July 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

DoD Budget Hostage to Confederates

Civil War Unknowns Memorial

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President Donald Trump is set on vetoing a defense bill that renames bases named for Confederates, reports NBC News. Democrats are divided on how to respond, reports Politico. Trump is threatening to veto the military budget as one of his final acts in office unless a provision to rename military bases honoring Confederate military leaders is removed. The provision is supported by all Democrats and many Republicans. But some Democrats wonder if avoiding a showdown with Republicans and Trump is worth axing the language to ensure the $740 billion bill passes on time. Other Democrats absolutely do not see that as a possibility.

The Washington, DC, consulting firm, WestExec, looks like a government-in-waiting for the incoming administration, reports Politico. The firm was founded in 2017 by Tony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state, and Michèle Flournoy, a top contender for secretary of defense. And one of its former principals, Avril Haines, is Biden’s pick for director of national intelligence. Little is known about WestExec’s client list, which doesn’t have to be disclosed because its staffers aren’t lobbyists.

President-elect Biden has begun choosing a national security team and is signaling an intent to repudiate the Trump administration’s “America First” doctrine. In choosing foreign policy veterans, Mr. Biden is seeking to upend Trump’s war on the so-called deep state that saw an exodus of career officials from government, says Defense News. Former DefSec Jim Mattis is one of a quartet of defense policy thinkers calling on Mr. Biden to take “America First” out of the national security strategy. Fox News highlighted the op-ed piece which appeared in Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Biden’s choice for DefSec was still in flux Tuesday evening, according to Politico. While Ms. Flournoy has been rumored to be a shoo-in, Foreign Policy reports, her backers are fending off a last-minute push by left-leaning Democrats trying to derail her selection, which is viewed as a continuation of America’s “forever wars.”

The Drive has the declassified video of an F-35A dropping a new B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb, the test conducted by Sandia National Laboratories, in cooperation with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the US Air Force. It is the first-ever release of an inert version of this weapon from an internal bomb bay on a plane flying faster than the speed of sound and that also provides an unprecedented look at the bomb’s rocket spin stabilization system.

A Welsh journalist in Japan has released a trove of US government documents regarding pollutants at US bases in the Pacific in hopes they will aid veterans seeking compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for a variety of service-related ailments, reports Stars and Stripes.



The investigation of the F-35 crash at Elgin Air Force Base on May 19, 2020, uncovered multiple hardware problems. Their corrective measures have now been deemed secret because of the potential to compromise operational security, reports Airforcemag.com.

The Navy’s new delivery aircraft, the CMV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor, has landed on an aircraft carrier for the first time. The Drive has the photos of its arrival. The medium-lift assault support aircraft will replace the Navy’s existing C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery aircraft, a design that first entered service in the mid-1960s.

Convicted spy Jonathon Pollard is free to go to Israel, reports Navy Times. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday welcomed the lifting of parole restrictions on Mr. Pollard, the former US Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s, and said he expects him to come to Israel soon. The US Justice Department announced Friday that Pollard had completed his parole, freeing him to move.

China lashes out at the US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, reports Military Times, saying the move undermines military trust and transparency and imperils future attempts at arms control. This leaves only one arms-control pact between the US and Russia, the New START treaty, which limits the number of nuclear warheads each may have. That treaty will expire in February. The Trump administration wasn’t interested in extending unless China also joined, something Beijing says it will not do.

Space Force leadership expects increasing funding in coming years, reports C4ISTNET.com, because the Pentagon continues to prioritize spending on space systems, which became apparent in the FY19 budget request, with the Pentagon declaring space a war-fighting domain.

Last week the Air Force announced the six candidate locations to headquarter the Space Command: Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs; Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico; Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska; Patrick Air Force Base in Florida; Port San Antonio, Texas; and Redstone Army Airfield in Alabama, reports Fox News. Peterson Air Force Base is currently the command’s provisional headquarters. The long-term Space Command headquarters will be selected in early 2021.

Veterans living in Colorado have an all-time high suicide rate, well above the national average, reports Military Times. The 217 veteran suicide deaths in Colorado last year was an all-time high and a 25% increase over 2018; 46,510 American adults died by suicide in 2018, including 6,435 veterans, an increase of 36 veteran deaths by suicide over 2017, the VA report said.

For now, a COVID-19 vaccine would remain voluntary for US troops , reports Military.com. As the US Food and Drug Administration weighs whether to issue an emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine, DoD officials say the inoculations will remain voluntary once the FDA gives the OK.


BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair, Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded a $197,452,828, firm-fixed-price contract for the execution of the USS Wasp (LHD 1) fiscal 2021 Chief of Naval Operations scheduled docking selected restricted availability. This availability will include a combination of maintenance, modernization and repair of USS Wasp (LHD 1). This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $237,765,941. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by May 2022. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) (97.2%); and fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) (2.8%) funding in the amount of $197,452,828 will be obligated at contract award, of which funding in the amount of $191,836,933 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition via the Federal Business Opportunities website with one offer received in response to Solicitation No. N00024-20-R-4404. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-21-C-4404). (Awarded Nov. 20, 2020)

Auxiliary Systems Inc., Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a maximum dollar value $35,423,320 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide alternating current/direct current motors and motor generator sets repair. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be complete by November 2021 and if options are exercised, work will be completed by November 2025. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $12,000 ($12,000 minimum guarantee per contract) will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This single award contract was procured as a small business set-aside via the beta.sam.gov website with two offers received. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N50054-21-D-0001).

IAP Worldwide Services Inc., Cape Canaveral, Florida, is awarded a $9,112,276 recurring/non-recurring services type modification for base operating services at Naval Support Activity Annapolis. The work to be performed provides for all management, supervision, labor hours, training, equipment and supplies necessary to perform base operating services to include, but not limited to, facility investment, service calls, pest control, operation of utility plants, refuse collection, special events and snow and ice removal. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland, with the contract period of Dec. 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021. No funds will be obligated at time of modification award. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance in the amount of $5,833,247 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the contract period. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Washington, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N40080-20-D-0500).

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $20,490,500 firm-fixed-price contract to remove dredging material from the Delaware River. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Bellafonte, Delaware, with an estimated completion date of March 22, 2021. Fiscal 2010 civil construction funds in the amount of $20,490,500 were obligated at the time of the award. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W912BU-21-C-0007).

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