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Navy TALSA East Is First for UAS Training

COL Victor Argobright, Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) program manager, officially opens the Navy Training and Logistics Support Activity East on July 27 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, VA. From right are Frank Ball, director of operations, Air/Ground Systems Engineering Amentum; JEBLCFS Commanding Officer CAPT Michael Witherspoon; Argobright; and Lee Hess Jr., Navy TALSA East project manager. (US Navy photo)

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.

The US Navy’s Training and Logistics Support Activity East officially opened last month, reports Seapower Magazine. TALSA East is the first dedicated Navy facility for unmanned aircraft operators to complete SUAS training. The first official course in the new facility in Virginia Beach, VA, will begin August 8 for SkyRaider R80D.

An issue with ejection seats that impacted hundreds of aircraft across the US military late last month was first discovered on an F-35A Lightning II back in April, but the Air Force didn’t ground its jets for three months as it investigated, reports

A new Pentagon office — the Joint Safety Council — is serving as an independent commission to review military aviation accidents, reports Defense One. The commission, established in June, found that senior leaders’ inattention to safety was one reason aircraft accidents killed 224 pilots and crew between 2013 and 2020. The council, which will also look at maritime and tactical vehicle accidents, will meet at least twice a year with service undersecretaries and vice chiefs of staff to keep high-level attention on preventing accidents.

US Air Force pilots will use augmented reality helmets to train against the most advanced Chinese and Russian fighter jets, reports The Washington Post. The pilot training is part of the US military’s investment into virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and algorithms to modernize the way it fights.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense programs Deborah Rosenblum said there are big changes ahead for how troops will battle future chemical and biological threats, reports Navy Times. Troops can expect new suits, gloves, and better detection devices. Rosenblum was speaking last week at the annual National Defense Industrial Association’s CBRN conference in Baltimore.

Air Force BRIG GEN Patrick Ryder is the new Defense Department press secretary, reports Defense News. Ryder, the former Air Force public affairs director, replaces John Kirby, who is now the White House spokesman on national security matters.

LT GEN John Healy took command of the Air Force Reserve last week, reports Military Times. He replaces LT GEN Richard Scobee. Healy joined the Air Force in 1989 and pursued a career as a transport jet pilot and, later, in force planning.

The US and Ukraine have agreed to further cooperate on cybersecurity issues and to improve avenues of information sharing, as Russia’s assault in Eastern Europe continues, reports Defense News.

The US Senate approved NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, reports The Associated Press, calling expansion of the Western defensive bloc a “slam-dunk” for US national security.

VADM Michael Boyle, the new commander of the US 3rd Fleet, said the fleet is expanding its role in the Indo-Pacific as the dynamics in the region are growing more complex, reports USNI News. Boyle said his command could act as a maneuver arm of PACFLEET or operate forward when US 7th Fleet is tied up with other tasking. Given his experience in the Pacific, Boyle acknowledged he has his sights set a bit beyond the typical purview of a 3rd Fleet commander, which includes preparing ready forces to deploy and coordinating defense support to civil activities, reports Navy Times.



The White House has condemned China’s decision to launch live missiles near Taiwan as “irresponsible” and said it expected Beijing would continue to react in the coming days to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reports Reuters.

China declared Friday it was stopping all dialogue with the US on major issues, from climate change to military relations, as tensions rise over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, reports The Associated Press

The Associated Press took a look at the drone — most likely the highly secretive Hellfire R9X — that was used to take out al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri last week in a drone strike in Afghanistan. The potential use of the R9X suggests the US wanted to kill al-Zawahri with “limited likelihood of collateral death and destruction and for other relevant political reasons,” according to a former intelligence analyst.

Locating a new F-35A squadron at Naval Base Lemoore in California has earned support from the Kings County (CA) Board of Supervisors, reports The Sentinel. NAS Lemoore is in a nationwide four-location competition to house a squadron with the Fresno Yosemite International Airport in nearby Fresno, Barnes Air National Guard Base at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Massachusetts, and NAS Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Louisiana. In a letter of support, the supervisors wrote, “With an excess of 11,800 jobs attributed to the base, and a payroll exceeding $475 million, NAS Lemoore represents the single largest employer in Kings County. The continued success of NAS Lemoore is critical to our local economy.”

