Military News

Monday, May 03, 2010

Gates: Sea Services Must Question Embedded Thinking

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 3, 2010 - The Navy and Marine Corps are going to have to question some embedded thinking, such as whether the Navy needs 11 carrier battle groups or whether the Marines ever will launch another amphibious landing, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today. Gates spoke at the Navy League's annual Sea-Air-Space Convention at the Gaylord National Convention Center.

The world is changing, and the sea services must be on the leading edges of those changes, Gates said to an auditorium full of Navy and Marine Corps officers and defense contractors that was just a bit smaller than an aircraft carrier's hangar deck.

Gates made a case for examining the bedrocks of naval strategy, noting that carrier battle groups have been the Navy's main fleet formation since 1942.

"Our current plan is to have eleven carrier strike groups through 2040," Gates said. But a look at the facts is warranted, he added. The United States now has 11 large, nuclear-powered carriers, and there is nothing comparable anywhere else in the world. "The U.S. Navy has 10 large-deck amphibious ships that can operate as sea bases for helicopters and vertical-takeoff jets," he said. "No other navy has more than three, and all of those navies belong to allies or friends."

The U.S. Navy can carry twice as many aircraft at sea as the rest of the world combined, Gates said. Under the sea, he told the group, the United States has 57 nuclear-powered attack and cruise-missile submarines – more than the rest of the world combined, and 79 Aegis-equipped surface ships that carry about 8,000 vertical-launch missile cells.

"In terms of total-missile firepower, the U.S. arguably outmatches the next 20 largest navies," Gates said. "All told, the displacement of the U.S. battle fleet – a proxy for overall fleet capabilities – exceeds, by one recent estimate, at least the next 13 navies combined, of which 11 are our allies or partners."

The United States must be able to project power overseas, Gates said. "But, consider the massive overmatch the U.S. already enjoys," he added. "Consider, too, the growing anti-ship capabilities of adversaries. Do we really need 11 carrier strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?"

The Marine Corps is now 202,000 strong. It is the largest force of its type in the world, and exceeds in size most nations' armies. Between the world wars, the Marine Corps developed amphibious warfare doctrine and used it to great effect against the Japanese during World War II. Whether that capability still is needed, however, is worthy of thought, the secretary said.

"We have to take a hard look at where it would be necessary or sensible to launch another major amphibious landing again – especially as advances in anti-ship systems keep pushing the potential launch point further from shore," Gates said. "On a more basic level, in the 21st century, what kind of amphibious capability do we really need to deal with the most likely scenarios, and then how much?"

The sea services must be designed to meet new challenges, new technologies and new missions, Gates said.

Nations and terror groups are not going to challenge the conventional might of the United States, he noted. Rather, they are working on asymmetric ways to thwart the reach and striking power of the U.S. battle fleet.

"At the low end, Hezbollah, a non-state actor, used anti-ship missiles against the Israeli navy in 2006," Gates said. "And Iran is combining ballistic and cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, mines, and swarming speedboats in order to challenge our naval power in that region."

A bit farther up the scale, the virtual monopoly the United States has had with precision-guided weapons is eroding, the secretary said, especially with long-range, accurate anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles that can potentially strike from over the horizon.

"This is a particular concern with aircraft carriers and other large, multi-billion-dollar blue-water surface combatants, where, for example, a Ford-class carrier plus its full complement of the latest aircraft would represent potentially $15 billion to $20 billion worth of hardware at risk," Gates said. "The U.S. will also face increasingly sophisticated underwater combat systems – including numbers of stealthy subs – all of which could end the operational sanctuary our Navy has enjoyed in the Western Pacific for the better part of six decades."

The sea services already are addressing many of the challenges of the 21st century, the secretary said. The Navy, for example, is building partnership capacity through the Africa Partnership Station in the Gulf of Guinea. Sailors are training with friends and allies to secure vital shipping lanes in Southeast Asia. Seabees and other sailors are digging wells and building schools in Djibouti. Naval officers lead the multinational efforts to counter the piracy around the Horn of Africa. Naval doctors, nurses and corpsmen that treated those injured in the Haitian earthquake and sailors also are helping with crises like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Gates said.

"Then, there are the wars," he said. "With roughly 25 ships – and more than 20,000 sailors – in the [U.S. Central Command] area of operations, there is no doubt that this is a Navy at war."

Tens of thousands of sailors also have served on the ground alongside soldiers and Marines. The sailors serve on provincial reconstruction teams, as finance clerks, on riverine crews, as Seabees, as SEALs and as medical corpsmen. "These men and women are vital to the mission and helping to ease the strain on our ground forces – and doing so without fail and without complaint," Gates said.

