Military News

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

U.S. Navy Engineer Battalion Returns to Vietnam with Pacific Partnership

By Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

May 19, 2010 - QUY NHON, VIETNAM (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Engineers, better known as Seabees, from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11, are conducting four engineering projects here as part of Pacific Partnership 2010.

Pacific Partnership 2010 is the fifth in a series of annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance endeavors aimed at strengthening regional partnerships and increasing interoperability with U.S. interagency, host nations, partner nations and international humanitarian and relief organizations.

During the deployment, the Seabees will be conducting renovation projects at the Hope Center, Phuoc Thuan Clinic, Tuy Phuoc Clinic and Quang Trung Ward with the assistance of engineers and volunteers from Vietnam.For the 23-person advance team in Vietnam, completing the four engineering projects in 30 days began with the tools and building materials.

"You can't get the job done without tools," said Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Brandon Trumbo. NMCB 11 brought four tool containers from California to Vietnam on a C-130 Hercules. The building materials, on the other hand, were primarily purchased from the local Vietnamese economy by Defense Supply Center Philadelphia Pacific Region.

The team arrived in Vietnam May 10 and immediately made their way to Quy Nhon by bus. While driving to the project sites, the Seabees noticed the contrast between the United States and Vietnam.

"It was a 12-hour bus ride to Quy Nhon," said Trumbo. "While riding, you noticed how different Vietnam is from America. The vehicles on the streets appear to be floating down a river of scooters, and the scenery was beautiful; blue water accented by lush green mountain sides."

Besides having the chance to see a new country, the Seabees were eager to work with the Vietnamese. Pacific Partnership gives people from many nations and organizations an opportunity to work together as well as learn from each other. The Seabees were excited to see that the Vietnamese volunteers had the same 'can-do' attitude when it comes to completing the projects, resulting in a strong partnership from the beginning.

Utah Air Guard conducts chemical training With Moroccan counterparts

By Sgt. Whitney Houston
U.S. Marine Forces Africa

(5/18/10) - The Utah Air National Guard's 151st Expeditionary Medical Group kicked off two weeks of mutual medical training with their Moroccan counterparts as part of Exercise AFRICAN LION 2010 by discussing chemical awareness and response at the Moroccan military's South Command Headquarters, May 16.

The purpose of this training was to discuss various chemicals, their effects, and decontamination techniques, as well as introduce and familiarize the two parties with each other before conducting real-world training later in the week.

"This training is to bring us together," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mike La Giglia, who serves with the 151st EMG. "It's to gel as a team before going out into the field working elbow to elbow with them."

Coupled with fraternal intent, the Utah-based Airmen gave presentations centered on medical assistance after exposure to harmful chemicals to increase understanding on how to best react to such situations.

"We discussed with our Moroccan counterparts hazardous materials," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Micah Smith, an emergency physician who serves with the 151st EMG. "We covered everything from what they are, and how to respond to them by using very specific situations surrounding industrial and household products. So if they (Moroccan emergency responders) are called to respond to them, they will better adapt to that specific situation" Smith stated.

This particular training also amplified the understanding of Utah's Airmen and leaders as they exchanged ideas with the Moroccan military.

"The reason why we did this type of training was so we could work directly with the Moroccans in training, and to share ideas and abilities," Smith said.

"We had a very lively discussion about the differences in performing emergency practices and how they differ, and it's been an eye opener to see a different perspective and understand why they do what they do," he added.

Training experiences like those conducted by Smith and his counterparts are important to establishing a good working relationship between U.S. and Moroccan medical personnel as they continue working together to provide medical, dental and veterinarian assistance in remote villages in central Morocco as part of AFRICAN LION 2010.

"It is good that we're doing this training together with the same people who we'll be working with for the next six days as we conduct the humanitarian civil assistance missions," said U.S. Air Force Colonel Paul Byrd of American Fork, Utah, commander of the 151st EMG.

Exercise AFRICAN LION 2010 not only diversifies one's repertoire of experience, it also gives crucial opportunities to the less experienced service members, American and Moroccan alike, Byrd explained.

The experience of working with a foreign military also gives Airmen and leaders of the 151st EMG an opportunity to immerse in a new culture while serving American allies during peacetime exercises.

"It gives us an opportunity to know the Moroccan culture and connect with their leadership as Morocco is a joint partner in peace," Byrd said. "In the case of the medical personnel, we're able to interface with Moroccan medical providers at a very personal level."

Exercise AFRICAN LION 2010 is an annually scheduled, joint, combined U.S.-Moroccan exercise. It brings together nearly 1,000 U.S. service members from 16 locations throughout Europe and North America with more than 1,000 members of the Moroccan military. AFRICAN LION is designed to promote interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation's military tactics, techniques and procedures.

Flag Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Navy Vice Adm. William E. Gortney for reappointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as director, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Gortney is currently serving as commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command and Commander, 5th Fleet, Bahrain.

Navy Rear Adm. (lower half) James P. McManamon has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral. McManamon is currently serving as deputy commander for surface warfare, SEA-21, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

General Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nomination:

Air Force Col. Scott A. Vander Hamm has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Vander Hamm is currently serving as the assistant deputy director, global operations, J-39, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Single Moms Juggle Military, Home Demands

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

May 19, 2010 - Army Spc. Sandie De Los Reyes steps over her threshold well after dark -- balancing baby in one hand and grocery bags in the other -- with her two sons following close behind. She straps 10-month-old Precious into a highchair, spooning food into her mouth while she chats with her sons, who are perched on stools around the kitchen island. They laugh and plow their way through dinner with De Los Reyes never taking a seat.

The soldier next will embark on a litany of chores –- homework, laundry, dishes and ironing, to name a few -- that will keep her busy until well after the kids crash out for the night.

This day, she won't ease her Army boots off until 11 p.m., when she finally sits down to give her husband, who is stationed in Georgia, a quick good-night call.

Bearing the brunt of the home-life burden is customary for De Los Reyes. A single mom until a year ago, the all-wheel vehicle mechanic has been juggling her work with her duties at home for more than a decade. Although married now, she still shoulders the home responsibilities while her husband is stationed elsewhere.

"I try to keep it together," she said in an interview with American Forces Press Service. "I love being part of the Army, so it's worth it."

The active-duty military includes nearly 73,000 single parents, which equates to 5.3 percent of the total force, according to Defense Department statistics from 2008. The Army leads the way with more than 35,000 single parents, followed by the Navy with more than 16,000, and the Air Force with more than 15,000. The Marine Corps, the smallest force, has about 5,000.

Single parents balance heavy military demands with an equally demanding home life, acknowledged Barbara Thompson, director of the Defense Department's office of family policy, children and youth. The military's family support system recognizes this double duty, she added.

"The question is, 'How we can better support them in that challenge of being in the military and a single parent?'" she said. "We have to realize [parenting is] a tough duty, whether single or dual military, because of their commitment to the nation."

While officials take note of the numbers to shape programs and policies, they bear little relevance to servicemembers like De Los Reyes, who are dealing with the day-to-day challenges of busy jobs, a high deployment rate and a full plate at home.

Busy from sunup to sundown, De Los Reyes said, her work hours are the easiest part of her day. Her bosses at 159th Combat Aviation Brigade's 563rd Aviation Support Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky., recently handed her one of the new wreckers to operate, an honor she said was hard-earned.

She has no trouble dealing with work, she noted. It's the home demands – doctor appointments, forgotten backpacks, missed morning buses -- that create a challenge when they creep into her work day.

"That, in itself, is very difficult," she said. "I have three kids to accommodate, and [my co-workers] sometimes don't understand. They wonder, 'Why are you leaving for a parent-teacher conference?' 'Because I don't have a wife who can go,' I tell them. I show 110 percent at work for those days that I have a sick child or parent-teacher conference."

As a reminder to stay strong, she recently had a version of the "Serenity Prayer" tattooed on her right arm, an addition to the plethora of tattoos she's acquired over the years. Her favorite part of her newest tattoo is "God grant me the strength."

"That's all I can ask for -- just the strength to keep going," she said.

Halfway around the world, Air Force Maj. Spring Myers, a single mother of two, is dealing with similar single-parent dilemmas. She's deployed to Basra, Iraq, as the officer-in- charge of the combat stress clinic. Her 17-year-old daughter, Autumn, is back at her home station of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, with Myers' mother, while her 20-year-old daughter, Summer, is in college in the states.

Myers was divorced from her husband in 2008 after a year-long separation. He has had no contact with his children since then, she said, leaving the major to bear the brunt of the responsibilities. Single parenting is tough, Myers noted, and it was particularly so when her children were younger.

