June 25, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

A Mixed Week for Women

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

Google has agreed to pay $118 million to more than 15,500 female employees in 236 job titles in California since September 14, 2013, to settle a longstanding lawsuit over gender discrimination and equitable pay, reports Business Insider.

Within the ranks of the Washington Technology Top 100, 73 CEOs are white men; non-white men held seven of the top jobs including two Black men who founded their companies. Because one company has male/female co-leaders, women executives lead 21 of Washington Technology’s Top 100 technology companies.

Middle-aged women with greater blood concentrations of toxic “forever chemicals” may be at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, reports The Hill. A new study found less hypertension in those with lower levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they never degrade. Notorious for their presence in jet-fuel firefighting foam and in industrial discharge, PFAS are a set of synthetic chemicals found in a wealth of household products, including nonstick pans, waterproof apparel, and cosmetics.

When Captain David Ledoux dropped anchor off Indonesia’s Bintan Island, waiting for clearance to proceed to the shipyard at Singapore, he had little reason to expect he’d spend the next month in a detention facility menaced by aggressive monkeys. gCaptain details how contemporary piracy and the boundaries between commercial trade and politics make for not only treacherous sailing but job insecurity as well.

Water sector leaders urged the Environmental Protection Agency to ramp up its oversight of cybersecurity standards, describing nationwide water and wastewater systems as America’s “weakest link” when it comes to critical infrastructure, reports FCW.

Three weeks ago, Wall Street narrowly escaped a bear market, with stocks rebounding at the last minute from a brutal drop that had brought the S&P 500 down 20% from a record high in January. The next few weeks offered a glimmer of hope that the worst of the losses might be over. That glimmer is now gone, reports The New York Times (paywall). On Monday, the S&P fell 3.9%, closing the day nearly 22% below its January 3 peak and firmly in a bear market — a rare and grim marker of investors’ growing concerns for the economy.

Prices jumped in the US at an annual rate of 4.7% last year – faster than any other country in the G7. In the UK inflation was 2.5%. Last month, US inflation hit 8.6%, one of the highest rates in the world. Why did the US fare worse? Many forces driving inflation were universal — such as supply disruptions from COVID and higher food prices after severe storms and drought hurt harvests. The difference in the US, reports BBC, was high demand.

 

 

Al Jazeera has updates from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Deputy DefSec Kathleen Hicks said Monday that US defense leaders believe Ukraine will survive Russia’s invasion and are already planning on how to arm the country for the long-term, reports Defense One. “I think what we can assure ourselves today is that there will be a country called Ukraine. It will be a sovereign country and that country will have a military that will need to defend it,” she said.

Defense News reports Hicks also said the US is taking lessons from Russia’s struggles to get fuel to its forces in Ukraine. “Making sure we understand how to go after that logistics challenge,” Hicks said about the importance of delivering essential resources to its fleet should conflict erupt in the Indo-Pacific region. “That, I think, is one lesson that we can extrapolate from what we see today.” Hicks spoke at an annual, virtual symposium during the Defense One Tech Summit.

A Maryland Air National Guard unit recently sent a fleet of 10 A-10C Thunderbolt II attack planes to participate in multinational combat exercises in eastern Europe, one of its largest training delegations there in the past decade. Military Times reports it’s the A-10 enterprise’s latest step toward a greater presence in Europe as it pivots away from decades of combat missions in US Central Command.

Yellowstone National Park will remain closed to visitors through at least today, Wednesday, due to dangerous flooding conditions, which have prompted park evacuations and left some in surrounding communities trapped without safe drinking water, reports CNN. The park closed all entrances Monday afternoon citing “record flooding events” and a forecast of more rain to come. The Yellowstone River, which runs through the park and several Park County cities, swelled to a record high Monday due to recent heavy rainfall and significant runoff from melting snow in higher elevations, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

The Voyager 1 mission launched in 1977 with a design lifetime of five years. Nearly 45 years and a series of planetary flybys later, the spacecraft is now around 14.5 billion miles from Earth and operating properly, except, it’s confused about its location, reports Space.com. Given the original success and unanticipated continuation of discoveries sent back from the spacecraft, despite the painstaking nature, NASA continues its ultra-slow communication with Voyager seeking to unravel this telemetry problem.

