On October 14, 2006, Airman First Class Leebernard E. Chavis, assigned to the USAF’s 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, was killed by an enemy sniper near Baghdad, Iraq as he sat in the turret of his armored Hummer. He working as part of a U.S. military police training team supporting Iraqi police. Ironically, the USAF’s M1116 HMMWV has been ahead of its counterparts in the area of gun shield protection – but this death was not unusual in and of itself. What was unusual was the response by his compatriots.
Maintenance workers from the 447th Air Expeditionary Group approached 732nd ESF Sqn security forces personnel who work the streets of Baghdad. Their goal: create a whole new turret design built for the urban battlefield. Using pieces cannibalized from junked or wrecked vehicles, old parts and scrounged materials, their cooperative did just that – and their “Chavis turret” design is winning high praise. In fact, it’s doing more than that – it’s headed into early production.
“I enjoy your articles covering various military spending. I have been checking your aircraft transport listings and haven’t seen much about the C5A. My reason for asking here in Martinsburg, WVA the Air Guard (167th) is spending between 300 million and 400 million to completely rebuild the base that was used for C130H to C5A. The work they’re doing on the other side of the field is absolutely amazing, huge new hangars, new runways and taxiways, construction crews working day and night. I find the amount of money being spent to be simply unbelivable with all of the spare capacity at BRAC’ed air bases. I guess Sen Byrd is spending house ways and means money instead of DoD to get it through, but I was wondering what are you folks hearing? You really got to see it to believe it, and you hear next to nothing in the media. Can your organization tell me anything about the Air Forces plan for the C5A and whats up at the 167th — Big money being spent.”
The 80,000 ton USS John F. Kennedy [CV 67], which hasn’t been deployed since 2004, managed to endure a few near-misses, but in the end, the curtain came down. Virginia legislators denied the Pentagon’s FY 2006 request to retire the carrier, but attitudes changed once they were presented with the estimated $2+ billion cost of restoring her to fighting condition.
The USS John F. Kennedy’s career as a US Navy vessel has now come to a close, leaving the CV 63 USS Kitty Hawk, based in Japan, as the last petroleum-powered aircraft carrier in the US Navy…
Serco North America, Inc. in Vienna, VA received a $12 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract with a cost-plus-fixed-fee pricing arrangement. Their work on “surveillance systems engineering support and special projects” will include advanced technology efforts for “maritime domain awareness, homeland force protection, and antiterrorism systems; Navy tactical command and control; sector command center (joint) and joint perimeter security command and control; advanced concept site; fleet battle experiments; coalition warrior interoperability demonstration; extended littoral battlefield; and combined maritime operations center.” This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative potential value to $63.9 million.
Work will be performed in San Diego, CA and is expected to be complete March 2008. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited on an unrestricted basis in the Federal Business Opportunity web site and posting on the Space and Naval Warfare Systems e-Commerce Central web site, with 1 offer received. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, CA issued the contract (N66001-07-D-0069).