September 20, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Marines Use Games to Recruit

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.

Few events capture raw aggression of the Marines’ boot camp rite of passage as when two recruits try to clobber each other with padded poles as weapons, pugil sticks, to the cheers of onlookers. Now, with graphics from science fiction, the Marines are simulating the pugil stick experience as a recruiting tool, reports Task & Purpose. Earlier this month recruiting station commanders tested the pugil stick simulator at a mass recruiting event that also includes challenges to max out scores on pull-ups and ammunition can lifts.

The new semiconductor law aims to create “Silicon Valleys” across the US, reports Route-50.com. The $54.2 billion CHIPS semiconductor bill provides $10 billion over five years to create 20 regional technology and innovation hubs in places that currently have no leading technology centers. Three hubs must be created in each of the US Economic Development Administration’s six regions. The law most notably contains $39.4 billion in subsidies to try to restore the nation’s standing in the production of chips.

Rainbow auroras, giant storms, and far-off galaxies are all on display in the latest images of Jupiter from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. “We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” said planetary astronomer Imke de Pater, professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, in a news release reported by CNN.

NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission is “go” for an August 29 launch, reports Space.com. Takeoff from Kennedy Space Center, FL, for the uncrewed test flight around the moon is scheduled for a two-hour window opening at 8:33 am EDT. NASA’s Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the moon and ultimately establish a presence there. It will be the first flight of the Space Launch System megarocket, NASA’s most powerful rocket ever, and a critical test of its Orion spacecraft.

After 64 days in the sky, across multiple states and countries, breaking records as it stayed in flight, the Airbus Zephyr S drone crashed in Arizona, reports Simple Flying, which tracked the drone’s flight over the Yuma Proving Ground and beyond. Simple Flying reported normal flight on August 19, around 60,000-70,000 feet above ground, abruptly dropping in altitude roughly 20,000 feet at high speed, and plummeting. Simple Flying said data suggested a destructive ending.

How far has the US Navy come since the McCain, Fitzgerald collisions? Six officials with first-hand knowledge of the surface force then and now spoke to Defense News to discuss the implementation of safety measures over the last five years, and more that must be done to avoid another fatal mishap. The fatal collision of destroyer John S. McCain with the tanker Alnic MC on August 21, 2017, came just two months after the destroyer Fitzgerald was involved in another deadly collision.

Ford Motors cuts 3,000 jobs to fund a shift toward electric vehicles, reports UPI. “We are eliminating work, as well as reorganizing and simplifying functions throughout the business,” Ford executive chairman Bill Ford and chief executive officer Jim Farley said in a letter to employees. Ford plans to eliminate 2,000 salaried positions and 1,000 contract jobs in the US, Canada, and India. A company spokesman said most of the cuts are in Michigan, where the automaker is headquartered. “Building this future requires changing and reshaping virtually all aspects of the way we have operated for more than a century.”

The Pentagon again rejects DC’s request for National Guard migrant help, reports Military Times. The District of Columbia requested National Guard assistance before in dealing with thousands of migrants bused to DC from Texas and Arizona. According to a copy of a letter to the city reviewed by The Associated Press, the DoD said use of the DC National Guard would be inappropriate and hurt overall readiness of the troops, forcing some to cancel or disrupt military training.

 

 

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority won a $20 million grant from the US Department of Transportation for its Long Bridge bicycle and pedestrian crossing project, reports August Free Press. The dedicated bicycle and pedestrian bridge will span the Potomac River between Washington, DC, and Arlington.

Maryland Transportation Authority leaders have signaled intentions to demolish the Middleton Bridge crossing the Potomac between Dahlgren, VA, and Charles County, MD as soon as the replacement span opens to traffic. Maryland’s US senators and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer requested conversion of the old bridge to a pedestrian and bike trail be studied first. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) had pledged the new bridge would have separate bike and pedestrian lanes, but they were later dropped in a cost-cutting move.

DC Water says the region’s recurring flood problem is caused in part by the District’s aging infrastructure, and that its Northeast Boundary Tunnel Project may be a key to fixing it. NBC Washington reports the District’s sewage system is over 200 years old, some major components constructed as early as 1810.

Events to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day on Wednesday have been banned in the country’s capital, Kyiv, and second-largest city, Kharkiv, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials warn that Russia may carry out missile strikes, reports CNN.

New weapons for Ukraine suggest preparation for closer combat, reports Stars and Stripes. The weapons will better prepare the Ukraine military to fight Russian troops at closer ranges, potentially signaling that Kyiv and its backers see an opportunity to retake lost ground after weeks of grinding artillery duels along the front lines.

The Turkish government has delivered 50 used mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles to the Ukrainian military, reports Defense News. The vehicles, Kirpis, are manufactured by BMC, one of the largest commercial and military vehicle manufacturers in Turkey. “This deal does not involve our company in any way,” a BMC official said. “The Ankara government delivered a batch of Kirpis it had in its military inventory.”

The US Army is poised to award a contract for longer-range, harder-hitting kamikaze drones for Ukraine more than five months after they were pledged to the fight against Russia, reports Defense News. The contract for 10 Switchblade 600 drones made by AeroVironment is expected in the next 30 days.

Air Force and Space Force consider testing out beards, reports Defense News. Beards are one of the most requested changes to uniform and grooming standards among service members. The potential test comes as other service branches have crafted policies that limit shaving for troops — particularly African-American men — who suffer from painful ingrown hairs.

A sailor has died aboard USS Leyte Gulf, reports USNI. Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Nicholas Woods died on August 18 while aboard the ship, according to a Navy news release. He was 27. While a cause of death is pending, a Navy official told USNI News that it appears that it was from a medical issue.

Military families’ housing benefits lag as rents explode, reports Military.com. Housing has long been a major benefit for service members, a subsidy to salaries that trail the private sector. But, amid record-breaking spikes in rent, housing activists say the DoD neglected commitment to affordable housing forces many military families into substandard homes, extremely long commutes, or putting out thousands more dollars than they’d budgeted for housing.

Japan has no immediate plans to fly its fleet of V-22 Ospreys after the US Air Force announced a safety stand-down for the tilt-rotor aircraft over a mechanical issue, reports Stars and Stripes. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force will inspect its nine Ospreys stationed at Camp Kisarazu in Chiba prefecture and request information from its industry partners. A spokesman said the ministry does not have a date for when the Ospreys will resume operations.

BAE Systems wins the US Army deal for its Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, reports Defense News, picking the contractor over an Oshkosh Defense-ST Engineering team. BAE’s US unit and its Swedish business partner were awarded a $278 million contract that includes production units, spare parts, and contractor logistics support.

SAIC lands the $319M Kessel Run program to improve Air Force C2 systems, reports Washington Technology.com.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $78,423,685 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost reimbursement contract modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-6259 to exercise options for engineering design and development. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia (65%); Clearwater, Florida (32%); Syracuse, New York (2%); and Marion, Florida (1%), and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $58,919 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 Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

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