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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Oct. 8, 2010
Executive Briefing

American Logistics Association
63rd Annual Convention

October 19-21, 2010
Hyatt Regency, Bellevue, WA
Click HERE for details!

President's Message

Base access: Between a rock and a hard place:
ALA's goal has and continues to be to have DoD field a single, affordable, and secure base access credential that can be made available to industry members. After all, it is estimated that industry members dedicated to the military resale and MWR business channel — including VCS, State Department Stores, etc. — provide somewhere around $500 million each year in support services. It is imperative that these industry partners be provided with secure and unimpeded access to bases and the e-business applications supporting business applications. The unfortunate fact is that DoD does not operate a uniform process for acquiring base access credentials for employees of companies that deliver goods and services to the military resale business channel.

The world of credentials. One would have thought that over the course of time the situation would have developed some clarity as DoD worked through the issue of installation security and base access. The establishment of a governance body like NORTHCOM that purports to have oversight of all security issues in the Continental United States (CONUS) would lead one to believe that a standard approach was in the offing. The gold standard and the desired credential has always been the DoD issued Common Access Card (CAC). The CAC has many objectives, including controlling access to computer networks, enabling users to sign documents electronically, encrypt email messages, and enter controlled facilities. The CAC is issued to all active duty military, Reserves, National Guard, DoD civilians; non-DoD/other government employees and State Employees of the National Guard and eligible DoD contractors who need access to DoD facilities or DoD computer network systems.

The grand plan was to have these cards authenticated against a secure data base that would contain personal and biometric data that mirrored the information on the card. This validation would be accomplished thorough a network of static or mobile readers that would scan the card and validate the information against the data base. Certain elements of verification could be required depending on the level of threat at a particular installation. The problem here is the "eligible DoD contractors." There are a variety of views on this issue but in all cases, there must be a nexus between the contract and the requirement for access and the issuing activity requires a government sponsor for the individual requiring access. In some cases, ALA members have been issued CAC cards or the equivalent contractor CAC card with the green bar on it but those days are over. Also, several IG reports have been issued citing major problems with CAC cards that were issued to contractors by Government personnel. With the realization the CAC cards were not the solution, DoD and industry began searching for an alternative in the 2004 timeframe. This led to the creation of the Federation for Cross-Credentialing Systems (FiXs). FiXs is a trade association working collectively with DoD to establish a federated model credential. The principal government partner in this quest is the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). The goal was a credential that met the strict technical standards for a CAC card but with shared responsibility for the sponsorship and adjudication — determining the eligibility — of the credential holder. This led to the development of the FiXs credential in partnership with DoD. The FiXs credential has been established with all the protocols set forth in the controlling directives — Homeland Presidential Security Directive–12, FIPS201 and the remaining alphabet soup of DoD acronyms.

All indications for the last 6 years are that DoD was moving toward the adoption of a federated solution — a FiXs type credential — to solve the base access dilemma. They developed the standards, tested the program (Fort Belvoir) had NORTHCOM notify base commanders of the program and publically declared that this was the desired course of action for industry to support (DASD NII). In July of this year, there was a comprehensive test of electronic authentication and validation of all approved DoD credentials including FiXs cards using Mobilisa static and mobile readers. Conferees on the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill cited FiXs as a promising program to rectify past contractor credential abuses. What they have not done is issue a definitive policy statement that supports the program. This amounts to DoD arm wrestling with itself over the program (DMDC versus the intelligence community). So in this case who wins? NO ONE! In the face of this stalemate at DoD, other options have developed. A company that used to be a member of FiXs (Eid Passport, Inc (RAPIDgate) reached the determination that DoD was likely to put this issue in the "Too Hard To Handle" box and embarked on the development and roll out a proprietary solution to provide base commanders a option to meet their security needs. The program is described as a standardized enrollment, vetting, credentials and management of access privileges for vendors, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers and service providers not eligible for a CAC card. At first, the program was adopted sporadically by individual bases. Our response to members who inquired about the proper course of action was…we think FiXs offers the best opportunity for a preferred solution but "you got to do what you got to do to get on base."

