Military News

Monday, April 26, 2010

USS Constitution Sailors Teach Students Naval History

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kathryn Macdonald, USS Constitution Public Affairs

April 26, 2010 - WAUKEE, Iowa (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Constitution gave a naval history presentation to more than 450 students at Prairieview Middle School in Waukee, Iowa, April 22.

Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Savage, executive officer of USS Constitution, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Laura Worden, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Rob Rademaker, Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airmen Dylan Roberts and Fireman Esteban Quintero taught students about Constitution's 212 years of history. The event happened as part of Navy Week Des Moines, April 19-24.

"It was fun," said Rademaker. "The students seemed to really enjoy us being there."

Sailors talked about Constitution's construction, one of her most famous battles during the War of 1812 with HMS Guerriere and her status today.

"It was really interesting to learn the different facts about the ship that we didn't learn before, like how the ship came to be," said Gabby Magee, an eighth-grade student at Prairieview Middle School.

Sailors assigned to Constitution undergo 20 weeks of naval history training, along with additional weekly training. Due to their extensive knowledge, Savage, a Waukee native, specifically requested his Sailors provide naval history presentations at local schools during Navy Week Des Moines. Ultimately they gave six presentations at four different schools.

The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by showcasing the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Des Moines Navy Week showcases the mission, capabilities and achievements of the United States Navy and provides residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

USS Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She's is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Operation Iron Triangle

On May 9, 2006, Corey and his squad participated in Operation Iron Triangle, which took place in the dangerous Thar Thar region of Iraq. U.S. intelligence had confirmed that the area was 100% controlled by al Qaeda and was being used as a training camp. Corey and his squad were informed that the Rules of Engagement were to kill all military-aged males in the area. They were also told to expect heavy resistance because a Special Forces Unit had previously suffered casualties while in the area.

A Blackhawk helicopter dropped Corey’s squad off on an island consisting of two homes. The squad then approached one of the homes and discovered three military-aged males using two women as human shields. Corey’s squad handcuffed and detained the three men while the squad leader, Staff Sergeant Girouard, radioed Command to report the three detainees. The response was, “Why aren’t these terrorists dead yet?”

Girouard held a meeting of the entire squad. He then ordered Corey and another soldier, William Hunsaker, to kill the three detainees. Corey and Hunsaker were coincidentally the two lowest-ranked members of the squad.

Read On
http://www.coreyclagett.com/Operation_Iron_Triangle.html

B-1 adapts, remains effective after 25 years


by Janie Santos
Defense Media Activity-San Antonio

4/26/2010 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- The non-nuclear B-1 Lancer has adapted from a strategic mission to a close-air support role, and will continue to play an effective part in today's fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to leaders here.

While the remaining bombers in the Air Force inventory transferred to Air Force Global Strike Command, the B-1 has become the go-to airframe when combatant commanders want a show of force or support for ground troops.

"The predominance of what we are doing right now in theater is close-air support; non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and armed overwatch" said Col. Charlie Catoe, 7th Operations Group commander. "We are supporting the troops on the ground."

"The B-1's very flexible. What makes us very useful in the current fight is that we have a large payload, we can carry a varied amount of weapons," Colonel Catoe said. "If you need to go kinetic, you have a lot of choices on what you can do."

Operating at approximately 20,000 feet, the B-1 waits or "loiters" with up to 35 tons of precision-guided weapons. When ground troops encounter the enemy, the bomber's aircrew can engage in minutes because of the B-1's readiness and speed.

"We're fast for what you might think a bomber can do," the colonel said. "The loiter time is exceptional so we don't require as much tanker time to stay and hang around over the fight. Afghanistan is a good-sized country and we can dash back and forth across it as we need to, if somebody needs help in a hurry."

When the Lancer flies low and fast over enemy combatants in a show of force, the 200,000-pound aircraft can intimidate the enemy handily.

Since the airframe continues to play an important role, Air Force and Air Combat Command officials are looking at ways to improve the venerable B-1.

"We've been in constant upgrade on numerous systems; the airplane never sits still," Colonel Catoe said. "There are structural improvements that are going on as the airframe is not getting any younger."

Colonel Catoe said that the Sniper advanced targeting pod recently was added to the B-1 at the request of combatant commanders in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. It's another sensor that has improved the utility of the aircraft.

Now with this tool, it's not a matter of the pilot sending a precision weapon to an area; the Sniper ATP can enable the pilot to put the weapon at the correct address, Colonel Catoe said.

As the B-1 nears its 25th anniversary, a new chapter could be opening up for the bomber with an even more precise weapon, the airborne laser. The Air Force's chief scientist, Dr. Werner Dahm, flew on a Lancer recently to see if the crew could operate an airborne laser platform in the tightly spaced cockpit while continuing to do their duties. The laser is capable of precision targeting and minimizes unintended damage when the enemy places hostile networks near schools and mosques. The Lancer could be looking at a prototype laser by 2014.

"All of the new things that the B-1 is improving or changing are brought here to be tested and developed. And we also have the weapons school people who work the tactical end of it," Colonel Catoe said.

The "Home of the B-1" is how Colonel Catoe refers to Dyess Air Force Base as units here train, equip and field people and weapons for the B-1.

Dyess is host to a schoolhouse and a combat unit. School instructors train new pilots from undergraduate pilot training and weapon system officers from undergraduate navigator training and qualify them in the B-1. Then they are assigned to combat units at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., or here at Dyess.

