August 3, 2020

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Sahara Dust Plume Due in MD on Sunday

sahara dust plume

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.

The Saharan dust plume is expected to reach Maryland this weekend, reports Patch.com. The 5,000-mile-long plume of dust swirling toward the United States off the Sahara Desert is expected to move into the southern mid-Atlantic and sections of the Carolinas, likely on Sunday. NASA’s models show, off the coast of Africa, another large cloud continuing to feed the long chain of dust traveling across the Atlantic. The Washington Post traces its path and projected impacts through the week.

Military Times says the White House was aware in 2019 of Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan, according to US officials with direct knowledge of the intelligence. Lawmakers are demanding an emergency briefing on the reports.

The Russians release video claiming there was an interception over neutral waters of three US planes that were flying toward its border over the Black Sea, reports Navy Times.

A bipartisan group of senators aim to limit the president’s ability to remove troops from Germany, reports The Hill, by applying new requirements including certification from the DefSec. The move will not impact operations, families, or execution of “contingency plans,” and Pentagon consultation with allies including NATO and Germany.

The US could buy Turkey’s Russian-made S-400, under a Senate proposal to the FY21 NDAA designed to break the impasse regarding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, reports Defense News. The move comes a year after the US expelled NATO ally Turkey from the multinational F-35 program when Turkey received the S-400 in a $2.5 billion deal with Russia. A tougher stance has also been proposed: implement sanctions on Turkey within 30 days of passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The Navy has begun working through 42,000 moves stalled during the pandemic, reports USNI News. The Navy can now begin eating away at the backlog of sailors and families stuck in place since March. However, service members will not be allowed to travel to California, Florida, or Michigan for permanent change-of-station moves, temporary duty, or other non-essential purposes, reports Military Times. This week the Pentagon gave a green light for travel to Minnesota and North Carolina.

After a 3½-month shutdown, Maryland’s two largest casinos reopen, reports The Washington Post, with firm rules in place: Everyone must wear masks. Capacity is limited to 50%. Temperatures are checked. Hand sanitizer is everywhere. Maryland is just waiting to see if the gamblers will return.

China passes a security law giving it sweeping powers over Hong Kong, reports The New York Times. The law’s swift approval in Beijing signaled the urgency that the Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has given to expanding control in Hong Kong after the territory was convulsed by pro-democracy protests last year.

Times Union has the Washington Nationals hosting the NY Yankees opening day in DC of the 2020 season. The team won’t be the same as the team that won last year’s World Series. Reuters reports that Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross will sit out the 60-game season over COVID-19 concerns.  COVID-19 changes are in the works for umpires as well. ESPN reports MLB umpires might work entire home-stands to curtail travel.

 

 

The Senate is poised to challenge President Trump in the NDAA with legislation requiring the military rename bases bearing the names of Confederate generals, a proposal that is shaping up to be one of the most contentious items in this year’s annual defense bill, reports The Washington Post.

This week’s short congressional schedule will feature one of the longest hearings of the year: Military Times has the Wednesday, today’s schedule of the annual mark-up of the defense authorization bill by the House Armed Services Committee. The full Senate is expected to vote on their version of the authorization bill in the next few weeks, with the House to follow before the start of August.

July 4th Salute to America will mainly feature military aircraft, not tanks, report Military.com, and will span five US cities. Last week, the Pentagon announced that some 1,700 troops will support celebrations in Washington, DC, as well as military flyovers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.

The Washington Examiner reports more than two decades after a law was passed requiring it to do so, the Pentagon released a list of companies operating in the US it believes are tied to the People’s Liberation Army, the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party. The list of 20 Chinese companies includes Huawei and Hikvision.

Cluster of COVID-19 cases in US troops emerges at Kuwaiti air base. Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base, where US troops operate alongside Kuwaiti counterparts is experiencing a new cluster of COVID-19 cases, Military.com has learned. Around 30 US personnel have come down with the novel coronavirus in recent weeks, according to a defense official. An exact number is unknown.

