Military News

Friday, April 23, 2010

Enterprise Conducts First RAS in Two Years

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristin Baker, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

April 23, 2010 - USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) conducted a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) April 23 with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) only four days after being redelivered to the fleet.

The fuel transfer was conducted in preparation for Enterprise's upcoming flight deck certification.

Taking on fuel with a RAS is faster than obtaining it in port, but it is much more dangerous. Having the ability to safely conduct a RAS is a requirement for all ships.

The two ships involved in a RAS must be closer than 200 feet during the transfer. Keeping the carrier on a straight course while being that close to another ship is difficult in and of itself due to the hydrodynamic effect on the vessels, but adding the transferring of fuel increases the risk factor.

"The system hasn't been run in two years, and the ship is 48 years old, so we have to be extremely cautious," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) Airman Michael A. Genera. "It went extremely well."

The two ships are attached by rigging lines and must carefully remain at identical speeds to ensure the fuel lines do not stretch or break.

"There must be two lines of tension in order to transfer," said Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate Sequincy Culver, leading chief petty officer for Enterprise's Deck Department. "Without the proper tension in place, Sailors lives and the ship could be put at risk."

At the completion of the RAS, Enterprise conducted an emergency breakaway drill and continued her independent steaming exercise.

The complex RAS was a major milestone for the Enterprise, which has spent the last two years in a shipyard undergoing maintenance. Capt. Ron Horton, Enterprise's commanding officer, who is scheduled to leave the ship soon, spoke to the crew after the RAS and reflected on the significance of the successful event.

"That was probably my last refueling on a Navy ship as the ship's captain," said Horton. "What a way to end it! You couldn't tell that the crew hadn't done this in a long time. It was like clockwork."

Nuclear-powered ships can stay at sea much longer than conventionally powered ships, but only if they are able to successfully complete underway replenishments, which provide the necessary consumable goods to keep the crew fed and the aircraft flying.

Enterprise is embarked on an independent steaming exercise prior to beginning flight deck certification and its work-up phase leading to its upcoming deployment.

Armed Services YMCA Operation Outdoors

by: Rear Adm. (Ret.) Frank Gallo
National Executive Director, ASYMCA

April 23, 2010 - Tens of thousands of U.S. service men and women have deployed overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is their families at home — particularly the children — that have experienced the anxiety and bewilderment of deployment. The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) Operation Outdoors camp program provides an opportunity for these children to take a break from their everyday worries. The unique atmosphere of the camp provides an opportunity for military kids to meet and have fun with each other and build a support network of friends going through the same experience. Children are also able to take advantage of outdoor activities that will help foster leadership and teamwork skills, and boost their self-esteem.

The ASYMCA Operation Outdoors video shows families enjoying a unique three-day outdoor experience at Rock Springs Ranch for children with physical and developmental disabilities and SED (serious emotional disturbance). This special camp experience is part of a national initiative available to military children and families across the country.

ASYMCA launched the camp program in the summer of 2007 for children of junior enlisted military personnel and their families, thanks to a $400,000 grant from the California Community Foundation’s Iraq-Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund. Then, in 2008, the Sierra Club donated $1.5 million to be used over the next three years in support of a resident camping experience for military children. Because of the grant from the Sierra Club, the program has expanded to include more than 35 locations throughout the country since its inception. Since 2007, the ASYMCA has sent more than 8,150 children to resident camp, more than 3,400 children to day camp and more than 2,000 adults to resident camp.

President Hosts Servicemember-Citizenship Ceremony

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 23, 2010 - Twenty-four U.S. servicemembers took the oath of U.S. citizenship in front of President Barack Obama during a ceremony in the White House's Rose Garden today. Obama said the military men and women are inspiring, noting they've made remarkable, typically American journeys.

"Most of all, to America's newest citizens – it is a great honor to serve as your Commander-in-Chief, and it is my greatest pleasure to be among the first to greet you as a 'fellow American,'" Obama said to the newly minted U.S. citizens.

"To you and your families, welcome to the White House," the president added.

The military men and women represented all service branches and hailed from countries around the globe. They are the latest of 58,000 servicemembers who have become citizens since 2001, said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who administered the oath of citizenship.

Obama also presented Marine Corps Sgt. Ledum Ndaanee with the first Outstanding American by Choice award. Ndaanee, who was born in Nigeria, was wounded by an improvised explosive device during his second tour in Iraq. He is recovering from traumatic brain injury.

The injured Marine is slated to compete at the inaugural Warrior Games held May 10-14 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ndaanee "was not only determined to recover; he was determined to help others," Obama said of the Marine's perseverance and spirit. "He has been a leader and mentor to his fellow wounded warriors."

The act of servicemembers becoming citizens celebrates America's spirit, strength and uniqueness, Obama said.

"While your stories are your own, today we celebrate the common spirit that lives within each of you, a spirit that has renewed and strengthened America for more than two centuries," Obama said. "We celebrate the spirit of possibility, an ethic that says if you're willing to put your shoulder to the wheel and apply your God-given talents, if you believe in yourself and you play by the rules, then there is a place for you in the United States of America, no matter where you come from and no matter what you look like."

America is enriched by the traditions and cultures that people bring from every corner of the world, Obama said. Immigration helps nurture "a dynamic economy that's constantly renewed by the talents and energies of each new citizen, and a people who understand that citizenship is not just a collection of rights, but it's also a set of responsibilities."

The servicemembers participating in the citizenship ceremony have demonstrated that they deserve to be Americans, Obama said.

"They played by the rules. They have earned their citizenship," the president said. "And so, on a day like this, we are also reminded of how we must remain both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws."

Re-enlistment Ceremony Marks 102 Years for Army Reserve

By Judith Snyderman
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

April 23, 2010 - To mark the 102nd anniversary of the U.S. Army Reserve, a hand-picked group of 60 reservists representing units in every U.S. state and territory re-enlisted together at a ceremony held today on Capitol Hill.

Due to the disruption of air traffic from Iceland's volcanic ash cloud, one soldier who was selected for the honor, Army Staff Sgt. Pratik D. Ram, participated via live video link from Germany. Ram's father flew from India to Germany to sit behind his son while he took the reenlistment oath.

Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz administered the pledge. He said the historic Senate caucus room was a fitting setting for citizen soldiers who he called, "national treasures."

Most of today's more than 207,000 Army Reservists, Stultz said, enlisted after Sept. 11, 2001, knowing that extended conflicts meant the likelihood they would be mobilized and face danger.