"Whether flying or maintaining, or on the ground interacting with our Army brothers, there's an awful lot of great Airmen doing a great job," Colonel Catoe said.

Deployed wing 'Walks a Mile' for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

4/26/2010 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here participated in the "Walk A Mile In Their Shoes" in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month April, 19.

Signs with information on sexual assault were placed along the route while participants read them and walked in silence.

The event was organized by Capt. Richard Laca, the 380th AEW sexual assault response coordinator.

The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office is the department's single point of authority for sexual assault policy and provides oversight to ensure each of the service's programs complies with DOD policy, Captain Laca said.

SAPRO members, under the leadership of Director Kaye Whitley, continues to lead the department's effort to transform into action its commitment to sexual assault prevention and response. This level of commitment is necessary and must be supported by leaders at all levels. Leaders are charged with creating a climate of confidence and trust where everyone is afforded respect and dignity.

Since the beginning of its SAPRO program, the Air Force has made great strides in the different reporting options, as well as, created a climate of confidence in reporting, Captain Laca said Active and retired military members, civilians, contractors, dependent spouses (who do not fall under the intimate partner clause), and family members (age 18 and above) are eligible to report their sexual assault to the SARC. Their sexual assault could have happened either two minutes or twenty years ago. Reporting is the critical first step to being offered the variety of resources available to people who have experienced sexual violence.

The walking event helped raise awareness to more than 100 participants, Captain Laca said. That's good, he said, because sexual assault in all branches of the armed forces continues to be a problem. The Department of Defense's fiscal 2009 report on sexual assault in the military was released in March. There were a total of 3,230 reports of sexual assault involving military service members. Of these, 546 involved Air Force members. Of those cases, 300 were unrestricted reports involving an Airman as either the subject or victim. The remaining 246 cases were restricted reports made by the victims.

"Everyone from our wing commander to the airman basic, as well as, civilian employees and dependents, are highly encouraged to remain on alert and become a pro-active bystander who will report and prevent these types of unacceptable conduct and behavior at all times," Captain Laca said.

Italian navy, air force officials visit F-35 training wing

by Ashley M. Wright
96th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

4/26/2010 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Representatives from the Italian air force and navy visited the 33rd Fighter Wing here April 20 in an effort to check the progress of the first F-35 Lightning II integrated training center and learn more about this new coalition venture.

"Things are moving, and this program is becoming real," said Rear Admiral Paolo Treu, the Italian director of naval aviation department and commander of the Italian fleet air arm. "I'm grateful to Eglin (Air Force Base) for giving us this opportunity. A lot of work has been done. A lot of work has to be done."

Italy's military is one of several partner nations that will be training joint strike fighter pilots and maintainers at the 33rd FW.

"We are honored to host representatives from the Italian navy and air force," said Col. David Hlatky, the 33rd FW commander. "We are all on the same JSF team, and it's our privilege to share how the integrated training center is progressing. A lot of good things are coming together in the 33d Fighter Wing and the JSF program."

Admiral Treu said the timing of the visit serves two main purposes.

"(The visit) was a good opportunity to see a lot of the requirements for the joint strike fighter," he said. "The other reason is that we will be a part of the integrated training center."

The Italian military will send two F-35s to the center in 2014 and the country will receive its first 5th generation fighter in 2015, he said. The F-35 program is important to the Italian navy efforts to "maintain the capability of power projection from the sea to the ground."

"For the Italian navy, it is a crucial program because there is no replacement for the Harrier," Admiral Treu said. "In order to be useful in the international contest, you need to have the JSF. If you have the carrier, but you don't have the JSF, you could not be able, in the future, to be part of the initial strikes on enemy territory."

Admiral Treu and Brig. Gen. Roberto Nordio, the Italian air force logistic department chief, both expressed the importance of training with international partners.

"This melting pot of different cultures is very important because everybody has a different way of looking at business," Admiral Treu said. "It (puts) together the best practices of all the different countries in a synergistic way to increase our potential."

The training relationship between the United States and Italy stands on a solid foundation, General Nordio said.

"Starting from 1979, we (have) regularly sent pilots to Air Force facilities," the general said. "Our relationship is quite strong, and we really believe it is quite effective. The F-35 is a revolution in (the) air combat environment, (and) it will make our services more interoperable with other nations, especially the United States."

Italian air force officials plan to train some 180 pilots and about 1,800 maintainers from now through 2026, he said. Officials wish to send the first pilots and maintainers in 2013.

During their visit, the group received a 33rd FW mission brief and a tour of the construction site where students will study and train on the F-35.

Air Guard security forces at the top of their game


by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
National Guard Bureau

4/26/2010 - PHOENIX (AFNS) -- Air National Guard security forces are at the top of their game, their top officer said here April 21.

"We're better equipped, better trained, better (tasked) than we have ever been," said Col. John Wakefield at a conference of nearly 400 ANG security forces personnel.

Thousands of them have deployed overseas since 9/11, and currently there are few glitches in the mobilization process for the Air Guard's more than 8,400 security forces.

Colonel Wakefield said a large percentage of mobilizations have changed from voluntary in 2005 to primarily involuntary today.

Later this year, mobilization numbers will decrease to about 200 security forces personnel in two annual cycles and the number of deployment locations also will decrease from four to two: Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The mobilization numbers are going down, and we have more viable missions too because of our demonstrated capabilities," Colonel Wakefield said.

He added that dwell time, or length of time at home station between deployments, has remained at one year every five for ANG security forces, which is the proper ratio directed by the secretary of defense.

