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US Slips Out of Bagram in the Night

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 troops slipped out of Bagram Airfield on Friday night, shutting off the electricity as they left, but not telling the new Afghan commander, Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, who learned of the US departure two hours later, reports Military Times. Looters overran the sprawling facility — used exclusively by US and NATO troops — soon after the lights were shut off. “In one night they lost all the good will of 20 years by leaving the way they did, in the night, without telling the Afghan soldiers who were outside patrolling the area,” said one of those Afghan soldiers.

The Taliban have gained a lucrative new source of income, taking over the main trade gateway into Tajikistan, and beginning to collect customs revenues, as some of Afghanistan’s neighbors tacitly cooperate with the insurgent group, reports Wall Street Journal. The Taliban have seized the American-built Sher Khan Bandar crossing and the second most important crossing, Ishkashim, as well as most of the rest of Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan.

Maryland Waterway Improvement grants for FY22 include a $500,000 grant for Snow Hill Park boat ramp to provide access to the Patuxent River, reports The BayNet. $13.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants were awarded throughout the state.

The military needs commanders who truly don’t support sexual assault, commission concludes, reports Military Times. The next couple of years are set to see a radical shift in the way the military handles sexual misconduct, based on dozens of recommendations from a review commission stood up earlier this year. Removing sexual assaults from the chain of command has grabbed the most headlines, but the recommendations include many more solutions to keep accountability for command climates squarely in the hands of commanders, whether they are able to prefer charges or not.

More than four years before the June 18 shock-trial explosive went off beside the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, a team of scientists began making plans to protect marine wildlife from harm, reports

The Space Development Agency has launched demo satellites into orbit, reports C4ISRNET, to test critical technologies for a new military-owned proliferated constellation. The new multilayered architecture will fill a number of missions for the military, from tracking hypersonic weapons to beyond-line-of-sight targeting.

Lawmakers say DoD under counts civilian casualties reports Defense News. The Pentagon says fewer than two dozen civilians were killed in overseas anti-terrorism operations last year, but a pair of lawmakers doesn’t believe them. In a letter to DefSec Lloyd Austin, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), ask for an investigation of potential under counting of civilian casualties.



The veterans jobless rate saw a big jump as summer began, reports Military Times. About 440,000 veterans filed for unemployment benefits last month. The jobless rate for all American veterans last month was 4.8%, up from 4.1% the previous month. Similarly, the rate for veterans who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars era rose from 4.0% in May to 5.2% in June. Nationally, the economy added 850,000 jobs in June, Politico reports that on the latest report from the Labor Department a significant improvement over May’s 583,000 net job gain and beating Wall Street expectations of about 700,000. The unemployment rate was little changed at 5.9%, a slight increase from 5.8% in May.

House Democrats introduced a bill to change management and law enforcement practices at the Department of Homeland Security, reports FCW, requiring updated use-of-force policies to emphasize de-escalation tactics and training. The bill would require congressional notification within 24 hours when DHS deploys law enforcement officers, and mandates uniformed DHS personnel be deployed with agency insignia on display.

DHS has hired approximately 300 new cybersecurity professionals after its 60-day cyber workforce “sprint” launched in May, and 500 more have tentative job offers, reports FCW. The goal was to increase the agency’s core of cybersecurity workers by 200 by July 1. Cybersecurity vacancies totaled about 2,000 at the start of the sprint.

Naming Army helicopters for Native American tribes and figures stems from an Army regulation made decades ago, reports Task & Purpose. The regulation has since been rescinded, but the tradition carries on, having originated with GEN Hamilton Howze after the Air Force split from the Army in 1947. Howze didn’t like the original names “Hoverfly” and “Dragonfly” and decided the next helicopter would be called the Sioux “in honor of the Native Americans who fought Army soldiers in the Sioux Wars and defeated the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of Little Bighorn.”

Turkey plans to make its own maritime missile-launching system after sanctions interrupted Lockheed plans, reports Defense News. Turkish defense company Roketsan is to develop a vertical launching system, MDAS,  for the country’s first locally made frigate.

July could be the last month to save the Iran nuclear deal, reports Defense One. Domestic politics in Tehran and Washington are gradually closing the door. Iran’s presidential elections held June 18 elected Ebrahim Raisi, who has said he would not oppose a return to the deal, but it is unclear whether he will take office in August with a mandate to do the hard work of returning to the agreement.

The Air Force would like to make its already-tiny M18 service pistol even smaller, reports Task & Purpose. The M18 — a compact version of the M17 that came out of the Army’s Modular Handgun System program — is the Air Force’s first new service pistol in 35 years. It replaces the M9, which airmen have wielded since 1985.

After the McCain and Fitzgerald collision reports, the Navy says it’s focused on “fundamentals” of war-fighting, reports Navy Times. When asked about the impact of the comprehensive reviews, VADM Kelly Aeschbach, commander of Naval Information Forces, said war-fighting training of recruits focuses on “some basic fundamentals that we’ve got to make sure our sailors and officers are capable of.”

Marine Corps wants a digital blueprint locker for access to 3D printing plans anywhere, reports USNI News. “We’re working toward a centralized digital repository the program offices will use to store their data and host Marine Corps design solutions,” said Kristin Holzworth, chief scientist at the Quantico, VA-based SYSCOM’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell, or AMOC. “Digital infrastructure is really the key.”

USNI News reports the Marine Corps’ top aviation officer, LTGEN Mark Wise, the deputy commandant for aviation, assured a key House panel this week that the unit costs of the CH-53K King Sea Stallion helicopter are dropping significantly. He put the unit cost of the heavy-lift helicopter at $97 million in Lot 5, down from more than $130 million.

Pope Francis will remain in the hospital for a week while recovering from intestinal surgery, reports Business Insider. Pope Francis was alert and in good condition the day after undergoing intestinal surgery. He had a three-hour operation on Sunday that involved removing half of his colon. The Vatican expects him to be hospitalized for about seven days.


Wiley Wilson Burns & McDonnell, Alexandria, Virginia, is awarded a $15,000,000 firm-fixed-priced modification under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the exercise of Option One for architect-engineer services in the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington area of responsibility (AOR). No task orders are being issued at this time. The work to be performed provides design and engineering services for facilities including, but not limited to, general administrative spaces, dining facilities, commissary and exchange facilities, educational facilities, sports and fitness facilities, and training and instructional facilities. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities within the NAVFAC Washington AOR including Maryland (40%); Virginia (40%); Washington, DC (20%), and this option period is from July 2021 to July 2022. No funds will be obligated at time of award; funds will be obligated on individual task order as they are issued. Task orders will be primarily funded by operation and maintenance (Navy) funds. NAVFAC Washington, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity (N40080-20-D-0018).

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