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unhappycamper

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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Editorial: More - VA's resources too meager to end backlog

http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2013/03/04/1240654?sac=fo.military

Editorial: More - VA's resources too meager to end backlog
Published: 12:00 AM, Mon Mar 04, 2013

'Hurry up and wait" never had better application than at the end of a war, with many thousands of troops and millions of pieces of equipment waiting to be collected, identified and shipped to their various Stateside destinations. Realists expect neither perfection nor instant, glitch-free service as the pressure builds.

With regard to the processing of disability claims, though, difficult questions arise. Veterans once made a commitment to serve, and certain commitments were made to them in return. Explanations aside, at what point does delay begin to take on the properties of default?

Such questions could be pushed off indefinitely, had the VA not set its own standard: all claims processed within 125 days. Tell that to the 7,000 veterans who have been waiting a year for the regional office in Winston-Salem to rule one way or the other on their applications. Or the 700 who have waited more than two years.

The average wait time is 341 days.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Mar 4, 2013, 08:45 AM (1 replies)

Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/02/27/pol-fighter-jets-boeing-superhornet-f-35-milewski.html

Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price
By Terry Milewski, CBC News
Posted: Feb 27, 2013 8:54 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2013 10:02 AM ET

In a dogfight of defence contractors, the hunter can quickly become the hunted. It's happening now to the F-35.

The world's largest defence contractor, Lockheed Martin, is trying to convince wavering U.S. allies — including Canada — to stick with its high-tech, high-priced and unproven F-35 stealth fighter. But the F-35 is way behind schedule, way over budget and, now, it's grounded by a mysterious crack in a turbine fan.

After years of technical problems, it's a tempting target for Lockheed Martin's rivals.

~snip~

With Ottawa now reviewing its previous commitment to buy the F-35, Boeing is making an aggressive pitch to Canadian taxpayers, offering to save them billions of dollars if they buy Boeing's Super Hornets instead.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 10:16 AM (0 replies)

Lockheed Wins $334 Million F-35 Contract Before U.S. Cuts

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-28/lockheed-awarded-333-7-million-contract-for-eighth-f-35-batch.html

Lockheed Wins $334 Million F-35 Contract Before U.S. Cuts
By Tony Capaccio - 2013-03-01T05:19:15Z

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) received a $333.7 million U.S. downpayment to buy initial parts, components and materials for an eighth batch of F-35 jets, as the Pentagon locked in the funds hours before automatic budget cuts begin.

Yesterday’s action exempts the funds from the across-the- board spending reductions known as sequestration that take effect today because Pentagon officials have said contracts with obligated dollars won’t be cut or terminated. The eighth contract calls for 35 jets, including four aircraft for the U.K. and two for Norway, according to a Pentagon statement.

The agreement by the Pentagon and Lockheed underscores their shared commitment to continued development of the costliest U.S. weapon system. The Department of Defense sheltered the F-35 funding from spending cuts even as officials warn they will have to impose furloughs on civilian workers and reduce troop training at the risk of combat readiness.

“The reality is that the procurement arm of the DoD is charged with getting good prices,” Howard Rubel, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. in New York, said in an e-mail. “The sequester works against it. Lower dollars under sequester does not mean more effective purchasing or lower unit costs.”



unhappycamper comment: Verified:

http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=4988

FOR RELEASE AT
5 p.m. ET No. 119-13
February 28, 2013

CONTRACTS

NAVY

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $333,786,000 fixed-price-incentive (firm-target), advance acquisition contract to provide long lead-time parts, materials and components required for the delivery for the 35 Low Rate Initial Production lot VIII F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft: 19 conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft for the U.S. Air Force; six short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps; four Carrier Variant aircraft for the U.S. Navy; four STOVL for the United Kingdom; and two CTOL aircraft for the Government of Norway. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in February 2014. Contract funds in the amount of $333,786,000 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force ($155,190,000, 46 percent); the U. S. Marine Corps ($85,380,000, 26 percent); and the U.S. Navy ($27,470,000, 8 percent); the United Kingdom ($45,037,000, 14 percent); and Norway ($20,709,000, 6 percent). This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to the FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting authority (N00019-13-C-0008).

