Military News

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

U.S., Vietnam Explore Enhanced Defense Cooperation

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2010 - A week after USS John S. McCain made its first port visit to Vietnam to commemorate the 15th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, senior defense officials from the two countries met yesterday to explore ways to further enhance their defense cooperation. Robert Scher, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, met in Hanoi with Vietnam's deputy defense minister, Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh.

Speaking during a joint news conference, Scher called the discussions "the next significant historic step" in advancing a growing defense relationship based on "mutual trust, understanding and respect for independence and sovereignty."

The talks focused on ways to strengthen military-to-military cooperation in areas such as search-and-rescue, humanitarian and disaster-relief operations as well as language training, Scher reported.

Scher said he also shared U.S. concerns about China's military build-up. Yesterday's talks built on issues discussed in December when Vietnamese Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh traveled to the U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii to meet with Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard, Pacom's commander.

The Vietnamese defense minister, who also visited military bases during his three-day visit, "indicated a desire for activities that foster greater understanding and cooperation in various areas such as disaster management, conflict resolution, trafficking in persons, and improving relations with its neighbors," Willard reported during congressional testimony in March.

"Our military-to-military relationship with Vietnam continues to improve," Willard told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Earlier this month, for example, the U.S. 7th Fleet kicked off a weeklong series of naval engagement activities with the Vietnamese navy commemorating the 15th anniversary of normalized relations between the United States and Vietnam. The activities, which began Aug. 8, centered on damage control, search and rescue, maintenance and cooking events and other noncombatant training, Navy officials reported. Medical and dental civic action projects, an underway aircraft carrier embarkation, ship visits and sporting events highlighted the visit.

During the exchange, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain made a scheduled port visit to Vietnam.

The ship, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, arrived in Da Nang on Aug. 10 for its first visit to Vietnam. The crew interacted with their Vietnamese counterparts during shipboard damage control and search-and-rescue demonstrations as well as soccer and volleyball matches, Navy officials reported. They also conducted community service projects at a local school and orphanage.

Navy Rear Adm. Ron Horton, commander of Task Force 73 and Logistics Group Western Pacific, called the activities "indicative of the increasingly closer ties between the U.S. and Vietnam."

"Exchanges like this are vital for our navies to gain a greater understanding of one another, and build important relationships for the future," he said.

In addition, the hospital ship USNS Mercy visited Vietnam in June, spending 13 days delivering humanitarian and civic assistance ashore as part of Pacific Partnership 2010.

During the visit -- the Pacific Partnership's third to Vietnam -- more than 1,000 medical, dental, veterinary and engineering professionals from the U.S. military services, nongovernmental organizations and partner nations provided support to residents of Binh Dinh province on Vietnam's central coast.

Cadet Spends Summer Launching Jets

By Joe B. Wiles
71st Flying Training Wing

Aug. 18, 2010 - Of all the ways a college student could spend summer break, Aven Sanders chose to work on the flightline here as a crew chief, launching and recovering T-38 Talon jet trainers. An Oklahoma State University sophomore and Air Force ROTC cadet, Aven is the daughter of Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Sanders, a T-38 instructor pilot with the 5th Flying Training Squadron, an Air Force Reserve unit here. More than once during her time on the flightline this summer, Aven launched her father's aircraft.

Aven heard from a family friend that the support contractor at Vance was offering temporary summer jobs working with the T-1 Jayhawk, T-6A Texan II and T-38 Talon.

"I knew I would love being around the airplanes, so I figured, 'Why not?' and applied," she said.

Aven developed a love for flying early. She started flying at age 15 and earned her private pilot's license about two years later. Her goal is to fly for the Air Force.

She started the temporary crew chief job May 24, followed by a week of computer-based training and two weeks shadowing an experienced crew chief.

She performed her first unassisted aircraft launch June 9, involving a T-38 crewed by an instructor pilot and a student. "I was a little nervous, but confident," she said. "It went OK, with no problems."

Aven's job as a crew chief is to prepare the aircraft for flight. She assists the aircrew with the external inspection of the aircraft, gets them strapped in, operates the compressor that starts the jet's engines and ensures all the control surfaces are responding. And finally, she gives the go for the aircraft to taxi.

When recovering the aircraft, she guides it into wheel chocks, secures the safety pins and helps the aircrew exit.

Aven's last day as a crew chief this summer was Aug. 12. Although classes won't begin at OSU until Aug. 23, practice began this week for her track and cross-country team.

