Military News

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Activated as of August 10, 2010

This week the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Navy announced an increase. The Coast Guard reported no change. The net collective result is 289 fewer reservists activated than last week.

At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. The total number currently on active duty from the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 76,357; Navy Reserve, 6,519; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 15,201; Marine Corps Reserve, 4,549; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 787. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel who have been activated to 103,413, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel who are currently activated may be found on line at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100810ngr.pdf

Enlisted Warfare Qualifications: A Mandatory Requirement

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Sonya Ansarov, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Initial enlisted warfare qualifications are now mandatory for all Sailors per the recent release of NAVADMIN 268-10.

The NAVADMIN announces the release of OPNAVINST 1414.9, Navy Enlisted Warfare Qualification Programs Instruction, which issues the basic overarching requirements for the qualification and designation of all enlisted warfare programs.

The arduous and often unforgiving environment we operate in as a Navy and Sailor dictates the need for all personnel to have a basic understanding and operating knowledge of the platform or command to which they are assigned.

Warfare programs are essential in ensuring our Sailors understand and are able to effectively engage a casualty, operate equipment or platforms safely and ensure backup as needed. Warfare qualifications are about ship, shipmate and self, and ensure the safety and safe operation of each command and platform on a daily basis.

"It's a standard every Sailor must achieve. The warfare device itself is a symbol that the Sailors who are wearing it have a basic level of knowledge to ensure they are capable of fighting the ship, saving a shipmate and ensuring the safety of themselves at all times," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Rick D. West. "Having every Sailor at or working toward that level will only strengthen the war-fighting ability of that command and the Navy."

According to the NAVADMIN, qualification and/or re-qualification is mandatory for all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands.

Warfare sponsors (Type Commanders) will establish specific qualification and re-qualifying timelines however, the maximum allowable time for initial qualification of all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands will not exceed 30 months. Timelines for warfare qualifications are set by the Type Commander's instructions and each TYCOM will have oversight of their programs.

According to West, some of the biggest questions he hears from Sailors are:

- What happens if a Sailor doesn't qualify in time? West stated that failure to qualify in the specific warfare program within the prescribed time requirements shall immediately result in a special performance evaluation that removes promotion recommendation, but the promotion recommendation may be restored with a special performance evaluation when qualification is achieved.

- Will a Sailor be penalized if their command doesn't offer the opportunity for warfare qualification? According to West, Sailors without the opportunity to qualify in a warfare specialty will not be penalized. However Sailors should look for follow-on opportunities to obtain a warfare device when able.

- Will having mandatory qualifications water down the existing programs? West stated, quite the contrary; by mandating warfare qualifications for all enlisted personnel, it will significantly "raise the bar" across the command regarding level of knowledge of the command and the systems our Sailors operate. It is incumbent on those that wear the warfare pin of the command to ensure the integrity and strength of the existing programs.

- How will Sailors stand-out amongst peers if everyone is required to have a warfare pin? According to West, Sailors stand out every day. Performance and the Sailor's overall command support should be the biggest factors to "break out" individuals.

"I often highlight efficient manning and future platforms such as LCS as examples of the need to ensuring our Sailors have a good, basic understanding of the systems and fighting capabilities of the command to which they are assigned," said West.

Efficiency Initiative Has Broad Support, Cartwright Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 10, 2010 - The efficiency initiatives Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced yesterday are just part of a drive that has been moving since the secretary took office, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright said the effort to find efficiencies in the department and to apply the savings to more deserving projects is not a "one-off" activity, but rather will continue.

"We started back in '08 and '09 with culling out programs that were not performing and were not contributing to the capabilities that we thought we had to have, either because they were failing on their own or they didn't match up," Cartwright said following the secretary's announcement. "That activity has continued inside the department to ensure that we stay relevant to the wars that we're in, and that we also start to address the uncertainties and the unforecast activities that may occur in the wars ... we will face in the future."

Much of the discussion has centered on how to change the culture of the massive defense bureaucracy and how such a large organization can stay competitive. The discussions also looked at identifying technologies and capabilities that will be needed in the future.

The Defense Department "requires a culture that is agile, has the capabilities to remain agile and remain competitive," the general said.

Cartwright spoke alongside Defense Department Comptroller Robert F. Hale and Christine H. Fox, director of the Pentagon's cost assessment and program evaluation office, and all said they support the secretary's initiative aimed at reforming the Pentagon and eliminating unnecessary duplicative costs.

Cartwright acknowledged that guessing what capabilities are needed to fight the next war is difficult, if not impossible, and that building a force around those guesses is a recipe for failure. But stressing the need for intelligent and agile-minded personnel will serve the military and the nation, he added.

"I have all too many experiences, from the '70s forward, of having capabilities that we thought were right for the last war and really turned out not to be what we needed for the next war," he said. "There is no crystal ball, but there is an understanding that through your people and through the capabilities that you field, you can have the Department of Defense and the national security apparatus relevant for the next conflicts. That's our objective here."

Cartwright said the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff intuitively understand this, and see the secretary's initiatives as having positive effects on the force.

"Making sure that we keep this organization relevant, competitive, agile for the next-generation conflicts is at the core of this activity," he said. "Having the resources in the wrong place doesn't serve any of us well."

The general acknowledged the decisions are hard and will affect people – most notably those in U.S. Joint Forces Command, the office of the assistant secretary of defense for network integration and the Business Transformation Agency, which Gates will close. "This is a rebalancing to ensure this department remains ready both for today's conflicts and for the unknowns and 'unanticipateds' of the future conflict," Cartwright said.

Those who think this effort will fizzle out are in for a surprise, the general said.

"Please don't misread; this is something that we believe is No. 1 on our list," he said. "This is something that we are going to go after."

Guardsman Takes First Jump With Prosthetic

By Army 1st Lt. David Leiva \Mississippi National Guard

Aug. 10, 2010 - Faced with a long recovery and the reality that he might never run, surf or return to his Special Forces team, Army Staff Sgt. Andre Murnane made the decision last year to have his right leg amputated below the knee after it was shattered by a roadside bomb that detonated in eastern Afghanistan. "My dreams and ambitions didn't end that day. It simply started a new chapter," the Maryland National Guard soldier said.

And a new breakthrough.

Murnane, 28, of Salisbury, Md., entered Green Beret lore this month when he became the first Army National Guard Special Forces soldier with a prosthetic leg to jump out of an aircraft. Army doctors cleared him to jump in June.

