Military News

Saturday, January 30, 2016

AF awards contract for next Air Force One


 
By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, / Published January 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Boeing Company was awarded a contract Jan. 29 for risk reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program, which will field the next Air Force One.

This is the first contract the Air Force has awarded for this program. Additional modifications will be made to this contract in the future to purchase the commercial 747-8 aircraft, as well as to design, modify and test those aircraft to meet the presidential mission.

These efforts are the first step in a deliberate process to control program risks and life cycle costs. These activities will include the definition of detailed requirements and design trade-offs required to support informed decisions that will lead to a lower risk Engineering and Manufacturing Development program and lower life cycle costs.

“This is the start of our contractual relationship with Boeing. It will allow Boeing to begin working on what will be the next Air Force One,” said Col. Amy McCain, the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program manager. “This initial effort is about reducing risk, really understanding where the tough work will be, finding affordability opportunities, and getting the best value for the taxpayer, while continuing to meet the needs of our commander in chief.”

The secretary of the Air Force has made it clear that affordability will be a key element of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program.

“We will continue to insist upon program affordability through cost conscious procurement practices,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

“The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America at home and abroad,” James said. “We will ensure the next Air Force One meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest.”

The Air Force wants to own enough of the technical baseline to permit competition for modifications and sustainment throughout the aircraft’s planned 30-year life cycle. Competition can keep costs down, spur innovation and provide technical options.

“We are focused on ensuring this program is affordable,” McCain said. “This contract gets us started on determining how to modify a 747-8 to become the next Air Force One, and finding opportunities for cost reduction through detailed requirements choices, competition of subsystems, and in the sustainment of the aircraft after it has been fielded.”

“The current fleet of VC-25A presidential aircraft has performed exceptionally well, a testament to the Airmen who support, maintain and fly the aircraft,” James said. “Yet, it is time to replace them. Parts obsolescence, diminishing manufacturing sources and increased down times for maintenance are existing challenges that will increase until a new aircraft is fielded.”

Friday, January 29, 2016

New contract vehicle opens doors for Battle Management programs

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


1/29/2016 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Battle Management programs are now able to take an expedited approach to acquisition by tapping into a select pool of small and large businesses courtesy of a new contract vehicle called PEITSS.

On Jan. 27, 2016, the Air Force awarded a $538 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity PEITSS -- short for Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems -- contract to five small businesses and one large business capable of procuring, integrating, fielding and supporting battle management and command and control systems.

Instead of programs undergoing the often long and tedious process of sending out requests for proposals followed by an individual source selection, they will be able to piggyback off the existing PEITSS IDIQ contract and RFPs from the awarded companies. The PEITSS awardees include BAE Systems, BCF Solutions, iGov Technologies, Pelatron, PeopleTec and Smartronix.

"What makes this contract unique is the pool of contractors poised to perform the work and the speed to award," said Don MacMillan, PEITSS program manager.

After several years of market research, MacMillan discovered that much of the work typically handled by large defense contractors could in fact be performed by smaller, more flexible companies. In general, the Battle Management Directorate places a heavy emphasis on small business participation, and according to MacMillan, the PEITSS contract will constitute a considerable percentage of this year's small business contracting total.

The principle advantage to the PEITSS contract is speed.

"There are fewer steps involved with an IDIQ, and it is a relatively easy process compared to most contracts," MacMillan said.

According to officials, program delivery orders can be awarded in as little as 18 weeks once the contracting officer receives a proposal package from a PEITSS company.

The PEITSS contract is the first of its kind and will span the next 10 years, with a five-year base contract and an option to extend the ordering period for another five years. 

Now that PEITSS is available for use, Battle Management program offices can begin executing delivery orders. And the first program to benefit from the new contract vehicle is Tactical Air Control Party-Modernization's Mobile Communications System, otherwise known as MCS.

On Jan. 28, MCS officials issued a delivery order valued at approximately $52.4 million to iGov Technologies. The order will produce an initial six MCS systems, followed by a full production option of 158 systems.

MCS will modify existing M1145 Humvee systems and provide joint terminal attack controllers critical voice, data and video communications. The system will allow JTACs to coordinate and control close-air support from the safety of an armored vehicle.

"It is the first TACP capability to be fielded using PEITSS, which allows the Air Force to deliver a system that Air Combat Command needs and also saves taxpayer dollars," said Maj. Ryan Marcotte, MCS program manager. "When MCS-type capabilities are needed on future TAC-P vehicles, such as the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, PEITSS will be the contract of choice."

