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DoD Reviews Its Online Psych-Ops

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.

Pentagon opens sweeping review of clandestine psychological operations, reports The Washington Post. Complaints about the US military’s influence operations using Facebook and Twitter have raised concern in the White House and some federal agencies expressed mounting concerns over the DoD’s attempted manipulation of audiences overseas. Colin Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, last week instructed the military commands that engage in psychological operations online to provide a full accounting of their activities by next month.

When Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-MD) visited the Naval Support Activity Bethesda on Monday, they said the firehouse facilities remained in a “total state of disrepair” and demanded the Navy prioritize building a new fire station to protect the firefighters from hazardous living conditions, reports The Washington Post. There were warnings about poor conditions for years, even before the main firehouse building went up in flames in 2019, causing significant damage.

The Russian navy is moving its Kilo attack boats to safety, away from Ukraine strike risk, says UK MoD, reports Military Times. Russia has “almost certainly” moved its Black Sea Fleet Kilo-class submarines from Sevastopol, Crimea, to the Novorossiysk port in Krasnodar Krai, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense announced in a intelligence report. The submarine move is likely due to increased Ukrainian long-range strike capabilities that would leave the attack boats at risk at the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol.

The US is working on AI to predict Ukraine’s ammo and weapons, reports Military Times, by developing machine learning algorithms to predict Ukraine’s ammo and repair needs, rather than just react to them. But an older problem persists, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general, that the Pentagon isn’t doing enough to keep track of what’s going where.

The Chinese fleet expansion is pushing the US Navy to catch up on its maintenance backlog, reports USNI.  “When we talk about maintenance with our leaders, peer competitors are the first thing that comes out of their mouth says Naval Sea Systems Command Command Master Chief Justin Gray. “We know that China has three times our industrial capacity, which means that we can’t afford to waste any of the time.” While the Chinese fleet this year grew beyond 355 ships, the US still has a backlog of about 4,200 days of maintenance delays in the surface ship program – the equivalent of reducing the fleet by about 10 ships for a year.

The US is not prepared for a wartime fight with a peer adversary, such as China, in the space and cyber domains, reports Air and Space Forces Magazone. “The answer is no, we’re not ready,” LTGEN Leah G. Lauderback, Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and cyber effects, said  Sept. 20 at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. “As we pivot to China, what gives me concern is how fast they’re moving,” said Space Force BRIG GEN Gregory J. Gagnon, the service’s director of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

 

One-way flights out of Russia are selling out after President Vladimir Putin orders a partial call-up, reports Reuters. Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists in an early-morning television address on Wednesday, raising fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave Russia. The call up is the biggest escalation of the Ukraine war since Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion. In addition to announcing the call up, Putin explicitly raised the spectre of a nuclear conflict and approved a plan to annex a chunk of Ukraine the size of Hungary.

Russia’s Kremlin-controlled lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved legislation that toughens punishment for soldiers breaching their duties, in an apparent effort to boost discipline in the ranks amid the fighting in Ukraine, reports AP. The amendments to Russia’s Criminal Code introduces severe punishments for failure to follow orders, desertion, or surrendering to the enemy. The bill now needs to receive the upper house’s approval and then be signed by Putin to become law — steps considered formalities.

Putin said Friday there were no plans to adjust Russia’s military operations in Ukraine despite a counter-offensive, saying Moscow was in no rush to finish the campaign, reports The Defense Post. “The plan is not subject to adjustment,” Putin told reporters during a regional summit in Uzbekistan.

Vets hold vigil at Capitol again, this time to aid Afghan allies, reports Military Times. For the second time in two months, dozens of veterans and military advocates are holding an around-the-clock vigil to advance legislation they say will save lives. But unlike in early August, when the protest focused on better benefits for victims of military burn pits, this effort is centered on aiding Afghan allies in their attempts to escape Taliban persecution amid worsening conditions in their home country.

Eleven years after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed and gay, lesbian, and bisexual people could serve openly in the military,  a recently released Pentagon report written in 2021, shows military leaders concerns of negative impacts were overwrought, reports Task and Purpose.

Two plead guilty after stealing more than $100 million in GI Bill funds, reports Military Times. Michael Bostock, of Nampa, ID, and Eric Bostock, of Riverside, CA, along with other unnamed co-conspirators, reportedly falsified enrollment and course completion numbers to the VA in order to swindle the agency out of $104,682,860, the largest known case of fraud ever associated with the widely used educational benefit.