The secretary said the Marines have been "game-changers" in Iraq, and now in Afghanistan. "In March, I had a chance to meet with Marines at the tip of the spear in a town called Now Zad – a place that had been, for nearly four years, a ghost town under the jackboot of the Taliban," Gates said. "Then came a battalion of Marines, who, after months of hard work and sacrifice, have slowly brought the town back to life – creating a model for operations elsewhere."

The military needs more innovative strategies and joint approaches, the secretary said. He called the agreement by the Navy and Air Force to develop an Air-Sea Battle Concept encouraging. It has "the potential to do for America's military deterrent power at the beginning of the 21st century what Air-Land Battle did near the end of the 20th," he said.

But the military also must shift investments toward systems that provide the ability to see and strike deep along the full spectrum of conflict, Gates said.

"This means, among other things, extending the range at which U.S. naval forces can fight, refuel, and strike, with more resources devoted to long-range unmanned aircraft and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities," he explained.

It also means new sea-based missile defenses and a submarine force with expanded roles that is prepared to conduct more missions deep inside an enemy's battle network. "We will also have to increase submarine strike capability and look at smaller and unmanned underwater platforms," Gates said.

The secretary acknowledged talk that his push to rebalance the force to provide more resources to fight today's wars has gone too far.

"In reality," he said, "in this fiscal year, the Department of Defense requested nearly $190 billion for total procurement, research, and development – an almost 90 percent increase over the last decade. At most, 10 percent of that $190 billion is dedicated exclusively to equipment optimized for counterinsurgency, security assistance, humanitarian operations or other so-called low-end capabilities.

"In these last two budget cycles," Gates continued, "I have directed a needed and noticeable shift – but hardly a dramatic one, especially in light of the significant naval overmatch."

Resource discussions always foster debates about gaps in military capabilities, Gates said, and the solution usually offered is "either more of what we already have or modernized versions of pre-existing capabilities."

"This approach ignores the fact that we face diverse adversaries with finite resources that consequently force them to come at the U.S. in unconventional and innovative ways," he continued. "The more relevant gap we risk creating is one between the capabilities we are pursuing and those that are actually needed in the real world of tomorrow."

Gates said the sea services must remember that as the wars draw down, money will be required to reset the Army and Marine Corps – the services that have borne the brunt of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"And there will continue to be long-term – and inviolable – costs associated with taking care of our troops and their families," he said. "In other words, I do not foresee any significant top-line increases in the shipbuilding budget beyond current assumptions. At the end of the day, we have to ask whether the nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 [billion] to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines, and $11 billion carriers."

U.S. Declassifies Nuclear Stockpile Details to Promote Transparency

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 3, 2010 - The United States released newly declassified details about its nuclear stockpile today, including significant progress made in dismantling warheads, in an effort to promote transparency and help stem nuclear proliferation.

The United States had 5,113 warheads in its nuclear weapons stockpile as of Sept. 30, a senior defense official told reporters today on background.

That represents an 84 percent reduction from the end of fiscal 1967, when the U.S. nuclear arsenal was its largest, with 31,255 warheads, the official said. The current stockpile is 75 percent lower than when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, and the United States had 22,217 warheads.

The United States is making continued progress in dismantling nuclear warheads: with 8,748 dismantled between fiscal years 1994 and 2009 and several thousand more currently retired and awaiting dismantlement, the official noted. Meanwhile, the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal dropped about 90 percent from Sept. 30, 1991, to Sept. 30, 2009.

"For those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the U.N. conference on the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty today in New York. "And they send a clear, unmistakable message." A senior defense official expressed hope that it would set a standard for the rest of the world, including China, to be more transparent about their nuclear weapons programs.

Clinton said the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, once approved, will further limit the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by both countries to levels not seen since the 1950s.

Clinton also noted that the new Nuclear Posture Review, released in April, rules out the development of new U.S. nuclear weapons and new missions and capabilities for existing weapons. It also prohibits the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are parties to the NPT and comply with its nonproliferation obligations.

President Barack Obama has made reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear materials a central mission of U.S. foreign policy, Clinton told the conference.

"I represent a president and a country committed to a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and to taking the concrete steps necessary that will help us get there," she said. "And, along with my delegation, I come to this conference with sincere and serous proposals to advance the fundamental aims of the NPT and strengthen the global nonproliferation regime."

Although most nations live up to their nonproliferation responsibilities, Clinton said Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions put the entire world at risk and urged the international community to hold it accountable.

She called out Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for spewing "the same tired, false and sometimes wild accusations" against the United States and other nations during his address to the assembly earlier today. "Iran will do whatever it can to divert attention away from its own record and ... attempt to evade accountability," she said.

Clinton urged Iran to join with other countries represented at the conference to "fulfill our international obligations and work toward the goal of a safer world."

