July 13, 2024

Marines Can’t Protect and Surge

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 US Marine Corps couldn’t meet the request to surge to Europe because of the strain it would place on the amphibious fleet, reports USNI. As Russia prepared to invade Ukraine, the head of US European Command asked for a Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Ready Group to deploy early to Europe as a hedge against the conflict expanding. The Marine Corps couldn’t meet the request and also uphold its legal mandate to “to be the crisis response force for the nation,” LT GEN Karsten Heckl, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, told the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee. “Without those LPDs and the other amphibious traditional L-class amphibious warships, we cannot be there. And we’re already struggling now.”

The White House has nominated VADM Lisa Franchetti to become the next vice chief of naval operations, reports Navy Times. The nomination includes a promotion to a four-star admiral. Franchetti currently serves as director for strategy, plans, and policy on the Joint Staff. Among her flag assignments, she commanded US 6th Fleet and US Naval Forces Korea.

The former head of the Air Force Research Laboratory, USAF MAJ GEN William T. Cooley, was sentenced to reprimand and pay forfeiture for sexual assault, reports Defense News.  He was sentenced Tuesday to a forfeiture of $10,910 a month for five months for the sexual assault of his brother’s wife. Cooley’s sentence was handed down on the eighth day of his historic trial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, by COL Christina M. Jimenez, the senior military judge in the case.

Top sailor tells USS George Washington crew, coping with three shipmates’ suicides in two weeks: at least you’re not in a foxhole, reports Military Times. Four other GW sailors also have died in the past year. Of the seven, four are considered suicides. Identities and circumstances remain unclear for some of the deaths. The ship continues an ever-extending overhaul in Newport News, VA, sometimes without electricity or bathrooms, which Master Chief Petty Officer Russell Smith acknowledged during an all-hands call. “What you’re not doing,” he said, “is sleeping in a foxhole like a Marine might be doing,” noting that much of the crew goes home each night, unlike aboard a deployed carrier.

Beijing braces for a potential COVID lockdown with mass testing and panic buying, reports Axios. Residents are stocking up on supplies, and authorities have ordered 20 million people to take three mandatory tests this week. Beijing isn’t under lockdown yet, but officials seem to have taken lessons from the chaos in Shanghai. Beijing is starting mass testing much earlier and allowing truckers to move supplies, according to The New York Times.



The Shenzhen-headquartered company, DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, has announced it is temporarily halting operations in Russia and Ukraine, in a rare example of a Chinese firm suspending business in response to the war in Ukraine, reports Al Jazeera. The company said on Wednesday it would suspend its business in the two countries while “internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions.”

The New York Times reports that the American public’s support for admitting Ukrainian refugees is higher than Gallup has found in any refugee situation since 1939. Gallup reported on Tuesday the record high after its new poll found that 78% of adults in the United States approve of allowing up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the country. When Americans were asked about admitting at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2015, Gallup found that just 37% approved.

US and allies are to meet monthly on Ukraine defense needs, reports Defense News. Defense leaders from over 40 nations met earlier this month in southwestern Germany, recruited by DefSec Lloyd Austin to better coordinate support to Ukraine against Russia. The gathering will now be a monthly event, Austin announced at its conclusion at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Russia says it has cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, reports Axios. Russian President Vladimir Putin last month demanded that countries he deems “unfriendly” open accounts at Gazprombank and pay for Russian gas imports in rubles. Gazprom told Poland and Bulgaria on Tuesday that gas supplies would be suspended at 8 am Central European Time the following day if they did not comply with the rule — which the countries both repeatedly refused to do, The Guardian reports.

Putin agreed “in principle” to UN and Red Cross involvement in the evacuation of civilians from a besieged steel plant in Ukraine’s southern city of Mariupol, reports Reuters. During a meeting in Moscow, Putin and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the situation at the huge Azovstal steel plant, where the last Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol are hunkered down after months of Russian siege and bombardment.

One soldier killed and two are hurt in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord training accident, reports Defense News. PFC Joseph A. Marquez of Dover, DE, a junior soldier assigned to 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, died Monday and two more were injured in a single-vehicle accident during a training exercise.

Can soldiers consume CBD energy drinks? Rockstar has become the latest in a string of energy drink companies to add a hemp-infused beverage to their offerings, so consumers can chill out while they rage. Soldiers beware, these drinks have a slim chance of causing you to pop positive on a drug test, reports Military Times.


IntelliDyne LLC, Falls Church, Virginia, was awarded a $14,505,457 fixed-price contract to provide information technology network and helpdesk support services for all Defense Health Agency Headquarters geographic locations. Modification P00002 extended the period of performance for HT001121F0030 by an additional six months by exercising clause 52.217-8 option to extend services. Work will be performed in the National Capital Region (Falls Church, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia); San Antonio, Texas; and Aurora, Colorado. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds were used. The Defense Health Agency Professional Services Contracting Division, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity. 

General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Virginia, is awarded a $14,104,200 cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract action modifying previously awarded contract N00024-21-C-6425 to procure Hammerhead prototype design efforts. Work will be performed in Taunton, Massachusetts (29%); Braintree, Massachusetts (16%); Andover, Maryland (12%); Fairfax, Virginia (12%); Greensboro, North Carolina (9%); Groton, Connecticut (6%); Lincoln, Nebraska (6%); Bloomington, Minnesota (6%); Pittsfield, Massachusetts (3%); and Quincy, Massachusetts (1%), and is expected to be completed by September 2023. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,000,000 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, DC, is the contracting activity.

Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia (W81XWH-19-D-0007, P00005); The Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri (W81XWH-19-D-0008, P00005); and TQM LLC, St. Charles, Missouri (W81XWH-19-D-0009, P00007), will compete for each order of the $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to supply complete medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, dental, laboratory, veterinary equipment and material sets for Army medical units. 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 May 3, 2024. US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity. 

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