Military News

Monday, June 14, 2010

SSBN Successfully Launches Multiple Ballistic Missiles

From Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- USS Maryland (SSBN 738) (Gold) conducted two Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Test (FCET) resulting in the successful flight of two Trident II D5 missiles, June 8 and 9.

The missile flights of FCET-42 and FCET-43 mark the 131st, 132nd, 133rd and 134th consecutive successful Trident II D5 and provide valuable information on operational reliability, accuracy, and performance factors of the missile system.

The Trident II D5 fleet ballistic-missile is the latest generation of submarine launched ballistic missiles following in the success of the Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programs; providing increased firepower, flexibility, and assurance to the strategic deterrence mission.

Maryland's outstanding performance during the FCET's demonstrates that the ballistic missile submarines remain ready and vigilant, in a secure and survivable posture, able to rapidly respond to national tasking. The stealth, agility, payload and persistence of the submarines, in combination with the skill of the submariners, keep the SSBNs undetectable and, therefore, the only survivable nuclear deterrent platform in the United States arsenal.

An FCET starts with a currently underway submarine being randomly chosen to launch a missile; the scenario is set just as if the action was necessary for national defense. While conducting their normal patrol, Maryland receives the message to launch their missiles. The boat returns to its homeport to convert from a tactile weapons configuration to a test configuration and returns to sea. The submarine and crew receive a training message to launch their missiles. The crew mans Battle Stations Missile and the ultimate test of the most powerful missile in the fleet begins.

The event is videotaped, watched live in Washington and monitored by Navy Strategic Systems Program (SSP). SSP is the Navy's manager for all aspects; development, manufacture and support of the Trident weapons systems. The test is conducted to verify the reliability of the missile and its launch systems. The missile is targeted to a special weapons range and there are a number of safety features and redundancies in place to insure the missile stays on its predetermined course.

"The Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Lockheed Martin and a number of contractors all make a huge effort to ensure the safety and realism of this test," said Lt. Cmdr. Shaun Servaes, weapons officer, Submarine Squadron 20. "An SSBN crew's mission is deterrence but this test of their weapons' system is proof that if called upon for national defense, they are ready."

The successful launches add to an already impressive list of achievements for the "Fighting Mary" which was awarded the 2009 Battle "E" ,the second consecutive award for Maryland, Engineering "E", Communications "C", Damage Control "DC" and the Navigational "N" for excellence in those departments.

The submarine also earned the prestigious Omaha Trophy, presented by United States Strategic Command for 2008, in recognition of Maryland's Blue and Gold crews combined superior effort in maintaining Maryland at the highest level of readiness and safety.

Face of Defense: Soldier in Kosovo Bridges Cultures

By Army Sgt. Joshua Dodds
North Dakota National Guard

June 14, 2010 - Beyond the outskirts of this city's busy main street, smaller villages dot the mountainous terrain. Narrow roads wind cautiously up the sides of the tree-covered mountains to rural homes and villages, near the border with the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia. This is where Army Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Gilbertson, a North Dakota National Guard soldier, has found his place as a middleman in a cross-continental exchange program between students in Kosovo and his native state.

An educator in his civilian life, the Oakes, N.D., native said the village schools felt like familiar ground to him when he arrived here in late October, as part of the 12th U.S. rotation in the NATO-led Kosovo Force.

Gilbertson is part of Multinational Battle Group East's Liaison Monitoring Team 6, peacekeepers who work with local communities to pinpoint problems and facilitate solutions.

"I started working with the schools for two reasons, the first being I am a teacher and felt at home talking to other educators and students," Gilbertson said. "Second, in some of the villages I worked with, the schools were where the problem-solvers in the village worked."

Gilbertson has worked with students and staff in six schools during his time in the Kacanik municipality. He said working in the schools has helped him in his job, which is sensing people's concerns knowing what's going on in the municipality.

Gilbertson said he first thought of starting a pen-pal program between students in North Dakota and Kosovo. After talking to Larry Engel, the technology support advisor of Oakes School, a better idea was proposed.

"We thought it would be a good idea to take it one step further and videotape the schools and students here, which teachers in Oakes would show to the students there," Gilbertson said. "The students in Oakes then made a video themselves that we showed to the students in Kosovo. It was more of a visual cultural exchange, and the students in both the U.S. and Kosovo gained a better understanding of each other's daily life."

Gilbertson gave examples of the effort put forth by the students in Kosovo.

"In Bicec, they had students singing a cappella, in English, as part of their presentation, and in Kotlina, they did a whole play, which took time to organize," Gilbertson said. "Everyone was 100 percent on board between the U.S. and Kosovo."

Engel credited Gilbertson's dedication to teaching and educating young minds for creating the communication between schools and nations. "He wanted there to be a way for students from such different cultures to be able to communicate and share," he said. Over time, the relationship between the schools has blossomed. After learning more about the needs of the Kosovo municipality and the students, students and faculty in Oakes decided to take on a bigger project.

"It was an amazing experience, yet humbling, as we saw what the Kacanik municipality was doing with what they have," Engel said. "Oakes had at least nine teachers that were meeting with [Gilbertson] via Skype and discussing the sharing of cultures, then the idea was brought up to gather supplies for the students in Kosovo."

Don Warren, Oakes principal, agreed this would be a good undertaking for the student council. The council, headed by Oakes student Max Kettlering, gathered donations by leaving boxes in classrooms and around the school for students to drop off school supplies.

"We ended up with six boxes," Engel said, "and when we took them to the post office, we were overwhelmed with a cost of over $800 to ship them to one of the humanitarian aid agencies in Kosovo."

But North Dakota U.S. Sen. Bryon Dorgan was headed to the region, and after the school staff contacted his office, he offered to take the boxes to Germany if the school would send the boxes to his Senate office.

"We had one last hurdle -- raising $155 to send the boxes to Washington, D.C.," Engel said. "Oakes has a family support group for the families of soldiers who serve in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. They volunteered to pay the entire amount of the postage, and the boxes were off."

