July 21, 2019

Morning Coffee: DoD Exec Defends “Poseidon”

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River economic community. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the Leader’s owners or staff.Morning Coffee logo

A DoD acquisition executive responded this week to a negative report on the Navy’s Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft, reports National Defense. Sources who have seen the unreleased report said it indicated the P-8A had been deployed with “deficiencies” and that it “is not effective for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission and is not effective for wide area anti-submarine search.” Frank Kendall, undersecretary for acquisitions, technology and logistics said that the report was “factually correct” but incomplete. Mr. Kendall said, “The aircraft actually is . . . a relatively successful program despite the tone of that report. The P-8 is being fielded in incremental capabilities . . . This is all part of how the program was laid out. It was laid out to field a certain level of capabilities initially and then to add more capabilities.”

DoD representatives told lawmakers Tuesday that current and imminent military retirees should be exempt from the caps on annual COLA increases scheduled for December 2015, reports the Military Times. The Pentagon also believes that Congress should not implement military retirement changes but that policies should be defined by a commission convened to study benefits modernization. Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox said, “Because of the complex nature of military retirement benefits, we recommend that the Congress not make any additional changes in this area until the commission provides its report.”

A surprisingly high number of inspector-general investigations of generals and admirals accused of cruel, bullying behavior over the last 2 years has been revealed in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reports the Washington Post. The documents detail wide-spread abusive leadership and have raised questions about DoD oversight of its command culture. Army generals are sanctioned most and toxic leadership extends to some civilian leaders.

Ground testing of the Lockheed Martin F-35 produced “significant findings” of cracking “that will require mitigation plans and may include redesigning parts and additional weight” according to a Pentagon report released Tuesday, reports Bloomberg. The Air Force and Marine Corps versions of the fighter revealed evidence of cracks on five occasions. The report also stated that the F-35 wasn’t sufficiently reliable in training flights last year. Lockheed spokesman Michael Rein responded, “The F-35 aircraft has flown to every corner of the envelope and is meeting or exceeding expectations in flight performance. The challenges identified are known items and the normal discoveries found in a test program of this size and complexity.”

A mechanical problem with a maritime version of the Predator B drone forced the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to intentionally crash the unmanned aircraft into the Pacific Ocean and to ground its drone fleet earlier this week, reports RT. Spokesman Michael Friel said, “The crew determined that the UAS would be unable to return to where it originated in Sierra Vista, Arizona and put the aircraft down in the water.” CBP operates a fleet of drones that patrol the US border with Mexico.

China’s rapid modernization program is challenging the US military’s traditional technological superiority according to a Pentagon weapons buyer, reports Reuters. Deputy Undersecretary Frank Kendall told House lawmakers this week that America’s technical edge is being “challenged in ways that I have not seen for decades, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.” Mr. Kendall said that shrinking defense funding is impeding US efforts to maintain its technical advantage and that, “Technological superiority is not assured. This is not a future problem. This is a here-now problem.”

Organizers of NAS Patuxent River’s nascent “Operation Homeport” program are looking for volunteer families within 30 miles of the naval air station to sponsor junior sailors who are far from home, according to Southern Maryland News Net. Operation Homeport seeks to match sailors with a family environment or individuals who “share similar interests and who genuinely care for their well-being.” Additional information on the program is available by calling the Patuxent River Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department at 301-342-0942, or at www.cnic.navy.mil/Patuxent.

Naval Air Station Patuxent River is not immune to deer-vehicle accidents which can happen at any time of the year, reports dcmilitary.com. As of mid-January there were already three on-base deer collisions and a total of 13 in 2013. The linked article provides a number of tips to help avoid these unfortunate and costly accidents.

Coherent Technical Services, Inc. of Lexington Park, Md., received a patent on  “Selective Multi-Modal Transmission Alteration” technology. The inventors named in US patent number 8,619,792 B1 are Mr. Ian Gallimore and Mr. Jared Marmen, the company announced this week.

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