July 14, 2024

Key West Residents Weigh In on Drone Base


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.

Locals in Key West will have a 30-day period beginning Sept. 1 to comment on NAS Key West being in the running to be the East Coast’s home base for a drone system, FlKeysNews.com reports. The Florida base is on the US Navy’s short list, along with Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, FL, and Virginia’s NASA Wallops Flight Facility, to build a launch and recovery base for four MQ-4C Triton drones. Triton, who in Greek mythology was the messenger of the sea and a son of Poseidon, has flown more than 455 flight hours, according to the Navy, which plans to continue tests at NAS Pax River for the first planned deployment in 2018.

Jerry Hendrix, a senior fellow and director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security, has laid out the past and future of aircraft carriers in a new report. He says that US naval aviation has undergone a dramatic change in the past 20 years, and not for the better, Next Big Future reports.

Two American fighter pilots who intercepted Syrian combat jets over northern Syria last week said they came within 2,000 feet of the planes without the Syrians aware they were being shadowed, Military Times reports. The encounter occurred after Syrian jets dropped bombs near a US adviser team with Kurdish forces in Syria.

A US Army pilot program, Cyber Support to Corps and Below, embedded cyber teams with the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team during a recent exercise in California, Defense Systems reports. The teams conducted defensive reconnaissance of an adversary’s cyber operations while also showing the ability to conduct offensive operations, electronic warfare, and information operations as the brigade was on the move.

The Navy has its own ISIS program — Integrated Submarine Imaging System — which puts visual and digital imaging into submarine periscopes, providing all-weather, high-resolution imagery for Los Angeles, Seawolf, Ohio, and Virginia Class submarines. The system makes use of existing components while providing an architecture that allows for future upgrades, according to a contract announcement by the Defense Department, reports Defense Systems.

Move over United Launch Alliance. There are some new players in the lucrative business of launching rockets for the US Air Force. It seems ULA’s monopoly on the industry is no more (ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin). The company now faces competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Quartz reports.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft was heading back to Earth on Friday from the International Space Station with more than a ton of experiments and cargo, including 12 mice, bound for splashdown, Space.com reports. The Dragon arrived at the space station in July, bringing experiments, science equipment, tools, and supplies to the six crewmembers. Now, other experiments are on their way back home.

Vector Space Systems, a tiny space start-up, has been shaking up the global market for satellite launches. Vector is back in the news with a big new contract, Motley Fool reports.

Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, current vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, spoke before the Center for Strategic and International Studies last week. He echoed earlier policy pronouncements he and other Pentagon leaders have made over the past few years about innovation, the Third Offset Strategy, and more effective relations between the Pentagon and commercial industry. But Breaking Defense reports that a new theme emerged in Selva’s remarks about the Defense Department’s “latest love affair with Silicon Valley and other tech centers. Simply put, we know you’re watching and please don’t mistake our careful risk management with bureaucracy or with a conservative military mindset.”

The US is continuing its efforts to teach members of the Afghanistan armed forces all about their new fleets of rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft, Military.com reports. US-run aviation schools managed by Raytheon are preparing to graduate their largest classes of Afghan aviators.

The Deepwater Wind five-turbine, 30-megawatt project is expected to start operating in the fall off the coast of Rhode Island. Backers are hoping the new offshore wind farm will jump-start the industry.

Two stranded mariners were rescued last week on an uninhabited island in Micronesia by a Navy aircraft crew, Inquirer.net reports. The crew spotted the pair on the beach and gave their location to the Coast Guard in Guam. The pair had no emergency equipment, were picked up, and taken to a patrol boat. They had written “SOS” in huge letters in the sand.


CAMRIS International Inc., Bethesda, MD, was awarded a $32,700,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for on-site contractor support services for the Naval Medical Research Unit 3 to provide management between the US government and potentially foreign personnel located in Egypt and/or specific areas of responsibilities; and assist in the design and execution of field and laboratory research related to emerging infectious diseases. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 25, 2021. Army Contracting Command, Natick, MA, is the contracting activity (W911QY-16-D-0039).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Herndon, VA, was awarded a $19,607,834 modification (P00004) to contract W31P4Q-16-C-0063 to exercise option period one of the sole-source requirement for sustainment of ongoing contingency operations. Work will be performed in Huntsville, AL, with an estimated completion date of March 2, 2017. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $19,607,834 were obligated at the time of the award.  Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, AL, is the contracting activity.

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, VA, was awarded a $10,432,500 firm-fixed-price contract for Wilmington Harbor mid-river and military ocean terminal Sunny Point maintenance dredging, New Hanover and Brunswick counties in North Carolina. Bids were solicited via the Internet with five received. Work will be performed in Southport (48.19 percent) and Wilmington (51.81 percent), NC, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2017. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,432,500 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington, NC, is the contracting activity (W912PM-16-C-0015).

BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Mayport LLC, Jacksonville, FL (N00024-16-D-4319) and General Dynamics NASSCO, Mayport, FL (N00024-16-D-4320) are each being awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contracts (MAC) to support sustainment execution efforts for Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) 1 variant class ships. These efforts consist of Chief of Naval Operations availabilities, continuous maintenance, emergent maintenance, preventative/planned maintenance, and facilities maintenance/ corrosion control in the contiguous United States; continuous maintenance, emergent maintenance, preventative/planned maintenance, and facilities maintenance/corrosion control outside the continental United States (MAC I). Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., Portsmouth, VA (N00024-16-D-4321) and Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, MD (N00024-16-D-4322) are each being awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contracts (MAC) to provide preventative/planned maintenance, and facilities maintenance/corrosion control within the continental United States (MAC II). These contracts both contain five ordering periods which have a cumulative ceiling value of $741,496,791 for MAC I and $209,342,762 for MAC II. These four companies will have the opportunity to compete for individual delivery orders.  Work will primarily be performed in Mayport, FL, and outside the continental US as needed, and is expected to be completed in August 2021 if all ordering periods are executed. Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $40,000 ($10,000 minimum guarantee per contract) is being obligated as each contract’s initial delivery order and expires at the end of fiscal 2016. These contracts were competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with five offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, MA, is being awarded a $29,839,189 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-5126) for additional engineering services in support of DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program. The engineering services under this contract will address software corrections, facilities, training, and cyber security and shipboard requirements. Work will be performed in Bath, ME (31 percent), Tewksbury, MA (30 percent), Portsmouth, RI (27 percent), San Diego, CA (6 percent), Wallops Island, VA (5 percent), Fort Wayne, IN (1 percent) and is expected to be complete by December 2016. Fiscal 2008, 2015, and 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy), fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) and fiscal 2016 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $17,213,384 will be obligated at the time of award and funds in the amount of $195,710 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1) – only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

ManTech Advanced Systems International Inc., Fairfax, VA, is being awarded an $8,016,900 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for engineering and technical support for reliability, maintainability, testability, quality assurance and diagnostic and system safety analyses during the design, development, production and in-service life cycles of all naval aircraft platforms and their systems. Work will be performed in the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD (83 percent); West Palm Beach, FL (13 percent) and at various installations within the US (4 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2017. No funds are being obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated against individual delivery orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304(C)(1).  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD, is the contracting activity (N00421-16-D-0011).

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