November 25, 2022

Carter Remembered for Opening Military to Women

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Former DEFSEC Ash Carter dies of heart attack at age 68, reports Military Times. Carter, a native of Philadelphia, served in the top Defense Department role under President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017. He also served in a variety of other Pentagon leadership roles over five presidential administrations. Carter’s tenure as defense secretary is perhaps most remembered for his order to open to women all military jobs, including combat assignments. The decision came after years of study by military leaders and strong opposition from conservative groups.

The military has begun draining Red Hill storage facility pipelines, reports Military Times. Starting Tuesday, the military plans to spend six days draining the pipelines one by one. Fuel is expected to move through the pipes for a total of 12 hours during the six days. The fuel has been sitting in the pipes since the military suspended use of the Red Hill facility last year after it leaked petroleum into a drinking water well serving 93,000 people in and around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Nearly 6,000 people, mostly military personnel and their families, sought medical attention for rashes, sores, nausea and other ailments after drinking and bathing with the contaminated water.

Navy needs to fill about 9,000 at-sea billets in more than a dozen ratings, reports USNI. The largest gaps are in the sea-intensive ratings, which are positions that have more sea duty assignments than shore duty. There are currently 16 ratings categorized as sea-intensive, according to the service. Gapped billets on ships have grown since 2017, according to Navy data reviewed by USNI News, suggesting the positions are becoming harder to fill. To address the issue, the Navy is beginning to use a system of using incentives, such as money or promotions, to entice people to apply for certain billets.

Despite flipping over in surf four times within a year, the Marines still say the new ACV is the future of amphibious warfare, reports Military.com. The Marine Corps’ new armored Amphibious Combat Vehicles, intended to become the main transport in the future for getting troops and gear from ship to shore, won’t be available for their first planned deployment this fall, their use currently restricted in water training at Camp Pendleton because of safety concerns. Four of the new ACVs flipped in the surf in just the last year  in all cases, the Marines were able to get out and swim to shore. Three of the 36-ton vehicles were damaged beyond repair.

The VA gave raises to 10,000 nurses and takes more steps to boost recruiting and retention, reports GovExec.com. The department is looking to quickly implement a new suite of incentives aimed at making VA a more attractive place to work. Many of the reforms stem from the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, which newly presumes, for the purposes of eligibility for care and benefits from the VA, that 23 respiratory illnesses contracted by veterans are related to burn pits used in the military.

Nearly 113,000 claims have already been filed for toxic exposure benefits, reports Military Times. Since the PACT Act became law three months ago, Veterans Affairs officials have already received nearly 113,000 new disability claims related to toxic exposure.

 

 

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Oct. 24, 2022

Less than 5% of US plastic was actually recycled last year, The Guardian reports on a new study released by Greenpeace. Americans discarded 51 million  tons of wrappers, bottles and bags in 2021 – about 309 pounds of plastic per person – of which almost 95% ended up in landfills, oceans, or scattered in the atmosphere in tiny toxic particles. The report, Circular Claims Fall Flat Again, updates the 2020 survey of 370 recycling plants which found most plastics were not widely accepted, and even the bottles and jugs were not completely recycled or recyclable.

Covid-19 vaccine study links side effects with greater antibody response, reports CNN. People who reported experiencing side effects to the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines such as fever, chills or muscle pain tended to have a greater antibody response following vaccination. Having such symptoms after vaccination is associated with greater antibody responses compared with having only pain or rash at the injection site or no symptoms at all, suggests the paper published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Arizona is bolstering its employees’ cyber hygiene, reports Route-fifty.com. Strengthening its weakest link has helped Arizona reduce its click rate on phishing emails from 14% to 4%, the state’s chief information security officer says. The program to improve the state’s cyber hygiene includes regular training for new and existing employees and real-time threat monitoring of its networks. It aims to raise awareness among agency staff and cut down on human error, which Verizon researchers have found is the most likely vector for an attack.

Bilge water got into the USS Abraham Lincoln’s drinking water, reports Navy Times. An inspection of the affected potable water tanks revealed that bilge water was behind the stinky, cloudy water, Naval Air Forces said in a statement. Specifically, bilge water entered one of the potable water tanks through a hole in a tank’s vent line, according to the command. Lincoln sailors first noted the nasty drinking water on Sept. 21, while the ship was operating off California.

Raytheon has delivered two sophisticated Ukraine-bound surface-to-air defense systems to the US government, reports Military Times. They’re being installed in Ukraine [imminently],” said Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes.

Northrop Grumman to build 28 supersonic target drones to help train ship crews to defeat anti-ship missiles, reports MilitaryAerospace.com. NAVAIR  announced the $79.3 million contract Friday to the Northrop Grumman Launch Vehicles and Propulsion segment in Chandler, AZ.

Contracts:

Accenture Federal Services LLC, McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $9,691,132 modification (P00006) to previously awarded contract FA820422F0001 for Sentinel Fences Continuous Engineering Services. This modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of full time equivalents to support the fences engineering services being produced under the basic contract. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and is expected to be completed by July 27, 2023. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and engineering incremental funds are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, Hill AFB, Utah, is the contracting activity.

 

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