PAE Government Services Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $54,013,255 modification under a previously awarded cost-plus-award fee contract (N33191-12-D-0407) to extend the period of performance for recurring base operating support services at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and Camp Simba, Manda Bay, Kenya. The work to be performed provides for general management and administration services; public safety (harbor security, security operations and emergency management program); ordnance; air operations (airfield facilities and passenger terminal and cargo handling); supply; morale, welfare and recreation; galley; housing (bachelor quarters and laundry); facility support (facilities investment, janitorial, pest control services and refuse services); utilities (water, waste water and electrical); base support vehicle and equipment; and environmental. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $122,973,269. Work will be performed in Africa, in Djibouti (97 percent) and Kenya (3 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2013. Fiscal 2013 Operation and Maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $7,716,179 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Europe Africa Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy, is the contracting activity.

Argo Systems L.L.C.*, Hanover, Md., is being awarded a $23,033,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the design and construction of the Embassy Security Group Facilities at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va. The work to be performed provides for a new headquarters building, separate warehouse, and compound access control buildings for the Marine Corps Embassy Security Guard (MCESG) at Marine Corps Base Quantico. MCESG headquarters building will serve a dual function; both as the administrative arm of the MCESG and as a mock embassy at which Marine trainees will practice embassy security operations. The facility will also include a separate warehouse operations building. The contract contains two unexercised options, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $24,504,956. Work will be performed in Quantico, Va., and is expected to be completed by March 2015. Fiscal 2012 Military Construction, Navy contract funds in the amount of $23,033,000 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with 15 proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-13-C-0002).

Talon Industries Inc.*, Arlington, Texas, is being awarded a $16,984,071 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of a fuel pipeline replacement at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The work provides for a new steel underground pipeline covering 4.6 miles between fuel pier on Seaplane Base and consolidated fuel facility tanks at Ault Field Naval Air Station. The work also includes, after completion of the new pipeline, the decommissioning of two 60 year old pipelines; and provides for wetland mitigation work. The pipeline provides the primary means of transporting JP-8 jet fuel from the main fuel pier to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island airfield to support mission requirements. Work will be performed in Oak Harbor, Wash., and is expected to be completed by August 2014. Fiscal 2012 Military Construction, Defense Logistics Agency contract funds in the amount of $16,984,071 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with six proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity (N44255-13-C-4005).

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded an $11,364,353 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-10-C-0030) to exercise an option for the full rate production of 1,001 precision laser guidance sets for the U.S. Air Force. Work will be performed in St. Charles, Mo., and is expected to be completed in February 2014. Fiscal 2013 Aircraft Procurement Air Force contract funds in the amount of $11,364,353 will be obligated at time of award; none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Engility Corp., Mount Laurel, N.J., was awarded on Feb, 27, 2013, a $9,600,000 modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00421-09-D-0009) to exercise an option for technical and engineering services in support of the Naval Air Systems Command Structures Division (AIR 4.3), to include data analysis, information systems, and software functions of the Structural Appraisal of Fatigue Effects (SAFE) Program. Work will be performed in Lexington Park, Md., and is expected to be completed in February 2014. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

The Wornick Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded contract SPM3S1-13-D-Z193. The award is a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum $181,739,242 for various polymeric entrée ration items. Location of performance is Ohio with a Feb. 28, 2016 performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

AmeriQual Group L.L.C., Evansville, Ind., was awarded contract SPM3S1-13-D-Z192. The award is a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum $150,730,396 for various polymeric entrée ration items. Location of performance is Indiana with a Feb. 28, 2016 performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

GE Datex Ohmeda Inc., Madison, Wis., was issued a modification exercising the fourth option year on contract SPM2D1-09-D-8348/P00020. The modification is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract with a maximum $19,847,688 for patient monitoring systems, subsystems, accessories, consumables, spare/repair parts and training. Location of performance is in Wisconsin with a March 5, 2014 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 through fiscal 2014 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Lord Corp., Brie, Pa., was issued a modification on contract SPE400-02-D-9413/P00001. The modification is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract with a maximum $12,322,800 for bearing assembly rotors. Locations of performance are in Pennsylvania and Ohio with a Sept. 16, 2013 performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Va.

Elwyn Industries, Aston, Pa., was issued a modification exercising the second option year on contract SPM2DS-11-D-N001/P00007. The modification is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum $7,952,663 for muslin, compressed, camouflaged, triangular bandages. Locations of performance are in Pennsylvania and Delaware with a March 8, 2014 performance completion date. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Twigg Corp.*, Martinsville, Ind., was awarded contract SPM4A7-13-D-0030. The award is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract with a maximum $6,686,824 for multiple types of engine vane assemblies. Location of performance is in Indiana with a March 2014 performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013 Defense Working Capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Va.

