E-News Bulletin, July 2009
Vol 3, No. 12 — July 10, 2009
It is no surprise that NANA’s leadership would welcome opportunity to serve our country through NANA. Four of our NANA Development board members, Luke Sampson, Charlie Curtis, Lester Hadley and Roland Booth as well as hundreds of Inupiaq people from the NANA region have served proudly in the United States Armed Services.
NANA people know that when your family, your neighbor, or your countrymen need help – you don’t look around and hope someone else will come forward – you jump in! The idea of community and pride of heritage is why patriotism in the NANA region is strong. It is, perhaps, one of the reasons why so many of our young men and women enlist in military service.
NANA Development Corporation has many employees serving the federal government. We provide mission critical services to every branch of the United States military and many federal agencies. We have been honored numerous times for the high quality of our people and customer service. As a people and a Region, we are still answering our nation’s call and our service to our nation extends through our businesses.
As we enter in this patriotic month, please join me in taking a moment to acknowledge and thank all of our employees who work in our federal contracting companies. You do outstanding work in support of your country every day. I also thank our shareholders and staff members who have served this nation through times of peace and strife. You are truly heroes.
NANA Development Corporation
When the average Private First Class (PFC) walks into the three-time Hill Award winning Anderson Mess Hall at Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Base, Oahu, Hawaii – they step out of the regimentation of military life and into a fun, friendly atmosphere where they can relax and get a little taste of home.
The W.P.T. Hill awards were established in 1985 to improve food service operations as well as to encourage excellence in the garrison and field food service programs, while improving the quality of life for the Marine Corps and Navy Personnel. As a three-time Hill Award winner, NANA Services Anderson Mess Hall project manager, Ricky Liu, thinks he may have discovered the secret ingredient to winning this prestigious award.
“It’s all about the Marines who come into our facility,” said Liu, “That’s what I tell my staff. Every day it’s about the Marine, no matter the rank. When we’ve provided them with a delicious meal and they leave with a smile on their faces, we’ve done our job right.”
From the spotless kitchen and featured local Hawaiian fare, to the staff luau shirts and sports-themed decorated surroundings, Liu and his mutli-award winning team, along with their Marine counter-parts, have created a unique mess hall environment.
But it’s more than just the facility “bling” that brings Marines back time and time again. It’s the attention to detail and the crafting of a dining experience that makes this mess hall stand out from the field.
“It all starts the moment they walk in the door, “said Liu. “We try to address the Marine by name and ask them about their kids or family. We want to make them feel welcome. We care about making this place special for them and we want them to know how much we appreciate them.”
It’s the little things that make the difference, like the tropical flowers, picked by NANA staff on their personal time to decorate the chow line or the staff members who volunteer to come in on the holidays and create a sense of home for those servicemen and women who can get back to their loved ones.
“We don’t do this to win awards,” said Liu. “Don’t get me wrong. We are grateful and appreciate being acknowledged. But, we do this because we genuinely care about our Marines. They are out there for America, the least we can do is give them the opportunity to relax and enjoy their meals. It’s our way of saying thank you.”
How would you explain to someone what a Nodal Network Switching Operator is or does? How about a 71D or 96B? All of these are Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) in the United States Army. For us civilians, it’s best to think of an MOS as a job.
But when the Army is recruiting soldiers, it needs a concise, clear way to present career paths to potential recruits.
That’s what Akima’s Pat Pittman does for U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, KY. Pat serves as assistant to the program manager, technical advisor, and executive producer for MOS and Army benefit videos. These videos are used by Army recruiters to provide applicants with a realistic look of what to expect with regard to training and working in a specific MOS and the benefits and options of Army enlistment.
When the Army went to the new Army Combat Uniform (ACU) in 2005, all 240 MOS videos in the inventory had to be redone. It’s been an ongoing process that is currently picking up speed with the use of more production crews. Prior to any video being shot, scripts must be reviewed, updated and approved, and coordination made with the military school for logistical and personnel support.
In December, Pat was involved in the production of an infantry video at Fort Benning, GA. She worked with the United States Army Recruiting and Enlistment Center (USAREC) representative, SFC Shine, along with Akima’s subcontractor, digital OutPost (dOP), to film various phases of infantry training and demonstrations for a week to create a new infantry recruiting video.
Through some early morning shoots and inclement weather, Pat and the crew captured some outstanding scenes. By late February the video was edited and was in the review process. The video was reviewed by the Army and the infantry school for accuracy, as well as legal, safety, and equal opportunity (EO) compliance.
