March 26, 2019

GAO: Pilot Shortage Growing Worse

Pilot Shortage F-35

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.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows just how bad the military fighter pilot shortage has become, reports Military Times. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are each short about 25 percent of the pilots they need in crucial areas. Read the GAO report here.

The House Armed Services Committee heard from personnel chiefs about the military’s new Blended Retirement System and how it might affect retention, reports Military Times. “I think we’re going to have to fundamentally change how we address retaining talent,” Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands says.

DoD is creating a new position to help formulate its software strategy and ensure that the Pentagon keeps pace with commercial advancements, reports Defense News. Jeff Boleng, as the new special assistant for software acquisition, will oversee the F-35’s software strategy.

The Navy’s official investigation into the Oct. 1 crash in Tennessee of a T-45C Goshawk concluded the crash was the fault of the instructor pilot, even though at the time of impact, he wasn’t at the controls, Navy Times reports.

The military is finding that many aviation mishaps from fiscal 2011 through 2017 resulted from wildlife strikes, reports Military Times. The military is well-aware of the dangers posed by wildlife and is taking many steps to prevent bird strikes.

The Pentagon says the Friday missile attacks may have set the Syrian chemical weapons programs back for years, reports Defense News. Though Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, says the three sites hit were not the totality of the Syrian chemical weapons program. See images from Military Times of what happened during and after the US launched the retaliatory strike. The Associated Press reports an expert with the Washington-based Middle East Institute says the action will not fundamentally degrade President Bashar Assad’s war machine as main bases, weaponry, and personnel still remain in place.

An expedition crew has discovered another Navy ship, the USS Helena, that was previously lost, reports Navy Times. The Helena, moored in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was sunk during the Battle of Kula Gulf by Japanese torpedoes on July 6, 1943. This same crew recently found the wreckage of the USS Juneau and the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement announcement last week guarantees an overhaul in congressional leadership next year, reports Army Times, which could have effects on defense debates in the legislature.

To counter gains made by the Chinese in the field of artificial intelligence, the Pentagon is expected to submit plans for a new office to lead the military and intel agencies’ work developing and acquiring AI tools, reports Breaking Defense.


Huntington Ingalls Industries, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, is being awarded a $27,079,692 cost-plus-award-fee contract for DDG 51 class follow yard services (FYS). The FYS provides necessary engineering, technical, material procurement and production support; configuration; class flight and baseline upgrades and new technology support; data and logistics management; lessons learned analysis; acceptance trials; post-delivery test and trials; post shakedown availability support; reliability and maintainability; system safety program support; material and fleet turnover support; shipyard engineering team; turnkey; crew indoctrination, design tool/design standardization, detail design development, and other technical and engineering analyses for the purpose of supporting DDG 51 class ship construction and test and trials. In addition, DDG 51 class FYS may provide design, engineering, procurement and manufacturing/production services to support design feasibility studies and analyses that modify DDG 51 class destroyers for Foreign Military Sales programs sponsored by the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $181,413,887. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (97.8 percent); Washington, District of Columbia (1.7 percent); and Bath, Maine (0.6 percent), and is expected to be completed by April 2019. If all options are exercised, work will continue through April 2023. Fiscal 2018, 2014 and 2017 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amounts of $13,564,247, $10,193,136, $1,767,250 respectively will be obligated at time of award and 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, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-2312).

Northrop Grumman Corp., Melbourne, Florida, is being awarded $22,818,840 for ceiling-priced, undefinitized contract action delivery order N00383-18-F-AB1M under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement (N00383-17-G-AB01) for the repair of 236 power amplifier module, aircraft, mater, that are used on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland, and will be completed by April 2019. Fiscal 2018 working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $11,195,931 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One firm was solicited for this non-competitive, sole-source requirement under authority 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), and one offer was received in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

MEB General Contractors Inc., Chesapeake, Virginia, is being awarded a $17,575,485 firm-fixed-price construction modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N69450-16-C-1604) for fuel distribution facilities repairs at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort. The work to be performed provides for upgrades to tank farm A and interconnection to remaining tank farm systems. After award of this modification, the total cumulative contract value will be $56,730,042. Work will be performed in Beaufort, South Carolina, and is expected to be completed by August 2018. Fiscal 2014 military construction (defense-wide) contract funds in the amount of $17,575,485 are obligated on this award; of which $16,755,780 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Sedna Digital Solutions, Manassas, Virginia, is being awarded an $8,205,182 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the procurement of engineering and technical services and support for the development, integration, test, demonstration, and certification of a High Fidelity Sensor Level Simulation/Stimulation and Common Processing System. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by September 2018. Fiscal 2017 other procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $1,464,398 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, District of Columbia is the contracting activity.

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