April 1, 2023

UK to Join US Navy in Strait of Hormuz

Strait of Hormuz

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.

Britain to join a US-led naval security mission in the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran’s seizure of merchant vessels has raised tensions with the West, reports Navy Times. As the US ratchets tensions with additional sanctions, Iran’s foreign minister called the move a “failure” for diplomacy.

Australia will not host US mid-range missiles, reports Military Times. DefSec Mark Esper wants to deploy intermediate range conventional missiles at various Asia-Pacific sites within months, likely angering Beijing. The move follows the Trump administration’s withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms control treaty with Russia.

New report blames Big Navy for fatal McCain collision, reports Navy Times, which failed a crew that was overworked, poorly trained, and exhausted, according to  the new report. Long before the Aug. 21, 2017, guided-missile destroyer collision with a commercial vessel near Singapore, the “Navy failed to provide effective oversight of the John S. McCain.”

The Secret Service is ditching Sig Sauer for Glock, reports Militry Times, over the next two years switching from .357 SIG and back to the 9-mm Luger cartridge.

US Navy minesweepers can’t keep up with hundreds of naval mines in Iran, reports ProPublica. As tensions heat up in the Persian Gulf, the Navy’s minesweeping fleet may once again be called into action, but its sailors say the ships are too old and broken to do the job. “We are essentially the ships that the Navy forgot.” The aging minesweepers routinely need repairs, the officer in the Persian Gulf said, and the companies that used to make a variety of spare parts no longer exist. A sailor recently aboard one ship said the sonar meant to detect mines was so imprecise that in training exercises it flagged dishwashers, crab traps, and cars on the ocean floor as potential bombs.

Squadron leaders warned of dangerous helicopter “hot seat” hours before a sailor is fatally injured, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. The incident occurred in July 2018 at Naval Air Station North Island when sailors attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 were executing a dangerous quick-turnaround maintenance operation on one of their helicopters, Firehawk 310.

The US and China trade war entered a more dangerous phase this week as Beijing allows its currency to weaken, Chinese enterprises stopped making new purchases of American farm goods, and President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department labeled China a currency manipulator, reports The New York Times. The Washington Post reports that TreasSec Steven Mnuchin formally labeled China a “currency manipulator,” capping an unnerving 24 hours that began with China allowing its tightly controlled currency to slide to an 11-year low against the dollar and continued through a nearly 1,000-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average.

Cesar Sayoc, 57, who admitted sending inoperative pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a judge who said he concluded that the bombs purposely were not designed to explode, reports PBS.org.

Caught in a political firestorm for a pair of SEAL war crimes cases that fell apart, the Navy relieved Capt. Meg Larrea of her leadership of the Regional Legal Service Office Southwest during, reports The New York Times. The relief is being called an “accelerated change of command ceremony” 14 days before she was slated to relinquish her office to Capt. Jennie Goldsmith.

Three former Green Berets caught in a cash theft scheme in Afghanistan, reports Army Times, embezzled a combined total of $90,000 between July 2009 and January 2010 from the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, a fund for military commanders to pay for reconstruction during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Air operations continue at high tempo in Afghanistan, reports Air Force Magazine. US airstrikes in Afghanistan saw a slight uptick in May compared to April, clocking in at the second-highest number of monthly airstrikes conducted in the country so far this year. American aircraft in May expended 635 munitions from manned and unmanned aircraft, for a total of 2,646 airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2019, according to statistics Air Forces Central Command released Aug. 4.

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Brantley Construction Co. LLC, Charleston, South Carolina (N69450-19-D-0916); CCI Group LLC, Shalimar, Florida (N69450-19-D-0917); The Clement Group, Montgomery, Alabama (N69450-19-D-0918); EG Designbuild LLC, Germantown, Maryland (N69450-19-D-0919); GCB JV1, Pensacola, Florida (N69450-19-D-0920); U-SMC DeMaria JV1 LLC, Jacksonville, Florida (N69450-19-D-0921); and Windamir Development Inc., McDonough, Georgia (N69450-19-D-0922), are each awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple award, design-build and design-bid-build construction contract for construction projects located within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast area of operations in north Florida/south Georgia. The maximum dollar value for the five-year ordering period for all seven contracts combined is $195,000,000. The work to be performed provides for, but is not limited to, general building type projects (new construction, renovation, alteration, demolition and repair work) including aviation and aircraft facilities; marine facilities; barracks and personnel housing facilities; administrative facilities; warehouses and supply facilities; training facilities; personnel support and service facilities, and security level facilities. These seven contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. Windamir Development Inc. is awarded the initial task order at $10,576,432 for P643 Reserve Training Building at Fort Benning. Work for this task order is expected to be completed by September 2021. All work on this contract will be performed in Florida (50%); and Georgia (50%). The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of August 2024. Fiscal 2019 military construction (MILCON); and fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $10,582,432 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Future task orders will be primarily funded by MILCON (Navy); operations and maintenance (Navy); and Navy working capital funds. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with 40 proposals received. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity.

ECS Federal LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $78,725,114 modification (P00003) to contract W911QX-18-C-0037 for machine learning and computer vision engineering. Work will be performed in Fairfax, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of July 16, 2022. Fiscal 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $35,847,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Raytheon Co., Marlborough, Massachusetts, has been awarded a maximum $7,756,450 firm-fixed-price contract for multiple radio equipment components. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-time procurement contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Virginia and Massachusetts, with a Nov. 17, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 Navy working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Land and Maritime, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (SPRMM1-19-F-DK0Q).

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