January 18, 2021

Art & Lifestyle:

Small Kindness Reaps National Benefit

The US Coast Guard Cutter Campbell alongside the HDMS Knud Rasmussen in Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord. US Coast Guard photo by Seaman Kate Kilroy

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.

A Coast Guardsman bought dinner at a diner for a stranger in Greenland, and strengthened the US position in the Arctic domain. Stars and Stripes reports junior Coast Guard member Kate Kilroy’s lifelong habit of buying the meal of someone she sees eating alone led her to buy a meal for Greenland’s Prime Minister Kim Kielsen. Commanding officer of the cutter Campbell, CAPT Thomas Crane, said Kilroy’s chance encounter “directly strengthened our nation’s position in an increasingly competitive Arctic domain through relationship building.” See more of Kilroy’s photos of the Campbell in the Arctic in Navy Times.

Defense News reports President-elect Joe Biden is considering recently retired military leaders for top military appointments, raising alarms about the civil-military balance at the top of the DoD and questions about whether Congress will allow it. The DefSec is among nine Senate-confirmed Pentagon roles requiring a waiver to appoint military officers retired less than seven years; three service secretary positions require a waiver at five years. The waiver requires approval by Senate and House majorities, and the president’s signature.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are urging Biden to pick a Black Defense secretary, somewhat dimming hopes that Biden will pick Michele Flournoy, which is angering women in national security positions, reports Politico’s Transition Playbook.

Four troops have died of coronavirus complications in as many weeks, reports Military Times. A North Dakota Army National Guardsman is the 12th service member to die of COVID-19 complications, according to the Defense Department’s tally. These most recent include two Air National Guardsmen, one from Texas and one from Hawaii, and a Reserve sergeant in Florida.

Pentagon shake-up continues as another top official departs, reports CNN. The top official leading the Pentagon’s Defeat-ISIS Task Force has resigned, becoming the latest senior official to be fired or asked to resign in recent days, part of a White House-directed post-election purge that saw some of the senior-most DoD civilians ousted in a matter of days.

NATO grapples with its military future in Afghanistan as the US draws down troops while Taliban and extremist attacks mount, reports Military Times. “We face a difficult dilemma. Whether to leave, and risk that Afghanistan becomes once again a safe haven for international terrorists. Or stay, and risk a longer mission, with renewed violence,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Feed St. Mary’s Food Bank, partnering with more than a dozen other agencies, distributed more than 900 Thanksgiving meals, reports The BayNet.

 

 

“Space race” is taking on a new magnitude with the push for cybersecurity in space, reports C4ISRNET. The expansion is evident with the resurrection of  the US Space Command, establishment of the US Space Force, and into partnerships between government and industry that are accelerating the development and deployment of space capabilities.

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is now back in the Middle East after conducting an exercise series with the Indian Navy, reports USNI News. The Pentagon pointed to an upcoming troop withdrawal as a reason for wanting a carrier presence in the region, that no specific threat triggered the strike group’s return, it’s duty, according to US Central Command is to “remain postured and prepared to help preserve regional stability and security.”

BAE gets new $3.2 billion munitions contract with the British over 15 years in a single-source deal, reports Defense News. The Next Generation Munitions Solution program will see BAE produce 39 different munitions for the armed services from five different sites across the UK.

Biden, this week, gained access to the President’s Daily Brief, the top secret summary of US intelligence and world events, reports Military Times. “The briefers almost certainly will be asking Biden what he prefers in terms of format and style,” said David Priess, author of “The President’s Book of Secrets,” a history of the PDB. “At a minimum, they’re seeing what seems to resonate most with him so that when they make the book his book, they can tailor it to him.”

St. Simons Sound Incident photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Himes

The salvage began last month of the car carrier Golden Ray, still carrying the 4,200 vehicles it held when it capsized in September 2019 in St. Simons Sound, GA, reports gCaptain. Crews finished cutting and lifting the first section of the wreck late last month. Preparations are underway for that section to be transported by barge. In total, the Golden Ray will be cut into eight sections for removal.

The Navy has released promotion selection lists for both active duty and reserve officers for the ranks of captain, commander, lieutenant commander, and lieutenant in the line and staff corps, reports Navy Times. Several of the selection board results for FY21 have been postponed due to delays from the COVID-19 pandemic and are still awaiting Senate confirmation.

The Netflix four-part animated World War II series “The Liberator” is winning an array of accolades, reports Military Times. Adapted from best-selling author Alex Kershaw’s book of the same name, the series “traces the remarkable battlefield journey of maverick US Army officer Felix Sparks through the Allied liberation of Europe — from the first landing in Italy to the final death throes of the Third Reich,” according to the book’s synopsis.

Military.com reports Iran retaliation is likely after the Nov. 27 ambush killing of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh outside Tehran, according to the retired admiral who commanded the SEAL Team 6 raid that took out Osama bin Laden. “The Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to retaliate” against either the US or Israel, said retired ADM William McRaven.

Contracts:

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Moorestown, New Jersey, is being awarded a $7,654,990 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost (no fee) modification to previously awarded contract N00024-14-C-5104 to exercise options for ship integration and test of the AEGIS Weapon System (AWS) for AWS baselines through Advanced Capability Build (ACB) 12. This option exercise will provide AEGIS shipboard integration engineering, AEGIS test team support, AEGIS modernization team engineering support, ballistic missile defense (BMD) test team support and AWS element assessments. Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia (33%); San Diego, California (25%); Everett, Washington (25%); Bath, Maine (10%); Moorestown, New Jersey (3%); Camden, New Jersey (2%); and various locations across the US, each less than 1% (2%), and is expected to be completed by November 2021. Fiscal 2013 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $1,409,269 will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 30, 2020)

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