Military News

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sailors Help Rebuild Community During Little Rock Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pat Migliaccio, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (NNS) -- Sailors gathered in Little Rock to help Habitat for Humanity prepare a home for demolition May 27.

The project coincided with Little Rock Navy Week 2010, one of 20 Navy weeks planned across America this year.

Habitat for Humanity is an international non-profit organization devoted to building simple, affordable housing for those in need. Homes are built using volunteer labor and then sold at no profit.

"Our mission is to alleviate substandard housing and get everyone into an affordable home," said Misty Stewart, volunteer coordinator working on site.

"The Sailors here today are working really hard and doing a wonderful job removing everything from plumbing and light fixtures to countertops and trim," added Stewart. "Everything recyclable will be taken back to our store and sold. The proceeds in turn will allow us to build and remodel more homes for people in need."

"I'm excited to do this," said Lt. j.g. Marla Goshien from Navy Recruiting District Nashville, while removing a door. "It feels good to give back to the community and work for a great cause. My understanding is that profits from this deconstruct will be used to provide housing for needy cancer patients."

Sailors worked most of the day to remove all salvageable items out of the house, including the kitchen sink.

"This is outstanding," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Darren Carter, also from Navy Recruiting District Nashville, as he carefully hauled a refrigerator into a truck. "It feels good to help out the community. By being here, we show everyone that the Navy cares, while showing what we can do to give back to our community."

"We're privileged that the Navy chose to work with us during their Navy Week," said Stewart. "Hopefully, the work done today helps a needy family get a home in an indirect way. When we all work together, everyone benefits and we all move forward."

Navy Weeks are designed to inform Americans on the importance of naval service and increase awareness in cities which might not otherwise see the Navy work on a regular basis.

Senior Executive Service Appointments and Reassignments

June 1, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced the following Department of Defense Senior Executive Service appointments and reassignments:

Reassignments
Alan Lewis has been assigned as principal director, GIG Enterprise Services Engineering, Defense Information Systems Agency, Falls Church, Va. Lewis previously served as chief, GIG Engineering Center, GIG Enterprise Services Engineering Directorate, Defense Information Systems Agency, Falls Church, Va.

Henry Sienkiewicz has been assigned as chief information officer, Defense Information Systems Agency, Arlington, Va. Sienkiewicz previously served as technical program director, Computing Services Directorate, Defense Information Systems Agency, Falls Church, Va.

U.S. 6th Fleet Commander Honors Fallen Heroes in Netherlands

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) William Pittman, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - MARGRATEN, Netherlands (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. 6th Fleet arrived in Margraten, Netherlands, May 30 to celebrate Memorial Day at the World War II Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial.

Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., attended the memorial to honor the 8,302 American Soldiers who died during conflicts including Arnhem and Operation Market Garden during World War II.

"I'm deeply honored and deeply humbled to be asked to speak to you on this important occasion," Harris said. "As we gather here today and look across this 'sepulchered field of illustrious men,' we are likely moved by conflicting emotions, and the sure knowledge of what happened in this region over a half century ago. It is no exaggeration to suggest that their gift is nothing less than civilization as we know it."

Harris was one of several dignitaries attending the ceremony. Other event attendees included U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, Fay Hartog Levin, U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Erik K. Shinseki, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Several World War II veterans also attended.

"This is a very emotional occasion for me," said Bob Quegan, a veteran of the 17th Airborne Parachute Infantry Regiment. "My regiment participated in Operation Varsity on Mar. 24, 1945, and we lost a lot of good people that day. We lost so many people here during the war and the fact that the people of the Netherlands recognize our efforts and pay tribute to our fallen in this fashion is truly an honor."

Harris, along with representatives from several nations and former units, laid wreaths to pay their respects to the fallen Soldiers.

"We owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to all those who served more than 60 years ago," said Harris. "Our battles, our victories, indeed our very way of life is owed not to great moments or important dates. They are owed to the actions and sacrifices of individual men and women who were willing to step into the breach for their country and for the cause of freedom."

The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial is Europe's third largest war cemetery for unidentified soldiers who died in World War II.

USS Constitution Sailors Donate Blood

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

June 1, 2010 - CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution Sailors donated blood to the American Red Cross for the "Red Sox Blood Donor of the Game" May 27.

Sailors who donated have the chance to win two Boston Red Sox tickets and to be honored on the field as the Blood Donor of the Game.

Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Airman Dylan Roberts helped organize and bring the blood drive to Constitution.

"It's awesome knowing we're contributing to saving a life," said Roberts.

Twenty-six Sailors donated to the blood drive that kicked off at 9 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m.

"I never gave blood until I joined the military," said Airman Michael Fleck. "I try to give blood every six months. I think it makes a positive impact on the community, and it only takes five minutes out of your day. It's a small price to pay, and it saves a life."

The Red Cross collects units of blood for community supply, and occasionally they ship units to places where natural disasters occur.

After 40 days, a supply of blood is no longer usable; therefore, the Red Cross is always dependent on continuous donations. One unit of blood can save up to three lives.

"We've had a good turn-out," said Jen Monahan, Red Cross team supervisor. "It's great to see the Sailors when we know they are working every day to help protect our country, and to see them donating allows us to say 'thank you for donating and everything that you do.'"

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

Southcom Completes Haiti Disaster Response

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 1, 2010 - The U.S. military today officially ended its earthquake disaster response in Haiti today, leaving what is left of assistance with humanitarian and construction projects on the island to two annual military exercises in the region.

U.S. Southern Command, which oversaw the massive relief effort, officially stood down the effort in Haiti's capital of Port-Au-Prince. "I am proud of Joint Task Force Haiti's accomplishments and the men and women who filled its ranks," Army Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, the first commander of the command's Joint Task Force-Haiti, said. Keen added that the relief effort couldn't have happened without the collaboration of the military with the State Department, nongovernmental organizations, and the Haitian government.

The Jan. 12, magnitude 7 earthquake triggered an immediate, response that, at its peak, included 22,000 forces -- 7,000 based on land and the remainder operating aboard 58 aircraft and 15 nearby vessels, according to Southcom officials.

One of the first military contributions was the reopening of Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port au Prince by airmen with the 1st Special Operations Wing. The airmen landed on the island within 30 hours of the earthquake and, 30 minutes after landing, controlled airfield operations from a card table using hand-held radios to safely land and take-off hundreds of aircraft, a Southcom official said.

The earthquake response included one of the largest medical outreach efforts in history. Servicemembers treated and evaluated thousands of Haitian patients, including more than 8,600 on the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort. Surgeons aboard the ship completed nearly 1,000 surgeries.

Military members also delivered more than 2.6 million bottles of water, 2.2 million food rations, 17 million pounds of bulk food and 149,000 pounds of medical supplies into Haiti.

