February 28, 2024

US Ships Seize Explosive Mix in Gulf of Oman

USS The Sullivans

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 and Coast Guard have intercepted a fishing boat headed to Yemen carrying 180 tons of Iranian explosive material, reports NBC News. The stateless fishing boat was carrying more than 180 tons of urea fertilizer and ammonium perchlorate when USCGC John Scheuerman and Navy guided missile cruiser USS The Sullivans came across the dhow in international waters of the Gulf of Oman on Nov. 8. Earlier this year the USS Cole and USS Chinook seized a fishing boat in the Gulf of Oman with 40 tons of urea fertilizer coming from the coast of Somalia.

The US is studying how to modify its powerful armed drones as the Ukrainian demand grows, reports Military Times. Ukraine’s long-sought Gray Eagle drone, armed with Hellfire missiles is not among the slew of weaponry the US has sent to Ukraine. Before releasing one of the deadly drones, the US needs modifications to lessen the danger of losing one with its sensitive onboard technology.

Nearly 15,000 independent pharmacies can rejoin the Tricare retail pharmacy network, reports Military Times. The move comes in response to the Kroger grocery chain’s Sept. 30 announcement that its 2,200 pharmacies in 35 states would no longer participate in the Tricare provider network, officials with Express Scripts said.

The Women’s Space Travel Suit is a new Kickstarter campaign, launched by Sabrina Thompson, an aerospace engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, reports reports Space.com. The Kickstarter spacesuit project aims to inspire young girls into space and other STEM careers. The space fashion venture is an offshoot of her Girl in Space Club, which aims to “make space for women” through fashion, workshops, and the debut sci-fi youth novel “Girl In Space: The Path” (Bowker, 2020).  Tempted to think women’s fashion in space frivolous? “If you’ve ever worn one and gone to the bathroom, it sucks,” Thompson laughed.

The KC-46 tanker’s boom issue will prevent A-10 refueling for years, reports Air Force Times. Supply chain problems have delayed an effort to redesign the KC-46 tanker’s refueling boom, keeping the plane years away from being able to gas up the entire Air Force inventory. Engineers are redesigning the fuel pipe to be more flexible so it can properly connect to the A-10C Thunderbolt II attack plane, the last military aircraft that remains off-limits to the Pegasus. The Air Force discovered the issue over four years ago.



The California Marine Corps Osprey engine fire is under investigation, reports Marine Times. The engine caught fire on Oct. 14 during training at Air Station Miramar, CA. Three crew members from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 were aboard, no one was injured.

Another drowning death spotlights the problem with older military dive vests, reports Military Times. Army Special Operations Command will test new programmable swim vests after a Green Beret drowned during a roughly one mile swim in a quarry at Fort Campbell, KY, while preparing for combat diver school in fall 2021. Staff SGT Paul Lincoln Olmstead was the second Green Beret to drown during dive-related training in 2021. An airman also drowned at his service’s dive school in 2020 under similar circumstances.

The US announces sanctions, targeting Russian military suppliers, reports Military Times. Unlike recent packages of sanctions imposed on Russia-based firms and people, the latest financial and diplomatic penalties are aimed at a range of entities including French real estate companies, a group of Swiss nationals, and a Taiwanese microelectronic component purchaser.

The National Park Service last week awarded almost $350,000 in Battlefield Restoration Grants for battlefields across the East Coast, marking the first time in Park Service’s history that the agency has awarded grants for projects at Civil War battlefields in Pennsylvania and Virginia, reports Military Times.

A recent video posted to social media shows an Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber flying through a flock of birds. The incident, captured by a narrator with expletives, shows how birds are still one of the most dangerous aspects of flight. Hopefully, writes Task & Purpose, the B-52 at Minot will live to fight another day.

Defense News has video of the US Air Force, for the first time in an overseas test, using its Rapid Dragon system, in which cruise missiles on pallets are launched from the back of a mobility aircraft.