Once the boxes arrived in Kosovo, Gilbertson handed them off to Naim Hysa, Kacanik Red Cross director, who happily distributed the donated school supplies. Over two days in early June, Hysa and Arlend Hysa, youth leader of Kacanik Red Cross, with the help of youth volunteers Domjeta Tromi and Erona Thaqi, drove their truck up and around the dry and bumpy mountain roads of the municipality, delivering one box to each of the six village schools.

"I think that this small project grew and was successful because a lot of people worked hard to make it happen," Gilbertson said. "I think at the end of the day, the students are the ones who benefited, and the world got just a little bit smaller because of this project."

Flag Day Honors American Ideals, Sacrifices

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

June 14, 2010 - Military personnel at Dover Air Force Base, Del., performed their duties with solemn respect over the past several weeks as U.S. servicemembers killed in Afghanistan returned to U.S. soil. Military "carry teams" marched in slow, measured steps as they carried their fallen comrades from the aircraft and transferred them to awaiting mortuary transfer vehicles.

The fallen servicemembers – representing all services, all ranks and every corner of America – all returned home in transfer cases draped in the American flag.

Today, the United States observes National Flag Day, an annual tribute to the American flag, the ideals it stands for and the sacrifices made to preserve them.

President Woodrow Wilson recognized during his first Flag Day address in 1915 that the freedoms the U.S. flag stands for weren't and never would be free.

"The lines of red are lines of blood, nobly and unselfishly shed by men who loved the liberty of their fellowship more than they loved their own lives and fortunes," he said. "God forbid that we should have to use the blood of America to freshen the color of the flag."

But American blood has spilled time and time again to preserve American liberties, most recently, in Afghanistan.

Just as during heartbreaking ramp ceremonies in Afghanistan before fallen servicemembers return, and during dignified-transfer ceremonies at Dover, history is filled with examples of how the flag has inspired Americans through their proudest as well as darkest days as a symbol of patriotism, strength and resilience.

It provided strength to now-retired Air Force Col. David M. Roeder as he and more than 50 other Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days from 1979 to 1980 watched their captors taunt them by carrying garbage wrapped in the U.S. flag.

"When someone attacks the American flag, it's because they recognize all that it represents and the greatness of this country," Roeder said, thinking back over the experience.

It inspired retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer Charles W. "Bill" Henderson as he watched the flag-draped remains of Marine Cpl. Robert V. McMaugh carried from the rubble after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983.

"Yes, it is just a piece of cloth," Henderson later reflected. "But what it represents are the lives of thousands of Americans who have given everything for this nation – who ask nothing in return but felt an obligation of duty to their country."

Few Americans will forget their shared sense of pride as they watched televised images of three firefighters raising an American flag over the World Trade Center ruins just hours after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Army Capt. Joe Minning and his fellow New York Army National Guardsmen, many of them New York City firemen and police officers, were sifting through the rubble in a desperate search for survivors that day when they paused to watch Old Glory rise. "Seeing the flag raised above all of the rubble and ruins of the World Trade Center instilled a new sense of pride in me for our country," Minning recalled.

The flag continued to inspire Minning and tens of thousands of other U.S. servicemembers during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April, it provided strength to Sal Corma, who left his hospital bed following a stroke and amputation against his doctor's orders to see the body of his son, Army 1st Lt. Salvatore S. Corma II, who had been killed in Afghanistan, arrive at Dover at 2 a.m. on an April morning. Less than three weeks ago, he and his wife, Trudy, recognized a Memorial Day that had taken on a deeply personal meaning by placing 60 American flags around their home.

Today, as operations intensify in Afghanistan, troops at Forward Operating base Baylough in Afghanistan's Zabul province have an enduring reminder of the ideals they are fighting for. High on their observation post overlooking a mountain value, standing proudly amid a pile of sandbags, Old Glory waves in the breeze.

Gates Cites Leaders' Responsibilities at Army Birthday Event

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

June 14, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates helped to celebrate the Army's 235th birthday today at a Pentagon courtyard ceremony and imparted a message for its leadership to always make time to listen to what their troops have to say. "There are many downsides to [Defense Secretary], but one of the things I truly look forward to is any chance I have to meet soldiers and their families," Gates said. "Every stop I make anywhere will include troop talks or town halls, so that I can hear honestly how things are going.

"There is always time on my schedule to listen to what these amazing Americans have to say, even if sometimes it's tough to hear," he continued. "My direct engagement with soldiers on the battlefield, their families at home and civilians employed around the world has helped shape my views and the priorities of service and the department."

The Army birthday celebration also included Army Secretary John M. McHugh, Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey Jr., Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston and other senior leaders.

Gates underscored his comments, citing that recent innovations such as increased education benefits and better combat uniforms and gear, have developed from soldiers' input to leaders.

Leaders must never forget they have a responsibility to listen, he said.

"This institution's legacy of patriotism and the spirit of the men and women who've served in it demand no less," the secretary said.

More than 200,000 soldiers today are deployed around the world, the majority of which are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many more have seen combat in those theaters as well as others.

Gates expressed his admiration for those soldiers and their ability to adapt to the nature of those conflicts. Today's soldiers have the skills and intellect necessary to adjust to the demands of an ever-changing set of capabilities and competencies required by today's multi-faceted Army missions, he said.

"I'm awed by their ability to adapt and succeed in a mission that at various stages has called upon them to be scholars, teacher, policeman, farmers, bankers, engineers, social workers and, of course, warriors, often all at the same time," he said. "Above all, I am perpetually thankful for their willingness to serve and have the greatest faith in their ability to face the difficult and dangerous missions that lie ahead."

The U.S. military liberated more than 50 million people from tyranny and totalitarian regimes during the past decade alone. The individual soldiers and servicemembers deserve much credit for their desire to relieve so many from oppression, Casey said during the Pentagon ceremony.

The Army's senior uniformed officer cited an Army birthday message from President Barack Obama, which decreed that soldiers "represent the best of America."

"I would tell you that we are that way because of our core values, because of our ethos and because of our people," Casey said. "At its core, our history is the history of our people; ordinary Americans, ordinary men and women who have done extraordinary things over time for this great country."