While the earthquake response effort is over, Southcom officials noted that the military will continue humanitarian and construction projects in Haiti throughout the summer and fall hurricane season. The USS Iwo Jima is to arrive on the island in July as part of Continuing Promise 2010, an annual civic assistance exercise supported by U.S. and international military medical personnel, civilian government agencies, and academic institutions.

Also, about 500 National Guard members will begin construction projects in Haiti this month as part of its New Horizons, a program it began in the 1980s to conduct joint and combined humanitarian exercises that Southcom conducts annually in Latin America and the Caribbean. The exercises will include building schools, clinics and community centers that can also serve as hurricane shelters.

In additional to Continuing Promise and New Horizons, Southcom will fund $13 million of disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance projects designed to enhance the capacity of the Haitian government to provide for the citizens.

Civil Engineer Entertains Comrades

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lindsey Maurice
386th Air Expeditionary Wing

June 1, 2010 - Surrounded by a sea of darkness, the 28-year-old airman is well aware of the hundreds of eyes watching his every move. He has been in this situation many times before, but somehow, this time feels different. With quiet composure, he plays the opening notes to the classic rock hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody," his adorers joining his melodic guitar solo with lyrical accompaniment. For a few minutes, everyone is able to forget about the stressors of being downrange and just enjoy some great music.

From the time he was 12 years old, listening to Metallica's "One" for the first time, Air Force Staff Sgt. Israel Poire, a 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron structural journeyman, knew he wanted to play guitar.

"When I embrace the guitar, I feel as if I'm holding the world at my fingertips," said Poire, who favors the fingerstyle technique, in which a guitarist plucks the strings directly with his fingertips, as opposed to flat picking or strumming. "My guitar sings what my heart wants to say."

An Oklahoma Air National Guardsman deployed from the 137th Civil Engineer Squadron at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base, Poire is a full-time college student majoring in biology while pursing his other passion of playing guitar on the side.

Over the last four years, since leaving the active-duty Air Force, the sergeant has performed at a variety of events such as weddings, retirement ceremonies, social gatherings and banquets, and alongside organizations such as the Oklahoma City Arts Council.

"I sometimes hear a song that is so moving and inspirational, I try to envision how it would sound on the guitar," he said. "Most often, the song is performed as an ensemble of musicians and was not meant to be played on guitar. So, if I am to discover how it would sound on a single guitar, there is only one way to find out. This is my joy."

Other times, he said, he realizes he could use a widely popular song in his set list. "It could be considered selling out," he said, "but I try hard to create a diverse set list so I can accommodate all tastes in music. This is the joy for others."

Since arriving in the U.S. Air Forces Central area of responsibility, Poire has yet to put his guitar down, honing his skills at night after a long day's work and performing several shows for his fellow airmen.

"I will always love creating the beautiful sounds that emanate from guitar; my passion for playing will always exist," the Mustang, Okla., native said. "Lately, however, I have pressed to introduce my contribution to the world of fingerstyle guitar. While I will never leave behind a legacy of being the greatest guitarist to ever live, I would like to be remembered as one who helped to advance the genre in some way, particularly by tackling hard rock and recreating the sound in fingerstyle. I would like to be regarded as an ambassador who bridged the diverging styles of music."

The sergeant spends the majority of his time here dealing with the installation's structural components.

"We perform functions such as carpentry, masonry and welding - essentially anything relating to infrastructure," he said. "The Air Force must have infrastructure to accomplish its mission. Consider how effective the Air Force units would be without hangars, runways and general facilities that shelter personnel and equipment. My mission consists of building and/or maintaining all of these."

Now serving on his third deployment since he joined the Air Force eight years ago, including deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Poire said he is familiar with the sacrifices military members must make in service for their country, including breaking plans made long ago.

"My twin brother, Will, and I have been collaborating on a project for a few years now," he said. "After years of arranging material from other artists and adapting the tunes to solo guitar, we decided to pay tribute to our heroes, Metallica, by arranging their stuff. After working for years on about 25 songs, we projected our completion for April/May of 2010.

"We decided to introduce our work on May 1 and dedicate the entire month to our new project, which we dubbed 'MAYtallica,'" he continued. "I was hoping to perform the material at the annual Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, held in April, but I came here. Still, I had to perform the material somehow, and the 386th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron folks here were very kind and accommodating in setting up some shows so I could debut my new material."

As the staff sergeant's deployment nears its end, he plans to continue to work hard and focus on perfecting some of his more meticulous musical compositions, such as "One."

"I'm still finding difficulty in performing 'One' with total fluency," he said. "I first started arranging the song for solo guitar about seven months ago, and I'm still struggling with the composition. Before 'One,' I found 'In the Mood' to be the most difficult piece. That song took about six months to perform with ease. This is a welcome challenge, though."

As the applause dies down and Poire leaves the stage after another successful performance, he breathes a sigh of relief. Soon he will be home again, playing with his twin brother and continuing to share the joys of fingerstyle guitar with the world.

Sasebo Sailors Learn Safety, Celebrate Alliance with Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Sasebo

June 1, 2010 - SASEBO, Japan (NNS) -- A safety fair at Nimitz Park kicked off the annual 101-critical days of summer safety campaign at U.S. Fleet Activities, Sasebo, Japan, May 28.

More military personnel die in accidents during the 101 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which is why several departments and organizations within the Sasebo base community set up booths for the event.

"Our basic message is all about safety," said Jeanette Ayala, who worked at the fire safety booth. "We're talking about gas grill safety. We're showing people third-degree burns and second-degree burns so that way they can all be aware and next time they barbecue, hopefully they won't barbecue themselves along with the burger."

Using a real gas fire, regional fire department personnel showed fair participants the correct way to discharge a fire extinguisher.

Many of the 200 fair attendees were impressed by the traffic safety display, which featured photos of Sasebo car accidents and showed other locations with a high number of accidents.

"Traffic was interesting," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Robert Morales. "They have a map where they indicate a lot of the accidents and they provide situation awareness and which areas to avoid. I mean I saw 12 accidents [on the display] right around here on the corner, which, you know I'll try to avoid."

Rolando Kallead, a traffic safety instructor, explained to a visitor at his booth, that when a traffic light turns green, drivers should wait a couple of seconds before proceeding, because there's always a chance somebody will run a red light.

Many safety fair participants were dressed in Navy physical training uniforms for a special 5k fun run scheduled after the safety event.

Nearly 225 people participated in the run, which was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. Runners included Sailors from both the U.S. Navy Sailors and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as members of the base community.

"Good race. A very good opportunity. I enjoyed," said Yamato Koide, a local resident at the after-race barbecue.

Navy Medical Officer Tosses First Pitch at Memorial Day Big League Game

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alan Gragg, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

June 1, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A U.S. Navy medical officer threw out the honorary first pitch at Petco Park during a Major League Baseball game May 31, as part of the San Diego Padres' Memorial Day remembrance.

