Military News

Friday, April 09, 2010

Presidential Award Recognizes Best Installations

American Forces Press Service

April 9, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced the winners of the 2010 Commander in Chief's Annual Award for Installation Excellence.

The Army's Fort Bragg in North Carolina; Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; Naval Base San Diego; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; and Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna, Pa., will receive the award at a May 5 Pentagon ceremony, Defense officials said.

The award, started by President Ronald Reagan, recognizes outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain the installations.

Fort Bragg, under the command of Army Lt. Gen. Frank G. Helmick, is receiving the award for keeping the Army's airborne and special operations forces – more than 10 percent of the service – mission ready, while also absorbing the first of nearly 10,000 additional soldiers who will be assigned to the base by 2013, officials said.

The post's leaders "employed creative solutions to address this growth head-on, focusing on sustainability and long-term viability" in new construction and transportation projects, officials said. They also expanded family satellite programs and offices in the local community to serve the 80 percent of families living off post while saving millions of dollars through strategic planning and new business processes.

Twentynine Palms, under the command of Brig. Gen. Herman S. Clardy III, was cited as the Marine Corps' premier live-fire and maneuver training center, providing training to more than 45,000 Marines and sailors who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009. Also, the combat center improved the quality of life for families even while dealing with funding and work force cutbacks, officials said.

Naval Base San Diego, commanded by Capt. Ricky L. Williamson, was named for using proactive and creative management practices to enhance readiness, business processes and quality of life last year. Base leaders synchronized initiatives to realize unity of effort, leveraged technology to improve communications and improved contract requirements for significant cost savings, officials said.

Elmendorf, under the command of Col. Thomas K. Bergeson, was recognized for being the first installation to implement a Veterans Affairs itemized billing process, serving as a model for others, while also executing the largest construction program in base history last year. Elmendorf's hospital was rated best in the Air Force for the second consecutive year, and it was named as having Pacific Air Forces' best environmental program, officials said.

Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna, under the command of Navy Capt. J.G. King, was recognized for its service in providing commodities to all armed forces, federal agencies, and other defense depots in the eastern half of the United States, as well as Central and South America, Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia.

As the Defense Department's largest distribution center, the depot last year built more than 28,600 air pallets, filled more than 9,990 sea containers, loaded more than 6,300 trucks for delivery to more than 50 military installations, officials said. At the same time, the depot completed "massive re-warehousing" in preparation to receive material repositioned from the Base Realignment and Closure process, giving it stewardship of more than a million different stock items.

Vet Center? What's a Vet Center?

April 9, 2010 -A Vet Center is a place where Veterans who served in combat, or experienced trauma/harassment, can come for service. Family members of deceased service members can also receive bereavement counseling at Vet Centers.

There are 232 community based Vet Centers located in all fifty states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Here's a story about just one Vet Center — in Alexandria, Virginia.

The first thing you notice is how friendly and welcoming everyone is.

At the Alexandria Vet Center, there are smiles everywhere and sincere greetings behind every door. Every Veteran is treated like family.

These are the people in the VA who welcome home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Team Leader Alice Ford, an Army Veteran, sets the positive tone that permeates the entire office with her quick smile and Alabama graciousness. "I love my job."

The Alexandria Vet Center is one street away from the main highway.

The Alexandria Vet Center is one street away from the main highway and feels new and clean and very organized; none of those dark halls and old linoleum floors. The impression for Veterans visiting for the first time is a sunny but serious, modern operation set up just for them, to help them handle coming home.

Vet Centers understand and appreciate Veterans' war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in their community.

As Alice Ford puts it, "The Veterans gave so much. They deserve our help. It's an honor to assist them in every way I can."

A lot of people, and too many Veterans, don't know about Vet Centers or what they do.

That's the job of Hal Koster and Domonicque Tatum, outreach specialists at the Vet Center whose job it is to get the word out to as many Vets as possible.

The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

There is no cost for Vet Center readjustment counseling and no requirement for a disability rating.

Outreach Specialist Domonicque Tatum provides Vet Center brochures and information to a Veteran looking for assistance.

A Veteran Gets the Word Out to Veterans

Domonicque Tatum is the Vet Center's GWOT (Global War on Terrorism) outreach specialist. He takes his message to the streets, and malls and bus stations and anywhere else he thinks there may be Veterans needing help. A combat arms soldier who served a tour in Iraq, Domonicque knows how hard it can be - after leaving the Army, he was homeless and sleeping in the bus station.

He does a great deal of work with the Yellow Ribbon Program, TAPs (Transition Assistance Program, PDHRA (Post Deployment Health Reassessment), and various social networking and informational events at local universities.

Domonicque says, "I inform the troops of the services available to them from our local vet center and all vet centers nationally. These services include, but are not limited to, offering group and individual counseling to combat and sexual trauma victim veterans."

"We help them with issues such as PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, substance related problems, and any other issues that the veteran or their families may be facing."

He takes a personal approach to meeting the veterans where they are in their current life situation. This means helping guide them through life situations such as homelessness, occupational issues from unemployment to under-employment, social adjustment issues, health care, as well as compensation and pension advice and support.

"I pride myself on being not only the voice and face of the Vet Center, but also a resource and referral contact for all of my brothers and sisters in arms who may have a need for assistance or just the listening ear of someone whom has been there. This is something that I love to do and that I intend to continue to do as long as there are soldiers in need."

First Lady Thanks Military Community for Service

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

April 9, 2010 - First Lady Michelle Obama today applauded servicemembers and defense civilians for their commitment and service to the nation in a speech in the Pentagon courtyard, calling America's military community the finest in the world. Video

"First, I want to say thank you," Obama said to an excited audience of Pentagon workers. "This visit is another chance to shine a spotlight on the service and sacrifices of the finest military in the world and your amazing families."

