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Foreign Policy Expected to Dominate State of the Union

Defense Budget

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.

President Joe Biden will deliver his first official State of the Union address at 9 pm tonight, March 1, amid military upheaval in Eastern Europe and continued defense budget fights, reports Navy Times. “This new heavy dose of foreign policy is one of several ways the speech will depart from the typical State of the Union address, which modern presidents usually use to sell domestic ideas and exhibit sunny optimism,” reports The Washington Post. NPR adds to that list of topics likely to be addressed — rising inflation, fatigue about the COVID-19 pandemic, and Biden’s pick for Supreme Court justice.

The Pentagon says that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is progressing more slowly than the Russian government had anticipated, reports Breaking Defense. However, Russia has only tapped about a third of the forces it had previously amassed, which number in excess of 175,000 troops — meaning that Russian President Vladimir Putin still has “a lot of power at [his disposal],” an unnamed official said. The war in Ukraine isn’t working out as Putin had planned, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

Ukrainian officials said the Antonov AN-225, the world’s largest aircraft, has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports CNN. The news has generated sadness in the aviation world. Russian forces captured Hostomel airfield, where the AN-225 had been housed.

Royal Navy ships, British Army troops, and Royal Air Force fighters were deployed over the weekend in Eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s eastern front, reports CNN.

In a letter to DefSec Lloyd Austin, several lawmakers raised concerns that the Pentagon is being too tight-lipped with what should be public information about taxpayer-funded military weapons, reports Nextgov. The February 23 letter details how the department “inappropriately limited access to information related to military weapon systems” by marking it as controlled unclassified information, or CUI. DoD acknowledged the letter had been received but has not yet responded.

The Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron 314, the first Marine squadron to deploy the F-35C, is demonstrating its proficiencies during Jungle Warfare Exercise 22 in the Philippine Sea, reports marines.mil. VMFA-314 is deployed onboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mike Mullen will lead a US delegation to Taiwan this week in a show of support, reports The Hill. The trip comes as China, which sees Taiwan as part of its own territory, steps up its provocations against Taipei. Last week, Taiwan’s defense ministry reported that nine Chinese aircraft entered its air identification zone.

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft will work together to develop 5G technologies for the military, reports Breaking Defense. The two companies have already collaborated on their first demonstration, which took place at Lockheed Martin Space’s 5G test range in Colorado late last year.

Despite the United Arab Emirates withdrawing its letter of acceptance on a US weapons package that included 18 MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned aerial vehicles, General Atomics remains hopeful that it can save the deal, reports Breaking Defense.

The UAE announced last week that it intends to acquire a dozen advanced Chinese trainers, signaling a major strategic shift in a longstanding policy of acquiring only Western military warplanes, reports Breaking Defense.

 

 

The next generation of weather satellite imagery is set to depart for space today, Tuesday, March 1, reports KIMT3 News. The GOES-T satellite will be the third satellite launched in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites – R Series. The latest satellite will help present Earth in a new high-definition look while also providing atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning, and help monitor space weather.

Weather around Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida should be mostly “go” for the launch of an Atlas V rocket, though conditions are likely to be on the verge of iffy for the mission to launch a weather satellite, reports Florida Today.

Charges against Seaman Recruit Ryan Sawyer Mays, the junior sailor accused of setting the fire that destroyed the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard in 2020, are being referred to a general court-martial, reports Navy Times. Mays is charged with aggravated arson and willful hazarding of a vessel in connection to the July 12, 2020, blaze.

The US Navy isn’t saying much about the progress of its Project Overmatch, reports C4ISRNET. The service is intentionally being vague because it doesn’t want China to steal its work. Project Overmatch is key to the Navy’s ability to conduct distributed maritime operations. The development effort is meant to yield a network that can get the right information to the right users quickly, reliably, and on a network that’s resilient to efforts by an enemy to disrupt it.

The US Army is building a new type of battalion for the light tank design, and it’s going to require more armor crewmen, reports Army Times. The Mobile Protected Firepower battalion concept is becoming a reality, but it still faces its share of challenges.

The US Air Force has released images showing a US Navy amphibious Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) hovercraft transporting a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter some 50 miles from Pensacola, FL, to Eglin Air Force Base, reports The Drive. The LCAC traveled along a narrow waterway near Eglin. Subsequent photographs show the craft being directed onto land to unload the CH-46 from its deck, where a forklift was waiting nearby. The CH-46 was then towed away on its own landing gear.

