Military News

Monday, June 28, 2010

Program Eases Adoption Expenses for Military Families

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - For many people, $2,000 doesn't add up to much money in the long haul; it won't, after all, buy a new car or a house. But for Air Force Master Sgt. Kipp M. Bourgeois and his wife, Christina, the money was just enough to fulfill their long-term dream: a family.

The couple received the money through the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program to help in defraying their adoption costs.

While successful in the end, the couple's path to adoption was a rocky one that took more than a decade, said Bourgeois, resource advisor for the 5th Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. He and his wife, together for 21 years this month, spent the first 12 years of their marriage exploring every option – from fertility drugs to surgery – in a quest to conceive a child of their own. But Christina's battle with endometriosis made it difficult for her to get pregnant, he explained.

They moved to Nellis in 2000 and were referred to a fertility specialist, who told the couple their only hope was in vitro fertilization. But as a staff sergeant, Bourgeois couldn't swing the cost at $15,000 a try and, as the doctor pointed out to him, only a 30-percent success rate.

Up against a financial brick wall, the couple decided to look into adoption and honed in on a special-needs adoption through the state. "Dealing with special needs wasn't an issue for us," Bourgeois said.

They set their sights on two siblings, Emalie and Kameron, who were ages 4 and 3, respectively, at the time. The state considered the children as having special needs due to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and allergies. But the couple didn't think twice about their special needs or the fact that they would be accepting two children into their home rather than one.

"My wife fell in love with both of them, just based on their picture," Bourgeois recalled. "They just looked like they fit in our family."

Since it was a state special-needs adoption, Nevada picked up most of the adoption costs. The couple considered themselves lucky, since adoption funding varies from state to state.

Still, the couple had to pay about $2,000 out of pocket for fingerprinting, training classes and a lawyer to finalize the adoption. The couple turned to the Defense Department's adoption reimbursement program for financial help, joining thousands of other military couples who have received compensation through the program since its inception in 1991.

The program reimburses servicemembers for certain adoption expenses such as agency and placement fees, legal fees and medical expenses, Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials said. Servicemembers who serve continuously on active duty for at least 180 days can receive up to a maximum of $2,000 per child, but can't exceed $5,000 per calendar year.

In 2009, the program distributed nearly 650 payments throughout the services, totaling more than $1 million. For the Bourgeois family, the money covered their out-of-pocket expenses almost entirely after the adoption was finalized in 2003.

They again turned to the program for help on their next adoption, three years later. But this time, they didn't seek out the adoption. They were sought out.

Bourgeois was working with the birth mother and father at the time. When the birth mother found out she was pregnant, she was distraught, knowing her family wouldn't approve since she wasn't married, he said. Knowing they had adopted before, she called and asked the couple if they would take the baby.

"My wife wanted a newborn and jumped at the chance," he said.

Since this adoption was private, it was more costly this time, adding up to roughly $13,000, Bourgeois said. But between the department's reimbursement program and IRS tax credits, their out-of-pocket expenses were minimal. Emalie and Kameron are now 14 and 12, and their youngest, SkylarRae, is 3.

Bourgeois said he and his wife haven't ruled out a future addition. But in the meantime, he's content with the three they now have. "The kids know they're adopted," he said. "But as far as we're concerned, we're Mom and Dad. We're their family."

Bourgeois encouraged other military couples to look into resources such as the reimbursement program when considering adoption. The department also offers servicemembers who adopt up to 21 days of nonchargeable leave to be used in connection with the adoption.

While Bourgeois said he remains grateful for the resources that aided his family, "The love that [my children] return makes the money not even a thought in the end."

Gates: Overhead Savings Would Benefit Warfighters

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - The Defense Department must find $100 billion in savings over the next five years to ensure U.S. warfighters continue to have the resources they need to defend the nation now and into the future, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.

At a briefing today, Gates introduced Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, and spoke about his own commitment to the effort.

"Over the past month, I've directed the Pentagon to take a hard, unsparing look at how the department is staffed, organized and operated," Gates said. "The purpose is to significantly reduce our overhead costs in order to free up the resources needed to sustain our force structure, to modernize, and to create future combat capabilities."

President Barack Obama's defense budget requests for the next five years reflect the importance of growth for the department, the secretary said. While funding for other federal agencies is flat, the Defense Department is projected for a bit more than 1 percent real growth.

But that growth is not enough to ensure servicemembers receive the best equipment and materials. Gates said the $100 billion in overhead savings he's working to achieve over the next five years would be put back into the acquisition process.

"As a matter of principle and political reality, we must do everything possible to make every taxpayer dollar count," the secretary said.

Some of the savings will come from eliminating unneeded programs and activities. Gates already has canceled a number of underperforming or unneeded projects. "Other savings can be found within programs and activities we do need, by conducting them more efficiently," he said.

With $400 billion in contracts across the department, Gates said, the Pentagon must become more efficient in the way it buys goods and services. "Clearly, an important part of achieving that goal is working closely with our industry partners and departmental contracting professionals," he said. "Like all important and necessary institutional changes, this process will take time. But I'm confident we'll succeed.

"Ultimately," he continued, "we as leaders in government owe it to the men and women of our armed forces to do all we can to provide them with the very best support possible."

