December 1, 2022

Attitudes Shifting Re: F-35


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Attitudes within the DoD and in Congress are shifting about the F-35, Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told National Defense Magazine. “For the past seven years, the F-35 program has kind of been riding high, especially in Congress. What has held back the F-35 program in the more recent years is just the availability of funding within DoD, but now I think the sentiment is starting to shift, because folks are starting to question the operation and sustainment costs of the platform.”

NAVAIR is heralded for leading the effort to use open architecture platforms on a greater scale, deploying interchangeable hardware and software systems to its major weapon programs, reports The Cyber Edge. Gary Kurtz, SES, program executive officer, says Aviation Common Systems and Commercial Services are increasingly using flexible “systems of systems” in many of its major aviation programs.

DefSec Lloyd Austin has signed the strategy guiding the massive effort to knit troopers on the front lines to F-35s, submarines, satellites, ships, and commanders across the globe, known as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), reports Breaking Defense. And the Space Force will be the integrator for all joint space requirements — starting with a satellite backbone for JADC2, said service vice chief Gen. DT Thompson.

The Pentagon’s FY22 proposed budget shifts funds to defensive cybersecurity measures, reducing some offensive cyber operations, reports Breaking Defense. New funds are earmarked for implementing zero-trust architectures and technologies including cryptology, identity and access control management (ICAM), and automated continuous endpoint monitoring (ACEM). There is a decrease from FY21 in funding for overseas “hunt-forward” cyber operations, with a $284.4 million cut to $147.2 million in 2022 versus a requested $431.6 million last year.

Fourteen National Guard soldiers were injured after their bus overturned in a ditch in Prince George County, VA, reports AP.  The bus turned on its side. There were 25 soldiers onboard. Four were taken to a hospital. The National Guard members were going to a training exercise at Fort Pickett, about an hour southwest of Richmond.



Two decades after the Marine Corps got laughed out of the Pentagon for a plan to launch small teams into global hot spots on spaceships, Breaking Defense reports DoD is now putting serious effort behind the idea, but they’re starting with cargo, maybe followed by Marines some day.

The USAF has completed first phase tests of swarming munitions, but will they ever see battle? The technology won’t immediately move into a program of record, but takes the service closer to developing swarming smart weapons that behave semi-autonomously and use algorithms to seek high-priority targets. Defense News reports the Air Force intends to conduct virtual experiments with collaborative munitions as it decides what elements of Golden Horde to further develop.

The Taliban called on Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other jobs for US-led forces to show “remorse” for their actions but said they were not in danger now that American troops are leaving the country, reports NBC News.  The Taliban have a long track record of threatening and killing Afghans who worked for the United States and NATO allies or with Western-backed organizations. Since 2014, at least 300 Afghans who served as interpreters have been murdered by the Taliban, according to No One Left Behind, a veteran-led nonprofit devoted to helping Afghan and Iraqi interpreters.

SecState Antony Blinken pledges to expedite visas for Afghans who worked with US troops, reports Bloomberg. Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee he said the US is looking at “every option” to help the Afghan employees — interpreters, drivers, construction workers, and other staff — who may become victims of the Taliban as the Pentagon pushes ahead with President Joe Biden’s order to remove the troops by Sept. 11, 2021, at the latest.

Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller said US troops can do what is needed to “go out with our heads held high,” reports Defense News. After 2,400 US military deaths, more than $2 trillion spent and about a dozen generals under four presidents, Miller expects to be the last US commander in the war om Afghanistan. He won’t be able to rewrite history. But he’ll command the departure.

The Navy spells out new policies that ensure transgender individuals may join and serve “openly and free from discrimination,” reports Navy Times.

Pfc. Dalton Beals, a Marine recruit, died last week during a Crucible event at boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC, reports

The Army busted a retired major general, James J. Grazioplene, to second lieutenant as punishment for sexually assaulting his daughter while in uniform, reports Army Times. Grazioplene pleaded guilty to the charges last year in a Virginia court. His daughter says at various posts both abroad and in the US, throughout her childhood, her father had raped and molested her.


AV3 Inc., Mechanicsville, Maryland (N0042121D0026); Bridges System Integration LLC, Herndon, Virginia (N0042121D0027); FGS LLC, La Plata, Maryland (N0042121D0028); Futron Inc., Woodbridge, Virginia (N0042121D0029); iSoft Solution LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia (N0042121D0030); Mission Analytics LLC, Falls Church, Virginia (N0042121D0031); and US International Development Consortium Inc., Chantilly, Virginia (N0042121D0032), are awarded an estimated aggregate ceiling of $100,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Integrated Command, Control and Intelligence (IC2&I) Division. These contracts provide engineering and technical support services for legacy, current, and next generation audio/video systems, including efficient information exchange of voice, video and/or data from concept through deployment and the planning, research, design, testing, integration, verification, customization, installation and system operations support of those systems, subsystems, and components in support of the IC2&I Division, which integrates and delivers products for command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems for the US Department of Defense, various other US government departments and agencies and foreign governments. The estimated aggregate ceiling for all contracts is $100,000,000, with the companies having an opportunity to compete for individual orders. Work will be performed at various locations within and outside the continental US, and is expected to be completed in June 2026. No funds are being obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. These contracts were competitively procured via a small business set aside; 13 offers from 13 vendors were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Bowhead Cybersecurity Solutions and Services, Springfield, Virginia is awarded a $92,308,000 cost-plus fixed-fee and cost-only contract for senior consultation support services. Work will be performed in the Washington, DC, area and is expected to be completed by June 2026. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,500,000 will be obligated at the time of award. There are no options for this contract award. This funding would have expired at the end of the current fiscal year if this award had not been made. This contract was a directed in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 USC 637(a)(1)) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation part 19.8. The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N00039-21-D-5000).

Jacobs/HDR JV, Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a not-to-exceed $90,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for architect-engineer services for facilities management and sustainment support for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) worldwide. The work to be performed includes, but is not limited to, facility and utility inventory condition assessment programs; engineering services in support of integrated priority list development; engineering studies, surveys, inspections, and assessments; developing training, handbooks and/or manuals; re-commissioning and retro-commissioning of facilities including facility modifications; and development of facilities management initiatives and processes. Work on this contract will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government facilities within the NAVFAC Atlantic and Pacific areas of responsibility to include California (5%); Virginia (5%); Florida (5%); North Carolina (5%); South Carolina (5%); Maryland (5%); Washington (5%); Georgia (5%); Hawaii (5%); Rhode Island (5%); Connecticut (5%); Maine (5%); Illinois (5%); Louisiana (5%); Mississippi (5%); Nevada (5 %); Tennessee (5%); Texas (5%); Washington, DC (5%); and Naples, Italy (5%). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months with an expected completion date of June 2026. No task orders are being awarded at this time. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds. This contract was competitively procured via the website with two proposals received. NAVFAC Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N62470-21-D-0008).

RQ Construction, Carlsbad, California, is awarded an $11,615,680 firm-fixed-price contract task order N4008521F5515 under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award construction contract for work at Wallops Island, Virginia. The task order also contains three unexercised options, which if exercised, would increase the cumulative contract value to $16,674,680. The work to be performed provides for the installation of electrical power supply backup devices for several buildings and for the construction of a new switchgear building. Work will be performed on Wallops Island, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by February 2023. Fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $11,615,680 are obligated on this award. The fiscal 2017 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds will expire at the end of this fiscal year. The fiscal 2018 and 2019 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Three proposals received for this task order. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N40085-19-D-9069).

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