January 30, 2023

Latest US Aid Package to Ukraine Is Largest Yet

Aid Package
A Bradley fighting vehicle at Fort Irwin, CA, April 19, 2014. (US Army photo by Spc. Randis Monroe/Released)

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The latest package of military aid from the US is the biggest to date for Ukraine, reports Navy Times. The Defense Department will be delivering Bradleys and other armored fighting vehicles armed with anti-tank missiles as part of a $3.75 billion assistance package. Germany will send Marders, decades-old weapons of a comparable class to the Bradleys, as well as Patriot air defenses, reports Defense News.

US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave in to a series of demands from detractors to win the support necessary to win the House speaker election, after a historic post-midnight 15th ballot early Saturday, reports The Hill. Among the concessions: McCarthy agreeing to spending caps on future aid to Ukraine, reports The Telegraph.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said the US needs to remain vigilant in efforts to protect against potential Russian cyberattacks as the war with Ukraine continues, reports The Hill. Easterly was speaking during a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The government and the private sector need to stay on guard and keep protections in place, she said, while acknowledging that Russia has not made any significant cyber strikes so far.

Some military analysts and AI researchers believe that the longer the Russian-Ukranian war lasts, the more likely it becomes that drones will be used to identify, select, and attack targets, ushering in a new age of warfare, reports C4ISRNET. Russia, shaken by a Ukrainian strike early this month in the Donestsk region, which it now occupies, might step up drone use, reports PBS.

Drones are rapidly becoming some of the most important metrics in the war in Ukraine, reports Grid.

Russia is bombarding Ukraine with drones made with Russian and Iranian technology, but they are being guided by US-made technology, reports CBS News. Russian-modified Iranian drones retrieved by Ukrainian forces within the past four months were produced by US companies Maxim and Microchip.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine to observe Orthodox Christmas over the weekend, reports The Hill. The move was rejected by Ukraine, reports Reuters. A Ukrainian official tweeted that Russia “must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a ‘temporary truce’. Keep hypocrisy to yourself.” Russia resumed attacks on Ukraine after the “cease-fire,” reports New York Post. Ukraine said Russians missiles continued to hit Ukrainian territory.

Two rockets struck a base housing US troops in eastern Syria last week without causing any human or material losses, reports The Associated Press. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

 

The Federal Communications Commission’s new plan aims to bolster the reliability of communication links between un-crewed aircraft and ground-based aircraft operators, reports Flight Global. The FCC said it will prepare the US for a future in which more pilotless aircraft – from small drones to passenger-carrying types – are plying US skies.

The destroyer USS Chung-Hoon made the first US warship transit of 2023 of the Taiwan Strait, reports USNI News. The transit follows an incident in December in which a Chinese naval fighter had an “unsafe and unprofessional” interaction with a US Air Force surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army have restored the “waters of the United States” protections that were in place prior to 2015 under the Clean Water Act, reports Water Finance & Management. The rule returns to a familiar framework founded on the pre-2015 definition with updates to reflect existing Supreme Court decisions, the latest science, and the agencies’ technical expertise.

New policy will allow service members welcoming a new child to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave in the year following the child’s birth or adoption, reports Military Times.

Flame retardant uniforms will be more widely available to Navy sailors this year, reports Navy Times. Fleet Forces Command said distribution of the uniform to certain units started in December and is expected to expand in 2023 to even more sailors.

The Army is warning of a scam targeting new soldiers at Fort Benning and Fort Huachuca, reports Military.com. The scam involves “unknown individuals” purporting to be noncommissioned officers calling soldiers and asking them for money to fix a “pay problem.”

About 400,000 veterans have already reported potential health concerns related to toxic exposures, reports Military Times, in just two months since Veterans Affairs launched new medical screenings. VA doctors have screened more than 1 million patients since the start of November, a total they said surpassed initial estimates for patient outreach.

MAJ GEN Telita Crosland is the new director of the Defense Health Agency, reports Military.com. She was previously the Army’s deputy surgeon general. As director, Crosland will oversee a change in managed care contractors for DoD’s domestic health care program, Tricare.

In 2022, four of Maryland’s top 10 largest employers were connected to the federal government: Fort George G. Meade, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, the Fort Detrick Campus, and the National Institutes of Health, reports Delmarva Now.

On January 1, Maryland’s minimum wage increased from $12.50 an hour to $13.25 an hour for companies with more than 15 employees, reports The Baynet. Businesses employing 14 people or less will see their minimum wage rise from $12.20 an hour to $12.80 an hour.

The 2022 State of the Bay report graded the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed at a D+, unchanged from 2020, reports the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Established in 1998, CBF’s State of the Bay report is a comprehensive measure of the Bay’s health.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems (LM RMS), Moorestown, New Jersey, was awarded a $139,651,671 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-only, and firm-fixed-price contract for AEGIS fielding and sustainment (F&S). This contract provides engineering support, software development, in-service maintenance, integration, logistics and fielding support for AEGIS combat system configurations already delivered or in the process of being delivered to the Navy. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $852,981,561. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (96%); and Dahlgren, Virginia (4%), and is expected to be completed by December 2023. If all options are exercised, work will continue through December 2029. Fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,855,928 (32%); fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,823,942 (32%); fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,667,039 (19%); fiscal 2022 other procurement (Coast Guard) funds in the amount of $959,969 (11%); fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $443,000 (5%); and fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $47,425 (1%) will be obligated at time of award, of which $1,667,039 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. In accordance with 10 US Code 2304(c)(1), this contract was not competitively procured, as LM RMS is the only responsible source, and no other supplies or services could fulfill the AEGIS F&S requirements without causing unacceptable schedule delays and substantial duplication of costs that is not expected to be recovered through competition. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-23-C-5123). (Awarded Dec. 22, 2022)

Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, was awarded a $130,738,520 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, and fixed-price-award-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-13-C-5116 for AEGIS Combat System engineering agent efforts for the continued performance of engineering, development, and delivery of AEGIS Weapon System capabilities for FFG 62, and Coast Guard OPC3 Athena. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (98%); and Riverdale, Maryland (2%), and is expected to be completed by March 2025. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,000,000 (76%); fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $500,000 (19%); and fiscal 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $143,297 (5%) will be obligated at the time of award, of which $143,297 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (Awarded Dec. 27, 2022).

KPMG LLP, McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $22,143,583 firm-fixed-price task order (SP4704-23-F-0017) against a multiple-award schedule contract (GS-00F-275CA) for financial improvement and audit readiness support for Data Team and Audit Response and Sustainment services. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one‐year contract with one six-month option period. Location of performance is Washington, DC, with a June 4, 2024, performance completion date. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Contracting Services Office, Richmond, Virginia.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Arlington, Virginia (W9128F-23-D-0015); HDR Engineering Inc., Omaha, Nebraska (W9128F-23-D-0016); Atkins – Black & Veatch – FSB JV, Denver, Colorado (W9128F-23-D-0017); AECOM Technical Services Inc., Los Angeles, California (W9128F-23-D-0018); and Pond-Baker JV, Norcross, Georgia (W9128F-23-D-0019), will compete for each order of the $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for architect-engineer services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 5, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, Nebraska, is the contracting activity.

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