May 25, 2024

Birckhead New MD Adjutant General

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore recently hosted the change of command ceremony for the MD National Guard’s new adjutant general, MAJ GEN Janeen Birckhead. MAJ GEN Timothy Gowen relinquished command. Additionally, command ceremonies took place for the assistant adjutants general. BRIG GEN Drew Dougherty assumed command from retired BRIG GEN Edward Jones, and COL Andrew Collins assumed command from Birckhead. From left are Moore, Birckhead, Gowen, Dougherty, and Collins. (Maryland National Guard photo)

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Two ceremonies were held earlier this month to formalize MAJ GEN Janeen Birckhead’s new role as the Maryland National Guard adjutant general, reports AFRO. Birckhead succeeds outgoing MAJ GEN Timothy Gowen, who assumed command in 2019.

The United Kingdom’s Navy is studying the introduction of aircraft launch and recovery systems onboard its two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, reports USNI News. This would allow the flight deck to have a broader range of crewed and uncrewed air systems. According to UK Royal Marine COL Phil Kelly, Project Ark Royal is exploring options for the phased introduction of aircraft launch and recovery equipment to enable the operation of high-performance uncrewed strike and support systems, and potentially fixed-wing aircraft.

The RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aircraft system launched from Webster Field in St. Inigoes crashed June 6 during an Army National Guard unit’s annual training, reports The BayNet. The UAS went down in a wooded area just outside NAS Pax River’s restricted airspace. No one was injured in the incident.

US Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) continues to block high-level military promotions of as many as five of the nominees to serve as the president’s most senior military advisers, reports Defense News. Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must leave their posts in July if the Senate doesn’t approve their nominations. Tuberville imposed his blockade in February to protest the Pentagon’s new policy that provides leave time for military members to travel to receive abortion services if they’re stationed in states where it’s now illegal.

Tuberville said last week the US Space Command’s top general James Dickinson prefers the command to be headquartered in Alabama, reports The Hill via The location of Space Command’s headquarters has been a source of contention since former President Donald Trump’s final days in office. As one of his last acts as president, Trump declared Huntsville, AL, as the new location after establishing a temporary one in Colorado Springs, CO.

Ohio lawmakers said they want the Space Command moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, reports WHIOTV7. In a June 6 letter to President Biden, the lawmakers wrote, “From the Wright brothers to American heroes like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, the story of modern aviation is rooted in Ohio – and Ohio is ready to meet the challenges of the future. Ohio’s numerous industry and university partners in the state create a synergy around national security and space that is unmatched around the country.”

The US Air Force said that the lead designer and developer of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program will be selected next year, reports 1945. The next-generation NGAD fighter will replace the F-22 Raptor.

The US Navy has taken delivery of its first Boeing E-6B Mercury command and control aircraft with upgrades by Northrup Grumman to a new Block II standard, reports NAVAIR. Northrop Grumman conducted the upgrades over the past year at Lake Charles, LA.

Last week’s haze from forest fires in Canada that hung over much of the East Coast derailed training sessions, outings, and sporting events at military bases across the region, reports Navy Times. Installations from Connecticut to Virginia curtailed routine operations to protect personnel.

The US Army has suspended its horse-drawn funerals at Arlington National Cemetery until June 2024, reports Army Times. This comes after an initial 45-day break aimed at remedying the horses’ health proved to be insufficient.

A DoD Inspector General report finds that a former Trump administration official at the Pentagon created a toxic work environment while at the helm of the International Security Affairs Office, reports Military Times. The IG findings come as a number of former Pentagon officials have been the subject of investigations.

The US Indo-Pacific Command has released video of a Chinese navy ship making an “unsafe” maneuver in the Taiwan Strait in the path of the US destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and a Canadian frigate, reports The Associated Press. The destroyer and Canada’s HMCS Montreal were conducting a “freedom of navigation” transit of the strait between Taiwan and mainland China. The video shows the Chinese ship cutting across the course of the destroyer.

Federal watchdog American Oversight has filed two lawsuits to unearth incidents of white supremacist activity across the US military, reports Military Times. The lawsuits were filed in against D0D, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard Bureau, as well as the state National Guards of Florida, Georgia, South Dakota, and Texas.

The University of Maryland Center for the Environmental Sciences released its annual report card on the health of the Chesapeake Bay last week. The overall bay health grade remains at a C, reports Maryland Matters. Overall, the Chesapeake watershed scored 52%, according to the report card, and the Chesapeake Bay scored 51%.

Each June during the Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, counties across Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania take nine days to celebrate the cultures, history, and natural beauty of the US’s largest estuary. The Maryland Association of Counties offers a brief history of the 64,000-square-mile Bay.

Want to own a lighthouse? The US General Services Administration is auctioning or giving away 10 of them, reports Fortune. The annual offering aims to raise money for the US Coast Guard’s Aids to Navigation mission, a program that involves installing buoys, radio beacons, and fog signals on waterways, reports The Washington Post.

Some parts of Maryland are getting a new area code, reports Starting June 14, new customers in the 240/301 area code territory might be assigned the 227 area code. The 227 area code territory will be the same as the land area of the 240 and 301 area codes. The 240, 301 and 227 area codes service parts or all of Aspen Hill, Bethesda, Bowie, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Hagerstown, Potomac, Silver Spring, Waldorf, and Wheaton areas.

What happened and when has prompted concerns about how the incident involving the unresponsive pilot of a Cessna plane which later crashed in southern Virginia and the length of time before fighter jets were scramble was handled, reports ABC News. A Defense Department spokesman said DoD is taking a look at the process that was used on June 4. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

Military Times offers some tips for job hunting for military members who are leaving the service. If you actually like your military specialty and just want to do the same work on the outside, then there is good news. You can.

