Military News

Thursday, July 08, 2010

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 8, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Refinery Associates of Texas*, New Braunfels, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $122,798,741 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation turbine fuel. Other location of performance is United Kingdom. Using service is the Defense Energy Support Center. The original proposal was Web-solicited with 10 responses. The date of performance completion is July 30, 2011. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0481).

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn. is being awarded a maximum $63,754,114 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract to supply aircraft platform spare parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 7, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., is the contracting activity (SPM4AX-09-D-9404).

Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Co., Belleville, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $24,337,375 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hot weather Army combat boots. Other location of performance is Arkansas. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web-solicited with nine responses. The date of performance completion is July 9, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-07-D-1518).

Altama Footwear, Atlanta, Ga. is being awarded a maximum $19,814,297 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hot weather Army combat boots. Other locations of performance are Puerto Rico and Tennessee. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web-solicited with nine responses. The date of performance completion is July 9, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-07-D-1519).

Wellco Enterprises, Inc., Morristown, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $18,280,079 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for temperate weather Air Force boots. Other location of performance is Puerto Rico. Using service is Air Force. The proposal was originally Web-solicited with seven responses. The date of performance completion is July 7, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1040).

Wellco Enterprises, Inc., Morristown, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $14,754,917 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hot weather Army combat boots. Other location of performance is Puerto Rico. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web-solicited with nine responses. The date of performance completion is July 9, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-07-D-1522).

Rocky Shoes & Boots, Inc., Nelsonville, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $6,192,657 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for hot weather Army combat boots. Other location of performance is Puerto Rico. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The proposal was originally Web-solicited with nine responses. The date of performance completion is July 9, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-07-D-1523).

Sterling Foods, LLC, San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a maximum $6,117,439 firm-fixed price contract for various polymeric traypack ration items. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was solicited via the Defense Logistics Agency Internet Bid Board System Web site, with one response. The date of performance completion is July 5, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM3S1-10-D-Z188).

NAVY

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Service, Rockville, Md. (N65236-10-D-6827), ENGlobal Technical Services, Tulsa, Okla. (N65236-10-D-6828), and Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc., Columbia, Md. (N65236-10-D-6829), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee type multiple-award contract for technical and maintenance services for automated tank gauging; automated fuel service stations; automated fuel handling equipment; environmental leak detection; airfield refueling electrical supervision and control systems; overfill protection systems; physical and electronic sensor systems; and associated systems to include maintenance management, preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance and operational support. Each contractor will be awarded $8,300 at the time of award. These contracts include options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of these contracts to an estimated $107,658,337. These three contractors will compete for the task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. Work will be performed in the contiguous U.S. (68 percent); the Pacific area, to include Alaska and Hawaii (17 percent); and Europe (15 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The multiple award contracts were competitively procured by full and open competition via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command E-commerce and the Federal Business Opportunities Web sites, with three offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity.

The CENTECH Group, Inc.*, Falls Church, Va. (N65236-10-D-5827), and Suh'dutsing Technologies, LLC*, Cedar City, Utah (N65236-10-D-5828), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee multiple-award contract for telephony and telecommunications system maintenance and support. Each contractor will be awarded $50,000 at the time of award. These contracts include options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of these contracts to an estimated $100,000,000. Work will be performed throughout the contiguous U.S. (70 percent); military installations in Southwest Asia (20 percent); and other government stations worldwide (10 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2011. If all options are exercised, work could continue until July 2015. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The multiple-award contracts were competitively procured by full and open competition via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center e-Commerce Central and the Federal Business Opportunities Web sites, with four offers received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity.

Bowhead Systems Management, Inc.*, Alexandria, Va. (N61339-10-D-2001); Engineering Support Personnel, Inc.*, Orlando, Fla. (N61339-10-D-2002); FTSS, JV*, Frankfort, Ill. (N61339-10-D-2003); ProActive Technologies, LLC*, Orlando, Fla. (N61339-10-D-2004); and T.J. Drafting and Design, Inc.*, Christmas, Fla. (N61339-10-D-2005), are each being awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple-award contracts for fielded training systems support services in support of over 900 training simulators for the Navy, and non-Navy and Foreign Military Sales customers. Services to be provided include contractor operation and maintenance; contract instruction; training device modifications; training device relocations; training system management; in-service engineering office support; spares/product support; and other related trainer support services. The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts is $80,000,000, and the companies will have the opportunity to bid on each individual task order. Work will be performed in various locations inside and outside the U.S. Work performed under these contracts is expected to be completed in July 2015. Contract funds in the amount of $141,918 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. These contracts were solicited via a multiple award electronic request for proposals as a 100 percent small business set-aside, with eight offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Liverpool, N.Y., is being awarded a $51,063,478 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-5300) to exercise the cost-plus-incentive-fee option for the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 system development and demonstration. SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. The SEWIP Block 2 will expand upon the receiver/antenna group necessary to keep capabilities current with the pace of the threat and to yield improved system integration. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y. (74.5 percent); Lansdale, Pa. (13.7 percent); and Morgan Hill, Calif. (11.8 percent). Work is expected to be completed by January 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-09-C-5300).

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $43,322,994 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for non-recurring engineering to integrate Mode 5 capability into the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G AN/APX-111 combined interrogator transponder (CIT), including the upgrade of three Mode 5 CIT assets, procurement of 14 Mode CIT test assets, and implementation of Mode 5 into automated test equipment. Work will be performed in Greenlawn, N.Y. (75 percent), and St. Louis, Mo. (25 percent), 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 Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0078).

HP Enterprise Services, LLC, Herndon, Va., is being awarded a $27,000,000 fixed-price award fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for continuation of information technology (IT) services provided under the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) contract (N00024-00-D-6000). The base contract requirement is for the purchase of a license to access the NMCI intellectual property. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $3,400,000,000. Work will be performed in Herndon, Va., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2010. If all options are exercised, work could continue until July 2015. Work performed during the option periods will be performed at approximately 2,500 locations including bases, camps, posts, stations, offices and single-seat storefronts in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), and Puerto Rico. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. HP Enterprise Services, LLC, is the owner/operator of the NMCI network and is the only source that can satisfy the Navy's requirement for continuity of IT services. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-10-D-0010).

