August 4, 2020

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McConnell “OK” Renaming Military Bases

McConnell

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Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is “OK” with renaming military bases such as Fort Bragg that are named after Confederate Army officers, declining to side with President Donald Trump and other Republicans opposed to the move, reports Military Times. Not all of the GOP agrees with McConnell. The Hill reports a legislative fight continues over whether to rename military installations and is dividing Senate Republicans and creating campaign headaches.

President Trump is pressing forward with plans to withdraw thousands of troops from Germany, drawing bipartisan warnings including opposition from the conservative Heritage Foundation, reports The Hill. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg played down concerns, reports Military Times, saying Tuesday that Washington has made no final decision on when such a withdrawal might take place or even how it would happen. Politico reports Stoltenberg confirmed that Trump did not inform the alliance before deciding to withdraw thousands of American troops from Germany.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that a 1964 statute against workplace sex discrimination covers transgender employment rights will give a boost to lawsuits seeking to overturn the military’s restrictions on transgender service, according to advocacy groups, reports Military.com.

US service members would be among the first Americans to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 if one is proven to be safe and effective, reports Military.com.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert: “We’re still in a first wave.” The Hill reports. “States may say they’re in this particular stage, but then you might find people are not adhering to the guidelines,” he told NPR. “That’s clearly increasing the risk and likely explaining some of the upticks you’re seeing.”

Military Times reports North Korea announced it will redeploy troops to now-shuttered inter-Korean cooperation sites, reinstall guard posts, and resume military exercises at front-line areas, nullifying the landmark tension-reducing deals reached with South Korea just two years ago

 

 

Taiwan air force jets “drove away” a Chinese fighter plane that briefly entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone Tuesday, the defence ministry said, reporting the third intrusion in a week, reports Reuters.

Navy rushes “unprecedented” 1,600 reservists to shipyards as COVID guts the workforce, reports Breaking Defense. There are concerns with delays in repairing and refitting nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. The reserve call-up, the largest in the Navy’s history, could last as long as a year, Navy officials say, in order to ensure that critical work on those platforms gets done.

USS John McCain is back to operations almost three years after its fatal collision that killed 10 sailors, reports USNI News. Last week, the ship and the crew completed the six-month basic phase training, a key milestone before returning to the fleet.

As the Department of Homeland Security begins enacting plans to reopen offices and bring employees back to work, some employees could face losing their jobs at the agency, due to funding challenges that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Federal Times.

AT&T is cutting thousands of jobs, reports Bloomberg, as part of a $6 billion cost-cutting push, an attempt to slim down one of the most heavily indebted companies in the US. The cuts follow through on a plan that CEO Randall Stephenson outlined in October when he said the company would remove “big chunks of costs” over two years.

Australian shipbuilder teams with US firm in bid to take over Subic Bay shipyard, reports Stars and Stripes. Austal, based in Western Australia, and US private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management are in the running to take over the yard from Hanjin Shipping, a South Korean firm that went bankrupt in 2016. Subic Bay was for decades a key US base before the Navy’s departure in 1992.

The Navy’s top supplier of steel to build submarines gave the service inferior metal for years, prompting a nearly $10.9 million settlement, the Justice Department said in court filings, reports The Hill. Bradken Inc., based in Kansas City, MO, paid the settlement to resolve allegations that the company “produced and sold substandard steel components for installation on US Navy vessels” after a Bradken employee “knowingly falsified test results to conceal the fact that the components did not meet the Navy’s specifications.”

Retail sales rebounded sharply in May, reports The New York Times. While the 17.7% rise in sales reported earlier this week is the largest monthly surge on record, the underlying data presents a more complicated picture and shows just how arduous an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be.

Carrier USS Harry S. Truman returns to Norfolk after seven months underway, reports USNI News. Families waited in cars in assigned parking lots for their sailors to minimize any potential exposure to COVID-19. While the carrier’s deployment ended in mid-April, the ongoing pandemic prompted senior Pentagon leaders to keep Truman at-sea until the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group deployed from the West Coast.

The theft of top-secret computer hacking tools from the CIA in 2016 was the result of a workplace culture in which the agency’s elite computer hackers “prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems,” reports The Washington Post. “Vault 7” was  the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the CIA’s history, causing the agency to shut down some intelligence operations and alerting foreign adversaries to the spy agency’s techniques.

