July 12, 2024

Navy Lowers Requirements for Enlistees

Requirements for Enlistees
Recruits recite their names and division numbers while experiencing the effects of tear gas in the USS Chief training facility at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. About 30,000 to 40,000 recruits graduate annually from the Navy’s only boot camp. (US Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Amanda S. Kitchner)

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The US Navy will now allow those without a high school diploma or GED to enlist as long as they reach a certain score on the Armed Forces Qualification Test that all prospects must take, reports Navy Times. The service hopes these new standards will attract more prospects during its recruiting crisis.

Maryland-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin said last week that the company will cut 1% of its jobs over the course of the year in an attempt to cut costs and streamline operations, reports CNBC. The cuts will impact positions across all of its business and enterprise operations.

Govconwire.com reports that federal services contractor Saalex Corp. has purchased Lexington Park-based Spalding Consulting. Spalding currently provides financial management, program management, and big data analytics platforms and services for customers across the Department of Defense. Spalding’s executive leadership team will remain with the company through the transition period. “This acquisition provides Saalex with an immediate East Coast presence near a key customer at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Patuxent River base,” reads a Saalex news release.

The US Space Force has chosen Lockheed Martin and Boeing to design satellite prototypes for its Mobile User Objective System program, reports C4ISRNET. The program provides secure narrowband communication for military operators. Each company received a $66 million contract for early design and risk-reduction. The service is expected to make a selection between the two companies sometime after July 2025.

Northrop Grumman officials said last week that a new stealth bomber the company is building for the US Air Force is expected to lose more than $1 billion in its early production stages, reports Breaking Defense. The aerospace firm expects to lose money even as the stealth bomber is set to enter low-rate initial production (LRIP), reports The National Interest.

Five companies have been selected to develop autonomous aircraft for the US Air Force’s Collaborative Combat Aircraft program, reports Military Embedded systems. They are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Anduril, and General Atomics. The service officials requested $5.8 billion for CCAs over the next five years,

Marine Corps GEN Christopher Mahoney said the service will get the V-22 fleet flying safely again, reports Breaking Defense. Mahoney, the assistant commandant of the Corps, told attendees of the Hudson Institute’s Defense Disruptors event that the fix for “hard clutch engagements” being installed on the planes now has corrected the key issue at the center of several mishaps.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Sweden could be ready to join the organization by March, after receiving positive signals last week from holdouts Hungary and Turkey, reports AP. Turkey signed off on Sweden’s membership on Thursday, reports Reuters on MSN.

The US has approved the $23 billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey following the Turkish government’s ratification of Sweden’s membership in NATO, reports The Washington Post. Also approved was an $8.6 billion sale of F-35s to Greece.

NATO is beginning its largest military exercise since the Cold War, reports Navy Recognition. Steadfast Defender 24 will feature about 90,000 service members from the 31 NATO allies and Sweden. It will test the ability of the alliance to quickly deploy forces and will test NATO’s new defense plans. There will be more than 50 naval assets, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, and corvettes. Air assets will include F-35s, FA-18s, Harriers, F-15s, helicopters, and myriad unmanned aerial vehicles. There will also be more than 1,100 combat vehicles, including more than 150 tanks, 500 infantry fighting vehicles, and 400 armored personnel carriers.

NATO signed a $1.2 billion contract to make artillery rounds to replenish the dwindling stocks of its member countries as they supply ammunition to Ukraine to help it defeat Russia’s invasion, reports AP.

The US Coast Guard should be part of the conversations the Navy has when looking at its force posture, said Coast Guard commandant ADM Linda Fagan, reports USNI News. The Coast Guard might be a Department of Homeland Security entity, but it has a global presence, she said. Fagan was speaking at the recent Surface Navy Association 2024 symposium.

US Air Force readiness is “continuing to spiral downward” says the Heritage Foundation in its latest assessment of the US military, reports Air & Space Forces Magazine. The analysis labels the Air Force’s capability as “very weak,” the lowest possible grade on the conservative think tank’s five-point scale. The Space Force, meanwhile, scored an upgrade over a year ago, moving up from “weak” to “marginal.”

Firearms manufacturer Sig Sauer wants to be “the small arms company of the US military,” reports Military Times. With the company’s recent contracts to provide the handgun for the military, as well as a new rifle, automatic rifle, optics, suppressors, and potentially a new medium machine gun for the Army, Sig Sauer might be the only brand of gun that some troops use while in service.

Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired a missile toward the USS Carney in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, reports Navy Times. The projectile was shot down by the American destroyer and there were no reports of injuries, according to US Central Command.

The US failed in last week’s talks to prod China into pressuring Iran to stop the Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea, reports Politico. “Beijing says they are raising this with the Iranians … but we’re certainly going to wait before we comment further on how effectively we think they’re actually raising it,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters.