Oceaneering International, Inc., Marine Services Division, Chesapeake, Va., is being awarded a $26,212,092 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for planning yard, technical, engineering, production, maintenance, integration, logistics, repair, and installation of field changes services in support of the dry deck shelter program. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $71,636,464. Work will be performed in Chesapeake, Va. (45 percent); Honolulu, Hawaii (45 percent); and overseas (10 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $2,984,806 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year; however, no funds are obligated by award of this contract as funds are obligated on individual delivery orders. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-D-6401).

GE Aviation Systems, LLC, Vandalia, Ohio, is being awarded an $11,800,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 236 main generators for the CH-46E helicopter. Work will be performed in Vandalia, Ohio, and is expected to be completed in July 2016. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0043).

SYS Technologies Inc.*, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $11,066,355 cost-plus-fixed fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for non-personal technical and engineering services in support of the Navy Directed Energy and Electric Weapon Systems Program Office and the Total Ship Training Systems Program Office. SYS Technologies, Inc., shall provide technologically-sensitive engineering, program, resource and contract management; research, development, test, and system engineering; technical analysis, including capabilities, limitations, lethality, and countermeasure assessments; programmatic, acquisition, and technical documentation development, review, and analysis; shipboard integration/installation planning, environmental and safety/security-related engineering/documentation/planning across all types of security classification levels. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (12 percent); Washington, D.C. (40 percent); Arlington, Va. (40 percent); and Dahlgren, Va. (8 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-WM15).

Stronghold Engineering, Inc., Riverside, Calif., is being awarded $8,924,115 for firm-fixed-price task order #0002 under a previously awarded multiple-award construction contract (N62473-10-D-5483) for the installation of photovoltaic systems at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The work to be performed provides for procurement, installation and commissioning of a solar photovoltaic power system and to provide roof repairs. The solar power generator shall be constructed on the roof of the SPAWAR System Center Pacific Old Town Complex Buildings 1 and 2. The project shall provide a turnkey solar photovoltaic power system. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by October 2011. Funds for this project are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Seven proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

Integral Systems, Inc., Columbia, Md., was awarded a contract modification of $13,417,469 which will extend the contract for the command and control system-consolidated program from Sept. 30, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012, to accommodate launch delays on the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Space Vehicles 1, 2 and 3. At this time, no money has been obligated. Space & Missiles System Center, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity (F04701-01-C-0012; P00170).

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force visits Ramstein Airmen, families

by Senior Airman Amanda Dick
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

7/8/2010 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy and his wife, Paula, visited with Airmen here July 7.

The chief and Mrs. Roy visited the 603rd Air Operations Center, 435th Contingency Response Group compound, the new Deployment Transition Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

"It's an opportunity for both Paula and me to travel and visit with Airmen and their families to find out what's going on with them," Chief Roy said. "We wanted to come and talk with Airmen, see what missions they are doing, see how they're developed and talk with the families, making sure they have what they need as well."

As the chief master sergeant of the Air Force saw the many facets of Ramstein AB, he noticed the exceptional job the Airmen perform.

"Wow, what a mission here. The men and women of the Kaiserslautern Military Community is one of variety, multiple missions and they have an effect around the globe," he said. "To the families who are here ... thank you for what you do. We fully understand the many sacrifices you endure, and we certainly appreciate your sacrifices."

During his visit, Chief Roy discussed several priorities, including partnering with joint and coalition forces, cultivating Airmen and building resiliency with Airmen and their families.

"One of the priorities for the Office of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is working with our joint and coalition teammates and developing Airmen for that fight," he said. "Some of the things we're trying to do is to include that development within their education, experience and training. We're sending folks to both joint and coalition professional military education. We're doing a lot of different education aspects with our joint partners as well, along with joint training. And, a little bit of coalition training that we'd like to expand out a bit."

Though resiliency with Airmen and their families is a top priority for the 16th chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the Year of the Air Force Family holds a very special place in Mrs. Roy's heart.

"Being the champion for the Key Spouse Program, I've had the pleasure of meeting with several spouses and learning how the program is being done here," she said. "It's working, but we are still trying to foot stomp it to have the senior leaders involved and be supportive of that program, because in the end, it helps the units out, as well."

Being stationed overseas, Airmen can sometimes feel "a million miles from home" during holidays.

"Miss Paula, I and our two sons spent quite a few years overseas, as well, and we understand the distance that it feels like," Chief Roy said. "In reality, as you're abroad and in different cultures, you begin to learn more and more about people. Certainly, at times of holidays, there's always a sense that you need to be home. Just remember, you're doing our nation's business abroad, and the sacrifices you and your family endure are something we note. And, our commander in chief understands the sacrifices you endure, as well."

This is something Mrs. Roy agrees with.

"At particularly those times we are apart from our blood family, we rely on our Air Force family," she said. "We're all in this together. So, they become who we celebrate with, who we mourn with. But, that's our sense of community we are trying to build upon."

Chief Roy also gathered with enlisted members during an enlisted call, highlighting his three priorities and taking questions from the audience.

"It was excellent," said Staff Sgt. Patricia Waller, the 86th Airlift Wing Knowledge Operations NCO in charge. "He provided very vital information. He was genuine with his answers and spoke from the heart."

Chief Roy also gave several tidbits of advice for the lowest Airman to the top of the enlisted structure.

"We have some dynamic supervisors in our Air Force," Chief Roy said. "They will set you in the right places to learn the right skills at the right time and continue growth."

For NCOs, the chief said he understood the shoes they fill.

"The first-line supervisor is one of the most challenging and demanding jobs we have in our Air Force," he said. "There's a lot that rests on their shoulders. Certainly, there's mission accomplishment, but we also have to take care of our Airmen and their families."

Though chiefs and chief selects have reached that top 1 percent of the Air Force, their journey is not complete.

