July 18, 2024

Pax Alum 1st Native Woman to Fly Into Space

Pax Alum

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.

Nicole Aunapu Mann will be the first Native woman to fly into space this fall, reports Anchorage Daily News. Mann, a member of Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in northern California, will be aboard the SpaceX Crew-5 mission to go to the International Space Station no earlier than September 29.

Mann graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1999, and also was a member of the US Naval Test Pilot School Class 135 at NAS Pax River. In June 2009, she began her developmental test tour at Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX-23) as an F/A-18 test pilot/project officer, according to her NASA bio.

COL Mann, the Marine turned astronaut, talks about how she got every kid’s dream job in this Military Times video interview.

NavSec Carlos Del Toro is reiterating his priorities for the service and outlined the progress his department has made in eight key areas: sexual harassment and sexual assault, mental health, education, housing, keeping costs down, child care, spouse employment, and the Exceptional Family Member Program, reports Navy Times. Del Toro, in an August 9 memo, told sailors, Marines, and civilian workers, “I have had the chance to listen, learn, and act.”

The US and South Korea began their biggest combined military drills since 2018 on Monday, reports The Defense Post. The countries have carried out joint exercises for years, which they said are purely defensive but North Korea sees them as a rehearsal for invasion.

The US Air Force announced agreements with five aerospace and engine manufacturers to develop prototypes of adaptive engines for its F-35 fighter jets, reports Aerotime Hub. GE Aviation, Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman were awarded a $975 million contract each to carry out the prototype phase of the Next Generation Adaptive Propulsion program.

The US Marine Corps is set to gain three more CH-53K heavy lift helicopter flight simulators, reports Seapower Magazine. Flight crews will train on the full scope of Marine Corps heavy lift missions, including external lift operations, using the full-mission flight simulator that also replicates the various environmental conditions in which the aircraft is likely to fly. Lockheed Martin said that Marine pilots “have smoothly transitioned from the training device to the actual CH-53K’s fly-by-wire cockpit.”

The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force’s P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft carried out search and rescue duties for the first time last week, reports Airforce Technology. The crew from the 201 Squadron maritime reconnaissance team were called to respond to an emergency transmission from two transatlantic rowers from a life raft.

The National Interest reports that the US Air Force anticipates flying its F-16 for quite a long time to come. Though the Fighting Falcon fighter jet is nearly 50 years old, it can still meet all kinds of combatant needs. One of the upgrades F-16s are enjoying is an active electronically scanned array radar mechanism; the Air Force is installing the system “as fast as we possibly can,” COL Tim Bailey said. “We anticipate hundreds of F-16s in active service for decades to come,” possibly as far into the future as the 2040s.

The US Air Force said over the weekend that it was the subject of a “propaganda attack” by a previously unheard-of Iraqi militant group that falsely claimed it had launched a drone attack targeting American troops at an air base in Kuwait, reports Air Force Times. The group, calling itself Al-Waretheen, offered no evidence of an attack.



US employers added 528,000 jobs in July, but job growth in the IT sector was essentially unchanged from June, reports WTOP News. TechServe Alliance, a trade group based in Northern Virginia, found that tech employment was up only 0.32% even though there is not a lack of IT job openings.

The Society for Human Resources Management said its recent survey found a willingness on the part of employers to consider candidates without a college degree or minimum years of experience if they perform well in preemployment assessments, reports WTOP News. More employers are using the assessments, rather than just relying on the candidates’ resumes, education, and credentials.

Army veteran Mark Jackson, who is sick from toxic exposure after deployment overseas, said he was denied coverage for medication he needs and will not benefit from the recently passed PACT Act, reports CBS News. The Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics law was supposed to expand health care benefits for vets who developed illnesses because of exposure to toxic substances from burn pits military bases during their service. “This is what a loophole looks like,” Jackson said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said a woman who led a VFW post in Lavonia, GA, has been charged with misrepresenting herself, reports The News & Observer. Gabrielle Beutler, 31, was the post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5897. Police said she faked being a veteran by using fake IDs to buy a Purple Heart license plate and forged military documents.

Low water levels on the Serbian section of the Danube River due to drought exposed sunken German warships filled with explosives and ammunition, reports The Washington Post. The ships were part of a Nazi Black Sea fleet that sank in 1944 while fleeing Soviet forces. More ships are expected to be found lodged in the river’s sandbanks.

Divers have found a World War I US Navy destroyer off the coast of England, the first to be sunk by enemy fire, reports Navy Times. It is conceivable that a dive team could bring up the USS Jacob Jones’ bell to be kept at the National Museum of the US Navy, as is common to commemorate a vessel’s legacy, but honoring the war grave as a hallowed site means causing as little damage to the ship as possible. The destroyer was hit on December 6, 1917, by a German torpedo, killing 64 of the 110 crew aboard.

Find out what it’s like to fly a fighter jet. Vantage Simulations, a flight simulator company based in the UK, now offers a flight simulator package built around the “Top Gun: Maverick” movie, reports Simply Flying. The simulator package is currently priced at $117. The minimum age is 10, while up to four spectators are allowed.

Naval District Washington said last week that it has halted deliberations on a proposal by the Naval Academy Golf Association to construct a second golf course on Greenbury Point near Annapolis, reports Bay Journal. The decision came after Anne Arundel County proposed leasing the property along the Chesapeake Bay for a conservation and recreation area instead. Located at the mouth of the Severn River, the property is managed by Naval Support Activity Annapolis as a mission-supportive natural resources conservation area. It also serves as a popular hiking destination for nature lovers, runners, and dog walkers, according to NDW.

Statewide major-party candidates pledged cooperation between state and local governments at the Maryland Association of Counties recently concluded summer conference in Ocean City, reports Maryland Matters. The contenders for governor, attorney general, and comptroller did not appear together on stage, but each offered opening and closing statements and answered questions that had been prepared by MACo leaders.


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, is awarded a $4,396,000,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for research, development, engineering, and test and evaluation for programs throughout the Department of Defense within its core competency areas including strategic systems test and evaluation; submarine security and survivability; space science and engineering; combat systems and guided missiles; air and missile defense and power projection; information technology, simulation, modeling, and operations analysis; and mission related research, development, test and evaluation. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $10,600,000,000. Work will be performed in Laurel, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by August 2027. If all options are exercised, work will continue through August 2032. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,803,376 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 2304(c)(3)(B), as implemented in Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-3 — industrial mobilization; engineering, developmental, or research capability; or expert services. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N00024-22-D-6404).

Millennium Engineering and Integration LLC, Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded not-to-exceed contract of $36,345,762. The purpose of this contract action is to execute an approved Exception to Fair Opportunity that authorizes award of a modification to General Services Administration (GSA) contract GS00Q14OADS609, Task Order FA8811-18-F-4001, providing certification support for launch vehicles used for National Security Space Launch. Work will be performed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California; Vandenberg AFB, California; and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, and is expected to be completed by Feb. 21, 2024. Fiscal 2023 Space Force procurement funds in the full amount are being obligated at the time of award. Space Systems Command, Los Angeles AFB, California, is the contracting activity.

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