Military News

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Jordanian chaplains visit for partnership, cultural understanding

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau

(7/29/10) - When Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley was in Jordan last October furthering the National Guard's State Partnership Program, he was offered an intriguing proposal.

An exchange was proposed that would involve chaplains and imams between Jordan and its National Guard SPP partner since 2004, Colorado. The purpose was to improve their mutual understanding of religious diversity.

The idea bore fruit earlier this month when Colorado and National Guard Bureau chaplains hosted Jordanian military religious leaders here in Washington and in Colorado.

Among them was Brig. Gen. (Chaplain) Talal Mohammad Ali Rabab'h, head of the Islamic law department at Prince Hassan College for Islamic Disciplines onthe military campus of Mu'tah University in Karak, Jordan.

"My role is to teach Islamic values and application to our military personnel to ensure they are being good Muslims and good Soldiers," Ali Rabab'h said, speaking through a Guard Bureau translator. "The role of the Muslim chaplains within the military is to perform daily and routine religious rituals inside the unit and when the need arises, to participate in burial ceremonies, to strengthen Soldiers' ethics, to strengthen military discipline ... and tot each them to protect the civilians."

The State Partnership Program started in 1993, following the collapse of the Iron Curtain. State partnerships foster military-to-military, military-to-civilian and civilian-to-civilian cooperation. There are currently 62 SPP partners.

"They are a marvelous tool for building partnership capacity," McKinley, who is the chief of the National Guard Bureau, said in Amman during his visit to Jordan. "We live in a very multi-polar world in which all countries' values,feelings and cultures should be understood, and it is probably the best program ... for the money in helping the foreign nations who participate ...to gain an understanding of how our military works, the fundamentals of our leadership and our noncommissioned officer corps, which is vital.

"It builds on our State Department and Department of Defense guidelines fortheater-security cooperation through the combatant commanders."

The visit from Jordanian military religious leaders was a typical example ofhow the SPP can advance international understanding.

"This exchange showed the importance our countries assign to the partnership between the U.S. and Jordan," Ali Rabab'h said, "and how we both feel that we can learn from each other and support each other. ... This exchange is the fruition of the trust that has been building between Jordan and Colorado.

"One of the most important lessons that we learned here is the openness ofthe U.S. Army to other cultures and faiths and that this Army strives for excellence and likes to learn from others, and this is something that we very much admire and respect."

The exchange included office calls with National Guard leaders, visits to landmarks, such as the National Cathedral.

"I have been impressed with the role that the National Guard has on the state and the federal level," Ali Rabab'h said. "I have also been very impressed with the role of the Guard within their own communities and the diversity of the community and the chaplains. I was happy to hear about the chaplains within the military - whether they are Muslims, Christian or Jewish.

"I hope that we have such exchanges more often, because this ... shows thatt he U.S. military is interested in learning about the true Islam and Muslims and understands that fundamentalism and terrorism is not a true representation of Islam.

"The prophet said that hearts are touched by kindness, Ali Rabab'h said adding that his heart was touched by his hosts.

Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Hits COMPTUEX Grand Slam

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alan Gragg, Abraham Lincoln Strike Group Public Affairs

USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, At Sea (NNS) -- Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group completed four major exercises July 27-28 as part of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), flexing its muscles in surface, subsurface, and strike warfare simultaneously.

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 completed a successful large force strike, simulating the targeting and destruction of critical targets on the ground while simultaneously suppressing enemy radars and anti-aircraft fire. EA-6B Prowlers from Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 along with F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, 34, 137, and 151 led the 90 minute mission over the Navy's bombing range on San Clemente Island.

USS Cape St. George's (CG 71) air defense commander led a complex air defense exercise, linking the networks of six different Aegis platforms to establish airspace superiority greater than 100 miles from the strike group.

Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, along with cruiser Cape St. George, helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77, and P-3 Orion aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 30 practiced detecting and tracking enemy submarines while protecting USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during an underway refueling. Surface units also fired 90 shells in a precision firing demonstration.

"Wherever the President needs us to go, anywhere in the world, we'll be there and we'll be ready," said Rear Adm. Mark Guadagnini, Lincoln Carrier Strike Group commander.

The COMPTUEX builds upon the strike group's combat readiness by simulating challenges the strike group may encounter on deployment. The advanced training scenarios of COMPTUEX represent the first time a carrier strike group is evaluated as an overall unit. Passing the tests of COMPTUEX certifies Lincoln and its air wing for open-ocean operations, making the force available to deploy wherever and whenever the order is given.

