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COVID Spreads in St. Mary’s Schools

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.

St. Mary’s County’s four public middle schools and two of its public high schools are reporting some of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began, reports The Baltimore Sun. Margaret Brent Middle School reported 101 cases of spread of the virus last week, one tenth of the student body. Leonardtown High reported 81 cases of spread, Leonardtown Middle 57, Great Mills High School 64, Spring Ridge Middle 58, Esperanza Middle 42, and Dynard Elementary had 19 cases. Of the state’s 1,449 schools less than 10% reported outbreaks and the vast majority were less than 10 cases.

“We need to focus [military] benefits on those currently serving, but the problem is most of the benefits now have shifted to those no longer serving,” said Arnold Punaro, former staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee. Military Times reports on defense experts who say military leaders will need to make some difficult choices on pay and benefits in coming years, if they want to maintain the funding needed to keep up force readiness and end strength.

After her complaint of military sexual trauma was substantiated, Cybèle C. Greenber was asked to provide a written recommendation to the Marine general in charge of her case. Because “more than 50 percent of American servicewomen” are affected by sexual harassment, she decided to write an open letter, which Task & Purpose posted. She asks for her offender’s swift removal. She notes rapid and more punitive action taken in the command against a female lieutenant for fraternizing with an enlisted Marine, while the “male lieutenant who demeaned me with sexually-charged language on a daily basis and sought to destroy my professional reputation — all because I refused to sleep with him — has pursued a successful career within your command and will continue to be eligible for promotion.”

Navy instructor pilots and their students teamed up with the Coast Guard and rescued the pilot of small civilian plane who crashed into a bay near Rockport, TX, on Monday. LT Bradley Williams and ENS Kyle Brazas were conducting a routine training flight when Corpus Christi air traffic control asked for help locating the downed civilian aircraft, reports Navy Times. They flew north and LT Kitti Kopar and Marine 2nd LT Daniel Cerezo flew south. They located the pilot, which led two civilian boats to step in and provide assistance to the pilot until a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter arrived to evacuate the civilian pilot.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) is attempting to add another $25 billion to this year’s defense policy bill, $21 billion of which to fast track the Navy’s current plans to revitalize its four public shipyards, reports Breaking Defense. The Shipyard Act of 2021 was introduced Monday as an amendment to the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act, slated to reach the Senate floor this week. The amendment has almost three dozen cosponsors from Democratic and Republican lawmakers in both chambers largely hailing from shipbuilding states such as Virginia, Maine, Hawaii, and Mississippi.

Encouraged by the improvements in ship handling and combat systems operations after the Navy fielded virtual trainers, the surface community is hoping to further improve its readiness with a virtual maintenance trainer for the Aegis Combat System set up at Dahlgren, VA, reports Defense News.



Japanese and US fleets met this week for a first-ever anti-submarine warfare exercise in the South China Sea, reports USNI. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has issued two news releases on the ongoing drills, which also involve Canadian and Australian navies. USNI further reports on additional multi-national exercises in the East China Sea and the arrival in Manila of a small contingent of ships transferring from the Baltic into Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

GEN John Hyten, vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reveals new details of a Chinese hypersonic weapons test, sending a missile around the world at more than five times the speed of sound that came “close enough” to hitting its target, reports CBS. A hypersonic weapon is harder for radars to detect, leading Hyten to say the Chinese could gain the capability to launch a surprise nuclear attack on the US.

The first battle-ready US hypersonic weapon will be fielded within a year or two by the Army with the Navy not far behind, reports Air Force Magazine. The Army has fielded ground elements of the weapon, according to Gillian Bussey, director of DOD’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office. “The only thing that’s missing is the missile.”

Newsweek posts a Question and Answer interview with the Russian special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, about how Russia sought to reduce the suffering of Afghans by prioritizing humanitarian aid, empowering more moderate elements of the ruling Taliban to take on transnational militants, and establish a “normal” country after decades of war.

The US remains “fully committed” to a proposed sale of advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, said Mira Resnick, a deputy US assistant secretary of state overseeing arms exports. A high-level Russian delegation met Tuesday with Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, at the Dubai Air Show where Moscow’s competitor to the F-35, the Sukhoi Su-75 Checkmate, is prominently displayed, reports Defense News. Resnick said that Gulf Arab partners are not looking to purchase weapons from Russia as a hedge over American concerns about human rights in the region.

The FBI wants to be included in cyber incident disclosure reports under consideration by Congress. A Senate bill  puts the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency front and center when it comes to reporting requirements, reports FCW. Bryan Vorndran, assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform “the FBI won’t be able to fully support” federal cyber initiatives unless companies are simultaneously required to report incidents to the bureau, in addition to CISA.

Using a random drawing of ping-pong balls, the conservative-packed US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was selected Tuesday to hear challenges to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private sector employers, reports Business Insider.


Systems Application and Technologies Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was awarded a $16,812,466 cost-plus-fixed-fee, level of effort, cost reimbursable modification (P00018) to a previously awarded contract (N0042119C0023). This modification exercises an option to provide continued support services to the Naval Air System Command Prototyping, Instrumentation, and Experimentation Department. These services include designing, developing, procuring, building, installing, testing and evaluating, calibrating, modifying, operating and maintaining instrumentation on various aircraft and uninstalled engines for the Department of Defense, other government agencies, foreign governments, and commercial customers. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in November 2022. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,857,500 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 16, 2021)

By Light Professional IT Services LLC, McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,754,345 Labor-Hour Task Order for LevelUP Cybersecurity. The task order provides for the development and sustainment of the Unified Platform system in support of cyberspace operations. Work will be performed in San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 23, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition in which six offers were received. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $531,900 will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA8307-22-F-0002). (Awarded Oct. 22, 2021)

Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies Inc., North Bethesda, Maryland, was awarded a $9,632,000 modification (P00006) to contract W911S0-19-D-0009 for training and certifications in cybersecurity. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 5, 2023. US Army Field Directorate Office, Fort Gordon, Georgia, is the contracting activity (W911S0-19-D-0009).

BAE Systems Inc., Wayne, New Jersey (P00007/FA872618D0004); The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California (P00007/FA872618D0006); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (P00007/FA872618D0008); Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, California (P00008/FA872618D0012); L3 Technologies, Salt Lake City, Utah (P00007/FA872618D0010); Lockheed Martin Corp., King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (P00007/FA872618D0007); Northrup Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California (P00010/FA872618D0005); Raytheon Corp., Marlborough, Massachusetts (P00007/FA872618D0009); and Rockwell Collins Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa (P00006/FA872618D0011), were awarded a combined $2,399,000,000 modification to the existing multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts listed above, comprised of firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive-firm, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-plus-incentive-firm, and cost reimbursable contract line items. The modification provides for the establishment of production and sustainment contract line items to allow the Department of the Air Force to streamline prototype development, production and sustainment into a single effort to be competed under fair opportunity procedures. Work will be performed in Wayne, New Jersey; Huntington Beach, California; McLean, Virginia; San Diego, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, dependent on the winner of each fair opportunity competition, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 9, 2028. All funding will be made available at the delivery order level as contracting actions occur. The Quick Reaction Branch, Aerial Network Division, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity.

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