Military News

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Carrier Strike Group 2 Welcomes New Commander

From USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 2 held a change of command ceremony aboard the strike group's flagship, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 29.

Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson assumed command of Carrier CSG 2.

Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, Vice Adm. Melvin G. "Mel" Williams Jr., presided over the ceremony, which included Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead as the guest speaker.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected to this position; and I promise you, I will give everything I have to the mission and the Sailors and families of Carrier Strike Group 2," Tyson said.

Tyson, a native of Memphis, Tenn., joined the Navy in 1979 after graduating from Vanderbilt University and completing Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., that same year.

As a naval flight officer, Tyson's Navy career included three tours in Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 4 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. She also served as the commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Under her command, Bataan deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and led the Navy's relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The CNO spoke about Tyson's unique qualifications for her new role as the head of CSG 2, referring specifically to her previous assignment as Commander, Task Force 73 and Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific in Singapore.

"Singapore is a place I know well and have much affection for," said Roughead. "But that job comes with all the challenges of providing logistics and operational coordination in an area of key strategic interest that happens to encompass 51 million square miles of sea space. It should come as no surprise that I do not assign officers there by chance."

Tyson spoke of how proud she is to take on the latest and most challenging role of her career, leading a strike group consisting of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the ships of Destroyer Group 22, and the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 8. As CSG 2's 69th commander, Tyson talked about the critical role of the Carrier Strike Group in the nation's warfighting arsenal.

"As we all know, these are challenging times to wear our uniform and serve our nation," Tyson said. "Demand for our naval forces will only grow, putting increasing pressure on the finite resources available to us."

She went on to say that the Strike Group would "leverage our collective experience and creativity to do whatever is necessary to defend our nation. We will be ready to respond effectively and efficiently to any tasking we might receive. Our leadership, and our fellow countrymen, expect nothing less from us," Tyson added.

CSG 2 is scheduled to deploy in 2011.

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 29, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

General Electric Aircraft Engines, Lynn, Mass. is being awarded a maximum $445,281,495 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, requirement-type contract for engine parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The original proposal was Web-solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is March 31, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Richmond, Richmond, Va., is the contracting activity (SPM400-03-D-9404).

PAPCO, Inc.*, Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded a maximum $61,598,056 firm-fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are Maryland and Ohio. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities website with 52 responses. The date of performance completion is July 31, 2013. Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4024).

Fannon Petroleum Services*, Gainesville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $35,602,132 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are the District of Columbia and Maryland. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities website with 52 responses. The date of performance completion is July 31, 2013. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4007).

UNICOR/Federal Prison Industries, Washington, D.C., is being awarded a maximum $7,192,800 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for short-sleeve Army t-shirts. Other location of performance is Georgia. Using service is Army. The original proposal was solicited on the Federal Business Opportunities website with 11 responses. The date of performance completion is July 28, 2011. The Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-10-D-F016).

NAVY

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a $65,999,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 32 Lot 85 Harpoon missile bodies (HMB) for the government of Taiwan; 4 Harpoon canister grade "B" missiles for the government of Canada; and associated spares and support. In addition, this contract provides for the procurement of Harpoon missile spares for the governments of Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan, the United Kingdom, Israel, Pakistan, Turkey and Singapore, to include containers; Block II guidance section upgrade kits; wire bundle assemblies; and guidance control units. Work will be performed in St. Charles, Mo. (55.3 percent); McKinney, Texas (10.7 percent); Toledo, Ohio (6.2 percent); Huntsville, Ala. (4.5 percent); Lititz, Pa. (3.7 percent); Middletown, Conn. (2.7 percent); Grove, Okla. (2.3 percent); Galena, Kan. (1.6 percent); Minneapolis, Minn. (1.5 percent); Motherwell, United Kingdom (1.2 percent); Elkton, Md. (1.1 percent); Kirkwood, Mo. (1 percent); Anniston, Ala. (0.8 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (0.7 percent); McAlester, Okla. (0.6 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (0.6 percent); and various locations in and outside the contiguous U.S. (5.5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. This contract combines purchases for the governments of Taiwan ($43,846,554; 66.4 percent), Canada ($10,145,802; 15.3 percent), Portugal ($7,622,318; 11.5 percent), the Netherlands ($3,207,254; 4.8 percent), Japan ($514,864; 0.8 percent), the United Kingdom ($263,986; 0.4 percent), Israel ($194,635; 0.3 percent), Pakistan ($169,360; 0.3 percent), Turkey ($31,643; 0.1 percent), and Singapore ($2,584; 0.1 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0053).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Ground Systems Division, York, Pa., is being awarded a $64,839,600 modification to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity delivery order #0013, under previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5025) for the purchase of 32 U.S. Special Operations Command Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored utility vehicles and associated integrated logistics support sustainment. Work will be performed in York, Pa., and is expected to be completed by the July 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $24,448,200 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.

Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded a $43,697,168 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the engineering, manufacture and development of the small tactical unmanned aircraft system/Tier II unmanned aircraft system III for the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash. (46.7 percent), Hood River, Ore. (45.6 percent), and Melbourne, Fla. (7.7 percent). Work is expected to be completed in September 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $788,931 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, with four proposals received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-C-0054).

Walbridge-Brasfield & Gorrie, JV*, Detroit, Mich., is being awarded a $40,551,000 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of the Main Exchange replacement at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. The work to be performed provides for the design and construction of a new facility to provide a two-story main exchange and an elevated parking deck to meet patron and employee parking requirements. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Md., and is expected to be completed by June 2012. Operation and maintenance, Bureau of Medicine contract funds in the amount of $2,913,854 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with 21 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-10-C-0012).

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, Goleta, Calif., is being awarded a $23,935,331 performance-based logistics requirements contract for supply support for weapons replaceable assemblies used in support of the F/A-18 A/B/E/F aircraft. Work will be performed in Goleta, Calif. (65 percent); Jacksonville, Fla. (20 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (5 percent); Forest, Miss. (5 percent); and El Segundo, Calif. (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively awarded. The Naval Inventory Control Point, Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-10-D-007D).

Brady G2*, San Diego, Calif. (N62583-09-D-0142); Enviro Compliance Solutions, Inc.*, Tustin, Calif. (N62583-09-D-0143); Accord Engineering, Inc.*, Santa Ana, Calif. (N62583-09-D-0144); RORE-ITSI, JV, LLC*, San Diego, Calif. (N62583-09-D-0145); and Environmental Cost Management, Inc.*, Costa Mesa, Calif. (N62583-09-D-0146), are each being awarded a modification to exercise option year one under previously awarded firm-fixed price 8(a) environmental multiple award contract for performance-based environmental consulting services in support of various Navy, Marine Corps and federal government programs, and other business lines that request assistance throughout the U.S. and its territories from the environmental restoration division of the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. The combined total value for all five contractors is $15,000,000. No task orders are being issued at this time. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $30,000,000. Work will be performed at locations in (95 percent) and outside (5 percent) the contiguous United States. Work is expected to be July 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity.

Watts-Obayashi, JV, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded an $11,843,832, firm-fixed-price contract for renovation and construction of a joint support facility. Work will be performed at an unspecified location, and is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Asia Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with two proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Far East, Yokosuka, Japan, is the contracting activity (N40084-10-C-0003).

LRAD Corp.*, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $6,192,700 firm fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for integrated acoustic hailing devices (IAHD). The IAHD is a remotely controlled component of the shipboard protection system and provides a key capability to instruct, warn and deter approaching threats. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by August 2015. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-10-D-JQ16).

AIR FORCE

CAE USA, Inc., Tampa, Fla., was awarded a $10,643,648.00 contract to purchase seven C-5 avionics modernization program training devices and five reliability enhancement re-engining program training devices for the C-5 aircrew training system for the following users: Air Material Command, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Command. At this time, $10,643,648.00 has been obligated. GHMKA, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity (F8223-10-R-3000/2).