Lt. Johnfritz Antoine, of San Diego-based Navy Environment Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 5, was selected by the Padres organization to toss the ceremonial first pitch for his service during Operation Unified Response, an international relief effort to help earthquake victims in his birth nation of Haiti.

"They liked my story. I went back to the place I was born to help out, and they said it was a very neat story and they liked it best," said Antoine about why the Padres chose him out of several candidates to throw out the first pitch at the Padres' Memorial Day game against the New York Mets.

The crowd cheered wildly when Antoine was announced before making the throw, and despite his pre-throw jitters, he threw a strike.

"I think I did okay," said Antoine. "Giving how nervous I was, I thought I was going to drop it too low. Everyone was giving me a lot of advice. I put a little bit of heat on it, and it was a success."

The Padres theme for Memorial Day this year was humanitarian assistance, and they wanted to have a uniformed service member who has participated in humanitarian assistance throw out the first pitch.

"It was an honor to represent the Navy in that capacity," said Antoine. "While I was doing it, it was also in the back of my mind that this was to honor all the U.S. service members around the world, past and present."

Antoine lived in Haiti until he was 12, when his father took a job in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved the whole family. He graduated from the University of New York at Hunter in Manhattan before joining the Navy.

Antoine said he was proud to lend a hand in Haiti, through the Forward Deployed Preventive Medicine Unit (FDPMU).

"It was not just a one man show, I had a 13-man FDPMU team, and everyone did a fantastic job," said Antoine of his team's work in Haiti from Jan. 25 - March 21.

Antoine speaks both native Haitian languages, Haitian-Creole and French, which helped while he led the preventive medicine component of FDPMU. FDPMU consisted of medical personnel from NEPMU 5 and NEPMU 2, based out of Portsmouth, Va.

FDPMU's job was to help the people of Haiti with infection control, and provide environmental help through preventive medicine. They were also responsible for maintaining the health of U.S. service members participating in the relief effort.

After throwing out the first pitch, Antoine thanked the Padres organization for allowing him to represent the Navy and be a part of the Memorial Day festivities at Petco Park.

"They are a world-class organization," said Antoine. "It was one of the best nights of my life, and they made that happen."

Rescue, Relief highlight USS Reuben James deployment

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Greeted by families and friends, the guided-missile frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57) returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, June 1, from a four-month independent deployment to the 7th Fleet's area of responsibility.

Reuben James operated with forward deployed naval forces and conducted a joint fisheries patrol with the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as with local nations, through Oceania to protect vital natural resources. Additionally the Hawaii-based ship conducted humanitarian relief and goodwill projects, including Project Handclasp, distributing medical and hygienic supplies in the Republic of the Philippines.

Reuben James Sailors presented 28 boxes of women and children's clothing and toys to the Alola Foundation and two orphanages during a ceremony in February during their visit to Dili, East Timor.

Reuben James Commanding Officer Cmdr. David Miller said that one of the highlights of the deployment was the rescue of two Filipino fishermen along the coast of Mindanao, Philippines, Feb. 13.

"We came across two fishermen, whose motor had stopped and they were adrift at sea about 25 miles off shore," said Miller. "We stopped and took the afternoon to rescue them. We fixed their boat and brought them in closer so they could go back in to their port. What really stuck out in my mind about that was when one of the fishermen related to us that he had a friend of his who was lost at sea about a week before and was never found."

Reuben James concluded their deployment by supporting the forward deployed naval forces from Yokosuka, Japan. On their return, families and friends anticipated the crew's return to Hawaii.

"It was overwhelming," said Katie Zimmerman, who was holding a "welcome home and happy birthday" sign during the homecoming. Her husband, Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 1st Class Robert Zimmerman, was celebrating his 32nd birthday the same day as the homecoming. "This is a very good birthday present. This was our first deployment with kids. We just missed him terribly."

In August 1991, Reuben James moved from Long Beach, Calif., to Pearl Harbor. On October 1, 1998, she joined the Destroyer Squadron 31. Reuben James has a crew of about 250 officer and enlisted Sailors.

In addition to the ship's crew, members from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 37 detachment 3 supported the deployment with two SH-60B/MH-60R helicopters.

"The support of our helicopter squadron was phenomenal," said Miller. "The work that they did really went a long way, extending our surveillance during our fisheries patrol as well as integrating completely with the forward deployed forces and the exercises that they were conducting."

Frigates fulfill a protection-of-shipping mission as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups and merchant convoys.

Veterans Honored at NYC's Riverside Park during Memorial Day Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dominique Watts, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Norfolk

June 1, 2010 - NEW YORK (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen paused during Fleet Week New York 2010 to gather at Riverside Park in Manhattan to remember service members who have fallen in defense of the nation during a Memorial Day observance ceremony May 31.

"It is so important for people to understand what sacrifices were made by those who fought for this country and by those who serve now," said Lucille Posner, a former second class petty officer who served as part of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in World War II. "People need to recognize that we are at war again now and the troops need our support."

As New York was the first state to recognize Memorial Day in 1868, Riverside Park provided a fitting backdrop for the event.

In 1900, then-Gov. Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Riverside Park in recognition of those who served and gave their lives to preserve the Union. Today, the monument continues to serve as a daily reminder of those sacrifices.

"Those of us who serve today stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us," said Rear Adm. Mark Boensel, commander, Navy Mid-Atlantic Region. "We treasure the fact that we have their examples of honor, courage and commitment to guide us as we carry out their great work on behalf of the American people."

Approximately 3,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are participating in the 23rd Fleet Week New York through June 2.

Fleet Week has been New York City's celebration of the sea services since 1984, providing the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area the opportunity to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see the capabilities of today's maritime services.

CNO Recognizes Environmental Award Recipients

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

June 1, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead recognized 25 Navy individuals, ships, and installations for their exceptional environmental stewardship during his Environmental Awards ceremony June 1.

The awardees were recognized for reducing or eliminating hazardous materials, working with governmental and nongovernmental organizations to conserve natural resources, preserving land and restoring plant and animal species.

"I have been most impressed this year with the degree to which the commands and individuals partnered with civic leaders, students and volunteers from local communities," said Roughead. "Because they're not only preserving the environment, they're leading the Navy, indeed, to be a more responsible neighbor and community builder."

Roughead discussed the relationship between the creative and innovative 'green' tactics used by the award winners and how they can help achieve the Navy's overall energy conservation goals set by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

"It is through your example, through your skill, through ingenuity, through your dedication, through your involvement with those who can introduce us to new and better ways of doing things, that we can meet those goals," said Roughead to the awardees.

Roughead identified the importance of staying technologically progressive in the 'green' industry and continuing to build on the award winning environmentally friendly initiatives.

