June 20, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

US to Review Wind Project Off Ocean City

Wind Farm

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 Biden administration announced an environmental review for a proposed wind project about 10 nautical miles offshore of Ocean City, MD, reports gCaptain. US Wind won the rights to develop the Maryland lease area in a 2014 lease sale during which it submitted winning bids of $8.7 million. If approved, the plan is touted to provide 2,679 jobs for the seven-year construction phase and generate electricity for up to 650,000 homes in the Delmarva region. A 30-day public comment period runs through July 8, 2022, as the US Interior Department determines the scope of its environmental review.

President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act this week to beef up clean energy manufacturing, reports Defense One. The goal is to lower energy costs for American families and improve national security through reduced reliance on foreign counterparts for gas and oil.

After the controversial, $2.5 billion purchase of a Russian-made missile defense system, the Turkish government appears to be taking advantage of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine to force a return to the Western procurement system, reports Defense News. The US responded to that acquisition by suspending Turkey’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets and has not returned Ankara’s $1.5 billion down payment. Turkey remains a pivotal member of NATO; its approval is needed for Sweden and Finland to join. Turkish officials further hope their ties with both Russia and Ukraine will provide dividends in future negotiations.

Several thousand migrants have set out from southern Mexico in a caravan bound for the United States, hoping to address regional migration during talks at the Summit of the Americas this week in Los Angeles, reports Al Jazeera. Caravan organizer Luis Garcia Villagran said the group represented various nationalities of people fleeing hardship in their home countries, including many from Venezuela. “These are countries collapsing from poverty and violence,” he said. “We strongly urge those who attend the summit … to look at what is happening, and what could happen even more often in Mexico, if something is not done soon.

Firms in the EU’s three largest shipping countries — Greece, Cyprus, and Malta — have doubled their Russian oil shipments since the invasion of Ukraine, reports Business Insider, undermining intensifying sanctions against Russia. Freight rates for oil tankers have tripled since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Shippers of Russian crude are turning to unusual methods to move cargoes displaced from Europe over much longer distances to new customers, reports gCaptain. The most recent example is a ship-to-ship transfer in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

It was the fourth crash of a Super Hornet in less than three years in the Mojave Desert that killed Navy pilot LT Richard Bullock near Trona, CA, on Friday, reports Stars and Stripes. Bullock was the second pilot to die in one of the crashes. Pilots safely ejected in the other two.

 

 

The Civil War ship USS Monitor has been found in “astonishing condition” off the shore of North Carolina, reports Inside Edition. The ship sunk in 1862 and was discovered 16 miles off the coast of North Carolina. For 160 years at the bottom of the ocean, it’s in “an excellent state of preservation,” according to Tane Renata Casserley, resource protection and permit coordinator at the NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

Potent weapons are reaching Ukraine ahead of the know-how to use them, reports The New York Times. Soldiers desperate for advanced arms to match those of Russian forces have resorted to Google Translate to decipher the instructions for their new tools. One soldier: “I have been trying to learn how to use it by reading the manual in English and using Google Translate to understand it.”

Former airman Steven Carrillo, 34, who belonged to a California anti-government extremist group, was sentenced to 41 years in prison for the murder of a federal security officer and the attempted murder of another amid nationwide racial justice protests in 2020. Stars and Stripes reports Carrillo received his sentence Friday for gunning down Dave Patrick Underwood in a drive-by shooting outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, CA, on May 29, 2020. Carrillo had pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

Gulf-based companies are entering the battlefield drone market with the technology able to use satellite links for longer-range missions, says Breaking Defense. “Even non-state sponsored groups such as Da’esh [ISIS] and Mexican drug cartels are now able to make effective battlefield drones. So, I expect every state in the region which has an interest in small, battlefield drones to be able to build their own drones almost as soon as they desire — definitely within the next decade,” said David Des Roches, associate professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies.

Two weeks after the Biden administration confirmed it was sending hundreds of US ground troops back to Somalia, but not for “combat,” US forces launched an airstrike on militants in the country, reports Task & Purpose. The US Africa Command performed the attack against al-Shabaab fighters in a rural part of the country, in response to the insurgents attacking Somali government forces. Five al-Shabaab fighters were reported killed in the attack.