"I remember when [Autumn] was playing sports, I would have to pick her up or take her across [the] island, and I often made arrangements with other parents," Myers said. "I had to be very creative. Sometimes she'd have to wait and was the last one to be picked up.

"My daughter would actually be frustrated that I was late a lot of times," she said. "It was really tough for her to understand."

The kids are older now, and the daily demands of parenting have eased up a bit, she said. Still, Myers credits the people around her for helping her through the tough times.

"I've always found a group of friends, a pseudo family, to help me out," she said. "Thank God I formed a village. I'd call my friend, 'There's a gecko in the house,' and she'd send her husband over to kill it."

In Iraq, her latest challenge isn't work; it's helping Autumn apply to college. She's working on obtaining college reference letters for her daughter in the after-hours of a busy work day.

"You just do what you got to do," Myers said. "I'm still a parent from a distance."

Autumn is torn between understanding the military's demands and feeling sad that her mother is missing chunks of her senior year.

"Because it was just my mom and I, life is more difficult now that she is gone," she said. "Fortunately, I have other 'families' from church that help and support us.

"I know she would be here with me if she could," she added.

Children of single parents can have a tough time dealing with deployments, particularly since they rely so heavily on the primary caregiver, Thompson said, making it all the more important to bolster their support.

"They may wonder, 'What happens to me if something happens to Mom or Dad?'" she said.

Thompson encourages single parents to rely on military support systems such as child and youth centers, which have expanded support programs in recent years to accommodate the increasing military demands for all parents – single and military. Child development and youth centers, for instance, have extended their hours to accommodate military work schedules, she said. And online resources such as Tutor.com offer free tutoring services to military children, a helping hand to parents who may not have the time to provide extensive homework support.

Still, "I think that the support system, especially if on a military installation, must be made more robust," Thompson said.

Thompson also pointed out the importance of parent-support networks, which can be useful for everything from babysitting and play groups to some much-needed adult time. "It helps to know you're not alone," she said.

The military will maintain its focus on the needs of its families. Whether married, single or dual-military, their quality of life remains a priority for defense officials, Thompson said.

Sailors Learn Aircraft Firefighting Skills

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Whidbey Island

May 19, 2010 - OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to various tenant commands at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island participated in a Flight Deck Firefighting Course May 18.

The one-day, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNTTAU) Whidbey Island course provided 39 Sailors with the basic level of skill and knowledge required to handle fires on flight decks, aircraft crash incidents and conflagrations involving hazardous materials.

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Justin Ocampo of Dededo, Guam, a firefighting instructor, said the course starts with a brief introduction covering course safety and other important topics such as the chemistry of a fire, visual landing aids, the operation of carbon dioxide and potassium bicarbonate powder bottles and the fires for which they are most effective.

Ocampo said after the morning lectures, Sailors are are briefed on additional safety precautions, basic firefighting techniques and recommendations for combating the fire. Upon completion, Sailors perform a brief wet-work exercise to demonstrate how to properly handle the hose.

Once the wet work is completed, the teams run through the actual scenario and are graded on their performance.

"I thought it was a great course and very important for our Sailors. It's important for us to understand what they are doing," said Lt. Cmdr. Ladislao R. Montero of Nogales, Ariz., a naval flight officer and department head with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ)136. "Most of the time, as air crew, we won't be involved in fighting fires, but to understand what the Sailors on the flight deck are doing and how they respond to a fire, this course gives them that knowledge, and I think it's a great lesson for everyone, whether you're in the aircraft or on the flight deck."

The scenario can last from 30 minutes to an hour and features the aspects of actual class Alpha, Bravo and Charlie fires; including the heat and the ability to take over as a leader.

"The students did well and were very motivated throughout the training, they were paying attention to all the instructions that were given from our instructors," said Ocampo. "Today's training evolution went very smoothly."

The potential for the danger of a fire on a ship's flight deck also drives the need for every air department Sailor to be proficient in every firefighting position.

"I learned a lot from this course, from the basic firefighting commands, the techniques of hose handling and responding to an actual fire," said Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Kimberly Burns of Big Bear, Calif., assigned to VAQ 138. "Not only did I get a refresher on fire safety, but I also learned how to work with my fellow shipmates as a team."

Moving? Fleet and Family Support Center Can Help

From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

May 19, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Installations Command's Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC) offer many resources to help Sailors and their families when they receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.

"Relocating to a new duty station is never easy, but can be made less stressful with proper planning and utilization of the free services of the Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC)," said Fred Davis, Fleet and Family Support Program's Relocation Assistance Program manager. "Our Sailors and family members may be anxious about finding affordable housing, reputable schools, and employment opportunities, to name a few. The Relocation Assistance Program is designed to make the moving process as effortless as possible."

Plan on attending a Smooth Move Workshop hosted by the FFSC. The Smooth Move Workshop will address move-related topics such as who pays what for the move, how to ship personal property, and information about the sponsorship program.

There will also be a financial counselor available to discuss moving expenses to expect and how to prepare for the unexpected. FFSCs offer welcome aboard packets with information about bases worldwide. Sailors who have shipped everyday items - such as portable cribs or toasters - to their new location, may be able to borrow them from FFSCs Some FFSCs also offer videos about life overseas.

"Planning and preparation, as well as a sense of humor and positive attitude, have been proven to be sure-fire stress reducers," Davis said.

For information about Fleet and Family Support Center's Relocation Assistance Program, visit http://ffsp.navy.mil.

Another tool available is on the website of Military HOMEFRONT. "Plan Your Move" allows you to create arrival and travel checklists and get information on your new community, schools, finance, housing, relocation assistance, transportation and finance contacts.

Interested in learning more about your new installation? Go to Military Installations at Military HOMEFRONT. You'll find over 250 installations worldwide – Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Defense Logistics Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Military Installations provides a map and directions to most services and programs on the installation, including the barber shop, legal offices, loan closets, the commissary, the golf course, and much more.

Mountaineers Celebrate Armed Forces Day in Namesake

By Lt. Sean Teter, USS West Virginia Public Affairs

May 19, 2010 - KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) (Gold) crew members returned to the Mountain State to celebrate Armed Forces Day during a bi-annual namesake visit May 11-16.

Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Machinist's Mate (SS) Julian Czeiszperger, and three other crew members visited West Virginia to promote camaraderie with local mountaineers and to foster the strong relationship the submarine crew shares with its namesake state. During the visit, Sailors participated in multiple Armed Forces Day celebrations, including an honorary dinner and parade held in South Charleston, W. Va.

The Sailors were honored with two chance meetings: a Medal of Honor recipient and fallen shipmate's family. At the Armed Forces Day dinner, the Sailors met with the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the state of West Virginia – Hershel "Woody" Williams, U.S. Marine Corps. Williams received the Medal of Honor for heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty on Iwo Jima in February 1945.

"Mr. Williams put his own life on the line to save his fellow Marines. I am humbled to have met an American hero," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Seth Ellsworth. "Hearing about his experience really puts into perspective the importance of having your shipmates' back."

During the Armed Forces Day parade, the West Virginia Sailors met with the parents of a fallen fellow Submariner, Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Joseph Ashley from the USS San Francisco (SSN 711). "Although none of us personally knew MM2 Ashley, the dolphins worn by all qualified submariners creates an eternal bond," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS) Rudy Eddins.

The Armed Forces Day events were important for the West Virginia Sailors to represent the submarine force and Navy, yet, the event that commits the Sailors to the bi-annual trips is the time spent at the West Virginia Children's Home (WVCH) in Elkins, W.Va. Sailors provide reading and math tutoring as well as mentorship to the children.

"Every off-crew period we plan a trip to West Virginia," said Czeiszperger. "It is important that we go to the Children's Home and spend time with the kids. Many of them have troubled pasts and the time we spend with them is important to show that people do care and to let them know that we want to see them succeed."

Service Members Volunteer at Ridgetop Junior High's Track Meet

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Maebel Tinoko, Navy Public Affairs Element Support Element West, det. Northwest

May 19, 2010 - SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines from commands around Kitsap County volunteered their time to help the Ridgetop Junior High School with the school's annual track and field competition May 18.

Ridgetop Junior High school students competed with Central Kitsap Junior High school students in various sports ranging from the high jump, long jump, shot put, and pole vault along with relay races.

Volunteers helped with setting up different track meet events, recording student scores and timing relay races.

"It's important to be a positive influence to the students in our community because we can set a good example to them," said Fire Control Technician 2nd Class (SS) Ryan Bibb, USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Blue), volunteer coordinator. "It is great to do something for the community and help out in anyway we can."

