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US Ups Funds for ‘Tactical’ Nuclear Weapons

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.

Congress has been debating the possibility of fielding more nuclear weapons at sea, reports Military.com, and both the House and Senate Armed Forces committees approved a provision to the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act to add funds for the Navy’s Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-­Nuclear program, reports Military.com. The SLCM-N is considered a “low yield ” or “tactical ” nuclear cruise missile. It would create a large, powerful blast compared with conventional missiles but generate an explosion considerably smaller than strategic nuclear weapons. It’s also a physically smaller munition than large nuclear ballistic missiles, allowing for easier storage and transportation.

NASA will keep Artemis 1 at the launch pad to replace its leaky seal, reports Space.com. NASA’s new launch system megarocket attempted twice last week to launch the uncrewed capsule to lunar orbit and back, but stood down when a leak of liquid hydrogen could not be remedied in time for liftoff. The leak occurred at an interface connecting core stage with a propellant line from the giant mobile launch tower. Agency officials announced the decision to replace the seal in an update on Tuesday evening. Ars Technica says, failure to remain at the launch pad to fix the leak in the propellant line would force the Artemis I to delay its launch into 2023.

An international manhunt continued for ‘Fat Leonard’ who escaped home detention Sunday, reports USNI. Former defense contractor and convicted mastermind of a multimillion-dollar US Navy corruption case, Leonard Glenn Francis, fled custody just weeks before he was to be sentenced to federal prison.  Although detained since 2018, a medical condition has kept him out of prison and in-person court appearances, practices the judge had begun questioning last year. Leonard’s story has spurred a podcast by Project Brazen and plans for a television adaptation.

Most oil has been removed from the grounded bulk carrier, OS 35, off Gibraltar, reports gCaptain. The operation is now moving to the recovery phase while cleanup and preventive efforts continue at nearby beaches. The Tuvalu-flagged OS 35 was outbound from Gibraltar Port when it collided with the unladen LNG carrier Adam LNG in the Bay of Gibraltar on August 29. The OS 35 was then anchored off Catalan Bay, on the opposite side of Iberian Peninsula, where it partially sank.

The UK Royal Navy shadowed three Russian warships sailing near the British Isles on their way home from the Mediterranean Sea, reports USNI. The Russian Marshal Ustinov, the sister ship to former RTS Moskva (121) – which the Ukrainians sank earlier this year, causing the Russians to keep most of its Black Sea fleet away from Ukraine’s coast – passed through the Strait of Gibraltar on Aug. 18, USNI News previously reported. It spent approximately six months in the Mediterranean supporting Russia’s invasion.

Financial challenges have the Air Force cutting the pay next month for airmen in the service’s toughest jobs, reports Military.com.  Hundreds of enlisted airmen will see their Special Duty Assignment Pay  – between $75 and $450 a month –  cut in FY23, beginning October 1. The extra pay, ranging from $900 to $5,400 annually, was an incentive “to compensate enlisted service members who serve in duties which are extremely difficult,” according to budget documents.

Congress wants more details on the latest Ukraine aid request, reports Defense News. Several US senators on Tuesday asked for additional briefings and reports on President Joe Biden’s new $13.7 billion funding request for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion. The White House budget office last week announced the latest Ukraine aid request, which includes $11.7 billion for security and economic assistance through December. It also seeks an additional $2 billion to reduce domestic energy costs driven up in part by the war.

 

 

 

Private sector medical care may not be faster, or cheaper than VA, reports Military Times. Veterans who use community care programs to access private sector medical appointments may not be receiving faster, better or less expensive care than if they used Veterans Affairs physicians, according to a new outside analysis of the health care options. Advocates said the lack of clear data on the topic is concerning given the significant growth in the program in recent years and the emphasis placed on the community care program by lawmakers and federal officials.

VA often failed to inform patients about risks of COVID antiviral drug, according to a report out of the VA Office of Inspector General. Military Times reports that facilities often failed to fully inform patients and caregivers about the risks of the COVID antiviral remdesivir in the months before the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Coast Guard’s proposed FY23 budget seeks $167.2 million to continue procurement of three new heavy icebreaker cutters to be followed by up to three new medium icebreaker cutters, reports USNI. The Coast Guard also requests $125 million to buy an existing commercially available polar icebreaker to augment its ice-breaking capacity until the new cutters enter service. Procurement of two heavy icebreakers is fully funded, the first to be delivered in the spring of 2025.

Spend the night aboard the storied WWII aircraft carrier USS Hornet, the most haunted ship in the Navy, says Military.com. Halloween overnight events begin Friday, Oct. 21, but private overnight stays are available for groups. For more information, visit the USS Hornet Museum website.

The National Defense Service Medal won’t be awarded after December, reports Military Times. Following withdrawal from Afghanistan and the formal end of combat operations in Iraq, the DoD plans to transition out of a wartime posture. The National Defense Service Medal, awarded all troops serving since 9/11, will go into retirement Dec. 31 and won’t be awarded for the foreseeable future.

The Army updates cyber training after some graduates weren’t ready for their jobs, reports Defense News. Army leaders have been adding classes and updating the curriculum to keep up with evolving technologies and global threats. “The vast majority of our students are ready day one that they hit the ground to their assigned units,” said MAJ GEN Paul Stanton, the commanding general at the Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, GA. But others haven’t been, Stanton said, including soldiers sent to Cyber Mission Force, National Mission Teams, National Support Teams, Combat Mission Teams, Combat Support Teams, and Cyber Protection Teams.

Prime Minister Liz Truss has appointed her new cabinet, hours after taking over at 10 Downing Street. For the first time none of the “great offices of state” is held by a white man, with Suella Braverman as home secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor, and James Cleverly as foreign secretary. Here is BBC’s guide to the new faces and role changes.

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Contracts:

Peraton Inc., Herndon, Virginia, is awarded a $32,066,020 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide support services to manage, maintain, and enhance the Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) and Department of Defense Law Enforcement Defense Data Exchange (D-DEx/LInX) systems for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The contract will include a 60-month ordering period. Work will be performed in Herndon, Virginia (96%); and various government facilities throughout the U.S. (4%) that cannot be determined at this time. The ordering period of the contract is expected to be completed by September 2027. Fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $10,000 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 posted as a full and open competitive solicitation to Navy Electronic Commerce Online and the System for Award Management website, with seven offers received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00189-22-D-Z036).

Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory, North Logan, Utah, is awarded a $75,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00173-22-D-2005) and a cost-plus-fixed-fee task order (N00173-22-F-2026) for research and development in advanced sensor processing, exploitation, and network technologies. The contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $150,000,000. Work on the task order will be performed in North Logan, Utah (90%); and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. (10%), and is expected to be completed by September 2024. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $100,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

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