Obama was joined on stage by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, his wife, Becky, and several defense civilians, all of whom have more than 40 years of federal service. She recognized Gates and his wife for their support of military families and for their relentless service under eight different U.S. presidents.

"Thank you for supporting the men and women of this department, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank the real hero in that family, Becky Gates," Obama said, drawing laughter from the audience. "For more than 40 years, Becky has shared her husband with our nation."

The well-being of military families has been among Obama's signature issues and priorities in her first year as the first lady. She and the vice president's wife, Jill Biden, have visited military bases on several occasions to express their support, something Obama said has been "one of the greatest privileges I've had as first lady."

"The visits that I've done to bases all across this country have just been inspiring," she said, adding that thanking servicemembers and their families "is one of the favorite things I get to do."

Obama's visits with military families have been an inspiration, she said, noting her travels to military communities whose servicemembers are preparing to deploy and visits with troops who recently returned from overseas duty. She also recognized those families whose military members have suffered life-changing injuries and worse.

"I've seen the unbelievable love of spouses, wives and husbands, sons and daughters, who've lost a loved one at war," she said. "I've been inspired beyond measure by our incredible wounded warriors and their families."

The Defense Department's commitment to those who have been wounded or killed in action – and their families -- is a testament of the department's strength, she added.

"It's a reflection of the spirit of this department – service before self, love of country, dedication to duty, taking care of each other," the first lady said. "It's the spirit that so many of you have shown in Afghanistan and Iraq and all around the world, year after year, tour after tour.

"Our country has never asked for so much for so long of our all-volunteer force," she continued. "You always step up, and you always come through."

The same can be said of defense civilians in the department, she added, noting that the troops couldn't do their jobs so well without the support of the "force behind the force." Defense civilians are behind the scenes, developing policies, purchasing equipment, ensuring readiness and caring for wounded warriors and families, she said.

The first lady stressed that her thanks and appreciation are more than just words, that her testimony is backed up by deeds as well. President Barack Obama, Gates, and other senior officials and military leaders work every day to ensure troops have the right tools to accomplish their missions, she said.

The administration and military service chiefs and secretaries work to increase time at home between deployments, she noted, and they also work to improve military housing and Defense Department education systems and to care for troops recovering from combat stress and injuries.

"This administration understands that we have to take care of these American heroes who take such good care of all of us," she said.

Obama also saluted children of military families, calling their sacrifices "the mightiest of our service." Military children struggle to stay strong so their servicemember parents can focus on the mission, and also are a key aspect in their parents' recovery from combat wounds, she added.

"It can be so hard for these kids, probably beyond what we could ever imagine," she said. "So they need all of the love and support we can give them, both at school and at home."

Despite all of these government initiatives and efforts, supporting military members requires much more. Support also takes active and engaged American citizens, she said.

"As long as I'm first lady, I'm going to keep urging all Americans to do their part," she said, "whether it's something as simple as volunteering time or pro-bono services to troops and their families, or making a home-cooked meal for a busy spouse who's struggling to keep it together, ... or something as simple as saying thank you when you see one of our troops in your community."

Every American can do something in service to their country and in service around the world, she said.

The first lady praised the U.S. military's humanitarian efforts in Haiti following the earthquake there.. The American military played a tremendous role, evacuating Haitians from the rubble, and distributing food, water and medical treatment. Those efforts continue today, she said.

"Every American is grateful for the service that you've shown to that country," she said. "We're all so humbled by it. We're inspired by it.

"On behalf of the president, on behalf of the American people, thank you for the service that you display every single day around the world, often in harm's way," she added. "You make us so very proud."

Keel Laid for First Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft

April 9, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The keel for the first Egyptian Navy Fast Missile Craft (FMC) was authenticated April 7 during a ceremony at VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Vice Adm. Mohab Mameesh, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Navy, delivered remarks highlighting the continued cooperation between both navies.

Authenticating the keel on behalf of the Egyptian Navy, Mameesh verified that it was truly and fairly laid.

The Egyptian FMC program is being managed as a foreign military sale by the Auxiliary Ships, Small Boats and Craft Program Office (PMS 325) in the U.S. Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships.

"Our foreign partners rely on PEO Ships' expertise in ship design and acquisition," said Frank McCarthey, PMS 325 program manager. "Since the beginning of this year, PEO Ships has delivered more than 30 boats and combatant craft to allied navies and coast guards."

VT Halter Marine started fabrication of the first craft, Nov. 30, 2009, in a newly constructed fabrication facility at their Pascagoula shipyard. The keel laying for the first craft represents the official unveiling of the new facility, which will allow the shipyard to perform 75-80 percent of production work indoors. Production of the first craft is progressing on schedule, and the ship is expected to join the Egyptian fleet in 2012.

The primary mission of the FMC is to conduct independent and joint operations, primarily against armed surface adversaries. The Egyptian Navy has a requirement for a ship with the capabilities of an FMC to combat these threats and to patrol and defend its coastal waterways of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, the Suez Canal.

Each 63 meter craft will carry a 76mm Super Rapid Gun, Harpoon Block II missiles, MK49 Rolling Airframe Missiles and the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) Block 1B. These high-speed, agile ships will reach speeds of greater than 34 knots, provide berthing for a crew of up to 40 sailors and will be able to operate up to eight days independently at sea.

Egypt signed an FMC case for the purchase of three FMCs in September 2004. After extensive functional design and long lead item procurement and design efforts, the construction contract was placed with VT Halter Marine in September 2008. A fourth vessel was requested by the Egyptian Navy and was put under contract in March 2010

PEO Ships will continue to assist with acquisition and oversight efforts throughout the construction process and will provide follow-on technical and training support to the Egyptian Vavy upon delivery of the vessels.