"When President Obama came into office, he recognized that the greatest potential danger facing the United States comes from a terrorist group like al-Qaida obtaining a crude nuclear device, not from a global nuclear war," she said. "The threats of the 21st century cannot be addressed with a massive nuclear stockpile. So we are taking irreversible, transparent, verifiable steps to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our arsenal."

But in the meantime, Clinton emphasized that the United States won't eliminate all its nuclear weapons until it's safe to do so. "The United States will maintain a nuclear deterrent for as long as nuclear weapons exist, one that can protect our country and our allies," she said.

The U.S. nuclear stockpile includes both active and inactive warheads, defense officials explained. Active warheads include strategic and non-strategic weapons maintained in an operational, ready-for-use configuration, warheads that must be ready for possible deployment within a short timeframe, and logistics spares.

Inactive warheads are maintained in a non-operational status at depots, and have their tritium bottles removed.

Obama Presents Navy With Seventh Trophy

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

May 3, 2010 - President Barack Obama presented the Naval Academy football team with its seventh straight Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in the White House Rose Garden this afternoon. The trophy is awarded each year to the winner of the college football series among the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

"Does this ever get old?" Obama joked. "According to the 22nd Amendment, you're only allowed to come back here one more time before it's somebody else's turn."

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler also were on hand for the event, as well as the academy's first African-American graduate, Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Brown from the class of 1949.

Noting that Navy has been in a college bowl game every year since 2003, Obama said, "I know it's an understatement to say this program has been pretty successful."

Obama congratulated the team and singled out Quarterback Ricky Dobb for setting the NCAA rushing record for touchdowns with 27.

"In the end, it's the willingness to put others above yourselves that sets this team -- and all the service academies -- apart," Obama said. "Your days are packed with morning inspections and a full load of classes, football practice and military duties. And oftentimes, you're lucky if you can get a few minutes to yourselves before studying into the night. But you do it because each of you has a higher calling -- to serve your country in a time of war."

In a few short weeks, Obama said, 32 of the players will become Naval or Marine Corps officers. "Wherever you go, you'll remember the brothers standing with you today. And you'll remember the lessons that you learned at the academy and as a member of this team. And you'll know what it takes to go through fire and emerge a better man and a better leader.

"So I want you to know that I have no greater honor, and no greater responsibility, than serving as your commander in chief," he continued. "And I promise you that this country will stand with you, from the moment you put on the uniform to the moment you take it off, as you devote your lives to freedom's cause."

Top Navy Officer Describes Navy's Busy Pace, Emphasizes Affordability

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

May 3, 2010 -WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead said the Navy's pace of operations remains busy due to global demands, and emphasized the importance of improving affordability during the Service Chiefs' Panel at the Navy League Sea Air Space 2010 Exposition in National Harbor, Md. May 3.

Roughead told audience members that he expects current multinational counter-piracy missions to continue, and pointed out the Navy's role at the forefront of ballistic missile defense in highlighting the Navy's versatility in global operations.

"Even as we're engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan, we continue our normal activity, our normal presence, our normal assurance [and] deterrence in so many other places around the world," Roughead said. "Whether it's the Indian Ocean, the Western Pacific, Africa or South America, we continue to keep watch in those areas."

Roughead, the Navy's 29th CNO, joined the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James T. Conway and the Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen to address attendees of the exposition and discuss "Seapower and America's Security."

Roughead told the audience that in the face of future fiscal pressures and an industrial base that has "changed markedly since the last pressurization within the Defense Department," controlling costs will become increasingly important.

"We need to look at every way to improve affordability. Common hulls, common components, open architecture are key," said Roughead.

The Navy is focused on the "ability to fight the fights that we find ourselves in today," even as it develops future capabilities in programs such as the Littoral Combat Ship, the Joint High Speed Vessel, unmanned vehicles and in the cyber technology. According to Roughead, and affordability is central to developing those future capabilities.

"There's no question that in the coming years we will have to look extraordinarily hard at costs, not just procurement costs, but the issue of total ownership cost will continue to be foremost in my mind," said Roughead.

Prior to the panel, CNO helped kick off the event by attending the opening ceremony and being part of the ceremonial ribbon cutting, marking the official opening of the exposition.

San Diego County Girl Scouts Give 1.6 Million Cookies for Operation Thin Mint

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Marie A. Montez

May 3, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Girl Scouts San Diego-Imperial Council honored their top cookie sellers for Operation Thin Mint (OTM), aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41), May 1.

The girls were given the opportunity to see a Coast Guard helicopter take the cookies from the flight deck of the carrier and off to the troops.

"This is so neat," said Gabby Gutierrez, age 10, of Junior Troop #5325. "I am glad that me and my friends could watch this together."