Service members team up with local schools as part of the military's Personal Excellence through Cooperative Education (PECE) program. PECE focuses on strengthening education, fitness and citizenship to American youth throughout Navy Region Northwest.

"We needed extra help, and the volunteers have been fantastic," said James Welsch, coach for the Ridgetop Junior High school track team. "Having the military be part of this event means a lot to the students, and we are thankful for the help and time."

For Staff Sgt. Craig Shafer from Marine Corps Recruiting Station Silverdale, Wash., volunteering at this school holds a special place in his heart.

"This volunteer opportunity is special to me because I used to attend this school," said Shafer. "It's great to give back to the community, and this school means a lot to me because I grew up here."

For Sonar Technician Submarine 2nd Class (SS) Enrique Ramirez, USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Blue), sonar work center supervisor, volunteering is a way to show the community what the Navy is all about.

"Volunteering is a way to show the community we keep high standards in the Navy, and we want to show a positive image of the military," said Ramirez. "We can establish a good relationship with the surrounding schools and get a chance to educate students about what we do at our commands."

Department Hires Acquisitions Workers to Help Reforms

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

May 19, 2010 - The Defense Department is making strides toward acquisition reform and budget reductions, starting with the buildup of its federal acquisitions work force, department officials told a congressional panel today.

The department created the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation and has hired more than 3,000 employees since the end of March to improve its purchasing processes, John Roth, deputy comptroller for programs and budgets, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's national security subcommittee.

Acquisition reform is a key component of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' efforts to improve processes while also cutting overhead costs. Part of that reform calls for reducing the department's use of contractors and replacing them with federal workers. The new hires are the first step in reducing contractors from 39 percent to 26 percent of the department's work force, Roth said. Officials are requesting an additional $218 million in the fiscal 2011 budget to expand the reform efforts, he said.

"Good people are an essential element of any acquisition reform strategy," said Nancy Spruill, the department's director of acquisition resources and analysis, who also spoke before the subcommittee. "We're committed to growing the work force. But, more than numbers, we are focused on quality. We are pleased that we're attracting talented people every day to help us work on acquisition reform."

In addition, Roth said, the secretary already had made "unprecedented cuts" to major weapons programs that are underperforming or over budget. Overall cost savings will be converted to sustain combat power and make future investments, he said.

"The department has had a change of emphasis," Roth said. "That change is to a stronger, better-controlled business environment."

The department has 102 major acquisitions programs, and is focusing its reforms on the ones in which it can intervene in the early stages, Spruill said. "We have an increased emphasis on the front end of the process," she said, starting programs right, reviewing them early on and getting independent reviews.

Department officials are working hard to implement the reforms of the 2009 Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act and the provisions of reform legislation this year, Spruill said. "We have made support to the warfighter our highest priority, and we are improving the acquisitions work force," she said.

Better systems engineering, technical maturity, and especially cost estimate improvements are driving reform, Spruill said, adding that cost estimates are the most difficult.

Michael J. Sullivan, the General Accountability Office's director of acquisition and sourcing management, also spoke to the subcommittee, and outlined Defense Department progress on acquisition reform since the GAO reported in 2008 on problems in 42 programs. Acquisitions workers, he said, have done a good job of recognizing problems, and are on track to make long-term changes.

Under Gates' leadership, Sullivan noted, 13 programs were removed from the department's acquisitions portfolio at a cost savings of $179 billion.

Defense acquisitions problems have existed for decades, Sullivan said, but change is possible "when we have leadership in the department like we do now."

"It boils down to accountability and leadership, and when leadership takes charge of things, things can happen," he said.

Department Hires Acquisitions Workers to Help Reforms

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

May 19, 2010 - The Defense Department is making strides toward acquisition reform and budget reductions, starting with the buildup of its federal acquisitions work force, department officials told a congressional panel today.

The department created the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation and has hired more than 3,000 employees since the end of March to improve its purchasing processes, John Roth, deputy comptroller for programs and budgets, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's national security subcommittee.

Acquisition reform is a key component of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' efforts to improve processes while also cutting overhead costs. Part of that reform calls for reducing the department's use of contractors and replacing them with federal workers. The new hires are the first step in reducing contractors from 39 percent to 26 percent of the department's work force, Roth said. Officials are requesting an additional $218 million in the fiscal 2011 budget to expand the reform efforts, he said.

"Good people are an essential element of any acquisition reform strategy," said Nancy Spruill, the department's director of acquisition resources and analysis, who also spoke before the subcommittee. "We're committed to growing the work force. But, more than numbers, we are focused on quality. We are pleased that we're attracting talented people every day to help us work on acquisition reform."

In addition, Roth said, the secretary already had made "unprecedented cuts" to major weapons programs that are underperforming or over budget. Overall cost savings will be converted to sustain combat power and make future investments, he said.

"The department has had a change of emphasis," Roth said. "That change is to a stronger, better-controlled business environment."

The department has 102 major acquisitions programs, and is focusing its reforms on the ones in which it can intervene in the early stages, Spruill said. "We have an increased emphasis on the front end of the process," she said, starting programs right, reviewing them early on and getting independent reviews.

Department officials are working hard to implement the reforms of the 2009 Weapons System Acquisition Reform Act and the provisions of reform legislation this year, Spruill said. "We have made support to the warfighter our highest priority, and we are improving the acquisitions work force," she said.

Better systems engineering, technical maturity, and especially cost estimate improvements are driving reform, Spruill said, adding that cost estimates are the most difficult.

Michael J. Sullivan, the General Accountability Office's director of acquisition and sourcing management, also spoke to the subcommittee, and outlined Defense Department progress on acquisition reform since the GAO reported in 2008 on problems in 42 programs. Acquisitions workers, he said, have done a good job of recognizing problems, and are on track to make long-term changes.

Under Gates' leadership, Sullivan noted, 13 programs were removed from the department's acquisitions portfolio at a cost savings of $179 billion.

Defense acquisitions problems have existed for decades, Sullivan said, but change is possible "when we have leadership in the department like we do now."

"It boils down to accountability and leadership, and when leadership takes charge of things, things can happen," he said.

Phoenix Express Kicks Off from Souda Bay

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Felicito Rustique, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East Det. Europe

May 19, 2010 - SOUDA BAY, Greece (NNS) -- Phoenix Express 2010 (PE-10), a two-week, two-phase, multinational, maritime exercise among regional partners from Africa, Europe, and the United States, is set to conduct its kickoff pre-sail conference and conclude its in port training portion of the exercise.

The in port phase, which began in Rota, Spain, and continued in Souda Bay, Greece, focuses on medical training, maritime interdiction operations (MIO), helicopter operations and safety, damage control, navigation, deck seamanship, search and rescue (SAR), small boat operations and a leadership round table.

Ships and personnel involved will depart Souda Bay later this month and sail into international waters in the central Mediterranean Sea.

During the underway portion of PE-10, countries will track and board suspect vessels carrying suspicious cargo, and Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Automated Identification Systems, along with MIOs like SARs and visit, board, search and seizures will be performed.

U.S. commanders believe PE-10 is invaluable to theater partners because it fosters mutual understanding and improves international military partnering.

"Phoenix Express demonstrates theater partner nations' commitment to regional stability and maritime security," said Capt. Martin Beck, commander, Task Force 68, whose task force is in command of the exercise. "During this exercise, maritime professionals will further develop the capacity to maintain maritime domain awareness. When they meet in the future to conduct combined peacekeeping or humanitarian operations, or to counter trafficking in drugs, people, or weapons in this region, they will be better able to respond and work together."

Twenty countries are expected to participate in the exercise as an either an active participant or observer. U.S. units participating in Phoenix Express include the USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), home ported in Virginia Beach, Virginia; USS John L. Hall (FFG 32), home ported in Mayport, Florida; Military Sealift Command ships USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK3 016) and USNS Laramie (T-AO 203); and members of the U.S. 6th Fleet staff.

First Student Takes Flight in T-6

By Lt. j.g. Michael M. Daharsh, Naval Air Station Whiting Field Public Affairs

May 19, 2010 - WHITING FIELD, Fla. - (NNS) -- It was another historic day for Training Squadron 3 and Training Wing 5 as the first student naval aviator to train in the T-6B Texan II took flight at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field May 18.

Student naval aviator, Ensign Christopher D. Farkas, teamed up with U.S. Marine Corps instructor pilot, Capt. Michael Perkins to complete the inaugural flight.

