February 22, 2024

Did Fat Leonard Gut Navy’s Pacific Leadership?

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.

Fat Leonard cost the US Navy not only money but also some experienced Pacific leadership at a critical juncture, reports Foreign Policy.com. Malaysian national Leonard Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” is back in the news nine years after his original arrest for defrauding the US Navy of around $35 million (as reported in Fraud Magazine) between 2006 and 2013. The enormous investigation that ensued after his arrest has produced at least 33 federal indictments and 22 guilty pleas, according to USNI, which also reports one senior staff member of the highest US command in the region went so far as to say that “China could never have dreamt up a way to do this much damage to the US Navy’s Pacific leadership.”

Here’s why the Navy and Marine Corps training jets are grounded, reports Navy Times. The safety stand-down that has grounded the Navy’s fleet of T-45C Goshawk training jets happened after one of the trainers experienced “a low-pressure compressor blade failure” before takeoff on Oct. 11. Officials said no prior Goshawk mishaps are being attributed to this type of engine blade fault, although a mishap from August remains under investigation.

One guard member was killed and three were injured in a Pennsylvania National Guard training accident, reports Army Times. SPC Mackenzie L. Shay, 20, of New Castle, was killed. The crash involved two military vehicles on a Pennsylvania military training area on Saturday at Fort Indiantown Gap, where the guard has its headquarters about 25 miles northeast of Harrisburg.

NASA proved it can deflect an asteroid, but spotting them is tricky, reports The Washington Post. NASA estimates that it tracks only about 40 percent of the asteroids large enough that they could cause calamity if they were to hit Earth. To save us, the space agency needs fair warning — years, not months or weeks — to muster the defenses in space needed to safeguard the planet. The good news is, no large asteroids are expected to hit the earth for the next 100 years. The space agency is working to develop an telescope that would track many more potentially hazardous asteroids, but the project has faced funding cuts.

The James Webb Space Telescope  ‘Pillars of Creation’ photo is not only beautiful, what it reveals has astronomers buzzing, reports Space.com. The image reveals cosmic processes never before observed with such clarity. If you want to properly take in the magic of the James Webb Space Telescope‘s photo of the Pillars of Creation, you have to download the original image from the website of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which manages the mission’s science operations. It’s not a small file. At about 150 megabytes, it might clog your internet downlink for a while.

An engine designed by the Austrian company Rotax Engine was found in an Iranian Mohajer-6 drone downed over Ukraine, reports The Drive. The drone went down over the Black Sea earlier this month. Rotax says it has launched an investigation into its engines powering Iranian drones. The delivery of such hardware to Iran violates European Union sanctions banning the export of items with both civilian and military purposes, such as vehicle parts. Identical sanctions are imposed by the European Union against Russia, as well.

Military schools’ students lead the nation in post-pandemic scores, reports Military Times. The average scores of students in DoD schools ranged from 15 to 23 points higher than all national average scores on the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and math assessments. Their scores either increased or held steady even as the scores of their public school counterparts across the US decreased from 2019 pre-pandemic levels..




Ukraine accuses Russia of blocking full grain shipping capacity, reports gCaptain. “Russia is deliberately blocking the full realization of the Grain Initiative,” Ukraine’s Infrastructure Ministry said. “As a result, these (Ukrainian) ports in the last few days are working only at 25-30 percent of their capacity.” Under the agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July, Ukraine resumed grain exports from Black Sea ports shut since Russia invaded and Moscow won guarantees for its own grain and fertilizer exports.

Navy sailor Patrick Tate Adamiak, 28, was convicted for dealing illegal machine guns in undercover ATF weapons sting, reports CNN. Special agents recovered numerous illegal machine guns, two grenade launchers and two anti-tank missile launchers in his possession. A jury found Adamiak guilty of three counts of receiving and possessing an unregistered destructive device, one count of receiving and possessing an unregistered firearm, and one count of unlawful possession and transfer of a machine gun, according to court documents.

US AG Merrick Garland announces the  arrest of Chinese spies who stole confidential information, reports UPI News. Two Chinese intelligence officers are charged with attempting to obstruct, influence, and impede a criminal prosecution of a telecommunications company based in China. In total, 13 people were charged in three separate cases in the harassment and espionage schemes.

A new biometric data finds different patterns for men and women in Marine boot camp accidents, reports Marine Corp Times. A first-of-its kind study of Marine Corps boot camp shows different patterns in musculoskeletal injury rates and training progression for male and female troops. It also suggests possible training changes that might improve outcomes and lower drop rates. Marine Corps leaders, however, say they’re still considering a way forward as they absorb study results.

Hundreds more airmen are to receive military awards for the Kabul evacuation, reports Air Force Times. The Air Force plans to present 350 awards in the coming weeks, including more than 100 of the military’s most prestigious medals, to airmen who served in Operation Allies Refuge. It’s the largest batch of awards approved so far to honor the contributions of individual airmen in the US-led humanitarian evacuation from Afghanistan in August 2021. More than 124,000 Americans and foreign nationals, including 76,000 at-risk Afghans, fled as the Taliban returned to power at the end of the Pentagon’s nearly 20-year war there

Hospital ship Comfort heads to 4th Fleet for humanitarian mission, reports Navy Times. The USNS hospital ship Comfort has embarked on its seventh humanitarian mission to the 4th Fleet’s area of operations as part of US Southern Command’s Continuing Promise 2022 mission. The ship is slated to visit Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Haiti to work with partner nation medical personnel issuing care aboard the ship and at land-based medical sites. The goal is to “increase medical readiness, strengthen partnerships, and enhance the combined capabilities of the US Navy and partner nations,” the service said.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna warns that a Russian victory in Ukraine could spark worldwide wars of conquest, reports USNI News. Wars of conquest could become the new normal if unprovoked attacks like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine go unchecked, France’s minister for Europe and foreign affairs warned last week. The invasion provides models for other aggressors in Europe, the Indo-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, said Colonna. “The stakes are far beyond Ukraine and Europe,” she said. “We cannot afford that” to happen.


Raytheon Intelligence and Space, Dulles, Virginia, has been awarded a $12,120,150 firm-fixed-price with cost-reimbursement contract for non-personal and non-commercial services for operations and maintenance services of the Cobra King radar system. Work will be performed at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida; and various overseas locations on board the U.S. Naval Ship Howard O. Lorenzen, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2023. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition, and one offer was received. The Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Patrick SFB, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA7022-23-0016).

Raytheon Co., Andover, Massachusetts, was awarded a $122,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor pre-planned product improvement Increment III effort. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Huntsville and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Tucson, Arizona; Anaheim Hills, El Segundo and San Diego, California; Fort Walton Beach, Indialantic and St. Petersburg, Florida; Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana; Andover, Burlington, Cambridge, Marlborough, Tewksbury, Waltham and Woburn, Massachusetts; Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fulton, Maryland; Saginaw, Michigan; Nashua and Pelham, New Hampshire; White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Lawton, Oklahoma; Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Portsmouth, Rhode Island; El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; and Arlington and Sterling, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2025. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $122,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W9124P-19-9-0001).


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