May 16, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Navy Boosts Air Ops in ’23 Budget

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 boosts funding for air operations and flight hours in its FY23 budget request, reports Navy Times. The Navy wants to spend an additional $1.4 billion on air operations in the next year, according to the fiscal 2023 budget request released Monday. The Navy slated $10.1 billion for air operations for FY23 — up from the $8.7 billion that was enacted for FY22 — to “maximize readiness and lethality” in naval aviation.

The new congressional map advancing through the Maryland General Assembly this week, after a judge ordered the boundaries to be redrawn, includes the biggest shakeups to Democratic incumbents’ district lines in recent memory, reports Maryland Matters. One of the notable changes is to Democratic House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer’s 5th District, which would still include Southern Maryland but no longer include College Park. Under the latest map, District 5 encompasses a large portion of southern Anne Arundel County and moves north to include Fort Meade rather than turning west toward Washington, DC.

A federal judge in Texas is barring the Navy from acting against religious vaccine refusers, reports Navy Times. US District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a preliminary injunction in January preventing the Navy from disciplining or discharging 35 sailors who sued over the Navy’s COVID-19 vaccine policy while their case played out. On Monday, O’Connor agreed the case could go forward as a class action lawsuit and issued a preliminary injunction covering the approximately 4,000 sailors who have objected on religious grounds to being vaccinated.

Eight Green Berets were quietly disciplined after an Afghan prisoner’s beating death, reports Army Times. The American Green Berets beat an Afghan commando, twisted his testicles and slammed him against a breaker box during an interrogation in western Afghanistan on October 22, 2018, a civilian translator claimed as part of a criminal probe that only closed last year. General officer memorandums of reprimand were issued to eight Green Berets from 7th Special Forces Group, including a captain, a chief warrant officer, a master sergeant, three sergeants first class, and two staff sergeants. Six letters were permanently filed, meaning they will follow those soldiers throughout their careers. All names were redacted in the case file.

Four more European nations expel Russian diplomats, reports UPI News, including Belgium and the Netherlands. The expulsions occurred as the relations between Russia and European nations further erode as Moscow continues its war against Kyiv. Brussels announced during its Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday that it was expelling 21 Russians from their embassy in the capital and consulate in Antwerp. “They have been identified for involvement in espionage and influence operations threatening national security,” Sophie Wilmes, Belgian deputy prime minister, said in a statement.

Navy Times reports on how shuttering Red Hill could make fueling the fleet more complex. SecDef Lloyd Austin ordered a plan completed by May 31 for “safe and expeditious defueling” within a year. Austin has also said a centralized fuel hub like Red Hill “makes a lot less sense now” than it did 79 years ago, but it is still undetermined how a Navy increasingly focused on war in the West Pacific will fuel the fleet.

Although Russia is in the headlines, China is the Pentagon’s top challenge, reports Defense News. A classified version of the updated National Defense Strategy is being briefed to lawmakers to justify the Pentagon’s new $773 billion budget request for 2023. A public summary calls China “our most consequential strategic competitor,” while saying Russia poses “acute threats.” Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said in a tweet Monday night, the unclassified version “will be out in the coming months.”

There are now a record 5 million more job openings than unemployed people in the US, reports CNBC. An increasing number of Americans quit their jobs in February, while the gap between available positions and the unemployed grew even wider, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported. The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows that 4.35 million workers left in February, an increase of 94,000 from the previous month. It’s also a slightly higher level as a percentage of the workforce, up to 2.9% from 2.8%.

 

 

Defense News reports contracts for the followup to the DoD’s long-delayed JEDI venture are now expected at the end of the year, not April as originally advertised, according to Chief Information Officer John Sherma, who also revealed the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract could be worth up to $9 billion.

Business Insider reports red-hot inflation expected to last throughout the year will leave the average US household spending $5,200 more compared to the year prior, Bloomberg economists Andrew Husby and Anna Wong said in a Tuesday article. That boils down to an extra $433 per month on the same goods and services as last year.

Spiking inflation has also emerged as a Republican line of attack, calling for increases to President Joe Biden’s $813 billion national defense budget request for fiscal 2023, reports Defense News. Inflationary shocks are driving up Pentagon costs for labor, fuel, and other materials, prompting Republicans calls for a $30 billion, or 4%, boost from the fiscal 2022 level enacted by Congress, a nominal increase above the Pentagon’s assumption of 2.5% inflation.