Lincoln Carrier Strike Group consists of flagship Abraham Lincoln, embarked CVW 2, embarked DESRON 9 and the guided-missile cruiser Cape St. George.

Ships assigned to DESRON 9 include the destroyers USS Momsen (DDG 92), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Sterett (DDG 104). Squadrons from CVW 2 include the "Bounty Hunters" of VFA-2, the "Blue Blasters" of VFA-34, the "Kestrels" of VFA-37, the "Vigilantes" of VFA-151, the "Lancers" of VAQ-131, the "Sun Kings" of VAW-116, the "Saberhawks" of HSM-77 and the "Golden Falcons" of HSC-12.

Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Holds Evening Parade

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Service members, family members and guests attended the annual Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFBn) evening parade, held at Silverdale Stadium in Silverdale, Wash. July 28.

The evening parade is a Marine Corps tradition for the Sailors and Marines attached to MCSFBn, Bangor held since 1977.

The parade honored service members and included patriotic music led by Navy Band Northwest and an introduction of the MCSFBn mascot "Private Lucy Brewer II".

The ceremonial drill platoon observed "Colors," which is the lowering of the nation's flag performed each evening at sunset.

"We had the ceremony off base in order to invite the community, but when it is on base, only military and their family members are able to attend," said Chief Warrant Officer Joellen Schumacher, MCSFBn. "We wanted to share it with the community. What we do and the sacrifices we make on a day-to-day basis endear us to them, so being able to celebrate and share this with them is really important."

Schumacher also said although the community knows about the military's presence, may not understand what they do, and by being present and participating in the parade, it helps the military become more ingrained into the community.

The evening parade featured MCSFBn's silent drill team and a re-dedication of the battalion's battle streamers.

"I thought it was great that the community was coming out here to show their support for our Navy and Marine Corps," said Steve Boyer, Kitsap County sheriff. "I thought the whole parade was very impressive, and it makes me proud to be an American. Just watching them out there confirms that America is in good hands."

The parade concluded with "Taps," a pass and review with Sailors and Marines saluting the flag and refreshments served outside the stadium.

General Officer Assignments

The chief of staff, Air Force announces today the following assignments.

Brig. Gen. Joseph D. Brown IV, who has been selected for the rank of major general, deputy director, nuclear operations, Headquarters U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., to commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, Washington. D.C.

Brig. Gen. Robert E. Wheeler, commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to deputy director, nuclear operations, Headquarters U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

Col. Scott A. Vander Hamm, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, assistant deputy director, global operations, J-39, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington D.C., to commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

Blue Ridge Sailor Helps Out Community in Palau

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Melvin F. Orr III, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Public Affairs

USS BLUE RIDGE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aided in a community relations project in Palau July 28, during a port visit in support of Pacific Partnership 2010.

"I'm honored to be part of the Navy and its humanitarian effort," Operations Specialist 1st Class Angel Aquino, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), said. "I can go anywhere in the world and give back to the community. The experience helps me grow as a person and learn about other cultures."

Aquino helped paint several school houses at Ngchesar Elementary with the teachers, children and parents on the island of Babeldaob.

"I had a great time. No matter how many times I volunteer for a COMREL, I always discover something unique and fun about the experience," Aquino said. "I look forward to that one moment when I'm at a school and getting the chance to be silly with children because that's something they don't get to see often."

Aquino joined the Navy in 1994 to escape the gang life in Los Angeles and to protect his family. Military service has taught him compassion for those who are less fortunate.

"You think you have it bad, but then you visit another country and see how difficult their lives are," Aquino said. "That kind of experience humbles you."

Other Blue Ridge Sailors participated in several community service projects around the country including Ngchesar Elementary, Melekeok Elementary, Aimeliik Elementary, Palau High School and Bloody Nose Ridge Monument.

Pacific Partnership is an annual joint effort with host nations, partner nations, nongovernmental charity and service organizations and other U.S. government agencies to provide medical, dental, veterinary and engineering civic action programs.

Navy to Commission Submarine Missouri

The Navy’s newest attack submarine, Missouri, will be commissioned Saturday, July 31, 2010, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony in Groton, Conn. Missouri is named to honor the people of the “Show Me State” and its leaders for their continuous support of the military.

Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead will also deliver remarks. Becky Gates, wife of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, will serve as the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!"

