Monday, July 19, 2010

National Guard to Deploy Troops to Mexican Border

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

July 19, 2010 - The National Guard is sending 1,200 troops to the Southwest border states to provide temporary support for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, officials announced today.

The citizen-soldiers and -airmen will serve alongside federal agents for one year as an augmentation force. The troops will work to prevent illegal immigration and drug trafficking north of the border, as well as to counter weapons and cash smuggling going south, Alan Bersin, CBP commissioner, said today at a Pentagon news conference.

The deployment will give CBP and the Department of Homeland Security the time to hire and train 1,000 more border patrol agents and CBP officers, Bersin said.

The deployment and measures to increase border patrol personnel, he said, are part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the border, he said. More than 340,000 illegal aliens and smugglers have been apprehended along the border since October, he added.

"What we have to do is continue ... to be able to deal with the transnational criminal organizations ...," Bersin said. "To this extent, the Guard has been a tried and tested support to law enforcement on the border, and I'm confident [it] will prove again this instance."

Troops are expected to begin deploying to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California by Aug. 1. All 1,200 troops should be on the ground by September, Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, National Guard Bureau chief, said at the news conference.

"We're very pleased to be in support of our interagency partners," McKinley said. "Our ramp-up will be over time, and we'll make sure that all our soldiers and airmen are well qualified, well integrated and well briefed on the mission at hand."

Some troops will work as criminal and intelligence analysts. Others will support CBP entry identification teams. Troops operating in those capacities are undergoing training now, McKinley noted. Also, about 300 guardsmen are already on the ground working on counternarcotics teams, he added.

"Those are specifically the jobs that we've been asked to do," McKinley said, noting those specialties are well within the "job jar" of the National Guard.

"These are efforts that I think will bring synergy and bring real teamwork together," he said. "I know our young men and women will do a great job."

Troops will be armed during the deployment. However, their weapons are for self-defense purposes, the general explained. The CBP and border patrol agents "have the lead" and determine the amount of force necessary for certain situations, he added.

"Self protection means just that, that if under some kind of danger, they are able to protect themselves, to extricate themselves from the situation," McKinley said. "[Guardsmen] will be taking the lead from the law-enforcement personnel who they will be assisting."

The troops will only be deployed on the United States side of the border and will follow the rules of engagement set by the agencies in each state, the general said. He added that the troops will fall under the command and control of the state governors. "We have done this before," he said. "It is common practice for our soldiers and airmen to follow the leads, to only take that action which is necessary to extricate themselves from the situation and not be provocative."

The border deployment does not hinder the Guard's mission overseas, McKinley said. Although states are providing guardsmen for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a "sizeable" number of troops remain available for duty, he said.

"Right now I cannot see a case where we would be overextending the National Guard in this effort," he said.

Foreign Pilots Train Aboard Enterprise

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex R. Forster, USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Three foreign pilots with the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 landed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) July 15 as part of a pilot exchange program during the ship's fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications.

The Navy has long been a forward-deployed presence throughout the world, providing unique opportunities to work closely with, and learn from, military personnel from other countries.

The opportunity for these pilots to embark and train aboard Enterprise provides them with the chance to gain valuable experience and insight into carrier operations.

"I'm here in the U.S. as part of a pilot exchange program between the Swiss Air Force and the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Ralph Iseli, a native of Beringen, Kt. Schaffhausen, Switzerland. "When I heard I was coming here, I was really excited.

"It's an amazing opportunity to come to a carrier - the Swiss Navy does not have them," said Iseli. "I get to watch the ship perform carrier qualifications and tactics, something I would never have the opportunity to see in the Swiss Air Force."

Iseli explained that there is always an exchange of pilots taking place between countries, ensuring the U.S. and its allies are trained in as many different skills as possible.

In Switzerland, Iseli said that some of his duties included training new pilots as well. "There are three squadrons in Switzerland, and because of that it means all the pilots must train the newer ones to become fully qualified," said Iseli. "I think the more experience I gain here, the better I can train those young pilots."

Iseli is gaining valuable experience to take back to Switzerland and pass on.