"What you have are soldiers who are employees, who are moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters - who are willing to voluntarily raise their hand and say, 'I want to serve my nation,'" Stultz said.

Army Master Sgt. John T. Martin from the Army Reserve Career Division helped pick the representative re-enlistees from candidates submitted by retention officers.

From privates to staff sergeants, individuals were singled out for their achievements. Most are combat veterans, and the group included a Silver Star recipient.

Army Sgt. Kyle F. Tuner was awarded the Silver Star medal in 2004 for heroic actions during a firefight while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, he is an active-duty drill sergeant at Fort Sill, Okla.

Tuner said the honor meant a lot to him, but the ceremony was especially poignant for his father who came to Washington to watch his son re-enlist.

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler from the 4225th U.S. Army Hospital in Helena, Mont., was also honored to take his reenlistment oath from a three-star general. He said that's not the norm.

Butler exemplifies the wide range of walks of life covered by citizen-soldiers in the reserves. He's a medical logistics sergeant in the Army, but a cattle rancher by trade.

"A lot of the skills and work ethics that I gained while growing up working on a cattle ranch has definitely crossed over and helped me in my military career," he said. Butler has been deployed to Qatar and served in missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.

During the ceremony, guest speaker Alaska Sen. Mark Begich noted the long history of contributions made by Army reservists. But today's reserve is especially vital to U.S. interests, he said.

"There is no doubt that without the Army Reserve we could not achieve our objectives," Begich said. "The Army reserve is no longer a strategic reserve, but an operational force in the world's-greatest Army."

This was the fifth annual National Capitol Reenlistment Ceremony held on Capitol Hill.

Troops Born Abroad Take Citizenship Oath

By C. Todd Lopez
American Forces Press Service

April 23, 2010 - Two dozen U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, born in countries from Brazil to Tobago, stood before U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden today to take the oath of citizenship for the country they serve.

The naturalization ceremony was hosted by Obama, who was joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Alejandro Mayorkas, director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The servicemembers hailed from nations such as Brazil, China, Colombia, England, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago.

"It is a great honor to serve as your commander in chief and it is my greatest pleasure to be among the first to greet you as a fellow American," said Obama, following the oath of citizenship.

"Some of you came to America as children, holding tight to your parents' hands as you arrived in a new world," he said. "Some of you came as adults, leaving everything you knew behind as you pursued a new life. While your stories are your own, today, we celebrate the common spirit that lives within each of you -- the spirit that has renewed and strengthened America for more than two centuries."

The president told the new Americans -- each already serving the nation as members of the Armed Forces -- that being a citizen comes with responsibilities.

"Citizenship is not just a collection of rights, but it is also a set of responsibilities," he said. "Like so many others, these men and women met their responsibilities, they have earned their citizenship."

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has naturalized more than 58,000 members of the Armed Forces, Napolitano said.

"It takes a very special individual to serve and defend a nation that is not yet your own, but that is what each of you are doing, that is testimony to your strong sense of patriotism," she said.

Among the troops who became U.S. citizens today were: Pfc. Andrew Smith, 400th Military Police Battalion, Fort Meade, Md.; Spc. James Muchoki, 634th Battle Support Group, Springfield, Ill.; and Pfc. Michael Z. Armstrong, 450th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne).

"It means a lot to me -- I believe in freedom," said Smith, on becoming a citizen. "There's no better way to go if you live in this country -- I love this country. I want to be a citizen."

Hailing from Jamaica, Smith has been in the United States for eight years. He says it was the professionalism of the Army that drew him in.

Muchoki, who is originally from Kenya, said he originally served in the U.S. Air Force, but was attracted to the Army because it offered him the option to serve as an X-ray technician. He said he's been in the U.S. since 1992, and chose to pursue citizenship after getting a family and "finally settling down."

"It's a very exciting day, finally, it feels like it was the last thing I needed to do," he said.

Armstrong, originally from England, has been in the United States for six years now. His father is a member of the U.S. Air Force. He said he joined the Army "to try something new," and says meeting the president and getting citizenship was an important moment in his life.

"It was brilliant, one of the most memorable moments in my life, actually," he said.

Following the naturalization ceremony, the president asked Marine Corps Sgt. Ledum D. Ndaanee to come forward.

Ndaanee was presented with the "Outstanding American by Choice" award. The award highlights the importance of citizenship rights and responsibilities through recognition of the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens. Ndaanee, originally from Nigeria, joined the Marine Corps in 2004, and became an American citizen in 2007.

The following 24 servicemembers became American citizens today:

• Pfc. Michael Zach Armstrong, U.S. Army, originally from England
• Senior Airman Lenard Canlas Belvis, U.S. Air Force Reserve, originally from the Philippines
• Seaman Tei Aristide Bislao, U.S. Navy, originally from Togo
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Cabalerro, U.S. Navy, originally from Spain
• Airman Maria-Antonette Capio Cabantog, U.S. Air Force, originally from the Philippines
• Aviation Machinist Mate Perla Conception Ramos de Chavira, U.S. Navy, originally from Mexico
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Rommel Cruz Cuenco, U.S. Navy, originally from the Philippines
• Seaman Affeya Tiffany Christine Grant, U.S. Navy, originally from Guyana
• Sgt. Therica Tameica Hutchinson, U.S. Army, originally from Jamaica
• Senior Airman Oscar Gaspar Manrique, U.S. Air Force, originally from Peru
• Cpl. Granger Lawrence Michael, U.S. Marine Corps, originally from Papua New Guinea
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Roosevelt Joseph, U.S. Navy, originally from Haiti
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Raquel De Olivera Moura, U.S. Navy, originally from Brazil
• Spc. James Nyaga Muchoki, U.S. Army, originally from Kenya
• Seaman Recruit Jerdaine Devon Oldacre, U.S. Navy, originally from Jamaica
• Soraya Conceicao Ross, U.S. Marine Corps, originally from Brazil
• Capt. Charlyston Schultz, U.S. Marine Corps, originally from Brazil
• Cpl. Raul Pagaduan Sibayan, U.S. Army, originally from the Philippines
• Private 1st Class Andrew Hopeton Smith, U.S. Army, originally from Jamaica
• Pfc. Marcin Dominik Staniszewski, U.S. Marine Corps, originally from Poland
• Pfc. Berhan Kifetew Teferi, U.S. Army, originally from Ethiopia
• Seaman Recruit Pitrianne Natoya Williams, U.S. Navy, originally from Jamaica
• Airman Yu Yuan, U.S. Air Force, originally from China
• Petty Officer 3rd Class Jhonathan Zapata Garcia, U.S. Navy, originally from Colombia

SECNAV Announces Name of LPD 26, USS Murtha

By Chinara Lucas, Secretary of the Navy Public Affairs

April 23, 2010 - JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (NNS) -- The secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) honored the legacy of the late U.S. Representative John Murtha by declaring April 23 that the Navy's 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, LPD 26, will bear his name.

