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Navy Pilots Continue Russian Deterrence Missions

Aviation Boatswain’s Mates (Handling) 2nd Class Chernika Sanders, left, and 1st Class Melvin Steward direct an F/A-18E Super Hornet with the Fighting Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron 211 on the USS Harry S. Truman in the Ionian Sea on March 9, 2022. (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tate Cardinal)

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.

US Navy pilots are flying dozens of daily missions from the USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean region, reports USNI News. Some fighters launched from the Truman are training, while some are policing NATO’s airspace to keep Russian aircraft from violating those borders. The Truman has been in the region since December, making it the longest stretch in decades for US ships to stay in that region.

The four Marines killed Friday when their MV-22 Osprey crashed in Norway have been identified, reports Marine Corps Times. They are CAPT Matthew J. Tomkiewicz of Indiana, CAPT Ross A. Reynolds of Massachusetts, GUNNERY SGT James W. Speedy of Ohio, and CPL Jacob M. Moore of Kentucky. They were participating in a NATO exercise on Friday when the Osprey went down in stormy weather conditions.

Russia says it used hypersonic missiles for second time last week on Ukrainian facilities, reports NBC News. The US is in a race with Russia and China to develop these weapons, reports Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, DefSec Lloyd Austin downplayed Russia’s claims that it used the nuclear-capable missiles on Ukrainian targets, saying it is not a “game changer” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, reports Yahoo! News.

US President Joe Biden will head to Poland this week to meet with President Andrzej Duda, reports UPI, as Warsaw and Washington have differed on military assistance to Ukraine to counter Russia’s invasion.

As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its fourth week, negotiators continue their online talks, reports Al Jazeera. European Union leaders are meeting to discuss imposing tougher sanctions on Russia, including an oil embargo. Key events are outlined here.

On Monday, the Kremlin said that no significant progress has been made in talks with Ukraine to have Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy meet as the invasion progresses, reports The Hill.

The Czech Republic is planning to buy additional UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters made by Bell for its military, reports Defense News. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the country’s existing fleet is “insufficient,” Defense Minister Jana Černochová said.

The US will provide a Stryker unit to NATO forces being assembled in Bulgaria, the Defense Department reports. “Your commitment is a model for other allies to follow. Improving Bulgaria’s military readiness and NATO interoperability is even more vital today,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said.

The Marine Corps will end its crisis response deployments developed after the 2012 attack on Benghazi, Libya, reports Marine Corps Times. At its height, the Marine Corps had three special purpose Marine air-ground task forces on missions to Southern Command, Africa Command, and Central Command, but the USMC’s new focus on a potential fight with China might have killed the crisis response formation.



Military Times reports that China has fully militarized at least three of several islands it built in the disputed South China Sea, arming them with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile systems, laser and jamming equipment, and fighter jets. This buildup is in stark contrast with China earlier saying it would not put military bases on those islands.

A China Eastern passenger jet carrying 132 people crashed in southern China on Monday, CBS News reports. The Boeing 737-800 “lost airborne contact over Wuzhou” city in the Guangxi region. The airline was grounding all of its 737-800s pending an investigation.

Northrop Grumman says the latest flight tests of the Army’s Integrated Battle Command System were successful, reports Defense News. The Army’s IBCS was challenged in two operational flights tests as part of its initial operational test and successfully intercepted three threat targets, and, in some cases, amid electronic attack.

The Space Development Agency plans to solicit proposals for its next round of tracking satellites, reports Defense News. A major funding increase included in the defense spending bill will allow for an accelerated schedule for the project.

Senior Army leaders in Alaska are lobbying the Pentagon for more mental health resources as the number of troops dying by suicide in Alaska has seen a significant spike in recent years, reports In 2020, seven soldiers took their own lives; eight in 2019; and three in 2018.

The president of the Central Georgia Technical College was recently honored as a National Defense Community Champion, reports The Union-Recorder. Dr. Ivan Allen leads one of Georgia’s largest two-year colleges. His work there includes establishing the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center in Warner Robins. It was a first-of-its-kind facility that provides help to veterans, military members, and their families for education, training, and transitioning to civilian life. Allen was among the inaugural group of 10 honorees recognized by the Association for Defense Communities for their work in supporting defense communities and the military.

The latest Military Family Lifestyle Survey Comprehensive Report of military families found that spouse unemployment is the biggest stressor for the second year in a row for service members and their partners, reports Federal News Network. The Blue Star Families’ survey offers insight and data to help national leaders and local communities support military and veteran families while the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A monthlong suspension of the state’s 36-cent fuel tax became law Friday, reports The Baltimore Sun, with final votes by the General Assembly and Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature. That makes Maryland the first state to pass a measure many others are considering. Lawmakers hope the tax holiday translates to a sharp drop in gasoline prices.


Ernst & Young LLP, Tysons, Virginia, was awarded a $370,000,000 modification (P00044) to contract W91CRB-18-F-0238 to provide congressionally mandated audit infrastructure to support the Army’s annual general fund financial statements audit, develop and implement solutions to control gaps in the Army’s business processes, monitor and validate corrective actions, and provide education and training to the Army financial management workforce on the Army’s audit requirements. Work will be performed in Tysons, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $10,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Awarded March 20, 2022)

Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, has been awarded a $24,328,144 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for research and development into optical beam control in the presence of atmospheric turbulence. Work will be performed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2027. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition. Fiscal 2021 and 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Air Force and Space Force) funds in the amount of $1,547,160 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (FA9451-22-C-0007).

L3Harris Corp., Millersville, Maryland, is awarded a $22,771,874 fixed-priced-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost only modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-6239 to establish and exercise an option for Navy equipment, components, engineering services, and other direct costs. This contract includes additional options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract action to $47,625,601. Work will be performed in Millersville, Maryland (57%); Liverpool, New York, (40%); and Ashaway, Rhode Island (3%), and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2023. Fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,514,600 (45%); fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,229,165 (39%); fiscal 2019 ship building and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,499,808 (8%); and, fiscal 2021 national sea-based deterrence (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,499,808 (8%) 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 Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

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