August 3, 2020

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More Contractors Than Troops Fight and Die in the Middle East

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Since 2001, more military contractors have died in Middle East conflicts than US troops. About 53,000 US contractors were in the Middle East last year, compared with 35,000 US troops, according to a study by Boston University and Brown University. The Washington Post reports that the ratio was 1 to 1 during the height of troop levels in Iraq in 2008. Since 2001, an estimated 8,000 contractors for US companies have died on duty in the Middle East. That figure is 1,000 more than US troops who have been killed.

The Senate in a surprising move has passed legislation that would keep the government’s massive small business rescue program alive within hours of it closing with $130 billion left unspent. Politico reports that the bill was approved by unanimous consent and would give the Small Business Administration authority to continue approving until Aug. 8, Paycheck Protection Program loans, which can be turned into grants.

Boeing failed to submit certification documents to the FAA detailing changes to a key flight control system faulted in two fatal crashes. CNBC reports that a June 29, 52-page report by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, laid bare mistakes made by both the planemaker and FAA in the development and certification of Boeing’s top-selling aircraft.

Federal Times reports employees at the Internal Revenue Service should expect to all return to work by July 15, the extended deadline for tax filing season and the planned date for full agency staffing, according to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

As allegations of Russian bounties for killing US troops in Afghanistan have come into the spotlight, so have the April 2019 deaths of three Marines near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Marine Times reports that the mother of one of the three Marines killed is calling for a “thorough investigation” and for those responsible to be held accountable.

House Democrats will push to make extremist activity a stand-alone crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and call for the appointment of a new defense inspector general focused on racial issues among the armed forces as part of broader efforts to include issues of equality in the annual defense authorization bill being debated this week. Military Times reports that the move comes after more than a month of nationwide protests on issues of racial inequality.

 

 

Congress is readying proposals to rebuke President Donald Trump’s plan to pull about 10,000 US troops from Germany amid dissatisfaction with the administration’s rationale for the move and concerns it will weaken NATO. Defense News reports that a bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) proposed an amendment to the Senate’s version of the annual defense policy bill that would freeze troop numbers in Germany.

DoD will depend on Turkish defense contractors for key components of the F-35 — from its center fuselage to 139 parts of its engine propulsion system — through 2022, reports Bloomberg. It’s the Pentagon’s first public confirmation that the Trump administration has softened a pledge to oust Turkey from the fighter jet program by March of this year over its purchase of a Russian-built missile defense system known as the S-400.

The remains of missing Fort Hood soldier Pfc. Vanessa Guillen have likely been located, and another soldier suspected of being involved in her disappearance killed himself Wednesday morning as police approached him, Army Criminal Investigation Command announced, reports Stars and Stripes.

The current House defense policy bill contains a cluster of provisions to improve opportunities for minorities in the armed forces — measures that House Armed Services Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said are a top priority for passage, reports Military.com. A bipartisan amendment would extend Supreme Court protections against workplace sex discrimination to transgender service members in the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2021.

An Air Force pilot was killed late Tuesday night in the crash of an F-16CM Fighting Falcon assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, reports Air Force Times. The aircraft was on a routine training mission with one pilot on board when the crash happened at 11:30 pm. However, the military services saw an overall decline in the total number of serious aviation mishaps and aviation-related fatalities in 2019, reversing a trend in recent years that saw record-high numbers of serious aviation mishaps and deaths in recent years, reports Military Times. The Marine Corps was the only service to see a spike in the number total number of Class A through Class C mishaps, as the total rose to 30%.

As shaken cities and states pull back from reopening, Anthony Fauci sounds alarm on surging virus, reports The Washington Post. Nationally, new infections have topped 40,000 in four of the past five days during an accelerating outbreak that exceeds the worst days of April. In Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, and California, seven-day averages are up at least 25% from last week.

The best way to counter China’s and Russia’s high-tech advances is to change the Pentagon’s and Congress’ risk-aversion culture and embrace quicker – but still robust – testing and fielding of programs, a senior defense official. The US must move faster in testing and fielding hypersonics and 5G networks, reports USNI.