The announcement was made at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport in Johnstown, Pa., a town Murtha held close to his heart.

SECNAV Ray Mabus was accompanied by Joyce and Donna Murtha, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Representative Norm Dicks of Washington and U.S. Representative David Obey of Wisconsin.

"John Patrick Murtha served our country his entire adult life," said Mabus. "Both in uniform as a Marine and in the halls of Congress, he dedicated himself to the United States of America."

Murtha's service began when he joined the Marine Corps in 1952 and served in the Korean War. He also saw service in Vietnam in 1966, a tour that earned him the Bronze Star with Valor device, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Murtha retired from military service as a colonel in 1990. He had 37 years of active and Reserve service.

Murtha represented Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District from 1974 until his death in 2010. In his position as the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he oversaw appropriations for the Department of Defense, which included the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and the intelligence community. He was a driving force for the Navy's shipbuilding program, providing necessary funds to grow and maintain the fleet and preserve the industrial base.

"Throughout his time in Congress, Jack Murtha remained a Marine. He always did what he thought best for our country and he championed the interests of service men and women." said Mabus.

The future USS John P. Murtha will transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies and will support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions for a projected 30 years.

"She will serve as a visible symbol of the freedoms Chairman Murtha held dear, and his example will live on in the steel of that ship and in all those who will serve aboard her." said Mabus.

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 23, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Equilon Enterprises, dba Shell Oil Products - Deer Park, Houston, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $732,943,752 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Texas. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0470).

Valero Marketing & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $255,106,530 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0472).

ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Co., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a maximum $134,313,795 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Louisiana. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0463).

Delek Refining, Ltd, Tyler, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $48,278,681 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0473).

Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co., San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $45,812,180 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other locations of performance are in North Dakota and Minnesota. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0464).

Irving Oil Terminal, Inc., Portsmouth, N.H., is being awarded a maximum $20,386,300 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0476).

United Technologies, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a maximum $10,745,595 fixed-price with prespective price redetermination, indefinite-quantity sole-source contract for engine line parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Navy and Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. This contract is a ten-year, corporate contract with a three-year base, and provisions for seven one-year option periods. The date of performance completion is Feb. 14, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., is the contracting activity (SPM400-01-D-9405).

Wyoming Refining Co., Denver, Colo., is being awarded a maximum $2,640,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite- delivery/indefinite quantity contract for aviation fuel. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. This proposal was originally Web solicited with 27 responses. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0467).

NAVY

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss., is being awarded an $114,003,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-2308) to exercise the option for long lead time material in support of the construction of DDG 114 under the DDG 51 class destroyer program. This contract provides propulsion gas turbines, generators, controllable pitch propeller, and other components to support construction of DDG 113 and DDG 114. Work is anticipated to be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio (32 percent); Walpole, Mass. (30 percent); Charlottesville, Va. (11 percent); Erie, Pa. (7 percent); Anaheim, Calif. (7 percent); Warminster, Pa. (2 percent); and various locations (11 percent). The effort is anticipated to start immediately with a base period of performance ending 37 months after contract award. 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.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass., is being awarded a $59,200,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5111) to exercise an option for advance procurement of the consolidated bill of materials and associated labor in support of production of the DDG 114 and 115 Aegis Weapon System AN/SPY-1D(V) radar transmitter group and missile fire control system MK 99. Work will be performed in Andover, Mass. (88 percent), and Sudbury, Mass. (12 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Nova Group, Inc.-Underground Construction Co., Inc., JV, Napa, Calif., is being awarded an $11,229,161 firm-fixed-price contract modification, with incremental funding of $23,721,980 during fiscal 2011, for a total of $34,951,141 for the construction to replace the defense fuel storage facility tanks at Defense Fuel Support Point, Naval Base Point Loma. The work to be performed provides for the design-bid-build construction and consists of two new 125,000 barrel above-ground fuel storage tanks for 250,000 barrels of fuel storage capacity. The work also completes the full-distribution piping and product manifold; installs a new lube oil facility; completes the truck loading and unloading rack; constructs a new control tower building; and completes the project demolition and site restoration. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $138,167,095. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by January 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-C-7501).

National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, D.C., is being awarded a maximum amount $10,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for ongoing criteria preparation support in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic area of responsibility (AOR). The work to be performed provides for ongoing criteria preparation and shall fall under the following two categories: preparation and dissemination of emerging innovative technology source information and/or criteria, commercially supported, embedded within the whole building design guide; and making findings and advising public/private sectors of the economy with respect to the use of building science and technology in achieving nationally acceptable standards, and the irregularities and inconsistencies which arise from their application to particular localities or special local conditions. Work will be performed in Washington, D.C., to support the NAVFAC Atlantic AOR, and is expected to be completed by April 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was a sole-source procurement under FAR 6.302-5, authorized or required by statute. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-10-D-2009).

DRS Sustainment Systems, Inc., Saint Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $9,791,516 firm-fixed-price, definite-quantity contract for 71 manportable surveillance target and acquisition radars (MSTAR), a component of the Ground-Based Operational Surveillance System (GBOSS). The MSTAR locates moving targets and uniquely classifies them as personnel on foot, tracked vehicles, or wheeled vehicles, and is used on the GBOSS. Work will be performed in Saint Louis, Mo., and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $9,791,516 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 (N00164-10-C-GR92).

Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, is being awarded a $6,000,000 firm-fixed price modification to increase the maximum dollar value of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the increase in contract capacity for performance-based environmental services and technology for Navy and Marine Corps installations and commands worldwide and for other federal organizations being supported. The work to be performed provides for support of various Navy, Marine Corps, and federal government programs and includes obtaining various engineering and incidental services for research, development, testing and evaluation of innovative environmental technologies, strategies, and techniques; implementation of innovative environmental technologies, strategies and techniques; operation of sites and innovative systems at sites, including maintenance and monitoring; and technical consultation. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $36,000,000. Work will be performed at various locations worldwide, and is expected to be completed by December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-07-D-4013).

