February 27, 2024

Gilday: Larger Fleet Means Larger Share of the 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.

Chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Gilday said the service needs a larger fleet and a larger share of the defense budget, reports Navy Times. A larger fleet will be critical, he said, because the service will need more ships to operate in more locations around the globe.

Earlier this year, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), deputy chair of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Hudson Institute that the Navy needs to be forthcoming in telling Congress what it needs to meet its warfighting requirements, reports Seapower Magazine. “As a member of Congress, what do we want to hear? We want the services to come to us and essentially say, ‘This is what we need, this is why, and — most of all — this is the risk of not doing it,’” she said. Luria noted that there is a lot of consensus that “China should be our No. 1 concern as far as national defense,” but the historical split of funding among the services is hard to change.

The F-35 reportedly fared well during recent deployments aboard the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and the British HMS Queen Elizabeth, reports The National Interest. The vital information to be gleaned now is, did the F-35 have enough spare parts — and the right spare parts? US Air Force LTGEN Eric Fick said the F-35Cs have fared well in the global supply system and that his team is now assessing whether the squadron had the right mix of parts during its deployments, reports USNI News.

The office of US Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) announced funding for the MD 4 Corridor and Thomas Johnson Bridge Capacity Improvements Project in a news release. The $1,000,000 in funds will be used to continue the design of St. Mary’s County’s top priority transportation project, which includes widening sections of Route 4 and replacing the functionally obsolete Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge. The completed project will improve safety and capacity for commuters in an increasingly congested corridor, and ensure access to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the release states.

St. Mary’s Del. Brian Crosby (D) is pushing for construction funding for the Route 5/Great Mills Road intersection. “This intersection sees over 19,000 commuters daily but has been ignored by the State Highway Administration for almost 20 years,” Crosby wrote in a letter to The BayNet. “The intersection is poorly maintained, burdened with traffic, and deadly. It is a consistent negative mark on Pax River in the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.” House Bill 1022 mandates that funds be appropriated for the project.

Margaret Palmieri has been named the Pentagon’s deputy chief digital and artificial intelligence officer, reports Breaking Defense. She will be responsible for coordinating the department’s data and artificial intelligence efforts. Palmieri was the founder and director of the US Navy Digital Warfare Office.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to speak virtually with members of the US Congress on Wednesday, March 16, reports The Hill.

While fears are growing over a nuclear attack by Russia, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said there currently are no indications of such an attack, reports The Hill. Several international figures have warned that Russia might deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine.

President Joe Biden late last week threatened “severe” consequences if Russia uses chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, reports Politico. Biden’s statement came after the White House rejected Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s claim that the US was working with Ukraine to develop chemical and biological weapons to use against Russian forces.



The Russian invasion into Ukraine could mean major shifts in the US’ strategic efforts in the Indo-Pacific region in the coming months and years, reports Military Times. The changes particularly coincide with US efforts with partners such as India, Japan, and Australia, also known as “The Quad.”

The US Navy has transformed a sheet of Arctic ice into a 2,500-foot-long runway that can support multiple daily flights and a Navy command center and encampment, reports Navy Times. The construction of the airstrip is part of the three-week Ice Exercise 2022.

Four more areas using the US Navy’s water system in Hawaii have been declared safe to use by the state’s health department, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Six of 19 remaining areas are still waiting for clearance. The health department issued a “do not drink” advisory in late November after fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility contaminated its drinking water system, which serves Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and surrounding communities.

The Navy’s solution to supplying its ships and aircraft with fuel in the Pacific after shutting down the Red Hill facility will likely not involve building additional fuel storage facilities, reports USNI News. NavSec Carlos Del Toro said there are other storage depots in the Pacific that can be used to store the fuel the sea service kept at Red Hill since World War II.

France is using its temporary role leading the European Council presidency to emphasize the importance of its military space capabilities across the continent, reports Defense News. “If space was the ‘new frontier’ of the 1960s, there is no doubt that today it is a ‘new front’ on the battlefield,” Florence Parly, the French armed forces minister said. In 2020, the French Air Force became the French Air and Space Force.

An unnamed military drone was involved in a safety “incident” last week at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, reports Air Force Times. No one was hurt in the incident.

US Army officials said that the service has approved its first religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, reports Army Times, making it the final military service to approve such an accommodation.

Registered nurses and physicians assistants working at the Veterans Affairs Department will soon have a higher maximum salary, as part of an effort in Congress to reduce record turnover among the VA’s health care workforce, reports Federal News Network. Congress passed the RAISE Act as part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2022.

The YMCA of the Chesapeake recently briefed the St. Mary’s County commissioners on the efforts to build a community center in Lexington Park, reports The County Times. YMCA officials estimated that if the commissioners chose to move ahead with the project it could be completed between nine to 12 months, with a total of two years to be fully ready to be occupied.

NFL quarterback Tom Brady has changed his mind about retiring. The seven-time Super Bowl champ said he will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season in the NFL, reports WTOP News. He said he has “unfinished business.”


Multi-MAC JV, Yuma, Arizona, is awarded a $35,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification to increase the contract capacity of previously awarded, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineering contract N62470-19-D-4010 for compliance with air emission regulations, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act regulations, greenhouse gas and all other environmental media regulations to support Navy, Marine Corps, and other Department of Defense installations and federal agencies worldwide. This award brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $85,000,000. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps installations and other government facilities within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic area of operations, including, but not limited to California (45%), Virginia (15%), North Carolina (15%), Florida (5%), Maryland (5%), Washington (5%), Georgia (5%), and various worldwide locations (5%), and is expected to be completed by June 2024. Future task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. NAVFAC Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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