July 14, 2020

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Academy Grads Hear: COVID-19 Is Part of the Mission

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.

Military Times reports on the first virtual graduation and commissioning ceremony at the US Naval Academy, which sent forth last week a new class of 1,017 officers into the Navy and Marine Corps as the services steer through the coronavirus crisis. DefSec Mark Esper spoke on the importance of character, trust, and leadership, and pointed to the pandemic as an example of unexpected challenges they will inevitably face in their military careers. “As new threats continue to emerge, you must remain ready, vigilant, and prepared to defend our country, our people, and our way of life,” DefSec Esper said.

Simulator testing from the F-35 integrated test team at Patuxent River indicate F-35C supersonic intercept missions may be impossible, reports Defense News, prompting the placement of time restrictions on supersonic flight. Pilots tell Defense News the restrictions will not impact standard operations and provide for exceptional instances which could demand operations beyond the time limitations.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet was flying “too fast and too low with respect to the surrounding terrain” before it struck the wall of Star Wars canyon in California’s Death Valley National Park last summer, according to an internal investigation obtained by Navy Times.

Aviation Week’s Check 6 podcast interviews SpaceX CEO Elon Musk about the upcoming NASA Commercial Crew Demo-2 launch, scheduled for 4:33 pm EST, today, May 27, 2020. NASA and SpaceX will provide live coverage at 12:15 pm leading up to the lift off of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelling the SpaceX Crew Dragon carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station. Aviation Week provides a pictorial timeline of SpaceX’s steps to human spaceflight.

The Trump administration discussed conducting the first US nuclear test explosion since 1992, reports The Washington Post, reversing an international moratorium on such actions. Administration officials claim Russia and China are conducting low-yield nuclear tests, which both countries deny and remains unsubstantiated by publicly available evidence.

Bombers take center stage in the Air Force’s new force employment strategy, reports Military Times. Jets have been the face of the service for decades, but it’s bombers that are making a splash of late with multiple high-visibility flights around the world. Over the past year, officials have planned more, and shorter, strategic bomber rotations to test the Air Force’s agility when deploying its heavy aircraft forces around the world.

In a first, the USS Portland took down a target drone with a new solid state laser this week, the first step in the Navy’s quest to get the powerful weapon on more ships in the future, reports Breaking Defense.



Here’s a lot of what Brian Runion thinks you should already know about the US Coast Guard, reports Task & Purpose.

The Air Force seeks bids for its next-generation “Skyborg” program to pair artificial intelligence with a human piloting a fighter jet, reports Military Times.

Seven of the Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers are underway, reports Stars and Stripes, the Ronald Reagan, Gerald R. Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Nimitz, Harry S. Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The USS Theodore Roosevelt was sidelined for almost two months in Guam dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that infected more than 1,100 sailors and killing one. It finally set sail last week but only with essential crew members aboard.

DefSec Esper fields questions about terrorist attacks at two naval air stations and about the White House’s proposal to end National Guard deployments one day short of a benefit-triggering milestone, reports Military Times.

Fox News reports on the  “awesome firepower” of a US Air Force AC-130 gunship engaged in live-fire training in the Persian Gulf with the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit last week, amplifying the US military’s same-day warning to vessels in the Mideast against approaching within 100 yards of US warships.

Reuters reports the Afghan government urged the Taliban to extend the three-day ceasefire, to have ended Tuesday night, while announcing it would free 900 Taliban members in the biggest such release yet as part of the prisoner swap deal struck in February by the Taliban and the US.

DoD deaths from the coronavirus jumped 18% last week, reports Military Times. The deaths included two civilians, two contractors, and a dependent. Overall, DoD cases have slowed, but continue to grow by hundreds each week and DefSec Esper said a second wave of the virus was possible. That represented a public shift more in line with a leaked Pentagon memo anticipating a “globally persistent” COVID-19 environment without an effective vaccine until “at least the summer of 2021,” reported Task & Purpose.

