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Saturday, July 23, 2022

Deal Reached on Next Batch of F-35s

F-35

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.

Negotiations to bring down the cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continued late last week. The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin said the deal for the next batch of 90 F-35s shaved $728 million off the cost of the program and brings the cost of each plane below $95 million, The Washington Post reports. That announcement came after President Donald Trump had said $600M had been cut from the program’s cost earlier in the week.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman credits the president as a lower price for the F-35 was secured, DoD Buzz reports. “President Trump’s personal involvement in the F-35 program accelerated the negotiations and sharpened our focus on driving down the price,” Bill Phelps said.

Fox Business asks, “Is Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Just a Dud?” Its article cites a 2016 annual report on Pentagon weapons programs that devotes dozens of pages to describing as many as 276 deficiencies plaguing the stealth jet.

Officials from all branches of the US military will pitch their budget needs on Capitol Hill this week, The Hill reports. President Trump has promised to build up the nation’s military, and DefSec James Mattis has begun a readiness review. The review will start with a request for more money; Congress will need to authorize the funds for any military buildup.

More than half the US Navy’s aircraft are grounded, Defense News reports, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.

The third and final hearing into the sinking of the El Faro began Monday, The Virginian-Pilot reports. The cargo ship sank in October 2015 during Hurricane Joaquin, killing 33 crew members. The hearing will include follow-up testimony and an examination of the transcript of audio taken from the freighter’s voyage data recorder. Many of the crew were members of the Seafarers International Union which operates the seamanship school in Piney Point.

The Navy is working to develop quickly a “ghost fleet” concept where multiple surface, air, and undersea drones operate in a synchronized fashion to conduct a range of combat missions, Defense Systems reports.

Military Times reports that Trump’s unpredictable foreign policy could hamper long-standing US intelligence-sharing partnerships as countries react to a leader “who seeks closer ties to Russia and is unafraid to offend American allies by cracking down on immigration or getting angry with friendly leaders.”

Michael Flynn, national security adviser, says the government has to overcome the political taboo of tying Islamic violence to the religion of Islam, which he says the enemy is using as a manual of warfare, New York Post reports. Flynn plans to do it from the grass roots up, starting in the schools while also by using social media.

Trump’s pick for Army secretary has taken his name out of consideration for the post. Vincent Viola, a billionaire businessman and veteran, said he was having trouble disengaging with his business ties, CNN reports.

The unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans jumped to 6.3 percent in January,  Military Times reports, the fourth time in the last seven months that group’s figure has been higher than the overall veteran rate.

The USS Enterprise was decommissioned last week in Newport News, Virginia. The Big E, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was commissioned in November 1961. While active, the CVN-65 served in almost every major conflict that took place with deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Middle East, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

Contracts:

Cotton and Company LLP, Alexandria, Virginia, is being awarded a maximum $18,806,923 labor-hour contract for financial statement audit services. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, with an expected completion date of Dec. 31, 2017. The contract has a 12-month base period with four individual one-year option periods. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition for which three quotes were received. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $18,806,923 are being obligated at the time of the award. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (HQ0423-17-F-0019).

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