February 9, 2023

US Seizes Iranian Trawler, 50T Ammo

US Navy photos of a fishing trawler it says carried more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses, and propellants for rockets when it was boarded December 1, 2022, in the Gulf of Oman. (Photo by US Navy 5th Fleet)

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.

Iran is accused of  “unlawful transfer of lethal aid” after the US 5th Fleet says it  seized more than 50 tons of ammunition rounds, fuses, and propellants for rockets from a fishing trawler in the Gulf of Oman. The Navy says sailors found more than 1 million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition; 25,000 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition; nearly 7,000 proximity fuses for rockets; and over 2,100 kilograms of propellant used to launch rocket propelled grenades, reports Stars and Stripes.

The Hawaii Department of Health is weighing legal options for obtaining video footage from the Navy showing toxic firefighting foam spilling last week at the Red Hill fuel storage facility in Honolulu, reports Stars and Stripes. “The video and other evidence will not be released publicly at this time as doing so may impact the integrity of the investigation,” a Navy news release stated. “The video will be made available when it is determined that doing so will no longer affect the investigation.”

House and Senate lawmakers revealed a compromise $858 billion defense authorization bill Tuesday night, reports Military Times, boosting the military budget 8% above FY22 levels and rescinding the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a 4.6% pay raise for troops, and nearly $19 billion extra to offset inflation on military purchases.

DefSec Lloyd Austin wants the COVID-19 vaccine mandate kept in place to protect the health of the troops, reports Military Times.com. Republican governors and lawmakers seeking to remove the mandate said it has hurt the US National Guard’s ability to recruit troops.

CAPT Steven Germac, pilot of the cargo ship Ever Forward, that spent 35 days stuck off the Anne Arundel County shore in March and April, was on his cell phone for nearly half of the Ever Forwards transit before it grounded, also sending text messages and drafting an email, according to Coast Guard findings, reports The Baltimore Sun. Other officers in the command center were not vocal enough in informing the pilot of the ship’s doomed trajectory, according to the USCG report. Germac was identified in a news release from the Maryland Department of Labor stating his operating license has been suspended and he has “not piloted a commercial vessel” since the grounding.

SpaceX is creating a new national security business unit called Starshield that will leverage existing relationships with the DoD and the intelligence community and build on its launch and satellite communications offerings and introduce additional capabilities including Earth observation, reports Defense News.

 

 

The Navy announced new guidelines this week that allow the service to enlist thousands of sailors with entrance test scores that fall into the lowest aptitude percentile allowed by military standards as it faces a higher recruiting goal, according to a notice from Navy Recruiting Command reviewed by Military.com.

Germany’s defense ministry has raised serious concerns about the planned purchase of US-made F-35 fighter jets, citing “delays and additional costs” in the nearly $10.5 billion purchase, reports The Defense Post. Risk factors range from upgrading work needed at air fields that will host the F-35s, to security requirements, and potential problems with approval for flight operations in Germany, according to documents.

Defense News has video of the Air Force’s reveal last week of a new B-21 Raider stealth bomber named for the storied Doolittle Raiders. “The audacity of the Doolittle Raiders has inspired generations of American aviators,” DefSec Austin said. “It’s fitting that the next chapter in American airpower is named in their honor.”

The unveiling of the Northrop Grumman-made bomber at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA, was closely stage-managed to conceal as much as reveal, says Defense News. The bomber only came partially out of the hanger after the sun had completely set, was illuminated with blue light and some artificial fog.

Drones struck inside Russia’s border with Ukraine on Tuesday in the second day of attacks exposing the vulnerability of some of Moscow’s most important military sites, reports Military Times. Ukrainian officials did not formally confirm carrying out drone strikes inside Russia, and they have maintained ambiguity over previous high-profile attacks.

Task & Purpose cites the Wall Street Journal saying the US government modified all the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) it sent to Ukraine so they could not strike targets inside of Russia. Defense officials declined to say on Tuesday whether the HIMARS sent to Ukraine had been altered so that they could not fire ATACMS, or if such a modification is technically possible.

Defense News reports Russia is burning through its munitions stockpiles at an “extraordinary” rate and can’t replace them on its own as its invasion of Ukraine grinds into its 10th month, said Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, speaking last week at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

Weaponry donations to Ukraine are straining allied munitions stockpiles, reports Military Times. The US Army wants a “dramatic” ramp up in monthly production of 155mm artillery shells over the next three years. Those plans hinge on emergency spending for Ukraine that Congress already approved, but also on the more than $600 million in industrial investments in the next bundle of aid and multiyear authorities in the annual defense policy bill still under debate in Congress.

The Navy is investigating the suspected suicide deaths of four sailors all assigned to the same ship maintenance center in Virginia in the span of less than a month — a development that comes on the heels of an earlier spate of sailor suicides in April in the same state, reports The Hill.

