March 20, 2023

Marines Halt All AAV Training in Wake of Fatal Accident

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 says it will suspend all waterborne amphibious assault vehicle training until the cause of Thursday’s AAV accident is known, reports NPR. On July 30, 15 Marines and one sailor were participating in a training exercise off the coast of San Clemente Island, CA, when the amphibious assault vehicle they were riding in, began to take on water and sank, the Marine Corps reports.

One US Marine was killed in the accident, reports Marine Corps Times. Eight others are missing and presumed dead. Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez of New Braunfels, TX, was pronounced dead at the scene. Missing are Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra of Corona, CA; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco of Montebello, CA; Pfc. Evan A. Bath of Oak Creek, WI; Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem of Stockton, CA; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky of Bend, OR; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd of Harris, TX; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood of Portland, OR; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva of Riverside, CA.

Anthony Tata, the retired Army general nominated for undersecretary of defense for policy and whose Senate confirmation hearing was canceled last week, has been appointed to fill another position at the Pentagon, reports The Washington Post. Gen. Tata’s new appointment did not require Senate approval.

Several Senate confirmation hearings are scheduled this week, reports Defense News, for John Whitley to be Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation director; Shon Manasco to be Air Force undersecretary; and Michele Pearce to be Army general counsel and Liam Hardy to be a judge of the US Appeals for the Armed Forces, reports Defense News.

The US will station troops in Poland, according to an agreement reached between Washington and Warsaw, reports Breaking Defense.

Germany Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Friday described the planned withdrawal of some 12,000 US troops from Germany as “regrettable,” while suggesting it underlines the need for Europe to do more for its own security, reports The Associated Press.

Nine Thai Army soldiers among 151 Thai officers returning from Lightning Forge 2020 training last month with US soldiers in Hawaii have tested positive for coronavirus, reports Reuters. Thailand has suspended plans for its army to undertake joint training with the US military.

Military Times reports that after spiking through June and July, military COVID-19 cases have leveled off.

The US Navy wants to shake off years of false starts and setbacks with its Littoral Combat Ship program, reports Defense News. “There are things in the near term that I have to deliver, that I’m putting heat on now, and one of them is LCS,” Chief of Naval Operations ADM Michael Gilday said.



Russia claims it intercepted a US Air Force RC-135 surveillance plane and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft over the Black Sea on July 30, reports Air Force magazine. This is at least the third alleged intercept of an RC-135 aircraft over the Black Sea in about a month. Russia made two similar claims in June and earlier in July.

The Supreme Court declined to stop the Trump administration’s construction of portions of the border wall with Mexico following a recent lower court ruling that the administration improperly diverted money to the project, reports The Associated Press.

The US Navy will discharge two San Diego-based sailors found guilty last month of smuggling immigrants who had illegally crossed the southern US border with Mexico in exchange for cash, reports Task & Purpose.

Lawmakers want DefSec Mark Esper to reverse a recent policy change banning display of LGBTQ pride flags in public areas at bases, saying it runs counter to the military’s stated goals of inclusion and respect, reports Military Times.

Capt. Todd Copeland, left, assumes command in Indian Head from Capt. Michael O’Leary as RADM Carl Lahti looks on. (US Navy photo)

Capt. Todd Copeland, previously chief of congressional affairs and Navy element commander for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, assumed command at Naval Support Activity South Potomac last month, reports He replaces Capt. Michael O’Leary, who held command since July 2017.

The federal government could save billions of dollars each year if its agencies continue to embrace work-from-home options even after the pandemic, reports Federal News Network.

Lawmakers in Congress want to create a centralized system to track complaints about helicopter noise in the region similar to ones used to collect information about airplane noise, reports The Washington Post. Under a proposed measure, the DoD would create a central system for receiving, tracking, and analyzing complaints.

US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken landed with the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Sunday in the first NASA splashdown since 1975, reports Mr. Hurley and Mr. Behnken landed in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, FL. Watch NASA’s Splashdown Recap here.

NASA and its international partners have assigned crew members for Crew-2, which will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, NASA reports.

Naval Air Station Pax River has set Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR) III in preparation of Hurricane Isaias, reports


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Melbourne, Florida, is awarded a $34,712,366 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N00019-20-F-0088) against previously-issued basic ordering agreement N00019-20-G-0005. This order provides non-recurring engineering for requirements development and systems engineering technical reviews and certification planning; initial requirements change requests; procurement strategy source selection package; performance based navigation certification plan; initial system safety; cyber; program protection and exportability analysis; integrated master schedule; and other associated technical deliverables in support of the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye cockpit redesign. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida (99.76%); and Patuxent River, Maryland (0.24%), and is expected to be completed by January 2022. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,785,394 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Koman Construction LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, is awarded a $10,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with firm-fixed priced task orders that will be issued for the construction and repairs at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. The total cumulative contract value is not to exceed $10,000,000 over the duration of the contract. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland, and the contract completion date is July 2021. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N40080-20-D-0019).

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