September 23, 2023

US Diplomats & DoD Watch Ukraine

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, reports  Leader’s owners or staff.

The Biden administration is weighing new options to raise the costs for Russian President Vladimir Putin should he decide to invade the Ukraine, reports CNN, including providing more arms to Ukraine to resist a Russian occupation. The administration said Wednesday it’s providing an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to the country amid soaring fears of a Russian invasion, reports Military Times.

SecState Antony Blinken says Russia could attack Ukraine at short notice, reports Reuters. He traveled to Kyiv on Wednesday in a whistle-stop diplomatic push to defuse tensions with Moscow over Ukraine. Negotiations last week produced no breakthrough, and Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders.

Business Insider reports on the secretive training that US Green Berets give to troops who may have to take on Russia or China, reports Business Insider. Foreign internal defense, also called military diplomacy, has deployed special-operation units into scores of nations for decades, to teach locals fighters how to win. It is intended to create valuable alliances and partnerships that can be leveraged in a time of need.

Miami Herald has video of the US Coast Guard plucking six stranded duck hunters to safety from a marsh near Barnstable Harbor in Cape Cod where their boat “was left high and dry” after the tide turned, according to a Facebook posting by the Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

Three dozen military veterans in Congress voted against expanding GI Bill benefits, reports Task & Purpose. The new bill would expand GI Bill benefits to National Guard and Reserve members. The nays represented a little less than half of the 76 members of the House who are military veterans, according to the Congressional Research Service. The ostensible reason for the no votes was budgetary concerns. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the new bill could cost $1.9 billion over the next decade.

USS Kitty Hawk, the last oil-fired Navy aircraft carrier, is headed for the scrapyard, reports Navy Times, departing Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, WA, Saturday for its final transit to a ship-breaking facility in Texas. Kitty Hawk served for 48 years before it was decommissioned in 2009, earning the nickname “Shitty Kitty” among some crew members assigned to its aged, non-nuclear-powered hull. Kitty Hawk was reportedly sold to the Texas ship-breaking company for a cent and will have to go all the way down to the tip of South America and back up because it is too big to get through the Panama Canal.

The DoD will spend about $52.5 million to operate and maintain observation blimps at the US border with Mexico as part of an ongoing border security mission, reports Stars and Stripes. The Army will contract for six Border Patrol-owned 17-meter aerostats and up to 12 DoD-owned 22-meter aerostats. The $52.5 million includes $22.5 million for the Border Patrol’s six aerostats and $30 million for those owned by the military.

The Air Force wants wearable sensors detecting fatigue and stress in warfighters, astronauts, doctors, nurses, and first responders, reports Military Aerospace, and the service’s research lab is soliciting for the equipment. Mental and physical fatigue and stress are significant problems that affect the physical and mental performance of warfighters, astronauts, and medical personnel due to long-duration missions, mental exertion, and cognitive overload.

Another 75 New Hampshire National Guard members are expected to be activated this week to help the state respond to the recent surge of COVID-19, reports Officials said there are already more than 170 citizen soldiers and airmen working at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and the men’s state prison. Others are also distributing test kits and personal protective equipment.



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: January 18, 2022

Tonga’s undersea cable needs “at least” four weeks to repair, according to New Zealand’s foreign ministry. BBC reports the cable was severed during a volcanic eruption on Saturday, crippling communications and cutting the Pacific island off from the outside world. Teams have been working round the clock to get vital supplies to the region. Tonga has been unable to establish contact with the rest of the world since Saturday’s violent eruption severed the country’s only underwater cable in two places.

Wireless carriers AT&T and Verizon will limit their roll-out of 5G near airports after airlines warn of major disruptions, reports The Washington Post. The Federal Aviation Administration said that step should avert possible flight disruptions and much of the potential for interference with airplane safety technology. Airlines had begun preparing employees for a wave of disruptions tied to the rollout, while some international operators canceled flights to the US.

A study informing the budget for amphibious ships could spell bad news for Marines, industry, reports Defense News. The amphibious portfolio integrates the Marine Corps and the Navy. Marine expeditionary units rely on these ships around the globe. Navy sailors crew the ships, and also with buying and maintaining them. The Navy let the authority to block buy ships expire, saying in a June hearing that it didn’t want to commit to buying four amphibs because it’s unsure how many it wants.

COL Eric Felt, head of the Air Force’s space research lab, moves to Space Force, reports 4CISRNET. Felt will wrap up four years as the director of the lab and move to the Pentagon as the new deputy executive director of the service’s Space Architecture, Science, and Technology Directorate. He is expected to take an important role in establishing the Space Force’s new acquisitions office.

Afghan’s acting PM calls for diplomatic recognition of Taliban, reports Al Jazeera. Mullah Hasan Akhund calls on all governments, especially of Muslim countries, to “start recognizing” the Taliban administration. Foreign powers have been reluctant to recognize the Taliban administration – which took over Afghanistan in August – while Western nations led by the United States have frozen billions of dollars worth of Afghan banking assets and cut off development funding that once formed the backbone of Afghanistan’s economy.

Veterans Affairs approved thousands of ineligible doctors, and lawmakers want changes, reports Military Times. Lawmakers are demanding screening reforms of outside doctors after a recent Government Accountability Office review found the department’s referral list contains about 1,600 providers that are ineligible to treat veterans, including 601 who are dead. This is out of the 1.2 million active providers in the Veterans Community Care Program.


Sherlock, Smith, and Adams Inc., Montgomery, Alabama (W912DY-22-D-0035); Goldenwolf-Ewingcole JV LLC, Huntingtown, Maryland (W912DY-22-D-0036); Global Engineering Solutions of Washington DC, Washington, DC (W912DY-22-D-0037); Health Facility Solutions Co., San Antonio, Texas (W912DY-22-D-0038); and Shadpour Consulting Engineers, San Diego, California (W912DY-22-D-0039), will compete for each order of the $200,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Medical Division architectural-engineering services. Bids were solicited via the internet with 20 received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 18, 2029. US Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

Amentum Services Inc., Germantown, Maryland, has been awarded a maximum $210,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, hybrid-type contract with cost-reimbursable no-fee and firm-fixed-price line items for hazardous materials support services for multiple Naval Fleet Readiness Centers. A task order for the first ordering period (SP3300-22-F-5011) for an estimated $20,966,812 was also executed at the time of award. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Maryland, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and California, with a Jan. 18, 2027, ordering period end date. Using customer is Defense Logistics Agency Aviation. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2027 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania (SP3300‐22‐D‐5001).

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