May 25, 2020

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China Lake at Epicenter of Quakes

China Lake
The commissary was one of the impacted structures at NAWSCL, which is undergoing recovery efforts following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake at NAWSCL and the city of Ridgecrest, CA, July 5 and a 6.4 magnitude earthquake one day prior. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist John Scorza, July 7, 2019, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake

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Two major California earthquakes leave Naval Station China Lake “not mission capable,” reports USNI News. The US Geological Survey set the epicenters of the two largest tremors and countless others within the Navy installation. Residents were evacuated and the base remains closed to all but essential personnel. As of Monday, 10 percent of approximately 1,200 buildings within the installation’s perimeter had been assessed for damage. Local ABC affiliate reports on disaster assistance to nearby Trone. Local Fox affiliate KMPH reports Valley Congressman Devin Nunes praising construction and architecture adjustments on base helped minimize damage. The base remained closed Wednesday, KMPH reports aftershocks have been continuous and more are expected.

Britain, France agree to send additional troops to Syria, reports Foreign Policy, providing a major victory for President Donald Trump’s national security team.

The Army and Navy face a lot of juggling to confirm the next DefSec, reports Military Times. The Pentagon has until the end of this month to confirm a DefSec to fill the long-vacant spot. The best case scenario would be getting a confirmation hearing for Acting DefSec Mark Esper and a Senate vote in the next couple of weeks, but even then there will be some shuffling involved.

The war powers debate is teed up for defense policy bill up for a House vote this week, reports Defense News. The Democratic-controlled House seeks limits on the president’s power to wage war on Iran or aid the Saudi war in Yemen. The House Rules Committee screened and approved 437 of more than 650 amendments to the bill submitted for consideration by Republicans and Democrats, covering a broad array of topics.

Pentagon spent $1.2 million to support the Salute to America event on July Fourth, reports Stars and Stripes, to fly aircraft and set up armored vehicles. The funding for the flying demonstrations came from the military services’ own training budgets designated for flying hours, “which are imperative to military readiness,” according to a Pentagon statement.

What the US needs to counter “unprecedented” Chinese influence in South America, reports Defense News, is a whole government approach. As China continues to expand its global footprint, its influence in the region has grown to “unprecedented levels,”  influence in the region has reached “unprecedented levels of influence and leverage,” says the Pentagon’s top official for South America.

Military Times reports a bipartisan group of lawmakers is again pushing military officials to screen for gambling problems among active-duty troops, estimating that tens of thousands may be struggling with addiction and posing a potential national security risk.

US Air Force drones are back in the Black Sea region, reports Stars and Stripes, flying out of a temporary camp in Romania, putting intelligence-gathering capabilities closer to the Black Sea as tensions between US partners and Russia continue in the region.

Washington’s peace envoy aims for a Sept. 1 agreement on troop withdrawal after all-Afghan conference, reports The Associated Press. All-Afghan talks that brought together Afghanistan’s warring sides ended Tuesday with a statement that appeared to push the country a step closer to peace, by laying down the outlines of a roadmap for the country’s future and ending nearly 18 years of war.

The US will provide intel, not escorts, in Strait of Hormuz, according to Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford. “Escorting in the normal course of events would be done by countries who have the same flag, so a ship that is flagged from a particular country would be escorted by that country,” Defense One quotes the nation’s top uniformed officer.

The US is proceeding with a plan for a coalition of nations to deter Iran threats, reports The Associated Press. The coalition would monitor and deter Iranian threats against commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf area and in a heavy trafficked waterway between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

The Pentagon seeks to transfer $50 million from its FY10 budget to develop a hypersonic missile launcher, reports Defense News. The funds would cover design and development of a prototype mobile launcher for its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon.


Wyle Laboratories Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, is being awarded an $81,220,643 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides for certified and qualified operational contractor support services aircrew to support mission essential testing and evaluation of all manned air vehicles under the operational responsibility of the Naval Test Wing Atlantic/Pacific squadrons. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland (94%); NAS Pt. Mugu, California (5%); and NAS China Lake, California (1%), and is expected to be completed in September 2024. No funds are being obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; two offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-19-D-0071).

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