In late February, Pat, SFC Shine and the dOP crew were back out on the road, this time at Fort Huachuca, AZ. There, they filmed the training for the military intelligence MOS specialties. Pat and crew then continued their travels with site visits to Fort Bliss, TX and Fort Gordon, GA to film training at those locations, then moved on to Carlsbad, CA for editing of the military intelligence videos at the dOP offices located there.
This sort of schedule would be daunting for most, but Pat and the dOP crew thrive on it. Promoting our Army and educating new recruits through visual communication, such as the videos Pat’s team produces builds a stronger military by helping to produce a cadre of better informed recruits.
Today, elders in the NANA Region who need long-term nursing care have to relocate to Anchorage or Fairbanks where they are a long way from their loved ones and home. The Maniilaq Association is trying to change that and has contracted with DOWL HKM (a 51% NANA Development Corporation owned company) and Architects Alaska to design a new elder care facility that will be co-located with the Maniilaq Health Center in Kotzebue.
The new facility will add about 15,000 square feet to the existing 80,000 square foot hospital and house 18 long-term care / assisted living beds. The new elder care unit will provide some new space for the Physical Therapy Department and the Specialty Clinic.
Jay Farmwald, Senior Project Manager with DOWL HKM and Steve Erskine, a Project Manager on Farmwald’s staff, are leading the project team. Farmwald has worked in the region for more than 25 years and was the Indian Health Service project manager for the planning, design and construction of the new hospital that opened in 1995. He says that while DOWL HKM helps build medical facilities throughout the state, this one will be specifically designed with the Inupiat people of the region in mind.
“The hospital already has a large kitchen that provides meals for patients, staff and visitors, but we realized that the elders who were going to live in the facility would want to have access to traditional Inupiat food,” said Farmwald. “So, one of the many touches we intend to add is a small kitchen in the elder care wing just for that purpose.”
While the added kitchen will be something special, the entire elder care unit will be something extraordinary. Farmwald says it is all due to the forward-thinking vision of the Maniilaq Association.
“They are trying to go beyond what is considered the standard of care funded by the Indian Health Service,” he said. “Consistent with the principles of self-determination, they are being proactive in trying to provide the type of care that is wanted and needed in the region --- outside of what is traditionally offered in rural Alaska.”
When Farmwald started working on the new hospital some 20 years ago, he worked with many of the same people that are still in the region today — like Marie Greene and Ian Erlich. “After 20 years you see what people are really made of and there is no doubt in my mind that, when it comes to helping people in their region, they definitely have the will to find the way,” said Farmwald.
Design of the new addition was completed in 2008 and construction started this past winter (installation of foundation piles). Construction of the main building shell will start this summer. The Maniilaq Board of Directors hopes to complete the project by the fall of 2010.
by Ken Dama with excerpts from a Missile Defense Agency news release
Akima’s Operations and Maintenance personnel at the Kauai Test Facility in Hawaii face ever-changing challenges. The facility, located within the Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Barking Sands, conducts a wide range of operations that include experiments in the upper atmosphere, ionosphere, and space. These experiments support materials research, components development, advanced reentry vehicle technologies, water entry and recovery systems, missile defense testing, and on-board sensor research and development testing.
In addition to preparing the site for the operation, Akima’s team participates in missile launches by assisting with security, telemetry, communications, processing classified data, visitor requests and badging, building access, rail launcher load testing and certification, weather balloon launching, the clam shelter team, the missile service tower team and ME-16 set-up. In short, Akima is an integral part of the launch team at the Kauai Test Facility.
Last November, at approximately 6:12 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (11:12 p.m. EST), a target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Moments later, a second, identical target was launched from the PMRF. The USS Lake Erie’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System detected and tracked the targets and developed fire control solutions.
Approximately two minutes later, the USS Lake Erie’s crew fired two SM-3 missiles, and two minutes later they successfully intercepted the targets outside the earth’s atmosphere more than 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean and 250 miles northwest of Kauai. The intercepts used “hit to kill” technology, meaning that the targets were destroyed when the missiles collided directly with the targets. For the first time, the operationally realistic test involved two unitary “non-separating” targets, meaning that the target’s warheads did not separate from their booster rockets. These were the 32nd and 33rd successful “hit-to-kill” intercepts since 2001. The mission was completed using the tactically certified 3.6 Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense shipboard weapon system and the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA interceptor.
A Japanese destroyer also participated in the flight test. Stationed off Kauai and equipped with the certified 3.6 Aegis BMD weapon system, the guided missile destroyer JS Kongo performed long-range surveillance and tracking exercises. The Kongo used the test as a training exercise in preparation for the first ballistic missile intercept test by a Japanese ship planned for later this year. This event marked the fourth time an allied military unit participated in a U.S. Aegis BMDS test.