May 19, 2022

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Historic DoD Budget Still Lacks Ukraine Funds

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The Pentagon’s historic $773B budget request doesn’t account for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reports Breaking Defense, and already represents 1.5% in real growth from FY22’s $742B budget. The FY23 request significantly boosts funds for technologies needed to keep pace against China; $40B goes toward a multi-agency combination of funds of $813.3B for national security.

The DoD budget is roughly half of the Biden administration’s $1.58T discretionary budget request for fiscal 2023, which also includes increases in IT and cyber spending, and another boost for the Technology Modernization Fund, reports FCW. The White House seeks $65B in IT spending across civilian agencies, an 11% increase from the overall figure reported for 2022. Within that, the budget request is looking for $10.9B for federal civilian cybersecurity capabilities, also an 11% increase.

The Navy’s portion of the DoD request dramatically increases funding for the secretive Project Overmatch, a classified initiative to improve networking and data capabilities, reports C4ISRNET. The Navy seeks $195M, a 167% increase over the $73 million the service received for the effort in FY22. In addition to the Navy’s Project Overmatch, the Army is pursuing its Project Convergence, and the Air Force is advancing its Advanced Battle Management Systems.

The S&P 500 rose for a third day on Monday, reports Reuters, as a sharp climb in shares of Tesla overshadowed weakness in energy and bank stocks, while Russia and Ukraine were poised to hold their first face-to-face peace talks in more than two weeks.

A bipartisan group of senators look to root out contractor conflicts of interest, reports FCW. The proposed legislation grew from concerns raised over McKinsey & Company’s work with the Food and Drug Administration while it was consulting with pharmaceutical firms. The company paid nearly $600 million last year to settle charges from across the country over its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act was introduced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).

A self-described US Army veteran traveled to Ukraine, volunteered to fight there, and is now tweeting from the front lines of the Russian invasion of Ukraine delivered in real time. Task & Purpose said it was unable to confirm James Vasquez’s service record with DoD and called live-tweeting from the combat zone “inevitable.”

Western sanctions punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are reorganizing global trade along political lines, defying geography and efficiency, reports Al Jazeera. This new reality is creating a windfall for merchant shipping, but risks creating higher prices for European consumers and hunger for Africa.



Task & Purpose has the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea propaganda video, calling it nearly laughable with slow-motion walking, cheering, and shouting; dramatic music; a missile launch; sunglasses; and the lead character, North Korea’s totalitarian leader, pointing off in the distance to nothing in particular. What isn’t funny, as The Associated Press reports, the actual launch was North Korea’s “most serious weapons launch” since November 2017.

US pressure on Huawei Technologies has served to strengthen the resolve of the Chinese telecoms giant, finance chief Meng Wanzhou said on Monday after its first set of earnings reports since her return from nearly three years’ detention in Canada. Reuters reports the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei played a central role in the company’s tussle with the United States, having been detained in Canada in 2018 over alleged attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of US sanctions.

Gov. Larry Hogan announces bipartisan agreement to provide $1.86 billion in tax relief to Marylanders, reports News Break. Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones joined the governor to announce the bipartisan agreement to provide $1.86 billion in tax relief over five years for Maryland retirees, small businesses, and low-income families. Combined with the recently enacted gas tax suspension, this legislative session will deliver nearly $2 billion in tax relief.

Women and child refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine to Poland are being targeted by suspected pimps and sex traffickers operating alone and in gangs, according to charities working on the border, reports The Guardian.

A Turkish military diving team deactivated a stray naval mine off Turkey’s northwest coast on Monday, reports gCaptain. Turkey’s defense ministry said it was the second such device to be defused in the area amid the war in Ukraine.  NATO member Turkey borders the Black Sea, as does Russia and Ukraine, which Moscow invaded on February 24.

With thousands of troops deployed to Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Navy is adding electronic attack aircraft to the effort, reports Navy Times. Six EA-18G Growlers, with 240 air crew and maintainers, will head to Spangdahlem, Germany, as part of 14,000 troops the US has committed to reassure NATO.

For FY23, the Navy has requested 96 aircraft, but no F/A-18 Super Hornets and fewer carrier-variant F-35C Joint Strike Fighters than last year. The budget request adds nine ships while decommissioning 24, reports Defense News, a decision driven by increasingly higher bills for nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers crowding the shipbuilding budget. Of the decommissioned ships, nine would be LCSs and their anti-submarine mission eliminated, reports Defense News. The move fuels rumors of decommissioning the entire Freedom class, which requires a fix to a variant-wide defect. The Navy is also proposing a decrease of about 10,000 sailors to crew the fleet in the next five years.