More than 30 million men and women have served in the Army since its establishment by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775.

Today's Pentagon ceremony concluded with a traditional cake cutting by the oldest and youngest soldiers serving in the Military District of Washington. Also, some 20 Army National Guardsmen and active duty soldiers reenlisted. The event also featured static displays of past and present Army uniforms, weapons and technology displayed throughout the Pentagon courtyard.

Manas Transit Center Sends Relief to Southern Kyrgyzstan

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

June 14, 2010 - Military officials at the U.S. Transit Center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, are providing humanitarian aid to the country's southern region following days of violent ethnic clashes there. The transit center, together with the U.S. State Department, this weekend bought 31,000 pounds of flour, oil, pasta, tea, yeast, and other basics to deliver to the city of Osh, where much of the fighting is concentrated.

Recent violence in the southern Kyrgyzstan region has caused thousands to flee the area.

According to a release by U.S. military officials at Manas, they are working with the Ministry of the Protection of Youth and the U.S. State Department to deliver the aid, which also includes limited medical supplies.

Osh, the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, is about 200 miles south of the capital city of Bishkek, which hosts the Manas transit center. The base serves as a troop transit and refueling point for the U.S. military.

Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said operations on the base are not affected by the fighting.

"The operations at the Manas base continue unabated," he said.

The base has not needed additional security, Lapan said.

Libraries Inspire Military Children to Read

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 14, 2010 - Defense Department libraries have embarked on their first departmentwide summer reading program in hopes of encouraging military children to keep their reading skills sharp during the summer.

More than 250 base libraries soon will set off on "Voyage to Book Island," an activity-packed reading program in which children are asked to complete four to six books over the course of the summer, said Nilya Carrato, program assistant for the Navy General Library Program.

While service and installation libraries have sponsored their own programs in the past, "Voyage to Book Island" marks the first departmentwide summer reading program, Carrato noted. This consistency pools resources and enables military children who move this summer to pick up the program where they left off at their new installation, she added.

"Especially with all the movement, we want to make sure kids get as much of an advantage as everyone else," Carrato said. "Plus it's fun."

Most programs will run for eight weeks with open enrollment throughout the summer, according to a program news release. Activities will range by location and include everything from a tropical pool party to the SS Sigonella Storytime. Incentive prizes include bookmarks, T-shirts, stickers and puzzles.

Children who participate are asked to complete the books on their own or, for younger children, with the help of a parent, Carrato said. Book choice is left to the reader's discretion, she added, noting that they can read a variety of fiction and nonfiction or even the same book several times if they'd like.

Some libraries will offer an online log to track reading progress, while others will use a handwritten log. The libraries with online tracking capabilities offer an added bonus: reserve-component access, Carrato noted. No matter the distance, Reserve and Guard families can participate in the program by e-mailing dodsumread@navy.mil, and they'll be put in touch with a base with online program capabilities, she added.

The program is worth pursuing, Carrato emphasized, especially since reading practice is vital to young learners. Studies show that children who don't practice reading over the course of the summer may be two to three months behind at the start of the school year, she said. And this effect can be cumulative.

"By the time you leave sixth grade, you could be up to a year behind in reading," she said. "If you keep engaged, you'll be ready to move forward instead of playing catch up."

And for young children, being read to can be just as helpful as practicing reading themselves, she noted.

For installations without a library, Carrato suggested parents check with their local child and youth program or local summer camp to see if they're participating in the program.

Carrato also pointed out a few of the other programs military libraries have to offer this summer, including reading groups, story times, reading program parties, online books, downloadable audio books for car rides, online study guides for summer school attendees and access to Tutor.com, a site that offers free tutoring services 24/7 to military members and their families.

USS New Orleans Arrives in Mexico in Support of Southern Partnership Station

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - USS NEW ORLEANS, At Sea (NNS) -- USS New Orleans, along with Amphibious Squadron 5 (PHIBRON 5), 24th Marines and other embarked units will arrive in the port city of Manzanillo, Mexico, June 15, as the ship's first stop in support of this year's annual Southern Partnership Station (SPS).

SPS is a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility in Latin America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. SPS provides the opportunity for joint operations between partner nations, which develops and tests participating regional civil and maritime services' capabilities to respond to a wide variety of maritime missions while keeping vital lines of communication open between regional services.

"It's an honor to be involved in such an important endeavor," said PHIBRON 5 commodore, Capt. Peter J. Brennan, SPS mission commander. "Global maritime partnership missions, such as Southern Partnership Station, help provide a foundation for security and prosperity throughout the world through the exchange of ideas, and interaction between partner nations."

Subject matter experts from the U.S. and partner nations will participate in cooperative training exercises, and information exchanges in a variety of subjects such as refueling at sea, boarding team operations, and damage control. While in Manzanillo, community outreach projects are scheduled, which will include Sailors and Marines helping to paint a local school.

Ensign Carlos Garcia of Mexico's Marine Infantry; and Ensigns Arturo Lendeche and Braulio Martinez of Mexico's Navy, flew from Mexico City to San Diego June 9, to deploy with New Orleans. This was Garcia's first visit to the United States, and both Lendeche and Martinez visited the U.S. while training as midshipmen in Mexico's naval academy.

"I have enjoyed this experience and would like to see more interactive training between our countries at all levels," said Martinez. "I think the land forces could also benefit from these exchanges. I really appreciate the opportunity to be invited to participate in this program."

Lendeche said he has also benefited from the exchange. "I think there would be value in sending Americans to Mexico to participate in the same type of program. It would give us an opportunity to show them how we operate as well," he said.

"I would like to see cultural and military exchanges like this at the troop level," said Garcia. "I think more hands-on, interactive training of this type would be valuable to the troops who work at the work at the deckplate level."

Officers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay also deployed with New Orleans in order to enhance the interaction between those partner nations and the U.S. Navy.

New Orleans, under the command of Cmdr. Jeffrey L. Oakey, with CPR-5 and other embarked units, are also scheduled to visit Callao, Peru; Bahia Malaga, Colombia; and Balboa, Panama during the three-month deployment.

