February 2, 2023

DoD Rescinds COVID Vaccine Mandate

Spc. Dorien Lewis, a combat medic with Division Sustainment Troops Battalion MEDOPS, 3rd Division Sustainment Brigade, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a US Army soldier at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in August 2021.  (US Army photo Sgt. Marquis Hopkins)

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.

The Pentagon has dropped the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for troops, reports Fox News.

Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based religious freedom legal foundation, is continuing with its lawsuits in federal court over the Department of Defense vaccine mandate even after the mandate was rescinded, reports The Center Square. The foundation’s chairman said he was not confident that DoD wouldn’t continue to retaliate against service members who’d filed religious accommodation requests.

The Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot program for military spouses is being called a “game changer,” reports Navy Times. Spouses can apply for the new paid fellowship program where they will be placed with civilian companies seeking full-time employees. The program is free to employers, and spouses will be paid by the Defense Department during their 12-week fellowships. The program “is a game changer for career-ready military spouses,” said Patricia Montes Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy.

A US Air Force unit is exploring uses for small drones in the Mideast, reports Air Force Times. After struggling to fend off weaponized quadcopters in the Middle East for years, a new unit — known as Task Force 99 at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar — is trying to flip the script. The unit wants the service to use small, store-bought drones to its own advantage.

US national security agencies report that there have been hundreds more UFO sightings since 2021, reports Politico. These agencies are studying new reports of “unidentified aerial phenomena,” including many that appear to perform maneuvers that are highly advanced. In total, 510 sightings observed in protected airspace or near sensitive facilities have been compiled as of August 2021, according to the report to Congress from the director of national intelligence.

COL John Medeiros, commander of the US Marine Corps’ Assault Amphibian School, was fired last week “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to command,” reports Marine Corps Times. Medeiros was relieved of his post after the Training and Education Command received information during the ongoing investigation into the October 2022 amphibious combat vehicle training mishap at Camp Pendleton, CA. The relief of Medeiros was not related to misconduct or criminal negligence, a spokesman said.

US Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) will lead the House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee, reports AL.com on MSN. Rogers will be the first congressperson from Alabama to chair the committee.

Republican leaders in the House say they won’t cut tens of billions of dollars from future defense budgets as part of plans to constrain government spending, reports Defense News. HASC Chairman Rogers, who argued last year in favor of a 3% to 5% annual defense spending increase above the rate of inflation, said he’s “not worried” the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) spending deal would necessitate defense cuts — even as he considers opportunities for savings in the Pentagon budget.

 

 

ADM Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations, told attendees at last week’s Surface Navy Association conference that mental health is a vexing problem for the service, reports Navy Times. The Navy is facing challenges filling positions for mental health providers, which coincides with a national shortage, so the Navy is eyeing ways to recruit more mental health technicians. Gilday’s remarks came just weeks after the release of the investigation into multiple deaths by suicide aboard the USS George Washington carrier.

Suicides among US Army soldiers in Alaska dropped sharply in 2022, as leaders push mental health programs and move to improve both pay and facilities for military members serving there, reports Alaska Public Media.

Japan will double its defense spending over the next five years, and the country pledges to modernize its military, reports The Guardian. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had opened a dangerous new era and could embolden China.

Ukrainian soldiers are set to begin training on the Patriot missile system in Oklahoma, reports Army Times. The Army selected Fort Sill over training ranges in Europe because the Patriot’s school house, which is normally a two-year training pipeline, is located there.

Russia released Thursday a US Navy veteran who apparently illegally crossed the border from Poland in Russia last year, reports The Associated Press. Taylor Dudley, 35, was reported missing last year by authorities in Lansing, MI. Dudley had traveled to Europe to backpack, had gone to Poland for a music festival, and at some point, crossed into Kaliningrad and was detained in April 2022.