In the last month or so, the price of poker has gone up. The Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) announced that RAPIDgate would be rolled out at all Navy Installations in CONUS, Hawaii and Guam. Were we caught off guard by this? Absolutely! To date we are unable to find any test information, statement of work or procurement action that supports this sole source program adoption. This initiative was neither announced to or coordinated with industry by the Navy or NEXCOM. We sent a letter to the Commander (CNIC) asking "what gives" but I guess it went in the too hard to answer box.

So here is where things stand — our goal remains the same as stated in the opening — a single card for base access. I am not sure where we are on that journey but it has become clear to me that ALA can not mediate the internal differences within DoD. I am not going to detail the level of compliance between the two programs (FiXs, RAPIDgate) but simply state that neither meet current DoD policy guidelines and apparently DoD is not willing to issue the necessary guidance. We have met with senior DoD officials and Congressional committees imploring them to work out a solution that will ensure fast and secure access to bases. Most recently, the DoD issued guidance — see DoD Acceptance and Use of PIV-I Credentials, part 1 and part 2 — laying down the marker on what is a valid credential and what is not. We are waiting for this guidance to be implemented and hopefully it will help clarify matters. So far as we can tell, FiXs complies with all of the requirements put forth by this memorandum and is listed as an approved credential on all DoD websites dealing with this matter. The challenge is to get this guidance interpreted down to the base and gate level so that the card is easily recognized. Along these lines, we have been assured by the FiXs folks that they are working to ensure this is done. We are working to determine whether the RAPIDgate credentials meet the compliance standards that DoD set forth in the October 5th memo as well.

Our goal must now be to provide ALA members with the best possible options for the programs that are in place whether FiXs, RAPIDgate or some other alternative. To this end, we continue to pressure DoD to step up and issue guidance. We have entered into preliminary negotiations with Eid Passport, Inc. (RAPIDgate) to provide a program tailored to ALA member needs. Initial discussions have been promising. We discussed a favorable price for those requiring access to multiple bases and the possibility of reduced pricing for ALA members. These discussions continue including building a bridge between RAPIDgate and FiXs to ensure FiXs cards are accepted at RAPIDgate sites. We have invited Eid Passport to join us at the National Convention to present their program and answer any questions you might have.

While this is a highly complex and technical issue, we realize that our members just want to move quickly through the gate using one credential that is affordable. Sitting in lines at bases cost companies money. Paying a high price for credentials will result in higher prices for patrons. We need to and will continue to work to find a solution. In the meantime, we will do our best to apprise members of the various programs that are out there and how best to acquire credentials that will ensure affordable and secure base access. This is a complex and difficult issue but one we will not put in the too hard to do box or just write about but continue to work it every day.

Program to boost security at military bases
Read the Full Story
Boston Globe, The Associated Press
Nearly a year after a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, the Pentagon is taking steps to strengthen security and surveillance programs at its bases and will join an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying future terror threats, federal officials said.

Pentagon cuts are just a preview of what's to come
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Walter Pincus
The bipartisan uproar in Congress caused by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates's attempt to reduce excess Pentagon spending by eliminating the no-longer-needed Joint Forces Command in Virginia is just a preview of the battle that will occur next year when the country awakens to the drastic measures needed to bring overall federal taxes and outlays in line.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Gates says too few in US bear the burdens of war
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently said that most Americans have grown too detached from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and see military service as "something for other people to do." In a speech at Duke University, Gates said this disconnect has imposed a heavy burden on a small segment of society and wildly driven up the costs of maintaining an all-volunteer force. More

Cost of military health care is 'not sustainable'
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like business and government in America, the U.S. military is also burdened with the soaring cost of health care. "It's just not sustainable," said Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. While Americans may be in a heightened state of alert about national deficits and debt, Congress has consistently resisted attempts to raise out-of-pocket health costs for the military. More

No cuts now, HASC tells DoD
DoD Buzz    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The top members of the House Armed Services Committee signaled recently that they will not accept cuts to the overall defense budget, arguing that a nation at war cannot afford them. A senior member of the committee from Virginia threatened to issue subpoenas if Congress does not get data and documents from the Pentagon very soon about the underlying reasons for the closure of Joint Forces Command. More

War veterans' care to cost $1.3 trillion
   Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The expense of caring for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is an unfunded budget liability for U.S. taxpayers that in years to come will rival the cost of entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The House Veterans' Affairs Committee will hear new estimates of the cost of lifetime medical care and benefits for returning troops disabled by their service — a total of more than $1.3 trillion. More