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 14, 2010

NAVY

Lockheed Martin, Mission Systems and Sensors (LM MS2), Moorestown, N.J., is being awarded a $131,622,735 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5101) for production of four multi-mission signal processor equipment sets, four ballistic missile defense 4.0.1 equipment sets, and six Aegis weapon system upgraded equipment sets to support fielding Aegis modernization capabilities. Work will be performed in Moorestown, N.J. (82 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (13 percent); and Eagan, Minn. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $9,124,835 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Navistar Defense LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $60,072,325 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0013 modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for the procurement of sustainment parts to maintain the independent suspension system that is being installed to retrofit the entire 1,222 MaxxPro DASH vehicles. The objective of these vehicle systems is to support the operations in Afghanistan. Work will be performed in Warrenville, Ill., and work is expected to be completed by the end of March 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $60,072,325 willexpire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Navistar Defense LLC, Warrenville, Ill., is being awarded a $17,247,894 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0011 modification under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5032) for sustainment support needed to maintain Category I Mine Resistant Ambush Protected low rate initial production vehicles in theater. This order will also be used to support the procurement of field service representatives support in the Central Command area of responsibility. Work will be performed in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq, and work is expected to be completed by the end of June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

ManTech Systems Engineering Corp., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a $17,087,023 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00421-08-D-0008) to exercise an option for the procurement of warfare analysis, modeling and simulation software development, and analytic program support for the Naval Air Systems Command's Warfare Analysis and Integration Department. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Md. (85 percent) and Lexington Park, Md., (15 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Science Applications International Corp., Lexington Park, Md. (N00421-10-D-0016); Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., McLean, Va. (N00421-10-D-0017); L-3 Communications Corp., Mount Laurel, N.J. (N00421-10-D-0018); and National Technologies, Inc., Alexandria, Va. (N00421-10-D-0019), are being awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contracts to provide business financial management and program and business analysis services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft. The estimated level of effort for these contracts is 100,609 man-hours. A combined not-to-exceed ceiling of $9,386,597 exists for the ordering period and each contractor will be provided a fair opportunity to compete for individual task orders. Work will be performed at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Patuxent River, Md. (89.9 percent) and NAWCAD Lakehurst, N.J. (10.1 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2011. 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; four offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $6,938,513 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-07-C-0097) for the procurement of diminishing manufacturing sources parts and common components in support of Joint Strike Fighter low rate initial production Lot 5-8 aircraft. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (34 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (33 percent); and El Segundo, Calif. (33 percent); and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $2,950,035 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

Electric Boat Corp.,, Groton Conn., is being awarded a $6,665,509 modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-2101) for procurement of vendor services to support Electric Boat's redesign effort of the Common Weapon Launcher (CWL). The CWL is a commercial-off-the-shelf based software weapons launch capability for Virginia Class submarines. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., and is expected to be completed by January 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair, Groton, Conn., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

Environmental Tectonics Corp., Southampton, Pa., was awarded a $ 38,313,811 which will provide program and design, development, manufacturing, testing, installation, integration, the provision of initial spares and support equipment, and the delivery of a man-rated set or suite of four hypobaric research altitude chambers with supporting data for research and equipment qualification testing missions. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. 647 AESS/PK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8626-10-C-2101).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va. was awarded a $10,168,561 contract which will provide vulnerability and survivability analysis and assessment for Headquarters Pacific Air Force Command combat readiness and mission assurance. At this time, $1,084,041has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (SP0700-03-D-1380).

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., Herndon, Va. was awarded a $6,448,371 contract which will provide combat survivability and vulnerability analysis for the Second Air Force. At this time, $387,897 has been obligated. CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity(SP0700-03-D-1380).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

BAE Systems Controls Inc., Fort Wayne, Ind., is being awarded a maximum $32,162,200 firm-fixed-price contract for control units. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There were originally two proposals solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is June 14, 2015. The Defense Logistics Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (SPRRA1-10-D-0041).

MinXray, Inc.*, Northbrook, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $15,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for radiology systems, subsystems and components. 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 43 responses. The date of performance completion is June 16, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activitiy (SPM2D1-09-D-8335).

Crowley Petroleum Distribution, Anchorage, Alaska, is being awarded a maximum $5,040,275 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance include Cape Romanzof, Alaska and Tin City, Alaska. Using service is Air Force. There were originally 12 proposals solicited with two responses. The date of performance completion is September 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center (DESC), Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-08-D-1009).

Investing in Veterans Today Will Pay Off Tomorrow, Mullen Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 14, 2010 - Military veterans need the support of community groups to pick up where the government leaves off in helping with the challenges veterans and their families face, the military's top officer said during a recent town hall-style meeting at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Most of today's 2.2 million servicemembers will not stay in the military until retirement, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the audience. Instead, they will leave the military, many with physical or mental combat wounds, and needs not reported to the Veterans Affairs Department.

"We have a system in our country comprised of the Defense Department, the VA and communities across country, and too often those systems are disconnected," he said. "I take my most precious asset – my people – and do everything I can for them when they serve, then turn them over to the VA, and many of them don't have a clue about the VA and the services they provide. Then, they return to communities throughout the country.

"We sort of say, go back to your communities and have a nice life," he continued. "We're too detached from those who sacrifice so much."

It was the latest such message from Mullen, who told the audience he chose USC partly because Los Angeles is his hometown, but mostly because staff and students are well connected to their surrounding community. USC is the latest of several locales he has visited this year to raise visibility on meeting veterans' needs.

"It's community leadership that needs to step forward to meet this," he said.

Mullen, a 1968 Naval Academy graduate, said he is working to ensure the country provides better for its Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans than it did for those who served in Vietnam, many of whom he noted still sleep on the streets at night.

American attitudes toward veterans have changed dramatically in those four decades with mostly unconditional support for troops, the chairman said.

"There is a sea of goodwill out there that wants to help," he said. "I want to enable and help inform leaders of this need."

Mullen described young veterans' challenges as "immense," with more than 30,000 physically injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands believed to be living with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

Mullen's wife, Deborah, an advocate for military families, also addressed the audience. She said many military spouses talk of their own anxiety, depression, anger and sleeplessness.

