May 25, 2024

Morning Coffee: O’Malley May Veto Wind Farm Delay

Eastern Shore wind energy

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

wind turbine farmMaryland Governor Martin O’Malley could veto legislation that delays the Eastern Shore wind project as the state Senate prepares to take up the bill next week, reports Delmarva Public Radio. Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said last Thursday, “We don’t expect the bill to get to his desk to begin with, but if it does one would assume he, being a vigorous opponent of the bill, would be facing the prospect of a possible veto.” NAS Patuxent River representatives believe that the 600 foot windmills would interfere with radar during flight testing in the area and want a 15-month delay to study the issue even though an agreement has been reached between DoD and Green Pioneer, the wind farm contractor. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer supports the delay.

Senate Democrat leadership has removed elimination of sequestration defense and domestic spending cuts from its immediate agenda, reports DefenseNews. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid and other top Democrats listed other legislative priorities in a presentation last Wednesday, which did not include elimination of the remaining eight years of sequestration. Loren Thompson, a defense consultant, said, “Senate Democrats have figured out that sequestration relief will be an annual battle rather than a one-time event. The record to date indicates that partial relief is feasible — the full weight of the Budget Control Act will not fall on the Pentagon in 2013, 2014 or 2015 — but outright repeal requires a change in partisan control of the lower chamber.”

The Navy disclosed its reasoning on why it wants to buy 22 more Boeing EA-18G Growlers instead of concentrating procurement funding on the Lockheed F-35 stealth fighter, reports BreakingDefense. The EA-18G emits a broader set of electronic warfare frequencies than the F-35 which means that the two planes flying together are a much more effective strike force than either one flying on its own. Rear Adm. Michael Manazir said last week that the EA-18G “supplements and complements” the F-35. Adm. Manazir said the new planes were not needed for strictly naval missions but for joint forces, including fighting alongside our allies. However, Forbes presents its case as to why the F-35 does not need support from off-board jammers and provides five reasons why the F-35 will be self-sufficient against well equipped enemies.

DoD has quietly cut billions of dollars from troop compensation in recent years as the flow of cash benefits known as special pays and incentive pays has slowed dramatically, according to the Military Times. The decline is driven by overreaching changes affecting the military including fewer wartime deployments, which means less hostile fire pay, and a slow economy which translates into fewer, and smaller, retention bonuses. With all four service branches facing personnel cuts, many troops are willing to take any job they’re offered, reducing the need for assignment incentive pay.

A former Navy Top Gun instructor is warning that sailors are leaving the service in reaction to the military’s social conditioning programs, according to the Washington Times. F-18 pilot Cmdr. Guy Snodgrass indicated that sailors are frustrated with the constant emphasis on social issues, an apparent allusion to gays in the military, women in combat and sexual harassment abatement programs. Cmdr. Snodgrass said, “Sailors continue to cite the over-focus on social issues by senior leadership, above and beyond discussions on war fighting — a fact that demoralizes junior and mid-grade officers alike.”

More than 3,100 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter warplanes will be purchased by the US and its allies over the next few years, according to Today. Lockheed Martin is developing three models for the US military and eight partner nations that helped fund the stealth plane’s development. The US is buying more than 2,400 F-35s and the United Kingdom plans to buy a total of 138 F-35 B-models.

Lockheed Martin’s latest effort to help build a new fleet of presidential helicopters got a boost from President Obama who put $388 million for the new choppers into next fiscal year’s proposed budget, reports Binghamton Homepage. Lockheed is part of the only team that bid on the project which already has $80 million in funding in this year’s federal spending plan. Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “The old [helicopter] is old and outdated. You need not only to keep the President safe but he’s got to be in communication no matter where and when and how he is.” Schumer expects the contract will be awarded late this spring or early summer.


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