Designated SSN 780, the seventh Virginia class submarine, Missouri is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions. Upon entering service, Missouri will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence.

This is the fourth Navy ship to be named Missouri. The last USS Missouri, a legendary battleship, saw action in World War II, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, and was also the site where Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and many other U.S. and allied officers accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II.

Cmdr. Timothy Rexrode of Spencer, W.Va., is the ship’s commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel. The 7,800-ton Missouri was built under a unique teaming arrangement between General Dynamics Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding. The boat is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. Missouri is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship, reducing lifecycle costs while increasing operational availability.

Media may direct queries to the Navy Office of Information at 703-697-5342. Information about Missouri and high-resolution photos are available online at http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/CSG2/Pages/PCUMissouri(SSN780).aspx. Additional information about Virginia class submarines is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4

Southcom Monitors Trafficking, Prepares for Disasters

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

July 30, 2010 - Illegal trafficking remains the biggest challenge for U.S. military forces in Central and South America as they work to balance such nontraditional challenges with the constant threat of natural disasters there, the commander of U.S. Southern Command said yesterday.

Servicemembers and their civilian partners have to keep ahead of the tactics of those involved in illegal trafficking – of drugs, weapons, exotic animals and human beings – that undermine security and stability in the region, and threaten the United States, Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser said at a military strategy forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

Southcom, with headquarters in Miami, provides contingency planning, operations and security for the region covering Central and South America, and the Caribbean except for U.S. territories. The area is strategically important to the United States, now the fifth-largest Spanish-speaking nation with one-third of its population expected to be of Latino origin by 2015, Fraser said.

The United States has a "great and enduring relationship" with Latin America, Fraser said, but often doesn't give enough attention to its southern neighbors. "A lot of times, we in the U.S. look east to west and not north-south in own hemisphere," he said.

The general said he sees no threat of conventional warfare in Central and South America, either toward the United States or within its own nations. But nontraditional challenges such as trafficking remain high, he added.

Widespread poverty and disproportionate wealth drive crime and corruption, Fraser said, leading to multibillion-dollar trafficking networks adept at changing routes and tactics. For example, he said, the United States has worked with Colombian authorities to confront drug traffickers. However, he added, the criminals have moved their operations to other areas, such as north to Mexico or through the southeast waterways to Africa.

"As we've had success in Colombia, they've gone to other places," Fraser said. "We need to continue to keep pressing on all sides of the balloon."

Southcom has disrupted or obtained about 100 metric tons of cocaine so far this year, but that's only half of what it seized compared to this time last year, Fraser said. "We don't know why," he said. "There are changes going on in the trafficking world, and we're trying to catch up. We need look at [illegal trafficking] as enterprise and treat it as an enterprise."

At least 60 percent of illegal drugs flowing out of Central and South America and the Caribbean end up in the United States, Fraser said, adding that U.S. officials need to address the issue of American demand for illicit drugs.

Urban gangs are plentiful in Southcom's area of responsibility, Fraser said, and there is evidence of financial support there for Middle Eastern-based terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas that have taken root in Central America.

At the same time that Southcom is working such nontraditional challenges, it also has to stay prepared to deal with Mother Nature, Fraser said.

"I was not expecting to respond to an earthquake in Haiti," he said, referring to the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated the Port-au-Prince area and caused 22,000 U.S. servicemembers to deploy there through June for relief operations.

"I don't know what next crisis will be," Fraser said. "We have to remain prepared."

Dr. Biden Appears in 'Army Wives' Episode

By Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown Army News Service

July 30, 2010 - Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, attended a special screening at Fort Belvoir, Va., last night for an episode of the Lifetime series "Army Wives" in which Dr. Biden plays herself. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. and his wife, Sheila, hosted the screening of the episode titled "Mud, Sweat and Tears," which is due to air Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. EDT.

In the episode, Dr. Biden visits the fictional Fort Marshall to host a fun run and to meet with members of the base's Gold Star Wives, a group composed of widows of servicemembers who died on active duty.

"In the last 18 months, I've done a lot of things I never dreamed I would do or could do," she said. "But when I got the opportunity to create awareness of the lives of military members and their families, it's something that I couldn't pass up."

Dr. Biden, an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College, said the experience of filming was wonderful and the cast members were "truly wonderful and supportive."

