Saturday, July 24, 2010

USS Ronald Reagan Hosts International Navies for Sea Combat Control Exercises During RIMPAC 2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Stephen Votaw, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

ABOARD USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Over 40 sailors from seven different navies are working together in Sea Combat Control (SCC) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010, which concludes Aug. 1.

Both enlisted and officers from CVN 76 work together with counterparts from Singapore, Japan, Australia, Chile, Peru, and Colombia to manage all combat exercises during RIMPAC. The Sailors manage anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare for Carrier Strike Group Seven and the entire RIMPAC force and use radar, charts, and high tech devices to monitor, chart, and communicate with other ships and submarines.

This international cooperation offers everyone the opportunity to learn from the different perspectives of foreign militaries.

"We are smarter together then we are alone," said Lt. Jeff Sizemore, tactical action officer, from San Diego.

Tactical action officers from the different countries work together to maintain the overall operational picture and give direction and administration to the Sailors that work for them.

"Working together with the other militaries really gives you the ability to see the big picture of not only what is going on in your own fleet but in all the navies around the Pacific," said Lt. Cmdr. Adam Wells, from Sydney, Australia. "It's very rare to see this many navies working together for one combined goal."

SCC is a vital part of protecting both CVN 76 as well as all of Carrier Strike Group 7 and the entire RIMPAC force.

RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, and is taking place 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.

Enterprise Completes Multiple Missions, Returns Home

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Walker, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) returned to its home port after successfully completing multiple missions in support of Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications (FRSCQ) and engineering drills July 23, which helped the crew train for future certifications.

The "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 completed 420 launches and arrested landings aboard the Navy's oldest, longest and fastest aircraft carrier which provided the pilots and crew important at-sea operational training.

"Everyone did exceptionally well. The crew on the flight deck demonstrated unmatched motivation and dedication," said the Air Operations Officer Cmdr. Charles A. Broomfield. "We set a one-day record of 172 traps and launches this underway, the most we have achieved in one day since we left the shipyard."

The Sailors aboard Big E also ran multiple, complex drill scenarios which tested the crew's ability to rapidly react to a wide variety of emergent situations on the ship.

Two general quarters drills tested every Sailor's ability to quickly muster in their assigned repair lockers and set material condition Zebra throughout the ship.

A second drill, required the entire crew to react to a chemical, biological and radiological attack to the warship. This drill requires Sailors to don special protective clothing to avoid unnecessary exposure while investigating the threat to the ship.

The Security division conducted several drills to simulate terrorist attacks aboard the ship. These drills required all hands to stand fast and remain vigilant as the primary reaction force swept the ship and apprehended an intruder.

The Security division and Weapons department also conducted small arms qualifications for the newest members of the ship's self defense force.

The ship's Deck department and bridge watch teams successfully completed two separate precision anchorage exercises which require the teams to anchor the ship in a predetermined location.

The ship and its crew of approximately 3,100 Sailors return to Norfolk for a short time to bring Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 aboard before departing for future operations.

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

Navy Divers Return to Site of Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Susan Hammond, Navy Office of Community Outreach

MINNEAPOLIS (NNS) -- The three Navy divers who aided emergency operations during the Minneapolis/St. Paul I-35W bridge collapse in 2007 returned to the area for Twin Cities Navy Week 2010, taking place from July 17 to 24.

On Aug. 1, 2007, the Minneapolis/St. Paul I-35W bridge collapsed killing 13 people and injured 145. Cars on the bridge fell into the Mississippi River below, trapping people in debris. The Navy assisted in rescue and salvage operations.

Navy Diver 2nd Class Todd Walsh, Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, helped recover remains, rebar and vehicles at the bottom of the Mississippi River.

"The whole thing was really delicate with the media all around," Walsh said. "We wanted to be as caring as possible and to get the job done as professionally as possible. You want to account for everyone."

City and county emergency response teams, investigators and other relief and charity agencies were also part of the operation. Crews worked in "Blue and Gold" teams, operating 12-hour shifts around the clock. Divers were in the water over eight hours a dive, with underwater visibility about 12 inches.

"At first we couldn't figure out where to look," Walsh said.

The bridge span had flipped over in the water, with vehicles trapped under the span.

"We finally found a hole to get to the cars underneath," he said. "It's difficult with salvage because everything is not where you think it would be. There was literally a rat's nest of rebar and concrete."

Twin Cities Navy Week 2010 attendee Vice Admiral John J. Donnelly, Commander, Submarine Forces, toured the I-35W bridge site with Hennepin County Sheriff Richard W. Stanek.

"After seeing the scene firsthand, I now understand the difficult conditions under which our divers operated and how well they performed in that tragedy," said Donnelly.

Twin Cities Navy Week will continue with performances by the Navy Band Great Lakes rock band, "Horizon," at Valley Fair in Shakopee, Minn., on Friday and on Saturday at the Xcel Energy River Bash on the Minneapolis Riverfront.

The Navy Office of Community Outreach, Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis and Navy Operational Support Center Minneapolis joined with the Navy Parachute Team "Leap Frogs" and the Navy Band, to showcase the Navy July 17-24. Twin Cities Navy Week takes place in conjunction with the 2010 Minneapolis Aquatennial and is one of 20 Navy Weeks being held across America in 2010.

AFPC civilian director appointed into the SES

by April Rowden
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs Office

The Air Force Personnel Center celebrated the appointment of one of its directors into the Senior Executive Service during a pinning on ceremony July 22.

Michelle LoweSolis, the Civilian Force Integration director, was appointed into the SES after demonstrating exceptional skill and ability to lead the transformation of the civilian work force.

“We are very proud of Ms. LoweSolis and the tremendous contributions she’s already made to the civilian team in her two years here as a director,” said Maj. Gen. K.C. McClain, AFPC commander. “She’s been at the front of the NSPS conversion; taken the lead on the current hiring surge; been the point person on standing up our five operating location; and is the force behind streamlining our civilian application and hiring processes.

“Her work clearly earned her a position in the cadre responsible for leading the continuing transformation of the government. This appointment is well deserved,” the general said.

Ms. LoweSolis is one of approximately 300 SES members in the Air Force that serve as the major link between presidential appointees and the Air Force work force.

“It’s a great privilege to become part of the SES corps. The roadmap for the civilian workforce is filled with many exciting initiatives. I’m looking forward to continuing with a team that’s focused not only on building today’s Air Force, but tomorrow’s as well,” Ms. LoweSolis said.

Air Force employees are most likely familiar with the Directorate of Civilian Force Integration, or DPI, for their civilian recruitment and hiring functions. However, DPI personnel are also involved in many additional vital activities, such as civilian force development, processing pay-impacting personnel actions for DFAS action, and providing benefits counseling and assistance in the five benefit areas – health insurance, life insurance, retirement, thrift savings plan and death processing/survivor counseling.

A New Strategy for Somalia

by R. Bennett Furlow

To say Somalia has problems would be the very definition of an understatement. Piracy has certainly received its share of attention, primarily because it is sensational and somewhat easy to comprehend. The chaos in the south also gets some attention due to the rise of Islamists groups and the potential for Somalia to become a terrorist safe haven. Despite this increase in attention, there has been no real political or humanitarian progress in the country. Education is lacking, violence is a way of life and the political system is a shambles.

Read On

Officials Praise Growth of U.S.-India Military Partnership

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2010 - The growth of military-to-military cooperation between India and the United States is "stunning," and it is poised to continue to increase, U.S. officials told reporters here today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is in New Delhi to explore ways to increase the military partnership between the two nations.

"It is stunning how many things we are working on with the Indians ... and how fast our partnership is growing," said one U.S. official, speaking on background to reporters traveling with Mullen. "The chairman's visit, obviously, is reflective of the important cooperation we have in terms of the defense side and the strategic partnership."

The defense relationship between India and the United States is fairly mature and goes back to 1995, when then-Defense Secretary William Perry signed the first memorandum of understanding with his Indian counterpart.

Today, military-to-military cooperation between India and the United States mostly involves bilateral exercises, personnel exchanges and training.

"We do more with the Indians than the Indians do with any other country," said another U.S. official. "That shows the importance of the relationship to the Indians."

India and the United States have many bilateral exercises with some multilateral, officials said. India has been invited to be an observer at next year's Cobra Gold multinational military exercises, and India has participated in Air Force Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

U.S. forces exercise with Indian navy ships throughout the Indian Ocean region, and U.S. and Indian servicemembers cooperate with each other around the world, officials said. American and Indian servicemembers also have worked together closely in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

U.S.-India military exercises, officials said, are becoming more complex and more joint. In the past, the individual services tended to operate with their counterparts, the official said. Special operations forces will be part of up-coming exercises.

