November 29, 2022

F-35B Sea Trials on Cavour Completed

Italian Sea Trials
A US F-35B Lightning II performs an aft-facing vertical landing aboard the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Cavour in the Atlantic Ocean on March 15, 2021. The aircraft was conducting flight test to expand the safe flying envelope during sea trials for the fifth generation fighter aircraft and the upgraded Italian Navy flagship. Cavour just completed phase one of its two-phase Ready for Operations campaign. (US Navy photo by Dane Wiedmann)

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The four-week sea trials — more than 115 ski jump short take-offs, 120 vertical landings, and two vertical take-offs — on the Italian navy’s Cavour aircraft carrier for the operational use of the F-35B fighter jet have been completed, reports Navy Recognition. The F-35B is replacing the Italian navy’s McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Plus jump jet, reports Flight Global. Italy has ordered 30 F-35Bs.

The two specially instrumented F-35Bs belonged to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 from NAS Patuxent River, reports The Aviationist. “We have completed all planned tests and are currently able to issue an Interim Flight Clearance (IFC), which will allow Cavour and its crew, together with US Marine Corps F35Bs to continue training. When we return to Pax River we will carefully analyze the data collected and then we will be able to issue the final certification,” said Ron Hess, Basing and Ship Suitability team leader for the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force.

A Marine Corps F-35B flying out of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, was damaged in early March when one of its rounds exploded while the plane was conducting a gunnery evaluation, reports Marine Corps Times.

The container ship Ever Given that had halted global trade through the Suez Canal after it ran aground was set free Monday, reports NPR. The major maritime route had been clogged for nearly a week. A total of 367 ships, container and bulk carriers, had been stranded, reports NBC News.

The US Air Force said that in fiscal 2020 airmen flight hours went down during the pandemic, but aircraft mishap rates edged up, reports Air Force Times.

The US Army said its 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, with an estimated 3,700 soldiers will deploy to South Korea this summer to support the US Indo-Pacific Command, reports Army Times.

Following North Korea’s recent missile test launches, the United Nations adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of UN experts monitoring sanctions against that country, reports The Washington Post. Yesterday, North Korea accused the UN of a “double standard” over its reaction to the recent launches. Past short-range missile launches by North Korea typically drew UN Security Council condemnations, but not fresh sanctions on the country, according to the report.

Boeing has reached a deal to sell 100 737 MAX 7 jets to Southwest Airlines, report Reuters, potentially making it the largest 737 MAX order since the aircraft’s safety ban was lifted last year.



The Investing in Cures Before Missiles Act would stop development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles and instead put that funding toward coronavirus prevention, reports Defense News. The legislation was introduced last week by two Democrats, Sen. Edward Markey (MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA), to curtail the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program.

Many changes made by the US Navy n the past year — such as ship training and teleworking — will likely remain with the service long after the pandemic has ended, reports Navy Times.

The Defense Department says the rate of military members getting the COVID-19 vaccine is rising, reports Military Times. “And as we offer it, many who at first declined the opportunity are now taking us up on that opportunity,” said LT GEN Ronald Place, director of the Defense Health Agency.

The Pentagon expects the broad military population to have access to the COVID vaccine by May 1, reports Air Force magazine, with the entire DoD vaccinated by July.

The number of COVID cases have gone up in Maryland in the past few weeks, reports Maryland Matters. New infections statewide have more than doubled since March 9. The new case rate in St. Mary’s County has increased in the past three weeks, according to information from the St. Mary’s County Health Department COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

MAJ GEN William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, was chosen Friday to become the US House of Representative’s first African-American sergeant-at-arms, reports The Associated Press.

President Joe Biden said he will nominate Maryanne Donaghy to head to Veterans Affairs Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, reports Federal News Network.

A Blue Star Families report shows more than half of service members polled said they would not recommend military service to their own children, reports We Are the Mighty. The military family support organization has compiled its annual “Military Family Lifestyle Survey” since 2009.

The VA is spotlighting some women veterans during Women’s History Month telling their unique stories of military service on its VAntage Point blog.