The Internal Revenue Service, after weeks of pushback from Congress and the public, is now allowing taxpayers to sign up for an online account without the use of any biometric data, including facial recognition, reports Federal News Network.

NAS Patuxent River’s Tester newspaper will be ending its production run after 79 years, the publication reports. In its place, Adams Publishing Group will run a monthly magazine featuring news from NAS Pax River and its mission partners.

Maryland Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Democrat from Prince George’s County, has submitted a bill to make changes to the Patuxent River Commission, reports WYPR. One of those changes would be to make the Patuxent Riverkeeper a permanent member of the commission.

The Maryland Transportation Authority plans to implement an eight-month “grace period” for motorists to pay their outstanding toll balances, reports Maryland Matters. The state will waive civil penalties for those who pay unpaid tolls by November 30.

Contracts:

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia (HC104722D0002), was awarded a competitive, single-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a ceiling value of $11,504,145,491, with firm-fixed-price, labor hour, and cost reimbursable line items for the Defense Enclave Services (DES). The DES contract will unify the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Fourth Estate common use information technology (IT) systems, personnel, functions and program elements under the Defense Information Systems Agency. The DES contractor will manage, operate and support the network architecture. The objective of the DES contract is to provide integrated, standardized, and cost-effective IT services; while improving security, network availability, and reliability for the 22 defense agencies and field activities within DOD’s Fourth Estate. DES will establish the modern infrastructure foundation and united frame of thought needed to deliver cohesive combat support capabilities to the warfighter. The contract’s minimum guarantee of $500 will funded by the Defense Working Capital Fund. Performance will be at DOD Fourth Estate locations world-wide. Proposals were solicited via the Contract Opportunities website on SAM.gov, and seven proposals were received. The ordering period is Feb. 28, 2022, through Feb. 27, 2026, with three two-year option periods, which, if exercised, would extend the ordering period through Feb. 27, 2032. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization – National Capital Region, Fort Meade, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Ace Maintenance and Service Inc., Austin, Texas, is awarded $20,656,043 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to previously awarded contract N40080-21-D-0004. This modification provides for the exercise of Option Year 1 and base janitorial services at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Maryland. After award of this option, the total cumulative contract value will be $39,163,157. This option period is from March 1, 2022, to Feb. 28, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, (Navy); Navy working capital funds; and fiscal 2022 Defense Health Program funds in the amount of $20,405,417 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the option period. No funds will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Moran Towing Corp., New Canaan, Connecticut (N3220519C3503), is awarded a $15,411,380 option (P00022) for the fixed-price portion of a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract, with reimbursable elements, to exercise a one-year option period to support Military Sealift Command’s Service Support Program for the time charter services of eight tugboats. The tugboats will be capable of ship handling, docking and undocking in the Norfolk, Virginia, harbor and surrounding waters. This contract includes a one-year-firm period of the performance, three one-year option periods, and one 11-month option period, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $74,005,396. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed if all options are exercised, by Jan. 31, 2024. Working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $1,308,912 are obligated for fiscal 2022 and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. Funds in the amount of $14,102,468 for the remainder of Option Three are to be provided for fiscal 2022 and 2023 and are subject to the availability of funds in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.232-18, availability of funds. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited via the System for Award Management (SAM) website and one offer was received.

CACI Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded an $11,327,515 cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides mission critical sustainment support to include engineering, software development, project management and technical support services to the Counter Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) team for the sustainment of CACI-BIT Systems C-UAS systems installed at continental U.S. (CONUS) and outside the Continental U.S. (OCONUS) locations. In addition, system sustainment support for installed systems includes maintainability and deployment upgrades of operational systems, reconfiguration of installed systems, training, system maintenance, software development, and hardware repairs. Work will be performed in various undisclosed locations within the CONUS (50%) and OCONUS (50%), and is expected to be completed in February 2027. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0042122D0072).

Credence Dynamo Solutions LLC, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $73,564,064 fixed-price-level-of-effort contract for program management and technical support in the areas of resource planning, resource programming, resource budgeting, resource execution, congressional authorizations and appropriations, and resource oversight. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 27, 2027. US Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W50NH9-22-F-0019).

Leidos, Reston, Virginia (H92404-22-C-0002), was awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract in the amount of $12,604,095 for 12 months of bridge engineering services for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Operations Center (ROC). Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The majority of the work will be performed in Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico; and the Hurlburt-ROC located at Hurlburt AFB, Florida, and will be complete on or about Dec. 13, 2022. This is a sole source contract in accordance with US Code 2304(c)(2), as the agency’s need for the services is of such an unusual and compelling urgency. US Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity.

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