November 30, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Flat Iron Farm’s Auction Is Back! -

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Retro Christmas Is Back at Lighthouse -

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Flat Iron Farm ‘Casual Christmas’ Opens @ 5pm Thanksgiving -

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Newtowne Players’ ‘Yuletide Yuk-Fest’ -

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Russian Test Threatens Space Station

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.

 “Earlier today the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive satellite test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites. The test has so far generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations,” C4ISRNET quotes State Department spokesman Ned Price at a November 15 press briefing.

BBC reports the US has condemned Russia for conducting a “dangerous and irresponsible” missile test that endangered the crew aboard the International Space Station. The test blew up one of Russia’s own satellites, creating debris that forced the ISS crew to shelter in capsules. The station currently has seven crew members on board — four Americans, a German, and two Russians.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson issued a statement expressing outrage. “With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts. Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board.”

Military.com reports that Veterans Affairs personnel will be automatically granted any requests for religious exemption to the COVID-19 mandate — unless they work with elderly, frail, or severely ill veterans, VASec Denis McDonough said Tuesday.

The Pentagon weighed in this week on Oklahoma’s decision to defy a mandate that National Guard troops get COVID-19 vaccinations, saying DefSec Lloyd Austin has the final authority despite the state’s announcement, reports Military.com.

Navy service members who refuse the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine and do not have a pending or approved exemption face a series of administrative actions including loss of education benefits, promotions, and bonus pay, on top of being processed for separation, reports Navy Times.

Rocket Lab will purchase Planetary Systems Corporation, based in Silver Spring, MD, for $42 million in cash, plus 1,720,841 in shares of common stock, with the potential for additional shares based on future performance, reports TechCrunch. PSC is a spacecraft separation systems company with more than 100 missions having used its mechanical separation systems and satellite dispensers.

The Department of Homeland Security’s rewiring of its hiring and compensating cyber professionals went into effect this week, reports FCW News. Facing an extremely tight labor market for cybersecurity professionals, DHS wants to onboard the first 150 feds under the new system in 2022. Currently, the agency faces around 1,500 vacancies.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set up a vote this week to advance a major defense funding bill and said it will include a provision to repeal decades-old Iraq war powers, reports Washington Examiner.

President Joe Biden has tapped Robert Storch, top watchdog for the NSA since 2018, to take on the same role for the Pentagon, reports Military.com. The Pentagon’s inspector general office was led on an acting basis by Glenn Fine until he resigned in June 2020. Fine resigned shortly after being demoted by then-President Donald Trump to prevent him from overseeing spending of COVID-19 relief funding.

 

 

Aviation Week is delivering the Dubai Airshow virtually, including reports on Lockheed’s denial of Madrid’s plans to discontinue its F-35 purchase agreement and Emirates Airlines doubts about its Boeing 777-8 order. At the show, Defense News reports on the unveiling of the Emirati conglomerate Edge Group’s vertical takeoff and landing drones and precision-guided munition system.

 NATO SecGen Jens Stoltenberg assured Ukraine of the alliance’s backing, including military training, amid an “unusual concentration” of Russian forces in the area, reports Defense News.

As aid agencies warn of a worsening migrant crisis at Europe’s doorstep, Iraq says it will repatriate its citizens stranded along the Poland-Belarus border who want to return home, reports Al-Monitor. Thousands of Middle Eastern migrants, including many from Iraq’s Kurdistan region, are stuck in makeshift camps at the former Soviet republic’s border, hoping to enter Poland, Lithuania, or another European Union member state and gain asylum.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has deployed 500 National Guard troops to the Kenosha area as the homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse comes to an end, reports Military.com. Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday, after which the jury will deliberate.

A Bangor Daily News investigation finds assaults and harassment against women in the Maine Army National Guard continued unchecked for more than a decade. Lax enforcement of internal policies, lack of oversight, and retaliation against complainants created a system in which victims believe they sometimes face harsher repercussions than the soldiers who assaulted them.

A Montana Army National Guard soldier has become the first woman to complete the seven-week Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, GA, reports Military.com.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has used a virtual summit with Biden to warn that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire,” reports BBC News.

The Pentagon has not reported how many Afghanistan relatives of US military personnel have been reviewed by the State Department, reports Military.com. The numbers have been a shifting target since the complete US military withdrawal on August 30. Family members reported as stranded by about 60 service members have not qualified for assisted evacuation, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

The Pentagon accused Iran of “unsafe and unprofessional” conduct by a naval helicopter in the Gulf of Oman, for flying within 25 yards of the USN amphibious assault ship Essex, at one point as low as 10 feet of the water, reports Navy Times. Pentagon spokesman Kirby said the November 11 incident had no effect on the Essex’s operations.

A hearing to help determine whether Seaman Apprentice Ryan Sawyer Mays will go to court-martial for allegedly setting fire to the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard has been pushed back to December, reports Navy Times. The July 12, 2020, fire destroyed the ship as it underwent maintenance in San Diego.

The Marine Corps chooses to discharge 75% of first-term Marines every year, recruiting roughly 36,000 new Marines to fill the ranks, reports Marine Corps Times. USMC Commandant GEN David Berger says that approach is no longer sustainable.

Contracts:

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., doing business as BAE Systems, Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $17,440,229 firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00021) under a previously awarded contract (N00604-19-C-4001) to exercise Option Year Three for the operation and maintenance of Navy communication, electronic, and computer systems. The contract included a 12-month base period and four one-year option periods. The exercise of this option will bring the estimated value of the contract to $63,187,185, and if all options are exercised, it will bring the total estimated value to $80,149,463. Work will be performed in Oahu, Hawaii (94%); and Geraldton, Australia (6%). Work will begin December 2021 and is expected to be completed by November 2022; if all options are exercised, work will be completed by November 2023. Fiscal year 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,730,921 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was solicited on a full and open, unrestricted basis with two offers received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Pearl Harbor, Regional Contracting Department, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is the contracting activity.

DBOC JV, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $49,777,854 firm-fixed-price contract for engineering support services. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 15, 2026. US Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-22-D-0004).

Eastern Research Group Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded an $8,095,831 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for engineering, technical, administrative and programmatic management support for total life cycle management of the various aircrew escape systems managed under the Joint Program Office for Cartridge Actuated Device/Propellant Actuated Device tri-service charter. Work will be performed in Lexington, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by September 2025. Fiscal 2021 working capital (Navy) funding of $500 dollars will be obligated on the first task order at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured and in accordance with 10 US Code 2304(c)(1) — only limited responsible number of responsible sources will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00174-22-D-0003). 

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