ANG security forces currently are conducting base support operations as part of their deployments, which is a good thing, he said.

"They want to remain 'in the mix'; they want viable missions," Colonel Wakefield said. "No longer are we just the base populous protectors."

Beginning in 2011, ANG security forces will begin to operate "outside the wire" in two countries under the new "integrated defense concept," he said.

The Airmen also have a number of security missions to volunteer for, including security service for detainee movement operations from Guantanamo Bay, the Phoenix Raven program that provides worldwide flight security details and protecting the Army Guard's agribusiness development teams in Afghanistan.

"Were engaged in all of the Air Force security missions, wherever they are needed," Colonel Wakefield said. "I am very proud of what they do."

As good as things are, officials said there are challenges in their home-station missions.

Bill Albro, the Air Guard's director of installations and mission support, said full-time security forces at Air Guard bases need more manpower.

The traditional Guard positions across the country are more than 100-percent manned, which is a recruiting and retention success story in itself, but a recent manpower validation study of their full-time forces reports a shortfall.

Mr. Albro said another challenge comes from the stresses of nine year's worth of deployments on personnel, families and employers.

Some security forces members have mobilized six times since 9/11, he said.

Many are employed full-time in civilian law enforcement.

Mr. Albro said that local and state budget situations have police forces manning at minimum levels, so the deployment of their National Guard officers puts an added stress on their communities.

The fact that 40 of the 80 assigned security forces at a base mobilize as a team with their leaders allows flexibility in choosing who goes and who stays, and that helps, Mr. Albro said.

"In general, the security forces mobilizations are going pretty good," he said.

Colonel Wakefield said he is also concerned about the level of full-time support at Air Guard bases.

The current full-time crew at stand-alone ANG bases around the country comprises 30 security personnel, including 18 Active Guard Reserve, or AGR, members and 12 civilian personnel, who provide installation security. Co-located wings only have three AGRs and three civilians, since the base host is responsible for overall security.

"But that only gives me a response capability," said Colonel Wakefield.

Air Guard security forces also are ramping up their homeland security missions, to enhance their capability in domestic operations, Colonel Wakefield said.

Reaching out to other specialties, the security forces Airmen gathered here this week for a combined civil engineer and security forces conference to discuss budgets, security operations, equipment, training, mobilizations and missions.

"These two groups make up the 'Go to War' deployable arm of (our directorate)," Colonel Wakefield said. "It was the first joint conference in our history and was heralded as an outstanding success."

Colonel Wakefield said in today's fiscally constrained world it was a "financially sound plan" to combine the two career fields for enhanced crosstalk and information sharing.

F-16 drawdown begins at Spangdahlem


by Senior Airman Kali L. Gradishar
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/26/2010 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Six F-16 Fighting Falcons are scheduled to depart here April 27 as the first step for the 52nd Fighter Wing staff in the Combat Air Force Restructuring plan expected to save the Air Force approximately $355 million in fiscal 2010 and $3.5 billion during the next five fiscal years.

An additional six aircraft are scheduled to depart the base April 30.

"The Combat Air Force Restructuring plan is an initiative to retire approximately 250 legacy fighters across the Air Force so we can use the savings from those retirements to reinvest; to build a capabilities-based bridge to our fifth generation fighter fleet," said Lt. Col. Aaron Piepkorn, the Spangdahlem Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century director and CAF Restructure project officer. "Basically, it takes the money and reinvests it back into fighters, bombers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, so they can upgrade their capabilities creating a smaller, more capable, more flexible, more lethal fighter force."

The CAF restructuring plan is intended to create a wave of savings in costs and manpower positions Air Force-wide.

The six aircraft are the first of 21 that are scheduled to depart the base. The remainder of the aircraft will depart in increments scheduled to be complete by the end of May as part of CAF restructuring. Twenty aircraft will transition to the 148th Fighter Wing with the Minnesota Air National Guard, while one F-16 will transfer to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The newer Block 50 F-16s departing Spangdahlem AB will replace older aircraft at these installations.

"The airplanes that are leaving here are not retiring; they're replacing older airplanes that will retire," Colonel Piepkorn said. "So while 250 airplanes will retire in fiscal year 2010, the aircraft were losing from Spangdahlem will not retire because they're some of the newer F-16 Block 50s the Air Force has."

Additional plans include the joining of the two F-16 squadrons.

As a result of the drawdown of F-16s, the 22nd and 23rd Fighter Squadrons will transition to a single, slightly larger squadron.

One proposal is to inactivate both the 22nd and 23rd Fighter squadrons and rename the single squadron in accordance with historical precedence, Colonel Piepkorn said.

To ensure the CAF restructuring initiative runs smoothly, a number of agencies on base have been working together to plan for the drawdown of aircraft and manning positions.

The staff at U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Air Staff have been very involved, Colonel Piepkorn said. "And here on base, it's been a variety of units to include the operations and maintenance groups getting the planes ready, as well as the manpower folks at the (52nd Force Support Squadron)."

Along with the reduction of aircraft, "approximately 500 manpower positions will be affected with military members either moving to another available position in the 52nd FW or relocating to another base. No U.S. or local national civilian positions will be reduced," said Capt. Erin Pinkston, the manpower and personnel flight commander.

Military members will depart when they were originally scheduled to, but there will be a reduced number of in-bound Airmen coming into the affected units during the next few years. This will enable the wing to meet the requirement to reduce manpower by approximately 500 positions, Captain Pinkston said.