"People, literally, are unable to get up in the morning, and unable to get their children off to school," she said.

Servicemembers and their families – including their parents – "are an integral part of one another," Mrs. Mullen said, and resiliency must be built familywide. Also, families of the fallen continue to struggle through the federal bureaucracy; the long-term effects on children of having deployed parents still isn't well-known; and female veterans, many with children in town, are the fastest-growing group of homeless veterans, she said.

Part of the problem, Mrs. Mullen said, is "a lot of us expected these wars to be over sooner than they were, and we weren't prepared for so many multiple deployments. We are all trying to address this and a big part it is with the communities."

WV Governor Visits NIOC Sugar Grove

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joel Carlson, Navy Information Operations Center Sugar Grove Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - SUGAR GROVE, W. Va. (NNS) -- The governor of West Virginia visited Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Sugar Grove, W. Va., June 10.

Gov. Joe Manchin arrived via helicopter and toured both the upper and lower areas of the base. He was escorted by NIOC Sugar Grove Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Christopher Chrislip and other members of the NIOC chain of command.

"This was my chance to see firsthand what is done here," said Manchin. "I never really imagined how far the base reaches out and pulls in the state, the community and all the people around. I am so appreciative of this opportunity to visit."

Manchin also participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the base's new youth activity center.

"It's very important the children know that somebody cares for them, and it's great that the newest building being built on base is being built for them," Manchin said.

Manchin spoke about the importance of education in West Virginia before scooping a shovelful of soil on the site for the future YAC. He also met with West Virginia residents who were serving a tour of duty at Sugar Grove.

"Having the governor here was a big honor," said Yeoman 2nd Class (SS) Matthew Sampson. "I grew up only a few miles from here, and now, because of my military service, I was given the chance to meet and talk with my own governor."

Manchin also recognized that West Virginia was not the "typical" location for a Navy base, and encouraged service members to take full advantage of all that the base and surrounding community had to offer.

"You're in the most patriotic state in our nation," Manchin said. "So take a deep breath, open your eyes and enjoy your time here."

Swift Sailors and Marines Refurbish Community B-Ball Court in Nicaragua

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Rachael Leslie, High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - CORINTO, Nicaragua (NNS) -- High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) Sailors and Marines refurbished a community basketball court in Corinto, Nicaragua, June 10.

The ship is deployed in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010, which is designed to strengthen maritime relations with partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) in the Caribbean and Central America, which includes close interaction with the local communities.

"Being able to share the experience with the locals was great," said Marine Corps Capt. Etan Anthony, a subject matter expert exchange facilitator currently deployed aboard Swift. "It really shows that both the U.S. and Nicaragua have a shared interest in regional development and security, and in improving the lives of everyone here."

The group of volunteers started the day by sanding down two large basketball goal posts, backboards, swept and taped off the concrete court to be painted. Then they repainted the court and goal posts and replaced the old, damaged basketball nets with brand new ones.

During the five-hour renovation, a few members of the local community lent a hand to the efforts and worked alongside the service members, while many small children and teens gathered around to watch. Immediately after the court was finished an impromptu game of basketball broke out between some of the volunteers and a group local teenagers.

"It was really enjoyable to get to experience the interaction on such a personal level," said Anthony."It felt, at least momentarily, like I was a part of the community."

While deployed in support of SPS 2010, Swift will visit various countries in the Caribbean island nations, Central and South America over the upcoming months. During the ship's stay in Nicaragua, the crew will meet and exchange professional knowledge with the region's civil and maritime services.

This is the fourth SPS deployment in the USSOUTHCOM AOR and the vision is to continue this effort to maintain a persistent presence in the region as a way to further enhance strong relationships. The ship is operated and navigated by 17 civilian contract mariners working for a private company under charter to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command.

Air Force MIAS from Vietnam War are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

They are Capt. Peter H. Chapman, II, Centerburg, Ohio; Tech. Sgt. Allen J. Avery, Auburn, Mass.; Tech. Sgt. Roy D. Prater, Tiffin, Ohio; and Sgt. James H. Alley, Plantation, Fla., all U.S. Air Force.

Prater is to be buried in Columbia City, Ind., on June 19. Other burials are being scheduled individually by the families of the airmen.

On April 6, 1972, six airmen were flying a combat search and rescue mission in their HH-53C Super Jolly Green Giant helicopter over Quang Tri Province in South Vietnam when they were hit by enemy ground fire and crashed. Joint U.S. – Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) field investigations from 1989 to 1992, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), yielded evidence leading to an excavation at the crash site in 1994 as well as two reported burial sites. Team members recovered human remains and personal effects as well as aircraft debris. As a result of these recoveries, all six men on the aircraft were accounted-for in 1997 and buried as a group at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Three were individually identified at that time. Recent technical advances enabled JPAC to identify additional remains to be those of Prater.

Previously, in 1988, the S.R.V. turned over remains they attributed to an American serviceman, however, the name did not match anyone lost or missing from the Vietnam War. The remains were held by JPAC pending improved technology which might have facilitated an identification later.

In the mid-2000s, JPAC's laboratory gained increased scientific capability to associate the 1988 remains to the correct loss. The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) tested these remains against all those servicemembers who were MIA from the Vietnam War with negative results. In 2009, AFDIL expanded its search to make comparisons with previously- resolved individuals. As a result of AFDIL's mitochondrial DNA testing, JPAC scientists determined that these remains were associated with four of the six airmen from the 1972 crash.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.

Navy Secretary Recognizes Acquisition Excellence

By Cmdr. Victor Chen, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recognized more than 40 individuals and commands for improving Department acquisition processes with a combined cost savings to the government of more than $100 million annually during a ceremony at the Pentagon June 14.

"It is because of your efforts, and the thousands of dedicated acquisition professionals that you represent, that our Sailors and Marines have the right tools and equipment to defend our country, serving forward deployed and in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Mabus.

The annual awards included this year's Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer Memorial Award presented to Randy Delarm, deputy program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems, for his work on a portfolio of programs critical to the communications and business management of the Department, including Navy Enterprise Resource Planning, Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps, and Next Generation Enterprise Network.