AIR FORCE

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Savannah, Ga., is being awarded a $49,594,534 firm-fixed-price contract (FA8106-13-D-0001) for contractor logistics support services for the C-37 aircraft. The location of performance is Savannah, Ga.; MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; Joint Base Andrews, Md.; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii and Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2013. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2013. The contracting activity is OC-ALC/GKSKB, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va., is being awarded a $7,977,017 firm-fixed-price contract (FA8807-13-C-0004) for global positioning systems engineering and integration requirements. The location of performance is El Segundo, Calif. Work is expected to be completed by May 7, 2013. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2011 through 2013. The contracting activity is SMC/GPK, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

Thales Communications Inc., Clarksburg, Md., is being awarded a $7,600,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8102-13-D-0001, order 0001) for Navigational Aids Family of Systems modernization program for non-developmental systems to upgrade the legacy AN/FRN-43/44/45 systems. The location of the performance is Shawnee, Kan. Work is expected to be completed by February 2014. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2012. The contracting activity is AFLCMC/HBKKC, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

ARMY

BAE System Technology Solutions, Rockville, Md., was awarded a $25,152,601 cost-plus-award-fee contract. The award will provide for the maintenance, transportation and supply services on the island of Oahu and Hawaii. Work will be performed in various locations in Hawaii, including Schofield Barracks, East Range, Wheeler Army Airfield, Fort Shafter and Pokakuloa Training Area. The contract’s estimated completion date is Feb. 28, 2014. There were 54 bids solicited, with seven bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (W912CN-08-C-0085).

Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc., Edgewood, Md., was awarded an $18,187,332 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the support services to perform Public Works functions in Alaska. Work will be performed in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2014. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with three bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, is the contracting activity (W912CZ-09-D-0004).

Consolidated Construction and Engineering Co., Laurel, Md., (W91CRB-13-D-0005); and Grose Construction, Aberdeen, Md., (W91CRB-13-D-0006); were awarded a firm-fixed-price multiple-award contract among two vendors with a maximum amount of $15,000,000. The award will provide for the range maintenance services. Work location will be determined with each subsequent order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 24, 2016. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with nine bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.

iRobot Corp., Bedford, Mass., was awarded a $14,424,220 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the procurement of FirstLook robotic systems, spare part kits and robot accessories. Work will be performed in Bedford, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2013. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-13-C-0124).

QinetiQ North America Inc., Waltham, Mass., was awarded a $12,946,769 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the procurement of Dragon Runner-10 robotic systems and associated spare parts for system sustainment. Work will be performed in Waltham and Franklin, Mass., and Pittsburgh, Pa., with an estimated completion date of Aug. 25, 2013. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-13-C-0128).

DynCorp International L.L.C., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded an $11,533,474 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the aviation field maintenance services. Work will be performed in Fort Hood, Texas, with an estimated completion date of March 22, 2014. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with eight bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-13-C-0042).

TRAX International Corp., Las Vegas, Nev., was awarded a $9,333,333 cost-plus-award-fee contract. The award will provide for the modification of an existing contract to continue test support services on Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz. Work will be performed in Yuma, Ariz., and Fort Greely, Alaska, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2013. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with three bids received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Yuma, Ariz., is the contracting activity (W9124R-09-C-0003).

Manson Construction Co., Seattle, Wash., was awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for maintenance dredging services of Mobile Harbor Channel, Ala. Work location will be determined with each subsequent order, with an estimated completion date of April 18, 2014. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with three bids received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Ala., is the contracting activity (W91278-13-D-0005).

*Small Business


Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 10:13 AM (0 replies)

U.S. general's Australian outburst could undermine F-35 program

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/02/us-lockheed-fighter-orders-idUSBRE92101M20130302



Another $243 million dollars down the toilet.

U.S. general's Australian outburst could undermine F-35 program
By Andrea Shalal-Esa
Fri Mar 1, 2013 9:32pm EST

(Reuters) - An outburst in Australia this week by the Pentagon's chief buyer for the costly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter risks undermining the program at home and abroad, U.S. defense officials and industry experts say.

At an Australian air show, Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan accused the plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), of trying to "squeeze every nickel" out of the U.S. government for the planes.

Bogdan, who took over the $396 billion program in December, told reporters it's not his job to be a "cheerleader for the F-35." But for some in the industry, the words stung.

