May 16, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Cargo Removal Next Effort to Float Ever Forward

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Curtis Bay in Baltimore patrols March 29, 2022, alongside the grounded container ship Ever Forward in the Chesapeake Bay near Craighill Channel. The Ever Forward departed Baltimore on March 13 en route to Norfolk, VA, when it grounded. (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham)

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.

Salvors will need to remove cargo containers from the grounded Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay, reports gCaptain. The US Coast Guard determination follows two unsuccessful attempts to refloat the ship last week. Removal of containers, expected to take about two weeks, will involve two crane barges lifting containers and placing them on receiving barges to shuttle back to the Seagrit Marine Terminal in Baltimore where they will be offloaded by shore-based cranes. For safety purposes, the operation is expected to take place during daylight hours.

The Defense Department wants to know how well small businesses comply with its cybersecurity requirements, so it’s going to start assessing their self-assessed security plans, reports FCW. The agency will start reviewing companies in the coming months to learn more about acquisitions with smaller businesses and how they comply with DoD’s cybersecurity requirement.

The US stopped the Russian government on Monday from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held at US banks, in a move meant to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and eat into its holdings of dollars, reports Reuters. “Russia must choose between draining remaining valuable dollar reserves or new revenue coming in, or default,” said a US Treasury spokesperson.

Reuters, providing updates on the war in Ukraine, reports that the United States and Europe are planning new sanctions to punish Moscow over civilian killings in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelensky said more deaths were likely to be uncovered in areas seized from Russian invaders. Russia said the deaths had been staged by the West to discredit it.

The Navy is investigating another fuel release at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii — just months after a fuel leak from the same storage facility contaminated thousands of military families’ drinking water, reports Navy Times. According to the Navy, the release Friday consisted of no more than 30 gallons of a mixture of water and fuel near tanks 13 and 14 at the storage facility.

The US successfully tested a hypersonic missile in mid-March but kept it quiet for two weeks to avoid escalating tensions with Russia as President Joe Biden was about to travel to Europe, reports CNN. Lockheed’s version of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) was launched from a B-52 bomber off the West Coast. A booster engine accelerated the missile to high speed, at which point the air-breathing scramjet engine ignited and propelled the missile at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 and above.

The Navy has released the names of the 24 ships it hopes to decommission in fiscal 2023, eight of which have reached the end of their planned service life and 16 of which would be retired early to save money on ships that the service views as not worth their rising costs, reports Defense News.

 

Reuters reports Italy Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maiothat announced 30 Russian diplomats have been expelled from Italy because of security concerns. According to TASS, Russia was set to retaliate. A number of other Western governments have taken similar steps following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

NASA scrubbed its second attempt at the final, crucial pre-launch test for its Artemis I mission to the moon, reports CNN.  The wet dress rehearsal, as NASA calls it, simulates every stage of launch without the rocket actually leaving the launchpad. Originally scheduled for Sunday the test was stopped due to problems with two fans used to provide pressure to the mobile launcher. The rehearsal was stopped for the second time Monday due to a vent valve issue.

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has spotted a Jupiter look-alike 17,000 light-years from Earth, even though the instrument stopped operations four years ago, reports Space.com. The telescope ceased operations in 2018. This exoplanet, officially designated K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, was spotted in data captured by Kepler in 2016 and is the farthest exoplanet the telescope has found. Throughout its lifetime, Kepler observed over 2,700 now-confirmed planets.

NASA announced Monday that its Hubble Space Telescope has obtained photographic evidence that some “gas giant” plants such as Jupiter are formed by in a way contrary to the dominant theory, reports UPI. The discovery supports theories that there’s more than one way to form a Jovian planet.

The official list of COVID symptoms has been expanded to include another nine signs of a coronavirus infection, reports BBC. The UK Health Security Agency’s updated guidance now lists symptoms including a sore throat, muscle pains, and diarrhea.

Millions of people in Shanghai will continue to live under lockdown rules after officials reversed plans to ease COVID restrictions, reports Sky News. The reversal comes as officials struggle to deal with an outbreak of COVID as more than 13,000 asymptomatic cases were reported on Monday — an increase of more than 8,500 on the previous day.

Under pressure to tackle supply chain issues that have disrupted the US economy, President Biden announced a task force to recruit veterans and troops leaving the service into some of the tens of thousands of vacancies in the commercial trucking industry, and retain them in trucking jobs, reports Stars and Stripes. The task force is part of a larger effort to bolster the trucking industry, which moves 72% of the country’s goods. At least one in 10 truckers are veterans, according to a Census report from 2019.

The US Army recently selected L3Harris Technologies and Thales Defense and Security for the potential $6.1 billion combat net radio contract to furnish voice and data radios as part of a broader effort to move away from aging assets and better secure military networks and communications, reports C4ISRNET.

Ten days after a judge tossed out Maryland’s congressional plan for “extreme partisan gerrymandering,” legislative leaders dropped their appeal and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) signed a redrawn map into law Monday. Maryland Matters reports on reactions from legislators whose districts have changed. Democratic House Majority Leader US Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D), who has represented the 5th District for more than 40 years, announced his expected reelection bid in the redrawn district Monday. Hoyer said he was “disappointed” that his district would no longer include College Park, he said he would continue to advocate for that community and others in Prince George’s County that are no longer in the district.

Contracts:

Amentum Service Inc., Germantown, Maryland, has been awarded an $18,501,510 modification to a previously awarded contract to exercise Option Year Six. This contract modification provides program support for Air Combat Command’s Unmanned Aircraft System Operations Center Support, providing the warfighter long endurance, real time reconnaissance and surveillance, and precision attack against fixed and time critical targets. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds are being obligated at time of award. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $142,229,509. Work will be performed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada; Holloman AFB, New Mexico; Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; Whiteman AFB, Missouri; Shaw AFB, South Carolina; Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Kadena AB, Japan, and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2023. Air Combat Command, Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA4890-16-C-0007). (Awarded March 31, 2022)

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $10,167,546 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost (no fee) task order (N66001-22-F-0434) for public safety interoperable communications technical assistance and strategic communications and tools under multiple award contract N66001-19-D-3413. The task order provides for research, development, testing, evaluation, and delivery of tools, documentation, training, workshops, and strategic communications plans to enhance communications interoperability of public safety and first responders. The task order includes a one-year base period and one, one-year option period. The option period, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this task order to $20,558,626. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (95%); and Reston, Virginia (5%), with much of the work being performed in telework status. Work is expected to be completed by March 2023. If the option is exercised, work could continue until March 2024. Fiscal 2022 Navy working capital funds in the amount of $1,652,626 will be obligated at the time of award. Further funding will be provided incrementally. This contract is being awarded based on an approved Fair Opportunity Exemption pursuant to the authority of Federal Acquisition Regulation 16.505(b)(2)(i)(b) only one awardee is capable of providing the supplies or services required at the level of quality required because the supplies or services ordered are unique or highly specialized. The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001). (Awarded March 22, 2022)

Centurum Information Technology, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $9,107,764 modification to exercise a six-month option to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N66001-18-D-0153). The modification provides for continuing support on depot management functions to include overhaul, repairs, and fabrication; testing and calibration; quality assurance and production logistics; and systems and components analysis for depot level support services. This six-month modification increases the overall value of the existing contract to $99,807,136. The period of performance is from July 29, 2022, through Jan. 28, 2023. All work will be performed in San Diego, California. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as individual task orders are issued, using Department of Defense working capital funds. Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. (Awarded March 23, 2022)

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