April 17, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Archaeologists Find Maryland’s First Fort

A conjectural drawing by Jeffrey R. Parno, Historic St. Mary’s City, of a 1634 fort at the first English settlement in Maryland.

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Historic St. Mary’s City’s director of research, archaeologist Travis Parno, and archaeological geophysicist Tim Horsley have found the outlines of an enclosed fort erected in Southern Maryland by White settlers in 1634, reports The Washington Post. The original 150 colonists, including many English Catholics fleeing Protestant persecution, arrived at St. Mary’s on two ships, the Ark and the Dove, in late March 1634.

Iran has made threats against Fort McNair, an Army post in Washington, DC, and against the Army’s vice chief of staff, according to two senior US intelligence officials, reports Military Times. Intercepted communications showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard discussed mounting “USS Cole-style attacks” against the base.

The US Navy plans a major naval exercise alongside Belgium, France, and Japan in the Mideast amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear program in the region, reports Navy Times.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), a Marine-turned-congressman, wants federal officials to deny veterans benefits to any current or former military members involved with the attack on the US Capitol building earlier this year, saying they “no longer deserve” the payouts, reports Military Times.

A newly released federal report found the number of homeless veterans in the United States increased from 2019 to 2020, stoking concern among advocates that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will add to an already regressive trend, reports Stars and Stripes.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, asked DefSec Lloyd Austin to provide a DoD plan to address military families’ food insecurity and hunger issues by April 15, reports Daily Press. They said such a plan should consider ending a barrier that keeps military families from access to federal nutrition assistance programs, the result of counting the Basic Allowance for Housing as income.

COVID-19 restrictions prove the death blow on some VFW and American Legion posts already struggling when the pandemic hit, reports Stars and Stripes. The closures add to the pandemic’s hit on military veterans, which includes 11,000 deaths in VA facilities alone.

As Microsoft phases out support for its mobile operating systems, many public-sector agencies that previously relied on Windows-based mobile computers are evaluating strategies to migrate to Android, GCN reports. Android has an 85% market share globally, which makes it very user-friendly.

The Writers Guild Foundation seeks applicants for a veteran-specific screenwriting mentorship program, reports Military Times. The Veterans Writing Project lasts one year and provides around 50 veterans with the opportunity to work with a mentor to grow and develop screenwriting skills. The program is free and welcomes military veterans and active-duty service members who are US citizens. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 26, at 11:59 pm PST.

 

 

The House Armed Services Committee has “enormous concern” about the F-35 fighter’s sustainment, reports Air Force Magazine, and suggested Congress may cut back on purchases of the jet to let the sustainment enterprise catch up, Readiness subcommittee chair Rep. John Garamendi (R-CA) said last week.

Defense News reports the estimated development costs for the F-35’s ongoing modernization grew by $1.9 billion since 2019, and the effort is expected to extend though 2027, according to a March 18 report from the Government Accountability Office. The F-35 modernization program begun in 2018 as well as continuing schedule delays bring DoD’s most recent 2020 estimate to reach $14.4 billion for the modernization program.

Jockeying between progressive Democrats calling for a significant slash to defense spending and fierce backlash from Republicans who want the military budget increased, expectations remain that President Joe Biden will call for an essentially flat Pentagon budget for next year, reports The Hill.

Top defense officials from India and the US have pledged to strengthen defense ties between two countries concerned over China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, reports Military Times. However, DefSec Austin hinted during a visit to New Delhi on Saturday that India’s planned purchase of an advanced Russian missile system could trigger US sanctions, but left room for New Delhi to back away from the deal, reports Politico..

Israel’s Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries opened a new research center to develop navigation systems that don’t rely on easily disrupted GPS, reports C4ISRNET.

The stricken US warship Vella Gulf got back underway this past weekend but quickly returned to port following a fuel leak in the same tank that sidelined the guided-missile cruiser’s deployment late last month, reports Navy Times. The original leak “was due to a single tank corrosion, normal for seagoing vessels,” according to the Navy.

The Army has rejected an appeal to return medals for valor to retired MAJ Mathew Golsteyn, a Special Forces soldier former President Donald Trump pardoned for alleged murder in Afghanistan, reports USA Today.

The Navy awarded a $2.42 billion construction contract for a second Virginia-class attack submarine the Trump administration had cut from its FY 2021 budget request and the House Armed Services Committee fought to have included in the final spending and defense bills, reports USNI News. General Dynamics Electric Boat won the award for a Block V Virginia-class boat, which the company builds with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding as its subcontractor.

A swarm of boats, such as the small missile boats Iran is investing in, can pose a threat that a far more expensive warship might not be able to withstand — a single  missile with enough punch can be devastating. So the US military is practicing with ways to defeat swarming small boat attacks with tank-killing A-10 Warthogs, reports National Interest. The 1980s-vintage Warthogs — built around a 30-millimeter rotary cannon and capable of carrying a variety of bombs and missiles — did fire inert rounds on unmanned boats during a recent exercise in Florida’s Choctawhatchee Bay.

Contracts:

The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California, is awarded a $9,473,047 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. This contract provides correction of deficiency software builds for increment three acoustics integration and testing for the P-8A aircraft. Work will be performed in Huntington Beach, California (80%); Patuxent River, Maryland (10%); and California, Maryland (10%), and is expected to be completed in February 2024. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,600,000 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 US Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0001921C0034).

Clark Construction Group LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, is awarded a $78,981,000 firm-fixed-price construction contract for construction of the Wargaming Center at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The contract is incrementally funded with the first increment of $61,810,155 allocated at the time of award. The second increment will be funded in fiscal 2022 at $17,170,845. The contract also contains one unexercised option, which if exercised, would increase cumulative contract value to $81,265,250. The work to be performed provides for construction of a new two-story academic instruction facility to support the wargaming function at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Work will be performed in Quantico, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by June 2023. Fiscal 2020 military construction (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $61,810,155 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the beta.SAM.gov website with 15 proposals received. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N40080-21-C-0005).

Garcia Information Systems Corp., White Plains, Maryland, is awarded an $8,095,830 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for engineering, technical, administrative, and programmatic management support for total life cycle management of the various aircrew escape systems managed under the Joint Program Office for Cartridge Actuated Device/Propellant Actuated Device tri-service charter. Work will be performed in White Plains, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by September 2025. Fiscal 2021 Navy working capital funding of $500 will be obligated on the first task order at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured and in accordance with 10 US Code 2304(c)(1) (only a limited number of responsible sources will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00174-21-D-0016).

CALIBRE Systems Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $10,959,038 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide technical support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 21, 2026. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W91CRB-21-F-0227).

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