Official Calls Wounded Warriors Report 'Unrepresentative'

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

April 26, 2010 - The focus of a New York Times article depicting neglect and suffering endured by a group of wounded soldiers recovering in an Army program is unrepresentative of the recovery effort at large, the Army surgeon general said today.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Eric B. Schoomaker stopped short of the calling the article that appeared yesterday inaccurate, but said the overwhelming majority of soldiers in warrior transition units are satisfied with the recovery regimen, according to an Army survey.

"I don't see them as necessarily crafting fiction," Schoomaker said to Pentagon reporters about the article. "But I do believe that it is wholly unrepresentative of the totality and the context of what we've done for warrior care, especially in the last three years."

Overall, 81 percent of participating soldiers are satisfied with the program, and about 90 percent of wounded soldiers recovering at Fort Carson, Colo. -- the focal point of the New York Times article -- are satisfied with their warrior transition unit according to the survey, Schoomaker said.

These figures paint a picture in stark contrast to the New York Times report, which the paper said was based on interviews with more than a dozen soldiers and health care professionals from Fort Carson's transition unit and reports from other Army posts. The article states that warrior transition units have become "warehouses of despair" for many soldiers.

The Army surgeon general took umbrage at this portrayal of warrior transition units -- which are responsible for some 9,300 soldiers -- calling it "a poor characterization" and "almost 180 degrees of the truth."

Schoomaker was asked specifically to comment on the report's description of the units as "warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of powerful prescription pills and treated harshly by noncommissioned officers."

"Of all of the descriptions in there, with the exception perhaps of the suffering that individual soldiers and families have had," he said, "that sentence alone is among the most offensive to us. And I think it wholly describes a situation that we feel is not present.

"We welcome you and any member of the press to go out and physically visit warrior transition units," he continued, "to talk with those soldiers, to talk with their cadre and to see the larger context of how care is being delivered."

The article raised concerns about the over-prescription of drugs by doctors and the abuse or misuse of both prescribed and illicit substances. A military official told reporters that 78 incidents of illegal drug use have been recorded at the Fort Carson warrior transition unit since 2008.

"We have concerns about the diversion of prescription drugs that can be used for recreational uses, just as in the nation at large," Schoomaker said. "That's a big problem right now across the country. We're also concerned because illegally obtained drugs can be used as complements to these other drugs."

Schoomaker said an inspection of warrior transition units by the Army inspector general will be completed soon, and Army Brig. Gen. Gary Cheek, commander of Warrior Transition Command, is slated to visit Fort Carson to review policies and practices of their warrior transition unit later this week.

"With 9,300 soldiers currently in the program, we don't always get it right," Schoomaker said. "To that end, we take every criticism and concern seriously and continuously strive to improve our program."

MILITARY CONTRACTS April 26, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

ConocoPhillips Co., Bartlesville, Okla., is being awarded a maximum $175,530,512 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other locations of performance are in Colorado and Kansas. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was 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-0478).

Equilon Enterprises, dba Shell Oil Products - Shell Mobile, Houston, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $195,168,989 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is Deer Park, Texas. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was 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-0469).

Calumet Sales Co., Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a maximum $132,208,000 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. The original proposal was 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-0466).

Placid Refining Co., LLC*, Port Allen, La., is being awarded a maximum $107,362,766 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. The original proposal was 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-0468).

Gary-Williams Energy Corp.*, Denver, Colo., is being awarded a maximum $105,637,244 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Oklahoma. Using service is Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was 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-0475).

Hunt Refining Co., Tuscaloosa, Ala., is being awarded a maximum $52,684,167 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. The original proposal was 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-0465).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ind. is being awarded a maximum $5,116,120 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, long-term contract delivery for tractor crawlers. Other location of performance is in Illinois. Using service is Navy. There were originally two proposals solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Jan. 30, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-01-D-0059-043).

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee/cost-plus-award-fee modification with a total value of $151,862,595 under contract HQ0276-10-C-0001. The modification will exercise options to provide system engineering, program management, and other efforts to complete the development and test of the Aegis BMD Baseline 4.0.1 weapon system and to conduct the installation, test, and checkout of the Aegis BMD Baseline 4.0.1 weapon system modifications aboard four Aegis cruisers or destroyers. The work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. The performance period for these options is from April 2010 through Dec. 31, 2013. Research, development, test and evaluation funding fiscal 2010 will be used to incrementally fund this effort in the amount of $9,950,000. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity (HQ0276).

NAVY

Engineering Management Concepts, dba Tetra Tech EMC, Camarillo, Calif., is being awarded a $17,690,714 cost-plus-fixed-fee indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide specialized engineering services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Range Department. Services to be provided include planning, test operational support, test support and coordination, and engineering analysis and reporting. Work will be performed in Camarillo, Calif., and is expected to be completed in April 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0037).

Harris Corp., Government Communications Systems Division, Melbourne, Fla., is being awarded a $6,196,501 firm-fixed-priced indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the full rate production and support of 63 tactical aircraft moving map capability digital map computers, 47 digital video map computers, and 41 extension housings in support of multiple aircraft platforms. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Fla., and is expected to be completed in April 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-D-0050).

