July 14, 2020

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‘Serious Concerns’ with DC July 4th Celebration

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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 from the National Capital region called on the Trump administration to drop plans for a second “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC, reports The Hill. In a letter sent to the secretaries of the Defense and Interior 10 lawmakers expressed “serious concerns” about  bringing thousands of people to the capital amid the coronavirus outbreak. The capital region has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and is still largely under stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the virus.

The NDAA will proceed, as it has for 59 years, says the Senate Armed Services Committee, which plans to mark up its annual defense policy bill the week of June 8. The full committee markup is set for June 10, reports Defense News.

The Navy wants $12 billion for unmanned platforms, reports National Defense: About $7.9 billion toward drones (including nearly $4.3 billion for the MQ-4C Triton and nearly $1 billion for the MQ-25 Stingray). The additional $2.2 billion toward unmanned surface vessels, and $1.9 billion for unmanned underwater vessels, marks a 129% increase in the FY21 request from the FY19 budget.

A pandemic test of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2 concept — designed to keep commanders abreast of complex and dynamic battlefields — successfully pinpointed an upcoming COVID-19 hotspot, by rapidly relaying first-responder data up the chain of command. It was a first-of-its-kind warning, generated by an experimental data collection system, tied into the Pentagon’s planned next-gen combat information effort; and it worked.

DoD plans to shift from pandemic footing to more normal operations based on White House issued criteria on declines in reported symptoms, declines in new cases, and hospital access, reports FCW. Based upon a decline in coronavirus cases since May 14, at the Pentagon and other facilities in the National Capital region, the first transition phase could come soon.

The Navy released photos and video of two Russian SU-35s unsafely intercepting a US Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft assigned to US 6th Fleet over the Mediterranean Sea.

NASA’s commercial launch was postponed for weather and rescheduled for Saturday.

Virgin Orbit aborted its first attempt to launch a rocket into space from the belly of a 747 airplane, reports NBC News. Operating out of the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the test launch is part of the company’s plan to launch satellites into space.

Senior military officials are set to brief President Trump in the coming days on options for pulling all American troops out of Afghanistan, with one possible timeline for withdrawing forces before the presidential election, reports The New York Times.

Military Times reports Russia has deployed military fighter jets to Al Jufra Airfield in Libya to back a Russian state-sponsored private military contractor. US Africa Command expects Russia will provide close-air support and offensive fire for the Wagner Group, which backs the Libyan National Army fighting against the US- and UN-backed government.

 

 

Navy Times has video of a ship-mounted Navy laser shooting down an aerial drone. And also on Monday, according to the Navy, Russian jets intercepting a Navy plane

A live nuclear test could be arranged within “months” if requested by the president, a top defense department nuclear official said this week, reports Defense News.  However, Drew Walter, performing the duties of deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear matters, stressed that there “has been no policy change” when it comes to avoiding live nuclear testing.

The COVID-19 crisis has eliminated the pilot shortage, reports Aviation Week. As commercial airlines lay off cockpit crews, there is suddenly a large number of experienced pilots looking for work. Just months ago Boeing was forecasting a global need for 804,000 commercial pilots over the next 20 years, and hiring bonuses had become commonplace. Now the situation has reversed.

Eglin Air Force Base announced  a “safety pause” last week, following the crash of two fifth-generation fighter jets within days of one another. An F-22 crashed on Eglin’s test and training range Friday morning during a training flight. Four days later, on Tuesday night, an F-35 also crashed on the base’s air field. Both pilots safely ejected without significant injuries.

The No. 2 official in the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General Glenn Fine resigned Tuesday, several weeks after he was effectively removed as head of a special board to oversee auditing of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic relief package, reports Federal Times.

The Maryland judiciary is planning a five-phased return after a shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic that will culminate with the resumption of jury trials in early October, reports Maryland Matters.

The US Space Force has started teaching a new series of courses to give new space professionals “warfighting mindsets,” reports UPI. “Every day our space warfighters purposefully prepare to negate potential adversaries’ attempts to claim space superiority over us,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Sebeck, 319th Combat Training Squadron commander.

John Ratcliffe, 54, was sworn in as director of national intelligence less than a week after winning confirmation in the Senate by a 49-44 vote, reports VOA. He promised to live up to the US intelligence community mantra of speaking truth to power, despite his reputation as a Trump loyalist.

Contracts:

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $10,536,004 modification (P00006) to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N00421-20-C-0003. This modification exercises options to provide engineering and technical services for integrated communications and information systems radio communications on Navy ships in support of the Ship and Air Integration Warfare Division, Naval Air Warfare Center, Webster Outlying Field, Maryland. Work will be performed in Saint Inigoes, Maryland (60%); California, Maryland (30%); Bath, Maine (5%); and Pascagoula, Mississippi (5%), and is expected to be complete by June 2025. Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds for $2,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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