April 17, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

HASC Chairman: F-35 Is a Cash ‘Rathole’

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.

The House Armed Services Committee chairman, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), called the F-35 a “rathole” and said the US should consider cutting its losses by investing in a range of competing fighter jets, reports Defense News. Smith was speaking at a virtual event with the Brookings Institution. Listen to the audio here.

A Center for Responsive Politics’ report on how defense contractors and foreign nations lobby for military arms sales shows that the US’s biggest defense contractors — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, and General Dynamics — spent $60 million all together in 2020 to influence defense policy, reports Military.com. In the past two decades, defense company lobbyists and donors have directed $285 million in campaign contributions and $2.5 billion in lobbying spending to influence policy, according to the report.

Three nominees to head combatant commands were announced by the White House, reports Defense News. Navy ADM John Aquilino has been nominated to take over the US Indo-Pacific Command. Air Force GEN Jacqueline Van Ovost has been nominated to take over the US Transportation Command, and Army LT GEN Laura Richardson has been nominated for a fourth star and to lead US Southern Command.

A new federal government proposal could impact cities in the Delaware/Maryland/Virginian region, reports WUSA9. The plan would downgrade the metropolitan statistical area designation. Officials in some of the affected cities worry that the change could have adverse implications for federal funding and economic development. The California-Lexington Park, MD, area is included on a map from The Associated Press.

US Army scientists have teamed with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and others to build a monitor that would detect COVID-19 proteins in the air, reports Army Times.

A Dutch inventor is testing a new method for screening for COVID, reports NBC News. It requires having a person walk into an air-locked cabin and screaming.

The US has scaled back on its annual military exercises with South Korea due to the COVID pandemic, reports The Associated Press. These drills have been a source of animosities on the peninsula, with North Korea viewing them as invasion rehearsals.

COVID vaccinations might be widely available to military families at military treatment facilities sometime in April, reports Military Times.

USS Gabrielle Giffords has completed a 17-month deployment to the Pacific region, reports USNI News. The deployment, the second and longest LCS deployment since the Navy put LCS overseas operations on pause, will refine how the service thinks about operating and maintaining the Littoral Combat Ship going forward.

On Sunday, US Central Command flew two B-52s over the Mideast, reports Air Force Times. The B-52s were joined by military aircraft from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. The military did not directly mention Iran in its statement about the flyover, only saying the flight was to “deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the US military’s commitment to security in the region.”

 

 

SecState Antony Blinken has proposed a series of steps to help restart Afghanistan’s stalled peace talks between the government and Taliban, reports Military Times. The administration is looking at an interim power-sharing government between the Taliban and Afghan leaders, reports The Washington Post, and stepped-up involvement with neighboring countries in the process.

The Drive reports that the Navy’s latest hypersonic missile Screaming Arrow project, which called for an air-breathing anti-ship weapon to arm the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, was announced and then quickly canceled.

The US has pitched two of its advanced combat aircraft — the F-15EX and F-21 — to the Indian Air Force, reports EurAsian Times. India already has purchased 36 French Dassault Rafales.

ADM Philip Davidson, head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, said the US should provide “consistent arms sales” to Taiwan to deter Chinese aggression in the Pacific region, reports Defense News.

The Biden administration’s new guidance on the use of drones and airstrikes has Somalia concerned that the changes are allowing al-Qaida to gather momentum, reports Voice of America.

The White House says it is willing to work with Congress on developing a narrow framework for the authorizations of use of military force after President Joe Biden’s airstrikes sparked new debate on presidential war powers, reports The Hill.

A Navy corpsman at Naval Sea Systems Command at Dahlgren broke the Guinness World Record for swimming the longest distance while handcuffed, reports The Washington Post. Ben Katzman swam for almost four hours at the King George, VA, YMCA pool.

The federal government is considering the US Army’s Fort Lee in Virginia as a potential site to house migrant children as a way to help meet an increased demand in capacity needs, reports ABC8News.

Fog and precipitation obscured the rough terrain below as a UH-60 Black Hawk flew over Idaho and then crashed in early February, according to results of an Army investigation. Three Army National Guard soldiers were killed, reports Army Times.

Former DefSecs Mark Esper and Leon Panetta say they endorse a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, reports Defense One. “It was a very important historical event that people will study for decades to come — and not a positive one,” Esper said.

Contract:

VS2 LLC, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $31,027,299 modification (0001BM) to contract W52P1J-13-G-0029 for logistics support services at Fort Benning, Georgia. Work will be performed in Fort Benning, Georgia, with an estimated completion date of March 9, 2022. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $3,469,480 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

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