December 4, 2023

Ukraine Teeters at Brink of War

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Zackary Mooneyhan, aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Jan. 19, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the US Sixth Fleet area of operations to support maritime stability and security, and defend US, allied and partner interests in Europe and Africa. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Abbigail Beardsley.

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.

US officials would not confirm over the weekend intelligence reports that Russia plans an invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday, according to Reuters. But White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan repeated that a Russian invasion could begin any day and President Joe Biden has said he will support Ukraine after any invasion and defend NATO territory.

Four Navy destroyers recently deployed to the US 6th Fleet European area of operations to support NATO allies, reports Navy Times. USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57) deployed to “the European theater of operations,” according to a Navy statement.

Reuters reported that, on Sunday, Ukraine received a consignment of Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems and ammunition by plane from Lithuania. And Reuters also reported on Monday, that Russia had suggested it would keep talking to the West and Ukraine prepared to make concessions to Moscow.

Florida National Guard troops have been ordered out of Ukraine, where they’ve been since November amid increasing concerns of a Russian attack, reports Military Times. The 160 soldiers assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will reposition elsewhere in Europe.

Plans to dredge the ancient Chesapeake Bay reef, Man O’War shoals languish and oystermen look elsewhere to seed their catch, reports Maryland Matters. State officials and oystermen want to dredge millions of bushels of fossilized oyster shell from the massive reef off southeastern Baltimore County to help replenish oyster numbers in the Chesapeake Bay. Preservationists, recreational anglers, and local lawmakers have opposed the plan to a standstill. Oystermen now seek state legislation to gather tens of millions of bushels from more than two dozen other oyster reefs to restock harvest areas around the bay.

Mars rover Perseverance notches a year of science, tech achievements, reports Science News. The Mars rover Perseverance and its feisty sidekick helicopter Ingenuity has set records and pushed new frontiers for interplanetary space exploration since landing on the Red Planet one year ago this Friday. The flawless landing on of the rover in Mars’ Jezero Crater, on Feb. 18, 2021, kicked off a year of successes, including the first rock sample drilled on another planet, the first time oxygen has been extracted from Martian air and the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Nearly 4,000 more 9/11 vets have died in the past 20 years than anticipated, reports A new study finds these vets die at higher rates than  Americans overall, particularly through accidents, suicide, and homicide. Veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001, are dying via suicide at twice the rate of Americans overall, with homicide claiming retired service members at one-and-a-half times the rate of the general population. The numbers are even higher for veterans who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Biden on Friday issued an executive order to move some $7 billion of the Afghan central bank’s assets frozen in the US banking system to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, reports Military Times. The order requires US financial institutions to facilitate access to $3.5 billion of assets for Afghan relief and basic needs. The other $3.5 billion would remain in the United States and be used to fund ongoing litigation by US victims of terrorism.



The Navy nuclear engineer accused of espionage has scheduled plea hearing, reports Navy Times.  . Jonathan Toebbe and his wife, Diana Toebbe, of Annapolis, MD, were  arrested last October in West Virginia, and had pleaded not guilty to espionage-related charges that carry life in prison. They were accused of trying to sell information about nuclear-powered warships to a foreign country.

The Army has spent years developing a high-tech solution to gloves, reports task and Purpose. Enter the battery-operated Personal Heating Dexterity Device that heats by stimulating blood flow.  “Our previous research has shown that warming the forearm increases hand and finger temperatures significantly,” said Dr. John Castellani, an Army research physiologist. “The result is that soldiers can have improved hand dexterity.”

The US Navy denies its submarine entered Russian waters, reports gCaptain by way of Reuters.The United States on Saturday denied that it had carried out military operations in Russian territorial waters, after Moscow said a Russian naval vessel chased away a US submarine in Russian waters in the Pacific. “There is no truth to the Russian claims of our operations in their territorial waters,” CAPT Kyle Raines, a US military spokesman, said in a statement. “I will not comment on the precise location of our submarines but we do fly, sail, and operate safely in international waters.”

Top Republicans urge Biden to reject calls from Russia and China for the US to limit its missile deployments in Europe and the Pacific region, reports Defense News. In a letter to Biden, the Republicans oppose negotiations with Russia over missiles previously covered by the defunct Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Iran unveils a new missile it says can strike US bases and Israel, reports Military Times. State TV reported that the missile has solid fuel and a range of 900 miles. It is called the Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors in the early days of Islam. It said the missile has high accuracy, is manufactured completely domestically, and can defeat missile shield systems. The information has not been independently verified.

Modernization is the priority, even if it means fewer soldiers, reports Army Times. Chief of Staff of the Army GEN James McConville told the Heritage Foundation last week. The FY21 goal of 500,000 soldiers fell short at 486,490, which McConville indicated prioritized modernization.“We would like to have a big stick,” he said, “but if we cannot have a big stick, we will have a sharp stick.”


BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $7,528,289 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00030) to a previously awarded contract (N0042120C0003). This modification exercises an option to provide research, development, engineering, technical, and logistics support in support of the delivery of fully integrated and tested command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (C4I) electronic radio communication systems for shipboard installation for the Ship and Air Integration Warfare Division, Naval Air Warfare Center, Webster Outlying Field. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland (60%); California, Maryland (30%); Bath, Maine (5%); and Pascagoula, Mississippi (5%), and is expected to be completed in February 2023. Fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,753,663 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Cape Fox Federal Integrators LLC,* Manassas, Virginia, was awarded a $25,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract to provide training support for the Army Traffic Safety Training Program. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 13, 2027. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, is the contracting activity (W91278-22-D-0011).

Rockwell Collins Simulation and Training Solutions, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is awarded a $31,359,881 firm-fixed-price modification (P00001) to a previously awarded contract (N6134021C0017). This modification extends services and adds hours to implement Delta Software System Configuration (DSSC) #4 tactical baseline updates and concurrency enhancements, to include technical data, on the E-2D Hawkeye Integrated Training System, flight, tactics, maintenance, and E-2D Distributed Readiness Trainer (D-DRT) devices. Additionally, this modification exercises options to provide integration of the DSSC #4 on weapons system trainers and flight devices, DSSC #4 Operating Systems upgrades on flight and D-DRT devices, and technical data, as well as provide DSSC #4 training, to include maintenance, user, and cyber security/software support. Work will be performed in Point Mugu, California (45%); Norfolk, Virginia (30%); Sterling, Virginia (15%); and Iwakuni, Japan (10%), and is expected to be completed in September 2024. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $16,530,372; fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $755,186; and fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $14,074,323 will be obligated at the time of award, $14,074,323.00 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Military Aircraft Systems, Melbourne, Florida, is awarded a $22,218,097 modification (P00037) to a previously awarded cost reimbursable contract (N0001918C1037). This modification adds scope to provide non-recurring engineering risk reduction to support the delivery schedule for E-2D aircraft FAA1-FAA3 for the government of France. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (25%); Woodland Hills, California (25%); Dallas, Texas (19%); West Chester, Ohio (7%); Syracuse, New York (5%); Ronkonkoma, New York (3%); Haywood, California (2%); Cistena Di Latina, Italy (3%); Orlando, Florida (3%); Owego, New York (2%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (6%), and is expected to be completed in April 2022. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $22,218,097 will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.


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