In introducing Dr. Biden at the screening, Sheila Casey said the role she plays in the "Army Wives" episode is one that she and the vice president play all around the country as they visit with and listen to soldiers and their families. She also noted her common bond with Dr. Biden, as both have sons who serve in the Army.

"She and I know firsthand of the triumphs and challenges of soldiers and their family members," she said, adding her thanks to Dr. Biden for putting military families in the spotlight.

General Casey noted that the television series presents a realistic portrayal of Army life.

"I was very impressed with the commitment of the production crew and the cast to accurately replicate the challenges of Army families," he said.

Dr. Biden said she agreed to go on the show because she wants to do all she can to keep America thinking about servicemembers and their families. To that end, she has started a national challenge with First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage Americans to perform small acts of kindness for military families.

"I wish [the American people] could see what Jill and I see as we go into Army hospitals or Thanksgiving dinners with soldiers," Vice President Biden said. "What absolutely blows me away is the continued sense of patriotism and the desire to serve, even with those who are mortally wounded."

U.S. Fleet Forces Command Selects New Fleet Master Chief

From U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) announced the selection of USFF fleet master chief July 30.

Adm. J. C. Harvey Jr. announced the selection of Fleet Master Chief (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens.

"I am grateful for the opportunity and humbled to be selected as the Fleet Forces fleet master chief," Stevens said. "I look forward to serving Admiral Harvey, the Sailors, DoD civilians and family members of Fleet Forces Command."

Stevens most recently served as the U.S. 2nd Fleet master chief.

"FLTCM Stevens is a proven deckplate leader with significant operational experience," Harvey said. "He has the background, savvy and judgment I need in my fleet master chief to ensure I'm kept fully informed of what's happening on the waterfront and in the Fleet. I'm also very confident that he won't be the least bit hesitant to give me the fleet Sailor's perspective on the many challenging issues we face today - a perspective I must always have as I go about my daily business."

Stevens fills the position previously held by Fleet Master Chief (SW/AW) Tom Howard, who will retire in November after 28 years of service.

"I'm very grateful for FLTCM Howard's many years of superb service to our Navy, particularly during this past year after I assumed command of U.S. Fleet Forces," Harvey said. "I wish Fleet Howard and his family nothing but the best and fair winds and following seas in the years ahead."

With his new assignment, Stevens becomes the command's senior enlisted advisor for more than 100,000 active duty and reserve personnel who serve on more than 285 ships and submarines and 79 shore activities within the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Area of Responsibility.

Stevens enlisted in the Navy in 1983 and has served in assignments including VQ-2, Rota Spain; Navy Recruiting District Minneapolis, Minn.; HM-14, Norfolk, Va.; HM-18, Norfolk, Va.; Aviation Schools Command, Pensacola Fla.; and HS-4, San Diego, Calif.

In October 2002, Stevens advanced to master chief and reported to VC-8, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico as the maintenance master chief and command master chief. In October 2003, Stevens reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola and assumed the duties as the base command master chief. In August 2006, he reported to HM-14 as the command master chief.

In September 2007, he was selected by Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic to serve as the wing command master chief for the Navy's largest helicopter wing. In January 2009, Stevens was selected as U.S. 2nd Fleet command master chief.

"As we move forward and continue to accomplish our mission with excellence as our standard, I remain optimistic about the future of our Navy and will do all I can as a leader to add value to an already outstanding organization," Stevens said.

Stevens' personal decorations include the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist, Enlisted Naval Aircrew Wings, Meritorious Service Medal (fourth award) Navy Commendation Medal (fifth award), Navy Achievement Medal (sixth award), and the Coast Guard Achievement Medal with operational "O".

Airmen killed in C-17 crash identified

7/30/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) -- Maj. Michael Freyholtz, 34, from Hines, Minn., and Maj. Aaron Malone, 36, from Anchorage, Alaska, both pilots assigned to the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron; Capt. Jeffrey Hill, 31, from York, Pa., a pilot assigned to Elmendorf's 517th Airlift Squadron; and Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo, 47, from Anchorage; 249th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, were killed in the C-17 crash here July 28.

"We come to work with immense sorrow after four of our fellow Airmen lost their lives in the C-17 crash at Elmendorf Air Force Base Wednesday," said Brig. Gen. Charles E. Foster, the 176th Wing commander, Alaska Air National Guard. "They were more than valued Airmen. They were our teammates, friends, family members and fellow Alaskans. We mourn their loss and share the deep sadness of their families."