"I would charge every chief master sergeant in our Air Force that they have a very big challenge ahead of them and that is to continue to train and educate our Airmen, both enlisted and officer," Chief Roy said. "That's our responsibility to train those young enlisted Airmen, along with continuing to help educate the officer corps. The other part I would tell them is they can't ever forget where they came from. They've got to take care of their Airmen; they've got to take care of those families and take care of the mission, as well."

Chief of Naval Personnel Has All Hands Call With NSA Bahrain Sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Aramis X. Ramirez, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The chief of naval personnel held an all hands call with Sailors stationed on board Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain during a visit July 1.

Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson's visit was part of a tour of 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) commands to meet with Sailors and their leadership to address Navy policies and explain their impact to Sailors and their families.

Among the topics Ferguson discussed during the call were the recent changes made to the performance evaluation and fitness reporting system, which will take effect Aug. 1. The program has been modified to more readily reflect performance as an individual augmentee (IA) or service in a global support assignment (GSA) billet by classification in a billet subcategory code. Changes will also mandate that physical fitness assessment (PFA) scores from the past two cycles be annotated on the performance report.

"For the IA, we didn't want them to leave the United States an 'early promote' and return with a 'promotable' or a 'must promote,'" said Ferguson, noting that IAs returning to their parent commands from deployment will have a six-month reintegration period during which the billet subcategory code will still be applied on their periodic evaluation reports.

"For the changes we've made concerning PFA scores, we found it important to have them incorporated because physical fitness is as important as technical expertise in creating a well-rounded Sailor," said Ferguson.

Speaking before a crowd of more than 500 personnel, Ferguson said further IA support programs will be implemented for enlisted Sailors and their families. One of the programs he discussed was the recently announced Overseas Contingency Operations Support Assignments (OSA) program. Under the new program, Sailors who accept OSA orders will remain attached to their parent commands throughout their deployment instead of detaching as they would under the current GSA program, and still earn additional monetary benefits. The current GSA program will remain in place for deploying officers.

Ferguson also discussed the Navy's strong retention rates and reaching a stable end strength level.

Sailors were given the opportunity to ask Ferguson questions, which included concerns about tuition assistance (TA) for Reservists, manning on surface ships and commissioning opportunities.

In response, Ferguson noted the importance of the TA program, explaining how current changes are designed to ease the application and disbursement of TA funds to Sailors.

Ships Depart Pearl Harbor for RIMPAC 2010 Exercises

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Robert Stirrup, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- A total of 32 ships and five submarines from seven nations departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) July 6-7 to participate in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 in the Pacific Ocean.

As the ships departed JBPHH, the exercise kicked off operational Phase II of the three-phase event.

Phase II began July 6 and continues until July 24. This portion includes live fire gunnery and missile exercises, maritime interdiction and vessel boardings, anti-surface warfare, undersea warfare, naval maneuvers and air defense exercises.

Participants will collaborate in explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations and amphibious operations during Phase II.

"This is the largest RIMPAC that we've had," said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. "This exercise clearly focuses on maritime domain awareness, dealing with expanded military operations across the complete spectrum of warfare."

The RIMPAC exercises will test the participating nations' capabilities to work together and strengthen their ability to communicate and operate in simulated maritime scenarios.

RIMPAC will conclude July 25 with tactical Phase III, involving scenario-driven exercises designed to further strengthen maritime skills and capabilities.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet-event includes participating units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, with more than 20,000 personnel participating in this year's event in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.

Thousands of DON Civilians Transitioned from NSPS

By Linda Dent Mitchell, Department of the Navy Transition Management Office Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DoN) successfully completed its first phase of the transition of employees from the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) to the General Schedule (GS) July 2.

Approximately 18,000 employees have made the transition from NSPS in this first phase.

"The transition's success can be attributed to the tremendous collaboration across the department at all levels," said Tony TorresRamos, director of the DoN Transition Management Office.

The DoN plans to transition about 45,000 employees to the GS by the end of 2010.

"We remain committed to a strategic and orderly approach to the transition, which best enables us to avoid disruption of our mission and minimizes negative impact to our employees," said TorresRamos.

Non-bargaining unit employees transitioning from NSPS to GS will be covered by the DoN Interim Performance Management System approved April 20. The system provides a framework for commands to recognize and reward employees in meaningful ways. The system leverages the capability of a two-level performance management system.

More than 70,000 DoN employees will transition from NSPS by Jan. 1, 2012. Of this number, about 15,700 NSPS positions from Naval Air System Command and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) will transition to newly developed Science and Technology Reinvention Laboratory demonstration projects.

Approximately 2,100 NSPS positions located within Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity; Marine Corps Systems Command; Direct Reporting Program Manager, Advanced Assault Amphibians; Naval Sea Systems Command Program Executive Office Carriers; and Department of the Navy/Assistant for Administration; will transition to acquisition demonstration projects.

Approximately 880 NSPS positions located in SPAWAR will return to their alternative personnel system, and specific healthcare positions across the DoN have been identified for transition to an alternative personnel system building on Title 38 authorities. Consistent with the DoN's focus on communication and education, visit the human resources Web site at http://www.public.navy.mil to learn about current information, online resources and guidance.

National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of July 06, 2010

This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 668 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 90,999; Navy Reserve, 6,354; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 17,111; Marine Corps Reserve, 5,223; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 790. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 120,477, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found on line at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100706ngr.pdf

Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Requires Obligated Service

By Wm. Cullen James, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- For those Sailors with children approaching college age, about to start higher learning or with spouses with college aspirations, now is the time to ensure your Post-9/11 GI Bill transferability is properly set up.

Qualified active duty and Reserve Sailors may elect to transfer benefits to a spouse or children, with some or all benefits allocated to those named.

"We still have a lot of Sailors whose transferability requests are being rejected because they don't have the four years of obligated service remaining," said Kathy Wardlaw, the Navy's GI Bill program manager.

The Navy announced the transferability process in NAVADMIN 203/09. Basically, it states that transferability requires two additional years for Sailors eligible for retirement between Aug. 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011, or three additional years for those with 20 years service between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012.

Otherwise, Sailors generally must have served at least six years in the Armed Forces and agree to an additional four years. See the NAVADMIN for exceptions.