"VT-3 has been the first of many in aviation, and it's fitting to have the pleasure of introducing the T-6B to training with a Navy student and a Marine instructor by an aircraft jointly developed by the Air Force and Navy," said Cmdr. Jody Bridges, VT-3 commanding officer.

The T-6B Texan II is replacing its long time predecessor the T-34C Turbomentor. Training Air Wing 5 anticipates a complete transition at NAS Whiting Field by 2015. Developed jointly by the Air Force and Navy, the advanced training aircraft provides increased training capabilities similar to that of modern fleet aircraft.

"It has been a long time vision to have a joint training aircraft," said Lt. Col. Kent Hobson, VT-3 Executive Officer. "To finally have it is a good thing."

Three weeks previous to Tuesday's flight Farkas began ground school for the T-6B with 13 of his peers. The class was composed of Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard students. However, as the morning dawned and the flight line came to life it was Farkas who would be the first student to fly the next generation of Naval aviation's training aircraft.

"It was unlike anything I've experienced," Farkas gleamed. "To begin take off and feel the power of the aircraft, to lift off the ground for the first time and experience how nimble and dynamic it is… It's incredible."

The 2009 Naval Academy graduate has known his goal for a long time. When he was four his parents took him to an air show, and from that moment he has wanted to fly. Farkas majored in Aeronautical Engineering and has hopes to one day fly the F/A-18 Hornet. "I realize there is always going to be another step to take. On one hand it's very humbling to have the honor of being the first but it was really just right time and right place. On one hand it's just my first flight. I'm here for the Wing of Gold," he said. "It's just amazing. Right time, right place, right day, I really lucked out."

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 19, 2010

ARMY

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Poway, Calif., was awarded on May 14 a $195,510,000 fixed-price-incentive-fee contract for the procurement of supplemental hardware, low-rate initial production in support of the Extended Range Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aircraft System and hardware in support of Communications-Electronic Research Development and Engineering Center. Work is to be performed in Poway, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-AR-A., Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0068).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Missiles and Fire Control-Dallas, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded on May, 13 a $91,258,623 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for replacing a purchase order for long-lead critical and French facilitization material, Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Full Rate Production V. Work is to be performed in Grand Prairie, Texas, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-10-C-0270).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 12 a $71,728,245 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 1,847 rocket propelled grenades protection kits. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. TACOM, CCTA-ADCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ill., was awarded on May 12 a $34,006,324 firm-fixed-price contract for 160 motorized graders with Type A kits. Work is to be performed in Mossville, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with two bids received. TACOM-Warren, CCTA-ADE-C, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-D-0037).

Conti Federal Services, Inc., South Plainfield, N.J., was awarded on May 14 a $26,467,572 firm-fixed-price contract for flood control and coastal emergency No. 96X3122, construction general. Work is to be performed in Plaquemines Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of July 28, 2011. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web with two bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Protection Office, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0077).

R.C. Construction Co., Inc., Greenwood, Miss., was awarded on May 14 a $23,160,074 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of short take off vertical landing simulated carrier practice landing deck. Work is to be performed at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Duke Field, Fla., with an estimated completion date of July 15, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 11 bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers Mobile Regional Contracting Center Mobile., Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-10-C-0063).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 12 a $21,514,590 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 554 rocket propelled grenades protection kits. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. TACOM, CCTA-ADCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

David Boland, Inc., Titusville, Fla., was awarded on May 13 a $19,472,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity, "Flood Wall Construction Hynes Blvd LPV 105.02," Orleans Parish, La. Work is to be performed in Orleans Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of May 26, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities and Army Single Face to Industry Web sites with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Protection Office, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0079).

IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., Panama City, Fla., was awarded on May 13 a $17,776,078 firm-fixed-price contract. The purpose of this contract is to provide permanent reliable power in response to Forward Operating Base Dwyer's critical situation. Work is to be performed in Forward Operating Base Dwyer, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2011. Four bids were solicited with three bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (W912BU-10-C-0020).

Pocal Industries, Scranton, Pa., was awarded on May 12 a $16,062,628 firm-fixed-price contract. This procurement exercises remaining option quantities available for the M299, M702, and M752A1 mortar ignition cartridge. Work is to be performed in Scranton, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web with four bids received. Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52PJ-07-C-0028).

The Sheridan Corp., Fairfield, Maine, was awarded on May 12 a $15,064,038 firm-fixed-price contract to replace the KC-135 maintenance hangar for the Maine Air National Guard located in Bangor Maine. Work is to be performed in Bangor, Maine, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 19, 2012. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web with eight bids received. National Guard Bureau, USPFO for Maine, Augusta, Maine, is the contracting activity (W912JD-10-C-0001).

L7A Contracting Co., Hattiesburg, Miss., was awarded on May 13 a $15,998,648 firm-fixed-price contract for Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity, Citrus Lakefront Levee construction requirement for a levee reach. Work is to be performed in Orleans Parish, La., with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2011. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with 16 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Hurricane Protection Office, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (W912P8-10-C-0070).

American Registry of Pathology, Washington, D.C., was awarded on May 12 a $10,076,837 cost-no fee contract for medical, research, and consulting services, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C. Work is to be performed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2011. One bid solicited with one bid received. Center for Healthcare Contracting, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the contracting activity (DAMD17-00-C-0034).

McKnight Construction Co., Inc., Augusta, Ga., was awarded on May 14 an $11,468,350 firm-fixed-price contract to construct a standard design multi-purpose training range. Work is to be performed in Fort Benning, Ga., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 12, 2011. Four bids were solicited with four bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-07-D-0013).

Armtec Countermeasures Co.., Coachella, Calif., was awarded on May 13 a $9,853,606 firm-fixed-price contract for the exercise of Option Year 1 for W52P1J-09-C-0055 for M206, MJU-7A/B in support of the infrared countermeasure flares. Work is to be performed in Milan, Tenn. (50 percent), and East Camden, Ark. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. Bids were Web-based with two bids received. Department of the Army, Rock Island Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-09-C-0055).

Kilgore Flares Co., LLC, Toone, Tenn., was awarded on May 13 a $9,054,085 firm-fixed-price contract for the exercise of Option Year 1 for W52P1J-09-C-0056 for support of M206, MJU-7A/B and MJU-10/B. Work is to be performed in East Camden, Ark., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. Bids were Web-based with two bids received. Department of the Army, Rock Island Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-09-C-0056).

Au' Authum Ki, Inc., Chandler, Ariz., was awarded on May 12 an $8,923,320 firm-fixed-price contract for one Soldier and Family Assistance Center and administrative facility for the Warrior in Transition Complex located at Fort Hood, Texas. Work is to be performed in Fort Hood, Texas, with an estimated completion date of July 28, 2011. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-10-C-0044).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on May 13 a $7,229,690 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to increase funds and authority on the Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems performance based logistics contract. Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command/CCAM-AR-A), Aviation & Missile Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0006).

NAVY

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $85,499,548 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive/award-fee contract (N00019-07-C-0097) in support of the Joint Strike Fighter air system low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lot II. This modification provides for the procurement of the additional special tooling and special test equipment required under LRIP II to meet the anticipated production ramp. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (24 percent); Lancashire, United Kingdom (17 percent); Turin, Italy (4.5 percent); and at various continental U.S. locations (19.2 percent) and locations outside the continental U.S. (0.3 percent). Work is expected to be completed in April 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $25,786,266 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $58,000,000 modification to the previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-08-C-0028) for technical services required to meet production ramp rates in support of the Joint Strike Fighter air system low-rate initial production Lot III aircraft. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (55 percent); Lancashire, United Kingdom (18 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (12.6 percent); and various continental U.S. locations (13.5 percent) and locations outside the continental U.S. (0.9 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $22,892,637 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5437) for engineering and technical services in support of the MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon System. Phalanx Close-In Weapon System is a fast reaction terminal defense against low- and high-flying, high-speed maneuvering anti-ship missile threats that have penetrated all other ships' defenses. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $5,342,758 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Graybar Electric Co., Inc., Saint Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $74,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies for the Southwest region, Zone 1. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with seven responses. The date of performance completion is May 18, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP07).

Science Application International Corp., Fairfield, N.J., is being awarded a maximum $60,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies for the Southwest region, Zone 2. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with seven responses. The date of performance completion is May 18, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP08).

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of May 18, 2010

This week the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force announced an increase. The Coast Guard announced no change. The net collective result is 945 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 98,791; Navy Reserve, 6,399; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 18,318; Marine Corps Reserve, 6,724; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 834. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 131,066, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found on line at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100518ngr.pdf

National Guard members never stop training for hurricane season

by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau

5/19/2010 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Although most hurricanes occur between the months of June and October, being prepared to respond to the aftereffects of a hurricane is almost a year-round task for the members of the National Guard.

