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SEAL’s Death Revives Drug & Brutality Concerns

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.

In the wake of another death attributed to Hell Week, The New York Times reports on continued accusations of drug use and brutality during Navy SEALs training. Seaman Kyle Mullen’s heart stopped and he died in January as he rested after surviving SEAL training week. The same afternoon, a fellow survivor, had to be intubated and two others hospitalized that evening. Outsiders and Navy leadership have called the SEALs selection course, known as Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training or BUD/S, too brutal. Since 1953, at least 11 men have died. Now there are new questions: Are the performance-enhancing drugs in widespread use needed to complete the training? And, doesn’t implicitly condoned cheating threaten chain-of-command and the ethical core of the organization?

Ukraine has hobbled Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Could it turn the tide of the war? Politico reports that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was once considered central to Vladimir Putin’s attempted conquest of Ukraine. That fleet and its accompanying air wing have been battered by innovative Ukrainian missile and drone attacks, turning the once-feared force into something of an afterthought in Europe’s largest war in seven decades.

A 24-year-old man from Memphis, TN, is the latest American killed in the conflict in Ukraine, according to reports that he died fighting Russian forces in the contested Donbas region, reports The Hill. The US State Department has confirmed his death but not his identity.

A UN nuclear watchdog team set off this week to safeguard against a radioactive catastrophe at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant at the heart of fighting in Ukraine, reports AP. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called it the hardest mission the International Atomic Energy Agency has faced.

Airmen will be driving an Alaska base’s school buses, reports Air Force Times. Active duty members of the US Air Force will help drive school buses for students at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage as the school district works to address a shortage of drivers. Alaska Public Media reported the Anchorage School District said the military members will drive students for 90 days, starting Thursday.

Bankruptcy has been denied in 3M’s  earplug lawsuit, and the legal battle continues, reports Military Times. 3M Company sought bankruptcy to lessen its financial exposure in the face of pending lawsuits by veterans alleging hearing loss. An Indiana bankruptcy judge has denied the company’s bankruptcy request. 3M had mass-produced combat earplugs for the military. In 2019, hundreds of veterans sued, saying the earplugs failed to maintain a tight seal, allowed sounds large enough to cause damage without the wearer’s awareness.

Troops can now get Novavax as a COVID-19 vaccine, reports Military Times. A new choice for the COVID-19 vaccination is available in military clinics as of Monday, the Defense Department announced. Novavax, a two-dose vaccine that uses different technology and ingredients from previously released inoculations, is now an option for service members.

NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket might still fly this week, reports Launch of the uncrewed Orion capsule toward the moon atop NASA’s new, giant launch-system rocket had been scheduled for Aug. 29 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. An engine issue during countdown scrubbed the attempt and set the next possible launch on Friday, Sept. 2.



Iraq: At least 23 dead amid fighting after Moqtada al-Sadr quits, reports BBC. The violence began on Monday after Mr. Sadr, one of Iraq’s most influential figures, said he was withdrawing from political life. Gunshots and rocket-fire rang out as supporters of Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr clashed with security forces and militias aligned with Iran. Mr. Sadr has ordered his supporters to withdraw from outside parliament, where they have been protesting for weeks. Iraq has been in a state of paralysis since inconclusive elections in 2021.

Fewer troops in CENTCOM? No problem, says 3-star air boss.  Air Force Times reports, as the Pentagon gradually disengages from its longtime wars in the Middle East, according to Air Forces Central Command boss LT GEN Alexus Grynkewich, future success with a smaller military footprint boils down to: “How do we share information? How do we share intelligence? How do we gain a common understanding with each other?”

A new Pentagon group hopes to revitalize efforts to reduce mishapsreports Military Times, specifically aircraft crashes, vehicle rollovers, and ship collisions among others. The Joint Safety Council held its first meeting last week, following its creation in the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act. The group isn’t yet sure what its work will entail.