President Joe Biden’s new executive order is expected to boost hiring help for military spouses seeking government jobs, reports Military Times. The order will increase the number of federal jobs for which spouses receive preferential hiring treatment, speed up new savings accounts for military family child care expenses, and mandate a new plan for ways to help find work for spouses whose careers have been derailed by military moves.

NAS Pax River’s Air Traffic Control Facility was fully staffed by women for the first time in its 80-year history, reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. These controllers manned nine watch stations across the NAS Pax River Air Traffic Control Tower, Radar Operations, and Flight Planning departments. While NAS Pax River previously celebrated a similar milestone in 2018 with an all-women air traffic control qualified tower crew, the May 30 occasion marked the first time in the station’s history that women sailors exclusively staffed all positions on the air traffic control watch.


Hart Technologies, Manassas, Virginia (N0017823D4400); and JF Taylor, Lexington Park, Maryland (N0017823D4401), are being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract line item numbers for rapid prototyping with a shared ceiling value of $99,097,000 for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), Unmanned & Expeditionary Weapon Systems Division. This work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities in Manassas, Virginia; and Lexington Park, Maryland, and is expected to be completed on May 29, 2028. Fiscal 2022 procurement funds in the amount of $103,665 (44%); fiscal 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) funds in the amount of $60,000 (26%); and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (O&M) funds in the amount of $70,810 (30%), will be obligated at time of award for Delivery Order 0001 and Delivery Order 0002. Funding in the amount of $130,810 will expire at the end of fiscal 2023, and funding in the amount of $103,665 will expire at the end of fiscal 2024. This contract was solicited as a small business set aside on the basis of 10 U.S. Code 3203(b) Exclusion of particular source or restriction of solicitation to small business concerns, via a synopsis posted in System for Award Management. NSWCDD, Dahlgren, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Schuyler Line Navigation Co. LLC, Annapolis, Maryland, is being awarded a $14,005,909 modification (P00005) for Option Period 1 of contract N3220522C4056 for the self-sustaining combination container breakbulk vessel to transport containerized cargo, refrigerated containers, flatracks, breakbulk, hazardous cargo, and rolling stock in support of regularly scheduled supply missions from Defense Logistics Agency facilities in Singapore to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia. This contract includes a one-year firm period of the performance, three one-year option periods, and one 11-month option period, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $65,397,856. Work will be performed in the US 7th Fleet area of operation and is expected to be completed, if all options are exercised, by May 22, 2027. The option is funded by Transportation Working Capital funds for fiscal 2023 and will expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Peraton Inc., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded an $8,905,246 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the US Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Ocean Sciences Division by performing research and development that will ensure operational access to critical oceanographic capabilities through the utilization of the marine environment and fundamental understanding of natural marine and geophysical phenomena. The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative contract value of this contract to $45,694,847. Work will be performed at the NRL detachment at John C. Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by June, 2024. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation funds (Navy); and fiscal 2023 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,235,601 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance funds (Navy) in the amount of $757,121 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with one offer received via Contract Opportunities on The NRL, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00173-23-C-2015).

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, was awarded a $24,794,279 modification (P00038) to contract W9124G-17-C-0005 for rotary wing flight training. Work will be performed on Fort Novosel, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 9, 2027. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $24,381,877 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Field Directorate Office, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Amentum Services Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $15,804,368 modification (P00284) to contract W58RGZ-19-C-0025 for aviation maintenance services. Work will be performed in Iraq; Germany; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 1, 2023. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement, Army; and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $15,804,368 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Consigli Construction Co Inc., Milford, Massachusetts, was awarded an $83,789,463 firm-fixed-price contract for unaccompanied enlisted personnel housing barracks replacement. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed at Fort Meade, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of March 12, 2025. Fiscal 2023 military construction, Army funds in the amount of $83,789,463 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-23-C-0017).

Seaward Marine Corp., Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded a $12,936,375 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with an estimated completion date of March 9, 2024. Fiscal 2023 civil construction funds in the amount of $12,936,375 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W912BU-23-C-0016).

Advanced Sciences and Technologies LLC, Berlin, New Jersey (N66001-21-D-0100); Bart & Associates Inc., McLean, Virginia (N66001-21-D-0101); Dark Wolf Solutions LLC, Herndon, Virginia (N66001-21-D-0102); Data Intelligence LLC, Marlton, New Jersey (N66001-21-D-0103); Grove Resource Solutions Inc., Frederick, Maryland (N66001-21-D-0104); ODME Solutions LLC, San Diego, California (N66001-21-D-0105); Solute Consulting, San Diego, California (N66001-21-D-0106); Sugpiat Defense LLC (N66001-21-D-0107); Timitron Corporation, Portsmouth, Virginia (N66001-21-D-0108); and Vector Planning & Services Inc., San Diego, California (N66001-21-D-0109), are awarded a combined $76,368,761 for a cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract with a maximum value of $178,437,189 for systems lifecycle, engineering, cybersecurity, and security engineering support services to Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific). This covers the entire lifecycle to include programmatic support, logistics support, supply support, maintenance planning, documentation and training development, cybersecurity, training implementation, customer support, information technology infrastructure, and business applications. These efforts address supportability, maintainability and sustainability issues during system development and throughout the systems life and retirement or recapitalization of the systems at end of life. Efforts also include systems engineering, hardware engineering, software engineering, network engineering, configuration management, and test and evaluation. All work is expected to be performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Work will be completed by June 2026. If all options are exercised, work will continue to June 2028. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders issued using research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds; other procurement (Navy) funds; operation and maintenance (Navy) funds; working capital (Defense) funds; and Foreign Military Sales funds. This contract was competitively procured via Request for Proposal N66001-20-R-0004 which was published on the website and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce Central website, and 24 offers were received and 10 were selected for award. NIWC Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.

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