July 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Atwa, Wanted for Role in 1985 Hijacking That Killed Local Sailor, Dies

Guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem sailors participated in a memorial for the ship’s namesake, Robert D. Stethem in 2006. Navy diver, Steelworker 2nd Class Stethem, was returning from an assignment in the Middle East, when he was taken hostage aboard a commercial airliner. The flight was hijacked by terrorists, and Stethem was shot to death after being tortured by the terrorists on June 15, 1985. (US Navy photo by Ensign Danny Ewing Jr.)

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Ali Atwa, a senior Hezbollah operative who was on the FBI’s most wanted list for his role in in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 that led to the death of a US Navy diver Robert D. Stethem, has died, reports Military Times. Navy Steelworker Stethem, 23, of Waldorf was a passenger on the flight. He was tortured, shot, and killed. If the reports of Atwa’s death are true, Stethem’s family said the world is a better place. Stethem graduated from Thomas Stone High School in 1980 and joined the Navy shortly thereafter.

Jonathan Toebbe, a Maryland-based Navy nuclear engineer, and his wife were arrested on charges of selling secret information about the design of nuclear power warships to someone they thought was a foreign power but was actually an undercover FBI agent, reports CBS News. They are expected to make a court appearance today, October 12, reports The Washington Post.

LT COL Stuart Scheller Jr. will face a court-martial hearing at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, reports Fox News. He is facing six misdemeanor-level charges, including willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction in the performance of duties, and conduct unbecoming an officer. Scheller publicly criticized military leaders during the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. USMC officials believe that Scheller’s comments violated DoD policy that limits the acts of protest and dissent that service members can engage in, reports Task & Purpose.

Eleven sailors were injured earlier this month when the fast-attack submarine Connecticut struck something underwater in the Indo-Pacific region, reports Navy Times. “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition,” according to the US Navy. “USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational.” The damaged submarine is now in port in Guam, reports Navy Times.

The Marine Corps is attributing burnout and the coronavirus pandemic to a July 2020 accident that killed nine service members off the coast of California, reports The Hill. LT GEN Carl Mundy III said it would be “a mistake to discount or overlook” the pressures and duties on officers at the time the amphibious assault vehicle sank.

While many teleworkers reported positive effects from the added flexibility of teleworking during the pandemic, including more free time and reduced commuting, some Army medical experts noted the down side of working from home, according to the service. Army physician assistant said common health themes in studies focusing on teleworkers include musculoskeletal pain, weight gain, and behavioral health issues.

US special operations forces and Marines have been in Taiwan training its military as China becomes increasingly aggressive with its claim on the island, reports Military.com.

Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper (TN), chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces subcommittee, said he is tired of hearing about the Space Force’s new dress uniforms and wants the service’s leadership to focus more on developing cutting-edge satellites and rockets, reports Breaking Defense. Cooper was speaking last week at the Politico Defense Forum.



The Navy wants to improve its readiness while reining in the rising costs of maintenance and modernization, reports Defense News. The service is revamping its processes rather than throwing money at the problem.

Officials in charge of the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan are reviewing the process that took place over the summer, as flights carrying more people to safety in the US resume, reports Air Force Times.

The US Senate voted to approve a short-term increase to the federal debt ceiling on Thursday, ending a weekslong standoff on Capitol Hill, reports Fox Business.

More than a dozen states and the District of Columbia are calling on the US Postal Service’s regulator to review the agency’s 10-year reform plan, reports Reuters.

The Postal Service is suggesting mailing dates to get mail to military destinations overseas by Christmas, reports Military Times. Be forewarned: It’s going to cost more than it has in the past.

While the Army continues to make investments in electric vehicles, the widespread use of such technology won’t be feasible until the 2030s, reports National Defense. All-electric ground combat platforms and tactical supply vehicles are not practical now or in the foreseeable future, says a “Powering the US Army of the Future” study.

The Army has completed the delivery of its first prototype hypersonic hardware at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, reports Defense News. The system is called “Dark Eagle.”

Defense One reports that Lockheed Martin will manufacture hypersonic weapons for the Navy and Army at its new all-digital factory in Alabama.

DoD will award $25.5 million over three year to 18 applied hypersonics research projects. Research teams include participants from 29 universities in 19 states, 15 industry partners, three national laboratories, and four international universities.

Mary Kane, who served as Maryland secretary of state from 2005-2007, is the new president of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, reports Maryland Matters.


Kearney and Co. PC, Alexandria, Virginia, is being awarded a maximum $58,387,318 firm-fixed-price and labor-hour contract for financial statement audit services of the Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund, the Defense Health Agency Contractor Resource Management Office, and the Defense Health Program (DHP). Work will be performed in various locations including the DHP headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, as well as other federal locations in Texas, Ohio, Indianapolis, Maryland, Colorado, New York, and Maine, with an expected completion date of Dec. 31, 2022. The contract has a one-year base period with four individual one-year option periods. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition for which one quote was received.  Award is subject to availability of funds, however fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Defense funds in the amount of $11,108,003 will be obligated once funds are available. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (HQ0423-22-F-9000).

General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $482,115,887 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-2120 for lead yard support and development studies and design efforts related to Virginia-class submarines. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (96%); Newport News, Virginia (3%); and Newport and Quonset, Rhode Island (1%), and is expected to be completed by October 2022. Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $53,151,801 (51%); fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $28,616,832 (27%); fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,094,582 (9%); fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,390,454 (6%); fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,724,999 (4%); and fiscal 2021 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,165,077 (3%) will be obligated at time of award, of which $3,165,077 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The statutory authority for this sole source award is in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1(a)(2)(iii) — only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

ACR Technical Services, Newport News, Virginia (N3220522D0001); Standard Calibrations Inc., Chesapeake, Virginia (N3220522D0002); and Weedon Engineering, Jacksonville, Florida (N3220522D0003), are awarded a $7,734,053 shared-ceiling, multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This award fulfills the Military Sealift Command’s requirement for services to facilitate worldwide support for calibration, repair and/or replacement of gauges, meters, thermometers and test equipment used to monitor machinery performance for Military Sealift Command vessels. This contract includes five one-year ordering periods that would bring the cumulative value of the contract ceiling to $7,734,053. Work will be performed worldwide and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2026. Working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $3,500 for the minimum guarantee for each offer and will be obligated at time of award. Orders may be placed throughout the five-year ordering period. Funding for fiscal year 2022, in which initial orders are placed, will be utilized at that time. This contract was a small business set-aside requirement procured via the beta.sam.gov website and only three timely offers were received. The Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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