Class of 2014 – Welcome to the corps

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

Swab summer at the Coast Guard Academy officially ended this past Monday. Of the original 295, 278 swabs were still standing and took a small but significant step towards becoming vital members of the corps of cadets as they earned the privilege of wearing their rank at a shoulder board ceremony.

For the class of 2014, the rank they earned was that of the fourth class cadet – a solid navy blue board with a small shield and no stripes. And while shoulder boards have no stripes, the rank marks the beginning of the growing responsibilities the new fourth class cadets must bear as they assimilate into military life.

The wearing of rank insignia is a long-standing tradition in the military. Officer and Enlisted ranks are known and respected across the services. Among many things, rank signifies when to salute as well as when certain courtesies are due. More importantly, a military rank is a symbol of leadership. With each increase in rank, comes an increase in the responsibility of the individual wearing the insignia.

“Now you stand before us as classmates and shipmates, forever bound together by a common experience,” said Capt. John C. O’Connor, commandant of cadets, at the shoulder board ceremony.

In addition to receiving their shoulder boards, the ceremony also marks the official transfer of responsibility and authority from the summer regimental staff to the fall regimental staff who will lead the corps of cadets through the first half of the academic year.

Along with the new weight on their shoulders, the fourth class cadets have a lot to get used to. The official academic year starts with a Convocation that will be held Thursday. In the interim time between the ceremony and Convocation, the new cadets will sign up for classes, attend book issues, hold class meetings, consult with their academic advisors, attend in processing meetings, participate in sports practices and somehow find time for their military duties – and maybe sleep!

Congratulations to the Class of 2014 on your acceptance into the corps of cadets, and best of luck throughout the year!

U.S. Continues to Rush Relief to Pakistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2010 - As monsoon rains continue to fall on Pakistan, the United States is sending aid as fast as the flood-stricken country can absorb it, a Defense Department official said here today.

United Nations officials estimate that some 20 million Pakistanis are affected, with about 1,500 dead, as the Indus River and its tributaries continue to rise.

The United States has provided more than $90 million in support since the flooding began July 29, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. All relief aid is at the request of and through the Pakistani government, he added, as U.S. servicemembers in Pakistan work to deliver aid under direction of Pakistani officials at the Natural Disaster Management Authority based in Rawalpindi.

The United States has funneled money to help via direct contributions to the Pakistani National Disaster Management Authority, the U.N. relief plan and many local and provincial relief organizations. In addition, about 150 sailors, Marines and airmen are flying 15 helicopters and three C-130s in the country to deliver vital supplies.

U.S. aircraft have rescued more than 5,500 people and delivered more than 500,000 pounds of relief supplies. In the last 24 hours, 441,000 packaged meals that conform with Islamic law have been delivered to civilians, Whitman said this morning. "That in itself is [worth] about $3.7 million," he added.

Many areas in the northwestern part of the nation have been cut off. The United States is providing 12 temporary bridges to help Pakistan connect with these isolated areas.

The United States has also delivered 1,870 rolls of plastic sheeting – enough to construct shelter for about 110,000 people, Whitman said. American servicemembers have delivered 14,000 blankets, 18 rescue boats, six water filtration units and 10 water storage bladders. They also delivered 2,500-kilowatt generators.

Whitman said many U.S. servicemembers are contributing to the relief effort outside of Pakistan. The crew of the USS Peleliu – off the coast of Pakistan – is providing helicopter maintenance support. Ground crews in Afghanistan are working to trans-ship the meals and other supplies. U.S. Transportation Command planners at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., are working with officials at U.S. Central Command, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to prioritize the supply missions.

"The United States has a very robust relief mission to Pakistan," Whitman said.

New Horizons Airman organizes donations to Panamanian children

by Tech. Sgt. Eric Petosky
New Horizons Panama 2010 Public Affairs

8/18/2010 - METETI, Panama (AFNS) -- Capt. Aaron Jackson knew before he volunteered to deploy to Panama for New Horizons that he wanted to do something special to improve the quality of life for children in Darien Province, so he sent a message to friends and family back home to see if anyone would donate items.

From a simple letter and social networking, two months later, Captain Jackson has collected more than $4,000 worth of school supplies, toys, sports equipment, clothes and food, making an impact on hundreds of children.

"When I arrived, my wife and I had discussed trying to put something small together to correlate with the official military mission," he said. "I wrote a letter, and she sent it to our friends and family. I suppose I just crossed my fingers, because we didn't expect much. We thought it would be great if we received 10 boxes, and we wound up getting more than 90."