A new DoD-funded spouse fellowship program will launch in 2023, reports Military Times. Paid fellowship positions are to be with corporations that can keep them employed beyond their next station move. More information will be available later this year as officials continue to work out details, said Eddy Mentzer, the DoD’s associate director of Military Community Support Programs.

LT COL Kevin DiFalco, Nellis AFB commander, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and lewdness, reports American Military News. The 57th operations support squadron commander, DiFalco, 40, was relieved of his position on Thursday, posted bail, and is due back in court on Oct. 11. Of the eight felony charges he faces, seven are lewdness by an adult in the presence of a minor or vulnerable person.

Contracts:

American Systems, Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a third option period with a value of $11,154,552 to provide bridge enterprise operational management services (HT0038-20-C-0006). The period of performance will be Sept. 27, 2022, to March 26, 2023. The estimated completion date is March 26, 2023. Place of performance will be Chantilly, Virginia. This award will be funded by fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance funds. The Defense Health Agency, Defense Healthcare Management Systems Contracting Division, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

CACI-ISS Inc.,* Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $14,288,109 modification (P00120) to contract W15QKN-15-C-0049 for a three-month extension of Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A) Increment II Program. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2022. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation, Army; and other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $3,365,243 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $45,100,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a fuel inventory management IT infrastructure. This was a competitive acquisition with four responses received. This is a three-year base contract with seven one-year option periods. Locations of performance are throughout the U.S., with a Sept. 30, 2025, ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2025 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Contracting Services Office, Columbus, Ohio (SP4702-22-D-0004).

Capps Shoe Co.,* Lynchburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $12,416,700 modification (P00010) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1202) with four one-year option periods for men’s and women’s leather Oxford dress shoes. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is Sept. 26, 2023. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is awarded a $160,171,318 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-only contract for Dual Band Radar (DBR) design agent and technical engineering efforts. Engineering efforts and supplies are required to support the DBR systems installed aboard CVN-78 and DDG-1000 class ships. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $440,640,174. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, Massachusetts (40%); Marlborough, Massachusetts (20%); San Diego, California (15%); Norfolk, Virginia (10%); Andover, Massachusetts (5%); Portsmouth, Rhode Island (5%); and Chesapeake, Virginia (5%), and is expected to be completed by September 2023. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2027. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,897,084 (96%); fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $175,000 (2%); and fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $135,397 (2%) will be obligated at time of award, of which $135,397 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) — only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-22-C-5501).

DRS Systems Inc., Melbourne, Florida, is awarded a $69,235,545 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N6523622D1010) with provisions for firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost orders. The contract will provide for the delivery of the Next Generation Integrated Voice Communication System (NG-IVCS) on board DDG-51 and CG-47 class ships, as well as other platforms. This contract will also provide for the delivery of a design information package, as well as incidental services for the NG-IVCS. The contract includes a five-year base ordering period with a potential value of $69,235,545 and a five-year option-ordering period which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative potential value of this contract to $171,167,769. Fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $164,893 will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida (50%); Norfolk, Virginia (35%); and San Diego, California (15%). Work is expected to be completed by September 2027. If the option is exercised, work could continue until September 2032. The contract was competitively procured by full and open competition via the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command – Electronic Commerce Central and System for Award Management websites, with two offers received. Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Lyon Shipyard Inc.,* Norfolk, Virginia (N42158-22-D-S003); Colonna’s Ship Yard Inc.,* Norfolk, Virginia (N42158-22-D-S004); Fairlead Boatworks Inc.,* Newport News, Virginia (N42158-22-D-S005); and QED Systems Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (N42158-22-D-S006), are awarded a combined $43,600,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide maintenance services to fender and camel systems as well as service craft under the custodianship of Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Each awardee will be awarded $1,000 (minimum contract guarantee per awardee) at the time of award. The contracts have a base one-year ordering period with four optional one-year ordering periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $43,600,000 over a five-year period to the four vendors combined. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2023. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2027. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $4,000 ($1,000 minimum guarantee per contract) will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. All other funding will be made available at the task order level as contracting actions occur. This contract was competitively procured via the System for Award Management website, with seven offers received. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

 

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