December 5, 2020

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Monday, November 30, 2020

US Troops Injured by Russians in Syria

A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster departs while US airmen from the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron erect an antenna at a coalition airfield in Northeast Syria on June 28, 2018. The US has roughly 500 troops in Syria, primarily in the northeastern part of the country, Politico reports August 26, 2020. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Airman Izabella Sullivan.

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.

US service members were injured after an altercation with Russian forces in northeast Syria this week, according to a draft military statement and a person familiar with the matter, reports Politico. Four troops have been diagnosed with mild concussion-like symptoms. Russian vehicles unsafely pursued US forces, according to the statement. Military Times has video of the vehicles and a Russian helicopter involved in the incident.

Another Fort Hood soldier’s body has been found after his disappearance following sexual assault claims, reports The Washington Post. Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, is the sixth homicide since March associated with the Army base in Texas. Two days before Sgt. Fernandes’ body was found, Stars and Stripes unpacked why Fort Hood is the Army’s most crime-ridden post. Sgt. Fernandes previously reported an “incident of abusive sexual contact,” according to the Army.

Exxon gets kicked out of the Dow, reports CNN. As recently as 2013, Exxon was the the most valuable company on the planet. Its market value topped out at $446 billion in mid-2014, the last time crude prices traded above $100 a barrel. But Exxon is now losing money for the first time in decades. It is a shell of its former self due to a series of strategic decisions that backfired badly, from betting on natural gas at the top of the market to being late to America’s shale boom.

Fire scuttles Coast Guard icebreaker Healy’s deployment, reports Military Times. The fire occurred in one of its main propulsion motors as the ship left Seward, AK, for an extended deployment to the Arctic. The blaze was discovered at 9:30 pm and extinguished less than 26 minutes later, but the starboard propulsion motor and shaft were left inoperable. The 20-year-old ship is outfitted largely for scientific research, and was 60 miles offshore when the fire broke out.

The leader of the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence hub says that he wants the office to become the “world’s best software company,” reports C4ISRNET. If there is a place where service members can write lines of code quickly to do a specific task, receive an authorization to operate quickly, and perform the function and throw the code away, “we will have won the next war,” said Nand Mulchandani, acting director of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.

 

 

The launch of  a classified spy satellite cargo moved to this morning (Thursday) at 2:30 am. To keep track of upcoming launches, SpaceCoastLauches.com provides the launch schedule through October, which include five more launches after today’s satellite cargo for the US National Reconnaissance Office, launched by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket. It is largest of the Delta 4 family, the Heavy version features three Common Booster Cores mounted together to form a triple-body rocket. The launch was delayed from June.

The VA has surpassed 50,000 coronavirus cases among its patients since the start of the pandemic in March. More than half of those positive tests coming in the last 50 days, reports Military Times. As of Monday evening, 137 VA hospitals were monitoring 3,942 current cases of the fast-spreading illness, a drop of about 32% in the last month.

House Democrats intend to mark up a hefty slate of suicide prevention bills this month out of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, members lamenting existing solutions aren’t moving fast enough through Congress, reports Military Times. Lingering policy differences leave congressional efforts on suicide prevention muddled, following the White House’s delay of a push on the topic earlier this summer.

Rising military personnel cost may mean future cuts in troop numbers, reports Military Times. Despite White House and Pentagon suggestions that military end strength should continue to grow in coming years, the total number of personnel is likely to stay flat or start shrinking due to budget pressures on the Defense Department, according to a new financial analysis.

Iraqi pilots claim F-16 program is falling apart. Nine years ago, just before the Obama administration pulled the plug on a troop presence in Iraq, Baghdad signed a landmark $4.3 billion, US-backed, Lockheed Martin deal to bolster its air force a fleet of F-16 fighter jets. Billions of dollars and almost a decade later, some Iraqi pilots tell Fox News that there is little left of their investment and few pilots may be combat-ready to take on another ISIS wave or emerging threat.

A former civilian DoD employee was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally sell government property from California military installations, reports Military Times. Jeffery Parsons, 44, was convicted of conspiring to accept illegal gratuities and ordered to repay the federal government over $230,000.