C4ISRNET reports the Space Force’s $24.5B funding request for fiscal 2023 represents a 40% increase over last year, driven by an urgency to build out the Department of Defense’s space-based missile warning and tracking architecture, says Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.

Veterans Affairs programs would see a 20% increase in the administration’s FY23 budget proposal, reports Military Times. It would push the department’s spending total above $300 billion for the first time. The VA has been receiving steady budget hikes to increase medical care and support services for veterans.

The Air Force proposes a flat military workforce and steep aircraft cuts in its FY23 proposed budget, reports Air Force Times. To keep its workforce flat the service is opting not to replace airmen who separate, retire, or leave on other terms. It plans to add fewer than 100 active duty airmen — from 323,305 to 323,400 — next year. At the same time, the service is shrinking the number of available jobs from nearly 330,000 down to 323,400 active duty positions.

The Army’s $178B FY23 budget cuts troops also, reports Defense News, representing a 1.7% boost over FY22’s $175 billion budget and level with FY21 enacted funding.

Two vets and a local business man are charged with the $2 million theft of optics, lasers, and radios from Fort Hood, reports Army Times. Army veteran Jessica Elaintrell Smith, fellow veteran Brandon Dominic Brown — who had base access as a contractor — and Nathan Nichols, a civilian businessman living in nearby Corpus Christi were charged with the theft.

Canada has decided to buy 88 of Lockheed-Martin’s F-35s to replace its CF-18s, reports Defense News. The government has budgeted about$15B for the purchase


Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, is awarded an $8,934,726 modification (P00011) to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N0042117D0021). This modification exercises an option to extend the services with additional ceiling to provide continued support of the Naval Aviation Enterprise’s mission to sustain required current readiness and advance future warfighting capabilities at the best possible cost. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia (25.89%); North Island, California (19.98%); Patuxent River (12.71%); Arlington, Virginia (10.58%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (3.63%); New River, North Carolina (3.63%); Millington, Tennessee (2.73%); Fort Worth, Texas (2.73%); Miramar, California (2.73%); Yuma, Arizona (1.82%); Camp Pendleton, California (1.82%); Pensacola, Florida (1.82%); and various locations within the continental US (9.93%), and is expected to be completed in October 2022. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Tewksbury, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $10,084,858 modification to cost-plus-fixed-fee contract HR001121C0007 to exercise Phase 2 option of the Airspace TacticaL Automation System (ATLAS) effort supporting the Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution (ASTARTE) program. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $17,665,272. Work will be performed in Tewksbury, Massachusetts (37%); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (4%); Fulton, Maryland (10%); Cambridge, Massachusetts (40%); Dulles, Virginia (6%); and Durham, North Carolina (3%), with an estimated completion date of June 2023. Fiscal 2022 research and development funds in the amount of $6,324,445 are being obligated at the time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

American International Contractors Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $55,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for support in planning, execution, warranty management and, eventually, contract closeout of Pacer Forge. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2023. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Middle East District, is the contracting activity (W912ER-22-D-0008).

The Council Oak LLC, Falls Church, Virginia (W912HQ-22-D-0007); and Kearns & West Inc., Washington, DC (W912HQ-22-D-0008), will compete for each order of the $48,335,000 firm-fixed-price contract for water resources analytical and professional support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with eight received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 28, 2027. US Army Corps of Engineers’ Humphreys Engineer Center Support Activity, Alexandria, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., McLean, Virginia, was awarded an $8,948,360 modification (P00004) to contract W31P4Q-21-F-0101 for sustainment efforts required to maintain the current operational status of the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control System. Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds; fiscal 2022 other procurement, Army funds; and fiscal 2022 missile procurement, Army funds in the amount of $6,270,000 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Professional Contract Services Inc. LLC, Austin, Texas, is awarded a $33,946,714 modification to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N40085-20-D-0040. This modification provides exercise of Option Year 2 for base operating support services at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and its outlying support sites. Work will be performed at Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Yorktown, Virginia, and is expected to be completed in March 2023. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $97,041,281. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $33,946,714 are obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Mid-Atlantic, Public Works Department Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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