a list of awards and awardees, go to http://rtoc.ida.org/ve/FY2009DoDVEAwardWinnersRev7Final.pdf.

Bases Get New Names in Realignment

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

March 24, 2010 - Some military installations are consolidating and getting new names as joint basing becomes a reality. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission's directive to consolidate 26 stateside military installations into 12 joint bases has brought names such as Lewis-McChord, Langley-Eustis, and even the trilateral McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst into the lexicon of military installations.

Settling on new names was but a fraction of considerations undertaken in the four-year joint-basing process, which produced 12 agreements that range from 600 to 1,000 pages and cover everything from billeting to signage to services, said Air Force Col. Michael "Mickey" Addison, the Defense Department's deputy director of joint basing.

While each joint base has its own unique challenges and experiences, Addison said, the process created much-needed uniformity in directing 49 like functions for each base.

"The Department of Defense now has common output level standards," he said. "Not having those standards was largely why we had difficulty doing this in the past."

Without common standards, Addison said, some services would, for example, measure unaccompanied housing by the number of beds, while others would measure space.

"One of the benefits of joint basing is in learning how to talk to each other," he said. "We all had different languages. If you say 'emergency response' to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine, you may get four different ideas of what that means."

Joint basing isn't new, Addison pointed out. The military has used it for years in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Still, he said, the concept met with some resistance stateside.

"We know how to fight jointly," Addison said. "We've gotten really good at that in the past 10 or 20 years. What we aren't as good at yet is living together back in the [continental United States]."

As commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Army Col. Tommy Brittain is motivated by his experiences with successful joint basing overseas as he works to meet the BRAC deadline to become fully operational by October. The start of joint basing, he said, can be traced back to the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act.

"We've been training and fighting together ever since," he said. "So, it was a natural progression to come to this conclusion at these certain locations to take care of mission commanders, warfighters and their families.

"I'm very proud to be a member of this team and leading this team in this direction," he added. "Honestly, I believe this is going to be historical."

Brittain called the transition "a very complex process" that succeeds through teamwork at every level, outreach to stakeholders and "100 percent transparency in what we're doing."

Like a city manager overseeing an annexation, Brittain had to study how the support functions of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base would merge, where they would collocate, how jobs would change, and much more.

"What was managed as two separate cities now is managed as one city," he said. "We have maintained our appropriate storefronts at the right location for where all those customers live, work and train."

Brittain said his job was made easier by the appointment of Air Force Col. Jerry K. "Kenny" Weldon II as the deputy base commander at Lewis-McChord. Weldon served in the Pentagon's installations and environment office and was well-versed in joint basing before going to Lewis-McChord.

"There is great teamwork and leadership offered by Kenny Weldon and [the Air Force's 62nd Airlift Wing commander], Col. Kevin Kilb, and so I have tried to continue to move forward with the teamwork approach to solve any problems that arise," Brittain said.

While the nature of the base merger forces compromises, Weldon said, teamwork grew out of the realization that joint standards for services and dual oversight of services would create a better installation.

"There is a clear recognition in today's environment that you've got to have strong support to take care of warfighters and their families," he said. "It's a goal at every installation, but this is a concerted effort to try to put a definition to what that means."

The BRAC commission created the joint bases to bring efficiencies, common practices and cost savings to bases that were duplicating efforts, even while most shared a fence line, Addison said. One of the biggest challenges has been to assuage fears that joint basing strips services of their culture and heritage, he said.

"That's the hardest thing for our base commanders to do is to assure people that nothing will be lost, then build a joint culture that preserves the cultures and what is special about each," Addison said.

Brittain said he has tried to do just that as he reaches out to soldiers and airmen. "We're getting out the message that this does not change our service culture, this does not change our service history, and this does not change our service mission," he said.

Such outreach, he said, is part of the process in moving the installation toward being fully operational as a joint base by October.

"We're going 24 hours a day to make sure things happen," Brittain said. "There is a great team beneath us that wear both a blue uniform and a green uniform, and they're moving the ball toward the goal."

Seven bases received new names in January:

-- Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base became Joint Base Lewis-McChord, led by the Army;

-- The Navy's Anacostia Annex and Bolling Air Force Base here became Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, led by the Navy;

-- Naval Station Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, became Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, led by the Navy;

-- Charleston Air Force Base and Naval Weapons Station Charleston, S.C., became Joint Base Charleston, led by the Air Force;

-- Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson, Alaska, became Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, led by the Air Force;

-- Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases and Fort Sam Houston, Texas, became Joint Base San Antonio, led by the Air Force; and

-- Langely Air Force Base and Fort Eustis in Virginia became Joint Base Langley-Eustis, led by the Air Force.

Five others became joint bases in October when:

-- Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek and Fort Story in Virginia became Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, led by the Navy;

-- Fort Myer and the Marine Corps' Henderson Hall in Virginia became Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, led by the Army;

-- Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Air Facility Washington, in Maryland, became Joint Base Andrews, led by the Air Force;

-- McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, all in New Jersey, became Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, led by the Air Force; and

-- Navy Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base in Guam became Joint Region Marianas, led by the Navy.