"We actually almost never stop (training),"said Maj. Gen. Bill Etter, the director of domestic operations at the National Guard Bureau. "If you look at a hurricane season extending almost to November, as soon as that's over in January we're back at it (training) again."

Part of that training and preparation includes working out the details with other agencies.

"This past January, we had a week-long workshop where we rolled our sleeves up and got a lot of stuff done," said General Etter, adding that it included the states, the National Guard Bureau and U.S. Northern Command.

During the workshop, available Guard assets were identified in each state and plans were made that matched those capabilities with what would be needed should hurricanes of varying strengths make landfall, General Etter said.

"We developed a matrix for each state, and who was going to actually backfill that capability gap in the event there was a large-scale hurricane," he said. "We also brought in the United States Coast Guard, and FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security for an outbrief at the end, ... so everybody had an awareness of what we have and what we need (for) very high winds or a very large hurricane."

A second workshop was held a few months later.

"That was an attempt to make sure that everyone knew that we built a plan, and here's our plan and everyone is on the same sheet of music," General Etter said.

Last year was a relatively light hurricane season, but 2008 included several back-to-back storms that hit several states.

While responding to so many storms at once may have presented many challenges, it also gave insights on how to improve things for future responses, General Etter said.

"We have not only lessons learned but lessons applied," he said. "It's great to study, but we actually want to go back and adjust and keep raising the bar for our response."

Improved ways of getting supplies to where they need to go is one of these lessons learned, the general said.

"We're trying to concentrate on in-transit visibility," he said. "We want to make sure if water is going to an area, that the amount of water that we think is going to arrive will actually do that. But, by the same token, we don't want to send 10 times the amount of water needed to one area and another area is getting no water."

This can be accomplished by using technology normally associated with tracking elements on the battlefield, such as the Blue Force Tracker, which uses global positioning system technology to display the locations of units and vehicles.

"You can see where the trucks are, where the airplanes are and where the forces are moving around making sure they're getting there at the right time," General Etter said.

Medical evacuation procedures have also been refined.

"One of the difficult things ... is aeromedical evacuation (when) a very large storm hits a coastal area," said General Etter, adding that the difficulty comes from pinpointing where the hurricane is going to hit.

"You can't evacuate everyone if it's, say, a 120-mile wide swath," he said. "You have to wait until that cone narrows down."

Being able to better forecast the projected path of a hurricane has made that less of a challenge, the general said.

"Forecasting has improved significantly over the past 10 years, so 48 hours out, you can get a pretty good idea of where one of these things is going," he said. "But, you have a very small window where the winds get too high and you can no longer fly these aircraft out.

"It's something where a decision has to be made very quickly, very accurately and a very focused effort has to occur," he said.

Part of that accurate and focused response also comes from working with other agencies, General Etter said.

"I think the partnerships have improved greatly," he said. "I've been living and breathing this for about three-and-a-half years and it's never been better. We try and view this as a team effort. It's not just a National Guard effort but rather a whole-of-government effort."

That partnership includes the local and state governments, who have their own hurricane response plans.

"We've been able to get the next level up where we bring all these state plans under a common review and kind of do a best-of album, and get those best practices back to the states so that every state becomes a little bit better," General Etter said. "We want to make sure they have the benefit of not having to go through lessons learned."

Kadena Airmen see mobility surge due to volcanic activity

by Maj. John Hutcheson
18th Wing Public Affairs

5/19/2010 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- As a result of continued volcanic activity in Iceland, some Air Mobility Command aircraft are being re-routed through the Pacific on their way to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the keystone of the Pacific, Kadena Air Base is one of the bases providing en route support for C-5 Galaxies and C-17 Globemasters III delivering materiel for U.S. operations downrange.

"This posturing allows us to continue moving troops and cargo when the ash cloud limits the number of missions we can operate over the Atlantic and through Europe," said Capt. Justin Brockhoff from the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. "(Although re-routing) takes 15.6 flight hours longer for a C-5 and 15.5 flight hours longer for a C-17, it's a calculated measure to ensure the needs of our troops in operations enduring and Iraqi freedom continue to be met without fail."

Leading the support effort at Kadena AB are members of the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron, which is part of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing, headquartered at Joiunt Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The 733rd AMS Airmen provide a range of services to aircraft transiting through the Pacific region, including command and control, maintenance, fleet services, and cargo and passenger handling.

"We expect to see the same amount of heavy lift (C-5s and C-17s) over the next 72 hours that we would normally see over several weeks," said Lt. Col. Ryan Marshall, the 733rd AMS commander.

AMC aircraft transiting through Kadena AB are stopping to refuel, conduct necessary maintenance and to ensure aircrews get proper crew rest.

"We've had to shuffle manning here, but right now we're managing the mission very well," said Master Sgt. Adam Lewis, the 733rd AMS air mobility control center superintendent.

Sergeant Lewis said his unit has already deployed one of its senior NCOs forward to another Pacific staging point on the way to Southwest Asia to provide operations support for the additional aircraft flowing through.

"This is the strength of AMC," Colonel Marshall said. "We can go anywhere, anytime to deliver cargo and people where they need to go. When Mother Nature intervenes, we have the flexibility to rapidly adjust our operations to continue supporting the warfighters downrange."

Officials are unsure how long AMC aircraft bound for Southwest Asia will continue to flow through Kadena AB and other Pacific Air Forces bases.

"We continue to monitor the weather conditions and are meeting twice daily to discuss when and if our operations require further adjustments," Captain Brockhoff said.

Colonel Marshall said the 733rd AMS members are coordinating closely with the 18th Wing, Kadena AB's host unit, to ensure the influx of additional aircraft don't disrupt Kadena AB's day-to-day airfield operations.

"It really is a partnership," the colonel said. "We rely on the 18th Wing to enable us to operate effectively. We have a great relationship with the wing, and that will pay big dividends as we work together to keep these aircraft flowing to their destinations."

Since April 15, more than 620 AMC missions have been re-routed worldwide due to the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland. More than 37,000 passengers and nearly 13,000 tons of cargo have been re-routed in order to meet worldwide commitments, including support to operations enduring and Iraqi freedom.

(Staff Sgt. Jason Lake of the 18th Wing Public Affairs office contributed to this story)

Winnefeld Takes NORAD, Northcom Reins

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 19, 2010 - Navy Adm. James Winnefeld accepted command of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., today, succeeding retiring Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. Renuart has served almost 40 years in uniform. Winnefeld, a naval aviator, comes to the job from service as the director of strategic plans and policy on the Joint Staff.

Winnefeld noted he served with Canadian forces in Afghanistan and said he looks forward to serving with them again at NORAD.

Gates described Renuart as a decorated aviator, successful commander and proven strategic visionary. The general served as the secretary's senior military assistant when Gates took office in December 2006, and the secretary called Renuart the logical choice to lead the men and women of Northcom.

"Realizing that his mission was to provide robust, complex and swift support to civil and military authorities with little to no notice, he used 'anticipate' as the watch word for the command," Gates said during the ceremony. "By doing so, he created an innovative environment that seeks to identify and counter threats before they come to pass. His forward thinking has permeated this command, as evidenced by its winning the 2009 Joint Meritorious Unit Award."

During Renuart's command tour, Northern Command flew more than 55,000 Noble Eagle sorties in defense of the homeland. The command oversaw evacuation of 12,000 persons and directly saved more than 400 during hurricanes Ike and Gustav and supported other federal agencies to prepare for California wildfires, two national political conventions, and three hurricanes – all within a two-week period.

The command also is partnering with Mexican military and civil leaders to assist them in battling the drug cartels under the auspices of the Merida Initiative. The command also worked with U.S. Southern Command to provide an aerial lifeline to Haiti in the wake of the horrific earthquake in January.

Renuart thanked the secretary for his support. He thanked the Canadian allies for their help and cooperation, and he thanked Mexican authorities for their response to a shared threat, noting that relationships are at the core of the command's successes.

Gates said the nation is fortunate to have in Winnefeld "another proven leader and warrior ready to lead this vital organization."

Winnefeld served in two fighter squadrons and instructed at the Navy Fighter Weapons School. He led the USS Enterprise through Operation Enduring Freedom immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

"As a carrier strike group commander, he supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and conducted maritime security missions in the Persian Gulf," Gates said. "Most recently, he was the director of strategic plans and policy for the Joint Staff. With this singular resume, I can think of no better officer to assume the vital duties of defending our nation, responding to natural disasters when called upon, and partnering with Canada, Mexico and our Caribbean neighbors in securing our borders and sovereignty."