After such an overwhelming response, Captain Jackson teamed up with Marines from the 4th Civil Affairs Group to organize and distribute the donations. By the time New Horizons concludes in September, they will have delivered donations to seven schools and two indigenous tribes in the area, impacting the lives of more than 600 children.

"The reactions have been wonderful," Captain Jackson said. "One instance that stands out in my mind is when we travelled to the Lara Tribe. When we arrived, we were greeted by about 150 kids who came to the hut that served as their community center. After we played and distributed everything we brought, one of the female leaders of the tribe came to me to express her thanks. She told us that no one had ever done anything like this in the history of the tribe. It made me feel very good that we had reached out to people who had never experienced that kind of generosity."

Captain Jackson, a staff judge advocate deployed from the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., has had to ask people to stop sending packages because he is running out of time and room to distribute them all.

"The response has been amazing," he said, "thanks to the people back home who have made this the success it has been. In my mind, I really didn't do much. All I did was take 30 minutes to write a letter, and friends and family did the rest."

Expeditionary Medical Support training a first at JB Elmendorf-Richardson

by Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross

8/18/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AFNS) -- Eighty-one Airmen from around the Pacific Air Forces participated in the first Expeditionary Medical Support Training here Aug. 9 through 13.

The course, typically held at Brooks City Base, San Antonio, is a mandatory pre-deployment requirement, where participants are taught what is expected of them in a deployed environment.

Sixteen subject-matter experts in their particular medical fields visited JB Elmendorf-Richardson from Brooks City-Base.

"It's nice for our folks in PACAF to be able to come to one single location rather than have to send them to the states," said Lt. Col. Yolanda Bledsoe, the 673rd Medical Group Inpatient Squadron commander.

A scenario was given where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Jakarta, Indonesia. An EMEDS team was tasked to "deploy" to the location to provide aid to earthquake victims.

However, while they were there, they faced a challenge; terrorist attacks were said to be regularly carried out against the security forces in the western area of the country.

Throughout the week, the PACAF Airmen set up sleeping tents and a medical tent, just like they would if they were deployed to a "bare base," which means they are the first ones to arrive and do the initial setup. The medical tent contained sections including an emergency room, radiology, intensive care unit and several other sections.

Colonel Bledsoe said this type of training gives Airmen the ability to train like they're fighting for real.

This situation tested how they realistically would be taking care of patients when they're deployed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or a humanitarian mission like the one several months ago in Haiti, the colonel added.

At the beginning of the training mission, they were in the classroom to familiarize themselves with the procedures and instruments they would be working with. Then the Airmen ran through live training scenarios like a collapsed bridge and mortar attack caused by terrorists.

They were sent out to the sites and went through the proper recovery procedures to get the patients back to the medical center.

At the center, casualties were tagged by the severity of their injury and were taken to one of several sections of the hospital based on what type of injury they had.

Airmen participating in the training said they feel it's a valuable asset, and learning from those who have had personal experiences in the field is the best way to learn.

"Any chance we can get to go out and exercise is valuable," said Senior Airman Andrew Day, of the 673rd Medical Operations Squadron. "It's a chance to practice our skills and improve and get better."

Not only was this a good hands-on experience, but Colonel Bledsoe said she also felt it was a good way to boost morale and reduce tension in the Airmen who have never been in the field.

"I think if you show someone what they're going to walk into, it decreases their anxiety right up front," the colonel said. "It also builds (camaraderie). You may deploy with these people in the future and you know what their capabilities are, because you worked with them in this environment."

All in all, the colonel said she felt this exercise was a success.

"These guys (were) motivated and (were) pumped up every day," Colonel Bledsoe said. "(We) couldn't have (gotten a) better group, jumping in doing things they're not used to doing."

"I think (this training) has been very valuable," she said.

Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian underway

by Staff Sgt. Jason Lake
7th Air Force Public Affairs

8/18/2010 - OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) -- Exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, the world's largest command and control simulation exercise began Aug. 16 and continues through Aug. 26.

According to senior Combined Forces Command officials, the annual joint/combined command post exercise is designed to improve the Republic of Korea and U.S. alliance's ability to defend the Republic of Korea. The complex computer simulation exercise aims to train deployed and permanent party servicemembers while refining senior leaders' decision-making capabilities. In total, more than 27,000 U.S. joint forces and 500,000 ROK forces participate in the annual exercise throughout the peninsula.