While several Special Forces soldiers with prosthetics have completed airborne operations, Murnane is the first National Guardsman to do so.

Murnane admitted he felt nervous about the historic jump that took place here Aug. 1. And he was a bit worried about the prosthetic leg shifting from the opening shock of the parachute and how it would hold up when he landed.

"It held just fine with new prosthetic technology and some good old-fashioned duct tape," he said. "Once I was under canopy, my thoughts shifted to the two runways that were on the drop zone. I barely cleared one of them by 15 or 20 meters. Just before landing, I wondered what it was going to feel like, but I just kept telling myself, 'Feet and knees together, and relax.'"

In October, the communications sergeant from Bravo Company of 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, was on a combat operation on a mountain when a pressure-plate bomb detonated while his team was clearing an area after being ambushed. He was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he underwent several surgeries to repair his right foot and ankle. It was there where he realized the surgeries would never completely restore his leg. He has taken it all in stride, though.

"Life is a journey, and the journey is the destination," he said. "You have to accept change in your life and continue to live it like you did before. It takes some extra work, but if you train hard and stay motivated, you can do anything you want to."

U.S. Aid to Pakistani Flood Victims Ramps Up

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 10, 2010 - U.S. Army helicopters took advantage of a break in the weather to fly relief missions in Pakistan yesterday and today, rescuing 916 people and delivering 89,000 pounds of relief supplies.

Four Chinook helicopters and two Black Hawks aided Pakistani officials in the northwestern part of the country, where flooding and landslides have isolated large swaths of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

To date, U.S. helicopters have rescued 2,305 people and transported 211,000 pounds of supplies in 40 sorties. Weather has been a tremendous obstacle, with monsoon rains still falling over the area. The choppers, based in Afghanistan's Ghazi air base, could not fly for two days earlier this week.

The flooding in Pakistan may end up being the biggest natural disaster in the nation's history, United Nations officials said yesterday.

The deadly floods, triggered by the monsoon, have spread from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the more populous provinces of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh in the south, said Martin Mogwanja, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Pakistan.

The flooding has destroyed or badly damaged more than 250,000 homes, and has left at least 1.5 million people homeless, according to Pakistani and U.N. figures. Pakistani officials say around 1,600 people have died in the floods, and perhaps 4.5 million people are affected in some way in the country.

"What makes this unique is the scale of the disaster and its effect throughout the entire country," U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson said Aug. 6. "The earthquake and the displacement of 2 million people from the Swat Valley were more localized. So while the loss of life ... in this disaster may be less, the economic impact and the need for reconstruction assistance over time could well be greater."

The number of affected people is expected to rise to 6 million by the end of the week, as the flood waters on the Indus River move south. At least 92 bridges over the river and its tributaries have been destroyed, and more than 200 major roads have been damaged, Patterson said. "There are four major dams at risk," she said. "Crop and livestock loss will affect long-term livelihood and food security."

Officials with the U.N.'s World Food Program estimated that as many as 2.5 million people will require food assistance.

The United States has added $35 million in assistance to the $10 million already allocated. "Our [Defense Department] colleagues, recognizing the growing crisis, immediately went on a search for emergency meals," Patterson said. "On [Aug. 7], U.S. aircrews aboard the U.S. Air Force C-130 and C-17 transport aircraft flew into Rawalpindi and delivered about 50,000 halal meals in support of a Pakistan government request. That number grew through the week to nearly 436,000 meals." Halal meals conform with Islamic law.

The United States also has provided prefabricated steel bridges, inflatable boats and water filtration capabilities.

Senior Executive Service Appointments and Reassignments

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced the following Department of Defense Senior Executive Service appointments and reassignments:

Appointments

John Campbell has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as deputy under secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy (personnel and readiness), Washington, D.C. Campbell previously served as chief executive officer of MyVetwork, New York.

Robert L. Gordon III has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as deputy under secretary of defense for military community and family policy (personnel and readiness), Washington, D.C. Gordon previously served as senior vice president for Civic Leadership, Boston, Mass.

Laura D. Stubbs has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and is assigned as director, personnel and readiness, integrations and strategic management, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, (Personnel and Readiness), Washington, D.C. Stubbs previously served as process improvement specialist with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Reassignments

Steven Fisher has been assigned as director, Business Integration Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), Washington, D.C. Fisher previously James Neighbors has been assigned as deputy director for personnel and readiness, integration and strategic management, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Washington, D.C. Neighbors previously served as director, Headquarters Air Force Information Management and chief information officer, U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Paul Peters has been assigned as deputy assistant secretary of defense (supply chain integration), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), Washington, D.C. Peters previously served as deputy director, logistics operations and readiness, Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.

'Vigilant Eagle' Tests NORAD, Russian Response

By Army Maj. Mike Humphreys
North American Aerospace Defense Command

Aug. 10, 2010 - An automated female voice commands over onboard speakers, "Traffic! Traffic! Descend! Descend!" as a North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 fighter approaches the right wing of the track of interest.

Five minutes after take-off from Anchorage en route to the Far East, Fencing 1220 -- a Gulfstream 4 simulating a Boeing 757 commercial jetliner -- squawked an emergency to ground controllers, spurring action from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Defense Department and kicking off exercise Vigilant Eagle, the first joint counter air-terrorism exercise between NORAD and the Russian air force.

"What we are practicing today is communication procedures between NORAD, plus U.S. civilian air traffic control agencies and our Russian counterparts so that we can pass on information to them about air terrorism events to allow them to posture their forces to respond in kind," said Canadian Forces Col. Todd Balfe, Alaska NORAD Region deputy commander.

Once the FAA was notified of the trouble on Fencing 1220, they requested assistance from NORAD, which assigned an E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control platform to the track of interest and diverted two F-22 fighters to intercept, Balfe said. Because of the aircraft's planned route, which would take it over Russian airspace, it was necessary to notify Russian air traffic controllers and the Russian military.

At a predetermined location halfway across the Pacific Ocean, the NORAD E-3, in direct communication with its Russian equivalent, an A-50 Mainstay, handed over control. Moments later, a deep Russian baritone bellowed, "Fencing One-Two-Two-Zero," over the aircraft's radio, and two SU-27 Russian fighters joined the pursuit close enough to see the sun reflecting off the pilot's visor.

The feeling on board Fencing 1220 was one of collective awe as former Cold War opponents witnessed the fruit of years of planning and joint effort, but the scenario has all too real implications.