AIR FORCE

United Technologies Corp., San Antonio, Texas, was awarded a $65,127,602 contract which will provide modules to be remanufactured at the contract facility, such as, core modules, fan drive turbines, inlet fans, and gearboxes for the F100 engine, supporting F-15/F-16 aircraft. At this time, no money has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBF, Tinker Air force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8121-10-D-0008).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Reston, Va., was awarded a $24,000,000 contract which will provide for the navigation warfare technology research modeling, simulation, wargaming and analyses program to assess the weapon system effectiveness of various position, navigation, and timing solutions in layered sensing scenarios, including denied global positioning systems. At this time, $2,893,499 has been obligated. AFRL/PKSR, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-10-D-1784).

B&M Phipps, Colorado Springs, Colo., was awarded a $12,146,000 contract which will provide for cadet gymnasium, renovation phase of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 10 CONS, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., is the contracting activity (FA7000-10-C-0027).

ARMY

Kiewit Building Group, Omaha, Neb., was awarded on April 21 a $10,962,000 firm-fixed-price contract to complete construction of a new railhead operations facility, including concrete end pads, tactical vehicle hardstand, a container transfer pad, operations building, and security fencing ad high-mast lighting at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Work is to be performed in Fairbanks, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 5, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Alaska, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, is the contracting activity (W911KB-10-C-0015).

TFAB, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on April 21 a $6,271,181 firm-fixed-price contract for 51 missile round trainers for PATRIOT PAC-3 systems. The breakdown is 20 for the United States, 20 for the United Arab Emirates, and 11 for The Netherlands. Work is to be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Contracting Center, Redstone, Ala., is the contacting activity (W31P4Q-10-C-0236).

CJW-MZT Project II, Santa Ana, Calif., was awarded on April 21 a $5,188,000 firm-fixed-price contract to design and build F-16 Aggressor squadron operations electrical infrastructure, Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nev. Work is to be performed in Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nev., with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, Calif., is the contracting activity (W912PL-10-C-0022).

Documentary Inspires Warrior Games Athletes

By Christen McCluney

April 23, 2010 - Walter Reed Army Medical Center hosted a preview of the documentary “Warrior Champions,” a film about the role sports can play in helping injured servicemembers live their dreams. The film features four soldier athletes as they set out to compete for a spot on the 2008 paralympic team.

At the screening one of the athletes featured in the film talked to wounded servicemembers who are in training for the inaugural Warrior Games. Army Veteran Melissa Stockwell, who lost her leg to a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq, participated in the Paralympics in 2008 as a swimmer. She shared with the audience that she was introduced to swimming through physical therapy at Walter Reed.

“You come to Walter Reed and you wonder what your life is going to be like. If you’ll ever be able to walk again and be independent again and you wonder if you can be athletic again.”

“You don’t have to come home with a gold medal you don’t have to be a paralympian just to be active that’s being successful,” she said. “Whatever disability you may have it’s not going to stop you in the world of sports. I have more self worth more confidence just being able to get out there in the game.”

Heath Calhoun who also spent time recovering at Walter Reed after losing both legs in Iraq encouraged the athletes as well.

“I got a new passion in life. I wasn’t much of a skier prior to losing my legs. But it was something that I was able to fall in love in with.”

Calhoun, who participated in the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada, tried skiing for the first time at a sports clinic five months after his injury. He said that skiing made him feel whole again and it gave him his legs back when he was able to get out on the snow and participate in the same activities as everyone else.

“It really did complete me. It gave me so much more back mentally and aided in my rehabilitation. It gave me a freedom I hadn’t experienced since I lost my legs. The more I was able to compete the more I felt I could go to the paralympics.”

The message that both of these athletes gave were inspiring to the warriors participating in the game particularly Army Sgt. Robert Laux, a wounded warrior recovering at Walter Reed.

Laux will participate in the inaugural games in the “Ultimate Warrior competition,” a pentathlon style competition that includes swimming, shooting, sprinting, track and shot put.

“It’s rough and tough and I love every minute of it,” he said. “I’m training every day.”

Before his injury Laux participated in cross country and track in high school and running in college. He said his hard work is paying off and he’s running faster than ever before. “Just to have some people recognize me and my abilities and that I’m actually somewhat that good, like a real Olympian. That would be great.”

His biggest expectation from the Warrior Games is to wear a gold medal around his neck.

He also added that the Warrior Champion film motivated him to strive for more and train harder like the athletes in the film.

Freedom Successfully Concludes Historic Maiden Deployment

By Lt. Ed Early, USS Freedom Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy's first littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Freedom (LCS 1), concluded its successful maiden deployment with arrival its homeport of San Diego April 23.

The historic deployment, the first for a ship of the class, came over two years ahead of schedule, taking the ship to three countries and through the U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. 3rd Fleet Areas of Responsibility (AOR).

While underway, Freedom conducted counter-illicit trafficking (CIT) operations, making four successful interdictions that netted more than five tons of cocaine, seized two "go fast" drug vessels and took nine suspected smugglers into custody. In addition to independent operations, the ship successfully integrated with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group, performed exercises with partner navies and conducted joint maneuvers with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and Fire Scout, the frigate's embarked unmanned aerial vehicle.

"Freedom's homecoming, after a successful maiden deployment, is a significant milestone for the surface Navy and the future of surface warfare," said Vice Adm. D.C. Curtis, commander, Naval Surface Force Pacific. "This is a special day for the Freedom crew, the entire LCS program and the great city of San Diego. As a team they performed magnificently and worked hard to complete their missions in support of the Maritime strategy. We have learned many important lessons from this early deployment that will be applied to future LCS fleet operations."

Arrival in San Diego comes five years after the ship's keel was laid in Marinette, Wis., and 18 months after commissioning in Milwaukee.

"The deployment was an opportunity that most had waited for several years to see come," said Cmdr. Randy Garner, Freedom's commanding officer. "The many lessons we learned will serve us well in the future, and I am very proud to have been part of the teamwork and focus that all onboard demonstrated."

After departing Mayport, Fla., Feb. 16, Freedom conducted CIT operations in the 4th Fleet AOR. In less than three weeks of at-sea operations, Freedom made four drug seizures – symbolized by four "snowflakes" adorning her bridge wings – and recovered more than 5 tons of cocaine.

"It's awesome to have those snowflakes on the hull," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Patrick Johnson, a coxswain for the Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package who drove Freedom's 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats during the drug interdictions. "I'm excited about what we've done, and I want to continue doing it."

