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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Senate Committee Ups DoD Budget

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), speaks with DefSec Lloyd Austin and Army GEN Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in June 2021 when the defense budget was presented to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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.

Lawmakers look to provide the Pentagon with its annual budget — the Department of Defense Appropriation Act — before the current continuing resolution funding the government expires December 3. But it’s not necessarily the budget the Pentagon requested. The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended a $725.8 billion appropriation for FY22 defense spending, reports Air Force Magazine.

Committee chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), provides a supportive summary. Vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), released a statement saying Democrats’ posting of their FY22 appropriations bills threatens the appropriation process.

The SAC version adds spending across four main priorities: countering China and investing in the Indo-Pacific; artificial intelligence, cyber, and microelectronics; space; and infrastructure and public shipyards. It also shifts $1 billion out of the Pentagon’s top priority programs, reports Bakersfield.com. Legislators want more than  $500 million to return to ongoing programs with Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, reviving funds DoD had pared from fighter jets, helicopters, ships, vehicles, and bombs. $500 million was also added to the Space Force’s request — already $2 billion above ’21 — for a total $17.9 billion in ’22.

Olympus Global, a manufacturer of optics and reprography equipment for medical, life sciences, and industrial use, confirms a cyberattack on October 10, has hit its operations in the Americas (US, Canada, and Latin America). The company reports no impact to operations in other regions. Olympus is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with more than 35,000 employees worldwide in nearly 40 countries and regions. The company holds roughly a 70% share of the global endoscope market, according to Wikipedia.

US power companies are ramping up their coal consumption due to surging natural gas prices, reports CNN Business.US coal-fired generation is expected to surge by 22% in 2021, the US Energy Information Administration said this week, marking the first annual increase in coal-fired electric power generation since 2014, the EIA said, reports CNN Business.

The FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and National Security Agency have issued a joint advisory to help water and wastewater utilities protect their IT and operational technology systems from cyberattack, reports Defense Systems. Findings note utilities typically prioritize physical infrastructure upkeep over cyber, allowing vulnerabilities to insider threats, ransomware, and exploitation of outdated IT components and systems.

LA Times reports a 17-person crew from the Coast Guard is cleaning Windansea Beach this week, following reports and photos appearing of tar balls on La Jolla beaches, more than two weeks after a broken pipeline spilled at least 25,000 gallons of crude oil off the Orange County coast.

 

Earlier this month, Peraton landed a big fish by winning a potential $2.7 billion cloud migration services contract at the Homeland Security Department, reports FCW. Unsuccessful bidder General Dynamics IT filed a protest on October 12. The $2.7 billion Data Center and Cloud Optimization  Support Services contract has a 10-year performance period if all options are exercised.

Supply chain obstacles continue to plague the globe. In response President Joe Biden seeks to move cargo around the clock, but in Los Angeles ports, the gates remained shut on Sunday with a smattering of open traffic on Saturday, reports YahooNews. On Friday, 88 ships were waiting to dock at either Long Beach or Los Angeles harbors — 10 additional ships from the last count on October 13, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

The New York Times reports North Korea last week conducted its first test in two years of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, just hours after special envoys on North Korea met in Washington to discuss how to deal with the isolated country’s nuclear capabilities. The National Security Council of South Korea expressed “deep regret” that the North had launched a missile amid international efforts to continue dialogue. South Korean military said the missile was fired from the naval base at Sinpo on the east coast of North Korea, home to its submarine-launched ballistic missile program.

New diesel-electric attack submarine programs (SSK) for NATO members Italy, Norway, and Germany are indicative of the developing trends in the conventional submarine market for stealthier attack boats, reports USNI. These countries are all developing the Type 212 SSK design for their navies.

The acting inspector general of the State Department is launching a number of inquiries into the Biden administration’s handling of the US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to a notification sent to Congress, reports The Hill.

Lawmakers want the White House to name the successor to GEN John Hyten, the military’s No. 2 officer, slated to retire November 21, reports Politico. The Senate faces an agenda clogged with other Pentagon and State Department nominations and a host of other high-stakes problems to tackle.

Frank Salvatore Rafarci, a 68-year-old Italian-American, agreed to return to the US from Malta to face proceedings related to allegations he falsified invoices and receipts for equipment and supplies provided to the US Navy and is also alleged to have paid cash bribes to a US government official in exchange for insider information on future contracts.

All service members — active-duty and most reserve troops — face deadlines before the end of the year to be vaccinated against COVID-19, reports Military Times. Fewer than 10% of the active-duty force, and 30% of the total force, remain completely unvaccinated. Those who don’t have a medical reason but refuse to roll up their sleeves could face administrative or other repercussions, unless they are approved for a rare waiver for religious reasons.

First lady Jill Biden is promoting the “basic needs allowance” the administration seeks for low-income military families, reports Military Times. The special allowance would to supplement troops with a household income of less than 130% of the federal poverty line. The subsidy is included in the House version of the defense policy bill.

China’s nuclear capability is advancing at a breathtaking pace, ADM Charles Richard, US Strategic Command’s top officer, said about a report that Beijing tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that orbited the Earth before closing on its target. Stars and Stripes quoted Richard, who heads the US nuclear weapons mission, “It almost seems like we can’t go through a month without some new revelation coming about China. I am not surprised at reports like this. I won’t be surprised when another report comes next month.”

Contracts:

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $154,107,055 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides engineering support for the rapid integration of command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems onboard small and large craft, commercial and militarized vehicles, transit cases, mobile communications, fixed base stations, command centers, and intelligence systems in support of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Webster Outlying Field, Special Communications Mission Solutions Division. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland (56%); and Jacksonville, Florida (44%), and is expected to be completed in October 2026. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0042122D0001).

National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $8,898,968 modification (P00010) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-B043) with four one-year option periods for moisture wicking t-shirts. This is an indefinite-delivery contract. Locations of performance are Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas, with an Oct. 30, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

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