Rolls Royce Engine Services-Oakland, Inc., Oakland, Calif., is being awarded a $6,189,471 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-09-D-0006) for the repairs of up to seven T56-A-427 Series IV engines for the E-2C and C-2 aircraft. Work will be performed in Oakland, Calif., and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

ARINC Engineering Services, Annapolis, Md., was awarded on April 22 a $13,733,424 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for logistics support and parts for the MI-17. Work is to be performed in Iraq, with an estimated completion date of March 2, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation and Missile Center, CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0028).

Lynn Thanks Vinson's Crew for Service, Adaptability


By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 26, 2010 - Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III today thanked the crew of the USS Carl Vinson for their efforts to rescue Haitian people following the earthquake there, actions he said demonstrated the adaptability that makes America's military the best in the world.

The ship arrived in Haiti soon after the January quake that killed more than 250,000 people. The ship brought food, water and hope to the beleaguered land.

Speaking to about 1,500 sailors in the aircraft carrier's cavernous hangar deck here, Lynn said that the 400-plus medical evacuation missions that Vinson helicopter crews flew in Haiti represent "at least 400 people who wouldn't have survived those events without your efforts."

"You all should be very proud of yourselves for the terrific effort," the deputy secretary added.

Lynn pointed out that the Vinson's response demonstrated what is best about the American military – the ability to adapt and plan on the fly.

"You didn't anticipate this particular operation," he said. "Of course, you're trained, and all that you have gone through prepared you for that, but it is the essence of good planning to execute the unanticipated with the kind of excellence that you showed."

Lynn noted that the mission to Haiti happened against the backdrop of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conflicts are stressing the forces and their families, he said, and he thanked the sailors and their loved ones for their staunch support. That support, he said, enables the sailors and their fellow servicemembers to excel.

"The world has never seen a military with the quality, excellence and grace that this military has," Lynn said.

The unanticipated will be the norm for the future, Lynn told the Vinson's crew.

"As we enter this next decade, we don't know what type of crises we'll face," he said. "We'll have to draw down our commitment in Iraq and turn that over to the Iraqis. We're going to have to change the momentum in Afghanistan and hopefully turn over security responsibilities to the Afghans.

"But we don't know what's next," he continued. "So we're counting on you to keep up the kind of work that you've been doing. Keep preparing for things that are unanticipated, just the way you did for the Haiti operation, so you remain the best of the best."

The deputy secretary re-enlisted a sailor and presented Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals to four members of the crew.

USS Constitution Helps Habitat for Humanity

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kathryn Macdonald, USS Constitution Public Affairs

April 26, 2010 - DES MOINES, Iowa (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Constitution volunteered at a Habitat for Humanity site in Des Moines, Iowa, April 21.

The event happened as part of Navy Week Des Moines, from April 19-24.

Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Savage, executive officer of USS Constitution, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Laura Worden, Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Rob Rademaker, Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airmen Dylan Roberts and Fireman Esteban Quintero performed restoration work on a Habitat for Humanity house.

Habitat for Humanity offers affordable homes to families who qualify.

"It's always good to give when you can," said Worden. "I feel rewarded by helping other people. You never know when you're going to be in a situation when you need help."

Sailors spent eight hours building a staircase to the basement, finishing walls and installing window wells.

"I've never really contributed to building a house before," said Worden. "It will be a good experience, and maybe I'll learn how to build my own house."

Kim Stangl, site manager, said the majority of work at Habitat for Humanity homes is done by volunteers, which cuts labor costs and makes homeownership more affordable.

To qualify for the program, depends on the level of the family's need, willingness to become a Habitat for Humanity partner and ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest loan.

"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. "Home ownership is an investment in my family's future."

The primary purpose of Navy Week is to increase Navy awareness by showcasing the Navy to Americans who live in cities that normally do not have a significant naval presence. Des Moines Navy Week showcases the mission, capabilities and achievements of the U.S. Navy and provides residents the opportunity to meet Sailors firsthand.

USS Constitution participates in more than 50 volunteer projects annually. Located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.

Better Prosthetics Coming for Wounded Warriors


Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 26, 2010 - From developing a new microprocessor-controlled prosthetic leg to a non-chafing socket device, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center at Fort Detrick, M.D. is making big strides in advancing prosthetic science to improve wounded warriors’ quality of life. The center, tucked away at this western Maryland post, reaches out to a broad spectrum of researchers at universities, hospitals, and small businesses to promote next-generation, cutting-edge prosthetic technologies.

“The objective is to help amputees and traumatically wounded servicemembers return to the highest level of functionality that they are capable of,” said Troy Turner, who manages the center’s advanced prosthetics and human performance portfolio.

“We do this with the understanding that it is really their initiative and their motivation that gets them there,” he said. “But we want to make sure that there is nothing we can do to help them get there that is left undone.”

One of the center’s biggest triumphs to date is the X2 microprocessor leg, developed by Otto Bock HealthCare with TATRC funding. The new “C-leg,” being tested by above-the-knee amputees at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, uses a microprocessor to control the knee’s hydraulic functions. This, in turn, gives the wearer more flexibility to change speeds or directions without sacrificing stability.

The device takes the advanced computerized leg to a new level, Turner explained, enabling users to walk backward or up and down ramps, and even to swim.

“In its latest iteration, somebody would actually be able to wear it water-skiing and even surfing, because of how weatherproof and amenable it is to hostile environments,” he said.

Focused primarily on the lower extremities – which Turner said account for 80 percent of wounded warriors’ limb losses – the center is funding a variety of research programs aimed at improving not just leg, but also knee, ankle and foot prostheses.

