May 19, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Parris Is. Marine Band Is Emmy Nominee

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An original composition performed by the Parris Island Marine Band — inspired by its musical director’s wife and her work as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic — has been nominated for an Emmy. “You Were There” salutes first responders who continued to work at the height of the pandemic, from doctors and nurses to grocery store workers to garbage collectors, reports Stars and Stripes. Facebook shows the band performing “You Were There,” composed by Dr. Onsby Rose.

Mars helicopter Ingenuity is recovering from a communications blackout spawned by dust, reports Space.com. Ingenuity is back in contact, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory hopes to return it to normal operations soon. The lab reestablished contact with the miniature Mars helicopter on May 5 after it missed a scheduled call-in about two days before. Engineers suggest that the helicopter may have entered a low power state due to a combination of high levels of dust in the atmosphere and low local temperatures. The situation rendered the solar-powered Ingenuity unable to communicate with its base station, the Perseverance rover, which sends the helicopter’s status to Earth via Martian satellite.

Greek shipowners break the European Union’s ban on Russian oil, reports gCaptain. The European Union is set to soften its sanctions package on Russian oil exports after a weekend of wrangling, though it aims to keep a key shipping provision that will hinder Moscow’s ability to export its crude. The bloc will drop a proposed ban on EU-owned vessels transporting Russian oil to third countries, according to documents seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter. Critically, a prohibition on insurance is still in the works and would remain a significant impediment to exports.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday that the decision on the possible use of nuclear weapons was clearly set out in Russia’s military doctrine, according to Reuters. “We have a military doctrine — everything is written there,” Alexander Grushko was quoted by state news agency RIA as saying. Russia’s official military deployment principles allow use of nuclear weapons if they — or other types of weapons of mass destruction — are used against it, or if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons. The decision to use Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal, the biggest in the world, rests with the Russian president, currently Vladimir Putin.

Today, May 11, is the 77th day of the war in Ukraine. Al Jazeera keeps a tally of day-by-day events in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Members of the World Health Organization’s European region passed a resolution on Tuesday that could result in the closure of Russia’s regional office and the suspension of meetings in the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine, reports Reuters. The resolution referred to a “health emergency” in Ukraine, referring to mass casualties as well as risks of chronic and infectious diseases that have resulted from Russia’s military actions.

UK government hackers have destroyed hundreds of thousands of stolen credit card details held by criminals, reports Sky News. The hackers work for the UK’s National Cyber Force.

More than 100 families have filed claims against the government for illnesses and out-of-pocket expenses they say are related to drinking fuel-tainted water in their homes at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, reports Military.com. A November fuel spill forced thousands from their homes at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and other military housing neighborhoods near Honolulu.

 

 

As the war in Ukraine drags into its third month, the US is trying to figure out the best way — and pace — to train troops there on how to use the Western arms flooding into the besieged nation, reports Defense News. Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have either completed or are undergoing training on how to operate artillery, air defense radar systems, loitering drones armed with explosives, and armored personnel carriers. The US doesn’t want to outpace the capacity to learn in the midst of an active fight by delivering more new weapons than their troops can handle.

Shouts of “Hurrah!” echoed through Moscow’s Red Square on Monday from thousands of troops and veterans as Russia celebrated Victory Day, marking the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany 77 years ago to end World War II in Europe, reports Defense News. Missiles, tanks, and other armored vehicles rumbled over the cobblestones in the annual military parade, and thousands of troops marched in tight formation as Putin watched with other dignitaries.

The UN Security Council met yesterday, Wednesday, at the request of the US to discuss North Korea’s latest missile launches, reports Reuters. Washington pushed the 15-member body to strengthen sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine on Saturday, South Korea said, the latest in a string of ballistic missile launches, which are banned by the UN Security Council.

In Army helo competitions, Sikorsky says factory tech and 3D printing give them an edge, reports Breaking Defense. Sikorsky invested in additive manufacturing capabilities, including 18 thermoplastic 3D printers. Bob Perchard, director of manufacturing engineering at Sikorsky, said the facility would receive two metal 3D printers by the end of the year. Perchard said “hundreds” of parts on FARA and FLRAA would be 3D printed, including drive system and rotor system components.

Clear-eyed assessments from Navy leadership and third-party auditors agree that the current shipyard structure isn’t good enough, reports Breaking Defense. Getting it right is the backbone for any hope to be able to challenge China in the Indo-Pacific, let alone keeping America’s global presence afloat.

Fewer Marines and more sensors are part of Marine Corps Commandant GEN David Berger’s latest force design revision, reports USNI. Reducing the Marines to 175,000 and adding more sensor capability to smaller units are part of a wide swath of adjustments the Marine Corps is pursuing in the latest iteration of its modernization drive. The Force Design 2030 annual report is the Marines’ latest refinement of plans to orient the service to face complex threats in the maritime environment within the next decade.

Industry execs tell Congress that the Pentagon must advance AI to stay ahead of rivals, reports C4ISRNET. While the US is ahead of China, Russia, and other adversaries, deliberate and holistic efforts must be undertaken to maintain that lead, the officials with Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft Corp. said.

A group of former national security officials is asking lawmakers to exempt immigrants with advanced science, technology, engineering, and math degrees from green card caps in order to help the US compete with China, reports Defense News.

The US Navy’s 2nd Fleet surged forces to the North Atlantic between January and April, responding to a request from the top US commander in the region amid heightened tensions with Russia, reports Business Insider. The short-notice deployment was the first time the 2nd Fleet has had command and control of forces in Europe outside of an exercise, and it demonstrated the fleet’s flexibility and responsiveness, fleet commander VADM Daniel Dwyer said.

Firefighters in New Mexico’s Rocky Mountain foothills are prepared to excavate new firebreaks and clear brush to create more defensive lines aimed at preventing a massive wildfire from destroying more homes and tinder-dry pine forests, reports Al Jazeera. The fire – the largest in the United States right now – has burned nearly 300 structures including homes, commercial buildings, and barns.

Yessenia Mollinedo and Sheila Johana Garcia have been killed, raising the death toll for media workers in Mexico this year to 11, making the country the most dangerous for media workers outside of war zones, reports Al Jazeera.

A group of gun dealers and a Second Amendment advocacy group have filed a federal lawsuit against Anne Arundel County, reports Maryland Matters, seeking to overturn a law that requires retail stores that sell guns and ammunition to include pamphlets focused on suicide prevention and conflict resolution.

Contracts:

Palantir USG Inc., Palo Alto, California, was awarded a $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price modification (P00009) to previously awarded contract FA8806-21-C-0010 for a Data-as-a-Service Platform. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for additional term software licenses, cloud hosting, enablement services, support and training for each platform solution under the basic contract. Work will be performed in El Segundo, California; Palo Alto, California; Washington, DC; and New York, New York, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2022. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $16,895,000; and fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $121,500,000. Space Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, California, is the contracting activity.

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