November 27, 2022

Dire Recruitment: Navy Hikes Enlistment Age

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Dire recruiting realities prompted the Navy to raises its maximum enlistment age to 41, reports Navy Times. Before last week’s policy change, the age cutoff for enlisted sailors was 39, with recruits needing to report to boot camp by their 40th birthday. Under the change, 41-year-olds must report to recruit training by their 42nd birthday and cannot have previously served in the military. Certain Navy communities, such as the SEAL and diver worlds, still have age cutoffs that differ from the general enlistment age.

A VA study has found Paxlovid may help prevent long COVID-19 problems by 25%, reports Military Times. Patients who use the antiviral medication Nirmatrelvir to treat COVID-19 infections are less likely to develop so-called “long COVID” symptoms than other sick individuals, according to study of more than 56,000 VA patients.

No one was killed in a T-38 crash near the Columbus Air Force training base in Mississippi, reports Air Force Times. The aircraft crashed Monday about 1pm about 20 miles south of the base. A brief statement from the base said a T-38A Talon aircraft had “an in-flight emergency.” The pilot was taken to a local hospital. The crash is under investigation

Business Insider reports on tech layoffs happening all at once and why the next few weeks could be the worst of them. Earnings across tech are weakening as companies are beginning to plan for the coming year with dire economic forecasts. Tech firms are starting with shaving salary costs. In what experts say is only the beginning, Meta reportedly plans widespread layoffs, Lyft cut nearly 700 staffers, and Fintech giant Stripe laid off 14% of its workforce.

At least 14 states activated  National Guard cyber units to ward off cyber attacks on Tuesday’s midterm elections, reports Defense One. More than 2,200 Army and Air National Guard personnel serve across 38 cyber operations units with another 2,240 service members providing cyber and IT mission assurance, network assessments, protection, and risk mitigation.

A Wisconsin judge would not order sequestering of absentee military ballots, reports Military Times, saying that would be a “drastic remedy” that could disenfranchise voters. The Republican chair of the Wisconsin Assembly’s elections committee along with a veterans group and other voters sued on Friday, seeking a court order to sequester the ballots.

Subtropical Storm Nicole is on track to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Florida, reports CNN. The storm is expected to strengthen slowly as it approaches the Florida Peninsula, bringing heavy rain that could lead to dangerous storm surges and high winds beginning Wednesday, as many residents are still enduring the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Maryland could feel the punch next weekend, reports Southern Maryland Chronicle.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 7, 2022

 

Berkshire Hathaway announced last week its purchase of Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business, exclusive of Questar Pipeline Group, for $8 billion and the assumption of approximately $5.3 billion in debt. The transaction included  acquisition of 25% of Cove Point LNG in Lusby, MD, an LNG export, import and storage facility that Berkshire Hathaway Energy will now operate. According to Bloomberg News, Dominion Energy is said to be considering selling its multi-billion dollar interest in the Cove Point facility and has enlisted advisers to scout for possible buyers, including infrastructure funds.  Cove Point is one of seven LNG export facilities in the United States. The potential sale of Dominion’s stake in the site coincides with higher demand for the fuel worldwide.

The Russian navy has pulled warships into port after an attack in the Black Sea, reports USNI. The Russian Navy still outnumbers and outguns the Ukrainians in the northern Black Sea, but is nevertheless on its back foot after several successful attacks from the smaller Ukrainian forces. The Oct. 29 attack on Sevastopol, reported by BBC, in which uncrewed surface vessels with unmanned aerial vehicles attacked Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, appears to have pushed them further into the shell of their naval bases. Both of their Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, the largest and most capable ships after the sinking of Slava-class cruiser RTS Moskva (121), have mostly been in port.

US Navy wants to decommission 39 ships as China adds to world’s largest fleet, reports American Military News, along with video. Those ships are to be cut over the next fiscal year, USNI reports, which ends after September 2023. The first ships were set to be decommissioned on Halloween. Most of the ships to be cut are part of the Ship Battle Forces, the category of warships that the Navy uses to measure its strength against foreign powers, according to Popular Mechanics. The cuts would bring the Ship Battle Forces down from 292 ships, where it stands today, to 269.

The National Science Foundation has halted travel to Antarctica amid a COVID-19 outbreak, reports UPI.  More than 70 COVID-19 cases were reported at the McMurdo station, the largest station on the southernmost continent. The travel stoppage will last at least the next two weeks. McMurdo station hosts about 1,000 researchers from a vast array of disciplines. Antarctica was the last continent to report a positive case of COVID-19, not doing so until December 2020, according to webMD.

US Air Force seeks the aircraft equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, reports Military Times. The C-17 Globemaster is one of the workhorses of the USAF’s mobility fleet, transporting everything from heavy weaponry, like tanks, to hundreds of passengers. Now the force wants the massive aircraft: carrying pallets of standoff cruise missiles.

The Pentagon adds 40 armored patrol boats to its latest Ukraine military aid package. The riverine boats are part of a $400 million aid package announced Friday, reports USNI. The US previously sent 18 riverine boats in June. Metal Shark sent six of those boats, USNI News previously reported. Six patrol boats are already operating in the Black Sea.

The Army expects to fix all recruiting fraud cases and remove soldiers from FBI database by the end of this year, reports Army Times. Soldiers were improperly linked to, or accused of, fraudulently earning bonuses as part of a recruitment program that was investigated from 2012 to 2016, according to the service’s Criminal Investigation Division. About 1,900 Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers were inappropriately added to an FBI criminal database, and others to a Department of Defense database.

Contracts:

Donley Construction LLC,* Aberdeen, Maryland, is awarded an $11,759,218 firm-fixed-price modification to exercise Option Year One under previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N40080-22-D-0002 for paving within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington area of operations. This mod increases the total cumulative contract value to $23,287,864. Work will be performed in, but is not limited to, Maryland (35%), Virginia (35%), and Washington, D.C. (30%), and is expected to be completed by November 2023. No task orders are being issued at this time. Task orders will be primarily funded by fiscal 2023 military construction (Navy), and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

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