One promising program is aimed at developing a robotic ankle that will give users more flexibility to move over different types of terrain, with a motor that provides a “spring” after each step.

Other programs are tackling what Turner calls the biggest gap in prosthetic development: the socket itself.

The hard, plastic cups currently used as socket devices can be painful to wearers, chafing when the surrounding muscles swell or the wearer sweats. “Even the best-fitting socket can be painful,” Turner said.

No one-size-fits-all solution is available, because every limb is different. “So there is a universal problem, but the way it’s addressed has to be individually,” Turner said.

Along with the socket, researchers are exploring new liners and sleeves that provide a better, more comfortable fit for prosthetic devices. “Any time you are going to put a body part into a hard plastic cup and leave it all day, you are going to have chafing and swelling, and the introduction of moisture in there will cause additional friction,” Turner said.

Two promising research programs under way, one in Los Angeles and one in Boston, are exploring ways to provide more comfortable sockets that use breathable or wicking materials to prevent moisture buildup.

“Both of these projects, if successful, will result in sockets that are very nontraditional, and in some cases, don’t operate or even look like traditional sockets,” Turner said. Among concepts being explored is a socket that’s pliable and flexible when there’s no weight on it, but goes rigid to provide support when the wearer stands.

As the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center advances these technologies, Turner said, the ultimate goal is to provide comfortable, adaptable prosthetics that operate almost intuitively, recognizing what the user wants them to do and responding on cue.

“We want to try to create the capability of the device to behave the way the user wants it to behave, and to understand what the user wants it to do,” he said.

The center is exploring different approaches toward achieving what Turner calls “user intent control.” One involves putting a miniature sensor on the muscle or even injecting it directly into the muscle to pick up electrical signals and relay them directly to the prosthetic device. “If we are able to do that, we can tell that prosthetic device to do something,” Turner said.

“Achieving that is a matter of integrating all these capabilities [being developed] into a system and putting it all together,” he said. “And that’s a lot of our job – creating awareness and serving a little bit as an information clearinghouse to help bring it all together and help [researchers] understand what other people are doing.”

Bringing together a research community can add up to big promise for wounded warriors, he said. “If you put yours with theirs,” he said, “this one-plus-one could equal three.”

With a vast portfolio, and many research efforts under way simultaneously, Turner conceded that sometimes it seems “like we are going in a lot of directions.”

“But the thing that binds it all together is our mission of bringing together as much as possible – whatever revolutionary concepts and technology we can – to help the warfighter achieve the highest level of functionality possible,” he said. “Our goal is to help them come back to as close to a normal life as possible.”

Marine Sgt. Adam Kisielewski, who lost his left arm and his right leg from the knee down during an explosion at a booby-trapped school near Fallujah, Iraq, in August 2005, said he’s excited about the possibilities the center is opening up for him and his fellow wounded warriors.

Kisielewski served until recently as a project officer in the center’s prosthetics department, providing unique, personal insights into the projects under way.

“It’s great to provide input, to be able to get the broad picture of everything that is going on [in the research arena] and to see what is going to be available in the next couple of years,” he said.

“When I see some of the stuff coming out, I get really excited,” Kisielewski added. “It is going to do a lot to increase the standard of living that the guys are going to have when they come back from war with really serious wounds.”

Papa, Bravo, Romeo: The PBR Story


Dr. John Darrell Sherwood is a historian with the Naval History & Heritage Command and the author of four books on the Vietnam War.

April 26, 2010 - The iconic river craft of the Vietnam War was unquestionably the PBR—a boat made famous by the film Apocalypse Now (1979). The Navy employed the PBR (Patrol Boat River) to patrol the rivers and canals of South Vietnam and to search river traffic for insurgents, arms, and ammunition.

The PBR’s life began at Hatteras Yacht Company in North Carolina in 1965. Responding to a request for a small patrol boat, Hatteras proposed a 28-foot fiberglass hull powered by water-jet pumps. As opposed to propellers, water pumps would allow the new boat to operate in extremely shallow water. Enthusiastic about the proposal, the Bureau of Ships asked for a prototype that could not only achieve speeds of 25 to 30 knots and draw just nine inches of water, but also accommodate a crew of four along with extensive equipment and weaponry, including a twin .50-caliber machine gun in an armored turret forward and a .30-caliber gun (later replaced by a .50-caliber) aft.

Impressed with the prototype, the Navy requested 120 such boats in less than 6 months. United Boatbuilders of Washington State ultimately won the contract with the lowest bid. The eventual Mark-I design incorporated a 31-foot fiberglass cruiser hull along with a completely new, Navy-designed superstructure. Twin General Motors 216 horsepower diesel engines powered the boat’s water propulsion system. Fully loaded, the boat weighed 14,600 pounds and could reach speeds of up to 25.7 knots. The original boats cost just $75,000 each.

The beauty of the PBR design was its innovative application of commercial technology to a military role. The boat’s Styrofoam-filled fiberglass hull, for example, did not rust or corrode and was strong enough to withstand beaching. It was also easy to repair. Most remarkably, shaped warheads often did not trigger on it but rather went right through the boat without exploding because there was no solid target to detonate. The PBR’s water jet propulsion system allowed the boat to travel on virtually any waterway in the Mekong Delta and perform maneuvers impossible for traditional screw-driven boats. A PBR could run over a sandbar or beach itself on dry land and could stop or turn 180 degrees in its own length.

