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 or contact your local CHPS team. Comprehensive cancer information can be found at the National Cancer Institute website at

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, 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:, 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.

Nellis Airmen take time to give back

by Airman 1st Class Nathan Byrnes
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/29/2016 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Volunteering can be an amazing experience. Sharing those volunteer experiences can often inspire others to take time out and give back to the community. Airmen from the 823rd Maintenance Squadron took time on their day off to volunteer at the Nellis AFB Recycling Center Jan. 26.

"I wanted to get as many people as I could to come out and volunteer and give back to our community," said Airman 1st Class Douglas Wheeler, 823rd MXS HH-60 crew chief. "I'm on weekend shift so most of the Airman out here work the same shift and volunteered their time on their day off."

For Wheeler, volunteering is not only a way to give back; it also is a chance to build teamwork with his fellow Airman and a way to boost morale.
"Having my whole crew out here helps us learn that we can depend on each other and that we have each other's back and that carries over into our jobs on the flight line," said Wheeler.

Volunteering is a passion for Wheeler and took it upon himself to orchestrate this event. He hopes to encourage others to take time and volunteer.

"I can't reiterate it enough to get out there and volunteer as much as possible," said Wheeler. "It's a good feeling to give back to the community. You may not realize just how much you are helping others when you volunteer. That's why when you get an option to volunteer you should jump on it."

Wheeler is fortunate enough to work with many Airmen who are more than willing to take time out of their busy schedule to volunteer.

"Wheeler came around to each of us at work and told us what he was doing and asked if we wanted to help and I said 'yes'," said Senior Airman Ryan Corvin, 823rd MXS integrated avionics specialist. "I love volunteering and going out there and working together helps us get closer and be a more cohesive unit at work."

According to Gamy Manriquez, Nellis AFB Recycling Center recycling program manager, recycled materials at Nellis AFB have continuously brought extra funds to the Nellis AFB, Creech AFB, and NTTR communities. All the money that the Recycling Center makes goes to the Qualified Recycling Program fund and helps Nellis AFB environmental programs.

Manriquez welcomes anyone who wants to come out and volunteer their time to help at the Recycling Center. Those who are interested in volunteering must go through a safety briefing, have steel-toed boots and gloves before they are allowed to participate.

"Having Airman come out and volunteer helps tremendously," said Manriquez. "It not only helps them with their EPR bullets but it also helps Nellis and the quality of life on base," said Manriquez.

If interested in volunteering at the Recycling Center please call 702-652-5270 for more information.

Family Advocacy holds teen dating awareness events

by Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

1/27/2016 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Think back to when it was time for you or your children to begin dating. What are some things you discussed with your parents or children? Were there ground rules in place regarding acceptable times and locations for a date? Did you have "the talk?"

Most would probably say there were certain rules for dating and they had, comfortably or not, discussed sex in some way. But how many can say they had a candid discussion about violence in a dating relationship, especially when it came to teen dating?

Chances are the topic of dating violence never came up.

"Some of us did not get much advice or much preparation [about dating violence] and I don't know how much that's changed," said Jeanette Barzee, Family Advocacy Program outreach manager. "[Teens] may have gotten advice on all kinds of other things like, 'don't have sex right away,' but did anyone ever think they might be in danger? We might have to have a little bit different conversation."

According to, 81 percent of parents believe teen dating violence is either not an issue or are unsure if it is an issue. In an effort to spread awareness of this potential danger, the Family Advocacy Program has declared February Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

"The teen dating violence and abuse rates are much worse than the adult rates of violence," Barzee said. "We all need to wake up and pay attention to it and see what we can do."

In order to help spread awareness, Family Advocacy is holding several events at Schriever Air Force Base in February. The short film "Dating and Violence Should Never be a Couple" will be shown at the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4. The film features interviews with victims of teen dating violence. A short discussion will follow. The film is open to base personnel and their children 9 and older, and no reservation is required.

"I'm hoping [the film] will open parents' eyes, because they're really our first line of protection for the kids," Barzee said.

An information booth will be at the Schriever clinic 8 a.m. - noon Feb. 18. Outreach staff will man the booth to answer questions and distribute brochures and fact sheets.

Finally, the "Becoming a Love and Logic Parent" series will kick off Feb. 17. The four-part series will be held 1 - 4 p.m. Feb. 17 and 24 and March 2 and 9 at the A&FRC.

Barzee said she hopes attendees will be able to share the things they learn at these events with others in the community.

"I really hope [awareness] spreads way beyond the people who show up for these events," she said. "Getting a few key people informed is great, but they need to spread the word too."

For more information or to RSVP for the Love and Logic series, contact Family Advocacy at 556-8943.

William Smith High School students learn about Buckley AFB history

by Staff Sgt. Darren Scott
460th Space Wing Public Affairs

1/28/2016 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- Students from William Smith high school in Aurora, Colorado, visited Buckley Air Force Base Jan. 27 to learn a little bit about the base's history during World War II.

Christopher McCune, 460th Space Wing historian, talked to 25 students about Buckley AFB's role throughout history. McCune has been the wing historian for a little over one year and said it was the first time he has had the pleasure of leading a tour himself.

"The teacher actually called me about three or four weeks ago, asking about the possibility of bringing the kids onto the base," McCune said.

Ryan Clapp, William Smith High School teacher, says the base was an obvious choice to visit based on what the students are studying.

"We've been looking at local Word War II history, bringing the war to a more personal level," said Clapp. "Naturally, our next door neighbors at Buckley AFB seemed like perfect candidates."

The students traveled to Buckley AFB as part of a day-long field trip, which also included a trip to the Wings Over the Rockies Museum in Denver. McCune taught the group about the wing's current space-based missile warning mission and gave them an idea of what Buckley AFB was like more than 60 years ago using a presentation, historical photos and artifacts.

"There was a lot going on here during the second World War," said McCune. "It wasn't just an armament training school. We had basic training going on here. They went through all the same drills that any basic training curriculum did at that time period, including combat skills training, bayonets, marching, field skills and everything else."

McCune also revealed that there was once a women's Army Auxiliary Corps and a segregated African-American unit on Buckley AFB. The history of the base mirrored significant moments and changes in history that were taking place all over the nation.

Clapp said the group enjoyed the visit and was very thankful for McCune's time and expertise.
"Few of our students have ever been on base, and it was a fantastic opportunity to connect the sometimes abstract Word War II on a local level," said Clapp. "Christopher McCune was incredibly generous with his time in relating the history he's unearthed."

McCune hopes this visit won't be the last. He would like to reach out to local schools as the historian, give presentations or host visits just like this one.

"I've already had teachers asking me if I can put them in touch for a visit," said Clapp.

"It goes back to a roll as diplomats to the local community," McCune said. "What we do here still affects the local community in a lot of ways. There's also the impact of the importance of providing these kids with an idea of what things were like during this time period in history, which is extremely significant in the development of where this country is today."