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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Pax Firefighters Train at Merchant Marines School

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.

It’s every sailor’s responsibility to respond to an emergency, so even though NAS Pax River is a shore-based air installation, 25 Pax River firefighters had the opportunity to receive shipboard firefighting training at the Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Piney Point, MD, reports Southern Maryland Chronicle. The Pax River firefighters built upon a close working relationship with the Joseph Sacco Firefighting and Safety Training School, part of the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education for US Merchant Marines.

If President Joe Biden declares a national climate emergency, the Pentagon is likely to get a sudden influx of money to start working on its long list of resilience and adaptation projects, says Bloomberg Law. The declaration of a national emergency could empower the Pentagon, under the National Emergencies Act, to start military construction projects that aren’t otherwise authorized by Congress, and that are deemed necessary to support the armed forces.

Airbus’ Zephyr drone breaks its own flight record high above Arizona, reports C4ISRNET. The solar-powered Zephyr drone beat its record for time aloft as an uncrewed aircraft system, closing out last week with 36 days completed so far, and counting. The aircraft launched June 15 and remains deployed some 70,000 feet over Arizona. The pilotless aircraft previously set the longevity record at about 26 days in 2018.

Amid a summer heat wave, the Army and Air Force have run out of women’s hot weather uniforms, the result of a contract dispute arising from a protest of Golden Manufacturing’s $22.6 million award in April 2021 for women’s hot-weather trousers, reports Military Times. Several companies make uniforms for the Army and Air Force, but Golden Manufacturing is the only one that makes trousers for women. Other companies also make men’s uniforms, so there is no widespread shortage, but base exchange stores have mostly run out of hot weather uniforms for women.

Expansion of the VA caregiver program to all eras of service remains set for October, reports Military Times. With about two months left until a congressional deadline, Veterans Affairs officials said plans to expand the caregiver support program to veterans of all eras remain on schedule, even if fixes to other aspects of the program are still in limbo. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers provides a monthly stipend to qualified full-time caregivers of seriously ill or injured veterans who served before 1975 or after 2001. But per a mandate from Congress, the program must be opened to all families by October 1 of this year.

John Paul Cook, 58, an Army veteran who faked blindness for nearly $1 million, is going to prison, reports Military Times. The former soldier defrauded Veterans Affairs by pretending to have a service-connected disability. Cook received approximately $978,138 in disability payments from the VA between 1987 and 2017. He was sentenced in court to less than a year in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

South Korea is ready to launch its first moon mission, reports The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, or KPLO for short, is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket next Tuesday, August 2. The mission is viewed as the first step in South Korea’s ambitious deep-space agenda, which also includes a robotic landing onto the moon by 2030 and an asteroid sample-return mission. The test lunar orbiter will carry a total of six payloads. Five were developed by Korean universities and research organizations, including the Korean Aerospace Research Institute, and the other is from NASA.

China’s new space station module docks, beefing up orbital science, reports China now has a new module on its Tiangong space station. The new module docked successfully with the Tianhe section of the crewed Tiangong space station Sunday, July 24, according to China’s space agency.

Ukraine still faces hurdles to its grain exportation despite the new deal with Russia, reports USNI. An agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, to allow shipments of the food stuff to leave the country, which Russia and Ukraine signed on Friday, would allow merchant ships to take grain out of three Ukrainian ports, including Odesa. But 12 hours after signing, Russia bombed a port in Odesa, although it did not hit the grain facilities.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: July 25, 2022.



Taiwan’s capital staged air raid drills Monday and its military mobilized for routine defense exercises, coinciding with concerns over a forceful Chinese response to a possible visit to the island by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, reports Military Times. While there was no direct link between China’s renewed threats and Taiwan’s defensive moves, they underscore the possibility of a renewed crisis in the Taiwan Strait, considered a potential hotspot for conflict that could envelop the entire region.