The PBR, however, was not immune to problems. Fully loaded, the Mark I PBR ultimately drew 22.5 inches of water—far more than the nine inches planners had originally requested. The Mark I boats deployed to Vietnam also never attained the trial speed of 25 knots. At the heart of the PBR’s speed shortfalls were the Jacuzzi pumps, which greatly reduced the efficiency of the GM engines—with screws instead of water jets the boat probably would have achieved speeds in excess of 40 knots.

Despite these issues, the PBR performed better than expected. Developed in urgency, the PBR proved a fierce warrior in combat, useful not only for river patrols but for interdicting Viet Cong river crossings and special operations. The most decorated Sailor in Navy history, Boatswain’s Mate First Class James Elliott Williams served on PBRs and the Navy’s River Patrol Force (Task Force 116) received Presidential Unit Citation for its role in interdicting enemy forces moving into the upper Mekong Delta from Cambodia in 1969.

Lynn to Visit Servicemembers, Talk with High-Tech Leaders

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 26, 2010 - Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III arrived here today to visit with servicemembers and discuss asymmetric threats to the United States during a three-day trip to California that also will include talks with top officials from high-tech companies.

Lynn said he expects to do as much listening as talking.

"I want to hear what they are saying and what they are thinking," he said. "All truth is not found in Washington," he added, with a smile.

Lynn will thank California-based military units for their efforts and sacrifices. The units he will visit all have seen recent deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, or, in the case of the USS Carl Vinson, to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response. The ship was one of the first to arrive after the magnitude 7 earthquake in January. Haitian officials believe the earthquake killed more than 250,000 people in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Lynn will speak to members of the helicopter squadrons who deployed aboard the USS Carl Vinson, one of the first ships on the scene in Haiti. The helicopters were employed to fly many people hurt in the quake to the Vinson and the hospital ship USNS Comfort for life-saving medical treatment. The Vinson was relocating from Norfolk to San Diego when the earthquake struck. The ship quickly embarked helicopter squadrons and made a beeline for Haiti.

The deputy secretary also is scheduled to visit nearby Camp Pendleton, where he will receive briefings on how the Marines there prepare for deployment – many Pendleton units will deploy to Afghanistan. Lynn also will meet with members of the 1st Marine Division. He said he particularly is looking forward to visiting the infantry immersion trainer that's on the base.

Lynn also will visit the Wounded Warrior Battalion and the new barracks constructed to house the Marines assigned to the unit. He specifically will look at facilities for servicemembers affected by "the signature wounds of these wars – traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress," he said.

Tomorrow, Lynn is scheduled to visit Vandenberg Air Force Base, where he will receive briefings on space operations at the base. "I need to understand what their capabilities are," he said. "It always helps to meet the people."

The deputy secretary then will move to Los Angeles, where he will address the World Affairs Council. He will discuss the strategy that President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have put into place, with a particular focus on the asymmetric threats facing the United States. These include threats in the cyber world, the threats posed by rogue states and missile proliferation, and the threats from terrorist groups who want to obtain nuclear technologies and materials.

On April 28, Lynn will move on to the San Francisco area, where he will meet with CEOs of high-tech companies in the region.

"I'll be visiting Facebook [headquarters] and talk with CEOs there," he said. "My focus will be cybersecurity and to get an industry, high-tech view of how they see the security challenge."

Lynn stressed that every meeting during the trip will be a conversation with all involved. "I certainly hope I learn more than I impart," he said.

He will return to Washington later this week.

Louisiana Guard Set to Lead New Haiti Mission

By Army Spc. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

April 26, 2010 - The Louisiana National Guard is scheduled to lead a "New Horizons" humanitarian assistance exercise in Haiti beginning June 1, U.S. Southern Command officials announced yesterday. "We are proud to have our National Guard step forward to be a part of this important recovery effort," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. "Louisiana received so much support from across the country and around the world after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we stand ready to lend that same assistance to other parts of the world in their times of need.

"These brave men and women know firsthand the type of hard work and perseverance it takes to recover from a disaster," he continued, "and I know that they will serve the people of Haiti well."

The exercise in Haiti will provide critically needed medical and engineering services to the country's capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding communities, such as Gonaives. The country was ravaged by an earthquake Jan. 12.

"In three months, we've planned a significant exercise in Haiti where there wasn't one previously," said Army Lt. Col. Scott Jonda, the exercises branch chief for the Army Guard's operations division. "Our engineer units will provide some ... new construction of schools and clinics, and there will be medical units that will go out and provide various medical tasks in the community."

Southcom officials said free medical care will be provided at various sites, and that U.S. military medical personnel will be stationed at each site for 10 days to provide general medical, dental and optometry services for about 700 people daily.

Engineering projects will include not only new construction at three schools, but also construction of a sports recreation area and water well improvements, Southcom officials said.

Army Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, Southcom's military deputy commander, said the humanitarian assistance mission in Haiti would consist of about 500 soldiers, led by the Louisiana National Guard.

"The Louisiana National Guard is excited about leading the New Horizons mission to Haiti," said Army Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, the state's adjutant general. "While our soldiers and airmen are very proud to join the relief effort, this mission [will] also be an excellent training opportunity for them."

Jonda said the Louisiana National Guard will provide the duration staff, while eight other states and one territory will contribute soldiers to this mission, including Missouri, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, California, Indiana, Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands. North Dakota, Indiana and Nevada will provide military police support. Nevada and Montana will provide aviation support, and South Dakota will provide engineering support.

