July 22, 2024

At DoD, a History-Making Confirmation


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.

Retired Army GEN Lloyd Austin made history Friday by becoming America’s first Black secretary of defense, reports Fox News. In his Day One Message to the Force he said he was “proud to be back on your team.”

One of DefSec Austin’s first orders of business is to move forward with a review of military sexual misconduct programs, reports Military Times. He has directed senior leaders to report to him by Feb. 5 “a summary of the sexual assault harassment and accountability measures” taken the in past year “that show promise, as well as a frank, data-driven assessment of those which do not.”

Air Force Magazine reports the Biden administration has tapped Stefanie Tompkins to run the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, spurring the third leadership change at the organization since January 2020.

The new administration wants a five-year extension of the New START treaty limiting the number of US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons, reports Defense News. The move is welcomed both by Russia and key American allies.

Charles Verdon will serve as acting administrator for the National Nuclear Security Agency, reports Defense News, serving under acting Energy Secretary David Huizenga as the Biden administration begins. Mr. Verdon is one of the few Trump political appointees being kept in a national security position.

Politico reports that three former Obama administration officials are expected to be given roles on the National Security Council and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: Jen Easterly as national cyber director, Robert Silvers as head of the cybersecurity agency, and Eric Goldstein to lead the cybersecurity agency’s cybersecurity division.

While North Korea’s Kim Jung Un has vowed to strengthen his nuclear weapons program, he also tried to give President Joe Biden an opening by saying that the fate of US/North Korea relations depends on whether Washington discards what Kim calls hostile US policies, reports Military.com.

President Biden signed executive orders Friday designed to strengthen labor rights among the federal workforce and boost emergency food and unemployment benefits, reports The Washington Times.



NavSec Kenneth Braithwaite said his goodbyes to the men and women of the US Navy and Marine Corps last week, reports Navy Times. “I’ve had the honor of witnessing your service,” he said. “I leave this office more confident than ever in the readiness and power of our force.”

CAPT Scott Moss, commander of the Navy Operational Support Center in Tennessee, was fired after a command investigation into a complaint, reports Stars and Stripes. He was relieved “due to a loss of confidence” in his ability to command.

The Pentagon will not require military personnel to take the COVID-19 vaccine until the Food and Drug Administration gives its full approval of the drug, reports Voice of America. So far, the FDA has only given emergency authorization for the vaccine.

Marine Corps commandant GEN David Berger received his vaccination in December, reports Marine Corps Times. He encouraged all Marines and their families “to get the shot to slow the spread of the virus.”

Coney Market in Lonaconing in Alleghany County, MD, sold the $731 million Powerball ticket last Wednesday night, reports The Cumberland Times-News. The jackpot winner has not yet come forward. It’s big news in the tiny town ravaged by job losses and the coronavirus, reports The Baltimore Sun.

The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales in 2020 increased 5.6% from 2019 and the median home sales price went up nearly 13%, reports UPI.

Virginia will rename the Camp Pendleton state military reservation in Virginia Beach, reports The Virginian-Pilot, named for the Confederate Army’s chief of artillery. A new name recommendation is expected by the end of next month.

The US Air Force is relaxing some rules on how female members can wear their hair, reports Air Force Times. They will soon be allowed to wear their hair in one or two braids, or a single ponytail.

Three Army National Guard members were killed Wednesday in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter training accident in western New York, reports NBC News. The investigation into the cause continues. They were identified as New York residents Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda of Rochester, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch of Honeoye Falls, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial of Rochester, reports Army Times.

An Air Combat Command investigation revealed a broken fan blade led to the fatal crash of a Bombardier E-11A communications aircraft in Afghanistan last January, reports Air Force Times. LT COL Paul Voss and CAPT Ryan Phaneuf died while trying to conduct an emergency landing of their damaged and gliding E-11A.

The USS Freedom held exercises in the eastern Pacific Ocean with counterparts from the navies of El Salvador and Guatemala, reports UPI.


Transoceanic Cable Ship Co. LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a modification to exercise and fund a 12-month option (P00036) in the amount of $37,772,390 under previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N32205-19-C-3506. The option will continue to provide one US flagged cable ship CS Global Sentinel, which will be utilized to lay and repair cable for the Department of Defense worldwide. This contract includes a 12-month base period, two six-month option periods, two 12-month option periods and one 11-month option period. Work will be performed worldwide and is expected to be completed by Dec. 22, 2023. Operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,500,000 are obligated and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $15,928,565 are obligated and will expire at the end of fiscal 2023. The Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price blanket purchase agreement (HHM402-21-A-0002) to provide the Defense Intelligence Agency with furniture products and services. Work will be performed in the National Capital Region, with an expected completion date of Jan. 18, 2026. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $616,166 are being obligated at time of award. The Virginia Contracting Activity, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Conflict Kinetics Corp., Sterling, Virginia, is awarded a $28,164,522 single-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract that will include terms and conditions for the placement of firm-fixed-price task orders for the procurement of Tactical Ocular Reaction Area small arms simulator support services to include on-site hardware; software and contracted information technology system security; air compressors; replacement equipment; and software modifications/software warranty as needed for all TORA simulators in support of Naval Expeditionary Combat Command within the continental US and outside the continental US locations. The contract will include a five-year ordering period with no options. The ordering period is expected to begin January 2021 and be completed by January 2026. Work will be performed in Williamsburg, Virginia (15%); Virginia Beach, Virginia (15%); Gulfport, Mississippi (15%); San Diego, California (15%); Port Hueneme, California (15%); Newport, Rhode Island (7%); Jacksonville, Florida (7%); Seal Beach, California (7%); and Guam (4%).  Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,000 will be obligated to fund the contract’s minimum amount and funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. Individual task orders will be subsequently funded with appropriate fiscal year appropriations at the time of their issuance. One source was solicited for this non-competitive, sole-source requirement pursuant to the authority set forth in 10 US Code 2304(c)(1) in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1, with one offer received. The Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center, Norfolk, Contracting Department, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00189-21-D-0005).

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