Osan Air Base's Korea Air Simulation Center plays a critical role in simulating the air component portion of the exercise.

"The bottom line is that we're here to train the warfighter," said Lt. Col. Gary Denny, who serves as the Korea Air Simulation Center director. "There are many simulation centers here in Korea and the United States participating in this exercise, but we're the lead for the air model (simulations)."

Scott Lovelace, simulation manager within the KASC, said more than 40 U.S. simulation centers around the world make up the complex exercise network which also incorporates a similar ROK system.

"It's the largest simulation system in the world," he said. "There's no other type of exercise that creates this type of virtual battle space. Here, we are in a 'fight tonight' mindset and we can't afford to get this simulation wrong."

Col. Patrick Matthews, 7th Air Force director of programs and analyses, said exercises like UFG and Key Resolve/Foal Eagle provide critical readiness training at a base where most Airmen rotate in and out in a single year.

"I've been to the Warrior Preparation Center in Germany and seen its capabilities, but the system in place here has always been the gold standard," he said.

This year marks the 34th anniversary of the joint/combined exercise. In July 1976, ROK forces officials combined Exercise Ulchi with the United Nations Command and its U.S. allied forces Exercise Focus Lens. Exercise Ulchi-Focus Lens, as it was called until its name changed in 2008, was designed to enhance ROK-U.S. interoperability by training commanders and staff from both countries in wartime planning, command and control operations, intelligence, logistics and personnel procedures required for defending the Republic of Korea.

U.S., South Korea Announce Yellow Sea Exercise

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2010 - The United States and South Korea announced a new set of military exercises that will be held in the Yellow Sea early next month, a Pentagon official said here today.

South Korean and U.S. forces will participate in anti-submarine warfare exercises. It is too early to detail what surface ships, submarines and air units will participate, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

The exercise is a direct outgrowth of a North Korean submarine sinking the South Korean frigate Cheonan in March. The attack killed 46 South Korean sailors.

In the "2-plus-2" meetings held in the South Korean capital of Seoul last month, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan and Defense Minister Defense Kim Tae-young met with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to discuss ways to demonstrate to North Korea the solidarity of the American alliance with South Korea.

"We said we would continue a series of exercises – defensive in nature – that are designed to send a clear message to North Korea," Whitman said.

The exercise, to be conducted in international waters, will focus on anti-submarine warfare tactics, techniques and procedures. "It will be conducted in the waters off the western coast of South Korea," Whitman said. "This exercise is designed to improve the readiness and proficiency of U.S. and [South Korean] forces to defend against subsurface attacks."

As it builds on an already strong foundation of interoperability and flexibility, Whitman said, the exercise will strengthen the U.S.-South Korean alliance. "Broadly, what it does is reinforce our resolve to stability and security of the region," he added.

China has objected to U.S. exercises in the Yellow Sea, though the United States military has exercised there for decades.

"China has no reason to view this exercise or this series of exercises as a threat to its security," Whitman said. "These exercises are intended to deter North Korea from future destabilizing attacks such as occurred with Cheonan and assure the region of [U.S. and South Korean] resolve to maintain security and stability on the Korean peninsula."

USS New Orleans Completes Colombia Port Visit

By Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Robert Winkler, Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

USS NEW ORLEANS, At Sea (NNS) -- USS New Orleans (LPD-18), along with Amphibious Squadron 5 (PHIBRON 5), and other embarked units departed Bahia Malaga, Colombia Aug. 17, after completing a port visit in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2010.

Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) is the amphibious component of Southern Partnership Station, a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region.

The port visit kept Sailors busy with subject matter exchanges, a community relations project, and a sporting day event. The "visiting team" from the U.S. competed with Colombian service members in basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

The sports competitions were high-spirited but friendly. Ensign Andres Urbina of the Colombian navy spoke of his impressions of the ship's soccer team.

"It was fun to play against a team from the United States," said Urbina. "I didn't really know what to expect. We thought maybe the U.S. military would be very serious, but once we started playing, we all just enjoyed the game and had fun. Even though we don't all speak the same language, we were able to enjoy each other. I think it's important to participate in these types of events, because it helps us get to know each other better, and that's important when we work together in real operations."

The community relations project, coordinated by USS New Orleans' Chaplain, Lt. David Cullen and Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class Adrian Campbell, took place at a school in the small village of La Sierpe. The tasks included digging a three-foot deep, one-foot wide, and 20-yard long ditch for PVC pipe to help with sewage irrigation, as well as building sidewalks, and setting up a water collection and distribution system for the community.