PEO Ships is currently managing the design and construction of all U.S. Navy surface ships and a wide range of small boats and craft for U.S. agencies and allied nations. Since its creation in November 2002, PEO Ships has delivered 38 major warships and hundreds of small boats and craft from more than 20 shipyards and boat builders across the United States.

USS Tucson Departs for Western Pacific Deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ronald Gutridge, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

April 9, 2010 - PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The Los Angeles-class submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific region April 8.

"The crew is very excited and eager to get this submarine underway for her first deployment since 2006," said Cmdr. Gary Pinkerton, USS Tucson's commanding officer. "They've all worked extremely hard this past year getting the ship and themselves ready for this deployment and regaining operational proficiency of all mission areas. I am very proud of each and every one of them."

Tucson underwent a 23-month depot modernization period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., that included upgrades in all of her electronic systems in support of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, a complete overhaul of all machinery systems and a full external refurbishment. During that time, Tucson conducted numerous sea trials and a port visit to San Diego before undergoing an inter-fleet transfer back to Naval Station Pearl Harbor in 2008.

Tucson is the second ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name of the Arizona city. It is the 59th Los Angeles-class attack submarine. Twelve vertical launch missile tubes for Tomahawk cruise missiles provide Tucson with great offensive capabilities and strategic value. Retractable bow planes give the ship increased maneuverability and under ice surfacing potential.

Navy Honors Fallen Aviator

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) William Weinert, Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

April 9, 2010 - NORFOLK (NNS) -- A memorial ceremony took place at the base chapel on board Naval Station Norfolk April 8 to commemorate the life and heroism of the pilot of an E-2C Hawkeye that crashed March 31.

Lt. Miroslav Steven Zilberman, 31, of Columbus, Ohio, assigned to the "Bluetails" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, was killed March 31, when his aircraft crashed while returning to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) from a mission over Afghanistan.

The incident started as the Hawkeye was making preparations to land on the carrier. The starboard engine lost oil pressure leading it to eventually shut down, but also causing the aircraft to become uncontrollable. Zilberman recognized that the crew needed to bail out and ordered the three crew members to jump as he kept the aircraft at an acceptable attitude, which unfortunately left him little chance to bail out. For his heroic action and for saving the lives of his three crew members, Zilberman was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Family, friends and distinguished guests were in attendance at the packed-house memorial ceremony, as those who served and flew with him discussed their memories of the good humored and high-spirited aviator.

"He gave 110 percent of himself to ensure others would succeed without thinking twice," said Lt. Adam Horn, of the "Bear Aces" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 124. "Steve is a true hero."

Zilberman's life and accomplishments were recognized not only by his friends but also his superiors.

"He was a born leader. He cared extremely about his people. He knew them, and he led by example," said Cmdr. Dave Mundy, executive officer of VAW 121. "He was one of the best aviators I've ever flown with."

Airmen get first-hand insight to favorite meal


by Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/9/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- The fragrant smells of shrimp curry, Biriyani rice, chicken Tikka and Aloo Gobi, drifted from the Falcon Café kitchen here April 6 as staff members taught some of their patrons how to make their favorite Indian dishes. The class, a first for the staff, gave members of the 387th Air Expeditionary Group a chance to unwind while getting a taste of a different culture.

"Our Indian meal is one of the most popular meals we offer, so we decided this would be a good opportunity to showcase what we do back here in the kitchen and teach our patrons how to cook some great Indian cuisine," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Brandy, the 387th Expeditionary Support Squadron NCO in charge of services. "Everyone seemed to have a good time and left with some great recipes they can use back home."

During the class, Airmen piled into the kitchen to watch the live demonstration as Sergeant Brandy and his staff talked participants through the process of creating four menu items: a chicken dish, seafood dish, rice dish, and potato and cauliflower dish called Aloo Gobi.

Senior Airman Andrea Thompson of the 387th ESPTS said she really enjoyed the event and would gladly attend another cooking class in the future.

"I wanted to come out here just to see how it's done," she said. "I like to cook and it was something different that they offered. It was fun to see what goes on (in the kitchen here) and how they actually cook our food. The food was great too. It's good to switch it up and try something different from another country."

With a class of satisfied customers, Sergeant Brandy said the staff may offer another class for the deployed Airmen in the near future.

"Maybe we'll change up the menu next time.”

Academy, VA team up for ambulatory surgery services

by Ann Patton
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

4/9/2010 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- A $14-million cooperative venture between officials from the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Department of Veterans Affairs, funded by the Department of Defense and VA's Joint Incentive Fund, will bring much-needed ambulatory surgical care to veterans in southern Colorado.

Medical procedures for urology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, ear, nose and throat and general surgery are scheduled to commence for veterans May 1.

"It's all about the vets," said Col. Leslie Ness, the 10th Surgical Operations Squadron administrator. "The biggest thing is that our veterans don't have to travel long distances."

She stressed the additional medical services on base will also alleviate long waits for procedures.

Previously such services were limited to facilities in Denver, and veterans from southern Colorado were forced to travel to Denver for surgical care as well as for the procedures themselves.

Tentative planning originally called for construction of a new building to house the surgical services in Colorado Springs, Colo., but Colonel Ness said the costs proved prohibitive.

Medical staff from the Academy and the VA will work together as one team.

The VA will provide seven registered nurses, two technicians, three nurse anesthetists and surgeons, said Lt. Col. Suzanne Quirao, the squadron operations officer. They will join the Academy's 19 active-duty surgeons, plus Academy nurses and technicians and the joint operation will also include services to families, she said.

