February 21, 2024

Navy Brings Sail Drones to Mid-East Exercise

A US Navy drone operates with ships from the US, Britain, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf on Oct. 26, 2022. (Noah Martin/U.S. Army)

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.

Three unmanned sail drones, and seven manned ships  participated last week in the largest exercise so far of unmanned vessels operating with crewed ships in the Persian Gulf, reports Stars and Stripes. Four countries participated. The Navy hopes the sail drones can help patrol the vast waters of the Middle East, through which much of the world’s trade transits. The Saildrone Explorers, are commercially available watercraft that are powered by wind and solar panels. In the exercise, the drones searched for a British ship and relayed imagery back to both ships in the area and to an operations center in Bahrain helmed by Task Force 59, a unit formed last year to work with 5th Fleet’s unmanned surface, underwater and aerial systems.

Veterans play a key role in domestic violent extremism according to a report out of the US House’s Veterans Affairs committee, which charges the DoD and VA to do more to address the problem, reports Military.com. In the last 30 years, extremists with military backgrounds have killed 314 people and injured another 1,978. More alarmingly, the report says that the average number of people with military backgrounds who commit crimes of extremism “more than quadrupled” between 2010 and 2022.

The Tatas Group is in talks with Lockheed Martin for manufacturing Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in India, reports Economic Times. Tatas has a contract to make 40 C-295 transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force and is already in a contract with Lockheed to manufacture the wings for the F-16 fighter aircraft and components for the C-130 transport aircraft. The Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai.

Gov. Greg Abbott and four top state lawmakers approved $339 million to keep thousands of Texas National Guard troops deployed to the state’s border with Mexico, reports Stars and Stripes. The officials pulled the funds from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s budget saying “insufficient funds” for border security had created an “emergency.”

Maryland will fund cybersecurity training for up to 100 state technology employees, reports StateScoop. The EARN Maryland program, run by the state Department of Labor, will send selected employees to the Baltimore Cyber Range for basic or advanced cybersecurity courses.

National Guard members are being deployed to New York City’s homeless shelters to help assist the overwhelmed facilities that are also housing migrants, reports New York Post. The reservists will help with routine operations at the shelters, including food distribution, capacity management and supplementing the stretched-thin staff.



Boeing last week  reported a nearly $3.3 billion loss in the third quarter of 2022, driven by a nearly $1.2 billion charge on the KC-46A Pegasus and problems with some other key defense programs, reports Defense News.

The US Space Force may seek to deepen partnerships with private companies by establishing a fleet of commercial spacecraft that could be on standby for military use, much like the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, reports C4ISRnet. Through the CRAF, the DoD contracts with commercial airlines to provide additional airlift capacity in emergencies. The reserve fleet has been activated just three times in its 70 year history, most recently in the summer of 2021 to aid in the US military’s evacuation mission in Afghanistan, reported Air Force Times.

A 29-year-old sergeant at Fort Hood was charged Tuesday with multiple counts of premeditated attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and burglary in connection to an Oct. 2 incident in the barracks that involved a gun and was thought to be connected to other violent assaults on base, reports Stars and Stripes.  His name has not been released.

Among the dozens of US Navy officers charged in connection with the “Fat Leonard” bribery and fraud scandal, Edmond Aruffo was never accused of taking bribes of cash or prostitutes, unlike many of the other Navy officials tied to the $35 million fraud scheme, reports Military.com. And Aruffo’s charges stemmed not from his time while employed by the Navy, but rather when he went to work for the scheme’s mastermind, Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, at Glenn Defense Marine Asia. On Wednesday, US District Judge Barry “Ted” Moskowitz sentenced Aruffo to perform 850 hours of community service helping military veterans. He also sentenced him to three years of supervised release.

The United States is proposing that a multilateral force, led by another country, be deployed to Haiti with urgency to help Haiti’s police break the stranglehold of gangs on its major ports and roadways, fueling the country’s worst economic, political and humanitarian crisis in decades, reports Military.com. The Haitian government and UN Secretary General António Guterres requested military intervention earlier this month after a powerful gang alliance blocked the country’s main terminal, leading to food, fuel and water shortages.

Russia is warning it could target commercial satellites assisting US military operations as its invasion of Ukraine drags on — a threat that could prompt the Space Force and US Space Command to see action if Moscow follows through, reports Military.com. Commercial satellites have been used to take aerial images that show deployments, damage and destruction of Russia’s campaign against Ukraine. Additionally, SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have provided internet access to the people of Ukraine.

Germany is still committed to its blockbuster purchase of US-manufactured F-35 Lightning II fighter jets despite the soaring costs that inflation is saddling the government with in its overhaul of the military, reports Stars and Stripes.

The protected military personnel records of Jennifer-Ruth Green, an Air National Guard officer who is running for a House seat in Indiana, were incorrectly released by an Air Force employee, reports Stars and Stripes. An initial investigation revealed a “junior individual” within the Air Force Department was likely responsible for the wrongful release of military records for congressional candidate  to an unnamed third party, said Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman.

The Potomac Riverkeeper Network is suing St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission under the Clean Water Act for persistent and illegal discharges of raw sewage from its wastewater treatment plant, reported Southern Maryland Chronicles. PRKN hopes to achieve a negotiated settlement to improve, repair and properly maintain its collection system and eliminate the illegal discharges.


Corman Kokosing Construction Co., Annapolis, Maryland, was awarded a $12,412,816 modification (P00003) to contract W912BU-21-C-0074 to adjust the cubic-yard quantities of the government conditional surveys. Work will be performed in Chesapeake City, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2023. Fiscal 2022 civil construction funds in the amount of $12,412,816 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of engineers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

DY4 Inc., Ashburn, Virginia, is awarded an $8,777,675 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract procures 600 Versa Module Eurocard Single Board Computers in support of the AN/UPX-24(V) Interrogator Set Technical refreshes that occur when Navy ships are docked and overhauled. Work will be performed in Ashburn, Virginia, and 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. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N6833523D0002).

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded a $2,414,000,000 detail, design, and construction modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-2437 in support of one Amphibious Assault Ship (General Purpose) Replacement (LHA(R)) Flight 1 Ship (LHA 9). Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (72%); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2%); Baltimore, Maryland (2%); Beloit, Wisconsin (2%); Brunswick, Georgia (2%); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1%); Cincinnati, Ohio (1%); Kingsford, Michigan (1%); Hueytown, Alabama (1%); York, Pennsylvania (1%); Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania (1%); and others individually less than 1% each (14%). Work is expected to be completed by September 2029. Fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $93,000,001 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract includes options, which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $3,190,605,290. If all options are exercised, work will continue through March 2031. This sole source contract modification was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 3204(c)(1), as implemented by Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 – only one responsible source. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. 


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