C4ISRNET reports the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command plans to deploy technology that will certify a ship’s compliance with cybersecurity requirements to 180 vessels by fiscal 2022. The cyber baseline system is a web-based application. It allows the directorate to ensure a ship’s systems comply with cybersecurity requirements set by the departments of Defense and the Navy prior to departure.

Recent long-range Bomber Task Force missions to Europe have sharpened the Air Force’s ability to operate in Europe and will continue, according to Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. “We have been able to — through COVID — find opportunities to leverage, frankly, a great working relationship with STRATCOM and Global Strike to leverage their capabilities in coordination and synchronization with our partners.”

The Navy Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes is eyeing a National Guard base for COVID quarantine, reports USNI. Chief of Naval Personnel VADM John Nowell said the service is exploring less expensive options than local hotels, which cost $1.1 million to house 500 recruits for two weeks prior to their training.

Contracts:

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Aerospace Systems, Melbourne, Florida, is awarded an $8,269,563 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost order N00019-20-F-5008 against previously issued basic ordering agreement N00019-20-G-0005. This order provides for aircrew, flight test engineering, instrumentation, aircraft technicians and test management personnel to support E-2D Integrated Test Team Delta System/software configuration builds. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland (91%); and Melbourne, Florida (9%), and is expected to be completed by June 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,626,041 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.

Accenture Federal Services LLC, Arlington, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0029); Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado (FA8612-20-D-0030); Black River Systems, Utica, New York (FA8612-20-D-0031); CAE USA Mission Solutions Inc., Tampa, Florida (FA8612-20-D-0032); CUBIC (GATR Technologies Inc.), Huntsville, Alabama (FA8612-20-D-0033); Global Air Logistics and Training Inc., Del Mar, California (FA8612-20-D-0034); Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0035); Mercury Defense Systems Inc., Cypress, California (FA8612-20-D-0036); Metron Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0037); Octo Consulting Group Inc., Reston, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0038); Omni Fed LLC, Gainesville, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0039); Rincon Research Corp., Tucson, Arizona (FA8612-20-D-0041); Rise8 Inc., Tampa, Florida (FA8612-20-D-0042); Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0043); Strategic Mission Elements Inc., Chantilly, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0045); Wind River Systems Inc., Alameda, California (FA8612-20-D-0046); Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia (FA8612-20-D-0047); and NetScoutsystems Inc., Westford, Massachusetts (FA8612-20-D-0048), have been awarded $950,000,000 ceiling indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts to compete for future efforts associated with the maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability across platforms and domains, leveraging open systems design, modern software and algorithm development in order to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control. These contracts provide for the development and operation of systems as a unified force across all domains (air, land, sea, space, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum) in an open architecture family of systems that enables capabilities via multiple integrated platforms. The locations of performance are to be determined at the contract direct order level and are expected to be completed May 28, 2025. These awards are the result of fair and open competition. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds will fully fund initial delivery orders. Air Force Life Cycle Management, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Motorola Solutions Inc., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $9,887,739 firm-fixed-price contract to fulfill Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s requirement for Land Mobile Radio (LMR) trunking system operations and maintenance of the Air Force Space Command zone core. Work will be performed at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado; Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado; Peterson AFB, Colorado; Schriever AFB, Colorado; U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado; Edwards AFB, California; Los Angeles AFB, California; Patrick AFB, Florida; Vandenberg AFB, California; Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Dyess AFB, Texas; Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; Whiteman AFB, Missouri; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Eglin AFB, Florida; Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts; Robins AFB, Georgia; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; and Cannon AFB, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed June 30, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,819,160 are being obligated at the time of award. US Space Force Headquarters, Peterson AFB, Colorado, is the contracting activity (FA2544-20-F-0002).

Translang Ltd., Waynesboro, Virginia, was awarded a $7,336,562 firm-fixed-price contract to provide training and support services to ensure the continued sustainment and development of United Arab Emirates National Defense College. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Waynesboro, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2022. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (United Arab Emirates) funds in the amount of $7,336,562 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-20-C-0009).

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