May 9, 2024

TSA’s Facial ID Plans Worry Senators

Delta Air Lines reveals their new biometric scanning technology at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, GA, November 2018. (Photo by John Paul Van Wert/Rank Studios 2018)

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.

More than a dozen bipartisan senators support legislation that would restrict the Transportation Security Administration’s use of facial recognition technology as part of the security screening process, NextGov.com reports. TSA is using the technology at more than 80 airports with plans for facial biometrics in use at more than 400 airports in the coming years.

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation led a bipartisan letter against shifting authority over space units of the Air National Guard from the governor to the federal government. Colorado Newsline reports the proposal would be included in the 2025 Defense Authorization Act. The letter to House and Senate leadership on armed services committees urged rejection of the proposal because it would undermine the National Guard system.

Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Michael O’Connell took first place in the noncommissioned officer category in this year’s Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Best Warrior Competition, reports Tasks & Purpose. It’s a big win for the Navy, the annual competition took place last month at Camp Mackall, NC. O’Connell was the only sailor to participate in the competition and went up against seven contenders from the Army in his category.

The Air Force now allows pilots 60 days of mental health treatment without being taken out of flight status, reports Military.com. The notable change seeks to destigmatize airmen seeking care. Previously, an airman seeking mental health care needed a return-to-duty waiver to fly again, often grounding them for extended periods.

Construction of a temporary pier and causeway to deliver aid to Gaza is complete, but plans to move it into place are stalled by high winds and sea swells making it too dangerous to install the pier at the Gaza beach, reports Military Times.

Russia officials say American Staff Sgt. Gordon Black will remain in jail for at least two more months while authorities review the theft charges against him, reports Military Times. Black has served in the Army since 2008 and was arrested by Russian police on May 2. “Instead of returning to the continental United States, Black flew from Incheon, Republic of Korea through China to Vladivostok, Russia, for personal reasons,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement. “Black did not request official clearance and the Defense Department did not authorize his travel to China and Russia.”

Longstanding problems with drug shortages are prompting senators to seek more solutions for the military medical system, including the possibility of having the military manufacture some medications, reports Military Times. Senators are calling for a return of manufacturing medicines in the United States due to national security concerns over risks to the DoD’s pharmaceutical supply chain, and possible risks to service members and their families.

A congressional committee has approved a GOP-led psychedelics bill focused on military veterans’ access. MarijuanaMoment.net reports about two weeks after the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee advanced the legislation, members of the full committee on Wednesday advanced it to potential floor action in a voice vote as part of an en bloc package with other measures. The proposal from Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) would require the VA to notify Congress if any psychedelics are added to its covered prescription drugs.

A year after Typhoon Mawar hit Guam last May, the Air Force estimates it will need nearly $9.7 billion to rebuild and improve its facilities on the island. The amount is more than double the $4.389 billion spent to date rebuilding Tyndall and Offutt Air Force bases in Florida and Nebraska after those installations were struck by a hurricane in 2018 and flooding in 2019, respectively.

In a shift from its prior stance of no action, the US Army Corps of Engineers recently agreed to remove a pipe allegedly leaking petroleum contaminants onto the beach near Buxton Beach Access on Hatteras Island and to test the soil around it. Stars and Stripes reports SLSCO LTD won a $525,000 contract for the work at the former military facility and has subcontracted the soil sampling and testing work to Dawson Hana.

An AI-controlled F-16 fighter jet took Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on a historic ride of lightning-fast maneuvers at more than 550 miles an hour that put pressure on his body at five times the force of gravity, reports Military Times. He said he’d seen enough during his flight that he’d trust this still-learning AI with the ability to decide whether or not to launch weapons in war. The service is planning for an AI-enabled fleet of more than 1,000 unmanned warplanes, the first of them operating by 2028.

Senior Lockheed Martin officials said they expect the first F-35 warplanes for Poland to leave the production plant in Fort Worth, TX, in the coming months, a timeline unaffected by the company’s problems with a major upgrade for the aircraft known as Technology Refresh 3, or TR-3, reports Defense News. The envisioned timing lines up with Polish pilot training, which is slated to begin in the US later this year.

The Biden administration has approved a $60 million military aid package to help Haiti quell violent gangs wreaking havoc in the country, reports Politico. The package, the second the US has approved for the Haiti crisis this year, includes mostly small arms but also some armored vehicles. The notification lists at least 80 Humvees, 35 MaxxPro infantry carriers, sniper rifles, riot control gear, firearms, ammunition, and surveillance drones.

Boeing called off its first astronaut launch because of a valve problem on the rocket Monday night, reports Military.com. The two NASA test pilots had just strapped into Boeing’s Starliner capsule for a flight to the International Space Station when the countdown was halted, just two hours before the planned liftoff.

US military bunkers across the Middle East are getting new doors and added protection as recent events draw attention to indirect blast-related injuries. Army Times reports more than 400 concrete bunkers in global hotspots have been retrofitted. A little over a year after news broke in early 2020 that more than 100 service members had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury following an Iranian missile strike on the Al Asad air base in Iraq, the Army Corps of Engineers published a contracting notice seeking the bunker retrofit.

For the first time, China has publicized what it claims is an unwritten 2016 agreement with the Philippines over access to South China Sea islands. The move threatens to further raise tensions in the disputed waterway, through which much of the world’s trade passes and which China claims virtually in its entirety, reports AP News.