"This was a unique and memorable project," said Cullen. "Many times when we do community relations projects, we paint, we do some minor repairs, and perhaps we clean up trash. All those things are important and go quite far towards creating a more pleasant environment. But the work we have done in La Sierpe will positively change the residents' actual quality of life. Until now, they haven't even had running water in their school bathroom facilities, and this project gives them that. I'm proud of what we've accomplished here, and I am very proud of our sailors and Marines for taking a genuine interest in the well being of the citizens of La Sierpe."

USS New Orleans anchored off the coast of Bahia Malaga navy base, and small boats transported people back and forth to events. Many of the boat rides coincided with the presence of numerous whales.

Yeoman 3rd Class Diana Grams, USS New Orleans Administrative department, saw one of the whales up-close while transiting from the ship in a liberty boat. "It was the first time I've seen a whale so close," said Grams. "They were right next to the boat. I grew up in California and had seen whales before, but not humpbacks, and not so close. Usually people have to pay to go whale watching. For us it was a fringe benefit of the port visit."

During the final two weeks in Colombia, USS New Orleans conducted counter illicit-trafficking operations. The ship and embarked units patrolled off the coast with a Colombian liaison naval officer on board. The ship was prepared to work in concert with Colombian and Panamanian forces in the event any illegal traffickers were found.

Service members from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay originally deployed from San Diego with USS New Orleans on June 10 to enhance the interaction between those partner nations and the U.S. Navy.

By the time the ship reached Bahia Malaga, only the naval officers from Colombia remained aboard. More Colombian service members came aboard when the ship pulled in and had the opportunity to participate in subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) as the ship regularly got underway during the visit.

Subject matter expert exchange topics covered many aspects of naval operations, including: refueling at sea, boarding team operations, damage control, navigation, and other subject material.

USS New Orleans, along with CPR-5 and other embarked units, are scheduled to visit Balboa, Panama as its final stop of the three-month deployment, before heading back to its home port of San Diego.

ATG San Diego in Bid to Defend Surface Line Week Title

By Lt. j.g. Alison Derr, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- As the 29th annual Surface Line Week (SLW) competition continues Aug. 18 in San Diego, Afloat Training Group (ATG) San Diego is working hard to defend their title as the reigning overall champions of the medium-size command category.

Known across the waterfront for the rigorous training and assessment standards, ATG members enjoyed interacting with other commands during SLW.

"Coming out and playing with people who you normally assess makes the competition more fun because it's a more relaxed atmosphere that promotes teamwork and camaraderie," says Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Marcos Rojas.

"It's our job to make sure the waterfront is properly trained and Sailors are proficient in the necessary skills to head to sea," said Chief Sonar Technician Lawrence Law. "But on the field or on the court, we're just like everybody else, trying to do our best and enjoy the competition."

With a solid victory against the USS Preble (DDG 88) on the softball diamond Aug. 18, ATG San Diego continues its quest for the softball championship pending the rest of the tournament's results.

The ATG San Diego volleyball team is scheduled for the tournament play-offs starting Aug. 18. The command football team is also making a strong showing and has high hopes of continuing in the tournament. According to Rojas, members of ATG San Diego's seamanship assessment team will be hosting the SLW seamanship event, which will include challenges such as knot tying, boatswain's mate pipe calls and a heaving line toss.

SLW, a 10-day contest sponsored by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP) will run through Aug 20. This marquee event features a series of activities dedicated to friendly competition in a variety of seamanship and sporting events. SLW will conclude with an awards ceremony Aug. 20, followed by the annual Surface Warrior Ball Aug. 21.

MILITARY CONTRACTS August 18, 2010

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $442,607,746 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, New Jersey, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland and Wisconsin. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DOD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7000).

Graybar Electric Co., Inc., St. Louis, Mo. is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations. 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 seven responses. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP14).

Science Application International Corp., Fairfield, N.J., is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations. 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 five responses. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP15).

Cardinal Health 200, Inc., McGaw Park, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $136,282,656 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Minnesota, Nebraska, Arizona, Missouri, California, Washington, Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Alaska. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7005).

Cardinal Health 200, Inc., McGaw Park, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $70,289,794 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7003).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $68,366,614 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana and New Jersey. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7002).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $36,205,642 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Colorado, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7010).

SNC Telecommunications, LLC*, Comerio, Puerto Rico, is being awarded a maximum $15,904,000 firm-fixed price, total set-aside contract for duffle bags. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Aug. 24, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-09-D-0014).