Pacific Partnership 2010 Departs Cambodia

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Brian Gaines, Pacific Partnership Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (NNS) -- Pacific Partnership 2010 departed Cambodia June 28 after 12 days of working alongside the people of Cambodia to deliver a variety of humanitarian and civic assistance programs ashore and aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

"The time has flown by quickly and we should all take great pride in everything we have accomplished together in such a short time," said Pacific Partnership 2010 Mission Commander, Capt. Lisa M. Franchetti. "We have enjoyed a warm and friendly welcome from the Cambodian people, and will long remember the friendships we have made and the inspiring times we have shared during our visit."

Medical staff, Seabees, nongovernmental organizations, partner nations, and other U.S. government organization personnel not only provided their respective specialties in Sihanoukville, but extended these endeavors into distant regions such as Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampot, Kandal, Ratanakiri, and Takeo provinces.

In remote areas such as Ratanakiri, more than 300 miles away from Sihanoukville, medical personnel treated more than 700 patients per day for a variety of medical conditions including such diseases as cholera, chronic skin infections, respiratory infections, and malnutrition.

"The crew we had in these areas exceeded my expectations," said Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Sandy Kimmer, officer in charge for the remote medical civic action program (MEDCAP) sites her team visited. "The crew included NGO, partner nation, U.S. Public Health Service, and joint service personnel. Even some of the contracted interpreters were physicians, and that was a huge asset."

Because of the importance of delivering medical care to such a remote location, Cambodian media braved the rugged terrain to Ratanakiri, located near the borders of Vietnam and Laos, to document the work being done and to spread the word.

"Cambodian television, radio, and newspapers were beneficial in getting the word out," said Kimmer. "A group from the Cambodian Public Health Service was even on-hand to educate the local population about diseases such as malaria and bird flu through skits and other means."

MEDCAP sites were also located in Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu, Kampot, and Sihanouk provinces. In total, more than 29,000 patients received care at these sites.

Aboard Mercy, medical personnel treated 536 patients and performed 286 surgeries. Even a mother who brought her young son in for corrective urinary tract surgery benefited from an unexpected opportunity for cataract surgery.

"As the boy was being prepped for surgery, we noticed the mother feeling her way around the ship," said Australian Navy Lt. (Dr.) Elizabeth Livingstone, an ophthalmologist currently attached to Mercy. "So we decided surgery would benefit the mother and out of both eyes treated, her best eye now has 20/30 vision."

Various engineering civic action programs (ENCAP) throughout these regions provided a variety of projects including three water wells and two water towers, as well as various renovations to schools and children's centers. Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11 and Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, along with Australian Defense Force Army engineers from the 2nd Combat Engineering Regiment, and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces engineers provided about 22,000 man-hours to these projects. The final well-drilling project is expected to complete on July 6.

Community service (COMSERV) program volunteers completed 11 different engagements at children's schools and orphanages accounting for more than 1,700 total volunteer hours.

"One of the common statements I hear from our volunteers after completing a COMSERV project is how much fun they had at the event. The impact of these projects are felt by not only those we are visiting or helping, but also by the volunteers," said Lt. Derrick Horne, a chaplain aboard Mercy. "When you can get volunteers of all different backgrounds, experiences, and occupations to stand in a circle with 20 children at a local shelter and do the 'Hokie Pokie,' you know the rewards must be great!"

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cambodia, Mercy was instrumental in repatriating ancient Khmer artifacts to their ancestral homeland. Sihanoukville Governor Sbong Sarath, five Buddhist monks, and a crowd of approximately 60 people gathered on the pier to watch the return of the relics. The artifacts included several Buddhist sculptures from the Angkor period, which spanned from 802 until 1431 A.D.

"As a Cambodian, I was very happy to learn of the return of these artifacts. On behalf of the Cambodian people, I would like to thank the U.S. government for their commitment to the Cambodian people," said Cambodian Ministry of Culture Director Khim Sarith.

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ship JDS Kunisaki (LST 4003) and her embarked medical team and NGOs also joined Mercy during her visit to Cambodia and provided medical personnel and supported MEDCAPs at the Sihanouk Provincial Hospital and the Andaung Thma elementary school, where on average, more than 800 locals were treated daily during their 10-day participation.

This marks the first time Pacific Partnership has visited Cambodia.

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

MILITARY CONTRACTS June 28, 2010

DEFENSE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AGENCY

On June 11, 2010, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) issued a bridge extension for the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) multiple-award Omnibus contracts as a modification to the three existing contracts. Each of the three JITC Omnibus multiple-award, Time and Material (T&M) contracts that are awarded to: 1) Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. (NGIT) under contract number NBCHC020001; 2) Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (NGMS) under contract number NBCHC020002; and 3) Interop Joint Venture II (IJV) under contract NBCHC020003 will be extended. The current contracts expire 31 August 2010. The six month bridge extension will add an additional six month period to each JITC Omnibus contract from September 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011 with three 2-month option periods. The three 2-month optional periods will cover March 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011 if exercised. The total combined ceiling values for the extension period and option period will be increased by 70 million, changing the total contract ceilings from 1.05 billion to 1.12 billion. The statutory authority for other than full and open competition is 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), posted to FedBizOps website on April 19, 2010. Performance will be at done at various DISA/Joint Interoperability Testing Command locations. The original solicitation was issued as a full and open competitive action and 8 proposals were received. All three contractors are large businesses. A follow-on solicitation is pending. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, (DITCO) ,Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (satellite branch-JITC, Fort Huachuca), is the contracting activity.

