September 5, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Pax River’s Somerville Makes History Again


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.

CAPT Elizabeth Somerville became the US Navy’s first woman to command Naval Test Wing Atlantic, reports The Southern Maryland Chronicle. A change of command ceremony was held last week at NAS Pax River. Somerville relieved Commodore COL Richard Marigliano. Naval Test Wing Atlantic is comprised of four test and evaluation squadrons that conduct testing for the Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

Somerville also made history when she took command of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Pax River last summer, LexLeader reported at the time. The chief test pilot participated in an airborne change of command ceremony in July 2021.

The USS Abraham Lincoln returned to San Diego, CA, last week with two destroyers in tow and some 6,000 sailors and Marines aboard. It marked the completion of a US military first, reports The Orange County Register. Navy CAPT Amy Bauernschmidt had completed her first mission as the first woman to command a US aircraft carrier.

The US military said a drone attack hit a compound run by American troops and US-backed Syrian opposition fighters in eastern Syria, reports The Associated Press. No casualties or damage was reported, and there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The US Marine Corps said the fatal March 18 MV-22B Osprey crash in Norway that killed four Marines was caused by pilot error, reports Marine Corps Times. A “series of maneuvers” made by the aircraft at a low altitude that “exceeded the maximum angle-of-bank for an MV-22B” was listed as the primary cause of the crash according to a service statement.

The US Air Force said its MH-139 Grey Wolf is set to enter flight testing in the coming month, reports Air Force Magazine. The service had hoped to declare initial operating capability by this year, but plans were delayed when the helicopter ran into trouble getting Federal Aviation Administration certification.

John Sneden, director of the Air Force’s propulsion directorate, said the US military’s industrial base for advanced fighter engines could be on the verge of “collapse” if the Air Force decides to not pursue a new adaptive engine for the F-35, reports Breaking Defense. “The perception I think that’s out there is that we’re maintaining, if not advancing, our military advantage in propulsion,” he told reporters at the Air Force’s Life Cycle Industry Days. “… But the reality is that our lead is starting to — we’re essentially stagnating, and we’re starting to lose.”

China announced new military drills around Taiwan, reports The Washington Post, as a delegation of US lawmakers met with Taiwanese officials this week. China has accused the United States of “playing cheap political tricks” by strengthening its unofficial relationship with the self-governing democracy.

Fourteen nations are participating in the latest military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region, reports Military Times. This year’s Super Garuda Shield is being seen by China as a threat. China has accused the US of building an Indo-Pacific alliance similar to NATO to limit China’s growing military and diplomatic influence in the region.



The US has evacuated more than 800 American citizens from Afghanistan since the Taliban swept to power and US troops officially left the country August 30, 2021, reports Politico. According to data from House GOP investigators and the State Department, hundreds more Americans were left behind in Afghanistan than was previously known. The Republican report focuses on thousands of others who were not helped, including more than 3,000 Afghan security forces believed to have fled into neighboring Iran, reports Army Times.

A No One Left Behind poll found that four in five Afghans who worked for the US have faced Taliban threats, reports Defense One. These people are facing a “grim” security situation, said Soren Duggan, assistant director of advocacy for the nonprofit organization.

Twenty-nine students graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School earlier this month, reports Southern Maryland News Net. Graduates included members of the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force; students from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, and Italy; and civil service engineers from the Department of the Navy.

A Defense Department inspector general’s report reveals holes in DoD law enforcement active shooter response, reports Military Times. According to the report, there are currently five policies pertaining to active shooter situations, but no overarching, consistent strategy.

The family of a murdered Fort Hood soldier filed $35 million lawsuit against the US Army, reports Fox News. Vanessa Guillen’s family is seeking damages for sexual harassment, abuse, assault, rape, sodomy, and wrongful death. Guillen had been reported missing on April 22, 2020. Her body was found two months later 20 miles from the Texas base.

Vertical magazine features US Coast Guard Commander Stewart Ross Graham, the first living USCG aviator to be inducted into the Coast Guard Aviation Hall of Fame in 1995. He helped pioneer many aspects of rotary-wing flight during his 24 years of service in the Coast Guard. In the mid-1950s, Graham was stationed at Naval Air Test Center at Pax River as head of the Technical Test Division.