ARMY

Atlantic Diving Supply, Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., was awarded on Aug. 13 a $51,151,424 firm-fixed-price, five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity production contract. The purpose of this delivery order is to purchase Generation III extreme cold weather clothing systems kits. A prior Congressional notification was submitted for award on Contract W911Qy-07-D-0003 on Dec. 20, 2006. Work is to be performed in Virginia Beach, Va. (5 percent); Fall River, Mass. (10 percent); Newark, N.J. (24 percent); North Conway, N.H. (2 percent); Lansing, Mich. (18 percent); Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (24 percent); Post Falls, Idaho (5 percent); Tullahoma, Tenn. (10 percent); and Mukilteo, Wash. (2 percent), with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Inmarsat Navigation Ventures, Ltd., London, England, was awarded on Aug. 13 an $18,038,126 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for Inmarsat to develop and certify a transceiver terminal for the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service provided by the I-4 constellation that is capable of operation from on-board and low Earth orbit satellite; make appropriate modifications to the BGAN network to support space-based terminal equipment; support the integration of the space-based BGAN terminal with a government demonstration satellite; and support the on-orbit connectivity via the BGAN network for the demonstration satellite mission. Work is to be performed in London, England (20.60 percent); Golden, Colo. (64.76 percent); Aylesbury, England (11 percent); Norresundby, Denmark (2.15 percent); and Ontario, Canada (1.49 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 13, 2015. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0149)

Guild Associates, Dublin, Ohio, was awarded on Aug. 16 a $16,403,677 firm-fixed-price contract for 43 mobile integrated remains systems. This is a portable morgue to process the remains of individuals. Work is to be performed in Dublin, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-05-C-0091).

PBS&J Constructors, Inc., dba Peter Brown Construction, Tampa, Fla., was awarded on Aug. 16 an $11,390,200 firm-fixed-price construction contract. This is for a design-bid-build contract for the construction of a joint intel technical training facility at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas. The facility shall provide adequate space for academic training and administrative support. This contract shall include all management, supervision, labor, materials and equipment necessary to provide a complete and functional facility. Provide all site improvements and utilities necessary to support the new building facility. The contract shall include construction of the primary facility as well as site work, including site utilities, parking, services drive, site grading and drainage, sidewalks, fencing, and outdoor activity areas. Work is to be performed in Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 2, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 11 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Little Rock, Ark., is the contracting activity (W9127S-10-C-6016).

Raito, Inc., San Leandro, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13 a $10,831,662 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is recovery project #12674, "Yuba River Basin, Calif. Construction to stabilize and prevent under see page at the Marysville Ring Levee Phase I." Work is to be performed at Marysville, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 15, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Calif., is the contracting activity (W91238-10-C-0030).

San Diego Personnel, dba Good People Employment Services, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13, 2010 a $10,111,230 firm-fixed-price contract for technical support services to augment organic engineering capabilities. Work is to be performed in southern Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of July 13, 2015. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. Regional Contracting Center, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W5K9FH-10-C-0155).

AIR FORCE

Georgia Tech Applied Research, Atlanta, Ga., was awarded a $23,188,406 contract which will perform technical, scientific, engineering, analytical and experimental tasks required to evaluate new/advanced devices, sensor systems and sensor-related technologies; laser; and countermine/counter technologies to assess and enhance their maturity, performance and operational capability/suitability. At this time, $150,000 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4000, Delivery Order 0152).

Naval Academy College Ranking Announced

From U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy has been ranked among the top schools in the country by the U.S. News & World Report's 2011 edition of "America's Best Colleges."

The Naval Academy was ranked 16th overall for "Best Liberal Arts Colleges" and ranked fifth for "Best Undergraduate Engineering" programs.

The academy was also ranked fifth for "Best Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering" program and fifth for "Best Electrical/Electronic/Communications" program.

"The Naval Academy is pleased that our educational program continues to be recognized among the top colleges in the country," said Dr. Andrew Phillips, Naval Academy academic dean and provost. "While remaining focused on developing our students morally, mentally and physically to become ethical leaders of Sailors and Marines, our world-class faculty and exceptional students work hard to balance the highly technical demands of a rigorous engineering education with the critical thinking, communication skills and global awareness associated with a fine liberal arts education."

Additionally, the academy was ranked first by high school guidance counselors in the report.

