October 19, 2020

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Navy Has New Ship Rules for Dealing With COVID

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The US Navy now has new rules on how to continue operating in the midst of a global pandemic, reports USNI News. Plans and strategy have changed since COVID first hit USS Theodore Roosevelt in March. Updates to procedures were released last week, and the Navy says they are based on the scientific and operational lessons gained in the past seven months.

VICE ADM Phillip Sawyer says the pandemic is putting extra stress on Navy families, and he’s asking lawmakers for help to change the timeframe for sailors to qualify for family separation pay, reports Military.com.

Doug Shaffer, vice president of Triton programs at Northrop Grumman, said that 2020 has been, and will continue to be, a year of significant milestones for the MQ-4C Triton, reports AeroTech News. The Navy declared the system as early operational capable in early May and it quickly became an “invaluable asset.”

The Navy has a new military homeport in Crete, reports Breaking Defense. Security cooperation with Greece “is especially important as Russia continues to destabilize the region, especially in Libya,” StateSec Mike Pompeo said last week while on a visit to the outpost. The US also wants to build up its energy ties with Greece, which seeks to become an energy hub in the Balkans and help Europe to diversify its energy resources, reports Reuters.

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams arrived at Souda Bay, Greece, in August, reports Military.com. The ship, an expeditionary sea base designed to carry Marines and special operations troops to hot spots, is assigned to US Africa Command but will also be available to support other commands.

The USS Ronald Reagan has a new commander as of Oct. 1, reports cpf.navy.mil. The change of command took place at sea. The aircraft carrier, home-ported at Yokosuka, has been patrolling the Indo-Pacific region since June. Command changes while a warship is underway are not unusual, reports Stars and Stripes.

The US Eighth Army in South Korea has a new commander. LT GEN Willard Burleson III assumed command on Friday, reports UPI, stressing the US’s “commitment to deterring our potential adversaries.”

Task & Purpose explains how a small metal washer was the cause of an $11 million MQ-9 Reaper crash last year.

 

 

Euoropol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said that cybercrime had spiked over the past year, reports The Hill, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Engineers at the H-60 Fleet Support Team at Fleet Readiness Center East in Cherry Point, NC, have developed a solution to support a communications upgrades for the MH-60S helicopters, reports Sun Journal. FRCE developed prototypes of the equipment, including 3D-printed antenna mounts developed in conjunction with the Additive Manufacturing team at NAS Patuxent River.

SpaceX scrubbed its Monday launch of more Starlink satellites into orbit due to weather, reports cnet.com. It will try again today, Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7:29 am (EST).

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel has renewed calls for the agency to move faster on a plan to better track and mitigate dangers posed by orbiting debris in space, reports UPI.

MAJ GEN John B. Richardson IV took over as Fort Hood acting commander in September. The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and ranking member said they are “encouraged by the accountability and commitment to change” they saw from Mr. Richardson following a visit to the Texas base last week, reports Army Times. Fort Hood recently announced Operation Phantom Action, a yearlong effort to stem sexual assault and harassment, extremism, racism and suicides that have plagued the base and nearby community, reports Fort Hood Sentinel. The new commander ordered a training stand-down for all units as the first step in repairing the “erosion of trust” between soldiers and leaders, reports Military.com.

The US Army has discontinued its Rapid Equipping Force and is disbanding its Asymmetric Warfare Group, reports Defense News. The REF began during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to get urgently needed capabilities into the field quickly.

Nine companies will share $400 million for the US Air Force’s Skyborg Vanguard project, reports Military & Aerospace Electronics. The companies will be designing enabling technologies to prototype a low-cost unmanned combat air vehicle. These UCAVs are becoming a larger Air Force priority, reports Air Force Magazine. A September 2020 report calls for the service to pursue low-cost aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft as “an affordable way to grow the USAF’s combat capacity and balance its other requirements.”

Capt. Alberto Alejandro, a dentist with the Maryland Army National Guard, is conducting a dental examination on a District of Columbia Army National Soldier at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation near Reisterstown, MD, on September 12, 2020. The MDARNG’s Medical Detachment provided a facility and supplies to help conduct dental examinations to nearly 30 DCARNG soldiers, ensuring they meet their annual medical requirements and sustain mission readiness for the Army. (US Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Davis Jr.)

NASA reports that it has selected the winners of the first Digital Transformation Hackathon, a virtual “flash innovation” event held last month that brought in about 240 participants from across the agency.

A recent Gallup poll says that voters consider the economy their top issue in the November presidential election, reports The Hill. Close to 90% named the economy as their top issue, including 44% who said it was “extremely” important and 45% who said it was “very” important.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says there are signs that a vibrant autumn is on the way, reports Patch.com. The weekly 2020 Maryland Fall Foliage Report issued Oct. 1 said Garrett County in Western Maryland is near peak color.

Contracts:

Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia (W9128Z-21-D-0001); General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Fairfax, Virginia (W9128Z-21-D-0020); and NCI Information Systems Inc., Reston, Virginia (W9128Z-21-D-0003), will compete for each order of the $800,000,000 hybrid (cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price) contract for engineering related activities in support US Army Information Systems Engineering Command. Bids were solicited via the internet with 11 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 4, 2023. The US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $12,078,333 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-11-C-2300 to exercise an option for post-delivery support for the Littoral Combat Ship USS Cooperstown (LCS 23). Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin (57%); Hampton, Virginia (14%); Moorestown, New Jersey (11%); San Diego, California (11%); and Washington, DC (7%), and is expected to be completed by February 2022. Fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $8,200,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Cherokee Insights LLC, Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $10,012,035 firm-fixed-price contract for analytics evaluation supporting insight to readiness for the base and two options. The purpose of this contract is to provide analytic studies to assist senior leaders at the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency with strategic and operational decision making to ensure a medically-ready force. Work will be performed in Falls Church, Virginia, and is expected to be completed Oct. 4, 2023. Fiscal 2021 operations and maintenance funds in the amount $3,257,017 are being obligated at the time of award. The 773rd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA8052-21-C-0001).

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