Other individuals recognized included David Rego of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport for small business advocacy, Marine Major Stephanie Polesnak for leadership in contracting for forces deployed in U.S. Central Command, and Acquisition Professional of the Year, Robert Holmes, deputy for the P-3/EP-3 program office.

Mabus also took the opportunity to reiterate his goals for the Department in improving acquisition processes.

"Two years ago we entered a new fiscal reality. The recession and economic conditions that confront both our country and the world demand that we look at every single program we have and make every single dollar count. We ought to be doing this anyway, but in light of the economy there is simply no choice," said Mabus.

As first outlined at the 2010 Sea-Air-Space convention, the five principles of improving acquisition processes are clearly identifying requirements, raising the bar on performance, rebuilding the acquisition workforce, supporting the industrial base and "making every dollar count."

Teams recognized for their work included Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, Installations and Logistics for proactively supporting small businesses, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport Heavyweight Torpedo Competitive Acquisition Team for the first competitive acquisition solicitation for torpedoes in eight years, as well as Naval Facilities Engineering Command – Marianas for its work in preparing for the relocation of 17,000 Marines and dependents from Okinawa to Guam.

"The teams and individuals we honor today have done all these things, in truth they exemplify what the five principles are intended to do. It is because of their efforts that we have improved our relationship with small businesses, that we have increased competition among our vendors, and that we have improved innovation and energy efficiency," said Mabus.

Both the president and the secretary of Defense have charged each of the services to eliminate waste and to do a better job of managing the taxpayer's money.

The Acquisition Excellence awards are presented annually.

GW Departs on Summer Patrol

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Justin E. Yarborough, USS George Washington Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan June 14, once again getting underway just four days after returning to port.

"Today we will begin our summer patrol where we operate throughout the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility … fostering understating, cooperation and interoperability," said Capt. David Lausman, GW's commanding officer.

Working with other maritime forces can help increase stability within the region and also decrease misunderstandings and tensions, Lausman said. GW and its crew of approximately 3,200 Sailors, recently returned from 24 days of training where the crew successfully completed Combat Operations Efficiency (COE) qualifications which included equipment testing and carrier landing qualifications with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.

The COE certification, sometimes called a "blue-water certification," allows the ship and air wing team to launch and recover aircraft without the requirement for a divert airfield if operationally necessary.

During that time, GW's flight deck crew completed 1,300 aircraft launches and more than 1,400 arrested landings.

"I'm ready to see what the ship can do," said Aviation Boatwain's Mate Airman Andrew Seals. "Last time we pulled out we were just doing test runs and getting qualified as a ship."

Seals said that even though he has worked hard during the past month he is ready to pull back out again.

"I'm looking forward to going on deployment because even though I was here for the last part of the fall deployment, I really didn't get a chance to experience it fully," said Aviation Structural Mechanic (Equipment) Airman Kurtis Kile.

"So far I have had a good experience working up on the flight deck and even though it is dangerous, it's exciting at the same time and I can't wait to do it again," said Kile.

GW is the flagship of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, which is commanded by Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd. The strike group is also comprised of Destroyer Squadron 15, the guided-missile cruisers USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Cowpens (CG 63) and CVW-5.

Air Force announces AFROTC detachment commander vacancies

By Staff Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Opportunities are available for officers to fill Air Force ROTC detachment commander positions throughout the nation.

Air Force Personnel Center assignment teams will review developmental team recommendations to determine the release of eligible officers to compete for AFROTC detachment commander vacancies. Eligible officers include lieutenant colonels and lieutenant colonel selects as of Sept. 9, 2010.

Air Education and Training Command is looking for Line of the Air Force officers with a superior performance record and a master’s degree to apply. Detachment commander duty is a two-year controlled tour. Tentative position matches will be made based on applicant ranking, university requirements and applicant preferences. Applicants can submit their statements of intent through the Airmen Development Plan online at AFPC’s secure applications web page at https://w20.afpc.randolph.af.mil/AFPCSecureNet20/PKI/MainMenu1.aspx. SOIs must be submitted by July 9.

A complete list of projected summer vacancies and application instructions are available on the 91C assignments web page on the AFPC personnel services website at http://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil. For more information call the Total Force Service Center at DSN 665-5000 or commercial (800) 525-0102.

Louisiana Guard Begins Shoreline Protection Project

From a Louisiana National Guard News Release

La., June 14, 2010 - The Louisiana National Guard started shore protection operations in Cameron Parish June 12 by staging Hesco barrier wall equipment that will be placed along eight miles of shoreline by members of the 928th Sapper Company, 769th Engineer Battalion.

The shoreline protection barrier, like the 2.5 miles of wall completed by the Guardsmen in Port Fourchon, is designed to keep encroaching oil from entering the marshlands that lie along the coastline.

The Hesco barrier wall will consist of linked Hesco sections, each consisting of five linked baskets that are then filled with sand. This shoreline protection barrier is one of several key Louisiana Guard oil spill response operations.

The Guardsmen also continue to use vacuum barges to suction oil near East Grand Terre Island. More than 8,100 gallons of oil have been removed thus far.

At Pelican and Scofield Islands, the Louisiana Guard continues to drop sandbags to fill 14 key gaps in the shoreline. To date, eight gaps on Pelican Island and one gap on Scofield Island are complete. More than 4,370 sandbags have been emplaced on Scofield Island alone.

The Louisiana Guard has completed about seven miles of Tiger Dam shoreline protection system at Southwest Pass, and almost eight miles at Grand Isle. In addition, about 2,000 feet of Tiger Dam shoreline protection system has been laid on Elmer's Island to protect low-lying areas.

The Louisiana Guard is closely coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard and parish officials, officials said, to support current operations and determine future missions in support of parish protection plans.

First Lady Visits Camp Pendleton

By Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Amy Forsythe
Defense Media Activity – Marine Corps

June 14, 2010 - First Lady Michelle Obama greeted more than 3,500 servicemembers, civilians and their family members yesterday at the Mainside parade field here. Video

She came to express her gratitude for their service and sacrifice because, as she pointed out, so many of those who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have come from this sprawling base in northern San Diego County.