From there, Freedom engaged in theater security cooperation port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Panama City, Panama; and Manzanillo, Mexico. In each port, Freedom's Sailors interacted with their partner-nation counterparts and participated in community relations projects that benefited local neighborhoods.

Throughout the deployment, Freedom broke new ground in operations with other Navy ships and partner nation forces. In addition to working with the Colombian Navy and Panamanian Public Forces, Freedom operated at sea with the Mexican Navy frigate ARM Nicolas Bravo (F 201).

The ship also engaged in its first strike group operations with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group for high-speed operations, re-fueling at sea, surface gunnery events and visit, board, search and seizure evolutions. Prior to entering the 3rd Fleet AOR, Freedom conducted joint maneuvers in the Eastern Pacific with the guided-missile frigate USS McInerney (FFG 8), which carried the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle. McInerney and Freedom also conducted adjacent CIT patrols in the region.

"The opportunity for Freedom to work with a carrier strike group for the first time was icing on the cake of our first operational deployment," said Garner. "We demonstrated how Freedom and future littoral combat ships are capable of working as part of a strike group when needed."

Garner was quick to offer credit to the embarked units that accompanied his Gold Crew throughout the deployment. The SUW Mission Package was joined by Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 2, based in Norfolk, Va., and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment.

"Success in counter-narcotics trafficking missions takes several teams to come together in short order and each of our detachments did exactly that," said Garner. "We were very fortunate to have the group that we did and it shows in the success they enjoyed."

The men and women of Freedom echoed their commander's pride in having completed their mission successfully.

"I did not expect anything less from our crew - this is the way they have always performed," said Freedom Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Anthony Decker. "As for our detachments, we wouldn't have had the success we had without their expertise and help. They have been phenomenal."

After performing a crew swap – with the Gold Crew turning over to the Blue Crew, commanded by Cmdr. Kris Doyle – and undergoing maintenance, Freedom will resume operations in summer 2010 by journeying to the International Fleet Review at Esquimalt, British Columbia, and participating in the 2010 Rim of the Pacific exercise.

The first ship of the revolutionary LCS program, Freedom is a fast, agile and maneuverable ship designed to compliment the Navy's larger multimission surface combatants in select mission areas, including combating submarines, mines and fast-attack craft threats in the littorals.

General Officer Assignments

April 23 2010 - The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignments.

Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston, assistant chief of staff, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., to commander, 20th Air Force, Air Force Global Strike Command, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.

Brig. Gen. Jonathan D. George, who has been selected for the rank of major general, director, strategic capabilities policy, National Security Council, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., to assistant chief of staff, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

VA Strives to Prevent Vet Suicides

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 23, 2010 - With more than 6,000 veterans committing suicide every year –- and 98 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan taking their own lives during fiscal 2009 alone -- the Department of Veterans Affairs is redoubling its outreach to veterans and promoting its toll-free suicide-prevention hotline.

National statistics show that veterans constitute about 20 percent of the 30,000 to 32,000 U.S. deaths each year from suicide. Of an average of 18 veterans who commit suicide each day, about five receive care through the VA health-care system. More than 60 percent of those five had diagnosed mental-health conditions.

Dr. Janet E. Kemp, VA's national suicide prevention coordinator, is committed to improving those statistics. She's heading up an aggressive outreach program to address problems that lead to suicide, and to ensure veterans as well as their loved ones know where to turn for help.

Speaking with reporters yesterday, Kemp cited mounting evidence that veterans in the 18- to 29-year-old age group who use VA health-care services are less likely to commit suicide than those who don't.

Based on statistical comparisons between the two groups, she estimated that 250 fewer veterans enrolled in the VA system take their own lives each year. She credited VA's screening and assessment processes designed to identify high-risk patients and provide intervention, as needed.

Yet, during fiscal 2009, 707 members of the general veteran population died at their own hands, and another 10,665 made unsuccessful suicide attempts. In addition to the 98 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who committed suicide – 94 men and four women – there were 1,868 who made non-fatal attempts on their lives. Of these, 1,621 were men and 247 were women, reflecting trends in the general U.S. population.

"Just one death is one too many," said Dr. Antonette Zeiss, deputy chief for mental health services at VA's central office. "The bottom line is, the efforts we put into enhancing overall mental health services have correlated with the reduction of suicide," especially among males who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Alarmed by an increase in suicides among this population between 2003 and 2004, VA adopted a comprehensive mental health strategic plan in 2004 that has helped to bring the numbers down.

Much of the plan is dedicated to increasing veterans' access to mental-health services. VA hired 6,000 additional mental-health professionals since 2004, bringing its full complement of providers to 20,000, Zeiss said.

"Access to care makes a difference," she said. "We have worked on improving access to care for all veterans."

VA mental health professionals are based at every VA medical center and the largest community-based clinic, and provide same- or next-day help to veterans in need, she said.

In addition, VA established a toll-free national suicide hotline in July 2007 that Kemp said receives about 10,000 calls a month from veterans as well as currently serving soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Callers dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and then select option "1" to talk directly with a VA professional trained to deal with an immediate crisis.

Kemp credited the hotline with stopping 7,000 suicides in progress, in which callers were actively hurting themselves or in imminent danger of taking their own lives.

In addition, VA initiated an online chat service last July, accessible through its suicide prevention Web site. The chat line enables veterans and their families and friends to go online to chat anonymously with a trained VA counselor. To date, almost 4,000 "chatters" have used the service, with several referred to the hotline for immediate care, Kemp reported.

To get the word out about these initiatives, VA launched an advertising campaign in 124 U.S. cities, with public service announcements featuring actor Gary Sinise and TV broadcaster Deborah Norville.

Kemp said she's received anecdotal evidence that the campaign already is having an impact. She cited one veteran who traveled to Las Vegas with the intent to commit suicide, writing a suicide note and making final preparations to take his life. Then, by chance, he noticed a poster about the VA suicide prevention hotline on a wall at a local bus stop and placed the call that ultimately saved his life.

"He's now alive and well and telling his story of success," Kemp said.

General Officer Assignments

April 23, 2010 - The Chief of Staff, Army announced today the following assignments:

Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, chief of staff, U. S. Forces-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, to director of operations, readiness and mobilization, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C.

Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commanding general, U. S. Army Africa/commanding general, U. S. Army Southern European Task Force, Italy, to chief of staff, U. S. Forces-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.

Maj. Gen. James L. Huggins Jr., director of operations, readiness and mobilization, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C., to commanding general, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N. C.