Among the top sellers were Madison Perno, age 12, of Cadet Troop 8432, selling 3,967 boxes and Gabriela Setting, age 6, of Daisy Troop 6226 selling 1,549 more boxes for OTM.

Operation Thin Mint began in 2002 just after the September 11 devastation. Girl Scouts worldwide stepped up to the plate to show their gratitude to the troops in serving throughout the world by sending "a taste of home and a note to show they care." The girl scouts have followed this motto ever since.

To symbolize OTM and how the cookies are transported from the council to the troops, a Coast Guard helicopter co-piloted by former girl scout Lt j.g. Amanda Sardone lifted a pallet of cookies off the flight deck of Midway and carried it away to the troops.

After the cookies were flown off the deck, the girl scouts and their leaders took self guided tours throughout the Midway and experienced the history of the carrier and the Navy.

"I never had an opportunity like this when I was a little girl," said Carmen Gutierrez, junior troop leader for Troop #5325. "I'm happy my daughter can experience this and appreciate our Navy."

Airmen deploy to Hungary for bilateral training exercise

by Staff Sgt. Tina Maddock
Ohio Air National Guard Public Affairs

5/3/2010 - KECSKEMET, Hungary (AFNS) -- Approximately 100 members of the Ohio Air National Guard's 178th Fighter Wing from Springfield, Ohio, arrived here April 22 through 27 in support of the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010.

This is a joint exercise with the Hungarian Joint Force Command. The exercise aims to sharpen the combat capabilities of the participating forces.

Air Force pilots and Hungarian air force pilots are training together in air-to-air combat scenarios using the Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, Hungarian air force JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-29 Fulcrum and the Mi-24 Hind aircraft.

"It is one of the few training opportunities (the Hungarian air force) have to fly against a larger formation," said Lt. Col. Nathan Thomas, the exercise's project officer. "It is to help improve their skills and a way to improve ours."

U.S. Air Force and Hungarian air force pilots are working with the Hungarian joint terminal air controllers to direct aircraft against simulated ground targets, Colonel Thomas said. The Hungarian JTACs were trained in the United States.

The Hungarian Mi-24 helicopters are working with the U.S. and Hungarian airmen to conduct ground-base air defense exercises, Colonel Thomas said.

In addition to practicing air combat maneuvers against the F-16, Hungarian airmen are training to work with the F-16. Airmen from the 178th FW are educating aircraft maintainers from the Hungarian air force on F-16 maintenance operation.\

The exercise is scheduled to last two weeks.

Airmen, soldiers continue tradition of joint operations training

by Ryan Mattox
oint Hometown News Service

5/3/2010 - POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) -- Airmen from here and Soldiers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division at nearby Fort Bragg joined forces April 26 to 29 to demonstrate to each other and master the capabilities their service can provide and help each branch achieve its objectives in a combat or humanitarian environment.

This four-day joint exercise, known as Joint Forcible Entry, is conducted quarterly and offers Airmen and Soldiers at this centrally located area the opportunity to practice how they can come together and operate in a joint environment.

This means two things. For the Air Force, it's about moving large amounts of equipment and large numbers of people from one location to another anywhere in the world in a moment's notice and securing a runway for future use. For the Army, it's about mastering their ability to take an airfield or airport in another country and make it usable by the Air Force and other U.S. forces during contingency operations.

Since Fort Bragg and Pope AFB are located next to each other, this makes their location ideal for Airmen and Soldiers to train and prepare for any future joint operations.

In fact, some say it is the type of training being conducted during this exercise that made humanitarian relief operations performed this past winter in Haiti operate smoothly.

"My first operational mission was Haiti," said 1st Lt. Steven Parsons, a pilot with the 2nd Airlift Squadron at Pope AFB. "I was tasked to fly operations in response to the earthquake in Haiti a day after it happened. We airlifted food, water, communication equipment, water purification equipment, and we returned with 10 patients back to the States."

However, Lieutenant Parsons credits exercises like JFEX with teaching Airmen and Soldiers the operations tempo needed to move equipment and servicemembers quickly to any place around the world and deal with situations similar to those in Haiti.

"I'm here to support the airlift mission requirements, from dropping paratroopers from Fort Bragg to last minute requests from higher headquarters. We are ready to go because of the preparation done here," Lieutenant Parsons said.

For those Airmen working flightline operations or working with aircraft during JFEX, their portion of the exercise is this: how to move a very large unit like their Army neighbors, the 82nd Airborne Division, all at once.

