August 3, 2020

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US Conducts Operations in South China Sea for 2nd Time in 2 Weeks


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 US Navy again has two carrier strike groups — USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan — conducting operations in the South China Sea, reports Business Insider. Rhetoric is heating up in the region, where Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are challenging China’s claim to about 90% of the sea. US StateSec Mike Pompeo has called China’s claims in the sea unlawful and accused Beijing of a “campaign of bullying,” reports Reuters. The Navy notes, however, that the carrier operations are unrelated to current events.

NAVAIR is teaming up with Czech-based virtual reality firm VRgineers on a new flight training and simulation program based on digital imagery that will be all but indistinguishable from the real world, reports “The [flight simulator] itself delivers the best visuals if you compare it to anything else on the market. But with NAVAIR we are trying to achieve human eye resolution, literally,” VRgineers CEO said.

Sierra Nevada Corp. has been awarded a Defense Innovation Unit contract for its Shooting Star spacecraft that would serve as an unmanned orbital outpost space station, reports Breaking Defense.

The United Arab Emirates took a historic first step to interplanetary exploration, reports CNET, with the launch of the Arab world’s first mission to Mars. The Hopeor spacecraft launched from Japan on Sunday.

The US Army wants to remove any sort of divisive symbols from its military bases, reports Reuters, suggesting the Pentagon wants a broader policy barring such symbols from all military installations. ArmySec Ryan McCarthy said Project Inclusion “is looking at all these things and anything that is a divisive symbol, we do want to take those off our installations and keep that sort of thing out of our formations,” reports Army Times.

DefSec Mark Esper issued new guidance Friday for allowable flags, not explicitly banning the Confederate one, but laying out a set of criteria for allowable flags that does not include it, reports Military Times. Politico reports that DefSec Esper is being urged to ban the public display of the Confederate flag at DoD facilities, amid opposition from the White House.

President Donald Trump is defending the Confederate flag, saying it it isn’t racist, reports Military Times. He says he will veto any legislation that requires the military to rename that bases that currently honor Confederate leaders.

A fire on the USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship July 17 caused the Navy to issue General Dynamics NASSCO Norfolk a stop work order, reports Defense News. Naval Sea Systems Command spokesman Rory O’Connor said the “stop work” was to ensure the company followed fire safety protocols.



At least two sailors from the amphibious transport dock USS San Diego tested positive for COVID-19 after fighting the fire onboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The number of US troops in Afghanistan drops to 8,600 as the Taliban make some changes ahead of expected talks with Afghan leaders, reports Military Times.

Sabre Systems Inc. recently announced its 2020 Women in Technology award winners, including Jennifer Hansen as the Top Female Tech Leader. “Our nominees and Top Female Tech recipients are selected based on their technical abilities, leadership qualities and contributions to the tech community,” the company posted on its Facebook page July 2.

After nearly four decades of refueling aircraft around the world, the KC-10 Extender has begun its retirement, reports Air Force Times. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey hosted a ceremony for the first KC-10 to be retired.

The Navy has commissioned the USS Tripoli amphibious assault ship without a traditional large ceremony due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports ExecutiveGov. The newly commissioned America-class LHA is also geared to operate with the F-35 and other aircraft to be used by the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps Marathon has been canceled, reports The Washington Post. The 45th running of the race was to be held Oct. 25.

The World of Warships gaming franchise wants to see your naval-themed tattoo. The video-game developer is inviting gamers and fans of WoWs to submit photos of the tattoos, reports Military Times. Upload a photo of your tattoo here by July 24.

Military Times recommends that service members request their absentee ballots now for the November election. Officials with the Federal Voting Assistance Program recommend requests be made by August. 1.

A San Diego psychiatrist has been sentenced to prison for fraudulent claims to Tricare, and ordered to pay $783,764 in restitution, reports Military Times.


Vanguard Pacific LLC, Foley, Alabama, has been awarded a $7,304,129 firm-fixed-price contract for protective coating and sign maintenance. This contract provides for airfield rubber removal, striping of airfield, streets and parking lots, protective coating and sign maintenance. Work will be performed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and Davidsonville and Brandywine communications sites, and is expected to be completed Aug. 4, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive service disabled veteran owned small business set aside acquisition and one offer was received. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3,776 are being obligated at the time of award. The 316th Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity (FA2860-20-D-0003).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded an $861,731,778 modification (P00040) to previously-awarded fixed-price incentive (firm target), firm-fixed-price contract N00019-17-C-0001. This modification exercises options to procure eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft as a result of the Republic of Turkey’s removal from the F-35 program, and six Lot 14 F-35A aircraft for the Air Force. Additionally, this modification establishes undefinitized line items that provides recurring engineering in support of the modification of the eight Lot 14 F-35A Lightning II repositioned aircraft to a full operationally capable F-35A Air Force configuration. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (63%); El Segundo, California (14%); Warton, United Kingdom (9%); Orlando, Florida (4%); Nashua, New Hampshire (3%); Baltimore, Maryland (3%); San Diego, California (2%); various locations within the continental US (1.3%); and various locations outside the continental US (0.7%). Work is expected to be completed by May 2026. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Air Force) funds for $848,881,778 will be obligated at time of award. No funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

General Dynamics Missions Systems Inc., McLeansville, North Carolina, is awarded a $13,553,807 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to previously-awarded contract N61331-11-C-0017 to exercise an option for engineering support for ongoing development, test and production of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM UUV) program, also known as Knifefish. Work will be performed in Quincy, Massachusetts (52%); McLeansville, North Carolina (27%); Braintree, Massachusetts (10%); Hanover, Maryland (5%); Reston, Virginia (5%); and Ann Arbor, Michigan (1%). The Knifefish program will provide persistent volume and bottom mine hunting capability in a contested environment. This option exercise is for engineering support hours to support a number of efforts, including test and evaluation, engineering change proposal development and upgrade initiatives. Work is expected to be completed by September 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); and fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $12,500,000 will be obligated at time of award. Funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, has been awarded a $495,482,136 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Instrumentation Range Support Program. This contract provides for serviceable components and subsystems for instrumentation tracking systems, worldwide for both foreign and domestic government agencies to include radars, telemetry and optical range mission systems, flight termination systems, data acquisition systems and Global Positioning Systems. Work will be performed on participating ranges in the program, including Air Force, Army, Navy, NASA, Department of Energy, as well as foreign ranges in the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Korea and Switzerland. Work is expected to be completed Sept. 30, 2027. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and three offers were received. Fiscal year 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $116,235 are being obligated, on a delivery order, at the time of award. This contract has a ceiling amount of $945,234,462. The 45th Contracting Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity (FA2521-20-D-0005).

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