"This exercise is very beneficial to North America and to Russia," said Col. Alexander Vasilyev, deputy director of security and safety for the Russian air force. "There has never been an exercise like this before.

"Terrorism is something that affects all our countries," he continued, "so it is very important that we work together to develop procedures and bring the relationship between our countries closer together to unite our countries in the fight against terrorism."

Back in Alaska, members of the 176th Air Control Squadron worked with Russian officers as exercise controllers, making sure all the appropriate processes and procedures were carried out.

Air Force Master Sgt. Doug Patchin, 176th ACS, said he believes Vigilant Eagle is a ground-breaking event that could be emulated by other commands. "This exercise is phenomenal," he said. "The hope is that everyone walks away from the exercise with a common understanding of what communication procedures would be used in a real-world crisis."

Balfe described Vigilant Eagle as a momentous exercise and a watershed event.

"We are trying to transition our relationships militarily from a period of confrontation in the Cold War to a period of cooperation, and there is no better mission for NORAD to partner with our Russian counterparts than on the air terrorism mission," he said. "Regardless of other geopolitical events, we all agree that air terrorism is something we want to prevent, deter and, if necessary, defeat."

After six hours of tracking by ground controllers in the United States and Russia and aerial surveillance by U.S. and Russian airborne warning and control platforms and fighter aircraft, Fencing 1220 safely landed in the Far East to be handed over to authorities.

After an overnight rest, the exercise was conducted in reverse, allowing Russian forces to turn over responsibility to NORAD and bring Vigilant Eagle 2010 to a successful completion, Balfe said.

"We've worked hard on both sides to make this work, and I think it would be logical for this exercise to be a building block for future cooperation between our nations," Balfe said. "We are building this relationship stronger, which has a real benefit to U.S. and Canadian citizens and obviously Russian citizens too."

Former Army Nurse Now Veterans' Greatest Advocate

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is a time when VA recognizes the outstanding work of all our Nurses. This week we shine the light on several of our OEF/OIF Nurses who care for our newest population of Veterans.

As a nurse receiving some of the most severely wounded in Afghanistan, Tracey-Lee Baker held the hand of injured servicemembers and helped them talk through the fear and the pain.

Today, those experiences enhance her role as a Transition Patient Advocate at the Orlando VA Medical Center.

Her years as an Army Nurse Corps Officer enabled her to understand the uncertainty and bewilderment of some Veterans transitioning from Department of Defense medical care to the VA. Once again, she is able to take their hand and, this time, guide them through the forms, explanations and regulations on their way to the care they have earned from their service.

The former Major Tracey-Lee Baker learned her nursing skills at Norfolk State University, Virginia, a long way from her home in Kingston, Jamaica. Before her tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 48th Combat Support Hospital, she served three years in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

"I miss the work in the ICU. Although we didn't always have all the supplies we needed during my deployment, we were able to stabilize the most severely wounded and prepare them for flights to Germany or the states. Every day, we would see the real sacrifices these young men and women make for their country."

At the Orlando VA Medical Center, Tracey-Lee is part of the team that welcomes home and makes transition easier for Veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF).

The great job her team does was recognized by a special award from Representative Corrine Brown of Florida's Third Congressional District, "In recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community."

Tracey-Lee reaches out to returning Veterans in numerous ways, one of which is participation in the Department of Defense "Yellow Ribbon" program where VA staff provide "boots on the ground" for events for each of the services during the post-deployment cycle, meeting with returning servicemembers. VA has supported over 665 events Nationwide, reaching over 80,000 service members and 54,000 family members.

"You Need to See Tracey-Lee"

One story demonstrates why the VA is saluting Tracey-Lee during the celebration of National Nursing Week 2010: A Veteran who had initially not been happy with the VA was about to give up when his buddy told him, "No, man, you need to see Tracey-Lee."

The next day he did. She escorted him around the medical center, filling out all the forms, taking him to see the right people and even made an appointment for him to see a doctor that day.

His reaction: "I am so glad I came to see you…nobody has ever treated me that way." He still stops in to say hello whenever he comes in for an appointment.

Tracey-Lee explains, "That's my job. I will do whatever I can to see that Veterans transitioning to VA care get the service they deserve."

Some weeks, her team sees 12 new Veteran patients. Some weeks, it's 50.

The mother of three, Tracey-Lee proudly points out that her oldest boy, Paul, is 21 and in the Army. When he's home, they celebrate with her famous curry goat, a delicious part of her Jamaican heritage. She also relaxes by reading the latest novel by James Patterson, one of her favorite authors.

For this retired Army officer, who thought she wanted to be an accountant in high school, choosing a career in nursing turned out to be one of her most satisfying decisions. "It's a wonderful career," she quietly concludes.

A Nurse from the Start, a Nurse at Heart

By Megan Tyson, VA Staff Writer

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is a time when VA recognizes the outstanding work of all our Nurses. This week we shine the light on several of our OEF/OIF Nurses who care for our newest population of Veterans.

Some people know their dream job from the start. June Callasan, RN, is one of those people. She knew she wanted to be a nurse since age 15, and she can't imagine being happier in any other job.

"Nursing has sort of been my passion for years. I've always enjoyed helping people and I love the outcomes of it. You get to see your patients as they improve in their recovery," said Callasan.

Callasan grew up in Guam where she was introduced to a nursing program at her high school. She joined the program and in no time realized she had found her dream job. She earned a nursing assistant certificate and worked as a candy striper before she finished her senior year.

Ready to Work at the VA

After graduation, she left her island home to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing at Seattle University. That's when she was introduced to job possibilities at the VA. She received a VA scholarship, completed her studies, and started her role as a nurse at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach, California, where she works today.

Callasan, who is always up for a challenge, entered a nurse management apprenticeship and soon stepped into the role of nurse manager for a medical telemetry unit manager. She achieved this in less than five years as an RN — an unusual feat.

Callasan processes referrals for OEF/OIF service members who are transitioning into the VA health care from active duty.

Soon after, Callasan tried her hand at nursing jobs in non-VA hospitals, but after a few years she decided to return to the VA world, at the Long Beach VA. "I really missed the VA family," she explained. "Also, the VA is special to me because my brother is an army Veteran. If not for the VA, my brother, who is a Veteran with 70% service connected disability, wouldn't have the benefits he has now."