"These fallen warriors embody the pride and professionalism of American Airmen," said Col. John McMullen, the 3rd Wing commander at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. "They selflessly served their country and will be sorely missed by our entire (Elmendorf AFB total force) family."

A board of officers is investigating the accident.

Air Force officials release preferred aircraft basing alternatives

7/30/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials released several announcements regarding five different aircraft July 29.

Michael Donley, the Secretary of the Air Force and Gen. Norton Schwartz, the chief of staff of the Air Force, approved C-27J operations and training candidate bases and announced the transition of Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., to the F-16 Fighting Falcon training mission.

Air Force officials also announced the preferred alternatives for operational and training F-35 Lightning bases, announced Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12 Liberty and determined the most effective basing for the F-22 Raptor.

Training candidates for the C-27J Spartan are Key Field Air Guard Station, Miss., and Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, Ohio. Operations candidates are Boise Air Terminal AGS, Idaho, and Great Falls International Airport, Mont.

Air Force officials will conduct site surveys at the candidate locations and initiate the environmental impact analysis process in preparation for a final selection.

Air Force officials determined that Holloman AFB has the capacity to accept two F-16 training squadrons and offers the ability to synergize training activities with MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper training occurring on the same base.

Transitioning Holloman AFB to F-16 training stabilizes an enduring training mission and capitalizes on the existing airspace and range complex.

Implementation of this action is subject to completion of appropriate environmental analysis.

Teams surveyed candidate bases for F-35 operational and training bases for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability timelines and the preferred alternative locations for operations are Hill AFB, Utah, and Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt. The preferred alternative location for training is Luke AFB, Ariz.

"This is not a final basing decision," said Kathleen Ferguson, the deputy assistant secretary for installations. "The preferred alternatives with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the Environmental Impact Analysis Process."

Secretary Donley previously announced five operations candidate bases Oct. 29, 2009. They included Hill AFB; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Shaw AFB/McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.; Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.; and Jacksonville AGS, Fla. The secretary also announced training base candidates Oct. 29, 2009. They included Boise AGS, Idaho; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Holloman AFB, N.M.; Luke AFB, Ariz.; and Tucson AGS, Ariz.

The current scope of this basing action includes 250 to 300 F-35 aircraft.

Beale AFB, Calif., was announced as the preferred alternative basing option for the MC-12. Secretary Donley previously approved six candidate bases, including Altus AFB, Okla.; Beale AFB, Calif.; Key Field Air National Guard Base, Miss.; Langley AFB, Va.; Robins AFB, Ga.; and Whiteman AFB, Mo.

"Beale (AFB) is the preferred alternative for basing the MC-12W aircraft, given its access to training opportunities, synergy with existing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance flying missions, and collocation with the Distributed Ground Station mission," Ms. Ferguson said.

Secretary Donley and General Schwartz determined the most effective basing for the F-22. This requires redistributing aircraft from one F-22 squadron to units at four F-22 bases. A second squadron will be relocated to an existing F-22 base.

The affected bases are Holloman AFB, N.M., where one squadron will be deactivated. That squadron's F-22s will be redistributed to other F-22 units. The remaining squadron will relocate to Tyndall AFB, Fla.

Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, will receive six additional aircraft; Langley AFB, Va., will receive six additional aircraft; and Nellis AFB, Nev., will receive two additional aircraft.

"This plan maximizes combat aircraft and squadrons available for contingencies," Ms. Ferguson said. "By consolidating aircraft at existing bases, F-22 operational flexibility is enhanced."

DOD Announces School Year 2010/2011 Child Care Fee Policy

The Department of Defense announced today the school year 2010/2011 child care fee policy. The policy will adjust fee ranges in child care programs across the services and will be implemented no later than Sept. 30, 2010. Changes will impact families who have children enrolled in DoD child development centers and school age care programs.

The DoD broadened child care fee ranges from six to nine categories, raised the income cap on each fee range, and established the top earning range at $125,000 a year and above for a more equitable policy. Previously, families earning more than $70,000 a year and above all paid the same fee for child care. Under the new policy, families will see either a small decrease or increase in their fees depending on their total family income. Families earning $85,000 and below will experience relatively minimal changes. Each military service will provide fee guidelines specific to their installations.

"This is the first time in six years that the Defense Department has adjusted fee ranges. The action follows an in-depth study that determined that fee ranges were no longer in sync with the total family income for the majority of program users," said Robert L. Gordon III, deputy under secretary of defense, military community and family policy. "As a result of this adjustment, we broadened and added income ranges to achieve greater equity within our military community."