With a $538 million ceiling and no restrictions on contractor teaming, the PEITSS contract allows Battle Management programs to incorporate new C2 capabilities on many different types of platforms. Options can vary from dismounted Airman to fixed vehicles to shelters and even airborne platforms.

"PEITSS provides a ready-made competitive contract vehicle to rapidly pull together and deliver no- or low-development solutions to all types of Battle Management customers," said Col. Michael Harm, Theater Battle Control Division senior materiel leader. "We expect to keep our awardees busy over the next several years."

Leaders From 18 Nations, Southcom Meet To Discuss Caribbean Security



By Michael Wimbish, U.S. Southern Command DoD News, Defense Media Activity

KINGSTON, Jamaica, January 29, 2016 — Drawn by an interest in addressing regional threats of mutual concern, delegations from 18 nations including the United States met in Kingston, Jamaica, Jan. 26-29, for talks on security cooperation capacity building in the Caribbean.

More than 100 leaders and experts in defense, government, law enforcement and emergency management took part in the 14th Caribbean Nations Security Conference, or CANSEC XIV, where they examined known challenges to regional stability and discussed the policies, strategies, initiatives, mechanisms and capabilities that support regional collaboration and shared security goals.

The annual conference was co-hosted by Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defense Force Maj. Gen. Antony Bertram Anderson, and U.S. Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command.

“Much of the work we do nowadays is within a multiagency, multinational context, rather than the traditional military operation, even though those traditional partnerships remain essential,” Anderson said during remarks at the opening ceremony. “This current paradigm allows us to approach the business of securing our countries in innovative ways. When we get these partnerships right, we will achieve a synergy in security that will allow collective efforts to be far more effective than if we attempted to go it alone.”

Tidd told attendees he was eager to hear their perspectives and ideas on ways to improve collaboration.

“From what I know and from what I have learned over these past few weeks, I see tremendous opportunities for improving information sharing between our countries and leveraging already established mechanisms. Let me know what obstacles remain, what still needs to be done, and what Southcom can do to help,” he said during his opening ceremony remarks.

Caribbean Security

U.S. and Caribbean leaders provided updates on the Caribbean Community Crime and Security Strategy and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.

“Between 2010 and 2015, we provided over $387 million under CBSI [for] law enforcement programs to address the threats, complemented by longer-term, rule-of-law programs, economic development activities, and military capability programs,” said Matthew Mullins-Hall, a foreign affairs officer with the U.S. State Department.

Mullins-Hall called the State Department-funded Technical Assistance Field Team, one of the most successful programs assisting the region under CBSI.

Based at Southcom, the 15-member team is comprised of engineers, electricians, technicians, communications specialists and logisticians from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army. The team assists the region’s naval and maritime security forces with improving maintenance, supply and logistics capabilities critical to ensuring the sustainment and availability of maritime patrol fleets for counter illicit trafficking operations.

“They’re actually here in Jamaica this week helping the Jamaica Defense Force launch their SAFE [patrol] boats,” he added, referring to boats recently donated to Jamaica by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.

Day Two

The second day of CANSEC XIV began with discussions on cooperative efforts to counter transnational organized crime in the Caribbean and improve information sharing.

“A common understanding of data and the practical aspects of how [information] must be shared needs to be worked out now. It cannot wait until the next piece of critical information is received. It cannot wait until the problem becomes more complex or dynamic … We must understand the connecting points before we can begin to use them,” said Robert Post, a Southcom analyst.

Delegates visited the Caribbean Military Maritime Training Center and the Caribbean Military Aviation School, where faculty members acquainted the guests with how their institutions support training and operations for Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.

“We’ve been working for a while, specifically with Canada, in developing this capability,” Anderson said. “Because of our relatively small size it may be useful for some of the partner nations from the Caribbean to look at what we’re doing.”
The final day of CANSEC XIV included a briefing by the Inter-American Defense Board and updates on the 12th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, a meeting of Western Hemisphere defense ministers to be hosted in October by Trinidad and Tobago.

AFMC promotes National Cancer Prevention Month

by Greg Chadwick
Air Force Materiel Command Health & Wellness Team


1/29/2016 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- During the month of February, Air Force Materiel Command will promote its Cancer Prevention Awareness Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to inform the AFMC workforce on ways to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Among cancers that affect both men and women, lung cancer and colorectal cancer are the two leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States.

Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Overall, the lifetime probability for a man to develop lung cancer is 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is 1 in 16. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can lower your risk for developing lung cancer in the following ways:
- Don't smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers.
- Get your home tested for radon. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from rocks and dirt and can be trapped in houses and buildings. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
- Take precautions to protect yourself from exposure to airborne hazards such as diesel exhaust and chemicals. Follow health and safety guidelines in the workplace to reduce or eliminate the hazard. 
 
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, when men and women are combined. Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer. The lifetime probability of someone developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20.
 
The CDC lists the following ways to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer:
 
- Get screened for colorectal cancer if you are age 50 or older. Screening tests help prevent colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed. Screening also finds this cancer early, when treatment can be most effective.
- Maintain a healthy weight according to the Body Mass Index. Healthy weight range is 18.5 to 24.9 on the BMI height & weight chart.
- Be physically active with 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly.
- Don't smoke.
- Limit alcoholic beverage consumption to 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
 
Research is ongoing to find out if changes to diet can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. Recent studies conducted by the World Health Organization suggest that regular consumption of processed meat such as bacon, hot dogs and sausages, can increase colorectal cancer risk.
 
Civilian Health Promotion Services will be offering educational briefings on cancer prevention throughout February. For more information regarding CHPS activities for National Cancer Prevention Month, visit www.AFMCwellness.com or contact your local CHPS team. Comprehensive cancer information can be found at the National Cancer Institute website at www.cancer.gov.

Sesame Street Supports Military Families in Transition



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2016 — Elmo, Big Bird, and Abby Cadabby are teaming up with the Defense Department to support thousands of military families as they transition to civilian life, according to Transition to Veterans Program Office officials.

On Jan. 27, the Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, launched a website devoted to helping families cope with the changes associated with transitioning into civilian life, the officials said. The site, located at http://www.sesamestreet.org/veterans, includes several videos for children and adults, an activity book called “My Story, My Big Adventure Activity Book,” and other resources that military parents can use to help their families communicate through the transition process, the officials said.

The products are intended to increase the ability of parents to communicate with young children in age-appropriate ways and create awareness among transition service providers of the importance of including the whole family, particularly children, when addressing transitions for active duty service members, the officials said. The products are available online and will be distributed through a variety of networks where military families and children are present, both on and off military installations, the officials said.

 “We are grateful to Sesame Workshop for their efforts to assist our transitioning military families,” said Susan Kelly, director of the Department of Defense’s Transition to Veterans Program Office. “Transitioning out of the military can be challenging for families, and we hope these products will help ease that transition.”

The Defense Department has worked with the Sesame Workshop in the past to use Sesame Street’s familiar characters to help preschool-aged military children understand aspects of military life, such as the deployment of a parent, moving to a new home, and the injury or even death of a parent, the officials said. Previous examples of resources that have been developed through this collaboration between the Sesame Workshop and the Department of Defense can be found through Military OneSource: http://www.militaryonesource.mil/sesame, the officials said

The latest collection of resources about the transition of military families comes through collaboration with the National Center for Telehealth and Technology of the Defense Centers for Excellence, along with personnel from DoD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office and the Military Community and Family Policy office, the officials said.

Focus Groups

The department assisted the Sesame Workshop in conducting research on this effort by organizing focus groups in 2015 with transitioning families at installations across the nation, including Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Eustis, Virgina; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; Miramar Air Force Base, California; Camp Pendleton, California; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, New York; the officials said.

According to the Sesame Workshop, focus group responses indicated that transition-related challenges, such as finding employment and adjusting to a change in family roles, could increase anxiety in military children, possibly resulting in academic or behavioral challenges, the officials said. The Workshop’s materials emphasize communication throughout the transition process and underscore the benefits of making new friends and maintaining a positive attitude through change, the officials said.

Rosemary Williams, the deputy assistant defense secretary for military community and family policy, said the long-standing working relationship with Sesame Workshop has great benefits for military families.

 “Their unique ability to translate difficult topics into language easily understood by children and trusted by their parents is most unique,” Williams said. “These fun and engaging products will only help military families as they adjust to new changes with the same resilience that marked their service to our nation.”
The products can also be found at the Sesame Street for Military Families website and through a mobile app available for Apple and Android users under the same name, the officials said.