"Before submitting their transferability requests, their obligation requirement must be reflected in their electronic service record (ESR) or the request will be rejected until corrected," said Wardlaw.

Sailors can review their ESR at https://nsips.nmci.navy.mil/.

In addition to the ESR, the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System (DEERS) is used to validate a family member's eligibility for transfer.

For enlisted personnel that means having sufficient obligated service prior to their end of active obligated service. For officers, it means they must have an administrative remarks entry (Page 13) in their ESR agreeing to serve four more years from the date their transferability request is submitted.

After obligating service, Sailors must elect the transferability option while still serving.

"Sailors can allocate any percentage of their benefit to their spouse and children and change it any time, but if they don't elect the benefit while serving, they won't be able to go back and do it," said Wardlaw.

Family members must be in DEERS and eligible for benefits in DEERS before a Sailor can request transferability. This means those dual-military members whose children are reflecting under only one sponsor's record, must be reflected under both sponsors. For example, to establish a child as a family member under both military parents, the child should be enrolled in DEERS under one parent for benefits and under the other parent as a child drawing benefits from another military sponsor.

Navy career counselors are a valuable source of information and an important piece in the service obligation requirement.

Family Matters Blog: First Lady, Dr. Biden Help Military Families

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

July 7, 2010 - After my whirlwind weekend in Iraq with Dr. Jill Biden that I shared in my last blog, I walked away with an even deeper appreciation for her efforts to support our troops and their families. At every step of the way, Dr. Biden had a kind word or hug for a servicemember, and she encouraged troops to share their concerns with her, especially regarding family issues, so she and First Lady Michelle Obama could take action.

"It's nice to hear what you're experiencing, what we can help you with, what [First Lady] Michelle [Obama] and I should be working," she told a group of Texas Army National Guard soldiers during a roundtable discussion. "We want to support you and hear what you have to say, and work on the issues that affect you and your families."

While Dr. Biden was in Iraq, the first lady reiterated that message with a statement of her own issued July 4 urging Americans to support military families. I wanted to share this message in its entirety:

"Our military families are tested each day. Multiple and extended deployments mean that children often don't see their moms or dads for long periods of time. Civilian spouses juggle the demands of work and family without their partners for long stretches of time. Family members serve as primary care givers for our wounded warriors, and too many families bear the heartbreaking reality of moving forward with their lives while keeping the memory of our fallen heroes alive.

"Through it all, military families contribute countless hours to supporting other military families, being role models to our children, and making communities stronger.

"A small percentage of Americans fight our wars, but we need 100 percent of Americans to support these brave men and women and their families back home.

"Here are some things you can do in your community to get started:

-- Stay informed about the activities and concerns of military families in your community and across the nation;

-- Take time out to get to know and express appreciation to military families;

-- Help ensure military families have the opportunity to share their stories and voice their concerns in your community;

-- Help ensure the places where you work, worship and participate in community life connect their activities to addressing military families' unique challenges; and

-- Identify opportunities in your communities to tap into the unique skills, experience and commitment to service our military families display each day.

"To all of our military families serving this Nation around the world, I offer my sincerest thank you. Your courage, service, and sacrifice are an inspiration to us all.

"Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Soldier Missing In Action from World War I Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War I, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pvt. Thomas D. Costello of New York, N.Y., will be buried on July 12 at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Sept. 16, 1918, as part of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Costello encountered heavy enemy artillery barrage and machine gun fire near Jaulny, France, in a wooded area known as Bois de Bonvaux. He was killed during the battle and his remains were buried with two other soldiers in a wooded area between Bois de Bonvaux and Bois de Grand Fontaine.

Attempts to locate Costello's remains by Army Graves Registration personnel following the war were unsuccessful. In September 2006, French nationals hunting for metal in the area found human remains and World War I artifacts. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team, operating near the location, was notified of the discovery and recovered human remains upon excavating the site.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the 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.

Soldier Missing In Action from World War I Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from World War I, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pvt. Thomas D. Costello of New York, N.Y., will be buried on July 12 at Arlington National Cemetery.

On Sept. 16, 1918, as part of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Costello encountered heavy enemy artillery barrage and machine gun fire near Jaulny, France, in a wooded area known as Bois de Bonvaux. He was killed during the battle and his remains were buried with two other soldiers in a wooded area between Bois de Bonvaux and Bois de Grand Fontaine.

Attempts to locate Costello's remains by Army Graves Registration personnel following the war were unsuccessful. In September 2006, French nationals hunting for metal in the area found human remains and World War I artifacts. A Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command team, operating near the location, was notified of the discovery and recovered human remains upon excavating the site.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC laboratory also used dental comparisons in the identification of the 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.

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 7, 2010

NAVY

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., is being awarded a $749,999,503 modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-03-D-6606). This ceiling increase modification provides for up to an additional 7,148,542 staff hours to provide research, development and engineering in seven core competency areas to maintain essential core capabilities: strategic systems test and evaluation; submarine security and survivability; space science and engineering; combat system and guided missile research and development; theater air defense and power projection; information technology (C4ISR/IO) simulation, modeling, and operations analysis; and mission-related research and development. Work will be performed in Laurel, Md., and is expected to be completed by September 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the year. No funds are obligated by award of this contract modification; funds are obligated on individual task orders. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $57,594,777 modification to convert a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-09-C-0015) to an undefinitized contract action. This modification further provides for the procurement of 32 low-rate initial production F-135 propulsion systems: 10 conventional take off and landing (CTOL) for the Air Force; 16 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) for the Marine Corps; four carrier variant for the Navy; one STOVL for the United Kingdom; and one CTOL for the Netherlands. In addition, this modification provides for associated and specifically identified sustainment and production non-recurring activities for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn. (70 percent), Bristol, United Kingdom (19 percent), and Indianapolis, Ind. (11 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Marine Corp ($41,619,028; 72.3 percent), Air Force ($7,878,472; 13.7 percent), and Navy ($2,502,500; 4.3 percent); and the governments of the United Kingdom ($3,803,181; 6.6 percent); Italy ($1,187,916; 2.1 percent); the Netherlands ($546,806; 0.95 percent); Turkey ($28,437; 0.025 percent); and Australia ($28,437; 0.025 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Kollmorgen Corp., Northampton, Mass., is being awarded a $22,595,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-award-fee contract to provide timely repair of the AN/BVS-1 and photonics mast variant imaging systems, and purchase the spare subassemblies and parts required to improve maintenance schedules. This contract will also require the contractor to manage spare parts and optimize purchases to improve maintenance and repair schedules and the operational profile of the Navy's submarine fleet. Work will be performed in Northampton, Mass., and is expected to be complete by July 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport, R.I., is the contracting activity (N66604-10-D-3865).