India also is looking at buying U.S. defense systems.

"This is the next step ahead," said the official, noting that India has bought six C-130J Hercules transports. With the purchase of these aircraft, Indian military noncommissioned officers and other enlisted personnel will travel to the United States for training, the official said, and this opens up a whole new window for cooperation.

"We're hopeful that we will conclude the contract for 10 C-17s," the official said. "That will change the depth of the relationship as we move along."

U.S. defense firms also are competing for a $10 billion contract to replace India's aging fleet of MiG-21 jet fighter aircraft, the official said. Lockheed-Martin has offered the F-16 Falcon and Boeing the F/A-18 Super Hornet. They are competing against Russian, Swedish and French firms for the 126-plane deal.

The United States also cooperates with India on counterterrorism, including sharing intelligence, the official said, noting the two countries also cooperate on regional issues.

Pakistan is always a topic of discussion between the United States and India, officials said. Pakistan and India have fought a number of wars since both countries became independent in 1947, and continue to regard each other with suspicion.

The Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008 – what Indians call 26-11 – killed 166 people and wounded more than 300. The Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attacks.

Most Indians want a stable Pakistan, said another U.S. official, and they believe Pakistani officials now realize how serious the threat from terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba is.

India also is working with the international community and specifically the United States in Afghanistan. "India has provided $1.3 billion in economic aid and governance support in Afghanistan," an official said.

Meanwhile, the India-U.S. military partnership continues to grow, officials said. In addition to normal land, sea, air and space cooperation, they said, the United States and India are looking at the problem of cyberdefense.

Mullen: U.S.-India Ties Make Region, Globe More Secure

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2010 - The United States is committed to South and Central Asia, and deeper U.S.-Indian military-to-military relations will make the region and globe safer and more secure, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said the United States and India have both been victims of terror, and that binds together to two great democracies.

"Both of our nations have sacrificed at the hands of terror and stand steadfast against all terrorists," Mullen said during a news conference. "Both of us have learned a great deal on our own and stand to learn even more from each other in areas like counterinsurgency, nonproliferation, anti-piracy and regional defense."

Mullen spoke the same day that Timothy Roemer, the U.S. ambassador to India, and Home Affairs Minister G.K. Pillai signed a memorandum of understanding on the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative.

The initiative will expand collaboration on counterterrorism, information sharing and capacity building. The initiative looks at closer working arrangements on transportation security; money laundering; maritime, port and border security; cybersecurity; and mega-city policing.

The memo is indicative of the drive for the United States and India to work closely together, Mullen said.

The admiral addressed U.S. commitment to the region and specifically to Afghanistan. He said India and the United States not only want to see a secure and stable Afghanistan, but a secure and stable region.

"Let me assure you that America's military remains committed to our mission in Afghanistan, and that mission does not end in July 2011," Mullen said.

During his West Point speech in November 2009, President Barack Obama said the United States will begin the process of handing over more authority to Afghan security forces beginning July 2011. Mullen clarified what this means, saying the United States will make the transfer "only as fast and as far as conditions on the ground permit. No one is looking for the door in Afghanistan or out of this region."

The chairman praised India for its contributions to Afghanistan, noting India has invested $1.3 billion to improve economic and governance conditions in Afghanistan.

The chairman acknowledged that good U.S.-India military-to-military relations are vital to continued security and stability.

"As good as our relationship is with the Indian military today, tomorrow I would like to see it get even better," Mullen said. "I note with pride the many exercises we conduct with India, the robust exchange programs we have in place and the healthy military sales initiatives we pursue."

Mullen said he wants to move the U.S.-India military-to-military relationship to the next level.

"The region is still too dangerous, the challenges we face together are still too great for us not to become better friends and for our relationship to become more routine," the admiral said.

Integrating service members from war to workforce

Date: July 23, 2010
By Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
Wisconsin National Guard

Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have worked hard during their deployments to get the job done overseas. As those service members return to civilian life, high unemployment and an uncertain economy threatens their ability to work hard in the civilian sector.

Despite the unemployment statistics, Wisconsin veterans have an improved chance of landing a job through the help of various National Guard and state resources which aim to promote veteran employment in the civilian work force and support their reintegration to a "post-deployment normal."

"We have partnered with the Department of Workforce Development and the American Legion and planned 20 job fairs across the state," said Col. Kenneth Koon, director of manpower and personnel for the Wisconsin National Guard. "We've held them at armories, the veteran's assistance center in Milwaukee, [college campuses] and have more scheduled throughout the state through mid-October. These job fairs are for all veterans, not just [Iraq or Afghanistan] veterans."

The Wisconsin National Guard has put together a "plethora of resources to reintegrate [service members] back into society after deployment," Koon said. These services include proactive support to help service members return to their jobs or find a new one.

"It's about resiliency, and one's ability to problem solve and overcome barriers to keep one's self-worth intact," said Bob Evans, director of psychological health for the Wisconsin National Guard. "Employment is crucial - it's not just economic, but also lends to how we value ourselves. A lot of our self-worth is tied up in our employment status."

A recent survey published by the Society of Human Resource Management inquired employers of service members about the benefits and challenges they face by hiring a veteran. As part of the study, they also asked about programs designed to support veterans returning to work following a deployment. The study uncovered that 66 percent of employers are providing employee assistance programs to help service members transition back into the work place. Additionally, 58 percent are providing skill training to refresh workers' abilities on the job and 48 percent are providing flexible work hours to allow for a comfortable transition.

"We're trying to put our arms around a global opportunity," Koon said. "We've partnered with law enforcement, department of workforce development, Wisconsin department of veteran's affairs and the Society of Human Resource Managers is just a natural extension of what we do.

"We're trying to make this connection to SHRM because we think we can offer them more support to their employee assistance programs and help them to retain good employees and make them better in the long run," Koon continued. "We want to help employers understand that a service member isn't [necessarily] unruly or unhappy, it's just that sometimes they need time to reintegrate."

Army Jumpmaster Earns Coveted Master Parachutist Wings

By Army Spc. Cody A. Thompson
40th Public Affairs Detachment

July 23, 2010 - Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Sanders, a 43-year-old senior interrogator with the XVIII Airborne Corps here, battled a bad knee to earn the coveted master parachutist wings, the highest-level airborne skills award, other than the combat parachutists badge. Wearers of these wings are experienced airborne troops that have demonstrated exemplary skills and leadership. The badge is awarded to individuals who've conducted 65 jumps from aircraft, graduated from a jumpmaster's course, and have served on jump status with an airborne unit for a minimum of 36 months.

Jumpmasters manage and lead combat-equipped airborne paratrooper missions involving both training and actual combat operations. Paratroopers who complete airborne jumps into combat zones can wear the appropriate-level combat parachutist badge.

However, prior to becoming a soldier, Sanders did a five-year stint in the Air Force during which time he was stationed in the United Kingdom for three years.

"That was the best time in my life," Sanders recalled. "I got to play football, visit places like Buckingham Palace, Parliament and the London Bridge. England has a beautiful countryside and I loved seeing all of the history."

Seeking a new profession within the military, Sanders left the Air Force for the Army Reserve. After his time in the Reserve, Sanders, a fourth-generation military veteran, decided that the Army was a good fit.

"The Army was my choice," he explained. "I didn't want to go anywhere else but the Army because my family has a history of serving in the military."

Sanders served with the 75th Ranger Regiment from 2002 to 2004, during which time he changed his military occupational specialty from mechanic to interrogator.

"What do you have that's critical?" Sanders recalled asking his Army career counselor. Sanders ended up choosing the military intelligence field and soon after departed for interrogator school.

"Once I got through the school and saw how interrogations were performed, I realized that I enjoyed it," Sanders said. "Since then, I've studied about how to be a better interrogator and how to perfect my craft."

Sanders returned to Fort Bragg in 2009, when he was presented with another challenge.

"When I first got here, I knew I was going to be back on jump status, but I have a very beat up right knee," Sanders explained. "The doc has already told me, 'You're a 42-year-old person with a 65-year-old's knee.'"

Shortly after arriving back at Fort Bragg, Sanders learned that more jumpmasters were needed to lead airborne training missions.

"They told me, 'Sir, a lot of soldiers are probably going to be thrown to the wayside because we won't be able to cover enough planes,'" Sanders recalled.

After obtaining authorization to wear a stabilizing knee brace during jumps, Sanders committed to jumpmaster duty again. Sanders' leadership and work ethic have garnered praise from his superiors.

"He loves the Army, his work and his soldiers," Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Stocks said of Sanders. "That is never going to stop. He is one of the most motivated soldiers I know."

Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla. Opens $35.8 Mil Addition

By Loren Barnes, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs

NAVAL HOSPITAL JACKSONVILLE, FLA (NNS) -- The smell of new paint filled the air and new equipment gleamed as Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla. (NH Jax), as staff, beneficiaries and dignitaries gathered in the hospital's lobby to officially cut a ribbon opening a new three-story, 62,000 square-feet, addition July 15.

Ground was broken for this $35.8 million project on June 9, 2008 and the opening brings to fruition more than a decade of planning, contract bids and hard work.

NH Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Bruce Gillingham said, "This military construction (MILCON) project will help us deliver world-class medical treatment using the most innovative technology. Expansion and renovation of Naval Hospital Jacksonville underscores our commitment to excellence and to providing the highest quality healthcare to meet the needs of each and every one of our patients."

Featured speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony were Commander, Navy Medicine East (NME) and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks as well as Jacqueline Smith, District Director for Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-Fl).

"This new addition reflects our commitment to the health care of our patients and to providing great equipment for staff," Stocks said. "The six new operating rooms, with 28,000 square feet as well as state-of-the-art, integrated systems, will be the envy of operating room surgical staff around the nation.

"Another important aspect is you are opening new Physical Therapy/Occupation Therapy (PT/OT) spaces that will offer state-of-the-art equipment including an aquatic treadmill pool. This will offer a great service not only to local patients but for our wounded warriors as well," Stocks said.

He also noted that this project will be followed by a second MILCON project to include pharmacy improvements and other key patient service areas. It will include additional restoration and modernization of areas such as nuclear medicine, the intensive care unit and moving a new MRI into the main building.

Stocks also recognized the presence of Capt. Lynn Welling, NH Jax's incoming commanding officer; Capt. Doug Morton, Commander, Naval Facilities Command SE; Capt. Timothy Barnes, NME Senior Health Facilities Planning & Project Officer and other local and regional military officials.

Smith read a message from Congressman Crenshaw. "As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, it is my honor and my duty to be sure that our military infrastructure is modernized to meet the needs of those who serve.

"With this addition, your Navy Hospital offers a first–class surgical area and physical and occupational areas to its patients."

Crenshaw also expressed his appreciation of those who worked on the design and build of the facility, but mostly those who work at NH Jax and provide first-class care to our military and their families. "You are the living heart that makes this building come alive," he said.

Following the ceremony, tours were conducted of the facilities for more than 120 guests and staff.

Director, Clinical Support Services and PT/OT Department Head Cmdr. Frank Pearson showed the guests the new PT/OT spaces. As guests peered into what appeared to be a huge Jacuzzi, he explained this unique piece of equipment is an aquatic treadmill. "Here patients can build strength on a treadmill with minimal impact on their injuries," he said.

Pearson also showed them an OT area outfitted for recuperating patients to practice life skills in a fully-equipped kitchen and bedroom facilities such as they'd find in their homes. He noted that higher level Navy medical facilities see wounded warriors with serious injuries returning directly from the war theatre but as they recover sufficiently they want to get back to areas near their homes, families and command and NH Jax will be here with top-flight care for them.

Finally, the guests visited the surgical floor. According to Director of Surgical Services Cmdr. Mark Gould, it integrates systems that link all the varied life-saving equipment together enhancing communications and decreasing down time in the OR. Even the lighting in the rooms is the latest technology designed to produce heat-free and shadow-free light on the patient.

Navy Chief Returns to Homeland After 17 Years to Support Exercise Sea Breeze 2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Regan, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, Public Affairs

ODESSA, Ukraine (NNS) -- A chief petty officer supporting exercise Sea Breeze 2010 as an interpreter had the unique opportunity to return to his homeland.

Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretative) (CTIC) Dimtry Sokol left Ukraine 17 years ago for a new life in the United States.

Sokol took work where he could. After various jobs, as pizza deliveryman to laundry person, Sokol decided to join the Navy as Seabee. He became a U.S. citizen in 1997.

"After a few years of being a Seabee I was able to cross-rate to CTIC which is something that I originally wanted to do but couldn't at the time," Sokol said.

Sokol became a Navy language interpreter in Russian and Ukrainian. His Ukrainian background helped make him uniquely qualified for the job.

"I was able to bypass the one-year training course because I scored high enough on the language test," he said.

Sokol serves in a vital role in an exercise that has more than 1,600 service members from 12 different nations participating in land, air and sea operations.

"For Sea Breeze, I am the chief of eight linguists in support of this exercise to provide English support and communication between top-level naval officials as well as the exercise commanders," Sokol said.

NSC Offers Tips to Weather the Heat Wave

By April Phillips, Naval Safety Center Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- No matter where Sailors and Marines are stationed, chances are they are experiencing the current heat wave that is gripping many locations across the globe.

Record high temperatures are expected for much of the U.S. this weekend, reports say roads are melting in Europe, and in Japan, five people died Thursday as a result of the skyrocketing temperatures.

Across the fleet, 43 Sailors and Marines have suffered reportable heat-related illnesses and injuries this fiscal year, both at work and during off-duty activities.

While there's nothing that can be done about the weather, there are measures Sailors and Marines can take to protect themselves from the heat, said Dan Dray, a recreation and off-duty safety specialist at the Naval Safety Center.

"Use the risk management skills you've been taught," he recommended. "If you've got to be outside, plan for breaks in sporting activities and recreation events. If you work outside, try to get as much done as possible in the early morning or late evening hours."

A big part of staying safe in a heat wave is staying hydrated, he said. Higher temperatures cause the body to lose water through sweating. Replace it by drinking water regularly. However, Dray warned that all liquids are not created equally.

"Definitely avoid excessive alcohol. It actually dehydrates you and allows fatigue to set in," he said.

He also recommended avoiding caffeine, which also leads to dehydration.

Choosing the right clothing is also important during a heat wave. Dray suggested loose-fitting, light colored and lightweight apparel. Any exposed skin must also be protected.

"Make sure you wear sunscreen with an adequate SPF rating and make sure your kids use it as well," he said.

Failure to heed his advice could lead to heat-related illnesses. The most severe is heat stroke, which Dray said can be fatal. Symptoms of heat stroke include a body temperature as high as 105 degrees, red, hot and dry skin, and a weak pulse. Anyone suffering from heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 and wrap the person in cool, damp sheets to lower their body temperature while waiting for help to arrive.

Heat exhaustion has similar symptoms, but body temperature is usually normal.

Air Force undersecretary testifies about efficiencies before House committee

by Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

7/23/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force undersecretary testified before the House Armed Services Committee July 22 about how Air Force officials are working with their Defense Department counterparts to control spending and transform business operations and create efficiencies.

Also testifying were Elizabeth McGrath, the DOD deputy chief management officer; Joseph Westphal, the Army undersecretary; and Robert O. Work, the Navy undersecretary.

Air Force officials, along with officials from the DOD, Army and Navy, are working hard to stretch their budget to support operations, but not at the expense of mission readiness, said Erin C. Conaton, who also serves as the service's chief management officer.

"All of us put mission first," Ms. Conaton said. "So this is about the work our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are out there doing every day."

Ms. Conaton said business transformation and DOD's mission go hand-in-hand.

"Business transformation can't be separate from that," she said. "It has to be very much aligned with what we're asking service members and our civilians to do on a regular basis.

"I think whether it's the business transformation plan (Congress has) or our own thinking as chief management officers," Ms. Conaton said, "it's important to align our business objectives with what the services or the department ... is doing overall."

Ms. Conaton then explained how she approaches her job as the Air Force's CMO.

"So, as I've been thinking about the chief management officer job, I think first, 'what's the mission that we're asking -- in our case Airmen -- to do, and how do we get processes and systems that help support that?'" Ms. Conaton said.

Ms. Conaton's appearance marked her first appearance before the committee she previously served as staff director. She became undersecretary March 15.

She thanked her counterparts for their support as she has stepped into the CMO role, noting her fellow witnesses "have been outstanding in terms of not only partnering but lending the benefit of their expertise in the department over the period of time they've been there."

Along with business transformation, Ms. Conaton said the Air Force and other services are working together to improve efficiencies throughout the DOD.

"We are partners with the rest of my colleagues in trying to find a way -- again mission first -- to get as much money and capability into the force structure, modernization and readiness sides of the account," Ms. Conaton said.

"I think that is what's motivating the work that (Defense) Secretary (Robert M.) Gates has put forward and it's certainly motivating the work that (Air Force) Secretary (Michael B.) Donley and (Chief of Staff) General (Norton) Schwartz are undertaking for the Air Force," she added.

