June 1, 2023

House Dems: No Inflation Add-On to $762B Defense Budget

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House Democrats stick with the Biden administration’s $762 billion, FY23 defense budget, according to an initial draft, reports Defense News. This is $32 billion more than the FY22 defense budget, but rejects calls from Republicans and some centrist Democrats to raise the FY23 budget by 3% to 5% above historic inflation rates.

House Democrats are also trying to add a provision in the spending bill to ensure service members can take leave for an abortion ahead of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that prevents states from outlawing the procedure, reports Military.com.

A 4.6% pay raise for troops gets support across Capitol Hill, reports Military Times. House appropriators and Senate defense planners backed the raise for next year, signaling broad support for the largest increase in military paychecks in 20 years. But efforts to account for rising inflation are not part of this support.

Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund awards $13.5 million in FY23, reports TheBayNet.com. St Mary’s projects include Point Lookout State Park with $500,000 for boat ramps and pier replacement; Ridge Volunteer Fire Department with $50,000 for emergency response raft equipment, and St. George Creek, $540,000 for maintenance dredging and beneficial use at Piney Point.



Germany has chosen an installation near the US-operated Spangdahlem Air Base to house the 35 American-made fighter jets it purchased as part of a military overhaul in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reports Stars and Stripes. The Buechel Air Base in southwestern Germany selected as destination for the future F-35 fleet, reports Stars and Stripes. [Paywall.]

The United States Marshals Service is seizing digital currencies, they just don’t know how much, lacking standardized regulations and procedures to catalogue and value the digital assets held in federal custody, reports Next Gov. A new GAO audit suggests the law enforcement agency take additional steps to properly track and organize its cryptocurrency assets through improved inventory management.

The war in Ukraine has reached a pivotal moment that could determine the outcome, according to CNN, referencing Western intelligence and military officials. DEFSEC Lloyd Austin convened a working group of nearly 50 countries in Brussels yesterday. More announcements of weapons and equipment packages for Ukraine are expected to be announced.

The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries spent $82.4B upgrading their atomic weaponry in 2021, eight percent more than the year before, reports Al Jazeera. The biggest spender was the United States, which accounted for more than half the total spending, followed by China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) said in its annual report on nuclear spending.

The Navy has fired five leaders in less than a week, reports The Hill. The most recent firing occurred on Tuesday, CMDR Peter Lesaca was relieved of command of the USS Preble guided missile destroyer; on June 8, CMDR Matthew McCormick was relieved of his command of Electronic Attack Squadron 137; on June 11, CAPT Jeffry Sandin, was relieved as commanding officer of the Recruit Training Command; on June 10, CMDR Devine Johnson and Command Master Chief Earl Sanders, both of the USS Bulkeley destroyer, were both relieved.

The Pentagon is swapping out its nuclear boss and its Europe commander, reports Defense News. GEN Anthony Cotton, who manages the Air Force’s nuclear weapons and bombers as commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, was nominated June 7 to lead the Pentagon’s nuclear enterprise at US Strategic Command. Army LT GEN Bryan Fenton was tapped for a fourth star and to lead Special Operations Command. He is now at the helm of Joint Special Operations Command.

US President Joe Biden’s first trip to the Middle East will include meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reports Al Jazeera. The trip will take place in mid July and include visits to Israel and the occupied West Bank.

After the deaths of nine Marines and the loss of four aircraft in six months, Marine Corps officials announced Tuesday, June 14, that all of its aviation units will be required to stop flying for a day to review safety procedures, address areas of concern and gather feedback, reports Stars and Stripes [paywall]. This comes on the heels of a Navy ‘safety pause’ ordered Monday. The pause followed hree US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft crashes in the past week and a half — two of which were fatal.

The S&P 500 kept falling this week, slipping deeper into bear market territory, bracing for further Fed rate hikes, reports CNBC.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark interest rate by 75-basis points for the first time in nearly three decades as policymakers intensify their fight to cool red-hot inflation, a move that threatens to slow U.S. economic growth and exacerbate financial pressure on Americans, reports Fox Business.

The Air Force touts its success adding AI to improve all-important weather predictions for military planning, reports Military Times. In 2021 the service awarded Boston-based Tomorrow.io a $19.3 million contract to deploy radar-equipped weather satellites and so-called weather intelligence. The same year Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched a supercomputer forecasting system for use by Air Force Weather.

Army advisors in Latin America were told to behave, as word of drinking, Tinder use, and STDs grew, reports Army Times. Soldiers dispatched to Latin America for the Army’s new trademark advising missions were warned last fall to behave after word trickled out that there had been an increase in STDs among married and single advisors, use of online dating apps, and drinking against regulations.

House appropriators want the Navy to keep five Littoral Combat Ships, allowing the service to decommission four and requesting a “report on alternate uses of these vessels,” USNI News reports on the FY23 defense budget. Aircraft allocations include five MQ-9A Reapers for the Marine Corps plus CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters,. The Navy had budgeted only 10 CH-53Ks for the Marines. The House appropriators meet the Navy’s request for five E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes.


Techflow Mission Support LLC, doing business as EMI Services, Idaho Falls, Idaho, is awarded a $16,945,309 firm-fixed price modification to indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N62470-21-D-0002. This modification provides for the exercise of Option 1 for base operating support services at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. This modification provides for all labor, materials, equipment, tools, management and supervision required to perform facility management, facility investment, integrated solid waste management, utilities management, and wastewater and environmental services. All work will be performed in Maryland, and is expected to be completed by June 2023. After award of this option, the total cumulative face value of the contract will be $34,468,171. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy); and fiscal 2022 working capital (Navy) funds in an amount not-to-exceed $13,251,836 for recurring services are obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington, Public Works Department Patuxent River, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded an $18,441,721 cost-plus fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable type contract for Technical Security Team support services. This contract provides for program management, technology security support, food services support and facilities management support. Work will be performed in Pakistan and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2023. This contract involves 100 percent Foreign Military Sales and is the result of a sole source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $18,441,721 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Security and Assistance Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8630-22-C-5001 P00002).

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