July 14, 2024

CH-53K Moving Toward Entry Into Service

US Navy sailors assigned to the USS Arlington remove chocks and chains from a CH-53K King Stallion helicopter during flight operations aboard Arlington in February 2023. The King Stallion is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter that underwent its second set of sea trials as the next evolution of the CH-53 series helicopters that have been in service since 1966. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Bellino)

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.

The US Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program is preparing for its first deployment in 2025 as builder Sikorsky looks for additional customers to fill out its growing production line, reports Defense News.

The King Stallion recently went through its second set of sea trials, reports NAVAIR. Testing took place aboard the USS Arlington, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. The Marine Corps continues to execute its transition from the CH-53E to the CH-53K and is on schedule to declare full operational capability in FY2029. SLDinfo.com recently visited NAVAIR at Pax River to talk to COL Kate Fleeger, H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters program manager (PMA-261). She discussed the coming of the CH-53K to the USMC, which is in the midst of this latest transformation, which highlights force mobility and distributed operations.

US Navy RADM Andrew “Bucket” Loiselle, speaking at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space conference and exhibition last week, provided details of the service’s advanced aviation plans. In future fight, control of advanced drones belonging to the Navy and US Air Force could be passed back and forth between assets from either service as the situation demands, reports The Drive. Uncrewed platforms are set to make up the majority of the Navy’s future carrier air wings, with up to 60% of all aircraft on each flattop eventually being pilotless.

RADM Stephen Tedford, head program executive in charge of Navy unmanned aerial systems, said production delays to Boeing’s MQ-25A Stingray are pushing its initial operational capability by a year, reports USNI News. Tedford was also speaking at the Sea-Air-Space symposium. The MQ-25A, the first major unmanned aerial vehicle to deploy on US aircraft carriers, will serve as an aerial refueling tanker on the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier starting in 2026.

Personal finance website WalletHub’s recent report on 2023’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States puts Maryland in the No. 24 spot. WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, “State Residents’ Dependency” and “State Government’s Dependency.” A similar survey by SmartAsset, States Most Dependent on the Federal Government – 2022 Edition, ranked Maryland 25th. The financial planning website analyzed and compared data across the following metrics: federal share of state government revenue, ratio of federal funding to income taxes paid, percentage of workers employed by the federal government, and ratio of median earnings for federal workers to median earnings for private workers.

The George H.W. Bush‘s deployment to Europe has been extended from the planned seven months to about nine months, reports Navy Times, making the aircraft carrier’s return to Norfolk, VA, set for early May.

A US Air Force-configured MH-139 helicopter made its first visit late last month to the National Capital Region and Joint Base Andrews, reports Vertical Magazine. The MH-139 Grey Wolf is slated to provide emergency security response for nuclear security missions within Air Force Global Strike Command and contingency response and airlift to the Air Force District of Washington.

The flight data recorders from the two US Army Black Hawk helicopters that crashed last month in Kentucky have been sent to Fort Rucker, AL, for further analysis, reports Army Times. Nine soldiers were killed during a nighttime training exercise.

Navy decommissions HSC-22 squadron as part of its reorganization and realignment, reports 13 News Now. In addition to the manned MH-60 helicopter, the squadron also flew the M-Q-8 Fire Scout–an unmanned aerial vehicle used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

A drone strike carried out by the American-led coalition in northwestern Syria killed a senior member of the Islamic State group who was in charge of planning attacks in Europe, reports Scripps News. The death “will temporarily disrupt the organization’s ability to plot external attacks,” according to a US military statement.

A Defense Department inspector general report found inconsistencies with how the military health system handles screening, tracking, and treating brain injury, reports Military Times, often because the existing process is cumbersome. The report estimates at least 459,000 troops experienced brain injury while in service between 2000 and 2022.

Leslie Taylor has joined MIL Corp.’s defense business unit, the company announced last week. Ms. Taylor joins MIL as a vice president and executive adviser, supporting business operations in Southern Maryland. She has more than 37 years of service in naval aviation. Prior to her retirement from the federal government, Ms. Taylor served as the NAVAIR vice commander.

CBS News took a look at some of the US military’s most accomplished women who have climbed the ranks of power in the American armed forces.

Lockheed Martin engineer Chauncey McIntosh received the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award, the company announced. McIntosh is the firm’s vice president, and general manager for training and logistics solutions. He has served as vice president of F-35 Training Systems for Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. Prior to that role, he was director and deputy of the F-35 development business unit for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

A recent report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence deems racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism — with adherents such as white supremacists, Nazis, and other racist groups — the “most lethal threat” to Americans, reports Military.com. The Pentagon and Congress remain divided over how seriously to take the threat. “This assessment focuses on the most direct, serious threats to the US during the next year. The order of the topics presented in this assessment does not necessarily indicate their relative importance or the magnitude of the threats in the view of the IC. All require a robust intelligence response, including those where a near-term focus may help head off greater threats in the future,” reads the report.

The Willows Recreation Center in Lexington Park, MD, will be permanently closing at the end of April, reports The BayNet. An email from the center did not give a reason as to why it was closing.

Did you know that there is some everyday slang that had its origin in the US Navy? Like: Spinning a yarn. He knows the ropes. Pea coat. Over the centuries, sailors have created a language all their own to describe objects, people, actions, and places, reports War History Online.