The undersecretary highlighted the level of leadership involved in transforming business operations.

"The CMO construct relies on strong leadership from the top," Ms. Conaton said. "The fact that we have secretaries and chiefs of our respective services who are committed to not only make this organization construct work, but also to help further the business transformation objectives that we're working on makes a big deal."

For the Air Force, Ms. Conaton said Air Force Officials use the Air Force Council to make budget decisions and "adjudicate policy debates that are occurring inside the service."

The Air Force Council is the Air Force's governance board. It is composed of senior civilian and military members from the Air Staff.

"It's also the group we are using for governance of overall business transformation and the efficiencies initiative," Ms. Conaton said. "It's critical that all of the people who are involved, whether it is our assistant secretaries or the deputy chiefs of staff on the Air Staff side, are invested in and committed to working these efforts."

502nd ABW breaks ground on new headquarters

by Steve Elliott
Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs

7/23/2010 - FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (AFNS) -- The 502nd ABW got a little closer to establishing itself July 14 here as Brig. Gen. Leonard Patrick, the 502nd ABW commander, was joined by various local and military officials in breaking ground for the wing's new headquarters.

The 25,733-square-foot building will cost approximately $7.4 million and have a 5.5-acre footprint. Officials are anticipating occupancy in July 2011.

"This is truly an opportunity for us to move forward," General Patrick said. "Part of the wing's vision statement is to 'Preserve our Heritage.' I promised I would honor that."

The 502nd ABW consists of three major Air Force support elements: the 802nd Mission Support Group at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, the 902nd MSG at Randolph AFB, Texas, and Fort Sam Houston Garrison was renamed the 502nd MSG.

The new building is being built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification, said H.D. Eisenhauer, the chief of engineering for the 502nd ABW.

"The project team is incorporating a variety of sustainable design elements including extensive use of local (and) regional certified wood, and recycled building materials," he said. "The facility also incorporates sustainable landscape measures, advanced building commissioning, a rainwater harvesting system for irrigation (and) a solar water heating system."

The Air Force was directed to be the executive agent for the action in San Antonio and this is the largest single Department of Defense installation. One of 12 joint bases within the DOD, the 502nd ABW officials will oversee installation support at Lackland and Randolph AFBs and Fort Sam Houston.

Service Chiefs Gather to Address Children's Conference

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

July 23, 2010 - It's no small feat to gather the service chiefs at one event, yet that happened today when the leaders came together here to lend their support to the cause of helping military children.

Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.; Navy Adm. Gary Roughead; Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz took part in panel and service-specific discussions, as part of The Military Child Education Coalition's 12th annual conference.

They were joined by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway, Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard Vice Adm. John P. Currier, and Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, as well as James H. Shelton III, the assistant deputy secretary of the Education Department.

Noting the rareness in their sharing a stage, the military's top brass took turns describing their own experiences of raising military children and, in some cases, being raised as military children.

As an "Army brat," Casey said, he has spent all of his 62 years with the military. His mother told her children to "make the best of it" whenever they moved, but attending four high schools in three countries was challenging, he acknowledged.

Still, Casey said, the challenges Army families have faced with deployment tempos since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is unprecedented. In the Army, 600,000 children currently are separated from a deployed parent, he said.

"We've always had a professional, committed military and the support for families has only increased," Casey said. "The difference now is that we're asking so significantly more from our families."

Casey said he is hopeful that soldiers will begin getting more "dwell" time at home since the military is drawing down from Iraq. Until then, he said, programs to support military families are especially important.

Some of the programs that the education coalition and other groups provide may seem small, but they add up, Casey said. Local-level programs in mentoring, homework clubs, and afterschool sports all are important in giving children smooth transitions and stability between relocations, he said.

"The most important things we can give to our children, as parents, are our values and an education," Casey said.

In talking about his own children, Cartwright said he had to get used to being unpopular at home during each family relocation move. Today, he said, his grown daughters are appreciative of their military upbringing, but the school-age years were hard.

"It wasn't really about academics those first few days" after a move, Cartwright said. "It was about the girls' ability to make friends, or not. It's not about the 'who, what, where, when, and why' -- it's about assimilating."

The chiefs agreed that building resiliency in military children is about setting good examples, instilling core values of honor and integrity, and making their home lives as stable as possible.

"Your participation in their life has no equal," Cartwright said. And when it came to accepting the difficult times, he said, "We bandaged them every way we could for life's experiences."

Roughead said he is concerned that many places Navy families are stationed are in urban districts with challenged school systems. It's therefore important, he said, for the coalition and others to look at those schools and do tailored programs in those areas.

"We know there are significant challenges in the schools and we need to look at how we balance programs to get the most out of them," the admiral said. "It's important to have liaisons from the military to help move those programs that help our kids."

Schwartz said the coalition has crossed a "major milestone" for military children in getting 35 states to sign on to a contract that enables schools to award credit to military children for classes they have taken in other school districts and/or in other states.

Schwartz wondered aloud what the next step is in improving the education of military children. He said there are good arguments for reversing the trend of not building schools on military installations. Also, he said, charter schools should be considered for military children in districts where public schools don't meet Defense Department standards.

The Marine Corps has doubled its family services budget to deal with today's challenges, Conway said. The average Marine Corps child, he said, moves six-to-eight times over the course of 12 years of school - often without a parent - and into schools that are struggling financially and don't have staff who understand the burdens for today's military children.

Two of the Corps' most important family programs, Conway said, are its school advocacy groups, which are at all major installations, and its Exceptional Family Members program, which provides up to 40 hours of respite care for children who qualify.

"When a Marine goes to war, knowing his family is taken care of makes him a better trooper," Conway said. "We recruit Marines, but we retain families."

Wyatt and Currier, for the National Guard and Coast Guard, respectively, said their servicemembers' families often live in small towns, rural areas, or too far from a military installation to benefit from military-sponsored family assistance programs or be surrounded by people who understand their challenges.

Asked how to prepare children to be tomorrow's leaders, the chiefs again went back to values – an area in which Conway said industry leaders say today's high school graduates are coming up short.

"As role models, you have to be scrupulous," Schwartz said. "You have to live those values. If your examples fail, the consequences are severe."

Cartwright said he is concerned about how to communicate those values in today's high-speed culture, and how to do it in such a way that young people see it as relevant. One way, he said, is for the coalition and other groups to spread the message of core values through the technology young people use.

"If we don't stay relevant, they stop listening to us," he said.



Propper International, Inc., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, is being awarded a maximum $78,800,418 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for coats and trousers. Other locations of performance are Mississippi, North Carolina and various locations throughout Puerto Rico. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 22, 2012. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1073).

Graybar Electric, St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $66,000,000 indefinite/delivery, indefinite/quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. This contract is exercising the fifth option year period. The date of performance completion is July 28, 2010. The Defense Supply Center Science Applications International Corp., Fairfield, N.J., is being awarded a maximum $40,000,000 indefinite/delivery, indefinite/quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies and related services. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. This contract is exercising the fifth option year period. The date of performance completion is July 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP12).

Tullahoma Industries LLC*, Tullahoma, Tenn., is being awarded a maximum $29,283,504 firm-fixed-price, sole-source contract for coats and trousers. Other locations of performance are Alabama and Mississippi. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 23, 2012. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-1074).

Supply Core, St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a maximum $17,000,000 indefinite/delivery, indefinite/quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with six responses. This contract is exercising the fifth option year period. The date of performance completion is July 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP10).

Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md., is being awarded a maximum $13,997,317 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, time and materials contract for operational development, sustainment and maintenance for defense civilian personnel data system. Other location of performance is Texas. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, federal civilian agencies, the Executive Office of the President and Broadcasting Board of Governors. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. This contract is exercising the sixth option year period. The date of performance completion is September 28, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SP4700-05-C-0020).


Aardvark Tactical, Inc., La Verne, Calif., was awarded on July 19 a $62,151,795 five year firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for procuring commercial supply functions associated with the acquisition, handling, distribution, of entry control point (ECP) commercial components to various forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Non-lethal, ECP commercial components for personnel borne/vehicle borne improvised explosive devices will consist of distinct modules of equipment in several different configurations and will help uncover harmful devices or triggers for improvised devices. Work is to be performed in La Verne, Calif., with an estimated completion date of July 19, 2015. One bid was solicited with two bids received. Army Contracting Command, JM&L Contracting Center, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity (W15QKN-10-C-0062).

