July 20, 2024

MQ-8B Drone Crashes Upon Deployment

MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle aboard Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18), March 27. Charleston is currently operating in US Third Fleet. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Butler)

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.

An MQ-8B Fire Scout crashed upon deployment into the littoral combat ship USS Charleston, reports USNI. The rotary-wing UAV was operating from the ship around 9:40 am when the collision happened in the Western Pacific. The UAV fell into the sea and was not recovered.

Although a relatively young program, the Marines are ditching their RQ-21 Blackjack drones, reports The Drive. Replacement considerations include the MQ-9 Reaper or V-Bat as part of a radical, service-wide redesign.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order this week requiring federal contractors establish a $15 minimum wage for their employees by early 2022, reports FCW.

The US Navy fired warning shots at Iranian fast-attack boats harassing Navy and Coast Guard ships, reports Navy Times. Three fast-attack craft of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps navy were harassing the coastal patrol boat Firebolt and US Coast Guard patrol boat Baranoff continuing a series of such confrontations.

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), has proposed legislation to invest $25 billion into public and private shipyards. A summary of the Shipyard Act provision shows an allocation of $21 billion to four public shipyards, $2 billion to private shipyards, and an additional help out commercial ship repair yards. The money would come via the Defense Production Act to allow the Navy flexibility and to more quickly award contracts.



The National Reconnaissance Office conducted its first launch of 2021, reports C4ISRNET. The classified payload launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, on April 26, the agency’s first launch from the site since January 2019. The NRO is in charge of designing, building, and launching the nation’s intelligence satellites, as well as acquiring satellite imagery from commercial providers for the intelligence community.

Biden nominated Frank Kendall as Air Force secretary and Gina Ortiz Jones for undersecretary, reports Defense News. Kendall is best known as the Pentagon’s top acquisition official from 2012 to 2016. As undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, he wrote a series of “Better Buying Power” initiatives aimed at reforming the acquisition process to make it more agile.

Biden’s nomination for Pentagon policy chief Colin Kahl was confirmed with GOP senators absent, reports Defense News. The Senate confirmed Kahl as undersecretary of defense for policy in a 49-45 party-line vote. Kahl will assume the No. 3 civilian job at the Pentagon, overseeing strategy, nuclear deterrence, missile defense, international cooperation, and plans and policies.

The Department of Homeland Security is launching a new operation to stop human smuggling groups at the US southern border, reports NBC. “Operation Sentinel” partners DHS with the State Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf gets the green light to deploy after a series of technical issues, reports Navy Times. The Vella Gulf initially deployed with the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group in February, but faced multiple technical issues that have kept the ship and crew in port in Norfolk, VA.

The US military will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine later this week now that federal health officials have cleared the J&J vaccine for use again, reports Military.com. The DoD stopped giving the one-shot vaccine April 13, immediately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration announced that six women had developed “rare and severe” blood clots after receiving the J&J vaccine.

USMC GEN Kenneth McKenzie, commander of CENTCOM , says the US is “completely focused” on a responsible Afghanistan withdrawal, by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the al Qaeda attack on the United States, reports USNI News. The United States is “prepared to take any action necessary” to protect American and NATO forces as the movement of equipment and forces continues, he said.


American Water Operations and Maintenance LLC, Camden, New Jersey, has been awarded a $10,259,964 modification (P00152) to a 50-year contract (SP0600-09-C-8257), with no option periods for the ownership, operation, and maintenance of water and wastewater utility systems at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. This is a fixed‐price prospective redetermination contract. Locations of performance are Virginia and New Jersey, with a March 5, 2060, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2060 Army operations and maintenance funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Alutiiq Information Management LLC, Anchorage, Alaska, is awarded a $49,628,428, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursement-type contract to provide technical and engineering services for platform force protection systems that deter threats; receive, process, transmit and display information; support command and control decision processes; and distribute electronic data to multi-agency nodes in support of ashore and afloat operations. This five-year contract includes no options. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities in Anchorage, Alaska (25%); at government facilities in: Norfolk, Virginia (10%); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (8%); Bangor, Washington (7%); Kings Bay, Georgia (5%); Everett, Washington (4%); Austin, Texas (3%); Dayton, Ohio (3%); Groton, Connecticut (4%); Indian Island, Washington (3%); Mayport, Florida (3%); Newton, New Hampshire (3%); Washington, D.C. (2%); and at sites outside the continental U.S. (20%). The period of performance is from April 28, 2021, through April 27, 2026. Fiscal 2021 funds will be obligated using operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. Contract funds in the amount of $5,112,172 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year and be applied to initial task orders. This contract was awarded pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (15 US Code 637(a)(1)). Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity (N66001-21-D-0452).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota, is awarded a $19,395,557 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only contract (N00024-21-C-5393) for MK 41 Vertical Launching System mechanical design agent services to provide design and system engineering support, logistics, and ship/missile integration services. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $164,527,911. This contract combines purchases for the Navy (86%); and the governments of Japan (11%); Finland (1%); Germany (1%); and the Republic of Korea (1%) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota (42%); Norfolk, Virginia (18%); San Diego, California (18%); Aberdeen, South Dakota (9%); Bath, Maine (6%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (6%); and Redzikowo, Poland (1%), and is expected to be completed by April 2022. If all options are exercised, work will continue through April 2026. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,088,275 (39%); fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,000,000 (37%); Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Japan funds in the amount $773,665 (14%); and fiscal 2021 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $500,000 (10%), will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities beta.sam.gov website, with two offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

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