"Trapping [aircraft] on an aircraft carrier never gets old," said Iseli. "It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to train on an aircraft carrier." Also training with the "Gladiators" are Lt. Ben Hullah and Lt. Stephan Collins of Great Britain.

The "Gladiators" welcome the rare occasion to work with pilots from other militaries. "I'm thrilled we get to work with pilots from foreign nations because it gives us insight as to how other countries train,," said Lieutenant Matthew B. Rhodes. "This opportunity allows us a chance to work with pilots with a completely different skill set."

The pilot exchange program is just one tactic in the Department of Defense's overall strategy to maximize interoperability in a global war fighting environment.

Today, more than ever, the United States and its allies train and fight together in a multinational environment. The pilot exchange program is a critical part of ensuring that everyone can communicate effectively and execute the mission, no matter where the battlefield is or where the war fighters come from.

Enterprise is at sea preparing for work-ups leading to its 21st deployment.

Taylor Delivers Project Handclasp Supplies to Odessa Orphanage

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward S. Kessler, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Taylor (FFG 50) took time during exercise Sea Breeze 2010 to deliver Project Handclasp supplies to the Lastochka Orphanage in Odessa, Ukraine, July 16.

Besides delivering the humanitarian and goodwill supplies to the orphanage, Taylor's crew also spent time playing soccer with the children and repainted the orphanage's fence.

"It's a great opportunity for the ship's personnel to interact with some of the people of Ukraine," said Ensign Kelly McWhorter, Taylor's community relations coordinator. "It certainly enhances [Sea Breeze], and it shows that we are not only dedicated to the military mission, but also to the local population."

Lastochka Orphanage cares for 114 children without parents. The children were very friendly and eager to share their day with their new friends from the U.S. Navy.

"We are very grateful for [the Sailors'] visit today," said Lastochka Orphanage Director Sasha Chemenchenko. "A small project like this makes not only a big impact on the kids, but all the [orphanage] staff and parents. Even people driving by slow down when they see [U.S.] Sailors working here at Lastochka."

The children danced and played soccer with the Sailors in the morning and the Sailors repainted the fence to the entrance of the orphanage after lunch.

"To be a part of something like Project Handclasp is a tremendous experience," said Electrician's Mate 1st Class (SW) Gary Lamar, a Sailor attached aboard Taylor. "It really shows how we as a Navy and also as American people are committed to our global neighbors."

Taylor, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate homeported in Mayport, Fla., is currently participating in Sea Breeze, a two-week maritime exercise designed to enhance interoperability and maritime security operations of developing Black Sea nations.

The exercise includes 1,600 military and civilian participants from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

ESG 2 Holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anna Wade, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 held a change of command ceremony July 19 at Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story, Va.

Rear Adm. Kevin D. Scott relieved Adm. Michelle J. Howard as ESG 2 commanding officer.

Vice Adm. Melvin G. Williams, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, was the guest speaker for the ceremony and spoke about the Navy's belief system and how Scott and Howard, as well as other Navy members, represent those ideals.

"We serve globally. We can shape events. We can prevent wars," said Williams.

He said the world is now more complex than the era when Howard and Scott entered the Navy. Sailors and Marines must be more prepared to face the uncertain future. All members of the Navy hold an essential piece to the entire community.

"To me, serving the people is important" said Williams.

Williams stepped away from the podium as a loud round of applause filled the hanger bay.

Command Master Chief Anthony Josey, command master chief of ESG 2, presented Howard with a special award for her service with ESG 2.

"Howard has set a standard that will be very hard to meet. All I can hope for is to keep the fire burning. Thank you all for coming today. God bless you and America," said Scott.

The ceremony was concluded with the formal reading of the official orders by Howard and Scott. Afterwards, they followed the traditional procedure, officially passing authority from Howard to Scott.

ESG 2 deploys as an operational ESG and directly supports all Atlantic Fleet Amphibious ships. It is also involved in the execution of humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

SURFPAC Sends Community Leaders to Sea

By Lt. j.g. Alanna Strei, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Twelve community leaders hit the high seas July 13-15 for three, one-day embarks aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) as part of the Leaders to Sea (LTS) program.