Maryland Matters reports that Gov. Wes Moore (D) delivered his legislative package last week. Moore’s bills fall into four areas — public safety, affordability, making the state more competitive, and public service. Among the bills are the Families Serve Act, which incentivizes private businesses and state governments to establish hiring preferences for military spouses, and the Time to Serve Act, which provides 30 days of leave for state employees who also serve in the National Guard and Reserves.

The 2024 virtual Federal Interagency Military Spouse Career Expo will be held 11am to 4pm Jan. 31, the Defense Department announced. The US Department of Agriculture Military Spouse Association and the Defense Department Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program will host the event. The virtual expo will feature sessions on the federal hiring process, followed by networking opportunities with 21 federal departments and agencies that are confirmed to be looking for military spouses to hire.

Four Ukrainian pilots are undergoing F-16 training in the US, reports Air & Space Forces Magazine. Several others are undergoing English-language training, while approximately 20 maintainers are also undergoing English-language training at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. Delivery of the F-16s to Ukraine are expected this year.

Three conservation groups are suing the US Air Force to stop the low-altitude flights over a wilderness site in Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada, reports Military.com. The groups — Oregon Natural Desert Association, Friends of Nevada Wilderness, and Idaho Conservation League — argue that expanded low-altitude F-15 fighter jet flights over the Owyhee Canyonlands will harm the “quiet and solitude” of the vast high-desert region.

Single-parent veterans struggle to access post-military benefits, researchers from the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute said. Veteran single parents tend to be better off financially than civilian peers, reports Navy Times, but struggle more than other veterans to get health and education benefits.

At left, Assistant NavSec (Research, Development and Acquisition) Nickolas Guertin, left, presents Edward Henderson with the DON Acquisition Excellence Award, Product Support Manager of the Year – ACAT I. At right, Mr. Guertin presents Terry Duggan with the DON Acquisition Excellence Award, 2023 Product Support Manager of the Year – ACAT II and Below. Awards presented Jan. 10 at the Pentagon.

Rhonda Link of NAVAIR’s Adversary and Specialized Aircraft Program Office (PMA-226) was honored recently with the 2023 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award for Services Acquisition, reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. The award is part of the five annual Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards given for exceptional contributions to the National Defense Strategy.

Eight NAVAIR employees and teams were recognized in the Department of the Navy Acquisition Excellence Awards, reports NAVAIR News.

It will now be easier for veterans and their families to access military service records, reports Federal News Network. The National Archives and Records Administration has eliminated a backlog of service record requests. The backlog peaked at more than 600,000 unprocessed requests at the height of the COVID pandemic.

Contracts:

Harkins Builders Inc., Columbia, Maryland, is awarded a $31,535,881 firm-fixed-price contract for construction of Crash Rescue Station One at Joint Base Andrews. The work to be performed provides for construction of a new crash rescue station facility to include a combined emergency communication center, aircraft rescue firefighting apparatus equipment/maintenance bays, administration and management offices, and an alternate emergency operations center, as well as all other necessary work associated with this project. Work will be performed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and will be completed May 2026. The maximum dollar value including the base period and two options, to be exercised at the time of award, is $30,697,920. Fiscal 2022 military construction (Air Force) (MILCON AF) funds in the amount of $24,518,000; and fiscal 2023 MILCON (AF) funds in the amount of $6,179,920, will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Procurement Integrated Enterprise Environment website, with three offers received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity. (N40080-24-C-0004)

Phillips Corp., Federal Division, Hanover, Maryland, who is teamed with sub-contractors Delta H, Carroll, Ohio; and Machine Tool Service, Spokane, Washington, is awarded a $9,601,616 contract modification (P00005) under a previously awarded contract (N4215823DS001) to fund the first one-year option period. This modification exercises the first one-year option period to manage a preventative and corrective maintenance program that will plan, schedule, and provide qualified personnel for preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance, and calibration analysis for up to 600 pieces of industrial plant equipment located in the controlled industrial area of Norfolk Naval Shipyard to provide on time delivery of carriers, submarines, and barges. The previously awarded contract includes a one-year base period with four one-year option periods and one six-month option period which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $53,051,662. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, Virginia, and is expected to be completed in January 2025. If all options are exercised work will continue through September 2028. Fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $9,601,616 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited via the SAM.GOV website and three offers were received. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia is the contracting activity (N4215823DS001).

Lawelawe Defense Inc., Kailua, Hawaii, was awarded a $37,083,917 base, plus four-year option periods, contract in support of the Air Force’s National Tactical Integration (AF NTI) Program. This contract provides for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance subject-matter expertise and maintenance, ongoing development, and execution of an existing master training plan for AF NTI personnel. Work will be performed at various locations, but primarily at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; and Fort Meade, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 30, 2029. This contract was a sole source Hawaiian Native acquisition. Fiscal 2024 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,600,000 million are being obligated at time of award. Air Combat Command Acquisition Management Integration Center, Detachment 2, JBSA-Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA7037-24-C-0002).