Commissary News

Safety delayed
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite widespread support from food producers and consumer advocacy groups, passage of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act hit yet another snag in Congress last month. Barring a last minute, bipartisan effort, the bill appears headed for additional debate when the House and Senate reconvene after November's midterm elections. "We are extremely disappointed that the U.S. Senate has decided not to take up the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act before going to recess," Jennifer Hatcher, senior vice president of government relations for the Food Marketing Institute, said in a prepared statement. More

Sprouts recalled in New York and California
Produce Retailer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California and New York authorities are warning consumers against eating certain sprouts products, citing concerns they might be contaminated with salmonella and listeria. The California Department of Public Health on Sept. 30 issued a warning to consumers about Sacramento, Calif.-based Banner Mountain-branded alfalfa sprouts. In New York, after routine sampling by food inspectors and subsequent analysis discovered listeria contamination, an alfalfa supplier is recalling soybean sprout packages from Essex Farm Inc, which does business as Best Farm. More

US food sector hard-pressed to end grocery price war
Forexyard    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A price war being fought in grocery stores across America may be poised to end, bringing relief to food makers scarred by discounts, but many fighters are too scared to lay down their weapons. As the recession caused shoppers to count their pennies, sales growth in the grocery industry slumped, giving rise to a fierce battle for market share. Many food makers and retailers used discounts, or deals on products bought together, to fuel sales and protect their turf. More

Market Street pharmacies introduce affordable, convenient '$4 Rx and over the counter medications'
Business Wire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Market Street is extending its health and wellness philosophy to members of the Metroplex community with a new pharmacy program to help families alleviate their aches, pains and ailments affordably and conveniently. Dallas-Fort Worth residents are now able to fill a variety of generic prescriptions and treat minor afflictions with over-the-counter medications for only four dollars. More

Online grocery shopping: Setting new industry trends
Food and Drink Digital    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ordering groceries online may seem like the indolent approach to getting housework completed in the new millennium, but don’t be so quick to criticize this convenient process, as it assists the fast-paced executive keep up the momentum on his or her fast-paced lifestyle. The online grocery market is experiencing rapid growth due to growing Internet penetration, entry of new industries and the epiphany among time-pressured consumers of the convenience behind online purchasing. Despite this potential, the market is however characterized by challenges including gaining consumer loyalty and trust and the development of compelling, easy-to-use online platforms. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website as of 10 a.m., October 7, 2010:

  • DP #23, Far East Shipper and Promotion Quantities.
  • Holiday Superbowl, Update #3.
  • Holiday Chill/Freeze, Update #3.
  • 2011 DP #1, New Years Spectacular, WW Promotion Package.

  • 11-01, 2011 Mix and Match Mega Worldwide Sales.
  • 11-02, Coffee.

  • Adds/Changes/Deletes, Week 10-39, Corrected Copy and Week 10-40.
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
  • FY 10 August sales data

Exchange News

Procter & Gamble becomes USO Worldwide Strategic Partner
PR Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The USO recently announced its newest Worldwide Strategic Partner, Procter & Gamble. The USO and P&G have joined forces to provide new exclusive programs and services for troops and their families. These initiatives will launch in the coming months with a focus on providing a meaningful connection and value to these individuals. "Our commitment to the military men and women who serve dates back to the Civil War where we supplied the Union Army with soap and candles. This commitment continues today with our dedicated Military team. Leveraging a strategic relationship with the USO enables us to connect our brands to American service members and their families while touching and improving their lives," said P&G CEO Bob McDonald. More

'Freedom Crossing' poised to transform exchange benefit
Association of the United States Army    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Being first at anything can be both exhilarating and mysterious. Throw in a recession along with dozens of "firsts" and things can get even more exciting according to the people behind "Freedom Crossing" at Ft. Bliss. "It's never been done before," said the Army & Air Force Exchange Service's Ft. Bliss General Manager Paula Gunderson. "There's no other military installation that has embarked on a project like this." Despite the economic realities since breaking ground in July 2009, commitment to the landmark initiative has never wavered. Construction crews continued building, retailers kept merchandising and developers persisted in seeking new opportunities. More