"Airing dirty laundry in front of a key customer who's on the fence about buying more competing aircraft, is a very dangerous game," said aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. He said Australia is already considering plans to buy more Boeing (BA.N) F/A-18 Super Hornets, which could wind up reducing its planned purchase of 100 F-35 fighter jets.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:53 AM (1 replies)

Bradley Manning pleads guilty to leaking secret government documents

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-pn-bradley-manning-pleads-guilty-20130228,0,5930297.story



Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges Thursday, and will serve 20 years in prison.

Bradley Manning pleads guilty to leaking secret government documents
By Richard A. Serrano
February 28, 2013, 8:01 a.m.

FT. MEADE, Md. – Army Pfc. Bradley Edward Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges that he illegally acquired and transferred U.S. government secrets, agreeing to serve 20 years in prison for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks that described U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.

The 25-year-old soldier, however, pleaded not guilty to 12 more serious charges, including espionage for aiding the enemy, meaning that his criminal case will go forward at a general court-martial in June. If convicted at trial, he risks a sentence of life in prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

A small, thin soldier in Army blues and eyeglasses, Manning admitted that he leaked the video of a helicopter gun battle, State Department cables, an Army field manual and Army documents on Iraq and Afghanistan that detailed the military’s patrol reports there.

He also admitted that he leaked confidential file assessments of detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and five classified records from a U.S. bombing in the Farah Province of Afghanistan, which killed up to 30 civilians.


Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 07:00 AM (0 replies)

Nato commander apologises after troops shoot dead Afghan children

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/02/nato-apologises-afghan-boys-shot



US general Joseph Dunford offered personal condolences over deaths of two Afghan boys.

Nato commander apologises after troops shoot dead Afghan children
Reuters in Kabul
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 2 March 2013 13.11 EST

Nato said on Saturday its forces had accidentally shot dead two Afghan boys, in the latest of a series of reports of civilian deaths at the hands of international troops.

The shooting, in the southern province of Uruzgan, could further strain the relationship between the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) and Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who has demanded US special forces leave another province over allegations of torture. The two boys were shot dead when they were mistaken for insurgents during an operation in northwest Uruzgan on 28 February, Isaf commander US General Joseph Dunford said in a statement.

"I offer my personal apology and condolences to the family of the boys who were killed," Dunford said. "The boys were killed when Coalition forces fired at what they thought were insurgent forces." Dunford added that a team of Afghan and Isaf investigators visited the village on Saturday and met local leaders.

The area, Lowar-e-Dowahom, was often patrolled by international troops, a spokesman for provincial governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada said. "They saw two young children who were apparently listening to a radio and they shot them – it is not yet clear why," the spokesman said.



unhappycamper comment: Killing kids because they are listening to a radio? What's next? Killing kids because they are scrounging for food?

Time to leave Afghanistan.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun Mar 3, 2013, 06:53 AM (0 replies)

Tomgram: Kramer and Hellman, The Washington Creation That Ate Your Lunch

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/tom-engelhardt/48316/tomgram-kramer-and-hellman-the-washington-creation-that-ate-your-lunch

Tomgram: Kramer and Hellman, The Washington Creation That Ate Your Lunch
by Tom Engelhardt | February 28, 2013 - 9:52am

~snip~

Imagine a labyrinthine government department so bloated that few have any clear idea of just what its countless pieces do. Imagine that tens of billions of tax dollars are disappearing into it annually, black hole-style, since it can’t pass a congressionally mandated audit.

Now, imagine that there are two such departments, both gigantic, and you’re beginning to grasp the new, twenty-first century American security paradigm.

For decades, the Department of Defense has met this definition to a T. Since 2003, however, it hasn’t been alone. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which celebrates its 10th birthday this March, has grown into a miniature Pentagon. It’s supposed to be the actual “defense” department -- since the Pentagon is essentially a Department of Offense -- and it’s rife with all the same issues and defects that critics of the military-industrial complex have decried for decades. In other words, “homeland security” has become another obese boondoggle.

~snip~

Washington has poured staggering billions into securing the so-called homeland, but in so many of the areas meant to be secured there remain glaring holes the size of that gaping wound in the Titanic’s side. And yet over the past decade -- even with these problems -- terrorist attacks on the homeland have scarcely hurt a soul. That may offer a clue into just how misplaced the very notion of the Department of Homeland Security was in the first place. In the wake of 9/11, pouring tiny percentages of that DHS money into less flashy safety issues, from death by food to death by gun to death by car, to mention just three, might have made Americans genuinely safer at, by comparison, minimal cost.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Mar 1, 2013, 08:44 AM (0 replies)
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