June 9, 2023

Where Biden Stands on Defense Issues

US Navy file photo

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.

President-elect Joe Biden made a victory speech Saturday night saying it was “a time to heal in America,” reports The Washington Post. “All those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself,” he said, referring to his previous runs for the office. “But now, let’s give each other a chance.”

The president-elect is no stranger to international leadership, reports Defense News, and he has a track record on international relations and national security issues. Find out how he differs from President Trump on issues such as the defense budget, the Middle East, personal relationship with the military, NATO, and nuclear weapons.

Though it’s not uncommon for Cabinet secretaries to prepare undated letters of resignation during a presidential transition, some close to DefSec Mark Esper say his letter is ready, reports NBC News. But Politico reports that many defense officials are urging him to stay to ensure a peaceful transition with a Biden election. They believe he should stay until the inauguration, provided President Trump doesn’t fire him first.

The Hatch Act continues to restrict federal employee political behavior no matter the time of year, but what constitutes a Hatch Act violation for most employees changes after Election Day, reports Federal Times. “Therefore, wearing campaign items, like T-shirts or hats, and displaying candidate photographs in the workplace after Election Day no longer constitute political activity for purposes of the Hatch Act. Similarly, expressing views about the election results or the presidential candidates is no longer considered political activity,” reads a statement from the Office of Special Counsel. But it doesn’t mean federal employees can take any political action without consequence.

Former naval aviator and astronaut Mark Kelly defeated incumbent Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, reports The Associated Press. Ms. McSally had been appointed to fill the seat after the death of Sen. John McCain. The number of veterans running for Congress is 2020 was 182, more than in 2018. Military.com breaks down many of those races here.

Retired Air Force CAPT Harold Pope Jr. was elected as the first Black state senator in New Mexico history, reports The Associated Press.

The US military has admitted responsibility for two more civilian casualties in Yemen, reports Business Insider, following a report that claimed there were dozens of incidents where innocent lives may have been lost.

The aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy won’t require an upgrade process to operate the new F-35C fighter, reports Popular Mechanics. The carrier is 76% structurally complete and is on track for a 2024 delivery to the US Navy.

The Schriever Wargame was the first exercise led by the US Space Force, reports UPI. Eight countries participated in the two-day space training.

Space Command chief Army GEN James Dickinson is considering opening the doors to wider allied participation to other parts of command operations traditionally reserved for US nationals, reports Breaking Defense.



The US is joining India, Australia and Japan in the Bay of Bengal for the 24th iteration of Exercise Malabar, reports Navy Times. This India-led effort comes amid increased tension between Beijing and New Dehli. The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain is joining the exercise, which began in 1992. Meanwhile in the Pacific region, the US Navy is participating in an exercise being lead by Ecuador, UNITAS LXI, reports Navy Times. The US has joined with Central and South American allies nearly every year since 1960 in this exercise.

The US Blue Angels buzzed the Florida coast last Wednesday in their final flight of Legacy Hornet planes. USNI News posted this short video of the demonstration squadron.

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to NAS Pax River’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 served as the on-scene commander of the rescue effort after an E-2C Hawkeye crew had to bail out along the Atlantic Coast recently, reports The Tester. The Hawkeye crashed near Norfolk, VA, in late August, Military.com reported at the time.

Shortages of groceries at commissaries have caused Pentagon officials to consider implementing the Defense Production Act for grocery production, reports Military Times. Officials say they need help stocking commissary shelves with canned goods, frozen goods, and sanitizing products. Concerns started in the summer and early fall, and are related to  issues around the pandemic.

NATO’s Allied Land Command headquarters garrison in Izmir, Turkey, has resumed normal operations since an earthquake struck Oct. 30, reports Air Force Times.

The Tester reports that the Atlantic Test Ranges and NAS Patuxent River will receive a $3 million grant to protect land on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The grant will come from the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program.

Attendees to a Defense One webinar in September learned something new about US Air Force Chief of Staff GEN Charles “CQ” Brown Jr., reports Task & Purpose. He has a passion for barbecue that goes back to this childhood living in Texas.