The Air Force has removed the initial height requirements for officers who wish to become aviators, hoping to encourage more women to apply to become pilots, reports Air Force Times. Waivers are no longer required for applicants shorter than 5′4″ or taller than 6′5″ when standing, or 34 inches to 40 inches while sitting.


AECOM Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, California (N62470-19-D-8022); Aptim Federal Services LLC, Alexandria, Virginia (N62470-19-D-8023); CH2M Hill Constructors Inc., Englewood, Colorado (N62470-19-D-8024); Environmental Chemical Corp., Burlingame, California (N62470-19-D-8025); Fluor Intercontinental Inc., Greensville, South Carolina (N62470-19-D-8026); and Perini Management Services Inc., Framingham, Massachusetts (N62470-19-D-8027), are awarded a $1,000,000,000 modification to increase the maximum dollar value of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract for global contingency construction projects worldwide. The work to be performed provides for the Navy on behalf of the Department of Defense and other federal agencies for immediate response for construction services when authorized. The construction and related engineering services will respond to natural disasters, humanitarian assistance, conflict or projects with similar characteristics and will be predominately construction. The contractor, in support of the construction effort, may be required to provide initial base operating support services, which will be incidental to construction efforts. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $2,087,443,694. The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with a completion date of March 2024. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on subsequent modifications for work on existing individual task orders. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co. Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is awarded a $29,222,688 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Receive Only Cooperative Radar and its system. This contract provides for the development of new detection algorithms and operating modes for the AN/SPY-6(V)1 radar system, which will improve detection and tracking capabilities of the radar system. Work will be performed in Marlboro, Massachusetts (98%); and Fairfax, Virginia (2%). The work to be performed includes modelling and simulation of new operating modes, revisions of code to incorporate new algorithms, integration of algorithms into demonstration hardware and field tests using representative AN/SPY-6(V)1 demonstration hardware. Work is expected to be completed by May 25, 2023. The total cumulative value of this contract is $29,222,688. This is a three-year base contract with one two-year option period, which, if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $47,513,260. The action will be incrementally funded with an initial obligation of $6,722,688 utilizing fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds that will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under N00014-19-S-B001, “Long Range Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology.” Since proposals are received throughout the year under the long range BAA, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation are unknown. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-20-C-1073).

CACI Inc. – Federal, Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded a $14,899,365 firm-fixed-price contract (N32205-20-C-4008) for 365-calendar day worldwide logistics services. The $14,899,365 consists of the amounts listed in the following areas: labor, materials and travel. Work will be performed worldwide. Work will include worldwide support services in the functional areas of sustainment logistics, corrective maintenance logistics system support, combat logistics force load management, material handling equipment, ordnance handling equipment support and ordnance management. Work is expected to be complete by June 2021. The contract includes one option period, which if exercised, will bring the total contract value to $29,628,581. Funds will be obligated on June 1, 2020. Contract funds in the amount of $14,899,365, excluding the option period, are obligated for fiscal 2020 using Navy working capital funds and (transportation) working capital funds. This contract is a sole-source and one offer was received. The Naval Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Ernst & Young LLP, Washington, D.C., was awarded a $93,000,000 modification (P00023) to contract W91CRB-18-F-0238 for professional commercial audit support services. Work will be performed in Washington, DC, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 20, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $12,337,384 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

ProSecure LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded an $11,165,786 firm-fixed-price contract for armed guard security services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 12 received. Work will be performed in the cities of Rufus, The Dalles, and Cascade Locks, Oregon, with an estimated completion date of July 3, 2025. Fiscal 2020 civil expenses funds in the amount of $11,165,786 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland, Oregon, is the contracting activity (W9127N-20-C-0003).

Paragon-One Group LLC, Gaithersburg, Maryland, has been awarded a maximum $57,792,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for managed print software services. This was a competitive acquisition with six responses received. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are inside and outside the continental US, with a May 25, 2023, performance completion date. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2020 through 2023 working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Contracting Services Office, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania (SP7000-20-D-0003).

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