June 20, 2024

DoD Appointments Slow Going

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.

Of the 61 DoD presidential appointments requiring Senate confirmation, only three nominations have been put forth, reports Defense News. All three came in December, weeks before the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee has “serious concerns” over the nomination of Colin Kahl, President Joe Biden’s pick to run the Pentagon’s policy shop. Politico reports the committee plans a confirmation hearing on March 4 for Kahl.

The power grid collapse in Texas and the recent sweeping hack likely revealing US government and corporate  secrets to Moscow expose the profound vulnerability of Americans, Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith warned the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said, reports C4ISRnet, the US must strengthen its cyber defenses and prepare a “robust menu” of responses to attacks.

Former Google chair Eric Schmidt warns that the US is only one to two years ahead of China in developing artificial intelligence, but it needs a five to 10 years edge, reports USNI News.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to invest in disruptive new technologies in order to challenge China, among few specifics is pumping dollars into reshoring US manufacture of semiconductors which are at the center of a global shortage, as well as other manufacturing and supply chain vulnerabilities, reports Defense News.

A net neutrality law can take effect in California after a federal judge ruled against scuttling the state’s open-Internet safeguards, reports The Washington Post. The ruling requires AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other telecom giants to treat all Web traffic equally.

The Mitchell institute has released its Aerospace Advantage Podcast: Flying and Fighting with the F-35: Pilots’ Perspective, with F-35 pilots Major Justin “Hasard” Lee and Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe speaking about how the F-35’s stealth and information dominance capabilities are changing combat aviation.

Lockheed Martin is confident the F-35 stealth fighter’s operating cost will be cut to $25,000 per hour by 2025 if the Joint Program Office that manages the aircraft agrees to a performance-based logistics contract, reports Flight Global.


According to Gov. Larry Hogan, Maryland expects delivery of the new single-dose shot, Johnson & Johnson vaccine, being manufactured in Baltimore, as soon as next week, reports The Washington Post. The shipment will address the crushing demand and limited doses in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

The Government Accountability Office finds the Pentagon didn’t fully evaluate costs or the readiness effects of deploying troops to the US-Mexico border, reports The Hill. The full cost estimates have not been reported to Congress and internal tracking has not captured all associated costs, according to the GAO report.

DefSec Lloyd Austin will open the military’s 90-day commission on sexual assault by the end of the week, reports UPI.

Dante Torello, an airman stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa pleaded guilty and another is scheduled for a court-martial on charges of making and distributing indecent recordings without the subject’s consent, reports Stars and Stripes.

Navy looking to slash the budget of its internal oversight office as much as 70%, reports Navy Times, a move auditors fear could cripple the preeminent oversight entity inside the Navy keeping tabs on its and the Marine Corps’ enterprises.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough promises an “urgent” review of new rules regarding presumptive benefits status for Vietnam veterans suffering from serious illnesses related to toxic chemical defoliant exposure, but offered no specific timeline for when veterans may see those changes put in place.

President Biden has placed lethal US drone strikes and counterterrorism efforts under review while his administration determines the scope of his efforts in the nearly 20-year-old War on Terror, reports The Daily Beast. (Paywall.)

Drones and their countermeasures are on display at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference this week in the United Arab Emirates, reports Defense News. Companies are demonstrating drones as surveillance aircraft, loitering munitions or swarms and countermeasures such as high-energy laser systems and smart missiles. Firearms manufacturer Kalashnikov is exhibiting its new AK-19 rifle for the first time outside of Russia during the arms trade show in the United Arab Emirates, reports Defense News. The assault rifle meets NATO’s caliber standards

The Air Force is set to begin assembly of its airborne laser, reports C4ISRNET. The goal is to build a laser weapon that can be installed on fighter jets to take out incoming missiles.

The Navy crews with 100% COVID-19 vacine rates get the OK to relax rules at sea, reports Military.com. The Navy sees the relaxing of sequestering and other health protection measures as a “huge incentive” for sailors to get the vaccination. About 13% of the force — roughly 45,000 sailors — has received both shots and is considered fully immunized.

The Army is getting positive feedback from tests of the fitness benefits of yoga and meditation in basic training, reports Stars and Stripes. Early feedback suggests improved endurance on ruck marches and obstacle courses, reduced pain during recovery periods and better management of stress and homesickness.

Military Times reports, the National Guard response to the Capitol riots wasn’t hurt by politics, officials insist. Former Capitol Hill security officials say intelligence analysis underrated the threat on Congress, not concerns about the “optics” of military personnel on Capitol Hill.


Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Mississippi, is awarded a $24,514,965 modification (P00007) to previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00421-19-D-0031. This modification exercises an option to provide contractor owned and operated aircraft to Navy fleet customers, Foreign Military Sales customers, as well as Department of Defense and other government agencies in support of the Contracted Air Services (CAS) program. The CAS program provides airborne threat simulation capabilities to train shipboard and aircraft squadron weapon systems operators and aircrew on how to counter potential enemy electronic warfare and electronic attack operations in today’s electronic combat environment. Work will be performed in Virginia Beach, Virginia (50%); Coronado, California (40%); and Kauai, Hawaii (10%), and is expected to be completed in February 2022. No funds are being obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Melwood Horticultural Training Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is awarded a $19,007,322 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under the Ability One program for custodial, recycling and grounds maintenance support at federal installations within a 100-mile radius of the National Capitol Region. The work to be performed provides for all labor, management, supervision, tools, materials and equipment required to perform facility investment services. Work will be performed at various installations in Washington, D.C.; Quantico, Virginia; Dahlgren, Virginia; Indian Head, Maryland; Patuxent River, Maryland; and Bethesda, Maryland. This contract covers the period from March 1, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2020 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds; and fiscal 2020 Navy working capital contract funds in the amount of $15,504,479 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the Option Year Three period on or before March 1, 2021. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-18-D-0306).

Concurrent Technologies Corp., Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $7,932,015 modification to exercise Option Period Three (contract line item numbers 3001 through 3010) under previously awarded contract GS00Q14-OA-D-U112 task order M95494-18-F-0016. This modification provides for support services in efforts to meet Marine Corps’ energy reliability and resilience requirements for utility distribution systems and various energy security positions supporting headquarters, regions and installations. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia (40%); Lejeune, North Carolina (12%); Okinawa Prefecture, Japan (12%); San Diego, California (11%); Quantico, Virginia (10%); Bridgeport, California (4%); New River, North Carolina (3%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (3%); Barstow, California (3%); Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan (1%); and Pohang, Republic of Korea (1%). Work under this option period is expected to be completed March 2022. If all further options are exercised, work will continue through March 2023. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $7,932,015 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Marine Corps Installations Command, Headquarters Contracting Office, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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