May 26, 2023

New Navy Dive Suit a ‘Game Changer’

A US Navy diver tests the capabilities of a new concept suit during the Deep Sea Expeditionary with No Decompression (DSEND) Suit In-Water Concept Demonstration in February. The concept aims to innovate the previous atmospheric diving suit by making it more flexible, lightweight, and user friendly. (US Navy photo by Ronnie Newsome)

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The US Navy completed tank tests of its new deep-diving suit called the Deep Sea Expeditionary with No Decompression system in February, reports New Atlas. The service says the suit is light, flexible, and maintains sea-level internal pressure around the wearer even when hundreds of feet underwater. “DSEND is truly a game-changer because it’s a self-contained environment that keeps internal pressure steady, as a diver descends to depths with increasing external pressure,” said Dr. Sandra Chapman of the Office of Naval Research. “It increases diver safety, allows them to expand the operational envelope and would eliminate lengthy decompression times.” The DSEND demos were held at NSWC Carderock Division in Maryland and at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Florida.

The Naval Aircrew Systems program office at NAS Pax River has developed new headgear — called the Head Gear Unit Number 98/Personal Use (HGU-98P) — that improves both head and hearing protection for Marine Corps aviation maintainers, reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. The head gear is the result of the latest advancements and information gathered from market research, lab testing, and fleet assessments.

The Navy is launching a new security billet — installation security specialist, or 815A — for sailors E-5 (petty officer second class) and below to serve as base sentries for a three-year shore duty tour, reports Navy Times. “Sailors assigned to 815A duties will serve as sentries, protecting access to our installations and supplementing base law enforcement, which will still be primarily comprised of masters-at-arms,” said Ron Herb, Navy Installations Command’s director of force protection.

Laid-off tech workers are making their way back to the defense sector, or joining it for the first time, reports The Hill. Last year, companies working in the aerospace, guided missile, space vehicle manufacturing, and propulsion unit sectors all experienced a significant bump in growth.

Seven former defense secretaries have criticized US Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) as he continues to block nearly 200 military promotions, reports UPI News. They say that the senator’s action is hurting military families and emboldens US adversaries. “The current hold that has been in place now for several weeks is preventing key leaders from assuming important, senior command and staff positions around the world. Some are unable to take important command positions, such as leading the 5th Fleet in Bahrain and the 7th Fleet in the Pacific, which are critical to checking Iranian and Chinese aggression, respectively,” reads the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

US Air Force GEN C.Q. Brown is expected to be named as the nation’s next military’s next top officer, reports Politico. He must first receive confirmation from the US Senate. Brown would succeed Army GEN Mark Milley, who retires in the fall. Navy Times explores what Brown would bring as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Navy announced that the Marine Corps’ UH-1Y helicopter completed an initial flight to test the data transmission of the new Mobile User Objective System Satellite Communications capability for MQ-25 Stingray last month, reports Aerotech News. The team at Webster Outlying Field in St. Inigoes and NAS Pax River transmitted data utilizing unique test equipment to the helicopter during flight, proving MOUS connectivity, resilience, and viability using a maneuvering aircraft.

Built by the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, WI, Cooperstown was launched Jan. 19, 2019, christened Feb. 29, 2020, completed acceptance trials Dec. 14, 2020, and was delivered to the US Navy Sept. 20, 2022. (US Navy photo)

The Navy commissioned the littoral combat ship USS Cooperstown in honor of 70 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame players who served in the military during wartime, reports The Hill. The Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, NY. Hall of Famers Joe Torre and Johnny Bench took part in the ceremony May 6.

The Air Force will retire its U-2 Dragon Lady spy planes in 2026, reports Air Force Times. The service is also planning to retire its RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

A US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed during a training exercise on Saturday near Osan Air Base in South Korea, reports CNN. The pilot ejected safely. The jet crashed in an agricultural area. No civilians were hurt, according to the US military.

The flight data recorders have been recovered from the two US Army helicopters that crashed in Alaska late last month, reports Navy Times. Three soldiers were killed and one was injured when the AH-64D Apaches collided April 27 during a training mission near Fort Wainwright. The investigation continues.

Navy CMDR Brian Drechsler, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Center who was reprimanded in connection with the death last year of a Navy SEAL candidate, has been assigned to a new job, reports Navy Times. SEAL candidate Kyle Mullen collapsed and died of acute pneumonia just hours after completing the Hell Week test in February 2022.

The Ukrainian air force said that it downed a Russian hypersonic missile by using a US Patriot air defense system that it had recently acquired, reports Navy Times.