NavSec Carlos Del Toro issued formal administrative punishments to five senior officers for their part in the fatal 2020 sinking of a Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle that killed eight Marines and a Navy corpsman, reports USNI.org. The July 30, 2020, sinking led to the firings of Marine leaders in the relevant battalions’ chains of command. Three separate investigations found a “chain of failure” at nearly every level of command. Those receiving administrative punishments are: Retired LT GEN Joseph Osterman, who was in command of I Marine Expeditionary Force on the day of the sinking; COL Christopher Bronzi, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit; LT COL Keith Brenize,  in command of the unit providing AAVs and the AAV platoon; Navy CAPT Stewart Bateshansky, who commanded the amphibious forces; and Navy CAPT John Kurtz, Somerset’s skipper at the time of the sinking.

A new bill aims to prevent politicians from dipping into their campaign funds to pay family members for campaign services, reports Business Insider. Introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) and co-sponsored by nine other GOP lawmakers, the Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act would prohibit any candidate running for federal office from paying immediate family members for campaign services. Campaigns would be required to report any payments made to immediate family members, which include spouses, parents, children, siblings, and their domestic partners.

The guided-missile destroyer Forrest Sherman is underway again — after returning to its home port of Norfolk, VA, from a surge deployment in April, reports Navy Times. The destroyer, which is slated to become the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two in July, departed June 11 and is headed to US 6th Fleet to conduct maritime exercises with allies and partners in the region during the deployment.

Some military leaders are worried that without a Space National Guard or similar component, administrative delays could impact readiness and personnel training, reports FCW.

The first cohort of the US Digital Corps, a two-year, early-career tech fellowship launched last year, will come onboard later next month, reports FCW. Currently, 41 fellows are set to come on board, according to the General Services Administration, which houses the program in its Technology Transformation Services. The initial plan was to hire a first round of 30. The Digital Corps is the newest in a series of programs for tech talent, like the Presidential Innovation Fellows and the US Digital Service.

Contracts:

CACI Technologies, Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded an $8,777,959 modification (P00005) to contract W911W4-21-C-0001 for multi-intelligence operations support services. Work will be performed in Kuwait, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 14, 2022. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $8,056,329 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity.

Dzyne Technologies Inc., Fairfax, Virginia, has been awarded an $89,365,202 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Small Payload Precision Air-Launched Inexpensive Delivery System research and development. This contract provides for the development, maturation, testing and demonstration of unmanned aerial system swarming technologies and associated systems so that they can be transitioned to military end users. Work will be performed in Irvine, California, and is expected to be completed by June 15, 2027. The award is the result of the Small Business Innovative Research Program. Fiscal 2021 and 2022 research and development funds in the amount of $3,918,530 are being obligated at time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-22-C-1175).

General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Virginia, is awarded a $15,904,492 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-19-C6407 to exercise options for engineering services in support of AN/BYG-1 Tactical Control System design, integration, and testing. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by July 2023. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation in the amount of $5,225,425 (94%); Royal Australian Navy funds in the amount of $304,290 (5%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $20,095 (1%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Royal Australian Navy funding provided in accordance with the Armament Cooperative Program. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded a not-to-exceed $4,385,492,639 undefinitized modification (P00005) to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee, fixed-price incentive (firm-target) contract (N0001920C0011). This modification adds scope for the production and delivery of Lot 15 and 16 F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter propulsion systems to include 152 F135-PW-100 propulsion systems (108 for the Air Force, 29 for the Navy, and 15 for the Marine Corps); and 26 F135-PW-600 propulsion systems for the Marine Corps, as well as long lead-time components, parts, and materials associated with F135-PW-100 and F135-PW-600 propulsion systems for non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Additionally, this modification provides global spares requirements to include spare engines, power modules, and other hardware. This modification also provides a Block 4 Short Take-Off Vertical Landing developmental test engine for flight test efforts. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut (17%); Indianapolis, Indiana (10%); Middletown, Connecticut (8%); Kent, Washington (7%); North Berwick, Maine (4%); El Cajon, California (3%); Cromwell, Connecticut (3%); Whitehall, Michigan (3%); Portland, Oregon (2%); San Diego, California (2%); South Bend, Indiana (2%); Columbus, Georgia (1%); Hampton, Virginia (1%); Manchester, Connecticut (1%); Cheshire, Connecticut (1%); Elmwood Park, New Jersey (1%); various locations within the continental US (27%); and various locations outside the continental US (7%) and is expected to be completed in September 2024. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $533,202,564; fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $486,934,274; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $499,194,377; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $379,564,738; fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force) funds in the amount of $5,355,067; fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,355,066; non-US DoD participants funds in the amount of $636,195,308; and FMS customer funds in the amount of $355,166,432 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, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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