VIASAT, Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., was awarded on July 20 a $ 37,659,021 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for an indefinite/delivery, indefinite/quantity effort to procure blue force tracking 2 (BFT-2) for Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2). BFT-2 is the next generation of the BFT transceiver/network. With BFT-2, FBCB2 will have the capability to upgrade position reports in seconds rather than minutes. Thousands of platforms will share a single satellites channel, resulting in reduced recurring cost. Icons on a computer screen will more accurately represent a vehicles location. The FBCB2 system is the Army's digital battle command information to tactical combat leaders and soldiers from brigade to platforms an across platforms within a brigade task force. It enables war fighters to pass orders and graphics to visualize the commander's intent and scheme of maneuver. The BFT-2 platform equipment is installed on a variety of host vehicles, such as high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle, Bradley, Abrams, Paladin, and Aviation. Work is to be performed in Carlsbad, Calif., with an estimated completion date of July 19, 2016. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received. CECOM Acquisition Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-10-D-C420).

Honeywell International Inc., Clearwater, Fla., was awarded on July 16 a $23,500,000 indefinite/delivery-indefinite/quantity contract. This contract is for Inertial Navigation Unit sole source to Honeywell International Inc. Work is to be performed in Clearwater, Fla., with an estimated completion date of May 15, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army TACOM Contracting Center, CCTA-AR-VB, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52H09-07-D-0285).

The Boeing Co., Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on July 16 a $15,017,184 firm-fixed-price contract for the performance based logistics for the Apache D unique components. Work is to be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, CCAM-AL-D, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-04-C-0203).

BAE Systems, Ordnance Systems Inc., Kingsport, Tenn., was awarded on July 15 a $12,472,247 firm-fixed-price contract for the production and supply of 946,302 pounds of cxm-7 explosives to support the bomb program. Work is to be performed in Kingsport, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 31, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (W52P1J-09-D-0003).

Talon Industries Inc., Arlington, Texas, was awarded on July 16 a $11,194,900 firm-fixed-price contract. This firm-fixed-price contract is to construct a new aircraft fuel storage complex located at Duluth ANG, Minnesota. Work is to be performed in Duluth ANG, Minn., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 07, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with five bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Neb., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0057).

Jaynes Corp., Las Vegas, Nev., was awarded on July 20 a $8,618,286 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of unmanned aerial system extended range multi purpose, Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Work is to be performed in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 19, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 17 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Los Angeles, Calif., is the contracting activity (W912PL-10-C-0031).

BAE Systems, Ordnance Systems, Inc., Kingsport, Tenn., was awarded on July 16 a $7,498,315 firm-fixed-price contract. The services procured are for phase III of the water distribution system upgrade at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. Work is to be performed in Kingsport, Tenn., with an estimated completion date of July 15, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DAAA09-98-E-0006).

Odyssey International, Lancaster, Pa., was awarded on July 16 a $7,033,619 firm-fixed-price contract. This project consists of construction of an addition to an existing Criminal Investigation Division lab at Fort Gillem, Ga. Primary facilities included additional space for the latent prints lab; trace evidence testing lab; serology/DNA lad and other areas needed for operation and support of the expanded mission; growth in personnel and insufficient space in the current facility; provide energy monitoring and control systems connection and building information systems. Install a mass notification system, fire protection system, and an intrusion detection system. Supporting facilities include electrical; water; sewer and gas services; paving; storm drainage; site improvement and landscaping; information systems; and antiterrorism measures; demolish pavement; curb and gutter and selected utilities. Self-contained heating and cooling units will be required. Accessibility for individuals with disability will be required. Anti-terrorism measures include laminated windows and door glass. The resulting contract will be firm-fixed-price. Work is to be performed in Fort Gillem, Ga., with an estimated completed date of Jan. 27, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-10-C-0044).

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, was awarded on July 20 a $6,903,328 cost-plus-award-fee contract. This contract is to provide a soil investigation and soil removal action at two military construction Army projects at Sagami General Depot, Japan. Work is to be performed in Sagami General Depot, Japan, with an estimated completion date of July 30, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Alaska, Contracting Division, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ark., is the contracting activity (W911KB-06-D-0006).

GSC Construction, Augusta, Ga., was awarded on July 21 a $6,816,963 firm-fixed-price contract for base items 0001-0003. This procurement is a design-build project for a single dinning facility at Fort Knox, Ky. Work is to be performed in Fort Knox, Ky., with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District Contracting Office, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-10-C-0064).

MOCA Systems Inc., Newton, Mass., was awarded on July 21 a $ $6,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect-engineering services for nationwide cost engineering support for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District-Directorate & Center of Expertise. Work is to be performed in Newton, Mass., with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2014. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, CECT-NWW, Walla Walla, Wash., is the contracting activity (W912EF-09-D-0003).

Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., was awarded on July 19 a $5,765,171 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This is an indefinite/quantity contract, with five year ordering periods. Order period 1, task order 0001, with funding modification 01-07 for firing test division test and evaluation support. Funds are obligated upon the issuance of each order period 1 modification. The contractor shall provide support to Redstone Test Center for testing, evaluation, and other associated activities scheduled to be conducted by the flight test branch, field sensors test brach, and telemetry, and data management test branch of the firing test division. Work is to be performed in Redstone Arsenal, Ala., with an estimated completion date of Mar. 30, 2015. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Contracting Center Research Development & Engineering Command, CCAM-RD-A, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-10-D-0009).

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC., Oak Brook, Ill., was awarded on July 19 a $5,518,525 firm-fixed-price contract for the maintenance dredging 15PT channel, Newburyport, Mass. Work is to be performed in Newburyport, Mass., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 13, 2011. Bids were solicited via Federal Business Opportunities Web site with three bids received. Department of the Army, New England District, Corps of Engineers, Concord, Mass., is the contracting activity (W912WJ-10-C-0018).

Primal Innovations LLC, Winter Springs, Fla., was awarded on July 20 a $5,278,888 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the geotechnical and structural laboratory are in contract with Primal Innovations for research and development and development efforts for persistent surveillance and near surface monitoring. Work is to be performed in Winter Springs, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Jan. 5, 2011. Bids were solicited via a Broad Agency Announcement with one bid received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC Contracting Office, Vicksburg, Miss., is the contracting activity (W912HZ-10-C-0043).

Bates Engineers/Contractors, Inc., Bainbridge, Ga., was awarded on July 19 a $5,023,576 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is to construct a new 1,400 square meter addition to tan existing simulator facility. Construction will consist of structural steel, concrete masonry unit, exterior and a standing seam metal roof. Heating ventilation, air condition, fire detection suppression and access control/intrusion detection systems are required. A bridge crane, emergency generator, unlimited power supply, furnishing all utilities and parking are included. Construction phasing and leadership energy environmental design certification are required. Unexercised options in the amount of $200,000 are available for future execution by the government. Work is to be performed in Hulbert Field, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 18, 2011. Bids were solicited via Federal Business Opportunity Web site with 27 bids received. Corps of Engineers-Mobile Regional Contracting Center, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-10-C-0092).


Northrop Grumman Corp., Aerospace Sector, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $29,715,101 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide operations and maintenance services in support of U.S. Navy Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration. Work will be performed outside the U.S. (50 percent); Patuxent River, Md. (30 percent); and San Diego, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $29,715,101 will 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.

L-3 Services, Inc., Mount Laurel, N.J., is being awarded a $22,621,166 modification to previously awarded contract (N61331-08-D-0007) for the procurement of engineering logistics and material support for Mine Roller In-Service program. The contractor will provide all personnel, materials, equipment and services for the engineering and technical support required to provide logistics and material support. Work will be performed in Panama City, Fla., and is expected to be completed by June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $2,000,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity.

Nutmeg Companies, Inc.*, Norwich, Conn., is being awarded a $7,904,800 firm-fixed-price contract for design and construction of the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Brunswick for A Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine, 4th Marine Division. A specialty constructed weapon's storage area; assembly hall; classrooms; locker and shower rooms; workshops; and electrical and mechanical utilities that include a fuel oil tank. Construction will also include security lighting; paved tactical vehicle parking with perimeter fencing; paved privately owned vehicle parking; and security lighting systems. Sustainable design will be integrated into the design, development, and construction of the project in accordance with Executive Order 13123 and other directives. The construction and sitting will comply with all applicable Anti-Terrorism/Force protection guidance for a primary gathering facility. The contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $7,942,800. Work will be performed in Brunswick, Maine, and is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online Web site with seven proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic Northeast Integrated Product Team, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (N40085-10-C-9413).