The fee policy represents a balanced solution to the issue of adjusting fees to pay caregiver salaries while limiting the financial impact on the family. Competitive salaries help to recruit and retain quality staff. Retaining high quality staff contributes to continuity of care.

"Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of the military children entrusted to our care is a number one priority," said Gordon. "We are committed to high quality care for our military children, which includes attracting talented child care staff whose compensation is competitive with the civilian sector."

Ninety-eight percent of DoD's child development centers are nationally accredited compared to 8 to 10 percent of community childcare centers. National accreditation means a commitment of providing high quality services, including a developmentally appropriate curriculum, a healthy and safe environment, sufficient number of adults per children in group sizes appropriate for children's ages; and strong communication between staff and families.

"Child care is a readiness issue. We will continue striving to provide quality care to support our working parents," said Gordon.

For specific information about the installation fees, parents are encouraged to contact their local child development center and school-age care program.

President Signs Defense Supplemental Bill

American Forces Press Service

July 30, 2010 - President Barack Obama signed the Defense Department's supplemental war-funding bill yesterday.

The House of Representatives earlier this week approved passage of the $59 billion bill that includes $33.5 billion to fund overseas operations. The Senate passed it last week.

Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell said earlier this week that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates applauded passage of the bill.

"Over the past several weeks, we have had to take extraordinary measures to fund our military operations around the world this late in the fiscal year," Morrell said in a statement, "but thankfully the money provided in the supplemental ensures that we will be able to continue the drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq while we plus-up forces in Afghanistan as part of our efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida."

Most of the funding will be used for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The supplemental also includes $13.38 billion for Vietnam veterans' Agent Orange exposure programs; $5.1 billion for disaster relief to the Federal Emergency Management Agency; $2.9 billion for Haitian earthquake relief; $178 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to respond to natural disasters; and $50 million to improve port facility access in Guam.

General Officer Assignment

The chief of staff, Army announced today the following assignment.

Brig. Gen. Lynn A. Collyar, commandant, U.S. Army Ordnance Schools, U.S. Army Sustainment Center of Excellence, Fort Lee, Va., to director, logistics operations, Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.

MILITARY CONTRACTS July 20, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Universal Sodexho, Tacoma, Wash. is being awarded a maximum $180,000,000 firm fixed price, prime vendor, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations for the Korea region. 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 four responses. The date of performance completion is July 31, 2011. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM500-05-D-BP07).

Unicor, Federal Prison Industries, Washington, D.C. is being awarded a maximum $35,000,000 firm fixed price, sole source, indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract for radio system parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 29, 2015. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Warren, Warren, Mich. (SPRBL1-10-D-0011).

Bethel Industries Inc., Jersey City, N.J.** is being awarded a maximum $14,193,225 firm fixed price, sole source contract for coats. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is July 30, 2012. The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa. (SPM1C10-10-D-1068).

Lord Corporation, Erie, Pa. is being awarded a maximum $11,448,064 fixed price with economic price adjustment, sole source contract for helicopter parts. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Army. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is September 12, 2010. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Va. (SPM400-02-D-9413).

Missile Defense Agency

John Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (JPU/APL), Laurel, Md., is being awarded a $147,400,000 ceiling increase to the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract HQ0006-07-D-0001. Under this modification JPU/APL will continue work on advanced technology initiatives by providing technical support to systems engineering and integration for assessments, studies and analyses of command and control, battles management and communications, fire control, missile engineering, combat systems, space component and space systems. The work will be performed in Laurel, Maryland. The performance period for this work is from August 2010 through December 2011. Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funding Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 will be used to incrementally fund these efforts. The Missile Defense Agency is the contracting activity (HQ0006).

NAVY

Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Mission Systems Group, Defense Electronics Systems Div., Woodland Hills, Calif., is being awarded a $50,067,115 firm-fixed-price contract for the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) II of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). This contract provides for the conversion of 37 government furnished AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) into AGM-88E AARGM All-Up Round (AUR)/Captive Air Training (CATM) missile systems for the Navy (33) and the government of Italy (4), including related supplies and services. Work will be performed in Woodland Hills, Calif. (75 percent); Rocket Center, W.V. (11 percent); Piacenza, La Spezia, Italy (6 percent); Rome, Italy (6 percent); Clearwater, Fla. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($38,173,005; 76 percent) and the Government of Italy ($11,894,110; 24 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0065).