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $6,806,644 contract modification which includes pre-deployment preparations and training necessary for personnel to deploy outside the contiguous United States (OCONUS). However, no OCONUS performance is required under this task order. At this time, $6,806,644 has been obligated. Det 1 AFRL/PKSR,Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-07-D-1104; Task Order 0004; Modification 7). DEFENSE FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING SERVICE

Bank of America N.A. Military Bank-Overseas Division, San Antonio, Texas, was awarded fiscal 2011 option of $7,200,000 to provide full banking services that are comparable, in scope and cost, to those available in the continental U.S. to authorized individuals that include: active duty U.S. military personnel; DoD civilian employees who are U.S. citizens; U.S. citizens who are employees of all other U.S. government departments, agencies, private organizations and non-appropriated fund instrumentalities carrying on functions on a DoD installation overseas; as well as authorized family members of such military and civilian employees. The program management office is in San Antonio, Texas; however, the majority of the work is performed on U.S. military facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, Korea, Diego Garcia, Honduras, Cuba, Japan, Okinawa and the Kwajalein Atoll. Under this optionm work will be performed from Oct. 1, 2010 through Sept. 30, 2011. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (MDA210-02-D-0003-0010).

HSC 25 Rescues Stranded Hikers on Guam

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Peter Lewis, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

AGAT, Guam (NNS) -- Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 conducted a search and rescue (SAR) operation and recovered four civilian hikers on Guam July 28.

According to Lt. Cmdr. Mark Dennison, HSC 25 operations officer, the command received a request for assistance from the Guam Fire Department Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) around 6 p.m., saying that four civilians were stranded on a ridgeline in the area of Cetti Bay in Agat, Guam.

"When we got the call from Guam Fire and Rescue, we were in the middle of exercises," Dennison said. "But we dropped everything, and within 15 minutes we had a chopper on sight, and eyes on the stranded hikers."

Four of the most senior air crewmen at the command were dispatched for the rescue. The team included Dennison, who piloted the helicopter; Lt. Cmdr. Brent Moore, co-pilot; Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class (NAC/AW) Billy Price; and Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class (NAC/AW) Roy Black.

"The hikers all had on brightly colored clothing, which made it easy for us to spot them," Dennison said. "After doing a quick sweep of the area, we hovered and lowered a rescue swimmer to check on the hikers."

Black, who ascertained the hikers' condition, said that they were "a little shaken up, but otherwise okay."

"I checked the four teenagers' conditions. They didn't have any major injuries," he said. "We raised them into the chopper and took them to the hospital. It was a pretty straightforward SAR mission."

The experience of the crew led to a quick rescue, which ended about 45 minutes after HSC 25 received the request. The hikers were taken to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. No major injuries were reported.

"It's great that there's such effective communication and cooperation between the local and military emergency services," Dennison said. "Thanks to that kind of teamwork, missions like this go smoothly and lives are saved."

Guam Fire Department officials said that the partnership between the Navy and local community is a benefit to the island.

"Having this relationship with the military provides airborne search and rescue capabilities that we wouldn't have otherwise," said Fire Service Specialist Joey San Nicholas, of Guam FRS. "It's a real advantage to the locals on Guam."

Black added that it was a great feeling to be able to help a group of local residents and show the Guam community that the military is here to help in any way possible.

"It was an awesome feeling to help out those scared kids. I am sure their parents are happy to have them safe at home," he said. "This is what I joined the Navy for, and this is why I love my job."

The mission of HSC 25 is to deploy helicopter detachments to conduct operations for the Navy and for national defense, and to provide logistics, search and rescue, force protection and disaster response to Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.

HSC 25 is the Navy's only forward deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron. As a part of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific, it provides an armed helicopter capability for U.S. 7th and 5th Fleets, as well as detachments to various commands covering a diverse mission set.