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Jones, director of operations, J-3, U. S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to chief of staff, U. S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U. S. Army Reserve Command, Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, Fort McPherson, Ga., to director, J-9, U. S. Forces-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq.

Brig. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, deputy commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N. C., to deputy commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

Brig. Gen. Richard C. Longo, director of training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C., to deputy chief of staff, operations and training, U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.

Brig. Gen. James C. Nixon, deputy commanding general (operations), 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, to deputy director for operations-force protection, U. S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Brig. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, deputy commanding general (support), 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, to director for requirements and integration, J-8, U. S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

Col. Robert P. Ashley Jr., who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, director of intelligence, J-2, U. S. Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N. C., to director of intelligence, J-2, U. S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Elected Village Idiot

Editor's Note:  The hosts are former servicemembers.

On April 23, 2010, at Midnight, Gracie Versus Dad presents Elected Village Idiot.

Program Date: April 23, 2010
Program Time: Midnight Pacific
Topic: Elected Village Idiot
Listen Live: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gracieversusdad/2010/04/24/elected-village-idiot

About the Show
Opinions, commentary and comedy from Grace E. Fecteau and her Father, Raymond E. Foster.

About this Episode
Among the top stories of the week an Indiana women was elected village idiot; a deputy used a Taser on another deputy as a joke; A zoo in England created a sheep/pig hybrid; a Utah women beats her blindfolded - surprise expecting husband with a hammer; a store employee is punched after commenting on a customer’s body odor; A Facebook user praying for other’s death; the new $100 bill; kids lose interest in take your child to work day; Crybaby Award," teen faces drug and gun charges after leading Pleasantville police on chase; Southpark creators heed warning - maybe; bubble gum prom dress; putting the real coke in real coke; Hitler is responsible for Osama Bin Laden; and, much more.

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
editor@police-writers.com
909.599.7530

Sailors Help Build Des Moines Community

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Kapica, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

April 23, 2010 - DES MOINES, Iowa (NNS) -- Sailors swapped their Navy uniforms for jeans and T-shirts when they volunteered to help build a home for a family April 21 in conjunction with Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity in Des Moines, Iowa.

The group, composed of Sailors from the Leap Frogs, the Navy parachute demonstration team, USS Constitution, Navy Operational Support Center Des Moines and Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis, took part in the project as part of Des Moines Navy Week.

The small, ranch-style house wrapped in beige siding, began to take shape throughout the day as Sailors constructed a wooden staircase, installed cardboard insulation supports, dug two basement window accesses and cemented in breeze blocks. The outer frame of the house was originally constructed outside the state capitol building just two miles away, during the 20,000 Helping Hands Homebuilding Kickoff in March 2010. It was transported to the home site and seated on top of the foundation in the north of the city.

"I'm very excited," said future homeowner, Abraham, who immigrated to the United States from Liberia after spending seven years in a refugee camp on the Ivory Coast. "Homeownership is an investment in my family's future."

The home is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2010, said Kim Stangl, site manager. That will be the first time Abraham's family will live together under one roof.

The greater Des Moines chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been helping qualified, low-income families with home ownership since 1986. Six homes are currently under construction in the area and 22 more are planned in 2010, said Stangl.

The majority of the work is done by volunteers, which cuts labor costs making homeownership more affordable, said Stangl. The number of volunteers it takes to make that happen was clear. The framework in the house is covered with the signatures of volunteers who have already contributed to the home and there will be many more before the house is finished.

"We don't build the house, you guys do!" said Stangl, referring to his volunteers. "There's no way I could do this by myself. We appreciate all volunteers."

It wasn't the first time many of the Sailors had volunteered with Habitat. Some had helped out at construction projects near their duty stations and were happy to volunteer again during Navy week.

"Working with Habitat for Humanity here in Des Moines is a fun thing to do, but it actually gives you good, heartfelt feeling about what you can do for a community to make people's lives better," said James Woods, retired Navy SEAL assigned to the Leap Frogs.

Des Moines Navy Week is one of 20 Navy weeks planned across the country in 2010. Navy weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Air Force officials announce AFAF competition winners

Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs Office

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Force officials announced its Group 1 winners of the annual Air Force Assistance Fund "Commitment to Caring" campaign, which provides Airmen the opportunity to contribute to four official Air Force charitable organizations.

The campaign, which started Feb. 8 and runs until May 7, features a first-ever competition between installations within a group with similar past performances in the AFAF campaign.

Bases compete for the top spot within each group based on point values in several categories: percent over goal; donation amount equal to or greater than the previous year's amount; and active-duty participation rate.

This year’s Group 1 winner was Lajes Field, Azores. It exceeds the installation goal by more than 249 percent with almost 48 percent active-duty participation.

Brooks-City Base, Texas, was also named a winner because it was the only base in Group 1 to exceed more than 50 percent active-duty participation. In addition, it surpassed the installation goal by more than 167 percent.

Honorable mentions include Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., which reached more than 146 percent of its goal and Vance AFB, Okla., which had more than 42 percent active-duty participation.

Both winners will receive a $2,500 cash prize to be used for programs supporting the base community. Air Force officials will announce Group 2 and 3 winners upon completion of the AFAF campaign.

The AFAF was established to provide for an annual effort to raise funds for charitable affiliates that provide support to the Air Force family (active duty, retirees, reservists, guard and their dependents, including surviving spouses) in need. They are:

-- The Air Force Aid Society, which provides Airmen and their families worldwide with emergency financial assistance, education assistance and an array of base-level community-enhancement programs. More information is available at www.afas.org.

-- The Air Force Enlisted Village, which includes Teresa Village in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Bob Hope Village in Shalimar, Fla., near Eglin AFB, Fla. The fund provides homes and financial assistance to widows and widowers of retired enlisted people 55 and older. Hawthorn House, also in Shalimar, provides assisted living for residents requiring more assistance than others, including 24-hour nursing care. More information is available at www.afenlistedwidows.org.

-- Air Force Village, which includes Air Force Village I and II in San Antonio, a life-care community for retired officers, spouses, widows or widowers and family members. The Air Force Village Web site is www.airforcevillages.com.

-- The General and Mrs. Curtis E. LeMay Foundation, which provides rent and financial assistance to widows and widowers of officer and enlisted retirees in their homes and communities through financial grants of assistance. The LeMay Foundation Web site is www.lemay-foundation.org.

Contributions to the AFAF are tax deductible. For more information, visit the Air Force Assistance Fund's Web site at http://afassistancefund.org/ and view the 2010 AFAF video at http://www.afassistancefund.org/video/flash/afaf.html.