"The objective is to provide the aircrews with quality aircraft to fly their training missions," said 1st Lt. Jose Perez, an aircraft maintenance officer with the 2nd Airlift Squadron. "We take these aircraft and help the Army achieve its objective by getting them to their destination. This exercise forces you to continually think outside the box and multitask. You learn to balance and accomplish multiple assignments and issues that are impeding the mission. This exercise really does a good job preparing you to deploy."

For the Army's side of the exercise, it's about taking an airfield or airport. This means Army leaders need aircraft to move paratroopers and equipment as quickly as possible to any place in the world. Once over their target, Army paratroopers jump to a destination below them.

"Seizing control of an airfield is a very complex operation, which requires several units with far-ranging capabilities," said Army 1st Lt. Jason Jones, company executive officer with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg. "For our unit, we learn to quickly assemble as a company and destroy any enemy in a specific location to prevent them from affecting airfield operation and keep delivery of supplies coming into that particular location."

The "seizing control of the airfield" portion of this exercise entails soldiers and airmen conducting nighttime air drops. During the jump, more than 800 soldiers parachuted over their landing zone to "take an enemy airfield," and completed their mission and the exercise with an 11-mile march back to a predetermined area on Fort Bragg.

Military Supports Federal Oil Spill Response

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

May 3, 2010 - After flying over a massive oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today reiterated the Defense Department's commitment to work hand-in-glove with other U.S. agencies to reduce the slick's environmental impact.

"It's a tragic event that we're all focused on, and there's an awful lot of effort on the part of the entire government to mitigate this as quickly as we possibly can," Mullen said during a podcast interview to be posted on the Defense Department Web site.

Mullen noted the military's support role, being coordinated through U.S. Northern Command in support of the Department of Homeland Security, which has the lead for the federal response.

An Air Force Reserve C-130H aircraft conducted an aerial spraying mission this weekend to help disperse the oil, but weather prevented a second C-130H deployed to the region from spraying, Northcom spokesman John Cornelio told American Forces Press Service.

Both aircraft are expected to resume spraying missions as the weather clears, and when results of tests being conducted to assess the subsurface dispersant activity are completed, Cornelio said.

The aircraft, assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing's 757th Airlift Squadron at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Ohio, are equipped with Modular Aerial Spray Systems. They can fly up to three flights a day, as needed to support operations, Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said.

In addition, nearly 600 Louisiana National Guard troops have been called to federal active duty to support the mission, with up to 5,400 more to mobilize as needed, based on Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' approval of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's request last week. Jindal requested as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to add security, medical support, engineers, communications capability and cleanup crews to the oil slick containment effort.

The Guardsmen will serve under Title 32 authority, meaning they'll serve under state control, but are funded through the federal government, Lapan explained.

Meanwhile, the onsite incident coordinator, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, is reviewing similar requests from the governors of neighboring Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to mobilize their Guard forces under Title 32 authority, Lapan said.

Meanwhile, as the oil slick moves landward, the Navy has positioned equipment aimed at reducing the slick's impact on Gulf Coast beaches and critical wetlands. The Navy dispatched 66,000 feet of inflatable oil boom with anchoring equipment, along with seven skimming systems and supporting gear to the region, along with 50 civilian contractors to operate and maintain it, reported Navy spokesman Lt. Myers Vasquez.

Workers at a staging area at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., also set out booms to help protect the shoreline and eco-system in the Pensacola area from the spill, reported Navy Lt. Michael Frost, the station's port operations officer.

Naval Air Station Pensacola is one of seven staging areas that have been set up from Louisiana to Florida to protect sensitive shorelines, Frost said. Other staging areas are in Biloxi and Pascagoula, Miss.; Venice, Port Fourchon and Port Sulphur, La.; and Theodore, Ala.

Nuclear Stockpile Fact Sheet Available

May 3, 2010 - "Increasing Transparency in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile" fact sheet is now available on Defense.Gov .

The recently declassified information on the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is being made publically available for the first time. The declassification of the data was approved by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

The fact sheet is available at:

National Guard Supports Oil Spill Response

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau

May 3, 2010 - National Guard soldiers and airmen are on the ground in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida supporting civilian authorities tackling the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.

"We're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster," President Barack Obama said during a Gulf Coast visit yesterday. "The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf States, and it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home."

The Louisiana National Guard will assist local communities in the cleanup and removal of oil and protect critical habitats from contamination, according to a news release.

In Alabama, troops from the 711th Bridge Support Battalion were out yesterday placing barriers around Dauphin Island, according to Gov. Bob Riley's office. The barriers are filled with a chemical compound that solidifies if oil seeps into them. The solidified material can be removed, disposed of safely and replaced as necessary, officials said.

Florida sent Guard members to a unified command center in Alabama and to its own emergency operations center in Tallahassee.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour ordered his state's National Guard to aid local officials with emergency response.

