September 18, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Post 9/11 Vets Unemployment Falls to 3-Year Low

unemployment

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The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans dropped in August to 1.9%, the lowest in more than three years in another sign that the jobs market remains strong despite inflation, reports Military.com on the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

More incidents, less reporting, plummeting confidence in the system to get justice ― those are the takeaways from the Defense Department’s most recent annual sexual assault prevention and response report, released Thursday, says Military Times.

USNI reports that the latest military sexual assault report shows a ‘tragic’ rise in cases. One in 10 female sailors experienced unwanted sexual contact in FY21, one of the worst rates among the service branches, up from 7.5% in FY18. FY 2021 saw 2.1 percent of male sailors experiencing unwanted sexual contact, the worst among the military branches, not including the Coast Guard, which is not part of the DoD’s annual Sexual Assault and Prevention Report released last week.

The Dept. of Veterans Affairs plans to offer abortion services to veterans and dependents covered by VA health care in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life or health of the mother, officials announced Friday. Military.com reports, the proposed rule sent to the Federal Register last week will lift the ts ban on abortion counseling and establish exceptions to its abortion restrictions at VA medical facilities and through its Civilian Health and Medical Program, known as CHAMPVA.

Samsung has disclosed another cybersecurity incident, Yahoo News reported last week. An intrusion earlier this year led hackers to get their hands on Galaxy source code, this time around, attackers obtained some customers’ personal information. The company says that Social Security numbers, as well as credit and debit card numbers, were not accessed. However, the event “may have affected information such as name, contact and demographic information, date of birth, and product registration information.” It hasn’t revealed how many people may have been affected. The company is notifying some customers directly via email.

Lockheed and the Pentagon claim they’re reining in F-35 sustainment costs, reports Defense News, and that they believe the downward cost trend will continue. Lockheed and the F-35 Joint Program Office did not release the annual cost per tail in 2021 for the jet. But in a statement, JPO spokesman Chief Petty Officer Matthew Olay said the amount fell from numbers recorded in 2020.

Lockheed’s fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet arrived in Europe with pristine timing, just as multiple nations were itching to refresh their fleets, reports Defense News. In the face of calls to “buy European,” six European nations went ahead and hitched their wagons to America’s Lockheed Martin’s F-35.

The Air Force’s fleet of CV-22 Ospreys is back in the air again, reports Military.com, two weeks after it was grounded over ongoing safety concerns. There is no immediate fix in sight for a long-standing mechanical issue facing the aircraft. LT GEN Jim Slife, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, said the service is focusing on teaching pilots how to address the issue, which was identified as “hard clutch engagement,” or HCE, which could lead to issues in flight.

Pentagon seeks commercial tech for hypersonic test vehicle, reports Defense News. The DoD is seeking to leverage private investment in commercial hypersonic vehicle technology to demonstrate a high-speed test aircraft. The Defense Innovation Unit published a notice seeking proposals from commercial industry for a hypersonic test vehicle to help alleviate the strain on the Pentagon’s testing infrastructure through a program called Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities, or HyCAT.

NASA will not pursue a launch of Artemis I for the remainder of the launch period, which ends today, Tuesday, according to an update from the agency after a second scrubbed launch attempt Saturday, reports CNN.Future launch periods, including those in September and October, depend on what the team decides early next week, but this results in a minimum of delays consisting of at least several weeks.

Ars Technica reports, the problem that scrubbed the launch last week of the Artemis I, was an 8-inch diameter line carrying liquid hydrogen into the rocket. It sprang a persistent leak at the inlet, known as a quick-disconnect, leading on board the vehicle. Unless the fix can be made at the pad, the Artemis I will not be able to launch this year.

 

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday marked progress in a counter-offensive that began last week, thanking his forces for taking two settlements in the south, a third in the east, reports Reuters. He did not say precisely where the territories were and provided no timeline except to say that he had received “good reports” at a meeting on Sunday from his military commanders and head of intelligence.

The European Union expects Russia to respect existing energy contracts but is prepared to meet the challenge if it fails to do so, Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday, reports Alarabiya News.

Reuters reports, one of two operational reactors at Ukraine’s Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant complex has been shut down due to Russian shelling, operator Energoatom said on Thursday.