The US and Russia need to work together on a plan to de-orbit the International Space Station in case of an emergency and to prepare for the station’s retirement. Also, according to Air and Space Forces, NASA and SpaceX, should address a backup launch pad in case the company damages the existing one with its new Starship rockets. Risk to the ISS itself, to other objects in space, and to people there and on the ground grows as more satellites enter low Earth orbit, said Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus,  NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel member.

USS Gerald R. Ford reached Portsmouth, UK, on Monday, reports USNI News.  Sailors from Ford and one of its escorts, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), will have the opportunity to visit the city during this first stop while deployed in the US Naval Forces Europe arena. The carrier is too large to enter Portsmouth Harbor, reports Portsmouth The News. It will anchor in Stokes Bay, off the coast of the town of Gosport.

The Navy announces, for the third year, a single physical fitness assessment cycle in 2023, reports Navy Times. Historically, two cycles were conducted each calendar year. That changed in March 2020 when the Navy called off all physical fitness assessments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tests resumed July 2021.

Lockheed wins a $521 million order to replenish the US Army’s stockpile of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, which have been supplied to Ukraine, reports c4isrnet.


Melwood Horticultural Training Center Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is awarded a $13,833,794 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity modification to previously awarded contract (N40080-21-D-3504) to exercise Option Period Two for custodial services at the U.S. Naval Academy complex. This award brings the total cumulative contract value to $28,182,507. Work will be performed in Annapolis, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by November 2022. No funds will be obligated at time of award. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,528,274 for recurring work will be obligated on individual task orders issued during the option period. The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), Reston, Virginia (N0003923A1000); SERCO Inc., Herndon, Virginia (N0003923A1001); DRS Laurel Technologies Partnership, Johnstown, Pennsylvania (N0003921A1002); and Micro USA Inc., Poway, California (N0003923A1003), are awarded a $52,000,000 firm-fixed-price blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for production of the C2P hardware system. The BPA covers the production of up to 74 units per contractor along with the associated program management, testing and logistics support to deliver the units. The total potential value of the BPA is $52,000,000, per vendor. The total length of the ordering period is 48 months. Units will be manufactured in Reston, Virginia; Herndon, Virginia; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Poway, California, with an expected completion date of October 2026. Fiscal 2023 other procurement (Navy) funds will be obligated on a delivery order level issued at the time of placement of individual delivery calls. The BPA was negotiated using the procedures defined under Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 13.5 for orders less than $15,000,000. The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, California, is the contracting activity.

Metron Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, is awarded a $7,806,349 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Algorithm and Simulation Research in Advanced Undersea Mission Autonomy. This contract provides for applied research investigations, technical expertise and software development effort consistent with overall project objectives. Research and technical elements shall include, but not be limited to, model development, algorithm research and development, objective planning and system-level performance assessments. Metron’s work will include ashore and embedded sensor fusion, human-machine planning algorithms and software, autonomous controllers, and advanced control algorithms. Work will be performed in Reston, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by Nov. 14, 2027. The maximum dollar value, including a 60-month base period with no options, is $7,806,349. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $15,000; and fiscal 2023 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $100,000 are obligated at time of award. Funds in the amount of $15,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured under N00014-22-S-B001, a long range business associate agreement (BAA) for science and technology projects for advancement and improvement of Navy and Marine Corps operations. Since proposals will be received throughout the year under the long range BAA, the number of proposals received in response to the solicitation is unknown. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N00014-23-C-2002).

Federal Prison Industries,** doing business as UNICOR, Washington, D.C., has been awarded a maximum $20,748,291 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the modular lightweight load carrying equipment hand grenade pouch, flash bang grenade pouch, canteen/general purpose pouch and the M4 two magazine pouch. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Locations of performance are Indiana, Louisiana and North Carolina, with a Nov. 14, 2025, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2023 through 2026 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-23-D-F003).


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