Through the LTS program, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) provides an opportunity for leaders from business and civic organizations to experience the daily operations on board a Navy warship and to become familiar with the capabilities of the surface force.

Halsey Sailors gave the guests an in-depth ship tour, including a trip to the Sailors' living quarters and dining facilities and introductions to different mission-centric spaces throughout the ship. Tours of combat systems, the sonar room and the pilothouse culminated with a visit to engineering spaces, where they learned that Halsey was the 2009 small ship category winner of the Secretary of the Navy's Fuel Conservation Award.

"It's really great to see the efforts made to conserve fuel and energy, especially as a taxpayer," said David Genecov, founder and director, International Craniofacial Institute. "I was truly impressed by the Sailors' enthusiasm and pride in not only their award but their entire ship."

Genecov also said he enjoyed learning about present-day missions. The LTS program offers the opportunity for community leaders to develop an educated understanding of how U.S. Navy warships carry out the Maritime Strategy. Doing more than assisting with conflicts around the world, they also provide critical support for humanitarian efforts, help train allies during multilateral exercises and provide security in strategically sensitive waterways around the world.

"I love this part of the job," said Cmdr. Jordy Harrison, Halsey's commanding officer. "The ability to show the great people that are part of our ship and to let them tell their stories is what makes Leaders to Sea so successful."

LTS participants had the unique opportunity to witness a MK38 MODII 25 milimeter weapon shoot.

"Having worked with defense systems for years, it is rewarding to see some of the things we have helped design in action," said David Marlow, vice president of sales and marketing, ClientCentric Solutions. "It has been amazing to see the Navy's application of such sophisticated systems."

The community leaders included several members of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations.

"It is remarkable to hear about all of the humanitarian assistance the Navy provides," said Sarah Soong, director, Hunt Consolidated, Inc. "Hearing about how the Navy has often been first response for disaster relief amplified my respect for all of their hard work."

Halsey is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer attached to the Abraham Lincoln Strike Group, which is currently conducting training exercises off the coast of California. The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group is preparing for a deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation.



Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $819,647,920 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-09-C-0010) for special tools/test equipment required in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) air system low-rate initial production Lot IV production. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (25.2 percent); Fort Worth, Texas (21.6 percent); Rochester, United Kingdom (21.5 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill. (9.5 percent); Baltimore, Md. (2.2 percent); Boulder, Colo. (2.1 percent); various locations outside contiguous U.S. (9.2 percent); and locations within the contiguous U.S. (8.7 percent). Work is expected to be completed in January 2013. This modification combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($352,473,960; 43 percent); the U.S. Air Force ($294,473,960; 36 percent); and international partners ($172,700,000; 21 percent). Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Atlantic Marine Mayport, LLC, Jacksonville, Fla., is being awarded a $12,631,440 firm-fixed-price contract to perform work onboard the USS Hue City (CG 66). This contract is for drydock selected restricted availability to include drydock, ship alterations and topside maintenance repair work. Extensive coordination is required for the drydock evolution in addition to the numerous systems onboard to be repaired. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $26,265,812. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected to be completed by March 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site, with two offers received. The Southeast Regional Maintenance Center, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity (N40027-10-C-0092).

Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., is being awarded $8,702,795 for delivery order #0001 under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (M67854-10-D-5022) for upgrade kits that allow for conversion of three configurations of the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) to a capability for on-board vehicle power (OBVP). These kits are required in order to properly and fully provide the on-board electric power needed for current and emerging needs. The OBVP kit is an electric drive transmission to replace the current mechanical transmission of the MTVR. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wis. (89 percent), and Jacksonville, N.C. (11 percent), and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2012. Contract funds will not expire by the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.


Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded on July 13 a $95,964,520 firm-fixed-price contract. This is for the definitized letter contract to procure Army/Marine Corps requirements for the fiscal 2009-2011 Javelin hardware program. Work is to be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (50 percent), and Orlando, Fla. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-09-C-0376).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Technical Services, Inc., Sierra Vista, Ariz., was awarded on July 13 a $47,250,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract is to provide capability-based rotations support for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom and revitalization for the Hunter unmanned aircraft system. Work is to be performed in Sierra Vista, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of July 14, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, CCAM-AR-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-08-C-0025).