Thirteen ships full of grain set sail from Ukraine ports Saturday, the largest convoy of grain vessels yet under a UN-brokered deal. The vessels are carrying 282,500 tonnes of agricultural products to foreign markets, reports gCaptain. The cargo bound for eight countries was loaded at the Black Sea ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk, and Pivdennyi. The ports had been completely blockaded by Russia’s invasion until a July 22 deal that was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

In the buildup to the current Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US urged Kyiv to keep the operation limited in both its objectives and its geography to avoid getting overextended and bogged down on multiple fronts, reports CNN. Those discussions involved engaging in “war-gaming” with Kyiv.

The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester will be nominated to lead the Navy’s acquisition efforts, reports USNI News. Nickolas Guertin, the current Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, is now set to be the White House’s nominee as assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition (RDA), according to a late Friday release from the Biden administration.

Air Force and Space Force recruits who fail a drug or alcohol test as they get ready to ship out for training may still be allowed to join the ranks under a new policy proposal being weighed by the services, reports Military.com..

Researchers believe that tens of thousands of veterans nationwide may be suffering from long-term effects of COVID-19 infection and are urging physicians to more closely monitor their patients for indications of lingering medical problems, reports Military Times.

Master Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Angela Koogler is the first woman to serve as chief of the boat, reports Navy Times. She joined the Navy in 2002 and was the senior enlisted advisor to the commanding and executive officers of a submarine. Koogler became the chief of the boat for nuclear ballistic missile submarine Louisiana on Aug. 22, which is based out of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington.

Satisfaction with Army housing decreased among residents, reports Army Times. A recent survey shows, for privatized housing, the overall score was down by 1.7 points to 73.7 out of a possible 100 points, moving the score into the “average” rating. That’s down a notch from the “good” rating in 2021, when it was 75.4 points.

 

Contracts:

Tribalco LLC,* Bethesda, Maryland, was awarded a $31,924,240 firm-fixed-price contract for radio systems and services. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 12, 2027. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Humphreys Engineer Center Support Activity, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W912HQ-22-D-0010).

John C. Grimberg Co. Inc., Rockville, Maryland, was awarded a $26,435,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a battalion headquarters and company operations facility. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 13, 2024. Fiscal 2022 military construction, defense-wide funds in the amount of $26,435,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-22-C-0036).

TQI Solutions Inc., Norfolk, Virginia, was awarded a competitive, single award, firm-fixed-price contract with a face value of $19,260,129 for information technology and cybersecurity services support for Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY & IMF) Code 109, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $78,246,480. Performance will be at PHNSY & IMF, located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and will include on-site support at PHNSY & IMF’s area of responsibility on Naval Base Guam. Proposals were solicited via SAM.gov and five complete proposals were received. The contract will be funded by fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance appropriation. The period of performance is from Aug. 29, 2022, to Aug. 28, 2023, with four one-year options. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (HC1019-22-C-0007). (Awarded Aug. 22, 2022)

Lockheed Martin, Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is awarded a $17,597,325 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-15-C-5151 to exercise options for ship integration and test of the Aegis Weapon System (AWS) for AWS baselines through Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 16. Work will be performed in Moorestown, New Jersey (49%); Norfolk, Virginia (15%); San Diego, California (8%); Washington, D.C. (7%); Pascagoula, Mississippi (6%); Mayport, Florida (4%); Bath, Maine (3%); and various places each below one percent (8%), and is expected to be completed by May 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,370,485 (73%); and fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,578,087 (27%) will be obligated at time of award, of which $4,370,485 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Strongside Builders LLC, Chevy Chase, Maryland, was awarded a $300,000,000 maximum, single-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract as found in Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 16 for Defense Intelligence Agency delivery order construction. This contract provides for a broad range of facilities services. Work will be performed primarily in the continental U.S., with an expected completion date of March 31, 2028. The first task order (seed project) using fiscal 2022 operations and management funds in the amount of $344,865 are being awarded and obligated immediately following the contract award. This contract was a competitive acquisition and five offers were received. The Virginia Contracting Activity, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (HHM402-22-D-0014).

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a Lockheed Martin Co., Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded a $39,920,367 firm-fixed-price modification (P00001) to an order (N0001922F2491) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N0001919G0029). This modification adds scope to provide production and installation of a VH-92A Flight Training Device (FTD) and updates to a previously delivered VH-92A FTD for the Marine Corps. Work will be performed in Binghamton, New York (49%); Orlando, Florida (17%); Stratford, Connecticut (13%); Sterling, Virginia (10%); Quantico, Virginia (8%); Salt Lake City, Utah (1.5%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (1.5%), and is expected to be completed in March 2024. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $8,869,507; and fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $31,050,860 will be obligated at the time of award, $31,050,860 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

 

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