June 18, 2024

Kitty Hawk Arrives at Final Port

Navy tug boats support the ex-USS Kitty Hawk’s towing in its final transit from Naval Base Kitsap – Bremerton, WA, January 15, 2022, to a shipbreaking facility in Brownsville, TX. Kitty Hawk, the Navy’s last commissioned conventional-powered aircraft carrier, operated for 48 years before it was decommissioned in 2009. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Heather C. Wamsley)

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.

A moment of silence was held for the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, as the old warship entered Brazos Santiago Pass, the entrance of a 17-mile channel to its final destination, International Shipbreaking, reports Kipsap Sun. The Brownsville, TX, company won the contract for the work to scrap the warship along with the former carrier USS John F. Kennedy for a fee of one cent.

The DoD has released new data showing high levels of toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water near several of its bases in Washington state, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, reports The Hill.  Drinking water testing near bases found levels of the chemicals well above a health threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to new data released by the department. While it has long been known that PFAS have leached into groundwater near military installations, the new data provides an official glimpse into how it is impacting nearby drinking water.

A Florida VA hospital denied emergency care to a dying vet because staff couldn’t verify his military service, reports Military Times. The incident, a clear violation of federal law, according to a department watchdog, occurred at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, FL, in summer 2020. It was not the first failure by emergency medical staff there to provide care to individuals facing critical medical crises. Staff from the VA Inspector General’s Office said without policy and staffing changes, it may not be the last.

US robot orders surge 40% as labor shortages and inflation persist, reports Fox Business. Orders for workplace robots in the US surged 40% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022 as companies are leveraging automation to combat ongoing labor shortages and cut costs as inflation continues to hover near a 40-year-high. According to data from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), around 9,000 robots collectively worth approximately $544,000 were sold in the United States during the first quarter, compared to more than 6,400 robots collectively worth approximately $346,000 sold during the same period a year ago.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen concedes she was wrong on “path that inflation would take.” She told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer her 2021 comments that inflation posed only a “small risk” met with “unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly that I didn’t – at the time – didn’t fully understand, but we recognize that now,” she said.

Military commissaries have launched doorstep deliveries at eight locations, to test deliveries of groceries within a 20-mile driving radius of the stores, reports Military Times. The test runs from June 1 through August 30 and if successful will expand to all commissaries in the continental US for customers on and off base. The eight test stores are Fort Belvoir and Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia; Scott Air Force Base, IL; Fort Bragg South, NC; MacDill Air Force Base, FL; Fort Lewis, WA; and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Naval Station San Diego in California.

Canada proposes a freeze on private ownership of all short-barrelled firearms, reports BBC. The legislation would not ban the ownership of handguns outright, but would make it illegal to buy them. It would also require rifle magazines be reconfigured to hold no more than five rounds at a time and would take away firearms licenses from gun owners involved in domestic violence or criminal harassment.

 

 

Foreign volunteers in the Ukraine war are coming home and reckoning with the difficult fight, reports The Washington Post. Americans and other foreign fighters who’ve taken up arms against Russia describe glaring disparities in what they expected and what they experienced. They recalled going into battle under equipped and outgunned, the occasional thrill of blowing up Russian vehicles, and feeling torn over whether to go back to Ukraine. Some intend to do so. Others saw friends die and decided enough is enough.

After suffering humiliating defeats, Russia is making slow but steady progress as it employs a scorched-earth campaign. Politico reports on Ukrainian troops getting pounded as they await heavy weapons from the West.

The Biden administration is expected to send Ukraine a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems, a critical weapon that Ukrainian leaders have been begging for as they struggle to stall Russian progress in the Donbas region, US officials said this week. Military Times reports President Joe Biden said Monday that the US would not send Ukraine “rocket systems that can strike into Russia.” The hope is to strike a balance between the desire to help Ukraine battle ferocious Russian artillery barrages without providing arms that could allow Ukraine to hit targets deep inside Russia and trigger an escalation in the war.

Russia has taken control of most of the eastern industrial city of Severodonetsk, the Luhansk regional governor said. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called Russia’s bombing of Severodonetsk “madness” due to the number of chemical plants in the city. Ukrainian forces have had some success near the southern city of Kherson and are advancing in parts of the Kharkiv region, Zelenskyy said. Al Jazeera continues its day by day list of key events in the Russia-Ukraine war. Today is day 99.

Amid mounting calls to break Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain exports, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, GEN Mark Milley, said to do so militarily would amount to a “high risk military operation,” reports Defense News.

There were no casualties resulting from at least five missiles hitting an Iraqi base hosting US troops, reports Military Times. Two Iraqi security officials said the Grad missiles struck inside the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq’s western Anbar province on Monday and caused minor damages but no casualties.

The US Navy has fired Naval Justice School’s top two leaders, reports The Hill. The Navy fired the commanding and executive officers of the Naval Justice School “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command,” according to the service. The commander, CAPT Amy Larson, and her deputy, Marine Corps LT COL Brett Swaim, were relieved of their command “following an assessment of the current [Naval Justice School] climate,” the Navy said in a release. “Neither officer was involved in misconduct,” the statement added.

Sexual misconduct prevention in the Army is “disjointed” and “unclear,” watchdog says, reports Army Times. The Government Accountability Office report acknowledged that the service has been trying to implement policies to improve the SHARP program in the wake of a department-wide independent review of its prevention and response efforts. But GAO officials concluded that the Army’s SHARP policy is “disjointed [and] unclear,” which in turn leads to “confusion for commanders and SHARP personnel.”

A new mustache policy for airmen has arrived, reports Military Times, allowing mustaches past the width of their lips, but by “no more than 1/4 inch beyond a vertical line drawn from the corner of the mouth,” according to a press release from the Air Force. However, no portion of the mustache can extend below the lip line of the upper lip or “go beyond the horizontal line extending across the the corner of the mouth.” The change is contained in Department of the Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of US Air Force and Space Force Personnel.

The Navy has approved beards for sailors in uniform, reports Navy Times. There’s just one catch. The bearded sailors have to be retired.

Contracts:

AMP United LLC, Dover, New Hampshire; International Marine and Industrial Applicators LLC, Spanish Fort, Alabama; and Q.E.D. Systems Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, are awarded a combined $60,595,843 in firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modifications to previously awarded multiple award contracts N42158-21-D-S001, N42158-21-D-S002, and N42158-21-D-S003 to exercise options (Option Year 1 period of performance: June 3, 2022, to June 2, 2023) for the preservation and maintenance of Navy submarines. Typical work under the scope of this multiple award contract effort includes but is not limited to: blasting, preservation, and surface preparation; touch-up, blasting, and painting of high solid coatings and non-high solid coatings; cleaning of sanitary and other tanks; construction of scaffolding required to accomplish taskings; general shipboard cleaning; containment/blast protection; preparation and preservation of dampening tiles; zinc replacement; lead ballast removal and installation; and special hull treatment removal, preparation, preservation, and installation. The contracts have a base one-year ordering period with four additional optional one-year ordering periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $248,692,224 over a five-year period to the three vendors combined. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Virginia (80%); and Kittery, Maine (20%). If all options are exercised, work will continue through June 2026. No funding will be obligated at time of modification. Funding will be obligated at the time of task order award. These contracts were competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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