"In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, no Marine base -- and few bases anywhere -- has sacrificed more for America, more lives, more wounded warriors, than your families and your colleagues," Obama said.

"We have to build a capacity to support you and your families at every stage of your lives," she added, referring to all military members and their families.

This effort needs a national commitment, Obama said. "No one can sit on the sidelines," she said. "One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting you in that fight."

The effort to coordinate government agencies to provide top-notch support services for military families is one of her highest priorities, Obama said.

"My husband has ordered a government-wide review that urges that every department to make supporting your families a high priority," she said, "and it will lay the foundation for a coordinated government approach for years to come."

Obama said her husband's administration plans to ensure that military families receive the support and benefits they need. The administration has increased funds for military housing, child care, counseling and career development for spouses, she noted, and has extended the Family Medical Leave Act to more military families and caregivers.

And recently, the administration expanded veterans' health care and gave "unprecedented support to caregivers," Obama said.

While progress is being made, much work remains to be done, Obama acknowledged. She lauded the Defense Department for launching the Military Family Life Project, a study that will assess quality of life among servicemembers and spouses. Obama said she has been urging military spouses to participate if selected because "the more we know about your priorities, the more we can do to meet them," she said.

Taking care of military families goes beyond the government, Obama noted. "Every American has to play a role," she said.

"It's about every American remembering that you and your families; you are the heroes among us," she added. "It's about every American doing their part. It's simple. It's about making sure that we realize our vision of an America that stands by you at every stage of your lives."

The visit here was one in a series of appearances Obama has made to highlight one of her signature issues as first lady — the challenges military families continue to face during nearly a decade at war.

Obama spent the day touring the base's new state-of-the-art Wounded Warrior Barracks that opened earlier this year. She also met privately with servicemembers and their families to learn more about their particular needs and concerns.

For Michelle Turnage, wife of Marine Corps Master Sgt. Felton Turnage, getting to see the first lady in person was a chance of a lifetime.

"I think she is an amazing woman, and I'm so glad she came all the way to California in person to deliver that message," she said.

Elizabeth Ihirg, 27, whose husband has deployed four times in the last five years, said she felt an instant connection with what the first lady said.

"I think her speech was right on, and I think she really spoke to those of us who have been dealing with the pressures of deployments and family issues," she said.

Air Force offers retention bonus to contracting officers

By Staff Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

June 14, 2010 - Select Air Force contracting officers are eligible to receive a retention bonus as part of the service’s fiscal year 2010 Critical Skills Retention Bonus Program.

Eligible officers will receive $20,000 per year if they sign a four-year CSRB agreement. This is the second year a retention bonus has been offered to eligible contracting officers who are in high demand at stateside and deployed locations around the world.

According to Clohessy, the intent of the contracting CSRB is to retain senior company grade officers who possess extensive contracting experience.

“Our focus for this year’s retention bonus is journeyman-level contracting officers with six commissioned years of service,” said Maj. Thomas Clohessy, the Air Force Personnel Center’s contracting officer assignment team chief. “This is another vital tool at the disposal of Air Force leaders to manage the force and meet mission needs.”

In a joint, deployed environment, Air Force contracting officers account for more than 75 percent of the contingency contracting support assigned to the Joint Contracting Command-Iraq/Afghanistan.

“These officers work numerous contracts for services, supplies, construction and other requirements that directly support the warfighter.” Maj. Clohessy said.

Eligible officers will be notified by AFPC if their Total Active Federal Commissioned Service Date falls between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2004. After meeting the initial TAFCSD requirements, officers can go to the 64P career field assignments page on the AFPC personnel services website to read more about the CSRB program and download the program application form. The deadline for application submissions to AFPC’s contracting assignment team is July 30.

For more information about the CSRB for 64P contracting officers, visit the AFPC personnel services website at http://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil or call the Total Force Service Center at DSN 665-5000 or commercial (800) 525-0102.

Air Force selects 45 Airmen for nurse program

June 14, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Force officials have selected 45 Airmen to attend the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program.

The May 2010 NECP Board met at the Air Force Personnel Center to consider 53 applicants. Eight were not selected and there were no alternates.

Airmen attending training in August 2010 are:

Staff Sgt. Mir M. Ali
Staff Sgt. Jason C. Benchich
Senior Airman Amanda J. Boettcher
Tech. Sgt. Pamela A. Bradshaw
Tech. Sgt. James H. Brown
Tech. Sgt. Donelle L. Clark
Tech. Sgt. William W. Crosby
Staff Sgt. Mara I. Flores
Master Sgt. Sheniqua D. Fortune
Staff Sgt. Amillia M. Gaytan
Tech. Sgt. Tahesha S. German
Staff Sgt. James C. Gill
Tech. Sgt. Kerryann N. Hall
Staff Sgt. Michael R. Humphrey
Tech. Sgt. Kyndra M. Humphreys
Staff Sgt. Crystal F. James
Tech. Sgt. Patricia L. Johnson
Senior Airman Rupert B. Laco
Tech. Sgt. Lucinda M. Landry
Staff Sgt. Nicole L. Lauth
Staff Sgt. Tajuana T. Lloyd
Tech. Sgt. Taisha McFarland
Tech. Sgt. Brian K. Mims
Staff Sgt. Dawn M. Morales
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Adam Patterson
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Alan Patterson
Tech. Sgt. Gloria J. Rapkin
Staff Sgt. Alana N. Rayon
Staff Sgt. Jorge Romero Jr.
Staff Sgt. Jessica D. Shealey
Staff Sgt. Danielle M. Sims
Tech. Sgt. Michelle C. Smith
Staff Sgt. Nathan A. Sprague
Tech. Sgt. Richard W. Staley
Tech. Sgt. Latoya D. Stewart-Burgess
Tech. Sgt. Angela L. Swanson
Tech. Sgt. Eric D. Swanson
Tech. Sgt. Stacy L. Thomas
Senior Airman Eric A. Titus
Staff Sgt. Christela M. Turner
Staff Sgt. Shella M. Valdez
Senior Airman Jazmin N. Wallace
Tech. Sgt. Paul D. Wheeler
Tech. Sgt. Leslie A. Whiting
Tech. Sgt. Tamika W. Young

Airmen who successfully complete course requirements for the NECP program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination will be commissioned as second lieutenants.