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, July 23, 2010

Shares jump after Tekmira wins $140m contract
"Shares in Burnaby-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. jumped more than 35 per cent Friday after the company announced Thursday it had won a contract potentially worth $140 million US from the U.S. department of defence to help develop a treatment for the deadly Ebola virus. In the initial phase of the contract -- worth up to $34.7 million US over three years -- Tekmira will work on advancing a treatment that has so far shown to be 100-per-cent effective in monkeys. The aim is to file an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and completion of a Phase 1 human safety clinical trial. The defence department would then have the option of extending the contract to support the advancement of the Ebola product through clinical development and FDA approval, which could take five to seven years, Tekmira's chief financial officer Ian Mortimer said in an interview. Total potential funding adds up to $140 million US, Mortimer said. The Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976 and there have been only about 1,850 documented human cases so far, mainly in remote regions of Africa. However, given how lethal it is -- killing as many as 90 per cent of those infected -- it is considered a potential agent for biological warfare." (Vancouver Sun; 17Jul10; Fiona Anderson) jump after Tekmira wins 140m contract/3290897/story.html

Nanotechnology sensor can detect anthrax spores
"Nanotechnologists at University of Twente's MESA+ research institute have developed a sensor that can detect anthrax spores. The invention is more sensitive and efficient than existing detection methods. The research is being published in the leading scientific journal Angewandte Chemie ('Ratiometric Fluorescent Detection of an Anthrax Biomarker at Molecular Printboards'). [...] Like other detection techniques, the UT sensor measures the presence of dipicolinic acid (DPA), a substance that accounts for between five and fifteen per cent of the dry weight of the spores. The sensor consists of a glass plate to which DPA-sensitive receptors have been attached. When the receptors are brought into contact with anthrax spores, the DPA binds with them. The concentration of the spores can be calculated with fluorescence spectroscopy, by shining ultraviolet light on to the sensor. DPA-bonded receptors will absorb this light and emit blue light, whereas receptors that have no DPA bonding will emit red light. By measuring the ratio of red to blue light in a sample, it is possible to determine the concentration of anthrax spores. The advantage of the sensor is that it does not need calibrating and is more finely tuned than other current methods." (Nanowerk; 19Jul10)

Senators line up to oppose cuts to bioterror[ism] protection fund
"Seventeen senators have signed a letter denouncing an effort to cut billions in funds for drugs and vaccines intended to thwart bioterrorism. At issue is a House budget bill that would cut up to $2 billion from the Project BioShield Special Reserve Fund. The White House has not objected to the cut, and has criticized the fund. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who chairs the homeland security committee, issued a statement Thursday protesting the reduction, along with two Republicans, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who authored the law that created the fund in 2004. The statement included a letter signed by seven more Democrats and six more Republicans. [...] Siphoning the funds to other programs, as the House bill would do, 'would be frightfully shortsighted and would jeopardize the security of the American people against a very real and potent threat,' he[Lieberman] said. Bioterrorism experts have called the cut an example of how the Obama White House is failing to thoroughly address the threat of a biological attack, which they say could kill 400,000 Americans and do $2 trillion in economic damage. The probability of such an event is low, the experts acknowledge, but they say the failure to plan for it reflects the same mindset that presaged the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005 and the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The bipartisan Commission for the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction in January gave the federal government a grade of 'F' for its bioterrorism preparation. There have been few improvements since, said the co-chairman, former Sen. Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat." (Los Angeles Times; 22Jul10; Ken Dilanian),0,957642.story

ACIP[Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] report fine-tunes anthrax vaccine recommendations
"The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released new details about recommendations its vaccine advisory group made in February for Americans who receive anthrax shots. In a full report on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, published today in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC outlines five changes, two of which it reported earlier when ACIP made its recommendations back in February. The CDC previously reported changes in the schedule and route of administration for BioThrax, also known as anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA), which is the nation's only licensed anthrax vaccine. ACIP had recommended reducing the number of initial doses from six to five and changing the route of administration from subcutaneous to intramuscular. The two recommendations were based on the results of ongoing clinical trials designed to gauge if the long immunization series and side effects can be reduced. The shots are required for US military members who are deployed in high-risk areas such as the Middle East. Some military members have opposed anthrax vaccination because of side effects. Today's MMWR report includes three other recommendations. ACIP recommended AVA as part of postexposure prophylaxis in pregnant women, provided guidance on preexposure vaccination of emergency workers and first responders, and recommended 60 days of antibiotic prophylaxis combined with three AVA doses for optimal postexposure protection of unvaccinated people." (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy; 22Jul10; Lisa Schnirring)

Baltimore facility key to Emergent's plan to expand beyond biodefense [Baltimore, MD]
"Rockville-based Emergent BioSolutions is planning to make major renovations to a 55,000-square-foot facility in Baltimore that the pharmaceutical company said is key to its plans to expand beyond the biodefense sector. Known as the producer of the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine, Emergent executives said the company aims to remain competitive by expanding the number and variety of drugs it has on the market. Design plans call for the five existing labs to be combined into two, which are necessary for Emergent to manufacture viral and non-viral vaccines. Emergent may also have its eye on a neighboring lot if plans to expand on the existing property prove insufficient. Emergent has secured a number of sizable government contracts to produce and stockpile its anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, including a $107 million deal with the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority announced Wednesday. [Emergent company chief executive Fuad] El-Hibri said the Baltimore facility will give Emergent additional space to take on more government work, but also to break into the commercial sector. Emergent is testing potential vaccines for more common ailments such as tuberculosis and typhoid." (Washington Post; 19Jul10; Steven Overly)

AVI BioPharma discloses new contract with U.S. government for potential funding of up to $291 million to advance development of therapeutic candidates for Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever viruses
"[...] On July 14, 2010, AVI BioPharma, Inc. (the 'Company') was awarded a new contract with the U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program through the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command for the advanced development of the Company's hemorrhagic fever virus therapeutic candidates, AVI-6002 and AVI-6003, for Ebola and Marburg viruses, respectively. The contract is funded as part of the Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT) program, which was pioneered to develop innovative platform-based solutions countering biological threats. The contract is structured into four segments with potential funding of up to approximately $291 million. Activity under the first segment is to begin immediately and provides for funding to the Company of up to approximately $80 million. After completion of the first segment, and each successive segment, TMT has the option to proceed to the next segment for either or both AVI-6002 and AVI-6003. If TMT exercises its options for all four segments, contract activities would include all clinical and licensure activities necessary to obtain FDA regulatory approval of each therapeutic candidate and would provide for a total funding award to the Company of up to approximately $291 million." (MarketWatch; 16Jul10)

BRI [Biosecurity Research Institute] poses some challenges for Manhattan emergency crews [Manhattan, KS]
"Locked behind gates and security entrances, K[ansas]-State's Biosecurity Research Institute is a mystery to many people. However, the directors want to make sure the right people know their way around. Thursday, ten paramedics and firefighters who would be first on the scene of an emergency got some training at the research lab. 'To bring the first responders in to let them see what the research areas look like, understand the safety measures,' BRI Security Director Lance Luftman says is the reason behind the training. Scientists at the university lab research plant and animal diseases that are a biosafety level three. Those are serious diseases that are transmitted through the air but can be treated. [...] Cameras weren't allowed in the rest of the building, but first responders did get a tour of it all. More research will be starting in the next 30 days and the BRI staff wanted emergency crews to see the layout now because there are no visitors allowed once research begins. The security director says the only emergency they've had was an employee who suffered heat exhaustion last summer. Emergency crews did go through training when the BRI first opened about two years ago, but Luftman says this is the first time for many of the men to go through the building now that the research equipment is in place." (American Broadcasting Corporation: Topeka, KS; 15Jul10; Lindsey Elliott)

iGEM [International Genetically Engineered Machines] team helps prevent rogue use of synthetic biology
"A team of students from ENSIMAG [École Nationale Supérieure d'Informatique et de Mathématiques], an engineering school in Grenoble, France, and Virginia Tech is using bioinformatics to implement federal guidance on synthetic genomics. The students' work will help gene synthesis companies and their customers better detect the possible use of manufactured DNA as harmful agents for bioterrorism. Synthetic biology offers huge potential for practical applications in medicine, energy production, agriculture, and other areas. For a few thousand dollars, it is now possible to design custom DNA sequences the size of a viral genome, order these sequences from a DNA manufacturer, and receive the DNA in the mail within a few weeks. Experts are concerned, however, about the potential misuse of these emerging technologies and that is where the student's project could play a key role in preventing synthetic biology malpractice." (Medical News Today; 21Jul10)