Government Contracting Resources, Inc.*, Pinehurst, N.C., was awarded a $21,229,204, firm-fixed-price contract utilizing partial fiscal 2010 and 2011 operations & maintenance funding, base year, for base operating support services on June 18, 2010. The period of performance for the base period is Aug. 1, 2010 through July 21, 2011 with four 12-month options. Performance will be at Fort George G. Meade, Md. The solicitation was issued as a veteran-owned small business set-aside. The solicitation was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site and three responsive offers were received. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, NCR, is the contracting activity (HC1047-10-C-4021).

NAVY

Raytheon Technical Services Co., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $250,475,758 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the development, implementation and sustainment of 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 V-22 Block Fleet release avionics systems software products, including V-22 aircraft avionics acquisition support. In addition, this contract provides for the development, test and production of V-22 situational awareness/Blue Force tracking software and prototype hardware products. Work will be performed in Indianapolis, Ind., and is expected to be completed in September 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-10-D-0012).

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded an $88,202,604 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0061) for the Lot 10 production of 121 AIM-9X Block I all-up-round tactical missiles for the Air Force (65) and the government of Korea (55); 12 Block I captive air training missiles (CATM) for the government of Korea; 15 Block I special air training missiles (NATM) for the Air Force; seven Block II captive training missiles for the Air Force; 21 Block II NATMs for the Air Force; five Block I CATM guidance units (GU) for the Air Force; 15 Block II CATM GUs for the Air Force; seven Block II active optical target detectors for the Air Force; six Block I propulsion steering sections for the Air Force; 52 containers for the Air Force (30) and the government of Korea (22); and associated tooling and test equipment for the Navy, Air Force and the government of Korea. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (57.17 percent); Andover, Mass. (6.97 percent); various locations inside the contiguous U.S. (6.67 percent); Valencia, Calif. (4.76 percent); Goleta, Calif. (4.22 percent); Rocket Center, W.Va. (4.06 percent); Vancouver, Wash. (3.30 percent); Midland, Canada (2.94 percent); Austin, Texas (1.91 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (1.37 percent); Cheshire, Conn. (1.36 percent); El Cajon, Calif. (0.88 percent); Chatsworth, Calif. (0.88 percent); San Jose, Calif. (0.75 percent); Anniston, Ala. (0.74 percent); Simsbury, Conn. (0.70 percent); San Diego, Calif. (0.63 percent); Newbury Park, Calif. (0.52 percent); and various locations outside the contiguous U.S. (0.17 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($60,216,469; 68.27 percent); Navy ($2,833,799; 3.21 percent); and the government of Korea ($25,152,336; 28.52 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-09-C-0061).

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $40,403,434 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0061) for the Lot 10 production of 54 AIM-9X Block I all-up-round tactical missiles for the U.S. Navy (45) and for the government of Korea (nine); seven Block I captive air training missiles (CATM) for the government of Korea; four Block II captive training missiles for the Navy; 15 Block II special air training missiles for the Navy; 21 Block I CATM guidance units (GU) for the Navy (three) and the governments of Singapore (eight), Australia, (eight), and Korea (two); seven Block II CATM GUs for the Navy; four Block II active optical target detectors for the Navy; and four Block I propulsion steering sections for the Navy. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (57.17 percent); Andover, Mass. (6.97 percent); various locations inside the contiguous U.S. (6.67 percent); Valencia, Calif. (4.76 percent); Goleta, Calif. (4.22 percent); Rocket Center, W.Va. (4.06 percent); Vancouver, Wash. (3.30 percent); Midland, Canada (2.94 percent); Austin, Texas (1.91 percent); Cincinnati, Ohio (1.37 percent); Cheshire, Conn. (1.36 percent); El Cajon, Calif. (0.88 percent); Chatsworth, Calif. (0.88 percent); San Jose, Calif. (0.75 percent); Anniston, Ala. (0.74 percent); Simsbury, Conn. (0.70 percent); San Diego, Calif. (0.63 percent); Newbury Park, Calif. (0.52 percent); and various locations outside the contiguous U.S. (0.17 percent). Work is expected to be completed in August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Navy ($32,944,420; 81.54 percent); and the governments of Korea ($5,699,174; 14.10 percent), Australia ($879,920; 2.18 percent), and Singapore ($879,920; 2.18 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Electronics, Intelligence & Support, Electronic Solutions, Nashua, N.H., is being awarded a $30,954,068 firm-fixed-price contract for the low-rate initial production Lot 6 for the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures AN/ALE-55 subsystems for the F/A-18E/F aircraft, including associated technical support for the Navy, Marine Corps, and the government of Australia. In addition, this contract provides for recurring and non-recurring engineering efforts in order to fabricate, assemble, test and deliver the component hardware of the AN/ALE-55 subsystem. The AN/ALE-55 subsystem consists of an electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber optic towed device (FOTD) round. This contract provides for 72 EFCs for the Navy (55) and the government of Australia (17); and 334 FOTD rounds for the Navy and Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Nashua, N.H. (80.6 percent); Mountain View, Calif. (12 percent); and Chelmsford, United Kingdom (7.4 percent). Work is expected to be completed in September 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Navy and Marine Corps ($28,524,921; 92.2 percent), and the government of Australia ($2,429,147; 7.8 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0069).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded a $29,665,942 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide systems engineering services to support the integration of the TRIDENT II (D5) missile and reentry subsystems into the common missile compartment for the Ohio SSBN replacement program. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif. (53.38 percent); Cape Canaveral, Fla. (40.02 percent); Magna, Utah (3.54 percent); Groton, Conn. (1.55 percent); Olathe, Kan. (0.67 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (0.50 percent); Bangor, Wash. (0.27 percent); Dallas, Texas (0.03 percent); and Port Washington, N.Y. (0.01 percent). Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was sole-source. Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-10-C-0043)

Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, Ariz., is being awarded a $26,385,013 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-fee contract for the full-rate production of seven GQM-163A Coyote supersonic sea-skimming target vehicles, associated hardware, and kits. Work will be performed in Chandler, Ariz. (67 percent); Camden, Ark. (26 percent); Vergennes, Vt. (4 percent); and Hollister, Calif. (3 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $93,816 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-2. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0063).

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $26,500,000 firm-fixed-price delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-10-G-0018) for the procurement of 50 forward looking infrared radar for the CH-53E helicopters (42) and CH-53K helicopters (eight). Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., and is expected to be completed in June 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $530,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Capco, Inc., Grand Junction, Colo. (N00164-10-D-WR31); PRN Associates, Indianapolis, Ind. (N00164-10-D-WR29); and Roselm Industries, Inc., South El Monte, Calif. (N00164-10-D-WR30), are each being awarded a $10,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for breech plates that are part of a countermeasure dispensing system. These breech plates are a component for the aircraft countermeasure dispensing system which ejects decoys to protect aircraft from exterior threats including surface-to-air missiles. Work will be performed in Grand Junction, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; South El Monte, Calif.; and is expected to be completed by June 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This is part of a multiple-award contract with four offers being received. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Network Centric Systems, Marlborough, Mass., is being awarded a $7,171,329 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00421-09-G-0002) for engineering and technical services in support of the air traffic, navigation, integration and coordination system. Work will be performed in Marlborough, Mass. (70 percent), and Largo, Fla. (30 percent); and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $7,171,329 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-09-G-0002).

Canadian Commercial Corp., General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, is being awarded a $5,694,383.80 firm-fixed-priced delivery order #0008 under contract number M67854-07-D-5028 for the procurement of modernization safety kits to be installed on the RG-31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle fleet. The modernization safety kits include a fire-resistant self-sealing fuel tank; an upgraded 570 amp alternator; a back-up alarm system; an improved interior lighting system; and an increased crew ventilation kit. Approximately 33 percent of the product manufacturing will be produced in Buffalo, N.Y., with the remainder being completed at General Dynamics facilities in Canada and South Africa. All deliveries are expected no later than June 28, 2011. Fiscal 2008 OPA contract funds are being will be utilized and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-5028).

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Inc., Greenlawn, N.Y., is being awarded a $5,528,860 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-08-C-0061) to exercise an option for the procurement of identification friend-or-foe common digital transponder hardware for the Navy and Army. This option consists of 23 RT-1836(C) AN/APX-118 transponders for the Army; 27 RT-192 AN/APX-123 transponders for the Navy (five) and Army (22); 450 Mode 5 modification kits for the Army; one MT-7221 APX mount for the Navy; and 150 power supplies for the Army. Work will be performed in Greenlawn, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in March 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $33,110 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Army ($5,362,725; 97 percent) and Navy ($166,135; 3 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

Balfour Beatty Construction, Fairfax, Va., was awarded on June 24 a $43,613,850 firm-fixed-price-construction contract. This contract is for Base Items 0001-0022 and Option Item 1003. This procurement is a design-build project for a dining facility at Fort Jackson, S.C. This project will design and build a new "quad" dining facility complex and renovate four starships including all site work. Work is to be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of June 3, 1012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with four bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District Contracting Office, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-10-C-0058).

Raytheon Co, Integrated Defense Co., Andover, Mass., was awarded on June 24 a $31,502,788 cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract. This contract is for fiscal 2010 Patriot engineering services contract for 907,043 man-hours of effort. Work is to be performed in Andover, Mass. (9.34 percent); Burlington, Mass. (15.20 percent); El Paso, Texas (15.26 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (3.87 percent); and Tewksbury, Mass. (56.33 percent), with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-C-0057).

NCI Information Systems, Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded a $27,651,725 time-and-material contract. The contractor will provide a wide range of diverse services in the area of management, logistical and technical engineering support to Program Executive Office Soldier, Project Manager (PM) Soldier protection and individual equipment, PM Soldier sensors and lasers, PM Soldier Warrior, and PM Soldier Weapons, with performance through Oct. 31, 2010. Work is to be performed in Middle River, Md. (20 percent); Fort Belvoir, Va. (20 percent); Haymarket, Va. (30 percent); Hopewell, Va. (15 percent); Fort Benning, Ga. (4 percent); Afghanistan (1 percent); Iraq (1 percent); and Kuwait (9 percent), with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One single-award indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W91BRF-07-D-0014).