Before the 10th Medical Group underwent changes under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure, the facility had five operating rooms available, but two were converted for other uses. With the expansion of services to veterans, those two rooms will once again be used for their original intended purpose.

Veteran medical services at the downtown Spruce Street VA facility will continue, and the VA will verify eligibility and make referrals for ambulatory surgical services.

"Things haven't changed," Colonel Ness said. "We will still have all the surgical specialties we had before."

The cooperative venture will also provide additional overlap for all surgical care.

"It will preserve the longevity of ambulatory surgery here in southern Colorado," she said. The staff additions will allow surgical operations to operate independently, even with deployments and down times.

Preparing for the joint venture has required time and painstaking planning but has been worth it, she said.

"It has been a herculean task, but in the end, our VA beneficiaries and tax payers will reap the huge benefits with this project," she said.

U.S. Navy Divers Support Recovery of ROK Ship

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Byron C. Linder, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Det. Japan

April 9, 2010 - YELLOW SEA (NNS) -- Sailors of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1, based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 Platoon 501 based out of Sasebo, Japan, are diving in the Yellow Sea in support of the recovery and salvage of the Republic of Korea Ship (ROK) Cheonan.

"We're here to offer all the help we can. We're ready to step in anytime and dive or assist hands-on in any way we can," said Navy Diver 3rd Class Andrew Kornelsen, a Madison, Wis., native. "I've been training for something like this for over two years."

Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW) Quentin Felderman, assistant lead petty officer for MDSU-1, explained the challenging nature of the dives.

"We found out the current is rougher than we expected, and we're learning to work with the EOD guys. But we've been preparing for this for a while now, and we're working together well."

On April 9, five ROK divers from the Sea Salvage and Rescue Unit (SSU) came aboard the Military Sealift Command rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) to perform joint diving operations. Felderman explained the benefits of working face-to-face with their counterparts.

"We get to learn about how they do things, and there's a lot both sides can learn. Their techniques are different than ours. They do scuba dives almost exclusively, and we do surface-supply dives," Felderman said.

ROK Chief Jong Suk Kang, an SSU diver, expressed his appreciation for the ability to work with MDSU-1.

"I have done many dives, but I have worked with the U.S. divers only once before. I am glad to have them to help with our diving," he said.

MDSU-1, EODMU-5 Platoon 501, USNS Salvor, USS Harpers Ferry, USS Curtis Wilbur and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 Detachment 6 are currently supporting ROK salvage efforts at the site under the direction of on-scene commander for US support, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet.

NMLC Announces System to Manage 2010-2011 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Program

By S.A. Gorman, Naval Medical Logistics Command Public Affairs

April 9, 2010 - FT DETRICK, Md. (NNS) -- Naval Medical Logistics Command (NMLC) announced April 2 a Web-based database developed to aid in collecting and processing vaccine requirements, including managing the 2010-2011 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Program.

The Vaccine Information and Logistics System (VIALS) is a Common Access Card (CAC)- enabled system that can be accessed by Navy activities' both ashore and afloat and allows NMLC to process vaccine requests that will be centrally funded and managed, said Cmdr. Mary Seymour, NMLC executive officer.

"Building this system and getting it up and running opens doors to using this type of Web-based database for all commodities that NMLC manages," said Seymour. "It is a great use of our resources and another example of our commitment to provide our customers with quality medical logistics support requirements throughout the enterprise."

VIALS is a proactive response to Navy leadership who consider the seasonal influenza vaccine campaign to be a direct reflection of each activities' preparedness for any pandemic vaccine response. Launching VIALS directly supports Navy Medicine's mission to provide in-garrison health and preventive care for active duty personnel, their families and veterans.

Located on the NMLC Web site, VIALS can be accessed anywhere in the world via CAC-enabled Web access.VIALS provides an accurate accounting for vaccine and is a more efficient system to manage. It provides executive reporting capabilities and real-time data, which enables users to track the status of their request from requirements determination through receipt of vaccine.

"The value of sharing information across BSO-18 and our fleet customers reduces variability within the supply chain," said Lt. Daniel Kachenchai, Director for Medical Equipment and Logistics Solutions Directorate (MELS). "VIALS will allow NMLC to virtually manage the supply chain while offering real time reporting metrics to support our customer base."

MELS collaborated with on-site programmers to assist in developing a working database. Modeling the new database after the existing seasonal influenza vaccine program, MELS worked with the Operational Forces Support team to incorporate the needs of both ashore and afloat activities.

"Providing the same level of visibility of seasonal flu vaccine requisitions that the fleet customer is accustomed to for their equipment purchases being executed through the Operational Forces Support Directorate will ensure accurate reporting and forecasting of medical readiness for those Sailors at the tip of the spear," said Rich Schlegel, director for Operational Forces Support Directorate.

VIALS will assist the end user in ordering different dosages of vaccine by personnel and age categories. The personnel category presents the user with a drop down menu of seven types of personnel: deploying active duty, other active duty, Reserves, health care workers, beneficiaries, retirees and Department of the Navy civilian employees. Each category type is defined for clarification.

The age category presents the user with a standard ordering guide to determine overall vaccine dosage requirements based on age, indications and vaccine administration. This guide also contains information on estimated costs, delivery schedule and mercury content.

Within three months of collaboration, a working model was produced and went live on the NMLC Web site in February. Ashore and afloat activities can view VIALS via the NMLC Web site, http://www.nmlc.med.navy.mil, by selecting the MIL/GOVT log in and clicking on the Vaccine Information and Logistic System VIALS button, or by clicking on https:gov_only.nmlc.med.navy.mil.