"It is a privilege for the U.S. Naval Academy to receive such high recognition from those who are so influential in advising young men and women. We think this is reflective of the great opportunity that the Naval Academy affords our nation's most talented and well rounded young Americans," said Dean of Admissions Bruce Latta.

U.S. News & World Report's 2011 edition of college rankings will be published in the September 2011 issue.

MOMAU 1, 15 Consolidate into Navy Munitions Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (NNS) -- Mobile Mine Assembly Units (MOMAU) 1 and 15, the last two mobile mine units in the Navy, disestablished Aug. 17 and consolidated into a single ordnance support capability at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.

Both units merged into the Navy Munitions Command, helping to streamline the command's mission of ordnance management for shore duty stations worldwide by operating explosives and ordnance handling and shipping.

"Today marks the end of an era," said Capt. Terry Auberry, commanding officer of Navy Munitions Command CONUS West Division. "These are the last of the mine assembly units disestablishing in the Navy."

According to Auberry, the command is looking for efficiencies to improve the overall performance, reduce costs and improve service.

"It makes sense to combine commands that are so similar," said Lt. Cmdr. Drew Martinez, commanding officer of MOMAU 1 and MOMAU 15. "All three of the commands here perform similar functions with ordnance handling, receiving and shipping; merging does away with a lot of redundancy."

The decision to merge the units has been in the works for nearly a year. Navy Munitions Command will retain all current capabilities with a stronger organization and provide greater opportunities for the minemen.

"I think it's an opportunity for them to learn more about the ordnance community other than just mines," said Jack Harris, director of Navy Munitions Command CONUS West Division, Unit Seal Beach. "We support all areas of the ordnance community for the Navy and Marine Corps. We see this as a way to give the minemen an opportunity to increase their ordnance skills."

"This is a great organization and we have taken the first step to improve on it," said Martinez.

Multinational Exercise Focuses on Panama Canal Defense

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 18, 2010 - More than 2,000 participants from 18 countries are taking part in Panamax 2010, one of the world's largest multinational maritime training exercises, aimed at defense of the Panama Canal.

Cosponsored by U.S. Southern Command and the Panamanian government, the 12-day exercise that kicked off Aug. 16 brings together sea, air and land forces in a joint, combined operation focused on defending one of the world's most strategic and economically crucial waterways, Southcom officials said.

Participants will test their ground, naval, air and special operators' ability to respond to threats to the Panama Canal during the exercise taking place in the waters off Panama and Colombia, and also in Miami and Mayport, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.

In addition, Panamax 2010 participants will exercise their ability to plan for a major humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in the region, officials said.

Major players in the exercise –- part live play and part virtual –- include U.S. 4th Fleet, which will exercise command and control from its maritime operations center in Mayport, Fla.; and U.S. 2nd Fleet, which will serve as a joint task force leading a multinational force operating under a United Nations resolution.

USNS Grasp and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward are among 24 vessels taking part in the exercise, as well as units from 12th Air Force in Tucson, Ariz., and U.S. Army South from Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Servicemembers participating in Panamax bring a broad range of capabilities, explained Jose Ruiz, a Southcom spokesman. They represent medical, diving and salvage units, explosive ordnance disposal and riverine units, all with roles to play in the evolving exercise scenario.

Speaking during Aug. 16 opening ceremonies in Mayport, Navy Rear Adm. Vic Guillory, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, emphasized the importance of partnerships and the role of global maritime forces in protecting the Panama Canal Zone.

Panamax offers "a tremendous opportunity to share and exchange information and learn from one another in a coalition and joint environment," he said.

Speaking in Norfolk, Navy Vice Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet and director of the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence, said Panamax will promote interoperability that's critical in that joint coalition environment.

"We want to do these exercises now, at a time of peace, so that if the crisis occurs, we have already established the protocols in our relationships," he said.

In addition to the United States and Panama, participants in Panamax 2010 include Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Panamax has grown dramatically since 2003, when Panama, Chile and the United States conducted the first exercise in the series. Last year, participation peaked with 20 nations taking part in Panamax 2009. Collectively, they contributed about 7,000 troops, more than 30 ships and a dozen aircraft to the exercise.

Department Announces July Recruiting, Retention Data

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

Aug. 18, 2010 - Three of the four services met or exceeded their active duty recruiting goals for July, and the one that fell short did so intentionally, Defense Department officials announced today.

The Marine Corps intentionally slowed down recruiting efforts by 1 percent last month because the service already is exceeding its fiscal 2010 recruiting goals, officials said.

