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Navy Christens 3rd Robot Ship

USV Ranger heads to 2022 RIMPAC exercises. (US Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Fraser)

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

The US Navy christens its third robot ship, with more on tap, reports Defense News. Mariner, an unmanned surface vessel built by Gulf Craft in Louisiana and managed by prime contractor Leidos, was christened August 23 at the US Naval Academy. The latest USV to join the fleet is already outfitted with a government-furnished command-and-control system, a virtualized Aegis Combat System, an autonomous navigation system, and more. After a few more upgrades and testing, Mariner heads to California to begin operations in FY23, according to RADM Casey Moton, the Navy’s program executive officer for unmanned and small combatants.

Rainwater is no longer safe to drink anywhere on Earth due to “forever chemicals” linked to cancer, reports Business Insider. In a paper published August 2 in the journal “Environmental Science & Technology,” a decade’s research out of University of Stockholm found PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have spread throughout the entire atmosphere, leaving no place untouched. Rainwater around the world contains levels of “forever chemicals” unsafe to drink.

A study to examine heightened infertility rates among recent war veterans is planned, reports Military Times. Officials from the fertility clinic Legacy will partner with the VA to test sperm collected from more than 1,000 Global War On Terror veterans. These vets are more likely to struggle with infertility than their civilian peers.  The VA hopes to use the findings to expand fertility services in coming years.

Will soldiers get Gmail? The Army considers expanding its beta test, reports C4ISRNET. The US Army leadership is mulling advancing and expanding its preliminary test of Google Workspace, a suite that could soothe the service’s previous information technology troubles that left thousands without working email. Next steps have not been determined.

The US will send Ukraine $3 billion in aid as Russia’s invasion hits the six-month mark, reports Military Times. US security assistance is shifting to a longer-term campaign that will likely keep more American military troops in Europe into the future and includes another $3 billion to train and equip Ukrainian forces to fight for years to come. The package was announced Wednesday, the day the war hit the six-month mark and Ukraine celebrated its independence day. The money will fund contracts for drones, weapons, and other equipment that might not see the battlefront for a year or two.

Seven in 10 Americans want to send more weapons to Ukraine, reports Defense News. In a July poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 72% of respondents said they want to send more weapons and military supplies to Ukraine, down from 79% in a March poll. Support for more sanctions on Russia rose from 77% in March to 80% in July, while support for Ukrainian refugees to America rose from 74% to 76%, according to the poll, which surveyed more than 3,000 participants between July 15 and August 1 and whose results were released last week.

More than half of federal IT workers fear a return to the office will mean a downgrade in their online capabilities and protections, reports NextGov. A survey conducted by research firm Market Connections on behalf of technology companies Riverbed and Swish showed 52% are worried their legacy IT systems and office network infrastructure “will struggle with the increased usage of collaboration tools such as Teams and Zoom as workers return to the office.” Meanwhile, 44% are worried that the user experience at the office will not be as good as the user experience at home. And the shortfalls go on to include crashes and freezes and slow speeds at the office.

 

 

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: August 22, 2022

Federal agencies are taking precautions to protect employees in the face of growing threats against them, announcing security reviews and encouraging other steps to stave off potential danger, reports GovExec. Threats, mostly through social media, ramped up after an FBI search turned up classified documents at former President Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago and Democrats passed a law providing new staff and authorities to several agencies.

Backlog of Navy nuclear submarines and half of former USS Long Beach (CGN-9) awaiting dismantlement at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA, in this 2018 Google image.

The US Navy may dismantle a former nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise at a commercial yard, reports USNI. Former USS Enterprise (CVN-65), decommissioned in 2017, is currently stored at HII Newport News Shipbuilding. According to a National Environmental Act Policy draft report, dismantlement would not start until 2025. Of several options, the Navy recommended one that allowed a commercial yard to perform the work, an option that would cost $554 million to $696 million and take five years. The other two alternatives would last 15 years and cost $1.102 billion to $1.358 billion, according to a draft report.

US airstrikes target militia-controlled areas in eastern Syria, reports Military Times. The targeted areas are used by militias backed by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard. There was no immediate acknowledgment by Syria’s state-run media of the strikes hitting Deir Ez-Zor. Nor did Iran acknowledge the attack. The US military’s Central Command said the strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties.”