By this morning, more than 1,800 National Guard troops had been placed on Title 32 status to assist in Louisiana. Among other duties, the Guard members are providing command and control and sandbagging support to St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, Guard officials reported.

The Guard is expected to provide security, medical capabilities, engineers, communications support and clean-up, a spokesman for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told reporters. Boats, all-terrain vehicles, dump trucks, security vehicles and communications equipment are among Guard resources deploying to the affected area.

The National Guard is supporting what the president characterized as "an all-hands-on-deck, relentless response to this crisis."

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen is serving as the national incident commander for the response.

Jindal requested federal funding April 29 to pay for up to 6,000 National Guard troops to assist. Pentagon approval came late the next day, though Defense Department officials noted that the governor could deploy his Guard at any time.

"Governor Jindal has the authority vested in him to deploy his National Guard forces in the event of an emergency and can do so at a time of his choosing," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

A Defense Department spokesman today confirmed that Alabama, Florida and Mississippi have filed similar requests for a federal mobilization of the Guard.



CACI-WGI Inc., Chantilly, Va.; SRA International, Inc., Fairfax, Va.; Jacobs Technology, Inc., Tampa, Fla.; and Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va., were awarded Global Battlestaff and Program Support Services (GBPS) contracts on April 30. The contracts are indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity with a $2,500 minimum guarantee per prime contract award and a $1.5 billion maximum ceiling. Under the GBPS contracts, the contractors will provide all personnel, equipment, tools, materials, supervision, and other items necessary to perform the services and provide support to all mission areas of USSOCOM as specified in the performance work statement and ordered under individual task orders. The objective of this contract action is to acquire global, non-personal services unique to special operation forces, and expertise to provide intellectual capital to assist with day-to-day business operations. In addition, the contractors shall provide subject matter expertise in areas of, but not limited to: time sensitive planning; interagency support; intelligence operations; military planning; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program analysis; biometrics, socio-cultural analysis, geospatial analysis, signals intelligence, and human terrain initiatives with ISR support; administrative support; public affairs; training; accounting; budgeting; joint planning, budget and resource management; readiness planning and reporting; personnel reporting; acquisition and life cycle program management; procurement support; engineering support including research, development, science, technology, and systems engineering; graphics support and other business for USSOCOM. The anticipated period of performance is a three-year base period with one two-year option period, for a total contract period of performance not to exceed five years. The place of performance is multiple locations in the United States and overseas. USSOCOM is the contracting activity. The contract numbers are H92222-10-D-0016, H92222-10-D-0017, H92222-10-D-0018, and H92222-10-D-0019.


Navistar Defense, LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $102,324,363 firm-fixed- priced delivery order #0013 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of various kits and parts for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Parts include 937 gunner restraints; 3,251 120V wiring harnesses; 5,716 air conditioning circulation switches; 5,722 rear ramp hydraulics, rear ramp hydraulic - non-reoccurring equipment (NRE); 3,251 rear ramp storage; 2,630 fire support systems kits, fire support systems kits - NRE; and 822 heating, ventilation, and air conditioning kits. The objective of these vehicle systems is to support operations in Afghanistan. Work will be performed in West Point, Miss., and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $102,324,363 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5032).

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $91,300,000 firm-fixed-price not-to-exceed modification to a previously awarded contract for advance procurement of the consolidated bill of material and associated labor to support beryllium oxide resistors, phase shifters, surface mount work center production and engineering services support of production of the DDG 114 and 115 Aegis weapon system. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. (85 percent), and Clearwater, Fla. (15 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-5110).

Research and Engineering Development, Inc.*, Lexington Park, Md., is being awarded a $49,712,139 cost-plus-fixed-fee indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide acquisition, engineering, analysis, development, and integration services in support of irregular warfare efforts sponsored by the Naval Air Systems Command's Human Systems Department (AIR-4.6). The estimated level of effort for this contract is 237,720 man-hours. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md. (80 percent), Fallon, Nev. (10 percent), and various locations outside the United States (10 percent). Work is expected to be completed in May 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-10-D-0001).

Heco Pacific Manufacturing*, Union City, Calif.; American Equipment, Inc.*, Salt Lake City, Utah; Advanced Crane Technologies, LLC*, Reading, Pa.; American Monorail of California*, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Crane Technologies Group, Inc.*, Rochester Hills, Mich.; and American Crane & Equipment Corp.*, Douglassville, Pa., are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for ordering new and overhauling existing weight handling equipment located primarily within Navy, Marine Corp, and other federal activities worldwide. The maximum dollar value, including the base period and four option years, for all six contracts combined, is $30,000,000. Work will be performed at Navy, Marine Corps, and other federal activities worldwide, including work on existing or installation of new weight handling equipment. Manufacturing or crane fabrication includes sites in California (30 percent), Pennsylvania (30 percent), Utah (20 percent), and Michigan (20 percent). Work is expected to be completed by May 2015. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site with 10 proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Navy Crane Center, Portsmouth, Va., is the contracting activity (N62470-10-D-8000/8001/8002/8003/8004/8005).