Soldiers in Europe could soon have a new system to disrupt signals, reports C4ISRNET. The Terrestrial Layer System will serve light infantry Army units in Europe giving them an electronic attack capability to deny, degrade, and disrupt enemy signals. These systems were funded in 2018, first delivered in 2019, and help the Army conduct risk reduction for the program of record, while also filling urgent needs of forces at the tactical edge.

Two carrier strike groups have begun operating together in 7th Fleet waters, reports Navy Times. The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan began dual carrier operations Sunday in the Philippine Sea, capping off a month that saw three carrier strike groups operating in the waters of the Japan-based US 7th Fleet.

The Space and Missile Systems Center has issued a $222.5 million contract to Northrop Grumman to continue supporting legacy missile warning satellites, reports C4ISRNET. The system helps detect ballistic missile launches, nuclear detonations, and space launches. Since the first payload was launched in 1970, these satellites have used infrared sensors in geosynchronous orbit to detect ballistic missile launches all around the world. The final payload of satellites was launched in 2007.

Recruiting may never be the same. With his Army recruiting office shuttered due to the coronavirus, Staff Sgt. Anthony Holt has had to be creative to meet his enlistment goals, reports Army Times. Using social media is one way. Signing up the grocery delivery guy is another.

US and five NATO allies start anti-submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Mongoose off the coast of Iceland to enhance their anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, reports Military Times. The exercise is slated to run between June 29-July 10. In addition to the US, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom are participating. Although Iceland is not participating, it is providing logistical support as the host nation.

Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi won a second Arleigh Burke-class destroyer for the current fiscal year, after competing with General Dynamics Bath Iron Works for the additional hull Congress funded, reports USNI. Ingalls won the contract for the 3rd DDG in FY 2020. For the third ship, the Navy provided both shipbuilders the opportunity to revise the FY 2020 option ship price, but only a downward adjustment.

Contracts:

Shadow Objects LLC, Leonardtown, Maryland, is awarded a $48,188,581 firm-fixed-price, level-of-effort-term, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides oversight and management of the Naval Air Procurement Group eBusiness architecture including data alignment, ePS implementation planning and support, audit readiness, contracts digital business and business process efforts. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by June 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, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-20-D-0070).

Inverness Technologies Inc., Annandale, Virginia, was awarded a $46,859,018 firm-fixed-price contract in support of the Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Fort Knox, Kentucky, with an estimated completion date of July 3, 2021. US Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W9124D-20-C-0011).

MC Dean Inc., Tysons, Virginia, was awarded a $25,874,603 firm-fixed-price contract for a design-bid-build construction project at Buckley Air Force Base. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Aurora, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 22, 2022. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 other procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $25,874,603 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-20-C-0028).

Manhattan Construction Co., Arlington, Virginia, was awarded a $21,948,550 firm-fixed-price contract for medical research acquisition building replacement. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work will be performed in Frederick, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of April 6, 2022. Fiscal 2020 military construction (Army) funds in the amount of $21,948,550 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-20-C-0027).

Vectrus Mission Solutions Corp., Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $13,266,231 modification (000182) to contract W52P1J-13-G-0027 for contractor logistics support services for the 82nd Airborne Division. Work will be performed in Fayetteville, North Carolina, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2021. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $1,105,520 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.

Aviation Training Consulting LLC, Altus, Oklahoma, has been awarded a $10,486,636 firm-fixed-price modification (P00045) to contract FA8621-16-C-6339 for B-52 Training System Offensive System Mission Trainer H1 Combat Network Communications Technology upgrade. The contract modification is for the third increment of the seven-year basic contract. Work will be performed at Sterling, Virginia, and is expected to be completed Dec. 31, 2021. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $9,167,709; and fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,318,927 will be obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $10,486,636. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Chantilly, Virginia, has been awarded a $7,322,204, cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00020) to contract FA7022-16-C-0007 for development and sustainment of the atmosphere and space mission system. This modification provides for the exercise of an option to provide 12 months of services under the basic contract. Work will be performed at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, and is expected to be completed July 31, 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $2,924,004; and fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $736,000 are being obligated at time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $30,510,946. Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Patrick AFB, Florida, is the contracting activity.

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