September 29, 2022

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Monday, August 29, 2022

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

UPDATE: Railroads & Unions Avoid Shutdown

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.

Reuter reports that major US railroads and unions secured a tentative deal major US railroads and unions secured a tentative deal after 20 hours of intense talks brokered by the Biden administration to avert a rail shutdown that could have hit food and fuel supplies across the country and beyond.

Congress had prepared to act on a rail strike amid fears of ‘economic catastrophe’, reported The Hill. Lawmakers had been under pressure to avert a rail worker strike as soon as this week that would batter the nation’s economy just before November’s midterm elections. More than 115,000 rail workers will be legally allowed to strike on Friday.

In light of the possibility of a rail labor strike, the six Class I freight railroads participating in national bargaining began securing shipments of hazardous and security-sensitive materials, such as chlorine used to purify drinking water and chemicals used in fertilizer, as of Monday, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Cyber criminals increasingly relying on ransomware-as-a-service and malware-free intrusion methods are evading popular detection and mitigation techniques, reports FCW.  CrowdStrike released on Tuesday the 2022 OverWatch Threat Hunting Report which shows a 50% increase in interactive intrusion campaigns mainly targeting the technology, telecommunications, manufacturing and healthcare industries.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is grounded as the FAA investigates a launch failure, reports Space.com. The rocket suffered a booster failure during an uncrewed flight from West Texas on Sept. 12. The vehicle’s capsule successfully engaged its emergency abort system and ended up landing safely under parachutes, but the booster crashed hard back to Earth. The mishap caused no injuries and no damage to public property, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration which licenses commercial space launches.

National Guard are tapped to help in understaffed Florida prisons, reports Military Times. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday activating Guardsmen to assist the Florida Department of Corrections in an effort to reduce overtime and provide relief for correctional officers on a temporary basis. “We are preparing for that mission, and are estimating a requirement of up to 300 FLNG Guardsmen for a period not to exceed 9 months,” Florida Guard spokesman Will Manley said.

Senators push to expedite the replacement of US weapons sent to Ukraine, reports Defense News. A bipartisan group of 15 senators has unveiled legislation aimed at expediting the DoD’s ability to backfill US weapons stockpiles sent to Ukraine through non-competitive contracts. Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), introduced the Securing American ARMS Act as stand-alone legislation alongside 13 other senators last week.

Navy secretary to rename USS Chancellorsville, USNS Maury, reports Navy Times. Changes are coming to posts, monuments, buildings and streets named after Confederates as the commission compiling the list of those DoD items nears the release of its final recommendations to Congress by the end of the month.

An F-16 pilot died when his ejection seat failed. Was it counterfeit?, Air Force Times reports that an Air Force investigation of a fatal fighter jet crash in 2020 quietly discovered that key components of the pilot’s ejection seat may have been counterfeit. First LT David Schmitz, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot at South Carolina’s Shaw Air Force Base, died June 30, 2020, when his ejection seat malfunctioned as he tried to escape from a failed nighttime landing. He was 32.

 

 

A grim future awaits the United States if it loses the competition with China on developing key technologies like artificial intelligence, says Robert Work, a former deputy DEFSEC and co-chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project. Work says losing threatens US security facing China’s global surveillance capabilities and will result in companies and America losing trillions of dollars relying on countries under Chinese influence for core technologies, reports ISNI.

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon move forward in developing electro-optical sensors with built-in machine learning, reports Military Aerospace.com. The two primes are to develop a new kind of camera and digital signal processing to enable intelligent electro-optical sensors for tactical military applications. The DARPA awarded orders are collectively worth $25 million to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Linthicum Heights, MD, and to the Raytheon Intelligence & Space segment in El Segundo, CA, for the second phase of the Fast Event-based Neuromorphic Camera and Electronics (FENCE) programs.

Space Force eyes easing enlistment rules to target high-demand skills,  by granting more waivers, reports Military Times. The move comes as the military branches are struggling with recruiting and retention amid a wealth of private-sector job openings. Army officials have said they expect to miss their recruiting goals for fiscal 2022. Air Force officials said they expect to just barely meet their active-duty targets.