The Maryland General Assembly’s 445th session kicked off last Wednesday with the usual pomp and fanfare, reports Maryland Matters. The House and Senate chambers were filled with families, friends, and dignitaries gathered to witness the swearing-in ceremonies. It was the first time the public has been allowed to move freely through the legislative complex since COVID first hit in March 2020.

Contracts:

Bell Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas, is awarded a $23,397,661 cost-plus-fixed-fee, level of effort modification (P00012) to an order (N0001921F0008) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0001917G0002). This modification exercises options to provide continued flight test support for the V-22 aircraft in support of the Navy, Air Force, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (70%); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (15%); Fort Worth, Texas (10%); and Hurlburt Field, Florida (5%), and is expected to be completed in January 2024. Fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,711,468; fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,365,662; fiscal 2023 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds in the amount of $1,647,237; fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force) funds in the amount of $1,000,000; and FMS customer funds in the amount of $1,655,353 will be obligated at the time of award, $1,000,000 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, was awarded a $7,628,711 modification (P00235) to contract W58RGZ-19-C-0018 for worldwide aviation maintenance services. Work will be performed in Camp Humphreys, Korea; and Wahiawa, Hawaii, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2027. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $7,628,711 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $14,204,505 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-6117 for Navy equipment and spares. This modification includes options which, if exercised, would increase the cumulative value of this contract to $977,513,125. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (65%); Clearwater, Florida (32%); Syracuse, New York (2%); and Marion, Florida (1%), and is expected to be completed by August 15, 2027. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $13,578,118 (96%); and fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $626,387 (4%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 US Code 2304(c)(1) — only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0001); Centra Technology Inc., Arlington, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0002); Avantus Federal/E3 Federal Solutions LLC, McLean, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0003); ECS Federal, Fairfax, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0004); ManTech SRS Technologies Inc., Herndon, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0005); Schafer Corp., Arlington, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0006); and Strategic Analysis Inc., Arlington, Virginia (HR0011-18-D-0007), were awarded modifications with a combined $183,000,000 ceiling increase for technical and analytical support services. The modifications with cost-reimbursable, fixed-price and labor-hour task orders provide a range of high-level advisory and assistance services to all Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency technical and support offices, and increase the multiple award contract from $850,000,000 to a maximum amount of $1,033,000,000. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of August 2023. Task orders can extend the contract an additional five years until August 2028. No funds are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity for each contract.

SGJV LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia, was awarded an $80,889,608 firm-fixed-price contract to replace existing boilers with new dual-fuel boilers. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, with an estimated completion date of July 14, 2025. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $80,889,608 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, California, is the contracting activity (W91238-23-C-0003).

Science Applications International Corp., Fairfield, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $99,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for facilities maintenance, repair and operations supplies. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 US Code 3204 (a)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a 332-day bridge contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, with a Dec. 14, 2023, ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8E3-23-D-0012).

Federal Prison Industries Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, DC, has been awarded a maximum $11,891,033 modification (P00012) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-F053) with four one-year option periods for men’s and women’s white jumpers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Arizona, with a Jan.17, 2024, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

CACI Enterprise Solutions Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $29,700,625 firm-fixed-price, cost plus fixed-fee modification (P00025) to previously awarded contract N3220519F1044. This modification exercises Option Year Four of four planned options for continued integrated business systems support to Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) business systems and ashore operations. The contract assists, manages, operates, and maintains the command’s business systems, as well as interfaces with Navy enterprise defense business systems. Additionally, this contract allows MSC to integrate all of its business systems into a single, integrated business system to meet emergent and newly mandated requirements, specifically, federal compliance mandates such as financial improvement and audit readiness, growing cybersecurity concerns, cloud migration, and interoperability and integration with Navy and federal programs of records. Working capital (Navy) funds in the amount of $24,227,625; and working capital (Transportation) funds in the amount of $5,473,000 are obligated for fiscal 2023. This modification exercises and incrementally funds Option Year Four, a 12-month period of performance commencing Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023. Work under this modification will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia. The Navy’s Military Sealift Command, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Dec. 23, 2022)

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