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, Calif., is being awarded an $11,274,000 fixed-price incentive, cost-reimbursable, incentive contract to provide long-lead material for the fiscal 2011 follow-on production of the Trident II D5 missile system. Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Strategic Systems Programs, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (N00030-10-C-0101).

University of California, Los Angeles, Calif., is being awarded an $8,213,323 firm-fixed-price contract for a program of family support services in support of the Department of Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Family Resiliency-Building Services Program. This contract contains four one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the total estimated value of the contract to $44,964,122. Work will be performed in various U.S. locations (76 percent) and Los Angeles, Calif. (24 percent), and is expected to be completed by July 2015. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00189-10-C-Z058).

AIR FORCE

CMS/Daytep, JV, Bargersville, Ind., was awarded a $10,000,000 contract which will provide simplified acquisition of base engineering requirements with a scope consisting of furnishing all materials, equipment and personnel necessary to design, manage and accomplish individual projects under the purview of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. At this time, $25,000 has been obligated. 88 CONS/PKJ, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8601-10-D-0009).

U.S. heroes: Backbone of independence -- accounts of four decorated war heroes

by Tech. Sgt. Kevin Wallace
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

7/7/2010 - RAF MILDENHALL, England (AFNS) -- Independence Day was a day of celebration for all Airmen, civilians and family members here, which is ironic as the date marks 234 years since America declared its independence from England and engaged in war to secure that independence.

Since that day, America and the United Kingdom have forged an alliance key to worldly security.

Looking back over the past two and a half centuries, it's clear that heroes have defined both the nations' paths to greatness. But the 4th of July is one thing that, even here in the U.K., is a true testament to what it means to be American.

This Independence Day, it's important to remember that America's security has always rested on the backs of the men and women willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to defend it.

Following in the footsteps of our Soldier, Sailor and Marine brethren, Airmen stepped up to serve at the tip of the spear more than 60 years ago.

Airmen have answered their nation's call, and continue to serve with tradition and honor.

In every battle the U.S. has seen, heroes have shone as a beacon for others to follow.

Heroes come from every branch of service, rank, race, gender and walk of life.

For America's warriors in uniform, it is vital to learn from our fallen heroes, and equally vital to remember their contributions.

Below are the stories of four American heroes. Chief Master Sgt. Duane Hackney, Lt. Gen. Lewis Puller, Boatswain's Mate First Class James Williams and Maj. Audie Murphy are beacons of leadership for their fellow servicemembers to follow.

Each man is the most combat-decorated member of his service. All are heroes, and were faithful to their country regardless of the cost.

Chief Master Sgt. Duane Hackney

While in basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, during the Vietnam-conflict era, Chief Master Sgt. Duane Hackney chose to pursue a career in pararescue, a choice that continually put him in harm's way and earned him more than 70 individual awards, including the Air Force Cross.

Chief Hackney graduated from pararescue training as an honor graduate in every phase of the course. For this, he earned the right to pick his first assignment.

Instead of choosing a lush assignment stateside or in Europe, far away from the sweltering jungle, he volunteered for Det. 7, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron Da Nang, Vietnam.

Three days after reporting for duty, he flew his first combat mission.

During the mission, he was struck in the leg by a .30-caliber slug. To avoid being grounded, he had a fellow pararescueman remove the bullet on the spot. This selfless act set the tone for his career, and he participated in more than 200 combat missions in three and a half years of Vietnam duty.

On his 10th mission, while pulling a wounded Marine pilot aboard his HH-3E 'Jolly Green Giant,' helicopter, Chief Hackney was hit by enemy fire.

His helicopter was shot down five times over the following months, during which he earned four Distinguished Flying Crosses and 18 Air Medals for single acts of heroism.

He received his Air Force Cross while on a mission Feb. 6, 1967. He was the first living enlisted Airman to receive the second highest award for heroism given by the Air Force.

The dawn of the Feb. 6 mission started like any other.

Chief Hackney descended from his Jolly Green Giant to look for a downed pilot near Mu Gia pass, North Vietnam. He searched for two hours, but inclement weather set in and he was forced to return to base.

A few hours later, radio contact with the pilot was re-established, and the chief went out again to attempt another rescue. This time, he found the severely wounded pilot.

Chief Hackney safely carried the pilot back to the helicopter to egress the jungle. However, before they could clear enemy air space, the chopper was struck by anti-aircraft artillery, and the compartment filled with smoke and fire. The chief strapped his parachute on the pilot's back and shuffled the pilot out the door.

He then searched the craft for a spare parachute, finding one just prior to a second anti-aircraft shell ripping into the helicopter. Before he could finish buckling the chute, the Jolly Green Giant's fuel line exploded, blasting him out the door without the chute on his back. With the parachute clenched in his arms, he managed to pull the cord before plummeting into the jungle 250 feet below. Though the chute slowed his fall, he still plunged more than 80 feet into a rocky ledge below.

Despite being severely burned and wounded by shrapnel, Chief Hackney managed to evade the enemy and thwarted capture. The heroic rescuer was rescued by a fellow pararescueman and was returned to Da Nang Air Base.

When he got back, he learned that he was the only survivor from the mission. Four other crew members and the pilot he rescued were lost in the operation.

For giving up his parachute and risking his own life, he received the Air Force Cross.

He was the youngest Airman and the second enlisted member to receive the medal. The first was posthumously awarded to Airman 1st Class William Pitzenbarger, also a pararescueman.