Pueblo, Blue Grass funds pass Senate committee
"The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved federal funding for chemical weapons disarmament efforts at the last two sites in the United States scheduled to finish destroying their stockpiles (see GSN, May 7). The fiscal 2011 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill contains $65.6 million for building a chemical agent neutralization facility at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado. The site holds 2,611 tons of mustard blister agent, which is scheduled to be eliminated by 2017. [...] Construction continues on the neutralization plant along with a facility that would be used to treat hydrolysate waste produced in neutralizing the blister agent (U.S. Senator Mark Udall release, July 20). The Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky would receive $59.4 million in the appropriations bill for construction of a disarmament facility that would destroy the site's stockpile of 523 tons of mustard agent and VX and sarin nerve agents. Chemical disarmament operations at the installation are slated to end in 2021. The appropriations bill now must be approved by the full Senate." (Global Security Newswire; 21Jul10)

Workshop on int'l aid, protection against chemical weapons held in Beijing
"A training class on international assistance and protection against chemical weapons was opened in Beijing Monday. The week-long workshop is jointly held by the Chinese government and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with 22 trainees from 21 countries. The class is designed to equip the trainees with better knowledge on protection against chemical weapons and provide a platform to related nations to exchange information and experience. It eyes implementing article 10 of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and helping the involved countries to improve their ability to deal with the threat of chemical weapons and chemical accidents." (People's Daily Online; 19Jul10)

Convicted Dutch poison gas supplier loses appeal
"The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has rejected an appeal by Dutch chemicals dealer Frans van Anraat. He is serving a 16 and a half year jail term for delivering mustard gas ingredients to Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s. Mr Van Anraat had complained to the Strasbourg court that the Dutch judges were not qualified to take on this case because Saddam Hussein was immune to prosecution as a head of state. The court threw out this argument. Van Anraat's chemicals may have been used for the poison gas used by the Baghdad regime against the Kurdish population of Halabja in 1988, which killed thousands of people." (Radio Netherlands Worldwide; 20Jul10)

Hazardous materials leak at Petro Truck Stop [Eloy, AZ]
"The Eloy Fire District responded to a hazardous materials leak at Petro Truck Stop yesterday, July 21 at 1:16 p.m., where six were treated for inhalation of nitric acid and four were hospitalized. Upon arrival of Eloy firefighters at the scene, they found a 300-gallon container of nitric acid that had been leaking while in transit. The leak was caused by a faulty gasket on top of the container. The driver of the truck discovered the leak when he pulled into the truck stop for fuel. After discovering the leak, the driver pulled the truck into a dirt lot away from the other trucks. The Arizona Department of Public Safety also sent two hazardous materials officers to the scene to assist Eloy Fire crews with the call. Six were injured, and four were transported by ground to Casa Grande Regional Medical Center. Belfor Environmental from Mesa Arizona was called to the scene to properly seal the container of nitric acid and cleanup the remaining acid that was spilled. The cleanup and repair was completed at 9:30 p.m. that night." (TriValley Central: Arizona; 22Jul10)

Douglas Co. sheriff's searching home find grenade, gasoline dumped on floor [Gardnerville, NV]
"Douglas County Sheriff's deputies responding to reports of a man walking around his Gardnerville yard with a handgun Sunday discovered a grenade and a strong, chemical smell coming from the house. At around 1 p.m., deputies were called to the residence at 1347 East Marion Russell after people saw David Tenca walking around his yard with the gun, Sgt. Bernadette Smith said. Tenca was later stopped driving away from the home, and officers determined that he was in need of mental health assistance, Smith said. After the chemical smell was detected at Tenca's home, the East Fork Fire District were called to investigate and they found a grenade in the front yard, Smith said. The Tahoe Douglas Explosive Ordinance Disposal was then dispatched to investigate. After evacuating several neighboring homes, investigators determined that the grenade was inert and the residence was safe to enter, Smith said. Law enforcement officials then checked the home and found no traces of a laboratory, but did find that gasoline and kerosene has been poured on the floor, Smith said. Weapons belonging to Tenca were removed from the home, and all utilities were shut off while crews worked to ventilate it, Smith said." (Reno Gazette-Journal; 19Jul10)

City to install chemical sensors at port [Providence, RI]
"The City of Providence is preparing to install a new chemical-detection sensor system in the Port of Providence to enhance safety in the area. [...] The chemical detectors, which will be paid for through a $593,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, will alert first responders to chemical hazards in the Port. [...] The new sensors will be integrated with PEMA's Port Area Waterside Video Surveillance System (PAWSS), which enables the agency to respond immediately to emergency disasters involving vessels in Narragansett Bay. The system provides emergency response personnel with live camera feeds throughout the bay, between the Port and the entrance to the bay in Newport. PEMA also recently installed a new Port of Providence Emergency Siren Warning System which emits a loud alert and voice message to notify residents and visitors of emergency situations." (WPRI: Providence, RI; 19Jul10; Amanda Mathias)

An untidy exercise at Y-12's Fogbank facility
"According to a recently released June 18 memo by staff of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, there was a full-scale emergency mangement exercise last month at Y-12's Purification Facility -- the place where a classified, non-nuclear material known as Fogbank is produced for use in nuclear warheads. The exercise revealed a number of weaknesses in accident response, although a federal spokesman emphasized that's the purpose of having an emergency exercise. 'My understanding is that the basic expectations for the exercise were met,' said Steven Wyatt of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Y-12 Site office. 'There's always room for improvement.' The DNFSB memo said the exercise was based on a scenario in which acetonitrile (ACN) was pilled. 'The exercise scenario included ignition of the ACN about 30 minutes after the spill and the ACN burning itself out after 15-20 minutes. One of the decomposition products of burning ACN is hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas.' [...] Here were some of their observations: 1. Key participants did not fully understand the physical properties and hazards associated with the ACN and HCN. 2. Personnel did not recognize that the HCN plume would significantly dissipate within a few minutes of the fire being extinguished, 3. Field monitoring teams weren't deployed until 80 minutes after the fire was extinguished, 4. On-site sirens did not enunciate. 5. Some communications between various response entities, both onsite and offsite, were poor." (Knoxville News Sentinel; 19Jul10; Frank Munger)

Lawmakers lambaste "dirty bomb" security funding cuts
"The Obama administration is planning a 50 percent funding reduction for efforts to secure U.S. radiological material sources amid the continued threat of a 'dirty bomb' attack against the United States, two lawmakers said today in a Wall Street Journal commentary (see GSN, July 6). The Energy Department's semiautonomous nuclear agency quickly rejected the assertion regarding radiological defense spending. The White House's proposed cut for the next budget year would be the latest in a series of reductions, according to Representative Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). It would occur even as the administration seeks to double spending for security of 'loose nukes,' they said (see GSN, April 14). [...] The limited efforts to date to safeguard potential dirty bomb materials 'simply don't go far enough,' the commentary states. Failure to head off a radiological attack could have devastating consequences, the lawmakers wrote. [...] In a statement to Global Security Newswire, National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Jennifer Wagner said 'the president's budget request for FY2011 does not cut the Department of Energy's programs for securing radiological materials in half. 'While there is a slight decrease of $2.9 million (roughly 5.5 percent) for 2011, the department's full five-year budget request includes dramatic increases in those programs: From $50.1 million in 2011, to $143 million in 2012, $180.9 million in 2013, $298.1 million in 2014 and $337.1 million in 2015,' Wagner stated by e-mail. 'This includes funding for domestic radiological security and removals.' The administration's proposed spending plan would allow for finishing security improvements at 60 additional U.S. facilities, including hospitals and academic institutions, and to 'permanently secure at least an additional 2,200 excess and unwanted sources of potential dirty bomb material,' Wagner said." (Global Security Newswire; 22Jul10)

Murray adds $50m for Hanford [WA]
"The proposed Hanford budget for next year got a $50 million boost, thanks to the work of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Tuesday. She also had planned to add money to allow work to continue to license Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a national repository for high-level radioactive waste. However, no amendments were allowed at the markup of the fiscal 2011 Department of Energy proposed budget before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday. Instead, she plans to bring the amendment to a vote of the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. [...] The additional $50 million for Hanford cleanup in the proposed budget is in addition to an increase in the Obama administration's budget proposal for Hanford for fiscal 2011. In total, the budget would include $56 million more than Hanford has in its annual budget now for environmental cleanup linked to the past production of plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program. Not included in the numbers are savings in security next year and for work at the Fast Flux Test Facility, a research rather than a weapons reactor. [...] Murray worked to get an increase in spending for construction of the vitrification plant increased by $50 million when the Obama administration's budget proposal was released in February. She also got a $10 million increase added for work at the tank farms, where 53 million gallons of radioactive waste are held in underground tanks, some of them prone to leaks. Some of that $60 million proposed increase in February was offset partially by cuts in other Hanford programs, which the $50 million added to the proposed Senate budget Tuesday more than offsets. The $50 million includes $35 million for work to clean up contaminated ground water beneath Hanford and $15 million to speed up demolition of the Plutonium Finishing Plant in central Hanford. [...] Murray plans to propose reinstating $200 million to be used to continue DOE work to license Yucca Mountain. That amount would be offset by an across-the-board reduction for DOE of the same amount." (Bellingham Herald; 21Jul10; Annette Cary)