Four female Navy officers, all based at the Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia, sat down for an interview with Lester Holt that will air on NBC Nightly News on Friday, reports People. They talked about how much has changed for women in the service and their hopes for the next generation.

Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, who worked as a contract linguist for the US military in Iraq pleaded guilty to sharing classified information with a romantic interest linked to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, reports The Associated Press.


Ahtna Logistics LLC, Anchorage, Alaska (M67854-21-D-8010); Guard Unit LLC, Morgantown, West Virginia (M67854-21-D-8011); Hatalom Corp., Orlando, Florida (M67854-21-D-8012); and Shock Stream LLC, Oviedo, Florida (M67854-21-D-8013), are awarded a combined $124,500,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract for the procurement of services to facilitate design, development, testing, production, and fielding of several simulations/simulated training systems and devices. The Equipment Related Services Contractor Operator and Maintenance Services (COMS)-Systems (S) (COMS-S) multiple award task order contract will be used to issue task orders to provide sustainment support for all existing and any future Marine Corps training systems that are not exclusively utilized on ranges and not subjected to live fire, including, but not limited to: Underwater Egress Trainer; Supporting Arms Virtual Trainer; Combat Vehicle Training Systems; Combat Convoy Simulator; Virtual Combat Convoy Trainer/Reconfigurable Virtual Simulator; Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer; Operator Driver Simulator; Improved Moving Target Simulator; and the Dry Egress Trainers. This five-year contract includes five one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the overall potential of this contract to an estimated $249,000,000. Work will be performed at various government locations including Quantico, Virginia (55%); Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (15%); Camp Pendleton, California (10%); Twentynine Palms, California (10%); and Okinawa, Japan (10%). The period of performance for the base award is from March 29, 2021, through March 28, 2026. If all options are exercised, the period of performance would extend through March 28, 2031. Awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2021 funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using operation and maintenance (Marine Corps) and (Navy) funds. This contract was competitively provided via a request for proposal (M67854-20-R-7828) published on the website. Five offers were received and four were selected for award. Marine Corp Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

MPR Associates Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, is awarded a $13,876,506 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Navy lithium battery lockers and spare parts. The contract will have a five year ordering period. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by March 2026. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $197,831 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, via the website, with one offer received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N64498-21-D-0024).

GE Renewables US LCC, Greenwood Village, Colorado, was awarded a $19,569,385 firm-fixed-price contract to install turbines and generator rewind at Philpotts Powerhouse. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Bassett, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of July 16, 2024. Fiscal 2021 civil construction funds in the amount of $19,569,385 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-21-C-0010).

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, was awarded an $18,307,572 modification (P00008) to contract W58RGZ-19-F-0301 to conduct actual repair or recap efforts of aircraft structures, engines, transmissions, blades and components for various rotary wing aircraft. Fiscal 2021 Army working capital funds in the amount of $18,307,572 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, was awarded a $10,000,000 modification (P00005) to contract W58RGZ-19-F-0304 for maintenance, supply logistics and administrative duties. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2022. Fiscal 2021 Army working capital funds in the amount of $10,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

M.C. Dean Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (HQ0034-21-D-0012) with a maximum amount of $14,000,000. The purpose of this contract is to provide preventive, corrective, and predictive maintenance services for all Uninterruptible Power Supply System, battery systems, and all associated electrical distribution devices. The contractor ensures maintenance of this mission critical power systems with little or no down time due to system or component failures. The work will be performed at the Pentagon Reservation. No funds will be obligated at the award of the basic contract. The work is expected to be completed on Sept. 30, 2026. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Guidehouse LLP, McLean Virginia, is being awarded a labor-hour contract option with a maximum value of $8,512,495 for audit finding remediation support services for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) OUSD(C) Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness. Work will be performed in McLean, Virginia, with an expected completion date of March 31, 2022. Fiscal 2020 defense-wide operation and maintenance, OUSD(C) funds in the amount of $8,512,495 are being obligated at the time of this option award. This award brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $43,438,969. This contract is the result of a competitive acquisition for which two quotes were received. The contract had a 12-month base period plus four individual one-year option periods, with a maximum value of $49,839,283. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Contract Services Directorate, Columbus, Ohio, is the contracting activity (HQ0423-18-F-0055).

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