"I applaud all of the Sailors [and Navy civilians] that are here today, who are the leaders in environmental conservation in their own right," said Roughead.

Service Members Honor Fallen at Guam Memorial Day Ceremonies

By Jesse Leon Guerrero and Oyaol Ngirairikl, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - PITI, Guam (NNS) -- Service members on Guam honored the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to the nation during Memorial Day weekend ceremonies on Guam May 29.

The Annual Memorial Day Tribute Service in Talofofo, Guam, paid tribute the village's six sons who died during combat. The theme for the tribute was "You will never be forgotten."

Guest speaker at the event Rear Adm. Paul Bushong, commander, Joint Region Marianas, said nearly every family on Guam has lost or knows a family which has lost a loved one in battle.

"It is our responsibility as husbands, wives, parents, children, friends, and neighbors to honor those who have served and continue to serve, but particularly to preserve the memory of those who have fallen," Bushong said. "They are American heroes and it is for us to ensure that they will always be remembered and that they did not die in vain."

More than a dozen personnel from Navy Munitions Command East Asia Division (NMC EAD) Unit Guam and 9th Operations Group Detachment 3, Global Hawk on Andersen Air Force Base, attended the event and sat alongside other veterans, family members and friends of the military. Members of Father Duenas Memorial School's Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps provided color guard services.

Immediately following Bushong's speech, military members escorted island residents to lay wreaths and candles in front of the Talofofo Veterans Memorial Monument, erected in 1981 to recognize the fallen of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Mineman Seaman Apprentice Joshua Koellner, of NMC EAD Unit Guam, said it was an honor for him to participate as an escort. Guam is Koellner's first duty station since enlisting a year ago.

"It's paying tribute to fallen Soldiers who fought for our country and our freedom," Koellner said. "This means a lot."

Lt. Col. Brandon Baker, commanding officer of 9th Operations Group Detachment 3, Global Hawk, said it was an honor for his Air Force team to participate in the tribute.

"To be with family members of those that gave all, who gave everything for our nation, there's no higher respect that we can give them than to show up and support them," Baker said.

Hundreds of service members and island residents attended the Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Cemetery in Piti, Guam, May 31. The event was hosted by the Office of the Governor and the Guam Veterans Affairs Office.

The ceremony started with a flyover by a 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-2 Spirit. The squadron operates out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and is currently deployed to Andersen Air Force Base.

Bushong served as guest speaker at this event as well, saying Memorial Day is to honor the nation's war dead and the ideals for which they gave their lives.

"Those same ideals that were defended at Gettysburg, ideals that have come to define our nation, the protection of liberty and freedom and the commitment to fight injustice," he said. "Memorial Day is dedicated to remembering the more than one million Americans who died defending these ideals while serving this nation in the military."

He noted how Guam's sons and daughters have answered the call to serve over the decades.

"They have aided America when our country called. I am awed and humbled by their unwavering display of patriotism and bravery," Bushong said.

"Our island and our people know firsthand the price of freedom," said Lt. Gov. of Guam Mike Cruz. "It is paid in blood, bought with unending vigilance, and earned by fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. They come from every walk of life, from every rung of the economic ladder, from every state and territory in this nation."

Honoring those men and women who sacrificed all, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Sailors, Marines and Soldiers placed wreaths on grave markers symbolizing the men and women who died fighting in various wars, including both World Wars; the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf Wars; and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Chief Master Sgt. Allen Mullinex, 36th Wing command chief master sergeant, spoke of the pride he felt in standing beside fellow brothers- and sisters-at-arms in honoring the fallen.

"This is a humbling event for me," he said. "It honors those that went before us to protect our freedom of the United States and all our territories and actually other countries we've helped in the fight for their freedom."

Mullinex said the support from the community shown at that event and others throughout the year is something he appreciates. Youth from the Boy Scouts of America and various local schools' Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps assisted throughout the ceremony.

Mullinex said that involving these future leaders was a great way to ensure the freedoms service members of the past and present work so hard to secure are not taken for granted or forgotten.

"It gives all of us pride to know our country is behind us," he said.

Chief Boatswain's Mate (SW/AW) Leslie Bates, of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 7, Division 71, Detachment Echo, placed wreaths on the grave marker for service members whose lives were lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This was the first Memorial Day ceremony to have such a marker.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who died while during military service. Toward the end of the Civil War, groups of people honored the war dead by leaving flowers on their graves. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, and is celebrated on the last Monday in May.

YN, PS Advanced Course Gets a Makeover

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Melissa F. Weatherspoon, Center for Service Support Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Training specialists from the Center for Service Support in Newport, R.I., and its learning sites in Norfolk and San Diego tested the improved and modernized Yeoman/Personnel Specialist Advanced Administration Course, graduating seven students May 28 in San Diego.

The updated course blends computer-based training with traditional classroom instruction to bring the course up-to-date and in step with the ever-changing world of enlisted command and personnel administrators.

"As the environment in which command administrators work changes and evolves, so too, must the training and the curriculum by which we train our yeoman and personnel specialists," said Chris Leahy, one of CSS's instructional systems specialists.

Today's Navy demands that YNs and PSs be more technically proficient and well-versed in all aspects of naval administration and personnel. Therefore, according to Leahy, "graduates of this course of instruction now have a better understanding of the many technical elements of their ratings and will, as a result, be more efficient and effective members of their respective command administration teams."

Although only a small number of YNs and PSs graduated from the pilot course, the regularly scheduled course set to kick off in October 2010 will allow for approximately 400 students to attend annually in San Diego as well as the CSS Learning Site in Norfolk. Each site is scheduled to conduct eight classes per year.

The one-week, computer-based portion of the training must be completed at the prospective student's parent command prior to his or her arrival in either Norfolk or San Diego for the two-week residence portion. For last month's pilot course, however, the students completed the computer training at the schoolhouse with CSS staffers on hand to monitor the process.

The computer-based modules "were really helpful to have as a refresher of the 'big picture' and to help build a foundation in order to concentrate on the specifics during the instructor portion and to help find answers to our everyday issues," said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class Gerardo Arbulu, currently stationed at the Personnel Support Detachment in Sigonella, Italy. "[This training provides] great tools for Sailors that want to be better leaders and supervisors."

In developing curriculum, it is the responsibility of CSS and its learning sites to support the Navy's forward-deployed and widely distributed force by delivering more proficient and knowledgeable Sailors in less time. The blended solution as seen in this new course is designed to do just that.

"I strongly think that hybrid learning of computer-based training in the Navy Knowledge Online (portal) being used for pre-requisite requirements followed by the traditional classroom training will pave its way in the fleet," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Sotingco, officer in charge of the CSS San Diego learning site. "We are leveraging on new technologies familiar to our students, which provides a general overview and introduction to more-detailed topics once the [classroom portion] starts. This poises students to successfully meet and retain knowledge and skills that can be immediately employed upon graduation."