DG21 LLC, Dallas, Texas, is being awarded a $47,090,345 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed price plus award fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N62742-06-D-4501) to exercise the fourth option period for base operating support services at U.S. Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory. The work to be performed provides for all management, labor, administration, supervision, materials, supplies, and equipment to provide integrated Base Operating Services. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be $479,042,968. Work will be performed in U.S. Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory, and work for this option is expected to be completed by July 31, 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $10,229,233 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific Division, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

Saab Training USA LLC, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded a maximum $39,076,075 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to modernize U.S. Marine Corps range training systems with various types of automated and non-automated target equipment and simulators. The contract includes a mix of systems and logistics engineering, design, development and systems integration as well as training, installation and delivery of the range training systems. Work will be performed on various Marine Corps installations across the continental United States and overseas in Hawaii and Japan. Individual delivery orders will be issued under the basic contract which will identify specific locations. These locations and percentage of work being completed there won't be available until the delivery orders are issued. Work is expected to be completed August 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $1,579,637 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with four offers received. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-10-D-8045).

BAE Systems Information and Electronics, Nashua, N.H., is being awarded a $15,257,258 firm-fixed-price contract for the Low Rate Initial Production I (LRIP I) of 325 APKWS II guidance sections for the Navy, including shipping and storage containers. In addition, this contract provides for the APKWS II guided rocket UH-1Y integration, as well as technical and training manual updates and support equipment and support test equipment. Work will be performed in Nashua, N.H., and is expected to be completed in October 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0019).

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $14,734,424 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-free contract (N00019-09-C-0061) for engineering and technical services in support of the AIM-9X system improvement program. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed in February 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the Air Force ($7,728,158; 52.5 percent); the Navy ($2,506,266; 17 percent); and the governments of Korea ($2,663,322; 18.1 percent), Australia ($1,687,213; 11.4 percent), and the Turkey ($149,465; 1 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity.

CACI, Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Va. is being awarded a $14,193,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for scientific, technical, and administrative intelligence related services. It is planned to issue the first task order simultaneously with contract award in the amount of $5,003,115. This contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $28,772,340. Work will be performed in Louisville, Ky., and work is expected to be completed by July 2011. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via Navy Electronic Commerce Online and Federal Business Opportunities as a two phase solicitation. Six offers were received in response to Phase I. Two proposals were deemed acceptable to proceed to Phase II. Only one offer was received in response to Phase II. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity (N00174-10-D-0018).

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $12,254,749 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed fee delivery order against a previously issued basic order agreement (N00019-05-G-0008) for the procurement of 30 ECP 6279 retrofit kits to support the F/A-18 radio detection and ranging retrofit program. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif. (59 percent), Forest, Miss. (31 percent), and Andover, Mass. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2012. Contract funds in the amount of $12,254,749 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

CAV International, Colorado Springs, Colo., is being awarded a firm fixed price contract in the amount of $10,505,433 for air terminal ground handling services at Naval Air Station Rota, Spain. This contract includes four one year option periods, which if exercised, bring the total estimated value of the contract to $57,469,122. Work will be performed in Rota, Spain, and work is expected to be completed by September 2011. Contract funds will expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively awarded, with five firms solicited and three offers received. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Signoella, Italy, is the contracting activity (N68171-10-C-0022).

Singh Group Inc., dba Baja Pacific*, Oceanside, Calif., is being awarded an estimated $5,660,650 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N62473-07-D-5005) to exercise option period three for tree trimming and removal services at various Naval and Marine Corps installations located in the San Diego Metropolitan Areas. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by July 2012. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with three proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif. is the contracting activity.

Airman gives of himself to save son

by Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes
Defense Media Activity-San Antonio

7/30/2010 - NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- An Airman from Hurlburt Field, Fla., donated a portion of his liver to help save the life of a two-year-old boy.

Senior Airman Mario Webb, a ground radio maintainer from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, acted as a living donor to give his son, Genghis, a liver transplant in April.

Airman Webb and Genghis are scheduled to be released in early August to go home after a more than three-month stay in the Ronald McDonald House here while they recuperated from their surgeries.

In April, Genghis was diagnosed with Tyrosinemia, a genetic, metabolic disorder that affects the liver and prevents the body from properly breaking down proteins. If left untreated, it can lead to developmental delays, cancer or death. He was also diagnosed with cirrhosis, and cancerous cells were found in his liver.