NMLC is the center of logistics expertise for Navy Medicine; designing, executing and administering individualized state-of-the-art solutions to meet customer's medical material and healthcare needs. NMLC supports the Department of the Navy with acquisition and logistics systems training, healthcare services strategies, operational forces support, medical equipment and logistics solutions, acquisition management, deployable platforms and eyewear fabrication.

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 9, 2010

ARMY

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on April 6 a $72,114,336 firm-fixed-price contract. This modification provides funding for the remanufacture of 24 AH-64A model into AH-64D model aircraft for the National Guard, item unique identification marketing Phase II recurring requirement for NG3A, and definitization of the not-to-exceed for the image generator. Work is to be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-06-C-0093).

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on April 7 a $58,256,427 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract action directs changes to the Stryker vehicle performance specification requirements. The specification changes will require design and integration engineering services, test articles/prototypes, and procurement of necessary materials, including long-lead materials, to support a modified hull design with related integrated system changes. The program objectives are an integrated solution that provides improved protection levels to support operations in the Operation Enduring Freedom area of responsibility. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich. (41 percent), and London, Ontario (59 percent), with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, CCTA-AI, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

Edgesource, Alexandria, Va., was awarded on April 6 a $26,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contract line item numbers 0001, labor; 0002, other direct charges (ODCs); and 0003, manpower reporting. The contractor will provide the full range of services needed to accomplish the Army Intelligence Campaign Initiatives Group program objectives. Specifically, the acquisition will aquire services needed to provide and enhance the necessary analytical tools and methodologies to objectively assess the posture of Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems and force structure. Work is to be performed in Fort Belvoir, Va., with an estimated completion date of April 6, 2015. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army, Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (W911W4-10-D-0004)

Berico Technologies, LLC, Arlington, Va., was awarded on April 6 a $26,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The contractor shall provide the full range of services needed to accomplish the Army Intelligence Campaign Initiatives Group program objectives. Specifically, the acquisition will acquire services needed to provide and enhance the necessary analytical tools and methodologies to objectively assess the posture of Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems and force structure. Work is to be performed in Fort Belvoir, Va., with an estimated completion date of March 2015. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army, Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (W911W4-10-D-0003)

Berico Technologies, LLC, Arlington, Va., was awarded on April 6 a $26,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The contractor shall provide the full range of services needed to accomplish the Army Intelligence Campaign Initiatives Group program objectives. Specifically, the acquisition will acquire services needed to provide and enhance the necessary analytical tools and methodologies to objectively assess the posture of Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems and force structure. Work is to be performed in Fort Belvoir, Va., with an estimated completion date of April 6, 2015. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army, Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (W911W4-10-D-0002)

TASC, Inc., Andover, Mass., was awarded on April 6 a $26,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The contractor shall provide the full range of services needed to accomplish the Army Intelligence Campaign Initiatives Group program objectives. Specifically, the acquisition will acquire services needed to provide and enhance the necessary analytical tools and methodologies to objectively assess the posture of Army Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems and force structure. Work is to be performed in Fort Belvoir, Va., with an estimated completion date of April 6, 2015. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army, Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (W911W4-10-D-0001)

Raytheon Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on April 5 a $16,680,000 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for Kuwait Patriot Radar upgrade spares, including the fabrication, production, testing, and delivery of Kuwait concurrent spares. Work is to be performed in Andover, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 31, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-G-0002).

Alliant Techsystems, Inc., Integrated Weapons Systems, Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on April 2 a $16,800,232 firm-fixed-price contract for M242 automatic guns, 25mm (266 each), and a 25 percent option (66 each). Work is to be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of June 27, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-10-C-0283).

FedTech Services, Tampa, Fla., was awarded on April 6 a $14,099,860 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is a high visibility IT security solution currently deployed in Iraq that is urgently needed in the Afghanistan theater. The proposed action is to include all hardware, software, maintenance, and services related to the Theater Network Management Architecture (TNMA) tool suite. TNMA 2.0 is a fully integrated, robust tool suite supporting real-time, correlated configuration, performance-and-status/event-and-topology information in a common format enabling analysis and modeling capabilities. This capability will allow the war fighter to be proactive and take preventative measures to minimize possible damage, intrusions, or threats before they arise. Work is to be performed in Afghanistan (90 percent) and Tampa, Fla. (10 percent), with an estimated completion date of March 30, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. Army Contracting, CCRC-RJ, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1-10-C-0027).

C.J. Mahan Construction Co., LLC, Grove City, Ohio, was awarded on April 5 a $14,059,290 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement being funded under Section 1514 of the Recovery Act, requiring the fabrication and delivery of lock approach wall pre-cast concrete beams for the Chickamauga Lock project of the Nashville District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Work is to be performed in Grove City, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of April 1, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, Nashville, Tenn., is the contracting activity (W912P5-10-C-0008).

Hanco Corp., Hattiesburg, Miss., was awarded on April 1 a $12,032,940 firm-fixed-price contract for Energy Conservation Building Code upgrades to 331 buildings at Camp Shelby. Work is to be performed in Camp Shelby, Miss., with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 13 bids received. National Guard Bureau, United States Property and Fiscal Office for Mississippi, Jackson, Miss., is the contracting activity (W9127Q-10-C-0001).

CRA Managed Care Services, Newington, Va., was awarded on April 2 an $11,396,332 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is in accordance with FAR 52,217-8, option to extend services to a sole-source bridge contract (W91YTZ-08-C-0101) for Woodbridge Fairfax Family Health Center, under the supervision of DeWitt Army Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Va. The period of performance will be April 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010. Work is to be performed in Woodbridge, Va. (50 percent), and Fairfax, Va. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Medical Command, North Atlantic Regional Contracting Office, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (W91YTZ-08-C-0101).