Target plans to step up PFresh expansion
The Packer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Target Corp. said it plans to step up expansion into fresh produce and other groceries, with plans to add "PFresh" food departments to about half of its U.S. stores by the end of next year. The Minneapolis-based discount chain expects to have PFresh departments in about 850 stores by the end of 2011, Target's chief financial officer, Douglas Scovanner, said during a recent meeting with reporters at the company's headquarters, according to Reuters. More

Kmart re-launches pet brand
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kmart wants to be a dog lover's best friend. The retailer — which exited the private-label, pet-food business after the massive pet food recall in 2007 — has relaunched its Champion Breed brand, one of several recent changes reflecting an increasing emphasis on private label at the chain. "We're back in the pet business," Kim Coovert, Kmart's brand manager of own-brand food and drug, said at IIR USA's Private Brand Movement conference. More

Price Chopper, QuikTrip team up for pump savings
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kansas City, Mo.'s biggest grocery chain is teaming up with its metro area's biggest gasoline retailer to offer customers savings at the pump when they shop at both stores. Starting this month, Price Chopper and QuikTrip are encouraging customers to buy at least $50 worth of groceries at Price Chopper and then get cents off per gallon at the QuikTrip pump. "This is a great way for us to give value to our cardholders," said Price Chopper's Jody Hanson. "We know that right now the economy's tough — it's a tough time for people, and this is just another way to save money on such staples in their lives." More

KFC begins rolling out reusable, recyclable containers
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
KFC has begun rolling out its new reusable polypropylene container and lid to replace their former single-use foam container for side dishes. The new sides container, which is also microwaveable and "top rack dishwasher safe," requires 25 percent less energy to produce and generates half the amount of greenhouse gases, as compared to the general-purpose polystyrene foam container it is replacing. KFC's expectation for the container is that consumers will reuse and eventually recycle the package. More

New Yorkers' appetite for eating out declines
Crain's New York Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Not only are New Yorkers eating out less than they did a year ago, they are spending less, too. The survey reports that 27 percent of respondents said they are eating out fewer times per week than they did just six months ago, while their average cost of a restaurant meal was $41.76 — about flat from last year. As a result, the number of inexpensive restaurants in the city has soared. More

Washington Update

63rd ALA Annual Convention
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Military Nonpay Compensation Program Workshop


1 p.m. Introductions, Workshop Goals & Objectives, and video clip on The New Age of Innovation: Chris Rottner, ALA MWR

1:15 p.m. Jim Sallis, PhD, Director of the Active Living Institute and professor of psychology at the University of San Diego CA. Dr. Sallis will highlight the key elements of behavioral change as relates to healthy lifestyles and how the environment we live, work and play in impacts desired outcomes. Followed by Q&A.

1:45 p.m. The Sweat Equity Network: Mr. Lee Embley CEO. Lee will illustrate how social media and incentives/rewards marketing efforts are merging to create a powerful platform for "engagement" in healthy lifestyles while driving brand/channel loyalty. Followed by Q&A.

2:15 p.m. The Canadian Forces Readiness-Wellness Model, Mr. Daryl Allard, director of fitness, CF. The CF have embarked on a comprehensive strategy in to impact "The Culture" for health and fitness by uniting all stakeholders on a common course behind strong leadership. All workshop participants will receive the document that guides their strategy via email after the workshop. Daryl will describe their collaboration efforts, the creation of the "plan" and some of the outcomes, lessons learned as they are actively implementing their strategy at this time. Followed by Q&A.

2:45 p.m. Discussion on ALA/OSD on future collaboration on a Virtual Summit to advance this kind of collaboration on shared goals to promote deeper engagement at all levels of DoD and across channels.

5 p.m. Close

Feds' health insurance premiums to increase 7.2 percent
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The average amount federal employees pay for their health insurance plans will rise 7.2 percent in 2011, the Office of Personnel Management announced recently. The upcoming premium increase for plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is less than the 8.8 percent rise participants experienced in 2010, despite a range of new benefits to be added, according to OPM Director John Berry. More

Grunt Apparel, Inc.

Grunt Apparel specializes in original military inspired designs in silk screen & embroidery at low prices. Licensed by all military branches.
More info

Hubert Company

Stimulate Holiday sales and create a festive atmosphere with Bountiful Thanksgiving kits and fall prop and décor. More

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods is dedicated to bringing you quality, service, and support you need to drive sales. More


Executive Briefing
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