During his 18-month check up, Genghis' doctor discovered that Genghis was only in the 30th percentile for growth in his age group. He sent the Webbs to a civilian gastrointestinal specialist in Pensacola, Fla., who identified the problem in Genghis' liver.

"At first, Dr. Davis (the specialist in Pensacola) thought it was rickets," said Julie Webb, Genghis' mother. "I was really worried."

From there, he was referred to Yale-New Haven Medical Center. After several tests, doctors confirmed Genghis needed a liver transplant right away.

Air Force and Tricare officials ensured the Webb family, including wife Julie and baby sister Zyla, had transportation to Connecticut and lodging accommodations once they arrived for Genghis' appointment.

"Each of the three regional contractors maintains a network of civilian healthcare providers," said Austin Camacho, the chief of public affairs for the Tricare Management Activity. "If the needed care is not available in (the) area, the doctor may refer the beneficiary to an appropriate provider outside the area. If an appropriate provider can't be found within the network, the regional contractor will refer the beneficiary to another Tricare authorized provider.

"When a family member is referred for medically-necessary, non-emergent specialty care at a location more than 100 miles (one way) from the primary care manager, they may be eligible to have 'reasonable travel expenses' reimbursed by Tricare," he said. "Reasonable travel expenses are the actual costs incurred while traveling, including meals, gas, tolls, parking and tickets for public transportation."

After doctors identified that Genghis needed a transplant, he was added to the donor list immediately.

According to www.thelivingbank.org, due to a continuous shortage of donor livers and the high incidence of liver disease, the waiting time is increasing every year. Hundreds of people die each year while waiting for a cadaveric liver to be offered.

In 2003, there were 5,670 liver transplants performed. During that time period, 1,705 people died while waiting for a transplant.

With odds like that, the Webbs decided to go with the alternative -- a living donor.

Dr. Sukru Emre, the chief of transplantation and immunology for the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Surgery and the doctor who performed the transplant, suggested the Webbs look into the living donor process.

A few days after all the necessary screenings and tests were completed, Airman Webb was notified he was a match for Genghis, and his son would be getting his much needed transplant.

"It was probably about two weeks between the time they said he needed an organ transplant to the time we it done," Airman Webb said. "It was a real quick turnaround."

Since the operation, both father and son have recuperated well are expecting to be released in the beginning of August to go back to their home in Florida.

"He is doing extremely well," Airman Webb said about Genghis' progression.

Doctors expect Genghis to make a full recovery and live a normal healthy life.

Global Strike Command director briefs upcoming logistics changes

by Valerie Mullett
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

7/30/2010 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. (AFNS) -- The Air Force Global Strike Command's director of installations, logistics and mission support visited here July 21 through 23 to discuss the base's transformation from the current logistical process to the Expeditionary Combat Support System.

During her site visit, Ann Mitchell stressed the importance of change with regard to ECSS, the system that will manage the logistical infrastructure in the future.

Ms. Mitchell called ECSS the most significant logistics transformation in Air Force history which has great potential to improve warfighter capability.

"ECSS is going to fundamentally change the way we do business," Ms. Mitchell said. "It's going to decommission hundreds of our legacy systems and it's going to give us more valuable information."

The new system of systems will enhance the logistical infrastructure with integrated software, standardized business processes, transformed personnel roles and total asset visibility across the enterprise.

"The way we organize, deploy and employ has changed," Ms. Mitchell said. "Therefore, the way we support the warfighter must also change."

While ECSS will not be fully implemented at Malmstrom until June 2012, Ms. Mitchell said it is important for leaders to start preparing for the transformation early.

"Visible, sustained leadership throughout the transition is the number-one means of effecting change to the desired state," she said.

In order to do so, change-agent coordinators have been appointed at various levels, with Ms. Mitchell serving as the lead for the logistics transformation.

Bases will have a coordinator to lead the base's readiness efforts which will include establishing a network for change-agents, providing training educational materials, in addition to facilitating communication and problem resolution.

"ECSS will drive changes in the way the Air Force does business and the way logisticians perform their jobs," said Steve Gilman, deputy commander for the 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron and Malmstrom's ECCS coordinator. "The result will be an Air Force enterprise better enabled to provide its warfighters the right materiel at the right time and enable logisticians to use their time more productively."