Fewer devices, more automation, and a better interface would help fight potentially lethal “alert fatigue,” reports Defense News. Special operations communicators receive so much information that they’re beginning to experience what one expert calls “alert fatigue,” putting them in danger of making fatal mistakes. To ease the cognitive load, US Special Operations Command is asking industry for more capabilities that involve less gear and simpler user interfaces.

A US service member has been identified as a possible suspect in an April explosion that injured several US troops at a base in eastern Syria, reports The Associated Press. The potential suspect is back in the US, said a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Division, but no name was released.

Once touted as among the most advanced ships in the world, take a look at the $4.4 billion US destroyer USS Zumwalt, now considered a “failed ship concept.” Business Insider reports that despite their cost, the Zumwalts have been plagued by equipment problems. The first broke down in the Panama Canal soon after its commissioning in 2016. The second failed sea trials the following year. A 2018 report from Military Watch Magazine noted the Zumwalts “suffered from poorly functioning weapons, stalling engines, and an underperformance in their stealth capabilities, among other shortcomings.”

Air Force Times reports nine airmen, unvaccinated against COVID-19, seek a restraining order and preliminary injunction to protect them from punishment for violating the military’s coronavirus vaccine mandate. The airmen argued in court filings that their requests to be exempted from COVID vaccination on religious grounds were wrongfully denied.

The Student Veteran Emergency Relief Act would give VA more power to protect GI Bill benefits in future national emergencies, reports Military Times. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges to shift classes online, Congress granted emergency authorities to Veterans Affairs officials to ensure the changes wouldn’t disrupt veterans’ education benefits. Last week, Reps. Mike Levin (D-CA) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) introduced the legislation which would immediately protect students’ benefits when the White House declares a national emergency, without having to wait for Congress to act.

Soldiers at Fort Wainwright will officially ditch Stryker vehicles, reports Army Times. Army Alaska was officially re-designated as the 11th Airborne Division in ceremonies held Monday at Fort Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The Army’s two Alaska-based brigade combat teams will now be renamed the 1st and 2nd Brigade Combat Teams, 11th Airborne Division.  Spokesman John Pennell: “The airborne brigade at JBER will retain its airborne status but the Stryker brigade up here [at Wainwright] will be turning in their Stryker vehicles and transforming into a light infantry brigade,” he told Army Times.

Contracts:

B3 Enterprises LLC, Woodbridge, Virginia, was awarded a $15,801,885 modification (P00018) to contract W9124G-19-C-0006 to provide refuel and defuel services for air fields and stage fields. Work will be performed in Fort Rucker, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of June 26, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds will be obligated for this award. US Army Field Directorate Office, Fort Eustis, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Charlottesville, Virginia, is awarded a $12,244,157 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N0002419C4101 to exercise options for Integrated Bridge Navigation System production shipsets in support of both the DDG 51 class modernization program and the DDG 51 class new construction program. Work will be performed in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. Fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $7,263,142 (59%); and fiscal 2022 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,981,015 (41%) will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, is awarded an $88,072,996 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to include terms and conditions for the placement of firm-fixed-price task orders to provide infrastructure and cybersecurity support services for the Naval Information Forces Command and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. The contract will include a five-year base ordering period with an additional six-month ordering period option pursuant of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.217-8 — option to extend services, which if exercised, will bring the total ceiling value to $99,000,000. The base ordering period is expected to be completed by June 2027; if the option is exercised, the ordering period will be completed by December 2027. Work will be performed in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi (50%); Suffolk, Virginia (5%); Norfolk, Virginia (5%); San Diego, California (5%); Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (5%); Washington, DC (5%); Monterey, California (5%); Flagstaff, Arizona (5%); Colorado Springs, Colorado (5%); Yokosuka, Japan (5%); Bahrain (2.5%); and Rota, Spain (2.5%). Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $25,000 will be obligated to fund the contract’s minimum amount and funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Individual task orders will be subsequently funded with appropriate fiscal year appropriations at the time of their issuance. This contract was competitively procured with the solicitation posted on the beta.sam.gov website, with three offers received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Mechanicsburg Contracting Department, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00189-22-D-R001).

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