SAK Industries LLC, Miami, Florida (SPE605-22-D-4027/P00001, $17,541,590); BRZ Investment & Consulting LLC, Boynton Beach, Florida (SPE605-22-D-4008/P00010, $17,384,452); and Fannon Petroleum Services Inc., Gainesville, Virginia (SPE605-22-D-4011/P00003, $13,373,279), have each been awarded a modification to four-year 11-month base contracts with one six-month option period under solicitation SPE605-22-R-0203 for various types of fuel. These are fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contracts. Locations of performance are Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC, with an Aug. 31, 2027, performance completion date. Using customers are Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2024 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Valiant Global Defense Services Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $12,471,093 modification (P00006) to contract W564KV-23-F-2000 for non-personal joint training analytical support. Work will be performed in Germany, with an estimated completion date of March 9, 2028. Fiscal 2023 and 2024 operation and maintenance, defense-wide funds in the amount of $12,471,093 were obligated at the time of the award. Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade, Kaiserslautern, Germany, is the contracting activity.

National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, has been awarded a $55,929,385 contract, with four options, for the Department of the Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program. This contract provides for the appointment of U.S. citizens who are highly qualified, non-government, Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers (DAF S&T) to enhance the scientific and technological research capabilities, expertise, and accomplishments of the DAF S&T organizations. Work will be performed at all Air Force Research Laboratories and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2028. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and four offers were received. Fiscal 2023 and 2024 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $10,028,520 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Research Laboratories Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (FA9550-24-C-B001).

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $90,271,480 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-23-C-5325 to exercise options for MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems. This modification combines purchases for the Navy (97%); and the government of Spain (3%), under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (31%); Indianapolis, Indiana (27%); Saginaw, Michigan (7%); Farmingdale, New York (6%); St. Peters, Missouri (3%); San Jose, California (2%); Radford, Virginia (1%); and various other locations (each less than 1%) (23% combined) and is expected to be completed by June 2027. Fiscal 2024 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $63,407,220 (70%); fiscal 2024 Defense-wide procurement in the amount of $23,604,223 (26%); FMS (Spain) funds in the amount $2,716,697 (3%); and fiscal 2023 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $543,340 (1%): and will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-23-C-5325).

Rockwell Collins Inc., Government Systems, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded a $23,229,169 modification (P00054) to a previously awarded firm-price-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract (N6134017C0007). This modification exercises options for the production and delivery of 68 Airborne Subsystem Pods, five Remote Range Units, three Common Ground Systems, three Portable Support Equipment Subsystems, one Transportable Ground System, and associated contract data requirements list in support of full rate production Lot Two for the Tactical Combat Training System II program for the Navy. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (30%); Richardson, Texas (30%); Key West, Florida (10%); Lemoore, California (10%); Beaufort, South Carolina (10%); and Oceana, Virginia (10%), and is expected to be completed in January 2026. Fiscal 2024 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $20,785,805; and fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,443,364, will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity.

East Coast Repair & Fabrication, Portsmouth, Virginia (N0002424D4216); General Dynamics NASSCO, Bremerton, Washington (N0002424D4217); Vigor Marine LLC, Portland, Oregon (N0002424D4218); Fincantieri Marine Repair, Jacksonville, Florida (N0002424D4219); BENDER CCP Inc., Vernon, California (N0002424D4220); Epsilon Systems, Portsmouth, Virginia (N0002424D4221); Propulsion Controls Engineering LLC, San Diego, California (N0002424D4222); Integrated Marine Services Inc., Chula Vista, California (N0002424D4223); Delphinus Engineering Inc., Eddystone, Pennsylvania (N0002424D4224); and Standard Inspection Services/Standard Welding & Fabrication, San Diego, California (N0002424D4225), were awarded a combined $943,999,625 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award contract for repair, maintenance and modernization requirements of non-nuclear Navy Surface ships homeported in or visiting the Everett, Washington, region. The scope of work includes continuous maintenance, emergent maintenance, and short-term (10 months or less in duration) Chief of Naval Operations availabilities. Each awardee will be awarded $10,000 (minimum contract guarantee per awardee) at contract award. Work will be performed in the Everett, Washington, homeport area. Work is expected to be completed by January 2029. Fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $100,000 is obligated at contract award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. All other funding will be made available at the delivery order level as contracting actions occur. This contract was competitively procured via the SAM.gov website, with 11 offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Jan. 25, 2024)

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Newport News, Virginia, was awarded a $913,150,550 cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for advanced planning and long-lead-time material procurement to prepare and make ready for the accomplishment of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Refueling and Complex Overhaul. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia and is expected to be completed by June 2026. Fiscal 2023 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $250,000,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 US Code 3204(a)(1), (only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-24-C-2106). (Awarded Jan. 25, 2024)

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