John C. Grimberg, Rockville, Md., was awarded on June 24 a $13,478,000 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the design and construction of a multi-story emergency services center that will provide a fire station, police/law enforcement, and administrative support space. Work is to be performed in Fort Detrick, Md., with an estimated completion date of Sept 17, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with 13 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, Baltimore, Md., is the contracting activity (W912DR-10-C-0087).

SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., was awarded on June 24 a $9,036,694 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is for Phases II/II of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's panoptic analysis of chemical traces program. SRI International will develop an advanced analytical system for processing and identification of chemicals in the atmosphere which will provide high-throughout, cost-effective, high fidelity identification of chemical constituents. This technology will facilitate rapid, accurate chemical mapping and reconnaissance. Work is to be performed in Menlo Park, Calif. (80.9 percent); Plymouth, Minn. (8.6 percent); Poway, Calif., (4.7 percent), Toronto, Canada (4.9 percent); and Seattle, Wash., (0.9 percent), with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2012. Bids were solicited through a broad agency announcement with four bids received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0113).

P&S Construction, Inc., Lowell, Mass., was awarded on June 24 an $8,967,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a new 150-member Army Reserve center, vehicle maintenance shop, and unheated storage building located in Luzerne County, Ashley, Pa. Work is to be performed in Hanover Township, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 30, 2011. Fifty bids were solicited with six bids received. U.S. Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-10-C-0062).

Omega Training Group, Inc., Columbus, Ga., was awarded on June 24 a $5,668,512 time-and-material contract. The contractor will provide support services for non-governmental-in-nature tasks that exceed organic capabilities of Task Force Marshall at Fort Jackson, S.C. Work is to be performed in Fort Jackson, S.C., with an estimated completion date of June 21, 2012. Seven bids were solicited with six bids received. Mission & Installation Contracting MICC Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., is the contracting activity (W91247-10-C-9001).

Online Program Helps Military Families Vote Absentee

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - The Defense Department today launched an Internet-based program to help servicemembers and other Americans living overseas vote more easily in November's elections.

The new, online voting assistant at www.fvap.gov will make the registration and absentee ballot application process "quick, easy, seamless and intuitive," Bob Carey, federal voting assistance program director, said today during an interview with The Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service.

Americans living abroad previously had to research a 290-page manual to figure out their state requirements for absentee voting, including where and how to send in their applications, Carey said.

"One of the things we found from the 2008 elections was that voters found the process very complex, very laborious and not very intuitive," he said. "With this, a voter doesn't have to have a master's in election law to figure out the process."

The site asks prospective voters to identify themselves either as a military member or family member, or other citizen living outside the United States, then answer fewer than 10 questions, including voting residence and how a ballot should be sent to them, Carey said. The process takes between two and 10 minutes, he said.

The program automatically determines the voter's election jurisdiction, and the proper questions to ask to meet specific state and local registration and absentee ballot requirements. Once the questions are answered, the voter prints off a form in PDF format, signs it, and submits it by mail, fax or e-mail, depending on state requirements, Carey said.

The online assistant does not store the information after the form is complete, and the information is purged from the server, he said.

The program is expected to increase the number of ballots counted for servicemembers, who are known to vote at a higher rate than the general public, Carey said. In 2008, it is believed that roughly 5,000 servicemembers' ballots couldn't be counted because forms were inadequate, incomplete or mailed to the wrong jurisdiction, he said. An even bigger problem was that ballots didn't make it to voting officials in time to be counted, he said.

The online assistant was released as part of Armed Forces Voters Week and Overseas Citizens Voters Week, which runs June 28 through July 7. Americans living overseas – some 6 million voters -- are encouraged to use the site to register for absentee ballots in July.

"If it's August, they're starting to push it," Carey said. "If it's September, they're going to have problems."

Leap Frogs Kick Off Quad City Air Show

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Kapica, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - DAVENPORT, Iowa (NNS) -- Approximately 100,000 air-show enthusiasts watched as the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, kicked off the 24th annual Quad City Air Show in Davenport, Iowa, June 26-27.

The Leap Frogs, composed of Navy SEALs, special warfare combatant-craft crewmen and parachute riggers, parachuted down from an Alaska Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft during the opening ceremony of the two-day event.

Spectators packed the flight line and cheered as the team jumped from 8,000 feet above show center. The jumpers deployed their blue and gold main canopies and linked up in what is called canopy-relative work. The jumpers formed bi-plane and T-formations. Two jumpers had the crowd on their feet as they performed a down plane and swooped in for an impressive, precision landing. The team rocketed toward the ground at more than 120 miles per hour in a bomb burst formation for the final jump June 27.

A few young cadets from the Davenport Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol (DCSCAP) got the chance to meet the team up close, when they were invited to help pack the Leap Frogs' parachutes after the performance.

"They were amazing!" said Nick Reed, a DCSCAP cadet. "I hope to get my skydiving license and maybe join the Navy and become one of these people one day. That would be a dream job!"