Winnefeld recognized the commands' accomplishments and said he was looking forward to becoming part of the team.

"While I know I need to listen and learn, I join this great team with a lot of energy and ideas," he said. "There are any doors of opportunity open to these two commands, and we will step through them in due course. In so doing, we will not forget our American and Canadian colleagues serving together overseas. They and others from like-minded nations are our first line of defense."

Citing a connection between those who serve on the front lines and the NORAD and Northcom missions, Winnefeld recognized two soldiers in the audience from nearby Fort Carson who are recovering from wounds they suffered in combat, as well as "Gold Star" family members who have lost loved ones on deployment who were at the ceremony.

"When one of these devoted young men and women is wounded or lost in action, it's not an isolated event far away," he said. "There's a clear connection between what these very special people did and do over there and what we do over here."

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher of U.S. Northern Command contributed to this article.)

Official Equates Financial, Military Readiness

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

May 19, 2010 - Through outreach and a robust system of educating servicemembers, Defense Department officials are working to keep troops financially fit to fight and protected from predatory lenders, a Pentagon official said today.

Since the downward turn of the credit market in recent years, Defense Department officials and lawmakers have grown more concerned with servicemembers falling into bad financial standing, said Marcus Beauregard, a senior program analyst for the Pentagon's military community and family policy office said.

Officials hope Congress soon will pass legislation that puts auto dealers under the scrutiny of a proposed watchdog agency that also would oversee banks and lending institutions, Beauregard said.

Poor financial situations among troops can greatly affect military readiness and the ability of servicemembers to accomplish their mission, he noted.

"Financial stability helps servicemembers [and the Defense Department]," he said. "If they're paying more attention to their financial concerns, they're paying attention less to their primary mission and their primary jobs."

Commanders have voiced concerns to defense policy makers, making them more aware of issues troops have had in buying automobiles and repaying short-term loans, Beauregard said. Leaders also have learned certain products perpetually have caused problems for their servicemembers, he added, and they hope to prevent issues from becoming problems, he added.

A Defense Department study showed that finances are behind only career and mission issues as the top stressors among servicemembers, Beauregard said. Noting the busy tempo and numerous requirements placed on the lives of troops today, he said it's important to the department that troops sustain good financial standing and learn how to avoid being burdened by obligations they may not be able to handle.

Educating troops is the best way to ensure their readiness and financial situation remain intact, Beauregard said. The Military OneSource website, unit advisors, installation financial counselors and legal assistance advisors are great sources of information, he said.

"[The Defense Department] is looking for opportunities and protection that will support our servicemembers," he said. "Anything that will help a servicemember to do their job better and feel more prepared for their duty in taking care of their finances is certainly beneficial."

Beauregard urged troops to be wary of companies and businesses that claim to be military-friendly. He also stressed that they shouldn't sign documents unless they completely understand the contract, and that they avoid short-term loans.

"The most important thing we can do is to educate servicemembers and their families, make them aware of things they may be a problem, [and] make them aware of how to deal with transactions," he said. "That's certainly their body armor that's going to keep them in good standing."

Defense officials work closely with financial regulators at the local, state and federal levels to ensure those institutions are aware of the needs of servicemembers and what's going in the marketplace, he said.

"It's that communication, that ability to let [regulators] know that servicemembers need to be looked after as part of their community," he said. "There's now a greater awareness within the general community that finances are an important part of the servicemember's life and can impact that servicemember in terms of the preparedness and readiness to do their job."

At Ease earns top honors in Department of Defense competition

At Ease Express, the official publication of the Wisconsin National Guard, received a Thomas Jefferson Award Friday (May 14) as the best web-based publication in the U.S. military for 2009 during a Communicators of Excellence Awards ceremony at Fort Meade, Md.

Lt. Col. Jackie Guthrie, public affairs director for the Wisconsin National Guard, was joined by Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, in accepting the award.

"This is a tremendous honor for our public affairs team," Guthrie said. "Many people put in a great deal of time and effort for each issue of At Ease, and it is very rewarding for that combined effort to be recognized at this level. However, our readers remain the most important judges as to whether At Ease is succeeding in telling the story of the Wisconsin National Guard."

At Ease has won several Keith L. Ware awards in its more than four-decade history, but this marks the publication's first Department of Defense-level award. A newsprint publication for much of its tenure and a magazine-format periodical between 2002 and 2009, At Ease converted to a web-only publication in July 2009.

In December of last year, At Ease revised its format to become more interactive. Online readers could view more photos per page as well as open video files, and still had the option of reproducing pages on personal printers. Stories also included links to online archives that display complete versions of stories and additional photos.

"We're trying to bridge the gap between readership trends," explained 1st Sgt. Vaughn R. Larson, At Ease editor. "More and more readers are getting their news from the Internet, and yet we recognize that a significant percentage of our readers remain comfortable with a traditional news delivery format such as print. It can be a tricky balance, but it's an enjoyable challenge."

Achieving that balance is the goal of all military communicators, said Philip J. "PJ" Crowley, assistant secretary of state for public affairs, during a brief address to award winners.

"We can communicate one to one, one to many or many to many," Crowley said. "The successful communicator will be someone who makes information compelling, yet simple to understand and convenient for the reader, listener and viewer."

Crowley acknowledged the vast array of methods available to communicate messages, and said the challenge is to find the right medium and excel as storytellers.

"Our enemies have bomb factories and video-production units," he added. "They are competing for terrain between two mountains in Afghanistan and for the space between two ears. We were successful across the Iron Curtain, and we can be equally successful across the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Milwaukee Air Guard unit soars during Armed Forces Week

Date: May 18, 2010
By Senior Airman Ryan Kuntze
128th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard was prominent in last week's Armed Forces Week activities, being inducted into the Kiwanis Club of Milwaukee's Hall of Fame and hosting the 30th annual Milwaukee Civic Dinner Dance.

The Kiwanis recognized the 128th ARW for its continuing national defense role as well as contributions to the greater Milwaukee community by providing firefighting support at Gen. Mitchell International Airport as well as a strong, viable economic boost to Southeastern Wisconsin during a luncheon ceremony May 12 at the Milwaukee War Memorial.

Brig. Gen. John McCoy, commander of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, spoke of the refueling wing's history and support from local communities during remarks as the guest speaker. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Scott Walker each proclaimed May 12 as an official day of honor for the 128th ARW.

Approximately 400 people attended the 30th anniversary of the Milwaukee Civic Dinner Dance, held May 13 at the 128th Air Refueling Wing's inspection hangar at Gen. Mitchell International Airport. Attendees included military members from throughout Wisconsin, elected state and local officials, and area citizens. The event was hosted by the 128th ARW and the wing's commander, Col. Ted Metzgar.

Army Capt. Brian Barth, commander of the 951st "Sapper" Engineer Company, 724th Engineer Battalion, was the guest speaker. He said he was privileged to share his experiences with fellow Guardsmen due to the ongoing teamwork his company experiences with the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

"I am honored to share the National Guard story and teamwork," Barth said. "It's good to see support from the community."

Dr. Tom Buck, the Civic Dinner Dance co-chairman, said, "This is one of the civilian and military events that help people express their appreciation for the military and to understand it. The 128th [ARW] is a vital asset to Milwaukee and the world."

The evening's emcee, Raymond Glowacki, reminded everyone in attendance that today's military is a volunteer service. McCoy said he feels "immense pride about being a part of this organization we call the United States military."

Otis "Bill" Weinhold, a prominent figure in the St. Francis community, was recognized for his accomplishments as a local business leader, a commissioner in the St. Francis Police and Fire departments, and as a founding member of the St. Francis Lions Club.

The event also included music from the Wisconsin National Guard's 132nd Army Band as well as various military displays, such as an assortment of weapons used by the 128th ARW security forces squadron, the various gear components used by the 128th ARW aircrew flight equipment squadron, and a mine-detection vehicle, or Buffalo, used by the 951st Engineer Company.

Gates, Clinton Urge Senate to Ratify Nuke Treaty

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

May 18, 2010 - Saying the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty strengthens America's defenses, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today urged the Senate to ratify the pact between the United States and Russia.

Gates testified about the treaty before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen lent their voices at the hearing in support of the treaty.

The treaty allows the Defense Department to maintain a strong and effective nuclear deterrent while modernizing the weapons to ensure that they are safe, secure and reliable, Gates said.