Fleet Gets Training at the Source

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- More than 40 commands from around the fleet received detailed personnel management training to support upcoming deployments during a Strike Group Manning Conference here July 19 – 21.

The conference, hosted by the Enlisted Personnel Readiness and Support Branch, provided a variety of briefs on how to better manage Sailors. Tips were given to fleet personnel managers, many with little manning experience, on how to coordinate with distribution experts at NPC.

"We start looking at our manning structure one year out, when preparing for deployment," said Lt. j.g. Toni Fadden, Strike Fighter Squadron 41, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. "We look at our manpower documents and assess the command's manning requirements. Do we have enough of one rating or too much of another? Maybe I just need the ability to get my folks to training. We scrub our numbers in advance of this type of visit so we have focused efforts."

Commands were briefed on topics such as, Career Management System/Interactive Detailing, Perform-to-Serve (PTS), Individual Augmentation (IA), limited-duty and pregnancy placement, Enlisted Manning Inquiry Reports, Personnel Manning Reports, and Enlisted Distribution and Verification Reports management.

Guest speakers from U.S. Fleet Forces Command and Naval Air Forces were on hand to answer questions about manning issues facing the fleet. Attendees were also given the opportunity to speak with enlisted community managers, detailers and their command's placement coordinators.

"The conference gave a lot of good information in different areas," said Fadden. "Topics ranged from 'Big Navy' ideas and where leadership wants to take us to PTS and the changes that are coming with that. The IA brief also had great information on changes in the near future."

NPC experts said the conference was a good avenue for giving information to the fleet.

"They need to understand how Overseas Contingency Operations Individual Augmentation assignments are generated and sourced. This gathering helps commands understand the process; and that leads to greater fleet awareness and support for these requirements," said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Shipe, Enlisted Overseas Contingency Operations branch head.

NPC hosts Enlisted Manning Conferences periodically for sea and shore commands to help identify and resolve manning issues.

Time Running Out for Troops, Veterans to Claim 'Stop Loss' Pay

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

July 28, 2010 - Eligible servicemembers and veterans have less than three months to apply for Retroactive "Stop Loss" Special Pay.

The special pay was approved by Congress as part of the 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act. Servicemembers and veterans who involuntarily served or were on "Stop Loss" from Sept. 11, 2001 to Sept. 30, 2009, are entitled to $500 for each month served past their contracted end-of-service, resignation or retirement date.

"This additional money, this benefit, was granted by Congress to recognize that continued service," Lernes "Bear" Hebert, acting director of the Defense Department's Officer and Enlisted Personnel Management office, said today in an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

The Pentagon announced the program Oct. 21, 2009. Those eligible must apply by Oct. 21, 2010, to receive compensation. And, survivors of servicemembers who were under 'Stop Loss' orders are entitled to the benefit.

The Defense Department wants to ensure everyone eligible for the special retroactive pay is compensated, Hebert said.

"We only have three months left for individuals to apply for this benefit," he said. "It's time to [apply] and get their application in. Notify anyone you've served with, even if they have separated, even family members of separated folks to apply."

Each service has its own criteria and specific outreach and application process. Members and veterans who qualify, or think they are eligible for the special pay must contact their individual services for eligibility requirements.

Information about the program, procedures and points of contact for each individual service can be found at www.defense.gov/stoploss

So far $111 million has been paid out to 25,000 troops and veterans affected by 'Stop Loss,' Hebert said. The average payout is $3,000 to $4,000 per claim, he added.

The Pentagon has about $423 million left in the program's fund.

"Congress authorized a fairly generous number, so we're not concerned about the money running out," Hebert said. "We are concerned about individuals getting their applications in."

The Pentagon and individual services have been reaching out to qualified members, veterans and beneficiaries through direct mailings, veteran services organization, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the media. Those efforts will be ongoing through Oct. 21, 2010, as there is much money left to be claimed, Hebert said.