Tbilisi mulls fight against illegal transportation of nuclear materials
"A two-day conference devoted to combating the illegal trafficking of nuclear material organized by the U.S. Embassy was opened in Tbilisi Hotel Betsy July 21. The meeting discusses the U.S.-Georgian joint action plan to stop nuclear smuggling. Representatives of the Georgian Environment and Natural Resources Ministry will report on the investigation in nuclear smuggling, border security and the coastline. The conference is also attended by representatives of donor organizations that consider funding of projects related to nuclear and radiation hazards. Georgia plays a crucial role in combating nuclear terrorism and is the guarantor of increasing the security regime in the region, the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry reported." (Trend News: Azerbaijan; 21Jul10; N. Kirtzkhalia)

Bail for 'dirty bomb' gang
"Five men arrested in an international police sting operation after they were allegedly involved in the sale of a highly radioactive metal suspected to be destined for use in a dirty bomb have been granted bail. André Lesar, Theophilus Faber, Nonyana Maodi, Rufus Monare and Setjhaba Michael Mofokeng - who have been charged with possession of explosives - were granted bail on Monday of R2 000 each by the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. The men were arrested on July 9 at a filling station in Garsfontein, Pretoria. The operation by the Hawks resulted in the recovery of radioactive Caesium-137, which has various industrial and medical uses. Hawks spokesperson Colonel Musa Zondi said at the time the men were arrested as they allegedly tried to sell the stolen device in an illegal transaction. Zondi said the recovered piece was a sample of a device which was supposed to be sold for R45-million. Lesar, Faber, Maodi, Monare and Mofokeng are expected back in court again on August 25." (Independent: South Africa; 20Jul10)

Drill prepares emergency personnel [Bay City, TX]
"The Matagorda County Emergency Operation Center (EOC) activated Tuesday morning, July 20, in response to a non-graded drill involving a radiological release at the South Texas Project. Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald, fulfilling his role as Matagorda County emergency management director, orchestrated the event from the emergency operations center located in the Matagorda County Sheriff s Office. A joint information center was set up at Bay City s Best Western hotel to deliver regular press releases to the media. Joe Enoch, STP emergency response supervisor, said in the event of an actual emergency, the EOC would consist of the command and control team, the liaison team, the functional team and the public information team." (Bay City Tribune: Texas; 22Jul10; Heather Menzies)

A safe situation? [radioactive material goes missing from hospital in Kankakee, IL]
"Officials are investigating how a lead-lined safe containing radioactive material went missing from a storage area at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill. Gibb Vinson of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the handling of hazardous materials, said the safe could not be found after construction crews completed a demolition project at the facility on July 13. Officials suspect the construction crews may have inadvertently thrown out the safe with debris headed for an area landfill. Vinson said the safe is not believed to have been stolen, although the state is still investigating. A spokesman for the medical center declined to comment Wednesday. In a report filed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, IEMA said the safe contained several small radioactive 'seeds' used in the treatment of cancer. These 'seeds,' as Vinson described them, are implanted into human tissue to kill cancer cells through radiation, a common treatment method among hospitals. Vinson said the radioactive material does not pose a public health threat if it remains in the locked safe. However, if someone were to remove and handle the seeds, the health risks would be 'significant.' 'As long as they remain in the safe, it's a relatively safe situation,' Vinson said. Investigators have alerted landfill operators in the area to look for the safe and to use radiation monitoring devices to search for it amid debris." (Chicago Tribune; 21Jul10; Joel Hood),0,5699408.story

Shaw Areva awards $1.8m subcontract
"The Northrop Grumman Corp., a Savannah River Site veteran company, has won a $1.8 million subcontract from Shaw Areva MOX Services for work to be performed at the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX). Northrop announced Monday that it was successful in its pursuit of the 42-week, $1.8 million contract to design and fabricate equipment 'to improve the distribution of chemicals within specialized process equipment' for a project being constructed at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS). Newport News Industrial, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman's Shipbuilding sector, located in Newport News, Va., is the prime contractor for the work. Northrop Grumman has significant involvement at SRS, as it makes up management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions along with Fluor, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin. Newport News Industrial also holds a $9.5 million contract to produce a stainless steel pressure vessel called a melter. The melter is used to convert liquid nuclear waste into a solid glass form suitable for long-term storage and disposal. [...] When completed, the $4.86 billion MOX plant is designed to convert surplus weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for nuclear power plants." (iStock Analyst; 20Jul10)

U.S. assessment team to size up emergency response at Virginia nuclear power plant
"A federal team will be at Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna nuclear power plant all week to size up an emergency preparedness exercise. The Federal Emergency Management Agency team is due to arrive in Louisa on Monday to assess the state's ability to respond to an emergency at the plant. The drills are held every other year to put emergency planning to the test. FEMA's evaluation will be sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for use in licensing decisions. FEMA will present its preliminary findings in suburban Richmond on Friday. North Anna has two nuclear reactors." (Canadian Business Online; 19Jul10)

Senate OKs $20m for PNNL [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory] program
"A Senate committee has approved $20 million for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to help prevent radioactive contraband from entering the country. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., worked to increase proposed money for the work from $8 million proposed in the administration's budget. She is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the appropriations bill including the money passed the committee's homeland security subcommittee Thursday. PNNL in Richland has completed installing 850 radiation portal monitoring systems along the nation's borders. Every car and truck that enters the U.S. through a customs station along the Canadian or Mexican borders now is screened for radioactive contraband thanks to the lab. Now the lab's radiation monitoring program is turning to installing radiation detection systems at airports and seaports through 2014. The project is part of a $1 billion Department of Homeland Security program to protect the nation. The majority of the technical work and planning for the nationwide Radiation Portal Monitoring Project is done by about 150 full-time employees at the Department of Energy's national laboratory in Richland." (Tri-City Herald: Kennewick, WA; 16Jul10; Annette Cary)

MI5 thought Hussein would launch WMD as last resort
"The United Kingdom's national intelligence service thought former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein would only launch weapons of mass destruction against Western nations in a last-ditch attempt to save his regime, the former head of MI5 testified today (see GSN, July 13). Former agency chief Eliza Manningham-Buller told a British inquiry investigating the nation's involvement in the Iraq war that domestic intelligence officers thought that preinvasion Iraq had some small capacity to launch terrorist strikes in the United Kingdom, the Associated Press reported. However, the intelligence service also thought Hussein would deploy his suspected biological and chemical weapons only 'if he felt the survival of his regime was in doubt,' she said. Hussein would have rather used conventional means to attack Middle Eastern targets instead of committing terrorist acts, Manningham-Buller said (Associated Press/, July 20). The Bush administration in Washington and Blair government in London made Iraq suspected WMD capabilities a key part of their case for the 2003 invasion. No operational WMD stockpiles or biological and chemical weapons production facilities were discovered in the last seven years. Manningham-Buller said the regime in Baghdad did not constitute a great danger to the world and that the invasion that ended Hussein's rule had actually made things worse, the London Guardian reported. Iraq posed a 'very limited and containable' danger to the United Kingdom, she asserted. There was no significant concern before the war that Iraq could have helped militants acquire weapons of mass destruction for attacks on Western targets, according to Manningham-Buller." (Global Security Newswire; 20Jul10)

Government seeks ideas to combat terrorism
"The federal government is spending millions more on advanced science and technology to protect against weapons of mass destruction. A new call for proposals by the Centre for Security Science offers $18 million for ideas from industry and others to combat terrorists, criminals, accidents and natural disasters with chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosive agents and weapons. The money comes from the centre's CBRNE Research and Technology Initiative, or CRTI. Since its creation in the wake of 9-11, about $400 million has been spent on more than 200 projects to close gaps and to strengthen weaknesses in Canada's CBRNE defences. [...] CRTI success stories include development of rapid, highly sensitive tests to detect agro-terrorism threats, advancements with medical countermeasures against the powerful poison ricin, mobile radiation detectors at the Ottawa airport and a variety of new technologies to protect first-responders. In this latest funding round, project proposals are sought from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and government institutions in nine priority areas determined by science and technology experts." (Ottawa Citizen; 21Jul10; Ian Macleod) seeks ideas combat terrorism/3302925/story.html

CNS ChemBio-WMD Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.