The course's lesson plans are tailored to enlisted leaders in the command and personnel administration workcenters, so this advanced course is restricted to top-performing first- and second-class petty officers. However, waivers for hard-charging third-class petty officers will be considered. To enroll in the course, interested Sailors meeting the course criteria should request to attend via their chains of command and educational services officer. More information about the course can be found in the Catalog of Naval Courses.

CNO Rides to Recovery on Memorial Day

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

June 1, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead cycled nearly 50 miles on the first day of the Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge that began in Arlington, Va., and concluded in Manassas, Va., May 31.

Roughead, a cycling enthusiast, participated in the ride alongside Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George Casey Jr. and more than 200 injured veterans and supporters to help promote the organization's mission.

"I think it causes people to focus on moving forward," said Roughead. "It's physical, it's mental and you draw energy from the people around you - it's just really great."

CNO said it was an honor to be a part of the event and that he gets energy and inspiration from the extraordinary effort of those who rode with him.

"The example that you set, how you have driven on is just a reminder that life is like riding a bicycle, you got to keep moving otherwise you won't get where you have to go," said Roughead.

This was Roughead's second Ride 2 Recovery event. He rode in an event in Florida Dec. 17, 2009.

This is the first Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge that began at Whipple Field on Fort Meyer. It will conclude at Virginia Beach June 5 at the Patriotic Festival. The ride encompasses six days and more than 350 miles. The Ride 2 Recovery is an organization which encourages both the mental and physical rehabilitation of veterans and active-duty service members while honoring the sacrifices they have made.

Vietnam Combat Lessons Apply Today, Mullen Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 1, 2010 - The military's top officer yesterday called on Vietnam Veterans to stay connected with today's servicemembers, saying their lessons learned, especially with post-traumatic stress disorder, can help veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments as he led a Memorial Day observance at the Vietnam War Memorial here just before six names of fallen Vietnam veterans were added to the iconic, black marble wall.

"The Vietnam conflict was a life-defining experience for every American who lived during that era, and it continues to impact us all: the pain, the conflict, the healing," Mullen said, noting that Vietnam was his first war experience. "The lessons we learned in Vietnam were bought at a very great price. Acting on them is the best tribute we can pay to honor those who died."

Mullen noted that he and his wife, Deborah, came to The Wall after touring Arlington National Cemetery's Section 60 where many Vietnam veterans are buried near those fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. "As we come to this very hallowed ground, in ways it is like coming home," he said. "I, too, have friends on The Wall. I have classmates on The Wall."

When the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began after Sept. 11, 2001, Mullen said, he vowed to do everything possible to prevent the disconnect that happened between the American public and the military during the Vietnam war. To his relief, he said, Americans "are so incredibly supportive of our military men and women now."

Mullen said he attributes the changed attitudes to the lessons learned from the Vietnam war era about supporting troops unconditionally. "During that time, as a country, we were unable to separate the politics from the people," he said. "We must never allow America to become disconnected from her military. Never. "That's why this site, this wall, is so special," he continued. "Rather than separating us, this wall binds us together as nation. It has become, in the words of General [Barry] McCaffrey, a national place of healing."

The memorial on the National Mall memorializes more than three million Americans who served during the Vietnam war and more than 58,000 who died from combat-related injuries and illnesses.

The six names added yesterday are: Marine Lance Cpl. John E. Granville of Los Angeles, Marine Lance Cpl. Clayton K. Hough Jr. of Massachusetts, Army Capt. Edward F. Miles of New York, Army Sgt. Michael J. Morehouse of Kentucky, Army Lt. Col. William Taylor of Florida, and Marine Cpl. Ronald M. Vivona of New York.

"As your loved ones now join their brothers and sisters, we hope this day helps to bring you closure and peace," Mullen told the families of the six veterans' families.

Mullen asked surviving Vietnam veterans to reach out to today's veterans, especially in reducing the stigma of mental health treatment. Whether coping with anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts, he said, "having an experienced battle buddy you can turn to makes all the difference."

Mullen said his friend, former Marine Corp commandant Michael W. Hagee has said "Every Marine, every soldier he ever saw who was in combat suffered from post-traumatic stress. And I readily believe the same is true for today's ground forces."

He encouraged the veterans to share their experiences.

"We know we stand on the shoulders of the Vietnam generation as our young Americans in uniform give all they have to provide our children and grandchildren a safer world," Mullen said. "Let us honor their legacy by learning from them, listening to one another, and staying connected in the future."

Northcom Chief Cites Mexico Partnership as Top Priority

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 1, 2010 - Confident in the strength of the U.S.-Canada security relationship, the new commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command said he's turning his focus southward.

"The Number 1 priority is going to be our partnership with Mexico. There is just no question," Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. told reporters here last week.

Winnefeld is touring the southwestern U.S. border region today, accepting the invitation extended by Arizona Sen. John McCain during Winnefeld's April confirmation hearing. It's Winnefeld's first visit there since assuming command on May 19, and he told reporters he's looking forward to getting a deeper understanding of the issues involved.

Although detailed plans are still being worked, the up to 1,200 National Guard troops expected to deploy to the U.S.-Mexican border as part of President Barack Obama's border-security initiative aren't expected to report to Winnefeld. The Guard members will serve under Title 32 authority, paid for with federal funds but under their state governors' authority.

However, Winnefeld sees himself as instrumental in helping to ensure the Mexicans understand what their role will be – and more importantly, what it won't be.

"This is not militarizing the border. There is no intent to do that," the admiral said. "This is a civil support mission that is a bridge until some of the $500 million that the president has identified to plus up the [federal law enforcement capability along the border] gets into place."

Winnefeld recognizes the importance of perception. "We have to make sure it is shaped appropriately so we don't achieve a tactical victory and end up with a strategic loss, particularly with our partners in Mexico," he said.

Obama's plan ensures these and other issues are addressed, he said, and recognizes that both countries have a stake in controlling cross-border trafficking.

"We are looking at stuff going south" – primarily cash and weapons – "as much as we are looking at stuff going north" – narcotics and other illicit materials, Winnefeld said. "And that is important to our partners."

He emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Mexico partnership and the role Northcom can play.

Working in cooperation with U.S. Southern Command, Winnefeld sees "tremendous opportunity" to build closer ties between the U.S. and Mexican militaries in ways that both countries find acceptable.

"The military-to-military relationship with Mexico we have has never been better," Winnefeld said. He credited efforts made by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Victor "Eugene" Renuart, Winnefeld's predecessor at Northcom.

It's an equal partnership built on full respect for Mexico's sovereignty, he said.

The relationship-building also recognizes that addressing these challenges does not require U.S. boots on the ground, Winnefeld said, at least in the operational sense.