New Horizons missions began in the mid-1980s as an annual series of joint and combined humanitarian assistance exercises that Southcom conducts with Latin American and Caribbean nations. The exercises typically last several months, providing medical and infrastructure projects. These missions give deployed U.S. military forces invaluable training opportunities to work with partner nations, Guard officials said.

The assistance from New Horizons adds to the more than $1.03 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance already provided to the Haitian people by the U.S. government since the devastating earthquake.

Supporting the National Guard and Reserve through the Yellow Ribbon Program

by: Glenn F. Welling, Jr.
Acting Executive Director, DoD Yellow Ribbon Program

April 26, 2010 - As April (Month of the Military Child) draws to a close, I’m reminded that we must continue to serve the needs of our military children throughout the year, especially Guard and Reserve children. I attended a U.S. Army Reserve Yellow Ribbon event earlier this month in St. Louis, and more than 70 kids participated. The children took part in fun, kid-friendly activities while their parents attended sessions on interpersonal relationships, stress management, and other reintegration issues. They also had a chance to talk one-on-one with financial counselors and other providers. I found the weekend to be very rewarding, and I hope that the soldiers and families who attended did to.

Without question, family readiness is an essential part of combat deployments. Several programs exist to help families and children cope with the lasting effects that deployments can have on family life. The DoD’s Yellow Ribbon Program is here to help children, families and service members before, during, and after deployments.

We hope that for as long as they are needed, Yellow Ribbon events will be a positive tradition for our National Guard and Reserve service members and loved ones, including kids.

We invite you to visit www.yellowribbon.mil to find a Yellow Ribbon event near you and connect with resources.

USS Shiloh, Lassen Renovate Primary School in India

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki, Commander Task Force 70 Public Affairs

April 26, 2010 - GOA, India (NNS) -- Sailors from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) painted class rooms at the Bhatikar Model English School in Goa, India, April 23.

Sailors from both ships hopped onto busses and made their way to the school where they painted classrooms and interacted with the school staff and students.

More than 40 Sailors attended the event and repainted four classrooms in a span of two hours.

"Many of the Sailors stepped off the ship only minutes after the brow set," said Lt. Michael Tagaloa, Shiloh's command chaplain. "Instead of rushing to go on liberty we had many Sailors rushing to go to the community service project. The Sailors love being able to reach out to the community and even in such a short time they learned a lot about the people and the culture. The Sailors worked hard, and they did a wonderful job."

The staff in attendance at the event included several teachers and the principal of the school.

"I must say that they are doing a wonderful job," said Revathy Kane, the headmistress of the Bhatikar Model English School. "I am so happy to see the Sailors doing the work sincerely and so systematically. I know that they didn't have any rest before coming here, and we greatly appreciate the help. I hope that if the Sailors come back that we can welcome them once again."

Shiloh and Lassen's visit is the first part of Exercise Malabar 2010, a bilateral exercise with the Indian Navy. As an important military exercise, Malabar helps the U.S. and Indian navies maintain a strong bond. Community service projects often help Sailors make that same bond with citizens out in the general population.

"We're here to show the people of India that we're here as friends," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Joshua Eddy, a Cleveland native and Lassen's community service coordinator. "Malabar might be an important event for our navies, but the most important thing is to build a bond of friendship with the people. Every time we go anywhere, community service projects provide Sailors a way to become friends with the people no matter what country we are in."

For some Sailors, the port visit is the first of many and a great opportunity to help people who are less fortunate.

"This is my first everything," said Serviceman Seaman Apprentice Takado Hunt, a Wichita, Kan., native assigned to Shiloh. "This is my first time being outside of the United States, first deployment, first port visit and first community service project, and it's been great so far. I joined the Navy to see the world and to help people so being able to do all of those things in one day. The only thing I can think of is how much of a blessing this experience has been."

Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and Shiloh is assigned to Commander Task Force 70 and both are forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Operating in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean, the U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, covering 48 million square miles and with approximately 60-70 ships, 200-300 aircraft, and 40,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any time.

ESG 5 Sailors Perform Community Service

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brianna K. Dandridge, Expeditionary Strike Group 5 Public Affairs

April 26, 2010 - MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Sailors from Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5 volunteered at the Regional Institute for Active Learning (RIAL) School, a school focused on providing education to children with learning disabilities in Manama, Bahrain, April 22.

"Seeing those smiling faces and letting the kids know that they are valuable is rewarding," said Chief Personnel Specialist Donnie Haynes. "As a parent, I enjoy being with the kids because my own family is so far away."

ESG 5 Sailors have visited the RIAL School five times in the past three months to volunteer time, donate toys and school supplies.

According to Capt. Joe Russell, ESG 5's chief of staff, the school is a very worthwhile project and the command will continue to support the needs of RIAL.

"Being able to spend time with kids that are close to the age of my boys makes home seem a little closer," said Russell. "It was a phenomenal experience."

Several members of the staff have become regular volunteers for the school, enabling them to get to form relationships with the students.

"Members of the command have an ongoing relationship with the school," said Haynes. "The interaction is beneficial for both the Sailors and RIAL School students."

"The U.S. Navy has been very generous to the school," said Christine Gordon, director of RIAL School. "The Sailors are helping me fulfill my wish list for the school."

The RIAL School is a nonprofit special needs school and houses approximately 100 students of varying educational and physical abilities.

ESG 5 was re-established in November 2009 to support amphibious forces deployed to the region, mine warfare, contingency response missions and maritime humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.