June 18, 2019

DefSec Mattis Issues Farewell to Troops

Opposition to Foreign Aid Cuts James Mattis

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.

DefSec Jim Mattis urged DoD personnel to “keep the faith in our country and hold fast, alongside our allies, aligned against our foes.” Mattis issued his farewell Monday as he turned over his duties to Deputy DefSec Patrick Shanahan. Mattis announced his resignation as secretary of defense Dec. 20, reports Military Times, which also presents a synopsis of his two years at the Pentagon in Mattis’ his own words.

President Donald Trump froze 2019 federal employee pay as the federal government shutdown continues into the new year, reports Federal Times.

Coast Guard service members will receive  their regularly scheduled paychecks next week, reports Military Times. Members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Veterans Administration are unaffected by the shutdown; funding for their departments was finalized last fall. Service and administration officials did not provide details on how they managed to cover the $75 million shortfall in funding out of the Department of Homeland Security, which was impacted by the Dec. 21, 2018, shutdown.

Florida Today reports an F-35A Lightning II demo team will make its North American debut by headlining the Melbourne Air & Space Show in late March. “It’ll be the first time in the hemisphere that anybody will ever see an F-35 do a full-capabilities demonstration,” Bryan Lilley, air show organizer, said.

As the US faces a resurgent Russia and a rising power in China with new warfighting strategies and more modern weapons, the military is projected to fly the KC-135 refueling tanker until “it’s at least 100 years old,” says Gen. Carlton Everhart. A new report by the Congressional Budget Office said the Air Force has about 5,600 aircraft ranging in age from just-delivered to 60 years old.

The military pay raise for troops in 2020 is expected to again rise thanks to the improving economy and the expected increase in civilian sector wages, reports Military Times. Based on the current federal formula, troops should see a 3.1 percent pay raise in January 2020, up 0.5 percent from the 2.6 percent raise that goes into effect in January 2019.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) wants the VA to explore the value of legalizing medical cannabis for veterans nationwide in 2019, reports Military Times. Veterans with post-traumatic stress, chronic pain and other war wounds “… say cannabis works for them. How do you argue against that?” Rep. Correa said.

Vets seeking STEM college degrees could get an additional year of GI Bill funds, reports Military Times. The new authorization of scholarships of up to $30,000 will be available for eligible GI Bill users starting in August 2019.

A survey conducted by political scientists at Johns Hopkins University found that Americans don’t know much about their state governments, reports Maryland Matters.

To catch up on the end of the year US Department of Defense contracts impacting the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC, region click here.

Contracts:

BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Radford, Virginia, was awarded an $89,520,585 modification (0053 09) to contract W52P1J-11-G-0053 for operations and maintenance of Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Radford, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2010, 2016 and 2017 other procurement, Army funds in the combined amount of $8,929,605 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

STG Inc., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $17,098,410 modification (P00011) to contract W91RUS-18-C-0007 for information technology support services. Work will be performed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $17,098,410 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Melwood Horticultural Training Center Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was awarded a $9,986,235 modification (P00014) to contract W91QV1-18-C-0008 for base operations. Work will be performed in Fort Meade, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,986,235 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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