The July goal, set a year in advance, was to bring in 2,847 new recruits. The Marine Corps signed on 2,845 recruits last month.

The Army recruited 6,975 soldiers, 104 percent of its goal. The Navy and Air Force met their goals by signing on 2,990 sailors and 1,920 airmen, respectively.

With two months left in fiscal 2010, all of the services have met or are above their fiscal year retention goals.

Meanwhile, three of the six reserve components met or exceeded their July accession goals, and the other three fell short on purpose.

The Navy Reserve met its goal, recruiting 553 sailors. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve exceeded their goals by 26 and 17 percent, respectively, as the Air National Guard signed on 507 recruits, and the Air Force Reserve brought in 671 airmen.

The Army National Guard, Army Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve intentionally scaled back accessions because they are ahead of their fiscal 2010 recruiting goals.

The Army Reserve recruited 1,613 soldiers, falling 6 percent short of its July goal. The Army National Guard missed by 24 percent, signing on 4,459 new Guardsmen, and the Marine Corps Reserve signed on 807 part-time Marines, 23 percent fewer than its original goal.

Retention rates in the active duty services are at or above goals for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, officials said, and attrition in all reserve components is within acceptable limits.

Defense Missile Agency Seeks to Cut Costs

By Elaine Wilson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2010 - In an effort to cut costs and boost efficiency, the Defense Missile Agency is assessing the feasibility of competing $37 billion in contracts, the agency's director said.

"There's significant potential there for savings in competition," Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly told reporters yesterday at a Defense Writers Group breakfast here.

Many of the agency's contracts in the past were sole-source contracts, he explained, including the ground-based midcourse defense program. "I have changed that," he said. "We went back and reassessed that and determined ... we're going to compete it."

Additionally, the agency is competing the SM3 Block 2B missile, as well as its new satellite program, the precision tracking space system, O'Reilly said.

"If we can compete, unless there's an extremely compelling reason not to, we will compete for our contracts," he said.

The agency also is looking to boost efficiency through consolidation, the general said, and will examine the viability of pooling resources from federally funded research and development centers.

The agency's efforts are in line with a Defense Department initiative to reduce overhead and to eliminate duplicative capabilities. Earlier this year, Defense Department Robert M. Gates tasked the services to find $100 billion in overhead savings over the next five years.

NAVSTA Rota 2010 Motorcycle Rally Reinforces the Basics

By Lt. Ben Tisdale, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- U.S. personnel who operate motorcycles or mopeds aboard Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota practiced their motorcycle skills during the 2010 Motorcycle Safety Standdown Aug. 17.

The event, attended by service members, civilian personnel and dependents, reinforced riders basic riding skills to handle the road safely. The rally included a variety of events, such as emergency stops, weaving, the box-turn, and multiple curves.

"The purpose of the rally is to get back to the basics," said Rob Brown, NAVSTA traffic safety manager. "Improving one's rider skills never ends because safety is an active process, not an end-state."

A former naval flight officer for the S-3 Viking aircraft, Brown emphasized even pilots need to keep practicing their skills, no matter how much experience they have in the cockpit.

"In the aviation world, you never stop practicing the basics," he said. "Skills like how to handle the box-turn can help hone the maneuvering skills necessary to stay safe and have a fun ride."

Tech Sgt. Ron Denson, the 725th Air Mobility Squadron training manager and a motorcycle safety instructor who is currently re-certifying, said events like the rally help refresh skills riders may not practice often, like emergency braking.

"Proper braking helps save lives, said Denson. "It's one of the most important skills, and in a controlled environment such as this, we can provide the training scenarios to help build confidence in our riders."

The experience of the riders varied from those who've only ridden for a few months, to those with years of experience, such as Utilitiesman (SCW) Clinton Waldorf.

Waldorf, an avid track rider of nearly nine years, advocated the importance of safety refreshers.

"It's a good refresher, and provides good scenarios," said Waldorf. "I believe the box turn is a good exercise because it teaches throttle and clutch control in a confined space, a skill that most people don't practice a lot."

During fiscal year 2009, 28 Sailors and Marines perished in motorcycle incidents service-wide. So far this calendar year, Brown said, 17 shipmates have died in the Navy due to motorcycle mishaps.

"Most crashes involve inexperienced riders who are not properly licensed and have not taken any form of motorcycle safety," said Brown. "Just remember - learning and executing proper motorcycle safety doesn't end when you finish your basic rider course - it is a mentality that must be constantly refreshed and applied."