"This treaty reduces the strategic nuclear forces of our two nations in a manner that strengthens the strategic stability of our relationship and protects the security of the American people and our allies," the secretary said. "America's nuclear arsenal remains a vital pillar of our national security, deterring potential adversaries and reassuring allies and partners."

Under the treaty, the United States has an upper boundary of 1,550 deployed warheads; up to 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable heavy bombers; and up to 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments, Gates said.

"Under this treaty, we retain the power to determine the composition of our force structure, allowing the United States complete flexibility to deploy, maintain and modernize our strategic nuclear forces in a manner that best protects our national-security interests," he said.

The Defense Department will retain 240 deployed SLBMs, distributed among 14 submarines, each of which will have 20 launch tubes. This is the most survivable leg of the triad, and reducing the number of missiles carried on each submarine from 24 to 20 will facilitate Navy planning for the Ohio-class submarine replacement, Gates explained.

Manned bombers provide flexibility to the mix, and the United States will retain up to 60 deployed heavy bombers, including all 18 operational B-2s. At the same time, the Air Force is planning for a long-range strike replacement and plans to convert a number of B-52Hs to a conventional-only role.

"Finally, the U.S. will retain up to 420 deployed single-warhead Minuteman 3 ICBMs at our current three missile bases," Gates said.

Clinton stressed that the treaty does not affect U.S. missile-defense plans.

"Nothing in the new START treaty constrains our missile-defense efforts," she said. "Russia has issued a unilateral statement on missile defense, expressing its views. We have not agreed to this view, and we are not bound by this unilateral statement."

In fact, the United States intends to continue improving and deploying the missile-defense systems, Clinton said.

The new START does not restrict U.S. ability to develop and deploy prompt global strike or prompt conventional strike capabilities that could attack targets anywhere on the globe in an hour or less, Gates said.

"In my view, a key contribution of this treaty is its provision for a strong verification regime," the defense secretary said. "The treaty provides a firm basis for monitoring Russia's compliance with its treaty obligations while also providing important insights into the size and composition of Russian strategic forces."

The treaty allows each party to conduct up to 18 on-site inspections each year at operating bases for ICBMs, SSBNs and nuclear-capable heavy bombers, as well as storage facilities, test ranges and conversion and elimination facilities. The agreement establishes a database that will be initially populated 45 days after the treaty enters into force and updated every six months thereafter that will help to provide the United States with a rolling overall picture of Russia's strategic offensive forces, the secretary said.

The new treaty also allows both parties to track the movement and changes in status of the strategic offensive arms covered by the treaty. Each ICBM, SLBM, and nuclear-capable bomber will have a unique identifier.

Finally, the treaty provides for noninterference with national technical means of verification, such as reconnaissance satellites, ground stations and ships. "This provides us with an independent method of gathering information that can assist in validating data declarations," Gates said.

But to be an effective deterrent, nuclear weapons must be safe, secure and reliable, the defense secretary said, and the U.S. nuclear arsenal requires reinvigoration.

"That is, our infrastructure and our science, technology and engineering base," he said. "To this end, the Department of Defense is transferring $4.6 billion to the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration through fiscal year 2015. This transfer will assist in funding critical nuclear weapons life-extension programs and efforts to modernize the nuclear weapons infrastructure."

General Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III for appointment to the rank of general and assignment as commanding general, U. S. Forces-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom. Austin is currently serving as director, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

Army Lt. Gen. David H. Huntoon Jr. for reappointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Huntoon is currently serving as director of the Army Staff, Washington, D.C.

Louisiana Guard Airlifts Sandbags in Oil Spill Response

By Army Spc. Christopher L. Foster
1021st Engineer Company

May 18, 2010 - The Louisiana National Guard's 843rd Horizontal Company and 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company, 205th Engineer Battalion, started joint operations with 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment by filling one of 16 breaches spanning more than seven miles from Pelican Island to Scofield Island near Empire, La., yesterday.

Operations consist of filling large sandbags on the ground and airlifting them with UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to repair gaps caused by coastal erosion as part of efforts to mitigate effects from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The soldiers on the ground are filling as many sandbags as possible to stay ahead of the airlifts.

"With 24-hour, on-the-ground operations, I am confident that my troops will get the job done quickly and efficiently," said Army 1st Lt. James T. Gabler of Metairie, La., officer in charge of sling operations.

The 2225th assisted in placing the sandbags and recovering the sling cables used to haul the large sandbags.

Flag Officer Assignments

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Patrick H. Brady, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif. Brady is currently serving as deputy commander for undersea warfare, SEA-073, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Thomas H. Copeman III, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as chief of legislative affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C. Copeman is currently serving as commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, U.S. Southern Command, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Rear Adm. Philip H. Cullom, will be assigned as director, Environmental Readiness Division, N45, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Cullom is currently serving as director, Fleet Readiness Division, N43, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Robert J. A. Gilbeau, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as commander, Defense Contract Management Agency-International, Fort Lee, Va. Gilbeau is currently serving as deputy commander-aviation, Naval Inventory Control Point, Philadelphia/Mechanicsburg, Philadelphia, Pa.

Capt. Kevin J. Kovacich, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as deputy director, J35, future operations, U.S. Forces - Iraq. Kovacich is currently serving as deputy director, Naval Warfare Integration Group, N00X, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Thomas J. Moore, will be assigned as director, Fleet Readiness Division, N43, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Moore is currently serving as deputy director, Fleet Readiness Division, N43, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Elizabeth S. Niemyer, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as director of the Nurse Corps/deputy chief wounded, ill, and injured, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D.C. Niemyer is currently serving as director, TRICARE Region West, San Diego, Calif.

Rear Adm. Robin M. Watters, will be assigned as chief of staff, U.S. Pacific Command, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Watters is currently serving as reserve deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

GW Carrier Strike Group Departs for Carrier Qualifications

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The George Washington Carrier Strike Group centered on the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS George Washington (CVN 73), departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan May 18 to conduct carrier qualifications in preparation for its upcoming annual deployment cycle.

George Washington is conducting equipment testing and carrier landing qualifications with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, following a 121-day Selective Restricted Availability (SRA) period and four-day sea trials.

During the SRA, multiple repairs and upgrades were made to operational systems and GW's 3,360 spaces. These renovations required more than 213,000 man-days of work. Specific repairs included upgrades, corrective and preventative maintenance to air-conditioning units, fire fighting systems, aircraft elevators, navigation systems, and crew habitability spaces.

Commanded by Rear Adm. Kevin Donegan, the George Washington Carrier Strike Group with more than 5,000 Sailors, is also comprised of 7th Fleet's: CVW-5; Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15) and the guided missile cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Cowpens (CG 63). Commanded by Capt. David A. Lausman, the USS George Washington (CVN 73) replaced the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) last September as the flagship for the permanently forward-deployed carrier strike group.

Navy Freeing up Aviation Training Pipeline

By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- In an effort to reduce and stabilize the current wait time for training, the Navy is seeking to decrease the number of officers in the Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API) student pilot pre-load.

Reductions to aviation fleet requirements and recent material challenges with training aircraft have caused the student pilot population to exceed the optimal preload by approximately 200 personnel.

"Typically, time from commissioning to API start should be three months. The current delays have increased this time to six months," said Capt. Mike White, director, Aviation Officer Distribution.

To assist in reducing the number of students in the pipeline, Navy officials have planned to offer redesignation to qualified volunteers.

"Qualified volunteers from the existing API pool will be solicited through June," White said. "Community managers and detailers will be available to answer questions and make assessments of volunteers' qualifications and affinities toward alternative paths. Following an administrative review board, those selected will be removed from training status and administratively redesignated. If an individual is not accepted, for whatever reason, they will continue aviation training."

Navy officials are also planning to offer delays or deferments via internships, graduate education, and other temporary additional duty options, prior to moving to Pensacola, Fla.

"We have been pursuing internship opportunities through various agencies in the Washington, D.C. area for our U.S. Naval Academy graduates," White said. "In addition, several newly commissioned officers will go directly to Naval Postgraduate School to pursue a graduate degree while graduates from Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units around the country will have the opportunity to work locally with their unit or perhaps in recruiting."

Beginning in December, some Navy ROTC graduates may be assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) until their API start date.

"The length of time spent in the IRR will be dependent on their API class start date," White said. "Nominally, this period will be about three to six months."

Seabees Assist USAID in Timor-Leste

By Ensign Matthew Lundin, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 Public Affairs

DILI, Timor-Leste (NNS) -- Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 helped clean up U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) offices following a fire in Dili, Timor-Leste, May 13.

A fire broke out May 12 causing damage to a number of USAID offices.

