March 8, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Lex Park Winter Home Grown Market Open -

Friday, March 5, 2021

Next Airport Farmers Market March 13 -

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Library Opening – Limits in Place -

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

JSHS Regional Symposium Goes Virtual March 13 -

Monday, March 1, 2021

Hicks Looks to Become Deputy DefSec

Kathleen Hicks

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 nominee to become DefSec Lloyd Austin’s deputy, Kathleen Hicks, received little pushback from senators, reports Defense News, and is open to changing budget traditions to drive joint activity. A significant number of senators — including outgoing Senate Armed Service Committee Chair Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and his successor, Jack Reed (D-RI) indicated support.

Austin will dismiss all Pentagon policy board members, reports Stars and Stripes. He has asked the members of at least 42 boards that advise top military officials from business practices to science and technology issues to resign by Feb. 16. The dismissals number in the hundreds and some could return to their roles after a June 1 review.

The White House confirmed it will continue Space Force, the military’s newest branch, reports Washington Examiner.

Task Force One Navy issued more than 50 recommendations to improve diversity in the service, reports USNI. The final report lays out specific, granular changes to how the service recruits and retains sailors as well as develops tools for professional development that open opportunities for women and minorities – particularly in the officer ranks.

No Senate Republicans voted to advance the stimulus package that would give most Americans $1,400 one-time checks, reports Business Insider. Democrats are taking steps to push through President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan via a budgetary maneuver that could eventually allow the measure to become law without Republican support, reports The New York Times.

DoD distributed more than 800,000 doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine, but has only put about 60% of those “shots in arms,” reports Military Times. The lag is partially attributed with the higher percentages of older people getting the vaccine, a rate that trends down with age. In total, 816,175 doses have gone out, with 485,125 administered to DoD personnel. Of those, 67,913 are now fully vaccinated after their second dose.

Biden is boosting vaccine allotments and financing for virus costs, reports AP News. Starting next week, 1 million doses will be distributed to some 6,500 pharmacies across the country, according to the White House. The administration is also boosting by 500,000 the weekly allocation of vaccines sent directly to states and territories for the coming weeks, up to 10.5 million. It is allowing state and local governments to receive additional federal dollars to cover previously incurred expenses relating to the pandemic.

 

 

At the request of the White House, GEN Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried but was unable to connect to Myanmar’s military following its coup, reports Reuters. The Myanmar army detained Nobel laureate Suu Kyi and others, handed power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing, imposed a state of emergency for one year, and pledged to hold new elections.

SpaceX’s new Starship rocket prototype soared 6 miles above Texas, but exploded during a landing attempt, reports Business Insider. The prototype, called SN9, was supposed to attempt a soft landing, but the spaceship slammed into the ground sideways and exploded. This is the second time the aerospace company, founded by Elon Musk, has launched such an ambitious Starship flight and seen the vehicle destroyed upon landing.

Rocket start-up Astra to go public in race for commercial space, reports The Washington Post. The $2.1 billion deal would make Astra the first publicly traded company dedicated to delivering satellites into Earth’s orbit. The Alameda, CA-based rocket-maker intends to go public via a financial vehicle that bypasses the traditional IPO process.

More than 100 bills to restrict voting are moving through state legislatures, reports CNN. In all, 28 states have introduced, pre-filed or are advancing 106 restrictive bills for the 2021 legislative session, a significant spike from just 35 bills in 15 states in 2020according to the Brennan Center analysis. The majority of bills look to restrict or put limitations on how and who can vote by mail, while others look to impose photo ID laws and take a more aggressive voter purge policy.

Transportation agencies are wrestling with the new federal mask mandate, reports The Washington Post. A new federal order requiring masks at airports and aboard trains and buses creates a layer of protection for federal safety screeners while putting added pressure on transit drivers and operators on the front lines to enforce the mandate.

Marines need to trust unmanned AI tools for future warfare, reports USNI. GEN David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, said the service needs to make some big changes in a few short years to stay ahead of China’s growing military capability, but one of the biggest hurdles he sees is a lack of trust in the new unmanned and artificial intelligence systems he wants to invest in.

The Navy postpones USS Minneapolis-St. Paul commissioning after a design defect was discovered, reports Navy Times. The high-speed combat ship was christened at the Marinette, WI, shipyard in 2019, commissioning ceremony expected this spring before a problem with the propulsion system was discovered. As per an earlier Defense News article, the Navy has halted deliveries of Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship, citing a design flaw with the ship’s transmission.

Contracts:

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded a $329,891,030 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-6327 to exercise options for Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Increment One Block One (I1B1) dismounted systems, mounted systems, mounted auxiliary kits, operational level spares, depot level spares and engineering support services. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the government of Australia. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by December 2022. FMS (Australia) funding in the amount of $116,491,337 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, DC, is the contracting activity.

Invictus International Consulting LLC, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a $97,943,684 cost-reimbursement contract for Operational Simulated Cyber Environment Resiliency Software prototype/hardware. This contract provides for research and development of capabilities in modeling, simulation and testing cyber technologies across the full spectrum of cyber operations to aid the Air Force and the Department of Defense . Research and further development will provide the Air Force and DoD with next generation cyber tools and technologies that enhance cyber resiliency and can be rapidly transitioned and integrated to support Cyber Mission Forces. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, and is expected to be completed Feb. 3, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $967,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity (FA8750-21-C-1504).

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $68,600,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with cost-plus-fixed-fee task orders for the Threat Assessment and Aircraft Protection Defensive Electronic Warfare program. This program will conduct innovative research and development to design expendable (ordinance) and directed-energy (signal) countermeasure concepts, in electro-optical and multi-spectrum electro-optical/radio-frequency domains, in response to an ever-changing missile threat landscape using threat exploitation; modeling and simulation evaluation; and hardware and field testing. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and is expected to be completed Jan. 29, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and one offer was received. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,431,071 will be obligated at the time of award on the first task order. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-21-D-1014).

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