NAS Pax River’s Environment Division will receive an award for its shoreline restoration work, reports dvidshub.net. The Sustainability Award from the St. Mary’s County government will be presented during a ceremony April 22 — Earth Day — at Summerseat Farm in Mechanicsville, MD. The public is invited.

Maryland Public Television will be airing its 19th annual Chesapeake Bay Week programs. Its original documentary “Discovering the Dove” will be shown at 8pm Tuesday, April 18. The half-hour film will be available to view live and on-demand using MPT’s livestream, online video player, and the PBS App. An encore presentation of “Discovering the Dove” will air at 7:30pm April 22. In the documentary, the centuries-old story of Maryland’s founding enters a new chapter as a team of shipbuilders endeavor to recreate a 17th-century British colonial ship by following a trail of historical clues.

The first of several artificial reefs are being deployed in lower Potomac River, reports Southern Maryland News Net. The reefs are expected to provide both ecological and economic benefits.

Maryland has launched a statewide fly-fishing trail in a bid to boost tourism and promote the popular pastime, reports Chesapeake Bay Magazine. There are sites in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.


The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a $1,170,768,698 undefinitized modification (P00001) to a firm-fixed-price order (N0001922F0030) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0001921G0006). This modification procures 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Update (HIIU) Grade B canister tactical missiles, four RTM-84L-4 Block II HIIU Grade B canister exercise missiles, 411 containers, four blast test vehicles, two Harpoon Weapon System (HWS) Joint Common Test Sets (JCTS), Harpoon Coastal Defense System (HCDS) spares, weapon station support equipment, JCTS spares, missile spares, HCDS training equipment, integrated logistics support and technical publications, field service representatives and training. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas (24.43%); Pontiac, Michigan (12.93%); Annapolis, Maryland (9.20%); Pine Brook, New Jersey (4.96%); St. Louis, Missouri (3.49%); Randolph, Vermont (2.83%); Galena, Kansas (2.7%); Huntsville, Alabama (2.21%) Grove, Oklahoma (2.05%); Chandler, Arizona (1.80%); Setauket, New York (1.51%); Enumclaw, Washington (1.37%); Minneapolis, Minnesota (1.24%); St. Charles, Missouri (1.22%); Federal Way, Washington (1.15%); Union, Missouri (1.14%); and various locations within and outside the continental US (25.77%) and is expected to be completed in March 2029. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $629,776,662 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

AECOM Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, California (W91278-23-D-0037); HDR Engineering Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado (W91278-23-D0038); Pond & Co., Metairie, Louisiana (W91278-23-D0039); Sain Engineering Associates Inc., Birmingham, Alabama (W91278-23-D0040); and WSP USA Solutions Inc., Washington, DC (W91278-23-D0041), will compete for each order of the $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect and engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 12 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 7, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Constellation NewEnergy Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, has been awarded an estimated $15,000,000 firm-fixed-price, requirements contract to supply and deliver retail electricity and ancillary/incidental services. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a two-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Illinois, with a May 31, 2025, performance completion date. Using customers are Air Force and Department of Agriculture. Using customers are solely responsible to fund this contract and vary in appropriation type and fiscal year. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia (SPE60423D8004).

CORRECTION: The $13,900,000 contract announced April 6, 2023, to Northrop Grumman, McLean, Virginia (W900KK-23-C-0013), to provide mission command training as well as technical, exercise, simulation and organizational support at Fort Hood, Texas, was actually awarded today, April 7, 2023.

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland (SPRBL1-23-D-0004); Science Applications International Corp., doing business as SAIC, Fairfield, New Jersey (SPRBL1-23-D-0005); Centuria Corp., Reston, Virginia (SPRBL1-23-D-0006); STS International Inc., Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (SPRBL1-23-D-0007); L3 Technologies Inc., doing business as Communication Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah (SPRBL1-23-D-0008); Micro USA Inc., Poway, California (SPRBL1-23-D-0009); Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (SPRBL1-23-D-0010); Fairwinds Technologies LLC, Annapolis, Maryland (SPRBL1-23-D-0011); and Telecommunications Systems Inc., Annapolis, Maryland (SPRBL1-23-D-0012), are sharing a maximum $3,200,000,000 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPRBL1-21-R-0013 for supplies and services in support of the Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Gateway to Sustainment contract. This was a competitive acquisition with 16 responses received. These are five-year base contracts with five one-year option periods. Locations of performance are inside and outside the continental US, with an April 5, 2028, performance completion date. Using customers are Army Communications-Electronics Command, Defense Logistics Agency, Department of Defense and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2028 Army working capital funds and other procurement funds as necessary. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Virginia, has been awarded a shared $400,000,000 ceiling, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity for research and development for the Advanced Aerospace Systems Technology Research program. This contract has multiple awardees to be awarded at different dates. The primary objective of the program is to conduct research toward the development, demonstration, integration, and transition of new aerospace vehicle technologies, designs, and integrated systems that will provide advanced capabilities to the Department of the Air Force. Work will be performed at each contractor facility, unless otherwise indicated in each task order, and is expected to be complete by April 6, 2030. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and 15 offers were received. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $91,918 will be distributed among each contractor at time the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA2391-23-D-0001).

Northrop Grumman, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $13,900,000 hybrid (cost-no-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price) contract to provide mission command training as well as technical, exercise, simulation and organizational support. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed at Fort Hood, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 22, 2023. Fiscal 2010 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $6,990,399 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-23-C-0013).

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