May 31, 2020

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DefSec Warns US Allies: Be Wary of China

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp transits the South China Sea on Sept. 4, 2019. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Baker

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A warning from DefSec Mark Esper to US European allies: Be wary of China. Military Times reports that Beijing seeks greater global influence by leveraging economic power and stealing technology.

The US and 10 Southeast Asian countries completed five days of maritime drills — ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise or AMUX — as part of a joint exercise extending into the South China Sea with eight warships, four aircraft and more than a thousand personnel, reports The Defense Post.

The US House and Senate were back in session Monday. The Hill reports the lawmakers will have 16 working days to reach a deal to fund the government by Oct. 1 or pass a spending patch to kick the fight closer to the holidays. Defense News reports that lawmakers want a quick passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda is using technology designed specifically to help rehabilitate wounded veterans, reports WTOP News. The system is called CAREN — Computer Assisted Rehab Environment — and it’s one of only 10 of its kind and is used to help the vets deal with challenges such as adapting to new prosthetics, coping with stress, and re-learning balance and other skills.

Military Times reports US peace talks with the Taliban are now “dead.” President Donald Trump made that declaration Monday, one day after he called off a secret meeting he had arranged with Taliban and Afghan leaders aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.

North Korea is willing to resume talks with the US, Military Times reports. North Korea is believed to want the US to provide it with security guarantees and  relief from US-led sanctions in return for limited denuclearization steps.

The US Army is pushing its pilots in some of the toughest training challenges, both real and virtual, that they’ve ever faced, reports Army Times. Some of that is will come from new high-tech trainers that developers hope to keep pace with rapid changes in existing equipment.

US military and civilian emergency teams have been sent to the Bahamas, reports UPI, where tens of thousands of people need food and supplies after Hurricane Dorian. Great Britain and China also have committed funds and goods to the relief effort.

US Navy sailors and Coast Guardsmen transport a patient in response to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas Sept. 6, 2019. In support of foreign disaster relief efforts in The Bahamas, DefSec authorized US Northern Command to provide transportation logistics for the movement of USAID and third party humanitarian commodities and personnel throughout the region and to conduct assessments of critical transportation nodes to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and maximize the flow of disaster relief into the area. (Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox)

The 2nd Fleet ordered nearly 30 ships and 120 aircraft to back to Hampton Roads on Saturday, ending a sortie designed to evade Hurricane Dorian, reports Navy Times.

The Army says two siblings — Maria Lodi Barrett and Paula Lodi — have made history as the first set of sisters to both attain the rank of general, reports ABC News.

Cmdr. Jared Tharp assumed command last month of the US Naval Research Laboratory’s Scientific Development Squadron One “Warlocks,” reports The (Indiana) Herald Bulletin. Cmdr. Tharp had served as military lead for the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office at NAS Pax River.

The California-based SEAL Team 7’s senior leadership team was relieved of duty Friday, reports Navy Times, following a series of scandals.

The Navy wants to test private drinking wells near the Groton, CT, submarine base for potentially dangerous industrial compounds, reports The Associated Press. There is the possibility that certain chemicals used at the base migrated through groundwater to private drinking levels at unsafe levels.


BlackHorse Solutions Inc., Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded a $48,843,831 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for CDI2E software/hardware prototypes. This contract will advance global vigilance, global reach, and global power in the information environment through the application, research, development, and transition of emerging technologies and next-gen solutions. This includes rapid tool development, development of electronic warfare/cyber network attack software and hardware systems, analytical processing, cyber threat avoidance and cyber threat defense, test and evaluation, and to manage the development to ensure projects move forward at a rapid pace, that technical and process innovations incorporated into successive rounds of development. Work will be performed at Herndon, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 9, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $300,000 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity. (FA8750-19-C-1528). 

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded an $11,945,242 firm-fixed-price modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-18-C-4403 for additional growth requirements, including actions taken during Hurricane Florence, identified during the execution of the USS Tortuga (LSD 46) Fiscal 2018 Modernization Period (MODPRD) Chief of Naval Operations availability. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by November 2019. Upward obligation of expired fiscal 2018 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $11,945,242 was used to fund this action in accordance with fiscal law. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Sept. 5, 2019)

CORRECTION: The contract announced on Sept. 6, 2019, to The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, LLC (JHU/APL), Laurel, Maryland (HC1047-19-D-0001), for essential engineering, research, and/or development capabilities, in line with the core competencies established by the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, has not yet been awarded.

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