"We are just not interested in doing that and the Mexicans are not interested in having us [to] do that," he said. "But, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity in between that" to share training, information and intelligence and to help the Mexican military build capacity and capability."

Winnefeld emphasized during his confirmation hearing the importance of both Northcom's and NORAD's relationships, particularly with Canada and Mexico. "I've observed that there are no other combatant commands where support for their partners [is] more important than these two," he told the Senate panel.

NORAD, which celebrated its 52nd anniversary this year, stands as a testament to the enduring U.S.-Canadian defense relationship, Winnefeld told reporters.

Winnefeld expressed concern during his confirmation hearing that drug-dealing and other criminal cartels threaten U.S. national security as well as the Mexican government. He praised Mexican President Felipe Calderon's leadership and courage in confronting these challenges.

During his visit here last week, Mullen emphasized the importance of strengthening the relationship between the United States and Mexico.

"We're looking for ways to assist them and support them where they ask us to support them," he said at a town hall session. "I also think there are wonderful opportunities to strengthen the relationship between our countries and between our militaries."

It all boils down to trust, Mullen said, and the ability to see issues from another country's perspective.

"It is critical that you try to see it from their perspective," he said. "They are a neighbor. They are a good friend. And we want to do as much as we can to support them."

Children of Fallen Find Comfort at TAPS Camp

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 1, 2010 - Trevor Jones peers into the vivid blue sky, tightly gripping the string holding his balloon. A warm breeze is blowing, and his blue balloon bobs against the dozens of red and white ones around it, each held by a child.

The children wait expectantly for the command. The cacophony of chatter dies down just moments before a woman calls out: "Let 'em go!"

Trevor releases his balloon into the wind, where it joins hundreds of others rising into the sky. They separate and rise swiftly as the children tilt their heads back, squinting into the sun as they strain to keep an eye on their balloon. They don't look away until the balloons become just distant specks.

Tied to each balloon are one or more messages to a loved one – a father or mother, sister or brother – who had died while serving the nation.

Some of the messages contained a simple, "I love you" or "I miss you." Eight-year-old Trevor chose to keep his private, a personal moment between him and his soldier dad, who died of a pulmonary embolism three years ago.

The balloon release was one of the culminating events of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors' Good Grief Camp held in Crystal City, Va., over Memorial Day weekend. About 375 children attended the camp, held in conjunction with the 16th annual TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar. Along with the children, more than 650 adult survivors also attended the seminar, said Ami Neiberger-Miller, TAPS public affairs officer.

While TAPS sponsors regional children's camps throughout the year, this D.C.-area camp is the largest, drawing families from across the nation.

"They learn how to express feelings, that whatever they're feeling is OK," Neiberger-Miller said as children lined up to head back to the hotel. She understands the process on a personal level. Her brother, Army Spc. Christopher Neiberger, was killed in Baghdad on Aug. 6, 2007, from wounds sustained in an improvised explosive device attack.

Along with the loss of a loved one, military children also suffer secondary losses, she noted. If the surviving parent doesn't also serve, the family often will move to a new community, and the child loses a familiar environment as well as a known peer support network of teachers and neighbors. The people around them may not understand what the child is going through, she added.

A network of care is vital, Neiberger-Miller said, and is something the camp aims to provide.

"We do a lot of activities with children that talk about feelings and how to express their feelings, and they learn whatever they're feeling is OK," she said.

"You can't take away the pain a child feels, as much as all of us wish we could," she continued. "But what we can do is give them skills to cope, strategies to cope, and give them a peer support network with other children."

The camp features "grief work" customized for all ages, since those who attend range from preschoolers to high school seniors.

The younger children, for instance, made life-size self-portraits on which they are asked to express their feelings. Some children made their feet extra big to show how grief weighs them down, while others changed their skin color to show how sick grief makes them feel, Neiberger-Miller said.

The older children also have an opportunity to blow off some steam at a teen bash, a hugely popular event, she said.

All campers work one-on-one with a mentor, who guides the child through the camp and also offers a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on. The mentors are mostly active-duty servicemembers ranging from privates to generals, and represent all military services.

"This camp is just amazing," said Army Cpl. Eric Lichtenberg, a three-time camp mentor stationed at Fort Myer, Va. This year, he was paired with Trevor.

Lichtenberg said he has noticed a difference in Trevor, even over such a short time.

"It's slow; he's very reserved," he said. "But now and again, he'll talk about his dad. This is his first year here so he's still fresh in the grief process.

"It's comforting to know that something like this is here if my kids should need it," he said. "What this camp means to these kids ..." his words trailed off as he fought to hold back his tears.

Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Todd Kirby, a two-time mentor who works for the Defense Information Systems Agency in Arlington, Va., was drawn to the camp, hoping to give back to the families who have sacrificed so much. Kirby, who is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, said he's also glad TAPS is there to help his family, if needed.

Kirby mentors 18-year-old Ben Suplee, of York, Pa., whose father, Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel A. Suplee, died four years ago of injuries sustained when his Humvee was involved in a traffic accident in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kirby has spent time teaching Ben about expressing his emotions. He stressed the importance of talking and of understanding that some emotional outbreaks are fueled by grief.

He believes it's not just the talking, but the military connection the mentors provide that's beneficial to the children.

"Mentors offer a military mindset and that military perspective they're so familiar with," he said.

This is Ben's fourth year at the Good Grief Camp. He said he learns something new each year. This time, he's walking away with a more-positive attitude, he said.

The camp "gives us kids a sense of we're not alone in this fight of grieving," he said. While Trevor chose to keep his message private, Ben was eager to share the message to his father that he released into the wind:

"I love and miss you, Dad, and wish you could see the man I've become. Love, Ben."

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 1, 2010

NAVY

Global Defense Technology & Systems, Inc., Frederick, Md., is being awarded a $94,919,758 maximum contract value firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum ordering quantity of 500 expeditionary water purification systems. The initial delivery order is for three systems, and is valued at $1,116,000. Work will be performed in Frederick, Md., and is expected to be complete by May 31, 2015. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. This contract is a full and open competition with two offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-10-D-5034).

ARMY

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 24 a $66,915,870 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 22 engineering change proposals to incorporate into 421 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicles. 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-ADC-A, Warren, Wis., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on May 25 a $45,633,519 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 980 stabilized commanders weapons stations. Work is to be performed in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM- Warren, CCTA-AHL-C, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on May 25 a $45,517,686 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 261 stabilized commanders weapons stations. Work is to be performed in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM- Warren, CCTA-AHL-C, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-06-G-0006).

Critical Solution International, Inc., Carrolton, Texas, was awarded on May 24 a $40,601,966 firm-fixed-price contract for 10 vehicle-mounted mine detectors (VMMD) without mine detonation trailer systems (MDTS); 11 VMMD with MDTS; and accompanying handoff training, OPNET training, and maintainer training classes. Work is to be performed in Gauteng, South Africa, with an estimated completed date of Dec. 21, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM-Warren, CCTA-ADC-B, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-08-D-0001).