The US Marine Corps is shutting down its recruit training battalion that for decades was the only unit that turned female recruits into Marines, reports Marine Corps Times. The closing of the now-coed 4th Recruit Training Battalion was characterized by the Corps as an administrative decision that will help standardize training across its two recruit depots of San Diego, CA, and Parris Island, SC.

The second-ever private astronaut mission to the International Space Station has a tentative launch date set for May 21, reports Ax-2 will send four people to the ISS for a roughly 10-day stay.

The United States and Mexico have agreed on tighter immigration policies at border, reports The Associated Press. With Mexico now behind the US, plus an announcement last week that 1,500 active-duty US troops are deploying south, border officials believe they may be able to manage overcrowding and other possible issues.

Tech firms are pushing new security technology, known as “passkeys,” to usher in password-free logins, reports ABC News. A new report finds that 83% of most common passwords can be hacked in less than a second.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has asked the US Commerce Department to declare a fishery disaster in the state, authorizing it to receive federal funds to help Maryland respond to an “explosion” in the numbers of invasive fish in the Chesapeake Bay, namely blue catfish and northern snakeheads, reports Bay Journal. State officials and watermen say it is clear that the blue catfish population needs to be curbed, and the best way might be to catch more of them.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission adopted new regulations for striped bass fishing last week, reports Chesapeake Bay Magazine, decreasing the maximum size for most striped bass fisheries. The new emergency size limit will be 28 inches to less than 31 inches, one fish per person per day.

Mage sprinted to victory Saturday at the 149th Kentucky Derby, reports NBC News. Mage’s path to the Triple Crown will now run through Baltimore, where the Preakness is set for May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.


American Electronics Warfare Associates Inc., California, Maryland, is awarded a $248,228,343 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide technical support services for the research, design, development, and associated engineering in support of battlespace simulation and distributed simulation requirements for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Integrated Battlespace Simulation and Test Department. These efforts include research, development, and maintenance of battlespace simulation tools, application of battlespace simulation tools to specific customer requirements, research and development of warfare scenarios, development and integration of battlespace entity models and behaviors, and support for delivered battlespace products. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in May 2028. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured as a small business set-aside, one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0042123D0005).

General Dynamic Information Technology, Inc., Falls Church, Virginia, has been awarded a $137,861,955 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for service required to develop and sustain the system-of-systems Special Warfare Assault Kit. This contract provides support for the special warfare acquisition growth and refresh, Guardian Angel and tactical air control party modernization programs. Work will be performed in Dayton, Ohio, and is expected to be completed June 15, 2033. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Australia, Bulgaria, India, Bahrain, Bosnia, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkiye, Estonia, Kenya, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Latvia. This single-award contract the result of a competitive source-selection acquisition and five offers were received. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $250,000 will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8629-23-D-5031).

Siler SCF JV LLC, Clairfield, Tennessee (FA4418-23-D-0004); Outside The Box LLC, Richmond, Virginia (FA4418-23-D-0005); A-Plus K&K JV Inc., Newberry, Michigan (FA4418-23-D-0009); Hightower Construction Co., Inc., North Charleston, South Carolina (FA4418-23-D-0007); and Ashford Leebcor Enterprises V LLC, Williamsburg, Virginia (FA4418-23-D-0008), have been awarded a $96,000,000 multiple-award, not-to-exceed, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity for all labor, equipment, materials, transportation, supervision and testing to accomplish a broad range of multi-disciplinary, maintenance, repair and minor construction projects. Work will primarily be performed at Joint Base Charleston – Air Base, South Carolina; Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station, South Carolina; Defense Fuel Supply Point, South Carolina; and Short Stay Recreational Area, South Carolina; and is expected to be completed Nov. 14, 2028. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition, and 12 offers were received. Fiscal 2023 transportation working capital funds in the amount of $7,635,429 and fiscal 2023 decentralized facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization funds in the amount of $8,000 will be obligated at the time of award. The 628th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity. (Awarded May 4, 2023)

Veteran Information Technologies LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded a firm-fixed-price delivery order (HT001523F0059) in the amount of $22,478,098. This is a new equipment purchase to support the Program Executive Office Defense Health Management System mission. The scope of work is the procurement of brand name peripheral support hardware devices for connection to Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS. This suite of commercial hardware items consists of items from various brand name manufacturers as well as some non-brand name hardware items. These specific items provide a unique function that are specific to the ACAT I, MHS GENESIS. The distinctive features in the software connections make the items explicitly compatible with MHS GENESIS. These items will be supplied to the following facilities: James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Wright Patterson Medical Center, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Ireland Army Health Clinic, Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, and Guthrie Ambulatory Health Clinic. This contract provided a fair opportunity with five offers received. It has an estimated delivery date of 45 days after contract award. The contract will be funded with fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds. The Defense Health Agency, Enterprise Medical Services Contracting Division, San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity.