Happily Helping OEF/OIF Veterans

Now Callasan works as a Program Manager for the OEF/OIF Care Management Service. She started with the program in 2003 when the OEF/OIF program was in its infancy.

"I'm committed to OEF/OIF services. It's sort of my baby and it would be hard to let it go," she explained. "I've seen how our services help returning service members and their families — those who are severely injured, ill, or facing readjustment challenges — and I want to continue to care for them and lead my team of case managers."

Callasan recently started a master's degree program, with a focus on nursing leadership and management. Her education goal will help her find new ways to improve Veterans services and enhance her skills as a nurse leader.

Outside of work, Callasan can be found spending time with her husband and three kids or stirring something up in the kitchen. She is a big fan of cooking as a hobby.

Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Hosts Mud Run

rom Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Public Affairs
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- More than 2,500 runners of all ages participated in the 10th annual Armed Services (AS) YMCA 8K Mud Run Aug. 7 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

The family-oriented event has become a signature event for the ASYMCA, a nonprofit organization serving junior military families throughout Hampton Roads. Proceeds from the Mud Run help the ASYMCA provide junior military families childcare, child development and spouse support activities.

"What a great event," said Bob Duetsch, director of the Hampton Roads ASYMCA. "We had great weather and a great turnout, a record number of runners. I couldn't ask for anything more."

Each year, the ASYMCA provides adult runners an eight kilometer course to complete and a challenging Mini-Mud Run for children aged 5-12.

"This was our second time participating in the run. It's something we can do as a family," said Tim O'Rourke, vice president of Academic Affairs, Virginia Wesleyan College, who ran the course with his two daughters and son-in-law. "Also, it's nice to be able to get on base. I'm proud to be associated with our service members."

O'Rourke also said running on the sand proved more difficult than running in the mud, and added he was happy to support this event.

Team participant Walter Grey, an ambulance dispatcher for Medical Transport who rounded up four of his friends to participate as a team, said he would take part in the event next year.

"Everyone was great that we tripped over, or who tripped over us," he said. "It was especially great to see all the kids participating."

Duetsch said support from JEBLCFS cemented the event's success, citing numerous commands as integral to the run.

"We could not do this if it was not for the excellent support we get from the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story leadership," Duetsch said. "I especially like to thank EO1 Bryan Steele and the entire Amphibious Construction Battalion 202 for their exceptional support for making the Mud Run such a success."

Duetsch also said volunteer efforts were also appreciated, and contributed to the overall success of the race.

"I also want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who help with set up, race operations, break down and clean up," he said. "They all help make this event a huge success for us which allows us to provide the programs that support our junior military families."

A Family of Nurture, A Family of Nurses

National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is a time when VA recognizes the outstanding work of all our Nurses. This week we shine the light on several of our OEF/OIF Nurses who care for our newest population of Veterans.

Veronica Oliver is one of 13 children. Four of them are nurses. Three of them are Veterans with one brother still on active duty.

As a little girl in that huge family, Veronica would be intrigued by the discipline of her older sister, Melva, and those fascinating nursing books. Melva would study those books while at home even on a school break. What was it with this nursing thing?

Today, because Veronica Oliver has applied that same discipline to an outstanding career at the VA, she is one of the nurses being recognized this year during National Nursing Week.

She was instrumental in developing the "Welcome Call" process at the Durham, NC, VA Medical Center, which was developed in response to Durham's "No Wrong Door" policy.

As part of this policy, the OEF/OIF Care Management team contacts every OEF/OIF Servicemember and Veteran who enters the facility to screen for the need for case management, initiate consultations to specific care paths, and then links the Veteran to correct services.

Veronica was also instrumental in standardizing the case management process at her facility to ensure that nurse case managers and social worker case managers are both following a similar process despite the different skills they bring to the position.

Retired Army Reserves Nurse

Prior to her current position as the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Nurse Case Manager at the Durham, NC, VA Medical Center, her background included ambulatory care and inpatient medical surgical nursing.

Veronica Oliver has been a Registered Nurse for 12 years after 10 years of practicing as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She received an Associate Degree in Arts from University of South Carolina and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from South Carolina State University.

She is also a retired Army Reserves Nurse with her last duty station at Womack Army Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Veronica has been at the VA for 18 years, having spent five years at the VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC, prior to moving to Durham.

She rates her current job as her favorite. "My best job at the VA has been as OEF/OIF Nurse Case Manager in Social Work Service. I work with an excellent group of people. My supervisor, Toni McCray, and team leader Susan Watkins, have been extremely supportive."

She has two equally important plans for the future. "My professional goals are to complete my Masters of Science in nursing degree and to obtain my certification in case management. My personal goals are simply to spend more time with family and friends." Volunteered to Help in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Her nursing instincts kicked in after the hurricane in New Orleans and is still one of her most valuable memories.

"My time as a VA volunteer in New Orleans is by far the most memorable of my career. There were about 39 people, departing and arriving, in one small three-bedroom house.

"There were people from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi and probably other VA facilities. We were a very diverse group of people, multi racial, socioeconomic status, but we all got along together. I am not sure if it was because of the devastation of the city, but it was the best experience one could ever ask for.

"The Veterans we served were also absolutely amazing and so appreciative of our support. The New Orleans' VA staff was outstanding to work alongside.

"I hope Veterans and their families will discover that the VA provides the best care. The VA Medical Centers are truly becoming a Veteran-focused organization and truly has dedicated and committed employees who strive to meet the healthcare needs of the Veterans and their families."

Speaking of families:

Her brother, Mike works at the VA in Denver and is an Iraqi war Veteran.

Her brother, Donald has had multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her sister Pam is a nurse at the Durham VAMC at Greenville Community Outpatient Clinic.

Her sister Teresa works at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC, and her sister, Melva, is employed at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC.

"I think nursing is destiny for me and my family. Caring for our Veterans, and our military background, is apparently in my families' blood."

Guardsmen Work to Recover Victims from Crash Site

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

Aug. 10, 2010 - Alaska Air National Guard airmen aided victims during the plane crash in Dillingham, Alaska, that claimed the life of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and others, marking the Guard's second rescue mission since Aug. 8.

The downed plane that claimed the life of Stevens and reportedly four others was spotted 285 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Flight service officials in Dillingham contacted the Alaska Guard's 11th Rescue Coordination Center after losing contact with the De Havilland Twin Otter at around 7 p.m., National Guard officials said in a statement today. Five people reportedly survived the crash.