The Confederate re-naming commission for military installations recommends stripping Confederate service academy honors, reports Military Times. At the Naval Academy the commission recommends renaming Buchanan House, the superintendent’s residence; Buchanan Road; and Maury Hall, the engineering building, at a cost of $27,000. Renamings, removals, and relocations recommended at West Point would cost $424,000. “The Commissioners do not make these recommendations with any intention of ‘erasing history,’ ” the report reads. “The facts of the past remain and the Commissioners are confident the history of the Civil War will continue to be taught at all Service academies with all the quality and complex detail our national past deserves.”

The US Marine Corps Reserve wants more officer diversity from a new enlisted program, reports Marine Corp Times. Marine LT GEN David Bellon, head of the Marine Corps Reserve recalled the success of the Navajo Code Talkers, stated “that’s what diversity and inclusion looks like,” In 2022, Bellon, who is white, launched the Diversity Aimed Officer Program this year, which selected 40 Marines of more than 100 applicants of enlisted reservists to visit the Officer Candidate School and the various training areas that dominate the lives of future Marine officers.

Aug. 30 marked the one-year anniversary of the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in US history, the final act in the longest war in US history. Military Times says the evacuation reflected the chaos, tragedy, and good-intentions-gone-awry that characterized much of the Afghan War.

Greenland ice losses are set to raise global sea levels by nearly a foot in the near future, reports CNN. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests there is no way to stop it, even if the world stopped releasing planet-heating emissions today. It found that the overall ice loss from Greenland’s ice sheet will trigger at least 10 inches of sea level rise, no matter the climate warming scenarios.

Brazil’s ‘man of the hole’ dies, and an Amazonian tribe is no more, reports The Washington Post. The last surviving member of an isolated Amazonian tribe died this month, Brazil’s national Indigenous agency, FUNAI, has announced. Known in Brazil as the “man of the hole,” he had lived alone for nearly 30 years after the rest of his tribe was killed in attacks by ranchers and other tribes during the 1980s and ’90s. The Brazilian government had monitored him for 26 years and said he had repeatedly rejected attempts at communication.

The first Arctic unit is now training with modernized US Army networking gear, reports c4isrnet. The 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, this month began hands-on training with the gear, which is meant to boost mobility and make communications on the battlefield more intuitive.


Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, was awarded an $8,706,668 modification (P00003) to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract HR0011-21-C-0132 to exercise the Phase 2 Option for the Fast Event-based Neuromorphic Camera and Electronics (FENCE) program. The modification brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $14,336,501 from $5,629,833. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland (75%); Baltimore, Maryland (13%); San Diego, California (3%); and Stanford, California (9%), with an expected completion date of June 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3,300,000 are being obligated at time of award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Moog Inc., Blacksburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $10,762,830 firm-fixed-price contract for M1A2 Abrams tank ring assembly electrical parts. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-year base contract with one one-year option period. The delivery completion date is April 27, 2026. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-22-C-0053).

CACI NSS LLC, Chantilly, Virginia, has been awarded a $5,712,635,494 blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for Enterprise Information Technology as a Service (EITaaS) Wave 1. This BPA provides enterprise IT services. CACI NSS LLC is the contractor team arrangement (CTA) team lead and will provide EITaaS Wave 1 services with CTA members Bowhead Logistics Management LLC,* Springfield, Virginia; Cartridge Technologies LLC,* Rockville, Maryland; InSequence Inc.,* Herndon, Virginia; Cask NX LLC,** San Diego, California; CDIT LLC,** Slidell, Louisiana; Vision Information Technology Consultants LLC,** San Antonio, Texas; Oneida Technical Solutions LLC,** Oneida, New York; Enhanced Veterans Solutions Inc.,*** Fairfax, Virginia; and Expansia Group LLC,*** Nashua, New Hampshire. Work will predominantly be performed in Chantilly, Virginia, with additional locations depending on individual BPA order requirements, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 29, 2032. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with four quotations received. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $16,019,340 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity (FA8726-22-A-0001).


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