Contracts:

Accenture Federal Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0006); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0007); Deloitte Consulting LLP, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0008); Digital Mobilizations Inc., Warrenton, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0010); KMPG LLP, McLean, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0009); BCG Federal Corp., Bethesda, Maryland (FA7014-20-D-0005); Grant Thornton Public Sector LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA7014-20-D-0004); and McKinsey & Co. Inc., Washington, DC (FA7014-20-D-0003), has been awarded a ceiling $990,000,000 multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract to provide advisory and assistance services to support the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Office of Business Transformation and Deputy Chief Management Officer in managing and improving strategic transformation initiatives at the enterprise level. Work will be performed at various locations and is expected to be completed June 16, 2027. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $500 for each contract are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force District of Washington, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

NORTHCON Inc., Hayden, Indiana (FA4814-20-D-0005); Pro-Mark Services Inc., West Fargo, North Dakota (FA4814-20-D-0006); Danner Construction Co. Inc., Tampa, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0007); ABBA Construction Inc., Jacksonville, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0008); Bay Area Building Solutions, Tampa, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0009); HCR Construction Inc., Norcross, Georgia (FA4814-20-D-0010); OAC Action Construction Corp., Miami, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0011); Frazier Engineering, Melbourne, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0012); Benaka Inc., New Brunswick, New Jersey (FA4814-20-D-0013); RELYANT Global LLC, Maryville, Tennessee (FA4814-20-D-0014); Polu Kai Services LLC, Falls Church, Virginia (FA4814-20-D-0015); Nisou LGC JV LLC, Detroit, Michigan (FA4814-20-D-0016); KMK Construction Inc., Jacksonville, Florida (FA4814-20-D-0017); Burgos Group LLC, Medford, New Jersey (FA4814-20-D-0018); A&H-Ambica JV LLC, Livonia, Michigan (FA4814-20-D-0019); P&S Construction Inc., Chelmsfor, Massachusetts (FA4814-20-D-0020); Northstar Contracting Inc., Cleveland, Ohio (FA4814-20-D-0021); ESA South Inc., Cantonment, Florida (FA4814-D-20-0022); and RUSH Construction Inc., Titusville, Florida (FA4814-D-20-0023), have been awarded a $500,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for execution of a broad range of maintenance, repair and minor construction projects affecting real property at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; and Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida. Work is expected to be completed June 16, 2027. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,500 will be obligated at the time of award. The 6th Contracting Squadron, Tampa, Florida, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded an $18,733,197 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00026) to contract FA8615-17-C-6047 for active electronically scanned array radars of Air Force F-16 aircraft. The contract modification is for definitization of the radio frequency target generator, additional support equipment and software development to support Phase Two. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by April 2023. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $3,510,172; and fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $10,103,436 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $1,027,044,025. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded $145,598,728 for a not-to-exceed, undefinitized contract action for long lead time material in support of one Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose) Replacement (LHA(R)) and Flight 1 Ship (LHA 9). Work will be performed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (42%); Baltimore, Maryland (24%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (17%); Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania (10%); Fairfield, Ohio (6%); and Warminster, Pennsylvania (1%). Work to be performed is the procurement of long lead-time material for LHA 9, the fourth (LHA(R)) America Class and the second LHA(R) Flight 1 variant. Work is expected to be complete by February 2024. Fiscal 2019 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) advance procurement funding in the amount of $145,598,728 will be obligated at award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. In accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), this contract was not competitively procured with only one responsible source. No other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-20-C-2437).

Phillips Corp., Hanover, Maryland, is awarded a $12,790,000 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract procures equipment related services necessary for the inspection, evaluation, repair, upgrade, training and rebuild for the sustainment of industrial plant equipment that is required to adequately support overhauling and repairing fleet aircraft, engines and components in support of the Commander Fleet Readiness Centers. Work will be performed in North Island, California (50%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (35%); and Jacksonville, Florida (15%), and is expected to be complete by June 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured, pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N68335-20-D-0017).

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, DC, has been awarded a maximum $17,548,000 modification (P00007) exercising the first one-year option period of one-year base contract SPE1C1-19-D-F027 with four one-year option periods for coveralls. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Georgia, Arizona, Washington, DC, and Mississippi, with a June 20, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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