The Coast Guard relieved its top enlisted reserve service member last week, citing “loss of confidence” in his judgment and “ability to fulfill his assigned duties.” Military.com reports, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Timothy Beard has been temporarily reassigned following an administration investigation.

The crew from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, a reserve unit from Keesler Air Force Base, MS, is preparing for hurricane season. Known as the “Hurricane Hunters,” the 53rd plays a critical role gathering data inside storms to help the NHC improve its forecasting, reports Air Force Times.

Contracts:

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, is awarded $9,378,588 for a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HT9425-24-C-0031) to support exoskeleton research support services for the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center in support of the Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute. The contract was a sole source acquisition, funded with fiscal 2024 and 2025 Defense Health Agency research development, test and evaluation funds. The period of performance is May 13, 2025, to May 12, 2027. Place of performance is Frederick, Maryland. The US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland (N66001-19-D-3407); Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3408); ICF Inc., LLC, Reston, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3409); Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3410); Peraton Technology Services Inc., Herndon, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3411); Parsons Government Services Inc., Pasadena, California (N66001-19-D-3412); Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3413); Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta, Georgia (N66001-19-D-3414); and Peraton Technology Services Inc., Chantilly, Virginia (N66001-19-D-3415), are each awarded a modification to exercise Option Two of a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific with the architecture, engineering, functionality, interface and interoperability of Cyberspace Operations systems, services and capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. The maximum dollar value for all nine contracts combined is $1,856,048,552. BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc. is awarded $205,601,340; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $677,769,136. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. is awarded $204,053,976; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $672,034,025. ICF Inc. LLC is awarded $240,164,326; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $802,045,896. Leidos, Inc. is awarded $223,713,581; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $691,584,396. Peraton Technology Services Inc. is awarded $205,301,482; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $704,295,666. Parsons Government Services Inc. is awarded $211,984,975; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $710,979,159. Science Applications International Corporation is awarded $170,488,367; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $569,177,650. Scientific Research Corp. is awarded $171,923,497; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $577,918,498. Peraton Technology Services Inc. is awarded $222,817,008; this two-year option extends the five-year contract to seven years, increasing the total value to $739,941,511. Work will be performed at San Diego, California (100%). The period of performance for this option is May 2024 to May 2026. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated as task orders are issued using research, development, test and evaluation; other procurement, Navy, operations and maintenance, and other funding. Other funding includes the potential for defense working capital funds; and Foreign Military Sales funding. This contract was competitively procured via Request for Proposal (N66001-18-R-001) which was published on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command e-Commerce central website. 18 offers were received and nine were selected for award. NIWC Pacific, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity. 

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, California, is awarded a $169,720,752 cost-plus fixed-fee contract. This contract provides sustainment engineering and logistics support to include life cycle program planning, manning, training support, repair and modification of government furnished property, integrated logistics support, spare and repair parts, support equipment, special tooling, diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages management, non-recurring engineering support for engineering change proposals, engineering analyses, investigations, root cause corrective action activities, test support of in-service asset, and the development of associated technical data in support of MQ-4C Triton air vehicles mission control and operator training systems for the Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Work will be performed in San Diego, California (38.1%); Patuxent River, Maryland (13.5%); Jacksonville, Florida (6.8%); Guam (6.7%); Sigonella, Sicily Italy (5.3%); Whidbey Island, Washington (3.8%); Baltimore, Maryland (3.4%); Chantilly, Virginia (3%); Mayport, Florida (2.2%); Katherine, Australia (2%); Sierra Vista, Arizona (1.6%); Adelaide, Australia (1%); various locations within the continental US (CONUS) (4.2%); and various locations outside of the CONUS (8.4%) and is expected to be completed in May 2028. Fiscal 2024 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,300,000; fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $35,617,521; fiscal 2024 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,900,000; and RAAF funds in the amount of $19,548,357, will be obligated at the time of award, $35,617,521 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 US Code 2304(c)(1). Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N0001924C0005).

L3 Adaptive Methods, Centreville, Virginia, is awarded a $15,070,605 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-20-C-5211) to exercise an option for program management, systems engineering, software development, risk management, algorithm and software prototype development, configuration management, and information assurance. Work will be performed in Keyport, Washington (30%); Centreville, Virginia (25%); Rockville, Maryland (15%); Manassas, Virginia (10%); Herndon, Virginia (5%); Newport, Rhode Island (5%); Dahlgren, Virginia (5%); Austin, Texas (1%); Honolulu, Hawaii (1%); Moorestown, New Jersey (1%); Fairfax, Virginia (1%); and Laurel, Maryland (1%), and is expected to be completed by May 2025. Fiscal 2024 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $776,052 (37%); fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance (Navy) funding in the amount of $582,368 (28%); fiscal 2024 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $488,159 (24%); and fiscal 2023 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of $ 221,635 (11%), will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $804,003 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Amentum Services Inc., Chantilly, Virginia, was awarded a $12,088,565 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (HDTRA1-24-C-0027) to provide advisory and assistance services for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Strategic Integration Directorate. The principal place of performance is Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Performance is expected to be completed by May 5, 2025. Fiscal 2024 operations and maintenance in the amount of $3,998,801 is being obligated at the time of award. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. DTRA, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity. (Awarded May 3, 2024)

CORRECTION: The contract announced May 2, 2024, for Lockheed Martin Corp., Rotary and Mission Systems, Manassas, Virginia (FA2383-24-C-B006), for $15,586,916, for Iraq integrated air defense system contractor logistics support, was announced with an incorrect award date. The correct award date is May 3, 2024.

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