SRC, Inc., Chantilly, Va., was awarded on April 6 an $11,019,956 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat funds sensitive activities branch support services. Work is to be performed in Arlington, Va., with an estimated completion date of April 4, 2015. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. Research Development and Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-10-C-0056).

BAE Systems Specialty Group, Inc., Jessup, Pa., was awarded on April 1 a $10,590,131 firm-fixed-price contract for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment in the color MultiCam. Work is to be performed in Jessup, Pa., with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-06-D-0003).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on April 6 a $9,974,202 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for government-owned, contractor-operated units three and four in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and overseas contingency operations. This contract action will be a letter contract, obligating only 49 percent ($9,974,202) of the total value of this action ($20,355,518). Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0006).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on April 7 a $9,389,040 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 29 field service representatives, equal to 348 months, for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicle in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), CCTA-ADC-A, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

CACI, Inc., Federal, Chantilly, Va., was awarded on April 7 an $8,788,911 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor will provide simulation-supported battle command staff training exercises for pre- and post-mobilizing active and reserve component combat, combat support, and combat services support brigade and battalion equivalents, headquarters. Work is to be performed in Fort Dix, N.J. (20 percent); Dublin, Calif. (20 percent); Birmingham, Ala. (2- percent); Arlington Heights, Ill. (20 percent); and Houston, Texas (20 percent), with an estimated completion date of Jan. 1, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Mission & Installation Contracting Command, MICC Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., is the contracting activity (W91247-10-C-0032).

Fontaine Trailer Military Products, Jasper, Ala., was awarded on April 1 an $8,765,565 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for 250 M871A3 drop-deck semitrailers ordered through General Services Administration (GSA) contract GS-30F-0018T. Fontaine Trailer Military Products in the only supplier of the M871A3 semitrailers in the GSA schedule. A limited source justification was provided and approved by the Contract Management Office on March 8, 2010. Work is to be performed in Jasper, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren CCTA-ATB-D, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-10-F-0006).

Schutt Industries, Inc., Clintonville, Wis., was awarded on April 6 a $6,843,217 firm-fixed-price contract. Items being procured are the family of light tactical trailers. The delivery order is for 837 M1102 trailers, 93 heavy chassis trailers, and 27 tactical quiet generator kits. The light tactical trailers are the primary companion trailer to the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), and are required to operate with the HMMWV worldwide, on primary and secondary roads as well as cross-country. Work is to be performed in Clintonville, Wis., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2010. Two bids were solicited with two bids received. TACOM, CCTA-ATA-B, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-D-0107). Eagle Industries Del Caribe, Lares, Puerto Rico, was awarded on April 1 a $6,809,867 firm-fixed-price contract for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment in the color MultiCam. Work is to be performed in Lares, Puerto Rico, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-06-D-0004).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., McLean, Va., was awarded on April 6 a $6,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, with individual task orders issued on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis, for Advanced Technology Application Center infrastructure support. Work is to be performed in McLean, Va., with an estimated completion date of June 20, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command Contracting Center, Adelphi, Md., is the contracting activity (W911QX-07-D-0004).

Metters Industries, Inc., McLean, Va., was awarded on April 2 a $5,898,888 firm-fixed-price contract for logistics modernization program support services, including general and specific enterprises resource planning requirements; data management support; facilitation of knowledge transfer; reports interface conversions extensions support; solution demonstration lab support; business design workshop support; and critical business process test support. Work is to be performed in Rock Island, Ill., with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. Rock Island Contracting Center Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52H09-09-F-5028).

NAVY

Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems, Network Communication Systems, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $28,391,903 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee, cost only, and firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-6317) to exercise options for all material and services to support the system development and demonstration phase through critical design review for the three capabilities (dismounted, mounted, and fixed site) of the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) 3.3 system of systems 71°C ambient temperature. The JCREW system will provide combat troops protection for foot soldiers, vehicles, and permanent structures, against radio-controlled improvised explosive devices. Traditionally, the Department of Defense has procured different individual systems to support each of these three capabilities with a focus on operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The JCREW 3.3 is the first generation system that will develop a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provide protection for worldwide military operations. Work will be performed at various Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems locations, as follows: San Diego, Calif. (84 percent), Sierra Vista, Ariz. (14 percent), and Killeen, Texas (2 percent), and is expected to be complete by October 2010. 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.

Teradyne, Inc., North Reading, Mass., is being awarded a $10,600,000, five-year firm-fixed-price commercial basic ordering agreement for procurement of Teradyne Spectrum 9100 tester support. Teradyne Spectrum 9100 testers are used for the development of test program sets (TPSs) for Trident fire control, missile, and guidance electronic modules that are being redesigned as part of the D5 Life Extension program. The TPSs will also be used for production testing of modules and for service life evaluation. The proposed acquisition is for additional testers, spare equipment, instrument calibration, training, and maintenance contracts that are required to maintain the necessary tester availability. Work will be performed in North Reading, Mass., and is expected to be completed by April 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $95,040 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-6317).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz. is being awarded a $6,467,936 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-08-C-5374) for the Standard Missile II production of all-up-round (AUR) missiles; AN/DKT-71A telemetric data transmitting sets; section level spares; post production spares; shipping containers; and associated data. The contract modification provides for the procurement of six AUR missiles, 10 guidance section spares, nine SCU spares, 36 shipping containers, 30 battery spares, and 1638 Innovasic chips. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (74 percent); Andover, Mass. (18 percent); Camden, Ark. (5 percent); and Farmington, NM (3 percent); and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Cummins Mid-South*, Memphis, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $8,853,393 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-quantity contract for engine parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There were originally eight proposals solicited with eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is for a one-year base and four option years. The date of performance completion is April 8, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Columbus, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (SPM7LX-10-D-9005).