China is protesting the alleged incursion of a USAF U-2 spy plane into a no-fly zone imposed during live-fire military exercises. Air Force Times reports that the Ministry of National Defense said the action had “seriously interfered in normal exercise activities” and “severely incurred the risk of misjudgment and even of bringing about an unintended air-sea incident.”

The August 30 furloughs of 13,000 employees at Citizenship and Immigration Services has been canceled, reports Federal Times, with funds from other contracts supporting the agency. The initial plan to furlough nearly three quarters of the agency’s workforce was in response to significant revenue losses. The agency’s budget is funded largely by citizenship and immigration application fees rather than appropriation. The defunding of contracts will result in slower processing time, according to the government.

Nuclear-arms stability as well as cost containment recommend the US extend the the New START nuclear pact, or face $439 billion for modernization, plus $28 billion in annual maintenance costs, reports Defense News.

Speakers at the Republican convention touted President Donald Trump as a commander in chief committed to ensuring national security, but also focused on peace instead of “endless wars” overseas, reports Military Times. “President Trump is the first president in a generation to seek to end war, rather than start one,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Contracts:

Hamilton Enterprises LLC, Greenbelt, Maryland, has been awarded a $21,676,458 firm-fixed-price contract for third party collections program support services. The purpose of this contract is to perform other health insurance billing and collection activities for the Defense Health Agency medical treatment facilities, using a government-provided medical billing program referred to as the Government Billing Solution (GBS). Billing and collection activities include identification and verification of other health insurance (OHI) provided on the paper or electronic form DD 2569, update of collected OHI information in the GBS, direct billing of third-party payers, ongoing follow-up actions for unpaid claims to include denials management processes, posting payments, conducting valid write-offs and referral of delinquent claims. Work will be performed in Greenbelt, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 8, 2025. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $4,082,860 are being obligated at the time of award. The 773rd Enterprising Sourcing Squadron/Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity (FA8052-20-F-0031).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Woodland Hills, California, is awarded a $44,550,267 modification (P00005) to previously awarded, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract N00019-19-D-0025. This modification increases the ceiling of the contract for the production and delivery of an additional 228 H-1 Tech Refresh Mission Computers, increasing the quantity from 545 to 773 in support of domestic and Foreign Military Sales UH-1Y and AH-1Z aircraft. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah (55%); Baltimore, Maryland (25%); and Woodland Hills, California (20%), and is expected to be completed in December 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

S2 Corp., Bozeman, Montana, is awarded a $9,003,679 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N65236-20-C-8019) for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project to prototype and demonstrate a broadband, electro-magnetic spectrum receiver system. The contract includes an 18-month base period and an 18-month option period. The option period, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $20,964,010. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $4,501,840 will be obligated at the time of award. Work will be performed in Bozeman, Montana (85%); Goleta, California (9%); Boulder, Colorado (4%); and Clarksville, Maryland (2%), and is expected to be completed in February 2022. If the option is exercised, work could continue until August 2023. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured by full and open competition via DARPA broad agency announcement HR0011-20-S-0005, posted on the beta.sam.gov (formerly Federal Business Opportunities) website, with 24 timely offers received. Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity.

Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, was awarded a $49,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the Cold Weather Glove System. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 25, 2023. US Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-20-D-0032).

Military Produce Group LLC, Norfolk, Virginia, is awarded a $51,205,744 requirements type contract for fresh fruits and vegetable products for various commissaries located in the US and its territories. The requirements type contract is for a 24-month base period beginning Sept. 6, 2020. The requirements type contract includes three one-year option periods. If all three option periods are exercised, the requirements type contract will be completed by Aug. 30, 2025. Offers were solicited on Contract Opportunities and two offers were received. The Defense Commissary Agency, Fort Lee, Virginia, is the contracting activity (HDEC02-20-D-0003).

Alliance Technical Services Inc., Norfolk, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $10,021,402 modification (P00010) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SP3300-18-C-5001) with four one-year option periods for third party logistics hazmat support services. This is a firm-fixed-price, cost-reimbursement contract. Locations of performance are Virginia and Texas, with an Aug. 26, 2021, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

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