Barbour Well, Inc., Henderson, Nev., is being awarded a $28,315,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the drilling of geothermal test holes. Efforts under this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award will obtain geophysical data for determining potential geothermal resources. Work will be performed in Fallon, Nev. (50 percent), El Centro, Calif. (18 percent); Twentynine Palms, Calif. (16 percent), and the Hawthorne Army Depot, Hawthorne, Nev. (16 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $12,077,858 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; four offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity (N68936-10-D-0021).

R. A. Burch Construction Co., Inc., Ramona, Calif., is being awarded a $15,917,288 firm-fixed price task order 0002 under a multiple award construction contract for the design and construction of the mess hall expansion at Marine Corps Recruitment Depot San Diego. The task order also contains one planned modification which, if issued, would increase the cumulative contract value to $20,617,288. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by November 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Six proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N62473-08-D-8613).

Lockheed Martin-MS2, Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $10,226,726 modification to a previously awarded contract for low cost conformal array production (LCCA) units and engineering and technical services for the LCCA systems. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y. (97.5 percent), Walpole, Mass. (1 percent), Forest Hill, Md. (1 percent), and Millersville, Md. (0.5 percent). Work is expected to be completed by June 2013. 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 (N00024-08-C-6283).


MPRI, a division of L-3 Services, Inc., Alexandria, Va., was awarded on April 29 a $53,003,000 time-and-material contract for the extension of support services for professional mentoring and training support services with reforming the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense and their subordinate organizations, policies, and procedures. Work is to be performed in Alexandria, Va., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Research Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Contracting Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-05-D-0014).

MPRI, a division of L-3 Services, Inc., Alexandria, Va., was awarded on April 29, 2010 a $32,241,459 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the extension of support services for professional mentoring and training support services with reforming the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police, and their subordinate organizations, policies, and procedures. Work is to be performed in Alexandria, Va., with an estimated completion date of April 29, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Research Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Contracting Division, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91CRB-10-C-0100).

Tip Top Construction Corp., Christiansted, Virgin Islands, was awarded on April 29 a $18,312,480 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a regional training institute, Virgin Islands, National Guard, St. Croix, Virgin Island. Work is to be performed in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 15, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with six bids received. National Guard Bureau, USPFO-Virgin Islands, Kingshill, Virgin Islands, is the contracting activity (W9127P-10-C-0001).

Project Times & Cost, Inc., Atlanta, Ga., was awarded on April 29 a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the architect-engineering services nationwide cost engineering support for the Walla Walla District Directory/Center of Expertise. Work is to be performed in Atlanta, Ga., with an estimated completion date of April 5, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, Walla Walla, Wash., is the contracting activity (W912EF-09-D-0002).

Alatec, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on April 29 a $13,480,400 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor shall provide personnel expertise and skills required to support the Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center (TRAC) White Sands Missile Range mission related to analysis, studies, modeling, simulation, and information technology. TRAC supports the Training and Doctrine Command by providing the analytical capabilities required to support Army decisions. Work is to be performed at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., with an estimated completion date of May 2, 2012. Four bids were solicited with four bids received. Mission & Installation Contracting Command Directorate of Contracting, White Sands Missile Range, N.M., is the contracting activity (W91QF-07-D-0004).

Two Young Children Have a Day of Their Dreams

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles, Fleet Week Media Center

May 3, 2010 - PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. (NNS) -- April 29 started off pretty grim for a young sister and brother, but thanks to Sailors stationed aboard USS Newport News (SSN 750), they ended up having a day of their dreams.

Six-year-old Amanda Topple was on her fourteenth day of being hospitalized at the Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital for complications from cystic fibrosis. Although her three-year-old brother Cole also suffers from the same condition, he was only in the hospital as a visitor this time.

The day began to brighten when they were told that Amanda would be discharged today. To top the good news off, the children heard rumors there were Sailors from Newport News visiting as part of the 20th Anniversary Fleet Week Port Everglades.

"Where are they?" said Amanda as she peeked out her door and down the hallway.

"I see them!" claimed Cole. "One Sailor, two Sailors, three Sailors, woah! A lot of Sailors!"

The Sailors spent the day visiting various wards to wish the children well and pass out gifts. The children grinned as they received stickers and photos of the submarine.

"I really want to go there, I want to go on a submarine!" said Cole as he looked at the photo.