OptumHealth Care Solutions LLC, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was awarded a one-year, firm-fixed-price bridge contract (HT001123C0072) in the amount of $15,000,000 for Global Nurse Advice Line support services. The Global Nurse Advice Line (NAL) is a service to Military Health System (MHS) eligible beneficiaries. The Global NAL will provide access to telehealth registered nurses for triage services, self-care advice, and general health inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The NAL also offers customer service and care coordination services to include, provider locator support, specified military treatment facility appointing services, urgent care referral submissions, and customized military treatment facility transfers to support the military treatment facility’s capability for eligible MHS beneficiaries. The Global NAL requires access and interoperability with existing military applications and systems including the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, Composite Health Care System, and the new electronic health record called MHS GENESIS. Access and interoperability will allow for eligibility verification of NAL callers, and the ability to book primary care appointments, submit urgent care referrals, book appointments for the Red Hill Clinic in Hawaii, and document the NAL encounters. Other capabilities include the ability to provide real-time information sharing, business intelligence, reporting, and archiving of documented call encounters at a corporate, regional, and local level. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance funds are obligated to establish and fully fund the first three months of the one-year bridge contract Line Items 0001-0008 from March 18, 2023, through June 17, 2023. The place of performance is Falls Church, Virginia. The Defense Health Agency, Professional Services Contracting Division, Falls Church, Virginia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded March 18, 2023)

Tidewater Inc., Elkridge, Maryland, was awarded a $20,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Army Reserve Command facility investment services. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 15, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock, Arkansas, is the contracting activity (W9127S-23-D-6041).

Plateau Software Inc., Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $9,900,000 contract for planning and training support services for the US Army Combat Readiness Center. 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 May 8, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-23-D-0066).

Federal Prison Industries Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, DC, has been awarded a maximum $9,906,000 modification (P00006) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-1472) with two one-year option periods for physical fitness uniform trunks. This is an indefinite-delivery contract. Locations of performance are New Jersey, Illinois, Minnesota, and Colorado, with a May 18, 2024, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A&M Engineering and Environmental Services Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma (W912BV-23-D-0013); LRS-Hill JV LLC., Severna Park, Maryland (W912BV-23-D-0014): and MSMM Huitt-Zollars JV LLC, New Orleans, Louisiana (W912BV-23-D-0015), will compete for each order of the $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide the full spectrum of construction phase architect and engineering services. 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 May 3, 2028. US Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity.

Vectrus-J&J Facilities Support LLC, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is awarded a $25,723,825 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to previously awarded contract N62470-20-D-0011 to exercise option two for base operating services at the US Naval Academy complex. This award brings the total cumulative contract value to $75,095,723. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by May 2024. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $17,363,138 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the option period. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Sev1Tech LLC, Woodbridge, Virginia, is awarded a $16,613,080 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, multiple award modification to previously awarded contract N66001-19-D-0060 for command and control (C2) technology and experimentation services. These services will provide technologies, capabilities, and C2 related capabilities in the areas of innovative science and technology research, systems engineering, architecture, design, development, integration, testing, configuration management, quality assurance, experimentation, implementation and support of C2 net-centric operations (tactical, operational, strategic and national interest), information processing, discovery, and presentation efforts as they relate to military operations dealing with joint, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force and/or their interface with civil and non-government components and capabilities. Place of performance will be determined at task order level, but is expected to be primarily in San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by May 2025. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued and are anticipated to include research, development, test and evaluation, operations and maintenance, other procurement, and Navy Working Capital Funds. The Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.

Ian, Evan, and Alexander Corp., Reston, Virginia, was awarded an option year (P00016) valued at $10,059,805 on firm-fixed-price, labor-hour, time-and-materials contract HQ003419F0506 to provide administrative and analytical support services to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security’s Director for Defense Intelligence, Collection & Special Programs. The contractor will provide specialized and sensitive administrative, policy, operational, and analytic support, including the development of strategy and policy, and the conduct of oversight, governance, and integration related to intelligence collection, sensitive activities, national programs, and other special programs. Fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3,776,789 were obligated at the time of award. The cumulative total of the contract is $35,288,268. The total value of the contract if all options are exercised is $36,359,407. The work will be performed at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The estimated contract completion date is April 30, 2024. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded April 27, 2023)

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