"The services have been doing tremendous outreach trying to get to all the eligibles," he said.

Initially there was a large response for claims under the program, Hebert said, but applications have since slowed down.

"Applications have tailed off," he said. "We suspect that some individuals are either engaged or busy or haven't taken the time to apply. Part of our continuing efforts is to remind them that they only have about three months left to get their application in."

Still, Hebert said he expects a surge of claims as the deadline nears. He urges those who are eligible for the retroactive pay to take advantage of it now.

"Congress authorized this for a one-year period," he said, noting it would require Congress to pass a new law in order to extend the program. "This is firm, so individuals out there who think they might be entitled to this benefit need to get their application in."

An estimated 145,000 servicemembers, veterans and beneficiaries are entitled for the retroactive pay.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates maintains the authority to extend military service during a period of national emergency, an authority that dates back to 1983. Many of these "Stop Loss" troops were extended involuntarily in order for their units to preserve manpower and readiness in critical skill areas, Hebert said.

"The department uses it sparingly and only when it's absolutely necessary," he said. "It's contrary to the way we operate the all-volunteer force, but it's necessary in times when you have very high demands ... where you don't have a significant number of individuals with particular skills that you might need during a national emergency.

"It allows the department a bit of breathing room in order to re-establish additional personnel in those specialties," he added.

The Army is the only service with currently-serving troops affected by the 'Stop Loss' authority. But the Army is on track to have all involuntary service ended by March next year, Hebert said.

"['Stop Loss'] is a mechanism of last resort for maintaining forces during a national emergency, so while the authority for 'Stop Loss' will still exist, the secretary has made it very clear ... he wants the services not to use 'Stop Loss' at the current time," he said.

Louisiana Guard partners with Belize safety team

By Capt. Beverly G. Couto
Louisiana National Guard

(7/27/10) - The Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing partnered with a Belize Defence Force safety team at Naval Air Station – Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans, July 8-10, to reinforce the importance of ground safety procedures.

Louisiana has state partnerships with both Belize and Uzbekistan through the National Guard State Partnership Program, which links states with foreign countries in an effort to develop international affairs.

The 159th Fighter Wing provided the Belize Defence Force safety team with an overview of leading mishap prevention techniques and tools vital to Louisiana Air National Guard operations.

This joint training will aid the Belize Defence Force’s safety team in mitigating hazards at their home station.

Chief Master Sgt. Donnie Dunn, 159th Fighter Wing ground safety manager, said the teams went over aircraft, facility, equipment and personnel ground safety procedures.

“We were able to discuss, in detail, certain aspects of safety that they had questions about,” said Dunn.

The goal of the visit was to learn, from one another, new ways to prevent personnel from getting injured and to reduce property damage.

The Belize Defence Force and the Louisiana Air National Guard have different missions and needs; however, this was a great learning opportunity for both.

“It’s good to see how differently things are done and to get new ideas,” said 1st. Lt. Adran Ramirez, a pilot with the Belize Defence Force.

These cooperative visits reinforce the value of the State Partnership Program and help build long term relationships with other countries or regions with common interests.

Air Force Announces F-35 Basing Proposal

The Department of the Air Force announced today its proposal to base 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This proposal is contingent upon the result of a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS), which should be released in the early fall 2010, and includes the preferred alternative (Alt. 1A) of basing the 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base main base. Flight operations will also be conducted at Duke and Choctaw Fields.

This decision, approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force, supports the recommendation of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission to establish the F-35 Initial Joint Training Center at Eglin.

"The Air Force has completed its initial analysis of a full range of alternatives and determined that basing 59 F-35s at Eglin main base is the preferred alternative," said Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations.

"This is not a final basing decision; it is the alternative we believe will fulfill our mission responsibilities while considering economic, environmental, and technical factors. The community will be invited to comment on the alternatives presented in the SEIS."

The record of decision is anticipated to be announced following the completion of the final SEIS.