Pararescue airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard's 212th Rescue Squadron arrived on the scene just before noon today. The airmen struggled against rough weather, and had been expected to arrive around midnight last night, Air Force Maj. Guy Hayes said in a written statement.

A Coast Guard C-130 is providing support overhead and will be available to take victims in need of serious medical support to Anchorage once victims are transported to Dillingham, officials said.

Hayes' statement said five medical responders are on the scene. News reports estimate at least five fatalities.

Members of the squadron are on the ground at a separate crash site about 60 miles northeast of Anchorage on the Knik Glacier, Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Robert L. Ditchey said. Guardsmen delivered survival supplies to four Texas vacationers and their pilot after harsh weather forced the Piper Cherokee aircraft to make a "controlled landing," he said.

All five Knik Glacier victims were reported to be in "good condition," he said.

VA Nurse is Veterans' "Bridge" from Active Duty to Veteran

By Megan Tyson, VA Staff Writer

Think "nurse" and you might think of syringes, blood pressure readings and thermometers. Not if you knew Brenda Stidham. She's an example of how the role of a nurse comes in many forms. Throughout her career, she has made headway in clinical research, played a key role in developing an electronic records tool and now works as a vital liaison between military and VA hospitals.

Brenda's current position is one of three VA/DoD Polytrauma rehabilitation nurse liaisons. She is employed by the VA, but her physical workplace is at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

She is the nursing "bridge" for OEF/OIF active duty service members and Veterans transitioning from Walter Reed to one of the four VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers, located in Palo Alto, Minneapolis, Tampa and Richmond. On a daily basis, she is responsible for informing families of VA care, answering questions, and making sure the logistical details between medical centers are managed smoothly.

Polytrauma care is a unit for those suffering from more than one severe injury, such as Traumatic Brain Injury and the loss of a leg. It's an intense environment where Veterans and service members are adjusting to their injuries and their new surroundings. With so many changes in their life, patients and their family members are generally apprehensive about a move to a new city and facility.

In order to counteract these fears, Brenda steps in to ease the concerns of men and women injured in combat, as well as their families. She is an information source for any and all questions regarding the medical facility transfer.

"What I enjoy most about my job is the time at the bedside with the Veterans, active duty service members and their families, reassuring them and providing information about the Polytrauma system of care. It can be a very stressful time and they have a lot of questions, but I help keep the transition as calm and smooth as possible."

It may have something to do with her tranquil nature and her small town Kentucky charm that help her keep things unruffled.

Helping the Process by Advancing the System

Another part of her job entails working with VA Polytrauma Centers and Walter Reed to make sure both sides are well-informed and well-prepared for the move.

In the four years Brenda has worked in this position, she has helped revolutionize the process of transferring patients between DoD and VA Polytrauma Centers. She was a driving force behind the development of an electronic nursing hand-off tool, an electronic record that provides necessary information for each patient, including the nature of the injuries, symptoms and functional status.

Her nursing career includes working as a coordinator for clinical research with stroke patients and working on a caregiver study. "I've enjoyed and gained a deeper appreciation for nursing throughout my career. I'm very lucky. The position as liaison has been one of the most challenging and rewarding in my career."

Brenda planned to be a nurse when she was young. She grew up near the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky, a family-centered healthcare system and nursing school, and was inspired by the fleet of well-trained nurses. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing at Eastern Kentucky University and a master's degree in public health at the University of Kentucky. She is now working on a doctorate in nursing at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.

"I'm honored to serve in this way. It's a unique role for nurses and it's a unique opportunity to provide needed information and help relieve anxiety in patients and families."

Sharing a Desire to Care: A "Soldier's Angel"

By Megan Tyson, VA Staff Writer

Carolyn helps an OEF/OIF Veteran patient by searching for financial assistance options. All nurses care. But nurses like Carolyn Dunbar live to care.

Not only does Carolyn care for active duty service members from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans, she also spends her time volunteering as a "Soldier's Angel," sending letters and care packages to soldiers overseas, baking cookies to greet returning service members at the next "Welcome Home" event, or brightening someone's day by serenading them with her gospel choir.

Caring is something Carolyn does, and does well.

As a case manager for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans, Carolyn helps Veterans make a seamless transition into the VA health care system and also helps them transition back into civilian life.

Matt Cole, one of Carolyn's OEF/OIF patients, is grateful for her help. "She calls me at least every other week to check on me. If anything needs to be solved, she's the person to contact and she knows right where to go. She's special, and we Veterans are lucky to have her," he said.

Nothing Can Keep Her Down

Carolyn has worked at the VA her entire 28-year nursing career. Twenty-seven of those years have been at the VA in her hometown, New Orleans.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Carolyn was out of town waiting for the storm to pass. She was eager to return and get back to work, but fate had a different idea, and she did not return to her hometown for another year.

Carolyn Dunbar meets with OEF/OIF Veteran, Matt Cole. "She's special and we Veterans are lucky to have her."

"My house was destroyed but it didn't matter — I didn't lose my life or my family," Carolyn recalled.

The natural disaster also left the New Orleans VA Medical Center in ruins. With no home and no workplace, Carolyn relocated to Shreveport, La., where VA coworkers supported her during her time of loss. When the timing was right, she returned to her New Orleans neighborhood and worked to rebuild her home and her community.

Carolyn's return to VA New Orleans resulted in a few changes. The Medical Center is in a rebuilding phase until 2013, so she works at one of the VA clinics in her new role as an OEF/OIF case manager. She transitioned from working with substance abuse patients and welcomed the opportunity to try something different.

"I love case management. It gives me the opportunity to work with patients in all aspects of life. Whether it be medical or they just need someone to talk to, Veterans can talk to me about anything."

Finding Her Passion

Carolyn's mother was a nurse, but she wasn't sure if nursing was for her, too. She gave nursing school a try and soon realized she had chosen the right field. "When I was working in a mental health rotation, I really fell in love with nursing. I have a passion for mental health nursing and have worked in every area of mental health while at the VA."



Working at the VA has been personal for her as well. She grew up surrounded by military service members, including her brother, her sister and many of her aunts and uncles.

Outside of work, Carolyn is a coordinator for an annual women's spiritual retreat. The retreat is designed to "give women a break from their daily stressors and gather to lift their spirits and praise God." She also sings in a gospel group called Fired Up Praisers, volunteers as a "Soldier's Angel" and participates in a number of community events.