Local installation project officers and unit representatives are available to provide more information on these charities and ways to contribute to AFAF.

To find out base group assignments, scoring information for the new competition and additional information about the 2010 Air Force Assistance Fund campaign visit the AFPC personnel services website or call the 24/7 Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800)-525-0102.

Official Urges Gulf War Vets to Seek VA Care

Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Release

April 22, 2010 - Gulf War veterans with medical symptoms should seek treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs in light of a recent study that says Gulf War service is a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder, a senior Military Health System official said yesterday.

In an interview, Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, director of strategic communications for the Military Health System, said that if Gulf War veterans seek care through VA, rather than private doctors, researchers can continue to track their data and search for causes of their symptoms.

Congress has ordered that Gulf War veterans still qualify for high-priority care through the VA, and Kilpatrick urged them to use it.

“For Gulf War veterans who think they may have symptoms and they are undiagnosed, we still encourage them to seek care,” he said.

The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine found in its most recent study on the health effects of the Gulf War, released April 9, that military service in the war is a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in some veterans and also is associated with multiple other medical symptoms.

The VA-funded study said researchers found sufficient evidence that service in the Gulf caused PTSD. The study did not find a cause-and-effect relationship between a host of other illnesses found in the veterans, but acknowledged sufficient evidence of an association between their service and other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and substance abuse and gastrointestinal problems.

The study found “limited evidence” of an association between Gulf service and ALS -- a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease -- as well as a widespread pain condition called fibromyalgia and sexual difficulties.

The study found insufficient evidence to link Gulf service to any cancers, blood diseases, respiratory illness, multiple sclerosis, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and other ailments. The study found no evidence of a link between Gulf War service and peripheral neuropathy and decreased lung function and heart disease deaths in the first 10 years after the war.

Kilpatrick said the findings do not change the Military Health System’s approach to treating the symptoms of Gulf War veterans without knowing the causes.

“From the [Defense Department] standpoint, we’ve always believed that Gulf War veterans’ symptoms were real,” Kilpatrick said. “Not knowing the cause didn’t make them not real. They are deserving of treatment for their symptoms and, medically, we frequently treat symptoms without knowing the reason for the symptoms.”

Many factors complicate knowing the cause of the veterans’ symptoms, which may never be determined, Kilpatrick said, echoing the comments of Institute of Medicine officials.

The United States sent nearly 700,000 servicemembers to the Persian Gulf between August 1990 and July 1991. Of those, 147 were killed in combat and 233 died from noncombat causes. More than 250,000 “suffer from persistent, unexplained symptoms,” the institute said in its release of the report.

Kilpatrick noted other factors that complicated research. Combat operations lasted only 100 days, and many Gulf War veterans left service before their symptoms appeared. Also, little was known about PTSD in the early 1990s, there were no pre- or post-deployment health exams, and no electronic records.

“There are a lot of nuances that are hard for people to understand,” he said. “Our biggest difficulty when we’re looking at 700,000 people is to say, ‘What is the cause?’ Was it the deployment, the combat, or something not related to their combat life?

“We’re working hard today, starting with new recruits, to understand that.”

Kilpatrick called the institute’s research methods “the gold standard,” and said the department strongly supports its suggestion for more study of what has become known as Gulf War Illness.

“We continue to focus on the health of Gulf War veterans and we owe a lot to them today for their self protection and readiness to protect today’s forces,” he said. “The health of individuals as they deploy is extremely important to us and we want to know that they are as healthy when they come home as when they left.”

The military continues to learn from the health experiences of Gulf War veterans and then apply that knowledge to today’s troops, Kilpatrick added.

“There are many medical lessons learned from the Gulf War,” Kilpatrick said. “We’ve learned a lot about deployment and its effect on individuals.”

Nuclear Weapons Policy Analyst Receives $392,000 grant

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support author Ward Wilson's research & writing about international nuclear weapons policy

April 23, 2010 - Monterey, Ca. - The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded a $392,000 grant to Princeton-based nuclear weapons policy analyst and award-winning writer Ward Wilson.

The grant supports Wilson's ground-breaking research and writing on the changing nature of the international debate about nuclear weapons and on the "new realism" about nuclear weapons: emerging notions that they are costly, dangerous, but not very useful. These new, pragmatic arguments undermine the rationale for keeping these dangerous weapons while at the same time breaking with the deadlocked debates of the past.

Wilson is director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, a project of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute for International Studies. CNS will administer the grant over three years.

Wilson is increasingly the source of fundamental challenges to the nuclear status quo and asserts that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the way we think about nuclear weapons. Stephen Schwartz, editor of Nonproliferation Review said Wilson "is well on his way to deconstructing the most fundamental beliefs about nuclear weapons."

In part, the grant is to support Wilson's research and writing for a book entitled Without Fear: New Realism and Nuclear Weapons. In addition, Wilson's next scholarly articles will question the usefulness of killing civilians, and whether nuclear weapons have "kept us safe" for the last sixty years. Wilson will also carry on a extensive schedule of speaking engagements in the United States and abroad.

Recent invitations to speak include: Stanford University, University of Chicago, Georgetown University, Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Stimson Center, the United Nations, Los Alamos, the Naval War College, the New School, the New America Foundation and others. Wilson will be presenting at next month's Review Conference for the Nonproliferation Treaty at the United Nations in New York.

About Ward Wilson

Ward Wilson is director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project, a project of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

CNS is the largest nongovernmental organization in the United States devoted exclusively to research and training on nonproliferation issues, and strives to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by training the next generation of nonproliferation specialists and disseminating timely information and analysis.

Wilson has been published in International Security, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nonproliferation Review, the Chicago Tribune, Dissent and elsewhere. He recently contributed a chapter entitled "Stable at Zero: Enforcing the Peace in a World Without Nuclear Weapons" to Elements of a Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, a collection of essays edited by Barry Blechman and published by the Stimson Center in Washington, DC. He writes regularly at www.rethinkingnuclearweapons.org.

In 2007, Wilson published "The Winning Weapon? Rethinking Nuclear Weapons in Light of Hiroshima" in International Security, which posed a radical challenge to established thinking. According to the distinguished physicist Freeman Dyson, the article "effectively demolishes the generally-accepted myth that the atomic bombings brought World War II to an end."