After Vietnam, the chief continued his distinguished Air Force career, and retired in 1991.

Two years later he died, in his Pennsylvania home, of a heart attack. He was 46 years old.

Lt. Gen. Lewis Puller

Lt. Gen. Lewis Puller, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, is one of only two people to receive a Navy Cross, the Navy's second highest decoration, five times.

General Puller earned 52 separate, subsequent and foreign awards in his 37-year career with the Marine Corps.

With five Navy Crosses and a Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second highest decoration, General Puller received the nation's second highest military decoration six times.

Prior to his involvement in World War I, General Puller, then an Army sergeant, was accepted into the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., to pursue a commissioned career in the Army.

As America's involvement in World War I intensified, the sergeant resigned from the college and enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps.

His reasons were summed up in his quote, "I want to go where the guns are."

After his 1919 re-enlistment, he saw action in Haiti. There, he participated in more than 40 combat engagements over the course of five years.

In 1924, he returned to the U.S. and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He spent four years at various state-side assignments before returning overseas in 1928, where he earned his first Navy Cross in Nicaragua.

He spent a second tour in Nicaragua in 1933, where he earned a second Navy Cross for leading five successive actions against superior numbers of outlaw forces.

General Puller earned three Navy Crosses in World War II. He received one in Guam, Guadalcanal and finally Japan.

On Guadalcanal, for action that is now known as the "Battle for Henderson Field," General Puller's battalion was the only American unit defending an airfield against a regiment-strength Japanese force. In a three-hour firefight that night, his unit sustained 70 casualties while the Japanese lost more than 1,400 and he held the airfield.

General Puller was quoted as saying, "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us ... they can't get away this time," about the battle.

General Puller earned his fifth Navy Cross in November 1950 during the intense "Battle of Chosin Reservoir." During the firefight, then Colonel Puller was quoted as saying, "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things."

In 1966, the general requested to be reinstated in the Marine Corps in order to see action in the Vietnam War, but the request was denied on the basis of his age. He died October 11, 1971.

Boatswain's Mate First Class James Williams

Born and raised in South Carolina, Boatswain's Mate First Class James Williams was the most-decorated enlisted man in Navy history.

Petty Officer Williams received a Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and a Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device.

The petty officer received the Medal of Honor for his service on the Mekong River in Vietnam on Oct. 31, 1966, while serving as a boat captain and patrol officer.

His vessel and another river-patrol boat were searching for contraband when crewmembers spotted two speedboats. Petty Officer Williams pursued and sunk one of the boats, then turned and went after the second, which was hiding in an eight foot-wide canal in front of a rice paddy.

He knew his boat wouldn't fit in the canal, but after checking a map, he realized he could pass through a wider canal and intercept the enemy's vessel.

He proceeded with his plan. However, after exiting the canal, he found himself and his crew in a hostile staging area where they came under heavy fire from more enemy boats and North Vietnamese troops on the shore.

U.S. helicopter support eventually arrived, so Petty Officer Williams moved his vessel to another enemy boat staging area downriver, where another fierce battle was under way.

After more than three hours of fighting, his patrol had accounted for the destruction or loss of 65 enemy boats and more than 1,000 enemy troops.

"You gotta stop and think about your shipmates," he said during a 1998 interview with the Navy's All Hands Magazine. "That's what makes you a great person and a great leader -- taking care of each other."

Boatswain's Mate First Class James Williams passed away in 1999.

Maj. Audie Murphy

Immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Audie Murphy, a 17 year-old son of poor, rural sharecroppers, tried to enlist in the military, but the services rejected him because he had not yet reached the required age of 18.

Shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Major Murphy tried to enlist in the Marine Corps but was turned down for being too short. Finally, the five-foot-five-inch man was accepted into the Army and was sent to Camp Wolters, Texas, for basic training.

During a close-order drill session, he passed out. Fearing his apparent weaknesses, his company commander tried to have him transferred to a cook and bakers' school, but the private insisted on becoming a combat soldier.

His initial thirst for combat was finally quenched when he was ordered to help liberate Sicily on July 10, 1943.

Shortly after arriving, he experienced his first combat encounter and defeated two enemy officers. For this action, his captain promoted him to corporal.

Major Murphy distinguished himself in combat on many occasions while in Italy, earning several promotions and decorations.

Following the Italian campaign, Sergeant Murphy's unit was ordered to invade southern France. Shortly thereafter, Sergeant Murphy's best friend was killed while approaching a German soldier feigning surrender.

His friend's death sent him into a rage, and he single-handedly wiped out the German machine gun crew responsible. He then used the German machine gun and grenades to destroy several nearby enemy positions. For this act, he received a Distinguished Service Cross.

He was awarded a battlefield commission and given a platoon. Twelve days after the promotion, he was shot by a sniper and spent 10 weeks recuperating.

When he returned to his unit, Lieutenant Murphy became the company commander and was wounded by mortar rounds that killed two Soldiers near him.

The next day, despite the bitter-cold temperature and more than 24 inches of snow on the ground, his unit entered the battle at Holtzwihr, France.

With only 19 of his 128 soldiers engaged, his men seemed doomed. Subsequently, he sent all of his men to the rear while he continued to engage the Germans until he ran out of ammunition.

Without the means to return fire, Lieutenant Murphy looked to an abandoned, burning tank nearby.

He secured its .50 caliber machine gun and used it to saw down German infantry at a distance.

During the engagement, he destroyed a full squad of German infantry that had crawled into a ditch to within 100 feet of his position.

Lieutenant Murphy suffered several leg wounds, yet released his fury on the enemy for almost an hour.

Eventually, his telephone line to the artillery fire-direction center was cut by enemy fire. Without the ability to call on artillery, he summoned his remaining men and organized them to conduct a counter attack, which ultimately drove the enemy away from Holtzwihr.

These actions earned Lieutenant Murphy the Medal of Honor.

During World War II, Major Murphy was credited with destroying six tanks, killing more than 240 German soldiers, and wounding and capturing many others.

By the end of World War II, he was a legend within the 3rd Infantry Division as a result of his heroism and battlefield leadership.

