August 22, 2019

Lt. Gen. Fick Takes Lead of F-35 Program

Fick

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Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick assumed the watch from VADM Mat Winter as the program executive officer for the F-35 program in a July 11 ceremony at the US Navy Memorial, the Navy reports. Lt. Gen. Fick was previously the deputy program EO.

Fifty-eight more military sites have been identified where levels of harmful chemicals used in firefighting foam have been detected in groundwater or drinking water sources, from Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson in Alaska to Fort Eustis in Virginia, reports Military Times. This brings the total to 175 military installations and sites nationwide that are known to be contaminated by fluorinated compounds known as PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl substances. The Environmental Working Group’s map here includes information about the contamination.

At a hearing on Friday, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee focused on threats to the US electric grid, reports The Hill, as lawmakers look to get ahead of the issue. Trump administration officials have cited threats from Russia and China against the electric grid.

Turkey takes delivery of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, reports CNBC, angering US officials and potentially triggering sanctions from Washington. A group of US senators expressed disappointment with Turkey, reports The Claremore Daily Progress. “Turkey cannot have both Russian and American defense equipment sitting side by side,” reads a statement. Defense News reports the Trump administration has not yet reacted.

The US Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, fly over the Washington Monument during the Salute to America event in Washington, D.C., July 4, 2019. (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Cott)

The CH-53E Super Stallion has logged more than one million flight hours since entering service with the Marine Corps in 1981, reports Rotor & Wing International. Missions involving the Super Stallion include amphibious assault, long-range insertion, and delivering troops, vehicles, and supplies.

The US Navy is facing lawsuits over its expanded EA-18G Growler training out of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington, reports Military.com, which the state and conservation groups say is disruptive for residents and the park region nearby.

Lockheed Martin officials say the company plans to increase the workforce at its 300-person Milwaukee facility by more than 15 percent this year, reports Reuters. This comes after the defense contractor nixed its plans to close its Sikorsky helicopter plant near Philadephia, reports Penn Live.

DoD officials will delay a proposal limiting troops ability to share their GI Bill benefits with spouses and children until 2020, reports Military Times. This comes after complaints from advocates and lawmakers that the move could hurt recruiting and morale.

Federal News Network lists several provisions federal employees should watch in the coming months, as the House and Senate try to reach an agreement on final version of the 2020 defense policy bill.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the State of Maryland, and Charles County announced the Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary last week, reports Navy Times. The marine sanctuary contains more than 100 abandoned steamships and vessels that were built as part of the nation’s engagement in World War I.

Researchers scouting the York River in Virginia for Revolutionary War shipwrecks believe they’ve found another one, reports Navy Times, complete with cannons. It’s “a historic diver’s dream,” said one of the explorers.

The next full moon is the Buck Moon, according to nasa.gov, on Tuesday afternoon, July 16, 2019, appearing “opposite” the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 5:38 pm EDT. The Moon will appear full for about three days around this time, from Monday night through Thursday morning. For those wishing to view the Moon on the date of the Apollo 11 landing anniversary, July 20, the waning gibbous Moon (just four days past full) will rise a little before 10 pm.

Contracts:

TetraTech, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded a $9,626,655 firm-fixed-price contract for biological and environmental services. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 2, 2031. US Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (W912BU-19-D-0010).

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Newport News, Virginia, is being awarded a $40,000,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2105 for additional supplemental work for the refueling complex overhaul of USS George Washington (CVN 73). Work includes accomplishment of the overhaul, modernization, repair, maintenance and refueling. This modification provides additional funds required to support mandatory and essential work performed by Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News. All work is approved by the government and will ensure that the ship is returned to the fleet fully mission capable at redelivery. The supplemental refueling work for CVN 73 will be accomplished by Huntington Ingalls Inc., located in Newport News, Virginia, under the authority of 10 US Code 2304(c)(1). Huntington Ingalls Inc. is the original building yard contractor for all ships of the CVN 68 class, the reactor planning yard, the lead design refueling yard and the only private shipyard capable of refueling and overhauling nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Therefore, it is the only source with the knowledge, experience and facilities required to accomplish this effort in support of the refueling of CVN 73 without an unacceptable disruption of Navy-wide overhaul and repair schedule. This additional effort will ensure that the ship is returned to the fleet fully mission capable at redelivery. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia, and is expected to complete by August 2021. Fiscal 2018 shipbuilding and construction (Navy) funding in the amount of $40,000,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.

Bluewater Management Group LLC, Norfolk, Virginia (N3220519D2002), is being awarded a $7,926,050 indefinite-delivery, requirements contract for Customer Support Unit-West for civil service mariners’ lodging and transportation. The contract includes a one-year base period with four, one-year option periods, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $42,691,305. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed if all options are exercised by Sept. 30, 2024. Navy operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,926,050 are obligated for fiscal 2020 and will expire Oct. 1, 2020. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website and five offers received. The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N3220519D2002).

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