“Shark Tank”-type competitions continue to be popular with the Defense Department, reports Federal News Network, as DoD is always open to new ideas, innovations, and products. US Central Command, the organization in charge of military operations in the Middle East, is starting its first-ever Innovation Oasis, reports Defense One. The US Naval Academy recently had graduates present ideas for the SCOUT initiative aimed at creative ways to stop drug smuggling, reports the Office of Naval Research.

Last week, the University of Maryland hosted the annual RoboSub competition which drew 39 teams from 11 countries, reports US Fleet Forces Command. There were multiple categories with various winners in each category, but the winner of the penultimate competition — the Autonomy Challenge — was the National University of Singapore. Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA, earned a second-place finish, and in third was Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh, PA.

NASA’s Robonaut 2 became the first android astronaut to go to space in 2011. Now, about two dozen former NASA engineers, many of whom helped build the robot astronaut, have turned their skills to creating underwater robots, reports WDRB Media.

The University of Maryland and Microsoft announced earlier this month a new partnership that focuses on enhancing diversity and innovation in robotics and autonomy, reports India Education Diary. The initiative is a one-year, $100,000 partnership starting in the fall 2022 semester; it will support Ph.D. fellowships, a seminar series, an undergraduate course and student-led STEM diversity groups.

UMD’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is touting its hands-on learning experiences for undergrad students. They are a “win! win! win!” “Early exposure to research in science and engineering is a life-changing experience for our undergraduate students,” UMD professor Reza Ghodssi said. “As a public university faculty member, I feel it’s part of my job to provide these opportunities to them. And the good news is that we all win in the end.”

Jeremy Duffie of Bethesda, MD, reeled in a 77.5-pound white marlin — a new world record payout for a single fish at the 2022 49th annual White Marlin Open in Ocean City, MD, reports


Crown Point Systems Inc., San Diego, California, is awarded a $47,911,527 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract procures a minimum quantity of 10 various brand name audio visual (AV) video teleconference (VTC) equipment parts and up to a maximum quantity of 32,960 various brand name AV VTC equipment parts. This procurement is in support of Webster Outlying Field Integrated Command, Control and Intel Systems Division’s integration of specialized network AV systems supporting intelligence agencies and the command, control, communication, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, US combatant commanders, Department of Defense agencies and services, and the Department of Homeland Security operational and support components. Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be completed in August 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 US Code 2304(c)(1). The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (N6833522D0036).

BAE Systems Land & Armaments L.P., Sterling Heights, Michigan, is awarded an $87,999,656 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract M67854-16-0006 for Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV). The total cumulative face value of the contract is $1,910,796,347. This contract modification procures labor and material for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle Mission Role Variant Medium Caliber Cannon (ACV-30) for post-critical design review design and development, production representative test vehicles, and support for test activities. Work will be performed in Oceanside, California (14%); Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (14%); Kongsberg, Norway (13%); York, Pennsylvania (12%); Aiken, South Carolina (9%); San Jose, California (7%); Stafford, Virginia (7%); Minneapolis, Minnesota (5%); Johnstown, Pennsylvania (4%); Sterling Heights, Michigan (3%); Phoenix, Arizona (3%); Goleta, California (2%); White Sands, New Mexico (2%); Bolzano, Italy (2%); Twentynine Palms, California (1%); and Vicksburg, Mississippi (1%), with an expected completion date of July 2025. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $30,152,264 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-16-C-0006).

Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, Wisconsin, is awarded a $39,414,122 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-20-C-2300 to exercise an option for fiscal 2022 engineering and class support requirements in support of detail design and construction of the Constellation-class guided-missile frigate. Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin (30%); Newport News, Virginia (25%); New York, New York (10%); Columbia, Maryland (10%); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (10%); Ayer, Massachusetts (5%); Arlington, Virginia (5%); Herndon, Virginia (2%); Camden, New Jersey (2%); and Tulsa, Oklahoma (1%), and is expected to be completed by August 2023. Work is expected to be completed by August 2031 if all options are exercised. Fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $5,500,000 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.

Workplace Solutions Inc., Jacksonville, Florida, was awarded a $9,752,018 firm-fixed-price contract for the initial outfitting of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 24, 2024. Fiscal 2010 military construction and operation and maintenance funds, Army in the amount of $9,752,018 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock, Arkansas, is the contracting activity (W9127S-22-C-6001).

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