The fire, though localized, did spread into the roofing system causing major damage. Even though many of the offices suffered only minor damage from the smoke, USAID had to vacate the premise and find a new secure location.

NMCB 11 Seabees came to USAID's aid by helping remove much of their vital electronic equipment and salvaging much of their office equipment May 13. Because the roof was severely damaged, the Seabees had to move fast.

They mobilized rapidly and also coordinated assistance from Australians, who are part of the International Stabilization Force (ISF). With help from the ISF, they were able to quickly remove sensitive equipment and transport it to a local warehouse.

The Seabees, with their vast knowledge and skills, also found themselves helping the local United Nations Police with their investigation of the scene.

NMCB 11's Construction Electrician 2nd Class Darius Michael, Construction Electrician 3rd Class Joshua Murphy and Equipment Operator 3rd Class Robert Shuaghnessy took a look and determined that the fire was most likely caused by faulty wiring.

With rain in the forecast, work was nonstop until everything undamaged by the fire was safely out of the building.

"You guys [the Seabees] are life savers" said Peter Cloutier, development director of USAID in Timor-Leste. "We owe you one."

USAID is currently focusing efforts on accelerating economic growth, strengthening democracy and governance and improving the health of the Timorese people.

Service Members Support Special Olympics on Guam

By Oyaol Ngirairikl, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

HAGATNA, Guam (NNS) -- Service members volunteered their time to coach Special Olympics Guam athletes at the Hagatna swimming pool on Guam May 15.

Sailors, Airmen and Marines are helping to prepare athletes for the annual Special Olympics swimming competition scheduled for June 5.

"These athletes are just really cool people. They're fun to work with," said Builder 2nd Class (SCW) Carle Spragle, of U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas' Self Help Department. "They work so hard, and that motivates you to work hard right alongside them because you want to see them succeed."

Spragle and fellow service members spent almost two hours at the pool, stretching out with the athletes, working on swimming techniques and swimming to improve overall coordination and endurance.

Carole Piercy, athlete coordinator for Special Olympics Guam, said the volunteers promote good sportsmanship and camaraderie amongst the athletes and help to improve the athletes' abilities. Piercy added that the athletes enjoy interacting with the service members.

"There are military personnel who have been with the athletes through various events, from bowling to track and field and with swimming," said Piercy. "They create relationships with the athletes, and that provides the athletes with a sense of constancy and a sense that they are cared for."

While only being on Guam for six months, I have already participated in several volunteer projects, enjoy working with the athletes and look forward to coaching more often, said Construction Electrician 3rd Class Jill Johnston, also of NAVFAC Marianas' Self Help Department.

"I think it's important for us to reach out to the entire community," said Johnston. "Our Special Olympics athletes are a part of our island community, and I'm glad that I'm able to help and do my part."

NAVFAC Sailors have assisted with tutoring and mentoring students at local public schools and partnered with community volunteers for islandwide cleanup projects, among other activities.

I also enjoy working with Special Olympics athletes, said 1st Lt. Nathan Waters, a Marine with Defense Information System Agency Pacific.

"All of us have an opportunity to serve our communities and this is one of the best ways," said Waters. "You see the smiles on their faces knowing that they have this opportunity to compete with each other and to have fun with each other and with us, their coaches."

Building that bond with the athletes and their families "makes it worthwhile," said Waters.

"Whether it's swimming or track and field, whatever event it is, it puts a joy in your heart to know you helped them reach their goals," said Waters. "As a military member, it's good to not only serve your country on the battlefield, but it's also good to serve your country outside the battlefield. We're showing that we're serving our community in more than one way."

Master Sgt. Dale Moring, of 36th Maintenance Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base and a volunteer swim coach, agreed that it's important for service members to get involved in local events and programs.

"It makes you feel good," said Moring.

Special Olympics Guam established its programs on the island in 1976 to provide sports opportunities for people with disabilities. The nonprofit group hosts annual events, such as bowling, swimming and track and field competitions, to boost its athletes' confidence, encourage friendship-building and give its participants a positive outlet for learning and recreation.

MILITARY CONTRACTS May 18, 2010

AIR FORCE

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $303,337,052 contract which will provide production of two Global Hawk Block 30 air vehicles, two Global Hawk Block 40 air vehicles, and related program sustaining support efforts. At this time, $17,681,554 has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-09-C-4001 P0004).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Integrated Systems Air Combat Systems, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $287,449,968 contract which will provide two in-line airborne signals intelligence payloads (ASIP) and three ASIP retrofit kits. At this time, $82,318,446 has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-10-C-4007).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $30,000,000 contract which will provide for congressionally mandated advance procurement long-lead associated with two Block 30 and two Block 40 Global Hawk air vehicles; two in-line airborne signals intelligence payloads; two multi-platform radar technology insertion program sensors; two in-line sensors; and other items and activities required to protect the production schedule for Lot 10. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 303 AESG/SYK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-10-C-4000).

Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded an $11,184,558 contract which will provide for 136 enhanced Paveway II and 100 enhanced Paveway II with height of burst guided bomb conversion kits. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 784 CBSG/PKB, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (FA8213-10-C-0038).

Agbayani Construction Corp., Daly City, Calif., was awarded a $5,572,266 contract which will provide maintenance for 1390 military family housing units. At this time, no money has been obligated. 36 CONS, APO, AP is the contracting activity (F64133-01-D-0017, P00060).

NAVY

Tybrin Corp., Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (N68936-10-D-0034); Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, Gaithersburg, Md. (N68936-10-D-0035); and L-3 Services, Inc., Chantilly, Va. (N68936-10-D-0036), are each being awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts for services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Combat Environment Simulation Division. Services to be provided include the acquisition and deployment of equipment or systems designed to provide a dense, realistic, and electromagnetic (encompassing radio frequency, infrared, electro-optic, and laser energy) environment to be used by the tri-service community for weapon systems development; training; test and evaluation; test and evaluation of defense suppression systems; electronic warfare systems; electronic countermeasures equipment; and electronic counter-countermeasures equipment. The estimated level of effort for these contracts over the five-year ordering period is 577 man-years. Tybrin Corp.'s ceiling is $241,540,417; Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services' ceiling is $207,806,616; and L-3 Services, Inc.'s ceiling is $210,998,077. Each company will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif. (80 percent), and Point Mugu, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were solicited under a multiple award electronic request for proposals; 30 firms were solicited and three offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada, London, Canada, is being awarded a $29,682,828 firm-fixed-priced modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5028) for the procurement of 79 field service representatives to perform maintenance and repair services on the RG-31 Mine Resistance Ambush Protected vehicle fleet throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq areas of operations. Work is expected to be completed May 31, 2011. This contract modification was a sole-source procurement. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $15,000,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-03-C-5115) for engineering services for DDG 51 class and CG 47 class Aegis Combat System installation, integration, and test, and fleet life-cycle engineering support in support of the Program Executive Officer Integrated Warfare Systems. The required services for DDG 51 class ships and CG 47 class ships include program management and operation support; quality assurance; configuration management; ship design integration; fleet life-cycle engineering support; installation support; firmware maintenance; combat system test and evaluation; Navy furnished material support; special studies; and future-ship integration studies. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. (50 percent); Baltimore, Md. (25 percent); Norfolk, Va. (8 percent); Washington, D.C. (5 percent); Akron, Ohio (5 percent); Mayport, Fla. (2 percent); San Diego, Calif. (1 percent); Oxnard, Calif. (1 percent); Bath, Maine (1 percent); Pascagoula, Miss. (1 percent); and Dahlgren, Va. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2010. 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.

CDWG Government, Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill., is being awarded a $9,345,894 firm-fixed-price delivery order under a previously awarded contract (W91QUZ-06-D-0003) for a quantity of 9,642 general purpose laptops for the Marine Corps operating forces computer refresh. This delivery order includes logistics support requirements, and a two-year extended warranty for a total of five years warranty service. Work will be performed in Vernon Hills, Ill., and is expected to be completed July 18, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. A mini-competition was conducted for this delivery order between seven contractors via posting to the Army Computer Hardware Enterprise Software and Solutions Web site, Army Desktop and Mobile Computing contract holders, with four offers received. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Sysco Eastern Maryland, LLC, Pocomoke City, Md., is being awarded a maximum $37,500,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity, prime vendor contract for full food service. Other locations of performance are North Carolina. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard job corps. The original proposal was solicited via the Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System with four responses. The date of performance completion is May 21, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-10-D-3126).

Food Services, Inc.*, Mount Vernon, Wash., is being awarded a maximum $8,350,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, sole-source contract for full line food distribution. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy and Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is May 20, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-09-D-3293).