Various aerobatic display teams followed the Leap Frogs' performance, including the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Legacy Flights, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet and U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle, in addition to many civilian teams. The event concluded with a re-enactment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

"I love the Leap Frogs, they're fantastic!" said Ken Hopper, president, founder and air boss of Quad City Air Show. "Their performance today just goes to show that the Leap Frogs will jump if humanly possible, and they just have that Navy can-do attitude."

"We are thrilled to be part of the air show," said Chief Special Warfare Operator Justin Gauny, leading chief petty officer of the Leap Frogs. "We really enjoy coming out and performing at events like this. It's a great opportunity to show the public a little bit about what we do."

The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform parachute demonstrations across the United States in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy Recruiting Command.

GW Holds Live-Fire Training Exercise

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class(SW) Carlos Gomez, USS George Washington Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of USS George Washington (CVN 73) fired off numerous weapons systems simultaneously during a live fire training exercise June 26 for preventing night boat attacks.

This training is designed to prepare the crew to more effectively combat the threat of small boats. Because of their low radar signature, small boats are difficult to track and might be able to get close enough that they have to be engaged with the ship's crew-served weapons systems.

"Our ship's first line of defense has to be ready at all times, no matter if it's a small boat attack or an aircraft attack," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Shawn Peacock, the leading petty officer of the ship's armory.

In just under 30 minutes, Sailors from GW's Weapons and Combat Systems departments, as well as the ship's security force, fired approximately 8,600 rounds of ammunition from several weapons systems including: the ship's 10 .50-caliber machine-gun mounts; Mark 19 grenade launchers; M-240 machine guns; and the ship's Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) or "Phalanx", which fire's 20 mm tungsten rounds at rates of up to 4,500 rounds a minute.

"It's good training to have a night shoot. It makes our guys more proficient," said Chief Gunner's Mate David Kaye, the armory's leading chief petty officer.

Training at night makes Sailors more familiar and comfortable with their weapons [during difficult situations], he said, which in turn raises their situational awareness.

Shooting within such a close range of other Sailors also improves their communication with each other – a must for real-time situations.

"We're definitely training like we fight," Kaye said.

Though the aircraft from the embarked Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) serve as GW's primary striking arm, all of the ship's 1,115 feet are still susceptible to threats only a fraction of its size.

According to Peacock, GW crew's is constantly ready to respond to an actual small boat attack.

"Exercises like these keep this warship top notch," Peacock said.

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.

Truman Carrier Strike Group Relieves Eisenhower

om USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will relieve the Dwight D. Eisenhower CSG as Commander, Task Force 50 July 2, beginning a routine deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Under Task Force 50, Truman CSG will conduct close air support missions in support of coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan while conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the AOR.

Eisenhower CSG has operated in the 5th Fleet AOR since Jan. 25 with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 aircraft flying 2,970 combat sorties and 17,730 cumulative flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

"The Eisenhower Strike Group has done a great job supporting the troops on the ground in Afghanistan and executing maritime security operations," said Rear Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, CSG 8. "We leave knowing that Eisenhower, CVW 7, and all the ships in our Ike '5-star' team have worked hard to improve security and stability in the region."

Ships of the Eisenhower CSG performed multiple missions while in the 5th Fleet AOR, which included deterring piracy, protecting critical infrastructure, partnering with critical allies, and conducting MSO throughout the region.

"Our Sailors have shown tremendous dedication and commitment during this deployment and are ready now to head home to their family and friends," said Capt. Dee Mewbourne, commanding officer, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). "We have every confidence that Truman will continue to work just as effectively to improve the security and stability in this part of the world through the outstanding professionalism of their Sailors."

"The Eisenhower Strike Group's performance in the 5th Fleet and their support for Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan has been superb. We have big footsteps to follow in," said Rear Adm. Pat Driscoll, commander, CSG 10. "The Sailors and Marines of the Truman Strike Group are fully ready and anxious to begin this important tasking."

The Truman CSG deployed May 21 from its homeport of Norfolk, Va., and includes Carrier Strike Group 10, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), USS Normandy (CG 60), Destroyer Squadron 26, USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Ross (DDG 71), Carrier Air Wing 3 and its associated squadrons; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 "Gunslingers," VFA 32 "Swordsmen," VFA 37 "Ragin Bulls," Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 "Checkerboards," Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 "Seahawks," Electronic Attack Squadron 130 "Zappers," and Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 7 "Dusty Dogs."

Eisenhower will return to its homeport of Norfolk, Va.

USS Kearsarge Welcomes "Save a Life" Tour

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Indra Bosko, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The annual "Save a Life Tour" visited amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) June 22. to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving.

Kearsarge's hangar bay was staged with campaign slogans, videos, posters, an electronic alcohol survey and several drunk driving simulators.

"We had a lot of participation from the Kearsarge crew," said Save a Life tour manager Andrew Tipton. "I've seen more chiefs, senior chiefs and master chiefs using the simulator than at any other stop on the tour. I truly believe that if the leaders do it, the younger Sailors will follow."

According to Tipton, the "edutainment" simulators recreate the same conditions one would face while driving impaired. Sailors face unexpected conditions, such as reckless driving from other vehicles and harsh weather conditions, while feeling like they were driving in a state of intoxication.

