November 28, 2020

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Wait for the Military Vote Says Coalition

military vote
US Army Maj. Ashantas Cornelius of Macon, GA, fills out her absentee ballot form while Pfc. Crystal Miller of Auburn, NY, looks for her city’s mailing address during a voting assistance drive at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, October 16, 2020. Official Army Photo/Dustin Senger. Some rights reserved.

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 military vote could determine the next president — after Election Day. reports that many of this year’s mail-in ballots from members of the military stationed overseas or away from their homes may not arrive until after Election Day. Count Every Hero — part of the Military Vote Coalition — says military votes could be a deciding factor in the outcome of the presidential election.

Most retirees enrolled in Tricare Select will soon be required to pay a new monthly premium or lose their health insurance coverage, reports A  provision in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act goes into effect next year and authorizes new fees for retirees, their family members, and survivors on Tricare Select.

Artificial intelligence, command-and-control, and survivability will be the focus of the House Armed Services Committee in a new Congress, says Chair Adam Smith (D-WA). He told Defense News that Democratic leadership would pivot to embracing alliances, diplomacy and development, and budget to meet national security needs. “Are some legacy systems going to be able to fit into that new framework? Undoubtedly. And others will need to be changed or upgraded.”

The US Supreme Court will hear a case over the use of DoD funds for a border wall with Mexico, reports Military Times, taking the appeal of a lower court ruling that the Trump administration improperly diverted Defense Department money. The high court previously allowed construction to continue, even after a federal appeals court ruled in June that the administration had illegally sidestepped Congress in transferring the DoD funds.

The US blacklists six Chinese companies for dealing with Iran shipping network, and in some cases helping the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines evade US sanctions, reports UPI.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte resumed oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea after prevailing in an international challenge to China’s territorial rights in the South China Sea, reports Malaya Business Insights. China has rejected the finding. Five service contracts were reactivated with the lifting of the exploration moratorium and the Philippine Navy deployed to the disputed area to assure the security of personnel.

Airline travel remains below pre-pandemic levels, but TSA screened 1 million passengers in a day, for first time since March, reports UPI.  The agency called the single-day passenger volume on Sunday a “noteworthy development.” More than 6.1 million passengers passed through checkpoints nationwide last week, the highest weekly volume for TSA since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US charged six Russian intelligence officers in several high-profile cyberattacks, reports The Washington Post. Criminal charges unsealed Monday connect the six with some of the world’s most damaging cyberattacks, including disruption of Ukraine’s power grid and the release of a mock ransomware virus that infected computers globally and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Expanding its defense alliance to space, NATO will build a space center at Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany, reports Defense News. The space center would serve as a hub for information about possible threats to any NATO member. “This will be a focal point for ensuring space support to NATO operations, sharing information and coordinating our activities,” says a NATO official.



The Army is field-testing quieter drones to avoid enemy detection, reports The Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System is designed as a quieter replacement of the current RQ-7B Shadow which provides reconnaissance and surveillance.

“Distressingly high” levels of violence threatens the Afghan and Taliban peace process, reports The Associated Press. Zalmay Khalilzad, US special envoy to Afghanistan, warned, “The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders.”

Early US troop pullout may upset fragile intra-Afghan talks, reports Bloomberg. A Taliban official said signs that President Donald Trump will hasten the exit of all American troops from Afghanistan would force the country’s warring groups to finally negotiate peace. But experts worry the move may give the militant group the upper hand. President Trump’s call for a faster exit has come as a surprise to both sides because the February peace deal had set plans for all American troops to withdraw by May 2021.

Near Point Mugu, CA, the Navy’s first stealth destroyer, USS Zumwalt, test fired an SM-2 missile out of its MK 57 vertical launch system, reports Defense News. The test “demonstrates the ship’s capability to fire missiles and conduct self-defense,” said DDG-1000 program manager CAPT Matt Schroeder.

Nine women watch the bridge of the USS Gerald R. Ford, reports The Virginian-Pilot; they call themselves the Iron 9. The bridge watch sections responsible for steering the ship and keeping a lookout for hazards had remained a mainly male preserve. But last month the USS Gerald R. Ford sailors assigned to the boatswain’s mates bridge watch teams were women. “They did great. If there’s a grade higher than ‘A,’ that’s what I’d give them,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Faeline Matthews, the boatswain’s mate who leads the team and whose job is to make sure the relatively young sailors in a bridge watch section are qualified to do the work. “I think it shows what we can do.”

Can an air purifier help protect you against the coronavirus? The Washington Post reports that some of the top experts on indoor air quality think so. Here’s why: When infected people talk, sing, cough, or even breathe, they release the virus into the air in a range of particle sizes. Although the large respiratory droplets fall quickly, the smaller aerosols can remain in the air for 30 minutes or longer until removed through ventilation or cleaned by some sort of air-purification system. They say that the science is pretty clear. Portables with a high-efficiency HEPA filter and sized for the appropriate room can capture 99.97% of airborne particles.

New coronavirus infections have been reported at two US military bases overseas, reports Stars and Stripes. Four, all members of one family in Okinawa, Japan, and four others in South Korea.


a.i. solutions Inc., Lanham, Maryland, is being awarded a $203,204,319 competitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract with a three-year base value of $77,728,390 and two one-year options for quality and mission assurance advisory and assistance services. The work will be performed in the National Capital Region; Dahlgren, Virginia; Huntsville, Alabama; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Greely, Alaska; Orlando, Florida; Moorestown, New Jersey; Tucson, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Promontory, Utah; Joplin, Missouri; and other locations as directed, with an estimated completion date of December 2025. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the website with two proposals received. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 research, development, test and evaluation; and Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $4,513,906 are being obligated at time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0858-21-C-0010).

Technology Security Associates Inc., California, Maryland, is awarded an $83,287,546 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides a full range of platform security and related support services to include, security modeling, program security management, trusted systems and network, cybersecurity, anti-tamper, system security engineering, international programs security support, acquisition security support, communications security support and physical security, force protection, anti-terrorism, and emergency management support for the Naval Air System Command and the Naval Air Warfare Centers. Work will be performed at Patuxent River, Maryland (90%); St. Inigoes, Maryland (2%); Lakehurst, New Jersey (2%); Orlando, Florida (1%); China Lake, California (1%); Point Mugu, California (1%); North Island, California (1%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (1%); and Jacksonville, Florida (1%), and is expected to be completed in October 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award; funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was competitively procured as a small business set-aside; two offers were received. The Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-21-D-0005).

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