June 16, 2024

Navy Holds 1st Unmanned Fleet Exercise

An MQ-9 Sea Guardian unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft system flies over the USS Coronado during US Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem 21. UxS IBP 21 integrates manned and unmanned capabilities into challenging operational scenarios to generate warfighting advantages. (US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

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The US Pacific Fleet held the first-ever exercise that focused on unmanned systems, reports Navy Times. The Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem 21 ended Monday. The Navy is moving closer to incorporating unmanned maritime surface vessels as part of its modular task force approach to operating the force as a kill web, ocean engineer Jack Rowley of MARTAC Systems told Second Line of Defense.

House lawmakers said they want to slow production of the F-35 citing failures in the program during its 25 years of development and production, reports Defense News. Some members of the House Armed Services Committee said they won’t support adding more F-35s in the fiscal 2022 budget.

Matthew Bromberg, head of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines division, told the HASC that the cost of the F-35 engine is set to increase by 3% due to Turkey’s removal from the program in 2019, reports Defense News.

The Netherlands temporarily stopped operations with its F-35 fleet over concerns about engine wear, reports key.aero. After a day, the nine jets were cleared for flight operations again.

The US Army’s 5th Battalion, stationed in Germany, is now fielding a contingent of M-SHORADs — Mobile Short Range Air Defense systems — as potential threats have grown from traditional fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, missiles, and small drones, reports The Drive. The M-SHORADs are armored 8×8 vehicles and each is fitted with an autocannon and a missile launcher, reports Breaking Defense.

President Joe Biden will address Congress on Wednesday night, reports Military Times, with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan likely among the topics expected to be addressed. The speech will be televised on national TV.

The US is withdrawing troops from local areas in Afghanistan, reports CNN, as the US keeps with its plan to have all troops out by Sept. 11. DefSec Lloyd Austin said Sunday that Afghanistan’s security forces “must be ready” to take over, reports Military Times. Fox News reports that the Taliban has stepped up bombings in the region, saying that the Taliban conducted 62 bomb blasts and six suicide bombings in the past 11 days, killing 63 civilians and wounding 180 more.

The plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan without conditions has left the fate of Taliban-held American hostage Mark Frerichs uncertain, reports The Washington Post. Frerichs is a civilian contractor who was abducted in Kabul last year.

On Friday, four new Pentagon nominees and a pair of top state nominees were named by the White House, reports Defense News. Among those nominees are Brenda “Sue” Fulton for assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, and Christopher Maier for assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low intensity conflict.

Donald Remy has been chosen to serve as the second-highest official at the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports Military Times. Remy, a veteran, has been the second-ranking official at the National Collegiate Athletic Association. If confirmed, he will be only the second Black veteran to serve in that leadership role.



ADM John Aquilino has been confirmed as the new head of US Indo-Pacific Command, reports USNI News. He told Senate lawmakers that a Chinese military takeover of Taiwan was his biggest concern.

The US Air Force has again grounded its B-1B bomber fleet as it investigates problems with the aircraft’s fuel system, reports Air Force Times.

NAVAIR noted another milestone as the Indian Navy’s first MH-60R production helicopter conducted its maiden flight in New York, reports Naval Technology. India and the US signed a deal last year for the procurement of the Seahawk helicopters.

The US and Norway have reached an agreement that will expand the two countries’ defense cooperation, reports Business Insider, allowing the US to build facilities on Norwegian bases to support operations in a region where Russia’s military is increasingly active.

A new Marine Corps radar system — AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) — a mobile unit designed to be stationed anywhere while providing air surveillance and ground weapons locating capabilities has arrived at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division for testing, reports Seapower Magazine.

Federal News Network reports the Biden administration will continue to discourage official travel for the federal workforce, even if they are fully vaccinated. Business travel for federal employees is still limited to mission critical trips, and the administration is discouraging international travel if at all possible. The federal government offered new guidance on how agencies can create safer working environments.

The latest SpaceX launch on Friday carried four astronauts to the International Space Station, reports CBS News. That puts the number of astronauts on board at 11, the biggest crowd up there in more that a decade, reports phys.org.

Despite the crowd, Army COL Drew Morgan, currently deployed on the ISS, found himself some leg room to attempt the Army Combat Fitness Test, as this Marine Corps Times video shows.

The US Navy Blue Angels will be performing May 26-28, 2021, during graduation ceremonies at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, reports Chesapeake Bay Magazine.


L3Harris Technologies Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been awarded an $11,190,549, fixed-price-incentive-firm and cost-reimbursement modification (P00032) to contract FA8823-20-C-0004 for system sustainment services Option Year 2. This modification updates and revises the Maintenance of Space Situational Awareness Integrated Capabilities system sustainment performance work Statement requirements for the current option year, adds a cost-reimbursable contract line item for research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) proposal preparation, and adds additional incremental funding. Work will be performed in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Dahlgren, Virginia, and is expected to be completed Jan. 31, 2022. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $11,899,781; and fiscal 2021 RDT&E funds in the amount of $160,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $349,953,517. Space and Missile Systems Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

DCS Corp., Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $49,997,623 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for human-agent teaming research and engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 25, 2026. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QX-21-D-0004).

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