During his career, Major Murphy received 33 U.S. medals, five French medals and one from Belgium.

Despite suffering from insomnia, bouts of depression and nightmares as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, he raised his hand and volunteered for duty when the Korean conflict broke out in 1950. However, he was never called up for combat duty.

By the time he retired in 1966, he had attained the rank of major. He died May 28, 1971.

While these heroes have all passed away, each and every day current servicemembers distinguish themselves honorably in battles far from home.

While celebrating Independence Day with British friends, surely many U.S. Airmen here will remember those who have served and continue to serve.

Improved physical fitness uniform coming to a store near you

by Brad Jessmer
Air Force Uniform Office

7/7/2010 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- After much planning, anticipation and constructive feedback, the Army Air Force Exchange Service and the Air Force Uniform Office officials have partnered to bring an improved physical training uniform to select military clothing sales stores in July.

The IPTU, which consists of a running jacket, pants, trunks and a T-shirt, is an optional uniform authorized for wear.

Even though the IPTU is made to be identical to the current PTU, components of the running suits are not to be mixed, according to a policy letter issued Oct 28, 2009, by Headquarters Air Force Manpower and Personnel officials.

"The new IPTU was made to look like the original PTU," said Master Sgt. James Lynn, an AFUO subject matter expert. "However, wear policy has been established and published that prohibits wearing the new jacket with the pants from the current version or the current jacket with the new running pants."

Material differences between the two running suits make it difficult to mix, Sergeant Lynn said.

The IPTU running suit consists of a different material with enough of a color shade difference to be identifiable from the current suit. However, the current PTU and IPTU shorts and shirts may be mixed and also worn with the IPTU running suit.

By utilizing the latest advances in textile technology, the IPTU offers significant improvements in both comfort and functionality over the current PTU, said Capt. Nick Ferry, an IPTU program manager. Improvements include the elimination of the "swish-swish" in-motion noise, better reflectivity, lighter weight and state-of-the-art moisture wicking material with a quick-drying, anti-microbial liner.

"Much time and effort from a lot of folks has gone into the research, development and testing of the IPTU," Captain Ferry said. "The end result is a greatly improved uniform that will eliminate many concerns and frustrations our Airmen have had."

IPTU availability is based on several factors, such as duty location. Deployed locations will take priority shipments followed by Pacific and European theaters.

Worldwide rollout of the IPTU trunks and running suit will be available through AAFES in July. The IPTU T-shirt release date is still to be determined.

According to AAFES, the IPTU will be in short supply starting out. But once all military clothing stores have received shipment, the IPTU will be available via Internet purchase worldwide around October.

For locations receiving Air Force clothing from Army stores, availability will be limited.

However, they will be available through special order at the servicing military clothing store.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell' surveys hit servicemembers' inboxes

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

7/7/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- At noon July 7, Defense Department officials e-mailed surveys to 400,000 servicemembers as part of a special review to prepare the military for a potential repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law that bans gays and lesbians from openly serving, Pentagon officials announced today.

Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, the commander of U.S. Army Europe, and Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon's top lawyer, head the review panel that's assessing the current law.

"The voice of the servicemembers is still vitally important," the general said, noting that although amendments to the current law were approved by legislators in May, lawmakers still require the Pentagon review.

"This is draft regulation, it is not yet enacted into law, and there are several hurdles yet to come," General Ham said.

The group has been meeting with troops and family members since February. Surveys were also distributed because time and financial constraints precluded meeting with every single member, General Ham said. The surveys will give the panel a baseline of information that best represents the military's 2.2 million servicemembers and their families, General Ham said, stressing the importance of servicemember feedback.

Engaging the force may be more important now than before the amendments were passed, General Ham said.

Half of the surveys went to active-duty servicemembers, and half were sent to the reserve components. Troops who received the surveys were selected based on age, rank, service, component, military specialties, education, marital status and other factors to ensure broad and thorough feedback on a potential repeal, General Ham said.

The working group also plans to continue meeting with servicemembers and families, General Ham said.

He and Mr. Johnson have met with troops at "a large variety of bases, posts, camps and stations around the country," the general said, adding that they're planning to meet with troops stationed overseas, as well.

Such sessions have proven invaluable to the working group, General Ham added.

"What these sessions do afford is an opportunity for Mr. Johnson and myself to speak directly to servicemembers, to hear in their own words what their assessment of the impact of repeal of the current law would be should Congress decide to take that action," he said. "Those sessions provide us context. They provide us substance to what we know we will get statistically from the survey and put it in real terms of how real servicemembers feel about this."

An online inbox also is available for military and civilian members of the Defense Department. Troops can log into http://www.defense.gov/dadt with their common access card to provide their input.

This site is not confidential; however, directions from the site, as well as in the survey, are provided for members who wish to continue a "confidential dialogue" with non-Defense Department members of the working group, the general said.

Once servicemembers enter the confidential site, they will be given an untraceable PIN number they then can use to log on from any computer.

This tool will allow gay and lesbian servicemembers to remain anonymous and establish confidential communication, General Ham explained. It's available to all servicemembers, he added, because some may not feel comfortable providing candid remarks.

"It is vitally important that servicemembers continue to be open and frank and totally honest with us in their feedback," General Ham said. "That certainly has been the case to date, whether it's been a large-group session or a small group or the online inbox. The servicemembers and their families have been invaluable to Mr. Johnson and myself.

"We need that to continue in order to do our jobs and be representative of the force as we address the significant policy matters that would follow repeal of this law, if that is what Congress decides to do," the general said.

Also, 150,000 surveys will be mailed to military spouses by the end of the month, General Ham said. He stressed the importance of promptly completing and returning the surveys.

The hope, he said, is that that all of the surveys will be submitted within 45 days of receipt.

The working group's final report is due to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates by Dec. 1.

Security forces Airmen teach English to Panamanian hosts

by Tech. Sgt. Eric Petosky
New Horizons Panama 2010 Public Affairs

7/7/2010 - METETI, Panama (AFNS) -- Two bilingual security forces Airmen assigned to New Horizons Panama 2010 are spending their free time in front of a black board teaching English classes to members of the Panamanian Frontier Police (SENAFRONT).

