July 29, 2021

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Thursday, July 29, 2021

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Timeline on Vote for New DefSec Unclear


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 Senate Armed Services Committee is planning a confirmation hearing at 3 pm Jan. 19 for GEN Lloyd Austin, the Biden administration’s choice for secretary of defense, reports Breaking Defense. A timeline for any vote has not yet been established. Congress must pass a waiver of the seven-year cooling-off period between military service and becoming defense secretary, reports Defense News. The general culminated his military career in 2016. At that time he was the commander of the US Central Command.

President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration is in danger of not having a single Cabinet official confirmed on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, reports The Washington Post.

President-elect Biden has chosen William Burns, a veteran diplomat, to lead the CIA, reports The Associated Press. Mr. Burns was a former ambassador to Russian and Jordan.

Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary, resigned Monday, reports CNBC. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned last week after the riot at the US Capitol.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser is asking the public not to go to the city for next Wednesday’s inauguration, reports The Washington Times. She encourages supporters to stay home and watch the ceremony on television. “The inauguration poses several unprecedented challenges that exceed the scope of our traditional planning processes: the COVID-19 pandemic and of course the domestic terror attack on the nation’s Capitol,” she said.

The US and the United Arab Emirates might finalize the first of several contracts on a $23.3 billion arms package before Mr. Biden is sworn in next week, reports Breaking Defense.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt lifted restrictions last week to reinstate air, land, and sea links with Qatar, reports Barron’s. The Qatar blockade had been established in June 2017. The Washington Post reports President Donald Trump’s election loss probably hastened the search for a solution to the blockade — and potentially other regional flash points — before the Biden administration takes over.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in an opinion piece in Defense News, discussed how to keep the alliance fit in the future. NATO’s 2030 initiative “is about preparing for the unexpected, by keeping NATO a strong military alliance, making it politically stronger and ensuring it takes a more global approach, he writes.

Italy’s Defense Minister Lorenza Guerini says that the US must stay connected to Europe and to NATO. “The future of European defense cannot be separated from solid trans-Atlantic integration,” he writes in Defense News.



North Korea’s Kim Jong Un now has a new title, reports UPI. He is the general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, a title held by his late father and grandfather. In Kim’s acceptance speech, he called the US his country’s “biggest enemy,” reports the BBC.

NavSec Kenneth Braithwaite said the US Navy will start regularly sailing near Russian land claims in the increasingly ice-free Arctic, reports Breaking Defense, challenging Moscow’s push in the North.

More US Air Force planes are set to operate in the Pacific region in 2021 as China continues to flex its muscles in the South China Sea, reports Military.com, with its ongoing buildup across contested islands in the region.

The US Space Force has become the 18th member of the US intelligence community, reports Space News. The Space Force is the first new organization to join the intelligence community since the Drug Enforcement Administration was added in 2006.

Maryland’s RELIEF Act — which stands for Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs and Families Act — includes a total of $267 million in direct payments to Maryland residents who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, reports WTOP News. Families who qualify will receive an additional $750 and individuals will receive $450, Gov. Larry Hogan announced.

Maryland Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, are urging acting DefSec Christopher Miller to keep Dr. Richard Thomas in his position as head of the DoD’s Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. The senators believe the doctor’s ouster was retribution for his attempts to fight budget cuts, reports Politico.

A Government Accountability Office study of helicopter noise over Washington, DC, finds the greatest proportion of the offending noise comes from military aircraft, reports Military.com.

Nearly 175,000 beneficiaries who are working-age military retirees and their family members who were enrolled in Tricare Select may soon find their health care coverage has been dropped, reports Military Times, because they haven’t set up payment plans for the newly required enrollment fees.

One of the world’s largest collections of Nazi propaganda is housed at Fort Belvoir, VA, at the US Army Center of Military History, reports The New Yorker, and most of it is never seen by the public.

The new session of the Maryland General Assembly, set to begin Jan. 13, will likely include a debate over changing Maryland’s state song, reports Maryland Matters. “Repealing the state song can fit into a small corner of the list of priorities, only because it’s so offensive to so many of us because of the racial history,” said state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, a Democrat from Montgomery County.


Unimex Corp., Sterling, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $12,000,000 firm-fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for environmental controllers. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Virginia, with a Jan. 10, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE8EG-21-D-0127).

Boston Consulting Group, Bethesda, Maryland (HQ0034-16-A-0003), has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum amount of $29,978,698. This contract is to provide Marine Corps programs and resources support for their organizational requirements, resourcing, risk and reporting requirements (similar to a 10-K). Work performance will take place at the Mark Center, Alexandria, Virginia. Appropriate fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds will be obligated at time of the award. The expected completion date is Jan. 10, 2022. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

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