Carolyn loves helping others and loves her job. "It's an honor to work for men and women who have given up their freedom to go to war in order to preserve our freedom."

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 10, 2010

NAVY

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill., is being awarded an undefinitized contract action with an estimated value of $77,655,380 for the procurement of 121 AN/AAQ-24(V) 25 Guardian laser transmitter assemblies for installation on CH-53D, CH-53E, and CH-46E helicopters, including associated technical data. The guardian laser transmitter assembly, a component of the large aircraft infrared countermeasures, is a next-generation directable laser-based countermeasures system for protecting helicopters and some fixed-wing aircraft from man-portable air defense systems. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Ill. (39 percent); Edinburgh, Scotland (16.8 percent); Goleta, Calif. (10 percent); Blacksburg, Va. (9.4 percent); Boulder, Colo. (7.1 percent); Dallas, Texas (5.5 percent); Lewisburg, Tenn. (2 percent); Apopka, Fla. (1.8 percent); Woodland Hills, Calif. (1.3 percent); Tampa, Fla. (1 percent); Santa Clara, Calif. (1 percent); Melbourne, Fla. (1 percent); Wheeling, W.V. (1 percent); and various locations throughout the U.S. (3.1 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-C-0080).

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded a $59,385,135 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5346) for CVN 78 dual-band radar (DBR) common array power system (CAPS) and common array cooling system (CACS) efforts. The purpose of this modification is to procure factory assembly, integration, and test of one ship set of CAPS, one ship set of CACS, CVN 78 DBR unique components, and whole-life engineering products for the CVN 78 DBR. These efforts are required in order to meet the CVN 78 ship construction in-yard-need-dates at the receiving shipyard to ensure that critical production schedules are maintained for the CVN 78 program. Work will be performed in Andover, Mass. (72.6 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (22 percent); Portsmouth, R.I. (2.3 percent); Tewksbury, Mass. (2.1 percent); and Falls Church, Va. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by November 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Engineered Arresting Systems Corp., Aston, Pa., is being awarded a $20,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the acquisition of interim contractor logistics support for the M31 arresting gear system, which will include management; logistics; administration; spares; maintenance; configuration management; depot rework and repair; training; engineering support; web site support and phone support as production units are fielded. Work will be performed in Aston, Pa., and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $926,000 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 Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity (N68335-10-D-0011).

Ewing Construction Co. Inc.*, Corpus Christi, Texas, is being awarded a $10,325,000 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of rotor blade processing facility at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. The work performed provides for labor, materials and equipment for design and construction of an addition to existing Building 49. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and is expected to be completed by October 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 five proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla. is the contracting activity (N69450-10-C-0789).

DCS Corp.*, Alexandria, Va., is being awarded an $8,010,077 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N68936-05-D-0002) to provide additional weapons system integration services in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's integrated product teams and weapons support facilities. The estimated level of effort for this modification is 114,800 man-hours. Work will be performed in China Lake, Calif. (90 percent), and Pt. Mugu, Calif. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in November 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif., is the contracting activity.

The Gyro House*, Auburn, Calif., is being awarded a $6,606,775 firm-fixed-price order via the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule for the procurement of 1,462 Garmin GPSMAP 696 units for the Army (789) and Navy (673). The order also provides for the procurement of 293 GPSMAP 696/695 e-learning program CD-ROMs for the Army (158) and Navy (135). Work will be performed in Auburn, Calif., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via a request for quotes under a GSA schedule E-buy; five firms were solicited and one offer was received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-10-F-0010).

ARMY

GM GDLS Defense Group, LLC, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Aug. 5 a $20,029,812 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract action cuts the modified hull design (double-V hull), into an additional 78 vehicles and revises the obligated amount for the production cut-in of the double-V hull, into the previous 281 vehicles. The double-V hull is an integrated solution that provides improved protection levels to support operations in the Operation Enduring Freedom area of responsibility. Work is to be performed in London, Ontario, Canada (50 percent), and Anniston, Ala. (50 percent), with an estimated completion date of Feb. 22, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM, CCTA-AIP, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-D-M112).

General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Aug. 5 a $8,985,020 cost-share contract. This effort is for the design and development of three joint tactical vehicles (JLTV) subconfigurations for Australia in the right hand drive and the delivery of two JLTV subconfiguration vehicles and one companion trailer for government testing. Work is to be performed in Livonia, Mich. (47 percent); Sterling Heights, Mich. (41 percent); Muskegon, Mich. (9 percent); and South Bend, Ind. (3 percent), with an estimated completion date of May 19, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0108).

Sauer, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., was awarded on Aug. 5a $18,649,100 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for Special Operations Forces North Operations additions, construction of a new two-story rigid steel frame, block and brick facility addition for a high priority operational mission section a Fort Bragg, N.C. Work is to be performed in Fort Bragg, N.C., with an estimated completion date of Feb. 15, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 15 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah, Ga., is the contracting activity (W912HN-10-C-0054).

General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Aug. 5, 2010 a $9,587,789 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the modification P00156 exercising option on various CLINS for system technical support for the Abrams tank program. Work is to be performed in Sterling Heights, Mich., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 19, 2011. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM-Warren, AMSCC-TAC-AHLC, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-07-C-0046).

AIR FORCE

Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Mass., was awarded a $9,185,971 contract modification which will provide research to develop a modular high-power laser beam controller that efficiently projects a high-quality beam on a distant target in the presence of atmospheric turbulence and does so with high electrical efficiency in a compact and lightweight form. At this time, $2,784,116 has been obligated. AFRL/PKDB, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-05-C-7211 P00012).

Arinc Engineering Services, LLC, Annapolis, Md., was awarded a $5,839,837 contract which will procure, deliver, install, integrate and test air traffic control tower equipment at Tikrit Air Base and Taji Air Base Iraq. At this time, the entire amount has been obligated. ESC/HBAK, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8730-10-C0008).

Enlisted Warfare Qualifications: A Mandatory Requirement

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW/AW) Sonya Ansarov, Office of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Initial enlisted warfare qualifications are now mandatory for all Sailors per the recent release of NAVADMIN 268-10.

The NAVADMIN announces the release of OPNAVINST 1414.9, Navy Enlisted Warfare Qualification Programs Instruction, which issues the basic overarching requirements for the qualification and designation of all enlisted warfare programs.

The arduous and often unforgiving environment we operate in as a Navy and Sailor dictates the need for all personnel to have a basic understanding and operating knowledge of the platform or command to which they are assigned.