Protective Products Enterprises, Sunrise, Fla., was awarded on May 24 a $35,850,000 firm-fixed-price contract for 60,000 improved outer tactical vests in universal camouflage pattern, "IAW Product Description No. FQ/PD 07-05E," dated April 23, 2010. The vests are to be delivered within 120 calendar days after the first article testing approval letter. Work is to be performed Sunrise, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 27, 2010. Eight bids were solicited with two bids received. Research, Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on May 25 a $29,131,606 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for action funds of 14 additional Stryker Double-V Hull prototype vehicles for government ballistic testing, performance/durability testing, and logistics demonstration. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich. (41 percent); and London, Canada (59 percent), with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, CCTA-AI, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

CTA Construction Co., Inc., Boston, Mass., was awarded on May 25 a $23,786,712 firm-fixed-price contract for commercial and institutional building construction, Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, Hanscom Air Force Base. Work is to be performed in Bedford, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 23, 2011. Fifteen bids were solicited with four bids received. National Guard Bureau, USPFO-MA, Milford, Mass., is the contracting activity (W912SV-10-C-0101).

Oakland Construction, Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded on May 27 a $22,041,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of F-22 radar cross section test facility, Hill Air Force Base. Work is to be performed in Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 14, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Calif., is the contracting activity (W91238-10-C-0023).

Foster-Miller, Inc., Waltham, Mass., was awarded on May 24 a $21,814,805 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 651 spall liner kits for the RG-31 vehicle platform to support ongoing route clearance vehicle missions in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. An urgent and compelling justification and authority was approved, and this is a DX-rated program. Work is to be performed in Waltham, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pa., is the contracting activity (W911N2-10-C-0036).

Raytheon Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on May 25 a $21,327,812 firm-fixed-price contract for the delivery of spares for Taiwan PAC-3 configuration upgrade, and Kuwait Patriot radar upgrade confidential spares. Work is to be performed in Andover, Mass., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-G-0002).

Oshkosh Corp, Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 27 a $20,829,704 firm-fixed-price contract for 1,400 Check-6 rear view sensor systems on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle. 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).

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC, JV, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on May 25 a $19,925,190 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance engineering support for the Stryker family of vehicles. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2011. One bid solicited with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, CCTA-AI, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

Caterpillar, Inc., Mossville, Ill., was awarded on May 27 a $18,129,057 firm-fixed-price contract for 15 motorized graders with Type A kits; one lot extended warranty for 15 graders; 48 motorized graders with Type A kits; one lot extended warranty for 48 graders; three motorized graders with Type B kits; and 27 motorized graders with Type B 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).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum, Md., was awarded on May 24 a $17,100,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the high altitude lidar operations experiment that will conduct a 3-D data collection of locations outside the contiguous U.S. to support a range of pressing warfighter needs. Work is to be performed in Linthicum, Md. (97 percent), San Diego, Calif. (2 percent), and Columbia, Md. (1 percent), with an estimated completion date of March 11, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 27 a $10,385,095 firm-fixed-price contract for 698 Check-6 rear view sensor systems on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All -Terrain Vehicles. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis. (50 percent), and McConnellsburg, Pa. (50 percent), with an estimated completed date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. TACOM, AMSCC-TAC-ADCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on May 27 a $15,458,616 firm-fixed-price contract for 1,039 Check-6 rear view sensor systems on the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All -Terrain Vehicles. 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, AMSCC-TAC-ADCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111).

AM General, LLC, South Bend, Ind., was awarded on May 25 a $6,815,223 firm-fixed-price contract to add 50 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles to contract. Work is to be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Warren, CCTA-ATA-C, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

TW Metals, Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $50,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for heat-treated aluminum sheet and plate stock. 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 five responses. The date of performance completion is May 31, 2012. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM8ES-10-D-0010).

Camel Manufacturing Co.*, Pioneer, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $5,261,079 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, total set-aside contract for modular command posts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The original proposal was solicited via the Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System with four responses. The date of performance completion is Oct. 31, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1050).

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a sole-source cost-plus-award-fee modification for $40,222,995. Under this contract, Boeing will continue post-flight experiment Laser 01 work with additional missile engagement scenarios and flight testing to include all required support. The work will be performed in Seattle, Wash., and at three California locations: Edwards Air Force Base, Sunnyvale, and Redondo Beach. The performance period is from June 2010 through September 2010. Fiscal 2010 research, development, test and evaluation funds will be used to obligate $20,000,000 for this effort. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity (F29601-97-C-0001).

Torch Technologies, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., is being awarded a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HQ0006-10-D-7092) with a maximum value of $9,709,503. Under this contract, Torch Technologies will conduct research and development on algorithms, operational software, and a new concept of operations for space and airborne infrared tracking systems and missile defense radars, supporting the Ballistic Missile Defense System. The work will be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with a five-year period of performance from June 2010 through June 2015. Research, development, test and evaluation funding fiscal 2010 will be used to incrementally fund the fiscal 2010 effort in the amount of $1,075,000. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity. Small business

U.S. Navy Ship Disrupts Suspected Pirate Attack

By Lt. j.g. Kyra D. Lassiter
USS San Jacinto Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - The U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS San Jacinto yesterday disrupted nine suspected Somali pirates from attacking a Maltese-flagged vessel that was transiting here.

The San Jacinto responded to a distress call from the M/V Avenue Beauty, which was transiting 90 miles north of Somalia when the crew reported they were under attack by pirates. Upon hearing gun shots, the Avenue Beauty's chief officer sounded a general alarm and directed the crew to execute counter-piracy measures, which caused the pirate skiff to call off the attack.

The San Jacinto responded to the attack and dispatched a helicopter to follow the fleeing skiff. Aboard the aircraft, Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Casey Halliwell tracked the skiff on radar as it speeded south toward the Somali coast.

The skiff, with nine suspects on board, failed to comply with the chopper's order to stop. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Corey Whittle then fired warning shots across the suspect vessel's bow and stern, compelling the skiff to stop.

The San Jacinto has interdicted 22 suspected pirates over the past week.

Earlier today, the San Jacinto dispatched a Navy/Coast Guard boarding team onto the pirate skiff. The sailors and Coastguardsmen quickly took control of the vessel and searched the skiff and crew, who had previously thrown their weapons, ammunition, and other incriminating paraphernalia overboard. The suspects were released in the skiff after the boarding team confiscated one engine and several gallons of fuel, ensuring the suspects could reach shore while limiting their ability to continue piracy attempts.

On May 26, the San Jacinto rescued five Yemeni mariners from 13 Somali pirates, while conducting routine counternarcotics operations 68 miles southeast of Ras Fartak, Yemen. The pirates were turned over to Yemeni Naval Forces.

