February 21, 2019

Is Another Shutdown on the Horizon?

Is Another Shutdown on the Horizon?

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 deal reached to reopen the federal government gives President Donald Trump and Congress until Feb. 15 to reach a new deal to prevent another partial shutdown, reports The Hill. Some lawmakers are skeptical about the president’s chances of securing funding for a wall on the Mexican border. A bipartisan conference committee on border security will examine the issues, reports Federal Times.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the effects of the shutdown on the state of Maryland. The Maryland Transit Administration will continue to offer free transit to federal employees who were affected by the shutdown through the end of the day Friday, reports Capital Gazette. Spouses of US Coast Guard members say they will continue to adhere to a strict budget, reports The Associated Press. “I would have breathed a much larger sigh of relief if it was a permanent, not temporary, agreement,” said Mariah Battermann, whose husband serves in the Coast Guard.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said the Air Force will buy a new version of the F-15, known as the F-15X, as long as there is enough money in future defense budgets, reports Defense News.

Air Force leadership, congressional representatives, and Boeing officials were on hand to welcome two KC-46 Pegasus planes to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas late last week, reports Defense News. The delivery was almost two decades in the making as the program has faced many challenges, including cost overruns and schedule delays.  

Russia is developing a stealthy, jet-powered robot warplane. And it’s possible the US has nothing to match it, reports The Daily Beast. Blurry images of the Okhotnik-B drone appeared Jan. 23 on a Russian aviation website. It would be easy to consider the possibility that Russia may finally have a platform that warrants real concern, reports NewsRep. But a closer inspection suggests that drone might be just another half-hearted attempt at staying relevant in the era of ever-advancing defense technology.

Japan is joining the international race to add artificial intelligence and drones to its defense capabilities, reports Nikkei Asian Review. Japan will acquire or develop a number of unmanned vehicles for surveillance, government plans show.

US and Taliban officials have agreed in principle to the framework of a peace deal in which the insurgents guarantee to prevent Afghan territory from being used by terrorists, The New York Times reports, and that could lead to a full pullout of American troops in return for a cease-fire.

A DoD report reveals more than two-thirds of the military’s operationally critical installations are threatened by climate change, report Military Times. Find the January 2019 “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense” here.

A 157 foot-long, 300-ton former luxury cruise liner, damaged during Hurricane Michael, will get a second life, reports Navy Times, but not on the water. The vessel will become an artificial reef for divers and fisherman and a symbol of Florida’s Bay County’s defiance in the face of devastation.

Contracts:

Schuyler Line Navigation Co. LLC, Annapolis, Maryland, has been awarded a fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract (HTC71119DW001) in the amount of $7,101,934. The contract provides ocean liner service between Jacksonville/Blount Island, Florida, and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. The contract base period of performance is from March 1, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020. Fiscal 2019 Transportation Working Capital Funds were obligated at award. US Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

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