September 7, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

‘Fat Leonard’ Is on the Lam

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.

‘Fat Leonard,’ facing sentencing in a Navy bribery scandal, is on the lam, reports Navy Times. The military contractor who pleaded guilty to orchestrating the “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal and was under house arrest in San Diego is now on the run after cutting off his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet over the weekend, federal authorities said. Supervisory Deputy US Marshal Omar Castillo said Leonard Glenn Francis removed the tracker Sunday.

Finland and Switzerland provided billions in financial support to power companies on Tuesday, as Europe scrambles to secure energy supplies in a deepening crisis sparked by Russia’s move to shut a major gas pipeline, reports Reuters.

The Dept. of Health and Human Services Cybersecurity Program issued an alert last week to healthcare providers warning them to guard against the “exceptionally aggressive” Hive ransomware group, reports Fierce Healthcare. The group has been known to be operational since June 2021 but in that time has been very aggressive in targeting the US health sector, the federal agency said.

After 45 years, the 5-billion-year legacy of the Voyager 2 interstellar probe is just beginning, reports The Conversation.com. On August 20 1977, 45 years ago,  Voyager 2 launched on a mission seeking a close-up of the outer solar system planets. It was like sending a fly to New York City and asking it to report back. Voyager 1 was launched after Voyager 2, on September 5. Attached to the flank of each Voyager was a Golden Record carrying greetings, sounds, images, and music from Earth.

F-35B jets out of Japan make debut at Australia’s Pitch Black exercise, reports Defense News. The 12 US Marine Corps short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing “B” variants participated in drills at RAAF Base Curtin.

The Russian Ministry of Defense is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for its ongoing fight in Ukraine, reports Military Times. A US official said that Russia turning to the isolated state of North Korea demonstrates that “the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, due in part to export controls and sanctions.”

 

 

Extra days off promised for Alaska units that can avoid getting in trouble with booze and drugs, reports Military Times. Senior Army leaders in Alaska are promising more time off for their soldiers if they stop failing drug tests and don’t get caught drinking and driving. MAJ GEN Brian Eifler, commander of the 11th Airborne Division, issued a set of policies in an Aug. 11 memo outlining that any company, troop, or battery under his command will earn a day off if that whole formation remains DUI- and drug-free for 90 days. Commanders across the force this year have been eyeing new ways to boost soldiers’ quality of life, with more time off a key target.

The US Postal Service flags more than 200 sites to consolidate delivery functions, reports Federal News Network. An Aug. 12 notice to postal unions identified more than 200 “spoke offices” that would move their delivery operations to 21 regional Sort and Delivery Centers. The consolidation plans, as announced to postal unions, will begin later this month, and will continue through February 2023. The consolidations will occur in Georgia, New York, Florida, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Washington, Indiana, Arkansas, Illinois, and North Carolina.

The US Dept. of Commerce released its plan for $50 billion investment in chips to build the domestic semiconductor industry in what is expected to be the biggest US government effort in decades to shape a strategic industry, reports The New York Times. The department aims to begin soliciting applications for the funding from companies no later than February, and it could begin disbursing money by next spring, said Commerce SEC Gina Raimondo. About $28 billion is expected to go toward grants and loans to help build facilities,$10 billion is devoted to expanding manufacturing for older technology, and $11 billion toward research and development.

Spanish and German companies start work on a hypersonic missile interceptor as part of the European Defence Fund’s initial batch of sponsored projects, reports Defense News.  In July, the European Union announced the awardees of its first slate of EDF-funded projects, which included 61 research-and-development projects and over $1.23 billion in government funds.

Military, veterans learn to fight disinformation campaigns, reports Military Times. Over the past several years, disinformation, or the intentional deployment of false information for malicious ends, has emerged as a critical threat to public discourse and national unity. Events like Operation Jade Helm demonstrate just how quickly something ordinary can morph — online, and  in people’s minds — into something extraordinary. The military community is not immune. In fact, veterans were among those who shared false rumors about Jade Helm.

It has taken more than four years, but leaders in the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort have a new plan to address pollution problems at Conowingo Dam, reports The Bay Journal. The solution could soon ramp up pollution controls in the Susquehanna River basin, which drains the Bay’s largest tributary. The plan is not fully funded and will not achieve its pollution reduction goals by the 2025 Bay cleanup deadline.

The Army is moving ahead with its IVAS combat goggles, although some issues persist, reports Task and Purpose. Although the Army is accepting the first batch, it acknowledged that much more testing is needed to work out some issues that were found during the initial testing. The Army is “is adjusting its fielding plan to allow for time to correct deficiencies and also field to units that are focused on training activities,” spokesman Jamal Beck told Bloomberg.

UK’s new prime minister is inheriting a mess, reports The Morning Brew. Liz Truss won the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party leadership contest, meaning she’ll succeed Boris Johnson as the country’s prime minister. As the UK barrels toward an economic recession. Who is Liz Truss? The Tory PM was a teenage Liberal Democrat, says the BBC. The new PM is described by her supporters as loyal and by her opponents as opportunistic. A speed-bio: In 2014, Truss became the youngest woman cabinet minister in British history. She’s worked under three prime ministers, most recently as foreign secretary for Johnson. Truss originally opposed Brexit, but became one of its biggest boosters after the fact.

Thousands of mourners lined up Saturday to pay tribute to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who launched drastic reforms that helped end the Cold War and precipitated the breakup of the Soviet Union, in a farewell snubbed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, reports Military.com.

Contracts:

L3Harris Corp., Millersville, Maryland, is awarded a $45,837,976 fixed-priced-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-6251 to establish and exercise an option for navy equipment, components, engineering services, and other direct costs. This modification includes additional options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract action to $104,468,052. Work will be performed in Millersville, Maryland (57%); Liverpool, New York, (40%); and Ashaway, Rhode Island (3%), and is expected to be completed by July 2025. If all options are exercised, work will continue through September 2026. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $36,468,124.00 (80%); fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,246,568 (13%); and fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,123,284 (7%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

D7 LLC, doing business as Dawson, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded firm-fixed-price task order HU000121F0047. Option Year One in support of the Chief of Information Office at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is being exercised with a value of $11,048,424. Work will be performed at Bethesda, Maryland, from Sept. 24, 2022, to Sept. 23, 2023. Operations and maintenance funds are being used to fund the task order. There are no known congressional interest in this requirement. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Lost Creek Holdings LLC, McLean, Virginia, was awarded a firm-fixed-price level of effort contract (HT9408-22-C-0002) with a value of $67,637,146. The contract supports enterprise tele-behavioral health clinical services. The contract supports active duty service members worldwide. This contract was a direct 8(a) Alaskan Native Corporation acquisition with direct award procedures. The period of performance is from Sept. 1, 2022, to June 25, 2023, with four 12-month option periods. The place of duty for administrative staff is the Virtual Medical Center-San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, with a June 25, 2027 performance completion date. The base year is funded with fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,868,637. The Defense Health Agency Contracting Activity, Southern Markets Contracting Division, San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity. 

 

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