Warfare programs are essential in ensuring our Sailors understand and are able to effectively engage a casualty, operate equipment or platforms safely and ensure backup as needed. Warfare qualifications are about ship, shipmate and self, and ensure the safety and safe operation of each command and platform on a daily basis.

"It's a standard every Sailor must achieve. The warfare device itself is a symbol that the Sailors who are wearing it have a basic level of knowledge to ensure they are capable of fighting the ship, saving a shipmate and ensuring the safety of themselves at all times," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Rick D. West. "Having every Sailor at or working toward that level will only strengthen the war-fighting ability of that command and the Navy."

According to the NAVADMIN, qualification and/or re-qualification is mandatory for all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands.

Warfare sponsors (Type Commanders) will establish specific qualification and re-qualifying timelines however, the maximum allowable time for initial qualification of all enlisted Sailors assigned to designated warfare qualifying commands will not exceed 30 months. Timelines for warfare qualifications are set by the Type Commander's instructions and each TYCOM will have oversight of their programs.

According to West, some of the biggest questions he hears from Sailors are:

- What happens if a Sailor doesn't qualify in time? West stated that failure to qualify in the specific warfare program within the prescribed time requirements shall immediately result in a special performance evaluation that removes promotion recommendation, but the promotion recommendation may be restored with a special performance evaluation when qualification is achieved.

- Will a Sailor be penalized if their command doesn't offer the opportunity for warfare qualification? According to West, Sailors without the opportunity to qualify in a warfare specialty will not be penalized. However Sailors should look for follow-on opportunities to obtain a warfare device when able.

- Will having mandatory qualifications water down the existing programs? West stated, quite the contrary; by mandating warfare qualifications for all enlisted personnel, it will significantly "raise the bar" across the command regarding level of knowledge of the command and the systems our Sailors operate. It is incumbent on those that wear the warfare pin of the command to ensure the integrity and strength of the existing programs.

- How will Sailors stand-out amongst peers if everyone is required to have a warfare pin? According to West, Sailors stand out every day. Performance and the Sailor's overall command support should be the biggest factors to "break out" individuals.

"I often highlight efficient manning and future platforms such as LCS as examples of the need to ensuring our Sailors have a good, basic understanding of the systems and fighting capabilities of the command to which they are assigned," said West.

USS Wyoming Sailors Cycle for Fun

By Missile Technician Seaman Grant Dauzat, Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- USS Wyoming SSBN 742 (Blue) Sailors participated in a 42-mile bike ride aboard Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. Aug 5.

Approximately 20 Wyoming Sailors took part in the noncompetitive event.

Cmdr. William McKinney, USS Wyoming (Blue) commanding officer, organized and took part in the event. He said is was a great opportunity to get the crew together for some group fitness.

"Everyone had a lot of fun, and several less serious bikers found out that riding in a group is a lot more fun than riding alone," said McKinney.

The cyclists' route began at the Pre-Deployment Training Building and took them past Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic and the Trident Lakes Golf Course, with a brief stopping point located in base housing for rest and rehydration.

The ride consisted of three laps. The first lap was at the pace of the slowest rider, the second lap at a moderate pace, and the final lap at the pace of the fastest group.

Future plans for Wyoming (Blue) include an open field ride with all proceeds going toward a charity.

Mullen Discusses Army Challenges with Longer 'Dwell' Time

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

Aug. 9, 2010 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stressed the need for strong garrison leadership today, underscoring the effects longer periods at home between deployments may have on troops and their families in the future. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen spoke to soldiers and airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., today. By October, more than 30,000 troops will be "at home" there for the first time since 2003.

Soldiers throughout the Army also will soon enjoy a slower deployment tempo, Mullen noted, as major units are projected to have twice as long at home as deployed by the end of 2012. About 70 percent of those units are expected to have a 2-to-1 "dwell time" ratio by the end of 2011, he added.

"That's based off the projections we see right now, so that is a huge change," Mullen said. "This is a big change, and if you are a leader, leading when things are changing is the most difficult kind of leadership, because it's less predictable."

The chairman explained that although more time at home is long overdue, a slower-paced military always must be ready for the unpredictable. Leaders must ensure troops and their families are cared for, he said, stressing the importance of garrison leadership.

"We've got to focus on those things that we have not been able to focus on, because we haven't had the time, as we've been putting units together and rotating in and out of war," the admiral said. "You need to think about what's happening next in an unpredictable world and environment."

Mullen cited the rising military suicide rate since 2001 to illustrate his point. A recent Army report outlined how units, in an effort to maintain readiness, have overlooked psychological issues soldiers may have. Leaders have overlooked signals and behaviors, including misconduct, that may have indicated an increased risk of suicide for some soldiers, Army officials said last month.

Many troops in today's audience are too young to remember the military in peace time, Mullen said. As fewer troops are needed in the fight, he added, he and Army officials recognize that garrison leadership must improve.

The rate of soldier suicides has risen in each of the past five years. In fiscal 2009, 160 soldiers took their own lives, while there were more than 1,700 attempts. Army suicides exceed the national average.

Although the Army receives much media attention for its suicide rates, Mullen noted, every service's suicide rate has "dramatically" increased since 2004. This trend is a strong indication of the stress the military has undergone since Sept. 11, 2001, he added.

"At the core of that is strong garrison leadership," the chairman said. "We've got to make sure we get it right across the full spectrum -- units, soldiers, families. The only way I know how to get at [suicide prevention] is through leadership and leaders focusing on their people.

"There's just too many people taking their lives, and we've got to get ahead of that," he said. "We've got to stay in touch with them. That's a leadership function."

The Army, and military as a whole, Mullen said, must focus on building resilience from servicemembers and their families' first day in the military. The heart of the military lies in its leadership and how each member takes care of each other, he said.

"Every single person in this audience is a leader," he said. "People have to be bold and step in, and this has to do with taking care of each other, leading and mentoring those who come behind you. You can't just passively sit and watch this happen."

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 9, 2010

AIR FORCE

Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $450,827,357 contract to provide engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II) program (nomenclature, Guided Bomb Unit-53/B). SDB II is a joint Air Force and Navy program. The SDB II will initially be integrated on the F-15E, F-35B and F-35C aircraft. At this time, $23,500,000 has been obligated. Miniature Munitions, AAC/EBMK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8672-10-C-0002).

