May 25, 2024

Morning Coffee: House May Reverse DoD Benefit Cuts

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

House lawmakers with oversight of defense personnel budgeting indicated the Pentagon’s FY15 pay and benefits proposals  could dissuade some from continuing their service, reports The Military Times. The DoD’s fiscal 2015 budget request cuts 36,700 troops, caps annual basic pay raises at 1 percent for several years and reduces housing allowances. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel, implied plans to cut pay, stipends, and other benefits could change as legislators finalize their budget priorities. Military representatives defended the cuts as necessary to ensure that troop readiness and equipment aren’t compromised.

DefSec Chuck Hagel is close to green lighting the first trans-Atlantic flight of the F-35 in July when the new warplane is expected to participate in two international air shows near London, reports Reuters. Potential F-35 buyers will be monitoring the international debut, including Canada and Denmark who helped fund the stealthy jet’s development but are unsure if they will purchase any.

The Navy “very much wants to keep” the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in service despite the decision to not include funds in the Navy’s fiscal 2015 budget request to refuel and overhaul the flat top, according to SEAPOWER Magazine. NavSec Ray Mabus, at a House Appropriations Committee budget hearing this week, said there are no plans to decommission the ship. The Navy plans to maintain an 11 carrier fleet and execute the USS George Washington refueling in later years.

IT and cybersecurity jobs proved immune to the declining job market and lower salaries faced by other security-cleared professionals over the last two years, reports NextGov. The number of security-cleared professionals working in technology and cybersecurity rose in 2013 from the previous year (24 percent versus 22 percent) and average total salaries rose 1 percent to $102,164. The Washington area’s security-cleared cybersecurity professionals saw the largest salary increase among their peers, up 6 percent to $117,184.

Forbes believes that Lockheed Martin’s financial position will be much improved in 2014 thanks to a better defense spending environment. Last year, Lockheed Martin’s results were severely impacted due to sequestration spending cuts which slashed the defense contractor’s 2013 top line by $1.8 billion, or 4 percent annually. In 2014, however, the across-the-board cuts have been eliminated and the F-35 fighter jet is defined as a funding high priority. Also, Lockheed started 2014 on a strong footing with a $82.6 billion backlog which was $300 million higher than that at the start of 2013.

The US Naval Research Laboratory is designing and building technology that will allow the military to capture solar power in orbit and project it back down to Earth, reports Wired. The system could save DoD money and simplify military deployments because fuel tankers would no longer have to reach remote or volatile areas and missions could run longer without having to return to base to refuel.

The Telegraph takes a detailed look at Britain’s new aircraft carrier, the 65,000 ton HMS Queen Elizabeth, due for deployment in 2020. The Royal Navy’s biggest ever warship features 4.5 acres of flight deck and can carry 40 F-35B joint strike fighter jets.

Veterans who qualify for care from the Veterans Health Administration under income thresholds will no longer need to report their income information to Veterans Affairs annually, according to the Military Times. The VA will now get the information from the IRS and SSA, saving veterans a step in the process of ensuring continuation of their benefits each year. VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said, “This change will reduce the burden on veterans, improve customer service and make it much easier for veterans to keep their health care eligibility up-to-date.”

Commercial satellite images  appear to reveal that Iran is constructing a large-scale replica of a US aircraft carrier, complete with fake US airplanes, according to CNN. The faux supercarrier appears to have been copied from a American Nimitz-class carrier right down to the number “68” painted on the flight deck. Its intended use is a mystery.

The Avionics Department at the Naval Air Systems Command, NAS Patuxent River awarded SAIC a prime contract to provide technical and scientific research, development, integration, analysis, assessment, and test and evaluation for its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) sensor systems, reports the Financial News. The multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a five-year period of performance, and a total contract ceiling value of approximately $50 million. Work will be performed primarily at NAS Patuxent River.

Leave A Comment