U.S. forces conduct maritime security operations to help set the conditions for security in the maritime environment. Such operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional partner nations and assists in the disruption of violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

USS Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group Enters 7th Fleet

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Foster Bamford, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (PEL ARG) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Operations May 30 as part of its regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

PEL ARG arrived in 7th Fleet with the ability to accomplish a variety of missions outlined in the nation's maritime strategy, including combat missions, humanitarian assistance and promoting peace and stability in the region.

The ready group consists of three ships – amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious transport dock ship USS Dubuque (LPD 8) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and is led Capt. Dale Fuller, Amphibious Squadron 3 commodore.

"Our Navy, Marine Corps team can offer a full range of operational capabilities," said Fuller. "We are fully ready to meet any tasking required by 7th Fleet."

The ready group's more than 3,000 personnel include nearly 1,800 Sailors and 1,400 embarked Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), led by Col. Roy Osborn.

"The Peleliu and our embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit are fully integrated, fully certified and are fully capable of carrying out the [nation's] maritime strategy," said Capt. David Schnell, Peleliu commanding officer. "We are looking forward to transiting through 7th Fleet and to operating in 7th Fleet, to demonstrate those capabilities both operationally as well as in exercises with other countries and other U.S. forces in the region."

Other elements of the PEL ARG include the command element, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3; Fleet Surgical Team 1; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Detachment Five; Assault Craft Unit 1, Detachment F; Assault Craft Unit 5, Detachment B and Beachmaster Unit 1, Detachment D.

The 7th Fleet Area of Operations includes more than 52 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean, running from the International Date Line to the eastern coast of Africa, and from the Antarctic to the Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan. It contains more than half of the world's population.

PEL ARG is on a regularly scheduled western Pacific deployment. While in 7th Fleet, PEL ARG reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

Selective early retirement board to be held in July

By 1st Lt. Gina Vaccaro McKeen
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Force leaders will hold a selective early retirement board here July 19-23 to consider select officers who must retire by Jan. 1, 2011, or upon retirement eligibility.

The SERB is part of the Air Force’s expanded force management measures announced in March.

Colonels and lieutenant colonels may avoid the board by submitting applications for voluntary retirement by June 28, 2010, and establishing a retirement date of May 1, 2011, or earlier.

The board will consider officers for retirement in the ranks of colonel and lieutenant colonel in line of the Air Force, judge advocate, medical science corps, and chaplain competitive categories.

Colonels with four or more years time in grade and lieutenant colonels deferred for promotion at least twice who do not have an approved voluntary retirement date, are not on a promotion list, or do not have a mandatory retirement date will be considered. The board members will make their decisions based on review of each officer’s retention recommendation form, the officer selection brief, decoration citations, and training and performance reports using a process similar to the promotion selection board process.

All eligible officers will be able to review their RRFs and their officer pre-selection briefs prior to the board convening date. Officers are responsible for reviewing their records for accuracy and ensuring information is up to date.

The board may select for early retirement up to 30 percent of the eligible officers at the time of the board. If an officer is selected by the SERB for early retirement, Air Force Personnel Center officials will establish a mandatory retirement date of Jan. 1, 2011, or upon the first date of the month after becoming retirement eligible.

SERB-eligible officers remain available for Air Expeditionary Force deployments until an established retirement date limits their availability. Deployed officers may pursue voluntary retirement actions to avoid meeting the SERB.

AFPC officials will announce the board results in September. For more information please contact your servicing military personnel section or call the Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800) 525-0102. You can also visit the officer retirements Web page of AFPC’s personnel services website at https://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil/ and click on FY 10/FY 11 Force Management Programs.

HSV 2 Delivers Project Handclasp Aid to Panama

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kim Williams, High Speed Vessel Swift 2 Public Affairs

June 1, 2010 - BALBOA-RODMAN, Panama (NNS) -- Sailors from High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) unloaded eight pallets of Project Handclasp supplies in Rodman-Balboa, Panama May 26.

Several local humanitarian organizations met the ship's crew at the pier to collect water filters, hygiene products and food items which the non-governmental organizations will distribute to the less fortunate.

"These materials illustrate the United States Southern Command's commitment to a lasting partnership with the people of Panama," said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Simmons, deputy mission commander, Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010.

Swift delivered the supplies as part of the Navy's Project Handclasp program, designed to transport educational, humanitarian and goodwill material on a space-available basis aboard U.S. Navy ships for distribution to foreign nation recipients.

"It is our goal to continue our lasting friendship with Panama long into the future," said Simmons. "It is this friendship that will allow us to work together as partners in security and cooperation."

U.S. military officials explained that the goods distributed at the Panama Project Handclasp event will reach those in the most critical need of aid.

"The advance coordination and cooperation between ODC Panama, Project Handclasp, USAID, Swift and multiple Panamanian non-government organizations allowed us to identify specific communities and customize the most effective goods to donate today," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Cory Christensen, Navy/Air Force Section Chief of Office of Defense Cooperation Panama. "Over the past year we have been trying to bring more of a strategic and sustainable focus to distributions of donations, and this was the most successful outcome. USAID will help facilitate training of for different communities receiving the donated water filter systems, which will be a huge resource to areas where they have already targeted this need."

Swift is currently deployed in SPS 2010, an annual deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region.

Officials release new selective re-enlistment bonus list

June 1, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Pentagon officials recently released the latest selective re-enlistment bonus list which contains 89 Air Force specialties.

The revised listing places heavy emphasis on retaining Airmen with 17 months to six years of service, said Technical Sgt. Dina Elefante, NCO in charge of Air Force re-enlistments at the Air Force Personnel Center here.

“Using SRBs provides the Air Force with a highly effective retention tool to address shortages in certain Air Force specialties essential to support our mission at home and abroad,” Sergeant Elefante said.

Officials added seven Air Force specialty codes to the list and increased 20 AFSCs in at least one zone. Twenty-one AFSCs had a zone eliminated or decreased and two AFSCs were completely removed from the program.

All increases and additions will be effective June 1 and all decreases and deletions will go into effect July 1. Any re-enlistments or extensions of any length that have been completed prior to the official message release will remain valid. Airmen who are eligible for re-enlistment and are affected by decreases or removals should re-enlist before June 30 to receive the previously approved bonus.

These bonuses do not apply to Air Force Reserve or National Guard personnel.

To determine eligibility for re-enlistment with a SRB entitlement, contact the career development element at your local military personnel section.

For a complete SRB listing, type “SRB” in the search box on AFPC’s secure personnel services website, https://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil. For more information about the SRB program, contact your local military personnel section or call the Air Force’s 24/7 Total Force Service Center toll-free at (800) 525-0102 or DSN: 565-5000.