Native American veterans get their own memorial on the National Mall on Veterans Day when the Smithsonian Institution dedicates the Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, reports Military.com.

The new National Museum of the Army will open on Veterans Day, reports Fox5 Washington. The 185,000-square-foot museum will present artifacts and personal accounts of service members and it will honor active-duty soldiers, veterans, and civilians who worked with the Army, reports AARP.  Galleries feature stories of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, reports connectingvets.com. The Changing World gallery covers the period roughly from 1990 to now.


Lockheed Martin Corp., Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded an Other Transaction Authority agreement with a ceiling of $339,318,582 for the Mid-Range Capability. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland; Akron, Ohio; Clearwater, Florida; Moorestown, New Jersey; Owego, New York; Syracuse, New York; and Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2023. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $57,959,033 were obligated at the time of the award. US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, Alexandria, Virginia, is the contracting activity (W50RAJ-2-19-0001).

Capital Center for Credibility Assessment Corp., Dublin, Virginia, is awarded a ceiling-priced $29,233,903 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to conduct Counter Intelligence Scope Polygraph examinations throughout the U.S. to support the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Polygraph Services Field Office. The contract includes a five-year ordering period with no options and is expected to be completed by November 2025. Work will be performed at various contractor facilities (95%); and various government facilities (5%) throughout the US in which the percentage of work at each of those locations cannot be determined at this time. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $100,000 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 Navy Electronic Commerce Online and beta.SAM.gov as a 100 percent 8(a) small business set-aside requirement, with three offers received. Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00189-21-D-Z010).

Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $17,509,022 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-only modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-20-C-5392) to exercise options to provide design agent engineering services for the MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) electronic systems and computer programs. This option exercise is for software design, systems engineering, ship/missile integration services, and depot operations services for the MK 41 VLS module electronics and launch control system. These services include new missile integration into MK 41 VLS including launcher design, launcher integration into new ship classes and the new AEGIS shore based component, Life Cycle Support Facility depot operations, system product improvements, predictability enhancements, reliability enhancements, and failure investigations. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (35%); Norfolk, Virginia (18%); Seattle, Washington (18%); San Diego, California (18%); and Ventura, California (11%), and is expected to be completed by July 2021. Fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $2,980,656 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 Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Innovative Defense Technologies LLC, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded an $8,163,883 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-20-C-6116) to exercise and fund options for Navy engineering services and material. Work will be performed in Fall River, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by December 2021. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funding in the amount of, $1,000,000 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 Navy Yard, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Nov. 2, 2020)

General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Connecticut, is awarded a $9,473,511,245 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to previously awarded contract N00024-17-C-2117. The contract modification exercises an option for construction and test of the lead and second ships of the Columbia class SSBN 826 and SSBN 827, as well as associated design and engineering support. This modification to the integrated product and process development (IPPD) contract supports the fiscal 2021 construction start of the lead ship (SSBN 826) and advance procurement, advance construction, coordinated material buys and full construction of the follow hull (SSBN 827) in fiscal 2024. Work will be performed in Groton, Connecticut (36%); Newport News, Virginia (25%); Quonset Point, Rhode Island (17%); with other efforts performed at various sites throughout the US (each less than 1%) (22%), and is expected to be completed by April 2030. Efforts within the ship include the Common Missile Compartment which is a joint US/United Kingdom effort. Fiscal 2021 National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund (NSBDF) funding in the amount of $545,186,307 (96%); and fiscal 2020 NSBDF funding in the amount of $19,936,251 (4%) will be obligated at the time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This action leverages the acquisition authorities contained in 10 U.S. Code §2218a, NSBDF. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC, is the contracting activity.

Progeny Systems Corp., Manassas, Virginia, is awarded a $9,428,513 cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost-reimbursable modification to previously awarded contract N00024-19-C-6267 to exercise options for engineering services. Work will be performed in Manassas, Virginia, and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) (88%); and fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) (12%) funding in the amount of $3,900,000 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.

CORRECTION: The contract awarded on Oct. 30, 2020, to BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, for $13,365,920, listed the incorrect contract number. The correct contract number is FA8720-21-F-0042.

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