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Defense Industry Wary of Buy American

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.

President Joe Biden’s Buy American actions sees industry pushback as allies warn of trade consequences, reports Defense News. The defense industry is wary the protectionist policy will trigger a backlash that shuts out American-made weapons and gear from overseas markets. Defense advocates note that foreign military sales fuel a $40.6 billion trade surplus for the sector and help Washington gain interoperability with allied militaries, and they warn those benefits could decline.

Vietnam-era veterans who served in Thailand contend they face a higher bar in winning VA disability benefits claims relative to Agent Orange or other harmful herbicides exposure. Several bills in Congress purport to take aim at the problem, reports Daytona Daily News.

Federal contracting firms will decide for themselves on how to manage employees who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 by the December 8 deadline, but agencies are authorized to restrict unvaccinated workers from federal facilities, reports FCW.

Objections among certain vendors over President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors led two insiders in the trucking industry to tell Politico that some trucking companies are mulling whether to end their work with the federal government altogether.

The Corps will kick out every Marine who refuses the COVID-19 vaccination without an approved exemption by the November 28 deadline, reports Marine Times. Barring an approved administrative, medical, or religious accommodation, or a pending appeal, Marines who fail to meet the deadline will be processed for administrative separation. General court-martial convening authorities will “retain authority to take any additional adverse administrative or disciplinary action” deemed appropriate.

The Navy approves five permanent medical, no religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine to date, reports USNI. No one has been separated or discharged from the Navy, as of November 1, for not receiving the vaccine. The final snapshot will likely not be ready until November 28, according to the Navy. The Navy has not released how many administrative exemptions — which is the category religious exemptions fall under — have been granted in terms of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is mandatory for all active-duty sailors and reservists.

The Navy has determined its damaged sub struck an underwater mountain, reports Navy Times. The USS Connecticut was damaged in a collision in the South China Sea in early October. The Navy has yet to fully explain how or why the  struck the seamount or to reveal the extent of damage to the Seawolf-class submarine.

Oracle, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon execs have completed their three-year mission to report on how AI can bolster national security, reports Wired. The National Security Commission on AI reported to the president and US Congress on how artificial intelligence can bolster national security, its efforts resulting in numerous national policies. There are concerns with policy being written by potential vendors for the technology the strategies involve.

The Iraqi government plans to sign energy contracts worth tens of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reports from the state newspaper Al-Sabaah, citing Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar.

A renewed buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border has raised concern among some officials in the US and Europe who are tracking what they consider irregular movements of equipment and personnel on Russia’s western flank, reports The Washington Post.

Russia’s Black Sea naval forces practiced destroying enemy targets this week while two US warships were in the area, reports Reuters. President Vladimir Putin said Russian forces could observe the USS Mount Whitney navy command ship “through binoculars or in the crosshairs of its … defence systems” and complained about NATO activity near Russia’s borders.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 1, 2021



New policy protects sexual assault survivors from being charged with “minor” infractions, reports Military Times. One of the toughest hills to climb in the military’s work to tackle its sexual assault problem is that so few survivors report their attacks, often for fear or retaliation or other negative consequences. The Safe-to-Report Policy, mandated by Congress in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, requires requires commanders to disregard “minor” collateral misconduct a survivor might have committed in the context of his or her assault.

SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut launch for NASA delayed by a crewmember’s “minor medical issue,” reports Space.com, at least until November 6. The mission, known as Crew-3, had been scheduled to lift off early November 3, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The earliest it could now launch is 11:36 pm EDT on Saturday evening. “The issue is not a medical emergency and not related to COVID-19, NASA stated.

The White House continues tradition of observing Veterans and Military Families Month throughout November, reports Navy Times. The move follows similar month-long recognition efforts from the previous presidential administration. In a statement, President Biden said the month should serve as a chance to “show our appreciation to the spouses, partners, children, caregivers, and survivors of our service members and veterans for their selfless sacrifice on behalf of the nation.”

The Pentagon quietly removed more than 130,000 Afghanistan War photos and videos from public view, reports Task & Purpose. The DoD began archiving the imagery in August and September as it worked to get Afghans out of the country, said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby, also noting continuing US government efforts to help Afghans who need to leave. Kirby said on Monday that he made the decision to temporarily archive any images and videos that could put Afghans in danger.

The LA Times seeks to answer: Why are most Afghan evacuees still housed at US military camps? Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, 124,000 people have been evacuated to the US, including 67,000 Afghan allies. Of those Afghans, 10,000 have been resettled with the help of nonprofit agencies in communities across the nation. The Biden administration attributes the pace of resettlement to staff shortages, logistics issues, and medical problems, including a measles outbreak. Nonprofit agencies tasked with resettling Afghan evacuees say they have been overwhelmed by the influx.

ManTech International will acquire DoD IT and cyber contractor Gryphon Technologies for $350 million, reports FedScoop. Gryphon primarily provides digital and systems engineering to the military including the Navy, Air Force, DARPA, and the Missile Defense Agency. As part of the deal, Gryphon’s 1,500 staff will be transferred to ManTech.


Marine Hydraulics International LLC, Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded a $71,437,926 firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) fiscal 2022 selected restricted availability. This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair of the USS San Antonio (LPD 17). This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $76,675,413. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed in May 2023. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $59,300,360 (83%); fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,687,972 (14%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,449,594 (3%), will be obligated at time of award, of which funding in the amount of $9,687,972 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the beta.sam.gov website with three offers received in response to solicitation number N00024-21-R-4436. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-22-C-4436). (Awarded Oct. 29, 2021).

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