Green Bay Packer visits Wisconsin Guard armory

By Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek
112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

April 9, 2010 - The NFL may be off season, but Green Bay Packer Mark Tauscher is using some of his time to mentor young men and women interested in joining the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

"Anyone that lives in this country understands the importance of the military and the sacrifices made," Tauscher said during a recent visit to the Wisconsin National Guard armory in Racine. But unlike pro athletes, he said Soldiers and their families do not receive enough recognition for the things they do and especially the sacrifices they make.

Tauscher made a low-key entrance to the armory, dressed in shorts and T-shirt - but just before he was introduced to the audience, he put on his familiar number 65 Packers jersey and talked to about 100 young adults and their families about the similarities of being a pro athlete and serving one's country in the Armed Forces.

The terminology is often similar - winning the battle in the trenches, aerial assault, taking the field, controlling the line - but this homegrown hero contends that many of the same attributes needed to play in the National Football League also apply to being a Soldier.

Tauscher talked about everything from his early days on the family dairy farm outside Auburndale to his days as a walk-on for the University of Wisconsin Badger football team and, ultimately, his current job with the Packers. He said he wasn't blessed with a ton of talent, just motivation.

"I always tried to get by on work ethic and trying to be in the right position," he said. "All that hard work you don't like really doing at the time ... you look back, and it's what helped make you successful." It's that sort of devotion to training and discipline, Tauscher contends that makes the NFL and the Guard similar.

Tauscher's visit was arranged through the National Guard Bureau's NFL/National Guard Player Appearance program which gives pro athletes an opportunity to share their story with young men and women who may be interested in pursuing military careers.

Bomb wing shares drug prevention message with Panamanian partners

By Bill Phelan
Missouri National Guard

(4/5/10) -- Thousands of children in Panama may benefit from drug and alcohol awareness programs taught by the Missouri National Guard Counterdrug (CD) Program after a visit by Panamanian officials. Members of the Panamanian National Police and the Frontier Force, border security agency, visited here March 22-26 to share drug-prevention ideas with the Guard's CD Task Force.

The visit was organized by Capt. Juan Carlos Valencia, the Missouri National Guard officer assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Panama. He and Staff Sgt. Herastico Pitty-Diaz of the 131st Bomb Wing Security Forces Squadron served as interpreters during the visit.

A primary goal of the event was to expose the Panamanians to the Guard's in-school program on drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness, which focuses on helping school-aged children to make healthy life decisions.

Program coordinators provided information on the dangers of smoking and abusing drugs and alcohol, as well as offered the students insight on how these products are marketed through the media. The program also featured a series of fun, team-building exercises designed to promote trust.

"This is an information sharing event," said Staff Sgt. Ron Johnson, CDTF instructor. "We're trying to see what challenges they are facing in Panama and to see if those challenges are similiar to what we face here in the United States."

One of those challenges, said Johnson, is that Panamanian children are becoming more involved in the manufacture and selling of illegal drugs.

"So we're hoping to build a coalition anti-drug effort in Panama similiar to what we have here, a community-based prevention program that targets [children] at an early age," added Johnson.

"Prevention is the key in both Panama and the United States," said Master Sgt. Curtis Hanock, CDTF coordinator and member of the 131st BW Logistics Readiness Squadron. We want the Panamanians to see first-hand the drug prevention efforts that we have administered in Missouri."

With that in mind, the six-member Panamanian delegation participated in drug, alcohol and tobacco awareness presentations at Imagine Elementary School and St. Joan of Arc School in St. Louis and Delmar Harvard Elementary in University City. The group was also briefed on U.S. drug prevention efforts at the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse.

Capt. Jorge Bosquez, Frontier Force officer, pointed out that Panamanian officials are often faced with a rural, indigenous population wary of any government officials.

Still, Panama has made great strides in its own drug and alcohol prevention programs.

After adopting the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) Program, Panama trained six DARE instructors in 2002 and offered the program to 1,600 students in six schools. The country now boasts 38 trained instructors and more than 78,000 DARE Program student graduates from 83 schools in all nine provinces.

Many Panamanian schools also have resource officers similar to those in U.S. schools and authorities are reaching out to churches in an effort to build a community-based drug and crime prevention program, which also helps ease suspicion of the government.

"That is very important," said Maj. Ayda Villareal De Jaen, Panamanian National Police, who leads Panama's drug prevention efforts. "The programs we offer in Panama are similar to those in the United States so we want to integrate those programs and offer them in Panama. We want to reach more schools with this program and teach [children] at an early age so they don't become adult offenders."

Bosquez cites Panama's rugged terrain, limited financial resources and lack of manpower as obstacles his country must still hurdle in the fight against the use and manufacture of illegal drugs, but he remains optimistic.

"I've learned some very good, positive things here that I will bring back to Panama," he said. "A lot of Panamanians are going to benefit from this - members of the native, indigenous population, who the Americans have very little experience with. A lot of what I learned here will be a good, creative way to break into that culture."

Christi Sorrell, Delmar Harvard Elementary teacher of gifted and talented students, believes the Panamanian's admiration for the Guard program is well-founded.

"The program is perfect for my students," she said. "It teaches creative problem solving and teamwork and gives them a plan for life."

CNO Visits Polytechnic Institute of New York University, New York Yacht Club

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Kyle P. Malloy, Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

April 9, 2010 - NEW YORK CITY (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead visited Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and the New York Yacht Club and spoke with the New York City Navy League April 8.

Roughead began his trip at a luncheon with the New York City Navy League where he expressed his gratitude to the group for all that they do for Sailors, with whom he feels extraordinarily honored to serve with.