"A lot of people don't think that anything bad can happen to them after a few drinks, but it can and it will," said Tipton, a former victim of a near death alcohol-related car crash. "What we do is we program a delayed reaction in the simulators, because everyone who drinks has a delayed reaction. We slow the response when the driver hits the gas pedal to show how the brain can handle the delay. If they can't handle the car sober, how can they handle the car drunk?"

"It's like I was drunk the moment I started," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Peaches Miles, Training department. "I kept losing control of the steering wheel. It is a scary feeling overall. I never want to have that feeling ever again. I don't drink and drive, but even so I believe experiencing the effects of alcohol on driving firsthand helps our Sailors. I have better things to do than die or get locked up."

Tipton said there are total of three Save A Life trucks that tour across the country, and naval bases are some of the mandatory visits.

"A majority of the people that enlist in the military are very young. We are trying to show them to be smart about their decisions," said Tipton. "At the end of the day, we are just trying to save a life."

Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Thomas Williford is Kearsarge's Drug and Alcohol Program advisor. He said that in most cases the abuse of alcohol begins before Sailors join the Navy.

"Most of the Sailors I've screened for alcohol-related problems on Kearsarge said they began drinking at 14 years old," said Williford, stressing that responsible use of alcohol is the Navy's policy. "My job is prevention, training, and treatment of alcohol related incidents, but I can't help someone if they don't come see me with the mindset of wanting to be helped. The best advice I can give Sailors is don't put yourself in a situation that you will regret because the Navy will hold you accountable."

Brothers Manage Fitness Operations

By Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing

June 28, 2010 - If you walk into one of the fitness buildings for the 380th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron at an air base here and yell, "Sergeant Ramos," you'll probably get more than one person answering. First along might be Air Force Master Sgt. Greg Ramos, who is the fitness center's superintendent. Or Air Force Staff Sgt. Gavin Ramos, Greg's younger brother, might come to help.

Either way, the Ramos brothers are fairly well known around the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing as the "Hawaiian brothers at the fitness center." They have a "can-do" spirit, Greg said, partly because of their culture but also because they are two brothers who get along splendidly. "It's nice to have someone who you know so well to work with," Greg said. "Gavin is a hard worker, and we know each other's capabilities, so we can often get a lot of work done quickly. Plus, to be deployed with my brother is especially an honor."

Gavin agreed. "We have a great relationship," he said. "I used to be in security forces until just over a year ago, when I cross-trained over to the services career field. Since then, we've been working together fairly consistently -- including on this deployment."

The brothers deployed from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Force Support Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Their hometown is Kapolei, Hawaii. They deployed as a part of nine-person Hawaii Guard contingent to support whatever they were called on to do, and they've managed fitness center operations for the majority of their deployment.

"The fitness center buildings are open 24 hours a day," Greg said. "Besides Gavin and I, we have other force support airmen help us keep the fitness operations going all the time. Being fit to fight is important, and it's good for us to do all we can to keep this place ready for our customers."

Greg has been in the Air National Guard for more than 15 years, while Gavin has been in for eight years. As the oldest sibling in his family, Greg said, he always has believed he's had an obligation to his younger siblings to "pave a path and set the example."

"When I was young and joined the Guard, there were a lot of circumstances going on, and joining the Guard helped me to get on a path of success," Greg said. "The last 15 years supporting the Air Force and the Air National Guard has been good for me and my family."

Greg's service in the Guard influenced Gavin to join. "He played big brother and helped me along the same road," Gavin said. "He's always been a great mentor."

Managing troop services operations requires a great deal of behind-the-scenes administrative work, but the brothers agree that the bottom line is taking care of people. "We like what we do in services, because we are helping people and contributing to improving their morale in so many ways - especially with our fitness programs," Greg said.

"I'm here to help ensure that deployed servicemembers have an optimum facility to assist members in achieving their fitness goals," Gavin said. "It's just one of the many things we do in services that are critical to the well-being of our airmen."

The brothers soon will return to Hawaii from their deployment, and Greg said the Ramos family's footprint in the Hawaii Air National Guard may continue to grow.

"We've been trying to get another brother to join the Guard, and we have a nephew who recently graduated from high school who we think would do well in the Guard," Greg said. "In our family, it started with me, but I think more of us will go the way of the Air National Guard."

Meanwhile, Gavin said, he is content to continue working with his brother in any part of the world.

"Whether we are here or at home, I am proud to serve with my brother Greg," Gavin said. "He's a great man. He leads the way, and makes me proud to call him my brother."

General Officer Announcement

June 28, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has nominated Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen P. Mueller for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general with assignment as vice commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Mueller is currently serving as the director, Air Component Coordination Element, Air Combat Command, Kabul Air Base, Afghanistan.

Flag Officer Announcements

June 28, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Navy Rear Adm. William E. Landay III for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as director, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Arlington, Va. Landay is currently serving as program executive officer for ships, Washington, D.C.

Navy Rear Adm. Charles J. Leidig Jr. for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as deputy for military operations, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. Leidig is currently serving as chief of staff, J5, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

General Officer Announcements

June 28, 2010 - Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr. for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as the inspector general, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C. Fil is currently serving as the commanding general, Eighth U.S. Army/chief of staff, U.N. Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces.