Fortunately, this was a dream that these Sailors could make come true. They arranged a visit to the submarine for the Topple family.

"The little boy was telling us about how he wanted to be on a submarine, it made me feel proud," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Stephen Lowman.

The family arrived at Port Everglades later that day. Walking on the pier, the children dropped their jaws in awe of the mighty submarine.

"After meeting Cole and Amanda at the hospital, I think we were all looking forward to their visit, the crew anticipated it very much," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) John Lane.

They made their way down the port hole and headed straight for the periscope. From there they went to see the torpedoes upon Cole's request. They continued to the berthings where they bumped into Cmdr. J. Carl Hartsfield, commanding officer of Newport News.

"Want to see the captain's stateroom?" Hartsfield asked.

In the captains' stateroom they were presented stickers, ball caps, and a book about the submarine. They put the caps on and posed for a photo with Hartsfield.

"We are very pleased to have visitors on board. I hope they continue to be healthy and happy and live good lives," said Hartsfield. "Hopefully, they just had a good day, that's what is most important."

"It was great, I've always wanted to do this since I joined the Navy, going to a children's hospital and trying to help people," said Lane. "It was an excellent opportunity to meet great kids as brave and fun as they are. This was just amazing."

General Officer Assignments

May 3, 2010 - The chief of staff, Army announced today the following assignments:

Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Bruce A. Casella, to commanding general, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas, Texas. He most recently served as commander, 63d Regional Support Command, Moffett Field, Calif.

Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Votel, deputy commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C., to chief of staff, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Douglas P. Anson, director, legislative affairs, international military affairs, U.S. Special Operations Command, Washington, D.C., to deputy director of operations, J-3, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Army National Guard Brig. Gen. David B. Enyeart, assistant adjutant general/deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center, Oregon Army National Guard, Salem, Ore., to deputy senior military representative/chief, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Advisory Team-Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Brig. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, director, joint and futures, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., to director of force management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. Brig. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, deputy commanding general-center, U.S. Division-Center, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, to commanding general, Army Special Operations Aviation Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

General Officer Assignments

May 3, 2010 - The chief of staff, Air Force announced today the following assignments:

Maj. Gen. Noel T. Jones, deputy chief, Central Security Service, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Md., to director, J5, U.S. Forces-Iraq, U.S. Central Command, Baghdad, Iraq.

Brig. Gen. Jim H. Keffer, deputy director for intelligence, CJ2, U.S. Forces-Iraq, U.S. Central Command, Baghdad, Iraq, to deputy chief, Central Security Service, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Md.

Brig. Gen. Scott A. Bethel, deputy director of intelligence, operations and nuclear integration for technical training, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, to director, strategy, integration and doctrine, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Brig. Gen. Andrew M. Mueller, deputy commander, Combined Air Operations Center 6, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Eskisehir, Turkey, to commander, 81st Training Wing, Air Education and Training Command, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

Soldier Follows in Father's Footsteps

By Army Cpl. Brandon Babbitt
3rd Army

May 3, 2010 - As an infantryman in World War II, Royce Glass was part of one of the most challenging achievements in American military history as a member of Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army. His division was one of the first to pivot and move north to engage the German forces surrounding Bastogne, Belgium. Today, his son, Army Lt. Col. Scott Glass, the 3rd Army's logistics operations plans branch chief, is serving in support of Lt. Gen. William Webster's drawdown in Iraq and buildup in Afghanistan.

The colonel's father was one of four brothers from Greensboro, Ga., who fought in World War II. He was a "replacement" in Patton's Own, which meant he would go into a unit after a soldier was wounded or killed.

The elder Glass fought in many battles, including the Battle of the Bulge. He earned the Bronze Star for valor and two Purple Hearts in the European Theater and won the admiration of a son who knew he wanted to serve at a young age.

"He lost his best friend, who was killed next to him," Glass said. "That is an inspiration from which we can all draw strength."

Taking a job as butcher in small-town Georgia after the war, he said, his father became a devoted husband to his wife, Hilda, a loving father of three sons, a patient Little League coach and a man who never lost his temper - except that time his sons accidentally burned down his beehives. People in trouble and needing help could always call on him, day or night, he added.

Glass is married and has two sons with military aspirations of their own. They are involved in the ROTC and Junior ROTC programs at their respective schools.

"My wife, Paige, and I are so proud of our boys, Michael and Matthew," Glass said. "My daddy attended the commissioning ceremony for me and cried like a baby. I too, can see myself getting very emotional if one of my sons ever fulfills their goal of becoming a commissioned officer."

Meanwhile, Glass said, he is drawing on his father's inspiration in his own service.

"My father was and still is the greatest man I ever knew," he said. "If I live to be as respected as he was, I think I will have done well."