Service members and families will find some gems in this year’s tax law changes that could lessen their tax burden or bump up their refund, reports Military Times. Here is the 2022 Military Times Tax Guide. Younger service members with or without children might see some extra cash coming to them through changes in qualifications for the Earned Income Tax Credit. And those with children are seeing bigger benefits with two major child tax credits. The deadline for filing the 2021 tax returns — or to file an extension — and pay any taxes owed is April 18, 2022, for most taxpayers.

400 Marines deploy in Eastern Europe as part of US response to Ukraine war, reports Defense News. Three Marine Corps aviation units have joined more than 10,000 US troops mobilized to Eastern Europe and Germany in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Defense Department has announced. The Marines already had been on the continent as part of NATO’s Cold Response exercise in Norway, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Military Times. Now, 200 members of Marine Air Control Unit 28, based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC, are in Lithuania.

The Navy is keeping costs of its sixth-generation fighter research classified for the third consecutive budget cycle, reports USNI News. The service officials have provided few details about the program due to the classification. The FY2023 proposal, unveiled Monday, lists Next Generation Air Dominance under the aircraft section of its research and development efforts without dollar figures.

Budget compromises driven by the need to modernize two-thirds of the nuclear triad forced Air Force leaders to cut planned purchases of F-35s in 2023 to just 33 — 15 fewer than it bought in fiscal 2022 and 27 fewer than 2021, said LTGEN David S. Nahom, the service’s deputy chief of staff for plans and programs. Air Force Magazine reports the plan accelerates acquisition of the F-15EX, due in part due to the required stealth to meet the current threat.

Half of Tinker’s E-3 airborne surveillance jets would be cut under Air Force budget proposal, reports Air Force Times. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma could soon bid farewell to its E-3 Sentry airborne target tracking jets that have been a fixture there for 45 years. Under the Air Force’s fiscal 2023 budget request, released Monday, the Airborne Warning and Control System would phase out over the next few years to make way for Boeing’s E-7 Wedgetail as its likely replacement.

Older adults can get a second coronavirus booster to strengthen waning protection, reports The Washington Post. The Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for people 50 and older at least four months after their first booster.

Contracts:

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, has been awarded a maximum $88,465,620 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, hybrid-type contract with cost-reimbursable no-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee line items for warehouse and distribution support services at DLA Distribution, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. A task order for the first ordering period (SP3300-22-F-5017) for an estimated $13,144,804 was also executed at the time of award. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Maryland and Utah, with a March 31, 2027, performance completion date. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania (SP3300‐22‐D‐5002).

Claene Group LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded an $11,800,774 firm-fixed-price contract for program management and financial expertise. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work will be performed in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of March 30, 2027. Fiscal 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027 defense working capital funds in the amount of $11,800,774 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-22-C-0013).

NJS JV LLC, San Jose, California, is awarded $11,729,505 firm fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to previously awarded contract N40080-19-D-0306. This modification provides for the exercise of Option 2 for regional custodial services at various Navy installations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington area of operations. The work to be performed provides for all labor, supervision, management, tools, materials, equipment, facilities, transportation, incidental engineering, and other items necessary to perform custodial services. Work will be performed in Maryland (85%) and Virginia (15%) and is expected to be completed by March 2023. This modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $40,229,505. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,646,858 will be obligated at time of award, and funds in the amount of $4,337,341 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. NAVFAC Washington Public Works Department, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

MIG GOV LLC, Virginia Beach, Virginia, is awarded a $25,000,000 firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for design-bid-build wet utilities construction, repairs, and replacement projects at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head, NSF Dahlgren, and Naval Support Activity Annapolis. The work to be performed provides for wet utilities system construction and repair tasks in support of Naval Research and Development Establishment commands and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington National Capital Region sites. Work will be performed in Maryland (40%); Virginia (40%); and Washington, DC (10%) and is expected to be completed by March 2027. An initial task order is being awarded at $2,000 to meet the minimum guarantee for the contract. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,000 will be obligated at time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the beta.sam.gov website, with three proposals received. NAVFAC Washington, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N40080-22-D-0012). 

ERAPSCO, Columbia City, Indiana (N0001919D0012 P00014); and Lockheed Martin Corp., Manassas, Virginia (N0001919D0013 P00017), are awarded a $222,012,360 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This modification exercises an option for the production and delivery of up to 18,000 AN/SSQ-125A series production sonobuoys for the Navy. The estimated aggregate ceiling for all modifications is not-to-exceed $222,012,360, with the companies having an opportunity to compete for individual orders. ERAPSCO will perform work in De Leon Springs, Florida (69%); and Columbia City, Indiana (31%), while Lockheed Martin will perform work in Manassas, Virginia (90%); and Clearwater, Florida (10%). Work is expected to be completed in December 2024. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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