Army Maj. Gen. William J. Troy, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as director of the Army Staff, Washington, D.C. Troy is currently serving as the commanding general, U.S. Army Alaska/deputy commander, U.S. Alaskan Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Sanford E. Holman has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general. Holman is currently serving as vice commander for Joint Warfighting Center/vice director for joint training, J-7, (individual mobilization augmentee), U.S. Joint Forces Command, Suffolk, Va.

Army Col. Timothy E. Trainor has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Trainor is currently serving as professor, Department of Systems Engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

Generals make friendly wager on World Cup match

By Spc. Tarell J. Bilbo
Louisiana National Guard

(6/28/10) -- When the United States took on Ghana in the World Cup over the weekend, two military generals were watching with extra interest.

Army Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, the adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, and Lt. Gen. Peter A. Blay, chief of defence staff for the Ghana Armed Forces, have a friendly wager on who will win.

If the U.S. is victorious, Blay will present Sprynczynatyk with a Ghanaian flag; if Ghana wins, Sprynczynatyk will make the presentation with a U.S. flag.

After four games, Ghana now has two wins, one draw and one loss, while the U.S. has one win, one loss and two draws.

Why does this game in particular catch the attention of the highest-ranking military officer in North Dakota? Since 2004, the state’s Guard has been paired with Ghana through the Department of Defense-sponsored State Partnership Program, which aligns states with partner countries to encourage the development of economic, political and military ties.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the Ghana Armed Forces throughout the past six years as we learn from each other and, in turn, improve the way we operate,” Sprynczynatyk said. “I consider Lt. Gen. Blay a good friend and respect him as a strong leader. We couldn’t resist having a little fun as our home countries face off in the World Cup this weekend.”

During the past six years, more than 180 North Dakota Guardsmen, Ghana military members and civilians have taken part in State Partnership Program events and workshops. Blay was most recently in North Dakota in April.

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Visits MA "A" School

By Yeoman Seaman Steven Cooney, Center for Security Forces

June 28, 2010 - SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) visited the Center for Security Forces June 24 and spoke to the vital role of Navy master-at-arms (MA) in today's Navy.

USFF is the executive agent for all antiterrorism force protection (ATFP) policies and procedures. During his visit, Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., USFF, took a firsthand look into the training of the Navy master-at-arms.

"In my view, one of the key foundations in the ATFP effort is a very well trained and skilled core of master-at-arms personnel," he said.

The admiral's tour included visiting electronic classrooms, where the web-based training portion of the "A" School curriculum, including basic principles for select topics, is delivered. He then moved on to more hands-on practical exercises, observing students performing take down procedures for non-compliant suspects in the gymnasium as part of security force training.

During a break in training, Harvey took time to speak with students about the significance of what they are doing for the Navy as a master-at-arms.

"This is not a drill. The master-at-arms force is the first line of defense for our Sailors," said Harvey. "You may be the one person who stands between your shipmates and the enemy - an enemy who wants to kill them."

When asked about the level and quality of training students are receiving, Harvey responded "the training is a good baseline, however, as with all "A" School training, there will be parts that have to be made stronger.

"As we get more knowledgeable about the threat we are facing all over the world to our ships, squadrons, and Sailors, we need to bring that knowledge back to the schoolhouse to build upon," added Harvey.

Prior to departing, Harvey offered this advice for the Navy's next generation of master-at-arms: "Never forget the reality of the threat to our Navy and the immense duty that you have taken on - the protection of our fleet."

U.S., South Korea to Delay Transfer of Wartime Control

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - The United States and South Korea have agreed to delay until December 2015 the transfer of wartime operational control of troops on the Korean peninsula to South Korea, the two nations' presidents announced following a June 26 meeting in Toronto.

Specific details of how the wartime operational control will shift will be formulated next month during meetings in the South Korean capital of Seoul, Pentagon officials said.

Transfer of control had been scheduled for April 2012. The change reaffirms the importance of the U.S. military alliance with South Korea, President Barack Obama said.

South Korean officials discussed extending the transfer date with U.S. officials even before North Korea torpedoed and sank the South Korean ship Cheonan on March 26, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said.

Extending the deadline will allow the ultimate transfer to proceed more smoothly and allow the U.S. and South Korean militaries to be more in sync, Pentagon officials said.

"We have arrived at an agreement that the transition of operational control for alliance activities in the Korean peninsula will take place in 2015," Obama said. "This gives us appropriate time ... within the existing security context, to do this right, because this alliance is the lynchpin of not only security for the Republic of Korea and the United States, but also for the Pacific as a whole."

Obama and Lee discussed the Cheonan incident, and what will happen in the months ahead. "We agreed that Korea and the United States, that we will do all that we can to deter any acts of North Korean aggression leveled against us, and that we will react swiftly and strongly so that this will not happen again," Lee said through a translator.

He said the South Korean government is working through the United Nations Security Council to bring about a strongly worded statement condemning North Korea. "We also agreed on the follow-up activities that we would be jointly taking between Korea and the United States," Lee said.

During a news conference at the G-20 meetings in Toronto yesterday, Obama praised Lee's restraint following the sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

"It is absolutely critical that the international community rally behind him, and send a clear message to North Korea that this kind of behavior is unacceptable," Obama said, "and that the international community will continue to step up pressure until it makes a decision to follow a path that is consistent with international norms."