Veterans can now start filing new claims for 23 illnesses covered under the new Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, reports The PACT Act provides health care and disability benefits for certain deployment-related diseases and conditions. Veterans Affairs has established a website to answer questions, explain benefits, and provide a way to file a claim.

The USNS Comfort, a Mercy-class hospital ship, will deploy to the US Southern Command region in the fall to visit Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras, reports Seapower Magazine. In 2019, the Comfort conducted medical assistance in 12 nations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Seaman Recruit David L. Spearman died after falling overboard from the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke last week into the Baltic Sea, reports Military Times. The destroyer is based out of Rota, Spain, and is part of the US Navy’s Task Force 65.

Which military service is the oldest? We Are the Mighty says that the Army and Navy claims to that distinction are wrong. The US Coast Guard marked its 232nd birthday last week; on August 4, 1790, the Coast Guard, was born – though initially labeled The Revenue Cutter Service.

Maryland and other states are posting Yellow Alerts in an attempt to nab hit-and-run drivers, reports Stateline. Hit-and-run fatalities have been climbing in the US, jumping from 2,037 in 2019 to 2,564 in 2020, a 26% increase, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A tornado damaged homes and other property on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday night, reports WBOC. The island is about 10 miles off the Delmarva Peninsula, in the Chesapeake Bay. It is uniquely isolated because it is accessible only by boat or helicopter. That isolation makes it more difficult to get aid and supplies to the island, reports Salisbury Daily Times.

Gas prices are likely to keep falling through mid-August in the Washington, DC, region, reports

China launched a classified reusable vehicle on a mystery mission to Earth orbit last week, reports The mystery vehicle is thought to be a robotic space plane, perhaps one roughly the same size as the US Space Force’s X-37B.


Ahtna-J.F. Brennan JV, Irvine, California (W911WN-22-D-0001); Alltech Engineering Group, St. Paul, Minnesota (W911WN-22-D-0002); G&G Steel Inc., Russellville, Alabama (W911WN-22-D-0003); Oceanetics Inc., Annapolis, Maryland (W911WN-22-D-0004); and Steward Machine Co. Inc., Birmingham, Alabama (W911WN-22-D-00050), will compete for each order of the $90,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for metal fabrication, refurbishment and installation of products for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. Bids were solicited via the internet with nine received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 4, 2027. US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO), San Diego, California, is awarded an $890,000,000 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-2229 for detail design and construction of fleet replenishment oilers T-AO 211 and 212. Additionally, this contract modification includes an option for the detail design and construction of T-AO 213 which, if exercised would bring the cumulative value of this contract modification to $1,625,000,000. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (58%); Iron Mountain, Michigan (8%); Crozet, Virginia (5%); Beloit, Wisconsin (4%); Mexipali, Mexico (4%); Chula Vista, California (2%); Chesapeake, Virginia (2%); National City, California (1%); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1%); Walpole, Massachusetts (1%); and various other locations less than one percent (14%), and is expected to be completed by June 2027. Fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) in the amount of $890,000,000 (100%) 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.

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (NASSCO), San Diego, California, is awarded a $535,021,375 modification to previously awarded contract N00024-19-C-2235 for the procurement of detail design and construction of Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) 8. Work will be performed in San Diego, California (69%); Santa Fe Springs, California (6%); Crozet, Virginia (6%); Mexicali, Mexico (4%); Houston, Texas (3%); National City, California (1%); Aliağa, Turkey (1%); Belle Chasse, Louisiana (1%); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1%); and various other locations, each accounting for less than 1 percent (8%), and is expected to be completed by March 2026. Fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $535,021,375 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.

Parson’s Government Services Inc., Centreville, Virginia, is being awarded a competitive cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract with a total value of $104,197,175. Under this new contract, the contractor will provide support to plan, program, acquire, design, and construct sustainable, environmentally efficient facilities and infrastructure; execute the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) military construction and sustainment, restoration, and modernization programs; and manage the MDA Real Property Program (including lease management). The work will be performed in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia; Clear Space Force Station, Alaska; Ft. Greely, Alaska; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; and Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The performance period is from August 2022 to February 2028. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the website with three proposals received. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,716,000 are being obligated on this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0858-22-C-0005).

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