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded on July 12 a $37,962,239 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This effort is to increase funds and exercise options on the Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft system performance-based logistics contract. Work is to be performed in Hunt Valley, Md., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command/CCAM-ARA-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0006).

Ames Construction Inc., Burnsville, Minn., was awarded on July 13 a $17,860,000 firm-fixed-price construction contract for "Lower Yellowstone Diversion Dam, Main Canal Diversion, Fish Protection, Lower Yellowstone, Montana." Work is to be performed in Glendive, Mont., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with nine bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0027).

Arinc Engineering Services, Annapolis, Md., was awarded on July 13 a $16,964,340 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contractor logistics support and parts for the MI-17. Work is to be performed in Iraq with an estimated completion date of March 02, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, CCAM-NS, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-09-C-0028).

Proven Management Inc., San Francisco, Calif., was awarded on July 14 a $14,997,620 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the Napa Creek Site project and consists of two large-barreled diversion culvert, grade control structures, scour aprons, and bank protection along Napa Creek starting from its confluence with the Napa River and proceeding upstream. Work is to be performed in Napa, Calif., with an estimated completion date of March 29, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 10 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Calif., is the contracting activity (W91238-10-C-0028).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP, Santa Clara, Calif., was awarded on July 13 a $10,514,581 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the procurement of 2,476 split up-armored turret hatch assemblies necessary for the integration of crew remote operated weapon station. Work is to be performed in Afghanistan with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-10-C-0301).

Greenleaf Construction Co., Inc., Kansas City, Mo., was awarded on July 15 a $9,839,658 firm-fixed-price contract for access control point at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Construction is to include roads; search canopy; gatehouses; offices; visitor control center; barriers; and all required utilities, as well as site improvements. Work is to be performed in Houston, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 1, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0056).

Aegis Technologies Group, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on July 14 a $8,099,452 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The contractor shall develop a reconfigurable arbitrary-waveform scene projector under the "OSD, Test Resource Management Center Multispectral Test" program. Work is to be performed in Huntsville, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 5, 2013. Bids were solicited via Broad Agency Announcement with 30 bids received. U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Contracting Center, Aberdeen Installation Contracting Division, CCRD-AI-MC, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W912ZLK-10-C-0008).

TASC, Inc., Andover, Mass., was awarded on July 15 a $7,231,805 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for common ground joint capabilities technical demonstration support response for applied research. Work is to be performed in Alexandria, Va., with an estimated completion date of July 20, 2012. Bids were solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities Web site with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering Research & Development Command Contracting Office, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W9132V-09-C-00180.

Bristol Design Build Services, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on July 15 a $7,214,365 firm-fixed-price contract to provide secure entries and pavilions; computer room air conditioning units; electronic security system; and secure doors in accordance with design drawings and specifications. Work is to be performed in New Orleans, La., with an estimated completion date of Apr. 29, 2011. One sole-source bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Charleston District/Contracting Division, Charleston, S.C., is the contracting activity (W912HN-10-C-0035).

HP Logit Management, LLC, Texarkana, Texas, was awarded on July 15 a $7,209,212 firm-fixed-price contract for the prep, paint and blast of M967 and M969 confined space and non-confirmed space semi-trailer, tanker 5000 gallons. Work is to be performed in Texarkana, Texas, with an estimated completion date of July 10, 2013. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. Red River Army Depot, Directorate for Contracting, Texarkana, Texas, is the contracting activity (W911RQ-10-P-0101).

Delfasco, LLC, Afton, Tenn., was awarded on July 14 a $6,928,698 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Delivery order #0002 is issued for 185,190 M232A1 containers. Work is to be performed in Afton, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2012. Two bids were solicited with two bids received. Rock Island Contracting Center, CCRC-AC, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-10-D-0045).

Bering Straits Technical Services, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on July 13 a $7,533,575 firm-fixed-price contract. The contractor shall provide all labor, personnel, supervision, administration, material, equipment, tools and transportation necessary to perform maintenance and repair of Army family housing and troop barracks on Fort Richardson, Alaska. Work is to be performed in Fort Richardson, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of July 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with no bids received. Directorate of Contracting, Mission Installation Contracting Command, Fort Richardson, Alaska, is the contracting activity (W912CZ-09-D-0018).