The director of Veterans and Military Families at the George W. Bush Institute, USMC COL Matthew F. Amidon makes an impassioned plea in Military Times for veterans to help solve a US military recruitment crisis unseen since 1973, the year the draft was abolished. Veterans and military families need to begin issuing the call to serve and persuading more young people to answer. The situation is critical, Amidon writes, the share of young adults who said they would consider military service currently stands at 9%, the lowest number since 2007, according to a DoD survey conducted in fall 2021.

Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada and chief of staff were charged with bribery and conspiracy, reports UPI. Federal prosecutors charged Casada and his former Chief of Staff Cade Cothren for conspiring with another legislator in a bribery and kickback scheme involving government funds. The Justice Department announced in a statement Tuesday that Casada, 63, of Franklin, TN, and Cothren, 35, of Nashville, have been charged with conspiracy to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds; bribery and kickbacks concerning programs receiving federal funds; honest services wire fraud; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

A new study by Ernst & Young confirms that the vessel shipping provisions contained in the Jones Act benefit Puerto Rico, reports gCaptain. The Jones Act can be a devisive topic, especially for those living in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii who rely on ships for just about everything. For Jones Act detractors, many believe that it increases the cost of shipping goods by reducing competition in the marketplace to only a handful of US companies with qualifying fleets. But the new Ernst & Young study shows that the Jones Act actually provides more affordable and reliable shipping—at least for those in Puerto Rico.

Contracts:

Dyncorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $30,268,759 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable modification (P00071) to a previously awarded contract (N6893617C0052). This modification exercises an option to extend services to provide continued organizational level aircraft maintenance and logistics support for aircrew systems and subsystems, search and rescue equipment, and support equipment for the P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, F/A-18 Hornet, E/A-18 Growler, AV-8B Harrier II, H-60 Seahawk, and E-2D Hawkeye aircraft in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Naval Test Wing Pacific. Work will be performed in China Lake, California (60%); Point Mugu, California (30 %); Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii (2%); Lemoore, California (2%); Patrick AFB, Florida (1%); Holloman AFB, New Mexico (1%); Patuxent River, Maryland, (1%); Yuma, Arizona (1%); Miramar, California (1%); and North Island, California (1%), and is expected to be completed in April 2023. Working capital (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,113,024 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The NAWCWD, Point Mugu, California, is the contracting activity.

SecuriGence LLC, Leesburg, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,595,286 modification (P00011) to previously awarded task order HR001121F0006 for information technology multi-network support services. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the task order to $156,513,329 from $145,918,043. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an expected completion date of June 2023. Fiscal 2021 research and development funds in the amount of $3,705,000; and fiscal 2022 research and development funds in the amount of $3,483,811 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. 

OER Services LLC, Elk Grove Village, Illinois (N4215822D0006); Native Instinct LLC, Boynton, Florida (N4215822D0005); and Herc Rentals Inc., Bonita Springs, Florida (N4215822D0004), are awarded a combined $39,823,647 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement rental of approximately 300 individual pieces of material handling equipment to support operational requirements, repair, maintenance, and overhaul of aircraft carriers, submarines, and any other vessel tasked to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, annexes, and Naval Station Norfolk. OER Services LLC is awarded a base value of $7,576,116, and if all options are exercised the total value will be $39,823,647. Native Instinct LLC is awarded a base value of $7,133,458, and if all options are exercised the total value will be $39,772,908. Herc Rentals Inc. is awarded a base value of $6,514,560, and if all options are exercised the total value will be $36,322,260. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Virginia (90%); and Norfolk, Virginia (10%). Work will be completed by Sept. 30, 2023, and if all options are exercised, work will continue until Sept. 30, 2027. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,000 will be obligated for the minimum guarantee and will be equally divided among the three contractors and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the System for Award Management website, with five offers received. Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Colonna’s Shipyard Inc., Norfolk, Virginia (N00024-22-C-4319), is awarded a $32,222,891 firm-fixed-price contract for the completion of the Chief of Naval Operations docking service craft overhaul availability under the Shippingport Auxiliary Repair Dry Dock Medium program. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $32,664,263. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by June 2023. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) procurement funds in the amount of $32,222,891 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the System for Award Management website, which resulted in one offeror. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

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