Spc. Jalen Thomas, 21, a Fort Riley soldier, was sentenced to 100 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to stabbing to death SGT Stacy Subotich, 30, reports Stars and Stripes.

Crews with the US Coast Guard, with the help of two good Samaritans, rescued three adults and a child who were adrift in their small boat near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on Sunday afternoon, reports Military.com.

A new US Government Accountability report identifies the oil and gas sector as likely targets of cybercriminals and state actors, reports Pipeline Journal. Reliance on remote operations technology make the industry vulnerable to cyberattacks. Disruption of oil and gas production or transmission could disastrously change the state of energy supplies and markets, according to the report.

Contracts:

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $21,782,635 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00055) to a previously awarded contract (N0042120C0003). This modification exercises an option to provide engineering and technical services in support of the Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence electronic radio communication systems integration for Navy ships. Work will be performed in St. Inigoes, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in September 2029. Fiscal 2023 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $6,785,913 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.

Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, Virginia, has been awarded a $42,177,014 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, excluding unexercised options, for the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (CRANE) phase 2-3 program. Work will be performed at Manassas, Virginia (20%); Cambridge, Massachusetts (14%); Charleston, South Carolina (6%); Bridgeport, Connecticut (6%); Huntsville, Mississippi (6%); St. Louis, Missouri (6%); Huntington Beach, California (6%); Mesa, Arizona (6%); Fort Worth, Texas (6%); National Harbor, Maryland (6%); and Salt Lake City, Utah (18%), with an expected completion date of September 2025. Fiscal 2022 research and development funds in the amount of $6,500,000 are being obligated at time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition in accordance with the original broad agency announcement HR001119S0072. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HR0011-23-C-0012). 

Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Washington (HQ003423D0020), is awarded a hybrid (firm-fixed-price and time-and-materials, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity) contract with a ceiling of $9,000,000,000. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge. The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners to acquire authorized commercial cloud offerings directly from the Cloud Service Providers contract awardees. Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability is a multiple award contract. The work will be performed in Reston, Virginia. The estimated completion date is June 8, 2028. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Oracle America Inc., Redwood City, California (HQ003423D0018), is awarded a hybrid (firm-fixed-price and time-and-materials, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity) contract with a ceiling of $9,000,000,000. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge. The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners to acquire authorized commercial cloud offerings directly from the Cloud Service Providers contract awardees. Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability is a multiple award contract. The work will be performed in Reston, Virginia. The estimated completion date is June 8, 2028. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Google Support Services LLC, Reston, Virginia (HQ003423D0017), is awarded a hybrid (firm-fixed-price and time-and-materials, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity) contract with a ceiling of $9,000,000,000. No funds are being obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide, globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge. The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners to acquire authorized commercial cloud offerings directly from the Cloud Service Providers contract awardees. Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability is a multiple award contract. The work will be performed in Reston, Virginia. The estimated completion date is June 8, 2028. Washington Headquarters Services, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

MAGA Mechanical Contractors Inc., Prince Frederick, Maryland, was awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for engineering and construction services. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 5, 2027. US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W912DR-23-D-0002).

Norfolk Dredging Co., Chesapeake, Virginia, was awarded a $19,713,950 firm-fixed-price contract for maintenance dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with five received. Work will be performed at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, with an estimated completion date of July 27, 2023. Fiscal 2023 civil construction funds in the amount of $19,713,950 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville, Florida, is the contracting activity (W912EP-23-C-0002).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $405,708,901 cost-plus-fixed-fee task order for engineering services. This task order provides for full spectrum lifecycle engineering, technical, and operational support for intelligence activities at Department of Defense and intelligence community customer centers and satellite locations. Work will be performed in Rome, New York, and is expected to be completed by October 2027. This award was the result of a competitive acquisition, and two offers were received. Fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $510,000; fiscal 2023 Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $75,000; and fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $410,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity (FA8750-23-F-0501). 

AT2 LLC, Severn, Maryland, has been awarded an $8,192,222 firm-fixed-price modification (P00031) to contract FA4890-18-C-0008 for operations, maintenance and support services of Air Combat Command and Air Force Global Strike Command Primary Training Ranges. This modification provides for the exercise of an option for continued services of range threat, scoring, and feedback systems at the Dare County Range, North Carolina; Poinsett Range, South Carolina; Grand Bay Range, Georgia; Avon Park Range, Georgia; Snyder Range, Texas; Belle Fourche Range, South Dakota; Holloman Ranges, New Mexico; and Mountain Home Ranges, Idaho. Work is expected to be completed June 30, 2023. Fiscal 2023 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $7,129,042 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $75,861,578. Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley‐Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

UPDATE: Iron Bow Technologies LLC, Herndon, Virginia (SPE2D1-23-D-0001, $75,000,000) has been added as an awardee for hospital equipment and accessories for the Defense Logistics Agency Electronic Catalog, issued against solicitation SPE2DH-16-R-0002 and awarded Oct. 6, 2016. 

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