TASC, Inc., Redondo Beach, Calif., was awarded a $198,000,000 contract which will provide systems engineering and integration support of the Infrared Space Systems Wing. At this time, $8,620,744 has been obligated. SMC/ISSW, El Segundo, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA8810-10-C-0001).

General Electric Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded a $24,745,185 contract which will service life engine program kits and time compliance technical order upgrade kits in support of the upgrade of 12 Egyptian Air Force F110 engines. At this time, $12,372,592.38 has been obligated. 448 SCMG/PKBC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8122-09-G-0001-0010).


Sysco Hampton Roads, LLC, Suffolk, Va., is being awarded a maximum $48,211,188 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, prime vendor contract for food and beverage support. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web-solicited with two responses. The date of performance completion is July 11, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM300-08-D-3393).

CORRECTION: Air Force contract number FA8810-08-C-0002, modification P00012, published in news release 621-10, was not awarded on July 16, 2010.

Volk Field hosts large-scale exercise

Date: July 19, 2010
By Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez
Wisconsin National Guard

Approximately 1,100 troops from 23 states and three different nations have converged on the Wisconsin Air National Guard's Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, as well as Fort McCoy, for the Air and Army National Guard's annual Patriot Exercise July 10-24.

The goal of the exercise is for coalition nations and National Guard units to enhance their domestic and combat defense capabilities in real-world training scenarios while working in a joint environment that is not normally available at their home station.

"The Wisconsin National Guard is proud to be able to host the Patriot exercise which creates an environment where Soldiers and Airmen can develop their skills and expand on their ability to operate in a joint environment with military and domestic emergency responders," said Brig. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin. "Volk Field is a crown jewel among National Guard training centers, providing real-world scenarios for service members as well as civilian responders to practice emergency response plans for domestic operations."

This year, Wisconsin National Guard troops completed their portion of Patriot with a two-day large-scale all-hazard response domestic operations scenario supporting civilian counterparts at Volk Field July 14-15.

The training scenario involved a collision between a school bus and a freight train transporting multiple hazards, causing a derailment. Participants benefitted from rail and cargo simulators, damaged structures, mannequins, and live fires and explosions. To add a sense of urgency, adult and children volunteers acted as victims.

"Volk Field and Fort McCoy have the facilities and ranges we need for the types of scenarios we conduct and it's centrally located in the country for participating units," said Air Force Lt. Col. George Gosting, the director for this year's exercise. Gosting also said troops have indicated they feel the training has been realistic and has enhanced their preparation to provide domestic support.

Volk Field is one of only four Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Centers in the nation which provides a year-round integrated training environment with state-of-the-art facilities for units to enhance their combat capabilities and readiness.

Army suicides hit record number in June

Thirty-two soldiers took their own lives last month, the most Army suicides in a single month since the Vietnam era. Eleven of the soldiers were not on active duty. Of the 21 who were, seven were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.
Army officials say they don't have any answers to why more and more soldiers are resorting to suicide.
"There were no trends to any one unit, camp, post or station," Col. Chris Philbrick, head of the Army's suicide prevention task force, told CNN. "I have no silver bullet to answer the question why."

Last year, a record-breaking 245 soldiers committed suicide. The Army seems on track to surpass that number this year, as 145 soldiers have taken their lives in the first half of 2010.
Tim Embree of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America testified Wednesday before the House Veterans Affairs Committee that many soldiers fear seeking help.
"The heavy stigma associated with mental health care stops many service members and veterans from seeking treatment," he said. "More than half of soldiers and Marines in Iraq who tested positive for a psychological injury reported concerns that they will be seen as weak by their fellow service members."
He pointed out that the statistics don't include the number of veterans who end their own lives. That figure surged 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to the Veterans Affairs Department.
The Army has a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, and has videos and other resources on its website. The Army's new suicide prevention video features a soldier talking about his own failed suicide attempt after his wife said she wanted to divorce him. The rifle he used to try to kill himself didn't fire, he says, and he later found out his comrade had disabled it because he was worried about him.

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