May 25, 2024

Readiness Rate of F-35s Raises Questions


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.

A Project on Government Oversight’s Center for Defense Information June 2019 reports reveals that 8.7 percent of the 23 F-35s fighter jets in the Edwards Air Force Base test fleet were “fully mission capable,” reports Business Insider. The May rate was 4.7%; the average rate was 11% for December 2018 through June, according to the POGO report.

The US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard issued new guidelines designed to cut through the confusion over cannabis-based products, reports Navy Times. NavSec Richard Spencer released ALNAV 057/19, which continues to ban all products derived from hemp or marijuana, including CBD, even if they’re considered legal in states where military bases are located.

China’s drive to dominate the quantum technology field with big economic and military applications is outpacing the US, The Washington Post reports. China’s investment is helping it catch up with Western research in the field and, in a few areas, pull ahead, according to the report.

The Trump administration has approved a potential arms sale to Taiwan involving dozens of new Lockheed Martin F-16V fighter jets, reports Defense News.

An Iranian tanker sailed through the Mediterranean Sea toward Greece on Monday after it was released from detention off Gibraltar, reports Reuters, and Tehran said that any US move to seize the vessel again would have “heavy consequence.”

US officials in Iraq are seeking Iraqi approval before launching any air operations, reports Military Times, a move made a day after that nation’s prime minister announced a ban of unauthorized flights, including those involving coalition forces fighting ISIS.

Capt. Anneliese Satz conducts pre-flight checks prior to a training flight aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. Satz graduated the F-35B Lighting II Pilot Training Program in June and will be assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 in Iwakuni, Japan, as the first female Marine F-35 pilot. (US Marine Corps photo Sgt. Ashley Phillips)

The US Air Force has inspected, and cleared to fly again, most of the 123 C-130 Hercules that were grounded earlier this month due to concerns about potential cracking in a wing joint, reports Air Force Times.

President Trump met late last week with StateSec Mike Pompeo and other members of the national security team on the state of peace negotiations in Afghanistan, reports The Associated Press. The president said that Afghanistan “can’t be a laboratory for terror” as discussions over a potential US withdrawal from the country persist after nearly 20 years at war, reports CNN.

The Army says four brigades — from Fort Hood, Fort Drum, and Fort Stewart-Hunter — will be deployed to Afghanistan and Europe, reports Army Times. The deployments to Afghanistan come amid ongoing peace talks with the Taliban, reports Military Times.

The 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber) partnered with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County training centers in Columbia , MD, to design a Tool Developers Qualification Course, which produces computer programmers for the US Army and recently graduated its first class of “cyber soldiers,” reports the Fort Meade Soundoff.

Gold Star families hit with surprise tax hikes are still waiting for help, reports Military Times. For the past three months, separate plans have sat unresolved in the US House and Senate.

Maryland Matters asks: Will there be a fight for funding between the fire service and education reformers during the 2020 General Assembly session? Fire service representatives sounded the alarm about funding shortfalls at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.

A new strategy to prevent toxic blue-green algal blooms is brewing at a University of Maryland lab where scientists are experimenting with spent grain, used and discarded as part of the beer-making process, reports Capital Gazette.


Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $133,162,809 firm-fixed-price contract for Savannah inner harbor dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with four received. Work will be performed in Savannah, Georgia, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 6, 2021. Fiscal 2019 civil construction; operations and maintenance civil; and river and harbor contributed funds in the amount of $133,162,809 were obligated at the time of the award.  US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah, Georgia, is the contracting activity (W912HN-19-C-5004).

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $124,460,600 firm-fixed-price contract for Charleston harbor dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed in Charleston, South Carolina, with an estimated completion date of July 5, 2022. Fiscal 2019 civil construction funds in the amount of $124,460,600 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (W912HP-19-C-0003).

Flatter Inc., Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Washington, District of Columbia, has been awarded a $39,559,613 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Air Force Senior Leadership Development Program (AFSLDP). This contract provides for the full range of technical, functional and managerial expertise to further support the continual development, enhancement, sustainment and facilitation of the AFSLDP by providing analysis, subject matter expertise, guidance and support to the Force Development and Senior Leadership trainings as well as systems. Work will be performed in the National Capital Region and the estimated completion date is Aug. 16, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and six offers were received. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $136,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The contracting directorate is Air Force, District of Washington, Acquisitions, and the contracting activity is Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (FA701419DA003).

CORRECTION: The Aug. 8, 2019, announcement that BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, was awarded a $369,000,000 ceiling increase modification (P00013) to contract FA2521-16-D-0010 for serviceable components and subsystems for instrumentation tracking systems is incorrect. The correct award amount was $90,500,000.  All other information in the announcement is correct.

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