Master Sgt. Noland Rivera and Senior Airman Sheryl Job started out teaching a few words in English to SENAFRONT members at the six New Horizons construction sites to make communication easier, but are now teaching classes twice a week for up to two hours. "For me, the classes are very good," said SENAFRONT First Sgt. Luis Quintero, the 1st Brigade Headquarters operations NCO, through an interpreter. "From the beginning, I practiced English with Sergeant Rivera so we could coordinate security. Then, I went out on my own and found a study book, which led me to ask for a class for the rest of the staff.

"The classes have been very helpful," he said. "I have noticed more interaction between my troops and the U.S. servicemembers. While we are not yet fluent in English, we plan on continuing to learn after (Task Force New Horizons) leaves Panama."

Sergeant Rivera said he enjoys teaching, and also hopes the classes will help SENAFRONT members in the future.

"The SENAFRONT members really like the classes, and they are always attentive and willing to participate," he said. "I hope that by doing this relatively small thing, we can improve our relationships and leave a lasting, positive impression. Maybe in the future, they will say something like, 'Remember the Americans who came and taught us English? They were good people.' It's all about forging relationships that will last."

Airman Job was nervous about teaching at first, but soon warmed up to the idea after a class or two.

"I have never been a teacher before," she said. "I thought to myself, 'I don't want to let them down.' The SENAFRONT personnel are so energetic and willing to learn though, that it makes it easy. Sometimes I wonder how we will fill an hour of class, but then I realize almost two hours have passed, and everyone wants to keep going. It makes me feel good to be able to contribute."



The Airmen turned teachers will stay in Meteti for the duration of New Horizons, a U.S. Southern Command sponsored humanitarian assistance exercise designed to provide medical care and quality-of-life improvement projects for the people of Panama. In total, four schools and two medical clinics will be renovated by a force of Air Force and Army engineers. Additionally, five medical teams will deploy for two-week rotations in the towns of Chitre, Veraguas and David to provide care in the fields of ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat surgery, and dentistry.

All these missions revolve around USSOUTHCOM's ongoing commitment to theater security cooperation, and are requested by the host nations. By sharing experiences, information, vital skills, tactics, and techniques, the United States continues to build enduring partnerships with nations in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.

Naval Special Warfare Sailors Rescue Nine From Overturned Tour Boat

By Naval Special Warfare Command Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Sailors from Special Boat Team 20 helped rescue nine people July 7 from an overturned tourist boat in the Delaware River.

According to Philadelphia police, the boat was struck by a barge and capsized, throwing 35 passengers and two crew members in the water.

Twelve Special Warfare Boat Operators at nearby Penn's Landing immediately responded to a radio distress call and sped to the scene in small boats to recover people in the river.

"We were the first responders," said Garrett Rodriguez, a Special Boat Operator 1st Class from Maui, Hawaii. "Some of us jumped out and started grabbing people. They were just exhausted, in shock."

Rodriguez said some of his team members pulled people into boats, while others jumped off a jetty and swam to tourists struggling in the water.

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Patrick Perdew, a 33-year-old Louisville, Ky. medic assigned to the boat team, said the nine passengers they rescued didn't have discernible injuries and were ambulatory when they brought them ashore.

The Navy crew members worked together with the Coast Guard, Philadelphia Police and fire rescue teams.

"We were just happy to help," said Capt. Chuck Wolf, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 4. "The city responders deserve all of the credit, but our guys really showed why the Navy is 'America's Navy: A Global Force for Good,' and it shows our ability to adapt to our surroundings and assist with any and all situations."

The boat team was in Philadelphia to attend community relations functions and was preparing to to get underway and return to their base in Virginia Beach.

SECNAV, CNO Accounce Flag Officer Assignments

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced July 7 the following assignments:

Rear Adm. (lower half) Douglas J. Asbjornsen, will be assigned as reserve deputy commander, Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, San Diego. Asbjornsen is currently serving as deputy commander, Navy Region Northwest, Reserve Component Commander, Silverdale, Wash.

Capt. Thomas H. Bond Jr., who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director, net-centric capabilities, N2/N6F1, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Bond is currently serving on the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, Newport, R.I.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Ted N. Branch, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk. Branch is currently serving as commander, Carrier Strike Group 1, San Diego.

Capt. Colin G. Chinn, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director, TRICARE Region West, San Diego. Chinn is currently serving as force surgeon, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, Camp H. Smith, Hawaii.

Capt. Brett C. Heimbigner, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director of intelligence, J2, U.S. Northern Command, Colorado Springs, Colo. Heimbigner is currently serving as the commander, Joint Intelligence Command, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Rear Adm. John R. Hines Jr. will be assigned as deputy commander, 3rd Fleet, San Diego. Hines is currently serving as deputy chief of staff for operations, Allied Air Component Command Headquarters, Izmir, Turkey. Rear Adm. (lower half) Terry B. Kraft will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, Norfolk. Kraft is currently serving as director, ISR capabilities, N2/N6F2, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Willie L. Metts, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director of intelligence, J2, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort George G. Meade, Md. Metts is currently serving as the division director, information and intelligence operations, PERS 47, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Russell S. Penniman IV will be assigned as deputy/reserve deputy commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Penniman is currently serving as deputy commander, 3rd Fleet, San Diego.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Samuel Perez Jr. will be assigned as commander, Carrier Strike Group One, San Diego, Calif. Perez was previously announced as commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, Bremerton, Wash. Perez is currently serving as deputy commander, Joint Interagency Task Force, U.S. Southern Command, Key West, Fla.

Capt. Jan E. Tighe, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as deputy director of operations, J3, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort George G. Meade, Md. Tighe is currently serving as the executive assistant to the director, National Security Agency, Fort George G. Meade, Md.

Capt. Elaine C. Wagner, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as director, medical resources, plans, and policy division, N931, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations/chief, Navy Dental Corps, Washington, D.C. Wagner is currently serving as commanding officer, Naval Health Clinic New England, Newport, R.I.