The Air Force has created a new warfare program for cadets to help fill empty spots, reports Military Times. The Air Force has created a new program to help recruit and train college-aged ROTC and Air Force Academy cadets for special warfare jobs, which it has been struggling to fill amid the service’s ongoing recruiting crisis. “Historically, neither the Air Force Academy nor AFROTC filled all of their commissioning slots for Special Warfare, which down the road impacts mission readiness,” according to Col. John Graver with Air Force Special Warfare.

Queen’s Counsel’ no more, ‘King’s Counsel’ return to UK courts after 70 years, reports Reuters. About 1,900 elite UK lawyers and hundreds of others in Commonwealth countries who held the rank of “Queen’s Counsel” became “King’s Counsel” when Queen Elizabeth died last week, instantly assuming a title that had gathered dust since the queen took the throne in 1952. They must now use the shorthand KC rather than QC on letterhead and other materials, according to The Bar Council, which represents more than 1,650 barristers in England and Wales. Barristers are UK litigators who argue in court, while solicitors are general practitioners who typically do not.

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver has been suspended by the NBA for one year and fined $10 million, reports Yahoo Sports. The NBA on Tuesday announced the punishments following a lengthy independent investigation into workplace misconduct allegations. The league launched the investigation into Sarver following a November 2021 article by ESPN, with more than 70 interviews of current and former employees revealing a history of alleged “racially insensitive language,” “misogynistic” behavior and other hostile workplace misconduct.

US markets sink on unexpectedly high inflation, reports BBC News. Inflation in the US remained unexpectedly high last month, news that drove Wall Street to its worst day in more than two years. Prices rose 8.3% in the 12 months through August, the Labor Department said, faster than the 8.1% that economists had expected Inflation was down from 8.5% in July, driven by lower petrol costs. The costs of food, housing and medical care continued to surge, disappointing investors.

Contracts:

Indyne Inc., Lexington Park, Maryland, has been awarded a $31,115,280 firm-fixed-price modification (P00012) to previously awarded contract FA2518-22-C-0001 for Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) operations and maintenance (O&M). The contract modification extends the period of performance of the LRDR O&M contract line items to align with the Solid State Phase Array Radar System contract FA2518-22-C-0001 period of performance. Work will be performed at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska, and is expected to be completed by Oct. 31, 2026. No funds are being obligated at the time of award. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $316,887,440. Space Operations Command, Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, is the contracting activity.

Language Associates LLC, Arlington, Virginia, has been awarded a $10,589,561 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for English language training in support of the Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron. Work will be performed in the United Arab Emirates and is expected to be completed by Sept. 20, 2025. This contract involves 100% Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the United Arab Emirates. This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition. FMS funds in the amount of $2,913,009 are being obligated at the time of award. The 338th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA3002-22-D-0014).

Mount Rogers Community Services, Atkins, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,435,123 modification (P00011) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-N120) with two one-year option periods for unisex and female advanced combat shirts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Sept. 15, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The National Industries for the Blind,** Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,435,123 modification (P00014) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-B090) with two one-year option periods for unisex and female advanced combat shirts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Texas, North Carolina and New York, with a Sept. 15, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Etolin Strait Partners LLC,* Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to exercise Option Year Three for general construction services within the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington area of operations. The total cumulative contract amount after exercise of this option will increase from $90,000,000 to $120,000,000. Work will be performed in, but is not limited to, Maryland (35%); Virginia (35%); and Washington, D.C. (30%). The option period of performance is from September 2022 to September 2023. No task orders are being issued at this time. Task orders will be primarily funded by fiscal 2023 military construction (Navy), and fiscal 2023 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. NAVFAC Washington, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N40080-19-D-0007).

Cottrell Contracting Co.,* Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $30,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for James River maintenance dredging. 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 Sept. 11, 2025. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W91236-22-D-5011).

 

 

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