"I appreciate the way that you care for [Sailors] when they come to your home," said Roughead. "For someone in the Navy, there is no better city to come to than New York City."

CNO toured the school facilities at NYU-Poly and had an opportunity to speak with faculty and students, highlighting the technological similarities the school has with the Navy.

"The Navy is known for having been on the forefront of many technological advances," said Roughead. "Technology is very much a part of who we are."

Roughead visited classrooms where students presented current research projects and was able to speak to them about the advantages of being a Sailor in the U.S. Navy.

"[What] is so terrific about the Navy is, it does not make any difference where you're from, who you are, (but) if you have the passion, you have the commitment and you have the desire to serve others, the sky is the limit," said Roughead.

After his NYU-Poly trip, Roughead visited with members of the New York Yacht Club where he spoke about the mission of the Navy and its global effects.

"As we go forward, we're not going to be unchallenged by the world," said Roughead. "We can't assume we'll maintain our strength without the vigilance of our leadership and, most important, the vigilance of the American people."

He went on to speak about the talent and commitment of the Sailors who make up the Navy.

"Every Sailor who is on watch tonight knows that he or she carries a special responsibility for this nation," said Roughead. "They carry that responsibility with the greatest pride and professionalism that you could possibly imagine."

Gates to Foster Cooperation With Latin America

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 9, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will focus next week on Latin America, signing a defense agreement with Brazil, then visiting Peru, Colombia and the Caribbean to reaffirm U.S. commitment to the region and promote closer defense cooperation. Gates will kick off the week hosting Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim at the Pentagon on April 12, where Brazil and the United States will sign a defense cooperation agreement aimed at deepening and broadening their military-to-military relationships, a senior defense official told reporters.

The accord, the two countries' first formal defense arrangement since 1977, is more "aspirational" than specific, the official said. But he called it "a big deal" that establishes a formal framework for more military-to-military engagement and exchanges, information-sharing and cooperation in defense-related research and development.

In Peru, Gates' meetings with President Alan Garcia and Defense Minister Rafael Rey are expected to focus on its fight against illicit drug trafficking and the Shining Path terrorist organization. The Shining Path had been all but neutralized in Peru, but has begun to surface in recent years through sporadic violent attacks funded largely through cocaine trafficking, the official said.

Gates, who hosted Rey at the Pentagon in February, will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to helping the Lima government confront what it has declared its top security challenge, the official said.

In Colombia, Gates will offer congratulations and support for that country's fight against its own internal threat, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, known as FARC, and other paramilitary groups.

The secretary is slated to meet with President Alvaro Uribe and Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Luján to discuss progress in that offensive, with support from the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia and a new defense cooperation agreement.

The U.S.-Colombian Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in October, formalized the military-to-military relationship between the two countries to better address narcotics production and trafficking, terrorism, illicit smuggling and humanitarian and natural disasters.

The meeting is expected to be Gates' last with Uribe before the Colombian president leaves office in August. As Gates acknowledges Uribe's accomplishments during the past eight years, Gates will offer assurance of continued U.S. support for the next Colombian administration, the official said.

"He will make clear that our commitment to Colombia is not to a government or president. It is a state-to-state commitment," he said.

Gates will wrap up his Latin America trip in Barbados, expressing support for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative aimed at curbing drug trafficking and other trans-border threats.

President Barack Obama announced the initiative at the Summit of the Americas in April 2009 to promote regional cooperation in confronting security challenges that extend beyond any one country's border. His fiscal 2011 budget request includes almost $73 million in military and economic aid for the program.

Cooperation Helps Environment, Security

By Christen N. McCluney
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

April 9, 2010 - The Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Department are working together to protect the environment and bolster homeland security. During an April 7 interview on the Pentagon Channel podcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military, " Peter Jutro, deputy director for science and policy at EPA's National Homeland Security Research Center, noted that while the EPA and Defense Department missions differ, they have common goals.

EPA benefits from the Defense Department's research in several areas, he said, including historical contamination incidents, risk communication and collaborative work on protocols and technologies for identifying biological agents.

"We really do depend on [the Defense Department], and there's a lot of work that's being done with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency," he said.

EPA has two homeland security responsibilities: acting as the lead federal sector for protecting the nation's drinking water, and dealing with decontamination if a homeland security incident occurs.

"We're always on the lookout for ways to make cleanups and recovery more cost effective," Jutro said. "There's a lot of this brand-new, over-the-horizon technology, and for this, we really depend on [the Defense Department]."

The two also work together on dual-use tools, models, technologies and methods – "things that can be used for homeland security but will have broader, environmental protection or defense uses as well," he added.

The environmental agency and the Pentagon also have been working together on developing standard analytical methods for homeland security incidents.

"This is a close collaboration on laboratory methods for measuring chemical, and biological and related agents that might be used in an attack," Jutro explained. "If there's an incident in the United States, the number of environmental samples that will have to be analyzed is huge. What we need are standard methods to be sure that all the testing results are both accurate and comparable."

This allows both government agencies to work together to ensure that lab results won't depend on which laboratories analyze the samples.

The EPA has worked with the Army in creating a small-model water system for testing chemical-warfare agents. Some things cannot be put into the EPA's model system, Jutro said, and the one developed with the Army allows EPA scientists to run tests that only can be done on a well-protected military facility.

The agencies also worked together to share information extensively and openly on research, he said. "We are trying to make sure that we're not duplicating each other unnecessarily, or doing more duplication than good science calls for," explained. This also helps to ensure that all needs are being met among the various agencies, he added.

"As we move forward, we see a lot of opportunity and many unanswered questions," he said. "The work depends upon the excellent work that's already been done by a large number of really remarkable EPA research scientists and engineers in collaboration with their colleagues from elsewhere.