In 2008, Wilson won the Doreen and Jim McElvany Nonproliferation Essay Challenge and its $10,000 cash prize for the most outstanding essay on nonproliferation. Wilson bested scholars from 11 countries and across the United States with an essay entitled "The Myth of Nuclear Deterrence." The article is a fundamental challenge to the theory of nuclear deterrence and has been called "brilliant" and "important."

Wilson is a graduate of the American University in Washington, DC with a special emphasis in history and philosophy. He is currently a departmental guest of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University.

Navy Names Amphibious Ship for Congressman John Murtha

April 23, 2010 - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the selection of the USS John P. Murtha as the name of the 10th San Antonio class Amphibious Transport Dock ship. Mabus made the announcement at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport in Johnstown, Pa.

The USS John P. Murtha honors the late U.S. representative and Marine who dedicated his life to serving his country. Murtha served a distinguished 37 years in the Marine Corps and received the Bronze Star with Combat "V," two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War, retiring as a colonel in 1990.

In his public life, Murtha served the people of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District from 1974 until his death in 2010. In his position as the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, he oversaw funding issues for the Department of Defense, including the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and the intelligence community.

"Both in uniform and in the halls of Congress, Chairman Murtha dedicated his life to serving his country both in the Marine Corps and Congress. His unwavering support of our sailors and Marines, and in particular our wounded warriors, was well known and deeply appreciated," said Mabus.

The future USS John P. Murtha will be used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies, by embarked air cushion or conventional landing craft or expeditionary fighting vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. It will support amphibious assault, special operations, or expeditionary warfare missions through the first half of the 21st century.

The amphibious transport dock ship will be 684 feet in length, have a waterline beam of 105 feet, displace approximately 25,000 tons, and will make speed in excess of 22 knots. It will be crewed by 363 personnel and embark an additional 700 Marines.

Additional information about San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ships is available on line at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=600&ct=4

Sailors Help Build Des Moines Community

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Kapica, Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

April 23, 2010 - DES MOINES, Iowa (NNS) -- Sailors swapped their Navy uniforms for jeans and T-shirts when they volunteered to help build a home for a family April 21 in conjunction with Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity in Des Moines, Iowa.

The group, composed of Sailors from the Leap Frogs, the Navy parachute demonstration team, USS Constitution, Navy Operational Support Center Des Moines and Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis, took part in the project as part of Des Moines Navy Week.

The small, ranch-style house wrapped in beige siding, began to take shape throughout the day as Sailors constructed a wooden staircase, installed cardboard insulation supports, dug two basement window accesses and cemented in breeze blocks. The outer frame of the house was originally constructed outside the state capitol building just two miles away, during the 20,000 Helping Hands Homebuilding Kickoff in March 2010. It was transported to the home site and seated on top of the foundation in the north of the city.

"I'm very excited," said future homeowner, Abraham, who immigrated to the United States from Liberia after spending seven years in a refugee camp on the Ivory Coast. "Homeownership is an investment in my family's future."

The home is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2010, said Kim Stangl, site manager. That will be the first time Abraham's family will live together under one roof.

The greater Des Moines chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been helping qualified, low-income families with home ownership since 1986. Six homes are currently under construction in the area and 22 more are planned in 2010, said Stangl.

The majority of the work is done by volunteers, which cuts labor costs making homeownership more affordable, said Stangl. The number of volunteers it takes to make that happen was clear. The framework in the house is covered with the signatures of volunteers who have already contributed to the home and there will be many more before the house is finished.

"We don't build the house, you guys do!" said Stangl, referring to his volunteers. "There's no way I could do this by myself. We appreciate all volunteers."

It wasn't the first time many of the Sailors had volunteered with Habitat. Some had helped out at construction projects near their duty stations and were happy to volunteer again during Navy week.

"Working with Habitat for Humanity here in Des Moines is a fun thing to do, but it actually gives you good, heartfelt feeling about what you can do for a community to make people's lives better," said James Woods, retired Navy SEAL assigned to the Leap Frogs.

Des Moines Navy Week is one of 20 Navy weeks planned across the country in 2010. Navy weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.

Navy's Top Doctor Testifies Before Congress on Wounded Warrior Care

April 23, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy surgeon general testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense in Congress April 22 alongside the senior medical leaders in the Department of Defense.

Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr., along with the surgeons general of the Army and Air Force, and with Dr. Charles L. Rice, who is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, discussed the Defense Health Program budget and military healthcare programs for Wounded Warriors.

"The foundation of Navy Medicine is force health protection and nowhere is this more evident than in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Robinson, in his opening statement. "The Navy Medicine team is working side-by-side with Army and Air Force medical personnel and coalition forces to deliver outstanding health care to our troops and civilians alike."

In his statement, Robinson said that he saw challenges and opportunities over the past year and that he anticipates the pace of operations and demands to continue to increase. He acknowledged that Navy Medicine is responding to meet increasing operational and humanitarian assistance requirements, as well as maintain care to a growing number of beneficiaries at home.

Care for Wounded Warriors dominated the hearing and Robinson emphasized that this issue was one of the Navy's top priorities. Robinson emphasized the need to focus on advancements that have the most immediate and direct impact on the warfighter, to include mental health care for those Wounded Warriors who may be suffering from operational combat stress, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In recent years, Navy medical research has made many significant improvements in battlefield medical care. Some recent examples of innovations include improvements to wound management, heterotopic ossification, which is the process by which bone tissue forms outside of the skeleton, and diagnostic imaging of the flow of blood through specific areas of the body that have been wounded. These initiatives and others directly support Navy Medicine's top priorities.

"Research efforts targeted at wound management, including enhanced wound repair and reconstruction, as well as extremity and internal hemorrhage control, and phantom limb pain in amputees, present definitive benefits," said Robinson. "These efforts support our emerging expeditionary medical operations and aid in support to our Wounded Warriors."

Robinson told the committee members how he was working closely with his line counterparts in the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiments and the Navy's Safe Harbor program to support the full-spectrum recovery process for Sailors, Marines and their families.

"As our Wounded Warriors return from combat and begin the healing process, they deserve a seamless and comprehensive approach to their recovery," said Robinson. "We want them to mend in body, mind and spirit. Our patient and family-centered approach brings together medical treatment providers, social workers, case managers, behavioral health providers and chaplains."

Robinson also stated that the military must prepare to offer care to wounded service members for many years to come.

"Commitment to our Wounded Warriors and their families must never waver and our programs of support and hope must be built and sustained for the long-haul - and the long-haul is the rest of this century when the young Wounded Warriors of today mature into our aging heroes in the years to come," said Robinson. "They will need our care and support as will their families for a lifetime."