United Paradyne Corp., Santa Maria, Calif., was awarded a $44,429,836 contract to provide aerospace support services contract for the following services: unconventional propellants; cryogenics and fuels accountability; personal protective equipment operations; hazardous operation support; fleet management; systems and safety engineering; training, and transient aircraft maintenance/aerospace ground equipment support services. Precision measurement equipment laboratory includes test, calibration, and repair of test measurement diagnostic equipment. At this time, no money has been obligated. 30 CONS/LGCZG, Vandenberg, Calif., is the contracting activity (FA4610-10-C-0008).

Boeing Co., St Louis, Mo., was awarded a $20,327,974 contract modification to provide eight Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) extended user evaluation assets: eight MOP warheads and eight MOP toolkits. The modification will also provide various support items: eight MOP loading adapters; eight carriage and release equipment; 16 separation nuts; 16 fuzes; and four separation nut simulators, with associated proposal preparation charges. At this time, $10,000,000 has been obligated. AAC/EDBK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8681-09-C-0280; P00009).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

General Electric, Cincinnati, Ohio, is being awarded a maximum $12,481,700 firm-fixed-price sole-source contract for turbine controls. There are no other locations of performance. Using service is Air Force. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Feb. 28, 2013. The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA812209G0001-UN55).

ARMY

Willis Mechanical, Inc., Norcross, Ga., was awarded on Aug. 6 a $12,240,200 firm-fixed-price contract to construct and renovate the second hangar addition at Eastover Army Aviation Support Facility at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, to include base award and six options. Work is to be performed in Eastover, S.C., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 13, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 12 bids received. USPFO for South Carolina, Columbia, S.C., is the contracting activity (W912QG-10-C-0005).

BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Austin, Texas, was awarded on Aug. 6 an $11,014,052 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for the acquisition of 390 L-Rod aluminum bar armor kits, associated bracketry required for kit installation, and field service representative support outside the contiguous United States, for the RG-31 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle on the base obligation for this undefinitized modification. Work is to be performed in Austin, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 26, 2010. One bid was solicted with one bid received. TACOM Contracting Center, Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich., is the contractign activity (W56HZV-09-C-0311)

Hunter Contracting Co., Gilbert, Ariz., was awarded on Aug. 6 a $10,972,945 firm-fixed-price contract. This project is to construct three inline basins and modifying the inlet on High School Wash at Park Avenue. Work is to be performed in Tucson, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with eight bids received. US Army Engineer District, Los Angeles, Calif., is the contracting activity (W912PL-10-C-0032).

Tarlton Corp., Inc., St Louis, Mo., was awarded on Aug. 6 a $9,675,825 firm-fixed-price contract to install pre-stress rock anchors on east and west wall lock monoliths at Lock and Dam 27 located in Granite City, Ill. Work is to be performed in Granite City, Ill., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 15, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, St. Louis, Mo., is the contracting activity (W912P9-10-C-0429)

General Tactical Vehicles, Sterling Heights, Mich., was awarded on Aug. 5 a $8,985,020 cost-share contract. This effort is for the design and development of three Joint Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) subconfigurations for Australia in the right hand drive, and the delivery of two JLTV subconfiguration vehicles and one companion trailer for government testing. Work is to be performed in Livonia, Mich. (47 percent); Sterling Heights, Mich. (41 percent); Muskegon, Mich. (9 percent); and South Bend, Ind. (3 percent), with an estimated completion date of May 19, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with seven bids received. TACOM Contracting Center, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-C-0108).

NAVY

Seaward Marine Services, Inc., Norfolk, Va., is being awarded a $12,648,498 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for waterborne hull cleaning and associated work to support the director of ocean engineering, supervisor of salvage and diving. The primary purpose of this contract is to provide hull cleaning, hull inspection, and other related ship husbandry services on the underwater portion of Navy, Coast Guard, Army, and Military Sealift Command ships and craft. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $51,175,930. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va. (54 percent); Mayport, Fla. (24 percent); Ingleside, Texas (17 percent); and New London, Conn. (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed by August 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $50,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-10-D-4170).

AT&T Wireless Services, Hanover, Md. (N00244-05-D-0010); Sprint-Nextel, Lone Tree, Colo. (N00244-05-D-0011); and Verizon Wireless, Laurel, Md. (N00244-05-D-0012), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract extension to provide nationwide wireless cellular phone service to the Navy. For AT&T, the estimated amount of the extension is $10,000,000. For Sprint-Nextel, the estimated amount of the extension is $10,000,000. For Verizon Wireless, the estimated amount of the extension is $10,000,000. Work is to be performed in various locations in and outside the United States, and is expected to be complete December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This requirement was not awarded through full and open competition. The Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., Biloxi, Miss., is being awarded $6,826,767 for firm-fixed-price task order #0003 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62467-05-D-0183) for the construction of an Aerial Port Facility at Keesler Air Force Base. Project includes parking, security fencing, exterior lighting and parking for aerial port material handling vehicles. Project includes all site work, utilities, and fire protection. This facility shall be constructed in accordance with current anti-terrorism/force protection standards. Work will be performed in Biloxi, Miss., and is expected to be completed by December 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals were received for this task order. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., is the contracting activity.

CORRECTION: Defense Logistics Agency contract number SPM500-05-D-BP07, published in news release 679-10 on July 30, 2010, announced an award amount of $180,000,000 in error. The correct award amount is $36,000,000.

Joint Forces Command Responds to Gates Announcement


American Forces Press Service

Aug. 9, 2010 - U.S. Joint Forces Command officials issued a statement today in response to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' recommendation to eliminate the command and assign its operational functions to other organizations.

Gates announced the recommendation today among a host of other initiatives designed to make the Defense Department more efficient.

Joint Forces Command is the Defense Department's proponent for joint training, doctrine and operations in the military. Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of U.S. Forces Iraq, is slated to become its new commander, replacing Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, who is taking the reins of U.S. Central Command.

Here is the text of the Joint Forces Command statement:

We all will work to carry out the Secretary's decision to disestablish Joint Forces Command. There will be much hard work and analysis in the time ahead and we will do the best we can to provide solid data on which to base decisions.

We have been assured that our work force will receive the best professional career advice and placement assistance available. This assistance begins with tomorrow's visit of Dr. Clifford Stanley, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, to talk with our leadership about the way ahead.

While this decision will understandably cause concern among our work force, we will be diligent to make sure we keep distractions to a minimum and continue to provide the best possible support to the warfighter.