The US National Guard is considering major expansion in the Indo-Pacific, reports Military Times. Last week, during a trip to Indonesia, Joint Chiefs chairman Army GEN Mark Milley said prioritizing the Indo-Pacific was important because of China’s increased aggressiveness in the region, which lacks a NATO-style collective security alliance. Since 2002, the Guard has added 15 of the 36 Indo-Pacific nations to the program: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, and Vietnam.

The Pentagon is considering removing Morocco as host of the largest military exercise in Africa, reports Military Times. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, has led the charge against having Morocco host the African Lion exercise to push back against its control of the disputed Western Sahara. “For more than five decades, the Sahrawi people have been subjected to repeated broken promises and vicious attacks by the Moroccan government,” Inhofe said last week at a confirmation hearing for the nominees to lead Africa Command and Special Operations Command. “I’m pleased that [DefSec Lloyd Austin] is in agreement with me on this issue.”

Pilot error likely caused the Navy’s TH-57 helicopter crash in summer 2021, reports Navy Times. Student pilot error is believed to have caused the crash in August 2021 of a TH-57 Sea Ranger training helicopter, which left the student and instructor pilot with what authorities described at the time as critical but non-life-threatening injuries. Still, authorities can’t say for sure what caused the mishap due to several factors, according to an investigation obtained by Navy Times. First among those factors was the lack of a flight data recorder aboard the training helo, an issue that investigators said will be corrected as the training wing transitions to newer aircraft.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act calls for the Pentagon to come up with a new strategy for fielding systems capable of defeating swarms of enemy drones that US troops may face on future battlefields, says Federal Scoop. The text of the legislation, released last week, includes a number of provisions aimed at addressing the emerging threat. The DoD set up a Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems Office, but lawmakers want the Pentagon to improve defenses against large numbers of drones conducting coordinated attacks against US assets.

The US military is investigating possible ‘dysfunction’ at its Texas medical center after a colonel resigns, reports Air Force Times. Air Force COL Ken Bode described widespread “Machiavellian maneuvering and counterproductive bureaucracy” as he resigned from command at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas — the military’s largest health care hub. The hospital system at Joint Base San Antonio has a deeply ingrained toxic culture of “cronyism and sycophancy” that is “an affront to ideals of military leadership,” the outgoing commander of the 959th Medical Operations Squadron wrote in a July 19 resignation letter obtained by Air Force Times.

America’s iconic Route 66 has quite a connection to the Marine Corps. It was Bobby Troup Jr., a Marine captain who served during WWII, who wrote the famous song “Route 66.” Beyond that, the Marine Corps actually owns part of the famous highway in Barstow, CA, reports We Are the Mighty.

Booz Allen Hamilton has established a venture capital organization to invest an initial $100 million in emerging tech firms, reports Washington Technology.

The union representing almost 2,500 machinists at three Boeing Defense factories has voted to reject the company’s latest contract offer and strike beginning August 1. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 837 said in a release issued Sunday talks broke down over what it saw as an inadequate 401(k) plan, reports Defense News.

The expeditionary sea base Lewis B. Puller and the dry cargo ship Wally Schirra teamed up to rescue stranded mariners in the Gulf of Aden, reports Navy Times. The Wally Schirra was conducting routine operations in the waters of US 5th Fleet on July 18, when the Turkey-flagged vessel Anatolian issued a mayday call. “Wally Schirra provided Anatolian engineering support as well as food and water supplies for its 14 crew members over three days,” the Navy said in a statement. Puller took over for the Wally Schirra on July 20, and another support vessel relieved the expeditionary sea base the next day, concluding US involvement.

US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection seized 20,000 pounds of khat recently at the Port of Seattle, with an estimated street value of $3.6 million, reports Maritime Executive. Khat is a plant grown in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and contains the amphetamine cathinone, which is habit-forming and psychcoactive. It is classified as a controlled substance in the US. It is a socially accepted drug in Yemen, Somalia, and Ethiopia, and some mariners may remember it as the stimulant of choice for Somali pirates. Its leaves are chewed or dried for tea.


SourceAmerica, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $9,099,930 firm-fixed-price contract for cold weather canteens. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Vienna, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $9,099,930 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-22-C-0036).

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