For more information on this and other commissioning opportunities, visit the Air Force Personnel Center personnel services website at http://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil or call the Total Force Service Center at (800) 525-0102.

DESRON 15 Recognizes Award-Winning Ships

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Ryan Smith, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det Japan

June 14, 2010 - YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 presented three prestigious awards to forward-deployed ships under his command June 11 in Yokosuka, Japan.

Capt. William Wagner, DESRON 15, commodore, presented the Battle "E" award to USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62)

USS Stethem (DDG 63) was presented the Bloodhound Award for outstanding anti-submarine warfare (ASW) readiness.

The Battle "E" is awarded annually to ships, submarines, aviation squadrons and other units that present the maximum condition of departmental readiness in their group and outstanding capability to perform their wartime tasks. The award recognizes sustained superior performance of the crew in six categories: maritime warfare, engineering and survivability, command and control communications and information warfare, logistics management, safety and efficiency excellence.

Wagner presented Battle "E" plaques to representatives of the award-winning ships.

"I felt it was important for a crew member to accept the award, not the captain, because the crew earned it with their hard work, and I wanted them to receive the plaque," said Wagner. "The Sailors of DESRON 15 are some of the hardest working in the fleet and they earn the admiration of their chain of command on a daily basis."

Accepting the Battle "E" plaque on behalf of Fitzgerald was DESRON 15's Blue Jacket of the Quarter, Quartermaster Seaman Leon Williams, who received the plaque while attending a command function.

"It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of the crew," said Williams. "We all did our part in keeping the ship ready for everything."

Accepting the award on behalf of Lassen was DESRON 15's Sailor of the Year, Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW) Joshua Eddy.

"It's a great honor for us to receive this," said Eddy. "I can't think of another crew on the waterfront that is more deserving of this award."

Representatives of Stethem's weapons department accepted the Bloodhound Award for excellence in ASW.

"This award is the culmination of a whole year of ASW performance and readiness," said Lt. j.g. Jonathan Breed, the ship's ASW officer. "Even though it was presented to the weapons department, the whole ship did their part to maintain readiness."

Sailors Volunteer During Milwaukee Navy Week 2010

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

June 14, 2010 - MILWAUKEE, Wis. (NNS) -- Fourteen Sailors volunteered their time to help Habitat for Humanity construct a home for a needy family June 10 in Milwaukee, Wis.

Habitat for Humanity is an international non-profit organization devoted to building simple, affordable housing for those with limited financial resources.

Homes are built using volunteer labor and then sold at no profit.

"Our mission is to build safe, descent and affordable housing for low income families," said Jim Lambe, the Habitat for Humanity site leader. "The Sailors here today are working really hard and doing a great job putting up drywall. When finished, this will be the 416th home Habitat for Humanity has completed in the Milwaukee area."

"You can't put a price tag on this," said Capt. Michael Elliot, executive assistant, Commander, Naval Service Forces Pacific and a Milwaukee native. "We have a saying on ship to always 'pay it forward.' In other words, when you give back to others and the community, we all stand to benefit in the future."

Sailors worked all day to put up dry wall in the bathroom, hallways and bedrooms of the house while the future home owner along with her two children looked on in excitement.

"This is what the Navy is all about," said Builder 1st Class Michael Ludwig, assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Milwaukee. "Being here shows the community we care and are willing to help them out.

"It's terrific that the Navy is here today to help get the job done," added Lambe. "It gives the Navy visibility in the community while contributing to a wonderful cause, building a home so a family can experience the pride of home ownership."

This project coincided with Milwaukee Navy Week 2010, one of 20 Navy weeks planned across the United States in 2010.

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

Naval Base Kitsap FFSC Recognizes Four Teens for Posters Contest

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Northwest

June 14, 2010 - BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) held a recognition ceremony June 11 at Jackson Park Youth and Teen Center in Bremerton, Wash., for four teenagers who each created a poster design for a teen dating violence awareness poster contest.

Friends, family members and guest speaker, Cmdr. James Travers, NBK's executive officer, gathered to show their support for Gemelin Lozada and Ginelle Ramos from Central Kitsap Junior High School and Brooke Hatcher and Britteny Hatcher from Marcus Whitman Jr. High School.

"Back in February 2010, the teens and FFSC did a teen dating violence awareness workshop. The teens learned about the warning signs seen in abusive relationships," said Lezlie Agtonton, teen program coordinator.

According to Agtonton, the goal of the workshop was to give the teenagers the skills and knowledge to know what to do if they or their friends were in an abusive situation.

"The teens did a poster contest with FFSC to express what they thought teen dating violence would look like through their eyes," said Agtonton. "They are at that stage where they're testing out dating and are experiencing a lot of different dating situations. What if they come in contact with someone who is physically, emotionally or sexually abusive? We're here to provide a positive place and to acknowledge that this is a serious issue and to make them aware."

One of the poster contestants, Britteny Hatcher, said she thought it would be a good idea to make others aware, and it'd be an opportunity for her to use her creative skills.

"We were talking about domestic violence one evening and about creating a poster," said Britteny Hatcher. "I thought it would be a really fun idea to do this not only to get the word out, but because I like to draw a lot. What I would say to anyone is to be careful who you choose to associate with and to be aware of their surroundings."

The Navy offers support much in the same way the civilian community does with avenues aimed at guiding youth from violence, by way of providing awareness.

"I love to see the Navy promoting stuff like this," said Machinist Mate 1st Class David Hatcher, Naval Submarine Support Center Bangor. "In the civilian sector, you have various outlets which sponsor different clubs and programs to steer youth away from violence. My daughters are here a lot because it is a great place for them to interact with other teens. This shows that the Navy is interested not only in their Sailors, but also in their families and children."